Mount Olympus was a buzz. Aphrodite the Goddess of Love was being torn a new one. The sounds of yelling could be heard throughout Olympus and the Gods, well being Gods, it didn’t take them long to figure out what it was all about. Aphrodite had never told Hephaestus that he had a son. She had simply taken the seed of life from her own womb and then placed it into the womb of a mortal woman for her to bare the agony of child birth.
Such actions were not unheard of from the Gods, in fact many of them sent their infants to Earth to be birthed by mortals. Because while on Earth the God child would age like a normal human, whereas on Olympus it would take centuries for their bodies to reach maturity. However that was usually a decision that both of the adult Gods would make together, but for some reason Aphrodite had chosen to act on her own and not tell her husband that he even had a child. To say Hephaestus was furious was a huge understatement, for in his thousands of years of life this was his first born. And to add to that the boy took after him when it came to his Godhood abilities, the boy was a master craftsman and could swing a mean hammer.
“What the HELL were you thinking? WERE you thinking? You never even thought to tell me I had a SON.” Hephaestus raged.
Aphrodite knew she was in trouble and knew years ago when she had made the decision that there would be consequences. Her relationship with Hephaestus had been an on again off again relationship since the beginning. While she did love her husband, he was a bit to tame and a stay at home kind of a guy, while she herself was a wild spirit and hated to stay in one place for to long. She wasn’t sure what compelled her to do what she did, only that she just kept telling herself that she had made the right decision. But now she was beginning to regret what she had done in spades.
She had chosen to put him on the Hellmouth so that the energies of the place would mask his true nature. But she had also gone through a great deal of trouble to find the perfect home for him. The couple she picked was young and in love and unknown to them they were unable to have children of their own. They were perfect.
However she had not spent time with mortals in over a thousand years and seemed to have forgotten they people tend to change. The boys’ mortal parents had become abusive alcoholics and had treated their son like crap. Luckily the boy “Xander” had two very good friends growing up and so he did learn and know love. Still she should have checked up on him from time to time, but she hadn’t and now she was paying the price. Hephaestus was inches away from killing her.
“Heph, I’m sorry. I never should have done it. And I know I should have told you about your son, but I ..” She trailed off. She just couldn’t remember anymore what the reasoning she had used on herself some seventeen years ago.
Hephaestus raged. “You’re SORRY, You’re SORRY. You never even told me that I even HAD a son and then you go and put him with those PEOPLE, and on a freaking HELLMOUTH on top of that. By the Gods Dite, how could you be so uncaring, so reckless, so, so STUPID.”
Aphrodite was nearing in tears, never in the thousands of years that they had been married had he ever called her stupid. Some of the others yes, Ares more than most but it seemed that every one of them had said it at one time or another. But never Hephaestus, never her Heph. He never once had even thought that about her, but now he had said it and she knew, she knew that he was right. What she did was stupid and could never be forgiven.
With tears screaming down her face she just couldn’t bare to face her beloved any longer. So with little more than a thought and with a heavy heart she simply disappeared from her husbands’ cave and reappeared in a very secluded and private place that she sometimes went to, and the Goddess of Love cried.
Hephaestus was raging, he needed to scream, he needed to hit something. So being the God of the Forge he grabbed his hammer and some metal and got to pounding. Hours passed and as he worked he thought about his son. He couldn’t believe it, he had a son. He wanted to meet him, to get to know him. But how? Thanks to his wife, “Xander” would probably hate him. How could he not? Well whether his son hated him or not he had to create for him the perfect gift.
The piece of metal he had been pounding on to help him relieve his stress had finally taken shape. It was a piece of art, it was a golden armguard that once it was put on and activated it would form a kite shield to help protect its wearer from any physical harm. Like the sword his son had created, it could be summoned to him from anywhere and it would be indestructible.
The shield itself had a golden border with a golden dragon in the center while the rest of the shield was black. The shield looked to be something a knight would have used during the time of King Arthur. He imbued the armguard so that only someone of his blood could use it and protect only them. Finally with his gift complete it was time to meet his son. He could only hope that Xander would not hate him.
Meanwhile on Earth nearly a week had passed and once again it was Friday. Xanders’ body was at school sitting in final period class but his mind however was elsewhere. He hadn’t shown or told anyone about the sword that he had created. How could he? They would never believe that he had created such a masterpiece, but more importantly how could he possibly explain to them that it was magical.
He just couldn’t believe it when it first happened. His Uncle had taken him home that night and Xander was exhausted, he placed the sword in a hidden compartment within his closet he had made years ago. After all, if his dad ever found anything valuable in his room he would just take it to a pawn shop and sell it for booze money. After he had carefully hidden the weapon Xander went straight to bed. Of course when he awoke the next morning and the sword was in his hand he was to say the least surprised. He at first thought that he must have woken up during the night and removed it from its hiding spot. He simply placed it back in the hidden compartment and got ready for school. After he had taken a shower and got dressed he still had 30 minutes before he needed to leave.
Xander couldn’t help but to want to admire his creation. He had started to think about how it felt in his hand when all of a sudden there it was.
What the hell? He had merely thought about it and there it was. How could this be?
He thought about the wishes he had made while making the sword, how if he had the ability, the kind of power he would impart onto the piece of art. He would be able to summon it from anywhere. With an idea forming in his head, Xander laid the sword on his bed and then backed away from it. Then holding out his hand and again imagining how it felt to hold the sword, the sword instantly disappeared from the bed in front of him and reappeared in his hand.
Xander was shocked, so shocked that he just called in sick to school that day and never left his room until both of his parents had gone to work.
Once Xander had time for the shock to wear off he decided it was time to test his theories. He had hoped for four things while forging his weapon. The first wish had come true so what about the other ones.
Xander walked into his backyard holding his hopes and dreams in his hand. He had wished that the sword would be able to cut through anything.
He walked up to the old tree in the backyard and looked at a few low hanging branches, each was about four inches round and very sturdy. He really didn’t want to damage his new sword but he had to know. He took a swing at the end of the branch where it was only about two inches thick and much to his amazement the sword sliced through with ease. He then went back to the four inch base and tried again, this time it cut deep but it didn’t cut all the way through, but then again he didn’t really swing that hard for fear of breaking the sword.
Then Xander decided that it was time to go for broke. If he was right and the sword had been imbued with the powers that he had wished for then the blade would be indestructible. This time he took a hard swing at the branch and to his delight the branch fell to the ground. He tried it again on another branch and then another, both branches fell to the ground just like the first had done. With a huge grin on his face he then proceeded to chop the branches into little bitty pieces.
After about an hour of cleaning up the mess it was time to tryout the wish for swordsmanship skills. He started swinging, jabbing, and even twirling the sword and found that it just seemed to allow him perfect and fluid like movements. He must have practiced with the sword for hours and fought every imaginary foe he could think of and found that much to his surprise he wasn’t even tired or even a little winded. It must have been 95º F outside and he himself actually felt kinda of cool. That’s when he began to wonder what was really going on, first he creates a magical sword and now this.
He decided it was now time to test out himself as well, so after placing the sword back in its hidden spot, he began to go for a run. He knew from two days ago when he walked to his Aunt and Uncles’ house that by the time he had gotten there he was just a little tired. Today however he was able to run all the way there and back and he wasn’t even sweating, not to mention he could have sworn that he was running faster than he had ever ran in his entire life. By the time he had ran around town some more, pushing himself as hard as he could and returned home he found his mother was home from the diner where she worked because her car was in the driveway.
With a smile and a thought Xander walked over to his mothers car, grabbed the back bumper, and much to his amazement proceeded to lift the car up off the ground. He then went around to the front of the car where the motor was and tried again. This time he was just barely able to accomplish his goal but he did manage to lift the car enough so that the tires were off the ground.
Xander looked to the heavens and asked “What the hell is going on? Not that I’m complaining or anything, but what the hell is happening to me?” But of course he didn’t receive an answer, not that he was really expecting one. But it would have been nice.
The rest of the week went like normal, well at least normal for Xander anyway. Going to classes’ everyday and then hanging with Buffy, Willow, and the G-Man in the library for awhile after school. At night though was different, Buffy had been pushing him away from patrolling with her because she said she didn’t want to see him get hurt. But to Xander that just didn’t make any sense, which was safer, patrolling with her at his side or patrolling alone. And he would patrol alone if he had to, Buffy just never seemed to be able to understand that unlike her, he had choose this life.
But truth be told he was actually enjoying doing his nightly patrols alone. It let him use his sword without anyone seeing it. Every night this week he had killed several vamps, mainly because while Buffy was patrolling the cemeteries with that walking corpse Angel he was patrolling in the warehouse district. It was a lot more dangerous of course but he was being careful, hiding in the shadows and waiting for the right opportunity to strike.
He very quickly discovered that with his sword in hand and with his new found strength and speed, that killing vampires was a lot easier that it use to be. But that didn’t mean he had to be stupid and just blindly walk into a nest of vamps like a certain slayer had a habit of doing though.
His closest call however was last night when he approached two vampires but hadn’t realized that they were heading to this very place to meet up with another large group of vamps. Before he knew it he was surrounded by at least 15 vampires, needless to say he very nearly shit his pants, but after two years of fighting vamps on a nightly basis you tend to learn to keep your cool.
He summoned his sword to his hand and went to work. With his new found abilities he was able to take out four vamps within seconds, but that’s when the rest decided to charge all at once.
That night he discovered something new about his sword, before now he had always gone for the quick decapitation, but now he was being forced to swing at anything that moved. In under a minute the fight was all but over. Vampire dust covered the street as well as two badly injured vampires, the vamps had barely been sliced in the gut but they were both screaming in agony. Xander walked up to the first vampire and took its head with ease but with the second vamp a thought occurred to him to try something, so he stuck the vampire in the heart with the tip of his blade, and to his surprise the vamp turned to dust.
And that brought Xander up to where he was at right now, final class period on a Friday afternoon. The final bell rang and he along with the rest of the class started making their way towards the door. Xander had stopped at his locker to put up his books for the weekend so that by the time he had made it to the library Buffy was already there talking to Giles.
“That’s what Willy said, there’s a new demon hunter in town and he’s making me look bad.” He heard Buffy saying.
Xander had to suppress a smile at that revelation when he walked in asking. “Hey Buff, What’s the what? New demon hunter huh, what he like?”
“Don’t know, haven’t meet him yet but Willy said he mostly works in the warehouse district and that he’s got the vamps running scared. Even said that some vamps set a trap for him last night and he walked away smelling like a rose.” Buffy said while a little annoyed.
“What’s the problem Buff? I would think you would appreciate the help.” Xander asked getting a little annoyed himself but trying not to let it show.
“The problem is that this is my town, what gives this bozo the right to come here and take over.” Was her response.
To which Xander just shrugged and simply said. “Well killing vamps isn’t just a slayer thing you know, others have the right to fight the good fight if they want. It’s not like you actually want to be the slayer anyway, how many times have we had to listen to you complain about it for hours on end.”
This response floored Buffy, how could Xander say something like that. “You have no idea what it’s like to have your normal life ripped from you and then being told you have to fight the forces of evil alone, whether you like it or not.”
“But you don’t fight alone Buffy, you haven’t fought alone since you came to Sunnydale. I’ve been with you and so have Willow, Oz and even Giles. Not to mention that cradle robbing pedophile you call a boyfriend.”
At this point Giles felt that he should interrupt the two teenagers before things are said that could destroy their friendship beyond all repair. “Xander, Buffy, if you two would please hold your tongues, for I feel the two of you will never see eye to eye where Angel is concerned”
But of course as usual Buffy just didn’t know when to shut up. “He’s just jealous of Angel because he has everything that Xander just wished he had.”
At this point Xander snapped. “Are you really stupid enough to think that I would be jealous of some blood sucking 280year old psychopath that not only killed his own mother, father, and little sister but countless other people throughout the centuries? Do really think so little of me to think that I would be jealous of some worthless, cowardly piece of shit vampire that can’t even show up to help anyone unless his necrophilia girlfriend is there to watch.”
Both Buffy and Giles couldn’t believe what Xander had just said. In one fell swoop he had just let out nearly two years worth of emotional baggage. And here he was looking her dead in the eyes almost daring her to say something about it.
Just then Buffy became so enraged to the point that she balled up her fist and with all her might tended to knock the living hell out of her ex-Xander shaped friend. As she let the fist fly towards his face, much to her surprise, Xander not only blocked her fist of fury with superhuman speed but then proceeded to use her own momentum against her. He grabbed her wrist, twisted his body, and then with all the strength he could muster threw her 20 feet across the library and into a bookshelf against the far wall. Buffy hit with such force that the bookshelf and all the books on it just seem to explode.
Giles horrified at what he had just witnessed ran to Buffy’s side to check on her current state. Once he saw that she was still able to move, albeit very slowly, but still she appeared to be ok, Giles then turned his attention towards Xander.
“XANDER, what’s wrong with you? You could have killed her just now.” But before he could get another word out Xander was on the offensive.
“HER, what about Me? She could have killed me with that punch if it had connected. Are you so worried about your precious slayer that you’re willing to let her kill an innocent person just because she had her feelings hurt. Just because she can’t handle the truth. She’s supposed to be the vampire SLAYER, not the vampire FUCKER. How can you stand there and allow this, even before he killed Ms. Calendar she should have staked his ass. Then after months of letting the bastard kill willy nilly she finally decides to her JOB and then when the bastard comes back from hell, she takes him back like nothing ever happened. And YOU Giles not only allowed it, but you are just pissing on Ms. Calendar’s grave every time you work with that THING.”
Unnoticed by everyone in the room Willow, Oz and Cordelia had come in and had heard every word that was said. However they choose to remain silent because the fact was that Xander was speaking the truth and they knew both Buffy and Giles needed to here this.
As Buffy was finally getting back to her feet Xander continued his ass chewing and as a result both Giles and Buffy felt about 1 inch tall.
“And you Buffy, think about it. If Angel was such a great guy, then why did his soul end up in hell? If he was such a great guy then why was he not rewarded by going to heaven? I’ll tell you why, because the soul known as Angel is just as worthless as Angelus the demon is evil. He spent the last century brooding and bitching so much about how his life sucked, that he never even once tried to earn redemption. It wasn’t till he came here that he decided to even give it a shot. Even then he only did it when you were there to watch him, that way you could give him pat on the head and a nice cookie for a job well done.”
Both Buffy and Giles seemed to find the floor very interesting for some reason and just couldn’t seem to be able to look Xander in the eyes any longer. As Xander turned to leave he then noticed the rest of the Scoobies staring at him in awe.
Oz just merely raised an eyebrow as he looked at Xander in a whole new way.
Cordelia always the one to speak her mind just gave him a smile and simply stated. “Well dweeb, I always knew you had it in you, I’m just glad I was here to see it.”
Willow, Xander’s best friend since childhood just walked up to him and wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him the hug she knew that at this moment he needed. After a long moment of that she broke the embrace but then looped her arm through his and then turned him back around so that Buffy could see the two of them side by side. No one said a word but all present knew exactly what the gesture meant. Come hell or high water she would always stand by his side, and no person, place, or thing in this world will ever change that, ever.