Bliss Took Hold 7
by Danielle


Xander was a wreck. After leaving Spike’s crypt, he’d headed home and was locked out. When he’d gone to see if the basement window was open, he’d gotten the shock of his life.  He looked in to the basement, and saw himself! After following the fake him all day, he came to one conclusion:  this body-snatching demon was living his life better than he was!

First the Evil Xander, as the original called him, dressed all fancy. All about the button down and gelled hair, this one was. His boss was totally impressed with him and offered him dibs on the next job instead of firing him, as the real Xander had expected. That afternoon, the leasing agent had hit on this obviously fake, suave guy and he got the apartment. Xander tried to take him down then, but he was too quick.

So here he was, still in Spike’s clothes, standing out in the drizzle like a homeless puppy. The mussed human peered in the window to see the fake Xander talking to Buffy, Riley, the G-Man, and Angel! What was Angel doing in town? He quickly got out of sight and prayed to whatever Powers that Be to let them see that this guy was an imposter.  With a final intake of breath, Xander looked into the window again. No change. Buffy was assuring the pseudo-Xan-Man to consider his double dealt with. With tears streaming down his face, the real Xander left to find Willow.


Spike sat on top of his crypt, watching the stars. The blonde had broken out the JD at around sunset and was lazily singing a Nirvana song he’d heard while he and Dru were together. Spirits high, he remembered his last meeting one of the band members while draining groupies at a concert. Dru had been smitten, hypnotizing the musician and bringing him to Spike. He’d convinced her to just take enough to make him lose consciousness, because he had a marginal respect for the human’s music. Couldn’t be all bad if the singer himself had idolized the Sex Pistols, could he?

“Wouldn’t of bothered if I’d known it was gonna go to hell anyway!” the vampire groused to the night air. He blurrily tried to remember why he’d started the little binge he was on now, and recalled that originally it was a matter of liquid courage. The demon wanted out of the tiny crypt, but he wanted to be there when Xander showed up, so here he sat, thoroughly plastered as he tried not to think about brown-eyed humans who liked to babble. The empty bottle fell to the soft grass as he passed out.


”But you can’t just give up!” Willow argued passionately. Xander had burst into her dorm room like a crazy person and recited facts from their childhood that only he could know like –- a crazy person. She had been understanding, if amused, and sat quietly through the Snoopy Dance and Xander explaining the situation.

“I’m not doing anything special with it. It’s like, ‘take my life please’…” Xander tried not to sound as hopeless as he felt, and was failing miserably.

“Ok, let’s start with the basics. Where would you go, I mean, if you were someone who was trying to steal your life, which you’re not, but what would be the first place you’d hit--don’t give me that look, I believe you!” the redhead stuttered to a halt under Xander’s scrutiny.

“Well, he’s gotten my job, my dream apartment, and my friends. Who else is there?”

“What about Anya?” Willow chimed in. Xander sighed and turned to her.

“Anya and I broke up last night.” Willow hugged him and did the “Oh, Xander” thing she’d done to comfort him since childhood, then abruptly let go.

“Ooh! She could be doing this--reaping vengeance or something, we should check out her place-- see if there’s any evidence of major mojo being done there? “ As the witch stood to get her bag and her best friend stopped her.

“Wait, she wouldn’t do that -- well she *would*-- but I don’t see that happening here since she broke up with me.” The human hung his head, but Willow was undaunted.

“We still need to check it out. It’s Anya, Xander. Even if she’s not doing it, whoever is could be heading there right now.”

Xander stood, determined not to let the thing fool anyone else. 

“Great! We can take my car!” his friend gushed. She and Tara had bought their first car a week earlier, and the witch was extremely proud of it.

After the silent ride to Anya’s apartment, Xander ran up the stairs and used his key to get in. No Anya, but he found an interesting message from his evil twin. Without pause, the brunette rummaged through her dresser, pulled out what he was looking for, and then ran back to the car.

The young witch sped him to the new apartment as soon as she heard. Xander half stumbled from the car before it had time to completely stop as he raced to catch his double. Kicking in the door, he walked in on the better-dressed version of himself making out with his ex-girlfriend.

A very confused Anya looked at the two and sided with the cleaner one.

“Make it go away!” the ex-demon muttered as she cuddled into fake-Xander’s arms. As if in a dream, Xander raised the gun and started walking towards the imposter.

Filled with rage and desperation, Xander moved closer for the kill. This thing was taking over his life and had to be stopped--

Anya lunged forward, forcing the gun up as she came. The evil body-snatcher stepped up to fight with Xander over the gun. They struggled for a moment, then Buffy burst in and pulled them apart. She grabbed Xander and pushed him into the bar.

“Thank you!” from the imposter--who in an instant was being slammed into the bar as well.

Xander watched, dumfounded as Riley and Angel strode in crankily. He noted that Riley sported a black eye and a split lip, and Angel’s black silk shirt was ripped.  Willow emerged from behind them with her serious face on.  

“Sorry we didn’t get here sooner,” Buffy began as the team came together. Angel and Riley stared daggers into each other from opposite sides of the witch.

“The boys got fight-y in the parking lot- I calmed them down using ‘separar----.” Willow finished for her. Angel and Riley flew to opposite sides of the dining room and into the walls.

“Oops!” the redhead ran towards the former soldier, who flinched as he got up. Angel seemed to have bounced right back, but he scowled at the Wiccan on his way to Buffy. He abruptly lifted his head as he approached the Xanders.

“You’re both Xander,” Buffy explained to the confused pair. They balked at that, but she went on, “Different properties went into each half. But if either one of you died, you both would.” The mirror images studied each other intensely, and as everyone blurted out explanations and examples, the more sensitive Xander noticed Soul-boy eyeing him closely.

“What?” He muttered as Riley went into what properties like sense of direction and night vision. The vampire noticeably sniffed the air, telling him without words what he was doing. A blush crept through Xander's face as the human’s eyes got wide. Soulboy was as good as dust if he talked. Angel stoically put a finger to his lips, which was a relief. The slight yellow in his dark eyes was not.








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