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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: None for this chapter
Summary: Xander goes to LA on a fact finding trip and finds Angelus instead. Scariness happens.
Previous chapters: In my memories. I can't seem to get the link insert thing to work right. So just click on my user name and go to my memories. All the chapters are there together.
Notes: Xander makes plans.
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.
Beta: The wonderful and gracious mwrgana . Thank you and XOXOXOXO. All mistakes and looniness left in the story are mine and mine alone.
Graphics (size, and artist) Icon by moscow_watcher
Xander knew that he had been tortured for days and then turned. He wasn't sure exactly how many days the torture had lasted nor how long he had been dead before rising. Keeping track had not been high on his list of priorities. He felt another spurt of anger, resentment and grief. He shook his head impatiently and pushed the feelings down yet again. He didn't have time for them right now.
He knew he wasn't reacting like most fledges would, so the spell Giles had tattooed on him after the hyena possession must have worked. Hopefully it had anchored his soul.
He had gone to Giles privately after the hyena possession, appalled at his actions while he had been possessed. He had told Giles he remembered everything that had happened and that it would have been so much worse if he had been vamped. He had specifically asked for a spell that would keep his soul in his body should he ever be turned.Something permanent and undetectable that couldn't be counteracted or screwed around with like Angel's curse. Giles had looked at him with that piercing gaze of his, as if he could see his soul, weighing his motivations. He pulled off his glasses and slowly polished them as he considered the request.
Then he had agreed but said it would take two or three days to get the ingredients required for a spell that complex. Three nights later Xander had met Giles at his apartment, and he had cast the spell. The tattoo had hurt like a bitch and had been tender for days after. He had felt like the spell had hollowed him out with a flame thrower and he was kind of dazed for two or three days after that.
Buffy and Willow had thought it was the effects of banishing the hyena. He hadn't corrected their assumption.
But the Hyena hadn't gone anywhere. She was powerless over his actions: she had been caged somehow. But he had understood her loneliness and pain all too well and had felt unable to exorcise her. She had evolved since then, tempered by her unremitting isolation and need for a pack ,and was now an essential and accepted part of him.
Then there was the soldier. He hadn't been totally happy either. He had been trained to get the job done no matter how unpleasant: when he had an objective nothing was allowed to interfere. Emotions and relationships were a liability and a distraction. Therefore, he couldn't afford emotional entanglements, he was an isolated loner, but not by choice. His suppressed need had been excruciating, and drove Xander to distraction. The Hyena had been ecstatic and pulled him, kicking and screaming, into her pack . So it had been just the three of them in his cozy multiple personality disordered head.
Now there was a demon added to the mix. Oh joy. Just another piece of the weirdness that was the life of Xander.
He felt around in his head and almost panicked because he couldn't feel the other separate identities. All he got was impressions and echoes of contentment and satisfaction. The feelings were belonging, love and acceptance. It just felt right, so he had some conjectures about what had happened.
When he had died the hyena had been freed from her cage. Since he was pack she must have grabbed onto his soul in panic. She was ancient and strong. He remembered her overwhelming strength during the possession. She did not understand that he wasn't going anywhere. She being a primal entity, mostly emotion and instinct, only understood that her small pack was threatened. She had grabbed the soldier and hung onto him too. Then when the demon made an appearance, she latched onto it as well. Her determination to keep the pack together, and the desire of all them to belong, not to be alone, had actually merged them all together into some kind of hybrid.
The spell anchored or bound his soul to his body, so maybe it had affected everything inhabiting his body at the time. That would mean that maybe the hyena and soldier were souls, or pieces of souls. Maybe the spell had seen them as fragments of a whole and had pushed them all together and bound them into his body as one. He just didn't know.
He sighed and shook his head. It was far out and insane but it was a partial explanation. Maybe.
Then there were The Powers that Fuck Us. He considered for a moment. It was possible that they had interfered in some way and merged him and the demon with the other two permanently. He really didn't think they could have been separated from him, as long as they had been there, not without some major damage anyway. They had become part of him. His demon didn't seem to have any objections or regrets, going by the vague contented echoes he got from it.
Next to consider were the dark powers. Would they have passed up a chance to interfere? He knew each demon was different. Could they have arranged for a more intelligent demon to take up residence in him, seeing as he was a close confidant of a slayer, one on the inside of her tight group? Someone who knew from experience how Slayers and Watchers worked? Someone who also knew the group in LA?
Either way if one or both of them had interfered, they hadn't planned on the presence of the hyena or the soldier. They probably were ignorant of the spell tattooed over his heart also. He had asked Giles to make the tattoo invisible and undetectable so there wouldn't be any awkward questions. And he probably hadn't even registered on their radar at the time the time the spell was cast.
Getting that much halfway worked out in his head made him feel somewhat better. Now he could move on to other things.
He had no idea how long Angelus had been gone, and when he would return. He vaguely recalled Angelus saying something about an appointment with a beast. That was only thanks to the soldier, who had been trained to observe and remember under all conditions and endure torture in Spec Ops. He sent a grateful thought and got an wave of pack, pride, and affection back. He had endured and survived sort of.
He snorted and took stock of the situation. He didn't know how strong he was now. He had no weapons and he didn't know Angelus' whereabouts. He needed a plan and a way to immobilize or trap the crafty sonofabitch.
He wouldn't know how strong he was until he was doing. He would just have to be careful not to overestimate his abilities.
Weapons? That was more easily addressed. There was whole city out there and he had the credit card Giles had given him before he left. A credit card from the blown-up council. He laughed softly at the irony.
Okay, with those objectives set, it was time to get busy.
He got off the couch and made his way to the sewer entrance, then hesitated and turned back. He entered the bedroom again and emerged with a long black leather duster ",Trophy," he smirked. He slid it on and shrugged to settle it across his shoulders. Then he caressed a butter soft sleeve and thought with satisfaction. *If it's good enough for Spike, it's good enough for me.*
He jumped down into the sewers landing softly without a noise. This time his change to game face was a conscious effort. He experimented for several moments and felt the change like an odd non muscular kind of control. He reached up and ran fingers over the new geography of his face and fingered his fangs. "I vant to suck your bloodt." he muttered in a terrible accent, giggled, and accidentally speared a finger with a fang. "That's an ow. These things are a menace." He looked around self consciously, at his punctured digit then he stuck it in his mouth and sucked on it.
He could see details in the tunnel as though it were daylight. He took his finger out of his mouth and drew air over his palate and into his nasal cavities scenting the air. Then he cocked his head listening. The sewer was a rank mixture of odors that almost sent him reeling. He steadied himself with a hand against the side of the tunnel and after a moment or so it became more bearable. He didn't hear anything close.
Okay, so first order of business get the car and his wallet.
He moved silently down the tunnel and stopped at the next manhole. Swiftly climbing the ladder he pushed the cover up a sliver and peeped out. Things couldn't have been situated better. He wasn't under the Hyperion anymore but he could see it. It was still dark outside. He pushed the cover out of the way and climbed out, scenting, looking and listening. He couldn't detect anything that might want to take a bite out of him.
He ran for his car and snatched open the back door and reached into the back floorboard for the jacket. He shook it free of glass and reached into the pocket and grabbed his wallet and slammed the door. He reached under the bumper for the magnetic box that held the spare keys and grabbed it, then he snatched open the driver's door and slid in tossing the jacket on the seat as he jammed the key into the ignition and started the car. He threw the car into gear, stomped the gas pedal to the floor and squealed away from the Hyperion.
He breathed a sigh of relief as he tore down the street, looking for a telephone booth.
He made several turns and when he was satisfied that he was far enough away that he wouldn't be spotted by anyone who knew him or by Angelus, he pulled up beside a telephone booth. He pulled up to it with the driver's door closest, left the engine running and stepped out of the car. He grabbed the telephone book and gave it a wrench and it came loose with the screech of tearing metal. He stood in shock looking at the tear in the wall for a moment before coming back to earth and flinging himself back into the car. He turned on the interior light and began looking for what he needed.