Vampire hunting can lead to adventures
Title: Vampire hunting can lead to adventures
Disclaimer: All characters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer belong to Joss Whedon,
Greyhawk belongs to Wizards of the Coast, the characters Justicar, Cinders, Escalla, Enid, Polk, Henry and Morag belong to Paul Kidd
Summary: Xander starts to patrol alone. Then finds this interesting stone...
Setting: Season 4 after the Initiative was discovered by the Scoobies / AU Anya left during Graduation Day never to return. Xander has already his job in construction, but doesn’t show any talent for carpentry so far
Pairings: B/R in the beginning, you won’t be bothered with it too long. B/X in the end (I hope J ), W/T mentioned
Rating: 13, 16 max. Due to some violence and swearing
Feedback: Of course, after all I want to get better.
Author’s notes: *....* denotes thoughts; //...\\\\ denotes telepathic communication;
further notes will be added as necessary
Thanks to Tenhawk for bouncing ideas back and forth with me
Xander sighed deeply. That was the second week no one had called him about patrols. If he didn’t know better he would think that the Hellmouth had closed and no vampires remained. But he did know better.
*So they want to keep me out of the loop again, like before graduation,* the young man thought angrily.
With that thought running through his mind the young man went over to the chest he kept his slaying gear in.
As he removed the stakes from it he felt a calm wash over him. After a moment of deliberation he also added a bowie knife and a Glock he had liberated together with the rocket launcher. He looked on the little pile of weapons on the floor, then he turned back to digging in the chest. Soon he had located what he looked for, the combat fatigues from Halloween.
With quick, efficient movement he donned the fatigues and placed the weapons in easily accessible positions.
*Wow, seems like there is more soldier-boy left than Giles thought* Xander thought as he saw his own reflection in the mirror and nearly succumbed to the need to salute.
To his mirror image he said: “Lock and load. We are going to hunt. That will show them that I can pull my weight.”
That said he got to the door leaving his basement flat. Snores greeted him from the living room where his parents had, once again, drunk themselves to oblivion.
Silently he left the house and got into his car. After a short drive he came to one of the less patrolled graveyards and parked near the main entrance. At the entrance gate Xander checked his gear for the final time then he entered.
As Xander strolled through the rows of graves he felt instincts coming back to the fore he hadn’t felt since that Halloween as a Soldier. His movements became more efficient, he listened to his senses more acutely and in irregular intervals he turned around to walk backwards for several paces. In short he was patrolling like a veteran soldier in enemy territory.
After two hours he had covered the whole cemetery and now he slowly moved back towards his car. He had nearly reached the exit as he saw that the earth of a new grave was being pushed up. In fact he could already see the fingers of the graves inhabitant as they clawed the earth away.
Quickly he crept forward to the grave and the rising vampire.
When the vampire had freed himself so far that only the hips and legs were he only parts of his body still covered with earth Xander spoke up: “Say hello to Mr. Woody.”
While the vampire still tried to make sense out of this wired greeting he suddenly felt a burning pain in the chest and crumbled away. His dust mingling with his disturbed grave.
“Oh well, not too bad for the first patrol alone,” Xander mused aloud as he carved a notch in the stake.
*Now why did I do that?* flitted through his mind as he looked on the newly carved mark on the stake. *Perhaps I should talk to Giles about that... Tomorrow.* The last addition to his thoughts was accompanied by a huge yawn.
Having completed his first solitary patrol successfully Xander drove home feeling tired but still happy.
Ten minutes later a certain Slayer entered the graveyard for the final sweep of the evening. The call of the Bronze was too strong for her to entertain any thoughts of further patrols that evening.
Somewhat bored she crossed the cemetery getting nothing with her slayer-sense. It had been a quite night, only four vampires on as many cemeteries.
Just before Buffy left the area she saw the disturbed grave. Quickly she went over to it to look for any tracks the newly risen vampire might have left. But as much as she looked she found nothing. Just as she wanted to give up she noticed the small pile of ash that rose a little from the grave.
*Hum. Seems like Riley’s friends were here earlier....*
Satisfied that no more vampires were in the area she went to the Bronze to meet Willow.
Willow sat already at their usual table when Buffy finally came by. She sat there tapping idly her glass to the rhythm of the music. She immediately perked up when she saw Buffy enter the club.
“Hi Buffy. How was patrol?” chirped Willow.
“Hi yourself, Wills. Really quiet. Just four vamps, no more than fledglings. It was so quiet I could have taken Xander with me.”
“Oh no. Who knows what could have happened with him there. Riley is right, Xander has no powers, he isn’t even a good fighter. There is no way we can keep him always safe. It is better that way.”
“You are right, we have to keep him safe. I... We can’t let him be hurt,” answered Buffy.
In her thoughts Buffy added, *But somehow it doesn’t feel right to keep him out of the loop. -- No! We have to keep him safe. And Riley really is a bigger help on patrols.*
Then she saw her new boyfriend come over to their table carrying a small tray with drinks and all thoughts of Xander left her.
The next day, after cleaning up from work, Xander went to Giles. Silently he entered the apartment.
*Someone should teach Giles to lock the door. Not all evil needs to be invited in,* thought the teen.
“Yo, G-man! Where are you?” his call was answered by a crash and a string of curses from the kitchen.
“Xander! How often have I told you not to call me that? And how did you get in, in the first place?”
“Sorry Giles,” answered Xander looking down on the shattered teapot. “The door wasn’t locked and so I let myself in.” With a grin he continued, holding up a box with donuts, “I brought you jelly-filled deliciousness. Forgive me?”
Defeated Giles let his anger slide away. *How does he do that? He is as bad as Buffy, I can’t stay angry with them.*
“So what brings you here? None of you have come by recently.”
“No one? Not even Buffy?”
“Not more than once since she started to go out with this commando. She is still doing her patrols, but Buffy starts to depend on him and his comrades too much. I don’t trust them. That is bound to take a bad turn.”
“Hey you are preaching to the masses here. I mean come on, the government catching demons? Just out of the goodness of their hearts? I wouldn’t wonder if those commando-guys put them in countries they don’t like.”
“Well I would not go so far. But it stands out of question that the danger of nefarious use of any knowledge they gain is quite a probable scenario. But back to the original question. Why are you here?”
“OK. I’ll tell you, but first promise me that you won’t tell the girls before I’m ready for that.”
Reluctantly Giles agreed. After that Xander started to tell Giles of his decision to start patrolling by himself.
“Xander, I have to strongly discourage you from patrolling alone. You know what dangers run loose in Sunnydale, the chances are high that you will encounter one you can’t prevail against.”
“Look Giles I have made my decision. I can’t sit at home knowing what I know about the things that go bump in the night. And you could help me keep me up to date with hellmouthy stuff and such things. I will do this anyway the only question is do you want to help or do you like it out of the loop?”
After some deliberation and quite a lot of grumbling Giles agreed to help Xander. But not before threatening to tell Buffy should Xander take unnecessary chances.
After that their conversation turned to the soldier abilities that had started come to the fore again and Xander gave a little report of his first patrol.
As he did that he caught himself several time how he slipped into military-talk.
After he was finished Giles thought a bit about his answer.
“Hmm, it seems as if that spell that Halloween not only left some knowledge in you, but also some of the instincts, reflexes and skills of a soldier. I haven’t heard anything like that before. Before I can tell you more I have to...”
“... to research it. I know,” Xander finished for him. “I have to get going now. My food at home is calling out to me. Can’t keep it waiting. It has to meet his fate before I patrol tonight.”
With an amused grin Giles nodded him goodbye already thinking about which books he would need for this piece of research.
This time Xander drove to the BuenaVista cemetery. A funeral add and article in the newspaper had sounded suspicious to him.
*Victim of wild dogs? Oh, come on. As if a pack of wild dogs would only rip out someone’s throat and not even bite somewhere else. But points for creativity, at least it wasn’t again the gang-initiation story.*
Ten minutes later he had found the grave of Virgil Tanner, the attack’s victim. As Xander neared the grave it became painfully obvious that he was too late. The grave had been forced open from below and only splinters of the coffin remained in the ground.
*Great. Just great. Now I have a really hungry Bela Lugosi-wannabe around here and no idea where he is.*
A growl behind was the only warning he got. Xander barely managed to roll out of the ravenous vampire’s way.
Now that the first surprise lay behind him the two began to circle each other. The vampire lunged forward and Xander dodged to the side, the whole time desperately trying to draw his stake without becoming vamp-food.
After the third try he finally had Mr. Woody in his grip.
“Hey overbite! Why don’t you keep still and say hello to Woody here?”
That provoked a vicious swipe from the fledgling’s claw. His long nails raked bloody lines across Xander’s chest
“Tonight I will feast on your blood and leave your carcass to the rats!”
“Wow! That one is new. Should I be the lucky one to stake the world’s first creative vampire? Oh the honor.”
Through a number of dodges Xander managed to get closer to the vampire without being wounded further. As his opponent was unskilled in combat the vamp couldn’t keep a guard up while trying to grab Xander, but still it was too fast for the boy to simply stake him. So Xander tried to slow him down somehow.
The first idea he had was kicking the undead in his family jewels. And this idea wielded such a spectacular result that for the first few seconds Xander only could stare on the vampire that was rolling on the floor screaming in agony.
After a few seconds Xander shook himself out of his surprise and stabbed his stake down in the prone vampire’s back, piercing is unbeating heart.
And while the dust was still settling on the ground Xander already added a second notch to his stake.
Heartened by this success he continued his patrol of the graveyard. Half an hour later he had reached the middle of the cemetery. Here was a little grove of trees with a few benches for the relatives to it on after visiting their dead.
Out of the middle of this grove came the sounds of something big digging.
Full of curiosity Xander crept nearer. There between a few ancient oaks was one of the ugliest demons he had ever seen. It was of a sickly green color with purple and yellow splotches on its carapace like skin. It used long, ape-like arms to dig a hole, about a meter deep. Suddenly this monstrosity stopped and started to look around, loudly sniffing.
As it began to turn toward Xander he could see its face for the first time. The relatively small face was dominated by three eyes. Each as large as a grown man’s fist. Still loudly sniffing the demon began to shamble straight toward Xander.
*Shit. Eyeball is smelling me.*
Quickly Xander dismissed the idea of using his stakes on the armored monstrosity, not only wouldn’t he be able to penetrate the carapace but he also wouldn’t come close enough without being ripped to shreds by the beast’s long arms.
So he quickly drew his Glock and took aim. The first bullet hit the demon dead center in the chest. But it only ricocheted away into one of the trees. Now the monster roared once and began to move faster towards Xander.
Xander at the same time let a desperate double tap fly towards the demon, hitting the left eye.
Blue gore sprayed out of the wound and the demon let loose a keening scream. It still continued its advance but now it stumbled more than walked.
Seeing that victory lay in shooting on the eyes Xander shot again two times in rapid succession hitting the central eye in the middle destroying it and grazing the third.
With a bone chilling howl the creature sank to the ground and slowly dissolved into foul stinking goo.
“YES! Scratch another ugly from the to-do list. Now I wonder what it looked for in that hole.”
Having said that Xander went over to the hole and looked down in it. There on the ground was a wooden box, still partly covered with earth. After a moments thought Xander went down in the hole and removed the last bit of dirt from the box and lifted it up.
Once again out of the ground he went to one of the benches and started to examine the box. It was a cubic, wooden box. Fashioned out of some, to Xander unknown, blood-red wood and engraved with a multitude of geometrical signs. The lid was held closed with a simple, rusty lock.
Xander drew the bowie and went to the task of opening the box, but before he did that he quickly added another notch to the stake. After a few unsuccessful tries Xander finally broke the lock open. Inside was the biggest ruby he had ever seen, nearly 10 centimeters in diameter and perfectly cut it seemed to sparkle with an inner fire.
With one hand Xander got his cell phone out of a pocket and pressed the speed-dial for Giles’ apartment.
After a dozen rings the phone on the other side of the line got answered.
“Buffy? Has something happened?” a groggy voice asked.
“Sorry wrong person to ask G-man. Just plain old me here.”
“Xander! What is it? Why do you call me to that ungodly hour? Just when I had managed to get to sleep.”
“Well here was that ugly demon digging in the cemetery and guess what it found before I came along....”
“Don’t keep me waiting. Just tell me.”
“Geeze, did someone tell you recently that you have quite a temper when you are sleepy?”
“Come to your point.”
“All right, all right. So in that hole it had digged was a wooden box with all kind of symbols on it and inside there is this really, really big, glowy ruby.”
“Symbols? Glowing ruby? Xander in God’s name don’t touch that jewel! Close the box and bring it here immediately,” exclaimed the suddenly wide awake Giles.
“Allrighty. One glowy jewel coming right up. See ya soon,” replied Xander and pressed the disconnect button.
“Wait Xander you have to...” Giles let the sentence trail off as he only heard the dial tone anymore.
*God, I hope he gets it here safe and soon.*
Xander pocketed his phone and started to close the box again, but he hadn’t balanced the box good enough and fell from his knees to the ground, spilling the ruby.
*Shit. Ahh well I’ll just scoop it in the box real fast. What could happen anyway?*
With that thought Xander bent down and quickly dropped the ruby in the box.
*There nothing happened.*
But just as he thought that a red glow came out of the box and surrounded him.
A few seconds later no one would have guessed that Xander had just been standing there.
Xander had vanished.
End Part 1