Never The Twain Shall Meet

Author: eckles71 <eckles71[at]>

Dedicated to B/Xer's the Worldwide.

Disclaimer - Joss & Fox own everything.

X-OVER – OK, yes you're all very clever people. You worked it out. This is a Cross-Over between 'Roswell' & 'BtVS' Set at the beginning of Season 7 of BtVS.

Summery - Spike say's Goodbye to Xander (That's all your getting people, you'll have to read it to find out)

Warning - Some Language and Violent act's present in piece.

* Denotes interruption of Speech.

Chapter 1

1417hrs 06/12/02

Through blood-stained teeth AleXander Harris hissed his defience to the bleeched haired Vampire before him "She's...she's going to kill you, you do know that don't you?..."

The response was a feral smile as his tormenter picked up another weathered ten-inch Railroad Spike from his bag and stroked it admiringly, never once taking his smug gaze from his victim.

" what you like to me*"

"*Oh, I will Mate, don't you worry about that. I'm going to do stuff to you, that will make your ancestors cry". Spike then began to tossing his new play-thing from one hand to another, as he approached his shackled guest "I bet your regreting every snipe you ever made at Ol' Spikey's expense right about now?"

Finding his second wind and working his mind around the pain Xander replied, with as much conviction he could muster "'d think that wo...wouldn't you, but you'd be wrong."

Again his statement was met with a feral smile "You know what Droopy, and don't let this go to your head and all, but I gotta admit, I'm impressed. Most of you Happy-Meals squeal for mercy after 2- minutes, and Death after five. But you? It's been what, seven hours now, and not so much as a whisper. I have to say, I admire the Pair on ya." At this the former ally thrusts the second metal stake into the opposite shoulder of the 22-year-old Construction worker. With this action the walls of the sound- proof crypt echoed with an anguished scream.

Fighting unconciousness a third time the wounded Knight used the only weapon he had at his disposal - Words. "W...when she fi..finds out your back, she's*"

"*She'll do nothing Mate, because she already knows I'm back." Taking three steps back to admire his handy work, Spike withdrew a ciggerette from an inside pocket of his leather coat. "Ran into her last night." He then placed the smoke to his lips and then pulled out a lighter.

"Your Lying, she would ha...have told us."

That same toothy grin was applied as the ciggerette met flame "Maybe she wanted me to be her little, dark, secret again." With this the vamp then studied the eyes of his captive, looking for some reaction, there was none.

The prisoner truely didn't believe him, but it didn't cause to much distress, the undead smoker had enough circumstancial evidence to prove his claim.

Exhaling his first drag into the injured man's face, 'William the Bloody' continued "She was wearing blue jeans, that White Jumper of her's, Brown leather boots, with her hair tied back with a yellow thingy ... Oh yeah, and she was patroling 'Pleasent Memories'.

And there it was, recognition. "She really didn't tell you wankers did she?" He smiles. "Yeah, we met up half-twelve, had acouple of words, nothing major. Told her I was back to my old self. She laughed, thought I was posturing and all. I told her she'd live to regret it, she laughed. I told her I was serious, she laughed. Alot of laughing was done that night. Then she said if she saw me again she make sure I wish she hadn't."

Drawing in his second puff, he then continued with the same smile that Xander was beginning to hate just as much as one of his best friends "Well, I don't hear anyone laughing now, do you?"

Meeting the vampires smug stare, the Zeppo pushed himself up the wall to full hieght, and once again swallowed the blood that was riasing in his throat from internal injuries Spike had layed on him before the vamp got nostalgic for the 'good-old-days'. "What are you go...going to do?"

"I'm going to make the Slayer wish she never set eyes on me, I'm going to destroy her, but I'm not going to kill her. If I kill her, there'll be another cropping up somewhere else, and I don't want that. I want her broken. And I seem to recall Angelus once saying that 'the best way to destroy the Slayer, is to destroy what they care about the most'. And what she cares about the most would be you toss-potts.

"Destroy the 'Scoobies', and she's nothing. I mean she's good, don't get me wrong there. But she's nowhere as good as her reputation. I mean, she's karked it twice already, and how many times has she had her hash saved by you Wankers at the last mo'? Too many if you ask me."

"Sh..She might care about us, b...but that's not going to stop her from du...dusting you, you piece of... Arrrrrrrrrr" Before Xander could continue, Spike calmly twisted one of the metallic protrusions in his body.

"Tut, tut language. Your probably right y'know, about her killin' me and all, but I don't think so. She didn't last night."

Turning his back on his captive, a sly smile crept across the vampires features as he continued with his line of reasoning. "How many times last year, did you want me staked? I can probably think of three right off the top of my head that would have been a definate.

"One - when I had Sex with your ex. Two - when you found out I had Sex with Buffy. And three - after that incident before I left.

"So, why didn't you? I mean if I was in your place, and I was Beddin' and having fun with your women, with or without thier concent, nothing would have stopped me .... unless .... the Slayer asked you not to. I guess I'm more 'useful' then you thought, huh."

"Your gonna die, and I'm gonna*"

"*Do nothing, because you me Bugger, will be cold and long dead." Continuing his approach to the Tomb where he had his bag of instruments layed atop of, Spike forwarded a question. "Tell you what Harris, beg me to kill you, plead for me to end your life now, and I will."

"Suck it"

Turning around with a cork-screw in one hand and a pair of brand new Bolt-Cutters in the other, Spike replied with that damnable smile still gracing his lips "I take it that's a 'NO' then.

"What, you holding out for Buff to notice your not around, put two and two together and come up with me, come to your rescue, and live happily ever after? It's not going to happen Mate. Don't you get it?" He then begins to reappoach to the beaten, bleeding, and only son of Mr & Mrs Harris.

"I told her I was the BigBad again, I told her she'd regret laughing at me. But does she warn the rest of you White Hat's - No. She set you up for this. She know's I hate you more then Dawn and Red, of coarse your going to be my first target. And she didn't even think to warn you, and give ya a fighting chance."

Extinguishing his ciggerette into Xanders left ear, and speaking in a whispered tone the bleeched Vampire continued "To be honest I'm kind of glad you got stubborn and turned my offer down. There's still another 5-hours of sunlight left to burn, and I would have been so bored if I had to kill you before I got the chance to break-in my new Cutter here."

Drawing himself away from his now 'good' ear of Xander Harris, Spike placed his features inches from Xanders face and stated in a mocking tone "Relax. Who knows, she might still care about you, it's still sometime till sundown. She might just find the time in her day to perform a rescue. Buuuttttt until she does ... where are those wee piggly-wiggly's of yours?"

5 hours & 47 minutes later

Fighting unconciousness due to Shock and Blood loss Xander stared bleary eyed at his torturer. The shock that raced through his system was a godsend, it numbed the pain. He would have used this information to dampen his tormenter's enjoyment ... if he still had a tongue to speak with.

"Well Droopy, the Sun is down, and I've got to pack up my gear" casually thumbing to the many specimen jars behind him of the 'souveniers' the vamp had taken from him with the surprising skill of a first-class surgeon.

"This will be the first place the Slayer will visit." With this obvious claim the Vampire then removed the final instrument from his bag.

Xander was to distracted by the fire slowly coarsing through his body to pay it any mind, he nolonger cared. He didn't care when Spike slid the barrel into his bloody mouth, he didn't care when that same Vamp told him that he'd see him in Hell, he didn't care when he saw the Hammer draw back, and he didn't care when he saw it about to rele* <White Light>.


"Wh...where am I? Who am I?" They were the first questions that sprung to mind, and this Being knew that he should have know the answers.

Anxiously he took in his surrounding, desperatley trying to grasp the physicalities of his enviroment. To him, it defied conception, everything was white, white floor, white walls, white ceilings. There was absolutely no depth, or reference point to judge distance. The place seemed as though it went on till forever and a day.

Then from out of no where the silence was broken with a Brooklyn accent, "Relax Kid, your memories will return to you shortly, and when they do, you'll wish they hadn't. Trust me on this. As to where you are, well your in a place that's niether here nor there."


The laughter that met his ears, enabled this 'visitor' to focus on the direction of of his Five-Burrows Friend "Nope, this is just a Pit- Stop between two possible destinations. We kind of detoured you off on your way to your 'Final Reward'".

"Pit-Stop, Reward? What are you talk*" In a lightening flash of motion the younger man grabbed his head in physical pain.

"And here they come..." was all the sole witness said as he waited as the Dark haired 22-year-old processed his life and his death.

"Bu...Buffy, Willow, Dawn, everybody ... danger Spikes back, and he's the BigBad again, they've got to be warned, he's got to be stopped, before it's to late."

"Kid, they have been warned."

"You mean Spike was telling me the truth, he did tell Buff?" The answer, the now reintroduced Xander recieved, was a sad nod. "Why didn't she tell us?"

"That's not important."

"Not to you, but it is to me."

"Kid, it's not even important to you anymore. You were the warning."

"What do you mean 'I was the warning'?"

"Billy-Boy dumped what was left of your naked carcass on the Slayers front porch. With the back of your head blown-away, your digit's missing, your Heart carved out and half eaten, your nose, ears, tougue and, errr, other parts of you not present."

"Wh...what does this mean?"

"It mean's your dead, Kid."

"W...who found me?"

"Kid, don't do this to yourself, you can't change anything."


"Summers Jnr. Spike timed it so that Senior would be at work when he left you, and Sis and Red would be the ones at home. It was Dawn who answered the door bell."

Tears began to well-up as Xander tried to imagine the scene described to him. "Is the Bastard dusted?"

"Not yet.

"Everytime the Slayer get's close, he presents one of your body parts, throws it someplace and she goes chasing after it like a Dog playing 'Stick'. I guess she can't bare to let any part of you go, huh. To date, she's got a left toe, and half a hand."

Brushing away his growing tears, Xander poses another question "How long have I..."

"It's been about 2-weeks."

"So, I'm dead, I'm really, REALLY dead?"

"As a doornail, and from the kind of things Spike did to your body, the last thing you want to happen is to be resurrected if that's what your thinking."

"Will my friends be OK?"

"Nope, the Slayer's got a Death Wish now, and the risks she's been taking, it's only a matter of time before it's granted. Sis, has closed herself off from everything, her school councillors are talking about a possible visit to a psychiatric facility, and Will*"

At this point Xander began to Scream "WHAT'S THE POINT OF ALL THIS! Why couldn't you have let me go to my 'Reward' blissfully unaware?"

"Because I've," Brooklyn then pauses, and points to the ceiling "We've, got an offer for you."

Calming down, Xander looked at his 'Heavenly' companion and said bitterly "Then make it, and let me rest in Peace"

"We want you to help some people."

"You mean like an Angel"

"Please don't mention that name Kid, my Rep took a major nose dive with that Acathla Buisness. Sorry, your not goin to be an Angel, your going to be Reborn."

"Well, what do you want me to do?"

"Can't tell you, you have to accept this offer Blind."

"If I choose not to accept, what happens?"

"We part way's, you continue on your journey to your version of Heaven, no harm, no foul. And these people will just have to muddle on without you in thier life. Which would be a pretty sad and empty one."

"Why me, I'm no one special, I'm a dime-a-dozen Guy."

"Say's who? Kid, I've had an interest in you ever since I saw a 16 year-old kid faced down a Vamp once known as the 'Scourge of Europe' with only a single Stake and a crappy Cross. And demand, DEMAND he take you into even worse danger - by strolling into the Lion's Den of the Master's Lair. I've seen it all, everything you've done. And you did it all without powers, just conviction.

"You Kid, are a true gentleman, sensitive, caring, honest, insightful, detiremined, loyal, brave, compassionate, funny, intelligent *"

"* OK, now I know your talking about the wrong guy."

"Wrong Kid, you are intelligent, do you think those Zingers of yours don't require 'quick-on-your-feet' thinking? You've just didn't have the right supportive home enviroment to put it to use."

"..... And I'll be helping people?"

"If you remain true to yourself, you will be."

"OK.... I'll do it."

"Your sure?"

"What? You going to try and talk me out of it now?"

"Naa Kid, it's just that this is your second shot at the Brass Ring we call 'Life'. Which means, what you accomplished in this one, becomes null and void. You go off the tracks in the next one, your 're-judged'. Now, you've got a definite shot at Heaven - it's waiting for ya kid. Bbuuuuttttt....."

"If I screw up the next life - No promises."


"I still accept."

"I knew you would. OK, as you know your going to be Reborn .... back into the year 1983."

"Whoa, you mean your sending me back in Time?"


"Any chance I could warn*"

"*Don't even think about it Kid, you don't die, this doesn't happen, if this doesn't happen, you can't warn yourself. It's called a paradox, and you don't want to be caught up in one - Understand.

"Your dead, forget SunnyDale, and believe me - you will, it will be a Fresh Slate, it will be 'Xander Harris - who the Hell is he?' You take who you are, the memories aren't part of the deal."

"But how am I suppose to help people if I can't draw on my experiences?"

"By being TRUE - TO - YOURSELF, that's how you'll help them, by drawing on all your characteristics that makes you, you."

"Fine, what else can you tell me."

"You'll possess the same physical qualities, but you'll look different."

"Wonderful. What else?"

"You will be a Military Brat, your father will be in the United States Air Force, mother will be a Home-maker, and you'll have three elder brothers."

"I ... I'll have Brother's? A real family?"

"Yep, and you'll be the Apple of your Mom's eye too."

Xander couldn't help but blush and offer a half-laugh "It, it will make a nice change."

"I'm sure it will Kid. Anyway those are the definites, the rest is up to you. If you remain true to who you are, when your Dad get's transfered to another Air Base, you'll hook up with some girls who will become your best friends*"

"*Like Willow and Buffy?"

"No, nothing like them. However, a couple of years later they will introduce you to three new friends of thiers. Now these three are ... Special, and they will need what you and your other two friends have to offer to keep them grounded, and safe.

"And I don't think I'm talking out of School when I say you and one of these ... 'Specials' well, what can I say but - WhooMama!"

Suppressing a smile "I take it she's Hot"

"Yep, and you'll have your chance with her ... only if YOUR - TRUE - TO*"

"*Yourself. OK, I get it!"

"And of coarse you Die, and *"

"Whoo, Back up the Truck. I Die - Again?"

"Your death Kid will reveal a viper in their midst, and save the World."

"So let me see if I've worked this out, I make friends, get a Drop- Dead Girl, and then DIE! Well that just SUCKS!"

"No Kid, what sucks is you won't remember any of this conversation." And with that, Brooklyn snaps his fingers and Xander is once more blinded by a white light.










<sigh> "Sweetheart, this is beyond embarrassing. It's been a whole day and the little guy still hasn't a name yet."

"I know Honey, I was just hoping that it would come to me once I saw his face - like a flash of inspiration."

Edging himself upon the bed of his wife, and peering down upon the new addition to his now six membered family, the young Air Force Captain replied "Dear, he looks like a Baby, he looks like the rest of our boy's when they were babies."

Before the couple could continue in another playful debate about how unique each of thier children were, they were inturrupted by a Wardsman who had walked into their conversation. With a obvious Brooklyn accent the Wardy commented "Y'Know I'm pretty good at names, do you mind if I take a stab at it?"

The Captain and New Mother smiled and offered him the chance, leaning over the be to get a better view of the one-dayer he replied to the rooms occupants "He looks like an Alexander to me." With this he replaced the used towels and left the couple.

A smile beamed across the face of the Mother as she looked down upon her miricle "Alexander...Alexander, I like it. Honey, what does it mean?"

Pulling out a 'Babies Names' Book from one of his uniformed side pockets, he went straight to the 'A' section and gave an appraising nod. "It means - Protector Of Man"

"Honey, I like it, I like it alot, that man was right...he does look like an Alex."

Picking the child up from it's mothers embrace, the Captain looked down and said "Well Alex, Welcome to the family Whitman."

Chapter 2a


The sound of the rhythmic knocking of the front fly screen door echoed down the hallway, and entered the bedroom of Maria DeLucia. For thirty seconds the 17 year-old fought her growing temptation to ignore this intrusion to her slumber, but as the tapping halted briefly then continued with more 'gusto', displaying no signs of relenting, her curiosity to the identity of this soon to be corpse got the better of her.

Without opening her eyes, and navigating herself from pure memory, the young woman exited her room and turned into the awaiting Lounge. It was there that Maria came face-to-face with her mortal enemy – Morning. Ms. DeLucia's little girl was not known for being a 'morning person', people who knew her knew this, and introduced her to this foe at their peril.

Squinting through the sunlight that assaulted the window with its exaggerated cheeriness, she made out the form of her intended victim, the one who stood waiting on the front porch, the poor fool whose head she would have to mount upon her letterbox as a warning to all others. This person's identity both delighted and annoyed her. It was the form of her Bestest-Guy-Friend in the whole wide World – Alexander Charles Whitman.

Squinting again, a gentle smile passed over her lips. She was glad he was back, not glad he felt the need to come to her home at 10am on a Saturday morning, but glad none the less. Alex had just returned from a Student Exchange program to Sweden a week earlier, and already the 'Gang' had quietly noticed a dramatic change in him. He was still Alex, he still joked and hung- out, no changes there, but now he gave off a vibe of maturity that often accompanied the young after they had seen another piece of the world. That was Liz's theory; Maria had thought that Mr. 'STUD-ONE' got himself some action from the blonde cutie Leanna who kept turning up in all his photographs. Of coarse, it was her theory that received the most support from Michael, Kyle, and Max (all the guy's – typical). At any rate, Alex Whitman, seemed at moments older then he was, and Maria, Liz and 'The Men' weren't the only one's who had noticed. She and Liz had caught Isabel scooping out the 'new and improved' Whitman model with an appreciative eye a few times in last several days and making catty remarks about the blonde girl 'friend' in his trip photos. Given time, and the right prompting, Maria was certain her skills as an Alien/Human Matchmaker would benefit both Roswellians'.

Contorting her face into its most annoyed visage, she vigorously opens the front door to the young man preparing to give him the scolding of a lifetime. Unfortunately before she could utter a single syllable she found herself victim to Alex's trademark 'Puppy Dog Caught out in the Rain' look – Check and Mate. Maria had to concede to the Master, whenever Alex went 'Puppy Dog' her heart melted. This was her kryptonite, and the youngest of the Whitman brood knew it. All she could do was curse him under her 'morning breath' and part her lip's in a half laugh, half smile, this effort was returned to her by his crooked one. God, she missed him during those two months.

Alex was … Alex, the girl's guy. When most teenage 'boys' were pumping iron, playing sports, or participating in some scam to up their popularity status, Alex was around to listen to the various woes of the female population of Roswell High and make them laugh. He was comfortable to be around; you could tell him anything, and everything, without the fear of it being used against you, Trustworthiness thy name was Alex. It was hard to believe that a boy raised in a household with nothing but elder brothers (all who enlisted when they were age-able), and an Air Force Major for a Father. Would ever go against the grain and hang out with a bunch of girls, but Alex was like that, he never did what was expected, or the norm. The perfect example was Isabel's Birthday earlier that year. Where everyone else was content to buy the reigning 'Ice Queen' of Roswell High perfume, jewelry or clothes, Alex did a Strip Tease – just another reason why she and Liz loved him to death.

It always amazed the pair why with all the girls he was friends with; he was always, with the exception of when he dated Iz last year, single. This mystery would forever be catalogued besides Atlantis, Stonehenge and The Pyramids - why such a great, intelligent, sweet, loyal guy like him was always unattached.

Beckoning the 6'0" male over the threshold of her most humble of humble abodes, and matting down her 'bed hair' into a more acceptable appearance, Maria raised her eyebrows awaiting the answer to the unspoken, yet obvious question.

Awkwardly and almost embarrassingly the lean 17-year old spoke. "Mar, I've got … no… I need a favor."

This immanently got her attention; Alex rarely asked anyone if he could go into the 'Favor Bank'. His Dad, Major Whitman, raised all his lads to be self reliant, for Alex to ask for any form of assistance was in and of itself a big deal. Most people – her especially, went to him. Maria suddenly felt slightly concerned to the person she loved like her own brother "S...sure, anything, you know that. All you have to do is ask."

Combing his fingers through his short dark hair, and casting his eyes down to his feet, the Bestest-Guy-Friend responded "I've been having these weird-ass dreams lately, ever since Sweden actually, and they've been … well, getting stranger and stranger, and a lot more intense. <Sigh> Mar, everything I've tried, and I've tried a lot of stuff – exercise, a couple of Sleeping Pills, warm milk, even relaxation music – nothing I've tried has made them, y'know, stop. My Mom thinks that if I understood what they meant … anyway, since you're into this…"

"*… Alternative?"

"Yeah, alternative science stuff, we might be able to exercise it out of my bedroom so that I can get a decent night." At the concluding of his sentence Alex raised his eyes to meet hers and pulled the dreaded 'Thorn in My Paw' expression.

Leading him to the DeLucia Family Kitchen, and doing her best to avoid the latest 'Puppy Look', Maria replied with a smile on her words "You don't think its Michael playing a practical joke, he could be Dream-Walking and messing with your head? He loves doing that, he messes with mine all the time."

Following Maria and taking a seat at the kitchen table Alex continued with the conversation "Nah, this happened when I was in Stockholm, and Michael doesn't have that kind of range … I think. Besides, all this was waaayyy to creative for him."

"What about Isabel, she's good with DW's?"

Putting down the Salt and Pepper Shakers he was playing around with, the young man replied "Nope, not her style either, and she wouldn't do that to me. This was really weird Mar, and I haven't had a good night sleep in two months because of it – every damn single night. I don't know … I think it has to do with me, not the 'guy's'. Something in my gut tells me I should know what all this means, what it's all about, but I don't. It's like an itch I can't scratch; it's just … there - out of range and sight. It's Important! I just don't know why."

Sitting besides her visitor, Maria posed the question she knew the answer to, but she had to get 'Mr. There's-a-reasonable-and-logical- explanation-for-everything' to admit "So what do you want with me?"

Meeting her eyes, Alex Whitman let out a low groan and a deeper sigh "Mar, don't do this. Just help me, and we can all go on our merry little way. No muss-no fuss."

"Nope, I want to hear you say it."

"Fine, but it goes no further then you and me. Cross your heart, and I swear I will kill you if you breathe so much as a word to anyone – especially Michael, he'd never let me hear the end of it. <Deep Breath> MariaDeLuciaWillYouPleaseAnalyseMyDreamForMe."

Smiling in triumph, the part-time Waitress answered the Honor-Roll Student "See, was that so bad? Relax, I do Liz's and Mom's all the time. It's fun." Making herself comfortable, Maria began to stare into the chocolate brown orbs of the young Mr. Whitman. "Now take your time, and tell me everything, no matter how unimportant. In dream-visions everything has significance, so spill."

Picking up the Pepper Shaker again Alex studies the dark grains within and closes his eyes "It start's the same, its always night. I'm in a cemetery. I'm searching for something, someone. No … no, wait, I think … I think I'm hunting."

"Are you alone?"

"No … there are others with me, sometimes. The rest of the time I'm with a girl. It's … it's the same girl every time." A dreamy expression then creases his face. "It's kinda hazy, but she's really cute, about Liz's height and build … only with blonde hair."

Fighting back a laugh, the young woman presses another question "What are you doing with this girl – and please give me the 'G' rated version."

"We're not doing that, we're … OK, this is where it gets insane, we're fighting monsters, deformed people with crazy looking faces."

"You're … fighting monsters?"

"Actually, it's the girl who does most of the fighting. I see myself lending a hand, but basically I try and not get myself killed."

"Grrl Power - go Liz. She-da-Woman."

Shocked at this response Alex jolts open his eyes "Hang on, you think that this person is Liz? But she's blonde."

"You've always been attracted to blondes, besides it's your dream, she can be any hair color you want her to be. And as it being Liz … well, you made the connection, not me, that's what is known as a Freudian slip my man."

A pensive expression embraces the young mans face [Liz? No, that … that doesn't feel right.]. But regardless of his inner objections he pushes forward with his dream description. "Anyway, it all eventually fades away, and I'm in a dark room … a Crypt, I think. And in front of me – I swear to God, it's Billy Idol*"

"*…But you hate Billy Idol."

"I know, ever since I was a little kid. Like his music – hate the singer, go figure. Anyway, there he is, and he's taking pieces of me and putting them in these Medical Jar's."

"Where's Liz?"

"She's not there; in fact I think Billy say's she wanted me to be there. Mar, I think Billy Idol kill's me."

"That Bastard!"

Sharing in the amusement, Alex join's his dearest friend in the false outrage. "Tell me about it. After all the recordings I've pirated of him – this is how he repays me."

After a couple of enjoyable moments of laughing together, and joking about the English Singers dye job, young Miss DeLucia continued with the interrogation. "So that's it, you wake up?"

"I use to. Now I find myself in a white featureless room, being asked to choose between Life and Death."

Maria suddenly pales "…. What did you choose?"


At this admittance, the 17-year old teenager girl leaned over and hugged her startled and confused best friend.

"What was that for?"

"Nothing. Anything else?"

"Nope, then I wake up." Scratching the back of his head, and looking more embarrassed then when he started Alex looked at his 'girl' friend. "OK Sigmund, what do you think?"

Getting up to make herself some herbal tea, the young woman begins with her diagnoses "OK, night, graveyards – simple Mortality. These Monsters of yours are representations, I think, of your doubts and insecurities"

"*What doubt's and insecurities? I'm PERFECT, my Mom tells me so every week."

Fighting back another laugh, Maria began to dunk her tea bag and continued in as a professional manner as possible. "Will you shut up and let me finish. Liz is your 'Redeemer or Protector' as they are known in the trade. She hold's back and destroys the problems that threaten to consume you."

"But why Liz, and not Arnie?"

"The Protector usually takes the form of someone we love and trust. A person we believe would never let any harm befall us. And by the way, I'm slightly hurt that it isn't me."

"I wish it was, cause obviously Liz was asleep at the wheel. Billy Boy still off's me."

Yeah … that's important. Liz abandons you. You said that he was taking pieces of you apart?"

A steady nod was his only reply.

"It sounds to me as though Bill was 'deconstructing' you."

"But why Billy Idol of all people and not one of those Monsters?"

"Simple – You Hate Him"

"I also hate Broccoli, why wasn't I killed by a loathsome vegetable … wait a minute, I was."

"Unlike Broccoli, you hate Billy for no apparent reason. So he was the perfect form to represent a malevolent force of opposing hate."

"OK, OK, what about this 'White Room Place'?"

"Alex … you've had a death motif throughout this entire dream – Night, Graveyards, Crypts, Murder. Now the question – Life or Death?"

"I choose Life."

Beaming a smile, and taking her first sip of freshly brewed tea. "I know; if you had said … the other, I would have been concerned."

"Why?" This question was met with silence, an uncomfortable silence. Then suddenly all the pieces of what his dearest friend had said hit home. "NO! You think I'm subconsciously considering suicide? Are you crazy, do I look like the suicidal type? Can you honestly see me killing myself?"

Hastily placing the teacup on the kitchen bench, Maria approached her friend and quickly began rubbing both his shoulders in an effort to calm him down. "Of coarse not, that was why I was relieved you chose Life. If you where planning on doing yourself in, your answer would have been different."

A worried expression then faced her, "Mar, this has got to stay's between us, please. Don't tell anyone – ever. I don't want people to start hiding razor blades from me, or looking at me strange when I walk into a room. I would never kill myself, please believe this. You do, don't you, believe me?"

Cupping his chin, and directing his eyes to meet hers, she answered "Of coarse I do. You've never once lied to me, and this would be a sure stupidass time to start. Besides, you've got too much to look forward to."

Taken aback by the sudden change in the direction of the conversation left Alex slightly puzzled "OK, what is that suppose to mean?"

"C'mon on, Isabel has been checking you out all week. When you were gone she missed you big time, and you know what they say – Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

"Mar get that thought out of your head now. There is never going to be an Isabel and Alex pairing, we tried it, and she thought it best to break up with me. Besides isn't she's seeing that Geologist, what about Greg?"

"It's Grant, and pleeeeez, that guy can put people in a Coma to sleep. The two of you are just going through a rough patch, that's all. You both compliment each other perfectly, to ever be apart."

Checking his watch and moving towards the front door Alex answers over his shoulder "It'll never happen."

Never allowing the opportunity to have the last word in any conversation, the mousy brown haired waitress bolted after him, heading the young man off in the Lounge, standing firm and barricading his exit she asked. "Answer me this Stud, if you could, would you get back together with her?"

Realizing there was little chance of him leaving her home until he answered, Alex Whitman looked up to the ceiling sighed and replied in a defeated voice. "Mar it doesn't matter what I want, she would have to want it to, and she's not interested. I can be friends with her, I can be there for her, but I don't want to give her my heart if all she intends to do is break it again."

"Then don't."

"OK, I'll take 'Huh' for 500?"

"Alex, the only reason she's interested now*"

"* … Which she's NOT!"

"Trust me on this Alex, a girl knows. SHE IS! Keep playing it cool, all mystery, and sage guy, yet show no romantic interest, and it'll drive her crazy. I guarantee by the time the Prom comes around, she'll be the one asking YOU out."

"We are both talking about Isabel Evens here right? The same Isabel Evens who could get a date with any guy in School if she wanted?"

"She doesn't want any guy Alex, she wants you. Look, Max and Liz have this tragic 'Romeo & Juliet' thing going, and as for me and Michael, well, at times we're too much alike to even stand each other. But you and Iz, I swear, your connection to each other is deeper and sweeter then anything the rest of us has."

"The Prom?"

"Guaranteed. Just play it cool; be true to yourself, and who you are, and she'll be all over you."

It was that second last comment, be true to yourself, that caused the young man to flinch slightly. "Right … Ummmm Mar I really gotta jet now, I promised that I'd help Tess with an extra credit Computer Assignment at 11."

Taking a side step to the left the young woman allowed her guest to pass. "Just remember what I said, and you'll have Iz eating out of your hand – literally."

As Alex Whitman open the fly screen door, he turned to Maria DeLucia, "Trust me Mar, I think I'm going to be mulling over what you just said for quite a while. And Mar, I would appreciate it if you don't*"

"* Lips are sealed Hot Shot, and I am slightly offended you felt you had to ask me, what do you take me for, a common gossip?"

Walking down the footpath the 17-year old responded "Nope, I don't think you're common at all"

Smiling and calling out to the young dark hair boy "You're going to pay for that Whitman, now I'm gonna have to tell Liz you dream about her." At this she quickly closed her front door, before she could hear his response, a matter of pride – Last Word and all that, and laughed to herself – the very thought of Alex committing suicide was ridiculous.

Chapter 2b

Several Weeks Later (after Part 2a)

[OK, AleXANDER, this is it. God, I can't believe how screwed up my life is, I've got everything I ever wanted and I'm about to walk into certain death. I'm going to die, end of story. And Tess is the one who's going to kill me. And all I can think about is how Isabel is going to react to it all.

[We never even had a real chance together, we were just … God, don't hate me for this Iz.]

Over the past 40-day's, life for Alex Whitman moved in a series of snap shots, blackouts and lost time. In those moments he had saved the world from a batch of killer crystals, been to Vegas and lost thousands of Michael's counterfeit dollars – basically, he enjoyed everything life had to offer and then some. Though he respected Maria's opinion towards his 'dreams', her interpretation still didn't sit right.

With each night the dreams returned, and they kept adding a fresh piece to the jigsaw that was his mind. Slowly, but surely, he was getting a fresh sense of identity to the person he was in these 'night-visions'. But it wasn't until the Prom, the night before today, the same Prom that Isabelle did indeed asked him to attend as her date, when the walls crumbled.

Liz once said that when she and Max kissed, it was like the two of them became one, she saw things, planet landscapes and foreign galaxies. Up until last night, whenever Isabel and he had kissed – nothing. But this was a special evening, a magical night for both. Whilst they were dancing, ironically the last dance of the Prom, she leaned in, and their lips met. The sensation and the energy that passed between them could not be easily described. Suddenly all the blocks that had been put up - came down. In an instant, he witnessed the lost time he had experienced doing Tess's bidding in deciphering the Alien Hieroglyphs for her, and then being mind-wiped. He never went to Sweden; it was a false memory, the Olsen's and Leanna – all a fabrication. For those 65 day's he was in front of a computer screen, using his program skills to translate the Alien Language at the college in Las Cruces.

The dreams he was having also begun to make sense, as Tess's memory wall dissolved, so did the ones that were already crumbling due to the young Alien's constant interference. The walls put in place by the PTB began to corrode away. He was AleXANDER Harris/Whitman. And he was destined … rather, expected, to die for the good of his friends and the planet.

He would have been content to not act on this information, to keep it all a secret and defy his role in the destiny of his friends; fore the kiss he shared with Isabel also revealed to him that another mind-wipe would probably kill him. And he selfishly wished to live a long and happy existence with his second First Love. The only difference between Iz, and his first First Love, was that Isabel actually returned his feelings.

Fortunately, or unfortunately (depending upon your perspective), the parting words of Maria and Liz "to be Strong" that morning convinced him that if he truly loved Iz and cared for all his friends, he would have to do this. He would have to be strong, and do what was right and expected. For the ultimate good of everybody.

No doubt about it, it was the hardest decision he had ever made. He released a light chuckle as he remembered the Delivery Driver and his confused reaction to his rhetorical dialogue. He had the perfect life this time. A Mom and Dad he loved, Brothers, he was now a straight 'A' Student with a firm and bright future ahead of him. And the best friends anybody would want … and he had Isabel, he finally had Isabel. Yet it was wrong, his life was wrong, he was Xander Harris, not really Alex Whitman. If he lived past this point, his entire life would be a lie. He would be living it as Alex Whitman, not who he really, truly was.

It was that critical moment in which he made the resolution to confront Tess and get her to confess to the group of what she was doing, and planning to do. He knew that she would probably mind-wipe him again, and thereby kill him. But he had to give her the chance to do the right thing; if he could do it for Faith, he could do it for Tess.

AleXANDER removed himself from his car, and looked towards the front door of Sheriff Velenti's and Kyle's home. Tess was inside, he had seen her enter a half-hour earlier, and for the last 30-minutes he had waited, screwing up his courage to meet the 'Grim Reaper' a second time. As he approached the door, he prayed that someone who could figure them out would discover the clues he left. Max or Liz.

As he knocked on the hardwood door, the young man smiled, he didn't know what he was even going to say to her – [Am I even going to get a chance to say anything?]. He could hear Tess approach the door, undo the locks and grasp the handle on the other side. Then suddenly all the craziness that was to await him fell away. He embraced the same peace that a condemn man possibly experiences before he is taken away for execution. It is simply the acceptance of your fate.

The White Zone

Spinning around in place the lanky 17-year old had a sense of De ja Vu to the White Room he was in, but he didn't know why. "Hello? Anybody here?"

"Just me Kid."

Turning to face the direction of the voice, the young man queried the stranger "Who are you?"

Approaching the cautious visitor, the man with a Brooklyn accent replied "My friends call my Whistler."

"Then what should I call you?"

"Always with the smart mouth, huh kid."

Finding his lack of identity uncomfortable, the visitor demanded as politely as possible "Who am I?"

"Give it a minute, and steady yourself kid. You've got two life times to absorb, and it's going to hurt like a kick in the head from a Mule on Steroids."

"What do you mea …. Aaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

With a sorrowful tone, the 5'3" Demon answered to his visitor "Told ya."

For the next 20 seconds, the person who had only identified himself as 'Whistler' watched with a pained expression as the young man screamed in intense agony. The absorption of one lifetime was often bad enough, but two at the same time, he darn't imagine what this once 17-year old was going through. Even after the process was concluded, the person formally known as Xander Harris and Alex Whitman stared blankly ahead, dead silent.

As the seconds lagged to moments, and the moments to minutes, Whistler became concerned. Tentatively he approached the young man, peering carefully into his glazed expression. With several light slaps to AleXANDER's left cheek the eyes refocused upon the Balance Demon.

"Ya had me worried there for a bit kid, are you OK?"

"OK … OK? I'm dead, I can't get less OK then that can I?"

Surrendering a light chuckle Whistler had to agree to the wisdom of his words. "You're probably right there. Ya did good Alex."

Annoyed at the casualness of the tone, and on how he was treating the abandonment of his almost perfect life, AleXANDER bitterly responded "Good? … Good? I did what I had to do. Remember – Paradox, Fate of the World. If I had a choice, Isabel and me would be planning out first official da*"

"*….Wait a minute. Yo … you knew? You remembered?"

"Of course I remembered, I remembered everything. My life and death as the Slayer's Side Kick, our last meeting … everything."

"But how? Those blocks should have held firm."

"They probably would have if Tess didn't go tempering with my memory like she did. As soon as she started to mess around with my mind, I'm guessing, it began to compromise the integrity of your Memory Barriers. I started to remember things, little things, snippets of my time as Xander. But I couldn't make much sense of it."

"Jeez kid, I'm sorry. I really am. But you did the Right thing, take some solace in that."

Restraining his anger, a wave of regret overwhelms the young man "I wish I could, but I can't. I know it sounds selfish, but I want my life back." If AleXANDER could have hit something, he would have at that very moment.

"That's not selfish kid, that's human." Whistler began to walk away from the young form, after several meters he turned around and indicated Alex to join him. When AleXANDER had caught up, the Balance Demon continued. "You came through for us Alex when we needed you to, and it's appreciated. I realise it must have been tough, doing what ya did. But that's what makes you a bonafied Hero. You're the kind of person who will do the right thing, no matter what it cost's them, and that's why I knew you would be perfect for the job. It's not about who has the fancier power; it's about the greater Heart. And Kid, you've got one of the biggest Heart's I've ever seen."

Wishing to break, and stray away from the accolades he was receiving, especially considering he was only a gnat's wing from not going through with any of it, AleXANDER asked his companion "OK, I've got a question – Why do I still look like Alex Whitman, and not Xander Harris, I mean I am Xander, aren't I?"

"Yep. The Alex you was just a persona. As to the body, well … it's just that your Xander Form hasn't kicked the bucket yet, so you'll be stuck as Alex for a little while longer. In fact, right about now, your other-self will be getting quite the vitamin B shot to his personality."

"What do you mean?"

"Alex…Xander, didn't you ever wonder why a guy who was so bad at math, and other scholastic pursuits. Why he suddenly was able to turn his life around from the never-ending no-go and no-where jobs, to become a permanent Foreman in record time flat to a Major Construction Company with absolutely no prior experience, except for the odd 'Shop' lesson he managed to stay awake through?"

A dumfounded look crossed the puppy dog face of Alex Whitman "N…no, it never even occurred to me. I just woke up one morning, and suddenly everything on Site made a bit more sense, I just thought it was me."

"It was you, the Alex you, the day before that happened - Alex Whitman died, and both half's of your essence became one. Alex the Math Wiz, Alex the Chemistry Buff, Alex the guy who had some fashion sense… are you getting my drift."

Looking the Balance Demon up and down, the now almost flabbergasted AleXANDER replied "My fashion sense?"

"Look, it was you, all you, for the first time in your life you were whole, and not spread out over two States. The fact you both accomplished as much as you did on only half a soul … well that speaks more about your quality as a human being then anybody else you were with. That's why magic never worked for you, or if it did, it generally ended up badly. To dabble in the Arts, you have to be WHOLE and pure of intent, which you never were."

"But I … when I agreed to all this as Xander Harris, I was whole then … right?"

"Right. That's because your other-self had already joined with you. Remember when I told you I knew you would accept the offer? That's because you already had in the past."

"But this … that … conversation hasn't happened yet, how do you know what was said?"

"This place…" Whistler waved randomly around his white surroundings "… exists out of time, and apart of it. I know that doesn't make much sense to you, but at this very second you exist at every chronological point of existence. Past, Present & Future. Outside this room however, time flows normally, but with a little, to a lot of practice, a being can visit any period they want.

"That's how I selected you, I already knew the importance of the contribution you made to the Slayer, and already knew what you bought to the table with the Pod Squad." Laughing at the furrow brow of 17 year old as he tried to grasp Fourth Dimensional Chrono- Physics the Balance Demon concluded "See what I mean about Paradox's. Its can be a bit of a brain twister."

Deciding that this was indeed beyond him, the figure of Alex Whitman looked towards the Demon "So what happens now? Do I go to Heaven?"

"Sure, your own personal version of Heaven, juuussssttt not at the moment. You'll have to wait until Harris joins us here. Otherwise, it's just another Paradox."

AleXANDER suddenly did a mental calculation, to the date he died as Alex Whitman, to the time he would be killed as Xander. "You expect me to wait nearly two years? I have to stay here for two years? Why don't we jump ahead to the meeting, you said this room exists at all moments of time?"

A cheesy smile graced the Demon's face as he answered the Dual-Lifer his question "Nope not goin' to happen, you're needed to do something important. I managed to pull some strings and called in some favors. I've got you temporarily assigned as a Guiding Spirit."

AleXANDER just wanted it to be all over. This was becoming frustrating, but the former Roswellian had a feeling that wasn't going to happen until the PTB wanted it to be. "OK, I'll bite. What does a Guiding Spirit do exactly?"

Still smiling, the Demon continued "Exactly? Well they provide guidance to their assigned. Help them cope. But they must never influence; you cannot ever, EVER impart your thoughts to them. That's a BIG NO-NO! The Guy's upstairs are very strict on free will. If your 'assigned' asks you your opinion – don't offer it. You present them with the facts, and let them chose their own path.

"At the beginning, until you get more practice, you'll only be able to show up in their dreams, but give it a couple of weeks, maybe months, and you will be able to present yourself to them while their awake."

With an exhausted, defeated voice AleXANDER replied "OK who's my assigned?"

"Alright kid, I told ya I pulled some major strings, so you owe me big time for this. Who's the one person you'd love to see again?"

"Aside from my family - Mom & Dad – my Roswell Mom and Dad, it would be Isa….*" As the smile on the poorly dressed Demon lengthened into a grin, AleXANDER knew who he was to be responsible for, and his heart sang and sank. "….Isabel? You've got me assigned to Isabel?" He then roughly shook his head. "NO! I won't do it, anyone but her."

"What? I thought you'd be over the moon."

"You thought wrong. You're asking me to be a witness to her life and not be apart of it. I can't do that – I won't. Give me someone else, Willow, Dawn, the Slayer; assign me to Buffy, just not Iz … please."

"Sorry kid, your allocation has already received the green light from Up-High, if you know what I mean. I know you have the hots for Summers as well …*"

"* I don't. That was, as I figure it, close to twenty years ago, give or take. Yes, I cared a lot about her, as I do the rest of the Scoob's, Buff was, and will always be important to me; I'm not going to deny that. But she no longer holds any place here," The young man seriously taps the center of his chest with his right middle and index finger. "… that now belongs to someone else.

"Look, we both know Buffy, Willow, Dawn, and Tara … Hey, what about Tara - assign me to her. They're all going to go through some hard times in the next couple of years, and any of them can use some MAJOR guidance. Your Bosses will surely recognize the importance of a fully functioning Slayer Unit? Iz is strong; and she's got Max, Liz, Maria, Michael … Hell, everybody. They'll be there for her."

"Yeah, they will. But she need's you. YOU gave her piece of mind, and she needs that. Now, more then ever. Asides, if you go and help the Slayer, we get that whole Paradox thing again. If Blondie doesn't give up on life when her mother dies, she doesn't jump through the Hell Portal and dies herself. Then you guy's will never resurrect her. If she doesn't get resurrected, she won't go through the whole 'woe-is-me' phase and lay down with toothless. She won't then break up with him, which won't send him over the edge and get his chip removed. After which, he will then not come back to SunnyDale, get dissed by the Slayer and end up torturing and killing you. Thereby not allow any of this to happen.

"Besides, Isabel needs you. Look - one visit, one minute at the most. If you think she can deal without your help, I'll go to the PTB myself and have you reassigned. But if not - help her."

Reluctantly AleXANDER extended his hand and accepted the conditions. "When do I start?"

"Now is as good a time as any, she just cried herself asleep five minutes back. Your friend, the Sheriff, has told her that you died in a car accident four hours ago, you actually died 9 hours earlier. Max tried to revive you using his Mojo, but Tess did too good a job mangling up your body to fake a car crash. The Kid got no where."

"Whistler, just out of curiosity, why does my body always end up looking like I lost ten rounds to a Wheat Thresher?"

"Beat's me, must be the company you keep. Anyway, she blames herself because she thinks you were on your way over to your date with her *"

"* Alright, I don't want to hear anymore. How do I get started?"

"Simple, just think about her – Hard."

"That's it? OK, I can do that, simple …………………………………*"

Chapter 2c


[OK, 'The Crashdown' not exactly what I was expecting … but hey, it's Isabel's dream. Everything looks fine, no nightmarish qualities here.] Peering through the crowded Dinner, the figure of Alex Whitman spies his subject, and approaches the Booth. [Alright, be casual. Nothing happened, certainly not a brain fried death.]

Alex: Psst.

Isabel: (Jumps up, startled) Oh, Alex! Oh my God, I thought you were dead. (Isabel embraces AleXANDER tightly)

Alex: Aw no, no. Listen, that was, that was just a big misunderstanding. Everything's fine, right? Sit down … sit down. (AleXANDER directs her back into the booth, and sits on the cushioned seat opposite her.)

Alex: Soooooo, how're you doin'?

Isabel: Fine. (Isabel smiles manically) Fine, now.

Alex: Good, so have you made any decision about college yet? [Keep it lite man.]

Isabel: Yeah, I think I'm gonna stay. Graduate with Max and you guys.

Alex: Good. Good, cause I'd miss you if you were gone.

Isabel: Yeah, I would miss you too. I just, I just don't want to be away from you anymore.

Alex: No, ah, no worries about that – I'm not goin' anywhere. Except for Band Practice. See, I'm runnin' late, and the guys are waiting for me, so I gotta jet.

Isabel: Yeah, yeah. (Isabel then leans over and kisses AleXANDER goodbye)

Alex: OK (emphatically) I'll see you later.

The White Zone.

As AleXANDER closes the front door of 'The Crashdown' he re- materializes back into the White Room.

"So kid, what do you think? You in, or out?"

"I'm in. But let's make one thing perfectly clear, she's my responsibility – MINE. The PTB stays away from her, and that goes for the rest of my friends. I won't have them jerked around."

"Ultimatums? Do really think that's a good idea kid, especially too Being's that are used to giving them, not accepting them?"

The height and size of Alexander Whitman didn't pose as an intimidating figure as his other body, but he was still a good 10cm taller then his White Room companion so he pressed this advantage as best he could as he invaded his 'new friend's' personal space. "I don't give a Rat's. My friends are off limits – end of Story."

"Fine, if that's going to be the Deal Breaker, you've got it. No interference." The Balance Demon then straightened up his attire, tucking in his shirt and straightening out his brown leather jacket. He then looked up to the young face that was looking down on him. "WHAT?"

"What did you do Whistler? Why are you here? I remember Buffy mentioning your name once, and I cannot imagine this as a promotion. What happened?"

"That's private kid."

"So I'm right, this is a punishment of some kind."

"Yep. And a deserving one."

"Whistler, I'm not going anywhere, at least not for another year or so, and neither are you. So you might as well come clean, we're going to be spending a lot of time with each other, so in the words of a friend of mine – Spill."

"OK … ok, I misjudged someone."

"That's it? That sounds like an honest mistake to me. Stuff like that happens, and for that you end up here?"

"Yeah, but it's a bit more complicated then how I make it sound, this mistake nearly got the World sucked into Hell by Acathla."


"Yep, the guy was never supposed to fall for Summers Snr, he was never suppose to become Angelus again. Angel was supposed to stay in the background, and lend a hand when he could - that was it, not get his rocks-off. But then he goes off and becomes a Demon again, and screws up everything. Anyway his 'adventures' came to the attention of my Bosses. They weren't impressed, even when the Day gets saved, with small thanks to you, head's still have to roll for the blunder. So they put me here, until … well, some major wrong gets righted.

"Sooooo, going off the subject, and back on topic. What made you change your mind about your Honey?"

Taking a step back, and turning around to face nothing, AleXANDER answered his RoomMate. "You were right, she's a mess. She's still beautiful; she'll never be anything less. But her eyes, when she saw me, her eyes were desperate. I've never seen Iz display any form of desperation before. You were right, she needs piece of mind, and if I can offer her a sense of closure, and help her move on with her life, I will. It's the least I can do."

"Like I said kid, you're a true Hero. When are you going to see her again?"

"I'll give it a few days, a week. That will provide her with the opportunity to mourn and grieve with family. If I start showing up … I don't want to mess with her 'healing', having her think she's going insane - thinking she's seeing my ghost. I'll do it a little at a time, enough to do my job, but also enough not to mess with her life. I'll let her think I'm just a manifestation of her memory of me."

"Sounds smart kid."

Chapter 2d

One Week Later (after Part 2c)

[Still the Crashdown? Iz, you really need a life. Same Booth as before – hey why mess with a classic.] Again AleXANDER approaches his Dream Girl and sits in seat opposite her.

Isabel: Your not really here are you?

Alex: No, you're talking in your sleep.

Isabel: God, I wish I could really talk to you Alex.

Alex: (leaning forward and taking her hands in his) I'm the next best thing. What do you want to say?

Isabel: That I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

Alex: Me too.

Isabel: I never should have called you.

Alex: I called you, remember?

Isabel: I never should've bought you into any of this.

Alex: Any of what?

Isabel: Me. My Life.

Alex: You think being with you had something to do with what happened?

Isabel: Yes, I do. I don't know how, but … God, if you hadn't been involved with me…

Alex: Hey, if I were really here, I'd tell you 'you're full of crap.' You know that.

Isabel: Yeah, but it wouldn't make me feel any better.

Alex: I better go.

Isabel: Why?

Alex: I'm not making things any better for you.

Isabel: NO, please. Please, don't go. Don't leave me.

Alex: I'm already gone Iz. This is but a dream, one that you will eventually wake up from.

Isabel: Will I see you again?

Alex: That will depend on you. But I have a feeling; I wouldn't want me to be here (AleXANDER then leans over and kisses Isabel). Bye Isabel (He then walks to the Restaurant's door)

Isabel: I Love You Alex.

Alex: I think we both know, I loved you too.

The White Room.
One month later.

With little less then anything to do, the unlikely pair begin to develop a unique friendship in their White surroundings. Within a short span of time they become as close as brothers, as Whistler becomes Obi Wan to AleXANDER's Luke. During their tutorials, Whistler has been successful in instructing the 'Guiding Spirit' to be in tune with his assigns wants and needs, so he could emotionally feel when Isabel needed comforting and direction. The young student also begins to develop the ability to visually appear to the eyes of his subject during periods of alertness.

But there was still a barrier Whistler was hesitant to pass with the young man, but today (as if time mattered in the White Room) he was going to broach the subject. It was directly after their latest 'spiritual workout' when the Balance Demon was able to find his voice and touch on the issue "Errrrrr Kid … AleXANDER, why don't you ever talk about Sunnydale? I mean, I respect your focus to Isabel, and the rest of your Roswell buddies, but the Slayettes were your friends too, and you never mention them unless I bring them up. Why is that?"

This was not a topic the physically appearing 17-year old wanted to discuss. He and Whistler had shared a lot with each other over the weeks. But this subject, he thought, was understood as a 'No-Go Zone.'

Silently he faced his Mentor and answered "Because I hated my life there, everything about it I hated. I hated my parents, and I hated the fact that no matter how much I tried, school or relationships, I kept falling on my face.*"

"* Is that how you judge yourself kid, on whether or not you got an A+ or a C-, or who you were swapping bodily fluids with? Because if that's true, then Angel is not the only guy I've misjudged. OK, your life on the Hellmouth, may not have been perfect; your parent's wouldn't win any prizes. But they weren't your family, not your family of choice anyway. You mattered. You should be proud of everything you accomplished as Harris, you contributed a lot."

"Sure as Xander Harris I contributed more to the World and the Slayer, then I did as Alex Whitman to the guy's. But Alex never felt, and forgive the pun, alienated.

"Max, Michael, Iz, they accepted me, for me. They never tried to keep me from helping them, and they never rubbed it in telling me I shouldn't do things because I was just normal. Infact, I got the impression that they were envious of the fact of was Joe- average. To them, I was part of the team. I mean Michael had issues at the start, but that was only because I was a stranger and he didn't know if I could be trusted or not. But Buff, Willow, Giles … I swear, I had to push myself on them to even be considered to go out on Patrols. Hell, Oz had more support – Why? Because he was a Werewolf. So what! Three day's of the month, we had to put him in a cage, the rest of the time he was normal … well as normal as Oz got. I could take him during his non-wolfy days – no sweat. I had more field time then him and Willow combined, and they tried to keep me out of the game. Hell, I think I even clocked more Patrol time then Giles, and still … The Pod Squad never kept me out of the loop.

"Look, I don't mean to sound bitter, because I love the Scooby's, I do. It's just … I was their comedy relief, when things got heavy. I was there to lighten the atmosphere. And that's how I think they saw me, not as a contributor, but as a Clown – and I hate clowns."

"So, it's about ego."

"No. It's other things as well. Spike for instance, Buffy knew he had returned to SunnyHELL, and she did nothing. He attempted to raped her – left to parts unknown, came back, and she did nothing. Even after he told her he had a chipectomy. But did she tell anyone – No. I was a lamb to his slaughter.

"Willow went to the Dark side and killed someone, maybe it was deserving, maybe not – the fact is, it wasn't her call to make, and then she even tried to destroy the World. Dawn became a Shoplifter, and do you believe this, she even started to look up to that animal, Giles went back to Merry Old, and Anya preferred to return to her Vengeance Demon gig then try and work things through with me – Oh yeah, and she also slept with Spike. My last year there as Xander was the worst. At least in Roswell, I had some truly happy moments. So forgive me, if I prefer to dwell on happier times, then the crappy ones."

"Kid, you think you know yourself so well. Well I hate to break it to you, but you don't. You were the glue that held them together. Look, I can't speak for the things they got up to and did prior to you joining me here. But I promise you, they never thought of you as a Clown. Do you think it was a co-inky- dink that when they did the Joining Spell to go against A.D.A.M. it was you they selected to be the Heart. You where the Heart, because you always were their Heart. Just think that over."

"Fine, I'll think it over. But it doesn't change the reality that I enjoyed my life more as Alex then I did as Xander." Suddenly the young man's body stiffened. "Whis, I hate to have to run. But Isabel, she need's me. I gotta go."

"Then go, and serve your assigned. I'm not going anywhere."

And with that Alex Whitman evaporated into thin air.

The Roswell Cemetery
Alexander Charles Whitman's Grave.

[Oohh Man, morbid much Isabel? What are you doing here … I thought you were getting better.] The ghostly figure approaches the one whose heart had called him. As he nears his assigned, the young Guiding Spirit observes tear tracks down her cheek.

Alex: Long time no see kiddo.

Isabel: Alex! Oh God, I … I just wanted to say goodbye.

Alex: Goodbye? Where are you going?

Isabel: Home. Where going home. Max, Tess, Michael and me, we're going home. Tess and Max's baby won't be able to survive in Earth's atmosphere when it's born. So where all going home.

Dread suddenly consumes the apparition, the group hadn't discovered that Tess had killed him or has been playing them all. His clues, granted they were obscure – but he couldn't risk them being blatant, had not been worked through. Tess was going to hand over Michael, Max and Isabel – The Royal Three, for immediate execution to save her own neck upon their return. They were all going to walk into their own deaths.

He could tell her this, he could warn her. But the words of Whistler informing him of non-interference to the decisions of assigned and 'Free-will' suddenly echoed in his ears.

Alex: Wh … What about your life here. College. Your Mom and Dad? What about them?

Isabel: I know. But this is Max and Tess's baby, and Michael has always wanted to return. It's a one time thing, and it's all or nothing. I can't refuse to go, what about the Baby? It would be selfish.

AleXANDER wanted to scream the truth, but he couldn't. Isabel would have to go her own way, chose her own path. As a 'Guiding Spirit' all he could do was present the fact's that she was already aware of, and support her.

Isabel: But how can I leave now, I haven't even lived yet.

Alex: I … I know how scary it is to have to leave … leave this world, but as it turns out, it's not so bad. Your heart is your heart; your soul is your soul. That doesn't change.

Isabel: Why should I listen to you? You're not even real – you're just a figment of my imagination.

Alex: Well then you should REALLY listen 'cause it's coming from within you. If you want to go home, go home.

Isabel: Home to what? I was a terrible person where I come from, I betrayed my own family. And what is home anyway? Half of me is from there, half of me is from here. What make's one half more important then the other?

Alex: Well, that's what YOU have to figure out.

Isabel: Yeah. Alex, that night at the Prom, when we danced – it was one of the best nights of my entire life, and I never got to tell you that.

Alex: [You just did] (holding out his hand to take hers, AleXANDER did a gracious bow) My Lady?

The two then dance together, but to the casual observer who might be passing at that time it would appear that Isabel is dancing with no one.

The White Room.
Directly after AleXANDER's visit with Isabel.

"Whistler, we've got to stop them – to warn them." The former Honor-Roll student is pacing back and forth in front of the Balance Demon.

"Don't even think about it kid." The Demon the point's to the ceiling "They see all, and know all, you do this and you're on your own. Remember the rules. You cannot interfere with free- will."

A smile then snakes across the puppy dog frown of the young man. "Whistler?"


"What if it's not free-will, what if someone had it taken away from them? How can I interfere if I am giving it back?"

"I'm not following you kid, what do you mean."

"When I, Alex Whitman, was killed by Tess. Kyle Valenti was there, he had just walked in on the conversation we were having. If I know Tess, she would have Mind-Wiped him second's later. SHE blocked that memory; therefore SHE took his free will from him."

Returning the 'Guiding Spirit's' sly smile, Whistler had to concur. The kid just found himself a loop hole. "You know what Alex; ya should have become a Lawyer. Because that just might work."

"Right, let's get started before it's too late." AleXANDER then vigorously rubbed his hands together, enjoying the thought of once more playing an active roll in the united welfare of his friends. "How do we do this?"

"Simple, like Isabel. Just think of Kyle, only focus on the last few moments of your life when he was there. And keep focusing, and eventually the Block should collapse."

"How long will it take, I mean we don't have much of a window of opportunity here."

"It depends upon the subject, and how focused you are. So stop yappin' and start zappin'."

The White Room.
5-Months Later.

The collapse of Kyle Valenti's memory block was successful, and with the exception of Tess, the remainder of the Royal Four remained on Earth. The weeks after the event flowed like water in a stream. AleXANDER remained in the White Room more often. Isabel's 'goodbye' at his grave was thought to be just that, she had finally moved on.

AleXANDER couldn't help but feel pain at this realization, so he threw himself further and further into Whistler's teachings. Then one morning during one of the 'sessions', the young man felt the almost forgotten, yet familiar tug. Isabel needed him again. Without saying a further word to Whistler the 'Guiding Spirit' disappeared.

The form of Alex Whitman materialized 8 hours later, with the look of devastation playing across his face.

"Alex, what's the matter?"

"She's … Isabel, she's getting married. She was undecided towards her feelings for this Jesse person, so she needed my help… So I helped her. He proposed, she said 'Yes'."


"*… Whis, I don't want to talk about it. I just want to be left alone." At this the deflated spirit just walked, and kept walking.


His voice startled the Balance Demon, which was not an easy thing to do.

"Do you have any idea how big this place is? I swear, all I did was walk. And in a straight line no less, and I'm right back to where I started." The smile on Alex Whitman's face was a peculiar sight to the unfashionably dressed companion.

"Kid, are you OK?"

"I'm better then OK. I've been doing some thinking, a lot of it. Whis, can I ask you a question, and will you answer it for me honestly?"


"I'm YOUR assigned, aren't I?"

Sucking the air through his teeth the reject from a seventies undercover cop movie answered "What gave me away."

"I recalled your speech, a Guiding Spirit is supposed to help their assigned cope, yet not interfere with their subject's free will. And I can't think of a single moment you didn't do any of those things for me."

"I always told you were smart, so what do you plan to do with this nugget of information."

"Simple, I'm going to get Isabel back."

"WHAT? Alex, your dead … have been for over 6-months now."

Looking his Mentor in the eyes. "I know that, but Xander's still around."

"Kid, that's a paradox. I warned you not to interfere with that."

"I'm not, I'll wait until he's dead and everything has reset itself right." Taking the Balance Demon's by the shoulders, and holding him fast so he could see the seriousness on his face, AleXANDER continued. "Like I said … I've done some thinking, and I've got it all worked out. All I need is three Aliens that can re-generate tissue, a Wiccan with experience in Resurrection Spells, and a Dimensional Key, to open a door-way."

"What about Heaven?"

"Whis, Heaven to me is not a place, its being with the people I love. So I'm asking you - Can it be done!"

Whistler stood silent for a moment contemplating the possibility, when he finally answered he didn't have to use words, his eyes betrayed the affirmative. "If were going to pull this off, your going to have to get ten times better, ten times faster. We only have another 14 months to you biting the Big One, and we can't waste a second."

"Then teach me Obi Wan."

Chapter 3

O213hrs 09/12/02
1630 Revello Drive, Sunnydale, California.

The Slayer awoke taking ragged and rough breaths of the night air, sweat glistening off her frame as it soaked into her sheets. It took her but a moment to recall the nightmarish horror that had disturbed her restless slumber, and a brief moment thereafter to recall that it actually happened. With this realization she inwardly muffed a scream, and recommenced reliving the worst night of her life in her head.

She had been working the Drive-thru at the 'Double Meat' when a call came in from Home. There was no reason given to Willow's urgent request to return imminently, except that she was needed. She probably would have dismissed this wish and waited for her break if she hadn't have heard Dawn repeating the words 'No, no,no,no!' over and over again in the background.

Ever since Willow returned from England their friendship had been strained, the only singular reason for them to 'Hang-out' any more was Xander. The shared friend had begged her to take Willow back into her home, and her heart. The home was easy; the heart was proving to be harder. But she promised her Xander-Shaped- Friend she would try. Besides, despite all the problems 'Dark' Willow caused - Dawn still loved the Wicca, and Buffy loved Dawn.

She got into her mother's 4x4 and drove with as much speed that was legally possible, on the way she fingered Xander's mobile number into her own. If something important was going down she needed Xander. It's funny how life works itself out sometimes, she never thought she would need anyone, but Xander she needed.

Ever since Willow went away and returned he became a continued presence in the Summer's household, and it was a nice one. Dawn had once asked him to move in, as he spent as much time there as his own Apartment, but he refused 'What would the neighbors think?' was his answer. She had agreed with his reply, but secretly she wished he'd have accepted. Only when Xander was around did she and Dawn feel as though they were a true family again. Her phone dialed out on the Construction Worker's number {probably trying to make time with Nancy}. She should have been happy for him. He deserved it, but instead she felt jealous, without realizing it Nancy was jeopardizing the 'Happy Family' she and Xander had created for themselves. The Slayer silently promised to touch on this matter further when she spoke to Xander again. Maybe it was time to take their friendship - their close friendship, to the next level.

Buffy pulled into her home's Driveway and exited her vehicle; everything looked fine and normal except for the blanket covering something on the front porch. Curiously she approached the covered mound, the closer she got the more coppery the scent in the air was. Buffy had seen more then her fair share of dead bodies over the years and she knew that this was probably another. She grasped the blood soaked edge of the blanket with her right thumb and index finger and pulled it away. Willow's startled warning came too late as the Slayer spied down upon her bestest male friend, naked and --- desecrated - butchered - DEAD.

Buffy staggered backwards and tried to balance herself on the porch rail. But it was not enough to balance her stomach as she evacuated its contents into her mother's favorite rose garden. The hours passed in a numbing blur for the Vampire Slayer. She stood silent vigil as Police Detectives and the Coroner visited. She didn't answer any questions; she had no answers to offer as she had arrived scarce minutes before they did.

It was these moments that she cursed her Slayer abilities, especially hearing. The Coroners whispered words to the lead detective echoed in her ears. This Barbary, she learned, on her best friend was not done post death, but pre. Xander was still alive when this cruelty was inflicted upon him. She could barely contain this news to herself as a chasm grew larger, and larger in her heart.

Then came the inevitable question spoken by one of the Officers to Willow, who had taken the role of the family 'Pillar'. A role Xander filled three months earlier when she had been shot and Tara killed. 'Did Xander have any enemies, or had received any threat's upon his life?' Willow answered 'No.' But they both knew that this was not an enemy of Xander's, this was her's. Why else would he have been left on her door step.

This was why she always tried to keep Xander in the background, Willow had magic, Giles had knowledge, Xander just had heart. At this thought another Police Officer who was combing the outer areas of the crime scene called out.

"Got somethin' over here." An overweight forensic photographer trotted over to where the 22-year-old Rookie was standing with a flashlight and took a series of crime shots then placed a metal peg in the ground. The item was place in a sealed plastic bag and bought over to the Primary Detective.

"What do you have?"

"A Human Heart, three guesses to who it belongs too, and the first two don't count, an' look at this --- something's taken a bite out of it like a goddamn Apple." It was only then did the Forensics Officer realize his mistake and looked past the Detectives shoulder and viewed the 22-year-old blonde looking down on them from the porch.

Yeah, sometimes she hated her Slayer abilities.

The two day's that followed were not easy ones; they never are when someone you love dies. But this was worse, because it was discovered by someone Buffy had tried her best to protect for the evils of her world. Dawn didn't eat, she didn't sleep, and she didn't speak. She didn't speak to Willow, and she didn't speak to her. Buffy didn't care whether Dawn didn't speak to Willow. But she did want Dawn to speak to her. Any clue, any information that she could offer her before 'SunnyDale's Worst' trampled over the property and destroyed crucial demon evidence was vital to avenging Xander.

With care Buffy pushed Dawn's room door open, there her sister lay staring at the ceiling, already dressed for the funeral that would not be held for another eight hours. "Dawn, Honey?" There was no reply to her gentle question. The elder Summer sister crept in and wiped the visible tear tracks from the teen's face. Her eyes were as red as Willow's hair now. "It'll be alright Dawnie, I'll find this thing, I'll make them pay - I promise, then Xan can rest."

As silently as she had entered the room she left and descended the stairs, carefully putting on her 'Sweats'. She passed Willow who was still hunched over her Laptop accessing sites that sold Human Organs. It was her theory, that Xander's missing 'Parts' may have been sold for Magical Incantations. Like Dawn, Willow too had not slept since the night. She knew how she must have looked to both women, being able to sleep - if you called the slumbering Hell she went through sleep. But it was the only way she could acquire one of her 'Prophetic Dreams', anything that would give her a clue. To find the guilty party she would relive the night over and over again for eternity.

But she had to admit, after two day's and numerous efforts there was nothing. And she was getting anxious. She had to do the unthinkable. She had to ask Spike for help. The chipped Demon always had his ear to the Underworld Rumbling's. If anyone knew who killed Xander, it would be him. Three day's ago he returned and she hadn't seen him since that run-in. He obviously took her warning to heart, but she needed him now. And regardless of whether he had become the BigBad again like he boasted, this would mean she would owe him a favor - A single get out of 'Staking' free Card.

With her mind made up she opened her back door, careful not to disturb Willow's efforts and proceeded to take the long and solitary walk to Spike's Crypt.


With 'Mr. Pointy' firmly in hand the Slayer opened the silent Crypt door, the emptiness surprised her. She took a dozen quiet steps, careful in not making a sound. Prepared for an attack from her former Undead Lover.

"He's not here."

Buffy spun around to face the unfamiliar voice. What she viewed was a late teen sitting cross-legged on one of the Tomb's sarcophaguses. The boy's face displayed sincerity and held a gentle and aged wisdom in his eyes.

"Who are you?"

The young man unknotted his legs and slid off his perch, a moment after his feet silently met the stony floor he answered the Slayer's question. "A Friend."

"I know who my friends are, thank you."

"Obviously not, or you wouldn't be here." The stranger maintained a healthy distance from the blonde as he walk the outskirts of the Crypt.

Buffy gripped her stake tighter as she repeated the question to the youth. "Who are you?"

"I thought you liked us tall, dark and cryptic?"

"I'm not in the mood for this crap. Tell me who you are, or I swear I'll rip your tongue out!"

An amused chuckle left the young man's throat before he answered the threat. "Sorry, but someone beat you to it. My name is --- "The young man paused for a moment, intently pushing some cobwebs out of his path. "I'm Tom Collins."

"Tom Collins? Isn't that a Cocktail?"

A smirk left 'Tom's' features. "What can I say, my parent's were alcoholics."

The Slayers brow creased "were?"

"Yep - their gone now."


"Don't be, I got myself some better ones."


'Long story Buffster, maybe I'll tell you some time."

The Slayer then took a defensive pose to Tom Collins. "Okay Mister, how do you know my name, and what exactly are you doing here?"

Not fazed on bit at the aggravated 'Chosen One' 'Tom' answered "I'm here for two reasons. One, the funeral tomorrow."


"Yeah, we were close he and I."


"You could say I was a leaf on his tree, yeah." It was only then that Buffy looked more closely at 'Tom'. The resemblance thou not apparent, was obvious. Especially around the smile and eye's, he supported the same lean frame, with short dark hair that Xander had at his age, as well as the same Jester like glint in his eyes.

Buffy felt a short spasm of pain at the memory of happier times when their life wasn't as complicated as they were now. Of times when Xander had asked her to the Spring Fling and she declined. If she knew of the Man he would become back then she would not have hesitated. But hindsight was always 20/20. She pushed the memory aside before she started to cry once more. "You were close huh?"


"He never mentioned you."

With a definite Xander Harris smile, Tom answered "Oh you know Xander; he's not one to brag."

Buffy politely chuckled; it was the first effort to laugh in the past 48hours. "The second."


"You said there was two, what was the second?"

Tom bowed his head refusing to look into the eyes of his former dearest friend, and casually pointed into a dark, dank corner of the crypt. "The second is to visit the scene of the crime."

Buffy followed the gesture to a pair of shackles affixed to the wall. Restraints she remembered using when she and Spike were --- together. She turned away, trying to exercise that experience from her mind, but then something caught her eye. A dark liqueur texture. She approached the area, and recognized it as coagulated blood - lots of it. She then followed the wall up to another stain. A stain that still had pieces of flat bone, chucks of brain, and on closer inspection stray dark hair. All the ear marks of the back of someone's head. Placing these facts together caused the Slayers stomach to once more knot.

"This is where --- Did Spike ---" Buffy couldn't complete the question. But Tom knew what she was asking.

"Yeah, this is where your pulse less Dildo tortured and killed him."

"He's not my --- How do I know you didn't*"

"*Because you do Buff. Y'know Spike did this, you have to. You couldn't be that in love with him that your still blinded by what he is?"

Buffy was stunned for a moment, it was as though she was hearing Xander's own words being passed through 'Tom's' lips. "I'm not --- I was never in love with Spike, that was a mistake."

"People make mistakes Buff, its part of being human. So don't make another."

"Trust me; I don't plan on sleeping with Spike again."

"I don't mean that - I mean let someone else handle Spike. You stay out of it!"

"I can't do that, Xander was my best friend, and I loved him."

"Then prove it, I'm telling you that last thing Xander would want is for you to do is go after Spike."

"You think I can't*"

"*One word - Angelus."

The Slayer's eyes widen with shock. "Who the Hell are you? How do you know these things about me?"

"Like I said - I'm a friend. Spikes Undead days are numbered, he just doesn't know it yet. If you want to play a part in this, then I need you to do something important for me. Love Dawn and Willow, they need your strength. I've got friend's coming --- I hope, from Roswell, New Mexico. Play it by ear, and treat them right. And I guarantee you'll get your revenge, and if everything goes well, something else.

"Just don't go psycho-Slayer on me, Okay."

Buffy looked at the young man, and for whatever reason she trusted his council. That was the 'Buffy' part of her soul; the 'Slayer' part wanted the Bleached Undead, Dust. But the Slayer could wait. Xander's funeral was in seven and a half hours, and this was his day - this was Buffy time. Buffy would keep the promise to this knowing stranger. "Fine, I'll wait - but not for long."

"You wouldn't be a Summer's if you were born with patience" With this last statement 'Tom' extended his hard to shake, Buffy returned the gesture, but as her flesh met his palm she received a slight static shock. She drew back and tucked the offended hand under under her left armpit.

When she looked back to the spot 'Tom' was standing seconds earlier, he was gone, as if he wasn't even there.



The White Room, in the White Zone.

AleXANDER Whitman/Harris materialized before and infuriated half- demon.

"You were supposed to tag her and scaddadle. What was all the yakity-yak."

"I need Willow and Dawn to be in the right mind frame, if their 'off' then all this is pointless. I won't be 'resurrected', and I won't be with Isabel. I needed her to promise me she wouldn't do anything that would jeopardize that. I love Iz too much."

"She's married kid, move on."

"NO! I gave up on one first-love; I'm not going to give up on a second. Especially a second who loved me back."

"You're prepared to break up a Marriage*"

"If she loves him, I'm no threat. If she loves me, we can build something together. Look Whistler, I'm tired of having this conversation with you. Are you on my side or not."

The balance demon muttered under his breath "Sure Kid, sure." Before answering with more gusto. "By the way, your Xander soul is enroute as planned; it should be in the room in eight day's. You've got eight day's to get your ducks in a row AleXANDER, past that, and I'm sorry - your Heaven bound."

"I know." AleXANDER Whitman/Harris combed his fingers through his hair, he was tired, but he couldn't rest yet, he'd come too far to rest now.

"So what now?"

"I pay a visit to Isabel, convince her to bring the guy's cross county to SunnyHell California, and then attend my own funeral."

"So what are you waiting for? Eight Day's remember."