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Xander Dresses as Vader

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Forced Destiny". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: YAHF Xander dresses as Darth Vader, the force is explained, and conclusions drawn.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Star Wars > Xander-CenteredrockyFR18332,80394114,3554 Aug 134 Aug 13No

Chapter 1

Xander as Darth Vader

Disclaimer: I own nothing, even the idea is free and I make no money off it so if you want to waste your time and try and sue me, well I’m sure it will be money well and truly lost and they’ll not make it off my organs so you lawyers won’t be happy either and you know what they say about them, cough, ‘wolfram and hart’ cough.

Summery: Xander dressed as Vader for YAHF; as a result his mind is more aligned with Anakin's skill set, even without the Force to guide him making it an easier talent. Now he has the goal of space travel, caring for his girls, and keeping the citizens safe from demons.

Chapter 1:

-OoOoO-

Ethan’s Costume Shoppe

Halloween 1997

Xander sighed and went about finding a cheep prop like a gun for his soldier costume. He smiled seeing the extremely fake looking M16, ‘At least it’s the same shape!’ he thought with a smile. He smiled again at the price, ‘$1.79, two dollar costume king strikes again’. He took it up to the register and gently set it down.

The man behind the counter said, “Yes” as he looked and smiled at the boy, politely he asked, “Is this going to be all, young man?”

The British accent threw Xander for a moment before he smiled widely and went to nod. At that moment however a bit of chaos changed destiny and fate. A boy, about five years of age, took a very long broom or staff of some kind, Xander couldn’t’ tell which, and proceeded to swing it around.

The British man had in hand Xander’s M16 replica (he was ringing it up) when he moved to grab the long deadly item. Ethan had completely forgotten that his hands were already occupied with something in them, something that was large and awkward. Ethan’s grip on the item Xander had brought forth wasn’t positioned to make such drastic movements without proper decorum.

There was a batch of something on the counter, it looked like green slime. The stock of the M16 replica slams into the jar of slime just as Ethan grabbed the deadly item from the kid’s hands. The slime slammed into Xander, sans jar.

“Bloody hell” Ethan cursed. “I am terribly sorry” he managed out and then looked at the gun that was now in two pieces, his own fault he couldn’t even blamed the child as he was want to do. “I seem to have also ruined your selection, just a moment.”

He turned to a woman, she looked slightly embarrassed at her son’s behavior, “Madam, please see to your child, this is not a toy house; it is a costume shop. If he wishes to use the costume than he must purchase it, yes?” he raised an eyebrow that conveyed a perfect British, ‘you’re stupid’ message that even an American could interpret.

She blushed and nodded taking the boy and leaving with Ethan sighing.

Ethan mutters, “Bloody colonials.”

Xander laughed, “You have a rag, sir?”

Ethan again apologized, “I tell you what, choose a costume and it’s on the house, obviously this is out.” He grumbled at the broken pieces of plastic and threw them into the bin.

The slime Ethan used for a little extra oomph on the extras he sold was not all over the boy. He winced at the cost making the catalysis potion that just went to waste. The catalysis potion was so he could ensure even trinkets he sold would ensnare the barer in the spell. It was ironic really that it also help a protection about it, the boy was going to be the most protected individual alive and would be unable to harm any innocent after the spell took.

If Ethan knew that Xander was one of Janus favored he might look at the chaotic turn of events a bit differently. Janus always favored those of strong will, chaotic natures, and willingness to defy the standard accepted by others, such as the codex prophecy.

-OoOoO-

Xander made his way to Buffy’s house. On the way he garnered more than one appreciative look. The full Darth Vader regalia had him looking imposing and impressive as well as damned near authentic. Even his stride seemed to take on the gait of Vader’s stride as if by magic.

Xander knocks firmly on the front door. Buffy opened it half ready, though she was dressed fully, and froze rooted to the spot.

She was speechless so Xander inquires with full seriousness, “Milady, the emperor has sent me to escort you to quell the rebellion uprising lead by that rebel scum Herr Snyder.”

Buffy widens her eyes and her voice caught in her throat. Hesitantly she asks… unsure why, if this was Xander, he was vexing her slayer sense, “Xander?”

Xander smiles unseen, the mask wasn’t clear after all, “Milady,” his voice sounded the part and firm, “I am Darth Vader Dark Lord of the Sith. I find your lack of faith – disturbing.”

She couldn’t help it, that last part reminded her so clearly of the movie and her giggles couldn’t be put down.

Xander mock growls at the giggling slayer, “If we do not make haste, the emperor will be displeased with our lack of stomping out the rebel scum.”

She laughed fully now and rushed back leaving the door open for Xander. “Be down in a minute.”

Buffy and Willow came out, Buffy dragging Willow in her outfit to see Xander’s costume. Xander almost groaned at the sight of Willow then smirked though it was unseen.

“Emperor’s hand, has the assignment progressed as the Force has shown the Emperor?”

Willow froze and blushed severally. “Um” she blushed worse realizing what she was wearing. “Xander?” she said hesitantly.

“I will keep your identity secret for this assignment Hand, but only if you agree to allow me the pleasure of dealing with that rebel scum, Herr Snyder.” Her eyes widened and she giggles and Xander smiled under the mask.

“He’s staying in character” Buffy whispered with a giggle.

-OoOoO-

Snyder seen the Darth Vader outfit and gulped as he heard the words “rebel scum.” He would have given Mr. Harris detention but quite frankly the authenticity of the costume made him want to flee in terror.

“Storm troopers, tonight shell not be a night of violence, we are a simple reconnaissance and supply outing. There will be no violence against the rebel scum tonight, the Emperor wishes to show them he is indeed merciful. Is that clear?”

The scared kids all nodded.

“By the Force, we will re-supply this night and for those of us wishing to know how to requisition extra allotments of candy please step foreword.”

Several kids stepped foreword and then the others joined them. Xander smiled.

“The mind trick is not to be taken lightly, convince them they have forgotten you and their minds, week minds the lot of them, will assume they forgot you. You can use emotions, they are your ally in the Force, such as the way of the Sith, tears are tools, used them to rip the last vestige of candy from their cold rotting corpse.”

-OoOoO-

The kids all seemed to take the persona in stride and Xander would swear one of them pulled out a note pad and wrote down his words.

The kids had grown use to Xander by the time the ‘outing’ was almost over and more than once he had ensured the kids had more candy than they would have otherwise. It was just before the spell hit that Xander would have sworn he felt a ‘disturbance in the Force’.

For a technical understanding on the inner workings of the local universe it needs to be understood that Janus fueled the chaos spell for one. Another fact that needs understood is that the area of effect for the spell was limited to the edge of the aura or dimensional instability known locally as the Hellmouth. The spell altered two things at the start of it inside Xander’s body. First there was an electric-like pulse of energy which rushed thru every cell this was caused not directly by the spell but by the spells alteration of the mitochondria which in turn surged in unison causing the effect. This was something close to a charge of 200,000 volts of electricity however instead of burning out every cell in his body it simply vibrated them as they altered and for the first time in the local galactic history there was a small colony of midichlorian.

Midichlorians are a symbiotic organism that is very similar to the mitochondria in their common ancestry and in their evolutionary process even their joining with biological organisms was similar on some aspects. Where the mitochondria became the isolated power house of the cell the midichlorian became networked and connected everything in the universe to the potential power of the universe they were connected to as a whole. One could think of it as the internet verses a calculator that just does arithmetic.

The common ancestry that does exist for both the midichlorian and the mitochondria was steeped in an aspect of dimension. The potential energy tapped from either the mitochondria or midichlorian exist equally outside and inside of dimensional reality, as well as inside this hidden aspect which is in every reality. This gives the organism ability with foresight and farsight. They are able to foresee events that could and or will happen. This isn’t limited to only midichlorians but because they are ‘networked’ the ability is far more accurate and versatile.

The abilities of the mitochondria are versatile in a different way from the midichlorian in that the mitochondria are able to adapt to their environment without having to worry about the adaptability of the others in the ‘network’ which the midichlorian are so interlaced that they can never adapt without all proactive midichlorian adapting. This means that while the midichlorian are slow to alter their presence the mitochondria will change several millions times in the life cycle of a single human host.

The current situation had very little to do with mitochondria and midichlorian relationship. Darth Vader was standing in the street, right away aware that something was different. Usually he could feel everything around him, the Force was not just an ally, it was a constant nag.

Stretching out his senses Darth Vader felt the Force, it was absent from the world around him, he could feel the Force inside his body of course but the usual interaction with the world around him was lost to him for the moment, as though he was cut off from the universe around him.

The Force pushing in had hindered Anakin’s learning to stretch his senses which should work them out and help them build stronger or keener. It wasn’t the Force he felt when he stretch his senses to the limit, but it was dark. Dealing with the Dark Side of the Force he learned that Darkness and evil were not synonyms as the Jedi had tried to preach, that was one of the things he’d never agreed on, the Dark Side could be used but it could also use you. Vader for the first time admitted in his own mind that his master was evil, as he contemplated the dark evil he felt within the area. He would need to contemplate his master and evilness another time.

Using the Force to move things or children was simple and required no interaction with the Force, Obi-Wan and Yoda would freak at the thought, he was sure. His telekinetic abilities and lightsaber were the tools to use and he secured the obvious children in a single group. Some were a bit more rambunctious than others but Vader realized that if he was displaced and grumpy then there was no doubt the children were as well. He would grant them the consideration of not killing them for the presumption of dominance in the current setting. That didn’t mean he wasn’t above a slap with the blade on the pavement when they went to leave the group.

Perhaps this was his own intuition; perhaps it was the Force reacting, his temporary midichlorians shearing more information than he realized they would. It was quite obvious that the Force was here if dampened when he could understand the ‘children’, to some degree and make his words understood in them. Not that they could understand him easily, or wanted to at first.

“Food… hungry… Hunt… prey.” Was about all he could get from them.

He knew his words, “Stay with the group, you do not have permission to hunt here!” were taken only when they realized he had the ability to back up his words.

On the way towards the center of darkness he’d felt the small group became larger, collecting children and a few young adults. One was a fine female form in skin tight material.

She called out, “Xander?”

He half turned, “I am Vader, not Xander?”

Her eyes widened but before she could voice a response Vader ignited his lightsaber and threw it, the hostile ducked his blond head and then screamed, “Damn Dru was right!”

“I will end it quick, but I can not allow your hostile actions against these children to proceed.”

“You took my bloody arm….”

The blade found its home in the center of the belly of the hostile and he summoned it to his hands before continuing on towards the darkness. Cordelia decided silence was the better part of valor right now. She was fairly sure that she was safe with ‘Darth Fucking Vader’ on her side.

Looking at The Darth Vader leading a hoard of demons into the school would have quite homogenous on any other day, at least from the outside perspective.

Upon entering the area above the power source he stopped and looked at the man there who seemed to be confused and he felt an inner recognition, it was the same feeling he now realized came from when he met the girl in tight material, he’d thought it was because she reminded him of Padme, but the middle aged man with glasses among the shelves of paper books didn’t remind him of Padme so perhaps this was the way the Force worked wherever he was now.

Deciding on polite, Vader spoke, “I am in need of assistance, if you would be so kind as to tell me what world I’m on and what the galactic coordinates are?”

Giles had wide eyes, “I don’t believe I know.”

The moment of silence was about a second and half and that was all it took for Giles to break first, “Do you have any idea how you came to be here? The last I knew you were a fictional” hisvoice broke, “character from a series of movies.”

Darth Vader felt the sincerity of the man’s words, which was when the girl in skin tight material spoke up, “It’s no use, Giles! Willow and Buffy are here as well. Nobody remembers who they were, they’ve all turned into what they dressed as. Well I don’t recall Vader here being nice in the movies but as were not being torn into little peaces by the demons because of him I’d say the movies weren’t exactly…”

Cordelia was babbling and Giles interrupted, “I see! Miss Chase, it is obvious you are in costume. You did not… shift, with the rest of them?”

Cordy shook her head.

Vader was amused, this was something that he’d not felt in a long time. He had no way or realizing it at the moment but his body was not burned, the damage his own had suffered was not inflicted upon the body he was in now, and this had a very strong impact on his temperament. The feeling of being marginalized however left him feeling nostalgic from time ling passed.

Vader listened in a bit closer to the two that obviously knew what they were talking about in some form or fashion. The man was questioning the girl, “Do you have any idea where the others got their costumes? I take it you didn’t get yours at the same location.”

She shook her head, “No, I got mine at Party town! Xander and Buffy I know got theirs from Ethan’s!”

Vader felt the shift in this bastardized Force he felt here with that name and then again when Giles repeated it with a hiss, “Ethan!”

The surge of energy he felt from Giles wasn’t the Force, he was similar. Yes, similar but not the same.

That was when Vader found attention on him once more, “Do you mind terribly Lord Vader…” it obviously paid to be polite, “keeping everyone here and save while go deal with the git that caused this?”

“By all means” Vader intoned, “I will take reasonability for keeping the children save and secure here while you find a way to return us to our homes.”

Even being polite Giles felt the level threat in that last bit, there would be hell to pay if they were not returned to their homes. It was quite subtle and not at all the blunt force of Darth Vader in the movies that he would have expected. He would have to sit down and watch them again this weekend to find out where he went wrong in his judgment of the character.

-OoOoO-

Giles took a small amount of pleasure in dealing with Ethan. While he was destroying the bust of Janus the scoundrel escaped. Back in the library, with all the children sitting on the floor, tables, or in the stacks, the end of the spell washed over them.

Xander pulled off his very fake mask and mutters, “Damn that was freaky.”

Just then, as if on queue the door opened, a imitation troll, only much smaller enters and demands, “What’s going on in here?”

One of the elder students that tagged along with Vader spoke up, only glancing at Xander long enough to throw the boy a wink, “Someone spiked some of the candy!” The boy was a freshman but even he knew the group of protectors had issues with administration. Elucidating he continues, “We thought it best to clear the area.”

Snyder looked dubious but all the students and then some were there so he didn’t say a word.

-OoOoO-

Over the next few weeks, while the group deals with an old friend of Buffy’s and his treachery (William Fordham), Giles past (Ripper, orgies, and Eyghon), Xander tries to claim whatever leftovers are left from Halloween. He tries to feel what he felt as Vader when he first arrived. He knew he felt… different, but was unsure exactly how. And he works with Miss Calendar often he’d been studying computers, programming, and electronics, mostly computer chips and what they did.

The feelings were mostly internal, not just on a physical level. He knew Ford was hiding things long before their visit to the Sunset Club. It wasn’t just intuition, he’d felt the untruthfulness of the boy, his words, and if he didn’t have Vader’s memories to rely on to tell him what the Force felt like, he’d call it that.

He was with Jenny on Saturday while a few others were serving detention when Buffy came rushing in the room. Her worry for her Watcher resonates in her voice, “Something’s wrong with Giles.”

Xander sense the worry and it wasn’t a gift from the Force though there was some hint of something similar, something familiar, he just knew she was worried and who she was worried for.

“What’s wrong Buffy?”

She told him how he’d missed the blood drop and been drinking when she talked to him, alone. This spurred action and Xander checking out the library while Miss Calendar was going to check online with Willow. Cordy told them about the cops and a body.

Xander found Ethan and the man had spilt the beans on Ripper and Eyghon. With a touch of research they found out right away, that and the body showing up, that Eyghon was an orgy sleep possessor. They’d ended up using Angel’s status as a corpse to remove the demon from Miss Calendar.

Xander was sure that if he’d been able to use the Force, he’d have been able to command the entity to remove itself without much trouble.

-OoOoO-

It had been when the spell on Halloween was abruptly ended that Xander’s cell’s reverted. The mitochondria were once more mitochondria, but that was not the end of it, after all the nature of the event was chaos and change and Xander had been doused with more than any other. The mitochondria seemed to hold a type of ‘muscle memory’ from their stint as midichlorian. Granted the mitochondria didn’t have wide universe at large flooded with cooperative networks of energy to aid them in their actions, which is what the midichlorian in the star wars universe had.

Without the aid of the midichlorian from other life, air, and even the ether of existence, they had to compensate the same way a blind man would slowly overtime adapt to his blindness with a better kinesthesia by sound using echolocation, feel, and even the sense of smell. This gave them a stronger connection to the mitochondria within his own body, solidifying what he’d find out at another time was his magical core. If tested at this time the Jedi would see a slow rising number of midichlorian, the number would get larger and larger as time went on. The ability to commune with other cells is actually what is tested when they ‘count’ the midichlorian, every single cell has a midichlorian, or in Xander universe a mitochondria, the count is how many cells can that midichlorian communicate with at one time. It’s why they only need a sample of blood to test rather than testing the entire body to gain a count. As rule the number never changed from the moment you were born to the moment you died.

Communicating by the transfer of energy was quite handy so long as you were within communication distance. For Xander this meant that his mitochondria could communicate with Fords when he was close by and he could tell that something was wrong, and of course that his entire being was screaming danger and hidden threat. Xander just didn’t know how to read that in the new twisted form of the Force, he wouldn’t have been able to if it was the same way it was in Star Wars either, he just didn’t have the personal experience and using the Force is a very personal experience.

Alexander LeVelle Harris’s body was quickly changing to accommodate the most efficient energy use of his internal energies. It was actually quite slow when comparing to an beginning athlete. The burn off of fat, the improved endurance, increased stamina, augmented speed and strength, were just the starter points. The Jedi Force Techniques were nothing more than the Force manipulating the body from within. The mitochondria had never played a larger part in this outright, most of what it did was subtle and took time, but when it got started it was easy to mimic the midichlorian and that could only improve if he decided to learn a martial discipline that utilized potential energy such as chi.

None of this was that big of a deal to Xander. In part because he had no idea it was occurring and wouldn’t for some time. Instead he was trying to use talents such as telekinesis, or feeling the energy of the target and forcing it to defy gravity which he knew wasn’t quite the same thing, even if it had the same results. Telekinetic abilities were something that Anakin had always found easy to master as a padawan.

Growling a curse, “Damn it!”

The feather stood still, as if mocking him with its unruffled poise.

He sighed, ready to give up when Willow approached.

She’d heard him curse and asks, “What’s wrong?”

Whining like a typical frustrated teen he gestures, “It’s not lifting”

Willow lifts her eyebrow amused, the left one. It had become habit sense Halloween and that wasn’t the only thing that shifted. The new Willow was acting very confident with her Xander and her Xander touches. She’d become more forceful and lingering than before.

He didn’t ask and she didn’t volunteer any explanation on that front.

With the kids in the library Halloween Giles hadn’t been able to instruct them to return Saturday morning for debriefing and he didn’t even think of using the phone so they’d not discussed it much before Monday and it had been less than a week before his own dark past came to haunt them so he’d tabled the topic of light and dark sides of the Force or the effect magic had on people.

Willow bluntly asks him, “Are you trying to do magic?”

Xander shot her a lock that was a silent ‘are you being stupid’ look before shaking his head, “No!”

“And the Force…” she directs, “Vader didn’t feel anything to connect him to the universe here?”

He shook his head there was no need to go into details for whatever help she was going to offer, she had the helpful look on her face.

“Than I would say that his way is flawed for this universe. Magic has proven effective, you should do the meditations Vader learned earlier when he was a Jedi and see if that helps you before trying the methods in the books Giles has.”

He sighed with relief, “Thanks Wills; I owe you one.” He’d not thought of that.

She grinned widely. “Owe me huh,” she said a twinkle in her eyes, “How about a night with a movie?”

He sighed but nodded. He could never turn one of his girls away.

She grins and says, “Great, Friday night – we’ll stay in.” She smirked at him and he looked confused at the look. Then she licked her lips looking him up and down. “Make sure you shower well before you come over and have clean clothes on, as well as some clothes for the morning.”

He looked confused and before he could voice it she told him, “It’s time for class by the way.”

Xander didn’t have time to contemplate the meaning of her words before having to attend to class. It was later in the week while he was showering that the words started to reverberate in his mind. He couldn’t put his finger on why he felt the Force echoing those words with more meaning than he’d first thought.

-OoOoO-

There were some changes from Halloween that weren’t quite as apparent as the others, they were subtle and held lasting far reaching results. This wasn’t just because of the things that took place while the subjects or victims were possessed; after all not too much was meant to linger or suddenly shift species to be Kryptonian or something. The truly lasting changes would come from introspection and perception of those that were possessed.

Xander arrived at Willow’s house and even had a rose he’d picked on the way over. It wasn’t the season for roses but it hadn’t frozen yet this year so they were still mostly bloomed.

“Xander” purred Willow as she opened the door.

Xander froze. He was startlingly reminded of Anakin’s honeymoon as well as the look Willow had given him at school. She pulled him in and kissed his lips pulling him back into the house. He vaguely heard the TV turn on and she pushed him down to the couch and straddled him leaning in to kiss him he was shocked to immobility. That was when the sounds of sex filled the air and he realized the movie was a porno. Willow had covered her bases tonight.

“If you say no, I’ll stop now but if not I’m going to fuck you all night long tonight and half the day tomorrow.” Her voice was husky and sounded dirty for some reason, likely the same reason that he found it utterly attractive right now. She ground her hips against him and he moaned. That all she needed.

-OoOoO-

Two days later Willow and Xander were on the floor. The mattress from the bed in Willow’s room was in front of the TV and the TV was off.

“That was great” Willow said with a tired air of approval.

“It was,” he agreed then sighed and asked, “but what’s it mean?”

Willow frowned, “Halloween changed me; it made me feel stupid, Xander.”

“You're not stupid!”

She frowned in disagreement and confirmed her opinion, “I was.” she told and then sighed, “The first step to correcting ignorance is admittance of the ignorance, or maybe it’s observing it and recognizing it but in order to solve the problem you have to admit it’s there and that it is a problem. I was arrogant in my self delusional mindset. I think that I actually thought myself superior to everyone else, even you and Buffy. I just didn’t know I did until I saw how friends and lovers act. You know you and Buffy act more like lovers in adult relationships when you’re together than you and I?”

Xander frowned and asked almost confused, “We do?”

He really only had Anakin’s memories to guide him on that. He didn’t see that with Buffy.

“I mean after that dance at the Bronze a couple of months ago I was really put off on being in that type of relationship with her. I’d sooner date… oh I don’t know Cordy?”

Willow winced, “That was the other girl I saw you acting like you were on the verge of dating. I notice now that lovers treat their lovers with equality. I was always afraid to be aggressive and showing myself to you for fear of loosing you. Maybe it was a fear of loosing that superiority or the idea that you’d see the superiority and leave me because you felt inadequate. I really don’t know now. Anyway I realized that regardless, if we have a relationship, as in lovers, or not I wanted you to be my first.”

He was shocked. “Really?” he was no longer worried.

She nods feeling vulnerable.

“Willow I’ve always thought of you as My Willow, my best friend. Jesse was my best male friend but even he was sometimes jealous of our relationship which I think was the real reason he started to point out Cordy’s good qualities, it annoyed you and pulled my attention to some degree, even if at the time it was to disagree” he told her and she frowned.

Not knowing what or how to ask what she wanted to know she asked, “But?”

“I had never allowed myself to think of you sexually because well…” he frowned, “I’m not sure why actually…” he frowned deeper and then turned himself into a sitting position and started to chant an old rhyme barely aloud in his and it came out as a soft hum.

Willow would have been offended if she hadn’t recognized that look of confusion he’d had on his face. She was contemplating that look when suddenly Xander looked like he was in pain for a moment and he growled. Willow felt a magical pulse shatter out from Xander’s sitting form. Xander was now sitting with his eyes open and a look of pure rage on his face.

“Call Giles Willow, we need to have meeting.” He growled out, “I’m going to go wash the sex off first.” He told her, “And Willow I would love to be your boyfriend but if do that we’re doing some kind of magical binding to prevent any outside influence on choices effecting our romantic involvement.”

He fled and Willow frowned before picking up the phone to dial Giles home.

When she heard the Watcher’s voice her tone firm, curious, and exasperated, “Giles.”

“Willow, dear girl what is it?”

“Xander, he’s upset he was doing a meditation thing and he’s like uber pissed now, he said we need a meeting and to call you.”

“I see” he really didn’t but what could he do, “When?”

“Just a moment let me go ask.” Giles wondered at that, he was not in the room.

About a minute and half later a breathless Willow returned. “He said that as soon as he was out of the shower he’d get ready and head over I’ll join you after I’ve showered as well.”

“Shower… you went in…” he stopped. “Please do not share the details.”

She whined. “But Buffy will want to know.”

“Then by all means share them with her and only her.” He said rolling with it.

“I will!” her perky voice told him she’d enjoy it. “I’m calling her next.”

Xander’s voice sounded from the entry way to the living room, “And Cordy, she’s effected as well, if my memory’s alterations are accurate.”

Willow raised an eyebrow. “I’ll see you there, at Giles.”

“Good bye, love. Please hurry, try and not think too much while you shower.”

He smirked at her shocked look as she knew what he meant by that.

-OoOoO-

Sith plots discovered and counters arranged…

Xander arrived at Giles home.

“Xander, what in the blazes is going on?”

“Memory alteration on a very personal level” he growled out. “My memory as well as, Cordy, and Willow, and I think Jesse too, was altered, likely in case he lived long after your arrival.”

Xander growled a bit at the last part of that. “Power plays and setting things up, there is a taint of manipulation that is on par with Palpatine and remember I have an after action report that never made it to the movies about exactly how manipulative that bastard was.”

Giles gulped and nodded. “How did you discover this?”

“I gather that some changes from Halloween stuck to certain degree. I noticed this last month or so my attention to detail grew by leaps and bounds. My ability with anything remotely mechanical has improved as well. The laws of physics beyond the very basic are different here. I don’t know if that’s because of magic or something else…. It seems that…” he sighed at a lost of words to describe what he was meaning.

“What is it?”

“You know I’ve been researching magic, not actual spell or ritual casting but the discipline of it, the connection that magic establishes with the world around us?” he nodded at the boy.

“I was searching for a method to use what I know of the Force, thinking that it was a slightly different creature in this universe but just different in the way it is accessed, not completely different as in everything. I figured once I was able to connect to it the way it should be connected to here I would be able to do at least some of the things that the Force users were able to do in the movies.”

Giles nodded that made more sense and the boy always wanted to be useful.

“The thing is that doing this allowed me to feel what I think is the Force here, it’s as close to it as Anakin’s experience could recall but even then it’s different. What Anakin felt in my body isn’t there, I mean there was something out there and the Force inside my body while he was in possession was the Force. It was why he could push and pull or levitate things with his mind rather then like Yoda taught his son in the movies. Rocks my have the energy of the Force around them… the rocks aren’t alive, unless they have some small creatures or something in them they don’t have very much Force in them and levitating them isn’t draining that potential energy out of them, it comes from the Force user. The Jedi have a somewhat religious connection to the Force which I think helps in learning but hinders in advancement. Regardless when trying to feel where the Force was while Anakin was in control, within me, there was something there. It was almost as strong as the Force was when Anakin was here but very different from what was there then.”

Giles gapes at him, “Good lord.”

“The thing is Giles, is that in Anakin’s old world he could connect to the world around him, even the rocks had this shadow he could feel while meditating and focusing on this Force within. I doubt I could connect to anything right now, with practice I might be able to form some kind of permanent connection with one or two beings, a person or an animal. It reminds me of the stories of witches and familiars but I don’t see how that would help with magic it would only push the connection between me and the animal not even all of the animal’s species. I’m not sure but I don’t think the Force, or this facsimile, is going to be able to do the things Anakin did on Halloween. Though…” he scratched his chin, “The process may help the animal become more intellectual and stay healthy longer. Regardless the Force and this, I’m hesitant to call it just magic, has quite a bit of differences that you should know and I’ve explored those differences to the best of my abilities so far, so I’m not just going off of what the movies shared.”

Giles nods, “I think I understand. I have had some history with dark magics so I understand the darker implications of that as well.”

Xander nodded his understanding, “I really don’t.” He shrugged, “But that’s neither here nor there. I realized something when Willow was asking me some questions on decisions made in our past. It was the confusion I felt at my own memory that drew me to examine every decision, every moment in time that those choices were made, and what motivated those choices. I quickly realized there weren’t choices made, not at any point in time I could recall. Oh I’d felt as though the decision had been firmly made but it was only superseded into my long term memory. When I felt for the memory I could feel the alterations. When I felt them I did what the Jedi would do after finding themselves victim to a Sith mind hold.”

He was smirking at the irony of that. “I was able to shatter the memory alterations, repair the memory synapses, and put up mental walls in my head to prevent those synapses from being altered again. I guess that regardless of the lack of Force here the mental disciplines and healing are very similar. Now I find myself extremely pissed at whoever did this. I know some of the memories had to have a very strong magical user to have such a large and concise change and have it match up with others as well… Oh and our mayor has never been elected. How much pull does the Council have with US Government?”

Giles blinked at the non sequitur and answered right away without a thought. “They have no control but they do have some influence with a number of Governors as well as a method of secure communication to the President thru the Queen, why do you ask?”

“Taking an office requires votes which require actually running for office. This means that the good ole mayor has been using magic to achieve a charmed leadership of a town, illegally! If they want to kill him and turn over the solid evidence of his crimes they might be able to gain some political clout.”

Giles blinked and sighed, “That was far too insightful, Xander.”

“Anakin hated politics!” He told his mentor with a smile, “My opinion, seeing his memories, is that it was actually politics that turned him dark; dealing with the shitty politicians increased his tendency to react violently to situations.”

Giles blinked shocked.

Xander shrugs. “At the time he was following the law the Republic had passed. He wasn’t the outlaw the Jedi were, by the laws of the people that they had themselves sworn to uphold he had proved their hypocrisy at their non interference policy of keeping out of civil matters even when they cost people their lives.”

Xander shook his head, seeing Anakin’s memories he had a dislike for the Jedi order as it stood when he’d decimated it. Anakin was the balance bringer, the chaos that would balance the Force.

“Take comfort in the idea that seeing his past and the Jedi; I think he did the Jedi a service by annihilating their ruling Council. He wasn’t the one that actually went after the children as it was portrayed in the storyline. In fact a number of the Jedi were the ones to kill their students so that they didn’t fall into the emperor hands.”

Xander had a look of grief on his face. “They murdered their own children Giles. It wasn’t to protect them. They killed them simply so they didn’t choose a life other than what the Jedi stood for and wanted for them. Anakin had quite a bit of justified hate and rage at any Jedi he met after that. The icing that took the cake was when ole Ben used the Force to send Anakin into a Sith Rage and suddenly he’s stuck with the memories of killing the love his life, she was pregnant at the time. Instead of simply using the dark side after that he surrendered his free will to the darkest of emotions he’d ever possessed. Before that he’d used the dark side as a tool but after he was the tool to the dark side, a puppet to dance to the emperor’s tune without a thought that the Emperor didn’t put into his head.”

Giles had wide eyes at that and was listening closely.

“It was shortly after that when Padme died in childbirth screaming Anakin’s name that she died. He felt it when she died and it only pushed him further, reminding him of the memory that he had of killing her, even though he couldn’t have killed her at that point in time and had her screaming his name when she died. Ben put Luke on his old world and Leia on Padme’s old world.”

Giles recalled the movies and realized Xander knew Vader in a very personal way and the even with Vader being a Sith, even on the movies, he loved his son more than anything else.

“You know for a human of passion and fire, you give them something to protect and they’ll spend their dying breath doing so. If Ben had been less afraid of Anakin from the moment he’d met him as small boy on Tatooine, he’d have been a hell of lot more affective not to mention ole Ben had become a padawan very late having spent quite a bit of time in the temple without a master where as Anakin was suddenly a padawan without training normally insisted on before they become a padawan.” He shook his head.

Before Giles could contemplate or respond to that last bit of shocking news on one of his favorite films an aristocratic voice called out from the door, “Hey Giles, what’s up?”

He turned to see Cordelia Chase enter the room directly behind the short Slayer that was glaring at her Watcher. Buffy was silent with a moody look; she’d been sleeping when Willow called and had to endure a chirpy redhead telling her all about how she got laid.

Upon noticing the two male’s attention, Buffy hisses, “You!”

Giles and Xander looked confused and Xander asked, “Me?”

“Yes, but not this time. You” she pointed at Giles, “told Willow to share with me the details that she woke me up after an hour and half of sleep to share…” she glared. “You’re on the Poopy Watcher List right now.” She sternly informed him.

Xander laughed at the word ‘poopy’, it was so Willow.

Buffy realized it too and groaned all tension gone now, “I’m sleeping on your couch until you make with the share to tell us what the hell is going on.”

“Please, my couch is at your service…” he gestures before adding with a Ripperish smirk, “Anything to be off the Poopy Watcher List.”

With a mock pseudo serious curiosity Xander asks Giles, “Is that the PWL for short?”

Cordy giggled at that and Buffy scowled at the giggling cheerleader. Seeing the scowl Cordelia quickly took her seat at the end of the couch before Buffy could purposely stretch to take up the entire couch and deprive her of her spot. Buffy took up the two seats and curled up to sleep like a cat.

-OoOoO-

Giles attended to the private collection of books he had in his home, several old tomes he had no reason to keep at the school were centered around protecting the mind, mind magic such as Occlumency and Legilimency, Memory Charms, hypnosis, and wide area multiple person spells to alter the perceived fabric of reality. These types of magic didn’t seem too common with demons but his family had the books from long before the dark ages and had updated them with modern languages as the old English shifted to a more modern English, though the books he was reading were the original the only time someone updated them to modern languages was in the journals. He was reading a particular translation that was noted in a very hard to read hand written tome when he heard the door open.

Willow came in chirpy as could be. She kissed Xander firmly on the lips. Giles took not that for some reason Cordelia started to turn a nasty shade of read. Cordy felt her face heat up but before she could speak Xander spoke pointing at her.

His firm tone halted her anger and emotional rollercoaster, “Stop!”

Cordelia frowned and almost hissed, “What?”

He smirked, “Not your emotions, those are compulsions which Giles is looking up methods of removal.”

Giles lifted his eyebrow almost at the exact same time and way as Cordelia had but he kept quite observing her reaction.

“You're saying that someone used magic on me?”

Seeing as he was going to need proof Xander started, “You broke you arm when you were seven climbing up Willow’s tree. Jesse kissed you when you were twelve and you put a frog in his mouth in retaliation after he fell asleep, which is actually why Willow is now afraid of frogs. You and Jesse had a very love-hate relationship; you’d love each other and then hate each other. It depended on which week it was. You seemed to alternate!” he shook his head with fond remembrance.

“I think that was actually a spell to some degree” he smiled and then smirked, “then hormones when you hit fourteen. You were always popular but you never let it control you, Harmony was basically your willing slave but not a sheep. She’s much stupider now, than she was her freshmen year. For some reason I’m thinking that the New Harmony is a permanent fixture.” He shuddered, “I don’t necessarily like either and telling her my secrets so she can be smarter isn’t an option.”

Cordelia frowns. “I did break my arm when I was seven – I remember the cast but I can’t remember where…” her eyes widened looking at Willow.

“See” he smirked at the look she suddenly had. “I use to stay over at your house with Willow and we went swimming in your pool. I was really good at swimming and my dad hated it which is why your dad let me!”

He smirked. “Your dad hates mine because my dad got your uncle killed when Tony was driving drunk. It was an accident but my dad was completely at fault.” His disgust at that is as plain as day. “Because of that Mr. Chase made sure my dad was fired and that’s why my dad hates your dad, in fact I think my dad set something up to try and pay him back. You might want to have him check his taxes with a different tax attorney and make sure he has the records removed privately form both the office and the home of his current accountant. I’m not sure what he planned but I’m fairly sure that the accountant is dear ole dad’s drinking buddy.”

Cordy frowned, ‘How much of my life is a lie, who are my friends?’

“And Willow, the ‘We Hate Cordelia Club’ was actually ‘We Hate Harmony Club’ and Cordy was a founding member.”

Willow frowned, “But…” she frowned again.

“When you broke the crayon—” he spoke softly, “the yellow one? I said I broke it!” he smiled at her smile and he asked, “Who was sitting on your left?”

She frowned trying to remember. “Think back and picture it in your head, not just me but the entire memory of the event. It’s too strong of a memory for someone to keep and alter the specifics of the memory.”

She frowned and looked shocked as her eyes popped open.

“See!” He pointed smugly.

Giles spoke up. “Xander is utilizing one of the better methods of original memory retrieval from altered minds. Long segment memory alterations have always needed to be continually empowered to maintain their hold. Once they start to breakdown the faux memories will slowly leak out and the blocked memories will slowly leek in until the real memory is completely known. It takes triple the power to reapply the charm to the same memories and as this moment is a profound one it would take about thirty times that power to whip the charm’s discovery.”

Looking to the British adult Cordelia couldn’t keep the hope from her voice, “So I’ll be me again?”

Giles smiled and nodded, “Indeed.”

She sniffled.

Willow asks, “Giles? Is there a way to speed it up and to ward our minds so it takes more power to influence them in the future?”

“There are a number of rituals of which can be utilized. There are charmed amulets that will help to speed up any retrieval of memories once the faux memory has been eroded and started to breakdown. I’m not sure what else there is aside from the protection against amorous energy created by magical pull.”

From her sitting position on the couch Buffy seeks clarification, “What’s that mean, Giles?”

“I mean to say that there is a defense against the compulsion to fall in love or lust as the case may be. The ritual will protect the targets from those types of controlling magics.” He gives a small smirk, “However you would only be able to do the charmed artifact not the actual ritual.”

Lifting an eyebrow Cordelia asks, “Why is that?”

“I was actually speaking to Buffy.” Giles told her firmly, “I suppose you wouldn’t be able to ether! Here are the instructions.” The parchment was one that was flattened in a journal and in modern English.

As Buffy took the book with the parchment on top he started to polish his glasses with fierce abandon.

Buffy’s eyes widened and she glances, red faced, at Xander and Willow. Cordy read the parchment as well. She blushes furiously at the details but then licks her lips and says, “I think we could do this.” Her voice was firm and with a tone of flirty honesty that hadn’t been there for two years. “That is if Xander and Willow don’t object to our protecting ourselves from magical influence.”

Willow frowned at the familiar tone and challenge before a memory clicked. Buffy was staring shocked at Giles who was now wide eyed, his glasses in hand forgotten as he froze still starting at Cordelia.

“Um” stuttered Giles speechless.

Buffy suddenly smirks, ‘payback’s a bitch’. “I suppose such a magical ritual would require a Watcher to ensure everything… fits together.”

Giles snapped his eyes to Buffy and his jaw dropped at her smirk.

Xander shuddered at the thought of a four way with a voyeur. He didn’t need to read the parchment in the book to know what they were talking about.

“You know” Willow said her mind going place that were quite pleasant, “It wouldn’t be quick if you two took turns.” Her eyes were glossed over.

Buffy blanched at the lustful look Willow was giving her.

Cordy laughed loudly. “It’s so good to be myself again.” She sighed and then shocking Buffy into action burst into tears at the sudden feeling of loss the dark haired girl felt at Jesse’s death.

-OoOoO-

The four ‘children’ had grown closer. Buffy was still dating Angel but with the group manipulated so much she began to doubt her relationship with Angel, not that she blamed Angel for some kind of manipulation (if it was there). She simply felt ebbing of her passion for him. He’d needed her help just before Christmas when Spike had sent minions for him, he’d seemed to ‘handle it on his own’ well enough and though she’d helped it wasn’t a joint effort so much as his and hers. On top of that she had career week and Giles asking for help that he actually needed locating some cross decoder thingy. It wasn’t as though Angel had needed her.

She’d never admit it to him but she was sure Cordy’s open teasing about joining the duo had her considering the idea of asking on more than one occasion. She’d tried so hard to get Xander to notice the beautiful redhead that she felt she was already a bit part of it and now she halfway wanted to have fun with it too.

She walked into the library Xander was there at the corner table but instead of books out he had small items that she realized were electrical, there were actually a few books on the corner of the table but he had three Multi-meters and a few batteries.

Buffy asks as she enters, “What’s the what?”

Willow came from the stacks and frowns at the slayer as she didn’t quite understand what Xander was on about right now, “I’m not sure.”

Willow turns to Xander as she hears him sigh, “Alright Xander, explain again why the science that lets you build a Lightsaber in that universe won’t let you in this one.” She had a faux pouting face.

Buffy raised an eyebrow and turned to Xander with suppressed humor and silent rapt attention.

“First of all” Xander said not looking up. “I could build one that accomplished the same physical results as a saber however the battery…” he sighed and put the small battery he was testing down and looked up.

“The battery would have to be about the size of a house.” He growled that last bit.

“What?” Buffy looked confused. “Don’t they have the same raw things to like build the right batteries or something?”

He shook his head, “Energy in this universe is different. I think this universe is spread thinner than that one.”

Buffy looked confused.

“You know that in science they tell you the Earth rotates around the Sun because of the Sun’s gravity, and the Moon around the Earth because of Earth’s gravity right?”

Willow nods slowly, he continued his explanation of how he understood it, “And the gravity on say Jupiter is higher and the gravity on the Moon is less and that’s all because the size of the not just the size but the weight of what makes them up which is called mass.”

She nodded again.

“Think now of expanding that to the entire universe, the mass of the universe and the distance or space it takes up. The universe has all that potential energy, which is what they call that unused energy. It is spread so thin that the parts have less and less influence on other parts.”

Buffy asks, “What’s that got to do with batteries?”

“This battery here is nine volts!” he said. “That is right in this universe but that universe this battery might actually be giving off about nine hundred or maybe nine thousand.” He shook his head. “Of course it could be giving off nine hundred thousand, I just don’t know those exacts. Think on that for a moment and think of the results. Electricity is calculated by the friction created from the free movement of electrons. They say it is the free movement of electrons but really the energy is the friction of them. In this universe they produce energy that is a set amount with a set response. In Anakin’s universe it means less. At least as far as I can tell with what I’ve observed and the memories of the electronics Anakin’s observed which is quite a bit.” He smiles at that, “Without proper study and repeatable tests we can only guess at exactly what is going one and what the differences are. I doubt I’ll be building any spaceships in the near future.”

There was sadness in that last bit mixed in with the petulance.

Buffy Giggles at the petulance and Willow laughs just a touch before offering up a suggestion in the form of a question, “Could you make a better battery?”

“I’m working on it but really I think that there is some kind of natural limit on it right now. The materials can only handle so much before they burn out and that is a dangerous road to travel when dealing with reusable technologies.”

“Why can’t you do what you said Darth Vader did when he was Anakin?”

“I’m guessing here but Force users that are really good with mechanics, anything form electronic engendering or hyperspace physics, they are constantly fed information from the Force as they connect to the entirety of the universe. Even if I had them in my blood he couldn’t connect here so I doubt that he’d have the skill he had there while here… though I could be wrong, but what he felt when he was in charge was just that different.”

Sometimes the possession reminded him a bit of the hyena incident and he realized that the similarity wasn’t just possession, there was a connection there in the core of his being the way Anakin connected to the Force.

“So you can’t use what he knew of science at all?” Buffy felt like her friend was getting gypped.

Xander sighed and shook his head. “I have some understanding of basics but the numbers that Anakin seemed to find easily (the Force would relay the details) are going to be so radically different here that I would have to find a way to determine the strength, amount, and weight, before I could then determine the mathematical differences and then have a decent guess as to the outcome of any experiments I would do. That means more study and I really dislike math.”

Buffy giggled and Willow smirked and let him know in a husky voice, “I know of a wonderful reward system.”

Buffy raised her eyebrow and asked innocently, “And will it help me too?”

Willow’s eyes dilated and Xander groaned at the imagery which he was sure was purposely sparked by that question.

-OoOoO-

Cordy spent more and more time with her friends and less and less time with her sheep. She’d found teasing Willow and Xander with offers to join them to be the height of the day and soon enough she found that she would jump at the chance to join them sexually but she couldn’t, at least not without them making the first move. She had the memories of their closeness, even Jesse and she wondered if those kisses they’d shared when they were 12 had formed some kind of bond that Jesse could still feel.

She’d talked to her father and they hired a private investigator and after obtaining the records through illicit means; Mr. Chase filed a complaint with the IRS and the local state government about the accountant and delivered a copy of the records. The theft and fraud was quite apparent and soon enough the accountant and Tony Harris were arrested for conspiracy to defraud the IRS.

Chase got quite a bit of money and he had given half of it to Xander, which was a quarter of a million dollars, he’d also helped to emancipate him from his mother.

It was now going on Christmas and the group was sitting down in the apartment next to Giles’s. Xander had purchased the building which housed three apartments and Giles was paying Xander rent now. The third apartment was empty.

Cordy grinned asking Xander, “How is the new life?”

“Good” he said with humor. “And you, memories all clear?”

She smiled and nodded, “I got a tattoo. The rune on it should make it very hard to do anything similar to what was done.”

As if to show him, Cordelia pulls up her skirt ever so slowly. Turning her right leg outward to expose her inner thigh to him she points at the small tattoo. Her entire actions were quite erotic and Xander gulps.

Willow looks over from the counter with amusement, “So, Cordy, are you staying the night?”

Cordy suddenly felt rather vulnerable. She was silent a moment before she asks, “That depends on if I’m invited.”

Xander spoke up, “I thought we talked about that.” He said firmly, “You are invited, but it has to be your decision.” The harsh words were softened significantly by the inviting warmth of his tone.

Willow nodded eagerly. She had some rather strong memories of masturbating to Xander and Cordy together. She had one that had her ordering them to do things to the other and another that she was being ordered to herself.

Willow added to Xander’s words. “We just have to keep quiet with Giles next door.”

Buffy asked, “Keep what quiet?” as she entered without knocking.

Willow grinned at her, “Loud sex!”

Buffy froze; she was quite the prude when it came to sex. She now had the look of a doe in the headlights. With a sigh she moved over the couch sitting down a plop.

Three pairs of eyes were on the resigned slayer and she whines, “I don’t think the spell we did is working right.”

Xander was silent at the subject change, and Willow looked disappointed. They all hoped he would eventually trust her enough to welcome her to their bed. He wouldn’t turn her away now but that was a far cry from welcoming her either.

It was Cordy that herded the group to the couch and asked the slayer, “What do you mean?”

 The group sat, Willow on Xander’s lap and Cordy half on it giving Buffy a small bit of extra room and the trio of soon to be lovers enough room to turn their united focus on the distraught slayer.

Buffy frowns. “I still feel a very strong attraction to Angel, and I realized…” she was now at a full whine, “I really have very little to feel attracted to but I still feel it.”

Xander sighed and patted Willow’s ass to let her know to get up.

“Buffy” he said softly now much closer to her. “You like Angel, that doesn’t mean you have a spell on you. We can’t always control who we like or who we love. That doesn’t mean it follows some logic we can understand or even well founded. It’s just the way it is sometimes. For that matter you two have inner demons, or in your case, an inner slayer, and his, an inner vampire; those are also not protected against in the spell. Vampires by nature are very seductive. The night of the harvest, if that person hadn’t pushed the vamp Jesse, I’m not sure I would have staked him. How long would it have been before I actually believed that tripe?”

She frowned and sighed. “Are you saying that Angel is bewitching me?”

“No, not really,” he sighed, “as much as I personally dislike Angel, not just because he’s a vampire, that automatically nets my ire; I also dislike his personality. But even with that, I can honestly say he isn’t the type to use the whammy on a girl. His feelings for you must be there and strong for him to even approach you. No, what I’m saying as that he wouldn’t do that, not while his soul was intact.”

She sighed with relief and asked, “Yet you still don’t approve?”

Xander sighed, “No, but it isn’t my choice! And really, I think if he made some effort to find a way to get rid of the demon he shares a corpse with, I might be more apt to actually approve. I mean he spent a century as a vampire with a soul and instead of finding a way to become human again he wallowed in self pity the same way…” he sighed, “Never mind… I don’t need to rant. I’m just saying that I don’t that think you liking him is a spell. That doesn’t mean I approve or that my approval is needed.”

She wrapped him in a hug; that was as close to saying he approved of Angel as he’d ever get.

-OoOoO-

While Giles was working with the Council and making an effort to find a cure for Angel’s vampirisms other things cropped up, such as Ted Buchanan the killer robot from the mouth of hell and the killer eggs from the mother Bezoar.

It was just before Buffy’s birthday, that things took another turn.

“Giles found a… cure, to make you human! It wouldn’t normally work but because you have a soul…”

Giles had thought it was a wonderful early birthday gift and had even arranged to hire Angel thru the Watcher’s Council. The end of November had them quietly taking out the Mayor’s mystical powers and just after Christmas they’d dealt with the faux mayor himself.

The Council had actually worked together with the Coven from Devonshire and had one of their former SAS snipers take off the man’s head. They’d followed young Alexander’s advice to their agent in the field. When they notified their contacts and agents from the FBI, Customs, and a surprisingly in the CIA, several sent people to Sunnydale for a day trip to investigated the former Mayor.

That investigation hadn’t been shared with the Watcher’s Council but they were sure they’d made conclusions based on facts and knew the same man had been illegally in the role of Mayor for at least a century and that at was longer then most men live. The groups had kept this observation classified but it had drawn the attention of a team from the Air Force when they found the wide variance of agencies investigating the long lived ruler of the town.

“Buffy” said Angel, “I don’t think I can! I was chosen to be a champion, I mean there was a reason I was sent here.”

She frowned and looked at Angel. “You…” her breath caught as she realized one of the traits for which Xander hadn’t outright told her but he’d obviously known before, Angel was a coward.

In a sudden realization she almost spat her words, “They sent you here to watch me die, so you could be a good little champion.”

Angel blanched; another item clicked in her mind, whenever she’d brought it up Angel had avoided the topic. Upon revisiting those memories Angel always looked jealous and guilty.

Buffy glares at him, “I always thought that you’d grabbed Xander because he wasn’t working with Giles in his attempt to prepare to close the Hellmouth and wasn’t really needed in dealing with vampires that weren’t there yet, so why not take a bit of back up… even if he wasn’t the best he was still better than going alone…” she shook her head.

“You didn’t take him he took you; didn’t he? That was what was meant to be! You were to brood in your apartment while I died and then feel so much guilt because you could have easily, at least tried; you’d never give up again!” she said and then hissed, “In my memory of course.”

Her expression had taken on mocking sneer. “Go, be their champion. You can’t be the man I love because you refuse to be a man. You’re some inhuman champion and will never be a champion of humanity. Our relationship is over Angel. Just go and never return.”

She stormed out of the apartment. She never saw the look of horror on Angel’s face as he realized his fear of fighting the darkness as a human was obvious to his girl, his former girl.

He left and wouldn’t return unless asked to.

-OoOoO-

Whistler shook his head with a bit of relief. The balance maintained easily with the grief she’d both inflicted on him and herself. It paid for in advance the happiness she would give and receive from her white knight. The fact that this balance was maintained with less innocent bloodshed was a plus in his book.

He shimmered out to LA and pushed a bit of demon essence as the creature attached to the ethereal form of Doyle, a half demon seer. This would spark the visions a bit early and maybe avoid some of the pitfalls that Jasmine has set up.

He smirked as he recalled Skip’s face when he’s had his battle. It had been a blast and Skip had lost and died. He’d killed the demon being held in the box of flame and then shimmered out to East Coast to give a premonition to. Trick would know where to capture the Watcher and if the girl survived she would have a wonderful future, once she was passed the pain. Some parts of the balance he could really do without.

 
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