An Angel of a Different Sort
Author: Anime Ronin
Summary: YAHF – Xander’s costume has some serious repercussions for the evil that sit upon the Hellmouth and elsewhere.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Beta: Yorath the Wolf
AN: This is a bunny that was born, grew up and attacked me in all of about … five minutes, and I blame it on Dhamphyr’s ‘Family Matters’ and CJ’s ‘Complex Inversions’. Or, at least, that’s what I keep telling myself as the bunny gnaws away at my sanity. Now, on with the fic!
(November 1, 1997 – Sunnydale Library)
He hadn’t changed clothes from the night before, quite frankly when he had tried to put on his favorite Hawaiian shirt, he’d felt this surge of revulsion that had set him to put the entire collection into a pile, douse it with gasoline and set it ablaze in the early morning light. He’d then tried everything else, but, sadly, nothing less than his costume would do in his mind, so it was back on, even the monocle that clipped to his left ear.
“Xander?” He looked over and saw Giles standing with Willow and Buffy, all three of them looking quite disturbed as he made sure his gloves were on correctly.
Willow walked over and poked him several times in the chest before looking into his eyes, “Xander … are you Xander?”
He arched an eyebrow and asked, dryly, “And who else would I be, Willow?”
Buffy chipped in, “You’re speaking with an English accent now, Xander, so it’s a valid question.” She then looked him up and down, “So, what’s with the duds?”
‘The Duds’, as Buffy put it, consisted of a pair of grey slacks and black shoes that bordered on boots, a white dress shirt with a black vest over it, white gloves on his hands and a red tie tied in a Windsor knot, along with the monocle on his eye, and the term rankled him slightly, “I tried to dress as I used to, but … I could not. Something inside of me is forcing me to stay in these clothes and forced me to burn all of those hideous shirts I wore.” He winced at the words as they came from his mouth with a smooth tone – damn it, he LIKED those shirts.
Giles took this moment to speak up, “Willow and Buffy were both telling me what happened last night, Xander, before Willow was able to bring me in on things. They have both told me you dressed … as a butler?”
Xander sniffed disdainfully, “Firstly, Mr. Giles, it was not a case of me wishing to have this outfit, it was due to a lack of options on the part that Mr. Rayne had ‘run out’ of costumes to sell by the point in time Willow and I managed to drag Buffy down to his store. Secondly, I can assure you that I am more than a mere ‘butler’.”
Willow nodded happily even as Buffy snorted and muttered about ‘having to look good’, “Yup, he’s Walter!”
Giles sighed, “Willow, that tells me absolutely nothing other than his name.”
Willow rolled her eyes, “He was Walter C. Dornez, at least, that’s what he said his name was, and trust me, he’s cool … and kinda scary.”
Buffy then chipped in, “He had on these gloves last night, black leather, and little wires came out of the fingers – he whipped them around and things started to fall like they had been cut, Giles.” She then pouted and stomped her foot, “I want them, Xander.”
Xander reached back into his back pocket and retrieved his gloves, pulling them on slowly as he looked at Giles, “Giles, my memories of last night are mostly blank, until the end, so what the ladies say I’ll have to take as the truth. Strange thing, though, is that I know lots of things now that I didn’t yesterday – how to prepare a proper English tea service, how to run and maintain a staff of retainers for an English home, how to make damned near any kind of handgun or firearm, given the correct tools and equipment, for just about any occasion, and how to properly address all forms of English and foreign dignitaries.”
Giles, by this point, looked like he was about to break down into a heap of joyous tears, “Truly?”
Xander nodded, “Indeed, it is true, and then there is this.” He looked over at Buffy’s training dummy, which sat about five feet away, and lashed his right arm out on instinct, snapping it down at the last second – the training dummy jiggled just the slightest bit before it’s left arm fell away from it’s body. “Drat, I missed.”
Giles looked at Willow, “Willow, could you please finish your story?”
She nodded, “Well, it went like this – last night, after we all became our costumes, Angel found us…”
(Flashback - previous night – Buffy’s home)
She watched as ‘Walter’ locked the door and adjusted his monocle as he looked at her, “Now, Miss Willow, would you be so kind as to tell me what is going on?”
The accent really threw her at first, but even though she was a ghost and Buffy was Lady Useless, who was scared of her own shadow, she had to admit that things were strange, even for Sunnydale, “Okay, in case you haven’t figured it out, the body you’re in isn’t yours, it’s the body of my best friend, Xander. She’s Buffy, normally, but right now she’s … well, Lady Useless.”
‘Walter’ merely arched an eyebrow at her and Willow suddenly felt like she was only an inch tall, “Indeed – what else is there?”
Willow went on to explain how it was Halloween, about their costumes, and what had happened up until the point of the transformation, at which point Walter held up his hands, “And that is where I begin to remember things. Remarkable, really,” he mumbled, squeezing his glove-clad hand and flexing his arm, “I haven’t felt this good in decades.”
Willow kept the peace, for the most part, for several minutes before she heard a scream that she recognized, “Cordelia?” She stuck her head through the wall and saw that, indeed, Cordelia was being chased by something vaguely dog-like, so she pulled her head back into the room, “We have to help her! She’s a friend, sort of.”
Walter just sighed, “Oh, very well.” She watched as he walked to the door, unlocked it, and … vanished? The entire scenario just went from ‘weird’ to ‘Hellmouthy’ in a second as she heard a strangled gasp from her right and turned in time to see Walter behind the thing that had been chasing Cordelia, his fists held tight and something shiny between his firsts cutting into the neck of the thing.
“Madame, do make haste inside – I’m not sure exactly how long I can hold this beast here.” Willow didn’t even bother to yell at Walter as she flagged Cordelia down, who didn’t need to be told twice as she ran into the house not long before Walter joined them.
Willow explained things to Cordelia, or rather, she tried until it was revealed that Cordelia was indeed Cordelia, and all things began to settle down … and then Angel showed up. Willow had been somewhat annoyed that the vampire had tried to make sure that Buffy was okay (seeming to forget that the rest of them were there, though), until it was made known that Buffy wasn’t Buffy at that point.
When she had caught Angel up to what had happened, Angel turned to ‘Xander’ and snarled, “And you came as a BUTLER?!?”
Walter, in Xander’s body, merely gave the corpse a piercing look before he made a ‘tsk’-ing sound several times, which was followed by flatly ignoring Angel in favor of herself, “Miss Willow, as you appear to be incorporeal, thus invulnerable to harm, might I suggest that you find this ‘Giles’ individual you have spoken of and telling him of our quandary?”
Willow felt like SUCH a dummy when he suggested what, to her, should have been obvious, and if she had been able to hit her head against the wall, she would have, repeatedly and hard, “Okay, I’ll do that – Walter, make sure everyone is okay and … don’t dust Angel, okay? He’s a good guy.”
“That remains to be seen, Miss Willow, but I will try.” With that, Willow was gone from the house.
Buffy walked up to Xander and slapped him, good and proper, “You jerk!”
Xander massaged his cheek with the black leather glove he was wearing, “And might I ask what that was for?”
She glared at him, “You used those wire thingies of yours and cut Angel up!”
Xander merely looked at her, “Does he still exist?”
She nodded, “Yes.”
“And do you remember what I did to that one chap who looked like Billy Idol?”
Buffy, remembering how ‘Walter’ had looped his wires around Spike’s head and yanked, an action that brought the wire tight around Spike’s neck and then THROUGH his neck, dusting him, nodded again, “Yeah.”
“And did I do that to … ‘Angel’?” For all intents and purposes, Xander sounded like Giles did when he was humoring her, and the act alone, before the previous night, would have been impossible in Buffy’s mind, but it was working now.
Xander nodded and whipped his arm out, sending one of the slightly-visible wires at her training dummy again and ripped a large tear through its torso, though only a fraction of an inch deep, “Then be lucky your undead paramour still exists – I could have destroyed him just as easily.”
Buffy growled at Xander for a moment as he retracted the wires into his gloves and walked away, leaving her with what had once been her training dummy, and now as just so much torn cloth and stuffing – he was REALLY starting to irritate her. One Giles was enough, thankyouverymuch!
Giles marveled at the flavor of the first properly prepared cup of tea he’d had in MONTHS, and for the first time in a long time, he thanked a God he wasn’t sure existed that Xander had gone as this ‘Walter’, whose name was familiar for some bloody reason, “This is an excellent blend, Xander.”
Xander nodded before sipping his own cup of tea, “Thank you, Mr. Giles – I quite like a cup every now and then.” For a moment, Giles forgot that he was talking to the epitome of American ‘educational standards’ and felt as if he were right back in England, a thought that brought a smile to his face as Xander said, “Though I must say, I’m curious how this is going to change how I fight … vampires.”
Willow, looking up from her own cup of tea (and when Giles figured out how and where Xander had gotten his hands on such an exquisite example of bone china, he’d have to ask for their number), frowned, “Walter knew about vampires?”
Xander nodded and smiled slightly, “Yes, he did know and, more importantly, he hunted them and other things back in his youth. Someone once said that he was proof that, with the correct training, a human can be even deadlier than anyone who was granted power, and that was just before Walter picked up his own little nickname.”
Buffy, who was standing next to Willow not ten feet away, snorted into her tea and asked, “Really? And what nickname was that?”
Xander looked up at her and smiled, “Why, his nickname was the ‘Angel of Death’. Quite fitting, actually, given that his preferred method of termination was strangulation and decapitation by monowire,” he went on with a touch of black humor.
Buffy gasped and dropped the cup and sauce she had been holding and, internally, Giles felt his heart stop as he watched the priceless cup and saucer fall to the ground … and then stop as Xander seemingly materialized out of nowhere to grab them, not a drop of tea spilled.
Xander gave Buffy a reproving look at he put the items down on the table, “Now, really, Miss Summers, please be more careful with the bone china – it’s quite expensive.”
(England – Hellsing Compound)
“Sir Integra? I have something of interest for you.” She looked up from her paperwork and saw Walter standing in front of her desk, holding a file and looking as if he had seen a ghost.
“What is it, Walter?”
“Four hours ago, a charge was made to the Hellsing Organization’s personal account for a tea set of fine replica bone china, and it had a rush put on it to the point that the location was noted as … odd.” He handed her the file and showed her the transaction that had been made, “Now, that in and of itself is not odd, but it was not only where, but the person involved that makes this interesting.”
She looked it over and then up at him, “Since when do you happen to visit American schools, Walter, let alone those in California and upon the Hellmouth?”
He gave her a dry look, “I do not, Sir Integra, as you well know my opinions of what the American’s call an ‘education’. Now, when I saw this I began to do some digging and found out something else that was … odd.” She flipped the page in the file and saw a quartet of pictures with names and information next to them, “The local police department, while quite inept, have quite a number of files on hand with a local ‘vigilante group’ whom deal with … gang members on PCP, I do believe the current moniker is. Do you see something that is at all worrisome?”
“Aside from the fact that Ripper Giles is the bloody school librarian and Elizabeth Summers moved there just before the numbers of missing persons and ‘wild animal attacks’ went up? No, not at all.” If there was one organization she detested more than Iscariot, it was that bloody Council and their ideas that one girl in all of the world was supposed to keep the people safe from the trash that tried to pass themselves off as vampires – more than once she had been tempted to send Alucard and the Police Girl after the group, but each time she had found a reason to stop in the form of Ripper Giles, the one person in all of England that even gave Alucard pause … though for only a second.
“Then might I direct your attention to the young man who is known by Alexander LaVelle Harris.” Her lips drew up into a smirk – LaVelle? “Yes, LaVelle, which means ‘the lion’, if I am not mistaken. Regardless, the incident in question involves him.”
She looked up, a frown on her face as she reached for one of her cigars, “And how did he get the code to this PRIVATE account?”
Walter looked at her steadily, a look that stilled her hand and, after a moment, she pulled it back from her cigars, allowing him to go on, “In short, Sir Hellsing, I gave it to him.” Her only response was a single arched eyebrow, so he went on, “Last night I had something of an odd dream, vague and slightly off-putting about being stuck in the body of a young man while taking children out for Halloween … well, I will not bore you with the details, but I then met the Scourge of Europe and decapitated his grandchilde, William the Bloody.”
Feeling the rare opportunity to get one up on Walter at hand, Integra quipped, “And you still made it back here in time to wake me up this morning? Why, Walter, I never knew you had such spring left in your step.”
He gave her a steady look again and she felt like she was back in grade school, “Were you not paying attention, Sir Integra? I said I was stuck in the body of a boy, barely into his teens; none of it seemed pertinent this morning until the charge for the replica bone china came across my desk, at which point I began to look. According to the communiqué Mr. Giles sent to the Council, a Chaos Mage, one Ethan Rayne, enchanted more than a few costumes last night and, apparently, Mr. Harris was unfortunate enough to get one that was supposed to be me.”
Integra blinked at this once, and then twice, before she frowned even more, “Is he a security risk?”
Walter shook his head, “At my own guess, I would say no … unless you harmed one of his friends. From what little I remember from last night’s sojourn into his mind, he’d give Alucard a run for his money as far as inventive ways to hurt people go.”
Integra nodded – from the sounds of it, this boy was loyal to a fault, yet had a nasty streak in him a mile wide when crossed; she liked that in a man, “What do you propose, Walter?”
“I propose that we watch him with some elements that we have in place in Los Angeles – if he has retained as little as I have, then we allow it to slide, but if he has as much as I fear he does, it would be wise to recruit him.” Walter motioned to her and she turned the page, showing a record of Alexander’s schooling … and of his medical records, “As you can see, while he is a mediocre student at best, now, his medical records show that he not only has sustained far too many childhood memories to not have been abused, but also his more recent trips to the medical facilities have been hunting-based.”
Integra read over the medical charts quickly, mentally swearing like an entire ship full of Royal Marines about the Council’s idiocy – why not supply their Slayers with body armor, proper weapons and training for anyone who joins them? Oh, that’s right – if you are not a member of the Council, the Royal family, powerful or insanely rich, you are not worth saving, “Remind me again why we do not declare open war upon the Council, Walter?”
Walter sighed, “Because Her Majesty has asked you not to, repeatedly, and once had even threatened to ground you until your fiftieth birthday.”
Integra sniffed indignantly, “I was sixteen, Walter. I’ve learned my lesson.”
Walter merely gave her a bland, “Indeed,” as an answer as she finished the file. “Your instructions, Sir Hellsing?”
She leaned back in her chair for a moment, thinking before answering, “Yes, put a surveillance team on him and gather what you can about his family – if we do recruit him, I’d like the opportunity to be rather soon.”
Walter bowed to her, “Yes, Sir Integra.”
Billy James had been a vampire for nearly a year now, and if he said so himself he was pretty damned good at it – he fed on a regular basis from good stock, other vamps respected him for his ruthless nature when it came to squeezing the local store owners for cash, and he even had a house of his own, which he had inherited from his parents, whom had ‘tragically’ committed ‘suicide’ All things being equal, he was on top of the world … or so he had thought until a few seconds ago.
You see, two seconds ago, his right arm suddenly fell off about mid forearm, and turned to dust, leaving only his watch and two rings behind, and his pants ripped on his right side, spilling out his wallet and some cash, “What the fuck …?”
“I say, young man, there’s no need to be vulgar.” Out of the shadows walked a KID in a black coat and gloves, a dark hat on his head and an eerie smile on his lips, “Just think what your mother would say?”
“Fuck you, kid!”
“No thanks,” came the bland reply as he saw the kid lash out and spin, at which point he felt something wrap around his neck and pull UP with enough force to lift him off of the ground. “You see, I can tell you’re not very old as what you claim to be a vampire,” the kid went on as Billy kicked his legs around, trying to find something to give him purchase to stand on. “It’s a gift, really,” the kid went on as he rifled through his pockets quickly before stepping back without much else.
“Gak! When I get out of here,” Billy started to say, but said nothing else as he felt a bite into his neck … and then nothing else ever again.
“You shall do nothing of the sort, save as that much dust, trash,” Xander said quietly as he reached down and picked up the cash and jewelry from the now-dusted vampire, which he slipped into his pockets. He’d been experimenting all night with his monowire gloves and had found that, if he took the limbs off and care to place his shots, he could quite literally take off arms and legs and rip open pants pockets with ease. Sure, it’d taken two vamps to get it RIGHT on, but still …
Xander righted himself and sighed as he turned and walked back towards his house – he’d left the school some hours before and had told the others that he ‘needed some air’, at which point both Buffy and Willow had offered to go with him, but he’d told them he needed to be alone; if they’d seen what he’d been doing, they would not have taken it well, for reasons of him possibly getting hurt (which, while possible, was highly unlikely) or for his profit-taking techniques. Honestly, what did they think he was going to do? Let the dusted vamps try and take it with them? HE needed the money more than the dusted vampires did, after all.
AN: Okay, been meaning to put this up for a while here, so sorry about that.