Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Marvel Comics nor any of the characters present in this story.
When Xander awoke he was in pain. This was not all that unusual in and of itself, but it wasn’t the pain that surprised him. It was the fact that he awoke in a hospital bed. Really, it shouldn’t have shocked him as much as it did, given that he often did battle-- admittedly as support for the most part-- with beings capable of going hand to hand with Buffy, and it really was just a matter of time before he ended up with a serious injury.
So Xander settled and took a moment to take a look at his surroundings. He noticed the wallpaper of the hospital room looked odd. Did they redecorate or something? He shrugged, it didn’t matter all that much to him.
The lights above him flickered for a moment, as he tried to work through his confusion, before they stabilized, and Xander started to remember a few things. Like the fact that this couldn’t be Sunnydale Memorial Hospital, since last thing he remembered he’d been in Nevada. He smiled. He loved Vegas. Blackjack was an awesome game, unless you got caught cheating.
Not that card counting was cheating! The casinos just didn’t like it much... which was a shame, because Xander was pretty darn good at it.
It was a skill he’d been learning since he was six. His family had taught him exactly three things in his life, the first was how to duck-- and also when
to duck, but that was another thing altogether. The second was how to mix drinks in a variety of ways, something that likely wouldn’t be much use to him in the future given his general loathing of all things alcohol, but the third was how to play cards.
Tony Harris had been a card-shark in his younger days, and blackjack had been taught to his son from the moment he could understand the game. It had been a trying ordeal, given Xander’s trouble with math, but persistence had won out and Xander had developed the skills necessary to scam any casino worth visiting.
It was then that Xander remembered a few more details of the night before. He remembered winning-- winning a bit too much actually-- and a couple of bouncers coming into view. Xander’s danger senses, honed from surviving High School on the Hellmouth, alerted him to the new threat, and he had done the wise thing. He ditched the majority of his winnings and fled.
The bouncers hadn’t been eager to give up the chase, but at midnight in Las Vegas not many people would have had the guts to follow him into one of the only poorly lit alleys in the city. This had led to Xander’s next problem. Vampires.
Vampires were rare off the Hellmouth, but at least a few would generally congregate into just about every major city you could think of, plus a few more you couldn’t. Vegas was actually a pretty unpopular spot for them though, given the round the clock lighting. The tourists may have been easy pickings, but vampires were creatures of the shadows and their eyes could not take the constant strain of fluorescent lights for more than a few nights at a time.
This generally meant that, despite a couple of tourists running through every now and then, Vegas was mostly vampire free, so it was a great surprise when Xander happened across the only two in the state.
He had been lucky with the first one, vampires never expected their prey to fight back after all, so Vamp #1 dusted with a stake through the heart no problem. Vamp #2, however, had been a lot more tricky. One of the few vamps smart enough-- and humble enough for that matter-- to run from anything that knew how to kill them, he had fled.
This left Xander with a slight dilemma, does he chase after the vamp before it feeds on some other innocent? Or does he leave, without risking life and limb, and go find another blackjack table?
Xander sighed, wishing he could’ve taken option number two, before he set off after it.
Xander slowly reached out for the heart monitor, looking for a chart-- something to tell him what was wrong with him or how he got there-- but as his fingers neared the device, a spark jumped from his fingertips, spanning the distance and dispersing into the metal, causing the machine to overload and smoke, as the heart rate spiked into an angry whir.
“Gah!” Xander yelped, when the electricity arced from his skin, disappearing with a crackle in the air, “What the Hellmouth?”
As Xander gazed in wonderment at his arm, which had apparently decided to do an imitation of Miss Post’s lightning glove, more of his memory returned to him.
The vamp-- Frankie, as Xander had privately named him-- was damn hard to catch. He and his buddy had apparently had a car nearby, and Frankie had just made a straight line for it.
When Xander rounded the corner and saw the vamp taking off in a set of wheels, he had had little choice but to find some way to follow him-- it was practically his moral obligation to see Frankie destroyed after all-- and it just so happened that some guy was handing the keys to his Ferrari to a parking attendant not even ten steps away from him. Really, what would you have done?
For Xander, the chase wasn’t particularly difficult, Frankie didn’t seem to be one for reckless driving, apparently preferring the more efficient method of gunning it and moving in a straight line, heading directly out of the city and onto the highway. No, the tricky part was that it was lasting too damn long.
The cars had already been going for almost an hour, and, though Xander had managed to catch up to Frankie fairly easily, he had come to the unfortunate realization that he had absolutely no idea how to get him to stop. Ramming Frankie would more than likely end up hospitalizing himself rather than the vampire, and evidently Frankie wasn’t one to just stop and make things easy for him.
So Xander kept going, just hoping that his car had more gas than the other one.
The chase lasted about another half-hour, when Frankie’s car hit its limit and died on him, the engine steaming as Frankie ditched the broken down vehicle and continued on foot. Unfortunately for him, this allowed Xander to ram him from behind and stake him nice and easy once he was down. Finally finished with his two hour quest, Xander had returned to his stolen Ferrari, hoping to get back to Vegas and ditch the car before the cops caught up with him, but, of course, things never went that easy for Alexander Harris.
The Ferrari ran out of fuel less than five minutes into the drive back. Walking back to Frankie’s car revealed that Xander knew absolutely nothing about cars, let alone enough to get it back into working condition, and he had nothing to siphon the gas out with.
So, with nothing but the clothes on his back, at four in the morning, Xander set off back towards the glowing lights in the distance that was Vegas. Until, two hours later, when the sun began to rise, and light glinted off a large metallic structure that Xander had not seen in the dark.
Colored blue, it rose up from the eastern horizon like a skeletal pyramid. To Xander, this meant people, and the pyramid thing looked a hell of a lot closer than Vegas.
Xander promptly altered his course.
It took him about three and a half hours, but at 9:30 AM, an exhausted, sweaty, and partially dehydrated Xander Harris walked up to a chain link fence, and, in his near delirious state, asked a group of soldiers for access.
Less than five minutes later, Xander found himself with a canteen in one hand, sitting across from General Thaddeus E. Ross, who did not look happy to see him.
“Do you have any idea how much trouble you’re in?” He growled, “Walking into restricted government property like that?”
“Technically,” Xander pointed out, taking a swig form the canteen, “I was carried onto the base by your own men. I only walked up to your fence.”
Ross barely contained his anger, and Xander was somewhat awed by the rather brilliant shade of red that his face turned. Honestly, he had thought that only Willow could achieve that color.
“Guards!” Ross yelled, as two burly soldiers came in, “Get him out of my sight. I want him contained until after the experiment!”
“Sir, yes Sir!” The two answered in unison. Xander blinked, ‘contained’ did not sound fun.
As Xander was led away from the comfortably shady tent, what Ross used as his temporary office, and into the blaring sunlight, he gave a few brief thoughts to what could happen to him in a military prison. He decided in a matter of nanoseconds that that was not the kind of place that he wanted to be.
So, as the two soldiers walked him towards what Xander suspected was the bases holding cells, he made a decision. One that he would later deeply regret.
As Soldier-Boy #1 slung his rifle across his back to fumble with the keys, Xander moved into action. Reaching out, he grabbed Soldier-Boy #2’s rifle, and wrestled it from his control.
Swinging the rifle like a baseball bat, Xander clocked #1 on the temple before he even knew what was happening. This, unfortunately, left him open for #2 to shove Xander against the wall. Xander fought back with his not inconsiderable strength, but he lacked the brute force of the soldier, and instead had to resort to using his head.
He smashed his head forward, breaking #2’s nose and unleashing a river of blood as he brought his left knee up and collided it with Soldier-Boy’s family jewels.
With both soldiers soundly incapacitated, Xander ran before anyone else could show up.
He had noticed, as the soldier’s led him to the holding cells, that the pyramid skeleton was vastly empty, aside from a small group of people huddled along the far side, the remaining personnel seemed to give it a wide berth, so that’s where Xander ran, and ended up hiding in its shadow.
With the adrenaline pumping through his body, and the blood rushing in his ears, he barely heard the warning klaxons, nor the countdown as Reed Richard’s theories on teleportation were finally put to the test.
Xander bolted upright in his bed, panic rising as he finally remembered what had happened. There had been a bright light, and the feeling that his body was disintegrating, before it suddenly snapped back together and he found himself lying face-down in the middle of a crowded street.
He had moaned, and several people rushed to his side, speaking in a language that Xander was not familiar with, until the pain got the best of him and he passed out, only to wake up here, in this unfamiliar hospital room.
Panic setting in, Xander reached over, frantically looking for anything that could help him place his location, he did not notice as electricity began to arc from his body until he had blown out several light bulbs.
Eventually, the activity in his room brought the attention of several members of the hospital’s staff, who rushed in, a nurse questioning him in rapid fire Mandarin.
Xander stared dumbly, absolutely no clue what to do. Eventually though, one member of the staff went off in search of help, and brought back an English translator. To him, Xander had one request.
“Could I please borrow your phone?”
General Ross was in a panic. That damn fool Richard’s experiment had gone nuts and turned him and the Grimm kid into freaks. Storm’s daughter and van Damme had disappeared, and he’d just gotten off the phone with some hospital in France
telling him where the hell Storm’s son was. And, to top it all off, he had two men down and an escaped criminal running around somewhere in the Nevada base.
“Sir, there’s someone on the phone for you,” his assistant informed him. Sighing, Ross reached for the telephone, hoping for information on one of the other missing kids, what he got instead almost gave him a heart attack.
“General Ross,” he grunted by way of greeting.
“Uh, hey, um, this is Xander-- Alexander Harris that is,” the voice on the other end of the line stuttered, “Uh, you may not remember me, but, heh, you had me arrested yesterday.”
Ross’s jaw dropped in shock. This simply couldn’t be happening.
“Anyway,” the voice continued, “I kinda hid under that big pyramid thing back at the base and, somehow-- I’ve got no idea how-- I kinda ended up in China.”
Something of a teaser for a side-project I've been working on. Review if you want more.