Halloween, Episode X(ander)

Author: DhampyrX2 <princemoon_2000[at]yahoo.com>

Genre: Halloween remix

Rating: PG-13, just to be safe

Summary: Xander wears a different costume, yadda, yadda, yoda.

Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Don't sue me, I'm poor.

Note: I know I promised to go with either the Wolverine Evo cross, or the Inu-Yasha one, or the Castlevania/Bloodrayne, if I had writer's block, but all the Halloween episodes have inspired me to do something stupid...I mean creative. So, on with the fic.

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As Xander and his friends searched through Ethan's, Xander thought over what he could get with his meager purchasing power. At first, he thought of getting a toy gun to go with the surplus army fatigues he had at home, but he was distracted from that train of thought as he heard Buffy gush over some stupid noblewoman's dress.

*Why would Buffy want to dress in uncomfortable clothes all night while we babysit kids for Snyder?*, he thought to himself as he looked over the cheaper accessories.

He stopped to peruse a surprisingly inexpensive black cape, bagged and marketed as part of a vampire costume. *Bleh, we get enough of that in reality, without having to play dress up.*, he thought moving on. As he took a few more steps, he heard the owner of the shop call Buffy a 'hidden princess', and offer her the dress at a good price.

*Hidden Princess, my foot. More like a goddess. Although I'd prefer her in something spandex, or maybe a gold bikini.*, he thought to himself, as he watched the blonde haired slayer's face light up in an excited grin. *God, she really is a princess. Too bad I'll never be her prince.*, he lamented in his head.

Suddenly, Xander's head snapped up as he thought of something, and he walked back to pick up the black cape. His fatigues weren't the only things he had at home that still fit. With a little work, and a little creativity, a black cape could be the perfect compliment for a cheap, and impressive, in his opinion, costume.


"So Xander, what did you get?", Buffy asked as they got ready to exit the shop. Xander opened his bag to show her the cape and grinned like a madman.

Willow sputtered at the thought of Xander going as a vampire, and Buffy just looked at him like he had lost his mind, as she read the package. "No offense Xan, but you hate vamps with a passion that scares even me. What's the sitch?"

The boy in question wrinkled his nose in disgust at the thought of dressing as a vampire, before smiling disarmingly. "Really, Buff. Willow. Me dress as a Deadboy wannabe? Please. No, I just needed the cape for something else I had in mind is all. I mean, with as long as you've known me, and my opinions on the undead, you'd think I'd want to dress like one of them? I find you're lack of faith disturbing.", he said with a grin, before making his way home to put together his masterpiece.


(Note: For this story, I'm assuming they went three days early to buy their costumes, so Xan will have time to put everything together.)

It took Xander over two and a half days to get everything together. First, he had to find all black clothes that fit, including his combat boots. Then he dug out every bit if black electrical tape in the house to simulate patent leather accents. He had to go to the 99- cent store to get cheap black gloves to go with everything. Next, he had to sacrifice two of his favorite battery powered digital clocks to make a light up black box that had the right effect. Finally, he had to take out two treasured childhood heirlooms that he, Jesse, and Willow had prized like gold when they were younger. A part of him hurt just using them like this, but he felt it was worth it for the effect it would create. Besides, Buffy was hot. Jess would have understood.

*And after all, every princess needs a prince...or at least a Lord*, he thought with a grin as he got dressed, checking everything over in a mirror once he was done. *Perfect,* he thought to himself, as he made his way over to Buffy's to meet the girls. *If nothing else, Willow will FLIP when she sees me like this.*, he thought with a smile, not that anyone could see it.

Once he arrived, he hit the doorbell, even going so far as to make his breathing sound labored, to complete the effect. He knew his costume would be a surprise.


Buffy opened the door, prepared to greet her friend while in character, acting in the manner of an 18th century noblewoman. Instead, she stifled a gasp at the surprising sight in front of her. Xander had certainly gone all out for only buying a cape at Ethan's.

"So, Princess Buffy, we meet again.", Xander purred, as he tried to hold in his drool at the sight of the Blonde Slayer.

"Nice costume Xand.", she replied, still a little shocked at how well he had done for himself. Finally, she regained her composure, and got into character, "Please your Lordship, feel free to enter my humble abode.", she said with a congenial bow, trying not to laugh at how far off their costumes were.

Xander merely nodded, his heavy breathing the only sound in the room for a second.

Buffy smiled at her goofy buds actions and was about to prepare him for Willow's entrance, when she heard a squeal at the top of the stairs, followed by something that sounded like, "OhmygodXanderIcan'tbelieveitdidyouactuallyputallthattogetherfro mthemaskandlighsaberyouboughtasakidJessewouldhavelovedityoulookjustlik ehim!", although it was muffled slightly by the sheet Willow had thrown on.

"Do not underestimate the powers of the Force, even with costumes.", Darth Vader, Dark Xander of the Sith admonished her, holding out his hand, and doing his best James Earl Jones impression with his voice. "Or the dedication of a true fan that needed an excuse to dig out his favorite childhood toys.", he added in his own voice a second later, as he relaxed his posture.


Chapter 2

'Whoo-Khhhhsss" "Whoo-Khhhhsss" "Whoo-Khhhhsss" "Whoo-Khhhhsss" "Whoo-Khhhhsss"

The inhale/exhale hiss of Lord Vader's respirator was the first sound to imprint itself on the Sith Lord's consciousness as he surveyed his surroundings. He appeared to be on some primitive world just barely out of the stone age in technology. Was this some sort of test set by his master for his failure? *Strange,* he thought, *the last thing I remember was finding out that that self righteous idiot Obi-Wan had hidden my son from me, and that Luke was responsible for the Death Star.* That thought caused a black rage to well up inside Lord Vader as he thought of his former master's treachery. *How dare that old bastard keep that from me. It was bad enough he hid Padme from me, and denied me a real fight on the Death Star…but this? I wish I could kill him all over again. Slowly and Painfully.*, Vader fantasized darkly.

*Will you stop ranting like that? And who the heck is Padme, anyway? *, A young voice responded in Vader's head, just loud enough to pick up though the force.

The sudden intrusion shocked the Sith, as his mental shields were impregnable to all but the Emperor himself, or so he had thought. "Identify yourself immediately, or face my wrath!", Vader snarled aloud, searching through the force for the source of the voice.

*Name's Xander Harris. And you're the one invading MY body, as near as I can tell. Something REALLY Hellmouthy must be going on. You're just supposed to be my costume*, the voice replied, obviously disgruntled, and a little scared.

*You'll pardon me if I find that a little far fetched.*, Vader replied mentally, as be began to stroll though the town, taking stock of his surroundings.

*I find you're lack of faith disturbing.*, Xander replied in a credible imitation of Vader's own timbre. *You're the big bad Dark Jedi. Search you're feelings and all that. You know it to be true.*

Darth Vader chose to ignore the mocking of him for the time being, and instead used the Force search out the truth in Xander's words. A sense of awe filled him as he could detect no falsehood. Instead, he began to sense several incongruities with where he was, and reality as he knew it. He couldn't feel his Master, for one. And his power in the force felt weaker. It was still strong, perhaps at Obi-Wan's level, but it no longer eclipsed Yoda. It also seemed to be growing rapidly, as if retuning him to form. As far as Vader knew midi-chlorian counts couldn't change, but he could feel them multiplying. Could it be true? There was only one way to confirm it. Vader found a quiet place, using the Dark Side to telekinetically toss any creatures that attacked him aside in annoyance, before finding a quiet enough place to meditate. If Xander, who had not stopped prattling on in his head, was telling the truth, then he should be able to reach the boy, and more importantly, the boy's memories by searching though his OWN head.

It took several minutes, but finally, Vader made full contact with Xander Harris. He ignored the boy's protests as they bonded, seeming to read each other's lives in fast forward. Vader was impressed with Alexander's resourcefullness and cunning. He was also most interested in what appeared to be a blue-print for his future in the form of the movies and novels that Xander had nearly worshipped as a religion akin to the Force itself as a young child. The most startling of things for Vader to discover were that Leia Organa was his child as well, and that he was not beyond redemption. The first seemed obvious to the Force's Chosen One now. Leia resembled her mother in so many ways, just as Luke resembled Anakin Skywalker. Vader marveled as he saw his future death, and his return to the light. *Even Yoda forgave and accepted me?*, he marveled, stunned by what was to come if nothing changed in his life.

Xander, likewise was floored, as he essentially lived first Anakin's and then Vader's life. The most shocking thing was that there was little difference between the two. He wasn't a split personality or anything. He was just very angry, and misguided. Most of that could be traced back to Palpatine, too. Xander gained a new level of hatred for the Emperor as a man as he saw Anakin's life objectively from an outside perspective. Darth Sidious was true evil on a scale Xander had yet to see from any demon.

Their meditative bond was cut abruptly short as a girl in a cat costume, Cordelia, was the name Vader pulled from Xander's memories, ran past them screaming, as she was chased by some kind of hairy beast man.

*We should probably save her. Buffy and the others would get cheezed off if we didn't.*, Xander commented, almost regretfully. It was obvious he was still trying to process all he had become connected to in Vader.

Darth Vader then did something he had swore he was incapable of, and reached out fully to the Light Side of the Force, purely by accidental instinct. *Indeed we should, my Padawan apprentice. I feel this union will be temporary. I'll have to train you as much as I can by example before then.*, Vader replied mentally, as he used the Force to toss the ape-like creature aside. He largely ignored the still running and screaming Cordelia. He felt no more real danger toward her or the others tonight. Besides, there was still much to prepare for, and a finite amount of time to do it in.

Chapter 3

*Whoa. Time Out! What do you mean Padawan apprentice? Jedi are fiction, even if you're suddenly real, and I'm certainly no Jedi candidate even if they are real. Besides I'm too old, I mean, you turned and went all Big Bad, and were turned away because you started training at nine. I'm nearly sixteen here. The last thing the Hellmouth needs is another Big Bad here, Ani.*, Xander protested from his place where he was set aside in his own head while Vader occupied it.

"WILL YOU STOP THAT INCESSANT CHATTER, CHILD?*, Vader roared in reply, his voice tinged with the rage only an experienced Dark Side wielder could control.

*Eeep*, was Xander's only reply to that.

Once Lord Vader was certain Xander would remain quiet and listen for five seconds, instead of going into a blind panic, he explained himself. *The Force is real. You know that as well as I do, now, Alexander. You were strong in the Force before I ever possessed you. You just never had the training to recognize or use it. Also, my presence has apparently increased your midi-chlorian count. I feel the Force as strongly as I ever did, now that I've had time to adjust to my surroundings. You will most likely keep that power, even after I leave you. And even if you reverted to your old count, you'd still be Force sensitive, and would understand what that means, thanks to our new bond. To get the information I needed, especially since we are currently in the same body, I needed to connect more deeply with you. The fastest and easiest way was what we just experienced watching each other's lives. You gained the memories of my training, which I predict will serve you well, and we now have what feels like a Master/Padawan bond. If that's possible while sharing one body. Do you understand now?*

*Uhhh...yeah. Sort of, I guess. It actually makes sense in ways that scare me.*, Xander replied timidly.

*That is good. In time you will learn to use that fear, my apprentice. You have an opportunity I never had. With your combined training, you will understand both sides of the Force from the beginning, and will be able to choose your own path. I sense great things for you, Padawan.*, Vader replied calmly. His voice took on a darker tone as he added, *And until I leave you, you will refer to me as "Master." Not Anakin, not Vader, and especially not Ani. Only one person could call me that in adulthood and not face my wrath.*

*Guess I'm not pretty enough to pass for your wife, eh Master?*, Xander joked nervously, as he drew on Vader's memories to figure out the Sith Lord's warning.

Surprisingly Vader laughed in their head at the joke. More surprising was that the laugh was light, and hearty, instead of the sinister cackles Xander had associated with the Sith though his real and movie born images of Palpatine. *No, you are far too tall and ugly for me to make a mistake like that*, Vader answered.

Xander's confidence returned slightly as he added, *Well at least I'm not a scruffy looking nerf-herder, right?*

Vader's mental voice grew irritated again as he grumbled, *I'd almost prefer Leia had feelings for the Wookie. At least Luke ends up with someone civilized. I may not like Mara Jade, but she is skilled and mannered. Captain Solo and I will have to have words about his intentions when I return to my own body. Just because they have a good potential future, doesn't mean we won't talk in the here and now.*

*I pity Han Solo, Master. Um, Master? where are we going?*, Xander asked noticing that they were headed downtown.

*To obtain some supplies for you. I doubt my lightsaber will remain real after whatever magic caused this ends. I will have to build you training sabers to keep you in practice until you are ready to build your own. From there, we will go where the Force guides us, Padawan.* Vader replied as they reached an electronics store. Darth Vader used a small application of the force to open the locked door, obtained a bag from the checkout register, and proceeded to fill it with all the parts, minus the gemstones or crystals, he'd need to make passably functioning light sabers. He decided to make four training sabers, whose power output would only stun and shock someone of they handed on flesh, and two real sabers one red, and one blue, to commemorate Xander's burgeoning choices.

Xander, for his part remained in quiet awe at the thought of being a real Jedi, and owning a real lightsaber. A part of his was bothered with the fact they were technically stealing the components, but he figured the ends would justify the means. After all, he was getting a few REAL lightsabers. This Halloween misadventure was definitely tuning out better than he first thought it to be

Vader used a wave of his hand to clear a display table with a computer on it using the force, and put his newfound treasures there instead. The Sith felt like a boy again, searching through worthless junk to make something useful, as he had for Watto as a slave on Tatooine. It filled the Dark Lord with a strange sense of peace to do this kind of rummaging work. Vader used a fine control of the Force, and extreme concentration, to begin to shape the metal casings and circuits to what he wanted them to be.

It took Vader nearly half an hour to finish his masterpieces, but when he was done, he had six working lightsabers, minus focusing crystals and a proper hook up to charge them. Vader knew that Xander would not have access to a portable fusion generator unless they boy managed to cobble one together himself in the future, so he jury-rigged a power adapter that would allow Xander to charge them with live electrical current, preferably from a lightning rod, or Xander's own Force lightning, in the future. He made sure to explain that to the boy as they left, securing the new, but still incomplete sabers behind his back.

They walked for a few minutes, Xander brimming with excitement at the thought of finishing the Jedi and Sith weapons.

*Easy, Padawan. You will still need gemstones to activate them, and there are like few, if any, here of the size you will need. You must learn patience.*, Vader replied, not noticing how much like Obi-Wan he sounded, there.

*Aww man...*, Xander said, beginning a word class pout when a voice interrupted the mental conversation.

"Well well. Lookee what a've found 'ere. Some dressed up poof all set for a ball, wif' a mask an ev'ry'fing.", a pathetic voice crowed from ahead of Vader, eyeing him hungrily. "Wif a cape like that, and those fancy knickers, you must be loaded, mate. Had over your wealf' an' I won' cut ya'", Larry the Pirate said, brandishing his sword at the Dark Lord of the Sith.

*Larry.*, Xander growled angrily, his own rage welling up at the sight of the boy who had humiliated him earlier in the week.

Vader's opinion of the pirate seemed to agree with the visions Xander's angry mind was conjuring as he replied. "You are a fool. I will show you what true power is.", the Dark Lord replied impassively, waiting for the pirate to make his first, and last mistake.

Xander realized what was happening quite easily, and quickly tried to intercede. *Whoa. Hold on. I know he's a jerk, and he publicly emasculated me and all, but he's just a stupid high school jock. He doesn't deserve to die! Please master...If you kill him, I'll never be able to avenge myself.*, Xander pleaded, trying to use tactics most likely to sway Vader that he had learned from the Sith's memories.

*Very well, Padawan. I won't kill him.*, Vader replied mentally.

"You funeral, mate. But wif' that breafin', I think I'll be doing ye a favor guttin' ya'", the pirate sneered as he charged Vader, aiming his sword for the Sith's gut.

^Snap. Hiss...Vhmmmmp^, was the sound that filled the air after that, as Vader activated his lightsaber and slashed with it, removing the sword, and the right arm supporting its weight, to a point just below the elbow. The sword fell with a clatter, with Larry's right hand still clutching it as if refusing to admit neither was in Larry's possession any longer.

As for the neo-Pirate in question, he looked at his severed arm, then at the cauterized sump where it had been, then at the still ignited red lightsaber in shock for a few seconds. Then, once he had processed what he felt was enough, he screamed like frightened child, wet himself, and ran as fast as he could away from the creature that had just maimed him with some kind of magic weapon.

*WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT?!? I THOUGH YOU WEREN'T GOING TO HURT HIM!,* Xander cried out in sudden alarm.

*I said I would not kill him. Obi-wan did the same thing in that Cantina in your movies, Padawan. And he was of the Light Side alone. Did you really expect me to do any less to someone like that. This is a harsh world, my apprentice. Sometimes harsh lessons are needed.*, Vader explained, clearly unbothered by both his actions, and Xander reaction to them.

*I know, Master. But still...that isn't how we do things in Sunnydale.*, Xander protested lamely.

Vader felt a brief explosion of dark humor as he imitate Yoda and replied, *And that, if why you fail.* His mental voice returned to normal as the Dark Lord resumed walking. *It is a hard lesson to consider, Padawan, I know that. But Jedi or Sith, a warrior still must face it. You will come to understand it in time. That is the way of things.*

*They way of the Force.*, Xander replied quietly, finishing another quote of Yoda's.

*Yes. Master Yoda hold wisdom, boy. Even if he never liked me. Now try to compose yourself a bit. I don't know how much time we have left together, but the Force is calling to me...to us. There is still more to do this night. We must be ready.*, Vader answered, doing his best to comfort his apprentice. Something Obi-Wan failed to attempt to do for Anakin on too many occasions.

*Yes, my Master.*, Xander replied respectfully, as sat back in the place he was stuck in his head, pondering what else the Force had in store for them this Halloween.

Chapter 4

While Vader let the Force guide him, and Xander pondered his ultimate place in the scheme of the universe, the others had an adventure very similar to the one they shared in another universe and another timeline known by many throughout the multiverse. The only thing missing was a common soldier, which was not much of change, all thigs considered. The only significant early change was a conversation between a ghost and a libraian.

"...I see. The ghost of what exactly?", Giles asked in his flustered, too English manner.

"Hey you should see what Cordelia was wearing! Sh..she had on this unitard things with cat ears and a tail.", Willow replied, in an equally flustered way.

"Really, and she became a feline, then?", Giles asked, intrigued.

Willow looked thoughtful as she replied, "No, she was still just Cordy, in a cat costume." The future Wicca mulled that over for a while before exclaiming "Partytown! She said she got her costume there. Buffy Xander and I all got stuff for ours at a new place called Ethan's."

"Ethan's?", Giles asked, his eyes going cold and hard for a moment. He then grew thoughtful as he asked, "And what of young Mr. Harris? You never mentioned what his costume was."

Willows eyes went wide first in excitement, then in fear and trepidation as she thought of the possible ramifications of Xander's costume. "Ummm, well...he just bought a cape. The rest of it he made from stuff he scrounged, and a mask and a few other toys he had bought with Jesse when we were kids. But now he's him and I never thought of it until now, and myGODwehavetofindhim!", Willow babbled, getting faster as she grew more flustered.

"Willow! Calm yourself. Now, who did Xander dress as for Halloween to get you so flustered? The Phantom of the Opera?", Giles asked in exasperation, although he a little paled at that particular thought.

"I wish.", Willow answered. "He, uh, kind of dressed as Darth Vader. He's from a series of modern movies and books called..."

Giles cut her off with a gesture as he replied, "I know who Darth Vader is, Willow. I might be a bit behind on popular culture, but I'm not deaf, blind and stupid. Everyone in the modern world knows at least that much about Star Wars." He then paled further as his mind went down the same path Willow's had moment before. "My word. Then, if he became his costume as well..." Giles began to clean his glasses compulsively as he thought things through. "Willow, give me the address to Ethan's. I'll see what I can find and try to fix all this. You rejoin Buffy and the others and keep an eye on them. We'll just have to pray Xander will be alright, and can hold out until the spell is broken.", the Watcher ordered, although his voice was low, and held a tinge of sorrow in it as he mentioned Xander."

Willow's ghostly eyes widened as she exlaimed a plaintive, "But Giles!"

"Just do it Willow. We have neither the time, nor the means to track down and attempt to reign in the likes of Darth Vader made real. I will do what I can to end this at the source. The best thing you can do to help is to do as I ask."


As Willow rejoined the group, eventually having to chase down a vampire slayer turned useless twit at the sight of Angel growing more forehead (oh, and fangs and yellow eyes too), and Giles hunted down Ethan, the Sith Lord in question was busy instructing Xander in the finer points of lightsaber dueling.

*You see, Padawan, that in combat, there is no honor. Not that these vermin deserved a fair fight to begin with.*, Vader instructed, as he used the Force to knock another vampire they had encountered down, before decapitating the stunned creature with his lightsaber.

*I kind of gathered that form your duel with Luke on Bespin, Master.*, Xander replied. Truthfully, he was just glad this vampire, easily identified as a real bloodsucker by the torn 1994 varsity jacket it wore, was turned into so much dust. That was one less around to kill innocents, and one less to put his friends in danger. Xander would be happy to see the whole demonic species driven to extinction.

*You forget, Padawan. That duel has not happened for me, yet. And I don't intend to let it either. You still need whatever lessons I can teach you without control of your own body while I can still impart them.*, Vader reminded the youth.

*Yes, my Master.*, Xander replied, keeping his tone respectful. It was kind of funny to the teen, but, now that he thought about it, he wasn't listening to Vader out of fear. Despite every instinct he felt he should have, he liked and trusted his new Master. And his instincts were agreeing with him, in spite of himself.

Vader's lessons were cut short as he felt a tremor in the Force. *Things are coming to a head, Alexander. Come, I feel a pull in this direction.*, Vader said, forgetting that Xander had little choice about following him.

Xander reminded him of that with a sarcastic, *Like I have a choice in the matter.*

*I'd make a comment about you and your mouth being the death of me, but I prefer to learn from Obi-Wan's mistakes wherever I can, so that I don't repeat them.*, Vader replied, wondering if he ever annoyed Obi-wan like this with his own taunting of the Jedi when he was Xander's age.


The other's meanwhile, had just had a run in with Spike, after finding Buffy hiding from Angel in an alley, but revealing herself by screaming in terror when she saw a black cat. This led to them holing up in a warehouse, until Spike and his transformed trick or treater minions forced the door open and restrained Angel and Cordy.

As Buffy cowered and cried, Spike marveled at her. "Look at you, terrified of your own shadow...you're sniveling and begging for mercy.", he said, as if disgusted. The Master vampire then dropped his disappointed act, sporting a huge grin as he crowed, "I love it!", before leaning over to tear Lady Elizabeth Summers' throat out.

His momentum was stopped abruptly as a crate seemed to decide to lift up spontaneously, and smack the bleach blonde vampire in the head at high speed. Although this didn't kill the vampire, as it would a human, it did knock him back a good twelve feet, and stun him enough that he needed to take stock of his surrounding as he stood up. The first thing he noticed was that the Slayer was still cowering and crying, but was watching him with a much wider eyed astonishment then before. The next thing he noticed were the looks ranging from the shock on the cheerleader's face, to the worry on his grandpoof's, to downright fear on the ghost of Red.

He also noticed that, save for Buffy, everyone in the room was facing the entrance to the warehouse. He was about to ask what the "bleedin' 'ell" was going on when he first heard the sound...

"Whoo-Khhhhsss" "Whoo-Khhhhsss" "Whoo-Khhhhsss" "Whoo-Khhhhsss" "Whoo-Khhhhsss"

For some reason he couldn't immediately place, Spike knew that that sound, which seemed strangely familiar in some off way, was going to mean big trouble for him. He turned slowly, afraid of what he'd see there. His fears and assumptions proved valid as he took in the sight before him. There, in the doorway, stood Darth Vader, his respirator the only sound now after the awed silence his arrival created.

"You have got to be bloody kidding me.", Spike muttered to himself, as he backed up a step at the sight.

Vader's booming voice filled the room as he exclaimed, "The young woman you were about to kill is a friend of the young man that helped bring me here, vampire. In light of that it would be...rude of me to stand by and let you do as you wish to his friends.", the Sith Lord said, as he strode further into the room.

"Well that's understandable, I suppose. You owin' a favor an' all. But she's my enemy. It's not really your concern.", Spike replied, his voice growing more confident as he spoke. No matter how weird this Halloween was, Darth Vader wasn't real. This had to be some trick. "Now sod off before I have my friends off the others.", Spike said with a grin. Besides, Vader was a black hat, anyway. Right? There was no way he'd make an effort to save Fluffy even if he was real.

"You seem to think you have the power to negotiate with me, vampire. Frankly, I find your lack of faith in my abilities...disturbing.", the Sith Lord said, as he waved his hand negligently at the Scoobys, and the demons holding them. As he did this, each of the demon's felt their hands being pried off their prisoners, before they were flung into the opposing wall with enough force to incapacitate them.

Spike gulped audibly, which nicely accompanied the "eeep", let out by Willow, and the dueling shrieks Buffy and Cordelia let out as bodies went flying.

"Now that you no longer have hostages to try to bargain with, allow me to show you the true nature of the Force.", the Sith Lord said, igniting his lightsaber with a snap-hiss. The hum of the blade whistled through the air, as Vader made his way toward the still back-pedaling Spike. "From what I gathered reading young Alexander's memories, you one called Angelus your 'Yoda', Spike. That would mean you fancy yourself a Jedi, and claim to be the same. Those are serious crimes, punishable by death in the Empire. Allow me to show you just I do to Jedi who defy me."

Spike actually seemed to pale at Vader's words, which was no mean feat for his. He was pasty to begin with, even by vampire standards. Of course, the fact that Darth Vader knew his name, was going to go medieval on his arse, and seemed to want to help Droopy boy, who had apparently provided the information, was reason enough to go pale. "Can't we talk about this?", he asked as his back hit the wall, Vader still advancing.

"No.", the Sith Lord replied, slashing almost lazily at burning a gash into his chest, but giving him enough room to dodge and scramble away. It was obvious to all that Vader was playing with him.

This went on for several tense moments, leaving Spike as the one sniveling over a crate. Vader reached up to end the "fight", and William the Bloody's existence with a decapitation blow...

Unfortunately, it was at that second that the spell ended, and Spike was merely him in the neck with a red plastic tube, shattering it, but leaving Spike relatively undamaged..

"Oh STANG!", Xander replied angrily, stepping back from Spike, and lifting his mask, to examine the remnants of his favorite childhood toy. "Vader wasn't kidding when he said he could feel the spell ending. Why the hell couldn't he finish off peroxide boy sooner? Now I'll never be able to fix this. It was a collector's item.", Xander lamented.

Spike blinked owlishly at this chain of events. He was grateful for his survival, of course, but what really shocked and upset him was Xander, standing there, lamenting his broken toy, and bitching about Spike's appreciated survival. The vampire growled, grabbing the boy by the shirt and lifting him off the ground. "Care for round two, whelp?", Spike snarled. Curiously, instead of cowering, the boy just grinned at him. "Care to let me in on the joke before I wear your guts for garters, boy?", he asked.

"I'd love a second go round Spikey, but A.) I don't swing that way, and B.) you already have a dance partner.", Xander replied with a cheeky grin, as he looked over Spike's shoulder.

Spike glanced at whatever Xander was looking at in time to receive a full force punch to the face, making him drop the boy in favor of flying uncontrollably for a few feet.

"Hi, honey. I'm Home.", Buffy said with a grin, her brown wig removed.

Chapter 5

The next morning found the self-proclaimed (at least by Xander) Scooby Gang sitting around the table in the school library discussing their various experiences. They were also lamenting the sadly prolific abilities Spike had for escaping with his pasty hide intact.

"I still can't believe I fell for 'Angel, what the bloody 'ell are you doin', ya poof', and Spike looking behind me.", Buffy said with an embarrassed blush.

"Well, it is a unique variation on the old 'Look out behind you' school of running away like a little man bitch. As a master of that school where jocks are concerned, I can safely give old Billy Idol points for originality.", Xander quipped, his grin causing infectious giggle between Buffy and Willow.

"Still, the rest of the night was just bizarre. I can't imagine what you two went through being different people. It must have been horrible. Especially for you, Xander. I mean being trapped with Darth Vader all night.", Willow commented with a shudder.

Buffy replied with her view of the experience. "Well, other than being mortally embarrassed at screaming every time I saw a car, or a rat, or anything that would scare the common house cat, I can't complain. And on the plus side, proper ladies knew how to speak French, so I have a good chance at passing now. Yay me."

Xander's response was surprisingly, for Willow at least, sedate as he said, "I was kind of lucky. With Vader being all Mr. Psychic Strong With the Force guy, I could at least talk to him. That's how he knew to go after Spike. He decided he owed me a favor for bringing him here, whether I meant to or not."

"But still he was so scary Xander. How did you take being in his head like that?", Willow asked with doe-eyed concern.

Xander merely shrugged as he replied, "Remember the end of Return of the Jedi, Wills. He wasn't totally evil. Actually he was just royally PO'ed, and not without good reasons. Obi-wan in real life wasn't nearly as nice as the movies portrayed him. At least not from where Anakin stood. The emperor just knew how to manipulate all that anger."

Buffy looked thoughtful as she asked, "So you remember everything about his life?"

"Yep. From his earliest memories as a slave on Tatooine, to where he was pulled from just before the start of Empire Strikes Back.", he answered solemnly. His voice brightened as he added, "On the plus side from school, though, was that he was an engineering genius. He was literally building droids from junk at the age of nine, and designed half of the advanced Imperial fighters in use in his time. That means math and physics should be a breeze from here on out. Got to love those Hellmouth study methods, eh Buff? Saves us from having to be super geniuses like Willow."

Willow snorted indignantly as Buffy laughed and agreed with Xander. They then heard the first bell, and broke up to get to their individual homerooms.


As Xander sat in homeroom, his mind drifted back to his final conversation with Vader, as they confronted Spike...

As they reached a warehouse district Vader easily heard the commotion that Spike and his minions were making breaking into the Slayerette triage.

Once he saw what was going on, Xander shrieked in his mind, *Master, that's Buffy and the others. Spike has them, you have to save them.*

*Calm yourself, Padawan.*, the Dark Lord Instructed. *I intend to.*, he said as he announced himself and began to intimidate Spike.

As Vader chased William the Bloody around the warehouse, he continued to speak with Xander through the Force.

*I feel a great disturbance building in the Force, my apprentice. I fear our time might soon be at an end.*, the Dark Lord said.

*Already?*, Xander asked sadly. *But we were just getting to have fun. I mean, look at how Spike is jumping and shrieking...it's hilarious.*

*I know Xander. But we knew this would most likely be temporary. And as fun as this is, I must return home, and return your body to you. You have much to do in the coming years. I only hope what I have showed and given you will serve you better than it did me at your age.*, Vader replied, his tone surprisingly soft, as he used Xander's preferred nickname for the first time.

*I'll...miss you, my master.*, Xander said after a moment.

*And I shall miss you, my Padawan. I know that you will make me proud.*, returned Vader.

*Will I ever see you again, or mind speak you, or whatever?*, Xander asked, his voice quiet and childlike in its hope.

*I don't know, Padawan. I would like to hope so. You just have to trust in the Force, and see what happens.*, Vader answered.

*I will, my Master.*, Xander replied humbly, as Vader prepared to make his final cut at the vampire's throat.

Just as the lightsaber came down, Vader and Xander felt a huge, chaotic surge of power in the Force, followed by Vader's presence rapidly fading away. Just as he lost purchase on this universe, how shouted over the bond, *This is it Padawan, May the Force be With You.*

Xander, feeling suddenly alone, replied in a normal tone, *May the Force be with you as well, my Master.*, followed by a whispered, *Good Luck, Anakin.*


Xander was brought out of his memories by the bell ringing for first period. He had been so caught up in his musings that he was the last out of class, including the teacher. As he rose, and headed for the door, he realized that he had left his backpack at his seat.

With a small bit of concentration, and a gentle mental tug, the back rose from the ground and floated to Xander's hand. He smiled at the small application of his true power. He had the means to make a real difference, now. All he had to do was figure out how he wanted to use those means.

And with that, Alexander Harris left the room and headed toward Chemistry, jauntily whistling the Imperial March the whole way.


END, for now

[cues overly loud trumpet intro to Star Wars theme]