Summary: When your world has just has the rug yanked from under your
feet, what do you do?
Crossover: Berserk, Flame of Recca, Naruto and Neon Genesis Evangelion.
Disclaimer: I don't own what other people do.
Feedback: (I don't write *this* part -- you do! Think of it as the
audience participation aspect.)
Co-author: Chandra Bridges
Feel free to speculate on what's gonna happen... conclusions will be
neither confirmed nor denied.
"This narrow-minded S.O.B.
Has not a wound to mend
And all I can do is pray to God
He’ll get one in the end"
- Crash Test Dummies -- "Thick-Necked Man"
Willow waved to Xander. "Hiiii!"
"Hey, Wills," Xander grinned at her, apparently completely recovered
from the events of the last night. "What's up?"
"Nothing much," she said. "Buffy and I wanna talk to Giles this morning
about last night, you want to come with us?"
Xander flinched imperceptibly. "I... think I'll pass, thanks all the
"Are you sure?," Willow asked. "Because Giles might know something about
this whole thing, and what side-effects we might have, and--"
"Sorry, Willow," Xander apologised. "I guess it is a good idea."
Hey, maybe the old Englishman would know something about getting rid of
those pesky traces of peanu--er, possession.
"Have you done your homework, yet?," Willow asked. Some things never
"Would you believe me if I said yes?," Xander asked.
Xander, for a change, was concentrating hard on his lessons that
morning. Solving equations for x meant that his mind had to work on
that, and that alone, leaving no room for extraneous thoughts. For once,
the fact that he had to work hard to understand mathematics worked in
his favour, although nothing dulled the constant ache from the 'Brand of
the Sacrifice' on the back of his neck. He'd put a band-aid over it this
morning to hide it, and to also soak up the blood seeping out. From what
little he wanted to remember of Guts' memories the Brand would never
His only problem was when the class ended, and the blessedly dulled
sensation found in concentrating on numbers faded.
"Xander?," Willow asked. Her wide eyed, naive innocence seemed sullied,
now, with a more worldly outlook in the way she held herself. "We're
kinda going to see Giles, now."
"Can't we just repress and forget all about last night?," Xander asked
Hey, it worked for him.
"What if it happens again?," Buffy pointed out.
Xander sighed heavily. The only problem with repression. He'd done it
for the hyena possession, and a year later boom, possession again.
"I hate being the world's buttmonkey."
Billy Fordham looked up as he spotted Buffy. Better to talk to her now,
find out what she knew.
"Bu--," he began. She obviously didn't hear as she walked through the
Library doors with her friends, a redheaded girl and a brunette boy. He
jogged up to the doors, then paused as he overheard some of the
conversation while standing right in front of the still faintly swinging
"Me, I was a kunoichi, or female ninja, and Buffy was too," he heard the
Buffy? She knew Japanese? She barely knew 'konnichi wa' at Hemery High.
He knelt at the door, one ear pressed to the gap between doors.
"Hey, G-man," Xander called out.
"Don't call me that," Giles said as he looked up from one of his more
obscure books. "What can I do for you?"
"We kinda had a heap big party last night, and the girls think you
oughta know," Xander shrugged. His eyes rested on the book cage for a
moment before moving on quickly.
"What exactly occurred?," Giles asked, setting down the book.
"There was this new shop, right? Ethan's Costume Shop," Buffy began. "We
all shopped there, since Herr Snyder dictated both our costumes and our
costume sources to us."
"Me, I was a kunoichi, or female ninja, and Buffy was too," Willow said
nervously, remembering her dress. "And Xander was this mercenary."
"And, right at the end of taking around the sugar hyped runts and
offloading them onto their unfortunate parents, we all became our
costumes," Xander said. "What fun! Ain't life grand?"
"I see," Giles said. "I take it the spell ended, then? Given that you,
you, you are currently... well, yourselves? How, exactly, did you end
"Buffy and I -- or, rather, the kunoichi
possessing us -- could trace
back the spell, and... um, talked nicely to Ethan until he told us how
to break it," Willow said. "There was this really, really creepy bust
that we had to break to break the spell -- it had a male face, and a
female face on the back of the head."
A still fading shred of personality mirrored Buffy's satisfaction for a
"Oh, dear," Giles said. "Did you manage to... subdue and acquire the
man, Ethan? Who was he?"
Giles paused a moment. "Erm, kindly forget the subdue part of that."
"Sorry," Willow said, "but he kind ran away really fast while we were
recovering from the whole not-being-in-control-of-our-own-bodies thing."
"Unavoidable," Giles said, clearly disappointed.
Xander rubbed the back of his neck, where his neon green shirt's collar
hid the Brand. During math class it was just an ache, annoying but
nothing like this. As soon as he stepped into the library it felt like
part of his neck was trying to crawl off and head south for the winter.
"So, what's the what with the bookwork?," Buffy asked. "Another bad
"Erm, no," Giles said, picking up the book and walking over to place it
back on the shelf. "I'm afraid that a most peculiar individual was
attracted here and I was busy last night. I, I was merely... looking up
some information for him."
Xander's eyes were shuttered for a moment.
"What was it?," Willow asked. "Because I'm totally Information Girl if I
need to be!"
"I sincerely doubt you'd know anything about the man's topic of
interest," Giles said. "He wanted to know more about the four Godhand."
"Which means...," Buffy trailed off.
"Er, yes, well, they are four beings with, with immense power and not
particularly friendly to humanity in general," Giles said, taking off
his glasses and cleaning them. "One of their more endearing
characteristics is their tendency to ascend their human followers to
Apostles, by the supplicant sacrificing their ties to humanity.
Typically, by sacrificing their human associates -- loved ones,
colleagues and so on."
"Nice people," Buffy said.
"In that not nice at all way," Willow added, not wanting Giles to get
the wrong impression.
"Continuing on," Giles continued. "Once a follower has ascended they
will be granted the ability to change between a human form and a demonic
form at the cost of their remaining humanity and any chance of
redemption. There are no common themes for the appearance of the demonic
form, other than that it is nothing that can ever be mistaken as
natural. The abilities of the demonic form vary from Apostle to Apostle,
but they will all have either the ability for rapid regeneration or the
capability to withstand attacks that should be fatal under any other
"Joy the new and improved demon model, even harder to kill," Buffy
"Yes, well," Giles continued. "The general path of progression for their
minions is from a follower, to lesser apostle, to true apostle. There
are references to a different ascension but any details regarding this
possibility are unfortunately either vague or incomplete. One fortune
thing is that all followers or Apostles can be readily identified by an
object that they must have in their possession; it resembles an egg with
misshapen faces, called 'Behelit'. The exact nature of the 'Behelit' is
unknown but based on what I have found in my texts a 'Behelit' must be
present in order for a follower to ascend to an Apostle."
"So, slicey slicey dicey dicey," Buffy summed up, striking all the
important notes. "What about the four big bads?"
Xander's eyes were shuttered. Buffy was good. Buffy was damn good. But
he didn't think she'd have a hope in hell of beating the snake warlord,
let alone something like the slug count. And they weren't even True
Apostles. Not with her normal style, geared towards vampires and
"Yes, well," Giles continued. "One of their number, Slan, resembles what
we would term a succubus, another, Void, is a nightmarish version of the
Grim Reaper, and the remaining two can not be properly quantified...
floating things tends to be the most common description of them. Their
names are Conrad and Ubrik. Thankfully their number is currently
incomplete, if they number was complete I shudder to think of what they
could do. Buffy, I must advise you that there is a very real possibility
that should the Godhand ever be summoned by a supplicant atop the
Hellmouth they could gain continued access to our dimension."
"Just the kinda people you want running the whole shebang," Xander
"They themselves are servants of another power, one that my books have
no information on," Giles said, frowning at his inability to find an
Strange that it wasn't mentioned that the Godhand is led by the original
Godhand -- Void, Xander remembered. And Giles' information was out of
date -- they are complete. The fifth Godhand is Femto, who was once
known as Griffith, Guts' former friend who betrayed everyone who trusted
him. Xander felt vaguely sick, now.
"In the interests of maintaining my solid C Minus average across all
my subjects," Xander said, "I believe I've got a date with a box o'
"You didn't lose your goodies from last night?!," Buffy asked,
"Buffy, he is
Xander," Willow pointed out with a smile.
"I went back and got me and my kids' haulage this morning," Xander said,
relieved at the change of subject. "I'll hang onto the kids' for a week,
and if they don't turn up I'll have 'em."
"You sure are being patient," Willow said suspiciously.
"Would you believe it's my good deed for the day?," Xander asked.
"Nope. Talk, mister."
"I'll talk, I'll talk. All the old ladies thought I was a sweetie for
helping the little angels and gave me heaps o' sugary goodness," Xander
Everyone else rolled their eyes.
"Very well, Xander," Giles said. "Go on. I'll let you k-know if anything
Billy pulled back from the library door, breaking into a run.
What the hell had happened with Buffy?
One thing stuck in his mind, though -- he could possibly save himself
with one of those Behelit things.
"And all is good with the world for once," Xander said, moseying on out
"If the Godhand could gain continued access to an alternate dimension,"
he heard Giles beginning as he walked off. For a moment, he wanted to
hang back and hear whether Guts really existed. But only for a moment.
As he walked down the corridor, he pulled out a peppermint and looked at
it. For some reason, the mere sight of rarely-had confectionary didn't
make him smile like it usually did.
"Harris," Larry called out. "We still have to finish our talk from
yesterday. Without your bodyguard around."
"You sure you wanna do this, Lar? I can pretty much say you're not like
how this is gonna end."
Xander started to walk past Larry heading for his locker, when Larry
grabbed his shirt sleeve as he passes by.
"Where to you think your going? Why I'm going..."
Quicker than Larry could react, Xander brushes Larry's hand from his
sleeve. A second later Larry finds himself dropped to his knees with an
arm around his neck.
"Larry, Larry. I did warn you didn't I. Feeling a little slow today are
we. But I guess that's what you can expect from someone like you now
isn't it. You see Larry you're in a very bad position right now, all I
have to do is just add a little more pressure and the football team is
down one player. So I'd say it's your call, we can continue this little
event to its conclusion or you can agree to be a good boy and I'll
forget this happened."
A chill started creeping down Larry's spine, it wasn't the fact that
Harris had him down on his knees in front of him. It was the fact that
during Harris' little speech he sounded like someone ordering a meal
from the cafeteria. Like this happens every day, and he just happens to
an appointment in Harris' schedule.
"Well Larry what's your decision, should I inform your coach he needs a
There was really only one choice left, it seems what ever the hell
happened to Harris changed him, and Larry sure the hell didn't feel like
Before Larry could realize the arm was released from his neck. Only one
thought was running thought his mind in that instant as he was
scrambling back up to his feet 'Get away, Get away quickly'.
"You... you psycho!," Larry retorted, backing up a few steps before
turning and running.
Suddenly shaking, Xander leant against the nearest wall. A memory swam
out of the depths that appeared last night left by his uninvited guest.
A memory of Gutts doing nearly the same thing to one of the men under
his command that disagreed with his commands during a battle.
What was happening to him?