ARCAM: The Recruit
Some people own Buffy and Spriggan. None of which are me.
A Buffy / Spriggan crossover.
During the summer Buffy left town Xander is offered a new job.
I have only seen the Spriggan movie and this fic is based on the information from that, not the manga. I'm taking some creative licence.
"Man, I hurt all over." Xander whined as he got out of Oz's van. "I could sleep for a week!"
"Well that's what happens when you patrol without a slayer. We wouldn't have to be doing this is Buffy hadn't been selfish and just took off." Cordeilia said.
Xander just gave her a disapproving look. "She just needs some time to herself. Can't be easy sending your boyfriend to hell. I mean, could you send me?"
"All right I'll cut her some slack. But Willow gets to be the bait tomorrow night." Cordelia pouted.
He grinned as he looked her over. "But you look so cute in those outfits."
"Well, duh, of course I do." The two leaned in for a quick kiss. A kiss that grew more and more heated as the moments went on.
In the van Willow look from the scene, to Oz, then to the couple again. Her face grew as red as her hair as hands began to grope interesting places. "You guys know you aren't in the utility closet right?"
The two broke their kiss only to join in a glare at Willow. "Are we dropping you off at your place Cordelia or are you becoming a permanent attactment to Xander?"
"Alright, alright! I'm coming! Geez!" With one last quick kiss (really this time) Cordy got in the van.
Xander waved as they pulled away. He watched the van pull around the corner before he ran for the house. Racing to his room, Xander stripped off his clothes and pulled a box from under his bed.
Pulling on the black jeans and t-shirt he grabbed two weird looking contraptions and strapped one to either wrist. Tossing on the final item in the box, a black trench, he examined himself in the mirror. Xander cringed as he noticed his resemblance to a certain souled vampire. But black meant good when you were trying to stick to the shadows.
Grabbing the necessities (stakes, holy water, cross) Xander quietly left the house. With one final check along the street to make sure the others really were gone, he took off towards the nearest graveyard.
Cassy was pissed as she walked home. She was having a great time at Harmony's party. That was until some jerk tried to get a little too fresh with her. He had his front teeth knocked out for his trouble. Jerk.
She left after that and was now taking a shortcut home through one of the cemeteries. Why does this town have so many anyways? Cassy didn't get to think too much on it when she heard a voice behind her.
"Well, well. Look what we have here. Delivery! Delicious!"
As Cassy turned around she saw a group of four large men leering at her. Not one to be easily intimidated the attractive redhead used the reply that worked for her in school. "Beat it losers!"
Before she could blink the lead jerk lunged forward and grabbed her wrist with an iron grip. His face changed before her eyes. The man's forehead became ridged, his eyes turned yellow and he grew fangs. As he spoke his voice chilled her to the bone. "Now you've hurt my feelings."
Cassy didn't even have the chance to scream before the creature before was suddenly knocked down with a flying tackle. She caught a good look at the dark haired man as he spared her a brief glance. "Run!" He ordered.
She was only too happy to comply. As she ran towards the safety of her home Cassy wondered about her saviour. She knew him from school. Cordelia's boyfriend. She knew she was nothing but a bitch to him so she wondered why someone like him would save someone like her.
Xander had been searching the graveyards for over an hour looking for his prey. He had taken to the habit of patrolling by himself after the gangs group patrols. They would probably freak if they knew that though.
He was about to give up and call it a night when he saw an attractive redhead walking through the graveyard. She was one of the cheerleaders Cordelia hung out with. Carry, Catty, something like that.
Xander decided to follow her from a distance before calling it a night, just to make sure she got home ok. People should know better than to walk through the graveyards at this time of night. He didn't stop to think that HE was walking through a graveyard at this time of night.
Following her turned out to be the right call as he saw the four guys approach from behind her. Obviously vampires. When will these guys get new lines?! He heard her talk back and cringed. He was going to have to act fast.
As the lead vamp grabbed her Xander lunged into action, tackling it to the ground as he screamed at the girl to run. The other three went to chase after her. Punching the lead back to the ground, Xander raised his hands in the direction of the vamps. Flicking his wrist two stakes flew out from his sleeves and impaled two of the vamps, dusting them on the spot. The third stopped dead in shock.
Xander could only grin. He loved his wrist launchers. The weird looks he got in shop class were a small price to pay. Beside, he got an A on them. Unfortunately they only held one stake each.
Quickly pulling another stake from his pocket Xander dusted the lead vamp underneath him while he still had leverage. Now it was only him and number four. Predictably, he charged at Xander.
Sidestepping the charge Xander lashed out with a powerful kick that shatter his stronger opponent's knee. He dropped like a stone. Xander could only shake his head as he walked over and easily dusted the fallen vampire.
"Four vamps on my own. Oh Yah!" Xander said excitedly as he began to do his happy dance. "I'm bad, I'm bad, I'm..."
He was cut off as rag covered his face. As he inhaled the chloroform a muffled comment could be heard. It sounded almost like "Ah Crap!"
Xander woke with a killer headache. As he looked around with blurry eyes he tried to remember what happened. He saved someone from four vamps and dusted them all. So yah him! Then what? His head shot up as memory returned to him. Shaking the grogginess, he looked around with clearer vision.
He was in a large office with a window covering the entire back wall. The chair he was in was quite comfortable and he wasn't tied down so that was a bonus. As his eyes wandered to the large glass-topped desk they set on the man behind it.
"Nice of you to join us Mister Harris." The man said. He was an imposing figure whose dark suit did nothing to hide the powerful build behind it.
"My friends call me Xander." He replied, impressing the figure with only a slight waver in his voice.
The man smiled. "Xander it is."
"I never said you were my friend."
The man only smiled more. "There is no need for alarm. You're quite safe here."
Xander rolled his eyes. "Yah, 'cause I could have sworn I was kidnapped and brought here. Wherever here is."
"What?" Xander asked in confused. He hadn't actually expected an answer. Jokes and sarcastic comments were just his defence mechanism.
"That's where you are." The man said patiently. "We kept you sedated until you got here."
"Why me? I'm nobody important." Xander answer with what he honestly believed.
"Consider this your first test."
"Test? Is it multiple choice, because I was never good at those?"
"You're doing well with this one so far." The man said as he stood up. As he began to make his way around the desk Xander noticed that he grabbed a cane and was favouring his left leg. Once in front of him the man extended his hand. "My name is Cole Carter by the way. I run the American branch of ARCAM."
Xander took the offered hand. Despite Cole's intimidating appearance he had a way about him that put Xander at ease somewhat. As they shook hands confusion was clearly written over his face. "ARCAM?"
Cole leaned against his desk in front of Xander. "Can I tell you a story?"
Recognizing the tone Xander's eyes widened in fear. "My god! This isn't going to start with 'the world is older than you know' is it!"
That got a laugh as Cole shook his head. "No. It goes like this. In the early '80s some archaeologists made some very interesting discoveries while on a dig in Egypt. They found several small relics made of a material that defied analysis. One of the relics was a rectangular plate with strange symbols on it.
"After years of research it was discovered what was written on it. A warning. This civilization had apparently been destroyed by its own technology. Their final words were 'protect our legacy from evil forces'.
"The race has been on ever since to find and control the civilizations powerful lost relics. That's why ARCAM was formed. To find them first and keep them out of the wrong hands. And to destroy them if necessary."
For Xander's part he managed to remain fairly neutral for the whole thing. "Nice story."
"Thought you would like it."
"What's all this got to do with me?"
"I'm getting to that." Cole said calmly. "You see, we also have a division that deals with the supernatural. There is even a team stationed in Sunnydale. There were demons there before the Slayer arrived you know."
That got Xander's undivided attention. "Why haven't we heard of you before?"
Cole actually looked like he was embarrassed for the briefest of moments. "Well... shortly before the Slayer arrived the team was turned. They kept sending in reports saying that everything was fine."
Xander could only stare dumbfounded as Cole continued. "It was only a year ago that we discovered this and dealt with the situation. After that we didn't have any field teams to assign there. Until recently anyways.
"We did have a surveillance team available however. That is where you come in. We've been watching you and your friends for awhile now." Cole could feel Xander's anger begin to rise at that last statement and held a hand up.
"Just here me out until I'm finished. If you don't like it you can leave and tell your friends whatever you wish. Deal?"
"Fine." Xander agreed begrudgingly. He wasn't exactly in a position to say no.
"Good. As I was saying, we were watching and your little group impressed us. Especially you. Always willing to do whatever you thought necessary to keep others safe. Very admirable, if sometimes stupid.
"It wasn't until you started patrolling alone in the last month that you really shone through. Your wrist devices show an impressive level of ingenuity. Not to mention that you generally go after fights you can win. One, two vamps tops. I was impressed to here about last nights four though."
"I was lucky really. I've missed enough times with the wrist launchers that I'm starting to get the hang of it. That was the first time I hit two home at the same time. Practice makes perfect I guess." Xander admitted, not used to complements. Especially on fighting.
"Nonsense. You used surprise to your advantage like anyone here would have and used your opponent's stupidity in charging you against him. You did good. A little rough around the edges, but good.
"What I'm getting at is that ARCAM could use someone like you."
"What!?" Came from a truly shocked Xander.
Cole just looked at him smiling. "I'm offering you a job. We'll train you to do the very thing you do now, help people and save the world. You will just have a better chance of surviving it. Not to mention, get paid for doing it. The medical plans great too."
"You're kidding me right?"
"Nope. And you'll be stationed in Sunnydale, so you don't have to worry about missing those apocalypses."
Xander stared off into space for several minutes and Cole was beginning to think he went catatonic. Suddenly he broke out into a lopsided grin. "Where do I sign up?"
Cordelia was pacing the room lividly. Just a mask for her worry. Willow didn't bother trying to cover hers up. Giles just sat thoughtfully in his favourite chair cleaning his glass. Oz... well was looking like Oz usually did.
They had all gathered at Giles' place after searching Sunnydale for any sign of Xander. He and Cordelia had plans to spend the day together and he didn't show. Of course she planned to give him a piece of her mind for it.
It did not worry her when he wasn't home and his parents did not know where he was. That was no surprise really. Naturally Willow was the next place to turn. One by one the whole gang got involved in the search, getting more and more worried as the day went on.
Even Joyce got involved. Xander had taken to visiting her with Buffy gone, so it seemed like as good a place as any to try. She went straight to the hospital to check if anyone of Xander's description had been admitted. After having spent most of the day looking they came up with nothing.
It wasn't until Cordelia ran into one of her friends, Cassy, who told her to thank her boyfriend. He had saved her from some weird looking guys the night before. The gang knew the description she gave, vampires. They retired to Giles after that. Joyce included, who was just coming out of the kitchen with some drinks.
Willow was the first to break the silence that had formed. "He's alright... he has to be."
Cordelia gave her usual look of confidence mixed with arrogance. It didn't reach her eyes. "Well of course he is! And when he gets back I'm going to rip him a new one for standing me up!"
"We may have to accept the possibility that he's dead. Or worse" Giles said with a heavy sigh. Everyone stared at him in shock and disbelief.
"He went up against four vampires. Large ones from the girl's description." He continued. "Do you really think he could win a fight like that alone?"
Cordelia turned to him with rage on her face and a target to put it on. "He. Is. Alive! And don't you dare say different!"
"I'm just being the voice of reason here. It's not like I'm saying we should give up hope. I, for one, will not until I see his body. Dead or undead. I'm just saying that we should be prepared to face the possibility that he is gone."
Giles looked around the room. Cordelia had finally sat down as her anger died and was barely containing her tears. Willow was crying softly on Oz's shoulder. Joyce looked worn. Having a daughter missing and a boy she had come to care for disappear was almost too much for her. Even Oz's face had begun to show his pain. Perhaps he shouldn't have said anything quite yet.
With a sigh Giles stood up. "We should all get some rest and continue in the morning. We'll do nobody any good if we're too exhausted to..." He was interrupted by a knock at the door.
As he approached the door Giles wondered who could possible be stopping by at this hour. Everyone he knew who would, with two notable exceptions, was already there. Opening the door and gasped at what he say.
"Xander!" Came the joint exclamation from Willow and Cordelia.
Stopping the girls' rush by raising his hand, Giles looked at Xander as he stood on the other side of the threshold. Stepping out of the way, he motioned with his hands for Xander to walk.
Xander just looked confused as he walked in. "What's going.. OMPH!"
Before he got more than two steps through the doorway he was intercepted by a blur of red and brown. After a long moment Willow and Cordelia let him out of their hug. He sucked in air in relief that didn't last as Cordelia grabbed him by the collar.
"You have a lot of explaining to do!"
Xander was tired. He'd just spent the better part of the day getting a tour of ARCAM's New York facility. As soon as he left there he found himself of a plane back to California, so jetlag was also a factor. On the plus side it was a private jet and he had to admit that that had been cool.
He'd made the decision earlier to join up with them. Xander just didn't know what to tell the others. The truth? No. They would probably try to stop him and this was something he had to do. He could feel it.
It was late but Xander needed to tell them something tonight. He was planning on leaving tomorrow. Giles' place was the closest so it was as good of a place as any to start. As he made his way there Xander thought of what he could tell him without raising too many questions.
Before he realized it, he was in front of Giles' door. No closer to a solution either. Xander knocked loudly, not concerned about waking him. He was about to knock again when the door finally opened to reveal a shocked Giles. He thought.
He heard his name come from further inside and was confused when he saw Giles stop Willow and Cordelia's advances with a gesture. His confusion only mounted when Giles eyed him warily and stepped aside. It was almost like he expected Xander to not be able to cross the threshold.
Shrugging it off Xander entered the apartment and noticed something else that was weird. Everyone was gathered there. Naturally he immediately thought apocalypse. This would save him some trips though. He can tell them... something all at once.
Before he could even finish a sentence Willow and Cordelia engulfed him in a fierce hug. Now he was starting to get worried. Those two don't exactly get on well. Relief replace worry for the briefest of moments when they let him go with air becoming an issue and all.
Xander's worry turned to all out terror as his girlfriend suddenly grabbed him by the collar. She spoke with the most furious expression that he had ever seen. "You have a lot of explaining to do!"
"Uh... huh?" Admittedly not the brightest of responses but the guy was pretty confused at the moment.
"Where have you been all day?! I... we've been worried sick!"
"I just needed some time to myself." He said in his panic.
Acting quickly, before Cordelia could go off on a rant, he covered her mouth with his hand and gently removed himself from her grip. Briefly thinking that he'd rather face an apocalypse than a piss of Cordelia. Coming up with a plan to get out of this and work in his leaving at the same time Xander began to speak.
"I was having a bad day that's all. Will would remember that my parents used to ship me away every summer, right?"
He hated playing the parent card, but they all knew about his home life. Or at least suspected. It was the best way he could think of to avoid many questions. It was a subject that made people a lot of people too uncomfortable to talk about in great detail.
At Willow's affirmative nod he continued. "Well they decided to start doing it again! They're sending me to my Uncle Terry's place in Nevada. I leave tomorrow morning."
It wasn't a complete lie. He was going to Nevada, just not to his uncle's. There was an ARCAM training facility in the desert. That's where he was going.
"Nevada! But... but... what about me!" Cordelia exclaimed.
Xander took her hand. "It's not like I'm not coming back. It's just for a couple months. I'll be back by the time school starts. Besides." He gave her a lopsided grin and a squeeze of the hand. "I'll call you so much that you won't have a chance to miss me!"
The questions continued for a little while longer. Nothing as in depth as they may have gotten into normally. After a day of worrying they were just glad that he was all right. There was a common thought around the room however. At least he'll stay out of trouble. For the summer anyways.
Xander easily dodge the clumsy blow the drunk through at him. It was almost pathetic how easy it was.
"You're not going anywhere boy!" The man slurred. "You're a loser! Always have been. Always will be!"
This had been going on for almost fifteen minutes now. The physical and mental blows. Neither usually hurt much anymore from this man, but today something finally snapped. And for the first time Xander Harris hit back. With one solid blow the man was knocked to the ground.
"That's where you're wrong 'dad'!" Xander said as he looked at the man in disgust. "I'm through with all of this! With you! I'll be damned if I'm going to let you drag me down just for being you son! I am leaving! And I will make something of myself!"
Picking up his duffel Xander shot a look towards his mother, who hadn't even looked up from her soaps during the whole ordeal. Giving his father one last glare he turned for the door.
"Walk through that door and don't bother coming back you little shit!" His father yelled as he picked himself off the floor.
It didn't even slow Xander down. "So not a problem."
Outside there was a black Blazer waiting for him. Tossing his bag in the back of the SUV he joined Cole in the front. Without a word he started it up and headed for the airport.
An uncomfortable silence reigned for a few minutes before Cole finally broke it. "You keep surprising me you know?"
He gave Xander a friendly smile as he went on. "First you joined up with ARCAM so easily. Which I had a ton of other stuff prepared to convince you with by the way. Then you stand up to your old man."
Cole's face suddenly got serious. "You've no idea how often the surveillance team wanted clearance to beat the shit that guy!"
"The thing with my father was a long time coming." Xander said soberly after a moment. Then his face suddenly broke out into a grin.
"The joining ARCAM thing wasn't as quick as you think either. I figured the best way to get out was to go along with it for awhile. As soon as I got out the door I planned on bolting."
Cole feigned shock, though he had expected something like this. "Really? Then what changed your mind?"
"The more I learned about you guys the more it just seemed right you know? I always knew I wanted to help people in one way or another. This seems like a good way to do that."
Another silence filled the car. This one not as uncomfortable. It was again broken by Cole as they neared the airport.
"Before I forget, there's something else you need to know."
Xander looked up, a bit of suspicion in his eyes. "What is it?"
"We're pulling some strings and getting you legally emancipated from your parents."
"What?" Came the surprised response.
Cole just looked at him with a grin. "I know you turn eighteen this year, but this makes things easier. Besides, we can't have you going back there after training."
Nothing more was said the rest of the way but Xander had a smile on his lips the whole time.