Second chance

Author: Koos van Winden <van_winden_koos[at]>

Sequel to Second Blood

Disclaimer: none of characters are own by me

Parings: none

Feedback: there will be questions, I know.

Time Frame: After S7, 2003, Xander had joined the army. AU in the way that there are only about a hundred to hundred and fifty Slayers. I don't like the big numbers.

Thanks for betareading and plotanalysis: Danielle F Ducrest, Marcia and David Naumowicz

Authors notes: This will be a short fic in a series planned to come (I hope :)) See for the rest of the notes Second Blood.

Summary: Xander the Jack's wife and daughter. And they bring some problems with them

Crossover: Plural. You can guess.

Part 1

Later at the hospital

The doctor assistant, a vaguely Hispanic looking man, led the two women to Xander's room. "Here we are, this is his room. The doctor is in the room at the moment, but he is almost finished with a routine check. The patient is doing well," the assistant said.

Rambo, who had been waiting for them, greeted both women as the assistant went into Xander's room. "Hello, Lucy," Rambo greeted her after he kissed the sweet, but tough old lady.

Lucy let her hand caress Rambo's cheek. "Damn, Ram, you are still as cute as always."

Rambo chuckled. "You haven't changed a bit too, Lucy." Lucy smiled and stepped away to let her daughter greet Rambo. Rambo gave her a couple of kisses and smiled widely. "Cindy, how long has it been? You have become a fine young woman."

Cindy chuckled. "Only a few years, Ram. You know that."

Rambo smiled back. "I'm glad you got the message and were able to come over. Where are your daughter and the big guy, you call your husband?"

Cindy's face saddened. "That's why we came, Ram. Haven't you followed the news? John had quit his movie career and has gone into politics, 'cause he wasn't happy with the way how things worked in the army. Then he wanted to quit, it had gone too dirty for him to stay, he couldn't handle it anymore. But he is too popular. Matrix is a name that sells and they blackmailed him into running for governor of California."

"Blackmailed?" Rambo asked, hiding a rush of anger. "How?"

"They are holding my granddaughter, Jenny," Lucy answered for her daughter. "If he doesn't cooperate then they will do experiments on her."

Rambo couldn't hold it anymore. "Experiments!?"

"She is a Slayer, John," Lucy said, serious.

"What? How did they know? How did they catch her? How do you know?" Rambo rushed out.

Cindy took over the conversation now as Lucy tried to calm Rambo as she laid her hand on his shoulder. "You know how proud Jenny was of Jack and of her own father?" Rambo simply nodded, wanting her to continue. "All those martial arts she studied after Bennett had kidnapped her. It wasn't enough for her. She wanted to follow in their footsteps and went to join the marine core. She had followed the military training program at the base in San Diego before she was sent to Iraq. Then all of a sudden she was called back from Baghdad. She called me the last day she was there and told me that she was having weird dreams. That she had gained enormous strength, reflexes and agility. Above that she also felt a strong attraction to go to that strange city, Sunnydale. Apparently when she arrived back in San Diego a group of the military branch captured her and sedated her powers."

She sighed. "And Slayers? I know about them . . . there are so many of them, that they simply told us the truth. How do you know about them?"

"That boy in there, he told me about them."

Both women wondered how this boy knew about them, but decided that it's better to ask that later as they would visit him. Cindy looked almost pleading. "Over a hundred of scared teenage girls running around the world, John. We need to help them."

Rambo had listened to her carefully, his mind running about what or who could be behind this. He didn't have a clue. "That has been taken care of, Cindy," he said absently.

Lucy frowned at that, but she decided to let it go for now. She knew what he was thinking and shook her head. "They are a secret organization, Ram, called the Initiative. John knew about them. He did jobs for them. But budget cuts forced them to gain more political influence. They fight demons and they have connections in both the demon and the civilized world. They are so powerful that even John thought he couldn't do anything than to cooperate."

Rambo leaned closer as he laid his hand on her shoulder. "Have you told this to anyone?" he asked, very serious.

"I tried to contact the A-Team. But they are all MIA, I've no idea where they are. I haven't contacted anybody else."

Rambo nodded. It was a logical decision. The A-team were already legendary during the war and became national heroes as fugitives. But for now, he was thinking how the situation could be handled in the meantime.

Lucy stared at him, waiting for a reply. She looked worried in Rambo's eyes. "Why precisely did you call us here, John?"

Rambo was snapped out of his thought process and looked nervous. "You know about what happened with me, don't you?"

She nodded. She had avoided the topic long enough now. "Yes, I know, Ram. But we never knew what changed your mind. News reports said that you turned yourself in, and now you are suddenly the leader of a commando team."

"Strange things happen, Lucy. Slayers, demons, vampires. They are all true. There is more out there then we could realize. The reason why I turned myself in and the question of the Slayer problem lies in that room over there. His name is Xander. He lived his whole life in Sunnydale. That city was above a so-called Hellmouth, it's a port to another dimension, a hell. It radiates a mystical kind of energy which attracts both demons and Slayers."

Lucy's eyes widened. "Sunnydale? That's the same city as where Jenny was lured to."

Two doctors with a patient on a gurney suddenly rushed through the hallway. The patient was a big man and unconscious. "Excuse me! Excuse me! Emergency!" one of the doctors yelled with a Texan accent, while the other smiled gently at Cindy. At the end of the hall the gurney almost tumbled over as they turned the corner.

Rambo waited until they left and nodded. "Yes. And that city was recently sucked into the Hellmouth."

Both women had a questioning look on their faces. They new that the city was destroyed. It was on CNN the for weeks. But what really had happened remained unknown. Many strange things had been told about that city, but nobody knew what had been going on there.

He sighed. "For centuries that city was under the influence of strange phenomena. Things that you can only read about in horror books." His gaze at Lucy intensified as he told her the impossible, "That guy over there, he helped me, he brought me back." Searching for the right words, he continued, "His life had turned into a living nightmare, beyond that of the normal demons. He convinced me . . . he . . ."

Lucy looked worried. "What is it John? What do you want to tell us?"

Rambo lowered his gaze. It was so hard for him to remember it again. How could he explain something like this, while he was so emotional?

Lucy leaned in closer as she laid her hand on his shoulder. "You know you can tell me, John . . . Everything."

Rambo nodded as he looked at her again with sad eyes. "He . . . it's so strange, Lucy. He, Xander, is just a young man and yet he isn't. For more than seven years, he has fought at the side of the Slayer. Her name is Buffy. They formed a team, he, Buffy and a powerful witch named Willow. Together they fought demons, stopped apocalypses and saved the world -many times. They faced the most horrible things, faced their own nightmares, while they were just kids. They were helped by only one adult, Buffy's Watcher, Mr. Giles."

Lucy and Cindy listened intensely as he continued.

"Slayers and Watchers had fought the darkness for thousands of years. The Slayer is a girl endowed with mystical powers. The Watcher is a member of a secret organization that supports the Slayer in her tasks."

He continued explaining the whole Slayer business, avoiding the subject of Xander again until Cindy asked again. "He was the only one without powers, with no education in this fight. He fought with everything he had, with heart and soul. With his courage, his loyalty . . . his whole life. In one of those strange things that happened, he became a soldier for one night. He remembers it all. The codes, the fighting skills, the memories of the man behind the soldier. The memories are vague, but they are there . . ." Rambo swallowed as he wanted to continue while the two women where waiting expectantly. "He . . . the soldier, he . . . he was . . . Jack, Lucy," he finally said, forcing the name out.

Lucy and Cindy stared in shock. This wasn't a lie, this wasn't a dream. The expression on Rambo's face was enough to convince them of his sincerity. "J-Jack?" Lucy managed to ask.

Rambo nodded slowly. "Jack, Lucy. A part of him is Jack. It's really him. I can't hardly believe it myself."

"Is it really true? Jack's presence is in the boy that lies in that room?"

"Yes, Lucy. He is a strong, brave young man."

Both women looked in disbelief as Lucy chuckled nervously. "Yeah, that's typical Jack. He knows the right person to choose from."

Rambo laughed at little. "He sure does," he confirmed. "It was Xander who came after me, who prepared to die for me. It was him who brought me, Rambo, in with nothing more then a simple gun."

Both women where confused. They thought Jack had talked him out of it. Lucy knew that Rambo was very emotional about his slip into total bitterness, but she had to know. "What precisely happened with you and that boy out there, John?" she asked firmly.

Rambo knew she had the right to know, both of them. He took a deep breath and told them everything . . . When he had told them his story he felt broken man all over again. Lucy comforted him, despite the fact that this really had hit her as well. Cindy looked in total disbelief and at the same time hoping that it was the truth.

They were saved by the doctor, who came out of Xander's room. The doctor was an older looking man, with a big gray mustache and huge belly. He looked at them with a warm smile and introduced himself. "Hello, the name is Dr. Smithson. The boy is doin' fine, you can talk with him if you want."

Lucy smiled politely back. "Thank you, doctor." She looked at Rambo a she spoke kindly. "Cindy and I are going to have a talk with the boy. You want to come with us?"

Rambo looked up from the floor to her and shook his head. "No, I want to be alone for awhile, and you three deserve some privacy."

Lucy nodded in understanding as she and Cindy entered Xander's room.

Rambo walked over to a chair in the hall and went to sit down until he noticed that the doctor was watching him. He looked the doctor in the face as he wanted to ask the unspoken question, but instead his eyes widened when he recognized the doctor . . .