First Knight 10
"Xander, Don't poke me with that!" Willow exclaimed, 'her' voice sounding deeper than normal.
Xander awoke and yawned. "I'm not," 'he' assured 'her' in a voice that was just a couple of shades higher.
"Ow!" Kennedy groaned and woke everyone up, as Willow squeezed something.
"Why do I have a penis?" Buffy asked, feeling himself up. "And why is it hard?"
"It's called morning wood for a reason and Solstice did it," Xander replied unconcerned.
"Xander?" Dawn said cautiously.
"Yes, Dawn?" 'she' replied, amusement clear in her voice.
"You have huge knockers," Dawn said.
"I know." Xander snickered.
"Where's Solstice?" Buffy asked.
"Probably doing the same thing she always does after she reverses everyone's gender," Xander replied. "He is outside peeing on things."
"Peeing on things?" Dawn asked.
"You heard correctly," Xander assured him.
"Not so hard," Willow complained about something Kennedy was doing.
"Go use the shower for that," Buffy ordered the two curious young men.
"How long are we going to be male?" Dawn asked.
"No telling," Xander replied as Willow and Kennedy got up and headed for the bathroom. While Willow was around a foot taller and had broad shoulders, Kennedy still had almost the same build she'd gone to bed with. "At most a couple of days, but probably just a couple of hours."
"Is this a good size?" Dawn asked, holding up the covers.
"It's a good size," Xander assured him.
"It just looks that big because you have small hips," Buffy said, carefully keeping covered up.
Xander snickered while Dawn burst out laughing.
"Not going to show yours off?" Dawn teased his brother.
"I'm not a man hoe," Buffy said, sliding out of bed, careful to turn away from the two so they couldn't see his erection as he went to use one of the other bathrooms.
"We should order room service," Dawn said. "I'm hungry, but I don't feel like going out like this."
"Can't," Xander reminded him. "Everyone's dead."
"I… forgot about that," Dawn admitted. "How do you handle it, all the death, even your own or especially your own?" he asked.
"People are dying all the time," Xander explained. "Especially when you add in alternate timelines as the number of people dying increases to infinity."
"And that makes it better?" Dawn demanded.
"Yes, yes it does," she assured him, "because it also means the number of people being born, falling in love, and reuniting with friends is also infinite. We aren't gods, we can't do anything to numbers that large, good or bad, but we can help a few. So you have to let go of the idea of saving everyone, accept that you are mortal, and take joy in saving who you can."
"That makes sense, but you seem so casual about the whole thing," he replied, hugging her to him and finding he had to adjust himself so he wouldn't poke her.
"I won't deny the first dozen times you run into your own corpse is horrifying, but after a hundred or so you'll find it doesn't even put you off your lunch," Xander said.
The bathroom door opened and Willow and Kennedy returned, still dressed in the camisoles they'd slept in, which were just large enough to fit.
"I used to think you guys just had lousy aim, but now I'm just surprised you don't get the walls!" Kennedy said.
"Peeing after you just got off is like that," Xander agreed, "but the rest of the time it's a lot easier to aim."
Kennedy hummed thoughtfully, while Willow blushed and started getting dressed, or rather attempted to.
"None of my clothes fit," Willow complained. "And I'm really hungry."
"Mine do, but they're tight in spots," Kennedy said, stripping back down.
Xander gave Dawn a squeeze before slipping out of his arms and getting up, unconcerned with the fact that she was topless. "I'm going to raid the next room over for clothes, so one of you can wear mine."
"You can stop drooling any minute now," Dawn said cheerfully after Xander had left.
"He should not look that good as a girl," Willow complained. "Nor should he be that well-built. Solstice probably did it because she likes him."
Kennedy groaned and buried his face in his hands. "I should not be feeling this way!" He dropped his hands and glared at his crotch where his camisole was tenting. "And you, shut up!"
"Did you just yell at your penis?" Dawn asked amused.
"Yes!" Kennedy snarled out. "And I shouldn't have one of those either and should not be reacting like this!"
"I always thought guys were making up the 'it has its own mind' line," Willow said, "but it's reacting with no input from me." He reached down to adjust himself before jerking his hands away. "I didn't mean it that way! Just calm down!"
"I'm going to go pee," Dawn said, trying not to laugh at the troubles his friends were having.
Xander found Buffy sitting at the table, still wearing nothing but a camisole and eating a cold piece of steak. She nodded at him and grabbed the backpack that Faith had dropped last night, which had been overlooked in all the excitement.
"How do you think he killed me?" Buffy asked softly, not looking up from his plate.
"Any of a half dozen ways," Xander replied as she pulled out Faith's clothes and found something that would fit, a pair of Levi's and a Metallica shirt that were in no way appropriate for the time period.
"Why?" Buffy almost begged, knowing neither one of them was the person they had been and that he shouldn't be so upset about what might have been, but feeling hurt all the same.
"I had two true friends to my name when you came to town," Xander told Buffy, "and from my point of view, Jessie died because you didn't want to do your job-"
"That isn't fair!" Buffy interrupted Xander. "I didn't ask to be the Slayer!"
"It wasn't fair," Xander agreed. "Life is in no way fair, never has been, will probably never be. Now tell me," Xander looked into Buffy's eyes, "does it not being fair in any way, even for the tiniest slice of time, lessen the pain or bring back to life those that died in the gutters of Sunnydale while you did 'normal' teenage girl activities?"
"N-no," Buffy stuttered out, his eyes welling with tears.
"Xander put a crossbow to Angel's head and forced him to lead him to the Master's cave, because by then you had become his friend and more importantly, you kept Willow safe. Jessie died and that sucked, but it was while keeping Willow safe, so it was forgivable. Male chauvinism, I know, but rescuing women and children, even if it costs us our lives is kinda hardwired into us." Xander paused to think. "And then you throw the fact that he saved your life into his face while using him to make a cowardly corpse jealous. The speech you gave about how you just couldn't take the stress of protecting the weak little humans was particularly ironic when you think about it."
Tears ran down Buffy's face but he didn't say anything as he sat there and listened.
"So Willow got kidnapped because you refused to listen and Xander told you he would kill you if she was harmed. After Willow had died, he kept his promise, how he did it isn't really important." Xander sighed. "Giles was probably killed alongside Willow, so there was no one to tell the council he'd killed you. Kendra then showed up with her watcher and he probably worshipped the ground she walked on, since she was dedicated to slaying, doing nothing else. I doubt she lived all that long, even with him doing his best to befriend her and help out. By the time Faith had arrived, he was probably about as emotionally scarred as you could get and with the earlier timing Faith wasn't nearly as jaded and still had her Watcher."
"No Kakistos," Buffy almost whispered.
"Oh, she took him out early as events were different," Xander said. "She probably had to pull him out of a really dark place as her example, as a happy medium between Buffy, 'I-don't-want-to-be-a-Slayer' and Kendra, 'I-am-nothing-more-than-a-Slayer' really drove home the magnitude of his crime when he killed an innocent girl."
"What?" Buffy asked hoarsely.
"He had killed an innocent girl, all the people she would have rescued, and Kendra as well. You see, he had no right to judge her, saving the world was no more her sole responsibility than the other seven billion people's that were on it, and everything was as much his fault as hers' for insisting they get involved," Xander explained.
"What?" Buffy repeated in shock.
"It was neither Buffy's fault they were involved nor her sole responsibility to protect them and if the Watchers had two brain cells to rub between them, they would have instituted mandatory downtime between engagements to blow off steam and talk to a counselor so she wouldn't have gotten that bad," Xander explained.
"I wasn't in a good place mentally," Buffy admitted softly.
"Neither was I," Xander agreed. "Plus, my fifteen year old self was an idiot in far too many ways, but then again so are a lot of fifteen year olds, it's why we don't let them drink, drive or buy guns. Over the years I've learned to forgive my fifteen year old self for a lot of the boneheaded things he did because he really didn't know any better, maybe you should too."
"Maybe," Buffy said, wiping away his tears, a relieved smile on his face.
"And Buffy," Xander said.
"You may not have asked to be the Slayer originally, but you have demanded to be the Slayer several times since then and you have done a damn fine job," Xander said firmly. As she was passing through the doorway to where Faith and Xander's bodies lay, she said, "I told you back in first year of college you were my hero, and that has never changed."
Buffy beamed brightly, unable to stop himself, but just moments later he glanced down at his crotch in surprise. "Seriously? That gives me a stiffy?!"
Solstice shook his penis a couple of times to get the last drops off as he examined the duplicate version of the Mona Lisa he'd created out of urine and snow. It was the last of the three dozen artworks he had made in the snow outside the hotel. He watched as the snow slowly covered it, before going back inside.
"We've got several choices on how to get back," Xander said cheerfully, "and only a couple of them are really dangerous."
"Why would we take the dangerous routes then?" Willow asked, reaching down and scratching himself.
"Because they're faster and less stressful," Xander replied.
"How is less dangerous more stressful?" Dawn asked curiously.
"Because it involves going through areas where you can run into alternate versions of yourself, like Faith and Evil Xander, or people long dead like Jessie or Jenny, and even the occasional faceless horror or tentacled nightmare, though those are rare, hence my saying it's safer," Xander explained.
"What's the dangerous routes?" Buffy asked.
"Going through the laundry room is almost a straight shot, but there is a demon possessed machine press that will try to kill us, while going through the vents…. Is actually only safe for a smaller group as we'd be much too noisy and the Animatronics would hear us," Xander said thoughtfully, as she scratched her left boob, making Kennedy turn away and adjust himself.
"Can't take the elevator?" Dawn asked.
"The public one leads to the laundry room and the servant's one leads to a beach which, while nice, doesn't actually get us back to the present," Xander explained.
"If I had my swim suit… and was female, I'd vote beach, but I'd like to get back to… home and my stuff for a little while first," Dawn said.
"Plenty of time for the beach later," Xander agreed.
"I'd rather chance meeting myself," Willow said.
"Seconded," Buffy added.
"I'd go for the laundry room myself, but sure, let's take the stairs down," Xander said.
Everyone was quiet for a moment as they exchanged glances.
"No one going to taunt Murphy?" Xander asked amused.
"Pretty sure we've all learned not to do that," Dawn assured her.
"Okay then, follow me." Xander said cheerfully opening the door.
"Anyone wanna bet on who's alternate we meet first?" Buffy asked, unable to stop himself.
Dawn groaned. "Buffy!"
Xander laughed, her smooth chuckle making Kennedy grumble and adjust himself once more. "That's pretty much inevitable anyway, that's why I suggested simply running through the laundry room."
"They'd probably be surprised we're male," Willow said.
"Puns about screwing yourself over?" Xander asked with a knowing grin.
"Being in this situation before you've probably thought of them all before," Willow realized.
"And made up new ones with my alternates," Xander agreed.
"So have you ever…" Kennedy asked, his voice trailing off leadingly.
"I've screwed myself over too many times to count in high school alone," Xander said with a sigh, as she pushed open the fire door to access the stairs.
"That's not a no!" Buffy pointed out.
Xander groaned. "Is that going to be your new catchphrase?"
"She seems inclined to acquiesce," Willow sang out with a grin.
"What?" Kennedy asked, confused.
"That's not a no," Buffy repeated before sharing a laugh with Dawn and Willow, while Xander just groaned.
"Next time, the short route!" Xander swore, starting down the stairs.
Typed By : – Sitheus Maximus