I don’t own anything, neither Buffy nor the other stuff I’m borrowing from different parts of the fictional multiverse.
You know, waking up chained to the floor, in a dark and smelly place, on top of some weird magical symbols, with a weird-looking old man chanting in a long time forgotten language is now on top of my “Not To Do” list, right up there with not dating demons who look like cute girls. But, if you know me, you’d probably know I was doing exactly what my “Not To Do” list says.
It’s rather sad, really. I mean, I thought going to all states of the US of America was gonna be a really cool thing to do, after three years of non-stop slayage, but then my car breaks in the outskirts of Oxnard, I have to walk up to five miles to find a place to crash, I find myself working in a strip club (Of the naked man variety) and after being in town for less than two weeks, I get kidnapped by a crazy old creepy guy to be probably sacrificed to some ancient demon/god like entity. No, my life isn’t complicated, not one bit.
After testing the ropes binding me to the floor to see if I could break them with an adrenaline rush… or dumb luck, I look over creepy old guy to see if I can at least figure out to what I’m gonna be sacrificed. Sadly, languages aren’t my strong point since I never really manage to even get a B- in my English class back in high school.
High school… land of embarrassment, cheerleaders, acne in the face and cheerleader. ‘Cuz, I mentioned the cheerleaders, right? I once dated one, back in the day. She’s probably in L.A. doing something with her life, while I’m about to be eaten by something or another. Though, I’m kind of getting off the track her, aren’t I? My life just sucks. I mean, can’t any higher being throw me a bone once in a while? ‘Cuz being the guy who’s always about to die in a horrible and usually sacrificial way isn’t nearly as fun as some may think. Of course it has it’s perks, like being rescued at the last second by the cavalry, which usually involves a pair of lovely and hot girls… and a stuffy old ex-Watcher, but being the girly guy who gets to be rescued ALL the time get’s old pretty quick.
So, gathering my wits, charms and the little dignity I still have, I load my verbal guns so I can unleash my fury of a thousand suns on the not-so-innocent bystander.
“Sooo, what’s up doc?”
“Don’t distract me, I’m nearly finished” He replied without even looking my way.
“Uh huh. Sure thing, ‘cuz distracting the guy who’s gonna be sacrificing me is always a bad idea.” I retorted sarcastically.
After a moment of silence and having the creepy guy continue with the dark mojo, I decided to give in to my curiosity and see if at least he was gonna make a good bargain with my soul.
“Hey…” After catching his attention I continued. “So, to which Higher Being do I owe the pleasure of being sacrificed?”
Taking a second to look at me in the eyes and letting out a sigh of what was probably frustration at having me interrupting his ritual again (yay me!!!), he said.
“I am not sacrificing you boy” I looked at him the same way Giles looks at me when I say something stupid… well, more stupid than usual.
“Really? Could’ve fooled me, you know? With the chanting, the funny looking symbols, the dark cloak, the me being chained… you know it was actually one of the top things in my mind when I waked up. That or that I was gonna be raped.”
Beat. “Oh, shit! I’m not gonna be raped am I?! Oh, God, the hell I’ve ever done to you?! I won’t even go with a bang no! I’m gonna go with a scream!! … Which now bring evil and demon-like pictures to my brain!! Ahh, help! HELP!!! Somebody hel-” And I was probably going to go on and on if creepy guy hadn’t yelled at me.
“Would you stop talking for a second?!” After achieving his goal and being satisfied enough that I wasn’t gonna deaf him going with my very manly babblethon, he continued. “I have been watching you for some time now, boy.” And before I could think to even start with my very, very manly screams, he decided to elaborate. “I know you fight against the demons and the demon spawn. I have been waiting to find a proper… suitor for some ancient artifacts.” He looked at me again to make sure he had my attention. Not that hard when you’re in the same room as a creepy, old guy chained to the floor.
“A long time ago, there was a group of powerful demons who together, governed the world. Using their magickal abilities they subjugated and terrified humankind. These Demon Sorcerers were each one defeated and cast away in a parallel world-”
“Like in Sliders?” He looked at me blankly and a little irritated at being interrupted by me once again. Xand-man: three, creepy-old guy: zero.
“I do not know of this “Sliders”.” He said, clearly not caring one way or another.
“Really? The TV show? Where these groups of guys get lost in the multiverse and have to find a way back home? Doesn’t ring any bells?” Letting out another sigh he did the smart thing and ignored me.
“As I was saying, they were all send away, except for one… Shendu.”
“Shendu? Doesn’t seem that scary?”
“Would you stop interrupting me with senseless chatter?” He clearly didn’t know me. “Shendu was transformed into a statue and his powers were trapped in twelve small stone talismans, which were in turn, scattered across the whole land.”
“Alright, I get the historical lesson but, what does this Shendu guy has to do with me?”
“He was once revitalized from his eternal punishment, when he managed to acquire all twelve of them. I have spent a long time searching for these talismans and even longer waiting for a person honorable enough to wield their powers selflessly.”
“So, all this racket is because you want me to be some kind of protector to this “talismans”, right?” At his nod I continued. “But, why me? I’m not that good at taking care of things, and you want me to protect these things from some powerful demons who once ruled the whole world? Do you have a death wish or something?”
“There is courage in you and an ability to care for people which not many possess. There is an iron will and an unbreakable soul in you. You can accomplish so much more if only given the chance… So, here is your chance.” Thinking over his words I decided to humor him.
“Why didn’t you just walked to me and said all this you’re telling me now?” He looked at me like the idea hadn’t crossed his mind, which I considered really stupid. I mean, the guy rather kidnapped me and scare the crap out of me instead of just talking the talk and saying his ABC.
“It… it did not actually cross my mind.” He said embarrassed.
“So… what now?”
“Now that we have discussed this, you can choose to walk away. What do you say?”
Walk away? That had always seemed like the smart thing to do. Walk away from the bully’s at school, from your dreams… hopes, from the good fight, my friends. Everybody had expected me to simply give up and walk away, just because I was your average Joe, with no nothing to put me above and beyond. Nothing to contribute in the fight against the darkness or even real life. Somehow there was always someone bigger, or stronger, or smarter or just plain better. And here I was, a man offering a mojo boost for simply being me, for being human enough to care. Walking away always seemed the smart thing to do though, I can say with limited pride, that most of my life I had never actually done the smart thing, and walking away had never been an option.
Smiling a lopsided grin, 100% Xander patented, I say what first crosses my mind.
“Give me the juice”