Title: Beneath the Surface
Paring: Spander, Anita/et al.
Fandom: Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter
Rating: NC17 (for future chapters)
Warning: Violence, language, homosexual slurs, attempted rape
Disclaimer: I do not own anything except the computer I'm typing this on and am making no money. The fandoms all belong to their respective creators and owners who *are* making money off them. I'm just doing this for my own fun and entertainment; in general, if you recognize something, I don't own it.
Spoilers: This takes place after last episode of both Buffy and Angel, ignoring the comics, and somewhere around Skin Trade and Flirt (books 17 and 18). For Anitaverse, some of the characters will be mentioned, but the boys will not be joining in the adventures mentioned in the books.
Beta: NONE! Any mistakes are mine, sorry
Summary: Xander winds up in a whole new reality and is forced to learn more about himself and his new world. At least he won’t be alone for long.Chapter 1
Six months later, Xander found himself in St. Louis, a little more stable than when he had started and a lot more knowledgeable. Seems the things that went bump in the night were not only known of, they were almost celebrated. To say the attitude grated on his nerves at first was an understatement. However, he’d quickly come to learn that the vampires in this, well he had decided to admit it to himself at least, alternate universe, were much different than the ones back home. No vamping out into game face. No randomly attacking the populace, well mostly, but any caught doing that were dealt with swiftly by, and this really floored him the first time he’d heard it, licensed vampire executioners. He wasn’t sure if Buffy’d be excited or insulted.
Turned out there were more than just werewolves too; pretty much any animal seemed to have a were variety. But, unlike the vamps, the weres were highly discriminated against and he couldn’t help but think of quiet, laid back Oz and wonder what kind of life he’d have in this strange world.
And no demons. No random murders and chaos being caused by rampaging creatures escaping from whatever hell dimension they belonged in. It was insane. He felt insane, unsure of whether to be thankful he lived in his reality where it was stake first and ask questions later or to regret not having lived in this one all along where he didn’t have to worry about any of it.
Regardless of his fluctuating feelings on the situation, he’d decided that since he was apparently stuck there for the foreseeable future, he should make the best of it. That being decided, it still took him a while to figure out where to go. Luckily when the Powers That Be decided to fuck him over, they at least decided to let him keep his identity. With the exception of the, now obsolete, address on his driver’s license, all of his cards and certifications were still valid. That was about the only good news he found. He’d tried searching for his friends, hell he even went to L.A. to try to find Angel, but had no luck in any direction he turned. So, with a heavy heart, he decided to leave California and all the memories it held behind.
It still took him a while to decide where to go though. Well, the decision to move to a big city was pretty easy he’d had enough of small town life and he liked the anonymity he found in the constant hustle and bustle, it was just a matter of which
city he wanted to go to.
A combination of reading a couple different national newspapers and watching the news, as well as some discreet questioning of some of the local supernatural crowd, had him heading east. He tried Las Vegas first, and though he certainly got lost in the crowd, the atmosphere just didn’t feel right. However, it was in Vegas that he heard some first hand accounts of Anita Blake, otherwise known as the Executioner in vampire circles.
The little bit of news he had heard about the woman intrigued him, how could it not, for all intents she was a Slayer in love with a Master vampire, a couple of them if rumors were to be believed. He couldn’t help thinking of Buffy and her misguided relationships with Angel and Spike. Then he’d hear about all the weird stuff that seemed to happen around the woman and her group and he’d be reminded of the Hellmouth. So, like a demon moth to the flames of hell, he made his way further cross country, heading for St. Louis.
Xander picked up whatever odd jobs he could, construction when they were willing to give a one-eyed worker a chance, stripping when they weren’t. Surprisingly, his little experience in the exotic dancing field back in Oxnard came in handy, and apparently he had a dark and dangerous vibe that appealed to both sexes.
And wasn’t that
something interesting to find out about himself: nice, straight, skirt-chasing Xander wasn’t feeling so straight anymore if the subjects of his wandering gaze were anything to go by. He had to wonder if he’d always felt that way and just never gave himself a chance to think about it or if it had something to do with his little cross-dimensional trip. Actually there were several things he wasn’t feeling anymore, normal and completely human being the biggest of those. It was right after he left Vegas that he realized his senses seemed sharper somehow, that he was noticing things he hadn’t before. Whenever he walked in a building, he was automatically scoping out the exits and potential areas for cover. What was really unnerving was when he realized he had started picking out humans from non just by smell
. It was just outside Missouri when everything finally clicked.
He had just gotten off shift at another little hole-in-the-wall strip club when several burly drunks decided to start heckling the “fag dancer.” He tried ignoring them, simply slinging his duffle bag with his costume over his shoulder. Apparently it was an affront to their masculinity and they decided to retaliate by attacking him all at once. Unfortunately for them, he was used to dodging vamps, demons, and things a whole hell of a lot scarier than some overweight humans and most of their blows missed. But then one of them managed a lucky shot on his blind side that dazed him, allowing one of the guy’s buddies to knock him to the ground.
Up until that point, he hadn’t really been paying attention to what the men were saying, but when he felt hands at his clothes, he suddenly gained a whole new focus. Unfortunately, he couldn’t’ stop the words in time to prevent another blow to the head as his inner smart-ass spoke up. “You know, it always amazes me how many supposedly homophobic men automatically turn to rape as a method of punishment. Makes me wonder how close of friends
you guys really are…oomph! You call that a hit? I know a skinny blonde girl who could kick all your asses.”
Okay, so that last bit probably wasn’t a good idea either, but on the other hand, if they were hitting him, they weren’t doing other things. Plus while he was playing out his old Xander the Zeppo role, a part of his mind was busy with other things, like noticing the board from a broken pallet laying right behind of his attackers and the unfastened belt on another. He felt himself get hauled up to his knees again, felt hands at his waistband as the two next to him relaxed their guard. That was all it took.
The next few minutes flew by in clips of images: him bucking upwards and slamming his head back against the face looming behind him, followed by a gurgled scream; the board in his hand as he attacked one of the men next to him, watching blood gush from where the still embedded nails struck home; the belt ripped from the pants and wrapped around the third man’s neck before tossing him over his shoulder into the wall, using the belt to bind his hands; movement behind him and attacking the first man, straddling the man’s chest as he pulled the man’s head to the side with a feral growl.
The feeling of hot blood filling his mouth brought him back to his senses, well that and the sounds of sirens drawing closer. Lunging up off the now unconscious man, he spat the mouthful of blood out on him, only right to return it to its owner after all, and the idea of swallowing anything belonging to his would-be rapist was repulsive. In fact the idea of swallowing any blood should have been giving him the serious wiggins, but it never even crossed his mind. In fact, as he rummaged through his duffel for a bottle of water and a towel, he was wondering if he had enough money to splurge on a steak dinner, preferably on the decidedly rare side.
After rinsing his mouth out several times with the water and wiping the sweat and blood from his face, he realized the adrenaline must still be messing with him cause all of a sudden he was surrounded by officers pointing guns at him and one of the other dancers was shifting nervously, calling his name, apparently not for the first time. Dropping the towel, he slowly held his hands out to his sides, trying to look as non-aggressive as possible.
Of course his hearing decided to come back into play about then, just in time to hear the two conscious attackers babbling to the police about how the “crazy werewolf attacked us and… oh my God, he’s killed Gus.”
Xander whirled around to face them, ignoring the sudden multiple clicks of guns being cocked. “You stupid fucks, I’m not a were-anything, but damn sure not a wolf.” He couldn’t help muttering, “That was Oz’s thing and I never so much as got scratched by him.”
Turning to look at the “body,” unconsciously scenting the air, he laughingly noticed the cops shifting backwards and rolled his eyes, ~Like I’m really so Big Bad. As if! Spike would laugh his ass off.~ “Besides, your buddy’s alive, you morons. He passed out like a little girl as soon as I slammed his head on the pavement. Though someone might want to put a bandage on that bight soon. And why in all the hells are you lot aiming at me? I
was the one attacked!”
“An…Angel… your… your eye… it’s kinda glowing. I’m so sorry…I saw, but… but I’m a dancer, not a… not a fighter, so I called the cops. Oh man, are you… are you okay? The boss is gonna be so pissed. He doesn’t’… doesn’t like to hire supes anyway, and… and now this.”
It took Xander a minute to realize the babbling was aimed at him, or rather his stage identity. The poor trembling dancer was about Dawn’s size and gentle as a butterfly, Xander didn’t blame him in the least for not interfering. Taking a step towards the boy to comfort him, he unconsciously growled as all the guns were suddenly pointed a lot more intimidating in his direction, but it did make him realize what the boy had said about him. Muttering an “oh, fuck,” he closed his eye and took in a slow deep breath, focusing inwards as Willow and Tara had taught him to do for meditation. Sure enough, just as he suspected, his inner mindscape wasn’t so solitary and peaceful anymore. Instead, a soldier that looked an awful lot like an uninjured, younger him and a pacing hyena had taken up residence. As the soldier looked to be alert but standing at-ease, he focused on the hyena.
~Look, I don’t know how you guys are back again, but you’ve got to calm down. Those men out there are going to shoot me, maybe fatally if you don’t. Everything’s good now, promise. I’ll go hunt… er, rather, get dinner, as soon as they’re finished with me and we’ll all have a nice sit-down and figure out what the hell is going on.~
Out loud, he spoke in the boy’s direction, eye still closed as he focused on calming the hyena, mindlessly telling it what a good hunter/protector/alpha it was, and how crazy was he that he could do that anyway. “Mikey, calm down, it’ll be okay. I’m okay, just a bit beat up, some scrapes and what’ll probably be some nasty bruises. Luckily I stopped Gus and his buddies before they could rape me like they were planning.”
Hearing the two start babbling about their innocence, he whirled to face them, growling again when he heard the officers shifting. “For fuck’s sake! Who’s the officer in charge? I’m tired of this shit. I
was attacked by these three drunks apparently for either ignoring them for harassing me about being a ‘fag dancer’ or simply because I’m a ‘fag dancer.’ If you shoot me, I will bleed and probably die because I am human
! I am not a vamp, not a were-anything, not a ghoul, thrall, demon, or zombie, and if I was any of those, shooting me would just piss me off. Now lower the damn guns or at least point them at the right people! I’ve worked all day and been attacked. I just want to go back to my hotel room, take a shower, and get something to eat and drink to get that fucker’s taste out of my mouth.”
Taking a deep breath, he closed his eye and tried to calm himself again. Movement from the officers’ side ruined his focus and had a low, rumbling growl slipping threateningly from him. Opening his eye a crack, he saw that one of the officers had stepped forward, weapon lowered, though not holstered. A tired sigh slipping from him, he looked at the man. “Look, I’m trying to calm down, which will stop all the grr and weirdness but I can’t if I’m feeling threatened. I’ll do whatever tests you want, prove that I’m human. I just want to go home.”
The officer looked at him for a long moment, caution but no real fear in the steady gaze, and Xander felt himself beginning to relax slightly. Scared people with loaded weapons got people shot more from their nervous twitching than anyone else in his experience. He should know after his experience with learning to use the crossbow back with Buffy. Giles eventually forgave him.
Finally, the man nodded and pulled an object out of his pocket, what turned out to be a silvery cross on a sturdy chain, and gave him a curious look when proximity alone didn’t cause a reaction. Ignoring the rest of the officers’ objections, the man stepped forward, hand out stretched to get as close to Xander’s body as possible without putting himself in immediate danger, stopping just out of arm’s reach. Xander approved of the man’s caution, but he still had to wonder, “You do believe in Christianity, right? ‘Cause one thing I’ve found out is that unless you believe in whatever faith you’re using for protection, your emblem won’t work.”
All the cops kind of froze and one nervous voice spoke up from the row of uniforms. “What do you men? A cross keeps away vampires.”
“Not if I hold it, it’s not the religion I believe in. Like if you were Jewish, you’d need a Star of David, Buddhist a Buddha, like that. And if you’re atheist, you’re just fucked. You mean you guys haven’t been told that? That’s pretty shitty.”
The officer in charge blinked slowly, a look Xander was all too familiar with when it came to one of his rambling speeches, one that said “I think you’re crazy, but you might possibly right.” Thus, it was no surprise when the man gave him a critical once over and asked, “Who are
“Alexander Harris, otherwise known as Angel.” Xander couldn’t help the smirk that tilted his lips as he said Deadboy’s name and nodded toward the strip club behind him. It had amused him greatly imagining Angel’s response if he would have ever heard of his name being used as stripper’s stage name, and by Xander no less. Oh yeah, Xander laughed to himself every
time he heard it.
The rest of that night had been spent taking a multitude of different tests to prove he was a “normal” human and giving his statement regarding the attack. It was daylight by the time he was released and he had been pretty sure that wasn’t a coincidence either. Before he left the station, the nice officer had asked what his plans were. When he’d told him that he was headed to St. Louis, the man had suggested that Xander might want to go ahead and leave town sooner than later. Never let it be said that he didn’t know how to take a hint… or a carefully worded threat.
He never did get his steak.