All Hallow's Eve, Part 2
All Hallow’s Eve, Part 2
“How do you know she went this way?” Tanis asked after a few moments of running. There was no way ‘princess’ could have out run them, especially considering the damned dress she wore.
“I can smell her,” Angel answered under his breath. Not sure he heard correctly, Tanis was about to ask again. A sudden turn down a dark ally stopped that line of thought, as they came upon what looked to be a pirate, pinning Buffy against a wall and licking her throat as his other hand was beginning to pull her dress up.
Tanis acted without thought, dropping his bow and drawing his blade as he walked, fearlessly, towards the pirate, who snarled and pushed Buffy aside, drawing his cutlass smoothly. Something within him wished to see this scag hurt, but not killed. Something about honor, and saving face. Tanis wasn’t about to argue with that part of him, bringing his blade around in a sweeping hack, forcing the pirate further away from Buffy.
For a few moments they danced, but from the beginning everyone knew who would win this match. Tanis had decades of elven tutored swordsmanship, where the pirate just had whatever he had learned in a few short years, if that. When the pirate came at Tanis with a savage underhand chop, the half-elf merely side-stepped, ramming the pommel of his blade into the pirate’s head, knocking the fool out cold.
“That was… strangely satisfying,” Tanis murmured as he sheathed his blade and accepted his bow from Cordelia. “Almost as if we had some unfinished business…”
“Now’s not the best time to deal with this,” Cordelia said suddenly, facing the other end of the alley. A large group of demons, both humanoid and not, was approaching them at a brisk pace. Their leader, a lanky vampire wearing a black leather duster and sporting unnaturally blonde hair, laughed heartily as they quickly closed the distance.
“Alright, time to make a choice between us and them,” Tanis muttered as he drew an arrow and laid it across his bow. “Get them out of here.”
“Those vampires you can kill,” Angel said as he quickly lifted Buffy and began jogging further into the all.
Grinning slightly, Tanis raised his bow and released, followed immediately by another arrow, and another….
“Oh, fuck,” Spike cursed, his eyes wide as the cloaked archer released a stream of arrows towards him, taking aim and releasing with a speed that was just beyond human. Reacting purely on instinct, he dove to the side, letting his various minions take the shafts meant for his heart. Even with his sudden movement, he had to bat aside three shafts, before taking one painfully in the shoulder.
“Kill him!” he yelled, rising to his feet at leading the charge down the ally, knocking aside or barely dodging the arrows that continued to fly.
Muttering under his breath, Tanis turned and ran in pursuit of his companions. He had killed a few of the vampires with his arrows, but the leader was no more than slightly hurt, and looking VERY pissed off. Knowing he wouldn’t be able to hold them any longer, he ran full out, hoping that the others had figured something out.
Seeing the woman, Cordelia, peeking out of a slightly opened doorway, he ducked inside quickly. Angel slammed the door shut and began to block the entrance with whatever was handy. He nodded his thanks as he fought to catch his breath.
This isn’t gonna end well, Tanis thought darkly.
Then, there was a pull within him. Blinking slowly, Xander glanced around the warehouse, complete confusion written on his face. Standing quickly, he first noticed the same look was clear on Buffy’s face.
“What the hell just happened?!”
A long night. If she only had any idea.
Xander had vague memories of the actual night, hazy almost-images of what he had done, how he had reacted with speed and skill to every threat, even considering he hadn’t killed anyone, it was impressive as hell. Come to think of it, it was because he managed not to kill anyone…
Shaking his head slightly, Xander resisted the urge to brush his hair behind his ears. Some things hadn’t gone back to normal at the end of the spell. One physical aspect that he was glad didn’t completely change back was his hair, now a good deal longer than it had been, hiding his ears completely.
His half elven ears.
“Xander, what brings you here?” Giles asked, the surprise evident in his tone. For all the surprises that the Hellmouth had brought him in the last two years, this was one the Watcher was least prepared to see. It wasn’t often Xander willingly walked into the library, at least without either Willow or Buffy.
“I need to talk to you,” the boy said quietly, his eyes downcast and his shoulders slightly
Moments passed in silence as Giles merely watched Xander, waiting with a slight growing apprehension as the silence between them stretched. Finally removing his glasses and cleaning them slowly, the Watcher decided to speak.
“What is it, Xander?” the cold tone of the older man’s voice broke Xander out of his slight daze. This was a side of the Watcher he had never seen before.
“It’s about last night,” he began softly. “You said that there should be no lasting effects from the spell. But I have these memories…”
“They’ll fade in short order,” Giles interrupted, but the rest of his explanation was cut short at Xander’s sudden snort. Whatever the Watcher was going to say in reply died in his throat when the young man brushed back his hair, longer than he remembered, to reveal ears that tapered slightly at the tips, giving them a definite point that wasn’t human at all.
“You see, Giles,” Xander said, his voice slightly bitter, “I doubt that this is just a passing thing. I’ve changed.”
Hands still cleaning his glasses, now with slightly more force, Giles could only nod. Seeing that he wasn’t getting anything, Xander sighed heavily and walked out of the library, his footfalls heavy.
He didn’t get far before she caught up with him. This was one confrontation that he was expecting, considering how long he had known her. There was no way she wouldn’t be able to tell there was something different about him, and a part of him was thankful for that, while another part feared what her reaction would be.
“Xander, wait up!” Willow called to him, his longer strides almost out-distancing her despite her jogging to catch him. With another sigh, he slowed his pace, glancing down at her when she was beside him.
“Hey, Wills,” his greeting was a touch bitter, and the smile he wore obviously forced.
“What’s wrong?” Damn loaded questions.
“I’m not sure,” he answered honestly. “Giles knows, and I think he’s gonna try and figure it out, as soon as he gets over the shock.” Her wide-eyed stare brought a slight chuckle from him. “Something got left over from last night. I think it’s not a bad thing, but it’s unexpected, based on G-man’s reaction.” He discreetly brushed his hair back from one ear, showing her what he meant.
“You-you’re-but-how-why-he’s-you’re!” Ah. The Willow-babble.
“Breathe…” he said with a slight smirk. “Relax, Wills. I’m gonna see how much of him stayed, how much I can use.” With a slight wink, he walked out the front door of the school and began his quick trip home. School, at least for today, didn’t matter that much for him. He had preparations to make.
Sunnydale, just after nightfall
Crouched low in the shadows cast by the brush, Xander waited with uncharacteristic patience, his body loose and his breathing relaxed. Memories of the years that were not his own brought skills to him as if they were second nature. One of them was knowing how to hunt, how to move stealthily through woodlands…
…and how to kill. The fledgling’s grave that he was watching burst open as the vampire rose for the first time, the woman’s face twisted from the demon within. She spent a moment brushing the earth from her funeral clothes, a vanity that wouldn’t help her now.
Xander brought the bow up smoothly, pulling the string back with casual grace, the fletching lightly brushing his cheek as he sighted his shot. Exhaling softly, he released.
A blank look of shock was evident on the demon’s face as the sudden whistle alerted it to the danger, but far too late. She crumbled to dust seconds after the arrow pierced her undead heart, leaving the arrow to fall to the ground when gravity once again had an unimpeded hold.
There was a grim smile on his face when he moved undetected through the graveyard to retrieve his arrow. After all, it’s not often a vampire is dusted from close to 100 yards, a shot that would have been amazing for any human, given the conditions. The dark, the distance, and the target’s size.
For an elf, it was pretty simple. The darkness no longer impeded his vision, something Xander couldn’t rightly explain. Just when it started to get too dark for him to see clearly, his eyes shifted slightly, and the shadows seemed to be light just enough for him to see clearly. Every movement of the bow came to him as if he had done it for decades, the smooth release done without hesitation or thought.
Sliding the arrow back into the quiver he had made earlier in the day, Xander crouched low, considering his options, as it were.
“What options?” he murmured with a slight smile. Xander Harris had only one, and
considering the memories in his head, Tanis would have only one himself.
Staying low, moving from shadow to shadow, Xander stalked the night, his bow at the ready.
A/N: Please, leave reviews and tell me what you think!