Enter Sandman

Author: BoxerMan <boxerman083[at]yahoo.com>

Pairings: a little angst for right now, something more substantial later.

A/N: Special thanks to Ed Scott for editing and betaing this part. And send me some reviews people, God knows you can't write more unless you get reviews.

A/N2: Well, this is something I've been thinking about for a while.

Crossovers: None for now. Maybe eventually, down the line. And this is my first non-crossover fic, so I'm a little nervous about it.

Disclaimers: I don't own anything relating to Buffy, Angel, or Metallica.

Timeframe: S2 AU "Innocence," you know the episode after Buffy sleeps with Angel.

Dedicated to the ones you can't save, and to the ones you can.

Latest addition

Chapter 1

Xander entered his room through the window. They had spent all night looking for Buffy and Angel after they went looking for the Judge. He hadn't bothered to really call home for the 'round robin.' They'd just be mad that he'd come in late and interrupt their drunken stupor. With great ease and after hours of practice Xander slid the window back down until he heard the soft click.

He gently walked over to the door and made sure that it was locked and no one had tried to come in while he wasn't there. He had various 'slayage' tools lying around the room, and his dad might be lucid enough to wonder why his son had a crossbow and a sword on top of his dresser. After completing his nightly checklist, he turned to the true object of his affections.

He mused. "Ahh, bed sweet bed."

He stood on his toes and fell onto the mattress. He pet it as professed his undying love. "You love me don't you? I'll always love you, you soft little thing you."

He pulled the comforter over his body and put the pillow over his head, just incase there were any 'noises' coming from down the hall. He turned his head so he could see out the side. Outside the window he looked at the moon for a minute. Fear for Buffy crossed his mind, and as much as he hated it, he just had to hope that Angel would keep her safe. He closed his eyes and let sleep take hold.


He was in a black room. In front of him there was a table and two chairs.


He turned around to see a tall man with a beard. "Huh."

The figure walked around him and looked him up and down. Xander looked at the man then tried to see what he was looking at. "Hey, um, what are you doing?"

The man looked up at Xander before walking around to the other side of the table. "Sit."

They two of them both sat down on opposite sides of the table. The man spoke first. "Who are you?"

Xander looked quizzically at the man. "Xander Harris?"

The man shook his head. "No, Who are you?"

"Alexander Harris?"

The man shook his head again. "No, Who are you?"

Xander sighed. "Fine, Alexander Lavelle Harris?"

The man smiled. "For some reason I knew you were going to say that."

Xander was very confused. "Huh?"

The man shook his head and continued. "You are nothing."

"If I wanted a pep talk, I would've talked to my parents. They at least spice it up with 'good for nothing's and 'bastard child's."

The man smiled again as he got up and walked away. Xander shouted sarcastically. "Was it something I said?"

A different voice came from behind him. "Oh don't worry about Hetfield, he's a great guy, but I think he likes the intros a little too much."

He turned to face the new voice. "Who are you?"

The man walked over with a grin and sat down opposite him. "Me? I'm nothing."


Xander woke with a start. His pulse raced and his bed was soaked through with sweat. 'What was that dream?' He strained to remember as much as he could, with only bits and pieces flashing through his mind. After a minute he gave up and walked over to the shower.

He muttered to himself as he turned the water on. "At least I didn't wake up shouting 'YES DRILL SERGEANT!' this time. Those soldier dreams really fuck with my mornings."


Xander walked into school a little late. With any luck he'd be able to avoid...

"Harris, forgetting something?"

...Snyder. He turned around to face the little troll. "Well good morning to you too, sir! You see I was just on my way to..."

Snyder cut him off. "Detention, so you can rid the streets of your corrupting influence every afternoon for the next couple of weeks. How nice of you Harris!" He walked over and mashed a pink wad of paper into Xander's hand. "Two thirty sharp. Either you are in detention or you are out of this school."

Snyder turned and walked back towards his office. Xander waited until Snyder was barely within earshot before saying loudly, "If I'm not in the school, how can I have detention?"

Snyder grimaced as he continued on his way. 'I should be so lucky to be eaten by rabid wolves,' He thought, 'Flutie probably smeared himself in barbeque sauce for them.'


After being outed by Willow for his hidden smooches with Cordelia, Xander decided to find the redhead and try to make things right. He walked aimlessly through the halls trying to avoid Snyder's wrath again. Finally he saw her walking through the lounge.

He ran up behind her. "Will."

She hugged her arms around herself and turned to face him. "Hey."

Xander tried to offer a reassuring smile. "Where'd you go?"

Willow tried to smile back, but looked at the floor. "Home."

Xander put his hand under her chins and raised her eyes to his. "I'm glad you came back. We can't do this without you."

Willow tried not to cry and put on her resolve face. "Let's get this straight. I don't understand it, I don't wanna understand it, you have gross emotional problems, and things are not okay between us. But what's happening right now is more important than that."

Xander nodded. He could accept that for now. "Okay."

Willow sighed. "So, have you found anything out about the Judge?"

Xander shook his head. "Only the same things, 'no weapon forged.' and 'it took an army.'"

Willow started to walk him back to the library. "Yeah, where's an army when you need one?"

Xander stopped walking. "Whoa. Whoa! I...I think I'm having a thought. Yeah, yeah, yeah, that's a thought. Now I'm having a plan."

The lights suddenly went out.

"Now I'm having a wiggins."

Willow looked around the deserted hallway. "What's going on?"

Xander started to walk, pulling Willow. "We have to get to the library."

Angel walked out from behind them. "Willow. Xander."

They turned to look. Willow immediately started to walk closer to him, asking questions. "Thank God you're okay. Did you see Buffy?"

Xander held onto her hand. Not allowing Willow to get any closer. "Xander what are you doing?"

Angel smiled. "It's okay Xander, I think Buffy needs you for something. I need to talk to Willow for a second."

Xander's hand started to grip tighter on Willow's hand while his jaw clenched. "Run."

Chapter 2

The man poured himself a glass of water. "Tonight was the first time the other side made a move. They captured one of our pieces and turned it against us. Although Buffy was the one that made a move, but I stopped trying to make sense of her actions a long time ago."

The man took another glass and offered some water to him.

"No thanks," Xander said, "I'm not thirsty."

The man raised his eyebrows. "Oh you will be, trust me. Although it's not real water, and were technically not here, it still kinda helps you talk after a while."


"You'll figure it out eventually. You'll remember bits and pieces now and then. Not really information. Mostly nuances, hints, direction, misdirection, I swear I don't understand how it all works. I only know what I can and can't tell you."

Xander began to understand. "Prophecies?"

The man shook his head. "Nope, this is a one time deal. That's why we have a lot to discuss. I lived this through and trust me, it all ended VERY badly. This is a battle that has been set in motion for centuries for a war that will last forever."

"Then what are you saying?"

The man smiled again. "Chaos."



Willow looked at Xander. "What?"

Xander pushed Willow away as Angel smirked. Xander kept his face on Angel but shouted at Willow. "RUN!!"

Angelus realized that something had given him away and rushed Xander, knocking him over. He grabbed Willow by the wrist with one hand and by the throat with the other.

Xander rolled back to his feet. "No! Don't do that!"

Angelus held Willow between himself and Xander. "Oh I think I do that."

Jenny Calendar appeared from the end of the hallway. "No! He's not Angel anymore."

Angelus smiled at her and licked his fangs. "Wrong. I am Angel." He tightened his grip on Willow.

Xander felt a cold shiver come from the back of his head. "Oh, my God."

Angelus looked at the boy. "Wrong department, but tell Buffy I got a message for her."

Buffy ran from around the corner to see her love squeezing the life out of her best friend. "Why don't you give it to me yourself?"

He smiled as he saw her come into view. "Well, it's not really the kind of message you tell. It sort of involves finding the bodies of all your friends and family on your doorstep."

He tightened his grip on Willow even more as she lets out another pained yelp.

Xander felt the shiver lessen and began to inch towards Jenny.

Buffy inched towards him. "This can't be you."

Angelus had a smirk on his face. "Gee, I thought we already covered that subject, but now I remember you ARE a natural blonde."

"Angel, there must be some part of you inside that still remembers who you are."

"Dream on, schoolgirl."

With Angelus' back turned, Xander took the cross from Jenny and snuck up behind him.

Angelus continued to taunt the blond slayer. "Your boyfriend is dead. You're all gonna join him."

Buffy continued to slowly walk forward. "Leave Willow alone, and deal with me."

"But she's so cute," Angelus took pinched her cheek, "and helpless. Really a turn-on."

Xander shoved the cross into Angelus' face and jumped on his back. The shock forced him to drop Willow who ran behind Buffy for safety.


Xander held on for dear life. Kicking and punching whenever he could. "FUCK YOU!"

Angelus rammed Xander into a locker, knocking him off. He ran to Buffy and whispered, "Things are about to get very interesting."

He kissed her, shoved her into the wall and backed out the door. Willow and Jenny went over and helped Xander up.

Xander walked over to where Buffy was wanting. "Buffy, you okay?"

Buffy just stared at the door.


Giles paced alongside the main library table. Xander stand off to the side while everyone else was talking.

Giles took off his glasses. "And we're absolutely certain that, that Angel has reverted to his former self?"

Willow sat at the table. "Giles, you wouldn't have believed him. He was so... He came here to kill us."

Cordelia looked around. "What are we gonna do?"

Giles finished cleaning his glasses and put them back on. "I'm leaning towards blind panic myself."

Xander watched them talk back and forth. He wasn't sure what to do. All he had were split second flashes of words or phrases of a conversation that he was pretty sure didn't exist. He came out from his internal dialogue to hear Ms. Calendar ask Willow a question.

"But you didn't know he had turned bad?"

Willow looked at Xander and Jenny. "No, How did you?"

Jenny became nervous. "What?"

"Well, you knew. You both told me to get away from him."

Jenny lied. "Well, I saw his face."

They both looked to Xander. He deadpanned. "What? I never liked the guy."

Giles was in his own conversation. "Well, something set it off. Some, some, uh, event must've triggered his transformation. Well, if anyone would know, Buffy, it-it should be you."

Buffy replied quietly. "I don't."

Giles continued. "Well, did anything happen last night that, that might..."

Buffy tried to hold the tears back as she got up from the table. "Giles, please, I can't."

Giles didn't know what he had said, but tried to stop her. "Buffy, I'm sorry, but we can't afford to... Buffy!"


Cordelia slammed her book shut. "This is great. There's an unkillable demon in town, Angel's joined his team, and the Slayer is a basket case... I'd say we've hit bottom."

Xander walked towards her, making sure no one could hear her. After Buffy left, they each had split up to do research. "I have a plan."

Cordelia rolled her eyes. "Oh, great, here's a lower place."

Xander decided to stick with the idea he had earlier. "I think that I know how to deal with this Judge guy."

He came around the table and sat across from Cordelia.

She leaned over and whispered, "Are you going to let me in on the plan I'm a part of?"


Cordelia stood up with her hands on her hips, giving Xander the best glare she could. "Why not?"

Xander pushed her back into her seat and quickly made sure no one was noticing them. "Because if I tell you, then you won't do it. Just meet me at my house in half an hour. And wear something skanky..." Xander looked Cordelia up and down with a smirk, "...er."

Chapter 3

Xander sat still. "What do you mean? I can't fight, I'm not a hero."

The man nodded. "Exactly."

Xander shook his head. "Okay, explain it to me again."

The man leaned back in his seat and gave Xander a quick smile. "I didn't think that you would be this accepting."

Xander rolled his eyes. "And I didn't think that I would dream of a black room with a table, chairs and a guy that wont give me a strait answer."

The man chucked before saying. "Just call me 'cryptic guy.'"

Xander put his forehead on the table. "This is hell. I am dead and this is my personal hell. Sitting at a table with a guy that constantly makes fun of me and leads me around while trying to explain things to me. Its like Giles and Cordy had a baby."

Xander stopped and shivered in his seat.

He looked back across at the man who was giving him a slight glare. "Moving on from...being disturbing..."

Xander nodded. "Yes, moving on."

The man took a drink from his water. "The two sides are playing each other and have been for years. It doesn't matter who is on what side. Everyone dies. There are small skirmishes and huge battles, Armageddon and simple accidents, every player for every side will go down, it doesn't matter when or how. And you'll know what I mean."

Xander cut him off and glared. "I already know what you mean."

The man nodded his head. "Jesse."

Xander kept his glare as he nodded. "Jesse."

"You can't save everyone."

"Then why are you here?"

The man looked solemn for a minute. "Because there's no one left. Like I said, everyone dies. But just because you cant save everyone doesn't mean you shouldn't try. You CAN save someone. Its too late for me, now...Its not to late for you."

He stopped for a second and looked at Xander before continuing, "...and hopefully, its not to late for them."


Cordelia's car pulled up alongside the Sunnydale National Guard Reserve Armory. Xander and Cordelia got out of the car. Xander led her to an unguarded part in the chain link fence behind a building.

Xander muttered to himself as he counted off seconds on his watch. "The security here really is a joke. I should, uh, report it. Maybe they pay more attention than the Sunnydale Police." He looks around for a second before starting to cut through the fence. "I hope not."

Cordelia stood behind him keeping watch. "Who am I supposed to be again?"

Xander replied with a smirk as he made quick work of the fence and pulled her through. "You're supposed to be a horny little girl." He turned and waggled his eyebrows. "I didn't think it would be that much of a stretch for you, think you can handle it?"

Cordelia slapped him on the arm. "Asshole." They snuck along behind the building. She whispered. "You couldn't handle me geek-boy."

Xander shushed her before whispering back. "Wouldn't you like to know."

Xander looked around the corner of the building. A few soldiers were on the other side of the complex on patrol. Xander smiled. He had timed it so they would be on the other side for the entire time that they would be there. He stepped over to the side door of the building and reached for the doorknob.

A loud voice interrupted him. "Halt! Arms where I can see them!"

Xander shot up his arms and elbowed Cordelia so she did the same. The soldier approached them. "Identify yourself right the hell now."

Xander spoke quickly. "Uh... Private Harris with the, uh... 33rd."

The soldier shook his head and took aim. "Sorry numbnuts, the 33rd are on maneuvers. Try again."

Xander nodded and replied as if it was obvious. "No shit, I'm on leave...from them."

Cordelia groaned. 'Smooth move Harris.'

The soldier was unfazed. "You always spend your leave snooping around the armory?" He then took notice of Cordelia who was hiding behind Xander. "And who is she?"

Cordelia waved. "Hi. I'm not a soldier." She leaned over to Xander and whispered, "Right?"

Xander had to force himself not to let the soldier shoot her. He approached the guard with his hands still up. "Look Private...Hammet, I just want to show her around a little, give her the tour. Uh, you know what I'm saying."

Hammet raised an eyebrow. "The tour?"

Xander lied for all he was worth. "Well, you know the ladies. They like to see the big guns. Gets them all hot and bothered. Can you cut me some slack, gimme a blind eye?"

The soldier eased up, but didn't give in. "And why should I?"

Xander nodded. "Well, if you do, I won't tell Colonel Ulrich that your boots ain't regulation, your post wasn't covered," Xander quickly grabbed the soldier's M-16 and gave it back to him properly, "and you hold your gun like a pussy."

Hammet was annoyed but satisfied. He took back the rifle. "You got 20 minutes, nimrod."

Xander smiled. "I just need 3." He took a step and then turned back. "Uh, forget I said that last part."

Inside Cordelia looked out the window in the door while Xander searched the room.

She talked while making sure there was no one coming. "Okay, what was that? And who are you?"

Xander replied without looking at her. "Remember Halloween, I got turned into a soldier and spent the night protecting your sorry butt?"

Cordelia smiled for a second, but quickly caught it. "Uh, yeah."

Xander didn't notice her hesitation. "Well, I still remember all of it. I know procedure, schedule, ordnance, access codes, everything. I know the layout for this base, I can field strip and put together an M-16 in 57 seconds. And the best part is, I know more dirty jokes than I ever did before."

Cordelia pretended to be unfazed. "Well, I'm sort of impressed. But let's just find the thing and get out of here."

"Don't worry. Do you remember that guy that stole the tank from a National Guard Armory and drove it around LA for a couple hours?"

Cordelia raised an eyebrow. "Yeah?"

Xander smirked as he continued his search. "Guess where he got it?"

Cordelia got bored at the door and hopped onto a crate to sit. "So, does looking at guns really make girls wanna have sex? That's scary."

Xander replied while looking at several boxes. "Yeah, I guess."

Cordelia tried to talk with a strait face. "Well, does looking at guns make you wanna have sex?"

Xander stopped what he was doing, looked up and deadpanned. "I'm a red-blooded American seventeen year old male, looking at linoleum makes me wanna have sex."

Cordelia stifled her laughter.

Chapter 4

"Wont this change everything?"

"That's the point."

Xander shifted in his seat. "I know, what I mean is, wouldn't you change the good also. I mean isn't there a balance type thing going on?"

The man nodded. "Yes, and it is through that balance that you can save people."

Xander sat up strait. He couldn't save Jesse, and he was damned if he wasn't going to save as many people as he could. "How?"

"You have to let go."

Xander sat back in his seat and raised an eyebrow. "Let go of what?"

The man sat up strait. "Xander, you have to understand that you cant. No matter what you do people will die, a lot of people. I know. Not just innocent people on the street, people you don't know. The worst deaths are reserved for those on the front lines."

Xander's face darkened. "I know what I was getting myself into."

The man shook his head. "No you didn't. But that doesn't matter. You have to follow through. There is always a way. There are always options. You fight until you can't fight anymore. The temptation is there, to walk away. And there will become a point where that seems like a very good possibility."

Xander stated very coldly, "So how will me doing anything change it?"

The man looked down at the table. Xander had trouble looking at his face. It was just so...normal, so nondescript. The man raised his head back to face him. "Like I said, its about Chaos. Unknowns change the equation. You were already an unknown, you changed the codex, you brought Buffy back. That changed the plans that both sides had in store."

Xander knew that he had, in fact, negated the Codex. Giles spent over an hour yelling at him and thanking him while trying to explain the ramifications of what he had done. "So, where exactly do I fit in, what do I do?"

"I can't tell you."

Xander gave him a questioning look. "Then why are you here if you can't tell me?"

"You have to realize that, simply by doing this, I have changed what I know has happened. While you wont remember any of this dream, except for bits and pieces, it's the same idea as the Codex. By changing one small specific thing, by changing you, all the other specifics could change. I just want to point you in the right direction, make sure that you remember feelings, hunches. Subtlety is key."

Xander sat back in his seat. "Okay, sensei master guy, I'm in, guide me."


Xander rode in the backseat with his little boxes. He had wanted to take a Stinger or a missile launcher, but that A: might have been overkill and B: wouldn't fit in the car. Instead he opted for a M72 LAW and some HE and incendiary grenades. In the trunk he had a colt M4A1 and two MP5's with several clips apiece as well as a Desert Eagle and two Five-Sevens with numerous clips. He looked at his chauffer. "You good up there, Cor?"

Cordelia looked in the rearview seeing a smiling Xander Harris playing with assorted explosives in her expensive car. "ALEXANDER LAVELLE HARRIS, YOU WILL STOP PLAYING WITH THOSE THINGS IN MY CAR THIS MINUTE."

Xander carefully put the box back on the floor, put his seatbelt back on, and put his hands on his lap. "Better?"

Cordelia smiled. "Much." She looked back to the road before asking another question. "Where are we dropping all of this off at?"

Xander grinned back at her. "My house. I'll fix everything up there. Let everyone know what I'm planning, but I don't want to scare anyone with my big ole guns before they're ready, so could you pick me up an hour after you drop me off?"

Cordelia had a small grin on her face as she continued driving. "Sure, just don't make a habit out of it."

Xander found himself looking through the rearview mirror at Cordelia. He wasn't sure what it was that they had going on. He wasn't even sure if he wanted anything going on. He smiled to himself. Every now and then when she would glance through the mirror for quick glances at him. Well, to be honest he wasn't sure if she was looking at him, or checking rear traffic, but still, a guy can hope.


He smiled. "Yeah?"

"Don't stare at me like that, you're weirding me out."

He saw in the reflection the briefest little smile on her face. "You got it Cor." He grinned to himself, and then went back to organizing his 'fun' boxes.


Xander looked at the pile he had accumulated in the past three hours laying on his bed. The assault rifle and sub machine guns had been stripped, cleaned, fitted, and polished. He did the assault rifle and the first MP5 very carefully, not really trusting the memories and instincts to do the job right. After that he did the last one blindfolded, and timed himself. Fifty-nine seconds wasn't bad, but he could do better. He counted the ammunition. One armor-piercing clip for the m4, and four regular clips. The MP5's had about 12 clips of 30 rounds. The Desert Eagle had five clips, with seven bullets per clip. The Five-Sevens had six magazines with 20 rounds per clip. Xander stood for a minute looking at the arsenal, trying to add it all up, before giving up and outfitting himself for the night.

He decided to tuck the Desert Eagle into the back of his blue jeans and slung an MP5 with a strap over his shoulder. The LAW was pre- assembled and more or less looked like a green tube with a handle and a strap. He slung it over his other shoulder. With an incendiary grenade and a HE grenade, the whole arsenal weighed about twelve pounds or so on him.

He walked to the door and stepped outside. It was about eight or so in the evening. He had on a light green shirt with blue jeans and enough firepower to take down the local authorities. For some reason nobody really paid attention to the seventeen year old with the rocket launcher and submachine gun as he patiently waited five minutes for his ride.


Xander watched as everyone's jaw dropped when he and Cordelia walked into the library. "Happy Birthday Buffy! Guess what?" He brought around his LAW and held it in two hands, "I brought presents!"

After several seconds of silence, Xander looked at the LAW quizzically. "What, you don't like the color?"


Chapter 5

"Choice is Chaos."

"I still don't get how that is a good thing."

"It's not. But it can be. People choose to be good. People choose to be bad."

"So of everything that you could tell me: lotto numbers, what Big Bad is gonna roll into town, how to make people like me, you tell me that choice is chaos?"

"Its very simple and profound isn't it?"

"No, it's annoying and doesn't tell me anything."

The man sighed and sat back into his seat. He looked Xander strait in the eye. "If you could have anything, do anything, what would it be?"

Xander didn't hesitate. "I want to make a difference."


The group rode in Oz's van. Truth be told, Xander didn't really like Oz very much. He wasn't a bad guy or anything. He just always felt a little protective of Willow. 'No one would ever be good enough for her,' he thought as he saw her riding in the passenger seat next to Oz, 'especially me.'

An angry blonde slayer interrupted his internal monologue. "Xander, just what in the hell do you think you are doing?"

Xander turned to face her. Her blonde hair hung on both sides of her face. Her eyes were brimming with unshed tears. He felt bad for her. Having to go up against someone you love has to be hard. But he couldn't help but look in her eyes and still see strength and beauty. He smiled kindly as he started to lie out his grand plan.

"Well Buff, you see...this," he held up the LAW, "is the light M72 Light Anti-Armor Weapon. It has a 66mm High Explosive Anti-Tank warhead. The base weight is about 5.2 pounds, or for the British in the van," he smiled at Giles, "2.3 kg."

He sighed, noticing the blank stares he got from the occupants of the van. "It's a rocket launcher, I point it at something, it blows up."

Giles nodded as he seemed to understand where the boy was going. "And you think this can defeat the Judge?"

Xander smiled. "Yep, this baby aint forged and it sure as hell can pack a punch. I just need you to distract him and the vamps while I get a clear shot. The minimum range is about ten meters, but I sure as hell want to be farther away than that."

Buffy shook her head. "No Xan, I need to do this. It's my responsibility."

"Buffy, listen I could try to give you a crash course in the operation of a highly explosive device, but I don't think we got the time." He turned to the librarian. "Giles, you okay with my plan?"

Giles sat still for a minute before slowly nodding his head. "As much as it scares me to say, I can't think of any better."

Xander smirked. "Thanks for the support G-man."

Giles steadied himself as the van hit a pothole. "Please don't call me that."

"You got it G-dawg."

Giles' moaning was interrupted by Willow. "Do we have an idea on where they would go?"

Buffy exhaled. "I don't know, uh... somewhere crowded, I guess. I mean, the Judge needs to kill people, a lot of them, right?"

Xander looked up. "The Bronze?"

Oz turned around but kept his eyes on the road. "It's closed tonight."

Cordelia spoke. "There's not a lot of choices in Sunnydale. It's not like people are gonna line up to get massacred."

Oz looked pensive. "Uh, guys? If I were gonna line up, I know where I'd go."


Cordelia was getting frantic. "How could they attack the MALL? I mean, hello? There isn't any other decent shopping outlet in Sunnydale."

The rest of the gang continued to ignore her as they walked into the Sunnydale Mall food court.

Xander turned to face the group. "Everybody keep back. Damage control only. Buffy, I need you to distract them while I get into position. Be sure to keep at least ten yards away from him. Everyone else, take out any lesser vamps if you can. Leave big blue to me."


The Judge, as well as Angelus and Drusilla, walked down the staircase. People walked past them without even stopping to look at the bright blue monster. Drusilla started to bounce with glee. "Oh, goody! Can we start now daddy? Can we?"

Angelus shook his head and backed off from the Judge. "Lets let our new friend start the show."

The Judge extended his arms, feeling the energy tense through him. The air around him felt as an extension of his own body as blue sparks started to spring from his arms. With a final growl, the energy pulsed through his body relaying to pure lightning. The energy arced out his arms and through the crowd. The Judge's energy swarmed through the area, freezing the people in place. The Judge smiled widely.

Suddenly a crossbow bolt hit the Judge in the chest and broke his concentration. The arcs of energy disappear, and the people fell to the floor. The Judge grabbed the bolt and pulled it from his chest.

The judge snarled in anger. "Who dares?"

Angelus and Drusilla look over at the refreshment stand. Buffy lowered the crossbow. Willow, Oz, Giles, and Cordelia, were steadfast holding crossbows and swords, preparing for an eventual counter attack.

Buffy smiled. "Think I got his attention."


Xander snuck out from the third story terrace and pulled the clip, extending the LAW to its full length. He put the MP5 on the floor beneath him slowly, there were no vampires or demons guarding the floor luckily, so he took aim and waited for the signal.


The Judge slowly walked forward. "You're a fool. No weapon forged can stop me."

Buffy reloaded her crossbow and shook her head at the monster. "That was then."

Xander smirked and pulled the trigger.

"This is now."

Angelus and Drusilla looked up to the third terrace, seeing Xander holding the launcher. They exchanged a look before going into a dead run and leapt over the stair railing. Buffy and the rest of the team took cover behind the snack counter.

The Judge cocked his head as the weapon fired. "What does that do?"

The Judge didn't flinch as the rocket came down upon him. The explosion was enough to wake the people in the mall as they began to scream and run. Angelus and Drusilla hit the floor below. The team looked over the counter at what's left of the Judge. Bits of charred Judge fell all around them. The smoke cloud from the explosion still hung in the air.

Buffy smiled and looked up at Xander. "Best present ever, Xan."

Xander shouted back as he ran to the stairs. "Hah, I knew you'd like it."

Willow walked over to a large blue arm and poked it. "Do you think he's dead?"

Buffy walked off in search of Angelus. "We can't be sure. Pick up the pieces and keep them separate."

The rest of the gang started to collect what's left of the Judge.

Cordelia made a gagging noise as she picked up a foot. "Pieces? We get the pieces. Our job sucks!"

Giles looked at her as they began to pick up the pieces of the Judge. "Could've been worse, we could have let it destroy all of humanity."

Cordelia squealed as some of the blue blood got into her blouse.

Giles sighed. "God help us all."

Oz walked over behind a concession stand. He looked to the others and pointed to the floor. "Uh...arm."

Chapter 6

Xander sat back in his chair. "So your saying, that, as time goes on, the changes that happen will differ more than what you could actually tell me."

The man sat with his mouth agape staring at Xander.


The man shook his head. "Damn I just never thought that you'd actually get it."

Xander deadpanned. "The confidence in the room is aspiring."

"Not only will things be different, YOU will be different. I have no way to know how or what changes will happen to you. This," the man gestured at the dark room, "could jumpstart several different magics that you were exposed to and WILL be exposed to. God knows what could happen."

Xander raised an eyebrow. "And that's better than the alternative?"

The man stood up to leave. "Anything is better than the alternative."

Xander stood up to follow, but the man turned and had one final piece of advice. "You can't win their battles for them, Xander, You're gonna need to fight your own."


Xander raced down the stairwell. Buffy could hold her own against any vamps, but the others would need backup. He was just lucky that he hadn't run into any...

"Kill him!"


He turned to see four vampires start to chase after him. 'I don't have time for this,' thought Xander. He reached for his belt and threw his incendiary grenade. He pulled the pin and threw it as high as he could up the stairwell. "HOT POTATO!"

The leader of the vamps screamed as the canister released its gelatinous gasoline and ignited. The flames reached the fire detector, setting off the sprinklers.


The sprinklers rained down on Buffy. She turned to face Angelus, when suddenly he appeared from behind and knocked her down.

Angelus returned to the shadows. Buffy got up only to face a bodiless voice. "You know what the worst part was, huh? Pretending that I loved you. If I'd known how easily you'd give it up, I wouldn't have even bothered."

Buffy spun around trying to pinpoint the speaker. "That doesn't work anymore. You're not Angel."

"You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? It doesn't matter. The important thing is you made me the man I am today!"

Angelus dove at her. Buffy pivoted and kicked him in the face. He blocked her next swing and punched her in the face and chest. He grabbed her arm and swung her around to throw her, but she regained her balance. He kicked her in the face causing her to fall to the floor.

Angel walked over and shouted. "Is this anyway to treat your lover?"

He was interrupted by a series of shots to the side by a submachine gun holding Xander Harris. Xander rushed from the corridor and used short, controlled bursts to scare him off. "Yeah, I'd say that's about the right way."

Xander turned to help Buffy up. "You okay Bu-OMPH"

He got knocked down by a very pissed of Drusilla. "Naughty kitten bit daddy. Mummy's not going to give you any treats."

Xander elbowed her in the face, and rolled to his feet. "I would think of something clever to say," he spit out some blood and raised his MP5, "but then you'd..."

Drusilla knocked the gun out of his hands and threw him to the floor. "Hey!" He got up and faked a right jab while sweeping her legs out from under her. "Don't fuck with my guns you crazy bitch."


Angelus picked himself up. The boy was able to injure him, but 'lucky for me, guns don't kill vamps.' He ran over to help Drusilla deal with Xander when Buffy walked into his path.

He smiled and walked slowly towards her. "What is it little Buffy?"

Buffy kneed him in the chin, "That." and then delivered a series of punches to his torso and face.


Xander was getting his ass handed to him. He ran across the corridor, only to be cut off again by a very annoyed vampiress. He fought tooth and nail to defend himself against Drusilla, but the insane vamp kept on coming. She grabbed his wrists and twisted his arms back, causing Xander to hiss in pain before breaking her grip and dodging another attack. He took his Desert Eagle out from the back of his jeans and aimed it at the undead attacker.

Drusilla grabbed the barrel of the gun, just as he was tensing to fire and tore it out of his hand. She backhanded the boy, sending him flying into the opposite wall. "Tsk, tsk kitten, Mummy has to teach you a lesson now."

Xander felt three of his ribs break. He looked over to where his attacker steadily walked over to his feet and dragged him up by the collar.

She pulled Xander's hair back, exposing his neck and vamped out. "Don't worry now, we can give you..." she stopped for a second and looked into his eyes. "Its all different now. You've gone forward and backward."

Xander felt her grip tighten and felt a voice in the back of his head followed by a cold, prickly sensation along the base of his spine.


The man looked Xander in the eyes and said, "You have to let go."


Xander felt the cold flow down his spine into every pore of his body. Drusilla flinched back as his eyes burned a feral yellow. "Aww, my kitten is friends with a puppy."

Xander growled and launched into the offensive. Drusilla leaned back into a classical fighting stance only to be tackled by Xander. She rolled over and flipped Xander into the air. Xander landed behind her and snap kicked her face into a display case. Her face morphed and she screamed for blood. Xander growled his acceptance and charged again.

Druscilla dodged his attack and brought about another blow to Xander's head. Blood blurred his vision as he growled and leapt to his feet. He rushed the vampires again and delivered a frantic uppercut followed by a left jab to the side and a roundhouse kick to the mid section. She screamed and flew towards him. He caught her by the wrists and flung her thought the nearest window.

He heard a scream and ran off in search of Buffy.


Buffy lunged at Angelus. The master vampire grinned and lunged right back at her. She grabbed his arm and threw him into a display window. He crashed through the glass, but immediately straightened back up, breaking the top pane and the frame of the case as well. She followed up and kicked him in the face and again in the chest. He stood and grinned as she let loose her barrage of kicks and punches. "Oh, Buffy, you know how I like it."

She had enough and let loose an elbow jab to the face followed by a ferocious kick to the chest. She pulled out a stake and got ready to finish the job.

Angelus straightened up and faced her. Buffy 's face grimaced and darkened, but after a second, she lowered the stake and just stared at him.

Angelus smiled and walked forward. "You can't do it. You can't kill me."

Her anger took over and she screamed with all of her pain and self- anger and kicked him extremely hard in the crotch. Angelus howled in extreme pain and collapsed to his knees. Buffy turned her back on him and walked away. "Give me time."


Xander rounded the corner to see an empty corridor. A display case had been broken and there was broken glass and blood everywhere, but no dust.


Giles pulled his ancient car up to 1630 Revello drive. He looked over at his charge before turning off the engine. For several seconds, there is only silence in the car.

Giles decided to break the ice. "It's not over. I suppose you know that. He'll come after you, particularly. He... he's likely to strike out at the things that made him the most human. The rest of us, but mostly you."

Buffy looked down at her shoes. "You must be so disappointed in me."

Giles shook his head. "No." Buffy looked up at him with unshed tears. "No, no, I'm not."

Buffy didn't listen to him. "But this is all my fault."

Giles sighed before continuing. "No. I don't believe it is. I know that you loved him. And...he...has proven more than once that he loved you. You couldn't have known what would happen. The coming months are gonna, are gonna be hard... I suspect on all of us, but... if it's guilt you're looking for, Buffy, I'm not your man. All you will get from me is, is my support, and my respect."

Buffy smiled at him through her tears.


Xander watched the conversation from behind the tree. He picked himself up and grabbed his gear. He absentmindedly rubbed the back of his neck and the base of his spine. He didn't know exactly what happened to him or what still was going on, but he remembered the last thing the man told him.

He sighed. "I can't win their battles for them." Resigned, he turned down the street and started the long walk home.

'Wonder what I'll friggin dream about tonight.'


Words and Music by James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett
Copyright é 1991 Creeping Death Music (ASCAP)
International Copyright Secured All Rights Reserved

Say your prayers, little one.
Don't forget, my son,
To include everyone.

Tuck you in, warm within.
Keep you free from sin,
Till the sandman he comes.

Sleep with one eye open,
Gripping your pillow tight.

Exit: light, Enter: night
Take my hand,
We're off to never-never land.

Something's wrong, shut the light.
Heavy thoughts tonight,
And they aren't of Snow White.

Dreams of war, dreams of liars,
Dreams of dragon's fire,
And of things that will bite.

Sleep with one eye open,
Gripping your pillow tight.

Exit: light. Enter: night
Take my hand,
We're off to never-never land.

Now I lay me down to sleep,
Pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I die before I wake,
Pray the Lord my soul to take.

Hush little baby, don't say a word.
And never mind that noise you heard.
It's just the beasts under your bed,
in your closet, in your head.

Exit: light, Enter: night
Grain of sand

Exit: light, Enter: night
Take my hand,
We're off to never-never land.