Legends No Longer

Author: Knife Hand <d_lutke[at]hotmail.com>

Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated

Spoilers: Up to Gift in Buffy.

Rating: R

Disclaimer: Do not own Buffy. I would buy her and Tara but I am broke.

Summary: AU. In a Post-Apocalyptic world where Demons control half of the Americas, two warriors with a legendary past they would rather forget but never can get an opportunity to fix things from the beginning.

" " denotes speech, ' ' denotes thought.

Latest addition


"Fire in the hole!"

The rocket streaked upward clipping the wing of the giant dragon like demon that wheeled away in pain as the modified 4 wheel drive wildly sped in the other direction, chased by a dozen demons of various breeds.

"Kate, Peter's down." He called dropping the rocket launcher and replacing Kate at her mounted machine gun as she checked on Peter. Joan, kneeling with her assault rifle, shifted to the middle of the rear of the truck from the left, firing from her position to cover the small and close in gap of the two mounted machine guns, the second manned by Robert, left open by Peter's absence on the right.

"Buffy, step on it." The man called out to the driver over the chattering of the machine guns and the assault rifle.

"It's floored, Xander." Buffy called from the front.

Michael, manning the forward, hood mounted machine gun, glanced back and saw several of the demons fall under the sustained fire from the back, before returning his eyes to the road ahead.

"Alright everyone, we're coming up on the buffer." Buffy called.

Michael flipped the vehicle transponder switch under the gun mount, recognising them as friendlies to the automated defences of the buffer. When they came within two hundred yards of the buffer, the four remaining demons were ripped apart by a hale of bullets and shells from no less than eight automated defence machine guns and cannons. Almost a mile past the buffer defences, the team came to their garrison post in the 'Great Barrier'.

The world had found out about the existence of Demons and Vampires the hard way. Almost ten years ago, an unexplained portal had opened high in the air above a construction site in the small town of Sunnydale, California, and from it had emerged armies of demons. Within five hours the town was completely decimated and by the end of the first day, a host of almost three quarters of a million Demons had poured through the portal. The figures, by the time they reached the highest levels of government were shocking, and the decision was made to sacrifice South West and try to defend the rest of the country. A mere month later, the South East was also conceded to the Demons, despite the fact that most had gone south into Mexico. All the resources of the US Military and contingents from allied UN countries were thrown in front of the demons as the 'Great Barrier' began construction.

A geosynchronous satellite stationed over Sunnydale showed that after almost two months, the portal mysteriously disappeared, but by then the damage had been done. With the entire might of US industry, the Great Barrier, which stretched from the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific with garrison stations every five miles along the entire length, was completed within a year of the portal opening. The Great Barrier, almost two hundred and fifty meters high and one hundred and eighty meters thick, became the border between the human world and the demon world, which covered everything from the Great Barrier down to the tip of South America. Several million soldiers had died to buy time for it to be completed. Inside the several meter thick outer walls were levels of planing rooms, barracks, storerooms, armouries, motor pools, and mess halls, everything needed to run an effective army. Each of the garrison areas, with their access onto the buffer, were able to be sealed off from the rest of the Great Barrier by great blast doors, in case they were overrun, like the automated defence system control rooms, for both the buffer and the Barrier itself, which automatically lock down when the garrison is breached. All the access points to beyond the Barrier, back into the human world, were all separated from the garrisons, in areas not uses since prior to the 'great offensive', except for new troops coming to the garrisons and troops going home on leave.

Once, years ago, the entire barrier had been full. It had been three years after the war had started and somewhere in the vicinity of a billion soldiers and volunteers, men and women, from all the nations on earth had gathered in the barrier. Over one sixth of the world population gather together to fight the demons, the largest single fighting force in human history. They were young, strong and determined to exterminate the menace inhabiting the Southern United States and Mexico. The Demon spread south had been delayed by concerted guerrilla actions in the narrows between North and South America. They went out to win a war, and they got a massacre. Out of all the brave souls that marched, drove or flew into battle, only fifty three had survived to the end of the battle, mostly airmen and several tank crews. Out of all the infantry troops, the bulk of the army, only two made it back alive, almost three weeks after the official end of the battle. One was a slight blond haired girl with hard blue eyes, carrying only a pointed stick, of all things, and the other was a tall man with dark brown hair and soulful brown eyes, whose only weapon was a combat knife. Both were covered in gashes, bruises and cuts, and came hobbling up to the Great Barrier, their personal transponders, embedded in their skin, activated, clutching to each other and leaving a long trail of blood back into the buffer.

Buffy and Xander dumped their gear onto their large bed in the officers' quarters. Peter had died just as they pulled into the garrison garage, killed by poisonous shooting spines from one of the demons.

"Xand?" Buffy asked, working the motion of her shoulder forward and back.

Xander quickly prepared the hot compress and the pain medication for Buffy. She injected the pain medication into her arm as he removed her shirt from her left shoulder, revealing a large series of deep scars and chunks of missing flesh. Removing the prosthetic the concealed her missing left breast, he applied the large compress to her shoulder and chest. As the pain medication kicked in, Buffy slowly and sadly stroked the long scar down the side of Xander's face, noticing for the millionth time that it ruined the smile that she used to love so much. Xander laid Buffy down in their bed and prepared his own pain medication. Not that anyone but Buffy and the garrison doctor ever saw it, but his entire chest and back were a mass of scars and fissures, many of which had cut deep into his pain receptors, and some of his organs. Injecting his own arm with the medication, he sat down on the bed and removed the prosthetic lower left leg, placing it in a charger for the night, Xander joined Buffy on the king size, genuine goose down bed. Being legendary as the only infantry survivors of the 'red fields', the official name of what the troops call "The biggest fuckup in military history" or, to the few veterans "The month that blood rained", had some advantages in the garrison, unfortunately the few perks were vastly offset by the physical and psychological scars of the nightmare they had witnessed first hand.


*Alert! Alert! Barrier defences were just taken down by a Type A-12!* the PA system called.

"Shit! Dragon type." Xander said, turning off the water and quickly jumping out of the shower, closely followed by Buffy.

"Get everyone ready. I want everyone armed in one minute, and I want the surveillance tapes form the buffer defences just before they were taken out." Xander ordered over the phone.

Buffy slipped her prosthetic into her sports bra and quickly got dressed. On one wore a uniform anymore, there was no real point. Buffy and Xander both wore combat boots, black cargo pants and dark, long sleaved shirts, under which they had armoured vests, similar to bullet proof vests but more designed to stop demon claws. Buffy wore a shoulder holster that was supported by her right shoulder which supported a crossbow on her back and a small quiver of bolts under her right arm. On her left forearm was an inverse sheath for a wooden and silver knife, to be drawn with her right hand. On her right hip was a pistol, with a sheathed Arudius, a wooden version of the Roman Galdius that was given to Gladiators by the Emperor as a sign of their freedom, resting in front of it, while her left hip had a sliver plated Katana, with a second pistol holstered at the small of her back. Attached to her right forearm, under her shirt, were two wooden fighting sticks.

Xander had a shoulder holster that housed a pistol, and spare ammo clips, under each arm and a large longsword on his back. On his left hip rested a machete and a combat knife, in an inverted sheath rested at the small of his back. Attached to his right hip, and leg, was a compact assault rifle and another combat knife was attached to his right leg, near his ankle. Both held the larger and more powerful assault rifle with familiarity in their hands as they ran out of their room and headed towards the command centre.

"Activate the proximity mines and inform the flanking garrisons the we have a breach, we don't want them rolling along the Barrier." Buffy ordered.

"Shit! Buffy, look at this." Xander said, watching the playback for the buffer defences.

The screen showed a scene from one of the now downed defences that was not tracking the flying demons that took them out. It showed a massed army of demons marching on the buffer zone.

"Sir, the flanking garrisons report back, they have their proximities online and will activate the laterals if we go offline." A technician reported.

"Good. Bring online the laterals and barrier defence guns. I want volunteers to line up the jeeps and man the machine guns. Should the demons breach the gate, we need to hold them there as long as possible, to let the lats and wall guns cut down their numbers as much as possible." Xander ordered.

"Send two troopers to the Armoury, if the demons get close, blow it. And lock us down from the rest of the Barrier. If they get in here, we don't want them getting out the other side. If we are overrun, we release the toxins." Buffy added.

*Battle stations for a breach. Repeat battle stations for a breach.* a technician called over the PA system.

Outside explosions wracked the ranks of the demon army as the charged across the buffer zone, and the newly activated defence systems raked the horde with machine gun fire, mortar rounds and jets of napalm from three sides. The most devastating effect came from what the troopers had called 'The Foot High Bastards', which were activated by pressure switched about two hundred yards closer to the Barrier than the mines themselves. They were specifically designed to take out large numbers of closely packed demons, and when activated, a foot high and foot thick cylinder packed with explosives was propelled upwards from under the ground and then exploded showering several hundred feet in every direction with a lethal hail of uniform sized, high velocity pellets of red hot metal. The Foot High Bastards ripped massive gaps in the demonic host, however the army managed to reach the massive doors that acted as a gate into the garrison, but they were unable to make any progress laterally along the Barrier.

To their credit, and the credit of the designers, the defences whipped out over three quarters of the demonic host before it reached the gate, however the host was so large that the decimation was not that helpful to the defenders, making it merely impossible to defend rather than a "not even GOD can get us out of this" situation. When the demons finally broke through the gate, their surge forward was halted by some gallant defenders. Thirty of the modified jeeps were lined up, hub to hub, ten feet from the door, with their rear mounted machine guns facing forward, so the demons ran strait into the devastating fire from ninety barking machine guns. This only slowed the demons down for ten minutes, after which all the machine guns had run dry and the five surviving volunteers, out of ninety, had fallen back into the garrison.

Buffy and Xander covered the retreat of the few survivors of the battle in the courtyard and the sealed the door before they fell back. Once they reached and sealed another door, the only way in from the courtyard, they waited for the sounds of the outer door to fain and then Buffy picked up her radio.

"Now!" she ordered.

Remote activated Claymore mines exploded along the corridor while more Claymores and several high explosive charges, concealed among fuel tanks and attached to the ceiling, reduced the demons in the courtyard into minced and charred hunks of meat, that were trampled by the next wave of demons charging in. What in sued was a running battle through the bowls of the Garrison station, with the defenders trying to keep the demons from the fifth level and the blast doors that separated the garrison from the section of the Barrier that lead back into human control territory. The defenders would fire at the demons through boltholes in the walls and murder-holes in the ceiling. Buffy and Xander retreated into a large gym with five other troopers. Buffy fired her crossbow, taking out the eye of a hulking demon while Xander fired a final burst from his compact assault rifle, which click empty.

"Melee, melee!" Xander called, dropping his compact assault rifle and drawing his longsword.

Buffy slung her crossbow and drew her Katana as the other troopers drew their own melee weapons. The tight confines of the corridor that the demons were emerging from created a bottleneck and gave the defenders a small chance of holding out for a while. Xander slashed, gutted and decapitated the demons like a workman going about his business; cool, brutal and efficient, moving surely from one demon to the next. Buffy's Katana flashed in graceful arcs, its silver plated blade gleaming in the soft lights of the gym. She flowed from stance to stance, gliding almost as gracefully as the blade, with only the slightest stiffness of motion from her badly injured shoulder. When three of the troopers fell in quick succession, Xander ordered them to fall back. As she backed out the far door, in a rearguard action, Buffy stabbed her Katana into a large black demon and what she withdrew was a smoking, foot long hunk of metal instead of a blade.

"Shit!" she exclaimed, rapidly backing away and firing one of her pistols into the demon, which went down in a pool of acidic blood that delayed the demons.


"Blow it, we're going for the gas." Buffy ordered over the radio, answered a second later by an explosion wracking the garrison.

"Hope there aren't too many demons between here and there." Xander said. "We're running out of weapons."

In one hand, Buffy held her wood and silver knife and in the other a fighting stick, while Xander held a combat knife in each hand. All their other weapons had either been destroyed, lost or discarded when they ran out of ammo. They stalked quickly but silently through the hallways to the gas release chamber. At least the blast doors had not been breached. Glancing around the corner they saw one of the large black demons with acidic blood in front of the door to the chamber. Sounds from behind them indicated that more demons were heading their way.

"Follow me." Xander whispered.

He stepped out into the hallway and charged the demon, and threw one of his combat knives at thirty feet. The knife flew through the air and imbedded itself into the demons head, causing it to topple to the side and drip acidic blood over the floor. With Buffy on his heals, Xander jumped over the demon carcase and slammed the door open with his shoulder. Rolling to his feet, with Buffy right beside him, Xander instantly noticed that they were not in the gas release chamber. They were in white. A large, glowing white nothingness.

"What the fuck is going on here?" Buffy screamed.

"A chance." A voice whispered from the blinding whiteness. "A choice. A way to restore this world."

Buffy and Xander listened to the whisper, listened to what it offered and then they made their choice. To Buffy's eyes, the whiteness flared and then faded to blackness, which was interrupted by a familiar voice.

"Buffy? Don't wanna be late for your first day!"

Chapter 1

"Buffy? Don't wanna be late for your first day!"

Buffy instantly shot strait up in bed at the sound of her mother's voice. Her mother who had been dead for over ten years.

"What the hell?" she whispered to herself as she looked around the room, partially filled with boxes.

It was her room from when she first moved to Sunnydale, fifteen years ago. Jumping up she looked at herself in the mirror. She was sixteen again, admittedly in slightly better shape than she had been the first time around. She stared for more than a few minutes at her left shoulder, which had been a mass of scares and missing flesh but was now smooth and unbroken skin.

'A way to restore this world.'

The words from the white place echoed in her head.

"A second chance, from the beginning."

She quickly got dressed in dark cargo pants and a dark long sleaved shirt and ran downstairs, wanting to get to school to see if her Xander was here as well. After getting a ride in to school with her mother, who had asked her not to get kicked out, she searched the crowd for Xander, hoping to see her Xander rather than a brightly clothed, teenage Xander.

"Missing Arudius?" a voice whispered in her ear.

Buffy spun around and saw Xander, dressed like she was and having the deep pain in his eyes that she saw in the mirror. She ran her hand slowly up and down his face, tracing the now nonexistent scar, with a large smile on her face.

"I missed your smile." She said, honestly.

He smile grew into a full blown grin as he laid his hand on her left shoulder and felt unbroken skin rather than the rough scaring he had always blamed himself for.

"And I missed yours. But I won't miss the anguish in your face before I gave you the pain meds, or the dumbfounded look after on a bad day." Xander admitted.

"Or the stump." Buffy added.

They stood there for several minutes, revealing in the return to health of the one they had spent so long with, the one they depended upon, the one they loved. Needless to say the school community was speechless. The great loser, Xander Harris, know throughout the universe for his appalling taste in clothes, and suspected colour blindness, was not only dressed in cool dark clothing but was also making time with a similarly cool, and stunningly gorgeous, petite blond girl who may, or may not, be the new girl. Suddenly the whole dating acceptability chart suffered a major shift, as Xander Harris became a desirable date, with double points for not only having a girlfriend but also having one that no one knows but actually exists.

Willow, somewhat miffed that her bestest friend who she had known since forever and secretly had a crush the size of the Mid West on, was paying so much attention to a girl he could not possibly know, and in public, walked over to Xander to see what was going on.

"Willow!" Xander and the girl said at the same time and the both gave her a crushing hug.

"Uh, air." Willow gasped.

Buffy was ecstatic. Everyone was alive, Willow, her mom, Giles, and her shoulder was fixed but, most importantly, Xander was better, he had no scars, he had his leg. Everything was right.

"Ah, Xander? Who's this? What are you doing?" Willow said.

Buffy's grin dropped from her face for a second, before she remember that none of her friends, except Xander, would remember her as their friend.

"Well, the first answer is easy. She's Buffy." Xander said with a lopsided grin.

"That's how you're going to introduce me? 'She's Buffy'. You are pathetic Alexander LaVelle Harris." Buffy admonished.

"If I'm pathetic, why do you hang around me? And nothing else describes all the wonderful aspects that are you." Xander said.

"Whoa. Nice save." Willow muttered under her breath, before clearing her throat. "Xander?"

"Right. Well, get Jesse and meet us in the Library at lunch and we'll try to explain." Xander said.

"Um, Kay." Willow said hesitantly, before heading into the school.

"Right. Now we got to talk to Giles, and probably Jenny Calendar if she's here yet." Xander began as they walked slowly towards the school.

"Maybe warn Oz off about his cousin. What about Cordy? Include her?" Buffy added.

"I don't know. Not just yet I think." Xander said before suddenly pulling up short. "Tara!"

"Oh shit. She's still with her bastard family." Buffy remembered.

"Ok, deal with harvest tomorrow. Get Tara away from her family." Xander said, starting a mental list.

"Look out for uber bad guys who weren't around last time." Buffy added remembering the comments of the white whisper.

"Man, this is going to be an awkward day." Xander said, shaking his head.


"All I want to know is are you still Xander?" Willow asked.

Buffy and Xander had introduced Buffy to the gang and the gang to each other, and then had unsuccessfully tried to explain why they were different. Giles was cleaning his glasses, Willow was trying to get her head around the facts, Jenny was looking at them as if she knew something and Jesse just looked lost

"Short answer, yes with a however. Long answer, no with a but." Xander said.

"Huh?" Jesse said. "Bro, what the hell's going on?"

"Interesting you should mention Hell." Buffy said.

"Ok. Here's the condensed version. Vampires and demons are real, and Sunnydale attracts them like moths to a flame because of the Hellmouth. Buffy and I are from fifteen years in the future, from a world where the demons took over. Buffy is the Slayer and we are telling you this because last time round you guys helped, mostly." Xander said.

"I kicked ass? Really?" Jesse asked.

"Um, actually. No. You were killed tonight and turned into a vampire that I dusted tomorrow." Xander admitted.

"Oh. Bummer." Jesse said.

"Don't worry. We'll train you." Buffy said.

"Ok. Here's the deal. Everyone stay away from the Bronze tonight. Giles, break out the weaponry, we need to get ready for the Harvest tomorrow night. Jesse, Willow, I want you to carve stakes and crosses after school, while Buffy and I train for tomorrow night. Giles, concentrate on crossbows and swords, and any guns that Ripper can get his hands on." Xander ordered. "Buff, you going to meet up with Deadboy tonight? He will be a good link to the underbelly. Oh yeah, don't tell the Council. They are a bunch of pricks, you're the exception."

"Yeah. After dinner with Mom." Buffy responded.

"Cool. Janna, tell your uncle that the Scourge is being watched and the curse will not be lifted. You can stay if you want but if you do, you help. Remember, vengeance achieves nothing, and the Romany should know better." Xander told Jenny.

"Come on hero; let's get to class before Flute starts bugging my mom." Buffy said, exiting with Xander and leaving behind a stunned group.

"Alright, back to class." Giles said, and when alone he added, "Good Lord."


Buffy and Xander were in the Library getting ready to hit the Bronze and stop the Harvest. Last night Buffy had done a song and dance routine with Angel, as close as she could remember to what happened the first time around. Neither of them remembered everything, both because it had happened fifteen years ago and because the whisper had told them that certain events had to happen and thus they would not remember them.

They surveyed the weaponry on the table in front of them. There were a lot of stakes and crosses that Willow and Jesse had made, a few crossbows with quivers full of bolts, a range of swords and axes, a few quarterstaffs and a half dozen guns.

"Dibbs on the Berettas." Buffy said, picking up the nine millimetre pistols.

"Done, but I get the Katana." Xander replied.

In the end, Buffy had the Berettas, a short sword, a large crossbow, a small axe, a half score of stakes and a pair of crosses. Xander had taken the Katana, the Colt pistols, two large knives, a small crossbow, one of the Desert Eagles, a bunch of stakes and a cross. Willow, Jesse, Jenny and Giles all were loaded up with stakes, crosses and holy water, although Giles had the other Desert Eagle and a large dagger. Buffy and Xander quickly loaded up their weapons for easy access around their bodies and concealed them under a trench coats, that fit in with their dark clothing, while the rest of the group merely hid the items as best as they could in their regular clothing. While in awe of the palpable aura of danger coming from the two of them, no one questioned Buffy or Xander till they each wrote something on a length of Duct tape and wrapped it around their ankle.

"What's with the duct tape?" Willow asked.

"They have our blood type." Xander said absently, testing the draw of the Katana while he was wearing the trench coat.

"Why, bro?" Jesse asked.

"In case we are injured and unconscious." Buffy added as she checked the clip of a Beretta then chambered a round and clicking the safety on.

"Oh." Willow and Jesse said at the same time, totally confused.

"Alright, let's go. We want to set up before they get there. Buffy and I will take up sniping positions to get Luke. When it goes down, get the exits open and the people out. We'll do the rest." Xander ordered.

Buffy and Xander headed for the door with a deadly gait that the others did not try to emulate, they just hurried to catch up.

'Not even Ripper was as dangerous as these two.' Giles thought as he exited the Library.


Chapter 2

"Ladies and Gentlemen. There is no cause for alarm." Luke began as the spotlight came up lighting his demonic visage. "Well, actually there is cause for alarm, it just won't do any good."

"I'd rethink that if I were you." Buffy said, strolling into a lit area away from Luke.

"And why is that?" Luke asked, sneering at the little girl.

"Look down." Buffy said casually.

Luke looked down and saw an arrow appear in his chest, piercing his heart.

"Crap." He said as he turned into dust.

"Ready?" Buffy seemingly asked the air, as she drew the short sword and a Beretta.

"Always, but we should take care of the Type 1's first." Xander said, indicating to the vampires as he emerged from his shooting position under the stairs with the Katana in one hand and a large knife in the other.

"Fine, but you owe me a back rub." Buffy pouted.

The worked well as a team, working their way through the vampires that tried to swarm them. Several were temporarily taken out of action by Buffy's shots to their knees and shoulders. A blonde, female vampire, that Buffy vaguely remembered was called Darla, managed to get Buffy's sword away from her, knocked across the room, and she had no room to draw another weapon.

"Buff." Xander called, hurling the Katana, then drawing a stake.

Buffy caught the flying Katana in a spin, which she used to holster her Beretta and use as windup for the decapitating swing that ended the life of the four hundred year old offending vampire. By this time, Giles and the rest had gotten all the civilians and non-combatants out and were closing in with crosses, stakes and Holly Water on the vampires that Buffy and Xander were effectively corralling. The vampires were quickly and mercilessly killed by the surrounding warriors, decimating the vampire population that would take months to recover.

"Well, that was bracing." Xander said calmly.

"Bracing? That was fucking scary." Jesse said, his hands shaking slightly.

"That was a warm up." Buffy said trying to give the Katana back to Xander.

"Keep it. You were always better with that thing than I was, even with the shoulder." Xander replied.

"Yeah, well you don't do too badly for a guy with one leg." Buffy shot back with a grin.

Xander grinned with her for a second, but then his expression fell.

"At least we survived 'Blood Rain'" he said quietly.

Buffy and Xander closed their eyes and lowered their heads.

"Giles, what are the…?" Willow began before being cut off.

"Slush Willow." Giles whispered. "They are remembering the dead."

Giles had seen that posture before, sometimes among those he had run with during his Ripper days, but more often in the bars of London when the Army or SAS soldiers would bar hop to commemorate the fallen. The irony was that all the dead that Buffy and Xander were remember were alive, some of whom were not even teenagers yet.


Block. Spin kick. Dodge. Xander lost himself in the motions of sparing with Buffy. He could forget the fifteen years of hell he had fought, his abusive parents, and the years in agony from his injuries. He could forget damn near everything, except the glassy film that had replaced the pain in Buffy's eyes some nights when he had pushed down the plunger on the needle and pumped enough sedatives and pain killers into her small frame to take down an army of whales. He pushed himself harder trying to forget that look, when everything he loved about the blond Slayer drained out of her and was replaced by a chemically controlled zombie by his own hand. The harder Xander pushed himself, the harder Buffy pushed herself, trying to wipe the memory of the stump of his left leg that ended just below the knee and the deep and painful wounds that had covered his back, all sustained while he was trying to protect her from the things she should have protected him from.

As Buffy and Xander mutually tried to forget the past by beating the crap out of the one they loved, Giles was running Jesse through his training regime to get him ready to fight. Giles was currently running guiding Jesse through a Tai Chi routine to help the boy focus his energy and later would help him with basic hand to hand techniques. In the three weeks since the aborted Harvest, Jesse had shown real promise.

Willow and Jenny Calendar were sliding their chairs between the six computers that were running searches in the small computer bay that they had set up in a corner of the library. The searches ranged from potential demonic activity to the elusive Miss Maclay to hacks into certain military and government systems that may have pertinent data or files on a list of names supplied by Buffy and Xander. Having the internationally renowned hacker known as Redwood, wanted by almost every country in the world for computer crimes, including the UN, who also had a reputation for being uncatchable, and a Techno-Pagan Gypsy running their computer systems, they had no worry about getting caught.

"We got a positive hit on the Maclay search!" Willow, AKA Redwood, called.

Xander and Buffy instantly stopped their sparing match and went to check out the hit.

"Yep, that's her." Buffy confirmed when the image came up.

"Road trip time!" Xander said.

"Oh please! I can get us return first class tickets. How many we needing?" Willow said.

"Three. Jenny, Xander and myself. Wills, Jesse, you two will be running interference with my mom, Xander's folks, in the unlikely event that they ask and the students. Giles, you take the Faculty, keep training Jesse and I think Ripper should patrol." Buffy said.

"Wills, get us outgoings tonight, say twenty-three hundred odd. Incomings should leave at around sixteen hundred tomorrow." Xander whispered to the redhead.

"Um, Xand?" Willow said.

"Eleven o'clock tonight and four tomorrow afternoon." Xander clarified.

"Right." Willow said, madly typing away at the keyboard.


Jenny sat in the first class seat watching Xander and Buffy sleep. Buffy had her head resting on Xander's shoulder and he had an arm wrapped around her. The Computer Sciences teacher smiled to herself, they looked so peaceful when they slept together, displaying none of the deep seeded pain from when they were remembering things that have not happened yet, and hopefully never would, or the trashing she had witnessed when they slept separately. Slipping on the provided headset, Jenny started playing the tape that Xander had been listening to earlier by a local band, Dingos Ate My Babe, and as the lyrics began she could see why Xander had been attracted to the song.

*Feeling, I've been lost for years,
You can never understand me,
Unless you've seen those tears.
But you never get to sleep,
When I'm away, I don't mind,
The deeper that you lay,
Out of time.
Pain, I can't sleep,
Pain, I can't sleep.*

Ever since Xander and Buffy had 'Arrived', it was obvious that they had experienced things that everyone around them could not begin to imagine. Even Willow who used to be able to tell Xander's mood, blood pressure, academic standing and what he had for his last meal by just a look was finding someone that she only partially recognised. Only Buffy and Xander could understand each other because they had been through everything together, and as a result they needed each other to be close to ward away the pain in order to sleep.

*Running, running from those days,
There's another one inside me,
Guess I've gone insane.
But you always run away,
When I come around, I don't mind,
The day I'll track you down,
Run you down.
Pain, I can't sleep,
Pain, I can't sleep.*

Sometimes the memories seemed too much for Xander and Buffy, even Jenny, who did not know them that well, could see it. Some days they could barely function while other days they were as normal as could be expected on the Hellmouth. When things got to their worst, they would retreat into themselves, closing themselves off from everyone around them. When this occurred only the other one could snap them out of it, sometimes by merely being there, but on rare occasions they would have to beat each other senseless in order to get any response whatsoever.

*Don't stop, don't talk,
Do not fuck with me.
Don't stop, don't talk,
Do not fuck with me.*

The Buffy and Xander that had come back in time were dangerous, the practically exuded an aura of danger around themselves. Sometimes the group would sit around with Willow and Jesse telling stories of Xander from before, which were filled with outrageous events to which everyone would laugh. Well, almost everyone. Buffy and Xander would just sit quietly with little sad smiles on their faces, remembering those and other little events that displayed the innocence and carefree attitude that had been ripped from them. They enjoyed the memories while mourning the loss of the fundamental driving force of the memories.

*Loaded, I've loaded up this gun,
There's a killer in me.
Hoping, hope that you're the one,
But you always run away,
When I come around, I don't mind,
The day I'll track you down.
Pain, I can't sleep,
Pain, I can't sleep,
Pain, I can't sleep.*

Jenny remembered seeing Buffy and Xander in action and was still amazed by what she had witnessed. Each of them was deadly on their own, but when they fought together they were like liquid death, flowing and graceful yet brutal and direct at the same time. They had obviously been fighting together for so long that they moved like a single consciousness inhabiting two bodies. Combat was one of the few times that they actually seemed truly alive.

The final chords of the song drifted through the headphones, which Jenny subsequently removed and then she slumped back into her chair exhausted.

'Even the title, Pain, suits Buffy and Xander so well.' She thought as her eyes drifted closed and she joined her companions in slumber. The soft hum of the engines continued their steady rhythm as they propelled the large aircraft through the air and three of its passengers who were on their way to see a shy young witch as part of a large mission to save humanity from a future full of death, suffering and hopelessness that two of them had already lived through.

Chapter 3

Buffy, Xander and Jenny walked up to the door of the Maclay residence. Jenny was dressed in a conservative navy business suit while Buffy and Xander were dressed in their regular dark clothing. Buffy had a Beretta holstered at her hip while Xander had a Desert Eagle. On anyone else they might have been taken for criminals or plain clothes cops, but the disciplined and deadly manner in which the pair moved shouted military louder than any uniform. Xander knocked on the door which was opened a minute later by a thin faced man.

"Mr Maclay?" Xander asked.

"Yes." The man replied.

"We need to talk to one Tara Maclay on a matter of some import. Would we be allowed to enter to talk to her or will she come out to talk to us." Xander said calmly.

"What's this about?" Mr Maclay asked.

"I'm afraid that is between us and Miss Maclay." Buffy replied.

"I'm her father, you can talk to me." Mr Maclay said.

"No, Sir. We can't. However if you try to impede us, the under both US and UN law, we are allowed to cease all you assets, revoke your US citizenship and, if we deem necessary, we can execute you on the spot." Xander said in an emotionless voice, his hand resting on his Desert Eagle.

"Wait here. I'll get her." Mr Maclay said grudgingly, closing the door.

"Is that true?" Jenny asked quietly.

"US Senate and UN resolutions enacted in 2005 to empower "Barrier" garrison troopers to deport and or execute turncoats or saboteurs for the demonic forces." Buffy whispered back.

A few minutes latter the door opened to reveal a scared looking Tara Maclay accompanied by her father and her brother.

"Miss Maclay, we need to talk, in private. If you would like to accompany us for a walk?" Jenny said in her most friendly voice.

Tara hesitated, glancing between Buffy and Xander's guns and her father.

"You're not in trouble, we just need to talk." Jenny reassured her.

With one last glance at her father, Tara stepped out of the doorway and followed them for a walk. After they were out of sight of the Maclay residence, Buffy and Xander dropped their military bearing and started to act more like themselves, which helped to reassure Tara.

"Miss Maclay, I think introductions are in order. I am Miss Calendar and my… associates are Mr Harris and Miss Summers." Jenny began.

"Condolences on the recent passing of your mother." Xander said gently, but with the pain of one who knew loss.

"T-t-t-thank you." Tara stuttered.

"I hear she was a good woman." Jenny put in.

"Um. W-w-w-what's this a-a-about?"

"We also understand that she was teaching you Witchcraft." Buffy said.

"Y-y-yes." Tara said, getting nervous again.

"Was it just the spells, or was it the religion as well?" Xander asked, genuine interest in his voice.


"Interesting." Xander commented.

"Anyway. We are here to offer you an opportunity, kind of." Buffy said.

"You will have a chance to help people, while at the same time you will no longer be under the control of you so called family." Jenny said.

"W-w-what kind of a c-c-chance?"

"We are asking you to move to Sunnydale. There my associates and I fight against the more malignant supernatural elements and we could use the assistance of someone with your talents." Jenny elaborated. "In return, you will be provided with accommodations, with myself actually and an education at the local High School with the opportunity to go to Collage afterwards, along with access to one of the most complete demonic and witchcraft libraries in the world." Jenny said.

"We would also like you to teach the Wiccan Religion to one of our friends who has great potential." Buffy added.

"And we will provide both scientific and mystical proof that the Maclay family legend of women being demons is utterly false." Xander also promised.

"I-I-I-I-I" Tara stuttered.

"Look, you don't have to answer now. Here's our number, the top one is the Sunnydale High Library, and a Mr Giles will answer. He'll know how to contact us; the others are our private numbers. This is an open ended ticket to Sunnydale. Anytime you want, give us a call and catch the flight, we'll meet you at the airport." Jenny reassured the shy young witch.

"Anytime you need us, call." Xander said as they started back towards the Maclay residence.

Mr Maclay was at the open door as they approached, trying to find out what was happening with his daughter.

"Thank you for your assistance, Miss Maclay. If you have any questions or need to contact us, you have our number. Naturally, due to the classified nature of what we discussed, you and your family will be under close surveillance till this matter has been resolved. Your assistance will not be forgotten, Miss Maclay. Good day." Xander said.

Buffy and Xander turned sharply on their heels and marched away, followed closely by Jenny.

"Well that worked." Buffy said when they were out of sight of the Maclay residence.

"Yep." Xander said with a grin. "Tara got a confidence boost and her bastard father is scared shitless. We'll need to get an electronic wire tap on their phone ASAP."

Jenny just grinned and pulled out a cell phone.

"Willow. We're done, start it up." Jenny said before closing the phone. "Done."

"Willow. I should have known. Well, we still got a few hours before the flight. Who's hungry?" Xander said.

"You're always hungry." Buffy laughed.


"Come on, Buffy. Stay with me." Xander choked out.

A screech from above was their only warning, and Xander immediately threw Buffy to the ground, covering her smaller frame with his own. He felt the immense pain as the aerial demon's talons clawed at his back, ripping into his flesh and partially shredding a kidney. With desperate strength, he shoved his sword upwards, into the demon's flesh, which roared in pain and lifted off, carrying the sword with it. Xander painfully stood up and helped Buffy to her feet. The entire upper left side of her chest was covered in all the bandages he had managed to find after they had escaped. It was obvious that, when the demons had been 'playing' with her, they had totally shredded her left shoulder and breast.

"Only another mile to the Buffer." Xander said fervently, drawing his combat knife and slipping the Stake back into Buffy's hand.

"You're smile." Buffy said, half delirious.

One whole side of Xander's face was covered with caked blood from a gash received while trying to protect Buffy. His lower left leg was basically a bloody pulp, which screamed in agony every time he took a step. Step after agonising step, Xander more than half supported Buffy as they crossed the last mile to the Buffer and then across the Buffer to the Barrier itself.

"MEDIC!!!" one of the soldiers in the Garage called.

"It's a fucking miracle." Another commented.

The Medics came running and soon Xander and Buffy were laid out on stretchers headed for the infirmary. Had anyone bother to follow it, they would have discovered that the blood trail that lead out into the Buffer would show the passage of well over a hundred miles, all the way to a massive Demon stronghold. The doctors, in coming days, would be completely baffled, wondering how Xander had walked on his pulverised leg and why neither of them had died of blood loss or exposure long before.

"Take care of Buffy." Xander croaked out as the two stretchers separated into the OR's before he lost consciousness.


Xander sat strait up, staring around, the dream of that nightmare march hanging with him. He relaxed when he recognised that he was in his new room in the Summers' household. Xander immediately got up and padded down the hallway into Buffy's room, where he found her tossing in the throws of her own nightmare. Xander slipped into her bed and wrapped his arm around her, stilling her tossing and bringing a smile to her face, before he dropped off into a peaceful sleep.

Xander had been moved into the Summers' household almost as soon as he and Buffy had returned from their meeting with Tara. Since the Harvest, Joyce had seen quite a bit of her daughters friends, and she approved of them, so when Giles, Willow and Jessie had come over to talk while Buffy and Xander were away, they had told Joyce of Xander's less than ideal home life. Joyce, being the kind person that she was, had offered to let Xander stay in one of the spare rooms. In the intervening weeks, she had found out about the nightmares that plagued her daughter and her new 'son', and their pension for sleeping together for comfort. At first Joyce had freaked out at the sight of her daughter in bed with the boy she had taken in, however once the situation had been explained, somewhat, she had clamed down. If sleeping together wared off the nightmares, that was fine with her, so long as nothing sexual happened.

All of this was why Joyce was not surprised when, after finding Xander's bed empty, she found him snuggled up with Buffy in hers, having seen this sight and Buffy in Xander's bed several times before.

"Wake up you two. Time for breakfast before you have to go." Joyce said with much enthusiasm.

Xander and Buffy groaned at her tone. They were not morning people.

"Xander. If you don't get yourself and Buffy downstairs soon, I'll have to throw out food." She teased.

"No! Food, coming for food. Come on Buff, we have a food related emergency." He said, half dragging Buffy out of bed.

"I'll be downstairs. And your permission slips for the Zoo trip are on the table." Joyce said as she left.