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This story is No. 1 in the series "The Magician Chronicles". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: YAHF Gender-Bender Xander's choice of costume causes him to disappear Halloween night.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > GeneralRubyPaladinFR181681,6652019589,83314 Jun 0930 Apr 10Yes

Laughing The Night Away


Chapter 9

Laughing The Night Away

Faith and Zarina walked into Zarina’s bedroom and flopped down on the magician’s bed. They had just come home after a patrol and Zarina knew that Faith was waging a bit of an inner battle between being hungry and being horny. While she couldn’t deny that she would not be averse to helping Faith with the latter of the two, she didn’t want to strain their friendship. She got off the bed and reached under it to pull out a box that she put onto the bed. Faith stared at the alien box.

“What’s in the box?” She asked.

“Remember when I said my tastes in chocolate are a little out of this world.” Zarina replied. “Inside this box is a great amount of Thanagarian fudge and you’ll see what I mean that it’s out of this world.”

Zarina opened the box and gave a piece to her friend. Hesitantly at first, Faith tried a bite of the alien chocolate before quickly devouring the fudge. The fudge was nothing like she’d had before and she watched as Zarina devoured her own piece with an almost equaled frenzy. Somehow, the fudge resisted melting until it entered a person’s mouth and Faith noticed a drop of melted chocolate drip from Zarina’s lips. Without thinking about it, Faith leaned in and licked the chocolate up to Zarina’s lips before kissing her softly. Zarina responded to the kiss by pulling her closer to herself. The box of fudge fell off the bed as they fell onto the bed.

I wonder if Faith is going to hesitate. Zarina thought. She quickly heard the sound of ripping fabric and realized that it was Faith literally tearing her clothes off. I guess not.


Zatanna let Cordelia in as the girl had proved to be a good friend of her daughter. She was a little surprised as to the girl’s visit. The cheerleader hadn’t made a habit of visiting and this did concern her.

“Cordelia is something the matter?” Zatanna asked.

“Not with me, Zatanna.” Cordelia said glad that the older woman was okay with Cordelia calling her by her first name. “My friend, Aura, is outside and something is really bothering her. I thought to bring her here so that she could talk with you and Zarina.”

“Think she’s a Bang Baby?” Zatanna asked.

“Yah, but my powers didn’t give me any clue as to what her powers were. All I got were a rainbow of colors.” Cordelia replied.

“Zarina is still up in her room. I’ll bring your friend in and you go wake up Zarina and Faith.” Zatanna said.

“Okay.” Cordelia said wondering why Zatanna had a smile on her face.

Cordelia headed up the stairs to Zarina’s room and knocked on the door. She heard a few incoherent shouts but she did hear one thing very clearly.

“Hey Zarina, where’d you chuck my bra?” Faith asked softly.

Cordelia’s eyes widened with the news of what she heard. She tried to sort out the facts in her head. One: Faith had slept in Zarina’s room with Zarina last night. Two: Zarina has had sex with Wonder Girl in the past. That much she knew thanks to Lust ratting Zarina out which was also Willow’s fault because of the stupid spell that she had cast in order to get Xander back but it was also Felix Faust’s fault because he sent the book to Willow in the first place. Three: since Zarina had apparently chucked Faith’s bra somewhere, it could only mean that the two had slept together last night. Those three facts alone where causing Cordelia to realize that she was about to hyperventilate. She tried to steady her breathing as Faith opened the door.

“Hey C, whatchaya doing over here today?” Faith asked.

“Well, I think one of my friends is a Bang Baby and it is scaring the crap out of her.” Cordelia said. “I thought she might feel better talking to Zatanna or Zarina about what’s going on with her seeing as she knows who they are and what they do.”

Faith turned her head slightly and asked. “Zarina, you decent yet?”

“Yah, Faith.” Zarina said. “You might as well open the door because I bet Cordelia already knows.”

Faith opened the door to let Cordelia in. Zarina had put on a gray t-shirt with a matching pair of gray sweatpants. Cordelia noticed that Zarina had pushed a box back under her bed but she wasn’t going to press the issue.

“Do you remember Aura?” Cordelia asked.

“Yah, she’s part of your flock of Cordettes.” Zarina said.

“That’s her. She was at the Bronze the night of the Big Bang and I asked her if anything strange was going on with her when she broke down crying like I had told her that her grandma just died or something.” Cordelia said. “I brought her here hoping you and your mom could help her.”

“You did the right thing, Cordelia.” Zarina said. “Here being freaked about her powers is actually a really good sign.”

Faith looked at Zarina. “What do you mean by that?” Faith asked. “How can being scared of her powers be a good sign?”

“Because Faith, she’s worried that she might hurt someone with them. Look at Larry or as he would rather be known as Killswitch, he gained power and used it to hurt people. Clearly, he wasn’t exactly balanced to begin with. Cordelia was freaked about her own powers and sought out help with them. You had to have been freaked when you became a Slayer.” Zarina explained. “After everything got sorted in my head, I didn’t exactly freak because of my mom’s memories running through my head.”

“Let’s go see your friend.” Faith said.

The trio headed downstairs to see Zatanna handing a steaming mug to Aura. Aura was sitting on the couch and sipped the contents of the mug. She smiled slightly when Zarina entered the room.

“Thanks for seeing me.” Aura said. “I don’t mean to be rude but I don’t know about your friend but I don’t think Cordelia has any powers.”

“I’m a seer.” Cordelia said. “It may not be as flashy as super strength or magical powers but it is useful.”

“Super strength?” Aura said clearly questioning what she had just heard.

“.rabeR” Zarina said before a piece of rebar appeared in her right hand. “Here you go Faith.”

Faith proceeded to bend the rebar until it resembled a pretzel. She handed the metal pretzel over to Aura who could only stare.

“I bet you don’t have much of a problem with ex-boyfriends.” Aura said. “So, are you a Bang Baby also?”

“No, I am one of two girls in all the world with the strength and speed to fight the forces of darkness. At least, that’s the Watcher’s line of shit.” Faith said. “I’ve learned that not all darkness is evil and that not all light is good. You have to judge for yourself. I’m a Vampire Slayer. I hunt the creatures of darkness that are hell-bent on destroying our world.”

“Cool, so you’re a superhero also.” Aura said extending a hand. “This is what I can do.”

A yellow ball of light appeared in Aura’s outstretched hand. The color of the ball changed to green and an idea formed in Zarina’s mind.

“Aura, I want you to try to shape the ball into something else.” Zarina said. “Can you do that? It doesn’t matter what.”

The green ball of light transformed into a green kitten that walked its way up Aura’s arm to her shoulder. Zarina could hear it purr as it rubbed itself against Aura’s head. Aura petted the kitten before grabbing it to place it into her lap.

“I think I might know what your powers are, Aura, but I think we need some outside help.” Zarina said. “Mom, think you can ask one of the Green Lanterns to help?”

“You’re thinking that Aura’s powers might be like theirs?” Zatanna asked.

“Actually, I think that Aura’s powers might be exactly like theirs. Didn’t anyone feel a little afraid when the ball was yellow but we calmed down when it shifted to green?” Zarina explained. “I think Aura might be tapping into the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum.”

“What is the Emotional Electromagnetic Spectrum?” Aura asked.

“When sentient life first evolved in the universe, the Spectrum was created. It is the seven basic emotional states that all other emotions come from.” Zatanna explained. “The Guardians utilize the green light of willpower that gives Green Lanterns their power. The Sinestro Corps uses the yellow light of fear. The Blue Lanterns use the blue light of hope. The Red Lanterns utilize the red light of rage. The Star Sapphires use the violet light of love. The Indigo Tribe uses the indigo light of compassion and the Orange Lanterns use the orange light of avarice or greed.”

“Been talking to a few people I know too?” Zarina asked her mother.

“Hey, what can I say?” Zatanna asked. “I’ve met only one Green Lantern from this planet who can hold their liquor.”

“I’m that powerful?” Aura asked as the color of the cat shifted to yellow. “What if I hurt someone?”

Zatanna took Aura into a comforting embrace. “Honey, you asked for help because you didn’t want to hurt anyone. I can contact a few of the Green Lanterns I know and I know they’ll be willing to help you control your powers. You’re not going to go through this alone.” She said to the crying girl.

“Thank you.” Aura said.

“Would it be all right if I take you to the Watchtower?” Zatanna asked. “It’ll be a lot quicker for my Green Lantern friends to get there.”

“Yah, it’s okay.” Aura replied. “I’m ready whenever you are.”

“Ekat aruA dna em ot eht rewothctaW.” Zatanna said teleporting herself and Aura away.

It was bit of a silent moment before Cordelia chose to break it. “So you and Faith slept together.” She said.

Zarina grinned. “Well, I don’t know how much sleep we got last night.” She replied with a laugh.

Faith laughed at that remark. “How did you know how to do that one thing you did?” She asked.

“What do you expect?” Zarina asked. “I spent a few months on Themyscira. Come on, it’s an island populated by beautiful ageless women who lived there for like three thousand years and no men. What did you think they did to relax?”

Cordelia tried to shake the image. “I’m sorry. I just always pictured Wonder Woman with either Superman or Batman.” She said which made Zarina laugh.

“Yah right, Batman is way too dedicated to his job to have any kind of personal life and Kal and Diana are just friends.” Zarina replied.

“Kal, who’s Kal?” Faith asked.

“It’s the name that Superman’s birth parents gave him, Kal-El.” Zarina explained.

Before anyone could reply, Zarina’s communicator began to ring and she picked it up to answer it. It was Wonder Girl calling her.

“Zarina, Raven said she needed to see you right away.” Wonder Girl said.

“What’s going on?” Zarina asked.

“I don’t know. If Cordelia and Faith are there, bring them if they want to come.” Wonder Girl said. “I have something I need to say to them.”

Wonder Girl ended the conversation as she hung up on her end and Zarina put her communicator away. Zarina looked over at her friends.

“You want to come?” She asked them.

“Sure, I’m curious what she has to say.” Faith replied.

“Well, I was going to go shopping but it isn’t every day that I’m invited to Titans Tower so I guess I can go.” Cordelia replied.


Buffy, Willow, Oz, and Giles were busy in the library trying to research whatever might be plaguing Angel. The golden-haired slayer didn’t like how the love of her life was being tormented and she was going to do whatever it took to save him. She looked over towards Oz noticing the distance he was placing between himself and his now ex-girlfriend, Willow. The break up had been rather nasty and things were said that were probably best unsaid but everyone who was in their group knew the reason for why it had occurred. Buffy knew that Oz felt, as if he was worried about what Willow might do to keep everything like she wanted it in her life. Even though Willow no longer had any access to her powers thanks to Doctor Fate, Oz still didn’t want to go out with her because of what she had done.

“I have brought food for everyone.” Drusilla said as she entered the library.

Buffy was surprised as anyone as to Drusilla’s arrival. The raven-haired vampire carried a stack of pizza boxes in one hand and dragged a cooler behind her with the other. Oz went to help her set everything down.

“Drusilla, how did you get her?” Giles asked. “It’s the middle of the day.”

“Jason set up a few magical points of transit within his home.” Drusilla said smiling.

“Cool.” Oz said before opening the cooler. “Okay, guessing the things that obviously are not Capri-Suns are yours?”

“Jason got them for me. He doesn’t like the idea of me needing to go to the butcher shop.” Drusilla explained.

“So is that human or...” Oz said.

“Let’s just say no being died or was harmed to acquire it.” Drusilla replied. “I don’t know much after that because my fair knight used his magic to acquire it.”

“So you and Jason are...” Buffy said before Drusilla nodded. “So I guess he’s into older women.”

“Truth be told, he’s actually quite older than I am.” Drusilla replied.

Before Buffy could respond to that, they heard the sound of heavy breathing and they saw someone who they knew shouldn’t have been there but he was. Willow let out a high pitched squeal and ran over to him. She wrapped him in a bear hug.

“Xander!” She exclaimed. “I knew it would work.”

“Wills, need oxygen.” Xander said smiling.

Willow released him and she turned to look at the others in the room. She was slightly startled when she saw Drusilla backing away from Xander slowly.

“What’s the matter, Dru?” Willow asked. “My Xander’s back.”

“That’s not Kitten.” She said almost to the point of anger.

“What do you mean Drusilla?” Giles asked. He knew full well her psychic abilities, which was leading him to trust what she was sensing.

“That’s a Bad Dog.” Drusilla said.

Xander laughed. “You know, I thought I would have had more time before anyone figured out what I was but I guess I was wrong.” He said grabbing Willow around the throat.

“Giles, what’s going on?” Buffy asked confused.

“Buffy, I’m hurt.” Xander said. “I thought you would have remembered the last time you and me were in the library. I tried to show you my true feelings for you and you hit me with a desk.”
“The Hyena, but Giles exorcised it.” Buffy stated. “You shouldn’t be here.”

“Ever wonder why I was the alpha in the pack. My spirit was the strongest out of all of them.” Xander said pulling a gray medallion out that was hidden by his shirt. “When G-Man did his spell, I was merely weakened allowing your precious Doughnut boy to retake control. Then, my sweet Willow’s spell released me from my prison.”

Xander pulled the medallion off when suddenly; Willow managed to kick him between the legs. He released his hold on her and Willow grabbed the medallion. She ran over to Buffy whom she gave the medallion to.

“Guess what, Dog Breath, game’s over.” Buffy said before smashing the medallion.

Xander began to laugh hysterically as an orange wave of magic began to surround him. Buffy and Willow were confused.

“Did you really think it would be that easy, Buff?” Xander asked rhetorically. “Com’n, I have all of Xander’s memories and he got to know you better than any of your enemies could. I knew that you would think that all that you had to do to beat me was to break the medallion.”

“Good Lord, you planned this out from the beginning.” Giles said.

“Got it in one, G-Man.” Xander said as he turned to look over at Willow. “No wonder you were the real brains around here.”

He suddenly convulsed as his body began to expand. While his pants were somehow able to remain intact by this expansion, his shirt was torn to shred. Brown fur began to cover his body as he grew. His face mutated till it resembled more like a hyena than a man. Hands became more canine while still retaining some human touches. When the transformation was complete, he let out a hyena-like laugh.

“One, two, Alpha’s coming for you.” He said before laughing again.

Drusilla charged at him but Alpha grabbed her and hurled the female vampire into the book cage. Quicker than anyone could realize, he had shut the cage’s door. He laughed again at the group.

“Well, that’s one down.” Alpha said before laughing again. “Four to go.”

Buffy ran at him but Alpha quickly grabbed a desk that he was close to and slammed it over her head. She fell to the ground unconscious and Alpha laughed again.

“Well, I guess you now know what that feels like.” Alpha said laughing. “How does it feel to receive a taste of your own medicine?”

A shot from a crossbow that Giles had managed to grab struck Alpha in the shoulder. Alpha grabbed the arrow from his shoulder and glared at the Watcher.

“That hurt.” Alpha said.

Alpha ran over to Giles and grabbed the Watcher by the throat. He hurled the Watcher into a bookshelf knocking him out. Oz grabbed a wooden chair and managed to break the chair against the back of his foe. Alpha spun around and grabbed him by the throat.

“It’s time to show you respect, pup.” Alpha growled at him.

Alpha noticed Willow trying to grab a weapon so he hurled Oz into her. This knocked both of them out which made Alpha laugh again.

“Well, I believe to the victor goes the spoils.” Alpha said as he eyed Buffy.

Zarina walked into Raven’s room to see her reading a book. Raven looked up from the old tome.

“It’s good that you came.” Raven said. “I have some startling news.”

“What is it about Rachel?” Zarina asked.

“When I tracked Willow to Buffy’s house, I met her sister.” Raven said before noticing Zarina was confused. “Is something wrong?”

“Buffy doesn’t have a sister.” Zarina replied.

“I’m getting to that.” Raven replied. “I checked all the records I could find and they all say that she exists. I believe though that all records of her existence may be because of a powerful spell to hide something.”

Zarina walked over to the book that Raven was reading. After reading the page, she turned around and began to pace around in a circle.

“So you’re saying that someone or something chose to hide this Key like this and used a memory spell to insert the memories into everyone that should know her.” Zarina said. “So why don’t I know her? If you‘re right, which I know you are, then I should have memories of her but I don‘t.”

“My guess is that the spell that Doctor Fate and I used to restore you may have expelled anything that didn’t belong.” Raven said when she noticed Zarina stopped pacing.

“Could that include Primal Spirits?” She asked.

“Possibly, why do you ask?” Raven replied.

“Can you check?” Zarina asked tapping her head.

“You know that I can act as a bridge but you’ll need to find at least a couple of people who will be willing to go into your mind. Your mind isn‘t as accessible as most minds are which requires others to enter your mind while you are unconscious and another is acting as a bridge.” Raven said. “Perhaps Megan and Rose would be good choices.”

“Megan wouldn’t quite know what to look for plus there may be a few things in my mind I wouldn’t want to expose her too.” Zarina said. “Rose and Faith would be good though.”

“I’ll make the preparations for the spell while you get them.” Raven replied.

Zarina left Raven’s room and after a brief search, she found her way to one of the training areas to see Cordelia watching Rose and Faith spar each armed with a wooden katana. She walked over next to Cordelia.

“So, what did Wonder Girl have to say?” Zarina asked.

“Cassandra wanted to thank us for helping with that little mess Willow made and she asked us if we’d join the team.” Cordelia said showing Zarina her own communicator. “I’m mainly support until I get the training to do field work but Faith has been put on the active roster as ‘Slayer’.”

“Did you pick a code name yet?” Zarina asked.

“Delphi, as in the Oracle of.” Cordelia replied. “I though about just Oracle but I heard that one’s been taken. Until I get the training, I just go through newspapers and wait for a vision. I can even get through to the JLA Watchtower with this if need be.”

Rose and Faith quit with their sparring and walked over to them. The girl that most people knew as Ravager brushed back a bang of white hair away from her lone eye with a hand.

“Hey Zarina, Merry Christmas.” Rose said. “How’s your Christmas shopping going?”

“Well, got a couple of t-shirts that say ’I hear voices and they don’t like you’.” Zarina replied. “Take a wild guess on the two people who’ll be getting those shirts.”

“Oh my god! You didn’t.” Rose exclaimed before she read Zarina’s face. “You did.”

“But onto a more serious note, can you two come with me to Raven’s room?” Zarina asked. “I need a couple of volunteers to enter my mind.”

“What’s up?” Faith asked.

“Remember Buffy’s sister?” Zarina asked getting nods from Faith and Cordelia. “Well, I don’t.”

Cordelia’s face was wrought with confusion. “Hello.” Cordelia said. “How could you not know her? Xander spent way too much time over at Buffy’s house. Hell, I know Dawn.”

“Raven thinks that the spell that restored me expelled anything that didn’t belong. She thinks that someone or an entire group may have inserted Dawn and cast a spell to make everyone think that she belonged.” Zarina explained. “She’s like a container for a mystical artifact known as the Key. The Key’s energy if uncontrolled could annihilate the entire universe.”

“So when the Doc and Rae-Rae worked their voodoo on you, the spell was destroyed.” Faith said. “We can not tell that little tidbit to B. She’d flip.”

“Exactly, but that isn’t what is troubling me.” Zarina said. “A few weeks after Buffy first arrived in Sunnydale, Xander was possessed by a Hyena Primal Spirit. In fact, it was the alpha of the pack. The spell that was suppose to exorcise the spirit from Xander only weakened the spirit allowing Xander to regain control.”

“So if the spell is gone, you think the spirit might have escaped as well.” Rose replied.

“That’s why I need you guys to go into my head.” Zarina said. “I need to know if the hyena is still locked in its cage.”

It didn’t take very long for Faith and Rose to get into Zarina’s unconscious mind. The mindscape took the form of Sunnydale High and they walked down the halls of the school. Faith smiled at what she saw.

“Figures that Zarina would have this as a set up.” Faith said.

“I just want to know what your intentions are towards her.” Rose replied stopping in the halls.

“What’s this about, Rose?” Faith asked.

“Zarina’s like a little sister to me and she’s one of the few people I can actually call a friend.” Rose explained. “I don’t want to see you get hurt.”

“Is this the part where you threaten me with a shovel?” Faith asked.

“Of course not, my father is the world’s greatest assassin. He taught me quite a few tricks.” Rose said smiling. “A shovel should be the least of your worries about what I can do to you.”

A blue ball came bouncing down a hall. It came to a rest at Faith’s feet and she picked it up. A brown haired boy came running down the hallway and it appeared as though he was out of breath.

“Hi, can I get my ball back?” He asked.

“Here you go.” Faith said tossing him the ball.

“Thank you.” The boy said taking his ball back.

The boy ran back down the hall and Faith looked back at Rose.

“Let me guess, Xander’s inner child?” She asked.

“Looks like it.” Rose replied. “He must be playing with Zatanna’s and Zarina’s own inner children.”

“How did Zarina join the Titans anyway?” Faith asked.

“Well...” Rose said.

Seven Months Ago...

“Does anyone know why Cassandra wanted us gathered here?” Beast Boy asked.

“Nope, but she said she’s coming back from Themyscira today.” Cyborg answered.

Beast Boy, Cyborg, Blue Beetle, Starfire, Static, Raven, Miss Martian and Ravager were the ones that were present in the Tower at the time. Everyone was a bit anxious until in a flash of light, two people teleported into the room. One of them was definitely Cassie but the other looked a bit like Zatanna from behind.

“Cool, I stuck the landing.” The black haired girl said.

“Why do you sound surprised?” Cassandra asked the girl.

“Because I accidentally teleported into the middle of the Atlantic.” She replied.

“Ahem.” Beast Boy said. “Hi!”

They turned around and the girl dressed as though she was trying to look like Zatanna blushed from embarrassment. Cassandra however smiled at her teammates.

“Everyone, I’d like you to meet a potential recruit for the team.” She said. “Meet Zarina Zatara.”

Faith grabbed Rose’s shoulder to steady herself. Both girls shook the mental cobwebs out of their minds.

“Let’s not do that again.” Faith said.

“Agreed.” Rose replied as she noticed where they were. “Is the library important?”

“It’s where B’s Watcher works during the day.” Faith said. “It just sounds like a bad comic book character. Librarian by day, Watcher by night.”

They entered the library to see a few of the shelves were devoid of books and a frantic looking Giles was running around with books. He seemed to be sweating from quite a bit of exertion.

“Perhaps Zarina’s impression of one of the smartest people she knows.” Rose said.

“Or maybe the fact that I think the books are suppose to be her memory and he’s a librarian sorting them out.” Faith replied.

They noticed little Zarina sitting at one of the tables drawing on a piece of paper. Curiosity overtaking her, Faith walked over to her and smiled when little Zarina smiled at her.

“What are you drawing?” Faith asked.

“Your costume, Silly.” Little Zarina said to her. “I have it in my room at the Tower.”

Faith studied the costume. It was a mixture of black and gray material. The mask was black but seemed to be open to allow her hair to be loose. The top, bottoms, boots, and gloves were black as well but the cape was gray and there were a few gray stripes on the costume. There seemed to be some kind of utility belt on the costume as well.

“Cool, I wonder what kind of gadgets I got in the utility belt.” Faith said.

Little Zarina produced a notepad and handed it to Faith. Faith grabbed it but was surprised when it faded into her and a flood of knowledge entered her mind. The slayer collapsed into a chair which concerned Rose.

“Something wrong?” She asked.

Faith turned to look at Rose. “I know kung fu.” She said before smiling. “Sorry, couldn’t resist. Just that notepad told me everything about the costume and gear Zarina got me.”

Rose gestured over to the book cage. “I’m guessing something is suppose to be locked up there.” She said before looking over at Little Zarina. “Hey, is something suppose to be in there?” She asked the little girl version of her friend.

“Xander’s hyena.” Little Zarina answered.

“Well, guess it’s time to get out of here.” Faith said.

“Azarath Metrion Zenthos!” Rose and Faith exclaimed in unison.

Both Rose and Faith inhaled deeply as they awoke. Zarina woke up soon afterwards and from a glance at her two friends, she knew the truth.

“Damn it.” She exclaimed. “We’ve got to get back to Sunnydale now.”

“I’ll stop by your room here, Zarina.” Faith said. “I think I need to get into costume.”

Zarina, Ravager, Slayer, and Cordelia teleported into the school library to find it in complete disarray. It seemed as though something very large had decided to have a battle here. Drusilla was there waiting on them.

“Dru, where is everyone?” Zarina asked. “What happened here?”

“The bad dog came wearing your old face and tried to trick them but I was able to see what he really was.” Drusilla said. “He used magic to transform himself and overpowered us. The bad dog took Buffy away. Jason’s trying to scry for her but the Hellmouth is causing interference. Giles, Willow, and Oz are in the hospital”

“Faith, Rose, can you try to find Buffy?” Zarina asked. “I can think of someone else who might be able to help.”

“Sure.” Faith said running out of the library.

“Be careful.” Rose said before taking off after Faith.

“I’ll see if I can’t pick up anything off what’s left.” Cordelia said to Zarina.

“.ecalp s’legnA ot em ekaT” Zarina said teleporting herself to the Crawford Street mansion that Angel dwelt in.

Angel seemed highly agitated but also quite surprised by her appearance. He began to shake his head.

“You need to leave, Zarina.” He said. “I’m not exactly wanting company right now.”

“I can see that but this is important.” Zarina replied. “Buffy’s been kidnapped by a physical embodiment of the Hyena Primal Spirit that possessed Xander a couple of years ago.”

“Buffy will be fine.” Angel said. “I can’t help her.”

“No, she won’t be fine. I don’t know if we can get to her in time.” Zarina told the brooding vampire. “What’s wrong, Angel?”

“Lately, I’ve been tormented by these strange visions. They’re the people I’ve killed over the years.” Angel said. “I feel like I’m losing my mind. I can’t think straight. They want me to hurt Buffy and I feel as though I might give in.”

“That’s it.” Zarina replied. “You’re just experiencing a Ghost of Christmas Past kinda thing? Suck it up and try to help Buffy.”

“Don’t you think I want to?” Angel snapped back at her. “Sunrise will take care of it.”

Zarina walked over to him. “Of all the ways I could describe you, Angel, and coward never entered into it.” She said. “Do you realize how many heroes have it worse than you and they still fight the good fight? Jason Blood betrayed Camelot but you don’t see him ready to fall on his sword like you seem ready to do. The first member of the Green Lantern Corps that came from Earth is responsible for destroying the original Corps himself.”

Angel knocked her down and grabbed hold of her shoulders. He shook her slightly.

“Am I a good man?” He asked her. “Am I worth saving? Am I?!”

“I don’t know but Buffy believes you are.” Zarina said. “But if you’d rather stay here and wallow in your own self-pity and then off yourself, go right ahead. You can’t even look beyond what you’ve done to realize what you can do. If you can’t even try to save someone you say you love, then you aren’t a good man. You aren’t worth saving.”

It didn’t take long for Zarina to locate the warehouse that Alpha was using as a base. From the rooftop thanks to a skylight that was conveniently in place, she was able to spy on the interior of the warehouse. She saw Buffy was chained to the wall and the canine adversary was laughing his head off.

“How does it feel, Buffy?” He asked her. “How does it feel to be powerless?”

Buffy didn’t dare answer him. Answering him would have only satisfied him and she didn’t feel like doing that. Seeing an opportunity, Zarina leapt through the skylight and kicked Alpha in the head. Alpha staggered back, mostly in surprise of the attack, and laughed again.

“So, I’ve got a pup.” He said laughing.

“!ERIF” Zarina yelled firing a fireball at Alpha.

The fireball struck Alpha who began to try to put it out. Alpha put out the flames on his chest and growled in rage at Zarina.

“Did you think that could stop me?” He asked.

Suddenly, someone leapt through the window and tackled Alpha to the floor. The figure was clearly male and he delivered a swift punch to Alpha’s jaw. The half human/half hyena hurled the man off of himself. Zarina recognized who it was.

“So, I see you’ve stopped brooding.” Zarina said.

“I just needed someone to knock some sense into me. Free Buffy, I’ll hold him off.” Angel said.

Zarina ran over to Buffy as Angel walked over to the growling Alpha. Angel shook his head and laughed slightly which confused the lumbering brute.

“What’s so funny, Deadboy?” Alpha asked.

“I know that you’re not really him but I am so going to enjoy this.” Angel said before shifting to his game face with a growl.

Angel kicked Alpha in the side a couple of times before dodging a blow to land a haymaker on Alpha’s chin. The haymaker rocked him hard and seemed to have broken Alpha’s jaw. Alpha charged Angel which sent the vampire to the floor. He then proceeded to pound into the vampire with everything that he was worth. Alpha grabbed a nearby broken piece of wood and raised it over his head.

“Good bye, Deadboy.” He said laughing.

A hurled bola wrapped itself around Alpha’s hands and Angel kicked the brute off of him to see Faith in her Slayer costume. The costume seemed to be a nice fit. Alpha could only stare at her.

“Who are you suppose to be?” He asked.

“I’m the new and improved Slayer.” Faith said.

“Maybe I should have went after you instead.” Alpha remarked.

“Sorry, Boytoy, but you aren’t my type.” Faith said hurling an object which wrapped itself around Alpha’s chest.

“What’s this suppose to---” Alpha began to say before being shocked by the object.

Alpha fell to the ground unconscious and Buffy walked over to Angel.

“Thanks for coming.” She said.

“I probably wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for Zarina talking some sense into me.” Angel said.

“Angel, why don’t you walk Buffy home.” Zarina said as Ravager entered the building. “We can handle dog boy.”

Buffy and Angel left to leave the three of them to stare at Alpha. Rose looked over at Zarina.

“So, Alcatraz?” She asked.

“.zartaclA ot mih dneS” Zarina said teleporting Alpha away. “Rose, Mom said you’re welcome to spend Christmas with us if you’d like.”

“I would.” Rose replied.

The three of them walked out of the warehouse as snow began to fall. They were a bit surprised but decided to not let it bother them.

Jason Blood walked over to his door and was surprised that Drusilla had knocked when he had already given her an invitation inside. She was dressed in the style of dress he remembered that she had been partial to when she didn’t have her soul.

“Dru, is something the matter?” He asked.

“No.” She said. “I wondered if you have unwrapped all your presents yet.”

“I have.” He replied only to see her shake her head. “I’ve missed one.”

Without a word, she walked into his house and Jason realized what she had meant. A red bow was the only thing that had secured the dress to her. He smiled.

“Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.” He said before closing the door.

Somewhere in England, George Wyndham-Price pushed the contract across the table to the man who even he was nervous to be in the same room with. It wasn’t like the man was a demon of some kind. That would have actually made this a bit easier on him. The man was human but had a history that made most people tremble slightly when they heard it.

“So, do we have a deal?” He asked.

“No.” Deathstroke replied pulling out two silenced pistols shooting George’s guards in the head. “No deal.”

“It’s a simple contract.” George said almost pleading with the man. “Just one person that you have to kill.”

“Mr. Price, in my line of work one must weigh the pros with the cons and this contract does not benefit me in the slightest. In fact, I would become the most hunted man alive which is something I care not to be.” Deathstroke explained. “You’re asking me to kill the only child of a member of the Justice League. That’s the first strike against you. The second strike against you is that the child is one of the few true friends my daughter has and I do not want to alienate my daughter anymore than I have already.”

Fear gripped at George as he realized what his fate was going to be but curiosity ate at him as he wondered what the third strike was.

“What’s the third strike?” He asked.

“The third strike came when I found out you were the one to sign the authorization papers to the strike team that tried to kidnap my daughter when she was an infant.” Deathstroke said as he cracked his knuckles. “That is something I do not forgive.”



Author’s End Notes: So what does everyone think of the new chapter? Please leave a review.
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