Xander blinked and shook off the fuzzy feeling that was enveloping him, as he felt around himself and found he was in some sort of tube.
After a few seconds of banging on the glass the tube opened up, spilling him and a cloud of white fog upon the floor.
“Strange, you should not have been awake,” the bulbous eyed gray alien said.
“I've been kidnapped by aliens?” Xander asked in disbelief.
“Just the one,” the alien corrected. “How are you still awake?”
“Wait!” Xander commanded. “Before I answer any questions I need one answer that will determine how cooperative I'm going to be.”
“Very well, ask your question.”
“Is there going to be any anal probing?”
“Is your family from the mid-west?” the alien asked intently.
“Then no,” the alien relaxed, “anal probing would not be productive.”
“Okay, ask away,” Xander replied, much calmer than he was initially.
“How was it you were able to revive yourself and stay awake inside a stasis pod?”
“No idea, but it probably has something to do with either my slightly mutated DNA or having been possessed by a primal spirit a couple of years ago.”
“Yeah, boosted physical stats, but a complete removal of my conscious, so I acted like a psychopath. There was a circle, some chanting, and maracas to get rid of it.”
“Ah!” The alien nodded slightly, “altering reality through the advanced use of symbology.”
Xander tilted his head and the alien could see the wheels turning as he tried to fit what he'd just said into his world view.
“Magic,” the alien explained, satisfied with the look of dawning comprehension in Xander's eyes.
“I didn't think you'd be interested in that sort of thing,” Xander said curiously.
“It is more art than science,” the small gray alien agreed, “but the problems facing my race are such that I have studied that path as well. Unfortunately it proved to be a dead end. I'd barely completed a primer in that subject before I realized it just wasn't precise enough for my work.”
Xander nodded, the alien's explanation making perfect sense to him. “Well, I guess introductions are in order; my name is ...”
“Alexander LaVelle Harris, but you prefer Xander,” the little alien completed.
“Telepath?” Xander asked curiously.
“No, I simply scanned you and your possessions and the writing on the back of the pictures in your wallet suggests much.”
“Okay, and you are?”
“Loki of the Asgard.”
Xander stared speechless for a moment before replying, “I thought you'd be taller.”
Xander rubbed his eyes and looked around.
“At least I pulled into a rest stop before passing out,” he muttered before yawning and getting out of the car.
Hearing a thumping noise coming from the trunk he cautiously approached it with keys in hand, thankful it was daytime. Popping open the trunk he quickly dodged back as a pair of girls popped out.
“Damn it was hot in there!” they chorused and stared at each other in shock.
“What the hell?!” they chorused.
“Who are you two?” Xander asked.
“I'm Dawn Summers/Harris, your future wife/twin sister, don't you remember?”
The two girls looked exactly alike except for hair color, as Summers’ was blonde haired the way Buffy wished hers was and Harris' hair color matched Xander's.
“Sister/Wife?!” the two girls stared at each other in shock.
“I don't remember either one of you,” Xander replied flatly, only to groan as three seconds later he had two crying girls attached to him.
“There, there...” He tried rubbing their backs. “I tell you what, how about we head back to Sunnydale and get this all straightened out?”
Xander sighed in relief as he saw the Welcome to Sunnydale sign ahead while the girls talked in the back seat.
The jealousy and arguments from the two when they sat up front with him had caused him to banish the two to the back seat, where they'd started talking and discovered they had a lot in common. He wasn't sure whether that was a good thing or not.
“So … where to first?” Summers asked.
“Your place,” Harris said firmly. “I'm over 18 and don't want to deal with mom and dad trying to send me to Alaska, when we get back we'll get our own place.”
“Summers residence it is,” Xander agreed, listening to the girls with half an ear while driving toward the Summer's residence at 1630 Revello Drive.
They trooped up to the door with Xander in the lead. He knocked firmly and Joyce quickly answered.
“Hello Xander, I thought you'd be halfway to Nevada by now,” Joyce said.
Xander stepped aside revealing two Dawns.
“You cloned my daughter?!”
“Nope, my name is Dawn Harris, Xander's twin sister,” Dawn introduced herself, “even if I do look more like Dawn Summers' twin. I've spent the last couple of years out of state. Xander doesn't remember me or Dawn your daughter.”
“We'd better call Giles,” Joyce declared firmly, “he'll figure out what's going on.”
Giles grabbed the leather case he kept his slaying kit in and hopped out of the car. Joyce had sounded concerned on the phone and that was enough for him. Knocking on the door he was quickly ushered inside. “Okay, what seems to be the problem?”
Xander pointed out the dual Dawns.
“Wow, they look even more alike than you thought,” Giles said to Xander.
“What?” Xander asked, obviously confused with a small frown on his face.
“Well, you've mentioned that when you first ran into Dawn Summers, you thought your sister had dyed her hair. In fact it startled you so much you crashed your skateboard and of course what you said later because of your confusion and how it made Buffy think you had a crush on her for the longest time.”
“One problem Giles,” Xander declared, “two identical Dawns and I don't remember either of them.”
“What?” Giles asked, surprised as he took off and polished his glasses.
“I don't think I have any holes in my memory, but I don't remember either of them.”
“Well, let’s see if anything's wrong with your memory first,” Giles suggested as he replaced his glasses, “because the rest of us remember them just fine. Your sister had been sent off for the last four years because your parents felt you were … too close and young Miss Summers has been attending Forden so Buffy could have some space.”
“Sounds like a good place to start,” Xander agreed, “of course that still doesn't explain why they were hiding in my trunk.”
Joyce and Giles looked at the two girls.
Harris shrugged. “I can't get a minute alone with Xander without our parents thinking something is up, so I stowed away in the trunk.”
Everyone turned to Summers, who blushed.
“I thought you said he agreed to take you on the trip?” Joyce asked. “Why were you hiding in the trunk?!”
“He said yes when I asked him last year, but it turned out he'd gotten his clock cleaned, so I decided not to give him a chance to say no.”
“Good reasons,” Xander agreed, making the adults roll their eyes and the girls beam.
“So you don't mind the stowaways?” Joyce asked, just to be sure.
“I had planned on the trip being three people anyway,” he replied as the girls hit him with dual puppy dog eyes.
“Yes, well let’s see what’s wrong with your memory then,” Giles suggested, opening up his case and pulling out some candles and a small amount of oil.
“Essential oil from forget-me-nots, and candles to add earth and fire to the water and air already present,” Xander muttered, much to Giles surprise.
“Excellent work,” Giles said with approval. “A basic knowledge of magic is almost a must around here.”
“Align the four candles with true magnetic north; circle the subject with salt, preferably sea or kosher, and light the candles with sulfur tipped matches,” Xander said, wondering where he'd read it.
“Why magnetic north?” Giles asked.
“It provides greater precision and enhances the connection to Gaea.”
“The circle and type of salt?”
“Provides focus and filters out hell mouth energy,” Xander replied.
“Disguises what you're doing from malign entities, who like to interrupt good and neutral spells.”
Giles made a hand full of notes while Joyce sent her daughter to get her bath salts and Xander's sister aligned the candles.
Giles cast the spell in Swahili and his eyes glowed blue for a moment, as the candles flared before fading. “Someone dumped a large amount of knowledge in your head, and by large I mean enormous. Their intention was to ensure you and those you care for are kept safe, they made no effort to cover their tracks and had to have had your approval in what was chosen for it to work.”
“So I did it to myself and something went wrong?” Xander asked just to be sure.
“Spells dealing with memory are notoriously fickle, which is why they're rarely used, so you may never regain the memories you've lost or you they may come back tomorrow,” Giles said, “regardless there's nothing we can do about it.”
“Then we might as well continue the trip,” Xander said, trying to cheer up the two Dawns who looked utterly crushed, “and Dawn and Dawn can tell me all about the stuff I've forgotten.”
The girls perked up at that and wiped their eyes.
Joyce gave Dawn a hug and handed her a blue compact. “You forgot something when you left, and remember two weeks.”
Dawn turned bright red and quickly pocketed the compact, too embarrassed to say anything.
“Shhh...oot!” Dawn Harris caught herself. “I need to get something from home before we can go.”
“It’s a feminine issue,” Dawn Summers quickly assured Xander when he looked like he was going to ask, having figured out herself what Dawn Harris had forgotten.
“Right, I'm out,” Xander promised, not wanting to hear the gory details of feminine hygiene.
“Now, you be good and listen to Xander,” Joyce ordered before sending the three off.
“It’s quite a coincidence that they're both named Dawn and look so much alike,” Giles observed.
“Except my Dawn is a little more reserved, strange as that is to say, and dresses more femininely,” Joyce replied.
“Yes, Dawn Harris wears her heart on a very brightly colored sleeve, much like Xander.”
“So I wasn't imagining ...”
“No, I'm afraid not, but it’s not our place to interfere, and separating the two may have caused some of Xander's problems to start with. There's no telling how powerful a bond the two shared, being twins, born and raised on the Hellmouth.”
“So it might have twisted things?”
“No doubt, but considering the risks of what we do, I'm not going to begrudge them violating social taboos.”
Joyce nodded before heading inside. “You get the candles and I'll sweep up the bath salt, then maybe some coffee.”
“Two weeks,” Jessica reminded Dawn, as she handed her a blue compact.
Xander still had no idea what was going on as Dawn rushed to the car, cheeks bright red.
“You're so going to hell,” Jessica said softly before closing the door in front of a very confused Xander.
“On that note I say we leave,” Xander decided.
Dawn Summers nodded and followed him to the car. Six hours later…
Pulling into the same rest stop he'd been at about 14 hours before, the three got out to stretch their legs.
“And here we are again,” Xander said shaking his head as he wondered what exactly he'd stuffed in there to forget the two Dawns.
There came a banging noise from the trunk and all three stared at it like it was a snake.
Xander cautiously opened the trunk and a red and blue haired Dawn popped out.
“Wow! It’s like I'm looking into a mirror, except you know there seems to be four of us, and Xander why do you look so confused?” the red head blurted out in one breath.
“Breath Dawnie, breath,” Xander ordered.
The blue haired Dawn seemed to take everything in stride and simply raised an eyebrow, “Hey,” she said in greeting.
“So … back to Sunnydale?” Dawn Summers asked.
“Nope,” Xander said firmly, “we've got four Dawn's and unless I'm mistaken, the latest two are Rosenberg and Osborn.”
“He doesn't remember any Dawns because a spell stuffed his head full of knowledge,” Dawn Harris explained.
Dawn Osborn looked at Xander and raised an eyebrow.
Xander shrugged. “I'll call Giles and have him look into it, but the trip is continuing on – and I think we have enough Dawns for the moment.”
“We might need a bigger car,” Dawn Summers said, as she looked from the car back to the five of them.
“Van,” Dawn Osborn suggested.
“Vans aren't very fuel efficient, but they do have a lot more room,” Dawn Rosenberg said thoughtfully, “but there might be something better, like a Winnebago available.”
“Something with room for a big bed in back,” Dawn Osborn suggested with a smirk hiding at the corner of her eye.
Xander froze as he realized four identical girls were eying him like a cat eyes a particularly tasty seeming mouse, albeit slightly differently.
Dawn Osborn's look was slightly amused.
Dawn Rosenberg's included a heavy blush.
Dawn Summers’ involved a hint of leer.
While Dawn Harris’ just looked radiantly happy.
“Oh boy,” Xander muttered as he resisted the urge to run. OMAKE
“Yes Xander, I found the prophecy.” Giles said into the phone.
“Not every prophecy is ancient.”
“The LA times crossword puzzle.”
“We've got psychics who train to find these sorts of things.”
“Ready? Unable to punish one of the light for breaking prophecy with death, the powers that be decried that he shall be rewarded,” Giles explained.
“With death by snoo snoo.”
“Hello? Xander are you still there? Hello?” AN: Yes I am evil and twisted why do you ask?
AN2: Typing as always… Godogma!