Disclaimer: Don’t own BTVS or X-Men. Joss and Marvel do.
Author’s notes: Had this chapter done for awhile, but I never got around to posting it. As some of you know, I’ve been kind of tied up with “War of Angels”. However, I’m taking a small break from that and going to write a few chapters of this. This is a short chapter, but I’m working on the next one and hope to have it up in the next couple days.
Oh yeah…and once again…BLAME SEMET!
Xander walked along the beach, the real beach (not the mental construct in his mind), replaying the last few days through his mind right on up to leaving Emma in her bedroom a half hour ago. He was tempted to stay there and just watch her sleep, but his conscience told him to leave. Although, somewhere, in the back of his mind, the Hyena snickered softly as he stopped to watch the waves wash up on the shore in the half moonlit night. I like…good mate.
Shut up…and she’s a comic book character, dammit. She’s not real!
Again, a playful snicker. Real enough…blue female would be good too.
A sudden mental image of himself in a threesome with Emma Frost and Mystique ripped through his mind and he reluctantly locked it away. Okay, enough of this.
Hyena’s laughter echoed through his mind and he couldn’t help shaking his head and smiling. He remembered how the primal spirit was when he first realized she was still there, mostly dormant, forever linked to his soul along with memories of a soldier and other little leftovers his mind, body, and soul acquired over the years. Though no longer dominant, the spirit was still hostile and wary of him. But over the years, having endured the Hellmouth and beyond, the Hyena became more than just a part of him, she had almost become a friend and constant companion…even if she was “just in his head”. Her presence kept many nasty things from messing with his head (with the exception of the Dracula/butt-monkey incident) and he was grateful for that. And now, it appeared she was his only friend and companion from the world he just left.
He looked down at his side and saw her standing next to him before she sat down, briefly looking at the waves before turning back to Xander and give him a soft growl.
Xander chuckled. He knew it was just all in his head and that she wasn’t there, but since no one was around, he talked to her anyway. “That’s a good question, girl. Still have no idea what to do.”
Hyena whined and looked back at the ocean.
“Yeah, I know…it’s a big world out there. A different world than the one we’re used to and I’m not sure what to do.” Xander shook his head again, momentarily closing his eye. “Stuck in a fantasy world made reality and I have no fucking clue what to do now.”
“Vell, if you vant my advice,” a new voice offered, “talking to a spirit creature out in the open isn’t a good idea and people might believe you to be insane.”
Xander opened his eye, smiling as he recognized the voice. “Azazel,” he said, turning to greet the red skinned mutant. “What makes you think I’m talking to a ‘spirit creature’?”
“Ah, Alexander, vhere I come from, vhat you have is not uncommon.” Azazel grinned as he stepped forward to stand next to Xander, looking out at the ocean. “Then again,” he added with a shrug, “I come from Eastern European country…ve have all sorts of ‘things’ like that.”
“Some how, Azazel, that doesn’t surprise me in the least.”
“No, I suppose it doesn’t,” Azazel admitted. “I heard you might be leaving us, is this true?”
“Yep,” Xander replied, a little hesitant in answering. “Don’t get me wrong, Azazel, you’re cool and all, but I get the impression I’m seen as some sort of liability or a possible threat by half your crew. You, I have no problem with…but your boss, Angel, and that wind guy…I’m not too sure about. They’ve been suspicious of me the whole time I was here.”
Azazel nodded. “A valid point, Alexander, but even you have to admit, given vhat kind of knowledge you possess along vith your unusual background, they have every right to view you as such.” Then he gave Xander another grin. “Even if it isn’t true. I can also say, vithout a doubt, that neither Emma or myself see you as such.”
The red-skinned mutant chuckled the mention of Mystique. “Raven? She doesn’t trust you, but she finds you amusing. To be honest, I believe she’s more upset that you can ‘sniff her out’ no matter vhat form she takes.”
“Yeah, well, she does smell nice to begin with,” Xander confessed, momentarily imagining a naked Mystique standing before him, a smug grin tugging at the corner of his mouth. Fair haired woman better mate…but won’t complain…take both.
Shut up, you!
“Indeed she does,” Azazel said, an uncharacteristically wistful look on his face, “indeed she does. And very flexible too.”
It took them both a moment to realize they were both lost in personal fantasies involving the blue mutant shape shifter (though Xander’s fantasy briefly included a threesome with Emma). After that awkward moment of silence, Azazel spoke again. “So where vill you go?”
“You know, I really hadn’t thought of it,” Xander replied. “Though to be honest, I thought about going to Africa.”
“Yeah, I figure I’d go with what I know, see the world, maybe find my path.” Xander suddenly shook his head and laughed. “That sounds kind of lame, doesn’t it?”
Azazel shook his head. “No, my friend, it doesn’t. You’re very much like Erik it that regard. He is a man of vision…vith a purpose. You…you’re a man in search of a vision, but I believe you vill find it and your purpose soon enough.”
“I think you missed your calling, Azazel,” Xander chuckled, “you sound like wise monk or a priest.”
“As you can see, Xander,” Azazel replied gesturing at his own demonic appearance, “I don’t think I fit the mold, but I accept your compliment. I really don’t see myself vearing a priest’s collar and Buddhist robes don’t work for me.”
“Well, you got the black suit part down.” Xander pretended to flinch as Azazel hit him in the arm.. “Ow…careful…me weak non-mutant human…” Suddenly, he tensed up, his enhanced hearing picking up the soft rumble of motors slipping among the roar of the ocean. His heightened sense of smell picked up the scent of gun-oil, ozone, and cigarette smoke coming from three small approaching boats about a half mile away. “Azazel,” he said in warning.
Azazel recognized Xander’s shift in tone. And looked out at the ocean, his own ears picking up the sound of outboard motors. “I hear them, Xander.”
“Warn the others, I’ll stay here.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, just don’t make any sudden moves…just walk away a few steps and teleport casually away, while I calmly start to walk towards the house.” Xander stooped down to pick up a rock and toss it in the ocean, well aware that they were probably watched. “And, if it’s okay with you, I might need to borrow one of your swords.”
Azazel nodded and turned to walk away, disappearing a couple seconds later in a puff of red smoke and the smell of brimstone.
Xander then started to walk down the beach, heading towards the house. He knew that he wouldn’t get there in time for the assault on the house, but that wasn’t his intention. He smiled as his enhanced hearing informed him that two of the boats were still continuing towards the house but the third had changed direction and was now heading directly for him.
He stopped for a moment, closed his eye, and smiled as his hearing picked up voices from the approaching boat.
“Take the one on the beach alive.”
“And the others?”
“The other teams will deal with them. Strucker will want to question this one.”
Xander’s suppressed a chuckle as he heard the boat cut its engine and make for a soft landing on the shore a hundred yards behind him. Strucker,
he thought, as in “Hail Hydra!” Strucker?
He opened his eye, which briefly glowed a faint yellow before returning to normal. He felt some subtle changes in his body and glanced at his hand while he flexed his fingers, feeling the slight tightening of flesh as his fingernails started to elongate and reshape into claws. Oh yeah…this is going to be interesting.
In his mind, the hyena let out an excited yip…it was time to hunt.
Xander’s smile broke into a toothy grin as he could hear the faint footsteps of at least a half dozen men trying to quietly sneak up on him on the sand. He could hear Hyena’s happy snarl as their shared thought made its way to the surface. It’s playtime!