Choose your own Adventure Xander(eventually this will have its own title, but not until you guys decide what happens)
So, Xander finds himself pulled into a new universe with a new crazy woman who wants him. This time, the crazy woman decides that she wants him to father a new race of monsters. Eve has seen the Winchester brothers destroy most of her children, and poisoned by phoenix ash, she can't make new ones. So she picks a warrior with darkness in his heart and tries to convince him to become her newest alpha--a child capable of fathering a new race of monsters.
I started this for Shakatany (so Spike will show up eventually), but I couldn't decide what to do with the bunny. That's why I'm leaving it up to you guys. Tell my muse where to go from here, and let's see if we can write it together.
Xander stirred, the ground damp under his side. He had a definite ache going, but he couldn’t quite pinpoint the source. So far it felt like everything ached, which generally meant either an Armageddon or drinking with Spike. With a groan, he opened his eye. Woods. He was in the woods. This was definitely new because when Spike got him drunk and dropped him somewhere as a joke, it was usually in the middle of some city. Last time, Xander had woken in Belgrade. Xander didn’t even know what country Belgrade was in. However, dragging Xander’s sad ass out to the country wasn’t Spike’s style. It wasn’t anyone’s style, actually.
Startled, Xander sat up when he spotted the woman watching him. She crouched at the foot of an old oak looking young and curious. When he made eye contact, she gave him a fond expression that made Xander question her humanity. Human women never liked him on first sight. “Hey. Hi,” he started. “Um, where am I?”
“Purgatory,” the woman said. Her dark hair hung around her shoulders and she had this sweet face, and Xander was totally not buying it. Girls who looked that sweet were generally terrifying. Like Willow… or Buffy. Objectively, they looked sweet. Realistically, they were both powerful enough to frighten the socks off most living creatures.
“Purgatory? I got lost and landed in purgatory?”
“I needed you.”
And that would be trouble. When women needed Xander, badness followed. It was a rule. “Um, for what? And it’s not that I’m unhelpful, but I pretty much need to get home.” Standing up, Xander started backing away from the crazy lady. “You know, Watcher house, slayers, witches, that sort of thing. They definitely need me.” Xander dug in a pocket for his cell phone, but when he opened it, the screen was dead. That wasn’t possible because Willow had mojoed his phone into never dying. Only it was dead.
“This is purgatory. The witch’s toy will not work,” the woman said in that same saccharine voice. “Are you worthy?”
“Probably not,” Xander said. His gut was pretty much tangled into a big old knot because this woman was starting to give him an Anya vibe, and not the sweet almost-human vibe of late Anya, but more that ‘I am all powerful and I know it’ vibe she had right after losing her amulet.
The woman cocked her head at him. “I believe you are.”
“I…” Xander didn’t get any farther because a monster ran out from behind a tree, screaming. With a mouth full of teeth and a huge machete, he definitely wasn’t looking for a friend. With a squeal, Xander turned and fled.
Darting between trees, Xander called out Willow’s name and touched the tattoo at the base of his neck that was supposed to be some sort of homing signal, but either the homing part of the homing signal was broken or the girl was right about purgatory. Given Xander’s luck, it was possible.
A new monster came out from behind a clump of tall bushes, and Xander yelped as he tried to brake in the loose leaf litter. He ended up slipping and tumbling to the ground, and the momentum took him right into toothy attacker number two. Hands scrambled at him, and Xander drove his head back into the soft nose of his enemy. The satisfying crunch and spray of blood suggested that the maneuver had worked, and Xander scrambled to get away. Unfortunately, this guy didn’t give up as easy as Spike did during training. By now Spike would have been all “bloody hell” this and “you soddin’ little wanker” that. This guy clung to Xander’s coat.
Spinning around, Xander found the first attacker closing in, and attacker number two still had a hold on his jacket. “Shit, shit, shit, shit,” he muttered. Jerking back hard, he used his own momentum to pull attacker number two to his feet right as attacker number one reached them. Both attackers went down in a pile of uncoordinated limbs, and Xander grabbed the machete that got dropped in the melee.
He brought the machete down on one neck and then the other. “Ewwww.” He said as the bodies bled instead of turning to ash. Whatever these guys were, they weren’t vamps. Well, the mouth full of piranha teeth already told him that, but still… self-destructing vampire bodies were definitely a plus when you didn’t know what country you were in. Some countries were very cranky about tourists leaving decapitated bodies behind. Like Togo. The Togolese Republic was completely irrational about random decapitated bodies.
Xander whirled around to find the girl standing a couple of feet from him. “I am not fooled, you know. I know you’re something big and scary, and I am not afraid of beheading you,” he warned.
“Yes, you are.”
“Okay, so I am, but I’ll still do it.”
She lowered her head and gave him an amused look. “No, you won’t.”
“Okay, that’s annoying,” Xander said as he realized she was right. He couldn’t attack her when she looked so harmless. “Look, just tell me where I am and how to get home.”
“You are home,” she said with another creepy smile. “This is purgatory.”
“Purgatory as in dead?” Xander really hoped he wasn’t dead. If he died and ended up in the same place as toothy monsters, he had definitely done something wrong in life.
“As in the place where monsters wait for the world to end,” the woman corrected him.
“Oh boy.” Xander looked around, but other than the two headless monster bodies, the place didn’t look like home to monsters. It looked a little like Canada. “And you would be…”
She smiled. “I am Eve. Tiamat. Echidna. Lilith. I am first.”
Blinking, Xander tried to place that string of names. Eve—first woman. Tiamat—the monster who gave birth to all monsters. Echidna—some spider thing. Maybe. And there was one name in there Xander definitely knew. “And please let that not mean the First because we already fought that and won.”
“You only exiled the darkness. It still waits.”
Xander froze as he looked around. “It waits here?” Xander wondered if he could have a heart attack if he was already dead, because he was feeling like he might.
“This is not his universe.”
“Hey, as long as it waits far, far away, that’s fine. And given your use of third person when discussing the First, either you’re not it or you’re feeling very royal.”
She smiled at him like he’d just offered her the last chocolate in a house full of premenstrual slayers. “I am queen of the damned, mother of those children which God has forgotten. I am Eve”
And that was not what Xander had been expecting. Usually he attracted evil rather than bat-shit crazy. “Hey, I am never in favor of abandoning your children. Bad God. Bad, bad God.” Xander started backing away from the crazy woman.
Eve followed him, her long white dress dragging through the leaves. “Exactly. I knew you would understand. You have such beautiful darkness in your heart. Darkness and loyalty stain your soul.”
Xander’s back hit a tree, and before he could detour around it, Eve was right there in his face, her hands on either of his arms, pinning them to his sides, and she was much stronger than she looked.
Despite his pounding heart, Xander tried to keep focused. “Okay, what exactly are the chances of me getting out of this alive?”
She smiled. “I would not kill you.”
“And weirdly, that’s not sounding reassuring.”
“Phoenix ash has stolen my ability to have children. I love my children, and I want only the best for them.”
“Oh god.” Xander felt a shiver go up his spine. Why did monsters always pick him? Okay, maybe always was a slight exaggeration, but when a monster picked you to mate with more than once, you had a right to get a little paranoid. “Look, I am not really father material. If you want, I could give you the name of a good vampire. He loves all the crazy chicks. Loves them.”
Eve’s fingers tightened against Xander’s arms and she looked at him sadly. “I would have your children if I could, only the poison that runs through me won’t allow it. So I shall have to choose my children rather than giving birth to them.”
“Wait. Are you trying to adopt me? Really?” Eve tilted her head at him, clearly confused. “Because I already have parents. I mean, yeah, they’re crappy parents, but what can you do?” Xander asked with a goofy grin.
“I would never leave my children. I listen to their every prayer. I love every one of them,” she said with that same scary-fond look as she backed away from him.
Xander was so distracted that for a second, he didn’t register the slight chill in the air on his blind side. A dark streak of smoke from the sky seemed to hit the ground and a woman in a black suit rose up in that spot. “Oh shit.” Swinging his machete, Xander thought he’d won the fight before it started, only the machete cut through the creature’s shoulder without slowing it down. This new woman in black looked at him with a wild-eyed sort of anger and then her mouth opened and opened and opened and Xander got a view of lots of teeth.
“Shit.” Xander turned to dash away. The woman reached for him, grabbing his coat, and Xander was starting to think that wearing anything loose was a very bad idea here. He took off her arm with one slice of the machete, but the damn thing held onto him even after being separated from the body. “Feel free to help,” Xander yelled to Eve.
“Do you seek my help?” she asked.
Xander had more sense than that. Asking for help meant paying a price, and Xander wasn’t going to do that. Darting around a tree, he took another swing at the black-suited woman, and missed. After years of sparring with Spike, Xander had learned one thing: as the weaker species, he had to strike and run. So he ran.
By the third tree, Xander was tiring. However, every wound he inflicted seemed to heal immediately. The damn woman had even regrown an arm. Xander could feel panic starting to rise, and he imagined Spike calling him a moron for wearing himself out. What would Spike do? Spike wouldn’t get in this spot, but if he were in this much trouble, he’d do something wild and unpredictable and completely stupid. Xander knew he had one chance. He just didn’t like even contemplating it. He’d tried the maneuver once, and it had only worked because he’d been fighting Spike, and Spike wasn’t actually trying to kill him. Usually.
After using his fourth tree as a shield, Xander gave in to the inevitable. Slipping on the loose leaves, he dropped the machete, making a show out of clumsily sending it flying up and to the right. The throw looked impressive, but if Xander timed it right, it would leave his weapon close at hand. And hopefully Xander wouldn’t cut his own hand off by misjudging the fall.
With a triumphant roar, the woman in black charged him, taking Xander to the ground in a rather inelegant tackle. The machete landed inches from them, and Xander grabbed it and lopped the woman’s head off. Her body collapsed on top of him and oozed black blood.
Panting, Xander shoved the creature off him.
“Okay, what the hell is going on?”
Eve immediately crouched down next to him. “You have gifts. You have to embrace them. In battle, we find our power and sharpen our claws. To be my child, you must find your power. Only then can you be the Alpha I need.”
Xander rolled to his side and wearily got to his feet. “Okay, that’s… that’s just confusing. Look, I’m not the brightest, so you have to use really small words and explain this.” Xander held up a finger and thumb to show just how tiny those words needed to be.
“I cannot have children, but you come with your own power, your own darkness. Magic has touched you, so you have no need of my power, only my love.” Eve moved closer, and Xander jerked back, but once again a tree was at his back. This time, Xander knew he hadn’t been that close to a tree, so this woman had the power to move trees. Either that or the trees weren’t trees, and she was screwing with his head. The result was the same: he found himself pinned between the tree and her.
“Every prey needs a predator. Every predator needs prey. The world was in balance. Monsters stalked the human pack; hunters stalked the monsters. Balance.”
Xander stopped breathing, and it took him a few second to realize he didn’t actually feel any need to start breathing again. Dead was definitely an option that was gaining some traction.
“Now there is no balance. The human pack has no predators.”
“Um, I’m kinda thinking that’s good,” Xander pointed out.
“They annoy you. They are weak,” Eve told him, her hand coming up to stroke his cheek. For a second, Xander considered swinging his machete at her, but he suspected that wouldn’t end well for him. “They wait for you to save them, and you are so tired of their inability to save themselves. They mewl like children, refusing to do what you did at fifteen.”
Xander swallowed, really not liking the direction this conversation was taking. Worse, he didn’t like that Eve seemed to know him better than he really wanted random baddies of the week to know him.
“You remember the hunt, the smell of blood, the surety of strength. You know the feel of power running through your veins, and you remember seeing their weakness, hating their weakness, wanting to cut the weakness out of the herd.” She was giving him a look that he could only describe as loving, and Xander was definitely starting to feel panic.
“If you’re talking about what I think you’re talking about, that was the hyena, not me. I’m not really one for cutting the weakness out of the herd. I’m more the kind that is weak, and please don’t take that as an invitation to kill me.”
Eve stroked her hand over his cheek and then slipped her fingers under the strap of his eye patch, pushing it up and over. The air felt odd against the skin around his missing eye because he usually kept it covered. However, Xander was starting to think Eve could pretty much do what she wanted and he wouldn’t argue. At this point arguing felt like a good way to end up dead.
Eve offered him a brilliant smile. “You killed a Leviathan. Unarmed, you took out two of my children.”
Xander glanced over at the first two bodies he’d decapitated. “Um, I’m sorry?”
She trailed her fingers over Xander’s neck. “I loved them. I still do. But weak cannot survive. I shall love them even as their power rejoins the nebulous energies of purgatory. They will return in another form, and I will still love them as I love all my children. Unlike God, I never abandon my creatures. I never forget them and leave them alone. You know what it feels like to be alone… to be forgotten.”
Her voice took on a sing-song quality that Xander could feel in his bones. “You are my child, Xander. From the time the First looked on you, I whispered to him that you were mine. He could consume that universe, but I would find a way to bring you to my universe. You will be my son, my beloved, my Alpha. You will father a new race of my children to hunt upon the earth, and you will grow in the light of my love.”
Xander blinked, his head fuzzy, filled with the weight of her words. “Alpha?”
“Each of my children is an alpha, a progenitor to found a new race of monsters. You will take your place as the founder of a new race, a new monster that will hunt the weak.”
Xander tried to push her away, but he couldn’t budge her. “I’m not a monster.”
“That is one choice.” Eve smiled. “You have the magic, and only you can decide how it will manifest. What powers will you claim? How will you choose your children?” Eve started to back up. “Only you may choose. As your mother, I can only set free the power within you. You must choose your path.”
Eve turned, and Xander saw a dirt trail appear out of nowhere. The narrow path led up to a rock point where the air shimmered and reality seemed to bulge.
“The doorway is for humans. Remain here too long, and you will not be human any longer, Xander Harris. Go. Explore your new universe, my child. When your powers break free, you will know how to best serve your mother, but know you carry my love forever.”
Xander felt a flash of warmth through him, a fire that washed out all feelings except for an intense desire to curl up in Eve’s lap and let her hold him. Some distant voice warned that he was being majorly mojoed, but Xander couldn’t stop himself. He was so alone and so tired, and Eve stood there and opened her arms, and Xander moved into them. Laying his head on her shoulder, he let her gently stroke his hair. “My beautiful Alpha. You shall make children with such power. The magic of your universe runs through your veins so strongly. You will serve your mother, and I will love you through all eternity.”
The words wrapped around him, caressing him, and Xander felt all his fears fade to nothing as her arms kept him safe. “I want to stay with you,” he whispered.
“One day, my beautiful boy. First you must give me grandchildren. Go.” She urged him toward that shimmering point, and Xander started walking up the path. Threads seemed to tie him to Eve, and with every step, he felt the strain of losing her, of leaving her.
When he felt the pull of the doorway, he turned to see Eve looking at him with a smile, and then the vortex yanked him out of purgatory. Winds slammed him, and Xander gripped the machete tightly as he was tossed from one side to another before he finally slammed down hard on the ground. Both knees seemed to find rocks, and Xander sucked oxygen into his starved lungs.
“Well shit,” Xander cursed. Eve had definitely mojoed him.
Rubbing his hand over his face, Xander realized something else—she’d given him his eye back. “Double shit with a shit cherry on top,” Xander muttered. Those kinds of gifts always came with strings, and Xander could almost feel the strings with this one. Pulling out his phone, Xander check to see if Willow’s mojo was back on track, but the screen was still dead, and the tiny tattooed dot on his neck didn’t warm to the touch when he tried to magically call her. Xander was officially on his own.
Since he didn’t have anything else he could do, Xander pushed himself to his feet, picked a direction, and started walking. He had definitely been shanghaied. Now he just needed to figure out the big questions—why, where, and how the hell did he get back home.
Now tell me where we should go. Is Xander going evil? Does he develop powers? Run into the Winchesters? Kill them? Join forces with them? Find home? It's up to you.