Time to Suit up!
I don't own anything but the plot, I'm just borrowing the characters and making them jump for my amusement. Buffy and Co belong to Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy, the Ultimate Universe is owned by Disney and Marvel.Spoilers:
Everything Buffy Season 1-7, Angel 1-5 and somewhere before Ultimate Spider-Man #060.Author's Note:
I'm just trying this story idea out, haven't got it all figured out yet. I probably should try and continue my other unfinished stories, but this one just kinda kept nagging me to write it. It will eventually take place in the Ultimate Universe, but that won't happen for a few more chapters, expect a little bit of angst, I LOVE it, but others might not.Pairings:
Maybe B/X, not sure how I'll go writing that... It'll be part of the angst I guess.~*^*^*^*~
"I'm sick and tired of your complaining" she said with a sigh as she opened the weapons chest.
"But I've paid my dues," Xander whined. "We all have. We should get to party some more."
Buffy sighed again pausing in her rummaging through the box of weapons to turn a stern look at her eye patched friend.
"Xand…" Buffy stood before continuing. "You know me. I Slay. We save the world. We party. But it's been almost a year."
"10 Months, Two Weeks and Five days." Xander said looking at his watch, when he looked back at the Slayer she had a shocked look on her face. "What?"
"You've been counting?"
"Hell Yeah! We deserved the down time," Xander gave her a lopsided grin. "Especially you. You died twice, almost three times when you got stabbed while we were down in the Hellmouth. There's hundreds of Slayers now, most of the retired and secluded Watchers that survived the purge are returning to help train them. If that doesn't get you a free trip to Disneyland, well, I don't know what will."
Buffy smiled at that, letting out a small laugh before catching herself and playfully slapping her friend on the shoulder in frustration.
"Yes, it does get the free trip to Disneyland, remember? We went on Splash Mountain like fifty times! Willow was sick on the eighteenth ride, Dawn fell asleep around ride twenty-three, Faith got kicked off for smoking at ride thirty, Andrew passed out at ride thirty-nine and you and me only got to fifty because we got told to leave because you kept trying to talk every girl who got on to flash their boobs when the photo gets taken."
"Hey, I still maintain that all those women were gonna do the flashing long before I started talking to them."
"Over twenty women flashed Xander!" Buffy crossed her arms.
"Yeah..." he got a faraway look in his eye. “If only I got to keep the photos as proof..."
"Hey!" Buffy clapped her hands, shocking Xander out of his lust filled daydreams.
"Huh-Wha...?" a goofy grin crossed his face as the thoughts of bare breasts began to fade.
"Focus," Buffy pointed a finger at her friend. "Giles and the others need our help; Dawn's gone to study with that old Watcher with all the dead language knowledge, Willow is working with that Technopagan Coven, learning their craft and seeing what they can do to help all the outposts. All the Sunnydale Slayerettes are out in the field helping to gather the newbie's, Andrew is on his way to learning to be a 'full blown Watcher', or at least that's what Giles tells me and Faith has been floating from post to post with a couple of Slayers helping where they can before they come back here to the school you've been building here in Cleveland."
"You mean Sunnydale 2.0." Xander laughed.
"Yeah, yeah... I understand. It's just, it won't be the same. You know, cos everyone is stretched out so far... I just want the old gang back together." Xander sighed. "I miss them all, at least when we were goofing off it was like they were just somewhere else having fun themselves... Or when I was working on the school it just felt like back in Sunnydale, me the workin' man, you the stay at home Slayer," he smiled at Buffy, a slight look of outrage on her face that turned into a blush as she brushed a strand of hair behind her ear. "But if I go out and patrol... It means... We didn't really win in the end." He slumped down into an armchair, staring at his hands. "That Anya..." He choked out.
"Yeah, I know." Buffy sat down on the armrest as she put a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"She died Buff," he looked up at her. "And I'm never gonna get her back. And when we go on patrol, I think it will finally hit me... She died in Sunnydale, and despite her sacrifice, we're still fighting..."
"I miss her too Xander," she smiled sadly. "I miss them all..."
"You know what?" Xander asked. "You know what I thought was gonna happen when Willow performed the Big Slay Spell?" Buffy shook her head. "I thought we would get our lives back. That we could rest. I believed you were gonna retire..."
"I've thought about it," Buffy admitted. "But..."
"Yeah..." Xander said looking off into the distance again, only this time breasts weren't on his mind, this time he thought about all the people who wouldn't be saved if they didn't enter the fight once again. "Maybe we could...?"
"Thought of that, they'll find us, plus I don't look good in a wig..." Buffy also looked off into the distance, her mind playing the same thing over and over again. Friends and family she had saved, and the few she hadn't. "What if we...?"
"Nah," Xander shook his head. "Where are we gonna find a pair of Nun's habit's this time of night? Particularly one in a Women's husky?"
"No matter what I wear, you're never gonna hide my broad shoulders and muscles." Xander said with a smile, flexing his arms.
Buffy smiled at that before flashing a frown. "God, we're been hanging out alone together for too long."
"Yeah" Xander sighed with a laugh.
"So… No hiding. These are our lives Xand."
"Yeah," Xander repeated. "I guess we'll just have to be 'Scoobies for Life' then." He shrugged.
"Scoobies for Life." Buffy agreed standing up. "We are now officially back on active duty."
"Yay..." Xander groaned, which Buffy gave him a stern look, lightly slapping him on the arm again. "I mean, Yay!" he shook his arms about half heartily.
"That's better," She smirked.
"You'd think we could have gone back on patrol once the construction was done at the Campus." He groused. "If we're not gonna party I would much rather be going over the plans of the new Magic Box, lots of equipment has been arriving lately and not a hell of a lot of staff yet."
"It takes time for Giles to hire people," she looked him up and down. "Unless you wanna run through all those applications?"
"No, no, no, no, no," he waved her off. " 'English stuffy' is always the best bet to do the Admin stuff. My 'Cali Cool' is more suited to the manual labor."
"What? I'm cool!" He said with a smile. "Well, my mom always said I was cool..."
"It's a New Hellmouth, Xander," she rolled her eyes. "We need to get our bearings before we start getting the school up and running, don't you think?"
"Yeah, yeah... Scoobies for Life, champions for good." He raised his fist in triumph.
"Like I said, it’s a New Hellmouth... So you’re gonna be a little rusty-"
"Me? Rusty?" Xander interrupted the Slayer with a smirk of his own, rising from his seat. He moved passed her and crouched to rummage through the open weapons chest his smirk turning into a grin. "Ha, I'll show you rusty, ya old Slayer you." he said picking up a pair of leather tactical fingerless gloves, a short sword and a handful of stakes.
Buffy smirked as well at his playful ribbing as she picked up her own handful of stakes, a small axe and a long sword. "Who you calling old, cos I don't know Xand, all that partying..." she clicked her tongue at her friend as she tucked the stakes into her many different jacket pockets. “You've gotten a little soft round the middle, maybe you’re afraid you're not as good as you were back in Sunnydale?" she laughed as she secured the axe in the small of her back before twirling the long sword around herself, checking the length and weight of the blade.
"Hey, I'll have you know, I didn't need as much saving towards the end of Sunnydale as I did back when we first met." Xander laughed as he placed each stake on his person, one in his waistband, one in his back pants pocket, another in his right boot and finally one up his left sleeve. He tucked the short sword under his arm as he put the gloves on, first his left, then the right, flexing his fingers as he made sure they fit right before tightening the Velcro straps on the back of each hand.
"Yes Xander, you're right, you didn't need as much saving as before towards the end of Sunnydale," Buffy nodded, turning to exit the room. "But you did need saving sometimes!" She shot over her shoulder.
"Oh that hurt Buff!" Xander laughed following his friend.
"Come on, it might be fun..."
"Ha!" he laughed. "Fun she says!"
As both self-proclaimed 'Scoobies for Life' left the house and into the dark night neither saw the faint glow that periodically flashed from the gloves on Xander's hands. Magicks powered up inside the gloves along with circuitry and tech for the first time since they were scrapped almost three years ago by their maker. Their power sources long removed, now finding a much more powerful energy to draw from, a power that would eventually fade.
"So… Where to, oh Slayer-of-mine?" Xander asked after he had backed the car out of the driveway and they were on the road.
"East Cleveland Cemetery," Buffy rolled her eyes. "There are a couple fresh graves we can check out before doing the big sweeps of Mayville and then Lake View. And I'm not your Slayer."
"Giles wanted me as your Watcher, so I'm gonna... Ah... Watch." he said making a right turn towards their destination.
"I don't remember him saying that."
"Yeah he did." he said as he turned the car onto a busy street.
"No, he didn't."
"Yes, he did."
"When? Where was I?" Buffy asked in a tone that dripped with disbelief.
"Right next to me. You said it was fine, and then we got on the plane and flew out here."
Buffy turned to her friend, a confused look on her face as she tried to recall that event.
"I remember everyone seeing us off, and then Giles said that he chose you to be my back up because you were supervising the construction of the Campus and the only person left who knew how to work with me, but-"
"Yeah, see you remember." Xander said as he pulled up to the cemetery's entrance and shut the engine off. "I'm your Watcher, You're my Slayer."
"Back up," Buffy corrected as they got out of the car. "He said Back Up. How does that make you my Watcher? You get tied up and tortured all the time, sometimes by women you try to date."
"Hey, that was one time," Xander defended as Buffy just gave him a look. "OK, fine, twice. But that second time the girl thought I was into that kind of kink because of all my scars. Besides, you try saying no to a girl in a gimp mask and latex underwear while she's holding a thick leather riding crop. It can't be done."
"Freak" Buffy laughed heading for the large gate of the cemetery.
"That's Mr. Watcher Freak, Sir." Xander corrected his friend with a salute as he laughed as well.~*^*^*^*~
They patrolled. They grappled a few times with some evil. Even managed to dust some Vamps. It was surprisingly fun. Then he had to open his big mouth...
"Man my arms are tired." He rotated his arms and shoulders about as he complained. "Maybe you were right; I might be a little out of shape."
"Well it is what happens when you party for almost a year." Buffy gave a side glance to her friend as they walked down a row of graves towards the exit of Lake View Cemetery and the end of their night.
"My arms feel like I'm holding the Buster sword from Final Fantasy VII..." he said holding his short sword out in front of himself. His arm shook before he let it fall at his side.
"The What from Final What?" Buffy quirked an eyebrow.
"A sword from a video game. Big, huge, almost the size of a diving board."
"Yep." they laughed together. Xander stopped walking and turned to his friend. "OK Buff, you were right, twice."
"How was I right, let alone twice?"
"One is, yeah, I might be out of practice..."
"Practice implies, you know, actual practice." Buffy smirked.
"True," Xander returned the smirk. "So... Train me."
"Train me Buff." Xander looked at her seriously. "If I'm gonna be your Watcher-"
"Whatever," he continued. "I might actually have to learn how to fight... Properly."
"But you can fight." Buffy sat down on a low headstone.
"No, I know how to swing my arms about, I know how to get hit in the head without suffering a concussion," he sat down next to her, looking down at the sword that hung limply in his hands. "I'm a brawler at my best and a punching bag at my worst..."
He took a deep breath through his nose to give him time to think of the right words when he was hit with a strong smell of Damp Earth and a slight 'Something died close by' hint to it. He ignored the smell as he continued.
"I should have asked you sooner," he looked to the Slayer. "I should have been learning all the way back in high school... But I never knew how to ask you... Or Giles for that matter. But now that this is gonna be our lives 24/7, I really need to learn to fight."
Buffy was silent for a bit, letting his words sink in. Finally she said, "About time..."
"Ever since the attack on the Vineyard and your..." She left the words unsaid. "I've been waiting for you to suggest something."
"Really?" Xander looked at her puzzled.
"I spoke to Giles about it..." This time it was her turn to look at her hands. "I wanted to sideline you; I thought you were useless to us... Unless you learned to handle yourself." She shrugged slightly. "I wanted to confront you about it but, Giles said that you had to come to me. It had to be your choice."
"Huh? Wish someone had told me sooner," he looked away from his friend. "Could have spent the last month training..."
"Yep," Buffy smiled. "But you wanted to waste time having fun and building the new Magic Box."
"Well, having fun at least..." Xander smiled.
Silence fell again on the two friends, neither looking at the other.
"And two was?" Buffy broke the silence, turning to the one eyed man.
"Oh, Two... Well, two was...” he looked at his friend. “You know, this was actually-"
A very loud scream made both their heads turn to their right.
"-Fun." he finished.
"You know that's your fault, right?" Buffy said standing and pulling a stake out of her jacket, swinging her sword through the air and running towards the scream.
"But-but you said it would be fun back at the house!" he called after her before letting out a sigh. "And 'Big Mouth Xander' strikes again." He groaned before rushing after the Slayer.
The scream had come from a girl as she was thrown to the ground, weeping as two Vamps stood over her, laughing with glee as they moved in for the kill.
"Hey!" Buffy yelled rushing towards them. "Why don't you leave her alone, I'm much more fun to play with."
Both Vamps dodged her incoming blows, Vamp one ducking under the swing of the sword, Vamp two deflecting the stake she thrust at his chest.
"Slayer!" Vamp one hissed.
"Slayee-" Buffy quipped back looking between the two of them. "-Ees, Slayees? Slays? What's the plural of Slayee?"
"Less quip, more fight!" Xander called over his shoulder dropping his sword on the ground as he crouched next to the frightened girl, shaking his head softly as he felt a small buzzing at the back of his head.
"Not my Waaaaaatchhhhhhher!" Buffy sing-songed before attacking.
She moved, the sword swinging through the air like a blur of silver in the low light of the moon. Both Vamps let out snarls as they dodged the attacks, moving just slightly faster than the experienced Slayer. The three opponents moved as one, the Vamps landing blows as Buffy swung her weapons and hit nothing but air. Xander watched in surprise as Buffy began to get angry at the Vamps, her rage apparent by the loud grunts of effort she put into the fight. The buzzing at the back of his mind was still there, growing larger and larger as he watched before he shook himself out of his stupor remembering the girl they were rescuing.
"Are you OK?" Xander asked the girl.
"What... What are...?" the girl whimpered, pointing at the fighting trio.
"Nothing you need to worry about," he looked the girl over.
Apart from some dirt and mud in a few places she seemed to be ok, just scared... Except... He could smell something again. It had that kind of earthy smell, earth and maybe something dead? Something dead with what he could now tell was a slight hint of... Copper? Pennies?
"Can you walk?" he asked.
"Yes... I-I... Who is that girl?" she asked staring intently at Buffy.
The Slayer moved, her sword lost in the fray, two of her stakes broken as she now played defense rather than attack, the two Vamps moving as one against her.
"Her?" Xander looked to Buffy. "She's the Slayer." Worry was in his voice as he watched the two Vamps rain blows towards his friend. His nose seemed to twitch as the earthy-death-copper smell grew stronger.
"Oh, we heard there was a Slayer in town..." the girl turned to Xander, "So, does that make you her Watcher?"
"Yes, no, uh, maybe... Wait, how did you...?" he asked, the buzzing in his head flared to a loud roar before stopping when he turned to face the girl, but she wasn't a girl anymore, her yellow eyes lit up as a large fang filled grin brightened up her once frightened face.
"Goody!" The copper smell filled his nostrils as she threw her head back and laughed, clapping her hands cheerfully before grabbing his neck with a hand. "In that case I'll let you watch her get drained before I eat you."
The stake was in his hand before he could think, Sunnydale instincts driving the wood in his hand towards her chest. She slapped the hand away with another laugh, the stake falling from his grip. Instincts drove him again as he brought his other hand up, a fresh stake aimed at her heart. With one more giggle she grabbed his hand, pried the wood from his grasp and snapped it into kindling. She hissed at him, the copper smell washed over him and he finally realised he was smelling her breath, or what passed for a Vampires breath. She pulled him closer, an arm moving around his neck as she held him in place without a single blow exchanged between the two.
"Now, now Watcher," she tut-tutted him like a misbehaving child, "It's time to Watch."
'This doesn't happen.' he thought to himself as he gasped for breath, the headlock tight around his neck, the earthy death smell encasing him. 'We don't get laid out by just three Vamps. Well, I do, but not Buffy.' He struggled against the Vampiress' grip as he watched Buffy being beat on, her body being tossed back and forth between the two demons. 'And Holy Crap does she smell! How did she take all my stakes? Aren't the girls you save supposed to be actual girls and not blood sucking demons?' he thought.
Maybe everyone was right, he was a demon magnet, only they forgot to mention all the demons were girls.
Seriously, all of his stakes were gone!
Wait, he still had one, in his boot. His mind raced. How was he to get to it? He struggled against the Vamp, trying to bend his body down to his boot.
"Don't struggle," she purred. "It'll all be over soon."
Buffy was bloodied. Moving between the two Vamps as they each landed two blows for her every one.
He had to get out of the headlock, he had to help Buffy. He had been joking earlier, he knew he wasn't her Watcher; he was just trying to lighten the mood. It was what he did. He wouldn't be Xander is he didn't. One little joke and he was going to have to watch one of his best friends die before joining her. If only he had asked to be trained all those years ago instead of tonight. Only his luck could be this bad.
Then a thought came to his mind.
'Off with her head!' the thought told him in a surprisingly accurate impression of Ed Wynn; although why the voice of the mad hatter would say that he had no idea.
Without knowing where the thought came from Xander reached behind him and made to grab, scratch and hit the Vamp who held him.
"Hey, Hey!" the girl hissed as she tried to fight off his pathetic attack. "What, are you twelve little boy?"
"No!" Xander gasped back then he growled. "I'm a man!"
Then it happened.
He made two fists and two loud *SNIKT* sounded, followed by a stinging pain that shot from his knuckles on both hands.
And just as quickly The Vamp turned to dust around him.
The *SNIKT* sound was heard again, his knuckles stinging for a moment before the pain disappeared.
Now free he moved fast, the stake in his boot forgotten, and his hands on autopilot. He moved them before himself, both middle fingers on both of his hands moved to touch his palms as he aimed his wrists at the two Vamps fighting Buffy.
Two soft *THWIP's* sounded as a whitish-grey thread like substance fired from his wrists. The long strands hit each Vamp, one square in the back, the other in its shoulder, both cords stuck in place. With a quick flick of both hands he was holding onto the rope like substance, as it now appeared as if it was formed from six strands, three close together, the other three twirling and intertwining around them. He yanked hard on the ropes as he got to his feet. The two Vamps were jerked from their position over Buffy to land in a pile in front of the one eyed man.
"Xander!" Buffy gasped for breath, her bruised face aching as she watched in amazement at his actions, the two Vamps now getting to their feet.
Before he knew what he was doing he yelled two phrases before engaging the Vamps.
"Flame On!" he called as his left hand was engulfed in fire. "It's Clobbering Time!" he said in a gruff bellow as his right hand changed from five fingered flesh to a four fingered living orange rock that moved all the way up his arm and ended sharply at his elbow.
The two Vamps exchanged a quick look of surprise between themselves before jumping at Xander. Sunnydale instinct surged in him again, his right hand punched one Vamp in the gut sending it flying back several feet into the air and crashing into a gravestone, the death marker crumbling from the impact. His left hand moved with a fiery blur hitting the other Vamp in the chin, a large patch of burnt flesh formed on its face as it staggered back from the blow.
Xander didn't miss a beat, autopilot still engaged as he yelled "Flame off!" his hands returning to normal. Grabbing the burnt Vamp by the neck, he lifted the demon up off the ground, the Vamps eyes wide as Xander sneered at it, a feral grin on his face. Buffy gasped again, her body frozen in shock as she watched the burnt Vamps head begin to glow a pulsating, fluorescent pink that she could swear was moving with Xander's heartbeat. With another yell Xander threw the Vamp, the demon landing on top of its still dazed companion amongst the gravestones remains. Breathing heavily Xander's palms began to glow with a clean, bright white light, the buzz at the back of his head was back and his eyes went wide as he suddenly knew what was about to happen.
"Buffy! Get down!" he yelled before hitting the dirt, his arms over his head.
Buffy had just enough time to look from Xander to the fallen Vampires. The burnt Vamp's fluorescent pink head pulsed more rapidly, before her eyes went wide as her Slayer senses tingled and she too took cover. The Vamp’s head exploded violently, dusting both Vamps in the process and showering the two Scoobies with marble, dust and dirt. When Buffy got to her feet again Xander was kneeling on the ground, both palms up in his lap as his hands shook with power.
Two circles of light were growing brighter and brighter in Xander's palms as he muttered to himself. "Please stop, please stop, please stop, please stop..."
He stared at his hands, the gloves seemingly now gone, replaced with two gantlets made of red and gold metal. Each palm held a round circled looking outlet, each glowed bright white, power seeming to surge from them.
"Xander?" Buffy stepped forward, reaching for her friend.
"Don't!" Xander flinched away from her. "S-so tired..."
A loud whine rose up from his hands as they shook harder. Xander suddenly let out a loud yell before two pulses of energy fired from the gauntlets and up into the air, flying high into the dark night sky like twin beams from a pair of searchlights.
With a soft whimper Xander looked at Buffy. "W-what in the 'Stan Lee' just happened...?"
Buffy was about to answer with a shake of her head and an 'I don't know' when the one eyed man collapsed to the ground, unconscious.~*^*^*^*~
Please review and I'll continue the story.