Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-
Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes and Spanderverse: stories.
Notes: Fifth story in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Burial”.
Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse. Following Burial and before this story BTVS: Real Me occurred. This is the Spanderverse: version of BTVS: The Replacement.
Note in the Spanderverse, Anya was employed at the Magic Shop by Mr. Bogerty until ‘Real Me’, as mentioned in Spanderverse: Dracula.
People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline.
Spanderverse: Confusion of Three
Ch. 15/17 – A Meeting of the Xanders
Several blocks away from Giles’ apartment, Zeppo-Xander was taking in the shocked faces of Anya and Toth (still looking like him, the bastard). He’d just managed to kick in the door, although it really hurt; it wasn’t as easy as the cop shows made it look. He took in the romantic tableau in front of him and a red haze of anger descended over his sight.
As Zeppo-Xander was taking in what was happening in the apartment, Anya and Commando-Xander leapt to their feet. Commando immediately stepped in front of Anya to shield her from whatever Toth (in Xander face, but stinking more) had planned.
“Anya,” Zeppo-Xander pleaded, “It’s me! It’s your snuggler! That thing is a demon, it’s Toth wearing a disguise!”
Anya for her part was completely flabbergasted by what she was seeing. Upon hearing mention of Toth, she tensed. One of these Xanders was a fake and that meant she and the other Xander, whichever was real, were now in danger.
“Xander,” Anya asked, her gaze switching back and forth between the two.
“It’s alright, honey,” Commando said gently, “I’m really me. This guy, and I use the term loosely, is the fake. Just smell him; we know that Toth hangs out in the dump.”
“No! That’s not true. I mean,” Zeppo said, getting flustered, “it’s true he feeds in the dump. But I only smell this way because I woke up there this morning and have been spending this whole miserable day trying to stop,” he pointed over at his counterpart, “him! Please Ahn, tell me you can tell this is me!”
Anya looked from the one Xander; smooth, attentive, caring and putting her desires above his own. Across from her stood another Xander, rumpled, smelly, and an unattractive air of desperation around him. She knew if she chose wrong, she’d be playing into a demon’s hands. She glanced between the two again with her heart unable to help her choose which one was really Xander. As she took in the trash-smelling specimen before her, she made up her mind, placing a hand on ‘her’ Xander’s shoulder.
“He stinks, Xander. Make him go away.”
“Anya, come on!” Zeppo pleaded, his hopes that she’d see through Toth’s illusions, shattered. “You’ve hypnotized her,” he shouted at his rival, spittle flying through the air.
Commando took a step toward the other Xander and went into an offensive stance. He was sizing up Toth, ready to give him a roundhouse to the side of the head and hoping that taking on Xander’s form would also give him some vulnerability.
“You stay away from my girl!” Commando threatened, “I don’t know what sick plans you’re working on for her, but you take another step, and I’ll kick your face into the back of your head.”
Zeppo fumbled in his pocket, saying with deadly menace, “I don’t think so.” He pulled Riley’s semi-automatic and pointed it in the direction of his alter-ego.
“I don’t think you’re doing anything else to ruin our lives,” he said, including Anya and all of the Scoobies in the statement.
“Xander,” Anya screamed in a panic, ducking around him. Before Toth or whoever he was had a chance to use the gun, Anya was on him, wrestling for control of the deadly weapon.
“Anya, no,” Zeppo shouted.
“Anya, get to safety,” Commando shouted, as he joined the melee over the gun.
As the three argued and struggled over the gun, they all heard another Xander sounding voice over the din. This one was guttural, but loud, “
Hyena-Xander took in the almost comic human pretzel of limbs in front of him. He could pick out Anya from two men who looked, and smelled, disturbingly like himself. “Wait a minute, there’s two of you?!”
There was a brief pause of silence in the room and everyone looked at everyone else. Confusion played uniformly off of everyone in the room with the arrival of yet a third Xander. And then, pandemonium erupted!
As Anya re-doubled her efforts to get the gun away from one Xander, Hyena-Xander went into a full blown attack of hyena-laughter. Sizing up the other two beings with his face, he felt the confident strength of Commando-Xander. Immediately launching his own assault, he grabbed Commando by the upper arms and yanked him away from Zeppo and Anya. It was a miscalculation as Commando struck out at the throat of Hyena, forcing the other off of him. Before the new Xander could recover, Commando wound up a haymaker of a punch, decking and knocking Hyena to the floor unconscious.
Zeppo had finally gotten the upper hand, now that Commando was distracted by Hyena. Grabbing Anya’s hands off of his gun hand wrist, he shoved her with his other forearm knocking her to the floor. “Sorry, Ahn, but you’ll forgive me when you find out I really am Xander!”
Zeppo was in mid-turn to re-point the weapon on ‘Toth’ when Commando grabbed his wrist. Wrenching it painfully, Zeppo couldn’t help but let loose his grip and in moments he was staring down the barrel of Riley’s pistol.
Commando-Xander stepped over toward Anya, as she regained her footing. “All right, Toth, now you just move back a few steps. Get away from me and Anya!”
“You’re Toth, you bastard! At least have the decency to admit it!” Zeppo was fuming with rage, but his attention was locked on the pistol being pointed at him. As Commando emphasized his order with the pistol, Zeppo had no choice but to do as he was ordered. He took several steps backward, sweat now pouring down his face; his heart jackhammering.
“Anya, baby, you okay?” Commando asked, his eyes never leaving Zeppo.
“Yeah, yeah, I think so. What do we do now?”
“We vanquish a demon and get on with our lives,” Commando responded. He placed his free hand under the bottom of his gun hand’s wrist and steadied his feet.
Zeppo cringed as he saw ‘Toth’ assuming a shooting stance. Looking desperately backward he saw that he’d never make it out of the apartment before Toth shot him. Xander tried desperately to hold back the tears of frustration and terror, squeezing his eyes tightly shut. He waited for the inevitable when Buffy’s voice resounded in the already crowded room.
Buffy Summers burst into the apartment, Riley close on her heels. The others were several steps back in the hallway. Looking around the room, she saw one of the Xanders holding a gun pointing on another of them.
“Everybody, freeze,” she yelled, her panic subsiding now that she knew no one had been shot yet.
As Spike joined the crowded room, Hyena-Xander roused. Seeing the vampire looking delicious in his leather coat and tight black jeans, he immediately leaped into a shocked vampire’s arms.
“Spike,” Hyena shouted before beginning to nuzzle into the vampire’s cool neck.
As Hyena-Xander began running his tongue along Spike’s jawline and throat, the vampire began lowly growling in spite of himself. His eyes shut tight and he tried to fight down the wave of lust that was assaulting his body and threatening to make his jeans uncomfortably tight in a few moments.
Zeppo breathed a sigh of relief at being saved, not even minding that once again, he had needed saving. “Thank you, Buffy! Jesus, your timing is right on. That’s Toth!” He pointed at the demon who no one had yet disarmed.
“That’s crap,” Commando yelled, “Look Buffy, I got this handled. Just let me finish this demon off and we can all figure out what’s going on with the spectacle over there,” he waved in the general direction of Spike and Hyena.
“Okay,” Buffy said, “everyone just calm down. There will be no more fighting or shooting of any kind. Just give us a minute to explain what’s going on.”
Giles stepped forward, “We’ve discovered that Toth’s staff was designed to separate differing qualities of the Slayer into different physical forms. One would be all Slayer but the other would be a regular college woman, and therefore easily killed by him.”
Buffy took over, “You’re making me nervous, Xander. I mean, Xander with the gun. I want you to hand it to me.”
Commando hesitated a moment, glancing between the other two of him before doing as she requested. First he unloaded the clip one handed and then ejected the live round from its chamber.
“Hey, that’s my gun,” Riley said, taking it from Buffy.
“Oh, yeah,” Zeppo said sheepishly, “Uh, I left a note for you. Don’t worry about that window, I’ll replace it.”
“Uh,” Giles broke in, “As I was trying to explain; all of you are Xander from different periods in his life. Stinky-Xander: you represent yourself without the coordination and skills you’ve picked up with your involvement with the Slayer. Xander next to Anya: you would be Xander with the soldiering skills and physical attributes of your time during Halloween, when Ethan was in town. Finally, the, uh, (Giles cleared his throat in discomfort, the Hyena Xander was hanging all over Spike), him: he would be Hyena-possessed Xander.”
“So,” Anya said, looking thoughtful, “Their all differing aspects of Xander’s core personality.”
“Yes,” Giles graced her with a smile, “You’ve got it exactly.”
“Speaking of which,” Buffy directed her attention toward the Hyena-personality. She had thought it was creepy enough when he’d tried to sexually assault her back in high-school. It was now far worse to see him nibbling at Spike’s neck. Spike, for his part, had his eyes rolled into his head, his vampire face on. He had a dazed, but pleased smile on his face.
“Hyena-Xander, knock that stuff off! You’re grossing me out! All of the Xanders, just line up over near the counter please.”
As they all did as she had asked, Commando offered the comment, “You can’t really blame Hyena-dude. I mean, Spike isn’t exactly physically repulsive.”
“Hey!” Zeppo yelled embarrassed and wigged. Around them everyone else’s faces were showing dismay and surprise.
“Oh, god,” Buffy said in exasperation, “Could all of the Xanders just not talk.”
As Hyena took his place on one side of Zeppo, he growled threateningly at his Commando counterpart. Commando just ignored him as Zeppo asked about the hypnosis disk he’d been using all day.
“Hypnosis disk? You mean my coin?” Commando pulled the disc out of his pocket, handing it over to Zeppo who turned it over in his hand.
“Hey, this is pretty cool! Where’d you get it?”
“It was lying next to the road. Some kid probably dropped it. I just thought it was kind of neat. Remember that time when we and
“Okay,” Buffy told the group, trying to ignore the glares that Hyena-Xander was sending out to everyone in the room. Everyone, but Spike: ewww!
“Giles- you, Tara, and Wills are up.” As Hyena-Xander growled and tensed, Buffy took a threatening step in his direction. “We have the counter spell ready to go. There is not going to be any more fighting, got that?”
End Ch 15