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Turn to Stone, Part Four
More Human Than Human

Buffy fell back with a gasp, cool sheets beneath her and a hard, warm body above her. Her hand reached out to steady herself and grabbed solid, muscled arm. Riley? Her head shook wildly, her eyes trying to focus.


“Buffy,” she heard moaned deeply above her, and she looked up into deep brown eyes, dark hair falling forward to brush her cheeks.


Buffy gasped, her body bucking up into the one thrusting into hers.


Xander smiled down at her, his lips lifting in a knowing smile she didn’t recognize. His hands braced on her hips as he stilled. “Turn over,” he breathed softly.


Buffy stared up at him, her eyes wide until she squeezed them shut. Xander. She was having sex with Xander. She lay shocked, feeling everything at once. His legs rubbing against hers, his chest pressing deeply against her, his lips on her neck, his hardness inside of her.


“I want more of you,” he whispered against her throat. “Turn over.”


Buffy’s arms fell to her sides. She opened her mouth to yell, scream, explain that she was…what? A Buffy from another dimension, just here on a quest to learn something? And that something was what – whether or not Xander was a Viking in the sack?


She gaped up at him as he slid away from her, moving back to gently roll her over. Buffy pushed up against the mattress, attempting to rise and move away from him. Before she lifted herself completely away, she felt Xander move quickly behind her, thrusting into her with one stroke.


Buffy froze, her arms stiff against the mattress. She opened her mouth to tell him to get off of her, and then his hips rolled against hers. Her voice caught in her throat. Xander thrust again, pulling almost out of her and then slowly sliding back with that agonizingly slow hip roll. His hands slid slowly up her thighs and then settled on her hips, pushing her slightly away as he rocked into her again.


This was wrong. This was Xander. This was…absolutely un-fucking-believable. This was slow, languid, easy, like Xander had all of the time in the world as he eased out of her and then back in again. It was like nothing she’d ever felt before. That time with Angel, which had been more about discovery and excitement and just feeling him all around her. The times with Riley that had been about exploring the strength and stamina of their bodies.


Xander was making this all about her. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her slightly up, his thrusts becoming shallow until they were a just a slow rubbing inside of her. His hand smoothed down her stomach until his fingers could tease at her. Buffy gasped as he cupped her, his fingers sliding slowly against the swollen wet heat of her. And wet, God, had she ever been this wet? Buffy felt her cheeks flame.


No, she couldn’t do this. Because it was wrong. Because it was Xander. Because he didn’t know that she wasn’t his Buffy. Because she was, oh, my God, she was coming even while she argued with herself.  She felt herself clenching around him and couldn’t stop her body from slamming back against him as his hand moved faster on her and his thrusts became harder and deeper.


Buffy grabbed blindly at the arm around her, arching into Xander as the moans and gasps tore out of her body. His fingers slowed, barely brushing against her, drawing out her orgasm until she was shaking around him, using his strength to hold her up as those slow steady thrusts kept coming.


She felt his lips fall upon her back, hot kisses pressed against her as he groaned into her skin. “Oh, god, Buffy, I’m sorry, baby, I can’t…” His voice tightened, a cry muffled against her dripping wet skin as he slammed into her, coming hotly into her just as her own orgasm faded.


They stayed pressed together for a moment, Xander’s cheek warm and slick against her back, his breath fluttering against her ribs as he held them up. He sighed deeply and rolled over, pulling her down next to him.


“So,” he smiled at her, his eyes dark and sleepy, the lashes spikey and wet and the sexiest thing she had ever seen in her life. “Do you think we did it?”


Buffy looked back at him, her body still shaking from shock and embarrassment and the after-quivers of one of the most powerful orgasms she’d ever experienced. She swallowed, wanting to run from the room, forget this stupid quest and oh, God, maybe do that again from the beginning this time. “Yeah,” she said shakily, “If anything’s doing it, I think that was it.”


Xander laughed down at her, reaching up to brush his dark hair off of his sweaty forehead. “No, you big goob,” he said leaning down to suck her bottom lip into mouth. “Did you think we did it,” he said softly. “Made a baby?”


“God, I hope not,” she burst out. Her gaze skittered across his lap, her cheeks flushing brightly and, oh, God, no condom! She had never had sex without a condom. Well, that time with Angel didn’t count because, hello, vampire. But she and Riley had been the poster kids for safe sex. 


Xander propped up on an elbow, his eyes, dark and concerned, searching hers. “I thought that was what you wanted,” he said softly. He laughed suddenly. “Now’s maybe not the best time to be changing your mind.”


“Xander, I’m nineteen years-old,” Buffy began patiently, as if she could explain to this strange and wonderful lover-Xander that people their age did not go around purposely making babies.


“Ah-ah,” he chuckled, smiling at her. “Twenty. Your birthday was like, four months ago. Let go of the teens already.”


“Xander,” Buffy said, forgetting that they were both naked and even the amazing sex and the strangeness of her situation fading from her, “I’m not even old enough to buy beer, and we’re talking about having a baby?!”


“Well, Buff, I don’t think beer and babies are necessarily a good combo…”


“Xander,” Buffy gritted out. “I have enough people to be responsible for now. There’s no way I’m adding single-mom to my résumé.”


Xander reached for her hand, pulling it to mouth as he parted his lips around the ring on her third finger. “I’m not going anywhere,” he said softly. Buffy pulled the hand back, watching the diamond wink at her smugly.


Buffy sat up, pulling the sheets with her as she rolled off of the bed. “I want to talk to Giles,” she said in a small, tight voice.


Xander stared back at her, his smooth tan body framed by the white sheets, his beautiful black eyes searching hers, but his mouth open in full ‘duh’ face. “Huh?” he finally managed.


“Giles?” Buffy said, stumbling over the sheet as she attempted to wrap it around her from head to toe. She reached the foot of the bed, glancing around. Xander’s apartment. Okay, she knew where she was and she could do this. She just needed help. “You know, tall, British, never uses three words when fourteen will do?”


Xander’s face had slipped from ‘duh’ into ‘who-what-how.’ “Mr. Giles?” he asked. “The librarian?” his voice sharply rose on the last word as if he were saying pedophile or Chaos demon. “How come you need him?”


Buffy backed away, glancing around for something that might be her clothing. She saw Xander’s Sunnydale High t-shirt lying over a chair grabbed it quickly, managing to pull it over her head and shimmy it down her body without losing the sheet. “Oh, ya know,” she laughed breathlessly, desperate to get away from him and his continued nakedness, “Slayer stuff.”


“Slayer?” Xander asked, sitting up. “Buffy – you sure woke up freaky this morning.” He smiled smugly. “Possibly due to the large scoop of Xander love.” Buffy glanced over her shoulder at him wryly, hunting for something that could be shoes. “But since when are you all into death metal?  Aren’t you more of a Michelle Branch kind of chick?” He smiled goofily at her. “Besides, Mr. Giles strikes me as more of a Cream or Zeppelin fan.” He paused when Buffy didn’t answer him. “Buffy, were you serious about not wanting to have a baby? I mean, I thought we had…”


Buffy whirled to face Xander, her hands full of what she hoped were Buffy clothes. “Xander, I don’t want to talk about this right now, okay? I’ve got to…there are things I…um, why can’t we just…”


Xander jumped up from the bed, shaking his head. “Whatever.” He started into the bathroom and then turned back to her, his gaze dark and hurt. “You know, I was the one who said we might want to wait a while. I pointed out that we’d only been married for three months and you argued that we’d been together for four years. I’m the one who said you should finish school first.”


He stopped, biting his lip. “Look, Buffy, I’ll do whatever you want, you know that.” He walked toward her then, stopping just as his body brushed hers. He looked into her eyes and then she watched his close, weighed down by those thick black lashes, as he leaned forward and kissed her softly on the forehead. “I love you.”


Buffy accepted the hug from naked Xander and smiled back at him helplessly, seeing all of that love coming at her and just wanting to make her escape. Xander brushed his lips against hers, slowly, and then turned away. “Okay,” he said, sighing. “I have to get ready for work. You have to go to class. We’ll talk about this tonight, okay?” Buffy nodded, trying not to watch Xander-nakedness too avidly as he walked away. “Love you,” he said with a wink, disappearing into the bathroom.


“Ah, yuh-huh,” Buffy replied, scrambling quickly into the jeans and t-shirt she’d unearthed. Must find Giles. The last reality had seemed so much like her own, well, despite the whole “gay now” thing with Faith, that she had gotten caught up in saving Dawn and trying to protect Faith and Xander, to the point that she had forgotten she wasn’t really their Buffy. Well, there was no way she was hanging around here to learn about being Xander Harris’ child bride. Giles had better have some answers about how to make this body-hopping stop. She got it. People loved her. She loved people. Okay, lesson over – back to the killing and the slaying and saving the world.


Buffy shoved her feet into tennis shoes, no socks, and walked quickly over to the large wall mirror to tame her bed head and, oh, dear God. She stared into her reflection, wide-eyed. Her hair was shoulder length and the dark, honey blonde it had been when she first came to Sunnydale, before she started dye – er, highlighting it. She reached a hand up to her cheek, feeling its round, smooth fullness. She glanced down quickly and, yep, she had her junior year boobs back. She looked back into the mirror. She hadn’t realized she had lost that much weight, before, with the renewed training schedule, and Mom, and trying to keep Dawn from Glory.  She looked…younger.


She stared at herself for a long minute until she heard the shower shut off. She quickly grabbed a set a keys off of the armoire next to her, hoping that the Hello Kitty key chain meant that they were hers. She sprinted through the door and down the stairs to the street, glancing around her to get her bearings. Right, okay, Giles’ apartment was three blocks north and then half a mile west. Nothing for a Slayer on a sunny day like this.




Buffy ran down the sidewalk, her lungs burning and the stitch in her side slamming in time with the thudding of her heart. God, that fight with Glory’s minions must haven taken more out her than she had realized. Not to mention all the reality jumping and when was the last time she had slept, anyway? She stopped to catch her breath, bending over and grabbing at her knees for balance as she felt the world swim around her.


She looked up, panting, and realized that she was in front of the ruins of the high school. Or what should be the ruins of the high school. Instead, it looked pretty open for business, what with the solid, non-charred buildings and the swarming students. Okay, she thought to herself, no big. Just something else different in this reality.


Saved time, anyway, and she was afraid she wouldn’t make it all the way to Giles’ without some serious hurling. Buffy frowned as she started across the campus. She needed a nap and maybe a snack, bad.


She walked through the open doors of the main building, turning automatically toward the library. She glanced around, wanting to avoid Snyder, in case he had avoided becoming demon-snake fodder, or anyone else who might question her presence. Students brushed past her on their way to class and no one gave her a second look.


She reached the library and shoved open the double doors, needing Giles and the peaceful quietness to calm herself and maybe catch her breath, something that was becoming more difficult to do. She walked into the welcoming silence of…thirty or so kids milling around the room as they searched the stacks and studied in a very unquiet fashion at various tables. Buffy paused. Kids in the library. Studying. Weird.


She shook her head and then saw Giles standing behind the checkout desk, sorting through books with an annoyed pucker on his face. “Giles,” she gasped as she jogged raggedly up to the counter.


He looked up with a blank expression and then smiled slightly. “Ah. Buffy. Buffy Summers.” He placed the stamp he had been using on the counter and smiled at her genuinely. “How lovely to see you. What brings you back to your old stomping grounds?” He paused and then smiled wider. “Don’t tell me student teaching! You know, I always said…”


“Giles!” Buffy cut him off with a whistling gasp. He stopped, frowning at her. “Giles,” she managed, taking deep breaths. “What’s going on? Why are all of these people here?”


Giles glanced around the room, a slight frown marring his forehead and looked back at her. “Study hall,” he answered. “Not that you can tell from the current din.”


Buffy rested her head briefly on the counter and managed to get her racing heart under control. “We need to talk,” she said, her voice a little steadier. “Now.”


Giles nodded, stepping around the counter to take her by the elbow. “Certainly,” he answered. He paused, turning back to the room. “Melissa?” he called. A dark-haired girl with a very Willow-like vibe raised her head. “Would you mind watching things for a while?” The girl nodded and rose from her seat, walking toward the counter.


Giles turned Buffy toward the back of the library. “My office is this way,” he said, steering her in that direction. Buffy nodded, leaning against him as she allowed him to lead her. “Yeah, kind of remember that.”


Giles settled her into a chair across from his desk and then opened a small refrigerator, removing a bottle of water and handing it to her wordlessly. Buffy accepted it and drained it. “Thanks,” she gasped as she felt the coolness spread through her body. "I ran all the way from Xander’s and I guess I’m a little out of it.”


Giles nodded, smiling as he seated himself gingerly on the corner of his desk. “That’s right,” he said, removing his glasses to polish them thoughtfully. “I understand congratulations are in order.”


Buffy looked back at him in confusion, wiping a hand across her forehead.


“I received a letter from Willow not long ago,” he explained. “She told me that you and Xander Harris had recently married.” He chuckled. “I can’t say as I was that surprised, what with repeatedly chasing the two of you from behind the stacks.”


Buffy goggled at him and then raised a hand, waving it in the air. “Never mind that,” she said. “I don’t want to know.” She pressed her lips together, looking at him seriously. “I have to tell you something. It’s going to be kind of wiggy, so just go with me, okay?”


Giles nodded slowly and replaced his glasses. “All right.”


“I’m not the Buffy you remember,” she said solemnly.


Giles looked back at her for a moment and then said cautiously, “Well, no, I’d imagine not. I’m sure you’ve matured a great deal, what with college and marriage and…”


Buffy shook her head at him. “That’s not what I mean, Giles. I’m not your Buffy.”


Giles blinked rapidly at her and then flushed a dull red. “Buffy, erm, Miss Summers, that is, Mrs. Harris, I’m sure I don’t know…”


“Just listen, Giles, okay?” Buffy leaned forward, resting her forearms on her knees. “I don’t know what’s going on in this Sunnydale, so some of this might seem kind of freaky, but you’re the only person who can make any sense out of it.”


Giles crossed his arms and leaned back slightly, nodding. “I’m listening.”


“Okay.” Buffy sighed and then plunged in. “After Riley left and Mom died and we found out that Glory was hunting Dawn I, well, I kind of freaked. The Slayer thing had been getting to me for a long time and I just got to where I couldn’t deal anymore. So you suggested we go on a quest…something from the Watcher’s Diaries. We went out to the desert and you summoned some kind of guide that was supposed to help me regain my focus…teach me more about the role of the Slayer. Instead, it’s sent me bouncing from one reality to the next. I’ve seen worlds were Angel and I are all Romeo and Juliet and worlds were everyone I know has died or getting close to it and then this time, I wake up as Mrs. Xander Harris! I can’t take it anymore, Giles! Make it stop! Grab your magic gourd and get me back to where I’m supposed to be before Glory realizes that Dawn is alone and defenseless!”


Buffy stopped, drawing a deep breath as she looked beseechingly at Giles, begging him to believe her and to have understood any part of that.


For his part, Giles had frozen at the moment she had mentioned the Slayer. A muscle worked slowly in his cheek, and suddenly, he jumped to his feet and walked to the door, shutting it firmly behind him. He turned quickly back to her, standing over her menacingly.


“Who told you I was a Watcher?” he asked tightly.


Buffy looked up at him blankly. “What,” she began and then he grabbed her by the shoulders, shaking her roughly. “How do you know?” he said harshly, his face inches from hers. “You couldn’t possibly…” he dropped his hands and walked away from her, his back to her.


“How do I know?” she asked, shock apparent in her voice. “I know because you’ve been my Watcher since I was fifteen. I know because you’re the one who wouldn’t let me forget it,” she said hotly, beginning to get angry. “You know, your Chose One speech: in every generation, one girl in all the world, blah, blah, blah…”


Giles whipped around to face her. “You’re not the Slayer,” he said forcefully.


Buffy stared at him, her mouth agape and her eyes blazing. She leapt to her feet. “Am too.”


“You’re not,” Giles answered just as angrily.  He advanced on her, his finger reaching out to point in her face. “I don’t know where you learned this, or what kind of…sick joke this is, but I’m asking you to leave. Right now.”


“Giles,” she said, her voice now full of pain. “You have to remember that. If nothing else, whatever else is screwed up in this world, I am the Slayer and you are my Watcher.” She leapt to her feet. “You are Rupert Giles, also known as Ripper. I am Buffy, the Vampire Slayer. I am the fucking Chosen One, and I can prove it!” She threw a punch at him and he dodged it easily, grasping both of her arms and wrenching them behind her back. Buffy gasped at the pain as Giles pulled her back against him.


“I am Mister Giles, the school librarian,” he said hotly against her neck. “And you are Buffy Summers, a brainless little former rah-rah that flitted around the library rubbing herself all over the witless Xander Harris and was only allowed in here because you were chums with my former library assistant, Willow Rosenberg.”


He shoved Buffy away from him and she fell forward, catching herself on the desk. Waves of pain radiated across her arms and shoulders and she turned slowly, shooting him a look of hurt surprise.


Giles breathed slowly, calming himself. “And, since you seem to know so much else, the Slayer is a lovely Jamaican girl. Based out of Cleveland, I believe.” He stopped, taking pity on her. “And, yes, I had heard that your mother had recently passed away. I remember her fondly from her stint on the Faculty – Parent Association. I’m sorry about your loss, and trust me when I say that I understand that grief can have strange affects on one’s behavior, however…”


“Giles,” Buffy said, slowly, turning to face him. “I don’t know what’s going on, but trust me when I say that this is not grief.” She stopped. “Wait. How did I know…” she leveled a calculating look at him. “You say I’m not the Slayer, but you didn’t deny being a Watcher. Why is that?”


Giles froze, looking up at her hesitantly before he masked his features. “That’s hardly your concern.”

“Tell me,” Buffy said, bracing her arms before her threateningly and then letting them drop. She sighed. “Giles. I’m not crazy. This isn’t some delusion. Why are you here in Sunnydale if it’s not as my Watcher?”

“I am the school librarian, Miss…er, Buffy. That’s all you need to know.”


Buffy stared back at him and then spun around, walking around his desk to jerk open a cabinet door to reveal knives, axes, stakes, and several thick leather bound volumes. “Tell me,” she said ominously.


“Right, then,” Giles sighed.



Buffy and Giles faced each other across the desk, the shadows lengthening outside, the sounds of students long since having faded away.


“So,” Buffy said tiredly. “You quit the Council after your first Slayer was killed and came to Sunnydale because it was, ironically, the farthest point from demonic activity. You sit here stamping books all day and wearing your tweed and playing the part of the harmless, befuddled Englishman. I, on the other hand, passed high school by cheating off of Willow and married the first guy I made out with. How am I doin’ so far?”


“I believe you’ve captured it, yes,” Giles said succinctly.


“So there are no vamps in Sunnydale,” she said disbelievingly. “No demons. No covens. No freaky kids raising zombies or making sacrifices to ancient deities.” She paused, her mouth twisting sourly. “And I am an ex-Homecoming Queen whose main passions were shoes and hickeys. Just a regular girl.”


“But an endearing one,” he said helpfully.


“Yeah,” she said with a bitter laugh. “I kind of got that from the ‘brainless former rah-rah’ thing.”


“Buffy,” he began…


She shook her head, looking past him at the windows where the sky had begun to darken. “No, it’s okay. Got it. Not a super hero.” She stood slowly, walking toward the door. “I, uh, won’t say anything about the Watcher stuff if you don’t tell anyone you kicked my ass.”


Giles nodded slowly. “Consider it done.”


Buffy opened the door and turned back to face him. “So, I guess I’m off to learn my great lesson and hopefully pop back out of here before any non-existent vamps show up to snack on my defenseless human self.”


She paused, her hand on the door as he spoke. “Buffy, you never told me how you…”


She shook her head, opening the door. “It doesn’t matter. Sorry I bothered you, G…Mr. Giles.”





Buffy leaned back on her arms, letting her feet drum against what had once been Spike’s crypt. She let her gaze sweep the dark and empty cemetery one last time. No vamps. No creepies. Nothing went bump. Okay, there was a cemetery right across from the school, but hey, that could happen in any town, right?


She sighed softly to herself, sitting up to wipe the grit off her palms. Right. Nothing supernatural in Sunnydale. Not even her. She slid off the top of the crypt, wincing slightly as she landed hard, her ankle twisting.


She limped slowly back to Xander’s, her eyes automatically darting around her as she walked the midnight streets of Sunnydale. A stray cat raced out in front of her at one point, dragging a very girly scream out of her throat, but otherwise it was nothing but dark and quiet.


She let herself into the apartment, pausing at the door when she noticed the lights were on and saw Xander sitting at the table, a bottle of whiskey and a phone at his side.


“Where have you been?” he asked quietly.


“I, uh, went for a walk,” she said lamely, placing her keys on the entertainment center and walking toward him.


He nodded, still not looking at her. “You didn’t take your cell,” he said. “I called your study group, they said you didn’t go to class today. I called Jesse and Amy, neither of them had heard from you. I even called Willow. At Oxford. That’s going to be a phone bill.” He looked up at her finally, his eyes blood shot and grim. “What’s going on with you, Buffy?”


She shoved her hands in the back pockets of her jeans, not meeting his gaze. “What do you mean?”


He stood, facing her. “I mean, what’s going on?” He ran his hand through his hair, shaking his head. “Not just today. Stacy in your study group said you hadn’t been to class in days. Where are you going all day? You bring books home and tell me school’s going great and then I find out…” he exhaled harshly. “And then suddenly you decide you want a baby. Out of nowhere.” He looked up at her. “Don’t get me wrong – I want us to have kids, too, just maybe now’s…”


Buffy shook her head at him, “Xander, I don’t know…”


“That’s just it, Buffy.” He walked closer to her. “You don’t know. I give you a promise ring and suddenly it’s too much, you want to break up. And then you show up at my door telling me that not only are sure you want to marry me, you want to get married as soon as possible.” He reached a hand out to her, running it gently across her cheek. “And then your mom dies, and the next thing I know, it’s throw away the condoms and let’s have a baby.” He closed his eyes briefly and then opened them to her. “And the whole time you’re running around either bursting with happiness or sobbing your heart out in the bathroom when you think I’m asleep.” Xander nodded at her as Buffy opened her mouth. “Yeah, I knew. Buffy, I love you, but I don’t know how much longer I can do this.”


Buffy looked back at him, feeling irritation well in her as she was forced to deal with the fall out from this Buffy’s life. Then she stilled, realizing that this was the stuff she never really had to deal with, not this vividly, anyway. She’d never realized how much she’d avoided with ‘because I’m the Slayer.’ Skipping classes and going all manic-depressive was probably a big deal to a Xander who’d never had ‘bad battle with a Chorago demon’ or ‘hell god wants my sister’ thrown at him.


“Maybe I just feel like I’m missing something,” she said softly. “Maybe I want a life where the most important this I do isn’t ace a Psych test or plan a wedding.” Buffy stopped herself, a hand coming up to cover her mouth. She half-laughed, half-sobbed behind her hand. Great. Five years of cursing the fates that had stolen a normal life from her and now she’s ripping to shreds the reality of one in less than a day. But come on, how little could this Buffy deal, that she was blowing off class and deciding having a baby was going to make it all better? She should try a life balancing all of that while managing not become a nightly snack.


Buffy looked up at Xander, seeing the real tears, the real worry mingling with the very real and very scary love in his eyes. She threw her arms around him. “Xander, I’m sorry, sorry,” she whispered, letting the tears fall whether they were really hers or not. “I know I’m probably freaking you out and,” she gasped as his arms wrapped around her tightly, desperately. “I love you. I do. I’m sure I do.” She leaned back, gently brushing the tears off his cheeks. “Maybe we should rethink the whole baby thing for a while, huh?” She smiled at him sadly. “I probably have a lot of dealing to do right now, and maybe I’m not going about it the best way.” She paused, considering, and then reached up, pressing her mouth firmly to his.


Xander kissed her back, letting her feel all of his confusion and need. As he kicked her legs out from beneath her, lowering her to the ground, she pulled her mouth from his, jerking in air and hoping that his Buffy knew how amazing he was. “What do you think about taking a kick-boxing class together?” she asked breathlessly.


He paused in jerking her jeans down her legs. “Whatever you say, Killer,” he breathed as he sealed his mouth to hers again. She groaned into the kiss, feeling herself floating and then falling, and oh, dammit!


Continued in Love Her Madly


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