Sorry for taking so long but it appears this story wanted to last a little longer than just one more chap. Here's the next part.
Disclaimer in first chapter.
"What? How? I fought along side him and he didn't seem any different than before?" Willow exclaimed.
"Actually, he's been getting progressively worse." stated Giles as he moves to place his materials on the book counter.
"Why?" Willow asked, concern evident in her voice.
"When we did the spell to rid Xander and the others of the hyena spirits, the Alpha in Xander wasn't completely removed but was shattered enough for Xander to take back control of his body. He had kept some of the physical attributes given to him by the possession such as elevated strength, increased stamina, and a little bit of night vision."
"Did you train him to use them?" Buffy asked.
"No." Giles responded," Despite the memory remnants that he had, neither one of us thought the physical changes were part of the possession. In fact, we both thought the changes were the results of him joining you on patrol. Problems didn't really start to make themselves known until after that Halloween when that damnable Ethan set up shop."
"What did Ethan do?" Buffy growled.
"Nothing really. At least, nothing directly aimed at Xander. The chaos magic Ethan used to power his spell not only temporarily imprinted the soldier persona on Xander, it also latched on to the Alpha fragments. As the night wore on, the fragments gathered more energy. By the time the spell was broken, the fragments had enough energy to form a very rudimentary consciousness, more instinct than sentient thought. As such it tends to go against more socially acceptable behaviors more so in a battle situation."
"Huh?" Willow said.
Giles looks at the clock to see how much time the girls had before classes started.
"Remember when we needed a 'weapon not forged by man' to defeat the Judge?"
Willow perked up at that, "Oh, yeah. Xander used his memories from the soldier possession to get into the Sunnydale Armory." She then frowned, "Waitaminute, if Xander could use the Soldier memories and the hyena is more instinct than thought, does that mean..."
"Yes, Willow. The Alpha's instincts are constantly clashing against the soldier's training memories.”
“Huh?” Buffy says.
"Xander's been fighting an internal battle since last year's Halloween." Giles responded, "The way he explained it, he has to stop and rein in the primal in every fight lest it goes into a blood fury. The hesitations are what make him look frightened and leaves him vulnerable for brief periods. Some of your opponents take advantage of that to hurt him."
"Has Xander ever gone into that blood fury thingie?" Buffy asked.
"Once that I know of." Giles replied.
"As you know, the summers here in Sunnydale tend to be relatively quiet on the supernatural front. Willow had gone with Oz and Cordelia traveled to a resort overseas. Xander, having no means to be taking trips, stayed behind which was a small comfort to your mother."
"My mom!?" asked Buffy.
"Yes, she was quite, umm, distraught over your disappearance. Xander's presence helped to keep her from running off on wild goose chases for leads that may not pan out, wasting her money on private investigators that would sooner fleece her than set foot in Sunnydale. No, the search for you was solely my responsibility. Your mother would be better off waiting for you at home."
Buffy grew pensive at the thought that Xander kept her mom company that summer. She was still angry over him lying to her but it wasn't the near murderous rage it once was.
"One night," Giles continued, "as I was returning from another fruitless search, I passed by what appeared to be some sort of gang fight.”
"In Sunnydale?" Willow asked in disbelief.
"Yes, my first reaction exactly. As I got closer, I saw two of the fighters disappear in a cloud of ash."
"Vamps." Buffy commented.
"Indeed. A group of vampires were fighting an individual and were losing by all appearances."
The bell rang at that moment, interrupting Giles' tale.
"We seem to have run out of time for the moment. Off to class, both of you."
"Giles!" both the girls shrieked.