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Just the Zeppo

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Summary: 5 years ago Xander Harris left the Watcher's Council, now they want him back for one last job. Dangerous, risky, deniable; it's tailor made for a sap. Which is probably why they kidnapped him for the interview.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-CenteredTofuFR18421,79887415,3482 Apr 1327 Aug 13No

A Lesson on Murder

I've been contemplating a story like this for awhile now, and finally decided to give it a go.

Expect this to play fast and loose with the rules and don't expect too much drama, I'm trying my hand at humor. This may be a mistake

DISCLAIMER: I don't own the characters represented in this work, those are owned by their creators, publishers, or distributors. No profit will be made.

-Break-

Chapter 1: A Lesson on Murder

Knocking someone out with a blow to the back of the head is a lot harder than it looks on TV. It's not as simple as giving them a love tap with the butt of a gun.

First of all you've got to consider the damage you can do to someone. Located at the back of the brain is the occipital lobe. This lobe receives and transmits images from the optic tract. Any sort of damage can result in vision impairment or blindness. Even worse is damage to the base of the skull, which could shift the cervical vertebrae and thus the spinal cord. Named the rabbit punch after a way to immobilize rabbits used by hunters; this is what leads to paralysis or death when old people slip on icy sidewalks.

Second, you can't punch someone too soft, or all you'll get is a lump groaning, but lucid, on the floor.

So image my surprise when I'm getting a late night glass of milk only to have a baseball bat smack me upside the head. The glass and milk goes god knows where, leaving horrible stains wherever it lands and I end up moaning and eating carpet in the worst possible way.

My aggressor's not blind, they notice immediately I'm writhing on the ground and not unconscious, so it's no surprise they mount my back and start choking me out.

And that tells me everything I need to know about them.

First of all, if it wasn't obvious, they aren't trying to kill me. I could have probably figured that from the lack of gun, but chiefly I associate this with them not continuing with the baseball bat once I hit the floor. Or slicing my neck open with the knife belted to their waist.

Which leads to my next assumption:

They're an amateur.

I know, I know. I can hear the dissenters, "but Xander, they got into your apartment, took you by surprise. How can you call them an amateur?"

It's simple: they don't know how to choke someone. Rather, she doesn't know how to choke someone.

Someone's taught her the basics, she's pressed herself flat, which is how I know it's a she and she's wrapped her legs around mine so I can't buck her off. The problem comes with the actual choking.

See, her forearm is wrenching painfully into my trachea, which makes breathing feel like I'm inhaling a bowl full of tacks. That's called an air choke, which prevents someone from breathing, obvious right?

You've probably thought that relatively clever, with no air I'll soon pass out, which is what she figured too. What she forgot is the length of time the average human can hold their breath for.

Stig Severinsen, a world champion free diver, set the world record for time spent without breathing; he stayed underwater, completely unassisted, for 22 minutes. If you're not good with numbers I'll keep it simple: that's a shit load of time.

I'm not Stig Severinsen, but even still the average human can hold their breath for at least a minute, which when trying to choke a man out, is forever. It helps to have been genetically modified into a super swimmer in high school.

What she should have done is scissor my neck between her forearm and bicep, then squeeze thereby halting the flow of blood through my carotid artery. That's called a blood choke, which takes a mere 10 seconds to put even the toughest people into a state of unconsciousness.

10 seconds versus a minute, meaning it's 600% faster.

That's an extra 50 seconds to pontificate and contemplate my next course of action, with time left over to plan for breakfast. I'm thinking yoghurt and granola; fibre, protein, maybe some berries to up the sugar, sounds pretty good right about now.

The next thing that occurs to me, which is actually more relevant to this situation, is to kill the girl trying to choke me; the push dagger in my belt would to the job, as would the knife strapped to her belt, which has been poking me in the kidney since she started choking me. All it takes is a jab to a major artery. But call me curious, so I don't.

Instead, I force my head backwards, delivering a blow to her nose. It crunches like paper mache, or playdough with sticks in it, which probably means it's broken. That's enough to make her flinch, which allows for me to untangle our limbs and throw her off.

She shrieks and tumbles over the Lazy boy recliner, which remains defiantly upright. I follow, darting around the recliner with the grace of a new born giraffe. I force myself on top, straddle her and shove a hand into her throat. I don't enjoy being so brutal and the connotations of mounting a top of her are rather negative, but needs must and all that.

I think that's how you use that saying.

In the dark of my apartment I can just barely see her face. Rather what she isn't holding in her hands and moaning about.

"Dawn?" She opens her eyes and I know it for sure. She's still got the long brown hair, but by god she's grown. The imprint of her body reminds me of that, and in case I haven't been obvious enough: she's really really grown up (sexy).

"Hello, Xander."

"No, that's really not what you say to someone after trying to strangle them."

She lets out a week laugh; it's as limp as a street vendor hot dog. "How's the weather?" About as appetizing too.

"What are you doing here?"

"I was trying to knock you unconscious."

"Why?"

She grins, her teath reflect the light from the street lamps outside. "Are you sure you want to know?"

It's a lascivious grin, a poisonous one and completely fake. It doesn't take my experience with women to see that.

"I don't remember you being that kind of girl." My one weakness: an opportunity for sarcasm.

"How would you know? You left." She sounds bitter, so very bitter it hurts. In the dark I see her make a face worse than when she was cradling her broken nose.

My grip on her throat tightens and I can't help from growling, "You know I didn't have a choice."

"They would have let you become a researcher, take a different position." It's rushed out, she's lost her composure too, she's squirming out from between my thighs. The sensation isn't unpleasant, but the situation makes it a little disturbing.

"And you think that-" No, getting angry won't solve anything. I take a couple deep breaths to calm myself, realizing just as I've finished it sounds like I'm trying to initiate phone sex.

Awkward. I try to disguise it with a shocking question.

"So why does the Watcher's Council need my help."

"They want you dead." She denies immediately. I can't see her face, but it's pretty obvious she's lying.

And even if they did want me dead: "They wouldn't have sent you."

"I volunteered." That made more sense. "They sent Vi."

Oh...

Shit. I remember Vi, red hair, good fighter, very competent.

"She's standing behind me isn't she?"

With her back to the wall Dawn has a clear view of my apartment. I almost wish I'd closed the bedroom door, but then a mess of unwashed laundry is hardly my biggest concern right now.

"Yep, she's also carrying a really big lamp."

"I like that lamp." I say, turning as much as I can toward the figure standing in the dark. "Could you use something else... Please? "

"Okay," says Vi behind us, I can hear her putting my lamp back on my side table.

A bit of shuffling later and the baseball bat collides with the back of my head.

This time it's done properly.


-Break-


And there it is, short, but really only the setup for what's to come. I expect this to be pretty big

And please: Questions, Comments, Criticisms? Review, it helps me stay motivated.
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