By Sariel Lunar
Summary: Nothing is what is what it seems and no one is who they appear to be. Xander-centered
Notes: Takes place after season three of BTVS. Please ignore the time discrepancies.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Dollhouse or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I buy the DVDs and watch Hulu like everyone else. This is written for my own amusement and made absolutely no profit from it. Don’t sue I have no money.
“I’m gonna miss you so much!” Buffy laughed throwing her arms around her Xander-shaped friend. He laughed and hugged her back. Willow watched with teary eyes anxiously awaiting her hug. Oz stood next to her offering comfort. Giles was checking Xander’s car to make sure he had everything.
“That’s great, Buff, but I’d like to get there with my spine in one piece!” He gasped. The Slayer immediately released him and blushed. Xander massaged the small of his back trying to work out the pain.
“Sorry. I just got excited,” she said with a smile.
“That’s cool. I know I’m irresistible!”
“Xander!” the blond and red head exclaimed slapping him on the shoulder. Oz smirked.
“There, there Wills. I’ll be back as soon as I’ve seen all fifty states!” Xander said hugging the red headed witch. “And you know I’m gonna write!”
“You better mister! If you don’t I’ll find a curse and put a wart on your butt!” she cried hugging him just as hard as Buffy just had. The boy groaned as his spine creaked in protest.
“Gah! What is it with the women in Sunnydale? Are they all Hulk strong or what?” Xander asked to no one in particular. Buffy and Willow laughed.
“Just about,” Oz agreed. Giles walked up to Xander after thoroughly examining the trunk.
“It’s good to know that you’ve at least listened to me in this regard Xander,” the ex-watcher said as Willow released the Scooby. “You’ve got all the necessary supplies needed for any road side emergency.”
Xander nodded. “Yup! Kitty litter. Flares. The werks,” he replied. Giles went to the boy he saw as a son and hugged him.
“Be careful out there,” he said hugging the boy tightly.
“I will G-man. Don’t worry,” he said patting the Englishman on the back. The Ex-Watcher pulled back awkwardly. Xander laughed as he saw everyone’s sad expression. Well, not Oz. He looked like he always did. Neutral.
“Guys! I’ll be fine! Don’t worry.” He almost let “What’s the worst that can happen?” slip out but stopped himself. He was still on the Hellmouth after all. He walked over to the car he bought from Uncle Rory and got in. He started the engine and lowered the window. “Look out USA! Here I come!” Everyone laughed and waved as their friend drove off.
Xander thought he would head to LA first. Why not? He’d never been there before and always wondered what it looked like. He figured a quick drive through and everything would be ok.
Not even five miles from Sunnydale city limits both of his front tires blew. Sure he followed Giles instructions and had a spare tire in the car, but that was it. He had one spare! One! It looks like the damn Hellmouth luck stayed with him no matter where he went. He pulled over and shut off the car. He banged his head against the steering wheel. Seriously, what the hell! He looked up from the steering wheel to examine his surroundings. So far there was just a whole lot of road and nothing else! He let out a frustrated sigh. At least it was still daylight.
He opened the door and got out to examine the damage. Immediately a large black cargo van pulled up behind him. He watched it suspiciously. What the… The door opened and a blonde man in a suit got out with a friendly smile. “Hello Xander.” He frowned.
“How do you know my name?” the boy asked walking towards him. The man didn’t answer only smiled. Ok. He was starting to get freaked out a little here. “I think I have it covered. You can just keep going if you want.”
“Everthing is going to be okay.” Something in Xander’s mind twisted and he stared at the man confused.
“Now that you’re here.”
“Do you a trust me?” What was…
“With my life.” Why had he just said that and why did he believe it?
“Would you like your treatment now?”
“Yes. Yes I would.”
The man gestured to the van. “I’ll take you there, if you’d like.”
Xander walked out of the elevator and towards the treatment room. “Seriously I need to get this done and get back to my car. I’ve been planning this road trip for years,” he said anxiously. Topher looked up from the console to see the goofy teen walking through the doors.
“Don’t worry, Xander. You’ll be back on the road in just a few. Take a seat and it’ll be over in a moment.” Xander smiled at the blond man and took a seat in the odd shaped chair that reminded him of a dentist’s chair.
“Is this going to take long? I really need to get going,” he babbled.
“Don’t worry,” Topher sighed hitting the keys to begin the process. The chair reclined and his head lowered into a C-shaped ring. A blue strip of light surrounded his head and he looked up at Topher who was bent over a keyboard. He entered some more keystrokes then looked over his shoulder at him. “This may pinch.” He hit a few more keys then all Xander could feel was pain. He watched his life go in reverse in a flash of pictures until they vanished in a void. The pain stopped and he couldn’t remember what he’d just been thinking about. The light vanished and the chair rose. He felt so relaxed. He looked over to Topher who turned to him with a comforting smile
“Hello, Knight. How are you feeling?”
“Did I fall asleep?” He asked innocently. Topher faltered at the difference in his voice. No more was the happy American drawl. Now his voice had a soft child like quality to it. No matter how many actives he put through he would never get used to the change.
“For a little while.”
“Shall I go now?”
“If you’d like.”
Knight got up off the chair and headed for the common room.
DeWitt walked into the room and pinned the scientist with a stern look. “How is Knight doing?”
The blonde man laughed. “Well for narrowly avoiding an apocalypse, I’d say he’s doing great. He’s going to need a physical, of course.”
“Doesn’t really matter,” he said walking out of the room with the cartridge. He watched Knight take a seat in the dining area and wait for food. He sat patiently as though he didn’t have a care in the world. “Like I said he’s going to need a physical to make sure those people you sent him to live with didn’t permanently damage him.”
“They were selected by the client. Not I. Unfortunate, but out of our control,” DeWitt said joining him. Topher scowled and put the cartridge into the computer. “Do not delete those. Knight is only going to be here for a few months then he returns to the field. I’m going to need you imprint him with the Alex personality for tomorrow night, though. The client is requesting him for the evening.” Topher looked back at Knight still seated in the dining area, but now consuming a chicken caeser salad with a glass of water completely oblivious to what was being planned.
“He’ll be ready.”
DeWitt returned to her office and sat at her desk. She massaged her temples trying to alleviate the headache that had been forming since Knight was brought in. He’d been their first active and her cross to bear. He’d been sent into the field at the age of 5. He’d been an orphan taken into the house as an infant. One of their first successes. Periodically he was brought back and checked for any problems in his programming. Of course there were none. Topher’s predecessor was a genius. Knight was perfect. Which was exactly why the client had chosen the child to go to Sunnydale. Though she could kill the man for picking the family he had to care for the boy, but what choice did she have. He was their highest paying client and their oldest investor.
Startled, DeWitt looked at the darkened corner of the room to see a dark figure watching her. A pair of gold eyes narrowed on her as she immediately stood. “Mr. A..An-“
“Was the boy retrieved?” the figure said before she could continue.
“Yes. Knight was recovered without suspicion.”
“He told them he was taking a road trip to see the country. Make sure you have some kind of story prepared as to why he didn’t get far.”
“Of course. Topher is taking care of it as we speak.”
“I want him for tonight.” DeWitt shifted uncomfortably.
“I’m afraid that is impossible.”
“Why?” the dark figure growled angrily. DeWitt swallowed nervously and took a step back.
“Knight needs to have a physical to make sure he didn’t suffer any damage from the fight with the recent battle at Sunnydale High or from his ‘family’.”
The figure continued to growl menacingly.
“It’s protocol to make sure he’s still healthy and isn’t suffering from any glitches in his programming. I’m sure you understand.”
“Tomorrow night then. And make sure my boy is ready.”
“O-of course, sir. He will be in the usual place.”
The dark figure moved to the door and left without saying another word. As soon as the door clicked shut, Dewitt released a sigh of relief. Oh that creature was terrifying no matter what anyone said.
Knight sat on the examination table and watched Dr. Saunders conduct the physical. “Does this hurt?” she asked moving his wrist in circular motion.
“No. Should it?” She smiled at him patiently.
“You have a slight bruise around your wrist. It should at least twinge.” Knight shook his head.
“How did I get it?” he asked innocently.
She frowned at the appendage. “You probably hurt yourself in the swimming pool.”
“I don’t remember swimming.”
“That’s ok. Don’t worry about it. You’re doing well today, Knight. You’re free to go. Why don’t you go have a massage?”
“That would be nice,” he replied sliding off the table. “But…” The woman looked at him confused. Normally the dolls just agreed with whatever they were told to do. “I want to sleep for some odd reason. Is that ok?”
Dr. Saunders stared at him for a moment. She looked confused.
“Do you feel anything else?”
He thought about it for a moment. “No. I feel tired. May I go to sleep early?”
“Of course. Go rest, Knight. You’ll feel better when you wake up.”
Knight smiled at her before walking out of the exam room. As soon as the door closed she dived for the phone on her desk and dialed for DeWitt.
“You must be joking,” Dewitt said hanging her head.
“I wish I was,” Topher said staring at the computer screen in front of him. “When a doll wakes from the wipe they’re completely refreshed. It’s like we hit a restart button on them and they should feel perfectly fine. In fact, if we told them to, they could run a marathon and not feel tired for a few hours. Knight is tired only after two hours from being wiped. Bad sign. Means that the wipes are affecting his body.”
“And there’s nothing you can do?” she asked looking at Dr. Saunders.
“From what I understand, he was possessed by a hyena spirit two years ago and a soldier last year. Neither were thoroughly extracted and are now hard wired in with the personality. That messed with his mind and his body. I assume they are in the memory cartridge?”
Topher nodded. “I found the disruption on the last check and thought I fixed it, but the damn things won’t let him go,” he said frustrated. “No amount of programming is going to get them out. Freaking magic!”
“So what does all this mean?” DeWitt asked pinching the bridge of her nose still trying to get rid of the blasted headache that insisted on colonizing behind her eyes.
“He’s got two left in him.” Her head snapped up and stared at Topher in horror.
“Two? What then?”
“After the second imprint, when we go to wipe him, he’ll die in the middle of it. His brain can’t handle anymore,” Dr. Saunders said quietly.
Alex woke up to a kiss to the back of his neck. He smiled dreamily immediately knowing who it was. “Hello, Lover,” he sighed as the kisses trailed to sensitive skin beneath his earlobe.
“Hello, Alexander,” a deep growling voice said in his ear. “Did you miss me?”
Alex rolled over to face the love of his life.
Four hours earlier…
“It will be your last time together,” DeWitt said.
“I thought it could be done countless times,” the dark figure growled.
“That is under normal circumstances. The inclusion of magic has corrupted the process. We did warn you when all this began. The Hellmouth is too unpredictable.” The figure didn’t respond. “What would you like to do?”
A pair of cool lips laid rough claim to his. Without any resistance, the boy submitted to his lover. He growled in approval as Alex fisted a hand in his dark hair to keep him in place.
“One last time. Then he will live the rest of his life as Alexander LaVelle Harris,” the dark figure replied. DeWitt frowned at her client. “Make that imprint permanent.”
“I understand that persona hates you. Why would you do that?”
Alex pulled back and turned on the bedside lamp so he could see his love.
“Because I love them both and they deserves a normal life. I can’t give them that.”
Alex stared into the golden eyes of his love. His hands reached up and traced the bumps and ridges of his true face. His face was one of awe. Almost reverence. “Angel,” he whispered running his fingers over the kiss swollen lips.
“Hello Alex,” the vampire replied reveling in the feeling of being touched so gently. Suddenly tears sprung to the young man’s eyes. Angel quickly began to brush them away. “What’s wrong?” he asked concerned.
“It feels like I haven’t seen you in weeks. Months even,” he gasped through the tears. “And like this will be the last time I’ll ever see you again.”
“And the curse? How will you keep from losing your soul this time?” DeWitt asked nervously.
“I must be going crazy,” Alex laughed and tried to wipe the tears but, but Angel stopped him them away and kissed his shut eyes.
“I love you,” he whispered between each kiss.
“I love you too Angel,” Alex responded desperately. He hugged the vampire tightly. Angel’s lips sealed over his in a deep kiss. He made slow love to that willing mouth and Alex returned the favor with zeal. Angel wrapped his arms around the human holding him as close to his body as possible.
Alex seemed just as desperate for the feel of his body as well. He wrapped his bare leg around Angel’s hip, still clothed in silk black boxers. They both groaned as their arousals ground against each other. “Angel, I need you,” Alex gasped desperately against his lips.
“I’m here, Alexander,” Angel replied as his hand slid to the small of the man’s back. He pulled the younger man flush against him.
“What about the curse? How will you keep from losing your soul this time?” DeWitt asked.
Alex’s eyes stared into Angel’s begging for eternity.
“It won’t be a moment of true happiness. I’ll be saying goodbye.”
I’m sorry. I woke up one day with this story in my head and I had to type it. I was going crazy on hulu making sure I got all the phrases right. I hope you like it. I do have a sequel in my head but I’m not going to work on it until I read what people thought of the story. Don’t forget to review. No flames please. If you have nothing good or constructive to say… SHUT THE FUCK UP!