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Calming the Beast

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Summary: Cordelia wishes something on Xander, and he becomes something far from human. Chapter 2 up.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Cartoons > Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesJonathanFR15211,551065,15323 Feb 054 May 05No

Calming the Beast

Title: Calming the Beast

Raiting: R

Author: White Werewolf

Category: Buffy/Xander

Spoiler: Takes off from “The Wish.” Then it hit’s

AU.

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

good.

Dedication: Merlin

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“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

cartoons?”

“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

getting!”

Anthony growled, “That’s it, you little piece of shit!

You’re gone! Get off my property!”

“What?”

“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!”

“Dad…”

“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.

---

“Hey boy!”

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

vampires.

Again, his friends tried. But they were busy with

their stuff.

“Xander…”

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

today?”

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

yourself.”

“Don’t do what? Be honest?”

“Xander…”

---

At the other side of quad, Cordelia was walking with

Anya.

“…Buffy Summers. That’s when all my troubles started.

When she moved here.”

Anya noticed Cordelia holding her side. “Are you

okay?”

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.”

“Really?”

“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.

“Done.”

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.

“Xander…”

“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

away.

“Xander!” Willow cried as she started to chase for

him.

“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!”

“But—“

“No buts. C’mon.” Then the two of them ran to the

library.

---

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,

“Xander! Wait!”

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

yanked.

“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.”

“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

geek.”

“Good lord!”

Xander and Buffy turned to see Giles standing with the

tranquilizer in his hand. Cordelia and Willow were

behind him.

“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

this!”

“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

animal!”

Getting to her feet, Cordelia stated, “Actually, he

is.”

“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

class.”

“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

shocked.

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

like December.”

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!”

“Stop it!”

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.”

“But Giles.”

“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

him.”

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

then leave.”

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

her.

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

cartoon?”

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

dealing with.”

“One thing about Xander is that he takes extreme care

of his comic books. So, I believe he still has them.”

Willow said.

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.”

“What happened?”

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

like.”

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

my locker.”

“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,

“Sorry, Giles.”

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,

Buff.”

She smiled, “You definitely can. Just how strong is

Leatherhead anyway?”

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.

“Yeah, Wills?”

“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

said honestly.

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

me.”

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

actions.”

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

anyway.”

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

sick.”

“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

Cordelia?”

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

nodded slowly.

“We’ll tell you, Xand.” Buffy said. “But please,

stay calm.”

“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

no less.”

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?”

Buffy asked.

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

his things.

He had to tell the truth.

“I lied.”

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

torn down.”

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

on.

Shaking his head, “Nevermind. I don’t want to talk

about it.”

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

want to.”

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

someone.”

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

chest.

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

cage.

He was about to leap at her when he suddenly fell

flat.

“What happened?” Cordelia asked.

Willow addressed her, “Giles used the tranquilizer on

him.”

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

growled.

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,

“I’m sorry.”

Tears started to run down her face as she ran out of

the library.

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

calm.”

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

extremely important.”

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

her.

Caressing her hand against Xander’s reptilian cheek,

she said, “I’ll be right back.”

Giles nodded, “Willow and I will start to research

this pendent.”

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

mood.

Reading was something he always enjoyed. It gave him

the desires he would love to perform, and even perform

with Buffy.

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

complicated.

He was over 240 years old, he should be having these

painful yet joyous issues.

A sudden banging could be heard.

“Come in.”

Angel looked at the door as Buffy emerged…still in her

school clothes.

A smile creeped onto his face. She always looked cute

like that.

But there was something different about her. He

recognized that look on her face…pain. His Buffy was

in pain.

“Buffy…”

She dropped her bag on the floor along with her purse.

Walking to him, she quickly kissed him on the lips.

Only briefly though.

“Hi, Angel.”

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.

“What happened?”

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

problem.

“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.

But, still.

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

another.

But sighing to herself, she knew it could never

happen.

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?”

“Huh?”

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

his anger.”

“But if we find a cure for this transition, we don’t

have to worry about his anger.” Willow said with some

hope.

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

sadly.”

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

Leatherhead.”

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

go on.”

Willow suggested, “Couldn’t you cross-reference with

something?”

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

help.

---



TBC
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