Standard disclaimer: BTVS was created by Joss Whedon. X-men and Spider-man were created by Stan Lee and pals. This is a piece of fanfiction that is not written for any form of monetary gain, only amusement.
“Ugh... what hit me.” Xander muttered as a stray beam of sunlight hit him directly in the face.
“Believe it or not... I think it might have been Kraven the Hunter.” A cultured voice said from his left.
“Mr. Warren?” Xander said as he turned and saw his second cousin. “Sorry about passing out on your doorstep.” He said before pausing. “Wait.... did you say Kraven? That weird guy with the hunting fetish I've heard about?”
Miles stifled a chuckle. “Xander, I believe the last time we spoke I told you to call me Miles.”
“I know. Tell that to my Dad or Aunt Edna.” Xander said.
Both of them shuddered as they recalled Aunt Edna.
No one wanted to be left something when she kicked it. Her lawn gnome collection alone....
“So... Sorry to bother you, but can I crash here for a bit? My car needs some work before I can head back to Sunnydale.” Xander asked.
“I have the room.” Miles said with a sigh. “You'll need to get a job though.”
“I'll get on it today.” Xander told him. “ I can't thank you enough.”
“Don't worry about it Xander. We're family.” Miles said with a soft smile.
“Thanks.” Xander grinned. Maybe his luck was changing after all.
The Jackal's secret lab....
Somewhere in New Jersey......
“Interesting.” Miles said as the computer displayed a set of data few people on the planet would be capable of interpreting. “From this I could engineer a method of grafting genes seamlessly into someone's own genome. I could....” He paused as he brought up some other information. “Nice. I could graft an active X-gene into someone with minimal effort. Whoever developed that steroid serum was crazy, but brilliant. Still... that doesn't really solve the degeneration problem we had with the frogs. If only I had a sample of.... one of the healers.... yes that could work.” Miles said with a mad grin.
He proceeded to setup a few subroutines in his computer. It would alert him to any appearances of the X-men and their traditional enemies in the tri-state area. Where there were battles, there would be blood. Blood he could use.
“Maybe then I could really get my project started.” Miles mused as he brought up the samples he had of Gwen and Peter. “Maybe I could get her to love me instead of that bastard this time.” He'd tried growing clones of them before, but they hadn't matured well. Degradation was part of the problem. Especially with the Parker clones he'd attempted. He'd assumed it was just due to it being a bad sample.
He still hadn't taken too close a look at Parker's DNA yet. He was too obsessed in creating an exact copy of Gwen.
Yes. Gwen would be his and he would take her from Peter. Even if he had to clone both of them to do it. He had nothing against the real Parker, he just wanted to have this victory. Any way he could.
Xander frowned as his finely honed 'Sunnydale Sense' started giving him the wiggins. He was in the middle of a crowded sidewalk and something was going to happen. Something big with a capital B.
He wasn't wrong. He instinctively dodged to one side and narrowly avoided being stepped on by someone wearing... big stilts? What was wrong with this city?
He quickly got out of the way and saw someone wearing read and blue manage to take down the obviously insane person with what looked like spider webbing.
Xander wondered if the guy had come in contact with any demonic spider blood. He'd seen the whole 'aspect of the demon' before.
Of course he'd also experienced animal possession before too. Repressing a shudder, Xander continued his search for work.
A few weeks later....
“Say Miles... what all do you do when you're not teaching?” Xander asked his second cousin. By now he'd learned his family member's class schedule and office hours, but there was still a great deal of time unaccounted for.
Xander's job as a dishwasher was only part-time at the moment so there was more than a few hours a day he had free and he wondered what exactly his illustrious family member did with his free time.
“I'm part of a knitting group.” Miles told him with a grin.
“No, seriously. What do you do?” Xander asked him.
“What do you do once the sun goes down?” Miles countered with a grin. He knew of course, but that was besides the point. He'd followed the teen a few times and had learned a little about the demonic world in the process. While not always successful as a demon hunter, Xander was a survivor.
Miles respected him for that, well mostly.
Xander flinched but didn't say anything.
“In all honesty Xander, I am a researcher. That's what I do.” Miles told him. “I've gotten some interesting samples lately and am close to some revolutionary breakthroughs.”
“Breakthroughs doing what?” Xander asked. While not a science geek himself, he could appreciated the enthusiasm a scientist had while discussing their work. Willow had seen to that.
“Cloning and gene splicing among other things.” Miles said with a grin. “We've managed to clone frogs long before those other guys cloned that sheep. Right now we're trying to deal with the genetic damage that the basic cloning process incurs.”
“Damage?” Xander asked.
“Well, all cells have set lifespans and replication limits.” Miles told him. “The more a cell splits and reproduces, the greater the chances of errors. That's where most cancers come from, genetic mutation and cell replication error. My work delves into creating perfect clones as well as reducing the transcription error old cell lines tend to have.”
“So... you're trying to build young bodies for old people that promise perfect health.” Xander surmised.
“That is the dream.” Miles admitted. “I'm not getting any younger myself. I stay in shape but I can feel the years pressing down on me from time to time.”
Xander nodded. He'd broken more than a few bones since he'd starting helping Buffy and those aches weren't going away. “So... any way I could help? I know some stuff.”
Miles laughed. “Son, while I appreciate the offer... most of what I do is so far beyond your level of education it isn't funny. Though I could use a gofer.”
“So what would I be doing exactly?” Xander asked. His current job wasn't paying much.
“Cleaning, maintenance on some things. Making sure things are stable.” Miles told him. “Though I warn you, it's not exactly a fun job.”
“Sure. What's the worst that could happen?” Xander asked with a grin.
Miles' watch started beeping. “If you'll excuse me Xander, I'm late for an appointment. I'll be back later and we'll talk about your future employment then. All right?”
“Sound good.” Xander grinned.
Miles nodded. His computer had just alerted him to a location where he could gather some samples. He had a healing factor to replicate.
A few weeks later....
Miles scowled as he stared at the clone in the chamber. There was something wrong with Parker's DNA. The musculature of the clone was far denser than that of a normal human being. Even with the modified healing factor added in... something was off about Parker. He pressed a button and the developing clone had enough poison introduced into its system to kill it, healing factor or no.
He'd have to take a closer look at Parker's DNA, see exactly how it was different than that of a normal human's. He hadn't taken the time after he'd first acquired the DNA. He'd been shocky and in grief over Gwen's death at the time. Now... he had another mystery to solve. He knew Parker didn't possess the X-Gene, so what was so different about him? He'd build a base clone without the graft to see what all was there. It would take less time if he knew the differences to look for.
It shouldn't take too long to figure out, even though he had other pressing issues at the moment.
He sighed as he turned and stared at the Stasis tube that contained his second cousin. While he wasn't entirely surprised by what happened, having Xander stumble onto the whole 'growing a copy of one of your dead students' wasn't all that great. Now at least he had a third set of viable genes to tinker with. Also since his altered genome was the basis of work in gene splicing... he'd make an interesting subject. Maybe once he'd figured out what was up with Parker's DNA he could tinker with Xander's and try to replicate it.
Time would tell.
Still... things would have been a lot simpler if he'd had half the equipment he'd had access to when he'd worked with the High Evolutionary. Most of the time it felt like he was stumbling around in the dark with only a candle as his guide.
Progress was progress though.
Several more weeks later....
“Wake up.” A voice called to him. “He's coming back soon. You have to wake up!”
“Huh?” Xander said as his eyes stubbornly tried to stay closed.
“He's coming back. If we're going to escape now is the time!” The voice insisted.
“Escape?” Xander rasped. “What?”
“You've been in stasis for two months.” The voice said. “I've learned things. Seen things. He wants to use us in his war.”
“What war?” Xander asked as he opened his eyes and tried to sit up.
“His war against Spider-Man” The voice said.
Xander turned his head and saw the source of the voice. It was a white male about his age. He was fairly plain looking with brown hair and eyes. The most distinguishing feature was the small scar on the right side of his face.
“What happened to you?” Xander asked him.
“I was the first batch.” The man said bitterly. “I didn't have the graft he gave the other one.”
“Batch?” Xander said quietly. “Oh shit. I remember. Miles was... cloning.... a girl. Damn, he's gone too far!”
“Come on. We need to get out of here before he comes back.” The man insisted.
“Right...” Xander said as he got out of the pod. “Clothes?”
“I've got a lab coat you can wear.” The man said.
Xander looked around and frowned. “How soon is he coming back?”
“We've got less than an hour.” The man said.
“Grab any files on his research you can. I know enough about this place to blow it up.” Xander told him.
“You can do that?” The man asked him.
“This place has a gas line, you're damn right I can do it.” Xander grinned. “Hopefully he'll be here when it goes off. I don't like the idea of killing family... but this goes against everything I believe in. People aren't guinea pigs.”
“I was afraid you'd be like him.” The man said.
“What's your name anyways?” Xander asked him.
“You can call me... Kaine.” The man told him.
“Can you think of anywhere we can go that could help us after this?” Xander asked Kaine.
“Yes. Somewhere in upstate New York.” Kaine told him. “Westchester.”
“Let's do this then.” Xander said with a feral grin. One that Kaine shared.
Two hours later....
“I feel bad about this... but not really.” Xander said as he and Kaine stripped a vampire of it's clothing.
“Why is his skin so cold?” Kaine asked Xander.
“You have spider powers but you don't know about vampires?” Xander asked him “Really?”
“Some of my memories are... disjointed. I am not a perfect copy.” Kaine said flatly.
“He's a walking corpse. Well he was before you crippled him.” Xander grinned as he put on the vampire's pants. While there was more than a little ick to the whole thing... but expediency was the main factor here.
After he was dressed, Xander staked the vampire using broken piece of a wooden pallet. “Let's get to this... Xavier place you mentioned. They might be able to help us. Maybe stabilize you.”
Kaine nodded. There was hope. Hope that this mark on his face wouldn't spread.
Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters....
Professor Xavier frowned as he sat up in his bed. He felt the distress of the two minds that were approaching his home. One's mind was disjointed while the other was full of focused rage. They were coming here for help. Help from what, he couldn't tell without doing a further probe.
Xavier grabbed the rack positioned over his bed and guided himself into his wheel chair before waking two of his trusted associates to prepare for their arrival.
“What's going on Chuck?” Logan asked as he and Beast came out of their rooms and joined Charles in the main hall.
“We have company.” Charles Xavier told them. “I've already shut down the defense systems so they can come here unimpeded.”
“What is it that requires my expertise?” Beast asked as he adjusted his glasses.
“They've both been modified genetically. That is all I can tell you at the moment.” Charles said as he opened the front door.
On the front steps of the mansion stood two somewhat shaken individuals. Logan recognized the scent of one of them, though something was off. He smelled sick, wrong somehow.
“We come in peace.” Xander said flatly.
Xavier nodded and let the two come in without expressly giving them permission to enter. He'd picked that up from the really angry one.
“My friend tells me the gorilla looking guy is pretty good at genetics.” Xander said flatly. “My friend's a clone and he's told me I've been tinkered with. Can you help us?”
“We can try.” Beast said with a nod. “I'm going to need some blood samples.”
“We stole some of the files too.” Kaine said softly. “Please. We can't go back there.”
“Especially since we blew it up.” Xander grinned.
“Well, let's get to work.” Beast said with a soft grin.
“Chuck... what's the story?” Logan asked once the two visitors were squirreled away in Hank's lab. “That one guy is clone of Spider-Man and the other one is... he's wrong Charles. He smells like a hodge podge of people, including me.”
“He said he's been tinkered with.” Charles said flatly. “You do tend to bleed when on missions.”
“I know Chuck, but seriously... this can't be a good thing. My healing factor is what gives me an edge. It's what made me survive this.” Logan said as he unsheathed his claws. “The last thing we need is someone able to mass produce it.” Logan growled.
“I understand your fears Logan.” Charles said with a nod. “With cloning becoming a reality and the knowledge of the existence of mutant-kind... I am afraid the genetic genie has come out of it's bottle. While they did destroy the lab... this could happen elsewhere. The information is out there, all it takes is the right bit of know-how to use it.”
Logan nodded. He didn't like the idea of his genes being used like this. It was bad enough he'd been turned into a living weapon. They didn't need to make any more of him. Or more people like Victor.
“So what's the verdict?” Xander asked Hank as the man reviewed the files and his own findings on Kaine.
“He is degrading. Mostly because the cloning technique used is a little flawed. His genes are somewhat unstable as well due to a radioactive presence in his system. The notes talk about a method of stabilizing it... but that would require an infusion of genes from another source.” Hank said as he took off his glasses.
“What's the source?” Xander asked.
“You.” Hank said quietly. “Your blood can save him.” Hank didn't bother mentioning that the original source material was elsewhere in the building.
Xander didn't even question the how or the why before saying. “Do it.”
“Thank you.” Kaine said softly.
“Don't worry about it.” Xander told him. “You got me out of the tank. There is no way of telling how long I would have been left there without your intervention.”
“Well... let's get started. This should take a few hours. In the meantime... you both should get some rest.
“Can we get some food first?” Xander asked. “I haven't had anything solid in a couple of weeks if the date on your word a day calendar is right.”
“Fine. I'll have someone show you two to the kitchens after I get a pint of blood from Xander here.” Hank told them.
Xander nodded. “Let's do this.”
Forty minutes later....
“Oh dear.” Charles said as he watched the two men devour their third helping of pancakes, each.
“Do you have any more syrup?” Xander asked.
“In the cupboard.” Charles said as he looked away from the table. “I'll get it.”
“Thanks.” Xander said as he took another sip of OJ. “I really appreciate you taking us in like this.”
“We're here to help those in need.” Charles told him. “If you don't mind me asking... who imprisoned you?”
“My second cousin. He's definitely getting a dollar in my will.” Xander told him. “I found out he was a mad scientist and what does he do? He experiments on me! Typical Harris luck. Do you guys have any idea what he did to me? I'm not going to have any weird surprises down the road am I?”
“Define weird.” Charles said softly.
“Well crap.” Xander muttered before passing Kaine the syrup. “That's just great. You know... road trips kind of suck.”
“I'll take your word on it.” Kaine told him. “I haven't... well my original hasn't been on one before. He's a city guy.”
“So... radioactive spider, is that what happened to him?” Xander asked. “When I first saw Spider-Guy in action I thought hey.... guy got infected by a demonic spider.”
“Demonic?” Kaine asked before flashing back to the vampires that they had killed after escaping the lab. “I can see why you would think that.”
“Huh.” Xander grinned. “Go with what you know I guess.”
Kaine nodded before getting a weird look on his face. He opened his mouth and let out a loud belch.
“Sorry.” Kaine said quietly.
“Don't worry about it.” Charles said with a grin. “It's not the first time something like that has happened in here and it won't be the last.”
“So... mutants huh?” Xander asked. “What's that like?”
“It's... well normal for us.” Charles told him. “I've known what people around me were thinking for almost as long as I can remember. But not all of our gifts are... as concealable as mine.”
Xander nodded. “I guess. Still... better than being the normal one of the group. Trust me on that.”
“Being normal is something more than a few of us wouldn't mind being.” Charles told him. “Not everyone views their mutation as gift. Some consider it a burden. Others a curse.”
“Yeah. I've seen stuff like that too.” Xander said with a nod. He knew Buffy hated being the Slayer even though that seemed to be the only thing that separated her from the Cordettes back at school. If she didn't have that going for her, well she would have been an even bigger bitch than Cordelia had been. Hell she could have been bitchier than Harmony.
Xander and Charles both repressed a shudder as Xander unintentionally broadcast that thought towards the mind reader.
“So... do you know what was done to me?” Xander asked Charles as he finished his food.
“You're still in mid-change.” Charles told him. “You're still weak from being in stasis but that won't be the case soon. Hank has told me you've been grafted with a healing factor as well as Kaine's abilities.”
“Meaning what?” Xander asked. “Is there any way to stop this or reverse it?”
“You were in stasis for some time, that slowed the progress but at this point the mutated cells now outnumber your original ones. Any attempt to halt the process or to even reverse it would kill you.” Charles told him. “I would like for you to remain here so you can adapt to your new... circumstances.”
“You mean my possibly having spider-powers.” Xander said as he pinched the bridge of his nose. While he didn't mind having an upgrade, getting one by the hands of an insane family member was not the way he'd pictured it. A cursed weapon sure. Maybe even some bizarre ritual gone wrong. But gene splicing? Not his cup of tea. “How is it going to happen?”
“We don't know.” Charles told him. “You may just wake up with the abilities one morning or they could come in gradually.”
“Mine were almost instantaneous.” Kaine said. “Mostly.”
“That's great. So... I'm a Spider-Guy knockoff.” Xander muttered.
“Among other things.” Charles told him. From Hank's preliminary tests Xander also possessed a copy of Logan's X-Gene. They weren't certain how that would manifest in the teen. Healing was one thing... but the rest of Logan's mutation... no one knew if his claws had been there before the Adamantium had been implanted.
“That's just great.” Xander muttered. “So... do we tell Spider-Guy about this?”
“He knows about the clones.” Kaine said. “He was fighting his copy last night. The... better copy anyways.”
“Oh.” Xander said softly. “So wait and see who survived?”
“For now.” Charles said. “Once Kaine is well we can focus on sorting out who is who.”
“The infusion is ready.” Hank said as he had Kaine lie down on the medical bed.
“That's good.” Xander yawned. “Kaine... you'll be up and about in no time. I on the other hand need a nap.”
Charles and Hank shared a look and Hank nodded. He would monitor the boy.
“You get some rest Xander. Stasis is no substitute for real sleep.” Charles told him.
“Good idea.” Xander said as he yawned again. “if I end up growing extra arms... amputate would you?”
Charles nodded as he felt consciousness flee from Xander's mind.
“He's been awfully calm about all this.” Hank said as he inserted the IV into Kaine's arm.
“He's partly in shock.” Charles said. “I've been suppressing some of his panic but... this actually isn't the weirdest he's seen.”
“So... there are other high schools like yours.” Hank grinned.
“No... that school he went to was unlike any other.” Charles told him. “Be thankful for that.”
“This will cure me right?” Kaine asked.
“Yes.” Hank told him. “It will stop and reverse the degradation.”
“Good.” Kaine said. “I'm too young to die.” He told them before relaxing.
Three days later....
Hank McCoy looked up as the passive sensors he'd attached to Xander started showing increased activity. He pressed a button and called over the intercom to Charles' office. “He's waking up.”
“We'll be right there.” Charles told him.
Hank nodded and flipped off the intercom. He made sure the video recorders were on as the boy started to crack the shell his outer layer of skin had become as he slept. He was going to awaken as a new man.
An arm broke free of it's shell as Xander stretched his body. The rest of shell broke as the teen sat up.
“Man do I feel better.” Xander said as he smacked his lips. He paused and pursed his lips. “What the...?”He said as he reached up and touched his mouth. “Fangs? I have fangs?”
“You may have more than that.” Hank told him. “Welcome back by the way.”
Xander noted that Hank was wearing different clothes than the last time he'd seen him. “How long was I out?”
“Three days. Kaine has stabilized.” Hank told him.
“Good. Any idea what's up with me?” Xander asked.
“That is yet to be determined. While you slept your outer layer of skin hardened like an exoskeleton. What's underneath is another issue.” Hank told him.
Xander nodded as he rubbed the back of his neck. He frowned as he moved his hand away from his neck and stared at it. “Claws?” He asked as he stared at his fingernails. They were thicker and almost black.
“That remains to be seen.” Hank told him. “Your physiology may be similar but not identical to your friend Kaine. While your abilities come from the same sources... how they will be expressed could be fairly different.”
“Meaning we could be as different as Beef and Pork Ramen. Same base noodles, just different broth and spices.” Xander summed up.
“While an odd way to put it, yes.” Hank agreed. “How do you feel?”
“Like a very thirsty million bucks.” Xander grinned.
A few days later...
“While it has taken him some time to acclimate to his new found flexibility and his body's other attributes... he has adapted quite nicely hasn't he?” Hank McCoy asked Charles Xavier.
“Well.. his abilities are very close to Kaine's. The claws and spinnerets are different. Have you been able to analyze the venom in his bite?” Charles asked him.
They'd found out about it after Logan had managed to pin Xander to the ground during a grappling exercise. Even with his healing factor, Logan had been down for close to a minute and a half.
“It's a paralytic. Plain and simple. The odd thing about it is that it contains absolutely no digestive components. When you consider the source of his powers, secondhand or not... it is a little odd.” Hank said as he adjusted his glasses.
“Yes well... odd things tend to happen around him.” Charles said with a grin. “If we could actually quantify it, I would say he has fairly bad luck.”
“That would be one way of putting it.” Hank mused. “Natural troublemaker is another way.”
“So... I have managed to track both the second clone and the original.” Charles said. “We need to try and arrange a meeting between them all. Preferably without violence.”
“Are you going to mediate?” Hank asked him.
“Most likely.” Charles said. “Unless something else pops up to get in our way.”
“Don't jinx it.” Hank told him.
Charles grinned. He'd probably already had.
Three days later...
“So... now what?” Xander asked Kaine, the second clone and the original.
“I say we play rock, paper, scissors for it.” Peter Parker said once the whole oddness of the situation had become apparent.
“You are the original.” Xavier stated. “Regardless of what the others believe. Your memories are not disjointed, nor are there any significant gaps.”
“So... what does that make us?” Asked the second clone who'd taken to calling himself Ben. “Back ups? Organ donors?”
“How about... alibis?” Xander grinned. “Nah. It's a big city if you guys want to cover different areas. Spider-Guy can't be everywhere at once.”
“I'm not going to stick around.” Kaine said. “According to the tests that have been done... I'm still not quite the same. I'm stable but my powers are... augmented.”
“So... I heal faster?” Ben asked, ignoring the moping clone. “Really?”
“You have a limited healing factor. It increases your recovery time by a fair bit but is only about say... fifteen percent that of Wolverine's.” Charles Xavier explained.
“Fifteen percent of the hairy guy's healing power?” Ben asked. “Nifty.”
“Lucky.” Peter said. “I can't tell you the number of times people thought Aunt May was abusing me in High School.”
“We know.” Ben and Kaine said together before glaring at one another.
“And the weirdness factor increases by a factor of three.” Xander said as he took a step back. “If you two want to stick around the big Enchilada, feel free. Kaine... If you want to head to the West coast with me, you can.”
Kaine nodded. He appreciated the offer, he really did. It certainly sounded better than dedicating his life to eliminating every trace of one Dr. Miles Warren.
Besides, the Big Apple wasn't big enough for three Wall Crawlers. Jameson would have a stroke.