Title: The X Factor: (1?)

Author: Cyclone

Feedback: Please be gentle.

Distribution: Gimme credit and a link.

Maybe a little harsh language, certainly some violence, but nothing worse than on BtVS.

Spoilers: Starting at Halloween in BtVS. Anything goes for Gargoyles.

Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong to other people. I'm just borrowing them for a while.

Summary: Yet another Halloween 'fic.

Author's Note: Couldn't resist.

Xander was proud of his costume.

Very proud.

It had been several years in the making, and he only wished Willow would have gone along with his original plan and gone as Demona. Then again, with Jesse gone and unable to play Macbeth as they'd planned...

Oh, well. He hadn't been about to let all these preparations go to waste.

"Oh, wow, Xander!" Willow gushed. "You even got the wings!"

He shrugged -- a somewhat difficult task given how the costume expanded his shoulders -- and said, "Hey, either do it right or don't do it at all."

"Hey, mister," a kid tugged Xander's hand and looked up at him. "Are you supposed to be Goliath?"

Beneath the mask, he grinned, "You tell me."

"I thought Goliath was a different color?"

"Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe noctem pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita potestas," Ethan Rayne chanted.

The one who had -- moments ago -- been Alexander Harris looked around in surprise.

"Where am I?" he wondered aloud. "Interesting."


He turned, "Are you talking to me, ma'am?"

"Oh, my God," the red head stopped, looking at him and taking him in for the first time. "You really changed into him."

A commotion behind him drew his attention, and he turned, lifting his arm and extending the particle gun from the forearm mount. He fired, scaring off the little monsters that seemed to be harassing a distinctly unprepared brunette girl.

"C'mon!" the redhead called, running ahead. With a mental shrug, he followed. She seemed to have at least a vague grasp on what was going on.

The brunette looked up, "A gargoyle!" She blinked, "Yet... you are steel, not stone."

"A rather deceptive mask, milady," he said, pulling off the Steel Clan helmet. "David Xanatos, at your service." He bowed.

"You... are a knight of some sort then, good sir?"

"Something like that," he smiled and stroked his... chin?

Hmm, he thought. I don't remember shaving.

Somewhere up above, an observer watched in amusement.

"And the fun is just beginning."

"So, you're saying my life is a cartoon," Xanatos said calmly, "that this cartoon was cancelled many years ago, and that the central focus is Goliath and the rest of the Manhattan Clan?"

"That about sums it up," Willow said. They had taken refuge in a house she claimed belonged to "Buffy," the brunette who thought it was 1775.

Which, admittedly, meant she -- or rather, her mind -- hailed from a time considerably more recent than the sort of people he usually associated with. Still, she was still less than useless, though her appreciation for gargoyles certainly made it easier to deal with her.

They'd also been joined by a raven-haired beauty who apparently had something against him. Or the person who had dressed as him.

"Look," Willow said, "I have to go find Giles. He'll be able to figure it out. Just sit tight."

With that, she vanished through the wall.

"Well, she's a rather flighty one, isn't she?" Xanatos commented.

"You have no idea," Cordelia said, shaking her head.

Xanatos decided to leave that alone and pulled off his helmet. He'd already scanned the house with its sensors, and it was clear. For now, it looked like they were safe.

He spun and leveled the particle gun at the kitchen door as another man walked in.

"Whoa!" the man said in surprise.

Xanatos tilted his head. "Who are you?"

"Xander, this is no time for jokes."

"I'm afraid Xander is not currently in residence," Xanatos said calmly. "David Xanatos. Now, who are you? I won't ask a third time."

After a moment, the man answered, "Angel."

Xanatos cocked an eyebrow. "Demona would love to meet you," he said dryly.

"Okay, somebody want to fill me in?" Angel asked, looking around quizzically.

"They don't know who they are, everyone's turned into a monster, it's a whole big thing," Cordelia said. She smiled. "How are you?"

Xanatos lowered his weapon. The chain of reasoning was simple. Willow knew what was going on. The photo he'd found indicated that she was, indeed, friends with the person whose body he was currently borrowing. She had vouched for Cordelia, and she, in turn, apparently vouched for this Angel character.

Of course, this could all be an elaborate hoax, but he couldn't see any purpose it would serve.

This was going to be an interesting night.

"Are you certain she went this way?" Xanatos asked Angel.

It seemed there was more to him than met the eye. And when the rather high-strung young lady had discovered it at an inopportune moment, she'd fled.

"No," Angel replied.

Xanatos donned his helmet, "I'll search from above. You keep looking."

He fired his rockets.

"That... could come in handy," Cordy noted, watching him as he flew off.

Xanatos privately wondered why it felt so good to clobber that pirate. Well, it was something to ponder later.

Maybe it had something to do with the young man whose body he was borrowing?


Right now, though, he was disposing of a significantly bigger threat. The bleached blond vampire was quite slippery, but with the suit's power, he knew that all he needed was to get his hands on him.

"Gotcha," Xanatos said as he grabbed Spike by the arm. A twist, and he swung Spike into the wall, then turned to look at Angel. "I assume decapitation will work?"

Angel paused in his own fight to call out an affirmative.

Xanatos turned and calmly ripped Spike's head off.

He smiled beneath his helmet.

"Well, looks like I've still got the edge."

A wave of dizziness struck him.

"Xander!" came an annoyed shriek.

He blinked, "Uh, what, Buff?"

"You dusted Spike," she pouted. "I wanted to do that."

"Well, sor-RY," Xander said. He frowned, "Hey, wait a minute... there's something about the armor."

"Xander, don't change the subject."

"No, seriously, Buff!" Xander said. "I think this armor's still..."


"Whoa!" Xander took a moment to regain control.

"Heyyy," he grinned down at them from where he suddenly found himself hovering in the air. "I could get used to this."

Author's Postscript:

At what point did you figure out who it was?