31 Days of Xanderween

Author's Notes: So I have a certain fondness for Xander Harris and YAHF fics, so sue me it's an interesting "what if" scenario. Besides, I've been planning this series of ficlets for over a year now. The intention is to produce thirty-one chapters, one for each day of October and each one featuring Xander in a different costume. Hopefully, most of the costumes I use will be fairly original and rarely used in YAHF fanfiction if ever. So sit back, grab some candy, and enjoy the insanity.

General Disclaimer: I do not own any characters from the tv series Buffy the Vampire Slayer; they are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. I also do not own any other characters from anime, videogames, television, movies, comics, or literature that I might use. This work is meant merely for enjoyment, and no profit is being made off of it. 'Ya hear that, you blasted lawyers? I'm in the clear now, so buzz off!

Warnings: violence and mild language, mention of sexual situations

Story 1- Father Alexander

Alexander Harris, more commonly known as Xander, had to bite back a particularly nasty swear word as he watched the second grader running away laughing with the last toy gun in the costume shop's bargain bin. Great, just great. First their beloved little fascist troll of a principal, Snyder, drafts him into babysitting a bunch of grade school brats hopped up on sugar for Halloween instead of spending the night with Buffy and Willow watching bad horror movies. After that, the Buff manages to totally emasculate him when she steps in and scares off Larry, the local football star and stereotypical meathead bully, letting everyone in the school see that apparently Xander Harris can't fight his own battles like a man and needs a petite blonde haired girl to save him. Then there was Buffy and Willow, giggling over a costume dress that he just knew she wanted to get in order to impress and woo the brooding vampire with a soul Angel, or as he preferred to call him Deadboy. Finally, the last piece he needed to add to the fatigues he had at home in order to complete his costume was now in the grubby little hands of some kid. No toy gun meant no costume, and no costume meant that Snyder would have the excuse that he needed to give Xander detention for the remainder of his high school career. The only other option was to buy a new, full costume, which would cost much more than he had planned on spending, cutting into the road trip fund that he'd been saving for years for. Yep, it was official, life sucked.

With a sigh, he turned around, ready to trudge out the door in defeat, when he saw it. Pale gray pants and vest covered by a matching but slightly darker colored trench coat, with royal purple lining edging the open flaps of the coat. There was a stiff collar, the mark of a priest. A pair of wire rim glasses hung from a piece of string tied off to the hanger that the costume was placed upon, right alongside a pair of silky white gloves with writing on the back. However, what drew him in was the cross, large and gleaming silver, glinting in the light in what almost seemed a defiance of the approaching night. Overall, it was one cool priest outfit.

Although, as Xander looked at the costume props next to the suit, he couldn't help but wonder just what sort of priest used a whole slew of bayonet-like short swords?

Walking up to the costume, Xander curiously grabbed at a tag pinned to the costume's sleeve. Huh, forty bucks wasn't too bad for a costume of this caliber, but it was still a little too steep for his price range. Glancing over the other parts of the tag, he saw a picture of a tall, blonde haired man with green eyes, who seemed to be in his late thirties or early forties. He had a gentle smile spread across his stubbled face, the cross raised to his lips in a benediction. But the scar on his chin and something that gleamed in his eyes told the boy that this wasn't just a simple, peaceful man of the cloth. Whatever that something that was in the character's eyes was, it drew Xander in like a moth to flame. Then he saw the character's name on the tag right under the picture, and Xander's eyes went wide as his hand grabbed for his wallet. Screw the road trip! He wanted this costume!

--- --- --- ---

Joyce Summers opened the door to see a tall man dressed in gray with a messy blonde crew cut and intense green eyes. Noticing the cross and collar, she bowed her head in respect. She might not be Catholic or all that religious, but she was still aware that a priest deserved some respect. "Good evening, father. What brings you here?"

Needless to say she was surprised when the priest leaned back and started laughing loudly. "Oh man, Mrs. S! Thanks for the compliment; I didn't know that I'd done that good of a job on my costume!"

It was only then that Joyce recognized the young man standing on her doorstep. "Xander! Is that really you? You look so different in that costume! Who are you supposed to be?"

Xander smiled, raised the cross hung around his neck to his lips, then spoke in a thick Scottish accent. "I am the will of God, messenger of the divine punishment of Heaven."

There was a flash of intense fanaticism in his eyes, and for a moment Joyce was breathless at the raw intensity and overwhelming dedication Xander was projecting. Then it was gone, and he gave one of his goofy smiles that was so typically Xander that she thought what had just happened was all but a dream. Still smiling, the young man bowed theatrically to the woman who'd become more of a mother to him than his own. "Paladin Alexander Anderson, of the Vatican's Section XIII Iscariot Organization."

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

With a jerk, Father Anderson came to consciousness. How? How was he still alive? The last thing he remembered was ramming Helena's Nail, one of the nails used to pin the Lord Jesus Christ to the cross and probably the church's most sacred artifact, into his own heart in order to gain the power needed to defeat the vampire Alucard amidst the burning ruins of London. He could remember Alucard practically begging him not to use the nail on himself, warning him that it would turn him into a monster of God. He could still feel Alucard's fingers punching through his ribcage, pulling out the nail and with it his heart. Anderson knew he was dead and that he should be in glory at this very moment, but he also knew that this sure as hell wasn't the heavenly realm.

Around him was what appeared to be a small town, probably American from the look of the architecture. And raging unchecked through the streets were hordes of what appeared to be demons and other monsters. The air itself practically stank of demonic energy to his trained senses, as if the place rested upon hell itself. Why was he here in this hellhole instead of resting in glory? Was it God's will? Did his heavenly Lord still have a use for him in this dark and seemingly godless place? If it was such, then let His will be done. He was the fiery sword of God's will, the messenger of the divine punishment of Heaven! He was Paladin Alexander Anderson, holy warrior and devoted servant of the one true God! Those who stood in his Lord's path would be turned to ash, and their bodies ground to dust!

With a loud and ringing "AMEN!" Anderson drew a pair of his blessed bayonets into his hands and began stalking towards the scenes of chaos before a young, timid voice drew his attention. "Xander?"

Turning, Anderson saw a red haired young woman in a scandalously scanty dress. Staring wide eyed at her, he shook his head slowly. "Nae, lass. I dinnae kno' this Xander yer speakin' of. I'm Father Anderson. Now why don' ye get som' clothes on?"

Willow's eyes went wide, her lip trembling. "Oh no, you changed into your costume as well."

At this, the priest was curious. "Changed? Costume? Wha' de ye mean lassie?" He could barely, even with the enhanced senses he enjoyed as a regenerator, keep up with the girl's babble. Nevertheless, when she was done, he got the gist that he was not himself, that he was in the body of a boy that had dressed like him for Halloween. That certainly explained how he could be here despite being dead. The knowledge that the demons he'd been about to destroy were children that had also been transformed filled him with dread and anger. Many thought him a mindless butcher, but the feared paladin had a soft spot for children as evidenced by the orphans that were under his care, back at his tiny little orphanage outside of Rome. For children, innocents, to be twisted into beings of darkness… This stank of the blackest of magics.

Growling, the priest strode off, trained senses searching for the shreds of the spell everyone was under, ignoring the girl as she shouted at him to help her find somebody named Buffy of all things. He couldn't bring himself to harm the children trapped underneath these costumes given flesh. Therefore, his only other option was to find the source of the spell and disrupt it. And when he found it, God have pity on the deranged soul that cast the spell because Anderson would have none.

--- --- --- --- --- --- ---

Ethan wheezed weakly, blood dribbling down his chin as he hung from his shop's wall, arms stretched out to his sides and hands impaled by silver bayonets in a sad parody of the crucifixion. Ironic, that one of his own costumes had done this to him. Janus must be lapping up the chaos of this grand irony. Glaring into the chaos worshipper's eyes, the mad fires of a zealot burning within his own cold green orbs, Anderson reached out to twist the dagger stuck in the other man's side. "No', Ae'll only be askin' this wunce moor, ye dirty stinkin' 'eretic. 'Ow do Ae break the spell?"

Ethan couldn't take it anymore. This was a thousand times worse than anything Ripper would have conceived of doing to him. By this point, he just wanted the pain to end. "The statue", he gasped out in a faint, pained tone of voice. "Break the… bust of Janus… and the spell will end."

Anderson nodded once in acknowledgement, and before Ethan even saw the warrior priest move his head went flying to the other side of the room. Anderson stood in front of the decapitated corpse, studying the bloodied blade in his hand. He wondered how the boy, this Xander, would react knowing that someone had died by his hand. He'd gathered from the girl from earlier, Willow, that the boy knew of and fought against the demons and vampires. Knowing nothing but that helped make him fond of the boy. He wished that he could stay and help, to send more of the damned demons screaming down into hell. But it was the boy's fight now, not his; Xander was alive, he was dead, and now they had to both go back to where they belonged.

With a final smirk and one last cry of "Amen", Anderson flung his weapon into the nearby bust of a false god, causing it to shatter. Instantly Anderson's consciousness was ripped from his body, and Xander Harris fell to the ground. Picking himself up, his gloved hand caught a particularly sharp shard of the statue, piercing the flesh and drawing blood. Swearing, Xander tore off the glove and turned his hand to inspect the wound. To his surprise, the cut healed nearly instantly right before his eyes. Staring at his hand, he gazed at the other, which still clutched one of Anderson's bayonets, the weapon feeling perfectly natural in his hand and brimming with holy energies that he could feel pulsing within his own body. Looking at his bloodstained glove on the floor, he smirked at the inscription on the back, "speak with dead". Chuckling, Xander muttered to himself, his usual lazy drawl replaced by a thick Scottish brogue. "Well nae, in't that intrestin'….."

--- --- --- --- --- ---

Angelus was running. He was running for his unlife. Unleashing the Judge upon the world had seemed like such a good idea at the time. How was he supposed to know that Harris could regenerate the damage the demon inflicted upon him as quickly as it happened? He certainly hadn't thought that the boy who'd been so changed by that Halloween night just a few months ago would have been strong enough to tear the Judge's head off with his bare hands. After that, things had quickly gone down hill. Spike and Dru were both dust in the wind, hit with unerring accuracy by those damnable blessed bayonets that Xander seemed to have a never-ending supply of. As soon as the bayonets had started flying, Angelus had started running. He wasn't a fool; he knew the only reason that Harris hadn't dusted him the first night after Halloween was because the boy was holding the instincts he'd gained from that priest Anderson in check. But now that he wasn't Angel anymore, now that he didn't have a soul, Xander Harris had no more reason to hold back.

Rushing to a doorway, the vampire breathed in relief as he came within feet of safety. That relief turned to horror though as the hand that was stretching out for the doorknob was repulsed by an invisible field, which crackled and burned along his dead skin. A plummeting sensation of impending doom in his stomach, he looked up to see pages of Holy Scripture pinned to the doorway by small stilettos. Xander had obviously expected him to come this way and had raised a barrier that he couldn't get past. He was trapped, trapped with the priest-wannabe.

The ringing of metal caught his attention, and brought him around to see Xander Harris striding forward with a purpose, clanging two of his bayonets together and the large silver crucifix he always wore swinging with each step as he advanced. The boy's eyes were brown again, but the blond hair and the scar had remained as had Anderson's fearsome regeneration, fighting skills, and holy powers. In the few months since Halloween, "Killing Priest" Harris had firmly replaced Buffy Summers as the most feared hunter on the Hellmouth. That's why when Angelus had been released from the imprisonment placed on him by his soul, he had immediately gone about reassembling the Judge. He'd figured that only a demon that terrifyingly powerful would stand a chance against the holy powered, God driven killing machine that Xander had become. However, not even that had been enough, and now he was all alone with any vampire's worst nightmare, a paladin out for his death.

Backing up against the wall, Angelus tried one final effort to save his life. "You know, Buffy will never forgive you if you kill me."

His words may have once worked on the boy, but now Xander just scoffed as he approached the helpless vampire with a blade raised. "I'm th' servant o' th' one tru' God, messenger o' Heaven's divine judgment. Do ye reallae tink tha' Ae need the lassie's fergiveness, yeh damned hellspawn leech?"

In the blink of an eye, Xander's holy weapon shot forward in a blur of silver, the sounds of a loud "Amen" ringing off the walls, and then there was nothing but a pile of dust where the Scourge of Europe had once stood.

End of Story 1: Father Alexander

Character: Paladin Alexander Anderson, from the manga/anime Hellsing

Next story: Crying Xan-man

Endnotes: I know this isn't up to my usual standards, but I'm going to try to rush these fics so that I can get them out consistently during October. Once this drabble series is done, I'll resume work on my other fics. 'Til the next chapter, ja ne!