Balance: Peace and War
Author: Silent Bob Foley
Rating: Possible 15 certificate,
Summary: Due to the fact that several people want to see more of this series on the Xanderzone I decided that at least one more was necessary.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the BTVS Characters, Joss Whedon does, the other characters are owned by their respective companies.
Distribution: Xzone, TTH, SB.com and ff..net,
Spoilers: Halloween episode, and the two films the Xovers are based on..
Dedications: My Good friend Reaperman, the writing machine that is Lightning Count, the colossus that is Jason Thompson, the creative genius that is Anime-Ronin, My little bro Wolfy and to anyone that sent me feedback.
Author’s note: One response I received mentioned that they didn’t like the fact that Harmony was so willing to join the slaying ‘bandwagon’, well my question is more that if you had the knowledge of the night left in you mind along with the abilities and intelligence of someone like Selene would you be able to say no?
The figure stood in the middle of the floor, his eyes closed and the rest of his senses out to their maximum, he could feel the emptiness of the room with it’s thousands of books and wooden construction.
Pushing out his arms he took the first stance of his kata and shifted his body into another smoothly moving his body into the first series of movements, each movement the bare minimum and part of a continuous martial form that was in all ways the true meaning of the word ‘combat’.
His thoughts began to wander as he did, his body so used to the kata’s movements that the muscle and nerve memory would take over for him as his own mind shut down. However before his mind could totally break from his body he sensed a presence of one of the young women he was closest to, eyes still closed he spoke.
“Hey Xand, umm do you have a minute?”
“Give me few seconds.”
The first and only cleric of the Tetragrammaton order of his world slipped into the last few moves of his set and finished off his exercise, standing up from his crouched position he walked towards his friend.
Even after these weeks Buffy was still amazed at the pure skill and capability her friend was able to show since his possession by the cleric, he was much more skilled with the weapons he had as well as the martial arts he now seemed to use as second nature.
She hated guns with a passion but had realise very early that even if she had wanted him not to use the weapons he would have told her no and continued to use them anyway, with that in mind she kept her mouth shut allowing him to use the weapons without her saying anything.
“How can I help you Buff?”
“uhh, I want to talk about you actually.”
“Well It’s kinda strange the way you’re different than you were.”
“Buffy I was possessed by the spirit of a warrior, a very capable one at that. I’m not the same person I was back before Halloween.”
“yeah we’ve noticed.”
“I realise that you are feeling a little ‘off’ about my abilities but they are not something I can just turn off and even if I could I wouldn’t, Preston’s abilities have allowed me to do more than I could ever have done on my own.”
“That’s something else as well Xander, you keep on talking about this guy as if he was real.”
“For all intents and purposes John Preston trained me and left me everything I needed to keep fighting.”
“But he didn’t really exist, it was all in your mind.”
“Buffy, you are quite right he didn’t exist in this world at all.”
“See.” He said triumphantly
“But then again it’s just as likely you don’t exist in his world either”
“I think I need to sit down.”
The young blonde sat down in the closest chair to her and looks up at the still standing brunette man, her eyes looked tired and a little stressed after the problems of the last few weeks.
“Buffy, just because something doesn’t exist here doesn’t mean they don’t exist elsewhere or even elsewhen, you are right, John Preston is in fact a completely fictitious character from a world that doesn’t exist in this universe.” He looked into her eyes. “What’s more it’s just as likely that this universe in fictitious to him, you see years ago a great fiction writer by the name of Robert Heinlein came up with a theory that there are a finite number of universes and that some of them are very much like our own.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well the idea is that some of the most fiction universes such as the Lensmen or even the Wizard of Oz stories exist elsewhere and that maybe they crossover sometimes allowing people to write about those worlds as if they were real. John Preston’s world exists just too far away for us to reach.”
“So he’s real and we’re not?”
“Not as such Buffy, we all exist just in different worlds, worlds too far apart but also too close.”
“That makes no sense.”
“It does make sense Buffy, it’s just a theory though but one I think may be real.”
“So you really aren’t Xander any more are you.”
“Not the one I used to be Buffy, I’m different now and always will be. This is who I am and that’s it.”
“You wouldn’t go back even if you could.”
“No I wouldn’t, I am a fusion as it is of both Xander Harris and John Preston, the loss of either would make be much less than I am or even kill me. I would keep doing what I’m doing even without his influence; I’m just more capable of doing this now than I was before. So Buffy don’t try to get willow to separate the two sides like you want to.”
“I know how you think Buffy, possibly more than most do
“I knew you would. But please even with your skills Xander you aren’t invincible.”
“I never said I was Buffy, I never said I was.”
High above the town Harmony sat on her perch, since that first day she had spent most of her waking hours out of school up on the top of the old clock tower, for the young woman this was the most at home she could find herself in this town.
The night had fallen quickly as it did this time of year, it was already past the end of November and Christmas was approaching quickly for Sunnydale, as such the night time creatures that haunted the town came out earlier and in more numbers than they usually did.
During this time Harmony knew that the slayer and her friends would be much more busy than they would usually be and with that in mind she had decided to step up her own singular patrols.
She dropped from her perch to the ground in front of her, the street as usual for this time of night was empty except for a single figure that melted out of the shadows at her side.
Her senses had already felt the position of the being to her side, as she rose her guns fell into her hands s she drew them and pointed the two deadly weapons on the subject that seemed to be following her.
“I could smell you on the wind leech.”
“I’m not here to harm you.” The dark vampire said.
“Ahh yes your Angel aren’t you.”
“You know of me?”
“You would be surprised about what I know Leech.” She left her gun trained on the vampire in front of her.
“What are you?”
“Something you should be afraid of Leech.”
“Why do you keep calling me that?”
“Because that is what you are, a Leech, bloodsucking little waste of space.”
“You are just like me though.”
The hunter moved faster than he thought anyone could, much faster than he and his kind ever could, the snarl on the beautiful schoolgirl turned deathdealer would have stilled his heart if it had been beating, his feet left the floor as she picked him up and held him a foot above the floor.
“Do not flatter yourself leech, I am nothing like you and you ilk, you would be wise to remember that before you say anything else.” The woman snarled, “Yes I know of you leech.”
“Then you know I mean no harm.”
“You couldn’t mean me harm even if you tried.”
“I’m not like the others.”
“You mean you soul Leech, your ‘fighting the good fight’ bullshit or possibly your drooling over a sixteen year old girl when you are more than two hundred years old, you disgust me.”
“It’s not like that.”
“Oh but it is very much like that Leech, you are not human and you are not sixteen years old yet you cavort around trying to impress this little girl, we have terms for that in this world Leech and every one of them is suitable for you.”
“Wait just a minute…”
“No Leech you have nothing I want to hear.”
With that one of the guns fired blowing a hole in his leg, the illegal hollow point round shattering his leg and blowing a massive exit hole in the back of his thigh, the ‘Leech’ hit the floor screaming in agony as she stepped forward and pushed a high heeled boot on his wound.
“Now listen to me Leech and listen carefully, I don’t like you and your kind, I’ve heard about your exploits and while you do good work, you also do it for selfish reasons. “ She pushed down harder eliciting a scream from the Leech.
“So here it is, you have a choice play by the rules or die, you leave the slayer alone or you die, you continue to support and kill the enemy or you die, you hurt any of the people fighting this fight and you die, make a single mistake and you die. Unlike the slayer and her little friends I won’t hesitate to kill you where you stand and I’m much better at this than you are. Do you understand?”
“Do you understand.” She said pushing the heel INTO the wound.
“I understand, I understand.”
“Remember this Leech, I deliberately missed my target.” With that the former cheerleader left the pavement and headed into the darkness behind the shops along the street.
From her side a single pair of hands began to applaud, her guns however slipped back into their holsters as she turned to face the newcomer o her side, her lips slipped into a smirk as the darkly dressed young man approached.
“Enjoy yourself Cleric?”
“Very much so Hunter, you put the fear into that I couldn’t hope to.”
“You were going to do the same weren’t you.”
“Yes, considering how much I dislike the vampire…”
“Do not call him that!” She growled.
The young man’s eyebrow simply rose at the tone of the young hunter’s voice, she coloured slightly as he stared at her in silence, her mortification at her anger more than apparent.
“Sorry, looks like more of Selene is in here than even I thought.”
“No apologies necessary Hunter.”
“You know I once asked you why you don’t call by my real name.”
“But why hunter?”
“Because Ms Kendall you are the hunter I met that night, and while I Call you by your surname as a courtesy when we meet, I call you hunter when we meet during combat and as such I believe that is why you still refer to myself as cleric even though you know my full name.”
“Indeed, the Leechs and their brethren seem to be out in much more force these days.”
“The darkness approaches much more quickly these days, they get much bolder during the long hours of the night.”
“Then it’s up to us to make sure they keep their heads down.”
“As you say Hunter.”
“As always, I’m aware you are.”
“Always am these days.”
“Then let’s get to work.”
As they already knew the hours of darkness had been drawing in much faster than during the earlier parts of the year, even now at barely Six in the evening the sun was gone and the nightlife of the town itself began to rise from it’s doldrums in search of sustenance and propagation.
During the later hours of the night the nightlife truly came awake, while in one side of the town a hunter and a cleric continued their systematic termination of anything that they believed to be of a threat to the people of Sunnydale, in another section across the town two pretty young women stood in a graveyard discussing the changes in their third.
“He’s just not the same anymore.”
“I know Willow, but it is up to him what he decides to do, we don’t own him and we can’t make his decisions for him.”
“Why not, the other mind inside him could be making him think differently. He could be taking over Xander bit by bit until he no longer is Xander.”
“Willow calm down.”
“Xander is changing, but he’s still our Xander, he’s just different now.”
“But Xander was never like this, never smart, never messing around with guns and never going hand to hand with vampires.”
“I know, I know.”
“I’m scared for him Buffy, I want my Xander back.”
“He is still our Xander Willow, please just think about that he’s still loyal to us and just willing to do more to help us out than just stand by. Although I must admit his changes aren’t all in his mind.”
“Buffy!!” Willow Exclaimed
“Well it’s true, he’s got more muscles now and I kinda saw him when he got changed in the stacks the other day.”
“I thought you didn’t want to hear this.”
“We’ll much as I love Angel I do notice these things and our Xander is not one of the girls.”
Both girls began to snigger at this only to stop as a limping and badly injured Angel came into the clearing.
“Yeah it’s me.”
“Oh my god what happened?”
“I can’t explain, but I’ve got to go away for a while and I won’t be able to see you.”
“I can’t say, I’m sorry.”
The several century old vampire simply turned away from young slayer and her red-haired friend as they both stood stunned at his news, he knew he would not be able to see the young woman again.
His own eyes leaked tears of blood as he left the sight of the two women, melting into the shadows as he left the graveyard. His leg felt like it was on fire and would take time to heal up considering the damage the bullet had done, he like most older vampires knew that bullets didn’t kill vampires but depending on the round they could cripple them and they hurt as well.
Back in the graveyard the young blonde looked at the space that her erstwhile paramour had stood only seconds ago, a trail of silent tears slipping down her cheeks as she stayed at the spot motionless the words ringing in her mind.
“Buffy?” Willow asked to no response.
“BUFFY?” She screamed at the slayer.
“Are you alright?”
“What just happened Willow?”
“I’m not sure.”
“Angel’s left me.”
“It might not be that bad.”
The redhead looked at the Slayer in surprise that she hadn’t started screaming or broken down somehow, but then she realised the truth of the matter, that the slayer was in shock and hadn’t yet started to come to terms with what had happened there that night.
“Buffy, come on.”
“Where?” She said in a daze
“I can’t I’ve got to patrol.”
“Buffy? Willow?” A male voice came from the shadows.
“Xander, come here quickly.” Willow said.
“What the hell happened to her?” He said as he ran up, waving his hand in front of the slayer’s face and getting no response. “What hit her?”
“He did what?” The young man said getting angry.
“No, not like that.” Willow retracted, “He’s gone and he’s left Buffy.”
“We don’t know.”
“It looks like she’s in shock, alright we do this the easy way.” Xander pulled his jacked closed over his weapons assemblage and with a single movement he pulled buffy up and into his arms, lifting her until she automatically put her arms around his neck.
The fact she had said nothing about his actions or even seemed to know what was happening was worrying them both, the total lack of anything from the slayer was scaring Willow more than anything.
“Willow she’ll be alright.”
“But why would he leave like that?”
“I don’t know.” He lied, “but there must have been a reason for it.”
*A Good Reason Indeed.*
From the shadows further out than Xander had been the dark clad figure of Harmony stood leaning against the tree, She had seen the departure of the leech named Angel and the disgusting pining that she could all but smell from the slayer at the lost of her ‘true love’.
She snorted at the thought that any human could believe that they would find love with a leech, even one with a soul.
Watching as her erstwhile patrol partner lifted his friend off the ground and into his arms she merely turned away from the view and back into the cemetery itself, after all there was work to be done.