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Chapter Two: And there was more, and we said yeah.
"She just left. She didn't even care enough to cut off my head or set me on fire. I mean, is that too much to ask? Some little sign that she cared?"-Spike
I was lighting up another cigarette when the whelp finally burst from the building. I'd wanted to see what the Slayer would pretty the boy up in. When I saw though, I was shocked for a moment. Bleedin' Hell the boy looked good. I choked on that thought. <The git makes a good chit, s'all.> I reasoned with myself, inwardly snickering at my inane rhyme. <Prolly since he's such a poncey lil girl to begin with.>
He was upset too, by the look of him. Not strange considering. The simpleton got dumped by his girl then turned into one and not one of his pals notice how upset he is. Bloody stupid lot, they are. I'd watched him trying not to cry the whole night while the rest just went on about the obvious problem.
I followed him into the night world of SunnyHell as discreetly as I could. After dropping back to tell the Bitch Queen and her Lap Dog that I'd patrol with the runt, she'd nodded and said something mildly insulting so I took off after the fleeing boy.
Amazingly enough, the boy's ability to draw demons from miles around by looking the right proper victim was doubly effective in his female form. I caught up to the puppy as he was being jumped by four fledges at once. Normally he'd be able to keep off at least one of them with his stake and holy water, but the whelp had been diminished in size and strength. (Yes I'm making him sound stronger than he is. Shut up. My way is more sportsmanlike.)
I watched him struggle futilely for a moment before jumping into the fray to stake the buggers. BR>
"But it’s not our place to fight. Surely some man will protect us."-Buffy
I was so upset when I finally ran into the pack of vamps that I didn't even stop to consider that Buffy and Soldier boy might not be behind me. I didn't consider my being smaller either. In the past I'd been able to handle a fledge on my own. It was always scary as hell and hard, but I'd managed to stay alive somehow. And so I stupidly charged the closest vamp, stake drawn.
The fledge caught my wrist easily enough as I plunged my stake toward its heart and pushed me off of him like I was a fly. I leaped up off the ground again as the vamps surrounded me and jumped on one, hoping to knock it off-balance. It merely deflected me. That's when I realized that I was small. And alone.
That moment of terror only lasted a second before a bleached vamp in black leather appeared and fought off my attackers with relish. I watched as Spike dusted each of them. He was so much stronger and more graceful than I was. I wished for a moment that I were a super-hero, so as not to require rescuing from evil dead people. Spike turned through the drifting dust and looked at me, his face vamped out, eyes yellow, glowing eerily at me. His eyes flicked over me, probably hoping to see me gushing blood or something, then he looked over my shoulder. His face registered surprise then annoyance before he was moving with preternatural speed to stand next to me.
I turned around to see what he was looking at and yelped. There was a pack of about fifteen vamps in black suits bearing down on us, all in game face. "Who the hell are they? The Vamp Mafia?!" I asked, looking around frantically for Buffy.
"Don't know." Spike hissed, pushing me behind him. "I hope you don't run like a girl." He added and shoved me into a run, dragging me along with him as he ran in the direction we'd came from. He changed directions after a moment of full out sprinting before we crashed through some bushes and into a clearing where I saw Buffy and Riley turning to look at us in surprise.
Spike skidded to a halt and whirled to face the direction from whence came our pursuers. "What is it?!" Buffy demanded, holding her stake ready, Riley ready for action beside her. I stood panting by Spike, waiting for the vamps to burst through the bushes.
"Friggin' flock of vamps." Spike spat out at her, slipping a stake into my hand just as the 'flock' appeared. The vamps all yelled at once, bellowing "For Aesop!" Then there was a flurry of fighting, in which I staked one vamp and got thrown into two different trees, then I stood again with Spike, watching as Buffy staked her final vamp and helped Riley off his ass where he'd fallen.
"Who were they?" Buffy demanded of Spike. She advanced on him, murder in her eyes. I blinked. <Oh sure, like Spike would lead a bunch of buddies to Buff's stakes.> I rolled my eyes. <I mean, yeah, he's an annoying ass-munch, but he's not stupid.>
"I haven't a bloody clue, Slayer." He said and glanced at me. His scarred eyebrow rose and he smirked. I realized that I'd been clinging to his sleeve. I jumped back as if I'd been slapped and looked everywhere else in the world.
"Okay, then, looks like its time to go back to Giles and research some more because research is good and leads to knowledge and that helps with knowing things." <Smooth, Xan, babbling stupidly will make you look more manly to the vamp you just clung to.> I mocked myself as brutally as I suspected Spike would when given the opportunity.
"Yeah, good idea." Buffy said absently, pocketing her stake. We set out towards Giles' again. "You okay, Xan? I mean, aside from the whole being a girl thing?" She asked. "You're shaking." She observed. I cursed colorfully in my mind, aware that both Riley and Spike, the only fellow male-types around would hear my answer.
"Yeah, I'm fine, Buff." I lied. "Just a little freaked out. I'm so much smaller now. I never realized just how oogy it is to be attacked by things taller than you." It was kind of the truth. It was the reason why I'd latched onto Spike. I'd been terrified and he'd been all tall and not trying to kill me so I'd clung. I probably would've done the same to Riley or Buffy if they'd been close enough.
"I can see how that'd be wiggy." She said, linking arms with me. "At least you didn't scream like a woman." She pointed out cheerfully. I let out a sigh of relief. I hadn't been too sure about that. Spike patted my shoulder with a snarky grin.
"No, pet, you just screamed like a little girl." He said and dodged away from the stake I swung at him. After a moment I blinked. <Spike patted me.>How much weirder can things get? I was so busy brooding about that, that I forgot to be depressed about Anya or my friend's lack of consideration.
"Yeah. We have a highly trained medical staff working 'round the clock to tell us diddly."-Buffy
I felt the world wobble strangely for a moment before falling down on my ass. I tried hard to focus on what Willow was telling me in her nervous babbling. "Wait…wait." I begged feebly. I stared at her worried face.
"So Xander's going to be a girl forever?" Buffy clarified. I was suddenly very grateful for Willow's babbling.
"Anya came by when you were out," Giles explained. "She said that she did it because she believes you deserved to know what it was like to be a woman. She refused to break the spell and left before we could stop her." I sat numbly, letting it sink in. The almost tears that I'd been in most the night were suddenly gone. <I want to cry.I need to cry, why aren't I crying? I want chocolate and I want to cry dammit!> I was going to be a woman for the rest of my life, and then I wanted to react like a woman and cry!
Alas, no tears came. Willow and Buffy both hugged me repeatedly, promising not to give up on my manliness. I followed them numbly outside and let myself be settled in the passenger's side of my car. Giles drove Willow and me to my house while I stared blankly. Willow kept squeezing my shoulder and patting me.
By the time we'd arrived I had put on my goofy Xander armor and hugged Willow and grinned at her. "I'll be fine, Wills! I just need some sleep and I'll be back tomorrow, trying to find ways to reestablish my masculinity!" I reassured her. "I just gotta go, y'know, take a loooooong shower and find out just what this body can-" She smacked my arm.
"Xander! That's disgusting!" Giles just scowled at me. I grinned at her and shoved her toward Giles.
"Take my car back, I'll get it tomorrow. Go on, myself and I need to be alone." I teased, wiggling my eyebrows. They finally left and I let myself into the basement. I locked my door as habit demanded and went down the steps, ignoring the vampire that was sprawled across my bed watching Passions.
I made my way to the fridge and opened it. <Yum! Rancid milk and bloodbags.> I glared at the contents a minute. I was so hungry. There was nothing to eat and I didn't want to go out and I had no money anyway and I was going to have to quit my job and mom and dad would kick me out of the basement and I would be homeless and none of my clothes fit me anymore and couldn't keep mooching off of my friends and Anya was gone and I had no one to help me feel better and I wouldn't be getting any orgasms for a long time and was I a lesbian now and was I going to get my period and dear god I'm hungry and I want to die!
Needless to say, I found my tears again.
"Oh, leave that one. He looks like he's ready to drop any minute, and I think I can eat someone if he's already dead."-Spikey
I'd ignored the whelp when he entered, preferring to watch Theresa and Ivy, but I found the boy a little more interesting when he fell to his knees in front of the fridge sobbing. I blinked at him for a moment before getting up to see what turned on the waterworks. When I stood over him he blinked up at me, not seeming to recognize my face. I took one look at those huge chocolate doe-eyes and dropped to my knees beside him.
I pulled the small body into my lap and started purring loudly, while rocking the hysterical female. I guess a century of tending to hysterical Dru-ness had trained me to respond to dark-eyed bints like a poofter. "Shhh, pet, what's wrong?" I asked quietly. The whelp sobbed and mumbled something about being hungry and lesbian orgasms. I blinked. <Lost 'is bloody mind 'e 'as.> I rubbed his back soothingly until he was merely hiccuping.
After a moment the boy looked up at me with his huge sad eyes and blinked. I resisted the urge to drop him on his ass when I felt my evilness being called into question by those chocolate eyes. Instead I waited for him to react.
"Check this out, they put cheese on round bread. It's gonna be big."-Xander
My brain felt fuzzy with despair and all kinds of fun stuff like that when I was finally finished weeping like a little girl it took me a minute to realize that I was being held. I looked up slowly in confusion when I noticed that the chest I was being held against was vibrating. Eh? I took in the face that looked down at me with an alien expression of compassion and wondered if I was trapped in a hell dimension where nothing made sense. I watched, in shock as panic then determination flit through his deep blue eyes.
"Why can't I turn invisible when I want to? I mean there was a girl in high school that did the invisible thing and it made her kinda crazy homicidal but I think I could handle the invisible thing if it happened right about now..." I babbled as I eased myself out of Spike's lap. He actually chuckled at me in a non-mocking way. I watched him warily as I got to my feet and went to the bathroom. Once inside I splashed cold water on my face. "Well I seem to have lived through my first hissy fit." I commented more to myself as I dried it on a towel. I came out of the bathroom to see Spike on the phone ordering a pizza. "Spike, what're you doing?" I demanded a little shrilly.
"Getting dinner. You said you were hungry." He said with a shrug. I resisted the urge to start weeping again.
"I don't have any money, Spike! Food requires cash and I have less than pocket lint!" I insisted. I fell backward on my bed and squirmed in the too-tight jeans. Spike held up a wad of cash that he'd dug out of his duster pocket and turned his attention back to the TV.
I groaned and rolled off the bed to loot through my laundry in search of some relatively clean sweatpants. I couldn't breathe in Buffy's skintight pants of doom. I changed in the bathroom and then sprawled on the bed again, my rumbling stomach triggering a few more waves of despair and pain. "We're going to be homeless by the end of the month." I informed my undead roommate.
"Why?" The vamp asked, keeping his eyes on the TV. I took his inattentive moment to shimmy out of the tank top and into a T-shirt that looked far more comfortable. It was bright red and came to my skinny, girly knees.
"They can't fix me. I'll have to quit my job and I'll be booted out of here since I'm not 'Xander' anymore. I'm screwed. Completely and thoroughly fucked." I said and lay glaring at the chipped and peeling ceiling.
"I'm sure ol' Rupert'll find a cure." Spike said, shrugging off the seriousness of my situation. "That's what you Hero Gits do. You fix who's broken. If they deserve it, that is." The last part was mumbled but I caught it anyway. He was right, though. We hadn't exactly busted our asses trying to fix his problem. The chip had totally destroyed his way of life, just as my involuntary sex change was doing to mine.
I sat up, staring at him for a moment, finally realizing just what the chip had done to the vampire. I actually started to feel bad for him. I guess that happens when you can identify with someone, evil or not. I had half an urge to apologize to him but I kicked it into death quickly. He'd only get pissed and mock me. I merely decided to shut up instead. The last thing that I would want to hear in his position was someone else whining.
I sighed and lay back down, pondering my new revelation about the vamp. He wasn't quite so bad to be around anymore. I had gotten used to him being in the basement and he did help out every so often. I guess it was getting to be like those stories about hostages starting to side with their captors. Sure, he was evil, but he was also a person to us now.
<Ooh! Look! I distracted myself by thinking about other stuff! Yay! Now back to brooding about my current doomedness.> I jumped a mile when there was a knock on the door. Spike answered it before I could even look up and a moment later the delicious and heavenly aroma of pizza filled the hellhole I lived in. My stomach growled in triumph.
Spike paid the pizza guy quietly and came back to the bed. "Save me a few pieces." He insisted and shoved the large Canadian bacon and Pineapple pie of Heaven into my hands. He went into the kitchen area and grabbed some paper plates off the top of the fridge. I shrugged off the issue of 'Omigawd Spike is being quiet and nice and he bought me pizza and my favorite flavor too!' and viciously attacked a slice of heaven .
"I think you're my favorite vampire now because Angel never got me pizza and all the other ones try to eat me." I informed him around my dinner. He merely snorted and started on a slice of his own. When I was full (which happened way sooner than it used to) I cleaned up then flopped on the bed again.
"And I wonder... what possible catastrophe came crashing down from heaven and brought this dashing stranger to tears?"-Drusilla
It was a strange night. Wonky all around. First I comforted the moron when he broke down and wept like a baby, then I bought him food with my own dosh. I even soddin' reassured'm. That was more'n any of his crew ever did for me. It made him think though.
I stayed awake long after he fell asleep trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I figured it was his form. Always before, Harris had a way about him that just screamed 'victim' to any whom observed him. It was in his body language and the way he always deferred to everyone else. A real submissive git, he was, and that just made him a demon magnet.
Apparently his change from male to female only increased the effect. He was small, pretty, and everything from his scent to his stance said, "Corrupt me?" As a predator, I was finding it difficult to resist that siren's song. The dark hair and eyes that I'd always been partial too didn't help either. My demon wanted to chomp the lil pretty and the rest of me wanted to protect him like I did Dru.
After coming up with a plausible explanation for my un-Big Bad-like behavior, I decided that I'd done far too much thinking for one soddin' night and went to sleep.
"Please take me where they can make me unconscious and naked." -Riley
"It's only a matter of time before you realize I'm the only one here for you, pet. You got no one else!"-Spike
I've never seen a mortal as scary as Xander when he smiled. The expression was something I'd seen on Drusilla or Angelus. It gave me the willies. He looked like he was waiting to snap. That's why I didn't hesitate to grant his wish.
I took him to Willy's, knowing that any drunken babble from this boy would be too strange for normal bars. I saw that his hand was never without a drink and that none of the bars other patron's approached him. The last thing he needed right now was a leech demon hitting on him. I drank light, mostly sipping at a glass of O-neg. while I watched him. I'd expected him to talk, to rant and weep and curse the world or at least the demon bint that changed him, but he was silent. He drank until he was drunk, then passed out, then I picked him up and carried him back to his basement without a word between us.
When I had him stretched out on his bed I removed his shoes and jeans and tucked him like I used to do for Dru. It was strange how protective I felt for him. He hadn't been rude to me at all since I'd tried to reassure him before. Maybe the silly git grew a clue? I shrugged off my duster and hung it lovingly over the clothesline that ran over the laundry area. I considered picking up the clothes that were strewn across the floor but one whiff of them told me that they had been the Slayers and that reminded me that I was supposed to hate them all. I settled myself in the chair that I swear is more evil than the Master with a cup of blood and considered my future.
When would we get kicked out? Would the poncey ex-watcher make me move back there? Where would the whelp go? I had enough dosh put away to get myself a nice place wherever I wanted to go. Maybe It would be a better idea for me to stay with the Scooby brats. The Initiative bastards were still out there, including the Slayer's boy toy. I couldn't defend myself from humans like the soldiers, but I was sure that the Slayerettes would protect me on principle, bleedin' morons that they are. If I moved out, Captain Cardboard would find out where from Slutty and his buddies would be on me in seconds.
I started to formulate a plan while the boy slept and even made a few calls to some old buddies of mine. When I was done planning the whelp was still sleeping and the sun was rising outside. Satisfied with my actions, I sprawled out in the Master's Evil Chair of Pain and went to sleep.
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