Death Moves To Sunnydale
Author: Tohonomike tohonomike@a...
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... Joss/ME characters Spelling and others. I do not and cannot make money off of this, but for feedback I try to churn out a quality product.
Thanks for reading
Friday, October 31st, 1997
Xander had been quite happy to have avoided Fuhrer Snyder’s Halloween duty, and decided to play a joke on a few of his friends, especially G-Man. Xander figured a little humor on the Hellmouth was well in order.
Xander had recently managed to get the girls to switch from foreign channels, to at least renting foreign movies with subtitles for movie nights. And had considered the idea of a last great Trick or Treat dress up. Ingmar Bergman’s Death, as revealed in the Last Action Hero, to be specific, but he also carried a Black King to represent a chess set, and different game pieces to represent games played by the Grim Reaper in Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey. And this had gotten him to look up on the Internet any other movies involving Death as a character, only to find a trailer for Meet Joe Black.
‘I wonder if that version of Death would interest the ladies?’ he mused before grabbing his scythe and heading out to run an errand for Uncle Rory before meeting up with the girls and convincing them to crash parties. He crammed the ‘Houdini’ movie ticket into his pocket and wondered what lurked in the old vineyard he was walking by when Ethan’s spell swept over Sunnydale.
Light burst from the vineyard, and the building exploded as a beam of light particles merged into the transforming toy, turning it in truth, into Death’s Scythe. The young man grew four inches in height, and his face went blank as he moved, almost gliding, through the streets of the Chaos-afflicted town.
Death felt amused to be in Existence, and with the merged abilities and viewpoint of the Deaths Xander had accessed, but also those Perceived by all humans living on the Hellmouth as a group, a Dark and Unseen figure.
The Mayor’s mansion was free from most magic effects—the Wards so strong that Janus’ effects moved around and onward rather than forcing the issue. Party guests were left ‘normal’ though a man came through the garden dressed as the Grim Reaper. Richard Wilkins had no idea who it could be but sensed Power approaching. He turned away for a moment, only to be startled as the dark and pale figure was right next to him. Richard lifted a hand to cast a spell, but the lifeless black stare sapped him of that ambition as the figure continued by.
“Mayor Wilkins, Death by Demonic Replacement, June 1999.”
“You mean Ascension,” the mage replied to himself, but the dark figure turned and whispered at him from ten feet away.
“Demons lie, Richard. Death does not.”
“If I give up Ascension?” the man replied, sensing with his magic Truth and Power, and little else.
“August 2029 of old age.”
“Hmm, I prefer that choice.”
“Done.” The figure was gone when Richard looked up, and felt the demonic energy gone from his body, but not his innate magical abilities.
“I’m…clean of soul….well gosh, what now?”
The figure left the estate and continued until he came to a gallery a short time later, a party in which all of the attendees were not who they seemed, but played it so close to their chests they’d not let this on. A vampire tried to press by, but dusted from the contact with the True Death, and not just the semblance of undeath.
The Being looked around, and walked by several humans, and checked them off lists for the costumes and the hosts. Confusing at first, but it made an odd sense. To one woman who bumped into him and ‘lost’ the possession of the Chaos magic, he similarly and with future consequences made a statement.
“Joyce Summers, aneurism following brain tumor, February 2001.”
Joyce looked up as a taller Xander Harris with very cold eyes touched several people on the shoulders, causing them to shake their heads clear in his wake.
“How odd, I’ll have to check with Buffy and make sure Xander isn’t doing drugs. I never thought he’d say something that disturbing.”
The figure passed an American secondary school and from his former self’s memories and was intrigued by the…Hellmouth. The locked doors to the library opened as though they hadn’t even been closed, interrupting three women inside.
“Xander!” redheaded spirit called out, only to be ignored as Death stood atop the Hellmouth and drew in Power.
“Feeling…how interesting,” he considered and looked at a possessed Slayer, the aforementioned spirit-that-should-not-be, and a Romany of fair Potential but very little Practice.
“You are Jana Kalderash; my lists have you down for February 25th, 1998 by spinal dislocation at the hands of Angelus. Interesting. Willow Rosenberg, “May 12th, 2002 –removal from list due to magical transformation.” He waved his hand through her and she suddenly disappeared. Jenny Calendar became very upset at the possible meaning.
“Did you kill her, Xander?!”
“The spirit is back in its body. Miss Rosenberg is not currently on my list of assignments, Miss Kalderash.” The Being looked over at the fainted Slayer. "Elizabeth Anne Summers. I put her back on the list once. Her new appointment…fascinating… May 19th, 1999 by vampiric exsanguination. May 23rd, 2001 by magical tides. May 25th, 2004 by suffocation at the hands of the creature known as The Immortal, then-last member of the Black Thorn.”
“You know when we’re going to die?”
“I know the moment of your deaths, Miss…Calendar…because I *am* Death.” She froze in confirmed shock, and watched as he continued to look at Buffy, “Lady Elizabeth Linda Travers, long overdue. Be At Rest, Child.”
He walked out as Jenny ran to check on the sleeping girl whose wig had returned and fallen off.
The Chaos magic provided another Curiosity to one that was now detached from Living. A humanoid in dark approached him warily as they reached the front of a row of shops.
“You came back on my lists nearly a century ago, Liam.” Death holds up a hand which causes Angel to freeze in place. “Romany curse. Fascinating. A moment of true happiness breaks it…and releases the monster anew. This happens…with a Slayer, January—”
“Xander!” Giles calls as he comes up and observes and hears. Then sees Xander has black, not brown, eye coloration. The cowled young man looks at Rupert.
“Alexander is not exactly here, Ripper.”
“W-Where is he, then?”
“Oh, he’s … in the background, much like Angelus in the background of Liam, here. Don’t worry, unlike the others tonight, he’ll be Gifted with a Curse?”
“How? Ethan Rayne didn’t realize he was tapping a State of Being…and very much embodying it in a single person.”
“But how does one undo an Underlying Principle of the Universe? One doesn’t.”
“What about Xander?”
“How does that work?”
“He will be Death.”
“Good Lord. But he’ll still be, well, Xander?”
“Will he be able to answer these questions as you are now?”
“Oh. And where would I find Ethan Rayne?”
“Oh.” Death turned around and looked at the soul. He did not Judge souls; he merely had the Power to deliver between States of Being. Had he been so inclined, he could reverse or undo, but such was not the situation with Death. And so the thought of doing so in this case…just never developed. He waved his hand, and Angel stumbled. “You fascinate me, vampire. Now run along and don’t enjoy a moment of happiness with the Slayer. It would keep Alexander too busy.”
The Being moved away, and walked toward a costume store. Angel looked to Giles, who nodded in such a way as to indicate the vampire should leave. Rupert then walked quickly to catch up as the door opened in front of Death and the Being silently moved into the room beyond. As Giles entered the premises, Death strode into the next room to find a bust of Janus.
“Well, Elder God, what you hath wrought tonight was Epic…and we’ll now see how permanent.” Giles entered from the front, and Ethan from further in back, a bit shocked to feel the build up of Power. A few seconds later he felt completely drained of magic, and even his old friend seemed a bit peaked.
The statue dusted *into* Death, and the cowl became a dark perfectly tailored suit on the young man, hair perfect, shoes shining perfectly, and the Scythe became a tasteful but very large watch on Xander’s wrist.
He turned to the now-former Chaos Mage. “I suggest you and Giles remove the Marks from your arms. Otherwise, in a little over two weeks I’ll be made aware of your passing.”
Ethan looked confused, and a bit scared. Giles, in exhaustion, did not draw it out, “You brought Death into the world, for real, Ethan.”
Alexander turned to him, “Death was a concept, until a generic costume and a movie ticket took everyone’s perceptions of a ‘human-like’ Death, and you merged it onto me, Mr. Rayne. Though lucky for me, I saw ‘Death takes a Holiday’ recently with Willow and Buffy, and an early trailer fro a movie called ‘Meet Joe Black’ which is a remake. So Alexander Harris’ perceptions such as they were, mean that I know death as Death.”
Ethan paled at the possibilities. “Good Lord…what have I done?”
“More than Janus expected, not that he’s around any more.”
“Xander?” Giles asked carefully, “What does that mean?”
“It took the power of an Elder God to make sure Alexander was affixed in reality. So Janus is now a graduate student of archaeology at Oxford. Fully human.”
“You didn’t kill him?”
“Drained of all power, left him the ‘personified’ human self. NOW, he’s on my lists…”
“If I want to know a person’s death given the current situation, I know it, G-Man.” The young man looked tired. Ethan Rayne didn’t have a clue as what to do now.
“You could try running a real business, connecting to this life thing, and making the most of it before your time.”
“I, I don’t know…how?”
“Giles…help him figure it out. I need to take a walk and keep some kids from being prematurely crossed off my lists.”
“You’ll be alright?”
“It’d be hard to kill Death, Giles. Not impossible, but anyway, I have some kids to save if I can. And there’s an outside chance this will wear off at dawn.”