Also, note: Xander occasionally uses plural pronouns for himself when he's thinking. He rarely trips up and uses them out loud, but it's what feels most natural for him since he's hardly alone in his own head.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Iron Man Crossover (Self-Made Hero)
Summary: The Initiative makes another enemy.
Word Count: 505
Xander wakes screaming. There are arms holding him down, which just makes him panic that much more.
And it is panic. A panic attack. All his muscles are freezing up. He can’t breathe. His heart rate is too high. He’s freezing. He’s choking on his own spit and his brain feels like someone’s electrocuting every one of his synapses. And he is most certainly going to die.
“Breathe. Breathe.” He focuses on the words. It’s a lot easier to stop panicking about every single thing when all he has to do is think about breathing in, breathing out, breathing in, breathing out again.
Eventually his shoulders relax. He’s tempted to just curl up in a ball but he gets the idea that his captors wouldn’t deal so well.
“Are you all right, Mr. Harris?”
“Please, you at least have slightly better manners than the last group of idiots who kidnapped me. And don’t call me Harris. It makes me nervous. I had my name legally changed for a reason, you know.”
He finally opens his eyes. A familiar brunet’s staring at him in worry, and he blinks a couple of times to get sure. Yep, that’s him, although he doesn’t remember the guy wearing the army-like uniform in his presence before.
It takes the guy blinking at him, confused, to realize that he said that out loud.
“Are you okay?” Riley asks uncertainly.
Knight winces, taking stock. “’Course. My day’s just peachy every time someone decides to invite me to these parties so I can make them nice shiny new toys. It’s not like it gives me bad flashbacks or anything.” He can tell the guy’s confused, so the best plan is to probably keep him that way. It might give them a means of escape, or at least more information. “So, you plan on telling me about your particular super-secret organization and how they’re more awesome than everyone else’s?”
“The organization isn’t that secret. The operation is, though. Without revealing too much, let’s just go with the project name, the Initiative. We’re researching effective demon-fighting skills, to be able to stop our soldiers from dying in such numbers.”
He sees the kid on the Humvee, so young. The bodies. He flinches.
“10/10 doctors recommend not dying, yeah.” He stretches as much as he can, what with the restraints and all. “Some people say I do my best work under pressure, but they weren’t talking about being held captive against my will.” He turns over, staring at the wall. “Warn me before you lot break out the torture porn. I wanna at least brace myself.” He nearly panics again on the thought of sleeping in the presence of people holding him hostage, of people he doesn’t trust, but it’s better than sitting here letting anxious thoughts get the better of them. He and his executive council can come up with a daring, reckless escape plan when he wakes up. And so he closes his eyes and mimics sleep until his breathing eases out.