Forever Doesn't Live Up to the Hype

Author: Ed Scott <EScott92[at]>

Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... none of who are me.

Summary: After a household accident, Xander learns not to lose his head. Starts during the summer of S1.


Crossovers: Highlander

Pairing: C/X

A/N: I had to write this. My muse, which is overworked, decided it would be fun to write another 'Xander is an immortal' story.

Rating: PG

Feedback, It's the coin of the realm.

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Chapter 1

Xander was utterly bored. Buffy was in LA with her dad, and Willow was in Atlanta with her folks at a psychologist's conference. His folks were in Atlantic City, apparently Vegas wasn't far enough away. So, to kill a few hours Xander decided to go for a jog. Three hours after his jog, he returns home in need of a shower. After he steps out of the shower, he slips and hits his head on the side of the tub. Knocking him out, or so he thought at the time.

Xander wakes up starving, the sun had barely moved so he thought he was knocked out for a few minutes. After eating all that was edible at his house, he decided to meet Mrs. Summers and see if she has any chores she would like him to do.

"Hello Xander."

"Hello Mrs. Summers. I was wondering if you needed anything done around here. Mow your lawn, take out your trash. I need something to do and I'm not desperate enough to beg for something to do."

Mrs. Summers heard Xander's stomach growling, even though he just ate. "Come on in Xander and I will get you something to eat first. I have an art dealer showing up in about an hour by the name of Mr. Nash. Please be a good boy while he is here." Joyce asked like a mother asking her son. Xander blushed at her attention.

An hour later

There is a knock at the door. Before Joyce answers it, Xander collapsed with a massive headache. Joyce yelled to the door that she would be there in a minute. She laid Xander on the couch, and put a pillow under his head before answering the door.

Joyce opens her door to a man slightly taller than her wearing a full length trench coat even though it is 80 degrees outside. "Mrs. Summers, I presume?"


My name is Nash. I believe we have a meeting."

"I'm sorry Mr. Nash, but a friend of the family just collapsed because of a headache. Perhaps we could reschedule at a later date."

Connor asked to see Xander and Joyce allowed it. When Xander woke up and looked into his eyes, his headache went away. MacLeod leaned into Xander and whispered, "meet me outside when I leave. There is much you need to know. And I don't know how long you have before you are in trouble."

Turning to Joyce, Connor says, "I'll call you tomorrow Mrs. Summers to reschedule our meeting. I hope your young friend here gets better soon." The Scotsman gracefully leaves the two alone.

"Are you feeling alright, Xander?"

"I'm fine Mrs. Summers. I think I would like some air. So I'll talk to you later and if Buffy calls tell her I said hi." Xander leaves Joyce who looks concerned for Xander because she does not know what is wrong with him.

At the end of Revello Drive, the immortal and the new immortal meet for the first time. "I believe you have questions for me."

"Yeah, like who are you, what are you and what the hell is going on?"

"My name is Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. I was born six hundred years ago in the Highlands of Scotland. I am an immortal. And I can never die unless I lose my head." For the next half hour, Connor explains about 'The Game' training to stay alive and the need of a trench coat. Needless to say, Xander took it all in stride by fainting. Connor picked him up and took him to his hotel room, where he needed to make a phone call. "Duncan is going to be so pleased ha ha."

Chapter 2

Xander woke up from what he thought was a joke. What he was told was as ridiculous as vampires were before he knew they existed. He was immortal, destined to roam the earth and cut off the heads of people he did not know. It was too much for anyone who hadn't seen what he has seen for the past year. If vampires could live for hundreds of years, why not certain humans? His groaning alerted Connor that he was awake.

"Awake, are we?"

"Yeah. With everything I've seen this year, I should not have fainted."

"Oh, really? What have you seen over the past year that would make immortality not surprising?"

"Vampires, demons, Hellmouth, Watchers and witches. The fun that just isn't is Sunnydale."

Connor was surprised that the Hellmouth was in town. He had fought vampires before, but he never knew, or wanted to know for that matter, where the Hellmouth was. "You're absolutely certain that the Hellmouth is here?" Xander just nodded.

"The Slayer and her Watcher are here. A vampire turned my best friend since childhood and I killed the demon that took his face." Xander slumped over at the thought of The Harvest. It was the night that showed him what was needed to be done.

"I'm sorry for your loss. But now, you will need to learn to use a sword. I also recommend getting good grades in school, so you can get through life. I will train you, but also my cousin Duncan. He is immortal too, but he is two hundred years younger than I am. You need a sword kid, and I have a few here that I would like you to try out to see which one you are comfortable with." Connor produced a case from his closet. Inside were swords of all makes and sizes and time periods. After lifting and trying a few practice swings, Xander felt most comfort with a Japanese katana.

"That is a good sword. A friend of mine gave that to me as a reward for saving his family's life. It will serve you well. Now we need to find you a trench coat."

"I might not need it for awhile. My friends and I walk around town with swords and crossbows every night and no one says anything. People turn a blind eye in this town to those things they do not want to know."

"I'm still getting you one anyway. Even though they are as hot as hell during the summer, they are needed."

"Ok. I'll accept it from you. I just don't know how I will pay you back yet." With that said, Connor and Xander went to the mall to get Xander a coat. Xander remembered that now is around the time during the day that Cordelia is at the mall. You can set your watch to when she shows up to the mall.

As they were heading to Connor's car, they felt the 'Buzz.' They looked around and saw a tall blonde. "My name is Hans Schmidt. I challenge the young one."

"I am Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. This young one is my student. You know the rules. If the teacher is around the teacher fights for the student."

"Bullshit. I have never backed down from a fight and I am not going to now."

"Listen kid, you do not know what you are doing. He will kill you in seconds. You do not stand a chance with him."

"Ok kid." Hans said. "I'll give you six months than I'll take your head."

With that, Hans Schmidt walked away leaving Xander and Connor trying to figure out what to do next.

Chapter 3

Xander and Conner looked at each other in silence as Hans walked away. Xander finally spoke up. "I'm in deep shit, aren't I?" Conner's replied by smacking him in the back of the head.

"What the hell were you thinking? I know you young kids are impetuous, but to accept a challenge to a sword fight, when you don't even know how to use a sword? That's suicidal. A majority of sword fighters use skill when dueling. And the amount of skill it takes to survive takes years. Some skills take decades to learn. And you only have six months to train. I don't like your chances, kid."

"I'll train as hard as I have to. You told me guys like him will go after those I care about if I run. Nothing bad will happen to my friends except old age." Connor saw a great amount of determination in what he said, and agreed with it. He'd lost too many of those he'd cared for over the years because of 'The Game.'

"I'm taking you to Duncan's cabin in the Washington Wilderness. It's peaceful, quiet, has indoor plumbing and is on holy ground. I'll train you there until you go back to school, bring you back here and train you some more. Hunting vampires with your sword will be great training. Call the Watcher and ask him if Slayers are the only people Watchers watch. You might be surprised with his answer."

"OK." Xander walks to a pay phone and calls the library.

[Sunnydale High School Library. Mr. Giles speaking.]

"Hey Giles. It's Xander."

[Hello, Xander. What can I do to help you?]

"I need to ask you something and I want an honest answer. Are Slayers the only ones that Watchers watch?"

[Why. Yes. There are some who watch those who are immortal. Please, don't tell me.]

"Ok. I won't tell you. I need to go away for a couple of months to learn not to lose my head. I need you to come up with a descent story to tell the girls. And don't try the long lost uncle story because Willow would just look up my family history online and see where I am."

[Alright. I'll think of something and let you know. Just out of curiosity, who is your teacher?]

"Connor MacLeod of the Clan MacLeod. Mrs. Summers met him under his Nash alias."

[Well, that's good to hear. He is one of the most respected immortals. He will teach you a lot. I'll see you when you get back. If you want, I'll train you as well.]

"I want, Giles. I'll see you in August. Bye."

[Good luck, Xander.] Xander hung up the phone knowing that the girls won't be worrying about him because he trusted Giles to cover for him. He felt good for the first time today. Xander sees Connor hanging up on his cell phone.

"I've told Mrs. Summers that I have to leave on business immediately and I will be unavailable until late August. She said that was fine. She seems like a nice lady. Does she know about the night life here?"

"First off, she is a very nice lady. Second, she is the mother of the Slayer. And third she has no idea about the night life here. It would be a good idea if she knew about it, because I hate lying to her about what we do at night." It really did break his heart to constantly lie to the only woman who ever made him feel like a son. "If Mrs. Summers found out the reality of vampires and such, if she also knew I was an immortal, it would send her into a catatonic coma. It would blow her mind. I would rather not do that to her."

It took an hour to get to Xander's house, get his stuff and be out of the city headed to Washington State. Xander was rather excited, because he had never been to a cabin in the woods for any length of time. There was a comfortable silence in the car, it gave Xander a chance to think how he became immortal. By the time they reached the Oregon-California border, he finally figured it out. And if he was right, it would not be a story he would be proud to tell. But he figured Connor should know, just to satisfy his curiosity and to have something to talk about.

"So Connor. How did you die? The first time."

"I lost my life in a battle. I died but when I arose, my Clan thought I was the devil. How did you die the first time? Vampire attack?"

"I slipped in the shower and hit my head on the tub. When I awoke, I thought I was only knocked out for a few minutes. But, I later found out it was a full day before I woke up again." There was much laughter in the car coming from the Scotsman's mouth.

"Not really a story you want to retell there, kid."

Chapter 4

It was mid-August when Xander Harris and Connor MacLeod arrived back in Sunnydale. Xander would've rather stayed at Duncan's cabin, he liked the quiet. Connor rented a three bedroom house, that was secluded enough so that they could practice their sword skills. Being uninterrupted allowed Xander not being humiliated in front of people he didn't know. He spent more time on his butt than on his feet while training.

Xander gets out of the car, taking in the surroundings of Sunnydale. Sights that made him feel as comfortable as one could on a Hellmouth. On the trip back to Sunnydale, Xander decided he couldn't lie to his friends. So, when Buffy returned from staying with her dad in LA, he'd tell them everything. He just hoped they would understand the consequences of his immortality and what was needed to live a long life.

[Hello? Sunnydale High School Library. Mr. Giles speaking.]

"Hi, Giles. How have you been?"

[XANDER? How was your vacation?]

"Painful. But enlightening."

[Enlightening? Knowing your vocabulary, I'm surprised you understood the word enlightening.]

"Yeah. Yuk it up, Tweed Man. Connor also wanted me to learn so that I wouldn't fall behind. I will never be as smart as you or Willow, but at least I won't be an idiot."

[You are not an idiot, Xander. While you were away, Angel paid me a visit. It seems you neglected to inform me you forced him to lead you to the Master's Lair. What were you thinking?]

"I was thinking that I couldn't let my friend die. I know it was prophesized, but I don't believe that our lives were written by guys over thousands of years ago. Buffy is alive, Mrs. Summers doesn't know yet but she should, and that is all that matters to me."

[That's all well and good, but saving the life of a Slayer after she dies could have consequences. We will just find out what they are later. Buffy has not returned yet but Willow has. I told her you took a bus to meet your folks. She never suspected that you were off training to be immortal.]

"Thank you, Giles. She will buy that story. When Buffy returns, I will tell them everything. They need to know of the dangers of this world if they are to understand it. I think they will have a problem with me killing other humans. I just hope I can convince them that I have to if I want to live. I'll call Mrs. Summers and find out when Buffy is due home. I cannot keep this a secret for long."

Three Days Later

Buffy, Cordelia, Giles and Willow were all in the library waiting for Xander. He had something he wanted to tell them all, but Giles wouldn't tell them what it was. It considerably upset the girls.

"I hope Xander gets here soon, I want to go to the mall. I have a standing hair appointment and I don't want to miss it." Just as Cordelia said that, Buffy stood up in attack mode. Something was messing with her Slayer radar and she didn't like it. She was about to attack, when she saw Xander walk through the doors.

"Xander, what is going on? My senses are going haywire, and it is centered around you. By the way, where did you get those clothes? Is that a tailored suit?"

"Please sit down everybody. I shall explain. My name is Xander Harris and I am Immortal. I cannot get sick or grow old. The only way I can die is if I lose my head , literally. There are others out there like me, but there is one minor problem. There is something immortals play called 'The Game.' In this Game, Immortals fight in one on one combat with swords. The winner is the one who takes the others head and receives his power. If I do not, there are those out there that will hunt down those I care about and hurt them, just to get to me."

"You can't kill people, Xander. It's not right."

"Would you rather I died, Buffy? Or perhaps you would like Giles here murdered and Willow and your mother violated? Because that is what some immortals have done in the past. I will not allow that to happen to those I care about." Willow was freaked out about the revelation from Xander, until he said he would allow nothing bad to happen to her. When she heard that, she felt relieved.

"Sure, tell us another one Doofus. There is no such thing as immortal humans. Immortal demons I can buy but not humans." Giles knew they would need convincing.

"Buffy, would you please get a knife out of the weapons cabinet and bring it here?" Buffy got the knife, and handed it to Giles. "Here you go Xander." Xander took the knife and cut his palm with it. After the shock of Xander cutting his own hand wore off, Xander quieted everybody down so they could see little bolts of electricity go over his wound. When the bolts disappeared, they noticed the bleeding stopped. When Xander wiped the blood off his hand, they noticed there was no scar. This convinced Buffy and Willow and upset Cordelia.

"This is just great. The king of the geeks gets a power. It is one I would love to have. Life just isn't fair." Cordelia left the library to go to her hair appointment. After a few moments of silence, Giles was the first to speak.

"Do you think she will say anything?" After the gang shook their hands no, Giles went back to do some reading in his office. The girls were a little concerned about Xander, but silently vowed not to judge him strictly on the basis that he has to kill other people in order to survive. Willow can't judge him because she has killed demons and there are some humans who are just as bad or worse. It will probably take her some time to convince Buffy of this. After all, as a Jew, she knows by history anyway, that this is true.

Chapter 5

Buffy, Willow and Xander sat quietly in the library. No one knew what to say. All the silence was making Xander nervous, so he decided to end the silence. "It's 3 o'clock. I need to hurry home to train with my teacher for awhile. I'll be back before sundown. And I'll bring the pizzas. Will, get the soda?" Willow nodded. "I'm sure you two need to talk about what I've told you. I'm sill the same Xander you knew before, just a little extra added. So, I'll see you two later tonight. I will try to get my teacher here to meet you to give you an idea of what my life will be." Xander enters Giles' office. "I'll see you later, Giles. Is it OK if I keep my jacket and sword in here? I'd rather not need to worry about my locker if I need them in a hurry." Giles nodded. "OK. See you later tonight then."

The girls kept quiet until Xander left.

"So, Buff. What do you think of Xander's story? Can you imagine how lonely his life is going to get?" Buffy looked at her and silently asked her to continue.

"Imagine everyone you know growing old and dying while you look the same." Buffy thought about it and nodded.

"But in order to live a long time, he has to learn to kill."

Willow interrupted her "Not Kill. Survive. If the Xander I know is THAT Xander, he'll do whatever he has to do to survive."

"I've only known him for a year, how would I know this?"

"You can trust me. That's Xander." Buffy's body language told Willow something else was on her mind.

"Ok, Buff. What's really bothering you about Xander?"

"Xander has to kill humans, we don't. We kill demons."

"Have you met good demons?"


If there are good demons who don't kill humans, don't you think there are immortals who don't play their Game?" They ended their discussion until later, not knowing there was someone outside the library doors listening.

Chapter 6

It was 6:30 when Xander walked into the library, with three pizzas in hand and Connor MacLeod was joining them. To help patrol, as well as informing them about Xander's immortality.

Buffy's Slayer sense was going haywire because of the two immortals. When she saw them, her sense turned off. "Evening ladies. Giles. Anything we should worry about or is it just same old same old?"

"Just the usual patrolling." Just then, Angel shows up and Connor goes to kill him. Buffy gets in his way.

"Mr. MacLeod, are you insane? This is Angel. He helps us."

"Wrong little girl. That's Angelus, the most devious vampire since Dracula. He is not to be trusted."

What happened next surprised the hell out of everyone. Buffy started yelling at Angel. "We're through, Angel. I had Slayer dreams about you. Us. And it wasn't the happy ending I thought and wished it would be. People died, and it was all my fault. My friends hated me, Giles barely spoke to me and my Mom freaked when she found out about me being the Slayer. Add to the fact that for the last three weeks, everywhere I went with my Dad, you were there. Every girl loves having her very own stalker." "I was just making sure you were ok."

"I was in LA for two months before you started following me. I was fine. Nothing bad was happening. Maybe if you introduced yourself, you'd still be with me. But now? Nope."

"Who are you interested in? Xander?"

"Xander? He's an immortal, and from what Giles told me and Willow, it's difficult for an immortal to have a relationship with a mortal. After a few years, the mortal starts hating the immortal because of the lack of aging thing. When I was told that, I realized I wanted someone to grow old with. Maybe in a few years, have a couple of kids. Can you give me kids, Angel?" His silence and lack of eye contact told her all she needed to know.

"It's not that I don't have feelings for you. I do. I just want more than you can offer me, Angel." For an unknown reason, Angel started getting mad at Buffy. He punched with his left fist, spinning her around. He had her in a choke hold faster than she could react. His 'game face' was on.

"So. You're going to dump me, you little tease? Let me tell you something, Buff. No one dumps me. Darla didn't and you're not. Druscilla tried, but in the end I won." Buffy tried struggling, but it was in vain. She could see Xander and Connor, with their swords drawn, trying to cut off Angel's escape.

"Stay right there, you two. Or I'll snap her neck like a twig." They stopped moving. Buffy stepped on Angel's foot, hard enough to break it. When Angel released her, she hit him with a spinning elbow to his head. When he fell back, Connor removed Angel's head from his shoulders.

As Angel's ashes were floating to the floor, Cordelia walked through the library doors. She sees Xander and Connor with their swords drawn, and Buffy and Willow both had shocked faces.

"What's going on here?" Xander looked at her.

"Angel lost his head. Figuratively and literally."


"Buffy broke up with him and he snapped. Angel attacked her, she broke free and Connor killed him. It was like a Jerry Springer episode, but without the chairs."

"Are you OK with this Buffy? He was the love of your life and all."

"I will eventually. I can't believe how possessive he was. He was also stalking me in LA. It was really creepy."

Xander went to the pizza boxes and opened them. He took a slice for himself and gave one to Connor. They ate in companionable silence until the rest of the gang noticed and got their own slice. After finishing two slices of pizza, Xander broke the silence.

"There's something you guys should know." This got everyone's attention. "In three months, I will be involved in my first duel. In talking to Connor this summer, he mentioned that some immortals change a little bit after they take a head. So, if I should survive and I start acting differently, don't be alarmed. OK?"

Willow, being the smart one she was, had a question she wanted to have an answer to. "Why haven't immortals tried to take over the world?"

"Some have tried. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were in fact four immortals, and the one known as Death is still around. He's the oldest of us still around. It's not clear why he's the only one left and why they're not still around."

"Now that the history lesson is over, let's go patrol. I want to get some sword practice in, and vampires would make good practice dummies to try out on."

The group, minus Giles, left to go patrol. Giles cleaned up, mumbling how the kids wouldn't help clean up. Even the immortal couldn't get out fast enough.

Principal Snyder's Office

Snyder waited for his call to get through.

"This is Snyder in Sunnydale. Here are two here, including Connor MacLeod. I'll need help in dealing with this." As Snyder hung up the phone, he admired the tattoo on his wrist.


Chapter 7

Restfield Cemetery

The group of friends were patrolling. Or else they would, except there were no vampires to slay.

"This is totally boring. I should be at the Bronze with my real friends, not stuck here with you geeks."

"You joined us on your own, Cordy. You can leave anytime you want." The bickering between the Cheerleader and the Slayer got so bad, that Connor, Willow and Xander stayed far enough away not to get caught in the crossfire, but close enough in case Buffy needed help.

"Hey Will, can you figure out why Angel went nuts earlier? You'd think he never heard the word No before."

"If you were to ask my mom, she'd say something about hormones and lack of anger control or just get over it and find someone else. I think he was acting like a soap opera villain."

"If you say so, Wills. I think it was creepy that a really older guy was putting the moves on a sixteen year old girl. If Mrs. S found out who he really was, Buffy would be grounded until she started collecting Social Security."

"That still doesn't explain why he was acting differently from the other times he's been around us."

"He's dust in the wind. We'll never know why he did what he did tonight."

"It's good you saw his true colors, kids."

"Why's that Mr. MacLeod?"

"Vampires are predators. Did you forget that because Buffy was in love with him?"

"I'm sorry to say, Teach, but yes. It's a shame though. If he would've kept his head in the game, no pun intended, he'd still be…around." (A/N: The Hooooorn.)

"Well, what do we have here?" The gang was surrounded by 6 vampires. "Get em!"

Between Buffy and Xander, it took two minutes to kill the vampires. Connor stayed back to guard Cordelia and Willow, as well as watch Xander's form and style and see what he needs to work on. Hw was impressed that Xander cut off their arms first. It made the beheading easier. Tis a shame none of them were The Black Knight, though. Might've been a challenge. At first, anyway.

"Good work, Xander. Good idea cutting their arms off first. Still need to work on your speed and endurance, though. You're looking a bit winded. Why don 't we call it a night and meet in the morning." There were nods all around. Buffy walked Willow home while Xander drove Cordelia home in Connor's car.

The car was quiet, which surprised Xander, considering whom he was in the car with.

"So you said Angel snapped when Buffy dumped him. He attacked her?" Xander nodded. "Some have tried that with me. They sang soprano when they tried. Nobody does that to me. They think that shit will work on me. Don't they know who I am?"

"Apparently not, Cordy. I could never do that. Willow raised me better. I say that now. I'm not sure how I'll be if I survive that duel."

"You'll survive it, Xander. I know it. I believe in you, that you'll do the right thing. I may not show it, but I enjoy the verbal sparring matches we have. You're the only one in that school who can go word for word with me. If you do change after you duel, I'll fix you. You know I can." Xander chuckled at this.

"Oh, I know it, Cordelia Chase. She of the Mighty Backhand and Sharp Tongue."

"You better believe it, Doofus." They pulled up to Cordy's house, and the lights were off. Cordy was confused, because her folks were in Paris and the lights are on a timer. Xander was concerned because he felt the 'Buzz.'

"You're being robbed, Cordy."

"Duh. We don't have much stuff, my dad's been selling a lot of it lately. Why is your sword out, Xander? Going to fight the thief, or… the thief's an immortal? If you need to fight, take it outside. Ok? I don't want blood on my floor."

"Ok, Cordy. Are you coming? If I know you, you'll want to confront whoever's in there, and give him," he looks at Cordy, "or her and give a piece of your mind."

Xander and Cordy silently enter her house, looking for the thief. There were no sounds at all in the house. A room to room search on the ground floor showed no one there and nothing was amiss. They were about to investigate the top floor, when they saw the thief. It was obviously female, and with her holding a sword, made the blood leave Xander's brain.

"Listen lady. Why are you here? We're rich, but it's al cash and in the bank. What are you stupid?"

The woman laughed, which made more blood rush from Xander's brain. "You've got guts, kid. I'd fight your boyfriend here, but I don't think his head is in the game."

Cordelia looks at Xander, who has a look of lust on his face. So, to bring him back to earth, she hits him in the back of the head.

"Snap out of it! She's probably used to getting her way using her body. And I'm not being a hypocrite either. So get that thought out of your head." Cordelia turned to the thief. "And just who the hell are you?"


With Cordelia yelling at him, the blood was rushing back to the proper brain. The name of the thief, and the fact that she was an immortal was familiar to him. It took him a couple of minutes to add everything up. He started laughing uncontrollably. Which caused the two women to look at him like he was insane. Which was up for debate.