Disclaimer: I own no intellectual property that anyone has ever made any money off of.
(AN: I've seen far too many stories where squealing fangirls (You know who you are!) try and pair Xander with Angelus, which makes as much sense as pairing Anne Frank with Adolph Hitler; less even as Anne and Adolph were at least attracted to each other’s gender. Anyway I've wandered off topic, I tried to picture scenes where they'd actually get along and truthfully even that's a stretch, but here they are. TN: Still alive!)
As Angelus turned to leave the hospital he heard Xander mutter something under his breath. “What?”
Xander sighed. ‘Figures I'd screw up my one bad-ass moment.’ “I said 'despite everything I still prefer you to Angel.'”
Angelus wrinkled his brow in thought. “I tried to kill you and all your friends.”
“Yeah,” Xander admitted, “but at least you haven't brooded at me or sucked all the life out of the room by entering it and sitting in the corner feeling sorry for yourself.”
“You think that's bad?” Angelus asked with a shudder, “When he's alone in his apartment at night he mopes and listens to the song Mandy over and over.”
“The bastard would have been a cutter, but I enjoy pain and blood too much so he stopped slashing his wrists; like that would kill a vampire anyway.”
“Can hell really be any worse than that?” Xander asked aloud.
“Hey kid, I'll make you a deal...” Angelus said thoughtfully.
“What?” Xander asked cautiously.
“I'll make sure Willow survives anything I have planned, with nothing more than bumps and bruises, if you'll swear that if I'm ever stuck as Angel again … you’ll make sure I'm dusted.”
“Done!” Xander swore fervently.
Angelus nodded thoughtfully and left. AN: Let’s face it, this is about as much interaction as I can see between the two working, in canon anyway.
Angel, Buffy and Xander stood in a circle of light with weapons ready.
“You will be separated into two groups,” a voice boomed from the darkness.
“But there's only three of us!” Buffy complained.
The voice continued as if she hadn't spoken, “Each group will be given a task, the group that best completes their task will be given a boon.”
Before anyone could comment the group vanished.
Xander looked at his leather clad companion and sighed, “Joy I got Angel on my team. Couldn't you have gone with Buffy?”
“Who you calling Angel, boyo?! I never could stand that bint!”
“Angelus?” Xander asked, backing away and raising his axe.
“In the flesh!” Angelus grinned wickedly.
“Assaulting your partner forfeits your boon and gains a geas of our choice,” the voice boomed warningly.
Xander shrugged. “Well at least I'm not stuck with Angel.”
“Yeah, I know the feeling.” Angelus snorted, causing them both to crack up.
“So, what's the task?” Xander asked.
“Below you lies a camp,” the voice announced, drawing the two's attention to their surroundings.
Angelus recognized the design of the place from Angel's work with the FBI.
Xander recognized it from pictures he'd seen in history class.
“You are to disable ten specific targets inside the camp.”
“Unconscious or dead?” Angelus asked, knowing that working with a White Hat was seriously going to cramp his style, but wanting that boon.
“Either is acceptable.”
“Are we back in time, and will our actions have any effect on history?” Xander asked intently.
“Yes, this place was chosen because regardless of your actions everyone in it dies in ninety days.”
“So even if we save the campers they would still die?” Xander asked.
“Yes, history cannot be changed in any significant detail.”
“How do we know which ten?” Angelus asked.
“They will each have a tattoo on their right shoulder of an eagle. You have 48 hours or until the other team completes their task. Begin.”
“Fuck!” Angelus cursed. “There has to be over a thousand people in there, no way can we find and disable the ten we want in two days.”
“3,764 not counting the guards,” Xander said flatly, “or babies too young to leave skeletons.”
“I hate impossible tasks,” Angelus growled in feral fashion.
“Please, this is a cakewalk.”
“The ten guards that protect the Warden in charge of the camp are all part of an Elite unit who have tattooed their unit insignia on their shoulder, it’s also the patch they wear proudly on their uniforms, so it’s not hard to find. Four are guarding the Warden at all times with four sleeping in quarters and two doing miscellaneous jobs around the camp.”
“That makes things easier,” Angelus declared, beginning to grin. “Knocking out and securing ten guards isn't that big a deal. We know where eight of them are, so if we get the two floaters and then the four sleepers the remaining four will be cake.”
The snapping of a twig behind them caused them to whirl around.
Angelus saw the young soldier, who couldn't have been much older than eighteen, but paused as he planned out how to attack him without killing him, as Xander's cooperation would be needed to gain the boon.
Xander had no such compunctions, his axe flashed across the distance between them and buried itself in the soldier's shoulder making him drop his rifle as he was knocked to the ground.
Angelus was surprised by the sheer viciousness of one of the White Hats using an axe on a young human, by the time he'd recovered Xander had already dropped and pinned the soldier to the ground and had a dagger at his throat.
“Tell me what I want to know and you'll die,” Xander said in broken German.
The soldier laughed through the pain and responded in much more proficient English, “I think you mean ‘tell me what I want to know or you'll die’.”
“No,” Xander corrected him coldly, “the quicker you tell me what I want to know the quicker you'll die. You know that a quick death is preferable to some of the things you've seen, and trust me when I say I know a few things even worse. What's it going to be?”
The young soldier quickly spilled everything he knew, his fear of being forced to go through some of the things he'd seen the prisoners go through made death seem warm and comforting.
Xander snapped his neck and handed the corpse to Angelus. “Drink up, you'll need your strength.”
Buffy shook Angel's body like she'd been for the last five minutes, ignoring the booming voice. “Angel, you have to wake up!”
The ghost of Liam groaned and tried to figure out how ghosts could move things, so he could let Buffy know he was alright while she shook his corpse.
“Did they happen to remove your soul as well?” Angelus asked hopefully after he finished eating.
“Nope, still the same old Xander,” the man in question replied as he checked the rifle.
“You always were the practical one,” Angelus admitted, dropping the corpse. “Does this mean you won’t bitch if I kill the ten?”
“Ten?” Xander asked. “You think too small.”
“If you win the boon you can have him restored to life,” the voice boomed finally gaining Buffy's attention.
“It is easily within our power. Complete your task before the other group and you can request it.”
“Ok,” Buffy said, gently laying Angel's body down. “What do I have to do?”
“You have forty eight hours to …”
“Aren't all you White Hats supposed to be all goody goody?” Angelus asked, an eyebrow quirked as he wondered when Xander's practical nature had crossed over into bloodthirsty.
“This camp is one of several that are in complete communications blackout; no one goes in or out, the large tents over there are filled with a variety of gases they are testing on the prisoners. In an attempt to cover everything up three months from now they will be bombed by their own people, killing everyone here,” Xander said as he scanned the camp from cover.
“So since they're going to die anyway you don't mind me killing them now?” Angelus asked doubtfully, since all humans were pretty short lived as far as he was concerned.
“Better a quick death than spending months in here starving and being tortured, while watching your family and friends suffer the same fate, unable to help them.”
“Good point. So I can just waltz in and kill everything in my path?” Angelus asked eagerly.
“Still thinking way too small,” Xander replied. “How would you like to see this place go up like a roman candle?”
Angelus' eyes lit up, but he was wary enough to comment, “You do know I'm flammable right?”
“With the type of heat I'm talking about concrete is flammable. Relax, I plan on both of us being quite a distance from it.”
Buffy's fist nailed the guard in the chin, removing his consciousness like a switch had been flipped. Dragging the guard into the dark she double checked his sleeve and smiled seeing the eagle. She remembered the voice mentioning those. 'Well, one down – nine to go!' she thought to herself stuffing the guard into a dumpster.
“You're sure this will work?” Angelus whispered while Xander taped a grenade in place and connected a wire to the pin.
“Yeah, the acid we coated the pipe with is slowly going to release the gas; flooding the camp with it. The guards will figure out what's wrong and scramble into their gas masks, but by that time the gas will be everywhere. With the camp fully roused someone is going to step on this wire and then all these pretty little grenades are going to set off the fuel tanks, which will cause a blaze hot enough to set off the gas. In other words we need to haul ass now!”
Buffy slipped out of the silent barracks. Her French may have been rusty, but it was enough to understand the information she'd had to beat out of the guy and now she had only four left to go.
The sudden ringing of an alarm made her groan. ‘Oh well, at least the last four would be easy to find guarding the Warden's office.’
The alarm rang just after Xander hit the treeline. “Shit!”
Angelus quickly caught up and spoke easily, like they weren't sprinting, “How far do we have to go to be safe?”
“Far!” Xander panted, eyes wide.
Angelus tossed Xander over his shoulder and ran like there was no tomorrow, which unless they got the proper distance from this place was a good possibility for them.
They'd just reached the top of the ridge when it suddenly became day and the sky attacked them in full fury, screaming and hurling them down the other side.
As they finally came to a stop facing the night sky a pillar of flame towered over the place and they watched the trees atop the ridge catch fire.
“I can't believe you're a White Hat,” Angelus stated as they regained their hearing.
“What can I say? Genocidal racists piss me off,” Xander said with a mad grin, flames dancing in his eyes.
“I just want to remind you, I was an equal opportunity killer. I killed for the sake of it, not because I was better than anyone else due to an accident of birth.”
“Noted,” Xander remarked, still grinning.
Buffy's fist caught the guard in the stomach, dropping him to his knees where an elbow to the temple put him down. 'Two left,' Buffy thought when everything turned into light and she found herself standing in a circle next to Angel's body.
“You won?” Buffy asked Xander, seeing he was in his own circle of light and seeing Angel there next to him glanced down at Angel's corpse. “Wait, what?!”
“Xander, Angelus – you have won the contest, state your boon.”
“I never, ever want to share a body with the brooding wonder ever again!” Angelus said firmly.
“Xander, look out!” Buffy yelled, futilely banging her fists against an invisible wall that surrounded her.
“I wish Angelus was on our side from here on out,” Xander said cheerfully.
Angelus sent him a look of horror and betrayal.
“Without becoming a brooding moron,” Xander quickly added, “more daywalker, less demon.”
The four appeared in the lobby of the Hyperion, startling the combined groups of demon hunters.
“We came, we saw...” Xander began.
“We torched its ass,” Angelus misquoted, causing Xander to snicker.
“Why is there two of you?” Dawn asked. “And why does one look dead … well, instead of undead I mean.”
“The Powers that Be Screwing Around With Us separated Angel from me, but without me he's just a ghost haunting a corpse,” Angelus explained.
“And since Angelus was so much fun to work with, when he wished to never again be inflicted with Angel, I wished he'd be on our side from now on,” Xander explained.
“But… But... Angel!” Buffy exclaimed.
“Feed a couple of drops of Mohra blood into him and he'll be fine,” Angelus snorted. “I wouldn't advise trying it on a normal corpse, but since he's stuck in it, it should work.”
“What happened?” Willow asked confused.
“The Powers snagged us for a pop quiz,” Xander explained.
“And for this task they separated me and the Whine of Eternity onto two different teams,” Angelus added.
“Whine of Eternity, I like that one,” Xander snickered.
“Thanks, I had a lot of time to think them up,” Angelus replied cheerfully.
“How about, Mopy Dick; the Great White Whaler?” Xander suggested.
“Master,” Angelus said, falling to one knee and bowing his head.
“If you don't get to the point soon I swear to god I'm going to stake you,” Buffy growled.
“Hey, no threatening Angelus!” Xander snapped. “The Powers have spoken and he gets a second chance.”
“She wasn't looking at me when she said it,” Angelus pointed out.
Xander grinned madly and pulled a fist sized green object off his belt. “Wanna play for blood Slayer? Then I'm your huckleberry,” he drawled out in a fake southern accent.
“Human vs Slayer, the Slayer wins on account of Super Powers,” someone called from the back of the group.
“Who needs super powers when you have a hand grenade?” Xander asked rhetorically.
Buffy's eyes widened and the crowd stepped back.
“Xander,” Willow asked slowly, “where did you go for the test?”
“I was taking care of number five, of my top one hundred non-sexual uses for a time machine.”
Xander didn't get a chance to say anything more because he suddenly had a redhead attached to his face.
“Grenade!” someone shouted and Angelus found himself diving on top of the grenade Xander had dropped.
Willow and Xander had vanished in a burst of light and after a few seconds everyone realized it wasn't going to explode and Angelus climbed back to his feet, holding the grenade in his hand.
“He didn't pull the pin,” Angelus explained.
“Can you please explain what happened in ten words or less?” Cordelia asked, wanting to get everything settled.
Angelus nodded. “Powers, contest, teams, camp, Nazis, Xander, boom, prize, separate, bitch.”
“Ok, we'll probably need more than that,” Gunn suggested.
Angelus sighed. “The Powers grabbed Buffy, Angel, Xander, and me for a contest. We were separated into two teams.”
Buffy opened her mouth, but Angelus held up the grenade and she quieted down.
“Me and Xander had to disable ten specific people in a Nazi concentration camp. The only clue we were given is they all had an eagle tattooed on their shoulder.”
The crowd winced.
“Yeah, I figured it was an impossible task, but Xander asked some questions and it was revealed that no matter what we did that everyone there would be dead in ninety days. So we didn't have the option of rescuing any of the prisoners...”
Angelus scratched his chin thoughtfully. “Now, Xander knew a whole lot about the camp and pointed out to me that a quick death was preferable to being tortured and watching your loved ones tortured for the next three months before dying anyway, as the German's bombed the camp to try and hide the evidence. Xander apparently hates Nazis with a passion, he hates them more than he hates vampires.”
There were a number of winces and muttered curses from those that knew Xander.
“Yeah, freaked me out too – anyway, long story short, we snuck in and set the entire place to blow. We barely made it out in time and the entire place was destroyed by a giant fireball, taking out all ten targets at once and winning us a request from the higher ups. I wished to never again be cursed with Angel and Xander wished I was a White Hat and we were all returned here.”
“So, what’s wrong with Angel?!” Buffy demanded.
“Nothing, but without me he's just a well preserved corpse, haunted by a ghost. I told you, get some Mohra blood and you can probably resurrect him,” Angelus replied.
“How do you know?”
“Dumb ass got some of their blood on him before and became human, but then he couldn't keep up with the slaying, so the Powers turned back the clock for him. Now why having a pulse meant he didn't have all the powers he got from my presence I have no idea.”
“What do you plan on doing now that you're free?” Cordelia asked bluntly.
“I have this strange urge to head to New York,” Angelus said scratching his chin. AN: Typing by Godogma, all hail!