Xander tried to grab the last toy gun out of the bin but missed it by

a hair. "Damn," he said, looking around the costume shop with a lost

look, "How can I be a soldier without a gun?"

"IS there a problem young man?" A British accented voice asked from

behind him.

"Ah!!" Xander screamed and jumped around.

"Don't do that man, especially in this town."

"I do apologize, my friend, I didn't mean to startle you, Ethan Rayne

is the name."

"No, no, it's ok, just, this town is not a safe place, sorry. Geeze,

are all you Brits so Stoic?"

"I don't believe so, and how many Brits'," he said the word with a

little coarseness, "do you know?"

"Just Giles and he's got the whole Stiff upper lip down to a science."

Ethan almost fell over with the shock of hearing that name but

covered quickly, "Yes well as I said, I do apologize. Now, what can I

do for you?"

Xander looked disappointed at that, "Nothing now, I was after a gun

but that didn't work out, now I've got no costume to wear."

The man touched his chin as if in thought and said finally, "I'll

tell you what, you pick a costume ANY costume you want and if you'll

promise to take care of it, and tell everyone where you got it, I'll

allow you take the costume at no cost."

"Are you serious?" Xander asked, wondering what the catch was.

"Of course I'm serious, I'm a new business in this town and I'm

trying to compete with an established business, good word of mouth

would go a long way to helping me out."

"Ok, you've got a deal." Xander said.

"Excellent," the man said, slapping his hands together, "I'm Ethan."

"Xander," Xander said putting his hand out and shaking it.

"So, Xander, what have you got your eye on?"

"I don't know what have you got that's good?"

"I have an idea," Ethan said. He led Xander to the back of the

store. "I didn't get a chance to put these out yet." He said, pulling

out a box, "Apparently they were some movie props that aren't going

to be used, there's a movie, that's still in the production phase

and, well these were going to be costumes that they use however it

seems they aren't going to for some reason."

"What kind of costumes?" Xander asked, interested,

"I believe the movie is called," he checked the side of the box, "ah

yes, here it is, something called, "The X-men?"

Xander's eyes bugged out, "No WAY, the X-men? Which costumes do you


"Let's see, I have someone called Rogue?" he looked to Xander who

shook his head, "No that's a girl"

"Hmmm, Cyclops?" Ethan said, not really recognizing any of the names,

but trusting Xander would.

"Hmm, nah, he's a little to stick in the mud for me?"

"All right, how about this one?" Ethan held up a costume.

Xander's eyes nearly bugged out of his head. The yellow and blue

costume had distinctive blue hash marks on either side of it. Xander

swallowed once and asked, "What character is that?"

Xander's reaction wasn't lost on Ethan and he smiled internally as he

said, "I believe the character is called Wolverine'."

Xander nodded once and said, "I'll take it, please."

Ethan nodded and said, "That will be fine, you go on out and I'll

gather the accessories together and have it out to you in a moment."

As Xander left out of the back room, a malevolent, evil glint entered

Ethan's eye. "So you're here in Sunnydale, are you old man?" he said

to no one in particular, "Well, I'll have to give your young friend

something extra special, now won't I?"

Quickly he grabbed the components that he used to curse the costumes

for his upcoming ritual and said a few choice phrases over the

costume for Xander. The resulting enchantment would be much more

powerful for him than anyone else.

"This is going to be a good night." he smiled.

Xander slipped the costume on, it fit him perfectly, adhering like a

second skin. It really showed the muscles that he had acquired over

the last year, fighting vampires and demons with Buffy. He slipped

the boots and gloves on next, testing the triggers in the palms that

released the fake claws from the back of the gauntlets, giving the

illusion that they were coming out of the back of his hands, just

like the character he was dressing as. Finally he pulled the mask on

and then looked in the mirror. This is gonna be great. he thought.

"What are you doing up here?!" the voice screamed at him.

Xander spun around, and the mask was the only thing concealing the

fear on his face, "N-n-nothing dad, the principal is making a bunch

of us take some kids around for Halloween and we have to dress in


Anthony Harris stepped up to his son, and Xander shrank back, years

of abuse training him well. "You look like a fairy." he said and

slapped Xander across the side of the head, "Why couldn't you go as

something a little more manly? Too much for you?"

"This was all they had left." Xander said, pleading in his voice.

"Don't talk back to me you worthless piece of shit, I'll…"

"Anthony here's that new bottle you wanted." another voice said

suddenly cutting the man off.

"Well give it here bitch." Anthony said snagging the bottle from his

wife, and pushing her aside as he did. "I'm going to go drink this;

you better have my damn dinner ready soon."

Jessica Harris nodded her head fearfully and then turned to her

son, "Go on, get out of here Xander," she said, "I'll make sure he's

asleep by the time you get home."

Xander nodded and said, "Mom, be careful, he's really mad today."

Jessica nodded and said, "I'll be fine Xander, don't worry, just

please, be careful out there, I don't like you out after dark."

Xander smiled weakly at his mom and then gave her a hug before

rushing down the stairs and out the door.

Logan felt the cobwebs clear a moment after they had begun and he

shook the rest out of his head before he looked around. He definitely

wasn't in Westchester anymore. He could smell the salt air and it

definitely wasn't the Atlantic he was smelling. He smelled

unmistakable odor of the desert, and, putting that together with the

fact that he was hearing English, he made a quick deduction that he

was somewhere on the West Coast, probably California. "How the hell

did I get here?"

He reached for the communicator that all the X-men carried intent on

calling the mansion when he noticed it wasn't there. That tid bit of

information was cast aside as he felt a presence behind him and he

spun, his claws popping out with a Snikt' as he took up a defensive

posture, ready for battle. Instead of an attacker however he saw one

of the most beautiful redheads he'd ever seen, next the Jean. And

this one would definitely give her a run for her money.

"Xander, oh god, what's happened to you?"

Logan looked at the girl in confusion and said, "I don't know no,

Xander girl, but you best get out of here, I smell a lot of trouble

coming this way, and you don't belong out here." Logan reached to

grab her hand so he could lead her to safety, popping in his claws as

he did so. Another shock, in a night of many shocks was his hand

passing right through hers.

"What are you? You phase through matter, like Kitty?"

"Kitty?" the redhead asked, then her face lit up in

understanding, "Oh, oh, I get it, you're, you're Wolverine."

"Yeah, what of it?" he asked just a little defensive.

"Nothing," she said in a little fear, taking a step back even though

she knew in her current state he couldn't hurt her. "I need you to

listen to me very carefully Wolverine. These little demons running

around here, they're not demons they're kids. They've been turned

into demons somehow. We need to find Buffy and figure out what's

going on."

Wolverine looked at her like she was crazy and asked, "Who's Buffy?"

Xander literally collapsed into his bed, paying no heed to the

protestations of the bed springs. It had been one hell of a night.

He's actually BEEN Wolverine, the comic book character. He couldn't

believe it, Then again it's the Hellmouth, of COURSE I can believe

it. He didn't understand WHY he was so tired, he was used to staying

up later than this, but he'd figure it out in the morning. It was

another day tomorrow, and Xander slept…..

And as Xander slept the final remnants of the spell cast by Ethan

Rayne went into effect. This spell was unlike ALL the others, it was

not designed to simply be broken, but instead to make itself

permanent. It had already affected that partially, initiating a

change in its targets genetic structure, a change which had started

in a single cell, and had slowly begun to multiply throughout his

body. It had at first been the magic that let him heal at the rate

expected for who he was. Now however with the change in his DNA

spreading and the un-dissipated magic began to allow the mutation

that was to be his was fully kicking in. First it dispelled all of

the damage done to his body over the years of abuse, bone that had

been broken in the past fused more solid that it had ever been, while

organs strengthened and in some cases began to increase in capacity.

Xander's heart and lung capacity doubled, and his living tissue of

his rib cage expanded to allow for this, the magic still remaining in

the costume allowing the Adamantium fused to his bones to liquefy,

while his bones went about making the necessary adjustments to his

body to allow for optimum performance, the magic also acting to keep

him blissfully unconscious while this painful endeavor took place.

Meanwhile, as this was going on, Xander's muscles began to stretch,

swell, and grow, easily doubling the mass on his structure. Where

once he had been of fair size with potential for more; now he had

thick muscles throughout his arms and torso. Where once he had been

not even pushing 180 pounds now, with the Adamantium infusing his

bones he was pushing 500 pounds, and none of it fat, it being burned

away as energy to fuel the massive physiological metamorphosis he was

undergoing. As a final step, the magic set about adjusting his five

senses. Eyes, ears, nose, taste, and touch all were affected by the

new genetic code, increasing their sensitivity at an exponential

level. It took six hours for all of the changes to be effected, and

as a final "gift" the magic in the costume, before tapering off and

fading completely made a dump into Xander's long term memory.

Everything that the character Wolverine, had been and was, now, so

was he. Everything he had known, Xander knew too. All of the good,

and all of that bad, it was all his.

Xander's eyes snapped open and then slammed back shut. It was like

someone was flashing a hundred spotlights in his eyes. He couldn't

bear to open them. It was as he was trying to adjust to this fact

that the memories came flooding into his mind, it was almost painful

as these memories and this knowledge infused itself within his

consciousness, and instantly he knew exactly what had happened.

"That bastard." he growled out as he leapt off of his bed, but not

yet quite being used to his new body he ended up slamming into the

wall. This only served to fuel his anger even more. "I'm going to

find that son of a bitch and I'm gonna gut him like a pig." Xander

screamed, as the claws popped from the back of his hands. This

reality stopped Xander cold and he could only stare at the claws in

numb shock, so great that his superb hearing didn't allow him to

understand the sound of squeaking bed springs, and screaming voice

was the herald of trouble coming his way. Xander was still staring at

his hands and more specifically the claws when his bedroom door was

shoved in and his father screamed at incoherently at him before

slamming a fist into is head, "Damn it boy, don't you know better

than to wake me up. You good for nothing piece of shit." He kicked

him in the ribs. "That ought to teach you, you piece of garbage."

Jessica came in and saw her husband kicking their son and she tried

to pull him away, "No Anthony, please." It was as far as she got

before an elbow slammed into her mouth. "You worthless bitch, I'm

your husband, haven't you learned by now what that means?"

Anthony began to move towards her, intent on teaching her a lesson

she wouldn't soon forget. That was until he heard a voice behind him

that made his blood run cold.

"Why don't you pick on someone your own size, Tony, or has the

alcohol shriveled up your balls?"

The insult served to drive out the fear the voice had momentarily

instilled and Anthony Harris spun, throwing his fist as he did. He'd

teach the little bastard who had balls.

Anthony Harris was a bully sure, but he was the worst kind, in that

he was a bully that actually knew how to fight. He wasn't all talk.

Far from it. He had been a barroom brawler for years and he knew how

to throw a punch. Not that it did him much good this time, as his

fist was stopped in mid swing by a hand catching it out of mid air.

Xander might of let his father beat on him some more. He could feel

the minor injuries that Tony had inflicted healing almost as fast as

they were received. He might have let the man get away with it, if

for no other reason than it was a habit. That was until the man

struck his mother. That was something he didn't have to put up

with….not anymore.

He easily caught the fist in mid air. His eyes locked onto his

father's and then he squeezed. Almost immediately the bones in

Anthony Harris' hand began to give, but Xander didn't stop when he

heard the first crack, or the second. He didn't stop when his father

began to whimper and then cry out, and then finally bellow in pain.

He kept squeezing until the man that had terrorized him for more than

ten years was on his knees, begging between gasps of pain for mercy.

"Mercy doesn't live here, dad." he released the hand and then grabbed

his father by the throat and lifted him off the ground. "Rules have

changed old man. You better get sober and you better make yourself

worth keeping alive, or I'm going to change my mind about letting you

live and the only thing the Sunnydale cops will ever find of you is a

wet spot, you hear me?" he screamed in his father's face.

Anthony Harris could only nod his head in fear, and Xander dropped

him before rushing to his mother. "Mom?"

Jessica Harris just stared at her son and said, "Xander, what

happened? What happened to you baby?"

Xander tried to smile but it didn't reach his eyes, "It doesn't

matter mom, all that matters is I'm never going to let him hurt you

again, ok?"

There was something in her son's tone that told Jessica that whatever

it was, she could trust him, that finally, fro the first time in as

long as she could remember, she was safe. She looked at her husband

and was surprised she didn't feel the hatred she should; she only

felt pity for him. "Someone should take him to the hospital Xander."

Xander nodded and said, "Do you mind, I need to get to school."

Jessica nodded, "Ok." she smiled at him as he quickly gathered some

clothes and put them on over the spandex costume he had been wearing

last night. Jessica nodded a difference in his wardrobe, this morning

too. Gone were the ugly shirts, and instead he stepped into their

bedroom and pulled one his fathers large shirts out of the closet and

put it on. Normally the shirt would have been too large for Xander's

smaller frame but she noticed that not only was it not to big, it was

almost too small. A pair of his father's jeans were also borrowed,

their greater size allowing them to fit over Xander's thickly muscled

legs. "Going to need to go clothes shopping." Jessica heard him say

to himself as he stood and walked over to her, helping her up from

the floor where she still sat.

He pulled her into a hug and said, "I love you mom," and then he was

out the door. Jessica watched him go and then turned to her husband

and said, "Tony, we have a lot to talk about." Anthony looked at his

wife, his hand now only throbbing dully as he nodded and said, "Yeah."

Outside Xander pulled on a pair of sunglasses he had taken from his

father's wardrobe and looked in the window of his dad's car. "Well

the hair's going to take some getting used to." he said to no one in

particular as he noticed the twin peaks his hair was now growing

into. No amount of pushing or pulling would keep it down either. "Oh

well, I'll deal. Right now I need to get to G-man and see what he can

tell me," and with that he took off at a quick easy pace that would

have him to the school in no time."