For a long time now, I’ve been... different, than everyone else. I don’t know how it works, or why I can do it, but if I concentrate hard enough, then my vision shifts, and suddenly everything takes on a new perspective. It’s kind of like looking through the world through night-vision goggles, only everything is tinged with red instead of green. I freaked completely when I did in front of a mirror for the first time, my eyes had changed, the iris had turned black, and everything else had turned blood red. I did my best to keep it hidden, I had seen to much sci-fi to trust myself to the hands of the government.
When Buffy came to town and I found out about vampires and magic, I did a little research. Then I realized that all of the useful books were written mostly in either Latin, or other languages that I’d never even heard of and asked Giles instead. I told him that I had seen something that looked human except for its weird red-on-black eyes and asked him what it was.
“A demon, clearly,” he told me stiffly, “One of the Lebeau Clan most likely.”
“Lebeau Clan?” I ask, “Are they dangerous?”
“If provoked, certainly,” Giles explained, “They are generally a neutral force in the broader view of the world, the Council has a sort of ‘Live and let live’ policy with them, although they do occasionally contract them to acquire powerful artifacts once negotiations have failed.”
“Acquire? What, are they mercenaries or something?”
“Of a sort, I suppose. The majority of the population formed the Thieves Guild almost a millennia ago in France,” the Englishman elaborated, “They will steal most anything for the right price.”
“So, not evil or to be slain by Buffy?” I ask him, somewhat hopefully.
“No, they have a rather strict moral code concerning the taking of a life. In fact it is widely believed in supernatural circles that the phrase ‘Honor among Thieves’ is based on them.”
“Anything else to watch out for?”
“Hmm? One moment,” Giles disappeared into the stacks for a few moments, returning with an open book, “Ah, yes, I’d almost forgotten, they have several natural abilities, most of which aid them in their thieving professions, that one should be wary of should you be confronted with one.”
“Uh, they are quite agile, very difficult to pin down in a fight, they also have a rather unique ability to excite the magic within an object through skin contact, causing it to combust rather violently.”
“They can blow stuff up?” I ask in awe, why can’t I do that?
“Yes, although this ability completely negates any magical potential they may have inherited from their mothers. They actually tend to disrupt any magic used against them because of this, very useful when they need to bypass security spells,” he elaborated, offhandedly.
“Mothers? What about the fathers?”
“The species is entirely male,” Giles explained, “They seduce mortal women and use them to carry on their line. It is believed that this habit is what caused them to be hunted as Incubi until they fled their native France and integrated into the Cajun community several centuries ago, although their other abilities did fit the part rather well.” He finished thoughtfully.
“Incubi?” I asked, shocked, I was a thieving sex demon? Cool! “Wait, what other powers?”
“Hypnosis,” He stated, simply, “It is believed that by making direct eye contact, they can literally charm humans into trusting them completely, though that is thankfully the extent of their mental capabilities.”
“So, if I see the demon again, I should watch my wallet and keep an eye on the girls and all will be fine?” I sum up.
“Yes, though if you do see him again, please try and learn what it is he is searching for here in Sunnydale, it is possible that the Watchers may want to put in a bid.”
I left after that to try and digest what I had just learned. I was a demon. From a neutral thief clan who liked to seduce women and could blow stuff up by touching them. Gotta say though, it does make sense, I mean my mother is Cajun, I’m pretty sure that’s where she came up with ‘Lavelle’. Maybe she cheated on Tony at some point before they moved to good old Sunny Hell, California.
It could also explain how I learned how to pick locks before I was ten years old. Pretty much the smartest thing that Tony does each day is stroll through the house and lock all the doors and windows at sunset, so I had to learn how to break in without drawing dear old Dad’s attention or else sleep outside. These days I can get pretty much make any ordinary lock sing under my gentle touch with a few of Willow’s stolen bobby pins.
I decided not to tell the others. After the Hyena thing a month ago I’m pretty sure that this would pretty much destroy any trust that Buffy had in me and Willow, well, I love that girl but she cannot keep a secret, and this one is a doozy. Giles... I don’t know. He could probably help me figure out how to use my powers, and he hasn’t told the girls about me remembering everything I did under the Hyena’s influence. Then again, that was a matter that was done and dusted, this was something else entirely, and it kinda is his job to tell Buffy about supernatural goings on.
So I kept it hidden. I still used the weird ‘energy vision’ to help me see at night, but only when the others wouldn’t see my eyes shift. I decided that I didn’t actually have the powers yet, so really the only thing that telling them would accomplish would be to risk being alienated. I tried to access my abilities, but, according to the books, they wouldn’t activate until ‘a time when I most need them.’ I hate magic.
They eventually did, half of them at least, the night the Master tried to rise. I heard the prophecy, that Buffy would die in the Master’s cavern, and I knew that I had to do something, that I couldn’t just sit here while someone I cared about walked to her death. Problem was that I had absolutely no clue where the cavern was, but I knew someone who did.
Shoving a cross in Angel’s face was so satisfying, “I don’t like you. At the end of the day I pretty much think your a vampire. But Buffy’s got this big old yen for ya. She thinks that your a real person, and right now, I need you to prove her right.”
As I spoke, I poured every ounce of determination I had into it. I needed him to trust that we had a shot of saving her. I needed him to trust that we could defy prophecy even though it had never been done before. I needed him to trust me. I noticed my vision shift, showing my true eyes for just a second. And it worked, I had convinced him, given him the push he needed to do what was right. Great, now I just need to follow him through the sewers to the lair of the most powerful vampire in the world in order to defy a prophecy made centuries ago, and then kill him before he brings Hell to Earth. You know, this sounded like a much better idea when I thought of it.
In the end, we did save her. We found her laying face down in the pool, but I managed to bring her back with CPR, thank God for health class, and she managed to put the beat down on the Master while Angel and I held off the minions and the others were apparently in the library fighting some tentacle monster. Even Cordelia helped out, something that was most likely a sign of the, now thwarted, Apocalypse.
Angel never did say anything about my eyes, maybe part of the charm is to make people forget about them or something? So I guess that he wasn’t too bad of a guy, you know, if you ignore the fact that I FOUND HIM SITTING AT HOME WHILE HIS GIRLFRIEND WENT TO HER DEATH!!! Well, that and the whole ‘vampire older then the country dating a sixteen year old’ thing.
But, hey, everything worked out, Buffy is still among the living (though her boyfriend isn’t!), the world is safe and, according to Giles, with the Master out of commission, it will take a while for the vamp population to recover, so things might actually be quiet on the Hellmouth (which turned out to be under the high school, I knew it! I’ve been telling Willow for years that school is Hell and this finally proves it!). At least for a while anyway.
Things are bad, so very very bad on the Hellmouth. Things were weird to start with with Frankensteins and incredibly hot Mummy Girls, Frat Guys that were sacrificing girls to a snake demon, Halloween Chaos spells, Giles’ old buddies coming to town and trying to kill him, (Turns out he’d been a punk when he was younger, which is weird because I always pictured him as just popping into existence at the age of thirty), evil eggs and even robots.
We even found out that there’s a second Slayer! Turns out that by the time we brought her back, another girl named Kendra had already been Called. The worst though, was when two new vamps showed up in Sunnydale, Spike and Drusilla, he’s vicious, ruthless and worst of all, smart! And she’s completely insane and can see the future.
They’ve been causing us havoc all year. First there was the parent/teacher night, then the thing with Ford and the club of vamp wannabes, then they contracted a group of assassins! And let me tell you, I’m not sure which was weirder that day, making out with Cordelia, or squashing Norman the Bug Man.
Not long after, we found out that Spike and Drusilla were trying to resurrect some ancient demon called ‘the Judge’, a monster that could not be harmed by any weapon forge who separated the righteous from the wicked, and then cut down the righteous. Needless to say, we panicked just a little bit.
I was trying to figure out how to kill it when a stray thought crossed my mind. If I could access my powers then I would probably be able to just blow him up, no forging there. Then a thought hit me when I reread one of the lines, ‘It took an army to stop him,’ the army had explosives, and there was an army base a few miles north of town. I smiled. I had an idea.
I was about to tell everyone my plan when the lights cut out. Now I’m having a wiggins. My eyes automatically shifted to let me see in the dark, and I walked out into the corridor to find out what was going on.
“Xander,” a voice called, I turned to see Angel at the end of the hallway. Something was wrong with him though. I had figured out a while ago that, when perceiving the world like this I could literally see magic, along with the night vision. Whenever I see him with my demon eyes he always looks... brighter, I guess is the right word, then other vampires, probably something to do with his soul and the curse. But now he looks just like any other vamp. My eyes widened. Oh no.
“Angelus,” I whisper. I’m terrified, I’ll admit. Because, unlike Buffy, I actually read what the Watcher’s Diaries had to say about him, I know what he’s capable of and I know that I’m no match for him hand to hand. My charm power’s useless here too, for some reason it doesn’t work on ordinary vamps, probably the soul again.
“Whattya know,” he smirked as he stalked towards me, “The boy figured it out. But then again, your not exactly normal now, are you Harris?” Oh God, does he...? “That's right, I remember what you did, what you are, even if that moron didn’t. You ordered me like a dog, ME! And that’s something that I can't just forgive.”
As he got closer, I knew that I couldn’t run, he could outpace me easily, so I took a shot. Reaching behind me for the stake in my back pocket, I launched myself at him. We went down to the ground, grappling with each other. Ever since my hypnotic powers had manifested, I noticed that I’d been getting more agile, more flexible, reacting faster. It wasn’t much, but it did let me survive long enough against his greater strength for Buffy to come to my rescue.
“This isn’t over Slayer,” he spat as he fled.
In the end, I did manage to sneak onto the base and pick the lock on the weapons room doors. Getting inside I managed to call upon the fast fading memories of my time as a soldier, I was able to find exactly what I needed.
Later, at the mall, Buffy shot the Judge with a crossbow, and stalled him long enough for me to blow him up with the rocket launcher. I had had to argue with her over who got to do it, but I finally won when I reminded her that it was my plan and that I was the only one who knew how to use the thing.
Willow got a boyfriend, a guitarist called Oz who had the misfortune to be turned into a werewolf by his baby cousin, (and may I just say that the idea of a baby werewolf cub running around on the full moon sounds terrifying, yet at the same time sounds so hilarious?). Now he has to lock himself up on the nights of the full moons to stop himself from hurting anyone.
The love spell was a mistake, I was being petty and jealous and immature and above all else I was being incredibly stupid when I had it cast. Aside from the moral no-no’s of making someone fall in love with me (even for a reason as pure as revenge), I had forgotten what Giles had told me almost a year ago about magic going crazy around demons like me. Needless to say I learned my lesson.
But now Buffy is in the hospital, sick and delirious and in no shape to fight if Angelus comes a knockin’. I decided to stand guard until she got sent home. While I was there, I accidentally became something of a hero. Y’see, I had heard screaming coming from the children ward, and when I got there all of the kids were cowering away from one bed, where a little girl, maybe twelve years old, tops, was thrashing around without actually moving her limbs, like she was pinned down. Instinctively shifting to my secondary vision, I saw a monster holding her down, sucking something out of her. I reacted quickly and simply with a stake shoved into the back of the creatures head, before I pulled it off of her and throwing it to the floor. I had to stab it a few more times until it stopped trying to get up, but it was dead, and just to be sure I cut its head off with my silver knife, (I was planning on giving Oz ‘the Speech’ later and wanted to make sure he remembered it).
The sounds of the fight and the kids screams had drawn the attention of a lot of people. Luckily, the youngest kids story of me coming in and killing an invisible demon that had tried to kill them fit very well with my own story of fighting off some crazy gang member. I ended up throwing the body out the window, I figure that by morning it’ll have been eaten by something or other. But the story of my ‘dashing rescue’ of the children’s ward circulated around pretty quickly, I got Cordelia smoochies, Willow awe, Giles’s curiosity and Oz’s... something, he didn’t really react much. Buffy was still out of it, but when Mrs Summers brought Dawn in for a visit I’m pretty sure that she and the kids founded a fan club or something, they were wearing pins for God’s sake!
I did end up meeting Angelus later that night, but I think the combination of me facing off against a ‘Der Kinderstod’ as Giles called it, as well as my not too subtle hinting that the only reason I hadn’t already blown him up for killing Ms Calendar was that I knew Buffy would react badly convinced him to leave.
The rest of the year wasn’t too bad, at least not until the end, the poltergeists kind of dealt with themselves, and I was able to charm the origin of the steroids in the sauna out of one of the other guys. After my mandatory freakout and I was convinced that I wasn’t going to turn into the Creature from the Black Lagoon, I was able charm everybody on the team into believing that someone was hunting them down, so that they would get in the book cage.
I found Coach Marin in his office, the bastard had tried to feed Buffy to the Gill Monsters! I managed to stop him from getting to the gun and pull Buffy out of the pit before the Coach ‘fell’ in after he tried to hit me with a pipe.
The Acathla mess was a disaster. Kendra died, Giles was tortured, Buffy ran away and I had a broken wrist. Willow and Oz were mostly fine, same with Cordelia. But Spike and Drusilla got away, and we were down two Slayers and a Souled Vampire for the summer. And I still can’t access the explosive side of my powers.
The next few months passed in a blur. Buffy was gone, Cordelia’s parents had dragged her on a family vacation, and Giles was spending most of his time scouring L.A., trying to find Buffy. Oz, Willow and I tried to keep up patrols, thankfully the summer lull meant it was quieter then usual, but we were kind of lacking any battle ready superpowers, so about half the vampires we fought still got away.
Things started to look up when school started, Buffy came back to town, though there was that thing with the Zombie’s crashing her welcome back shindig. We got to meet the newest Slayer, a tough Boston girl named Faith, God she was drool-worthy, though following her was a vampire as old as the Master called Kakistos, he wasn’t a match for two Slayers though.
We dealt with a number of other baddies over the next few weeks. The abusive asshole playing Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde got mauled by Oz-Wolf. Cordy and Buffy got kidnapped for some weird ‘Slay-fest’ thing that Kakistos’s former right-hand-man organized. They escaped in time to lose the Homecoming Queen vote though. Giles’s old buddy Ethan Rayne came back to town, tricked all the adults into eating cursed candy, (first Halloween, now chocolate, this guy is trying to ruin everything I love!). I think that Giles got to beat him up before he got run out of town though.
Faith’s new Watcher showed up, or at least a woman claiming to be her new Watcher showed up. Turns out that Gwendolyn Post, as she was called, was tricking us into finding this really powerful artifact called the Glove of Myneghon, which let her shoot lighting around. She ended up being killed by her own power after the glove was cut off.
Angel came back. I don’t know how, but he somehow managed to crawl his way out of hell and Buffy hid it from us. Didn’t she understand that the guy might have still been evil? That he could have killed us all because we weren’t prepared? I ended up getting Faith’s help to slay him, but we decided against that path when he saved Willow from being incinerated by Ms Post. But I’m keeping an eye on him, if he remembers being Angelus, then he might know my secret, and that would be bad. Very bad considering Buffy is already pissed at me for the whole ‘intervention’ thing.
I got dumped, again, but this time it was my fault. Spike kidnapped me and Willow, to try and get her to do a love spell on Drusilla, thankfully Angelus and Drusilla had never told him what I was, or he was too drunk to remember, I’m not sure which. Cordelia and Oz walked in and found the two of us kissing, we came clean then, about how we had been making out behind their backs since Homecoming. I’m not proud of it, in fact I’m deeply ashamed of myself. I still can’t believe that I did that to Cordy.
The next time I saw Buffy I was told in no uncertain terms that if she ever saw my face again, she would kill me. Turns out that while she and Angel had been following Spike to try and find me and Wills, the two stupid vampires had told her about me!
She got the cliff notes on my powers, or at least the ones I was supposed to have, and she had concluded that I had been using my hypnotic powers on the entire group for months. Forcing her to kill Angelus last year, controlling Faith and turning the rest of the gang against her when we found out that Angel was back and manipulating Willow and Cordelia’s emotions. From what I gathered later, Giles and even Angel had tried to talk sense into her, but she hated me, Willow and Cordelia were both avoiding me and possibly hating me, Oz stayed away from me but Faith at least tried to get the full story. I think she learned her lesson from judging too quickly from the Ms Post/Angel villain fiasco.
“So, your a demon, huh?” She drawled as she sat down next to me on the school steps.
“From what I can tell? Yep,” I nod, she looks at me confused for a second, “It’s not like anyone ever explained the whole thing to me. But I’ve been able to do the red-eye thing for like five years, and when I found out about the supernatural, I asked Giles about things that looked human, but had red on black eyes. He pointed me to the Lebeau Clan and so far, it fits.” I finish with a shrug, “It’s the best explanation I can come up with anyway.”
“So how come you never started blowing stuff up on patrols?” She asked, “It seems like that could do some serious damage.”
“Yeah, it would,” I answer wistfully, “But I haven’t figured out how to do that yet, the books say something about needing to mature or something before the powers activate themselves, so I figure they’ll show up sooner or later.”
She nods, accepting this, “What about that mind control mojo? B seems pretty certain you’ve been using that.”
“Sometimes,” Seeing her face shift to ‘Slay-mode’ I rush out, “Not on the others!” She pauses, I continue, “I’ve used it a couple of times to calm down victims, or to get answers out of people when they don’t cooperate, and that one time I used it on Snyder when he wouldn’t let Buffy back into school.” I smile, that had been fun, I had figured out that if he didn't know about the supernatural, then he definitely knew that something was weird in this town, and I managed to heavily impress upon Snyder that without Buffy around, then he might end up like Principal Flutie.
“And what about the others?”
“Your talking to a proud sci-fi geek here Faith,” I tell her jokingly, “The whole great power/great responsibility thing was drilled into my head years ago.”
“And if your lying?” She raises an eyebrow, she has a point.
“Wouldn’t work anyway Faith,” I assure her, raising a hand in surrender, “I figured out a while ago that I can’t charm anyone who knows about my powers.”
“Why not?” Faith asks.
“Cause I’m not reaching into your brain and giving you ideas that you have no choice but to act on,” I explain, “Its more like... I’m encouraging you to trust me, to the extent where, as long as I keep things reasonable, they will believe me. I can’t convince a person that the sky is green and the grass is blue, or make someone fall in love with me, but I can influence whats already there. Like fanning a fire to make it burn hotter. And if you know about what I can do, then you can fight it.”
She shrugs, “Fair enough,” she gazes off for a while, watching passing students, before turning back to me, “So why didn’t you tell anyone?”
“What, tell a group of vampire hunters that I’m a demon?” I chuckle, “I admit I’m not the brightest bulb in the batch Faith, but I’m not that dumb.”
“They work with Fang just fine,” she points out, “Same with the Wolf-man.”
“Yeah but... Its complicated, okay. Lets just say that when I found out, Buffy was already wary of me because of some stuff I’d done whilst under demonic influence. And later on, it just wasn’t anybody else’s business y’know?” She nods, “It was private, and its not like it would have any affect, I mean at that point the only thing I could do was the weird energy-vision thing, and I could do that without telling them. Plus, my species? Neutral unless you have something valuable. Not much conflict on that side.”
“If you say so.” She accepts my explanation and returns to watching the other students. Suddenly, grinning lewdly, she says, “So, I guess you must really be a demon in the sack, huh?”
My head turns so fast I think I got whiplash and I look at her in shock, only to see her break out laughing,“Too easy,” she said between breathes. Oh God, is this how Giles feels?
The next few weeks passed quietly, I was still being ostracized by my friends, who had spread rumours that I had been caught trying to use date rape drugs on people, but they passed without much incident. Although I did hear about how Angel had been haunted and almost killed himself over the Christmas holidays.
The only real link I had to the group now was Faith, who let me keep patrolling with her. Over the summer I had tried to train myself to utilize my growing agility and reflexes to try and compensate for the lack of Slayers and so far it was translating pretty well into beating up vampires. Ducking and weaving between them until I got a chance to stake them. With Faith ready to jump in if I got in over my head, I was able to take out a group of three vamps at once.
Giles had also been willing to hear me out, and he kept trying to make the others see reason, but they were still pretty pissed at me.
There was a really weird couple of days not long after the Christmas break, two kids had been found dead in the park. Killed in some ritual sacrifice from the looks of it, and all of a sudden the parents in town actually start to notice all of the supernatural stuff around town, and decide to rid it with a sudden rash of witch hunts, that ended with me, Willow and Amy almost being burnt at the stake! Amy escaped by turning herself into a rat, but couldn’t change back later on. Serves her right for leaving Wills and I to burn. We ended up being saved by Buffy, who killed the demon that had been clouding everyones minds, causing hatred and strife, though I think she was just a bit too hesitant to turn the hose on my pyre.
About a week later, just before Buffy’s birthday, I had Giles come to me for help. He told me about the Cruciamentum, how he had been forced to drug Buffy, and that she was currently much weaker then normal, so that the Council could test her ‘worthiness’ of the Slayer Spirit. He told me where the test would take place, and asked me to go there and try and charm the Watchers, convince them how wrong the situation was. I tried, I really did, but by the time I got there, both of them had already been killed, one of them turned, and an insane Master vampire was running around. I did manage to kill the newly turned minion, but Buffy ended up having to face the monster alone to save her mother.
Giles told me later that he had been fired from the Council for trying to stop the test, they had deemed his fatherly affections towards Buffy as unacceptable, but he did manage to stick around outside of the Council’s control. Faith didn’t have anything to do with that little adventure, Buffy had started to ostracize her as well when they found out that Faith was still hanging out with me. I remember Faith’s reaction when she found out about the test. She had Giles pinned to a wall and told him, with a surprising calm, that if he or anyone else came at her with a needle then the body would never be found.
Not long after, Faith told me about these weird blue Hell-Bitches that she and the rest of the gang had attacked in their nest. Stronger then a Slayer, and there were, like, half a dozen running around town. The next day, I had a little run in with the schools resident psycho, Jack O’Toole. I made contact and tried to charm him into leaving without a fight, I don’t think it worked. When I did the demon eyes bit, he just looked surprised, but he did back off, so I didn’t really think much about it.
That night, I stopped by the Bronze and O’Toole jumped me, this time he had a knife, said he knew I was a demon, and wanted to invite me to join him and his buddies for a little fun. I was kinda shocked, my charm didn’t work on him? I decided to follow him, if he and his buddies want to have fun with a demon in tow then they can’t be on the level.
First stop was the cemetery, where his ‘buddies’, turned out to be a trio of zombies, only not mindless animals like the ones that gatecrashed Buffy’s welcome home party, they actually had personalities. I followed them right up until they started breaking into a hardware store for cake ingredients, who the hell looks for cooking supplies in a hardware store? I deemed them stupid but harmless and left them. Although by ‘left’ I mean ran away from, I think they liked me or something, cause they said something about being ‘initiated’ into their gang. I was kinda touched.
But still, I managed to lose them and ended up just wandering around town for a while, eventually ran into Faith. I found her getting her ass kicked by what had to be one of the Hell-Bitches she was telling me about earlier, for the record, Hell-Bitch doesn’t do them justice, they were much scarier.
I saw Faith get punched in the chest and fly back into a chain link fence behind her. She was trapped, and about to die. I ran. I crossed the distance between us in seconds, I didn’t notice my eyes shift, I was seeing red anyway, or when my hands started to glow pink. I leapt up onto the monsters back, grabbing a fistful of its clothes in one hand and punching its head in the other. I did notice, however, when the beasts entire shirt started glowing pink. I flipped myself over the top off her head and landed next to Faith.
“What the hell?” She screamed, as the creature turned its attention back to us, ignorant of the danger she was in.
“Duck!” I yelled, as I threw myself over Faith, covering her body as best I could with my own as the Hell-Bitch’s shirt exploded, taking her with it. The concussive force of the explosion hurt like hell, I knew that I’d be sore for a couple of days, and splattering us in demon guts.
“What the fuck was that!” She cried, looking at me in awe, “You blew it up!”
I grinned, finally! “My powers must have kicked into gear!”
Faith filled me in on the story, the Sisterhood of Jhe, (Hell-Bitches, as I call them), were going to try and open the Hellmouth tonight. She needed to go to the library and help the others protect it. I offered to go with her and try and help, but she saw how I was limping, and sent me home. I really needed to recover from the blast, note: next time you blow something up, make sure you throw it away from your person before it detonates.
I was about halfway there when I started thinking about O’Toole and his gang, I was wondering what they were going to do with a cake when a half-formed memory from my time as soldier-boy supplied the translation. ‘Cake’, was slang for bomb. I panicked, they had a bomb! I had to find it, stop them somehow.
I ended up forcing myself to breathe, and think calmly for a moment. If I were a psychotic gang of teenage zombies with a bomb, what would I do? Duh.
I ran full pelt in the direction of the school, struggling to do so with the bruises already starting to form. On my way there, I noticed the gang heading away from the school and I realized something, where in the school did they plant the thing? Grabbing a handful of rocks from the ground, I ran after them. Remembering how I felt when I blew up the Hell-Bitch I noticed my hand glow pink as the pebbles charged with explosive energy. Still running, I dropped the stones just after I ran between them and kept running, getting out of the blast radius.
I ducked when I heard the explosion, waiting until I felt the blast roll over me before turning and walking back over to the now injured zombies. Grabbing one of them, I pulled him to his feet, which thankfully he still had.
“Where is it?” I growled in his face, allowing my eyes to shift to their demonic red-on-black.
“Holy shit!? How’d you do that?” He was panicking, I didn’t know that zombies could hyperventilate.
“Where’s the bomb?” I asked again, shaking him violently.
“Boiler room!” He yelped, as I dropped him.
Noticing the four zombies all lying on the ground helpless, and in various states of injury, I frisked O’Toole, and used his knife to decapitate the bunch of them.
Turning and starting towards the school again, I worried that I might not make it in time, who knows how long they set the timer for? Moving quickly through the school, I could clearly hear the sounds of a fight coming from the library, and I had to duck out of view when I saw three of the Hell-Bitches run past, and again when a God damned tentacle burst through the wall.
I made it to the boiler room though, and cut the wires with a few minutes to spare. Deciding to head back up to the library to make sure everyone was alright, I started moving, grabbing a fire-axe from the wall as I walked past, don’t want to be outgunned.
I ran into one of the Sisterhood on the way, I charged the knife up as she ran at me and nailed her in the chest. She didn’t even get close enough for the blast to do any damage to me when she blew up. I’m really starting to love this power.
By the time I got to the library, the fight was over. Buffy, Giles, Willow and Faith had stopped the demons and saved the world, kinda made my night of saving the school from a zombie gang and a bomb seem tame. Nobody noticed me amidst the wreckage and I decided that greeting Buffy while she was calming down from the Post-Slay high would not be a great idea, so I left without comment.
The next day, Faith and I exchanged the tales of how we spent the night after separating. I had to show her the bomb to convince her I was telling the truth though, after which she helped me get rid of it. She knows a surprising amount about the disposal of home made bombs. I was afraid to ask.
A few days later, my bruises had mostly healed and I joined Faith in the library during lunch. I was surprised to find a new guy in a suit.
“Hey G-man,” I greeted Giles as I entered, then nodded towards Faith, who was looking very bored sitting at the table.
The new guy looked away from what I think was lecturing Faith, and motioned towards me, removing his glasses he said, in what I’m pretty sure was supposed to be a threatening manner, “And who exactly are you?”
Leaning to look around him at Giles, I asked, “New Watcher?”
He nodded, and wearily replied, “New Watcher.”
Offering a hand I introduced myself, “Hi, I’m Xander.”
New Guy sputtered a bit at the exchange, composing himself, he ignored my hand, “Mr Giles, you worry me. Part of the Field Watchers training regime includes a course on identifying demonic entities by their auras. This ‘boy’, is clearly not human.”
“Ah, yes, I believed I skipped that course,” Giles replied sarcastically, “In fact I’m rather certain that I was enjoying the comforts offered by my rather beautiful friend Olivia when they gave that seminar.”
Faith snorted behind me. I was shocked, “G-man... your being rude, sarcastic and crude,” Sharing a look with Faith I crowed, “We finally corrupted you!!”
“Oh God,” he said, looking horrified, “I’ve been in this country for too damn long it’s getting to me.”
“Mister Giles,” New Guy scolded, practically stomping his foot, “If we could get back to the matter at hand,” Turning back to me he ordered, “State your species and your purpose here.”
Instead of answering him, I allowed my eyes to shift to their demonic state. A test of my own to see how good his demon identification skills are. Instead of looking shocked or scared like I had kinda hoped for, his faced relaxed somewhat, and he seemed much less stressed.
“Ah,” turning to Giles, he said, “Mr Giles, I was unaware that you were keeping one of the Lebeau Clan on the payroll,” turning back to me, offering his hand he introduced himself, “I am Wesley Wyndam-Price, Buffy and Faith’s new Watcher. As such, I suppose that I will be taking over responsibility of you payment, just give me a copy of your details at the nearest convenience and I’ll handle it. The usual rates I suppose?”
I almost didn’t answer, too shocked by the sudden shift in the conversation, I saw Giles about to correct Wes, but I shushed him, payment sounds nice. Accepting the offered hand, I reintroduced myself, “Xander, and yeah, usual rates.”
“I must say it is a pleasure,” he continued, as Faith and Giles sniggered out of his view, “I have had the great fortune of meeting one of your brethren, a man named Remy, who is occasionally contracted by my father. A rather interesting individual, he prefers a deck of playing cards as his weapon of choice.”
I take a moment to think about that. Playing cards, combined with my powers... that's ingenious. A couple of bucks spent and I’ve got fifty-two easily transported, easily concealable explosives in my pocket, and I’ll always have something to do on stakeouts. Now I just need to figure out how to throw the cards properly and I’ll be golden.
“I’ll have to try that out sometime.”
It was then that Buffy came barging through the door.
After Buffy joined us, ignoring Wesley’s attempts to introduce himself in preference for glaring at the both of us, she reported to Giles an encounter with vampire swordsmen, who Wes was able to identify as the disciples of some dead guy named Balthazar. Unfortunately, Wes made the very bad mistake of ordering the Slayers to retrieve the dead demons amulet from one of the local crypt, well he's only new. Buffy did not take it well, though she reacted slightly better than when Wes asked me to go along with them.
“Him!?” She screeched, “You want him to come with us? Why?”
Wesley looked shocked at her outburst, I don’t think he ever considered the fact that his Slayers were in fact, teenage American girls. “Why wouldn’t he? His species have a number of abilities that could make the retrieval of the item considerably easier.”
“And you think its alright to send a demon out with the Slayers?” Buffy growled, “What makes you think he won’t try and kill us?”
“Please Ms Summers,” he said derisively, “According to Mr Giles’s reports, you willingly work alongside both a werewolf and a vampire, neither creature has ever been particularly trustworthy in the eyes of the Council. There is, however, a long standing treaty between the Watchers and the Lebeau Clan. They are one of the few demonic breeds that we will willingly work alongside.”
“Well if he’s so trustworthy, then how come he was hypnotizing us for so long?”
Wesley turned to me in confusion, I answered his unspoken question, “She didn’t find out that I was a demon until recently. She took it badly and assumed I’d been manipulating them for my own diabolical ends.”
He looks unsure, “Your haven’t, have you?”
I sigh, “No Wesley, I have not. I just made some decisions that she did not like.”
“You sent Angel to hell!” She screamed.
“No Buff,” I answered in kind, “You did that in order to save the world, I just neglected to tell you about the Soul Curse.”
“I could have stalled him!”
“He would have killed you and sent the world to Hell!”
“Will you both shut up!” Giles yelled, getting between us, “Honestly your acting like spoiled children.”
“Bu-” Buffy started, but was cut off.
“Hush! Buffy, Xander has proven his loyalty time and time again over the past several years. And Xander, Buffy has a right not to trust you given the secret you kept from us.”
“Way to go G,” Faith drawled as she rose from her seat at the table, “But if all this team bonding shit is outta the way, I wanna kill something.”
“Uh, yes, Ms Lehane,” Wesley stammered, “Perhaps we could begin your training while we wait for sunset, so that you, Ms Summers and Mr. Uh, Xander? Was it?” I nod, he continues, “Yes, so that the three of you can retrieve the Amulet.”
“Why wait. Seems that I could just go get it now,” Faith asked.
“Yes, well, it is possible that the Amulet may be under some protection, as such it would be wise to utilize Mr. Xander’s expertise.”
“What expertise?” Buffy asked, looking curiously at me, “Are you blowing something up?”
“Maybe later Buff,” I grin, “I think he means my ability to see and disrupt any protection spells that might be placed on the amulet.”
“Oh,” she replied, eyes narrowing a bit as I reminded her that she was supposed to be hating me right now, “That.”
Off to the side I heard Wesley whisper to Giles, “Are they always like this?”
“No,” he sighed, polishing his glasses, “Sometimes they get difficult.”
After class, Buffy, Faith and I made our way through the cemetery to find the crypt where the amulet was being held. I wondered for a moment, why the Watchers had left it alone for a hundred years if they knew what it was and what it could do in the wrong hands? Stupidity, I guessed. The short walk was filled with uncomfortable silence, Buffy was still very mad at me over the whole ‘hey, I’m a demon’ thing, though I think I’ve been toned down from ‘Slay’ to ‘Maim’ if given the opportunity. She was even more awkward with Faith, who she had ostracized for staying friends with me, but Faith mostly ignored the uncomfortable atmosphere and walked along without a care.
We found the crypt, and the amulet, only to get ambushed by six sword wielding vampires in matching uniforms. I’m guessing that their the disciples Wesley was talking about. I knew we should have come before sunset.
Buffy and Faith launched into action, dusting two of the vampires in seconds, but then having a harder time fighting against the more organized second front. I fumbled for a minute, backing away and dodging a couple of sword swings as I reached into my pants for a stake.
Drawing my weapon, I moved in on the offensive, blocking one swing and jumping over another, I kicked the vamp in the face and staked it while it was stunned. I noticed Buffy and Faith, each fighting a vampire each, but a final one was coming up behind Faith.
Reaching back into my pocket, I pulled out a silver coin and charged it full of energy before flicking it at the creatures neck. The coin hit dead on and exploded on impact, blowing the vampires head clean of his shoulders and dusting it instantly. The Slayers finished off their opponents and we grouped back together.
“Wicked with the explosives X-man,” Faith grinned, “You’ve really gotten that trick down, huh?”
“Nah, still working on the finer points,” I tell her.
“Humph,” Buffy groaned, holding up the amulet for inspection, “This stupid trinket better be worth it.”
As it turned out, that Balthazar guy was still alive (and living in a bath tub). He needed the amulet so that he could return to full strength and take over Sunnydale. We stopped him. We had gone to give the amulet to Wes and Giles for study, and they had been kidnapped by Balthazar’s followers by the time we got there. We gathered up Angel and found out where the Big Guy’s lair was for a full on assault.
We ran into a couple of vamps on the way there but nothing serious. We got there just in time to hear Wes begging for his life and Giles sarcastic comments, the guy is really quite funny when he tries.
We attacked, Angel and I came in through the front door and Buffy and Faith jumped down through the skylight, between the lot of us we managed to kill all of the followers. Then, when he demanded his amulet, I decided to be nice and throw it to him, after charging it full of energy of course.
It was quite a sight, he went up in a pretty big explosion of water and demon guts. Have I mentioned how much I love being me?
The next day, I found out exactly how much I was going to be paid, it was quite a bit. Faith put up a fuss about her deserving a paycheck too, and managed to finagle the Council into giving her a decent budget for her living expenses. Combining our cash, we managed to rent a shared apartment with two bedrooms not too far from the Bronze. Which meant that I could move out of my parents place, and Faith could get away from that dump they call a motel.
After that night, we got a visit from the Deputy Mayor Allen Finch, who had been searching for us without success last night. He told us about the Mayor’s plans to ascend into a pure demon at Graduation before he ran for the hills. Giles and Wesley got to work on researching it, trying to figure out how to stop it without much success.
When the demon came to us with an offer to sell us the Books of Ascension, we managed to get Wesley to agree to dip further into Council funds to pay the five thousand dollars. Unfortunately, by the time we found his place, he had been killed, not sure what did it though, and the books were gone.
Aside from that though, the next few weeks passed without too much incident. Other then the whole ‘Alternate Universe Vampire Willow, Mistress of Pain’ situation, (Faith staked her) and the Buffy getting telepathy from a splash of demon blood, (Angel and I hunted down the second demon and fed Buffy its heart) it was pretty quiet for the Hellmouth until we got word of the Mayor getting one of the necessary components of his Ascension flown into town, (I always wondered why Sunnydale had its own airport). We were too late to intercept the Box of Gavrok, so I was told to earn my next paycheck.
In the end, I managed to swipe it. Giles was right when he said that my kind are natural born thieves, the combination of my demonic eyes allowing me to see the infrared beams as well as the protection spells and my ever developing agility and dexterity allowing me to slip past them with my aura nullifying any spells that I couldn’t avoid. I managed to get it and get out without being seen. I tried to destroy it right there, but the stupid thing wouldn’t accept any of the energy I tried to pour into it.
By the time I got out and met up with the rest of the Scoobies at the library, we discovered Willow had been kidnapped by the Mayor. We ended up having to do a trade, which Wesley protested heavily against, but gave up after Oz broke the pot necessary to destroy the Box.
The prom was interesting, I took Faith as my ‘just friends’ date, and we were having fun, right up until the Hellhound attack. Luckily, I had taken Wes’s idea of the playing cards to heart. Turns out that they are really easy to throw once I’ve charged them, something to do with the energy inside them doing what I want them to according to Giles. So I just slipped a few cards out of the deck and ‘BOOM’, four explosions, four dead demons.
Our plan for Graduation was kind of dependent on a fair bit of luck when I think about it. We had found out what kind of demon the Mayor was becoming, an Old One called an Olvikan, which is kinda like a very big snake but with more teeth. We discovered that the last one of these things was killed by a volcanic eruption, unfortunately we were all out of natural disasters, unless of course the Hellmouth decided to work with us for a change.
The plan basically consisted of waiting until the Mayor completed his transformation and having me charge up two manhole covers with enough destructive energy to level a house in each. Both Buffy and Faith then grabbed one and threw them frisbee style into the monsters cavernous mouth as it tried to eat us. The explosion was strong enough to knock everybody in the area to the ground, but it did the job of destroying the Mayor’s head, and, as the saying goes, the body fell, crushing a portion of the school as it did so, to my eternal pleasure. Then we turned back to the legion of vampires. We had managed to rally the students into fighting back, so the between the lot of us we managed to kill them all with only a few casualties.
After the battle, I left. I had never really reconciled with the group, so I figured I was going to take the money I had earned so far, buy a decent car, and go on the road trip I always dreamed of. Faith had never really been accepted in the first place, so she decided to come with. I figured I’d come back after the summer was over and see if distance really does make the heart grow fonder.
If they want us back, fine, we’ll set up shop here. If not, who knows. Maybe we’ll head to L.A. I hear that they’ve got a demon population that could rival Home Sweet Hellmouth. Plus Angel’s heading in that direction, and I... that is, someone has to keep him miserable, for the good of the world of course. It wouldn’t do to have Angelus loose again would it? Either way, the Council is still paying us as long as we take any assignments they might send our way and report in to Wesley every now and then.
When I said my goodbyes to the others, Willow said that she had forgiven me, so maybe there is hope for me in Sunnydale. But for now? I’ve got Faith by my side, cash to burn, demons to kill and things to steal for the safety of the world, plus the superpowers to pull it all off. Life’s good.
What do you think?
Any suggestions as to who I should do next?