Xander as Marvel Style

Author: Dragon Hulk <dragon_hulk[at]yahoo.com>

Disclaimer: I have nothing.

Summery: A series of drabbles featuring Xander as various Marvel heroes. This was inspired by `Xander as DC Stile.' I may go back and write full stories on some of these but not until I cut down my works in progress.

A/N: Iana is holding my other stories hostage. After much negotiating we have agreed that I will do this on the weekend and she will release inspiration for Inheritance or maybe Endless.

Latest addition

Chapter One
The First X-Man

As Xander walked along the stone walkway in the cemetery he reflected on the events that had led him here. It wasn't always easy but rewarding never the less.

Soon after the destruction of Sunnydale Xander begin to hear voices in his head. At first he was worried that he had finally lost it, until he realized that it was the thoughts of people around him.

Remembering what happened to Buffy, Xander quickly went to Giles to find out how this happened. Unexpectedly Giles was stumped. Even with all of the books they had no explanation came as to why Xander would suddenly manifest these powers.

Xander learned to control his powers over time. A difficult task indeed when you consider that his powers grew with each passing day. In fact he grew so powerful that he was soon able to read the thoughts of vampires, something that was believed imposable until then.

As time went by Xander began to believe himself unique in the world. He wasn't a Slayer, a Demon, and he wasn't quite human any longer, he was something else, destined to never know others of his kind. This was Xanders belief, a belief that was shattered the day he met Eric.

Xander smiled as he remembered the first time they met. Eric had been full of rage, ready to lash out at the world with his powers. Xander had no doubt that is what Eric would have done if he hadn't show Eric the world of demons and vampires.

Enraged by the sights he saw Eric joined the fight against the darkness and eventually married Anne, a Slayer. They now have two children that would enroll in the school next fall.

Ah yes, the school. Mustn't forget that, it's the whole reason that he was out walking tonight when his aching bones, brittle from all the times they were broken when he was younger, were telling him to be inside.

When he had first learned there were others like him Xander approached Giles about setting up a school like the Slayers had, so he could train them to control their powers. Giles not only provided a school out in Westchester New York, he also gave Xander a substantial budget. With a bit of investing, aided with his new talents, Xander used the budget money to amass a vast fortune that over showed the entire Counsel holdings.

Soon the students came. Scott, Jean, Warren, Henry, and Bobby were his first group and senior class, but often they felt more like his own children. This was their final before they either went to fight the darkness full time or stayed helping him with the newer classes.

He was currently reading the minds of a nest of vampires, sharing information with his students as they waited in the shadows. Finally the time was right, he sent out a call, perhaps the last one this group would hear.

*To me, my X-Men!*

Chapter Two
Seeing Red

"So you're the one that sees," said Caleb as he held Xanders head between his hands. "Let's see what we can do to fix that." Saying that Caleb pushed his thumbs into Xanders eyes, blinding him.


Later at the Hospital

"Ms. Rosenberg, can I have a moment of your time?" said Xanders doctor, looking over a sheet.

Willow nodded numbly, and followed. She couldn't believe this had happened. Xander hadn't been severely injured in seven years fighting, and now he would never see again. This wasn't supposed to happen, Xander was supposed to be the one that gets married and has a normal life, he doesn't deserve this.

"Ms. Rosenberg, I don't know how to explain this but Mr. Harris' eyes seem to be growing back. At first we thought we were mistaken but there was a two hundred percent increase in tissue the last time the nurses changed his bandage. At this rate your friend should have two new eyes in a couple of days."

To say Willow was shocked would have been an understatement. To say she was about to freak out would be closer to the truth. Luckily before she had time to work herself up the doctor continued. "What I would like you to do is convince your friend to let us transfer him to another facility, one that could better determine the cause of this phenomenon. If you could just talk to him, convince him that this could help others, he is being unreasonable at the moment."

"I need some time," a quick look at the name badge reveled what she wanted to know, "Dr. Excess."

"I understand, but please hurry. If you wait to long there won't be any time to properly document the event."

Willow didn't hear him she was already up and walking out the door. Should she convince Xander to leave? He wouldn't get hurt again but with new eyes he could help fight. How did he get new eyes any way? All these questions made Willow head hurt so she sat down on a bench.

"I wouldn't let the Doc take him away if I were you Red," said a voice too close to her.

"EEP! Who are you, and how do you know about that?!"

"Names Whistler, you can check with your friend Buffy to make sure I'm okay. As for how I know, my bosses have been keeping their eye on the Doc for a while now, trust me he's bad news."

"Oh, and just who are your bosses?"

"The Powers That Be. They are the ones that are giving the kid back his eyes at the moment, and a bit extra."

"What extra, are they going to make him a demon?"

"No, they are just activating a couple of dormant genes. His kid or grandkid was supposed to have this but with the First up to its old tricks he gets it now. Now listen make sure he is wearing these glasses when he opens his eyes, other wise there is going to be big trouble. Second let him handle the vamps under the Seal alone. He won't have enough control for anyone to be down there with him."

"Wait, how can Xander defeat an army of Ubervamps?"

"Simple, all he has to do is look at them without the glasses." And without another word Whistler vanished as if he was never there at all.


Under the Seal

As Xander made his way down into the cave he felt nervous. He knew he had a power now, as Buffy's new sunroof proved, but he couldn't help asking himself if it was enough.

He pushed these thoughts from his mind as he reached the cliff and removed his glasses. His power would have to be enough. As he opened his eyes red beams of destructive force erupted from his eyes pulverizing everything that they came into contact with.

Xander moved his head from one side to another, forcing out as much energy as he could. The Ubervamps were dying by the thousands from his gaze, the cave walls weakening until they began to crumble.

As he saw the entrance collapse he remembered Whistlers words to him when he first entered the hospital.

"We can help you out kid, save your friends and you world. The catch it you can't make it. If you survive the other side will release creatures that would make the Ubervamps look cute and cuddly. The world just isn't ready for that yet, maybe in sixty years or so but not yet. So what do you say, still want to do this."


Xander smiled as he imagined what kind of world it would be like with people with powers like his. He didn't know for sure but he would bet it would be a Marvelous place.

Chapter Three
Angelus Takes Flight

Angelus loved this feeling of power he had. Thanks to his lesser half the Slayer wouldn't kill him because he had the same face. The power that gave him was intoxicating, proven by the fact that he was currently playing chicken with the sunrise. He would wait by his door until the last moments of night vanished, safe in the knowledge that even if the sun did weaken him the Slayer wouldn't take advantage of it.

So sure was Angelus that he didn't hear the beating of wings above him, but he did feel the cold iron hook as it ripped into his shoulder and yanked him off the ground.

Blinded by pain and rage Angelus looked up and saw what appeared to be a true angel with white feathery wings. The rage was quickly dampened by fear when his mind considered what one of them would want with him. Just as he was going to pretend he still had his sole a familiar voice spoke to him.

"Hey Dead boy what's up, besides us that is?"

"Xander is that you? When I get free I swear I'm going to shove this hook up your arse and use your guts to decorate me home," said Angelus as he tried to yank the hook out using his good arm.

"Sorry fang face, not going to happen," said Xander as he steadied himself against Angelus' struggles. "I've wanted to do this ever since I met you. Do you have any idea how insulting it is to have a vamp call itself Angel when you have wings like these?"

"So what magician did you sell your sole to get those wings boy?" taunted Angelus hoping to through his captor off balance.

"Unlike you I still got my sole. I'm a mutant dust for brains, I got these last year. Why else do you think I always wore those baggy clothes?" responded Xander not being phased in the least.

Angelus finally stopped struggling. The hook was in too firm to dislodge, he couldn't climb the chain with only one good hand, and no matter how much he moved he couldn't make the boy drop him. He only one hope, he better make it quick though, sunrise was just moments away.

"You know she will kill you for doing this to me don't you boy? She will hate you for taking me away from her. Then she will hunt you down and put a stake in your mutie heart."

Xander seemed to pause for a moment, giving Angelus hope that he had finally gotten to him. His hopes were shattered when Xander said, "That was always your problem, you never gave her enough credit. She will be mad, but once she calms down she will see that I did the right thing. I'll eventually win back her trust, and while things won't be like they are now, it's nothing that can't be dealt with.

"Now take a good look at the sunrise Angelus, it's going to be a beauty and I don't think you will see them where you are going."

Xander ignored the vampires' screams as he used the heat from the flames to rise higher into the air. Maybe Angelus was right and Buffy would kill him now, that didn't mean that the job didn't need to be done.

As Angelus finally turned into ashes Xander took a good look at Sunnydale. This was his town, and it was time to show everyone in it just what a real Angel could do.

Chapter Four
An Ice Age

Xander couldn't believe it, Angel was back! And what does Buffy do? Does she stake him? No. Does she immediately tell them of the possible danger they are in? No. She tries to convince him that he shouldn't kill himself and do her job for her.

Now here it is five minutes form sunrise and she is still trying to get him to come back. All Xander would have to do is sit back, enjoy the fire, and be safe in the knowledge that Angelus is truly gone. But if he did that it would mean return of sad Buffy, and sad Buffy would mean sad everyone else. He hated seeing everyone sad so he would once again trust Buffys judgment and do what he could to save the vamp.

The first step, gathering moisture, was easy with an ocean so close. The second step, putting it in the sky was harder. He had always gathered the moisture where he was standing, or close to him, putting it in the sky was a new and difficult experience.

The third step was the hardest, not because of complexity but because of the sheer volume he would have to do it in. He knew that if it was just cloudy or rained Angel would just sit out there and brood until the sun came out. No, what Xander was needed was cold, and lots of it. Unfortunately cold isn't something you would find in Southern California, even on Christmas day. As Xander staidly lowered the temperature he was fighting nature herself, and as usual nature was fighting him every step of the way.

As he heard amazed exclamation he knew he succeeded. Angel was safe for the day, but if he set one toe out of line Xander wouldn't hesitate turning him into a vamp cycle.

Oh well, time to go back home and move his camping gear inside until next Christmas. He would wait until tomorrow to tell the others about Angels return, after all no one should have bad news on Christmas.

So Xander went home, unknowingly saving the world once again by saving one life. As he walked he left foot shaped patches of frost where he stepped, a testament to the gift he now had. All Xander knew was that his new power was cool. As cool as an old fashioned Ice Man.

Chapter Five
Wings of Fire

Xander couldn't believe what he was seeing some kind of demon, human, and machine highbred had Buffy by the neck and was chocking her to death. No matter what he had thrown at the creature, with is hands or his powers was just shrugged off.

More and more Xander felt tempted to give into the voice in the back of his head, telling him to let it out, to give in fully to the power. He knew that if he did there was no going back, and quite frankly the voice had him a bit spooked. There was still one way to beat the monster, use his power to sever his arm one piece at a time.

Feeling around with his mind Xander soon found a group of wires that he quickly ripped out. The monster sensing his plan decided to end the fight quickly and snapped Buffys neck.

As Xander heard the sickening crack, he felt the last of his guards go down and something immerge from within him. Something old, and powerful.

Psychic flames erupted around him, forming into the shape of a bird. In a flash ADAM is imprisoned by a fiery taloned foot. Soon a change begins on the molecular level, changing this creature of death into a statue of stone, a testament to the power of this new God.

Fear oh mortal, for the Phoenix once again sours through the sky. And if humanity is found unworthy it will be burnt from the face of the earth, so that something new may rise from the ashes.

Chapter Six
A Hairy Situation

"Experiment #4257, Dr. Margaret Walsh recording. This will be the first test involving the new formula. It is my belief that the energies of the Hellmouth will weaken the natural immune system that has been the failure of the previous formulas.

"For this reason I have chosen a life long resident. The subject has also had close contact with HST over the last four years, further weakening him and making him a prime candidate for the formula.

"Even though he is known in a close circle of friends his activities and lack of abilities keep him within the guide lines for unwilling subjects. He won't be missed."

"Let me go! You can't do this to me! I'm going to kick your butt when I get out of this!" shouted Xander at the doctor. That is all he had been doing ever since he had been kidnapped in the middle of the night. Now he was strapped down on a table with a supposed ally about to experiment on him.

"Subject exhibits same hostility as the others. One would think he would be used to betrayal by now.

"Injecting formula directly into the heart at precisely 02:00 hours. Subject is quickly increasing in muscle mass as well as height. The bones are reshaping making his arms longer and legs shorter, almost as if he were devolving. This would also explain the switch from words to an almost primal roaring, like that found in gorillas."


"04:50 hours, the transformation seems to be complete. It became necessary to inject the subject with an antistatic some time ago to prevent him from breaking his bonds. It is unknown at this time what effect it will have when it reacted with the formula. The subject is now an estimated 6'5" in height and has optimal muscle for current frame. Finger and toe nails have transformed into small claws, and his top incises have transformed into fangs.

"Undesirable side effects include blue fur covering the entire body. This would make him too noticeable for most covert operations. Also his ape like frame would make handling guns difficult.

"Declaring subject a failure due to the undesirable side effects. Will wait the standard week to see if there are any other effects before proceeding with the termination and dissection phases."


Three days later

Under the UC Sunnydale campus a creature prowled his cage. In three days no words had passed the creatures lips. The other monsters were uneasy every time that one of them were brought past the creatures cage, as if they could all since that this thing was unnatural and didn't belong to anything that they knew.

The creature its self was quiet after the first day. Now it sat and watched the world beyond its electrified screen with unusually intelligent yellow eyes. No one wished to be caught by those silently accusing yellow orbs. Even the most hardened officer quickened their step when walking past that particular cage.

In the dark the creature came to a decision, it had waited and watched long enough. Now it was time to strike.


"Hey Buffy," said Riley as he jogged up to his depressed girlfriend. "I got some good news for you; we finally got a lead on the demon that killed Xander."

Buffy's head snapped around so fast that Riley was surprised that she didn't suffer from self induced whiplash. "Where is it?! I don't care if you guys want it or what but I have to kill it after what it did to Xander. I mean if it wasn't for the clothes, and you matching the dental records the corps you showed me wouldn't have been recognizable as Xander. I need to tell Xander that I got his killer at his funeral tomorrow; he deserves that much at least."

Riley quickly held his hands up in surrender to stop the sudden torrent of words that came out of his lover. "Whoa there Buffy, first we don't know where it is. It was brought in by a capture team just before sundown but it escaped. After the damage it caused Walsh decided it was too dangerous to live, she sent a team out to kill it five minutes ago. I'm just letting you know because I thought you may want to help out. Don't worry I know how good of a guy Xander was, the monster that killed him won't live to see sunrise, either because of you or my team."

Just for a moment doubt crossed Buffy's face. "Are you sure it is the same demon, not just one from the same species? I know it's dead either way but if it isn't the one we still have to find it."

"When the capture team found it, there was human flesh stuck on its claws and teeth, the lab matched the DNA to Xander." A slight part of Riley was surprised by how easily the lie came out. He didn't dwell on it though; after all he had been trained to do this, to lie to his loved ones when the situation merited it. After all you can't work for a black operation if you couldn't deny what happens there with a straight face.

A cold furry passed over Buffy as she got conformation that this was indeed the thing that had killed one of her dearest friends. "Just point it out when we find it and stand back, its mine," Buffy growled as she started to stalk towards the forest just beyond the campus.

"I can do one better than that," said Riley as he kept pace beside her with no small amount of effort. He quickly pulled a picture out of his front pocket and gave it to the woman in his life. "This is from the security camera; it gives you a good image. What you can't tell is that its fur is blue. It should be easy to spot, unless it jumps into a comic book or something."

Buffy gave a half smile at Riley's attempted joke. It didn't really matter though, it wasn't a Xander joke. Now that she finally had the chance to kill the fiend that took her friend away she had to make sure she didn't blow it.

Buffy was out of her retrieving when one of the solders screamed as he fell into a pit. Quicker than she would have imagined the attack was upon them. The blue blur was all around them, moving so quickly that not even Buffy had time to react to one attack before another was begun. Soon she was standing alone surrounded by unconscious Initiative members.

Soon a low, rumbling voice came from the trees that the monster disappeared into. "I don't suppose that you would be inclined to acquiesce if I simply asked for your departure?"

"You killed a good friend of mine a couple of days ago so the only thing that is going to depart around here is your head form your shoulders," said Buffy, not understanding why it didn't just attack.

"I suppose that the Initiative was the one to inform you of this gruesome murder you accuse me of?" When Buffy nodded the voice continued. "I don't suppose you ever stopped to conceder that with their recourses they could manufacture any evidence they may need dear princess?"

"I saw his body. I saw what you did to him; I know you like to play. It won't work on me though, as soon as I find you your dead," stated Buffy as she tried to figure out where this beast was hiding.

"I suppose that you were able to easily identify your friends' corps then? It wasn't mangled so badly that it was only recognizable by dental records and its finger prints. Perhaps a tell tail scrap of fabric clinging on the body convinced you that lifeless hush lying on that mettle slab was your friend. Or perhaps it was something else entirely princess?"

"Why do you keep calling me Princess?" asked Buffy trying to fight the doubts that were worming their way through her soul. How could this thing know so much? It knows because it did it.

"Because it fits. After all whom other than the enchanted princess is always awakened from a kiss from a loyal knight in fairy tales."

"How do you know about that?" asked Buffy with a shiver. No one outside their group knows that she had died. They didn't talk about it much so there should be no way that this thing should know about it. Even if it had figured out that she had died because there was another Slayer it shouldn't know that Xander brought her back with CPR.

"I know because I was there. Perhaps if I bring forth yet another moment from our shared past the light of recognition will fill your eyes. How about the fact that even though I look like a comic book villain I shall keep my oath, and not were spandex."

For a moment no sound is heard, except for a sword falling on the ground. "Xan Xander, is that you?"

Xander landed softly as he dropped form the trees. Giving his patented lopsided grin, while being careful not to show his new fangs Xander walked towards his friend. "Yeah Buff, it's me."

"What happened, and why were you talking like Giles on a smart pill overdose?"

"The Initiative happened Buffy. They kidnapped me and tested some kind of super soldier formula on me that turned me into this. Aside from the obvious side effects it also made me smarter so I finally understood all those words Giles and Willow use.

"I had to talk that way so you would see the real me. After all if I had tried to just tell, you wouldn't have believed me. By letting you figure it out on your own I saved my self one Buffy sized slaying."

Buffy grinned at the knowledge that this was indeed her friend. The grin quickly faded when she considered his words. "I'm not going to let the Initiative get a way with this."

Xander couldn't help it and let out a full grin. "Not to worry, I've already taken care of if. Before I left the labs I was able to e-mail incrementing files to everyone I could think of, including a few news organizations. As soon as the top people get wind of this they will cut up the Initiative into tiny little pieces, sweep it under the rug and pretend it never existed."

By this time Buffy was giggling so much she was about to fall over. "I wish I could see their faces when they find out what you did. But for now let's take you to Willow and Giles to see if they can't get you more Xander shaped."

Chapter Seven
Laws of Attraction

The mettle rebar flew through the air towards Cordelia. Xander could see it, he could feel it, and even though he didn't know how, he stopped it. Years later he still wouldn't be able to explain just what it felt like to hold that piece of mettle with his new powers.

As time went by he learned to control his powers. Soon the residence of Sunnydale began to whisper about the sharp mettle disks that fallowed the Slayer, protecting her. They never thought that the unassuming, annoying young man that was often with her was the true cause of this event.

During his road trip after graduation Xander met a strange man, about his own age in Salem. The mans name was Charles Xavier, and he could read peoples minds. This astonished Xander because he couldn't sense any of the normal magnetic signs that accompanied demons.

Xavier explained his theory that mankind was entering a stage of rapid evolution, a stage that would produce mutants with great powers like themselves. In time more and more mutants would emerge until they were all that was left.

The thing that Xavier had come here to ponder was what to do until mutant kind came into their inheritance.

"The world history is ripe with examples of intolerance," explained Xavier. "If normal humans fear us they will seek to either kill or enslave us, and I very much suspect that they will fear us."

Xander thought about his own experiences, mainly the experiences that he still retained from Halloween. "What is needed is a safe house while the numbers of mutants grow. Some place safe, where they could learn to control their powers."

Xavier was impressed, and soon the two men were talking long into quickly suggesting and dismissing ideas for the future. Xander insisted that a war was inevitable and that they should train a select few how to use their powers for combat. Xavier wasn't enthused about the idea at first, believing that passive resistance would better achieve the goal of a peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans, but eventually conceded to the fact that it would be better if they were prepared if attacked.

Xander and Xavier spent most of the summer hammering out details and planning for the future. At the end of the season Xavier asked Xander to stay with him and help oversee the construction of the school.

Xander reluctantly declined saying, "If someone opened up the Hellmouth it would be the end for humans and mutants."

With a promise to keep in contact they both went their separate ways. As Xander left, he was troubled. The memories he retained from Halloween led him to believe that if two kinds of people were determined to hate each other then they would, no matter what anyone else said and did. Well Xavier had a beautiful dream for the future, one that was worth working towards, he could voice his concerns another time.

As time went on Xander helped in many battles with his friends, often proving to be a pivotal player when confronted by creatures like ADAM and Glory. Both taxed his powers to the extreme but were defeated with the help of his friends.

Almost every week he received mail from Xavier, telling him about the progress. Sometimes his letters would include rumors Xavier had heard about people that could be mutants. A woman in Africa that could control the weather, a man in Russia that could turn himself into mettle, and a wild man in Canada that would recover from any injury. If it wasn't for the powers he himself possessed Xander would have dismissed these stories as nothing more than rumors, but instead he made an offhanded comment about wishing they had a better way of identifying mutants.

This little comment caused Xavier to design what he called a Cerebro unit. Something that showed that Xavier was so far beyond Willow smart that it almost scared Xander. Xavier explained that he would need Xanders powers to help shape many of the parts needed to complete the machine, so Xavier invited Xander to stay at the newly finished school for the summer.

This second summer together wasn't as fond as the first unfortunately. After Xanders experiences with the Initiative and looking at people in general he believed more than ever that humans and mutants would live together in friendship.

Xavier was unreasonable though, unwilling to budge from his position. In the end Xander backed down saying that he would give their plan one good shot before suggesting another.

The next year the Scooby Gang faced their biggest challenge. A being named the First Evil was trying to open the Hellmouth. It henchmen included a preacher named Caleb that was stronger than all their fighters combined and a small green man that was able to leach away Xanders mutant powers.

It was a long hard war but in the end they were able to kill the preacher and green man. This allowed Xander to fling the seal into space, where it wouldn't harm anyone again, something that took so much power he almost died.

Victorious the group left the school only to be confronted by the towns people they thought had evacuated. The First had one last ditch plan, appear to the people of Sunnydale and convince them that Buffy and her friends were the cause of all the deaths over the years and because of that they should die.

The battle didn't take long; the people who had protected the world were too tired to defend themselves from the mob. The fight was short and brutal, Buffy, Faith, everyone except Xander died that day on the high school parking lot. The only reason that Xander survived is because he instinctively tried to use his powers to send the bullet that was heeding towards his heart back at the shooter, an effort that simply resulted in slowing the bullet down thanks to his weakened state. Left for dead Xander was just able to make it inside a house, where he patched his wound, before sundown.

Three weeks later at the mass funeral for his friends Xander heard familiar footsteps come up behind him. "Hello Charles," said Xander not bothering to turn around.

"I know this is a difficult time for you Xander," said Xavier. "If you wish to come to the school you will always have a place there. The first student, a Scott Summers, should be arriving in a week."

"Tell me Charles, do you still believe in coexisting with a species that kills its protectors?" asked Xander his voice no more than a whisper.

There was a long pause before the answer finally came, "Yes. You must remember that the people that did this were a minority, most humans will eventually see reason."

"I'm sorry but I can no longer afford to believe that, not after all I have seen," said Xander as he began to walk away from what could be considered his only living friend. "We will meet again Charles. Whether we are friends or not depends on how much you have learned about the true nature of the world."

"Xander, please wait and conceder what you are saying," begun Xavier but was cut off by the look Xander directed towards him.

"Xander died with his friends Xavier, he no longer exists! From now on you may call me Magneto."

Chapter Eight
Flow Like Water

Xander was lying in a small puddle of water, looking at the portal above him. He could feel the energies wash into him, but it didn't matter he would be dead soon. He still couldn't believe that he had been blind sided as he was going to help his friends. He had killed the demon with no eyes but now he couldn't move. He watched as Buffy finally killed Doc and started to free Dawn.

He began to wonder where they thought they could go. The portal was open, and Willow was too drained from earlier to try and close it. He was forced to watch as Buffy said some words to Dawn, then jumped off the tower into the portal. Just before she entered it her eyes made contact, and it was that moment everything changed for Xander.

There would be lots of speculation later, mainly by Giles, on what happened. Xanders favorite was that the Slayer spirit used the eye contact and the lingering mystical energy from the joining spell to channel the portal energy into Xander in an attempt to save Buffy.

All Xander knew at the time though was that he felt an incredible amount of pain before he blacked out.


The demon biker gang was circling the Buffy Bot. The leader had already cut its face revealing circuitry, confirming that the Slayer was gone and only a cheep robot was guarding Sunnydale.

"All right boys," roared the leader. "Let's trash this tin can and take this town! The Hellmouth is ours!"

As they were about to do just that a hand shot out from the shadows gutting the leader before he could take two steppes.

"You guys really are stupid," said a voice from the shadow the impossibly long arm was retracting into. "You didn't think that if the Slayer was dead that another one would come here or in this case something even more dangerous."

Before the gang could react Xander attacked. The demons were stronger but he was quicker and had a longer reach, man did he have a longer reach.

Willow and the others said it looked like he was stretching when he used his powers. He could understand but it didn't feel like he was stretching, it felt that his body parts were just flowing to where he wanted them to be. Sometimes the flow was fast, like a raging river, and sometimes the flow was slow, like a gentle stream, but it was always a flow.

As soon as the last of the demon was killed Willow came running down the street, panting and out of breath. When she reached him she gave him a gentle slap on his arm and said, "No fair making your legs go all long and stuff, you know I can't keep up when you do that!"

"Sorry Will, I just thought it would be a good idea to move as fast as I could when the demons took the Bot."

"Its okay I just still get worried when you fight on your own."

"Hey, I think I'm getting good at this demon killing if I do say so myself."

"Xander you were always good, now you are becoming fantastic."

Chapter Nine
Sturdy as Stone

Xander quickly looked around the construction site, cursing himself for loosing his weapon. He should have expected to get ambushed getting out of the wrecking ball. The weirdest thing though was it wasn't one of Glories normal minions, it was a mostly human looking demon with its eyes sewn shut. He would talk to Giles about it later.

Picking up a brick, figuring that it was better than nothing at all, Xander began to quickly walk towards a fight he could help in. Acting on some instinct he took a moment to look up to see how Buffy was doing, just barely catching her eyes as she fell into the portal.

There would be lots of speculation later, mainly by Giles, on what happened. Xanders favorite was that the Slayer spirit used the eye contact and the lingering mystical energy from the joining spell to channel the portal energy into Xander in an attempt to save Buffy.

All Xander knew was that he was in more pain than he had been in his entire life. As his limbs grew heavy, and his mind gave into the soothing darkness, Xander saw Buffys body land in a pile of rubble. He silently vowed to do what ever it took to make sure the next Slayer wouldn't have to suffer the same way, no matter the cost.


The demon biker gang was circling the Buffy Bot. The leader had already cut its face revealing circuitry, confirming that the Slayer was gone and only a cheep robot was guarding Sunnydale.

"All right boys," roared the leader. "Let's trash this tin can and take this town! The Hellmouth is ours!"

Before the leader could take two steps a large rocky hand grabbed him from behind and crushed his head like a grape.

"You guys really are stupid," said the large figure behind their ex boss. This was unlike any demon they had seen before, seven perhaps eight feet tall with a hide of orange rocks. It brown eyes filled with hate as it surveyed them. When it spoke it voice sounded like it was coming from the earth its self. "You didn't think that if the Slayer was dead that another one would come here or in this case something even more dangerous."

After he finished speaking the demons attacked Xander. He wasn't too worried, there may be more of them but he was a whole lot stronger and tougher.

"All right, you want to fight that fine with me. IT'S WHACKING TIME!"

A brief, yet gory fight later Willow came out of the shadows where she had been waiting incase Xander needed help.

"It's whacking time?" Willow asked with one eyebrow raised.

"Superhero catch phrase, what do you think?"

"Sounds a little sissy to me. It's like 'Okay troops lets give the bad guys a good whacking.' Doesn't really inspire the fear. Maybe you should try to use 'Its time for pain' instead."

"That sounds like those old elephant jokes, so no."

"How about using clobbering instead of whacking."

"It's clobbering time? You don't think that will make me sound dumb?"

"Nah, besides it has a classic sound to it."

The two friends walked in silence until Willow once again began to talk. "Xander about the spell Giles and I found."

"No Willow," Xander interrupted with a sigh in his voice. "That one will turn me back full time if it works. If you find one that would one that would let me change back from this thing I've become temporarily I'll be the first one saying we should try it. I've told you why I feel this way; I can do a lot of good with these powers. With Buffy dead and Faith in prison we need every advantage we can take."

Willow simply nodded. She didn't like to see her friend suffer but she knew that her friend could be as stubborn as she could be. If Xander felt he could do more good as the thing he had become then there was no power in heaven or hell that could force him to change his mind.

Chapter Ten
Visible as Air

Xander was out of breath and looking around for a weapon. He still couldn't believe that he killed that freaky demon with no eyes without a weapon. As he looked around he caught Buffys eyes as she fell from the tower.

There would be lots of speculation later, mainly by Giles, on what happened. Xanders favorite was that the Slayer spirit used the eye contact and the lingering mystical energy from the joining spell to channel the portal energy into Xander in an attempt to save Buffy.

All Xander knew was that he was in more pain than he had ever been in his life. As the world began to fade into nothingness around him Xander saw Buffy hit the pile of rubble. He made a silent vow to himself that moment to never let any thing like that happen again.


The demon biker gang was circling the Buffy Bot. The leader had already cut its face revealing circuitry, confirming that the Slayer was gone and only a cheep robot was guarding Sunnydale.

"All right boys," roared the leader. "Let's trash this tin can and take this town! The Hellmouth is ours!"

Before the leader could take two steps his head exploded, causing his brains to splatter on the rest of the gang.

"You guys really are stupid," said a voice from the shadows. The demons began to panic. They knew it wasn't a ghost, they could feel those and they weren't getting anything from this being. No sound, no scent, nothing that they could use to pin down their attacker. Soon the voice that seemed to come from everywhere began to talk again, "You didn't think that if the Slayer was dead that another one would come here or in this case something even more dangerous."

In groups of twos and threes the demons began to explode. Some tried to run but soon found that they were trapped by some kind of invisible wall.

After all the demons had died Xander made himself visible again. He walked over to the Buffy Bot to see if there was any damage.

"You know there are times I wish you had a power that wasn't so messy," said Willow as she walked out of the shadows, a sickened look on her face.

"Hey, you were the one that gave me the idea to use my invisible fields this way Willow."

"I just asked if you could form them in solid objects! I never said to form them in demons and then expand them until a vital demon organ goes pop. That idea came from the icky boy mind of one Xander Harris."

"Yeah, I guess it did. Luckily being the engaged man that I am I don't have any plans to use my powers to sneak into the girls' locker rooms once college starts."

Willow simply shook her head, he may be in his early twenties but sometimes Xander seemed like he was still fourteen. "I still wish I could figure out how you see when you turn invisible."

"That's my Will, full time holder of the Scooby brain cell. We have gone over this a thousand times; I don't know how I see I just do."

Willow just smiled. It was just like high school all over again. If he didn't think it was important he would just ignore it and hope it didn't bite him later.

Chapter Eleven
Bright as Fire

Xander was out of breath as he tried to beat out the flames on his pants. Stupid demon with it eyes sewn shut ambushed him when he got out of the wrecking ball. If that gas main hadn't erupted he would be one dead Xander. Right before he put the last ember of flames out Xander looked up and caught Buffys eye as she fell into the portal.

There would be lots of speculation later, mainly by Giles, on what happened. Xanders favorite was that the Slayer spirit used the eye contact and the lingering mystical energy from the joining spell to channel the portal energy into Xander in an attempt to save Buffy.

All Xander knew was that he was in more pain than he had ever been in his life. As he felt a burning rage form inside him as he began to pass out Xander saw Buffy hit the pile of rubble. He made a silent vow to himself that moment to never let any thing like that happen again.


The demon biker gang was circling the Buffy Bot. The leader had already cut its face revealing circuitry, confirming that the Slayer was gone and only a cheep robot was guarding Sunnydale.

"All right boys," roared the leader. "Let's trash this tin can and take this town! The Hellmouth is ours!"

Before the leader could take two steps a fire ball struck his chest reducing the creature to a pile of ashes.

"You guys really are stupid," said a young brown haired mortal. He didn't look like much but the power that destroyed their leader made them cautious. Soon the mortal began to speak again, "You didn't think that if the Slayer was dead that another one would come here or in this case something even more dangerous."

The spiteful tone of the words enraged the gang of demons. As one they began to rush towards the mortal, planning to overpower him with their numbers. The mortal simply gave a lopsided grin and said two words that all the demons would remember until the moment they died, "Flame On."

With those two words the mortal turned into a living effigy. Flames danced around his body obscuring his features, and soon those flames were leaping towards the demons burning through flesh and bone to their vital organs. With in a matter of moments the gang of demons that had the town under their thumbs became nothing but smoldering corpses.

Slowly Willow walked out of the shadows and approached Xander. "Um Xander, could you knock off the human torch impression? It's still close to summer and you are producing way too much heat for me to be a happy Willow."


Willow was slightly put off by Xanders curt answer. "Why not, you are making things way too hot."

"Let's just say that your spell didn't make my clothes fire proof enough and leave it at that shall we?"

Willow began to blush, though not nearly as hard as she would have in high school over the thought of a naked Xander. "Well fly back home and change there before some water demon extinguishes your flames and takes you as her love slave."

The horrified look on Xanders face was priceless as he realized that with his luck something like that would happen. As he shot off into the night sky Willow let out a small smile. Xander always wanted to be a super hero when they were younger and now he was. The Hellmouth was the quietist it has ever been and with his flight ability he was helping save lives all along the cost. While she felt guilty when she had this thought she couldn't imagine things being better even if Buffy was still alive.


In a hell dimension removed from our perspectives the First Evil raged as it saw its plans fail for the fourth time. It had foreseen that the mortal Xander would be able to save the Slayer in each of these worlds so it had sent its Bringers to kill him. In each instance not only had the boy survived but he became a hero of such magnitude that they didn't bring back the Slayer from heaven.

The worst part though was that each time he gained the powers of one of the elements of creation. If these four were to ever meet they would be an unstoppable force that could harm the First Evil its self.

As the First Evil began to withdraw anything that could lead these four men to it from various dimensions it felt fear. Fear that these four would be just the beginning of the others new army, an army that could very well forever tip the balance of good and evil.

Chapter Twelve
An Innocent Thief

Xander took a quick look to make sure that Cordelia was indeed keeping watch as he worked on the second lock. Turning back he brought up his power and felt his perspective change. He knew that at this moment his eyes had changed, the white parts turning black and the brown parts turning blood red. This was the real reason that he wanted Cordelia to stand guard; he didn't want her to know what he was quite yet.

The world wasn't the same when he changed like this. The world was made up of energy, and when he was like this Xander could see just how much energy something had, and how much more it could take before blowing up. That was the one ability he had, blowing things up.

Well some things, anyway. It didn't work living things or vampires, but it was the perfect power when you needed a lock gone. Xander concentrated on charging only one part of the lock. If he charged the whole thing he could damage the rocket launcher, and that would be of the bad.

Satisfied that the job was done when he heard a small pop, Xander opened the box and stuffed the deadly weapon into the bag he brought to hid it. Waiting until they were back in the van before opening the bag and charging the weapon, all the while keeping his eyes hidden from everyone else.

He didn't want to detonate the rocket early that would be counter productive, even if it would be very cool. He just wanted to give it as much power as he could to defeat the Judge. The Judge couldn't be defeated by anything forged by man, and while Xander believed that this alone may do the job, the rocket and his own nonhuman energy should blow him to peaces.


Ah the smell of burning demon flesh in the evening, does anything smell as good? Well yeah, just about anything, and twinkies in particular, but it can still smell good after you just saved the world. Buffy went to finish off Angle, so Xander figured he would go after and Drusilla.

"Hide and seek is over now Dru, come out, come out where ever you are," said Xander as he searched for the insane vampire.

"Ms. Edith whispered your secret to me little kitten. She knows that you aren't human; you are one of our new playmates, for when humanity is washed away by time. Now come to mummy, so we can play until the stars drop from the sky like rain."

For a moment Xander almost gave into her spell. Then he charged his stake and threw it at her, pleasantly surprised when he found that he still had some control over it even after it left his hand.

"Poor kitten, now no one will be able to save you when the bad pale man comes," said Drusilla as she crumpled to dust.

Hearing his name called Xander walked back to the group, not giving the pile of ash that had once been one of the most feared vampires in the world a second look.

"Hey guys, Drusilla is officially dust," declared Xander as he came in site of the rest of the gang.

The reaction that he received wasn't nearly as expected though. Instead of treating him like a hero he was being yelled at for doing something that could be killed.

Holding up his hands Xander tried to calm his friends down, "Okay, going after Drusilla was a bit of a gambit, I admit that. I just thought it would be better to take her out now while was weak. Plus with Buffy taking out Angel all we have to worry about is Spike."

"That thing isn't Angel," snapped Buffy. "It's Angelus, never call it Angel again Xander."

Xander winced as he realized the mistake he made, "Sorry Buffy, you staked Angelus, not Angel."

"Actually he got away," muttered Buffy.

"I guess that Angelus has some moves that Angel didn't then," said Xander as he picked up one of the Judges twitching fingers, and missing Buffy wince.

Soon it was all over, ever part of the once powerful demon bagged and tagged, ready to be shipped all over the world. Unfortunately Xander couldn't get Drusillas last prediction out of his mind, and now there was a little voice in the back of his head saying that the worst was yet to come.

Chapter Thirteen
Truth, Justice

"Dr. Margaret Walsh recording on experiment CA09514. This experiment is the latest to duplicate Dr. Schweitzer's successful formula, see file Rogers for a detailed report. The current subject is in slightly better conditions than subject Rogers was. I believe this has been the major mistake in the past; we have been using subjects close to physical perfection when the only successful subject was far from perfection himself.

"Current subject meets guidelines for dealing with unwilling participants, and is currently drugged so there will be less of a strain when the formula is administered."

On the cold examination table Xander Harris didn't even flinch when the needle was pushed into his heart.


Xander was having the best dream of his entire life, well the one about Faith and Buffy was better, but this came in a close second. He was surrounded by a soothing white mist, and he didn't feel any pain. No worries, no pain, he would have thought this was heaven except there weren't any Twinkies.

His rest was soon interrupted when a man walked out of the mist. That was wrong, if he was dreaming it should be a girl, not a man. The man was trying to say something but the mist blocked it. Good, now if the mist would take him away completely and bring the green slave girl from Star Trek he could get on with his usual dreams.

With a wave of his hand the man took away the mist, and Xander knew pain. He knew the pain of his bones lengthen and strengthen. He knew the pain of his muscles and internal organs growing artificially. In these moments Xander knew a pain that only one other knew before. Pushing the pain down, Xander forced his attentions on the blond man.

"Sorry about that, I needed to make sure you were listening to me," said the blond man.

"Better ways than doing that than pain. Try a half dressed woman next time, works good in advertising, plus people are going to be less in touch with their anger after you get their attention," replied Xander.

"A sense of humor, you may need it," said the blond man.

"Nice to know, and why is that exactly blond boy?"

"Names Steve Rogers, more commonly known as Captain America. Kid I hate to be the one to tell you this but you just got picked to be my replacement."

"Let me just say, huh?"

"Let me clarify here. You are currently in a black ops lab and have been injected with the latest version of the formula that gave me powers in the 40's in hopes of mass producing the ultimate soldier.

"What they haven't figured out is that the formula is only part of the deal, there is a spiritual side as well. Not only would the person represent the best physical standards, but the highest ideals as well. That's why all the others have failed."

"Yeah, and if I say no?"

"Then you and your friends die. Some bad things are coming and you guys need every edge you can get if you want to keep the world spinning."

Xander grimaced, not liking is choices. For a moment he was tempted to turn Steve down, but at the end of the day he just couldn't. "Okay, you win, do what you have to."

"Not much to it soldier, just wake up."


Near the end of S7

The SITs became silent as the man in the trench coat walked in the house. Some caught glimpses of the uniform underneath. Some of them recognized it from blurry pictures in the newspaper, and started to whisper to the others.

"Hey Xander," said an exhausted Buffy.

"Hey Buff, what's the what," replied Xander.

"First Evil channeling power to evil preacher named Caleb. Trying to open the Hellmouth and end the Slayer line, so the usual, thanks for coming."

"You know me Buff, anything to help a friend," said Xander as he dropped his coat revealing a modern armor decorated in the colors of the American flag. The mummers from the SITs erupted chaos as their beliefs were confirmed, Buffy called in Captain America to help.

"It's been a while, haven't seen you much after Willows funeral," said Buffy with a sad look on her face.

"You know how it is; America is a big place, lots of area to protect. And before you ask, yes Warren is still in solitary, Fury said that it was the least he could do."

"Good to hear," said Tara as she came down the stairs. She had changed over the year, her clothes darker and eyes slightly harder. She still maintained a spiritual balance but it was difficult at times.

"Don't worry guys, it's just your everyday battle between good and evil, and I have a feeling how the next battle needs to be fought," said Xander as he pulled on his mask and strapped on his shield.

He wouldn't say any more as he walked towards the new high school. He could feel the pull and had an idea of what he had to do.

He wasn't surprised when he saw Caleb standing in the court yard. Xander could feel the power coming from the man, a power that could very well be equal to his own.

"You won't win you know," said Xander in an attempt to unnerve his opponent.

"That is where you are wrong my good man," said Caleb. "Man revels in sin, something proven in those harlots at your back. No the time for hope, ideals, and good is over. After this night my mistress will rule, showing man just what evil truly is."

"Lets do this then," said Xander his face a mask so that no move would be betrayed.

The fight was long and brutal, both sides apparently evenly matched. Several times Xanders friends tried to interfere only to be stopped by an invisible field that protected the two combatants. Slowly Xander began to gain the advantage, and just before sunrise used his shield to decapitate Caleb.

Before Xanders body fell to the ground from exhaustion he was caught by his sister Dawn. "Help me get him to a hospital," screamed Dawn, easily assuming control. "He lost a lot of blood in the fight, he needs a transfusion fast."

Dawn worked at keeping her voice under control, but if she had to tell the truth she had to say she was scared. Her brother had never been hurt this badly, not even when he fought Glory, and for the first time it looked like she may loose him.

When the blond man appeared she immediately went into a protective stance. She didn't know who he was but there was no way he was getting to her brother; imagine her surprise when he simply walked right through her.

When the man finally reached Xander a white ball formed in his hand that transformed into a sword with a star for a handle. Before anyone could react the man plunged the sword into Xanders heart, just before he fades away.

Xander soon woke up gasping for breath. After taking in all the stares he asked, "What, do I have something on my face?"

Chapter Fourteen
The Worm Turns

Ah Cleveland, home of Drew Carry, and best of all, no Hellmouth! Thank goodness for road trips and cars held together by duct tape. Now he just had to scrape enough money together and back on the road, going all the way to New York City. After all if he couldn't drive to all fifty states, stupid ocean, then he could at least drive coast to coast, maybe even Alaska.

As he walked around looking for a good place to earn some quick cash Xander saw a woman being dragged into an old building by men in cloaks.

"Okay Xander calm down. Remember that there isn't a Hellmouth here so what you saw was just some prank, no need to get involved. You are not going in there." A piercing scream came from the building cutting off Xanders train of thought. As he immediately began to race towards Xander slightly cursed his body for not listing to all the nice lies that his mind came up with.

Xander wasn't too surprised when he saw the woman strapped to an alter, and the guys in robes chanting, about to plunge a knife in her heart. Picking up a brick and using a pitch that would make many pro athletes jealous Xander nailed knife guy in the head.

Of course this had an added effect of making the others come after him. Thanking his lucky stars that, yes, they are human and easy to handle after vampires Xander proceeded to disable the rest before going to untie the woman.

"Don't worry you are going to be just fine," said Xander. Of course as soon as he said that the Harris luck kicked in and a portal opened behind him. Xander smelled a fain whiff of sulfur before he felt something enter him.

What ever had happened didn't last long because he soon felt the entity fade away inside him. Unknown to Xander though it didn't leave before making some changes, all Xander knew was it was gone, something he was very happy about.

"So come here often?" asked Xander in an attempt to relax the red haired woman on the alter. "Personally I prefer places with more sunshine and less people with knives. Then again I'm from California so sunshine usually isn't a problem. Maybe we could start importing it here, make a fortune, what do you say Ms."

"Just call me Raven, I'm still too young to be called Ms Darkholm. Thanks for rescuing me from those nut jobs," said Raven.

"Out of curiosity did they say why they wanted you?" asked Xander.

"Said they were going to sacrifice me to some demon named Mystique. Why do you ask?"

"I have a friend back home that is into the supernatural. He might find this interesting is all."

"Just so long as your friend doesn't try to kill anyone. After all he has to remember that there aren't really any demons in the world."

"I'll be sure to remind him of that," said Xander with a slight smile.

The next day held a surprise for Xander. When he woke up he found that he couldn't make his hands move out of the Vulcan 'live long and prosper' position and his skin was darker, almost blue in color.

Quickly searching for a payphone, stupid cheep motel, Xander decided a call to Giles was in order.

"Giles, I think I have a problem," said Xander as soon as the phone was picked up. After telling his story, only being interrupted by the occasional 'oh good lord' from Giles Xander was told to come home immediately. This was something that wouldn't be easily accomplished though, because Xander was no longer Xander shaped.

His fingers had fused together so now he only had two fingers and a thumb on each hand. Eyes that were once a warm brown were now a sickly yellow. Where his skin had a slight tan before it was now a dark blue. The demonic image that Xander now represented was completed with pointed ears and a devils tail.

The first indication that Xander had of his new appearance was the brick that smashed through the side of the phone booth. Outside a small mob had formed, and while they would simply ignore him at night like most residents of a Hellmouth, they would not stand his presence during the day.

They wouldn't call him what they all believed him to be so he became something that had been hinted at by the world media. He was a mutant, a creature who would destroy the human race unless something was done, and at that moment, they were the ones to do it.

Xander didn't know any of this he just found himself wishing he was back in his motel room. Suddenly, marked only by imploding air and the stench of brimstone, he stood upon his rented bed.

Looking at himself in the cracked and dirty mirror above the sink Xander knew that the trip home just got much more difficult. It didn't matter, he would make it to Giles, and together they would find a cure for him. After all he was their friend, what was the worst that could happen?

Five months later

Xander kept perfectly still in his hiding place in the trees. The spot was perfect; he could wait here comfortably for hours until Buffy came out and started her patrol. While he would have preferred to wait somewhere else his current relationship with the rest of the gang prohibited that.

After every possession removal spell failed Buffy and the others convinced themselves that he wasn't Xander, just the thing that possessed him. So in accordance with what they thought he would want they tried to kill him. Fortunately being able to teleport was a great advantage when someone is coming at you with a sword.

Xander knew they were just trying to do the right thing so he wasn't mad, well not much anyway. After all if the situations were reversed could he say that he wouldn't do the same thing?

He decided that the best way to convince them that he was still himself was to help out on patrols. If they knew he was still helping maybe they would be less stake happy.

Once he saw Buffy leave he quickly teleported to his secondary position, and appeared right in front of one of the most beautiful women he had seen in his life. She had dark European features that reminded him of Ms Calendar, a bust that could rival Faiths encased in a bright red shirt, and she was reading a Teen Titans comic book, showing that she had impeccable reading taste.

To her credit she only jumped a foot in the air before she began to beat Xander over the head with a thick math book, yet another reason to hate the accursed subject. She stopped after several ows and other exclamations of pain to see just what she was hitting.

"Oh, its you. You know you shouldn't just appear in front of people like that, it could get you in trouble."

"Hey, this is supposed to be a people free zone. I picked it because I didn't want to startle people. What do you mean 'oh, its you' any way, have we met before?" said a very bruised Xander.

"I've seen you hang outside the dorms before. So are you a demon here to find a virgin to sacrifice or what?"

"I'm going to go with or what. I'm not a demon, but as you can see not all that human either."

"Doesn't explain why you are sneaking around the girls' dorm at night."

"I'm watching over a couple of friends alright? Its not like I could just go and knock on their door to check up on them now can I."

"I can except that, names Wanda Maxamof by the way."

Xander hesitated for a moment. One of the first things he learned is that you never give your real name to some one with power, and he could feel power coming from Wanda. A memory of how Buffy had called him a worm that had crawled into Xanders body popped into his head and he had his answer.

"I'm just your average Sunnydale nightcrawler Wanda; we aren't big on giving names."

Chapter Fifteen
Shades of Grey

Xander could feel it in him pounding at his mental walls, demanding to be let out. It had been the same every day sense Willow tried to destroy the world, but now in the heat of battle it was almost imposable to suppress. All Xander knew was that he couldn't turn into the creature now, or ever again.

Surging to his feet Xander managed to make Caleb drop Kennedy, but didn't move fast enough to escape himself.

"So you are the one who sees, lets see what I can do to fix that," said Caleb as he raised a hand to poke out Xanders eye. As Xander sees the hand he feels the last of the walls crumbling releasing something truly unnatural into the world.

Xander quickly grabbed Caleb's hand and held it in place as he felt the change come over him.

"RUN!" shouted Xander at Buffy and the remaining SITs. Seeing the look on his face Buffy figured out what was coming and helped Spike carry out the wounded girls.

"So the sidekick has a bit of strength after all," said Caleb releasing his hold on Xander.

Any other remarks Caleb was going to make were cut off as he witnessed the transformation taking place before him. Xander began to grow, both in height and in muscle mass. His head deformed, becoming flat like some kind of pre evolved man while his skin turned into a dark shade of grey. After all the changes had finished a truly monstrous creature stood in the place of Xander.

Confidant in his powers Caleb hit this new foe with a two handed punch that would have turned the strongest stone into dust, but the creature simply looked like he had just been annoyed by a bug.

The creature turned slightly and Caleb was able to realize just what he had attacked. The creature was eight feet tall, its powerful lungs making the same sound as bellows as it took each breath. Its monstrous heart beat was easily heard thudding against its ribcage, beating like a war drum before a battle. Its lips were curled in a snarl, showing jagged yellowed teeth. In that moment Caleb knew that this wasn't a living creature but a force of nature waiting to be unleashed.

"What are you?" asked Caleb in awe.

"Strongest there is," said the creature before delivering a backhand that separated Caleb's head from his shoulders.

"Well this is disappointing," said the First in the guise of Buffy.

"Girl not smell right, leave Hulk alone."

"Now why would I want to do that? After all if you really are the strongest there is you can pull out the weapon in the basement."

"Hulk strong, not need weapon."

"If you don't take it I'll kill you with it."

"Bah, Hulk kill girl first. Girl leave Hulk alone or die," and with these words the Hulk leapt through the vineyard, breaking through solid stone and wood as if it wasn't even there.

The First simply smiled no longer truly worried about this little wrinkle in its plans.


Buffy was trying to console Willow after she had told everyone that Xander had transformed again.

"I don't get it," said Spike. "If Droopy transformed into this monster that may be strong enough to take out the preacher isn't it a good thing?"

"The Hulk is strong enough Spike. The reason that it isn't a good thing is that the Hulk is to powerful if the First finds a way to control it. It could take out you and a thousand Slayers without breaking a sweat. If it comes after us we are dead," said Buffy

"Come now pet, old Droopy can't be that bad now can he."

"Spike the last time Xander lost control he didn't even notice me when I attacked him, I was nothing more than an annoying bug. He only started to pay attention when I hit him with the rocket launcher, but even that didn't hurt him it just pissed him off. Something I would seriously recommend we try to avoid."

"If he really is this powerful how did you beat him before?"

"I didn't, Xander regained control."

"So what you are saying is that our only hope is that Xander regains control again?"

"That's what I'm saying Spike."

"Right then, I'll just go outside and work on my tan and be done with it. Honestly if you ask be it sounds like we would have been better off if you just killed the git while he was sleeping."

Buffy didn't say anything, mostly because she thought Spike had a point. She let her feelings stop her from doing what she should have done again, and now the world would see the monster that she had saved.

Chapter Sixteen
Fallen Angel

Xander flew towards the school, feeling freer than he had ever since he had turned thirteen. Last night he had killed Angelus, and tonight he would tell the gang just what he had done and what he was.

Smiling as he folded his wings once again into his oversized shirt he made his way through the halls until he reached the library. Throwing open the doors he said, "I hope you all are sitting down because have some great news."

"Well this is a special day then. Ms. Calendar was about to share her own news before you interrupted her," said a slightly put out Giles.

Never one to let an opening pass him by Xander quickly said, "She finally going to let the two of you go steady G-Man?"

When Giles started to sputter Xander racked up another point for himself. He was soon distracted from that particular train of thought when Jenny slinked right beside him. "Oh Xander, you know you are the only man for me," Jenny purred in Xanders ear.

As Xander tried to stop his face from doing an impression of a fish Jenny started to laugh as she walked back to Giles. As soon as his thought process kicked in Xander made a mental note to exclude Jenny from all future teasing, that woman just didn't play fair.

"You were saying Jenny?" said Giles with a chuckle in his voice.

"I translated the original curse, we can give Angel his soul back," said Jenny with a big grin on her face.

Jenny was soon enveloped by a crying Buffy who thanked the woman over and over. Jenny and Buffy was soon joined by Willow asking how the spell works.

Xander however just stood in place, wondering why the universe was out to kill him. If he had just decided to hold back one day then it would be joy and happiness for all, but nooo he is the cosmic but monkey that kills Angel the day before he can get his soul back.

"So Xander what is your good news?" asked Willow. Good old Willow she would be the one to remember him. Well no use trying to get out of it now, just have to hope to make it out the skylight if Buffy gets too stake happy.

"Well my news isn't as good as Jennies," that could qualify for understatement of the year thought Xander. "First I decided to tell you guys a little secret of mine, it's kind of a coming out," said Xander as he started to unbutton his Hawaiian shirt.

As he saw the shocked looks on everyone's faces he went over what he just said. "Get your minds out of the gutter, I'm not gay," said Xander. "I was talking about these," and with that he completely removed his shirt to reveal his pure white angel wings.

"Do you mean to tell us that you are an, erm, well that is to say," sputtered Giles as he furiously cleaned his glasses.

"I believe the word you are looking for is Angel Giles," said Xander feeling more at ease now that he had finally done it. "And to answer your semi question, no, I'm not an Angel. I'm a mutant, that means that my condition is scientific not magical. Sorry for not telling you sooner but with all the talk about how mutants are monsters I wasn't sure how you would react."

"Don't worry you are our Xander shaped friend, it's not like I'm going to slay you for being different," said Buffy a huge smile on her face.

"I may hold you to that," said Xander a slight tremor to his voice. When Buffy gave him a questioning look he sighed and continued. "Well that brings me to the second part of my good news, except now its closer too unbelievably horrible news."

"Don't worry Xander just tell us, it can't be that bad," said Buffy eager to get on with it so they could give Angel his soul back.

"I killed Angel last night," said Xander as he waited for the expected explosion.

To his surprise it never came, Buffy stood there in silence. Finally after an eternity she said a single word, "How?"

"I ran him threw with a hook and flew him over the ocean. I kept flying away from land until the sun came up and dusted Angelus."

By this point Buffy was trembling with barley contained rage. When she spoke it was barley above a whisper, "Leave, now."

"What?" asked Xander even though he already knew the answer.

"I said that you should leave. I know you were just doing what you thought was best but you killed my soul mate Xander. Right now it's taking everything I have not to kill you and if I see you again I'll probably kill you. So go and fly away as fast and as far as you can Xander, and never come back if you want to live."

Xander looked to the other people in the room for support. Willow looked at him with hurt and betrayal as he comforted Buffy. Giles the man he had come to think of as a father figure couldn't meet his eyes. Jennie's eyes held some understanding but they also conveyed that Buffy was very precious to Giles, and she loved Giles. This meant that no matter how much she may want to she just couldn't support him right now.

Xander sighed as he walked out of the school. It was better than he had hoped for; all his vital organs were intact, well except for his heart. He beat his wings as hard as he could try to gain enough height that Sunnydale was nothing but a bunch of lights below him.

Xander flew all through the night; the closest he got to rest was gliding on air currents. As dawn approached he stopped for breakfast at a diner on the edge of a cliff.

As Xander finished his pancakes he wondered if he should just dive off the cliff and into the ocean. His wings would probably weigh him down so he would sink right to the bottom.

Just as he had almost convinced himself that this was his only option the bell above the door chimed announcing that someone else had entered the diner. Turning slightly Xander saw a distinguished bald man in a wheelchair followed by a beautiful black woman with stunning white hair.

The bald man went straight to Xander and said, "My name is Professor Charles Xavier, and perhaps I can offer you another option." As soon as he said that Xavier extended his hand but didn't take Xanders, he just held it out waiting for a reply.

Xander didn't know why but he felt he could trust this man. Slowly Xander took Xavier's proffered hand and said, "Names Xander, tell me more about this option you are offering."

Xander soon found himself agreeing to be the latest student at Xavier's School for Gifted Children. And while school wasn't his favorite thing he felt it would be worth it to be closer to the black girl that came with the professor, now if he could just work up the courage to ask her out.

Chapter Seventeen
Thunder Over Hell

Xander couldn't believe his rotten luck. A couple of days ago he had twisted his ankle in gym of all places and now he had to use an old walking stick that his parents had picked up from a flea market because they wouldn't pay for crutches. To add insult to injury he was now demoted to research guy in his Scooby duties.

Because of the Harris luck that didn't keep him out of danger though. As he was walking home one mourning after a particularly long night of research Xander was pulled into a dark alleyway by a vamp that had the munchies.

Thinking quickly Xander did the smartest and stupidest thing he could have done, he kicked the vamp in the balls with the same foot that supported the broken ankle. This was smart because the vamp never expected to be attacked by the injured limb, and stupid because of the immense pain felt by Xander.

Gritting his teeth Xander hobbled toward the vampire and pushed his walking stick so hard into its chest that it slammed into the ground with a resonating crack. Before the vampire was finished turning to dust, Xander was engulfed by lightning.


"I don't care about your excuses about some guy with a hammer! I want my key, so just go GET IT!" shrieked Glory as he ripped off the head of a minion to motivate the others.

"Sorry but that is a no can do hell ditz," said Xander as he stepped out of the shadows holding his lucky walking stick. "You see most of us like the world in one piece so you need to be stopped."

"Do you think an insect like you can stop me? Minions kill him while I try and find my key," said Glory with a dismissive wave.

Before the minions could take one step forward Xander slammed the tip of his walking stick in the ground and was once again swallowed by lightning.

When the lightning cleared Thor God of Thunder stood in place of Xander. Ice blue eyes locked on Glory, hatred emanating out of him in waves. "I give thee one chance to leave the people of Midgaurd alone false god. Take it else face my wrath," said Thor, his voice booming with the power of the storm.

"You are the one who has stopped my minions from bringing me my key! You are so dead," and with that Glory ruler of the hell dimension Bimbotica launched herself at Thor.

Glory may have been strong and fast she didn't stand a chance against a true god. With an almost casual swing of his hammer Thor send Glory flying through the wall, breaking several of her ribs. Just as Glory was about to get up Thor delivered the finishing blow to her head caving it in.

As soon as Glory was destroyed her body changed into that of Ben. "What happened?" asked Ben as he spotted Thor.

"Fear not mortal, I mean you no harm. I have destroyed the darkness that inhabited your body. Your life is yours once more, live it well," said Thor even as he let his thrown hammer lift him into the sky.

As Thor flew through the sky he reflected on the strange merger he had undertaken with the young mortal. It was like the others in the past in that Xander was a truly worthy soul, but at the same time it was different. Xander could now better understand the writings of those that had come before him while Thor, had a craving for Twinkies whenever he walked the earth.

Chapter Eighteen
Anything You Can Do

The first time that Xanders mutant power manifested was when he was facing a master vampire named Angelus. Unarmed Xander blocked the vampire from his intended victim, one of Xanders friends. When Angelus attacked Xander fought back with more skill and determination than any seventeen year boy should ever have to show.

Over time the speed, strength, and healing ability the vampire possessed began to win over the special operations moves that Xander used. It was at this point that Xanders mutant activated.

In a fraction of a second Xander gained all of the supernatural abilities that Angelus had. The fight quickly shifted to Xanders favor and ended with Angelus being staked.

This action led to him being pushed away from his group of friends and fellow vampire hunters for a time by the same friend that he saved.

During this time he would hunt for other vampires on his own often using his mutant power to synch up his aura with that of the vampires to duplicate their speed and strength. It was during one such fight that he discovered the flipside of his powers.

While fighting a group of three vampires things went normally at first. He decapitated the first, put a wooden stake in the heart of the second, but much to his surprise he drained the third. While he was in synch with another powered being he not only had their powers but their urges, if those urges were some how tied into their power.

The shock from this discovery prompted Xander to talk to Rupert Giles, the closest thing he has to a father. Mr. Giles immediately brought Xander back into the group so that he could learn to control this dangerous part of his powers.

Over time they found that not only could he duplicate any supernatural power he could often use those powers better than the person themselves. There were limits of course, such as the fact that he couldn't synch with some types of demon whose extra strength was due to the fact that they are extremely muscled.

Recently he has left the Hellmouth on a road trip. While in a small town called Oxnard he used his powers to fight a vampire, and activated Ceribro. Ceribro classified him as Omega class so I took the liberty of a quick mind scan witch provided the information above.

I have sent Sean, Logan, and young Ms. Lee to intercept and convince him to join the school for his protection and the protection of his friends, Kurt was left behind due to Xanders background dealing with beings that appear demonic. An Omega class will quickly draw the attention of everyone with the means to detect mutants putting him in great danger.

If he does except he and Ms Lee will be the first students in the new Massachusetts Academy for the younger mutants.

Charles Xavier sat back a moment and rubbed his eyes. Finding Xander had put quite the wrinkle in his expected day of rest. Instead of only writing a letter he had to scramble the group of X-Men that had been on hand, create a new folder for young Mr. Harris, and recall Forge from the field to help update Ceribro to penetrate to energies put out by the Hellmouth, and to build a machine to recreate the scanning interference that the Hellmouth generated. After all if he could recreate those energies he could shield towns filled with mutants with a low power scale. There were so many mutants in the world that either didn't have the power or the spirit to be an X-Man that such a machine could save thousands of lives.

Glancing at his watch Xavier noted that it would be another twenty minutes before Sean and the others would land in Oxnard, and another five hours before Forge would arrive. After a quick internal debate on whether or not he should get some well needed rest Xavier sighed and came to the conclusion that the twenty minutes would be better spent working on his letter.

If he could get Mr. Harris and Mr. Starsmore together on the same team then the next generation of X-Men would be off to a very good start.


Part Nineteen
Think Big

Xander flew through the air and crashed into the shelf, a very large bottle breaking and dousing him with its contents. Some days he wondered why he got out of bed.

Xander pulled himself up just in time to see Buffy kill the demon. Yeah it was one of those days.

"Dear Lord Xander you broke my essence of giant! Honestly do you have any idea just how hard it will be to replace this!?" ranted Giles.

"G-man, I'm covered in a wet sticky substance that has a familiar but very wrong smell. At the moment I don't even want to know exactly what essence of giant contains, never mind how people get it. Do you really want to tell me or will you just settle for me chipping in on the cost."

Giles had the good grace to look embarrassed as he started to clean his glasses. "Yes, well very good then."

"Okay now that the embarrass Giles section of the program is finished lest move on to the serious questions, like will this have any effect on me."

"I highly doubt it Xander. Giant essence on its own is harmless, unless you have a unique heritage."

"Now that that is out of the way," said a rather annoyed Buffy. "Let's get back to our Glory problem. We need to find a way to beat her and soon."

Xander quietly slipped out as Buffy began her rant. It was annoying but he couldn't really blame her for being worried about Dawn.

Sighing he got into his car, shifting uncomfortably. The essence may have no effect on him but it was making his clothes shrink quick enough.


In another world this fight would have been more organized. Following Glory's snack on Tara Willow would have dug deeper into her magic powers than ever before, eventually Willow would go so far as to create a spell that would restore her lovers sanity and weaken the Hell Goddess.

This is not that world. In this world Tara McClay was never attacked by the fallen Goddess, so Willow never pushed herself. This would eventually save Willow from sliding into darkness a year later but put everyone at a great disadvantage for the current crisis.

Also because of certain changes one member had gone through in recent times the group didn't have enough time to properly research this particular villain so they were ill prepared when the final battle came upon them.

All of these factors forced the so called Scooby Gang to rely on an old plan that served them well in the past. Their plan was to hit the bad guy really hard, and pray that the world didn't end.

One Alexander LaVell Harris couldn't tell you just how much he believed that plan sucked. It was stupid, it was suicidal, and it relied completely on an unknown factor. The thing that really got him upset when he thought of this plan though was the fact that he couldn't come up with a better one with the time they had.

They were out of time and it was his entire fault. Personally he blamed the universe; it had started things thousands of years ago just to screw with him now. Okay so maybe that was a stretch but thinking it helped him escape reality for awhile. The truth is that intentionally or not it was his fault and now it was time to redeem him.

As the group entered the yard Xander immediately spotted Glory and started sprinting towards her. As he ran he tapped into the powers that the essence as well as his 'unique heritage' had provided him. As quickly as he could he drew tremendous amounts of magical energy and transformed it into added flesh and bone.

When he first hit Glory he was ten feet tall and still growing. This didn't have much effect on Glory but Xander wasn't finished. He continued to hit Glory as he grew, each blow having more effect.

He had reached twenty feet when Glory first pushed him off. "What are you?!" shrieked Glory.

Xander didn't answer; he just rushed forward gaining another five feet. The battle raged around them, everyone helping out where they could. Willow and Tara led Glory's victims to a safer place while Buffy and Spike killed Doc and rescued Dawn from the tower. Giles reminded Glories minions just why the name Ripper was still feared in some areas of London.

Xander was oblivious to all of this, only two thoughts racing through his mind, get bigger and kill the monster that had threatened one of his friends.

At fifty feet Glory was bloodied but still putting up a fight, and at fifty five feet she wasn't moving nearly as fast as she had before.

At sixty feet Xander went through a change. Human flesh and bone can't support itself at that size so it changed into the inhuman flesh that had allowed it to grow. Xanders flesh turned from it human color into the color of artic ice, even as his hair became as white as freshly fallen snow.

Xander the mortal, the Zeppo, was gone, in his place stood Alexander the last of the frost giants, and this week thing claming to be a goddess didn't have near enough power to stand against him.

Alexander enveloped the top half of Glory in one cool palm and lifted her into the air. Glory clawed, and gnawed at her prison of flesh attempting to free herself. Alexander ignored the injuries he was receiving. You could shatter ice but it would always reform, that was it nature, that was his nature.

Griping his captives' lower half with his other hand Alexander snapped the goddess like a twig, allowing her blood to flow over his hands while his companions watched in awe and had their own whispered conversations.

"Bloody hell," whispered Spike as he eyed the creature in front of him. "Tell us again why this is better than the ditz Watcher?"

"Because of several thousand years of completely human marriages the giant part of Xanders family is almost nonexistent. Even with the help of the essence he can't maintain an enlarged state for long periods of time. Besides no matter how large he becomes he is still Xander."

"Um, Buffy?"

"Yeah Willow?"

"Just how mad do you think Xander will be when he realizes that my spell to make his clothes grow with him didn't last past very long?"

"I'd say he will be angry, it was a major part in getting him to go along with the plan. Don't worry though he will get over it, at least I hope so."

"Boy Anaya sure is lucky."

"DAWN! I told you to keep that blindfold on until I told you it was okay to look again."

"I've been waiting for this view for five years; did you really think I wouldn't take it when I had the chance?"

"You are so grounded."

Part Twenty
Faster Than

Faster than a speeding bullet, I used to love that saying, now I hate it with all my heart.

It all started shortly after I met Buffy, and staked Jesse. It started out small; things just seemed to take longer unless I did it myself. The big revelation came two weeks later when I was fighting a vampire and couldn't stop thinking how slow he was. That was when it hit me; he wasn't going slow I was going fast.

You would think that having a power would make me happy but you would be wrong. I didn't have this power a couple of weeks ago, that meant that something changed to give me this power, and the last time I saw someone get power I had to stake him.

I admit that I was afraid, petrified even. I lived in that state of fear for a year, secretly searching for a reason for my powers but never finding one. Then one day the answer arrived on my front porch.

A couple of days after Halloween the Sunnydale Gazette picked up a story from New York about mutants. Mutants were supposed to be the next step in human evolution, granted powers far beyond regular humans.

That was what I was, a mutant, I had to be. In the past year I had looked through every one of the books in the library, none of them could explain my powers. If magic wasn't the answer then this had to be. Though by the way the article portrayed mutants I wasn't sure that being one was much better than being a demon.

After that I started to actively but discreetly use my powers to help the others. Reading the books with my powers made me almost as fast as Willow when it came to research, but now instead of school just lasting forever it lasted for forever squared. I still got more than my fair share of burses from fighting but that was mostly from demons throwing me and hitting me from behind.

Time moved on and things got into a comfortable routine, until senior year. Warren Meers was a man that couldn't let go of the past; he was also a coward of the highest order. He couldn't face the bullies that made his life a living hell in high school so he decided to take it out on the current student body.

We had just finished a plan to fight the mayor when we heard the first shots. If I had told them by now I may have been able to do something more, as it was I simply kept up with Buffy and Faith as we all raced to the courtyard. As soon as we got out the doors Buffy's head exploded right by me, and before I could recover from the shock so did Faiths.

The news would state later that Warren had picked mostly woman targets because he saw them as his main tormenters. Didn't know then, don't care now. All I knew at that moment was that two very good friends of mine were dead and their brains and blood were all over my face.

It took me half a second to take a good look at all the bodies, and another quarter second to figure out that the gunman was in the clock tower.

I didn't hold back as I sprinted towards the top, and if the survivors are to be believed I broke the sound barrier before I reached the top. I reached the top just in time to see Warren finish pulling the trigger.

If I was faster than a speeding bullet I would have been able to reach the gun before the bullet cleared the muzzle and redirect it. As it turns out it cleared the barrel before I took four steps. I still ran at full speed so I got to the window just in time to see the bullet go through Giles's neck, clipping a major vein, and into Willows heart, taking two lives with one small piece of led.

The next few minutes are a bluer. All I remember is hitting Warren as hard and as fast as I could. By the time I was pulled off him Warren was barley recognizable as human.

When I came back around everyone knew that I was a mutant but no one seemed to care about it for a while. It was almost like they were ashamed to be human after what Warren did. Considering that he murdered seventeen people who he had never met before I can't say I blame them.

That being said with both Slayers, our witch and our Watcher dead the plans for graduation changed. Looking back I can say that, yes my new plan was more than a bit suicidal.

The old plan entailed transforming the student body into an army to fight the vamps while Buffy and Faith lure the Mayor to the Library so we can blow him up. The new plan consisted entirely of me running into a giant snakes mouth, nailing fifteen pounds of stolen C-4 onto the roof of his mouth and running out before the Mayor even knows I'm there. Lucky for me, or perhaps not, plan B went off without a hitch.

Angel decided to stay until the next Slayer arrived, some poor girl named Wanda according to the Counsel.

Oz wrote his most emotional song yet about Willow, last I heard a record company was trying to get him to sell it. He keeps telling them that he may sing it at a concert or something if the mood is right but it is too personal to sell.

Cordelia went to make it big as a movie star in Hollywood. Haven't heard anything about her but I have no doubt she will make it big, after all my Cordy doesn't know how to fail.

As for me, I ran. I ran to get as far away from Sunnydale and its ghosts as I could. In five days I reached New York and the east coast.

And that brings us to now. Now that I'm in New York I don't know what to do. I met a Mr. Lecher that seemed nice enough. He somehow knew I was a mutant and invited me to meet some other mutants who are in something he referred to as 'The Brotherhood.' May as well go and see what he has to say.

Part Twenty-One
Iron Supplements

As Xander grabbed another book he said a silent plea to the Powers that this one would have some useful information on how to defeat the Mayor. Sighing he started to translate the dead language often rereading a passage to make sure there wasn't even a vague reference to Ascensions or giant snakes.

After two hours of reading about Iron and how it interacts with magic Xander began to see strange golden symbols that seemed to call to his very soul. Perhaps it was the lack of sleep getting to him but instead of calling Giles Xander reached out and gently traced the most prominent symbol. Suddenly Xander was engulfed by a flash of light as different mystical symbols and their meaning were burned into his mind.

Gently rubbing his aching head Xander went over the knowledge he was given. The knowledge of the runes would help in the fight but it would take to long to make what he had in mind to help with the Mayor. He could probably get it done during the summer lull to help with the next apocalypse but that wouldn't mean anything if they didn't survive this one.

Sighing Xander grabbed yet another dusty book, hoping this one could help them in the short run.


Xander ignored the heat of the forge as his hammer struck the metal for the final time. It had taken him two months but he had finally completed his masterpiece. There was nothing in the world like this, and after he was dead there wouldn't be anything like it ever again.

Xander once again began to dwell on the price his creation had cost him. Each rune that was carved into his creation was also carved into his soul. If his creation was destroyed he would die, and similarly if he was killed the runes would loose their power and his creation would become a large paperweight.

Would he have used the runes shown to him by the book if he knew this was the price he was going to pay? He liked to think he would. This would help with the slayage but in moments like this where he felt the searing pain and weakness the runes on his soul caused him when he was away from his creation made him wonder.

As he took the final piece of his creation and put it with the others Xander wondered if he could get away with wearing one piece in public. One piece wouldn't give him added powers but it would allow him to regain the strength he had before. The only question was witch piece of his creation would be the easiest to hide?


After weeks of searching ADAM had finally been found. That was the good news, the bad news was that he was making an army of demon cyborgs and planed to end the world, and that meant that it was time to pull out all the stops.

Mentally triggering a minor rune on the chest plate hidden beneath his baggy clothes Xander summoned the rest of his creation to him. He didn't have to wait long as pieces of armor crashed through the roof and began to attach themselves to Xander.

As the final piece clicked into place the runes flared a bright white against the cold grey metal, a signal of power for all those who would stand against him. The demons in the government compound would soon learn to fear that signal as Xander began to tear a bloody swath through the demons.

The larger ones he fought at a distance, using runes of power carved into the palms of the armor to send bolts of energy to sear flesh and turn bones to ash. The minor demons fared even worse when they attempted to attack him from behind. Runes of protection and strength flared turning the most powerful blows into minor annoyances that didn't even leave a scratch, and giving Xanders most casual move the force of a wrecking ball.

"What are you?!?" screeched a demon right before Xander destroyed it.

"I'm Iron Man," said Xander in his best Batman voice grinning under the helmet. Never let it be said that he would pass up the chance for a joke, even if it is during an apocalypse.

"Iron meet armor piercing bullets," said ADAM as he changed his robotic arm into a gun and began to unload into Xanders back.

ADAM began to experience a new emotion as he saw each round that could pierce the armor of a tank bounce off of simple cast iron like they were nothing more than spitballs. "That should have worked," said ADAM as the last round was fired and his arm clicked on empty.

"My turn," said Xander as he activated his largest power rune located on his chest. ADAM had a brief moment to identify the new emotion as fear before his flesh was burned off and his metal parts were melted into slag trapping the radioactive isotopes in melted led.

Part Twenty-Two
Inferno of the Mind

The ritual had taken centuries to prepare. On this day their god would arrive, removing the free will of man and burning all those that dared to stand in his way.

When the Slayer arrived they were ready for her. After generations of studying the Slayer line she was little more than a nascence. Runes of witch no one and nothing magical could pass activated around her and her companions. These symbols could hold gods at bay; there was no fear that the Slayer and her group could breach them.

Assured in their victory the group turned back to their preparations. Because of this they failed to notice a member of the Slayers group walk, slowly, impossibly past the runes that held his friends.

In the past the Slayer had always worked alone or with someone that was somehow blessed with magic. Even the Watchers had possessed some measure of magic, a requirement for a ritual that takes place on a Slayers eighteenth birthday. They never considered that the Slayer would align herself with a week, normal human, and that is why Xander Harris, possessing no magic was able to escape the perfect trap.

Later his friends would say that he gave little though about his course of action, and it was influenced by too much television, this statement would be wrong. Xander knew that he had to destroy the crystal, but he also knew that there were too many cult members to fight. When he saw the many old ropes above the crystal he quickly formulated a plan that was, perhaps slightly, influenced by too many hours watching movies.

Going up to the second floor Xander grabbed one of the old ropes and prepared to execute his plan. In his mind the plan couldn't be simpler, swing down, grab the crystal, and destroy it before the cult members reached the second floor.

It was a plan that was sure to succeed in any movie or television show. But because this wasn't a movie or television show but real life where Murphy's Law rules above all others, Xanders rope snapped. Instead of snatching the not glowing crystal Xander instead fell on it in a belly flop that a professional diver could not improve upon, but to his credit the crystal was destroyed.

In another realm a powerful god was finding that not even one of his stature was immune to Murphy's Law. Starsmorta screamed as his power was ripped to another dimension, while his body remained where it was. As Starsmorta lay upon the ground he knew that soon the people he had enslaved would awaken to their own minds and would seek him out. He hoped that they would give him a quick death, but knew they wouldn't.

Buffy and her gang bore silent whiteness as Starsmortas power was brought into the world without a host to control them. They saw the cultists burnt to ash, their last pained thoughts echoing around the temple. As for them, they were spared by the same invisible walls that imprisoned them, for while their magic could not get out other magic could not enter.

The silence that followed was brief, as first Willow and then Buffy were overcome by wracking sobs. They had not seen what happened to their friend, and perhaps that was for the best. The image of a loved one screaming as his body was consumed with flames was one that would have haunted them for the rest of their lives. No it was for the best that they didn't see it, this way they could lie to themselves and say that he did not suffer.

"Hey what's with the water works girls? It's not like anyone died except the bad guys," said a familiar voice that was attached to a familiar body.

It seemed that today was indeed a day for the impossible, for Xander Harris stood in front of his friends, unharmed except for those in his chest, where shards of crystal had embedded themselves.

"Tell you what, as soon as I find something to smash the carvings on the ground with and let you guys out we can head over and get some chocolate ice cream."

It was only the Watcher that thought to question this event even as he congratulated the son of his heart on surviving. His mind raced as he came up with a list of ways that Xander could have survived where all others had failed, and he didn't like the answers that his mind provided.

One week later in a supply closet at Sunnydale High School

"If you ever do that again I'll kill you myself," Cordelia said even as she attempted to swallow his tong.

"Don't worry Cordy I've gotten a lecture from everyone, no more swinging from ropes into the midst of cults for this Xander shaped body," said Xander before he returned his mind to more important matters, namely Cordelias neck.

'Feel so guilty for not being there to help.'

"Don't worry about it Cordy, it's not your fault your parents grounded you."

"Didn't say anything."

"But I heard you say…"

"Shhh, less talking more kissing."

At this point though Xander couldn't talk if he had wanted to. His chest felt like it was on fire, and he couldn't gather the air to breathe. He attempted to warn Cordelia that something was wrong but the words wouldn't form.

Cordelia was aware that Xanders chest was becoming warmer but just chalked up to passion. It wasn't until he stopped responding to her kisses that she noticed something was different.

"What is the matter Harris; did your looser brain forget how to kiss now?"

*Cordy there is something wrong with me, run!*

Cordelia didn't stop to question how she had heard her boyfriends' voice in her mind she just started to run, and not a moment too soon. Five seconds after she had left the utility closet Xanders chest erupted in flames. If Cordelia had remained she would have been seriously hurt, perhaps even killed.

Later in the Library

"I'm afraid that the crystal shards didn't deflect Starsmortas power from you but instead forced in into you. Your body acted like a chamber, holding vast amounts of Starsmortas power, until it couldn't take any more," said Giles as he nervously cleaned his glasses.

*That's nice Giles but that doesn't explain THIS!* Xanders voice echoed in the mind of those gathered even as the young man in question pointed out the flames that were erupting where his upper torso, neck, and lower jaw should be.

"Yes well, I believe that when the amount of power in you got higher than what your body could handle you somehow created a pressure valve where the excess energy could be released, as it is currently doing."

*Okay we know how and why this happened, and if Saturday mourning cartoons are to be believed knowing is half the battle. Now all we need to do is get this demon energy out of me and I'll return to my happy Xander self.*

"Xander, please understand that you have been altered physically as well. I'm afraid that the energy of Starsmorta is the only think keeping you alive, if it were removed you would die."

Silence reigned as everyone let that information sink in. Xander Harris once the most human of them was now the most inhuman. This was fact and all knew deep down that it could not be changed, even though some refused to acknowledge that fact at first.

The question in the hearts and minds of the peopled gathered that day were the same, all were asking themselves what to do next, and for once no one had an answer.

Part Twenty-Three
Without Fear

Tap, tap, tap.

Those were the sounds that had followed Xander as he ran toward the library. He didn't try to loose whoever was making the noise, he just ran as fast as he could towards help, towards his friends.

Tap, tap, tap.

The sound was getting closer but never seemed to change pace. The school doors were right in front of him, if he could get in there he would be home free.

Tap, tap, whap!

Xander came to a complete stop as a walking stick seemed to appear between his face and the school doors. As Xanders eyes followed the walking stick to a gnarled hand and still onward to an old withered face with unseeing milk white eyes.

"I know what you want boy," said the man in a rasping voice, heavy with age.

"And that would be?" asked Xander. He didn't trust the man in front of him but the longer the man talked the better chances of Buffy and the gang walking out and helping him.

"You want to be able to fight the things that hide in the darkness. And you can stop hoping for your friends to come and save you they left a while ago."

"Wrong answer, I already fight vamps and demons, Mr. Scary Blind Guy." He wasn't going to even think about what the man had said about his friends. It couldn't be true they wouldn't leave without telling him.

"Call me Stick, and you are the one who is wrong. You don't fight demons you get beat up by demons and let the Slayer fight and kill them. I can give you the edge you need, for a price."

"Ah, the typical asking for the soul part of the conversations. Sorry Stick I don't do deals with devils."

"Why would I want your soul boy? I have one of my own, and while it may not be pure by any stretch of the imagination its mine. Now if you would just shut up and use the sense of a jelly fish you could probably figure out what I want."

Xander did, and came up with the answer. "And just how am I going to fight after I pay you?"

"Same way I fight. I can hear a heart beat from a hundred yards away. I can smell your sent even after you bathe. I can feel everything around me giving me infallible balance. This is what I offer you, this will be your payment, just say yes. Just say yes and you will become the equal of the Slayer, perhaps someday her better."

The mans voice had become hypnotic and before Xander knew what he was doing he said, "Okay, what do I have to do."

"Just that," said Stick before he sprayed something in Xanders eyes. The compound burned and Xander tried to rub and blink it out of his eyes but Sticks hands grabbed Xanders face and forced his eyes open. "Remember, walk without fear, and fight like a devil from the deepest pit of hell." And with those words Xanders world became one of darkness.


It had been three weeks after Stick had taken his sight. The man had told the truth, both about having his remaining senses heightened and about his friends not being in the school that night.

Apparently they had decided to try to push him out of the group for his own good, a decision they promptly reversed when they learned of his new powers. Even though he was happy being back in the loop, there was a voice in the back of his head saying that they only liked him for his powers.

If the voice was telling the truth or not didn't matter, the powers were useful. He had been able to hear some zombies planting a bomb during an apocalypse and just last night he had stopped Faith from killing a human by accident.

Despite his seeming newfound fortune Xander couldn't help but feel that something was missing, something important. He didn't know what it was until he opened a package addressed to him

Inside the package was a body suit that he could tell was reinforced in places just by touching it. The strangest thing about it was the devil horns on a mask.

Inside he found a note from Stick. Using his new enhanced sense of touch to feel what was written, Xander smiled as the words formed in his mind. This was what was missing, and it was explained in one sentence, "If you are going to fight like a devil, you should look like one as well.


Xander finally relaxed as the lid of his sensory deprivation chamber closed, protecting him from outside stimuli as he tried to sleep.

It had been four years sense Stick had taken his sight, years that had not been wasted. Before it was destroyed the demons of Sunnydale had come to fear the being they had dubbed the Daredevil as much as the Slayer. Speculation ranged from a darker champion of the Powers to a demon sent by Satan to drag them back to hell.

This had gone on until the battle with the First where Sunnydale was destroyed and every Slayer in the world activated. Deciding that there were enough champions to fight demons Xander had moved from the mouth of hell to its kitchen.

Now instead of protecting people demons he was protecting people from people. Considering his past experiences with bullies, he was okay with the change.