Change in Regimen 20/? Mixing it Up, Big Time
Change in Regimen 20/? Mixing it Up, Big Time
Author: Tohonomike tohonomike@a...
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... Joss/ME characters Spelling and others. I do not and cannot make money off of this, but for feedback I try to churn out a quality product.
Thanks for reading
Tuesday, May 20th, 1997
Eric’s life and pain, his loss of Shelley, his love of music and his time as a Crow against evil in his city flashed before their eyes; Xander’s recent ‘Crowness’ after his life flashed before them as well, his determination to help Buffy and others, his love of his adoptive father Ethan, and because of the mix of magic they also saw and felt the memories of his parents and Maria and then of Ethan. The life of a young man from a Watcher family who ‘went Dark Side’ for a while and redeemed himself by becoming the parent-named father to Alexander.
They felt Alexander’s connections to Liam, his surrogate brother, the last minutes in London and how he’d emoted that he wouldn’t let Faith and Buffy be killed by the Freak.
Buffy in particular felt the connection to the Slayer; Ethan to Anthony and Jessica, Faith to Xander; the daughter of super-spy parents felt a surge of strength between her and Buffy, before it retracted back.
Eric found himself connected briefly with Ethan in appreciation of music and the human side of chaos. Xander in the middle began to itch a bit, all over, but it passed, and he smiled wanly at Faith as he briefly shared her memories of her parents and a little incident in the Keys.
The humans dropped to the floor in exhaustion, Eric fell back and crashed into some shelves that held him up. Xander fell to his knees, then he too, passed out.
Liam at surprising speed raced around to check on Faith then Xander, then the others as Catherine rushed to Ethan, Giles to his Slayer, and Jenny after a moment stood next to Eric to offer help but careful not to touch. Liam when he touched Xander, or Lex as he knew him, wasn’t so lucky in remembering.
The soul and demon screamed, Liam falling back over Faith and Buffy while still unable to let go of the young Crow. Power as well as memories flooded the vampire body and mind, with Eric sensing something Very Wrong happening he didn’t understand beyond that.
Liam screamed, the girls awoke screaming and convulsed, before they collapsed again. Lex only noticed the itching had stopped before the flood of three centuries of unlife overloaded his mind.
“What do we do Eric?” Jana of the Kalderash asked the senior Crow, “I’ve never heard of this, and, and their auras seemed to spill over and back like nothing in any book I’ve encountered.”
Grams hurried over, and mumbled words under her breath, only Jana and Catherine hearing her. Quickly they joined hands and invoked a blessing, and then cast a spell of sleeping at Liam and Lex.
“Quickly,” Grams directed Giles and Eric, “without touching them, separate them from each other. They should stop this unheard of Joining then.”
It only took a moment, but Giles called out in horror.
“I think the girls are dead!” he choked, “Hurry, we must attempt CPR at once!”
Jenny crouched next to Ethan, “Ethan too!”
Piper and Pru ran over to Faith as Jenny and Grams attended Ethan. Giles waved over Catherine to help with Buffy instead of her paramour. The next few minutes were painful and frightening to the group, but finally Buffy, then Ethan, then Faith seemed to come around, weak, choking and sobbing from the horrors of the memories.
Phoebe had called for paramedics, and was a bit off-put when they seemed unwilling to show. Once they seemed sure it was humans (not in so many words) they told her to stay on the line and the EMTs would be there. Eric grabbed Liam and Alex (as he called the Crow) and set them in chairs at the table, letting them slump back down.
About fifteen minutes passed when the paramedics showed up and after Jesse gave the lame excuse of ‘big noise scare them’ they double-checked the three humans. When they looked over to the table, Giles made eye contact and simply shook his head.
“Everybody seems fine, now,” the senior paramedic assured them, looking a bit nervous at Liam and Alex just starting to pick themselves off the table. “If you really want, we can take them to the hospital, but their hearts and other vitals seem remarkably fine.”
“That, that will be fine then. Thank you,” Giles responded, “Since you’ve assured us they’re fine now, I have no trouble believing they’ll be fine now. Thank you.”
They watched as the men left, and looked toward their recovering human family members, Catherine already hovering over Ethan, while the kids were helping Buffy and Faith. Jenny was walking toward Liam, when she caught Buffy’s look of amazement. Jenny followed it to Liam, who all of a sudden screamed as if in agony and dust including his clothes exploded outward. The chair snapped into kindling and dropped the naked man onto the floor, his skin flushed and new like a baby’s as he passed out again.
The Romany stepped carefully over and placed her hand on his neck, not believing what she discovered.
“I don’t know how…but he’s human.”
“My magic…” Ethan began, “It’s…gone. All of it.”
A gaunt-looking Alex began reaching for snacks, guzzling a two-liter of soda, before starting to cram snack cakes. Eric looked at him.
“What happened to you?”
“I don’t know, but I feel like I’ve been drained of almost all of my energy.”
“Keep eating, though it might take a couple of days to fill back out again. You didn’t turn back too somehow did you?”
“Oh…no. Is that what happened to him,” he suddenly looked at the man on the floor, “All I know is, I feel tired. I *know* I could still do whatever I needed to do…but I’m very tired.
Buffy looked across the table and they saw she too was down with the consumption of calories, “I know what you mean. I don’t think I’ve felt this tired since before I was Called.”
“So, it’s really you, huh?”
“Yeah. Me. How much do you remember?”
“I know that you told us the truth. I remember London, and I remember New York through Maria’s eyes…Alessandro. You were a beautiful baby. She loved you like her own.” Buffy and Xander both teared up, too exhausted to hold things in too tight. “I know that Angelus was a horror and that Liam is the soul. Ms. Calendar?”
“Yes, Buffy?” the teacher replied from where Giles was wrapping a blanket over the still-unconscious man.
“Is he…is he really human now?”
“It seems so. Something in that weird power exchange. The way your auras flowed together while you were connected…I’m guessing Ethan’s magic, the Crow power to transfer memories—which are energy, and the Slayer healing power, must have regenerated him. Since he had a soul, he’s human. If he hadn’t, a normal vampire might just be dead.”
“Oh. Thanks.” A moment later, she yawned and fell asleep on the table, those still awake smiling at her soft snores next to an already-sleeping Faith. Ethan turned to his girlfriend.
“Well Cathy, it looks like you’ll be wearing the Wizard’s Hat in the family, now…” he said with a wan smile, “But I can still provide you with magical guidance as you need it. I’m just glad that my magic went with a flashy end…raising a vampire to life…instead of one of my old pranks.”
The man pushed himself up, as did his son who came around the table after toeing Liam into being barely conscious Eric touched his fellow Crow and began helping a quiet yet cranky Irishman to an intact chair. Ethan extended his arm to his gal.
“Mind helping an invalid to the back? I could use help with something.”
Buffy and Faith both protested being awakened, and the young Crow swore when Buffy in waking lashed out and hit him.
“Alexander!” Grams admonished with a light slap to his back, “Watch your language!”
“Sorry Grams,” he smiled back, and then they saw his ‘mask’ come out as he turned back toward his father. “Hey Dad?”
“Yes Alex?” he replied as the young man pulled Catherine away, “How rude, boy.”
Alex lunged forward and placed his hands on the man’s temples, causing the eyes to flash and the visage of Eyghon to show to those in the room.
“Good Lord!” Giles cried as he recoiled in terror and pulled Catherine out of harms way. “Ethan’s possessed!”
“Get out of my father demon!” Alexander Rayne shouted as he wept, sending the memories of pain to the demon. Unable to take more, the beast leapt from the father … into the nearest unconscious or dead body … Alexander himself!
Alex and Eyghon screamed, Alexander from the evil memories, and the demon from the pain of almost-Holy justice and vengeance. The love and willingness to sacrifice that radiated from the … Crow! The pain was too much. The goodness was too much. But the Crow wouldn’t let go! IT shouldn’t be able to keep the demon in, but Eyghon couldn’t concentrate! Even Giles grabbed his own arm, tattoo there glowing as it seemed to burn off his skin as the pain of the demon increased. Ethan, passed out on the floor, writhed as a similar mark flashed off.
“Ahhhh!” the demon screamed before dust exploded off the young man and onto Buffy and Faith.
“Ewwww!” and “Leeeeeeeex!” were the replies as he smiled. Then collapsed.