White marble covered everything as far as the eye could see. Which, to be honest, wasn’t that far. A twenty by thirty-five room was the only thing Xander and Riley had seen since coming to plan with the Powers That Be. That had been one of many shocks to the ex-construction worker. To be working with Riley Finn. Soldier Boy extraordinaire wasn’t too bad, even though he and Buffy had been in a bad place when they had parted ways. The two men had their problems, and Riley could look past his to get the job done. Xander could admit that he had a little more difficult time of it.
He’d gotten better at it, though! After the first thirty minutes of being a jack-ass, Xander had wound down, realizing that most of what he’d said wasn’t even his business. Not to mention Buffy had obviously forgave Riley and had even chosen him for this very important task.
Time was also a difficult concept for the humans to grasp here. An hour after arriving, they had been informed that the world had already been reset and a few thousand
years had already gone by. Xander’s mind had gone blank, when he’d heard that. Everyone he’d known, ever seen, or even just heard of was dead. Riley hadn’t looked too thrilled at that information, either. Every single soul gone, and the two hadn’t even known it. They had taken a moment of silence to grieve, ignoring the Powers who were waiting.
The Powers. Or two of them. Not even vaguely humanoid. No limbs, just voices and oval balls of wiggy light. Xander didn’t like looking at them because it felt like they were trying too hard to come off as all-powerful. Even their voices sounded like bells. How useless was that effect?
“Alright.” Xander interrupted the discussion between Riley and what passed as the male Power. “We’ve decided that the Vamps are made of stone or some-such. They’re fast and strong. They can walk in sunlight and Holy objects can’t harm them.” He listed out what had been offered, and tentatively agreed on. “So we need some weaknesses now.”
“They are highly flammable.” The female Power told him in her irritating voice. She sounded like she was trying to sooth him. Xander blankly looked at her from his and Riley’s side of the map and paper strewn table that looked as if it had been grown from the marble floor.
“Right.” Xander drawled sarcastically, picking up what Andrew would have considered a character sheet from his D&D game. He saw Riley’s military bearing crack just a fraction as the Soldier’s lip twitched in amusement. “Their skin is cold, cuz they’re dead. Yeah. Flawless… Typical vampire.” Xander frowned, eye narrowing as he thought. “They should sparkle.
“ He demanded stubbornly. “So they avoid sunlight. Like… Millions of diamonds in their skin sparkle. Completely noticeable that they aren’t human.”
Beside him, Riley tried hard not to laugh, his lips a thin bloodless line as he tried to hold himself in check. Xander, turning towards the Soldier, glared. “Don’t laugh at me!” He was tired of scary shit! Uber-vamps and demons and slime. He was tired of it. “Things should be sparkly from now on.” He muttered to himself, glaring down at the sheet in his hand. “Pretty-pretty fairies…” He uttered just loud enough for the rest of them to hear. That’s when Riley lost it.
His laughter rang through the halls, causing Xander to grin widely. Yeah, that sound was way better than the Power’s stupid musical voices.~o0o~ ~o0o~ ~o0o~
Sometime later after a lot of fighting, Riley was looking through the vampires list of traits and frowning at himself. During his time in the Army, he knew that he would always have someone to fight. Especially the last few years when they actively went searching for Hostiles to take down. “They need an enemy.” The silence his voice echoed through was loud, causing one eye to look up from what he’d been studying and the two beings to turn towards him in interest. “Our world was destroyed because of Balance, so to make this equal we need to give them an enemy. Predator of the predator to keep numbers down.”
A clap on his shoulder was his only answer, Xander’s face splitting into a grin. “Genetic enemies.” He stated proudly. Though the expression didn’t last long. “Ones with a choice.” The Scooby pointed out hotly, his attention briefly on the two Powers.
“Wolves.” Riley suggested, to bring their attention back to the task at hand.
“Natural shifters with no Primal or Demon or whatever.” Xander offered after a moment of silence. He had seen Oz’s control issues and lived through his own struggle when it came to those two things. A repeat would be of the bad.
Riley nodded distractedly, his mind working overtime on the perfect predator for the vampire they had just created. Something Xander had said a moment ago caught his attention. Genetic. “Hereditary shifting.” He said out loud, still lost in his thoughts. Through the bloodlines… “So that ancestors could help the new ones. Should live as long as the want…”
“As long as they still fight the vampires.” Xander’s words interrupted and Riley’s train of thought. “And they can stop turning whenever they want. Be normal
.” The emphasis on the last word wasn’t lost on Riley. Though it was hard to tell if the Powers got the message or not.
“Faster than the vampires.” Riley stood up straight, working with the ideas Xander had given him and creating an image of a wolf in his head. “Teeth and claws able to break through almost anything.” Grabbing a new character sheet, Riley quickly outlined what he had in mind.
“Pack mentality.” Xander offered, leaning into Riley’s personal space so that he could see what was being written. “Though not completely. That is wiggy.”
Tapping the pen against his lip, Riley made a suggestion. “With a link. So they can mentally communicate while they are…”
“Wolfy.” Xander and Riley said at the same time, the Soldier turning his head to smile at the Scooby for the moment of synchronization.
Xander felt a moment of pride. It looked like he’d made a new friend.~o0o~ ~o0o~ ~o0o~
As the pleased and exhausted humans disappeared from view, the two powers solidified into more humanized shapes. “They left a lot for us to play with.” The male stated, amused as he picked up a sheet of paper. Creating a long feathered quill from thin-air, the male Power started jotting down more information for the wolves.
“They also didn’t ask where they were going.” The female laughed softly as she started going between the admittedly broad lines that had been left open for the vampires. “They forgot to make us agree to not…”
“Meddle.” The male finished for his counterpart. “Now they will help us keep the balance.”
In the new world, two women lay side-by-side with a nurse kneeling in front of their bent knees. They both screamed and panted as they pushed their first children out into the world, happy and exhilarated. Soon two babes lay in their cradles, one with blue eyes and sparse straw colored hair. The second had a thick full mane of dark brown with eyes almost the same color.
A/N: I see the Powers as Chaotic Good, which means they will do what they think is for the ‘Good of All People.’ Even if it means letting an innocent man get violently tortured and killed, or restarting a world that has upset the balance that keeps them in power. They do so love their manipulations.