Changing Lives

Author: Calen <calen2kk[at]>

Disclaimer: I own nothing but ideas. Not necessarily good ideas, but ideas nonetheless.

Spoilers: General season 3 so far. Season 7 spoilers for a few things.

Warnings: It's pretty violent. Not as graphic as I want though...yet.

Summary: Xander does something stupid. The results will remain with him forever...or will they?

Rating: PG-18?

Distribution: Ask First.

Notes: It's set in season 3. After The Zeppo.

Chapter 1

Sunnydale, California.
2216 Hours, 27th November 1999.

"I can't stand this," Xander mumbled dejectedly as he drove back to his home. "I've been helping with the slayage for nearly three years now and what do they do? Make me get the doughnuts...then go home."

'I shouldn't let it get to me,' Xander thought to himself. 'I saved all their lives. Even if they don't know it. I know. I know I'm not worthless. Not...totally useless. Don't I? Damn it, I shouldn't even be comparing myself to them! We save each other's lives because that's what friends do. But then again, are we friends? I'm not even sure of that anymore.' He thinks finishing with a sigh.

Pulling into the driveway, he turned off the engine and put it into park. "I can help them." Xander said to himself. "I have to. Just like before. I can help them, even if they don't know about it."

'But this time,' he thought to himself, 'I'll make sure I'm better prepared.' Getting out of the car, Xander went into his house, thanking God that his parents were off on one of their 'holidays' which normally kept them away for weeks. Moving into his room, Xander opened up a simple looking wooden chest beside the door and looked into it with a smirk on his face.

'I knew all those days I spent tinkering would finally pay off.' Thinking back, Xander remembered how, not having anything better to do on a Saturday night, he made a few stakes that were grooved and designed to fit comfortably into the palm of his hand. He'd also had an idea after reading one of his Spidey comics - spring loaded bolts that fired from his wrist and were very quick to reload too. Not exactly one hundred percent reminiscent of Spiderman, but the trigger mechanism was the same with two fingers pushed into the palm to fire.

Actually it was going to be a gift for Buffy when he perfected it, but he changed his mind and had stopped working on it about the same time she and the others had 'decided' to keep him out of the slaying. Not that he was bitter about it. But, he'd stopped before he could get them working properly which meant the distance wasn't very good on them. Any vampires or demons needed to be in close range for it to work.

In the chest were a few other necessities for solo slaying. They were going to be for an emergency, incase the gang needed an extra edge. But hey, he wasn't going to take any unnecessary risks. Pulling out the lightweight kevlar chest plate, he strapped it on over his shirt. Xander had taken it from the army base, having made a return trip a couple weeks after his little stint as GI Joe. He also 'borrowed' two desert eagles and two dozen clips. He knew they wouldn't be very effective on most vampires, but some demons and the weaker vampires didn't like being shot. It distracted them. Putting them into the side harnesses he'd take along with them, Xander finally closed the chest. His stakes were in his trouser pockets, easily accessible and his bolt gun was tightly strapped to his right wrist concealed by his shirt sleeve. Along with the guns and cross and holy water he always carried, he was good to go.

Going to his closet, Xander pulled out a heavy leather duster. His dad had given it to him as a throwaway, but it hadn't been that tattered so he had decided to keep it.

Main Street Blvd, Sunnydale
2212 Hours

Xander grumbled as he walked along the street headed for home. Here he was, all pumped up to do some serious damage to the leagues of the undead and they had taken a night off. Shaking his head, he picked up the pace, heading for where he left his car. He'd parked on the other side of Main Street, just in case Buffy or a vamp came across his car. Either would be just as bad for his health.

It was pretty quiet, the whistling of the wind the only sound. So the scream that flooded his ears was easily heard. Running in the direction of the scream, Xander arrived at an alley near the Sunny D Joke shop. Moving around the corner, Xander saw three male vampires surrounding three girls, who by the looks of utter shock on their faces had just been introduced into the world of Sunnydale. Pulling out his squirt bottle, Xander moved in for firing distance with his wrist bolts. He fired one off as soon as possible, dusting the vamp closest to him.

This quickly alerted the others who turned to face their new opponent. Growling, the vampire on the left said, "You're gonna pay for that."

Xander replied, "Yeah, yeah! Tell me something I don't kno..." Xander trailed off with a yell as he was charged at by one of the vampires, the other keeping the girls busy. Hitting the ground hard, Xander groaned, but had no time to finish his wordless monologue of pain as he was picked up by the vampire who snarled, "You killed one of my brood, so I'm going to need someone to take his place!"

As he was hanging above the vampire's head, Xander groaned out, "Brood? Brood? Who says brood?" The vampire just roared in anger at being mocked and threw Xander into the alley wall. It moved quickly towards Xander again, grinning in anticipation at feeding and siring a new victim.

Xander, though still dazed, heard the vampire approach and as it neared, squirted the vampire with his holy water. Not losing any time, he followed through by fluidly pulling out a stake and driving it through the heart of the vampire.

The remaining vampire, having watched his 'brothers' and sire's permanent deaths became even more enraged. He had turned from the girls to watch the fight. He charged the human, driving him hard into the wall again and punched him hard in the gut. As the human lay fallen and gasping for air, the vampire raised his leg, ready to crush his victim's skull. Before he could, he felt a hard impact on the back of his skull. He dropped to one knee. Snarling in anger, he turned around to see one of the girls holding a metal bar she'd obviously picked up from the side of the alley. As the remaining vampire was about to attack, he felt a sharp pain through his back before nothing.

"Ugh, damn!" Xander gasped out, leaning against the alley wall. "Thanks," he said to the girl who'd helped him. She just nodded, dropping the bar that she was holding, still dazed about what had happened.

"What were those things?" one of the girls finally asked.

"Vampires," Xander answered, "but before I say anything else, we should get off the streets. My car isn't too far from here. I could give you all a lift home?" They nodded and he led them slowly out of the alleyway. "My name's Xander, by the way," he told them.

"I'm Melissa," the girl who helped him said. "And this is Pearl and Heather. We go to UC Sunnydale. Were those really vampires? We met them at a party at college. They told us they wanted to show us around town. The good spots." She shuddered, going silent for the moment.

"Yeah," Xander confirmed. "They were vampires. Look, here's my car. I'll drive you back to your dorms and try to explain a few things okay?"


Xander's House.
0258 Hours.

Jeez, he thought. He didn't think they'd want to know so much. He wasn't sure if he should have told them so much. They'd probably move universities as fast as possible now. But he'd told them how to keep themselves safe. Never go out at night and to carry crosses and holy water if they did. Told them that garlic didn't work, so there was no use in stinking up their rooms for no reason. He actually didn't know the answer to half their questions... like was Dracula really real? He didn't think so, but he had a sneaking suspicion.

Moving his thoughts on to other things, he couldn't help but sigh. He'd been lucky tonight. He'd almost gotten himself killed. Staring up at his bedroom ceiling, he closed his eyes. 'What am I doing? I'm going to have a nasty bruise on my stomach tomorrow, even with the kevlar in place. I could have died! But... so might've those girls. I saved them. But then again, they saved me too. So I guess that cancels each other out. We saved each other. But no,' he decided. 'I'm not going to go out tomorrow night. No way.'

Chapter 2

Pennystil Graveyard, East Sunnydale.
2334 Hours.

Stalking through the graveyard, Xander tried to keep his movement noise to a minumum. He did want to give anything a heads-up that he was coming.

"Oh yeah, Xander. Way to stick to your guns." he mumbled to himself thinking about what had happened. He had been a little late for school, but he'd gone in there hoping to get a chance to talk to Buffy. Tell her that even though he wanted to help with the actual slaying, he'd be happy to stick with the researching. But no, little miss 'I'm the important one and chosen one, but not really the only chosen one' girl didn't even let him get a word in.

So here he was, stalking the the undead. Well trying to anyway, like last night they didn't seem to be very forthcoming. Bastards. The vampires, not the gang, he reminded himself.

Coming to an intersection in the large graveyard, he decided to head left. Towards a large Masoleum. He stopped in his steps as he saw a small girl, crumpled against the side of the masoleum. Standing above her was a vampire. Even from behind, he could tell it looked different.

It growled as it looked at the fallen form of it's prey. It had been easy to subdue the girl. He wanted to feast of her blood, but it didn't want to disobey it's master. I am to just perform the cerenomy over her, then bring her to the temple. He didn't want to be doing such meanial things. It wasn't supposed to be capturing little girls, it wanted to kill in torrents. Hundreds of people at a time. This town was ripe and with all the energy this Hellmouth was pouring out. It would make the slaughter all the more glorious.

Hearing something, in the distance, it tuned it's senses. A human. Human male, just under a mile away. Coming this way. It grinned, so he'd get to have some fun after all. From the sounds of the way this human moved, he seemed to know what lurked in the shadows of this town. He thought he was hunting.

Xander pulled out one of his stakes, approaching the vampire, slowly not wanting to tip it off to his arrival.

Xander dives at the vampire, wanting an easy dusting. But the vampire moved faster than his eyes could follow. It back flipped over Xander's head and landed neatly palm thrusting Xander into the ground.

Looking up into the face of the vampire, Xander gasps back in shock. 'Oh shit. Things aren't looking very good right about now. I knew coming out here by myself was a bad idea.' The vampire was bald and very reminiscent of The Master. Buffy had told them what he looked like, Xander hadn't been too worried then, but now he was starting to shit himself. A faint groan from the side alerted them both that the girl was waking.

"Stay. While I take care of her." The vampire told him in a raspy, almost snake like voice. Before kicking Xander away.

Hitting a gravestone, Xander groaned in pain as it broke on impact. Laying still for a moment, he saw the vampire, standing over the girl again, who was just waking up. Xander closed his eyes and found the strength to push himself to his feet. Aiming his wrist bolt, his fired it, up into the air, in the vampires direction. The height, helped the bolt pick up speed. When it came down it hit the vampire in the leg, distracting it from the girl. It snarled in pain, wripping out the bolt. Turning it's eyes on Xander, the vampire looked at him and Xander looked it straight back in the eye. Then it vanished. Before Xander could even look around for it, he folded over, a heavy hit connecting with his stomoch.

The vampire had appeared, as if out of knowhere and punched him in the gut. It felt like the kevlar was cracked in two. The vampire, grabbed Xander's head, lifting him off his feet so he was at the vampires tall height. It headbutt Xander hard, before punching him in the ribs hard, sending him flying back from the blow. He crashed into a tree, his arm twisting at an odd angle upon impact.

The vampire moved over to Xander, who was beside himself with pain. He could feel that some ribs were broken along with his arm. The headbutt had broken his nose and he could just barely seeing out of one eye. The vampire leaned over him, not saying a word, but gloating. Knowing who is superior and loving it. While the vampire, was doing this, Xander raised his knees to his chest quickly, ignoring the protests of pain and kicks out with his legs as hard as he can. The vampire goes flying back, knocking his head hard on the corner of a gravestone on the way down.

Xander manages to find the strength to get to his feet, but falls to one knee. The vampire is already on his feet. His eyes glowing a dark red colour, a misty look to them.

Xander blurrily looked on as the vampire charged him and the jumps at him, striking with his knees. Xander goes flying back and while in the air, the vampire elbows him in the stomoch, making him crumple.

The Vampire lands on the floor before Xander, and grins evily as Xander hits the ground hard. The loud crack and cry of pain only serving to make him grin harder. Picking up Xander, the vampire licks some blood off his face then throws him aside.

The vampire growled, knowing it had to finish the cerenomy before the girl woke up. He wasn't exactly sure why, but it's masters instructions had been clear on that. From the sounds of it she was almost up on her feet again.

Xander lay still, not moving. Not wanting to move. He was bloody and barely conscious. He manages to open his unswollen eye and see the vampire tilt his head as if hearing something, then turn away from him. Xander groans, looking where he's heading and see's he's heading for the girl who's just waking up. Some thing else was obviously going on here before he showed up.

Xander manages to get to his knees. He could feel his ribs pushing against his inners. He coughs, not being able to help it. Bringing up blood with it. He pull out his stake, last one from his trouser pocket.

"Hey pal," he coughs more spilling from his mouth, "We 'aint done yet." The vampire doesn't seem to notice, or just doesn't care. Xander pushes down the pain and gets to his feet, charging. The vampire, sensing this twists round to punch Xander. As it does, it feels something come over it. Something powerful. Coming from...the girl! He couldn't move!

As the vampire punched at Xander he somehow managed to duck, then twisting his body hard and fast, drived his stake into the back of the vampire. It roars in anger and pain and seems to break out of it's trance. Doing some kind of complicated martial arts movements with its hand before driving a knife hand strike through Xander's chest, as it turns to dust.

Xander coughs up a copious amount of blood before collapsing to the ground.

The girl who he'd fought to save was standing up right. She had noticed the boy. He was young. But he had risked his life to save her from his Turok-Han. She had managed to help the boy kill it keep it still and weaken it. But she had still been weak and had not the strength to hold it fully.

'But he saved me. Risked his life even though he didn't know me. I can't let this happen.' she thought.

"I wont let this happen," she said in a commanding voice. She started to glow....