It just keeps getting worse
Giles was still muttering obscenities over Ethan’s inexplicable escape as he entered the school and made his way toward the library. The watcher was halfway to his destination when he froze as something finally resister to his conscious mind; although atrophied from long disuse, the mystic energies that ran rampant throughout Sunnydale had always been like an almost constant buzz of power to his mage trained senses… now however there was nothing, a void that he realized he had began to feel sometime ago but he had been too distracted to notice.
Cursing under his breath Giles started for the library again, although he had picked up his pace to just short of a trot as his eyes searched the shadows and other possible hiding places for signs of trouble. To the Watcher’s knowledge there were only two reasons for a void such as this, the most preferable being a concealment spell. True, to get an effect such as this, let alone over such a large area, would require a mage with an obscene amount of power, but it was still better than having a being powerful enough to put off an aura strong enough cause his subconscious to shut down those senses to protect them.
Finally reaching the library, Giles froze staring at what he saw inside. Xander was sitting cross-legged on the main table slowly but steadily paging his way through a thick tome, while all around him books and tomes were floating through the air like balloons. As the Watcher stood there Xander finished the tome he had which flew off into the stacks at a high rate of speed as the young man grabbed another out of the air seemingly at random and began paging through it with the same determination as before.
However shocking those sights were, the thing that left Giles staring speechlessly into the library was the sight of Xander still wearing what Giles assumed to be his Halloween costume sitting in one of the chairs at the table apparently dozing peacefully. The sight of another of his precious books rocketing into the stacks like the preverbal bat out of hell knocked the Watcher back to his senses. “What’s going on here?!”
“I am learning…” The Xander on the table said quietly without looking away from the tome it was going through, as the sleeping Xander snorted and squirmed in the chair, not waking but clearly disturbed by the Watchers’ demand for information. “And I believe, Giles that you are aware that you shouldn’t shout in libraries.”
Giles blinked at the young man sitting on the table, a lump forming in the pit of his stomach at the detached tone in the young man’s voice. “Who are you?”
“I’m Xander…” The young man on the table looked away from the tome to spear him with an almost hurt expression. “Don’t you recognize me, Giles?”
“Very well,” Giles scowled walked up to the perimeter of the floating books and pointed at the sleeping Xander “Then who is that?”
The Xander sitting on the table looked at the sleeping one and shrugged. “That’s me, too.”
“Quite right,” Giles glared at the being sitting on the table crossly. “Now can you explain how there could possibly be two of you?”
“I was getting tired while I was waiting for you to get back from Ethan’s, nothing else to do here so I decided to try reading to keep myself awake…” Xander explained as he turned back to the tome in front of him “I really focused on what I reading ‘cause I knew I had to keep reading or I would fall asleep; next thing I knew I was standing beside myself. So I took the book I had been reading from myself and read it. Then I read another and another and many more after that… then you came in.”
“That’s… are you trying to tell me that you’re just a dream Xander’s having about reading?” Giles asked in confusion, disbelief and no small amount of annoyance.
The Xander on the table stopped turning the tome’s pages with a thoughtful expression, a moment later a look of understanding crossing his face. “Yes, I believe you’re right, Giles.”
“Oh good, dreams coming to life again, just what we bloody need on top off everything else that’s happened this evening!” Giles massaged the bridge of his nose in frustration. “Right, I will just have to wake you up then…”
“I think I would appreciate that, I believe the sleeping me is starting to have my old nightmare about while I was possessed by the Hyena spirit again.” Xander said his expression becoming distressed. “And I hate reliving what happened between me and Buffy, even if it’s only a dream.”
It took less than a second for Giles to start moving upon hearing what Xander was likely dreaming about, pushing his way through the floating books to grab the young man by the shoulder and give him a firm shake. “WAKE UP!”
Xander’s eyes snapped open with a panicked expression and Giles found himself flung away from the young man by some invisible force, heading toward the far wall at a speed the human body was never meant to obtain outside of a vehicle only to come to a sudden stop in midair.
Giles slowly turned his head and gulped, finding the wall less than a foot from the back of his head before turning to look at Xander with wide eyes.
Xander shrugged with an apologetic expression and looked around the library sheepishly. Spotting himself sitting on the table reading, Xander blinked then his face went hard. “Sorry, Giles… I’ll be right back!”
Giles stared at the place Xander had been standing with an expression of disbelief which quickly changed to one of frustrated anger. “WHAT THE BLOODY HELL IS GOING ON!”
The Xander still sitting on the table looked up from his reading with a confused expression. “Didn’t I mention that I had become Omnipotent?”
“No, you did not… Dear Lord!” Giles cut off mid-shout, going pale as a sheet at what the young man had just said registered. “How, how did…?”
“Like many others, I turned into my costume as well last night… you might want to sit down.” Xander said, pointed to the chair Xander had just left, as a pile of comics appeared on the table. “You could just read until I get back...”
“May I ask exactly what did you dress as?” Giles slowly moved over, took the seat indicated and reached for one of the tomes floating over his head, only to freeze at the frown Xander sent his way.
“I dressed as Adam Warlock…” Xander waved at the stack of comics, “you should read the comics. They will give you some idea of what you’re dealing with.”
“Surely, you could just explain it to me.” Giles gave the pile of comics a look of distain. “Or is there a reason you wish to subject me to poor bastardized excuses for literature?”
“I suppose I could just download them into your mind when I get back, if you prefer.” Xander shrugged without looking up from the tome in his lap. “Those comics are what I based my costume on… so reading them will help you understand what the other me is planning to explain to you after he gets back from skinning his dream of the hyena spirit that possessed us.”
“Very well…” Giles picked up the first comic and opened it with a look of distaste, when his head snapped up to look at the reading Xander with an expression of surprised exasperation spreading across his face. “He’s WHAT?”
“YOU’RE SO LUCKY THAT I’M NOT SURE IF KILLING YOU WOULD HURT ME!”
Giles jumped at the angry yell, and blinked as the doors to the library slammed open as something hurtled through them, hit the ground and tumbled almost the entire length of the library before crashing into the raised section at the back of the library. Giles studied the half sprawled form as it climbed to its feet; it was humanoid, lightly covered in brownish fur with a mottled pattern, and as it raised its head the watcher saw that it had Xander’s face although the dazed expression looked slightly different due to the fangs peeking out over his bottom lip.
Giles felt a shiver run down his spine and prepared to make a run for it when the hyena-Xander spotted him and lunged; the next thing the Watcher knew the furred being had somehow managed to crawl completely under his chair, warp its arms around his legs and was making a truly pitiful whining yelping noise.
“And you had better be glad that I checked if you were evil…” Xander ranted as he half-led half-dragged a female demon of some sort into the library by the arm. Xander paused in his rant, staring at the Hyena-Xander cowering under the Watcher’s chair as it attempted to hide behind his legs. “Oh, how pathetic can you get…?”
Giles frowned as Hyena- Xander appeared, still curled as it had been to fit under his chair, out of thin air at about eye level with Xander. Hyena-Xander let out with a terrified yelp as it fell, limbs flailing, followed by a pain-filled one as it landed on the library floor.
Xander kicked the prone form at his feet, reveling in the chance to hurt something that had caused him as much grief as the Hyena spirit had. The Hyena-Xander tried to scramble away, its claws leaving deep gouges as it tried to gain purchase on the smooth surface of the polished floor boards, succeeding only in dragging itself across the room in a blind attempt to get away.
Xander glanced at Giles as he reached out to grab the Hyena, only to freeze at the look of fear, disapproval and disappointment the Watcher was giving him.
Giles shook his head, turned his back on the young man and picked up the comic book again. “Good to see you’re handling your new-found power in positive and responsible manner, Xander.”
“Strange, that was sort of like watching one of the old father-son bonding sessions me and Pop used to have after a bottle of J.D...” The Xander sitting on the table commented.
Xander blanched under the Giles’ subtle recrimination and was almost sick at the comparison to his father the version of him sitting on the table made. Locking the hyena in the book cage with just a thought so it couldn’t escape, Xander walked over to his surrogate father-figure, a confusing mix of emotions warring within him. “Giles, that-that thing…”
“If that ‘thing’ is just a dream, it’s a subconscious representation, built from your memories of when you were possessed by the Hyena.” The Xander on the table glanced at Xander and held up a book on dream interpreting. “According to what I have read, recurring dreams about a traumatic event indicates unresolved issues about that event…”
Giles looked up from the comic he had been trying to read and frowned, looking between the Xander standing beside him and the one sitting on the table. “If you’re a dream why are you still present if he’s awake?”
“I don’t know…” Xander stopped and gave Giles a look of disbelief. “What do you mean, dream? I’ve been wishing this had all been just a dream all night!”
D'Hoffryn looked at the vengeance demons just standing around in the great hall of his home doing nothing and frowned. “Well?”
“Well what, sir?” The nearest of the demons replied nervously
“Isn’t somebody going to grant that wish?!” The demon lord growled in outrage.
“I don’t think so; I don’t remember any of us handling all-powerful beings, but your powers appear to be working just fine…” Anyanaka shook her head, she knew she was pushing it D'Hoffryn’s favorite or not, but the demon lord wasn’t known for recruiting fools and trying anything with someone with the power she feeling coming off of whoever had just made that wish was a fool’s errand. “That is if you really want to be the one to risk stirring up that hornet’s nest.”
“Fine…!” The demon lord scowled as he shook his head and started for his office grumbling about disobedient servants, punishments and the improperness of being teased by the higher powers.
“Xander, do I really need to remind you not to voice such things…” Giles took off his glasses and began polishing them with a grim expression. “I would rather you not tempt the fates at the moment!”
“Sorry, Giles…” Xander fell in a chair and rubbed his eyes with tired expression. “I’m still tired and I’m beginning to wonder if becoming omnipotent somehow scrambled my brains…”
“Now there’s a thought…” Giles blinked, stopped polishing his glasses and fixed Xander with a pointed look. “Xander if you’ve in someway become all-powerful as you claim, why can’t you just make last night just a dream?”
“You mean other than the paradoxes it would create? First off, the Infinity gems and Gauntlet are indestructible. If I were to do something like make last night one big dream, they would more than likely continue to exist, only without our knowing they were real and needed protecting.” Xander smirked at Giles’ slight wince at the possibilities that brought to the Watcher’s mind. “Secondly, if I was to do that the mostly likely outcome at the moment is that in five years, there will be an army of slayers, Buffy will be an insane control freak that believes you only matter if you have a power, Willow will be a power hungry black magic addict, you will be little more than an emasculated yes-man, I will have lost an eye and all of my morality, not to mention that the world would end about eight years from now… Oh, and did I mention that Angel would kill Ms. Calendar?”
“I’m omnipotent, remember mastery of time and space kind of come with that…” Smirking at the wide-eyed expression of shock on the watchers face Xander shrugged. “And come on Giles its not like I’m going to say ‘let there be light and…”
Xander blinked as seven glowing globes about the size of his fist appear floating in the air in front of him; slowly covering his face with the hand covered by the Infinity Gauntlet he shook his head and groaned. “Not one word; not one freaking word, G-man!”