Disclaimer: Disclaimer: BTVS doesn't belong to me, it's Joss Whendon's baby as is Angel. I don't own Charmed or the concept of witches or demons, I'm pretty sure that belongs to the church. I just own this story but I don't have any money so sue someone else.
A Wizard by any other name.
Xander hated being made to feel useless.
Hated being the odd man out, the fifth wheel when it came to his friends. He hadn't felt like this last year, when everything was so screwed up. Jenny's death, Angelus's free, Buffy taking off.
Or the year before that when his world went and turned 360 degrees. When one day out of the blue, a hot little blond showed up in his school and would forever change his life.
But that was then, and this was now. And right now Xander felt like a Zeppo.
Whatever un-written rule the Scooby’s had about pointing out his uselessness was forgotten. When he cheated on Cordelia, he didn't just lose a girlfriend.
He lost his best friend, who wouldn't....or more accurately 'couldn't treat him as she once did. The fluke put their friendship in a funk.
Oz didn't trust her, and sure as shit didn't trust him. So they're easy relationship had been nixed to something more sedated and uncomfortable.
Buffy was to busy to be their for him, with Faith changing sides and the mayor planning their slaughter, his slayer pal and her petite hands full.
However, it was more then just not having anyone to talk to anymore. It was the general feel of the Scoobies these days.
His friends thought they needed to protect him because he didn't have any special training or super powers. That he was in constant danger being around them.
So they decided the best way to protect him was to keep their distance, and restrict his help in the group to solely doing research.
The night Xander got into a fight with Jimmy O'Tool and his marry band on undead had made him feel good. Damn good, had proven to himself if no one else that he wasn't useless.
Now all he needed to do was convince the others.
Which was why he was roaming one of Sunnydale's 11 graveyards in search of Buffy and Angel. The latest monster of the week was causing trouble in town around the Bronze, and they needed the duo their pronto.
This wasn't what he had in mind as far as convincing them, though. Being the go-to guy wasn't really a step up from research monkey or doughnut boy.
And on his birthday no less.
It would have been nice if someone, anyone, had remembered. His friends, Willow, hell his goddamn parents. 18 was a big number, and a party wasn't too much to ask for, right?
But no party for Xander, instead he got to walk the eerie pathways of a graveyard at 9:16pm.
"Damn it." He cursed as he rubbed his hands together. The palms of his hands had been feeling weird all night, and the tips of his fingers had been practically numb.
Like when your a little kid and you stick a penny into a light switch.? That zapped feeling. Like electricity was banging around between his fingers.
It hurt like hell, and his eyes weren't exactly at their best either. Itching, "Shit, all I need is to come down with pink eye. Ya, that'll make me mister popular for sure." He ranted sarcastically.
"Giles, are you sure Snyder isn’t a demon? Because, the guys just plan evil."
Giles taking a much-needed breather from researching the history of the town, and Mayor Wilkins who'd apparently enough founded the town over 120 years ago.
"What's he done now? Taking away your hall pass, busted you on skipping school?"
As much as he was loath to admit it, that horrid little toad of a man didn't try to expel or punish Buffy for things she hadn't actually done. More the pity.
If it was plain dislike he felt for his 'only' slayer, maybe Giles could have had the man fired for misconduct. But no, Snyder zoomed in on things Buffy did or one of her friends and blamed her on proxy.
Taking a one of the many seats at the main library table, Buffy retold the story of why Snyder was an asshole.
"Well Willow and Oz are finally starting to talk you know? Trying to put their relationship back together when out of nowhere Snyder came in and wrote them both of for public shows of affection!" She finished in a huff.
With a sigh, and a curse towards whatever god had sent such angst ridden teenagers in his path, Giles spoke up." Buffy, I know you have some feelings mixed up in their getting back together it doesn't seem like Mr. Snyder did anything really wrong."
"Giles! They were holding hands, how is that a 'public show of affection?'"
Taking off his glasses and running a clean cloth across the lenses he argued," Yes, writing them up for that is a bit extreme but holding hands in the halls 'is' a public act of affection."
However, the Englishman knew damn well Snyder punishment of the two young people had more to do with his animosity towards Buffy then anything.
"So, uh, how was patrol last night?" He asked trying to run the conversation towards something other then teen romances and short Nazi.
"It was fine." The blond haired 17 year old retorted somewhat concerned.
This look didn't get past Giles who was quick to call her on it, "Are you sure? Nothing happened that might be of concern or further viewing?"
Anything would be better then reading through former watcher's diaries about Sunnydale and Wilkins. Some, if not all, of the watchers were terribly long winded and snarky.
"Its just Xander. He was out alone in Potter's cemetery last night."
"Aw." So they were at the root of his slayer's moodiness. For some unfathomable reason, no one not even Angel could get under her skin like young Mr. Harris.
"Buffy, I know he was out last night. I was the one who sent him to find you and Angel after all, he carried a cross and stake with him the whole time. He wasn't in any real danger."
"I know, its just...." She trailed off. She just didn't like the idea of him outside in a graveyard in the middle of the night.
Their weren't just vampires to worry about right now, Faith had taken a ride on the dark side and was now working for the mayor. And it'd be just like Ms. Slutzila to go after Xander.
Their little sexual encounter would be enough to spurn the less then sane slayer into some twisted version of what Angelus put her through just the year before.
And she just didn't want to see her friend hurt.
"Giles, anything could have happened. Not just vamps, for all we know Faith or something else equally nasty could have crossed his path. Its just too dangerous."
"Buffy, Xander's not an infant. He 'can' take care of himself. And though I agree with you that he should lay back in the actual slaying, that doesn't mean he needs our permission to cross the street." Giles explained.
Like so many other things about young Mr. Harris, Giles just couldn't understand why his friends thought of him as someone meek.
He'd seen the boy fight, and true it wasn't pretty, but it was effective. During Buffy's little tryst in LA, Xander had taken up a good deal of the slaying in Sunnydale.
And even with Willow and Oz's help they only killed maybe 3 out of every 10 vampires, that was still 3 vampires no longer roaming the streets of Sunnydale praying on the population like lieaches.
Defeated, Buffy could only nod in agreement. "Fine. But I still don't want him patrolling, not while Faith's on the loose." Maybe not even after, she thought to herself.
Though he didn't agree with it, Giles also had to nod. "Very well."
"Shit. Shit, shit, SHIT!" Xander all but growled as he picked himself off the ground. He knew patrolling by himself was a bad idea, though as far as injuries go tripping over a downed gravestone was better then being killed by vampires.
Still, banging up his knee hurt something awful on it’s on.
All he needed was for Buffy to come find him out here, alone and hurt to boot. She'd lost her temper so ,fast; it'd be like a fat person in cakewalk. Icing was gonna fly.
Or worse, Faith could show up.
It was strange, everyone pretty much knew that she was evil but she still hung out. Since there was no concrete evidence to hold against her, people kept their months shut.
But, if he heard right then Buffy and Angel had some plan coming up where they could find out once and for all whether or not she was working for the Mayor.
Xander hoped not. Wanted to believe that she wasn't evil. However, having ones throat choked until you pass out wasn't a quick way for her to gain any friends.
"Hey boy toy."
"Speak of the devil...." He groaned.
"And 'she' shall appear." Faith finished with a feral grin.
Making sure to keep a 3ft gravestone between him and the mentally ill slayer, Xander spoke up. "What are you doing here Faith?" His voice sounded bitter even to his ears.
And from the ugly look that crossed the dark haired beauty's face, she'd heard it loud and clear.
"Better question boy toy, what are 'you' doing here? I didn't think B'd let her lapdog of his leash." She retorted cruelly, knowing full well that she might not be trusted but at least she could shit without permission.
"Oh, you'd know all about being someone’s lapdog, right Faith?"
He wished he could take the words back, but they were out of his mouth before his brain could catch up to him flapping tongue.
"What the FUCK is that supposed to mean?" She took a threatening step towards him, and oh shit she has her knife out, he thought in a worried frenzy.
"Hey, no need to get all crazy...." Ya Xander, just keep putting your feet in your mouth. Cause sooner or later, she’s gonna cut it off and beat you to death with it.
Sneering, the leather-clad vampire hopped over the tombstone in one easy leap. No theire was only a few feet between them, though with her super reflexes that didn't mean nothing.
But he was starting to get pissed. Having enough of his cat and mouse shit, the dark haired teen took the offence.
"Hey, back the hell up!" Xander shouted catching her off guard. "I'm not your freaking punching bag, so why don't you mind your own damn business and leave me the hell alone!"
However, she was only caught off guard for a few seconds, and then her misguided anger was back in earnest. " Who do you think you are, shit for brains? I could rip your arms off and beat you with um, and there’s nothing you could do about it."
Don't show fear, that’s what was going through his mind when he stared down O'Tool. Don't show fear.
But right now Xander was just to damn angry to have any fear. He was just to sick and tired of being pushed around by everyone and their brother.
"I'd like to see you try." Stupid! Stupid on a scale from 1 to 10, he rated a freaking million!
Faith was more then willing to school him in his idiocy. "Love too, boy toy." With a sinister grin, the dark haired slayer leaped towards him ready and willing to beat the ever-living shit out of him.
That is, if she didn't just kill him.
She didn't get the change, though. Because for whatever reason Xander had a surprise that neither she nor he could have foreseen.
Like a flash of lightening, Xander's eyes flared electric blue and long streams of electricity burst from his hands and shot from his palms like something out of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
And it struck her in in the chest and expanded, lifting her right off the ground, almost as if she was being held there by the bolts.
And since she was no longer grounded, the energy couldn't escape into the ground, through her.
Which was probably the only reason why she wasn't killed instantly, that and the whole slayer-healing package. Closing his hands in shock, the electricity shut off and Faith slumped to the ground unconscious.
"What the flaming hell?" He asked himself. That didn't just happened, that couldn't have 'just' happened. But before he could fall into too deep brood, he raced over to the downed slayer and checked to see if she was still alive.
Her pulse was weak, very very weak, but she was still in there. "Now how am I supposed to get you to a hospital?" He rambled aloud, his mind still not functioning too good after the impressive lightshow that fried Faith.
"Buffy! Get over to the hospital this instant." Giles said over the phone.
"Giles? What’s wrong?" His slayer asked, but he just told her to get over as fast as she could. Once he hanged up the phone, he took the yellow note pad off his front door and re-reads it.
"Faith's hurt, in hospital. Go there now."
Giles felt as if he had seen the hand writing some where before, but at this moment he couldn't put his finger on it. But that wasn't the point right now. The girl was hurt, possibly dieing and he needed to be there.
Though he, and Buffy both believed that she had turned on them, they still didn't have any proof.
And even if she had, the was the for Watcher's Council. But he wasn't about to leave the girl in a hospital bed all alone. With no one to check up on her, or see how she was doing.
Grabbing his coat, Giles closed and locked his door and quickly made his to his tiny Volkswagen. Grumbling as his head hit the side of his door frame, "Damn it! I really need to get another car."
Across town sitting on the curb outside his parents house, Xander debated on wither or not he should go in and go to sleep. Or if he should pack up a bag and head towards the bus station.
Or his third choice, head back to Giles's place and tell him what happened. Ya, that conversation would down real swell.
"Hi G-man, how am I doing tonight?
Fine, except for this little thing. What is it you ask?
Oh, lightening flared from my hands and I think I may have killed Faith with it.
Want me to hold still while Buffy cuts of my demonic head? Sure."
God Damn it, his mind roared. Why does this shit have the happen to me? Get turned into a slobbering pig eating hyena, then I'm Vietnam boy all blood and screaming nightmares, and a large knowledge of hand weapons.
And if all that wasn't enough, now I'm some kind of freak, Xander ranted within the confines of his own mind.
But if I stay how am I gonna keep it from them? I mean, the next time I go out patrolling with the gang what happens when some vamp attacks and I dust his ass with the wave of my hand?
"I have to get a handle on this, I can't be zapping stray dogs while I walk down the street." He groaned.
First law of battle, know thy enemy. So where do I go to find out about other people throwing electricity from their hands? Giles's books.
But not the ones in his house. Giles locks his door every time he leaves his house. Which in this town was pretty smart. But in this particular moment that was just a pain in the ass.
"The library then."
The only problem with that is without permission from Giles, if Xander got caught by any of the school's rent-a-cops he'd go to jail. Or heaven forbid Snyder catches him and he gets expelled.
"Jeez, I wish Willow was here. She'd know what to do." But things were still very awkward between them, and who knows what Willow would do if he told her?
Tell Oz? Tell Buffy? Then came the chopping block and one headless Xander.
The library then.
"Giles what’s going on? Where’s Faith?" Buffy asked when she finally got to the hospital only to find the room that Faith was supposed to be in empty.
"Uh, yes, see that’s the thing of it." The watcher said with a tired sigh. They'd wanted proof of Faith's betrayal and now they had it.
"She was here, her doctor said she was moved to a private estate." He informed her, but the questioning look was still in her eyes. She still didn't see what that meant.
"Giles? Where was she moved?"
"The Mayor had her moved to his on home, where’s he’s no doubt doing his best to have her patched up." Mayor-McEvil had swooped down and grabbed her up.
Now she got it, the knowledge pushed aside the worry and questioning. "So its true then, she’s turned."
God, Buffy thought to herself bitterly. Why couldn't I have helped this? It didn't have to be like this, Faith didn't have to be like this. If only she'd have opened up. Damn it.
Pinching the bridge of his nose, Giles tried to fight off the beginnings of a headachek.
"There’s more, someone left a note on my door. That’s how I knew she was here." That was what was bothering him. Someone had known Faith was hurt, and knew to run to him.
Someone who’s hand writing Giles knew, but for the life of him he just couldn't spit it out.
Pondering for a moment, Buffy shook her head. "I don't know. If it was Angel he would have told me first. Do you have the note?"
It was his turn to shack his head negatively. "I didn't think of taking it."
Now before his slayer's mind went wondering too much, for the really weird part. "About Faith...." He trailed off.
From the perturbed look on her father figure's face, she knew he had something important to tell her. "Giles, what is it? What else happened?"
"Its Faith, she was electrocuted. That’s why she was brought here. The doctor said they found her in the lobby way, it looked like she was struck by a bolt of lightening."
Seeing the weirdness right off, Buffy continued for him. "But there isn't a cloud in the sky tonight."
They had too many questions and too few answers. Giles hoped that once Buffy saw the note maybe she'd recognize the handwriting, then some light could be shed on all of this.
Breaking into the school after hours was surprisingly easy. No wonder so many monsters came here, they practically put up a sigh in front that said, "Come in, and kill the kids. We got plenty of em."
Walking down the deserted and dark hallways wasn't something new to Xander, many a Scooby meeting would go on into the night.
But he wasn't usually by himself.
"I had a feeling it was you." The voice out of the dark caused the young man to jump a whole foot in the air. And breathless from the scare he turned around to see Snyder staring at him.
But he wasn't in his customary cheap suit, and I'll be damned if he wasn't glaring at me either.
What he was doing however was even weirder. He was wearing honest to guy fur, like an over coat of it. And underneath that was a laced up brown leather tunic. And he was holding a staff, with a large bronze ball at the top.
Xander just gaped at him for a few moments, not really knowing what to say.
Sorry I broke into your school? Sorry I came to steal stuff? Sorry I interrupted your late night one man medieval festival?
But Snyder beat him to it, "I know why your here Xander." And he sounded so resigned. Almost sad. Not his normal one man crusade to bring Nazi Germany to the United State’s school system.
"I, um, you see, I'm just...." Caught red handed, what more could he say?
Snyder just nodded with a very strange look on his face, "I know. I saw." It wasn't the words that struck Xander the most, it was how he said them.
He wasn't talking about seeing him break into the school. Looking around nervously, he wondered if it was possible now for him to sink into the earth? Cause 'that' would be a neat power to have right about now.
"Don't look so glum, after all if you hadn't fired at that girl she probably would have beaten you into a bloody stump."
And again it was time for Xander to stair on, mouth gaping open in shock. Snyder just kept staring at him, his dark blue eyes boring into Xander's own chocolate ones.
"Happy wha? How did you know it was my...." This has got the be the single weirdest conversation since finding out Buffy killed monsters with splinters.
Chuckling as he walked over to the young man, Snyder went on. "Course I knew. I was there when you were born after all. You were such a tiny little guy, I was afraid to hold you. You were like a little doll" He answered wistfully.
"You...you were there when I was born?" Surprise didn't cover the young man's feelings right now.
He'd cruised past surprise when he put Faith in the hospital. Shock would be a better description of how he felt right now. Why in the name of all that is holy was Principal there when I was born? Let alone allowed to 'touch' me.
"18 is a big day in a man's life, especially for someone like you. I wanted you to know before today, I wanted to tell you but it wasn't safe...."Snyder was looking off wistfully again.
"I wanted to be there to watch you take your first steps, I wanted to teach you to ride your bicycle. To see you off on your first day of kindergarten. The things a father wants to see their only son do." And he looked so pained saying it. So heartbroken.
Any dispute Xander had was caught in his throat. Everything was white noise now, the only sound that he could make out was the pounding in his head.
And the feeling of his fingernails cutting into his palms because of how tightly his hands were bailed into fists.
"When I met you mother she hadn't been married to Tony very long. But already the bloom was off the rose, and he was drinking a lot." The look of compassion in Snyder's eyes was almost too much for him to handle.
"We were together just the one time, I was just passing through Sunnydale. And I didn't know she was pregnant until I came through headed towards Frisco. She looked so beautiful....."
Blood was freely pouring from Xander's wounded hands, not that he could feel that right now.
But Snyder hadn't noticed, he was too caught up in telling his tail. Too caught up to notice the danger he was in.
"I wanted to raise you myself, you, me, and your mother. One big happy family, but things were so hectic back then. I had other responsibilities." Finally he took notice of his 'son'.
Face ash white, blood dripping from his fist onto the white floor, and eyes glowing with rage and power.
"Is that what you have to tell me? You abandoned me and my mother because you had other responsibilities? What was so much more important? Where were you when she started drinking as badly as him?" Words as cold as the arctic.
"Where were you when he caught me playing with one of Willow's dumb Barbie's and he kicked he across the room? Where were you when my jaw was wired shut and I had to tell everyone I fell off my bike? WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU?!?"
His voice was dry and harsh, and the look in his eyes said as plainly as a fifty foot billboard that he was about to loose his shit.
If what he said true, if SNYDER of all people was his father then he'd left him for 18 years at the mercy of a abusive drunk. One whose favorite pass time was informing his 'son' what a worthless no good pile of shit he was.
Or when he got really drunk and decided to smack him and his mom around.
Xander suffered countless beatings at the hands of a man who no mystery of his disgust for his only son. All the insults, and bruises he'd gone through because his real father had better things to do then raise a kid?
Snyder gave him a guarded look, but the way his left hand twitched around his staff made his nervousness obvious.” It wasn't that what I was doing was more important then you Xander...."
"AHHHHH!!!!!" No explanation was demanded, he didn't care what that son of a bitch had to say. Xander just let loose those bolts of deadly lightening in his hands.
All he wanted was for Snyder to suffer as he'd suffer, to know what it was like to be helpless and scared. Know what it was like to scream and beg for mercy, but none was forthcoming.
But before the onrush of destructive power could reach him, Snyder tapped his staff against the linoleum floor and he vanishes in a flash of bright white light. Like a strobe light.
Only to appear behind Xander, were he waited patiently for his son to destroy half the lockers down the hall and a good bit of the cement wall.
Exhausted both from the emerging energies within him, and the emotional pain that seemed to never end tonight Xander finally slumped to the ground bonelessly and panting.
Snyder quickly bent down and encased him in a strong hug.
"What are you?" His voice was harsh in its breathlessness and tears freely ran down his cheeks.
"Awww, my dear boy. The correct question would be, what are 'we'."
"Wait, no not there......oh, right here it is." Giles said finally, oddly enough the note had gotten mixed in with the other junk on his desk.
"About time. Let me see." Buffy demanded quickly. It would hard enough to explain to her mom why she was at Giles's house at 3am, her mom was started to suspect 'weird' stuff.
Apparently, to her mom screwing Giles was better then killing vampires. Pause, and shudder at the metal image.
The watcher waited anxiously as she read the short note. "Yes?" He asked at seeing the look that dawned on her face. He knew it was familiar.
"The note. Its written in Xander's hand writing." She said with a deep frown.
"I'd know his chicken scratch anywhere."
And he believed her, his former love Jenny had commented more then once that the boy had the hand writing of a 5 year old spaz. But getting past that, how did he know Faith was hurt or in the hospital?
"Well, he has been complaining about his eyes for the past few days. He might have seen them bring her in, and put a note on my door before heading home." Giles reasoned.
That was entirely possible. But even as he said it, he didn't believe it.
And from Buffy's even deeper frown, she wasn't buying it either. "Or he could have been patrolling on his own, find a downed Faith and took her to the hospital himself. Then on his way home left the note."
Giles's sighed, this was the last thing he wanted to deal with right now.
He didn't see the problem with Xander finding Faith and taking her to the hospital, even if she'd turned. It sounded just like something the boy would do.
But at seeing the growing aggravation on his slayer's face, he knew that Buffy had a great many problems with what he'd done.
"Damn it. I told him not to go patrolling on his own. Its just not safe!" Oh well, at least she wasn’t blaming 'me' for his actions.
"This is all your fault." Spoke to soon.
"How exactly is this 'my' fault?" Giles was beginning to get pissed off. He didn't often loose his tempter with Buffy, but ever since she'd returned from LA she'd had a chip on her shoulder.
And he was about damn tired of having to put up with her snotty attitude.
"Because! You and Xander have been being too chummy, he probably got the idea from you. Since you go out by yourself." She retorted.
Grabbing his glasses, he hastily began cleaning them. "I don't need your permission to leave my own home. I was a watcher before you were a slayer, hell I was a watcher before you were born."
Hunching her shoulders in defiance, Buffy kept up her argument. "But that’s just it, you’re a watcher. He isn't. He can't take care of himself out there."
At his tethers end he finally let her have it, "He bloody well can! Xander took care of himself all this summer when you abandoned your post."
And there it was, and they both stared at one another shocked at the words that were just recited.
"Buffy...."Giles tried to say something, but nothing came to mind. " I didn't mean....."
"No, your right and I'm wrong. Write that on his tombstone when you come across his body in some cemetery." She fired back, before heading out the door and towards Xander's house.
Andrew Snyder wasn't his real name. Hell, he wasn't even a real principal. All his papers were an illusion, and any reference that he had was 'him' in a Glamour.
But all his plans were put on hold when the opportunity to move into Sunnydale, and masquerade as the school's new principal.
Just so he could be close to his son when his 18th birthday rolled around. That when the spell he'd placed on Xander would have released him to gain his full powers.
It was just too dangerous to keep Xander with him, the underworld was full of demons more then willing to gain The Source's praise by killing the last two wizards in the world.
And he couldn't have allowed the boy to grow without binding his powers either. Demons would zone in on those new emerging powers and either kill him for them, or turn him evil and make him just another puppet for The Source.
So his powers were bond, and the Hell mouth’s energies clouded any seer or magic visions to find the boy. That’s why he allowed his son to live there.
If Beth and Tony had tried to move, Snyder would have intervened somehow and kept them their.
But it was more then just clouding the boys own magical aura, he in fact absorbed the energies around him and refocused the powers into his own.
Which is why Xander's electricity generation was so powerful. The Wizard would place money that his son's electricity was probably as singularly powerful as an Elders.
Snyder's own electricity could just barely lay a demon unconscious.
But Xander’s? He'd seen what low voltage his son had used against the slayer, and it had almost killed her. He was sure at full power Xander could incinerate any person or demon that crossed his path.
And this was just his first power!
Wizard's in general were born with two powers, inherited from his parents or in this case parent. Snyder's powers had been teleportation and illusions.
But before Xander had been born, he'd killed a few demon's and stolen the powers of telekinesis, electricity, & glamour. Now it was only a matter of time before one of the other four powers showed its self in him.
"Concentrate harder, see where you want to go in your mind and teleport."
They'd moved from the school's empty halls, to the Harris basement. Where his parents, or rather parent was upstairs passed out drunk. So they weren't going to be complaining if he made a mess.
And for the last half hour Xander had been trying to teleport from the basement into his bedroom, but alas it just wasn't happening.
Tired, and utterly sure that teleportation wasn't one of his son's powers, Snyder called for a break and with a double tap of his trusty staff a roasted boar appeared out of thin air. "Ribs?"
The dark haired young man just looked from the book to the man who claimed to be his father before answering, "You are sooo weird."
Chuckling to himself, Snyder ignored his words and continued eating.
"Hey, since that’s an illusion how do you live off...." He trailed off when his father 'shushed' him. "Quiet. Can you feel that, It’s coming from next door?"
In fact, Xander could feel it. Sensing was a powerful ability for some magic creatures to pinpoint others, neither he nor Snyder had this power. But Wizard's had a 6th since when it came to magic being used around them.
Next door, hey.."Willow lives next door!"
Without a backward glance, Xander ran up his stairs and out the front door towards Willow's house.
Once out of his house, he got a good view of his oldest friend using a spell to make a wooden pencil crunch through a vampire's chest and into its heart.
One down, but their were another three surrounding Willow and she was too far away from her house to escape safely.
"Hey shit heads!" He called out to the fiends, and like the dumb sheep that they were they all turned to glare at the intruder. Which gave Willow the change to get out of their clutches.
But he didn't stand idle, oh no. He ran straight for the vampires, his hands shot out and from his palms burst that all to familiar flair of deadly lightening. They burst into dust almost on contact, leaving one vampire to stair in horror.
Willow watched on in awe, the amount of power he'd just casually thrown off was more then she or Amy had ever been able to conjure together at the height of their practice.
She and the vampire could only watch star struck as Xander jogged between the swirl of duo vampire dust and rammed a stake into its chest.
"Wha?" Was all it could get out before joining its friends in hell.
Once all three were dead, he quickly scanned the area for any other dangers before turning back to the still gaping Willow.
As luck would have it Buffy showed up a few seconds later, having witnessed the whole scene as she ran towards to the fight. But once their she copied her red haired friends expression in earnest.
"Shhh..its alright, dear. Your fight is over." Richard Wilkins soothed the fitful dreams of his slayer, hit little girl Faith.
She'd suffered second degree burns across her chest and forearms, and her kidneys were in an awful state. But that wasn't the real problem. Her heart, she'd suffered a massive heart attack when she'd been electrocuted.
If it had been anyone one else but the slayer, she'd have died.
Just thinking about it raised The Mayor's heckles, "The days coming up, gonna be a 'big' day. Our day, yours and mine." Reaching out, he smoothed out the tangles from her hair.
God, she looked so peaceful. So quiet, like an angel.
"You'll be fine...I...the doctors say you wont ever wake up, but I know better. You'll wake up and go out into the world. I know you will." He choked on his own words, this wasn't how it was supposed to be.
It was so much like when his Edna May had died back on 1903, but she hadn't been quiet. She'd cursed and cried, hating me for my immortality and my youth.
But Faith was as silent as a tomb, and now he could see more clearly then ever how very young she was.
Under all that grit and growl, she was just a scared little girl. Hiding in the shadows from the monsters that wanted to hurt her. But that’s why she had him, to protect her from all the evils of this world.
And he'd failed.
"Sir, I uh, don't want to irrupt....."He vampire minion was silence by the furious glare The Mayor sent him.
Didn't these fools know NOT to irrupt him when he had important things to take care of. And nothing shy of his Ascension came anywhere close to important enough to barge in when he was with Faith!
Right now all that matter was her, and who did this to her....wait. "No, come here." Richard ordered the vampire over.
"I want you to put the word out tonight, any information on spell casters or anyone who was even in the area of Crest Moore cemetery to report to me ASAP. Understood?" Before the minion could eve nod, Richard dismissed him as unimportant.
This was Faith time.
"Damn it Xander!" Buffy's voice was grated, and very upset. Giles didn't need to hear anymore, he got the gist of with the name 'Xander'. Of course she'd found the boy, and for whatever reason she was mad at him, again.
"What the bloody devil is all this screaming outside my house?" He put in his two cents.
And there they all were, the core Scoobies glaring at one another. Buffy was shooting daggers at Xander, Xander was looking towards Willow for help, And Willow was busy arguing with Buffy.
Not overly shocked by this scene, which was becoming an all to familiar display. All the teenage angst and bitching about hair and grades, he was half tempted to lock them all in the boiler room until they either killed one another or just fucked it out.
Come to think of it, both outcomes actually made his skin crawl. With a shrug, he wonder allowed about the latest fight. Maybe something to do with Faith?
"No, for once she has nothing to do with this." The blond haired slayer said, pointing an accusing finger in young Mr. Harris's direction. "He’s been doing magic."
Bloody lovely, that’s all we needed. For the town to fall in love with him 'again'. Or maybe he'd do something else, possibly turn everyone into rodents.
"I was not using magic." The angry dark haired young man fired back. Then thought it over, "Well, not a whole lot anyway."
"Oh? And here I thought I saw you zap two vampires into dust." She then turned away from Xander, and stared Giles right in the eyes, "He threw lightening, Giles."
Well that certainly put a new spin on things. If what Buffy was saying was true, and he had no doubt that it was. Then Xander didn't come across Faith downed in a graveyard, he put her down.
She was worried, and angry, and it didn't take a genius to see how scared she was. Her world was changing to fast, enemies were lovers, friends were enemies, and friends were mixing around with dangerous magics.
Giles had heard enough, turning around so that they could all make their way into his home, he grabbed the book of was reading from. It informed him a great deal when it came to arcane abilities.
"This wasn't any simple spell, was it Xander? It would take a well informed witch many minutes and maybe even days of preparation. And though I have noticed that your Latin is top grade, you aren't a practicing witch."
He waited for a second, and seeing the young man's nod Giles continued.
"There are a handful of beings, magical beings, that can do what you've done. Natural born witches, which since neither of your parents have shown any magic knowledge I'd say no."
"Their are sorcerers, a handful of them all over the world." But at the slight shack of the boys head, he went on.
"Demons, tracker demons are well known for their electricity generation. But you’re not a demon." He quickly spoke, not wanting either Buffy or Willow to get the wrong idea.
But he was running out of choices.
"Elders, the so called leaders of white lighters have this ability. But if I read correctly, their angels and dead. So scratch that as well."
"Then there are wizards and warlocks. They both can steal or be born with these powers, but like witches, warlocks can't hide who they are. So wizards..." And from the dawning knowledge in Xander's eyes, he knew he'd hit the nail on the head.
Buffy was hanging on every word, only showing any sign of worry when the words 'demon' came out of Giles's mouth. But now that it was plan that that wasn't what he was, then why did Giles look so worried?
"Giles, what’s the prob? Other then 'someone’s' been keeping secrets from the rest of us." She shot a look at Xander.
"If I know my history, "The watcher began, "the race of wizards were supposed to have been wiped out almost five hundred years ago."
"Xander?" Buffy asked, if Giles was stumped then it was better to hear it from the horses mouth, "Why aren't you all wiped out centuries ago?"
"Now that, is a long story. And I only heard about it since yesterday."
"Sir? We've got the information you wanted."
Richard Wilkins grin was feral. And it only wavered slightly at the news oh just who and better yet, 'what' was responsible. Waving off the vampire, The Mayor pulled out the top drawer of his desk and pulled out a crystal ball.
"Now, if I was an upper level demon, where would I be?"
They all sat around Giles's couch, the watcher with a most intrigued look on his face. The girls on the other hand looked slightly sick.
"So, you and your father are apparently the only two wizards left in the whole world? Extraordinary." To see Giles gush like a dainty school girl is an intimidating thing.
"I'm still spazzing on the whole thing where SNYDER is your father." Buffy said with no small amount of disgust.
"Ditto." Willow called out, a little green.
"Ya, I'm still not sure what I feel about that. But he’s here now." Xander said shyly, and whatever ass Snyder had proven to be in the last two years, he was no way near the bastard that Tony Harris had been for the last 16.
"But if I'm going to learn to control these power, and if what Giles says is true I might actually pick up a few more in the HUNDREDS of years of life I'll have, I'm gonna need him to stick around for a while."
More stuff he'll need to deal with.
Last week, I wasn't sure if I'd live to see my next birthday and now? There’s a good chance I might live to see America hit its 300th birthday. It’s all about perspective.
"Wait, did you say 'powers'? As in plural? What else can you do?" Wow, Watcher man was like a giddy little school girl.
But that’s the problem, "Well we know for sure that I 'can't' teleport, but other then that I don't know what else I can do." Which was frightening and exciting.
"So you can kill vamps with the wave of the hand? That’s really gonna be a lot of help on patrol, half baked dead guys, that’s gonna be so cool." Buffy said with a emerging smile.
"Ya! And you and I can chant together, Oh! You can help me call the corners." Willow was really getting into it.
Working beside a actual wizard would boost her own knowledge ten fold. Spells, chants, together they could accomplish almost anything.
"Now, I gotta give him a call. I did sort of bail..."
He was interrupted by the sound of breaking glass, and the fireball that slammed against the living room wall. The wall was cindered but the fire didn't spread. "Everyone GET DOWN!"
Giles leaped onto of Willow to shield her from any stray flames, and Buffy ran towards the kitchen so that she could see out the near window.
Xander did the only thing that came to mind, and shot out with his own powers. But doubted they hit anyone. "Buffy stay with them, I'll check it out." The lone wizard called at even as he ran for the door.
"Xander NO! Wait for me, damn it!" She shrieked as her friend left.
"You said they were witches!" Morak growled into the phone. Holding the telephone in his left hand, the warlock glared at his rousted right hand.
Or more accurately the burnt stump that used to be his right hand. The pain was almost unbearable, but he wasn't some weakling demon, He was a warlock.
Born from one of the noblest witch killer families of their species.
"No Morak, can I call you Morak? No, I said there was 'one' witch. But she’s not your target, the wizard IS." The Mayor's voice could be easily heard from the other line.
"He blew off my fucking hand! I want five powers for this." Killing a wizard might give him great standing in the Underworld, but how long would be live with one hand?
"....are you calling me over a public pay phone?" The line clicked dead.
"Son of a.." Electricity burst through the thin glass walls of the phone booth, and he only had seconds to rise into the air and fly away from his attack.
The factory was abandoned, had been since Spike moved out.
But apparently one lone Warlock didn't get the memo. It wasn't hard from Xander to chase him down there. After all, the guy was flying around like a gimpy bird.
Xander would freak out about the fact that said Warlock 'could' fly some other time. He hadn't really gotten the full info from his old man, but if he could throw lightening and his dad could create illusions, why could the evil guy pull a superman?
Calmly, or what he hoped was calm, the lone Wizard walked into the factory and quickly scanned the area for his enemy.
He'd been expecting the Warlock to be hiding, or waiting in the wings to attack. What he hadn't been expecting was the demon to be waiting in the middle of the empty factory, seemingly waiting for him.
"My name is Morak." He said, like that would mean something to the lone Scooby.
"That’s swell for you, I'm Xander. Going to be kicking your ass in about five seconds." But something about this was ringing very wrong in his mind.
And it wasn't until the dozen vampires walked out from their hidden places all over the lot, for Xander to really know how very much this was going to suck.
The fight was one sided, of course. And if it were anyone else wielding the force of the very sky, it would have been Xander who was winning.
But you'd be wrong.
He was new to the craft, and his powers were by no means mastered. They reacted to his emotions, his fear or anger. The stronger the emotion, the stronger the force.
He was able to take down half the vampires before he was seriously hurt.
“Mother fuckers!" The dark haired young man shouted, one of Morak's powers apparently was the ability to throw acid. Which covered the young mans left arm and shoulder.
And down he went, the growling and snarling vampires rushed him at his weakest moment.
But timing was always Buffy's strong point. And the petite blond came in wielding a stake and a bad mood. Moments later the remaining vampires were either dust are running for their un-lives.
It was all Xander needed to get back up and begin his battle in earnest one more time. And though Buffy had been warned off from entering the battle by Giles, she was going to ignore it.
Because her friend was losing. It was so obvious that she was surprised her friend had lived this long. Despite his new power, Morak was better, stronger.
He'd been fighting for longer.
Slamming into him with her shoulder, the demon reacted on reflex not skill. He grabbed her by the back of her head and tossed her easily almost twenty feet.
As a Warlock, he was only as powerful as those he'd killed. As the powers he would have had to stolen. And a depressed Brute demon had been just one of his victims.
Now he had the strength of one hundred men. Far more then even a powerful slayer like Buffy.
It was only luck that the hit hadn't taken her head clear off her shoulders. But she wasn't seriously hurt, and with her own powers she'd heal fully in a day or two.
Staggering off the beating he'd been given, ignoring the burning pain on his left side were the acid was even now eating away at his flesh, Xander growled as stood.
"Bastard, where’s a train to drop on you when I need one."
And that’s how the battle was won. Because with a swirl of bright flashing light, not unlike his father’s teleportation, a train car appeared out of thin air and smashed into the lone demon.
"That’s just not fair." Morak sputtered before becoming a stain.
Giles and Willow found the pair both unconscious and badly hurt, they didn't give the train car a second thought. It was just one of those weird Hellmouth things.
"Buffy's injuries will be gone within a day, and her broken arm wont give her too much trouble. Advanced healing and all that." Giles said softly to 'his' children.
That’s what he thought of Buffy, Willow, and Xander. They were his kids.
And despite what Snyder had to say about a Wizard's healing, it hurt to see Xander in pain. They'd had to put up a cot in the Watcher's officer at the school.
Neither Giles nor Snyder were willing to send him home to the Harris’, but legally neither man could bring him home either. And as blind as the police of Sunnydale were, they wouldn't turn their backs on a teen boy going home to a male teacher’s home.
"He'll be fine in a few weeks. But the scars...." Snyder said with pain in his voice.
He'd been able to stop the acid from totally destroying his son's arm, but the scars were a different matter. They looked ugly, his skin was red and abused.
It was as if his flesh was melting candle wax. Xander's muscles hadn't been harmed, the acid hadn't gone that far yet but those scars would be with him a long time.
More then likely his whole life.
Something about all of this, a Warlock just appearing in Sunnydale, a group of vampires working for him.....It all seemed like a bad omen.
Like someone had set this up. Snyder hoped it hadn't been the Mayor. If it had gone that far that fast, it might not be safe for him to stay in Sunnydale anymore.
And who would watch over Xander then? The Watcher cared a great deal, it was easy to see from his worried eyes. But he didn't have the skin to teach a Wizard.
He didn't have the knowledge to keep him safe.
Snyder was starting to really regret coming here at all. Maybe it was time for him to go. Turning away from the librarian, and his son's friends he made his way into the hall and started walking to his own office.
He had some packing to do, needing to make everything seem closure. He'd be out of town before morning. "God help my son."
"Because I can't."