Half Knight

Author: Cyclone <cyclone[at]citynet.net>

Feedback: Please be gentle.

Distribution: Gimme credit and a link. Plus, archived at http://fanfiction.net/profile.php?userid=62966

Rating: I'm gonna go say PG.

Spoilers: For Ranma, anything goes, pun intended. For Buffy, starts at Halloween and continues on after.

Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong to the almighty Joss. I'm just borrowing them for a while.

Summary: Xander wears an anime-inspired costume on that fateful Halloween. Sort of a response to Smeghead_76's challenge at the XanderZone.

Author's Note: The only reason this is "sort of" a response to the challenge is because this idea's been sitting in my head for awhile now.

Latest addition


Buffy stared at the clip-on pigtail Xander was holding. "That's not a costume."

"No," Xander said, "just the last piece of it."

Willow shook her head in disbelief. "Oh, my God. You're really doing it?"

"Ayup," Xander grinned. "I didn't splurge my pitiful allowance on those mail-order silks for nothing."

Buffy raised an eyebrow, "'Silks'? This, I gotta see."

"Oh, you will, Buffy, you will," Xander grinned.


"Hey, Buff," Xander said. "Welcome back."

Buffy didn't answer. Instead, she was staring. At him.

"What?" he asked, suddenly concerned. "What is it, Buffy?"

And what was with his voice? It sounded odd. And Buffy looked a lot taller than usual. Was she wearing heels?

"Y-you..." she pointed.

"Look down, you moron," Cordy snapped, but her voice was a little shaky and lacked the usual caustic venom.

Xander looked down. And paled.

"Why do I still have breasts?" he asked, his -- or rather, her -- voice breaking.

Chapter 1


The Watcher started and turned, wide-eyed as the library doors burst open and a rather short, furious-looking redhead stormed in.

"Giles, you have to fix this," she snarled. "And I mean NOW!"

"I... beg your pardon, but... who are you?"

"It's me, G-man! Xander!"

"Oh, dear lord..."


"...so, you dressed as this character, Ranma, who metamorphosizes into a... buxom young redhead when struck with cold water?" Giles asked, polishing his glasses. "The spell transformed you, you got wet, and you didn't revert when the spell ended?"

The shorter redhead nodded. Buffy and Willow had arrived shortly after Xander launched into his explanation of the night's events. Willow kept shooting curious looks at Xander and hopeful looks at Giles.

She wanted her Xander back.

Buffy, on the other hand, was pretty much in shock. Okay, she'd had that "moment" with Angel, but he'd pulled his disappearing act again soon after. And Xander was a girl. Shorter than her and with a bigger chest.

Some things were just not fair.

"You say that this character's curse is reversed with hot water, yes? Well, have you tried that yet?"

Xander blinked.

Buffy blinked.

Willow blinked.

"Well," Giles slid his glasses back on, "I suggest you try that."


Xander felt around, and Willow goggled at her best friend's apparent lack of modesty as he groped his own groin.

"It worked," Xander murmured, stunned. "It worked! Itworked! Itworked!Itworked!" he crowed, dancing around in joy.


"NO!" Whirling around, she snapped, "Willow!"

The other redhead shrugged, "Just checking, Xander. It looks like you've got Ranma's curse now."

Xander sighed and looked down at her rather generous endowment. "Yeah. Looks like."

Suddenly, a thought began to percolate in Xander's mind as she considered her situation.


It was night time on the Hellmouth, and Xander Harris was alone, armed with nothing but a stake, a canteen of cold water, and a thermos full of hot water.

It wasn't normally the sort of situation he would have voluntarily put himself in, but he'd spent the last few hours, ahem, getting in touch with his feminine side. Now, he was experimenting with something else.

"Well, well, well, what do we have here?"

Xander grinned and turned toward the voice. Just what he was waiting for.

*Better not push it,* he thought as he slid into an easy fighting stance, even though a part of him just knew these amateurs weren't worth it. His senses, sharpened by artificial training, pinpointed three vampires advancing on him. Their ki auras were... strange was the only way he could describe it. Muted and warped.

The first vampire lunged at him, and Xander deflected the blow, drew his stake, and rammed it in the vampire's back. He spun and lashed out with a kick toward the next vampire and bumrushed the third, pummeling it.

"Kachuu Tenshin Amaguriken!"

Xander frowned as the blows came much slower than he expected, but he wasn't particularly surprised at that. He plunged the stake into the vampire's heart and turned to face the last vampire, which was staring at him, paralyzed with shock.

"Let's try this," he murmured. "Kijin Raishuu Dan!"

The vacuum blade slashed through the vampire's neck... and the tree behind it... and further on.

Xander blanched as the tree fell over, then hesitantly walked up. He ran a finger across the new slit in the wall of the crypt behind the tree. Walking around the crypt, he paled even more when he saw the matching slit on the other side. His gaze swept across the cemetary, past the "trimmed" headstones, and to the slit sliced into the hillside.

"Oookayyy," he murmured, stunned. "Note to self: Forbidden techniques are way overkill on vamps."

He glanced down at himself and winced when he saw the ugly purple bruises that were forming on his arms and hands.

*Damn,* he thought as he studied his bruised and bleeding knuckles. *I guess I need more conditioning.*

He pulled out the canteen and dumped on his head, triggering the change.

*Now let's try it in girl form,* she thought sinisterly. She channelled her ki to her injuries, and she could already feel the bruises disappearing and reveled in the added power flowing through her limbs.

This body wasn't Xander Harris as a girl. It was Ranma Saotome as a girl.

And even as a girl, Ranma was frighteningly potent.

Chapter 2

Xander slid into the next kata, totally focused. It had been three days since Halloween, and he'd been training. He needed to train; a part of Ranma that was driven into his skull told him in no uncertain terms that he had to be the best and that he was way out of shape.

Which was true. By Ranma's standards, anyway.


Author's Note:

On the other hand, by Ranma's standards, Buffy was way out of shape too. Even with Slayer powers. At this point, it should be noted that Ranma's standards do not exist on quite the same plane of reality as most of the Buffyverse.

But I won't tell him if you won't, dear readers. ;-)


Right now, he was working on his stamina, speed, and motor control. His reflexes -- inherited from his temporary possession -- were out-of-sync with his body, and he needed to fix that just as much as he needed to train up to some semblance of fitness.

He'd have to use the school's weight room to work on his strength, and letting Buffy get a few hits in while sparring should toughen him up, so for now, he focused on what he could.


Willow watched the clock anxiously, ignoring the general chatter that filled the room. Where was Xander? In less than a minute, he'd be late, and he couldn't afford another tardy.

"Hey, is that Harris?"

Willow blinked and tracked the voice, then rose and joined the crowd at the window where her classmate was pointing. Her jaw dropped when she saw the dust trail.

Xander was running toward the school. Fast. Very fast.

Willow shut her mouth and stared as he leaped over and dodged around various obstacles without slowing down, and her eyes tracked to the street in front of the school.

A car was on a collision course with him.

But before she could do more than open her mouth to cry out a warning, Xander was already there... leaping from the sidewalk to land on the car's roof for a split-second, then somersaulting to a tree. Resting his hand on a branch for a brief moment, he flipped over, straight for the classroom's open window.

Everyone backed away, and the young man landed with a flourish.


"Yes!" Xander pumped his fist victoriously.

No one else said a word.

*This...* Willow thought as she took in his clothing and tried not to stare, *...is weird.*

Xander was wearing his usual sneakers, but the black slacks and the red T-shirt -- the tight red T-shirt -- were a far cry from the jeans and Hawaiian shirts he usually wore.

*Bad Willow! No drooling!*


Xander crept silently into the library. He knew Buffy. With her Slayer powers, there was no way she was going to agree to spar with him.

After all, he was only human.

With the superior skills left behind by Ranma's presence, he'd be able to make her an even better fighter. But first, he needed to get over the hurdle of her belief that she was a much better fighter than he was, a belief that, until recently, was entirely true. After all, Giles was the only one of the gang trained to fight, and Buffy regularly wiped the floor with him in their sparring matches.

He had to shatter that belief and more. He had to motivate her to improve so that she would provide a good sparring partner as he himself continued to improve.

And he had a Cunning Plan to do just that.

After all, it had worked with Akane and Ryouga and... well, no, it hadn't really worked with Kunou, but the point was that it HAD worked before.

He looked around and saw Buffy sparring with Giles. So far, neither had noticed him.



Author's Note:

Were this really an anime, I'm sure you can imagine the ominous thunder that would be sounding right about now.


Buffy suppressed an annoyed sigh as Giles went sliding across the floor again.

Why he even bothered with this was beyond her, but he was the Watcher.

Someone tapped her on the shoulder.

She spun and leaped back, then blinked.


"Heya, Buff," he said with a grin. "Care to spar?"

Buffy goggled. "Huh?!"

"Spar," Xander said. "You know, practice fight. I figure if I'm going to be in the Slaying business, I oughtta train so I don't get killed."

His grin broadened, "Unless you're scared?"

Cunning Plan Step One: Goad your prospective sparring partner into a fight.

"What?! Me? Scared? Of you?" Buffy sputtered in disbelief.

Giles watched the exchange worriedly. What was Xander doing?! It certainly looked to Giles Xander was attempting to commit suicide by Slayer.

"Yeah, why not?" Xander shot back. "After all, just a few nights ago, you were an airheaded noble who couldn't fight her way out of a paper bag. Afraid some of that stuck?"

"No way!"

"Then why not spar with me?"

Buffy growled, "You're on."


Willow entered the library, a disturbed look on her face. She needed to talk to Giles. Xander was acting weird and dressed... un-Xander-like.

Oh, she liked the new look. The problem was that so did a lot of other girls. Plus, the insane sprint to class this morning was way bizarre and had everyone gossiping about it.

Her train of thought derailed as she was confronted by the sight of Xander pulling his shirt off. Willow's mind went as close to shutdown as it ever did.


He looked up and grinned, "Willow! You're just in time for the show."

"'Show'?" her voice rose an octave, her eyes growing to the size of dinner plates.

Xander nodded, "Yeah. I'm just about to kick Buffy's butt."


"Dream on!" Buffy snorted as she stretched.

He winked. "Just watch."

Xander bowed toward Buffy and straightened up, his stance relaxed, his hands clasped behind his back.

Willow frowned. There was something familiar about this...


Xander waited for Buffy to run out of patience. He deliberately chose not to take a fighting stance. This was key.

Cunning Plan Step Two: Humiliate your prospective sparring partner in the first match.

Finally, the Slayer's patience ran out, and she charged. Xander swayed, weaving through the air and moving his feet the absolute minimum.


Buffy scowled as yet another punch missed by less than an inch. How was he doing this?! She backed away and decided to go all out. She'd been steadily stepping up the pace since she'd realized he was better than she'd thought.


Xander watched calmly as Buffy charged. Something about this triggered his memory, and for a moment in his mind's eye, the image of a certain gi-clad girl with blue-black hair superimposed itself over the blonde Slayer.

That momentary distraction nearly cost him the match. By the time he'd snapped out of it, Buffy was practically on top of him. He reacted reflexively, dropping to the ground under Buffy's fist (which put a new hole in the wall) and lashing out with his first attack.

He struck her square in the chest, sending her flying with a ki-aided palm thrust.

Buffy groaned as she picked herself up unsteadily. "Okay," she admitted, "you win."

She frowned and took a hesitant step toward Xander, who hadn't moved an inch since he'd delivered the winning blow.

"Xander, you okay?"

Xander finally responded.

"Help," he squeaked, his voice an octave higher than usual. "I think I dislocated something."

Much to his dismay, Xander learned something very important that day: Doing the splits when your body isn't conditioned for it REALLY hurts.


Author's Postscript:

Yay! An actual update!



(Fade in: interior, stage with red curtains; curtains pull away to reveal a very short and busty redhead and a young man with black hair, both dressed identically in red and black)

Redhead: "Hi! I'm Xander Harris from Half Knight!"

Black-haired guy: "And I'm Willow Rosenberg from Xander Inverse!"

Xander-chan: "My Author spoke with her... err... his Author about some funny scenes."

Willow-kun: "And here's the first one!"

(Cut to: exterior; Xander Inverse, Xander Saotome, Willow, Buffy, and Giles are walking along)

Xander Inverse: "So, you're me, only you never studied magic?"

Xander Saotome: "Yup."

Victim: *shrieks* "HELP!"

Xander Saotome: *dumps cold water on self and runs to help*

Everyone Else: "..."

Xander Inverse: "Okay, that's new."

Chapter 3


Xander settled into the couch, holding the ice pack to his crotch. He was fervently grateful his folks were in Vegas again. Who knew how they'd react to this?

Ding dong!

Xander scowled. He had just gotten comfortable!

With a sigh, he rose and answered the door. An eyebrow shot up when he saw Buffy, Willow, and Angel outside.

"Uh, hi, guys. What's up?"

Willow answered, "Well, I sorta mentioned that you were probably this good because of the spell on Halloween, and..." she trailed off apologetically.

"And we thought it'd be a good idea if we knew what you could do," Buffy finished.

Xander nodded, "So you want to see my tapes."


He shrugged, "Fine." He shot a look at Angel, "But I'm not inviting him into my house."

"We could watch them at my place?" Willow suggested.

"Works for me," Buffy replied.


"I still say Ukyou should get Ranma," Willow said as the closing credits ran. "Shampoo's society will grind him down, Akane'll kill him with either her cooking or her temper, and I don't think anyone would argue for Kodachi."

The fact that Ukyou was Ranma's childhood friend from when they were around five had absolutely nothing to do with it. No, not one bit.

"Ehh, I think he should go for Akane," Buffy replied. "They have chemistry, and you can tell they love each other."

After all, love could conquer everything, right? Even, say, a thing like Slayer and vampire. But that was just an example. It had nothing to do with her support for Akane. Did it?

"I dunno," Angel mused. "I think Akane'd be better off with Ryouga, P-chan thing aside."

It was obvious Ryouga loved her. He was kind and gentle to her. The fact that he was a homicidal maniac and kind of creepy and stalker-ish by pretending to be her pet was beside the point, after all. Right?

Xander snorted, only half paying attention to the conversation, "Ryouga's a chicken. That's what it boils down to. He's a pervert and a coward. He's even more chicken than you, Deadboy."

Buffy frowned and smacked his arm, "Xander, stop that! Angel's not a coward."

Angel and Xander shot each other a Look.

Buffy's eyes narrowed, "Okay, spill."

With a satisfied grin, Xander leaned back, "Well, Deadboy, should I tell her, or do you wanna dig your own grave?"

"I already have a grave," the vampire stalled. "It's back in Ireland."

"Well, then, you might wanna crawl back there then."

"What are you two talking about?!" Buffy demanded.

Willow cringed and shot a look at Xander.

"So, um, who do you favor for Ranma?" she asked.

"Yeah, who?" Angel interjected, glad for a change of topic.

Xander leaned back and thought about it for a moment.

"None of 'em," he said finally.

Had they been living in the Ranmaverse, the house would have shaken from the collective facefault. As they were living in the Buffyverse, no such facefaults occurred. Merely a great deal of staring and blinking.

"Well..." Xander corrected, "maybe Kasumi, 'cause she's the only one that ever seems to give a damn about what I want. Err, sorry, I mean what Ranma wants."

"Oh," Willow frowned at that.

Angel shifted into what Xander thought of as "Brood Mode," a thoughtful expression on his face.

Buffy bit her lip. That was a good point.

Xander merely hit rewind on the VCR remote.




Somewhere nearby -- close enough that, had Xander known, he would have been making plans to go somewhere safe... like Mogadishu -- a fanged young man looked around in confusion before howling to the heavens in his native tongue.



Author's Postscript:

This time, he's REALLY lost.



Sort of a different omake this time. May I present the Half Knight opening sequence, to Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out For a Hero!

"Where have all the good men gone...?"

(Riley turning away)

"...and where are all the gods?"

(Xander punching in Glory's face)

"Where's the streetwise Hercules..."

(Angel looking cool...)

"...to fight the rising odds?"

(...and getting his face planted into the ground as Xander steps on his head running by)

"Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?"

(The Knights of Byzantium charging across the desert)

"Late at night I toss and I turn and I dream of what I need."

(Uber-cute scene of Willow snuggling against a pillow)

"I need a hero!
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night.
He's gotta be strong, and he's gotta be fast,
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight."

(Xander fighting a swarm of vampires)

"I need a hero!
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light.
He's gotta be sure, and he's gotta be soon,
And he's gotta be larger than life.
Larger than life."

(Xander back to back with his/Ranma's female form)

"Somewhere after midnight,
In my wildest fantasies,
Somewhere just beyond my reach,
There's someone reaching back for me."

(Angel looking cool as he looks at the moon...)

"Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat, It's gonna take a Superman to sweep me off my feet."

(...and getting stepped on in the face as Xander runs by)

"I need a hero!
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night.
He's gotta be strong, and he's gotta be fast,
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight."

(Xander surrounded by vampires and hitting one with an Amaguriken)

"I need a hero!
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light.
He's gotta be sure, and he's gotta be soon,
And he's gotta be larger than life."

(Xander making a "Come get some" gesture to a pack of vampires)

"I need a hero!
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night."

(Xander back to back with his/Ranma's female form)

"Up where the mountains meet the heavens above,
Out where the lightning strikes the sea,
I can swear that there is someone somewhere watching me."

(Ryouga looking lost as he wanders through a graveyard)

"Through the wind and the chill and the rain
And the storm and the flood,
I can feel his approach like a fire in my blood."

(Buffy training and stopping suddenly, looking up)

"I need a hero!
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night.
He's gotta be strong, and he's gotta be fast,
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight."

(Xander staking several vampires in rapid succession)

"I need a hero!
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light.
He's gotta be sure, and he's gotta be soon,
And he's gotta be larger than life."

(Xander preparing a ki blast)

"I need a hero!
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night.
He's gotta be strong, and he's gotta be fast,
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight."

(Xander twisting a vampire's head off)

"I need a hero!
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light.
He's gotta be sure, and he's gotta be soon,
And he's gotta be larger than life."

(The exterior of Sunnydale as a twister erupts from a building)

"I need a hero!
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night."

(Xander back to back with his/Ranma's female form)


Chapter 4

Buffy blinked when she saw the whirlwind of activity in the graveyard.





Her grip on her stake went slack as she stared. It took a very long moment for her to recognize the dust-covered redhead who had just single-handedly demolished over a dozen vampires.


Blue eyes looked up.

"Ah, hi, Buff."

"What are you doing here?"

"Patrolling," the redhead replied innocently.

"Xander, why? This is dangerous. I'm the Slayer, and-..."

"...and I can kick your ass without breaking a sweat," Xander interrupted. "And that's in guy form. I'm a lot stronger and faster in this form, Buff. I alternate to keep this body in shape while I train my normal one."

Buffy's mouth moved, but words failed her.

"I've been thinking of training you and the gang," Xander said, resisting the urge to make comparisons with fish or fly traps.

"That's IT!" Buffy finally sputtered, poking a finger at him accusingly. "You! You're the reason some of the vampires don't believe I'm the Slayer!"



"Are you certain this is the correct address?" Giles asked, frowning.

"Yeah, it looks kind of..." Willow eyed the warehouse uncertainly, "...dead."

Buffy checked the address, "Yeah, this is it. He said for me to meet him here for my special training. Let's check inside."

The Slayer pushed the door open and blinked in surprise. Rattlesnakes were scattered all over the floor, and Xander -- in his male form -- stood in the center, blindfolded.

"Xander!" Willow squealed as a rattler moved to strike. Xander suddenly... flowed out of the way. There was no other way to describe it. It was almost like he was made out of water.

"Oh, dear Lord..." Giles murmured, stunned.

These events repeated several more times. Xander suddenly turned toward them and moved.

Buffy squawked when she felt a weight suddenly settle itself on her head, and darkness covered her eyes.

"This is an intermediate level training method. With your Slayer powers, Buff, you're more than ready."


She felt the weight leave her head and Xander -- it had to be Xander -- shove her in the back, sending her stumbling into the room.

"Remember, Buff, these snakes are deadly. I don't think even a Slayer can survive without antivenin. And don't try taking the blindfold off. Trust me on that."

She suddenly went very still.


"Xander, what are you doing?!" Giles hissed furiously as he grabbed the younger man by the shirt lapels and hauled him off the ground.

"Training her," Xander said flatly. "She's perfectly capable of handling this. You saw how I handled it, and I don't have Slayer powers. Besides, I got these rattlers from the zoo. They're not poisonous."

Giles blinked and lowered Xander, "Oh."

Xander looked at the two of them, "Now, you two could use some training too."


"Don't worry, Will," Xander smiled cheerfully. "You've got a long way to go before I put you through anything like that. I figure something like Aikido or Judo would come in handy. Maybe Tai Chi," he stroked his chin thoughtfully. "That'll be what'll come in handy when you're fighting vamps."


"Oof!" Xander blinked in surprise as he found himself flat on his back, the breath knocked out of him and Willow straddling him in a position that, had he been a vampire, would have left him ripe for a staking.


Xander looked at her and chuckled, "Relax, Will. It'll take more than that to hurt me, and it just shows you're learning. Besides, it's kinda comfy here."

Willow blinked and suddenly turned bright red. A moment later, Xander's face flushed as well as he realized what he'd said.

*Baka,* he thought. *Just like with Ucchan! When am I gonna learn to control my mouth?*

The fact that he was Xander Harris and not Ranma Saotome didn't even enter his mind.

"Ahem, I believe that will be enough for now," Giles broke in, much to their mutual relief.

*Xander,* Giles thought, resisting the urge to clean his glasses as the two of them scrambled to their feet, *it appears you're still as blind as ever.*

"I believe you offered me training as well, Xander?"


Giles grunted as the blow landed on his sternum. It didn't really have much power, but it was enough to knock the breath out of him and force him to step back.

"Not bad, Giles," Xander said with an approving nod. "Your Watcher training's showing, but it looks like they focused too much on weapon combat."


Author's Postscript:

I, ah, "borrowed" Xander's rattlesnake training technique from Jack Staik's Bet-style 'fic (I don't think it was an actual entry), Another Approach.

Chapter 5

It happened at lunch time.

Xander stared at the familiar figure. Yellow and black bandanna? Check. Fangs? Check. Huge backpack with red bamboo-style umbrella on top? Check. Utterly confused and lost expression on his face? Check.

"'Scuse me," he murmured as he rose to his feet and headed for the person in question.

"Xander?" Willow frowned and followed his gaze... and boggled.

"Uh, Willow?" Buffy asked. "Is that...?"

"I think it is."

"Wow, I knew he got lost..." the Slayer murmured, "but... this?"

"He's really lost this time."


"Hey!" Xander called.

Ryouga Hibiki turned in surprise, "Huh?"

"You look a little lost," Xander said in Japanese.

"Uh, yeah, heheheheh..." Ryouga scratched the back of his head nervously. "Could you, um, tell me how to get to the Tendou Dojo?"

Xander shook his head, "Um, you're in California."



Amy Madison stared at the exchange in disbelief, the bottle of water in her hand almost forgotten.

She'd thought something was up when Xander miraculously grew a pigtail over the weekend and started dressing... -- she paused to give him a once over -- ...like he did now.

Now, he was talking to Ryouga Hibiki.

Okay, getting her body stolen by her own mother wasn't exactly normal, but this was ridiculous!

She hurried toward them. She just had to hear what they were talking about.

In her path, almost unnoticeable, was a slight crack in the pavement from the earthquake last year. On one side, the pavement was slightly higher than the other, hardly enough to inconvenience anyone who was paying even marginal attention to their walking.

Amy wasn't.

She tripped.


It took a long moment for Ryouga to comprehend what had happened.

A girl had rushed over -- why, he couldn't guess -- and tripped, sending her bottle of water flying toward them. He'd instantly reacted, stepping back and whipping out his umbrella, but the young man who'd just informed him he was in California hadn't seen it coming.

The bottle struck, dousing the young man with its contents and turning him into a very... familiar... redhead...

"RRRAAANNNMMMAAA!!!" Ryouga bellowed. "How DARE you mock me with another stupid disguise!!! DIE!!!"



That pretty much summed up Xander's train of thought as she began dodging the lost boy's attacks.

This was not good. One, her curse had just been revealed to the entire student body of Sunnydale High. Two, she had a psychotic lost boy trying to pound her head into the concrete.

Xander leaped back and dropped into a stance. "C'mon, Ryouga," she said, "be reasonable. Not everyone with the same curse is the same person."

"Then how do you know my name?! You can't fool me, Ranma!" Ryouga shouted, snapping his umbrella open and hurling it at Xander.

*Aw, nuts,* Xander thought as he sidestepped the umbrella. He'd forgottn about that little detail.

He was about to turn his attention back to the fight when he caught something out of the corner of his eye.


Amy scrambled back, trying to figure out which way the wobbling umbrella was going to go.

Slender arms and a gust of wind threw her mind off-track as the world suddenly spun like a kaleidoscope.

"Huh?" she looked around. "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"

The redhead carrying her landed lightly on the school roof and set her on her feet, "You okay, Amy?"


"Ah... heheh... yeah," Xander scratched the back of her head nervously.

"You're going to explain this."

"Yeah, sure," Xander nodded, "but not right now, okay?"

"RANMA! How DARE you cheat on Akane! PREPARE TO DIE!!!"

"Gotta go!"


Xander somersaulted back to confront Ryouga, squaring off against him cautiously. Ryouga charged, swinging his retrieved umbrella at a frenzied pace.

"Damn it, Ryouga! Calm down and let me explain!" Xander tried again.


Xander blinked as she staggered to her feet among the rubble her impact with the school had created. Rubbing her jaw, she snarled, "Lucky punch, Ryouga. Too bad you'll never land a second one."

Ryouga let out an inarticulate roar as he charged.

"Wow," Xander remarked as she dodged the next series of blows, absently swatting a handful of bandannas out of the air. "That's a great impression of a wild boar, Ryouga!"


Xander dodged and smirked.

"Hiryuu Shoten Ha."


"Well, now, I think we're going to have to do something about this. After all, can't have a graduation if the school keeps getting destroyed."

"Ah, yes, sir," Finch said.

"Contact the Tarakans. Put a bounty on this young man's head."

"Yes, Mister Mayor."


Ryouga ran.

People were trying to kill him, and he had no idea why.

No, actually, he DID know why.



"You sure you're okay, Xander?" Buffy asked as she fussed over him. They were currently at Willow's house, as the school was temporarily closed for repairs.

"I told you, Buff, I'm fine."

"'A freak tornado created by a descending front of plasma ion particle streams from the mesosphere'?" Willow frowned as she read the paper. "Who comes up with these things?"

Knock knock.

Willow sighed as she answered the door, "Uh, hi."

Amy stepped past Willow and stood over Xander.

"All right, you. Explain."


Chapter 6

Amy crouched on the couch next to Xander. She peered at him curiously, shaking her head in what he guessed was disbelief.

"It's amazing," she murmured. "So, you really have all of Ranma's memories?"

"Yeah," he nodded. "Cool, huh?"

She ignored Buffy and Willow's glares as she ran her hand across his arm, surprised at the lean strength she felt there. Xander was never a slob and always had "hunk" potential, but at the moment, her mind had just upgraded him to "prime beefcake" status. It didn't hurt that he now was, for all intents and purposes, Ranma, a character she'd had a crush on for some time.

Had Xander been telepathic, he would have passed Oxnard about five minutes ago.

"So, just how strong are you?" she asked.

He shrugged absent-mindedly, sending a ripple through his muscles that in turn sent a shiver down her spine. "Ehh, pretty strong, I guess. I'm still way out of shape, though."

A single thought ran through the three young women's minds.

*'Out of shape'?*


Xander blinked.

"Amy? What are you doing here?"

"Um, well..."

Now, why was she blushing?

"...you're training them, right? I-I want you train me too."

"Oh. Okay, sure."


Willow suddenly felt her foot literally pulled out from under her.


"Willow, you okay?" Xander asked, at her side in an instant.

"Yeah," she said, glaring at her opponent and taking some small satisfaction in Amy's irritated expression. "She cheated, Xander. She used magic to trip me."

Xander gave her a lop-sided grin and looked at Amy, "Smart move." He looked back at Willow, "There's a reason it's called 'Anything Goes,' Will."

Willow's glare intensified.


"Wha- hey!" Amy blinked in surprise as she tumbled over. She stared at Willow in disbelief, "Since when did you know magic?!"

Applause came from the sidelines, and they turned to look.

"Good job, Will," Xander smiled. "You've just learned one of the fundamental concepts of Anything Goes. If it works, learn it and use it, no matter where it comes from." A thoughtful look crossed his face, "I guess you'll be joining me and Aims in our meditation sessions now, huh?"

Willow grinned.

"You two get cleaned up," he said. "I gotta go check on Buffy."

Xander turned and walked over to Buffy. He examined the tank that had been full of piranha (the piranha now swimming around in individual bowls). Buffy carefully toweled her arms off. They were covered by countless bite marks, many of which were still fresh. She wasn't anywhere near that fast yet.

"Good work, Buff," he nodded approvingly. "Now, I think you're ready for the next level in your training."

"This won't involve boulders or fires or bees, will it?" Buffy asked warily. She'd seen enough of the show to know about that, and what she had had to endure so far -- piranhas aside -- was just short of humiliating, coupled with a healthy dose of terrifying and painful.

Xander shook his head vigorously, a big grin on his face, "No, no, you're not ready for that yet."

He crouched by the disheveled Slayer, who watched with a detached numbness... until she heard the clicks. She blinked and realized he'd manacled a ball and chain to each of her ankles.

"Now, follow me!" he cried, leaping to the rooftop.

She stared.

"You've got to be kidding me."


Buffy pulled Xander into a full nelson, then blinked in surprise as he slipped to the ground out of her grasp. She barely registered Amy's fist coming at where the young man's head used to be before it hit, snapping her head back and causing her to stumble.

Amy tried to stop the haymaker, but it connected with Buffy's face anyway, and a sharp pain across her calf was her only warning before she hit the ground.

Xander rolled away and rose to face his remaining opponents. Giles held his quarterstaff defensively, and Willow...

Where did Willow go?

He snapped around and narrowly caught the bokuto the redhead wielded, then flipped her over and swung her around, using her as a shield as he maneuvered her bokuto to parry Giles's staff.

Dropping his childhood friend to the ground, Xander approached the older man cautiously. Giles lashed out, striking with both ends, and was surprised to hear the sound of wood cracking.

The Watcher immediately began to shift to a paired tonfa stance, but it was too late. Xander had followed his fist in and struck at Giles's wrists, causing him to drop the remains of his quarterstaff.

Xander grabbed Giles's shirt, turned, and threw him at the charging Slayer who had sought to sneak up on him.

"Okay," he called. "Time out."

The others picked themselves up, groaning at the abuse their bodies had taken. The exercise's purpose was twofold: It allowed Xander to practice fighting against multiple opponents, and it also let the others practice the teamwork skills they'd need for the next apocalypse.

Xander nodded approvingly, "Good job, all of you."

He frowned as they approached. Something was up...

"Awk!" he awked as they dogpiled him.


"That... was uncalled for," Xander said sourly. "I called a time out."

"Well," Willow said, "a wise man once told me: There's a reason it's called 'Anything Goes.'"

"If I knew who he was, I'd shoot him," Xander deadpanned.


Willy shrank back, "Who... who are you?"

"I am da vampire Slayer."

"ANOTHER ONE?!? Wasn't two enough for this town?!"

Blink. Blink.



A while ago, I gave you the Half Knight opening sequence. Now, I present to you the Half Knight closing sequence. Original lyrics and performance by DoCo USA in the Ranma 1/2 OAV dubs, with slight alterations on my part (some deliberate, probably a few due to mis-hearing them).

(Fade in: interior, Bronze; Buffy and Xander are standing facing each other)

You may touch me in dreams,
(strokes Xander's cheek)
But they don't stay.
(Xander turns away)

Today, you don't have much to say.

How am I gonna face the light of day?
(stares at imagined blood on her hands as the transparent image of Angelus's demon face superimposes over the scene)

What have I done now?

(Cut to: interior, library; Willow's hugging Xander)

Things that we leave unspoken,
Thinking it's for the best,
(looks up at Xander and freezes)
Then I look into your eyes,
It gets tight in my chest.

(Cut to: interior, night, moving bus as it drives parallel to a river; Faith is seated and looking out the window)

Hear the river, tales of our goodbye.
(turns to look at a battered picture of the Scooby Gang, with her and Xander in the center)

It's late, and they don't wait for me.
(the bus shakes, swerves, and rolls on its side)

Sayonara, whispers on the breeze.
(throws herself clear of the bus and faces off against a large demon)

I'll get in trouble!
(Faith leaps at the demon)

(Cut to: interior, Madison house; Amy is holding a framed picture of her and a grinning Xander with the rest of the Scooby Gang in the background)

Let me know what's in your heart.
That's a good place to start.
(kisses the picture and holds it to her chest)
All I need is a small sign,
And I'll give my heart to you.

(Cut to: split-screen of all four singing)

You and me have still got
So much we need to say.
Friendship's not enough;
Why can't we sieze the day?

(Cut to: exterior, street; Xander is present in female form as rain comes down)

Don't you know?
(belatedly raises and opens an umbrella)
I got no idea
From this point on.

(Montage sequence)

So far to go
Until we both are free.
You and me.