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Why Burn Bridges, When You Can Nuke Them?

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Summary: Xander decides to go out with a bang when he offers his resignation to the Reformed Slayers and Watchers Council.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-CenteredGreywizardFR1812,0442408,56215 Dec 1215 Dec 12No
Disclaimer: They all belong to either Joss and ME, or to their respective authors and/or studios. Deal with it. I have.

Category: Multi-crossover in later chapters.

Time Frame: Starts approximately one year after 'Chosen, goes AU for the AtS finale, 'Not Fade Away,' and begins approximately four years prior to my story "Not All Snakes Speak Parseltongue."

Spoilers: None intended because this is set in a completely alternate universe than the canon Scooby-verse.

Character Bashing: Nope. No bashing at all. Every scene and act attributed to the various characters are taken from canon, and EVERYONE'S screw-ups are highlighted and questioned quite acerbically. Yes, Xander's are highlighted, too. I don’t consider myself a hypocrite, and I don't hold different people to different standards in the same story, unlike some writers. What else would you expect when Xander unleashes the admittedly rather vicious and vindictive side of his personality on people he thinks have treated him poorly? Everybody – including Xander – gets their many screw-ups pointed out for public scrutiny.

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: This story is the prequel story to my earlier story 'Not All Snakes Speak Parseltongue,' and is an attempt to explain, at least in part, why Xander left the Council and how his character changed and evolved from the person last seen in canon in the season seven episode, 'Chosen', to the one appearing to match the character modeled after the lead in the John Carpenter movies and seen in 'Not All Snakes Speak Parseltongue'.

Author’s Note 3: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author’s Note 3: This is story #15 in my own personal Christmas Fic-A-Day Challenge.

~/~/~

The Sineya School for Exceptional Women
Cleveland, OH

May 21, 2004


"So, No Longer Deadboy, let me see if I've got this straight – you're saying that you, assisted by the Bleached Blunder here, led everyone who'd managed to survive your original idea for a private detective agency on a kamikaze attack against Wolfram and Hart's remaining demonic forces in L.A.? And that you two not only somehow ended up as the sole survivors of that suicidal mess, but that the Powers thought that you both did such a good job of getting everyone else killed, that they made both of you guys human again?"

"Xander! That's not a very nice way to talk to Angel and Spike, after everything they've been through," Willow scolded her childhood friend while both Buffy, from her position next to Angel on the loveseat, and Dawn, seated next to Spike with his left hand clutched in her right hand, glared at him in a way that screamed their disapproval of both Xander’s tone and his attitude towards the two former bloodsuckers.

"Why??" Xander protested with an indignant expression. "What's your problem, Will? What exactly did I say that wasn't completely factual or true? Huh?"

"Oh, don’t mind the whelp, Red," Spike said with his typical smirk from his position next to Dawn, on the couch situated against the far wall. "He's just jealous that he hasn't done anything important that he can point to when people ask what he's accomplished so far in his life."

"Oh, really, Spike? So, you're saying that giving Buffy CPR and bringing her back to life back in our sophomore year of high school wasn't 'anything important,' huh, Spike?" Xander shot back with a sharp-edged grin, as he watched the dismayed expression appear on the Bleached Blunder's face. It was trite but true to add that Harris took pleasure in witnessing Spike realize how his words would most likely be interpreted by his former paramour.

"Well, *I* appreciate what you did, Xand," Buffy announced as she threw a furious, narrow-eyed glance at Spike. "If you hadn't followed Angel down into the Master's lair after me, I'd have been pushing up daisies for nearly seven years, now."

"I – what? Ohhh, I see. I 'followed Angel down into the Master's lair,' right," Xander repeated the blonde's words with a small note of incredulity as he turned his attention to the dark-haired man she was currently snuggling up against. "Is that how you told Buffy it was, Liveboy?"

Angel, for his part, steadfastly avoided meeting the other man's eyes and instead focused his own gaze on the glass of bordeaux he was currently holding in his free hand.

"I'd rather not think about how things might have ended up if you hadn't been there that night, Xander," the former undead detective declared with a small shake of his head. "I'd much rather focus on how good things are, now, and how much better they can get," Angel added as he squeezed Buffy's hand and gave her a small smile.

"Yeah, I can certainly believe you'd want to do that, No Longer Deadboy," Xander agreed, giving the former vampire a cynical smile as he rose from his chair.

"Well, I've got some things I need to take care of. I'll see you people later."

~/~/~

"I can't wait to finally meet Spike," Xander heard Adrianna, one of the newly Activated Slayers from somewhere in Eastern Europe, announce with a wide smile as he passed by on his way to a meeting with one of the Council's various suppliers. "Rona and Vi were saying how he was such a hero, back when they were all fighting against the First Evil in Sunnydale.

"They said if it wasn't for him, none of them would have ever made it out alive! He and Buffy showed everyone, time and again, how they were the greatest heroes you could ever hope to meet!" she went on, both Adrianna and her companion swiftly leaving Xander behind.

Neither of them noticed the look of exasperation, disgust and annoyance that crossed Xander's face as she prattled on.

~/~/~

Five weeks later


"…that’s why I still say that at least one Slayer in each group should be carrying a pump-action shotgun, every time they go out on patrol," Xander proclaimed for what seemed like the hundredth time as he and the other members of the Executive Board reviewed policies and procedures, as well as potential changes in the Chosen educational curriculum. "And that's in addition to the semiautomatic pistol each member of the patrol should be carrying.

"It would definitely help cleaning out any vamp or demon nests they might run across during patrol," Harris explained. "Especially if they're carrying a load-out of Dragon Breath shells."

"Figures the whelp would want the girls carrying rifles and what-not," Spike commented derisively from his place at the end of the table next to Dawn. "Typical bloody American with their cowboy shoot-'em-up fantasies.

"'E's not up to being able to fight with fists and feet, not to mention a god-old fashioned stake, so 'e wants a chance to make 'imself look like a bleeding hero like Jesse James or something," the formerly undead one-time poet snorted.

"Oh, really? Well, unlike some people who’ve been sitting around on their asses and milking the publicity about what they *used* to be able to do, Spike, I've actually been going out on patrol with the new Slayers pretty much every night," Xander replied as he stared coldly at the still-platinum-haired former vampire. "That’s why I've seen the kind of things the girls have been going up against lately. Kinda funny, but I don't recall seeing your name – or Angel's – listed on any of the patrol schedules over the past month."

Spike instantly looked uncomfortable as Xander went on, "So, you probably don't realize that Cleveland is a totally different scene than Sunnydale was, and that the vamps and demons the girls have been dealing with here have a whole different mindset than the ones back in California," he elaborated for the other people at the meeting.

"I mean, am I the only one to take note of the fact that we've had three separate patrols shot at in the last month and a half, and it's only the fact that the vamps were piss-poor shots, thanks to being stoned or drunk, and that some of the girls were able to circle around and get behind the shooters, that kept us from having to rush anyone to the ER to be treated for gunshot wounds?"

"I’ve noticed it," Angel spoke up. "But Xander, you of all people should know that unless you literally blow someone’s head off with them, bullets just aren’t that effective on the undead. Case in point, I still managed to stake Darla after she’d shot me full of holes; remember?"

{ As if you’d ever let me forget, } Xander thought viciously. The fact that both Spike and Angel had begun attending the Council Board meetings, and that their opinions appeared to carry just as much (if not more) weight as his own, was something that Harris was finding more and more troublesome with each passing day.

But it was also something he continually put off addressing, for the sake of internal harmony, despite the fact that neither of the two former leeches had yet to assume any official duties at the school.

"Angel’s right, Xander," Buffy shook her head after barely a moment's consideration of his words. "I've never liked guns, and I don't think that we should be encouraging teenaged girls to start carrying them around. Not only because of the legal issues, which we’re in no position to do anything about if someone gets arrested for carrying an illegal firearm, but also to prevent anyone getting killed from so-called ‘friendly fire.’

"So I'm voting 'no' as far as your suggestion goes."

A few minutes later, when his proposal to arm the Chosen crowd with pistols and shotguns was voted down, yet again, Xander said, with a disappointed shake of his head, "I really hope you're right, Buff, and that I'm not gonna be saying 'I told you so,' after we have to bury one of the new girls because she couldn’t shoot back at some idiot vampire willing and able to kill them from a distance.

"But I'm also pretty sure you're not, so let the record show I want all of you who just voted 'no' on this to remember – deaths in the future, thanks to some pistol-wielding demon asshole, are all gonna be on *your* heads."

~/~/~

Six weeks later

"…and since neither Buffy, Dawn nor Willow have demonstrated any interest in meeting with any of the various other demon-fighting organizations we are aware exist throughout the world, and since neither Angel nor Spike could ever, under any circumstances, be considered to be appropriate representatives for the Council, even considering that they are once again human, I'm hoping that you'll be able to persuade at least some of the groups you'll be meeting with that they should coordinate their efforts with ours," Giles informed Xander distractedly as he gazed over the papers in front of him.

"I feel I must warn you, though –because the Old Council's previous Governing Board was never open to forming any sort of alliance with any of the other hunter organizations that we know are out there, you are very likely to encounter a great deal of residual animosity regarding our current effort towards rapprochement," the new Head of the Reformed Slayers and Watchers Council reluctantly confessed some of their predecessors' shortcomings.

"The previous administration apparently felt that, because they controlled the Slayer, they were somehow above needing to consider any type of cooperative effort."

"Yeah, I gotcha, Giles," Xander nodded, with a harsh twist to his lips that went unnoticed by the preoccupied Englishman. "So basically, what you're telling me is that you're sending me, your least preferred and now, the sole remaining candidate – because Buffy, Dawn and Willow don’t want the job, and the two ex-vamps would get shot on sight – off on a world tour to accomplish something that’s more or less impossible. Are you really serious about hoping that I'm somehow gonna be able to sweet-talk all of the people that Travers and his predecessors went out of their way to piss off and look down on for years, into agreeing to work together with us?"

"Uhm, I would never have described the current situation in quite such a manner, Xander," Giles replied, a bit startled at the amount of vitriol he'd believed he'd heard in the younger man's voice as he finally looked up from his papers, but the expression he was greeted with appeared to be the normal bland and seemingly placid one Xander typically wore, so the Council Head mentally shrugged off his momentary concerns.

"If I didn't have every confidence that you would be able to handle the tasks before you, I wouldn't be asking you to do this," he replied as earnestly as he could manage.

"Okay, then, big guy. I'll see you in a couple months," Xander said as he pushed himself up and out of his chair and headed towards the door. "Wish me luck.

"'Cause I'm pretty sure I'm gonna need every bit of it I can get."

The End?

You have reached the end of "Why Burn Bridges, When You Can Nuke Them?" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 15 Dec 12.

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