"ALEXANDER LAVELLE HARRIS-"
*Wonderful. All he'd needed tonight was for one of those stupid Powers That Be to yank him out of his comfortable bed in the Cleveland Slayers House. This featureless dreamscape around him was totally annoying, not to mention that big jerk starting off by declaiming in their best Wizard of Oz style his detested full name.*
"-YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN-"
*Oh, like he had a choice? Yeah, right.*
"-TO ACCOMPLISH THE FOLLOWING TASK-"
*Hey, if all they'd wanted was for good ol' Xander on hand as a witness to their agonizing suicide attempt, he'd have instantly volunteered. Showing up early, too, with a big bowl of popcorn ready, along with helpful comments on where to aim the shotgun muzzle.*
"-YOU ARE OBLIGATED TO PROTECT HE WHO MUST NOT BE HARMED-"
*Of course. Follow the godly union requirements to be as vague and ambiguous as possible. All in the hopes of a nice, side-splitting time watching those puny mortals forced to deal with your proclamations. What, do you get extra points for making them guess about what they're supposed to do, exactly?*
"-YEA, FOR IT SHALL BE THE DOOM OF HER IF YOU FAIL-"
*'Yea'? You're actually saying 'Yea' and already pinning the blame on me? And who the hell's 'her', anyway? Buffy, Wils, Dawn, Faith, any other girl I know from the New Council? Or maybe it's Lady Gaga or someone else from the rest of the three-billion-plus human females on this planet! Nope, don't bother to narrow it down a little, I'm perfectly fine with blindly doing something you're hiding from me, just to keep this mysterious lady safe and sound!*
"-AND SO YOU SHALL BE TRANSPORTED TO BEGIN YOUR NECESSARY RESPONSIBILITY. FEAR NOT, CHILD OF ADAM-"
*Just let me get my hands around your throat, and I'll show you 'fear not', asshole!*
Landing heavily flat on his back on the grass of his arrival point, Xander had his breath smashed out of his lungs. However, even while spending the next few moments gasping for air, this one-eyed man still managed to smirk upwards into the night sky, knowing he'd nevertheless managed some small measure of revenge by truly getting under the skin of whoever had the bright idea of mystically shanghaiing him to…where?
At once scrambling onto his feet, Xander warily looked around as he brushed off his clothes. *Lessee, some kinda vacant lot filled with temperate trees and bushes, feels like fall weather, it's night and the stars up there are those in the Northern Hemisphere, looks like a suburban neighborhood with postwar American-style big houses or apartments along the lighted street out there - what the hell, did I get sent back to Cleveland?*
Frowning at this last thought, Xander tilted his head, half-closed his remaining eye, and he just…felt where he was. A couple of seconds later, a disappointed headshake revealed his inability to sense that Ohio city's Hellmouth. This newfound capacity had come as quite a surprise to several of the contingent who'd relocated from California years ago after their former home had fallen into an enormous sinkhole. It'd been taken for granted back then that the Slayers, either the originals such as Buffy and Faith, or the former Potentials, could locate this other-dimensional nexus using their supernatural talents. However, every person who'd been born in Sunnydale - Willow, Andrew, and Xander himself - could do it, too. Weirdest of all had been Dawn's inclusion within this small group.
Shrugging, Xander then glanced down at his clothing. He thoughtfully eyed the new attire there, quite different from the boxers and t-shirt he'd been wearing in bed earlier tonight. Instead, he was currently clad in a somewhat formal outfit, consisting of a sports coat with a tie, good shirt and slacks, and decent shoes. It'd do for any event from attending church, visiting a high-class restaurant, or having a job interview. Which lead to the obvious question: Why was he wearing it now?
The man still standing in the vacant lot then did the most logical thing, which was checking out his pockets. There wasn't anything to be found in the coat, but when Xander's fingers probed his right front pants pocket, he felt and pulled out a folded sheet of paper from there. Opening and holding it up into the light coming from the streetlamp across the road, all it took was for him to read the first typed line on the letter for Xander's blood to immediately freeze solid.
September 1, 1962
Trying to wrap his stunned mind about being unexpectedly sent back nearly fifty years in the past, Xander numbly skimmed through the rest of the letter congratulating one Alexander LaVelle Harris (*not again!*) for registering in his freshman year at Faber College, Pennsylvania. Further details of his class schedule and the location of his assigned dorm room were provided, along with the smug declaration that it was the college's hope for all new students to recognize and do their best to follow this educational facility's motto: KNOWLEDGE IS GOOD.
"No, what's really good is tying down some fucking Powers That Bet on an anthill and pouring a whole jar of honey all over that mystical meddler!" snarled Xander under his breath. Angrily crumpling up the letter before shoving this back into his pocket, the furious man glowered off into the distance for a few minutes. Eventually simmering down a bit, this was helped along by the niggling thought that the name of the college he'd just been enrolled in seemed a little familiar. Not all that much, though. It wasn't from any kind of Ivy League school, just that Xander was positive he knew the name from somewhere.
At last impatiently dismissing his failure to correctly identify the college, Xander turned to walk out of the vacant lot, only to stop short when he became conscious of a very familiar sensation coming from his back pants pocket. An instant later, Xander pulled out from there a wallet, and he was gaping at its contents: twenty one-hundred dollar bills. Going on to glumly examine the Pennsylvania driver's license in the name of Alexander LaVelle Harris (*aaarrrrggghhh!*) which was the only other thing in the wallet, Xander eventually sighed, and he stuck the leather case back into his pants pocket.
Looking carefully around, the man firmly decided to himself, *Okay, before anything else, I'm gonna do something just for my own peace of mind.* Five minutes' hard work later, Xander slipped a foot-long stick up his left coat sleeve, with the tip of the point scraped onto one end of this piece of wood just touching the inside of his elbow. Feeling a little bit better, Xander stepped away from the tree he'd just broken off a branch to fashion a weapon. Only, he now abruptly heard the faint sound of voices coming from the street.
Ghosting through the vacant lot, Xander halted behind a tall bush, and he warily peered through this shrubbery's branches. There, he saw the backs of two young guys walking further along on the sidewalk, who'd just passed by his location while chatting with each other. Still keeping himself concealed, Xander tried to pick up the conversation of the people he was eavesdropping upon, only to fail to hear anything except a couple of words: "…they've got to take me, I'm a legacy…"
Absently rubbing at his left eyebrow above his patch, Xander wondered what to do now. Those two guys there were oddly enough dressed at the same level of formality as was the New Council troubleshooter, but his Hellmouth instincts hadn't gotten anything upsetting from them, or come to think of it, even from this whole place! So, it was probably safe enough to discretely follow them in his effort to acquire some information. Like, such trivial details as where he was, why the hell he'd been sent into the past, etc., etc.
Slipping through the bushes onto the sidewalk, Xander let the guys ahead gain a block lead before he began strolling along after them. Several minutes later, once reassured that his quarry wasn't paying the slightest bit of attention to anything behind themselves, Xander was musing over something else it'd taken him a while to recognize.
In this section of neighborhood that he'd just entered, the big houses there were brightly lit up, with lots of other young men and women coming in and out of these tidy buildings with shiny metal Greek letters affixed over the front doors. From what he'd been told by those in the New Council from their own college experiences, tonight was some form of Rush Week, with the school freshmen (and freshwomen in their outdated dresses and big hair) applying to join the fraternities and sororities lining this nighttime street. At any time, Xander could've ended his tagging along after those two guys further along and tried his luck at the other places, but he might as well as finish the job. Besides, it looked like that house ahead was their destination anyway, incredible as it might seem.
Stopping on the sidewalk a hundred feet away, Xander disbelievingly regarded the hovel where the pair he'd been following were gingerly stepping over a naked female mannequin lying on the cracked concrete walkway leading to the shabby front door. Unlike this locale, every other Greek house on the street was in good repair and freshly painted, and the front lawns were neatly mowed and trimmed. That decaying structure, on the other hand, was crumbling in ruins, with recent signs of an actual fire along the near wall, and every blade of grass previously on the bare front grounds had long ago died and blown away. The incredulous look on Xander's face matched perfectly the expressions on the duo he'd been tracking, as they approached someone standing in front of a rotting rose bush by the front door, his back turned to them.
Xander was too far away to hear anything, but one of the two guys must have spoken to him, the unaware man, since he now spun in a half-circle, to then immediately stare at the lower pants legs of the duo who'd just interrupted him in the middle of baptizing the rose bush. Mouth opening to make some sort of pleased remark, the burly guy bearing an absolutely identical resemblance to John Belushi genially jerked his head in a 'come on in' gesture while zipping up. Lurching around to enter the disintegrating house, this older guy was followed by those he'd invited, who now revealed themselves in the light cast by the open front door as having the likenesses of Thomas Hulce and Stephen Furst.
His sole eye firmly squeezed shut in a vain attempt to block out his sudden realization, Xander Harris groaned to himself, "Animal House! I'm in Animal House! But just why would I be sent into a movie? Even if it's one of my favorite comedies!"
Built high on a hill overlooking Faber College and its environs, the Dean's House currently had someone standing in the second story bedroom and observing from the front window there what was taking place outside tonight. The demon known to the other inhabitants of his hell dimension as Grazlar the Mighty approvingly regarded what was laid out in his view: the large, illuminated houses occupied by fraternities and sororities busily recruiting their newest members for the start of the school year. There, the majority of these dwellings would soon be filled up with young people of either sex being indoctrinated in the ways of conformity, obedience, submission and all the other good things of demonic control.
Grazlar could actually feel the waves of mystical energy created from those idiotic humans' acquiescence being added to his own personal power. Soon - very, very soon - the necessary level of influence to carry out the ceremony to be spoken only in trembling whispers as The Opening Of The Gates would be reached, and fire and blood would then wash this land clean. It couldn't happen quickly enough to satisfy the disguised demon, who now cringed at the sudden mental stab of truly unwanted sensations classified as defiance, exuberance, and genuine high spirits.
Grumbling as he rubbed at the balding forehead of his human host, Grazlar then glared through the window of the Dean's House across the distance at the specific spot where a detested structure stood. There, a dilapidated Delta House tonight contained lots of people dancing and drinking and otherwise having the time of their lives. That cursed building and its delinquent residents had blocked his plans for years. For example, every time he'd been about to do something like sacrificing the exact mystical number of virgins about to be kidnapped from one sorority or another, the inhabitants of Delta always managed to throw a party that speedily reduced the entire college's population of untouched young women. Not to mention untouched young men.
Well, not this time. Over the last few months, he'd methodically set up the proper plans and schemes that would finally remove Delta's charter and expel every single one of those rebellious children. During this, the demon would also carry out the preliminary rituals needed to set up the main ceremony which would bring doom to the college. True, the prophecies from the seers he'd previously consulted had been even more obscure than usual concerning the coming days - 'Beware of the White Knight', indeed - but Grazlar the Mighty would triumph! Nothing could possibly go wrong-
Slowing turning around in the male body he was controlling, Grazlar stared blankly at the mate of Dean Wormer posing in the bedroom doorway while presently wearing nothing but a set of very skimpy lingerie. Giving her husband a come-hither look that damn well better make him stop acting like the cold fish he'd been for the past couple of years, Marion Wormer cooed, "Why don't you and I hop into our bed and fool around like we did when we were college students ourselves?"
Grazlar hastily scanned through the mental files of his host's stunned personality for the correct response to this astonishing proposal. Ah, yes, that one seemed to properly fit the situation. Opening his mouth, Dean Wormer recited in an unemotional monotone, "I have a headache."
A few seconds later, with his ears still ringing from the irately slammed-shut bedroom door, Grazlar turned back to the window, all while deeply brooding over this latest example of humanity's most strange behavior.