Second blood

Author: Koos van Winden <van_winden_koos[at]>

Pairings: None.

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters involved in this fic.

As always thanks for my betareader 3D Master.

Time Frame: After S7, 2003, Xander had joined the army. AU in the way that there is still only two Slayers.

Summary: Vietnam vets. Not always appreciated by public, they can go mad . . . until two old buds meet each other after a few decates.

Crossover: this is AU of a movie. You will reckonize which.

Author's notes 1: I wanted to use this idea in combination with other fics, but didn't know how. I have decided to post it on its own to the group.

Author's notes 2: I don't know much about the army or fighting wars. I just liked the idea, and wrote it. So comments about it are very welcome.

Xander walked to the small forest. His hyena instincts and soldier memories were kicking in high. His comrades were scared weasels, not used to a real fight.

Some of them even peed in their trousers. Xander couldn't blame them. He knew their opponent, he was very good, he was the best. Even though he was already sixty years old. Xander realized that, so he was extremely careful. But not careful enough. A self-made trap was cut loose and a chunk of wood, like a beam, with five large wooden pins connected at it, moved towards him with high speed. It happened when Xander was checking the higher part of the trees in a quick surveillance. It was enough and the pins bored into his stomach . . .


Xander was firmly held by the beam firmly as he groaned in pain. He looked up and saw through his wetted eye a man appear. It was the enemy . . . a one man army. The man stared at Xander while Xander used all his power to remove the pins. The man walked towards Xander and laid his hand on the wooden chunk after Xander had removed it. With an amazing will power Xander was still able to stand. His rifle had fallen to ground and he was unable to pick it up. But he still had his own gun and grabbed it from its holster. He tried to aim it at the man, but he was quicker as he grabbed his hand and held it firmly.

"You walk and act like a trained and experienced soldier, boy," the man said, slowly, and with a heavy voice.

Xander just stared at him and at his hand as he tried to free it.

"That was an incredible amount of will power and bravery," the man continued. He stared into Xander eye. "You must be in real pain."

Xander looked away and removed his other hand, which supported him in his standing, to remove the man's grip on his hand.

"You don't know when to stop," the man said with some admiration.

"I . . . I . . . You are . . .under . . . arrest," Xander stuttered through his pain.

For the first in a long time the man let out a soft smile. "You're killing yourself, boy." Xander tried to react, but pain was the master at the moment. "I don't want to kill you. None of you. I just wanted to be left alone. I didn't start this war, the sherrif did."

Xander forced himself to speak. "It has started . . . now . . . you can only . . . stop it."

"I'm not going to stop it. They treated me as dirt and . . ."

Three guys surrounded them. "Give yourself up, Rambo! "

Rambo wanted to remove his hand, but then the boy in front of him could shoot. Of course he could kill one of the guy's with his knife, but that would leave the other two free to shoot. Talk was now the tactic. "I have the boy as hostage. I can snap his neck in an instance."

They stood there in this way for some more minutes, until an old grey man arrived. He stumbled closer and joined the other three. He wove his hands. "Back off guys. I will talk to him." He looked at Xander. "Release your gun, boy," he said calmly. Xander shook his head slightly, moaning. The old man grinned slightly and turned to Rambo. "Let the boy go, Rambo. I know that you don't want to kill him."

Rambo refused. "You trained me not to have mercy, Colonel. Everything and everybody can be a threat. You all back off and leave me alone and I will let him go."

The colonel shook his head. "These are civilians, Rambo. They are the ones we have to protect, not to kill."

"Those civilians have started this! They threw me in prison. Me! The most decorated soldier of the army, the best, legendary, under the commando's, who had fought for his country for years!"

The colonel shook his head slightly. "I know. I will hold them responsible for this, but you have to let him go."

"They told me that we were baby killers. That we killed innocents, women and children for oil. Fucking damn! My best friends died! . . . My comrades!"

"Let him go, Rambo!" the colonel ordered.

"No! He lets the gun go, and you let me leave."

"Let the gun go, boy," the colonel tried in another way.

Xander forced himself into talking again. "No, I . . . I can't let him . . . go."

"You'll die," Rambo tried to convince him.

"Then . . . I'll . . . die," Xander simply said, while he looked down in pain. "Again," he said. Xander expression changed as he continued. "It . . . it won't . . . be the first . . . time, with my . . . guts . . . open," Xander said in a slightly different tone and accent, "and you . . . trying to . . . stop . . . it."

Rambo stared at Xander and shook his head lightly, confused. "Jack?" he asked bewildered.

Xander/Jack nodded slowly and chuckled lightly. "It's me . . . Ram. Your worriest . . . nightmare. I told . . . you that you . . . couldn't get rid of . . . me."

"Jack? How? You died . . . in my hands."

Xander/Jack went serious. "Yes, I did . . . And . . . I . . . I told you . . . to take . . . care of . . . yourself . . ." Xander/Jack looked up at Rambo's stunned face. "My spirit . . . my memories . . . they . . .somehow got . . . into this . . . boy." At Rambo huge eyes the soldier continued. "There is . . . is more then wars . . . between . . . nations, John. There is more . . . more . . . in the world . . . Call it . . . fate . . . a higher purpose . . . to let . . . let me . . . join this guy . . ."

Rambo eyes got wet as his emotion went from anger to a combination of sadness and happiness. "Jack?" he asked again, "Jack! It's really you! Jack!"

Xander/Jack simply nodded.

"Jack. You died in my hands . . . I told Lucy . . . She . . . she cried, Jack. I couldn't help her. I couldn't be there for her . . . I . . . cried, Jack. You were one of my only friends . . ."

Jack smiled through his pain and nodded. "Typical . . . Lucy, she was . . . is . . . the best, I was . . . a lucky . . . man. It's okay . . . I know . . . what friends . . . mean . . . to you, John."

A tear rolled over Rambo cheek. "She is still alive. Your daughter too, Jack. She has a grandchild, a girl. They are fine, I visited them often."

Jack nodded. "Thanks," was all he could say as his life drained away further and further.

"How? Why?" Rambo asked.

Xander/Jack thought for a short moment. He strengthened himself, regaining some life force in his body by sheer willpower.

"I can't tell, John . . . But I can tell you why you need to give this up. This boy, he fights another war, but he isn't trained for it like we did . Fate gave me a chance, gave him a chance, to help him. He joined our missions to better himself. You complain 'cause . . . public opinion . . . is against us, but he . . . *he* fights a war nobody even knows about and he is *not* even appreciated by his friends . . . his comrades. He fights a lonely war . . . a war with the mind . . . like you do now . . . a war against evil, like you hoped to do . . . and a lonely war against his comrades . . . who you had, John. People who really cared . . . for you." Jack waited to let that Rambo ponder this. "I wanted to ask you . . . to enjoy the rest of your life . . . you're an old man now, John." Jacked paused for a moment and continued. "But he . . . *I* . . . can use you . . . your skills . . . your experience. Not for the world, but for him . . . for me . . . also for me."

Rambo listed intensely as Jack tried to continue. "He knew . . . knew . . . it was you, John. He knew . . . what you . . . felt, so he . . . came to help. He won't let you go . . . no matter what . . . even if it will . . . kill him." Rambo didn't know how to react. His best friend, was talking him out of this. He looked to his older boss, the retired Colonel.

The Colonel nodded. "It's true, Rambo. He, Xander, contacted me immediately when he saw you on the news. He convinced me that he knew Jack . . . that he was Jack. He knows every little detail. I trust him, Rambo."

Rambo looked back to Xander/Jack and let the grip on his hand loose. Xander/Jack collapsed to the ground immediately. His strength completely drained.

Rambo hands reacted instantly as they rushed to catch him. "Jack! No, don't die. Don't leave me again."

Jack/Xander didn't react as he was unconscious.

The Colonel walked slowly to him. "The medics are here quickly, Rambo. He will make it, I'm sure."


A few days later in the hospital.

"He's gonna be okay, Rambo. You can talk to him," the Colonel said. Rambo nodded and entered Xander's room.

Xander laid in his bed, watching the ceiling and turned his head when he noticed someone coming in the room. "Hey, are you alright?" Xander asked gently. Rambo nodded, somewhat surprised by this question.

He walked to the chair next to Xander's bed and sighted. "Thank you for your help," he simply said. It was Xander's turn to be surprised, what Rambo noticed. "Not really used to slap on the shoulder or a simple thanks? . . . I know . . . Jack told me."

He laid his hand on Xander's shoulder. "The Colonel and I have talked to this brit, Giles, and he explained us . . ." Rambo chuckled, ". . . forced him to explain the whole situation."

He smiled now. "You know, all these medals I have got. I thought they were useless. I was wrong. They opened doors. A commando team under my supervision will aid you in your fight."

Xander surprise increased. "My fight?"

Rambo smile widened. "You're a soldier now, aren't you?" Xander nodded. "We soldiers work in teams, don't we? Well, you have found one, Captain."


Rambo's hand reached into his jacket as picked out a small box. "Jack, was a Captain. Now you are," he said as he got out an old medal and gave it to Xander.

Before Xander could react, Rambo picked out a different object from the box. "This was Jack's medal, a Purple Heart, he earned it after he died. I want you to have it."

Xander jaw dropped as he blinked.

Rambo slapped him gently on his shoulder. "You have deserved it, Xander." Rambo stood up and wanted to walk away, but faced Xander again. "I have contacted Lucy, she will arrive here any moment together with her daughter . . ."


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