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Chance to Change

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Xander Grissom Verse". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Life means change. So what do you get when you mix a misunderstood spell, a warped wish, and our favorite CSI guys? Simple, a chance to change everything.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
CSI > CSI Las Vegas
CSI > CSI New York
JadeAislinFR131232,2382615586,9336 Sep 0811 May 09Yes

One Spell, One Wish

Title: Chance to Change
Author: Jade Aislin
Rating: FRT
Disclaimer: Buffy and CSI? Nope. Don't own em. I don't even own the DVDs. *sighs* I don't even have enough money to buy the DVDs. *pouts*
Beta: Caliadragon and Queen Sereya.
Summary: Life means change. So what do you get when you mix a misunderstood spell, a warped wish, and our favorite CSI guys? Simple, a chance to change everything.

* italics means [[babbling]]/letter.

Chapter 1: One Spell, One Wish

“Willow!” Dawn stared in horror at the pile of clothes on the floor. “What did you do? Where’s Xander?”

“Uh, We were doing this spell and he uh . . . he was uhm. . .” Willow said nervously. “There.”

She nodded over to where Buffy was crouched down next to the mysterious pile of clothes that seemed to include a brightly colored Hawaiian shirt, a white undershirt, black jeans and a pair of boots.

“Can you imagine how embarrassed Xander must be without his clothes? You must have done some sort of telly-porty thingy, Willow,” Buffy mused. She gingerly poked at the pile with her stake. Suddenly, the clothes let out a loud wail. Startled, Buffy fell back in surprise, her hands slapping hard against the floor as she barely managed to remain sitting upright. “What the . . .?”

Cautiously, Buffy picked up the shirt and tossed it to the side. The girls stared in shock at the crying baby, who was trying to do his best to show the world what a good set of lungs he had.

“Xander???” Willow squeaked.

“You shrunk him, Willow. Fix it,” Buffy said, her voice rising to be heard over Xander’s screams. Turning to the baby, she continued, “Stop screaming Xander! Willow will reverse the spell!”

Willow nodded her head, wincing as the wail increased in volume. She grabbed the big book lying beside her and started to frantically flip through the pages. Dawn muttered under her breath about idiot older sisters and overachiever friends as she reached over and bundled Xander in the t-shirt before cuddling him. The baby quieted down, now that he was warm and getting some nice hugs.

“She didn’t shrink him, Buffy. She de-aged him. What were you doing anyway?” Dawn glared.

“It was only this simple little spell I read about,” Willow babbled, [[“We’ve been drifting apart. I’ve been spending more time with Tara and Buffy has been struggling with everything that’s happened and we’ve been leaving Xander alone so he could have a normal life, only Anya left him and he was going all depressy. And I found this neat little spell that would let us remember happier times when we were still innocent little kids and I thought it would bring us closer together, like we used to be so I started with Xander and . . . . . it’s not supposed to do that”]]

Dawn stared at her. “And you had Tara or Giles look over this spell, right?”

“Of course she did,” Buffy said as Willow chewed on her bottom lip and looked away. Buffy looked at Willow. “Willow?”

“Not . . . . exactly.”

“What do you mean, not exactly?”

Willow turned to look at Buffy. “Well. . . It was such an easy spell with the changes and I knew I could do it and it would have been a waste of their time to look it over. I checked it three times.”

Buffy glared. “You changed the spell. Not only did you not get Giles to check it over, but you changed it?”

“It was an acceptable alteration. The book said so. I don’t know what went wrong,” Willow defended.

“Willow. . .”

“Call them,” a firm voice spoke up. The two arguing girls turned to stare at the young teenager. Dawn held, a now sleeping, Xander in her arms. She stared at the two older girls. “Call them, now Willow. Or I will.”

A few hours later Giles tiredly rubbed the bridge of his nose before wiping off his glasses.

“Uh oh. He’s wiping his glasses. That’s not good. Hard to find ingredients or something? Need me to go gather yucky slime or something? Cuz I’m sure some demon around town that can help me find them,” Buffy offered.

Giles looked over at the sleeping Xander, nestled safely in Tara’s arms. Tara had been ignoring her pouting girlfriend, instead focusing on the now diapered infant. Giles sighed. “No Buffy. I’m afraid it’s not that simple. Willow was correct that particular spell had an alternate form. However, unlike the basic memory spell, the one Willow used actually takes the target back to the last time they were truly happy and innocent. It’s a type of renewal spell. It allows them to relive their lives. . . .and it’s irreversible.”

“But. . .” Willow squeaked.

“Sit down, you foolish little girl.” Giles glared at her. Willow meeped and quickly fell down into the chair behind her. “I have warned you numerous times, not to perform witchcraft without absolute certainty of the results. And no, you do not have the necessary knowledge to be certain of any new spell you learn. You refused to share this spell with either Tara or myself and you deliberately altered it without knowing the full ramifications of your actions. So sit there and be quiet while we deal with your mess.”

“What are we going to do?” Dawn asked. “I’m too young to take care of him.”

Buffy shrugged when her sister looked at her. “I can’t keep him. I’m looking after you. Maybe we could give him to his parents.”

Willow bit her lip, but slowly nodded her head. Dawn leapt up and looked at Buffy in shock. “What?!”

Xander stirred slightly, but quickly fell back asleep. “Dawnie, I can’t look after a baby. What with slaying and work. Tara and Willow have school. It’s the best option.”

“It is not and you know it. You want to put Xander with his drunk, abusive parents and hope that he grows up?”

“Now Dawn, Xander’s parents may drink a little, but they didn’t abuse him,” Buffy spoke up. “I would have seen it.”

Willow nodded in agreement.

Dawn snorted. “Yeah, right. You two didn’t see much about what really went on with Xander. You never saw the scars or the bruises. I saw more than either of you ever did.”

“Dawnie, Xander’s just clumsy. He finds vamps by falling in empty graves. You know tha. . .”

“You don’t get hand shaped bruises from falling into a six foot deep hole, Buffy. And that one was two months before you graduated. Remember, you went into overprotective mode. You made sure every night that Willow and Xander got home safe. There’s no way he could’ve run into some demon without you knowing about it.”

Giles replaced his glasses. “Regardless of what may or may not have happened before, none of us is capable of taking care of an infant. Nor does our lifestyle lend itself to raising a young child. If what Dawn says is true, then there is only one option available to us. Perhaps the best thing would be to hand him over to foster care.”

“But Giles!”

“Xander has to stay near us, Giles. Where we can keep him safe. I did this. I have to take responsibility.”

“No!” Giles slammed his hands down on the table, quieting both girls. “Look at yourself, Buffy. You’ve already died twice. What do you think would happen to Xander if his caretaker died suddenly? Xander cannot stay. Foster care is truly the only option.”

Buffy and Willow looked at each other before nodding reluctantly. Dawn seemed to be the only one willing to protest. “You can’t seriously be thinking about turning Xander over to the state? In this town, that’s almost as bad as giving him back to those drunks. They’d probably hand him back to them anyways.”

And the arguing began again.

As the others fought, one person remained silent. She stared at the content babe in her arms, listening to all the arguments about the future of the baby. She thought about her terrible childhood and what Dawn had hinted at. She thought about what Giles had said about the spell sending the target to the age they last felt happy and innocent and what it meant that Xander was now less than two years old. Finally, as the voices quieted down, she thought out the words in her head and made her decision.

Softly, Tara’s voice spoke, “I wish Xander could grow up in a safe place, where he would have a family to protect him and love him for who he is.”

There was a frozen silence as everyone in the room realized the true weight of those words. The others turned to stare at the quiet witch in horror. They all knew the dangers of the words “I wish”, especially in Sunnydale. They looked down at the baby, sleeping in Tara’s arms. Maybe no one had heard the wish. But just as Buffy was about to sigh in relief, they heard those dreaded words.

“Wish granted.” In a flash, Xander disappeared.

The wish demon sent him toward the east coast. There was a criminalist there who could use a little Xander. He was perfect for the role of father. He may not have had much of a real family, but he had a support system with his friends and coworkers. Not to mention being the head of his lab, he could afford a small child and his people would love the boy. Xander would be well protected.

Not staying to watch Xander arrive, the demon hurried off to grant the next wish. Unfortunately, Buffy and Willow were not the only ones who wanted to keep Xander there. And unlike the girls, this being could do something about the wish.

Not many people realized it, but hellmouths weren’t just openings between dimensions, they were also semi sentient beings, stuck in one place. Now, a hellmouth couldn’t think or reason like a human, it only had the mental capacity of a dog. But it could form likes and dislikes. And the Sunnydale hellmouth liked Xander.

After all, the boy had spent nearly his whole life growing up over it. From being born on top of the hellmouth to hiding out in the library’s hallways. Even as a young boy, when not spending time with his friends, the hellmouth would feel Xander creeping around near its opening. The child never touched any of the books, but seemed to enjoy spending time there. It was easy to hide in the high school’s big library and no one ever noticed him there. That was why demons always found Xander irresistible and why the hellmouth had always protected him.

That was why, when the hellmouth felt its favorite human being wished away, it tried to pull him back. Unfortunately, the wish was too strong. The hellmouth pulled as hard as it could on the magical wave its Xander was in and tried to pull him back to Sunnydale, but Xander didn’t quite make it.

Las Vegas, Sundown

A grey haired gentleman was almost ready for work. He grabbed his kit, checking his small pets before heading toward the door. He checked his house over before grabbing his keys. He had shut and locked his door, heading for his car before he noticed the baby carrier sitting innocently on his front porch. He glanced around, but couldn’t see any signs of how the baby had gotten there. The baby appeared to be sleeping soundly with a note stuck in the side of the carrier. Taking out some gloves, he quickly reached for the note sticking out of the seat, being careful to not waken the sleeping infant.

“Dear Sir,
You won’t remember me. But what I tell you is the truth. Xander is your son. I can’t keep him. He needs you. Please protect Alexander and give him a happy childhood.”

It was funny how things worked out. Unable to go to the parent that had been originally chosen, the magic had to settle for someone who was as close to the original as possible. Luckily for the parentless infant, he had landed in the best possible place to meet all the requirements of the wish.

Gil Grissom put the note down and stared at his supposed son. “Now what?”


Next time: Sara meet Xander, Xander meet Sara
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