Rise of the Juggernaut

Author: MagnusXXN <MagnusXXN[at]Hotmail.com>

Disclaimer: Disclaimer: BTVS doesn't belong to me, it's Joss Whendon's baby as is Angel. I don't own X-Men or the concept of mutants that's Marvel's baby. I just own this story but I don't have any money so sue someone else.

"Now why are we doing this again?" Xander asked Willow and Tara, they were all sitting in the girl's dorm. The witches were creating a magic circle with some sort of special powder.

"You're the one that keeps going on and on about not having some super powers. Well here we are." Willow explained as she checked and rechecked her notes to make sure everything was one track.

"Th..the test you took at the local hospital said you have a dormant X gene." Tara stuttered.

"But that's the thing, so what? It's dormant hence no freaky powers like we keep hearing about." The dark-haired teen grumbled not wanting any part of their magic; it never seemed to go right for him.

"And if you hadn't dragged me there I wouldn't have had the test at all. And you wouldn't have had to whammy those doctors' minds into forgetting about me."

Which is what Willow had to do. Seems the doctors were under orders to report newly found mutants or anyone that carried the X gene. "Would you stop fussing? Nothing is going to go wrong." Famous last words.

Tara nodded towards Xander in agreement. She had gone over the spell, as many times as her red-haired girlfriend and found nothing that would be a problem.

"But we don't even know what sort of power it's going to be. I could start blasting flames out of my mouth or turn into a giant spider for all you know." Which didn't worry Xander all too much, what worried him was that something might happen and his friends would get hurt.

"It could be dangerous." This warned a stern look from Willow. "Mutants aren't monsters Xander. They're just people with powers like witches or slayers." She explained to him. "They're just another form of human. And besides you've got the gene already. You'll be no more dangerous then you ever were."

That really irked him. Her blind faith that nothing could go wrong with magic upset him greatly. He'd seen mutants on the news that shot fire from their hands and threw tanks with the wave of their arms.

He very well could be dangerous and not mean too, but one thing Xander Harris had learned over the years was that you couldn't argue with Willow when she was wearing her resolve face.

"And Buffy is ok with this?" He tried one last effort to get out of this. For all his whining and bitching about being the 'normal' guy of the group he didn't want his genes to be enhanced with magic. Call him crazy but that just sounded wrong on so many levels.

"Yes Xan for the last time. I've checked with everyone. Even Riley was ok with it; he even asked to watch."

The soldier had asked. Even tried to get Willow to take a few lab guys to watch but she refused and made sure he understood she didn't want the army to get any notice of this. It only took five minutes of arguing and a few shots of her resolve face before he agreed.

"Ok, we're ready." Tara gave Xander a reassuring smile before she and Willow began to chant. After a few moments a red haze spread from the circle and engulfed the teen.

It spun around in a whirlwind like cone and he was picked up almost three feet into the air. The witches finished chanting, and watched in awe as the haze started to seep into his body, everything was going as plan. That is until Xander started screaming.

"It burns! It burns!" He shouted at the top of his lungs. Tara and Willow scrambled into action trying to figure out a way to stop it, but it was too late. Xander passed out soon after from the pain being more then he could handle.

"Tara, what can we do?" The red-haired girl begged, tears running down her face. She hadn't meant for this to happen, there wasn't supposed to be any pain for him.

"I..I don't know." Tara was too frightened to do anything other then stare as Xander's body started to change.

"God." Willow whispered in shock at what came next. Long slashes started to appear all over his body; blood was pouring from the wounds so fast the floor was soon covered in it.

"Willow, try...I....I don't know what to do." She had backed away from him not wanting to be covered in his life's blood. Soon something else began to happen. Xander's body began to grow. He grew taller, freakishly so. And he grew thicker as well. His arms and legs tore through the clothing covering him.

Huge muscles soon covered his body, which couldn't be any less then ten feet tall now. The red haze started to dissipate and with a loud crash he hit the ground. The weight of his body surprisingly cracked the ground and there was a slight tremor.

"Is..is it over? Is he dead?" Tara cried out scared out of her wits. There was no way anyone could have survived that much blood lost. Willow ever so slowly crawled over to him and checked his pulse. It was there and very steady.

"He's alive!" She was shouting not believing her own words. "Call Giles and Buffy, we're going to need help moving him to 'The Magic Box'." The blond Wiccan ran off to make the call.

Which left Willow there clinging to her prone friend. "Oh Xander, I'm so sorry." She laid her head against his large chest and started to sob. A few minutes later Tara was back.

"Th..they'll be here in a few minutes." She stuttered out more to herself then to Willow.


It took all of Giles, Riley, and Buffy's strength to drag Xander to Riley's pick up truck. The tires almost busted under his new weight. But after almost two hours of carrying and driving they got him to Giles's store where Anya was waiting.

"What the hell have you done to my boyfriend?!? He looks like a baby giant!" Anya ranted out for all to hear. "We told you we were going to activate his dormant X gene." Willow answered back crossly having no time for one of Anya's little tantrums.

"So? I'm pretty sure he wasn't supposed to turn into a damn juggernaut!" The ex-demon shouted back not willing to let Willow off the hook.

"We don't know this isn't part of his mutation. I didn't really know what mutation change he would have." She admitted with a shrug.

"You didn't know? And you did it anyway? Are you stupid or something? What right did you have to do this to my Xander, you bitch!" Anya screamed.

"Ladies! This isn't helping. So stop this damn fighting right now. We have to figure out what went wrong and fix it." Giles told them both sternly. He then went into the back and got a blanket to drape over Xander's body, his clothing was shredded and bloody and barely covered him now.

"He's coming too." Riley informed them. All eyes went to the giant teen's body as he began to stir.

Xander's chest was bare and the new muscles now covering him made him seem extremely impressive. "Wh...where am I? Willow, Tara what happened?" His voice was much deeper as well.

"Your mutation was just," Willow tried to find the words, "not as expected" She finally finished. She gestured to his larger form. For the first time he looked at himself.

"Son of a bitch! This is not part of the plan." He slowly on shaky legs got to his feet. He clearly towered over everyone.

"My word."


"I'll second that wow."

"That's just amazing." Riley finally followed up the others. He had been quiet for a moment just staring in awe of his friend.

"Hey, do you think his penis has grown too? Because that would sorta make up for Willow breaking my boyfriend." Anya looked at Xander with a not so coy smile.

"Anya! This is not the time." Giles told her and tried to forget the image that had popped into his head. Xander took a few steps and tried to sit down in one of the wooden chairs then stopped himself. After all there was little chance the wood would have held him up.

"What am I going to do now? I can't show up to work like this." The juggernaut exclaimed.

"Maybe Willow could turn him back?" Buffy stated.

"I don't think I can." Willow stopped that line of thought quickly. "This is his mutation. I can't take it away anymore then I could take away the fact that you're the slayer." Riley told Buffy he had to check in at HQ and headed out.

Xander wanted to be alone and went into the storeroom in the back. He clutched the blanked around his waist not wanting to give everyone a show.

After standing a moment in the doorway to the storeroom he realized that it was smaller then the front door and wouldn't be large enough for him to enter with ease.

Anger ran through him like wildfire and he lashed out in anger. The door and a lot of the wall were demolished with scary ease. He didn't even spare a look at his friends.

"I guess super strength was a part of it too." Willow mumbled. Giles swore ad started to clean his glasses and Buffy was looking at the wall strangely.

"How much stronger do you think he is?" She asked.

"I…I guess there's no way to tell unless we get him to lift something heavy." She answered before anyone else.

"How much stronger could he be? Demon strong? Slayer strong? Or even more?" Something was going through the young slayer's mind. "I guess we have to ask him to try it out, but do ask him not to smash anymore of my store." The watcher kept on cleaning his glasses.

"But I wanted to check his growth." Anya whined.

"Shut up! This is neither the time nor the place to go into that." Willow barked at her.

"But its alright to see if he's stronger then Buffy?" Anya yelled back.

"Yes! This could be important." Yeah, maybe Xander would be that little extra push they needed to defeat Adam.

"What I want him is important too! Its not my fault you don't like men anymore, but I'm betting Buffy is wondering about it too!"

Buffy's face turned as red as Willow's hair. "Just drop it, ok?" Tara told the lustful ex-demon, but no one missed the fact that she was blushing along with Buffy.

Everyone but Giles went into the storeroom and asked Xander to try out his new strength. He then followed them outside making sure not to break down Giles' front door. Once outside Buffy walked over to a car and started to push it with all her strength.

The Honda moved slowly but in no less then a minute she had pushed it about twenty feet. "Ok, now you try." She stepped out of the way. Still holding the blanket against his waist he walked over and with one hand pushed the car easily the same distance as Buffy did in seconds.

Intrigued Xander went a step further, and with one hand picked the car up clear into the air above his towering form. Then he tossed it down the street like it was an empty coke can.

"That's strong." Tara said what everyone was thinking.

"What else can he do?" Buffy asked. "Can he take a hit?" She walked over and punched Xander in the arm with all her might. "Ohhh!" She clamped her good hand over the one she just broke. It was like punching a stonewall, and he didn't even flinch.

"Didn't hurt a bit." The juggernaut told them as they all went back into the store so she could wrap her hand up. "But could someone please get me some clothes."

Since there was no way Xander could drive to his apartment or even walked there without someone noticing the ten foot tall man he decided to sleep in the storeroom for the night. Which didn't please Anya one bit. Willow and Tara went home and Riley came and picked up Buffy.

As for clothing Giles told him he'd have to custom order something to fit him now, and that Buffy had a few ideas on what it should look like.


The next day Xander had to make a toga out of one of Giles' bed sheets so that he wouldn't be half-naked the whole day. The toga made him look even more impressive, like some ancient Greek god come to life. All he was missing was a golden crown around his head.

"You hungry? I've picked up a few chicken sandwiches for you." The watcher told his young friend softly. He felt somewhat guilty himself. After all he did back up Willow in her idea of using magic to bring out Xander's dormant abilities. He had been thinking how much easier it would be with a mutant helping in the slaying that he'd forgotten about the fact that it was Xander's life they were messing with.

"No thanks G-man. I'm not hungry." And he wasn't, which was odd he thought. Most mornings he'd wake up and eat three bowls full of cereal and then top it off with pancakes. But for some reason he just didn't seem to want anything.

"That's alright, they're on the front table if you change your mind." Giles didn't want to push him into eating if he didn't want to. Guilt was really getting the better of him now. Because no matter how he might fight with Xander he still thought of him as a son.

And it sickened him to know he had helped do this to him. He'd even decided to pay for the clothing Xander would need out of his own pocket. "Buffy is going to be over in a few minutes to call about a change of clothes for you. I know wearing a bedspread can't be all that comfortable."

"Its alright Giles, sorta getting used to it." He looked down at himself. The wonder still hadn't worn off for him, and he was massive.

No fat at all either. Just ten foot tall and pure muscle. Not that it mattered. Its not like he could walk outside and show off; Sunny Dale might turn a blind eye to vampires and demons but those few mutants that were ousted were shunned like garbage.

The front door bell rang and in walked Buffy with Riley on her heels arguing. "I still can't see why I shouldn't ask Willow to try this spell out on me." Riley whined in a manly way.

"It's too dangerous. For one you don't have an X gene, and for another you've seen what it's done to Xander." She gave him a withering look but he ignored it.

"Exactly, look at Xander. He's stronger then he's ever been in his whole life. Hell, he's stronger then you. I'd put money on it that he could smash a tank all on his own." The soldier argued.

"And you want that sort of power? Is that it?" She stared daggers at her boyfriend. He just ignored her and turned to the newly made juggernaut.

"So Xan, nice toga. Very Roman of you." He teased his friend good- naturedly.

"Ya, that's what I was going for." Xander gave a mock Roman salute by thumping his right fist against his chest.

"He said Roman not gorilla." The slayer smiled at him. "So G-man, you and Buffy got any ideas on what his costume will look like?" Riley asked with a sly smile using his friend's nickname for the older man.

"I've told Xander this a hundred times and now I'm telling you. Don't call me that." He answered the soldier with a scowl.

"What do you mean costume? Can't I get like giant-sized neon t- shirts and really baggy pants?" He asked with a pout.

"Oh no. I'm in charge of picking it out and there's no way your choosing something like that." Buffy told him with a playful laugh.

"Besides. The only place we can order this from doesn't do everyday clothes. Its more...selective." She said with a blush looking at Giles hotly wanting him to answer any further questions.

"What's with the red face Buff? Just where are you ordering my suit?" He asked worriedly not liking how Buffy kept on blushing deeper and deeper, or how Giles couldn't help but smirk.

"The only place I could find that could do this sort of job was a..." He grumbled out.

"Sorry Giles. Didn't hear you. What was that?" Xander walked to the counter and purposely towered over Giles.

"A sex shop." Giles said, as he looked away not wanting to dwell on it.

"A what?!? What exactly is this suit going to look like? There's no way I'm wearing spandex or anything like that." The giant of a man told them outraged.

"Calm down Xander. It's the only place we could find that would do the work Buffy asked for. And it's not spandex. She asked for leather." The watcher said, trying to shift blame to someone else.

"Buff? What'd you tell them to make?" He asked stunned.

"Don't get upset. After Giles got your measurements last night before you went to sleep I phoned them with a few ideas on what it'd look like." He hadn't missed that fact that they'd still not answered him.

"Stop beating around the bush and spill." He turned to her and leaned over and made it even clearer that she was a shrimp next to him. The slayer wasn't usually so easily intimidated, but you would too if a walking mountain was standing above you.

"Huge black combat boots like size fifty or something, leather pants, a very cool looking leather shirt. Which sorta looks like old- fashioned armor from the dark ages. And a helmet."

Yeah, she thought that about summed it up. It was supposed to make him look even more frightening for any vamps or demons they might cross when he came patrolling with her.

That and the fact that all that leather would make him look very yummy, but she was keeping that to herself. A girl could think about her oldest and best male friend if she wanted. Besides she had a boyfriend.

"That's all? The way you two kept looking I thought you'd gotten me a collar and leash or something." He couldn't help but shudder at that and be glad that Anya wasn't here to have heard it. No need to give her more ideas.

So Buffy went and called the shop and gave them the address where they would drop it off. But it was taking longer then she first suspected. They couldn't seem to find the helmet she had first wanted.

It was the one that looked like a knight's helmet. But they did have a large one that would cover his whole face. It would be extremely large and would buckle to the leather chest plate for support.

"That should be alright," She told them, "he won't have any problems with it being to heavy." Once that was finished she gave them Giles's credit card number and hung up.

"It'll take a few hours, but it should be here before the night's over. So Riley you wanted to ask Xander something?" The slayer put her boyfriend on the spot.

"Umm, ya. I've set up a test in the Eastwood junkyard. Just something to pinpoint just how much stronger you are."

"What tossing a car wasn't enough?" He couldn't think of a good reason to be angry but he was enjoying watching the hardened military man squirm under his scowl. What could he say, there's a sadistic streak deeply embedded in him.

"Stop teasing him." Buffy playfully slapped his massive arm with her good hand, the other was almost fully healed but still not up for smacking anything. "You know your on the edge of your seat in wonder, so don't even front."

And with that Xander waved bye to Giles and piled into the back of Riley's four wheel drive and they were on their way.


Once there you could tell that Riley had gone to a lot of trouble to set this up. There were cars set into piles in a straight line welded together so that when he lifted them they wouldn't fall to pieces. In all there were four piles.

"Each pile is five tons each. If you can lift the first pile place it on the second and try your luck, but don't over do it. There's no need to get hurt by showing off." Safety was the key thing in Riley's mind since there weren't any medics around to help if the cars were too much for him and he dropped them on himself.

"Sure, no horseplay with the rusty death traps." His body might have changed but his humor was still going strong. He walked over and with great ease lifted the first pile. Then tossed it onto of the second one.

"I said no showing off man. That means no tossing anything that weighs TONS, alright!?!" Riley might have been enjoying the cool acts of superhuman strength but it was still dangerous.

"Spoil my fun." He threw the soldier a crooked grin as he went to the second pile. Like the first it wasn't difficult for him to lift in the least. Neither did the third or fourth.

"Twenty tons, twenty tons! It boggles the mind. Superman better watch out." The juggernaut couldn't help but blush somewhat under the praise. That's what happened when you went years without getting any praise from the people you called parents. If you could even call his parents by that name.

"Come on you have to be excited. Your like the strongest person on earth!" The Ohio born boy wasn't good at keeping the awe out of his voice and it only made Xander more embarrassed.

"We don't know that. There could be mutants out there that can do more then twenty tons." They were now driving back to 'The Magic box' as fast as they could so no one would spot Xander.

"You could do more then twenty tons, the only reason you had to stop was because you ran out of cars." People were doing their best to ignore the giant man in the back of the tiny pickup truck as they parked and made there way into Giles' shop.

"So how'd it go?" Buffy asked looking extremely bored and casting hateful looks at Anya, who by the looks of it was in another one of her 'money is wonderful' rants.

"He's a freaking god!" Riley was acting like a kid who'd gotten a new toy for his birthday.

"Well I could have told you that. The things he can do with his tongue..." All there did their best to pretend they hadn't heard Anya speak.

"Really? How much did he lift? Two thousand pounds? More?" Giles asked. After all it was recorded that the strongest slayer in history could lift well over two thousand and fifty pounds. No one else human or demon had been able to do more.

"Twenty tons, easy." There was no mistaking the pride Riley had for his friend in that moment. The others just sat there with their mouths wide open.

"Are...are you sure?" Giles had dropped the mummy's hand he had been trying to stuff into a handling bag and went over to get a better look at Xander.

"It was the coolest thing I've ever seen. He didn't even break a sweat." The giant teen was doing his best to hide behind one of Giles's book selves but it was like hiding a TV behind a thimble. "My word." The watcher couldn't help but examine Xander closely from head to toe.

"It was nothing." He tried to shrug it off, having all his friends fawning over how strong he was, was flattering to no end. And since he wasn't used to it, it very embarrassing. "No undressing my boyfriend with your eyes farm boy." Anya accused Riley.

"What? I was not! I just had this image in my head of Xander in a US uniform. He wouldn't need any weapons the bad guys would just turn and run on sight." The soldier said his eyes shooting daggers at the ex-demoness.

"Whatever you say. You and Angel are a lot alike, Buffy seems to like the flowery fellows."

"An! That's enough." Xander's deep voice boomed throughout the shop. All eyes turned to him. "There's no need to pick on Riley." Ohio perked up at being defended.

"I see your not standing up for Angel." Anya pointed out.

"Deadboy? With the hair gel and those shirts of his? How could I in good sense tell anyone he didn't look flowery?" He joked playfully.

"Could we stop going on about the fact that my ex looked like a cross dresser?" Everyone turned from Xander and looked at her in surprise. "Oh come on, he was prettier then I was."

Even Giles had to laugh at that one. "Oh Xan! The suit came in sooner then I thought. It's in the back." Buffy told him.

"Neat." With that very Oz like phrase he went into the back to check it out. It wasn't at all like he expected. The helmet for one was huge and covered his whole face with only two eyes holes and one for his mouth. The rest was covered. Unknown to him Anya had followed him into the back.

He was only made aware of her presence when she reached around and started groping him.

"WOW. You are a big fellow." Her eyes had already darkened with lust.

"Come on An, they'll be waiting for us." He argued but didn't stop her from undoing his toga. It only took moments under her steady hands to bring 'him' to life. And boy was that a sight.

"I..." For once Anya seemed completely speechless. "I want to break up."

Took a minute before those words fully sank in. "What! Why?" After all they had been doing great as a couple. Romance and sex. It's the American dream, and there shouldn't have been any reason for her to want to break up.

"Well look at it!" She gestured to his manhood. "That would split me in two! There's no humanly possible way we could have sex. Without that what do we have? Movies? Its not like you could take me out to fancy restaurants."

"An." But she cut him off. "I think we should see other people, or I should. Its not like you can anymore." She wasn't even trying to be cruel just logical. Selfish, egocentric, and spoiled but she did have many good points.

And with a pat on the shoulder she left him and went back to work. He just stood there for almost half an hour running the whole thing through his mind over and over. Until that is someone knocked on the door.

"You ok in there? Does it not fit right? Because we can send it back if it's faulty." Giles' voice brought him out of his stupor and he went and changed into the suit. Once he was dressed he had a little difficultly locking the four clasps on the helmet in place, but he finally got it and walked into the main room.

Tara and Willow had gotten there sometime during his time in the backroom and were standing with the others. Anya wasn't there. So there he was standing ten foot tall and covered in black leather with a kick ass helmet on his head. The muscles covering his body were being shown off nicely.

Outward he looked like he was ready to take on the whole world, but inward he was just happy to be wearing real cloths again. "So, how do I look?" The whole room was eerily quiet all of a sudden.

"Not at all flowery in those pants." Laughter broke the silence. They couldn't see it but Xander's grin was huge, but because of the awkward sized hole that was no bigger then a human fist all they see was what looked like him baring his teeth.

"So now that I'm all dressed up where do I go?"

"Well how bout a quick patrol. Then we can go looking for Adam. Wait until he gets a look at you, bet he'll piss his robotic pants." As always Buffy was gung ho about getting into a fight, Riley grabbed his tazzer gun and Xander just followed their lead.


The patrol was pretty much a bust. Anytime they came across a vamp or demon they gave Xander one look and turned tail. Buffy did catch up with a pair of newbies and dispatched them quickly. Riley got one a few minutes later, but the juggernaut couldn't get near them without scaring them away.

That's not to say he didn't get one. After the breakup with Anya and everything else that had happened in the last few days he was raging for a fight. So the first demon he saw he broke into a dead run after him before it got the chance to flee.

"Your mine stinky." He shouted at the frightened slime demon through gritted teeth. The creature was too surprised to even think about retreating.

Xander hit him in full run like a football player. The small demon flew threw the air like he'd been shot out of a cannon straight into a stone tomb thirty feet away. The small creature's body was hit so hard that it knocked down the outer wall.

Riley inspected the body. "Shit, you damn near vaporized it." He lifted its arms and poked its still chest. There was no mistaking how very dead it was. "You pretty much broke every bone in its body." He would have toyed with it some more but its stink was starting to get to him.

"These things are disgusting." He walked away from it and joined back up with Xander and Buffy who were talking about heading to the caves were they'd seen Adam last.

"Remind me never to play football with you." The Ohio born soldier joked. Before they could go over any plans for attacking the cyborg demon Riley's radio went off.

#Pinned down....can't....need.....help.# The transmission was pretty poor but it was clear that some commandos were in need of help.

"Where's it coming from?" Buffy asked.

"It's coming from the north side of the cemetery. Come on." He broke off and started running towards his fellow soldier's battle zone. Neither Buffy nor Xander argued.

In about two minutes they had made it across the graveyard and were standing off the side of the battlefield. There were six commandos penned down by four vampires and three feral demons. There were another two commandos lying dead behind their former friends.

"Shit." Riley cursed as he jumped into the fray and started blasting away at the demons that until then didn't realize they were there. Buffy shifted her grip on the stake in her hand then followed suit. Xander held back for a moment but only for a moment before he too joined them.

The vampires were to busy fighting the soldiers and slayer to notice him, but all three feral demons did and attacked without a moments thought.

They were faster then he was but nowhere near as strong. He landed one solid kick to the nearest demon's chest and it collapsed on itself. The second landed numerous hits that seemed to hurt him more then his attacker; that is until Xander grabbed him by the head and crushed it within his powerful hands.

"You want to test your luck?" He taunted the last feral demon. The warrior demons might not have been known for their brains but they knew when they were beat. Like many demons before him he turned and ran.

The soldiers had killed off the last vampires with little injury after Riley and Buffy joined in. They were ready to start thanking their lucky stars until their eyes fell on Xander. "Sweet Jesus, what the hell is it?" One of the men yelled pointing his weapon at the massive dark figure standing a few feet away. The others did the same.

"Stand down!" Riley ordered.

"But sir, its a hostile!" One argued the rest never taking their eyes or guns off Xander.

"I told you to stand down solider!" The slayers boyfriend said starting to loose his calm with the younger man.

"Yes, sir." He told him with a hard look in his eyes. He and the other men slowly lowered their weapons. Buffy had made her way to Xander once the stunners were pointed in other directions.

"You want to head out? Or maybe you could explain some stuff to them?"

"I don't think they'd be very thrilled if I stayed." There was sorrow in his voice and if she could have seen his face underneath that massive helmet she was sure the pain would be clearly showing. "Look at them Buff. They're looking at me like I'm.... a monster...a thing."

The slayer turned and had to agree. All present besides Riley were casting angry and hateful looks towards her large friend. "I'm just going to go."

"No! Don't let them win Xan. They...just have to get to know you, that's all." She tried her best to make her friend feel better. But this seemed to be turning out just like when Angel had shown up. All the soldiers were ready to stake him on sight without even knowing what the bottom line was.

"Its ok Buff. I guess I'm just going to have to get used to it." And with that our leather clad juggernaut turned and walked away into the night. He didn't even cast a second look behind him. But he could hear Buffy and Riley ripping into the soldiers for their actions. He just couldn't hear any of them apologizing.


There aren't many places a man such as Xander could walk freely so he just went back to Giles' shop just in time to find Anya busy making out with Spike. But the blond vampire's fun was soon cut short when he was picked up from behind and thrown almost four feet into the air and he turned faced a very angry young man.

"Gah! Wh..who the 'ell are you?" Of course he didn't recognize him and no one was really going to call the vampire up and inform him about Xander's new look on life.

"Come on fangless I'm hurt. It's me the 'bricklayer', remember calling me that?" The juggernaut was enjoying this more then he should have, but how should he feel? His ex is already making out with another guy less then a few hours after their break up? "Harris? What in the name 'o hell happened to you?" Spike said shock clear in his voice.

"Xander! You put him down this instant. We were just about to have sex and I don't want him bruised." His grip only tightened around the small master vampires torso.

"Gah," Spike coughed, "she said you two have broken up." He whispered. Vampires might not have to breathe to talk but having your ribcage crushed sorta makes it hard.

"I said put him down! After all I need someone who can please me." "Jesus An, are you trying to get him to pound me into vampire paste?" He yelled out. "Why the blood hell didn't someone clue me in to the fact that Harris had turned into the sodding green giant?" Spike thought absently.

"What Anya? Couldn't wait a fucking week before trying to shack up with the walking dead?" He growled out never taking his eyes off Spikes, who's eyes, by the way, were bulging out of his head. "Look mate, if you want the bird have her. You've got my blessing, just keep me out of this."

"Look what you've done now Harris! Now that you can't have sex anymore you want to deprive me of it too?" Riley, Buffy, Willow, and Tara all caught the last part of that when they entered the magic shop.

It's hard to say what was more shocking. The fact that it looked like Xander was about to smash Spike with his bare hands or what Anya had just said.

"What mate? Can't get it up anymore?" Spike taunted absently but was reminded by the sound of his ribs breaking where he was. "I mean....it's like this.....Slayer would you get your boy offa me?" He begged.

"Oh no. He's still works as well as he ever did. Its just that he was hung like a horse before but now he's the size of a baby elephant." She summed it up. Tact really wasn't Anya's strong point. The slayer and the Wiccans couldn't help but blush scarlet at the thought, and Spike had an odd glint in his eyes. "Really? Then what's the problem?"

"Enough!" Xander's voice shook the whole shop. "Could we change the subject? Oh I know let's talk about how I pulled Spike's arms and legs off and beat him with them; sound like fun? Thought so." He reached over and grabbed Spike's left and right arm with his hands and held him spread eagle style in the air.

"Lets NOT talk about pulling any of my body parts off of me. Slayer would you control him, please?!?" The English undead was outright begging now. He hadn't been this scared in decades.

"Come on Xan, you've scared him enough." Buffy told him but she didn't seem too worried about Spike.

"Besides your new suit would get all bloody." Tara told him, everyone even Spike turned to her with odd looks. "Well it would! And its not like we can get it dry cleaned."

Getting himself under control Xander dropped Spike to the floor with a shrug. At once he was heading for the front door mattering something like, "…never thought I'd be saved by dry cleaning bills." Then he was gone.

"Now could someone tell me why Xander was about to crush Spike into a bleached basketball?" The blond slayer asked perturbed. "She was kissing me." Was all Spike would say. "Why? Anya, why would you cheat on him like that?" Willow asked hotly.

"I wasn't cheating! We broke up." The ex-demoness stated plainly. "What for?" Tara didn't understand that. As far as she was concerned Xander was a sweetie.

"Come on you all know." Anya accused, but no one seemed to know what she was talking about.

"Don't play dumb. He's a freak now. Just look at him." She pointing in the direction Xander had gone. "He can't even walk into a low level ceiling without having to bend down." Everyone looked outraged. "He's not like us anymore. He can't go home. He'll have to hide in the backroom whenever someone comes in here. He can't get a job or even go out to eat." She was relentless. "So he's super strong now, woo hoo. He's still a big mutie freak and I'm not dating that."

"Hell, I don't even want him in the shop. I should put up a sign tomorrow, 'No muties allowed.' " She said absently.

"God, could you be anymore of a raciest bitch?" Willow exploded.

"I'm just saying what you're all thinking! He's like a circus geek now, its all well and good to see them at the freak show where you can point and laugh, but you don't want to see one walking down the street like they're normal people."

She might have continued her self-righteous neo-nazi speech, but Tara's fist in her face stopped it right quick. "Ju...just shut up! Yo..you soulless bitch!" She was so angry that Tara couldn't help that the stutter worse then normal.

"Yeah, stick up for him. Like you're normal either. You're just some stuttering podunk lesbo." Anya screeched as she held her now bleeding lip.

"Get out." There was no mistaking the steel in Buffy's voice. "Walk out of here right now before your unable to walk." She and Willow were shaking with rage. Tara had walked into the backroom and over to Xander and engulfed him in a hug. Her arms had no chance of reaching all the way around him but neither cared. Even Riley was pissed off, that he'd gotten so angry his face had turned stark raving red.

So without another word Anya left. No one said anything for a long time. The only sound that could be heard was the sound of Xander's helmet being unclasped and sat on the counter next to him. Once his face was visible everyone could see the tears running down his face.

"Shhh, Xander. Don't cry. Sh... she's just a heartless tramp. What she said doesn't matter." Tara told him but her voice was strained. She was having a hard time not braking down into tears herself. Willow and Buffy were having the same problems.


The next days were strained for everyone. After the gang told Giles what happened he fired Anya on the spot. But it didn't make everything ok again. There was a tension in the air and everyone could feel it. Buffy and Willow were gloomy more often then not. Tara had reverted to her shy quiet self, it was like she had never came out of her shell. Even Riley was short tempered with his troops.

The worst was that Xander didn't come out of the backroom in days. Not to eat or for a bath and whenever someone knocked or asked to talk with him he told them to go away. That's why Giles had called them all together for a meeting.

"I don't know what to do. He hasn't eaten in almost a week." Giles was distraught. His hair was unkempt and he looked like he had aged a decade in a week.

"He'll come out when he's ready." Willow didn't even believe her own words.

"Maybe we should make him come out? It's not healthy to stay in there all the time." Buffy looked almost as bad as Giles. "Sh... should we bust down the door? Make him come out." Tara's soft voice rang through everyone's minds. That was the most she'd said in days.

Everyone nodded at the idea. "Alright then. Let's go." Without another word Riley stood up from his seat next to Buffy and marched right up to the storeroom door and kicked it in.

The noise didn't seem to bring Xander out of his thoughts. In fact he was sitting in the same place he had been since he closed the door. "Xa...Xander? Are you alright?"

Only silence greeted them. "Xander, please say something." Willow's words came out trembling. Maybe he's dead? Those words echoed through everyone's minds but they were all too afraid to voice it. Giles walked over to the young juggernaut and touched his shoulder. "Son? Say something. You're scaring everyone." Your scaring me, Giles thought to himself.

"I'm alright. I've....just been thinking." His voice was even more gruff then normal, or normal for him now.

"Eat something. You'll feel better." Riley sounded calmer then he had been in days. Fear that maybe his friend was sitting behind that damned storeroom door dead for the last week weighed heavily on him. But just seeing him there alive made him feel somewhat better.

"That's alright. I'm not hungry." Tara made her way over and stood next to Giles who hadn't taken his hand off the young man's shoulder yet.

"You haven't eaten in days, son. You have to be hungry." His words were soft but strong. He wasn't going to leave until he was sure Xander had at least drank some water.

"I don't need it. I haven't been hungry since I changed. I guess I don't need it anymore." His words didn't put anyone at ease. Quiet the opposite; he hadn't eaten anything for longer then they all thought.

For the first time since they kicked in his door he looked up at his friends. He could see the worry plain on their faces. "It's alright guys I really don't need to eat. Or sleep or even breath."

"Don't talk like that, please. You don't want to die." The slayer sounded sickly, small. Xander's heart fell at her words. It was his fault his friends were all so scared for him.

"It's alright, Buff. I don't want to die. I just don't need to eat or sleep. I even held my breath to see how long I could. I held it for almost four hours before I got bored."

Their faces changed from worry to shock. "Really? Yo....your not just saying that?" Tara sounded hopeful. More hopeful then she'd allowed herself to be in days.

Xander finally stood up; they were all still amazed at how he could tower over them so easily. He bent over and picked Tara up and hugged her. "I'm not just saying it. I'm alright really." He gave her and the others a warm smile, not that it reached his eyes. Tara could cry she was so happy. She smacked his shoulder softly.

"You had us all so worried." He saw the truth on everyone's faces, they all had been worried. That made him feel better, a little. In one swift move he grabbed everyone in his arms and picked them up in a hug.

They all laughed at his actions. Even Riley and Giles who weren't used to someone picking them all up in a big group hug. "Alright now you big lug, put us down." Buffy sounded a lot more cheerful. With a soft laugh he did as she asked.

"So what do you want to do tonight? I'm up for a patrol." He might not be able to eat or sleep to make them feel better but he could leave the shop for a few hours.

"I could get into that." Buffy smiled so brightly it could light up a room.

"Cool. So who's coming? Riley? Willow, Tara?" They all shook their heads in agreement. "Giles you up for it?"

"No, you all go ahead. I'll be waiting here doing paperwork. And there will be takeout waiting on you Xander. You might not need to eat but humor me on this, ok?" The young mutant told him he would. Then they were all off heading to the nearest graveyard to scare up some baddies.


The next few days were much happier ones then the last. Buffy and Willow had gone back to there perky selves. Tara was talking everyone's ears off again, if anyone could believe that. Riley had even stopped fighting with all his men. Which they were all happy for; an angry OC isn't something you want to deal with everyday.

And Xander was getting back to his normal self at least for the most part. All those hurtful things Anya said still rang true, he couldn't walk down the street or even leave 'The Magic Box' for anything other then patrol. And no one had seen Anya since she left.

"I got a call from Cordy today." The juggernaut told his friends as they ate dinner with Ms. Summers. Joyce had started inviting him over as soon as she heard how he couldn't leave Giles's shop. So she, Buffy, Giles & Xander were sitting down for a family meal.

"Really? What'd she want? How's Angel?" The slayer had gone milky- eyed as she asked about her former boyfriend.

"There all alright. It's just that Cor called Willow a few days ago to just check in. I'm guessing Wills told her to call me." He didn't seem all too happy about it but there wasn't any sadness in his voice either.

"It was the first time we talked since she went to live in LA. She sounded really happy too." Even now years after their break up he still sounded guilty when he spoke of her.

Joyce leaned over and patted his hand. "That's what matters, isn't? That she's happy." Joyce, ever the mother hen. Always ready to make one of 'her kids' feel better.

"Yeah, that's what matters. So any word on Adam?" No one commented on how fast he changed subjects.

"Not a peep. You know for a supposedly bad ass cyborg demon he seems to hide a lot." The blond slayer sounded bored. She didn't like it when the demons acted like scared bunnies.

"Don't worry honey. You'll get him." Maybe Mrs. Summers was a cheerleader when she was younger? She surely had the looks for it, even now. Something Giles was very aware of. "If we only knew where he was he'd be toast. After all its one demon against a slayer, two super witches, an army of soldiers, and Xander pretty much superman now."

Joyce saw Xan blush ever so slightly under her praise. She knew he wasn't used to it, and that simple fact broke her heart. "Enough shop talk. Let's eat." She served the roast beef, peas, corn and potatoes. In all it was a wonderful meal. And with both Giles and Mrs. Summers watching there was no way Xander could refuse. Giles had taken it upon himself to make sure his young friend ate three times a day.


"Who could that be?" No one called after 6pm unless there was trouble, Buffy's mom thought to herself.

"Hello?" Buffy was the first to the phone. She listened closely hoping it wasn't something bad. But the way her eyes widened in shock everyone's hope for that was dashed.

"Sweet heart, what is it? Is everyone all right?"

"It was the hospital." The slayer had a very deep 'caught in the headlights' look in her eyes.

"Is everyone alright?" Xander's deep voice brought her out of the deep thoughts she had submerged herself.

"Its Faith. She's awake."


Any further talk about the rogue slayer was halted until everyone was called and made to come over to Buffy's house as soon as they could. The news did hurry them all along.

"Awake? What do they mean awake? Do people just wake up from a coma like poof, hey I'm awake." Willow's worried ramblings had been all anyone had said.

Buffy and Riley had at once taken off to the hospital. Which left the witches, the powerhouse of a mutant, and a worried mother. Giles had gone home to call 'The Council.'

"Just calm down Wills. Buffy will tell us when she gets back." But Willow was just too worried to listen. "She's dangerous and insane! Buffy should have let you come with her." Buffy had thought it better not to bring Xander with her. If Faith was better she didn't want to scare her. And if she was still dangerous Buffy didn't want to clue the rogue slayer into everything yet.

"She knows what she's doing," just then Buffy and Riley walked in, "and here they are." Buffy looked worried. Riley who had never met Faith didn't look as scared as he should be.

"Faith, she knocked out a girl and took her clothing. She could be anywhere." With a defeated air about herself she sat down in the nearest chair. "I...I wished she had changed. After the dream when she warned me about the mayor I thought she had."

"So we saddle up and go hunting?" Riley looked far too happy about all this. Maybe it was the chance to test himself against a slayer that wouldn't hold back for his sake. Which was pretty damn stupid. "No, you're still hurt. Xander and I will go looking for her. You all help Giles."

Adam had poked Riley in the side with his spiked arm a few days back. So Riley wasn't at one hundred percent yet, and even if he were Buffy wouldn't have let him come anyway.

"Come on, she's just one gal." The Ohio born soldier didn't know what all the fuss was about.

"And the fact that you just called Faith a gal just makes it even more obvious that you don't know her."

"She's just one girl that just woke up from a nine month coma." Male pride made it hard for him to let his girlfriend go out to fight the bad guys without him.

"She's not a girl. She's a slayer." And that was that, Buffy refused to hear anymore about it.

"Hey Tara, toss me my helmet." Xander said with a smirk. It was a long going joke between the two. The blond witch once tried to pick up his large black helmet and bring it to him only to fall on her butt from the weight of it.

Tara's response was to chunk a roll at his head. "Ouch, why you wicked witch." He walked over and grabbed his helmet and put it on and then Willow clasped it up for him.

Then he pointed his finger playfully at the shy witch, "You and I will talk about this need to hit me with bread rolls later."

Then they were gone.


Faith was tired and confused. After hearing that the mayor had been killed she felt lost and alone again. Something she hadn't felt since she met him. He was the closet thing she had to a father her whole life and that bitch Buffy killed him, her mind raged.

"You Faith?" A large demon called out to her from a nearby ally way. "What's it to you?" She was still weak from the coma but she was still sure she could take him if she had too.

"I used to work for the mayor. He wanted you to have this." The demon tossed her a large package before turning and walking away. She examined the package with mistrust before finally opening it. Inside was a videotape and a weird looking hand device.

It only took her a few minutes to find somewhere to play the tape. Mayor Wilkin's face popped up with a smile. "Hiya firecracker." The dark-haired slayer's heart tightened at the nickname he gave her. ""So if you're seeing this then it means that I am dead. Well this isn't what I had planned but at least you're still alive." He seemed happy at least at knowing she had made it. "If I'm dead then it means you're no longer safe. See that wacky tool in your hand?" Faith looked down at the metal hand device.

"Well this is where it gets interesting. You can't go on like this anymore Faith. But that doesn't mean you can't go out with a bang." He explained the rest to her and how to use what he had left for her. For the first time since she had woken up Faith felt like she might have a chance.


"I can't believe we haven't heard hide nor hair from her. What are all the baddies reading a new playbook? One in which they hide and only pop up to cause trouble and then disappear again just to piss me off?" Buffy did not sound pleased at all. Her and Xander had looked all over Sunny Dale to no avail whatsoever.

"I guess we head back home then?" The juggernaut wasn't pleased either. Faith wasn't the kind of person to lay low. Not unless she had a plan, and that worried him.

The walk to the Summer's residence was a quiet one. When they'd giving up looking for the dark-haired slayer Xander caught sight of her climbing through the window on the second floor of Buffy's house. "Buffy!" He pointed to the window. The slayer broke into a run when she saw what he did.

He might be the strongest person on the face of the earth and pretty much invincible, but he hadn't gotten any faster. Buffy was running through her downstairs window before he could even reach the front door.

The juggernaut didn't even waste time opening the door, oh no. He busted through it much like Buffy did the window. Shards of wood went flying everywhere. But he couldn't waste time with that because as soon as he was in he saw Joyce lying on the floor near the living room.

"Mrs. Summers! Are you alright?" He gently picked her up and checked to make sure she was breathing. Once sure she was he put her on the couch and went looking for the slayers.

Buffy and Faith were nothing more then a swirl of kicks and punches with no defined winner so far. He was about to grab hold of Faith and end the fight when he heard police sirens. It looks like Buffy had the upper hand so he knocked down the basement door and hid. After all the cops would just blame the nearest mutant for all the trouble.

In the living room the slayers were still duking it out. "It's over Faith, just give yourself up." Buffy had heard the sirens too. "Yeah B, its over. Just not for me." She fixed the magic doohickey to her hand and grabbed the blond slayer's with her own. There was a flash of light and everything changed.

They both looked at each other strangely before Buffy upper cut Faith in the face knocking her out. That's when the police and Joyce walked in. "Honey? Are you alright? Mrs. Summers sounded worried but Buffy didn't seem to be listening. She was to busy looking at Faith's still body.

"Buffy?" Only then did the LA born slayer look up. "You ok?" A slow smile spread across her face before she answered. "I'm five by five."


Once all the fuss died down and the police left with Faith, Xander finally came out from the basement. Joyce was sitting next to Buffy talking. He walked into the room and started towards the two ladies. That is until Buffy jumped up and attacked him.

"Wha....?" Was all he could get out as she started to rain down punches and kicks. They didn't hurt him in the least, only confused him. "Buffy! Stop this right now, why are you hitting Xander?!?" It took a few seconds before Joyce's words sank into Buffy's head.

"Xan?" Maybe I should have watched the scoobys for a few days before stealing B's body, Faith thought to herself. Xander pulled off the helmet and looked at her strangely. "Yeah, what's got into you?" Faith would have laughed out load at his choice of words if she wasn't so thrown by Xander's new self. "I...I guess I'm just shook up. That's all." She hoped he would believe her; her fists were sore and bruised from where she'd hit him and he didn't look hurt in the least.

"Yeah, I guess you would be. Just no more using the Xanman as a punching bag, ok?" Buffy was acting strange, he thought. It had to be more then just being wiggy from fighting Faith again. And she shouldn't look so pleased at being forgiven.

"Sure Xan, sure." Faith took this time to really look at him. To say he'd changed since the last time she saw him would be the understatement of the century. How the hell did this happen? She questioned herself.

"You sure your alright, sweetheart?" Joyce hoped her baby hadn't gotten hurt from fighting Faith.

"I'm...."She stopped herself from saying Five by Five again, Xander would no doubt freak if he heard it from 'Buffy'.

"I'm fine. Just a little wiggy that's all. Just tired." She hoped they'd buy it. God he's huge, she couldn't help but think. This is just getting surreal. When did Buffy's little lapdog turn into a leather clad giant?

"Ok. Maybe you should get some sleep then?" Buffy's mom told her. "Ya, I'll do that. Night." She waved bye to the both of them and walked up the stairs to her room to get ready.

Or so they thought. In reality she had only gone as far as the top of the stairs and was eavesdropping on whatever they had to say. "So Xander, you can sleep here tonight if you want. I don't think Giles would mind."

"And wherever shall I sleep?" He teased with an easy smile. His smile grew when she started to blush crimson. "I'm sure we can find you somewhere." She teased right back, and a blush soon spread across the young man's face. I've still got it, she thought with an inward grin.

Faith was listening with a bewildered look on her face. Is the Xanman shacking up with Buffy's mom? She wondered.

Wouldn't the scoobys have a problem with that? And how the hell did he get so damn big? All these questions were bouncing around in her head. With a shrug she grabbed a few of Buffy's nightclothes and took a bath. After all it had been months since she'd had a bath, even if Buffy's body had taken one just yesterday.

By this time Xander and Joyce had stopped the coy flirting and gotten ready for bed themselves. The resident mutant went to the basement and put away his armor until morning and went back to wearing a toga for the night. Joyce had left him with a kiss on the cheek for bed.

Of course they had both been joking about where he would be sleeping. He would of course sleep in Buffy's room beside her bed on a makeshift cot. After all he and her daughter had been friends for years and she trusted him to keep himself under control. The only person surprised by the sleeping arrangements was Faith.


"Jesus Xan. Make some noise when you walk." Faith grasped her heart. For a big guy, or the biggest guy she'd ever seen he really walked quietly.

"Sorry Buff." He told her sheepishly. After all he didn't want to start taking after Angel. That and he was having a hard time not checking out his slayer friend. He'd slept over enough to know she didn't usually wear stuff like that to sleep.

She was dressed in a thong and tight wife beater. Not at all like her long pants and baggy oversized shirt she wore every other night he stayed. "Looking for something Xan?" Faith teased as she caught his gaze. Maybe it wasn't Joyce he was sleeping with, she thought with a smirk.

Oh, sorry. Its just that's not at all what you wear most of the time." He told her trying his best to keep his eyes on the floor and not her.

"What this old thing? You like?" If he was Buffy's new boytoy he would know what she wore to bed. Faith thought a little slow on the uptake. "Oh, its really....nice. But I doubt Riley would be to pleased with the view I'm getting."

Who?" Her voice was already beginning to become husky. Her new green eyes were darkening with lust.

"Riley. You know, your boyfriend?" He told her slowly. Buffy was acting really weird, he thought to himself.

"Oh, right him. Just keeping you on your toes Xanman." She had almost screwed up everything. If she couldn't fool Xander for five minutes how could she get past B's mom or Giles? She scowled at herself for almost jumping him. But he looked so good standing there in that bed sheet with all those new and tanned muscles.

Of course Buffy wouldn't know a good thing when she had one. Faith sneered in her head at her blond counter part. Hope she likes prison.

"Right. Enough teasing little old me. Its sleeping time" Not that he was sleepy in the least but Buffy had said she was tired and he wasn't going to keep her up just because he wasn't tired. "Oh right, sleep. Night Xan." With a parting shake of her backside she crawled into her new bed and closed her eyes.

Leaving Xander with a strange look on his face. Then he grabbed a few blankets Joyce had left for him and made a pad next to Buffy's bed and laid down. Once laying down he couldn't help but notice one of Buffy's tanktop straps had fallen off her shoulder to show a lot of skin. "Oh yes, this is going to be a long night." He mumbled to himself.


Thankfully daylight soon poured through the windows. The night had been an interesting one. Sometime during the night Buffy fell off her bed and snuggled up beside Xander. She was tossing and turning in her bed having one hell of a nightmare. When she fell off next to him he was ready to wake her up. But as soon as she snuggled up next to him she stopped.

And that's how Faith woke up with her face pressed firmly against Xander's shoulder. It took her a minute before remembering all that had happened since she woke from the coma.

"Hey sleepyhead. Want to give me back my arm so I can go get us some breakfast?" She latched onto his arm sometime during the night with a vice like grip. If he'd been anyone else that arm would have broken under her strength, but being him it didn't hurt at all. "Sure. Can we have pancakes?" She was in a happy mood. She was no longer wanted for murder. She had all Buffy's friends to herself. And she had, had one of the soundest sleeps in years. And she knew whom to thank for that. Xander, always the white knight. He didn't even try to cop a feel during the night.

"Of course we can. My, your chipper this morning." Whatever weirdness she was dealing with last night seemed to be over. "Yep that's me. All chippery." She tried to pull off one of Buffy's strange little sayings. Faith was sure she got it off because Xander wasn't looking at her odd anymore.

So they untangled themselves from one another and got ready for breakfast. Faith got to the shower first and was only slightly surprised at her reflection. It wasn't just seeing Buffy's face looking back at her. It was that she looked happy. Maybe she'd stick around Sunny Dale longer then she expected.

Xander didn't need a shower. One other perk about being him he no longer got dirty. It was like filth slid right off him like water off a ducks back. So all he needed to do was head down to the kitchen.

"Hey, Mrs. S. Where do you keep the pancake stuff?" Joyce who had sat down for a cup of orange juice pointed out where to find it. "Buffy have a craving for them?" She asked as she read her newspaper.

"Ya. Guess she got over whatever wiggings she had going after she fought Faith." He shrugged as he poured the stuff into the pan and began to cook. "Buffy doesn't eat them very often. Most of the time it's just cereal and juice."

A few minutes later a fully dressed Buffy walked into the kitchen in very Faith like clothing. Tight black tank tip and leather pants. With sharp dark green eyeliner on. In all she looked nice, and very hot.

"All dressed up for Riley?" The slayer's mom asked over her newspaper.

"Yeah, sure." Faith shrugged. It's not like she had ever met the guy, but he might be good for a laugh. She thought.

"Here you go. Eat up." Xander piled the pancakes onto her plate. At least a dozen and Faith soon covered them with butter. "Thanks Xan." She mumbled out threw a mouthful of pancakes.

"Your very welcome. Mrs. S You want a few?" Before she could answer he had already piled a few on.

"Thanks Xander." Joyce wasn't going to eat any but it would be rude to refuse after all the work he had done on them. And they did look and smell very nice.

"Yeah, thanks Xan." Faiths was still busy shoving pancakes into her mouth.

"Just taking care of my girls." He said as he turned to fix his own plate. Totally missing the look they shared from his comment. "Buffy, you need a ride to school?"

"I thought I might play hooky, just for today. If that's alright?" Faith tried to sound as innocent as she could not wanting to upset the good vibes that were spread throughout the kitchen. If every one of Buffy's mornings were this good then why was she such a stuck up bitch, Faith wondered.

"Yeah, but don't make a habit of it. Xander, you going to Giles?" Joyce asked as she finished off her plate and put it into the sink. "Yeah, it's not like I have anywhere else." He sounded sad all of a sudden Joyce could have kicked herself. She hadn't meant to remind him how he couldn't walk around like everyone else during the day anymore.

"Xander, you know I didn't mean it like that." She reassured him. Mrs. Summers really hated this town. She hated it before and even more after learning about vampires and demons. But the fact that most of the town was full of bigots really upset her. "Buffy, want to tag along with Xan?"

"Yeah, sure." Faith didn't know what the problem was. After all most of the mutant stuff had popped up after she had been put in the hospital. "Come on Xman."

"Hey help me with this." He picked up his black helmet. "Isn't that thing hot?" She asked with a frown.

"Naw." She stopped him from putting it over his face. "Why not leave it here for the day? Get some sun. Don't want your face to get pasty, do we?" She joked.

She wondered how long he'd been wearing that thing. His skin still looked normal so it couldn't have been for too long. But it kind of grated on her nerves that he thought he had to wear it, to hide who he was.

"Buff," he sounded pained, "its not problem. Besides we're taking the back way around town."

She was starting to lose her cool. "Just leave it for the day. What trouble could it cause?" Of course she didn't know about how the cops liked to beat up those few mutants in the area. Or how everyone looked at him like a freak. How could she?

"Just help me put it on. I don't want to cause any trouble. I'm getting used to it." And before Faith knew what was happening she had wrapped her arms around him in a hug. Maybe Buffy's body remembered how to react. Faith thought. It was easier to think about that and not the heartbreaking fact that he was starting to get used to hiding behind a mask.

"Sure Xan, sure." She gave in. Her mind raged at her for acting so soft. That he wasn't really her friend; that he was Buffy's. But that didn't stop her hands from shaking as she fixed the black contraption over his head. It seemed a crime to her to hide such a smiling happy face behind cold black steal.


The walk was uneventful. Mostly those demons that could walk around town during the day took the back roads of Sunny Dale. So there wasn't any trouble with normal people. Not that Faith was too pleased with the demons scampering away from Xander with horror in their eyes, those that had eyes.

To think out of all the inhabitants of the hellmouth both human and demon Xander only had a handful of friends. That just pissed Faith off.

"So, you planning on getting soldier boy to skip school with you too?" Xander asked absently.

"Huh? Oh, yeah Riley." Got to remember that name, Faith mused. After all there's little chance the real Buffy would go around forgetting her boyfriend's name.

"You and him aren't having problems, are you?" He hoped not. Riley was good for her. Much better then Angel. At least he could take her to the movies during the day. It was her chance to have a normal life. He'd do anything to keep them happy.

"Naw. I'm just feeling a bit out of sorts today." Damn him, Faith thought. Why did he always have to act so damn nice?

Finally they reached 'The Magic Shop'. Giles was there already hard at work. The Council had sent down a retrieval unit to pick up Faith. And of course they were making asses of themselves every chance they got. There were four of them in all.

"This must be the other slayer, Buffy?" The leader asked with a sneer on his pompous face.

"Yeah, that's me." Faith said nervously. Why weren't they headed back to England with a drugged up Buffy? Them sticking around wasn't part of her plan.

Xander had been behind the front door once he'd heard the people in there. He was debating whether or not to turn around and head back to Joyce's basement. But it didn't sit well with him leaving Buffy with them. There was just something in their voices that sat him on edge. So he walked in.

"Fuck!" At once they were scrambling to get at their weapons.

"Edward, stop this very instant. And call off your men. He's not a danger to anyone." Giles leaped into action grabbed one of the men by the back of the neck and slamming his face into a bookshelf.

Faith grabbed the nearest two and punched them in the stomach knocking the air out of them. Edward was still standing and had a pistol aimed at Xander's heart. A deafening 'BANG' filled the shop. There's no telling who was more surprised when the bullet hit Xander's chest and just bounced off, Edward or Xander himself.

"Wha..." The head of the watcher's strike force didn't finish his statement because there was an angry slayer holding him by the throat.

"You son of a bitch! You could have killed him!" He was quickly turning blue from the lack of oxygen.

"Buff, I'm ok. I'm ok." The juggernaut said it disbelievingly. He could see the hole the bullet put in his leather chest guard, but there was no wound underneath. Faith dropped the watcher and walked over to him and looked for herself.

"Why didn't you tell me you were bulletproof? I nearly had a god damn heart attack!" Her heart was beating so fast she was scared it might explode.

"I didn't know. This is the first time I've been shot." Faith reached out and ran her hand over his chest were the hole was in his clothing.

"Good lord Xander. Are you sure your alright?" Giles asked as he held Edwards gun pointed at the four watchers on the ground looking up at Xander with dread.

"What the hell is that thing Rupert?" One of the watchers asked. He'd seen vampires and some other demons keep coming after being shot, but he'd never seen a bullet just bounce right off like that. He crawled over to where it hit the ground. It was almost completely flat.

"What is it made out of." He whispered as he and the others peered at the ruined peace of lead.

"His names Xander! He is not an it, or a thing. Understand?" Giles growled out still clutching the gun in his hands.

"What are you going on about Ripper? That thing can't be human. Just look at it." Edward pointed at him.

Finally Xander lost his temper. In two steps he made it over to the downed watcher and grabbed him by the throat much like Faith had. He hoisted the man by the throat over his head. So he was hanging there in Xander's right hand at least fourteen feet in the air. His head was touching the ceiling.

"Call me a thing again. You hear me! Call me a thing just one more time." The other watchers had jumped up and ran to the other side of the shop behind the far table. Giles was watching his old 'friend' chocking before him with great amusement. Faith was torn. She wanted the watcher beaten to a pulp but not dead, and not by Xander's hand. She didn't want him to become like her, not him. "Xan, put him down." She pleaded. "He's not worth it."

After a few seconds he dropped him. The head of the strike unit gasped and tried his best not to vomit. "The head of the Council will hear of this Rupert!"

"Get out of town Eddie. Your not welcome." The ex-watcher wasn't afraid in the least of idle threats.

"We would but that other damned slayer broke out. She's on the loose."

"Why the hell did it take you that long to tell us?" Giles shouted. "You didn't ask." He had gotten over his coughing fit and gone back to his pompous self.

"Faith's still running around town? Then we should call the gang, let them know." Xander walked over and grabbed the shop's phone and started to make the calls.

Edward gave the large mutant a wide amount of room to get around as he stepped back quickly. 'Buffy' was looking even more worried. Why couldn't B have stayed out until they left town? Faith's mind shouted bitterly. She still wasn't out of the woods. If Buffy convinced one of her friends that she was the real Buffy then they'd switch them back and she would be off to England. Either that or these watcher bastards would just shoot her in the heart like they tried to do to Xander.

Without saying a word Faith took off through the front door looking for her hated sister slayer.


Buffy was walking around town trying to find any of her friends. She had to tell them what Faith had done. Those slimy watchers sure weren't listening. One of those bastards had even tried to feel her up when she was handcuffed.

In minutes she was outside Giles' home looking through the window. He wasn't home but Willow and Tara were. She pushed open the door and run up to them. "Please don't be afraid! It's me Buffy! Faith did some sort of magic thingy and now she's in my body and I'm in hers!"

Willow at once jumped back away from the dark-haired slayer, but Tara just looked at her strangely. "Tara get away from her she's dangerous."

"No Willow, it really is Buffy." Buffy lit up with joy. "Thank you so much for believing me."

"It's not that. Your story is insane. Its just that your aura is the same as Buffy's." Both Willow and Buffy made 'huh' like looks on their faces.

"Think of it like this. You've got two bottles and you switch them. Your aura is still the same but has a few spots of Faith's on it. As would hers." Willow slowly walked over to stand next to her girlfriend.

"Buffy, is that really you?" Buffy launched on her and gave her a full hug. "Its me. Thank god you believe me. Now where's Faith?" "She took off looking for Fa...I mean she went to look for you once the watchers said you got away."

"So is everyone at Giles' shop? Has Faith done anything with my body?" Willow nodded as they got into Tara's car. "They're all at the shop. And I don't know what she's done with your body."

"I think she just stayed at your house after you got arrested." Tara said absently. Buffy winched at hearing the crazy body thief had slept in her bed. "But Xander and your mom would know more then me. They were there too."

"Xander slept over?" Buffy's sounded strange as she asked. "You don't think she'd do anything with him, do you?"

"Of course she would, she's a super slut." Willow told her truthfully. At seeing Buffy or Faith's face go stark white she spoke up fast. "She would, but Xander wouldn't. He wouldn't just jump into bed with her I mean you or well you know what I mean."

"Gee, thanks Willow. That makes me feel much better." She pouted. "Buffy, you know Xander loves you. He just isn't in love with you. And besides you have Riley."

"Riley! You don't think she's done anything with him do you?" Tara pretty much phased out the rest of their conversation after that.


The day went by quickly. Buffy had explained to Giles and the rest of the gang what had happened and they were researching how to change them back. No one had been able to get hold of Riley. "Xander, can I talk to you for a second." Buffy asked him. "Sure Fa..err Buffy."

"Xan, did Faith do anything strange when she was at my house." She was trying to play it cool but still very worried. "What do you mean strange?"

"Did she....you know." Way to go Buff, she mused. Your making yourself sound like a total idiot.

"Did she what? Other then an odd need for pancakes this morning she didn't act too weird." They left it at that. Buffy was sure he was holding back on her, and Xander wasn't sure why he was. Before they could talk more the special news broadcast took their attention.

#Four men with disfigured faces have locked themselves in this Catholic church you see behind me with two dozen prisoners. They have said they'll kill two an hour until God shows up.#

"I've got to go." Buffy told them as she started to leave. "I'm going too." Xander told her. "No, I need you here if Faith comes by." Without looking Buffy still trapped in Faith's body took off towards the church.

Little did she know Faith had been thinking the same thing and she too was making her way to the church.


Faith had finished off three of the vampires by the time Buffy got there. The last one was on top of Faith doing his best to get to her throat. Buffy thinking only of saving her body staked the vampire. Then the fight between the slayers began anew.

They boxed around the room. Knocking over pillars and beating the shit out of one another. Buffy delivered a savage round house kick to Faith, but it only seemed to anger her more. At once she rushed Buffy and jumped on top of her.

"Murderer!" Faith shouted down at Buffy. "Evil, filthy, murderer." She screamed out every word and delivered blow after blow down on her. "Sick, dirty, evil." She'd broken down into tears by this time. Seeing her moment Buffy used the magic thing Tara had given her and changed the bodies back to each other.

The slayers sprang away from each other. Buffy seemed happy enough to be back in her body, but Faith was looking at her hands in disgust. "No," she whispered, "NOOO!!!" Her voice was thick with inner pain and before Buffy could move a muscle Faith had turned around and ran out of the church.

She didn't even slow as she saw Xander standing in the back his face still hooded behind black steal. After recovering enough to stand Buffy began to take up chase after the dark haired-slayer, but Xander stopped her.

"Let me go. She's getting away." She screeched. "Then let her." He sounded sad.

"You can't let her go. She's evil! She admitted it even." Buffy couldn't see his face but she could read the disappointment clear enough in his eyes.

"Just let her go Buff."

"NO!" With all her might she swung her fist and hit him in the chest not far from were the bullet had hit. He was unharmed, and after a few minutes, when he thought Faith had gotten far enough away he let her go.

"Was she really that good, huh Xander? Did you fuck her in my body? And now you've let her get away." The blond slayer spat each word with venom.

"You just don't understand, do you Buffy?"

"What the hell is there to understand? She was trying to kill me less then five minutes ago? Or did you miss that?"

He just looked at her with his piercing brown eyes. " She wasn't trying to kill you Buff, she was trying to kill herself." He continued to look at her until he was sure his words had sunken in before he turned around and headed in the direction Faith had run.

Without shame the juggernaut walked down the path Faith had made, which lead through town. The people of Sunny Dale looked at him in all the ways they'd done before, with fear, mistrust, and hate. But he was on a mission and would not be stopped by anyone.

Some racist cops soon found out that when they drew their guns and tried to order him out of town. He ignored them as they shouted at him words like 'monster' and 'mutie'.

He ignored them when they opened fire on him. The bullets of course couldn't harm him. But when they jumped into their patrol cars and parked in front of him blocking his way he finally took notice of them. And they soon wished he hadn't.

"Turn around freak. We don't want your kind here." One of the cops yelled at him. But Xander didn't stop walking.

"Are you stupid or something mutie? I said..." He was cut off by the sight of Xander picking up their squad car and tossing it out of his way like it was a paper ball. It burst into flames from hitting the ground so hard. Then it wasn't which cop could jump into his way and make trouble, it was whoever gets out of his way first doesn't get thrown out of his way.

He made a trail of destruction all the way to the Sunny Dale train station. Most of the people that saw him standing in the middle of the train station ran in fear. The bright sun beamed down on him making his dark outfit even more pronounced. He ripped the doors off the front of the building and walked to the nearest ticket teller.

"When did the last train leave?" He gruff voice boomed. "Ju.....just a few minutes ago, sir." The ticket teller was a small man in his late forties who was doing his best not to piss himself.

"Where was it going?!?" He was getting angry again. He didn't want Faith to get too far ahead of him. He needed to talk to her. "I don't think I'm supposed to give out that information." The little man stammered.

At once Xander smashed his fists against the man's ticket office completely demolishing it. "WHERE WAS IT GOING!!!!"

"LA! S....sir. It was going to LA. That's all I know I swear." The small man had crawled into a small ball and scrambled under a nearby table. "Please don't hurt me."

If Xander had taken the time he would have felt extremely guilty for scaring the man so bad, and for wrecking half of the town. But he didn't have the time. He had to find Faith before she could do anymore harm to herself.


#Special news report! A rampaging mutant was seen in Sunny Dale this afternoon. As you can see from the video shots Channel 46 has taped the path of destruction is very clear.#

The TV began to show flipped and burning cars, police officers being loaded into ambulances. Stores and roads where smashed and torn apart. The local train station was the worst. The whole front building was demolished and a ticket teller's office was demolished. The scoobys were of course in shock.

The remaining watcher team was not in as much shock but in righteous indignation. "Not dangerous indeed, Rupert." Edward gloated.

"Where do you think he went?" Willow asked anyone that would answer. "He was at the train station, so Faith had to have left from there. He's following her."

"Wh...why?" Tara had an idea but thought it was better to keep it to herself.

"I think he's worried about her." Buffy said absently. "The mutie joined up with our mad slayer? We're going to need more then one watcher unit." One of the nameless watchers said.

"He's not joined up with her. He's just worried. He doesn't want her hurt." Buffy informed the watchers who she remembered from being in Faith's body. "And rightly so. You're not getting her."

"Who the hell is going to stop us? You little girl?" The pompous watcher sneered. Riley and Giles jumped up ready to defend Buffy but she just sneered right back. "Oh no, not me. Xander."

"You really think one mutie is going to stop the will of the Council?" The head watcher laughed as he spoke.

"Ye...yes. I...it doesn't matter if you have four watchers or four thousand. Y...you won't get past him." The watchers present could easily tell the small strip of a girl before them truly believed that.

"So pack up your bags and go back to jolly old England. Your job here is over." Riley spoke up for the first time since hearing all that had happened during the past two days.

With disgruntled looks the watchers packed up and left. Once gone the scoobys began to regroup.

"So what are we supposed to do now? About Xander?" Giles asked. "He'll be back. Maybe with Faith or maybe alone. But he'll come back."

"How can you be so sure?" The ex-watcher wondered. It was Tara that let him know what all the others had figured out for themselves.

"This is his home."