Sharpness and Pain

Author: lucindas43302 <lucindasiverling[at]>

Rating: PG-13

Main character: Xander

Crossover with Highlander.

Disclaimer: I do not own anyone from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, nor do I own the concept of Immortals from Highlander.

Distribution: Twisting the Hellmouth, Paula. If anyone else wants it, just ask.

Note: starts in season 5, but there was no Dawn(key)-Glory story arc. see TNL scenario 116)

Afterwards, he couldn't quite recall how the argument had started. He and Anya'd been having pizza, and somehow the conversation had turned to the future, and weddings, and then they were screaming at each other about bringing demons to the hellmouth and Buffy killing Anya's friends. There had been so much anger, so many harsh words... Then she'd accused him of being a selfish male pig who only wanted her to stay around for regular orgasms.

Xander had gone outside, his whole body flushed and shaking with rage. There had been a reddish haze to everything, and a rushing noise in his ears... He'd been afraid that if he'd stayed, he would hit Anya. Beat her until the screaming stopped just like his father had done to his mother. He didn't want to become his father, so he'd left, slamming the door behind him. How had they managed to do this to each other? Wasn't love supposed to make everything better? To help people through the rough spots?

"Being responsible is hard." He shook his head, wondering when life had become so complicated. Had it been when he'd got the apartment? When he'd got his job at the construction site? Or was it farther back, when he'd met Buffy and learned that monsters were real?

"Consider this your invitation to Never Never Land then." The voice had a funny accent, one that he couldn't place. But it was low, deeper than his own, and had a faint growl to it.

Xander turned, seeing a man about his own size, dressed in leather pants and a long leather coat, skin that was sort of cocoa colored, and this short almost non-existent haircut. Sort of reminiscent of Wesley Snipes in the movie Blade, but somehow, he didn't think this was one of the good guys. A raw looking slash went over his left eye, and the eye itself was vampire yellow. Flanking the ominous man were two other guys, both with the large shoulders that said 'linebacker' or 'thug' combined with the sharp teeth, yellow eyes and low brows that said 'vampire minion'.

"Really, I'm sure Never Land's over rated..." Xander took a step backwards, filled with a sinking feeling that this would go very badly.

Snarling, the minions lunged at him, while their leader stood there, a small smile on his face as he watched. Something seemed to snap inside Xander, and he glared at the minions, fist swinging at the first one. He was not about to go down peacefully, he would make killing him something they had to work for!

He even managed to dust the left minion, kicking him between the legs and stabbing him with a broken side of crate from the dumpster. True, it ripped his hand open and left a lot of splinters, but splinters were pretty low on his list of worries at the moment. He began to hit the remaining minion, cursing him the whole time.

That was right before something struck him between the shoulder blades, possibly a fist, with enough force to knock the wind out of him. His felt everything below the impact go numb as a cold hand pulled him back. Sharp fangs ripped into his neck, and he screamed in rage, in denial. As everything went black, his last thought was that he didn't want to die.

Xander woke up, his muscles stiff and sore. He felt as if everything was bruised, and there was something lumpy underneath him... Slowly, he sat up, blinking in confusion. He was behind a warehouse. He was laying on the ground in an alley behind a warehouse, on a pile of broken crates, empty and collapsed cardboard boxes, shapes of packing styrofoam... The afternoon sunshine was hitting him in his eyes.

What in the world had happened? Experimentally, he wiggled his feet, pleased that they moved, although they were a bit stiff. Placing his hand on his neck, he could feel his pulse and his rapid breathing. He was alive, everything moved. This was getting really confusing. Xander lurched to his feet, his head spinning a bit, and his stomach growling.

"This is too weird... I thought that guy was going to kill me." He shook his head, and noticed that he stank, a combination of sweat, blood, and... whatever it was that filled alley floors. "Uggh... I need a shower. Badly."

Slowly, he made his way back to the apartment. People didn't look at him, in fact, people made it a point not to look at him. Apparently, the Sunnydale Denial extended to battered, filthy guys staggering through the streets as well as vampires. HE made it to the apartment, and fumbled until he go the door open. He left his clothing in a path to the shower, shedding things as he moved. A hot shower would make things better... or at lest cleaner.

Everything seemed pretty much normal. Except that when he looked into the mirror, there weren't any bruises. No bruises anywhere on his body. He had a generous meal and put on clean clothing, still trying to figure out what had happened. Flipping on the television, he discovered that it was Sunday afternoon.

But he'd argued with Anya on Friday. Where had Saturday gone?

He tried to hide his confusion as he made his way to the Magic Box. He'd agreed to help patrol with Buffy and Riley, so he might as well make his way over. His arrival was noted with pointed non-attention from Anya, concern from Willow and Tara, and a muttered 'hello' from Riley.

"You never showed on Saturday." Buffy's comment sounded a bit annoyed.

Xander tried to shrug off her near accusation. "The weekend... sort of didn't go as planned. Sorry."

He sighed as he trailed after Buffy and Riley, regretting being dragged along as a witness to their idea of a 'working date'. Blech. He actually found himself agreeing with Spike about the dislike of Riley Finn.

Patrol went about as normal, various minions were slain, none of them the second follower of the coat wearing vampire with the scar. A pair of scabby looking things that had to be near seven feet tall attacked them but they managed to slay them.

Xander was trying to catch his breath, his ribs aching from being tossed into a tombstone, and the back of his hand and his forehead both bleeding. There was this odd prickly feeling, almost like a spider crawling over his hand. Worried, he looked, and saw...

Dancing miniature blue lightning crawled over the wound, and it was closing. Right before his eyes. The same tickling prickling sensation crawled over his forehead. The injuries were both gone by the end of the patrol, leaving Xander more confused than ever.

What in the hell was going on? He wished he had some idea. Any idea.