Screw You Toadstool! - Lacking an Anchor shadow
Disclaimer: I own no published intellectual properties mentioned in this fic.
Xander stumbled out of the portal and looked around a bit shocked, he was in the old mansion Angelus had used to open Acathela and there were Buffy and Angel doing a replay of the scene that had led to one of the worst summers ever.
“What are you doing?” Xander asked.
“I have to kill him to close the portal.” Buffy cried, not really paying attention as she was wrapped up in the enormity of the situation.
Angel the bastard showed he was a decent man … at least sometimes by saying, “Do it.”
“Do nothing!” Xander yelled before holding up his axe and calling out, “Guardian of the Gate am I, master of my fate I cry, those that choose evil, good to spurn shall meet my emerald flames and they shall burn!”
As his voice raised to a near scream, so too did the green flames that surrounded the double bladed battle axe he carried as he brought it around and through the statue – shattering it and closing the portal.
“Thank god!” Buffy cried out, thankful beyond belief that she didn't have to send Angel to hell.
Xander snorted. “Yeah, home sweet hellmouth – where I save the day but never get the thanks. Bob, remind me why I came back here again...”
Xander burst into the mansion and stopped, stunned. “Buffy, why are there two of me?”
“That’s a very good question, Bob have I travelled in Time?” The Xander with an axe asked aloud.
The axe was surrounded with a green corona while a flickering scene done in greenscale appeared on the wall behind him parodying Mario Brothers complete with music as a tiny super deformed Xander walked up to Toadstool and was informed, “I'm sorry Xander but your hellmouth is in another dimension.”
The Xander holding the axe groaned, “All that and I'm still not home?” Sighing he relaxed and some of the tension went out of him. “And I can't believe you wasted energy on a display like that when you won’t even let me use it to fly.” He tilted his head to the side like he was listening to something, “Ok, that makes sense.”
“What makes sense?” The native Xander had to ask.
“Illusions are low cost and flying costs even more power than putting up a force field. So other than Bob amusing himself we're basically limited to using the power for minor things and to enhance Bob's destructive capabilities.”
“Who's Bob?” The native Xander asked.
“My soul bound Rune Axe enhanced with a very limited Green Lantern Ring.” Axe Xander said proudly.
“I'm stunned speechless, except you know for saying this.” Native Xander said.
“Yeah he is pretty impressive. When Buffy finishes setting Angel's soul free I'll show you how it works on Angelus.” Axe Xander promised cheerfully.
“What?” Native Xander asked as Buffy and Angel began to pay attention to something other than themselves.
“Well since its only guilt that keeps Deadboy's soul in place and she's working on removing all the guilt so she herself doesn't feel bad for her part in all those deaths Angel's about to go bye bye again and this time I intend to dust him.”
“You can't!” Buffy yelled worriedly.
“His soul goes, so does he.” Axe Xander said flatly. “You may not care about people you don't know dying or those you're pissed at, or are worried about outshining you – but I do.”
“How can you say that?!” Buffy cried.
“Because it was the only thing I could think of to say to get you to stop sucking face with the ungrateful dead over there.” Axe Xander stated bluntly.
“Dammit Xander, can't you control your jealousy for five minutes and let me be happy?!”
“Jealousy?” Axe Xander said thoughtfully as the other Xander winced, recognizing the tone because he himself used it to sound as innocent as possible right before ripping someone a new one.
“Let me say three little words to you, I probably should have told you a while back to explain exactly how I feel.” Axe Xander said pleasantly, making Buffy blush in protest.
Axe Xander grinned and it wasn't a nice grin. “Three words for you Buff, Cold. Dead. Seed.”
“What?” Buffy asked, her brain not making a connection for a second and then paling as she did.
“Buff,” Axe Xander said calmly but with an edge to his voice, “I mean it sincerely when I say, I wouldn't fuck you with a stolen dick, and the thought of being intimate with you makes me physically nauseous. You fucked a demonically animated corpse, and I'd bet anything that you didn't make it wear a condom. I got no idea what kinda sickness you can get from fucking a corpse older than our country. Hell, you may have smallpox for all I know – or the black plague, I lost any interest in having a relationship with you after that little dance you did to make Angel jealous. Sure I probably still would have gotten groiny with you if asked at that point – but a relationship, nah! I had to force Angel to get off his ass and lead me down there where I pulled you out of the water and gave you CPR and you treat me that way?! No, any lingering crush died a cold hard death at that point. I still flirt because it’s fun, but you can rest assured I have no intention of taking it any farther. Strangely enough, I still consider you a friend and a good person it’s just that your brains leak out your ass when the corpse right there is involved. Like the fact that you're doing your damnedest to break the curse again by making him happy – no matter what it costs anybody else.”
“I wasn't … But we're dressed!” Buffy sputtered.
“The curse says 'a moment of perfect happiness' Buff. His may have been a little statutory rape and taking your virginity, but now that that's gone, it could be you saying you love him. Or forgiving him for everything Angelus did.” The native Xander pointed out.
“Of course the fact that his moment of perfect happiness required sex instead of you saying you loved him was pretty damn shallow if you ask me … But I'm willing to bet now that it'll be something easier to trigger. Then again it could be a blow job or anal sex. At any rate, until we find out what it is, you two can't have any contact at all – unless you want Angelus loose again and me to kill Angelus.” Axe Xander said.
“Why are there two of you?” Buffy asked, trying to avoid thinking about things.
Angel was still too traumatized to question things, but he took a deep breath and said, “They both smell like Xander.”
Axe Xander nodded, “We are both Xander, but one of us is from further down the timeline and a parallel one to boot.”
“So …” Buffy asked.
“Sliders not Back to the Future.” Axe Xander explained.
“Ahhhh...” Buffy nodded, pretending she understood.
“We need to get Giles to the hospital and Buffy home.” Native Xander said.
Axe Xander nodded and moved between Buffy and Angel. “No backwards glances or heartfelt sighs, you two together are like nitro and we don't know how to safe you. So Buffy, no noises or looks just go to Giles. Angel, stay here and be miserable so I don't have to kill you.”
Axe Xander had to cover Buffy's mouth twice, but they made it to the van without an incident.
Giles looked blurrily at the two Xanders. “Oh god, the world's become hell there's two of him!”
“We need a better British pseudo father figure.” Axe Xander said.
“I'm thinking Mr. Bean or Dr Who.” Native Xander agreed.
Buffy's eyes widened. “What's wrong with him?”
The Xander's sighed as they took the front seat of the van with the Native Xander driving.
Axe Xander started speaking since he wasn't driving. “Relief from pain can cause enough endorphins to pop that its like being drugged, and he was tortured for hours by experts. He'll probably be pretty loopy for a while.”
“Oh.” Buffy said quietly.
Reporting Giles as a mugging victim and checking him into the hospital went like clockwork, with the hospital staff already having the forms filled out in advance – both sides ignored the knowledge of what was really going on as long as it got the Scoobs faster care.
With Giles resting comfortably, the three went to check on Willow, Oz and Cordy.
Cordelia smiled when she saw Xander, relieved that he was ok – when she saw the second Xander and began to get a naughty grin. “I don't know why there are two Xanders, and I don't care – but I have to take them both home right now and make sure they are ok.”
Willow was speechless and Oz simply raised an eyebrow.
“I'll give you a quick synopsis.” Axe Xander promised. “Alternate timeline willow cast a spell that she didn't bother to read properly and I was tossed into the DC universe. Dr Fate and Etrigan tried to send me home, but something interfered and I ended up in hell – a portal opened in front of me and I took it. So I ended up here, months into my own past or rather a parallel version of it. So no real time travel involved. Angel got his soul back, but too late as the portal was already open and Buffy was about to sacrifice him to close it. I stopped her and destroyed the statue with my trusty axe Bob. Angel and Buffy can't be around each other or communicate in any way …”
Willow interrupted. “Xander, stop with the jealousy already.”
Buffy shook her head, “It’s not jealousy, he sees Angel as nothing more than a corpse and as new Xander explained very clearly they have no real interest in me and I believe them.”
Everyone who hadn't been at the mansion for Axe Xander's rant/speech just nodded figuring Buffy would know if he meant it.
“He lost interest in dating me after the sexy dance, and after I slept with Angel … I think disgusted is too mild a word – be basically considers me a necrophiliac.” Buffy admitted, hiding how much it upset her.
“He's not a corpse, he's a vampire! Hello!” Cordy said bluntly.
“Yes, a vampire is a corpse. The corpse is prevented from rotting, but is no less a corpse – and after three days, or overnight on a Hellmouth, a demon possesses the corpse and makes it move like it’s alive again – but it’s not. It doesn't need to breath, its heart doesn't beat, and it generates no heat because it’s still a corpse, just an extremely well preserved one.” Native Xander said firmly.
“But Angel has a soul!” Willow protested.
“Yes, and that just makes it worse.” Axe Xander said, “You take the soul of a dead man and rip it from its final reward to make it share head space with the demon that is wearing its corpse. Inflicting on it all the memories of the demon as if they were its own and making the soul feel its hungers and urges. I can't think of a much crueler thing to do to someone, but then that why it’s a curse.”
“So Buffy and Angel can't be together because the curse is evil?” Cordy asked.
The Xanders sighed, and Axe Xander began speaking once more. “No they can't be around each other because all it takes is a moment of happiness to free Angelus. As a matter of fact anyone who would provide a kind word can't be around Angel because they could mention something about Buffy being glad he was back and not blaming him. Or Buffy being depressed over not seeing him, and boom! We have Angelus again.”
“That’s not fair!” Willow burst out.
“Yeah, imagine a curse designed to torment a demon not being fair – who would have thunk it? A curse that rips a soul out of the afterlife and makes it experience all the joy the demon felt while raping and murdering his family as well as a good portion of Europe for over a century as if it were his own thoughts and feelings is not fair. It’s not meant to be fair, it is a fucking curse!”
“I …” Willow fell silent. AN: Barely beta'd. Godogma typed, I glanced at. As you can see this really was too overboard to add to a fic, but it feels good to cut loose every once and while and bash everyone with a hammer!