Title: The More Things Change
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Concrit: by email please
Disclaimer: The characters belong to Joss and a bunch of lawyers. I'm just playing with them. No disrespect intended. No reflection on real persons or places intended. I'm not making any profit from this. This is strictly for entertainment.
Warnings/Squicks: A little strong language so far
Summary: Xander goes to LA on a fact finding trip and finds Angelus instead. Scariness happens.
Previous chapters: Here
Notes: This doesn't strictly follow canon. Sooo if you don't like that sort of thing you might want to skip this. This is my first story so feedback is very welcome. Please send concrit by email.
Beta(s):The wonderful and gracious mwrgana Thank you and XOXOXOXO. All mistakes and looniness left are mine and mine alone.
Graphics: (size, and artist) Icon by moscow_watcher
There were Scooby meetings and discussions and it was finally decided that it was The First. The same evil that had nearly led Angel to self immolation in a Sunnydale cemetery at sunrise. Books were brought out and poured over and calls were made and they finally decided that they would send someone to LA to see if any additional information could be found there with Angel's contacts.
It was supposed to be a quick there-and-back trip.
The first thing that struck Xander as odd was the darkness hanging over LA as he approached. It set off his 'the shit has hit the fan, or is going to hit the fan soon, warning tingler" in the worst way. He pulled to the side of the freeway and just looked for a moment, thinking. He was sorely tempted to make a U turn across the median and run right back to his own brand of Hellmouth weirdness as fast as he could go. He hadn't signed on to deal with anyone else's weirdness, especially any kind of weirdness that had Angel's name all over it. He didn't like him enough for that.
Then his blasted thrice-damned White Knighthood honor kicked in and he continued to drive toward the city. He was approaching more slowly than before and with a whole bunch of misgivings, but the Scoobies were counting on him and he wouldn't let them down. He wasn't good for too much in the fight against evil night lurkers. But he could do this. This didn't take any research smarts or magic or slayerly strength. And they desperately needed the information to find a way to defeat The First.
So he was doing the go-getting guy thing. He had puffed up inside like a bullfrog in spring mating season when Buffy had so sweetly asked him if he would do this for her. Buffy needed him. She was depending on him. The weak link. The demon magnet.
He would go to the hotel, get any info he could from Angel and company and get it back to Sunnyhell ASAP. That was simple and he could do simple, go and fetch. "It's just another doughnut run, just longer." Then he looked out the windshield at the looming darkness again and mumbled ",Yeah right," as he took the exit off the freeway.
The closer he got to LA the more clogged the roads out of town got. The roads leading into town were amazingly clear of traffic. The traffic lights weren't working and he had to turn on his headlights to see in the gloom. He was slowly getting closer to his destination.
Half the city seemed to browned out. Though there were islands of light here and there like beacons. He had already had to slam on the brakes more than once because of people, arms full of sundry items running across the street.
The city seemed to be in a panic and anyone who could was getting out. Those who couldn't or wouldn't leave were looting the city with a manic kind of glee and contributing to the hysteria. He'd passed overturned burning cars and buildings with scores of people fighting and running out of broken doors and windows. At one point a brick had hurtled out of nowhere and impacted with an earsplitting crack with his rear window. The window had starred like crazy and then slowly crumpled inward scattering glass across the backseat and floorboards.
He licked his dry lips and shivered. This was bad, real bad. But since when had that kept him from getting right in the middle? He wasn't going back without what he came for. He wasn't going to fail because of a little fear and chaos; he was used to fear and chaos of every type. How many kinds of fear and chaos were there left to experience? He wondered, as he finally spotted the Hyperion. He slowed even more and looked for a place to park and then shrugged and pulled up right in front. He wasn't likely to get a ticket.
He put the car in park and slowly reached out and turned the key. He sat for a moment and just breathed. He realized with discomfort that he was sweating heavily as he listened to the background noises of sirens and shouts in the distance.
Time to get his shit together and just do this. The sooner done, the soonest home. He sighed, scrubbed his hands over his face and ran his hands back through his shaggy hair.
*Need a hair cut* he thought as he looked around carefully for any kind of activity. He couldn't see or hear anything close by but that wasn't necessarily a good thing. He tucked the stake he always carried into the back of his pants as he stepped out of the car. He was prepared as well as he could be under the circumstances to face Deadboy and the Fang Gang. Whatever the weirdness was, he'd deal, just like he always did, until he got what he came for. Then he was so out of here.