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Tangled Web

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Summary: Xander is assigned to some better work. This is my little tribute to web comics.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Comics > Comic StripsDragonhulkFR1549,140126,46131 Jan 0520 Mar 05Yes

Meow

Tangled Web

Author: Dragonhulk

Disclaimer: I own nothing in this. Buffy is owned by the people who own Buffy, not me. The others are owned by the people who write and draw the comics, again not me, I can't even do stick figures.

Rating: FRT-13

Summery: Xander is assigned to some better work. This is my little tribute to web comics.

Authors Note: I did something different this time around; I asked people if I could use their characters. I got two no, two non response, one yes, and one I haven't asked. I won't use the characters of those that said no, but I figure the others are fair game.

The ones that said no are Sluggy Freelance at http://www.sluggy.com and Kevin and Kell at http://www.reuben.org/holbrook/index.html they are both great comics so drop on by and give them the once over.

Also I'm going to be playing havoc with time-lines to make the story better.

***

Part One: Meow

Buffy sat down at her desk in Rome, waiting for the video conference to start. Silently she wondered what this one would be about. Giles had been sure to tell her that this one would be very private and not let anyone else know.

When the monitor came on showing the faces of her friends Buffy's first thought was where Xander was.

“Where is Xander? Should we wait for him?” asked Willow.

“I'm afraid Xander won't be joining us this time Willow because he will be the topic of this meeting,” said Giles. “Now before any of you condemn me for my actions I ask that you hear me out.”

“No one is condemning you Giles,” said Buffy. Willow looked like she was about to disagree but decided to wait and see what Giles said.

“Thank you Buffy. Recently during my conversations with Xander I have noticed a steady decline in his mood. The Watchers assigned to Africa with him seem to agree that he is burning out.”

“We have all been stressed trying to rebuild the Counsel. What makes you think Xander is in danger of burning out?” asked Robin.

“First you have to understand what he is going through. Africa is ripe with small wars, a larger number of demons and animal spirits, AIDS and other diseases constantly surround him. Even in its heyday the Counsel kept a close eye on the African Watchers to see if they needed to be transferred to a less volatile area. I'm afraid that Xander showed the warning signs a long time ago, we just haven't had the manpower to replace him until now.”

“What do you plan to do Giles, push him out like we did in high school? You know he won't let us do that. If we try he's more likely to fight on his own then to get the rest he needs,” said Willow.

“I've talked to him about taking a vacation but he has refused. While I agree that we would be ill advised to completely cut him out of the loop, perhaps we could simply give him some small assignments.”

“I have some things here that wouldn't be too much trouble, and being in America again may help.” said Robin.

“Did you have anything particular in mind?”

“He could check out some rumors we have been hearing about a Chelsea Chattan. I was going to ask Willow to send a witch but Xander could check it out instead.”

“Will it be dangerous?” asked Willow.

“Maybe,” said Robin. “The rumors just say that Ms Chattan is going to be big in the underworld community someday. Personally I think just a myth but its better to check it out now than have it bite us in the ass later.”

“If we spin this right we may make it seem big enough to get Xander to leave Africa,” said Giles.

“Wait, does anyone besides me think that sending a burnt out Xander to deal with something big is a bad idea?” asked Buffy.

“Buffy, I trust Robin's judgment in this matter. If he believes that there is nothing there that Xander can't handle then chances are he is right. Now we come to the matter of who is going to convince him to investigate Ms Chattan.”

“Not it.”

“Not it.”

“Not it.”

“Not. Darn it.”

***

Xander sat in the motel room, wondering for the tenth time why he was here and not back in Africa working and for the tenth time he boiled down the reason why he was here to three words: Willow resolve face. It shouldn't be so effective with only one eye, but he was still here.

Sighing, Xander went back to the pictures he had taken of Chelsea Chattan and her friends. He had to admit that there was something about Chelsea, but he still thought that Willow had blown things out of proportion.

It had been five days and he had already learned everything he was going to learn just by watching, so Xander decided that he would have to do the meet and greet that night. He just hoped that Chelsea and Jubal forgave him for ruining any plans they may have had after their date.

Later

“Don't worry Chelsea; it's just a date, what could go wrong?”

`Oh man Jubal didn't just say that, please God tell me he didn't just say that. Would you look at that, God sent a group of vampires to say, yes Xander, Jubal did just say that. If everyone survives this I'm giving him my top ten things not to say around magical things and beings,' thought Xander as he ran to save them.

Xander was surprised pleasantly and not so pleasantly when Chelsea changed into a panther and began to attack the vampires. Content to once again have the women (how about a woman?) take care of the main group while he took care of the stragglers.

After the last vamp was dust in the wind, Xander turned to Jubal. He survived with only a few cuts and bruises. That is good survival is defiantly key when it comes to living through bad stuff.

“Um, this isn't what it looks like.” said Jubal.

It was all Xander could do not to laugh. He could see Jubal scramble to come up with a somewhat believable explanation.

Deciding that teasing them wouldn't be the best way to get on their good side, Xander decided to let them off the hook. “Don't worry I know quite a bit about just what goes bump in the night, hence why I always walk around with a pointy stick. Now do we need to get a blanket or something before she changes back or not.”

“A blanket would be nice,” said Jubal.

After quick change of clothes at Chelsea's house, Xander told them just who he was and what he was doing in town. “Listen Chelsea, you seem like a good person so I'm going to give you a direct number to the person in charge of the North American branch. If you ever run into a situation where the world is about to end and you don't think you can handle it alone, give him a call, he'll help.”

“Thanks for the number, but don't you think you are being a bit over dramatic with the whole end of the world sepal?” asked a now human Chelsea.

Xander's gaze intensified as he let all of his emotional barriers drop and put all the emotion he could into his remaining eye. “Chelsea, by the time I graduated high school, me and my friends faced the end of the world four times. I lost my eye in another fight against someone who wanted to end the world. In Africa I stopped fifteen situations that could have ended the world. The end of the world isn't some far away concept; it's something that can happen a thousand different ways every day. The only thing that stops it are people who are willing to give everything to keep this world from going up in flames. Our mystics say that you will probably be a big player in supernatural circles some day; that means that you will probably face situations where the wrong decision could destroy all life on this world.”

“Oh, great, no pressure then.” Chelsea said in a voice that indicated she wasn't dealing with this news in the best way possible.

“Yeah I know, it sucks but it will be better if you have friends and family to help and from what I see, you are off to a good start.” With those words, Xander left to let his words sink in.

A few hours later, Xander was woken up by someone knocking on the door to his motel room. Grabbing a gun Xander opened the door a crack to see Jubal standing there. Xander had expected there to be more questions but he had expected Chelsea to be with him.

“Where is Chelsea?” asked Xander as he opened the door the rest of the way.

“Asleep probably, I just wanted to talk with you in private.”

Xander simply nodded and gestured Jubal to come in without saying anything.

“Do you think I'll be able to help Chelsea with any of the stuff you mentioned?” Jubal blurted out as soon as the door was closed.

Xander ran a hand through his hair, careful to stay clear of his eye patch band. He knew where Jubal was coming from; he had been there, heck, some days he was there.

“Let me answer that by asking you some questions. First do you love her?”

“Yeah, I love her, I've even died for her.”

“Dying is a good start, but contrary to popular belief it isn't the be all end all for love.” Taking a deep breath Xander removed his eye patch and turned to face Jubal. In Xanders opinion Jubal deserved to have the full speech, he had earned that much. “Do you love her enough to loose an arm, a leg, or even an eye fighting by her side but not blame her?”

To his credit Jubal only flinched slightly at Xander's eye before saying, “I don't know.”

“Believe it or not, I don't know is even better than I'd die for her. It isn't a question you have to resolve today but if you continue to help her when things get really bad chances are you will get hurt badly, and you won't have the release of dying.

“If you are worried about the fighting angle, take some self defense classes. It won't make you an unstoppable fighting machine but it may give you enough of an edge to keep you both alive long enough to stop what ever needs to be stopped.

“Your best bet for helping Chelsea though is to just be there when she needs someone to lean on. It's been my experience that those that have to be strong for the world are the ones who are grateful for someone that they can just be themselves around.”

Jubal was nodding in agreement at the last part. He could do this for Chelsea; he would do this for Chelsea.

“Good, now that we have that out of the way, let's start with things you should never say around magical beings or things, starting with `what could go wrong?'”

***

This part was crossed with the online comic Clan of the Cats. That means that if they weren’t from Buffy, Jamie Robertson owns them. Check Clan of the Cats out at http://www.clanofthecats.com/
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