Dedication: To the wonderful person (or person's) who nominated me for the SlashChoice Awards. ::grins and
I don't know who you are, but I wish you many Xander kisses and nekkid vampires. ::leers::
Notes on the Title: I know, I know... sounds strange, right? Well... I figure, wasn't Cain supposed to be the first person to ever
spill blood (murder) and so was cursed by God and cast out of Paradise and into the darkness? And wasn't Lilith shunned
by Adam in favor of Eve and so she turned to the darkness and found her destiny as the 'mother of all monsters'? In that
context, I find it highly apropos.
A Son of Cain A Daughter of Lilith
Anya regains her power center and takes revenge on those who claimed to protect.
Pausing for a brief moment to make sure everything was ready, Anya mindlessly petted the naked quivering and fear filled young man tied down to the rough stone alter. She double checked the placement of the candles and the amount of herbs in the twin brass pots. The ancient Mesopotamian knife was in place and the silver chalice of holy water was waiting. She had a copy of the spell on crackling thin rice paper that she herself had written with a mix of vampire blood (courtesy of Spike), linseed oil, and dark red clay from the earth.
And she had the sparkling dust that was all that remained of the crushed gem that had once been the source of her demonic vengeance power.
All was in readiness. Taking a deep breath, she began the spell that would summon D'Hoffryn and restore the gem and her powers along with it.
Xander was almost frantic with worry. Anya had been missing for a week now and no one had seen any sign of her. Not the other members of the Scooby Gang, and not any of her other friends and associates. No one.
And while it wasn't too odd for Anya to just up and go, she NEVER left without talking to him about it first. Not once in all the time they had been dating had she disappeared without word. She usually tried to talk him into going with her, or took the time to issue massive warnings about what she would do if he wasn't faithful to her while she was gone.
But not this time.
They had a date set up and she never showed. Nor did she call. She was just... gone. Nothing seemed to be missing from her apartment when he had checked it the next day... or the day after that... or even earlier today. Not a thing was taken. No clothes, no money, no food... It was almost as if she had vanished from Sunnydale with nothing but the clothes on her back. Even Willy didn't know where she was.
Right now, all that mattered was Anya's safety. Xander was hurrying to Giles's for a Scooby meeting about what to do to track her down. A week was too long for anyone to go missing in Sunnydale without it being a BAD thing, so they were going to get organized and start a search.
Turning the corner to Giles's, Xander practically ran over Spike. The blonde vampire's nimble agility was the only thing that kept them both going down in a tumbled heap.
"Bloody hell whelp! Watch where you're going. Could kill a bloke that way. Or at least rumple his clothes a bit."
Xander looked over at the smirk on the vampire's face and a horrifying thought rushed into his brain, almost knocking him to his knees. He could feel his heart begin to race and icy panic clutched at him.
"Spike! Have you seen Anya?!"
He grabbed at the blonde's duster and shook his lean form. Spike looked faintly scandalized by the contact and tried to brush Xander's hands away. However, Xander had a death grip on the leather jacket and the chip wouldn't let Spike rip the boys arms off.
"Hey! Watch it mate! That's my coat you've got your grubby hands on. Have you lost your bloody mind?"
Xander ground his teeth together and took a deep, but not so calming, breath.
"Spike! Have. You. Seen. Anya?"
The blonde vampire blinked in confusion.
"No. Why? Should I have?"
Xander let go of Spike's jacket and his shoulders slumped in defeat, a lost expression coming over his features.
"She's gone missing. I haven't heard from her or seen her in a week now. I know that you two have some sort of bizarre demon friendship thing going on and I hoped that maybe she said something to you about where she was headed. Or... if some vamp had turned her... well, that you might know that too."
Xander watched a dark and slightly frightening look cross Spike's pale face. There wasn't too many people that Spike liked and that liked him in return. Xander could count those people on one hand and still have fingers left over. He and Anya were on that list. And Xander knew that of those few people, Anya had been at the very top of that list. She had been the demonic equivalent of his best friend. They were both painfully misplaced creatures of darkness and evil that were trapped between the natural world and the preternatural world. And that had cemented a bond between them.
"No. I haven't seen her. And I haven't come across anyone talking about her either. She's been gone a full week, you said?"
Xander nodded. Spike's frown deepened.
"That's a long time in Sunnydale."
Xander nodded again.
The blonde vampire's face screwed up in thought.
"What's everyone doing to find the chit?"
Xander sighed a sad lonely sigh and gestured for the blonde to follow him to Giles's. Along the way he told Spike about the meeting to organize a search and invited him to help out. The vampire didn't say anything, he just nodded his head. He could always ask for something or demand reparation from the Watcher for his help in order to cover his reputation as the Big Bad, but that wasn't needed for Xander. The young mortal knew of his friendship with his girlfriend, and surprisingly enough, the whelp approved of it.
It had been another two weeks and there was still no signs of Anya. When the rent came due and she wasn't there to pay it, her landlord had threatened to toss all of her things away. Xander tried to take them back to his efficiency apartment in the basement of his parents house, but they said that it would be just as if Anya had moved in and so they would be justified in doubling his monthly rent. Not being able to afford that jump in increase, Xander had been on the edge of panic. He didn't want Anya's things to be destroyed or thrown away, but he couldn't afford to take over her rent and move into her place, nor could he afford his parents doubling his own. The solution to his dilemma came from a surprising source.
With an embarrassed shrug, some sarcastic eye rolling and several threats of favors Xander would have to do to repay his generosity, Spike offered to store all of Anya's things in his crypt.
Xander spent most of one day packing away her clothes and jewelery, her books and cd's, and various nick-knacks into cardboard boxes. He lugged them all over, one by one to Spike's place at the cemetery. The food she'd left behind, he either tossed away or took for himself.
None of the rest of the Scooby Gang offered to help. However, Buffy did inform him of his stupidity in trusting Spike with Anya's things. After a brief argument, she had shrugged and walked away with a comment about how it would be his fault if the blonde vampire did nasty things with Anya's unmentionables. Xander spent the next three days feeling off balance due to mental visions of Spike wearing Anya's lacy underthings.
Two and a half weeks later, with still no word from Anya, Xander finally broke down and swallowed his pride enough to ask help from the one person he'd never wanted to hear from again. He picked up the phone and dialed the number he had memorized during the past several days of internal debate. After three rings, it was picked up and an overly cheerful voice assaulted his ears.
"Angel Investigations. We help the helpless."
"Hi Cordy. It's me. Xander."
A piercing squeal of happiness stabbed him in the brain by way of his ear drum.
"Cordy! Calm down."
A slight grin crossed his face.
"Yes. It's good to talk to you too... What?... Um, yeah. Willow's good... Yes, Giles is good... No, no one has staked Spike yet... Hmmm?... Oh. Uh, I'm... ahhh. Look. I sorta need to talk to Angel. Is he there?... What?... Yeah, I'll hold."
Irritating elevator muzak began to drone over the phone and Xander sighed. It figured that the broody dark one would choose this type of feature for his phone system. Xander figured that Angel probably liked to pick up the phone and listen to it himself as a form of self-punishment. It was a brutal and cruel, yet non bloody ruin the furniture, type of pain. After an eternity of instrumental hell, the muzak shut off and Angel picked up an extension.
"Um... hey Angel. I... uh, have a favor to ask. I know I'm not you're favorite person and all... but it's not really for me."
Xander blinked in confusion.
"What? Yes Buffy's okay. Can't we discuss my problem for just a second and then if you want, we'll talk all about what's going on with the Buffster. Cool?"
Xander took a deep breath to organize his thoughts and then he told Angel everything he knew.
"I know you have a bunch of contacts. With the law, the PTB and the demon underworld. I was hoping that you could, I don't know... ask around about Anya or something. See if maybe someone has heard anything. See, she's been missing for... oh, about two months now. No one knows where she went and no one has heard from her. She just up and disappeared into thin air. I've been searching for her this whole time, but she is not in Sunnydale. With the humans or the demons. Between Spike and I, we would have found her by now if she was here."
"What?... Oh, yeah sure. I'll send a copy of her picture to you right away. Not a problem at all actually."
Then, true to form, Angel turned the conversation towards Buffy and everything the Slayer had been up to recently. Xander didn't really want to talk to him, but he figured it was the least he could do since Angel said he'd check with his sources about Anya.
A month later, Anya showed up for a Scooby meeting at Giles's house without any warning. Her power center was back and she was in demon form. Everyone reacted very negatively to her reappearance except for Xander and Spike.
The blonde vampire leered her up and down from head to toe and congratulated her on her return to the vengeance business and then asked her to remove the chip from his skull. His choice of language in describing the bit of metal and plastic inside his head was... colorful to say the least.
Xander however, just let out a breathy "Thank you God" and dashed over to enfold her in a crushing hug. He pulled her into his arms and pressed her face into his chest while nuzzling his own into her hair. His dark eyes were filled with unshed tears and he was whispering while rocking slightly.
"Anya, oh Anya. I'm so glad you're okay. I was worried and I missed you and I'm so glad you're back."
Gently, Anya pushed herself back so that she could see up into Xander's face and gave a little frown of confusion.
"But... Xander. How can you be happy to see me? I've got my power back. I'm a demon again."
Xander gave a little shrug and planted a soft kiss on the tip of her wrinkled nose.
"That doesn't matter. I still love you. I'm happy for you, but I've missed you."
Anya flashed him a bright and happy smile for a minute, but then it faded away again. She frowned, looking sort of sad.
"Xander... I... have to break up with you. I can't date you anymore. Not like this."
Xander started to protest, but she placed a finger over his lips to stop the words before they could even escape.
"Know that I do love you. I always will. Just as you love me and, I hope, always will. However, I now know that, even though you love me, you're not in love with me. There's a difference."
Xander tried to protest again and once more, she stopped him before he could even start.
"I could never give you what it is you really want nor what you need . You know this, even if you won't admit it. After a while, the resentment would build up, you'd do something stupid and I'd have to punish you. Neither of us wants that. So... I'm going to curse you. It's for the best really, and I hope someday you can find it in your heart to forgive me."
Xander pulled away, a hurt and confused look on his face.
"Anya! No! Wait!"
But it was too late. Anya pointed at him and whispered a soft word under her breath. A bright green light enveloped Xanders body. The light flared so brightly that everyone was forced to close their eyes and turn their heads away and Xander's scream of pain echoed throughout the room. When the light faded, they all blinked the spots from their eyes to see Xander still standing there. Same dark sad eyes, same baggy clothing, same pouty lips.
The only difference was, a moment ago, Xander was a young man... now he was most definitely a female. A beautiful female.
Long dark curly hair. His expressive eyes peered out from a softer rounder face. He was the same height, but his shoulders weren't as broad and his hips were wider and curved. And he had the full rounded breasts of a woman, not the flat muscular chest of a man.
Xander looked down at himself in his new and improved body, screamed in a high pitched voice filled with mindless panic and then fainted dead away.The rest of the room just stared at him in extreme shock and horror. Anya pulled everyone's attention back towards her with a few soft words spoken with absolute authority.
"Spike. I'll remove the chip, but you have to promise me that you'll protect Xander. She's very important to me and I do love her, you know."
Spike turned to look at her with a flabbergasted expression on his pale face. He didn't seem as if he even comprehended what she had said. He was in too much shock. However, he instantly nodded his head in agreement with the demonness.
Anya nodded and pointed at him. A wave of glowing red sparkles washed over him and he swayed on his feet with vertigo.
Then Anya turned to face Giles, Buffy and Willow. The soft and somewhat friendly expression on her face vanished. She scowled at them.
"I curse you. All three of you. For what you didn't do. For all the pain and agony that Xander was forced to suffer at the hands of his parents when you could have stopped them. For all the times you pushed him aside and made him feel like dirt. For all the times you should have been his friends, but refused to be. I curse you all."
Anya pointed at Giles.
"See no evil!"
The ex-Watcher's eyes turned a sickly opaque white and the older man stumbled as he suddenly reached out blindly with both arms. Willow tried to dash over to help him, but Anya's curse caught her next.
"Speak no evil!"
The red-headed witch suddenly collapsed to her knees clutching at her throat. A panicked looked came into her bright green eyes and her lips formed desperate words, but no sound emerged at all.
Finally, Anya pointed at the Slayer.
"Hear no evil!"
And the blonde girl dropped into the chair behind her and clutched at her ears.
"What is that! It's so loud! Make it stop. *Please*!"
Spike looked over to Anya, mild fear etched in his eyes.
"Wha... what is she hearing?"
"Her own heartbeat. That's the only thing she'll ever hear for the rest of her life."
With that, Anya walked over and knelt down next to the dark haired girl on the floor. She brushed her fingers lightly over the soft pale skin.
"Xander... Xander... Sweety, wake up."
Xander stretched a little and rolled over slightly and grinned sleepily up at her.
"Anya I had this weird dream and..."
Xander's voice trailed off when he heard the feminine sounds coming from his mouth. With a startled gasp, she looked down at her transformed body in horror. Anya chuckled lightly.
"No... it wasn't a dream. I'm really a demon again. And now... I'm going to go visit your parents. They have a lot to make up for. Remember... I do love you."
And with that Anya disappeared.
Xander turned frightened and confused eyes up to the blonde vampire standing next to him.
"Spike? What just happened?"
Spike grumbled to himself and kicked a rock that was lying in his path. It had been one strange night... even for the Hellmouth. Some of it had been very good. For example, his chip was removed, his friend was officially found - alive, and the Slayer had been seriously and permanently injured. Mayhem had reigned supreme.
All of that had been laid at his feet by said best friend on one single, and some would say easy, condition. Protect, the now female, Xander. Fine, he would... if he could find the chit.
It had taken about an hour to sort out the hysterical and panicked Scooby Gang and to explain to Xander everything that he'd missed while unconscious. Spike's enjoyment of the Slayer, the ex-Watcher and the witch's plight had been dampened somewhat when they had turned on Xander, exclaiming that all of the mess had been his fault. That their pain was on his head and whatever Anya did to his parents would also be his burden of guilt to carry.
Spike rolled his eyes heavenward and sighed.
At that little bit of news, some pieces in Xander's head had clicked together and the young woman had dashed out of Giles's house and into the night. Unarmed. Spike would have followed her immediately, but the Slayer picked that moment to take out her frustration and pain on him. It had only been a combination of him being able to fight back once again and her center of balance being off due to her sudden hearing problems that allowed him to escape her wrath. But by then, it was too late.
Spike had headed over to Xander's house only to find it in flames. He could smell the scent of charred flesh under the heavier smell of burning wood and melting plastic and he hoped it was the chit's parents and not Xander herself. Hoping that she had not gotten herself burned to death, Spike began to prowl Sunnydale looking for her. Unfortunately, he couldn't find her.
Spike was beginning to worry. The sun was almost up and he had no idea where Xander was. She could even be dead. He had no idea what Anya would do if he failed at his end of the bargain. Possible give him back the chip... possibly worse. Spike didn't even want to think about what could be worse than the chip.
Picking up his speed to avoid the sun, Spike crossed the cemetery grounds until a strangely familiar scent hit him. It was... Xander, but... not. It was more earthy and had less of a sharp bite to it. It was... feminine. Breathing in deeply to catch as much of the elusive scent as he could, Spike tracked it... to his own crypt.
Warily pushing the heavy door open, he peered inside. And let out an explosive breath he hadn't even been aware that he was holding.
There, curled up in his tattered old blanket, on top of the stone tomb, lay Xander. Her legs were pulled in tightly and her long arms were wrapped around them and she was shivering against the cold. Spike sighed. Closing the door, he lit a few candles and then walked over to the girl on his bed. He ran a hand down her arm gently.
No response at all. It was as if Xander didn't even know Spike was there.
Spike sat down on the edge of the stone tomb and carefully pulled the young girl up into his arms. Slowly, he brushed the long dark curls away from her face and peered down at her with his gentlest and calmest expression. He looked into her dark eyes and felt a shiver race up his spine. Xander's eyes were empty and her expression was blank.
Feeling uncomfortable, Spike wondered if Xander had lost her mind from all the trauma and shocks she'd suffered through today. Hoping to get some reaction, Spike easily picked her up and carried her over to his lounge chair. He sat down on it and held her in his lap. She made no sound and she didn't resist his positioning of her body so he could hold her tighter. Once situated, he began to stroke her hair and talk to her in a soft and soothing voice that he had perfected after decades with Dru.
After almost an hour, Xander finally turned haunted dark eyes up to his face and a single tear slid down her cheek. Her expression was one of defeated horror and agony. It was a look that he had seen before... it was the expression on the face of a victim who had been tortured to the very breaking point... but had yet to fall. One more hard hit was all it would take. Spike shivered at the temptation... but at the last minute, he remembered Anya's warning to him.
Protect Xander. Always.
Swallowing his demons instincts back down, Spike gently pulled her closer and nestled her head against his shoulder.
"Shhh... it's all right. I'm here with you. I'll always be here for you. Always..."
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