Chapter 1 - It's not easy...
My Favorite Martian
Chapter One - It’s not easy.....
Disclaimer: I own squat insofar as any of the intellectual property played with in this fic goes. I.E. I do not own any part of BTVS or associated character, or the DCU, DCAU, or YJU. The loose plot, might be mine. But I doubt it.
Feedback: Always welcome
Spoilers: Bit of an au, But possible Spoilers up to the Halloween episode, and beyond. Though will diverge, wildly at times, from canon....(I hope.)
Authors Note: A couple of quick things before we get started. Before it’s noted, this fic is heavily influenced by a number of writers and their associated fics probably more than any other. Joehundredaire, and Cyclone. I’ll keep the fics that directly inspired this to myself for now, though over time it should be obvious, at least in one of the two’s case. I’ve also moved up the Buffyverse timeline by several years, as a necessary evil for where I wanted to go with this fic. There will be some gender bending done. And some character will wind up a bit different from canon. Hopefully, I’ll provide what most will consider a reasonable explanation for the changes. But, I’ll leave that up to those not so close.
(SAT, 11/01, 06:49)
“Offer me everything I ask for!”
“Anything you want...”
“I WANT MY....”
Hitting the floor with an audible thud, Alexander LaVelle Harris was dragged bodily from his somewhat bizarre, if pleasant dream with an audible groan.
“Ugh..” Untangling the blankets from around his legs, he blinked blearily as he turned around looking for his alarm clock, before recalling he didn’t have one. At least not since the last time he and Tony had had a ‘difference of opinion’.
Standing unsteadily as he tossed the blanket back onto the bed, he grabbed a relatively clean outfit from the pile of clothes sitting next to his dresser, before stumbling his way out of his room and off towards the bathroom, mumbling to himself the whole way.
“Hell of a dream, suppose I shoulda known better then to sleep on an empty stomach....wait, how did I get home last night? What did I do last night anyways? Lessee...today's...I dunno. Hmmm...Last thing I remember was....Twinkies?...No. No. Am hungry though.”
Opening the bathroom door, he grunted slightly as he nearly slipped on the ratty old rug laid over the tile, catching himself on the sink. Regaining his balance, he turned on the shower faucet, before his mumblings reemerged, “No, okay, there was...Snyder? I think. Oh...Yeah. Halloween. How’d I forget that? Bah. Okay. So, got drafted then...oh yeah, Costume shop with Creepy-Not-Giles-English dude. Buffy and Wills arguing over a costume then...”
Stepping into the shower, Xander’s musings were cut off momentarily as he let the water soak in for a few moments.
“Mmmm. Okay. Where was I? Oh. Costumes. Yeah. Wills wanted tradition, Buff was trying to get her to ‘expand her horizons’, heh, woulda been neat to see Wills in what Buffy was trying to dump her in. Hmm, oh yeah, then I got dragged into things when Buffy suggested a ‘Compromise’.”
“Blah blah blah, long story short, bye bye fatigues, Hello scratchy medieval tunic thing, and pants so tight someone coulda told my religion at a glance if not for the cup...thing.”
Stepping out of the shower, reaching for a towel, Xander glanced in the mirror, every thought running through his head derailing suddenly as he stared, slowly raising a hand, then letting it fall, his mouth opening, then closing.
Finally, he stated with a bit of his trademark good humor, “Green freaky demon and...” Slowly he moved the towel from where it rested over his shoulder, before bringing a hand slowly up to his chest “Something that looks distinctly like Tit’s, by Picasso. I get this funny little feeling I missed something important last night.”
The ‘young man’ promptly fainted dead away, landing on the floor with a meaty thud. Just barely missing colliding with the toilet as he fell.
(SAT, 11/01, 07:07)
Wearing a pair of dark slacks, boots, a light turtle neck, and an old beaten fedora, a single man walked the long stretch of highway between where he’d been, and where he might go.
He had been walking along that empty stretch of road for a long time. His intervention had not been needed, as yet, and so he simply traveled. Reveling in the freedom such allowed him.
But now, looking towards the south, he felt it, and a small smile crept onto his face.
“The sleeper awakens. Things will get interesting again.”
His steps seemed a bit lighter he continued walking, whistling a little tune as he went, smile still tugging at the edge of his mouth.
(SAT, 11/01, 07:38)
Leaning back in his office, Rupert Giles slowly sipped at his morning tea, trying to soothe the nerves the previous night had frayed.
It was too quick, too easy. He’d let the walls drop, let the masks fall away, thrown off everything he’d done, everything he’d built of himself with barely a thought.
Rayne had made a nuisance of himself, worse yet, he’d attacked the children. His children. He hadn’t heard more than a few words of them from the others. Hadn’t seen hide nor hair of them since before Rayne had sent things to hell in his own way.
But Ethan had cast his spell, let loose his bit of chaos, and when he’d found him, found out what he’d done?
Ripper had come out to play. And oh how he’d enjoyed it. The pain he inflicted, the sheer contempt each blow conveyed, the glee he took with every drop of blood he’d spilled, every little bone he’d snapped in his search for answers.
No. No. Honesty. Honesty was better. Confront the demons, his demons, that’s what he’d been taught.
No, answers hadn’t mattered. All that had mattered was the rage. The drive for vengeance. And the sweet thrill of it all. Ripper. His own name for his own darkness. He had to remain truthful when dealing with it, if he ever hoped to truly master it.
The sudden ringing of his phone brought Giles out of his silent musings. Setting down his glass, he reached for it, “Sunnydale High, this is Rupert Giles speaking?”
“Giles...”, an almost unfamiliar voice whispered out from the speaker.
“Xander, lad, is that you? You sound ghastly.” Giles frowned, he could already sense something was amiss. Given last night, he did however, have a bit of an idea about that.
“Y-yeah.” The boy took an audible breath, before speaking again, “I...think I need your help.”
“Yes, well...” Giles trailed, this was actually odd behavior for the boy, usually it seems if he was neck deep in a problem, they had to find him, he didn’t come to them, ah well, a change for the better was always agreeable he supposed, “Is this about last night? The Halloween debacle? I was informed of what transpired, and managed to put an end to the spell. It was a spell, if you were unaware. The, uh, chap running that costume shop, Ethan's, doing actually. Miss Chase told me you’d been caught up in it.”
There was a long pause on the other end, before Xander responded, confusion clear in his tone, “No. Yes. Maybe. I really don’t know G-Man. It’s not something I feel comfortable talking about over the phone. Not in this town, at least.”
“Well, the School....”
“NO!” Cutting Giles off, Xander again repeated in the whisper he’d been using so far, “No.” Though the shout itself was damning when it came to further showing the change his voice had undertaken, it was lighter, but with a resonance that seemed almost...otherworldly. “No. That’s not a good idea. I’m...ah... Could you come to my place?”
“Hmm, perhaps.” Something was amiss, Giles was now sure. And he did not want to risk it falling to his Slayer yet. No. He could handle this for the time being. “Yes. I will be there shortly, I’ll just need to take care of a few things here to keep the library running while I am out. Will you be okay till then?”
“Yeah, that's fine. Just, y’know, don’t dawdle.”
(SAT, 11/01, 07:49)
It had been a bit of a long night, Jenny had spent most of it working on a program for a demonstration she planned to give in an upcoming class. So, she was admittedly feeling a bit off kilter this morning. Looking up from where she’d been shuffling a few random papers Principal Snyder had all but thrown at her that morning, she found herself facing one of her favorite students, causing a slight grin to blossom across her face, “Willow, Good morning.” Noticing how the girl seemed to be nervously bouncing from foot to foot, concern practically written across her face, she asked, “Is something the matter?”
“Have you seen Xander? Or Buffy? Or, or, Mr. Giles?” She asked, nibbling on her bottom lip, “I checked the library, but no one was there, I tried calling from the phone in Giles office, um, he’s told me before it’s okay to use it, and well, I don’t think he’d have a problem under the circumstance given that. But well, no one answered anyways, and, well, I know Buffy can take care of herself usually, mostly, and she’s always got Angel at her back but well...I’mworriedaboutXanderandGileshaveyoumaybeseenthem?”
Jenny blinked. Looked up at the almost panicked look her student was giving her, then blinked again. “Okay. I think I got most of that. But could you repeat the last part. I’m afraid you went a little too fast for me.”
“I’m worried about Xander and Giles have you maybe seen them?” Willow repeated, a hopeful almost pleading look on her face.
“I saw Giles this morning in the teachers lounge when I came in. I’m afraid I haven’t seen Xander or Buffy. However, if Giles isn’t in the library, or his office, I’d wager he’s probably already on the case of where they’ve gone.” Jenny answered slowly, careful not to say anything that would hopefully get the young woman worked up again.
“Oh.” Relief seemed to flood through the redhead, as she let herself fall into one of the chairs sitting in front of the computers that lined the room, “Thank you. I guess I should probably get back to the library until classes start. In case the others show up. If you see any of them, you’ll let them know I’m looking for them, right?”
“Thanks. Really, Ms. Calendar, you’re the greatest.”
As the door shut behind Willow, Jenny gave a small snort of amusement. “I wonder what they’ve gotten into this time. Last night was Halloween, so probably nothing major. But still. Should be worth checking in a little later and getting the scoop from English.”
(SAT, 11/01, 08:05)
Coming to the front door of the Harris Home, Giles was more than a little surprised to find the door unlocked and slightly ajar. Knocking on the frame, he peeked in, calling out hesitantly, “Hello, this is Rupert Giles, with the school, is, uh, Alexander home?”
Moving into sight at the end of the entrance hall, a tall, probably Six foot, maybe six three figure covered in what appeared to be a rather large and ratty old quilt spoke up in the same whispered tone Xander had used on the phone earlier, “Mom and Tony aren’t here, Giles. They’re up in Washington, visiting family. It’s, just me.”
Turning, the figure moved down another hall, leaving Giles to follow after he closed the door, as it moved into the living room of the home, “You know, you really shouldn’t leave doors open around town, Vampires might not be much for daylight...”
“I kept an eye out, watching, waiting for you to pull up, before I unlocked it.” Taking several steps away from the Brit, Xander let the quilt drop from over his head, “Didn’t think letting the neighbors catch sight of this would be a good idea.”
“Good Heavens!” Giles reeled back at the sight presented to him reaching back into his jacket, he barely kept himself standing as he backed against the couch, “How...when....What did you dress as last night?”
“Movie character, not important, and definitely not...” Xander raised a three fingered hand up through the blanket to point at his face, “Anything that resembled this.”
“My word.” The librarian slowly took a seat, his jaw set as he examined the Boy, “And you just woke up like this, I take it?”
“Yeah. Heck, I can barely remember yesterday as a whole, and next to nothing from, after, whatever, I guess the spell you mentioned, happened. Not even sure how I got home last night.”
“...” Giles continued to stare, “Well, it reminds me a bit of one of the run in's you had last year. Perhaps they could be connected.”
“Ms. French?” Xander shook his head, “No. I don’t think so. Nothing other then the coloring seemed to scream ‘Cannibal bug lady’” Scratching his chin with one of his elongated fingers he added in a mutter, “Well, other then maybe the lady bit.”
“Hmm? What was that?” Giles raised an eyebrow.
Shoulders slumped, Xander let out a sigh, “I can’t say for certain, and oh, please don’t ask me to drop the blanket. But whatever...I have become, doesn’t seem to have uh...the same ‘equipment’ I used to.”
“Well, it is likely a demonic species, they do not always reproduce in the same manner as...”
“No. Not really what I meant. Well, not entirely.” Xander shuddered slightly, “I’m not sure how to say this, but here goes. So, this...whatever I am, seems to have added an extra Fe, onto the front of my status as a male.”
“Fe...onto...” Giles stopped, before his head shot back up with an almost audible snap, “My word, are you telling me you’ve become a woman, lad?”
“I really wish I wasn’t, if that helps?” Xander shot back. “But yeah. So, what do you think, demon body swap? Magic whammy? Botched possession?”
“I uh...” Giles stood slowly, before starting to circle the ‘boy’, “I can’t say I recognize what you’ve become from any of my studies. It’s most definitely not any of the more common demonic races. Given last night's events, a possession or magic would seem...unlikely, what was done was chaos magicks, channeled through offerings to a ‘God’ of sorts, and it’s notoriously difficult to work other magicks when those are in effect. Honestly, I’m at a bit of a loss, as you said your ‘Costume’ last night has no apparent relation to what you’ve become.”
“Oh.” All the life seemed to go out of the changed being as those words sunk in, “Huh. Suppose Buffy will finally get me out of the line of fire at least. Can’t exactly patrol if I look like what we’re trying to hunt.”
“Oh, please do not be so dramatic,” The Watcher chided, “I do have contacts, and resources I can pull on to try to solve this dilemma. Albeit some I am more loathe to use than others. But we have faced far worse in the short time since you children descended into this ‘world’ last year. So, do drop the theatrics. I will not promise a swift solution, but there likely is one out there. I just require time to find it.”
“Thanks.” Xander smiled, a slightly disturbing sight with the changes his, now her, face had taken on, “Really Giles thanks.”
Taking a seat of her own, on the couch, a sense of relief seemed to wash over the boy, “Any word from the girls?”
“None, as yet. But as you recall, it is fairly early yet. And likely after last night's events, I can understand if they were a tad late getting a start to their day.”
Xander nodded, “Alright. Call me once you hear from them?”
“Of course.” Giles nodded, moving towards the door, he stated, “I think I should get back, so I can get the ball rolling, and be there to explain things when they do finally make their way. What do you want me to tell them about your...condition?”
Xander stared at the carpet for several moments, “I’d like to say, tell them nothing.” He stated honestly, but quickly dismissed it, “But, that seems like a really bad idea where Buffy’s involved. I’d say just tell them something hellmouthy sideswiped me for now. And I’m not fit to be seen. If they press, I guess tell them everything, just, if you do, try to make sure Deadboy isn’t lurking around if you could.”
With one final nod, and a quick goodbye, the older man left, closing the door behind himself. Moving to follow, Xander locked it before returning to the living room. Only to find a familiar figure leaning against the doorframe that lead into the kitchen.
“Hey kid. We need to talk.”
(SAT, 11/01, 08:06)
It was quiet. She found herself more at ease with the quiet. It gave her time to think, and she had plenty of that to do right now.
Halloween. It was almost poetic in a way. That that night would have changed her so much. For good or ill, she wasn’t sure. Though she couldn’t really bring herself to care either way.
After all, she thought as she slowly curled a lock of dark hair around her finger, looking in the mirror. She liked the changes, and that was what mattered.
(SAT, 11/01, 08:12)
Giving the kid a dirty look from where he still stood, the aforenamed Rory responded grumpily, “Yeah, and I heard ya the first time kid.”
“Sorry...just you didn’t say anything and wait...You you called me kid. You only ever call me kid. How....What...” Xander’s sputtered, unsure, at a lost, and after a moment he dropped to the floor, the quilt sprawling out around him,”What is going on?"
Moving off the door-frame, and taking a single step forward, Rory shrugged, “A lot, I suppose. And yeah, I know it’s you, kid. Hell, even if I hadn’t, after hearing you with the brit, and then just now, well, it’d be a bit tough not to make that little leap of logic.”
Reaching into his back pocket, Rory dug around for a moment, before pulling out his wallet, flipping it open, he pulled out a simple white card, before tucking it back in, “Hell of a night, last night, wasn’t it? Wasn’t here, myself, out and about on business. But from everything I’m hearing. Hot night on the old Hellmouth. You got caught up in it, I know. Which is why I’m here. “
Tossing the card down at the kid, he continued, “See that? Used to be a nice emerald green. Used it to keep track of ya kid. Well, in a way. See, there's a lot that’s been kept from you. That I’ve kept from you.”
“Hell.” Rory snorted, “Your ‘Parents’ don’t even know some of the shit I know about you.”
Xander paled, her mind immediately shooting towards the most obvious, “You know about Buffy?”
“The cheerleader? Yeah. I know what she is and who she works for, and what you do with her and your little girl friend, and the Old man that just left. But not what I meant kid. Last nights caused problems, but they ain’t problems that originated with Last night.” Looking down at the card now sitting in the kids lap, he crouched down, “That card was a monitor. For a number of things, a number of spells, a number of seals. All placed on you. Kid, ya see, how do I put this....You aren’t who you think you are. We made you think that. We didn’t know what else to do with you.”
Shaking his head, “Hell, I’m talking as if I really had a choice. See, kid, your old Uncle Rory, he’s what you might call a...Maintenance man.”
“But your a mechanic.”
“That’s the day job. Or side job, Kid. There's a difference. But yeah, Maintenance man. Same as my Father, his father before him, and so on, and so forth.”
“But Papa Harris was a Vet, lived off his retirement, and before that he was a drill instructor and an MP not...that.” The green skinned, white eyed ‘girl’ stared up at Rory in confusion.
“Kid, seriously, don’t be stupid.” Rory glared, “You know I’m not a Harris. Yeah, me and Tony are Half Brothers, but you know I’m a Regan. Fuck, not sure what I woulda done or become If I’d been under that Sorry ol’ Cuss’s thumb like Tony was. Now can I actually get to the point, or are we gonna be doing this all night?”
Xander just nodded mutely.
“Right. I’ll try to make it a bit quicker then. In the Regan” Rory made sure to make the emphasis clear on the name, “Family, there's a bit of a tradition. A burden passed from father to son. It’s..hard to explain, but, it’s what brought me to you. In the course of carrying out my ‘Work’, I ran into a group of creepy crawlies, real crazy lot, called themselves the Sisterhood of She, or Fee, or something. Long story short, there were doing something weird, a ritual, maybe, something Magical though. I can tell you that much. I managed to run ‘em off.” Xander gave Rory a rather incredulous look at that, “Hey now, I did! Part of the burden. But beside the point. I ran ‘em off. But whatever they were doing, when they ran off, something was left behind.”
Staring straight at Xander, Rory repeated, “Kid, you were left behind.”
(SAT, 11/01, 21:00)
Slamming his apartment door behind him as he returned home that evening, Giles threw his keys onto the coffee table before making a beeline for the kitchen. Rummaging through his cupboards for several minutes, before he produced the item he’d been searching for.
Returning to his couch, picking up the hand held on the way, Giles pulled the stopper from the large bottle of scotch he kept in case of ‘Emergencies’.
It had been a long day.
Thinking back on Alexander, he gave an audible sigh. A very long Day.
Joyce Summers had called in for her daughter, Alexander had obviously not been able to attend either, which had left him rather solely at the mercy of Ms. Rosenberg.
She had been more than a little distressed when she had entered the library during her lunch period. He’d told her what he could, and done what little he was able to allay her fears.
Though he had not told her about just what exactly Alexander was going through. It truly hadn’t seemed a very good idea, given the frame of mind the girl seemed to be in with both of her friends momentarily out of sight. And frankly He rather hoped that that bit of mess would be resolved without having to involve either of his other charges.
Focusing once again on the phone, Giles hit the speed dial, he waited until he heard a connection on the other end speaking before the other side had a chance, “Hello, this is Rupert Giles, I need to speak to the head of the Council.”
“No. We have a problem, but it’s one he’ll want to give his direct attention.”
“...No. Not that type of problem. I wager I’d be a bit more cross with all these questions were it THAT kind of problem. No, as I said though, this needs his direct attention.”
“Yes. Yes. I can hold while you get him.” Giles replied dryly, looking over to a picture on his mantle of himself with the three Children, a little after the Masters defeat, he gave a wan smile, “Sorry, Alexander. But this is for the best, I think.”
“Maybe.” He added, taking a pull from the bottle.