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Jack Of All Trades, Taskmaster Of Every One

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Summary: Xander finds out that there are some aftereffects of Coach Marin's efforts to get a championship team that no one could reasonably have expected.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Marvel Universe > AvengersGreywizardFR15514,3221116050,78330 Aug 1229 Apr 13No

Chapter Five

Giles' apartment
523 Oak Park Street Apt B,
Sunnydale, CA 90211

May 14, 1998

Early evening


"Hey, Giles, you got a minute?" Xander called as he knocked on the librarian's front door and saw Giles peering out at him from behind the partially opened door. "There's something I wanna talk to you about."

"I have some time, yes, and I – i-is there a problem, Xander?" Giles asked with a concerned frown as he fully opened the door to his apartment. "Everything seemed to be fine when we left the library earlier on."

"Uh, yeah, everything's good on the Slaying side of things, Giles," Xander nodded reassuringly as he entered, without waiting for an invitation that he knew wouldn’t be forthcoming. "No worries there, at all.

"Buffy and Kendra are meeting up to patrol the south and west sides of town at eight, and I'm gonna meet up with Willow. Plan is, we're gonna head back here to the library so we can help you out with more research on Acathla around then, too," he informed the Scoobies' unofficial parental authority, following him out into the small kitchen.

"I, um, I wanted to ask you about something entirely different," Xander admitted, seeming the least bit sheepish as he spoke.

"And what would that be, then?" the librarian asked, with a slight lift of his left eyebrow as he picked up his cup of tea and took a sip.

"Well, ah, back when Buffy, Wills and I helped you move out of your old place a couple months back? I kinda noticed all of those old classic rock albums of yours, and that sweet, mint-condition Gibson Firebird guitar you keep stored in the second bedroom," the youth stated as he looked over at the older man. "So, I was kinda wondering if you maybe have any tapes or maybe even music videos of, like, the Rolling Stones or the Beatles or Cream or Led Zeppelin or any other groups you liked?

"'Cause I used to play guitar a little bit, back when I was in junior high. And I was sorta thinking that, now that I've got this really cool new ability, I might as well take as much advantage of it as I can, y'know?" Xander went on, coloring the slightest bit as though slightly embarrassed at confessing his intentions. "And, uhm, ever since I've discovered that I can copy other people’s skills just by watching what people do, on tape, I figured I might as well actually learn to play the guitar properly, y'know? It's not I'm planning on becoming the next Jimi Hendrix or whatever, but if you can help me out, I'd really appreciate it."

The wide, approving smile that practically lit up Giles' face upon hearing Xander's request made the youth's heart nearly burst with happiness. After all, the actual father figure he'd had to endure for the past eighteen years of his life had never really shown him any true affection, let alone any indications of approval or pleasure during their undeniably, and understandably, few interactions.

So, to have an older male role model indicating that he not only agreed with his idea, but actually endorsed and approved it, well – that was something which Harris could truly say had never happened to him before this time.

"Xander, I-I must admit, sometimes you simply astound me," Giles smiled at him as he carefully set his cup down on the table, again. "But I can truthfully say that I think that this is, quite possibly, the most original idea I’ve ever heard."

Indicating that Xander should follow him with a nod of his head, Giles began heading towards the second bedroom he'd converted into a makeshift office of sorts.

"Actually, my boy," he informed the younger man with the proud smile of a connoisseur speaking to a fellow enthusiast, "I not only have tapes of the Stones' 1969 Altamont Free Concert – that's the one for which the Hell's Angels motorcycle club provided security –I also have video footage of their 1973 European Tour, as well as some tapes and CDs of Chuck Berry, B. B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Clapton, Jimmy Page and Van Helen, as well…"

~/~/~

Crawford Street Mansion

May 14, 1998
Later that evening


As Spike paced in his room, he could hear Drusilla approaching and quickly jumped back into his chair to maintain the appearance of still being a semi-useless cripple. He'd rather be looked at as less than capable at the moment.

"Spike, my sweet! The fun's about to begin," the demented vampiric seer declared as she paused at the entrance to his room. "You don't want to miss the festivities, do you?"

"Not to worry, pet. I'll be right along," William the Bloody assured his sire as he began wheeling himself forward.

"And you can be a right demented old bint at times," Spike muttered to himself, as soon as Dru was out of earshot and he headed for the main hall of the mansion. He'd never understood his Sire's or grandsire's obsession with world ending. They just didn't seem to understand that it would make drastic cuts into the local food supply.

Two of Angelus' minions were dragging a barefoot and bare-chested young man, whose hands were tied behind his back over before the obelisk as Spike arrived.

As they dropped the youth to the floor before the three surviving members of the Scourge of Europe, Angelus theatrically loomed over the boy as he announced, "I will drink... the blood will wash in me, over me, and I will be cleansed. I will be worthy to free Acathla!"

Looking over at Spike and Drusilla, he declared, "Bear witness... as I ascend... as I become!"

With a roar, Angelus bit the young man hard and fast on the neck, drinking deeply, bringing up his hand to brush it against the man's wound before then letting the now dead body fall to the floor.

Pausing to look at the blood on his hand for a moment, Angelus let his hand drop and started to walk slowly toward Acathla.

"Everything that I am, everything that I have done, has led me here," he said. "I have strayed. I have been lost. But Acathla redeems me.

"With this act, we will be free!" the soulless bloodsucking demon declared as he grabbed the hilt of the sword with both hands. A blindingly bright light issued forth from the sword for an instant, and Drusilla smiled as Angelus shook from the mystical power he wielded.

Unfortunately for the Big Bad's plans, however, the sword refused to budge, and a moment later a bright red flame burst from the sword, throwing Angelus back and onto the floor.

"Someone wasn't worthy," Spike declared in a sing-song voice, and he grinned with malicious glee as he watched Angelus scramble back to his feet with a vehement curse. "Could be the hair jell."

"This is so... disappointing!" Drusilla moaned, an expression of utter misery and distress appearing on her face.

"There must be something I missed," Angelus muttered angrily as he paced back and forth before the statue. "The incantations, the blood, maybe it's not obscene enough... I don't know!"

Spike tried hard to suppress a snicker, hiding his mouth with his hand as he watched with barely concealed satisfaction at his grandsire's misfortune. { Serves you bloody well right, you ponce. }

"What are we going to do?" Drusilla whined.

"What we always do in a time of trouble: turn to an old friend," Angelus replied menacingly.

"We'll have our Armageddon. I swear!" the no longer ensouled demon half-shouted as he grabbed a vase from a shelf and heaved it at the far wall, smashing it into hundreds of tiny pieces.

~/~/~

Sunnydale High School library
Sunnydale, CA

Even later that evening


"Hey, Will, ya got a minute to talk?" Xander asked as the two took a break from their ongoing, exhaustive research regarding the petrified demon which Angelus' minions had stolen from the museum, by taking advantage of Giles' insistence on discussing coordination of patrol strategies with Buffy and Kendra.

"It's about personal stuff," he warned her, as she looked up and gave her oldest childhood friend a questioning glance.

"What kind of personal stuff?" the redhead asked, clearly a bit wary after hearing his caveat.

"Well, a couple different kinds," Harris replied with a semi-grimace of emotional discomfort at that admission. "First off, I wanted to see how you're doing, how you're handling Oz's disappearance and all.

"I know that you know that a lot of people disappear all the time in this town, but I also know how that doesn't really help all that much, as far as you coping is concerned," Xander told her, an expression of earnest and heartfelt worry evident in his eyes as he looked down at her.

"You, uh, you haven't said anything at all about his disappearance the past few days, and I didn't want to seem like I was prying, so I've just let it go," he went on. "But I can’t do that anymore. Basically, I just want to make sure that you're okay.

"Well, as okay as you can be, considering everything that goes on in this town, and that the guy you were dating just suddenly disappeared one night after his gig was done," Harris quickly amended his previous comment with what was his usual meandering manner of discussion.

"I'm doing fine, Xand," Willow immediately replied, avoiding Xander's eyes as she looked down at the book open on the table in front of her.

"Really," she insisted again, albeit completely unconvincingly, while still refusing to look up and meet his eyes.

"C'mon, Will – this is me you're talking to, remember?" Xander replied as he reached out and gently put his hand on her shoulder, as though to reassure her of his concern.

"Look, I know that Oz's disappearance has really been bothering you, especially since we couldn't find any kind of clue about what happened to him. But I'd be glad to –"

Whatever else Xander had planned to say would remain forever unheard as several vampires abruptly rushed out of the stacks at the same time that a second group stormed into the library through the swinging doors leading to the school corridor.

Even as Xander yelled, "Run, Will!" as he reflexively stepped in front of Willow, he was pulling out a wooden knife he'd fashioned for himself during shop class the previous day, as well as the tomahawk he'd found in his family's attic the previous summer, that he'd learned had been issued to Tony's long-deceased elder brother during his tour of duty in Vietnam.

Wielding both weapons with an expertise gained from watching both Buffy and Kendra practice with the weapons earlier that afternoon, the dark-haired youth calmly waited with a superficial veneer of composure for the two leeches rushing towards himself and his best friend to move into the optimum attack range.

The first vampire, a formerly middle-aged brunette woman, blindly hurtled forward with a typical disregard for any possible threat from her intended victim, and so she practically threw herself onto the wooden knife blade Xander had thrust forward at the last moment.

The other bloodsucker, a much younger former punk-rocker, to judge by his attire, frantically threw himself off to the side upon seeing his fellow leech turning to dust, and thus, managed to avoid the swing of the tomahawk which would have decapitated him. Instead, the nosferatool merely screamed with a mix of pain and outrage as the razor-sharp blade sliced across his shoulder.

For his part, Xander managed to roll with the leech's return punch so, instead of being knocked the length of the room, he was merely knocked backwards and off-balance, while still retaining both of his weapons.

***

The six vampires who had thundered through the swinging doors had immediately focused their attention on both Slayers, peeling off to attack each girl three apiece, in an apparent attempt to simply physically overwhelm them.

However, Buffy's short sword cleaved through the fastest one, who was a full step ahead of his fellows as he attacked her. The spinning hooking kick which instantly followed caught the vampire to Buffy's right at the base of the neck, knocking him into the path of the third leech and causing them both to stumble and fall to the floor.

***

Her body flowing to meet the undead trio who'd concentrated their attention on her, Kendra dodged the first punch thrown at her while unerringly burying 'Mr. Pointy' in her assailant's heart.

Darting back close to her previous position as she quickly pulled her stake back before it could dust along with her first opponent, the Jamaican Slayer lunged forward with a punch-kick combination which drove her second attacker back and allowed her to then move further forward, drawing the invaders away from Giles' exposed position by the main research table and close to the center of the room.

***

As Willow retreated, backing away in terror from the approaching group of bloodsuckers, Xander rolled on his shoulder and back up onto his feet in a single, fluid move that enabled him to continue to block the vampire any approach to his oldest and best friend.

Conserving his breath and ignoring the amazingly-negligible urge to make some sort of quip or smart remark as he regained his footing, Xander shifted his stance so that his left foot was closest to his opponent and bore most of his weight, trying to properly judge the vamp's approach as the leech rushed at him.

Thrusting his wooden knife forward at the bloodsucker's face, Xander mentally smiled as the leech leaned his upper body back, to avoid the attack, and the Founding Scooby instantly pivoted his hips and lunged forward. Swinging his tomahawk downward and forward in a shallow arc which just barely cleared the wooden floor, he concluded his attack with the terminal point of his weapon's sweep between his foe's legs.

Ignoring his opponent's high-pitched scream and the way the leech reflexively clutched at his groin, Xander mercifully stabbed his wooden blade in the vamp's heart – only to spin around in frenzied panic and rage upon hearing Willow scream from behind him.

***

Darting forward to her two would-be attackers as the vampires tried to disentangle themselves and regain their footing, Buffy's sword sliced through the closest leech's spine, paralyzing her and causing her to drop to the floor.

Unfortunately, however, her third opponent had managed to scramble back to his feet by that point, and he took advantage of Buffy’s momentary shift in attention to slam his fist into the petite blonde's left cheek, knocking the blonde Slayer off-balance and making her inadvertently drop her sword as she tried to regain her footing.

Ducking the two follow-up attacks the bloodsucker launched as he stepped forward in an effort to take her down, Buffy glanced around the room in a search for a suitable secondary weapon which she could use to dust her current opponent.

"Buffy! Catch!" the oldest Chosen One heard Xander calling to her from off to the side, and she reflexively glanced his way, only to see the tomahawk he'd been using whirling end over end in her direction.

***

Kendra immediately followed up her attack with a quick kick to the side of the knee of her closest attacker, breaking it and making it impossible for the leech to stand upright, let aloe attack her.

Ignoring her now-disabled foe for a moment, the Jamaican Slayer ducked the sloppy haymaker thrown at her by the third vamp and hooked a low punch into the leech's groin, the shock of the blow causing the bloodsucker to curl over in pain, despite the fact that she was female.

{ Mr. Harris was right, } Kendra reflected to herself with satisfaction as she easily jabbed Mr. Pointy into her incapacitated opponent's back. { A strike to de groin does distract de recipient long enough to let ya stake dem. }

She turned and had just finished staking the vampire whose knee she'd shattered a moment earlier – when she heard someone clap their hands, and an unknown female voice say, "Enough!"

***

Hearing Willow's scream of pain and terror, Xander spun to find his oldest childhood friend being attacked by two more vampires, as a second wave of bloodsucking demons suddenly appeared from out of the depths of the library stacks and attacked the desperate group of humans trying to hold off their attack.

As a semi-detached section of his mind analyzed the battleground before him in an effort to determine the most optimum attack strategy, Harris also simultaneously noted that Buffy was currently weaponless as she fought her current opponent, and that a second pair of vamps were approaching her from the rear, in an apparent attempt to blindside her.

Recalling an attack pattern he'd seen in a martial arts film he'd watched the previous night, Xander called out to his hero as he sent his tomahawk spinning in her direction, before then momentarily sheathing his wooden blade and heading towards the two vamps attacking Willow.

Racing forward, Xander grabbed hold of one of the wooden chairs around the research table and shoved it ahead of him and into the vamp closest to him, knocking the leech off-balance and away from Willow. Coolly bracing his arms and using the chair as though it were a gymnastic horse, Harris then levered himself up into the air, driving both feet into the face of the vampire he'd hit with the chair with the force of a battering ram – just as the leech was angrily beginning to turn around, to see what had hit him.

As his target staggered backwards and tripped on the steps leading up to the elevated section of the floor, its nose a red ruin, Xander dropped to his feet and grabbed hold of the vampire attacking Willow as he drove his wooden knife into her back. { Willow! NO!! }

The redhead limply fell to the floor as the vampire who had fastened her fangs into the girl’s neck and begun draining her turned to dust.

Panic-stricken at the sight of the blood flowing freely from the twin holes in Willow's neck, Xander almost absentmindedly pivoted and staked the vamp looming behind him, who had made the again-fatal mistake of snarling loudly as he began attacking the dark-haired youth who'd sent him sprawling a moment earlier. Xander then quickly turned and dropped to his knees next to Willow, to inspect and then begin frantically staunching her injury.

***

Effortlessly snatching the spinning tomahawk out of the air as she turned, Buffy continued her rotation with a grace gained long before she had been Called – back in a time when her younger self had aspired to skate as brilliantly as Dorothy Hamill had, during the 1992 Olympic competition – and the blonde slashed through her opponent's neck, cleanly decapitating him.

As she retrieved her sword from the floor, Buffy noticed a half-dozen more vampires pouring out of the library stacks and spreading out across the room to reinforce their undead brethren, and she immediately moved to block their path.

It was at that moment that she heard Angelus' mocking voice call to her, "Hello, lover. Fancy meeting you here," and then Buffy saw the smirking expression on his face as he stepped out of the shadows in the back section of the library.

"Shouldn't you be out destroying the world right now, pulling the sword out of Al Franken or whatever his name is?" Buffy jibed as she absently dusted the first minion foolish enough to attack her, while trying to contain the other sacrificial lambs Angelus had sent against her.

"There's time enough," the soulless version of her former love declared with a shrug and that same infuriating, mocking expression. "I wanted to say goodbye first. You *are* the one thing in this dimension that I’ll miss, after all. I was so hoping to see if it was possible to gang-rape a slayer to death."

Buffy could see that Drusilla had also appeared in her sire's wake, and the addlebrained vampiress was making her way towards Kendra, twirling round and round like a small child as she moved, before clapping her hands and sharply announcing, "Enough!", as though she were addressing misbehaving children.

"What? You thought we were all out of crazy, so you brought yours along with you?" Buffy asked Angelus, while giving him a lady-like sneer.

"Oh, no, lover," the newly-reappeared leader of the Scourge of Europe replied with another of his damned smirks. "Dru wanted to check some things out of the library, so she decided to come all on her own.

"And you know me, I have to look out for my little girl – and I couldn't possibly consider denying her anything she wanted," the Irish-born vampire said, enjoying the way Buffy's attention was being constantly distracted by his disposable minions continually darting in and out of her attack range as he spoke.

{ Who would've thought that promising not to kill them the next time they annoy me, if they do a good enough job of distracting Buffy, would give them so much incentive? } Angelus reflected to himself with a smirk.

{ What's even more surprising, is that they actually seem to think I'll keep my promise, if they survive the night, } the arrogant demonic leech laughed to himself with malicious pleasure, as he watched his despised enemy fend off his minions' attacks

***

"Look at me, dearie," Drusilla commanded as she approached Kendra, waving her fingers to gain the Slayer's attention.

Kendra immediately kicked at the vampiric Seer, who simply swayed slightly to one side sufficiently to avoid the attack before punching the Chosen One in the face hard enough to make her stagger back a couple steps.

Drusilla avoided a second kick, as well as several punches, before reaching out and grabbing the dark-skinned Slayer's arm and shoving her hard enough to knock the Slayer against the counter behind her hard enough to rattle the items on the countertop.

"Be... in my eyes," Dru commanded as her hand darted out and she grabbed Kendra by the throat. "Be... in me," she ordered and the Slayer's eyes began to glaze over as Drusilla's hypnotic power hammered against her mind.

Drusilla smiled at the dazed Slayer, and the bloodsucking Seer was just lifting her hand to shoulder height to strike at her enemy’s throat – when Dru heard someone yelling, "Hey, bitch, leave her alone!" and something *painful* abruptly slammed against her left temple.

***

Seeing the extreme pallor of Willow's face and the still freely-bleeding wounds on her neck, and then checking her vital signs, Xander realized straightaway that the redhead was in desperate need of hospital care.

When he looked up to call for help to get Willow where she needed to go, though, and saw the additional vampiric troops which had appeared, Xander realized that the Scooby Gang's situation was far more critical than it had been just a few moments earlier.

Seeing how the combination of Angelus' chatter and his minions were keeping Buffy occupied, he looked over to determine Kendra's status – only to see that Drusilla had accompanied her sire, and was busy attempting to hypnotize the Jamaican Slayer.

Deciding that Kendra's situation was currently more perilous than Buffy's – since the Alpha Slayer was successfully holding off her own group of assailants – Xander frantically began looking around for any potential weapons he might be able to use, since he wasn't about to throw away his only weapon, his wooden knife, in the effort to help Kendra.

As his eyes alighted on the various scratch pads and the handful of No. 2 pencils, which Willow always kept handy while researching and which were currently scattered on the floor around the table, Xander smiled with grim satisfaction. He then hurriedly collected the pencils, as well as the heavy-duty stapler lying next to them, while trying not to attract any undue notice before he was ready to act.

A few seconds later, the founding member of the Scooby Gang popped up from behind the table currently partially sheltering Willow and himself, and he hurled the stapler at Dru's head with as much force and accuracy as he could manage, while yelling as loudly as he could, "Hey, bitch, leave her alone!"

Not waiting to see whether he'd successfully scored a hit on the undead Seer's head, Harris then turned and began hurling the pencils he'd gathered at Angelus' minions, treating the pencils like the bo-shuriken he'd seen used in the Bruce Lee flick, 'Game Of Death' two nights previously.

The various screams of pain issuing from his targets testified to the accuracy of his aim, and as he dropped back behind the table for cover, Xander smiled to himself with satisfaction as he recognized one particular, inarticulate scream of pain and rage as belonging to Angelus.

***

Kendra blinked as her mind cleared and, as she recognized the dark-haired woman in front of her, who was stumbling gracelessly and grabbing at her head, as a vampire, her right hand reflexively darted out and she plunged Mr. Pointy into the leech's chest.

Kendra did take note of the wide-eyed expression of complete and utter surprise on the vampiress' face in the instant before she exploded into dust, but the Chosen One had far more important things on her mind to worry about at that moment – as the plans of a certain higher being for a Potential named Faith abruptly vanished into oblivion.

Unconcernedly shrugging off the bloodsucker's atypical reaction to her unexpected demise, the Jamaican Slayer turned her attention to the two minions who were standing a short distance away, staring at her in disbelief. Kendra simply snapped a short kick at the leftmost one's knee, looking to cripple her, while she thrust Mr. Pointy into the second vamp's heart as he screamed and clutched at his side. Oddly, what looked to be some sort of wooden dart had unexpectedly sprouted from just below his shoulder...

***

Buffy ducked the punch the skeevy-looking vamp on her right had thrown at her, splitting her attention between simultaneously kicking at the former-goth vamp right in front of her and keeping an eye on both the vamp to her left, who looked like he might have been some sort of CEO or bank official before being turned. She also tried to keep track of Angelus, who seemed to currently be content with simply standing back and watching his minions attack her, even if it was difficult to do, what with having her attention split three ways.

Slicing upwards with her sword, Buffy managed to decapitate the skeevy-looking vamp when he overextended his attack, while clipping Mr. ex-CEO's shoulder and cropping off part of his ear with the tomahawk Xander had lent her. Unfortunately, she missed the killing blow – but only because he had aborted his attack at the last second and had frantically thrown himself to the side.

Buffy's attention abruptly snapped back to the scene in front of her as both Goth-girl and Angelus abruptly screamed in pain and grabbed at the strange yellow darts which were suddenly sticking out of Goth-girl's left eye and Angelus' throat. Not knowing exactly what was going on, Buffy nonetheless took advantage of Goth-girl's distraction to decapitate her by driving her sword through the base of the leech's neck and yanking it out to the side.

"Everyone, get the hell out of here!" Angelus yelled in a growly, raspy tone of voice, as he initiated the retreat back into the rear of the library and the entrance to the sewers concealed there.

Buffy would have followed, but she frantically halted in her intended pursuit as she heard Xander worriedly calling to her, "Buffy! Willow's hurt bad!"

As she rushed to her friends' side, Buffy abruptly realized that she hadn't heard her Watcher calling out advice or instructions to Xander regarding any emergency treatment for Willow's injuries – and so, she looked around to see if he'd possibly been injured, as Willow had.

Not seeing Giles anywhere in sight, though, a feeling of dread and apprehension began to fill the blonde Slayer's stomach and she anxiously called his name.

"Has anyone seen Giles?" Buffy then asked apprehensively, when no response answered her call.

A quick, frantic search by both Slayers while Xander called for an ambulance made their situation quite clear.

Giles was missing, and his situation most definitely did not look good.

The End?

You have reached the end of "Jack Of All Trades, Taskmaster Of Every One" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 29 Apr 13.

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