On the Road: the Thickness of Shadows
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An offshoot of ‘Walking in the Shadows’ that I decided not to run with.
“I'm just saying it’s a bit bizarre to go from the Grand Canyon to Sunnydale in 15 minutes. I mean sure Sunnydale is a pit from which it is nearly impossible to escape, but even if we were driving downhill all the way with the wind at our backs, it would still take a couple of days,” Xander explained as they entered the high school library.
Sirius shrugged, looking much better than he had been, even before he was sentenced to Azkaban; the road trip and things encountered having been beyond beneficial to them both. “I'm just saying that with magic it’s pretty common, the shortest line between two points is often the arc of a curve; magic isn't very logical.”
The Scoobs just turned and stared at the two, only one of whom looked familiar and even he was seriously off as none of his clothes were name brand and he looked far too relaxed and carefree to be himself.
“Mr. Harris would you care to introduce me?” Giles asked, wondering why Alex was behaving so strangely and from the accent and talk of magic, if the man with him was from the Watcher's Council.
“Hey everyone,” Xander waved cheerfully making everyone look at him like he was nuts. “I'm a dimensional analogue of Alexander no middle name admitted Harris and this is my traveling companion I picked up while driving through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, Sirius Black – he's a wizard, but try not to spread that around. I'm currently on my road trip that I'd planned on since forever and as Willow can tell you, that means I've graduated already. But seeing as the school is still in one piece and you're all here I'm guessing I'm earlier in the time line here.”
Things got a bit loud as everyone started asking questions at once, but it all calmed down when Giles whistled loudly.
“You claim you're from another reality?” Giles asked, while the rest of the Scoobs just stared at the two suspiciously.
“Yep,” Xander agreed passing his wallet to Giles.
Giles took Xander's wallet curiously and looked through it, finding a couple of pictures of Xander with Buffy and Willow, there was only one picture of Cordelia and she looked like one of the spoiled rich girls that Alex tended to date, in designer clothes and not one hair out of place. A couple of people he didn't recognize at all, but he figured if he looked through one of the girl's purses it'd be much the same.
Taking out Xander's driver's license he noted the date and shimmering state seal. Hologram seals weren't in popular use yet and this little piece of applied technology more than anything else, convinced him of the young man's veracity.
He passed the ID over to Willow who examined it closely before returning it, her face pale. “It’s real.”
Xander sat at the table and Sirius demonstrated a little magic by transfiguring a pencil into a sign reading, “Xander Harris, dimensional traveler, questions answered. Price: 1 Twinkie.” It was a tribute to how much they'd corrupted each other that Xander didn't even have to ask him to do it.
Everyone at the table turned to Cordelia who clutched her backpack tightly. “I knew it! It’s just a plot to get my Twinkies.”
Xander blinked, this wasn't the Cordelia he knew. The Cordelia he knew wouldn't be caught dead wearing what she was. Brightly colored, comfortable, broken in clothes were anathema to the fashion queen.
“Please?” Buffy asked, pouting cutely at Cordelia who loosened her grip on her bag.
“Uh huh, sure,” Cordelia said numbly her eyes glazing over a bit as Buffy pressed herself up against her side.
Cordy blinked and came back to herself as Willow rifled the bag for snacks. “That was so unfair!” she complained.
“But very fun to watch,” Xander grinned.
“Perv,” Buffy snorted.
“You don't to call me a perv for that,” Xander said smugly, “since you were the one intentionally doing it, legal precedent being pot vs kettle, you can't complain.”
Cordelia and Sirius broke out laughing and even Willow snickered.
Ignoring Buffy's protests Xander gestured. “Ask away, for I crave the goodness that is Twinkies.”
Cordy pouted, her eyes focused on the Twinkie, Willow held in her hand.
“Why are you so different from our Alexander?” Willow asked, sliding the Twinkie to Xander.
“No idea,” Xander admitted. “I have yet to meet the local me. What's he like?”
Cordelia's eyes lit up and she snagged the Twinkie. “The local Alexander comes from the very rich Harris family and is extremely spoiled, he's also the quarterback of the football team and he and I have a long running feud, but he can be occasionally counted on to help.”
Xander grinned. “Point to Cordelia, you have earned your Twinkie.”
Sirius grinned and waved, giving Cordelia her own sign reading, “Cordelia Chase, local expert questions answered. Cost: 1 Twinkie.”
Looking at the sign she frowned. “Its Chord not Cordelia, and why do you go by Xander?” she asked as she slid the Twinkie reluctantly toward him.
“Because Willow couldn't say my name in kindergarten, so she called me Xander,” he explained, scarfing down the Twinkie before it could escape again.
“That's why I go by Chord,” she said grinning.
“I was the Vice President of the We Hate Cordelia fanclub, but I'm guessing here it would be We Hate Alexander.”
“Yellow,” Chord said suddenly, locking eyes with him.
“Crayon,” he confirmed while everyone but Willow stared at him in confusion.
“You're not the dimensional analogue of Alexander,” Chord said firmly, “you're mine.”
“Okay but I get to be on top.” Xander grinned and both of them broke up laughing.
“You-you can't be,” Willow stuttered out, “Chord is like the anti-Alexander!”
“Reality was supposed to make sense?” Sirius asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“I must have missed the memo,” Xander and Chord said in chorus before bursting out laughing again.
Giles cleaned his glasses, a sure sign that he was either annoyed or thinking things through. “So you know things that are coming up?”
Xander thought about that for a moment. “Yeah but they might not be all that accurate if events are far enough off the baseline from my world.”
“Whoa, you've really thought about this,” Buffy said.
“Well for one thing randomly jumping universes will do that to you, and second,” Xander drawled out before he and Chord chorused, “Its simple comic book physics!”
“Are you claiming that the underlying physics of our universe are akin to the ideas postulated in those absurd magazines you read about scantily clad people of ridiculous proportions?” Giles asked with a look of horror.
“Short answer; yes,” Sirius volunteered with a grin.
“Please god, let there be a long answer that makes more sense,” Giles begged.
“Long answer; human beings were created by the Creator in his/her own image and when we use our imagination we are tapping into the fabric of reality itself, so all the books you've read … there are worlds based on them out there or vice verse. It’s kinda like the whole chicken and the egg argument. Plus comic book companies have been known to hire scientists to simplify complex theories into something people can understand and work with. If you ever followed comics you'd see they've headed more toward realism and away from fairy tales as their readers got older.”
“That helps, thanks,” Giles intoned.
“Back to the future,” Buffy suggested.
“Good movie, but the way they did time travel and changes to the time line made no sense,” Chord offered, “still, I'd love to see it again if it was playing on the big screen.”
“We can watch it at a movie theater I own,” Xander offered.
“You have a movie theater?” Willow asked. “Wait I thought you were lost with the random jumping?! As in can't find your way home lost?”
“Lost yes, but Sirius here is a wonderful wiz if ever a wiz there was,” Xander grinned, “so he expanded the back seat of my magical dimensional jumping car into something about the size of Nevada and when we run into worlds where there has been some huge human wiping out event, we stock up on travel supplies.”
“How does travel supplies equal a movie theater?” Giles asked.
“Well, there was all that empty space ...” Xander began.
“And it’s not like zombies need them,” Sirius finished.
“This I have to see,” Chord said, standing up.
“We parked next to Giles' car,” Xander said, getting to his feet.
“To the car!” Sirius announced, turning into a large black dog and running to the door where he pawed at it impatiently and whined to be let out.
“Did he just turn into a dog?” Buffy asked.
Xander nodded, “You know how they say inside everyone is an animal waiting to be unleashed? Well for Sirius that animal is a dog.”
“Cool!” Chord chimed with a grin.
Xander opened the door for the impatient animagus who raced for the parking lot, eager to show off his work. He never got tired of wowing the natives, since he no longer had to put up with the secrecy statutes.
“That is one powerful wizard,” Giles said, “I can't recall anyone who can pull off those feats without more than a simple wave of the hand being required. Is he always so cheerful?”
“What you've seen him do so far is nothing, most of his type of wizard learn to do that by fifteen,” Xander said, “he spent most of his life in war fighting the Black Hats, he was betrayed and his Scoobs died,” he explained sadly, knowing Giles would get what he meant, “he spent over a decade locked up for the betrayer's crimes without a trial for some very suspicious reasons on the side of the White Hats. The prison was something I wouldn't even wish on Angel when I hated him, that’s how bad it was.”
“So … not a big fan of Angel either?” Chord smirked as they walked down the hall.
“I did some research and he was a drunken womanizer when he was alive the first time,” Xander explained, “I also don't think men in their mid-twenties should date high school girls and all of that is overlooking the fact that Angel is just haunting the demon possessed corpse of himself,” since he couldn't exactly unburden himself to his girls at home, Xander took the opportunity to speak frankly. “Angelus was one of the worst Master vamps to come along in centuries and he reveled in rape, torture and murder. One of his ideas for a fun Saturday night was to rape, torture and murder children in front of their parents.”
Willow shivered and Chord wrapped an arm around her.
“Angel isn't Angelus,” Buffy said with some heat in her voice.
Xander continued as if Buffy hadn't spoken, “And then the gypsies cast a curse so black that no doubt whoever thought it up is no doubt burning in hell; they ripped Liam from the afterlife and shoved him into the vampire that had taken his place. A vampire who had done unspeakable things to his little sister, before killing her and all of it in front of Liam's mother so she would be forced to watch.”
“Stop it,” Buffy hissed, “that wasn't Angel you can't blame him for Angelus' crimes.”
“And once again you've missed the point completely; why am I not surprised? Oh yeah, because I haven't finished what I was saying,” Xander said bluntly.
“Now, as I mentioned before Liam was a drunken womanizer before his death, but in no way did it mean he deserved to be ripped from his final reward and inflicted with, not only the body and urges of a vampire, but the memories of one as well. It’s not like you’re watching a movie, it’s like remembering having lunch. Liam remembers raping, torturing and killing the people that meant the most to him and he remembers how much he enjoyed it. In a way we are our memories, so he's been dealing with the guilt of what he thinks he's done even if he's innocent of the crime.”
“I … I never thought of it that way,” Giles said as the girls paled.
“Yeah,” Xander said sadly, “I never claimed I liked the guy, but it’s all I could do not to drive a stake through his heart out of pity. I'm actually more comfortable just being a prick to him and I'm pretty sure he prefers it that way, it’s probably a guy thing that doesn't translate well across the gender barrier, but our emotional and physical needs are quite different from yours. So yeah, me annoying him makes him feel a hell of a lot better than giving him a hug and offering him a shoulder to cry on.”
“I hear you,” Chord said.
“Buffy sees it as some star crossed love affair like Romeo and Juliet with Angel as her soul mate,” Xander continued bitterly, “but when I see him, I see a corpse stained in the blood of thousands of children, with a demon looking over its shoulder and making suggestions to the poor tormented soul inside, and to cap off the whole fucked up situation the only thing keeping his soul in place is an enormous amount of misplaced guilt. All it takes is a single moment of happiness where he forgets about the guilt for an instant and the curse is broken.”
“That's horrible!” Willow cried. “Why would they do that?”
“There is a reason it’s called a curse; it was designed to torture a demon with no concern for anyone else' pain, I know because my Buffy broke the curse and couldn't bring herself to stake Angelus until the numbers started closing in on triple digits and he'd managed to draw the sword from the demon Acathla so it would open a portal that would suck the whole world into hell.”
“Oh god,” Buffy said faintly.
“It gets worse too,” Xander said, knowing that warning her now could prevent them all from suffering later.
“How could it get worse?” Buffy asked, plainly horrified.
“Because Angelus had murdered Giles' girlfriend and left her in his bed with a romantic backdrop of candles, wine and flowers, so Giles wouldn't know she was dead until he touched her. Later he kidnapped Giles and tortured him for information while you were lured off into a trap, despite everyone saying we should stick together.”
“Yeah, she does that,” Chord sighed.
“Well in this case, her being lured off is what allowed them to attack here, putting Willow into a coma, knocking Oz and me out and killing Kendra, while we were all unconscious. Buffy left after an argument with her mom, which resulted in Joyce saying if she left not to come back, just in time for the police to show up with Snyder and blame her for Kendra's death.”
“Who are Oz and Kendra?” Giles asked.
“Oz is Willow's boyfriend, he's a pretty good guy except for three nights a month,” Xander said.
“Three nights?” Chord broke in seeing a chance to lighten the mood, “you mean guys on your world have periods?”
Xander snickered. “Nah, he's a werewolf, he's the guitarist from the band Dingoes ate my Baby and goes to school here. He got bit and boom, three nights a month he's furry.”
“See?” Buffy exclaimed, upset about upcoming events. “People around me aren't safe you should all stay away!”
“And a swing and a miss from little miss pouts a lot,” Xander exclaimed, “news flash Buffster, the world doesn't revolve around you; nor do vampires and monsters avoid people you don't know. Oz became a werewolf because he was bitten by his cousin Jordy who was teething. You have nothing to do with the situation save to add drama for your whole pity me, I'm the chosen one spiel,” Xander snorted.
Chord glared at him and opened her mouth but Xander stopped her, “Trust me, hell trust yourself – let me finish what I'm saying before you decide to rip me a new one.”
Chord nodded and stepped back, clearly not in the least mollified, but willing to withhold judgment until he finished.
“Merrick told you that you were the one girl in all the world gifted with the speed and strength to fight vampires; but that's a lie and I'll prove it. Willow, Chord, how many vamps have you bagged?”
No one answered right away, but you could see the moment the truth hit them.
“I think it’s supposed to be a metaphor and not taken literally,” Giles suggested slowly, obviously not used to questioning the Council yet.
“Well, Buffy is a literal as well as a material girl,” Xander said, “so by telling her what is essentially the Watcher party line, she thought she was the only person period. The truth is that there are tons of people fighting the good fight and quite a few aren't exactly human either. All over the Earth the fight is going on.”
“So why does the Slayer have to fight and die alone?” Buffy asked in a small voice.
Xander sighed sadly and put a hand on her shoulder like he was imparting some great truth before he said dryly, “Because you're a blond.”
He barely avoided her swing even as Chord laughed.
“Hey! You asked,” Xander said, dodging an increasingly frustrated Slayer.
“Why can't I hit you?!”
“Because since I started this trip I've been getting stronger and faster, but that's not important, back to why you have to die alone,” Xander said seriously as Buffy calmed down, “partly it’s because you're an idiot, you hear a prophecy that says you're going to die and instead of avoiding it you walk right the fuck into it! The only reason you're alive today is because someone, who shall remain nameless, made Angel take them to the Master's lair.”
“Made him?” Buffy asked confused.
“Yeah, he's a bigger idiot than you are; he figured you were dead because prophecy is prophecy and he's generally a depressed mopey bastard anyway, so he was going to stay in and read a book while waiting for the Master to come and kill him. Fortunately someone here is a master of guilt-fu, having spent time with Willow's Nana. So a little talking and Angel was actually grateful for the change to charge off to his death just for the chance to help.”
“And then?” Giles asked, wondering if it matched up with events here.
“And then Angel stood nearby while the heroic person gave Buffy CPR, and do you know what her first word was on waking up?” Xander asked.
“Angel,” Chord said sourly.
“Yep,” Xander added, “as far as Buffy was concerned he'd saved her, the fact that I'd had to threaten and guilt him and give her CPR meant nothing. Hell she never even said thank you, but she did use me as a stripper pole to make Angel jealous later.”
Buffy's eyes darted over to Chord who nodded, making Buffy wince.
“Hey, what the hell kind of excuse is ‘I have no breath’ for not helping with the CPR? If he doesn't breath then how does he talk?”
“I can answer that one,” Giles said, glad he could contribute something. “The only breath they have is the one they died with; no matter how much they breath in and out it’s the same exact one. Some vampires have been known to use that as a means of killing someone. They look like they're kissing someone, but really they're breathing their last breath into them so when they step back and inhale the person's lungs collapse. It’s where the phrase kiss of death originated.”
“Cool, that actually makes me feel better about his part in things,” Xander said, “but I'm ranting off topic. The Slayer was never meant to fight alone or to lead people; the Slayer was meant to be a rallying point for an army, the Slayer was supposed to be a peerless warrior who inspired others and cheered them on,” he grinned.
Willow spoke up, “The Slayer is supposed to be a cheerleader?!”
“Exactamundo,” Xander grinned.
“B-but the Council's records …” Giles trailed off, not sure what to say.
“The Council are a bunch of morons, but you already knew that. It’s because of them that new Slayers have to be called every six to eighteen months. Slayers always fight better when they have people to fight beside them, but the fight went underground and large scale battles became really rare, so the Council started using the Slayer in a covert ops position, which isn't their strong point. End result was a lot of dead Slayers in a short period of time and that really demoralized their forces, since Slayers were known for going through battle after battle without a scratch and now they were dropping like flies. So to keep from affecting morale the Slayer was ordered to work alone.”
“That makes an odd sort of sense,” Giles said thoughtfully, “I mean Buffy has done much better than any Slayer in the last couple of decades.”
“The Slayer dreams were designed to show her the lives of the Slayers before her with glorious battles crushing demons like the hammer of god and dying of old age surrounded by grand kids, although many of the last scenes also happened in battle as the Slayer's children were almost always naturals at demon hunting. Unfortunately under the Council's direction the Slayer dreams now show nothing more than Slayers dying alone in the dark. So that pretty much became their new goal and probably explains why Buffy has a Pavlovian response to traps anyway,” Xander finished.
“Pavlovian?” Buffy asked, just before Chord could.
“Russian guy found you could get dogs to drool by ringing a bell, if you usually gave them meat after each time you rang it, so it became an ingrained response,” Xander explained quickly before Giles or Willow could, since their explanations always took too long and were much too wordy for his tastes.
“Cool, I actually got that,” Chord said.
Giles nodded. “Well if he's you, then his explanations would be perfect for your understanding.”
“Who is Kendra and who did Giles end up dating?” Willow asked, being used to Xander's or rather Chord's habit of wandering off topic.
“Kendra is the Slayer who was called when Buffy drowned,” Xander explained, “she was raised by the Council and is way different than Buffy.”
“Another Slayer has been called? Why wasn't I notified?” Giles asked, “And how are there two Slayers? And how in the world do you know all this?! I mean the origin of the Slayer line was lost to the ages.”
“Another Slayer was called because Buffy briefly died, as in heart stopped beating. But since no Xan … Chor …” Xander scratched his head and then grinned, “Because us Willow named refuse to let our friends die.”
Chord grinned. “Willow named, I like that.”
“And as to why you weren't told, I did mention the Council is populated entirely by morons, right?”
Sirius who had been sitting in dog form unnoticed while Xander spoke decided to add his two cents, turning back from a dog he quickly jumped in, “As to how Xander knew ... well, it’s a pretty seedy tale.”
Sighing mournfully Sirius drew everyone's attention to him. “I don't know if I can say what he did for that information without breaking down, so I'll simply cast an illusion of the events,” he said, waving his hand and causing an ancient Grecian city to grow up around them.
It was midday and the sun beat down on the olive skinned natives, who walked past the two strangers who had taken residence on the street of gods, one standing in plain sight and the other hanging back in the shadows, where it was cooler.
Xander Harris posed and flexed his olive oil coated body, attracting many admiring looks, as all his body hair below his eyes had been removed to help draw attention to his rippling muscles, that he modeled in his extremely short toga.
A stunning blond haired woman with an impressive rack glided forward to speak to the man in the shadows, “How much?”
“For the secrets of the Slayer line and 50 denarii you can have him until nightfall,” Sirius swore, the sun glaring off the massive gold jewelry he wore as he stepped out of the shadows, decked out in a purple velvet toga.
As the illusion faded everyone turned to Xander who blushed. “It wasn't like that at all!” he denied hotly.
Sirius tried to keep a straight face but couldn't, so he buried his face in his hands, his shoulders shaking like he was crying, but was actually from suppressed laughter.
Chord knew Sirius was just screwing with them, but couldn't resist stepping forward to tease herself/himself, 'Well it’s just too good a joke to pass up.'
“It’s okay,” Chord said softly, putting a hand on Xander's shoulder before she leaned into him and murmured, “I got twenty burning a hole in my pocket and know the secret identities of half the DC Universe off the top of my head, so why don't we go back to my place and you can show me exactly where the bad lady touched you.”
Willow eeped and she and Buffy turned red, while Giles stammered and looked away.
Xander rallied, used to sparring with Cordelia and finding Chord … let’s just say she really struck a chord with him, “Well I got fifty and know half of Marvel as well,” he said leaning in and reflexively using the techniques he'd developed specifically to drive Cordelia wild.
Jaws dropped as Xander very successfully turned the tables on Chord, but it didn't look like either one planned on stopping any time soon.
Sirius fell over, unable to stop himself from laughing any longer and Willow started kicking him and yelling at him for turning her best friend into a hooker.
“Which one is she talking about?” Buffy asked Giles.
“No idea, and I'm not sure she knows either.”
Sirius finally got Willow to stop by returning to dog form and turning the puppy dog eyes on her.
Willow couldn't bring herself to kick an animal and sighed before turning and noticing the two were still in a very heated embrace.
She tried to separate them. “Whoa, hands in new places!” Willow called out as the two reluctantly separated after tossing a few gropes her way and the two looked completely unrepentant about that part.
“Was there any validity to Mr. Black's illusion, Mr. Harris?”
Xander shrugged. “A small bit, I asked a favor of fair Aphrodite and she did request love as the coin of payment, but it was nothing like that.”
“You had sex with an elder goddess to learn the secrets of the Slayer line?” Buffy asked bluntly.
“Nope, I loved her, but no sex was involved,” Xander swore.
“How does that work?” Buffy asked confused.
Xander shrugged and stepped forward, wrapping his arms around Buffy and simply held her.
Buffy had been tense and ready to twist some joints if Xander's hands wandered anywhere they shouldn't, but after a second or two she relaxed, as he seemed content to simply hold her, as if he had nothing better to do in all of existence than cradle her in his arms.
Even Sirius was quiet while they watched a blissful smile form on Buffy's face as all the stress and worry she'd carried in her expression and posture were washed away.
“How is he doing that?” Giles asked, “come to think of it, what is he doing exactly?”
“You know how some people can heal with a touch?” Sirius asked.
“Holy men and warriors blessed by god,” Giles agreed, “though they are exceedingly rare.”
“Well Xander doesn't do that exactly, he simply hugs someone and it’s like years of counseling from a mind healer in just a few seconds,” Sirius said with a bit of wonder in his tone, “I can't tell you how broken I was when he found me, I was so twisted around I looked like I was facing the right way again and I spent a most of my time either joking around or in dog form, so I wouldn't have to deal with things. I swear there were times we both forgot I was human and he treated me like a normal dog. Turns out petting a dog or scratching it behind the ears is the canine equivalent of hugging and once I was healed he took me home,” Sirius grinned.
“Yes, I believe there was a mention of a dimensional jumping car and being lost,” Giles nodded.
“It’s a DeLorean isn't it?” Willow asked excitedly, “that would be so cool to see.”
Sirius grinned and gestured toward Buffy and Xander making them float. “The only way the car could be any cooler would be if it were made of ice,” he declared leading the three toward the door, Buffy and Xander floating after them.
“How long are they going to keep doing that?” Giles asked as they exited the building.
“Until she decides to stop,” the mage replied, “and since she seems a bit nuts, no offense, from the amount of crap that life has thrown at her, I suspect they'll be like that for hours.”
“So, where is it?” Willow asked avidly, looking around for some fancy futuristic magic car.
“Right here,” Sirius said, pointing at an old black convertible.
“Cool,” Chord breathed in awe.
“What am I missing?” Giles asked, wondering what cultural significance it had to make Chord fall for it when she always made fun of Giles' classic car.
“Huh,” Willow said confused, “I don't get it either.”
“It’s a 1974 Chevy Nova convertible,” Chord said reverently, “it was made with the intention of lasting, unlike the ‘replace every year’ model that are all you can buy these days. I've always wanted one.”
“I'm sure Xander will get you one if you want,” Sirius said.
“So what mods does she have?” Chord asked, not paying attention before explaining what mods meant to Sirius.
“Well, we've warded it from seven ways from Sunday, with me doing my type of magic and some other odds and ends we've run across and Xander engraving runes damn near everywhere,” Sirius grinned.
“That explains the exterior,” Giles said, “not a scratch or ding to be seen. I've just about given up on getting a matching touch up paint for mine.”
Sirius whipped out his wand and tapped Giles' car, muttering something in Latin that Giles didn't catch.
The effect was instantaneous, the car collapsed into a pile of sand, metal flakes and automotive fluids.
Everyone stared in shock.
“Oops?” Sirius said apologetically. “Xander did warn me about the Hellmouth affecting magic … but I forgot. I'll replace it.”
“What were you trying to do?” Giles asked cautiously.
“A simple repair spell,” Sirius replied, “it should have made your car like new.”
“It did,” Willow said making everyone look at her like she was crazy, “the car is now what it was way before it was made.”
“Ah...” went the chorus as they saw what she meant.
“So, I overcharged the spell out the wazoo. I'll have to be a lot more careful and just use wandless spells then,” Sirius said.
“What's the difference?” Willow asked.
“The wand focuses my power and gives me more control, casting wandless requires more concentration and power which is almost ideal in this situation,” he replied.
Sirius suddenly turned around and glared. “Come on out or I'm sending a legion of carnivorous smurfs in after you.”
Angel stepped out of the darkness. “Carnivorous smurfs?”
“Angel,” Giles nodded to the souled vamp, “he tends to lurk in the dark but generally it’s for good reason.”
“Ah,” Sirius nodded, having heard of the vamp and his actions, “well, try to stay unhappy.”
“Okay...” Angel said slowly, wondering what was going on. “Why are Buffy and Alex hugging?”
“You want to know why they're hugging, but not why they're floating?” Chord asked, rolling her eyes.
“Well, from what happened to Giles' car and being threatened with smurfs, I'm guessing he's a mage. However the two of them hugging is really hard to figure out,” Angel explained.
“He's a male counterpart to me, who is healing her mental problems,” Chord explained.
“Are you sure?” Angel asked worriedly, trying to figure out the best way to separate Buffy from whatever that was, because now that he was closer he could smell it wasn't exactly human, just in case it turned out to be hostile.
“Don't try anything,” Sirius warned him, “the last vampire Xander hit didn't really enjoy the experience, or survive it for that matter.”
“I have a hard time believing Alex err Chord err Xander could kill a vampire just by hitting him. What did he hit him with?” Willow asked.
“A car,” Xander said, causing Buffy to giggle, showing they were both paying at least a little attention to those around them.
“Okay, now that I could believe,” Angel said, trying to bury any jealousy he had from seeing Buffy happy in someone else's arms.
“Yeah, he rarely shows off, but that vamp pissed him off so much that Xander picked up a car and hit him with it,” Sirius explained.
“Emo vamps stalking underage girls piss me off, but him sparkling in the sunlight was the final straw,” Xander snorted.
“Wiped out the whole lot of them,” Sirius agreed.
“What is he?” Angel asked, looking at Xander.
Sirius shrugged. “My friend and probably a demigod, descended from Aphrodite.”
“I'm a follower, not her actual kid... Though Eros would be a cool brother to have,” Xander said thoughtfully. “As for the rest, other than the blessings all love's worshipers receive, they developed after leaving the Hellmouth, so Chord could develop them after she left for a while too, or it could be traveling through dimensions that does it or it could be something else altogether.”
“I've grown ridiculously powerful magically,” Sirius offered, “but that could be because of passing through the Veil of Death.” Opening the back door of Xander's car he stepped in, followed by everyone else.
Giles was the first one to recover his voice as they stared around in awe, “Is that the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument?!” AN: Typing by Godogma!
AN2: Why the Washington Monument? What else was big enough for the Statue of Liberty to use as a stripper pole?