Balance- Dusk and Night
Author: Silent Bob Foley
Rating: Possible 15 certificate,
Summary: Considering the people that said that they wanted to see Balance as more than a oneshot I decided a sequel was possible and so here we go.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the BTVS Characters, Joss Whedon does, the other characters are owned by their respective companies.
Distribution: Xzone and ff..net,
Spoilers: Halloween episode, and the two films the Xovers are based on..
Authors notes: British Words and Spelling, In regards to any kind of pairing- this is not one of those fics, My two protagonists have a respect and friendship for each other but little else.
Timeframes are as follows- BTVS- One week Post Halloween, Underworld- Beginning of the film only, Equilibrium- One Year Post end of film.
Dedications: Lightning Count, Anime-Ronin, and anyone that sent me feedback.
A lone figure sat above the streets of Sunnydale the darkness of the highest points covering her position, the dark haired warrior kept a vigil over the people of her town waiting until waning sunlight began to rise in the early morning.
In the week since the Halloween fiasco Harmony Kendall, the former host of the essence of the hunter vampire Selene had begun her own version of hunting, her skills and capabilities as Selene had been left almost intact when the spell had ended- her long blonde hair cut to a shorter black style while her already lithe and curvy body had become much more.
She looked across the streets her enhanced senses searching the night for signs of the inferior demons that dared to take the name vampire, unlike in her world the war between the Vampires and Lycans did not exist however the vampires that did exist were very evil and more than willing to kill anything that they wanted to.
Her work had brought up some interesting information that Harmony had not known even after the possession by Selene, the fact the town she lived upon was part of a gateway to a hell dimension- yet another change between their worlds, her constant vigilance both in school and outside at night had informed her about those fighting the darkness here as well.
She had always known there was something weird about Buffy Summers and her small circle of friends, to find out this girl was some form of warrior destined to fight the war until she died in one way or another was a slight shock. However it had cleared up the problems she had had trying to understand how the town was still standing.
Watching the people scatter and run home even subconsciously aware of the dangers of the night, the hunter jumped from the three story building and landed perfectly on the street below, while Harmony did not have Selene’s supernatural abilities the jump was as easy to her as jumping from the top of a twenty story building would have been for the vampire.
She had work to do.
Alexander Harris had a problem.
One week ago he had been imbued with the skills and capabilities of one John Preston, Grammaton Cleric First class and in that week he had gone from a bit part fighter in the darkness to one of the newest and most capable warriors against the vampires and other nasties that roamed the streets of Sunnydale.
For that week his mind had been cataloguing and separating the thoughts of both Alexander and John to their own sides, a skill that had allowed John to keep his thoughts centred and filed and a skill that for many years had allowed him to get into the minds of his targets without falling into that trap.
His combat skills had been left behind when the essence that had taken hold of Xander had dissipated, the Gun Kata, sword combat, hand to hand and the almost impossible accuracy he was capable of when firing his guns.
Now he stood in the centre of the library clad in the loose black clothing he had appropriated in the place of the clothing Preston would have used in his own combat training at the Tetragrammaton Headquarters. His guns loaded with an empty magazine and locked, safeties off as he started the sixth level of the Gun Kata, the combat form now famous for being responsible for Preston’s defeat of Dupont’s outer guard.
His movements became second nature as he slowed down his thought processes and went into a combat trance, his emotions and memories under lockdown allowing him to move into the Kata smoothly and without a pause.
His hands and feet never stopped moving as he moved constantly, never stopping and never allowing himself to pause anywhere in the Kata, he knew that any break in movement would be suicidal for a master of the Gun Kata and as such his memories of Preston’s training came to the fore.
Over his arms the reloading systems were set up for the Kata, during long term combat (long term being somewhat of a Point of view term than an actual measurement of time) he would have to reload quickly and efficiently, for this the reloaders had a single clip on each arm ready for reload as and when he activated them.
The only problem was they could only reload one and then would be useless, in response this the higher level katas used rounded base plates on their magazines to allow them to drop them on the floor and then later reload, however unfortunately for Xander these did not exist in this universe so he had to make do.
Moving into the last section of the kata he could feel a pair of eyes watching him from the doorway, completing the last turn he brought his arms down and slipped the guns and reloading systems off of his arms. Dropping out the empty magazines he loaded both weapons with filled clips and sheathed the guns into their holsters, he looked back up at the figure that had walked into the library.
The figure was dressed as she had been one week ago, the costume she had once donned was now replaced by clothing that fit the figure better and allowed the woman to move inside them- their cut identical to the body inside and their style much more suited to the world of Sunnydale.
The hunter moved with a deadly grace that belied her origins, her weapons and equipment clasped around her waist and inside her coat, the woman was very much the hunter he remembered from Halloween, only this time he knew the face of the woman well and was unsurprised to see her.
Her slightly darker skin and heartbeat let him know that the young woman had retained her humanity but at the same time had kept some of the attributes that had made Selene the dangerous hunter she had been.
“Hello Cleric.” She said eyeing him carefully.
“Hunter.” He responded bowing his head slightly.
“You remember everything?” The Dark haired woman asked.
“Yes, how are you doing Harmony?”
The lithe dark haired woman approached the table her trenchcoat flapping in the non-existent breeze, looking at her erstwhile ally and possibly former enemy she noticed his trademark smirk was still in place.
“What?” She asked.
“Seems most good guy vampires have that trenchcoat thing down.”
“Really? I hadn’t noticed, I need you help Xander.”
“I’ve been expecting you for the last week, so what do you want to know?”
“What happened Xander, I remember being Harmony Kendall, blonde bimbo, pain in the ass to those she disliked and all round bitch, but I also remember being Selene of the Immortal Clans and a hunter. But now I remember being a new third personal someone who has the traits and skills of Selene but the memories and thoughts of Harmony and someone who hates the fact she was either of those people beforehand.”
He nodded looking at the scared girl in front of him, he had had a few problems adapting to his not status as both Xander and a Grammaton Cleric in the last week and he was used to his type of thing. He sat down and brought his arms up onto the table.
“One week ago, a powerful chaotic magic spell was cast over the people of this town by a powerful mage; everyone that had bought any part of any costume from Ethan’s Costume Shop was turned into their costumes for a few hours until the spell was ended. However for some the costumes they used and the magic imbued into them by the spell has had some strange effects after the spell was cancelled.” He picked up one of his weapons.
“Do you remember what John told Selene about his weapons?”
“Yes, customised weapons, automatic pistols with 9mm calibre, he’s also good with bladed weapons and Hand to hand.”
Xander nodded and released the magazine catch on his gun, pulling it out he reached over and handed them to the former cheerleader. She looked it over, checked the action the safety and trigger and the magazine itself, slamming the clip back inside she handed it back.
“So your weapons stayed real?”
“Yep and I’ve still got the skills to use them.”
“Same here, my weapons stayed the same as did most of the rest of what I had including this.” She tugged on the side of her head the short dark hair that had once been a wig was now very obviously permanent,
“My hair and skin all changed in the space of this last week, my entire wardrobe sense changing as well as you can see” She gestured to the latex bodysuit and leather trenchcoat she wore.
“It’s not easy trust me.”
“Part of me wants to go back to being what I was but the rest won’t allow me to forget what I know now, what am I going to do?” She asked him. “I know all this stuff about what happens after the sun goes down and I should be terrified to even go out let alone try to stop them but I’m not scared at all.”
“Then your one up on me, I’ve been doing this for almost a year and even with the experiences I have back up with Preston’s memories I’m still terrified every time I go out there to try and save anyone I can. “ He gestured to one of the chairs around the main table, sitting down opposite the young woman he looked into her eyes and spoke one warrior to another.
“You are not who you once were Harmony, Selene was a vampire of sorts as you well know, combined with her evident experience during Halloween you are now much more than you ever were. Your lack of fear may be the fact you were host to one of them, it could be the fact that you haven’t seen anything you can’t defeat yet or it may be some form of self control imparted to you by Selene.”
“So what do I do?”
“What do you want to do, do you want to go back to being Harmony Kendell, blonde, beautiful and a draw for every red blooded male in the school, or do you want to be Harmony Kendell, warrior, hunter and protector?”
“I don’t know.”
“I think you do, you’ve been out there haven’t you helping people being attacked by vampires, defending people either through combat or through watching them make their way home. You have to make the decision whether to stay where you are or to become more than your once were, I can’t make that decision for you.”
“Your much more as well aren’t you Alexander.”
“No-one outside my closest friends knew what I did during my nights, I never cared whether anyone knew or not, Preston’s just helped me doing more than I was, the weapons and combat skills are useful but I now really don’t care what anyone thinks of me.”
“Why do you do this Xander? You could leave it to the slayer and her watcher.”
“You know about them huh?”
“I keep my ears and eyes open these days, I don’t care to miss things anymore I’ve been blind and deaf to these things for too long.”
“The reason I do this huh?”
“Your only human as far as I can tell, I’ve seen the others around here and why they do it.”
“I’m fully human, just a little more than most. I do this because I can’t stand back now I know what’s out there. If I stand back and someone dies that I could have saved well I couldn’t forgive myself and odds on you will feel that way soon if you don’t already.”
“If I go out there and do this, will it really help?”
Looking at his former comrade in arms Xander Harris decided to trust this new version of his life long nemesis, she was not the same woman she had been and yet there was still something of the girl inside there- just none of the negative traits she had had. Sitting back in his chair he made a decision.
“Have you yet heard about the Hellmouth?” he said.
“A portal between the worlds?” Harmony said as Xander finished explaining the Hellmouth and its history, its intricacies and it’s danger to the world at large. That demons and vampires alike are pulled by the immense power that comes from the buried and sealed doorway.
“Demons and their kind have been here longer than humanity and some what to bring it back, however some want the power and will do anything to get it, the few of us willing to fight this war keep them from doing this. However we are few in number and less in resources, we fight because we have to and we choose to fight because we can’t sit back and let this happen if we can stop it. If you decide to help Harmony then I will not try to talk you out of it or stop it, which would be hypocritical and stupid on my part.” He looked at her again eyes locked to her own.
“It is your choice Miss Kendall.” He said, ”Choose carefully.”
“If I do this will you help me?” She asked
“Yeah, we watch each other’s backs out there, so I wouldn’t expect you to go alone. Take time to think about this Miss Kendall this is not something to take lightly, once you come in it is almost impossible to leave again.”
“I’ll be back with my answer soon.” The Young woman turned away from the Scooby turned cleric and left the room.
“You can come out now Rupert.” The young man said.
“Good Lord, how did you.”
“I could hear you when you left the back of the stacks a few minutes ago as I was explaining the Hellmouth to Miss Kendall, Secondly I could feel your questions from over here.”
“So Harmony Kendall is…”
“She was my erstwhile partner-in-crime as it were during Halloween, the young Miss Kendall has become more than she ever thought she could be as much to her surprise as anyone’s and she needed the help to come to terms with her most recent transformation.”
“Why do you use that name for the young lady? I recall that you have known her for a long time and used less flattering names.”
“Harmony is who she once was, Miss Kendall is a sign of respect that she would not otherwise have received from me or at least who I was. The woman she has become is worthy of that respect.”
“I thought you might.”
“Xander, I must talk to you about you recent actions both here and while patrolling. Buffy and Willow are both worried about you, your entire being has changed as has you skill set. Willow has commented that she barely knows you any more and your use of firearms and bladed weapons had stunned Buffy into silence for a week.”
“And that’s a bad thing?” Xander Smirked.
“It is quite disconcerting to see you change so much in one week Xander, I’m afraid that more may have happened to you than we can gauge.”
“Giles, I can’t tell you everything that’s changed with me because I don’t know, I’m still mostly Xander Harris, Class Clown and pain the butt to the tweed brigade.” Xander doffed an imaginary hat to the librarian and then sobered. “But I am part Alexander Harris the first and possibly last of the Grammaton clerics, I have memories of both parts Giles and the skills from both.”
The young man sat down at the table and looked up at his mentor, “The more I train and go through these memories, the more of John Preston I become, there is not enough of him to replace me as a whole but I am changing Giles and I’m hoping for the better. It’ll just take some time that is all.”
“And you still with to help us.”
“That’s one thing that the two of us agree on Giles, Preston would never think of letting something interfere with what he believes is his rightful calling both as a Cleric and later as a member of the resistance, as Xander Harris I’ve never let anything stop me doing what I think of as right. Now for the first time I can do something about it without getting myself beaten into the ground.”
“Very well, keep in mind the use of your guns may be detrimental during patrols, while I know you seem to be capable those weapons are likely to be noticed by the police if used on patrols.”
“Yes I know, I won’t be using them for the moment I’ll stick with a sword and stakes but when I manage to get some suppressors sorted out I’ll be able to use them effectively and accurately.”
“Until then I would appreciate it if you leave the weapons and the ammunition here at the library, at your age you shouldn’t have them let alone be able to use them.”
“Yeah I noticed.” Xander rubbed his face with his hands, “Okay I’ll leave them here but I’ll need to clean them and oil them regularly, that stuff is easy enough to get hold of legally as well.”
“You are welcome Xander.”
Harmony sat outside the school in the moonlight , while Selene had been a vampire and highly allergic to ultraviolet rays Harmony hadn’t inherited that problem from her at least not fully.
She was sensitive to direct sunlight which could cause a slight sunburn if outside for too long, her skin now pale would tan but would take a while with the necessarily brief time she had to stay in the sun. Her perfect tan had faded with the possession but the new version of Harmony cared little for such things, as such she sat in the moonlight outside the school staring into the sky.
*How a thing of such beauty could control a race so evil.* she thought, the memories of the war between the Vampires and the Lycans fresh in her memories, her hand closed around a single silver bullet pulled from a lycan’s body, one last reminder of life from Selene sent to her some way that was unfathomable to both sets of memories.
“Harmony?” a voice spoke up from behind her.
The hunter turned around, her erstwhile ‘friend’ Cordelia chase stood behind her, the brunette was looking at her with a strange look on her face. “Where have you been, we’ve not seen you for days.”
“Sorry Cordelia I’ve been a little busy, sit down.”
“What’s happened to you?”
Cordelia may have acted like the bitch queen that the world saw at large but she was more than empathetic to those around her, the fact she was willing to help the ‘Scoobies’ as they were meant she was more than she seemed to be, something Harmony could more than empathise with.
“I know Cordelia.”
“About what goes on around here at night, about how the only people to stand up against it are those outcasts that spend their time in the library, about the slayer, the hellmouth, magic, everything.”
Cordelia was more than a little surprised at this revelation, she looked to her long time acquaintance- not really someone she could call a friend as such but the woman was now more than a ‘sheep’ ha followed her around.
“Halloween Night, I dressed up as a heroic vampire, someone that fought against evil but was one of them as well. Selene of the Immortal Clans, Death dealer and vampire. That night I became Selene, possessed by a spirit or something that allowed me to understand what was going on any why. I remember everything from that night Cordelia, and now I know about the rest too.”
“Yeah, just about.”
“What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“What can you do?”
“What can I do.” The young woman laughed, “I’m able to do gymnastic stunts that I couldn’t have done on my best day as a cheerleader, I have knowledge that only beings of the dark would ever possess, I can fire guns with accuracy and speed that the best snipers on this world couldn’t hope to match.”
She looked directly at the other brunette.
“I am faster, stronger, and more agile than any human alive. I know the truth about the night and how to fight those whom feed on the innocent and I can hide or fade into the shadows as if I was never there. That is what I can do Cordelia.”
“You really aren’t Harmony anymore are you?”
“That’s just the thing, I am Harmony Kendall.” She exclaimed, “Just like Buffy Summers is still herself even after becoming the slayer or Xander Harris is himself even with the memories of that cleric inside his mind. I am the cheerleader, the blonde, fun loving girl I was. I’m also Harmony Kendall, hunter, Death Dealer and someone who can’t sit back and watch the people of this world become fodder for vampires and other demons.”
She turned from Cordelia who still had the look of surprise on her beautiful features, the pale skinned brunette beauty that had once been the tanned, blonde that had been Harmony Kendall was really someone else, someone that she didn’t really know.
“I understand now Cordelia.” Harmony said. “Why you started to spend time with Xander and his friends, why you were seen in all those places where you shouldn’t have been, why you started to blow us off for those ‘losers’ as we thought they were. You were doing the same, trying to stop people dying, trying to help those that were unable to help themselves.”
Cordelia just nodded her head hung down as her long tresses hid her face.
“And now I have to decide what I have to do.” Harmony said.
Silence reigned between the two as both thought about what had transpired that night, as Cordelia looked up the space Harmony had sat in was empty, looking all around the young woman was unable to see hide nor hair of the other.
“Make the right decision Harmony, for you own sake as well as others.”
“Hello Miss Kendall..”
He merely nodded to the transformed schoolgirl, to gestured to the crashmats that he was standing on as he went through yet another variation on the katas he had learnt from Preston.
The young woman stepped up and bowed to her newest ally and began her own form of Kata alongside Xander, their combined skills overlapping and complimenting each other as they moved slowly and surely through the difficult and dangerous moves. Harmony simply closed her eyes and let her mind go.
Xander Harris watched the Death Dealer as she went through the rituals that accompanied her own versions of the martial arts that Selene had leant over the years as a hunter. Her movements smooth and inhumanly accurate, she was strong and agile that much was true and she was likely capable of killing anyone that got in her way.
He shook his head and returned to his own kata with a single thought going through his head.
*This will be interesting.*