Homecomings, Realizations and Wrath
Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy own Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all characters associated with it. I unfortunately am neither so only the ideas contained in this story belong to me.Chapter 2: Homecomings, Realizations and WrathOutskirts of Sunnydale
Xander stood staring at the ‘Welcome to Sunnydale’ sign, a sign that marked the town and people he had spent years on and off striving to return to. It had taken him roughly a month and a half to reach here on his own, many a building, roof and car hood bore the marks of his claws between here and Boston. Boston….that brought him back to Faith…the vampire slayer. He knew that hoping that Buffy had survived the intervening years was a fools dream but it had been one he had held on to. Shaking off his melancholy he threw the hood of his tattered black cloak over his head and started into town he still had to see if the others were still alive, and if they weren’t he’d send Sunnydale’s demonic population as an Honor Guard for them.
The Sunnydale Hellmouth, the most -currently- powerful and active Hellmouth on earth, pulsed, welcoming home its wayward son……and demons all over the entirety of Sunnydale and its outlying regions shivered in fear and anticipation.
After checking the houses of the Scooby’s and finding them empty he headed to the Bronze, sneaking in through the roof access and using the shadows of the rafters to hide himself while he searched. Not seeing any of them he slipped back out into the night and headed for his last ditch bet, the high school library. Had he waited seven seconds later he would have seen Harmony Kendall enter the Bronze with a jock on her arm, making him realize things weren’t as simple as he thought them to be.
Confusion, joy, shock and anger swirled in Xanders mind as he stared down through the skylight of Sunnydale High School’s library. There below him was the gang, Giles, Willow, Oz and Cordelia all gathered around the main table that they had –and apparently still- used to do research and meetings/war councils looking as if they hadn’t aged more than a couple of weeks from when he saw them last. As big a discovery as this was it was not the driving force behind his condition, no that honor went to two other beings present in the room.
Buffy Summers and Xander Harris were present as well. Buffy was alive, he didn’t know, and he didn’t rightly care, how she was when he knew for a fact that there was another slayer in Boston. She looked a little more haggard than he remembered but he was sure it was her, he’d recognize that bored air with which she spun her stake and pretended to pay attention to Giles. However all that paled when compared to the fact that he (or something that looked like a teenage version him) was sitting down there with them, when he was up here looking down on them. As he prepared to jump down and get some answers he was interrupted by a voice he knew well.
“It’s not home, I told you, no matter how much it resembles it or you wish that it was…..It’s not home.” said Kerberos. Turning around he saw him looking the same as always, black clothes that looked like they had been through a few fights, a pair of black steel-toed boots, and a wild mane of hair and pitch black eyes. Kerberos strode to the lip of the skylight and looked down. “I didn’t bring you back from hell so that you could get back to your life, remember our deal. I get you out and you rip the plans of The Powers to shreds. This world doesn’t need another Xander Harris, but it could use a Hound.”
“You knew, didn’t you?” whispered Xander, eyes burning red as he glared at Kerberos walking towards the edge of the roof.
“Yes.” With that Kerberos vanished off the roof of Sunnydale HS no flash of light, no fanfare, pyrotechnics or wave of power. Simple here one moment and gone the next. Pushing his emotions and the remnants of the man who had been born Alexander L. Harris to the back of his mind, the being known and feared as Hound across a hell dimension returned his eyes to the interior of the library and began to plan.
After the meeting had broken up he had followed Buffy as she walked Willow and the other Him home. He’d had to be more careful as the other Xander had snuck back out and started tailing Buffy. A short while later they had reached the Crawford street mansion, a place he hated with a vengeance. He had hidden and waited as Buffy went inside and Xander (teen) had watched through a window before leaving with a look of anger and betrayal on his face. Once he was sure he was alone Xander (Hound) snuck up to the window and peered inside. What he saw caused his flames to devour a three foot span of earth behind him before he got a grip on himself. In the manor Buffy was talking to and kissing Angel(us), the cause(s) of his period in hell. *Flashback*
Xander watched as Buffy knocked Angelus to the ground and prepared to run him through, closing the portal and ending this nightmare. Before she could Angelus’s eyes flashed white and he crumpled in on himself with pain. When his head came back up Angelus spoke and Xander knew Willow had succeeded, making what Buffy had to do a hundred times more painful.
“Angel?” at his nod Buffy dropped the sword fell to knees and hugged him, crying into his chest.
“What happened?” Angel asked as he leaned back still holding Buffy, before she could answer realization dawned on him and he looked ashamed of himself. Xander watched and waited as Buffy consoled Angel, she was after all about to send the man –loosely speaking- that she loved to hell the least he could do was give her a moment.
That changed when Angel rose to his feet and spoke, “Let’s go.”
Buffy looked puzzled “What?”
“We can leave, the powers won’t let the world go to hell, and they’ll send someone. Let’s go, find somewhere we can be together, please.” Angel spoke as he looked from Buffy to the portal and back again.
Xanders anger surged, the bastard wanted to run and leave the fate of the world to a group of beings that were willing to let Buffy die and the master rise unchallenged. ‘No, this was his fault and he’s going to end it even if I have to drag him into hell myself!’
looking at Buffy Xander saw the hesitation as duty and desire battled within her and before he knew it he was moving. Surprised for a brief moment at himself he decided to end this now; he grabbed Angel and threw both himself and the vampire into the portal. The last thing he saw was Buffy’s stunned face before the portal closed and he resigned himself to death.*End Flashback*
Shaking off the past he decided that Angel, even if it wasn’t the Angel that he had known, would be first in Sunnydale to feel the bite of the Hound. After all it didn’t do to leave a potential enemy at your back. Leaping to the roof of the mansion he hid himself and waited for his chance.
Angel sat in the chair after Buffy left, wondering about not telling the others about his return from hell. He picked up a stray scent on the wind, an odor that he had come to know and hate, Brimstone. Leaping out of his chair he scanned the shadows and found….nothing. Calming himself down he went to sit, when he heard a voice “Hello Angel.”
Whirling around, he saw a pair of blood red eyes shining in the darkness of the doorway to the kitchen, staring at him. “Back to pit with you.” the figure that the eyes belonged to spoke, wearing a feral grin that reflected the fire that danced in its eyes.
The Crawford street mansion burst into a blaze of Hellfire and screams were heard for three minutes. A short time after the screaming stopped a figure stepped out of the inferno that had been a house revealing one Xander Harris (Hound) wearing a smirk. Throwing up the hood of his cloak he walked away from the blaze softly singing “Hate to twist your mind, But God ain’t on your side, An old acquaintance severed, Burn the world your last endeavor….”
The lyrics are part of the song ‘Nightmare’ by Avenged Sevenfold)
The Scooby gang, the new additions of Faith and her watcher Diana present, stood arguing in the library of Sunnydale HS. “You should have told us!!” Xander yelled at Buffy “For all you know he could be Angelus pretending to be Angel!!”
“He’s not, he’s Angel…” she yelled back “I can tell.”
“Still, y-you should have at the very least informed me o-of his return Buffy, I am your watcher.” said Giles as he polished the lens of his glasses.
“I still say we stake him just to be sure.” Xander said trying to quell his anger at the situation.
“XANDER!! We can’t do that he’s Angel and not evil so we can’t stake him just because you’re jealous and you don’t like him.” Willow babbled, trying to give Buffy some support.
“Jealous?!, don’t like him?!, no Wills this goes far beyond that. This is about the fact that he could be Angelus and I’d rather not wake up to him trying to kill me one night and even if he isn’t, with the way they were sucking face I wouldn’t be surprised if he turned back up soon.”
Buffy glared at Xander and began to shout “SHUT UP, I told he’s not evil, he’s Angel and he’s...”
“Dust.” came the word with the finality of the grave from the stacks as a cloaked man stepped out into the open. An inarticulate scream of anger tore from Buffy’s throat as she charged the man, only to be batted away like a mild nuisance; slamming against the wall and falling unconscious. Shock ran through those gathered before Diana quickly recognized the man and the scars on his torso.
“Rupert, it’s Him.”
Giles glanced questioningly at Diana “You mean, Him Him?” only to receive a nod. “Oh Bloody Hell.”Chapter 2 End
Thanks for reading and remember Reviews are fuel to my muse. One point of clarification when both Xanders are in the same scene and acknowledge as such they will be represented as follows:
My Xander, the Main one — Xander (Hound)
The other Xander— Xander (teen)