Episode 78: Homecoming - Who Is Who?
Episode 78: Homecoming
Who Is Who?
by 3D Master (email@example.com)
Disclaimer see Episode 60.
It was day, and after putting the ship back in the warehouse Xander rented, and putting on some clean and whole clothes at home, the five of them headed back to LA. Only Faith was still in the ten-thousand-year-old garb. Not that the relatively plump, short, brown dress with holes didn’t look amazing on her anyway. Once back at the Hyperion, their friends and family came bounding out, Dawn ahead of everyone. The teen skidded to a halt in front of Xander, and looked at them all. “Thank god you’re back, I was started worry after only a few hours,” Dawn said with a huge smile, hugged Xander, and then went to hug Buffy. The others, once more san Angel - due to the same crispy consequences, came soon after them.
“How long /have/ we been away?” Xander remarked dryly, as Faith melted into Wesley’s arms and kissed him deeply.
Dawn made way for Chris, and answered Xander, “Uh, about a day, why?”
Cordelia gave Willow and Tara a quick welcome-home hug, which she broke rapidly to save some of her reputation. “Six months, almost,” Willow answered as she and Dawn hugged. Cordelia then went over to Xander and hugged him close, but didn’t break this one.
“Six months?” Pike wondered, closing the rear in his wheelchair. “That’s long,” he muttered.
“I missed you so much,” Buffy whispered to Chris, and then whispered even more secretively in his ear what she had to do to alleviate the missing, and a few glimpses at fantasies she had, much to Chris’ liking and embarrassment. Nobody commented on his blush. Buffy then went over to Pike and gave him a quick hug, before Lorne took her into one of his own and she returned to Chris’ side. “Why so long?” Pike asked.
Tara explained, “Had to make sure we didn’t alter the timeline, so we walked from China to Greece.” They took in her
“I missed you too,” Wesley muttered as he and Faith finally broke the heated French kiss. He then took in Faith’s outfit, and she made a quick pose. “What happened to your real clothes?”
“Ruined in battles,” Faith answered, and then her eyes widened with mirth. “Oh, Wes, let me reintroduce myself to you,” she added and held out her hand. He took it slowly, and she said loud enough for everyone to here, “Hi! I’m Eve, and that’s Eve, and Eve, and Eve, and finally Adam.” Xander gave a slight groan as he and Cordelia broke their hug.
“What!?” Fred asked the dark Slayer, forcing a hug from her now that she and Wesley were somewhat disentangled. “Hi, Faith.”
“Hi, Fred,” Faith greeted back, “It’s true, we’re in the bible. We ate the Golden Apple of the Knowledge of Right and Wrong, realized the gods were wrong, and kicked their asses.” She chuckled at her own joke.
“No way,” Angel called from the doorway, just out of reach of the sun.
“Yes, Angel, we’re deadly sinners,” Buffy half-joked, grinning. “I wonder if we’re in more books than just the bible?” Xander gave Angel a shrug, as Fred reached him for the welcome home greet.
“We can find out,” Willow said with a smile, as she and Tara hugged Lorne.
All of them sat in a circle in the office area in the back of the Hyperion lobby. Dawn sat in Li’s lap, Buffy in Chris’ lap, and Faith in Wesley’s. Willow was checking the net via a laptop. Wesley in turn was doing his own research, also on the net, his laptop on Faith’s lap, and he was looking around her. “Okay, I went to check up on the most obvious one, and this is big,” Willow muttered dumbfounded as she speedread through the text. “You were called the Monkey King, Xan. Like Faith said, he’s the main figure of a hundred chapter epos called ‘The Journey to the West’, one of the most popular legends in China. You’re huge there, and we kind of made a journey to the west. It’s about a real monk called Hsüan-tsang who lived from 596 to 664 AD. He made a famous pilgrimage to acquire scriptures and study Buddhism in India. In the novel he gains three - four counting the horse - . . .” Willow frowned for a moment, pausing, and then continued, “. . . fantastical companions he never had in real life, the main one being the Monkey King.” Willow looked up, and said, “They must have transplanted earlier legends about a journey to the west upon this one, bring it closer to home.” She blinked several times, then looked down and continued reading. “Before Monkey is converted to Buddhism, he’s the leader of a group of Monkeys in Water-Curtain Cave - we were there - he trashes heaven multiple times, particularly after eating the Peaches of Immortality, and drinking some exalted god’s Golden Elixir. They try to boil him and cook him in some form of mystical super oven but comes out stronger instead, heaving red-diamond hard eyes, whose only weakness is now smoke which makes them tear. Later Buddha punishes him by trapping Monkey beneath a mystical mountain for five hundred years. Holy moly.” The four girls that had gone with Xander to the past looked at him with wide eyes, while the others looked expectantly at the staring girls. “That all happened, except that you destroyed some of the gods, and wiped out heaven, and didn’t stay trapped.”
“You did what?” Wesley asked Xander.
Xander shrugged, and said, “They were bastards. And the red eyes didn’t happen.”
“Yes, it did,” Buffy put in.
Xander looked at her with raised eyebrows. Faith explained, “Yeah, for a moment there your pupils and irises were glowing red, including the blood vessels. And went away again soon after, but for a short while . . .”
“For real?” Xander asked, and then shrugged.
“Damn,” Willow whispered in surprise. “It isn’t just China. There your name is Sun Wu-K’ung - meaning ‘Monkey Awake to Vacuity’ -, in Japan it’s Son Goku, in India it’s Hanuman, in other places its Sun Hou-Zi, and on, and on I’m guessing . . .”
Xander looked stunned at Willow, and the others present noticed, until Willow did to. “What?” she asked.
“What did you say my name was?” Xander asked slowly.
“Uh? Hanuman?” Willow muttered confused.
“No, no, the Japanese I think,” Xander said quickly, making a go-further-back gesture with his right hand.
Willow frowned and looked back down to the screen, rereading, “Son Goku.”
“No way,” Xander muttered in utter disbelief.
The others looked at him questioningly, and before someone could ask, Dawn figured it out. “Son Gohan?” she asked surprised.
“His father, the Saiyan Kakarotto I told you about, his given human name . . .” Xander trailed of thinking.
“. . . Is Son Goku?” Cordelia supplied.
Xander nodded. “Amazing,” he said, shaking his head to clear it, while saying, “First every Saiyan name is the name of a vegetable in an Earth language of this dimension, and now this. This dimensional intermingling is definitely beyond me.” Xander sank back down, thinking.
“How do you know that?” Angel said, with a little annoyance. “Are you a language expert now too? Last time I checked you didn’t know any.”
“No, I don’t . . . that’s actually a pretty interesting story,” Xander said, thinking it over. Everyone looked expectantly at him.
“Come on, Xan,” Dawn whined at him, “You can’t say it’s an interesting story and then not tell. Come on.”
Xander looked around the eager faces, sighed, and said, “Very well, I’ll tell the story. I was twelve, it was autumn break, and little vampires and monsters here in Sunnydale didn’t really challenge me anymore. I couldn’t get significantly stronger fighting them. I had a hard time deciding if it was worth the risk, but eventually I figure going out in the world - flying, sending out lots of energy to detect - and finding some more worthy opponents would help speed things up, instead of just doing the little stuff during my limited normal training. So, off I went, south toward South America, and found myself in Northwest Brazil . . .”
Twelve-year-old Xander Harris casually sauntered through the village. He had his hands wrapped behind his head as he walked along, ignored by the village. The Amazon Rain Forest started a little further to the east. A rive ran by the village into the forest, and many a boat bought supplies here to go inside. The ground was a light brown - but not beige - sand, covered with a lot of small pebbles. The wooden and the occasional stone houses - more like huts - seemed sturdy enough. “Boring,” little Xander spoke looking around disinterested. There were no monsters here, no body with a high enough chi to be a challenge for him five years ago. Perhaps he should see about battling the animals in the forest or something? Or perhaps he had to face facts that this little excursion was useless, that he was the most powerful being on this planet.
He grunted, thinking he’d much rather play with Willow and Jesse right now. Finally he came by the pub, and saw a crowd standing at the bar, laughing. “Right, sure!” a few cried out in disbelief.
“I swear it!” a man cried up over the others. “This guy told me, that there’s a guy in a hidden valley of the mountains training a girl to be a great warrior, and he comes down about once in a month for supplies.”
One of them joked, “He’s probably teaching her to be a great fuck toy, instead. Old guy and teenage girl, can’t be anything else.” All the men laughed.
Xander grinned. That was just what he needed. Mountains eh? He looked to the west, to the mountain range blocking Chile from the rest of the continent. Xander ran.
It had taken little Xander a day of searching before he finally found the place. Often a lot of the time was spent finding people who could speak some English. But taking one rumor, and then another, the occasional direct question and answer, and finally he was here. Somewhere in the middle of a forest, on a mountain side. Trees, ground plants, and much more greenery were all around. Everything was thickly grown over, and Xander had even opted to take a knife to get past the plants earlier. In the mountain wall in front of him was a narrow and vertically-challenged cave entrance. It was covered in vines and leaves and bushes, it was practically invisible. In fact, if Xander didn’t have a general position and knew what he was looking for, he wouldn’t have found it. Grinning the twelve-year-old brushed some of it aside and slipped in. He looked around. The cave was barely 180 cm, and had jagged edges. It was dark, very dark, and so Xander flared his chi to get some more visible light. Now that he could see better, he could see the cave move up, and left. With a peek he could see it winding right a little further, and then nothing, just wall. Xander grinned, if he judged right the cave angled sharply down. Yep, it was a long winding tunnel to his ultimate destination: a small hidden valley where supposedly a great warrior was being trained.
There were several sounds that sounded familiar, and Xander extended his still limited senses. He did find the feeling that came from one of the monsters. Xander’s smirk deepened, there were monsters here for whatever reason he didn’t care. Some more sounds seemed to indicate they knew he was here; apparently they could sense him, here him, or see him - more exactly his light. Didn’t matter, they’d soon find out the energy flowing gently around him was capable of a lot more than lighting a cave. He smirked in anticipation, and ran into the cave.
With an amazing speed for a human, but rather slow for a Saiyan Xander burst along the cave. A few moments later he came across the first ugly monster, who he decapitated with his chopping-knife. Right after that one there was a green-skinned demon with large teeth, who’s heart Xander destroyed with an energy ball. At the same time Xander ran up the wall, making swirl around the roof and back down again, smashing his fist hard enough into a third demon to shatter its jaw and leave him crying. Xander ran onward, the first contingent of monsters being dealt with. Since none of them had a flashlight or something similar, Xander figured they had night vision capabilities of their own. The snake-like cave winded up, and then left and down, and then sharply up and right. Four more demons were in Xander’s way, which made Xander only grin. He continued running, much to the demons’ surprise, and then he jumped up, bashing one aside with a right cross. Xander avoided the swipe from the second demon, shooting himself down it with his chi. He jumped left, landed against the wall, and jumped back high. He made a twisting kick to the demon lunging for him, and hit him in the head. He killed another one with an energy ball at the same time. The fourth demon, a female red-skinned one in a short skirt and halter top, screeched in anger and frustration, firing small energy bolts from her eyes.
“Yikes,” Xander said with a grin. “Didn’t your father ever teach you that’s rude?” The demon lunged forward, only for Xander jump over her and sticking his knife through her back. “Tata,” he said, and sped onward once more, smiling at the exhilaration. The cave now kept going up, but still wound left and right. For Xander, at the speed he was going, it was like riding a roller coaster ride - left, sharp right, left again, he made a looping just for the fun of it.
Xander surged onward, taking down another contingent of demons before reaching a final one with light behind them. He’d reached the exit. Once more he didn’t slow down. He smoothly jumped underneath a punch. With a quick motion Xander cut the demon’s throat with a knife. He twisted onward and upside down, grabbing a demon’s head, continuing the clockwise turn broke its neck. Before the demon dropped to the floor Xander fired an energy attack killing another. Three more were left. Xander threw the knife, and imbedded into a demon’s throat. A second demon was killed by another blast, and the final one was killed by a devastating uppercut to the nose. At the impact, the nose bone of the canine-like demon smashed into its brain, and was launched up and out of the cave. Xander checked himself so he could get his knife back, and then he jumped out of the cave with a somersault.
Outside was indeed a paradise-like valley. About the size of a football field, only round. A nice wooden house was present, and several vegetable gardens. The rest was mostly grass and other natural growth, often used to train on. The place was just high enough to get the occasional cool wind, but low enough it was mostly warm. There was a wooden house, a cozy cottage. The valley was surrounded mountain walls in all directions, as a natural protective barrier. An older man and a young girl about Xander’s age were standing in front of the main entrance, the man holding a sword and the girl an axe. Both were wounded, some blood flowing from several not too deep wounds. Further there were ten more demons of the stature like the ones Xander found in the cave, and a 4-meter-tall giant of an ice demon, who’s red-glowing eyes seemed filled with rage and anger. Inside the ice, there was a slowly swirling gas.
Three demon corpses lay next to the man and the girl, both of whom were breathing hard. “Enough of this,” the giant ice demon spoke, and took a step forward. Its hand formed a deadly spike of ice in its palm, and aimed it at the girl. She and the old man looked afraid, they were done for it seemed. “It is time to finally di-”
There was a sound, a groan and a demon came launching out of the cave off to the left of the demon. “What!?” the ice demon muttered and turned to watched a small boy somersaulting from the cave and land smoothly. He turned around and his eyes widened when he saw him.
“Whoa, you /are/ big one, ain’t ya?” little Xander said with a sparkle in his eyes. He put his right hand (holding the knife) in his left and cracked his knuckles. Then switched the knife and did the same with his left, before putting the knife back in his right hand. “I’m gonna enjoy killing you, ice boy.”
The ice demon gave a yell of frustration and annoyance, he growled, “I am Skrymir, an demon of old, ruler of the ice. I came close to wiping out the Slayer line! Last time I only failed because I was too patient, and took on hired help. That will not happen this time, this time I do it all by myself. And /you/ a mere boy thinks he’s going to kill me? Who do you think you are!?” In the process the ancient demon gathered water from the air and grew easily a meter in size, gaining many jacked spikes all over its body.
Xander blinked, went over the demon’s words, then shrugged, and addressing the demon’s growth he said, “I’m Xander, and yes I’m going to kill you, although I think I prefer facing you while you were still in the cave.”
“KILL HIM!” Skrymir ordered, and his ten remaining minions charged.
Little Xander smirked, his Saiyan blood singing in his veins. /This/ was what he was /born/ to do. Too bad he was forced to reign it all in pretty much the rest of the time. Xander charged the charging demons, and decapitated the first, while blowing out another’s stomach with an energy ball.
With Skrymir distracted the old man and girl attacked as one. The demon wasn’t as distracted as they thought though, and so he bashed them aside with a simple swipe of its right appendage. Both were tossed back and crashed painfully against the wooden wall. “Wait your turn,” Skrymir spoke with a growling voice, “I wish to savor your destruction.
Xander turned around and kicked another demon far away, while stabbing a fourth through the heart. He blocked a blow from a fifth, and danced away to avoid another demon. He fired an energy ball and it killed both of them, as he blocked the seventh demon’s thrust with his sword. He pushed the demon of balance and cut his throat. Xander stood ready, grinning at the remaining three demons. They looked from the little boy back up to their master.
“Great Skrymir,” one of the minions said, “Perhaps you should . . .”
“COWARDS!” Skrymir roared and three spikes sliced out from his torso, skewering all three. “Now,” Skrymir started focusing on Xander who pretty rapidly came over to the three the ancient demon just killed. “I shall have to kill you myself, I see.”
Xander poked the demon, and he was really dead. He turned to look up to the big demon, and told him, “Wow, you just killed your own minions. You really have a death wish don’t you?”
“RAAAH!!” the demon exclaimed in hatred, shooting ten spikes from various positions on his body, several from his hands and arms, forward to Xander. Xander jumped aside the first few, which retracted back to Skrymir. He then just barely dipped his head aside for the next spike. Another one came right at him, and he bent back all the way, placed his hand on the ground and flipped back. Xander pushed off with his might, so he so bounded far backward, making a backward somersault, before landing on the ground. He saw Skrymir’s elongated spike shrink back into his body.
“Wow, you got a spiky personality, don’t you?” little Xander muttered and then grinned. This demon was seriously going to up his strength.
“Little insect,” Skrymir hissed, and charged. To the demon’s surprise Xander charged him head on as well. Once more spikes swished across the distance. Xander sped up, bent away from one spike and slammed a powerful fist into the ice monster’s arm. There was a satisfying crunch as ice crumbled. Twisting Xander avoided several more spikes, slammed a fist into Skrymir’s chest, and followed up with a massive uppercut, giving a yell of release. More ice was crunched and destroyed. With a quick push off on Skrymir’s chest, Xander once more somersaulted back. Skrymir chuckled, then laughed as Xander watched the demon’s eyes casually reforming.
What was it laughing about? And what was that wit feeling at his side. Xander felt his left side, and then pulled his hand back from the wetness. His hand was red. Xander blinked in surprise. One of the spikes must hit him after all. This was the first time in years that someone managed to hurt without his allowance. To the Skrymir’s shock, Xander’s surprised face turned to a smile of triumph, and enjoyment. Xander nodded, saying, “Good, good! Finally a worthy opponent! You will strengthen me greatly before I’m done with you!”
“You are crazy boy,” Skrymir grumbled, his ice shifting to become even more deadly - horns on his head, and a thicker sheet. “I admit, you’ve learned the ways of your life force, but you still are no match for me.”
Xander grinned, and said, “We’ll see about that.” He then charged with roar, and Skrymir fired several spiked ice balls at Xander before making with the spike attacks again. Xander avoided the first ball, shattered the second with a fist, and then jumped high to the right, away from the spikes. He twisted around facing Skrymir’s left, and with a yell fired a small energy ball from both his hands. Skrymir’s left side suddenly grew much thicker, drawing more water from the air. The ball crashed against it, exploded, and made a small dent. Skrymir casually turned around, and its icy mouth grinned. Xander landed on the ground and looked astonished. This was going to be tougher than he thought! Good!
Skrymir attacked all out. Spikes, firing balls, and even firing several smaller spikes then the ones just elongating from him, and all in great magnitudes. Xander jumped aside, twisted left, fired an energy ball that harmlessly exploded on a new ice shield the ancient demon erected, doing minimal damage which immediately filled with new ice. Xander destroyed an ice ball, smashed a fist against a spike, cracking it in two, and then screamed in pain as one spike sliced through his right leg. Xander broke the spike and ran backward. He once more had to jump aside a barrage of spikes, gritting his teeth at the pain. Once again Xander twisted, jumped, jumped back, bounded and did many more things to avoid the ice attacks, firing energy balls of his own at the demon. There just too many for Xander to dodge though, and so he soon had a spike in his right abdomen. With victorious roar Skrymir sliced a second spike into the incapacitated Xander’s right shoulder. Xander yelled out in pain, and more so when Skrymir lifted him off the floor.
The demon brought Xander closer to him, letting some of its protective spikes slink back into its body. Skrymir laughed and asked, “So, boy, what are your last words, eh?”
Xander was in extreme pain, and he was exhausted having spent an enormous amount of energy fighting the demons in the cave, getting through the cave, and now fighting the old ice demon itself. Basically, he was done for, beaten, he also never felt better in a long time. His warrior blood raged with relish at challenge of finding victory in defeat - and through healing his wounds grow much stronger. He opened his eyes weakly, and now so up close to the demon, Xander became aware of the gas floating around inside ice monster: the actual demon. Xander’s eyes widened just a bit. He had been working on it for years, and even recently didn’t manage to do it, although he had come very close. This time it would work, he would /not/ fail again. “Do you know what I like about gas?” he groaned out weakly. Skrymir’s grin turned to a confused frown. Xander supplied him the answer then, “It ignites.”
With a roar Xander flared his energy and flew back and upward along the spikes in his body, sliding them out. Xander yelled further as he brought his hands to his right side, and charged energy between them. Skrymir roared in rage, flinging ice picks up at him, but Xander simply kept diagonally rising continuing to stay outside his reach, while he steadily yelled, “*TAAA - NEEE - KAAA - KOOO - SAAA!!*” He did it! The powerful, but narrow beam of energy fired from his hands and shot downward. The beam - no more then ten centimeters across - shredded and melted everything in its path. Several spikes, and a thick ice sheet erected as protection were torn apart as if it were toilet paper. Then it found the ancient’s chest and rammed in, dug, tore. Skrymir was unable to fend off the destructive beam of multispectral energy, and so it tore through it, piercing the gas, and started on the demon’s back. With a final death-defying yell, Skrymir exploded. Its internal gas, mixed with some oxygen from outside coming through the hole, and the Tanekakosa’s energy ignited it smoothly. There was a powerful explosion - all orange fired - and the ice was explosively vaporized. It burst outward, and a moment later the house, and a large part of the grass around it, was covered in a fine mist.
Xander grinned, and hissed, “Yes!” He groaned at the effort, and he slowly sank down to the Earth, before falling and landing painfully. He grinned, soaking in his wounds, knowing once he was healed he’d be much stronger.
“Oh, my god!” a girl’s voice sounded and a few moments later Xander looked up at the beautiful, exotic girl he’d saved. She was knelt next to him, and examined him.
A man’s voice then said, “Get him inside, we shall treat his wounds.”
Xander opened his eyes, and then groaned as he tried to sit up. He felt around his body and noticed some bandages. He groaned again as he felt someone sit on the bed he was obviously lying in, and the movement pulled at his healing wounds.
“Sorry,” an excited girl’s voice spoke with a Spanish accent. The twelve-year-old Saiyan boy turned his head and looked at the dazzling exotic beauty. Spanish, mixed with South American native looks made for a pleasant mix. The girl smiled brightly, attractive twinkles in her eyes. She was obviously smitten with ‘her hero’ but that was lost on the boy. “You were amazing!” she exclaimed excitedly. She made several much too perfectly executed punches in demonstration, Xander’s warrior mind immediately offered several counters. But, he had to admit, it was refreshing to see a girl being able to throw a punch on this planet, back home girls could thrown punches with the best of them. A pang of loss shot through his body, which in turn went over the overly excited girls head. “A punch here, a kick there, they way you avoided those spikes! And then the energy attacks! Magic is . . . wow! Are you a super hero?” she asked with large eyes.
“Isabella!” a cultured voice snapped, curtailing her excitement. Xander looked over and saw an older Hispanic man, but carrying himself like a true Brit, his accent the same - with the exception of a few tiny hints of his native Spanish language, but that was once more completely lost on Xander. “Practice some restrained.”
“Yes, sir,” Isabella spoke subdued, but her eyes still twinkled at Xander’s.
“No, I’m not a super hero,” Xander told her, unable to keep the slight smirk off his face, which made the girl’s heart beat faster. He felt and examined his bandages.
“It was the least we could do for saving our lives,” Isabella said, excited still, but less so, careful not to offend her caretaker, and so her speech gained a more British lilt to it.
“I saved your lives?” Xander asked confused, taking the man and the frowning girl in. “Oh, yeah,” he added, brightening up. “You being present and about to get killed, I guess I did.”
The man made a slight bow and said, “I would like to express my gratitude, young man. I am Jorge Santana. You can stay here during your recuperation. I should warn about the use of magic though, it can be very dangerous if one uses it too often, it is addictive and vengeful. Now rest.” He then turned and walked away.
“Magic?” Xander muttered confused, then shrugged. He supposed his abilities would seem like magic. Of course his use would never result in anything bad . . . unless you were his enemy.
Isabella looked at him still with big eyes, and she asked, “What’s your name?”
“Xander,” Xander answered her with a slight grin.
“Isabella,” the cultured voice called from the other room. “Do let the boy rest, so he can be up and about as fast as possible.”
“Yes, sir,” Isabella answered with a disappointed face. “Bye,” she said, and got up. Before she left through the door, she turned around quickly and gave Xander a quick wave.
Xander looked around for a moment, and then focused his chi. It was time to get ‘up and about’ as the man had said, and so he needed to heal.
The next day, much faster than Jorge had considered possible, Xander was indeed up and about. He made several astoundingly high bounds and kicks. The wooden practice doll he actually shattered with a punch, much to Isabella’s admiration. The girl’s infatuation with the boy, was of course extremely troublesome. The teens were oblivious to the older man’s ponderings though.
Xander smoothly parried one of Isabella’s punches, wincing slightly as he pulled one of his not quite healed wounds. Isabella looked concerned, which gave Xander the opportunity to swipe her legs out from under her. “Oof, heeey!” the girl complained lying on her back, “No fair, you can’t do that while I’m trying to look after you.”
“I’ll look after myself, you just worry about yourself as well,” he said with a grin, springing back and forth on his feet, ignoring the stings where one of Skrymir’s spikes had gone through his leg. It was really damn nice not to have hide his true self for a change. Since the girl and the man were already well aware of things beyond the human norm, and had seen his fight with Skrymir, he felt no need to hide. He could be active, he could fight, he felt alive, and it felt good feeling that with someone else present.
Isabella had gotten up, and peered at Xander. She then a made a kick punch combination. The boy easily avoided the kick. He grabbed her punch and bent her hand back, then locked the rest of her arm with his. “Ouch,” Isabella said at the strain in her wrist. Xander put just a bit more on it. “Ouch, ouch, ouch, stop it,” Isabella said winching.
Xander chuckled, freed her hand, and with a quick motion twisted underneath her arm, and used it to twist the girl through the air. With another oof the girl landed on her back. She blinked, and looked with wide hopeful eyes as Xander knelt down at her head and lowered his own to his. “Do you know what you did wrong?” he asked her with a grin.
“Uh,” she said, her breath catching in her throat, and then shook her head.
“I’ll show ya,” Xander told her happily and then helped her up, to Isabella’s disappointment. For the next fifteen minutes Xander explained Isabella some basics about more advanced martial arts then she’d ever been taught.
After that they went running around and exploring the little valley. In the middle there was a slight hill, and a shallow downward slope behind it, but it made them unseeable by Jorge. After they did a little frolicking most kids do at that age, Xander decided to teach the girl that for a change was not disgusted at gallivanting around and fighting - she even had muscles on her body, not straws for appendages - a little about her chi, doing a few chi exercises to grow it. She was very interested.
A day went by, and a now nearly healed Xander continued his sparring with the girl, and his playing. That was when the old man wasn’t putting the girl through an arduous training regimen, which Xander decided to do along with her out of a feeling of solidarity, which she seemed to enjoy very much. Of course, Jorge became very concerned about that.
Later that they the two teens lay on top of the little hill. They were lying next to each other, supporting their heads with their hands, enjoying the sun. “So why is your father such a prick anyway?” Xander asked Isabella casually.
Isabella’s good mood dampened slightly, and she answered, “He’s not my father.”
“He isn’t?” Xander asked surprised. “Where’s your father then?”
Isabella chewed her lip in contemplation, and then decided to answer, “I don’t know.”
“I’m guessing with my father,” Isabella replied, and then turned on her side to look at Xander, who had his head turned to her. “I was placed with Mr. Santana when I was only three years old. They say my parents gave me away . . . Can you keep a secret, Xander?”
“Sure,” Xander told her.
“For real,” she pressed, and Xander nodded solemnly, placing his hand over his heart. “Okay,” she said with a grin, “They say my parents gave me away so I could be trained for my destiny. You see, I /am/ a super hero . . . or I could become one.” Xander looked at her expectantly. “You saw the demons, you fought them. There’s a girl, one girl in all the world, who’s chosen, given the power, the strength, the speed, and the healing to fight the darkness, the demons and all the bad things. She’s the Slayer. I’m a potential Slayer. I was born with the ability of one day becoming one. If one Slayer dies, the next one his called among potential Slayers. I’m being trained now, for the possibility that I might be chosen, so I already very good at everything, and I can last longer - if I get chosen. I don’t know if I want to . . .”
“And Mr. Santana is your trainer?” Xander asked her.
Isabella nodded, answering, “Yes, he’s my Watcher. He trains me, teaches me, takes care of me, feeds me, and I have to obey him. If I’m called, he’ll be the one helping me fight, especially when something big is coming that can only be killed in one or two ways, he’s the one who’s supposed to tell me how to do it.”
“Wow,” Xander said, then asked, “And who’s ‘they’?”
“Other Watchers, like Mr. Santana, occasionally a few visit,” she answered him.
Xander turned his head back, his thoughts boiling in his mind. He hated lying to his friends, hated lying to Willow and Jesse, but they couldn’t know, might not even understand, and if they didn’t, or got frightened, or accidentally told . . . that would either be bad for him, bad for them, or bad for all of them - the most horrible scenario he could think of was being locked in an insane asylum along with his friends, he considered even worse than being experimenting on, because of his friends. He didn’t like lying to this girl either, he wanted to tell a lot of times. And here was the opportunity. This girl was already carrying a secret, knew about the bad things, and shouldn’t be too freaked out, if it all, about his true origins. Further she was shielded from everyone and everything apart from her watcher; slipping up was practically out of the question that way, and if she did, Mr. Santana probably wouldn’t believe her, despite knowledge of the darkness. Decision made, he said, “Can you keep a secret too? Even from Mr. Santana?”
Isabella blinked several times, and then nodded. She told him solemnly, “I will keep any secret you wish to share with me.”
He turned his head then, made sure Mr. Santana was nowhere near close enough to overhear and said, “I’m not human, I’m not even from this planet. I’m from the stars, from another dimension. My real name is Littica, and I’m a Saiyan.”
“You’re an alien?” she asked him surprised. Xander nodded. “Wow,” she said, and her eyes twinkled again. “So all those abilities . . .”
“You should be able to do too, with enough training,” Xander answered, much to her surprise. “From what I’ve gathered, humans are hard on their way, some of what I can do, I learned from human marital arts, actually.”
“Really?” Isabella asked, thinking it over. “So why did you leave? Are you a prince fleeing from a tyrant, waiting to reclaim you throne?” The girl’s eyes twinkled.
“I’m not a prince, just a scientist’s son, and there’s nothing to reclaim,” Xander told her with pain. “The tyrant is a warlord from another planet, and he’s blown up Vegeta, my planet.” Isabella’s eyes widened - blowing up an entire planet? - and then she focused on the names. Xander continued painfully, “The only thing left to claim, is vengeance. I’m the last of my species, my father managed to send me across the dimensional barrier in a prototype ship as the planet blew up around me.”
“Vegetables?” Isabella wondered out loud.
“Huh?” was Xander’s answer.
The girl lifted herself on one arm to look at Xander better, and she said, “Littica - lettuce, Saiya - close to vegetable in Japanese, Vegeta - vegetable.”
Xander blinked, and said, “Must be coincidence. And how do you know Japanese anyway?”
Isabella was excited, and rambled, “One girl in all the world, remember? If I get chosen I might have to travel to any country, I need to be able to make myself understandable, so I’m taught a lot of languages. Now come on, give some more Saiyan names.”
Xander was a little perturbed and said, “Nappa.”
“Japanese type of slaw,” Isabella answered, her eyes twinkling more brightly, and Xander looking a little upset. “Go on.”
“Colen,” Xander offered.
“Cole,” the girl answered, smiling.
“Kakarotto,” Xander said, looking a little pale.
“Carrot,” she offered, making a gesture for him to go on.
“Konomra, my mother’s name,” Xander offered, smiling as Isabella frowned having to think.
“Concombre, French for cucumber,” Isabella said, a huge grin on her face.
Xander narrowed his eyes at her, and said, “Alright, Ardipel, my father’s name then.”
Isabella raised her eyes to the sky as she thought. She frowned then, thinking harder. Xander was almost getting a triumphant grin when she suddenly said, “Erdapfel, aardappel - German and Dutch for potato!” Isabella then started laughing out loud. She laughed harder and harder even twisting back and forth on the ground, kicking her legs with her amusement. “The vegetable race,” she said, and then choked back up in laughter.
“That’s not funny,” Xander said, folding his arms across his chest in annoyance.
“But it is!” Isabella managed to spit out, before laughing again. After some time of laughing she calmed down a bit, and said, “That’s so freaky!”
“It’s not,” Xander said with an annoyed pout. “And if it is, well, I’m still proud of my ‘vegetable’ race, so there.”
“I’m sorry,” Isabella said, but couldn’t keep the smile off of her face.
Isabella had profusely apologized more over time, and finally kept her laughter under control. Only then did Xander make up with her, and now they were sparring again in front of the house. He was teaching her a more loose and adaptive style of fighting, and slipping chi use in there was well. They were smiling as they were busy.
“Stop that, this instant!” Jorge snapped as he saw Xander learning Isabella things she shouldn’t be learning. “How dare you, little boy, undo years of training?”
Xander looked confused, while Isabella had her head down, feeling apprehensive. It had been ages since Mr. Santana had been mad, she had no desire to ever see him angry again. Xander answered, “I’m not undoing anything, I’m teaching her more, and better.”
“Better!?” Jorge snapped in anger. This had gone on far enough! It was obvious Isabella reached the age were boys were interesting her, and it was time to nip it in the butt. “You think you know everything about her, boy? She’s a potential Slayer, one girl amongst many who can become an actual Slayer, the one girl in the world given the power to fight the darkness - the greatest champion and warrior this world has. If she were chosen, if she were the Slayer, she’d have defeated Skrymir easily, and in fact would have defeated you easily. There is much more to our training of the girl than meets they eye. We know what we’re doing.”
Xander blinked. “That makes no sense,” Xander started. All the girl was taught were punches and kicks, after all, more strength magically imbued her wouldn’t make a difference.
“That’s because you’re just a boy,” Jorge snapped at him, and but Xander didn’t even flinch, he was used to grownups calling him much worse. “You are healed enough now, you better leave, for we will leave as well. This location has been compromised, so we must leave to a safe location!”
The watcher then yanked Isabella along by her arm, and told her, “No boys, Isabella. It’s unbecoming a potential Slayer, they are only distractions and make you stray from the path, as this one has so aptly proven.”
“But-” Isabella tried.
“No buts, don’t even look at boys from now on anymore,” Jorge snapped at her.
“Yes, sir,” she said weakly, and then threw a quick said look over her shoulder.
Xander was pissed, but their wasn’t much he could do, except . . . he’d get his fight with the great champion after all, not to mention a little indirect payback. “Really,” he called out sharply. “Tell me then where I can find this greatest warrior now! I’ll show you I’m right by beating the crap out of her.”
Jorge laughed out loud, his own sense of the Slayer’s superiority overriding his better judgement, and he told him, “If you wish to be beaten up, by all means, you can find her in Tokyo, Japan.”
“Japan, here I come,” Xander hissed, and then burst into the air, flying away at his maximum speed, which would mean it’d take him over a day to get to his destination. As Jorge saw him flying away, he thought to himself, *Better not mention this in my reports to the council.*
“I found the Slayer in Tokyo and well . . . beat the crap out of her,” Xander finished his tale, and everyone looked at him with interest.
“Wow, you know about Slayers before me?” Buffy said rather surprised at that new info. Xander nodded.
“Now this is interesting,” Wesley spoke up, and everyone turned to him. Faith looked down at the laptop on his lap, and read along as he read out loud. “/Tara/ . . .”
“Yes?” Tara answered.
Everyone looked a little confused, but Wesley gave her a quick look, before continuing to read, “/In Hindu mythology, Tara was an astral goddess who was the wife of Brihaspati. A heavenly adventure was played out in the night sky when Soma, the moon, lusted after and abducted Tara, who was the pole star, from Brihaspati, the planet Jupiter. Soma kept Tara hostage, not releasing her at either the urging of Brihaspati or even Brahma. The gods rallied against Soma, who called on the asuras to be his allies, and a mighty war erupted. Before both sides could wipe each other out, Brahma again tried to intervene, and this time Soma listened and freed his captive. She returned to her husband, but she was pregnant, and would not say who the father was. Brihaspati refused to accept her back until the child was born. At that moment, the child heard the ultimatum and was born instantly. He was brimming with power and beauty, and both Soma and Brihaspati claimed the child as his own son. The boy became tired of the bickering over him, and was ready to utter a curse, but Brahma once again came to the rescue. He calmed the child down, then gently asked Tara who the father was. Tara confessed that it was Soma. Soma welcomed his son and named him Budha, who became the planet Mercury./”
“Hey!” Buffy exclaimed with wide eyes, “That was when you were picked in that ridiculous wedding ceremony! Whoever catches the ball . . .” Buffy snorted.
“No way!” Willow exclaimed in protest. “My Tara is a lesbian! She did not get pregnant by that sexist pig, and she freed herself!”
“Ten thousand years of retelling and embellishments, Willow,” Fred pointed out with a smile.
“It gets better,” Faith said with a grin, and read out loud this time, “/In southern India, Tara was an important aspect of the Mother Goddess. When the Buddhists came into their own, they made this Tara one of their most important goddesses, and her name came to be an appellation to most female deities. She had many different colors, and can be gentle or dangerous, depending on her hue. If she was white or green, she was loving and tender, but if she was red, yellow, or blue, then it was best to stay out of her way./” Faith looked up, and then at Tara, grinning she said, “You’re blue when you power up, and blue and red yields purple! This is you alright, they turned you into a goddess.”
Tara blushed, babbling, “This-this can’t be. I’m not a goddess. Just a witch, being a powerful human in stories, okay, but a goddess? A-and I’m not an angry vengeful person either.”
“Unless you’re a demon or gods messing with your friends,” Xander pointed out, and Tara whimpered as she leant over to Willow who held her.
“Don’t pick on her, Xan,” Willow told him.
“What? That’s a compliment,” Xander returned with a grin.
Wesley raised his finger, and said, “Oh, listen to this, this is Tara’s consort. /Brihaspati is the lord of prayer in Hindu mythology. He is the celestial priest who is master of the Word who dispels darkness and destroys the enemies of the gods by his recitations of magical formulae. In his form as Brahmanaspati he helped create the universe with his chanting. He has seven mouths, seven rays emanate from him, and he rides on a chariot drawn by eight horses. He seems to be connected in some way to the sacrificial fire of the south which is lit for the honored ancestors, and because of this is sometimes confused with Agni, who also seems to be a sort of priest of the gods. He is also closely linked with Brahma, as both are regarded as the creators of the universe. He is considered to be the planet Jupiter. His consort is Tara./”
“That seems to describe a witch pretty well, reciting magical formulae,” Li-Huei commented, looking at the stunned Willow. “They messed up your name though.”
“They might have mixed her with another god,” Cordelia commented as an explanation of the name.
“Buffy Summers,” Wesley announced bringing everyone’s attention to him, “/Bhuvaneshvari, this exalted ‘Universal Empress’, whose body is golden as a rising sun and who wears the crescent moon as a crown on her head, embodies ‘the totality of the transcendent knowledge that sustains the world’, and it is she who provides, from her swollen breasts, the very substance of the material world./”
“Me?” Buffy asked shocked, giving her chest a quick look, and blushed.
“The name seems to fit,” Chris said with a smile, “your hair is the right color, and you do . . .”
Buffy put a finger on his lips, and said, “Don’t you dare.” Everyone looked at her and she blushed deeper. “We still haven’t heard everything about that ‘Journey to the West’ thing,” Buffy said quickly, diverting the attention away from her. “So Xander is the Monkey King obviously, does the rest fit?”
Willow returned to her page, and read onward. “Ah, well, Tara just /must/ be the saint monk Hsüan-tsang, loving named /Tripitaka/, right /Tara/?”
Tara folded her arms across her chest, and said, “I still can’t believe you guys did that to me. All priding yourselves on being this great heroes and suddenly you’re all evil incarnate and /I’m/ the saint that gets hauled around the village and touched by a thousand hands.”
“I’m sorry,” Willow said and gave her a kiss on her cheek. Tara seemed a little less pissed. “Let’s see, Faith you have to Brother or Friar Sand, or Sha Wuching. You killed people an ate them, after being banished from heaven because you broke a dish. He’s now trying to become a better person by joining the scripture seeker on his quest. He has a spatula, the Fiend Routing Staff for a weapon. Sand has a fearful visage, which Faith, if you’re pissed and your hair hangs half over your face . . .”
“That /is/ me, except, why the hell did they turn me into a guy?” she asked miffed. “Damn male chauvinistic pigs no doubt. Couldn’t handle a woman kicking ass,” she answered her own question, making them laugh.
“Uh, uh, I must be the horse then,” Willow said rather surprised.
“A horse?” Pike wondered.
Willow nodded, and explained with a hint of confusion, “A dragon horse. He was banished because he broke some law about trying to change destiny, killed and ate creatures and people, including the monk’s horse, and so he transformed into the horse to do penance. He’s the weakest of the five.”
“Fiery red hair, fire magic, black eyes, I can see they considered you a dragon, or made you into one over time,” Tara said with a smile at her girlfriend.
Willow looked it over, and said, “Well, yeah, I guess. Well, that’s all I think-”
“Hey, what about me!?” Buffy exclaimed.
“Uh, I don’t think you want to know,” Willow quickly said, starting to close her computer.
“Willow,” Buffy said warningly.
Willow swallowed, and said, “Okay, okay, don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Willow went back to the screen, and then explained, “You’re the Marshal of Heavenly reeds, also known as Chu Pah-chieh, Wu-neng as the religious name. You’re banished from heaven because you got drunk and ‘misbehaving’ with the Moon Goddess - I’m guessing you had sex with someone you shouldn’t have, which is rather spot on.”
“That’s not so bad, you did tell them slept with demons, aka Spike,” Tara pointed out with a smile.
“I did?” Buffy asked her.
Tara nodded, and said with narrowed eyes, “I remember what you guys said to get me on that ride vividly.” Buffy swallowed at Tara’s glare.
“Well, I’m not finished yet,” Willow said, fearing the explosion coming. Everyone looked expectantly at her. “Your weapon is the nine-pronged rake,” Willow started, stalling more, and then swallowed one more time before saying, “the others always call you an idiot, and on your way of incarnation something went wrong, you ended up in a pig’s womb and so you’re a humanoid pig.”
“What!?” Buffy asked, as the rest started snickering a bit.
“Yeah, basically you’re a stupid, lazy, lusting, extremely fat, drunkard pig,” Willow said explicitly, and swallowed fearfully at Buffy’s dropped jaw. Here it came.
“You must have done something wrong!” Buffy said out loud. The others snickered.
“Actually,” Faith said with a smirk, “You /do/ have that nubby nose. You can see them describe it as nubby, then a bit square, then pig-like and before you know it, you’re a humanoid pig.” Buffy glared at Faith who just smiled back, loving it.
“Yeah,” Tara butted in, grinning a bit that what they did to her then was now biting her in the ass. “And you did tell all those people something along the lines of, ‘I felt superior to everyone, like I didn’t have to do the things they did,’ that can be interpreted as lazy and lying on your ass doing nothing.”
Buffy’s jaw was dropped, and so Dawn added, “Yeah, Buffy, you just /have/ to admit, there /is/ a certain pig-like quality to your nose. A cute quality, but pig-like nonetheless.”
Buffy closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and said, “I don’t have to listen to this. We’re going home.” She got up off of Chris lap and stalked out of the offices toward the stairs. Everyone looked at her, and Dawn started counting down from five with her fingers. Exactly at zero Buffy turned around, and stomping her feet she yelled, “I am /not/ lazy! I am /not/ stupid; that would be /her/ - ‘I thought you found it in a barn!’ I am /not/ fat! AND MY NOSE IS /NOT/ */PIG-LIKE/*!!!” Then she stomped up the stairs to the Hyperion’s second floor, at which time the whole group of people chuckled or laughed out loud, except for Chris. Loyalty to his girlfriend forced him not to, but even he couldn’t keep the smile of his face.
Everyone looked at Faith then, and Lorne asked, “What did she mean by that?”
“Nothing,” Faith said, waving them away.
Willow smirked, and said, “Oh, Buffy made this impressive poem about the divine nature of her weapon, and the cherubim were about ready to fall for it, and then Faith says, ‘I thought you found it in a barn.’”
“Hey,” Faith replied indignantly, “I wanted to fight those things, how was I supposed to know Buffy was going to knock me unconscious and take them on all by herself?” The group around her laughed. Faith folded her arms in annoyance.
Chris after laughing at Faith’s expense as an obligation to his girlfriend, got up, and muttered, “I-I think I better go talk to her.”
“There goes the damned,” Pike said with a grin.
“Yup,” Angel added looking after Chris, “better him than me.” Chris threw a glare back at them, his insecurity around these guys long forgotten as his girlfriend needed him.
Faith laughed louder then, and said, “Oh, god, I /know/ The Journey to the West. The moment I saw her wielding that rake in the past, I /knew/ this was coming. Five months of pre-fun! This was absolutely awesome!”
“Faith, you are evil,” Xander told her, and she shrugged.
“Thankfully,” Wesley said, which earned him a passionate kiss from his girlfriend. Wesley then broke the kiss and added, “You are aware, Xander, that this is just the beginning right? I just deciphered your name, Alexander LaVelle Harris, fully. Adding together all the meanings over different languages and cultures, one gets, ‘Protector of Mankind, the Wolf, Brown-Green Lion-Monkey King’.”
“What!?” some of them exclaimed simultaneously.
“That rat bastard that took my name telepathically!” Xander exclaimed, seething.
Wesley nodded, smiled, and continued, “Every single culture of mankind, somehow, someway, some more than others, but all of them have to some agree you, and you other four in there somewhere. The Vikings had their wolf-god, Loki, being a trickster god, just like the trickster monkey of The Journey to the West . . .”
“But Xander killed Loki,” Willow pointed out.
“Exactly, he was demon, locked away and so his true evil couldn’t be seen anymore, after which his trickster nature, coupled with ‘the Wolf’ in Xander’s name, and he also being a trickster allowed them to be blended together. Loki, also the harbinger of the fall of the gods - once more just like Xander here - isn’t actually considered pure evil by the Vikings. More like, a force of nature, that’s the way he is,” Wesley explained casually. “I haven’t researched them all, but look hard enough and they are in every culture. The native Americans for example, have the Raven that stole the sun and the moon, and a warrior Wolf was sent after the Raven. The Wolf finds out that the Raven stole them from their vindictive master to set them free and give them to the people of the earth. Their myths say there is not good and evil, only gradations of a state of being, that even seeming evil can be the greatest good, and vice versa, sound familiar?”
“Shit, that’s almost Saiyan philosophy, I think I sprouted that off to one of the gods perhaps. Faith would be the Raven?” Xander asked.
Wesley nodded, and Faith looked rather stunned. He said, “The warrior with the Raven hair, became a Raven period. If you look around, no doubt you will find Tara, Willow and Buffy, or permutations of you in every single human culture to a more or lesser extent.”
“Amazing,” Fred said, and then more excited. “Just amazing! To think what your battle against the gods back then sparked. Wow.”
“Ten thousand years,” Cordelia added.
“Must have been inspiring,” Pike muttered deadpan from his wheelchair.
Angel stayed silent, and then narrowed his eyes at Xander. “You really feel the need to make absolutely sure you outdo me, don’t you?” Angel joked at Xander.
Xander grinned, and said, “Oh, yeah. You’re not ever surpassing me, Dead Boy.”
“That’s fine with me, Monkey Boy, as long as I succeed with Connor,” Angel told him with narrowed eyes. They stared for a second, and then grinned at each other.
“I think I liked it better when you two hated each other,” Cordelia observed, and everyone grinned at that.
Buffy paced in the room like a caged animal. Chris gently knocked on the open there, and asked, “Can I come in, or is the storm still raging?”
Buffy turned to him with folded arms, and said, “Not funny.”
“Uh, well . . .” he said and tentatively came in anyway. “You’re beautiful, and I’m in love with you.”
Buffy melted a bit, and he came closer. He sat down upon whoever the bed belonged to, and Buffy sat down in his lap, wrapping her arms around him. He equally took her into an embrace, and said, “Hey, you’re not going to take heart to what some fools told and retold over ten thousand years, will you? Virtually all of them never saw you, don’t know how amazing you are, h-how beautiful. And your nose? Se-Sexiest nose I’ve ever seen.” He planted a few kisses right smack on the tip of her nose. Buffy smiled, and her eyes brimmed with tears. “What?” he asked wit a little pain.
She smiled, waved his concerns away with he right hand, and told him, “Happy tears. It’s been so long since I could ly in the arms of a lover like this, without care, just soak in his comfort.”
“Yeah?” he asked and landed his hand against hers.
She sighed, and said, “Perhaps even forever. Riley . . .” She shrugged, and said, “Not his fault, but for some reason I never let myself. I had it with Angel, I think, and perhaps not. It’s been so long, but I feel like, at least in retrospect, the whole ‘centuries older corpse animated by a demon, and my friends and family disapprove’ got to me.”
“They disapproved?” he asked snuggling closer to her.
“More like couldn’t understand, I think,” Buffy said, thinking back. “Willow was verbally all supportive and encouraging, but I could see it in her eyes now and then, then question she couldn’t get answered, ‘Why are you with one of those things that killed one of my best friends?’ She might even she have gone overboard in her public support to allay her guilt over that. The sad thing is, I can understand what they’re saying now.” She shuddered. “There’s something icky about corpse against your skin, the cold, clammy . . . let’s not go there.” Buffy had images of Spike running through her mind which she wanted to banish as soon as possible.
“Let’s not,” Chris muttered to her, and the two kissed.
Once they broke the kiss, Buffy asked, “So, you any sordid history from highschool?”
Chris looked down, and Buffy waited patiently. “Not really,” he said sadly, “Got picked on, but then who doesn’t get picked on in highschool right?”
“Got picked on a lot?” Buffy asked him. He shrugged. She smiled at him, “Well, I’m not, that’s for sure.”
He grinned, and gave her a heated kiss.
Xander and Faith were in her room, and he looked around it. Finding posters that weren’t there before. The room was more lively, he could point to things that were ‘Faith’ and none else. Two pictures of her with her friends were on her desk, one before, and thus without Tiffany, and one after with Tiffany.
Xander smiled at it, and as Faith fussed about, quickly picking up some of her dirty underwear and dumping in the washing bin. She looked at Xander and said, “Sorry, I’m not the neatest girl around.”
Xander grinned at her and said, “Good for you.” He sat down on the bed, and she sat next to him. “Everything going alright with you? Especially after the six month absence?”
She nodded, and said, “Wesley’s still Wesley. I talked to my friends on the phone, they’re still my friends.” Xander smiled. “It’s weird though, returning after only a day, I feel kind of disjointed, like the mother of all jetlags,” Faith told him. “I was actually getting worried about school the other day, before we returned.”
“Yeah, I got that too,” Xander said with a smile. “You going to be okay here then, I’m going ho- . . . Buffy’s . . . I’m going home in a bit.”
“I’m going to be fine, are you?” Faith asked him with concern.
“Yeah, I think so. Killing that bitch, and letting her live at the same time . . . it helped . . . and it didn’t.” He looked down, pain in his eyes. Faith hugged him close.
“You’re amazing, Xan,” she whispered to him. “I don’t know if I would have the strength to do what you did.” Xander looked up at her, and smiled lightly. Faith then continued, “You can be in pain for as long as you need to be, you know, as long as you keep living, keep moving forward.” Xander nodded, and hugged her back gratefully. Faith sighed, considering it odd that she was now the one comforting and hugging him, that was supposed to be his job according to the court. Faith then said, “You know, Xan, this whole deal showed me I chose the right thing by putting my destiny in with you, letting you decide it. I mean, first king of man, inside every culture of humanity? It feels good.”
Xander straightened a bit, and looked into her eyes. He shook her head, and asked, “What?”
“My destiny, I put it in with you, with the whole fighting the evil gods thing,” Faith answered, a little perturbed.
Xander blinked, and then said, “Faith, it’s fine if you consider me the leader of this little enterprise of hours, but that doesn’t include your destiny. That’s something you should decided all by yourself.”
“Yeah, I’ve heard that before,” Faith said wryly, remembering Raiden’s words. “And I decided all by myself its yours.”
“You silly girl,” Xander told her, and she mock glared at him. He shook his head, and said, “There isn’t much I can do about that, I suppose, I hope you come to your senses, Faith, you alone should decide your destiny. Don’t let it be ruined because you don’t think you should make a decision.”
“I’m going to be fine, Xander,” she told him with a smile, “don’t be so negative.” They gave each other a hug, and Xander then left her room. Faith was right behind him, as they went downstairs where Buffy, Willow, Tara, Dawn, and Li-Huei were waiting.
After saying goodbyes, they finally left to go back home.
The End . . . For Now . . .
Author’s notes: That’s it then, the end of the Hera saga. I hope you guys all liked it. So, as I said, is this pivotal? Or is this pivotal? Below will be a more detailed description of the origins of this saga, an Evolution of Buffy Z. As always: feedback! Feedback! Feedback!
The Evolution of Buffy Z:
Isabella: For quite a while, the young Slayer was going to be Kendra, but eventually decided that was just too gratuitous, as well as this leaves a new character open for use.
The Journey to the West: Anyone who hasn't read this classic yet, do so now. It’s a hundred chapters, four volumes, and thus quite expensive, but it’s well worth it. I hope I achieved what I set out to do: a short retelling of the story, and the Monkey King’s origin all blended into one. If you can’t, or won’t, at least look around the web for more information on it, it’s quite fascinating. I actually decided upon writing the back through time before I read the Journey to the West, but once I did, and I fully read the descriptions of the characters, and the origin of the Monkey King, I just KNEW I had to use it, to actually RETELL the legend, a double homage to Dragonball and the legend it was based on.
Characters, names, and casting: For all those who /know/ The Journey to the West, or seen or read some of its derivatives, like say Monkey Magic, must have seen it already, but if not then, at least now after this final episode. BtVS characters names and casting is truly AMAZING!
Xander’s full name, is awesome, that they chose Tara, and Buffy both names as gods is another. Xander’s spotty history, fitting pretty much perfectly with a Saiyan hiding is another, and did I mention his name?
But then comes the rest:
Tara ⇔ Tripitaka: the same sounds, the same characteristics, gentle soul, won’t hurt a fly.
Willow ⇔ dragonhorse: the only one questionable, but as I said, witch fiery red hair, it kind of fits.
Xander ⇔ Monkey: just amazing, add a tail and he /is/ a Saiyan.
Faith ⇔ Sand: Sand is described as someone with a perpetual gruff look, so pissed it scares people. Just consider Eliza with her hair covering her left and right, her head down and her eyes up/forward looking in anger, you’d get scared.
Buffy ⇔ Pigsy: That nubby nose? Sarah /is/ pigsy, she /is/ how someone would look before 10,000 years of story telling transforms someone in an actual pig.
It’s almost /scary/ how much it fits. The characters, their characteristics, their faults, they are spot on. It’s amazing how well it fits, when I first looked up Xander’s translation (long after I started writing Buffy Z by the way) I had cold chills running down my back at just how utterly perfect the description is. And Sarah as Buffy/Pigsy - I can’t say it enough, it is utterly amazing. So amazing in fact, I’m actually surprised I’m the first to write this, that nobody else saw this parallel.