DISCLAIMER: All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon, The Hulk, She Hulk and all characters and histories involved belong to Marvel comics and a bunch of people. All I own is the twisted idea...
August 17, 1999
"One Alexander Lavelle Harris," Detective Benson frowned as she read off his driver's license, her partner, Detective Stabler cocked an eyebrow at the middle name but didn't say anything out of respect.
"Eighteen, from Sunnydale California," Benson continued with a nod.
"How's he doing doc?" Stabler asked as the doctor came over with several papers, obviously the test results from the exams they have already performed.
"Not good detective," The doctor said sadly. "Multiple contusions and lacerations, while some of the scars on his body seem to be months, even years old, the fresh trauma to his back and neck are what's worrying me."
"He saved two little girls," Stabler said, his tone dripping with respect for the young man that was lying unconscious in the hospital bed not ten feet from where they were standing. "Took down the creep that was assaulting them, if he hadn't been there then." He trailed off, not wanting to think about what would had happened to the two nine year old girls if Alexander hadn't interfered.
"I understand detective," The doctor nodded. "Mr Harris has lost a lot of blood in addition to the spinal injuries he suffered in the fight. We need to operate, quickly, but we have to stabilise him first before we can risk any invasive procedures."
"So stabilise him then," Stabler frowned. It didn't seem like much of a decision to him, stabilise the kid and then operate, clean and simple. As far as he was concerned, the kid was a hero, putting his own life on the line for two kids, he deserved the best treatment he could get.
"I'm afraid it's not that simple detective," The doctor explained, staring Stabler directly in the eye to let him know how serious this was. "Mr Harris has an extremely rare blood type, one I've only seen once or twice before. A genetic quirk if you will, we don't have any blood here that would transfuse correctly."
"And without the blood transfusion?" Benson asked in a quiet voice.
"He'll die," The doctor said in an equally quiet voice. "His body is hanging on, but without the blood he won't survive the operation necessary to repair the damage to his spine, my guess is, he has about a week, maybe less."
"How rare is the blood type?" Stabler asked, already planning a press conference to ask for donors.
"Two, maybe three percent of the population." The Doctor said with a frown as he cut of whatever Stabler was about to say. "Of the world detective, not New York."
Stabler visibly deflated at this news; the odds of finding someone with a compatible blood type were low, extremely low in the time needed to save him. "Is there anything we can do for him?"
"We've tried to contact his family, unsuccessfully. But unless a suitable donor can be found, I don't like his chances." The Doctor frowned as his beeper went off. "Excuse me detectives." He nodded to both of them before moving off down the hallway.
"This isn't right Liv," Stabler frowned as he leaned against the glass door and looked in at the unconscious body of the teen lying on the bed. Various machines were hooked up all around him, tubes running into his arm and mouth along with various diode sensors along his head and chest. "Kid shouldn't have to diebecause of what he did."
"You heard the doctor Elliot," Olivia sighed. "There's nothing we can do without a blood transfusion."
"Yeah," Elliot nodded, not taking his eyes off the body for a second. "It's just…"
"Detectives," The Doctor called out as he came back over. "There was something else I wanted to mention, Mr Harris' blood type, I have seen it before in New York."
"Great, where?" Olivia asked as Stabler's eyes lit up in a flicker of hope.
"Jennifer Walters," The Doctor said with a frown.
"You're kidding me," Elliot's eyes widened at this. "As in…"
"The same," The doctor nodded. "If you can find her, and convince her to provide a blood transfusion. She may be able to save this young man's life."
"Great," Olivia nodded. "Any ideas where we can find Ms Walters?"
"You're kidding right?" Elliot sighed. "I forgot, you weren't around back then."
"Back then?" Olivia frowned. "What, is she someone famous then?"
"You could say that," Elliot nodded as he led the way out of the hospital. "Back in the early nineties, I was just a rookie back then. Jen Walters was working for Goodman, Lieber, Kurtzberg & Holliway. We had a couple of run ins with her and the DA, nothing major though, she was a good lawyer, one with actual morals and ethics."
"An honest lawyer, who'd of thought." Olivia nodded as they left the hospital and Elliot opened the car door for her.
"Back then, about ninety two or something, can't really remember, she was working for this guy who was being targeted by the mob, we tried to arrange a protection detail but honest cops were hard to come by back then. Most of the old precinct were under the thumb." Elliot frowned as he remembered the old days when the mob practically ran New York. "There was a shoot-out at the offices, mob pretty much killed everyone who was in there."
"I remember hearing about that," Olivia nodded. "Made the national news, the mob wiped out an entire law firm in one hit."
"Nearly," Elliot nodded. "One survivor."
"Jennifer Walters," Olivia guessed correctly.
"Multiple gunshot wounds, they left her for dead. They got her to a hospital in time to stabilise her, but she'd lost too much blood."
"Like Alexander," Olivia nodded.
"Yeah," Elliot frowned. "They found a match though, her cousin. Gave her a blood transfusion and saved her life."
"Great, so where is she now, or her cousin, as they obviously share the same blood type." Olivia smiled, this was the first ray of hope they'd had about Alexander's condition since they'd found him in the abandoned warehouse by the docks.
"Her cousin, Doctor Bruce Banner," Elliot snorted as Olivia's eyes widened.
"Yeah, that one."
"Then, she's…. she's…"
"Exactly," Elliot frowned. "The doctors never did find out if it was the transfusion or the irradiated blood from Bruce that caused the same effect in Ms Walters. But I think it's safe to say that getting a transfusion from Doctor Banner is out of the question."
"And Ms Walters?" Olivia asked. "Would the same happen to Alexander?"
"No clue," Elliot frowned. "That's the doc's department not mine. My guess is that she either knows, or doesn't want to find out."
"Let's ask her then." Olivia set her jaw, there was no way she was going to let Mr Harris die just because there might be a chance that the mutated blood in Jennifer Walters might have the same effect on him. For all they knew, it was a freak occurrence caused by the fact that Doctor Banner and Jennifer shared enough genetic markers for it to take hold.
"I plan on doing just that." Elliot nodded as he continued the drive back to the squad room.
"How is he?" Captain Cragan asked as he walked through the squad room to see Elliot and Olivia walk in.
"Not good," Olivia answered as Elliot immediately sat down at his desk and started typing away on the computer. "He needs a blood transfusion, without it he won't make it."
"And I'm guessing there's a problem." Cragan frowned. He'd already been fielding phone calls from the Mayor and Chief of police all morning, the way the newspapers were reporting this were making Mr Harris out to be some sort of superhero. The brass were already talking about honouring him in some ceremony or something, basically a PR stunt for them masked under the guise of saying thank you to the young man.
"He's got a rare blood type," Elliot answered without looking up from his computer. "The doctor only knows of two people with the same type."
"Get them down here then." Cragan frowned. This kid had saved two young girls from a repeat paedophile, as far as he was concerned that gave him more than enough right to ask for a blood transfusion from anyone.
"You might not want them here," Elliot frowned as he looked up from the computer. "Doctor Bruce Banner and Ms Jennifer Walters."
"You mean…" Cragan trailed off as Elliot nodded.
"Yeah, kid's got the same blood type as The Hulk and She-Hulk." Elliot sighed as he looked at the computer screen. "Last reported Hulk sighting was somewhere in Brazil two months ago, nothing since then."
"Ms Walters?" Cragan asked with a wince, unable to actually fathom that he was actually thinking about inviting either Hulk to his city. If push came to shove though, Ms Walters was the better of the two, at least she could control the transformation when she wanted and had some measure of control in her other form, unlike her cousin.
"Appears to be registered in LA." Elliot answered with a raised eyebrow. "Working at some law firm down there, somehow they must have got her reinstated. Wolfram and Hart."
"You don't want to deal with them." Alexandra Cabbot said as she walked across, having been half listening to the conversation from the doorway for a while. "Trust me, they're the worst of the worst. Think every bad story you've heard about lawyers, times that by a hundred and that's what you'll be dealing with."
"That bad huh?" Elliot frowned as he looked at the assistant DA that had been working with them for several years now.
"Worse," Alexandra nodded. "What is it you want with them?"
"We need one of their lawyers." Olivia explained. "Medical reasons, we need to get her to agree to a blood transfusion."
"The hero kid?" Alexandra guessed and was rewarded with both detectives nodding at her. "I can put in a few calls, no telling if I'll hear anything back or not."
"Do what you can," Cragan nodded. "I'll call the brass and explain the situation, if this goes how I think it will, they'll want Harris moved out of state for the transfusion."
"Won't happen," Elliot shook his head. "Without the blood they can't operate, without the operation he'll die within a week. The damage to his neck and spine were too severe."
"Let me get this straight," Cragan sighed. "We've got a choice of either bringing the She-Hulk back to New York, or letting a hero who saved two nine year old girls die."
"Sums it up." Elliot nodded.
"I'll start making calls." Cragan said as he started walking back towards his office. "We're going to need to serious public support on this one, if it were anyone else I'd say you haven't a hope, but with how the papers are playing up Harris."
"We'll get on it." Olivia nodded.
August 20, 1999
Three days had passed now with no word from anyone, even the top brass were getting antsy with the newspaper coverage now on a daily basis talking about Alexander Harris and how nothing was being done to save his life.
Reporters were camped outside the hospital permanently now, making Elliot's daily visit to see Alex even harder than before. He'd lost count of the amount of times he'd stated firmly 'no comment' to a newspaper reporter or some local news anchor trying to get a big story.
"Just hang in there," Elliot muttered to the unconscious boy as he sighed and leaned on the glass window, looking down out of the hospital window at the media circus camped outside. It didn't seem right, he'd put his life on the line to save two children from sexual assault, and the brass were more worried about what might happen if The Hulk or She-Hulk came to New York.
At least the media were actually on their side for once, newspapers and shows were regularly showing updates of Alex's condition, talking about how the Chief of Police and the Mayor of New York were doing nothing to save the young mans life. Even the families of the two girls he'd saved were coming by regularly, doing what they could to help him. They'd donated money, along with half of New York, towards the hospital and the medical care that Alex desperately needed, though it still fell down to the blood.
Elliot turned around, his mouth immediately going dry and his eyes widening at the sight before him.
Stood in the doorway was a woman, more like an amazon from what he could see. Seeing her like this really put it in perspective, it was nothing like he remembered or the photos he'd seen of her. She was huge, easily over eight feet tall. Her skin and hair were dark green and the obvious muscles underneath her expensively tailored suit bulged as she ducked under the doorway and moved into the room.
"Jennifer Walters," Elliot managed to say without squeaking like a mouse as she held out her hand for him to shake.
"I guess my reputation still precedes me," The She-Hulk smiled slightly before turning to look at the young man on the bed. "Is this him?"
"Yes… yes." Elliot had to try twice to get the words out as he loosened his tie and undid the top button on his shirt.
"I got the message from your DA," The She-Hulk nodded as she looked at the unconscious young man. "Is what the newspapers saying true?"
"He saved two young girls," Elliot nodded, still a bit in awe at the sheer presence and strength the woman in front of him radiated. He was almost shocked at the tenderness of the motion as she reached out and stroked some hair away from his eyes. "A paedophile was holding them captive; he'd raped three girls previously. From what we can piece together, he must have stumbled on the perp and the girls in the warehouse district; we don't know what he was doing there though, no record of him working there or anything."
"And the man responsible?" The She-Hulk asked as she stepped away from Alex's body and moved closer to Elliot.
"Died in transit," Elliot said calmly, his tone saying that he wouldn't waste a tear on what happened to the man. "Whatever went down in that warehouse, both he and Alex lost a lot of blood. French, that's the perp, suffered several broken bones and cuts, didn't go down without a fight though."
"So he saved the girls?" The She-Hulk asked, looking back towards the hospital bed.
"And others," Elliot nodded, feeling a bit calmer now as it was obvious the She-Hulk had a lot more control than her cousin. "French was a repeat offender; he'd got to three girls previously, who knows how many others would have been on his list if Alex hadn't stopped him."
"Do you know what you're asking here detective?" The She-Hulk asked with sad eyes as she looked at him. "The blood that you want to give him, my blood, is full of gamma radiation. It could affect him the same way it did me and Bruce."
"I'm willing to take that chance," Elliot said with a firm nod.
"Is he?" The She-Hulk asked quietly. "You're asking me to risk creating another Hulk detective, is that something you want on your conscience?"
"And you're asking me to let a hero die." Elliot shot back with a frown. "You're the only person we know for sure has the same blood as Alex, without it, he's as good as dead."
"I know," The She-Hulk said quietly as she looked back towards the body.
"You have to do this," Elliot said firmly. "It's the right thing to do." He said, finally noticing the crowd of doctors and nurses that were now hovering around outside the room and staring in. "Jennifer, he saved two young girls lives, I can't let him die because of that."
"But you'll risk condemning him to a worse fate," The She-Hulk said sadly. "There are three things that could happen if, and that's a big if, we go ahead with this. One, he stays as he is and the radiation does nothing to him." She paused, lifting up one finger that was as big as Elliot's head. "Two, the radiation mutates him like it did with Bruce, he becomes another mindless Hulk and is hunted by the army for the rest of his life." She held up another finger, watching Detective Stabler's eyes widen considerably. "Three, he turns out like me. Able to switch between the two when and if he wants."
"Is there any way to know how it will affect him?" Elliot asked as he stared at the three fingers the She-Hulk was holding up.
"Bruce didn't know how it would affect me," The She-Hulk said sadly as she moved to lean against the wall. "It could be a genetic trait, it could be triggered by his anger, there are a host of things that could affect the outcome. We have no way of knowing."
"But there's a thirty percent chance he'll be fine?" Elliot asked after a moment of thinking, actually wondering if he was doing the right thing here. It hadn't been far from his mind ever since they'd learned that a blood transfusion from either Hulk could save the young man, but being faced with being told it, from a seven foot female Hulk herself, that really put it into perspective.
"True but." The She-Hulk tried to continue but trailed off as she looked down at the young man laying on the bed.
"He's a hero," Elliot said calmly. "He doesn't deserve to die because of some creep who snatches young girls. Please, help him."
"If this goes wrong," The She-Hulk stated firmly as she moved over to stand directly in front of Elliot, so his face was practically touching her breasts as he looked up at her. "I'm holding you responsible."
"Understood." Elliot said after a moment, actually priding himself on his resolve not to look directly ahead at the cleavage that was being presented to him just above eye level.
"Get the doctors then," The She-Hulk said as she stepped away after holding eye contact with Elliot for a few seconds longer. "Let's do this before I change my mind."
Elliot nodded before moving away to the doorway to call for a doctor, the crowd quickly dispersing as he made his way to the door to the door. He paused there for a moment, turning back to look at the giant green amazon that was now looking down at the unconscious young man. "Thank you." He said quietly before he stepped out of the room.
The She-Hulk smiled softly at him as he moved away before she looked down at the young man again. "I hope this is what you'd want kid." She whispered softly before leaning down and planting a soft kiss on his forehead. "Pretty cute for a hero as well." She smiled before moving back to leaning against the wall and waiting for the doctors to make their appearance.
"How's he doing?" Olivia asked as she walked over with a paper mug of coffee from the machine for Elliot. He'd called the station to let everyone know the She-Hulk had come through for them, so she'd rushed over to help contain the inevitable media circus that would happen when the fact became public knowledge.
"Still in theatre," Elliot nodded in thanks as he took a sip from the coffee. "The doctors say the transfusion took, they're working on the rest now."
"Any word on... you know…" Olivia winced, dancing around the topic of if they'd just created a new Hulk menace.
"Nothing," Elliot said thankfully. "Though the She-Hulk said the change didn't happen for her until she was threatened. It could be the same for him."
"So we just have to make sure no one upsets him." Olivia nodded.
"For the rest of his life?" Elliot frowned. "I'm beginning to wonder, did we do the right thing here, saving the kids life."
"You know we did." Olivia nodded firmly. "He saved two little girls, he deserves a chance to live out his life fully."
"But what if he does change," Elliot stood up and gestured to the operating room doors. "You've seen the news reports of The Hulk, we don't have anywhere near the firepower here needed to stop him."
"We've got her," Olivia nodded over to where the She-Hulk was waiting down the corridor, staring back at them every so often with a sad smile. "She might be able to contain him if he does change."
"And the fight between the two?" Elliot asked with a raised eyebrow. "I tell you Liv, I've got half a mind to try and evacuate the hospital right now."
"I'm sure it won't come to that," Olivia said as Elliot sat back down next to her, his eyes nervously on the doorway to the operating room.
"I hope you're right," Elliot said softly, offering up a brief prayer to anyone that might be listening. "I really do."
Two hours later
"Detectives." A doctor said urgently as he came out of the operating room and pulled off his mask.
"Well, was it a success?" Elliot asked as he stood up quickly.
"You could say that." The doctor trailed off. "We managed to repair most of the damage to his spine, we were in the middle of stitching up his chest when."
"He changed." The She-Hulk frowned as she walked over, her head hung low.
"I've never seen anything like it," The doctor shook his head. "He's still unconscious, but I don't know how long for. The drugs we injected him with should keep him under for another hour or so, but with your metabolism and healing factor."
"We need to get him out of here." Elliot said firmly, a touch of panic creeping into his voice.
"I don't think that's going to be possible," The doctor said as he leaned backwards and pushed open the door. "Second room on the left, I wouldn't normally let anyone in here but..."
"Let me," The She-Hulk said quickly as she stepped forwards, ducking under the doorway to pass through ahead of the two detectives.
Elliot nodded slightly as he watched the green Amazon take the lead, he moved slowly after her, unclipping his gun subconsciously as he felt Olivia move behind him. His eyes widened as the She-Hulk pushed open the doorway to the operating room the doctor had directed them to, almost freezing mid step as his mind caught up with what he was seeing.
The form on the floor was barely recognisable as the young man that he'd seen in the hospital bed every day now for the better part of a week. The operating table had been flattened under his new form and the gown he was wearing was shredded beyond repair, barely covering his stomach and groin. Elliot tried to gauge his height but from the angle was unable to actually get a good measurement, somewhere between eight and nine feet was his best guess, but from the muscles on his arms and legs it was a good guess he may be taller when his muscles were in use.
"That's a bit bigger than when he came in," Elliot said softly.
"I'm only five ten normally," The She-Hulk informed him with a grimace. "He's almost as big as Bruce."
"Why'd he change though?" Elliot asked as he bent down to take a better look at the young man's face, it was still obviously Alex, but his skin and hair had taken on the same green hue as the She-Hulk. "I'm pretty sure the doctors weren't threatening him, or got him angry."
"I don't know." The She-Hulk shook her head as she lifted Alex's arm experimentally. "I'd say I could carry him out of here, but getting him through the doors or out past the media."
Everyone in the room instinctively froze as a groan echoed throughout the operating theatre; both Elliot and Olivia had their guns in their hand in seconds while the She-Hulk moved in front of them. "Get out of here!" She whispered firmly. "Now!"
"What… what hit me?"
Everyone turned to look at Alex this time, who was slowly regaining consciousness on the floor.
"Alexander?" The She-Hulk asked gently as she knelt down beside him.
"Whaaa!" Xander shouted out, pushing his arms onto the floor and slamming himself backwards away from her, the impact of his hands actually shaking the entire hospital room and cracking the floor in several places.
"Calm down, you have to calm down Alexander." The She-Hulk said, holding up her hands in a peaceful gesture. "We're not going to hurt you, you're in St Francis memorial hospital, in New York, do you remember?"
"The girls!" Xander shouted out, standing upwards quickly and impacting his head on the ceiling. "Ow." He said calmly as he looked down at the She-Hulk and the two other occupants of the room that now had their guns trained on him. "I surrender!" He said quickly, standing up straight again and banging his head as he raised his hands.
"They're safe," Elliot said slowly as he looked at Alexander, he was easily ten feet tall now, maybe closer to eleven. The muscles on his arms were easily bigger than his own head, beyond that Elliot refused to look any further down that his chest.
"What... what happened to me?" Xander asked in panic as he finally caught sight of his arms and hands in their new giant form, the sheer size of them actually surprising him more than the green hue of his skin and nails now.
"Calm down," The She-Hulk said as she stepped closer. "You were injured; we had to give you a blood transfusion."
"But… but I have a condition, the doc's said I can't." Xander stammered out, staring in awe at his hands.
"You have a rare blood type," Elliot said calmly as he lowered his gun slowly, happy that Alexander hadn't turned into a mindless Hulk like the original but still more than cautious at the giant creature that was in front of him, aside from the fact that Alex had saved two young girls, they knew practically nothing about him or his personality. "We had to find someone with the same blood type as you."
"Me," The She-Hulk said with a smile. "They transfused you with three pints of my blood."
"And that. that." Xander's eyes widened as he slumped to the floor with a crash, shaking the room again. "I'm… I'm…"
"Like me," The She-Hulk said sadly. "It was the only way to save your life Alexander, I'm sorry that you've been cursed like this but…"
"Xander," Xander whispered out. "Call me Xander."
"Xander," The She-Hulk smiled. "I'm Jennifer, or Jen if you like."
"Jen," Xander smiled softly as he looked up at her. "You saved my life?"
"And you saved the lives of two little girls." Elliot said as he stepped forwards, a bit in shock that when Xander was sat down he was still taller than he was stood up. "Here," He smiled, pulling off his jacket and handing it to Xander to cover up with.
"Thanks," Xander grinned as he held the jacket and laid it carefully over his groin. "Sorry about that, bit of a shock."
"I can imagine," Elliot smiled. "Is your neck alright? The doctors were in the middle of operating when. you changed I guess is the word."
"Uh, yeah," Xander frowned, reaching up and rubbing his neck. "Bit sore but I feel fine, thanks."
"I'm not surprised," The She-Hulk smiled. "Your healing factor should have taken care of any injuries you sustained; you'll probably be feeling better than new in an hour or so."
"Uh, thanks?" Xander said in shock. "Is this, uh, permanent or anything?" He gestured down at his giant form.
"I have no idea," The She-Hulk said sadly. "We still have only a limited understanding of how the gamma radiation mutates living cells; the effect is drastically different between me and my cousin. I got the blood from him, and it transformed me, I was hoping the effect wouldn't be passed on to you."
"Looks like it was," Xander said with a small smile.
"You're taking this kind of well," Olivia said quietly as she stepped forwards. "Detective Benson, this is my partner Detective Stabler."
"Hi," Xander smiled offering his hand for them to shake, then lowering it slowly as he realised his hand dwarfed theirs to such a level that shaking hands would be silly. "Kinda used to the weirdness, this though." He stood up slowly, careful not to bang his head on the ceiling again or drop the jacket he was now using to protect his modesty. "This is new."
"It does take some getting used to." The She-Hulk smiled up at him. "Would you mind trying something?" She asked, reaching out to touch his chest and smiling at the hard muscle she felt underneath.
"Sure." Xander grinned down, an expression that looked completely out of place on his hulking form.
The She-Hulk couldn't help but return the grin back up at him, it was like his good natured smile was infectious or something. "Concentrate, calm yourself down and breath slowly."
"Ok." Xander nodded, closing his eyes as he did to concentrate on feeling calm.
"Now, picture yourself transforming back. breath slowly and focus on the transformation." The She-Hulk nodded as she closed her eyes as well, concentrating as well as breathing slowly.
"Wait… I…" Xander stammered out before he felt himself slowly shrinking down, his weight and mass reducing considerably until he was back in his old body. "Hey, hey! I'm me again!"
"It takes a bit of practice,"
Xander's eyes widened at the beautiful woman in front of him who was wearing an extremely baggy suit. "Uh, hey." He smiled as he grabbed the jacket Detective Stabler had given him and held it over himself as he blushed.
"I think you can call me Jen now," Jennifer laughed as Xander blushed some more.
"So he can do that, like you?" Elliot asked, looking over in awe at Xander, who now was only about five foot ten himself.
"In time," Jennifer nodded. "Anger is a trigger as well, for the first few times it was the only way I could transform. Now I can do it whenever I want."
"Good to hear," Olivia nodded as she held out her hand for Xander to shake. "Nice to finally meet you Alexander."
"Thanks," Xander nodded as he shook the hand offered. "Look, is there any way I could, you know, get some pants or something, the whole nudist look isn't really me ya know?"
"Don't know, I kind of like it," Jennifer smirked at him with a wink, causing Xander to full out blush again.
"Stop teasing the kid," Elliot smiled good naturedly at Jennifer. "You two, wait outside. I'll see what I can do to find him some clothes."
"I'll see you out there," Olivia nodded with a smile. "You did a brave thing Alexander, saving those two girls. They owe you their lives."
"I just did what anyone would have done," Xander waved off the complement as Olivia and Jennifer moved out of the operating theatre and closed the door behind them. "I'll... uh... get you your jacket back as soon as I've found some clothes."
"Keep it," Elliot smirked as he moved around and found a spare set of blue overalls by the nurses' station and threw them over to Xander. "You did a good thing kid, not many people would have stepped in like that."
"I... uh, I was just in the right place," Xander shrugged, not wanting to tell the detective that he'd actually been down there on a quick patrol before heading back to his motel for the night. His road trip had brought him all the way to New York now, but now more than ever he was looking forwards to getting back to Sunnydale.
"You say that," Elliot nodded. "But you saved their lives, remember that."
"I just did what anyone else would have done in the same situation," Xander explained as he pulled on the baggy blue synthetic clothes and threw Detective Stabler's jacket on over the top, it was a big baggy for him but better than nothing. "Are they both alright?"
"They're downstairs," Elliot smiled. "With their families waiting to thank you, you've become a sort of hero around here ever since the news broke your story."
"You're kidding," Xander said with wide eyes as he pushed open the door and walked through with Elliot following him closely behind. "Not kidding?"
"Nope," Elliot shook his head with a grin. "We had to get the story out there to see if there was anyone else with your blood type, when the news caught hold of what you'd done, they turned it into a campaign."
"Great," Xander sighed out as they walked out onto the main ward where detective Benson and Jennifer were waiting for them. "Is there any chance of me just, you know, slipping away quietly, you know, out the back or something?"
"Afraid not," Elliot smiled as he clasped his hand on Xander's shoulder. "We've got statements to take from you, and The Mayor wants to award you some sort of medal or something, it was all planned if you pulled through."
"Tell them I didn't make it?" Xander said half-heartedly as Jennifer sniggered at him.
"'Fraid not," Elliot laughed. "Come on, we'll get you to the station house, you can get a change of clothes there."
"Thanks," Xander nodded before turning to Jennifer. "So, uh, thanks for, you know, saving my life and all."
"I'm sorry it came as such a cost," Jennifer said with a sad smile as she looked into Xander's dark brown eyes. "Everything's changed for you now Xander, I'm just sorry it had to be like this for you."
"Hey, no big," Xander smiled. "It's not like I'm stuck like that right? And I'm not some brainless monster when I'm like that either, so it's not really a big deal."
"You… you don't hate me for turning you into a freak?" Jennifer asked, blinking a few times. Acceptance was one of the last things she'd expected from the young man, she'd put down his easy acceptance of his new form down to shock and trauma, after being in a coma and needing hospital treatment, but he seemed to actually have accepted it pretty easily now it had had time to sink in.
"You're kidding right?" Xander laughed. "You saved my life, I owe you big time, seriously. If you weren't so gorgeous, or could snap me like a twig, I'd kiss you."
"Don't let me stop you." Jennifer grinned and then laughed as Xander blushed again. "You're cute, you know that, and you're a hero. Don't sell yourself short kid."
"Yeah, big hero," Xander snorted.
"Yeah, BIG," Jennifer said. "Remember, you're a Hulk now, you were taller than I am like that, nearly as tall as Bruce I'd wager."
"Everything did seem a bit smaller," Xander commented. "I was really that big?"
"About ten foot," Elliot said off hand.
"Maybe eleven," Olivia chimed in. "Not to mention those muscles."
"Or other parts," Jennifer winked over to Olivia who blushed and turned away.
"I'm not even going there," Elliot held up his hands in surrender. "I couldn't take my eyes off the biceps, your arms were thicker than my head." He held up his hands to demonstrate the size. "If you're packing the sort of strength she is, then." Elliot trailed off with wide eyes and a whistle.
"Come on," Olivia laughed with a smile. "I think the Captain wants to organise some press conference for you."
"Wait, don't I have to hang around for tests or something?" Xander frowned at the way he was being led through the hospital again. "I can't just walk out of here right?"
"You're fine," Jennifer laughed. "Healing bonus, kinda comes with the Hulk territory."
"And this way we might be able to sneak you through the press before they figure out who you are," Elliot nodded. "They won't be expecting you to leave the hospital so soon, so we might be able to get you back to the stationhouse without it becoming a circus."
"Ok, I vote for that!" Xander grinned.
"Oh god!" Xander gasped out as he was finally allowed a seat inside the police station Benson and Stabler had taken him to. "That was crazy."
"Like I said, you're a hero." Elliot nodded as he leaned on the desk next to where Xander was sat. They'd been mobbed by the press as soon as they'd left the hospital, camera flashes and loud question had assaulted Xander's face as soon as he'd stepped out into the sunlight. It had taken them nearly half an hour to get through the media circus to the car Detective Stabler had waiting.
Xander turned around to see two other detectives making their way over to him. "Uh, hey?"
"You did good," The older of the two nodded in appreciation. "Though, going in there with a stake, what were you, vampire hunting or something?"
"It was at the scene Munch," Elliot frowned. "I doubt Alex took it in with him."
"Uh, yeah," Xander nodded. "Not mine."
The detective that Elliot had called Munch looked at him closely for a bit before moving away slowly back to his desk and taking the younger man, who had just nodded in appreciation, with him.
"What was that about anyway," Xander asked, turning to Jennifer. "The crowd back there, they acted like they were afraid of you or something."
"I'm used to it," Jennifer shrugged as she looked away from his eyes. "Most people don't really like me, or anything like me. They think I'm just the same as the mutants they're all afraid of."
"Ah," Xander nodded. He'd heard of the 'mutant menace' from newspapers and in school last year, there'd never been an actual confirmed mutant in Sunnydale though, well not that he knew of anyway. The way he saw it, they were just people like he was, more like he was now than he used to be he mused.
"Ever since my identity got out, jobs are hard to come by, people don't want me living near them," Jennifer sighed as she leaned against the desk next to Xander.
"They're idiots," Xander commented with a smile as he looked up at her. "It's just stupid, I mean, who cares, it's a random genetic thing right, I'd hope some of these hatemongers have mutant children, maybe that'll teach them a bit of compassion."
"Calm down," Jennifer said, putting her hand gently on Xander's shoulder. "You don't want to... you know."
"Yeah," Elliot nodded as he looked around. "I can't talk for the rest of the precinct, but the big green guy scared me the first time I saw it. Changing into that in a room full of armed cops is not a good idea."
Xander nodded with a small smile, his eyes saying thank you to Jennifer as he leaned back in the chair. "Just makes me angry, that's all."
"You get used to it," Jennifer shrugged. "I guess it's just how they are. Sorry you've been lumped in with us now."
"Better than being dead," Xander smiled as he saw an older man coming over with Detective Benson.
"Alexander?" The man asked, holding out his hand. "Captain Cragan, nice to meet you son."
"Hey," Xander smiled as he stood up and shook the offered hand. "Can I just ask, when can I get out of here. I mean, I was on a road trip thing when I came here, New York was the last stop before I head back home."
"We'll have you out of here in no time," Captain Cragan smiled. "We've got a few people here who'd like to say a few words though." Cragan smiled and stepped aside to show Detective Benson walking over with two young girls, their parents alongside with big smiles on their faces.
"What…" Xander started to ask as he turned to Elliot.
"This is Elisabeth," Elliot smiled as the young blonde girl who was holding some papers in her hand nervously. "And this is Sarah." He pointed to the other which was a young redhead with freckles. "These are the girls you saved Xander."
"I... uh… you..." Xander stammered out as the fathers of the two girls stepped forward.
"We'd both like to thank you Mister Harris," The first man said with a large smile. "We owe you everything, if there's anything I can... We can do for you."
"Whoa whoa," Xander backed up with his hands held up. "Please, I'm not looking for thanks or anything. I just did what anyone else would have done."
"You deserve it," The first man said, clasping Xander's hand and shaking it firmly. "Thank you, really, thank you."
The man stepped back and allowed his daughter to move up to Xander, she smiled awkwardly before handing over a piece of paper.
"Is this for me?" Xander asked as he knelt down to take the paper from the girl, he looked at it for a second before smiling. "Thank you." He whispered as she girl lent in and hugged him. He was then bowled over as the other girl rushed in and hugged him as well, the three ending up on the floor in a pile.
"I don't think he was expecting that," Jennifer smirked as she watched Xander try and extract himself from the two girls who were still hugging him tightly.
"He more than earned it," One of the fathers said with a smile. "Is he doing alright, I mean the hospital said he discharged himself but…"
"He'll be fine," Elliot interrupted with a smile. "I think he just wants to go back home and get on with his life now."
"Weren't they going to give him an award or something? The papers said The Mayor wanted to honour him personally." The other father said as he came over to talk with Elliot as well.
"Whoa, no mayors," Xander interrupted as he extracted himself from the small girls and stood up. "I'm just looking to get out of here with as little fuss as possible."
"I don't think that's up to you," Captain Cragan sighed. "It's an election year, and the higher ups want to make a hero figure out of you to show everyone that people like you are really out there."
"Get someone else!" Xander protested. "I'm no hero, seriously guys, I'm just the zeppo here."
"Hardly a zeppo," Jennifer smirked.
"You know what I mean." Xander glared back with a small smile. "Really, not looking for any fuss or anything, I just want to get back to my motel, get my clothes then head on home."
"I'll talk to the Mayor about it," Captain Cragan nodded. "Can't guarantee he'll listen, but I'll tell him what you want. Either way, we still need to get a statement from you, so if you wouldn't mind accompanying detective Stabler here, we'll get this done for you a quick as we can."
"Thank you, again." One of the fathers said, clasping Xander's hand firmly. "I don't know what I would have done if…"
Elliot smiled as he saw Xander look to him for help, a silent plea was in his eyes making Elliot almost laugh at the young man's predicament. He was obviously not used to being thanked or being treated like a hero, and this sort of thing was obviously making him very uncomfortable. "This way," Elliot smiled as he nodded to Xander and motioned to the back of the office. "I'm sorry but we need to get his statement entered in, I'm sure you understand."
"Yes, yes of course, thank you, again." The father said gratefully as the other father joined in.
"There's coffee upstairs," Olivia said to Jennifer with a smile. "I'd appreciate it if you didn't... you know..."
"Yeah," Jennifer nodded as she moved to the stairs and started walking up them. "I figured as much." She said sadly as she moved upwards.
"That, was hell." Xander muttered as he moved into the waiting area where Jennifer was sat with a mug of coffee. "Hey, didn't expect you to still be around." He smiled as he moved across to sit at the table with her. "What ya still doing here?"
"I was waiting for you," Jennifer said with a smile as she put down the coffee. "I took some extra time off work, just in case. well, you know." She whispered before looking around to make sure no one had heard them.
"Oh, yeah, the green thing," Xander nodded. "It's kinda freaky I guess, do you, uh, do it a lot?"
"It comes in useful," Jennifer nodded. "As I'm guessing it will for you." She paused as Xander looked at her with wide eyes. "So Alexander, how long have you been hunting vampires?"
"I… uh, I don't know what…"
"You're a terrible liar, you know that?" Jennifer said with a small smile. "I saw your reaction when that detective asked you about the stake, I've seen my fair share of vampires and demons, so, how long?"
"About three years," Xander shrugged. "Kinda fell for a girl and…"
"How did I know there'd be a girl involved," Jennifer smirked. "So, you patrol alone now, in New York, at night?" She raised an eyebrow further at each point. "That was incredibly stupid, do you know the sorts of creatures that survive in New York, there are things here that make vampires look like cuddly bunnies."
"I... I uh…" Xander stammered out, unsure what to actually say or do to placate the woman who was now almost yelling at him, the last thing he wanted to do was to actually get her angry, knowing who she was he knew she could easily throw him half the way back to Sunnydale if he annoyed her enough. "I'm sorry?" He finally squeaked out, holding his hands up in surrender.
Jennifer looked at him for a moment, staring into his eyes before speaking. "No, you're not." She frowned. "You'd do it again, wouldn't you?"
"If I hadn't been there, what would have happened to those girls?" He asked in a low voice. "If someone doesn't fight them, who will?"
"There are people out there doing a much better job that you used to," Jennifer frowned. "I guess that's changed now though. Am I right in assuming you're not going to stop?"
"Couldn't, can't, won't." Xander said firmly. "Look, what's the issue here. It's my choice, no one else's. I'm not telling you what to do, so don't think you can."
"I'm not," Jennifer said calmly, holding her hand up to stop Xander's argument. "And calm down, you're going to need to work on that temper of yours."
"Wasn't an issue before," Xander muttered before sitting down and taking some deep breaths.
"Well it is now," Jennifer frowned. "For all we know, if you change because of your temper, you'll end up just like him. You can't afford that in the middle of a police station."
"That... that could happen?" Xander asked quietly after a moment of thinking about it. The last thing he wanted was to hurt anyone, the thought of actually turning into another Hulk-like monster was something that was now a very real fear for him.
"I don't know," Jennifer said quietly, sitting down next to him. "The gamma radiation that causes this, we still have no idea how it affects the body or how the mutation reacts. The fact that me and you can control when to change back, and retain our intelligence and personality as the Hulk, that makes me think your mutation will be similar to mine."
"And if it's not?" Xander asked with wide eyes. "If I turn into the Hulk like the other one?" He frowned as Jennifer turned away, unable to look him in the eyes at that question. "Right," Xander sighed as he slumped back against the chair. "That answers that then."
"I'm sorry Alexander, I really am." Jennifer said with sad eyes. "Believe me, if there had been another way I..."
"I know," Xander said, cutting her off. "I guess it's just sinking in, ya know? Guess this is what Angel feels like."
"What was that?" Jennifer raised an eyebrow at Xander's last comment, causing him to laugh.
"Nothing, just found myself comparing myself to someone I really hate," Xander shook his head in amusement. "Look, I'm finished around her now. And I plan on being gone before the Captain guy figures out I'm still around for this press conference thing."
"Not a fan of the media?" Jennifer asked with a smirk.
"I like the quiet," Xander shrugged. "I'm heading back west soon, if my car's still there of course," He frowned, thinking back to where he'd left his car in the motel parking lot.
"I'll be coming with you then," Jennifer smiled as she stood up. "Can't let you run around by yourself now can we, you'll be throwing vampires all over the place if that happened."
"What… huh?" Xander frowned as he looked up at her.
"Like I said, I booked some extra time off work, in case this happened," Jennifer shrugged. "You'll need to learn how to control the transformation, and how to control your strength when you're like that. Can you think of someone better to teach you?"
"Well, no but..." He trailed off, thinking of the carnage that would be caused in Sunnydale when Buffy figured out the She-Hulk was in town.
"Then I'll be coming back with you." Jennifer smiled. "I'll need to grab some stuff from my hotel room, but aside from that I'm good to go."
"Great," Xander smiled unenthusiastically as he now thought of both Buffy and Willow's reaction to what had happened to him, that round of 'show and tell' he was definitely not looking forward to.
Sneaking out of the police station had actually been relatively easy, they'd managed to do it without being questioned or anyone noticing who they were or what they were doing. Xander had had some strange looks due to his clothing, still being clad in the blue hospital nurses clothes and detective Stabler's jacket, but overall they'd made it out pretty easily.
A quick stop off at Jennifer's hotel room had picked up two holdalls of her things, and now they'd cleaned out Xander's motel room they were ready to leave at last. "This is yours?" Jennifer let out a small whistle at the car that was in front of them.
"Uh, yeah?" Xander shrugged. "Look, I'll pay you back for the cab money, you know, once I find out where all my stuff is and all that."
"Anytime," Jennifer nodded slowly. "Xander, this is a nineteen fifty seven Chevrolet convertible, a very nice car, especially for someone as young as you."
"My uncle gave it to me," Xander shrugged. "Sort of graduation present."
"Nice gift," She said appreciatively as Xander pulled open the trunk and fished around inside.
"Ah thank you God," Xander muttered as he pulled out a change of jeans and baggy Hawaiian shirt. "Clothes, how I've missed you."
"You're not wearing that," Jennifer snorted when she saw the shirt Xander had pulled out, it was a hideous mesh of colours that even a blind man would have been offended by. "Bin it, better yet burn it."
"Hey, I like this shirt," Xander defended himself as he pulled the jeans on over the paper thin blue uniform he had on.
"No one should like that shirt," Jennifer laughed as she pulled the monstrosity away from him. "God, I feel like I need sunglasses just to look at it."
"It's not that bad," Xander muttered as he pulled the blue top off and replaced it with a plain grey t-shirt.
"Better," Jennifer nodded to him. "But you're not having this back," She frowned as she tried to figure out exactly what to do with the shirt in her hands.
"You don't have to do this you know," Xander said as he sorted out the belongings they'd given him from the hospital in a see through plastic bag. "Come back to Sunnydale I mean, I'm sure you have more important things to do than worry about me."
"It's not you I'm worried about," Jennifer smiled as she watched him put on a watch and slide his wallet into his pocket. "More like everyone else around you if you lose that temper of yours."
"I won't," Xander said firmly. "All I'm saying is, Sunnydale isn't like other towns ya know? I mean, I know you can protect yourself and all, but…"
"Alex, you're my responsibility." Jennifer said just as firmly, cutting off Xander's protest. "Whatever happens to you, it's because of me. Bruce couldn't hang around for me because of the way he changes, but I can be there for you, help you through this."
"I'll be fine," Xander frowned as he pulled out his car keys. "It's a long drive back, you sure there's nothing I can do to persuade you not to come?"
"Unless you're going to drive off without me," Jennifer smirked as she got in the passenger side and shut the door after her. "Looks like you're stuck with me then."
"I can think of worse things," Xander smiled as he got in the car and started the engine.
"That's the spirit," Jennifer grinned causing Xander to turn to smile at her, when he did he automatically slammed on the breaks in shock.
"Jesus," He muttered as he looked at her, she was back in her She-Hulk form again, towering over him and filing out her now tight black suit with her jade amazon physique. "A little warning next time please." He said, shaking his head as he started driving again while she laughed.
"You'll have to get used to it Alex," Jennifer laughed, her voice deeper and more sultry in this form. "It's liberating, so much more freedom and so many more sensations."
"No, thank you," Xander frowned. "And call me Xander, please, the only people who call me Alexander are my parents, and that's only when I'm in trouble, which is like all of the time."
"You'll have to get used to it soon Xander," Jennifer frowned, emphasising his name. "It'll happen, sooner or later. The sooner you have control over it, the better for everyone around you."
"Well I'm certainly not going to test it in my car," Xander frowned, deep in thought. "And not in New York either." He sighed as he turned onto a main road leading out of the city and west towards home.
"Fine," Jennifer frowned at him. "But when we're out of the city, somewhere safe, promise me you'll try to change, so we know what happens."
"No promises," Xander shook his head. "I've seen the news reports of The Hulk; he destroys everything around him, cities, tanks, helicopters. What if I end up like that?" He asked, worry tinting his voice now.
"I can't answer that for you," Jennifer shook her head sadly. "I can only tell you that I'll do my best to stop you from hurting anyone, which is why I think we should try it out before we reach your home."
"Yeah," Xander nodded slowly, half of him agreeing with Jennifer and not wanting to see his friends get hurt, the other half of him actually thinking that throwing around vampires like javelins sounded like a good way to clean up Sunnydale. "But I was me right, in the hospital, I was me, not a savage Hulk thing right?"
"That's true," Jennifer mused as Xander turned the car onto a main highway, both of them ignoring the strange looks they were getting from other drivers on the road. "It could mean that you'll be able to keep yourself from losing control like Bruce does."
"I hope so," Xander nodded, turning into another savage Hulk was definitely not something he ever wanted to experience. "So, uh, what happened to you then, I mean, to turn you into the She-Hulk I mean."
"Oh that's a long story," Jennifer laughed as she leaned back in the chair and pushed it back slightly so it would be more comfortable for her.
"It's a long way to Sunnydale," Xander countered. "And the radio doesn't work, so."
"Yeesh," Jennifer shook her head in amusement, glaring at the broken radio for a second. "Guess we've got to find a way to kill the time then." She winked over, causing Xander to blush again. "OK ok, I was a lawyer back then."
"Xander," Jennifer said quietly as she shook Xander's sleeping form. "Xander, wake up."
They'd swapped after a few hours of driving to let Xander get some rest, after his ordeal with the hospital and then the media before the police station, he was falling asleep at the wheel not long after they'd crossed the state line out of New York. Jennifer had taken over from there and driven through the night, letting him sleep as much as he needed while she continued on in quiet.
It was actually kind of relaxing, driving through the night with the top down on Xander's convertible, the wind in her hair and barely any traffic on the roads, just let her be herself and enjoy the quiet. Every so often she'd glance over at Xander to see how he was doing, smiling whenever he'd mutter something in his sleep or make some strange noise.
"Just ten more minutes mom," Xander muttered in his half asleep voice as he tried to roll over in the passenger seat and ended up with his face pressed against her arm.
"I'm not your 'mom' Xander," Jennifer mock scolded him as she poked him in the ribs. "Now wake up."
"Nhh?" Xander groaned as he forcefully opened his eyes and was rewarded by the sight of the She-Hulk's chest, close up and clothed in a skin tight purple and while leather leotard of sorts. "Ayy.." He muttered as he slowly lifted his head up after realising he was leaning on her shoulder. "Uh, sorry about that... did I drool, I drooled on you didn't I?"
"No drool," Jennifer laughed as she watched him blush a fierce shade of red and sit upright in the car.
"Where are we?" He asked, looking around and wiping his eyes to clear the sleep from them. "Wait, it's dawn already?" Xander looked out at the sky above and sure enough it was growing lighter. It had been heading into dusk when they'd swapped driving, he remembered that much.
"St Louis," Jennifer nodded as she opened the door and stepped out to stretch. "You've been asleep nearly thirteen hours, looked like you could do with the rest."
"You should have woke me," Xander yawned as he got out of the car and stretched. "You drove all the way here overnight?"
"It was nice and quiet," Jennifer nodded. "I did almost wake you up a few times though, sounded like you were having a nightmare or something."
"Hnh?" Xander asked mid yawn as she came around to stand next to him. "Sorry," He shook it off before turning to her. "Nightmare?"
"Something about a girl called Buffy?" Jennifer asked with a cocked eyebrow. "You were mumbling something about not hurting her or her hurting you, I couldn't make most of it out."
"It's nothing," Xander waved it away, vaguely remembering the dream now, more of a nightmare about him turning into a savage Hulk in Sunnydale and Buffy hunting him down. "Breakfast then?" He asked, nodding to the truck stop at the other side of the layby where they'd parked.
"Hmm," Jennifer nodded with a smile, though her eyes said she wasn't going to let the talk of this nightmare go that easily. "Your treat this time."
"Sure," Xander laughed as he pulled out his wallet, thanking whoever was listening that he still had a bit of cash left in it. "Made good time I think," He smiled, checking his watch. "Not bad, nearly a third of the way there in one night, at this rate we'll be back in a few days."
"A few days?" Jennifer asked as they crossed the parking lot to the truck stop café. "If we do another overnight trip, we should make it by this time tomorrow."
"Don't you want to rest or anything?" Xander asked as he held open the door for her to enter the café before him. "I was planning on getting a motel or something in Indiana, maybe one in Kansas city, you know, break up the trip."
"Why bother?" Jennifer shrugged as they walked in and found a booth; she immediately noticed all eyes on her and moved to ignore them immediately. "We can do it quicker if we take turns driving, get there tomorrow mid-day sometime."
"You got a problem?" Xander asked loudly when he noticed everyone staring at her with wide eyes.
"Xander, just leave it," Jennifer said quietly, motioning for him to stop shouting as everyone looked away from him, refusing to meet his eyes. "You'll get used to it, I just ignore them now. I should have thought, changed back before."
"Why should you?" Xander frowned as he looked around the room once more before turning back to her. "If they have a problem with you, it's not your fault."
"Just leave it," Jennifer sighed as she picked up the menu. "I'll just have some pancakes and a coffee."
"Sure," Xander nodded, glancing at the menu quickly before deciding on the same. "Be right back alright?" He smiled at her before standing up and making his way over to the counter, following Jennifer's advice and ignoring the glares that were sent his way as he moved. "Hey," He nodded at the service woman behind the desk, pointedly refusing to smile at her. "Two sets of pancakes please, actually, make that three. And two coffees."
The woman just stood there for a minute before ignoring Xander and moving down the counter to talk to a trucker that was sat there with a newspaper ignoring him as well.
"Excuse me!" Xander said loudly as the woman leaned on the bar and started talking to the trucker in a hushed whisper.
"We don't serve her kind in here," The woman said with a glare before turning back to the trucker who smirked at Xander before blowing a cloud of cigar smoke over at him.
"Look, we're just here for breakfast like anyone else." Xander started but then stopped as the trucker stood up and glared at him.
"She said we don't serve freaks in here boy," The trucker snarled at him as he moved over to invade Xander's personal space. "Now take your mutie freak out of here, before we decide to run you out."
"Come on Xander," Jennifer sighed as she moved over, not wanting any trouble here for either of them.
"No," Xander said firmly, staring back at the trucker who blew another cloud of smoke into his face. "I just want a coffee and some pancakes, no trouble."
Whatever else Xander was going to say was cut off when the trucker violently pushed him back. "I said we don't want freaks in here, so take your mutant girl and fuck off pal!" He snarled as he pushed Xander again.
"I wouldn't." Jennifer started to say as she moved to intervene, seeing the anger building in Xander's eyes already.
"Shut up bitch," The trucker snarled, spinning quickly around in a backhand that caught Jennifer unawares, impacting her in the face sharply. "I said we don't…" He trailed off as Jennifer pulled herself up to her full height; glaring down at the trucker as she reached up to touch her face where he'd caught her.
She was about to grab the trucker herself when a growl caught her attention, her eyes slowly turned away from the trucker, noticing that he did the same as they both looked down to where Xander had fallen from being pushed.
He was now crouching on the ground, his fists clenched and shaking slightly as he knelt there.
"Xander…" Jennifer said quietly. "Xander, calm down… he didn't." She trailed off as Xander started moving; slowly he moved to stand up. The sound of tearing fabric echoing through the now silent room as he grew larger and larger, his skin slowly turning an unearthly green hue as his muscles tore through his t-shirt with ease. His jeans were stretched to the maximum soon enough as they tore around the waist and thighs as he stood up, towering over the trucker now and having to stoop down in the café as he glared.
"Wha..." The trucker barely managed to speak as his eyes widened at the sight of Xander's new muscles, his chest was about three times as wide as his own and the powerful muscles there were obviously not even flexed yet.
"Apologise, now!" Xander growled out, reaching down and grabbing the trucker easily around the waist and squeezing.
The café now erupted into panic, the patrons leaving whatever they had been doing and diving for the exit and running out of the fire exits in a blind panic.
"Xander, don't." Jennifer started, reaching out to touch Xander's hand and quietly marvelling at how his hand and arm dwarfed her own.
"Apologise!" Xander snarled out again, glaring down at the now tiny trucker that was trembling in fear beneath him.
"Xander!" Jennifer shouted, calling his attention back to her. "Calm down, you don't want to do this... come on, come back to me." She nodded as Xander turned to face her properly, his eyes narrow and pointed.
"He hurt you." Xander snarled out, squeezing the man a little tighter.
"I'm fine," Jennifer smiled, actually happy that Xander was this protective over her, it seemed chivalry wasn't dead after all. "Put him down, you don't want to hurt him."
"Stupid man hurt Jennifer," Xander snarled out, glaring back at the trucker.
"Come on, calm down." Jennifer said, stroking Xander's arm gently now. "You don't want to do this, just let him go and we'll go somewhere else for breakfast."
"Stupid." Xander muttered with a glare, finally letting go of the man who fell to the floor silently whimpering, Xander closed his eyes for a few seconds before turning back to Jennifer. "Jennifer?" He asked, blinking a few times. "Oh man," He sighed, looking down at the man who was staring up at him with terrified eyes. "I hulked out right?"
"Yeah," Jennifer nodded. "Come on, let's get out of here before the cops show up."
Xander nodded silently at her as he moved to walk away, bashing his head on the ceiling as he moved. "Ugh, stupid ceilings, they should make these places taller."
"It's not the building's fault," Jennifer said softly, glaring back at where the counter woman was helping the trucker up as Xander slammed the doors open before ducking under them. "You need to calm down, breathe remember."
"I can't." Xander said firmly as he stood up to his full height outside the building and looked down at her. "That guy, I mean, they were turning us away just because you looked different to them, it's just… ugh..." Xander frowned, looking down at his clenched fist that was bigger than Jennifer's head.
"It's just the way they are," Jennifer said sadly, placing her hand on Xander's arm in an effort to calm him down. "With all this stuff about mutants and the terrorists, it's just not a good time right now."
"Idiots," Xander snarled, glaring back inside where the remainder of the customers were looking through the windows at them with mixed looks of horror and disgust on their faces. "I should just." He moved to step back inside the café but was stopped when Jennifer stood in front of him.
"That's not the answer Xander," Jennifer said calmly. "Come on, we'll just drive on, wait for you to calm down, then we can try somewhere else."
"Great," Xander sighed as he looked down at himself, the t-shirt he had been wearing was still in rags inside the café, while the jeans, which were previously baggy and well worn, were now torn and shredded in various places, now stretched across his thighs nearly to breaking point, the bottom of the jeans torn and shredded beyond repair. "This is going to be hell on my clothing bill isn't it?" He asked good naturedly as they both started walking back towards his car.
"Buy baggy," Jennifer said with a smirk. "Or stretchy, you could always go for spandex?" She grinned as Xander glared at her lightly and sort of blushed; she wasn't sure as the skin of his face just changed to a darker shade of green as he walked.
"Baggy, baggy is definitely the way to go." He muttered to himself as they reached the car.
"It's not funny," Xander complained as he slumped into the driver's seat and threw the bags onto the back seat.
"I think it suits you," Jennifer laughed good naturedly, it had taken a few hours for Xander to manage to get his temper under control and concentrate enough to turn back into his normal form, fortunately the truckstop patrons weren't stupid enough to come outside and try anything while they were waiting.
So they'd driven on, passing St Louis and Missouri and down into Oklahoma, while Xander did most of the driving in his torn clothes, Jennifer had lightened the mood by talking about some of her costume mishaps when she'd first started changing into the She-Hulk. She'd almost threatened to throw him out of the car as they passed Springfield though as Xander spent a good hour or so talking in only Simpson's quotes.
They'd managed to get into Tulsa with relative ease, stopping off here and there to pick up snack food from gas stations along the way to keep them going. Now both her and Xander were back in normal human form no one seemed to bat an eyelid at either of them while he drove along. Unfortunately, the t-shirt and jeans he had been wearing were beyond hope, so he'd had to wait in the car while Jennifer went into the city to get clothing for him so they could actually find somewhere to eat instead of surviving on snack food from gas stations.
"You got me a Stetson," Xander grumbled as he tossed the hat into the back of the car. The jeans weren't too bad actually, they were baggy enough to stretch over him if he changed into his Hulk form, but comfy enough to pass as normal clothing. She'd also picked out a few plain black t-shirts, though these were tight and stretchy, a cotton / lycra blend according to the label. To top it all off she'd got him a plain white western style shirt to wear loosely over the rest.
"It looks good on you," Jennifer grinned as she fetched the hat from the back of the car and placed it neatly on his head, adjusting it slightly so it was set at an angle.
"Country I can deal with," Xander frowned as he looked in the wing mirror at himself. "The hat, not so much."
"For me?" Jennifer asked, smiling sweetly at him.
"You're evil, you know that right?" Xander commented as they got out of the car and he pocketed the keys. "Come on, we've driven all day, I think a meal is called for, then we can check into a motel or something for the night."
"Don't you want to just drive through?" Jennifer asked, walking up beside him as they moved along the sidewalk, slowly walking into the main town. "You can sleep again if you want, I don't mind, really."
"No, it's not fair," Xander shook his head slowly, cautious not to tip the hat off his head. "We'll get a place for the night, you can take the bed, I'll crash on the floor or something. Can't really afford two rooms and still have money for food and everything."
"What? Xander that's..." Jennifer started to argue but Xander held his hand up, surprising her that even when they were both in human form he was still a good few inches taller than her and much better built than she'd originally thought.
"You've done enough for me alright," Xander said firmly. "Saved my life remember, the least I can do is offer you the bed, we'll have to sort out something for when we get back to Sunnydale though, can't see my parents letting you stay there or anything."
"Xander, I can."
"Bah!" Xander interrupted again, holding his finger to her lips. "No arguments ok?"
Jennifer smirked slyly before licking his finger, causing him to pull it away quickly. "Fine, but the food tonight is on me, to say thank you for standing up for me back there."
"You could have probably handled that better than I did," Xander said, shaking his head at what had happened back in St Louis. In the back of his mind he knew that Jennifer was the She-Hulk and could have probably thrown that trucker across state lines with ease, but most of his brain just saw a man hitting a woman, even if she was green and bigger than he was.
"Well at least we know now that anger causes you to change, just like Bruce," Jennifer said with a nod. "You're just not quite as brainless as he is when he's like that."
"Yeah," Xander nodded. "It was strange, like all I could think about was the anger, when I started to calm down I could think more clearly, like a fog in my head or something."
"Bruce described it as pure anger," Jennifer nodded. "Like nothing else mattered when he 'hulked out' as you put it."
"I could have killed him, I mean, I wanted to kill him." Xander trailed off with his head hung low. "I... I didn't think I'd…"
"It wasn't you," Jennifer said, stopping mid step and standing in front of Xander. "Listen to me, your Hulk seems to be somewhere between mind and Bruce's, I think you'll be able to change back and forth with practice, but any intense emotion will trigger it as well." She reached over, cupping Xander's face with her hand. "The Hulk doesn't care about right or wrong, it's just anger, I'm just glad you managed to keep a leash on it and stopped yourself in time."
Xander had nothing to say to this really, settling for just nodding and looking into her eyes.
"The Hulk is part of you now Xander," Jennifer said, looking up into his eyes. "For better or worse, Bruce could never accept that, it drove him away from people."
"But... isn't there a way to stop it, get the Hulk out of me?" Xander asked carefully. "I didn't ask for this, I don't want to end up hurting anyone because I lost control again."
"Sadly no," Jennifer shook her head slowly. "Bruce worked on the problem for years, trying to diffuse the radiation or change the mutated cells. He worked with the best minds around, trying to fix it. It almost drove him crazy trying to stop the change."
"So, what then?" Xander frowned with sad eyes. "I could end up hurting people, my friends. I couldn't live with myself if I did something and they..."
"Which is why I came along," Jennifer said with a smile. "We've already shown you can control it, you just have to focus, don't let yourself lose control like that."
"You'll teach me?" Xander asked hopefully. "How to keep in it check I mean."
"Of course," Jennifer smiled at him. "The Hulk doesn't have to be just a tool for destruction Xander, if you're serious about hunting vampires still, it could be a great help to you."
"Yeah," Xander nodded with a small smile, thinking how far he could actually throw vampires like Angel now in his Hulk form.
"Come on," Jennifer smiled, stepping out of his way and moving to link her arm inside his. "I'm starving, I don't know how you survive on just Twinkies this entire time."
"It's my weakness," Xander laughed it off as they began walking down onto the main high street. "Didn't you hear, yellow is my only weakness." He grinned as he puffed out his chest in a hero pose.
"Wrong green guy," Jennifer laughed as she punched him gently in the arm and laughed.
"You take the bed," Xander argued as they got into the room of the motel they'd taken for the night, the meal had gone pretty well all in all, She'd chosen a cheap Mexican restaurant in the end after Xander vetoed any of the other restaurants she'd chosen, telling her that they were all way too expensive for him, and even though she was paying, he wasn't going to let her blow a huge amount of money on one meal.
She'd laughed at this and tried to tell him that money wasn't really a problem for her, with the wage coming in from Wolfram and Heart, and previous investments she'd made over the years, she was more than well off for money, enough to own her own condo in Los Angeles where she worked and be able to drop everything to fly to New York the next day.
He'd just ignored this though, so they'd finally settled on a Mexican restaurant that was a bit out of the way in a nice quiet area of town. One meal, dessert and several bottles of wine later, they were now at the motel Xander had got for the night. It wasn't anything fancy, but as they were only here for one night it would suffice.
"Nuhuh," Jennifer laughed as she walked through into the room, shaking her head and making her brunette hair fly around wildly. "You're not sleeping on the floor, nuhuh, no way." She giggled as she held onto Xander for stability. "Whoo,I swear the wine didn't do this much until we got outside."
"It's the cold air," Xander nodded with a grin as he dropped his keys and wallet onto the table by the door and closed it, while Jessica had her arm wrapped around him. "Always makes it worse. Or it could be the three bottles of red wine you had to yourself." He smiled as he dropped one of her holdalls by the door before turning back to her.
"I should… hmm..." Jessica smiled as she ran her hand down Xander's chest. "I should change."
"Yeah, sure," Xander nodded, feeling a bit drunk and light headed himself as he pointed to the hold all. "That's the one you said right, with bed stuff in?" He smiled, turning to the hold all before turning back to Jessica as he felt her grip on his arm tighten. "You… ok?" He asked as he turned around to be faced with Jennifer in her She-Hulk form. "Ah, change, right."
"Much better," Jennifer smiled as she arched back and undid the jacket that was now stretched across her chest to reveal the tight black t-shirt underneath.
"Buh." Xander managed to get out as Jennifer put her hand back on his chest after throwing her jacket to the floor.
"Hmm," Jessica smirked as she wrapped her hand in his shirt and pulled him forwards while walking backwards herself towards the bed. "I said you weren't sleeping on the floor."
"Ok," Xander gulped, looking up at the green amazon that was looking down at him like he was food. "I guess we could share the bed to sleep?"
"Who said anything about sleep?" Jennifer grinned as she span around and threw him onto the bed before climbing up and straddling his stomach, her powerful green thighs now being exposed as her skirt rode dangerously high up her legs.
"Wait… but…" Xander tried to stammer out as he leaned up and found that he was effectively pinned down by her weight on his torso.
"Don't worry," Jessica smirked as she reached down and started unbuttoning his shirt. "I'll steer you around the curves." She laughed as she pulled his shirt off of him before pulling her own t-shirt over her head and throwing it to the floor as well.
"Guh." Xander managed to get out as he was faced with a topless She-Hulk straddling his stomach, staring up at her he had to believe that she was the most beautiful thing he'd ever seen in his life.
"Oh I'll make you go more than 'guh'," Jessica laughed as she leaned down and captured his lips in a passionate kiss, her hands reaching down to grab his wrists and hold them in place. "I'm sure you'll be making sounds you've never made before." She laughed again as she kissed him softly, gently biting his lip before she reached around and literally tore her skirt away from her body.
"Yes ma'am," Xander said in a soft voice as he nodded.
"Good, now let's see if you can follow orders," She smirked down at him, pointing to a spot on her inner leg. "Here." She said, smiling when he leaned up and kissed the spot. "Here," She said again, pointing a bit further up her inner thigh and then smiling as he leaned up a bit further to kiss it. "Here?" She smirked, pointing further up again and then smiling when he leaned up but couldn't quite reach to kiss it.
"I… I uh." Xander managed to get out, looking up at the green goddess on top of him. "Can't reach with you sat there."
"Oh, sorry," Jennifer smirked down unrepentantly. "I guess we can fix that." She laughed before shuffling forwards on his body a bit more so she was basically sat on his chest, her legs taking most of the weight as they pinned him under her body by the sides. "Now, where were we?" She smiled down at him, a glint in her eyes as she continued by pointing a bit further up her inner thigh again. "Here?"
"Hmmm," Xander shook his head as the sunlight streamed in through the window of the motel room, rudely waking him from his slumber. Shaking his head slightly to clear the cobwebs he looked down to see the sleeping form of the She-Hulk stretched across him, her arm over his chest and her thigh covering most of his stomach and legs.
As it was he was pushed down the bed with his feet dangling off the bottom, a pillow under his head for comfort. He arced his neck back to he could look above him on the bed and saw Jennifer's face still sleeping further up the bed towards the head, her breasts were pushed into his chest and shoulder as she breathed, effectively pinning him in place.
"Wow," He breathed out, looking at the green amazon physique, it was quite obvious that she was naked, as was he. As vague memories from last night started flooding back he couldn't help the smile that graced his lips. "Wow." He whispered again as he tried to pull himself free.
"You can say that again."
Xander's inner musings were broken by the voice that came from the other side of the room; he tried to push himself up to get a better look but was pinned down by Jennifer's arm and thigh.
"Look, uh, I don't know who you are but..." Xander started to blurt out, wondering if it was actually wise to wake up Jennifer when she was in this state. For all he knew she could wake up in a bad mood and he was in no shape to argue with the She-Hulk when she was annoyed first thing in the morning.
"I'm not here to hurt you Alexander," The man stated calmly as he blew out a cloud of smoke into the room before walking over to where Xander could see him properly.
The man was about six feet, coloured and bald, wearing a plain black polo neck jumper underneath a black leather trench coat. A black eye patch finished off the look and Xander's eyes were drawn to a glint of a silver pistol shining in the light as he moved.
"I tried to get to New York before you left; you were supposed to stay there to meet the mayor." The man said calmly as he walked forwards, showing no fear of Xander or the sleeping She-Hulk on the bed.
"Who are you?" Xander asked loudly, hoping that his voice would wake Jennifer up so he would be able to either move or have some backup here.
"Nick Fury," The man said by way of introduction. "I'd shake your hand but…" He trailed off, waving his hand over the naked green form that was pinning Xander down.
"Funny," Xander frowned. "You know, this is kind of a private moment here, being naked and all." He said firmly. "Do you mind?" He nodded to the door as best he could.
"Not at all," Fury smiled at him and sat down in the chair by the wall opposite the bed so Xander could see him better. "Like I said, we were supposed to meet in New York."
"Sorry I missed you," Xander muttered, rolling his eyes.
"We like to know when some kid winds up being the next Hulk," Fury said calmly, pulling out a manila folder and flicking it open. "Alexander Lavelle Harris, from Sunnydale California."
"So you know who I am," Xander said with a slight bit of panic edging into his voice. "And you know who she is, so I'm guessing you know she'll be a bit angry if she wakes up and you're here to see her like this."
"I know Jennifer," Fury said calmly as he took another breath on the cigar. "She used to work for me."
"Great," Xander sagged back in the bed. "So I'm guessing this isn't just a quick chat then?"
"Hardly," Fury snorted as he blew out the smoke from the cigar. "You were involved in the scene last night in St Louis; the reports say two Hulks held up a truck stop just outside of town."
"Hey, we didn't rob the place," Xander defended himself firmly. "We were just in there for breakfast, then that creep started talking crap about mutants and freaks."
"And you broke his arm and nearly killed him." Fury said, closing the folder with a slap.
"No," Xander shook his head. "I didn't hurt the guy, he hit Jennifer, I just grabbed him."
"While in your Hulk form." Fury commented idly. "We have the security footage; we know the report is a crock."
"So why are you here then?" Xander asked, calming down now that he knew the man obviously didn't mean them any harm.
"We need to talk," Fury said calmly.
"What, a phone call was too much for you?" Xander quipped as Jennifer began to stir, her arm flopping down across Xander's groin and causing him to flinch slightly.
"Cute," Fury smirked with a roll of his eyes as he flicked open the folder again. "Buffy Anne Summers, Rupert Giles, Willow Rosenberg and Daniel Osborne." Fury read of the report in his hand. "Eclectic group of friends you've got there. Summers has a colourful history, assault, kicked out of school, suspected murder."
"She was cleared of that," Xander shouted, remembering back to what had happened last year with Buffy being expelled from school during the Acathla incident.
"Indeed," Fury nodded. "Colourful, as I said. Eclipsed only by Rupert 'Ripper' Giles, whose history I can only glimpse at because of some deal made with the British royal family."
"Ask him then," Xander shrugged with wide eyes as Jennifer's hand started moving in quite an inopportune place. "Would you… ahh…"
"Jennifer!" Fury shouted loudly, causing the grip around Xander's groin to tighten somewhat.
"Ahh!" Xander almost screamed but stopped when the grip lessened.
"Nick," Jennifer's groggy voice came through as the bed shook slightly as she pulled herself up. "What do we owe the pleasure?" She said sarcastically as she pulled the bed sheet up to cover herself and Xander.
"Oh don't stop on my account, really." Fury smirked over. "Cut the act, you knew I'd be coming as soon as we heard."
"Still intercepting my mail?" Jennifer glared over as her hand started idly playing with Xander's chest under the bed sheet.
"You owe two hundred and thirteen for a parking ticket last month," Fury said idly. "Oh, and you created another Hulk."
"It couldn't be helped." Jennifer said with a glare. "I know you've got the report there, you wouldn't be here unless you knew absolutely everything about Xander."
"True," Fury nodded calmly. "I know of his reputation as the 'White Knight', or is that green knight now? I know of his affiliation with the Slayer and the Watchers Council, I know his SAT results and I know who his best friends grandfather was." He slammed the file down after saying that. "I know he's in control when he turns into The Hulk, just as you are."
"Hardly," Xander snorted as he sat up this time, ignoring Jennifer's hand in a supreme act of will as it drifted lower under the sheet.
"He's rough, but he's no savage like Bruce," Jennifer frowned.
"As we thought, the transfusion was weaker due to the diminished radiation in your cells; the guys at HQ think the Hulk's anger is controlled by the medulla oblongata part of the brain, which is why his anger controls him more while your mutation is under control." Fury explained off hand.
"Thanks for the science lesson," Jennifer said as she stood up, the bed sheet falling away from her naked body as she did. "Now, you can leave."
"I came to talk to Alexander," Fury said, not batting an eyelid at her naked body or the way she posed angrily at him. "We know you're both heading back to Sunnydale, where Alexander will no doubt use his new power to help battle the vampires there."
"And, so what?" Xander said angrily as he sat up in the bed. "They need to be stopped, if I can help Buffy then."
"I have no intention of stopping you," Fury said calmly, pulling a smaller grey folder out of the manila one. "In fact, I'm endorsing you."
"What?" Xander asked as Fury threw the grey folder onto the bed next to him.
"I want you to work for me," Fury said by way of explanation when he saw Xander reach for the folder. "We know something is going south in Sunnydale, misplaced military equipment, hidden government funding. Something is happening down there, I want to know what."
"You're offering me a job?" Xander asked in shock as he read the first page of the folder Fury had given him.
"Both of you," Fury said with a nod towards Jennifer. "Wolfram and Hart is no place for you, trust me on that. I'm setting up a law firm on the outskirts of Sunnydale to act as your cover, you will work there as the manager, feel free to hire whoever you want to keep the business running."
"And me?" Xander asked with raised eyebrows. "I'm no lawyer, I barely graduated."
"You're going to college," Fury said simply, nodding to the folder. "Term starts on Monday, you're on the computer systems as a sponsorship from SHIELD. I'd recommend Psychology and Sociology."
"Wait. I can't just." Xander frowned as he flicked through the rest of the paperwork, noting they already had his bank details and social security number cleanly printed out on the forms.
"I'll be watching you Alexander," Fury said as he stood up and moved to the door. "Number seventeen Roxbury Avenue," He said idly as he fished out a set of keys and threw them on the bed. "House is now owned by Alexander Harris and Jessica Walters, I'll be in touch."
With that said he swept out of the door, his coat billowing behind him as he shut the door firmly behind him, leaving Xander and Jessica alone in the room again.
"You know him?" Xander asked as he turned to look at Jennifer, who was still stood in the middle of the room completely naked with her arms crossed over her chest.
"Sadly," Jennifer frowned as she looked down at him.
"He always like that?" Xander asked, forcing himself to keep eye contact with Jennifer and not let his eyes wander over her magnificent body.
"Ever since I've known him." Jennifer smiled as she rolled her eyes. "We should get going, if you've got to register for college on Monday."
"College," Xander sighed as he threw the bed sheet off of him and swung him legs around to sit on the side of the bed. "Why didn't you let me die." He muttered as Jennifer came over and straddled his lap, forcing him to look up as his head was directly in line with her breasts.
"I'm sure I can think up a few incentives," Jessica smirked as she wriggled in his lap, causing Xander to moan slightly.
"You're not mad; he just arranged things like that for you?" Xander gasped out as Jessica continued to writhe in his lap with a knowing smile on her face.
"He bought you a house," Jessica grinned. "Got me out of Wolfram and Hart, bought me a law firm of my own. I'm not complaining," She grinned as she ground down into his lap. "Are you?" She laughed as she reached around him and pulled his body flush with hers so his face was nestled in her cleavage. "Besides, there's no point arguing with Nick, trust me, he's one of the good guys, he's just more of a realist about the world."
"Nope, not complaining, no sirree." Xander stammered out as Jessica laughed down at him.
"Good," She laughed, grinding down one last time. "Come on, let's get back on the road," Jessica laughed as she stood up, a smirk on her face at seeing the reaction she had caused in him.
"Aww man," Xander sighed as he watched Jessica bend over to grab her underwear from the floor where she'd discarded it last night. "Then again." He smiled, enjoying the display.
"Later," Jessica laughed back, throwing his underwear at him. "If you're good." She smiled to herself as she started getting dressed, oh he was good alright, now she'd have to see how good he was in his Hulk form, as it was he managed to keep up with her last night. The grin spread further across her face as she imagined how good it would be with him in his Hulk form. "Maybe if you're not good we'll do something better." She laughed at him as he stood up and pulled his pants on, she swung around gently and smacked his ass before continuing to find her clothes. The kid was definitely good, certainly no Casanova but a lot of raw talent, she'd put good money on his first was a very experienced woman who had taught him a few things on his first time.
"Yes ma'am," Xander laughed as he got dressed, a lingering grin on his face as the memories from last night continued to come back.