Key: MC, Hypno, MD, Freeze
The next morning Xander exited his state room looking a bit disheveled and a little confused. Almost disappointed in himself. He started to pace back and forth in the hallway in front of his room for what seemed like hours. But was probably only a few minutes. You know how time goes sometimes. After those few minutes had passed Sandy turned the corner and started to walk towards Xander. “Well, good morning, did you….you didn’t enjoy your night, did you? What happened?” he asked, genuinely concerned.
Xander saw him coming and just sighed, “I failed” he said flatly and in a rather disappointed tone.
Sandy looked a bit confused “You failed?” He started, “You didn’t get the girl? I mean I saw you hypnotize the redhead. What happened? Did she wake up?”
Xander shook his head, clearly annoyed. “No, no, no. I hypnotized the girl, that went fine. I failed…after that.”
Sandy frowned and put his hand on Xander’s shoulder “did she wake up? Or…were you unable to… shall we say… satisfy her?” He was trying to be as gentle as possible; he could feel Xander’s frustration.
Xander gave him a sideways look that spoke volumes, but mostly said ‘remember, I can kill you’. His actual, verbal, reply was a bit less hostile. “Dude, I got the girl, got her to my room, and ‘satisfied her’ enough times for her to faint.” His tone was completely serious, deadly serious.
Sandy nodded a few times then looked at him, confused “Exactly how, then, did you fail?”
Xander sighed as his shoulders visibly dropped. “I couldn’t drain her… I tried it just… wouldn’t work. I couldn’t drain her energy, she’s in there completely asleep, a natural sleep, and is going to wake up any minute now and I’m not sure what to do!”
Sandy smiled and squeezed Xander’s shoulder, “Dude, it’s ok. It’s been probably years for you, it takes time to get back into the saddle. What you did last night, was NOT a failure. You hypnotized a girl! Two of them! And got one of them so deep she followed you back to your state room! That does not sound like a failure to me man!”
Xander folded his arms, feeling a bit insecure. “I hypnotized her the traditional way, no energy, no powers, hell I didn’t even use pheromones.”
Sandy looked like he was about to bludgeon Xander. “So let me get this straight...instead of using overwhelming ‘mary sue’ powers to get the girl, you used a hypnotic induction that required skill and planning, as well as brain power, to pull off. Yeah that’s a total failure.” He grabbed Xander by both shoulders and took a deep breath before continuing. “What you did was harder than using your powers, and for all I know it may take time to get the draining thing to work again. You didn’t fail, you just learned you still have room to grow, but that you also have the ability to grow. Okay?”
Xander nodded but looked at Sandy “What about her memory? She’s going to wake up sooner or later and without her being drained she’s going to be confused, and maybe even remember the night.”
Sandy just laughed “I think we’ll be able to take care of any pesky memories she might have. Besides we’re pulling into port in an hour or so, I’ll need someone to replace that hot angel of yours on my stage till the next show.”
Xander considered the idea for a second or two and then, as if on queue in an internet fictional fantasy story, the door to Xander’s room opened and out popped a very confused looking Lynn. She had managed to get redressed, but seemed even more shy than before. “Oh, I’m terribly sorry” she started when she saw Xander and Sandy “I seem to have ended up in the wrong room…Hey, weren’t you that guy I was talking to on the bow last night? Wait a minute, you were… you showed me how to relax… and then… I remember walking on the beach, how did I end up here?”
There were obviously too many questions for Xander to answer, and he was starting to turn red enough to stop traffic on a highway. Before he could answer, though, Sandy nudged him and smiled. “Want to try a dual induction?”
Xander looked at Sandy, confused, he wasn’t sure exactly what he meant. Lynn looked at the two of them and was about to ask what was going on when Sandy just gave Xander a wink and said “Follow my lead.” He turned with a smile to Lynn and started his plan. “Miss, it’s ok you were completely safe the whole night, but would you like to see another trick, similar to the one that he showed you last night?”
Lynn seemed a bit confused, and before she could reply, Sandy held up his hand with a smile “In my hand miss, is a ball, a ball of pure energy and light. You can only see this ball with your imagination. Your eyes will never see it. But even though it’s not visible to you, you can still see it...see it in your mind now, can’t you?”
Lynn seemed to look at Sandy’s hand and almost squint a bit. “I …I guess I can, umm what are you…”
“In fact” Sandy said, moving his hand like he was playing with a ball “The more the ball moves, the more you can see it in your mind, the more real it becomes…” he then made a motion to pass the ‘ball’ to Xander.
Xander instinctively held out his hand to catch the ‘ball’ and looked at Sandy, confused, then at Lynn who had followed the ball to Xander’s hand. Xander smiled in an ‘ah-ha!’ moment and started to toss the non-existent ball back and forth from hand to hand. “The more the ball moves, the more vivid it becomes, the more you can see it, the texture it has, the color. The details just seem to come to life for you.” Xander then bounced the ‘ball’ on the floor to Sandy
Sandy hammed up the bounce and made it look like it went over his head, then caught it as it came down. “Soon you can’t help but see the ball so vividly, that you don't’ realize it’s not here…you can see it, you could even touch it. But if you do touch it miss, if you were to… try and catch the ball. The moment you touch it the ball would pop. But there is another secret to the ball. Would you like to know what that secret is?”
Lynn was now smiling as the ball was being bounced by Sandy off the wall in front of him, she could almost see the ball as it flew from his hand to the wall and back. “Yes… what’s the secret?” she asked excitedly, raptly focused on the ball as it was being bounced around.
Sandy smiled at Lynn and noticed Xander was completely confused, so he threw him a bone, “the ball in your mind…” when we noticed that Xander actually picked up where he was going he tossed the ball to him.
Xander smiled and caught the ‘ball’ and spun it on his finger. “If you ever touch the ball, it will pop…and so will your mind. It won’t hurt, but it will put you back down, into a deep deep sleep. You can see that can’t you Lynn?”
Lynn nodded with a giggle as Xander started to bounce the ball like a basketball “Good, we want you to know...you are always safe. Now catch…” with that he made a gesture like he was tossing a ball towards Lynn.
Lynn reacted in a way other then how Xander thought she would. Instead of trying to catch the ball, she quickly curled up and raised her arms to block it. There was a brief scream and then she jerked a bit. Xander thought it looked like that was when she felt the ‘ball’ hit her. Then her arms lowered and she looked at Sandy, then Xander, and said in a strangely relaxed voice “nap time.” Then her eyes rolled up into her head as it fell back, and her whole body fell forwards.
Both Xander and Sandy jumped forward and managed to catch the young beauty before she fell and hurt herself. They laughed a bit as they explained she could stand up straight and walk with them, eyes open but deeply asleep.
Xander and Sandy walked the young woman down to Sandy’s show stage where Veo was still on display. Nude except for her necklace / bracelet / armband thingie. Not that it mattered since she was completely turned to translucent crystal at the time. Sandy whispered into Lynn’s ear as Xander stood back and watched. A moment later Lynn arched her back and put her arms a few inches out from her side and let her head hang back. Taking on the same pose as Veo, just without the wings. Sandy raised his hands and the mist like cloud of sand moved from his hand and surrounded Lynn. Her skin started to become clear as her dress from the night before fell away from her body. A moment later there were two beautiful crystal statues on display.
Xander shook his head with a grin “I bet that never gets old.”
Sandy audibly laughed “Hell no, sometimes I’ll just spend an entire night just statueifying and un-statueifying the same lovely lady over and over again. It’s an amazing ability that I am fully aware of and completely appreciate!”
Xander folded his arms and leaned back against one of the tables “What about their memory? I know you said that they were in a kind of suspended state here mentally, but they are going to notice that time has passed. And Veo, hell man she’s a general, what are you going to do about that memory gap?” His question was more curiosity for how Sandy was going to dig himself out of this then actual concern for the situation.
Sandy grinned and started to move his hands in the direction of Veo “remember how I said the ‘sands’ were inside of these ladies brains? I can manipulate their memory and their experience.” As he was talking Veo’s skin started to become more and more opaque, more solid. “I used to give them all individual memories, craft carefully written stories of their time that they missed. A romance or two, some funny shows, pure relaxation on the deck. But then I realized…” Veo’s skin was now completely back to normal, and Sandy couldn’t help but grin at the sight of her lovely naked form. Her posture remained the same with her head back and her wings open. “... no matter how much effort I put into it, I don’t know what the person needs or wants the most. So I just leave them with a sense of knowing and feeling that they had a great time. They can create the details as needed.” Lastly, the mist like ‘sands’ that Sandy was controlling picked up Veo’s clothes and wrapped them around her again. Breaking and repairing the fabric where it was needed. So in the end she was completely clothed. A second or two more on display and her wings folded back up behind her, and her body took on a normal standing position. Her head lowered to a normal forward facing level and her eyes opened. But clearly no one was home.
Xander smiled and clapped his hands in appreciation “Truly…you are are artist.” Sandy merely bowed.
An hour or so later, Xander and Sandy walked the completely blank faced Veo to the exit ramp. The ship had docked while they were in the stage area and it was time for Xander and Veo to continue their journey. Xander and Sandy shook hands. “Thank you, you helped a lot. I’m sorry I tried to kill you earlier.”
Sandy laughed “It’s ok, you’re not the first angry boyfriend to break through my door, and you're not the first incubus either. I hope you were able to find a little bit about yourself on this trip. Heal a bit.” His statement was completely honest, a refreshing standpoint given Xander’s painful past. Sandy then raised his hand towards Veo, and a small amount of sand floated out of her ear. The last of the influence that he had over her. “She’ll snap out of her daze in about 5 minutes of so.”
Xander smiled and started to walk the still blanked out Veo down the ramp and off of the ship. When he was about half way down the ramp he could hear Sandy yell “You know she’s in….” the rest of his statement cut off by the dramatically timed horn on the ship.
Xander looked back at Sandy and pointed to his ear, then shrugged his shoulders. Sandy just laughed and waved him on, when the horn stopped he simply shouted “You’ll find out sooner or later.”
Xander and Veo made it to the dock and started to walk down the streets of San Francisco. It had been nearly 2 decades since Xander had been in the U.S.A. but it all seemed familiar to him as he walked the streets again. Not that he had ever been to San Francisco, but just the feel of the U.S. itself.
A moment or two later Veo, who had been walking blank faced and staring straight ahead this whole time, closed her eyes and took a deep breath. As she exhaled her mouth formed into a small smile and she opened her eyes to look at Xander. “Did you enjoy your cruise, honeybun?”
Xander smiled and hugged his angelic friend “I did angel, I really did. Did you?” He was eternally curious to see what, if anything, she remembered.
Veo nodded “Oh yeah, I can’t remember the last time I spent 2 days just lounging around on a pool chair. It’s so relaxing.” She said with a smile.
Xander wrapped his arm around her shoulders, a move that required her to lower her wings a bit but she was good at that, and then looked out ahead of them. “I couldn’t be happier to hear that.”
Veo noticed he had a weird grin on his face, but that was normal for the incubus, so she paid it no mind at all.
Characters: Xander, Veo,