Warrior…High School Student…Slayerette???
Prologue a.k.a Keeping Vampires out of Trouble.
“Once Dahok, the one true god is released from his prison, then the mortal plane will be his kingdom, and all who resides therein, his subjects. To thee, known as the Kindred, thou must assist him to rise, or he will fail. Once Dahok has been raised, with your assistance, you will be raised above all other creatures, and you will feast upon mortal kind for eternity,” Spike read through the scroll, translating as he went.
“Now there’s a cheerful thought,” Angelus quipped.
“What do you think, Dru my love?” Spike inquired.
“Raise Dahok, he will help us kill the Slayer and her friends. Then when they are dead, no more biting anything we can get our hands on, we’ll have the pick of the crop. We can breed mortals as cattle. Dahok will assist us,” Druscilla rambled on in her half prophetic, part insane manner.
“Well Angelus, it looks like this plan is a goer. We got a rite to caste and we need some blood sacrifices,” Spike stated.
“I’ll chase some of those lazy bastards out into the night to chase us up some suitable candidates. I think I’ll put more vampires on the street. Lets keep the Slayer busy so she doesn’t get wind of what we’re doing. They always manage to pull a rabbit out of their hat,” Angelus said, his frustration showing.
Spike wished that his sire would just go ahead, kill the Slayer and get it over and done with, but that just wasn’t the case. Angelus wanted to play with her a while longer. While Spike didn’t begrudge Angelus his playtime, there were certain responsibilities.
Part 1 a.k.a Xander Kicks Ass
Buffy was swamped by vampires. They were all over her, jumping, biting, snarling and grabbing. As she dusted one, she had to admit that this was almost as bad as a Marilyn Manson concert. For three nights she had been attacked continuously by vampires. She had managed to kill them, but they just kept coming. Xander and Willow were somewhere around here, fighting as well, but she couldn’t see them. She silently prayed they were all right as she launched a crescent kick at two vampires in front of her and followed with stakes.
“Score two more for the Slayer. The Vampires have yet to score,” she said as they growled and redoubled their efforts.
Soon she was swarmed under and she was honestly scared. It was then she heard the sound.
“IYIYIYIYIYIYIYIYIY!” a male voice cried out.
The vampires turned around just as Xander did a somersault into the middle of them. Now Buffy was completely confused. Xander was there for moral support and maybe a little comedy relief. What was he doing, standing in the middle of ten vampires, and kicking their asses with a series of complicated martial arts moves.
“Kicking their asses?” she exclaimed to herself.
She didn’t think that Xander even knew how to fight like that. She watched as he punched one, and it flew over her head. Then it flew back over her head and landed in a crumpled heap on the ground in front of her.
“Is there an echo around here?” Buffy asked, as she turned around and her mouth dropped to the ground.
Willow was using a broom in quarterstaff fashion, and any vampire that got within reach of her was taking their lives in their hands.
“Buff, drop back and suck up some O2. Let me and Xander take care of these beasties.” Willow ordered with a smile that indicated that she was enjoying herself.
Buffy’s mind was scrambled, and unable to think of what to do next she grabbed a seat on the ground, ready to jump up if Xander or Willow looked like they needed any help. They didn’t, and soon the remaining vampires were running for their lives. Xander grabbed Willow’s broom and threw it javelin style. It flew in the air and thudded into the back of a fleeing vampire, turning him into dust.
“Now that was fun, how are you feeling, tall, dark and intimidating?” Willow asked as she walked over to Xander and punched him lightly on the shoulder.
“Amateurs,” Xander commented, the contempt evident in his voice.
“That was some little display guys. What made you go ‘wild bunch’ on them?” Buffy asked as she walked over.
“I really don’t know, all I know is that I felt like kicking a little ass, and those Bacchii were graceful enough to supply theirs.” Xander answered as he looked down at himself.
“Bacchii? What the hell are those?” Buffy asked.
“Bacchii are the followers of the Greek god Bacchus. They had similar characteristics to vampires. Now how did I know that?” Willow asked as she looked down at herself.
“Great, Angelus is throwing every vamp he can get his hands on, at me, and now my friends are wigging out. What the hell are you to doing?” Buffy asked. Xander and Willow were still looking at each other and themselves.
“Definitely in need of a wardrobe change,” Xander commented.
“Couldn’t agree with you more. How did we get away with looking like such dorks?” Willow asked.
“Maybe everything will be clear in the morning, otherwise I’m tapping my ruby slippers together,” Buffy said in a resigned manner.
Together the three walked away from the scene of the battle, and Buffy watched her friends. Xander’s slouch was non existent. He was walking straight and his shoulders were back. There was a certain confident swagger to his walk and he seemed to be completely alert. Not only that but he seemed a lot more dangerous. Buffy had to admit that it was kinda sexy. Willow chattered away, talking about everything and nothing. She seemed to have a happy skip in her walk. Buffy was used to Willow’s abstract conversations, but this was completely different. Willow was never this deliberately cheerful.
“I need an aspirin,” Buffy stated.
Maybe Giles could work it out tomorrow, she hoped.
Part 2 a.k.a A New Wardrobe
“Are you sure that you weren’t hit too hard over the head Buffy? This is Xander and Willow we’re talking about. I mean they are passionate people, but they hardly have the level of skill you have.” Giles commented after hearing Buffy’s story.
Cordelia and Oz were listening on, their faces a mask of obvious disbelief.
“Giles, its true. I sat back and watched Willow and Xander dust a pack of vampires.” Buffy insisted.
“Buffy, we’re talking about Xander. Xander is reasonably funny, maybe a little on the gorgeous side if you find geekishness attractive. He can be brave on occasion, but this is Xander?” Cordelia stated.
“Someone call?” a voice asked from the door of the library, causing them all to turn around.
“Oh my lord,” Cordelia whispered in an awed manner.
Buffy could do nothing but nod. Oz was making strangled noises and Giles looked ready to start stuttering his way all around the room. After Xander’s comment about needing a wardrobe change, it appeared as if the two had done something about it.
Xander was wearing black leather pants, a black leather blazer and a black silk shirt. He looked incredibly sexy. Willow was wearing a green midriff top and a brown wrap around skirt. The outfit showed off a slim waist and a shapely figure that Buffy didn’t even think Willow possessed. Her normally free flowing hair was braided back in a complicated but suitable fashion.
“Man its quiet in here. Hi Giles, got any prophecies for me to research,” Willow asked perkily as she walked over to her computer.
She stopped and kissed Oz on the way through. He just sat there, eyeing her. Xander walked around the table, and Buffy felt her throat go dry. Since when had he become so intimidating? He gave her a long look in passing, and then went over and took Cordelia in his arms. He kissed her long and passionately, and when they were finished, Cordelia was gasping for air. Suddenly Buffy stiffened as something occurred to her,
“Cordy, what colour are Xander’s eyes?” she asked.
“Why they’re brown of course,” Cordy answered as she looked into his eyes and then looked again. “They’re blue. Xander Harris, are those contacts?” she accused.
“No,” Xander answered, giving her a look that would have shattered rocks.
Cordelia Chase, who was only afraid of her hair not being perfect all the time, shrank back from him.
Part 3 a.k.a Possessions and ‘B’ grade Movies
“Well, this is interesting. Obviously something has happened to our friends,” Giles commented.
“Ya think?” Cordelia commented, half way between turned on by his kiss, and puzzled by his change of eye colour.
“Willow, come and spar with me,” Buffy stated as she tossed a quarterstaff at her friend.
Ever since it had been determined that Xander’s eyes had gone from brown to blue, she had everyone’s complete attention. She wanted to give Giles and idea of what they could do.
Willow caught the quarterstaff deftly and waited for Buffy to attack. Buffy did so, and Willow defended almost instinctively. She fought with smooth, fluent moves, and Buffy found herself being pushed back. Finally Willow knocked the quarterstaff out of Buffy’s hands and held one end to the Slayer’s throat.
“That was something. I wonder what she could do with a sword?” Giles asked.
“I could never use a sword. Carrying a sword makes you a target, while a quarterstaff doesn’t look dangerous…….why did I just say that?” Willow asked, completely confused.
“Giles, have you got an answer here?” Buffy asked.
“I’d say that we’re dealing with some type of possession here, where Xander and Willow have taken on certain aspects of a departed spirit’s personality. What we need to do is identify who has possessed them,” Giles answered.
“Is it harmful to them?” Oz asked, instantly worried about his girlfriend.
“I don’t believe so. From what I gather, the spirits that have taken them over, were very strong, but good. I will know more when further changes manifest themselves. How do you feel Xander?” he asked.
“I feel like a vampire whose been given a soul,” Xander said in a dead manner, causing them to stare at him.
“Can you explain further?” Giles inquired.
“I’ll try, but it’s a jumble in here,” Xander said as he tapped his head, before continuing, “I have done many bad things in my life. I have commanded armies. I have hurt and killed innocent people. I have ravaged whole nations. But a kind man showed me the error of my ways. My guilt almost incapacitated me, and I threw away my weapons, vowing to live a life of peace and good deeds. Then I came across a town being attacked by slavers. One fiery young redhead fought back, but she didn’t have the skill to fight them off. I realised that this was my destiny. Instead of fighting for evil, I was to fight for good and help those that couldn’t defend themselves.”
All were quiet when he had finished. It was almost like Xander had been pushed aside and someone else had taken over.
“This is too weird,” Cordy quipped, recovering from her initial freakout and wrapping her arms around him, because he seemed incredibly upset by his revelation.
“What about you, Willow?” Giles asked, his staring eyes indicating heavy concentration.
Willow thought about it for a long while, and then a light of understanding appeared in her eyes, almost as if a lightbulb was shining over her head. Her eyes became distant as she began to talk.
“I was this chatty young woman in a village. I loved telling stories, but I always felt there was more in my life. One-day slavers attacked us. They got my sister and I. I tried to talk them out of it, and then I tried to fight back, but they were stronger and more skilled than I was. This warrior appeared out of the bushes and they looked scared. The warrior mopped the floor with the slavers, and then walked away. I knew my destiny was to follow the warrior. In time the warrior accepted me and taught me to use the quarterstaff. I told stories in bars and inns to get enough money for food. Mostly I told stories of the exploits of warrior’s search for redemption. We make a good team,” Willow stated with an impish smile.
“Well, that kind of narrows it down. A warrior and a storyteller wandering the land and helping people,” Giles said.
“Sounds like the plot to a B grade movie,” Buffy answered.
“Now if we could only narrow down the search perimeters, like an era,” Giles said.
“Xander said something about Bacchii, and Willow gave us this whole spiel about Bacchii being the followers of Bacchus. From what I’ve gathered, the two had fought them before.” Buffy stated as Giles eyes lit up.
“Classical Greece and Rome it is. Willow, will you surf the net for me. You might be able to automatically cut down the search,” Giles suggested.
“Sure Giles,” Willow stated.
“What do you want me to do?” Xander asked
“You could start looking up the catalogue for Ancient Greece,” Giles suggested.
Cordelia cut him off, saying, “You can borrow leather boy later, Giles. Right now, I need him.”
Xander gave her a puzzled look that turned speculative when something occurred to him.
“Janitor’s closet?” he asked.
“Uh-huh,” she answered as she grabbed his hand and walked out of the room.
Part 4 a.k.a Identity Crisis by the Power of Four
Two hours later, Cordelia and Xander returned to the library, both looking very flustered and more than a little dazed.
“Did you find anything?” Xander asked as he kissed Cordelia sweetly and walked over to Willow, looking over her shoulder.
Buffy felt more than a little jealous. Xander could have quite easily doubled for Angel with all that leather, and the inner anguish. Sure he may have been possessed, but at least it wasn’t by a vampire.
“Possibly. Using what information we had, we researched a famed warrior of Ancient Greece. A former warlord who turned their back on evil and fought for goodness for the rest of her life,” Giles stated.
“Excuse me, but did you say ‘her’?” Cordelia exclaimed.
“If I may quote. ‘In a land of turmoil, the people cried out for a hero. She was Xena, a warrior forged in the heat of battle.’ This comes from the Xena Scrolls that tell of the adventures of Xena, Warrior Princess. The Bard who travelled with her, a young woman she rescued from slavers, wrote them. A woman who was apparently quite skilled with a quarterstaff, and who was called Gabrielle,” Giles explained.
“Hang on, so does that make Willow, Willow the Bard, and me?” Xander inquired as Buffy started laughing.
“Xander, Warrior Princess,” she proclaimed dramatically as Xander crossed his arms and stared her down.
“Not laughing Buffmeister,” he said, his cold blue eyes burrowing into her.
“Almost accurate. Apparently the bard, Gabrielle, also happened to be an Amazon Queen, having being given her right of caste by another Amazon.” Giles answered.
“Wow, warrior princesses, amazon queens, I’m out of my depth,” Buffy stated as she jokingly started bowing.
“Stop it Buffy, so let me get this straight Giles, I’m getting turned on by a woman?” Cordelia asked dangerously.
“No, Xander is not Xena, Cordy. Xander just has characteristics of Xena. If it makes you feel any better, Xena was considered extremely attractive by both sexes and the Xena Scrolls indicate that Ares, God of War could not resist her charms on occasion.” Giles said in a placatory manner.
“It doesn’t make me feel any better. I don’t like the idea of my Xander turning into a babe magnet. Why couldn’t this Xena character pick on someone like Buffy, I mean she’s already got the butch warrior act down pat,” Cordelia said.
“Thanks a lot Cordy,” Buffy said dryly and waited for Giles to answer.
“Each spirit has an astral signature and is only attracted to a similar astral signature. These usually come from descendants. The reason why Xena possesses Xander is because there is a good chance he’s descended from her. Most of the time, a spirit would find a host of the same sex to possess, except when it has been called from the other realm for a certain reason, in which case the closest person with a similar astral signature will be chosen. I believe both your parents are in Los Angeles at the moment, Xander. Following from the logical strand I have set up, something is going to happen in this area that the spirits of Xena and Gabrielle need to be here for. I think we can safely assume that the Hellmouth has something to do with it. “Giles related.
“You’re full of good news today,” Xander said dryly.
‘This Xena may have been one kick ass warrior, but she had the worst people skills’, Buffy thought to herself.
“That’s what I’m here for, Buffy.” Willow piped up as Buffy jumped.
‘Had Willow (or Gabrielle, she was still trying to sort it all out) read her mind?’ Buffy wondered to herself.
Oz distracted her line of thought when he walked back into the library.
“Hear the news, our whole cheerleading squad got kidnapped on the way home from the game. The police think its some type of devil worshipping cult, because the kidnappers were all chanting ‘Darrk’ or something like that,” Oz stated.
“Dahok!” Willow and Xander exclaimed at the same time.
Buffy instinctively stood back from Xander. He looked angry enough to crush rocks with his bare hands. Willow on the other hand, had gone completely white and was shivering uncontrollably.
“I believe we know why Xena and Gabrielle have taken over Xander and Willow.” Giles commented calmly.
“Willow, are you alright?” Buffy asked as she stepped forward. Willow cringed back.
“Leave her alone,” Xander said as he moved in front of Buffy. He opened his arms and Willow flew into them. She hugged him tightly around the waist as he encircled her in comforting arms.
“It’s alright Gabrielle, Dahok can’t hurt you again. I’m going to be here, every step of the way.” Xander said softly.
“Does this mean that Xena is taking over?” Buffy asked Giles as Cordy scooted over to listen in.
“I think she is exerting some dominance in what appears to be a stressful time for Gabrielle, nonetheless, Xander has always has always automatically gone out of his way to protect Willow. They are much like blood siblings, or to use Xander vernacular, ‘best buds’.” Giles answered clinically.
“Now I have to share my guy with three women. Not liking this, Giles,” Cordy said.
“Deal with it Cordy, we have more problems than your love life.” Giles growled, causing both girls to start slightly. He was obviously at the end of his tether with Cordy.
“Group hug people,” Oz stated enthusiastically as he walked over and started hugging Xander and Gabrielle. Neither of them looked very impressed.
“Oh hell, now Oz is starting to flip out,” Buffy cursed.
“Beat it Oz,” Xander stated.
“You can’t do that, I’m Oz the Mighty,” Oz stated as he struck a dramatic pose, that looked ridiculous, and he began to sing.
“I’m Oz the Mighty,
I roam through the countryside
I never need a place to hide
With Willow as my sidekick,
Fighting with her little stick,
Righting wrongs and singing songs,
Being mighty all day long,
I’m Oz, Oz the Mighty.”
“Permission to beat hair boy to death?” Xander asked, giving Oz a dirty look.
“Denied, although I might consider it myself if he sings that song again. People you’ve got to pull yourself together. Cordy, what are you doing?” Buffy asked as she slapped Cordelia’s hand away from her bag.
“I’m stealing from it, after all I am the King of Thieves,” Cordelia stated.
Buffy looked at Giles, who gave her a completely mystified shrug.
Buffy sat down, put her face in her hands and asked tragically, “Why me?”
Part 5 a.k.a Taking a Breath From the Action to Make Sense of it All
“Its really quite amazing when you think about it. Four of our merry crew being descended from a group of acquaintances, from thousands of years ago,” Giles commented.
“Giles, the whole gang is wigging out, and if this Dahok guy comes along, the earth is going to have the real estate value of downtown Hiroshima. I would not describe this as ‘amazing’. Crazy and insane would be more appropriate,” Buffy answered.
The rest of the gang had been ordered out of the library, on pain of Slayer assisted beatings, and were currently off trying to get their spirits sorted out. And she was not speaking figuratively either. Strangely, Autolycus, the King of Thieves and Joxer, the so called Mighty, the spirits that possessed Cordelia and Oz were more forceful in overlaying their personalities. It appeared that Xander’s Xena and Willow’s Gabrielle could handle them.
One thing that amused Buffy was the fact that a male spirit had possessed Cordelia’s body while a female spirit had possessed Xander.
‘Stick that black fly in your Chardonnay, Alanis Morrissette,’ she thought.
“Let’s get down to case studies, according to the Xena scrolls and other texts I’ve covered, Dahok was a demon that resided in hell. Xena and Gabrielle had travelled to Britannia, that’s the old name for England, in case you’re curious, to help Boudiccea fight the Romans. Xena apparently was an old enemy of Julius Ceasar’s and given a chance to fight him, would take it. Gabrielle had become friendly with a priest called Krafstar, whom they had rescued from Roman soldiers, and whom she thought was a priest of the Christian god. He manipulated her into losing her blood innocence, by killing another member of the cult of Dahok. This released the astral form of Dahok that raped Gabrielle and left her with his child. Xena killed Krafstar and sent Dahok’s astral form back to hell. The child was born and named Hope. Xena wanted to kill it because it was inherently evil. This caused a rift between the two long time friends. Hope murdered Xena’s son Solon, and was then killed by Gabrielle,” Giles stated.
“No wonder they decided to take a trip to the Hellmouth, these ladies fit right in here,” Buffy quipped, shaking her head in wonder.
No wonder Willow was freaking out, she thought to herself.
“I’d have to agree with that. I think that we can assume that someone is trying to raise Dahok and needs the blood innocence of the cheerleading squad to accomplish that.” Giles answered.
“Three guesses on who you think could be involved. If Xena and Gabrielle didn’t arrive, we would have just thought there were a lot of vamps around. This time I’m going to kill that deviant,” Buffy growled.
“Need a hand?” Giles asked her, as Buffy became aware of how tired he looked. It was all her fault. If she hadn’t slept with Angel, and released his soul, Jenni Calendar would still be alive and the only real spark of life that Giles had ever shown would still be there.
“Sure, you can keep handing me the stakes that I’ll keep ramming into his body, until I get bored and ram one into his heart,” Buffy answered.
“We may have Dahok and the vampires after us, but think of the benefits. Xander, Willow and Cordelia had the traits of three very deadly fighters,” Giles answered.
“What about Oz?” Buffy inquired.
“According to the Xena scrolls, when Xena and Gabrielle first met Joxer, he was a warlord wannabe who was a complete incompetent. He irritated both of them, but over the years they learned what a large heart he had. Xena took it upon herself to train him, and what she ended up with, was a fighter, who while not as skilled as the rest, was quite competent. Primarily he was a coward, but he learned to use that to his advantage,” Giles answered.
“ Funny, that sounds like the Xander of old, on occasion. What about us, why haven’t we started flipping out?” she asked.
“The Watcher and Slayer have their own destiny. We can’t be used to fulfil another destiny. The Slayerettes have come closer to what you are, one with a dual destiny. Actually, when you think about it, this is quite logical. All four have lived in the same town, all their lives. Spiritual friends tend to stay close to one another. We happen to outsiders, you from Los Angeles and I from England. You might find their current characteristics, strange and even irritating, but its part of them now,” Giles answered.
“Thanks Giles, I think I’ll go and get the new improved Scooby gang. Let’s see if we can plan some contingencies,” Buffy said as she walked out of the room.
Part 6 a.k.a Whose Side Am I On
“What a cosy picture, how’s it going Xander?” Buffy commented as she found the rest of the gang sitting under a tree in the grounds of the high school, embracing their loved ones.
“Confusing Buff. My Xena side is both attracted to and irritated by Cordy’s Autolycus side. My Xena side wants to protect Willow’s side, and while I don’t mind Oz, my Xena side wants to throw his Joxer side into a pool of deep water,” Xander explained.
“Not only that, but my Autolycus sides wants to jump his Xena side. Of course he gets distracted every time he sees something to steal,” Cordelia continued.
“You have no idea how much trouble I’ve had trying to stop her from stealing small items of value. Whoever this Autolycus was, he was a damned good thief. My Xena side just barely manages to detect his theft.” Xander answered.
“Xander’s Xena side, Cordy’s Autolycus side, Oz’s Joxer side and Willow’s Gabrielle side. Why did I even bother asking? I’m more confused than I have been all day. What about you too?” Buffy asked Willow and Oz.
“You really wanna know?” Willow asked.
“You might as well tell me, I’m going to spend the rest of the year in Sunnydale Mental Hospital after this little adventure is finished, anyway,” Buffy sighed in a resigned fashion.
“My Gabrielle side is irritated by Oz’s Joxer side. I want to beat him senseless sometimes, and then again, if I ever lost him, I would be lost myself.” Gabrielle explained.
“My Joxer side is in love with Willow’s Gabrielle side, and frustrated by the fact that she doesn’t look at me in the hero worshipping way that she looks at Xander’s Xena side,” Oz stated.
‘That must cut a little close to the bone,’ Buffy thought to herself, thinking how Oz himself was sick of Willow’s specialised friendship with Xander.
“This group has more sides than a decagon. Come guys, planning party. Giles has finally managed to make sense of all of this,” she said, as they got to their feet. She turned to walk back to the library.
When they arrived back in the library, they found Giles rummaging through the weapons locker.
“Watcha doing Giles?” she asked.
“Since our colleagues have certain weapons skills, we might as well give them suitable weapons to use,” he explained as he tossed a sheathed sword to Xander grabbed it in mid flight, and unsheathed it. A Quarterstaff followed, caught deftly by Willow. Another sword followed. Oz caught it, stumbled and fell flat on his face before quickly getting up and looking at them in a way that said, ‘I meant that.’
“Don’t bother Giles, my kleptomaniac room mate knows exactly what he wants.” Cordelia answered as she watched over to the weapons locker. Two throwing daggers were placed in her boots. Another two went up her sleeves. She found metal cord and a grappling hook and looked at it.
“Crude, but it will have to do,” she said off handedly. She immediately hid it on her person, including several ninja throwing stars.
“Are we all suited up?” Giles asked.
“Not quite, I’ll be back this evening,” Xander stated as he removed his jacket. He buckled the sword diagonally over his left shoulder, so it hung down his back, with hilt near his right hip. He put the jacket back on and straightened it out.
“Impressive, you can barely see that you’re carrying it,” Giles stated.
“One more test,” Xander answered as he swiftly drew it from its sheathe, made a couple of practice swings and then sheathed it with another swift and faultless movement.
“That will do just fine. I’ll see you guys later,” he said as he started to walk out.
“Where are you going?” Cordelia asked.
“I have to get something, I feel nearly naked without it,” Xander answered as he left the library.
Part 7 a.k.a Chakrum-God Bless You
“It has to happen tonight at midnight, in an area sanctified to Dahok,” Giles stated. He had spent all afternoon trying to get more information on what they were up against. Willow had regained her composure and didn’t freak out when the name ‘Dahok’ was mentioned. Instead she glared at her computer with such intensity that Buffy was waiting for the screen to melt.
“The Sunnydale Museum is having an ancient Greco-Roman display. I’ll bet you my pan flute that it’s going to be there,” Willow stated.
“Pan flute, Willow?” Buffy asked casually, almost getting used to the sudden appearance of long dead Greek bards.
“Sorry, Gabrielle jumped in for a second there,” Willow answered with a mischievous grin.
Despite herself, Buffy found this duality in personality likeable. Oz had gone from nice to a pain in the…(well you get the idea. Those of you who are too young to get the idea, what are you doing up so late?) Cordy had become more egotistical and irritating, if that was possible, and Xander had turned from Mr ‘happy go lucky, I’ll joke about anything’ to Mr ‘tall, dark and intimidating, screw with me and I’ll cripple you’. Gabrielle’s charm and chattiness had given Willow a much needed confidence boost that suited her.
“I’m back,” Xander answered as he walked through the door.
“What was so important?” Buffy asked as he removed something from his jacket that looked like a heavy metal Frisbee.
“This,” he answered, his eyes gleaming.
“What is it?” she inquired.
“A Chakrum,” he answered.
“God bless you, really what is it?” she asked as he gave her a steady glare, causing her to shrink slightly.
How the hell did Xena and Gabrielle travel together, this woman had no sense of humour.
“It’s my own personal weapon,” Xander answered as he threw it, it bounced off three walls, sliced through part of the front desk like it was butter and flew right towards Buffy.
Xander casually grabbed it, centimetres away from Buffy’s face.
“Whoa ho, fatal Frisbee. You could stand back and play vampire head harvest with that thing,” she said, almost gladly.
“It’s an edge, and we’re going to need everyone we can get,” he answered.
“Edge, that thing is one complete edge,” Buffy explained. Xander rewarded her with an intimidating glare.
“Jeez Xander, lighten up. It’s hard taking over your role as comic relief.” She exclaimed.
“Lets go hunting people, before things get ugly,” Giles suggested.
Part 8 a.k.a Things Get Ugly
“Hey, you wanna cut that out. Its bad enough to have me possessed by some egotistical thief guy without you paraphrasing everything we say,” Cordelia abused the author guy.
“Who’s she talking to?” Xander asked Willow.
“The Guy,” Willow answered seriously.
“Which Guy?” Xander inquired.
“THE Guy,” Willow answered with much emphasis on the word ‘the’.
“Oh, that guy,” Xander replied, nodding his head.
“Is there any point to this?” Buffy asked.
“I just came back from a weird weekend, so I decided to try something. Patience Buffy, all will be revealed later,” Author Guy stated.
“Listen you, I know who you are, and since you’re so all powerful, why can’t you write Angel in as my love monkey instead of as an evil bloodsucking creature of the night who wants to kill me?” Buffy asked hopefully.
“Sorry Buffy, much as I would love to, this story is supposed to take place in an alternative second series. You turned Angel back into a vampire when you slept with him. I’m dealing with the relationships between Willow and Oz, and Xander and Cordelia. Jenny is dead so you’re not the only one who’s flying solo at the moment,” Author Guy answered.
“Does this mean you’re going to create some new guy to come onto the scene, that happens to bear a striking resemblance to you. Then he’s supposed to be some champion guy who rescues the whole Scooby Gang and I fall in love with him,” Buffy asked.
“No Mary Janes in this story, I promise. While they can be useful for an imaginatory ego boost, they serve no real purpose in fanfic,” Author Guy explains.
“Why in hell am I always getting the short end of the stick!” Cordelia exclaimed.
“Not on purpose Cordy. You could consider this flattering, in a way. Your part in this story will be great later,” Author Guy explains placatingly.
“Why does Xander get all the good parts?” Cordelia asked.
“I can’t tell a story from the point of view of someone that I don’t relate to. I relate to Xander. Besides, I feel that other’s have under utilised Xander. Everyone uses him as comic relief or Mr jealous guy when it comes to Buffy’s relationship with Angel. Xander has great potential to be a tortured soul. Sure he may not be a vampire, but he has his problems,” Author Guy stated.
“Like?” Giles inquired.
“He hasn’t got much of a home life, he has no male friends, his best friends are girls who have got boyfriends, ensuring they spent very little time with him. The girl he is with is so ashamed of him that she refuses to be seen out in public with him. If I was like that, I’d used comedy to hide my feelings.” Author Guy explained.
“Jeez, thanks man, its nice to see that one of the fans of this show, gets it,” Xander said, puffed up appropriately.
“You have a Chandleresque quality,” Author Guy assured him.
“Raymond Chandler?” Giles inquired.
“Chandler Bing,” Author Guy explained.
“The guy from ‘Friends’.” Xander said.
“Oh him, I laugh at his comments, he’s a very funny guy, but I have to admit that I spend my time watching Jennifer Anniston. She’s such a babe,” Giles answered.
“You’re preaching to the choir G-man,” Author Guy said.
“Don’t you start on me. Ever since Xander used that nickname in ‘When She was Bad’, every fanfic writer has used it,” Giles groaned.
“What about me, you’re turning me into Gunther from ‘Friends’, or maybe Jimmy Olsen from ‘Lois and Clark’, or even Bud Roberts in JAG. Just there to further the plot of the other characters and make an idiot of myself,” Oz stated.
“I don’t know you that well, and I still remember you as the geeky cousin from ‘Airborne’. Personally, Willow could have done a whole lot better, but since you’re here, I have to make use of you,” Author Guy answered.
“Jeez, you do one bad movie, and you get panned,” Oz moaned.
“The movie was good, you were crap. I mean, how the hell did the girl from ‘Sister Act’ wind up with you?” Author Guy abused.
“Who would be so much better than Oz?” Willow asked, something suddenly occurring to her.
“Er, no-one, so how about those Dodgers?” Author Guy answered, trying to change the subject.
“You’re talking about yourself aren’t you?” Willow exclaimed as the blush on Author Guy’s face reveals all.
“I’ve had a minor crush on you since the series started. Sure Buffy may have the packaging, but you’ve got the soul, and you’re so damn cute.” Author Guy gushed.
Willow blushed prettily, though in the eye of the Author Guy, she couldn’t blush any other way.
“I’m touched, I really am, maybe we could go out for a coffee sometime?” Willow suggested.
“A cappuccino,” Author Guy says, coughing nervously.
“It’s a date. Can we get back to the story now?” Willow asks.
“For you Willow, anything,” Author Guy answers with a benevolent smile.
Part 9 a.k.a Things Get Ugly-Second Attempt
Buffy led the crew into the deep, dark, depths of the Sunnydale sewer system (score one for poet guy). All were ready for anything that came their way. Three guard vampires learned that lesson in a pointed manner (metaphors sparkle like champagne). It took them a while but they finally reached the end of their journey. They were standing in the cavern of the Hellmouth and Angelus was handing out knives to a group of cheerleaders.
“Okay ladies, now we’re going to have a little fun. A game the whole family can play. I call it ‘Last Cheerleader Standing’. This has nothing to do with the Bruce Willis movie of the same name. The rules are simple. The last one left alive will be allowed to leave this cavern. The rest will die.” He explained to a group of terrified looking cheerleaders.
He moved, just in time to avoid the vampire that landed heavily, right next to him.
“What in blazes?” he cried out.
“I’m sorry, did I break your concentration?” Xander asked, raising his eye in a unique manner.
The face was the same, but the stance, the manner the whole attitude was different. Xander had hated him in the past, but he never had the balls to do anything about it. This incarnation of Xander looks like he’d enjoy ramming stake after stake into Angelus’ body.
“There are laws against corrupting minors you know.” Willow quipped as Angelus gave her a strange look.
‘When did the mouse get so perky?’ he wondered curiously.
He started doing some calculations. Buffy and Giles seemed pretty much the same, but the rest of the Scooby Gang looked very different. There was no time to be thinking. He had to get some blood innocence spilt soon.
“Get em boys. Ladies, shouldn’t you be doing something?” he asked the cheerleaders, as the vampires ran towards the Slayerettes.
He ducked as several severed vampire heads flew in his direction, hitting the ground and exploding into dust.
“Xander, that’s disgusting,” Buffy called out, before continuing with an enthusiastic, “Do it again!”
Angel turned to see his old nemesis was carrying a metal disk. He threw it, causing it to bounce off a couple of walls and severed a couple of vampire heads. Some vampires managed to duck under the dangerous implement, but were soon finished off by Buffy, Willow and that infernal werewolf, Oz.
Part 10 a.k.a What the F&*@ ?
“That is one interesting piece of weaponry.” Cordelia commented as she watched her boyfriend decapitating vampires all over the room.
It returned to him and he almost negligently grabbed it out of the air.
“You and Willow mind the cheerleaders. Buff and I will take on the bulk of the vamps,” he said.
“Sure thing Xander,” she answered as she flicked her wrist, causing a grappling hook and length of rope to fall down her sleeve into her hand.
Spinning it, she let go, causing it to fly into the air and catch on a section of the roof. She tugged on it to make sure it was set, and then she jumped off the dais and flew through the air. She landed in front of the cheerleaders, just as several vampires reached them. She started kicking and punching at them until Willow, Oz and Giles reached her.
The middle of the floor was a scene of unbelievable carnage, as Buffy and Xander, standing back to back, became a danger to any vampire that got within their reach. Dust started to pile up as the two warriors dusted one vampire after another.
“Er, Angel old man, I’m thinking that this ain’t turning out so well,” Spike commented.
“Agreed, let’s get the hell out of here,” Angelus answered.
“What about Dahok?” Druscilla asked frantically.
“Sorry Dru my love, but while having the world as our oyster does appeal, I’m thinking that I’d rather have the power to ourselves than having some other guy on top. Besides, he who fights and runs away, gets to run away another day,” Angelus said.
“Can we go now?” Spike asked.
“Lets,” Angelus replied as the three vampires disappeared into the shadows, leaving their kin to run interference and die miserably.
Part 11 a.k.a What Do We Do Now ??
Xander swore in a language that Buffy couldn’t understand, shortly before using his sword to turn a table into kindling. Buffy was just as pissed off, that Angelus, Spike and Druscilla had escaped, but she wasn’t taking it personally.
“Giles?” Buffy inquired.
“Ancient Greek, and grammatically correct as well,” he answered as she gave him an annoyed look.
“That’s not what I meant, what do we do now?” she asked.
“We destroy the book,” Willow stated as she pointed to the large, old tome that lay on a table in the middle of the room.
“I don’t think we need to do something that drastic. Purely for research purposes it could help us,” Giles answered a little green around the gills at the prospect of destroying an old book.
“Willow is right, only evil can come from this book. There are times when destroying a book to protect people, is warranted.” Cordelia said.
“Fine, do we all agree? Xander, calm down and go to your happy place,” Buffy ordered her friend, who was still cursing and swearing. He gave her a dirty look.
She admired Xena’s fighting skills, but she would be glad when Xander was back.
“Giles?” she asked.
He looked resigned to the fact that the book needed to be destroyed. Nonetheless, he didn’t intend to look happy about it either.
“Very well, the question is how. Mr Harris, does your guest have any ideas?” Giles asked.
Xander took a hip flask from his pocket. Using a lighter, he lit a piece of rolled up newspaper to approximate a torch. Taking a hefty swig from the hip flask, he held the torch up and blew the alcohol out. It created a burst of flame that ignited the old tome.
“That should do it,” He commented dryly.
They watched as the book burned.
“Xena, Gabrielle!” a voice roared.
Out of the flames came an apparition. It almost looked like a vampire but it had two large horns in its head.
Xander pushed Willow behind him, Cordelia stood beside him and Oz hid behind her.
“Dahok,” Xander commented.
“You have won this one Xena, but I will find another way to your mortal plane,” the creature stated.
“And with the help of my ancestors, we will defeat you again. The world has outgrown you Dahok, go away,” Xander answered, though even Buffy heard the feminine voice that overlaid it.
“Gabrielle my love. Join me, and your daughter,” Dahok commented in a wheedling fashion.
“I am not your love, misshapen evil creature. You don’t know what love is. As for your spawn that you incubated in my body, she is not my daughter. Go away,” Willow stated bravely, though they all heard the quavering of her voice. They were proud of her.
Dahok screamed and the flame from the book engulfed him. The light became too bright to watch and they had to turn their eyes from it.
Part 12 a.k.a Endings
“Okay, enough of the pyrotechnics. I want my life back to semi normal instead of very weird,” Buffy stated herself as she blinked her eyes to get rid of the sunspots.
Her friends were doing likewise, but they were not alone. Next to Xander stood a tall, muscular and tanned woman, wearing a leather outfit. She was carrying a sword and the ‘fatal frisbee’ that Xander had used with such accuracy against the vamps. Next to Willow was a cheerful looking young woman with reddish blonde hair. She wore a similar, if somewhat abbreviated version of the outfit that Willow had been swanning around in all day. She carried a staff. Next to Cordelia was a tall guy with dark hair and a fairly dashing moustache and goatee. He wore a green leather outfit and stood in a cocky manner. Last but not least, beside Oz stood a pale and weedy looking man in the worst excuse for armour that Buffy has ever seen. It was almost comical.
It was at this point she realised she was seeing the physical manifestations of the spirits that had possessed her friends. All were looking at each other curiously.
“So this is what you look like,” the tall guy in the green outfit commented as he leered at Cordelia.
“Down Autolycus. She’s too young to be corrupted by you,” the woman in the leather stated.
“Don’t bet on it, Bondage Girl. You’re kinda cute for an old guy,” Cordy commented as she eyed Autolycus.
“Cordy, back off the old guy,” Xander growled with all male jealousy.
“You two kids want to lay off the old guy stuff, I’m not that old,” Autolycus stated.
“Okay, everyone back to your corners. I think some introductions are in order,” Buffy stated as the reddish blonde stepped forward with a mischievous grin on her face.
“Maybe I should do this. I can talk without tripping on my ego. My name is Gabrielle. My leather-clad friend is Xena the Warrior Princess. The old guy is Autolycus, King of Thieves. And that’s Joxer the Mighty,” the blonde girl said.
“Its so nice to put faces to the attitudes. Now that your task is finished, are you supposed to disappear or something?” Buffy asked.
“We’re new to this as well. We’re not exactly sure whats supposed to happen,” Gabrielle answered.
“Well, we’d better do something fast, because its going to be daybreak soon and the museum is going to be open,” Willow said, looking at her watch, and realising exactly what she’s wearing.
“Er Xander?” she asked pleadingly.
“It’s a good look on you Wil, but you must be cold. Here,” Xander said graciously as he handed her his dust covered leather jacket.
“I need to research this. Maybe we’ll be able to find out why our ancient friends haven’t disappeared yet,” Giles stated.
“Hey, watch it with the old cracks, personally I think I’m very well preserved for my age. Okay, lets sneak out of here,” Autolycus stated.
“No sneaking, you draw more attention to yourself that way, and keep your hands in your pockets. No swiping stuff,” Xander stated firmly that caused all to look at him and for Xena to raise a well known and trade marked eyebrow.
Xander managed to look embarrassed as he said, “Sorry, your personality seems to have taken more of a hold on me than I thought.”
“Don’t be ashamed, it suits you.” Xena said approvingly as Xander stood taller.
“Warriors, give them a sword and some raw meat and they’re happy,” Gabrielle commented causing Willow to giggle and Xena and Xander to glare at them.
“Before things get ugly, let’s get to the vehicles. Oz, you got enough room in the van for our friends?” Buffy asked.
“Yeh, I’ll manage as long as noone decides to use certain implements of destruction to ruin the upholstery,” Oz answered.
“Okay, you and Xander escort our friends to the Library. Willow and I will go with Cordy, and Giles, we’ll see you there,” Buffy said, finally feeling confident because of the amount of control she had.
Part 13 a.k.a Not Quite the Ending, more like a Chariot Ride out of Hades
“Weird, and people actually wear this stuff?” Autolycus asked as he looked at the tweed suit he wore, one that looked suspiciously like what Giles would wear.
“Quit complaining. We’ve only got two guys here who are big enough to have clothes that would fit, and I can’t see you in jeans. Besides, you look quite distinguished,” Buffy answered with a smile.
She couldn’t help it she liked Cordelia’s alter ego. His all consuming ego and self-interest were almost a caricature. He was also very witty and charming.
“Not bad, but my girls look much better,” Cordelia stated as she walked into the library, followed by Xena, Willow and Gabrielle.
Xena was dressed in a leather skirt, leather top, boots and jacket. Gabrielle wore an outfit similar to the one that Willow’s compulsion had caused her to wear.
“Thank the gods for plastic. This is going to put a dent on my AMEX bill, but it was worth it just to see that smarmy little shop assistant terrified into a corner by tall, dark and intimidating here,” Cordelia said as she indicated Xena with her thumb.
Joxer and Oz drifted in soon after, checking all the outfit changes curiously.
“Well, that appears to be everyone. Shall we start doing some research?” Giles asked.
“Not everyone, where’s Xander?” Buffy asked as she looked around.
“He went shopping with us. He was outside that lingerie shop, when we went inside. Did anyone remember to let him know we were going?” Willow asked.
“My Willow in a lingerie shop?” Oz quipped in a half surprised, half-interested tone.
Willow blushed and explained, “While shopping, we were giving them a run down on mall culture.”
“An interesting experience. One huge market,” Gabrielle stated.
“Eh, although Xena nearly clothes lined some guy who was skateboarding inside. I thought she was going to get carted away,” Cordelia commented.
“Er guys, Xander?” Buffy asked, trying to put the wayward crew back on track.
“What about Xander?” Willow asked.
Buffy closed her eyes and counted to ten, for the 100th time since things had started getting weird. She had to silently admit that bashing herself unconscious with a textbook was looking very appealing right now.
“Where… is…he?” Buffy asked slowly and firmly.
“We…don’t…know,” Cordelia answered, using the same tone and speed, mocking Buffy.
“He’ll turn up Buffy, what I learned while in his body was that Xander Harris is more resourceful than you give him credit for,” Xena stated.
“You know Xena, you and I should have a long talk. You have had the timing to be inside my boyfriend’s head. Maybe you can tell me what’s going on in there,” Cordelia commented.
“Love to be able to help, but I’m sure there is some sort of ethical consideration involved. I entered his body without his permission, so keeping his secrets would be an acceptable compromise,” Xena said.
“You’re no fun at all,” Cordelia pouted.
“You have no idea how many times I’ve heard that very same phrase,” Xena answered.
“FOCUS PEOPLE!!!” Buffy yelled at the top of her lungs, until everyone looked at her like she was losing her mind.
“Oh, forget about it. I’m going to go and get some sleep,” Buffy said as she walked out of the library, talking to herself.
Part 14 a.k.a A Woman Trapped in a Man’s Body
Xander had remained in the mall, long after the girls had left. Now that Xena was no longer part of him, he felt more than a little out of place. After they had left, he had seen a movie, overdosing himself on junk food. It felt great to be on his own for a while, because his forced body sharing had insured a complete lack of privacy.
As he walked out of the mall, he noticed how dark it was. He no longer had Miss Tall, Dark and Intimidating, guiding his moves, and while he could kick a little vampire booty on occasion, he wasn’t a Warrior Princess or Slayer, he was just an average teenage guy with more heart and hormones, than skill and brains. The gang would either be at the library, or crashed out at Cordy’s place. Her parents were away for a week, so they’d have the run of the house until Giles decided what to do. He decided to try the library first.
Arriving at the library, Xander instantly realised that the rest of the gang wasn’t here. He also realised that whoever happened to be here, were not here for noble purposes. He ducked behind some shelves and watched as Angelus, Spike and Druscilla broke into the library. There was only one place in Sunnydale High School where a vampire who was in the loop, would find anything interesting.
“Xena, if that bond of ours is still strong, I hope you realise that I’m shitting myself here,” Xander said softly as he hid in the book racks and watched as Angelus and Spike ransacked Giles’ office while Druscilla read through some selected texts.
He was unarmed, having not felt right about carrying the sword and Chakrum after he and Xena separated. He didn’t even have his trusty wooden cross and stake.
“There has got to be something in here about destroying the Warrior Princess. That’s the only way we can re-enact the ceremony to raise Dahak,” Angelus stated as Xander froze.
Now he understood why Xena, Gabrielle, Autolycus and Joxer were still here. Their battle was just an appetiser for the real conflict.
“Someone is here,” Druscilla stated as Angelus and Spike stopped and looked around.
“Xander.” Angelus said, his face contorting into a hideously evil grin.
“Hellfire Angel, we’re not going to have to deal with that Frisbee again. I’d like to keep my head,” Spike said.
“I don’t think so. It smells different somehow. Xander, come out and play,” Angelus said in a high pitched, grating tone.
Xander realised that he ought to make tracks. He wasn’t kidding himself. With the help of Xena, he could have taken on these three, but by himself he was vampire bait. He turned around and prepared to dart out the back. He found himself looking at Spike.
“Hello old boy, good to see ya,” Spike stated as he grabbed for Xander.
Xander did a back flip over Spike.
“Holy Nadia Comeneci, Batman,” Xander said to himself, as he tried to hurry out the back way and out into school grounds.
He was fast, but Angelus and Spike were faster. Soon, they stood on either side of him, moving to ensure that he couldn’t escape the library and get away.
“That was some leap Xander. You going to be good boy, or am I going to have to hurt you before I turn you,” Angelus asked.
“You can kill me Angelus, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to be turned into a bloodsucking animal like yourself.” Xander answered as he launched a kick that connected with Spike’s head.
“That’s gonna cost you matey,” Spike growled.
Part 15 a.k.a “Find Help Lassie!”
“Xander’s in trouble,” Xena said, standing up.
She had been trying to identify what this sick feeling in her stomach had been. She had thought it was the multitude of rich dishes that she had been subjected to, but now she knew for certain. The rest of the Slayerettes gave her worried looks.
“Where is he?” Buffy asked urgently.
“West,” she answered.
“Can you be more specific, leather girl?” Buffy asked.
“I’m getting a pull from the west, no I can’t be more specific,” Xena growled.
“We’re not getting anywhere by sniping at each other. Lets just follow Xena’s spider senses and see where they lead us,” Willow said in a calming voice.
“Spider senses?” Gabrielle asked.
“Pop culture reference, takes too long to explain,” Giles answered, pleased that he was finally around someone who knew less about pop culture than he did.
“To the Batmobile?” Cordelia asked, her joking tone underlying the tension in her voice.
“To the Batmobile,” Buffy answered grimly.
Part 16 a.k.a Not having the best of days
Xander was having the stuffing kicked out of him, in more ways than one. He still managed a few good hits, obviously Xena’s skill hadn’t completely left him. Nonetheless, there was no way he could be as vicious as the two vampires that seemed to be enjoying their job.
It could have been worse. Druscilla seemed to be waiting to pick up what pieces were left, and he really didn’t feel like being anywhere near her. His best bet was hope to kill one of them before they killed him, and under no circumstances to be turned.
“Got to admit Spike, I am so enjoying this. I love a prey that fights back. It gives the whole hunt a challenge,” Angelus commented almost conversationally as he rammed his fist into Xander’s stomach.
“You might be right. All that screaming and cowering really gets on your nerves after a while,” Spike answered, kicking Xander’s feet out from underneath him.
“Gentlemen, er vampires. You guys want to cut the chit chat, you’re breaking my concentration,” Xander commented, as he drew in a ragged breath, from his place on the ground.
“Interrupt much Xander?” Angelus asked as he dug his heel into Xander’s fingers, grinding them into the ground for good measure.
“Some people are so inconsiderate,” Spike answered with a disgusted tsk, before kicking Xander in the head.
“They’re coming, we must flee this place,” Druscilla said urgently as the two vampires looked at her.
“Do we have time to turn him?” Angelus asked.
“No daddy,” she answered simply.
“Pity, that would really screw up the Slayer if she found one of her best friends, dead. Oh well, he’s still going to be incapacitated for a long time,” Angelus said as she delivered one more vicious kick to Xander’s ribs, and walked out with Spike and Druscilla.
Part 17 a.k.a We’re Gonna Need a Shit Load of Paint
“Xander!” everyone exclaimed as they walked into the library to find the bruised, battered, bleeding and groaning heap of flesh (no, this does not get more disgustingly visual. I’ll let you use your imagination. Those of you with a liking of Manga cartoons and anything of the Hong Kong, Chow Yun Fat/John Woo movie oeuvre, tone down your imagination).
“What took you people so long?” he said softly.
“Call an ambulance, I’ll see what I can do,” Giles stated urgently to Oz, who ran to the phone.
“I can help, I have healing skills.” Xena said as Giles looked at her and nodded.
“Giles, Xena, I have to tell you something,” Xander said softly, feeling himself losing consciousness.
“Save your strength Xander, you’ve had a hard day,” Giles said softly.
“Giles, take your head out of your ass and listen,” Xander replied, his voice soft, but with a special sharpness to it.
Giles immediately stopped fussing about and looked at him.
“Talk while we work,” Xena said.
“Dahak can still be raised. It requires the death of the Warrior Princess. Under no circumstances can you die Xena, or Dahak will enter this world, and heaven help us,” Xander stated, just as two paramedics hurried in with a trolley.
The paramedics looked at Xena and Giles, saw what they were doing was helping, and smiling gratefully.
“Thanks for you help. He should be stable enough to move,” one paramedic stated as Xena watched them with bemusement.
She nodded and let them do their job. She was obviously impressed by the speed in which they put him into the trolley and wheeled him out.
“I’m going to stay here and see what they got away with.” Giles stated.
“I think this has proved that we really shouldn’t split up. I’ll stay behind with Giles and make sure Angelus doesn’t jump us again,” Buffy said.
“I’ll stay behind also, myself, Joxer and Willow,” Gabrielle commented.
“Cordy’s going to be no help to anyone at the moment. It would probably be best if I drove her to the hospital,” Oz commented as he eyed the beautiful brunette who had gone a ghostly white.
“I’d like to come with you Oz. Xander shared a lot when I shared his body. Maybe I can help communicate with him,” Xena said as Oz nodded.
Xena picked Cordy up and walked her towards the door, Oz in tow.
“Much as I hate to say this, I’m going to need Joxer’s help,” Autolycus stated, wincing slightly after Xena, Oz and Cordy had left.
“You’re joking aren’t you?” Gabrielle stated.
“Hey, what did you mean by that. Don’t even try and get away with it, because I understand the ‘I awoke with a jerk’ comment,” Joxer answered.
“He may not be the best warrior in the world, but he’s done a lot of sneaking in his time, and I’m going to need someone help me break into that museum,” Autolycus answered.
“We’ve haven’t got time to handle your light-fingered instincts,” Giles said.
“I resemble that remark. Seriously Giles, we were there the last time, because that’s where we needed to be, to raise Dahak. It stands to reason that there must be something around there that we can use to stop it happening again,” Autolycus stated.
“You’re logic is impeccable. Very well, you and Joxer go back there,” Giles answered.
“I don’t think our guests should be wandering around Sunnydale without a local to handle any of the problems. I’ll go with them.” Willow stated.
“Are you sure?” Gabrielle asked.
“I can trust you to look after Giles, and I have these two big tough men to care for me,” Willow answered.
“And what will Joxer and Autolycus be doing while these two big tough men are taking care of you?” Gabrielle asked curiously, though with more than a little mirth in her tone.
“You are a riot, Red. Can we go now?” Autloycus answered.
Gabrielle nodded and walked over to the weapons cage. With an underhand motion, she grabbed a quarterstaff and tossed it at Willow. Willow caught it deftly.
“That should ensure you don’t have to completely depend on Autolycus and Joxer. You two had better protect her, because if I don’t beat you senseless, Xena might want to kill you,” Gabrielle stated.
“And what’s left will be for Buffy and I,” Giles stated firmly, indicating his ‘Ripper’ nature wasn’t far away.
“You’re wish is my command, my lady,” Autolycus said as he bowed low, took Gabrielle’s hand and kissed it.
Joxer looked at little annoyed by Autolycus’ familiar gesture, but nodded anyway.
“Go to work people,” Giles said.
Willow walked out with Autolycus and Joxer in tow, leaving Gabrielle and Giles alone.
Part 18 a.k.a And You Thought You’re Love life was Traumatic
“This must be fairly disturbing for you. Not the first time you’ve dealt with Dahak and all,” Giles said in a stuttering fashion, and was instantly sorry for saying anything.
“Ever since my first encounter with Dahak, it has been horrible. First time I was raped, and impregnated. Second time, I found my daughter was a psychopathic murderer and I couldn’t kill her, so I abandoned her. Third time, my daughter, whom I had named Hope, killed Xena’s son, Solon and drove an almost inconsolable wedge between us. The last time, I watched as she emerged from a cocoon and looked exactly like me. She was at odds with everything I believed in. When there was a choice between Xena’s life and my life, I didn’t even think about it as I pulled Hope into that gaping chasm,” Gabrielle answered soberly.
“I think I’m starting to understand why my group get into so much trouble. You and Xena seemed to have been magnets for trouble.” Giles commented, and he was glad that the pretty younger woman smiled at his comment.
“We go looking for trouble, we always have.” Gabrielle answered.
“Then you picked the right place to turn up. The Hellmouth is trouble with a capital T,” Giles answered.
“You’re worried about Xander, aren’t you?” Gabrielle commented.
“I am, if something were to happen to him, it is all very likely that this whole group will collapse in on itself. He’s annoying, irritating, frivolous on occasions, and damn too headstrong for my liking, but he had a large heart, and a type of foolhardy bravery that infects us. He’s saved all of our lives, on occasion,” Giles answered.
“I’ve learned one thing over the years Giles. It takes more than death to keep people like Xander and Xena down. It’s a mere inconvenience,” Gabrielle answered.
“That makes me feel so much better. Since you’re here, maybe you can help me decipher some ancient Greco-Roman texts I’ve been having trouble with,” Giles said.
“Love to, where do you want me to start?” Gabrielle answered.
“Lets start with this book and work our way through,” Giles answered.
Part 19 a.k.a A Little Divine Assistance
“Did you understand anything that the doctor said?” Oz asked Xena as the doctor left the room.
“I thought I was the only one who had been confronted by a new language they haven’t heard before. From what I gather, his condition is serious, but he’s stable. We had a similar situation with Joxer. It’s just a matter of waiting for his body to heal itself.” Xena answered.
“He’d better hurry, because the girls are going to be distracted until he’s mobile. I mean, look at Cordy. She won’t move until he’s conscious,” Oz commented as they looked to where Cordy was seated next to her battered boyfriend, holding his hand and talking softly to him.
“He’ll be fine. Xander is a fighter, I know that,” Xena answered.
“You hungry, I’m starved and I think we should give Cordy some time alone with him.” Oz said.
“Good idea,” she answered as they walked into the hallway.
They reached the cafeteria, and sat in the corner together, eating the food that Oz had bought.
Oz watched the woman, and had to admit that she had it where it counted. Tall, exotically beautiful confident and tall. The eyes alone were enough to pull a man in, the fact that she could probably rip his arms was another more bizarre attraction.
“Xena,” a voice called, causing them both to turn.
Oz hadn’t thought anyone that Xena and her friends were here, and started to panic, but the look of delighted surprise on Xena’s face, caused him to relax. He found himself looking at a tall guy with long brown hair. The guy wore a pair of brown leather pants and a yellow waistcoat. A smaller guy with blonde hair, who wore leather pants and a purple waistcoat, followed him.
“Hercules, Iolaus, I am so glad to see you,” Xena said.
Oz watched as they clasped hands, and he realised exactly who Hercules was. Hercules, the mythical hero who was fathered by Zeus, king of the greek gods. A man who travelled the world, doing good and helping people. The other one wasn’t so familiar, but from the relief that Xena displayed when she clasped hands with him, he was obviously equally capable.
“We had a visit from Ares, who told us that we really should make a trip to this place,” Hercules stated as Xena froze.
“Ares helped Hope to raise Dahak. Hell, he even impregnated her so she could have a child,” Xena stated.
Oz became aware of people looking at them.
“Er, we’re rehearsing a Greek tragedy for the terminal ward,” he stated to the bemused spectators, before saying, “People, we’re gaining too much attention here.”
“The little man is right. Let’s find somewhere less public,” Iolaus stated.
“Little man! Watch it shorty,” Oz growled.
They reached Xander’s room to find Cordy still sitting with Xander. She looked up at them, her face curious but careful.
“Who are they?” she asked.
“Reinforcements,” Xena explained.
“They’re cute, pity I’m pre-occupied,” Cordy answered.
Both Hercules and Iolaus looked a little startled by her forward remark, but Xena had learned a lot about Cordy over the last could of days. She used her brashness as a defence mechanism. It enabled her to keep control of the situation.
“Cordy, we have to get back to the library and talk to Giles. With any luck, Autolycus and Joxer are back. Will you be alright here?” Xena asked.
“I’ll be fine. I’ve got my stakes, cross, holy water and mobile phone,” Cordy answered.
“Autolycus and Joxer are here? Can I go back?” Iolaus asked jokingly, causing Xena and Hercules to chuckle.
Part 20 a.k.a Ye Gods Below
“Giles, we have company,” Xena stated as she walked into library, where Gabrielle and Giles were brooding over some texts.
“Hercules! Iolaus!” Gabrielle exclaimed as she ran up and hugged the two men.
Giles seemed more than a little flustered by the appearance of the son of a god, but he was taking it in his stride.
“Giles, I’d like you to meet Hercules and Iolaus,” Xena said.
“It is a pleasure to meet you, and a relief to have reinforcements,” Giles answered as he shook hands with the men.
“Yes, we saw our foe’s handiwork at the hospital,” Iolaus commented.
“It appears we have another case where a group of mortals take on an evil immortal. The gods give their blessing to our venture, but they aren’t allowed to get involved,” Hercules explained.
“I thought we had enough help when Xena, Gabrielle, Autolycus and Joxer possessed my ward’s bodies. Unfortunately, our enemies tend to be a little more vicious than that. Are you two apprised of our situation in regards to the state of our enemies?’ Giles asked.
“Blood thirsty creatures of the night, we’ve encountered similar,” Iolaus answered.
“Yeh, certain members of my family,” Hercules quipped.
“Why don’t I go through what Gabrielle and I have found out so far,” Giles stated.
The group crowded around the table, and for once Giles was pleased to be around a group of people who knew the benefit of proper research and knowledge.
Part 21 a.k.a We’re Repossessing Your Body
Xander’s eyes popped open, and he looked around.
He was in a hospital bed, he was covered in bruises and he felt like he had been beaten like a red headed stepchild, but there was something completely different. He was having difficulty focussing his thoughts and emotions, and he had this insane desire to giggle wickedly.
What in hell was going on?
He looked around the hospital room. Although he had been comatose until recently, he had been able to feel Cordy’s presence. Now she was no longer there. He guessed that she had probably stepped out for a break.
Right now he had to find Hercules and Xena, and give them a hand. They would not appreciate his help, but they would grudgingly accept it, knowing that they would need it.
“Why wouldn’t they appreciate my help, and how did I know Hercules is here?” he asked himself out loud.
“Because you’ve done several horrible things to them in the past. Besides, you hate them.” He answered himself.
He felt cold inside. He could remember Xena possessing his body. He had felt strong, confident and in control. Now he was possessed again, but whatever had possessed him, had none of those characteristics. Their mind was a whirlpool of conflicting beliefs, desires and thoughts. Overlaying it all was devious, scheming mind with a desire to do violence. It was chaotic, and it was wonderful. All discipline had been replaced with pure instinct and will.
But he had to help Xena, or Dahak would kill him. Dahak had a good memory when it came to treachery, and he had betrayed the Destroyer. Getting out of bed, he walked over to the cupboard and found what was left of his clothes. Bloodstained jeans and t-shirt. He didn’t cringe from the blood because he liked blood.
“Xander, what are you doing out of bed?” a voice said.
He turned and saw Cordelia walking into the room.
“I have to see Xena and Hercules.” He replied
“Xena and Hercules can wait. You’ve been unconscious for 24 hours. You need to rest,” she said as she tried to maneouver him back to bed.
“Rest be damned, there is too much in the works,” he answered as he pulled his arm out of her grasp.
“Xander Harris, quit acting up and let me take care of you,” she ordered him.
“Be quiet little girl, or I’ll slice you’re tongue out,” Xander growled as Cordy stepped back, her eyes alight with recognition.
“Oh damn, its happened again. You subletting your body, aren’t you Xander,” she asked.
“Congratulations, you’ve actually proved that you have half a brain, now are you going to get out of my way, or am I going to cripple you?” he asked.
“And whoever’s in there, has got a major attitude problem. Okay Xander and whoever, I’ll take you to see Xena,” Cordy said as she opened the door, checked to see that the coast was clear and then indicated for them to follow her.
It was relatively easy to get out of the hospital and to her car. She got in and drove away. She knew that someone else was inside her Xander, because while the real Xander cringed at her reckless driving, this Xander grinned evilly and urged her to go faster. They arrived back in the library in record time and she was trembling. She enjoyed driving fast normally but that was insane.
Part 22 a.k.a Wham, Xan and Bad Mouthed Woman
The whole gang was going research in the library. Autolycus, Joxer and Willow had gotten back with a whole swag of material from the Greco-Roman exhibit.
“Xena, Buffy get your warrior butts out here,” a voice roared, a voice recognised as Cordelia, a very angry Cordelia.
The doors were flung open and Cordy followed by Xander, who wore his jeans and t-shirt, stalked into the room. Cordy looked majorly pissed off and Xander had a wickedly indulgent smile on his face. The sort of smile that made the group curious as to whether he was playing with a full deck.
“Xander, you’re alright,” Willow stated in relief.
“No, he is not bloody alright. He’s bloody well possessed again, and whoever it is, they’re a pain in the ass,” Cordelia grated.
“Is that true Xander?” Xena asked as she looked at the man whose body she had inhabited.
“What do you think musclehead? Do you think I’m here because I like your company?” Xander asked as he began to pace around Xena.
Everyone was immediately attentive. Nobody insulted Xena in such a fashion, without a death wish or a touch of insanity.
“That’s not very nice. Would you like to try me?” Xena asked, her manner getting colder.
“I’ve gotten better since we last met, Warrior Dunce. And this time I’m ready for any hind’s blood coated knives you might try and stick into me,” Xander answered as Xena stared at her and went pale.
“Callisto?” she asked, her voice deathly quiet.
“Even death can’t stop me Xena, you should have learned that by now,” Xander answered before turning to Gabrielle.
“Hey Red, got any more husbands for me to kill?” he asked.
Autolycus and Joxer immediately grabbed Gabrielle to hold her back.
“And Hercules and his faithful lapdog Iofus, Joxer the ridiculous and Autolycus, the king of thieves who could have been so much more if he had dropped the ethics. Such a interesting group of incompetents,” Xander continued on.
“That’s Iolaus,” Iolaus piped in.
“Whatever,” Xander answered.
“I’m presuming that Xander is possessed by someone that none of you are impressed with,” Giles commented in a surprisingly calm voice, considering all the tension that was radiating from the group.
“Brilliant deduction Giles, but you were always one for stating the bleeding, bloody obvious,” Xander said.
“Enough Xander, er Callisto. What in hell are you doing here?” Buffy yelled as she stood toe to toe with her friend.
Xander’s smile widened, and became slyer.
“Ahh, I like your spirit. But you’re too noble for my liking. Listen little girl, you wanna drop the niceness, I can show you how good it feels to be bad,” Xander said in a wheedling manner.
“Are you insane?” Buffy asked.
“Yes, in a manner of speaking, Callisto is insane. When she was a young girl, my army attacked her village. Against my explicit orders, they killed the women and children. Callisto apparently was the only one left. She watched as her mother and sister burned to death. It unhinged her mind, and she spent a long time as my nemesis. She became a god after eating ambrosia. She even sided with Dahak but betrayed him and helped us when she found that Dahak’s daughter Hope was using her. I killed her with a dagger stained with Hind’s blood. Don’t underestimate her Buffy. She might be a few arrows short of a score, but she’s a fantastic fighter, a brilliant tactician and highly intelligent. She is also not afraid of anything,” Xena stated stonily.
“I’m touched by your words Xena,” Xander said with an elaborate bow.
“Never underestimate your opponent. I would not have been able to defeat you, if I hadn’t known your strengths and weaknesses,” Xena answered.
“You got lucky,” Xander answered.
Xander was swearing on the inside. He did not want to say these things, but Callisto had taken him over with more strength than Xena had. With Xena, it had been a symbiotic relationship, which he felt he had contributed. Callisto on the other hand, seemed quite ready to take over and tell him to go to hell. He was glad that his friends would know that it was Callisto speaking, even though it was his body.
“Why the hell does it have to be a woman who possesses my body?” he roared at the top of his lungs, as everyone looked at him.
“You are in there, aren’t you Xander?” Willow asked.
“It appears so, but I can tell you, this woman’s mind is a mess. She makes Druscilla look perfectly sane,” Xander stated.
“Thank you very much. I’ve seen your memories about this Druscilla. Definitely someone worth getting to know. And if I regain my godhood, she could be my high priestess,” Xander replied.
“Lady, you are a wacko,” Xander said.
“At least I’m not some wimp who needs to hide behind women,” Xander snarled.
“I don’t need to hide behind women. I voluntarily choose to hide behind women,” Xander said.
“You make me sick,” Xander stated.
“Eat me Blondie,” Xander answered as he raised a fist and prepared to punch himself.
The rest of the gang watched with the fascination of watching a tennis match with only one player.
“Hold it Callisto, from what I understand about this possession. You feel what pain he feels. So if you bop him one, you’ll feel it also,” Buffy stated.
Xander reluctantly lowered his arm.
“Okay, so it appears as if Xander has got some control of his own body, which means that you don’t have clearance to run rampant. Xander has enough good instincts to make sure you don’t do anything drastic. I suggest you try and get along with you host. He can be mighty offensive when he wants to be,” Buffy stated, realising this was getting them nowhere, no matter how fascinating it was to watch Xander argue with himself.
“Thanks Buffy,” Xander said.
“Don’t turn your back on me Buffy,” Xander said.
She gave him a startled look. He managed to look both apologetic and maniacally mischievous. Just when she thought it couldn’t get any more confusing, it did. Now, she had just about had enough of surprises.
“Anyone making any comments at this point in time, will wish they hadn’t. Am I understood?” Buffy asked the group, who dutifully looked at their feet.
Part 23 a.k.a A Greek Tragedy in the Making
“Hang on, these boys aren’t vampires. I thought this was going to be a purely vampiric affair. I want to protest,” Spike stated loudly as he and Angelus watched the open portal spew forth groups of weird dressed characters.
The tome of Dahak had shown them how to raise an army to stop Buffy and her bunch of goody two shoes from disrupting the second attempt to raise Dahak.
“That was always your problem Spike, you hated to share. We tried just vampires before, and they cleaned our clocks. This time we need muscle that’s not going to be looking to feed on everyone they attack. We need a bunch of cold blooded killers and Dahak has been kind enough to help us with that,” Angelus answered.
“Who are they, anyway?” Spike asked curiously.
“Warlords and warriors from the time of Xena. We need to overwhelm them with numbers,” Angelus explained.
“Its going to look kinda bizarre for the civilians, when they see a bunch of wierded out characters in strange clothing, chopping up people.” Spike commented.
“Then they’ll completely prepared for Dahak’s coming.” Angelus replied.
“You got more faith than me. Personally I think the logic’s kind of shaky, Ange,” Spike said.
“You are such a cynic, and stop calling me Ange, or I’ll be calling you Billy Boy,” Angelus warned.
“Yes oh wondrous leader. If you don’t mind, I’m going to pick a quick snack,” Spike said.
“Try the bar on Mills Street, its fight night so there should still be a few likely souls, tossing back a few congratulatory ales. Not a bad taste,” Angelus said.
“You ought to write a food guide for vampires,” Spike answered as he left the room.
“And after Dahak makes me his number one, you’re going to be staked out in the sun my friend. Dru won’t mind losing you, because she’ll have the real thing,” Angelus stated deviously.
Part 24 a.k.a Long Life Through Superior Womanpower.
Buffy had to admit that if Callisto hadn’t possessed Xander he would be gawking at the new arrivals in the library, instead of looking at them disdainfully. As it was, they had the complete attention of Oz, Joxer, Autolycus and Iolaus. Even Giles looked ready to stutter his way out of the door. About twenty toned and muscled amazons in skimpy suede and fur outfits had just entered the library, leaving her wondering how they managed to get through the school without being seen. Obviously strange forces were at work here. She noted how Gabrielle embraced a taller blonde with thick curly hair.
“Ephiny, what in Hades are you doing here?” Gabrielle asked.
“Artemis came to us and told us that our queen needed some help in a foreign land. I bought the usual suspects, Eponin, Solari and Granella, plus a few extras.” Ephiny answered.
“Since when have the gods decided to take such direct action in this conflict. They were completely ready to let us do all the dirty work,” Xena asked as she came forward and clasped arms with Ephiny.
Buffy noted the careful look between the two, and gathered there was some history. It was obvious that Ephiny didn’t quite trust Xena and Xena was incredibly sorry for some past indiscretion.
“It’s getting a little more serious. Dahak has managed to appropriate a large portion of Ares’ warriors and warlords. Needless to say, he’s pissed but can’t do a hell of a lot about it. As I understand it, all the gods are sending someone to help you.” Ephiny replied.
“That’s nice to know, it should be a real party and a half. Ephiny, meet our hosts in this land. These are Buffy, Willow, Cordy, Oz and Giles. You know Hercules, Iolaus, Autolycus and Joxer,” Xena said as everyone introduced themselves.
“Ares told Artemis, and she warned us. Callisto might be sneaking around here. He thought you should be warned,” Ephiny said.
“Too late, she’s here, and she’s helping us,” Gabrielle stated, though her face indicated she wasn’t too impressed by the idea.
“Where is she?” Ephiny asked urgently as her hand went to her sword and she looked around.
“There,” Xena said, pointing at Xander.
“Er Xena, you’re not going blind on us again? That’s a guy.” Ephiny inquired.
“Remember how I told you about when Callisto and Xena swapped bodies? Well the same sort of thing is happening, except now she’s sharing the body of Xander. He has nominal control over her, but she can still get a few digs in, so I’d ignore her when she’s being pig headed,” Gabrielle explained.
“You know Gabrielle, I’m glad I take care of the Amazons and don’t travel with you, you’re lives are too complicated,” Ephiny commented.
“Ladies, we’re going to have to find you something a little less conspicuous. As attractive as your outfits are, I’m afraid they’ll draw a lot of unwanted attention to you,” Giles stated.
“We’re not used to normal men talking about amazons in a polite, fair manner. You’re a nice man, Giles,” Solari commented as Giles blushed.
“I have my own Amazons to deal with, and they’re a hell of a lot more difficult to deal with, Miss Solari,” Giles answered.
“This is making me ill. I’m going out,” Xander said as he started walking out of the library.
“Xander, don’t go too far,” Buffy stated.
“Its okay, between Callisto’s attitude and my knowledge of Sunnydale, we should be alright,” Xander said.
“Shut up goody two shoes,” Xander said.
“Pipe down bimbo, I’m trying to walk here,” Xander answered, walking out of the library.
“That boy has a lot of problems,” Ephiny commented.
“Don’t we know about it,” Buffy said as she looked to Cordelia, who was shaking her head.
She had a feeling that Cordelia might be cracking under the pressure. Having her boyfriend’s body possessed by two different, but strong willed women, was not conducive to a happy relationship. She hoped that Cordy didn’t just wash her hands of Xander when this was all finished. They were good together, even if she was crazy for even thinking that.
Part 25 a.k.a So, who do you kill for fun around here?
“So, what do you do for fun around here?” Callisto asked from inside Xander’s body.
“Not much, it’s a quiet place, apart from the assorted vampires and other horrors. You’d love it,” Xander replied.
“I wasn’t always the sadistic psychopath, but when you see your whole family burn to death, before your eyes, then your view of the world changes,” Callisto replied.
“That’s a cop out Callisto and you know it. You cannot excuse your actions because of what happened to your family. You have to rise above it all,” Xander answered.
“That’s easy for you to say,” Callisto answered.
“We all have our problems. I’m currently helping my friends to fight a stalemate against a group of beasts that may kill us all one day. You have to rise above it all,” Xander explained.
“Er Xander, I don’t think we’re going to have to rise above that,” Callisto stated as Xander saw what she was indicating.
Ten men in old-fashioned armour, were walking towards him, and from the drawn swords, they obviously weren’t looking for donations for the Wilderness Society. For one thing, the Koala suit would have never fitted over the leather armour.
“We need a sword,” Xander said.
“Give me complete control, I’ll get us a sword,” Callisto answered.
“No, you’re skilled and dangerous, but you’re also wild and uncontrollable. That might be okay with lowly peasants, but these guys are trained. We work together,” Xander answered.
“I hope you can keep up with me,” Callisto answered as she somersaulted into the fray.
Xander fought hard, but was able to contemplate his situation. While being possessed by Xena, there was a seamless join between the two. Now, he was fighting with another distinctive personality. He found himself screaming a lot, because Callisto seemed to like it, nonetheless, there was no doubt she was good. She also happened to be bloodthirsty, and if he had been inclined to stop her from killing these guys, he knew he would have had a hard time pulling her off them. Her way of doing way was quite unique. He could see the fear in the eyes of his opponents. But it wasn’t the fear that came from a healthy respect for your opponent’s skills: it was a fear that came from realising that you were facing a complete lunatic. When they had finished the group of warriors were dead.
“That felt so good Xander. We work well together,” Callisto said with an almost sensual shiver of pleasure.
“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself, now lets get out of here before the cops arrive.” He said.
“Cops?” she asked.
“Peacekeepers, enforcers of the law,” he explained.
“Jailers? Bring em on, I’ll kill em all,” she declared.
“You don’t like anyone, do you? No, this is where I draw the line. Cops are the good guys, most of the time. We only fight bad guys. Now lets get out of here. I need a change of clothes. I can’t be walking around like an extra out of a teen slasher film.” He said.
“You’re the boss,” she said, unhappily sulking.
“I’ll bet you don’t mean any of it. The simple fact is that you need me to stop you suffering for eternity in Dahak’s version of hell. I need you, because you’ve got more experience in kicking ass. I don’t mind giving you a little leeway, but you gotta listen to me,” he said as they walked away.
“Well people, how’s the story going so far?” Author Guy asked.
“I’m not getting much in the way of action,” Willow commented.
“Hey, I’ve been virtually shoved into a corner with all the new characters,” Oz complained.
“You’re doing strange stuff to me. Why am I being possessed by two women who happen to be worst enemies?” Xander asked.
“You’re getting utilised more. Besides, count yourself lucky. I was toying with put both of them in your body at the same time,” Author Guy explained.
“That’s what I’d like to know. Why does Xander run into trouble, every time he leaves the library? All we get to do is sit around and research,” Buffy asked.
“Because I like Xander,” Author guy said.
“So far I’ve been possessed by two bad tempered women and beaten up by two vampires, I hate to think what would happen if you hated me?” Xander asked.
“How about a safe dropping on your head?” Author guy asks tetchily.
“That only happens in cartoons,” Xander replied.
Author Guy turns to Xander, and asks the ungrateful sod who’s getting all the good plot lines, “Xander, I have seven words for you, South Park meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And guess who’ll be playing Kenny?”
“Oh my god, you’ll kill Xander!” Willow exclaimed.
“You bastard!” Xander exclaimed.
“As for you Giles, how does a torrid yet brief affair with an Amazon sound?” Author guy asks.
“Quite nice actually, awfully generous of you old chap.” Giles answered, cheerily.
“How about pointing me at Hunky Hercules or even his little friend Iolaus,” Cordy asked hopefully.
“Sorry, they’re too old for you, though maybe it is time for you and Xander to have a parting of the ways. I can create someone interesting for you, and Xander is free to play the field,” Author Guy suggests.
“Now you’re talking,” Xander states, rubbing his hands together.
“What sort of guy did you have in mind?” Cordy asks curiously, obviously turning the idea over in her mind.
“The world of television is limitless. Take your pick,” Author guy answered.
“Cool,” Cordy answered.
“Okay people, time to stop this little coffee and chat, I’ve gotta get back to work. Have fun out there,” Author Guy says.
Part 26 a.k.a That’s Amazon!
Solari walked into the study of the Chase family mansion. Because it would have been too conspicuous to have home base in the school library, Cordelia Chase had almost gracefully offered to have the small army put up at her place, since her parents were away. Solari found many wondrous things about this world, but at their most basic level, they were very much like people that Solari had dealt with all her life.
All except for the occupant of the room one Rupert Giles. A scholar and yet highly knowledgeable in a range of weapons. He was an enigma, and despite herself, an attractive one. He was a man who was polite, regardless of whom he was talking to. He stuttered when he was nervous, but otherwise he was a strong man. Right now he looked like a tired man. All of them had been fighting Dahak’s warriors and the vampires, over the last week, and they were tired. Rupert had the added responsibility of finding an academic solution to their problems. The greyness of his skin and hunched over manner indicated how tired he was.
She walked over to him with the tray and nudged him. Buffy had been going to bring the meal to her Watcher, but Solari had seen how deathly tired the Slayer was, and had offered to do it for her. To Solari, it seemed like the only one that wasn’t tired, was the boy Xander, who had Callisto’s spirit in him. Obviously Callisto still retained some of her immortality and was transferring it to the boy.
“Hey sleepyhead, dinner,” she said.
“Just leave it there, I’ll get to it later,” Giles answered, not even taking his head out of his book.
“I don’t think so Giles. You’ll forget about it and collapse from exhaustion. You’re too important to us for me to let that happen,” Solari said, a little louder than she had intended.
It got the desired effect, as Giles sat back in his chair and looked at her. It made her nervous, because despite the fact that he was a scholar, he had eyes that seemed to pierce right through her defences. Even his tiredness did not mar the alertness of his eyes.
“Hello Solari, how are the wounds?” he asked as he began to eat.
“I’m used to it, but the old body isn’t bouncing back as much as it used to,” she answered as he indicated for her to sit on the couch in the study.
She didn’t mind, because she was starved for intelligent conversation as much as sleep. Two teams were out there tonight, and she wouldn’t have anything to do until they got back.
“You are in very good shape. I suppose when you spend your life fighting, you have to expect something to give way,” Giles stated.
“Thank you for the compliment. You keep your age very well, how old are you, 35?” she asked.
She had been amazed by how people aged in this world. In her world, people tended to get old before their time. In her world, Buffy and her young friends would have been members of society with duties and responsibilities, but in this world they were still regarded as youngsters.
“Forty-five actually,” he answered as she gave him a shocked look.
In her world, someone his age would have been an elder statesman, yet he was still a man in his prime. She had noticed how much in his prime he was, in fact, she couldn’t help but notice.
“I had hoped that maturity might rid me of this accursed infantile appearance, but it seems I am cursed to look like a young man for my life,” he quipped, smiling at her confusion.
“Infantile appearance, is that the same as ‘baby face’?” She replied with a wicked smile.
“Yes, but as Buffy would say, ‘more full of hot air’, she thinks I takes myself too seriously, and I should learn to loosen up,” Giles commented.
“Your protege is a unique one. I’ve never thought of fighting as something you do stylishly, but here she is, kicking butt with a smile and a cliche. Its habit forming. I have a feeling that when Eph and I get these lot back, they’ll be doing it.” Solari commented.
“You’ll have a whole village of Buffy wannabes, heaven forbid the thought,” Giles answered as the two looked at each other and dissolved into helpless laughter.
At some time during their almost hysterical fit of laughter (it felt good to let the tension go, in favour of a good old fashioned belly laugh) Solari fell against Giles. As the laughter subsided, she began to realise where she was, and pulled away. His arms went around her.
“Don’t,” he whispered almost inaudibly.
“I don’t mind Giles. In fact I kind of need this,” she said as she sighed and rested her head on his shoulder, her arms going around his neck.
“I have lost people that I cared about, and in the past, I thought suppression was the answer. Buffy, and then Jenni, taught me to take what I can, when I can. I need this as well,” he replied.
“You need to get some rest Giles,” she stated.
“I will rest on the couch here, if you will rest with me?” he suggested.
“I’d like nothing more,” Solari admitted.
She was surprised when he stood up with her in his arms. There was a certain physical strength under his tweed suit. Laying her on the couch, he removed his jacket and tie. She moved over, and when he lay down on it, she lay on top of him, her head on his chest.
“Good night Giles,” Solari said softly.
Part 27 a.k.a Diabetes Alert
“Now that’s cute,” Buffy said as she watched her Watcher, who was currently curled up on the couch with a beautiful and tough Amazon. Both were asleep and seemed to enjoy it.
“Incredibly so,” Xander said.
“I may vomit,” Xander said.
Buffy shook her head at her friend. She was starting to get used to Callisto’s appearances, but they were still irritating. The insane woman seemed to take delight in needling and emotionally torturing anyone who came near her. Xander managed to tone down her wilder instincts, but most avoided him anyway.
“Hi Callisto, making a concerted effort to win the bitch of the year title I see. You might have some competition with Cordy around. Speaking of Cordy, I haven’t seen her around you lately,” Buffy said.
“She said she couldn’t handle being around me, knowing that psycho blonde is in here,” Xander said, tapping his head.
The sadness in his eyes, and the certain slumped manner of his shoulders indicated that something else had happened.
“Oh please, Xander tell it like it is. She dumped you. She said that there were too many women in your life as it was, and she couldn’t handle it. Personally, I think she just wanted a clear path in Ioafus’ direction. She’s had the hots for him since she first met him,” Xander said.
“If I wanted your opinion Callisto, I would have punched myself in the stomach,” Xander answered.
“If you gave me more control, I would ensure that none left you ever again,” Xander stated.
“I think I’ll do this the non psycho way,” Xander said.
Buffy closed her eyes, something she found herself doing often in Xander/Callisto’s presence. It got to be confusing when they talked to each other.
“Hercules and Willow’s group will be getting back in a couple of hours. Get some sleep, you’re going out with Xena tomorrow,” Buffy said.
“Oh won’t that be so much fun, it will be like old home week,” Xander said.
“Little chance of me getting sleep. Callisto doesn’t sleep much, and considering her dream sequences, I don’t blame her,” Xander said.
“Rough,” Buffy commented.
She was starting to feel sorry for Xander. He had had a rough time over the last couple of weeks.
“Try and rest anyway,” she answered as she walked away, leaving him to watch after her.
She walked through the series of camp beds and couches that were the sleeping areas for her army. They were tired, dusty and injured, but they kept fighting. And they were winning too. The vamps and warriors on the streets were starting to lose confidence.
She was lucky to gain the help of some fantastic fighters. Xena was a one-woman army, a cold calculating killing machine. Hercules was a gentle giant, but his strength was a determining factor, and he wasn’t averse to killing, if the situation warranted. Iolaus was a joy to watch. He was smooth and fluid, and very hard to catch. Autolycus was very much like that, but she would never suggest that to him, because his ego was massaged enough without her help. Joxer was a geek, and a klutz, but like Xander, he had numerous tricks up his sleeve. Buffy truly believed that he was still alive because of some divine intervention. Gabrielle had taken Willow under her arm and when the two fought with their quarterstaves, no opponent could get past them. The Amazons were incredible fighters, and from what she had just seen, they could be comforting as well.
Last but not least was the Xander/Callisto union. It was the move of a madman or a genius. Xander’s natural instinct for preservation stopped Callisto from doing something crazy, while her insanity gave him the backbone to try things. Buffy doubted she was the only one who had felt a chill up her spine when Xander had leapt into the middle of a group of warriors, laughing and screeching wildly, as he hacked them to pieces, and virtually had to be dragged off them. It was scary but it was necessary, because while the warriors feared and had a healthy respect for Xena, they were absolutely terrified by Xander/Callisto.
As she walked past a room, she saw Cordy and Iolaus sitting together, talking softly (Author Guy has a change of heart). He was caressing her hair, and she was running an errant hand along his arm. Part of her wanted to run and abuse Cordy for dumping Xander, but she decided that all had too much stress on them to be worrying about a normal life at the moment. Turning, she kept walking.
The door opened and Willow, Oz, Hercules and a group of Amazons walked in.
“How did it go?” she asked them.
“Its starting to taper off, but we got a decent stretch,” Eponin stated, placing her weapons in the makeshift armoury that used to be a cloakroom.
“Get some sleep, it’s nearly daybreak.” Buffy said.
Although none of them had actually taken command of the group, she knew whom she could tell what to do. Hercules was a pussycat, Willow and Oz were used to taking orders and the Amazons held a healthy respect for her. She wouldn’t even attempt to tell Xena or Giles what to do, and Xander/Callisto would tell her to stuff it, and she wouldn’t be able to guess which personality had said it.
They all nodded to her, obviously looking forward to catching some shuteye. Willow, Oz, Cordy, Giles, Xander and herself would need to be up in a couple of hours, so they could go to school and complete the illusion that everything was okay in Sunnydale, and not a battleground for the evil undead and heroes from classical times.
Realising that she was brooding way too much, she shook her head and walked over to a pallet and lay down. Everyone else was lying down, all except for a shadowy figure that at on the windowsill handling his sword confidently and talking to himself.
Part 28 a.k.a Gods and Deities
It was a dark night when Xena, Buffy, Xander, Gabrielle and Hercules stalked through the cemetery. The others were still recovering from a battle with Angel’s minions last night. Although they had won, it had taken it out of them.
These four had the added bonus of a quick recovery time, so it was decided that they do the nightly sweep around town.
“Hold it,” Xena said urgently as she removed her sword from its sheathe and stuck it out, just as a flame appeared around the blade.
When the light dissipated, they found themselves looking at a tall, menacing looking man in all leather. He currently had a sword in his stomach, but seemed only mildly annoyed by it.
“One day you’re going to have to tell me how you do that. Do you mind, its kind of distracting?” he asked in a quirky manner.
Xena pulled her sword out and sheathed it.
“Hello Ares,” she said simply.
So, this was the erstwhile Greek god of War, Buffy thought. Kind of cute in a tie me up and hurt me sort of way. From the looks on the faces around him, he wasn’t the most popular person in the world. Xena and Hercules showed open suspicion. Gabrielle’s face showed hatred and Xander/Callisto showed suspicion, hatred and insanity.
“Hello Xena, my lovely protege. Hello Hercules my despised brother. Hello Gabrielle, the bane of my life. I don’t recognise the cute blonde or the wimp with the sword,” Ares stated.
“That cute blonde could kick your ass around this town, as for the so-called wimp, he…” Xena stated, before being cut off by Xander.
“Doesn’t need anyone to defend him Xena,” Xander said in a firm voice.
To everyone, it indicated that he didn’t want Ares to know who was inside him. They trusted Xander’s judgement on this.
“Well, the kid’s got some guts, I like that,” Ares commented.
“Is this a social visit or are you going to tell us why you’re here?” Xena asked as Ares sat on a grave.
“This Angelus is really starting to impress Dahok. Dahok has helped him learn the spell of creating. Once he uses it, you’re going to find yourselves up to your elbows in vampires,” Ares explained.
“I’m gathering that we’ve got prep time here?” Buffy asked as she unconsciously sat next to him.
“Two weeks. And this time, the Gods aren’t standing back. We can’t allow demon to use the spell of creating. I am here to help you with the battle aspect of things. Zeus and Hera will be along in the next couple of days,” Ares related, as all became wide-eyed.
“Hades, Poseidon, Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Hermes, Apollo, Hephaestus, all of them?” Hercules asked, his mind boggling at the prospect.
“Its gonna be one hell of a party,” Ares commented.
“I don’t think I can take much more of this. Every time I open my eyes, this little nightmare gets worse and worse.” Buffy said, shaking her head.
“Where’s your spirit girly, it’s going to be one hell of a battle.” Ares said with a wide smile on his face.
“Bloodshed, mayhem, chaos, death, dismemberment, screams of agony, oh yeh,” Xander said, his eyes glittering in a manner that indicated that Callisto was close to the surface.
Even Ares seemed a little unnerved, and backed off slightly.
“Something I should know about?” he asked.
“Xander’s a little intense,” Buffy said.
“Maybe you’d like to come and work for me after this is all over,” Ares commented prospectively.
“It might be nice as a rest cure,” Xander said with a casual shrug.
Buffy couldn’t tell whether that was Xander or Callisto, but she knew that Xander’s comment had pissed off Ares no end.
“Aaaarrrrggghhhh,” a group of voices yelled.
“Aaaarrrggghhhh?” Ares asked curiously as a large group of vampires and warriors bundled out of the bushes.
“Are you going to help us, or are you going to stand around and preen?” Hercules asked coldly.
“Preen indeed,” Ares stated indignantly as he blasted a vampire into nothingness with a ball of flame.
The rest of the group had deployed themselves on a wide front, leaving enough room for each to move, while being close enough to cover one another. All except Xander who immediately somersaulted into the middle of their opponents and started wreaking unholy vengeance on them. When the fight was finished, he was covered in blood and vampire dust, and was grinning maniacally.
“You still want him working for you?” Buffy asked Ares, who was observing Xander with confusion.
“I enjoy bloodthirsty, but that boy is nuts. Besides, that incessant screaming would drive me crazy after too long,” Ares replied shaking his head.
“You’re not so bad with that sword, but may I suggest just using fireballs on the vamps. Its much easier,” Buffy said.
“I’m getting tips on death and destruction from you?” Ares inquired in shock.
“My territory leatherguy. I’ve been fighting vamps for three years now. Just trying to make it easy on you,” Buffy stated matter of factly
“I’ll take that under advisement blondie. Why am I forever haunted by irritating blondes?” he asked dramatically.
“Because you deserve it?” Xander quipped dryly.
The god of war glared at the numerous assorted mortals who were attempting not to laugh, and failing miserably.
Part 29 a.k.a Exit Stage Right
Xander/Callisto had retired to the library when the rest of the gods arrived. Callisto wasn’t the most sociable person in the world, and Xander wasn’t feeling particularly friendly either. Truth be told he was starting to enjoy Callisto’s company. She was completely nuts, but she had an edge that he was enjoying.
“You people do a lot of reading. Prophecies, what a load of bunk,” Callisto commented.
“By themselves, they are, but you have to interpret them properly,” Xander explained.
“Okay, how would you interpret this, ‘the one with the angelic face, can only be defeated by he who hates him the most, with assistance by a fallen angel of immortal origins’ Sounds like a pizza order,” Callisto said as she read from a scroll she had unrolled.
“It does, it…hell, I think I know why you’re here, and why you’re in me,” Xander said.
“I’m listening,” Callisto answered.
“The one with the angelic face is Angelus, the leader of the vampires we’ve been fighting. From what I’ve heard, despite being a few baskets short of a picnic, you’re quite a babe. I heard say that you are almost angelic in appearance.” Xander said as Callisto started to nod.
“So I am here to defeat Angelus, aided by who?” Callisto asked, putting the pieces together.
“The rest of the Slayerettes have accepted and even cared for Angelus when he had a soul. I never like him, and only tolerated him to stop from losing my friends. That’s why we’re together. You supply the sheer nastiness and ruthlessness that none of the others can, and I supply the hatred without any thought of redeeming him,” Xander explained.
“Its nice to know we have a purpose that is more than killing everybody in sight,” Callisto admitted.
“I thought you enjoyed mindless violence,” Xander said.
“It’s starting to lose its appeal.” Callisto said.
“Well, I’m glad to have you around, you’ve saved my sorry tail on numerous occasions,” Xander commented.
“That’s because you’re an innate do-gooder, despite not having the skill to back it up. You’re like that idiot Joxer, but you’re different. Even he knows when something is too dangerous. You on the other hand, put blinkers on when your friends are in trouble,” Callisto said, and while the words were derogatory, the tone was one of admiration.
“And you’re not the psycho bitch that you pretend to be. You’re a poor little girl who got lost one day,” Xander said with a smile.
“You say that to anyone and I’ll gut you Xander,” Callisto said sharply.
“You’re secret is safe with me,” Xander replied.
“You’re the first person I’ve trusted in a long time. Of course, I really don’t have much choice, considering we’re co-habitating the same body,” she said.
“Call it a learning experience. Why didn’t you want the gods to know who you are?” he asked.
“The gods, Ares especially, can be quite manipulative. If they think you’re some mortal guy with a major case of insanity, they’ll pretty much leave you alone. But if they were to find out that I’m in here, anything could happen. I’d rather not put you or myself through it,” Callisto explained.
“I appreciate that. Should we hide out here or do you want to do something?” Xander asked.
“Lets go out and do some hunting. We’re just muscle, not brains,” Callisto said.
“We’ll get in trouble, you know how they hate me going out on my own, they think I get in too much trouble by myself,” Xander commented.
“You’re not on your own, I’m with you,” Callisto replied.
“A fine point, I don’t know whether it will stand up in a court of law, but I’m willing to test it.” Xander said eagerly as he opened the window to the library and climbed out. Locking it behind him, he disappeared into the night.
Part 30 a.k.a He’s Gone Again
“I hate it when he does this. We can’t even blame it on Callisto either,” Buffy commented to Xena.
Xander had disappeared again, and everyone had split up to search Cordelia’s mansion. He was nowhere around, so he obviously wasn’t in the mansion.
“Callisto is trouble by herself, but Xander has similar instincts.” Xena agreed.
“Ixnay on the Allistocay, Enaxay,” Buffy stated as she saw Ares walking over.
“What’s all this fuss about a bloodthirsty mortal boy?” he asked.
“He tends to get into a lot of trouble if we don’t watch out for him,” Xena explained.
She had a good idea why Callisto didn’t want Ares to know she was there, and while Xena disliked Callisto intensely, she also knew what Ares was like as well.
“We have another problem Buffy,” Willow said.
“What?” Buffy exclaimed.
“In all the confusion, we forgot tonight is the full moon. Oz has turned, and Hercules is having a hell of a time holding him down,” Willow answered as Buffy gave her a startled look and followed her out to the other room, with Xena and Ares in tow.
Hercules was holding down a fur-covered creature that Buffy recognised as Oz in wolf form.
“Do you want to explain to me why one of your friends suddenly sprouted hair, fangs and the desire to eat people?” Hercules asked almost conversationally as he pressed the fur-covered figure of Oz to the ground as Amazons stood around, watching curiously.
“In all the fuss, we forgot. Cordy?” Buffy inquired.
“If you can get him downstairs, we can lock him in the basement overnight. There’s room to breathe but no room to escape,” Cordy said.
“Blurb version Buffy,” Xena stated firmly.
“Oz is a werewolf. Good guy most of the time, but he turns like that on the night of the full moon. He’ll be alright during the day, but we have to lock him up during the night because we can’t control him,” Buffy said.
“Need a hand getting him into the basement Hercules?” Xena asked.
“Not just yet, tall, dark and intimidating. Artemis, my dear sister, do you think you can do something with our hairy ally?” Ares asked, his eyes glazed with thought.
“I can’t fix the problem,” Artemis answered.
“Who would want to cure such a beautifully simple affliction? You have control over the beasts of the forest. I figure that you would have half control over him,” Ares commented.
“Ares, you’re brilliant, I think it throws me, because you don’t look so bright,” Artemis exclaimed.
“Thanks, I think,” Ares said dryly.
“Hold on, what are you planning with my boyfriend?” Willow inquired suspiciously.
“It’s like this, er Willow, your boyfriend will still turn into a werewolf during the full moon, but he’ll have full control over his actions.” Artemis said as Willow’s eyes lit up.
“Can you really do that?” she asked.
“I believe so, but I wouldn’t have remembered it if my brother hadn’t reminded me. Since when have you had knowledge of my talents?” Artemis asked.
“A good warrior always knows the strengths and weaknesses of those around himself, whether friend or foe.” Ares explained.
“Couldn’t have said it better myself.” Xena admitted with a nod.
“Well, if this works, it appears that I owe you Ares,” Willow commented.
“I’m sure that by the end of this little adventure, you’ll have paid off the compliment many times over,” Ares said.
“Let’s get it done,” Artemis stated as she caste a bolt of light at Oz.
When it dissipated, the werewolf Oz was standing there, but he seemed less uncontrolled.
“That was one hell of a kick. Hey, I’m still hairy,” Oz said as he looked at himself.
“Just a little adjustment from our immortal friends. You still turn into hairboy ever full moon, but you won’t be a psycho wolf,” Willow said as she hugged him.
“Fantastic,” Oz commented.
“Another problem averted. We have another problem, but I can’t remember what it was,” Buffy said.
“Xander,” Xena answered as Buffy nodded.
“Right, we’ll let him take his time. Okay, who’s on patrol tonight?” Buffy asked.
“I’d like to go out, you might need an extra strong, human like canine,” Oz said.
“You’re not going without me,” Willow said as she picked up her quarterstaff.
Part 31 a.k.a Where, When and Who
“Giles, why are we constantly at the mercy of obscure prophecies. Why can’t we just go into the Hellmouth and gut Angelus,” Buffy asked.
“Don’t you mean, ‘get’ Angelus?” Cordy asked.
“You do it your way, I’ll do it my way,” Buffy replied.
“That’s not how things work Buffy. If we don’t follow the schedule the other side wins,” Giles said.
“Be glad that you’ve got someone like Giles, Buffy. You have no idea how much trouble it is to question the oracle at Delphi. We never get the clear picture,” Hercules said.
“I think I’ve pretty much got it sorted out, it’s just this part out. ‘The one with the angelic face can only be defeated by the one who hates him the most, assisted by a fallen angel of immortal origins’. Its relevant, but how, I’m not sure,” Giles commented.
“Finally, the scholar is stumped. Yes,” Autolycus quipped enthusiastically.
“You leave Giles alone Mr King of thieves, or I may have to get Amazon on your ass,” Solari warned firmly as Autolycus backed off.
“The one with the angelic face, isn’t that how your Watcher diaries described Angelus?” Willow asked.
“Goodness, you’re right Willow. That helps a lot. It appears that this prophecy deals with the defeat of Angelus,” Giles stated.
“Now to determine who hates him the most. I mean he’s gained a lot of enemies over the years and more recently. He betrayed me, killed Jenni etc. the question is, who hates him the most.” Buffy said as she sat on the desk and rubbed her head.
“The question is, who has hated him, even before they knew he was a vampire,” Cordy said as the three Sunnydale girls looked at each other.
“Xander!” they exclaimed.
“And the fallen angel with immortal origins?” Xena asked, though her tone indicated that the question was rhetorical.
“It looks like we’re going to need Xander to take care of Angelus,” Gabrielle said.
“That leaves Spike, Druscilla, a stack of lesser vamps, and numerous warriors and warlords. It’s going to be one hell of a fight.” Hercules said.
“We ought to get some sleep. With any luck, Xander will get back tomorrow and we can plan our assault on the enemy. Otherwise we’ll send out trackers to find him tomorrow, while the rest get our weapons ready,” Giles said.
“Hey, Arse,” Buffy said.
“That’s Ares, little girl,” Ares said, silencing all the laughs around him with a glare.
“Oops, Freudian slip, anyway, can’t you do some of your god things and find Xander?” she asked.
“Tried that already little girl, and for some reason your psychotic friend can avoid me. If he was another god, I might be able to understand it, but this has got me stuffed,” Ares said as Buffy gave Xena a covert look.
The leather clad female warrior nodded her head slightly.
Part 32 a.k.a Looking For Trouble in All the Right Places
While Xander really didn’t mind the sewer system below Sunnydale, it was quite obvious that Callisto was freaking out. Who would have thought that Miss Psycho-Bitch was claustrophobic?
“Calm down Callisto, I’ve done this numerous times before. The sewer system is quite safe,” Xander ordered her.
“Sorry Xander, I just don’t like closed in places. I was once dropped into a lava pit, I was also locked in a cavern, and I’ve had numerous avalanches fall on top of me. I hate it,” Callisto answered.
“Well, I suppose you have some good reasons. I can’t believe I’m saying something so corny but I won’t let anything happen to you,” Xander said.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this Xander, but we make a good team,” Callisto answered.
They turned the corner and both had their sword out to decapitate the vampires that attacked them, before they even thought of it.
“Nice reflexes Callisto,” Xander quipped.
“I thought that was you,” Callisto answered.
“I’m sick to death of analysing everything that happens to us. Let’s just enjoy it. I’m going to carve me some Angel wings,” Xander said enthusiastically.
“And I’m going to show Dahok what happens when you screw with the goddess of insanity,” Callisto answered, equally enthused.
Part 33 a.k.a Saddle em up and move em out
“No Xander,” Xena said dryly.
“We’ll just have to leave a message and hope he catches up,” Buffy answered as she checked her arsenal of stakes, holy water and crosses.
One of the Amazons had had the unique idea of making a wooden cross with points at each side. She would have to see how that worked.
“He might get lost if we don’t leave a path for him. The sewer system is quite extensive,” Giles answered.
“Xander knows more about the sewer system than anyone in town,” Willow said.
They all looked at her, waiting for her to explain.
“After the night you died, he told himself that he never wanted to depend on Angel again. So he made treks of the sewers and had me pull up the plans. He swore me to secrecy. What this means, is that it’s very likely he’s already there, and waiting for us,” Willow explained, squirming at the attention directed at her.
“Seems logical enough. We’ll see you there,” Ares stated as he walked back to where the rest of the gods were standing.
“Aren’t you coming with us?” Buffy asked.
“There are certain things we have to do, to ensure that Dahak does not sidestep us. Don’t worry, my little vampire slayer, we’ll be there for the fun,” Ares answered as he and the rest of the gods disappeared in a flash of light.
“He can be so smug sometimes,” Buffy said, stamping her foot.
“Yes, but one thing Ares knows about is war. He’s in his element here,” Xena answered, her tone not quite admiring, but being able to admit a skill.
“Okay, lets get a move on,” Buffy said.
“Yee-hah!” Cordelia exclaimed as everyone looked at her as she had lost her mind.
“What? I’m filling in for Xander while he’s away. He would have undoubtedly bought up the ‘yee-hah’ scene in City Slickers, and made that comment,” Cordy answered.
“I can’t argue with that, Yee-hah!” Buffy exclaimed with a wide smile, suddenly feeling a whole lot better.
“Yee-hah?” Xena asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“Takes too long to explain, try it,” Buffy replied.
“IYIYIYIYIYIYeeeee-hah! I like it!” Xena exclaimed, starting off a round of ‘yee-hahs’ around the room.
Buffy noted how everyone looked more confident now.
“Thanks Cordy, we needed that,” Buffy said.
“Xander would have done pretty much the same to lighten the mood. We kill the vampires and then we party,” Cordy said as she held out her hand.
“We kill vampires and then we party,” Buffy answered as she slapped palms with Cordy.
Part 34 a.k.a Bloodshed and Bloodsuckers
“We keep doing this and Buffy and the gang aren’t going to have anything to do,” Xander commented as he looked at the four corpses and seven piles of ash that lay around them.
They had been almost easy to butcher, and from what Xander gathered, the closer they got to Dahak’s lair, the more focussed they became. They killed with a neatness and efficiency that would have done Giles’ ‘stake and move on, stake and move on’ proud. In the past, he would have felt horrified by what he was doing, but now he rationalised it as a necessity. These vamps and ancient warriors were in the way of him killing Dahak and Angel. They had to be moved, the hard way. Callisto wasn’t bothered by the moralistic beliefs, and he had to admit that her code of ethics was quite compelling.
“Look,” Callisto hissed.
Xander turned and looked down to the other levels of the sewers. He could actually see through the concrete and dirt and mud that made up the sewers, into other sewers. Rather than question it, he used it. Buffy and the gang making their way to Dahak and Angel’s lair in three groups. Xena head a group, Buffy led another and Autolycus and Hercules led the other. Groups of vamps and warriors were moving to intercept them, and while he wished to warn them, he realised that he had no time and would only give away his own position. They were three capable groups. He realised that this route would lead him to an exit near the top of the large cavern where Dahak was located.
“Seize the high ground,” he said firmly.
“What’s that?” Callisto asked.
“A Macedonian general, called Alexander the Great, had one simple strategy. Always seize the high ground. He won many battles and much like Julius Ceasar, became a conquerer of nations,” Xander explained, finding this impromptu history lesson calming.
“What happened to him?” Callisto asked.
“He died at a young age, having no more nations to conquer,” Xander replied.
“Who wants to live forever, Xander,” she said softly.
“Amen to that,” he answered.
“Let’s get the show on the road,” she said.
Part 35 a.k.a Possession End Game
“I’m surrounded by incompetents!” Angelus exclaimed as he saw his warriors and vampires dying around him.
Already Dahak’s will and personality had overlaid most of his own, and the roar of frustration was as much Dahak’s as it was his. He had thought to overwhelm the Scooby Gang with numbers, but Buffy and her friends were making mincemeat out of his people. He was unsure of what to do now.
“Kill the Warrior Princess, and I will be free,” Dahak said in his mind.
Angelus turned and saw Xena with her back to him, taking on ten warriors and vampires and holding her own. He grinned as he pulled out the Roman style short sword that he wore, and moved towards her stealthily. As he prepared to plunge the blade into her back, he heard a scream as a body bundled into him and knocked him away. Angelus rolled to his feet and looked at his foe who was already standing up.
“Xander, that’s the final straw. I’m going to kill you,” Angelus growled.
“Take your best shot dead boy,” Xander said evilly and he set his sword in a defensive position.
Angelus was taken aback. It was much like when Xander had been possessed by the Warrior Princess. It was different though. The eyes that looked at Angelus were insane with bloodlust and hate. These were not the eyes of Xander, they weren’t even the eyes of a normal man. These were the eyes of death, and Angelus knew that he would get no quarter.
“Kill the boy,” Dahak ordered, obviously not realising what Angelus had determined.
“Try it, you impotent godling. You’ve failed several times already, why should once more be different,” Xander stated as Angelus fought the urge to smile. Xander could be really insulting when he put his mind to it. Angelus almost liked this new Xander.
“Well Xander, you’ve wanted this for years. I don’t know who you’ve got inside you, but it might make this a decent fight.” Angelus said as they circled around each other.
“How about the first one to die, loses?” Xander suggested.
“Sounds fair,” Angelus shrugged as he discarded the short sword and pulled out a large scimitar like sword.
“Most guys go for Porsche’s as phallic symbols, dead boy goes for swords,” Xander quipped as Angelus growled and moved forward.
They spent the first couple of minutes testing each other’s defences and it soon became obvious that this duel would not be won on skill alone. Speed, stamina, treachery and luck would all play a part. Once the preliminaries were out of the way, they fell into with a vengeance. They were committed now, and neither would back off, because they knew to do this would mean death.
They didn’t see that their comrades and allies had stopped their fighting watch this fight.
Part 36 a.k.a Check and Mate
“My god,” Xena said softly as she watched the fight before.
It was the most spectacular display of swordsmanship she had ever seen, and yet she wasn’t involved. She saw many of Callisto’s moves in Xander’s style of fighting, and she was almost surprised to see many of hers as well. She realised that the time spent in Xander’s body had given him a wide range of skills to choose from. Her skills and Callisto’s audacity, she hadn’t realised how effective they were together. He had saved her life, pushing Angelus out of the way, when he had been fully prepared to shove a sword into her back, a sword that she knew that she wouldn’t have been able to stop.
“Holy hand grenade, Batman,” Buffy said in awe.
All had stopped fighting to watch this titanic duel between two vicious opponents.
“Holy hand grenade?” Xena asked.
“Just using pop culture metaphors, because my own vocabulary is too limited to express what I’m thinking,” Buffy answered in a distracted manner.
“You’re babbling,” Xena commented dryly.
“Uh huh,” Buffy answered.
“Who’s fighting Angelus, is it Xander?” Willow asked.
“Its Xander’s hatred, Callisto’s insanity and my moves. A potent combination,” Xena explained.
“Can we get in on the action?” Buffy asked.
“No, this is between those two, or four, if you want to be more specific,” Xena explained.
“Four?” Buffy asked.
“Xander is possessed by Callisto, and Angelus is possessed by Dahak,” Xena answered.
“Xena, Dahak is a god, how are Xander and Callisto supposed to defeat him?” she asked curiously.
“It appears that normal rules have been suspended. This is more than a fight between two people, this is a fight for dominance over this world, and no matter what happens, or what we do, it will be those two who decide it,” Xena replied softly.
“I’m putting my future in the hands of Xander and Callisto. Why did I even bother getting out of my bed this morning?” Buffy asked, though her tone of voice belied her despair.
“Xander’s been around some of the best fighters in this land. He’ll survive.” Willow said reassuringly, though Buffy noted that her old friend was trembling.
She put her arm around Willow in a comforting manner and watched the fight.
“Buffy, no matter how this fight goes, we’re not going to want a bunch of idle vamps around us,” Giles yelled.
“Agreed,” Buffy answered as she removed the stake from her belt.
“Lets do it,” Xena replied as she followed Buffy into the midst of the vampires.
Let the future take care of itself. They had a job to do.
Part 37 a.k.a A Little Mistake
“You know Xander, I doubt I’ve ever enjoyed a battle more. I’m actually sore from the effort,” Angelus commented as the two old foes stood back, by mutual consent, to take a breather.
“Cut the small talk Angelus. You know I hate you, and you know I’m going to kill you, so all this buddy buddy stuff is a moot point,” Xander replied panting slightly, though that evil smile still remained.
“Its all in the style Xander. You can be a psycho lunatic, but without style, you’re a psycho lunatic like any other.” Angelus answered.
“Well, I’m going to see that style fit into a vacuum cleaner when I’ve finished with you. Shall we?” Xander asked as he raised his sword in a stance that indicated an ancient challenge.
“By all means. It hasn’t been fun knowing you Xander,” Angelus answered, his stance indicating a classic defence.
By some unheard signal, they moved forward in unison and began to clash swords.
The mistake was quite simple to see, from the point of view of an expert swordsman. It was the clash of swords just a little too hard, the recovery a little too late, the block a little too early and the thrust too forceful to allow for recovery.
“Yes!” Angelus exclaimed in triumph as his sword cleaved Xander’s abdomen.
“No!” Buffy, Willow and Xena cried out hoarsely.
None of them saw Xander, his energy sapping from his body, raise the sword in his hand, and slice it across Angelus’ neck.
“No! It wasn’t supposed to happen this way. I was supposed to win,” Angelus protested before his head rolled off his shoulders.
Both bodies crashed to the ground as lightning started striking the ground around them. Mystical lightning that engulfed vampires and evil warriors, but left Buffy and her crowd alone. The lightning struck the area around Xander’s body and Angelus’ headless corpse. Buffy started forward but was grabbed by a leather gauntletted hand that stopped her in her tracks.
“Let me go,” she yelled.
“No little girl, I may have used up most of my godly power, ensuring that Dahak could not get out of that vampire’s body, but I can still hold back one hysterical Slayer with a deathwish,” Ares answered.
“What do you mean?” she asked.
“As long as Dahak’s spirit was trapped in the vampire’s body, he had to work through the vampire’s strengths and weaknesses. If he had broken free, there was no way Xander would have won,” Ares answered.
“But he died, you cold hearted, leather clad bastard!!” Buffy exclaimed hysterically, trying to break loose but failing.
“You died to fulfil a prophecy,” Ares said calmly.
“I’m the Slayer, that’s my job. Xander was just a normal guy,” Buffy said.
“Do you truly believe that you are the only one subject to prophecy, little girl. Xander was no ordinary man. If you cared for him, honour his memory properly, without these childish hysterics,” Ares barked with a whiplash tongue that shocked her.
“I’m better, put me down,” she said calmly.
“Good girl,” he answered as he put her down.
She stood and watched as the lightning caused the platform where Angelus and Xander had fought, to catch fire, turning it into an impromptu funeral pyre. She watched as two, of the four men she loved the most in the world were engulfed by bright flames. She stood quietly, Ares’ hand on her shoulder. He was right, this was the only true way of honouring Xander’s memory. Tears fell down her cheeks, but hers were not the only damp cheeks. Even Xena and Ares cried tears for Xander.
“Look!” Willow exclaimed hoarsely as the flames died down.
In the middle of the fire that had been Xander’s funeral pyre, was a pile of ash. Beside it, Xander’s inert body was being cradled in the arms of a leather clad warrior woman with long blonde hair and sharply attractive features. She was rocking him in her arms, and appeared to be singing to him.
As the fire got lower, they all moved forward. The blonde warrior woman drew her sword and pointed it at them.
“Stay away from us. He died because I didn’t have the skill to stop Dead boy.” She screeched as Buffy saw the madness in her eyes.
“Callisto, you couldn’t have done anything. The Fates played a part in this. Xander was fated to die,” Xena said calmly.
“Don’t tell me about dying, you black haired bitch, I’ve done it more times than you have. As for those witches who spend their time deciding what will happen in people’s lives, I will have their heads on a pike. My wrath will be terrible to those who have taken my Xander from me,” Callisto said, tears falling unheeded down her cheeks as she rocked Xander back and forth.
“You know Callisto, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you cry before,” Gabrielle said as she walked forward.
“Well gloat as much as you like Gabrielle, because nothing can ever hurt me again,” Callisto spat sharply.
“I am not going to gloat.” Gabrielle as she walked up until the point of Callisto’s sword was resting against her chest.
Buffy could feel Xena tense up, and she tensed up also. There had been too much in the way of death today. They watched as Gabrielle, almost negligently used her hand to push Callisto’s sword away. Then she knelt at Callisto’s side and put her arm around her shoulders. With subtle force, she maneuvered Callisto’s head against her chest and started stroking her hair, murmuring gentle calming words. Callisto wept almost violently.
Part 38 a.k.a Reincarnation for Beginners
“What am I going to tell his mother?” Willow asked in despair as Oz hugged his girlfriend to him.
He had always resented the close bond between Willow and Xander, but right now, he realised that he need to be there for her. He looked around, to see that the various members of their little army were keeping busy. The Amazons, Hercules, Autolycus and Joxer were stacking up the bodies of the dead warriors and wondering how they were going to dispose of them. The rest were consoling who was left. Iolaus was talking softly to a weeping Cordelia. Solari were hugging Giles like she never intended to let him go. Buffy and Xena had finally put aside their subtle rivalry and were weeping silently together. Gabrielle was soothing Callisto, who had refused to let go of Xander, even though it was over an hour since his death. Oz was a caring guy, but he was also a realist. Shouldn’t there be an ick factor here?
“You know, with all this hair, its like curling up next to a teddy bear,” Willow commented absently, running her hand through his resilient fur.
It was a couple of hours until daylight, so he was to remain a werewolf. Willow didn’t seem to mind, and he was so glad that she wasn’t revolted by it. He was equally glad that Artemis’ spell had worked. He may still have been hair boy, but at least he was hair boy with clarity and self control.
“I never expected you to fall for anyone Callisto, let alone a mortal,” Ares commented, yet his voice was without its usual superior smirk.
“Like you said, he was more than a mere man. Can we take him from this dark, horrible place?” Callisto asked.
“It might be best. This is getting way too depressing, even for my liking. Okay, in lieu of anyone else willing to take charge, I am. Lets get those bodies stacked and make our way to the surface.” Ares called out.
“Brother, would you like to do the honours?” Hercules asked, indicating the large pile of bodies in the corner of the cavern.
“Sure thing,” Ares answered as a ball of fire came out of his clenched fist and struck the dead bodies.
“Enjoy Tartarus you traitors, because you’re going to be there for a long time,” Ares growled in satisfaction when the bodies disappeared.
“Get away from him,” Callisto said to Hercules and Iolaus, who had planned to carry Xander out of the sewers.
“I’ll get this brother. Callisto is likely to gut you,” Ares said as he picked up the young man and hefted him into a comfortable position. Buffy and Xena immediately took up flanking positions beside Callisto, holding her up, and helping her keep her tenuous hold on sanity.
It took them the better part of the night to reach the surface, and when they exitted the sewers, they saw a beautiful sunrise. A sunrise almost perfect in design and colour. To them, it seemed like the day itself had come to mock their grief.
Ares felt warmth coming from the body in his arms. He thought it was the sun’s gentle rays, but as he looked down, he realised that the boy was glowing.
“Hold him Ares. For only you’re immortal, inpenetrable body will sustain what comes now,” a voice said in his head.
He gasped, recognising the voice. It was the voice of his father Chronos, once king of the world and ruler of the Titans, but now an advisor to Ares’ uncle Hades. Despite being usurped from power by his children, Chronos still held much power and influence, not to mention a gift for prophecy. He knew something was going to happen.
Ares leapt into the air and flew to a hill, a small distance away.
“Ares, come back with his body,” Callisto screamed.
“Stay away from me, all of you,” he ordered as the sun came out from behind a cloud and its rays bathed him in light.
The light became more intense, until even with his immortal enhanced skills, he couldn’t see. When the light disapated, he had crumbled to one knee and Callisto had reached him, and had started to draw her sword. Xena grabbed one arm, and Buffy grabbed the other, though both looked ready to start pounding into him themselves.
“Whoa, major headache. It is cosmically unjust that I should be hungover, without having enjoyed the alcohol of the night before,” a voice said, a familiar, yet unfamiliar voice.
Ares looked down to see Xander open his eyes and wince. The eyes, while bloodshot, showed none of the insanity of Callisto. Instead they showed great intelligence, hidden behind humour and hilarity. It reminded Ares of his brother Hermes.
“Welcome back Xander. You were dead for 6 hours and you came back,” Ares said as he looked up at Buffy, Callisto and Xena. They all watched in stunned silence.
“Well, I suppose you were planning to wrap me in a sheet and leave me in a cave, covered by a big rock then?” Xander asked.
He then looked up at the girls and said casually, “Hey Buff, hey Xena. Callisto, you’re a babe!
“And you’re full of it,” Callisto answered softly as she dropped to her knees beside him.
Ares decided that he was no longer needed, so he rested Xander on the ground and moved away. Xander attempted to sit up, but failed miserably.
“Damn, who pounded my muscles into jello,” he exclaimed.
Callisto lifted him up so he could lean against her.
“You’ve been dead for six hours, take it easy I’ll take care of you,” Buffy said.
“If you’re still weak, I’ll carry you until you can walk,” Xena stated.
“And I’m going to be with you every step of the way,” Callisto answered.
“I love my nurses, and I am so looking forward to my sponge bath,” Xander quipped wickedly as they looked at him.
Three voices of indignation cried out in unison, “Xander!”
Part 39 a.k.a Sap Up The Wrap Up
“Drink Xena?” Buffy asked as she offered the tray of champagne glasses to her.
Xena accepted the drink and sipped from it.
“Nice, I could get to like it,” she commented.
“Do you think you lot will be staying here? I’d love to have you around, and something tells me that a few of my gang will be heartbroken if your gang leave here,” Buffy commented.
She indicated Giles, who was standing in the middle of a group of Amazons, chatting away, as Solari clung to him. Cordelia and Iolaus were dancing to the music and Xander, who was still too weak to stand, was lying on the couch as a very affectionate Callisto tended to him.
“This comment would have got me laughed at before, but ‘its all the will of the gods’, Buff,” Xena answered.
“You rang, my love,” Ares said as he walked over.
“How many people do you know, have Greek gods as guests at their parties. Where ya bin Ares?” Buffy asked.
“Father is boring me senseless over in the corner, but the rest of the group seemed interested, so I left. I decided to come over and talk to my two favourite, ass kicking babes in the world,” he replied as he took a glass of champagne, took a swig and looked sour. “Too bubbly,” he commented.
“Ass kicking babes indeed. So, what’s going to happen, Ares? Are we staying here, or are we leaving?” Xena asked.
“Certain people will have to leave, we don’t want to upset of the cosmic balance, do we?” he inquired smugly.
“Can’t you answer without attitude? What’s it gonna be?” Buffy asked in an irritated fashion.
“My lady Xena here, Gabrielle, Hercules and Iolaus, Autolycus, that idiot Joxer and those Amazons,” Ares stated.
“All the Amazons?” Buffy asked as she looked at Giles and Solari.
He had already lost Jenni Calendar, it didn’t seem fair that he was going to lose Solari as well. She had noted how close the two had gotten.
“I’m sure we can work something out,” Ares said with a smile.
“Not without my input you aren’t. After all, Solari is one of mine. Of course, your Rupert Giles has been invaluable in giving us information on the hunt, so I think it won’t take much to persuade me,” Artemis said as she walked over.
“What about Callisto?” Xena asked.
“Technically, Callisto has nothing to do with the Cosmic Balance. Her body was killed in our time. She was bought back because she was needed. No, I have a feeling that she’s your problem now,” Ares answered.
“I can live with that, if all else fails, I’ll lock her in the same room as Snyder and really enjoy myself.” Buffy said with a shrug.
“I’m going to miss it here,” Xena admitted.
“We’ve had some good times,” Buffy replied with a smile.
“Just the sort of thing you could ask from an adventure. Action, romance, fight scenes, magic, horror, comedy, not to mention a long overdue and welcome ending,” Ares said.
“So now what do we do?” Xena asked.
“Say goodbye,” Author Guy said.
“Is it really over?” Buffy asked.
“Yes, it’s really over, though I might do some edits, if I decide some part of the plot needs clarification or bolstering. See you in Fanfic land,” Author Guy answered.
“Oh well, See you all,” Ares said as he disappeared.
“Catch you on the flip side of reality,” Buffy said with a wave.
“Live Long and Prosper,” Xena said, doing a pretty good simulation of the Vulcan hand greeting (I mean she’s got the raised eyebrow trick down pat, why shouldn’t she go the whole hog).
“Bye,” Willow said cutely, causing Author Guy to fall instantly and wholeheartedly in love with her, and the other characters to dive for their insulin shots.
“Growl,” Oz stated, happy that he had one poignant part at the end.
“Okay Author Guy, I’m going to get you if it’s the last thing I do. I am forever losing guys,” Cordelia complained.
“Farewell old chap, its been an interesting little get together,” Giles said.
“I’m underused,” Joxer complained.
“You should be,” Autolycus answered.
“Why weren’t there any, ‘half naked, dancing around the camp fire in the moonlight’ scenes in this story?” Ephiny asked.
“True, I really miss those. What about the ‘wearing masks and having ceremonies’ scenes. I always get a kick out of those,” Eponin commented, finally glad for a speaking part, and not used as a semi extra.
“Come on Herc, lets get out of here before the brunette starts whining and I feel the need to kill her,” Iolaus said.
“What I can’t figure is how Xander got so lucky. By rights, he should have been dead, several times over, instead of winding up with the hot bod psycho chick,” Hercules asked.
“Is that all you muscleheads think about? Personally I think that its great that Callisto finally showed a tender, vulnerable side,” Gabrielle commented.
“What can I say, he’s cute,” Callisto said with a shrug.
“Thanks man, I owe you big time,” Xander said with a grin and wink at Author Guy.
“Well, that’s about it. And so must all good stories, (mine also) end. Be of good cheer and enjoyment. Love your neighbour as frequently as possible. Hasta La Vista Rabies,” Author Guy said.