Aku Zoku Zen

Author: Alan Podjursky <alan.p[at]orcon.net.nz>

Summary: Xander has an interest outside vampires and slacking off.

Crossover: Rurouni Kenshin

Disclaimer: I own nothing! You can prove nothing!

Feedback: Roin of the Cealm.

Pre-fic Comments: Damn that little fanboy muse! And damn all plot bunnies too! You'll need a working knowledge of general anime to really enjoy this.

Note, I know little to no Japanese apart from what I've picked up from anime.

Latest addition

Chapter 1

Xander handed a few videos back to a friend in the hallway between classes.

"Thanks for those, I wanted to finish watching Berserk," he said.

His friend handed him a couple more videos. "Here are those Kenshin vids you wanted. Say, we're going to a party on Halloween, you wanna come?"

Xander grinned, then his face fell. "Love to, Mike, but all I've got is military fatigues at home."

Mike, a somewhat gangly youth, grinned evilly. "That's cool. Me and Rob are going as Saitou Hajime and Himura Kenshin. We've got a Sanosuke costume left over -- you're the only person with the body to pull it off."

"I don't know," Xander hmmm'ed. "What about the sword?"

"Well, it's more like a long pole with nails in it covered in calico," Mike admitted.

"Good enough for me!," Xander said. "Is it okay if Willow and Buffy come?"

"Only if they come in Naga costumes!," Mike smirked.

Both boys cracked up laughing.


Further down the hallway, Buffy and Willow had been snapped by Principal Snyder for kiddy patrol.

"But--," Buffy started to protest.

"Ah!," Snyder cut her off. "Every Halloween, thrown eggs, broken letterboxes, one cry for help after another. Not this year, missy."

Buffy conceded defeat to his 'Admit! Guilt! I am Principle!' attack, and signed the clipboard he held up. In a show of solidarity, Willow signed right after her.

"The program starts at four, the children have to be back at six."

Buffy glared at Snyder's back as he sauntered off.

"Great," Buffy said. "The one night of the year I get off."

"What?," Xander asked, coming up behind her. "I figured Halloween would be a big old vamp scare-a-palooza."

"Nope," Buffy said. "According to Giles, it's the one night of the year the undead are dead."

"Those wacky vampires!," Xander smiled. "That's why I love 'em! They just keep you guessing."

"So, why are you not joining us, mister?," Willow asked her male friend.

"I'm going to a party with Mike and Rob," Xander said, grinning. "I've even got a costume lined up."

"Who?," Buffy asked.

"Sagara Sanosuke," Xander announced. He looked disappointed when neither girl recognised the name. "Rurouni Kenshin? C'mon, Will, you should know this."

The proverbial light went on in Willow's eyes. "Oh! The giant sword guy! He is so you!"

Xander curled his arm, showing off what muscles he had.

"Oh yeah."


The next night, Xander met Mike and Rob at Mike's house. His costume was easy -- he wrapped the linen strip around his lower abdomen, put on the drawstring pants, wrapped more linen around his ankles and feet with slippers on, tied off his headband, put on the jacket, and then he was done.

Most of Mike's hair was slicked back and tied off, falling to shoulderblade level, but a few thin bangs floated around his head. A paper cigarette sat in his mouth. His clothes was a blue uniform, with a cap and white gloves. To complete the picture, Mike had a fake katana, slim and deadly.

Rob was simply dressed in baggy white pants and a purple shirt with a thin sword. His hair was messy, some of it tied back.

"Ready to go?," Rob asked. "Parties wait for no man."

Xander picked up the ten foot long calico wrapped pole.

Chapter 2

Mike, Xander and Rob were walking to the party, as none of them had sufficient funds for vehicular transportation.

"Hey, where'd you get these, anyway?," Xander asked.

"My Mum helped make the Kenshin outfit and modify the Saito outfit," Mike said.

"We had the stuff for the Sanosuke costume at my place," Rob said. "We just had to get some black dye for the 'Evil' symbol and a couple of plastic katana to go with Saito and Kenshin."

"Luckily, the new shop, Ethan's Costumes, had them on special," Mike added.

Xander had the covered mock zanbatou across his right shoulder, his right hand supporting it and his left resting in his pants pocket.

"Lucky for me this isn't real," he joked, "or you'd be looking at Xander a la Pancake. Very tragic story."

And then it was real. The ten foot long metal sword's weight pushed Xander to the ground, before Sagara Sanosuke caught himself, easily resting the massive weapon across his shoulders.


Spike wandered down the street, watching people run by screaming.

"This... this is just neat!"

Kinda like Christmas come early.

He spotted a few Japanese men down the road. Good, he felt like eating foreign tonight.


"*Demon,*" Hajime Saito said, spotting a grotesquely faced monstrousity stride towards them. He didn't recognise the other two men with him, but they had powerful presences.

"*Hold, demon,*" Saito said.

Spike, of course, had absolutely no clue what they were saying. "Nice butter knife. Shame it'll do you no good."

"*I want to fight it,*" Sanosuke said. "*I'm always looking for a challenge.*"

"What?," Spike said.

Sanosuke left his zanbatou on the ground, stepping forwards to attack the demon. He didn't think he'd need it against such a weak looking thing.

Spike was faster than an average human, and got in a good punch to Zanza's face. He was amazed when the human displayed no reaction.

"*That's all?,*" Sanosuke frowned. "* My turn.*"

He unloaded a massive punch into Spike's chin. The bleached British vampire flew back a few meters, then got up, wiping a trail of blood from his mouth.

"Who's been eating his weetbix, then?," he asked rhetorically.

Now that he thought about it, he didn't feel hungry anymore. Spike ran for it.

"*I'm not letting you go, demon,*" Sanosuke said. He ran after the grotesquely faced demon, quickly overtaking it and beat the crap out of it.

He dragged it back to where his sword was, then beheaded the thing. It took awhile, since the zanbatou hadn't been sharpened since the Onin war.


Cordelia spotted Harris across the street. God, it looked like he had been changed along with all the rest. She had no idea who he was supposed to be, but he had a huge sword. She couldn't let him kill the transformed five year olds. Even if the little monsters had insulted her hair. His loser friends Mike Robins and Rob Wilson were with him, changed as well.

"Stop that!," she yelled, grabbing onto his left arm with both hands. This only lifted her off the ground slightly when he raised it.

"*What?,*" Sanosuke said. He couldn't understand a word these English were saying.

Saito and Kenshin paused to see what was happening.

Cordelia stopped to think. She had gone on a trip with her father to Japan a year ago, and she could barely remember some words.

"*Children... transformed... kill them?,*" she hesitantly said, unsure of her words. "*Uh, don't kill! Sorry!*"

"*You speak Japanese?," Kenshin asked, a smile on his face.

Cordelia held up her hand, her close together thumb and index finger indicating how much. "*Little.*"

Zanza's face fell. "Chikuso."

"Let's go to Summer's house. She's the Slayer, she can deal with this."

Queen C paused. "You guys sure do look good like that, though."


Cordelia had somehow lost Hajime Saito on the way -- the thin, elegant man had gone off after something when whe wasn't looking.

Once the remaining three had gotten there, they'd found that Angel, Willow and Buffy were already there. Buffy was a semi-hysterical seventeenth century noblewoman, devoid of the skills that common women of the time had and lacking of their backbone. Willow had gone on at Cordelia to begin with, but Queen C had soon set her straight.

Willow was a ghost, and intangible to all material. They'd mutually agreed that she, therefore, would go to Giles and try and find out what was happening.

Sanosuke sat on the floor, zanbatou by him. He watched the drama of Angel pleading with Buffy. He had no idea what they were saying, but they were sure funny. Kenshin was sitting besides him. They quietly debated between them whether you could get sick of sukiyaki or not.

"You must have some kind of amnesia," Angel tried.

"I don't know what that is," Lady Buffy said," but I'm sure I don't have it! I bathe quite often."

The Irish vampire held up a picture. It had Buffy and her mother in it, in modern clothing. "How do you explain this, then?"

"I don't!," Lady Buffy said, on the brink of tears. "I was brought up a proper lady. I-I wasn't meant to understand things. I'm just meant to look pretty, and then someone nice will marry me. Possibly a Baron."

Sanosuke sniggered quietly in the corner. He had no idea what she was saying, but she sure looked funny.

"We'd better secure the house," Angel said, getting up from his chair. "Come on."

"No!," Lady Buffy said. "I want to stay with the men with the sword. Servants, protect me!"

He might not have understood the words, but Sanosuke understood the tone. He yawned, then closed his eyes, pretending to go to sleep. Kenshin remained where he sat, keeping vigil over the room.

"Well, I never!"

One of the student escorts, who had dressed as Dracula, burst through the unsecured kitchen door. Angel wrestled him to the floor, yelling out "Get me a stake!"

Kenshin quickly got up, moving around the two on the floor, ready to strike if the attacker should break free. Zanza cracked his knuckles.

Buffy looked through the drawers, panicky. "A what?"

The irate Irish vamp looked up at her, game face on. "A stake!"

The noblewoman screamed, then legged it out the door. The Dracula knock-off took advantage of Angel's surprise and ran for it too.

"*You're all mad,*" Sanosuke said. "*Those guys are pathetic.*"

Angel looked up again, surprised. "*You speak Japanese?*"

The gangster resisted the temptation to roll his eyes. "*No, I speak duck.*"

"*Those were...*"

Sanosuke got up, picking up his zanbatou. "*Those were what?*"

"Kyuuketsuki," Angel said.

Chapter 3

"*Stupid woman,*" Sanosuke complained.

"*She has her uses,*" Angel shrugged, as Cordelia hit Zanza. "*Are you sure she came this way?*"

"*Not entirely,*" Kenshin said. "*There's been a lot of feet going over this ground.*"

Cordelia, catching about one word out of ten, decided to comment. "*Buffy okay, yes?*"

"Buffy would be okay," Angel growled. "This noblewoman is of no bloody use to anyone!"

They saw the aforementioned Slayer turned wuss running down an alleyway, followed by a pirate. Kenshin, Zanza, Angel, and Cordelia quickly followed.

"Buffy! Are you okay?," Cordelia yelled out.

Queen C rolled her eyes as the noblewoman saw Angel, squeaked in fear, then dropped behind a box.

"What's your deal?," Cordy complained. "Take a chill pill!"

Larry had a go at Xander turned Zanza, but Zanza flicked him in the face with a finger, knocking him out. The man in white and black was still carrying his massive zanbatou.

"Can't anyone in this town take a hit?," Sanosuke complained. "They're all so weak!"

"He, he's a vampire!," Noblewoman Buffy complained, eyes wide.

"She's got this thing where she thinks...," Cordelia began explaining to Angel. "Uhhh, forget it. It's okay. Angel is a good vampire. He would never hurt you."

"Really?," Lady Buffy asked, ready to believe another female.

"Absolutely," Cordelia said. "He's our friend."

Any more of this, and Cordelia was going to drop the diet, paint herself purple and go on that TV show for kiddies.


Willow was returning from seeing Giles. Angel and Cordelia were about the only people who recognised her.

"Willow!," Angel said.

"Guys, you gotta get inside!," Willow gasped, forgetting she didn't need to breathe.

The sound of footsteps drew their attention. A random vampire had found a group of monsters, and was coming for Buffy.

Zanza grinned.

"*He'd better be better than the last one,*" he said.

The vampire wasn't particularly bright, and was a normal Sunnydale demonic vampire. It leapt at Zanza, intending on killing and draining him. Zanza punched it as it leapt at him, breaking several ribs. One went into the heart, killing it.

"Okay," Angel blinked. "That was anticlimatic."

The Irish vampire turned to look at Sanosuke. "*You must be something else, to kill it like that. What are you?*"

"*Human,*" Sanosuke grinned. "*Want to fight with me?*"

Angel held his hands up defensively. "*No, but thanks.*"

Cordelia blinked. "Wow, geek boy got some powers."

It was about then that the spell ended. Zanza held his head briefly. "*No! I won't gooooo--*"

And then he was. Well, mentally.

Xander blinked.

"That was cool," he said.

"What?," Buffy asked.

"I killed Spike!," Xander announced proudly. "Hey, Buff, try and punch me!"

The Slayer took a swing at Xander's torso. Apart from exhaling, Xander wasn't really affected.

"You should be on the floor after that," Angel said.

"It looks like I get to keep the body," Xander grinned.

Willow looked up from where she was looking at what was the zanbatou. "This is just a stick with nails in it now."

"Aw, man!"

Chapter 4

Larry stopped Xander in the hallway.

"Okay, Harris, what happened last night?," the football player demanded.

"I beat your ass into the ground," Xander flippantly answered.

The jock immediately punched the scoob in the gut, expecting him to crumple around his fist. To his disappointment, all that happenned was he broke a finger.

"YEOUCH!! What the fuck are you wearing, armour plating?!"

Xander looked at the jock. "Nope, just a tshirt and me."

"You're wearing fucking armour, aren't you?!"

"No, lemme show you," Xander said. He pulled up his tee to show, indeed, skin and no metal.

The growing crowd looked at the bare skin, then looked at Larry's broken hand.

"All the stress must be making him lose his edge," one student muttered.

"I heard that Harris had started working out," one girl whispered to another.

Larry looked around. He was losing face fast, and had to do something to maintain his social position.

"Fuck you, Harris," the jock snarled before leaving for the school nurse. It was a lame line, and he knew it, but he couldn't think of anything better at the time.


Later, in the middle of Mrs Kerbopple's English class, a note came. It wasn't a happy note, full of fun and sunshine.

"Harris, Principal Snyder wants to see you."

"I'm going up in the world," Xander observed. "See you later, Will, Buff."

In the aforementioned principal's office, Snyder pointed at the chair on the other side of his desk. "Sit, Harris."

"So, are you ready to start paying me to turn up to learn as well as eat my lunch?," Xander asked.

"No, I am not," Snyder snapped. "I learnt today that you injured one of our sportsme--sportspeople. As a result, Larry won't be able to play in the game against Bumsville High next week."

"He tried to hit me!," Xander protested.

"That's not what Larry said."

"He's lying, sir," Xander complained. "Ask one of the students who were watching."

Snyder's eyebrows lowered. "Vice Principal McFeely has already investigated this. Are you calling the Vice Principal a liar?"

"No, sir, I'm calling him incompetant," Xander said.

"Harris, I have no choice but to stand you down for three days," Snyder said.

"I'm being suspended?!"

"If you continue to make trouble, you will be. You're being stood down, not suspended."

'Yet' hung in the air.

Xander knew when he couldn't change someone's mind. "Fine."


Giles looked up at Xander. "You've been suspended?"

The teenager groaned. "No, I've been stood down, apparently. It's like suspension's little brother."

"I... see," Giles said, taking his glasses off to clean them. "Might I ask why?"

"Larry hit me and broke his hand," Xander explained. "Snyder really doesn't like it when his pwecious little jocks can't play for the weekend's big game."

"Broke his hand? Was this an aftereffect of the possession?"

"I think so," Xander affirmed. "Sanosuke really didn't want to leave me at the end of the night. I can remember some of his past now, I've got his endurance and strength, and I'm not sure but I think I've gotten some of his personality."

"Wonderful," Giles said. Xander couldn't tell if he meant that in a good way or not. "Do you have any plans on what to do with your three days of freedom?"

Xander looked around the library. There was an unopened shipping crate in the corner, full of the promise of work. "Uh, sure, yeah! I'll... just get going to get on with those plans. If you need me for vampy stuff, uh, ring!"

And he made good his escape before Giles found work for him. The Watcher had that 'Books, wonderful books!' look in his eye that the ole Xanman didn't really agree with.


The next day, a couple of the wilder students at Sunnydale had decided to take the day off school as well. Xander had decided to tag along with them, and have some fun. They were sitting by the loading dock for Sunnydale Mall at the moment.

"You into the shit, Xan?," Bill asked.

"Shit?," Xander asked. He was pretty sure he knew what Bill was asking. He really wasn't comfortable with this, and was gonna try and get them to stop.

"The weed, the wacky tabacky," Jed expanded. "Drugs, as our illuminated fuhrers would label them."

"Not really," Xander said. "Been too busy killing the undead."

The two students had a good laugh at this.

"Two horns up, man!," Jed said, slapping him on the back. "I've got some new stuff here."

Bill unwrapped Jed's parcel. Two folded red paper triangles were inside, obviously holding the illegal goods. "Nice. I'll try first -- I'll pay you back for it."

"Sure, man," Jed allowed.

Bill snorted the powder in one of the triangles, before going into convulsions.

"Shit!," Jed yelled. "When I get that piece of--! Xan, help me get him to the docs!"

Xander immediately picked up the comatose delinquent, following after Jed as they made for Jed's car. "This is part of why I don't do drugs. They fuck you up, Jed, worse than alcohol."

"Yeah, you'd know about that with your parents," Jed snarled. "Put him in the back seat."

"Who did you buy it off?," Xander asked. "I wanna go have a 'chat' with them."

"Big guy in the mall, Terry Wilson. Leather jacket, can't miss him. Look, I gotta go now!"


Chapter 5

Xander leant against a bookcase in the Library. This was so boring... then again, the danger made up for it. The rest of the Scoobies, Angel, Oz and Cordelia were also in the planning session.

"So, anyone have any ideas?," Buffy asked. "'Cause I'm fresh out."

"Did you check the fridge?," Willow asked.

"We attack the Mayor with hummus," Oz volunteered.

"I personally don't think it's possible to come up with a crazier plan," Cordelia said scathingly.

"G-man, you come up with any weaknesses for this 'Olvikan' thing that he's gonna turn into?," Xander asked.

"I'm afraid that I've found very little on Olvikan, so no," Giles sighed, obviously disappointed with himself.

"Okay, I beat him up," Xander grinned toothily, hands curling into fists harder than stone. "G-man, you said that the Council sent you a zanbatou? A real one, I mean?"

"Well, yes," Giles said, "but I'm afraid that it is rather blunt at the moment."

"Bags not me," Buffy said immediately.

"Uh, me neither," Willow added.

"Deadboy, Wolfboy, Queen C, and G-man, you're all on sharpening detail," Xander smiled evilly.

"Uh, shouldn't we come up with a contingency plan should you fail?," Giles asked.

"Puh-lease," Xander sniffed. "I haven't had to use much more than my fists for any demon or vampire in Sunnydale. This should be cake with a zanbatou."

"I vote we blow up the school," Cordelia said.

"Me too," everyone below the age of twenty chimed in.

"This is most irresponsible," Giles protested.

"Tough," Buffy overruled him. "Wills, c'mon, we can go get... hey, where can we get some bombs?"

"What about the IRA's ANFO mixture?," Xander asked.

Everyone looked at him. "Whaaat?"

"Quite perceptive," Giles praised him. "Ammonium nitrate and fuel oil. Buffy, Willow, here is my checkbook. Should you 'max out' my account, as you Americans call it, I shall be most displeased with you."

"Ammo-what?," Buffy asked.

"Fertilizer and diesel," Willow explained.

"Ohhhh," the Slayer said, a mental lightbulb going on.

"I'd better go round up the rest of the class," Cordelia said, "so we can explain things to them."

Xander wandered into the bookcage, emerging with a sword. Well, if swords came in XXXXXL size, longer than he was tall. He pulled the cloth wrapping off it, revealing a sword a foot wide at the base, six feet in length, with two or three length of handle. There wasn't any guard between blade and hilt. The teenager sat down with it on the floor, oilstone in hand.

"Deadboy, Oz, grab an oilstone and get to work," he commanded.

"Yes," Giles agreed. "I shall continue looking for any weaknesses this Olvikan may have. Don't drop those oilstones on the ground, as they are enchanted and quite expensive."

"Why me?," Angel complained while he grabbed two oilstones from the bookcage, handing one to Oz then sitting down and helping to sharpen the huge sword.

"Because you were too slow to find something else to do," Giles commented absently from where he was reading through a thick, dusty tome on the table.

"Heavy, dude," Oz commented, the tip of it resting across his knees. "Must be hard to use."

"Dead easy," Xander smiled.


Xander leant back on his folding chair at the edge of the crowd of other people also graduating. Under his graduating robe, he had on a pair of cloth pants, a simple jacket, and not much else. There was also a long, long wrapped bundle lying by the side of the seats.

"Congratulations to the class of 1999," Snyder said from his position on the podium. "You all proved more or less adequate. This is a time of celebration, so: sit still and be quiet. Spit out that gum. Please welcome our distinguished guest speaker: Richard Wilkins the 3rd. I saw that gesture. You see me after graduation. Harris! See me afterwards."

With that, the caring, sensitive headmaster sat down at the edge of the stage.

Xander yawned as the Mayor took the podium, taking out his cue cards.

"Oh man, skip this," Xander pleaded under his breath. "I can't believe I *want* a demon to turn up early!"

"We... we must all... It has begun. My destiny," the Mayor smiled. "It's a little sooner then I expected -- I had this whole section on civic pride... But I guess we'll just skip to the big finish!"

Xander grinned in anticipation as he stood, ripping off the black robes to show the cheap, white pants and jacket. He picked up the bundle, ripping off the cloth wrapping with ease as Buffy stood up also to take command of the students.

"Now!," the Slayer commanded, as the other students obediently took off their robes to reveal weaponry.

Xander stepped forwards as he began swinging the heavy zanbatou, building up momentum. "Shall we move on right to the big finale?"

The snake looked at him. An evil intelligence shone in it's eyes, but hunger submerged the edge of it.

He lifted the handle above his head, swinging the sword faster until he was standing still, the long, long blade whirling above his head like a helicopter's blade on an all-fat diet. He roared as he moved forwards, easily translating the momentum of the blade into an overhead swing at the snake's exposed spine.

"DIE!," Xander screamed "HYPOCRITE!"

The newly sharpened edge, gleaming with malice, bit deeply into the scaled flesh, ripping a deep gash in the newly made demon's backbone, severing nerves and sending demonblood and fluid spurting all over Xander.

The former Mayor also screamed, but in pain more than hate.

Dimly, Xander could hear the sounds of battle, as the rest of the graduating class fought off vampires. He was glad they were -- the large snake demanded all his attention as his muscles bunched, pulling the ungodly heavy sword out of the snake's body, now half-paralysed.

He ducked as the snake-demon's mouth went straight for him, and twisted on the ground as it tried to flatten him. The demon's mobility was limited, though, as it tried to move the dead weight of the paralysed half of it's body.

"BUFFY!," Xander screamed, desperate for a distraction. He couldn't grab his zanbatou while also trying to dodge the demon!

The Slayer obediently raised her crossbow, going for it's eyes in an instinctive move that she wouldn't be able to articulate. Olvikan's head whipped to the side, as the bolt sunk into flesh rather than eyeball. It didn't damage it much, but it did it's job.

Xander grabbed the hilt of the sword originally intended to kill a horse and it's rider in one hit, and ran back as the blood continued to spurt from it's horrible wound where he had driven the blade deep into it's spine, catching his breath at a respectable distance. All the students and teachers had gotten out of it's range, disabled as it was, and they were mopping up the last of the vampires.

"Xander!," Buffy chastised him. "Come on! We have to finish him off!"

"He, he's dead," Xander said, breathing deeply. "He can't move to save himself, and he's going to die from bloodloss before the day is out."

"Xander is quite right," Giles said, appearing besides the two. "Buffy, if you would assist with the, er, vampires?"

The Slayer went to help Willow and Oz with the evil undead.

"We're all in your debt, Xander," Giles said seriously, handing the youth a sandwich as they watched the giant serpent writhe in it's death throes. "If you had not struck it so, the school would probably be rubble."

"That was a hell of a fight," Xander grinned. The blood spatters across his face and on his white pants and jacket gave him a grim appearance, and the blood on his torso was drying.

"What did you mean, though, when you said 'Die! Hypocrite'?," Giles asked, curious.

"He was supposed to help the people," Xander said, gesturing at the once-Mayor with the sandwich. "Not kill them."