Lost in the Music

Author: Dent Arenath <tavrad[at]hotmail.com>

This post is in repsonse to Danii's challenge. I apologize if it's rough, it hasn't been beta read or anything, I just kinda tossed it out. This has been written without having seen the Anime in question, so it may be changed later on.

Disclaimer: The Characters of Buffy, Xander, Willow, Giles, Etc, are property of Joss Whedon . I'm just borrowing them. I'm making no money off of this, so hunting me down is probably gonna cost you more than it's worth.

If you want to post this somewhere (why is beyond me), please ask. Feedback is alway appreciated.

It sat in the back of the closet, underneath a box of comic books. It had lain untouched for over a decade, now. The felt case had been tossed away, a mind too young at that time to understand what had happened. It had sat there, a relic of a time long gone, but as well, a relic of a time yet to come. If the instrument could be said to have feelings, it could be said it waited patiently, knowing than once again its time would come. It was just sooner than expected.


"Xander!!" came the shout, as a young, dark haired man was propelled through the air. His Propeller, a squat, ugly little creature that looked like a garden gnome on steroids after being crossed with a mailbox, was distracted enough by the flight of it's opponent that it failed to notice a young blonde woman behind it, nor did it notice the sword whistling down until it connected and severed the neck. The young man continued to fly through the air until the ground halted his fall, rather abruptly. It would have taken a keen-eyed observer to note the fact that while it looked painful, he had shifted enough that a lot of the force of the hit was altered, sending him into an ungainly roll, rather than a bone-breaking crunch.

The blonde looked around for other opponents, and then rushed up to the young man, as did another young woman, this one a redhead.


"B, Buffy?"




"Buffy. Willow. Mind stopping for a sec, I'm getting a severe case of whiplash right now."

The two girls looked at each other, and then both of them glared at the young man before them. He, in turn, slowly sat up, hands firmly planted on the ground, as if reassuring him that the ground was not actually spinning as fast as his head seemed to indicate. It was probably because of this that he failed to notice the look the two young women shared, before they turned their attention to him again.

The blonde, Buffy, spoke first. "Xander, you've got to stop this. All you're doing is getting yourself hurt."

"Buffy, I …" Began his reply, before being interrupted. "Buffy is right, Xander. You shouldn't be out here. One of these days you're really going to get hurt."

"Wait a second, Wills. I think I"

"That's just it, Xander" Buffy interjected. "You don't think. You keep getting in the way. You're a liability. You're a nuisance. I don't want you on patrol any more. In fact, just go away. Stay away from the slaying"

With that, the two girls got up and left, leaving the young man staring after them with a dazed expression on his face. "What'd I do?"


Xander threw himself onto his bed, staring at the ceiling. Buffy and Willow were avoiding him. It had been nearly a week since they had told him to leave, and since then, the only words he'd exchanged with them had been in a graveyard one night, when Buffy had caught him patrolling on his own. She'd hit him, not as hard as a Vampire would have, to get him to leave. It hadn't been the force of the hit, really, but the fact that she'd hit him. He couldn't get over the fact. If Buffy had realized what effect her punch would cause, maybe she never would have hit him. Then again, maybe she would have.

She'd hit him. Just like his Dad did. She called him worthless, useless, and wished he'd never been there. Just like Dad. And Willow. She'd been with Buffy, she'd seen what Buffy did, and she had laughed. They'd been drifting apart for the last few years, but Xander had never imagined, not even in his deepest nightmares, that this could, or would, happen. He could hear the T.V. downstairs, and he could hear, on top of that, the sound of bottles clinking, as his dad worked his way through another beer, or maybe a bottle of rum. He could see the scene in his mind, almost never changing from one day to the next, and he suddenly snapped. He didn't want to hear it anymore. He wanted it to all go away, for everything to be better again.

He got up, wildly scanning around his room, his eyes wide, his nostrils flared, as if he was about to get into a fight. He almost threw himself at his closet, picking things up, and throwing them into the room beyond, until he got to a box of comics in one corner. He shifted the box, then smiled, finding what he was seeking. It had been years since he'd used it, the only memento of a Grandfather he barely remembered, an echo of a happier time. He carefully picked up the felt case, and then took it to his bed, laying it gently there. The way he opened it seemed ritualistic, slow, as if something great were about to happen. He removed from the case a tarnished silver flute, and he frowned at that, as the flute had been a gleaming silver when he'd put in there, but that wasn't important now.

He took it, smiled at it, and carefully raised it to his lips, and began to play one of only two songs he knew. Had he been taught normally, he may have been told that the song was beyond him, that he needed a lot more practice with the flute, but he hadn't been taught normally, just by a man who he had loved more than anything, and who had died when he was seven. As the notes of the song began to play, he lost himself in the music. And the music flowed into Xander's room, and then into the house, and then, oddly enough, it carried itself out into Sunnydale, echoing throughout the city. And the notes of Banish Misfortune seemed to carry with them a power.


In his bedroom, Xander continued to play.

Downstairs, Anthony Harris laid down his drink, and stared at it for a few moments, and felt some of his resentment fade, before he drifted off to sleep, remembering better times.

And in Sunnydale, something stranger than normal seemed to be happening. A Vampire, newly risen, was about to jump on it's prey, when it tripped over it's own feet, impaling itself on a tree, to vanish in a puff of dust.

Several older, wiser vampires, about to go hunting for blood themselves, suddenly felt like going for a drink at Willies, instead.

A man, about to summon a Demon to rend apart his wife for leaving him, stopped before he began the casting, and went home, and truly thought about what he had been trying to do.

Underneath the ruins of Sunnydale High, the Hellmouth pulsed as the music drifted over it, and for only a moment, it seemed smaller, somehow.