Memories and Lies
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any of its related characters or media, I also do not own Predator or any of the characters or related media they belong to whoever owns them. I do not own True Lies or any of the characters or related media connected to it they belong to whoever owns them.
Pairing: Xander/Faith (Dana Tasker)
Notes: Alternate Season 2 and 3, with changes in who Xander went as on Halloween and the true identity of Faith being Dana Tasker from the movie True Lies, Everything else in the show happened up to the point where the story starts. There will be no changes to the Buffy characters or history if I can help it, although I have had to create some new background to Poncho from Predator, so please enjoy this.
Summary: The arrival of Faith the Vampire Slayer who has a hidden past, which is connected to Xander's Halloween memories, causes a whole new problem for the gang.
(Sunnydale, Behind the Bronze 1998)
The gang rushed out after the vampire and the girl he had picked up in the club. Buffy was in the lead with Xander and Willow right behind her and Oz bringing up the rear. They came to a dead stop as they watched the girl twist her way out of the vampire's grip and begin to wail on it with speed and power they were used to see from Buffy. The vampire was then flipped onto its back with real force.
"Stake?" She demanded, glancing up at them and freezing Xander in place as he recognized the girl or at least seemed to.
Buffy automatically threw the girl the stake she had in her hand and they watched as the dark haired girl turned and quickly dusted the vampire, who was just about to get back up. The girl then turned back to them with a cocky smile on her face.
"Thanks B," she said, throwing the stake back to Buffy.
"I think it's clear we have a new Slayer in town," Oz said with a small smile, having quickly worked it out and quickly pointing it out to the others, although Buffy looked a little shocked at this.
"Name's Faith, nice to meet you," the girl introduced herself still with the cocky smile in place.
Xander however was still trying to shake off the memories her face was bringing up. He had fought long and hard to bury the memories he had acquired during Halloween the year before. He knew that face and he doubted she had a twin, yet she had identified herself as Faith and not Dana Tasker. So what the hell was going on? As he met the eyes of the girl for the first time he knew in his heart it was Dana and with that confirmation the memories of Poncho came flooding back, starting with how he had gotten them in the first place.
(Sunnydale, Halloween night 1997)
Xander Harris collapsed to the floor in agony as Ethan Rayne completed his spell to change everyone into their costumes. Around him everyone else who had taken a costume from his shop also collapsed and began to change. Xander screamed as he felt himself slip away as if he was being painfully extracted from his own body. His last conscious thought was that he hoped his friends were okay.
A few minutes later Jorge "Poncho" Ramirez stood up and looked around in complete shock as he took in the town he was in. The last memory he had was leaning against his friend and platoon commander Alan "Dutch" Schaefer, also known as Harry Tasker although he was one of the few who knew that, with a couple of broken ribs and terrified out of his mind as they were hunted by something out of this world. It had killed every last one of their friends and team mates in ways that were beyond anything he had ever seen before, only Anna, a guerrilla they had captured, was still alive with them.
Now he found himself in what looked like an American town halfway across the world, it wasn't possible to just suddenly be somewhere else he knew that and yet here he was. Another thing he quickly noted was the fact he did not have any broken ribs and could move just fine, none of this made sense to him and confused the hell out of him.
‘What the hell is going on?' he wondered, as he continued to look around before hearing a scream and turning around was stunned again as he saw what could only be described as monsters running around. "Shit," he cursed as he brought his weapon and began to fire.
His aim was accurate, but the bullets seemed to have little effect on the things, except to scare them off the woman they had been chasing. The woman ignored him and continued to run away.
‘What the hell is going on?' he repeated in his head even more confused than he had been before. ‘And for that matter, if I am here, where are Dutch and Anna?' he added, as he headed off in search of some answers.
As he moved through the town he continued to see strange monsters and other things, including a guy who for some reason was dressed as a pirate. He had been forced to knock the guy out as he tried to assault another young woman. The strange thing was he had felt really satisfied after hitting the guy, even though he had never laid eyes on him before. It was almost like one would feel at finally getting back at ones tormentor. He was getting more and more confused as time went on. He checked his ammo and found he was down to half a clip and only had one spare on him which was not so good.
"Xander, thank god I found you," a young red headed girl said, who suddenly appeared in front of him.
He raised his eyebrow at what she had called him, before getting a little distracted by the clothes she was wearing. He angrily shook his head and reminded himself she seemed to be a teenager and he was anything but that.
"Sorry Miss you must have me confused with someone else, as my name is Jorge Ramirez or ‘Poncho' which is my nickname," Poncho responded. "Now what the hell is going on here?" he demanded to know, hoping this girl might have some useful intel.
"Xander stop messing around," Willow shot back, slapping him on the arm and looking very put out. "We don't have time, we are in real trouble here and Buffy is missing," she vented.
"I am telling you lady my name is Poncho not Xander," Poncho argued, not understanding why she insisted on calling him that.
Willow frowned as she heard the response and then a creeping suspicion rose up in her mind as to what had happened. It would also explain why she had found herself as a ghost which she thought had been an isolated incident. If she was right then they were in even bigger trouble than she had first assumed they were. How was she going to explain this to the person in front of her who would probably thought she was insane.
"Ok listen and listen well, because what I'm about to tell you is the truth and while it might sound insane take a look around you and see for yourself," Willow said. "This town, we are in, is Sunnydale California, it is the home of what is called a Hellmouth, which is a portal to hell, demons and monsters exist and so does magic," she began to explain before being cut off, just as she expected to be.
"Do you think I am stupid lady?" Poncho interrupted her with a dark frown, before he looked around and saw the evidence running around them. "There must be another explanation," he argued desperately for something far more believable than what he had just been told.
"Sorry I'm afraid not, I know how you feel believe me, when Xander and myself found out the truth we had a nice breakdown over the fact," Willow told him with an understanding look. "Now my name is Willow and yours is Xander. Tonight is Halloween and somehow we have all ended up as our costumes and I am afraid to say you don't belong here," she informed him, knowing this was going to hurt and his face quickly went white "You are like a spirit in my friend's body and I am a ghost which is what I dressed up as," she continued to explain.
Poncho wanted to argue and scream at this, but found himself reaching out and running his hand right through her body, which confirmed exactly what she had just told him. He collapsed to his knees and ran a hand through his hair in shock. It had to be true he realized, all of it and that meant this was not his body and in all likely hood he was dead, killed by the Predator that had been hunting him and his team.
He felt sick and wanted to throw up, but he managed to control himself and stood back up. He wondered if Dutch and Anna had managed to escape and hoped it was so. He guessed he had been killed just after they had heard Billy scream which is why his last memory was turning around and leaning against Dutch in terror with Anna by their side. He wondered if it had been a painless death, considering he did not remember being hit.
"I know what I just told you has to be a shock Poncho," Willow said, placing a hand on his arm or at least attempted to. "I know you must have hundreds of thoughts running through your head, but I need you to focus. I need your help to find Buffy another of our friends," she told him. "She is going to be in real danger considering she dressed as something completely useless and if we don't do something, she could die," she added.
Poncho listened to Willow and decided that while he was here, he might as well do something useful and so he pushed all thoughts of his death and those of his friends out of his head and focused on what was going on in front of him.
"Ok Willow. I'll help," he told her which earned him a small smile. "Now where is this Buffy likely to be, where did you see her last?" he asked, hoping for a good place to start their search.
"The last time I saw Buffy she was heading for West Avenue," Willow answered. "Which is close to her home, follow me," she added, turned and headed off.
"Whilst we go I don't suppose you can explain how it is there are a ton of monsters running around this town right now?" Poncho inquired, keeping a close eye around them.
"Most of them are not really monsters, but kids who dressed as monsters for Halloween," Willow answered. "Whoever did this has a real sick sense of humor," she added darkly. "I just hope it can be reversed as I do not want to be a ghost and no offense, but I want Xander back," she stated glancing at him.
"I can understand your desire Willow, so no offense taken," Poncho responded with a smile, easily understanding her desire to have her friend back and if he was not mistaken maybe a lover.
He could easily see the look in the girl's eyes as she glanced at his body. She either had a crush on this Xander or was in a relationship with him. This made him think of his own wife Marie and he suddenly realized she probably thought him dead, well in some way that was true he guessed, but that just made him feel even sicker than he had been. He hoped she had been able to move on and continue to live. At least she still had their two children to care for.
He had always known that one day he may not come back from one of the missions their team went on, but he had hoped he could reach a point where he could retire. He had shared this hope with Dutch and Blain who were also married. He guessed none of them would achieve it, unless Dutch had survived somehow. Like him Dutch or Harry as he was really called had a child, a young girl of thirteen called Dana. It was sad to think that the Predator had taken it all away from them and he still had no clue why the thing had attacked them. Shaking his head he fought off the memories and took another look around.
"Thank god, look there's Buffy," Willow's pleased and relieved voice quickly brought his attention back to where they were going and he noted another young girl standing close by and screaming.
He rushed over to ensure she was okay followed by Willow who quickly tried to calm the girl down. Not an easy thing to do as a ghost he considered, as she could not touch the other girl.
"Demon, demon," the girl suddenly screamed, pointing behind him and he quickly spun around and brought his weapon up to fire only to pause as he realized the girl was pointing at a car that was driving by.
"Is the girl crazy?" he asked with a raised eyebrow as he glanced back at Willow.
"She dressed as an 18th century noble woman and has never seen a car before," Willow explained somewhat amused by this. "Must be quite a shock to her if you consider it," she added.
Poncho considered that for a moment before conceding the point. He then watched as Willow finally managed to get the girl to stop screaming which was not easy.
"Ok now what?" he asked, opening fire on a couple of approaching monsters which scared them away.
"First we have to get somewhere safe and then I should go and find Giles and hope he can help us end this," Willow answered after thinking it over. "Follow me, Buffy's house is close by," she told him.
"My house is nowhere near this hovel of a town you Trollop," Buffy complained as Poncho grabbed her and made sure she kept up with them. "I live in a mansion," she added, looking down her nose at Willow.
Willow saw red as Buffy called her a Trollop and really wanted to hit her before she remembered that this Buffy was not her friend, plus she was a ghost and thus couldn't hit her.
They finally reached the house and quickly entered only to find no one was home, which Willow seemed relieved about. She quickly explained that Buffy's mom had no idea about the truth which seemed wrong to Poncho. It could end up getting her killed, Willow watched as Buffy picked up a picture and they both moved over to look at it and noted it was of the three of them smiling in a park.
"I take it this is Xander?" Poncho said, pointing at the lone male in the picture.
"Yeah, he's been my best friend since childhood," Willow answered with a large smile. "We've been through everything together," she explained. "Buffy came here last year," she pointed out.
"I don't believe this, it is a trick," Buffy shouted, dropping the picture which Poncho just caught in time to prevent it from being smashed on the ground.
"It's no trick Buffy, it's the truth," Willow said calmly, just before a loud scream was heard from outside.
Poncho watched in surprise as Willow ran right through the wall before returning a second or two later, she seemed very concerned.
"Cordelia is in trouble, she needs help," Willow told him pointing outside.
Poncho didn't hesitate and quickly ran back outside and it took him only a few seconds to locate the girl in question. She was being chased by a huge looking dog beast. He quickly took aim and began to open fire on the thing, Cordelia screamed again before realizing who was shooting and quickly headed in his direction.
He did not stop firing until his clip ran out of bullets and the dog beast changed direction and ran off. He took a quick look around before running back inside to find Willow arguing with the new girl.
"Hey, knock it off," he yelled easily, causing them to shut up and Buffy to jump in surprise at his loud tone. "We have bigger concerns going on here, so put your problems on hold. I only have one clip left and then we are shit out of luck," he added with a frown.
"Who made you the person in charge, geek?" Cordelia spat, being clearly angered by his tone. "And what the hell is going on?" she demanded to know turning back to Willow.
"Ok you explain what is going on to Cordelia and I am going to go find Giles and hope he can help stop this, before anyone truly gets hurt," Willow said. "Just keep an eye on Buffy," she added before running back out through the wall.
"Well geek boy, what's the story?" Cordelia said turning an icy glare on him.
"Don't call me a geek or I'll put you over my knee and spank you," Poncho found himself saying in response somewhat surprised by the heated almost flirty reply he had just given.
By the look on Cordelia's face she had just been as surprised as he. He noted a small blush appearing on her face as well. Maybe he had been wrong about Xander being in a relationship with Willow. Perhaps he was getting close to this girl in front of him. Before either of them could say anything else they spun around as someone ran into the house from the back entrance. The guy looked at least twenty five, but he was quickly at Buffy's side asking her if she was okay, whilst Buffy backed away in fear.
"Get away from her," Poncho spat, bringing his weapon up and pointing it at him. "Or I will blow your head into pieces," he warned.
"Xander knock it off, we don't have time for this," Angel responded, rolling his eyes at the threat. "It is complete chaos out there," he continued.
"You know me?" Poncho inquired lowering his weapon slightly. "Or at least the guy I am supposed to be?" he asked again.
"Of course I know you Xander," Angel replied. "And what do you mean, the guy you are supposed to be?" he asked wanting to know what was going on.
"According to Willow nearly everyone tonight has been changed into their costumes," Poncho explained. "For some reason Cordelia has not been," he added thoughtfully. "That is why it is chaos outside," he pointed out.
"Are you high Xander, that makes no sense," Cordelia butted in. "How the hell could something like that happen?" she demanded to know, doing her best to ignore the moment that had just happened between her and Xander before Angel turned up.
"Magic, it was most likely a spell," Angel cut in before Poncho could answer. "Considering what you have seen already Cordelia I am surprised you are so close minded to this possibility," he stated.
"Good point," Cordelia reluctantly agreed somewhat sheepishly.
"Anyway help us lock this house down. Willow should be back soon," Poncho ordered. "Take Buffy with you, Cordelia can help me," he added as he turned and headed upstairs.
Angel nodded and quickly headed to check the back door he had come through with Buffy at his side. He paused as he noted it was open and approached it cautiously. He was quickly attacked by a vampire and a fight broke out. He managed to knock it to the ground, but he had allowed his vampiric face to emerge so that when he turned around to ask for a stake from Buffy she screamed and ran off.
Poncho quickly appeared demanding to know what had happened as Angel finished off the vampire after breaking off a piece of wood from a nearby counter, it was a tense exchange, but they quickly set out to search after Buffy.
Willow met them just as they managed to track down Buffy, who was about to be attacked by the same pirate who Poncho had dealt with before. He quickly head butted the man and then followed it up with a right hand that knocked the man out cold.
"I don't know why, but knocking that guy out is so satisfying," Poncho couldn't help to say, as Willow told them what she had found out from Giles.
Willow suddenly looked afraid as she pointed at a large group of vampires coming towards them. Led by someone Angel called Spike. Poncho quickly unloaded his last clip into the approaching horde, putting several of them down. Granted they did not die or dust, but they rolled around in clear pain. He cursed as he heard his gun run out of ammo.
He backed off and followed the others into a warehouse only to find it a dead end. He cursed and turned to find they were now surrounded. A few seconds later a huge fight broke out as Spike went to grab Buffy. Angel lunged at him and Poncho had had been looking for an opening quickly followed. Spike growled as he wrestled with his sire, wanting nothing more than to stake him. Angel easily blocked his attempted attacks and did what he could to keep Spike away from Buffy, who cowered in the corner.
A few minutes later the spell was broken and Xander found himself fighting a vampire and what was strange was he was holding his own. Buffy quickly swept into action now that she was back in control of herself and quickly removed the wig she had been wearing. The remaining vampires quickly followed their leader into fleeing the scene. Xander watched the vampire he was fighting quickly retreat as well.
It would be during the night as he tried to sleep that he began to realize that the memories of Poncho remained with him. He would see himself in the jungle being hunted by an unknown Predator and watched as his friends were cut down one by one. It would not be the only time he awoke terrified and disturbed by those particular memories and it would be some time before he began to put it behind him.
(Sunnydale, Behind the Bronze 1998)
Xander shook his head and broke the eye contact he had been sharing with Faith, his faraway look went unnoticed by everyone bar Willow, who wondered what was wrong with her friend. Buffy quickly introduced the group and then decided to take Faith to see Giles. Xander followed quietly still wondering what in the hell Dana Tasker was doing in Sunnydale and even worse was, what he was he going to do about it?
He doubted Harry knew where his daughter was and worse he doubted he was in the know about what she had become. He decided he would have to talk to Faith tomorrow and see what was going on. He would hold off on contacting Harry, granted it was not like Harry knew about him anyway, as he had held off on getting in touch with the guy as he knew his story would not be believed easily. Depending on how his conversation with Faith went tomorrow, that may have to change. He hoped Harry was going to be in a good mood and would actually listen to him before he hit him, which he was sure he was going to end up doing.