Calming the Beast
Title: Calming the Beast
Author: White Werewolf
Spoiler: Takes off from “The Wish.” Then it hit’s
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything, but the ideas, my
computer, and my website: http://www.phoenixverse.com
Summery: Cordelia makes a wish that traumatizes
Xander, and he becomes something far from human.
Author Notes: This idea came from Mac’s Defender of
the Night. It’s also my way to do a Halloween fic,
but not do the challenge. Hopefully, this turns out
“You worthless good for nothing, Leech!”
His eyes widened, as he turned around. Glaring at his
father, he asked with distaste, “What?”
Mr. Harris snapped, “It’s always the same thing,
Xander. You wonder why you don’t pull good grades!
Look at the fucked up life you lead. You’re always
either hanging with those girls or your up in your
room watching that damn television or reading comics!”
“Leave them out of this!”
His father stormed forward, “The reason that
cheerleader broke up with you, was because why would
any woman stay with a leech. You’re nothing but a
loser! A waste of human skin!”
“I am not a loser! I watch the TV because I can’t put
up with you! You’re always drinking!”
Holding up a piece of paper, “Look at your midterm
grades, you lousy piece of shit. All D’s. It’s
always the same damn thing. We thought hanging with
that Rosenberg girl would change you. Somehow you’d
absorb her study habits. But no! You rather watch
your precious TV. What kind of adult still watches
“A lot of people my age watch cartoons!” He said in
his defense. Shaking his head, he said to himself,
“Why do I even bother?”
Anthony glared at him, “Bother with what?”
Regretting letting that slip, he said, “Nothing.”
“Nothing! That wasn’t nothing! What did you say,
Alexander LaVelle Harris!”
Why did he have to say his middle name, he wondered.
“You wanna know what I said?” His father nodded, “I
said, why do I even bother? It’s always the same damn
thing. How many times do we go through this
conversation, and no matter what I try to do, nothing
is good enough!”
Tony went for his belt, “Boy, you’re lucky we don’t
live in a time where belting kids is allowed. You
live in my house, you eat my food! You better show me
some respect! I am your father!”
“Father! A father doesn’t always drown their problems
with alcohol and then hits their kids because they
didn’t get the promotion they were planning on
Anthony growled, “That’s it, you little piece of shit!
You’re gone! Get off my property!”
“You heard me! You disrespected me for the last time!
Nobody wants you, Boy! Cordelia broke up with you
because you didn’t have the respect for her to keep
your damn hands off of that Rosenberg girl! You don’t
respect your teachers enough to actually pull decent
grades! And you don’t respect me at all! Get out you
worthless piece of crap!”
Shaking his head, he said, “You don’t mean this!”
He grinned wildly, “Oh, I do. Come back later and
you’ll find your stuff out of the lawn!”
“No, not this time! You’re mother isn’t here to bail
you out! The way you treat us made her sick! Now,
get out of here! Come back after school and your
stuff will be outside!”
Sighting, he asked silently, “But Dad?”
Anthony went to the door, opened it and held. “Get
out of my face, you ungrateful shit!”
Deciding that it wasn’t the best time to argue with
his father when he was this wild up. Placing his
hands, in his pockets, Xander walked out of the house
and to school.
Xander turned his head, and saw his friends coming up.
A slight smile appeared on his face. Since Cordelia
broke it off with him, Buffy and Willow tried to be
there for him.
They tried, but sometimes it didn’t mean much.
Willow kept trying to make things work with Oz. He
didn’t blame her. Xander tried to make it with
Cordelia. But lately, Cordy was hanging with her
Cordettes and their newest recruit, Anya.
And Buffy? Life was busy for her. Between her
on-and-off relationship with Angel, there was her
slayer, and new training regiments with Faith. Now
that there were two slayers. Giles insisted that the
two worked together and create strategies against
Again, his friends tried. But they were busy with
Like normal, he put on his mask of normal lacy, trying
to forget the pain of reality. He still know what to
do about his living situation. Xander didn’t want to
tell Buffy and Willow. Not yet. They were already in
pain. He didn’t want to add more to it.
Then he thought of Giles. That could be it. He’d
have to ask him later though.
“Earth to Xander?”
He chuckled slightly, “Hey, girls!”
Buffy sat next to him, “Have you talked to Cordelia
He shook his head, “I tried too, but it looks like she
already moved on. You saw her last night! All those
boys were talking to her.”
“You didn’t see her last night, Xan.”
Willow asked, “Why? What happened?”
“I tried to talk to her. Tell her that after I talked
to you guys, I was feeling better. Then a vamp showed
up. Staked him, but Cordy landed in the trash. I say
Cordelia had it bad too last night.”
He nodded, “So she was in pain. Great. Another life
my geekdom ruined.” Damn it, Dad. You’re right.
Buffy shook her head, “You’re not a geek.”
Sighing to himself, he stood, up, “No, I am. A kid
who watches too damn much television.”
“Xander…” Willow started, “Don’t do this to
“Don’t do what? Be honest?”
At the other side of quad, Cordelia was walking with
“…Buffy Summers. That’s when all my troubles started.
When she moved here.”
Anya noticed Cordelia holding her side. “Are you
Cordy said, “Oh, I just pulled stitches last night.
Know why?” She glanced at Buffy, Xander, and Willow.
“Surprise. It was Xander’s fault. Buffy said he
didn’t send her out, but he did.”
Anya looked at the three mentioned people.
“Oh, hey, it’s Garbage Girl. Loved the look last
night, Cor. Dumpster chic for the dumped.”
Cordelia and Anya heard Harmony say that as she and
the rest of the Cordettes walked by.
Anya grabbed her pendent and took it away from her
neck. Giving it to her, she said, “Here. I think you
need this more then I do right now.”
Cordelia places the necklace around her neck.
“Yeah, I can use some luck.” Glancing at the now
standing form of Xander. “And a stick with pointy,
sharp bits. If that Xander wasn’t so. I swear. What
was I ever doing hooking up with a geek? Being his
girlfriend at least took time away from his many
boring qualities. Like his television watching.”
Anya agreed, “Xander’s a loser. Don’t you wish…”
“I never would’ve looked twice at Xander if he didn’t
save my life a few times.”
“Yeah. I swear. Y’know what I wish? Wishing Buffy
never to come to Sunnydale would be too easy. I wish
Xander Harris became one of those freaky monsters he
reads from his stupid comic books.”
Anya turns around, back toward Cordelia. The
cheerleader gasped her face to see Anya’s become very
wrinkled and raw.
A bright white flash penetrated into a vast wave.
Soon, it dissipated to lead to a loud yell.
“What’s happening to me?”
Cordelia immediately turned around to see something
happening to Xander. She watched in horror as his
size started to grow. His body becoming wider, and
his clothes shredding apart. Something started to
penetrate through the bottom of his pants. She ran
over to him as Buffy and Willow pulled away from
Xander in surprise. The other teenagers ran away from
what was happening.
All three girls watched in horror as Xander started to
transform in pain.
Xander bent down, his eyes widened as his skin started
to turn green. His hair on his body and head
shriveled into his skin only to be replaced by scales.
His chocolate eyes turned black. His nose and mouth
extended a foot as his forehead slanted down. A long
tail started flying around.
Two rows of scales emerged from the top of his head to
the bottom of his tail.
“What’s wrong with me?” Xander roared into the sky.
He started to growl as he continued to feel the
change. He then started to run off.
Buffy stammered, “You’re…you’re…an alligator.”
All three of them watched in surprise as Xander ran
“Xander!” Willow cried as she started to chase for
“Willow, stop!” Cordelia yelled.
She turned around, “Why? Xander isn’t Xander anymore!
He’s…he’s” Her eyes widened from a picture she saw
in one of Xander’s comic books. “He’s Leatherhead!”
Buffy asked skeptically, “Leatherhead?”
Willow nodded, “Comic book character. Character from
the Ninja Turtles.”
Shaking her head, “Leatherhead or not, Willow. We got
to talk to Xander. Go get Giles and Oz’s tranquilizer
rifle. Cordy, go with her.”
The redhead shook her head, “I want to go with you.”
“Don’t argue, Willow. Just go. Xander could be
anywhere by now. Just go!”
Willow was about to say something, when Cordelia
grabbed her by the arm, “Just come on, Willow. Buffy
can handle it!”
“No buts. C’mon.” Then the two of them ran to the
Xander ran from the school until he reached the front
gate. Seeing it locked he was about to climb it when
he looked down at his hand. No, wait…claw. His
fingers were no longer the white skinned appendages
that he was always accustomed too. Now, they were
thick and covered in green scales. He no longer had
fingernails either. They were in fact sharp nails.
“I’m a freak.” He said to himself. “I don’t even
know what I look like yet.”
Shaking his head, he cleared his thoughts of
abnormality. He had to get out of here. He couldn’t
be at the school when he was….was…what was he?
Xander grabbed the gate with one claw. He started to
climb when he heard,
He knew that voice. It was Buffy. If he stayed, she
might try to slay him, think he was a demon that took
over her friend’s body.
Then again, she might listen to him.
He couldn’t face her…not yet. Grabbing the gate
again, he started to climb.
About to reach the top, he soon felt his tail being
“Xander! Don’t go! We can fix this!”
Xander fell to the ground on his back. His eyes soon
saw Buffy standing over him.
“I don’t know if you looked at me, Buffy. But you can
fix this! I’m not human anymore!”
She nodded, “I know that, Xan. You became
“Leatherhead?” He asked softly.
His claw went to his snout. It was elongated. After
opening it, he soon felt sharp teeth where his normal
flat teeth used to be.
“I’m a mutant alligator?”
Buffy shrugged, “I dunno about that. Willow
recognized your new body from your comic books.”
Standing to his feet, he easily towered over Buffy.
He was taller then her before. But now, he was even
taller. He was seven feet tall.
“Why didn’t you attack me, Buffy? Knowing you, you’d
probably try to stake me.”
She grinned, “Because, Xand. If you were going to
kill me, you’d attack me before. But instead, you
ran. And now, we’re talking. You don’t seem to want
to attack me.”
He sighed, “I’m a freak. I’m a freak who’s also a
Xander and Buffy turned to see Giles standing with the
tranquilizer in his hand. Cordelia and Willow were
“What happened?” Giles asked.
Xander said, “I dunno, Giles. I was talking to Buffy
and Willow when I started to change. Next thing I
know, I became Leatherhead.”
The Watcher asked, “Leatherhead?”
Willow answered, “A comic book character.”
The mention of Willow’s answer made Cordlia covered
her hand over her mouth. “It’s my fault.”
Xander asked, “What?”
Buffy questioned, “How is this your fault?”
“I wished something to Anya. She wore this pendent.”
She immediately withdrew the necklace from her neck.
“What did you wish Cordelia?” Giles asked.
“I wish that Xander became one of the freaky monsters
that he reads about.”
Xander soon felt something happen within him. His
eyes narrowed and he growled. Grabbing Cordelia by
the arm, he lifted her off the ground. “You did
“What are you doing, Xander?” Buffy asked.
“You turned me into this…this freak!” Xander felt the
presence of Leatherhead say.
“Put me down, Xander!” Cordelia yelled.
Xander listened to all his friends trying to get him
to put Cordelia. Down.
He snarled, “You bitch!” Xander then through her a
few feet away.
After she landed with a thud, Xander leapt and landed
a few inches from her feet.
“What is your problem, Xander?”
Xander grabbed her again by the arm. “Tell me why I
shouldn’t kill you right now!”
Cordelia was about to speak, when Xander sudden fell
over and landed on Cordelia.
On the ground, Cordelia tried to shove Xander off of
her. But he was too heavy. “Get him off me!”
Buffy nodded as she grabbed Xander by the arm.
Pulling him off her, she turned to Giles, “How long
with the tranquilizer work?”
Looking at the body of a seven foot alligator, Giles
said, “It might not last very long. I suggest we put
Xander in Oz’s cage for right now.”
Willow shook her head, “Giles, Xander isn’t an
Getting to her feet, Cordelia stated, “Actually, he
“Willow, we need to put Xander away for safety. He
nearly killed Cordelia. We need to put him in the
cage for safe keeping.” Giles reaffirmed.
Turning to his slayer, he asked, “Can you carry him?”
Placing him back on the ground. She scooped her arms
underneath him and put him in a fireman’s carry. “He
better stay out until we get him inside.”
“What are we going to tell people if they see you
carrying him inside, Buffy?”
She answered her best female friend, “I’ll say I had
to pick up this alligator for Mr. Goodwin’s biology
“Works for me.” Cordelia commented.
The three of them started to head towards the library.
Willow asked, “What was your wish exactly?”
She said slowly, “I wished Xander became of those
monsters he read about in his comic books.”
Opening the cage, Buffy sat Xander upright. His large
alligator head leaning against a book shelf. She
carefully placed his tail away from his body so he
wouldn’t be sitting on it if he fell downward.
Taking a few steps back, she looked down at her
friend. Her best friend, a friend that put himself at
risk every night to help her out, and to able to have
her survive for another day.
“We’ll fix this, Xander. I promise you.”
Kissing him briefly on the fore head, her lips feeling
the now bumpy skin, and not the smooth white skin that
she was so accustomed to see.
Turning around she walked out of the cage to see
Willow standing in front of the cage with her hand
holding onto one of the links.
Giles stood by his usual perch. Wiping his glasses,
he glanced over at Cordelia who was looking rather
Locking the cage, Buffy walked over to Cordelia. Her
arms wrapped around her chest, hugging herself.
Trying to gather some support to make her feel better.
“Now that Xander’s taken care of, Cordy. I want to
ask you something.”
Nodding to herself, Cordelia faced her. She could see
Willow and Giles walking forward too. “What do you
want to know?”
Buffy tried not to control her anger rising in her
blood. She said in a calm voice, “Why would you wish
that on Xander?”
She shook her head, “How was I supposed to know that
my wish would come true?”
Giles said, “That may be a very good point, but how
long have you known about the Hellmouth and the
vampire activity that inhabits this town?”
Cordelia answered slowly, “Three years…well more like
two years. That is if you count that Buffy only came
to Sunnydale that first January and now since it’s
Buffy stated, “Two years, Cordy. Two years on a known
Hellmouth and you make a wish that would turn Xander…”
Turning her head to see her friend in full alligator
body, “…into Leatherhead…into something that the world
was never to see exist.”
The cheerleader shook her head, “Hold on, Buffy. I
understand that you care for Xander. But, he cheated
on me! With Willow!”
Willow glared at her, “So, that supposed to justify
you making the wish! You haven’t seen what he was
going through. The other night he was going on and on
trying to make it work again with you, but you were
too kissing John Lee.”
“Put him through! What he put me through!”
The three teenagers turned to glance at the elder man.
“You put Xander in danger, Cordelia. You made a wish,
to a demon no less, and changed his whole existence.
Xander may never be human again.”
“Just give us the pendent and go home. We’ll contact
you if you’re needed.”
Glancing at Xander, “But I want to be here when he
wakes up. We may have broken up. But I still love
Willow said, “We all love Xander, Cordelia. Just give
us the pendent.”
Nodding to herself, knowing time was needed, she went
for her necklace. But it wasn’t there. “I lost it.”
Buffy growled, “You lost it? You just had it!”
“It has to be outside. Xander made me drop it when he
threw me.” The cheerleader answered.
The redhead told her, “Go get it. Bring it here, and
Feeling tears started to dwell in her eyes, she ran
out of the library in search of the pendent. The
whole time hoping that Xander might be able to forgive
Watching her exit, Buffy asked her watcher, “What are
we going to do?”
Putting his glasses back on his head, he said, “I’m
going to have to research the pendent. That is if
Cordelia brings it to me.”
Buffy looked at Xander, “How come he attacked Cordy
like that? I mean, I can understand him being upset
with her, but why did he attack her?”
Willow answered, “That’s how Leatherhead acts.”
Giles questioned, “He acts?”
Buffy’s eyes widened, “Wasn’t Ninja Turtles also a
The redhead nodded, “Yeah, it was. But the comics
were more adult. When they made the cartoon, they
made it more satire. Anyway, Leatherhead is a
character that acts like the Incredible Hulk. When he
gets angry, he loses control. So we have to be
careful around Xander.”
The Slayer asked, “Do you think Xander has the comics
still? I’d like to read them so I know what we’re
“One thing about Xander is that he takes extreme care
of his comic books. So, I believe he still has them.”
Giles sighed, “I can not believe I’m actually going to
have to research through comic books.”
Buffy grinned, “This is Xander we’re talking about,
Giles. We have to find a way to change him back.”
The three of them turned to the cage and saw Xander
starting to wake up.
“Do you think we can let him out?” Willow asked.
The Watcher nodded, “I believe so, Willow. If he gets
upset again, we’ll use the tranquilizer rifle again.”
“Good.” Buffy said as she opened the cage. Kneeling
down next to him, she asked, “How do you feel?”
Xander rubbed the back of his head, “Alright, I guess.
Just as alright as a guy like Leatherhead could feel
Xander started to stand up. He walked out of the
cage. “I’m sorry about how I acted back there.”
Willow shook her head, “It wasn’t your fault. It’s
how Leatherhead would’ve reacted.”
Reminding him of his new body, he glanced down at
Buffy. “Do you have a mirror I could borrow? I don’t
know how I look.”
She nodded, “In my purse. Which unfortunately is in
“I have a mirror in my office, Xander. I’ll be right
back.” Giles then disappeared into his office, and
returned within another moment. Holding up his mirror
to Xander, he said, “Now, Xander this is only
temporarily. We will find a way to change you back.”
Xander took the mirror from his friend and brought to
his face. His eyes widened as he saw the face of
Leatherhead looking back. “God no!” He said as he
felt anger started to surface. He quickly calmed
himself, and sat down in open chair.
There was a problem though, he was too heavy, and the
chair broke from the impact of his tail and bottom.
Falling to the ground, he said with emparresment,
Giles said, “Don’t worry about it.”
Seeing Xander just sitting on the broken pieces of the
wood, Buffy asked, “Doesn’t that hurt?”
“No. Not really.” Xander responded.
Giles clarified, “Having the skin of an alligator is
rather strong and durable. His skin will be able to
protect him more now then when he was human.”
He grinned, “I can help you more on patrols now,
She smiled, “You definitely can. Just how strong is
The male Scooby answered, “I don’t think it was ever
clarified. But he was able to lift up cars in the
comics.” A smile appeared on his face, “and he was
also very intelligent. Now, I can get those A’s!”
“Uh, Xand?” Willow asked.
“That’s all good and all. But how are you going to
get them? You can’t come to school now, you realize.”
Giles stated, “A lot of questions are going to be had
answered. For instance, I don’t think your parents
are going to be easily accepting of your new body.”
Giles stated, “A lot of questions are going to be had
answered. For instance, I don’t think your parents
are going to be easily accepting of your new body.”
Buffy asked, “Then what are we going to do? Xander
can’t stay here at the library.”
Willow suggested, “He could try living with Angel.”
He shook his head, “Not gonna happen.”
“Xander, we know you dislike Angel. We don’t have any
other answers at the moment.” Giles said.
“I’d offer you to stay at my house, Xan. But my Mom
will have a heart attack when she sees you.” Buffy
She would love him to stay at the house with her, but
with him that size, the house couldn’t survive. If
Xander easily broke one of the library chairs, he
could easily break furniture at her house.
Going over to him, she took his hand, and said, “I
know you don’t like him, Xander. And I respect that.
But he has a mansion. And a lot of space. I’m sure
he won’t mind if you’d stay.”
He sighed, “Buff, it’s not that. I hate him, he hates
She flashed him a set of her puppy dog eyes. “Please,
Xander. I want you to be safe.”
His head automatically went face down. “Dammit.
Why’d you have to do the eyes, Buff?”
She grinned, “Because I knew it would work.”
He got up, “But if he goes all Angelus again, and if
he angers me. Don’t hold me responsible for my
Nodding, “I know, Xan. We’re going to have to work on
that temper of yours.”
Rolling his eyes, he said, “Fine. But it’s going to
take some work.”
Glancing at the clock, it read, 3:00. “Well, I’m
stuck here for another four hours. Great. What am I
going to do?”
Willow suggested, “We could get some comics for you.
Buffy and I want to read your old Ninja Turtle comics
Without thinking he said, “Sure no prob.”
A moment paused.
His eyes widened, “No. You can’t.”
“Why?” Buffy asked.
He grinned slightly, “Because, Buffy. My house is
being fumigated. Going inside will only make you
“Oh,” she said with realization.
Willow got an idea. “We can send in Angel. He
doesn’t breath. He could just walk in and get it.”
Shaking his head, “I refuse to let Angel have
permission into getting into my house.”
Anger started to erupt within him. His eyes narrowed.
“I don’t want him there!”
Giles grabbed the rifle and aimed it at Xander.
Grabbing Buffy and Willow by their arms. He lifted
them off the ground so they were eye-to-eye with him.
“Deadboy isn’t allowed inside!”
Buffy said calmly, “Xander, calm down. Please.”
Willow nodded, “We won’t send Angel inside.”
His inner anger calmed down. “Sorry, about that.”
Giles brought his rifle down.
Lowering his friends down, he glanced around, “Where’s
Buffy said, “We sent her to get the pendent. Giles is
going to research it, and see if there’s someway to
turn you back.”
He smiled, “So there’s a chance to become me again?”
Willow nodded, “We hope.”
Suddenly, Xander remembered something. “Did you guys
figure out how I turned into Leatherhead?”
Buffy, Willow, and Giles looked at each other. Willow
“We’ll tell you, Xand.” Buffy said. “But please,
“I’ll try. I’ll keep an open mind.”
Willow said, “Cordelia made a wish to a demon that
would turn you into a comic book character. A monster
Picking up the mirror again that was left on the
table, he looked at himself, “So, I became Leatherhead
because Cordy made a wish?”
Giles nodded, “That she did, Xander. We sent her to
get the pendent because we didn’t want you to get
upset again. You see, it was Willow who informed us
on who you became.”
Xander looked at his eldest friend, “You remembered my
Ninja Turtle comics?”
She nodded, “Yeah.”
“How long will it take your house to be cleaned?”
He guessed, “A few days. Just this weekend.”
That should buy enough time for them to stay away from
the house. But for how long? Sighing to himself, he
knew that they would find out eventually. Not living
at his house would be easily fixed with staying at
Deadboy’s. But what about his stuff on the lawn?
His house was on the way to Buffy’s. She walked by it
every night while on patrol. She would surely notice
He had to tell the truth.
Willow looked confused, “About what?”
“My house isn’t being fumigated.”
Buffy asked, “It isn’t?”
Xander knelt down so he could be the same height as
Buffy and Willow. “I want to tell you something.
But, please. Don’t get too upset. You get upset, and
then I’d get upset. Then this whole library will be
Buffy questioned, “What’s the problem?”
Xander sighed, “My parents kicked me out. All my
stuff’s on the lawn.”
“You’re parents kicked you out, Xander?” Giles asked
his young friend.
He nodded, “Yeah. That’s why I was upset this
morning. They’re ashamed of me.”
“Why would they be ashamed of you?” Buffy asked.
Xander gave her a look that sent chills down her
spine. True, it wasn’t a Xander natural look, well
because it wasn’t Xander she was looking at. But she
could tell there was something more troubling going
Shaking his head, “Nevermind. I don’t want to talk
He got up and started to walk toward the cage.
“Xander.” Buffy called out to him. “What’s going on?
You were about to say something, and now you don’t
He turned to face her, “It’s not easy to talk about.”
“You know you can tell us.” Willow said.
Xander nodded, “I know. But it’s hard.”
“Xander,” Giles began, “If your parents are
mistreating you, it’s a very good idea to tell
Nodding, he started, “Well, it’s like this…”
“I got it, okay! I got it!”
The four of them looked to the east as the doors burst
open. In ran Cordelia with the pendent flying around
in her left hand.
She stopped short when she saw Xander standing up at
his full height.
“Xander…” The cheerleader said in shock.
Willow walked toward Cordelia and grabbed the pendent.
“Thanks. Now go.”
She said in defense, “Let me stay.” Glancing at
Xander, she begged, “Xander, I’m sorry. Alright. I’m
sorry. Just please let me stay.”
Xander approached the young woman. Looking at her, he
could tell that she had been crying. Part of him,
wanted to wrap his big strong arms around her and take
her pain away.
But the other part? He wanted to hurt her. She
turned him into this…this…monster. Into Leatherhead.
His eyes started to narrow and breathing started to
get heated. He gritted his teeth. Flexing his
knuckles he was about to grab hold of her when his
right fist was stopped.
He turned to his right and saw Buffy holding his fist.
“Let go!” He yelled.
Buffy said sternly, “Relax, Xander. Take it easy.”
He brought his free hand to Buffy’s side. Forcing his
captured fist out of Buffy’s grasp, he held Buffy into
the air tightly—above him. He was about to throw her
over his back when Buffy placed her feet on Xander’s
Putting pressure on her feet, she launched herself off
of him. Landing from a backward summersault, she
turned around and leapt onto him.
Taking him to the ground, he pinned his arms down, so
he couldn’t move.
But founder herself flying when Xander’s tail grabbed
her by the waist and tossed her to the front of the
He was about to leap at her when he suddenly fell
“What happened?” Cordelia asked.
Willow addressed her, “Giles used the tranquilizer on
Buffy got to her feet and stormed to Cordelia, “Get
out of here! Look what you did!” She pointed to the
fallen form of Xander Harris.
“You made him into him! He’s Leatherhead!” She
Taking a few steps back, Cordelia asked, “What?”
Buffy walked till she was eye-to-eye with her, “You
turned him into a monster! You turned Xander into
something he isn’t! Get out! I don’t ever want to
see you again!”
Cordelia glanced down at her former boyfriend, so
still. So big. So green. So…so…not as she
remembered him before. In a quiet voice, she said,
Tears started to run down her face as she ran out of
Walking to Xander, she sat him up. “He certainly is
strong. I’ll give you that.”
Willow said as she approached the now sitting Xander.
“It wasn’t him, Buffy. You know that.”
She sighed, “I know, Wills.”
Giles squatted down in front of them. “We have a
problem here. Xander can easily take you out, Buffy.”
The redhead said, “But she was able to pin him.”
“Indeed.” He answered. “However, his tail was what
took Buffy. We need to find someway to keep him
Buffy looked at Giles’s hand. In it, was the pendent.
“We need to research that pendent, Giles.”
Lifting his hand, he looked at it. “I will research
it, Buffy. Just as soon as Xander wakes up, we need
to talk to him. He was about to say something
His slayer looked at him, “I need to talk to Angel. I
want to get Xander’s living situation taken care of.
But I also want to be here when he wakes up.”
Willow said, “Go to Angel, Buffy. We’ll beep you when
Xander starts to wake up.”
She nodded as stood up. “Take care of him, Willow.
We still need to work through some things.”
“That goes without saying, Buffy.” Giles informed
Caressing her hand against Xander’s reptilian cheek,
she said, “I’ll be right back.”
Giles nodded, “Willow and I will start to research
Grabbing her bag, Buffy headed for her locker.
Angel flipped the page of the book he was reading.
Being a vampire during the day pretty much limited his
time. Usually, he could sleep, but he wasn’t in the
Reading was something he always enjoyed. It gave him
the desires he would love to perform, and even perform
But that wasn’t possible.
One thing that he always enjoyed was the warmth she
gave him. He was always cold or room temperature.
But when he cuddled, or kissed Buffy, he felt warm,
which is always a plus.
But lately, things with Buffy were falling apart. No
matter how much he wanted it to work, or how much she
wanted it to. It never could.
The two of them were opposites, but he didn’t want to
lose her. He couldn’t lose her, she was his
everything. Being with Buffy, was something that he
wouldn’t give up.
However, living with Buffy never really could happen.
Life was complicated, or rather his unlife was
He was over 240 years old, he should be having these
painful yet joyous issues.
A sudden banging could be heard.
Angel looked at the door as Buffy emerged…still in her
A smile creeped onto his face. She always looked cute
But there was something different about her. He
recognized that look on her face…pain. His Buffy was
She dropped her bag on the floor along with her purse.
Walking to him, she quickly kissed him on the lips.
Only briefly though.
Pulling back a little, he asked, “What’s wrong?”
She sighed, “It’s Xander.”
His eyes widened, “Xander?”
She nodded as her eyes started to get wet.
“Something’s happened. Something terrible.”
He immediately pulled her into a hug. Feeling a
sudden shiver from her was normal, but it was always
something he didn’t like. The feeling of two bodies
should be warming and beautiful…not cold and lustful.
She pulled away, not wanting the comfort that she
loved. Buffy felt like she didn’t deserve it, not
now. Not when her best friend was changed.
“Xander was turned into Leatherhead.”
He showed a confused look, “Leatherhead?”
Buffy quickly filled him into the story. Everything
about Cordelia’s wish and Xander’s gigantic alligator
“So Xander is Leatherhead?”
Buffy nodded, “And we don’t know where to keep him.
He can’t stay at his house. The same goes for my
house, Willow’s, Giles’, or the library.”
“So?” He asked getting an idea where this was going.
He didn’t want that.
Xander and him never got along. Even though they
loved the same woman, they despised each other.
Xander was able to give Buffy everything he couldn’t.
He was annoying, told really lame jokes, and always
put himself into danger.
He also never let go of Angel’s history with Angelus.
“I want to ask you something, Angel.”
Buffy’s comment made his thoughts stop right then and
there. He asked, “Yeah?”
“I know you two don’t get along. I know you…” Her
eyes tightened a little, “hate each other. But I want
him to stay here with you.”
She never liked that. Two of some of the most
important people in her life couldn’t stand each
other. She hated that. But, she did respect it.
Angel was her boyfriend.
Xander was her best friend.
Sometimes, she wished boyfriend and best friend could
be the same thing. Or, even get along with one
But sighing to herself, she knew it could never
Her life wasn’t allowed to have happiness. She lived
on the Hellmouth. All relationships were doomed to
fail. So, she let herself stay with Angel, the only
hope that she ever had to be in a normal relationship.
And she loves him. There’s no denying it. But,
sometimes, she wonders if she made the right choice.
“You want him to stay here?”
He grinned, “I asked you if you wanted Xander to stay
at the mansion.”
She nodded, “It would work best. You have so much
space, and he has his anger issues to deal with.
Maybe you could help him somehow.”
Even to see her smile, made his whole questioning
their relationship better.
Willow climbed down the stairs from the upper level of
the library carrying three books. Reaching the last
step, she asked her friend, “Find anything?”
Giles closed his book, and looked at the young
redhead, “I’ve checked my normal sources, Willow.”
Glancing at the pendent he now had, “I just don’t know
where to look.”
Glancing at the sleeping alligator, she asked, “Do you
think he’ll be alright?”
Looking at Xander, he said, “I believe we will get
through this. Another problem we have to deal with is
“But if we find a cure for this transition, we don’t
have to worry about his anger.” Willow said with some
He nodded, “Very true, Willow. But, we might have to
realistic. There’s a chance Xander may never be human
again. Knowing more about this demon would be only
more beneficial. We don’t know anything though
Willow approached her friend and sat down across from
him, “What do we know?”
Giles took off his glasses, and cleaned them briefly
with a wipe he had in his pocket, “We know Cordelia
made a wish to a demon, and she turned Xander into
The young woman said, “We also know that it has
something to do with that pendent.”
“Right. Other than that, we don’t have much else to
Willow suggested, “Couldn’t you cross-reference with
Giles looked up to her, “I do have some more books in
the back. Maybe there is something in there.
Although, they are sketchy at times.”
“We can’t let anything slide by.”
“Good point. I’ll go check.” With that said, he went
to the back room.
Seeing him gone, Willow took the book she had hiding
behind her back. Opening it to a destined page, she
grinned when she saw a spell that might be able to