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To Be a Master

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This story is No. 3 in the series "Pokemon I Choose You!". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Xander Harris returns to a Dimension he visited once before. Part the Third of Xander as Ash's dad story.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anime > PokemonSithicusFR1525,6221195,61629 Aug 102 Sep 10No

Pokemon and Balance Vampires

Author's Notes I should post the Prequel before the Sequel, but this wouldn't leave me alone and it didn't fit in as a Ficlet after I started it. True it says The End of the Second Part at... Well the end, but that's because The Beginning of the Full-Blown Adventure starts at the end of the next chapter after more tearful goodbyes.

Disclaimer: All things Buffy belong to Joss and M.E. Productions. Nintendo and Creatures Inc. own all things Pokemon. The author claims nothing otherwise.



Xander was recovering from another fight with a really powerful demon – the battles were getting harder and harder as he got older. Oh sure he was only thirty-eight, but that was older than he’d expected to be when he first started out.

The problem was the really tough demons continued to hunt him specifically because of what he brought to the party – quite literally a party of six creatures that had become his when he returned to his home dimension to continue the good fight.

They were called Pokemon – Pocket Monsters – and were creatures from a Light Dimension he’d been sent to by some higher power or something for a purpose he still didn’t know.

Pokemon were strange – yet interesting creatures – that could use impressive skills to battle one another and also the demons of this dimension. Their moves ranged from physical attacks such as Seismic Toss or Body Slam to special attacks – like Flamethrower or Solar Beam.

They were so powerful they kind of tipped the scales a little bit in this world, but he’d promised someone very special to him that he’d keep them as a memento of her and so he’d stay safe. Xander suspected however that The Powers that Be were trying every trick they knew to get him to go back to that dimension and stay there.

Which was why he wasn’t really surprised when Dawn came to him and told him that he had a son – he didn’t doubt her words – he knew how much time he’d spent with Ash Ketchum’s mom after all when they were working together as research assistants for Professor Oak.

Delia Ketchum had been a ray of sunshine – a woman with heart, courage and strength, but also compassion and the best Chicken Curry recipe he’d ever tasted. He still couldn’t get anything like it here – and he’d tried twenty-seven consecutive times to master it.

She’d become special to him – someone he could confide in and someone who didn’t care to learn too much about his past or his home dimension. She worried and fussed over him when it was time to go back, but that’s why he had Charizard and the rest.

Fingering the Pokeball in his hand Xander smiled as the fond memories of his younger days washed over him.

“GENGAR!” a voice screamed loudly.

Xander chuckled. “Only Buffy could get in conflict with a Ghost type Pokemon,” he remarked sagely.

“Alexander Harris! If you don’t keep that… that… creepy little voyeur in that damn Pokeball thingy of his I’m going to slay it! So help me I am going to just slay it right now!” Buffy declared angrily stomping into his room.

Xander shrugged. “Sorry, Buff, I can’t exactly control him when he’s in one of his pranking moods,” he said though it really wasn’t much of an apology.

Buffy frowned sensing something was off. “What’s wrong?” she asked.

Xander shrugged. “Nothing.”

Buffy shook her head at that. “Nuh-uh, Xander Harris, I know you too well. This is Buffy you’re talking to not one of the junior Slayers.”

Xander sighed. “I can’t stay here anymore,” he told Buffy with certainty.

“What? What do you mean?” Buffy demanded.

Xander glared at her with his one good eye. “This dimension, this fight, it wears you down, Buffy, takes its toll on you. Why do you think Giles foisted off more and more work on to us before…you know,” he said averting his gaze with a pained expression.

“He died to protect us,” Buffy reminded softly her tone mournful. “I still miss him, but that’s beside the point, Xand. Why do you have to leave?” Buffy demanded. “The truth, mister, or I’ll get Willow in here and we’ll double team ya,” she added.

Xander glanced down at the Pokeball again – life had been simpler in the Pokemon World – not like it was here. “I miss her, I want to be there for her and I don’t want to stay here anymore, Buffy, it’s too hard. I feel like I’m running around in ragged circles beaten and bruised nine times out of ten – if it weren’t for my friends… Her gifts to me… I’d have been dead eleven times over by now,” Xander stated. “I’m old, Buffy, older than my body that’s for sure. My soul can’t take this anymore, I think that’s why the Powers are trying so hard to get me to leave,” he added with a sigh.

Collapsing into his bed he looked so helpless, so frail and depressing. Buffy almost broke into tears – she’d tried so hard to help Xander avoid this back when they were in Sunnydale. Now here he was suffering because of his stubborn determination to cling to a world and a fight that had never been meant for him.

Sighing Buffy sat down beside him and picked up one of the Pokeballs. “You should go then, and I’m not going to stop you or try and convince you to stay. You were never really meant for this, Xander, and before you say it! I know – ok – I get why you stayed as long as you did, but if anybody – and I mean anybody – deserves a chance at a semi-normal happy quiet life… Well then it’s my bestest guy friend Xander Harris,” she said with a sad wistful smile.

Xander chuckled and pulled Buffy into a grateful hug. “Thank you, Buffy, for understanding,” he told her whispering in her ear. “I wish you could come with me and be happy too, but I get that you’re needed here,” he said.

“What’s with all the doom and gloom?” Spike asked as he joined the group.

Xander rolled his eye. “Terrific, the one specter I did not need right now,” he complained.

Spike smirked. “Face it, Harris, you can’t get rid of me,” he told the mortal. “Not since I got this fancy gig for the Powers and all that – although the only reason I agreed was to stick it to ol’ peaches,” he added in a conspiratorial tone.

“How exactly does a Balance Vampire work out, Spike?” Xander asked reaching for his Pokeball and taking it from Buffy.

“Now, now, mate, don’t need ta go ruinin’ this tender moment now do we?” Spike asked nervously eyeing the tiny red and white spheroid object.

“You’re immune to Charizard’s Flamethrower,” Buffy reminded.

Xander pouted. “Did you have to say that, I like it when he flinches,” Xander complained.

“Forget it,” Spike interrupted. “Look, the Powers have a special partin’ gift for ya, no strings attached,” he said.

“Somehow I doubt that,” Xander muttered under his breath.

Spike glared at him wishing he still had his duster, but that had dusted when he did back in that alley. “I could really use a fag,” he muttered. “Anyway! They mean it this time, kiddo, you get to take a couple of playmates along to live out the rest of their lives as normal people… or Poke-what-sits,” Spike informed waving his hand at the Pokeball in Xander’s hand.

“What!” Xander and Buffy both blurted at the same time.

“Call it a really big favor owed the kid, after I took over Whistler’s job I got in touch with a few old friends and they figure it wouldn’t be fair to let Xander have all the fun,” Spike said with a grin.

Xander shook his head. “Somehow I don’t buy it,” he said.

Buffy knew who she wanted to send with Xander into the safer dimension. Although she’d probably kill her for even thinking it since she wasn’t a teenager anymore, but damn it at least one of the Summers sisters deserved something for all the grief they’d been through.

“I can read you like a book, Luv,” Spike said. “Little D is already green lit to go even if Sir Harris here don’t fancy takin’ her along,” he added shooting Xander a knowing look.

“I miss the old you,” Xander admitted with a glare.

“Whatever, mate,” Spike said dismissively. “So, who else do ya wanna bring with on your big dimensional relocation thing?” he asked expectantly.

Xander sighed and shook his head. “Willow is out, she’s tied to the Slayers in more ways than one. Buffy will never be free from their grubby little claws no matter how hard I try,” Xander said. “I guess that only leaves one other person besides Dawn who I’d ever consider giving this chance of a better life to – someone who got a rawer deal than Buffy,” he said with a growl.

Buffy nodded. “Faith always did like your Charizard,” she said. Her feelings towards her sister Slayer were much better now than when they’d been in high school. There were the occasional pissing contests, but all in all Faith and she had really mellowed out in their old age. “Is it depressing that I think thirty-seven is old?” she asked.

“Nah.” Xander stared at Spike. “I’m taking Faith and Dawn, but not because the Powers are being so generous,” he said with a warning finger raised. “But because I think they’d benefit the most from traveling to that dimension and maybe even living a little there. Their souls are just as fragile as ours, but I have a few stipulations.”

Spike nodded. “They anticipated that,” he told the pair.

“First, we get regular communications privileges for as long as Buffy, Willow and anybody else we really care about back here is alive.” Xander held up one finger. “Second, Buffy and Willow don’t get overwhelmed by all those creeps the Powers have been digging up from other dimensions to try and kill my Pokemon, and as part of that they have to seal off those dimensions permanently unless they want a royally pissed off Pokemon Master coming after them,” Xander stated holding up a second finger.

“Done and done anything else?” Spike asked with a knowing grin.

“I want your word… Not theirs, Spike! That when I’m gone there’s no calling me back for whatever stupid head trip power plays they try and make in the future,” Xander said holding up a third finger.

Spike frowned briefly at that. “Couldn’t even if they tried,” he revealed. “Some big all powerful type Pokemon has you marked already, they can’t touch you as soon as you go back there,” he added crossing his arms over his chest. “Is that it, it?” he asked.

Xander nodded. “Yep, that’s all I want as my get out of their dimension and don’t come back or let the door hit you in the ass on the way out kind of deal,” he said with a goofy grin.

Spike started to fade. “Sure thing, Harris, you know I always did like you,” he said.

Xander smirked and threw his Pokeball at Spike’s head. “Charizard, I Choose You!” he cried.

Spike’s face widened in fright as the large dragon-like fire type appeared in the almost too small room. “Now wait just a minute there, Harris,” he said nervously.

“Charizard, Fire Blast!” Xander ordered.

Charizard roared and launched a burst of flame at the departing Balance Vampire – Spike cursed as he felt the heat on his body singe some of his clothes before he popped back to the Powers dimension.

Buffy was laughing rolling on the floor laughing like she was a kid again. “That was cruel,” she said.

Xander nodded. “I kinda figured he’d have to go corporeal again before he could leave the place, plus I wanted to leave a lasting impression on his bosses,” he said.

“I’ll miss you,” Buffy told him sobering up quickly.

Charizard eyed them both critically.

“Relax, Charizard, yeesh accept a Pokemon from a girl and you think it’s a commitment or something,” Xander said with a sigh.

Charizard puffed smoke at him and Xander flinched back. Satisfied the Pokemon stretched his wings and flew out of the large open window they’d made to accommodate him for one final Vampire hunt.

“She’s going to be happy to see you again,” Buffy said knowingly.

“Yeah,” Xander said beginning to get a hitch in his throat.

“I’ll go tell Willow, she’ll want to say goodbye,” she said.

Reaching out he grabbed Buffy’s arm and pulled her in tight. They hugged and then Xander pressed his lips to hers in a passionate and long-overdue kiss. “You’ll always have a special place in my heart too, Buffy,” he whispered to the girl.

Fighting the urge to burst out crying the blonde quickly moved back to the doorway. “Tell her from me, if she doesn’t keep you happy over there I’m going to come looking for her,” she warned a gleam of fire in her eyes.

“Oh Delia would love you,” Xander said with a chuckle.

“Darn tootin’,” Buffy agreed.

Xander let her go then and pulled out four more Pokeballs. “How about one last demon hunt for old times sake before we go see mother again?” he asked before tossing them up into the air.

“Fearow!”

“Rai, Rai, Chu!” The electric mouse shouted her cheeks crackling with electricity.

“Venu-Saur!”

“Toise-Blas-Toise!”

Xander grinned and managed to get out of bed. His injuries weren’t as bad as he’d let on, but he liked lounging about in bed whenever the girls were around because – well let’s face it he was still the same old Xander he used to be – just with a few added accessories. “Time to show the Demon world that you don’t mess with a Pokemon Master!” he declared jubilantly pumping his fist into the air.

The End of the Second Part…
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