Move So Slow
Pre-fluke. Aka, Homecoming episode before the kiss that made no sense (To me, I mean come on! Xander treats Willow like one of the guys/his little sister for years/the whole series and suddenly he kisses her? I get sudden love but… seriously?)
Summary: Who says you have to be destined to be chosen?
Chapter: Moves So Slowly
To be chosen is to become an avatar of sorts to powers larger and greater than oneself. To be empowered by these forces to do as they deemed. Usually the individuals chosen to do this are destined for it far before their births but sometimes someone peaks something's interest.
For whatever reason this person wasn't so much chosen as chose. They chose to step forward to do something that the higher force approves of and gives their power willingly to these people. These individuals used to step up so often that dozens of forces made this their sole way of choosing their champion. A choice that has left many without champions for decades and centuries.
Which was why these higher forces watch champions chosen by destiny, partly out of jealously and partly out of pure hope that maybe, just maybe, those destined would find someone that chooses. People who chose to take up a fight that they weren't destined for but could not bring themselves to ignore.
It's rare and far between due to the swings and gears of fate bringing those who were destined together but every once in a while they'd get somebody. Like the companion of the latest, or was the latest, Slayer.
When they first turned their gaze towards her and her companions it seemed like another bust.
The Watchers fell under the same purview as the Slayer.
The new Slayer line was still under old management.
Her witch friend was picked up a force of magic shortly after her birth.
The werewolf fell under the moon's jurisdiction.
The ensouled vampire was being watched by the Powers of Balance.
The cheerleader was being watched by a fallen power, something to pass down the rumor mill to be sure but still they couldn't touch her.
But that one boy who followed all of them like a lost puppy, he was free of any observers and up for the figurative grabs.
A force of Love wanted to call dibs and would offer the boy quicker healing for himself and others around him. Though it did say it would mess with his love life because of his miss used love life.
A force of War also stepped up saying the boy was rightfully his from the Halloween incident. The power of War would offer the boy greater strength and durability as well as a knowledge of all known warfare, from ancient times to the most modern.
A Feral force claimed the boy for itself, snapping at the others that it had rightful claim due to the accidental exposure to the Primal ritual. It would offer the boy greater senses, instincts and reflexes.
Now usually one force would win out in the debate and claim the boy, maybe have him choose in a dream, or perhaps they would come to a compromise and all claim the boy giving their combined blessing but not this time. This time a sentient dimension of pure power, of pure acceleration, spoke up and told them, "Too Slow".
Xander Harris was walking home from the grocery store hoping to all that he'd get there before the rain started. The dark cloud covering the afternoon sky were already shaking and flashing from the incoming storm.
Damn his parent s for not letting him use the car to pick up all their stupid stuff. Sure he liked soda as much as the next guy, and despite a few opinions he understood the importance of laundry detergent, but the stuff gets heavy after carrying it for a couple of blocks!
Still, he probably wouldn't be grumbling as much if didn't have other things weighing on his mind. The two heaviest weights were one, trying to find a tux within his budget that meets his girlfriend's standards and two, the nagging feeling that the others were purposely leaving him out of the loop when it comes to the supernatural.
It was just small little things that he was probably over reacting too. Conversations veered away from missions and patrols, meetings starting earlier than usual and during his assigned detentions. It probably wasn't on purpose or in malice but he noticed. Again he was pretty sure he was just over analyzing and over reacting.
But a constant feeling of inadequacy would always follow him when he was with his friends. He was the only normal one in a group of super heroes. He tried to keep up but all of them were so beyond him in some way. He could only pray that he proved himself useful in some way as time kept passing them by.
What happened next Xander didn't even have time to contemplate. One second he was turning onto his street, the next there was a flash of light and he was on the ground twitching painfully in the puddle of liquid from his burst open groceries.
Now if this happened at night this might have been the last moments of Xander Harris life, suffering on the ground for hours by himself immobile from pain and temporary paralysis waiting for some predator looking for a snack. But the Sunnydale of night was very different then Sunnydale in the daylight hours.
In Xander's fading consciousness he could hear some woman let out a scream as a man called for someone to call 911. The stomping of footsteps approaching his position being the last thing he heard as he finally lost whatever grip he had on the waking world.
It wasn't a way any of them really thought they would end up in the hospital. It was just so… normal. A rather freaky kind of normal, a really freaky kind of normal, but it was still a rather mundane reason. Not that they weren't all fretting for the boy's life.
Getting struck by a bolt of lightning was serious business and they still weren't allowed to see their friend. So far it was family visiting only and Xander's mother was too racked with nerves to tell them anything. The whole group irritably noticed that Xander's father didn't bother to show up even though his son was in the hospital.
Cordelia was glaring out the window at the rain splattering against the glass. She knew it was stupid to be literally cursing at the sky but damn it she didn't know what else to do. She had already asked/demanded from Giles if it could have been one of Buffy's freaksome enemies trying to get at her but that theory was denied through a long, and nerve bound, lecture about the difficulty of weather magic and the tactics of using them.
The short version was that it was very difficult and time consuming and would have been better to strike Buffy directly.
With nothing to scream at, to blame, to belittle she felt so useless, helpless. A feeling she knew was shared with every other person sitting with her in the waiting room.
They all looked so lost, and in the case of Willow on the verge of tears. All of them to do anything but wait to hear anything. Even bad news at that point would have been welcomed as it would have given them a direction to focus their emotions.
It wouldn't be till nearly two hours later that they would get any news, Xander's mother giving the Doctor permission to update Willow on her son's status.
Burns of various degrees around his body, heart stopping once on the way to the hospital, and in a state of coma for an unknown amount of time. While the girls did cry, or were on the verge of it, all of them couldn't help but feel relief.
He was alive and that was all any of them could hope for.
Faith walked into the hospital feeling self-conscious and stupid. And maybe, just maybe, a little hurt.
Why had it taken them so long to tell her that Xander was in the hospital? Why did she have to ask where he was to get an answer? Wasn't she part of their little group? Wasn't she good enough?
Trying to shake such thoughts away from her mind she asked the receptionist which room Xander was in. But on the way to the room nagging thoughts came back to her mind. Like why was even bothering to even visit Xander?
Maybe, despite his somewhat perverted approach to it, he had accepted her into the group more than the others? Maybe because she thought if you fought besides someone you deserved something?
Maybe because on some level she thought, hoped, she was friends with the Scoobies?
Growling at herself in frustration she once again forced those thoughts aside as she opened the door and entered her fallen… comrade's room. He didn't look as bad as she figured he would, the whole getting hit by lighting thing and all.
A few burns around his face, his hair cut shorter to get rid of the burnt and singed strand but otherwise he looked perfectly fine. Well, besides the whole not waking up thing.
She shifted awkwardly by his bed. She wasn't really sure what she was supposed to do now. She couldn't afford get well flowers or one of those stupid little teddy bears like she saw done on TV and she didn't know if trying to talk to a comatose body was acceptable or not.
For the moment she settled with making sure he was alright. Before she left the room, after only a handful of minutes visiting, she awkwardly patted his hair and asked that he woke up soon as things weren't nearly as funny without him.
The next morning, the fourth day of Xander's prolonged slumber, the on duty nurse walked into his room. At first everything seemed fine, she checked the monitors, changed the IV, made the updates to his charts as she did so. But one her way out of the room she accidentally jarred his bed, just enough to shake the bed lightly and for her to stat to curse herself.
Only start because a moment later Xander Bolted upright in the bed with a rather exaggerated gasp, simultaneously giving the poor woman one of the biggest shocks of her life. The boy's eyes went from clouded to sharp with a seconds time as his head whipped around rapidly, taking in every detail he could. When his eyes finally fell on her he let out a series in such a rush she couldn't quite catch what he had said.
"Excuse me? What was that?"
The boy seemed irritated about having to repeat himself but he did it again, speaking far too fast for her to catch. "Slow down, just a bit please?"
Again he seemed irritated but he did speak slower, which despite its pace of a normal person seemed to hold the air of him talking to a particularly slow toddler, "Why am I here?"
That wasn't unexpected. The few survivors of lightning strikes rarely remembered what happened to them, or believed it. So she explained it to him.
At the beginning of her explanation he seemed impatient but the expression on his face quickly turned to one of shock and surprise as she got to the end of it. "Really?" He managed to ask at a normal pace.
She gave a nod and then excused herself to go get the doctor. Call it Sunnydale instinct, or maybe a bit of common sense, but if someone unnerves you in a hospital she thought it best to have some orderlies with her.
Xander smiled happily as Willow babbled to him with excitement about what happened since he'd been hospitalized. He found the babble greatly comforting not just because of its familiarity but because of the pace of it. It almost sounded like a decent pace to him.
Everyone else just seemed to talk so… sluggish to him. Actually, everything did. It was almost like time had changed speed for everything around him.
Anyway so far the updates included a Slayer hunt, which ended badly for the wannabe hunters, mentally de-aging candy bars, something he sorely wished he could have seen, and the arrival of Faith's new Watcher.
According to Willow the new Watcher seemed decent, a little strict but seemed to have at least her head in the right place. Oh, and apparently Faith seemed ecstatic to have her own Watcher.
"Good for her!" Xander cheered, doing his best to keep the pace of his voice slower than he would have liked. "She deserved a new one."
"I guess." Willow said with a shrug, not really caring more than the fact she had another person around that she could pick the brain of. "So when do you get out?"
"The docs are keeping me here for another day for observation, standard post coma stuff. They want me to come back over the next few weeks though, make sure there is no long term damage from the bolt."
Willow nodded her head in understanding, both on the subject and Xander's half way babble. He seemed to be doing that a lot now when he talked. A side effect of having a couple hundred bolts of electricity run through his body? She read somewhere that people become twitchy after massive amounts of electrical exposure so maybe it was like that.
Another thing she was somewhat happy to note, in an admittedly morbid kind of way, was that lighting did leave a flower like scar on its survivors. It spread widely from Xander's chest to back and in her totally biased by boyfriend opinion made him look even hotter than before.
Getting back on subject she asked if he'd be going to school the next day and he let out a rather depressed sigh and said probably. This bit of information did much to brighten her mood even when Cordelia came by for her visit.
Xander was angry. He had been for a while. At Buffy for hiding the fact that murdering time bomb of a boyfriend of hers was back, at the ex-Watcher post for betraying his kind've friend, at himself for not being able to do more.
He couldn't help that he was sidelined because of his lighting caused injuries but it annoyed the crap out of him.
But now he was beyond furious.
How could everyone be so stupid? How could they do this to their friends? Their family?
In front of him three of his friends stood tied to oversized stakes ready to be set a flame by a cheering crowd. Without a second thought he moved through the crowd and snagged the torches out of the angry women's hands.
With a great empathize he tossed the lite sticks to the ground and stomped out the flames with his foot. Turning back to the crowd he saw them staring at him in mute shock, he didn't know why but they were. Some of them were trying to say, maybe scream, something but he couldn't find himself to care what they may have been trying to say. He just turned and untied his friends, barely noticing the confused, relieved and bewildered expressions of their faces.
As he finished and gave the three girls the once over a dual voice rang through the sluggish world around him, "No!"
Turning around Xander could make out a lumbering creature push its way through the rapidly disbursing crowd. He called out to Buffy, willing her to move on the attack despite everything. But as he turned to glance at her he noticed that she was moving but it was like she was wading through water. Slow, so slow.
How could a Slayer be so slow?
He didn't know but he knew actions needed to be taken on the sooner side that later. So picking up a piece of the intended kindling Xander raced as fast as he could towards the monster.
What happened next he wasn't expecting. Not the part where he lost his grip on his make shift weapon and his hands stinging from the impact. No, he was expecting that. What he wasn't expecting was to see the piece of timber lodged in the monster's head.
By the time Buffy made it to the monster Xander was already wondering what was going on and mid-way through a panic attack as dozens of different stray thoughts and theories came to mind.
Sorry for how short this is but it only took me like three hours to write this. I was hit by inspiration by 'The Ballad of Barry Allan' by Jim's Big Ego.
Anyway, if it wasn't obvious this is a Buffy/Flash crossover. I own neither. For those who don't know Flash's powers basically allow him to do everything fast. Running, moving, react, thinking, healing, recuperating, ect. This power is granted through a connection to the Speed Force, semi sentient higher plane/dimension/after life. In all honesty the closer to this Force a speedster is the more broken they become, I'm talking near god like power.
If I did do do this fic I'll probably show more of Xander trying to adjust to the slower world. I'll probably keep his powers low end Flash, barely breaking the sound barrier for now. And nothing against Cordelia (Second favorite to pair with Xander) but I'll probably have her and Xander break up, playing it as she can't take all the weirdness… Then I'd probably pair him with my favorite Faith. I'll probably have her get better with her 'new thing' aka bow and arrow. People who watch Young Justice will get it.