"Buddhism has the characteristics of what would be expected in a cosmic religion for the future: it transcends a personal God, avoids dogmas and theology; it covers both the natural & spiritual, and it is based on a religious sense aspiring from the experience of all things as a meaningful unity." -Albert Einstein
Boca Del Inferno
The room in the house was dark, the house itself was dark; being that it was the early hours of the morning, that was no surprise. A lone figure got up in the one of the bedrooms, he was so quiet, not even a mouse would've heard him. The man smirked as he realized what had happened: his soul had been transported back in time to his younger body, his old self and 'mature' self were now one.
Before, Xander Harris was used to having to other personalities in his mind, but they were always at the back; the spirit of the Hyena that had been 'evicted' from him when the primal ritual had been completed, and the soldier who had been burned into his memories by Ethan's spell. Always on the horizon, but never fully out…
Now, it was different. Willow's spell had brought them to the front, combining them with the future personality, in ways never before thought possible.
The soldier's personality provided him with the tactical knowledge, as well as information on modern weapons. Hell, if he put his mind to it, he could probably build an F-16. It gave him an added edge; Buffy wasn't the only one who could look at a weapon and know how it worked. He had years of military training behind him.
The predator side was an added bonus as well; he could smell things he couldn't before, he could hear better, if he stopped and listened, controlled his breathing, he could hear the hearts of his parents beating, the drip of the tap downstairs, and even a cat, meowing two blocks away.
A predatory grin slipped across his face as he realized that, if he wanted to, slicing their throats would be incredibly easy.
He could make it look like an accident: he would turn the knob on the gas hob and let it flow; the minute Tony lit up a cig, the place would go sky high.
But killing his parents were not on the top of the list, in fact, quite the opposite. Xander had made it his personal mission to at least try and save them. Even if he could get them to a place other than Sunnydale before the collapse, that would be something.
Xander switched on the light in the small, dingy bathroom and blinked away the spots that appeared in his vision. Several things became prominent as he looked at himself in the mirror; first, and foremost, was the fact that he had two eyes. He blinked again and looked more closely, surprised at how easily using both eyes came.
He moved his eyelid, poked it, closed it, batted it and smiled. Yup, all his, bought and paid for. The second thing that came to mind was the fact that his face was scarless; his skin younger and fleshier, not as lean and mean as he was before. He'd have to work on that, perhaps a fitness routine, jogging in the early hours of the morning before school.
His bathroom was unclean, to the point of being unfit for human use; a dog could live there quite happily. Xander looked into the bedroom that was partially lit and noticed the same mess. He was going to have to change his habits, and fast, if he wanted to survive in one piece.
Xander's closet was a force to be reckoned with; it was, in his mind, no wonder he hadn't attracted every vampire, from the whole of Sunnydale, that had been born in the seventies. Even the dudes with the bad afro hairstyles would've laughed at him. Hawaiian shirts were all well and good, but they had a time and a place, which was Hawaii.
Not the middle of suburban Sunnydale.
That would have to change, especially if he wanted to impress and turn heads. Cordeilia would still be around, and not an ascended being-cum-evil demon hell bent on taking over the world, well, not much, anyway. He was certain she was a little bit demon.
He went around the room, picking up books and the mess; tidied his sheets, then changed his mind and stripped the bed instead, taking the linens down to the washing machine and turning it on. One of the benefits of living in the States was that you didn't need a dryer like they had in the UK. Here, it was hot most of the time.
Xander moved silently back up to his bedroom and turned the light on, once again blinking back spots. He picked up his bag and finished half-assed attempt at cleaning.
The science teacher blinked in surprise as Xander handed over the science homework. "Mister Harris, are you trying to test my patience?"
The teacher opened the book and flipped through it; everything was indeed finished. "How did you finish this?"
"The library's a wonderful place, full of those things..." Xander stood there and waved a hand around.
"Ah, books," the young man adjusted his glasses and chuckled. "This is a good sign, Mister Harris. Keep it up."
As light began to creep over the horizon, Xander was finishing up in his bedroom. He then put out the wash and smiled; all was well. The next part was the most difficult, cleaning the kitchen. His mother did try, but when she hit the bottle, all thoughts of cleaning, or anything even remotely close, were pushed aside. He picked up all the old cartons, threw away the takeout and all the old papers, scrubbed the dishes and cleaned the counters. All those years of looking after the Slayers had paid off.
'Damn,' he thought quietly to himself as he studied his work. With a proud smile, he went upstairs and changed into shorts and T-shirt and went for a jog.
Willow couldn't believe her eyes. She was dressed in a cheap, modest skirt and blouse that her mother had picked up for her; her long red hair ran down her back and her sharp green eyes watched as the young man, her long-time friend, bounded down the stairs.
Normally, on a Monday morning, she'd have to wait ten minutes before having to go up and physically drag him out of bed, but here he stood, right as rain, with his bag over his shoulder. His bright blue eyes shone happily and as he looked down at her and, for some reason, she felt her heart flutter.
He was wearing blue demin jeans and the plainest T-shirt he had' they didn't need a coat what with it being almost summer.
"Morning, Will's." His hair was brushed, he smelled clean and, yes, even his teeth were brushed. She blinked in surprise and he looked down at her with a strange look, "You all right?"
"Yeah," Willow said slowly as she studied him over. "Who are you and what have you done with Xander Harris?"
"I ask the same thing every day…"
The two friends grinned as they turned to see Jessie, their long-term friend, appear out of nowhere. Xander had smelled Jesse before he'd arrived - the scent was a strange thing to get used to, but he would get the hang of it eventually.
"Morning, Jessie." Xander made himself a pact as they walked to school: no matter what happened, Jessie would survive this.
Even as they made their way up to the school, Xander could feel that old sense of foreboding ticking in the back of his mind. The school sat on a Hellmouth that held so many, unspeakable, evils… and that was just the kids.
The First was there; he could feel its' presence, bubbling underneath the hollowed ground, as well as the other demons that wanted out of the basement.
It wasn't pretty, but, for the moment, it was school…
"You all right?"
Xander heaved a sigh and looked at Willow with both his eyebrows risen, "You've asked me that three times already."
Jessie chuckled and winked a hazel eye, "It's all right Xan, she's not used to seeing you so eager."