Note: As this story was becoming very long, very complex, and might never end, I decided to break this single story up into chapters/parts. Like I did with Family Staffs. So you can consider this one series or one really long story, whichever works for you. Some violence and NC-17 parts but they are marked. Set while Tara and Willow are split over her magic addiction. While she's trying to get clean.
The Many Mystical Mes
"Come on, it'll be fun," Willow begged. "It'll help us learn more about ourselves. It'll bring us closer and heal some of the problems we've had since high school."
"Willow, I know enough about myself to know that I don't need to do a spell to look at other versions of myself to find myself," Xander complained. "No." He walked off, mentally shaking his head. He was not fond of this idea. Actually, his danger senses were screaming like he had just walked into a nest of starving vampires thought he was the best food ever thanks to Spike hyping him as nummy. He went to talk to Buffy. "Have you heard Willow's newest idea?"
"No, what is it?" she asked, going back to her fashion magazine.
"She wants us to look at other realms of ourselves to get to know ourselves better."
Buffy slowly frowned and looked up at him. "Wouldn't that take *magic*?"
"Yeah," he agreed. "And could probably lead to the realms merging or something."
"Uh-huh. She's supposed to be on only necessary magic, right?" Xander nodded. "Uh-huh. Willow?" she called. She came out of the back room of the Magic Box. "What spell and how necessary is it?"
"I think it'll help us get to know ourselves better and become tighter again, like we were back in tenth and eleventh grade."
Buffy stared at her. "Magic?" she asked.
"Well, yeah, but only like a scrying spell. Nothing too hard. It won't merge the realms, no matter what Xander thinks."
He snorted. "Yeah." He walked off shaking his head again. "Leave me out of it."
"But... we could get closer again," she whined.
He turned to stare at her. "No. I don't need to look at other versions of myself, Willow. I know myself and what I can do very well." He walked outside, going to get something to eat then find a vampire to stake. Before she tried it anyway and he got caught up in whatever madness this plan brought with it.
"I don't think it's a good idea," Buffy told her. "What if our other realm selves are mean, like the vamp you and Xander?"
"There's thousands of other realms and realities. I'm sure we're in more than that one."
"I still don't think it's a good idea, Willow. Remember, the witches said to use only necessary magic for a while."
She slumped. "I'm trying to get closer again, Buffy."
"I know." She gave her a wrist pat. "It's a good thing to want, but I don't think this is the right way. Maybe a movie night or a game night sometime soon instead? That way we can relax and do things that are friendly instead of slay-y."
"Maybe," she muttered, walking off pouting. She went to look over the spell again, finding it wasn't really that hard. She could do it on herself to show them it'd be fine. Buffy walked back to take the book and walked off again. "Hey!"
"Necessary magic only, Wills. They said so."
"Whatever." She went to get some ice cream and sulk instead. They had trusted her before she had went bad. Now she had to prove herself again. This spell would be a good way and it'd be helpful to them. They'd be closer, she'd have her friends back and trusting her, plus her skills so they got off the accidental magic bandwagon again, and they'd all be happier. Because happiness didn't last too long in Sunnydale. She went to find her girlfriend, Tara. "They don't want to do the scrying with me."
"I think it's a bad idea too," she reminded her. "It's not necessary."
"It'll bring us closer."
"It could warp time and space. That's not necessary and it would break 'first do no harm'," she said more firmly. "You have to stop using magic for these things, Willow. Talk to them instead. Spend quality time instead of leaning on magic."
Willow nodded, eating another bite of her ice cream. "I guess." She went back to her own room to think about it. Maybe there was something to not doing it magically. She wasn't used to it though. She hated not using her magic, it made her skin itchy when it backed up. She considered it, going to look over the copy she had made of the spell on her computer. That way she wouldn't make any mistakes. She'd look over her other selves and then they'd see it was a better idea. Even Tara.
Xander looked up as something tingled around him. "This is not looking good," he muttered, looking around. "Buffy!" he shouted. She came out of where she had been peeing behind a mausoleum. "Can you feel something wrong going on?"
She paused in her buttoning her pants, letting herself feel the air. Then she groaned. "Tell me it's an apocalypse?"
"If that's Willow, it might be," he pointed out. They took off running for the college to stop her before whatever happened bit them. They got about two blocks. Then they fell to their knees as pictures invaded their minds, knowledge and skills coming across. Xander retched and threw up a few times until the pain went away. He was helped up by someone male, looking at the vampire. "Willow," he told him weakly.
"Won't save you," he said, going to vamp face. Xander staked him.
Buffy got helped up by Xander. "What did you see?"
"I should've listened more in science class." He looked at her. "Anything new in your other selves?"
"Not really. In some I was kinda selfish. In a few I was kinda mean. In some I was nicer. In a few it was just weird."
Xander nodded. "Yeah, I had that one. I was a concubine."
She shuddered. "Nuff said, Xander." She patted him on the arm. "Did you have those muscles before?"
He looked down his shirt then at her. "Yeah. Construction worker, Buffy."
"Oh." They hurried more slowly toward the campus, running into Tara trying to get into the bathroom Willow had locked herself into. "Let me," Buffy ordered, letting Xander pull Tara out of the way so she could kick the door in. Their floor's Resident Advisor came running at the crash. "She's been making 'gonna go bad and do bad things' noises," she told him. "We're doing an intervention thingy." He nodded and left them alone. Buffy walked in and hauled Willow up, looking at her. "Why did I see the weird world where there were billions of teenage slayers on a military base?"
"I only scried for myself," she protested.
"Uh-huh. Is that why I saw the world where I was a kid in DC thanks to you goofing up a spell?" Xander asked.
She blushed. "You did?"
"No, *you* did," he said more firmly. She squeaked and tried to move but Buffy was holding her. "I think we need a real intervention. Tara, can you clean up and lock her stuff up?" She nodded, moving to do that silently, giving her girlfriend dirty looks. "Buffy, get Giles here please." She moved to do that while he watched Willow. "That was *so* wrong. I didn't want to do that, Willow." He didn't want the murmuring going on in the back of his head right now. He wasn't sure it was a good thing and he really didn't want to give in to what a few of the little voices were saying. It was probably not a good idea to do what they wanted him to do.
"But... it helped, right? You saw all the other good stuff you've done?"
"No. I saw that childhood world. I saw one where I was an assassin. I saw one where I was a police officer. Or two where I was a police officer. I saw one where I was a concubine that was heavily wanted by all demons while I held them off with a sword," he said sarcastically. "None of those do I want to see again!"
He held up a hand. "You're getting me to the point where I'm going to flashback to my family and do something they would," he said a bit too calmly. She shrank back giving him a horrified look. "Good idea." Tara gave him a scared look. "Not to you, Tara. I'd never hurt you."
"Go calm down, Xander," Buffy ordered. "You can spank her later."
"I don't want to *spank* her," he muttered as he walked past her, slamming the door on the way out.
Willow flinched. "I've never seen him that mad."
"I think you deserve it," Buffy assured her. Giles finally answered his phone. "Come to our dorm room now. I think it's that important, yes. Or did you not see other versions of yourself thanks to Willow?" She hung up, sitting on her bed. "Tara, there's a padlock and key set in my dresser, in the top drawer. Use it on her trunk of stuff."
She nodded, moving to do that once it was cleaned up. "Do we have a copy of the spell for Giles?" She pointed at the monitor for the computer. "Good." Someone knocked then slid a pamphlet under their door. "Thank you." She looked. "Huh, the campus religious groups want you to find God too, Willow."
"I was trying to help!" she said. She slumped miserably on her bed. She had only wanted to help.
"We didn't want to see that," Buffy reminded her. "Xander and I both refused to help you do that." Someone knocked so she got up to answer it. "Giles, good. Look at the monitor and tell me why I saw a me where I was surrounded by demons being punished for being a bitch to Xander when you sold him to a higher demon on the Demonic Council and I blew up his Range Rover."
He spluttered a few times. "You saw what?" She pointed. He looked then he went pale. "Oh, dear."
"Yeah. Xander and I both shot her down when she suggested it. Xander's taking a walk because he nearly went psycho on her. I'm about to go psycho on her. Tara's even pissed. Would you like to help us be pissed?"
"I do believe I can do that." He glared at her, making her shrink down into the corner, holding her knees against her chest. "Let me call the witches I know. This is a serious breach. She could have merged the realms or anything." He moved to do that from the room phone with his calling card. "Belinda, I have a bit of an emergency. Willow just made herself and two others see themselves across the realms," he said quietly, staring at her.
"Yes, that one I talked to you about. No, I do believe my slayer is about to beat her to death if Xander doesn't. Or her girlfriend." He rubbed his eyebrow. "Please?" He nodded. "That would be acceptable. Thank you, Belinda." He hung up. "She'll call a closer contact to come up and see if anything too terrible happened." Buffy looked over at him. "It could have pulled another version of any of you three here. That can cause untold problems."
"Like the vamp Willow in high school?" Buffy asked.
"Worse. That was a spot realm, an alternate universe that was created for one purpose around one event. It was directly off ours. If she pulled one from farther away, something that was a take off of an event that happened here and slightly different there, then we could have them merging or causing other problems."
"So if we had something happen and they had it happen slightly differently but then they had a spot realm thingy off theirs and we pulled them here, what might happen?" Buffy asked.
"Ripping of the fabric of the universe," Tara said quietly, glaring at her soon-to-be-former girlfriend.
"An apocalypse?" Buffy guessed. "I knew it felt like an apocalypse for some reason."
"And then some," Giles agreed. "Were the ones you saw later than this world's timeline? Or did you get a sense of how old you were?"
"I think most were older. The one where I blew up his car and you sold him to be a demonic concubine I was clearly older and had dyed my hair strawberry blonde. At least a year older I think."
"Any others that stand out?"
"One where I saved Xander from her because she gaybashed him for liking boys. I think we were around this age. He went to Miami with Mom's help."
Giles nodded. "So not any that you remember being younger?"
"Xander said he saw one where he was a baby again thanks to her screwing up a spell."
"That would be horrifying," he decided, shuddering. "With us?"
"In DC for some reason."
"Even worse." He sat down next to her, staring at Willow. "I have no idea what to do with you. Especially if they told you not to include them, Willow."
"I'm all for knocking her out," Xander said as he came back in with a drink. "Before I do it with my fist." He stared at them. Giles gave him a horrified look. "Yes, I remember all the ones I saw, Giles. Does this surprise you since I'm the only one that kept anything from Halloween or the hyena thing?"
"No," he said quietly. "It doesn't. Are you all right?"
"Some of my other selves drank, some of my other selves drank pretty hard, some drank casually. Some didn't drink. I think tonight I'll remember the ones that drank themselves to sleep before I remember the one where I was an assassin."
Xander nodded. "Yeah, I was."
"And there was one where I was a fluffy, gray winged demon thanks to her needing a higher one to help with something."
"Sividia," Giles supplied automatically then stiffened. "She did?" Xander nodded. "Xander... Lad, can you try to do something for me?" He took off his shirt and the wings came out. "Oh, dear lord no."
Xander looked behind him and they disappeared. "So I'm guessing I kept some skills from this, like I did on Halloween?" he asked dryly.
"I do believe that's safe to say," he agreed calmly. "I don't know what we're going to do."
"He doesn't feel like a demon to me," Buffy offered. "No evil causing cramps or anything." Giles relaxed at that. "So maybe your good guy realms outweigh your bad guy ones."
"There I wasn't really a bad guy. I did take over Sunnydale as the overlord." He grinned sweetly. "You got to go to LA to live while I handled things. And I dated a cute guy, had a dog, got along with his family. Drove hell mad."
"You do a pretty good job with me so I don't see why you wouldn't," Buffy said, trying to sound upbeat. "That could be helpful, right?" she asked her watcher.
"Only if they show up here."
Xander smirked. "We'd better hope not." He glared at Willow, making her squeak and try to shrink more. "You're in so deep with me." Someone pounded and he looked behind him, then opened the door magically. "Come on, witchly one. Figure out how in the hell she did it this time."
"Who are you?" she asked.
"Xander. One of her best friends. Just got sucked into her thing."
She looked at Rupert. "Belinda called with a totally hysterical sounding complaint, Rupert." He pointed at the computer monitor, letting her look. She went pale. "That's not possible. It takes some immense powers."
"You mean like our witch that closes our hellmouth?" Buffy asked. "That sort of power?"
Rebecca looked at Tara, who shook her head, pointing at Willow. She looked at that girl, then glared. "Yes, I do believe she could do that."
Xander picked the witch up, looking at her. "If she's going to be killed, I want to do it," he said calmly.
"Xander, do put Rebecca down please," Giles said firmly. "I know you're still reacting to what you saw but she's not a threat." Xander put her down with a pout. "Perhaps your plan to get blasted on alcohol tonight is a good one?"
"I might not stop," he said with a semi-hysterical laugh. "I don't know if I can." Buffy got up and knocked him out then sat down again with a sigh.
"Thank you, very helpful," Giles said, giving her a pat.
"If I wouldn't go caveslayer again I'd get drunk too," she admitted.
Rebecca looked at them, then nodded because it was clear the usual insanity had started in them already. "How bad was it?"
"He had one where she turned him into a baby. Another where she turned him into a fluffy winged higher demon. One where Giles sold him as a demonic concubine and I blew up his car on him when he was ignoring my evilness from the alcohol. He can still bring out the wings for some reason but he doesn't feel like a demon to me."
The witch looked at her newest chore. "This is bigger than I can handle. We need to look over all of you to make sure no taint carried across."
"Of course you do," Giles agreed. "That's why I called Belinda. I know her coven can do such things."
"Mine can too but the Devon Coven is a lot more powerful." She pulled out her cellphone. "I'll let her pay me back for this phone call." She dialed, smiling when it was answered on the second ring. "Belinda, it's worse than you thought, dear. Not only is one of them keeping skills and memories from it, they're all keeping memories from it. Yes, they said she can. She can close the hellmouth. There's another witch here with us who might be of some help but we need to do a full sensing."
"Tara's her girlfriend," Buffy supplied. "Presently on the outs because of Willow's magic addiction. She gave her a 'get clean or lose me' speech. She stutters though so I won't make her be embarrassed or upset." Tara gave her a shy smile.
"Yes, that's what she said, Belinda. Please do. In a dorm room. The young man is presently knocked out. They said he's kept skills. The others have memories and not particularly nice ones."
"I was good to him in most of them," Buffy admitted. "After a few rocky times. Just... a few I was a bitch."
Rebecca nodded. "That's about usual from the way I understand it." She listened to the orders. "Are you sure?" She nodded. "We can bring them there, yes. Of course. All of them including Rupert." She hung up. "We're to bring all of you back to our meeting area. That way you're safely away from normals at the moment and we can make sure nothing too bad stuck or crawled over here." She looked at Xander but Buffy got up and picked him up, carrying him out for her. "That's handy." She hauled Willow up, walking her behind Tara.
"Thank you, dear. I'm sure you were trying your best but sometimes you need a boot camp style of rehab instead of a more gentle one." Tara nodded at that, looking down. "It's not your fault. I'm sure you told her no as well." Tara looked at her, nodding some. "Then you're not at fault, dear." She patted her on the cheek. "You can be as shy as you want." She got the girl into her car, letting them arrange themselves. "You know where, Rupert?"
"I'll meet you there then." She drove off, taking the girl to get an asschewing of her life. She clearly needed it. And a good paddling.
Giles looked up as someone walked into the room the four of them were waiting in. "Is there a decision made?"
"We need to talk to the young man."
Xander looked up from studying his hands. "I've kept memories of possessions before," he said quietly. "I'm figuring this isn't much different, just being possessed by other versions of myself."
"Yes, but some of the skills you kept can be a bit dangerous. Like those wings of yours."
Xander shrugged. "So I won't bring them back out and make people panic." He stood up, moving closer to her. "You're not going to be able to remove them. Giles tried really hard with the other two."
"Still, that marks you as a higher demon, young man."
"And in one I had a hormone condition that sent any demon or human off in fits of orgasm wanting me," he shot back. "All the way to the point where my hormones were clouding my head so I couldn't think straight and they kept stealing me."
She gaped. "That's just wrong on so many levels," Buffy complained. "Hold on, that's where Giles sold you, right?" He nodded. "Huh. Sword stuff too, right?" He nodded, giving her a look. "You were cute with the hair."
"Not helping," he told her. He looked at the witch again. "Do you think there's actually a way to get them out of my head this time? Or to block them off?"
"I think we wanted to talk to you alone for that discussion," she said firmly.
He stared at her. "If you try to hurt me, I'll have to fight back and that means all the magic I had in that and the other lives comes out," he said dryly, making her go pale. "I doubt you'd win." He waved a hand. "But by all means, let's rumble if you insist."
"We weren't going to hurt you."
"Uh-huh." He waved a hand again. "Shall we?" She led him out there, telling the head of the coven what he had said. He followed in more slowly, blocking the magic coming his way. "You should know that in no less than three of them, and not counting the demonic one, I had some serious magic." He looked at her. "In one I was a cursebreaker," he said with a grin.
"Oh, dear." She came over to test him. "Do you have shields?"
He shrugged. "We tried awfully hard after that Halloween. No idea if it happened or if there's some other reason I haven't sucked up a new one recently."
She tested him then nodded. "You're dangerous like that, Xander Harris."
"I'm dangerous without that," he reminded her. "Not like I don't help Buffy."
She looked at the others then at him. "You could do serious harm to others accidentally."
"I could accidentally stake someone living on patrol too. Faith did, I'm not any better than she was."
"You're still dangerous."
"I've always been dangerous. You should see all the fights I got into as a child being picked on," he said, staring her down.
"We can't let you out knowing that you could harm someone with those half-understood skills," another said.
"There's no half anything, ladies. If I had a memory there, I have it now." They all gaped. "My choice is to use it or not. At this moment, I'm choosing not to. Mostly because I seriously want to drink myself to sleep at the moment."
"We can block them off," the senior witch said. He shook his head. "We can. I know we can."
"You can try." They moved to try it but nothing happened. Willow was pulled in to help and still nothing happened. Though his wings did come back out. "Are we going to go for third time's the charm?" he asked when they paused. "Because I want vodka."
One of the Devon witches walked in and dropped her bag, looking at him. "You could be the instrument that brings the realms into disastrous contact."
"I'm a medium, I'm not sucking them closer because I remember. And by the way, this trying to make me act out? Not making me happy," he snarled, staring at them. "You're not going to get me to attack you, ladies. I'm not that sort of dangerous." He snapped his fingers. "Obliviate." He stomped off. "Giles, I'm going to get drunk. Pack my shit and I'll call in a few days from Mexico when I get sober again." He left the house, heading for his car.
"I told you trying to make him react was the wrong thing to do," Willow said. "Now he will end up having an accident and turn out just like me." The Devon witch knocked her out.
Giles stomped in. "What did you do to him?"
"We were trying to gauge his reactions, see if he was evil," one defended. "He smarted off."
"He does do that often," he said dryly. "Xander is not dangerous unless he's forced to be. Otherwise we'd be talking about Willow in the past tense." They all went pale.
"He's dangerous now," the Devon witch said firmly. The spell he laid suddenly took hold, making them all shriek in pain as their heads got sucked from.
Giles sighed. "As you made him be," he told one. He went to call a contact. "Wesley, it's Rupert. I know you know some other demon hunters who aren't with the Council. No, something dreadful has happened and Xander's stomped off. I fear the Devon Coven has it in for him thanks to Willow's current misdeeds. She viewed across the realms, Wesley." He nodded.
"Indeed. Just like Halloween. They were trying to make him act in a dangerous manner so they could pen him up I'm afraid. No, he stomped out after laying a forgetfulness spell. It just took hold. I want him found and warned. If he needs it, he'll tell them to deal with him. Or me I suppose. No, he was talking about going to Mexico to get drunk. Yes, this did. Magic, wings, and all, Wesley. Thank you. I'll have a complete transcript for you in a few hours." He hung up and went to get their notes. It was simply unkind for the Powers or Fates or whoever to make these sort of crisis happen to the boy.
Xander finished up his online business with his bank and then his boss, sighing as he leaned back against the motel's headboard. That magic stuff was really handy. The one of him who had studied all the magic stuff had been a pretty snarky, mean, smartass sort of him he guessed, though he wasn't sure why he wanted a manipulative blonde consort to play butt boy for him. The others had some pretty neat magic skills too. Well, some of them. Some of them didn't do it at all. He guessed that's the way the universe crumbled sometimes.
He sent an email to someone else, getting an almost immediate one back demanding to know who he was and how he got hold of this email address. So he told him. In livid detail about the spell and how he was now hiding but they were hunting for him and he needed a better plan and some hunters to help him at the moment to make sure he didn't break out in screaming evil tendencies. The witches had been right. He did have darkness inside him that could easily make him the next apocalypse. "Better to warn than to have to apologize as they're burning me," he muttered, adding that at the end. Then he sent it and a coded idea of where he was. He remembered that Sam guy and knew he'd get the reference. So hey, he had a few days to get drunk and make the memories settle down or go away.
And maybe find something for the wings itching too since he didn't have concubines to preen him anymore.
Sam Winchester scowled as he read the new email. "Dean, Bobby, come here please?" They came over to look over his shoulder. "Any clue what he's babbling about?"
"Yeah, got a head's up from a contact in LA. Guy wanted to hunt really bad. Used to be a Watcher," Bobby admitted. He took it to reread. "He said that their witch went rogue, did this viewing across the multiple realms thing." He looked at the boys. "And one of them was a medium who has known issues with possessions sticking to him."
"So he's probably got the memories of all the other hims he saw?" Dean guessed.
"And skills. He kept skills from one of his, Dean. If not both. The other was a primal spirit and they couldn't tell."
"Charming!" Dean said sarcastically. "And now?"
"Now, if this is right, there's witches looking for him to provoke him into doing something so they can get him in trouble or sic someone like us on him," Bobby said, handing it back. "Where is he, Sammy?"
"Mexico. Just south of the border. I went there on spring break. How would he know me?"
"Hunters lives often touch," Dean said. "So we do what?"
"Go check him out. If he's evil, give him a choice or make him take that step," Bobby offered. "If not, bring him here." They nodded, heading for the car to head south. He sent a message back to the boy to expect them in a few days. It'd take about a week for them to get that far south. In the meantime, if he was smart, the boy was drinking himself into a near coma. He went to make some preparations. There was no telling what the guy had seen of himself in the other realms. If he hunted, he had some darkness in him. The realms were split about equally for good sides and dark sides of everyone. That was the true balance of the universe. "Just what we need," he muttered as he worked on a new trapping figure. "A hunter turning psychotic and going after the rest of us."
Sam found the motel and parked, nudging Dean awake. He had taken over when they crossed the border since he'd been here before. "Upstairs." He got out, Dean getting out on the passenger's side. They looked up there, finding a young guy with dark hair now leaning out of a window. "Did you write?" he called.
Xander nodded. "Yeah, I did."
"Want to talk?" Dean guessed.
"Get me another beer? You'll probably want one too. I was babbling while drunk on the laptop so you get a good accounting of what I know." He pulled back in.
Dean went to get some beer. This was probably a good time to have a few. Sam went upstairs, letting Dean follow a few minutes later. "So why us?"
"Because in three of the ones I saw and remember vividly, I was either dating one of you or mentoring you two." He pointed at the laptop. "It's on there. All that I remember vividly. A few times I've had a dream but it wasn't something I remember seeing. It might've been from the world where I was turned into a baby."
Dean grimaced. "That had to suck. How?"
"Willow. Same as this one," he said dryly, taking a beer to drink. "No, I'm not sober and I don't plan on it today," he told Sam at his frown. "You wouldn't either if it made your wings quit itching."
"In one Willow decided we needed to change one of the team into a higher demon to fight something coming in. So she convinced Giles to turn me against my stated wishes." They both winced. "They way they did it meant I ended up a Sividia. A general of hell's armies. As a hunter still underneath. When I went to one to talk to them about how to change me back, which they couldn't, they ceded Sunnydale to me as long as I stayed out of all the power plays and all that." He took another longer drink. "So I had to call a hunter back from hell, Dean, to help me clean up the predators in town after I took it over. You and your dad brought Sam after I called him back so I could remove most of the taint from him and the leaders of hell decided we were mates." He took another drink while Sam shuddered. "I still have the wings but Buffy said that I don't read as tainted to her slayer senses."
"That's at least a little bit helpful," Dean offered.
"Yeah but the wings are driving me nuts," Xander complained. "Plus the memories of the life where I'm a top cursebreaker and a huge ass booknerd. As in my library is bigger than the LA County library system." Sam whimpered at that. "And I read most of them, mostly on magical theory. I laid a time delayed obliviate on the witches who were trying to provoke me into doing something evil so they could kill me." Another drink. "You only brought six?"
"We can get more," Sam promised. Xander handed him some money so he went to shudder all the way to the store. And back again. "I was tainted?"
Xander stared at him. "The blood taint grows, Sam. After Dean lost his deal, you were trying to fix it by going to their side and playing it against them." Sam moaned, slumping into his chair. "I removed most of it but it made you able to touch me and not get too warped. We had a dog, some little caretaker demons, Dean had stolen my first dog Arf, who was a demon dog, and was out hunting with your dad while you helped me keep Sunnydale safe for the peaceful demons."
"Aw, shit," Dean muttered. "Well, we're at the soul deal stage."
Xander grinned and handed over something. "That's how you break the curse that locks the deal into place, Dean. The cursebreaker one and the demon lord one both agreed on that." Dean smirked at him. "I pay for services, guys. Just tell me if I'm too evil and I'll go drown or whatever if I can't." He laid down. "Right now I'm not sure what the hell I am. You guys aren't feeling horny about me right?" They gave him odd looks. Very odd looks. "In one I had a hormone condition that drew everything from demons down to puppy dogs."
"Nope, can't say as I want you that way," Dean assured him, making the boy relax and finally pass out. "That's just weird, even for a hunter's life," he said, sitting down to go over the drunken explanation and babbling. "He did babble. It's got run-on sentences and things."
"I don't think he needs the thing proofread for grammar, Dean," Sam said, snatching it to look over. "He's not joking. A sividia. I've only heard of them in one source." He went back to reading, glancing at the boy now and then. "Start with holy water?" Dean nodded, lacing the beers for them and Xander's next one. Then he sprinkled him with it. No effect. Dean nudged Xander to wake him up. "Xander, we need to start testing things," Sam said a bit loudly.
"Ow," Xander mumbled. Dean handed him the beer and he gulped it, feeling better. "Holy water?"
Dean nodded. "Could you tell?"
"That it was different but it didn't burn."
"Good." He sprinkled him with some more, getting no result. "That's a better sign."
"I'm not worried about taint, Dean. I'm worried that the bad I saw of me being me means I'll take out someone or be the next apocalypse."
"We know. It's still a place to start, Xander." He put his cross against him. No effect except when he moved it to his back. Then he hissed and flinched away. "What was that?"
"A wing," he moaned, letting them out once his shirt was off. Dean looked them over. They did twitch at holy water and flinched away from his cross before it could touch them. "So I have evil wings instead of an evil hand?" he joked weakly.
"Apparently," Sam agreed. He went back to reading. Finally he was done. He and Dean had a silent conversation. "Get cleaned up. The next test is walking into a church." Xander nodded, going to shower and change before they headed out together. The manager of the fleabag motel gave them dirty looks. "We're going to church to apologize for our friend getting so drunk."
"You should beg for other reasons."
"Not like we showed up to sleep with him," Dean told him. "We're the rehab committee." The manager crossed himself and walked off shaking his head. They walked Xander to the church up the street, watching as he slowed down. "Wings?" he asked quietly.
"Middle of my back," Xander agreed. He stepped inside and winced then walked out shaking his head. "That's got a shield around a relic." He looked at it then made himself go back inside, looking at the small relic. Then at the curious looking priest. "I'm from Sunnydale, Father."
"Are you a Watcher?" Sam asked. "The only one I've met said that."
"Giles says it a lot too," Xander agreed. "You are, right?" He nodded, moving closer. "I hunt with Buffy. Willow goofed big time."
"We heard, Xander. What did you see?"
"A hormone condition that made me wanted by everything. Me as an officer. Me being turned into a sividia by Willow and Giles. All sorts of crazy things."
He sighed. "You kept the memories?"
"And the wings, the magic, that stuff," he said dryly. "You know this is demonic, right?" Dean and Sam both gaped. "It's Mohra bone." He looked at the shield then at him. "It's nearly blinding, Father."
"I'll have to have that checked out." He moved closer, sprinkling him with holy water. "You don't have to react?"
"Only my wings react apparently."
"Interesting. May I see them?"
"Not in the open. We don't want someone to think he's a mutant and hunt him for a circus," Dean ordered. That got a nod so the Father took them to his office, letting Xander manifest his wings. "Your feathers are bent, Xander."
"I'm guessing that's why they itch," he complained, looking back at them, then at him. "There I had concubines and Sam to fix it." He pouted at Sam. "I'm not even hoping, don't scowl at me like you're constipated." The priest laughed but came to look at them. "What do I do with evil wings, Father?"
"I don't know. Can they be removed?" Xander flinched and they wrapped around him. "Probably not then." He tested them. "They do read as tainted but not wholly evil."
"Is that because in that life his friend turned him, he wasn't a natural one?" Sam asked.
"That could be. It could also be that he was doing good even after being turned into an evil thing."
"They negotiated with me so I'd keep Sunnydale safe for peaceful demons, Father," Xander said quietly. He made his wings go away again.
"No, you need to unmanifest them, not just hide them." Xander looked confused so he pulled down the book, letting him see it. Xander concentrated and they went away, making him smile. "Good job. Try it now, boys." They tried holy water on his back and it didn't bother him at all. "That seems to help somewhat. Now, about the other things?" Sam made notes on the basics as he had read it. Xander added in a few more facts. "Should I tell Travers?"
"Tell him the witches have Willow but I laid a delayed obliviate," he offered with a small grin. "In one I'm a booknerd cursebreaker."
"Oh shit, son," he said, cracking Dean up. "Don't you get into enough trouble as is?"
"Apparently not because I had Draco as my wife."
"Even worse if I remember those books well. Are we testing him for taint?" he asked Dean, getting a nod. "And then?"
"The witches were trying to provoke him," Sam said quietly.
"I don't want to be the next huge bad guy," Xander promised them all. "But I need someone outside of myself to see that because right now I'm so screwed up with the other memories I'm not sure which one I am sometimes."
"I guess that'd be normal," Dean admitted. He shifted his stance. "Have others had this problem?" he asked the priest.
"I only know of it being done once and that person went mad shortly after doing the spell."
"Slightly there already," Xander admitted. "I think. Or maybe it was one of them. Maybe the concubine with the hormone issue who was immortal," he muttered.
Sam patted him on the back. "We'll figure that out too, Xander."
Xander looked at him. "I like you a lot, Sam, but I'm having all sorts of funny memory flashes about you. Maybe...." Sam backed off. "Thank you. I mean, I like you and I could *really* like you if you're like the yous there, but I don't want to do that to anyone, especially not until we figure out if I'm sane or if I'm going to go evil like my wings."
"No babbling," Dean ordered. "It's cool, Xander. We're freaked out by that too." He looked at the priest. "We have another hunter setting up an area to let him figure things out in if he's going to go evil. Do we think he is?"
"No. I think he's been a knight for years, boys. He's known as a white knight." Xander nodded, slumping some. "Take him there, help him figure it out. I'll send that report on and tell them that you're in the custody of a hunter for your protection and to make sure that appropriate steps are taken if you do turn sides, Xander." Xander nodded. "I'll tell Rupert as well."
"You're welcome. Go tonight. This town is a bit odd and there's plenty of demons around here." Xander nodded, taking them back to the motel to pack. Dean decided Xander was riding with him while Sam drove Xander's car. His car had protections in case he snapped out in evil ways and Xander's probably had weapons they didn't want him able to get to at the moment. The priest waved as they left then went to call this one in.
"It's Father Phislin. I need to speak to Travers immediately. I just met with Harris." He was switched over immediately, he wasn't even put on hold. "Two hunters showed up at Harris' asking to talk to him, Quentin. No, I think the memories are starting to settle in actually. He's not fully sure he's sane. The lives he saw were a bit diverse. Everything from an assassin to a police officer, with stops at a concubine with an overactive hormone problem that drew demons and one where Miss Rosenburg turned him into a sividia. He still has the wings by the way.
"He also said he saw one where he was a cursebreaker like in the Harry Potter books. Called himself a booknerd in that one. No, apparently he wrote the two young hunters to come check him out to make sure he wasn't going to go evil because in some of those lives he was rather attached to them." He smiled, leaning back some. "They're taking him to a sanctuary so they can finish testing him and all that. There's a few things to note.
"I think he'll end up mostly sane. I do know that his wings are sividia wings and they do react to holy water but not the rest of him and when they're unmanifested even the area doesn't react. He also has a lot of strong magic now. It's fairly flowing around him, Quentin. Very strong magic. Yes, of that sort as well. I saw some demonic and some more natural magic, plus some of that strange magic we found in that one tomb a few years back."
He listened to him. "No, I don't think he'll end up being a danger. That's his biggest fear and why he called those two hunters to come check him over. They're taking him to an older one probably to finish that. They had done holy water already before bringing him here. Oh, and he identified the relic we have as being Mohra demon bone, not human. He visibly reacted to the shield around it as well. Yes, I'm quite sure. It nearly made him flee the church, Quentin. I have some basic notes but he said that he wrote out more of the memories for them. One of them he was apparently dating in one of the lives but I'm not sure about the rest."
He smiled. "I'll fax it directly. Still the same number? Of course I am. He just left a few minutes ago. He was fairly nice but he spent the last week drunk off his bum from this. Exactly and that's why he called upon their sort, Quentin. I have no doubt if he's a danger, they'll stop him. I'll fax it over now. Get an account from Rupert if he still has his memories." He hung up and faxed over the notes he had. The researchers would love this one.
Xander got out of the car, looking at the old farmhouse beside the salvage yard. "Hey, Bobby," he said, nodding politely.
"You know me?" he asked.
"In a few of them I did. In one I ended up mated to Sam. In another I was mentoring the boys so we met that way. In another I was dating Dean so we met then." Bobby gaped. He handed over the laptop. "What I vividly remember out of all of it."
Dean got out, leaning on his roof. "The only thing that reacts to anything holy is his wings, Bobby. He's got those hidden and not manifested so he shouldn't set off anything except maybe the devils trap. I'm not sure if wings are enough or if his prior possessions would be."
"It might be. We can try it," he decided. "You sure you want me to know this?"
"They've seen it and you're more than good enough if I start to lose it and become a danger," he said quietly. "Because I'd hate that. Just hand me the knife at that time and walk away."
"I can do that." He nodded. "Barn, kid. I've got a nice little area set up for you. Cot and all." Xander nodded, walking that way. Sam parked and got out, both boys following him. Bobby settled in to look over that information, finding it full-on drunk babble but it made a lot of sense. The memories were clearly running together. Dean came out. "He more coherent now that he's sober?"
"They seem to be settling in." He sat next to him. "I know he's soaked up a lot of information from them. In one he was a ballistics tech." Bobby smiled at that. "In another he was an assassin. His father had been one and he inherited the family calling but he mostly did the evil bitches anyway." That got another nod. "Otherwise, I have no idea, Bobby. I'm not sure how he's still sane."
"Neither is he by how he looks." He looked at him. "Anything else I should know?"
"He's got alchie parents and he's trying to keep himself from going there. Sam drove his car since he was in a hangover when we left. The Watchers have some notes already. We ran into a priest there who was one. He took some." That got another nod. "Xander's miserable thinking that someone might have to stop him. Not those witches because they tried to provoke him into being dangerous so they could handle him. But he knows if he starts that way, he's going to be warned once and then gotten by one of us."
"Don't forget he told you how to break the soul contract," Sam said as he joined them. "Xander's resting inside the protections, Bobby. The devils trap is holding him so far, and he growled at it. I think it was the primal possession that never got fully cleared."
"That could do it." He finished his reading, frowning some. "That's a diverse spread. From what the books say you should be about like you are here, but some of the incidents led you to the dark and some to the light."
"Maybe it's because he's so young," Dean offered. "Or because things go to hell out there. Most of them he left in one way or another from what I read. That'd start a new path, right?"
"It would." He considered it. "How messed up is he?"
"Fairly. They're trying to settle in but he said his head is so crowded he knows how Dru must feel. Whoever that is," Sam said quietly, glancing at the barn then at him. "I know why us though. In one he's a sividia and I'm his mate."
"That makes some sense but I can't see that as good for either of you." He frowned, going to that section to reread it. "Huh. Never mind, it might be."
"Probably from what he mumbled while asleep," Dean agreed. "So now what? We've done everything I know how to do."
"Now, we see if he heals his mind, boys." He stood up, walking the laptop out there. "Even as a bad guy you usually helped others so we're going to start working on the healing to make sure you don't lash out at others in some serial killing witch way." Xander nodded, looking up at him. "For now, separate the accounts. Write a total life history for each individual life, Xander. That could help it sort itself out so it lays down easier in your mind."
"What about the magic stuff?"
Bobby shrugged. "If it stays after you're fully sane then we'll see. If you finish going mad, we'll find someone to bind you or have them put you on drugs that inhibit magic." He handed back the laptop. "Make each life it's own history report, kid."
"If I give you money would you get me soda?"
"I've got coffee."
"Eww. It's too hot for coffee."
"It's barely sixty in here." Xander gave him an odd look. "I'll see if Dean'll run out." Xander tossed over his wallet. "Need anything else?"
"I only saw little bits and pieces of one where I was a girl. I haven't checked yet but I don't think I have PMS or a vagina." Bobby walked off shuddering. "Willow turned me into a slayer too," he called after him. He settled in to separate out the lives. That wasn't such a bad idea. It could help them fade out a bit in his head so he could think all by himself without wondering which Xander he was. Because if he could do that then he'd be sane and less likely to be a danger to himself and others, which would mean he'd have to make further plans because he couldn't live in Bobby's barn forever. Sam walked in some soda. "Thanks, Sam."
"Welcome, Xander. We'll come check on you later. Did he dig you a latrine or something?"
"There's an old outhouse attached to the back. I'll be fine." He gave him a weak smile. "Thank you."
"Not a problem." He went inside, going to watch Bobby cook dinner. "I got him a bag of chips with his two-liters."
"That might help him, but I'm not going to make the boy starve," Bobby told him. Sam grinned. "How did he look?"
"He looked okay enough. Tired. Really tired. Would they still try to take him out if he's healed?"
"Probably, just to be safe," Bobby agreed. "The Council is all about the bottom line and things not being shot into the wrong hands. They're sneaky bastards who don't care who they hurt to get their goals at times. Right now, we're protecting him as much as we're protecting others from him."
"What if he does heal?" Dean asked.
"No clue," Bobby admitted. "I looked in the books. The only one known to have actually done the spell went mad. Killed himself when he tried to end the Council." They nodded at that. "I can tell you the other hunters are going to be very wary of this one, especially if they see his wings."
"They're cute," Sam offered with a grin. "Light gray. Fluffy. Soft to the touch." Dean gave him an odd look from across the kitchen. "I'm just saying, Dean."
"Uh-huh. If he ends up sane and with you like he did in those other lives, then we'll figure things out." Bobby snickered. "If he has the wings would he have the hormone condition from that other world?"
"Probably. We'd have to see." That got a nod. "That one I've never heard of. Though, hormones aren't my thing."
"In biology class the professor said that any body chemical can become hyper or hypo active. That usually you ended up seeing a specialist for it. In that case, since it's lust hormones and he said he had been taken repeatedly because of it, I'm not sure what we'd do to protect him."
"We'd make sure he always had weapons on him for whenever they stole him," Bobby told him. "And if we have to put him in a home or something, we'll make sure they're warded so demons can't get into the building. I know they can't steal him from out there." He went back to chopping things for dinner. "You two could help." Sam came over to wash his hands and help while Dean set the table and got drinks for them. When it was done he brought Xander out a bowl, watching him stare at the laptop. "Hard to start?"
"I'm trying to figure out which one to start with."
"The most vivid. Then lay it aside once it's sorted out. Like folding socks, Xander." He left him alone so they could eat.
Xander picked up the bowl, using his fingers to eat the stew. He typed one handed while he ate. It wasn't a good analogy but it'd work this time as advice he guessed. And hey, he was uncovering more memories each time he got into that life's history. The other hims were pretty interesting, more than he was.
Bobby looked up a few days later when a cop car pulled into the salvage yard, mentally swearing. "Problems, Officer?"
"Mr. Singer, there's a report that you're holding a man against the will of his caretakers."
Bobby snorted. "Figures they'd try that. Xander? Are you decent?" he called.
Xander came out of the barn. "Usually. Officer, which one sent you after me?"
"How did you get out?" Bobby asked quietly.
Xander grinned. "Magic." He smirked. "Covered a mark to get soda last night." He looked at the officer again. "Which one sent you? The nosy witches in Devon or the Watchers Council?"
"Them. One of my cousins is one and he called me specifically." He moved closer. "What's going on?"
Xander lit up his hand with magic, making the cop flinch back. "Thanks to a friend screwing up I can now do this." He banished the small light. "The Council decided I'm dangerous. The ones in Devon tried to provoke me into being dangerous. Bobby's making sure I'm not and reporting to others that I'm not. I chose him as a knowledgeable, neutral third party to make sure I'm not going to go evil and kill people because I can now be my own nightlight and charge my own laptop."
"How did this happen?"
"See, I have two female friends," he sighed, leaning against the wrecked car beside him. "One decided she was going to try to do something to bring the group closer together again. As usual for any magic she does that's not emergency related, it screwed up. I'm the end result but those witches and the Council are dealing with her over it. They've decided I'm now wrong so therefore dangerous. Like mutant hunting really," he finished blandly.
"So they want you back to do what?"
"Kill me or dissect me," Xander told him. "Bobby's making sure I'm not harmful to them and they can't get me. That's why I'm hiding in his barn. I sent a request for him to watch over me while I healed from her crappy aim and so someone would know what happened, and that I'm not a danger to others."
"How long are you planning on staying around?"
Xander shrugged. "I don't know yet. Not forever. I'm still healing from becoming glowy."
"Are you going to hurt anyone?" the officer asked.
"Her if I see her anytime before I'm suddenly so very unpissed at her. That might be in a few reincarnations though. So far I haven't wanted to deal with anyone else except sneaking out for some soda last night. I immediately came back but I didn't have any feelings of bothering the nice, overworked cashier."
"That's good to know. If something happens by him being...glowy, you can handle it, Mr. Singer?" Bobby nodded. "Good. Then I'll tell them it's a false report. Are they beating her ass, Mr. Harris?"
"I certainly hope so." The officer smiled, heading back to his car and getting in to drive away. Xander waved and then looked at Bobby. "I didn't think you'd want him in there to see the remains of the three demons that came for me last night," he said quietly.
"Before or after you went for soda?" he asked, scowling at him. "That was dangerous."
"Before, Bobby. I killed them then went to cool off by hiking out for soda. The protections mean they can't pop in but they walked in late last night. I still want to know why all the other mes I saw were either bi or fully gay." He went back in there. "Oh, I only covered a few of the marks with a blanket to get out." He ducked back in, going back to his bed, taking the blanket with him on the way to lock himself back inside the protections. He kicked the imp out, making Bobby moan. Xander drew something out, handing it over. "It's chaos based but it'll keep every sort of magic at bay, even mine probably." He went back to his typing.
Bobby looked at him. "Didn't I feed you breakfast?"
"Um... yeah.... Why?" he asked, looking around. "Oh, didn't eat it. Sorry." He scarfed it then went back to sorting out his other lives.
Bobby shook his head. "You think they'll invade?"
"I think Buffy and Willow both saw the same lives I did," he admitted, looking over. "I don't think they want to take a chance of me blowing up the state if they try it. Quentin Travers is stupid and arrogant but not that dumb. The officer will report back that I went glowy. That'll tell them that I still know magic. They knew the other lives I admitted to them. I've found a few more with some lesser memories too." He went back to it. "Want me to set them on fire for you?"
"I don't want you using any magic, Xander. It draws them closer," Bobby told him.
Xander snorted, looking at him. "If I haven't gotten rid of it yet, it won't be going away, Bobby. I should learn how to shield myself and other things like that so I don't accidentally turn into Willow. One of her is enough for any world. I'd be going bad if I started to have accidental things happen like she did."
"True." He patted the boy on the arm. "Let me drag them off to bury them. I'll see if we can get you books on shielding. No using any magic unless it's to protect yourself."
"I won't," he promised. "Not like I couldn't have stolen the soda instead."
"Tell me if more come back. What did they want anyway?"
"To see if I wanted a job." He sneered at the bodies. "Looks like I remembered the sword work from the life with the hormones too." He went back to his typing.
"It'll definitely be safer for you," Bobby agreed. He dragged the bodies out back to burn them. Dean came out of the house, frowning at him. "Walked in to offer Xander a job."
"Wonderful!" He came out to help, getting the others for him. Then some lighter fluid and Sam's lighter. He stood beside Bobby. "He's losing weight."
"He forgot to eat breakfast. Snuck out for soda last night though."
"We'll watch more closely tonight," Dean agreed. He went to tell Sam that. Plus so Sam could get his notes to look over. That way they had more information. Bobby was putting this into the hunter's knowledge base in case it became relevant without revealing who it was done to. That way other hunters didn't come for the poor guy.
Sam walked in and walked over the protection marks, sitting on the foot of Xander's cot. "Are you near a stopping place so I can see?"
Xander shook his head, still typing. "Few more lives, Sam. Give me until moon dark."
"I can do that. I wanted a preview. Bobby's making notes in case it happens to someone else." Xander looked up at that, looking confused. "The last one who tried went insane," he reminded him.
"Maybe it's because it was done to me so I wasn't the sole focus. Or maybe it's because I'm me. Some freaky Xander thing. Or a Sunnydale freaky thing." He shrugged. "I don't know."
"Are you feeling more settled?"
"Some. The memories are lining up better. I feel less like Dru and more like I'm just possessed by a few others. That assassin me had a bad swearing habit." He went back to writing. "We were from Chicago originally and moved to Sunnydale."
"Was he doing it for cash?"
"Legal targets like the bad cops and them. No women or children. Still mostly in Sunnydale to help Buffy. There's one where I was building stuff for Batman too."
"That sounds pretty cool." He patted him. "You could use a shower too. Before bed, eat and shower, Xander."
"Good boy." He got up and smiled. "Can I read it tonight while you're asleep?"
"I don't mind." He grinned. "Thanks."
"Not a problem." He went to talk to the others. "I reminded him to shower and eat before he went to bed tonight. He'll let me read them then. The assassin one was taking out dirty cops and people like them in between helping Buffy in Sunnydale. He had one where he was building robots for Batman."
Bobby gave him a strange look. "Seriously?" Sam nodded. "Huh." He went inside to go back to his reading. He had no idea how to bind the kid's magic if necessary. He was clearly very strong.
Sam and Dean shared a look. "He covered some of the marks to sneak out last night for soda."
"We can set up a watch on the porch," he agreed. "Though if he can apparate like in the Potter books, we'll never catch him."
"Good point." Dean shrugged. "We'll figure it out." They went to check around the salvage yard for things to do. It was boring watching Xander until he got done with what he was doing.
"Maybe we should try a short outing soon," Sam offered as they walked. "Test him to make sure he can handle being around people."
Dean nodded. "He could probably use some more clothes. Underwear and things." That got a nod back. "Sure, we can do that." Sam grinned. "What's with his eating thing?"
"I think he's been distracted."
"I guess that makes sense in some weird way. Then again, I'd be weird if I had went through that too I guess." He shuddered.
Sam smiled and nodded. "Definitely. I still can't see us together."
"Who knows. I'm sure he's not exactly like his normal self at the moment." Sam nodded at that. "Maybe in those you were happy and not hunting."
"No I think we'd still be hunting, just differently. Especially in the one where he's a demon holding a sanctuary."
"That would be really strange. Though I'm guessing you liked the wings for a reason."
"Not that one. It's strange to see them but they were soft when I straightened a few out."
"That's probably why he's twitchy, like birds do when they're wet." Sam nodded at that. "You see anything to do?" They heard a yelp and went to check on Xander, finding Bobby there too. "Another demon or other problems?"
"Only cold water out of the spigot out here," Bobby said.
Xander moaned, putting a self-heating charm on the water spout. "That's better. Hi, guys. Sorry to worry you." He pulled the curtain and got back to his shower. He had realized how badly he needed one after Sam said that. He kinda stunk and his hair had more grease than Pizza Hut's total empire did.
Bobby shook his head, going to get the books on shielding like he had said he'd do. Sam carried them out, putting them on the cot for him along with an extra towel, then he left to help with lunch. Bobby just moaned and took his drink outside. Let the boys have something to do.
Xander finished the last life's history, saving it down before flopping backward so he could think. He did feel better. The voices were settled fairly well in his head. He had the memories and a lot of snarky little Xander's back there telling him what he should do now. He sent a silent 'shut the hell up and let me think' command, making them all stop. One offered a suggestion. Since he was clearly sane and didn't seem to want to hurt people, he needed to figure out what he needed to keep himself safe and a plan on how to support himself. The first wasn't too hard. He had some money saved. There were some things he might need sooner instead of later but he'd handle it.
The magical hims' voices told him to quit thinking so loud without protection shields around him in case those witches or the Council was listening. He put up protections around his area, thinking harder now. He knew they could still try to get inside but he should be able to feel that. He sat up and got online, something he had figured out he could do yesterday, he thought it was yesterday, days kept running into each other recently, and went to looking at some ideas. He had some careers that he could use the memories of. As long as he quit being Xander.
Which he wasn't really anymore. He was Mega Xander Droid or something like that. All the littler Xanders had merged to create one mega Xander. One mega Xander with mega powers, still, and fluffy gray wings that were still driving him nuts. He wished he could magically preen them but none of the magical hims knew of a spell for that. Maybe an imp? No, that would break Bobby's trust and he didn't want to do that. Plus it would draw more attention to himself. He had to lay low to keep out of the Council's sights.
He looked toward the house, frowning at the feeling he got off them. Dean still had that stupid soul contract so he broke the curse holding it there for him, making him moan in his sleep but start having really happy dreams. He cleared his soul of all obligations that he hadn't put there. Any Dean had put there he clearly wanted to keep so he left those alone. He checked Sam, frowning before reducing the taint on him as well. Sam sighed in happiness in his sleep, flipping onto his stomach to have a good dream about Jess.
Xander pouted. He was still a good guy, just a very strange good guy. So what sort of grown up mega Xander did he want to become? He could be anything as long as he changed his identity. He felt the magic shift, slowing down gradually. One of the magical hims sighed in pleasure at the effect, giving him an idea once the magic had stopped the world for a few heartbeats. Yeah, he could do that once Bobby cleared him. When the magic restarted he cleared the plan from his mind in case someone was trying to snoop. He wouldn't put it past them.
Xander walked up onto the porch next to Bobby a few days later. "I need to talk to some higher magic users," he said quietly, sitting next to his feet.
"Shouldn't you be in the protections?"
"They won't come for me again, Bobby. By the way, they're welcome." He looked at him. "The soul contract was broken. The link to it in him is gone. Even if they try to come for him, it's not there for the hellhounds to latch onto." Bobby gaped, then smirked. "Sam's taint is less too. I remember how I did it in the world where I had wings so I lessened it. He should have a few good years before it starts to grow again." He cleared his throat. "I need to know where some things are to set up a sanctuary."
"You think you're ready?"
"I think going to talk to them would be helpful to all of us. Ethan can help me figure out what I need to hoard and where to find some things I'll need to set up a new identity."
"That's not a bad idea. Anything further you've figured out?"
Xander nodded. "I'm not going to tell you a lot though so they can't pump you for information or listen in."
"That's smart. I'm sure they are."
"Still. They've been trying for days. Which is why I should probably go soon." He frowned then cleared it up. "I'm going to go back to the job I remember very clearly."
"Demonic concubine?" he teased.
"Nope. Though it's not a *bad* calling. It'd give me a lot of time to hunt the higher things." Bobby laughed, bringing Dean and Sam. "I broke the link, Dean." Dean stared, mouth hanging open. "Even if they come, there's nothing for them to grab onto." He stood up. "I really need to see Ethan for a few minutes. I'll be back later?" he asked Bobby.
"That'd be fine, Xander. We'll help where we can since you're still sane."
Xander grinned. "Mostly. Now and then they still pipe up to give me ideas." That got a smirk. "Yes, we're all smartasses too." He looked around then disappeared, landing in the entryway of a house in England. "Hey, Ethan, can I have a few minutes of help?" he called, heading to where he could feel him in the kitchen. Ethan flinched, turning to stare at him. "I'm not an attack, Ethan."
"Ripper send you?" he sneered.
"No, he turned us in to the Watchers, who're trying to kill me for Willow making another magical fucking mistake that got me multiple personalities from other mes across the universes."
"Excuse me?" he demanded.
"Willow did that scrying thing to see the other versions of herself and drug Buffy and me with her." He sat down, looking at him. "I'm just barely to the point where all the other versions of me aren't trying to overrule me. I need some help finding a few things to see if they're still here, getting rid of the loot so I can set up a sanctuary, and then shift lives. And I'm on a time constraint because the fucking Watchers are coming again sometime soon."
"No, where I was being watched. I don't want to get them invaded or dead for helping me." He leaned on the table. "You remember your halloween thing?" Ethan smirked and nodded. "I'm the only one that kept any memories and skills from it. Most people don't even remember it happened." Ethan dropped the fork he had been stirring the contents of the pot in front of him with. Xander floated it up for him. "Needless to say, some of the others of me had magic. I've been over the shielding books and the one of me who had major magic was in the Harry Potter universe so he had that sort and Willow's and your sorts of magic plus some demonic magic he had learned. I need to know what I need to keep myself safe."
"Don't practice. They can probably track you."
"I'm not going to once I set up a sanctuary. Unless my life is in danger. I have a plan. I need to know if some of the places he looted are still around so I can go loot them and then hopefully you can help me find someone to liquidate what I find so I can set myself up in my new life."
Ethan walked over to his doorway, strengthening the shields around his house. "Why come to me?"
"Because I understand you a bit better now," he admitted. "The one of me with the scary magic powers had a you around him that ended up ascending into a demon during the last battle with Voldemort. You, your Wesley snuggly and with Luna Lovegood as both yours because she had hunted you both down. There I was a cursebreaker with a book fetish." Ethan whimpered. "I had a huge ass library, Ethan. I know how I want to do it. His memories said I can do how I want to do it, but I'll leave a huge magical spike and it'll mean I'll have to have someone to get rid of the stuff I'm looting almost immediately. I promised the guys watching me I'd be back by tonight so they don't have to worry."
"Drop your shields," he ordered quietly. Xander did that and he blinked. "Bloody hell, man! Who in the hell were you!"
Xander put them back up with a small shrug. "In one Willow turned me into a Sividia. Speaking of, is there a wing maintenance spell so they quit feeling funny and itching from the bent feathers?"
"Not that I'm aware of. I can ask around."
"Please." He pouted. "I'm going to quit being myself anyway. I know it's the only way to keep myself safe, Ethan. I could use a hacker because the hacker I was in one of them I don't have the full skills of. I tried and nearly got caught last night."
"I see." He sat down, staring at him. "What do you want to do?" Xander leaned over to whisper in his ear, making him shudder. "That's breaking a lot of prime rules."
"If they feel it, they'll think I'm going back to undo what she did," he said quietly, staring into his eyes. "Or to send myself to somewhere harmless. I know how to change my outer signature so it's harder to find me."
Ethan considered it. "What did you need of me?"
"Someone to change the loot over. Someone to look over my ideas for sanctuary and to help me find the books I need for it. I'll give you a quarter of it."
"I have money, boy."
Xander shrugged. "I don't have much else to offer, Ethan. Blood if you want hellmouth baby blood."
"Born and raised. Which is weird because one of the me's was an assassin who had moved there a few years back from Chicago."
"That was probably your father's changed event."
"No, I was my other uncle's but he died a few decades before I was born. So it was probably his. He sent me to live with my current parents, my uncle and aunt there, to hide me."
"You're really all messed up."
"In one I had a hormone condition that drew every single demon and human to want to own me and I was an immortal. I had really long hair and a unique sword fighting style that led to people getting off when they watched me dance or fight."
"I've never heard of such things," he said, considering it. Xander concentrated and let his hormones spike. He had tried that last night and had nearly gotten the salvage yard invaded for it. Ethan sniffed his held-out wrist and moaned, going limp against the table. "That's good. Janus would be pleased."
"He's already got his amusement for the century from me, Ethan. All it took was Willow's idea of a bonding exercise." He brought his hormones back down, letting Ethan free of them. He got up to open a window then came back to look at him. "Can you help me?"
"I can. I think it'd be amusing certainly. Ripper would be most frustrated."
"I don't disagree with him getting Willow help but the witches he went to tried to provoke me to act so they could have a flimsy reason to do me in. I'm trying to stay a good guy."
"I can see why. It does glow out of your soul." Xander put back up his shields. "Thank you. The demonic?"
"Sividia. Willow changed me into one. That's where the wing problem comes from."
"Ah." He nodded. "I suppose we can do such things." He turned off the burner under his dinner, taking Xander's hand when he stood up. "No preparation?"
"I've got stuff shrunk in my pockets, Ethan." He cast the spell and off they went, into the past.
Bobby looked up as Xander knocked on the door late that night, getting up to answer it. "Cutting it close to midnight."
"It took me longer than I thought to weed out the loot I found so I can afford my own sanctuary." He leaned on the doorframe, shaking his head when Bobby offered him inside. "No. I need to head. The Council is coming. They should be here tomorrow night." Bobby moaned. He held up something, letting him see it. "Ethan found someone to help me."
Bobby took the ID to look at then at him. "You sure?"
Xander nodded. "It'll keep me safe. You'll hear from me every week, Bobby. The first week I have the sanctuary set up and warded, you'll get half the passcode and Sam'll get the other half so no one can use your email to break in." That got a nod. "Though I won't be living there. I've got a real life to go find and figure out if I can stand doing." He grinned sheepishly. "Sam's going to laugh but I'm not heading to his domain. Quite."
"East or west?"
"Somewhere I can get lost if I have to."
"Even better." He patted him on the head. "Go. Your car's got gas and things."
Xander shrugged. "I'll get the weapons and leave the title in there for you. Do whatever you need with it, Bobby." He gave him a hug. "Thank you for your help. Watch for constant emails. You're about the only ones I trust right now." He left, going to gather his things and put them into the rental car he had gotten. Then he headed off into the night. A few hundred miles away he turned in his rental car once he had things at the hotel he was staying at overnight. His new car was waiting there on him.
His sanctuary had been found and Ethan had helped him put up all the protections on it. He had helped him craft the passkeys and code for the security system too. And hey, it might be haunted but she agreed to be peaceful around his stuff. He'd be there for the next week and then head to college. He just hoped he could live up to the standards set by his other selves who had went.
Bobby looked at the men that pulled into his lot. "Xander's gone, boys." They stopped to stare at him. "He's fully sane, doesn't want to hurt others, and he's safe. He created a sanctuary for himself and is staying there, well away from others who might bother his other voices."
"Yet he's sane?" one demanded sarcastically.
"He said it's about what he has from the other spirits he's sucked in now." They groaned. "Sorry but he's fine."
"He's bloody well dangerous! He was playing with a chaos mage yesterday."
"Yup, he told me about that. Ethan had some contacts who could help him set up the sanctuary." He smirked. "Now, I'd shoo before I shoot your stupid asses."
"You wouldn't," one said.
Bobby pulled up his shotgun and shot at him. "I can change from rock salt if you want, boys. Not an issue. You wouldn't be the first asshole I shot for a good reason." They fled back to their van and off. One had seen into the barn to see that Xander was indeed gone. Bobby put down his shotgun and went to spread the news that the boy was fine and sane again. He'd be fine in whatever he was going to do. He wrote an email to Sam warning him about the Watchers Council and the emails he had coming his way. Then he went back to his breakfast. He'd have to clean the barn later if the boy hadn't. Though he probably had. He seemed like the sort to do that. When he had finished up and cleaned up, he headed out there, finding the laptop still in there. It'd let him have some more clues. He settled in his porch swing to read over the histories he had available. Yeah, the kid was strong, he could handle it.
to part 2
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