Chapter 1 - And it was such a good deal too...
AN: First and foremost, I don't own any of the things I am using. This is just me having a little fun in someone else's sandbox.
AN: Hello, it's been quite a while. Going back to school and then finding a rather large chasm between me and my muse just so happened to keep me away from writing anything for a time. This is just a little experiment of mine and I'm really tempted to keep this one going, but I'm not really sure, hence why this is going to be a stand alone piece of work instead of just being stuck in my one-shot collection. Anyway, I hope you all enjoy this bit of my imagination. As always, while I try to put my best foot forward I know that there are going to be mistakes. So please don't expect perfection. Again, enjoy!
Change, one little word that is formed out of the simple combination of six little letters and denotes a meaning of transition within any form or state of being… This is an easily grasped concept for most, a concept that is sometimes feared and sometimes welcomed. Now, Xander Harris had never really thought too much on the meaning of such a word. He knew it existed and he told himself that it was inevitable at some point or another, but he had never given it more than a type of cursory thought. Sadly, this lack of thinking on such a seemingly simple subject only helped along a change that would twist up his very existence on every level with no way back.
It was supposed to be their night off, the single night out of the year where he and his friends could take a few hours for themselves without having to worry about anything related to the supernatural. At least that’s what Giles had said. So Xander had gone to a new costume shop in town with his friends and had somehow or another managed to snag a great deal on a rather neat, if simple, get-up from one of his favorite shows. Buffy had gone as a noble woman of some sort, Willow had gone as a ghost for the fifth time running, and he had gone as an Ancient. He really loved Stargate and had been watching it for years, so when he saw a costume that he both recognized and could afford, after some quick haggling, he knew he had to have it. He should have known that something bad was going to happen; he had a tendency towards being Murphy’s butt monkey after all.
“You really stuck your foot in it this time, kid.” Xander heard as he opened his eyes after closing them in anticipation of an exploding head of plaster. As he observed his the area around him he noticed that his current surroundings were all white, nothing else just white in varying intensities stretching on for what felt like forever. Instinctively looking down he noticed that instead of his costume he was wearing his normal assortment of clothes, including blue jeans and a Hawaiian shirt with a simple tee underneath. Then he turned towards the voice, despite the fact that he wasn’t exactly sure how he was turning because he couldn’t physically feel himself moving, and he saw a man that he had never seen before looking on with a slightly bemused expression.
“Whistler, right?” Xander said. Now just how in the Sam-Heck had he known that?
“Right in one buddy,” Whistler said as he tipped his hat ever so slightly to the young man, “Wow, you did get one hell of an upgrade, didn’t you?”
“Apparently,” Xander replied with an oddly calm tone, “I feel like I already know what’s happened to me, but if you wouldn’t mind explaining it anyway?” Xander knew that he should probably be freaking out. Why wasn’t he freaking out? Heck, his lack of freaking out was freak worthy enough as it was, let alone the continually dawning comprehension of his brand new circumstances.
“Well, as I’m sure you’re aware by now, you’re not human anymore. If anything you’re pretty damn far from human, not your fault but there it is. That retard Rayne just had to go and unleash something that doesn’t really belong in this universe.” Whistler replied. For his part the messenger for the Powers That Be was just happy with how well this meeting was going. He could only imagine how easy it would be for this particular teenager to wink him out of existence. Too bad that the next bit was probably going to shatter the newly minted higher being’s calm. Right as Whistler was about to open his mouth to deliver the not so good news though said higher being beat him to it.
“And when you say something that doesn’t really belong, you mean me yeah?” Xander asked sardonically. It was weird really; if he had been turned into anything else at all he wouldn’t be taking what was about to happen to him nearly as quietly. But with this new form of his came a different sort of awareness that kind of negated most of his usual instincts. Take his nonexistent panic for instance. His mind now encompassed just slightly over the entire Milky Way galaxy and all within it, so deducing Whistler’s next words was a non-issue. Every particle, every thought, every passion and deeply held secret of all but the most powerful of beings were at his mental fingertips. So what were the psychological barriers of a single demon hybrid to him? Hell, the only thing he couldn’t really get a grasp on in those first few moments of consciousness was a concrete lock on the future. There were just too many different paths that could be taken for him to nail down any single one.
“Yep, right in one. I mean my bosses would love to have you on side, but there are just a couple of things that invalidate that option. One, you’re now powerful enough to seriously tip the balance and, two, you and I both know that you wouldn’t be able to help yourself when it comes to your friends. You would want to help them directly, take care of all their problems so that they would never have to be in any danger again, and both sides can’t stand for that.” Whistler explained. He knew it wasn’t fair to the boy, but that was just how things were. There were laws even his bosses had to follow and help enforce, and sadly Xander Harris was a breach of those laws.
“And so they want me to leave, right?” Xander asked, and even though he knew that this had been coming from the get go he felt a pang of anxiety at having it confirmed. Despite his spanking new outlook on life he didn’t want to leave his friends. He was still a teenager, even if he couldn’t exactly call himself confused anymore.
“That’s about the long and short of it yeah.” Whistler said with a look of genuine sadness and empathy on his face for the young man in front of him.
“I could fight them.” Xander said morosely, but he was grasping at air and he knew it.
“You could,” Whistler replied honestly, “You and I both know that you’d lose though. And things would only get worse for everyone involved.”
“The least they could do was tell me all this themselves.” Xander said as he tilted his head back to look away from the balance demon and into the white void around him.
“Well, to be fair, they are a bit busy trying to fix the damage of tonight’s spell,” Whistler said with a shrug, “Up until moments ago you had a pretty big part to play in the future, but with your removal from the board as it were they have to rework pretty much everything.”
“I bet,” Xander replied with a sigh as he looked back to the balance demon, “So any suggestions on where I might go?” He considered asking if there was any way for his new abilities to be removed only to realize that he just didn’t fit in his home universe anymore. He had been irrevocably changed and he knew it.
“Not really, that’s totally up to you as long as you don’t go anywhere else in this particular multiverse.”
“I take it this is a one-time deal? Whichever universe I end up in and its multiverse are the ones I’m stuck in with no way back?” Xander asked.
“Pretty much… There are some damn powerful beings from both sides that are willing to help propel you, but you’ll never have their help getting back.” Whistler said with another shrug. “On the bright side though, you’ll be able to look in on the Scoobies from time to time if you try hard enough, but it would be kind of like watching TV. You’ll never be able to actually interact with them.”
At this Xander could only sigh. Story of his life, he finally gets the upgrade of upgrades, one which would allow him to do so much, and he couldn’t even use it to help his friends. Man, his luck really blew the big one. He knew that his previous statement about fighting the other higher beings in and around Earth was true, but he also knew that even if he managed to take a couple of them with him he would still lose, and possibly billions would suffer for his selfishness.
…God, he kind of hated knowing almost everything there was to know in the galaxy right then, it made any attempt at denial even more stupid than normal.
“Well, I guess we should go ahead and get this over with.” Xander said with a now resigned tone as he picked a random ‘direction’ and braced himself for the push he knew was coming.
“For what little it’s worth, I’m sorry kid. Anything you want me to pass on to your friends?” Whistler asked as he patted the young man on the shoulder.
“Just tell them that I’ll miss them.” Xander almost whispered.
“Will do… Again, I’m sorry for this.” With that there was a buildup of force that was of an immeasurable magnitude and Xander disappeared from his old life forever.
They both felt it at the same time and the sensation was unlike anything either of them had ever sensed before as they continued to contest against one another. One, whom wished to conquer, saw this as a sign of her salvation while the other just struggled to keep her from getting away and causing more harm than she already had. But without backup the woman wreathed in white couldn’t keep a hold on the woman wrapped in fire and inevitably had to give chase.
Xander knew they were there as soon as they had joined his wake. He had just passed through their universe (a universe that happened to be more than a bit familiar to him) for no more than a split second, but it had been enough and now he had hitchhikers.
‘Now this is just fantastic…’ At least he still had his gift for sarcasm. Unfortunately, or fortunately depending on one’s point of view, this was the only thought he could muster before he went crashing head first into a universe that was completely unknown to him. A universe he was now very much stuck in until either time stopped or some other more powerful being came along and decided it didn’t like him.
“Trance, what’s wrong?” Rev Bem asked her when his purple friend grabbed a nearby railing on the bridge of the Maru as a quick look of utter confusion passed over her features, “Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’m fine Rev. I just got a little dizzy for a second there,” Trance said as she tried to calm her nerves, her tail swinging around in an agitated manner while she was speaking, “I guess I’m just excited is all.”
“You sure you’re ok back there, Trance?” Beka asked from her position in the pilot’s chair, her blonde head whipping around for a second to look her good luck charm in the eye. Trance was just about to answer when her eyes lit up as they spotted something on the screen she was supposed to be monitoring.
“I found it! Everyone, I found it!” Instantly everybody who wasn’t already busy with something else crowded around the purple alien to confirm for themselves what she was seeing. Sure enough there was the silhouette of what looked to be a gigantic starship just inside the event horizon of the black hole they were rapidly approaching. This caused anyone who might have been concerned for her to shift their thoughts to this new discovery. For her part though Trance only hoped that the changes she had just witnessed to all the possible futures she could see were more for the better than the worse as she pushed her thoughts on the matter to the side. She had to concentrate now more than ever, because some very important events were about to be put in motion and she had to get everything just right.
AN: So what did you all think? Please let me know, it makes my day. All the best, ~Semet