Last time. . .
“Start picking up the pieces people. We don't want him reassembling. Latex gloves and ziploc bags all around.”
Two months later, Xander was still trying to figure out a way to deal with Angelus. He had gone through multiple plans, some failing spectacularly, some becoming irrelevant when the other vampire zigged instead of zagged. All in all, he was becoming frustrated and the group was starting to resent and distrust his more non-human traits.A week after blowing up the Judge, Angelus killed Janna. It was only by rolling Giles’s mind that Xander could stop him from running straight to the factory, in a harebrained scheme of revenge. The Brit was not pleased when he finally came to, but an implanted suggestion kept the man from doing anything foolish.
While his mentor was out cold with the girls watching over him, Xander took off the velvet gloves.
‘If Angelus is going to ignore all the rules, then so am I. Not like the feds can convict me of magical malfeasance in this town.’
Xander headed to Restfield Cemetery, where he broke all the laws of man and magic. Without a single drop of blood being spilled, he rose a dozen zombies. He did not give them the minds and intelligence they had had in life, but he did give them sound bodies. Two of the larger men carried him, and the rest followed in procession. All the humans were abed at this hour, but if they weren’t, they fled before Xander could notice them. Vampires and demons fell before his marching mini-army of the dead, ripped limb from limb by his undead minions.
When the factory came into sight, he sent his hoard in. Fledges, the canon fodder that they were, fell in the first wave of the attack. The older minions and the three Aurelius Masters fled into the sewer system. When the old building was reduced to rubble, he sent his zombies back to their graves.
‘That should keep him occupied for a while.’
Word eventually came that there was an obscure relic found at a construction site, and Giles was asked in to evaluate it. It was bad news. Apocalyptic, you could say. It was Acathla, the demon who would suck the world into Hell. With that one colossal bad piece of news, things seemed to snowball into even more disastrous situations.
Once Willow and Buffy got the idea of the soul curse into their collective heads, nothing would unseat it. Logic, morality, and outright forbiddings did nothing. “She said it couldn't be done.” They were all gathered in the library, trying to come up with a plan of action. Giles had a stunned look on his face, reading over the print out of the curse that Willow had handed him.
When Willow offered to do the spell herself, Xander couldn't take that lying down.
“Willow, I know that you've been studying magic, but that doesn't mean that you can do this, or even if you should. Just because you know the physics of nuclear detonation, does not mean you should build a bomb or set it off. Black arts are called such because of the taint they leave on your soul, and the addiction they leave in you.
Before even thinking of trying to do this spell, both of you should ask, where is Angel's soul? If he has finally reached Heaven, do you really want to be the ones to face him, tell him that you were too selfish to let him enjoy his eternal reward? Even if he is somewhere else, limbo, Hell, Purgatory, whatever. . . Are you willing to risk your own soul and sanity to bring him back? I don't want to one day be called back to deal with Willow, once the addiction has riddled holes and stained her black with evil in her mind and soul.
And if that's not a good enough reason, how about this: while we wait for Willow to get everything together and prep for the spell, more people will die. And their deaths will be on our souls.”
Despite the best of arguments, Buffy and Willow decided to do the spell. Kendra died, Willow's in a coma, Giles kidnapped, and Buffy was on the run from the cops, all while Xander was out tracking down Angelus's new lair.
He met up with Buffy on the road up. He had no idea of what had happened, and when Buffy broke the news. . . it was flash backs to when she came back from her summer vacation.
“If Willow doesn't pull through, if your collective stupidity killed her, you don't want to be seeing me for a long time after tonight, Slayer.” The vampire in him looked out at her, eyes swirling with power, and fangs extended.
The two of them slammed into the mansion Xander had been scouting. The sword was already pulled form the stone. He didn't bat an eye when Spike leaped from his wheelchair to join the fight on their side. He tore heads off, trying to fight his way to Giles, trying to evacuate the old Brit. Once the librarian was outside, passed out on the cement, he dove back into the fray. Most of the minions were done with, and the other two Masters had fled. Xander tried to pull out his trump card.
He reached with metaphysical power to the demon in front of him, wrapped it in chains. Angelus whirled his fight with Buffy so he could face the two of them.
“What do you think you're doing, Puppy-Boy?” A bared his teeth at them as the power began to tighten down.
“Bringing you to heel.” When Buffy was tossed away, with Angelus baring down on him, Xander took a strangle-hold on the lead reins of his power. “Kneel!” He called his first demon. Angelus knelt. Xander took his last stake from a hidden pocket and drew back for the kill.