❯ Xantax-12 – Part 2: ( Chapter 2 )
Date : 100509
Disclaimer : All BTVS, Marvel and Stargate characters and concepts belong to respective creators and owners.
Number of Days after Halloween: 0020
He did not know how long he could keep up this facade of normalcy. Buffy was becoming suspicious, he could tell. From time to time, she would look at him as though she were sizing him up like a dangerous predator whenever he thought that she wasn’t looking. Even Oz was wary of him, from the glances he was getting from him. The only good thing that came out of this was that he was racking up a larger number of kills among the undead buggers than he normally did even on his best days before Halloween.
Meanwhile in Willow’s room, Buffy was having a discussion with the red-haired witch.
« So what do you think? »
« Xander, you mean? »
« That’s right. He ‘s been different since Halloween. Something about him that my mind can’t quite put together. Even the Slayer within me’s wary of him. »
« You mean something’s taken control over Xander? Possessed? »
« Could you do a spell to find out? You know … like what’s wrong with him? » the Slayer asked worriedly.
« Well, I could but I need something that belongs to him. His hair, fingernail or anything that belongs to him. The closer they are to him, the more accurate a reading I would be able to get of him, » Willow pondered aloud.
« Leave that to me, » the Slayer said.
Number of Days after Halloween: 0021
That following night, the Slayer decided to follow the Xand-man. Thanks to her rather short height, it made it easy for her to stalk her target without him realising it. To her dismay, he headed in the direction of the cemetery.
‘He’s going to take out vampires out on his own? Is he crazy? It’s suicide! But then, he hasn’t been himself since Halloween,’ the Slayer thought as she followed Xander’s figure slowly across uneven ground.
He continued walking in a hurried manner, then came to a stop in front of one of the graves.
‘Jesse’s tomb. But why at this time of the night? Doesn’t he know how dangerous it is at this time of the night?’ the Slayer wondered.
Meanwhile in front of said tomb, Xander remained motionless.
« It’s been awhile, Jesse. Hope you’re having a better time up there than down here, » he whispered, his voice too soft to be heard by anyone.
A hand pushed out of the nearest grave, but the male Scooby ignored it.
« I just wish to say that I’m sorry, » his voice not higher than a whisper as another hand followed suit out of the grave.
A head pushed out of the Earth to reveal a girl’s head.
« What are you apologizing for, hon? » the female vampire asked after lifting itself clear off the earth.
« For not being able to save someone I knew in the past, » came the reply as green fire flickered into existence with a sizzling WHOOSH around the palm facing the female vampire.
« Err … Easy does it. How about we just forget this? You go your way and I’ll go mine? » the vampire asked, fear creeping into her voice as her eyes fell on the unnatural flame in the palm of the ‘prey’ before her.
It floated into the air, a glowing ball of green luminous fire before snapping outwards in the direction of the newly-emerged undead.
« And for not being able to save you … » the stranger answered, ignoring her words.
She cried in fear, leaping to the side to avoid the green flames but it grew in size, devouring her completely, reducing her into ashes in seconds.
From her hidden perch, behind the tree trunk, Buffy watched the entire scene with a mixture of fear and awe.
‘What have you turned into, Xander?’ she wondered before leaving the site as quietly as she could.
« Willow! Oh bad! » Buffy cried out.
« Slow down. What is it Buffy? » the Witch asked.
« It’s Xander. He’s possessed, » the Slayer answered before before relating everything that she had seen at the cemetery.
« Possessed? I think we had better talk to Giles aboout this, » the red-headed witch answered.
Number of Days after Halloween: 0022
The very next day, the two Scoobies went to meet Giles in the library immediately, after school. The librarian and Watcher listened in silence as the Slayer told what she had seen.
« Well, the first thing to do would be to find out exactly the type of demon that has taken possession of Xander. From there, we’ll work on trying to remove the demon from him, » he said as he left his seat for particular shelf in the library.
Willow and Buffy helped him to look through the shelves for all books on the subject of possession and exorcism.
« You saw fire, right Buffy? So he’s got to be some kind of fire demon, » the librarian answered.
« Except that the fire was green, Giles, » came the Slayer’s reply.
« There is quite a big category of fire demons here but I’ve not heard of one demon that utilised green fire, » Giles pointed out.
« Then how in the world are we going to get the demon out of Xander? » Buffy asked frantically.
« Just be calm, Buffy. I’m sure something will occur to us soon, » her Watcher answered.
« There must be more. Something that we didn’t see, » Willow added.
« Something that we didn’t see? I’ve already told you what I saw, » came Buffy’s half-hearted’s words.
« To find out what kind of demon has taken control of Xander, we have to determine what its capabilities are in full. That means we have to give the demon the chance of using its powers whenever possible to determine its limits and characteristics. Besides you have only seen Xander in action once. This is not enough. We have to know what the demon in Xander is fully capable of, » the red-haired witch explained.
« What if the demon decides to harm somebody? » Buffy asked.
There was silence and then Willow spoke.
« I’m not sure … but for now we’ll just observe and hopefully deal with the demon before it causes too much damage. Giles and me are working on a portal spell. If we can’t get rid of the demon, we’ll try to send it to another dimension. »
« And Xander? » Buffy asked a little worried.
« Hopefully, the people over there know how to get rid of the demon and send him back. »
« That’s three ‘ifs’. What if things don’t work out? »
« If things don’t work out … we’ll cross the bridge when we get to that. »
She never knew how right on the mark she was.
Number of Days after Halloween: 0024
Xander travelled around mostly at night now. One, to avoid the gaze of onlookers and two, to hunt the monsters that prowl the streets of Sunnydale at night. So far, he had taken out three vampire nests in three days with the help of his new abilities, courtesy of Halloween. The vampires were no match for him even when tried to overwhelm him through sheer force of numbers by gang-rushing him. No matter how many of them there were, the stupid bloodsuckers could not defy the one law that governed the existence of vampires.
None of them were fireproof. They were reduced to ashes in a couple of seconds each time they tried.
After a whole week of flash-frying each and everyone of the undead buggers he encountered into ashes with his powers, they had stopped attacking him. Instead they posted lookouts on the city streets to keep tabs on the movements of the male Scooby. A measure that had never been taken even with the Slayer. Such was their fear of Xander that the undead community had begun avoiding all manner of creatures that walked the streets at night in hooded robes.
It led to less kills, of course, much to Xander’s annoyance since they tended to run rather than fight. What was worse, they would do it in such a way so as to maximise their chances of saving their undead hides. For once, he wished he could move unseen among the undead hordes.
‘Silent Death,‘ they called him.
Not faraway, from a hidden vantage point, a certain diminutive blonde-haired Slayer involuntarily opened her mouth in surprise as the hooded robe figure which she had been trailing faded from sight like it never was.
Number of Days after Halloween: 0026
Buffy returned to the rest of the Scoobies that night with news of her latest discovery.
« And you’re saying that Xander went all-out invisible on you? » Willow asked.
« Yes, » the blonde-haired Slayer confirmed.
« It appears that the demon’s powers are growing faster than we anticipated. We might have to act soon or we will never be able to remove the demon from him, » Giles agreed.
« Have you found a banishment or exorcism spell somewhere? » Buffy asked with worry.
« Not yet. » Giles shook his head.
What makes it worse is we don’t know what type of demon is taking possession of Xander, » Willow added.
They spent the whole night researching exorcism and banishment magicks but could find nothing even remotely similar to the type of demon that was ‘possessing poor old Xander’. And the next two or three weeks … all without success.
Then Acathla happened making everyone forget about the ‘demon-possessed Xander’ for a while. A portal that threatened to suck the entire world into hell had bigger priorities after all.
Number of Days after Halloween: 0026
Buffy was in tears. It was all her fault. Just for one night of happiness with her undead paramour, the curse was broken, with Angel’s soul departing for where all souls go to and leaving the significantly less pleasant personality of Angelus in charge. The first thing, the vampire had done was to go after the Slayer’s family and friends. He had five hundred years of playing catch-up to do after all. And psychological games with potential victims was one of his trademarks.
He had wasted no time, visiting the Summers home after a few more nights of full-body action on the mattress with the Slayer as part of his game to break her mind. With that done, he laughed as he thought about what the Slayer would discover when she found the body of her dead mother on that very same bed. He would have gone to the Summers home that very night except that for the insane vampire’s words that he would not come back alive if he did so.
« Silent Death waits for you … » the crazy vampire seer had said.
« Silent Death? I laugh in Death’s face … » Angelus had boasted.
« Death will take you … Kitten has very sharp claws … that burn … » she sang to the doll in front of her.
« I think we should get a professional to do this, » Spike had suggested.
« Professional? What are you talking about? » Angelus asked.
« Why, the Order of Teraka, of course, » the master vampire smirked at the question.
Number of Days after Halloween: 0030
Except that it was not enough. The three assassins sent by the Order of Teraka had all disappeared without a sound when they tried going after the Slayer and the male Scooby.
« We must leave. Miss Edith says that Silent Death is coming, » the crazy vampire spoke in a sing-song tone of voice.
« Silent Death? » Spike asked, worry creeping into his voice.
Between rumours of the newly emerged vampire killer of Sunnydale and Drusilla’s prophetic visions, he had learned, never to ignore her seemingly mindless rantings.
« The stars are never wrong, » she voiced softly before starting to play with her dolls again.
« Kitten is very dangerous … »