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Breaking Away For A New Start

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Fallacies Can Lead to False Impressions". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Xander meets some unusual people in the course of his post-Graduation road trip, and begins to develop some very interesting skills.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-Centered > Theme: Road TripGreywizardFR1812,2471167,32018 Aug 1218 Aug 12Yes
Disclaimer: They all belong to either Joss and Mutant Enemy, Laurell K. Hamilton or J. K. Rowling. Deal with it. I have.

Time Frame: Starts immediately following the Season Three episode, 'Graduation, Part 2,' for Xander and then goes seriously AU. For the Anita Blake character(s), this is pre-'Guilty Pleasures.' For the Potter-verse, the timeline has been altered to match my whims, so it's occurring near the end of the Golden Trio's fifth year.'

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: None, in my opinion. Yours might vary, if you think that evil, callous and perverted bastards are role models to be emulated. And if you do think that, you need to be seeing a very good therapist, anyway, so I really don't care about your opinion.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author's Note 2: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author's Note 3: Story #1 in my 'Fallacies Can Lead to False Impressions' universe. Note: the Anita Blake and Harry Potter universes are quite definitely different from canon. So, don't expect anything to be happening as per either of their canon histories.

Author's Note 4: This is story #18 for the 2012 August Fic-A-Day Challenge.


Oxnard, CA
Outskirts of the town

June 9, 1999
Very early morning

"Oh, come on! Can't you guys up there give me a break? You could at least let me have a week or so off before you drag me into something Hellmouth-y, couldn’t ya?"

Xander Harris' exasperated complaint, muttered under his breath as he caught a glimpse of a hulking, furry humanoid figure loping down the alley he'd just passed, didn't prevent him from immediately stomping on his car's brakes and slewing the car around in a sharp U-turn.

As he began carefully turned the rusted hulk he'd purchased from his uncle into the alley, Xander heard the 'boom!' of a shotgun split the night's silence, the source of the sound apparently located further down this self-same alley.

"Ah, man!" Harris muttered to himself. "I'm not even officially in town for five freakin' minutes, and trouble's already showing up.

"It's now officially official – I'm Fate's freakin butt-monkey!" Xander swore again under his breath, even as he pressed the accelerator to the floor upon spying the massive, furry creature running down the street a short distance ahead of him, its attention apparently focused on the man holding a Mossberg pump-action shotgun and standing over what looked to be a large green lizard-ish body, while facing the opposite direction a short distance further down the alley.

Honking his horn to distract the large, furry, obviously were-something or other from its apparent goal of attacking the man it was heading towards, Xander yanked the steering wheel sharply to the left as he pulled up alongside it. His actions made the semi-rusted hulk slew sideways and slam into the being Xander could now clearly see was a werewolf, smashing him against the brick wall of the nearest building and, he figured, most likely pissing the transformed creature off a great deal.

Throwing the car into reverse, the Scooby Gang founder heard the rear tires squeal for an instant before grabbing purchase on the asphalt as he hurriedly backed up, then quickly shifted into first gear again. Harris quickly slammed the accelerator down to the floor as he spun the steering wheel again, just as the now clearly furious lycanthrope was starting to pick himself up from the side of the road he'd fallen onto after he'd been crushed against the back of the brick warehouse.

Xander had only an instant to catch the shocked look of disbelief which appeared on the semi-humanoid lupine face before the front grille of his 1987 Ford LTD Crown Victoria crashed into him, crushing the werewolf's upper torso between the hood of the car and the wall behind him.

As he pushed open the driver-side door, Xander reached under the front passenger seat and yanked out his 'emergency kit,' pulling out both a baseball bat, with its formerly blunt end now sharpened down to a diamond point, and 'Katie' – his souvenir from the night he'd spent tooling around town with Jack O'Toole and that undead psycho's fellow zombies.

It had cost the young man a fair bit of money of the money he'd saved for his road trip, but the nine inch long hunting knife was now both newly blessed and had been upgraded with both silver and iron inlays, in order to give him a much wider range of options when it came to dealing with the usual variety of the Sunnydale night life.

Slipping out of the front seat, Harris carefully made his way around the back of the car, his senses alert for any indication of trouble, the bat in his right hand and Katie in his left.

He noted the massive gaping bloody hole which had been blown through the torso of the green-skinned demon lying sprawled, face-down on the street a half-dozen yards away. Harris also noted the deeply-tanned young man with his hair in a waist-length ponytail and a cut-down shotgun in his right hand, who was half bent over the body, puffing quietly from either exertion or the pain from several bloody gashes clearly visible through the tears in the ragged and bloodied yellow tee shirt he was wearing.

"Uh, hi," Xander nodded as he made certain to stop a distance far enough away from the obvious demon-hunter for the other man to feel safe, while still leaving him within adequate striking distance should it turn out that it was the guy, and not the demon, who was actually the Big Bad.

"So, I'm guessing that you two probably weren't working together, right?" the youth who'd first split the Slayer line declared as he gestured between the other man and the bloody-chested demon lying on the ground.

"'Cause most partners usually get along together a whole lot better than that," Xander said as he pointed to the gaping hole in the demon's torso.

"Who the hell are you?" the guy half-snarled at him, giving Xander a suspicious glare and half-lifting the shotgun in his general direction.

"And what the hell are you doing here?" he then demanded, lifting his weapon a bit higher, while also trying to keep an eye on the area around them.

"Well, uh, I figured that anyone who was fighting a werewolf by themselves, could probably use as much help as they could get," Xander answered as honestly as he could, figuring that lying to someone holding a still possibly loaded shotgun probably wouldn't be a very smart thing to do.

"What makes you think I was fighting a werewolf?" the guy snapped, eyeing him with a frown.

"Well, maybe things're different around here, buddy, but back in Sunnydale – that's where I come from, by the way," Xander added parenthetically, "we don't have any six and a half foot tall dogs running around town without their leashes, or their owners.

"So, when I saw Shaggy back there heading down the alley here, I figured he probably wasn't just chasing somebody's car, and I figured I'd see if anyone needed help," he explained.

The barely audible scuff of a foot against asphalt made Xander instinctively dodge to his right, even as he felt as though several burning knives were being shoved into his ribs. { Aww, crap!! }

Even as he tried to evade the attack, Xander began turning and he reflexively slashed Katie upward and backwards at his unseen assailant and was rewarded with a muffled curse/screech.

As he completed his turn, Xander recognized the same snarling features he'd last seen a few moments previously staring at him across the hood of his car, and he felt his own lips curl into a snarl as he swung the bat in his hand up and across the half-open jaws as hard as he could, smiling with a fierce joy as he heard the jawbone crack under his strike.

An instant later, the ear-splitting 'ka-booms!' of multiple shotgun blasts assaulted his hearing, and Xander literally saw the lycanthrope's skull virtually explode, with the werewolf's blood and grey matter splashing across everything in the area, including his face and upper torso.

As he half-tumbled to the tarmac beneath him, Xander gave a quick prayer that the monster didn't have any packmates in the area, even as he scanned the area behind them for any more possible enemies.

"You okay, buddy?" Harris heard the guy with the shotgun asking him, and he gave the guy a quick nod as he awkwardly pushed himself to his feet.

"Yeah," Xander answered, as he cautiously explored the four ragged gashes, which had been torn across his lower left side, with his right hand.

"I'm good, more or less," Xander said as he noted to himself that there wasn't any pulsing rhythm to the blood flowing from the slashes, which in all probability meant that no veins or arteries have been nicked. "Nothing to worry about here."

"I'm Bernardo Spotted Horse, by the way," the guy introduced himself as he let the shotgun drop and hang by his side. "I guess I owe you a 'Thanks' for the assist."

"Xander Harris," the newly graduated youth identified himself. "And you're welcome."

"I guess it's a good thing for me that you happened by," Bernardo said, as he began checking his chest to see how serious the wounds across his chest were. "I had no idea that that werewolf I was after had any backup.

"Although, if we don't get these cuts treated real quick, we might be ending up with other hunters after us," Bernardo warned, an expression of concern on his face as he noted the depth of the wounds.

"Any idea why that werewolf you were after had a demon as backup, instead of some other member of the Lon Chaney club?" Xander asked, his curiosity piqued by the definitely unusual behavior of the creature they'd just slayed.

Bernardo had just started to say, "That bastard's name was Fenrir Greyback –" when Xander felt a massive blow smash into his already-inured ribs and he was practically driven into the tarmac next to him.

"Because the end of days has begun, you fool," Harris could hear a raspy voce growl from above him as he struggled to stay conscious, despite his head impacting the asphalt. "Soon, you and the rest of the human trash will all fall beneath the oncoming flood!"

"Mother pus-bucket! WHO COMES UP WITH YOUR LINES?!" Xander cursed as the agony in his side made him feel as though he were going to throw up.

Looking back to where he'd just been standing, the demon hunter currently on an ostensible vacation saw the hulking green demon Bernardo had shot – and which had had a big, friggin' hole in its chest just a minute or so ago – was now standing up, apparently completely uninjured.

He also noticed that not only did the green demon have its right hand wrapped around Bernardo's throat, while his fingers scraped futilely at the demon's fingers, but that it also had a big freaking red jewel smack-dab in the center of its forehead.

"For anyone of us that falls, *ten* shall rise," Xander heard the Mohra demon gloating as it watched the other hunter unsuccessfully try to pry its fingers loose.

The multiple blasts of a pistol shot echoed in the alley as Spotted Horse somehow emptied an entire clip of bullets into the demon's chest, and Xander could both see and feel droplets of the demon's green blood splashing on them both as the fiend ignored the slugs perforating its torso.

"Yo, Mean and Green!" Xander called to the demon, once he had finally regained his feet.

"What is your hurry, human?," the demon warrior of the darkness declared as it turned its head to smirk at him, not loosening its grip on Spotted Horse's throat in the least. "You, too, shall die in just a few moments."

"You first, asshole!" Harris growled as he swung his bat at the monster with all of his remaining strength.

The expression of surprise on the demon's face as the bat impacted on the jewel in its forehead was definitely a Polaroid moment, Xander decided, even as the monster disappeared in a flash of light almost instantly.

Spotted Horse abruptly dropped to the ground, no longer held up by the Mohra demon. As he scrambled back up to his feet, he looked at Xander with a quizzical expression as he asked, "What made you think to hit that thing in the head like that?"

"Well, it kinda seemed like an obvious target, didn't it – having a big freakin' jewel in its forehead?" Xander replied as he sagged back against the concrete wall behind him for a moment. "It was either gonna go poof when it broke, or become a vegetable when I drove it through his brain."

"What was I supposed to do? Say, 'Hey, wicked cool jewel you got in your forehead there, dude. Really beats having a tattoo'?" Harris snarked, as he bent over to pick up Katie.

"And after seeing what your former playmate could do, I don't think I'm gonna take any chances with Scrappy Doo over here doing a repeat of his buddy's act," Xander commented as he staggered over to where the werewolf's body was lying.

A moment's work quickly enabled him to separate what remained of the lycanthrope's head from the rest of his body, and with that done, Xander turned to look over at his fellow survivor.

"So," Xander said as he caught his breath and began taking stock of his injuries, unaware how exposure to both creatures' blood and tissues was now reworking his body on a fundamental level, "since I'm new in town, can you recommend any semi-clean, cheap hotels I could check out?"

FIN (for now)

The End

You have reached the end of "Breaking Away For A New Start". This story is complete.

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