Mostly Pixie of the X-men, with elements of the Movieverse Angel from X-Men: First Class.
“Jesse, c’mon man, I know you’re still in there,” I begged as I stood between the monster that was once my best friend and Cordelia Chase, a girl who has made my life miserable for years, armed with nothing more than a pointy stick.
“Jesse was an excruciating loser who couldn’t even get a date!” The monster retorted, “And you know the funny thing? He might not have been if he hadn’t been hanging around with you, Fairy-Boy.”
He’s right, Jesse moved to Sunnydale about two years ago and made friends with me before anyone else could warn him away. He had stuck by me, and gotten mocked for it. But that name drove into me like a hot knife through butter. Jesse was one of the only people that had never mocked the ears, the stupid, elf-pointed ears, he’d always understood that it was a sore subject and left it alone.
I didn’t think, if I had I might have remembered what the Librarian had said, when I heard that name I just reacted, like I had done so many times at school. I punched him, a hard right hook that would send even the quarterback to the floor. But the monster wearing Jesse’s face wasn’t a normal, human quarterback, he was a hell of a lot stronger.
He shrugged it off and punched me right back. A hell of a lot harder than Tony Harris ever did too. The force of the blow sent me backwards, bouncing past Cordelia and into the wall.
I raised a hand to my face and worked my jaw, checked that I still had all my teeth before I turned back around. He was laughing.
“You always could take a punch, couldn’t you, Xander?” He mocked as his face changed into something out of a nightmare.
I flinched. Raising my hands instinctively as he charged forwards. Before I knew it I felt resistance on my stake hand before I was covered in ashes. Opening my eyes, he was gone. Dust in the wind.
The Boston accented voice broke me out of my memories, as I turned to the leather clad Slayer.
“Faith?” I queried, we had just met her last night and I had no idea why she would be seeking me out. “What’s up?”
“Wanted to ask you something,” she said casually as she plopped herself down across from me.
We were at the Bronze, where I had been thinking about the night, about two years ago now, when I had first been introduced to the world of magic.
“Ask away,” I waved her on, inviting her to continue.
“What’s your deal?” She asked with interest.
“Yeah, you gay or something?” She continued flippantly.
That got my attention, “What, you’ve heard about my nicknames? Cause they’re all based on the ears.”
“What? Nah, I meant last night, you didn’t look twice at my body, and I know it’s hotter than hell,” she says, looking a little pissed, “Even Wolfboy took a glance and he’s so into Red it isn’t funny. So, why not you?”
“Eh,” I shrug, might as well tell her, “You spend a few months working as a stripper and you realize just how annoying those looks can be.”
“Seriously?” She asked, eyebrows raised, “I didn’t know there was a strip joint in this town. Might have to check it out.”
Smiling, I tell her, “Not here. During the summer I discovered that I was desperately in need of cash, and no place in this town will hire me cause of the ears. So I borrowed my uncle’s car while he’s got the DUI and spent my vacation completely ignoring my sense of shame in Oxnard.”
“Working as a stripper?” She asked, running me over with her eyes, before commenting, “Yeah, I suppose that thing you call a shirt could be hiding a decent bod.”
“Gee, thanks,” I rely sarcastically.
“Y’know,” Faith began, a smirk appearing on her face, “I got a bunch of ones back at my place.”
“Uh-uh,” I told her, shaking my head with a grin, “I’m off the clock. But if you still wanna see the goods then I’m sure we can come to some... other, agreement.”
“I’ll show you mine if you show me yours?” She offered with a sexy grin.
“Y’know,” I say reminiscently, “You’re a lot prettier than the last ones to give me that offer.”
“Really?” Faith asked.
“Oh yeah, last time it was from two guys at the strip club,” I deadpanned, “They were really pushy about it too, I almost had to call security just to get rid of them.”
“Fair enough,” she shrugged, before leaning in closer with a seductive smirk, “So, are we going back to my place or not?”
As we walked back towards Faith’s place, we started talking about Buffy’s gang.
“They didn’t exactly seem happy to see me,” she said offhandedly, “I mean, Red was nervous as hell and B just seemed tense the whole time.”
“Buffy’s had a lot of problems lately, what with her boyfriend dying an all,” I tried to explain, “Besides, if you think that was bad you should have seen it when she met Kendra, at least you two didn’t start fighting. Willow though... she was probably just a little ruffled by you.”
Faith must have seen my expression change when I mentioned Willow’s name, since she stopped suddenly and asked, “What’s the deal with you and Red?”
“...” From the way she was looking at me, I could tell she wouldn’t let it slide, though from boredom or actual interest I’m not sure. I sighed, “Do you remember your first day of kindergarten?” She nodded and I continued, “Do you remember how scared you were, how worried you were that the other kids wouldn’t like you?”
“Yeah,” she agreed, “Was a good day otherwise.”
“Uh-huh, terrifying. Now imagine that when you already know you’re a freak.”
“The ears?” She guessed, “Red laughed?”
“No,” I laughed, “Looking back, that probably would’ve been easier to deal with.”
“So, what?” Faith asked again, getting impatient.
“That first day went better than I ever imagined,” I told her, smiling at the memory, “Everybody wanted to be friends with me. They all thought that I knew Santa Claus or something.”
“Sounds good,” she commented, “So what went wrong?”
“There was one girl, hiding in the corner,” I laughed a bit, “She was scared I was going to tell on her for breaking the yellow crayon. Funny thing, she’s Jewish. She didn’t even know who Santa Claus was at the time. Just that the other kids thought he was important.”
“I’m still not seeing the trauma,” Faith said.
“I made friends with her, and she was so excited, at the end of the day she ran up to her mother and pointed me out to show off her special new friend,” I told her bitterly, “Her mother freaked when she saw the devil-child with the pointed ears.”
“You have no idea,” I sighed, “The next day, word had spread about me amongst the parents, and all the kids were warned away from me. To be honest, I didn’t really notice with most of them, but Willow... I was friends with her, and suddenly she was scared of me.”
“That’s rough,” Faith sympathized, “So, why do you hang out with her then.”
“I don’t, really,” I shrug as we start walking again, “I hang with Buffy, Willow just happens to hang out with her as well.”
“Yeah, what’s going on between you and B anyway,” Faith asked suddenly, giving me a look, “I mean, in my experience, guys and girls are never just friends.”
“Buffy...” I smiled, “Buffy moved here a couple of years ago. She didn’t even blink at the ears, probably the first girl I ever met to do that. I guess I fell kinda hard, but she made it pretty clear that she wasn’t interesting.”
“And what? You just dropped it?” She asked skeptically
“In another life, who knows? Maybe I wouldn’t have given up so easily, but I guess I was just realistic enough to realize that she just didn’t think about me the way I wanted her too, so I backed off.”
We walked in silence for a little while longer, mostly about nothing really, when something occurred to me, “Hey, I just realized, I’ve been talking about myself all night, but I barely know anything about you.”
Faith shrugged and casually said, “Not much to tell you, Mom was a druggie and Dad didn’t stick around. Life was tough, I was dealing, then one night at the start of the summer I get a wicked head rush. Next thing I know I’ve got this British chick teaching me how to fight and I’m busting vampires every night.”
Before I knew it, we’d arrived at the Sunnydale Motor Lodge. I thought it was kinda weird that Faith was staying at a motel, but she told me it was just until her Watcher got back from the retreat thing.
When we reached her room I almost hesitated. Could I really go through with this? Faith wouldn’t be my first, I had lost my virginity over the summer, but could I really do this with a girl I just met?
“Take your pants off,” Faith whispered as she kicked the door shut and her hands roamed beneath my shirt. Well, that answers that moral dilemma.
We had a good time, though I was kinda weirded out when Faith asked me to leave when we were finished. I shrugged it off as her just not being comfortable enough to sleep with me in the literal sense, just because we had sex.
I was a bit surprised though, walking into the school library during lunch, to find Faith talking with Buffy. Giles was over at the counter, looking highly uncomfortable. The girls must have been making him squirm.
“Hello my lovely ladies, what’s the what?” I asked, as I plopped myself down at the table.
“Hey, Xander,” Buffy greeted me a bit awkwardly, I get the feeling Faith’s been making her squirm a bit too, and wow isn’t that a pretty picture? “I’m just filling Faith in on the Slayage situation around here.”
“Xan, I meant to ask you last night, where’d you get that wicked ink?” Faith asked.
“Ink? What ink?” Buffy asked, confused, “Are we talking about pens?”
“Nah, B,” Faith answered, “I meant Xander’s awesome tat.”
“Since when does Xander have a tattoo?”
“Uh, sorry to tell you, Faith,” I confess, ignoring Buffy’s question, “But it’s not a tattoo. The docs told me it was some kind of birthmark.”
“Seriously,” she asked incredulously, “Shit that detailed is a birthmark?”
“I know,” I replied, agreeing with her surprise, “What’s even weirder is that it didn’t show up till I was around thirteen.”
“How does that work?” Buffy asked, “I thought birthmarks where, you know, from birth?”
I shrugged, “I had to go to the hospital for a broken arm a couple of years ago, one of the doctors saw it and ran a couple of tests. Best they could figure was that it had something to do with puberty and hormones.”
“Damn, that shit looked pretty cool too,” Faith complained.
Buffy, who was now staring intently at my face and hands, “If this thing’s so cool and noticeable, how come I’ve never seen it before?”
“Do you want to?” I asked, as Faith smirked playfully out of Buffy’s sight.
“Sure,” she nodded, still looking over my exposed skin.
In accordance with her request, I shrugged off my over shirt as I turned around and pulled off my T-shirt to show her my back. I’d only ever seen the marks in the mirror before, but to me, they always seemed to have a spiderweb pattern, centering in the middle of my back and spreading out in four branches, with the two upper branches coming a bit over my shoulders and the lower ones reaching my hips. Kinda reminded me of a dragonfly’s wings. Unfortunately, a couple of guys from the locker room disagreed.
“Oh,” Buffy stammered in realization, now highly uncomfortable and suddenly shifting looks between me and Faith, “Uh, Faith, when did you see Xander... naked?”
“We spent some time together last night, B,” Faith answered unashamedly, “Did some itch scratching.”
“Oh, well,” I chuckled quietly as Buffy blushed bright red at the mention of sex. I really don’t understand why she’s so weirded out by the subject, I mean, she’s slept with a vampire, a souled one granted but still, weirder than me and Faith. “I’m just going to go scrub my brain and try to forget that I just heard any of that.”
I moved to put my shirt back on as the doors closed behind her when I noticed Giles staring, “Uh, G-man? Flattered I may be, interested I am not.”
“What? No!” He protested vehemently, much to my relief, before he continued faintly, “No, I, uh, just realized, Xander, that, I have known you for over two years now and have never thought to ask you how your ears came to be so... unique.”
Startled by the sudden shift in conversation, I answered automatically, ”Depends on who you ask,” I explain, “I was born with them. Mom always said they were a gift from Heaven, Dad says they’re from the other place. But, when I asked the docs, they just babbled on about mutation and evolution and that kinda stuff. Why?”
“You claim that these... markings revealed themselves when you reached puberty?” Giles pushed.
“Uh, yeah? Giles, what’s going on?”
“What do you know about an individual known as Pan?”
“What, you mean the Goat Guy from Greek Mythology?” I asked, seriously confused, “What does he have to do with anything?”
Giles was looking at me with a scary mix of excitement and curiosity as Faith sat back and tried to figure out what was going on.
“Yes, Xander, the ‘Goat Guy’, as you call him, was an individual who had all of the physical characteristics of a satyr, the horns and hindquarters of a goat and such,” Giles babbled as he tried to explain, “When he appeared he was initially believed to be one of the Gods of Olympus, until his death some two thousand years ago proved him to be mortal.”
“Giles! What does any of this have to do with me?”
“I’m getting to that,” he said patiently, “Pan was mortal, proving him to be neither God nor satyr, nor any other form of divine creature. And his actions left Watchers of the time period confused, as he actively fought to preserve and protect nature.”
“So, he was a hippie, so what?” Faith cut in.
“No, you must understand, that by fighting to defend nature, Pan was, in effect, fighting against the unnatural, in other words, he was fighting against the demonic.”
“So, what? He was some kinda Goat-Man Slayer-Dude?” Faith asked.
“Something like that,” Giles sighed, “Honestly though, the Council has no idea what he truly was, but, over the centuries, there have been others like him, who bare the physical traits of the divine, yet live and die mortal deaths, almost always seen fighting against demons.”
“And what,” I ask, still so very confused, “You think that I’m like this Pan, some kinda male Slayer?”
“No, definitely not,” Giles replied immediately, before launching into explanation, “The Slayer Line is predictable and continuous. At any time, there is always a Slayer and the Council can track those who hold the potential to be Called, Buffy, and you yourself Faith, being exceptions. These... ‘Protectors’, for lack of a more accurate term, are chaotic. Hundreds of years can go by without a sighting, the power is not limited to either gender, and the abilities gained depend entirely upon the person who wields them. There are very few common traits that are shared amongst them, one of them being the markings that appear when they enter adolescents, and even they depend on which divine creature that the individual will emulate.”
“Okay,” I say as calmly as I can manage, “You’re saying that me, Xander Harris, is some kind of mystical warrior that has eluded the Council’s control for millennia?”
“Well, they haven’t completely eluded us, there was a woman back in thirteenth century Norway that the Council managed to converse with,” Giles corrected, “According to the reports she defeated a Kraken that had been terrorizing her peoples’ waters. But, essentially, yes.”
“Well,” I said as my knees buckled and I fell back into a conveniently located chair, “I’m going to need to take a minute here.”
“What’s wrong with you, X?” Faith asked suddenly, “Nothing beats kicking demon ass. And it seems to me like you just got handed a pretty sweet gig.”
“Yeah... yeah,” I replied absently before turning back to Giles, “Okay so here’s what I don’t get, you say that I’m supposed to have these powers that, what, ‘emulate a divine being’? What does that mean?”
“The divine beings are the inhuman creatures who hold immortality, but are still born with souls,” Giles answered, “The individuals I have described to you held abilities and characteristics that mimicked those of a divine being. Pan, for example, emulated the satyrs, and the Norwegian woman the Watcher’s Council found mimicked the traits of a mermaid.”
“Okay, so we have Goat-Man and Fish-Girl, so what copyright am I ripping off? An elf?” I ask, really afraid of the answer.
“The design of your markings, combined with your ears, seem to suggest one of the nature spirits, a, um... pixie, if you will,” Giles replied nervously.
Faith snorted. My jaw dropped in horror.
“Oh, you’ve gotta be kidding me, Watcher-Man,” I begged as Faith fell to the floor, laughing her head off, “I mean, come on, I don’t even have any powers!”
“Yes, I believe that that is because you have yet to require them,” Giles said thoughtfully, completely ignoring my panic, “The Norwegian woman with whom the Watcher’s Council spoke, she told them that her abilities did not awaken until she was caught stranded on a sinking ship and was forced to swim for shore.”
“Giles! I’ve been fighting demons for two years! How, in all of that, could I not have needed Slayer-style powers?”
“Xander, I do not pretend to understand how this particular phenomenon works,” he snapped, “All I know is that you bear all of the markings to suggest that you will develop supernatural abilities at any time.”
Faith, having finally stopped snickering long enough to lend her support, “Still not seeing the problem, X-man. Sounds like you’ll get a cool power-up.”
“Alright,” I resigned myself, but I really, really, hope I’m not going to be Pixie-Guy, “Giles, you said that there are some things that all these guys have?”
“Yes,” he answered, “Aside from the markings, each of them has been able to summon a weapon of incredible power, unique to each individual. Supposedly one that can only harm the demonic, that is said to be forged from their very souls.”
“That doesn’t sound so great,” Faith commented.
“Oh,” Giles replied, somewhat surprised, “Yes, uh, I suppose it does sound rather painful.”
“Oh boy,” I gulped.
I managed to convince Giles not to tell the others for now. I did not want it known that the ‘Fairy-Boy’ crap may have a grain of truth, especially if I don’t even get a decent power up to make the mocking more bearable.
“Can you please stop with the snickering?” I sighed.
“I would,” Faith laughed, as we walked through the graveyard, “If you didn’t keep getting that look on your face whenever anyone mentions pixies and fairies.”
I was following Faith as she did a sweep of the cemeteries before we met up with Buffy at the Bronze.
I grimaced, “Would you please stop that?”
She started laughing again, “C’mon, so what if your mystical shit’s from the pixies. At least you got some, that’s more than most people can say.”
“Ah, but that’s just it,” I reminded her, ‘I don’t have any of the cool powers, but I still have the dorky mystic connection to fairies. Do you have any idea how much this is hurting my manhood?”
I suddenly found myself with a very attractive Slayer moulding herself to my body.
“Well,” she said brazenly, “We wouldn’t want your manhood hurt now, would we?”
My higher brain functions began to diminish as the blood rushed to certain other parts of my anatomy and I found myself stammering, “Ah, really?”
“Eh,” Faith shrugged, “Who knows? All the Slaying tonight, I might get hot enough to go for round two.”
“Well,” I replied, “Here’s the first time I’ve actually wished for a couple of vamps to show up.”
“Well, well, well,” a rough voice spoke behind us, “Look what we have here.”
“Of course,” I deadpanned as we stopped, looking up I continued, “And while we’re on the subject of granting wishes, how about a few million bucks and emancipation?”
“Throw in a sweet ride too,” Faith threw in casually as we turned around to see three vamps coming slowly towards us.
“For Kakistos we live,” the lead vamp said dramatically as I felt Faith tense beside me, “For Kakistos you’ll die!”
“No,” she whispered so softly I’m not even sure I heard it.
The two flanking vamps jumped towards us, snapping Faith out of her trance as she was forced to defend herself. I backed off a bit, letting Faith take the first two while their leader started towards me.
I met him head on, tackling him in the chest and knocking him back. As he tried to recover, I drew a cross from my back pocket and shoved it in his face, forcing him to vamp out and stumble back another few steps.
As he was distracted by pain, I pulled out my stake and moved in to get him in the heart. The stake was inches away from his chest when his hand moved like lightning and grabbed my wrist. His grip was too strong for me to even try to pull free, so I punched him with my left hand, the one still holding the cross.
The second it connected, he flinched in pain at the holy symbol hitting his skull with all my strength. His grip on my wrist loosened enough for me to push the stake in far enough to puncture his heart, and he dissolved into dust.
Turning back to Faith, I saw one of her vamps was already staked, and she was whaling on the other one, saying something I couldn’t make out.
“Faith!” I called, trying to snap her out of it, “Faith, just stake him already!”
She didn’t look up as she continued to beat it into a bloody pulp, “You wanna die for Kakistos?” She yelled as she finally raised her stake and plunged it into the unbeating heart, “Fine!”
“Faith,” I asked quietly, “You okay?”
“Five-by-five, Xan,” she sighed. Gee, why do I get the feeling that’s not true?
I was about to press her for answers, when the sound of clapping caught our attention.
“Now that was a show,” a dark skinned vampire drawled out.
“Trick!” Faith spat.
“Faith,” the vampire greeted with false warmth, “So nice to see you again.”
Motioning with his hands, Faith and I suddenly found ourselves surrounded by about twenty vampires.
“Get her,” Trick ordered, “And make sure you bring her boyfriend too. Kakistos has been cranky lately. He should enjoy killing him in front of her.”
My brain pounded against my skull as I woke up in that incredibly painful way that reminded exactly me why a concussion is a bad thing.
“Your lover is stirring,” a deep, grumbling voice spoke, jolting me awake with a dose of fear induced adrenaline, “Good, now we may begin.”
Looking around, I found myself in an abandoned warehouse, one of the many that seem to exist in Sunnydale, with a pack of vampires. The speaker was already in game face, which is never a good sign, and something seriously messed up was going on with his hands. Faith was behind him, chained in a standing position against the wall, she was crying.
I stood up slowly from my position on the floor, waiting for one of the vamps to attack or finish me off or do whatever it is that they brought me here for.
“Boy!” Big tall and ugly growled, motioning to the chained up Faith he continued, “You are the Slayer’s consort, are you not?”
“Uh,” I stammer, trying to regain my wits as Faith frantically shook her head ‘no’ behind him, “I wouldn’t put it that way exactly...”
“Your scents are intermixed,” he growled threateningly, “You have mated recently. Answer me, Boy, are you the Slayer’s consort?”
“Well, when you put it that way,” I stammer nervously, I figure pissing the guy off any extra might be a bad idea, “I guess you could say that.”
“Dude was a one night lay,” Faith said clearly, rage lacing her voice despite the obvious tears, “We’re not together.”
“Silence!” He yelled as he backhanded her across the face, before he turned back to me and continued in his constant growl, “I give you a choice, Boy. I offer you immortality, I shall even give you the honor of siring you myself. And all you must do to receive this great gift is to kill the Slayer. Your betrayal shall make her death all the more sweet. ”
“What’s option number two,” I answer, automatically dismissing murder and death as any sane individual would do.
Without hesitation, he began to walk towards me and replied, “Then you shall die before her.”
As soon as he got within two steps of me I moved. I ducked under his arms and ran around him before sprinting towards Faith.
“Xander, run!” She yelled as I got to her and started fumbling with the chains, only to realize they were locked and I was lacking a skeleton key.
Hearing growling behind me, I turned to face the vamp who was now running towards me. I ran to the side, diving, I hit the ground rolling, my hands frantically reaching out for something, anything that could help me against this guy.
As I crawled back up to the wall, my right hand fell onto something wooden and solid. And as the monster bore down on me, I acted. My arm shooting out at his chest to bury the makeshift stake into his heart. My aim was true, and the point sank into his leathery hide, but the monster didn’t turn to ashes and die like every other vampire I’d ever seen.
Seeing my look of confusion and terror, the creature before laughed, “Boy, I am Kakistos, the Worst of the Worst. My hide cannot be penetrated by such a measly instrument.”
That’s not good.
As Kakistos took the time to throw his head back and laugh maniacally in the way that all villains do, I dove to the side for a third time and found myself in front of Faith again.
I found myself a few steps away from Kakistos as I stood between him and Faith, wishing desperately for a weapon. For anything that could help me. Because otherwise, I knew that Faith and I would soon be wishing for death.
In the back of my mind, I noticed as the skin on my back started to itch, and if I were paying more attention I might have noticed that it was only the skin covered by the markings that was affected. But all I noticed was a sense of pressure deep within me as I felt something that can only be described as my soul take shape and physical form.
In an instant, there was a weight in my right hand, along with a feeling of... completeness that I had never before experienced. The itching on my back had disappeared, as I felt four somethings unfold from the skin. Without looking down, I adjusted my grip on the thing in my hand and jumped forward. My new limbs began to move before I even left the ground, adding power and height to my leap.
Kakistos’ look of shock, right before he dusted with an unearthly scream, as he found himself with a glowing white dagger embedded to the hilt in the center of his forehead, is one that I’ll always treasure.
After Kakistos was gone, the majority of his followers decided that the whole ‘For Kakistos we risk our lives’ thing was kinda moot and bolted. The morons who were undecided on the subject were dragged off by the more intelligent of their number.
As I turned back round to face Faith, I saw the look of awe on her face and was confused by it, “You killed him,” she whispered as though she could hardly let herself believe it, “He’s gone.”
She repeated that a few times as I used my nifty new knife to cut through her chains, the glowing light passing easily through the rusted metal.
“Faith?” I asked as soon as she was free, twitching my extra limbs behind me I continued, “Aren’t you even going to comment on the new look?”
“Wings make you look like Tinkerbell,” she bantered absently, as she rubbed her wrists, “Cool knife though.”
“Dagger,” I can’t really explain why I made the distinction, but I did know that it was important, “You okay though?”
“He’s gone,” Faith repeated, “He’s really gone.”
“Uh, you kinda said that already.”
“My Watcher’s not on a retreat,” she admitted faintly, as tears made a reappearance, trailing down her face, much to my surprise, “He killed her. He was gonna kill me too but I escaped. Chased me all the way here to SunnyD. Thought he was gonna kill us both just now.”
The admission shocked me. That she had been through so much, even chased across the entire continent by a monster, in just a few short weeks was astounding to me.
“Hey Faith,” I try to comfort her, “It’s okay, he’s gone now. You can let it go.”
“Yeah, sure, just give me a minute to process everything,” she replied as she wiped the tears from her eyes.
“So,” Faith began, a smirk returning to her face, “I guess G was right, huh?”
“What?” I ask, before I take a look over my shoulder at my new wings, “Right, he’ll be happy, though I’ll never be able to live this down.”
“Eh,” she shrugged, “At least now you’ve got a sweet knife out of the deal.”
“Not a knife,” I correct her again automatically, not really knowing why.
“Looks like a knife to me,” she replied.
“Well it isn’t,” I tell her childishly, raising the weapon to shoulder level and taking its glowing form in I continue, “This baby here is my Soul Dagger.”
With the danger gone, I kinda just... willed the Soul Dagger and the wings away. The dagger dissolved, and I think I felt myself reabsorb it or something, the wings just lay themselves flat against my back and kinda melted into my skin, returning to the strange markings that they had been.
Faith and I walked out of the warehouse, carefully keeping an eye out for any vamps, with the condition we were in I’m pretty sure a fledgeling could’ve taken us, and I decided to walk Faith back to her place before heading home.
Since it was already past midnight, and Kakistos was already dead and everything, we figured we’d wait till morning to fill Giles and the rest of the gang in on what had happened.
On our way through the streets, Faith and I started talking in earnest. She told me how hard it had been for her growing up with a mother whose dates often considered her to be a part of the deal. And I told her about my life, living with a father who considered me to be a devil-child just cause I was born different and how I had spent most of my younger years fighting off like-minded classmates.
Eventually, when we reached Faith’s room, we just stood awkwardly at the door. Neither one of us really knowing what to do.
“Hey, Xander,” Faith began, surprisingly awkwardly for her, “Why don’t you stay here for the night?”
“Are you sure?” I asked, “I mean, after everything you’ve told me...”
“Nah, it’s okay,” she said, as she leaned in and kissed me, “I want you to.”
“Well,” I stuttered, wide-eyed from the kiss, “I can’t argue with that logic.”
“Thought you already knew, Xan,” Faith chided with a playful smirk on her face, right before she pulled me in for a much more... enthusiastic kiss. Breaking it, she finished, “You don’t argue with me.”
The next morning I slowly drifted back into consciousness with a sleeping Slayer in my arms. Without waking her, I moved a bit so that I could get a look at the clock on her bedside table. Shit.
“Faith,” I whisper softly as I try to shake her awake, “Faith, wake up.”
“Huh?” She mumbled incoherently, “Y’ready for round two?”
“As much fun as that sounds,” I say with a grin, “If I don’t leave now I’m going to be late for school.”
“So be late,” she mumbled again, “School sucks anyway.”
“Agreed, but Snyder already hates me and I don’t want to give him an excuse to lock me away in detention for the rest of my natural born life.”
“Fine,” she grumbled, “See you at lunch, maybe.”
“You’re not coming with?” I ask, scandalized.
“You’re stuck in school,” she reminded me, her eyes still closed as she smirked, “I’m sleeping.”
“No fair,” I grumble as I start moving around the room, retrieving clothes from the oddest places. How the hell did my pants end up on the ceiling fan?
“Later,” she said as I ran out the door, calling out my own hurried farewells over my shoulder.
I didn’t even notice, when my feet led me, instead of straight through the street, but to a flight of stairs leading to the second floor of the Sunnydale Motor Lodge, until I was running across the balcony, rapidly running out of floorspace.
Before I reached the end I felt the itching from last night, right before I killed Kakistos, as my wings unfolded themselves from my skin and rose through my still ripped shirt. They were already beating when I jumped onto the banister and dove straight forwards, and only beat faster when I found myself airborne.
I was actually surprised when, instead of falling straight down on to the unforgiving tarmac of the parking lot, I found myself rise higher into the air.
Hovering for a moment, taking in the fact that I was actually flying, there was only one thing I could say, “Whoa.”
I had to fly home first to change but I still just managed to get to school before the bell. Though my science teacher still gave me the evil eye as I walked in while it was still ringing, I technically wasn’t late.
Buffy didn’t say anything about me coming in late, I normally did anyway, but she did pull me aside to find out why I hadn’t shown for the Bronze.
“It’s kinda personal,” I told her when she pressed.
“You don’t trust me?” Buffy asked.
“I do, but it’s not just personal to me,” I explained hurriedly, “I’ll explain my side of it after school, but if you want the full story you’ll have to ask Faith.”
“Fine,” she grumbled, she always hates hit when anyone hides something from her, “But it better be good. And this meeting better not be including any amounts of nudity like our last little gathering.”
“Uh... heh, no problem,” I laughed awkwardly, maybe I’ll leave the end of the night out when I tell the story.
“How come I don’t get to fly?” Buffy pouted, “I wanna fly.”
We were in the library. School had just ended and I was just telling the group about my new powers.
“No Buff,” I sigh, “Instead, you get to be so strong that you can bench press a car.”
“Flying sounds like more fun,” she continued to pout.
“Uh, yes,” Giles stammered. At least he didn’t say ‘I told you so’, “I’ve always imagined flight to be a rather exhilarating experience.”
“I’m sorry,” Cordelia cut in, “Am I the only one who noticed that Fairy-Boy over there, really is some kind of pixie thing?”
She hadn’t stopped snickering ever since Giles had mentioned that.
“Yes, Cordelia,” I answered with gritted teeth, “It’s all very funny. Now will you please stop bringing it up?”
“Fine,” she resigned, returning to her nail file, “Spoil my fun.”
“What about the weapon?” Giles asked.
“You said something about a weapon?” Buffy perked up immediately. The thought of a new implement of death and destruction to play with filling her heart with joy.
“Dusted Kakistos no problem,” Faith answered easily, “Didn’t even need to hit the heart or cut of his head. Just got him right between the eyes and he’s gone.”
“Really? It’s that powerful?” Giles asked, “And what form did it take?”
“Gimme a second,” I answered, “I’ll try to summon it.”
I focused intensely for a moment, trying to reclaim the feelings I had last night when I initially brought forth the dagger. In seconds, a bright light coalesced in my hand, forming the shape of a dagger, still glowing softly as it solidified.
“Incredible,” Giles breathed.
“Shiny,” Buffy’s eyes glazed over.
“Cool,” Oz commented.
“Giles, do you think you can teach me how to use this thing?” I asked.
“Oh?” He snapped out of his musings at my question, “I suppose I could teach you the basics, but my time will likely be filled training Buffy and, now Faith as well.”
“My Watcher already taught me about knife fighting. I can teach ya a little about it,” Faith offered with a smirk, “If you’re game that is.”
“Oh, I’m game,” I replied, “I’m thinking it would be less embarrassing to be taught by the librarian rather than the teenage girl, but I’m game.”
“Yes, well, be that as it may,” Giles spoke up, “Perhaps we should examine exactly how your new abilities can aid us in our fight. Xander, do you think that you may be able to carry passengers?”
I shrug, “I’ve only been flying once, haven’t gotten the chance to see the limits. I might be able too but I’m not sure.”
“Very well then,” Giles replied, “Perhaps, we should take this opportunity to test your capabilities?”
“Why not? Anyone wanna volunteer to be the first passenger of Air Xander?” I ask, looking over the gang.
“Sounds fun,” Buffy jumped up, “But Xander, if you try anything while my feet are off the ground I’ll move you to the slay list.”
“You’re no fun, you know that?” I tell her as I start removing my shirt.
“What are you doing?” She squeaked, “You said no more nudity!”
“That was before you guys asked me to fly,” I explain, pulling off my T-shirt as I talk to expose my back, “I am not wrecking another shirt just to do this.”
“Y’know,” Buffy said awkwardly, “Maybe it’d be best if I didn’t go flying. I get airsick!”
“Your loss, B,” Faith shrugged as she stood up to take her place.
Jumping into my arms, forcing me to catch her, she called, “Let’s go Flyboy!”
“Oh, this is gonna be tricky,” I hissed as I my wings started to beat. They were moving so fast I couldn’t even track them by the time we started to rise.
“Looks like I can carry people,” I said as we hovered above their heads, “Just takes a lot more work.”
“You calling me fat?” Faith poked me in the shoulder, eyebrow raised menacingly.
“Nope, I’m calling the wings weak,” I banter as I start to lower us.
Touching back down to the ground, I ignored the several awestruck faces as I set Faith back to her feet.
“Fun ride,” she commented offhandedly, “The one last night was better though.”
“You have no shame, you know that?” I told her, pointedly ignoring the faces which were now blushing.
“This coming from the stripper?”
“Why?” I beg.
“Why not?” She answers, as she pulls me into a kiss.
Gotta say, I still can’t find a single flaw in her logic.
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