Crimson Shadows

Author: JMD_009 <jmd_009[at]>

Disclaimer: Buffy and Crimson are owned by other people. None of which are me.

Summary: In New York Xander becomes what he hates the most. A vampire. Now he learns the truth behind the legends and the difference between the vampires he knows and the kind he has become. He is the Chosen One. The only problem is nobody will tell him what he's chosen for.

Author's Note: I just read the Crimson trade paperbacks so this idea just kind of ploughed its way into my head. I swear one day I'll finish a fic before starting another one. For those who don't know Crimson I'm not surprised. I'll try my best to make it enjoyable for people who have never hear of the series before.

Latest addition


"This is going to be so great!" Willow exclaimed as she put up a Dingo's poster in the dorm room.

"Yah." Buffy said smiling. "Definitely glad to be roomies with my best friend."

"Yep, no more evil demon roommates for Buffy."

"Don't mak…" The sarcastic reply Buffy had coming was cut short with the ringing of Willow's cell phone. The Wicca cleared the distance to the desk where the cell lay so quickly Buffy had to stifle a laugh. Obviously she was expecting a call from Oz.


[Hey Wills.]

If it was possible the redheads face light up even more at the unexpected voice. "Xander!"

That caught Buffy's attention. They hadn't heard from Xander since he left on his road trip after graduation, determined to drive through every state. The girls didn't have the heart to tell him Hawaii was an island. Of course, they also thought he would have come back already.

Getting up from her perch on her bed Buffy moved next to Willow. Turning the cell, Willow motion Buffy in so they could both listen.

[Who else? Were you expecting Dracula?] They could almost hear his smirk on the other end and couldn't help but grin at the terrible joke themselves.

[So, how's my favourite woman in the whole wide world?]

Buffy say an opportunity and jumped at it. Her smile remained despite the indignant tone she took. "What I am then, a slimy demon?"

[Buffster… hey… What I meant to say was that Willow's my favourite Wicca, computer genius, hacker in the whole wide world. You are my favourite Slayer of course.]

"I should hope so since the other one did try to kill us!" She could hear him squirming on the other end and she had to admit that she loved being able to do that to him. Admit it to herself at least. After a few 'ums' and 'ahs' she couldn't hold back anymore and burst out laughing. That was all it took for Willow to break and join her.

[Well,] Xander said after the laughter calmed down. [What's the what with you guys?]

Seeing Willow about to enter super babble mode Buffy quickly cut in before she had a chance to speak. "Oh nothing much to speak of. Had the summer lull in the night activities and got ready for college life. Went through a bit of a rough patch but everything's fine now."

[Rough patch?] Xander asked, worry clear in his voice.

"Nothing to worry about." Buffy added quickly.

"She was real depressed when classes started." Willow stated while pointedly ignoring Buffy's glare. "But she had the best friends in the world to help her though it."


Something in his voice told her the conversation just took a depressing turn. Than she realized what it was. He wasn't here when Buffy needed friends. Quickly she decided to change the subject and asked excitedly. "How many states have you been to?"

[Not many. My car broke down in Oxnard. I only made enough cash to fix it a few weeks ago.]

"If you needed help you could have asked us." Willow said a little dejected that her oldest friend wouldn't come to her for help.

[It's something I needed to do for myself Wills. If I was ever in serous trouble you can be certain you would be my first call. Besides, everything's back on track now.]

Willow smiled. He always knew what to say to make her feel better.

"So where are you now?" Buffy asked seeing a chance to get back into the conversation.

[New York City. My cousin has an apartment here that he shares with a couple of his university buddies. I'm crashing on the couch. Free room, go me!]

The girls could only laugh and shake their heads before Xander continued. [It's been pretty cool actually. I checked out some of the sites yesterday and today. You know, the normal tourist stuff. Tonight the guys are taking me for a night on the town. Paint the town red has been mentioned even.]

Buffy smiled at his enthusiasm. "Then we won't keep you. I'm glad you called."

"And call more! I got the resolve face on. It works over the phone too you know." Willow added.

[Alright, anything for my two favourite girls.]

"Bye Xand, be careful."

[Always am.]

"I serious Xander." Buffy told him.

[Take the fun out of life why don't cha?]


"Bye Xand."

[Tell everyone I said hi. Talk to you later.]


Chapter 1

A beat up Chevy Cavalier sped carelessly through Central Park. The four young men joked and laugh as they sped through the night. Again.

"C'mon Louie! Are you sure this is the way to the party?" Dewy asked from the back seat. His response was a glare in the rear view mirror.

"Trust me! This is a short cut. We'll be there in no time."

"This is the sixth short cut in the last two hours. You sure you live in this city?" Xander joked at his cousin.

Hughie leaned towards the front to whisper conspiratorially in Xander's ear. "He gets lost every time."

"I heard that!" Louie said as he turned to glare at his friend in the back seat.

"It's true yo… LOOK OUT!"

Louie turned quickly on reflex at the panicked scream. He barely had time to register the five motorcyclists blocking the road as he slammed the breaks and sharply turned the wheel. The screeching of the tires was deafening as the vehicle spun off the road and impacted with a tree.

The group was dazed but otherwise unhurt, remarkable as that may seem. It suited the approaching motorcyclist just fine as they watched with amusement as the guys climbed out of the wrecked car.

Having taken worse at the hand demons in Sunnydale, Xander was the first to recover his bearings. He felt a pang of panic course through him as he saw the group approaching predatorily. Instincts forged at the Hellmouth rang alarm bells in his head. Vampires. He couldn't see yellow eyes or a ridged forehead among them, only the fangs and claws they grew that made all the vamps he'd ever seen seem like teething babies.

Making a snap decision Xander stepped between his friends and the vampires. Pulling a cross from his pocket he held it up at his adversaries intent on buying the others time to get away. It didn't go how he planned.

The vampire closest to him, a large man in a red bandana, laughed at him and continued undeterred. With a look of amusement he grabbed Xanders wrist and pulled the cross to his own face. The vampire only mocked Xander as nothing happened. "Ohh the agony!"

Fear crept onto Xander's face as he discreetly grabbed a flask from his pocket with his other hand. Quickly flipping the lid off he splashed the contents onto the monsters face. The creature just laughed at the pathetic attempt and lifted him off the ground by the throat.

"What made you think holy water would work after the cross didn't you moronic human!"

Xander just grinned as he stuck a silver object next to the vampire's face. "Not holy water asshole!"

With that he lit the zippo, igniting the alcohol. The vampire reel back in real agony this time as the flames consume its face. Pressing the advantage Xander kicked the vampire over and turned to run.

Shock held him in place, however, as he saw the scene behind him. The others were dead, drain by three of the still feeding vamps. Fighting the urge to rush them as his anger flared to new heights he ran away with all his might. Live today, fight tomorrow.

Least that's what he thought until something tackled him to the ground. He threw an elbow out to fight back. His only reward was his face being slammed into the ground. Hard.

Xander had to fight to keep conscious as he felt himself being dragged back to the slaughter ground by a tall black woman in a cheetah print jacket and leather shorts that could barely be called such. He wished he hadn't fought for it when he heard her speak. "Shred 'em! Don' wanna be makin' no competition!"

Xander could only stare in horror as he watched the three vampires, who were joined by their badly burned companion, began to rip his friends apart. He had to fight with his stomach not to throw up at the sight. Anger again surged through him as he began to pick himself to his feet only to find the leader picking him up. "De cute one's mine!"

When she had him eye to eye she looked at him with a sickening grin. "You should feel lucky! Not often dat Rose de Puppet ain't willin' to share her food!"

Before he had time to do anything Xander felt her teeth pierce his neck and the life draining away from him. He was still alive though when the vampire raised her clawed hand and exclaimed. "Time to shred 'im!"

But Fate, as they say, is a fickle mistress. And it appeared she had other plans. Just as Rose was about to free Xander of his head a black form swooped in. In an instant a vampire with a fro straight out of the seventies was sent sailing through the air. His name was Eightball apparently as that was what one of the remaining four exclaimed.

The figure stop before them floating a good two meters in the air. The large, flowing black robe the figure wore hid its face from view but did nothing to hide its massive frame. Had to be close to eight feet tall. All in all a very intimidating presence. The booming voice only added to it.

"You will do no further harm to the boy tonight bitch!"

Rose faltered for a second as she looked between Xander and the new figure. When she spoke it came out somewhat nervous sounding. "Well… uh… dat is… Take 'im if you won't him. Done wit 'im anyways."

With that Rose dropped Xander and ran for her bike. Her and the three other vamps took off like bats out of hell abandoning their unconscious comrade.

Silently the large figure lowered himself to the ground. With surprise gentleness he picked up the barely conscious Xander.

"… hospital…" Xander said weakly. "… don't… wanna… die…"

The words were almost prophetic. As he finished saying them he faded, having used the last of his strength to plead for his life. There in the arms of the stranger Alexander Lavelle Harris died.

"You must die young one." The figure said. The voice was softer than before, yet still powerful. "It has been predestined. But you will rise again. That too has be predestined."

He noticed the vampire regaining consciousness and, with a sniff of the air, something else. The figure began to rise, Xanders body cradled in his arms. "Someone approaches. Bad news for you Eightball!"

Eightball was vaguely aware of the figure flying off as he pulled himself to his feet. "Who's th…"

Anything further was lost as he was struck by two arrows. One through the mouth and the other through the heart. A red hooded woman appeared from the shadows. In her hands was an antique looking crossbow with a much more modern looking scope.

"Someone you don't want to mess with." The woman answered. "Someone who will be the end of your kind"

Chapter 2


It was just past ten in the morning when Rupert Giles lay down in the warm embrace of his bed. Most people are up and on their way by now but not so for the unemployed brit. Truth be told he was just getting there after a long night of research. Buffy had brought a ring she got off a demon on patrol and research ensued to determined its origin. The ring turned out to be… an ordinary ring. A cubic zirconium ring at that. Better safe than sorry on the Hellmouth though.

His exhausted state made the ringing phone that much more of an annoyance. He seriously considered ignoring it, but got up anyways. It could be one of the children.

Giles sleepily walked to the kitchen and grabbed the phone. Trying to stifle a yawn he asked. "Hello?"

[Rupert Giles?]

"Yes?" He asked wearily. Something about the man's tone was off.

[My name is Officer George Davis. I'm with the NYPD.]

All his exhaustion seemed to flow out of him as he felt worry creep inside him. Xander was in New York!

[I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions?]

"What about?"

[A boy by the name of Alexander Harris.] Giles felt his chest tighten as he heard that.

[I tried his parents, but they were less than… cooperative.]

"Go on." Giles prodded.

[Late last night Alexander and some friends were attacked in Central Park. At the moment he is considered missing. We found his wallet at the scene. It had your contact information on a card listen as 'in case of emergency' in it. That's why I'm calling you.]

Giles grabbed the counter for support as he listened to the officer. "Missing?"

[I'm sorry. I… we're going to do everything in our power to find him. I promise.] He sound genuinely concerned, which helped Giles get his bearing back.

"What happened to his friends?"

[I don't think…]

"Please," Giles cut him off. "I need to know."

[They were murdered. Dismembered. It's not a sight that I'll every forget.] Officer Davis told him, the slightest of a waver in his voice.

Giles lent against the wall as he rubbed the bridge of his nose. Dismembered? He shuddered to think of the amount demons prone to that. Not to mention the rituals.

[We still have hope that he is alive.] George continued at Giles silence. [I'd like to ask you some questions about him. See if there is anything that could help with the investigation.]

"Of course." Giles replied. Any thoughts of sleep long forgotten as he silently prayed to every deity he knew of that Xander was safe.


It was a depressed atmosphere as everyone sat gathered in Giles' living room. It was late and the gang had spent the day finding out everything they could about what happened to Xander in New York. Which between Giles conversation with Officer Davis and Willow's hacking was just as much as the cops. They were just better equipped to put the pieces together.

"They were ripped apart. With claws." A shaken Willow said having reading the coroners report.

"That means it's a demon." Buffy added on her way to the weapons chest. "That means we go to New York, kill it, and get Xander back!"

"If he's still alive." Willow said as tears threaten her eyes. She calmed slightly at the comforting arm Oz lent her.

"He is Willow. He wouldn't go down easy."

"All the more reason we get there quickly!" Buffy spoke from her position of emptying the chests more deadly weapons into a large duffel.

Giles shook his head as he stood up to address the group. "You're not going. I'm going to New York alone."

Buffy cleared the distance between them in a heartbeat. "The hell you are!"

"You can't leave the Hellmouth unprotected Buffy."

"Watch me!" She exclaimed with venom.

"Damn it child! You are staying if I have to chain you to a bloody post!" Giles exclaimed back, his face red and his accent a little thicker. A bit of the old Ripper peeking through. He calmed slightly as he saw his young Slayer back down out of shock. Looking around he addressed the room again, much softer this time.

"We can not just take off and leave the Hellmouth unguarded. The fate of the world comes before any one person. Even someone we care for deeply. Xander understood this. You have to too. We can't all go.

"And before you ask why I'm the one who gets to go I'll tell you. I lived there briefly and know my way around. More importantly, I have plenty of contacts in New York, can any of you say the same."

Seeing the looks on his charges' faces was all the answer he needed. "I'm not saying you can't help, you'll just have to help from here. I leave first thing this morning. Trust me! I will find him!"

Chapter 3

The first thing he noticed was the cold. A chill that went so deep it sent a shiver through his bones. The next thing to hit him was the smell. It was a strange mix of dust and grime, death and decay. There used to be a time where that would be enough to make him fight his stomach for control. Those times are long since past.

He was vaguely aware of his nakedness as he tried to push himself up. It was a struggle but he managed to get himself to his feet after a few tries. Albeit unsteadily on his feet.

Looking around he could the pitched black building with new eyes he identified it as an old run down church. There were dead pigeons all around him in various states of decay. Blood still spilled from some and the man unconsciously liked his lips at how inviting it seemed. Then he remembered what it was and felt sick.

"Good, you're finally awake Alexander." Spoke a deep voice that echoed through the old church.

For his part Xander managed to only have a slight waver in his voice when he spoke into the shadows. "Who are you?"

"Your protector. As it was predestined." The voice answered "The one who watch over you during your change. But that too was predestined."

Suddenly flame dance around the room and the scattered candles burned brightly. Spinning quickly he took in the black robed figure behind him. He had to be at least seven feet tall, probably closer to eight. The figure removed his hood to reveal long white hair and a grey face with that looked more like a primate than modern man. "You may call me Ekimus."

Xander took a step back involuntarily as he took in the massive creature before him. Slowly memory came back to him. Strange vampires attached him and his friends. This Ekimus was there, holding him as he died. Without realizing it Xander found himself asking the question that had plagued him since waking up.

"Am I a vampire aren't I?"

If Ekimus was shocked by the question he didn't show it simply responded. "Yes. But…"

"No!" Xander exclaimed as he lunged across the room, his worst fear confirmed. His hands found a broken piece of wood as he came to a stop. "I won't live like that! I won't harm people I care for or anyone else! I WON'T!"

Ekimus only sighed as and waved his hand in a passing gesture. The makeshift stake disappeared in flame and ash. That didn't stop Xander though as he took off again, this time towards the large wooded doors of the church. Somehow he just knew it was daytime.

Gripping each of the heavy double doors Xander through them open. Daylight poured through the doorway in an instant and the smell of burning flesh soon filled the air. Xander fell to the ground as a pain unlike anything he had ever experienced consumed him. A pain that only dulled as the doors were shut, blocking out the deadly rays.

"Just let me die." Xander croaked weakly as Ekimus loomed above him. "I won't be a soulless beast."

The robed figure only shook his head. "You believe you are something you are not. Would you be doing something as noble as ending you life to spare others if a demon ruled your soul?"

"But I thought…"

"Rest. We will speek once you regain some strength. That shouldn't take long." With that said he left Xander there and went into one of the back rooms of the church.


It was an hour later when Xander sought out the strange creature called Ekimus. He was still severely burnt but had regain enough strength to walk. Now clad in a white robe he found lying around he approached the door he saw Ekimus disappear into.

He stopped in the doorway and took in the room. There were ancient tomes and books piled floor to ceiling. The only furniture in the room were two chairs. Ekimus sat facing away from the door reading a heavy tome in the candlelight. <Giles would be in heaven.>

"Come in and sit Alexander." Ekimus said without looking up from his tome. Xander didn't hesitate to take the seat across from him.

Ekimus carefully put his tome down on one of the smaller piles near him before speaking. "I take it you have had past encounters with soulless vampires."

"One of my best friends is the Slayer, so yah."

"Ah, that explains things. You think you are like those the Watchers have their Slayers hunt? You are not." Ekimus' only response was a look of confusion on Xander's part. Sighing he realized more explanation was need.

"They are not true vampires Alexander. Closer to cousins in fact. Long ago a vampire named J'kan was sired by the first vampire herself. He grew restless over the millennia in her servitude and sought more power. He made a pack with a powerful demon from the pits of Hell and lost his very soul in his quest.

Ironically he grew weaker in many ways. New weaknesses were developed such as crosses, holy water and the invitation rite. J'kan was the first of a new breed of vampire and forsake his own name to become The Master."

Xander's eyes widened as a shiver went down his spine. "Met him."

Ekimus ignored his comment and continued on. "This sub-breed became know in vampire circles as the soulless. Many have come to believe them to be vampires such as the Watchers and even the soulless themselves. They are much greater in number than vampires in truth. Vampires tend to have a firm grim on population control."

As Ekimus finished Xander took in his words before speaking. "So I'm a vampire, but I still have my soul?"

"Yes. Everything that made you you is intact. You will, however, still need to drink blood as distasteful as that sounds. That part is true."

"Not a chance!" Xander exclaimed with as much conviction as he could muster.

"You already have. You saw the pigeons I fed you during your change. Blood is essential to your survival now."

Xander stood slowly and walked towards the door. Pausing in the doorway he spoke over his shoulder. "This is a lot to take in. I just need to go think for awhile."

Chapter 4

Xander didn't run away denying the truth of his new life. He simply walked out of the old church, his shoulders slumped in defeat. Not really paying attention where he was going, Xander walked in a daze.

That was until someone fell in step beside him and clapped him on the back. Xander didn't miss a beat as he glanced at the man. He was Mexican and looked about his age. His right arm had a tattoo of a snake coiling down it. The man's face was painted black on the top half and blue on the bottom. Xander just shrugged it off though. After living on the Hellmouth New York held little to surprise him.

"Hey Bobo, you must be the Newbie."

Xander stopped dead and looked at the stranger suspiciously. "What's it to you?"

"Easy Bobo, I'm vampiro too. Name's Joe." His almost cheerful look turned sympathetic before he continued. "Thing is I know this is tough on ya at first. So lucky you, I'm gonna take you unner my wing. Show you the ropes and get ya over this depressed thing ya got going."

"I'm not depressed."

"Sorry, that must be your normal face. Little piece of advice, the ladies don't go for the broodin' vampiro types."

Xander just glared at him before speeding up his walk.

"What?" Joe asked confused as he sped up to catch Xander.

"Alright, alright." He said as he fell back in step. "How 'bout we just get something to eat?"

Xander looked like he was going to be sick just from the suggestion. "No way!"

"S'not your call Bobo. You don't drink and your beast side takes over. You go on a feeding frenzy. Not pretty."

Seeing Xander's look Joe took a second to think of a good way to explain. "Look at it this way. Drinking blood is our nature and nature always wins in the end."

Suddenly Joe stopped them. For the first time Xander notice that they had walked to a secluded area of Central Park. They were hidden in the shadows as Joe pointed to a man nearby. A man selling drugs to a kid, barely a teenager.

"'Nother tip," Joe said as he began to move. "Nobody cares if you prey on the predator!"

In a flash Joe was on them. He shoved the teen out of the way and picked the man up with one hand. The drug dealer could only look in horror as Joe's fangs appeared. Then it was over and Joe sank his teeth into his neck and began to drink his life blood.

After a moment Joe stopped to look at Xander. "C'mon Bobo. I'm not greedy. Plenty for the two of us."

Xander just looked on conflicted. One part of him was shocked. Shocked that the cheery Mexican had just killed a man. Shocked that it even surprised him knowing what they were. Most of all, shocked over how much he wanted it.

The other part of him couldn't help but like his lips at the sight of the blood flowing freely from the drug dealer's neck. The hunger in him demanding that he rush over there and lap it up greedily. It was so strong in fact that it made him start forward.

In the end Xander was able to push back the hunger just before reaching his target. He did the only thing he could think of in that instant. He ran.

Joe stared at the retreating form and sighed. "More for me I guess."

A whimper to his right caught his attention before he could return to his prey. The teen was still on the ground and looking at the vampire in utter terror.

"Go home kid." Joe said as menacing as possible. "And don't be going out at night alone."

The boy took off as fast as his legs could take him. With all interruptions gone Joe went back to his dinner.


Xander ran. He didn't know where he was going. It didn't matter as long as he got away from the blood. Somewhere along the way he ended up on a rooftop, but that didn't deter him. Every time he reached an edge he simply jumped to the next building.

Slowly he began to decrease his pace. Not from fatigue. It was more that the panic was subsiding. Finally he came to a stop at the edge of a rooftop overlooking an ally.

He was greeted by a sight he never expected to see. A lone figure walked through the darkened alley. A figure he recognized as Giles.

If he had been thinking straight many things would have been going through his mind. Amazement that he had run faster than he ever had for almost a half hour and wasn't tired. Bewilderment over jumping rooftops. And more importantly, questions about Giles being in New York.

But at this point he was not in his right mind. The hunger had returned in force. The last coherent thought to go through his mind was 'Joe was right'. After that there was only 'hunt', 'feed', 'prey'.


Chapter 5

Giles was annoyed. He was sure that this lead would pan out. At least that's what he kept telling himself. If he was honest he was losing any hope of finding Xander alive. Or at all for that matter.

He had been searching for a month now. When he first arrived in New York he had every faith in finding the young man. The first thing he had done was meet with the officer whom he had spoken to on the phone. An Officer George Davis. The large black man had probably shared more information on the case than he should have and for that Giles was grateful.

It was what he was shown that disturbed him. The report went into great detail what was fond and the photos were enough to make even his experienced stomach queasy. It did help put aside one worry though. As grotesque a crime as it was the young men were ripped apart. He knew of very few vampires who would bother and most of them were in Sunnydale… or LA. There was no doubt that there was something supernatural in nature about it, but at least he wasn't looking for a demon with Xander's face.

And let's face it, Xander had a knack for getting into demonic trouble. He also had a knack for getting out of it. The boy had more luck that anyone that Giles had ever known.

He told his hopes to Officer Davis. Minus the supernatural elements that is. Apparently he had spoken with such conviction that it had renewed the man's own hope for a happy ending to this case. They parted ways with Davis promising to share any information he got.

The crime scene was next on his list. It was a bust though. He found nothing that wasn't already in the reports. Exactly what he had expected but he couldn't ignore anything that might help him find Xander.

He had some friends in the area. Some were members of the Watchers. Giles may not have trusted the Council anymore but most of these people he had known for the better part of twenty years and more than willing to help. Without the Council's knowledge of course. Other acquaintances were more… shady. Remnants from his Ripper years.

Within the first week he had hit every demon bar in the city. One was even run by a cousin of Willy's who had apparently been told about the Slayer and here companions. He proved most… cooperative. It might have helped that he let more of the Ripper out when in the bars. Could never be too careful.

Despite the quick leads he acquired dead ends just as quickly. Slowly each source he had began to dry up. The calls from his contacts and friends growing fewer and fewer between. He had considered giving up and going home more than once. Like now for instance.

He had been run down completely. This was the final lead he had with nowhere left to turn. Hope was fading faster these days. He hadn't given the girls an update on his progress in over a week. It wasn't that he wanted to keep them out of the loop. No, he just did not want to give them false hope with every new lead that probably would not pan out. But he also couldn't bring himself to return without the heart of their little group.

Which is why he was here in this dark, dirty alley. The place reeked too. Though that could just be his companion. Chaos demons weren't exactly known for their excessive hygiene. They were large, green, slimy, antlered creatures. Intimidating, perhaps. As far as temperament was concerned they did not live up to the name Chaos.

The demon just handed Giles a pin with one of its slimy hands and walked away. For a moment he stared at the retreating form before turning his attention to the object in his hand. The pin read 'Senator Van Fleet' in a flag like design. All very patriotic.

Giles sighed as he turned back the way he came. Yet another dead end! He would have to tell them. Call the girls and tell them that all leads had dried up. That was a conversation he wasn't looking forward too.

He had barely made it two feet before a powerful grip tossed him into a wall. Dazed and restrained he had no opportunity to get the weapons he carried and no chance to defend himself. My God! He thought. Is this how it's going to end? Dead in some god forsaken alley?

Then his attacker spun him around and he was face to face with the monster intent on ending his life. A monster with the face of the very boy he had been searching for. A monster named Xander Harris.

The look on boys growling face was one of pure bloodlust. His large fangs seemed to gleam menacingly in the moonlight. Then something happened, something strange. His eyes seemed to focus as if looking at his prey for the first time. Then with another growl he tossed Giles aside.

By the time Giles looked back Xander was gone. No, not Xander. Giles realized his first instinct must have been wrong. It had been a vampire attack and Xander had been turned. Now there was only a demon running around with his face.

This was worse than the what if's that would have always followed never finding him. Now he knew for certain that the boy was gone. Now the pain came out in force. Pain that quickly turned to anger.

One thing Giles knew about Xander above all else was that he hated vampires. No, even that was not a strong enough word to describe his feelings towards them. He knew that Xander would never want to live like that. That he wouldn't want them thinking of that monster as him. That it should be killed like any other vampire.

And Giles knew that he owed it to Xander to be the one to do it.