Changing Time - parts 1 and 2
rating: safe for most - if you could watch, you can read.
main characters: Kendra, Charles Xavier
disclaimers: Kendra was created by Joss, Charles Xavier (of course) belongs to Marvel Comics.
distribution: Twisting, Mental Wanderings, Mystifying Dreams, Luba if she wants it, anyone else should ask first.
notes: TtH FfA pairing # 1029. A sharp AU during Becoming, set in early X-years.
"Willow needs to try the ritual, and one of us needs to be here to guard her," Buffy's words were mainly directed to Mr. Giles, the Watcher.
Kendra frowned, still uncertain why her sister Slayer was trying to restore the soul of the demon terrorizing her friends. It would be so much simpler to just kill him and be done with it. When the fact that the vampire with the angelic face now had a demon that could endanger the world if he was awakened, there was no question - he had to be stopped. "If you think this ritual is so very important, then you should stay and protect her for the casting."
"What do you mean?" Buffy blinked, as if she hadn't expected any questions. Maybe she hadn't, Willow seemed caught between hope that she could do the spell and a dreadful, silent fear of the things that could happen if they didn't stop Angelus.
She tried to keep her explanation simple. "You are more familiar with this library and the foes that might attack. Angelus is more familiar with how you fight. If I go, he will not know what to expect, and I might be better able to fight him."
"But Angel is my boyfriend," Buffy argued.
"If the spell fails, if she is attacked, could you strike him down? Could you look past the familiar face and do your duty to protect the world?" Kendra's questions were harsh, but the stakes were terrifying. If they failed, the world would be lost.
"I..." Buffy faltered. "I don't know."
"Then stay here, protect your friend. I will go and fight the demon. His face will not prevent me from fighting," Kendra argued. "If her spell does not work, we must still prevent Acathla from awakening."
Buffy considered, her eyes filled with worry. "I guess she's right."
Kendra nodded, resisting the urge to smile. Just because Buffy had agreed that she was a better choice to fight the vampire didn’t solve all their problems. Angelus still had a demon that could suck the world into what was listed as a place of great torment. Someone still needed to fight him and any of his minions, for the world’s future.
She picked up a nice axe, deciding the Mr. Pointy probably wouldn’t be quite enough against all of the minions. “Wish me luck.”
The mansion looked ominous, dark with broken windows and a yard overgrown with tall grass and weeds. She could feel the vampires, though there were only a few. Kendra felt guilty at her relief that they were probably out hunting. For a moment, she cherished the idea of kicking in the door and going in with a yell, but perhaps stealth might be more useful.
There was a battered dark car sitting in the driveway, and as she moved closer to the house, the door was kicked out. A blond vampire moved out, carrying a woman in a flowing dress. He snarled at her for a moment, and then stepped towards the car. She remembered seeing him at the old church, which meant that the woman was probably the vampire that had kidnapped Angel before he had become evil once again.
“You again,” the blond vampire growled. “Much as the challenge of a good fight gives me a warm feeling, this once, I’ll take a rain check. You go keep the bloody idiot from ending the world, and I’ll fight you some other time.”
“Why should I trust you?” Kendra held the axe ready, dreading the moment when the bond vampire would bellow out something to alert the whole house to her presence. “You are a vampire, a demon.”
“I went through this once with the other one. Fine, it’s like this – I like this world. There’s Manchester United, rock’n’roll, whiskey, and lots of people, running around like happy meals on legs. I don’t like you, I don’t like Slayers, but I don’t want to be sucked into hell.” He shifted his grip on the female vampire, and nodded towards the door. “You go stop him, and the world keeps going.”
As much as she disliked agreeing with anything a vampire said, he had a few points. Moving towards the door, she muttered, “I do not like him, and he should be killed. After I make sure the world will still be here.”
The sound of a car roaring away from the house gave Kendra the feeling that the blond vampire was smarter than most would give him credit for. He’d left, taking his lover with him. She just wished it didn’t feel so much like a rat deserting the sinking ship.
There were two minions, both easy to dispatch. Angelus was in a large room, an old sword in his hand as he looked at a large, ugly statue. Blinking, Kendra realized that the ugly statue was the demon Acathla, and the sword had been driven deep into the demon’s heart.
Angelus had removed the sword. Damn.
She had to defeat Angelus before the world was doomed. The only good news was that the portal had not yet opened. With luck, she would be able to figure out how to close it before it was too late. Something about the blood of the worthy…
He didn’t turn around. “I can feel you. It’s too late to stop me, lover.”
“I think you have me confused with someone else,” Kendra observed, slashing at him with the axe.
“What?” He spun around, blocking with the sword. “You… I don’t think you’re up to stopping me, Slayer.”
They fought, her axe and Slayer reflexes against his sword and vampire strength. If the stakes were not so high, she would have found the challenge he presented enjoyable. Angelus was a skilled opponent, and a part of her enjoyed the dance of fighting.
“I will not let you do this. I will not let the world perish while I can try to save it,” Kendra insisted.
“What makes you think you can stop me?” His voice was a challenge. “You have no friends, no allies, nobody to watch your back. You aren’t good enough to take me down, destined calling or not.”
Kendra’s eyes narrowed, and she kicked at him, hoping the distraction would give her an opening. Something about his words… He thought that she wasn’t good enough. Of course she was good enough; she was the Slayer. If the Powers hadn’t found her worthy, she wouldn’t have been Chosen. Worthy…
Kendra could feel the beginning of a plan forming. It was dangerous, filled with foolish risks and a desperate hope. It was crazy. Unfortunately, it was the best plan that she could think of. Subtly, she started to maneuver so that her back was to the statue of Acathla, despite the way it made her spine feel covered with ice water. She would only get one chance, and she had to be able to take advantage of it.
It was too bad about Buffy’s hopes for a restoration of Angel’s soul. The world’s safety had to come first.
Purposefully, she overextended one of her blows, leaving her defenses open. Silently, Kendra prayed that she was right, that she was worthy. With a gleeful smirk, Angelus stabbed at her stomach, his features shifting to the ridges and fangs of a vampire.
“No need to rush, Slayer,” Angelus taunted.
Kendra reached out, grabbing his wrist and pulling him closer, forcing the sword deeper into her stomach. The pain was sharp, radiating like waves, spreading to fill her body, and pulsing. “I want to get this over with.”
He didn’t see her other hand moving until the axe was almost at his neck. All he could do was turn sideways as his head was severed, blood spraying over Kendra, the sword, and the demon Acathla.
Kendra felt herself falling backwards, and she could see a ring of light surrounding her, walls of fire around a shrinking view of the room, a puff of dust in the air. Then, everything went dark.
end part 1.
She woke up laying in a soft bed, in an unfamiliar pale room. Kendra pondered that for a while, not having expected to wake up at all. But she was definitely awake, feeling drowsy, warm, confused, and a bit thirsty. Slowly, her hand reached out, touching her tender stomach. There were bandages, and her careful touch sent out a throbbing pain.
Kendra closed her eyes and fought the nausea down. Her breathing was faster and a bit uneven, and she could feel her heartbeat pounding in her throat. She was alive, injured, and had no idea where she was. On the bright side, the world hadn’t been sucked into a realm of torment, and she hadn’t been turned into a vampire.
Creaking, a door opened. Kendra looked over, seeing a bald man standing there. He was well dressed, though there was something slightly off about his clothing, and he was looking at her with concern. She’d never seen him before in her life.
“I’m glad to see you awake, Miss. I was wondering if you could tell me who you are?” The man had a pleasant voice, and the way that he shaped his words made it clear that he wasn’t English, Jamaican, or someone from the Californian area where Buffy had been, where she had been the last she knew.
“I am Kendra,” she paused, uncertain how much to reveal to the strange man. “Where am I, and how did I get here?”
“You’re in my home, in Westchester, New York. You… don’t remember?” One eyebrow arched, and he walked closer, settling on the edge of the bed. “How does your stomach feel?”
Looking at him, Kendra decided that despite his lack of hair, he couldn’t have been more than ten years older than she was, possibly not even that much. “I can still feel the pain, but it is duller now. More like a fist. What I remember is a bit confused, and I don’t remember you, or how I got here. There was an empty house, and a fight…”
“I was walking back from getting the mail and there was a fiery ring in the air, it got larger, you fell out with a bleeding stomach wound, and the portal closed. You were already unconscious, so I attempted to tend your wound and brought you inside.” He paused, and looked at her. “You didn’t have any identification with you.”
Kendra considered what he’d said, and looked around the room. There were several things that seemed a bit off, though she couldn’t have explained why. Part of her wanted to explain it away as simply the different location, combined with her lack of familiarity with large houses.
Her gaze fell on the calendar, with the prominent date. June, 1955.
“You said dere was a portal?” Kendra glanced at the man, seeing that he was watching her intently, as if he could see the thoughts in her mind. “Is de calendar… It is really 1955?”
“Yes, it really is.” For a moment, he was silent, and then he looked almost embarrassed. “And my name is Charles Xavier.”
Kendra was silent, thinking about what the date meant. She’d been flung back in time over forty years. Nobody that she knew would be in a position to be of any help, those who had been born would only be children. She hadn’t even been born yet. Then, she frowned as something else occurred to her. “You seem very calm about de portal.”
“I’d assumed that it was yours,” Charles offered, and then frowned. “If you didn’t make it, what did?”
“No, it was not my creation,” Kendra insisted. If the portal had sent her here, where was the fiery torment and unending misery? Had it simply sent her into an alternate dimension? Or simply into the past of the same world? “I am not a witch to be able to make such a t’ing.”
“I thought you might be a mutant.”
Kendra blinked at the words. They had been so soft that she wasn’t certain she’d actually heard them. “A mutant? I’m not familiar with the term.”
“There are a few people that are born a little bit different from the rest of the human race. These people are capable of doing things that others can’t, special things. There aren’t many of us out there, not that I know of, at least. I’m a mutant,” Charles admitted. “I’ve met another who could manipulate metals with his thoughts, and a telepath that sold information in a Middle Eastern market. I thought maybe you could make portals.”
Kendra reached out, steadying herself with the bedpost as she slowly sat up. It made the pain intensify, but it helped clear her thoughts a little bit. “How are these mutants chosen? What determines their abilities?”
“It’s just a twist of fate, chance. Mutants are just people, who can do something that everyone else can’t. Some are bad, and some are good, or at least, I try.” He hesitated, as if unsure of something. “You shouldn’t be sitting up, you’re still wounded.”
“I heal fast,” Kendra offered. “I think better sitting or standing than laying down.”
“I wouldn’t recommend standing up yet,” Charles commented, one hand raising as if to try to stop her.
“No, not today,” Kendra agreed, contemplating the feeling of the wound. “Maybe tomorrow.”
“That’s too soon! Nobody heals that fast,” he objected.
“I said standing, not fighting,” Kendra smiled, thinking of all the years of practices in all sorts of weather, with an assortment of bruises and scrapes. Granted, this wound was a bit more severe, but she’d taken a few other nasty wounds as a Slayer.
“Slayer?” he whispered, blue eyes meeting hers with an expression of shock. “What have you been doing?”
There was an odd sensation, and the closest thing she could compare it to was someone touching her shoulder and ruffling her hair. Images flickered, of her time training with Mr. Zabuto, slaying vampires, fighting demons. She fought a wave of dizziness, and closed her eyes.
“Where did you come from?” Charles gasped, staring at her.
Buffy would have been proud of the way that she looked up at him, calmly answering, “Jamaica.”
End part 2.