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Hound: Dog of War

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Summary: After 5 years in a hell dimension, Xanders coming home. To a home he's never been and a world that will never be the same again. (Ratings just incase I go a Liiitttllle overboard)

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-CenteredPupFR18926,27945132,3162 Apr 1122 Aug 11No

Broken Clock's and Restored Connections

Disclaimer: None of this is mine, not Buffy the vampire slayer, not Charmed. Not any of the characters, books or spin-offs that came from them (if any). Sadly the only thing that is mine is the story idea, my intellectual property (Suck on that Joss Whedon, you too Aaron Spelling!!!). Not really though because some of your stuff is good.



Broken Clock’s and Restored Connections



“RRRRRHHHHHHAAAAAA!!!!!” the tortured scream echoed through the ether, one singular eternal moment of insurmountable pain, stretched, reversed and repeated as all around him the flow of time twisted back upon itself. Not that he noticed. At the moment his entire world, his entire existence centered on pain, that he endured, and an urge to give in, that he resisted. He never noticed when someone else appeared in the little bubble that fought against the setback of time.



Kerberos watched as hellfire and shadow intermingled as they danced across Xanders cloak and body, trying to help their master win the fight against the backwards flow of time that threatened to rip him apart. He could help him, stabilizing his body or even pulling him from the stream of time wouldn’t be all that difficult, but he’d chosen Alexander for a reason and as so would let him face his challenges on his own. Slowly but surely times backward sprint slows to a stop, then the flow of time moves forward once more; leaving a drained and gasping Xander kneeling on the floor.



“Good, you survived.” Kerberos said causing Xanders head to whip around and stare at him, before he hung his head in pain. “But between you and me, you look like shit.” Xander slowly got to his feet, hands resting on his knees as he glared at Kerberos’s amused smile. “Really now, someone interrupts the natural flow of time, nearly killing you, and you want to spend your time making bedroom eyes at me?” At Xanders growl Kerberos blurred forward, grabbing him by the throat and lifting him into the air. “Remember your place pup; your fangs are nowhere near sharp enough to snap at me.” When Xander lowered his eyes in acceptance, anger still burning in them, Kerberos dropped him back to his feet.



Standing to his full height the visage of Xander Harris retreated as Hound once more took the fore. “Who did it?”



“Now that would be telling. And while I can’t do that, I can point you in right direction.” With a wave of Kerberos’s hand Hound burst apart into pitch black embers that vanished into the wind. “Hmm not how I’d have done it, but it suits you. Now to see who’s been screwing around.” In a moment the early morning street was once again vacant.



Halliwell Manor



(A/N: as far as the Charmed Ones know so far Hound is a demon and they will refer to him as such.)



Prue’s P.O.V


Shax had just forced his way past the wards into the living room and spotted his target, Dr. Griffiths. From her position on the ground Prue could see what was going to happen, Shax would kill the doctor, preventing any good that he was meant to do. Rushing to her feet she pushed Dr. Griffith out of the way, just in time to watch as an energy ball soared towards her. She closed her eyes in preparation for the impact and ensuing pain, seconds later she feels her body flying through the air and impacting something before falling to the ground.



Her body hurt, a lot, but much less than it should after being hit by an energy ball. Opening her eyes she saw that she was on her back on the floor, the living room couch on its back as well, probably hitting that was the reason for most of the pain in her back. Taking a quick look around her she saw that the room was in disarray, the furniture thrown back from their positions in the room like so much debris pushed back by an explosion.



“Who did it?”



The cold deep voice dripping with barely restrained violence nearly stopped her movements, peeking over the top of the overturned couch she saw a man (demon?) who she assumed was responsible for the current state of her living room. From what little she could actually see, his cloak hid most of him from view, he was tall, broad shouldered and staring at Shax.



General P.O.V


As the energy ball flew towards on Prudence ‘Prue’ Halliwell wisps of flame began to appear, before slamming together into the agitated form of Hound, throwing people and furniture away from his general area. So focused were the beings in the room that no one noticed the scorched and broken section of the ceiling. Turning his eyes on the only one in the room that appeared out of place, the demon assassin Shax, he spoke. “Who did it?”



Ignoring the question Shax responded “Leave, this is my mission.” This was not what Hound wanted to hear and Shax would soon learn the price of that. A fist slammed into Shax’s sternum, knocking his breathe from his lungs, before a hand gripped his throat with almost crushing force.



“Who turned back the hands of time?” Hound growled into Shax’s face, slowly increasing the pressure on the demons throat or at least that was what he had intended. As he squeezed his hand suddenly snapped shut on empty air as Shax turned himself into wind and rematerialized on the far side of the room gripping his throat.



“What are you doing fool, your interfering with a mission direct from The Source himself!” Shax said as he threw another energy ball at Hound.



Reaching out as he walked forward, Hound simply grabbed and shattered the energy ball. “Tell me!!” Seeing the ease with which his energy balls were dealt with Shax threw his hand forward, releasing a torrent of wind that threw Hound back through the air before impacting the wall with a deep resounding thud. The force of the collision threw up dust that mixed with the remains of the gusting wind and hide him from view.



Close up on Hound


As Hound spun through the air the cloak stretched and shrunk, twisting itself around his arms from the tops of his shoulders to his knuckles. The end result was that both his arms appeared to have been bandaged in night, leaving only his fingers and claws free. Whirling through the air he saw the oncoming wall and prepared for impact, claws growing longer, legs and arms flexing. At the last second he added more spin to his momentum, slamming his boots and hands into the wall, flexing his spine to weaken the impact. As the dust and wind whipped around him, tossing his hair around like waves in a hurricane, he glared out at Shax.



General P.O.V


The second that Hound had slammed into the wall Shax had declared him dead in his own mind and turned to finish his mission. Only to find his target and the two witches staring wide eyed, not at him but at the final resting place of the interloper. Something, if asked he couldn’t have explained what, made him turn around and what he saw brought up both fear and excitement. Staring out of the heavy cloud of dust and wind was a pair of the coldest, hate filled blood red eyes he had ever seen.



As the wind died down and the dust cleared Hound was revealed to the room, crouched on the wall glaring at Shax like some great predatory beast deciding that this was the prey it was going to bring down. Upon seeing him the occupants of the room had different and wildly varying reactions. The first was simple deciding that this was the final straw in a bad situation and it didn’t want to deal with it anymore, the doctors mind shut down i.e. Dr. Griffiths fainted. Pipers first thought was that she wished these two would stop destroying her house, which was quickly followed by where’s Phoebe. Prue was surprised at the fact that this demon was very good looking, that thought was quickly struck down by the promise that she would not pull a Phoebe.



Shax was shivering in anticipation, finally a challenge. Centuries as an assassin for The Source had allowed him to perfect his craft, but as his skill increased the challenge diminished. And here was someone that gotten inside his guard in seconds, brushed aside his energy balls and survived a brush with his power over wind. Now after so long there was someone who could make his life interesting again. A smile growing on his face Shax decided, he’d have his fun then kill his target when he was finished. At some unseen signal the combatants clashed once more.



Shax unleashed a hail of energy balls that forced Hound off the wall and on the move. As he ran across the floor, energy balls impacting damaging and destroying things behind him the two witches present had the good sense to duck. With a forceful step Hound changed his direction, ducking under the energy balls and heading for Shax himself, which Shax responded to by throwing a vortex of wind at him. The mini tornado quickly vanishing he prepared to unleash another barrage of energy balls at the wall bound Hound, only to find him not on the wall and catch a knee to the side of the head. As he chased after Shax’s rolling body he was caught off guard by another blast of wind, this one catching him the chest and throwing him back and towards the ceiling. Bending backwards Hound hooked his feet around the chandelier, slapped his palms against the ceiling and used the momentum of the swing to launch himself back at Shax.



Seeing the incoming Hound, Shax rolled out of the way narrowly avoiding the stomping foot that left a small crater behind. Angered at the continuing damage to the house Piper leapt up and attempted to freeze the fighters, only for them to shrug it off before being pulled back down by Prue. “What the hell is wrong with you, do you want to have your head blown off?”



Piper angrily stared back at her sister “Do you know how much it’s going to cost to repair all this?!”



“Better the house than us, Right?” to which Piper could only grudgingly nod an affirmative before they turned back to the fight.



As Shax leapt backwards he smiled as Hound took the bait and jumped after him, leaving him hanging in mid-air with nowhere to go, allowing Shax to unleash another blast of gale force winds at him. With the wind coming to him Hound berated himself for not seeing through such a childish tactic, the drain from the rewind must have been affecting him more than he’d guessed. Deciding to end this fight before something else happened Hound let loose a blast of flame from his mouth, released a short blast of hellfire from under his left foot, superheating the air to a near solid state and used his right to kick off of it.



Bursting through the wall of hellfire that had devoured the wind Hound slammed his fist into Shax’s face, the force of the blow slamming the demon assassin into a wall, then kicked off of another piece of superheated air. Spinning in the air he delivered a spinning back kick that cracked Shax’s ribs, pushing him deeper into the wall and stopping his own forward rush. Bending at the hip he smashed an overhead punch into Shax’s face, breaking his nose, and using his other hand grabbed the demon by the shoulder and drove his knee into the cracked ribs, breaking them. His hand still gripping Shax’s shoulder and his leg straightening back out, gravity took hold of Hound once more bringing to the ground.



Snaking out his hand slammed into Shax’s chest, palm first, pinning his wheezing and battered form to the wall. “Now tell me, who turned back time?” When Shax remained silent Hound increased the pressure of his hand, pushing down on Shax’s broken ribs until he screamed out in pain. Pressed against the wall screaming in pain, Shax’s mind was in overdrive. This wasn’t supposed to happen, he would toy with this opponent before killing him and then eliminate the target….maybe even one of the witches. Instead here he was beaten and battered, restrained against a wall like some two bit minion. The pressure on his chest increasing he wracked his mind, what about time, turning back right, who turned back time, who could turn back time, time, time….time! “Tempus!” the name slipping out as it came to him.



“Tempus? Who’s that and where do I find him?” Hound questioned as he continued to push harder on Shax’s ribs.



“I don’t know! Argg!” feeling his ribs grate against each other he looked into those cold crimson eyes that demanded an answer “Really, I don’t know. No one does!!” The pressure on his ribs jumped dramatically and he coughed up blood. “The Source is the only one that knows how to contact him!”



“And where d….” all of a sudden Hound felt his vision dim and his body beginning to sway. Feeling the pressure on his chest become almost non-existent, Shax pushed the swaying Hound away, turned into his wind form and headed for the door. He’d escape, recover and kill the doctor, then find and eliminate this troublesome demon. “NO!!” recovering and seeing the escaping Shax, Hound called up a wall of hellfire in front of the fleeing demon to halt his egress. Unfortunately in his current condition his control was not where it would normally be and instead of simply blocking the demons path, the hellfire leapt forward and engulfed the demon. Screaming in agony Shax tried to revert to his physical form, only making it halfway before his body was consumed and used as fuel for the errant flames. Reaching out Hound fought the flames back under control and snuffed them out. Then consciousness left him and he dropped like a puppet with its strings cut, the bandaging returning to the form of his tattered black cloak as he fell.



Prue and Piper carefully made their way to the unconscious form of Hound until they were standing over him. Nudging him with her foot to make sure that he wasn’t faking Prue said “What do we do with him?”



Outside the film crew down the street wondered about some of the noises that they had heard coming from the house up the block, but not seeing anything of interest diligently stayed and finished their shoot.



Chamber of The Elders


“We have to remove this nuisance, it is bad enough that he hinders The Powers plans but now he interferes with ours.” said one of the robbed members that made up The Elders, the upper echelon of the whitelighters.



Another elder, this one a female with graying brown hair, spoke up. “Our best chance is now, with him apparently weakened from his battle with Shax, we could send someone to eradicate this threat.” After she finished the other elders seemed to agree with her, some contemplating who to send.



“But you won’t.” as everyone looked around the room to see who had spoken Kerberos stepped out from behind a pillar.



The elder Odin glared at Kerberos as he spoke “Your kind isn’t welcome in these chambers.” Derision and disdain in his voice as he continued “nor have you the power to dictate our actions; you don’t have enough power here.”



Kerberos’s loud laughter flooded the room as he slowly walked forward “There’s that arrogance I love so much, but you really should pay more attention.” As he closed his hand into a fist the room began to tremble and shiver, a vicious smile adorning his face. “My Chosen walk this world once more and my grip on this reality increase’s every day. Now as I said you…shall…do…nothing.” A cold wind washed over the room as Kerberos stopped speaking and the room stopped its attempt to shake itself apart.



Gather himself Odin made one more ploy to regain control of the situation. “Be that as it may, this situation concerns the Charmed Ones and as such falls under our authority, so we will act in their best interests.”



“The revelation of the existence of magic, yes that was quite a situation wasn’t it lost one of the Charmed Ones. Piper I believe?”



Seeing a chance to gain a more favorable position Odin continued. “Yes and we corrected the situation so…..” he was cut off when Kerberos interrupted, sitting in a plush chair that hadn’t been there a moment ago.



“You see I have a theory about that, want to hear it?” He never gave them a chance to answer. “I think old sourcy boy planned that whole revealing magic to the world thing in the hopes of killing one of the sisters, and he got his wish. But you didn’t like that, not the fact that one of them died just the fact that it was your leverage over their whitelighter that bit the dust. So instead of sending the Cleaners to fix the little debacle you, the Source and maybe someone else made some kind of deal. Tempus turns back the hands of time, one of the sisters still dies and since Phoebe wasn’t there I’m thinking that Prue was your target.” The expressions on the faces of the elders ran the gamut from shock and surprise to fearful. “But that would deprive you of the vaunted power of three, something that you’d never risk. So I got to thinking, are you risking it or just removing a pawn that’s grown dissatisfied with your ‘guidance’ and too powerful to ignore, to replace her with one that’s easier to control…..now I can’t prove anything…..yet, but it’s a good theory don’t you think.”



One of the elders, a man named Kheel, rose from his seat as he began to speak. “You have no proof of these accusations!!”



“Accusations, what accusations, all I did was present a theory.” Kerberos said with an innocent smile, while his eyes gave a knowing twinkle. “However if you make an attempt on that man, I might be inclined to take a deeper look at my theory. Well, have a good day.” A portal opened behind his seat revealing an infernal landscape that was quickly overshadowed by a massive three headed canine, another of Kerberos’s aspects, which turned one of its head’s to grip the chair in its jaws dragging the chair and a smiling Kerberos through the portal before it shut.



The Source’s Chamber, Underworld


He’d retreated to his chambers after Shax’s death at the hands of an unknown demon. That had been why he had come here, he didn’t know or know about this demon and that should have been nearly impossible. He’d seen so many varieties of demons in his time as The Source, and with the knowledge granted him by the essence of The Source, there was barely a 1 in a billion chance of him not knowing what type of demon he was seeing.



While The Source ranted and raved trying to discover the identity of who had killed his assassin, the source essence itself was thinking and planning. It had existed within one Source after another, guiding and controlling from behind the scenes, from within and now it thought that it was time for a change. This vessel had served it well but the damage, both physical and mental; that it had taken in a fight long ago had been growing, eating away at the vessels sanity and to keep the position and title of The Source strong it would have to be replaced. It was a simple matter really, just get the vessel and the replacement vessel in the same room, push the vessel into starting a fight and at a crucial moment withhold its power and allow the vessel to be killed. Once the vessel was dead it could inhabit the new vessel….and it already had the perfect replacement vessel in mind and on hand, Balthazar. All it would have to do was burn out the human taint that was Cole and Balthazar would make a perfect vessel. A little push and it influenced The Source to demand Balthazar’s presence.



When one of the demons on guard informed him that somehow both Balthazar and his witch had escaped The Source was livid, going around and destroying all the demons involved in guarding them. The source essence allowed this, encouraged it even, so that it could plot and plan to replace this flawed vessel.



Night, Halliwell Manor


The three sisters stared at the Book of Shadows that rested open in front of them. They had come up to the attic because of a feeling that Phoebe couldn’t shake, and had stumbled upon this little predicament. The Book of Shadows wouldn’t turn, no matter how they tried it stay one the same page, the same spell….‘To Call A Witch’s Power’.



Flashback


Having escaped from the underworld alongside Cole, with the aid of Leo, Phoebe had thought herself ready to face whatever she found at home. What she found was the Manor in disarray, damaged furniture scattered about, holes and scorch marks on almost every surface and no sign of life in the living room. Calling out for her sisters she was ecstatic when Piper came out of the kitchen and almost hugged her to death.



Piper’s tale of Shax’s attack and the demon that had killed him had surprised them all; especially Cole as he didn’t know which demon would want to make an outright enemy of The Source. Cole’s outburst at the fact that Prue was now apparently alone with a demon that had killed one of The Source’s premiere assassins had them running up the stairs followed by Piper who was trying to tell them something. Upon reaching Prue’s room they had thrown open the door to find….Prue sitting on her bed beside an unconscious man, gently moving his long hair form his face. Having heard her door slam against the wall Prue jumped up and away from her bed, seeing everyone standing in her doorway she almost wished it had been a demon attack.



Seeing her sister basically petting an, admittedly handsome, demon there was only one thing Phoebe could say “Looks like I’m not the only one with a thing for demon bad boys.” The mini teasing fest, started when Prue responded that she didn’t date demons, was quickly cut off by Leo yelping and orbing away from the black flames that had attack him when he neared the sleeping demon that he had been drawing closer to. Cole was treated to the same rush of attacking flame when he tried to get closer to identify the man, barely shimmering away in time and being forced to remove his flaming shirt.




When Prue had stepped back towards the sleeping demon, under the pretense that she hadn’t been attack before, and wasn’t attacked by the black flames, Piper and Phoebe slowly and carefully approached as well. The fact that the fire hadn’t attacked the witch’s led them to believe that the demon, even unconscious, saw Cole and Leo as threats and was protecting himself. Deciding to have a little more fun with Prue, Phoebe went to brush the remainder of the hair off the sleeping demons face. As her hand came into contact with his skin black flame leapt up and surrounded her, causing her to stiffen mouth open ready to scream. Seconds later the flames rushed back from Phoebe and into the sleeping man, leaving her surprised and unharmed.



In that brief moment when Phoebe had been shrouded in hellfire, two legendary powers had touched once more. Through the sleeping form of Hound, the power of the True Hound Kerberos used Phoebe Halliwell as a bridge to reach the Book of Shadows and the power of the Warren line. The severing of the link between these two powers left a small but growing urge to check the Book within Phoebe.



End Flashback


Deciding to do what the Book wanted them to do; the sisters began to recite the spell. “Powers of the witches rise, Course unseen across the skies,” as they chanted power built up in the room, causing the hairs on their arms to rise. “Come to us who call you near, Come to us and settle here!” As they finished the spell the energy that had been building in the room slammed into them, knocking them to the ground, before rushing outward, the pages in the Book of Shadows rushing one after the other before stopping on a page.



Pulling themselves up off the ground, the Charmed Ones checked themselves to make sure that they were okay before Phoebe went to check the Book. Her laughter brought Prue and Piper over asking what was so funny. Looking at Prue she smirked as she pointed at the page and said “Not a demon.” Wondering what Phoebe was talking about Prue looked at the page entitled ‘High Hound’.



Miles across town


Paige Matthews gasped as she awoke from her dream. It had felt so real, she could remember the voices calling out to here and trying to reach them only to suddenly fall. Her eyes focusing she realized that she wasn’t in her room, in fact she was falling, she promptly did what any reasonable human being would do and began to scream her little lungs out. The wind whipping by, stinging her eyes and stealing her voice, as she fell towards the hard and unforgiving pavement she shut her eyes.



Mere feet before she hit the pavement she disappeared in a shower of lights, appearing in her bedroom and dropping down on her bed and bouncing off onto the floor. Dragging herself up into a kneeling position leaning her upper body on her bed she wonder what the hell was going on.



The End



I might have read one too many Stephen King novels in my youth, because I’m beginning to realize that there are plots within plots within plots in my stories (sometimes I don’t even know the entire scope of the plot until it’s too late). This little scheme is probably the easiest and shortest, only spanning the end of the last chapter and part of this one. Try to spot it.
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