John X Doe
John X Doe (1 of ?)
Author: Tohonomike firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners...it will start off with the Joss/ME characters, and any other characters or real-life folks are clearly not mine. NO money is involved. None are mine. There is at least a Highlander (not mine and pre-Endgame) cameo if not outright crossover. We’ll see where this one goes.
Xander had decided to hang around and say goodbye to Buffy when Hank Summers showed to pick up his daughter for the summer. As the divorced parents talked things over in the kitchen, Xander joked about her lying out next to the pool or swimming for the whole summer.
Buffy shook her head, suddenly in a slightly down mood, “I think I’ll be staying away from water for a while, Xander.”
“Hey Buff, don’t be afraid of the water. It was a one-time thing. I brought ya back. No more drowning Buffs, Buff.”
Buffy gave her best male friend a half-smile, about to say something, when from behind them Buffy’s father places his hand on her shoulder. Joyce was still inside.
“Buffy? You, you drowned, Honey?”
Buffy was at a loss for words as her dad hugged her rather than start with the yelling. Xander thought fast, hoping to prevent Buffy from getting into trouble.
“Mr. Summers, she’s fine. She, she fell and landed in the water. I did the whole CPR thing. She’s just a little jumpy’s all.”
“Obfuscation like that at so young an age is the sign of a future lawyer or business manager, son,” Hank Summers directed seriously but not in a hostile manner.
“Not me, sir. No money, so no real prospects in my future. Least I can look after my friends.”
Hank Summers looked at the kid, who didn’t look away, but wasn’t challenging him. The older man turned back to his daughter. He listened to Buffy’s slight alteration of facts. Hank looked at the kid who seemed to have saved his daughter but wasn’t really taking credit for it. He put a hand on Xander’s shoulder and guided the boy away from Buffy and Joyce when the mom came out and went over a few things at the last minute, but was still unaware. The men waited near the car.
“So…you saved my daughter’s life?”
“Yeah…but she would have made it…”
“It doesn’t sound that way. You think you might look for summer work?”
“Um, sure. I guess.”
“Well here, kid. My card and numbers,” the man told him as Buffy and Joyce came up to the car, everything looking resolved. “Next week, give me a call and we’ll talk on the phone. It’ll probably be errands and stuff…mail room. But it pays pretty well. And who knows? If you’re good we sometimes have part-time spots open for weekends.”
“I’ll think about it, sir. But I don’t know if my folks’ll let me.”
“Hey, hold the card. If not this summer, maybe some day, kid. I owe you.”
Xander nodded, and watched as they left before looking at the card: Henry Holland Summers III, Chief Auditor, Wolfram & Hart.
May 2003 – Los Angeles
Angel and Vail finished discussing what the vampire wanted for his son. Details of what would be required were unimportant to the future executive of the law firm. So Vail added a special twist of his own.
“We can save him, but it will require as a template the memories of the living human that considers you his greatest enemy. This will ensure his separation from you”
Angel could really only think of two people, both in Sunnydale that fit that condition. But it was the boy who would fit that description best. But Angel wasn’t going to voice a name when things progressed.
“Done.” And suddenly Angel was at Wolfram & Hart in the lobby with the rest of his team. Vail was out of sight, and Lilah smugly approached.
May 2003 - Sunnydale
“Where’s Xander?” Angel asked as he entered the house and saw the others he new.
“Don’t know,” Buffy replied with only the tiniest bit of worry mixed in with her exasperation at the missing carpenter. “A few days ago, he just wasn’t here anymore. His stuff was gone; not even a note. I guess with losing the eye and all, he finally decided to call it quits.”
“He lost an eye?” Angel asked, shocked, “When?”
“A couple weeks, but since he’s not here, we can’t worry about it until the fight’s over.” Angel felt a bit of unease at the timing of Alexander Harris’s disappearance, but was even more concerned with Buffy’s emotional detachment. The other seemed under a huge amount of stress, and none of it made a lot of sense as to how they were handling things.
“Has Willow tried a spell to find him?”
“We’re not letting her do magic except in emergencies, Angel. The whole ‘Dark Willow’ episode and all. We don’t want to strain her.”
Angel felt dread mount, and after talking just a bit with Faith, Giles, Dawn and Giles, made a call from his car as they left.
“Wesley? This is Angel. You know those ‘teams’ we have working for us now? I want them sent to Sunnydale. I don’t know if Buffy’s going to be able to pull through this time, and we should be ready just in case. No, I want them to stay out of sight until it seems the last battle begins…then move in wherever possible. If there really are Turok-Hans under the Hellmouth, we should be ready to stop it. Good. I’ll be at the mansion; we’ll base out of there.”
The Fight at the Hellmouth
The battle didn’t go so well, though the teams moved in quickly and effectively. A pair of the uber-vamps made it over and through a surprised and quickly-ended Andrew and Anya and threw Robin and Willow aside as the Wolfram & Hart contingent reached that section of the school and counter-attacked. Beside her, a semi-conscious Buffy picked up the Slayer Scythe and frowning, turned to the mercenaries.
“You guys know the score?” she asked the half-demons, who nodded, “I need to get down there and make sure Spike does whatever he needs to do to stop them. Let’s go.”
Fifty mercenaries were able to hold the vampires in a few bottlenecks after most of the potentials fell. On Angel’s orders given from a darkened RV-Command Post outside, Gunn and Wesley charged in with secondary teams and broke through to rescue the girls.
Spike began to light up from where he, Buffy, Faith and two teams were being slowly ground down in isolation, when Gunn’s guys broke through for a minute.
“Hey Gunn!” Faith shouted as she used a pair of short swords to barely take out an uber, “Joining the fun?!”
“Nah…gotta get you out girl!” he shouted as Clem and a team set up a few M-60s and started in providing cover with half-tracers and half high explosive rounds. “Get moving!”
Spike’s glowing turned to beams filling the cavern, and he turned to Faith before Buffy could say anything.
“Get her out of here Slayer!” the Spike-corrupted soul of William Ragsdale shouted in cooperation with the demon inside, “I’ll hold them!”
Faith nodded, grabbed the Scythe from the Spike-distracted slayer, sliced off the head of the last immediately-threatening vampire before using the haft to tap the blonde slayer into unconsciousness.
“Which one are you?” Faith asked the sun-beaming undead as she threw Buffy over her back. The sacrifice thought for a moment.
“Both of us, Slayer. Both of us.”
Of the Sunnydale Contingent, only Buffy, Faith, Giles, Dawn and Willow escape the Hellmouth, and only the two slayers failed to sustain injuries taking longer than a week to heal. And the slayers, exhausted, bruised and beaten, were too tired to think by the time Angel’s Wolfram & Hart guys got them to LA and away from the sinking city.
June 1st, 2003
Cyrus Vail smiled as his minions left to take the young man and leave him naked and alone on the island up in the Pacific Northwest. Vail had objected strenuously to turning over Wolfram & Hart, and so had prepared his own ‘vengeance weapon’ in the event that the mistake destroyed him.
And so he’d downloaded the entire archives, mundane as well as supernatural, into a mind altered to handle it all down to the genetic level. And much of the changes occurred between the vampire’s son and the ‘weapon.’ No longer would the ‘Destroyer’ be the only one of his kind, and his place in the scheme of things taken by a Light piece now Grey.
The intriguing presence of former possessions and memories were quite useful in bridging the differences between human and human child of vampires. Both were used up, but fused the parts of the ‘weapon’ into a viable singular individual whose essence would eventually turn it to the destruction of the undead. The tiniest dormant traces of unusual DNA were put to use in making a better creation. And the man’s new eye, even if it meant colorblindness, would allow Vail to observe to his own amusement or need what the ‘One Who Sees’ experienced if it moved him to so do.
And the best part?
Should Vail die or the son of Angelus embrace his father openly and with acceptance, the power, memories and resentment of both weapon and vampire’s son would fully activate in the Sunnydale man, and he’d have the knowledge to end the vampire and his supporters. The nice thing about being evil is the ability to twist good intentions when convenient.
June 2nd, 2003
“Sire…” a minion hesitated as it approached him in his office. He waved it to continue. “Your, um, latest project seems to have been…taken just before we were going to drop it off on the island as planned.”
“By whom?” the demon hissed angrily, “The vampire?”
“No sir. We only know that two humans were involved, both with unidentified rune markings. One was older, about fifty, and the other maybe in his early thirties. There was a feeling of familiarity to how they entered and departed, like they’d been here before. But the brain damage to the guards was so great, that nothing further could be drawn from the corpses.”
“Very well. What did scrying show?”
“Nothing, Sir. We believe the project was Marked, sir. Possibly Branded.”
“Oh well, begin the next project. This one will activate even if I can’t amuse myself beforehand. Oh, and Ramius? Kill the entire security detail for incompetence.”
June 3rd, 2003
“Well, did you have to shoot him?” the older man asked, “He might not survive.”
“We couldn’t let him exert himself too much in escaping before the Brand healed into him. Otherwise, our chance to guide him later wouldn’t work. Vail would recognize us both.”
“Yes, but what of the two bullets in the back?”
“I injected a little Mohra extract into him. Even if he doesn’t find help on his own, he should heal within a week.”
“That’s only if he survives the day.”
“That’s a risk I’m willing to take to replace or takeover the Black Thorn.”
“You’re lucky I put in the change-of-management clause in your contract; as a free agent, you’ll be able to avoid the vampire’s scrying should he have the firm try.”
“It’s been handy. Though I’m sure you did it for more than just my ability to fire a gun.”
“Do you think leaving him where Vail planned is the best option? Oh, and next time shoot in the ass and not the back.”
“….fine. And the island plan works for us, as for the plan, Vail’s assets have already left for Los Angeles. How are you set in the area while I’m in LA?”
“I placed a compulsion to seek me out within a few days. I have a place I’ve part-owned for the last few years. Spent my vacation time up there establishing myself. So I’ve sent my partner off to use up all the leave time I owe him. I think he’s heading to Paris for a while.”
“So did you find out who he was?”
“No, all I know is he’s from one of the Hellmouths, and that Vail replaced a lost eye.”
“If I find anything I’ll let you know. What name are you going by up there?”
“Digger. It’s how Dawson and the others know me.”
June 3rd, 2003
The dark-haired man woke up chilled; he was naked; he was confused and filled with pain, fear and sensory overload. He made it to his feet and began running. He ran some more, at an unbelievable rate had anyone been there to watch. He ran over the edge of a cliff and down he plummeted into the water. The cold slowed down the bleeding of the run-reopened wounds. He screamed and cackled and went silent as he came back up to the surface, then dove deep again…something about his lungs allowing him to ignore deep worries of drowning. His subconscious solely worried about the cold as he swam and swam and … passed out.