A Key in Hand
Before we begin this story I just want to say something. All the ideas written down here a the ideas I have in my head and are very likely if I find time to become stories all their own.
Summary: The monks didn't have enough time to turn the key human, they could only hope that it chose right
The only problem I have with this idea is a lack of Dawn. Ten bucks says that just about everybody will know the crossover in about a second.
*Betaed by Oxnate*
Stray: A Key in Hand
"The Beast is upon us!"
"But we aren't ready yet! The spell isn't finished!"
"Just release it!"
"What! You know what happened last time it was free!"
The doors slammed open.
"We have no choice!"
And so the power to destroy or save worlds was released once again.
Xander shook his head once again as he tried to concentrate on his work. It was hard though. He just couldn't help but wonder things, actual deep things.
Like if any of this was for real or not.
Xander jumped, his knees bent as he turned for mobility and subconsciously altered the grip on his hammer for it to be a better weapon. He only relaxed when he noticed it was his foreman yelling for him. Xander jogged over to see what he wanted.
The foreman was a gruff looking man but he was overall a nice guy. So when he asked his next question Xander wasn't all that surprised, "You okay there kid? You seem out of it."
Xander nodded, "Yeah... Just a bit out of it is all."
"Out of it enough to be staring at the same nail for the last couple of minutes?"
Xander gave an embarrassed look as he rubbed the back of his neck. "Yeah."
"Look, Harris, you're a good worker and a great guy but if you're not feeling well tell me. Cause I don't want shit work on my site" Okay, so he's a good guy that likes his job a little too much. "Go home for the day, your shift's almost up anyway."
"Boss, I'm fine, really."
The foreman gave him a disbelieving look, "Just go home and sleep whatever it is off before you bust open your hand."
"But..." Seeing the stern look the boy just sighed and nodded his head.
Anya wasn't there. Still looking for a job herself he guessed. Not that he was complaining, he loved the girl but she made it impossible to take a nap.
So with very little reservation Xander landed face first onto his bed and fell straight into his usual deep sleep.
As he snuggled deeper into his comforter he felt strange. Like he was disconnected but aware of what was going on. Blearily he opened his eyes.
Was he falling? No there were little air bubbles coming from his mouth. So, sinking?
Huh, he was drowning after falling asleep in his bed.
It could only happen to him.
As he closed his eyes he notice he was falling faster and faster. So, panicking he forced his eyes open again only to find himself in need to shield them.
"What in the..." he asked himself as he stared around him. How did he end up at the beach... and standing? Was this a dream?
No, otherwise he wouldn't be feeling the rays of the sun or smell the sea water. His dreams were never this vivid. Or lacking of naked woman... or fighting... or something trying to kill him.
"Hey, bro." a voice called ahead of him.
Turning his full attention forward he saw a figure standing knee deep in the water ahead of him. It looked familiar.
Slowly, almost painfully so, the figure turned revealing a face that gave him nightmares and held many fond memories. "Jesse? Is that really you?" The sun was out, already burning Xander's day deprived skin. So it wasn't a vampire. But how?
The supposedly dead boy smiled at him and held out a hand for Xander to take.
Xander didn't hesitate as he took a series of rushed steps towards the water. But as soon as his boot touched the water the tide started to draw in on itself. Anyone who lived near the ocean knew what that meant, "Shit. Jesse! Get out of the water." The boy just kept on smiling at his friend with his hand offered as a large wave started to form behind him.
Xander ran as fast as he could, trying to save his friend. He wouldn't fail him again, he wouldn't!
But before he could reach his friend he was slammed down by the wave, tumbling back into the current. But that didn't stop him. He moved forward, swimming as hard as he could only to see a surprising sight of Jesse still offering his hand to him. He didn't know why but he still reached for it. Though ultimately he failed and the current swept him away.
A moment later he found himself standing where Jesse was a moment ago. He looked around for any traces of his friend but saw nothing but twilight covered water.
"Xander! Get over here!"
Surprisingly on the beach was the rest of the Scoobies setting up a barbeque and waving at him to come over. That's right they were supposed to go hang out at the beach tonight and unfortunately it looks like Buffy brought along her new pet vampire if the blanket was any clue.
Disregarding Spike, he waved back as he started to trudge his way out of the water and towards them. "Hey you guys did any of you just see..." he stopped himself mid sentence as noticed all of them were giving shocked and disbelieving glances towards the sky. Turning around himself he saw something falling from the sky.
Was that a meteor shower? No, it wasn't a meteor.
A person? A person was falling out of the sky!
Not believing his eyes he squinted them trying to get a better look. He wished he didn't.
"Is that me?" He asked out loud before a sinking feeling took over him. His arms twirling to catch his balance but failed as he found himself falling into the sky instead of sand.
"Xander!" The scream came from multiple sources as hands tried to reach out to catch him but none came as he seemingly took the place of his falling counterpart. He tried to reach out for one of their hands but was unable to reach any of them as he plummeted faster and faster before their wide eyes.
And once again he found himself submerged in water as he sank deeper and deeper into a dark abyss, trying to force open his eyes in the salty water. The currents twisted and turned his body as it spiraled deeper into the darkness until it seemed he stepped foot on land.
"What the," He gasped out as fresh air filled his lungs. "Okay, either this is the weirdest dream I've ever had or something Hellmouth-y is going on." Looking around him he couldn't see anything, not even the ground on which he walked. Taking a tentative step forward a light appeared and a flock of birds ripped themselves off the ground revealing a stained glass floor.
"Okay. Officially freaked out now." he said as he watched the flock of birds fly into the darkness.
*So much to do, So little time *
A voice called out from all around him, neither male nor female, neither strong or soft, it was just there. Which didn't set Xander's nerves at ease as he shifted his footing into his admittedly ugly but effective fighting stance.
*Take your time, Don't be afraid.*
Something drew his attention to the front of him.
*You're path is still open*
Whatever the hell that meant Xander wasn't sure he liked it.
*Now step forward, can you do that?*
Tentatively Xander stepped forward, now utterly convinced something Hellmouth-y was going on and it was always better to play it by their rules until you find a decent way to break them. Walking to the middle of the stained glass floor he felt a rumble tear through the area and three stone pedestals starting to rise.
*You have power inside of you*
A flash of light drew his attention to the right as a large shield started to take shape
*If you give it form-*
Another flash of light drew his attention to the left as a staff started to form
*It will give you strength*
In a final flash a sword appeared on the middle pedestal.
*Chose your strength well*
"What?" He asked the air confused. He received no answer. Sighing he walked over to the sword first, figuring if anything at least it was a weapon. But as soon as he touched it a voice whispered in his ear.
*The power of a warrior, invisible courage. A sword of terrible destruction*
*Is this the path you choose?*
Xander thought on what the voice said for a moment. Was this who he was or who he wanted to be? A juggernaut of a warrior with little standing in his way, to stand alone in a fight with little fear, everyone fearing him. Everyone, even his friends.
No. That was not who he wanted to be. Dropping the sword to let it float again he finally began to understand what this was. A test on what he valued. He didn't know why a demon would be playing this game with his head but they were.
Moving over to the staff he wondered what would be whispered in his head this time.
*The power of the mystic. Inner strength. A staff of wonder and ruin*
He dropped the rod like it was on fire. There were two problems with this one. One it was magic. Magic hated him. The second problem, it didn't even sound good. Actually, it sounded like it was going to blow up in his face.
So moving on to his last option he grabbed onto the handle of the shield.
*The power of the guardian. The will to sacrifice yourself. A shield to protect all*
See, now this was a good option!
Nodding his head he raised the shield to the air showing that this was his choice.
Whatever was putting him through this trial seemed to take the hint as the floor started to shatter beneath his feet causing him to fall in the darkness once again.
"Shit!" he screamed as he fell using his arms to shield his face from any of the falling glass. He thought that this was the end, that the demon had finally finished its game and wanted him dead. But he was proven wrong as his fall started to slow down and a new source of light started to illuminate the darkness. Looking down he saw a pale purple platform with the picture of what he assumed was a bride on it.
Slowly something angled his body so he'd land feet first upon the new stained glass floor and he started to take in his surroundings again. Soon he felt a warmth in his hand and in a flash of light a sword appeared.
*There will be times you have to fight. But keep your light burning strong.*
"That so does not sound good." And almost to prove his point shadows pulled themselves from the darkness and formed into rough dog-like shapes that laughed and laughed at him. "I hate being right."
The creatures jumped at him, beady yellow eyes looking hungrily at his flesh. But Xander, while not the prettiest fighter in the word, was experienced. So as the first creature came at him he forcibly kicked it away on instinct and brought his new sword forward in a downward arc, slicing deep into its black fur and flesh.
Xander actually started to feel bad about killing whatever was attacking because of how easy it was to kill them. Sure they were dangerous but after the third kill it felt like kicking puppies.
After years of fighting on a team and dealing with show boating opponents Xander reacted immediately by spinning around with the blade wide, easily cutting into the opponent behind him. "Um... Thanks" He said to the voice while wondering why the demon wanted him alive.
Though he almost trashed that thought as a thick ink-black... something started to rise and drag him into it. He started to thrash around desperately to escape only to feel embarrassed a second later as he found himself in the middle of an occupied room looking like he was in the middle of a seizure.
Raising himself from the floor he looked sheepishly around only to feel a great deal of surprise and dread as he recognized where he was. Sunnydale high's Library. "This can't be good" he said to himself as he looked around the room and identified the other occupants of the room.
Moving over to the one closest to him he asked, "Hey, Wills, any idea what is going on here?"
Instead of giving him a reassuring answer like he was hoping she gave a question. Was it too much to hope for that this was just another shared dream? "What is the most important thing to you?"
"Okay, cryptic questions. Great..." Okay cryptic questions means not something physical but an ideal that you have, something intangible. What was intangible that he felt was the most important thing to him? That was actually easy to answer, "Friendship."
The fake Willow smiled at him before fading away. "Okay, next." he said to himself before moving over the older man wearing tweed.
"What is it that frightens you the most?"
Easy question. "Becoming my father." The fake Giles gave him a proud understanding smile before disappearing himself, leaving him alone with the Buffy look alike.
"Okay. Lay it on me so I can get out of here."
"What do you desire out of life?"
"Of course they had to pick Buffy for this question." Xander mumbled to himself. What did he desire out of life? That was a hard question but he eventually came up with an answer that he was happy with, "To be strong enough to protect who I need to." It's what he desired not what he had. He was never strong enough but that wouldn't stop him from trying.
Buffy gave him a dazzling smile before she too faded from sight.
Looking around as if waiting for something to happed Xander finally asked, "Okay... What now?"
To answer his question the door the library cracked a little bit, streaming a bright light into the room. Cautiously walking over Xander pushed the door further open. As the light seemed to envelop him he heard the voice once again.
*You cherish friendship, you fear becoming a monster and you desire to protect. Admirable qualities. May they serve you well.*
*Your Adventure started at night, may you see the Dawn.*
"Again with the un-good sounding things."
The light slowly started to fade away revealing another stained glass floor surrounded by a deep darkness. He stepped around the platform for a while waiting for something to happen, an enemy to attack, another mind game but there was nothing.
"What do you want now!?"
A light shined in the distance revealing a large pillar and a series of multicolored stairs appeared, leading the way over towards his apparent destination. There was one stinging problem for him as he thought about continuing, there was nothing supporting the stairs. They just floated in empty space.
Xander sighed and moved forward as he saw no other choice. "I hate this, this, whatever it is!"
Cautiously he took his first step on the "Stair", finding it sturdy he moved to the next and then to the next. After finding them safe enough Xander walked forward with little fear. Out of his own curiosity he looked back to see what platform looked like. It was a grand depictionof a sleeping woman surrounded by thorns and deep red roses. It was a beautiful sight, making him slightly disappointed that he didn't try to get a better look at the other ones.
Making it to the last step Xander paused to take in the image on the new platform. It was of a beautiful woman curtsying in a yellow ball dress but over her shoulder he could barely make out an image of fierce looking demon glaring off into the distance. It was like symmetry. One couldn't be without the other without looking incomplete, empty.
Finally deciding to move he made his way to the middle of the platform. Looking up for the first time he saw a bright light spreading down through the darkness, scaring it as the light tore into it. It kind of made him feel safe.
*The closer you are to the light, the more your darkness shows.*
Xander heard a noise behind him and immediately turned around to face it. He didn't know if should have felt surprised or not as his shadow arched itself off the ground and stood ram rod straight facing him.
*But don't be afraid*
The shadow took a more professional version of Xander's own stance.
*And don't forget*
Bright yellow eyes snapped open as they peered over at Xander. Xander opened his mouth to say something but was stopped when the shadow burst forward in a quick motion, slamming its fist into his stomach.
Coughing from a lack of air Xander gave a wild swing only to hit open air as the shadow weaved under his fist and slammed its own into his jaw. "Oh, now you're getting it."
The shadow seemed to snort at the comment as he chopped Xander in the neck and kicked him in the chest. But even gasping for breath Xander tried to keep up his attack.
Xander's style was wild and full of openings but he didn't seem to mind taking a few hits as long as he got at least one on you. Add that to the fact that he fought dirty by going for the groin and eyes, you had something stupid but workable. In all honesty when he was in a fight Xander relied on his instincts and experience to keep him alive but against this very skilled opponent he was getting kicked around like a rag doll.
Badly bloodied Xander still stood, breathing heavily as he tried to get his body to respond. As he managed to limp a circle around his opponent it spoke.
"You should just give up kid." The voice was gruff. "You can't win."
Xander swished some blood in his mouth before spitting to the side. "Not really seeing that as an option."
The shadow shook its head "Dumb choice kid." Seemingly pulling a gun out of nowhere the shadow shot Xander once in the chest, making him take several steps back and stare at the wound in shock "Real Dumb". Not even giving him a chance to recover the shadow shot again and again until Xander fell off the ledge of the platform.
As he fell he immediately noticed he wasn't falling into empty space. Whatever this "darkness" was it was alive and was trying to drag him deeper into it.
*There is no need to be afraid*
Xander ignored the voice as he was using the last of his strength to struggle against the inky substance that was trying to devour him. As his consciousness started to fade away he could still hear the voice whispering in his ear.
*For you carry the greatest weapon of all*
The young man wanted to swear at the voice for giving him that cryptic bullshit while he was in the middle of a struggle for his life.
*So don't forget*
"Would you shut up!" Xander croaked out as he ripped an arm free in a rush of adrenalin.
*You are the one who makes his own path*
The darkness redoubled its efforts to drag him deeper and deeper until he had a gasp of breath bring him back to the world of the wake.
As soon as he saw he was back in his basement turned room he started to frantically pat his chest, searching for bullet wounds. Finding none he let out a relived sigh.
"What the hell was that?" he wondered, his hand still on his heart as he took in calming breaths.
Xander listened to Buffy and Riley playing in the water absently, having lit the fire with a halfheartedly thrown match. His mind has been elsewhere for last few hours. The dream he had earlier seemingly engraved itself in his mind as it wouldn't go away and he could remember, every, little, detail.
He thought about telling the others but decided against it in case it was just something he ate… that was laced with a heavy hallucinogen.
Said man jumped up and promptly landed on his ass. Grumbling audibly Xander looked at an amused Willow.
"What's up Wills?"
"We were actually going to ask you that. You were pretty spaced out." Xander looked up fully to see that both Tara and Anya were staring at him in worry.
"Nothing's wrong guys. Just… thinking is all."
Anya tilted her head "And what are you thinking about that stops you from talking? I kind of want to know just in case."
Xander barely made a scowl. "Point is I'm fine. Now let's work on those burgers."
Dracula was real.
Dracula was real and he was in Sunnydale.
And to make matters worse, Anya knows the blood sucker! That was just messed up!
He tried to tell himself he wasn't jealous as he walked down the streets, half drowned in self-pity but ultimately came up failing. As he turned the corner he saw the focus of his current ire.
Usually he would have felt some immediate fear but now there no fear. Like something was encouraging him, whispering in his ear that he would be fine. "So is this the part with the big scary intro where I cower in fear?"
Dracula scowled at him.
"What, come on, nothing, really? I liked you better in the books."
Something spread through the alley and hit Xander full on in the face "Silence." Was the one word that followed. A command for obedience.
Dracula actually started to frown. The boy was resisting his thrall?
"You will do as I command."
Something was burning inside Xander. Telling him not to listen. To fight.
"You will bow!"
He didn't bow! Fight, fight, fight. FIGHT!
A warm feeling started to bloom in his chest, his heart, and began to quickly make its way through his arm and into his hand. "NO!"
And in a flash of light it appeared.
The biggest damn key Xander had ever seen in his life.
But at the same time it seemed to be designed to be a weapon. The hilt was wrapped in a comfortable blue material with two golden guards on either side. Stretching from the end of the guard was a long silver pole with a crown like design where the teeth of a key should have been. To finish it off the key theme a chain stretched from the base of the hilt with an interlocking three ball charm at the end of it.
And then there was something more to it. A feeling, a power radiated off it as he gave the new weapon a few practice swings in the air.
"What is this?"
Xander was tempted to make fun of the way the bloodsuckers W's came out as V's but he was currently in silent awe of his new weapon.
"I really don't know…" Xander shifted his stance, legs wide, weapon held low and his left foot and shoulder facing Dracula "But I'm pretty sure it's a good thing."
Xander charged forward, shocking himself and Dracula with his new found speed. But Dracula was a skilled combatant, even before he was turned, so he managed to dodge on reflex and at the loss of his cape.
"This trip will prove more interesting than I thought." The vampire idly commented, looking forward to the challenge.
"Glad to hear it." Xander growled as he rushed forward again. Xander wasn't using the new key weapon as a sword as it was probably designed to be, he was using it how he would usually fight with an ax. Heavy swings, one after another. Sloppy, telegraphed things that Dracula easily swayed through before disappearing in puff of mist. "Oh, not good."
"Very." A voice whispered behind him.
"Crap." Was all he could get out as a powerful fist slammed into the back of his head. To his own surprise he wasn't knocked out or dead, just disorientated. Apparently Dracula was expecting a similar situation because he was forced to take the full brunt of Xander's dazed swing.
The swing itself was weak but power coming off the weapon made Dracula scream in pain. It was like the sun had just risen and decided to punch him in the side.
As Dracula hadn't taken such a powerful blow in decades; Xander, who was used to taking a beating, was the first to recover. And again with a sloppy swing he slashed Dracula across his chest electing another scream from the usually composed being.
And for the first time in centuries Dracula's true vamperic face showed itself. He struggled against the pain and lashed out. He connected but that didn't stop his determined assailant. This was not supposed to happen to him. He, t host feared and revered vampire in history.
This couldn't be happening. Not to a mere boy and an over-powered trinket.
Xander took in a rasping breath as he studied the vampire's bloody form before lining up the teeth of his weapon to the monster's neck. "Night bats."
Later in Giles' apartment the remaining Scoobies were brainstorming on what could be done about Dracula. But their session was interrupted by a disheveled Xander slamming through the front door with a comically large key.
"Hey guys just thought I'd let you know Dracula's dust in the wind" The room was silent at his proclamation, "Night now."
Xander promptly fell face first into the floor.
This is one of my two Kingdom Hearts ideas (Which I don't own), I hope you liked it. I'm iffy on both because of when they take place (S5 and S7) as I'm better (or I think I am) with S2 –S4 stories. Anyone know why a story like this hasn't been done yet? I mean Xander has been called both the key and the heart, I'd think it would be an obvious crossover.
Honestly I'm not all that happy with it and only have a general idea on where I'm going with it but please tell me what you think.
What I would add/change in a longer version of this. Have Xander have the "Dream" between seasons, have Giles looking at reports of those who "Failed" the dream, an explanation on how the keyblade works and what it does… And honestly, get rid of Anya, nothing against her, I just don't think I can write her.