It was wrong, the Turtle only sleeps.
Disclaimer: Don't own the toys. Not mine. Don't sue. I've also been trying to fix the spacing for an hour and am sorry if it's all weird. I wanna go to bed lol....
Xander Harris was a conflicted young man.
His head was filled with years of training. Ever since Halloween, Xander had been struggling with the doubling within his mind. It had only been a week but it felt like ages to him. Xander, in his endless quest to attempt to get Buffy to notice someone besides Deadboy, used every trick he had to talk her into a different dress at Ethan's. While it wasn't quite the elaborate noble-woman's gown, something about it stirred a feeling in Xander. A longing, of sorts. It was a blue silk dress, with a high waist and square cut bodice. A mix of a little medieval and mostly old west. The shop owner must have overheard them, because he'd joined in, telling Buffy that the blue would look splendid with her coloring, and much better than that dark, depressing old rag.
"Oh yes," he went on, his accent making him sound like an authority, "This would have been the height of fashion back then. A gown that a lovely young thing like yourself would wear for a welcoming banquet. Or a festival, in a village called Mejis. The Harvest Girl, prettiest young thing, waiting for the Harvest Boy to return from a day of riding the range."
The owner, Ethan, had won Buffy over. Satisfied, Xander turned to look for a toy gun for his
soldier costume. He didn't even get two steps away before he heard the combined squeal of both his girls. They rushed him with what looked like a cowboy costume the second he turned around. Between resolve face, and puppy dog eyes, Xander never stood a chance. He felt better once he opened the box that came with the costume. Inside was a leather satchel, handmade looking and tied shut with a rawhide lace. There were a few things in it; like a fake bowie knife and some scraps of paper with 'Citgo' stamped on it, but Xander was puzzled by the bird skull and a small turtle. The guns underneath, however, were every boy's fantasy. Big and heavy, they were blueish steel with big sandalwood grips. There were worn spots on the barrel and grips that made them look like the guns had been used. Holding them felt right.
If he had known, he would have gone with the soldier instead.
Just like the hyena, he remembered everything. Everything Roland did while wearing his body.
How it felt to draw on Angel. His heart beating nearly out of his chest at the sight of Susan. Terrified that this was another trick of the Wizard's Glass, or Rhea. His chest aching as Susan ran to him, throwing her arms around him, whispering 'bird and bear and hare and fish...' before kissing him. Xander remembered everything. Still. How to strip and clean the guns under his bed. How to train a hawk. How to ride into battle, blood heated and reflexes heightened by a gunslinger's battle fury. The sound of a trumpet at a place called Jericho Hill. Killing an entire town.
Shooting his mother four times.
Not his mother, but Roland's mother. At least that's what Xander kept telling himself. He thought he could have dealt with the rest, but Tony and Jessica had gotten mixed up somehow with Steven and Gabrielle. Xander had started having nightmares, seeing Roland's mother Gabrielle falling, bloody, somehow wearing the face of Jessica Harris by the time she hit the floor. Which made the random beatings from Tony that much worse. Roland's love for his father had, by some twist of fate, had carried over along with everything else. Xander knew it was wrong, but he started to feel like he deserved it. Earned it by killing his mother, even though she was obviously still alive. And the cherry on top was that Xander knew he was more than capable of defending himself now, even though he never would against his parents. He remembered the face and voice of his father very well, and could no more raise a hand to him than Roland could defend himself in the whore's room that morning. It didn't matter that he could draw the irons fast enough to surprise a vampire. Against Tony Harris, all Xander could do is take it and hope he wouldn't be pissing blood when Tony was done. Xander curled up on the floor with his arms covering his face and head the best he could. He wasn't even aware that in one hand he held the little turtle that had come with his costume. If someone told him later that he wished the turtle could help him, Xander would have written it off as trauma-induced delirium.
That is...if no one had answered.
Xander thought that second kick to his ribs sounded funny. Then the front door hit the living room couch and broke in half. Xander and his parents all looked toward where the door once was at the same time. Nobody said a word as a strange woman walked inside. Xander was happy she could, since it meant she wasn't a vampire, but didn't think his folks would appreciate
the burning footprints she left on the carpet. Her long white hair and faded brown duster seemed to move in a wind that only blew around her. Tony Harris had time to snarl, "Halloween was last week, cowgirl," before he was cut off by the boot kicking him further into the kitchen.
"Perhaps," the woman spat, "but judging by the moon, Reaping Day would be right around now."
The statement chilled Xander. He struggled to his feet as the woman grabbed his mother by the
arm. She spun Jessica Harris around, pulling her arm up behind her and putting her own across
Jessica's throat. They both watched as Xander got up and wiped off the blood from a split lip
and faced them.
"I don't.." Xander started coughing, going back down to his knees. The stranger must have
done something to his mother, making her cry out as he gasped, trying to breathe. She then
began to speak, in a low tone that was filled with barely contained anger.
"Even now, he wants to protect you. Even now, as you stand by, beating him with your words as your husband uses his fists...he wants to protect you. How a young man like this comes from people like you...it boggles the mind. Truly." Jessica tried to answer. She got as far as 'worthless' before she was spun around again, being slammed against a wall with a hand to her throat. Xander got up once again, throwing himself at the woman that had his mother pinned.
"Let my mother go."
Ice blue eyes met warm brown ones. Xander could feel the weight behind her gaze.
"Please...she's my mom."
The woman began to speak, never breaking eye contact with Xander but obviously addressing his mother. "You see? He's still willing to speak up for you. I was thinking it was a leftover from the Halloween spell, but I see that was wrong. It's who he is. His heart is full of compassion, mercy and love. Rightness. White. The makings of a man that will love unconditionally, and gods have mercy to those that threaten what he loves. He'll make a fine gunslinger, oh yes, a fine one indeed. I cry your pardon, Xander. I didn't see this result when I allowed the spell to be cast."
Xander wasn't the only one surprised he threw a punch. The stranger's hand tightened around his mother's throat and he reacted without thinking. Lucky for him the woman seemed to think it was funny. All she did was look at him, smiling and shaking her head. Xander's worn body caught up with the situation and sent adrenaline coursing through his veins. He watched as the woman drew closer to his mother, turning her full attention to Jessica Harris.
"Do you see, Jessica? Are you wondering exactly why you deserve his protection," she asked, hissing into Jessica's ear. "Look at him. Understand that Mother is another name for God on the lips and in the hearts of children. Now you will let me take your son. You will not raise voice, nor hand to him when I do. He will have what you could not be bothered to give him." She let go, turning back to Xander as Jessica slid down the wall. "Lead on, m'boy. Miles to go, yadda yadda, so on and so forth."
The Roland part of him forced him down the hall as she asked. He knew the Turtle had sent her. The Xander part wanted to run like hell because the stranger was probably going to sacrifice him. He wandered about his room, stuffing things into his duffel bag. Walking over to his bed, Xander stopped.
"Y'know, you stole that line from a movie."
"No I didn't. I stole it from a comic book."
Xander spun around, a look of shock on his face. He wasn't quite sure how to process a supernatural being stealing a line from a comic book, much less know what one was. She chuckled, leaning back against the wall. "All will be explained. Sorry about scaring your mother. Mostly. I've been dying to do that for months. I even thought about telling you how to summon me in your dreams."
"But you're not gonna hurt my mom, right?"
She sighed, pretending to check a watch on her wrist. "Cry your pardon, dear heart, but can this wait? I won't hurt your mother. Your father, on the other hand, is fair game. He will get no less that what he gave you if he has the bad luck to be awake when we leave. Now secure your guns and we'll be going."
Xander didn't question, just got the box from under his bed and zipped up his bag. She turned, heading back the way they came. When they got to the kitchen, Jessica was helping a groggy Tony Harris to his feet. She reached out when Xander stopped beside her, placing a hand against the side of Xander's head. He felt a strange fuzziness fill his mind, then leave again when she removed her hand. She then stalked toward Tony and Jessica, her eyes sparkling with malice. Jessica flinched away when the stranger reached out with both hands and grabbed Tony's head. Tony went rigid, eyes rolling back in his head. When she let go of him Tony hit the floor once again, twisting and writhing. The woman turned without a word, heading straight out of what was once the front door. She stopped at the sidewalk, Xander moving to stand beside her.
"He gonna live?"
"For now. Until I decide to change that. Or until you shoot him yourself. Whichever comes first. Now that I'm done being all 'vengeance and furious anger'...you want pizza?"
"I...uhhh...yeah? Guess I am kinda hungry...maybe. Wha'd you do to him?"
"Exactly what I said. Gave him all he gave you. All at once. And that trick's much older than the movie or the comic, so don't even say it."
"Okay. You got a name?"
"Call me Nameless. Now...I know a great place in one of the New Yorks, but there's an alien invasion going on. That bother you, or are you in?"