Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Iron Man Crossover (Self-Made Hero)
Summary: Even genius engineers can't fix every situation.
Word Count: 580
Rating: Teen, at least. Description (not seriously graphic, but still existent) of Caleb seriously injuring Xander.
Caleb’s the bad guy. The supervillain. And he probably never saw the magic armor suit coming, so it’s up to Xander to hit the guy with everything he’s got.
The repulsors don’t phase him. Even a light-laced Unibeam doesn’t stagger him much. Neither does the flamethrower, though admittedly that’s slow enough to dodge. That needs to be fixed for next time. The tasers do give the murderer a little pause, but mostly seem to tick him off.
And then the man catches him by his head in midair, and the thought races through his mind: Powers imparted by the First Evil are seriously cheating.
“You’re the One Who Sees, aren’t you?” the man asks calmly, and that gets Xander’s mind racing. That’s probably a reference to a prophecy, somewhere; he should look it up when they get…
‘Warning. Primary systems offline,’ White Star informs him, the slightest hint of panic in her tone.
“W-wait, what? How’s he interfering with the tech—”
‘I think he’s interfering with the magic, which in turn depletes…’ she begins, and everything happens all at once.
He throws everything he has into shielding. Every ounce of his energy goes into reinforcing the shields. Which flicker and die.
Caleb grins. And suddenly he’s not just the supervillain. He’s terrifying. Glory was bad. This priest is worse. “Let’s see what we can do about that,” he says, as if Xander hasn’t even spoken, still quiet and calm and menacing, and reaches out with the hand not holding him in place.
He pulls off the facemask like it’s nothing. The Exoskel flickers and dies. Xander attempts to keep a defiant look on his face, but Caleb reaches out with one thumb and pokes it into his left eye socket.
He can feel the blood flowing down his cheek. His brain’s suddenly aflame with all the pain signals, and Stark’s brain doesn’t help the matter since all thoughts are echoed and amplified and he’s screaming.
He’s been lucky, all this time. Giant bruises. A dislocated shoulder (that had been his fault, he’d overjuiced the repulsors, but given that it was Glory he hadn’t been taking any chances). On one memorable occasion, a cracked collarbone. Plenty of concussions. Nothing prepared him for this. The pain won’t go away. Meditation isn’t helping, but it’s not like he can even begin to relax and let the magic flow through him. Every second brings another pounding wave of agony, and he can feel every single nerve on fire. He can smell the bright tang of blood. The sound’s the most disgusting thing he’s ever heard. It’s everywhere, invasive, surrounding him, but it’s not comforting like his suit. This is a world with all hard edges and cold stares.
Caleb throws him into a stack of barrels. The impact barely registers. Why should it? He’s used to being thrown into things like a rag doll, and there’s a more important ongoing nerve signal, anyway.
White Star is saying something, frantic, but there’s a ringing in his ears and he can’t quite make it out. There’s what might be screams. Maybe it’s just him. It’s hard to tell. He can’t summon enough energy to reinforce the dying wards. Can’t even manage to lift a finger.
Arms pull him up, frantic but strong, and someone joins in on the other side, lifting him like his armor is nothing.
The pain is too much, overloading his brain. So he makes the strategic decision to pass out instead.