Disclaimer: As always I own nothing. Buffy and Gang belong to Joss Whedon and company!
AN 1: First off, I have no beta so all mistakes are mine. This was mostly written for my challenge and I'm not sure where this will go or even if it will. I may write small blurbs when I feel the urge or I might not. *shrugs* You're welcome to take up the challenge and add to it. XD
I've never seen a storyline like this so it may seem odd to some but I'd like to think it's something Xander would do if given a choice ... or really, given no other choice.
The original version of this was written in Notepad so I had to go back through and add bold and italics, I may have missed some so if you notice something that you think should have one or both let me know so I can check it out and fix it. XD
AN 2: I love Willow as much as the next person but she was a bit of a whiny brat about the Faith thing so I wrote her as a bit of a whiny brat.
Also ... Buffy, this was the point, I think, where Buffy was all 'Me Slayer, You Helpless' and I wanted at least one of his friends to be supportive so I tried to make Buffy supportive but not let her have much talk time as I didn't want my feelings to overwhelm/cloud that support. :(
The ritual described is my own tiny creation. I found the tree/gemstone meanings on various Wiccan and Celtic sites.
-Tullis is a variant of Tully meaning 'mighty people'. I thought it fit. XD
~ Now for the good stuff. I challenge you to write where Xander goes next. Must crossover with something and of course it must begin after this story. You can take what I've written, change it, or even write your own beginning. The crossover can be anything … even small blurbs of Xander passing through various crossovers though he must have contact with at least one crossover character from each verse. Also Xander can't lose the baby … you can have close calls, as most crossovers have at least some form of magic that could disrupt the spells around Xander, but the baby must be fine! Het, Femslash, and Slash (if you change Xander back after the baby is born) or even a combination are looked forward to. Happy writing!!
Emphasis in thoughts
'Passage from book'
Xander did a double take, hoping he'd heard her wrong but knowing in his heart he hadn't. Automatically his eyes fell to her flat stomach as if expecting in the last few seconds for it to have swelled. His thoughts cloudy, jumping from thought to thought. *She was pregnant? Was it his, well, of course it was his ... she was telling him after all. After just one night? He was gonna be a daddy.*
"Oh God! I'm gonna be a daddy!" Xander exclaimed, eyes wide with panic. *I have no way to support a kid! I guess I could drop out, get a job. Maybe once we're settled I could get my GED.* Xander was roughly pulled from his thoughts as Faith scoffed.
"No so fast tiger. I'm not keeping it. I'm a Slayer, we're not made for poppin' out munchkins and I'm not mommy material." Faith gave derisive laugh. "I don't need a snot-nosed little brat taggin' along when I patrol. I'm only doing you one better than my mom did my pa, just figured you had the right to know."
"No, no, no! This is my kid, too. I should have some say. You can have it and I'll take it, you won't ever have to see it again." Xander was desperate now. It'd finally sunk in that he was a father, even if the baby wasn't born yet, and she wasn't even going to give him a chance to be better than his dad. *Think Xander, think! What do you know about Faith, what can change her mind? I don't know much about Faith, though. There has to be something!*
"No way, X. I'd have to put slayin' on hold once I'm as big as a house and that's something I'm not doin'. It'd drive me batty and before ya know it I'd be out there trying to slay ... some vamp would get lucky when I can't pull off a roundhouse kick ... "Snort" that'd be something for the Watcher books. It's why us Slayers just aren't made for kids." Faith rose to leave.
"Wait, wait!! Give me a week to find a solution, please?" Xander would get down on hands and knees if he thought it'd work. *Just a week. I'll even deal with the hurt puppy looks from willow if she'll help me find something.* He could see she was thinking about it.
"Yeah, alright. One week and then I'm dealin' with it myself," was the last thing heard as Faith stomped from the room.
As soon as the room was empty Xander allowed the tears to fall while his hands gripped his hair; the sound of his soft crying echoing off the walls.
Xander had been looking almost non-stop for days now. He'd combed the 'magic section' of the library and while he'd found a few possible, he didn't think they'd work very well. His last hope was the off limit books hidden in Giles' office; those books that were too 'magic' to keep in the school library.
With that realization had come a plan which was executed perfectly, if he did say so himself. A quick distraction had given him enough time to swipe the key from Giles' keychain and another got him to the back door so he could tape the latch open. That part was risk but he figured any vamp that wanted in could just as easily break the door the down or even break the front door of the school open and make their way here. If he found what he needed it'd be worth it *and I can always apologize to Giles later.*
Which brought him to where he was; sneaking into the dark school through said door with only a flashlight and the stake tucked into his waistband.
Xander quickly pulled the curtains of the tiny window shut and clicked on the flashlight, hoping with ounce of hope he had left that the books weren't locked in a safe or something. *Which would be so like Giles.* Running the cone of light along the hanging shelves brought nothing of interest and neither did the top of the desk. That only left the drawers. *Please God, if you're there and listening, please let there be books in the drawers and let them have what I need.*
The top drawer on the left held nothing but spare paper and pens/pencils. The drawer below that held some of the naughtier books from the library. *and I don't want to know what they're doing here. TMI!* The right top drawer was what looked to be letters that may have been interesting to him any other time were passed over. His last hope was the bottom drawer. It was a deeper drawer than the others and the first sight when he pulled it open almost made him weep. The only thing holding him back was the uncertainty of what the book was. The cover looked to be leather and was a deep blood red. It held no title.
Xander pulled it from the drawer with the utmost care. *Giles would be so proud ... if I hadn't just broken into his office.* Opening it toward the middle revealed that it was indeed a spell book but it also looked to be a history of some kind. Xander flipped back to the front and read the inscription.
'This is the history and Book of Shadows of the Tullis clan. We are made family by the bonds that link us, not by the blood that runs through our veins.
The Tullis clan was created by Jacob and Sampson Tullis. We honor them through the name we bear and by upholding the codes by which they lived their lives.'
Now that was his kind of family. Turning the pages yielded spells he'd never thought existed; spells for healing sick children or at least giving the child a chance to pull through when death would have surely claimed any other. There were spells to help with pregnancy and birth; there was even one to help a woman who was bleeding too much during birth ... there was a warning that it could only be used once and to warn the mother that the chance of bleeding out was increased if she were to become pregnant again. The spells were used to keep the family, the clan, strong and healthy. It was amazing.
Xander almost dropped the book when he turned the page and found a spell labeled Child Transfer. He quickly skimmed the history of the spell. It was created by a grieving husband; his wife was dying from what appeared to be cancer and she was fading fast, with the timeline the healer gave she'd die before the child was old enough to safely be taken from her. It didn't change the child's parents as the volunteer was only an 'incubator'. They nourished the child within their bodies until the child was ready to be born. There was a warning that the transfer must be willing and that the 'incubator' would always feel some connection to the child as they were linked with magic so the body didn't reject the child, if the magic wasn't there the body would fight the child as it would a disease ... in the end killing the child they were trying to save.
It would be perfect but whom? *Who can I trust? Who would I want in my life forever?* With thoughts such as that chasing each other through his mind he read on.
He sat for what was minutes or hours, pages turning and soft breathing the only sound.
Xander was nearing the end when he found his solution. It was so far fetched and yet so simple. It was something he would have cringed and ran from before the life of his child was place upon his shoulders.
The Heir of Blood stared up at him from the page. It was a spell used by same sex couples of magical bloodlines. Those bloodlines that had special and rare gifts that only passed to those of blood. It was a spell created by a woman from one of those rare bloodlines. It went on to state that that fact had been stamped into her head from birth but she'd also known from a very young that she'd only be able to love another woman. She'd begun crafting it when she turned 15 and had worked for years before she'd finally perfected it ... she and her partner had been almost too old to have children by then but to preserve the bloodline they'd used her spell and had a child. They'd died when the child was 9, bonded together so completely, leaving the child and the spell in the care of the Tullis Clan.
*Can I really do this? ... Yes, yes I can.* Moving back to the desk and grabbing a pencil and the spare paper he copied down the Child Transfer spell and the Heir of Blood, the sex change, spell. Xander was very careful to copy the warnings for both, realizing as he did that he'd have to leave the Hellmouth when he completed the spells.
The warnings were very clear, what looked to be years after the original spell had been placed there. It told a story of someone like him who'd used the spells in conjunction and lost the child by a stray bit of magic. Together the spells were a tad unstable, not to mention tiring to hold. The body didn't like being forced into a different shape for so many months plus there was the fact that the balance of the body was different - whether male to female or female to male, it would take a while to settle and become natural. The truly unstable piece though, was the connection to the child. If it failed for even one second there was a very likely chance of miscarriage.
Xander would need time to get used to a female form, an ever-changing (pregnant) female form. *One lucky vamp catching me on the way home from craving shopping and I try to fight back like a male and I'm dead ... my child is dead. Or a rogue witch ... what about the evil draw of the Hellmouth? What would that do to the spells? It's too great a risk* With a decisive nod, Xander placed the book back in the drawer, making certain everything was returned to the way it was he went back the way he came, taking the tape from the door with him.
He called a Scooby meeting for the next day, hoping to explain why he had to leave and maybe get Giles to do the spells for him. While they didn't need a second or third party to complete them he didn't feel he had the right grasp of magic and this was something that was much too important to bumble through.
Tomorrow was the last day of his week and he didn't think he trusted Faith not to say his week was up and go to a clinic first thing in the morning so he needed Giles today!
Once everyone was there he opened his mouth to greet them or begin but his mind fuzzed blank. It was just too much ... too many days of worry and uncertainty and too many days of not sleeping and searching book after book.
"Xander? Xander, what's wrong?" *Willow, that's Willow's voice.* "Giles, something's wrong with Xander!"
He tried to swim up from the fog as he saw Giles appear before him asking if he was okay and all he could do was nod and then shake his head; tears coming to his eyes and he tried to hold them back but they spilled out anyway. He felt Willow wrap her arms around him; it was familiar and comforting and he tucked his head into her shoulder and muffled his sobs but let the tears fall. Willow didn't seem to mind that he was soaking her fuzzy shirt, just held him all the tighter and he felt Buffy's arms wrap around his back and Giles grasp his shoulder in that manly British 'stiff upper lip' way.
The tears petered out after only a few moments but he felt all the better for having let them out. *Might as well just jump right in.*
"Faith is pregnant." His voice muffled by Willow's shoulder was still heard loud and clear in the quiet of the library.
"Good Lord!" *There goes Giles. I bet he's cleaning his glasses* and a quick glance confirmed it.
A look through his lashes showed Willow fighting between shock and a hint of jealousy.
"What are you going to do?" asked Buffy. "I didn't think Faith was one for motherhood."
"She's not." Xander answered. "She was going to have an abortion but I asked for a week to think of something else."
"Oh! We can help. We'll look through the books and find something." Willow cut in.
Here came the hard part, the part where Willow got all disappointed and puppy eyed. "I kinda already did. I searched the library almost non-stop for days. Tomorrow's the last day." he explained.
"It's okay Xan, we'll think of something." Buffy consoled.
"I found something ... or really two somethings, spells … rituals, whatever you want to call them. I just need Giles to help perform them."
"Which, Which spells were you thinking of? I didn't think there was anything worth much in the books."
"I may, only may mind you," he hastened to explain, "have broken into your office and found the spells in the book in there." he finished quickly. *And there go the glasses again.*
"The books I keep in my office tend to be darker than the magics found out here and, and far more dangerous, there is a reason they're kept locked in my office, after all." Giles chastised but Xander could tell that while he really did want to get his point across Giles couldn't hold it against him in light of the information Xander just dumped on the group.
"Yeah, I know but I was desperate G- ... Giles. This is my child ... and boy doesn't that feel weird to say. I just want to give it a better life, be a better dad than my own and I need it to be born to do that. The spells I found should be able to do that. They come from the Tullis Clan Book of Shadows."
"Yes, yes ... I remember now. I just got that book ... I, I hadn't had much of a chance to read it yet but from what I'd heard of it, it could be very useful. What spells did you find Xander?"
"Well, the first is the Child Transfer spell. It will take a child from one and transfer it to another, linking the child and what they call the incubator together for the duration of the pregnancy ... though it is warned that even once the link is broken the child and incubator will still have a bond ... not a true mother/child bond but enough of one that you should be wary of who you choose."
"Ooo. You could pick one of us Xan. We'd be good mommies." *That's what I was afraid of. Willow and anything even lightly linked to romance never turns out good … it is of the bad. Especially this, she'd expect marriage and white picket fences and more kids sooner rather than later. Even when I specifically said it wouldn't be a mother/child bond she jumped right to being mommy.* A deep breath mentally prepared himself for the puppy eyes.
"That's actually what the other spell is for. It's called the Heir of Blood. It was made with same sex couples of rare bloodlines in mind but I figured it'd work for this as well."
"Heir of Blood you say? It's a closely guarded secret by the magical community. It's in the book, truly ... fascinating."
"Ok, what this Heir of Blood thingy?" Buffy asked. "Make with the 'splainy."
"As Xander explained, it's a spell for rare bloodlines. Rare blood such as, as natural seers or, or shape shifters - those who can shift without the pull of the moon. If a couple of the, the same sex are of a rare bloodline, especially if they are the last of their line, they will use the spell and be able to have a child the natural way, a child - an heir of their blood." Seeing the confusion still on Buffy face he continued more bluntly, "In essence, it's a sex change spell. If two males of a rare bloodline wish to carry on that bloodline they will use the spell and one of them will become a woman. I don't believe I have to explain more, do I?"
Eyes wide, Buffy replied in little more than a squeak, "No, no. It's fine."
A glance at Willow showed she was just as wide eyed.
"It's the best solution I could come up with. I use the Heir of Blood and then the Child Transfer."
"Are, are you perfectly sure Xander?" Giles asked with concern.
"Yes." Xander answered with as much certainty as he could. "There's just ... the warning, it was added later by someone who did the spells together and lost the child. They'd been hit by some kind magic, a rogue of their coven, and from what it says it collapsed the spells for a few seconds but it was enough. They also say it will take time to get used to the opposite form and with being pregnant it will always be changing. I'll be a sitting duck here. And what about the power of the Hellmouth ... Will it affect the spells any?"
That seemed to stump Giles. "I, I honestly don't know. As I said it's a closely guarded secret, not many will know."
"That's what I thought." Xander nodded. "Once the spells are done and I've rested I'll need to leave. I don't know where I'll go yet ... maybe I'll just wonder for a bit but I can't stay here. I thought it last night and I still believe it now. It'd be just my luck; I'd go on a craving run and a vamp would catch me on the way back. If I'm not used to the form I'll fight like me ... a guy and I'll be dead. It just won't be safe." Xander stood to leave. "I'm going to go get Faith, let her know I found something."
"I'll go get the book and get the spells ready." Giles still looked concerned but there was a hint of respect and pride there.
"Wait, Xander wait. We can think of something else. We'll find something. You don't have leave or, or become a girl." Willow babbled.
Xander turned back with a sigh, "Yes, Willow, I do. When I said I looked through the books I meant I looked through all the magic books here. The book in Giles' office was the last. The last day of my week is tomorrow and I don't think I trust Faith to not say tomorrow is the last day of the deal and find a clinic early tomorrow morning. It's just the way it has to be. That's my baby and I'll do anything for it." he told her seriously.
He turned and walked out, leaving a stunned Willow behind.
He found Faith in her motel room and he got straight to the point when she opened the door.
"I found something. Giles is getting everything ready."
"And what is that you've found BoyToy?" She sounded skeptical.
"It's something that will leave you free and give our child a chance at life."
"And what is it exactly. I'm not going anywhere until I know what I'm walking into. For all I know you could've had Jeeves call the Council and they'll keep me locked up for 9 months." Faith demanded.
"I wouldn't do that. I looked through all of Giles' books and I found two spells. One will take the child from you and put it in an 'incubator'."
Faith gave a laugh. "I don't think you have the right parts for that, X."
"No, but after the second spell I will." he explained.
Faith gave him an intense, incredulous look. "You've talkin' about changing yourself into a girl?"
"You'd do that for the munchkin?" Faith's face displayed her confusion.
"I'd do anything for it." It seemed that was all he needed to say.
"Right, let's go." Faith grabbed her leather jacket from the chair and closed the door behind her.
They arrived back at the library to find Willow and Buffy helping Giles lay out the ingredients for the spells. Giles, holding the Tullis Book of Shadows, followed behind the girls making small alterations so that everything was in just the correct order.
It seemed they had come at the perfect time as Giles made one last change and looked up.
"Good, you're both here. We'll need to start with Heir of Blood and then move on to the transfer. I believe it will be best to put you to sleep for this as the change will not only be disorienting but may be uncomfortable or even painful. We might as well do the transfer while you're asleep as well, that way I can lift the forced sleep and you can rest while your body adjusts."
Xander took a deep breath as he stepped up. "Right. Where do you want me?"
"Lie in the center of the circle, be careful not to disturb anything." Giles warned. The circle was created by different tree branches, each lending the ritual something. There was Oak for strength, Aspen for transformation, Reed for harmony, Apple for love, and Cedar for health, cleansing, and protection. *I don't want to know where Giles got these on such short notice.*
Xander stepped into the circle without disturbing the branches. Willow lit the candles placed at the four corners around the circle. Giles leaned over and placed a small pink stone upon his forehead. If he remembered the ritual correctly it was rose quartz and stood for fertility ... it would give the ritual the added femininity. It was also said that the stone would focus the stone's power to look within the heart ... if what was found in the heart was lacking the ritual wouldn't work. That was something that Xander didn't feel he had to worry about. He was only doing this for an innocent life, his child. What would be found lacking with that?
Xander's eyes grew heavy before closing. *Guess Giles started the sleep spell.*
When Xander awoke it wasn't in the library and his body didn't feel right. A glance down at the gentle swell of his chest confirmed that the spell had been a success. With a yawn he, she pulled herself from the bed and stumbled to the bathroom. A look in the mirror revealed a pretty girl with long dark hair that had a slight curl to it and large brown doe eyes ... china doll features. She also looked pale but that could have just been from the spell and while she probably wasn't Buffy's idea of skinny she was curvy. A fairly nice sized chest, tiny love handles, and a bubble butt. She also appeared to have shrunk slightly at maybe 5'4 or 5'5.
It was weird looking into a mirror and not seeing 'Xander' but that was to be expected now. She'd need to get used to it quickly; she didn't want to spend more time than was needed on the Hellmouth.
Xander turned from the mirror and continued down the hall and into the kitchen where she found Giles.
"Everything went okay, right? I mean, I know the gender spell worked but what about the transfer? And Faith?"
Giles jumped and spun around to face her. "Good Lord Xander. I didn't hear you come down. And yes, everything worked out perfectly. I guess congratulations are in order. You're a mother and a father." Giles replied with a faint quirk to his lips. She narrowed her eyes, if Xander didn't know better she'd have said it was a smirk. "Faith returned to her motel room and probably for a quick patrol after that. Have you thought about where to go?"
"Nah. I figure I'll know when I get there. For now I'll just work on getting used to this body. Do you think you could get me some papers? I mean, I can't use my driver's license or even my birth certificate if I need to use it for some reason."
"I have some old contacts in the Council. I can call in some favors and have them be discrete about it if you'd like. You'll need to think of a name to use. You can't very well be Alexander Harris."
A yawn escaped her. *I guess they were right about it taking time to get used to the body and about the body fighting the change. I just woke up but I feel like I haven't slept in days.*
"Are you still tired, Xander?" Giles asked in concern.
"Yeah, it's weird. I feel like I haven't slept for days even though I just woke up but the book did say it'd be difficult."
"Sit and eat something and then you can rest." Giles said as he pushed a plate of food in front of her. She didn't really see what she was eating as she forced it down.
Once her plate was empty she thanked Giles and headed back upstairs for more rest.
It took her almost a month to get used to her body and for her body to adjust to the strain of holding a form not natural to it, all the while leaving her tired and rundown. One moment she'd be talking to Buffy feeling as if she'd had multiple cups of coffee and suddenly she'd feel as if she hadn't slept for days.
Then she'd had to deal with the horror of shopping ... with Buffy and Willow. *Who knew Wills had gone shopping crazy?* They'd brought her a whole new wardrobe. Her feet had hurt for days afterwards. That was the day she vowed never to shop with them again.
There was also the problem of establishing an identity. Giles' contacts had gone all out, which made her wonder what they owed him, but they'd constructed a whole life for her ... from birth, parents, and even hospital visits. She was now the proud owner of a driver's license with her name and photo and a car to go along with it.
It was this car she was packing the last of her belongings into. She'd said her goodbyes to the girls and Giles. A new cell phone had come with the life and she had their numbers programmed in and she'd promised to call at least once a week but had a feeling she'd call once a day the first few days.
She hopped into the driver's seat, closing the door behind her. A turn of the key had the engine purring. She had no idea where she was going yet ... she was leaving it to fate for now.
*So begins the life of Alexa Tullis.* As she sped past the Leaving Sunnydale sign her hand drifted to her stomach. *and unborn child. Fate will set us on the right path.* "It's just you and me baby but we'll be alright."