Trick; or is that a treat?

Author: Goat Boy <shezmania[at]>

Disclaimer: Buffy and co belong to Joss Whedon and his monkeys

Summary: watching a flick and always thought he should be explored further that just a great tactician

Warning: haven't seen Buffy in ages; only thing I still like about the whole show is what you guys do with it...cheers (expect non-canon scenes and behavior from now onw....oh and bad grammar, and spelling is a possibility

Rating: R for language and violence

Part one

With the flick of a proverbial switch the reins turned to a far darker character; the normally jolly and friendly Xander Harris is no more. In his place stands a dark; intelligent strategists with no morals and no regrets. Total determination is all that sustains his life; the will to move on where others would grieve. To do more when others would cry at the sight of a mirror. The strength of mind; and will of character to do what he has to. His first thought is that things are wrong. He is no longer on a plane to a far off location for business; but rather in a standard sub-urban setting. With instincts born of countless assassination attempts he knows things are more wrong then his earlier confused estimate. A litter of small animal minded children are in his vicinity and as he lacks the weaponry to ensure his survival he leaves the area.

While he starts walking he feels different; lighter and slower then usual. His usual muscle mass; and swift movement is impaired by his unaccustomed present form. A man who loses something is weaker then a man who never had it. He takes quick stock and realizes his arms are smaller; his stomach weedy; and his legs feel less full. But he does have a full head of hair; something which he lost decades ago. A quick smirk is brought to his face; and lost as the obvious conclusion is brought. He is not within his own body.

On the way to safe ground he meets a scantily clad young girl who proclaims his name to be Xander Harris. This is not so. Obvious confusion arises as he cannot fathom how he has come here. No logical explanation could explain what has occurred. Her words of vampires; demons and other such fairy tales offer no comfort. He is a man who requires vindication for belief; entrusting his own hand rather then that of his maker.

For now he fathoms that she may be useful for later; and follows her lead. He has a head ache over her pointless ramblings; and friendly anecdotes after the first block. A spot of violence usually clears that up; and a hostile leather clad man is just the target. Words of aggression are spoken; and ignored. As he jumps at the scantily clad female the man known as Xander picks up a large stone next to his foot; obvious surprise is had by all three parties as the man jumps through the female. The subjugated Xander is the first to break free from a bout of "huh" and enters the personal space of their attacker.

He swings the stone with all his strength into the back of the head of the leather jock as he is still staring at the girl; at the first hit he stumbles and is angry. With this Xander changes tactics.

He ducks under the sloppy swing of the man even as the girl is screaming for him to be careful; he rams his elbow into the kidney of the larger man once then uses the rock to break the mans nose. A sense of delirium is shown in the movements of the big man and Xander uses this for his advantage. He swings his knee into the groin of the man while pulling him forward by using his neck as leverage following with two elbows to the neck of the man and pulling him back from this position by hooking his palm into the jaw of the man and using his whole bodyweight to push the man back into the ground. A dozen kicks into strategically placed positions means the man is on the ground; in considerable pain. Or would be if he was conscious.

With this Xander drops to his knees and searches the pockets of the man for any usable equipment. A black knife is found along with a clip of money and a small tank of red liquid. Which is blood; not alcohol. A lesson which comes with both a questionable taste in his mouth; and stern shock from the red head. As he spits it out a red mist is formed from his lips. Ironically similar to what the red-head looks like when matter is introduced to her current system.

Another quick grin.

As he starts moving again the red heads protests are ignored; until a sudden rise in volume warns him of immediate danger from behind him. He clips the fast moving blur with the knife into his side; then quickly pulls it out and repeats this action three times then stabs him in the stomach twisting and turning several times and rams him into the ground while holding onto the knife with a iron grip and legs entwined in the mans waist. He quickly slams the knife from the stomach onto his neck; then proceeds to saw his head right off. Unfortunately this move is complicated by the struggling of the massive strength within the man below him which is admittedly frightening as the blood loss is huge and he is still nearly dangerous to Xanders health. Fortunately Xander is use to fighting with blood and gore being regular consequences of one of his fights; iron will and unstoppable focus will prove amazing results. In this case the shock of Keyzer Soze's life as the man below him suddenly disappears into a fine dusty mist. He stands up drenched in blood; and dirt. He continues on for safe ground with Willow looking on in shock and Keyzer walking with little understanding.

Part two

The meeting of the champion and the devil is one not market by any special occurrence; just the collapse of said champion when the black red liquid covering the 'devil' comes into contact with her.

She is of pure origin; finely bred through decades of arrangements for fine offspring. The sight of a man drenched in blood is not a pleasant image to encounter when she is highly stressed out and greatly confused about her current whereabouts.

When the man in red appeared in her eye of sight he was preceded by a woman with questionable origin; who rambled like a leaky brook. The words; and texture of her speech was unfamiliar to her ears even though it was English. Regional speech; ba'h who needs it. Queens English is fine for me. Let's see if I can make her more understandable.

"Used urchin child do cease your infertile ramblings this instant and start making cohesive arguments; please". A black stare was what follows; then the beast with proof of treachery.

A scream; followed by a roll of the eyes and a drop of a champion Willows reaction was immediate. Try to catch her to obvious result. Sans-Xander on the other hand just raised an eyebrow; and brought fort a quiet chuckle over the amusing theatrics of the minuscule girl. The words of the red head designed to produce quilt over his current aesthetic outlook only produce a shrug and words of appeasement; he does not enjoy blood tarred clothes. He will change when the time is available. For now the sight of him -although uncomfortable- was also uncomfortable to look at; he would exploit his current appearance to the max. Even vampires are not fans of crossing such a man; the girl Willow told him and convinced him the full story. He continues his trek to find the cause of his current existence; after picking up the girl "Buffy". Willows indignation was palatable over leaving her there; and her guide must be kept happy. He is use to changing his identity. Somehow this Willow believes she holds control over him; keeping his illusion on is fine. For now.

As they continued their journey to what Willow promised was safe ground ("the library Xa….Soze; it holds our friend Giles and weapons and….") that brought comfort to Keyser as he feels naked without some type of weaponry strapped on him. Situations which dictate the presence of a weapon as being unnecessary are no laughing matter to this man. So he walked onwards.

Again Willow took a furtive glance at her one time friend; now well who knows what he is to her. He is able to carry Buffy over his shoulder with little difficulty for now 5 city blocks; quite a feat for an 18 year old whose regular exercise is running away from things or getting pummeled by things bigger then him. She looks at his blood splattered clothing's; and only sees the look of control and near-boredom on his face when the vampire was attacking him. She sees his actions which are not those of a desperate man but those of a battle hardened man who does not question any actions which works. She shivers again over what has happened to her hero.

Ever since she was a little girl Xander was her hero. He may not have been stronger; faster or more intelligent then those who hurt him but he always came out fine. When someone tried to speak bad about her he did something stupid to incur their verbal laugh; when a bully tried to pick on her regardless of their size Xander always pushed them away. Sometimes this gained that bully's respect; sometimes Xander had to fight and get bloodied. Other times the bully got bloodied. In later years this transformed into actions Xander had to take to protect those he loved; from killing Jessie; forcing Angel to take him to Buffy; to constantly jumping against every vampire he saw to take the pressure off Buffy's back. He does things that needed to be done. Again she shivers at how similar the two are; and how the difference is the circumstances in their lives.

Closer to the library and Willow warns Keyser Soze of what she is going to do; she runs full speed throughout the building. In the process spilling scalding hot tea into the lap of Giles; as well as informing the vampires coming towards the library that something interesting is happening. This according to Spike must be looked into.

Part three

The scene is a musky building where dozens of kids are trying on costumes; trying to increase their capital by emotional blackmail.

For some it works; others it does not. Once again Xanders financial circumstances are not looking up. He had to save from eating at lunch time for a week to save what he has now; as well as mow the lawn; wash the window; and do odd jobs to the people around their neighborhood for another 2 weeks to gather what he has. Still nothing near what his two friends has but he is use to that. As they go off trying to find something to impress Angel with Xanders eyes roll up. It's hopeless; he knows that but he does not care.

With a melancholy jolt he starts moving around the shop looking at the costumes he would like to wear. They have a fine looking Batman costume. Naah; not me. They have a Superman costume; nope too clichéd. A Guyver costume is present; he tries to pick it up but some tall brunet from college gets to it first. Wow; a Spawn costume. Nuts Jonathon got it first; lucky rat. Ooh a Punisher shirt outfit. It's just the shirt. Best thing is that it's cheap. But it's also the last one in the shop and once again a fellow geek gets his hands on it first; damn blond haired $*[at]#%$. Oh well back to the search.

As the young charges of my good friend Ripper were looking around for costumes to search I have already pegged down two appropriate ones for the red head and the slayer. Ironic that a slayer becomes a noblewoman sans her usual powers; or skills. Good. The ghost costume solves the red head; but what of the boy. Hmmm. I can see from his tastes that he would like to dress as a dark character; maybe an unconscious desire to become more powerful, more strong, more dark. Let's see if I can assist him in that.

With that thought the one time friend of Giles during his more explorative days left for the stock room in a search to help Xander; but the object of his fancy on the other hand was still looking for a costume he liked. Blade, Paul Atreides, Sephiroth, Tony Montana, even a Logan costume was rejected. They all lacked a sense of style; a sense of morbid power he so desired in this more melancholy mood he sometimes exhibits when thinking about his own life. How he wished he could just break free from himself and become a man.

Someone people do not sneer at, make a fool of, someone his own father would respect rather then show such little contempt for. How he wished...

"I saw your earlier inquiries child; I may have a suggestion to make" "Eh' you were looking at me for a while then"

"The best kind of shop is that which tailors to their customers wants my friend; what do you expect telepathy?"

"Good point I guess"

Xander is still twigged out by the slightly insane grin on the shop attendant's face; but is curious. At this point he is desperate.

"Ok then; what do you got?"

Rayne like all sensible English men taught in a highly standard; and highly private school frown at the current vernacular of the so called free world.

"It's a costume worn by a man hardened by the years; his profession was that of a businessman who made the hard decision in life while (Sigh) kicking ass I believe is the term used nowadays. Let me show you where it is"

"So basically he was not a good guy?"

"Not in the traditional sense; he looks out for himself. That is all; a sentiment a fellow businessman can respect"

All Xander can think about is that this sounds like a real man; someone who has pride in himself and wont take no crap from no one. Someone not like him. His second thought is that how could he afford such a suit. As this thought enters his mind he visibly becomes uncomfortable.

"What is it child" a semi sincere voice asks; not in concern over the feelings of the young man but more so of the possibility that this will not happen.

"How much is it?"

"We can discuss that at the counter; but remember I do not provide charity...for I to reduce the price you have got to tell people who ask where you got that from. Return customers aren't exactly the daily bread for me."

With that the scene switches to business matters; and five minutes later Xander leaves the shop with his girls by his side both inquisitive over his transaction and both receiving promises of showcasing his choice later today. He has a grin on his face; and change in his pockets (more then he could have hoped for). Such a grin also marks Ethan Rayne's face; he will tonight bring total carnage and total chaos into the city. Although heroes will lurk; but so will the demons of past years. Joker; Magneto, Zoanoides. He will transform the slayer into a victim; a future witch into a ghost; and a white knight into a devil.