The Lost Warrior

Author: Michael Wilson <wyrdradio[at]>

Rating: PG-13 to R

Disclaimer: Joss, Mutant Enemy, and a lot of other people own Buffy and the characters in this story. George Lucas owns everything in Star Wars. Highlander is owned by Rysher. Star Trek: The Next Generation is owned by Paramount and Gene Roddenberry. Dune is owned by Frank Herbert and his family. X-Men is owned by Marvel Comics. Dragonball Z is owned by Funimation/Toryami. Charmed is owned by Spelling Production/Viacom. The song "6 Underground" is owned, I'm guessing, by the Sneaker Pimps... and doesn't belong to me, I'm just using it cause I like it. Any song I use by The Doors... well, it is obvious I dont own them... just borrowing them. William Parker and Sarah Covington are mine. One on One is owned by Hall and Oates. Roswell is owned by Fox Studios and the WB Network. The people in the diner are from a semi-famous TV show that I have nothing to do with. I can get no money whatsoever for even mentioning them.. so dont even bother worrying, ok. Stargate SG1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. Elvis owns himself... and is still out there having drinks with the Aliens. Evil Dead is owned by Sam Raimi... I think. All I know is I dont own it.. even though it is a very good series of movies. I get nothing by writing this except maybe some kind words of encouragement and a few cheers... at least I hope.

Authors Notes: as always means talking while * * means thoughts. / / means another entity is talking to Xander. # # means telepathy.

Xander Harris... friend to the Slayer... was once again left out...

*Huh... where is everybody?*

Xander looked around the library and was shocked to see it empty.

"Hello... is anyone here?"

Silence... they were all gone.

*I thought we were supposed to all meet here at 6.*

Xander looked around, frowned and then sat down at the table to wait...


Two hours passed and Xander had fallen asleep... but was awakened when he heard voices outside in the hall. He lifted his groggy head and watched as the gang entered. He stared at them and waited for them to notice him... which they didn't.

"Hello... did someone forget me?"

The gang stopped talking and stared at Xander.

*Shit.. what does that look mean?*

Giles removed his glasses and rubbed them... then retreated to his office. Willow and Buffy walked over to the table and sat down... refusing to look at Xander. Xander frowned.

"What's up? Why was I not told about... whatever went on tonight?"

Buffy stared at Xander and sighed.

"You weren't here... so we just left without you."

She then added under her breath...

"Good thing too, you'd only get yourself hurt."

Xander stared at her. He had heard her and it hurt. He turned to Willow, who had heard it as well... and was nodding.

*They don't want to include me... because they think I'll get hurt? Why? They know that I'm not some fragile little cheerleader... hell, the worse I've had was a broken wrist.*

"You just left... without even leaving a note. Come on, Buff... that's not like you. I was only 10 minutes late."

Buffy shrugged and stood.

"Doesn't matter anyway... the night was a bust."

Xander glared at her and stood up.

"Well then... woo hoo for them... I'll just go home."

He turned and stormed out, ignoring them completely... then paused in the hall and smiled.

*Willow will come running out any minute... any minute now... just any minute...*

He leaned against the wall and waited... and waited... for 10 minutes... but no one came.

*They really don't care...*

He sighed, a tear falling down his check, and walked home...


Inside the library, Willow watched Xander leave and sighed.

"That was mean, Buffy, Xander looked hurt. Can't we.."

Buffy shook her head.

"No.. he's too weak. He gets hurt every time he goes out there. No.. I don't want him getting hurt... ever again.."

Giles walked out of his office and shook his head.

"You can't protect him, Buffy. He is capable of handling his own in a fight. He has proven that on a few occasions."

Buffy shook her head. She looked down at Xander's jacket, forgotten in his haste, and picked it up.

"He means to much to us... to me. I can't risk him getting hurt."

Willow nodded and sighed.

"But still... you could have explained it to him.. but to do this...its just cruel. He looked so sad."

Buffy nodded, tears forming in her eyes.

"I know, Willow, I know... but there is no other choice. There is too much risk involved. If he stays... he might die..."

They all stared at the doors and shook their heads. Giles sighed and shook his head.

"The boy isn't made of glass... Buffy. I don't agree with you... but I will do as you say."

He turned and walked back into his office.

Willow watched Giles leave and then shrugged.

"I guess your point of view makes sense, Buffy, but I don't like it."

Buffy nodded.

"I don't like it either, Willow, not one bit... but we have no choice."

They wiped their eyes and headed for home... hoping Xander would be ok and understand...


The days passed and Buffy and Willow saw less and less of Xander. It was as if he was avoiding them. It was during lunch that they saw him enter, spot them together... then turn and leave.

"That's it... I've had enough of this... I'm talking to that boy."

Willow reached out and stopped Buffy.

"No.. Buffy.. you cant... remember?"

Buffy nodded and sat back down.

"This sucks, Willow, it sucks so much. It's hurting him so much... I.. I can't stand it anymore."

Willow nodded.

"I know.. I feel the same.. but like you said, we have no choice. It's going to happen tonight... that thing is going to come up out of the Hellmouth and we have to be ready. I don't want to be there, but you need me and Giles to perform the spell. We don't need Xander. If he is here he will die."

Buffy sniffed and nodded.

"I know, Willow... but its just so hard."

She looked at the empty seat and began to cry softly.


Xander saw them sitting together and it was too painful to watch.

*They don't want me... and it kills me... so why even bother.*

He turned and ran... not caring where he was going... and stumbled upon Angel and Giles having a conversation. He hid and listened.

"So it's tonight... are you sure?"

Giles nodded.

"Yes.. it will awaken and attack at 10:45. We have to be ready an hour early."

Angel nodded.

"I understand... I'll get everything and meet you back here then."

He then turned and left through the back of the library. Giles turned and entered his office... leaving Xander watching in shock.

*Something big is happening and they are leaving me out... well, not if I can help it.*

He walked into the library and knocked on Giles's office door. The door opened and Giles jumped in surprise.

"Xander... what.. what are you doing here?"

Xander frowned.

"I heard everything, G-Man. What's going on? Why do all of you not want me around aynmore?"

Giles blinked in shock and sat down.

"Xander... I never liked what we were doing to you... but Buffy is my Slayer... and I have an obligation to go along with her wishes on certain things... like tonight. A Hellbeast is going to try to escape. We will be sending it back... if we can... and Buffy doesn't want you there. She believes you will be hurt and die."

Xander shook his head.

"I can fight, Giles... she knows that... but it seems like she doesn't care anymore."

Giles started to reply when Xander silenced him.

"That's it, isn't it... she thinks I'm a weak pathetic loser... that's why she has shut me out... well... this isn't happening..."

Xander smiled... he had a plan.

"You're not going to tell anyone I was here..."

Xander turned and stormed out the doors, leaving a shocked Giles behind him.

*Dear lord, boy... please be careful..*


Xander walked into the library just minutes before 10:45 and smiled at the group.

*Thought you would forget about me huh.. well, not a chance.*

"Hey guys... what's up?"

Buffy glared at Xander and stormed over to him.

"Xander... get out of here... we don't want you getting hurt."

Xander frowned and shook his head.

"Hurt? Huh? What's going on? Do we have to fight something? I'm can help... I can fight."

Buffy snarled and shook her head.

"You can't fight worth shit."

Inside, it was killing her.

*Please leave, Xander... if you love me.. please leave...*

Xander started to speak, but Buffy stopped him.

"Go... Xander... now. Its for your own good."

Xander stood his ground.

"No. Why can't I be here? Willow is here and I'm a much better fighter than her. How come she is staying and I can't... huh? Well, I'm staying and I'm going to fight. I'm not leaving and you can't make me."

Buffy frowned and slapped Xander, sending him flying.

"Xander, Willow is here for a reason. She is here to help Giles with the magic needed. You are not wanted or needed here! You've never been any help to us before! You get in the way! We'd be better off without you!"

Inside her mind, Buffy was screaming. It was ripping her apart inside to have to do this to him.

*Oh God... I'm so sorry.. oh Xander please forgive me... oh god...*

Xander stared up at Buffy, tears in his eyes, and just climbed to his feet and ran away. He ran blindly... not paying attention to where he was going.. and soon found himself at Gordon Cliff.

"... we don't want you getting hurt..."

"... you can't fight worth shit..."

"... its for your own good..."

Buffy's words echoed in his mind as he walked to the edge of the cliffs. He could smell the salt from the ocean as he drew nearer. He stared down at the frothing waters and blinked back the tears.

*They don't want me anymore... they hate me... and Buffy... she... she hit me...what's the use... it doesn't even matter anymore... I'm not important to them... they hate me.. along with everyone else. No one would miss me if... I.. weren't... here...*

It suddenly hit him. He knew that it was time... that they wouldn't miss him anyway, not after what Buffy said.

Xander wiped the tears from his eyes as he stepped closer to the edge of the cliff. He moved to the edge and looked down, swallowing his heart as it jumped into his throat.

/// Take me down 6 underground the ground beneath your feet
Laid out low nothing to go nowhere a way to meet.
I've got a head full of drought down here
So far off losing out round here
Overground watch this space
I'm open to falling from grace///

Xander moved to the edge and looked down, swallowing his heart as it jumped into his throat. *It's a long way down... but what's the use anyway...*

He looked back over his shoulder at the town and a single tear rolled down his cheek. "Bye... everybody." He then turned and stepped off into the open air, falling gracefully...

///Calm me down bring it round too way high off your street
I can see like nothing else
in me you're better than I wannabe.
Don't think 'cos I understand I care
Don't think 'cos I'm talking we're friends
Overground watch this space
I'm open to falling from grace.///

The wind whipped past his ears as the churning water slapped against the sharp jagged rocks below. They were a terrifying sight and suddenly the idea of killing himself seemed very stupid to his addled mind.

*Oh shit... I'm gonna die... but I don't want to die... I haven't seen Buffy naked yet!!*

As the water zoomed toward him, Xander called out with everything he had for help... hoping someone was listening...

///Talk me down safe and sound too strung up to sleep
Wear me out scream and shout swear my time's never cheap.
I fake my life like I've lived too much
I take whatever you're given
not enough
Overground watch this space
I'm open to falling from grace.///

Just a mere 20 feet from the crashing waves, something astounding happened. Xander's body began to flicker, partially disappearing then reappearing... until he faded away with a flash of light... leaving behind a sparkly outline of where Xander used to be...

Then... all was quiet... no sound except for the sound of the waves and what sounded like someone... laughing... in the distance, as Xander was taken... but to where...


Far away in a darkened mist-filled room, a shimmer of light appeared about 6 feet above the floor in the center of the room. Sparkling lights of every color danced about inside the light as a human figure began to form. Slowly, bit by bit, Xander began to appear... hovering above the floor. As the lights stopped, Xander dropped quickly, face first, onto the floor.

"Fuck! That hurt!"

Xander crawled up onto his hands and knees, bringing a free hand up to rub his bashed nose. He looked around, his eyes trying to see through the darkness, and sat back onto his feet.

*Where the hell am I?*

"Hello... anyone here!"

Nothing... no response whatsoever... and as he sat there, Xander noticed there was no sound to be heard either.

*Oh shit... I'm dead. I'm dead and I never got a chance to see Buffy naked. God how I wished I had let her open that raincoat...*

Xander down at himself and then started pinching places... his arms, his sides, his face... he then remembered his nose and began to wonder if he really was dead.

*I feel pain... my nose fucking hurts... so I can't be dead... and if I'm not, then where the fuck am I?*

Xander climbed to his feet and stretched, feeling his back pop. "Damn... my back only does that when I fall asleep on Buff's couch..." He looked at himself and then runs his hands over his face, franticly. "What the.. I have a beard started... but I shaved like what... 4 hours ago... and this feels like a few days worth of hair. Something is wrong here..."

Xander started walking, not knowing where he was but he was determined to find out. He walked for what felt like an hour before he stopped and rested. He sat down and felt his hand brush against something on the ground. Peering closer, he gasped at what he saw... a small red button, a button that matched the ones on his shirt. Xander looked down at his shirt and saw one button missing. It was at that moment that realization hit him... he had been walking nowhere.


Xander lay back onto the ground and closed his eyes. *Oh god.. where am I and why am I here. What did I do to deserve this..*

As he lay there, Xander moaned, "Oh man... I just want to get out of here."

"Why didn't you say so earlier?"

Xander jumped to his feet and looked around, panic in his eyes. The voice had come from all around him. It sounded male, kinda, and it was very loud.

"Hello... where are you?"

Off to his right, a small dot of white light appeared and then grew slowly until a large oval almost 6 feet tall appeared.

"If you want to leave... enter the light."

Xander looked at the light and felt a deep sense of fear wash through him. *Do I really want to do this...* He looked around himself and sighed. *Fuck this.. I'm going in.*

He moved toward the light, slowly at first then with more speed, until he was almost touching it. He reached out and felt a slight resistance, like touching the surface of water. Xander pulled his hands away and took a deep breath... then stepped through.


Xander emerged into a white room filled with light. His eyes, adjusted to the darkness, were blinded momentarily as he blinked a few times. As his vision began to clear, he could see that he was in a room that looked a lot like his doctor's office. There didn't seem to be anyone else in the room, but Xander was sure he had heard someone tell him to come in here.


Xander walked around, looking at the painting on the walls. He was about to reach out and touch one when the voice returned.

"Please take a seat, someone will be with you shortly... once we have finished choosing someone with whom you can communicate."

Xander thought about this. Why would they need to do that?

"Why... what's wrong with you... do you like, look funny or something. You're not demons... are you?"

There was a small chuckle and then the voice was back. "No.. we are not... demons. Our form is not something you would appreciate.. so we are scanning your mind for a comforting image. Please hold and think about said image."

Xander sat down and thought about it. *Comforting image... hmm.* He thought about a few people he knew and thought what it would be like to be talking to them... then suddenly it came to him. He smiled and began concentrating.

"Good... the image you are sending is quite strong. We will be with you shortly."

Xander smirked and rubbed his hands together. A few minutes later, a door appeared in the west wall and in walked... the centerfold for May 1987, completely nude.

"This image is comforting for you?"

Xander, his eyes wide, nodded. "Yeah.. very."

Ms. May nodded and sat down, her breasts bouncing as she sat. "Well... to begin with we are not from your world. We are from a galactic federation that spans over 1500 planets. We...."

The woman continued to talk, but all Xander could think about was the way the air made her body react... and the effect it was having on his. Drool was slowly trickling down his chin and his eyes were locked on her body, alternating between her breasts and... other places that Xander had only dreamed of.

"... and so when we heard your plea, we felt it was necessary to do something about it, so we transported you a waiting room where we examined your body and made sure you were not in possession of anything that might harm us... such as weapons or diseases. Once we were sure you were clear, we placed you in the mist room and waited for you to summon us, which you did. Now we are ready.."

The woman looked at Xander's eyes and then followed their line of sight to the two lumps of flesh hanging slightly from the chest wall of the image the young man's mind had conjured up.

"Are you listening to me?"

Xander jolted in his seat and blinked, his eyes watering. "What...listening.. yes. You're not from Earth but from another planet or something and you heard me and decided to help?"

"Something like that." The woman sighed and shifted in her seat, causing another reaction from Xander. She knew then that the form chosen would not work. "Excuse me... this is obviously wrong. I will return shortly."

She stood and then exited the room, a soft whine coming from Xander as she left.

*Man... I can't believe they actually did that. Shit! She looked ever hotter in person.*

A few moments later, the door opened again and in walked a man in his 40's dressed in a three-piece suit. He walked over and sat down.

"Now.. to continue..."

Xander was in shock. He wanted the woman back. "Hey.. wait a minute, where did she go?"

The man looked at Xander and frowned. "I am she... it was obvious that the form chosen was not one which would allow you to listen to what we were telling you, so I changed forms."

Xander blinked in shock. *He's her!!! Oh shit!*

The man waited a moment and then began again. "Now... as I was saying... we opened the gateway for you and brought you in here where we are not open to offering to return you to your world... once we have wiped your memory of what took place here... or we can equip you with a means of traveling to another world."

*Another world... that would be cool... and I wouldn't have to go back to people that don't even want me around anymore...*

"What kind of world?"

The man pulled a small bracer out of his pocket and held it out for Xander to see. "This device will take you to any world in the known federation... and possibly even to those we have not yet visited. As long as the location is clear enough in your mind, and if the planet actually exists, the device will find the planet and open a doorway to it."

Xander was in shock. He was going to be able to go anywhere... but he didn't know where to go. "I don't know of any other planet except Earth. Do you have a directory or something... like an idiot's guide to the universe? Something that will tell me about every planet, cause the only planets I know of are from sci-fi movies."

The man smiled. "We have been watching your planet for many years and were amazed to discover something. Many of the planets in your movies are actual planets. It appears that the people that have been writing those movies have actually stumbled upon real planets with real people. Perhaps there is some form of psychic phenomenon taking place... all we know is that the planets and people in many movies are real."

"*Wow...*" Xander smiled and began daydreaming about all the places he wanted to go. "I'll take it."

"Excellent." The man smiled and reached out for Xander's arm, placing the bracer on his left wrist.

"How does it work?"

The man stood and motioned for Xander to stand. Once Xander was on his feet, the man touched a button inlayed onto the bracer. "Speak your name and a few sentences. The bracer will bond itself with you and then all you have to do is picture where you wish to go and then if such a planet exists... it will find it and notify you on the clear crystal panel above the button I pressed. Then you can either open the doorway or save the location for later use and choose another... or you can save and open a gateway. It might be a good idea to save this location first, in case you have an emergency or a problem with the device... but first, your name and a few sentences."

Xander nodded and looked down at the bracer. "My name is Alexander Lavelle Harris... but all my friends call me Xander. I am from Sunnydale, California... in the United States of America... on the continent of North America... on the planet Earth." He looked at the man and raised his eyebrows. "Is that enough?"

The man nodded and smiled. "You may now go wherever you wish, and when you choose to return... picture this room. We are called the Eion... in case you need to use our name to help you."

Xander nodded. He was about to go when it dawned on him he was forgetting something. "What about money... for food and shelter and stuff. How will I find any?"

The man closed his eyes and began humming. A soft hum came from the walls and then the man opened his eyes again. "We have decided to grant upon you the ability to Keen. Keening is a form of technology so advance that the early peoples of your planet called it magic. It is examining an object and then replicating it exactly. This was, all you must do is find something, keen it, and then you will be able to make as many copies as you need. If you will close your eyes, I will place the ability into your mind."

Xander nodded and closed his eyes. A few moments later, a red glow filled his mind and he suddenly knew things he didn't know before.

"You may open your eyes now."

Xander opened his eyes and looked around. He felt different... slightly... and then looked at his hands. He still held the button he picked up before. He examined it carefully and then touched the place in his mind that had to do with keening. As he watched, a shimmer washed over the button and then a second button materialized in his other hand... giving him a second button that was identical.

"Wow... thanks. This will help a lot." Xander looked at the man and smiled. "I am really thankful you found me. Thank you."

The man nodded and stepped back. "You are welcome. Safe journeys." He then turned and exited the room.

Xander watched him leave and then looked down a the bracer. A grin crossed his face and he closed his eyes, picturing a place he had wanted to see for years.

Once he was sure he had the image correct, Xander opened his eyes and looked at the tiny screen. It was displaying the names of hundreds of planets, the names running across the screen so fast they appeared as a blur... until it suddenly stopped and showed one name.

"It's real!" Xander's eyes were wide in wonder. He was going to go to a place he had only dreamed of. He concentrated on the bracer and commanded it to open the doorway. A beam of light came out of it and formed into a glowing oval similar to the one he had seen earlier... but instead of white light, this time he saw sand and small adobe buildings.

Xander walked over to it and watched for a minute, wondering if it was real. *Time's a wastin... lets get movin.* He smiled and then stepped through, the doorway closing itself after he was past, leaving behind a empty silent waiting room... and a small red button that lay all alone on the floor... the only trace that anyone had been in there.


Hot dry wind blew into his face as Xander slowly emerged from the narrow alleyway into the bright light of twin suns. Shielding his eyes from the intense light, Xander looked around in awe, a child-like smile on his face.

*Damn... never thought I would ever see this place.*

Xander walked slowly out onto the street, dodging a rather large creature that almost ran him over. The... man... riding it hissed and yelled something at Xander in a language that sounded like a cat growling... but Xander got the impression he meant something along the lines of "Move your ass out of the way you fucking moron!" Xander nodded and backed away, watching as the rider and his creature moved on.

*Need to be more careful... and damn, I just almost got run over by a Bantha... this rocks!*

Xander looked up the street, looking first left than right and tried to figure out just where exactly the hell he was here.

*Hmm.. that looks right... and if I'm right then about 5 houses to the right should be a large pole and the road should fork off in two directions...*

Xander moved to his right, dodging droids and a couple of nosy Jawas, and smiled widely as he saw that his guess was right.

*Hot Damn! I'm in Mos Eisley.*

Xander moved over to the side of the street and tried to remember the exact location of the tavern... but his memory was a little rusty. He knew it was down one of these roads and then around a corner... but he wasn't sure which one. Sighing, Xander moved back onto the street and headed off down a random street.


It was about an hour later that Xander finally saw something he recognized. He grinned at the large steps leading down and ran over to them, hearing music as he reached the doorway. He stepped inside and blinked as his eyes adjusted to the dim light inside, smiling at how much cooler it was in the tavern than it had been outside.

*Wow... its just like the movie...*

Xander walked over to the bar and slid onto an empty seat. Looking as the creatures around him, he remembered to look for the nasty man and his friend... so as to not make them mad. He was in luck, they were at the other end of the bar.

Xander let out the breath he didn't know he was holding and looked at his reflection in the mirror behind the bar. His hair was covered in a thin layer of dust and it was dripping with sweat.

*Shit.. I look terrible.*

The bartender caught Xander's eye and began working his way toward him... but was distracted by what looked like a Rodian. Xander gulped, realizing he still had no money yet and if he didn't buy something, he would probably be kicked out... or worse, killed.

He turned to the hooded creature sitting next to him and cleared his throat. It turned and looked at Xander from behind smoky goggles.

"Excuse me... do you speak..." Xander was about to say English when he remembered where he was. "... Basic?"

The creature nodded. "Yes... somewhat."

Xander grinned. "Great. I'm new here... from off planet.. and I was wondering what kind of money is used here."

The creature made a sound that sounded like laughing and then nodded. It pulled out a small golden coin, a large green coin, and a flat card with writing on it.

"Eagles... Grekanas... and Galactic Creds. Any of these will work."

Xander stared at the money and nodded.

"May I see the cred... for just a moment. I swear I will give it right back to you... and you can watch me the whole time."

The creature nodded and dropped the cred out into Xander's open hand. Xander nodded his thanks and then, as the creature watched, concentrated on the cred. A shimmer of rainbow colored light washed over the cred and then vanished... with an identical cred appearing in Xander's other hand, which just so happened to be in his pocket.

Xander handed the cred back to the creature and smiled.

"Thank you... I think I have a few of those."

The creature looked at Xander and nodded, its body having grown more and more tense. As it stood and began to move away, Xander could have sworn he heard it say... "Stinking Jedi... better notify the guard."... but the sound seemed to come from somewhere deep inside his own head.

*Jedi... it thinks I'm a Jedi... and what about the guard... of shit, stormtroopers... that's what it meant. Oh shit, I'm screwed.*

Xander looked around, trying to see if anyone was coming for him... but saw nothing. It was then that the bartender reached him and asked what he wanted. Still wanting to hang around a bit, Xander looked to his right and saw something that looked harmless. He pointed to it and asked for one of those. The bartender nodded and handed him a tall glass filled with a blue milky drink.

"Thank you."

Xander handed him a cred, having been bust copying them inside his pocket, and from the look in the bartender's eyes, it wasn't enough. He pulled out another... and then a third, before the bartender nodded and walked away.

Xander spun around on his seat and sipped his drink. It tasted like chocolate milk, with just a hint of blueberry or blackberry... overall, not too bad. He took a longer drink and saw something he wasn't expecting to see. Across the room, in one of the booths, sat a man Xander was very familar with. The man was famous across the known galaxy for being wild and crazy and the best pilot alive. Xander smiled and just stared at his idol... the great Han Solo himself.

*Oh wow... he's here... then that means I might be at the start of Star Wars... I wonder.*

Xander finished the rest of his drink and hopped off the stool. He started to walk toward Han's booth when someone bumped into him. Without thinking, he did something very stupid.

"Hey... watch where you're going."

The moment the words came out of his mouth, he knew he was in trouble. The man turned toward Xander and growled.

"Do you know who I am, little man. I have the death sentence on 15 planets."

Xander paled and began to back away.

"I'm sorry... it was my fault..."

The man leaned in and raised a blaster, pointing it toward Xander.

"Too bad... you pissed me off... now you die."

With fear screaming in his mind, Xander tried to back away as fast as he could.. bringing his hands up to protect himself. All he could think of was trying to get away, hoping with all his might that the guy would either drop the blaster or a miracle would happen and the blaster would be knocked out of his hands.

The man took aim and was about to pull the trigger when the blaster began to shake. He looked at it and then looked at the boy before him... and the glazed look in his eyes. He was about to say something when the blaster was suddenly ripped out of his hands and thrown across the room.

*Holy Shit!*

Xander looked in shock at the blaster as it flew across the room... to exactly where he wanted it to go.

*Did I do that???*

He saw the man's eyes narrow and then a low growl began rumbling in his chest.

"Jedi... I should have known. You and your stinking kind should have died years ago."

Xander shook his head, trying to deny it, but knew the guy wasn't going to listen. He just continued to back away as fast as he could, hoping he would make it to the doorway before the guy caught him.

*Oh shit... oh shit... ohshitohshitohshitohshit*

As Xander neared the doorway, he heard someone behind him. He looked over his shoulder and dove to the right just moments before he almost bumped into Obi wan Kenobi himself. Their eyes locked for a second and Xander heard something strange...

*The boy is filled with fear... and something else that I can't quite... what.. what is this... he is hearing me...*

The voice stopped and Obi Wan's eyes narrowed as he looked from Xander to the man, who had followed Xander up the steps.

"You do not want this boy..."

The man shook his head and mumbled to himself.

"I do not want this boy..."

Obi Wan nodded and continued.

"You will go back to your drink now..."

"I will go back to my drink now..."

He then turned, his eyes glassy, and walked back to the bar.

Obi Wan watched him go and then turned to look at the boy... but he was gone. He turned to Luke and pulled him aside, lowering his voice.

"Where is the boy?"

Luke shrugged and pointed out onto the street. Obi Wan sighed and shook his head... muttering to himself.

"Maybe I can find him later..."


Meanwhile, Xander was running away like his ass was on fire. He knew he had to get away and it might be a good idea to just jump off the planet and go somewhere else... but there was still so much he wanted to see.

*Damn... I meet Obi Wan and Luke and don't even get to say a single word to them... and Han Solo too... shit, this sucks!*

He saw a flash of metal to the right and moved in that direction. He soon arrived at a series of numbered doors.

*The docking bays... now if only I could remember which one his ship was in...*

Xander smiled and then ran down the street, stopping a few minutes later outside the right one... which, thankfully, was situated in a shadow-filled corner of the street. Xander leaned against the wall and slowly slid to the ground, waiting for the people he knew would be coming soon...


"I can't believe we only for 10000 for it. We could have gotten more."

Obi Wan nodded to his young apprentice and rushed down the street.

"It will be enough.. now come on, we must hurry."

He lead Luke to the door he was told to go to and was startled to see the boy from before, asleep next to the door.

*Destiny apparently wants me to care for this boy... well then, who am I to go against their judgment.*

He walked over and shook Xander's shoulder softly.

"Wake up, my boy, this isn't a safe place to sleep."

Xander shook slightly and opened his eyes, backing away in a moment of terror... before he calmed himself to notice who it was.

"Easy boy... its okay... I'm not going to hurt you... but tell me, why are you here?"

Xander climbed to his feet, slowly, and rubbed the sand out of his eyes carefully.

"I was hiding... from the man in the tavern. He.. he called me a Jedi and another said something about calling the guards. I guess I'm scared. I just wanted to be somewhere else and then I..."

Obi wan nodded.

"Go on.."

Xander swallowed.

"I heard you talk inside my head. I thought that maybe you might be able to ... help me... or something."

Obi Wan nodded, a smile crossing his weathered face.

"Yes, my boy, I believe I can. Come.. you will come with me and young Luke here. we are leaving Tatooine in just a few minutes. You will come with us."

Xander smiled. He knew this was going against what happened in the movie, but it was an opportunity he couldn't miss.

"Thank you."

Obi Wan nodded and opened the door. He then stepped inside and motioned for Luke and Xander to enter the ship. He then walked over to a surprised, and angry looking, Han Solo.

"Who is the kid. I agreed to you and the blond... not you, the blond and some kid."

Obi Wan sighed and pulled out a handful of cred chips.

"This will pay for the boy. He is coming with us... no questions asked."

Han looked at the creds and nodded.

"Fine.. just keep them out of my way."

He then went back to preparing for takeoff when suddenly the doors opened and in came a squad of stormtroopers.

"Chewie! Get her up now!"

The ship began to rise and its belly laser cannons activated and began firing at the stormtroopers as Han ran back to the ship. Once inside, he ran past the group and into the cockpit, jumping into the pilot's seat.

"Get us out of here.. now!"

Chewie bellowed and flipped a few switches. With moments they were in the air and headed out into space.

"Set course for Alderan."

Chewie nodded and flipped a few more switches. As he did that, Han got up and moved to the back. He was startled to see the old man trying to teach the blond and the new kid how to use what looked like an old lightsaber.

Luke was using the lightsaber to block the blasts from the remote... and failing... while Xander just stared in awe... not knowing if he truly believe what he was seeing.

*Amazing... I'm actually seeing them.... this is so cool.*

He watched Luke as he blocked a few shots, only to be hit moments later in the ass. He stifled a grin and tried to not notice the angry glare he received from him.

*Better watch it... he might decide to go all dark side on me and I don't want that.*

Xander smiled at Luke and just sat back... knowing this would be a fun trip...


Back in Sunnydale...

Buffy entered the library and sat down next to a very worried Willow.

"What's up? Something bad I can kill?"

Willow shook her head and shuffled her feet nervously.

Buffy frowned and leaned forward.

"What is it... tell me."

Willow nodded and took a deep breath.

"Xander is missing. He never returned home a few days ago... and his parents haven't seen him. They filed a missing person's report last night and then called me."

Buffy's eyes widened. *Xander... missing... oh god, I hope he's not dead.*

Giles entered then and moved into his office. Buffy stood and followed.

"Giles.. we have a problem. Xander is missing."

Giles looked up and a worried expression crossed his face.

"Missing... are you sure?"

Buffy nodded.

"His parents filed a missing person's report and then called Willow last night. What are we going to do?"

Giles sat down at his desk.

"We could try a locator spell... that would give us Xander's location, no matter where he is on the planet."

Buffy nodded and smiled.

"Let's do it. What do we need?"

Giles picked up a book and leafed through it. He then wrote out a list and handed it to Buffy.

"Take Willow and get everything on the list. She will know where to go."

Buffy nodded, grabbed the list, and then ran out... dragging Willow after her.


4 Hours later, they were all standing in the chemistry classroom... watching Giles as he completed the spell.

"... let his location be revealed."

There was a flash of light and then... nothing.


Buffy stared at Giles and frowned.

"Hmm.. what does hmm mean? Where is he?"

Giles turned to Buffy, Willow and the others and took off his glasses.

"I don't know... it appears Xander is not on Earth.... either that or..."

"... or he is dead." Willow finished Giles sentence just before she broke down crying, falling to the floor. Buffy knelt down next to her and pulled her into her arms.

"Don't worry, Wills... we'll find him... he's out there, somewhere... and we will find him..."


The ship came out of hyperdrive with a jolt and Xander was thrown to the floor. An explosion rocked the ship as something slammed against the side of the ship. He looked up in shock at Obi Wan and raised an eyebrow.

"What's going on?"

Obi Wan shook his head and moved forward to the cockpit leaving a stunned Xander and Luke behind. Xander watched him leave and then climbed to his feet. He walked over to Luke and tapped his shoulder to get his attention.

"Did he seem... worried to you?"

Luke nodded. "Yes... very. I wonder if this has anything to do with what he felt earlier; the millions of voices crying out in fear only to be silences moments later."

Xander swallowed. He had gotten to into being here he had forgotten the plot of the movie. "You don't think something happened... out there... to Alderan?"

Luke's eyes widened and then they both ran to join their Master in the cockpit. As they arrived, they saw what looked like a large asteroid field... but no planet.

"There are not any asteroids in this sector..."

Chewie growled and pointed outside.

Han nodded and shook his head. "I know.. but they're not supposed to be there... and where the hell is the planet."

Xander looked at the debris and decided to jump the gun a bit.

"It's gone..."

All eyes turned to look at him and Xander paled. Obi Wan moved closer and frowned. "I know.. I sense it too."

Luke moved closer to the front and whispered to himself. "I've got a bad feeling about this..."

Suddenly a TIE fighter flew over their heads, barely missing them.

"Shield up!"

Han flipped switches as he looked franticly for the carrier... but didn't see anything.

Obi wan leaned forward and frowned. "That fighter is too small to be out here alone."

Xander looked around... trying to see if he could spot it... and then...

"There... what is that?"

He pointed to the far right and hoped the others would look as well.

Han squinted and shrugged. "Looks like a small moon."

"That is no moon... its a space station." Obi Wan leaned back, a look of burgeoning fear crossing his face.

Han frowned. "It's too big to be a... space... station." He stopped talking as they drew closer... and it began to indeed look like a space station. "Chewie.. back us away."

Chewie flipped a switch and the ship shook. He growled and began flipping every switch he had near him.

Luke grabbed onto the back of Chewie's seat and looked at the sight before him. "What's going on?"

"We're caught in a tractor beam. Chewie.. cut power before we melt the engines." Han cut the power on his side and began reading weapons when he was stopped by a hand on the shoulder.

"There is no need to fight... there is another way..." Obi wan explained his idea and then they all moved into the middle of the ship, hiding inside the flooring...


It was sometime later that they finally heard the guards leave. They had all sat as quietly as possible as the ship was brought into the station and then immediately searched.

Once the footsteps faded away, Han popped open the catches and they emerged from the flooring. "Never knew my smuggling days would ever help me this much."

Xander smirked and then moved to look down the open gangway. He could see two stormtroopers standing watch at the bottom. Xander grinned and moved back to join the others.

"Two stormtroopers on guard down below."

Han nodded and moved to look for himself. He then grinned evilly and kicked the side of the decking... hearing the guards walk in his direction moments later. He crouched down and once they were in view, opened fire upon them with his blaster, hitting both of them dead center.

"Hey blondie.. get over here and help me with this."

Luke frowned but moved over to help. He helped Han remove the stormtroopers uniforms and then slid the men into the smuggling compartment. As he closed the latch, he was shocked to see Han sliding into the armor.

"What are you doing?"

Han looked up and smiled. "Perfect cover... we're going in there to turn off the tractor beam... and I'm no the only one wearing one of these..." He threw the other uniform at Luke and grinned. "Get dressed."

"Why me... why not Xander?"

Xander raised his hands and was about to speak when Obi Wan did himself. "Xander is coming with me."

*Hey.. this isn't part of the movie*

Xander swallowed and smiled. "I am?"

Obi wan nodded and moved to the gangway. "We will figure out where to go and then Xander will go with me. While we are gone, you two will wait for us."

By then Han and Luke were dressed... so they headed down the gangway and made their way toward one of the main computer cores. Once inside, R2-D2 searched out the power coupling and showed its location of the map.

"Come, Xander.. we must hurry."

Xander nodded and then followed Obi Wan out of the room and down the hall... following him as he mad his way, carefully, deeper and deeper into the heart of the station.

As they moved from deck to deck, Xander began to wonder why he was brought along. "Ben?"

Obi wan stopped and turned to look at Xander. "Yes?"

"Why did you choose me over Luke?"

Obi Wan smiled. "While Luke has more potential power in the Force than yourself, you have had more experience with it. If worse came to worse, I believe you would be able to take care of yourself better than he."

Xander blinked in shock. He had no idea. He had been "no powers boy" for so long, it was shard to even imagine that he might be good at something.

"Thanks.. I'll do my best to not fail you."

Obi Wan smiled. "You won't fail me, Xander. Trust me on this... now, we must hurry... and we must be silent from here on."

Xander nodded and then followed Obi Wan into the nearby elevator shaft... following him down into the darkness below.


Xander looked down and closed his eyes in fear. They were standing on a shelf... a thin shelf... high over what looked like a bottomless cavern.

*I am not liking this... oh god.. I wish he would hurry.*

He opened his eyes a crack and saw Obi Wan pulling down a large lever. As he watched, he could see the power levels for the first bank of the tractor beam array go dead. Obi Wan then moved around to the other lever but stopped as two stormtroopers entered. They both stood as still as they could until the stormtroopers left, then Obi wan pulled down the other lever... cutting all power to the tractor beam.

"We can go back now..." Obi Wan moved away then stopped, pausing as he felt something he hadn't felt in years.

He turned to Xander and the look on his face was startling. "We must hurry, Xander, and we must make our thoughts as silent as we can. Do you understand?"

Xander nodded. He figured that he meant to not think too loudly, or not at all if possible.

Obi wan nodded once and then lead them back up, going a different route this time...


They turned down the hallway only to stop suddenly for there in the middle of the hallway stood... Darth Vader.

*Vader... oh shit!!!*

Xander's eyes went wide with fear and he began looking for a way out.

"Obi Wan... so... we meet again."

Darth Vader moved closer, his demonic breathing echoing in the tight hallway.

"... and who is this, your apprentice? Perhaps the Emperor will want to examine him once I am through with you."

*Examine me.... more like kill me with Force Lightning.*

Obi wan shook his head. "The boy is of no concern to you, Darth. You and your Emperor will not have him."

"We shall see, old man, we shall see."

Xander backed against the wall as Darth Vader activated his lightsaber and launched into the attack; Obi wan blocking his movements with ease. They moved together in what looked, to Xander, almost like a dance.

They danced around each other with Obi Wan moving them closer and closer to the doors leading to the hanger bay. As they neared them, Xander could see Luke, Han, and the droids moving toward the ship... and there was a girl with them.

*Leia... they found her... then that means..*

Xander looked at Obi Wan and Vader fighting. He knew that any moment Obi Wan would die.

It was at that moment that Obi Wan saw Luke staring at him from across the hanger bay. "You cannot defeat me. Even if you strike me down, you will only make me more powerful."

Darth Vader growled and pulled back for his final attack. He swung in his lightsaber, aiming for a spot that would cleave Obi Wan in two... but as his blade neared him, Obi Wan deactivated his lightsaber and closed his eyes... then disappeared as Vader's blade swept through the space where his body was only moments before.


Seeing his chance, Xander ran toward the doors, diving toward Obi Wan's cloak and lightsaber, grabbing them as he slid past Darth Vader... sliding out through the now closing blast doors... hearing Luke screaming in pain.

*Run.. don't think.. just run.*

Xander crawled to his feet and ran toward Luke and Han, feeling covering fire sweep past him on both sides. He ran as fast as he could, knowing this was his only chance to survive.

The ship came close...and closer.. until he was running up the gangway followed closely by the others... and ran directly into a startled Princess Leia.

Out of breath and his side hurting, Xander dropped into a seat... only to have Han run past yelling at him. "No time to rest now, kid... we have company. Take one of the quad guns."

Xander nodded and ran toward the upper gun, seeing Luke disappearing down into the lower gun. He climbed up the ladder and strapped himself in.

*Just like the video game... I rocked at that.*

Xander grinned and opened fire as the ship launched itself out of the hanger bay. He fired at the TIE fighters that were coming near him, hitting two.. but it wasn't as easy as he remembered.

Once they had made the jump to hyperspace, he climbed back down and found Luke fingering Obi Wan's robe.

"I'm sorry, Luke."

Luke looked up and nodded. "There was nothing we could do. I was too far away. and if you had tried to fight Vader, he would have killed you too. At least you saved these." He pointed at the robe and the lightsaber.

Xander nodded and sat down. "I wish I had done something instead of just standing there."

Han entered the room then and shook his head. "Blondie's right.. if you had done something, Vader would have ripped you apart..."

"... or worse."

Xander looked up at Leia and remembered that she had been tortured by Vader. He nodded and reached out his hand to her. "I'm Xander Harris... Obi Wan was teaching both Luke and myself."

"Princess Leia Organa. Pleased to meet you." She smiled at Xander and he saw both of the men frown at him.

*Oh boy.. they think I'm trying to take her... better nip this in the bud fast.*

"Nice to meet you too." He looked at her, his expressionless face saying more than any word could. Leia paled and then backed away.

Luke pulled out Obi Wan's lightsaber and compared it to the one his father had left him. He then looked at the now sullen Xander and placed Obi Wan's lightsaber in his lap.


Luke shook his head. "I'm sure he would want you to have it... as do I."

Xander was touched. He didn't know what to say. "Thank you... this... this means a lot to me."

Luke smiled and nodded. "Good... if we are going to be working together, can't have you defenseless in the night fight... besides, you did better against the drone than I. I might learn something by training with you."

Xander grinned and ran his fingers over the smooth steel of the lightsaber. As his fingers caressed it, he could almost hear Obi Wan's voice whispering in the back of his mind...


They stepped out into the main room and Xander was amazed at the creatures and people around him. He had decided to stay with Luke and Leia instead of moving on to his next world and had been drafted into the fight. He was now standing next to Luke as they walked up to their seats... joining Leia who was already there.

"Nice.. you took look almost like twins now." Leia smiled and then laughed softly.

Xander looked at Luke and then down at himself. They were both in outfits that matched what Obi Wan wore with matching lightsabers hanging from their belts. The two remaining... known... Jedi in all the universe... and it was quite a reputation to live up to.

People smiled at Xander as they walked past, some ever nodding in greeting. Xander smiled and nodded back, not feeling that comfortable being something of legend. Luke, however, seemed completely unfazed by it all. He had this quiet calmness around him that made Xander feel at peace.

*I wonder when I'll learn that...*

Luke turned his head to Xander and smiled... acting as if he had heard him. Xander grinned and then turned toward the center of the room as Mon Mothma entered.

Xander watched in wonder as the plans for the Death Star were displayed and then talked about. One by one, orders were given out. He frowned when he realized he didn't know how to fly... and Luke did. That meant they would be on different teams...


The next couple of days went by fast. Luke spent most of his time with the pilots while Xander was constantly confronted by either Threepio or Leia... both of whom made him very nervous.

It was almost time for the pilots to leave. Xander had gone to wish Luke luck when he saw him arguing with Han. He could hear them talking about Han not going with them... and Xander nodded to himself, for he wouldn't be going either.

He walked over to them as Han left. Luke looked depressed, so Xander decided to become class clown again and cheer him up.

"Hey buddy... you going to kick some evil ass for me?"

Luke grinned and nodded. "Yeah.. enough for both of us."

Xander smiled. "Good luck, Luke. May the Force be with you."

Luke looked touched and he nodded, then climbed up into his X-Wing. Once inside, he waved goodbye to Xander and then launched. Xander watched him fly off and then headed back up to the main control room to watch with the others.

As he was walking back, he spotted Han watching the others leaving... and he didn't look like he was in a hurry. Xander paused there and then decided to watch Han instead.

He leaned against a nearby wall and just stared... wondering how long it would take him before he relented...


A few hours later, Han stormed up to Xander and grabbed his arm. "Come on kid, we have to go rescue Luke's ass or else the princess would never forgive me for not going with them.

Xander blinked as he followed.

"Me... you want me with you?"

Han nodded. "You're good with the quad gun... and I want you up there the whole time... no move it... we're running out of time. I've just got this bad feeling..."


They moved high above the station and turned to approach. Over the radio they heard Luke's voice.

"Red 5, I'm going in."

Han looked back at Xander. "Get ready, kid. We're going in after him!"

Xander nodded and climbed back up the gun ladder. He strapped himself in and moved the targeting array to follow Luke's run. He knew what was coming and was looking franticly for Vader's ship.

"I've lost R2!"

Xander turned to the radio and knew it was close. It would be happening soon.

*Focus.. Xander... you can do it... reach out.. trust your feelings.*

Xander blinked and whispered to himself. "Ben...?"

Just then he spotted Vader... and could almost hear his commands to the other 2 ships.

"... the force is strong in this one..."

Xander targeted the rear engines of Vader's ship and locked on. Just then he heard Han scream out a battle cry and took that as his cue to open fire. The blast exploded out and flung Vader's ship off and out into space.

He then heard Han open a channel. "You're all clear kid now lets blow this thing and get out of here!"

Xander watched as Luke moved closer and closer and then fired, pulling away as the blast went deep inside the Death Star. Xander moved back down to join Han just as the Death star exploded and heard Han cheering.

Xander joined him and stared out at the explosion.

"Wow.. pretty."

Han looked up at Xander and slapped him on the shoulder. "Nice shot on the lead ship, kid. I'll make a good gunner out of you yet." He smiled and then headed back to the main fleet... leaving a stunned and smiling Xander to just stare down at him in awe.


It was a few days later that they held the ceremony. Xander stood next to Chewie and watched as Luke and Han walked past, dressed in full military dress gear. He smiled at him and laughed as Han winked at him as they walked past.

He had been invited to receive a medal with them, but had declined. He hadn't done much... and he felt he didn't deserve it. He was content to just watch the ceremony next to the wookie he now called his friend. He tapped Chewie on the side and grinned... only to receive a soft bellow and a friendly cuff on the shoulder.

They turned to watch as Leia placed medals around Luke and Han's necks then grinned as they turned to be presented to the people watching. As the crowd cheered, Xander cheered with them... knowing that he wouldn't be with them for much longer.

He moved toward them as the crowd began to clear and once there, he pulled Luke aside.

"I have to be going now..."

Luke's eyes went wide and he blinked in surprise.

"What.. how come?"

Xander looked down and shuffled his feet.

"This isn't my place. I need to be moving on, continue my journey... so I can maybe return home someday.

Luke frowned, but felt the emotion behind the words. He knew it would be hard to watch his friend... no, his brother.. leave, but he somehow knew it was the right thing.

"I'll miss you, we all will. Will you return someday.. to complete your training?"

Xander nodded. "I will if I can." He smiled, tears in his eyes, and hugged Luke. "I'll miss you too... and take good care of everyone..."

He turned to walk away but stopped and turned back around. "... Especially your sister."

He nodded in Leia's direction and then opened a doorway back to Earth, this time going to someone he knew would be able to train him to be a fighter...

As he stepped through the doorway, he looked back at a stunned Luke and then laughed. He turned back around and stepped completely through the doorway... and emerged next to a large river. He looked around at his surroundings and grinned.

"Time to learn swordplay..."

He then turned and began walking down the path, headed for the large barge about three blocks away.....


As Xander emerged from the doorway, he felt a blast of cold wind hit him and he shivered and pulled his robe closer to his body.

*Damn... got used to those climate controlled spaceships.*

He walked over to the river and looked down into the water. The reflection looking back at him startled him. He looked completely different... older.. harder.

*Shit... I look almost cold... no wonder I got so many weird looks back on the star cruiser.*

Xander looked up and then followed the line of boats with his eyes until he saw Duncan's. He brought his hands up to his face and blew on them, rubbing them together before he started walking.

*I hope he's home... cause otherwise I'll probably freeze my ass off out here... and its such a nice one, or so I've been told.*

He walked past barge after barge until he was standing next to the one he had seen on tv so many times. Smiling, Xander walked up to it and then carefully climbed up on deck. The ground under him swayed for a moment and Xander felt sick... but that feeling soon passed as he got used to it.

He walked over to the door and knocked. As he waited, he heard a sleepy grunt from the other side and then the sound of footsteps echoed... getting louder as they neared the door, which slowly opened to reveal a half-naked Duncan... who stared out with half-closed eyes.

"Yes.. what do you want?"

Xander smiled.

"Are you Duncan McLeod of the Clan McLeod?"

Xander saw Duncan's eyes flash open and he smirked. Before Duncan could say anything, Xander raised his empty hands and grinned.

"Don't worry... I'm unarmed. I heard about you... from a friend. I am interested in hiring you to teach me how to fight, especially how to use a sword."

He placed a tone of importance on the word "sword" and raised an eyebrow. Duncan leaned away and then motioned Xander inside.

"What do you know?"

Xander contemplated this. He had seen every episode of the tv series and had read a few odd entries in the Watcher's Diaries about Immortals, so he knew enough to bluff.

"I know what you are and who you are. I lived next to a member of the Watchers... he told me all about you. You can trust me."

Duncan frowned. He grabbed his cell phone and dialed a number. As it was ringing, he stared angrily at Xander and motioned for him to talk.

"Name... yours and the Watcher."

Xander frowned. He hadn't been expecting that.

"I'm Xander Harris... and the Watcher is..."

He paused. He didn't want to give away Giles... then it hit him.

"... Quentin Travers."

Duncan nodded and then spoke into the phone in a quiet tone. As he spoke, Xander smiled inside. He knew that must be either Joe or Adam that Duncan was speaking to.

"Uh huh... so he's real... right... and what about the other name... nothing... okay, thanks."

Duncan closed his cell phone and stared at Xander.

"Half of your story checks out. There is a Quentin Travers in the Watcher's... but there is nothing on a Xander Harris. My friend seems to think you might be worth keeping an eye on. Now.. explain."

Xander nodded.

"Like I said, my name is Xander Harris. I know about you from what I have read in the Watcher's Diaries. I came upon yours by accident and was amazed at some of the stuff you have done. Recently, however, I went on a little... adventure. I came upon the realization that I needed to know how to fight and I also decided I needed to know how to fight with a sword... so I came to you."

As Xander was speaking, he knew that none of this was going to make any sense or even sound believable, so he was attempting the Jedi Mind Trick... hope he understood it enough to actually use it.

Duncan listened to Xander's explanation and nodded. He felt... strange... inside. At first, he was angry at the boy and all he wanted to do was just kick his ass out... but the more he listened to him, the more he began to believe him.

"How did you know I was here?"

Xander decided it was time to openly lie.

"I checked your dojo and they told me you were gone. I then did a little research... you got to love computers... and tracked you here. I was hoping that I could maybe convince you to help me."

Duncan nodded as he considered... but there was something about the boy that was bothering him. He had felt this tickle inside his mind ever since he opened the door. He stepped closer to Xander and as soon as he was within a foot of him it hit him. A soft wash of buzz passed through him... and it suddenly dawned on him, the boy was a Pre... just like Richie had been. He knew now that he had to keep an eye on the kid or else someone else out there might decide he was fresh meat.

Duncan sighed and nodded to himself.

"Alright... I believe you. You can stay and I'll teach you everything I think you need to know, but this won't be a free ride. You will pay me or if you can't pay me you will work your ass off for me."

Xander nodded. He had been expecting that. He knew he had some money left over from when he was back home and figured he could keen enough of it to pay Duncan.

"Do you want me to pay you now... or later?"

Duncan spun around, not really expecting to be actually paid.


It was then he noticed the kid's clothing. It was a cross between the robes of a monk and an outfit you would see at a sci-fi convention.

*What's with the kid's clothes?*

Xander noticed Duncan staring and looked down at himself. He groaned inwardly and realized he had forgotten to change out of his Jedi outfit.

"I came here from a Sci-Fi convention over in Cannes."

Duncan nodded and let it pass. He knew, somehow, that the kid wasn't telling the truth... but he knew that what the kid was hiding wasn't a bad thing. How he knew... he wasn't sure of.. but he just knew.

"You have any other clothes or do you prefer to just wear that?"

Xander looked at himself and considered it. He didn't want the outfit shredded, and he had left his clothing back on the command ship... in his quarters.

"I.. uh..."

Duncan sighed and nodded.

"You can borrow Richie's clothes. He's away for a few months and won't miss them. They're in the room at the end of the hall. go get changed and we will begin."

Xander nodded and mumbled his thanks as he went to go get changed.


Xander ducked the punch that Duncan threw only to be caught in the stomach by the kick he had failed to see. The impact knocked him to the ground, taking his breath away in the process.

"You're not watching your right side."

Xander nodded as he gasped for breath and took the offered hand that suddenly had materialized in front of him. Duncan pulled him to his feet and then dropped back into fighting stance. Xander soon followed.

They went back to sparing, as they had been for the past 2 weeks now. Xander was amazed at how hard it was to perform the moves Duncan was teaching him correctly. He was always getting something wrong.

He walked around Duncan slowly, watching his movements... waiting for Duncan's first move. As he walked, Xander could feel his body falling into the positioning he knew was right. He could actually feel it this time and knew he was possibly finally getting it.

Duncan came at him with a flurry of punches and kicks, most of which Xander amazingly blocked... except for a right cross that caught him at the jaw and made his ears ring. It was at that moment that Xander let himself go and became one with the Force.

At that moment... everything seemed to slow. He could see the moves Duncan was making and could see how to counter them. He ducked to the right and missed a punch... then twisted out of the way of a kick... and then arched his back away to miss a second punch. Everything seemed to be falling into place... and he was starting to understand what Obi Wan had been trying to explain to him. He could see how to use the Force to help himself... and stay alive in a fight.

*Damn... I understand now... this is cool... I'm like one of the X-Men now*

Xander ducked another punch and suddenly saw his opening. He twisted to the left and sent a punch to just under Duncan's right armpit... and connected. Duncan went arching back and Xander was able to send a kick to Duncan's solar plexus... knocking him to the ground. As he fell, everything snapped back to normal and time sped up.

"Whoa... that was weird."

Duncan, on the floor, looked up at Xander and blinked.

"You can say that again."

Xander smirked evilly.

"Whoa.. that was weird."

He then giggled at the expression that crossed Duncan's face.

"I know.. I know.. I asked for it."

Duncan growled and climbed to his feet.

"You're getting better. It looked like you were finally getting a feel for it. You were in the zone there. Did you feel it too?"

Xander nodded.

"I could almost see things slow down. I didn't pay attention to anything except your next move. Is that the mental state you were trying to explain to me?"

Duncan smiled and nodded.

"Yes... and you are learning fast. It took me almost a year to do what you have done in only a few weeks. You're a prodigy kid."

Xander smiled and blushed.

"Ah.. now don't get a big head on me, Xander. We don't want a repeat of the last time you got embarrassed."

Xander blushed even more. He knew what Duncan was talking about. He was talking about his first time meeting Amanda... as she was coming out of Duncan's bathroom... naked.

Xander had walked into the barge without checking to see if anyone was home and had surprised Amanda. She had just emerged from the bathroom and was wearing only a towel. When she had seen Xander, she had thought he was a burglar and had attacked... forgetting about the towel. Within seconds, Xander was a witness to full frontal Amanda... and was too shocked to do anything as she came at him and kicked him in the groin.

It was only when she noticed the towel was gone that she backed away... and Xander thanked that towel every day for falling... for many reasons.

Xander smiled, remembering, and tried to stop blushing.

"You're a lucky guy... she's very beautiful."

Duncan laughed and nodded.

*She liked you too... but I'll never tell you that, my boy, for you might try to take her from me someday, and I would hate to have to take your head over it.*

Duncan walked over to his fridge and grabbed a couple bottles of water. tossing one to Xander, he sat down and rested for a bit. Xander caught the water and looked at Duncan.

"How long until I'm in good enough physical shape to start sword training?"

Duncan looked up and down Xander and thought about it. He had been skeptical at first but once he had started working with him, he had seen the muscles that lie under the skin... and knew that all Xander needed was someone to show him the ropes.

"Not long.. another week or two and you will be ready. You're in pretty good shape. All you needed was a bunch of good workouts. By the way, what did you do before for exercise?"

Xander laughed and smiled.

"Killed vampires."

Duncan raised and eyebrow and stared at Xander.

"He he.. just kidding. I swim and I tried out for track back in 6th grade. I didn't make the team but I kept running."

Duncan nodded. It made sense, considering the muscle formation he had. He looked like he did a lot of running.

"So.. you ready to have your ass handed to you... again."

Duncan laughed and put down his water. He stood and bowed to Xander.

"Bring it on."


The sword slammed against the wall as Xander ducked his head and gaped at Duncan as a few cut hairs drifted down to land on his nose.

"A bit close... don't you think?"

Duncan grinned and laughed.

"Hey.. you said to not hold back... and losing a little hair isn't as bad as what you did to my shirt."

Xander winced at the reminder. A week ago he had slipped and sliced off a five inch strip of Duncan's shirt... barely slicing him as well.

"Yeah.. well... I happen to like my hair, thank you very much, and I don't want any of it being cut off before its time."

His comment sent Duncan laughing even harder. Xander smirked and used the opportunity to swing his sword around and then pull it up at Duncan's. Duncan, seeing the movement, yanked his sword free and parried Xander's swipe.

"Oh ho.. playing rough now are we... well, prepare to lose more hair!"

Duncan balanced himself on one foot and spun around, his sword slicing at an angle... and aimed for the bottom of Xander's long hair. Xander yelped and dove forward just as the blade slid an inch above the surface of his back... but once again it caught hair.

"Damn it! This means war!"

Xander leapt to his feet and went on the attack. He was a blur of man and metal as he sent thrust after thrust against Duncan... who blocked each attack perfectly.

This went on for another 10 minutes before Duncan caught Xander's sword with his own and flung it across the room.

"Enough.. that was much better. I like it when you quit trying to have fun and actually fight me. Do that in a fight and you will most assuredly survive."

Xander panted, trying to get back his breath, and smiled.

"So fight like its life or death?"

Duncan nodded.

"Exactly. If you fight like that then there is no way you can lose. Your willingness to die in the fight gives you power, strength, and speed. If you show no fear and are sure that you will win, then your enemy will have to be many times more powerful than yourself for you to be beaten. All you have to do is remember that every time you fight someone."

Xander nodded slowly, filing the information away in the part of his brain that held his most vital things... including the secret for eating a twinkie perfectly.

"I'll be sure to remember that."

Xander walked over to pick up his sword and noticed Duncan stiffen out of the corner of his eye. Turning around, he saw a strange look of Duncan's face.

"Hey.. everything ok?"

Duncan shook his head.

"Xander... remember what I taught you about battle stance?"

Xander nodded.

Duncan moved over to the door.

"Good... enter it now and attack only if I am killed."

Xander's face paled as he realized that another Immortal must be outside.

*Oh shit.... oh shit... what do I do now*

Xander moved to the window and saw a man approaching. As the man stepped into the light, Xander saw something that made him want to scream.

*A clown!!!! A fucking clown!!!! Oh shit! Oh shit! Oh SHIT!!!!*

Xander backed away from the window, sweat dripping down his face as his fear began to fill his mind.


Xander's head jerked up and he looked around franticly. He could have sworn he heard someone call his name... but Duncan looked like he was concentrating on the door.

*Xander... do not give in to fear... for it leads to the dark side...*

The voice was louder this time... and Xander recognized it.


Xander felt a small wash of calm pass over him and he could almost swear he could see a faint outline of blue off in the corner of the room... an outline that looked like Ben.

*Ben... is that you?*

Obi Wan Kenobi nodded and looked toward the door.

*You must prepare yourself, young Xander, for if you do not succeed what you are about to do... you will die.*

Xander blinked in shock.

*Die? Why? What's going to happen?*

Ben moved closer.

*I have glimpsed the future. If you go outside and aid your friend there runs the risk that you will be killed. There is also the chance that if you stay in here that you and your friend will both die. The future is not constant... but there are certain eddies to it that one can follow. This is all I could do... warn you only... the rest you must decide for yourself. Be careful, Xander. May the Force be with you... Always.*

With that said, Ben faded away just as Duncan kicked open the door, slamming it into the person who was outside. He then ran out on deck and attacked.

*What do I do...*

Xander looked at where Ben had been standing and then looked out at Duncan... and knew what he had to do. He readied his sword and ran out after Duncan.

On deck he could see Duncan fighting a black man in clown makeup. They were exchanging blows and it appeared to be evenly matched. Xander stood and watched, knowing that it was a part of the rules, but when he saw the glint of metal in the clown's free hand... he knew the man was going to cheat.


Xander screamed and launched himself at the man just as he pulled his gun and fired. The gun was an AK-47 and the spray of bullets exploded into Xander, ripping him open from chest to waist.

As he fell, trying to hold himself together, he saw the confused look on the clown's face just moments before his head was taken from his shoulders.

*I'm going to die... I'm going to die... I DON'T WANT TO DIE!!!!*

Xander's mind screamed for help and an image of his home flashed across his mind. The bracer, pointed at the deck, activated on its own and a doorway opened underneath him. As he fell through it, he caught a glimpse of a frightened Duncan staring down at him just before the Quickening hit him and the door closed...


Xander's room was unchanged... almost like a shrine... with all in the places it was when Xander left. Nothing was out of place... until the doorway opened and a blood-covered Xander fell onto his bed, blood splattering on the floor and walls.

*Oh god... I need help.....*

He tried to lift his arm but the blood was gushing out of his body so fast he could barely think at all. He opened his tired eyes and tried to focus on the Eion... hoping he would make it there before it was too late.

He opened a doorway and crawled off the bed, a trail of blood following him, and into the doorway... disappearing from his room, just seconds before the door opened and a terrified Buffy and Willow entered, gasping in horror at the sight before them...


Buffy looked down at Willow as she surfed yet another missing person's site. It had been so long since Xander had disappeared. She was beginning to think he might be dead.

"Anything new?"

Willow shook her head.

"Nothing... oh god, Buffy... what if he really is dead?"

Buffy wiped her eyes.

"He's out there... somewhere... Willow. We will find him. All we have to do is be patient..."

Just then, an alarm sounded in Willow's bedroom. Willow jumped up and ran to the door.

"It's the alarm in his bedroom... I placed it there a couple of weeks back... he's home!!"

She ran outside, running to Xander's, and was grabbed from behind by Buffy and carried faster than she could ever run. Within seconds they were at Xander's house and running to his bedroom.

Buffy kicked open the door and then screeched to a halt at the sight before her. Willow, a few seconds behind, stumbled into the room and immediately vomited.

"B..Buffy... what?"

Buffy looked around the room in horror. There was blood everywhere... too much blood.

*Oh god... oh god... too much blood... there is just too much blood in here. No one could lose this much... and live.*

"Oh god no..."

Buffy fell to her knees, blood splashing on her as she fell, and just began to cry... knowing finally that Xander was truly dead, for he couldn't survive after loosing so much blood.

"What do we do now, Buffy?"

Remembering Willow was there, Buffy climbed to her feet, placing her hands against the floor to bracer herself, and then looked at Willow. She then looked down at herself and it hit her. She was covered in blood... Xander's blood. It was suddenly all to much and she hunched over and lost her lunch.

She felt Willow pull back her hair and then rub her back as wave after wave of nausea hit her.

"Shh.. calm down... relax Buffy and it will stop."

Finally, after a few minutes, Buffy stood back up, her face deathly pale.

"We're going to go see Giles... to tell him.. to tell him... I... I don't know..."

Willow nodded and slid her arm around Buffy's waist, helping her outside... ignoring the blood that was covering her lower body.

"It's going to be okay, Buffy... its going to be ok."

Buffy turned to Willow. She felt broken inside. She had lost another one.. another friend was dead and gone... and she would never see her Xander-shaped friend ever again.

"It will never be okay, Willow... never."

She then turned away and walked mutely the rest of the way to the library...


The room was empty... still... when the doorway opened and blood gushed through, followed immediately by a bloody Xander. He crawled toward the center of the room, somehow managing to hold on even though he had lost so much blood, and cried out.


The door he had seen before opened and a shimmering tower of light floated into the room, flying over to him. It was beautiful and terrifying all at the same time. Xander reached out toward it and then fell away into the blackness as his body gave out.

Once he was unconscious, the form made the sound of a flute and Xander disappeared...


Xander floated in darkness...

He felt nothing...

He saw nothing...

All was silent and dark...


A light invaded the darkness and Xander shied away from it. The light hurt and all he wanted to do was make it go away.

"Xander... Xander, can you hear me?"

Xander pulled into himself, trying to make the light go away. He wanted to go back into the darkness, back where it was safe and quiet... back to where there was no pain.

"Xander... if you can hear me, answer me."

Xander scrunched his eyes closed and moaned.

"Go away..."

He felt a hand on his shoulder and then something began to lightly shake him.

"Wake up, Xander... wake up now!"

There was an edge to the voice, a sense of force that made Xander crack open one eye to see who it was. What he saw made him gasp in shock.


Standing over him was the old man... a look of concern on his face. Something in the way he was looking at him made Xander feel he needed to wake up all the way.

"What's going on?"

The man sighed and helped Xander sit up.

"You tell me. You arrived here 36 hours ago in a pool of blood... your own blood. We almost didn't save you. We thought you were dead when we found you."

Xander looked down at himself and blinked in shock. He was naked from the waist up and his chest and stomach was a myriad of scars... cut shaped scars and bullet holes. He looked up at the man, a look of "what" in his eyes.

"Something in your body chemistry wouldn't allow us to heal you completely. Your body had been healed... but scar tissue formed almost immediately. As it is, we counted your scars and discovered that you now have... two gash-like scars across your stomach and chest... and 47 bullet hole scars scattered across your lower chest and stomach."

Xander closed his eyes and swallowed the bile that had been surging up his throat.

*Oh god...*

The man continued...

"We had to replace your upper and lower intestines, your liver, your pancreas, your spleen, your stomach, one of your kidneys, and half of your right lung. It was a mess in there."

Hearing the words forced away what little self-control Xander had and he lost everything, vomiting all over himself and the floor. The man jumped back, and when Xander was finished, helped him get cleaned up.

"Am I going to be ok?"

The man shrugged.

"We are not sure. Your body has been showing unusual readings. We have been unable to explain them. Perhaps our technology, advanced as it is, isn't advanced enough. We just don't know..."

Xander looked up at him and frowned.

"There's something you're not telling me... I know it. What is it?"

The man looked at his feet and sighed.

"We had to replace the replacement organs twice already. Your body keeps... rejecting them. We don't know why."

Xander sighed, a sense of resignation on his face. He had been through so much; a little internal disaster wouldn't be much more to deal with.

"How much time do I have before everything fails?"

The man pulled out a watch and looked at it.

"By our figures... and the times before... you have close to 3 hours before your internal organs begin to break down again."

Xander lowered his head to his chest and sighed, teardrops beginning to fall down onto his skin.

*What am I going to do...*

He just sat there... trying to think of what to do. He knew that there had to be someone... somewhere... that knew what to do. He tried to remember every book he had ever read, every tv show... and it was then it hit him.

"Star Trek... the later series.. they had good medical technology."

Xander looked up at the man and raised an eyebrow.

"Do you know if its possible... if they are real too?"

The man frowned as he thought about it.

"There is only one way to know. Focus on where you wish and if it is real, if there is some way of getting you there... then it will happen."

Xander nodded and focused. He focused on Beverly Crusher... on her face.. her blue uniform... her office at Starfleet Medical. He concentrated as hard as he could... then looked down at the bracer.

The screen was moving slowly, cycling through name after name... until it slowed... and then stopped.

"There's no listing... yet it stopped on something."

The man walked over and looked.

"That is one of the unknown settings. There are many of them. We have never understood why they are there. We call them... Wild Card settings. You take your life in your own hands going there."

Xander nodded and got to his feet.

"I understand."

He grabbed his shirt and checked to make sure that Obi Wan's lightsaber was still where he had left it... attached to a holster on his belt.

Assured of that, he turned to leave when the man stopped him.

"You came with this as well."

Xander turned around to see him holding the Scottish sword Duncan had let Xander use.

"I had forgotten about that. I... I thought I dropped it."

He walked over and took it from the man, examining it carefully. all of the blood... his blood.. had been cleaned off.

"I cleaned it. I thought you might not want the blade damaged."

Xander smiled and nodded.

"Thank you."

He closed his eyes and thought about the stylized scabbard the sword had been in originally and brought the image into being... feeling it materialize a he keened it... its weight heavy in his hands.

"You're getting good at that."

Xander opened his eyes and looked at the scabbard. It matched exactly. He slid the sword into it and strapped in around his waist.

"I've had practice."

Xander pointed the bracer at the nearest wall an then turned to look at the man.

"Thanks for all your help. I'm sorry about bleeding all over your floor."

The man smiled and nodded.

"Remember.. we are always here... if you need us."

Xander nodded and activated the bracer. An image formed of a spotless red office. Xander took a deep breath and stepped through...


The room was filled with a sense of cleanliness, so much that it made Xander feel awkward about even being in it. He looked down at himself and winced. He was still half-naked and the pants he had been wearing while working out before were covered with dried blood.

"Gee.. can we say not a good first impression. I'm going to give anyone I see major wiggins."

Knowing there was really nothing he could do, Xander decided to look around. The room itself was empty except for a medium sized desk that had a few pictures on it and a few piles of... PADD's. Xander smiled and picked one up. He had always wondered how those things worked.

*Wow... like a mini-computer.*

He was looking through one of them when the doors opened and a red haired woman entered, speaking to someone over her shoulder.

"... and get me all the information of Ensign Trakov as soon as possible."

Xander dropped the PADD and turned to look at the woman who entered. It was then she looked into her office and saw Xander.

"Excuse me... why are you in my office?"

Xander smiled at her and mentally formed his answer. He knew the technology here was advanced enough that he could, for once, be completely truthful...

"This is where my portal took me. I'm sorry if it is inappropriate."

Beverly paused, taken aback by the young man's answer. She had heard of a few races that used portal technology but had never met any of them.

"No.. that's fine... it's just that next time you might want to try aiming for the outer office."

Xander nodded and smiled. It was then that Beverly noticed the blood-stained pants and the tapestry of scars on Xander's torso.

*Dear lord.. what happened to him?*

"Are you ok?"

The concern in her voice startled Xander. He shrugged and ran his hands along his stomach.

"That's a tough question. Technically.. yes and no. I'm ok for right now, but in... about 2 hours... half of my body is going to completely shut down. That's why I'm here. I need your help."

Beverly's eyes widened in fear.

*Half his body!! What on earth??!!*

Beverly rushed over to Xander and pulled out a Tricorder and began scanning him.

"Oh my god! Your body is giving off very strange readings. There are localized quadrants of quantum flux... there are spatial abnormalities that I have never seen before... your bloodstream has microorganism I cannot identify... and many of your internal organs are dissolving as I speak."

She looked up into Xander's eyes and gasped.

"What happened to you?"

Xander stared at her, unable to speak. The Eion hadn't mentioned any of the other things she had just said.

*They either didn't want to tell me... or they had no idea.*

He heard her last question and swallowed.

"I was shot, point blank range, by an AK-47. The attacking party was about two feet away from me at the time. I was healed... by some friends... but they were unable to heal me completely."

Xander blinked a few times as his eyes focused on the woman before him.

"Can you fix me?"

Beverly walked over to her desk and sat down. Her fingers played with her hair as she contemplated the work before her.

*Can I help him... I don't know... but I have to try.*

She looked up and nodded.

"Come with me... I'll get a team on this and we will see what we can do."

Xander nodded and then grabbed his stomach as a wave of pain exploded inside him.

"I... think... its... starting!"

As Xander fell to his knees, Beverly jumped to her feet and tapped her communicator.

"Medical Emergency... two to beam directly to Med Lab 4. All available doctors there immediately!"

She ran over to Xander and placed her hands on his shoulders... just as they both dissolved away in a sparkle of lights...


Eight hours had passed and Beverly was still working over the young man's body. She and the four doctors around her were in shocked confusion by what was before them. Every time they had repaired or replaced and organ, the next one on line would fail. It was a grueling process that was scaring her immensely.

"I don't understand it. His body is rejecting everything!"

Beverly looked at Dr. Orlen across from her and nodded sadly.

"I know... there is something in his chemistry that is blocking us... and we are running out of options."

She looked down at Xander and sighed. She then looked at the bracer and frowned.

"Then there is that. We tried to remove it but to no avail."

She remembered the attempt to remove it... and the security officer that had been thrown across the room by the electrical discharge that had emerged from it during the attempt.

"It might be the cause of the problems."

The doctors nodded. They had been discussing the matter for a few hours and were all very concerned.

Beverly looked over at the monitor displaying Xander's bio-readings and frowned. Another organ had just failed... and if he hadn't been in a state of suspended animation, he would be dead by now.

"I just don't know what to do..."

She looked down at Xander's pale face and reached over to brush the hair out of his eyes.

*I'm sorry... I'm so sorry...*

He was so young... so young... and he reminded her of her son... her son. Beverly's eyes widened and she ran over to the nearest computer panel. The doctors followed her with their eyes, wondering what she was doing.

"They have to be here somewhere.. I know he wouldn't just throw them away..."

Dr. Orlen looked over at her and frowned.

"Throw what away?"

Beverly smiled as she found the file. She spun around, a wide grin on her face, and pointed at the screen.

"That... nanites."

A wave of shock mixed with unrest traveled through the doctors at what she said.

"You can't be serious... that hasn't been tested yet."

Beverly frowned and glared at them.

"It's his only hope... we're doing it."

The look on her face told them all that there would be no arguing with her... so with a sigh of resignation, they got to work...


Almost a full day later, Beverly looked down at the young man on the bed. She ran a tricorder over his still body and smiled.

*It's working... all of his organs are complete and the nanites have formed colonies around each organ as a defensive system.*

A frown crossed her face then.

*He should be fine now... by why hasn't we awakened yet.*

She pulled a chair over next to his bed and sat down, consigned to wait him out... no matter how long.


Far away in another realm, Xander floated in a mist-filled room. Above him... mist for miles. Below him... more mist for miles. To either side... yet more mist.

*This place is freaking me out...*

He moved his arms from side to side, seeing the mist swirl around him. He wasn't sure how long he had been there, but he knew it must have been a long time... for he had seen things that he couldn't explain.

At first, he had been alone... but then, from out of nowhere, a swarm of what looked like bees had appeared and set up a hive off in the distance. He was scared of them, at first, but lately he was not so scared and was in fact curious about them.

Every now and then, a few of the bees would break off and come over. They wouldn't attack, instead... they would fly up and down his body, as if examining him... only to fly back to the nest moments later. The whole thing was driving him nuts.

*I really wish I knew what was going on.*

As soon as the though ran through his mind, the humming from the bees stopped and the hive, as a group, moved over to engulf Xander.

*Oh shit!!*

Xander clenched his eyes closed, awaiting the attack... that never came. Wondering what was going on, he cracked open one eye and was amazed at what he saw.

*Oh my god...*

The bees had all landed on his skin and were just sitting there. They weren't moving. They weren't stinging. They were just... there.

Xander began to calm down, some, until they spoke.


Xander yelped and jumped in surprise.

"Do not be afraid. We will not harm"

Xander trembled, sweat dripping down his sides. He took a slow breath and swallowed.

"Who.. who are you?"

The bees buzzed in harmony and the voice returned.

"We are the colony. We were chosen to heal you. We are a part of you now. You are a part of the hive... and the hive is you."

Xander's eyes flashed open and he looked down at the bees covering his chest.

"You're not like the Borg... are you?"

A buzz that sounded almost like laughter was heard.

"No... we are machines... we are inside you... keeping you whole."

Xander sighed in relief and thought about what they were saying.

*Machines... keeping me whole... hmmm... they must be those little robots Wesley made... what were they called again... Nanites... right... ok.. so they are keeping my innards together and keeping me from kicking the bucket.. so to speak... well, I can deal with that.*

"Um... thanks?"

The bees, sensing all was calm, moved off of Xander's skin and formed a cloud before him.

"You are welcome. If you need us... we will be in your mind... just think of the Hive and we will respond if we can."

Xander nodded.

"I'll keep that in mind."

The hive bounced in the air and moved away.

"You need to awaken now..."


Xander opened his eyes and blinked at the glare from the lights. He was blinded for a few seconds before the form of a very lovely woman with red hair leaned over him.


Beverly smiled and shook her head.

"Sorry... you have me confused with another. My name is Dr. Beverly Crusher... and you are?"

Xander blinked a few times and his vision cleared. He could see her clearly now and he knew it all hadn't been a weird dream.

"Alexander Lavelle Harris... but everyone calls me Xander."

Beverly nodded and smiled. She entered the name into the PADD in her hand... below Xander's line of sight.

"Pleased to meet you. Well... you gave me quite a scare, young man. You weren't completely honest, now were you."

She walked around his bed, taking the time to look at the results of the search and gasped in shock at what she found. The PADD stated that Alexander Lavelle Harris had died hundreds of years earlier... under unusual circumstances. There was also a link connected to his name... a next of kin link. She opened the link and was confused at what she discovered.

*Angel... what an unusual name.... and there is no date of birth for him either. I had better notify him of Xander's whereabouts.*

She looked at Xander and smiled.

"You relax and rest. I'll be back in a few minutes with something for you to at. Then, if you are doing better.. you can get up and move around in a few days."

Xander nodded and closed his eyes.... not noticing the PADD in her hand... not knowing that something was going on.


Beverly stepped outside and walked back to her office. Once there, she opened a channel to the address on the PADD and waited as the other party answered. She was soon greeted by the face of a very handsome man.

"Angel Investigations... we help the helpless."

Beverly was startled for a moment before she responded.

"May I speak with Angel please."

The man nodded and the screen went black for a moment before an equally attractive man appeared.

"This is Angel.. how can I help you?"

Beverly smiled and cleared her throat.

"My name is Dr. Beverly Crusher, with Starfleet Medical. A young man arrived here a few days ago and only just recently awakened and gave us his name. You were listed as his next of kin."

Angel paled and a look of fear crossed his eyes.

"What is his name?"

Beverly tilted her head.

"Xander Harris."

Angel's eyes widened and then rolled back in his head as he fainted... a loud thump following.

Beverly watched in awe as a small group of people rushed into the room... only to be startled when a young woman appeared at the screen and glared angrily at her.

"What did you do to him!"

Beverly was shocked by the anger in the young woman's voice.

"I told him his next of kin was here... that a Xander Harris was at our facility."

The young woman blinked a few times in shock and then turned to the others... who had heard it too.

"You think she's lying?"

The young woman shrugged and turned back to the screen.

"You got any proof?"

Beverly nodded and sent a photo across the lines to their screen... showing Xander in his bed, asleep. It was at that moment that Angel awoke and stared at the screen.

"It's Xander... but how."

Beverly cleared her throat and watched as everyone turned to look at her.

"If you wish to see him, he is in room 3478 at Starfleet Medical. Do you know where that is?"

Angel nodded and climbed to his feet.

"I'm on my way. Thank you."

Beverly nodded as the screen went black.

*Strange family Xander has... very strange.*

Beverly stood and stretched. She decided she needed to take a walk. After all of that she was very glad and thankful that her family wasn't nearly half as weird...


As soon as Beverly had left, Xander climbed out of bed and looked around the room for this things... but couldn't find them.

*My stuff... where is it?*

He was startled when he got an answer...

/The closet next to the door... the officers placed your belongings inside... we overheard them.../

Xander jumped and spun around in shock.

"Who.. who said that?"

/We did... the hive... remember?/

Xander calmed down and nodded.

"Sorry.. I forgot."

/You need not speak... we can hear your thoughts./

Xander walked over to the closet and pulled out his lightsaber and sword.

*What do I do about clothing... its not here.*

/Take us over to the unit on the wall. We will handle the rest./

Xander nodded and walked over to the black shelf in the far wall. Once there, he stared at in in confusion.

/Place your hand against it../

Xander did as he was told and within seconds... a light appeared and then faded, revealing his Jedi uniform.


/We based this choice on your recent memories. We felt it would best suit your current needs./

Xander smiled as he got dressed. He was starting to like those guys.

*Thanks... hive.*

/You are welcome... Xander./


Once dressed, Xander moved to the door and it opened on its own. He peeked out into the hallway and saw no one near. Feeling secure in that, he moved out into the hallway and then made his way outside... following prompts from the hive.

He had no idea that as he was leaving... someone he never expected to ever see there was just arriving...


"What's the big deal? I've never even heard of the guy."

Angel turned to Gregory and frowned.

"Xander is... different. You don't know what happened. I have to see him for myself."

He then entered the main building and headed for Xander's room. As he walked, the young woman from before touched Angel's arm and caught his attention.

"Is he really mom's friend?"

Angel turned to look at Rachel and shrugged. His daughter looked so much like her mother that it still startled him. He had been shocked and amazed when the PTB had told him that she was Immortal.

"He might be... that is what we are here to see, hon."

They turned the corner and headed for the turbolift. As they entered, Angel frowned... something felt off.

Once the lift stopped, Angel bolted for Xander's room... only to find it empty.

*He's not here... but yet...*

Angel sniffed the air... and could smell Xander. He had been there only moments before. He spun around and jumped into the hallway... and almost ran into his group.

"What's going on?"

Angel looked at them and frowned.

"He's running..."

Angel then sniffed the air again and took off down the hallway... following Xander's trail.


Xander stepped outside into the moonlight and smiled. He could see so many ships flying in the sky... and was what looked like a large colony on the moon.

*It's beautiful...*

He walked down the path and just stared up at the sky... not noticing the people around him.

*I wonder if I can get a lift up there before I leave...*

He was lost in his thoughts until the hive spoke.

/Warning... there is someone running toward your location. The person in question has just exited the building./

Xander spun around and gaped in shock at who he saw.


The look on Angel's face was enough to tell Xander to run. He took off down the path, readying his next destination on the bracer. He was trying to think of where to go when he felt Angel almost behind him.

Not having time to think, Xander chose a setting at random and opened the door. As he jumped into it, he looked over his shoulder to see the amazed face of Angel as he stumbled to the ground in shock.

"Better luck next time... Deadboy!"

Xander laughed as the doorway opened... and threw him into the next world... at the feet of a group of naked women. Xander smiled. He was thanking every god he knew of... until their faces changed.

*Oh shit!! A world of Vampires!!*

Xander backed away and opened the door randomly again... hoping that his luck would save him.

As he entered the doorway, he felt hot wind wash over him and was shocked when he fell into a large sand dune. He climbed to his feet and looked around... seeing nothing but sand for miles and miles.

"Great... now where am I?"

He climbed up the dune and was shocked to see a lone figure running across the sand.... being followed by the largest monster Xander had ever seen. He watched in horror as the figure was eaten alive by the monster... moments before it dove into the sand and disappeared.

"Oh my god... where the hell am I?"


Angel bolted awake and yelled in shock. He looked around, franticly, trying to remember where he was. For a few moments, the room was different... but then he blinked a few times and he was back in his apartment.

*Ok... now that was very weird.*

Angel got out of bed and walked over to the bathroom to splash cold water on his face.

*Get a hold of yourself... there is no way any of that could have been real.*

He grabbed a towel and wiped his face dry. As he closed his eyes, the dream flashed across his mind...

He saw himself running through a futuristic hospital...

He saw a young woman who he called his daughter, but he didn't remember siring anyone with hair that red...

He saw himself running outside into the night...

Then he saw something that disturbed him, Xander... alive... wearing something from a sci-fi movie...

He could have chalked it all up to guilt about Xander leaving... that is until he saw him enter a dimensional gate. Then... he knew it was real, for he had seen one before... many years before in Hungary... and the person who had gone through, now that he thought about it... reminded him a little of Xander as well.

Angel opened his eyes.

"Get a grip... none of this is possible. Xander is dead. Buffy and Willow found his room covered in blood. He is dead and the funeral is in a few days. Just get over it... it was a dream."

Angel turned and walked back to bed... but he couldn't shake off that nagging doubt...

*But what if it was real.....*


The sun was just setting as the priest finished.

"... and so we lay to rest the body of Alexander Lavelle Harris. Ashes to ashes... dust to dust. May his spirit find peace."

The priest closed his bible and nodded to the crowd.

Xander's parents stepped forward and placed a rose on his empty coffin...

Next came Angel, who surprised everyone there. He whispered something in Gaelic and then placed his rose...

Cordelia stepped forward, tears in her eyes, and placed a rose and a package of Twinkies... then ran away crying...

Willow... supported by a amazingly sad looking Oz.. stepped to the coffin and Oz placed Willow's rose for her, whispering to her softly, before leading her away.

Soon it was just Giles and Buffy at Xander's grave. Giles removed his glasses and rubbed them, trying to clean off the tears that had covered them. He stepped toward the coffin and placed a rose and a rosary... then prayed in Latin, before he stepped back. He turned to Buffy who looked frozen in place.

"Buffy... do you wish to do this alone?"

Buffy nodded, unable to speak. Giles nodded to himself and walked away. Once she was sure he was out of hearing range, Buffy walked over to the coffin and stared at it.

"I know you're not in there... and you not in there makes me feel like you're not really dead... but I know you are. There was so much blood... oh god, Xander, there was so much blood."

Buffy wiped her eyes on her hanky and swallowed back a choking sob that was forming.

"It's all my fault. If I hadn't told you all those things. If I hadn't made you leave us... leave me... then you would still be alive. We didn't even know you were gone. We cared that little about you. If your parents hadn't called us a week.. a full week after you had left, we would have never even thought about it. God.. that makes us... makes me sound like some like of monster... but I deserve it."

She was crying openly now, not hiding it anymore.

"Xander... you have been there for me so many times. You weren't afraid to do anything... just as long as I asked you... and even when I didn't ask you, you still came anyway. You were braver than any of us... and we were stupid enough to think you were a pathetic weakling who would get himself killed. We were the stupid ones."

Buffy reached out and ran her fingers along the top of the coffin, wishing that none of this was happening.

"Now you're gone... and the world won't ever be the same. A light has been turned off... and the world is much darker because of it. I miss you, Xander. I miss you so much. You're my Xander-shaped friend... and now there is a Xander-shaped hole in me... and I can't live like that. It hurts..."

Buffy wiped her eyes again and turned away from the coffin.

"I'm sorry Xander... I'm so sorry I wasn't there for you. I'm sorry you were driven away. I'm so so sorry you're gone. I'm sorry it took your death for me to realize just how much you mean to me... to all of us. I... I can't..."

Buffy started bawling and ran away into the growing darkness. Once she was gone, the gravediggers walked over from their truck and lowered the coffin into the ground.

"Nice turnout for the kid.. wasn't it."

One of the men nodded.

"Yup.. seemed like he had a lot of friends... seems strange to be burying an empty coffin though."

The first man looked up and frowned.

"You didn't hear?"

The man shook his head.

"No... what?"

The first man sighed and looked at the coffin as it lowered into the ground.

"I read it in the police files... I work there part time... and anyway, they said the kid had been missing for a long while, then they found his room covered in blood... and I mean covered... tons of it. The medical report said there was almost enough to fill about 75 percent of a person's body.. so the kid was like.. juiced or something, it was that bad."

The man paled and winced.

"Damn... what a way to go. Poor kid... hope you're in a better place now."

The men then worked on in silence... filling his grave, shovelfull by shovelfull... until the grave was complete.

"Alexander Harris... sorry to see you go, kid... but I hope you're happy... wherever you are."

The men turned, then, and walked back to their truck...


Xander stared down the dune at the sand below and watched it slowly settle as the creature moved away.

*This is just too crazy. I have to get out of here.*

He looked at the bracer and reached out to check. Lightning exploded from it, shocking him. He screamed out in pain and almost fell down, bending at the waist until the pain faded away. He brought his hand up to his face and as he stared at it, he could see tiny electrical charges cascading across it.

"What the..."

Xander concentrated on opening the doorway and was rewarded with an electric shock that felt like it was frying him from the inside out.


The force of the discharge was strong enough to throw Xander to the ground, writhing in agonizing pain.

*Oh god.. help!!!*

/We are working... please hold on... we will stop it as quickly as we can./

Xander writhed on the ground as the discharge radiated throughout his body... slowly fading away until it was gone.


Xander rolled onto his stomach and heaved all that was still in his stomach... until he was retching nothing but bile.

/Hold on.. we are calming your stomach./

The retching stopped and Xander collapsed into the sand, moaning in pain.

*What happened?*

/It appears that the atmosphere of this planet is highly ionized and that the device is sensitive to it. The act of simply being here has turned it against you. If you try to use it in this atmosphere, it will most assuredly do to you what it just did./

Xander pushed himself onto his hands and knees and then up into a sitting position.

*Any way around it? I don't want to be here for the rest of my life.*

/Moisture... it might create enough interference for you to open the door and then leave... but you would need a very wet environment./

Xander nodded. He climbed to his feet and looked around. All the sand... for miles and miles... it all seemed familiar to him.

*Were you able to detect where we are before everything went nuts?*

/Uncertain... the date the bracer displayed before it stopped working was confusing. It gave two names for this planet and the date given was impossible./

Xander looked up into the sky and frowned.

*What date?*


Xander's eyes widened in shock and he gasped in hot dry air.

*What were the names?*

/Arrakis and Dune/

A manic grin crossed Xander's face as he began to laugh.

*This... this is perfect. We're not dead after all.*

/Excuse us please... we do not understand./

Xander stopped laughing and grabbed his sides.

*I know of this planet. I think I can get us somewhere safe... if we are lucky. There are a few problems, however.*

/Such as?/

*Well.. the creature earlier was a sand worm... and we don't want to mess with one of them. Vibration attracts them and we are just one big blue plate special out here. We need to find an outcropping of rock... but I can't see anything but sand.*

The hive was quiet for a few moments before they spoke again.

/We can help you there. We have been examining your internal structure. We have detected errors in your genetics that we have been... correcting./

Shocked by what he heard, Xander spoke aloud.

"Correcting... correcting what?"

/We have improved your immune system to the point that any inbound organism would find it almost impossible to infect you. We have taken your fat stores and have begun transferring them into muscle. You will notice the effects in a few days to a week. We have also enhanced your senses somewhat... your hearing is more acute, your sense of smell is stronger as is your sense of touch, your taste buds are now able to distinguish food from anything non-food... such as poison, and your vision has been enhanced. If you squint, it will magnify your vision./

Xander was awestruck by what he had just heard.

*But you've only been inside me for a few hours! How!*

/There are billions of us and more are being created every second. As we grow, our speed in processing and accomplishing tasks increases. It is a simple matter./

Xander shook his head and shuddered. It would be hard getting used to this.

*Did you do anything else?*

/There is one thing we detected... but thought it prudent to ask you first./


/We have discovered that your intelligence should be greater than it is. We know how to stimulate your mind in such a way as to increase your intelligence greatly. Do you wish us to do this?/

Xander thought about it. To be smart... Willow smart.. or even Uber-Willow smart... it was something he had dreamed about a few times.

*Will it hurt?*

/No.. you will feel nothing. You will just become smarter more and more as time progresses. We will notify you when you have reached your limit and then give you a mental comparison to this moment. Do you wish to proceed?/

Xander said nothing... thought nothing for a few minutes... then answered.

*Yes... do it.*

Xander stood still, waiting to see if he would feel anything... but the hive was right, he felt nothing.

*Are you doing it?*

/Yes.. it is commencing. Your intelligence has already increased 1.478 percent and within an hour it shall have increased another 5.89 percent./

Xander nodded to himself and just shrugged. He just wasn't smart enough yet to fully understand... but he would be.

*Better look for some rock...*

He squinted and gasped when everything became clearer and jumped toward him. He could see now a small rock formation a few miles to the northeast... and it looked like that is where the person earlier might have originated.

Xander looked down at the sand and felt it shift under his feet. He knew he would have to alternate his footing in order to not attract the worm. Stepping carefully, Xander jumped down the dune and then began hoping, skipping, and dragging a foot... creating a unique gait to his steps, and was soon halfway across the sand to the next dune.


A few hours had passed and Xander wasn't any closer to the rock outcropping he had seen that he was before.

*Maybe its further away than I thought.*

/The distance from our starting point was 16.89234 miles./

*Why didn't you tell me! I thought it was only 2 or 3 miles!*

/You didn't ask. We assumed you knew./

*Well.. from now on.. assume I DON'T know... ok.*


Xander shook his head and continued onward, his feet dragging now from the heat, sun and the weight of the sand.


The rock was finally in sight. Xander smiled, exhausted now, and licked his drying lips.

*Almost there... not much longer now.*


Ravk looked down the hallway and sighed. He had been on guard duty for most of the day and was bored. The only excitement was the sandworm earlier. He grinned remembering the Harkonnen dying in the belly of the worm.

He looked back out at the open desert and saw a flash of silver. Blinking in alarm, Ravk called out down the halls that a stranger was approaching. Within minutes, three squads of men had arrived and were preparing... for anything.


Night was falling as Xander reached the base of the rock. He wasn't that good at rock climbing and was dreading the sight before him.

*This is going to be tough.*

He took a deep breath and started looking for handholds, working his way slowly up the rock... his destination, a large shelf he had seen from below.

As he worked his way up, Xander noticed that it wasn't as difficult as he had thought.

*Did you guys help me with this?*

/Yes.. your touch is sensitive enough to feel which handholds are safe and which are not. Also, we might mention, we detect an easier path 5 feet to your left./

Xander slid over 5 feet and gasped in shock. He saw what looked like man-made steps carved into the rock... completely almost invisible to the naked eye.

*I'm not alone...*

/We know... be careful./

Xander nodded and started up the steps. As he reached the top, he found a large crevice that lead inward toward a cave. He walked slowly into the cave and could smell something strange.

/There is moisture here... minute, but detectable./

*Good.. can you lead me to it?*

/Yes.. straight ahead and to the right./

Xander looked to the right and moved in that direction. After moving 10 feet, he came face to face with a dust-covered, angry-looking man dressed in black.


Xander jumped back and felt someone grab him. Reacting out of instinct, Xander leaned forward and elbowed the person behind him in the gut, then threw him over his shoulder. Once the attacker let go, Xander made a dash forward, looking for a way out. He ran past countless people who tried to grasp him, punching or kicking them as he passed... until he reached another series of steps.

*Help me out of here...*

/The steps.. hurry./

Xander ran up the steps, side-stepping a figure than jumped in front of him, and came face to face with a pale white blade.


Xander came to a stop and leaned away from the blade.

*What the hell was that?*

/Hold on.. I'm trying to translate. We are capable of translating other languages into your own... yes... the being said... Stop./

Xander nodded and held his hands up in the universal gesture of... ok, I'm unarmed.

The figure stepped forward and it was a dirty young man. He was growling at Xander and he looked like he wanted to stab Xander... or worse. It was then that there was a yell from below.

"Hold.. do not move, any of you."

Xander trembled... but stayed in one place. He could hear a massive amount of people below him but he couldn't tell how many.

/Use your vision... concentrate on increasing the amount of ambient light in the room./

Xander closed his eyes, doing as he was told, and when he opened them... everything was much brighter. He could see better now... which wasn't a good thing. He was surrounded by close to 40 men and women... all of them armed and angry.

"Boy... come down now... let Ravk lead you down."

Xander looked at the boy and nodded. The boy, Ravk, motioned to a path behind him and then motioned for Xander to take it. Xander nodded and moved down the path.

"Kill the stranger, Stilgar!"

"Yes.. kill him. He might be Harkonnen!"

As Xander reached the bottom, he blinked as Stilgar stepped forward.

*He looks just like he did in the movie... almost.*

Stilgar shook his head.

"The boy has speed.... and strength. He was able to throw Garen and block Tavmir, Emil, Yavm, and Wesik. He could be valuable. I claim him as..."

The one called Garen stepped forward and sneered.

"I claim my right! I challenge him!"

Stilgar sighed and nodded.

"It is his right. Do you accept, boy?"

Xander looked at the guy and then thought about it.

*Can I take him yet?*

/Yes... barely./

Xander turned to Stilgar and nodded.

"Sure... I'll fight him."

But everyone in the room heard something entirely different.

"Kecho... belan irlata megos."

A gasp when through the group at hearing Xander speak.

"The old tongue... he speaks the old tongue..."

Stilgar stepped toward Xander and glared at him... half in anger, half in shock.

"Who are you, boy?"

Xander blinked.

*Old tongue... what's going on?*

/It appears they cannot understand you./

Xander sighed and nodded.

"My name is Xander."

Everyone heard...

"Rqel tszo op Xander."

Stilgar squinted and looked confused.

"Xander... it that your name?"

Xander nodded, glad they were able to at least understand that much. Stilgar nodded, smiling slightly, and turned back to Garen.

"You will not fight him. One who speaks the old tongue is valuable. Your right is denied."

Garen, in awe by what he heard, resigned himself and nodded.

Stilgar then reached out and took Xander's arm.

"Come.. we must take you to the Reverend Mother. She will be able to understand you... then you will have some explaining to do..."

Stilgar then turned and lead Xander deep inside the caves... to where, Xander didn't know...


Xander followed Stilgar deep inside the cavern, passing by many people on their way. There appeared to be small openings in the rock wall that looked like doorways to homes or something, for Xander could see people peeking out at him as he walked past them.

*Reverend Mother... would that be the old woman or has Jessica and Paul arrived yet...*

/Who are these people?/

*It's hard to explain... can you go through my memories?*


*Then do so.. and you will understand.*

The hive was quiet for a few minutes and then was back.

/Your memories are astounding. You have an obsession with Twinkies that is astounding./

*Hey.. they're the perfect food.*

/Chemically they are not... but we understand your reasoning./

Xander smirked to himself, feeling he had won. It was then that they stepped into a large cavernous room. In the center of the room, lying on a couch-like chair, was a woman dressed in a long black dress.

*Whoa.. it's time.*

Xander watched as Stilgar walked over to the woman and spoke to her. She turned her head and Xander could finally see her face.

*It is Jessica... good, I can work this.*

/Be careful./

Xander nodded to himself and looked Jessica in the eyes, keeping his face expressionless. He could see them talking, but couldn't make out exactly what they were saying.

*Damn.. I can't hear them.*

/Focus and you can./

Xander furrowed his eyebrows and focused and slowly he could hear them...

"... and he was able to defend himself against 5 of my men..."

"I don't see why you felt it necessary to bring him to me."

"He... he spoke the Old Tongue when we questioned him."

Jessica's eyes flashed and she turned to lock her eyes on Xander. He could feel the tension in the room double with that action and swallowed nervously.

"Bring him to me, Stilgar."

Stilgar nodded and moved to the side.

"Xander... come here."

Xander nodded and stepped forward. As he neared them, he felt his body stiffen.

/Warning... we are detecting something strange about the female. Be on guard./

Xander blinked slowly and concentrated as hard as he could to stop himself from shaking. Jessica looked him up and down and then spoke softly.

"Xander... is it?"

Xander nodded... but didn't speak.

Jessica grinned and blinked seductively.

"Does something hold your tongue?" She grinned evilly and then did something Xander wasn't prepared for... she used the Voice.

"ANSWER ME BOY... answer me boy.... answer me boy..."

Xander's eyes widened and he cringed. His body, on instinct, became as rigid as stone and he looked down at the ground. This act made Jessica blink in surprise.

*He is withstanding the Voice... this is unheard of.*

"COME TO ME BOY... come to me... come to me..."

Xander clinched his jaw tight and growled.

"No... not until you stop that!"

The group heard...

Gyo... gyon tvew grp xcos rpha!"

But Jessica heard as it was meant... and was amazed by the level of restraint the boy possessed.

"Fine.. come here... please."

The group gasped in shock and glared at Xander. Xander looked down at his feet and walked a few feet toward her. She nodded and pointed to the steps below her.

"Sit... please."

Xander sat down and stared at his hands. It didn't dawn on him that she could understand him until he was already sitting next to her. The realization made his head jerk up and his eyes go as wide as plates.

"You can understand me.. how?"

Jessica smiled.

*The boy is so naive for someone with that much resistance.*

"I am the Reverend Mother... it is my job to know these things."

*And that is all you're going to learn, boy.*

Xander stared at her and felt he could trust her... and something inside him told him that she wasn't lying.

"I see the truth in it."

The group gasped and Jessica pulled back her head, slightly, in shock.

*This is unexpected... very unexpected.*

Jessica turned to Stilgar and motioned for him to clear the room. Stilgar nodded and within minutes... the room was clear of everyone except Xander, Stilgar, and Jessica herself.

"You may wait outside, Stilgar. I must speak with him alone."

Stilgar looked nervous about this meeting... but nodded and stepped outside. Once the room was empty, Jessica turned to Xander and nodded.

"You are free to speak openly now. Please explain yourself."

Xander looked up at her and shrugged.

"What do you want to know?"

Jessica smiled.



"... and then I followed him in here and he took me to you."

Jessica stared in awe at Xander, who had just spent the last hour telling her everything that had happened to him.

*Astounding... simply astounding. The sisterhood will want him... if we can get him under control.*

"You are trapped on this planet, correct?"

Xander was about to tell her about the whole water theory when something stopped him.

"Yes.. I'm stuck here."

He looked at his feet.

*Why did I lie to her? What did I feel to make me think to do that?*

/You perceived danger in the last few moments. She is hiding something./

Xander nodded, agreeing, and Jessica noticed this.

*He is nodding again... and he seems to have drifted off. It is as if he is speaking to an inner voice, as we of the sisterhood do. This is most unusual... do I dare to wonder what exposure to the spice would do to him...*

Xander looked up into Jessica's eyes and smiled.... and the smile unnerved her even more...


Xander was given a room later that day in the same general location as the Reverend Mother herself. The reasoning given was that he was placed under the watch of the Reverend Mother and would be kept near her.... but no one was told that this was done so that she could experiment on him...


Xander stared at his food and then began eating. He couldn't understand how these people could stand eating cinnamon on all their food. They used so much of it, you could smell it in the air all the time.

*I'm never going to be able to eat another cinnamon roll ever again when I get home...*

He played with his food and then sighed and dug in... knowing the Reverend Mother... or Jessica as she preferred... would be angry if he didn't eat it. He remembered back to a little over a week before and replayed the scene in his mind...


"It tastes strange. They use cinnamon on everything and I don't like the way it tastes."

Jessica glared at Xander and frowned.

"You must eat or else you will grow as thin as bone and you will die. Do you want to die?"

Xander frowned and shook his head.

"No.. but can't they stop using the cinnamon?"

Jessica sighed.

"No.. it isn't cinnamon.. it is a natural mineral in the soil here. It makes all the food taste... different. You will just have to adjust..."

*If you can...*

Xander nodded and pouted.

"Ok.. but I don't like it."


Xander blinked.. remembering... and finished eating his food. He moved to grab his drink, but accidentally knocked it to the ground. Not wanting to spill it, considering another talking to he had been given on that subject, Xander reached out... faster than he was expecting... and caught it.

*What the...*

/What the.../

Little did Xander know that someone else saw the act... and ran back to her mother to report.


Alia ran into the room and up to her mother.

"He is changing.. the spice is changing him."

Jessica turned to her daughter and nodded.

"How... explain."

Alia climbed into her mother's lap and told her everything.

"... and then he knocked his cup off the table... and caught it a second later. His hand moved almost as fast as Paul's."

Jessica nodded to herself.

"I thought that something like this might happen. I could feel something... different... in young Xander. I knew that the risk was worth it. Tell the cooks to double to current level of Melange in his food."

Alia's eyes widened for a second... before she understood what her mother had planned.

*Another Paul... oh wondrous this will be.*

She giggled and then ran off to complete her task.


Xander stared at his reflection in the smooth rock wall. His facial hair had grown considerably in the time he had been gone.

*I look strange with a beard...*

As he stared at his reflection... something happened. A vivid flash filled him mind...

He saw a giant snake-like thing towering over a group of students... Sunnydale students. In front of them stood Buffy... and she was yelling at it as the students fired arrows and flame at it.

The snake thing growled and then dove at Buffy. Buffy dived to the side and the snake thing turned and followed her as she ran inside the building...

Moments later, Xander could see Buffy run out of the building moments before it exploded... and as soon as that... the vision ended and Xander was back staring at his reflection.

*WHOA!! What the hell was that!*

/Hold please.. we are examining this.../

Xander walked over to his bed and sat down. He was trembling in a mix of shock and fear.

/We have discovered the cause of the vision. The natural element you detected 46 days ago has had an unusual effect on your mind. Properties that we were unable to effect... it has awakened and enhanced greatly./


Xander tried to clear his mind. He had seen the movie enough times to know what was going on... but in the wildness of just being here, he had ignored everything he knew.

*Oh god...*

It hit him... he knew what had happened.

*Jessica gave me melange...*

Xander stared at his hands and trembled.

*How much..*

/A large quantity is in your bloodstream.../

Xander nodded... and began to get angry.

*Ok.. item by item... what did the bitch do to me.*

/One... your nervous system has been quickened. This has caused your reflexes to be enhanced greatly. Two... the aforementioned sections of your brain have been awakened and advanced. This means that a recessive part of your primitive mind has been brought back to life and has given you more use of your mind. The effects of this are as of yet... unknown.../

Xander trembled more... but now in anger.

*Go on..*

/Three... you are now capable of glimpsing the future or glimpsing something that has already happened far away. Finally... there is the chance that you may have become addicted to the substance./

Xander closed his eyes and moaned.

*Oh god.. this isn't happening.... we have to get out of here... before she decides to kill us.*

Xander opened his eyes and walked to the door. He could hear people talking in excited tones. Xander opened the door and stepped into the hall... and came face to face with Paul.

Paul paused and stared at Xander... smiling.

*I can smell a vast amount of melange in him... unusual indeed... and there is something else...*

"Greetings... I am Paul. Are you Xander?"

Xander nodded.

"Yes.. I am Xander."

Paul could hear anger in Xander's tone... and something he could recognize, hatred of someone who had done something to him. Paul knew he needed to get Xander alone to speak about it.

"Come with me... quickly."

Paul lead Xander away and up to the surface... out onto a rock ledge.

"Why did you bring me here?"

Paul turned to Xander and smiled.

"Mother... changed you... didn't she?"

Xander nodded.

"How did you know?"

Paul smiled.

"I could feel it... and something else... something unknown to us. If only I could see clearer.. but lately, everything has become black."

Xander knew instantly where this was going as Paul continued.

"I know what I must do... and I would like you to come with me, Chani and my guards... when I take the Water of Life."

Xander nodded.


Paul looked at Xander in his strange clothing and smiled.

"We will go... once we get you in a stilsuit. The clothing you are wearing is ridiculous for the open desert."


Xander stepped out onto the sand and stood next to Paul. He looked down at his stilsuit... his stilsuit... and smiled. It was as snug as a second skin but yet felt very comfortable. Xander also noticed that his body was very muscular now... much more than he ever expected.

Paul turned to him and explained.

"When the worm slows... you run to the ropes and climb. I will be waiting for you on top and will help you up."

Xander nodded as Paul turned and called the worm. As it rose and then cleared the surface, Paul planted the hook in its hide and was soon pulled up on top of the worm. Ropes were thrown down and Xander ran over and grabbed one, pulling himself up to join the others on top.

Once there, Paul pulled him close and grinned. They were on their way...


"I will look like I am dead.. but I will not be. Just stay... and wait for me."

The guards nodded and stepped back. Xander looked down at Paul and sat down on the ground next to him.

Paul turned to Xander and smiled.

"When I return... I will tell you what we both wish to know. We will discover what mother did to you."

Paul then lowered his head onto the sand and opened his mouth. Chani poured the Water of Life into his mouth and then sat back... and they all waited... and watched as Paul changed...


Paul screamed and opened his eyes. In that moment, Xander felt something pass through him and his nose began to bleed. He reached up and touched the blood.. then looked over at Chani who was bleeding as well... and staring at Xander in fright.

"You're bleeding.. but you can't.. you're not like us!"

Xander looked at the blood and swallowed hard.

"We don't know WHAT I am."

"Ah... but I think I do..."

Xander looked down at Paul and blinked.

"And what would that be?"

Paul sat up and smiled at Xander.

"You are the Lost Warrior... the chosen one lost in the mists... he who is one and many... he who can see the light, and the dark... he who will change the face of the game.... he who will wield forces to shield himself from sight... you are wondrous indeed.. Xander."

Xander leaned back in shock and blinked... not believing anything he heard.....


Giles looked at the ruins that was the library, his library.

*Gone... it's all gone.*

He stepped over a fallen piece of wall and picked up yet another book only to find it ruined as well.

*So much waste... it's terrible.*

He continued stepping carefully, examining each book he found, until he reached where his office used to be. There, he found a book still intact... but it was one he didn't recognize.

Giles opened the book and read through a few pages.

*I don't recognize any of these prophesies... this is remarkable.*

He closed the book and headed back to his home, eager to discover more.


"And in the days when the great evil rises...

Aid will come from beyond this world...

The Lost Warrior will appear...

He is the chosen one lost in the mists...

He who is one and many...

He who can see the light, and the dark...

He who will change the face of the game...

He who will wield forces to shield himself from sight...

Savior of the child..."

Giles looked up from the book and blinked in wonder.

*This sounds like they are describing a Slayer... almost.. yet it is male. He will come with the great evil arises... but what is this great evil...*

Giles closed the book and removed his glasses. Rubbing his eyes, he sighed and set the book on his desk.

*This may take some time to figure out... and until I do, I don't think Buffy needs to know...*

Giles placed his glasses back on his face and then stood. He picked up the book and walked over to his safe, placing it inside. He then closed the door and locked it.

*It will be safe... in here... for now.*

"Giles... you home?"

He heard Buffy in the next room and shook his head.

*She must never know....*


The ride back on the sandworm was uneventful. Xander stood next to Paul, his mind racing... contemplating what he had been told. The words echoed in his mind over and over...

"You are the Lost Warrior... the chosen one lost in the mists... he who is one and many... he who can see the light, and the dark... he who will change the face of the game.... he who will wield forces to shield himself from sight... you are wondrous indeed.. Xander."

Xander understood parts of what Paul said... but some of it made no sense whatsoever. It was all very confusing.

"Something troubling you, Xander?"

Xander looked up at Chani and shook his head.

"I'm just thinking."

Chani tilted her head and smiled.

"About what Paul said to you?"

Xander nodded and looked down at his feet.

"I understand a little of it... but the rest makes no sense."

Chani grinned and moved closer, so as to talk easier.

"Such is the way of things. In time, the words will become clear. Until then, you just must wait them out and pray that Shai Hulud will grant you the wisdom to comprehend the meaning behind the words."

Xander frowned.

"Shai Hulud... what is that?"

Chani laughed.

"You're riding him."

Xander blinked and looked down at the great worm beneath his feet. He was in awe at the very idea of it.

"I had no idea..."

He looked back up at Chani and smiled.


He was stopped mid-breath then by the worm stopping. They were back at they siech. Paul's guards lowered the ropes and then climbed down. Xander soon followed.

Once on the ground, Xander followed Paul and Chani back inside. They were met by Jessica, who appeared both angry and relieved.

"You survived..."

Paul nodded and stepped past her, disappearing into the darkness. Xander watched him leave and then turned back to look at Jessica. He could see dried blood around her chin. He looked into her eyes as she noticed the matching blood on his own face and smiled inwardly when her eyes widened in shock.

*Yes... Jessica... you should be surprised. You have no idea what I am...*

Xander grinned evilly and walked past her... following Paul.


Xander found Paul in the training room. Xander had visited it, from time to time, but had not explored it fully. When he entered, Paul was working with a practice dummy, attacking it with a speed Xander could hardly believe.

"Excuse me... Paul... may I join you?"

Paul nodded, but didn't stop. Xander moved over to a practice dummy and pulled out... his sword. He paused then... for he still had trouble accepting it as his own. It belonged to a friend that may or may not even still be alive now.

Xander brought the sword to his forehead and began the exercise Duncan had taught him. He moved from side to side, attacking every defensive position he could find. As he practiced, he entered oneness with the Force and his movements began to grow more fluid, more graceful... and were much faster.

The sound of the blade drew Paul's attention and he paused, looking over at Xander. What he saw made his jaw drop... and it was what he felt that shocked him.

*He is drawing Power... but how?*

Paul stepped back to watch Xander, noticing sword movements that Gurney had never taught him... and felt himself growing envious.

*Who taught him how to fight? His form is crude, but amazing.*

Soon, Xander had shredded the dummy and it was only when he no longer felt any resistance that he stopped. His mind slowed and he saw what he had done.

"Oh god.. I'm sorry. I.. I didn't realize."

Paul smiled and walked over to Xander.

"It's ok.. I have plenty more."

He laughed and smiled even wider.

"I would love to see you go up against a training droid... if you're up to it."

Xander nodded, still feeling like he needed to train more.

"Sure.. let's do it."


Xander ducked the arrow that came soaring at his face and spun under the scythe blade that followed. He brought his sword up and blocked aside the nest three attacks and then, with a flick of his wrist, severed one of the robotic arms.

*Faster... must move faster...*

Xander calmed himself as the droid spun around to attack again. Xander felt himself begin to draw upon the force and once again entered a state of complete oneness... feeling himself speed up while the rest of the world slowed.

He jumped and spun in place, ducking and dodging attacks in a fluid, graceful manner. One by one, the robotic arms where either shattered or completely severed from the droid's body.

As Paul watched, he observed everything with the mind of a Mentat.

*Fluid movement... crisp placement of the sword... calm exterior... and the sense of Power... Xander is gifted.... trained by a Bene Gesserit perhaps... or the child of one... or something else entirely...*


Xander came down from above and sliced the droid in half; rolling away from it as it exploded. Breathing hard, he climbed to his feet and turned back toward the destroyed and smoldering droid.

"Ah man.. I'm sorry. I.. I don't know what happened. I.. I guess I got carried away."

Paul nodded slowly.

"It's perfectly alright... yes, quite."

Xander smirked.

"Giles would like you..."

Paul's eyebrows raised at the slip.

"Giles? Who is Giles? You have never mentioned anyone the entire time you have been here."

Xander looked sheepish and shrugged.

"He's a man I know... a friend, or at least he used to be. I haven't been home in... about a year"

Paul nodded, knowing that was all he would expect from him. He smiled and laughed.

"You surprise me, Xander. Every time I look, you're doing something to surprise me."

Xander frowned.

"Is that a good thing... or a bad thing?"

Paul laughed harder.

"A good thing... most definitely a good thing. Now, come.. let us join my family. I am sure that dinner is ready and they will want to hear of your triumph over the evil training droid."

He smirked and lead Xander to the dining hall, both of them laughing the whole way.


Another week passed... and in that time Paul and Xander met every day to spar with each other. People dropped in to watch them and over time, there were so many watching that it had become almost like a new sport.

Everyone wanted to know more about the stranger... and why he, a nobody, was at a skill level almost that of the great Muadib himself...


"I don't like it. He's dangerous. Have you seen him fight a droid? He obliterated one just 2 days ago.. in under 5 minutes!"

Jessica turned to Gurney, who they had found only days earlier, and sighed.

"He is Paul's friend, his brother almost. Paul trusts him and while I personally do not share his opinion... I do respect the power young Xander has. I do not want to threaten what relations we have with him."

Gurney growled under his breath and stormed out of the room.



Angel walked up the stairs from the sewers and entered the elevator. As it rose slowly to the main floor of his office building, he could sense something in the air. The elevator stopped and he walked into his office, seeing Cordelia and Doyle talking.

"You have to understand, Princess, that when dealing with a man like me.. you have to learn to overlook things..."

Cordelia smirked and snorted softly.

"What.. like your lack of taste and the way you smell?"

Angel smiled at them. He wasn't sure they would be able to work together, but they had started to become a family. He was walking over to them when Doyle suddenly fell to the ground in pain.

Angel ran over to him as Cordelia dropped down next to him.

"Arggh.. this doesn't make any sense... strange guy with blue eyes.. only the whites of his eyes are blue... he's got a long dagger... white with a curved blade... he's sneaking up on a guy in bed... long brown hair.. beginnings of a goatee... oh god... he just stabbed him to death."

Doyle opened his eyes and lurched away from them as he vomited his breakfast all over the floor.

"Eww.. gross."

Angel frowned at Cordelia and helped Doyle up.

"Where is he?"

Doyle shook his head.

"I don't know... underground from the looks of it, but nothing I recognize."

He took a breath and winced.

"Anyone have a breath mint?"

Cordelia nodded and grabbed her purse. She pulled out her wallet as she was looking and it fell open to reveal a picture of Xander.

"That's the guy... only with longer hair!"

Cordelia and Angel both looked at the picture and Cordelia started to cry. Angel turned even more pale and closed his eyes.

"That's impossible... that's Xander. He's been dead almost a year."

Doyle frowned and grabbed the picture.

"This is the guy.. I bet all my money on it. Give him more hair and age him a bit and that's him. I swear!"

Angel opened his eyes and saw the belief on Doyle's face. He turned to Cordelia.

"Call Giles.. tell him... tell him I need to talk to him."

Cordelia nodded and started dialing. While she was doing that, Angel turned away and took a deep breath.

*My dream... maybe this is connected... maybe Xander isn't really dead...*

"Giles.. this is Cordelia... I'm ok... Angel needs to talk to you... ok, hold on."

She handed the phone to Angel and he sat down.

"Giles... no, everything is fine... Doyle had a vision... yes... about Xander... I know... yes, I know... I know... no, he's saying he's alive right now and is going to be killed soon... the Powers That Be wouldn't give Doyle the vision if it wasn't true... we don't know, somewhere underground... I understand... see you soon."

Angel hung up the phone and sighed.

"The gang is coming... they want to try a locator spell here, away from the hellmouth. They think it might be blocking some of their magic."

Cordelia and Doyle nodded and then began to clean things up. As they did, Angel got up and stepped outside... not sure if he should mention the dream yet...


Angel looked down at the van as it drove up. He watched as Buffy, Willow, Oz, and then Giles emerged and walked up the steps. Within minutes, they were at his door. His eyes locked on Buffy's and he smiled.


Buffy nodded and moved into his arms to hug him.


Angel stepped back a bit to let the others inside and then slowly pulled himself out of Buffy's arms. He watched as they all, one by one, sat down. He knew it was time to tell them everything...


"So then when I awoke, I realized that something strange was going on. I wrote down everything, waiting until I understood it better to say anything to any of you."

The group stared in awe at Angel. His explanation of his dream had all shocked them to the core.

"How far into the future was this?"

Angel turned to Giles and shrugged.

"I'm guessing a couple hundred years. The technology was incredible... and Xander was wearing very unusual clothing."

Buffy stared at Angel, but her mind was elsewhere.

*Xander... in the future... and alive... but how?*

It was Willow who brought everyone back to attention.

"We should try the locator spell again."

Giles nodded and grabbed his bag. He then began setting everything up for the spell. Within minutes, everything was ready and the spell was activated. A sphere of searching expanded from their location and traveled outward... past L.A... past California... past the United States... and nothing.


Buffy frowned.

"Take it further."

Giles nodded and frowned in concentration. He extended the sphere out further... past Europe... past Asia... out even further until it encompassed the entire planet.

"Still nothing.."

Buffy pouted a little and frowned even more.


Giles sighed and nodded. He extended the sphere further, sweat beginning to pop up on his forehead... expanding out past the moon... past Mars... further and further... past the edge of the solar system. It was then that the sphere took a life of its own. It jumped out further... sailing past galaxy after galaxy; the energy that was being used was so great that it made Giles pass out... but yet the spell went on.

Finally... it stopped.

Giles gasped and came awake.

"I... I found him."

Everyone jumped to their feet and rushed over to Giles. Buffy grasped his hand and stared into his eyes, a look of concern on her face.


Giles blinked in shock and swallowed.

"Someone give me a pen and paper."

Cordelia passed over a pad and they all watched as Giles drew a circle with a dot in the center... then drew a line out away from the circle... off the end of the page and onto the beginning of another... then another.. and another... finally stopping halfway across the page. There he drew another circle and put a dot in the center.

"He is there..."

With that said, Giles's eyes rolled back in his head and he passed out. The group looked at the drawing and then each other. It was Oz, who was the first to speak.

"Whoa... that's far man."

Cordelia smirked.

"Maybe the aliens finally came back for him and took him home."

This statement caused a double blast of dirty looks from both Buffy and Willow. Cordelia winced and mumbled an apology. She then moved away and sat down on the couch. The others sighed and moved to sit down... knowing they had a long wait on their hands, waiting for Giles to wake up.



Xander rolled over in his sleep and moaned. He had been sleeping badly ever since returning. Something just didn't feel right.

As he slept, a shadowy figure entered the room and stalked slowly toward Xander. As he reached his bed, out came a crysknife... and the figure raised it over Xander's body.

"Now.. you die, stranger!"

The figure raised the crysknife up and stabbed down into Xander's chest, striking the heart. Xander's eyes flashed open and he screamed in agony... but the attacker wasn't through. Strike after strike were pounded into Xander's chest... 32 stabs in all... the attacker not even noticing that Xander had been dead for the last 15.

When the job was finished, Xander was a bloody mess. The shadowy figure put away the crysknife and then walked out of the room, spitting a curse at Xander's dead body as he left.

It wasn't until about 2 hours later that his body was found... by a serving woman who had become fond of Xander. She had entered his room to check on him and had begun screaming in terror after finding his body. Within moments, Paul was there... and what he did next surprised them all. He cried.

Those watching stared on in awe.

"He gives water to the dead..."

Paul's act of crying had shocked and amazed them all... for it was the greatest gift one of the Fremen could ever give.

Once Paul stopped crying, the water-carriers entered to take Xander's body.

"No.. he is not one of us. I will deal with his remains in my own fashion."

The men nodded and left. Paul turned to the others and shook his head.

"Carry his body to the ledge on the upper east wall... then leave me alone with him."

His guards nodded and did as ordered. They gently picked up Xander's body and followed Paul to the upper east ledge. There, they placed Xander on the ground and then left... leaving Paul alone with the body.

"Xander... my friend. You have shown me much of what it means to be alive. Though you were clouded in darkness, your pain visible on your face, you took the time to become friends with me... and I am thankful for that friendship."

Paul began to cry again and turned away. He didn't see Xander's body twitch... but he felt something. Turning back to the body, Paul stared in shock as Xander began to come back to life.

"Shai Hulud... what is happening?"

Xander began to writhe and shake... his body flexing as his first awakening began. Seconds later, his eyes flashed open and he took in a large gasp of air... and screamed.

Awareness of being alive hit him like a sledgehammer and Xander's eyes darted back and forth in fright. They soon locked on Paul and he began to calm.

"I... died?"

Paul nodded, his face ashen and scared.

Xander looked down at his chest and saw blood covering his shirt.

"Help me with it..."

Paul nodded and pulled Xander into a sitting position. He then helped him peel off his blood-soaked shirt and then gasped in shock at Xander's chest.

"There is no mark on you."

Xander frowned and looked at his chest. The scars from before were gone... all of them. His chest and stomach was smooth once more.

*This is impossible... I can't... I'm not...*

Then it hit him... he knew what he was.. and he screamed out in anguish... then lapsed into tears. Paul, worried for his friend, pulled Xander into an embrace and held him as he cried... gently rocking him... knowing his friend had been through something impossible, and it made him wonder if he still had his sanity...


Xander, topless now, followed Paul down into the lower depths of the siech. Paul was leading him to the large cache of water they had been collecting.

"It isn't much further now."

Xander nodded. He had explained everything to Paul, as soon as he had stopped crying. He told him about his travels and how he needed water to leave. Paul had then told him of the underground lake... and agreed to take him there. They had moved, silently, back to Xander's room to get his belongings.. then had hurried to the lake... knowing that they didn't have much time for Xander to escape.

They turned the corner and Xander gasped in awe at the lake that stretched out before him.

*Enough water now?*

/Yes.. immerse yourself into it and then open the door./

Xander turned to Paul and held out his hand.

"I want to thank you... for everything."

Paul nodded and took Xander's hand, placing a crysknife into it.

"To remember me by... and to remember here... and to keep you safe. Be well, my brother."

Xander smiled and then walked into the water. As the water went over his head, he accessed the doorway, choosing his next world carefully... then opened it and stepped through.



Giles's eyes flashed open and he looked around the room. He could see the others talking quietly. He groaned slightly and they all turned to look at him.

"Are you ok?"

Giles nodded.

"I'm fine. What happened?"

Buffy picked up the pad and handed it to him. Giles looked at it and sighed.

"I thought it was a dream... but it actually happened... but this is wrong now, Xander has moved off that location."

There was a collective "WHAT" from the group and Giles tried to explain.

"While still in the spell, I was able to find Xander... then when I passed out, I didn't completely release the spell. It held on enough to keep track of Xander for a little while longer... but then he disappeared, again. He is no longer there."

Willow smiled and moved closer.

"We can just do it again.. find him again."

Giles shook his head.

"No.. we can't... it is too dangerous. It uses too much power. I feel almost dead as we speak. We cannot attempt to locate Xander again. I'm afraid he is on his own."

The group looked at each other and frowned. They had found Xander... alive... but were unable to do anything to help him... and the powerless feeling was too much to take as one by one, the girls walked away.. crying.


The pool was cool and inviting on such a hot day. The students were all enjoying it, playing a game of water tag. Jean and Rogue, however, were avoiding the water... choosing instead to talk on the edge of the pool.

"You miss him... don't you."

Rogue looked up at Jean and nodded. Jean sighed and looked over at Scott.

"I miss him too."

Rogue was about to respond when she felt something strange. She could feel an electrical sensation filling the air. She glanced over at Jean and notice she felt it too.

"What's going..."

Just then there was a flash of light at the bottom of the pool and seconds later there was a young man lying on the bottom of the pool... unconscious, and not floating to the surface. Jean's eyes opened in fright and she yelled.

"Scott... get him out of there!"

Scott drove under the water, kicking his way down to the bottom of the 15 foot pool. He grabbed onto the young man's arms and dragged him slowly to the surface. As their heads broke the surface of the water, there were hands to take the young man out of his hands.

"He's... not... breathing..."

Scott gasped for air as he pulled himself out of the water. He looked over at Jean who had begun mouth to mouth. She breathed in and out of him for what seemed like forever... then stopped, tears in her eyes.

"He's gone..."

She fell back onto her heels and stared in horror at the body before her. Scott moved over and wrapped his arms around her, pulling her against him to comfort her as she cried. What happened next was something they had never expected.

The body began to jerk and vibrate... then suddenly the eyes opened and the young man took a large gasp of air and sat up, coughing out water.

"God.. I really hate water..."

Xander pushed his, now long, wet hair out of his eyes and looked around him. He saw the faces of almost a dozen terrified people.

*Oh boy... I have some explaining to do.*

Just then, a man in a wheelchair entered and floated over to Xander. He frowned and stared into Xander's eyes.

"Are you alright?"

Xander didn't answer, he was still trying to adjust his mind to being alive... again. What happened next was startling to Xander... as the man spoke to him in his head.

#Who are you... young man?#

Xander jerked back in shock.. and noticed that the red haired woman did as well.

"Xander... I'm Xander... and don't do that again or you'll be sorry."

The man nodded.

"I apologize. I thought you might be injured or unable to hear. I did not mean to intrude."

Xander shrugged and nodded.

"It's ok... just warn me before you try that again."

He looked down at himself and smiled. His belongings were still in place. He climbed to his feet and then shook himself, spraying water on everyone present.

After hearing yells at his actions, Xander grinned and looked down at his feet.

"Sorry... I don't like water."

Xander then focused on his body as the man spoke... concentrating on pushing the water off of him using the force.... and did so as the man spoke.

"We can get you a... towel..."

The man and everyone present watched in awe as the water covering Xander lifted off and was thrown back into the pool. A gasp of shock traveled through the group and then all turned to gape at him.

"What did I do now? Whatever it is.. I didn't do it."

The man smiled and laughed.

"I fail to believe that, Xander. Tell me, why did you come here and how did you arrive... at the bottom of the pool?"

Xander grinned.

"I can travel between worlds... and I left the last one underwater."

The room was silent as they stared in disbelief.. then the room exploded with sound as questions were fired at him...

"How can you do..."

"You were underwater..."

"Travel between worlds is a technological impossibility..."

Xander laughed at the questions and smiled.

"I'm special... that is why I can travel. I was underwater because I needed to be.. and travel is not technologically impossible.. for my friends."

Xander grinned, smugly, and then frowned. The room looked wrong and there were people present he didn't recognize.

"Where am I and who are you people?"

The man nodded to himself and came closer to Xander.

"I am Professor Charles Xavier. You are in my school for the gifted. These people are my students."

Xander frowned.

"I know all that.. sorry.. I meant what room is this? I don't recognize it."

The group stared at Xander in shock... which soon turned to distrust as what he said sank in. Scott frowned at Xander and his visor began to glow.

"Don't move!"

Xander, getting very worried at this point, reached out with his mind and did the first thing that came to mind. He turned to Scott and looked him in the visor.

"You do not want to attack me..."

Scott stopped frowning and his body appeared to go slack.

"I do not want to attack you..."

Xander, fully in the force now, continued.

"You want to leave me alone..."

Scott's jaw dropped a little and he wobbled on his feet.

"I want to leave you alone..."

Xander smiled and finished.

"You want to go sit down and read a book, forgetting you were ever mad at me..."

Scott turned and walked over to one of the chairs.

"I want to sit down and read a book.... and forget I was mad at you...."

He sat down and picked up and book and began reading. Xander grinned and then turned to the group and came face to face with the furious redhead.

"What did you do to him!"

Xander leaned back and readied a force wall... then wondered how he knew how to do that. He looked into the woman's eyes.

"I did what I must... or otherwise visor boy would have blasted me into next year. I happen to like my body. All the women I know happen to like my body. It's nicely Xander-shaped... and it will stay that way."

The woman blinked in shock and then just shook her head and turned to the professor.

"He's insane..."

Xander pouted as the woman walked away.

"I'm not insane... I just give off insane vibes. You would too if you'd lived through some of the crap I've lived through."

He sat down on the edge of the pool and sighed.

"It's not easy to be me... I'm the Zeppo... or at least I used to be. Don't think I qualify anymore, what with being the Lost Warrior and all."

His last words shocked Professor Xavier to the core.

*Lost Warrior... dear lord, could he be the one?*

"Where did you hear that phrase, Xander?"

Xander looked up at the professor. He looked different than he had pictured.

"A friend of mine told me. He can see the future and he told me I'm the Lost Warrior. He seemed as nervous... as you.. are now. What.. you've heard of me?"

Professor Xavier nodded and pulled up next to Xander.

"I know who you are... many of the people I converse with on esoteric matter have heard of you. You are the one who will rid the world of it's greatest evil... at some future date."

Xander laughed.

"I don't see how. I can't control half of the stuff I do..."

Professor Xavier reached down and turned Xander's face to he was looking at him.

"If you will stay... I will teach you."

Xander looked into the man's eyes and smiled. Something told him that the man probably could.

"Sure... don't have anything better to do."


Xander jumped away from the flying log and hit the floor.

"Hey.. watch it with that thing."

The red haired woman, or Jean as he was later told was her name, smiled and shook her head.

"Block it with your mind... don't just dive away from it, Xander."

Xander got to his feet and glared at her.

"Hey.. you've had years to learn this. I've had all of this thrown on me in the last.. year or so... so don't lecture me on using my mind."

Xander, mad now, felt himself fall into the force. He looked at Jean and growled.

"Start the test again."

Jean nodded and waved to Scott in the control room of the Danger Room. The room shifted and the test resumed.

Xander moved forward, jumping from platform to platform, avoiding the flying logs and then the other traps. His speed increased and increased until he was a blur moving across the room.

*Oh my god.. how does he do that?*

The floor under Xander suddenly disappeared and in that second, Xander jumped straight up... over 50 feet... to land on the upper-most platform. Once there, he lost his balance and fell backward... and fell toward the ground fast, only to be caught by Scott... who had appeared out of nowhere.

Xander stared at Scott and grinned.

"My hero."

Scott groaned and dropped Xander.

"Ouch! Hey, Visor Boy... watch it man."

Scott shook his head and walked away.

"Should have let him fall... would have been fun seeing him splat..."

Xander pouted and turned to Jean.

"Your boyfriend doesn't like me."

Jean raised and eyebrow.

"Why should he.. you used that mind trick of yours on him a week ago. He still hates you for it."

Xander frowned.

"Then why did he catch me?"

Jean grinned.

"Because I asked him to... that's why."

Xander looked at his hands.

"Oh... thanks."

He looked up at her and smiled.

"Did I do good?"

As he climbed to his feet, Jean laughed and nodded.

"Yes.. you did... better. What was that last thing you did? That jumping thing?"

Xander replayed what happened in his mind.

"I don't know... I just, jumped. Surprised me too when I found myself almost touching the ceiling."

Jean nodded.

"A new skill. The professor will be able to tell you more. When are you expected?"

Xander looked at the clock mounted in the wall and frowned.

"Ten minutes ago."

Jean sighed and smiled.

"Well.. then run."

Xander grinned and kissed her on the cheek... then ran out of the room, leaving a stunned Jean behind... her hand on her cheek.


Xander sat in the leather chair and listened as the professor explained everything again.

"Your skills seem to be Telepathy and Telekinesis... but you are erratic. One moment, you have much more power than anyone I have ever met... then the next, you are much weaker. Can you tell me what is happening?"

Xander nodded.

"One moment I am completely in the Force.. the other, I am not."

Professor Xavier thought on this and then frowned.

"Please explain."

Xander smiled and began.

'This is how it was explained to me. The Force is everywhere and in everything... and in the spaces between things. Everything that exists in made up of the Force and exists in it. When I do something, I am using the Force. When I am doing great things... I guess I am further in the Force. There have been times I have done things and then told later that I did something amazing. At those times, I think I might be so fully into the Force that I lose my sense of self.. and become one with the Force."

The professor listened and nodded.

"Your power increases with your level of concentration. Hmm.. may I enter your mind and observe as you focus on the Force?"

Xander shrugged.

"Sure.. I guess. What do I do?"

The professor moved over to Xander.

"Just relax.. you will hear me when I have made contact and I will tell you when to begin."

Xander nodded and let his mind relax. Within moments he felt something touching his mind... then he heard the professor's voice.

#I am inside now, Xander. Please begin.#

Xander nodded and reached out to the Force. He let it fill him completely and was soon at one with the force.

#Fascinating.. you are drawing on a power source never witnessed before. I can see the part of your mind that does this and what happens when you are... at one with the force.#

Xander smiled.

"What happens?"

#There is a part of your mind... filled with power. It's startling..."

The professor stared in awe at the mental landscape before him. It had the appearance of a long hallway filled with rooms with glass doors. He walked down the hall and looked in each room.

In one, he saw a copy of Xander... only with a feral look in his eyes.

"Let me out! Let me out!"

The being screamed and launched itself over and over against the door, snarling at the Professor. Charles shook his head and moved on to the next room. There he saw a swarm of bees that were crawling around a hive shaped like Xander himself. There was no door on this room and there were many vent shafts leading away from the room itself.

/Greetings... we are the Hive. We are pleased you are aiding us./

Professor Xavier stared in wonder and nodded.

"I am pleased to be helping him. Tell me, what is your relationship with Xander?"

/He is our host... and we have made him what he is. He needs us as we need him./

Charles nodded and moved on. In the next room he found a glowing ball of energy. It was small and didn't glow very brightly, but it had an aura to it that made him think it belonged there.

"What are you?"

*I am the essence of all that is Xander. I am his Quickening. He has not met me yet, though he has died twice. He will not meet me until he joins the game.*

The professor frowned.

"Game.. what game? What do you mean he has died twice?"

*Xander is an Immortal, one of many who live to fight and take the heads of their opponent. He will then receive the other Immortal's Quickening and I will grow... but he hasn't met any others yet since dying.*

Charles, confused by all this and short on time... moved on. In the last room that was open, he found something awe inspiring. The room was filled with stars. It was as if looking out into the universe itself.

"What is this?"

A voice, soft and comforting, came from all around him.

"This, my child, is the representation young Xander has made of the Force... but it is more."

An old man that glowed blue materalized and walked over to the professor.

"Xander was unable to finish his training and so therefore is raw and uncontrolled. He doesn't understand his skills and only taps them when in anger... and that way is the path of darkness. I wish I had had more time... but alas, I did not. I am asking you to take up my task. I sense the goodness within you. Please teach him how to control without anger... before it is too late."

With that said, the glowing man faded away. The professor stared in shock and then removed himself for Xander's mind.

"I understand now... and we have much to do, Xander... much to do indeed."


Xander entered the dining hall and sat down at a table alone... like he had every day since he had arrived... close to 2 months ago. He ate alone, every day, and was very lonely. It wasn't that he hadn't tried to make friends, because he had tried almost every day the first 2 weeks. The reason he was alone was a simple one... the other students were afraid of him.

He had seen the fear in their eyes on many occasions. The few who had seen him come back from the dead had told the rest. Soon it had spread throughout the school, and the students... as a group.. had decided to avoid him.

Xander looked around the room, seeing heads turn away. He sighed and looked down at his tray.

"What do we have today... brown goo with yellow glop and a side order of green mush. God.. I miss my stash of Twinkies."

Xander rolled his eyes and pushed the tray away.

"Good choice... the food here will kill you."

Xander looked up at the owner of the voice and was startled by the most shockingly blue eyes he had ever seen. He stared in awe at the young woman before him. She was beautiful, about 5'5", slim figure, brown hair pulled up into a ponytail, and the eyes... the eyes that took his breath away.

"Hello.. you in there, or has your brain disconnected?"

Xander nodded and then shook his head.

"God you're beautiful."

The young woman giggled and blushed.

"Nice opening line.. girls love that. So.. can I sit down or do you want to drool some more?"

Xander wiped his mouth and motioned for her to sit down. The young woman smiled and sat across the table from him.

"My name is Kitty... Kitty Pryde. You're new here, aren't you?"

Xander nodded.

"I'm Xander.. Xander Harris."

Xander caught himself staring at her and turned away, blushing.

*Good God man.. you're staring at her harder than you ever stared at Buffy! Calm down!*

"Why are you sitting alone, Xander?"

Xander looked up into her eyes and frowned.

"The others... they're... they're afraid of me."

Kitty frowned and looked over her shoulder at the others. They were motioning franticly for her to get away. She turned back to Xander and shook her head.

"Hold on a sec.. I want to find out why they are doing this."

She started to stand, but Xander reached out and took her hand. When they touched, an electrical shook went through them both. Kitty pulled her hand away and stared at Xander in shock. Xander swallowed and looked down at his plate.

"They don't like me because of how I got here and what happened. You go ahead and talk to them. If you still want to sit with me after you hear everything... then you can come back."

He then picked up his fork and began eating. Kitty stared at the top of his head and then walked over to her friends. Xander looked up as she walked away and sighed.

*So close... almost made a friend here...*

/Do not worry, Xander... we detected that she was attracted to you. There is a chance that she will choose to return./

Xander smiled slightly.

*Thanks guys.. but I don't know...*

He looked over at the group and saw her expressions run from happy to shock to fear. He then saw Kitty turn to look back at Xander, the expression on her face unreadable. She turned back to her friends and what he saw next made Xander confused. Kitty looked mad... hell, she looked pissed.

Kitty spun on her heels and walked back to Xander, sitting down before him.

"Tell me what happened. I want to hear your side of it."

Xander nodded.

"I am Immortal. If I'm killed, I will come back... unless someone cuts off my head. I was dead when I arrived here through a spatial/dimensional gate. Many of the people over their saw me dead.. then alive a few minutes later. They didn't like it."

Kitty sighed and rolled her eyes.

"They told me you were some freak. That you are a zombie and that I needed to get away from you before you killed me and turned me into a zombie too. God.. they are so stupid!"

Xander looked at her in shock.

"You're not afraid of me?"

Kitty saw the look of hope in his eyes and her heart melted.

"Xander.. of course not. I can tell you are a good person... not the person they are describing."

She looked at him quizzically for a second and then smirked.

"Is it true?"

Xander looked confused.

"Is what true?"

Kitty grinned.

"Is it true that you played with Scott's mind, made him sit down and read a book."

Xander grimaced.

"Yeah.. and I wish now I had just let Visor Boy blast me... then maybe the others wouldn't be as scared of me as they are."

Xander looked up at the clock and groaned.

"Damn it.. I'm late again. I'm still not used to be on a schedule again."

He looked at Kitty and smiled.

"Can we.. um.. talk or something later? I was supposed to see the Professor about 10 minutes ago... so I have to run."

Kitty nodded, smiling.

"I'll track you down later. You're in the west or east wing?"

Xander stood.

"East.. third floor."

Kitty nodded.

"Ok.. then I'll find you... now run."

Xander nodded and smiled at her... then ran out the room. As he exited the room, he could have sworn he heard Kitty's thoughts...

*Damn.. he has a great ass.*


Xander entered the Professor's office 15 minutes late. As he entered, the Professor smiled and motioned for Xander to sit.

"Ah.. Xander.. right on time."

Xander, confused by this, was only able to grunt.


The Professor laughed and shook his head.

"You are always late... so I told you to get here at 12:45 so that you would be here on time for your 1:00 class. You are right on time."

Xander smirked and nodded, understanding. The Professor smiled.

"What was it this time?"

Xander blushed.

"I met a girl..."

The Professor grinned and nodded.

"Who.. the only person you haven't met yet is Wolverine and... ah yes, Kitty. Well, she is a lovely girl."

Xander blushed more and nodded.

"I like her... she's the only person, besides you, Jean, and Mr. McCoy, who isn't afraid of me."

The Professor nodded.

"The others will learn to get beyond their fears in time. Trust me on this, Xander."

Xander nodded and the Professor smiled.

"Now.. to begin where we left off yesterday. Have you been practicing holding your centeredness in the force?"

Xander nodded. The Professor moved from behind his desk and over to Xander.

"How long can you stay focused... with and without distractions?"

Xander smirked.

"Without... about 5 hours, I get a little tired after that. With... not very long.. about 15 minutes or so."

The Professor frowned.

"Then I see what we need to work on then..."


Xander balanced himself on the thin strand of wire as the wind blasted him from the left. His body wobbled from side to side as he lost concentration.

"You must regain your concentration, Xander. Now focus!"

Xander took a calming breath and centered himself again, reaching out to touch the force, calmly this time... and felt it flow into him. His body became rigid and he no longer felt the wind.

"Good.. very good.. now walk to the other side."

Xander nodded and slowly walked across the wire. He was no longer aware of the wind blasting against him. He was no longer aware that he was over 30 feet above the ground. All he thought about was the wire and the platform that was rapidly approaching.

As his feet touched the platform, Xander turned to the Professor and then blinked in shock. He wasn't alone... Kitty was standing next to him. She smiled and waved.

*How long has she been here...*

Xander smiled back and waved.

"Hi Kitty."

Kitty leaned forward to the microphone.

"You did great, Xander... but I don't want to be you for what he has planned next."

Xander looked at them, confused, then looked around startled as the room changed. He was now in the middle of a volcanic wasteland. Fire surrounded him on all sides and the only other pieces of land were platforms that were floating at different heights around him. In the last week since the new program started, he had never seen anything this intense.

"I want you to show me your... what did you call it, Xander?"

Xander turned his head to look up at them.

"Force Jumping."

The Professor nodded.

"Move from your location to a marker beacon that is in the distance to your right. I will be lengthening the distances between the platforms as I witness and test this ability."

Xander nodded and went to center himself.. but was shocked to see he was still centered. He was one with the force... and hadn't lost his link. He blinked in shock and then smiled.

*This should be fun.*

Xander looked over and up at the first platform. It was about 15 feet up and about 20 feet away. Xander concentrated and angled his body toward the platform. He then took a few steps and jumped, rocketing over the lava to land almost perfectly in the middle of the platform.

He could hear Kitty cheering from the Danger Room observation room and he smiled. He then jumped from platform to platform, trying to land perfectly... to show off for Kitty. As he reached the second to last platform, the platform moved away from him... going further and further.

Xander looked up at the Professor and then back at the platform. He shook his head and went for it... and jumped... and found himself overjumping the platform. He soared toward the ceiling and couldn't slow himself down. As his body impacted against the ceiling, everything went black.


Xander opened his eyes and saw darkness.

"Oh god.. I'm blind..."

Just then, the room was filled with a soft light and someone moved over into his line of sight. It was Kitty... and she looked worried.

"Thank god you're finally awake; you scared me... you.. you idiot."

Xander winced and closed his eyes.

"I'm sorry..."

Kitty sighed.

"Don't be sorry... just be careful... ok."

Xander nodded and felt Kitty slid in bed next to him. She laid her head on his chest and began to run her fingers along his side.

"I know you can't die.. but it scared me just the same. I mean.. how can we go out on our first date if you're dead?"

Xander opened his eyes and looked down into her smirking face.

"You're lying next to me on purpose. You're doing this to tease me... aren't you."

Kitty nodded and laughed. Xander growled and placed his hands on her back.

"For that you must suffer the death of 1000 laughs... administered by Xander, God of Tickles!"

Xander then rolled her over onto her back and sat on top of her and began tickling her sides.

"Ack... stop... no, not tickling..."

Kitty was laughing so hard she was crying. It was what she did next that surprised Xander... for as his hands moved up to just under her arms, she went translucent and fell through the bed.


Xander jumped off the bed and backed away as Kitty sat up.. her body half in and half out of the middle of the bed.

"It's ok.. I'm not hurt.. this is my talent. I can pass through things."

Xander nodded and moved back to the bed.

"You.. you just startled me... I'm ok now.. I'm manly man.. nothing scares me... except clowns."

Kitty laughed.

"Ok.. manly man... no clowns then."

Xander nodded.

"Good... cause otherwise... I would have to show them they second most scariest thing in the world."

Kitty raised an eyebrow.

"And what is that?"

Xander grinned evilly.

"Scott naked... never want to see that again."

Kitty burst out laughing and fell off the bed.

"When did you see that?"

Xander smirked.

"Caught him by accident. Jean asked me to go get him for her and he had left the door open. I called out into his room but didn't get an answer. I walked into the room just as he walked out of the shower... naked... and then I screamed and ran back here. Took me over 3 hours to get that image out of my head. It was so bad, it gave me nightmares for a week."

Kitty grinned and laughed.

"Aww.. you poor baby."

Xander nodded and smiled.

"Yeah... can I have a hug to make me feel better?"

Xander gave her puppy dog eyes and pouted. Kitty laughed even harder and shook her head.

"I'll hug you... and maybe more... "

She then ran to the door.

"... if you can catch me."

She passed through the door and laughter was heard echoing down the hall. Xander bolted out of his room and chased after her.

Kitty lead him all over the mansion, their chase lasting an hour, before Xander cornered her in the lower levels.

"Come out, miss Kitty... Xander wants to play."

He heard giggling to his left and dove down the hallway, just missing her as she ran through the doors at the end of the hall.

Xander opened the door and ran in after her. The room was dark and he knew he had the advantage this time. He focused his eyes and brought up the ambient light. Within seconds, he could see Kitty hiding in the corner behind a chair.

Xander walked over to her, quietly, and watched as she looked around the dark room... unable to see anything. He reached her side and, instead of grabbing her... he leaned in close and kissed the side of her neck, watching as a shiver ran down her spine.

"Got ya."

Kitty smiled and turned toward the sound of the voice. She found Xander's face in the dark and leaned in to kiss his lips, holding the kiss for what felt like forever before they both had to break to breathe.

"You got me... so, what are you going to do to me?"

Xander giggles evilly and tackled her to the ground. Within moments, Kitty was laughing again and her laughter echoed down the halls.


Five months had passes since he had arrived and Xander stared in the mirror at himself, his hair down to past his shoulders and his face covered by a full beard.

"Shave it all off."

Xander shook his head.

"Can't I keep part of it? I like it."

Kitty stomped her foot and then sighed.

"Fine.. you can keep the mustache and goatee... that's all."

Xander grinned and kissed her.

"Well, thank you... you're a nice girlfriend."

The moment he said it he knew he had just crossed a line. He saw the look of shock on Kitty's face and realized that maybe she didn't feel the same.

"I'm.. I'm sorry.. I.. I shouldn't have.. you're.. you're not ready. I understand."

Kitty spun Xander around and grabbed his face.

"I'm ready.. Xander. It's ok. I want to be your girlfriend."

She leaned in and kissed him. Xander closed his eyes and wrapped his arms around her.

*I love you...*

He smiled to himself... hoping he would be able to say the words soon... but didn't know that she had heard him, and couldn't see the grin that crossed Kitty's face as they broke the kiss.

She turned her head and, from behind mental shields...

*I love you too, Xander.*


It had been almost a year since he had arrived and Xander felt like he was home. He had a sense of prestige among the older students. He had a few of the younger students looking at him as if he were a god. He also had Kitty... and that made him the luckiest guy in the world... until the day it all fell apart...


Xander ran across the pavement, jumping over the cracks that appeared. He had to get across... he had to save her.

Magneto had attacked and in the battle, Kitty had been captured and drugged... only with a few others students. They had been taken to a warehouse on the pier and demands had been placed. The Professor had gathered his X-men and had denied Xander from coming... but that didn't stop him. He had stolen one of the jets and had gone after them, arriving just in time to see the jet crash after being blasted by Magneto.

Xander aimed the jet into a dive and then ejected. He wasn't wearing a parachute, for he didn't need one. He focused his mind within the force and turned himself into a missile, aimed at the old man himself.

*Your ass is mine, old man!*

Magneto turned to Xander, as if hearing him, and raised his hands. Blasts of magnetic energy hit Xander but he shot through them. He was only meters away from pounding into the man when everything changed. Magneto motioned to his right and Sabertooth appeared with Kitty in his hands. she was still unconscious and her neck was between Sabertooth's claws.

*God.. no!*

Magneto nodded and Sabertooth snapped his claws together, breaking Kitty's neck. In that moment, something inside Xander snapped and power like he had never felt before surged through him.


Xander exploded into Magneto, knocking him into the ground. He pulled out his lightsaber and then dove at Sabertooth. The beast dropped Kitty's lifeless body and charged. Xander, fully blind with rage, slashed into Sabertooth with an insane fury that made everyone fighting stop to stare in shock.

Xander slashed and slashed, his attacks sending the blade of the lightsaber cascading across and through Sabertooth's skin... severing first his right hand... then his left arm at the elbow... then his right leg at the knee, followed closely by his left... until all that was left were cauterized stumps.

Sabertooth lay on the ground, already unconscious from the pain. Xander was about to do the killing strike when he heard someone screaming.

"Xander!! No!!"

He brought the lightsaber down and slammed it through Sabertooth's shoulder... missing the heart by a few inches, for someone had pushed it aside. He turned toward the group, his eyes fully insane, and growled.


He waited for an answer he knew probably wouldn't come. He knew none of them had the power to do that except for one or two people. As he waited, he felt Magneto behind him. Without looking, he flung out with the Force and picked Magneto off the ground.

As he floated into the air, his armor began to compact in on itself. Magneto gasped for air and tried to reverse the process... only managing to slow it to a crawl.

Xander scanned the crowd, looking for the one who did it and spotted a terrified look on Jean's face. He reached out and grasped her neck with the Force, making a claw-like shape with his hand.

"You stopped me... that was stupid. He killed Kitty... now he has to die!"

Jean gasped and clawed at her throat, trying to remove fingers that weren't there. She was beginning to turn blue and was about to pass out when everything suddenly stopped as a glowing figure appeared.

"Good... good boy... I can feel for anger, your hate... you are so close to becoming what you were meant to be... my apprentice."

Xander turned toward the sound and looked into the face of... The Emperor. He was walking toward the group, his body encased in a red aura.

"Your hate is something inspiring... so much power within you... so much like my Vader... but more so."

Xander shook his head. He didn't want to listen. He knew he wasn't evil... but he wanted to kill everything. His light... his love was gone... and everything else didn't matter.

"Kill the woman... finish what you started... and join me!"

Xander shut his eyes and shook his head.

"Shut up!"

He threw his hand to the side and Jean went flying, landing 20 feet away... gasping for air. Xander turned to The Emperor and glared at him.

"You're not real... you're dead."

The Emperor laughed evilly and moved closer.

"Do you really think, boy, that anyone could kill me?"

Xander shook his head and screamed.

"Leave me alone!"

He pulled up his lightsaber and dove at the ghost before him... only to be blasted by Force Lightning.

"You choose to not serve me... then child, you die."

Xander writhed on the ground as the lightning crawled over his body. The pain was excruciating but somehow he managed to keep hold of consciousness. He reached out with the Force and grabbed onto the mass that was all that was left of Sabertooth... and threw it at The Emperor. The two bodies met and the explosion of light knocked Xander unconscious...


Xander awoke hours later and found himself inside a small 6 by 6 room. There was no visible door and the walls were padded. He stared at the room and shook his head. He then looked down at himself and discovered that everything he was wearing had been taken for him.

"Let me out!"

Nothing... there was silence. Xander paced across the short room and back... over and over... until a small panel appeared in the west wall. The face of The Professor appeared behind a pane of what looked like bulletproof glass.

"Have you calmed yourself, Xander?"

Xander glared at the man and frowned.

"Let me out! Now!"

The Professor shook his head.

"You are falling to the darkness, Xander. I made a promise to someone that I wouldn't let that happen. You are therefore going to stay in there until you calm down. Food will be brought to you... if it comes to that."

The panel closed and Xander screamed and began ripping at the walls with his hands and the Force, shredding the padding...


Three days had passed and Xander was still enraged. The sounds of his screams echoed down the halls of the lower sub-levels. It wasn't until the screams had stopped that they became worried.

Jean and Scott had come when the guards had called and now stared at the door. Jean rubbed her neck and winced, remembering.

"He's broken, Scott, I felt it when he had me. His mind has shattered... he loved her that much."

Scott growled.

"He's an animal! He tried to kill you!"

Jean looked into his eyes and sighed.

"Tell me you wouldn't feel the same if it had been me."

Scott dropped his head at that and nodded.

"I would have killed... to return the pain they had caused."

Jean nodded.

"So you can understand then how he must feel... to loose the one person you loved. He is shattered inside, Scott... and no one can get close enough to him to repair the damage.

Scott stared at her and swallowed.

"If you could... could you?"

Jean gasped. She wasn't expecting that response.

"Maybe... I don't know. How... what did you have in mind?"

Scott took a breath and explained...


Xander stalked the room, glaring at the shredded walls. He had clawed down to the metal underneath a good 12 inches of padding and had managed to dent the metal inward another 3 inches before his fingers began leaving bloody streaks on the metal. He had stopped, giving his body a chance to heal, when the mist came... and with it, darkness.


As Xander slept, the door opened and in walked Scott and Jean.

"Do whatever you need. If he starts to wake up, I'll inject the sedative into him."

Jean nodded and began her meditation. Within minutes, she was inside Xander's mind...


The scene before her was a shattered wasteland. A large house stood in the center, its second floor having collapsed inward on itself. Jean walked over to it and gasped at what she saw.

In the center of the ruined house stood a statue... of Kitty. She looked like a Goddess... only the statue was broken, its head spun around 180 degrees... and at its base sat Xander. He was huddled in on himself and was rocking back and forth.


Xander cringed at the sound of the voice and began whispering.

"She's gone... all gone... all gone... all gone... all gone..."

Jean frowned and walked over to him.

"I'm sorry... I'm so sorry, Xander."

She pulled him into her arms and he began to cry.

"Let it out, sweetie... let it all out."

Jean held him as he cried... hoping that this was helping.


After what felt like hours, Jean lowered a sleeping Xander to the ground... then stood and began exploring. She discovered the remains of a few cells and saw that they were almost empty.

One held a hive of bees... but the hive appeared shattered, for the room was a pile of rubble and the bees appeared stunned.

/Help... him.... all... broken./

Jean gasped and backed away.

*Dear lord... this is his mind... no wonder he is insane.*

She moved on and discovered an old man sitting next to what looked like Eternity itself. As she neared the man, he turned and spoke.

"Xander is in pain... and he is blocking me. I cannot reach him. You must do so... before it is too late."

With that said, the man faded away. Jean gaped in shock and turned to move on when she heard growling behind her. She spun around and came face to face with a feral Xander who looked her up and down and then began laughing like a hyena.

"Fresh meat... another to kill..."

Hyena Xander growled and launched himself at Jean. Jean screamed and threw up her hands, forming a cage around him.

"No!... Must kill!... Mate dead!!"

Hyena Xander screamed and began attacking the cage... bending the bars until they snapped. Jean stared on in horror, knowing she only had moments left.

"Xander... listen to me... you must stop..."

Hyena Xander glared at her and growled. Jean shook her head and tried again.

"Stop now! Do you really think Kitty would want you to be like this? Do you think she could love you like this!"

This made Hyena Xander pause. His mind, lost inside the rage, was suddenly confused.


Jean nodded.

"I know, sweetie, I know... but killing everyone won't bring her back. It will only make her hate you."

Tears began to form in Hyena Xander's eyes as he slowly slumped to the ground.

"...mate dead."

The cage rippled away and Jean walked over to hug the feral Xander.

"I know... I know... but everything will be ok. You'll see her again someday..."

It was then that someone new spoke.

"No... we won't, not for a very long time."

Jean and Hyena Xander looked up and say a new Xander, dressed in shimmering armor. Jean gaped at him and blinked in shock. Hyena Xander cringed and pushed himself against Jean's chest.

"Glowing man... power... much power."

Jean looked down at the Xander in her arms and then up at the Xander who was drawing nearer.

"Who are you?"

The new Xander smiled.

"I am the Xander who is to come. I am the Xander who knows he will live for many many years... decades... centuries... millennia even."

He stopped next to them and crouched down.

"I am the essence that is Xander, freed now by what has happened. I am Xander's Quickening... and I am what he will one day become."

He looked at Hyena Xander and sighed.

"Leave this to me... the time has come for this one to come home."

Hyena Xander turned in shock and stared at him.

"You want mergence?"

Immortal Xander nodded and opened his arms.

Hyena Xander turned back to Jean and kissed her cheek.

"Thank you."

He then climbed to his feet and ran toward and into the other Xander... the two of them merging into one being.

"He'll be ok now. We still feel the pain... but that will pass in time, something we have in abundance."

He turned to look at the Xander by the statue and frowned.

"One left to deal with."

He turned to Jean and helped her to her feet.

"You can go now... or stay and observe... if you need to."

Jean stared in shock and nodded.

"I'll observe..."

Xander nodded and walked to the statue. Once there, he crouched down and placed his arms around the rocking Xander. Slowly... they became a tower of white light which faded slowly to reveal only one Xander.

Jean stared, confused, and frowned.

"You didn't speak to him... why?"

Xander turned to her and shook his head.

"That part of us is unable to deal. It will be years before he is ready... so until then, we will let him mourn in peace. The rest of us will handle everything until then."

He stood and stretched. The landscape around them was changing, repairing itself. The process was slow... but you could see a definite change. Jean watched in wonder, knowing that she was seeing Xander's mind fixing itself. Suddenly, the sound of a million bees was heard and the swarm she had seen early arrived.

/Repairs have begun... we wish report./

Xander nodded and opened his arms to the bees. They flew into him, one by one, disappearing inside him. As the entire hive entered him, Xander looked more and more stable. His expression hardened and he began to give off and aura of centeredness unlike anything Jean had ever seen.

"All is complete... for now."

Xander turned to Jean.

"You need to go now."

Jean nodded and faded away, leaving behind a completely new Xander.


Xander opened his eyes and looked up into the faces of Scott, Jean, and The Professor. He stared at them as his mind adjusted to everything.

"She's dead."

The Professor nodded.


The Professor frowned.

"Dead as well."

Xander winced. He had taken a life.


Scott leaned forward a little.

"In a coma... in the infirmary."

Xander sighed. At least it hadn't been two lives.

"I have to go now."

He sat up and climbed to his feet.

"I have no right being here... not anymore. It's time I move on."

The Professor nodded, knowing that he was probably right.

"You have a home here... if you need it."

Xander turned to the old man and shook his head.

"You know that is not true. They feared me before... now they will fear me and hate me. I have to leave."

He stared them in the eyes and frowned.

"I would like the sword, knife, lightsaber, and the clothing I was wearing when I arrived please."

He looked at his empty wrist and shook his head.

"I also want my bracer. I don't know how you got it off... but I want it back now."

Scott nodded and went to get Xander's things... returning a few minutes later with everything. Xander placed the bracer back on his wrist and then tightened it using the force so that it would never be able to be taken off ever again. He then motioned for them to leave as he got changed.

Once dressed, Xander stepped out into the hallway and adjusted his stilsuit. He looked at the others and sighed.

"I need to go one place before I leave."

They nodded and followed him as he made his way upstairs to Kitty's room. Inside, he gathered a few pieces of her clothing and some of her perfume. He then took a picture of the two of them together from off her nightstand and placed everything into a backpack from her closet.

"You can send the rest to her family. I... I want these to remember her."

The Professor nodded.

"We're sorry for your loss, Xander. You loved her a great deal and I know she loved you the same."

Xander nodded and turned around.

"I'm leaving now. I hope you will not tell anyone of how I leave, I know that someone might try to follow me someday."

They nodded and watched as Xander concentrated and made a glowing doorway appear. The other side was a swirling mass of dark mist that slowly formed into...

Xander nodded goodbye at them and stepped into the doorway, not looking at the setting... not noticing the man who was waiting for him on the other side...


Xander stepped through the doorway and into the waiting hands of a man in his forties. Xander jerked back in shock and began fighting back, punching and kicking for all his worth.

"Calm down.. calm down.. you're not being attacked!"

Xander backed away into a wall and realized the man wasn't touching him. He looked around in shock and didn't know where he was. The room he was in was all white with a couch in the center. He could see the remains of a few drinks on tables surrounding the couch and what looked like a cigarette butt.

"Where am I?"

The man smiled and motioned for Xander to sit.

"Nowhere... cause technically this place doesn't exist. I found it a long time ago and decided to keep it... in case I ever needed to use it. It's a safe place. No one can find us here or even detect us magically."

Xander walked over to the couch and joined the man on it.

"Why did you bring me here?"

The man grinned.

"Because.. after 50 years, I finally found someone else who could travel... and I wanted to meet you. The name is Harry Livingston, Captain in her majesties Royal Air Corps."

Xander stared in shock and blinked.

"Xander Harris... from Sunnydale, California."

Harry grinned.

"An American... smashing. Never met one of you before."

He held out his hand and Xander shook it, noticing a similar bracer on the man's wrist. Harry saw Xander staring at the bracer and smiled.

"Aye.. I met those alien beasties as well. They found me when my plane exploded back in the war. Would have been as crispy as a crisp if they hadn't grabbed me with their twinkly lights."

Xander gaped in shock and swallowed.

"What year was it when you left?"

Harry grinned.


Xander blinked.

"How older were you?"

Harry frowned a little, not understanding where this was going.

"I was 28... and before you ask... I'm..."

He paused. He should be almost 80 years old now but he felt and looked barely 40.

"Oh bugger..."

Xander nodded.

"I think something is happening to us. I've been traveling for only a year, year and a half now.. maybe longer... but I don't look like I have aged any. You said you had been doing this for 50 years and you look... 40 or so. I think these things won't let us age."

He didn't want to tell Harry that his own excuse for not aging was because he was Immortal. He knew Harry wasn't.. so it had to be the bracers.

"Oh bugger it all. I thought I would one day just get old and die.. but this bleedin thing won't let me, will it?"

Xander shook his head.

"Don't think so. You might just want to find someplace nice and stay there awhile... if you're tired of traveling. What kind of places do you like?"

Harry smiled.

"I can do you one better. Why don't we exchange information. I hear them tell me once that if we put our bangles together they can trade planet locations... you get mine and I get yours. That way.. I see where you've been and you see where I've been. Then we both might get some new planets to visit. You up for it?"

Xander nodded and held out his arm. Harry touched his bracer to Xander's and they both watched as the information was exchanged. When it was finished, they both compared notes.

"Wow.. you haven't been to many planets, have you? Hmm.. never been to this one... Tatooine. What is it like?"

Xander smiled.

"It's a desert planet... two suns. The gate opens in a town called Mos Eisley. There are adobe houses and lots of nice and interesting places to visit. If you go to the right and then left after a ways you will find a nice bar. Lots of strange creatures inside.. but the drinks are good and the atmosphere is fun. Don't get anyone mad at you though."

Harry nodded and smiled.

"Sound like my kind of place. I might check it out."

Xander smiled and checked out his new planets. He recognized many of them as places he wanted to visit.. then saw one he didn't recognize.

"What is this one? DBZ... I don't understand. What does it mean?"

Harry laughed.

"That's my own little code for it. Strange place.. people with powers and they fly around and shoot lights out of their hands.. and this green guy in a turban.. it was all pretty weird, but they were nice."

Xander nodded. It sounded like something he had seen on tv once.

*DBZ... that sounds so familiar.*

"Did anyone ever show you or mention shiny gold balls with stars on them?"

Harry nodded.

"Aye.. that they did. Called them Dragonballs."

Xander smiled.

"I know the place now. Thanks.. I think I will go there sometime."

Harry grinned and slapped Xander on the arm.

"Well.. maybe we'll run into each other again. Have fun boy."

With that said, he opened his doorway and disappeared. Xander watched him leave then opened his own and stepped through... and found himself on the edge of a platform staring down at the earth far below him.

*Wow.. this place really IS high up.*

He turned around and smiled at the short fat green man who was approaching.

"Welcome to Kame's... how can I help you, stranger?"

Xander grinned and bowed.

"Greetings, I would like to use your Hyperbolic Time Chamber... please."

The green man blinked in shock and began to twitch.

"It isn't something to play with, you will be all alone in there and time runs differently. One day here is many years there. Are you sure you wish to do this?"

Xander nodded.

"I need to practice and I don't have time to spend years out here doing it. I hope you don't mind me using it for a day."

The man frowned then shook his head.

"That's fine. It's not needed for another few days still. Follow me please."

The green man turned and led Xander inside and up to a large set of tower doors.

"Inside you will find food and drink and a place to sleep. You may leave whenever you wish, just speak out to me and I will open the door... or else the door will stay closed for one full day here, then I will open it and you must then leave. Do you understand?"

Xander nodded.

The green man sighed and opened the doors.

"Then enter."

Xander smiled and walked inside, the doors closing behind him.

"This should be fun..."


Xander rotated in mid-jump, his body flexing as he fought imaginary enemies, and landed on a platform over 100 feet from where he started. He grinned and paused to catch his breath.

"Never... jumped... that... far... before..."

He had been inside the chamber for almost two years now and his skills had advanced exponentially. His strength was three times what it was when he entered and his speed and agility were both doubled.

Xander jumped down and floated to the ground as gentle as a leaf. It was another skill he had discovered while training. He could control the speed at which he fell.

*No more falling on my ass...*

Xander laughed as his feet touched the ground. He walked over to the large couch that had mysteriously appeared one day and sat down.

"Ok.. checklist time..."

It was a ritual he did every month or so.

"Speed... a hell of a lot faster. Haven't seen any improvements in it for close to three months so I guess its as fast as I'll get. Guess I'm done with that."

Xander made an imaginary check mark and then giggled.

"Ok... agility. Well.. I can bounce around so fast I doubt anything could touch me now.. so I guess that's done too."

Xander smiled as he checked off another skill.

"Hmm... strength... well, I'm very strong. I probably couldn't beat Buffy..."

Buffy... it was still painful, even after almost 4 years, to even think about her.

*I wonder how she and Willow are... I wonder if they are even still alive.*

Xander shook his head and continued.

"Ok.. got speed, agility, and strength. Now for my Force training. I got the jumping thing down.. and the floating thing. I can lift pretty much anything I want... but there's no one here to do the mind trick on... but I think I already had that down pretty good before I got in here."

Xander stood and popped his neck.

"Now... still can't do Force Lightning... but I don't know if I'll ever be able to do that.. so skip that for now. Looks like I probably have everything done."

Xander walked over to a large mirror and looked at himself. His body had gone through a miraculous change. Gone was the weak looking puny boy. In its place was a buff powerful man. Xander admired his muscled body and smiled.

"I look like one of those bodybuilders that hung out at the gym."

He looked at his hair.. long now, it hung a quarter of the way down his back. He had left it alone.. not sure how to cut it without making it look like crap... but he had been keeping his facial hair trimmed.

*Kitty liked it short... Kitty...*

A tear dropped from his eye as he remembered.

"Ok.. you promised yourself no more crying.. so cheer up."

Xander examined his face in the mirror. He was sporting a nice goatee and mustache, the combo making him look dark and mysterious.

"Call me cryptic guy number 2."

He laughed... comparing himself to Angel.

*Oh god.. I'm getting too weird even for me. I had better leave soon.*

He looked down at himself and grinned.

"I guess I'm done. Time to go home, maybe... but maybe one more stop first..."

Xander turned and walked back to the doors.

"Hey.. you out there! I'm ready to leave now!"

The doors opened and the green man appeared.

"Are you still sane?"

Xander grinned and laughed.

"Yeah.. I'm fine."

As he walked past the green man, he heard him gasp.

"My word.. you have bulked up amazingly. You must have been training very hard."

Xander stepped outside and nodded.

"Yeah.. it was great. What do I owe you?"

The green man smiled and shook his head.

"No charge... just all a part of my duty."

Xander smiled warmly and bowed.

"Then I thank you.. and I am pleased to let you know that you have aided the Lost Warrior and you will be remembered most fondly..."

The green man blinked in shock.

*He's the Lost Warrior?!*

"Oh my.. I'm Mr. Po Po... and its an honor."

Xander nodded and grinned.

"Well.. need to be going now, Mr. Po Po. Thank you again for the use of your chamber."

Xander turned and opened the doorway, heading for his last stop before going home. The doorway formed and he stepped through...


Xander walked down the road and looked all around in wonder. It was everything he had imagined. There were people of every shape and size milling about and every now and then he could see flashes of light as a mage used magic on or for someone.

Xander stopped a man near him and tapped him on the shoulder.

"Excuse me... where can I find the University of Magic?"

The man looked Xander over and shivered.

*Too powerful... don't even think it Edmund.*

"Take the road to the crossroads. Take the right road and follow it to a T.. then go left... and then walk about 4 blocks. You'll see a white castle. That is the University."

Xander nodded and pulled a silver coin out of his pocket. He flipped it to the man as he walked away.

"Thank you."

As Xander walked away, Edmund smiled and bit the coin... seeing it was real silver.

*Must have been a Lord. I did good by not attacking him... and maybe I can get more if I follow him.*

He grabbed his things and moved to follow.


Xander approached the castle and walked through the gates. Inside, he was stopped by a severe looking woman.

"State your business."

Xander smiled.

"I need a mage... preferably an Enchanter... to make some special armor for me."

The woman looked at Xander and nodded.

"Third floor... take the stairs at the end of the hall and then go to the waiting room. Someone will help you there."

Xander nodded and followed her directions. Within a few minutes, he was in the waiting room and was shocked to see the same woman waiting for him.

"State your business."

Xander blinked.

"Didn't I just tell you?"

The woman sighed and frowned.

"My sister.... now, what do you want?"

Xander smiled.

"I need an Enchanter to make some armor for me."

The woman nodded.

"Wait here..."

She opened a drawer and pulled out a scroll. She then recited it and it disappeared. A few minutes later, a young man arrived.

"You need an Enchanter?"

Xander nodded.

"Can you make what I am wearing into armor... then add some mithril to it?"

The young man looked at Xander then walked over. He felt the stilsuit and smiled.

"This has much power already in it. It will make very powerful armor indeed."

He smiled.

"500 gold...and I will make you armor like no one has ever seen. I'll even attach the mithril in such a way so that it can never be removed."

Xander smiled. He had been keening gold the entire time since arriving.

"Deal. Half now.. the other half when you finish."

The young man grinned widely.

*I would have done it for 300.*

"Wonderful... follow me please."

He turned and lead Xander to another room. Xander handed over half the amount and then stripped off the stilsuit. As he watched, the young mage began his work.


An hour later, Xander was back in his stilsuit. It was beautiful. The black of the stilsuit was now a glimmering black so dark it seemed to suck in light... and overlaid on it was a purplish-silver mithril.

"It's beautiful... thank you."

The young mage looked up from counting his gold and smiled.

"You're welcome. I was surprised by how well it took the spell. You now have armor that is probably strong enough to protect you from everything up to the blast of a Dragon. My best work yet..."

Xander grinned.

"I hope I never have to face one... but it is good to know."

He turned to leave and then stopped. He pulled out another 200 gold coins and handed them to the man.

"I wasn't here... understand."

The young mage stared at the gold in shock and nodded.

"No one has been here all day."

Xander nodded and then left the room. Once in the hallway, he felt someone behind him. Reacting on instinct, Xander lifted the person and slammed them into the wall. Turning around, he was shocked to see the man from earlier... and he was holding Xander's lightsaber.

"That doesn't belong to you."

Xander pulled it from the man's hands and placed it back on his belt.

"You should run... and stop stealing... or else I might do something to make you cry in your sleep for the rest of your life."

Xander dropped the man and he ran away in terror, a yellow trail following him. Xander shook his head and sighed.

"Time to go home."

He focused on home and opened the doorway. He was aiming for just outside the Bronze and was pleased to see that he had good aim. He took one last look around and stepped through...


Dawn stared at her sister as she danced with Riley.

*There she goes again... trying to get into his pants while still on the dance floor. God, Buffy can be such a slut at times.*

Dawn took a sip of her soda and looked over at Willow and Tara. They were snuggled up close together and had pretty much forgotten she was even there.

*This is boring. I'm going home.*

Dawn stood and walked outside. She checked her purse to make sure she had a cross and a stake and then began walking toward home. She made it about 15 feet, when three of Glory's minions jumped out of the shadows and grabbed her.

"Her gloriousness wishes to speak to you. You will come with me."

Dawn pulled against their grasp but couldn't get away. She was in the process of screaming for help when something appeared behind the third minion. It looked like a glowing portal of white light and there was something... or someone inside it, moving her way...


Xander stepped through the doorway and as he was about to emerge out the other side, he head someone scream for help. The doorway had opened right behind a young girl being attacked by three demons. Xander jumped through and landed a jump kick against the closest demon, knocking it to the ground. He then launched himself into the attack...


Dawn watched in awe as a man emerged from the portal and jump kicked the demon in front of her unconscious; knocking her to the ground as well. As she watched, he pulled out a strange looking dagger and stabbed it into the stomach of the demon on left. She cringed as its guts were cut open only moments before the man sliced its throat, pushing it to the ground.

*Oh my god!!*

She watched as he flipped the dagger into the air and in one fluid motion, pulled out a long sword. He then sliced the final demon in half, then turned and caught the dagger as it fell back down into his hands.

All of which happened in under a minute...


Xander cleaned his crysknife and then slid it back into its pouch. He then cleaned his sword and returned it to his sheath. He looked down at the girl and extended his hand to her.

"Are you ok?"


Dawn looked up at him and gasped in shock. He was gorgeous! His long black hair and his deep chocolate eyes. The dark mysterious look his goatee and mustache gave him. His body.. oh God his body!

*Oh god...*

She looked at the hand extended toward her and was about to take it when the man was suddenly gone...


Inside the Bronze, Buffy heard a scream and ran outside. She saw Dawn sitting on the ground and there was some man standing over her, his hand reaching toward her. With a growl, she launched herself at him and jumped on his back; pounding her fists into his head over and over... the two of them falling to the ground with her sitting on his back...


Dawn stared in horror as her sister began punching the guy in the head. She was about to yell at her to stop when something amazing happened...


Xander felt the blows and tried to throw the thing on his back off... but for some reason he couldn't. He dove into the Force and summoned every ounce of strength he could muster. With a yell, he focused his strength and the Force and blasted the thing off... throwing it across the alley.

He stood and spun around, blinded by the blood pouring into his eyes from a gash on his forehead, and reached out with the Force to pin the thing to the wall. Xander then turned in the direction the thought the girl was.

"It's not safe here... run, I'll hold that thing long enough for you to get away..."


Dawn stared at the guy in shock. He was bleeding and was alive after being attacked by the Slayer... and he was still worried about her.

*That is so sweet.*

She heard him tell her to run and she knew she had better humor him... cause it was obvious that he didn't know who she was or who Buffy was. Dawn got to her feet and ran inside the Bronze.


Xander heard footsteps running away and he moved in the direction he knew to be the way back to the main roads. He held the thing in place until he was far enough away, then ran away... disappearing into the shadows...


Buffy, having been blasted across the alley, watched the man run away and then felt whatever had been holding her suddenly vanish. She started to go after him when she saw Dawn emerge from the Bronze.

"Buffy... stop!"

Buffy turned to Dawn and glared at her. Dawn shook her head and moved closer.

"He wasn't attacking me! He saved me, you idiot!"

Buffy looked at the ground around her and saw the dead bodies of two of Glory's minions. Dawn, who had moved closer, continued.

"He killed them for me! He wasn't going to hurt me! YOU RUINED EVERYTHING!!"

She then turned and stormed off back into the Bronze, leaving a confused Buffy behind. She turned to go back in the Bronze and came face to face with a scared Willow.

"What is it?"

Willow swallowed and looked in the direction the man had disappeared.

"He looked like Xander..."

Buffy gasped in shock and then replayed the fight in her mind. The man's hair was longer and his body was... well, amazing... but when she thought about it... he did look a little like Xander.

"Oh god.. we had better go get Giles."


Giles moved another book into the bookcase and sighed. He had liked the bookcase he had had before... but it was now splinters in the corner of the room.

*Bloody Gavmon Demons...*

As he picked up the next book, a piece of paper fell out and onto the floor. He bent over to pick it up and blinked in shock as he read it.

"The Lost Warrior... I had forgotten all about that. I thought I had lost this... I wonder..."

Just then... Buffy, Riley, Willow, Dawn and Tara stormed into the room. Buffy ran over to Giles and grabbed his arms, turning him around.

"We think we saw Xander... tonight... outside the Bronze."

Dawn moved closer to Giles and glared at Buffy.

"He saved me from three of Glory's guys and was trying to help me up when Slayer girl over there jumped on his back and tried to crack open his head to get to the chewy center."

Buffy stared at Dawn and was going to respond but decided against it when she saw the look on her face. Giles sat down and removed his glasses. As he did so, the paper fell out of his hands. Buffy noticed it and picked it up.

"What's this?"

She read the paper, her eyes widening in shock, and then began to frown.

"Who is this guy? How come you never mentioned him before?"

The others moved closer to read the note and then all looked at Giles.

"It wasn't important. We didn't have any major evil here when I discovered it and then I lost it soon after that."

Giles stood and placed his glassed back on his face.

"You said you think it is Xander. How do you know?"

Willow frowned.

"I would recognize him, no matter how much he has changed. I've known him all my life."

Giles nodded.

"Well... it's late and Dawn has school in the morning. You all go home and we can meet to talk about this tomorrow. I will research on locating Xander, if it was Xander, and if it wasn't... I will look for anyone matching the description you gave of this man."

Buffy nodded and turned to Dawn.

"I need to talk to the others privately for a minute. Can you wait just outside for a little bit?"

Dawn frowned.

"I'm not a baby, Buffy."

She then turned and stormed to the door, opened it, and stepped outside...


Xander slowed his walking and rubbed his head.

*Man... that thing hits hard. Hey guys! Anything broken in there?*

/No... no damage was taken. What you are experiencing is the sensation that comes after multiple blows to the head. Your brain was... jiggled... a little bit. You will be fine in a few minutes./

Xander smiled.

*Thanks guys.*

He turned the corner and paused to look at his reflection in the window of a store next to him. He could see a smear of blood on his head... but no gash.

*Did you guys do that?*

/No... your own healing abilities did that. It closed itself before we were able to even begin./

Xander nodded.

*I'm like Duncan... I really hope he's still alive. I hope my taking those bullets for him gave him time to get the other guy's head. Maybe I can go look for him someday.*

Xander shook his head and continued on, turning the corner onto the street that he lived... and found his house was empty. He walked up and inside and found nothing. The place was completely deserted.

*Shit... everything is gone. I sure hope all my good stuff is still in the basement.*

Xander ran downstairs and threw open the basement door. Inside he found the room empty. With a howl of rage, Xander ran to the wall nearest the spare bathroom and ripped off a section of paneling... revealing a secret stash.

"Thank god."

Xander reached into the secret nook and pulled out his things... a box of first edition comic books, a video tape stole from his dad's secret library, a stack of his favorite magazines, and a box of Twinkies.

"Oh god I hope these are still good."

Xander dropped everything on the floor and ripped open the Twinkies. He shoved one into his mouth and felt his eyes roll back in his head.

"Mmmmmmmmmm... oh god, you have got to love the magic of preservatives."

Xander sat there and proceeded to eat every one of the Twinkies before he stood and surveyed his stuff.

"I don't really need any of this... not anymore. It's just not important."

He picked everything up and placed it all back where he found it, then turned and walked back upstairs.

*I need to talk to someone... maybe Giles.*

He walked outside and headed toward Giles's place...


Within minutes, Xander had arrived at Giles's. He walked into the courtyard and was surprised to see the same girl from before waiting outside Giles's door. He walked closer and cleared his throat. The girl turned around and gasped in shock...


Dawn stared in the window at the others and frowned.

*They never let me know anything.*

Just then, she heard someone clear their throat and she turned to see... him. Dawn gasped in shock and felt her jaw drop.

"It's you! Are you ok?"

Xander nodded and moved a little closer.

"I'm fine... I heal fast."

He looked around and then looked a little confused.

"Not to be rude and all but why are you here?"

Dawn smiled.

"I'm here because they told me to wait outside."

Xander frowned.

"They told you... oh, I guess they're more on the ball than they used to be. Kidnapping innocent people now to question them... shit."

Xander saw the girl blink and he winced.

"Sorry... you're too young. Umm, forget I said that. You heard... sheesh... yeah, that's right... you didn't hear me say shit. Oh shit, I said it again! Oh..."

Xander slammed his hand over his mouth and looked on as the girl fell into a fit of giggles. From behind his hand, Xander continued talking.

(muffled) "You know what I mean."

Dawn nodded, smiling.

"Yes... I know. My name's Dawn. I really wanted to thank you for saving me earlier... and what was that thing you jumped out of?"

Xander flinched.

"The thing... do they know about it yet?"

Dawn shook her head.

"No... they didn't ask me... so I didn't tell them."

Xander sighed in relief.

"Thank god. Don't want them knowing about it... yet."

He looked at Dawn and saw her looking at him as if waiting for something. He smiled and remembered.

"Oh... sorry... forgot."

He paused and then smiled warmly at her. As he started speaking, he didn't notice the door begin to open.

"Nice to meet you, Dawn. My name is Xander."


Buffy grabbed Riley's hand and said goodnight to Giles. She then opened the door to leave and heard something she never expected to ever hear again.

"Nice to meet you, Dawn. My name is Xander."

Buffy threw open the door and came face to face with a startled Xander.


Xander, shocked to see her again, backed away and then ran off down the path, disappearing into the night... ignoring the voice that yelled after him...


Buffy saw the look of terror in Xander's eyes and then, as he ran away, called out after him.

"No! Xander stop... wait! Don't go!!"

She started to go after him but felt someone holding her back. She looked down at her arm and saw Riley trying to hold her in place.

"Let me go... I have to stop him!"

Buffy yanked her arm free and turned to Willow... who looked like she was about to cry.

"Take Dawn home... I'll call you if... when I find him."

Willow nodded and Buffy raced off after Xander...


As Xander ran down the road, he mentally berated himself.

*God... even after all this time I still can't face her. I'm such a loser.*

He ran down the road, using a touch of the Force to speed himself up... knowing Buffy would probably chase after him. He reached the playground just as he heard steps coming up behind him.

*Shit... need high ground!*

Xander saw what looked like a new jungle gym and channeled the Force. With a leap, he jumped on toward it... landing on top of it, making a 30-foot jump across and an 8-foot jump up. He then spun around to face Buffy...


Buffy ran as fast as she could and soon caught up with Xander.

*My god... he's running fast... how?*

They were approaching the playground and she saw Xander do something he had never done before... it looked like he flew... a good 30 feet... to land on top of the jungle gym. He then spun around and stared at her.

"Stop right there... Buffy."

Buffy stopped... her feet suddenly heavy.

*What the hell?*

She looked up at Xander and frowned, confused.

"Xander... is that you?"

Xander nodded.

"Yes, Buffy, its me."

Tears began to form in her eyes as she looked at him.

"We thought... for so long we thought you were dead."

Xander smirked at that.

"Been there... done that... forgot to buy the t-shirt."

He saw the look forming on Buffy's face and quickly added something.

"Don't worry, Buff... I'm not a vamp."

He could see her visibly relax and decided to up things a little.

"You promise not to kill me if I let you come closer?"

Buffy nodded. Xander nodded slowly and motioned her forward... then jumped down, performing a backflip in mid air... to land right in front of her.

Buffy gaped at Xander.

*What happened to him and where did he learn to do that?*

She looked him up and down and felt something inside her twist a little. Images of what his new body must look... naked... suddenly passed through her mind and she shivered.

*Down girl... you have a boyfriend... remember?*

Buffy swallowed and looked Xander in the eye.

*God... he looks older than me... much older now. What the hell happened?*

"Where were you?"

Xander looked at Buffy and nodded. He had decided to spill... pretty much everything.

*I had better or she might decide that I have gone all evil and then feel the need to stake me.*

"I've been... to a lot of places. It's kinda a long story, Buff... do you want to talk here or someplace less vamp-friendly?"

Buffy smiled and nodded.

"I'm taking you home, young man, and no buts from you about it."

Xander smirked and nodded.

"Yes ma'am."

Buffy giggled and then took Xander's hand. A little jolt of electricity passed through her and she shivered again. Shaking it off, she looked at Xander and then lead him back to her house...


As they walked up her steps, the doors opened to reveal Mrs. Summers. She had a look of worry of her face and she was almost crying when she saw her daughter bringing someone home she never thought she would see again.


She moved forward and wrapped Xander in a hug. Xander smiled and hugged her back.

"Hi Mrs. Summers... I missed you too."

Joyce pulled back and ruffled Xander's... long hair... and then took his other hand.

"Come inside... you look too thin... I'm going to fix you something to eat..."

She continued to babble on as she pulled Xander into the house. Xander turned to Buffy and smiled.

"She's babbling."

Buffy smirked.

"She has every right. You were like a son to her and she was really sad when... well, when we thought you had died."

They walked into the living room and Xander was bombarded by a blur of red hair that suddenly attached herself to his chest.


Xander blinked in shock and shook his head.

"Whoa... Willow... back it up and slow down. It's been too long and I can't understand you anymore."

Willow blushed and nodded.

"Oh god, Xander, I was so worried that you would never ever come back to me and that you would be gone forever and I'm so sorry that we treated you the way we did and told you that you weren't important and that you didn't deserve to be there cause you would just get yourself hurt or killed and I'm sorry you left and then died but I'm glad you really didn't die and I'm babbling again aren't I?"

Xander smirked and nodded.

"That's my Willow."

He pulled her into a hug and smiled at the warm feeling that spread through him. He then noticed a blond staring at him with an unusual look in her eyes... a look of jealousy.

"Willow... I think your..."

He paused. He could see and feel the bond between the two of them now.

"... your girlfriend might be getting a little jealous of your hugging me so strongly... and I would like to meet her."

Willow looked up into his eyes in shock and gasped.

"How... how did you know?"

Xander smiled as he looked at the shocked faces in the room.

"New skill I picked up in my travels..."

He got all calm looking and, in his best Obi Wan Kenobi voice continued.

"All things are noticeable to those who dwell within the Force..."

Buffy stared on, confused, but Willow just smiled.

"You got your wish!"

Buffy frowned.

"What wish?"

Willow laughed.

"When Xander and I saw Star Wars... he wished to be a Jedi someday."

Xander nodded.

"Yup... and let me tell you, the old man looks a little different in person."

He felt 12 eyes on him then and heard a mutual...


Xander laughed and sat down.

"It's all real... every bit of it... and I've been there."

He then proceeded to tell them of how he made his way to Tatooine after meeting some aliens and how he got in a fight in the cantina and then meeting the whole group.. and then the rest...

"... and this is his lightsaber."

Riley laughed.

"Nice story... you really can tell a good one, but its all just that, a story. None of it is real."

Xander smirked and stood. He pulled out the lightsaber and ignited it... then watched as they all stared in wonder.


Xander turned to Dawn and smirked.

"You know... I don't remember you, kiddo. Want to clue me in on why you're here?"

He saw a look pass through the group and he frowned.

"What... did I say something wrong?"


"What... did I say something wrong?"

Buffy looked between Xander and Dawn and frowned.

"Xander, she's Dawn... my little sister."

Xander looked confused.

"You never had a little sister, Buffy. I should know, I spent a lot of time here when you first moved in. You me and Willow had a few sleep-overs and there was never any mention of a little sister. Wait.."

He removed his backpack and dug through it, looking for his wallet.

"Ah.. here we go. See here, in the picture its just the three of us..."

He showed them the photo.

"... but in the one on the table over there, which looks like the same picture, there is the kiddo. Same picture.. but you're has been changed."

Buffy grabbed the photo and then compared it to the one she had. They didn't match... completely.

*What's going on? Why doesn't Xander know about her?*

She turned back to look at Dawn and shook her head.

*Can't go there... can't... it'll scare her too much... got to come up with something.*

She sent Xander a look that said "play along" and moved over to Dawn.

"That's right.. you forgot, Xander, your photo was taken while Dawn was inside getting a soda. She saw us together and wanted a photo too so we held in place."

Seeing the look she sent him, Xander nodded. He was confused but decided to go with it.

"Right... sorry, its been a long time since I was here. Things are a little fuzzy up there sometimes..."

Xander moved to sit down... in thin air... and Willow called out to him in warning, when the strangest thing happened... the chair across the room suddenly slid across the floor and under Xander.

"Oh man.. I'm tired... it's been a long day."

Xander rubbed his eyes and then looked up at the group. They were staring at him in shock.

"God.. what did I do now?"

Willow, trembling, pointed at the chair.

"How did it move..."

Xander frowned and looked confused... then looked at where he was sitting.

"Oh.. sorry.. I was tired. I needed to sit down. I guess there was no chair here.. correct... well, one moved over here for me. That tends to happen a lot now."

Riley, who had been watching all of this, was growing more and more sure of something.

*He's an HST.. I just know it... and they are too blind to see it.*

It wasn't until the chair moved that he knew it.

"You're the freak that attacked Buffy!"

With a growl, he launched himself at Xander... who was on his feet in an instant... and in a battle stance none of them had ever seen...


The fight took only a matter of seconds. Riley came in with a punch... which Xander blocked and then countered with one of his own... which sent Riley flying across the room. Riley climbed to his feet and threw himself on Xander, grabbing him in a bearhug to try to squeeze him unconsious. Xander grinned and slammed his hands together on either side of Riley's head, sending him to the ground.

The fight lasted a few seconds before Buffy screamed.

"Enough! Riley.. stop it!"

Riley stared up at her in shock, the ringing in his ears making it hard to hear her.. but he heard her tone and knew that she had taken the new guy's side.

"What?! You're taking his side! He's a freak! He's the guy who attacked you earlier!"

Buffy shook her head.

"He didn't attack me... it was defending himself. If anyone attacked anyone it was you. What got into you?"

Riley glared at her and climbed to his feet and before anyone could do anything... clipped Xander in the mouth... cutting his lip open. Within seconds.. tiny bolts of lightning crawled across his lip... healing it completely.

With a grin, Riley smirked.

"I told you he was a freak."

The others backed away in shock, staring at Xander in a way he knew was coming. He nodded and moved to the door. As he stood at the door, he paused.

"Yes.. I'm not normal... but I'm not a freak. I knew this was a bad idea... just a bad idea."

He opened the door and walked outside... into the darkness.


Inside they all watched Xander leave and just stared in shock. Dawn glared at them and moved toward the door.. making to follow, but was stopped by Buffy. She turned to look her sister in the eyes and frowned.

"You're letting him go... why.. cause he's not normal... hello.. those two are witches. They're not normal and yet you let them stay. What's the big deal about him.. is it because your neanderthal boyfriend says so."

Dawn shook herself loose and moved to the door.

"He's our friend... and I don't care if he were covered in blue fur.. he's still Xander."

She ran out onto the porch... but Xander was gone.


Xander walked down the road, not really knowing where he was going... and somehow ended up at Giles's place.

*Better get this done before they show up looking for me.*

He walked up to the door and knocked on it. Within minutes the door opened to reveal Giles, looking very tired.

"Yes.. can I help you?"

Xander smiled.

"Hey G-Man... did you miss me?"

Giles's eyes widened in shock and he backed up.

"Good lord... Xander?"

Xander nodded.

"In the flesh."

He stepped across the threshold and touched a cross sitting on a nearby table.

"Just wanted to ease your mind some... I'm not a vampire."

Giles nodded.

"Thank you. Um.. you're back then, I take it."

Xander nodded.

"For now... not sure if I'm staying though. Didn't get the warm welcome you see in movies."

Xander shook his head.

"Well.. don't have much time. I came to you because I have a question for you."

Giles nodded.

"I'll try to help you if I can."

Xander smiled.

"Good. What can you tell me about the Lost Warrior?"

Giles paled and sat down.

"How do you know that name?"

Xander smirked.

"A friend of mine told me that... he's me."

Giles's eyes widened in shock and then he passed out. Xander stared at Giles and smirked.

"Might as well raid the fridge..."

He walked over into the kitchen and as he was digging through Giles's food, he heard him wake up.

"I'm in the kitchen... stealing your food."

Giles climbed to his feet and moved to the bar.

"Can you repeat what you said before?"

Xander nodded.

"I'm the Lost Warrior. Can you tell me about... myself?"

Giles nodded, paler than he was before.

"You're rumored to be the last weapon of good against evil. You are only supposed to arrive when the world is on the brink of destruction... and here you are.. so the world must be going to Hell."

Xander frowned.

"God.. maybe I should never have come home then."

Giles shook his head.

"No.. no, its a good thing. If you're here.. then that means Buffy can't defeat Glory alone."

Xander frowned deeper.

"Who is this Glory person?"

Giles sighed and explained... and as Xander listened, he grew angry...


"... and so she wants the Key so she can open a portal home."

Giles nodded.

"That is correct."

Xander nodded slowly.

"So where is the Key? I'll take it someplace she will never find it."

Giles looked down and shook his head.

"The Key is Dawn...."

Xander looked at him in shock.

"The kid! The one they all called Buffy's sister... no way."

Giles blinked.

"You've spoken with them?"

Xander nodded.

"Yeah.. caught up with them and talked some.. they got upset when I got in a fight with her boyfriend and a little quirk of mine got exposed."

Giles frowned.


Xander nodded and took a fork off of the counter. He then stabbed it into his hand, drawing a deep gash... then pulled out the fork and let Giles watch as the lightning healed him.

Giles gasped and stared in wonder... before he looked up into Xander's eyes.

"You're an Immortal?"

Xander smirked.

"How did you know?"

Giles smiled.

"The Watcher's Council has a sister organization... that watches Immortals."

Xander laughed.

"Well.. I'm glad you handled it better than the others did. they got freaked out by it all and I think Buffy's going to be hunting me now..."

Giles shook his head.

"I'll explain everything to her when she arrives..."

They heard the door open and turned to see Buffy.

"Why don't you explain it to me now..."


Xander stared at the group as they sat across from him. He had moved to the far corner of the room... near the window.. just in case he had to make an escape... and considering the looks he was getting from Riley, it was probably a good decision.

"... and so they all fight each other and hunt each other down until there is only one left... then he or she wins what they have termed... The Prize... and its all done. No one knows what the prize is.. they all just know they want it. Correct, Xander?"

Xander nodded to Giles.

"From what I was told.. that's right... but I've only been in the game for about a year or so now."

Willow looked at Xander.. then at Giles.

"So he's not a demon?"

Giles frowned.

"Of course not! Xander is as human as the rest of you."

A sense of ease seemed to pass through all of them... except Riley, who was still angry. Xander looked at Giles and then looked at the clock.

"It's late, Giles. Do you know where I can find a good place to stay. I've been gone to long... I don't remember where the motels are anymore..."

Dawn looked over at Buffy and gave her a look. Buffy nodded.

"You're staying with us."

Riley and Xander both turned to look at her in shock. Riley frowned and glared at Xander.

"He's not staying with you!"

Buffy stood and grabbed Riley by the arm then dragged him into the other room.

"He is coming home with me and you can calm your ass down now or leave!"

Riley glared at her and then stormed out of the room. Buffy watched him go and sighed.

*He'll calm down... I hope.*

She turned and rejoined the others.

"Xander can stay in the guest room."

She smirked.

"In fact.. lets make it a sleep-over... everyone's invited.. even you Giles."

Giles smirked and shook his head.

"No thank you."

Buffy laughed and nodded. She turned to Xander.

"So.. you ok with that?"

Xander smirked.

"Gee.. I don't know.. being in a house... overnight.. with 5 beautiful women... I'm thinking this might turn into a bad thing."

The looks he got then were priceless. He tried to hold a straight face but couldn't.

"Yeah.. its cool with me."

He grabbed his backpack and slung it on his shoulder. As he did, the cloak he was wearing was removed.. revealing his stilsuit.

"What is that, Xander?"

Xander looked down and smiled.

"Well.. the black outfit is an armor enchanted stilsuit... and the silvery-purple stuff is mithril armor."

The look of shock on their faces was amazing. Giles stood and walked over. He ran his fingers over Xander's chest, feeling the mithril and just stared in awe.

"Where did you find Mithril?"

Xander smirked.

"It's late, Giles. I'll tell you tomorrow."

He then moved over to the girls and motioned for them to leave... knowing the wait would kill Giles. As they got outside, Buffy smiled and whispered to him.

"You're evil, Xander... you know that will keep him up all night."

Xander smiled and nodded.

"I know... but I just had to do it."

They laughed and headed to the Summers home.


Xander could hear laughter downstairs. The girls had decided to watch movies and Xander had agreed. He had a few years worth of movies to catch up on and was looking forward to seeing them once he got changed.

Buffy had pulled a box out of her closet when they had arrived and had shocked Xander with what was inside it.

"We each took a box of your things... to remember you."

Xander smiled at her and Willow and nodded. He then had started to get changed... but got lost in his thoughts. He removed his cloak and then the mithril.. and laid them both on the guest bed. It was when he had the stilsuit stripped halfway down his body that the door opened.

He heard a gasp and turned toward the door to see a shocked Buffy.

"You ok, Buff?"

She nodded.

*My god... what happened to him.. he's huge!*

Xander followed her eyes and smiled.

"I worked out... a lot... and now I'm in pretty good shape."

Buffy nodded.

"You're hot..."

She then slapped her hand across her mouth, blushed beet red, and ran downstairs. Xander watched her leave and smirked.

*So.. the Buffster finally noticed me...*

He looked at the photo of his Kitty and frowned.

"I miss you..."


The girls were arguing over the movie when Buffy came running down the stairs, her face bright red. Willow saw this and smirked.

"What's wrong, Buffy, did you see Xander naked?"

Buffy jerked her head toward Willow and blinked. Willow's eyes widened and she smiled.

"You did! Oh my god! What's he look like now?"

Tara elbowed her and Willow smiled.

"Hey.. still gay here.. but he's my friend.. and anyway, I've already seen him naked so its ok."

Buffy sat down as Willow talked and shook her head.

"Not naked.. but close.. and god, he's huge..."

All three girls stared at her and she went even redder.

"Not like that..."

Buffy sighed and shook her head again.

"He's so muscular... every inch of his chest and back looked rock hard."

She stared off into the space for a moment, remembering, and then shook herself out of it when she heard the gasp from the girls. She turned to look in the direction they were looking and saw him...

Xander had walked down the stairs wearing an old pair of his gym shorts and a tank top... and the combined had a very impressive effect on the female population in the house... as he judged by the looks he was getting...

Tars stared in shock...

*Wow... he's... no.. no.. I'm gay.. this isn't happening.. Demi Moore naked... Julia Roberts naked... Catherine Zeta Jones naked... oh.. ok.. better now.*

Willow watched Xander walk down the stairs...

*He's so hot now...and whoa.. hey.. I'm gay here... no thinking about him like that...*

Buffy stared at the girls and knew what they were thinking.. then turned to Dawn and growled.

"Stop thinking of him like that, Dawn.. you're too young."

Dawn blushed and looked at her feet. Xander joined them all then and sat down... and noticed none of them would meet his eyes.

"What's wrong, girls.. too hot for ya?"

The joke was enough to break them out of their haze. They turned to Xander and pummeled him with pillows until he was laughing hard enough to cough.

"No more.. no more.. I abase myself before the tribe and ask its women to forgive their humble servant."

The girls stopped and smiled. They then put in the first movie and sat back to watch.

"Who is that blond guy and why do I have this sudden urge to run..."

Dawn smirked.

"Quiet.. you'll like Titanic."


The next morning, Xander awoke early and stared around the room in shock.

*Where am I?*

He sat up and saw his armor and weapons lying in a chair next to the bed. It took him a few moments to remember where he was. Xander climbed out of bed and pulled the box that Buffy had given him closer and began looking through it.

*None of this will fit me now... I had better make some changes.*

He then proceeded to pick up items of clothing and then keen them one by one. Then, altering their measurements in his mind... Xander made new clothing appear on the bed next to him.

*Black T-shirt... Black jeans... black boots... black boxers... seeing a trend here. I must have forgotten to pick a color.*

He grabbed his clothes and headed for the bathroom to get a shower... accidentally leaving the bathroom door open...


Buffy woke up smiling. She had been having a very nice dream... about... hmm, that was funny, she couldn't remember who she was dreaming about. Still smiling, she climbed out of bed and headed for her morning shower. As she entered the hallway, she saw the door ajar and walked right in... her mind not noticing the sound of water running... and came face to face with a very naked Xander.

*Oh my god!!*

Xander had his eyes closed and was washing his long hair, the water cascading over his toned and muscular body. Buffy stared in shock and just stood there... unable to move. It was only when she saw Xander about to open his eyes that she backed away and closed the door.

As she tried to catch her breath outside the door, Willow walked up and smiled at her.

"Morning Buffy... its a great day isn't it."

Buffy looked Willow in the eyes and then looked back at the closed bathroom door. Willow saw the look and frowned.

"What is it?"

Buffy swallowed and blushed.

"Xander... naked... again..."

*Oh bad mental image.. can't go there... no way... *

Willow's eyes widened and she smirked.

"Buffy.. if you wanted to see him naked so bad, why didn't you just ask."

Buffy blushed red and glared at her.

"It was an accident, he left the door open..."

Willow snorted.

"You didn't hear the water running... right.."

Buffy paused. Had she hear the water and chose to ignore it? She didn't know. It was then they heard the water stop and a few minutes later the door opened to reveal Xander... a new buff Xander.

Buffy and Willow both felt their jaws drop as they stared at him. He was a black-clothed god. His t-shirt clung to him in just the right places and his jeans were so tight they looked painted on. As he walked toward them, his muscles rippled enticingly.

"Morning ladies... how are my two favorite women in all the world... after Mrs. Summers of course.. doing this fine morning?"

Buffy stared and swallowed the drool that was forming.

*Oh god... he looks so good...*

Willow blinked a few times and smiled.

*Now I remember why I was in love with him...*

Xander smirked.

*They've gone non-verbal.. can I get a woo hoo!*

/Woo Hoo???/

Xander smiled and stifled a laugh. That was the first time the Hive had made a joke.

*I'm rubbing off on them...*

"Hello.. earth to the two hot and sexy women before me... come in babes... before I have to do something that would be considered NC-17 to you to snap you out of it..."

Both girls hear his remark and for a moment contemplate the idea... then realization hits and they snap out of it.. and in unison.


Xander winced and laughed.

"I knew that would wake you up."

Buffy shook her heard and stared at his clothing.

"Where did those come from? They weren't in your box."

Xander smirked.

*Time to impress...*

"I made them."

Willow smiled.


Xander let his eyes go wide and in a low voice he whispered.

"It's magic."

The girls stare at him and then questions come firing at him.

"When did you learn magic?"

"What kind of magic do you use?"

"How come you can do magic when you couldn't before?"

Xander held his hands up and smiled. He thought back to a desert rose he had seen at the siech and though that it would be a good example.

"Behold.. my power..."

Xander pictured the rose in his mind... a dusty pale red color with a tinge of peach swirling through the center. He formed the image in his mind and opened his hands. As the girls watched, a shimmer passed across his hands and two roses materialized before them.

"A gift... for my girls."

He handed their roses to them and watched as they examined them.

"Smell them.. they have a unique scent."

The girls looked at each other and sniffed... then smiled.

"God, Xander.. this is amazing. It smells like a mixture of roses and cinnamon."

Xander smirked.


Buffy looked at Xander and frowned.


Xander smiled.

"It's called Melange.. not cinnamon."

As he was talking, Willow stared at the flower in shock and then looked into Xander's eyes.

"You were there?!"

Xander nodded. Willow paled and swallowed.

"You didn't eat any.. did you?"

Xander winced and nodded.

"The food was flooded with it... and the sisterhood decided to see if I was a kwizats... which I'm not... but I'm close."

Buffy looked between her friends and pouted.

"Hello.. explain please.. this time in English."

Willow turned to Buffy and nodded.

"Xander was on Dune."

Buffy smiled.

"Like the movie that Xander made me watch back when I first moved here."

Xander nodded.

"One and the same. You remember the mind-altering spice?"

Buffy nodded.

"Well, Buffy.. they overdosed me on it. I'm... different... mentally now."

As Buffy began to ask what the differences were.. something happened that had never happened before... he had a vision of the future...

Xander saw a blond woman standing next to a tower. He saw dozens of people working on it and a platform being built at the top....

As Xander had his vision, Buffy and Willow shook him.. trying to snap him out of it. It was then they noticed his eyes... blue within blue.

Willow gasped and shook her head.

"He's a Fremen now... but how can he be here and not be in spice addiction."

Buffy, overwhelmed by everything, shook her head and sighed.

"Enough.. lets get Xander back here and then figure out the whys later... ok."

Willow nodded and helped Buffy move Xander into her bedroom... falling onto the bed with him.. with Buffy trapped under him.

*God.. his body feels... oh god.. don't go there...*

As the vision ended, Xander blinked and rolled over... and onto Buffy, his body molding itself against hers perfectly... his face inches from hers.

"Buff... why are you under me... and why is my... oh god."

He looked down at his waist and blushed... then jumped off of her, turning his back on her... trying as hard as he could... to calm down.

*Oh god... she was... and I was.. and she had to have... oh god...*

Buffy stared at Xander and smiled. She looked at Willow and then motioned with her eyes her amazement at Xander's body. Willow smirked and then nodded.

*God.. wish it had been me...*

Willow blushed then and sat down on the bed next to Buffy and whispered.

"What was it like?"

Buffy smiled and blushed, her blush saying everything. Willow smirked and grinned. Buffy nodded and smiled wider.

"Gee Xander... didn't know you cared."

They watched as Xander blushed red and stood.

"Not sure what you mean... but anyway.. saw something... big blonde woman.. kinda evil looking but in a good way... standing next to a tower with a platform at the top."

Buffy and Willow looked at each other and nodded.


Xander frowned.

"Who's Glory?"


Moments after Xander had his vision, Buffy called Giles and had him come over. They were all in the living room now and listened as Xander retold the vision he had.

"... and there were a couple of those strange little demons I killed when I first got here there running around."

Giles nodded.

"Glory is planning something then. What triggered the vision?"

Xander looked over at the girls and the roses they were still holding and nodded.

"It was probably the Melange that did it."

The word set off an alarm in Giles's mind and it took him a few seconds before he erupted.


Xander winced and turned to Willow.

"Can you let Giles sniff your rose?"

Willow nodded and handed over her rose to Giles. Seeing the roses, Dawn pouted.

"Why do they have roses and we don't?"

Xander smiled at Dawn.. then Tara and Mrs. Summers.

"Sorry.. I'll fix things immediately."

As Giles examined the rose, Xander focused his mind and created a rose in pale pink, a rose in a dusky peach, and a pure white with red streaks one... and handed them to each of the remaining women... who stared at him in shock.

Xander stood and gave the pink rose to Mrs. Summers.

"For you... the only woman in my life who I could even consider a mother to me."

As he moved on to Dawn, he could see tears beginning to form in Mrs. Summers's eyes. He paused in front of a smiling Dawn and handed her the white and red rose.

"For you... kiddo.. the cutest woman in my life."

This remark got him a smile from Dawn and a few dirty looks from Buffy and Willow. Xander smirked and moved on to Tara.

"This one is for you... the newest woman in my life."

He smiled as Tara took the rose and then leaned in a whispered in her ear.

"Don't know if you know this or not but Willow has a ticklish spot on the back of her neck just a few inches down from her ear... and there is one under her right arm.. and a third behind her left knee. I made a note of it in order to pass the info on to the guy or girl she ended up with. Just thought you might like to know."

He then leaned back and placed a kiss on her cheek. Tara smiled and blushed.

"Thank you.. that will be helpful."

Xander smiled as Willow frowned and growled at him.

"What did you tell her? I know you told her something."

Xander just smirked and then lost his smirk as he came face to face with an angry Giles.

"You have no idea what you have done."

Xander looked Giles in the eyes and let his own eyes grow emotionless... fading back to the moment when he killed Sabertooth. In that instant, Giles paled and backed away.

"I know what I did, Giles... everything I did... and in this instance, the drug was placed in my food. I was on Dune for close to 3 months. In that time, they gave me enough spice to kill me..."

The girls gasped in shock as Xander continued.

"... but for some reason it didn't... it only changed me. I'm as close to be like Paul as you can get."

He leaned in close to Giles and whispered.

"I got the nosebleed that the sisterhood gets when Paul drinks the water of life."

Giles goes white and falls into his chair.

"Dear lord... that's impossible."

The imports of what Xander said pass through his mind.

*He really is the Lost Warrior... my god and he was here the whole time...*

Xander looked down at Giles and sighed.

"Are we ok?"

Giles nodded.

"We need to prepare. Do you know when the vision will occur?"

Xander closed his eyes and pondered it.

"Two weeks max... closer to 10 days maybe... but only one way to be sure."

Xander summoned a piece of spice candy in his closed hand and then opened his eyes. He pulled his hand up to his mouth and placed the candy on his tongue. As he swallowed it, he heard Willow scream.


Xander chewed the spice and swallowed and then gasped as it took effect.

/You do know what you are doing?/

*Yes.. I need to know.*

/We will protect you./

Xander closed his eyes and then opened them, their color completely blue... and saw...

As the vision hit him... he spoke it aloud...

"We're at the tower..."

The group stared at him in shock but listened.

"... I can't see Giles.... no... wait... there you are... Buffy is fighting the blond.... Dawn is missing... I'm looking... I'm looking... oh god no..."

Xander's vision ended and he fell back onto the floor... unconscious.


Buffy jumped off the couch and caught Xander moments before he hit the floor. She turned to Willow and Giles and frowned.

"What do we do? What does it all mean?"

Giles took off his glasses and rubbed them.

"I don't know... we will need to wait till he awakens."

Buffy looked back down at Xander's still form and a single teardrop fell onto his face... unnoticed by anyone else in the room...


It had been more than a week since Xander had had his vision and he had made himself Dawn's protector. He watched her day and night and was never from her side for more than a few minutes. In short, he was her shadow... and it was driving her nuts.

"I want to be alone, Xander."

Xander shook his head and leaned over her. They were walking back from the Magic Box and Dawn was glaring at him.

"No can do, Dawnie... you and I both know that we can't let her have you."

Dawn pouted as they turned the corner and...

"Why... she doesn't even know I'm the Key..."

... walked into Ben... who jumped back and whispered.

"You're the Key... oh god no..."

He began to tremble and moan. Xander pushed Dawn behind him and dropped into a fighting stance. As they watched, Ben transformed into Glory before their eyes.

"You have my Key... give it to me!"

Xander growled.

"Not on your life, Bitch!"

Glory screamed and attacked, raining blows upon Xander who tried his hardest to defend himself... blocking most of the blows... but he was failing.

"Run! Get Buffy!"

Dawn turned to run and was knocked out by one of Glory's minions who had snuck up behind them. He then dragged Dawn away as Glory grinned at Xander.

"You fight almost as good as the Slayer. Who are you?"

Xander blocked a kick and landed one of his own.

"I'm the wrath of God, you hellbitch!"

He focused his mind and blasted Glory across the face with a wash of Force, staggering her back a few feet. Glory's eyes widened and she growled.

"A Jedi... impossible!"

Xander grinned and nodded.

"And I'm going to kick your ass!"

He yelled a warcry and launched himself at her, his hands... whirling death. Xander managed to land a glancing blow across Glory's eyebrow, scratching it. She shrieked and backhanded Xander into a brick wall.

"You're going to pay for that, flesh bag!"

She moved toward his unconscious form, ready to drain him, when something came at her from the darkness. She felt herself being pushed down the alley and turned to see Willow and Tara, their hands joined, casting a spell on her.

"Nevermind, mortals... I have what I wanted, the boy doesn't matter."

She turned and walked away into the shadows. As soon as she was gone, they ran over to Xander and checked him out.

"His head is bleeding... its.."

As they watched, lightning crawled across the open gash, sealing it. Within moments Xander moaned and opened his eyes.

"Where's Dawn... did you see her?"

Willow's eyes widened.

"Dawn! Where is she?!"

Xander sat up and rubbed the back of his head.

"I told her to run. I assumed she got away... but you didn't see her... oh god, that bitch took her. We have to find her..."

They helped Xander to his feet and then ran off in search of Buffy...


They had searched for hours but had found no sigh of Dawn anywhere. Xander stood off to the side, unable to look any of them in the eyes.

*It's all my fault... now there is nothing I can do...*

Xander stared into the darkness and felt sorry for himself.

/There is one way.../

Xander jerked and looked to make sure the others didn't see it.

*What way? How?*

/The feral one... the Hyena... he can track the girl to where she is located./

Xander paled.

*How do I control him?*

/We will help you. We will surround the feral one and bind a part of his power. His senses and tracking skills are all we will allow through. You should be secure./

Xander nodded.

"Sounds like a good idea."

Giles stepped closer to Xander and frowned.

"What is a good idea, Xander? Who are you talking to?"

Xander jumped and spun around. Everyone was looking at him now.

"Huh.. oh.. um.. nothing.. um, Giles.. can I talk to you for a second... alone?"

Giles nodded and walked a few paces away with Xander. Xander looked back to make sure the others hadn't followed and began.

"Do you remember when I was possessed by the Hyena Spirit?"

Giles nodded.

"Yes.. why do you ask?"

Xander looked back at the others and sighed.

"I still have a part of it inside me."

Giles grew pale but didn't speak. Xander continued.

"I am going to tap into it and see if I can track Dawn to wherever she is. I wanted to tell someone in case something goes wrong. I want you to have Buffy knock me unconscious if I lose control. Can you do that?"

Giles nodded.

"I will do as you ask. Be careful."

Xander nodded. He closed his eyes and focused his mind on the place where he kept the Hyena. In his mind he saw it.. was gone.

*Where is it?*

Xander looked around and saw someone standing off to the side.

*Who are you?*

The being smiled.

*I am what once was a multitude of people. The hyena is a part of me... as is your Quickening.. and something else. We know what you want to do and we will aid you.*

He stepped forward and reached out his hand.

*Merge with us and become complete...*

Xander blinked in shock and was afraid... but he knew he needed to do this in order to save Dawn. He nodded and stepped forward, his arms open... welcoming.

The two men walked toward each other and into each other... merging into one being.

*I feel... different now.*

He could feel the part of him that was the Hyena... it was in his mind, but it was leashed. There was a part of him that loved Kitty with all his heart... but he was emotionally fragile and was curled up into a tiny ball... and then there was a third part of himself that was where his knowledge of Immortality and his swordfighting skills lived... his quickening. He knew he could tap into any of them now... and he knew what he had to do.

Xander opened his eyes and began sniffing the air. He could smell many people... but none of them was Dawn.

"She's not here... going back.. follow me..."

Xander turned and ran off into the darkness... headed for the place where they were attacked. As he neared it, he could hear Buffy and the others yelling after him... but he ignored it. He was beginning to smell Dawn now... and that was all he cared about.

He reached the spot and dropped to the ground, hunched over... sniffing the air.

*Trail is cold... but I can still smell her... that way.*

He launched himself down the alley and ran down it... following the trail he clearly saw in his mind...


Buffy watched as Xander ran off into the darkness... and he seemed different.

*Why does this feel familiar?*

As they moved to follow Xander, she turned to Riley, who had just arrived, and smiled.

"Any word?"

Riley shook his head.

"I asked Graham and he is searching. He will notify me if they find her."

Buffy nodded and then ran with the others after Xander. Riley frowned and moved up next to Buffy.

"What's going on?"

Buffy shrugged.

"I don't know.. Xander went all weird and ran off saying something about Dawn not being here.. then he said to follow him... so we are."

Riley frowned further.

*The freak knows something...*

"I need to check in. I'll catch up with you."

Buffy nodded and then ran off with the others. Riley watched her go and then pulled out his cell phone. He hit speed dial and waited.

"Finn here... track Xander Harris, last seen headed toward Pine and Third. I believe he might be an HST, Graham."

Riley turned off the cell phone and grinned... then ran off into the darkness.


Buffy caught up with the others just as they arrived at the scene where it all happened. She looked around and couldn't see Xander anywhere.

"Now where did he go?"

They all looked around and a few minutes passed before Giles noticed a scuffmark leading off down the alley. It looked like some kind of wild animal track.. the kind made when they jump after a prey.

*Must be Xander... he must have her scent.*

"That way."

He pointed down the alley and started off in that direction... the others following him.


Xander ran into the clearing and paused to sniff the air.

*Someone is here... hiding.*

He looked around and growled. Three commandos emerged from the shadows, their blasters up and ready.


Xander growled and moved away. They fired their blasters and Xander moved to defend himself. As he moved, time seemed to slow. He watched the energy as it flew toward him and he reacted out of instinct. He reached out and grabbed the energy and pooled it into a ball between his hands. He then twirled his hands and fired it back at the commandos... blasting them with their own weapons.

Time returned to normal and Xander saw all three of them being blasted to the ground. A smile crossed his face and he ran off into the trees... headed toward a tall house on the cliff.


Giles followed the trail Xander left and slowed as he reached a clearing outside town... and he gasped in shock at what he found.

"What is it Giles?"

They came to a halt behind him and stared at the scene before them. They commandos were on the ground, unconscious, and smoke was wafting up from their bodies.

"What happened?"

Giles examined the ground and sighed.

"I believe they tried to attack Xander."

Willow blinked in shock.

"Xander did this... how?"

Giles shrugged.

"I don't know... but he did it and then ran off to the north."

They took one last look at the commandos then moved after Xander into the woods...


Xander jumped up the cliff and gaped at what he found. In the courtyard of the manor was the tower... and at the base he could see Glory and Dawn... and Dawn was being taken to the top of the tower. Xander growled and ran toward them.


"Take her up there and secure her... the priest will begin the ceremony in a few moments."

The minion nodded and did as Glory commanded. He pushed Dawn up the stairs. Glory watched them leave and then felt something coming toward her. She turned and was blindsided by a blur of dark black.


Xander propelled himself at Glory.

*Only one chance to so this... got to make it count.*

He pulled out his crysknife and tucked it in close to his body, the point sticking out. As he raced toward her, he focused himself within the Force and was soon traveling faster than he ever could before.

He flew into Glory and as she turned to look at him, He shoved the crysknife into her chest... and then let go, letting his momentum carry him beyond her before he slowed himself and came to a halt.


Glory felt the blur hit her and then felt a stab of pain in her chest. She looked down and saw a strange dagger sticking out of her chest.

*What the...*

She ripped it out and turned toward Xander... who was grinning at her.

"Let's dance, bitch!"


As they neared the manor, Buffy heard the sounds of fighting and ran ahead. She saw a large tower and two people fighting at the bottom... and one of them was Xander, the other was... Glory.

*Shit! He's trying to fight her one on one!*

She ran toward them... hoping it wasn't too late...


Xander pulled out his sword and began. He was a fury of blows that did little to harm her.. but shredded her clothing and scratched her in many places.

*Got to stop her... got to hold her until Buffy comes...*

He tried attack after attack... but Glory blocked them all... and in the process, she had landed many punches and kicks... and soon Xander was feeling like he wouldn't last much longer... that is until Buffy arrived.

She appeared like a blond angel out of the darkness.

"Hold on Xander!"

Glory turned her head and gave Xander the opening he needed. He dove forward and sliced down at her shoulder... somehow managing to cut into the skin... cutting deep enough to make Glory's left arm go numb.

"Take her, Buffy.. she cant use her left arm."

He threw Buffy his sword and then turned to the tower. He could see Dawn at the top and there was a man standing in front of her.

*Hold on... I'm coming...*

Xander dove into the Force and force jumped up the tower in three jumps, landing behind the man... who had begun slicing into Dawn's stomach.

"Let her go now!"

The man turned and grinned.

"Why should I? You can't kill me."

Xander grinned and pulled out his lightsaber and ignited it.

"Oh yes I can."

He ran forward and sliced the man in half... half falling off the tower to the left, the rest falling to the right.

Xander turned off the lightsaber and ran to Dawn. He could see the blood and watched as the portal was opening around them.

*Oh god... no time.*

He untied Dawn and ripped his shirt.. forming bandages. He pressed them against her stomach and watched in horror as they quickly became soaked in blood. He then felt Dawn trying to move toward the edge of the tower.

*What is she... oh god no..*

"No.. no Dawn."

Dawn turned, tears in her eyes, and tried to pull away.

"I have to go.. only my blood will close it."

Xander looked at her... then looked at the bracer on his wrist.

*Will it work?*

/You need her blood inside you... a complete infusion./

Xander turned Dawn and looked into her eyes.

"Dawn.. sweetie.. no. There's another way."

He saw a jagged piece of metal standing up near them and reaching over to it, he sliced his hand wide open on it. As he did, he heard Dawn scream in horror.

"Dawnie.. help me.. "

He was trying to hold the wound open.

"Sweetie.. take the bandage, quickly, and pour your blood into the gash... hurry!"

Dawn grabbed the blood-soaked cloth and squeezed it over Xander's hand and watched as it vanished into the gash. Xander let go of the gash and watched as it closed.

"Now run.. please... and know that hopefully everything will be ok."

Xander leaned in and kissed Dawn on the cheek... then pushed her in the direction of the stairs. As he watched her run away, he turned and walked to the end of the platform. As he walked, he focused on what he had to do.

*Where is it.. what percentage?*

/10 percent... 15 percent.... 25... 40... stable at 60 percent./

*Is that enough?*


Xander nodded... he knew what he had to do...


Down below, Buffy was holding her own against Glory when suddenly Glory flinched and stumbled. Buffy looked around and saw Willow and Tara had joined her and were chanting something. Buffy saw this as her opurtunity and stabbed Xander's sword through Glory's chest... then watched as she reverted back to Ben... who then fell to the ground.

It was then that she heard the scream and looked up. She could see someone running down the stairs and another person walking toward the edge of the tower. She also saw the portal was wide open and things were coming out of it.

*God no!*

She moved to run up the stairs when there was a scream from above...


Xander stepped to the edge of the platform and looked at his bracer.

*Can't close it... but maybe I can do something else...*

He raised it high and focused on using its energy to bring the portal together... focus its energy back in on itself.. and maybe if not close it... then make it harmless.

He let out a scream as a beam of light shot out of the bracer and into the portal. Moments later, lightning bolts exploded out of the portal and into Xander... one, two, three, five... over and over until there were so many it was impossible to count. Pain radiated through Xander's body but he didn't quit.. he just screamed in agony as he worked on stopping the portal... and he felt something, shift.


Giles looked up at Xander, the lightning hitting him over and over and over.

*Dear God.. no... please God no.. the boy can't take it...*


Seattle - Duncan McLeod's dojo

Lightning crashed outside and shook the whole building. Duncan moved to the window and heard a voice behind him.

"What is it? Something is going on... I can feel it."

Duncan turned to Amanda and nodded.

"I feel it too... but I don't know what."

Suddenly, the window shattered and they heard a scream... a scream on someone in terrible agony.

"God.. that sound... where is it coming from?"

Duncan shook his head and winced.

"I think it's Xander... and something is killing him..."


Outside the Xavier Institute

Scott hopped out of the car and noticed the strange purple-green cloud in the sky. Lightning crashed and she rushed to open Jean's door before the rain started. When he reached her door and opened it, he gasped in horror as Jean tumbled out of the car. She was crying and holding her head.

"Jean! What's wrong?"

Jean moaned and screamed.

"Oh god... it's Xander! He's in pain... oh god the pain!! Make it stop.. oh god.. somebody make it stop!!"

Scott stared in shock and then screamed for help.. running toward the front doors...


San Francisco - Halliwell Manor

Leo stepped down the from the stepladder and smiled.

"That should do it.. all it was was a loose wire..."

He stopped speaking suddenly as he turned and fell to the floor, his body curling into a ball as he writhed in pain. Piper screamed for the others before moved to her husband's side.


The others ran into the room and say Leo writhing on the ground. As he lay there, he screamed in agony.

"Oh god... help him... oh god... somebody please help him... oh god the pain... he's in so much pain!!!!!"

Leo then opened his eyes.. but all he could see was the young man being struck by bolt after bolt of lightning...


Xander writhed and jerked like a kernel of popcorn as the lightning fried his body. He knew it was almost finished and that the portal was almost ready...

*One.... second... more...*

He felt it happen. The dimensions merged and the force of the mergence threw hi off the tower. As he fell, the lightning continued to cascade over his body.. but by that time... he was already dead.

His body fell from the sky and landed in a broken heap on the ground... landing on a pile of broken steel beams.

Buffy screamed and ran toward Xander and found him impaled on three spikes. She carefully pulled him off the spikes and placed him on the ground. As tears fell from her eyes, she pulled him to her chest and shook.

"Wake up Xander... please wake up... please..."


It had been a while since earlier that night and Xander's body refused to move. Buffy stared down at him on the couch, too tired to cry anymore, and just waited. She knew if she waited long enough that Xander would wake up.

They had gathered around him after he fell from the tower. They knew he was dead but with him being an Immortal... they knew he would wake up in a little while... but when he didn't come back to life, they began to worry.

"Why isn't he waking up?"

They had moved Xander's body to Giles's house and were all standing around waiting. Giles ran his fingers over Xander's skin and shrugged.

"His body appears to be repaired... but who can say what his mind is like. He was in enough pain to... well, I'm surprised he didn't vaporize completely. You have to understand that the energy in lightning is 1.21 Gigawatts. Xander was struck by so many that I lost count. We have no idea what kind of damage it did to him. We will just have to wait... and hope."


Duncan listened to the ringing on the phone and waited for someone to answer.

"Joe Dawson... it's your dime."

Duncan looked out the window and swallowed.

"Joe.. its Mac. Something has happened recently. Do you know what I am talking about?"

Duncan heard a click and knew that Joe had made the line secure.

"Yes.. strange clouds in the sky... lightning with no rain... and a scream."

Duncan paled.

"It was Xander... the pre I told you about a year or so ago.. the young man who saved my life. Can you tell me where it happened?"

He heard Joe breathing and waited.

"Sunnydale, California. Mac... be careful. A lot of weird shit has gone down recently. In the last 4 hours we have had reports come in about Immortals we never ever heard of. Whatever happened there... just be careful, and if the kid is alive... then take good care of him before someone decides they want his head."

Duncan nodded.

"I'm on my way."

He hung up the phone and turned around. Amanda was staring at him.

"Feel up to visiting Xander?"

Amanda smiled and nodded.

"I'll get dressed... and you can pack for us."

Duncan laughed and nodded then began packing.

*I hope you're in one piece, Xander... cause I know you couldn't have survived those bullet wounds from last time... so you must be one of us now... and whatever you did... you had better be there when I arrive...*


Leo opened his eyes and stared at the ceiling. His vision was fuzzy and as it cleared he saw his wife looking down at him, tears streaming down her face.

"Hey... it's over now."

Piper wiped her eyes and smiled.

"What happened?"

Leo sat up and shook his head.

"A young man.. about 18 or so... being struck by bolt after bolt of lightning... yet he didn't die. His pain... oh god his pain... it was beyond anything I've ever felt. I need to know more."

He turned to Piper and smiled.

"I'll be back soon."

He then orbed out, disappearing in a swirl of white light.


They had exploded out of the building, moving in what looked like slow motion to Scott as they came to his scream and were now all gathered around Jean... who was unconscious and had been for quite some time..

"Professor... Jean said it was Xander... and he was being killed and in a lot of pain. That was hours ago... why won't she wake up?"

The Professor glided next to Jean and sighed.

"I know, I was linked with Cerebro when it happened. I felt everything, but luckily I was shielded... Jean was not. I believe she will awaken soon. As for Xander, something strange has happened. Xander told us that he is not from this dimension... and yet we felt him... which means only one thing... something, or someone, has merged his dimension with our own... and I believe it might have been Xander himself... and in the process, I think it might have killed him... possibly beyond his own means to return."

Wolverine growled.

"That the guy who killed Sabertooth and almost got Magneto? The guy who was in love with Kitty?"

Scott nodded.

"It broke him when she was killed... and I wonder if he is with her now."

Wolverine shook his head.

"I smelled his room when I got back. The kid's got power... nothing will hold him down for long."

He turned to the Professor.

"Do you know if he's alive yet?"

The Professor closed his eyes and searched... finding nothing... until there was a flash and he gasped.

"He's alive. I must speak with him. Logan, prepare a jet for me and join me please. We are going to Sunnydale, California."

Wolverine nodded and ran off to prepare the jet...


Dawn looked down at Xander's body and frowned.

*You saved me... but why won't you wake up?*

She bent down and kissed him... a quick peck... and then ran away to cry... never noticing the small glint of light that sparkled on his lips before it disappeared.

The others had turned away, assured that something had gone wrong and that Xander wasn't coming back. They didn't see the kiss... or the light... or the fact that Xander's fingers were twitching.

Xander gasped for air and screamed. The group spun around, shock and joy on their faces, and ran to him... only to see him roll off the couch and curl into a tight ball.

"Xander... Xander... are you ok?"

Buffy reached out to touch Xander's shoulder and he began to whimper and shake.


Giles stepped forward and restrained Buffy.

"His mind might be confused. Give him a few minutes..."


It was all too loud... and his mind remembered the pain... oh god the pain.... and it was too much to handle. Xander had retreated inside himself and had closed off everything, trying to block away the pain.

*Make it stop... please make it stop...*

As he rocked in a tiny ball he felt someone behind him. A soft hand touched his shoulder and he cringed.

"Shhh.... it's ok, baby, it's ok... it's going to be ok..."

Xander opened his eyes and turned his head toward the voice and gasped in shock.


His beloved Kitty was standing before him, perfect, as beautiful as she had been the last time he had seen her.

"But you're dead..."

Kitty frowned.

"I know, sweetheart, I know... but a part of me lives in you.. and I will always be with you. You will understand this, someday, and you will love again. For now.. I want you to focus your mind on getting better. Help is coming. We will be together again someday but until then... I will be waiting..."

With that said, she faded away.

"No... no Kitty... don't.. leave..."

Xander began to cry and went back to rocking... trying to block out everything... doing anything to stop the pain...


The jet landed in a large clearing and disappeared from sight. A gangway was lowered and out came Wolverine and The Professor. They had come alone... knowing the others might be too much for the people of Sunnydale to handle.

"Can you track him, Logan?"

Wolverine sniffed the air and shook his head.

"Need to wait until I get in town."

The Professor nodded and they headed out. It only took them a few minutes to reach buildings and within seconds, Wolverine had a trace.

"He was here... earlier... about 6 hours ago... the trail is a little faint... but I think I can track him."

The Professor nodded and motioned for Wolverine to take the lead. Wolverine sniffed the air and took off down the street. He was following Xander's trail when it suddenly changed. The trail went off into the woods and yet at the same time.. there was a smaller trail going into a nearby building.

"The trail splits... one goes off into the woods... the other goes in that house."

The Professor nodded and looked at the house.

"We will try there first."

They moved toward the door and knocked... waiting and hoping Xander was inside.


Giles stared down at Xander's huddled form and shook his head.

*The poor boy may be insane... but we won't know until he snaps out of it.*

Just then there was a knock on the door.

*Who the devil would be here at this time of night... in this town?*

He walked over to the door and opened it. Standing in his courtyard was a muscular, hairy man and a bald man in a... floating wheelchair?

"Can I help you?"

The bald man nodded.

"Is there an Xander Harris here?"

A gasp came from the room as everyone ran to the door. Buffy, her eyes red, stared at them and frowned.

"How do you know Xander?"

Wolverine glared at the girl and frowned. Something had been bothering him ever since they arrived and he smelled something... and whatever it was, it was getting closer.

"Professor... something is coming... I can smell it."

Buffy's eyes widened as a couple of vampires suddenly attacked the strangers. She jumped to help when suddenly metal claws exploded out of the hairy man's hands. He was growling and protecting the man in the wheelchair.

"Take off their heads... its one of the ways to kill them."

Wolverine looked at the girl and nodded. He dove at the first vampire and slashed at it with his claws... decapitating it in seconds... then watched as it turned to dust.

*What the...*

He then watched as the little blond took out the other two very quickly with a wooden stake.

"What were those things?"

Buffy turned to the man and was about to answer when the bald man beat her to it.

"I believe they were vampires... from what Xander told me they are quite nasty."

Giles moved outside and held out a cross.

"If you would, please, touch the cross for me."

The Professor and Wolverine looked at each other and then reached out to touch the cross... neither of them afraid or burnt by it. Giles nodded and motioned for them to walk into his home.

Inside, the others watched at the two strangers entered... the hairy one scanning the room like he was expecting an attack.

"Thank you. I am Professor Charles Xavier... and this is Wolverine. We are here to find Xander Harris. Is he here?"

Wolverine sniffed the air and then walked around... and finally found a young man curled up in a ball on the floor.

"Prof.. he's over here."

The Professor floated over to Wolverine and frowned.

"What happened to him?"

Giles walked over and explained everything. The Professor listened and nodded.

"I see. I believe I can help. Wolverine.. please place Xander back on the couch."

Wolverine nodded and picked Xander up. Everyone watching gasped when they noticed that Xander's didn't flinch from Wolverine's touch. He then placed Xander on the couch and crouched down next to him.

The Professor moved closer and closed his eyes. He then reached out and touched Xander's mind...


Charles stepped into Xander's mind and looked around. There were walls everywhere for as far as he could see. Xander had been very busy...

"Xander... can you hear me?"

A faint whimper came from the distance and Charles smiled. He concentrated and teleported himself there. When he arrived, he saw Xander curled up on the ground, pain radiating off him.

"Xander... if you can hear me, let me know."

Xander listed his head and moaned. His eyes focused on the person next to him and he reached out a hand.


Charles took Xander's hand and was bombarded by pain such as he had never felt before.

*Dear lord... what happened to you boy...*

He immediately went to work drawing out Xander's pain... removing it and forcing it away. With the pain gone, he watched as Xander's healing ability went to work repairing Xander's mind. Slowly, the walls began to fade away and with them... Xander began to uncurl some.

"Good... send the pain away, Xander. Focus on me... you can do it... be strong for me..."

As he watched, the landscape of Xander's mind returned to that of what it was the last time he was here. As everything settled, Xander looked into the Professor's eyes and lunged for him, wrapping him in a hug.

"It hurt so much... oh god... it hurt."

Charles comforted the boy who was so like a son to him and nodded.

"I know... but its all gone now... you're ok."

Xander leaned back and nodded then stepped away.

"Thank you...."

With that said, everything began to waver as Xander awakened...


Xander opened his eyes and blinked. He was lying on Giles's couch and there were a lot of people staring down at him. He tried to sit up and as he brushed his arm against the couch, he winced.


He looked down at his left wrist and gasped in shock. The bracer was completely destroyed and its cracked remains were fused into his arm... the surrounding skin a mass of scar tissue.

*Man... guess I'm stuck here.*

He looked at the people watching him and smiled.

"So.. did I save the world?"

The room exploded in laughter as people moved in to hug him. Giles removed his glasses and smiled.

"Yes, Xander, you saved the world."

Just then, Dawn entered from the other room and when she saw Xander... she ran and leapt onto him, clamping him in a hug so tight it almost bruised his ribs.

"You're ok... you're ok... you're ok..."

Xander smoothed her hair and nodded.

"Yeah... I'm fine... a little crispy here and there, and my clothes are fried... but otherwise I'm ok... thanks to you."

Dawn moved back and blinked in shock.

"Me... why?"

Xander smiled.

"I needed your blood to get rid of the portal."

Everyone stared at him... wanting an explanation.

"Dawn's blood opened the portal... so it was her blood that would close it... but she would die doing it... so I took her blood, with some help from Dawn... and used my bracer to overload the portal instead. The bracer has a link to dimensional travel built into it so I worked through that and through a little quantum mechanics I was able to take each dimension and alter their vibrational rate enough to merge them all into our dimension."

Willow stared at Xander in shock.

*When did he get so smart?*

"Xander... how do you know these thing?"

Xander smiled.

"All a part of my travels... I'm a hell of a lot smarter now."

He turned to the Professor and smiled.

"Thanks for getting me out of there."

He then noticed the hairy man and smiled. There was something about him that felt almost like family.

"Hi.. I'm Xander."

Wolverine nodded.


Wolverine sniffed at Xander a few times and then leaned closer to him and whispered.

"They know you got Hyena in you, kid?"

Xander just smiled.

"I have good friends."

Wolverine nodded and grinned.

"Me too..."

He then stepped back and nodded to the Professor.

"The kid's fine, Prof... we should head back home now and make sure everything is ok. No telling what or who we will have waiting for us."

The Professor nodded.

"Yes... you're right."

He turned to Xander and smiled.

"You know what we talked about before... the offer is still open."

Xander nodded.

"I know... and I might take you up on it... later... and thanks again."

The Professor nodded and moved to the door.


They watched the two men leave and then turned to Xander.

"Hey.. I have weird friends... you should know that by now."

He then smiled and yawned.

"I'm tired... saving the world takes a lot of out of a man."

He smirked at the ladies present and grinned evilly... then laughed at their groan.


The next morning, Xander stepped outside and sat on the Summers' front porch as he sipped a cup of coffee. They had all come back here after his friends had left and Xander was glad to get some sleep... not to mention the breakfast he knew Mrs. Summers would be making in an hour.

*Well... Glory is dead... Dawn is safe... the universe is seriously confused right now... and all is right with the world. What do I do now? My bracer is destroyed so I'm stuck here. I can't go anywhere... but maybe...*

He heard the door open behind him and turned to see who it was. He smiled at Buffy and then blinked at what she was wearing. She was dressed in a long t-shirt that looked like one of his.

"Hey... Buff... you trying to get arrested for indecent exposure... or are you just trying to give me a heart attack?"

Buffy blushed and smiled.

"Mom said to tell you breakfast is ready."

She then smiled and rushed back inside. Xander watched her go and grinned.

*Buffy was flirting with me... wow... never saw that coming.*

He stood and walked back inside... wondering what this day would bring...


Duncan woke earlier than usual to the sound of Amanda singing in the shower. He smiled and moved over to the phone. He dialed the number Joe had given him and hoped they had found Xander.


Duncan took a breath and nodded to himself.

"Hello... may I speak to..."

He looked at the name and nodded.

"... a Mr. Andrew Walsh?"

The man on the other end was silent for a moment before he answered.

"Speaking... and who am I speaking to?"

Duncan smiled.

"Duncan McLeod. Joe Dawson told me you could help me track down a friend of mine here in Sunnydale."

There was a pause and then the man replied.

"What's his name?"

Duncan stiffened and frowned.

"Xander Harris. He would be have involved with something big and unusual recently."

Duncan heard keys typed into a keyboard and then the voice was back.

"He is currently at the home of a Joyce Summers. We didn't know he was an Immortal until last night... hell, we had no idea what even went on last night until reports came in of new Immortals. We managed to get someone on him about 5 hours ago."

Duncan released the breath he didn't even know he was holding and smiled.

"Thank you. I will be taking him as my student, if he agrees. I figure this will help you with your files. Consider it a thanks for the information."

Andrew laughed.

"Thanks.. I'm entering it in right now. Felicia, that's Xander's Watcher's name, will be notified shortly... as will your Watcher. Here is the address for Xander's location."

Duncan laughed and wrote down the address.

"Good to know... and thank you."

He hung up the phone and turned around to see a smirking Amanda staring at him... naked and stunning.

"So.. you planning on getting me breakfast or do you want to track down laughing boy first?"

Duncan grinned.

"I had something else in mind..."

With a laugh, he pulled her into bed and breakfast was soon forgotten.


Leo walked up the stairs into the audience chamber and stepped before the elders.

"What's going on? Who is the young man I saw and what happened last night?"

Elder Evans stepped forward.

"The young man is named Alexander Lavelle Harris. He is a pawn of prophecy and last night he sealed a multi-dimensional breach."

Leo's eyes opened in shock.


The Elders smiled.

"He believed he was using alien technology. We let him believe that... for his mind is not ready, yet, to know the truth."

Leo frowned.

"Which is?"

Elder Covington stepped forward.

"Xander.. as he likes to be called... possesses a gift for magic. He had no knowledge of this gift for it has been shielded from his mind. We want to you go to him and invite him to visit your witches. Convince him anyway you can to do so... and then convince them to teach him everything they know. We want him to be able to cast every spell in the Book of Shadows."

Leo gaped in shock.

"But that's impossible. There are spells that only the Charmed Ones can cast. How do you expect him to learn them all?"

The Elders turned to each other and then nodded.

"Those spells he can skip over... but in exchange, I want you to teach him how to be a whitelighter."

Leo swallowed and nodded. He knew when to agree.

"Fine... I agree. I will go to Xander and tell him everything. When he agrees... then I will tell the girls."

The Elders nodded and then vanished. Leo watched and shivered.

*The girls are going to kill me for this... but we have no choice.*

Leo thought about what they said.

*He's in the prophecies... which one?*

He orbed to the Grand Library and checked the prophecies and blinked in surprise as what he read.

"The Lost Warrior... a young man named Alexander Harris. He will befriend the Slayer, then be betrayed by her. He will surrender his life and be changed for it. He will risk his life to save another and live only to be struck down by the shadows later. He will arise from death and be Immortal. The rest of his life he will turn the tide of the war between Good and Evil and with his final death... he will become..."

Leo jerked back in shock from the book and shook.

"No way... that's impossible... that can't be true."

He turned then and orbed away... too shock to remain.


Xander stared at the women around him and let his mind drift.

*Why did I leave in the first place. This is so much like home for me that I...*

He then remembers what had happened before he left and it all comes flashing back. The angry words... the look of pity in their eyes... and then Buffy telling him that she didn't want him there anymore.

A frown formed on his face as he remembered and everything that had happened in the last week or so came suddenly flooding back.

*They feel no remorse at all. They didn't even care.... well, except for Willow... she apologized, but Buffy... she didn't even act like anything was wrong at all.*

He stared down at his plate and his frown deepened. Willow looked over at Xander and saw him frowning.

"Xander... is something wrong?"

Xander looked up and shook his head.

"No.. nothing is wrong... I just need to do something. Excuse me."

He stood and walked upstairs to the guest room, closing and locking the door once inside.

"She's not even sorry... she didn't even notice that it was her who told me to leave in the first place. I'm going to have to talk to her about this..."

As Xander paced, he felt someone watching him. He looked all around the room and then stopped and stared at a sparkle of lights in the corner of the room.

"Whatever you are... I can see you and I want you to show yourself before I kill you."

Leo gasped and dropped the invisibility shield he had been holding.

*Good lord.. he could see me?*

Xander looked at the man who had appeared and growled.

"Who are you and how did you get in here and what do you want?"

Leo swallowed and backed away a few steps.

"My name is Leo and I was sent to talk to you. The people I work for want me to convince you to come stay with me, my wife, and her sisters for a while... and while you are there... you're supposed to learn magic."

Xander listened to the man and nodded.

"Sorry to disappoint you.. but I can't do magic. All I can do is a trick some aliens taught me. You have the wrong guy."

Leo shook his head.

"Last night... what you did... they said it wasn't the alien technology you think you used... it was you, using magic. The technology gave your mind a template upon which to work your magic... but it alone didn't seal the portal."

Xander blinked and leaned away. He looked down at the fused bracer and shook his head.

*Impossible... I don't have magic... I can't...*

/The prophecy that Paul spoke of... it mentioned magic... so this man may be correct. A test perhaps to see?/

*I don't know anything... what do I do?*

/Ask Willow... she can confirm anything you wish to know from what we have witnessed./

Xander nodded.

"I don't completely believe you... but I am not dismissing it. Give me your address and if I agree... I will at least some visit you."

Leo nodded and smiled. He wrote down the address of the manor and handed it over to Xander.

"We'll be waiting.."

He then disappeared in a sparkle of lights. Xander watched and just shook his head.

"Wow... got to learn how to do that."

He then turned and got dressed... wearing a mix of clothing and armor... then headed downstairs to check in with Willow. As he reached the bottom of the stairs, a sharp pain exploded through his head... causing him to cry out in pain. Within seconds, he heard Willow, Buffy, Dawn, Tara and Joyce come running


Duncan turned down the street and pulled into the driveway of the house that matched the address for where Xander was. He and Amanda got out of the car and walked to the door. As they neared it.. they felt the buzz of another Immortal... only there was an intensity to it that startled them.

"Whoever that is... there is something weird about him."

Duncan nodded, agreeing with Amanda, and then readied his sword. He walked up to the door and knocked on it.


There was a knock on the door and Joyce moved over to answer it. She opened the door and saw a man and a woman waiting outside.

"This isn't a good time, can you come back later?"

The man looked past Joyce at Xander and shook his head.

"I'm needed here."

He stepped past Joyce and moved over to Xander. As he drew closer, Buffy jumped up and stood between them.

"Whoever you are, you had better get your sorry ass out of here before I kick it into next week."

Duncan smiled at her and walked over to Xander.

"Xander... look at me... look at me and the pain will stop."

Xander looked up and felt the pain go away. His vision cleared and he gasped at what he saw.


Duncan nodded and extended his hand to Xander to help him to his feet.

"Welcome to the family... my friend... and thank you for last time. You gave me time to stop him."

Xander grinned and nodded.

"You're welcome... and remind me never to jump in front of an AK-47 ever again... they really hurt."

Amanda, who was still standing in the doorway, laughed at that and walked forward.

"I could have told you that."

Xander blinked at her and then grinned... before sweeping her up in a hug.

"Amanda... you look great! I missed you!"

Amanda laughed as Xander hugged her and then shook her head at the look of jealousy forming on Duncan's face.

"I missed you too, laughing boy, and you still owe me what we talked about."

Xander let her go and blushed bright red.

"It was an accident. I didn't know you were in there... let alone naked at the time."

Amanda laughed.

"True.. but that didn't excuse you staring at me and drooling the way you did.. and I still think that with all being fair.. I should get to see you as well."

Xander blushed even more and looked at his feet. He would have died of embarrassment if Buffy hadn't grabbed him and spun him around... an act that severely pissed him off.

"Who are these people and what the hell are they talking about Xander!"

Xander growled at Buffy and shook himself loose.

"They are my friends, Buffy. They care about me and thought the best of me. They let me help them fight. They saw the good in me. They took the time to show me my mistakes and train me to never make them again... unlike someone I know."

The look in his eyes was something Buffy had never seen before. His expression was dark, cold, and angry. It scared her.

"I.. what are you saying..."

Xander smirked.

"What... you don't remember... well let me refresh your memory. You told me I wasn't strong enough to help you. You told me I wasn't good enough to help you. You said I would only get hurt or killed. Then you told me you didn't want me there anymore. How the hell do you think that made me feel! I tried to kill myself over that! I bet you didn't know... did you... DID YOU!!"

Buffy cringed momentarily from Xander as he screamed at her.

*No... I didn't... I couldn't have... oh god...*

"I'm... I'm sorry... I.. I didn't know..."

Xander got in her face and growled at her.

"Sorry isn't good enough, Buffy. It killed me that night! But because if you... I was able to change myself... and I don't have to stay here any longer. I'm better than your lap dog, Buffy. I am a hero in my own right. I'm in the books of prophecy... and I know of at least one person who wants me. I'm leaving, Buffy... and you can't stop me."

Xander turned to Duncan and say the look of concern on his face.

"Are you two at the motel just outside town?"

Duncan nodded. Xander pulled out a couple of twenties and placed them in Duncan's hand.

"Get me a room. I'm going to stay there tonight then I leave in the morning."

Duncan nodded and sighed... then turned and left with Amanda. As they left, Xander turned to Willow and took her hand.

"Come with me, please... you too, Tara."

He then walked upstairs to the guest room and locked the door behind them... leaving a shocked Buffy at the base of the stairs. She watched them go and just stared, tears in her eyes.

*He hates me...*


Inside the room, Xander turns to Willow and Tara and before either of them can speak, he pushed them down onto the bed.

"You're both witches. You understand magic. Well someone told me what I did last night was magic and I want to know if he was lying. Can you like read me or something?"

Willow looked at Tara and nodded.

"Tara can... she is gifted in that."

Tara nodded and looked at Xander.

"Give me your hands and close your eyes."

Xander walked over and placed his hands in hers. He closed his eyes and felt something go through him then heard Tara gasp. When she let go, he opened his eyes and saw her staring at him.


Tara shook her head and swallowed.

"You have a vast quantity of raw magic inside you. With training, you could be a very powerful witch... more powerful than Willow and myself combined."

Willow gasped and stared at Xander, fear entering her eyes.

Xander nodded and sighed.

"Then he was telling the truth."

He looked at the address and then looked at the girls.

"Do either of you know anyone by the name of Halliwell?"

Willow and Tara gasped and nodded.

"Every witch knows of them. The Charmed Ones. The three most powerful witches of all time. Why do you want to know about them?"

Xander smiled.

"The husband of one of them invited me to go live with them and learn magic."

Tara smiled.

"You should do it. It's a once in a lifetime offer."

Willow nodded, agreeing.

"Yes.. its a good thing Xander, you can trust them."

Xander nodded and moved over to gather his things and place them in his backpack.

"I'll think about it."

As he packed, he apologized to the girls, explaining his reasoning.

"You apologized, Willow... Buffy never did. She acted like nothing was wrong... like I was just away on vacation or something."

Willow shook her head.

"She was sorry, Xander. She cried over your grave and visited it over and over, every day for months. It ripped her apart inside."

Xander punched the wall and growled.

"If so.. then why did she act like nothing was wrong. She should have at least said she was sorry... but no, she's too good to do that... what with her big boyfriend and her going to college and acting all high and mighty."

Willow tried to correct him, but Xander wouldn't listen. His backpack was packed, his weapons were in place, and he was ready to go.

"Goodbye Willow..."

He saw a cellphone sticking out of her purse and he reached in to grab it. He keened it and then made himself a copy... but with a different number.

"555-4301... if you need me, either of you... call me."

They nodded as he shoved the phone in his backpack. Xander then moved toward them and kissed them both on the cheek... before the turned and walked downstairs... and out the door.... leaving a stunned Buffy behind him.


Xander walked down the street, forgetting he didn't have a car or anything.. but was too mad to care. As he walked, he noticed a guy who looked like a biker stopped at the corner. Xander ran over to him and smiled.

"Nice bike. Can I look at it for a second?"

The biker nodded and stepped off. Xander admired it from all angles and then ran his hand along its side... keening it.

"It's beautiful... thank you."

The biker nodded, smiling, and got back on. The light changed and he rode away. Xander smirked and walked over into the bushed. Once hidden from view, he created a copy of the bike and hopped on.

*Please let this thing work...*

He jumped on the starter and cheer when he heard it start. He revved the engine and headed off down the street toward the motel to meet up with Duncan and Amanda.


Xander pulled into the parking lot and hopped off the bike. As he arrived, he felt the buzz again and within moments, one of the doors opened and he saw Duncan waving him inside.

Inside, Xander sat down at stared at a confused Duncan and Amanda.

"What happened back there, Xander?"

Xander shrugged.

"Something that needed to happen for a very long time. It's over now and I don't really want to talk about it."

They nodded and smiled.

"So.. you're ready to begin training? I have a dojo set up in Seattle. Richie is there, you never had a chance to meet him.. as well as a few other Immortals."

Xander nodded.

"Yeah... but I made an arrangement with someone in San Francisco... and I'll have to stay there for a while first. I'm not sure how long though."

Duncan nodded.

"That's fine... you have all the time in the world, you know."

They laughed and Amanda tossed Xander his keys.

"You in the joining room... but this time knock before you open the door... or I might decide to use you as a pincushion this time."

Xander blushed and nodded... then headed for his room.


A few hours passed and Xander heard a knock on his door. He pulled out his sword and moved to the door. Opening it a little, he relaxed when he saw it was only Giles. Xander opened the door the rest of the way and motion for him to enter.

"Giles... what are you doing here?"

Giles sat down and sighed.

"You dropped a load on Buffy. She is very upset and I want you to.."

Xander frowned.

"Upset! Upset! Why should I care if she is upset?! She told me to leave.. that I wasn't wanted anymore... you should know, Giles... you were there!"

Giles nodded.

"I know, Xander, but things changed. You were gone for a very long time. She grieved over you and made her apologizes to your grave..."

Xander shook his head.

"I wasn't in it. If she felt so bad.. then why didn't she apologies to me when I got back? Huh... can you answer that one... hmm?"

Giles shook his head. Xander had a point. He had apologized himself and he knew Willow had as well... but Buffy acted like nothing had happened.

"I don't know, Xander... I just don't know."

It was then they heard a voice from outside.

"... why don't you ask her yourself."

They turned to the sound of the voice and saw Buffy standing in the doorway. Her eyes were red and puffy and she looked like she had been crying for hours.

"I'm sorry, Xander. I forgot that I had said those things to you... but at the time it felt like the right thing to do."

Xander glared at her.

"The right thing to do... The Right Thing to Do! You didn't give a shit about the right thing. You just didn't want me there. Admit it.. ADMIT IT!"

Buffy shook her head.

"No.. I didn't want you hurt... I couldn't handle that... we could handle loosing you... I couldn't handle loosing you."

Xander stared in shock at her words.

"Too little... too late, Buffy. I'm leaving here for good."

Buffy stared in shock at Xander and shook her head wildly.

"No.. you can't go... you can't leave us... you can't leave me..."

She got all quiet and whispered.

"I love you..."

Xander frowned at her and shook his head.

"I used to love you, Buffy, but I've moved on. I can't give you what you want. I can't be anything more than just a friend... if ever that much. I will always be here... if the scooby gang needs me... if you need me... but only as a friend."

With that said, he grabbed his backpack and walked out of the room. He hopped on his motorcycle and revved the engine. He then took one last look at Buffy and Giles and shook his head... before he rode off down the road, disappearing into the night.

Giles watched Xander leave and nodded.

*Be careful... my boy... and may the Gods bring you home someday...*


Xander rode all night, not really paying much attention to where he was going, and found himself deep inside L.A. He rubbed his eyes and stared at the sun... not even sure what time it was. He was amazed he had managed to make it in one piece.

*Man... I'm wiped... but I need to do something before I can crash.*

Xander pulled out the business card that he had found at Buffy's place and double checked the address. He then turned the corner and pulled up outside a large hotel.

*How the hell could Deadboy afford this place.*

Xander got off his bike and walked inside. As he entered the room, he saw two men talking in a side office. They didn't seem to notice him... because they appeared to be discussing something very intense. Xander cleared his throat and they jumped.

"Sorry... have you been waiting long?"

Xander shook his head.

"Just got here."

The older of the two smiled and walked over.

"Welcome to Angel Investigations. My name is Wesley. How can I help you?"

Xander smiled.

"Is there a Cordelia Chase working here?"

Wesley nodded.

"Cordelia... yes.. she hasn't arrived yet... but if you wouldn't mind waiting... she should be here soon."

Xander nodded.

"That will be fine. Do you have a waiting room or something?"

Wesley nodded and lead Xander over to one of the couches... one with its back to the door. Xander sat down and waited.

About 15 minutes later, the doors opened and Cordelia walked in.

"Who's motorcycle is that outside? Did you get a new one, Wesley?"

Xander stood and slowly turned to Cordelia.

"Actually... its mine."

Cordelia saw the man sitting on the couch stand and then turn around... and then his voice... it was impossible... but yet he was there.

"Xan.. Xander?"

Everything went black as she fainted and fell to the floor...


Cordelia woke slowly and stared up at the ceiling of the office. She blinked a few times and wondered why she was in here... then it hit her.


She sat up and scanned the room, her eyes darting back and forth. The doors opened and in ran Wesley and Gunn.

"Are you ok, Cordelia?"

She shook her head.

"I saw Xander. Where is he?"

The two men stepped aside and in walked a very powerful looking man. He was dressed entirely in black with his long hair flowing behind him. Cordelia looked into his eyes as he spoke.

"I'm right here, Cor. Did you miss me?"

Tears formed in Cordelia's eyes and she jumped off the couch, throwing herself into his arms.

"You're alive... you're alive.. oh thank you God you're alive..."

She hugged Xander as tightly as she could, crying nonstop. Xander smiled and kissed her head.

"I'll take that as a yes then."

Cordelia smiled and leaned back.

"Yes.. I missed you."

She then frowned and slapped him across the face... hard.

"You EVER do that to me again and I will kill you!"

Xander winced and nodded, looking ashamed.

"I'm... I'm sorry, Cordy... but you can kill me if you want... if it will make you feel better... I don't mind."

Cordelia paled and stared at him in shock.

"What the hell are you saying?!"

Xander smirked.

"You can't call me normal boy anymore... for I am more, so much more."

Cordelia raised and eyebrow and pulled Xander over to the couch.

"Spill... tell me everything... or else."

Xander laughed.

"Or else what?"

Cordelia smiled evilly.

"Or else I will be forced to tell Wesley and Gunn just how badly you..."

Xander paled and his eyes widened.

"Stop.. I'll talk... I'll talk."

Cordelia grinned and giggled. Wesley and Gunn looked at each other and just shrugged... then left to go back to what they were discussing earlier. As soon as he heard them leave... Xander began.

"It is a long story, Cordy... so I'll start at the beginning....."


By the time Xander was finished, Cordelia was crying.

*God... why did all this have to happen to Xander? Why him? He lost his love... and then everything else...oh you poor boy...*

"I'm sorry this all happened to you, Xander, but you do seem to be handling it all ok."

Xander nodded.

"Time heals all wounds... and I have a lot of it now."

Cordelia smirked.

"Which... time or wounds?"

Xander laughed.


Cordelia smiled and kissed him. Xander blinked in surprise and stared at her.

"Wha.. what was that for?"

Cordelia grinned.

"For coming back... home... to me... to us all... and also just because I wanted to."

Xander blushed and nodded as Cordelia continued.

"... but don't go getting any ideas... I'm over your ass, even if it is much cuter now."

Xander laughed and grinned.

"Thanks... but it doesn't compare to yours."

It was Cordelia's turn to blush this time as she smiled.

"Thank you as well."

She grinned.

"So.. how long are you here for?"

Xander shrugged.

"Day or two... not really sure. I have an appointment in San Fransisco that I have to take care of."

Cordelia smiled and raised and eyebrow.

"Oh... really... doing what?"

Xander smirked.

"Learning magic... from some witches."

Cordelia laughed at Xander's answer and then frowned when she realized he wasn't kidding.


Xander nodded.

"I know... Xander and Magic... two words that don't go well together... but the guy who told me all this seems pretty sure that I have to do this. He was very persuasive about it... invited me to live with him, his wife, and her sisters... for free."

Cordelia frowned.

"I don't like this, Xander. Who are they?"

Xander looked at her and saw the worry written all over her face.

"He called them... the Charmed Ones."

Cordelia smiled and relaxed.

"Thank God then... you'll be ok."

Xander stared at her.

"You've heard of them then, I take it?"

Cordelia nodded.

"They are a very powerful force for Good. You'll be safe with them."

Xander smiled.

"Good to know. So.. while you have me, for a couple of days, what do you want to do?"

Cordelia stood and pulled Xander to his feet.

"Ok.. you're taking me to lunch... then we are going to spend the day together and maybe do a little shopping... you look weird."

Xander frowned.

"Hey.. I resent that! I look good."

Cordelia smirked.

"You look like Angel."

"... who looks like me?"

They both turned as Angel appeared at the top of the stairs. Xander stared at him and nodded a greeting. He smirked and decided to have some fun.

"Deadboy... what are you doing up so early?"

Angel frowned and answered on instinct.

"Don't call me that... Xander?"

Xander laughed.

"Why... you going to hit me or something?"

Angel paled and stared at him. Xander noticed the look and grinned.

"Something wrong... Deadboy... you look like you've seen a ghost."

Angel swallowed and nodded.

"Something like that..."

Xander laughed.

"Care to explain?."

Angel came closer to them.

"What happened, Xander, after you left the courtyard?"

Xander frowned.

"What are you talking about?"

Angel moved even closer.

"The courtyard... outside the hospital... the one where you were when they called me to come get you... as next of kin."

Xander paled.

"How can you..."

Angel smirked and nodded.

"Dreamt it all... but it happened... didn't it."

Xander sat down, hard, and nodded.

"Yeah... about 2 or 300 years from now."

Cordelia blinked in shock and sat down next to him.

"Care to explain?"

Xander nodded.

"I was here... or close to here... in a hospital. It was about 300 years from now and the doctors looked me up in their files. They had Dead... Angel... listed as my next of kin... for some reason... and they called him."

It all began to make sense. Cordelia turned to Angel and frowned.

"Your dream?"

Angel nodded.

"Yeah.. when I saw him here.. I figured it was all true... plus the strange buzz I felt didn't hurt either."

Xander looked up in shock.

"You felt me?!"

Angel grinned.

"Yes.. you will get used to it. The longer you live... which you will... the better you will get at feeling it. You're what.. only a year or two old?"

Xander paled.

*He knows...*

"Yeah.. something like that."

Cordelia shook her head.

"Whoa... back the truck up. Explain people... now!"

Xander looked at Cordelia and nodded.

"I'm Immortal now..."

Cordelia frowned, angry at having not been told.

"And when were you going to tell me this?"

Xander sighed.

"I was planning on later... once you got used to me being alive. I didn't want to scare you."

Angel watched the two of them and shook his head.

"Cordelia... its a scary thing for him... and he cares about you enough to not put you through that kind of fear. I find that very mature."

Xander stared at Angel in shock.

*Wow... he is totally different. I'm beginning to see why I had him down as next of kin. We must become friends or something...*

Cordelia nodded.

"I know.. its just... you should have told me Xander."

Xander looked at his feet.

"I'm sorry, Cor... I'm sorry."

Cordelia pulled him into a hug and shook her heard.

"It's ok... just no more hiding anything... ok."

Xander nodded against her chest and mumbled something. Cordelia laughed and pulled away.

"What did you say?"

Xander smiled.

"I said no more hiding... but your.... well... umm... they got in the way."

Xander was blushing and the sight alone was enough to make Angel start laughing. Cordelia frowned at him and smiled at Xander.

*After all this time, my breasts still have that effect on him... makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.*

"I'm glad you still like them."

Xander blushed even redder and nodded. Cordelia smiled and stood up.

"Come on then... no more fantasizing about my perfect breasts... we have a full day before us."

She turned to Angel.

"We will be back later."

Angel nodded and watched as Cordelia manhandled Xander to the door. As they left, Angel smiled and shook his head.

*I wonder how long it will be before they end up in bed... the vibes they were giving off were intense...*

He thought about it and cringed.

"God.. never ever picture Xander Harris naked... ever again...eww.. I'm going to have nightmares for a week."

He turned and walked into his office... still shaking...


Xander stared blankly as he waited for Cordy to come out of the changing room. They were in... god, he had no idea what the name of the place was; they had been in so many of them... and it wasn't even noon yet.

*Dear lord.. kill me... kill me now in hopes I can finally get some rest in the morgue.. for an hour or two.*

Cordy emerged from the changing room and the flash of skin he saw snapped him out of it. Xander blinked and then looked at her... and gasped.

*Cordy... in lingerie... oh my god...*

Xander stared at her in the very small red teddy and felt his jaw drop. Cordelia turned and posed for him and smiled at his dumbstruck expression.

*That will show him... you don't leave me hanging for as long as you did, Xander... you tell a girl that you're ok... and boy, you really are shocked, aren't you.*

"Xander... how do I look?"

Xander swallowed and tried to form words.

"Um... hot... gorgeous... um....."

His brain began to shut down as all of his blood rushed elsewhere, and all he could do was drool. Cordelia smiled and nodded.

"That good, huh... hmm.. thanks."

She turned and walked back into the changing room, her body swaying as she moved. Xander stared in shock and was only able to breath again once she disappeared from view.


Xander shifted his body in his chair and crossed his legs. His pants were very very snug now.

*Ice water... snow... liquid nitrogen... um.. other things cold... um... oh shit.. its not helping... um.. oh crap.. need something terrifying... clowns!*

Xander yelped and fell off his chair. As he climbed back into it, he noticed everything was fine now.

*Clowns.. was would it have to be clowns... now I'm all jumpy.*

Xander looked over at a wall clock and winced at the time. He got up and walked over to the door of the changing room.

"Cordy.. if you want us to make our lunch reservation we need to be leaving soon. It's at 12:30.. remember... and we will need at least 15 minutes to get there."

Cordy smiled to herself as she finished getting dressed.

"I'll be right out... no shoo... and go pay for these."

She passed him out a few outfits... including the teddy. Xander stared in shock and just sighed.


He turned and walked over to the register. The clerk smiled at Xander as she scanned everything.

"You're a lucky man... she's beautiful."

Xander nodded.

"I know... but she's not mine... at least I don't think she is."

The clerk shook his head.

"You never know... she looked pretty happy to be showing off for you."

Xander shrugged.


The clerk pressed a key and smiled.

"The total comes to...563.18."

Xander blinked in shock and then began creating money as fast as he could in his pocket. He was trying to alter their serial numbers so as not to get caught for counterfeiting. After a few seconds, he reached in and pulled out a large wad of cash. Cordelia arrived as he was handing the clerk 20 after 20.

*Oh my god.. he's actually paying for it. Where did Xander get so much money?!*

The clerk took the money and handed Xander his change.

"There you are sir.. have a nice day and thank you for shopping with us."

Xander nodded and shoved the rest of his money in his pocket. He then took the bags and turned to see a shocked Cordelia next to him.

"You ready for lunch?"

Cordelia nodded. Xander smiled and took her hand... then walked with her to the parking lot.


Xander smiled at Cordelia as she looked up at the restaurant in shock.

"You got us a reservation here... when.. how?"

Xander laughed.

"I made a call while you were changing. They had a cancellation and I offered them money to hold it for us."

Xander opened the door for her and walked inside behind her. The conceirge walked over and greeted them.

"I believe you have a table reserved for Xander Harris."

The conceirge checked his book and then nodded.

"This was please..."

They followed him into the main dining room and were taken to a lovely table near the middle of the room. Fresh roses were in the middle of the table and soft music was playing in the background. Xander held out Cordelia's chair for her then sat down himself. A waiter arrived moments later.

"Would you like something to drink before your meal?"

Xander nodded and ordered an iced tea. Cordelia smiled and ordered the same. The waiter nodded and left. Xander smiled across at Cordelia and shook his head.

"I still can't get over how beautiful you look now, Cor. You're stunning."

Cordelia blushed and smiled.

"Thank you. You look amazing yourself. The long hair looks good on you and your body... have you been working out?"

Xander nodded.

"Yeah... and I had a little help from some friends of mine."

He tried to explain as best he could about the nanites. Cordy nodded and smiled.

"So they took all your fat and turned it into muscle.. then toned the muscle?"

Xander nodded.

"They made a few other changes as well. My senses are heightened now... almost Slayer level. I can hear much better, see farther, and a few other things. I also have increased endurance and stamina..."

Xander watched as Cordelia thought about that last comment and smiled at the blush that formed.

"Well.. you certainly aren't the boy I once knew. I like the new you... its very becoming."

Xander laughed.

"Well thank you."

The waiter arrived with their drinks and took their order... then left again. As they waited on their food, they talked more.

"Where are you staying?"

Xander shrugged.

"Hadn't decided yet. I came looking for you as soon as I hit town."

Cordelia nodded.

*He could stay at a hotel... he certainly can afford it... but then again... its been so long... and I still feel something... you have that spare room.... and Dennis won't mind...*

"Why don't you stay with me?"

Xander's eyes widened and he blinked.

*Whoa.. she wants me to stay with her.... um.. I still like her... but I don't know what else... I mean, seeing her again has brought back old feelings.... but I don't know what they are... and I don't want to give her the wrong impression...*

"I.. I don't know.. I wouldn't want to impose."

Cordelia smiled.

"It's ok... I have a spare room... you can sleep there... if you'd like."

Xander nodded.

*Spare room... that would work...ok."

"Thanks... I'd like that."

Cordelia nodded and smiled wider.

"It's settled then... for however long you're here.. you're sleeping with me...."

Her eyes widened in shock and she quickly amended herself.

"... staying... staying with me."

Xander smiled and nodded. He knew this would certainly be an interesting visit.


They headed to Cordelia's place after eating.. so she could put away her new clothes... and while she was busy in the bedroom, Xander had a look around.

"Nice place.. how do you afford it?"

Cordelia called out from her bedroom.

"It's rent controlled... I got lucky."

Xander nodded.

*Very lucky indeed.*

As he looked around, he felt something strange. There was a presence in the room. Xander focused his senses and felt someone standing next to him. He turned and looked and saw the faint outline of a man.

"Hi... and you are?"

The man jerked in shock. No one had ever seen him before. He floated over to a notepad and picked up a pen and began to write. Xander followed and looked at the pad.

"My name is Dennis. I like here and take care or Cordelia. Who are you and how can you see me?"

Xander read the note and nodded.

"My name is Xander. I used to date Cordelia.. a long time ago. I can see you because I am special that way... its kinda hard to explain."

Dennis nodded just as Cordelia entered the room.

"Who are you talking to, Xander?"

Xander turned to look at her and smiled.

"Just talking to Dennis."

Cordelia gasped.

"How do you know about him? I hadn't told you yet."

Xander smiled.

"I can see him... he's right here."

Xander pointed at the table and Dennis nodded. He liked having someone see him again.. it had been too long. Cordelia just shook her head in wonder.

*Trust Xander Harris to be able to see ghosts...*

"So.. Dennis.. you ok with Xander staying here a few days."

Dennis nodded, smiling.

Xander grinned.

"He says yes... and he's smiling."

Cordelia smiled and shook her head.

"I just know that the two of you will be up all night watching tv... I can just see it...oh well.. we had better head back to the hotel. Need to see if I have any work waiting for me today.. and if I do.. I can shove it off on Fred."

Xander nodded and moved over to Cordelia.

"Who's Fred? I didn't see him there."

Cordelia broke down laughing at Xander's remark.

"Fred is a woman.. Xander... its short for Winifred."

Xander blushed.

"Ah.. right.. glad I didn't make that mistake there."

Cordelia nodded.

"Come on... lets go... we'll be back later, Dennis."

Cordelia opened the door and they left; Xander waved bye to Dennis as they went.


They pulled up outside the hotel on his motorcycle. Xander had enjoyed the ride over. Cordelia's arms had been wrapped around him and he could feel her head on his shoulder. It felt.... good.

"We're its not that I don't like the feeling of your arms around me... Cor.. but you kinda need to let go so we can go inside."

Cordelia smiled and let go.

"Sorry.. you just feel all muscular and hard and I kinda lost myself."

Xander blushed.

"Thanks... that's a nice thing to hear."

Cordelia let go and climbed off the back... Xander following soon behind her. He then took her hand and they walked inside...

As they entered the hotel, a young woman ran over to them, a big grin on her face.

"Is this him?"

Cordelia smiled.

"Who, Fred?"

Fred grinned.

"Is this the guy who has Angel all shaky and mumbling?"

Cordelia frowned.

"Mumbling what?"

Fred blushed.

"He keeps mumbling something about Xander naked and nightmares.."

Xander laughed at the thought and bent over.

"Oh god.. that's great. Angel is so screwed."

Cordelia grinned.

"Ah.. Xander.. but he's thinking about you naked."

Xander paled and stopped laughing.

"Now that's not funny... I don't like him that way..."

It was Cordelia's turn to laugh now as she pulled Xander toward Angel's office... Fred following behind. As they walked, Xander smiled at Fred.

"I'm the dreaded Xander... pleased to meet you."

Fred nodded and smiled.

"Winifred.. but everyone calls me Fred."

Xander nodded.

"So.. anything else about me I should know?"

Fred smiled.

"Nothing I can tell you right now... but maybe later when Cordelia isn't listening. It has to do with her and what I heard her say in her sleep about 3 months back..."

Xander grinned wider.

"Can't wait to hear that... maybe later?"

Fred nodded and smiled.

They walked into Angel's office and found him going over a file. Cordelia sat down on the edge of the desk and tapped the file.

"Do you need me to do anything... or can I take the rest of the day off with Xander?"

Angel looked up and shook his head.

"No new cases... so go ahead... have fun."

Cordelia smiled and hopped off the desk. She then started to walk back outside when Xander stopped her.

"You go ahead out to the bike. I need a word with Angel for a moment... and don't worry... I'll play nice."

Cordelia grinned and nodded... then turned and left the office, Fred following her. Xander turned to Angel and sat down.

"Angel... I need to tell you something...and I want to clear the air between us."

Angel nodded.

"Go ahead."

Xander sighed.

"I never liked you. You came on the scene and Buffy fell in love with you on sight... and that killed me... cause I fell for her too."

Angel nodded.

"I know... and I'm sorry she didn't see you like that."

Xander smiled.

"Thanks.. that means a lot to me. Anyway... I was mad you had her and I didn't... so I hated you... but now, you're out of her life... and I could care less about her... so we really have no reason to hate each other anymore. Since we are both going to be around for a very long time... I was wondering if you'd like to call a truce... see if we can get to know each other and maybe become friends?"

Angel blinked in surprise.

*Xander Harris... the boy who calls me Deadboy.. wants to be my friend. Is the world ending? This is a shock... but who knows...*

"What do you mean when you say you could care less about Buffy?"

Xander explained everything to Angel. Angel nodded, understanding.

"I see... well.. you're right... there is nothing for us to be angry about anymore... and since we are both going to live a very long you put it... I see no reason in keeping the feud between us. As for us becoming friends... we will have to wait and see... but we have time for that."

Xander nodded as Angel continued.

"I just want you to promise me one thing."

Xander nodded.


Angel smiled.

"Don't hurt Cordy... she means a lot to me... to everyone here. I don't know if she loves you... but if she does and you don't... don't string her along... understand?"

Xander nodded.

"I can promise you, Angel, that I won't hurt her... but if I do... you can kill me... as long as you leave my head alone."

Angel grinned.


Xander laughed and stood up.

"Glad we had this talk, Angel. I'll see you later."

With that said, he turned and walked outside to join Cordelia...


The rest of their day was a whirlwind of fun. Cordelia showed Xander all the best places to go in L.A... and Xander was happy just being with her. They laughed and had fun... and eventually ended up back at Cordelia's place...


Xander sat down on the couch and watched as a chess set floated across the room. Xander focused his eyes and saw a smiling Dennis standing before him. Xander smiled and nodded.

Dennis grinned and set up the chess board... and within minutes they were playing.


Cordelia stepped out of the shower and toweled herself dry. She was all rosy and happy inside... and it was all because of Xander. She stared at the smiling face looking back at her in the mirror and laughed.

*It's been so long since I've been this happy... and all because of him...*

She pulled on her robe and walked into the hall. As she closed the door to the bathroom, she heard laughter. She followed it to the living room and saw Xander... playing chess by himself.


Suddenly one of the chess pieces moved and Cordelia understood.

*He's playing chess with Dennis... that is so sweet.*

She smiled and watched them as Xander frowned and shook his head.

"Hey.. no fair.. you're using a Russian defense against my Arabic one. I thought we agreed to no grandmaster level moves."

Cordelia gaped in awe.

*Grandmaster level... what the hell???*

She stepped into the room and cleared her throat. Xander looked up and smiled.

"Hey Cordy.. tell your ghost to stop cheating."

Cordy shook her head and smiled.

"You heard him, Dennis... no more cheating."

She laughed and sat down next to Xander... not noticing that her robe fell open some. Xander smiled at her and then turned away.. blushing. Cordelia frowned and then looked down and went bright red.

"I'm.. I'm sorry, Xander... I'll go get dressed."

Xander grabbed her arm and stopped her.

"It's... it's ok... I promise not to look.... if you don't want me to."

Cordelia blushed even more and then sat back down.


Xander leaned closer and smiled. He had heard her whisper that she didn't mind him looking... but he didn't want to let her know that he knew. Instead, he went back to the game..


"Checkmate... ha, got you!"

Dennis nodded and smiled.. then gathered up the game and left the room. Within seconds, the lights dimmed and soft music began to play. Cordelia smiled and blushed.

"Looks like Dennis wants to leave us alone."

Xander nodded and smiled.

"It's nice of him... he's a nice guy."

Xander moved closer to Cordelia and touched her leg, resting his hand there.

"Cordy... would you mind if I were to... kiss you?"

Cordelia blushed, suddenly nervous, and shook her head. Xander smiled and leaned in, placing a soft tender kiss on her lips... and then was shocked when Cordelia grabbed his head and increased the intensity of the kiss by a factor of 10.

*Oh god this feels so good... oh I've missed him so much...*

*Oh my god... this brings back so many memories... and oh.. she's so hot...*

Within seconds, Xander had picked her up and carried her to her bedroom. He placed her gently on the bed and began kissing his way down her neck... moving lower and lower..

"Oh god.. oh yes.. Xander... please... more... its been so long..."


Dennis watched the two of them as they spent the next hour making love. He smiled, happy Cordelia had someone who cared that way for her. He grinned like an idiot and made notes on positions he had never seen before.. then turned away when things so too intense.

*Whoa.. I think I need to go watch TV.*

He floated out of the room and turned on the TV in the living room, watching a rerun till he heard it grow quiet in the bedroom...


Xander slid up Cordelia hot and sweaty body and rested his head on her breasts. It had been amazing... and yet, he felt different now... and it was a little confusing.

*I love her... still... but I am not "in" love with her. What do I tell her now...*

Cordelia smiled as she felt herself relax. She had orgasmed 3 times and was so happy she felt like nothing could bother her... except the nagging feeling that something was wrong.

*I still love him... but sadly, I'm not in love with him. This will hurt him so much...*

Xander looked up into Cordelia's eyes and kissed her chin. She smiled and ran her fingers through her hair.


They both talked at the same time. Xander laughed and nodded.

"You first."

Cordelia smiled.

"I love you Xander..."

Xander smiled.

"I love you too.... but."

Cordelia nodded.

"But... I'm not in love with you anymore."

Xander nodded.

"Me either."

They looked at each other and laughed.

"I was so worried I would hurt you."

Xander nodded.

"Me too. I do love you, Cordy, and what we did was... "

Cordelia smiled.

"... heavenly... but it wasn't a major thing... for either of us. Still friends?"

Xander nodded.

"Best friends."

He smirked.

"Best sex friends?"

Cordelia laughed and swatted his head.

"Maybe... if you can give me three orgasms each time."

Xander smiled.

"Only three... I can do better than that."

He growled and dived in again... and soon Cordelia was moaning and screaming again... the sounds echoing out into the living room where Dennis blushed and smiled.



The next morning, Cordelia entered the hotel with Xander right behind her.... and she was walking funny. Xander watched her walk and grinned.

*I am the man!*

Cordelia looked back and saw him grin and just sighed.

*I'm so sore... but its a good sore... oh god it was good.*

She walked into the office and sat down, slowly. She looked up at Xander and smiled.

"You staying another day?"

Xander shook his head. He wanted to stay... but he had an appointment to keep in San Francisco.

"I promised Leo I would be there soon... so I probably have to go."

Cordelia nodded, understanding.

"Well.. you ride carefully... and learn alot... and if you find someone there prettier than me... you be good to her."

She motioned for him to come closer and kissed him on the lips.

"Be good... and come back to see me when you can."

Xander nodded and smiled. He pulled out a piece of paper and handed it to her.

"My cell phone number... so you can keep in touch with me."

He ran his fingers through her hair and smiled.

"See you later. Love you."

Cordelia grinned.

"Love you too... bye."

Xander nodded and walked out the door. He got onto his bike and checked his backpack. Once he was sure everything was secure, he turned toward the hotel and smiled.

*Thank you, Cordy, for bringing me one step closer to being healed. I will love you forever... in my own special way.*

He then started the bike and headed off... toward San Francisco...


San Francisco... it was much bigger than Xander had expected. He rode through town on his motorcycle, looking for the address that the strange man, Leo, had given him. He had called him, telling him he was on his way, and Leo had given Xander some more detailed directions.

*Boy am I glad he gave me these clear directions... or else I might have just wandered around all day looking for his place.*

He thought back to the other night and smiled. It had been wonderful... and he was glad that he and Cordy were still friends. It was on the trip over that he had called Duncan on his new cell phone and told him everything. He said he wasn't sure how long he would be in San Fran, but Xander told him he would give him a call before he left and would check in with him every week.

Xander smiled to himself, still happy, and then looked back down at the directions.

*Right on Sullivan... then 4 blocks... then a left and go up the hill... then its the third house on the left...*

Xander looked up at the street sign and turned right. Within 10 minutes, he was on the right street and was pulled up next to a large manor house. He looked up at it and smiled.

*Nice place... hope I'm at the right house.*

Xander got off his bike and headed up the walk. As he walked up the steps, he heard someone arguing inside.

"... Phoebe... get your sorry ass down here right now. We have company coming and you are not getting out of meeting him!"

Xander smiled.

*Wonder if that was Leo's wife or the other sister...*

Xander stepped up to the door and rang the bell. Within moments, the door opened and a lovely woman stood before him.

"Yes.. what do you want?"

Xander smirked.

"Does Leo live here?"

The woman nodded and turned her head.

"Leo! Front door!"

Xander smiled and watched as Leo entered the foyer from a side room. He smiled as he saw Xander.

"Xander... you made it earlier than I thought you would."

Xander laughed.

"I don't follow speed laws."

The woman frowned at Xander and then turned to Leo.

"So this is your friend?"

Leo nodded and pulled Xander inside.

"Yes, Prue, he is... and he's also your new student, so be nice."

Xander looked Prue up and down and grinned.

*I'm going to enjoy this...*

He heard someone on the stairs and turned to look and gasped at what he saw. The most beautiful woman he had ever seen, since Kitty, was walking toward him. His jaw dropped and his mind disconnected, making him mumble softly to himself.

Phoebe noticed the reaction and smiled.

*Leo never said he was this hot. I'm going to enjoy this.*

Leo looked at Xander and smiled.

"Xander... this is Phoebe and you already met Prue. Piper is at her club right now but she will be back later for dinner."

Xander nodded and mumbled something. Phoebe laughed and smiled.

"Thank you... that is a very nice thing to say."

Prue shook her head and just stared at her.

"You understood what he said?"

Phoebe nodded.

"I understand the language that is man-in-shock-babble. Xander said `You're the most beautiful woman I have ever seen and I would be honored to protect you for all eternity.' or something along those lines."

Leo laughed.

"You said that, Xander?"

Xander nodded and blushed.

"Sorry... went non-verbal for a sec there. Pleased to meet you both. I hope my being here won't be a problem."

Prue started to say something but was stopped by Leo.

"No problem whatsoever. Now... would you like to have a look around or would you rather get set up in the guest room?"

Xander smiled at Phoebe and looked at his feet.

"Both... if that's ok."

Phoebe moved closer and placed her hand on Xander's arm.

"Where are your things?"

Xander patted his backpack and smiled.

"All right here. I travel light."

Phoebe laughed and patted him on the chest, then jumped back in shock.

"What the hell was that?"

Prue frowned and moved closer.

"What is it?"

Phoebe shook her head.

"His chest is as hard as a rock."

Xander smiled and dropped his backpack on the floor. He then took off his cloak and then peeled off his t-shirt revealing... the mithril armor. He grinned inwardly and was glad he had gone back for the mithril vest... for when he was going incognito.

"It's mithril armor. It stops pretty much anything you can think off... except for maybe magical weapons or things of that nature."

They all stared in shock and moved closer to examine it.

"Can I touch it?"

Xander nodded to Phoebe and grinned.

"Sure.. go ahead."

Phoebe reached out and ran her fingers across Xander's buff chest, feeling the smooth silky quality to the mithril vest.

"It's smooth... like silk... but it's cold... but not as cold as ice... and it tingles.... has this been enchanted?"

Xander nodded.

"A friend of mine put a few spells on it and a few other items of clothing I have. When I am fully decked out... nothing short of a God or a Dragon can hurt me... at least that is what he told me."

Xander ran his fingers through his long hair and felt Phoebe grab his hand.

"What is this and what happened?"

Xander looked at his wrist and nodded.

"It's a bracer of dimensional travel. It was destroyed a while back and the results are what you see. It has been fused into me... all the way down to the bone. The only way I can get rid of it would be to cut off my hand. It hurt for a day or so.. but I don't even feel it anymore."

The looks on their faces was enough to tell Xander that he had shocked them pretty badly. Xander just shrugged and grabbed his things. He pulled his shirt back on and smiled.

"Can someone show me to my room now?"

Phoebe nodded and squeezed Xander's hand.

"I will... come with me."

She then turned and lead Xander upstairs. As they disappeared upstairs, Prue turned to Leo and shook her head.

"She has him... but he doesn't know it yet. The poor guy is doomed."

Leo smiled and nodded.

"I know... isn't it great."

They both laughed and walked into the kitchen, hearing laughter from upstairs.


Xander followed Phoebe into the guest room and dropped his backpack on the bed.

"Nice room... um.. where's yours?"

Phoebe smiled seductively.

"The one next to this one... and I stay up late, in case you want to talk... or something."

Xander blushed and nodded. He then dumped out his clothes onto the bed. Phoebe looked at his lack of clothing and frowned.

"You don't have much there. Do you need to go shopping?"

Xander shook his head and smiled.

"Naw.. I can make anything I need."

The confused look on her face told Xander he would have to show her.

"What color do you think would look good on me?"

Phoebe looked at Xander and considered for a moment.

"Light green maybe... why?"

Xander laughed and created a t-shirt similar to the one he was wearing. It materialized before their eyes and he heard Phoebe squeak and jump back.

"How.. how did you do that? You didn't cast any spell."

Xander smiled.

"It's called Keening. Some friends of mine taught me how to do it. I keen something... which means I memorize it completely, down to the molecular level, and then I can recreate it over and over as many times as I want."

Phoebe's eyes widened.


Xander nodded.

"Yes.. even money.. but I sometimes can't get the serial numbers right so I end up making counterfeit money most of the time. I tend to stick to making small amounts in various denominations... and I don't give money to the same person twice. I'm thinking I need to get my hands on some gold or silver or diamonds or something... then sell them till I have enough money to live comfortably on. The hard part is actually getting them in the first place."

Phoebe nodded.

"Well.. we can be in the lookout for those things and maybe you can give me some of it too.... as a nice gift maybe?"

Xander smiled at her. She had started flirting with him and was looking very sexy at the moment.

"Of course. I would gladly give you all some money... as a thank you for helping me... if I can ever get some... but for now..."

He looked around the room and saw a piece of amethyst on the dresser. He walked over and picked it up... keened it.. then set it back down. He then turned and walked back over to Phoebe. He looked down at the ring on her hand and smiled.

"Can I see that ring for a second?"

Phoebe nodded and pulled it off... then handed it over. Xander keened it then gave it back. He then sat down and closed his eyes. He was going to try something he had never tried before. He was going to merge the ring with the amethyst... and see if he could make a ring. He concentrated and went for it... then opened his eyes.

He opened his hand and smiled at what he saw. In the palm of his hand was an amethyst ring. He heard Phoebe gasp and then sigh.

"It's beautiful..."

Xander looked into her eyes and smiled.

"It's for you... if you'd like it."

He then took her hand and slid the ring onto her finger. His eyebrows wiggled and he smirked.

"Not here ten minutes and already they are going to think I proposed..."

Phoebe laughed and nodded.

"Who cares what they think..."

She threw her arms around Xander's neck and hugged him.

"Thank you... I love it."

She then kissed him on his cheek and skipped away, humming happily to herself. Xander watched her go and just smiled.

*Play your cards right and you might just have something with her...*


Later that night, Xander met Piper and was pleased to see that she was happy to have him there.

"You're a welcome addition to this household, Xander. I just want you to know that."

Xander blushed and nodded.

"Thank you, Piper."

The women nodded and smiled. Prue stepped forward and slapped Xander on the shoulder.

"Get a good night's sleep, Xander, because in the morning... you will learn a new definition for Hell... and Piper will be your teacher. Potion Making 101... your worst nightmare."

They laughed and Xander wondered if they were serious.

*Guess I'll find out tomorrow.*

He grinned and said his goodnights... then headed up to his room. After he left, Piper grinned and laughed.

"I wonder if he will be worse than you, Phoebe? Then again... nobody could possibly be worse than you."

They laughed and Phoebe smirked.

"Hey.. you never know... "

They all nodded and headed off to bed... preparing for a busy tomorrow.


Xander woke up early and when he noticed the house was quiet, he decided to get in some exercise before everyone woke up and his training began. He dug through his things and pulled out a tank top and a pair of jogging shorts. He changed into them and then headed downstairs and out into the backyard.

He warmed up with a kata Duncan had taught him and felt his body awaken and unkink as he performed the fluid movements.

After about 20 minutes, Xander dropped into a fighting stance and launched into a mock battle with an imaginary opponent. His body was a flurry of kicks and punches with a leap, a flip, or a twist added in every other move. He was a sight to behold, a floating performance of skill and agility that was breathtaking to behold.

As a shimmer of sweat formed on his body, Xander turned things up a notice and began focusing on the Force... and his movement doubled in their speed and strength... making him look almost like a God...


Phoebe woke up and smiled at the sunlight streaming in through the window.

*Mmm.. what a wonderful morning.*

Her thoughts wandered to Xander and she smirked.

*I wonder if he is still asleep... if so, maybe I can surprise him.*

She grinned evilly and moved quietly next door... but found the room empty. The room was messy, but not overly so, and the window was open.

*How in the world... that window has been stuck shut for years.*

She moved over to the window and looked down into the backyard and gasped at what she saw. She could see Xander fighting nobody and his body was moving faster than she even thought possible.

*How is he able to do that?*

As she watched, Xander began to jump into the air, his jumps taking him higher and higher off the ground. It was on one particularly high jump that he reached the second story window and looked right into Phoebe's smiling face.

"Hi Phoebe... be right in... I'm almost done."

Xander then dropped back to the ground and finished his routine with a flourish. He then smirked up at Phoebe and walked inside. Phoebe just stared in shock and smiled.

*He's gorgeous... oh god... down girl, he just got here... need to let him get settled in before you try to eat him alive.*

She blushed at the image and then heard the door opening behind her. She turned and smiled at a very sweaty Xander.

Xander entered the room and smiled at Phoebe.

"You have fun watching?"

Phoebe nodded and grinned. Xander smirked and pulled off his shirt, revealing a broad, heavily muscular chest. As she looked, she could almost see tiny very pale circles down his chest and stomach.

"Xander... what are those?"

Xander looked down and frowned.

*The scars are returning... why?*

/Perhaps the stress of the fighting, a few days ago, has caused your body to revert to a previous form and the results are the scars that vanished when you died and came back and returning./

Xander sighed and sat down.

"These, Phoebe, are the bullet wounds from an AK-47. I was shot at point blank range over 30 times. It caused massive damage and I almost died."

Phoebe gasped and shook her head in disbelief.

"Oh god.. Xander... who did it.. how did it happen?"

Xander looked at his chest and nodded to himself.

"It was a few years ago... I was visiting a friend of mine in Paris. A man showed up one day and fired at Duncan. I jumped in the line of fire... to save his life. I then portaled out some friends of mine fixed me up good as new."

Phoebe reached out and ran her fingers across one of the scars and a tear escaped her eye.

"I don't know why I'm crying... but for some reason it hurt me to think you came so close to dying..."

Xander pulled her into his arms and held her.

"It's ok... I'm ok now and nothing is going to hurt me ever again. I have ways of dealing with things now and I will be ok for a very long time."

Phoebe looked up into Xander's eyes and sniffled.

"What ways?"

Xander smiled.

"I'm Immortal. I will never die... unless my head is removed from my neck. I will never get sick and I will never look any older than the 18 I look now."

Phoebe paled and leaned back.

"How old are you?"

Xander shrugged.

"I'm not really sure. I was killed a little over a year ago... your time.. but for me it has been about 6 years... so I'm either almost 20... or almost 24."

Phoebe shook her head, very confused by what she was hearing.

"What do you mean by `my time'?"

Xander smiled.

"I spent about 5 years in a place where time is compressed. One day there was 5 years inside. It allowed me to spend years training myself without wasting a lot of time."

Phoebe nodded, finally beginning to understand.

"I follow.. so you don't really know how old you are. That must be tough."

Xander shrugged.

"Not really. I figure... I'm going to live forever... so why get hung up on how old I am. I figure I probably have a Watcher taking care of keeping track of my history anyway so why should I bother."

Phoebe raised and eyebrow.

"A Watcher... what is that?"

Xander smiled.

"Watchers are people who watch Immortals and document their lives. I have one... but I haven't seen or met him or her yet... but I know that he or she is out there, watching me, probably as we speak."

Phoebe turned to the window and looked out... but saw nothing. Xander smirked.

"I think they know how to hide pretty well. I haven't seen anyone following me and believe me... I've looked. I will leave him or her alone... as long as they do the same to me."

He stood and grabbed a shirt off the dresser. After pulling it on, he smiled at Phoebe and grabbed her hand.

"Why don't we raid the kitchen... before I am sent to Hell."

Phoebe giggled and nodded then lead him downstairs for his last meal...


The explosion rocked the house and smoke billowed out the open kitchen windows. As the smoke cleared, Xander got to his feet and grabbed onto the counter for support. He wiped the soot off his face and caught his reflection in a nearby pan... and gasped. Half of his face was burnt black and his eyebrows were singed. He turned to Piper and heard her scream in terror.


Xander tried to tell her it was ok... but Leo orbed into the room. He took one look at Xander's face and paled. He moved over to help but Xander held up a hand to stop him.

"I'm ok... it will heal itself in a few minutes. Remember.. I'm Immortal."

The two of them looked at each other and nodded, relaxing. Piper walked over and ran her fingers over the skin. As she watched, tiny blue lightning crawled over Xander's face leaving behind healed skin.

"Does that hurt?"

Xander shook his head.

"Not really... not as bad as being shot... or stabbed for that matter."

Leo and Piper looked at each other... then at Xander. He grinned and nodded.

"Time to spill?"

They nodded and Xander smiled... then told them everything...


"You have got to be kidding me. You went through all that?"

Xander nodded.

"Yeah... and I have much more to experience as I get older. I still haven't taken a head yet... and hopefully I will be able to avoid doing that."

Leo shook his head.

"You can't run for your destiny, Xander. You will have to do whatever you must... and if that means killing someone who wants to kill you... then you will have to do it."

Xander nodded.

"I know... I just don't like the idea. I've already killed once and I lost control."

He saw their look and sighed.

"My girlfriend... Kitty... we were in love. She meant the world to me... and she was killed by a savage freak animal. He snapped her neck like it was a twig... and I snapped. I killed him, gruesomely, and almost killed the man he was working for. I was lost... giving him as much pain as I could... but it was less than the pain I was feeling."

He saw their expressions as he told them... but failed to notice that Phoebe was listening as well. She had heard everything and was crying softly.

*So much pain... and still so young... I just hope that he isn't closed off inside.*

Piper walked over to Xander and drew him into a hug.

"You're a strong man, Xander. You will be fine and you will find someone to love you... I'm sure of it. You'll get married and have children.."

Xander frowned and looked away. Piper noticed the look and looked concerned.

"Xander... what is it?"

Xander looked up at her and shook his head.

"Nothing.... nothing's wrong..."

*... except the fact that I can never have children.*

He wiped his hands over his face and sighed.

"Ok.. so what did I do wrong? Why did it explode?"

Piper shook her head when he changed the subject but just let it go.

*He will talk when he is ready.*

"Well... you had too much heat... and you used the wrong powder...."


Xander sprinkled in a dash of rosemary and waited. He needed this to work...

As he watched... the blue liquid in the pan turned red. Xander smiled, he had finally done it.


"Woo Hoo!!"

Xander heard people running toward him and smiled when everyone ran into the kitchen. He pointed at the potion and grinned.

"I did it."

Piper grinned and walked over.

"We'll see..."

She examined the potion and then tried it. It was supposed to create a viewing crystal... if Xander made it correctly. She said the spell and poured the potion into a small tub specially chosen for this test.

As they watched, the potion swirled in the tub and began to glow. Slowly... it shrank down until it was a small red sphere. Piper grinned and turned to Xander.

"Pick it up and try it."

Xander picked up the sphere and looked into it. As he stared, the crystal turned clear.

"How does it work? I've been here almost a week and you never told me why I was doing this."

Piper grinned.

"Think about who you want to see.. then concentrate.. and stare into the sphere."

Xander grinned evilly.

*I wonder how Cordy is doing?*

He stared into the sphere and watched as the office of Angel Investigations became visible. He looked closer and he could see Cordelia and Angel talking.

*I wish I could heard what they were saying...*

Suddenly, he could hear a whisper in the back of his mind. As he focused on it... it grew louder and louder until he heard....

"You know that you forgot to tip him last night...."

Xander let his eyes glaze over as he got lost within the sphere... and soon was seeing everything in his mind...


Cordelia smiled at Angel and laughed at his discomfort. He shuffled his feet and grinned.

"I had other things on my mind..."

Cordelia smirked.

"Like what?"

Angel grinned.

"The dress you were wearing. The dress that turned me on so much that my pants were tight the entire evening."

Cordelia giggled and leaned back.

"So that's why you were so... eager... later."

Angel blushed and nodded.

"It had been a long time... a very long time."

Cordelia smiled warmly and stood. She walked over to Angel and kissed him on the lips.

"You know... I don't regret any of it... in fact, I liked it... alot... and I am very glad that the PTB changed your curse."

As Xander watched, he frowned.

*Curse... changed his... oh dear lord... they had sex!*

Angel nodded.

"I know.. I was still a little scared that I might... revert.. but then we made love... and I was... I am ok... and I just want you to know, Cordy... I love you."

Cordelia gasped in shock and sat down... missing the couch completely.

"I.. I don't know what to say.. I.."

Angel crouched down next to her.

"You don't have to say anything... just know how I feel... and that I don't regret last night."


Xander pulled back. He couldn't take anymore.

"Oh god.. that was... that was.. that was just wrong."

He stared at the sphere in his hands and crushed it, feeling it shatter in his hand. He heard a gasp and turned to see Phoebe staring at his hand... and the blood flowing from it. Xander threw the glass in the trash and then stormed outside.

*It's been less than a week and she's having sex with him... with him!*

He stormed across the back yard and just paced back and forth.

*I mean.. I know she and I aren't... together... and I know she isn't in love with me... but still... just a week after we make love she sleeps with him..*

Xander screamed in anger and slammed his fist into a nearby rock wall... punching a hole through it.

"Why does this happen to me?!"

He sat down and just stared at his hand... watching as it began to heal itself. He didn't notice when someone walked up behind him and wrapped her arms around him from behind. He just turned into the hug and closed his eyes.

"It's ok... you just let it go... its ok Xander."

Xander was shocked by the voice and looked up into... Prue's eyes.

*Prue... but.. but she hates me...*


Prue looked into Xander's eyes and smiled.

"You were expecting Phoebe?"

Xander nodded.

Prue grinned wider.

"I'm here because I know what you are feeling. I lost my Andy... and it still hurts to this day. Do you want to tell me what you saw?"

Xander nodded slowly and told her everything. As she listened, Prue nodded... not thinking too much of this Cordelia person.

"I see... well... you parted as friends... correct?"

Xander nodded.

"We... love each other... but we're not in love."

Prue smiled.

"That is a rare thing to achieve with an ex-lover, Xander. Consider yourself lucky."

Xander frowned.

"I know.. but.. she... with him... only days after me... its.. its just wrong."

Prue shook her head.

"Did you want her to be celibate forever?"

Xander shrugged.

"Just for a while... long enough to make me a happy memory... not the guy who was there just few days earlier."

Prue nodded. She could see his point... but he was failing to see hers.

"She cares, Xander, about you... but do you honestly think she would wait forever to have sex again?"

Xander looked at her and shook his head.

"No. I'm being an idiot... aren't I?"

Prue smiled and nodded.

"Yes... but you're a cute idiot... and my little sister thinks the world of you."

Xander smiled.

"I like Piper too."

Prue laughed and slapped Xander on the back of the head.

"You idiot... I meant Phoebe."

Xander smirked.

"I like her too... alot... just don't tell her yet."

Prue nodded.


They then stood up and walked back inside.


It was a little over a week after the vision event and Xander was feeling something he never thought he would feel again... he was in love.

*She isn't scared of my dark side. She accepts what I am and isn't terrified that I might kill her by accident. She's wonderful..*

Xander looked across the dinner table at Phoebe and grinned. They had all gathered together for some reason and were waiting for something to happen.

*I wish whatever is going on would hurry up...*

He looked over at Leo and was surprised to see the big grin on the man's face.

*Something is up... I can feel it.*

Just then, Leo cleared his throat and stood.

"We... Piper and I... have an announcement to make. We would like you all to know... that... we're having a baby!"

The girls erupted in screams of joy and began congratulating Piper. Xander grinned at Leo and laughed.

"Way to go, stud.. you the man!"

Leo laughed and nodded. He was so happy he was almost glowing. Xander smiled and watched them... trying to hide the sudden sense of loss that washed over him.

*They look so happy... and that joy is something I will never feel... this really sucks.*

Xander forced his smile and then excused himself. He walked upstairs to his room and sat down; the events of the night were just too much to handle anymore. He lowered his head into his hands and closed his eyes.

He sat that way for what felt like forever until he heard a knock on the door. He ignored it and shook his head. The knock returned and Xander rolled onto his side, lying with his face toward the window.

*Please go away... please...*

The door opened a crack and Xander could feel who it was.

"Xander... are you ok?"

Xander closed his eyes tight and sighed softly.

"Can we talk tomorrow, Phoebe? I'm really tired right now."

He heard her sigh and then move back into the hallway, closing the door behind her. Xander frowned and shook his head.

*I can't, Phoebe... not right now... maybe not ever..*

As tears began to fill his eyes, he wept for the one thing he knew he would never have... a family... and ended up crying himself to sleep...


The next morning didn't start well for Xander. He avoided Phoebe as best he could, spending as much time in his daily lessons with Piper and Prue as he could manage... but it was inevitable that he would have to see her, seeing as how he had a lesson with her as well.

He walked into the living room and found Phoebe waiting for him... and she didn't look happy.

"Show me the spells I taught you."

Xander nodded and went through them one by one... but in his mind, he was elsewhere.

*She sounded so cold... this isn't good.*

Xander tried to look her in the eyes but she refused to make eye contact with him. Realizing it was useless, he finished the spells and then left the room, apologizing on his way out.

"Sorry about last night..."

He walked outside and just kept on walking. He didn't know where he was going... but he knew he had to get out of the house. He just walked and walked until he came to a playground and a memory flashed in his mind.


"Push me higher!"

Xander laughed and pushed his bestest friend in the whole world higher on the swings. He was laughing and smiling and enjoying the first day of summer vacation.

"No more stupid school!"

Willow frowned at Xander and her 10 year old face began to pout.

"But I like school..."

Xander saw the pout and winced.

"Well... no more school for the summer... so we can spend it in the pool... or playing in the ocean... or eating Twinkies..."

Willow laughed and grinned at Xander.

*He's so great... I love him so much...*

"Push me higher, Xander, and I'll buy you a box of Twinkies with the leftovers from my birthday money."

*A box of Twinkies!!*

Xander's mind was in awe and he pushed ever harder... then did something he wasn't expecting to do... he leaned in and kissed her cheek... then ran away.

"Tag! You're it!"

Willow held her cheek with one hand as she watched Xander run away. She smiled and then jumped off the swing and took off after him.

"I'm gonna get you Xander..."


"... Xander."

Xander blinked and looked around. He saw Phoebe running toward him. He turned and sat down in the swing.

*Now it happens...*

Phoebe came to a halt in front of Xander and stared at him. Her hands were on her hips and she just looked so cute that Xander couldn't help but smile.

"What's wrong, Xander? Why did you apologize and then run off like that?"

Xander shrugged.

"I don't know... I just... didn't want to have you mad at me... it hurts inside when you're mad at me."

Phoebe smiled and sat down next to Xander.

"I'm not mad, Xander... just confused. Why did you run away last night?"

Xander sighed and looked at her.

"Phoebe... how do you feel about kids?"

She was taken aback by his question and just answered it honestly.

"I hope to have them someday... with the man I love."

She smiled at Xander and took his hand.

"Why do you ask?"

Xander swallowed.

"What would you do if the man you loved... couldn't have kids."

Phoebe frowned.

"There are medical procedures now, Xander, we could..."

Xander interrupted her.

"What if he couldn't ever have kids. What then?"

Phoebe leaned back.

"I know there is adoption... but.. I want me own kids. My flesh and blood.. and the flesh and blood of the man I love. Why.. what are you getting at Xander?"

Xander looked at her.

"I care about you, Phoebe, alot. You mean alot to me. I know we have only known each other a little under a month... but its been a very close time for us."

He turned away and sighed.

"... but I don't want to lead you on. You want kids someday, Phoebe... but I can't have any... ever. Immortal can't have children."

Phoebe paled and frowned.

"You're sterile..."

Xander nodded.

"I'm sorry, Phoebe..."

Phoebe looked away.

*The man I finally choose to give me children and he can't... this.. this is just wrong... why...*

She stared at Xander and began to cry.

"I.. I can't be here right now."

She got up and ran back home... leaving Xander behind.


Xander spent the week working extensively on his magic. He had worked non-stop... all day and all night.. relying on the Hive to keep him going.

It was during one late session that they spoke to him.



/Your conversation about infertility... it confuses it./

*How does it confuse you?*

/We told you we corrected your body. We continued to do so even after you were killed. We thought you knew.../

Xander frowned.

*Knew what?*

/You are fertile... you can have children./

Xander listened to the words and then fainted.


Xander came to sometime later and shook his head.

*How long...?*

/Almost an hour./

Xander sat up and blinked a few times.

*How long have I been... fertile?*

/Since you left Dune./

Xander paled.

*Oh god... Kitty... she could have been pregnant and I wouldn't have ever known... and if she was then I lost more than just her... oh god....*

It was then he remembered more.

*Oh god.. Cordy... she might be pregnant even as I sit here... oh my god... I wonder if she knows...*

He grabbed his cell phone and dialed Angel's number... then waited... wondering.


"Angel Investigations. We help the hopeless."

Xander smiled. Cordy was there.

"Hi Cordy."

He heard a soft gasp from the other end.

"Hi... Xander."

Xander felt the tension almost immediately.

"Um.. Cordy.. I know this is a weird question.. but bare with me. Are you... pregnant."

The phone was dropped on the other end and then picked up minutes later.

"Xander... how.. how did you know. I'm only found out this morning and...."

Xander sighed.

"I found out that I'm not as... empty.. as we thought. There is a good chance that I got you pregnant..."

What he heard next shocked him.

"But it can't be you... it has to be Angel.. we... oh god."

Xander winced. He hadn't thought of that.

"I was there, first, Cordy.. and I know about you and Angel. I'm... I'm ok with it. I just wanted you to know that your kid... our kid... might be mine."

He could hear Cordelia crying on the other end.

"Oh Xander... I don't know what to do. How can I tell him that its not his child. He was so happy when I... told him... this morning."

In that moment, Xander felt his heart break.

*Oh god.. this isn't fair...*

"Cor... its not fair... but... he's there and I'm not. I love you... but I think he might love you more. I just hope you know what it is I'm giving up here. I want you to tell him or her about me... someday.... and please convince Angel to name her after me... at least part of her name."

He could hear the sobbing continue as Cordelia listened to him.

"Oh god Xander... I love you too... and I promise our child will know... someday... and thank you... oh god thank you so much for this."

Xander nodded, tears in his eyes, and hung up the call.

*This day just sucks more and more each second.*

He stood and went back to training... wanting to finish his training as quickly as possible. He no longer felt comfortable living with... mortals.


Xander stood before them and waited for them to test him.

*This is it. Soon this will all be over and I can get the hell out of here... and get back in touch with my own kind.*

Prue stepped forward and began the testing.

"You will show me... one by one... all of the spells I taught you. When you have completed the spell correctly, I will notify you and you can move on to the next spell. Do you understand?"

Xander nodded.

"Good. Then Xander... begin."

Xander nodded and called upon his magic. He let it flow within him and concentrated on focusing it... much the same way he focused the Force. He pooled it together between his cupped hands and formed a fireball.

He extended its size out large and large... then shank it back down. Once he had it to the size he wanted, he let it go and sent it flying toward a nearby target... hitting dead center.

"Fireball... accomplished. Next spell..."


Xander spent the next two hours showing the spells Prue taught him. He had failed on only one of them... and it took him 4 tries to get three others. His last spell left him tired and weak... but he knew there was more.

"Ice Bolt... complete. You know enough to pass... in my opinion. Congratulations, Xander."

Prue smiled and hugged him, glad Xander had done so well. She then turned to Piper and grinned.

"Your turn..."


Xander followed Piper into the kitchen where a cauldron was set up.

"I want you to create every potion I showed you.. then place them on the rack next to the cauldron. I will then test each potion and if you get at least 20 out of 30 right... I will pass you... but I want you to do better."

Xander nodded and walked over to the cauldron. He gathered together all of the ingredients for his first potion and then got to work.

He spent the next three hours creating potion after potion... until he had the rack filled. Xander then turned to Piper and was going to ask her to check them when he noticed she was grinning.

"Are you going to check them now?"

Piper shook her head.

"No need. I watched your work. They are ALL correct. Well done, Xander. You have a definite talent for this."

Xander smiled.

"Just like chemistry... no big deal."

Piper laughed and nodded... then stepped aside as Phoebe took her place.


Phoebe stood before him and sighed.

"There will be no test."

Xander looked confused.

"No test... why?"

Phoebe sat down and wiped her eyes.

"It was my job to bring you out of the cold shell you were in. I thought I had done the job.. and had gotten myself a boyfriend in the deal... but you are back to the way you were... only worse. This shows I failed."

She got to her feet.

"I'm not going to tell them, though. It hurts too much, Xander."

Xander frowned.

"I.. I don't understand."

Phoebe looked at the ground.

"I wanted to marry you... and have your children... but now we can't."

She ran off just as Xander was about to tell her the news... but it was too late. Xander heard the sound of a car leaving in a hurry and he knew she was gone. He walked to the window and just stared out.

*Maybe this is for the best, Phoebe. I would only outlive you... and I couldn't bare to see you grow old and begin to resent... then hate me. I guess I am just going to have to live alone...*

He turned around and walked upstairs... to pack.


Xander loaded his motorcycle and was about to go back in to say goodbye when Leo orbed in front of him.

"You passed... and now it is my turn."

Xander frowned.

"Your turn?"

He started to ask what was going on... when they both disappeared... the bike going with them...


Xander appeared in a white courtyard surrounded by large marble pillars.

"Where are we?"

Leo smiled.

"Call it Limbo. I like to come here to practice."

Xander stared at Leo.

"Practice what?"

Leo grinned wider.

"My skills... which I am going to teach to you... if I can... but first I need to tell the girls you are ok."

He laughed and orbed out... leaving Xander there.... alone....


Xander waited for what felt like an hour and jumped when Leo orbed in.

"What took you so long?"

Leo winced.

"I had to talk to my bosses. They told me exactly what I am to teach you. You are to learn how to detect magic, grant low level healing on another, and how to sense someone innocent in danger."

Xander nodded.

"I see.. so when do we begin."

Leo grinned.



Xander spent the next two weeks with Leo in Limbo. In that time, he was taught all he was supposed to learn and had dreaded every minute of it.

*This shit was harder to learn than the magic...*

He watched as Leo talked to someone who wasn't there... then smiled when Leo looked at him.

"You are to be tested now. A young witch is lost and hurt. You will find her and heal her. If you can do this... in under 10 will pass."

Xander frowned and then slowly nodded.

"Sounds not too bad. When?"

Leo grinned evilly.



Xander appeared in the middle of a dark forest filled with shadows and noises. It was so loud he couldn't hear himself think.

*Ok.. turn off the noise... concentrate...*

He focused his mind and heard everything slowly go silent. He then opened his mind to the feelings of the witch and felt a soft glow off in the far northwest. Xander grinned and moved toward her.

*Piece of cake..*

He laughed and moved in her direction... running quickly... until he hit his first magical trap. A blue field of magical energy formed in front of him and began to crackle and smolder.

"Oh boy... not good."

He recognized the field from his lessons and knew what to do. He recited the spell and watched as the field dissipated and then vanished away.

*I had better be more careful...*

He closed his eyes and focused his mind... then called up his magic sense...and he immediately felt another four traps waiting on the path he was following.

Xander grinned and headed own the path... avoiding the traps... and was soon in the location of the witch. He smiled at her and moved over to help her. She was tied to a tree and it looked like some kind of animal had attacked her.

"Don't worry.. I can heal you."

He focused on his hands and watched as a white glow filled them. He then placed his hands over her wounds and watched in awe as they began to heal.

*I can actually do this... this is amazing..*

He finished healing her and then untied her.

"Are you ok now?"

The witch nodded and morphed into Leo.

"Yes.. I'm fine... thank you."

Xander jumped back in shock and glared at him.


Leo nodded.

"Yes... me... and you passed. Congratulations, Xander. You now know all we can teach you."

Xander nodded and smiled.

"Good... can you send me back now?"

Leo nodded and they back on the street. Xander checked his motorcycle and then hopped on.

"Thank... for everything. Tell the girls bye for me."

Leo nodded and smiled.

"Be careful Xander... and don't lose your head."

Xander laughed and rode away. As he rode off... he could almost feel Phoebe watching him... and he knew she was crying.

*I'm sorry, Phoebe... I'm so so sorry...*

He blinked away the tears and then headed off.... toward Seattle... and his future....


The sound of the engine dying brought Xander out of his daze. He looked down at the gas gauge and frowned.


He looked around franticly and saw he was in the middle of nowhere. He had been traveling north along the coastline and had forgotten about keeping an eye on his gas usage.

*I'm going to run out of gas in the boonies and someone is going to do bad things to me...*

As he climbed to the top of the hill, the engine cut out completely, and he coasted down the other side... and as luck would have it, directly into the parking lot of a small dingy gas station.

Xander smiled and braked hard once he was safely in the parking lot. He then hunched over in pain as he felt the buzz of another Immortal.

*God.. no!!*

Xander hopped off his bike and looked around franticly. A man appeared out of the darkness of the garage part of the station... with a sword in his hand. Xander raised his hands and shook his head.

"Whoa!! All I want is some gas!"

The man stared at Xander and then shrugged, placing the sword in the back of his overalls. He then walked over and began looked Xander over.


Xander nodded.

"Only a few years."

The man nodded and walked over to the pump. As he walked away, Xander stared at him. He could swear the guy was famous.

"Regular or Premium?"

Xander blinked.


The man looked at the bike and shook his head.

"No.. you need Premium or else this beauty will be knocking in a week... judging by the smoke coming out your tailpipe."

Xander shrugged. He didn't want to make the guy mad.

"Sure.. Premium.. fine with me."

The man smiled and started filling the tank. Xander watched him and got up his courage.

"Are you famous?"

The man turned to Xander and grinned. He removed his baseball cap to reveal long wavy brown hair and haunting eyes. He stared into Xander and with an almost evil grin...

"... used to be."

Xander nodded and looked over at the pump. He wanted to get this over with and go.. the guy was giving him the creeps.

*Weird guy... and weirder place...*

Just as the pump stopped, they both jerked as they felt an Immortal. A man stepped out from the shadows and grinned at them. The man next to Xander paled and pushed Xander onto his bike.

"Move it kid.. now!"

Xander hopped on and revved the engine... riding out of there so fast he threw gravel. He rode away, knowing the two men were going to fight.. but he knew he couldn't let the guy do it alone.

*Shit.. here I go again... protector of humanity rears his ugly life-risking head again..*

Xander turned around, after riding a mile or two, and headed back. As he neared the station, he saw lightning fill the sky and knew that one of them was dead... and that if it was the new guy.. well.. Xander would take his head.

Xander pulled into the station and saw the new man kneeling next to the body of the man who had saved Xander's life. With a cry of rage, Xander pulled his sword and leapt off the bike. He ran over to the man and stabbed him through the back... then sliced him open and took his head.

"That's for killing the nice dude!"

Xander stared at the rolling head and turned green. He hunched over and threw up his breakfast... all over his shoes... then noticed the white mist coming toward him.

*What the...*

Xander backed away from it.. but ran into a pole and was stuck. The mist came closer and closer.. lightning jumping off of it.. until it reached Xander and engulfed him; bolts of lightning entering his body.

As Xander writhed in pain, he felt the thought, memories, and experiences of the man he had killed filling his mind...


In his mind, a person appeared on the landscape and looked around in shock.

"Where the hell am I?"

The merged Xander being appeared and stared at the man.

"William Parker... what is your view on your afterlife. Do you wish to aid or.."

William growled and attacked the figure.

"I'm going to kill you for killing me. Your body is mine!!!"

Merged Xander snapped his fingers and the Hive appeared.

"Disassemble him and distribute the important information to Xander's memory. Everything else... throw it away."


The Hive swarmed on the man and began ripping him apart.. piece by piece.. his screams filling the room. As this happened... a second man appeared. He stared around in shock and then looked at M-Xander.

"Um.. you going to do that to me too?"

M-Xander turned to the man and smiled.

"Jim Morrison... do you wish to aid Xander or do you wish to fade away in peace?"

The man, the not so late Jim Morrison, grinned.

"The kid killed Parker for me... and he didn't even know me. That means something to me."

He paused and grinned wider.

"Hell.. sure, I'll help. What do I do?"

MXander smiled and pointed to the distance.

"Come with me... and lets talk..."

Jim nodded and then followed M-Xander toward the courtyard.. barely visible in the distance...


Xander opened his eyes and stumbled to his feet. His head was swimming with things he didn't know before.

*Wha... what's going on..?*

/You have received the Quickening of a man named William Parker. He had just killed the other man, a Jim Morrison. William Parker tried to take control of your body. We destroyed him and kept what we felt was important. Jim Morrison, having not been integrated into Parker.. was complete and has agreed to aid you.. as an advisor./

Xander blinked in shock.

*You mean I have another person in my head now?*


*Great.. just great. Can I talk to him?*

/One moment./

#Yeah, kid? What do you want... I'm kinda busy.#

*You ok in there?*

#Yeah, kid.. you helped me. I know we're supposed to just be absorbed by you... but you seem different.. and they asked if I wanted to help.. so I am.. so... anything else... cause I need to get settled in here.#

*No... nothing at all... is it ok to talk later?*

#Sure kid.. later.#

Xander nodded and walked back over to his bike. He then looked at the bodies of the two men and walked over to them instead. He looked down at their swords and smiled.


Xander picked up the swords and walked back to his bike. After strapping them carefully to his bike, Xander hopped on and headed back on his way... not noticing that he was humming a Doors tune...


Xander pulled into Seattle and grabbed his cell phone. He dialed Duncan's number and waited.


Xander grinned. It was Amanda... and he had a wicked idea.

"Bonjour, ma petite."

Xander heard Amanda gasp in shock and then her voice grew confused.

"Who is this?"

Xander laughed and began speaking in German.

(My name is Xander, Amanda.. I would have thought you would have recognized my voice.)

Xander listened at he heard Amanda growl. She had only understood two words... Xander and Amanda.

"If you hurt Xander.. I will track you down and I will flay the skin from your body.. inch by inch.. keeping you alive.. then I will slowly cut off your balls and feed them too you. Then I'll get mean!!!"

Xander winced in shock.

*Wow.. strong mental there... but she must care alot.*

Xander sighed.

"Sorry, Amanda, didn't mean to scare you. Just wanted to know where you guys are. I'm finally in Seattle."

He heard Amanda sigh.

"Xander... thank god... oh you had better get your ass over here right now... or else I will make you life a living hell. You don't scare me like that!"

Xander frowned.

"Sorry Amanda."

Xander heard Amanda sigh again and then listened as she gave him directions.

"Right.. ok, I'm on my way."

Xander closed his cell phone and followed the directions Amanda gave him. Within 10 minutes he was there.

As he got off his bike, he felt the buzz of not one... not two.. but four Immortals. Xander looked around in shock and then saw them walked outside to meet him. It was Duncan... who was grinning, Amanda.. who looked pissed, Richie.. who looked ready to pee his pants from laughing, and some new guy. Xander smiled and walked over.

"Hi guys. Hi Amanda.. sorry about bef..."

He stopped mid word as Amanda kicked him as hard as she could in the balls.


Xander screamed and fell to the ground. The men watching all winced and bent over in understanding. Xander looked up at Amanda, who was smiling now, and whimpered.

"Why.. I apologized...?"

Amanda pulled Xander to his feet and kissed him.. then grinned.

"Because you don't play games with me, Xander. Anyway.. welcome home."

Xander stared at her and shook his head.

"No more welcomes like that.. please.."

Richie grinned.

"What? The kick or the kiss... cause you must be something special to get her to do that. She never did for me."

Amanda smiled evilly at Richie and walked toward him.

"Is that a request.. because I am willing to kick you as well.. if you want it so bad."

The men smirked as Richie paled and shook his head.

"No! No thanks, Amanda."

Amanda grinned and wrapped an arm around Xander's waist.

"Come along, Xander.. time for Auntie Amanda to show you your new home."

Xander stared at Amanda and then looked over at Duncan and mouthed.

"Auntie Amanda?"

Duncan shrugged and then grinned.

*Good... she's just playing with him.*

He followed them inside and grinned at the new arrangement.

*Amanda always did want kids... well, this is a weird way to get one...*


Inside, Xander looked around in awe and smiled.

"Wow... nice place Duncan. How do you afford it?"

Duncan grinned.

"Well placed buys in the stock market."

Xander grinned and looked around. As he walked, he began humming "People are strange" by The Doors. The others looked at him and shrugged. It was the new guy who said something.


Xander paused and looked at the new guy.

"Yeah.. and you are?"

The man smiled.

"Adam Pierson.."

*But you can call me Methos."

Xander nodded, waiting for the man to continue.

"What were you humming?"

Xander frowned.

"Humming... I wasn't humming."

They all stared at Xander in shock and then looked at each other.

"Yes.. you were."

Xander looked at Duncan and then it hit him. The Quickening... Jim Morrison... he thought it was just a coincidence.


Xander sat down on a bench and looked around in shock. Duncan and Amanda rushed over and crouched in front of him.

"What is it?"

Xander looked up at them.

"I took my first head... right after he took the head of a guy who saved my life."

Duncan nodded and grabbed a pad off a nearby bench. He needed to take notes.. for his own personal files.


Xander looked at Duncan.

"William Parker."

Xander watched as they all jerked back in shock. The new guy, Adam, moved closer and gaped at Xander.

"You took Parker?! How?!"

Xander shrugged.

"He had just killed the other guy. I hit him from behind while he was down."

Duncan nodded and made notes.

*Xander killed Parker... a 1400 year old Immortal.*

"Who did Parker kill?"

Xander looked at them and smirked.

"Jim Morrison."

The look the four of them gave Xander was priceless.


Xander laughed.

"Jim Morrison... lead singer for The Doors... the guy who faked his own death."

They stared at Xander and shook their heads. Xander was beginning to worry when he heard a voice...

#Kid... open your mind to me more... I'll show them.#

Xander nodded and opened his mind some.. and felt something join his consciousness. He then grinned at them, a wry look on his face... and he began to sing; his voice identical to that of Jim Morrison.

They listened.. dumbfounded... and shook their heads. When Xander stopped singing, he felt the presence fade and then smirked at the group.

"Believe me now?"

They nodded and Xander laughed.

"So.. I'm starved. Can we eat?"


He pushed the plate away and grabbed another breadstick and began knawing on it. As he looked around for the waiter, the others at the table stared on in horror.

"Xander... you're not full yet?!"

Xander looked at Richie and shook his head.

"Nope.. still hungry. Hey.. can I have some ravioli? Is it good here?"

Duncan nodded and waved for the waiter. He arrived and Xander ordered more food.. and smiled at the man's expression.

"... and some more salad too please."

The waiter nodded and walked away. Xander ate another breadstick and grinned at the others... who had finished eating 30 minutes earlier.

"So.. when do I start training?"

Duncan smiled.

"Tomorrow morning... early. I'm going to start you by giving you a test... to see what you remember and learned. Then, from what I see there.. I will decide the rest."

Xander nodded.

"Cool... you'll be surprised.. I've been training a long time since then."

He then grinned as the waiter arrived with his foot. Xander thanked the man and dug in. Amanda stared at the food and turned away.

*How can he do it... ugh!*

They all just stared... in awe.. as Xander continued to eat... knowing that this was by far the strangest night they had experienced in a long time. Little did they know that the strangeness was only beginning...


Xander parried the sword thrust and then returned with one of his own, his sword slicing toward Duncan's neck. Duncan blocked it easily and then twirled Xander's sword... trying to force it from his hand. Xander smiled and countered, sliding Duncan's sword down toward his feet.

*Damn... how did the kid... right.. Parker.*

Duncan stared at Xander and decided that he was finished with going easy. Time to see what the kid knew. Duncan jumped back and then came in low, slicing across Xander's mid-section... only he wasn't there. There was a gasp from behind them and Duncan looked up to see... Xander, floating above him.

*What the...?*

Xander then aimed for Duncan's head and came flying back down... his sword blade so close it cut off Duncan's ponytail.

*Got him!*

As Xander ran from a now pissed Duncan, he ran toward a wall... and up it. To all watching, it looked like Xander could have been in The Matrix, considering the way he was moving. Duncan stared in awe as he watched Xander walking up the wall.

*How in the world...*

Xander reached the top of the wall and flipped off... landing behind Duncan... and his sword came to rest at the crook of Duncan's neck.

"I win!"

Xander cheered and began dancing around the room.. doing something similar to his Snoopy Dance. The others stared at him, their jaws down in shock... except for Methos, who had seen this before.

*Impossible... they haven't been on this planet for many millennia... but still...*

Xander finished dancing and walked over to Duncan.

"So... how would you rate me now?"

Duncan grabbed a towel and sat down on a bench.

"Acrobatics... a 10. Speed... a 7. Sword Skill... a 6.5. You're still slow and you repeat moves. If it wasn't for your floating or jumping... you would lose your head."

He looked at the others to gage their reactions to the training session and they nodded in agreement. Duncan turned back to Xander and nodded.

"Overall.. you're better than you were when you left... and I know what to do to help you. This will be a long trip. You willing to take it?"

Xander smiled and nodded.

"I'm going to live forever... I can handle a few weeks."

Duncan grinned.

"Try half a year to a year... depending on how well you do."

Xander paled.

"Oh... well... ok, but I get my own room. No sharing with the red haired wonder over there. I slept in his room in Paris and it was a stinky pig pen."

Richie yelled in anger.

"Hey! It's not that bad!"

Xander turned to Richie and smiled.

"Oh yeah? Something green, furry, and sandwich shaped attacked my foot one day and tried to eat it."

Everyone turned to Richie as he stared at Xander in shock.

"So that's where that thing went..."

Xander laughed and sat down next to Duncan.

"So.. mighty leader... what now?"

Duncan grinned.

"Anything else you want to show us?"

Xander thought about it a second and then smiled.

"Sure... you might get a kick out of it."

He stood and walked into the center of the room. Once there, Xander drew on his knowledge of magic and began to float. A blue glow surrounded his body and as Xander began to chant softly... tiny balls of light appeared around him and began orbiting him, growing larger and larger the more Xander chanted. Soon they were basketball sized and Xander was at the center of a large bright swirling cascade of light.

As Xander finished the last chant, the balls of light exploded around Xander... forming a protective shield around his body. He looked up at the others and grinned.

"Try to hit me."

Richie looked at Duncan and shrugged. Duncan nodded and Richie pulled his sword... then attacked. He ran at Xander and sliced down at the shield... and screamed in pain as his sword was reflected off.

"Shit! That hurt! It was like hitting a brick wall!"

While watching everything, Methos recognized the spell and nodded to himself.

*So.. he is more than just what I thought.... a mage as well... well then, let's test his power*

As Xander smiled at the others, a blast of lightning came out of nowhere and bounced along the surface of the shield... searching for a weak point. Xander looked around, franticly, and saw the new guy, Adam, casting lightning at him. Xander blinked in shock and felt his shield weakening.


Just as his shield failed, Xander saw a bolt of lightning coming right toward him. He raised a hand up and deflected the lightning away, glaring at the man across the room from him.

Methos grinned and smiled.

"Who trained you?"

Xander lowered his hands and glared at the man.

"The Charmed Ones... and their Whitelighter."

Methos nodded and grinned.

"Good... good... but they really know nothing about defensive magic. The shield you used was vulnerable to energy of a high enough frequency. You need to oscillate the frequency of the shield constantly.. that was no one can figure out your spell and work against it."

Xander smiled.

"Like the phasers against the Borg?"

Methos stared at him and shrugged.

"The what against the what?"

Xander blinked in surprise.

*No Star Trek in their universe... too bad.*

"The Borg.. a race that kidnaps people to assimilate them. When you meet them, in order to survive, you have to use a modulating shield frequency to confuse them.. and a modulating phaser frequency to attack them."

Seeing the looks on their faces, Xander just nodded.

"Let me put it this way... I get what you're saying."

Methos nodded and walked closer.

"Duncan.. I'm adding on my own training."

Duncan started to argue the point but then saw the look in Methos's eyes... and reluctantly agreed.


He turned to Xander.

"From now on, I want you doing an hour of aerobics every morning and night. I also want you running 10 miles a day with a weighted backpack. You will increase the weight, by a pound, every third day.. starting with 10 pounds. When you can run the full 10 miles with the backpack loaded to 100 pounds... I will tell you what to do next. You'll find everything in the storage room downstairs. There is a running track three blocks from here at the High School."

Xander listened and nodded.

*I'm going to regret this... I just know it.*

"Do you want me to start today?"

Duncan started to nod but was stopped by Amanda.

"No.. he's coming with me."

Xander stared at Amanda and raised an eyebrow.

"Doing what?"

Amanda grinned evilly.

"Shopping... your clothing sucks."

Xander paled and then slowly nodded. He knew that he had to do it or else she would hound him day and night until he relented.

"Ok... fine... but you're NOT watching me change."

Amanda grinned.

*We shall see, my boy, we shall see...*


Xander stared at himself in the mirror and ran his fingers along his scars. He had been so startled to see them when they had returned... but now he was beginning to think he might know of a way to get rid of them again.

*The Healing magic... if I used it over and over on the same spot... it might work, over time.*

Xander shrugged and pulled on his t-shirt. It was light blue and very tight. He then picked up the button-down silk shirt and pulled it on. As he buttoned it, he smiled at its color, a cool indigo. Once the shirt was in place, he tucked it into the black pants and tightened the belt.

*Not bad...*

He had to admit it, Amanda had nice tastes in clothing.

"Are you dressed yet?"

Xander grinned and unbuttoned the top button of his shirt. He then moved to the door and opened it slowly, stepping out to greet Amanda... and smiled at her expression. She grinned and then looked Xander up and down.

"Turn around.. I need to see your ass."

Xander blushed and turned around. He felt Amanda cup his ass with her hands and then felt her slide her hands across it.

"Is it too tight.. or too lose.. or what?"

Xander shrugged.

"Feels fine to me."

Amanda walked around him and then crouched down in front of him, her head even with his waist. Xander's eyes widened and he looked around franticly... then felt her hands around his ankles.

"These need to be brought up a quarter inch... and you need new shoes to go with it... but we will get that next. Ok.. take it off and put on the khaki outfit with the baby blue shirt now."

Xander nodded and walked into the dressing room, his face bright red.

*She wouldn't have... no.. she was just checking the pants.. snap out of it Xander.*

As he stepped back into the dressing room, Amanda began to laugh quietly.

*Poor boy.. he got so red... thought I was going to go there... well... maybe... if I didn't have McLeod.*

She smiled and remembered the feel of Xander's ass.

*His ass is so tight.. *

She giggled and sat back down, her own face turning a little pink...


The next few weeks passed slowly for Xander. He spent all of his time training or running.. and the monotony was slowly driving him insane. It gave him time to think about his life, dwell on it to the point of madness, and it had sent him into a depression.... one that for an Immortal, could be deadly...


Xander ran around the curve in the track and stared down the straight section again. He was on his eighth mile for the day and was getting very tired. His backpack weighed close to 20 pounds now and wasn't that much of a problem. The problem was all the stupid rain all the time.

*Damn rain... Damn Seattle and its stupid rain... Damn the whole fucking town*

Xander had been in a bad mood all day. His dreams had been plaguing him for the last few days and their meaning wasn't lost on him.

*It's not real... none of it is real.*

He had been dreaming about Sunnydale... and about Dawn. She was lying in a coffin with a vampire bite on her neck. He could see everyone standing around her grave... and they were lowering her into the ground when the coffin began to shake. The lid then exploded open and Dawn jumped out in full Vamp mode.

*Not real...*

She then proceeded to lunge at her mother and rip her neck open.. drinking and laughing.. as the others watched on in terror. She then dropped Joyce and moved on to snap the necks of every one of the Scoobies... except Buffy, who was just staring at her and crying.

Xander knew that Buffy wasn't able to kill her... that she just couldn't do it... and he had to watch as Dawn ran over and drank Buffy dry... then ran off into the approaching night.

Xander came to a halt and dropped to his knees on the cinder track.

*No.. that can't happen... its... its not possible.*

/What if it was.../

Xander jerked his head up and wiped his eyes.

*What do you mean?*

/You saw her being taken... before... there is a chance you are bonded to this young woman. What you saw might have been one of your visions./

Xander stood slowly and shook his head. He didn't want to believe it... but he knew it might be true. He walked over to the bleachers and removed the backpack. He then rummaged through his pockets until he found the cell phone.

*I.. I can't... what.. what if...*

/Do you want the lovely girl to die?/

Xander shook his head and dialed the number... then waited as it rang.


"... and its head was a little between green and yellow in color."

Willow looked through the books and then turned the picture toward Buffy.


Buffy looked at the page and nodded.

"That's him... that's the freak that shredded my shirt last night."

Giles walked over and looked down at the picture.

"A Vertian Demon... no big problem with killing it. It's vulnerable to silver. Just take the Talber dagger with you... it is pure silver."

Buffy nodded and then jumped as the phone rang. She leaned over and picked it up.

"Hello.. home of the stuffy Englishman."


Xander heard someone pick up the phone and then the voice. It was Buffy. For a moment, his heart twisted in his chest and a flash of that old feeling came through... but it was soon replaced with a feeling of resentment.

"Hey.. its me... is Giles there?"


Buffy smiled at the group as she waited for the person on the other end of the line to speak... then dropped the phone in shock at the voice. As the phone it the floor, the group looked over to see a stunned Buffy.


Giles walked over and picked up the phone.

"Hello... Xander, How are you.... fine... yes... when did this happen..... the last few days, I see.... and you believe it to be true..... right.... yes, I'll warn them and place Dawn under watch... you too.... take care.... bye."

Giles hung up the phone and sat down. Willow looked at him.

"Well.. what is going on... what did Xander say about Dawn.. what's wrong?"

At the mention of Dawn's name, Buffy snapped out of it.

"Dawn! What about Dawn!"

Giles removed his glasses and rubbed them.

"Xander has been having visions of Dawn... being killed... then her killing all of us... as a vampire. He believes them to be true visions."

Buffy shook her head.

"No.. no way... that can't happen."

Willow looked at Buffy and frowned.

"He knew Dawn was going to be taken, Buffy, he saw it. I saw we believe him."

Buffy frowned.

"Why should we. Why should we listen to anything he has to say. He abandoned us... he abandoned me..."

The look of pain on Buffy's face was heartbreaking. She had been like that, off and on, for months... ever since Xander left. Giles sighed and put his glasses back on.

"We have to take his word on faith, Buffy... or else Dawn might die. Do you want her dead?"

Buffy shook her head, tears falling from her eyes.

"No.. I love her... but... how can we know if this is true?"

Giles stared into her reddening eyes and sighed.

"We just do our best.. and hope we stop whatever it is he saw."

Buffy still looked so brokenhearted... so much so that Giles didn't know what to say to cheer her up. It was Willow who attempted it.

"Buffy.. think about it... Xander called to warn us... that means he still cares... about Dawn.. about all of us.. even about you. He wouldn't have called if he didn't care... and he would have hung up and dialed back.. or been rude if he hated you. Think about it like that."

Buffy looked at Willow as her words sank in.

*He.. he doesn't hate me...?*

A small smile crossed Buffy's face as she realized that maybe there was a small glimmer of hope alive... that maybe Xander might still care, a little.

"Let's do this. We have my sister to protect."

The group nodded and began making preparations...


Xander hung up the cell phone and then shoved it back in his pocket.

*Come on.. 2 more miles.. then you can go home to your room and mope.*

Xander pulled the backpack back on and ran... trying to let his feeling disappear, along with his pain...


The next week was hell on earth for Xander. His days were filled with training and pain, leaving his nights filled with chaotic nightmares of every evil thing Parker had done. It was slowly driving him insane.

Xander stood in the shower, the hot water almost burning his skin, and began to scrub... harder than necessary... trying to wash away the evil. He had no idea how long he had been in there when he heard someone pounding on the door.

"Come on! You're using up all the hot water, Xander! Get your ass out of there!"

Xander shook his head and blinked. He shut off the shower and looked down at himself. His skin was bright red and irritated and pain was lancing across his body.

"Sorry,, be right out!"

Xander grabbed a towel and dried off... then ran out of the bathroom past a pissed Richie and into his room. As he stared about him in confusion, Xander began to shake and a chill went down his spine.

*I'm loosing my mind...*


The inner landscape of Xander's mind was a swirl of chaotic forces. Lightning was crashing all around the two figures standing in the middle of a courtyard.

"What the hell is going on?!"

M-Xander turned to the other man and shook his head.

"Xander's grasp on his mind is fading. His depression is sending him into madness..."

Jim paled and gasped.

"... and us with him. Shit! What the hell do we do?"

M-Xander shrugged.

"I don't know. We need help... but there is no one here Xander trusts."

Jim walked around, staring at the buildings in the distance as one by one they fell. He turned to M-Xander and sighed.

"Well... who does he trust?"

M-Xander sat down and thought about it.

"He trusts Luke and Paul the most... only there is no way to get to either of them."

Jim frowned.


M-Xander sighed.

"The transdimensional bracer is destroyed. It's power source is gone and we have no other replacement."

A light went on in Jim's eyes and he grinned.

"Is the rest of it in one piece?"

M-Xander nodded.

Jim smiled.

"Then why not power it with magic. Isn't the kid powerful enough to do it?"

M-Xander's eyes widened and lost focus.

"He... is. That might actually work...."

M-Xander stood and snapped his fingers.

"Hive! Come to me quickly!"

A buzzing sound was heard in the distance and soon a black cloud appeared on the horizon. It moved toward them quickly and was soon floating in front of them.

/You called./

M-Xander nodded.

"Can you get into the bracer?"


"Can you repair it?"

/Explain how?/

"Can you isolate the working componants from the power source?"


"Can you rewrite the subroutines so that the mechanism can be powered through magic?"

/..... yes./

M-Xander smiled at Jim.

"Yes! Please do so."

The hive bobbed in mid-air and then flew off...

"Now we just wait and see..."


Xander had fallen asleep after his shower but was awakened when he felt something moving inside his wrist. He opened his eyes and looked down to see a faint glow outlining his wrist.

*What the hell is going on?*

Xander brought his wrist up to his face and was amazed to see the skin around the bracer being repaired.

*What are you doing?*

/We are repairing the bracer./

*How.. the power source is destroyed.*

/A theory has been put forth that the bracer might be powered by magic. We are repairing the skin around the bracer and the bracer itself. Then, once everything is repaired, you can attempt to use it again./

Xander nodded. He felt touched that the Hive was trying to help him.

*Thank you.*

/You are welcome./


Xander spent the rest of the day in training, trying to ignore the tingle in his wrist.

*Damn.. it itches.*

He brought his sword up and blocked the slice then spun around and was cut on the leg by a movement he missed.

"Damn it, Duncan! Richie cut me again!"

Duncan laughed and shook his head.

"Pay attention, Xander, and it won't happen."

Xander growled and increased his strength and speed. He wanted payback. He launched himself at Richie and soon his movements were a blur. They were so fast, Richie was soon unable to counter and a multitude of slices were appearing on his arms and chest.

"Xander.. whoa!"

Xander, too enraged to listen, continued.. slicing into Richie's shoulder. Richie screamed and tried to back way.

"Duncan! Help!"

Duncan jumped to his feet just as Xander swung at Richie's head. Duncan threw his sword at them, and it miraculously managed to turn Xander's sword aside just centimeters from Richie's skin.

With a growl of feral rage, Xander turned on Duncan and laughed... a hyena laugh. He backflipped over to his sword and grabbed it.. then jumped out the window, landing on the pavement below.

By the time they ran to the window, Xander was gone...


Xander ran, his rage releasing the hyena within, and was on the hunt. He wanted to kill. He needed to kill.. to release the rage.


"What the fuck is going on!"

M-Xander laughed and turned to Jim.

"I'm in control. The rage has set me free......"

Jim watched in horror as the feral beast before him took control of Xander's body and went hunting...


Xander ran through the city, searching... feeling out his prey. Soon he felt the buzz of another Immortal and grinned.

"Time to play..."

He ran across the street and into the building and was greeted by a woman in her 20's. She had brownish-blond hair with red highlights. She was dressed in a yellow gown and the look on her face was priceless. The fear mixed with confusion was evident and it fueled Xander on.

"Xander Harris... there can be only one!"

Xander laughed manically and ran toward her. The woman screamed and ran for her sword... which happened to be across the room. Seeing this, Xander put on a burst of speed and ran her down, his hands on the back of her head... pushing her into the ground.

"Nope... no can do.. if I let you get your sword.. you might try to cut me... and I want to make this more fun..."

He flipped the woman over and looked down at her, grinning evilly. The fear on her face was radiating off of her in waves.

"You smell so good... the more you fear me, the better you smell..."

Xander moved in to rip out her throat with his teeth when all hell broke loose. She reached up and grabbed his head with her hands and lightning cascaded through his skull.

With a scream of pain, Xander was thrown backward and knocked unconscious.


Sarah had been shocked when the young man had entered the store... but what she was feeling from him was even more shocking.

*Animal possession... how?*

She had seen it before in her 600 years as an Immortal and a Witch. She knew that whatever the young man was doing, he wasn't in his right mind.

When the young man introduced himself and attacked, she knew she was done for.

*Stupid... stupid.. stupid... never leave your sword across the room!*

She turned to run but was hit from behind and thrown to the floor. She was silently praying that she might get off with just being beaten up, that maybe he might want to play with her before he killed her... so that she might have a chance to escape.

She gasped in pain when he flipped her over and then stared down at her with feral amber eyes. As he leaned in, making as if to bite her throat... Sarah came upon a plan. she reached up quickly and grasped his head, releasing a lightning spell directly into his brain.

His scream as he was thrown off of her was gut-wrenching and it made her wince. Sarah climbed to her feet and walked over to him.

"Let's see just what kind of animal you are..."

She crouched down and chanted a spell to let her look into his mind... and gasped at what she saw.

"You're not evil... just confused. Your mind is scattered... its no wonder you attacked me in that fashion. It's a wonder you're even sane..."

As she watched him, the young man, who had called himself Xander, began to awaken. Sarah ran across the room, quickly, and grabbed her sword... just in case.


Xander woke slowly and blinked, the action shooting pain through his head.

"Ow... what hit me?"

He was startled by the soft voice that answered him.

"I did... you were trying to rape and or kill me at the time."

Xander's eyes flew open in shock and looked into the face of a very beautiful woman.

*What the... who the hell is this?*

He looked at her... and the sword in her hand.. and frowned.

"If I did what I did..."

He paused. He had no memory of even walking into this... flower shop? He looked around in shock and it began to hit him. Something must have happened to let the hyena loose.

"Oh... I see."

Xander looked up into her eyes and frowned.

"I'm sorry. I wasn't in control of myself. I hope you're not hurt."

Sarah looked at Xander and shook her head.

"I'm fine. You didn't have enough time to do anything. I blasted you with lightning before you could begin."

Xander felt the side of his head and nodded. He then climbed to his feet and looked at her.

"Sorry... I'll just be going now."

He turned to leave and was stopped by the blade of her sword touching the back of his neck.

"Name's Sarah Covington. Come back here again the way you were and I will remove your head while you are unconscious... next time."

Xander looked over his shoulder and nodded.

"Yes Ma'am."

Sarah nodded and then let him go. As he walked outside, a small smirk crossed her face.

*Ma'am.. me... oh Goddess... the poor boy has no idea what his charm can do.*

She laughed softly and went about cleaning up her store, not noticing the cell phone lying in the corner... also not noticing that it was vibrating with a very important phone call...


"Damn it! Where is he! Why isn't he answering!"

Willow screamed into the ringing phone and slammed it down. Tara reached out and touched her love's shoulder.

"Calm down, honey. You don't know that something is wrong. He might have it turned off."

Willow spun around and glared at Tara.

"For three days!"

Tara jumped back in shock, pain written on her face. Willow saw her lover's expression and paled.

"Oh god, Tara, I'm.. I'm sorry... its just.. he's not answering.. and I want to let him know we caught the vampire that was going to turn Dawn... you know, let him know that she was ok."

Tara nodded and pulled Willow to her.

"I know, sweetie, I know. He's ok. If he were dead... you would know. You would feel it... right?"

Willow nodded.

"Yeah... I felt it last time he died... and a few times since then... and yes, I know he is Immortal.. but it still hurts his not answering."

She looked over into Giles's kitchen and saw Buffy sitting dejectedly at the counter. Willow frowned and leaned into Tara's embrace.

"It's hurting her too. Buffy refuses to admit just how much she feels... but you see it, don't you?"

Tara nodded.

"Yes... she is in love with Xander."

Willow nodded, agreeing.

"He loved her.. like forever... and then her refusal to let him love her just turned him away... and now that she finally loves him, its too late... and she's afraid to even let herself believe it."

Willow sighed.

"It's eating her up inside... and this is very bad."

They both looked at each other then looked back at Buffy... hoping they could think of something to snap her out of it...


The day after the blowup, Xander had moved out and had gotten himself a studio apartment. He had been living in it for almost a week when he got his first "surprise" visitor.


Xander was painting the walls a warm amber color when he felt the Quickening. He dropped the paintbrush and ran over to the closet to grab his sword. He then ran to the door and opened it slowly... peeking out into the hall.

*Nothing.. then who?*

Xander stepped out into the hall and moved toward the stairwell. He looked down the 6 flights and saw the arm of someone down on the second floor landing.


Xander started to move down the stairs.. then head the other person running up the stairs toward him. He jumped over the edge of the railing, aiming himself at an angel, and plummeted down three floor to land on the third floor landing... just as the other Immortal came bolting up the stairs... and right into Xander.

Xander readied his sword and then spun the Immortal around to see... the woman from days earlier.


He jumped back and looked her up and down, not knowing exactly what to make of her.


Sarah stared at Xander and frowned.

"What are you doing here!"

Xander backed up and growled.

"I live here. Why are you here?!"

Sarah's eyes widened in shock and she looked around for an exit... but didn't see one he couldn't get to first.

"I live here... but I've been gone for a few days."

She lowered her sword and raised her hands.


Xander nodded and lowered his sword.

"Your place or mine?"

Sarah's face turned red then and Xander wasn't sure if it was from anger or embarrassment.

"How dare you..."

Xander winced.

*Anger all right.. oh shit*

Xander raised his hands.

"I meant to talk. I wouldn't do anything... well.. you know.. and after what happened that's not too assuring is it?"

Sarah shook her head.

"No.. its not... but I understand now. Mine.. its closer."

Xander nodded and let her lead the way. Sarah walked past him and he paused to admire her figure as she walked. She was dressed in a baby blue tank top and very tight jeans that made her ass look... well, amazing.


Sarah looked over her shoulder and blushed.

*Over 600 and still sexy... way to go girl.*

She smiled and led Xander to her apartment... one more floor up.


Xander sat on the couch and looked around. The room was larger than his place and the walls were painted what looked like a light green color.

*Seafoam maybe...*

He looked toward the kitchen and he saw Sarah moving from cabinet to cabinet as she put her groceries away.

*She's very beautiful.*

Xander smiled and looked down at the drink in his hands. He took a sip and then head footsteps coming toward him. He looked up and smiled.

"You have a nice place."

Sarah sat down across from Xander and smiled.

"Thank you."

She took a drink of her coffee and then leaned back in her chair.

"Ok.. let's get started. Ground rules... number one, we both live here and there will be no fighting, by either of us, here. One wrong move or one loose Quickening and we BOTH lose a home; number two, we agree to not attack each other; number three, if what happened before happens again... come to me and I will knock some sense into you again, hopefully snapping you out of it. Deal?"

Xander nodded.


Sarah nodded.

"Good. Now, story time."

She grinned and motioned for Xander to go first. Xander laughed and began to tell her his life story.

"Well.. I was born in Sunnydale, California. I grew up with my best friends Willow and Jesse. Everything went ok, all perfectly normal, until she came..."

Xander thought about Buffy and remembered the first day.

"It was weird. I was riding my skateboard to school... swerving expertly in and out of the crowd, doing a really good job too... until I saw her... and everything went all funny. Next thing I knew I slammed into the sidewalk railing and landed on my ass."

Xander looked down and sipped his drink.

"Didn't know it then.. but she had me from that moment on..."


"... and then she told me that things would have been better if I just left them alone, for good, and told me I hadn't helped them at all the entire time. I got upset and ran away. Tried to commit suicide but was stopped by some "friendly people"....."

Xander continued to tell his story to Sarah, going over everything that happened... telling her EVERYTHING... until he came up to just recently and his discovery.

"Then I found out that I can have kids... and I've got a kid on the way... only the kid's mom wants the guy she's seeing to be its father... so I basically bowed out, knowing it would be easier for them and better this way. Doesn't matter how it makes me feel..."

Xander set his drink down and stood.

"I have to go.. I'm.. I'm sorry."

He walked to the door and opened it... then ran down the hall. Sarah watched him go, a tear in her eye, and shook her head.

*So much pain for someone so young...*

She turned and walked back inside... hoping to have a chance to talk more about this with Xander at another time...


Xander spent the next three weeks busy training with a weary Duncan and an agitated Richie or talking with Sarah. He had grown to like her a great deal and was wondering why he didn't feel more.

*She is an Immortal, like me, yet all I feel toward her is something akin to that of a brother/sister relationship.*

Xander shook his head and focused himself back on his task at hand. He was in the middle of a sword duel between himself and Methos and he was rapidly loosing ground.

*Stop thinking about her and focus.. or you'll lose your head.*

Xander focused on Methos and increased his attack. His sword arm became a blur as he drew upon all of his inner skills... and soon he was evenly matched with Methos, who began to grin.

*He is in complete harmony... time to up the scales...*

Methos began to form lightning in his free hand and sent it at Xander... who managed to block it aside and then return a blast of his own.

*So.. he wants to add magic to the mix... I can do that.*

Xander began firing off spell after spell at Methos, going through his entire list of spells.. but was stunned to see Methos block all of them easily.

*This isn't good... I need to extend myself further...*

Xander fired a dual shot of lightning at Methos then took the second he was distracted to delve deeper into himself. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and pulled ALL of the power he had in reserve.

As the power surged through him, Xander felt something he had never felt before. He felt almost God-like. He opened his eyes and energy crackled across the black dot of his pupils. Methos saw this and knew he was in trouble.

*SHIT! The kid has gone full power on me!*

Just then, Richie entered... but neither of them heard him. Richie glared at Xander and moved around them to watch. He didn't realize how close he was to the fight until a straw slice cut open his arm.


Richie grasped his arm and glared at the two men... who were completely oblivious to him even being there.

*Crap.. better get Duncan.. this is freaky.*

He turned to go when suddenly... Xander's sword came flying toward his head.....


Xander ducked then sliced at Methos's head and screamed in anger as Methos leaned back... the blade missing him by a hair... and then Xander watched in horror as the blade moved on... toward a pale, terrified Richie.

*What.. Richie... oh shit.. NO!!*


Xander tried to stop his swing but he had put too much power into it. He tried to let go of the sword... but it was too late. The sharp steel sliced into Richie's neck and then hit bone.. cutting it like it was butter... severing Richie's head from his neck.

As Richie fell to the floor, Xander dropped his sword and screamed in horror as he saw the other Immortal he called his friend fall dead.

"Oh god no..."

He tried to back away from the body as the Quickening appeared... but there was no place to run. The mist flowed toward him and then both after bolt of lightning crashed into him. Richie's life passed through Xander's mind as he absorbed his friend's Quickening... and as the last of the lightning hit him, he passed out... screaming....


Jim looked up at the sky and say lightning cascade across it.


M-Xander looked up, sane again once more, and looked over toward the main courtyard and nodded as someone new arrived...


Richie materialized on a cracked marble path in the middle of a courtyard. He could see two men standing off to the side and he could swear one of them looked like Xander.. only different.

"Where am I?"

The two men walked over and as they drew closer, Richie growled. The man he thought to be Xander actually WAS him.

"You killed me you bastard!"

M-Xander looked at Jim then looked back at Richie and sighed.

"I believe we have a few things to explain..."

He took a deep breath and then carefully explained everything to Richie.


"... and therefore, I now ask you. Do you wish to become one with the Universe and continue on to whatever you perceive as Heaven.. or would you like to remain here, with us, and aid Xander in any way possible."

Richie blinked and sat down into a chair that appeared out of nothing.

"Ok.. this is too much to believe. I've taken a few heads but none of them were still in my head actually talking to me. What is going on here? Why are we still... well, alive?"

Jim grinned.

"As far as I can tell, Xander ain't like a normal kid. He's got some stuff in his DNA and he's been through some shit that would make most people go nuts... yet this kid has learned to adapt... and so did his mind and his Quickening. We all get to either go poof or live on and help the kid out. I chose to help the kid.. and I like it in here. The food is great, you just think it and it appears... and the company ain't bad. The big guy here can make your family come visit you in... what did you call it?"

M-Xander smiled.

"A tactile hologram.. created by the power of the realm around us. You just picture who you wish to see and they appear."

Richie's eyebrows went up and he grinned.


The two men nodded and Richie laughed.

"Then yeah.. I'll stick around."

M-Xander smiled and stepped toward Richie.

"Please give me your hands and I will copy your knowledge into Xander's memory."

Richie nodded and grabbed the other man's hands. A surge of energy passed between them and within seconds it was complete.

"Thank you. You are now free to find yourself a place to live here and enjoy your self. We have meetings here at the large onyx table in the corner of the room every other day or when something important happens. You are free do roam as you wish or stay here with us."

Richie grinned.

"Cool.. I think I'll have a look around. Thanks."

He turned and walked off into the mists of Xander's mind, leaving the two men to watch him leave. Jim turned to M-Xander and smiled.

"You think the kid will be ok?"

M-Xander nodded.

"Richie will be fine... Xander, however, is in for a world of hurt..."

Jim nodded and then turned and walked back into the other room, a party materializing as he entered.


Methos, who had jumped away when the Quickening began, now crawled back over to Xander and began shaking him.

"Xander... Xander... come on... come on, wake up..."

Just then, Duncan and Amanda ran into the room and saw Richie's headless body. Amanda screamed in terror and Duncan's eyes took on a look of complete rage. He walked over to Methos and glared at him.

"What happened! Who did this!"

Methos pointed at the unconscious Xander and Duncan pulled his sword, ready to cut off Xander's head.

"NO! I won't let you!"

Amanda threw herself over Xander, blocking Duncan's sword.

"You can't, Duncan, he's all I have left. You said I could keep him.. you promised.. YOU PROMISED!"

Duncan stared at Amanda, his eyes not understanding, but he backed a step away.

"Methos.. explain what happened."

Methos nodded and wiped the tears from his eyes.

"We were sparing... we took things a little too serious and went all out. Richie came in but we didn't feel him... until it was too late. I swiped at Xander, he ducked, he came back at me and I ducked.. but Xander's slice was too powerful and it hit Richie. He let go of his sword.. but it was too late. He didn't mean to do it, Duncan, it was an accident."

Duncan looked down at Richie's body and then looked over at Xander. Xander's sword was lying next to Richie... dropped as if released in mid-swing.

*He's telling the truth... it was an accident... but I can't... first Tessa now Richie.. I.. I just can't...*

"When he wakes.. tell him he's done. I won't be teaching him anything more. He has learned everything I can teach him."

Duncan walked to the doors and stopped.

"Tell him not to even think about returning for at least 10 years... that way I can recover."

He then continued out of the room and slammed the doors.


Methos looked at Amanda and frowned.

"What about you?"

Amanda brushed her fingers through Xander's hair and sighed.

"I need him, Methos. He looks so much like the boy I adopted so many years ago... my beautiful Andrew... and it hurts so much... but then I found Alexander... and the pain lessened."

She looked up into Methos's eyes and there were tears.

"Xander is mine.. my child, even thought not from my body.. he is mine and he will be so forever. Sure, I tease him and everything.. because I don't want him to know the truth. I know he knows I care about him... I just don't want him to know how I care... not right now... not when he has to leave."

Amanda kissed Xander's forehead and then brushed her fingers along his cheek.

"Tell him... Methos... when he wakes... that I care... and that if he needs anything, to call me."

Methos nodded as Amanda got to her feet.

"I will do as you ask."

Amanda nodded and then ran off after Duncan. Methos watched her leave and then sat down to wait for Xander to awaken... knowing that the young man's life was going to be vastly different, now, from what it was before... for he had lost a friend... and more than that, he had lost a teacher as well... and Xander would be on his own now...

*Don't you worry, my young friend, I will watch you... and one day you will find your place in this world...*


Xander had awakened earlier and had been told everything. He had understood and ad gathered up this things then had headed back to his apartment. When he got there, he found Sarah waiting for him.

"You're leaving.. I can tell.. what happened?"

Xander looked at her and then moved into his bedroom... Sarah following.

"I killed someone... in an accident... and I'm supposed to leave now."

Sarah gasped in shock.

"Who.. who did you kill?"

Xander opened his duffle bag and sighed.


Sarah frowned and nodded.

"What happened?"

As Xander packed, tears in his eyes, he told her everything. Sarah listened and nodded.

"And so now you're just leaving?"

Xander nodded.

"Yes.. either that or stay and have Duncan wanting my head for the next 10 years."

He closed his duffle bag and turned to Sarah.

"I'm sorry I'm going... cause I'm going to miss you. You're a lovely person and a good friend..."

Sarah stopped him by placing a finger on his lips.

"You may be leaving... but we will still be friends, Xander, nothing can change that. We will talk and write and email.. you know this.. and when you get settled you can send me your address and I can come visit you."

Xander nodded and smiled.

"Thank you, Sarah. You mean a lot to me."

Sarah nodded and kissed him on the cheek.


Xander laughed and pulled his duffel up onto his shoulder.

"You can keep anything you want, Sarah. I can't take it with me."

Sarah nodded and began to cry.

"I understand.. now go.. I don't want you seeing me cry."

Xander nodded and then leaned in to kiss her goodbye. As he turned to leave, he whispered a final goodbye to her.

"... I love you, Sarah...."


Xander got on his motorcycle and revved the engine. He knew it was time to move on... and there was something important he wanted to do... someplace he needed to be... he just wasn't sure where... but he knew someone who could help him.

*The Prof will know... I can see some country on the way and check in with Giles to see how the gang is doing too.*

Finally knowing what he was going to do, Xander smiled and headed out of town.. going south......


The road was empty and lonely at 3 am. Xander had been riding for a good 10 hours straight and the lines on the road were beginning to put him to sleep. If it wasn't for the hard driving rain pounding on him... he would be fallen asleep hours earlier.

*Damn it! I need to find a motel before I get myself killed.. or worse.*

He looked desperately for road signs... but he hadn't seen anything for the last 50 miles... ever since he took a wrong turn back a few hours ago.

*I am really beginning to hate rain...*

Xander reached up and wiped his visor clear and then shook his head, trying to wake himself up. The rain was making his visor fog over and it was getting very hard to see; so much in fact that he didn't see the road curving ahead... right next to the embankment of a deep gully.

*Can't see worth shit..*

Xander squinted through the rain and his eyes widened in shock and fear as the edge of the embankment appeared... only 4 feet away.


Xander hit the brakes and his bike skidded and flew off the edge. He hung in mid-air as he was launched out over the gully and then down into it.

*Oh God.. Oh God.. Oh God...*

Xander came crashing down and was thrown forward off of his bike... and onto the wreckage of a semi-destroyed car. He slammed into the hood and was impaled on a large spike of jagged metal... through the heart.

He died... instantly... and didn't even feel the explosive flames that engulfed his body.....


Lightning crackled across the sky about M-Xander, Jim and Richie... and then everything went black.

"He has been killed. Things will return in a few moments."

They waited... and waited... and waited.. yet nothing. Richie began to pace back and forth in the dimly lit room.

"What the hell is going on?!"

Jim looked around and shrugged.

"It wasn't dark this long the last time he got killed."

M-Xander began to frown and shake.

"This.. this isn't good..."

Richie and Jim looked at him... then at each other.

"Oh shit... we're screwed..."


Days passed and still nothing. No word was sent. No one knew where Xander was. It was as if he had vanished off the face of the earth.


The darkness was driving them slowly insane.

"It's been over a week! What the hell is going on!"

M-Xander shook his head.

"He is dead.. and it must be a wound that is keeping him from awakening. We have no choice other than to wait until someone finds him and buries him."

Richie frowned and sat down.

"Great.. just when I almost had the 1993 playmate convinced she was falling for me."

Jim laughed.

"She's a hologram.. you made her, you can do what you want."

Richie smirked.

"You'd think.. but no.. Xander here has this morality no one told me about. She said no."

Jim laughed so hard he fell to the ground and as he rolled around, Richie walked off in a huff...


The barking was what drew her to the gully. Amos had been barking non-stop for almost 2 days and when finally released.. had run off before Helen could stop him.

*Damn dog.. I knew I should have leashed you.*

She walked down the road and stepped up to the edge of the gully. As she looked over the edge, the site below made her scream... then moments later lose her breakfast.

"Oh god.. what the hell happened?"

She looked down at the wreckage and the corpse of a young man, impaled through the heart. Helen shook her head and moved down to get a better look. As she neared the body, she got the feeling she needed to go get help.

*He doesn't deserve this... he deserves a proper burial.*

She turned an climbed back up the gully.. then ran home to get her father. He would know what to do...


Jeb stared at the young man and shook his head.

"Poor boy.. looks like he was lucky about one thing, though. A wound like that... he didn't feel much."

Helen looked up at her father and frowned.

"How do you know?"

Jeb squinted at the body and spat out his wad of tobacco on the ground.

"Saw a few guys die like this in the war. They died within seconds of their hearts being punctured."

Helen looked at her father and finally began to understand why he sometimes woke up screaming at night.

*The thing's he's probably seen... I think I understand now...*

"Can we bury him, papa?"

Jed nodded and moved over to carefully lift the body off the spike, wincing as the chest was ripped open.

*Damn.. sorry kid.. but there's no other way...*

He pulled the body all the way off and then lowered it to the ground.

"Hand me that sleeping bag, honey. I need to use it to carry him home."

Helen nodded and climbed back up the gully for the sleeping bag.. then returned minutes later.

"Here papa."

Jeb nodded and slid the body into the bag.. then zipped it all the way closed.

"We'll drag him home and place him in the barn. We'll call Father Green and hopefully he can come take care of the body tomorrow."

Helen nodded and moved to take one side of the sleeping bag... her father taking the other.. and then both of them slowly dragged him the 4 miles home...


Light returned to the realm slowly and everyone looked up at the sky in wonder.

"Someone has found him..."

Richie smiled and let out a yell.

"About damn time!!"

He danced across the room and then stopped.

"Is Xander going to be ok.. I mean, he was out for what.. almost a week and a half?"

M-Xander shrugged.

"I don't know... we will have to wait and see."

They all looked up at the lightening sky and waited...


Helen and Jeb carried the body into the barn and set it down in the corner. Jeb moved some hay over the body and then turned to look at the confused Helen.

"It will help to keep the body cool."

Helen nodded and then walked with her father back toward the house... not noticing the light glow that was coming from the sleeping bag...


Xander's body jerked once... twice.. then three times.. before he gasped and screamed.


Xander opened his eyes and saw darkness.

*I'm blind.. oh shit!*

Xander reached out and felt fabric.

*What the...?*

Xander felt his way along the side of the fabric until he found a zipper. He followed it up to the top and found the zipping mechanism. He grasped it with stiff fingers and pulled it down... gasping in the air as his head cleared.

Xander looked out into the room and blinked at the light. He could see wood plank walls and lots of farm tools. He could also see hay.. and a ton of it.

Xander pulled his stiff body out of the sleeping bag and crawled into the middle of the room. He knew he had to get up and away before someone came back and wondered why a dead man was suddenly up and walking.

*I need to go find my stuff.. if it is still there...*

Xander climbed to his feet and felt the room spin.

*Whoa.. being dead for...*

He looked at his watch and checked the date.

*... 10 days, can make you woosy.*

Xander rubbed his eyes and then moved to the door. Opening it carefully, he peeked out. It was clear.. so he opened the door the rest of the way and then ran off into the forest.


Xander ran the 4 or 5 miles to where he crashed.. as if drawn there by some instinct he couldn't explain. He looked down into the gully and winced.

"My bike.. it's totaled!"

He crawled down and dug through the wreckage. He found his backpack.. ruined.. but discovered, to his delight, that his sword and lightsaber had somehow survived.

"Thank God!!"

Xander grabbed the sword and slung it over his shoulder.. then slid the lightsaber into his pants.

"Better get moving.. before someone comes back to salvage this stuff..."

He took one last look at the twisted burnt metal and winced.. then climbed back up the embankment slowly.

*Damn.. I'm going to miss that thing...*

He stood at the top of the embankment and then smiled.

*I had forgotten..*

He closed his eyes and summoned all his weaken power.. and a matching bike materialized before him. Xander opened his eyes and then fell onto the bike, his energy drained.

*Whoa.. note to self... no magic when you have been dead a while..*

Xander climbed into the bike and started it up.. then rode away... hoping that the rest of his trip home would be much more peaceful...


There are times in your life that you know someone up there hates you. When you lose a pet... when your favorite television show is cancelled... when your best friend moves away... all of those pale to what Xander felt when he arrived back in L.A. The site before him was something that he would remember and cringe over for the rest of his Immortal life - a slightly pregnant and showing Cordelia kissing "Deadboy" Angel himself ... out in plain view of everyone and getting pretty into it.


Xander stared at them and flashed back to earlier that afternoon...


Xander pulled into the outskirts of L.A. and stopped to get some gas. He had been driving pretty much non-stop ever since the crash. He still shuddered when he thought about it. Xander ran his fingers over the large bloodstained gash in his t-shirt and sighed.

*I need to get a new one before this thing starts smelling any worse than it already does.*

Xander set the pump to fill the tank and then walked inside, nodding hello to the clerk.

"Filling the tank..."

The clerk, a teenage boy who was playing a handheld video game, nodded and mumbled something unknown. Xander just shrugged and walked through the aisles... looking for anything useful.

*Chips... nope, Cookies... only as a last resort, Ah... Twinkies, perfect.*

Xander grabbed about a dozen Twinkies and then headed to the cooler.

*Cola or Root Beer.... choices.... hmmm.*

Xander reached in and grabbed a few random cans then headed up to the front. As he neared the register, something he needed desperately became visible... t-shirts.

*Thank God!*

Xander dropped everything on the counter and as the clerk began ringing it all up, Xander sifted through the t-shirts.

*Pink... no, White... no, Yellow... God no, Blue... maybe, Green.... ah.. Black.*

Xander grabbed the t-shirt and tossed it on his pile on the counter. He knew he could create a shirt magically.. but after the whole bike thing, he still felt a little tired.

"How much?"

The clerk entered the amount for the t-shirt then glanced over at the gas meter, which had just stopped. He rang everything up and then turned back to Xander.


Xander nodded and handed over two 20's.

"Keep the change."

Xander grabbed his stuff and headed back to his bike, noticing the clerk grin for a second before going back to his game. Xander put away the pump and then shoved all of his stuff in the storage areas scattered all over the bike.

*Glad I added those last time.. they sure come in handy.*

He pulled off his jacket and dropped it on the seat, then peeled off his shirt. He looked down and was surprised to see that his skin was completely smooth. He was expecting a large scar... considering his past... but hey... he wasn't complaining.

Xander pulled on the t-shirt and then the jacket and was ready to go.

*Another few miles and I'll be back amongst people who actually care about me...*

He was looking forward to seeing Cordelia again. He missed her.

*I'm sure that whole Angel thing was just a fluke. I must have misunderstood her last time... that's it... yeah.*

Xander got back on his bike and headed back down the road. He admired the building that soon appeared and began working his way through the 5 o'clock traffic... which was making a 20 minute drive last more like an hour and 20 minutes. He was so slowed by the traffic, he failed to notice the sun had gone down until he had pulled alongside the curb across from Angel's hotel.

He had been about to get off and go inside when they had appeared... and then did what they did... and it was too much for Xander to take....

Xander blinked as his mind came back to reality. They were still standing there, locked in a kiss... their tongues obviously wrestling each other... or why else would the kiss last that long.

*God... she HAS fallen for him... and I don't matter at all to her. I was right... I hadn't misunderstood that call at all. She really is letting him think its his kid.*

Xander sat back down and fumed.

*I know I said it was ok... but this is rediculous. It's my baby... and she wont'...*

Xander watched them from the shadows as they broke their kiss and then climbed into Angel's car. As they sat there, Xander stared and shook his head.

*But its plainly obvious that she really does love him... and if I do anything... I'll only make thing complicated and make her mad at me. I... I can't do that. My... feelings... in this matter don't count, I guess.*

Xander wiped a tear that had formed and then revved his engine.

*Better get out of here before they see me.*

Xander popped the clutch and started to turn the bike...


Cordelia stared into Angel's eyes and smiled. She was so happy. She was going to be a mother... she was in love.. and she was making good money - all was right in the world... until it all came crashing down.

She heard the engine revving and she instantly recognized that sound.


She turned her head in time to see Xander... staring at them... a pained and shattered look on his face. It broke her heart. She started to say something... call out to him... when he turned and rode off.

*Oh God... Xander... I'm so sorry... but I love him. I hope you can understand this... someday.*

Cordelia wiped her eyes and felt a hand on her shoulder.

"Delia.. everything ok?"

Cordelia nodded and smiled.

"Everything's fine, Angel... just getting moody. Pregnancy hormones and all.. no need to worry."

Angel nodded, smiled, and started up the car. He turned to Cordelia and took her hand in his.

"I love you, Delia."

Cordelia smiled and felt her heart soar.

"I love you too."


Xander rode and rode... making the couple hour or so trip to Sunnydale in a little over an hour, breaking who knows how many speed laws in the process. He just wanted to get away... away from the pain, away from the people who didn't love him anymore... away from it all. Funnily enough, he returned to a place he never figured he would see again.

The sigh read "Welcome to Sunnydale"... and Xander was surprised to see someone had written something at the bottom. It read... "Abandon hope all who enter here..."

*Hmm.. pretty fitting... I wonder who did that...*

Xander shook off his mood and headed in the direction of Giles's place. He knew he might run the risk of running into Buffy... but after seeing Angel and Cordelia make out... he really didn't care much about what Buffy felt right now... he just wanted to decompress some with the people he grew up with... in other words, hang with HIS Willow.

He turned the corner and pulled into the parking lot. Grabbing his things, he put on his weapons then placed a "If you touch me you will die a long and horribly agonizing death" spell on his bike.

Feeling ready, Xander took a deep breath... coughed from the smog a few times... then walked up to Giles's door.


Giles sat at his table, researching, while Willow, Tara, and Dawn sat on the couch. It had been a long and tiring day searching for the strange Demons Buffy had seen. Buffy... he paused as he thought about her and how she had been very scattered for the last few months.

*Xander leaves so long ago... then when Buffy began focusing on him so much, Riley got mad and left.. which made things even worse for Buffy. She's all alone now...*

Giles looked over at the girls and smiled.

*No.. not alone.. she has them... and me... but there is a hole in her that all the patrolling in the universe won't fill... a Xander-shaped hole.*

Giles removed his glasses and smiled.

*At least one good thing came out of this... she finally staked Spike. I still smile when I look over at his ashes in that glass jar on the bookshelf.*

Giles glanced over at the glass full of ashes and grinned... a soft giggle escaping his lips.

From the couch, the girls turned around and stared at Giles.

"Did he just giggle..."

"No way.."

"Impossible.. we must have imagined it.."

They looked in the direction Giles was looking... at Spike's ashes.. and understood.

"Ah.. I see... ok then."

They then went back to sorting through the books again... that is, until the knock at the door was heard.

"I'll get it."

Dawn hopped up and walked to the door. As she opened it, she felt something pass through her and she knew, even without seeing, who it was. she flung the door open and then flung herself into the arms of a very surprised... Xander.


Dawn kissed his face a few times and then locked him in a death-grip hug, a contented smile plastered on her face. Xander smiled as he looked down at her and then carried her, still locked onto him, into the room.

"I missed you too, kiddo."

On the couch, the girls jerked their heads up at Dawn's outburst and then began to cry in joy when they saw Xander walk into the room. Willow jumped to her feet and launched herself at Xander... barely giving Dawn time to shift around his body.. before Willow too plastered herself to Xander.


Xander grinned down at Willow and kissed the top of her head.

"I missed my Willow too..."

He looked over at Tara and smirked.

"Don't just sit there, blondie, get your ass over her... I want a hug."

Tara, who had been debating whether to do just that, grinned and ran over... joining the hug. Xander grinned, laughed, and then looked over at Giles.

"Hey, G-Man, I'm living every guy's fantasy right now... three girls all hugging me at the same time..."

Xander wiggled his eyebrows and heard the girls moan in response. Giles shook his head... but smiled anyway.

"It is good to see you, Xander, but if you ever call me G-Man again... I shall be forced to thrash you."

Xander looked at the gleam in Giles's eyes and grinned.

"Sure thing, G-Man, I won't call you G-Man anymore... G-Man."

He grinned at Giles as he began to growl.. then whispered under his breath.

"Noble Watcher...

Firey heart...

Calm yourself...

Don't fall apart...

Ease your mind..

Let Ripper sleep...

It's much too late...

He is counting sheep...

It is his fate..."

As Giles prepared to release Ripper on Xander, he realized that... he couldn't.

*What the..*

Willow and Tara both felt magic being cast and leaned back away from Xander.


Xander looked down at them and smiled.

"What, Willow?"

Willow frowned.

"Did you just do magic?"

Xander grinned and nodded.

"Yup.. I'm a mage now. Certified and everything."

Willow and Tara's eyes widened in shock... as did Giles's who realized what had just happened.

"Who taught you?"

Xander looked at Giles and smirked.

"The Charmed Ones, Giles. I now have all of the knowledge of the Book of Shadows inside my head."

The girls gasped and backed away from Xander in fear. Dawn looked at them and frowned.

"What's wrong? What's the Book of Shadows?"

Willow looked at Dawn and explained.

"The Book of Shadows is owned by the Charmed Ones... the most powerful good witches there is. The Book of Shadows is the most powerful good spellbook that ever existed."

Dawn nodded.

"And Xander has this book in his head... I see... cool."

Xander smiled down at Dawn and rubbed her hair.

"Thank Dawnie.. I'm glad you're not scared of me.. like some women I know."

He turned to look at the two witches and frowned.. then gave them the patented puppy dog eyes.

"Oh no.. no.. Xander... you can't do that.. you promised when we were 11 that you wouldn't... use.. those.... "

Willow smiled at Xander and shook her head.

"Fine.. fine.. just turn off the eyes, Xander.. or else I will bring out Resolve Face."

Xander laughed and nodded.

"Sure thing, Willow.... sure thing."

He walked over to the couch and sat down, the girls piling on all around him.

"So.. what's the what?"

Dawn grinned and shoved a book in Xander's lap.

"Research party!"

Xander groaned and shook his head.

"I knew there was a reason I left in the first place."

The girls laughed and punched Xander in the arms... then went back to researching.... with Xander joining them.


A few hours had passed and Xander was in the kitchen getting a soda. He heard someone walk up behind him and then smelled a soft flowery perfume. He recognized it from earlier.

"Hey Dawnie.. can I get you anything?"

Xander turned around to see a smiling Dawn staring at him.

"I'm ok... thanks. I just wanted to thank you... for what you did."

Xander frowned, confused.

"What I did?"

Dawn nodded.

"Warning them... about me. I was on a date... and my date turned out to be a vampire. If you hadn't warned us... well, I wouldn't have been carrying a stake and holy water in my purse. You saved my life..."

She smiled and leaned closer to Xander, kisisng him on the lips before he could back away.

"Thank you, Xander... my protector."

She then smiled and skipped back into the living room leaving a stunned Xander behind.

*She's a kid... but she is growing up fast. Some teenage guy is going to be very happy in a few years...*

Xander smiled and then turned back to the fridge...


The front door opened and in walked a tired Buffy Summers.

"Hi honey.. I'm home."

The room was empty and this worried Buffy. She turned to look around when she was suddenly face to face with someone she thought she would never see again.


Xander nodded and smiled.

"Hey Buff... looking good."

Xander looked Buffy up and down and for a moment... felt something stirring within him.

*Damn.. she is looking very good...*

His thoughts hit him like a brick and he shook his head.

*I must be way tired... or else not as mad as I was...*

He smiled at Buffy and leaned in to kiss her cheek.

"Have a busy night?"

He walked over to the couch and sat down, leaving a stunned Buffy standing where she was...


Buffy blinked in shock.

*Xander... it's Xander... he's here.. and he's not mad at me...and he kissed me...*

Buffy eyes glazed over and when she blinked again and looked around, she panicked.

*He's gone.. where did he... oh.. there he is..*

She turned and joined Xander on the couch.

"What did you say?"

Xander smiled.

"I said.. have you had a busy night?"

Buffy shook her head.

"No.. not really... just looking for a few Demons I ran into a few days back."

Xander nodded.

"I know.. I found them earlier for you."

Buffy's eyes widened as Xander placed a book in her lap.

"Gregoral Demons. They're supposedly not too hard to kill... as long as you use a sword and hit them here and here..."

He pointed to the picture and showed Buffy their weak spots. Buffy nodded her thanks and then rested her head against his shoulder.

"Oh Xander... I'm tired.. I'm so tired..."

Xander felt her leaning on him and tensed for a second... then relaxed when he heard the exhaustion in her voice.

"Get some rest, Buffy. I'll wake you up in a few hours and then walk you home."

A very tired Buffy, who was already almost asleep, smiled and curled up on the couch against Xander.

"Thanks Xander... you're the bestest...."

Xander smiled and giggled.

"Thanks Buffy."

Buffy mumbled something and Xander frowned.


Buffy lifted her head slightly and whispered.

"I love you Xander..."

She then dropped her head and was asleep... leaving a very stunned Xander sitting there staring at her.

"She loves me......?"


"She loves me......?"

The whole idea was so mind-numbingly shocking that Xander just sat there and whispered it over and over for close to an hour. If it hadn't been for someone opening the door and snapping him out of it, Xander probably would have sat there all night long.

The gang entered and then smiled at the site before them. Buffy was stretched out on the couch with her head in Xander's lap... fast asleep... and Xander was staring off into space. Willow walked over and wiggled a hand in front of Xander's face... causing him to blink and jerk in shock.


Willow smiled.

"You ok?"

Xander nodded and then looked down at the sleeping Buffy. She had her head in his lap and the most peaceful smile on her face. Willow noticed the smile and grinned.

"That is the most peaceful I've seen her in months."

Xander stared at Buffy and then brushed away a strand of hair that had fallen into her eyes.

"She told me she loves me."

Willow sat down next to Xander and nodded.

"Of course she does... we all do."

Xander shook his head.

"Not that kind of love... it looked and felt more like the 'I love you and want to have hot naked sex with you' kind of love. The emotion in her voice..."

Xander let his voice fade into a whisper as he felt Buffy stir against him, her hands roaming into places they shouldn't. Xander winced and then looked at Willow.

"See.. told you. Can you explain her hands going... there?"

Willow snickered at her best friend and shook her head.

"Nope.. can't say I can... but she sure looks happy, like she's enjoying it greatly."

Xander glared at her and then jerked as Buffy's hands brushed something they shouldn't. Willow, who had been trying to hold off laughing, ran from the room... laughter echoing down the hall.

*Very funny... see how you'd like it if you had the hands of a beautiful woman rubbing against a place that is getting tighter by the second.*

Xander rolled his eyes and pleaded with everyone in the room... but just got smirks in response. Giles walked over and grinned.

"You make her feel comfortable... at peace. I would be honored to have her do that... um.. well.. feel comfortable enough to sleep peacefully around me."

Xander stared at Giles and then looked down at Buffy.

*I get it... she's been having nightmares or something... and its probably all my fault.*

He sighed and looked at the clock. Xander grinned and moved his mouth down to Buffy's ear.

"Buffy... Buffy... Buffy... time to wake up..."

Buffy's eyes wiggled and she rolled her head to the side, her mouth moving closer and closer to Xander's. She then opened her eyes and looked up into the face of a smirking Xander... and in that moment, all was right with the world. Buffy grinned and then reached up to pull Xander's head down... into a long and deep kiss, catching Xander by surprise.

*What the... mmmm, she tastes good...*

It was then that Willow returned and gasped in shock at seeing Buffy trying to lick Xander's tonsils.

*God.. I knew she missed him and was all worked up over it.. but come on, Buffy... doing that... so soon after his returning...*

Buffy broke the kiss, slowly, her mouth sucking on Xander's lower lip for a few more seconds before she released it.

"Hey.. thanks for being my pillow. I feel great."

She smiled and sat up, squirming her body against his... causing Xander to gasp for air in shock.

"N.. no problem, Buff."

Buffy smiled and curled up next to Xander, resting her head on his shoulder as she looked at the group.

"Anything up?"

She looked at Willow and grinned.. then mouthed over Xander's shoulder..

"He tastes amazing!"

Willow smiled, then nodded and mouthed back...

"Lucky you..."

She then shrugged and sat down at the table.

"Nope.. every place we checked was empty.. except for some weird girl who kept saying something about this being the wrong world because she wasn't getting her sex 5 times a day anymore..."

Xander spun his head around at that remark and grinned.

"5 times a day... wow, lucky guy. Hmm.. what did she look like?"

Buffy slapped his shoulder and pouted.

"No way, Xander... you're staying right here..."

Xander smirked at her and laughed.

"And how will you stop me?"

Buffy grinned evilly and crawled onto Xander's lap... sliding her legs around his body, locking him between her legs. She grinned and rocked her body from side to side.. getting comfortable... then bat her eyelashes at him.

"Like that. You're mine now..."

Xander swallowed and began reciting baseball stats in his head... trying to ignore the feeling of a very warm Buffy in his lap... and her wiggling wasn't helping any...

*Oh shit... stop it already!*

Buffy giggled as she squirmed... knowing what it was doing to Xander... and she loved every minute of it.

*You're mine, Xander, and I'm not letting you go... ever.*

As she squirmed, she could feel something... very...

*Oh dear lord... I'm feeling.... oh boy...*

Buffy blushed and stopped wiggling... then leaned in and whispered.

"You ok, Xand?"

Xander's eyes were glazed over and he could only shake his head. He leaned in and whispered back to her...

"No.. I'm not.. you little minx..."

He then titled his head and nibbled on her earlobe... listening as she gasped in a breath and then let out a soft moan.

*That will show her..*

Buffy's eyes flashed open... only to close moments later as the feelings washed over her body.

*Oh yes... oh god.. oh god yes....*

Buffy was so turned on by the small nibble on her earlobe that she wrapped her arms around Xander and leaned in to squeeze him tightly.

"I wish we were alone..."

Those words... whispered into his ear... drove Xander wild. His blood was racing and his head was pounding. All of the anger and hurt feelings he had been feeling before seemed to be gone... all what had replaced it was a resurging of the love her felt for her... and had felt for so long.

Xander ran his hands along her back and then slid them down to cup her ass... squezing it quickly before he returned his hands to her shoulders.

"Me too, Buff, me too..."

The cough they heard next was what broke them out of the trance they had been in. Giles glared at them and shook his head.

"If the two of you would stop your foreplay... we could get down to business."

Xander blushed and noticed Buffy do the same.

*Definately need to rethink this not liking Buffy thing. She feels so good.. and smells so good.. and I remember so much good stuff now... I just don't know what to think anymore...*

Xander released his hold on Buffy's ass and placed his hands behind his head.

"Right.. work... check. Do you need my help?"

Giles nodded.

"Yes.. your skills in swordplay and your newly acquired magic would be useful."

Buffy looked at Giles then looked back at Xander.

"Magic... what's he talking about, Xander?"

Xander grinned.

"I'm a Mage now."

Buffy frowned.

"Why do I get the feeling that you mean Mage with a Capital M..."

Xander smiled.

"Cause I DID mean it that way. I know hold all of the knowledge of one of the most powerful spellbooks in my mind. I am a certified badass now.

The girls giggled at Xander's comment and Xander smiled.

"If you want me full title.. I'm a sword-wielding, magic-casting, long-lifed, no-dying, wild-man badass. You wouldn't believe some of the things that have happened to me lately..."

The girls grinned and ran to the couch. Willow took the seat vacated by Buffy when she crawled into his lap and then waited as Tara and Dawn joined her.


Xander nodded and smiled.

"Ok.. after I left San Fran.. I ran out of gas and had to stop at this gas station somewhere in the middle of nowhere along the Oregon coastline. I got there and felt another Immortal. He came out and I told him I didn't want to kill him... I just wanted some gas. He agreed to a truce and we talked while I got my gas. Then, another Immortal showed up and the new guy was after both of us.. I guess... but the guy I was talking to told me to get lost. I did.. then came back to help him. I arrived just as the new guy took the other guy's head."

Xander paused remembering.

"I was mad. I mean, the guy had been nice to me.. to I went in there and took the new guy's head..."

He heard the girls gasp and then look at him with terror in their eyes.

"You took a life?"

Xander looked at Buffy and nodded.

"He had just killed the other guy.. in cold blood. I knew he knew that I was Immortal to and he saw which way I went. He would have followed me and killed me eventually. I did what I had to do so don't get all high and mighty on me, Buffy.. you don't know how my life works anymore. You don't fight and you don't live very long."

He saw the confused faces on the girls and explained.

"I was told by a few Immortals that if you don't fight.. they come hunting for you. They challenge you and if you don't fight.. the bad ones tend to kill off your family and friends... with some of the evil male immortals raping and killing every woman you know."

Xander saw the look of fear that crossed over the girls's faces and he shook his head.

"I have been careful. I don't think anyone knows about you. I protect MY girls."

His remark brought smiles to their faces and Xander continued.

"Well.. afterward.. I threw up for what felt like an hour... then headed on to Seattle. When I got there I realized that I had something weird going on in my head. It turns out the Immortal I killed was named William Parker. He knew a lot of languages and fighting styles... and the Immortal he had killed... was... Jim Morrison."

Giles jumped up from his seat at the table in shock.

"The Jim Morrison! You have his... what did you call it... Quickening?"

Xander nodded.

"Yup... only more so. He's sentient... inside my mind... as are a few other people."

Buffy glared at Xander and gave him the 'you had better explain now' look.

Xander nodded and sighed.

"Ok.. from the beginning... I have the Hyena, a group of microscopic machines called the Hive, residue of my girlfriend - Kitty Pryde, Jim Morrison, and Richie Ryan."

Buffy gasped.

"You still have the Hyena!"

Xander winced and nodded.

'Yeah.. and I'm sorry, Buff, for trying to rape you back then."

Buffy paled.

"You remember?"

Xander nodded, a sad expression of his face.


Buffy shook her head and pulled Xander into a hug, her head resting on his shoulder. Willow took this moment to tap Xander's arm and get his attention.

"Who is Richie Ryan?"

Xander sighed.

"He's Duncan's student. I was training with another Immortal names Methos. We were so into it we lost our connection with reality... we couldn't hear anything. I swung at Methos's head and he ducked.. but neither of us knew that Richie was there and had been watching... and was, at that moment, too close. I.. I accidentally took Richie's head. I didn't mean to! I tried to stop my arm.. I even let go of the sword... but I had too much speed going. It was no use..."

Xander had begun shaking as he talked and was now trembling. Buffy ran her fingers through his hair and pulled him against her tighter.

"Hey.. shhh... it's ok... you didn't know... you didn't know..."

Xander nodded and slowly began to calm down.

"... and now he's in my head as well."

Giles walked over, a concerned look on his face.

"In your head... you mean you can speak to them?"

Xander nodded.

"Yeah.. I can talk to both of them.. whenever I want.. and I talk to the Hive as well. Jim is happy to be where he is.. and Richie isn't too mad at me about my killing him... and no, I'm not psycho... I got tested. I passed."

Giles nodded and removed his glasses.

"I see... anything else to add?"

Xander smiled.

"Well.. I was dead for 10 days and just awoke this morning."

The gasp that echoed in the room was deafening.

"You what!"

Xander winced at the scream and giggled.

"Rain plus bike plus late at night equal a slippery road. I went off into a gully and got killed. I didn't wake up immediately because I landed on a jagged spike of metal... right through the heart. Didn't know I had been dead for 10 days until I woke up in someone's barn. I'm guessing someone found me and either wanted to eat me, use my corpse in a spell.. or someone nice wanted to give me a burial."

Buffy stared at Xander and shook her head.

"Ok.. too much information right now.. why don't we come back to this later."

Xander nodded.

"So.. what now?"

The girls looked at each other and grinned.

"The Bronze!"

Xander winced and groaned.

"I stepped into that one... didn't I?"

Giles nodded, smiling.

*Better you than me, my boy.*

Giles snickered and walked off, leaving Xander in the clutches of a group of girls who hadn't see him in a long time... knowing the boy was in for a very interesting night...


The pounding music of The Bronze was like a splash of cold water to the face. Xander stared at the rhythmically dancing teens in shock and just shook his head.

"I can't believe we used to be them."

Willow giggled and shook her head.

"You were never them , Xander, you couldn't dance."

Xander nodded, remembering.

"Guilty feet have got no rhythm..."

The girls stared at Xander with a puzzled expression... all except for Tara, who was giggling.

"Nice... "

Xander smiled.

"You recognize it?"

Tara nodded.

"I used to be a fan."

Xander grinned.

"I knew there was a reason I like you... other than the fact that you make my Willow happy... and it doesn't hurt that you're hot."

Willow grinned proudly at Xander's comments while Buffy slapped him in the arm.

"Hey.. no hitting on the lesbians."

Xander smirked.

"I wouldn't do that, Buffy... even if I AM manly enough to get her to switch teams."

The girls groaned and Tara snickered.

*He likes me... that's good... I was afraid he might not.*

She snuggled up against Willow and smiled. Xander saw the snuggle and grinned.

*She's good for her... never seem Willow this happy.. not since we were 7.*

Xander looked down at his drink and saw it was empty.

"I'm going on a drink run. Anyone want anything."

Dawn and Willow both nodded. Xander stood and headed toward the bar.

"Three soda... 2 cola - 1 root beer."

The man nodded and grabbed the drinks, handing them to Xander. Xander paid for them and then turned around to see a smiling Buffy.

"Hey Buff.. you need something?"

She smiled and nodded then slid her hands into his front pockets.

"Take the drinks back then meet me in the balcony..."

The then leaned in and kissed Xander before she turned and walked upstairs... leaving a very stunned Xander standing there.

*Whoa.. still not used to that yet... but I'm liking it.*

He walked back to the table and found the girls talking about spells to Dawn. He set the drinks down and then leaned in to whisper in Willow's ear.

"I'm going to wander around a bit. Want to check the place out... that and Buffy wants to talk to me. I'll be back later."

He then kissed her cheek and walked toward the stairs. As he walked up them, he began to wonder just what he was going to do about Buffy.

*I still feel for her, that much was obvious earlier... I just don't know if I am in love with her again. She hurt me... so much.. and then didn't even care... but she is different now, I can clearly see that. Maybe I need to just let go of everything and go for it.. see where things go and if all goes bad.. I still have family at the Mansion... at least the Proff told me I'm family.*

He reached the balcony and looked around. Over in the corner was Buffy, looking down at the people dancing. Xander walked over to her and smiled at her.

"They seem so happy... having no worry about whether or not they might live to see tomorrow..."

Xander wrapped his arm around her waist.

"That's because they have you. You protect them from the things that go bump in the night. You're like their mom... always there to save them from the monster. You're their hero."

Buffy turned to Xander, tears in her eyes, and smiled.

"That's the nicest way anyone has ever put it. Thank you."

Xander grinned.

"Hey.. its my job, remember."

Buffy laughed and wiped her eyes. Suddenly the music changed to an old 80's song and Xander grinned.

"I love this song... it's how I feel about you, Buffy."

She looked into his eyes as the song began...

///I'm tired of playing on the team

Oh it seems I don't get time outs anymore

I think it's time that we set the pace

Face to face

No one even tries to score

Oh oh I can feel the magic of your touch

And when you pull me close a little bit means so much

Oh yeah yeah you've got to understand baby

Time out if what I'm here for.

One on one I want to play that game tonight

One on one I know.. I want to play that

One on one I want to play that game tonight

One on one so slow

Oh you can't tell me you don't miss me girl

Oh I think I might know you too well

What would you say if you knew that I was coming tonight

I want you can't you tell

One on one I want to play that game tonight

One on one I know.. I want to play that

One on one I want to play that game tonight

One on one so slow..

That's all you need to know...///

As the music played, Xander watched as Buffy's eyes widened and tears began to form in them.

"You.. you mean it?"

Xander nodded and leaned in to kiss her, slow at first and then with an ever deepening passion. His hands trailed through her hair.. running slowly down her back... pulling her against him. She was so close, Buffy could feel Xander's heartbeat as it pounded in his chest.

*He DOES love me...*

She relaxed her body and dove into the kiss, letting all of her pent up emotions flow out of her body and into his... through that kiss. The intensity was so much it almost sent Xander into shock...



Jim and M-Xander looked over at Richie.


Richie pointed at the big screen that was showing what Xander was doing and grinned.

"She slipped him the tongue. Damn.. it's too bad we can't feel any of that."

Jim grinned... deciding to not tell Richie about the sensory room.

*No need letting him in there or he would never come out.*

"She's quite beautiful."

Richie turned to look at Jim.

"Beautiful... beautiful.. are you blind! She's a 30 on a scale of 1 to 10. Hell.. I if had known she was alive.. back when I was alive.. I would have asked her to marry me."

M-Xander laughed and then winced in pain. Jim and Richie noticed this and rushed over to him.

"You ok? I've seen you do that before."

M-Xander nodded.

"I do not know what it is... it has happened a few times, since the merger, and many before that."

He looked off into the distance at a dark jungle that hadn't been there moments before.

"It's back..."

Jim and Richie looked in the direction M-Xander was looking and blinked in shock.

"When did that arrive? Did you make it, Jim?"

Jim shook his head.

"Not me.."

M-Xander shook his head.

"It was here before I was made.. WE do not know what it is."

Just then a booming voice came out of the jungle...


The three men jumped in shock and looked at each other.

"Who the hell is that?"

M-Xander shrugged.

"I do not know...."


Buffy ran her hands down Xander's back to cup and squeeze his ass as she deepened the kiss... only to jerk in shock when a gunshot rang out in the club.

"Everyone Freeze! This is a robbery!"

They broke the kiss and turned to see three men armed with Uzi's standing at the front door. As they watched, the bartender went for a gun.. or an alarm, they couldn't tell.. and was gunned down by one of the men.

As the people screamed in horror, something in Xander's mind snapped to attention...


Gunfire echoed in the air as the three men dove to the ground.

"Shit.. they're shooting!"

Jim looked around and shook his head.

"It's not here.. it's with Xander."

Richie nodded and stood slowly. As he got to his feet, he saw a man in army fatigues running out of the forest toward them.

"Time to party boys!!!"

He ran past them and into the sensory room, slamming it shut behind him. Richie turned to Jim and frowned.

"Who was that?"

Jim shrugged.

"Don't know... do you big guy?"

M-Xander nodded.

"I thought he was gone... but he's real."

The two men looked at M-Xander and frowned.


M-Xander swallowed and smiled.

"The Soldier is alive!"


Xander watched the bullets fly into the bartender and he began to growl.

#It's time to party, son.. let's kick their asses.#

Xander remembered that voice and he smiled.

"Yes Sir."

Buffy looked at Xander and saw the dark gleam in his eyes. What he did next would amaze her to her final day. Xander grabbed onto the railing and vaulted over the edge of the balcony... flying toward the three men, a good 20 or so feet below...


Xander came flying down at the robbers, a look of resolve on his face, and kicked the first man in the head. They both tumbled to the ground and Xander rolled to his feet, kicking out at the second man, hitting him in the groin. Xander felt something break from the impact and he grinned.

#Now.. rabbit punches to the breadbasket then a spin kick to the third man. Hurry.. before they pull their guns on us!#

Xander nodded and did as he was told. He fired his fists over and over into the groaning man and then spin kicked his foot into the jaw of the last man, hearing his jaw shatter from the impact.

#Finish them off... a swift kick to the ball-busted guy, a kick to the head of the first guy you hit.. then step on the last man's nuts... hard!#

Xander grinned and launched a side kick at the temple of the second man, seeing him fall to the ground unconscious. He then turned and kicked the first man in the head as he was beginning to get back up.. then jumped over and crushed the last man's balls.

The entire fight took less than a minute...

Xander looked at his carnage and smiled.

#Don't get cocky.. remember.. you've got a man down!#

Xander jerked. He had forgotten the bartender.


Xander jumped over the bar and placed his hands on the man's stomach. The man gasped for air and blinked.

"Hold on..."

Xander concentrated and felt a warm silver glow envelope his hands. He concentrated and focused on healing all of the bullet wounds..

#Remove the bullets too or the wounds will get infected...#

Xander nodded and heard a dozen tiny "plink" sounds as the bullets were expelled. Slowly, he closed up the man's wounds once he was assured that everything was healed.

#There... good.. you got him back... good work son.#

*Thank you Sir... and Sir.*


*It's good to have you back, Sir.*

#It's good to BE back, son. You've made me proud tonight#

With that said, the presence faded and Xander looked around in shock. People were screaming and he could hear them running to the bar. He grabbed a clean apron and tied it to the man's neck.

"The bullets missed you... understand. If anyone asks, you dove down when the bullets started."

The man stared up in shock at the young man who had just saved his life and nodded.

"I understand, son."

Xander nodded and climbed to his feet. As his head popped over the bar, he came face to face with a very worried Willow, Dawn, Tara, and Buffy... who were all staring at him in shock.

"What the hell happened, Xander!"

Xander looked at Buffy and smiled.

"Remember Halloween?"

They nodded.

"I still have the Soldier in me.. only I didn't know till now."

Xander hopped over the bar and wiped his blood-covered hands off on a rag.

"How did you do that?"

Xander looked at Dawn and smiled. The look of amazement in her eyes felt nice.

"From what I remember.. it was something you learn in Special Ops training. I just did what was needed."

Buffy grabbed his arm and began running her hands over his body.

"Are you ok?"

Xander nodded.

"Yeah.. and so is the bartender... now. I got to him in time to heal the dozen bullet holes. He'll be fine now."

Buffy smiled at Xander and pulled him into a hug... then was joined by the rest of the girls. Xander sighed happily then realized that things weren't over.

"We have to get out of here.. before someone begins to ask why a teenage kid could take out three heavily armed men. I don't want the SDPD on my ass."

The girls nodded and dragged him out the door. As they were leaving, Xander noticed the man get up and give Xander the "ok" symbol. He knew that the man would come up with a plausible explanation. Xander smiled and nodded... then went outside with his girls.


The Soldier exited the room and stepped out to talk to the others.

"Boys.. everything is under control. I'll be going back to my place now."

He started to walk away but was stopped by M-Xander.

"Why were you not here for the mergence?"

Soldier stared at him and shook his head.

"The boy wasn't ready for me. He's still not ready... but I'll be around, if I'm needed."

He waved a hand and a red telephone appeared.

"Call me.. if I'm needed."

He then saluted and walked off into the jungle... disappearing.

Richie watched the man leave and then turned to the others.

"He was here the whole time?"

The two men nod. Riche looked back at the jungle.

"I wonder why you guy never noticed him... he's cool."

The guys just stared at Richie and then laughed... realizing that he was right... Soldier was cool...


Xander smiled at Buffy as they all walked back to her place. He had both of her arms around his waist and it felt really good. He looked ahead at Willow and Tara walking hand in hand with Dawn ahead of them and smiled.

*This feels... nice. I think its time...*

Xander smiled at Buffy and kissed her.

"Buffy... I.. I love..."

Just then.. a vision flashed before his eyes, bringing him to his knees.

He saw a van with a group of teenagers inside. They were running away from... something.. and whatever it was was close behind them. Suddenly the van exploded and they were thrown from it... body parts flying in all directions.

"Oh god.. no... this can't happen..."

Xander stared in horror as he watched them all die... and knew he was seeing this for a reason. He knew he had to find them... before it was too late.

As he stared, his eyes glazed over, he couldn't hear the yells of a very terrified Buffy as she kneeled next to his motionless body......


"Xander... Xander.... Xander... XANDER!!"

Buffy was shaking Xander, trying to snap him out of the vision that had seized him... but it wasn't working. Her screams brought the girls running.

"Oh god.. Xander... Buffy what happened?"

Buffy, openly crying, shook her head.

"I don't know.. one minute he was fine. He was... he was telling me he loved me... but then he stopped and fell to the ground.. talking about not letting something happen to someone... oh god, Will.. what am I going to do... I can't lose him.. I love him so much!"

Xander began to tremble then and then shake... his body writhing on the sidewalk. He then gasped and flung his arms out and screamed.


Buffy grabbed Xander and pulled him against her.

"Oh god, Xander.. you're ok... you're ok.."

Xander blinked his eyes and looked around franticly.

"I have to stop it.. I have to..."

Buffy frowned and looked Xander in the wide with fear eyes.

"Stop what? What is it Xander?"

Xander turned to look at Buffy more closely and swallowed.

"In a little less than a week... about 6 teenage kids will be killed."

The girls gasped in shock and frowned.

"How do you know?"

Xander reached up and rubbed the back of his head.

"I saw it... in a vision... I get those now, for some reason."

He climbed to his feet, dislodging the startled Buffy, and dusted himself off.

"They're near Vegas.. if I drive all night and don't stop to sleep... I can get there and have a day or two to search for them before it's too late..."

He turned to walk back to Giles's place then he was tackled from behind by a very worried Slayer.

"You're leaving!"

Xander nodded.

"I have to... I think it's my job... or something... otherwise I wouldn't have had the vision. I HAVE to do this."

Willow stepped forward and put on Resolve Face.

"We're coming with you."

Xander turned to her and frowned.

"No! It's too dangerous."

Willow shook her head.

"Dangerous.. Xander... we face danger every night."

Xander glared at her.

"Oh yeah? Can you die and come back to life? Huh.. answer me that?"

Willow gasped and slowly shook her head. Xander nodded.

"Didn't think so.. well, I can.. and that is why I'm going alone... cause if I die.. give me a few hours and I'm back up and kicking."

Xander started walking again and was once again stopped.

"I'm coming with you, Xander."

Xander looked at Buffy and sighed.

"Please don't do this to me, Buffy. It would kill me if you died... cause then I would have to mope and brood for a good 100 years. You mean that much to me."

Buffy saw the look in his eyes as he spoke and began to cry. The love she saw was overwhelming.

"You... you had just better come back to me.. you hear.. or else I'm going to hunt you down and kill you myself."

Xander nodded. He leaned in and kissed her on the lips... then he looked down at his hand and squeezed his fist tight. He focused his mind on one of the rings he had held for Amanda so long ago and pictured it in his mind. He then added two smaller diamonds to either side of the solitaire and shaded them slightly canary.

Buffy stared at the look on concentration on Xander's face and then looked down at his hand. A soft blue glow was emanating from it and then she gasped then he opened his hand to reveal... a diamond ring.

*Oh my god..*

The girls gasped as Xander got down on one knee.

"Buffy.. you have been the one person, besides Willow, who has lived in my heart. You are the light that shines and drives away the darkness. You are my life and my soul. This isn't a proposal.. this is a promise..."

He slid the ring onto her finger.

"... this is me, promising you, that I will return to make the rest of you life a happy one... either as a permanent lover.. or as a husband... whatever you decide. This is my vow to you.. on everything I see as holy. I Alexander Lavelle Harris hereby vow to return to you, Elizabeth Anne Harris..."

He caught himself seconds too late.. then corrected himself..

"... Summers, sorry, and to stay with you forever."

When he stood back up, he was looking into the teary eyes of his... almost fiance... and smiled. Buffy stared at the ring and was so shaken she couldn't speak. She turned to look at Willow who was also crying. Tara and Dawn, who were standing behind Willow, were sobbing too.

"I love you Xander..."

Xander smiled at Buffy.

"And I love you too, Buffy."

He then wiped his eyes and ran to Giles's home... leaving the girls behind.


Buffy watched Xander go and then then turned, shaking, to the girls.

"He just proposed... didn't he."

They nodded and grabbed her up in a hug. Willow smiled and laughed.

"I know Xander. Even though he said it wasn't... he really was. He just didn't want to scare you. You're not.. are you?"

Buffy shook her head. She was happy.. very happy.

"No.. I'm not scared... I'm getting married!!!"

She laughed and was suddenly overcome with the need to do Xander's Snoopy Dance. the girls all laughed and then joined in.. making a very unusual sight for anyone watching...


Xander ran into the courtyard and started prepping his bike. The noise drew Giles's attention and he stepped outside.

"Xander.. what is going on."

Xander nodded at Giles as he strapped his backpack down.

"Vision.. Vegas... kids getting killed... I'm on my way to stop it."

Giles frowned then ran inside... only to return a few minutes later.

"Did you visit Cordelia?"

Xander stopped. He turned to look at Giles and nodded.

"Yes.. why?"

Giles nodded and turned a page.

"Did you have sex with her?"

Xander nodded, slowly, and frowned.

"Don't tell me... I did something wrong.. again."

Giles nodded.

"By having sex with her.. you agreed to a small unknown clause in her powers. You agreed to take them yourself."

Xander's jaw dropped.

"What.. how.. why don't I get the monster headaches from hell then?"

Giles rubbed the bridge of his nose.

"I am not sure.. it might be because you are Immortal.. or it might be the fact you were overdosed with that mind altering drug.. or any other number of things. Just be grateful you DON'T get them."

Xander nodded.

"So I actually really DO have to go save this kids?"

Giles nodded.

"Yes.. and with this being your first vision.. its bound to be a big one."

Xander shook his head.

"It's not my first.. Dawn was my first..."

Giles smiled.

"Ah.. but you told us.. you didn't cover it yourself.. so it didn't count."

Xander grimaced.

"Shit! So I'm in deep, huh?"

Giles nodded.


He smiled.

"Good luck, Xander."

He then grinned and walked back inside, leaving a grumbling Xander to finish his preparations...


As Xander rode out of town, he passed the girls and waved.. a silly smile on his face. As he watched them wave back, he saw the sparkle of the ring on Buffy's finger and sighed happily.

*I'm returning to you, Buffy.. I promise...*

He then revved the motor and disappeared into the darkness...


Xander barreled down the highway, his mind focused on one thing... getting to Vegas in time to save those kids.

*Can't let them die... can't let them die... can't let them die...*

Xander had been riding for hours... so long they had blended together. About 3 hours earlier, he had cast a few spells to remove his tiredness and energize himself so that he could continue onward.

*Not much time...*

As he turned the corner in the road, he spotted a small diner with 4 cars in the parking lot... and the van the kids were driving.

*Got them!*

Xander tapped his brakes and slowly came down from the 120 he was currently doing. As he came to a stop and pulled into the parking lot, his tires screeched and left a black trail. He could see a few heads turn inside through the windows.

*Shit.. not much for a low profile, Xander.*


Isabel toyed with her fries as Liz and Maria talked. They had been in the diner for almost an hour and she was bored out of her skull.

*God.. we stop to grab a bite to eat and the boys find that stupid pinball machine... and now we've been here for almost an hour!*

"... and we have to see the fountains they have.."

Liz nodded.

"Yes.. that should be a cool place to visit."

Just then, the sound of screeching tires echoed from outside and they turned to look out the window. A guy had just ridden up on a motorcycle and was climbing off.

"Oh my god.. look at him.."

"Maria! You have a boyfriend... but.. you're right... wow."

Isabel turned and looked and her jaw dropped.

*Oh my god...*

The guy was wearing tight jeans and a blue shirt that was stretched tight over his heavily muscled chest and arms. He looked... well.. amazing... and he was walking toward the door.


Xander entered and smiled when the blast of cool air hit his face.

*Oh god that feels good...*

He entered and looked around. Three of the kids were over in the corner playing with a pinball machine while the other three were sitting in a booth... staring at him.

*Great.. big entrance got me some attention. Better act calm..*

He ran his fingers through his long hair and then walked toward the girls... sitting in the booth next to theirs.


As the hot guy entered, Isabel sucked in her breath and whispered.

"My god.. he's gorgeous..."

Maria and Liz smiled and nodded, momentarily stunned as well.


When the guy ran his fingers through his hair, Isabel suddenly wanted badly to do the same.

*Oh.. I bet it feels like silk...*

The guy then turned and walked toward them. The girls tensed and then watched him as he came closer... then walked past them, sitting in the booth next to them.

Liz smiled at the girls and giggled. She mouthed.

"He's hot..."

The girls nodded and then tried to come up with an excuse to talk to him. Minutes later, the waitress came over to take his order.


Xander looked up from the menu as the waitress arrived.

"What can I get you, sweetie?"

Xander smiled.

"Double Cheeseburger, large order of fries, a piece of whatever kind of pie you have, and a large chocolate milkshake."

The woman smiled.

"Healthy appetite.. I like that. Most of the people we get in here don't eat enough to keep a canary alive. Now.. for your pie.. we have apple, cherry, peach, and pecan. Which would you like?"

Xander thought about it. He was pretty hungry... might as well enjoy himself.

"How about a slice of each? I'm pretty hungry."

The waitress grinned even wider.

"Why honey.. you just made my day. Haven't had anyone eat as much as you since my late husband, Harry... lord rest his soul. I'll get your food and be right back in a little bit, sugar."

Xander looked at her nametag and smiled.

"Thanks Flo."

Flo smiled and walked back to the kitchen, handing off the order to a bald man who looked like Telly Savalis. Xander watched her leave and then grinned.

*God.. this place smells great.. I hope the food in good.*


Maria stared at the back of the guy's head and shook her head in disbelief.

"Did you hear what he ordered?"

Her whisper brought the attention of Liz and Isabel.. who both nodded.

"I know.. he eats more than Michael."

Isabel turned to look at the guy and felt something odd about him. She scanned him using her powers and the energy she felt nearly scared the shit out of her. She tensed and gasped in shock...


Xander looked at his hands and saw dirt and grease under his nails.

*This is gross.. better go wash up before my food comes.*

He stared to stand up when he felt someone scan him. He went on the defensive and raised his internal shields.. blocking off the intruder... then hurried to the restroom.

Inside.. he stared in the mirror and shook his head.

*Damn it! Someone scanned me here. Shit! Now I have to figure out who.. and why?*

Xander grabbed the soap and began scrubbing his hands.. using the time to think...


Isabel watched the man go into the restroom then told Liz and Maria everything.

"He's not normal.. he had power!"

They stared at her.

"Like what?"

Isabel shook her head.

"I don't know, Liz, I don't know.. but he's strong. We have to get out of here."

Maria shook her head.

"Hold on.. we don't know he is a bad guy. He might just be some hot looking good guy who stopped in to eat. We need to learn more before we jump to conclusions."

Liz nodded.

"Maria's right, Isabel. No need getting paranoid. No one has tried anything on us in almost a month. We're ok.. and if he does try anything.. you know that Max, Michael, or I can fry him in under a minute."

Isabel nodded and began to calm down. She still got jumpy ever since being kidnapped just weeks after they fled from Roswell. She still had nightmares about what they did to her.

"Fine.. but get the guys back over here.. I'm nervous."

Liz nodded and slid out of the booth.. then walked over to get Max, Michael, and Kyle to come back. They all returned moments later.

"Ok.. where is he?"

Just then, Xander emerged from the restroom and walked back to the booth. Maria nudged Michael and motioned toward Xander with her eyes. Michael nodded and stared at him... following him with his eyes as Xander walked back and sat down...


Xander saw the guy staring at him and knew that something was up.

*They're nervous... with good reason... I bet one of the girls scanned me and freaked.*

He sat down and tried to act as normal as he could... which was hard for someone who was an Immortal Mage/Jedi...


"Shit.. I don't like that guy.. he reminds me of one of the guys in the gang I used to be in. He would stab you in the back if you even so much as looked at him wrong."

Richie paced back and forth.

"This sucks.. I don't like it.. if something happens.. we fade away..."

M-Xander nodded from his chair at the table and sighed.

"Xander knows what he is doing. we have to trust his judgment."

Jim nodded.

"He's right, kid, he has to do this... you know what the vision said. We have to be here to stop whoever or whatever is going to kill those kids in the next 2 days."

Richie nodded and sat down.

"I know.. I know.. I just don't like it."

He stared over at the Soldier and titled his head.

"You've been quiet.. what do you think?"

Soldier shook his head.

"The situation is bad. He has his back to them.. very sloppy.. he's been scanned and has done nothing in retaliation... again, very sloppy... and he is completely unprepared for an assault by them. If that should happen.. he's toast."

Richie nodded.

"You going to go tell him?"

Soldier shook his head.

"Nope.. I'm going to sit here and wait... until he needs me.. then I will advise. I suggest you all relax and enjoy the show.. cause that's all we can do."

They stared at the man and slowly nodded... the turned back to watched what unfolded...


Xander stared at his hands as he waited, preparing himself for any possible attack. He could feel the animosity flowing off of at least three of the people behind him and he didn't like it.

*This really sucks.. I don't like it, not at all.*

Just then, Flo appeared at his elbow and placed his meal in front of him.

"Here you go, sugar. now you eat up and if you need anything, you just yell for me.. ok. Now I'll let you eat a bit before I bring out your pie.. so that it don't get cold."

Xander looked up at her and smiled.

"Thank you, Flo, that is very kind of you."

Flo winked and nodded.

"Anytime sugar.."

She then turned and moved on to her next table leaving Xander to eat his lunch.

*Well... better get eating... don't know how long I have before they decide to leave, and I still have to figure out just who it is that is following them... and why.*

Xander smiled and dove into his food, a smile crossing his face as he did so.....


A good twenty minutes later, Xander stared at the last bite of his pie and frowned.

*It's all gone... and it was so good... but I'm sure if I eat any more I'm gonna puke.*

He stabbed the bite with his fork and devoured it with a satisfied smile on his face. The sigh of joy he gave then echoed throughout the diner...


Maria giggled at the guy's sigh and poked Michael in the ribs.

"It's official... he ate more than you."

Michael frowned then nodded reluctantly.

"I don't see how he did it..."

Max looked at them and then frowned. He had been writhing in his seat for the last 10 minutes.

"We should have left 10 minutes ago. We need to get out of here before he tries something."

They all stared at Max and then grudgingly agreed. They nodded and got to their feet.. then walked outside to the van as Kyle paid their bill... then joined them. Xander watched them leave out of the corner of his eye then waited a few minutes before he followed them. He walked over to Flo and grinned at her.

"That was the best food I have ever eaten. I want to thank you for such a wonderful meal."

Flo grinned and blushed.

"Shucks sugar.. it was my pleasure."

She turned over her shoulder and giggled.

"Hey Mel.. you got a fan out here.. come say hi."

The bald man moved to the window, a large grin on his face, and looked around eagerly.

"A fan.. where?"

Xander waved and the man smiled.

"It was the best thing I have ever eaten, Sir."

Mel nodded and smiled.

"About time someone appreciated my cooking... thanks kid."

He then turned and walked back into the kitchen. Xander smiled at Flo and paid his check. Flo grinned and leaned in to kiss his cheek.

"You be good now, ya hear."

Xander nodded and smiled...then walked back out to the parking lot. As he climbed on his bike, he could see the van driving off into the distance. Xander squinted and magnified his vision.. bringing the van into perfect clarity.

*Hmm... about 5 miles away and moving rapidly... 60... 70 mph at least... damn.. better get moving or else I'll lose them.*

Xander revved the engine and sped off.. following them toward Vegas..


Back in Sunnydale...

Buffy stared at the ring and smiled. She had been enjoying it for a day or so now and it still shocked her to her core.

*I'm engaged... to Xander of all people.. this is unreal.*

She smiled wider and then felt a hand on her shoulder.

"Honey.. I know you adore the ring.. but of you are going to help with the dishes.. you need to actually get your hands wet."

Buffy blushed and nodded.

"Sorry mom.. off in dreamland again."

Joyce smiled. Xander was a good young man, in her opinion... so much better for her Buffy than that horrible Angel and the army idiot Riley.

*I am so glad she finally realized how much she cared for Xander. I mean, all those times she was with him and the looks they gave each other. Anyone would have to be blind not to see the sparks those two had been giving off each other.. for so long... and then Xander left...*

Joyce paused. She had been told what had happened.

*They have it so wrong. Xander didn't leave on his own... from the way they described that night... it sounds more like Buffy drove him away. The things she said to him... I'm surprised the boy didn't go try to kill himself...*

She shook her head, trying to remove the negative thoughts from her mind.

*That is all in the past... and Xander is her future. She finally realized she loves him.. and he has loved her for like.. forever. I'm sure they will be a beautiful couple and will spend the rest of their lives together...*

Joyce grinned and smiled at her daughter. She knew she would be loosing her to Xander soon... no, not losing... gaining a son.

"Buffy.. why don't you just go ahead and go see Willow or whatever it was you were going to do today. I'll finish up and then head on over to the gallery."

Buffy blushed and nodded.

"Thanks mom.. I love you."

Joyce smiled.

"I love you too, sweetie.. no scoot."

Buffy nodded, giggling, and ran to get her purse... then ran out the door. Joyce watcher her go and just sighed.

"Oh to be young and in love..."


Buffy ran over to Giles's place and found Willow and Tara already there... researching.

"What's going on?"

They looked up and frowned.

"Big nasty thing coming..."

Buffy scowled.

"No.. not fair.. I deserve to be happy and carefree for at least a few more days.. I just got engaged!"

Giles sighed and removed his glassed, polishing them. The idea of Buffy getting engaged just terrified him.

*A Slayer.. getting married.. this is just wrong...*

He replaced his glassed and sat down.

"It's nothing you can't handle, Buffy, so no worrying. We will research what we are dealing with and then we will deal with it."

Buffy smiled.

"Ok.. time to find this baddie and introduce him to Mr. Pointy."

The girls giggled and nodded. They were glad to see Buffy so happy. Who would have known that a proposal of marriage from Xander would be enough to do it.

"Yes.. then you can go back to dreaming about Xander."

At the mention of his name, Buffy grinned and her eyes glazed over. Willow snickered.

"I bet she's picturing him naked... all hot and sweaty.. his muscles rippling as he poses in front of her..."

Buffy snapped out of it and frowned.

"Hey.. that's none of your business you.. you... gay girl who shouldn't be thinking about my man..."

Buffy smiled.

*My man... MY MAN...*

Even the thought of it sounded good and a goofy grin crossed her face as the mental image of a very hot and sweaty naked Xander crossed her mind.

*Oh wow... now that is good...*

Willow saw the far away look in Buffy's eyes and laughed.

"We pushed her over the edge.. she'll be like that for a while."

As Tara giggled, Giles sighed and shook his head.

"Children.. I'm dealing with children."

He then sighed and went back to his book...


Xander stared down the road and saw the van on the side of the road. One of the boys was outside changing a tire. Xander was about to speed up to help them when he spotted a figure hiding behind some brush in the distance.

*What the...*

Xander modified his vision and saw something that bothered him. The figure was a small man who actually looked younger than the others... and in his hands was a weapon of some kind...


"A weapon... this is your territory. You going to do something now?"

Soldier nodded and smiled.

"Yup.. going to lean back and watch the show."

He kicked his feet up on the table and smiled.

*Come on kid... you know what you have to do... eliminate the target before he hits the kids.*


Xander watched as the young man aimed at the kids.. then readied himself to fire.

*No.. this.. this can't be it.. but maybe I'm seeing it wrong...*

He knew it wasn't going to go down as he planned. With his arm raised, Xander readied a lightning bolt spell and pointed at the young man.

"Here goes..."

He took a deep breath and yelled at the kids.


He then fired... the lightning jolting across the sky, moving through the air toward the young man... striking his chest just as he was pulling the trigger. The blast from his own weapon went off to the left and made a large cactus explode....


Kyle rolled the spare tire over to the side of the van and frowned.

*Why is it I'm the one who always changes the tires.. I mean.. I don't even have my powers yet and they could do it just by waving their hands and yet they have me.. me the normal guy doing all the grunt work...*

He was about to bend over to replace the tire when he heard someone scream...


Kyle hit the dirt, as ordered, and was just in time to see a bolt of lightning come flying overhead... only to come crashing down about 200 feet away in the bushes.


Kyle rolled onto his back and looked back the direction the bolt had come from and saw the guy from the diner... speeding toward them on a motorcycle.

"Holy shit!"

The door to the van opened and as a few heads appeared, Xander raced past them... his hands and eyes glowing.

"What the hell?!"

As they watched... Xander rode to the bushes and leapt off into a run. He neared the bushes and a figure stood, half its body blackened.

"You can't protect them forever... we will see them dead!"

Then.. to the amazement of them all... the young man exploded into dust. Xander came to a halt and looked around in shock... then slowly turned to see the teenagers staring at him.

*Oh crap... how do I explain this...*

He walked over to his bike and turned off the engine... then sat down on it. As he looked back at them, he smiled and waved.

"Hi.. name's Xander... I come in peace....."


"Hi.. name's Xander... I come in peace....."

The words took them all by surprise. Isabel's eyes widened and she stepped forward out of the van.

"Xander... as in Alexander?"

Xander winced and nodded.

"Yeah.. but only my mom and dad call me that. Why do you ask?"

Isabel swallowed nervously and then fainted. Xander watched her falling and, moving faster than a normal human should, he shot past Kyle and caught Isabel seconds before she crashed to the ground... then lowered her gently the rest of the way.

"Did I say something wrong?"

He looked up at the faces of the people in the van and pleaded to them with his eyes. Liz stepped down and shook her head.

"No.. she was just stunned. We lost a friend, named Alexander, a while back. She was in love with him..."

Xander nodded, understanding.

"I see.. I'm sorry."

They nodded and motioned for Xander to step back. He nodded and walked back to his bike while they took care of Isabel. As he walked away from them he berated himself mentally...

*Great.. nice way to start Harris... shit!*

Xander grabbed his bike and walked it back to the van, then leaned against it as he waited for them to say something.


Max nealt down next to his sister and while the stranger, Xander, was not looking.. he used his power to awaken her. Isabel shook and then woke up, her eyes blinking in shock. Just then, Xander had turned around and was returning. Max motioned, with his eyes, for Isabel to pretend to be asleep again... and she nodded, closing her eyes.

When Xander arrived and leaned on his bike, Max cleared his throat, softly, and Isabel fluttered open her eyes... then sat up, moaning.

"Oh.. what happened?"

Xander stared down at her and blushed.

"It's my fault... you fainted. I'm sorry.. I didn't know about your... friend."

Isabel looked at Xander and nodded.

"It's... ok.. you're right... you didn't know."

She climbed to her feet and walked over to Xander.

"My name is Isabel... Isabel Evans."

Xander nodded and smiled.

"Nice to meet you...."


"... so you're saying this guy was going to kill us... and you saw it in a dream?"

Xander shook his head.

"A Vision.. I get them. They tell me what is going to happen... but now I'm thinking I managed to stop it. You were in the same location as what I saw... but yet you're still alive. I'm guessing my coming here caused you to leave a day or so early.. and the guy decided to attack now instead of later."

Max nodded.

"We had planned on staying another night.. the food at that diner was amazing."

Xander grinned.

"I know.. I haven't had anything like it in my entire life.."

Maria frowned.

"Whoa.. so you're saying that you changed the future?"

Xander turned to look at her and nodded.

"Yes.. and now I can go home... until the next vision that is.."

Isabel frowned.

*He's leaving... no, he can't...*

"Where is home?"

Xander smiled.

"Sunnydale, California... home of the Hellmouth."

The looks he got from them said volumes.


Xander laughed and began explaining everything....


"... and you live over that thing?"

Xander nodded.

"Been there my whole life... probably explains why I'm kinda weird."

The Roswell gang stared at each other and all thought..

*Kinda Weird...*

Xander smirked and laughed.

"All part of the territory when you happen to be a hero on a 24/7 basis. I'm in even a book of prophecy.. or so I was told."

They nodded, not quite following. Xander saw their expressions and tried to explain.

"There are these books... in them, all kinds of things were foretold... and I'm in one of them. Someone knew I would be born and would do all of the things I have done so far.. and some I haven't done yet. It's really cool."

Xander smiled. As he sat there, on his bike, a strange feeling of dread washed over him. A frown crossed his face and he wondered what was going on. Isabel caught the frown and became worried.

"Are you ok?"

Xander shook his head.

"I... I don't know... I just have this feeling... that something is wrong.."

He closed his eyes and tried to figure out what was going on...


Richie looked at the others and frowned.

"What is he talking about?"

M-Xander walked over to a large crystal sphere and looked into it. He could see a misty image of a woman... walking next to another woman... inside a cave or cavern... they were walking... walking... then they ran into a large demon... they fought the demon.. then... then....

"Oh my god.."

Jim and Richie rushed over and looked at the sphere.

"What... what is it?"

M-Xander shook his head.

"I just witnessed 2 women dying to a demon. I believe this what Xander felt..."

Soldier stepped forward then, a frown on his hardened face.

"A feeling.. not a true vision?"

M-Xander nodded.

"I beleive that someone... or something is blocking Xander from receiving this as a full vision. I believe it might be the demon's magic."

Soldier nodded.

"Then we need to warn him... and fast.. so he can haul ass back home before something bad happens to those women."

Richie looked confused.

"Why home?"

Soldier sighed.

"Because there he can ask the Watcher.. and the Watcher can cast a blocking spell to remove the interference."

Richie nodded, understanding.

"Oh.. ok."

Solider nodded and walked off to warn Xander...


Xander stared at the group in the van ahead of them as they drove back to the diner. He had offered to treat them to a early dinner and they had eagerly agreed.

*Got to be nice to them.. in case I need to stick around a while..*

It was then that he heard something that nearly ran him off the road.

#Xander... ten shun!#

Xander sat up straight in the seat and nodded.

*Yes Sir!*

#We have a situation... you got a vision.. but it is being blocked by the magic of a demon. Head home pronto... and then get the Watcher to run interference for you... then you can try again on the vision.#

Xander grimaced.

*Yes, Sir. What was the vision, Sir?*

#Two woman in a cave or cavern being killed by a very large and ugly demon.#

Xander nodded and sighed.

*I understand, Sir. I will get on my way as soon as I tell them I'm leaving.*

#Understood.. #

Xander felt the Soldier leave and shuddered. The Soldier had the strongest presence of anyone in his mind.. and it sometimes scared him.


They pulled into the parking lot and Xander motioned for Kyle to roll down the window.

"I've been called on another mission. I'm sorry.. but I have to go."

Kyle nodded.

"I understand. Hey.. be careful."

Xander nodded.

"I will."

He reached into his pocket and pulled out a small scrap of paper. He handed it to Kyle and smiled.

"My cell phone number... in case you guys need me."

Kyle nodded and placed the paper in his pocket. Xander nodded and then turned his bike around.

"Bye.. be careful."

He then burned rubber.. heading back to Sunnydale....


Buffy looked at the hole and frowned.

"I do not want to go in there.."

Dawn smiled at her sister and giggled.

"Come on.. you know that if Xander were here HE would want to go."

Buffy thought about Xander and smiled.

"Yeah.. he would.. just like he did when he brought me back in the Master's lair."

Dawn nodded, remembering. Buffy had ALMOST died that night... thank god Xander had gotten there in time.

"So.. are we going in or are we standing here?"

Buffy grinned.

"We're going in... come on."

They laughed and then climbed down into the cave opening... dissapearing into the darkness....


"I can't see anything... I thought it was supposed to be down here. Can't you feel anything, Buffy?"

Buffy shook her head. He slayer sense wasn't telling her anything.

"Nope.. nothing. Maybe we have the wrong cave..."

Just then they turned the corner and entered a large cavern. In the center of the cavern was a large throne made of what looked like strange leather. As they got closer.. they could see that it was human skin.


Buffy nodded and looked around for the Demon.

"It has to be here... somewhere.."

They wandered around the cavern for a few minutes... but found nothing. They couldn't see or feel the Demon as he watched them... completely hidden under a web of spells.

*Come closer.. my pretty human... and you will meet your doom...*


Xander barreled down the highway.. cranking the bike up to 100... then 120.. then miraculously he managed to crank it over 150... but the dial wouldn't register it.

*Got to get home... now...*


Inside Xander's mind, the Hive appeared and formed in front of M-Xander.

/We have completed repairs to the bracer. Xander can now power it through his magic. Do you wish us to report in to him now?/

M-Xander shook his head.

"No.. he is busy right now... it.. it can wait. Thank you."

The Hive bobbed up and down and then dispersed throughout Xander once again...


The Demon watched his prey and then decided to have some fun. The younger woman was before him and he knew it was time. He materialized behind her and reached out to grasp her head... but something went wrong.


Buffy turned around and looked at Dawn just in time to see the Demon appear behind her.


Dawn dropped to the ground and rolled to the side... just missing being hit by the Demon.. and then a jump kicking Buffy seconds later.

*Whoa.. that was close..*

Dawn climbed to her feet and watched as Buffy and the Demon fought. They were exchanging blows right and left.. but something looked wrong. The Demon looked stronger... and for some reason, Buffy looked like she was growing weaker and weaker each time she connected with a punch or kick...


The Demon laughed as his life-drain spell took effect with each punch and kick he received. He was in thrall... in esctasy.. as the essence of the Slayer flowed into him.

*So strong... so powerful... so delicious...*

He watched at slowly, punch by punch, the Slayer grew weaker and weaker...

*Almost time...*

Just as Buffy threw a sloppy punch, the Demon reached out and caught her by the neck... and then with a grunt... twisted her neck, breaking it... killing her instantly...


Dawn watched in horror and screamed as she saw her sister's head spin almost completely around. She watched as Buffy's body fell to the ground... dead... and something inside her snapped.

With a feral growl... Dawn ran at the Demon and launched herself at him... kicking and biting anything she could touch.

The Demon just laughed and backhanded her across the room. Dawn flew through the air and then landed against a stalagmite.. landing on it... impaled.

As the Demon stared at the death before him.. he laughed evilly... then vanished into thin air...


As Xander sped down the road.. something came over him.. a flash, a feeling... and it threw him from his bike.

*Something... something is wrong... oh god.. what is it...*

He climbed back onto his bike and sped off back down the road... now juicing his bike with magic.. easily reaching a speed of 250 mph...


Giles turned to Willow and Tara and pointed at the ground.

"They came in here..."

They followed the footprints and came upon the cavern... and the carnage. The wail of agony that came out of Willow was deafening as she looked upon the dead and mangled bodies of Buffy and Dawn.

"No.. No... NO!!!"

Willow collapsed to the ground and cried... while a stunned Giles stared on in shock.

*No.. it can't be... my Slayer... my girls... dead... oh god no...*

They walked over to the bodies and carefully picked them up... then carried them back outside... taking them to the morgue...


Sometime later...

Xander pulled into town and was instantly hit with a strong feeling of dread. He rode over to Giles's place.. but found it empty. He then checked the Buffster's house.. but it too was empty.

It was then that he got scared.

*No.. please... not this...*

He began to wonder if the woman in his vision had been Buffy. With a stifled cry, he sped off to the hospital.


Xander ran down the hallway and found a group of crying people. He stared at them and then ran down the hallway to the morgue. As he entered, he saw Buffy and Dawn lying on the tables.... dead.

*No.. this can't... no... oh god no...*

He heard people run up behind him.. but at this point... he didn't care. Something inside Xander was broken.

"No... No... NO!!!!!!"

As everyone watched, lightning began crackling around Xander's body. A warm blue glow apeared at the bracer and spread to engulf Xander. As he turned to look at the others, they gasped at the sight before them... for Xander's eyes had gone jet black.. with no white at all showing.


With a primal scream that echoed inside the small room, lightning blasted off of Xander's body making a halo of light around him that grew brighter and brighter until it was too bright to see.

*Oh god.. no.. what's happening.. Xander... no!*

Willow shaded her eyes to look at Xander and then screamed as he disapeared... leaving behind a burnt and cracked hole in the floor as a reminder of the power he had used.

The light faded and they looked around in shocked horror.


Willow ran to the hole and stared at it. It was almost a foot deep and the edges appeared to have been melted... from the heat of the lightning and the power.

"Oh god.. Xander... where did you go?"

They took one last look at the hole... then one at Buffy and Dawn.. and then turned and walked back outside.... not noticing the soft blue glow coming from their bodies from under the sheets....

Not seeing the blue lightning that cascaded across their bodies as slowly.. two new Immortals awakened.....


Buffy jerked upright with a scream and looked around in fright. She didn't know where she was.. and she was cold.. so cold.

"Wha.. what... where am I?"

She looked around the room and noticed Dawn lying on the next table over.

"Dawn.. oh god.. no..."

Just then... Dawn gasped and jerked upright... screaming in shock and terror. Buffy jumped off the table and pulled Dawn into her arms.

"Shh.. it's ok... it's ok...we're alive... we're alive Dawn.."

Dawn looked at Buffy and slowly her eyes focused.


Buffy nodded.

"Yes.. it's me.."

Dawn frowned.

"But.. but you're dead... and I'm dead.... oh god.."

Buffy leaned back and nodded.

"I.. I know... but I don't think we're vampires... I think... I think we're like Xander."

Dawn listened and realization hit her. A smile crossed her face and she laughed.

"We're Immortal... then we can live with Xander... forever!"

Buffy smiled.. understanding it herself.

"Hey.. that's right... just wait till we tell him..."

It was then she felt the chill and looked down.

"I'm naked!"

Dawn lifted the sheet covering her and blushed.

"We're both naked. I guess our clothing was covered in blood or something... or else something very ewww happened."

Buffy shook her head.

"Don't even want to think about it. I just want to get some clothes, find Xander, and then live the rest of Eternity with him."

Buffy helped Dawn off the table and they then spent the next 10 minutes finding some clothing... then headed outside... just in time to see Giles leaving.

"Hey.. wait for us."


Giles thanked the orderly and took the girls's clothing. He then turned to leave... but stopped when he heard a voice cry out. He froze and turned slowly.. then broke down in tears at what he saw... Buffy and Dawn... alive.

"Buffy... Dawn...?"

They nodded and ran over to him... engulfing him in a hug. As they did so, they looked around to see anyone else.

"Where is everyone... we're Xander? Is he back yet?"

Giles paled.

*How do I tell them... oh god..*

He pulled them over to a chair.

"Sit... please.. there is something I have to tell you......"


Meanwhile... far away...

Xander sat on the edge of the tower of a large castle. It was covered in a blackened marble that appeared to have been fried over and over. A strong wind was blowing across the tower and it made Xander's hair writhe as if alive.

Far below.. people ran in fear as lightning cascaded down from the dark man above. Already, those who ran, knew to fear him... for his power, for the terror he brought with him... and for one other reason... the millions who died upon his arrival.

As they ran in terror... then ran to the giant eye.. hoping at least one of them would be able to escape... and bring back help... to save them from the Dark God who had invaded their world....

And so they ran... and reached the eye.. and then waited, dying one by one from bolts of lighting, as the seven markers locked in place... then when the eye opened... the remaining person still alive on the planet screamed and jumped into the eye... disappearing, headed to the one place that might help... and the people who were their only hope.

A bolt of lightning followed the woman as she jumped into the eye and then the eye itself closed... leaving behind a now dead world... except for one person... a broken and completely defeated Xander Harris, who wanted nothing more than to make everyone and everything be in as much pain as he was in right then... and was oblivious to the destruction around him. All in all... he just wanted to be alone.....


Things had been quiet... too quiet... and it was driving Angel insane.

"There has got to be something wrong. You haven't had a vision, Delia, in months."

Cordelia looked up at her boyfriend and smiled.

"Hey.. I'm not complaining. I'm glad to be rid of the mind-numbing pain they give... especially now with our new addition."

She rubbed his slightly growing belly and sighed happily. Angel smiled at his girlfriend and moved closer to her.

"Yes.. me too... but it still bothers me..."

Just then, Wesley ran into the room.

"I think I have found it. There is mention, in the annals of Targunthra, that the Seer of the Vampire will lose the Sight to the lost love... and with it will come his destruction."

They stared at him in shock.

"Are you saying that Xander has my visions?"

Wesley nodded.

"Yes.. they can only be passed through sexual contact and you DID have sex with him... so I can fairly surely assume that they were passed along to him. If so... we must find him and get them back... before..."

Cordy frowned.

"Before what?"

Wesley looked at his feet.

"Before they kill him... or drive him insane.. or worse.."

Cordy looked at Angel. There were tears forming in her eyes. Angel sighed and nodded.

"I know... I know... let's go get him."

They grabbed a few things and were headed for the door when the phone rang. Fred popped out of the office and stopped them.

"Angel.. Cordelia.. you have a phone call."

They looked at each other and then walked into the office. Angel pressed the speakerphone button and then sat down.


The voice on the other end cleared its voice and then spoke.

"Angel... Giles here. There has been... an accident. Xander has... vanished."

Cordelia frowned and shook her head.

"Vanished how?"

They could almost hear Giles remove his glasses and clean them.

"He was distraught and we believe he... snapped. He vanished in an explosion of light as he called upon something."

Angel raised and eyebrow, confused and worried by what he heard.

"Distraught... how? What happened?"

The next few words would shake them to the core.

"Buffy and Dawn were killed..."

Cordelia gasped in shock and horror... then began to cry.

"... they then came back to life sometime later... after Xander vanished."

The people listening turned to look at each other and nodded, understanding what had happened. Angel closed his eyes as he thought about what to do.

"Giles.. was Xander screaming in shock or agony?"

There was a long pause before Giles spoke again.

"I would assume... agony. Why do you ask?"

Angel nodded.

"It is as I thought. It sounds to me like Xander teleported himself away to someplace else... to get away from the pain of losing two of the most important people in his life. Can you tell me anything about Xander that might have been different... at that moment?"

There was the sound of the phone being handed off and then they heard Willow.

"His eyes... they were black, no white at all... and he was glowing, with the glow emerging from his bracer."

At hearing this, Wesley gasped.

"Black eyes... a sign of high level magic. I fear that Xander may be in a very dangerous mindstate right now..."

Angel nodded.

"Right.. we're coming... be there in a few hours."

He then hung up the phone.

"Get packed.. we're going to go help them and I don't know how long we will be there."

He turned to Cordelia.

"Don't worry, Delia, we will find him."

Cordelia nodded and smiled.... then they all moved to their rooms to pack...


Giles hung up the phone and turned to the others. Buffy was sitting on the couch in a near state of panic... her eyes darting back and forth... with Dawn not much better.

"We have to find him, Giles... we just have to.."

Giles nodded at Buffy.

"We will, Buffy, we will. If Angel is correct... and Xander is no longer on this planet... then I might know of someone who could aid us in finding him."

Willow spun around and glared at Giles.

"Where was this information when he was gone last time?!"

Giles winced.

"I only met the man recently, Willow. I didn't know him then."

Willow calmed and nodded.

"Well, who is he and how do we contact him?"

Giles smiled.

"His name is Doctor Daniel Jackson and I have his email address...."


Daniel Jackson stared at the long needle in Janet Fraiser's hand and frowned.

"I don't really need a shot.... you know.. you could just fake it... I promise not to.. TELL!"

Daniel winced in pain as the needle entered his arm. He glared at the smiling Janet who just laughed and kissed him.

"Aww... is my poor baby all angry? I know how to make it better..."

She teased Daniel with a glimpse of her cleavage and then giggled. They had been dating for a few months and things had only just recently gone sexual... so it was still new and exciting to them.

"Well... you could wear that leather...."

Just then Jack O'Neill entered and smirked at them..

"Her leather what?"

Janet blushed and shook her head.

"Never you mind... now, what do you need?"

Jack smiled and hopped on the table next to Daniel.

"Got told I was supposed to get poked too."

Janet grinned evilly as she went to get a new needle. As she walked away, Daniel leaned in and whispered something into the other man's ear.

"... she does what?!"

Janet spun around, her face bright red, and stared at them.

"Daniel... what are you telling him?"

Daniel smiled.

"Nothing much... just letting him know how amazing you are and how hot you are.. and how good you are to me... so that he could relax and not worry about the long needle you were about to jab into him."

Janet blushed even redder at what her love and said and nodded.

"Well.. for that you get a VERY special night tonight..."

Daniel smiled as Jack smirked.

"You can thank me later, Daniel... that is.. if she's good."

His comment was the wrong thing to say at that moment for Janet frowned and then jabbed the needle in hard and fast.

"Ouch! Damn it, that hurt!"

Daniel grinned.

"You shouldn't talk about Janet... cause my honey has a mean streak in her."

Janet nodded as a semi-sadistic grin crossed her face. Jack noticed the grin and shuddered.

"We got a meeting in 10... Hammond told me to come get you, Daniel."

Daniel nodded.

"Thanks.. be right there."

Jack nodded and left... leaving Daniel to stare at his love.

"Have I told you lately how much I love you?"

Janet nodded.

"Yes.. but I love hearing it.."

Daniel smiled and walked toward her.

"I can go you one better....."


As Daniel entered the room, he noticed some unusual activity down below in the gate room... but ignored it. He took his seat across from Samantha Carter, smiling at her, and nodded hello to Teal'c.

"So.. what's up?"

General Hammond stared at Daniel and just sighed.

"We had a... visitor... an hour ago. We're working on getting a translator but we've had no luck as of yet."

At hearing mention of a translator needed, Daniel perked up.

"Really.. maybe I should give it a shot?"

Hammond nodded.

"I was hoping you would say that."

He pressed a button and a young woman was brought into the room. As she entered, the group gasped at the sight before them. The young woman was covered in what looked like recently treated burns that covered a good portion of her body and her clothing was charred black in long streaks.

"That looks like lightning blasts... my uncle got hit once."

Everyone looked at Jack... who just smiled.

"He lived in the woods... got hit 17 times... always smelled like burnt hair."

Daniel smirked and then looked back at the young woman. He greeted her in a few languages... trying to get her to speak... and when she did... he was able to almost identify it.

"It sounds to me, General, like an offshoot of Sumerian.... with a hint of something else I can't identify. I think I can fake my way through. What do you want me to ask her?"

General Hammond nodded.

"Get her name, where she is from, why she is injured, and how it happened."

Daniel nodded and turned back to the girl.

(From here on out.. everything Daniel says will be translated for you and will be in brackets)

[Greetings... what name be you?]

The young girl jumped in surprise and began jabbering at a high speed.

[Oh thank the Gods... someone who can actually understand me. You have to save us.. please.. before the Dark God kills everyone!]

Daniel's eyes widened in shock.

"Dark God?"

Samantha stared at Daniel and then at the girl.

"What are you talking about? What did she say?"

Daniel took a breath and scratched his head.

"She said that someone she is calling the Dark God killed the people of her planet and she wants us to rescue whoever is left alive."

Hammond nodded.

"What is her location?"

Daniel turned back to the girl.

[Where is home?]

The girl looked down at the Stargate and then looked back at the group. She walked over to the marking board and picked up one of the markers and then began drawing the 7 symbols needed to open her world's gate.


Daniel nodded.

"There, General."

General Hammond nodded.


He picked up a phone and spoke to someone... then turned back to the group.

"I'm sending SG3 through... we'll let them check it out."

Jack frowned.

"SG3.. why not us?"

Teal'c turned to Jack and tilted his head.

"Because we have a meeting with the Asgard today."

Jack nodded.

"Yeah... forgot that... I guess my visit with Daniel's girlfriend just made that fact somehow slip my mind. She's mean, I tell you... mean."

The group snickered at Jack as SG3 entered the gate room below. They moved up the ramp and then walked into the gate... not knowing they were about to face their worst nightmare...


There was no sound...

There was no movement at all... other than the wind in the trees....

All because of him...

Xander sat on the spire of the castle... motionless... his eyes closed as she slept, finally exhausted from everything that had happened. His world had come crashing down in one swoop... and now life meant nothing to him, as evident by the rotting corpses of millions of people... the citizens of this planet.

He had wanted to be alone... to wallow in his pain... and so he had removed every living thing on the planet... every person, every animal, everything. He was now the only living thing on the planet... besides the plants... until...


The gate opened and SG3 stepped through.

"Set up a base camp and then begin to fan out in all directions. We need to figure out....."

Just then lightning crashed down at them out of a clear sky.


Lightning was blasting all around them and soon members of the 5 man team were getting hit.

"Back through the Gate!"

They headed back toward the gate... but they were losing people fast. First one... then two.. then four of the team was down... dead. The remaining member got the Gate open and then jumped through... just as a bolt hit him dead center in the back...


The Gate opened again only minutes after SG3 had left. The people in the meeting room stared down in shock as one person came through... then collapsed on the ground, the same charring marks on his back as were on the girl.

"Oh shit... Medic!"

A guard had screamed down below and then ran to the wounded man. Within seconds a medical team flooded into the room. Jack looked down at them and then shook his head.

"I don't like this, General... they were there only seconds.. and yet something got them. What the hell are we going to do?"

General Hammond stared in shock.

"We find out what is doing this and figure out a way to stop it."


The robotic probe rolled up the gangway, heading toward the gate. As it inched its way closer and closer... those watching the recording coming from its camera waited in anticipation.

"Do you think the lightning will hurt it?"

The technician shook her head.

"You said it was lightning... well, we coated the robot in rubber... so any lightning should just bounce off. We should be able to get a clear reading."

Just then, the robot reached the gate and crawled through...


Xander stared into nothingness. His heart was a frozen ball of ice in his chest and he liked it like that.

*Feel nothing and you will survive... there is no pain... there is only the void and the nothing beyond.*

Once again, the Gate flared into life.

*Another intruder... what fools...*

The robot rolled through the Gate and then stopped as its camera began recording....


The camera displayed a forest similar to certain areas of Germany and what looked like a castle in the distance.

"Is that a castle?"

Everyone looked at Daniel who just stared at them.

"What... I wasn't expecting it, that's all."

Jack smirked and nodded.

"Looks like one to me... funny thing is, it looks black to me. Can you guys get the camera to zoom in on it?"

One of the technicians nodded and began manipulating the camera...


The robot turned in the direction of the castle and began zooming in just as lightning rained down from above. As if oblivious to it all, the robot continued its mission. It focused on the castle and then zoomed in... bringing it into clear view...


"And there is the lightning... that coating is working... so far."

They stared at the castle and wondered why it was black.

"That looks like charring to me... but on such a scale... amazing."

Just then, there was movement at the top of the castle.

"There! Can you zoom in on whatever the hell that was?"

The technician nodded again and did so... within seconds the image changed... revealing a young man near 20 sitting on the edge of the spire of a tower. He was wearing 20th century clothing and appeared out of place there.

"So this is the Dark God. Daniel.. ask the girl if that is him."

Daniel nodded and walked over to get the girl.

[Can you come look... see if boy is Dark God?]

The girl nodded and followed Daniel over. As she looked at the screen, she screamed in terror and hid behind him.

[That's him... that's the Dark God... oh please.. please make him leave!!]

Daniel winced.

"That's him alright.. and she is scared of him still."

General Hammond nodded.

"Right... we need to get over there and get him under control... but how. I need ideas people.. and I need them now."


Giles stared at the computer and grimaced with distaste.

"Willow.. please do this for me."

Willow giggled and sat down.

"What is the address?"

Giles handed over a slip of paper and Willow opened Giles's email account.

"Ok.. talk."

Giles nodded and cleared his throat.

"Dr. Jackson... this is Rupert Giles writing you with an urgent request. A member of my family has disappeared under... unusual circumstances... and I believe you may be the only person I know of who might be able to get to him. This goes back to what I discussed with you and what you told me about where you worked. I hope you can be of some assistance. If you can.. please contact me as soon as possible. Thank you, Rupert Giles."

Giles looked at the email and nodded.

"Add my phone number at the bottom please, Willow, and then you can send it."

Willow nodded and did so.

"Done... so... how long do you think it will be before we hear anything?"

Giles shrugged.

"I have no idea how often he checks his email... so I can't say.. I can just hope..."

Just then, there was a knock at the door. Giles walked over and opened it revealing... a pregnant Cordelia and the L.A crew.

"Cordelia... my word.. come in."

They stepped inside and then stepped aside as Angel ran in... his clothing smoking.

"Thanks... be with you in a minute."

He then ran into the bathroom. Cordelia smiled and sat down.

"So.. tell me again, in full detail what happened..."

Giles nodded and began.

"It was just the other day when it all started......"


Daniel entered his office and turned on his computer. As the machine loaded itself, he noticed his email account was flashing.

*Thank god for DSL.. never miss another email ever again.*

Daniel opened his new mail and read through. He had an offer on a house, a few links to some supposedly FREE porn sites, and an email from the librarian he had met at that conference in California a while back.

"Rupert Giles... I wonder..."

Daniel opened the email and read it through... twice... then stared in shock at the screen.

*No way... its too coincidental... but then again...*

Daniel printed the email and then ran back to the others...


"... and so we have no idea where he is. He is in pain and he doesn't know that they are alive."

Cordelia nodded, wiping the tears from her eyes.

"Well.. we have to find him... but not just for Buffy and Dawn... for me as well... you see, he has my visions."

Hearing this snapped Buffy out of the funk she was in.

"He does! But.. they hurt you so much... are you sure?"

Cordelia nodded.

"Yes.. I'm sure... and we've been told that if I don't get them back... Xander might die."

Buffy got up and began pacing.

"Then we have to find him... fast. Damn it.. why won't that guy call already."

Just then... the phone began ringing.....


Daniel ran into the room and startled everyone there.

"I know who he is!"

This got everyone's attention.

"You do, Dr. Jackson... well then, please.. enlighten us."

Daniel nodded.

"He's the son of a librarian from Sunnydale, California. He... well... I don't know everything... but I know of a man who can tell us more. I need your permission, General, to contact him. He knows some of what goes on here... we got drunk and it slipped out."

General Hammond groaned and nodded.

"Call him... now."

Daniel nodded and jumped to the phone. He hit speakerphone and began dialing.


Daniel smiled.

"Rupert... Rupert Giles?"

"Yes.. who is this?"

Daniel sat down.

"This is Daniel Jackson.. you just emailed me."

"Ah.. yes, thank you for getting back to me so quickly. I need your help."

Daniel looked at the General... who nodded.

"With what?"

They could hear Giles pause then continue.

"I need to know if you can find a member of my family... who might possibly be on another world..."

General motioned for a piece of paper... then wrote on it.


Daniel nodded.

"Can you come to me?"

There was a discussion on the other end of the line and then Giles was back.

"Yes.. we can. Where are you?"

Daniel smiled and then gave them directions.

"... and you will need to stop at the gate. The guards will escort you and your party in. You can bring a few people with you... but not too many."

Giles paused.

"I understand. We are on our way."

Daniel hung up the phone and then sat back.

"All we have to do now is wait..."

The other members of SG1 just smiled.. Daniel had finally gotten the General to agree to something... and it was evident on the General's face that he wasn't happy about it.


"Ok.. everyone who is going in the car now."

Giles grabbed a few things and then walked outside. As he walked, he yelled back inside.

"Angel.. can you patrol while we are gone?"

Angel nodded from the doorway as Buffy, Willow and Dawn walked past him.

"No problem, Giles."

Giles nodded and closed the trunk.

"Good. Well.. come on girls.. we have a plane to catch. See the rest of you later."

He climbed in his car and waited for the girls to follow... then headed off to the airport.

*We're coming, Xander... we're coming... just hold on a little longer.......*


They pulled up to the main gates sometime later that night. They had taken the first flight from Sunnydale to Colorado Springs, Colorado and were tired and worried about Xander.

As they neared the gates, two armed soldiers stepped forward and walked up to the driver's window.


Giles leaned toward the window and swallowed nervously.

"Rupert Giles... a Dr. Daniel Jackson is expecting us."

The man nodded and motioned them through. The gate opened and they drove into the compound. After parking, a man ran up to them.

"Mr. Giles... nice to see you again."

Giles smiled at Daniel and nodded.

"Good to see you too, Daniel, and its just Giles."

Daniel nodded.

"Follow me inside... you can introduce the people with you once we are inside."

They nodded and followed Daniel into the complex... then into an elevator. He pressed a button for deep in the complex and then smiled.

"Thanks for being able to come so quickly. If this guy is your son... then he must have been hell to raise."

They looked at each other with raised eyebrows.

"What do you mean?"

Daniel looked at the young red haired woman and frowned.

"He is on a planet we call Px5743C3... and he is the only living person there... now."

Buffy frowned.

"What do you mean.. now?"

Daniel frowned even further.

"The population of that planet, as far as we can tell, was 15.8 million... until HE showed up... now it is one."

The gasp of shock and terror echoed in the elevator as it came to a halt and the doors opened.

"Follow me, please."

Daniel stepped out of the elevator and then lead them to the main conference room. He motioned for them to take a seat and then joined the rest of his team. General Hammond stood and greeted the visitors.

"Thank you for coming. It appears that we need you to help us with a problem we have. It looks like your..."

Giles leaned forward.


General Hammond nodded.

"... your Xander has gone rogue. He has killed off the population of an entire planet... and has made it his personal stronghold. No one can enter without being killed on site. We're hoping that you can be of some assistance in this matter."

Buffy frowned.

"How do we know this guy is Xander?"

General Hammond turned to his aide and nodded.

"Run the tape..."

The aide rolled a tv over and pressed play. Within seconds the footage taken from the robot appeared on the screen. As the group watched... they began to understand.. and when it showed Xander... all dark and cold looking... they gasped in shock.

"Oh god.. Xander.. no..."

Buffy began to cry at the site on the screen before her. All of those bodies lying on the ground.. and Xander, his eyes black and cold... looked almost dead.

"Oh god..."

She shook in terror and confusion over what was going on.

*No.. it's not Xander... it can't be my Xander.. not in a million years....*

Giles stared at the screen and sighed.

"What do you want us to do?"


Chaos ruled the landscape of Xander's mind as far as the eye could see. Darkness even enfolding was everywhere. Jim crawled out of a pile of rubble and looked around. There was no one near him.

"Hello... anyone here?!"

Silence... there was only silence.

"Shit... what the hell happened?"


Angel stared out into the night and nodded.

"We hit Parkhurst.. then Lexington.. then swing by the rest. Stay in your groups."

He moved outside and kissed Cordelia.

"Call me if you hear anything... or if you need me."

Cordelia nodded. She had agreed to stay behind to watch the phone. As she watched them leave, Angel with Wesley while Gunn was with Fred... she prayed they would be ok.


The gang stared up at the Stargate in awe... all except for Dawn.

"I don't get it... its just a big circle."

Daniel grinned.

"I know what you mean. I didn't think much of it either when I first saw it... but once it is activated... well, then you will see something spectacular."

He waved up at the technician in the booth and nodded. Within seconds the Stargate began to rotate and then stop as each station was locked in place. First one... then two.. and so on.. until the seventh station locked in place. Then... the magic happened.

*Here it comes...*

The Stargate exploded out toward them and then back in the opposite direction... only to stabilize into the locked Gate.

"That... is the Stargate."

The gang stared at it in awe.

"I get it now..."

Daniel smiled at Dawn and nodded.

"Yup.. that's impressive.. isn't it."

Dawn nodded as Jack moved past her... walking up the ramp to the gate.

"We go in this order... Teal'c, then me... Red here... Daniel... Blondie and sis.. then Sam and Giles."

They nodded and took their places. As they stepped through the Gate... there was a feeling of unease tat spread through all of the SGC. General Hammond stared down at them with fear in his eyes.

*Come back to me... I can't lose my best team...*


Xander felt the Gate open again and growled. He had spent a long time firing bolt after bolt of lightning at the last intruder.. but it had had no effect on it whatsoever.

*This is becoming very annoying. I want to be ALONE!*

The Gate stabilized and Teal'c stepped through.. followed closely by Jack. It was when Willow was stepping through that the lightning started. A bolt struck Teal'c in the chest... knocking him back 10 feet, his body landing to the side of the Gate.

"Everyone down!"

As he screamed his command and hit the dirt, the others stepped through. As Buffy and Dawn stepped through... the lightning increased...


Xander felt something explode in his mind and he screamed.

*No.. not now... not now!!*

He turned to look at the Gate and saw a group of people there... still alive.

*What... this is impossible... how!*

He screamed in rage and dissappeared...


As soon as Willow saw the lightning, she cast a protection spell around the entire Gate and the surrounding area. When it was in place, the lightning just bounced off.

*There.. that should hold it for a little while.. long enough for us to get to safety.*

She had barely finished her thought when she felt a large powerful surge of magic forming near them. She looked to her left and saw someone teleporting in...


Xander appeared before the group and released a wash of lightning from his hands.

*At point blank range.. there is no way I can miss...*

He watched, however, in shock as the lightning hit something and crawled across the top of it. Seeing this, Xander growled in rage... his black eyes radiating hate.

"Leave my world..."

Buffy climbed to her feet and at the sound of Xander's voice turned toward him.


Xander jerked at the sound of her voice and turned to look at Buffy... with no recognitions in his eyes.

"I said leave..."

Buffy frowned, tears forming in her eyes.


Xander stared at the young woman and growled. There was something about her.. and the brown haired young woman next to her that bothered him.

Buffy began to cry.. tears streaming down her face.

"Xander... don't you know me... its me... its Buffy."

Xander stared at her as her words slowly sank through the thick layers of protection he had created.

"No... you lie... you lie.. YOU LIE!"

Xander flung out his hand and a blast of flame slammed against the shield. Willow cringed in pain from the strength of the blast and almost fell to her knees. Buffy, seeing this, continued...

"Xander... it's really me... don't you love me anymore?"

Xander shook his head.

"Shut up.. shut up.. SHUT UP! You're not her... she's dead... SHE'S DEAD!!"

With his scream, the ground underneath him began to vibrate and crack open. Buffy shook her head and raised her hand.

"I'm not dead, Xander.. I'm alive. Dawn and I are both alive..."

Hearing those words made something in Xander calm some.


Dawn stepped forward next to Buffy.

"I'm here, Xander... we both are... and we both love and miss you so much... please.. please come home with us."

Xander blinked a few times as shock invaded his mind.

"Dawnie.... and Buffy..... how..."

Buffy smiled.

"We're like you now... that's why.. you just missed it by a few minutes..."

As the looked at him, Xander's eyes glowed and then turned back to the chocolate brown they once were.

"Alive... you're alive..."

Xander blinked and looked around and then screamed.

"Oh god.. oh god.. what have I done!"

The sight before him brought his memory back in full force... and it was too much.

"Oh god......"

With that said, Xander fainted....


Clarity came slowly... creeping its way along the back of his mind... worming its way deeper and deeper until once again sound invaded his world...

"Why won't he wake up?"

*That sounded like Buffy...*

"We do not know, Ms Summers. It appears that his body has been running on some form of energy that we cannot explain... and it has depleted his resources."

*No wonder I'm so tired.. what with... everything... I've.. done... oh god...*

Tears began to form behind Xander's closed eyes as he remembered the screams... the smell of charred flesh.. the intensity overwhelming.

"He.. he's crying... Xander... Xander.. can you hear me?"

Xander opened his eyes slowly and the light was like a hot knife in his eyes. He winced and them moaned in pain, turning his head away from the light. Within seconds, the room was darker.

"There.. the light level is lower now. Try opening your eyes again."

Xander slowly opened an eye and peeked out... it didn't hurt. He opened his eyes and looked up into the faces of Buffy and some woman he didn't know.

"Where am I?"

Buffy grabbed his hand and squeezed it.

"You're in... the hospital... sort of."

Xander stared at her.

"Sort of? What happened to me?"

Buffy's eyes widened in shock.

"You.. you don't remember?"

Xander shook his head.

*Of course I remember, Buffy, but if you knew that you would be terrified for me... and I can't have you watching me like a worried mother 24/7.*

Buffy turned to the woman next to her and raised her eyebrows.

"What's going on? Why doesn't he remember?"

The woman scratched her head and then nodded to herself.

"Trauma induced amnesia... it has happened before. With time... his memory might return. Let's see how bad it is. Xander.. what year is it?"

Xander frowned.


The woman nodded.

"Close enough.... ok, who is the president?"

Buffy giggled.

"He didn't know that in the first place.. he's been... gone.. for a long time."

Xander nodded. He really had no clue who it was... he hadn't really cared when he came back.

"I see... well, Xander, what is the last thing you remember?"

Xander closed his eyes, pretending to try to remember. He decided to make this all go away for them...

"Last thing... hmm..."

He smiled and opened his eyes.

"Well.. me and Buff here were pretty close to finally having sex... but something stopped us.. that's the last thing I remember."

Buffy blushed and smiled.

"That was about a week ago... so you have only lost a week."

*And what a week it was...*

Realization hit her then.

*He doesn't know Dawn and me and like him now...*

Just then, Dawn walked in and both Xander and Buffy winced... with Xander noticing this.

*What the... I thought I just imagined that part... they really both.. are....*

Xander stared at Buffy, his eyes wide with fear.

"Can you leave the three of us alone for a few minutes, ma'am?"

The woman nodded and exitted the room. Xander watched her go and then sat up, staring at the girls.

"Ok.. what the hell happened?"

Dawn looked at Buffy, a confused look on her face.

"What's he talking about?"

Buffy frowned.

"Xander has amnesia.. he doesn't know..."

Xander glared at her.

"What.. I don't know that you two are Immortal, like me now.. come on, I felt Dawn when she entered and was feeling you the whole time but didnt realize it because of the questions."

He paused.

"Now tell me... what the hell happened?"

Buffy sighed and nodded.

"We were killed a few days after you left.. then we woke up later in the morgue. You came home and saw us dead and snapped.. then you did some things we don't want you knowing about right now."

Xander nodded. He knew what the look on her face meant and chose to go with it.

"Fine.. later then."

He stared at Buffy.. then Dawn.. and frowned.

"I'm sorry, kiddo... you bought it so young... you're going to have problems later..."

Dawn nodded.

"I know..."

Xander smiled.

"Cheer up, Dawnie... I might be able to track down some magic to age you... to age all of us if we want it.. later on."

Dawn's face lit up and she smiled.

"You mean it?"

Xander nodded.

"Yup.. I think I can find something..."

Dawn giggled and threw herself into Xander's arms, placing kisses all over his face.

"Thank you.. thank you... thankyouthankyouthankyou..."

Xander laughed and then choked as he caught a glimpse of a jealous Buffy.

"Get your jailbait mits off my boyfriend, little sister."

Dawn smirked over her shoulder at Buffy.

"Aww... can't we share him?"

The mental image crossing his mind made Xander shudder in terror.

"No thanks.. I don't want to go to jail, Dawn, so kindly please let go and stop thinking things like that."

Dawn laughed and let go, a pleased look on her face.

"It's no big deal.. Buffy was dating a guy older than her when she was my age."

At the mention of Angel, Xander winced. It still hurt a little and something inside him made him cringe.

*He got there first....*

Actually.. quite a few got there first.. Angel, some guy named Parker that he heard about from Willow, and Riley. Xander looked over at Buffy and sighed.

"Well... she made a mistake, Dawn.. one you will not make yourself. You will not even think what you were thinking earlier until you are at least 18.. and even then, I might have to hurt the guy just for even thinking about dating you. I am going to play Dad in this... and any guy who wants to date you has to pass my test..."

Hearing this from Xander made Buffy smile.

*He's planning for the long term... he still wants to be with me...*

Dawn frowned.

"How many questions are on this test?"

Xander smirked.

"Right now... 1,695,207 question... and he has to pass by 85 percent to get to date you... and by 95 percent to get to date you twice."

Buffy burst out laughing while Dawn pouted. Xander smiled then leaned in to whisper in Dawn's ear.

"These rules only apply until you turn 18 and I can get you looking your age, Dawnie.. so don't feel bad."

Dawn smiled and nodded. Buffy saw this and frowned.

"Now what are the two of you planning."

Xander smirked at Dawn.. then looked at Buffy.

"Nothing... absolutely nothing."

Buffy nodded.

"Right.. like I believe that."

Xander smiled.

"Well.. be like that if you must... but now... can we go home?"

Buffy nodded, smiling, and took his hand... with Dawn taking the other.

"Yes... lets go home."


They stepped out to join the others and were met by armed men in uniforms pointing guns at Xander's head. Giles came to attention and growled.

"Get those things away from him right now!"

One of the officers shook his head.

"No can do.. we are under orders to hold Harris until further notice."

Xander frowned.

"What if I try to leave?"

The officer grinned.

"We have been ordered to shoot to incapasitate... or kill."

Xander smirked.

*Big deal... can't really hurt me...*

"Go ahead... it won't stop me. I'm leaving."

Xander stepped past them and heard the rifles being readied.

"Stop where you are. This is your last warning."

Xander stopped, his eyes cold. He turned to the people around him and grinned evilly.

"Head on outside... I will follow you once I deal with these idiots."

Buffy stared at Xander and frowned.

"Be careful..."

Xander looked at her and his eyes softened.

"I will."

She nodded and then joined the others as they moved toward the elevator. Once they were inside and on their way out, Xander spun around and growled at the men...


Inside Xander's mind, Soldier stood from the rubble and shook himself clean.

"That's my signal..."

He sat down on a bench and closed his eyes... concentrating on communicating with Xander...


#Ok, son... do as I say and you should be ok...#

He explained, quickly, to Xander everything needed and Xander nodded.

"Right... you idiots really think you can hold me?"

The guards nodded, their rifles locked onto Xander's head. Xander smiled.

"Try me."

With that said, he leapt toward them and nerve punched their arms... making them drop their weapons. He then, in quick succession, broke their arms or legs and had them all moaning on the ground.

"I told you would couldn't stop me from leaving if I wanted to."

Xander picked up their weapons and melted them into a pile of goo... then turned and walked away...


Outside, the gang waited for Xander... under the stares of some concerned guards.

"What do you think is happening?"

Buffy shook her head.

"I don't know, Dawn... I just hope Xander is ok..."

"... I'm fine... and we can go now."

They turned to see Xander emerge from the building.. a light trickle of sweat on his forehead.

"Let's split..."

He moved to walk to the gate when he saw the guards staring at him.

*No time to worry.... cause we're on the road again...*

Xander raised a hand and encased the guards in a shield. Willow saw this and gasped.

"Temp shield... should hold them until we get away... about an hour or so."

Willow smiled... she was impressed. Xander grinned.

"So.. G-Man.. where is the car? I don't see your pile of junk here."

Giles huffed and began to complain.

"It is not a pile of junk.. it is a fine British.."

Xander grabbed Giles and spun him around.

"We don't have time to argue... we have to get out of here... NOW!"

Buffy frowned.

"Why? What's going on? What did you do?"

Xander smirked.

"I left them a little... gift... which should be exploding in less than a minute.. which means we need to go... right now."

Giles looked at Xander... then looked back at the building.. then looked at the guards and swallowed.

"Right then...follow me."

He ran over to the rental car and jumped inside. As he started the engine, the rest of the gang climbed in. Xander looked back at the building and counted down.

"10... 9.... 8... you guys might want to cover your ears now... 4.. 3... 2... 1.."

Xander clamped his hands over his ears just moments before a loud explosion was heard.... the shock wave rocking the car. Giles turned to look at Xander, his eyes wide with shock, and Xander shook his head.

"Just drive.. I'll answer questions later.."

Giles glared at Xander but nodded anyway. He turned back to the parking lot and sped toward the gate as fast as he could. The gates were closed so he drove through them... smashing them to pieces.

"Head down the highway then make a left.. find someplace isolated."

Giles fumed and nodded...


They pulled off the side of the road and into the parking lot of a small shopping center. Giles turned off the engine but before he could say anything, Xander opened the door and hopped outside... the others following him.

"Where do you think you're going?"

Xander stopped and winced. He turned around to look Buffy in the eyes and smiled.

"I'm... hiding. They only want me... they should leave you guys alone... as long as I'm not with you. I know of a place to go where there are some people who can hide me... and if they hide me, no one can find me."

Buffy frowned.

"I'm coming with you."

Xander and Giles shook their heads.

"No.. you can't. You have your Slayer duty... you have to stay."

Buffy pouted.

"But I don't want you to go... and besides, Angel can cover for me."

Xander shook his head.

"He had work to do in L.A... speaking of which... I think I took something from Cordy by accident... I'll need to pop in to see her before I go..."

Dawn smiled.

"They're in Sunnydale... they came to help when you went nuts."

Buffy spun on Dawn and glared at her.

"He did not go nuts! He just was upset over seeing us dead..."

The realization of what she said passed through them and she blushed.

"Oh shit.."

She turned to look at Xander... who looked stunned. He was shocked, again, by the memory that flashed before his eyes.

"I did what?"

Buffy winced.

"You saw our dead bodies in the morgue..."

Xander raised a hand to stop her.

"Please... not right now."

He sighed and looked around.

"I need to get going... before its too late... but I can't leave you guys here..."

He looked at the group... then at the rental car... and smiled.

"Everyone.. come here and hold hands. Buffy, I want you holding my right.. and Willow, my left."

They looked at him strangely but did as he said. Xander nodded and then grinned manically.

"Take a deep breath and try to hold your vomit until the ride has stopped..."

The look of panic that crossed their faces was hilarious and Xander laughed as he teleported them to Giles's living room...


Cordelia sat on the couch and flipped through a baby magazine.

*Bottle or Breast... so many choices... I mean, my breasts have gotten so much bigger than they were.. and if I did bottle, then they wouldn't shrink much... but if I breastfed her.. well, she might be healthier and there is that study saying it lessens your risks for breast cancer...*

She ran a hand across her stomach and was about to get up for a snack when a flash of light filled the room and everyone, including Xander, was standing before her.


Cordelia screamed and somehow hopped up to embrace Xander in a hug. Xander smiled and hugged her back. He looked down at her belly and for a moment... forgot about everything...

"Hey Cordy... how are you doing... and how is my little one as well.."

As soon as the words came out of his mouth... there was a collective gasp from the group, Cordelia, and Angel... who had been in the hallway.

"Your baby?"

Xander turned to Angel and slowly nodded.

"I think so... at least... there is the chance..."

He saw the disappointed look on Cordelia's face and the brokenhearted look on Angel's and frowned.

"... but you never know."

Xander looked at the group and a very unhappy Buffy.

"This was months ago, Buffy, way before anything with us happened so you have no excuse in getting upset."

It was then that all hell broke loose. Everyone spoke at once and it was too much for Xander to take.


The look on their faces hurt him... the surprise and hurt... but Xander was short on time and couldn't stand around and argue all day.

"Cordy, Buffy, and Angel... Giles's bedroom, right now."

He stormed off... only to be followed soon after.

Once everyone was in the room, Xander shut the door and faced them.

"Angel... didn't mean to upset you. Don't know for sure if she is mine or yours.. but I would like you to be her father... and maybe, when she gets older.. you can tell her the truth about me. I know you will love her and protect her better than I ever could. Just one request... can you name her Rachel?"

Angel heard Xander's words and felt something similar to a kinship pass through him.

"Aye.. Xander... that I will. You have my word on it."

Xander nodded and turned to Cordelia.

"Cordy.. I have your visions... not sure how I got them but I want to give them back to you. Will you be ok with them back?"

Cordy nodded.

"We called the oracle once we got here. They said that with a slight alteration to my DNA.. it would stop all the pain."

Xander nodded.

"Good... will it hurt the baby?"

Cordelia shook her head.

"No.. she'll be fine. Now.. get give them back to me.. we will need to do something... embarrassing...."

Xander got a hint of what they would have to do and shook his head.

"No time..."

He mumbled a spell under his breath and then kissed her. As they kissed, a blue light passed up his body and through their joined mouths.. into Cordelia. They broke the kiss and Cordelia gasped in shock.

"It's back..."

Xander nodded.. then turned to Buffy.

"Buffy.. I love you with all my heart and when this is all over and we are safe.. I plan on marrying you and doing this..."

He reached out and placed a thought bundle into her mind. It was a fantasy of the two of them making love. As he placed it, he played out at triple speed in Buffy's mind.

"Oh.. oh... oh god... oh god Xander..."

Xander winced in embarrasment.


Buffy trembled as she orgasmed and then opened her eyes slowly. Xander smiled and shrugged.

"Sorry about that... but when I get back, I'm going to do that.. only three times slower."

Buffy giggled and nodded... assured now that he was hers.. forever.

"You be careful... and come back.. so you can do... that.. to me."

Xander nodded and smiled. He then opened the door and lead them back into the living room. He smiled at the group and sighed.

"Got to go now. You can get in touch with me through this number."

He wrote down the number of the professor's private office and then moved away from them.

"I love you guys... see you later."

With that said... he began to glow and then vanished.


Somewhere in on the northern Atlantic coast...

Xander appeared under a tree and looked all around. To the right, about 3 blocks away, stood a large mansion.

*Better check in before they send out the guards.*

He opened his mind to the Prof and focused outward.

#Hey.. you there Professor?#

There was a pause before he got a reply.


Xander grinned.

#Yup.. its me... I'm home.#


Xander walked through the oncoming darkness toward the mansion. As he neared it, he could feel dozens of eyes locking onto him... watching as he approached.

*Still paranoid I see...*

It was just as he reached the steps that he heard a BAMF noise and smelled brimstone. A blue skinned young man appeared in a puff of smoke next to him.

"Hi... I'm Kurt... are you Xander?"

Xander nodded, somehow at easy by the young man's appearance.

"That would be me. Are you the welcoming committee?"

Kurt nodded, smiling.

"The Professor wants me to teleport you inside. We had a problem a day or so ago and the front doors are still not working."

Xander smiled.

"Where did he want me to come?"

Kurt looked up at the windows and pointed.

"He said his office..."

Kurt turned to look at Xander and gasped when Xander disappeared in a flash of white light.

*Oh my.. he can teleport... this is so cool!*

He grinned like a maniac and then followed him...


Charles Xavier sat at his desk, smiling to himself over sending Kurt to bring Alexander in.

*It will do Alexander some good... and Kurt needs more friends... and I think they will like each other.*

It was then that he heard a sound like the hissing of air and then, seconds later, the unforgettable sound of Kurt's teleporting. Charles looked up at the sounds and saw Alexander appear before him in a flash of white light.

"Alexander... welcome back. I see you have acquired a new skill. Prey tell... can you explain?"

Xander nodded and sat down... Kurt soon following him. Charles noticed them and began to send Kurt away... until Xander stopped him.

"Let him stay... he's an ok kid."

Charles nodded and motioned for Xander to begin. Xander smiled and took a deep breath.

"Where do I begin...."


"... and then all of this power was released inside me and things I didn't even know I could do... well, suddenly I could do them. I figured I needed to come back here... find out what's going on in my head."

Charles nodded and smiled.

"That we shall see, Alexander, that we shall see. Your room is as you left it... in the senior wing. Do you wish to stay there or somewhere else?"

Xander thought about it for a moment. Surely enough time had passed for the smell of Kitty's perfume to have dissipated...

"Sure.. that will be fine."

Charles nodded and moved around in front of his desk.

"Well then... I am thrilled to have you home. Do you know how long you will be staying?"

Xander shrugged.

"Not really... I just know I want to stay awhile... and see if I can help you guys in your fight against evil..."

*Plus I still owe some payback to Magneto...*

Charles stared at Alexander's expression and nodded.

"We shall see what we can do. We might be able to assimilate you into one of the squads. Be thinking about that... meet with them.. talk to them.. and then tell me what you think."

Xander nodded.

"Sure thing Prof."

He grinned and turned to walk away. He stopped and smiled at Kurt.

"Hey Fuzzy... come on to my room with me.. and invite anyone you want to come with.. I'm throwing myself a coming home party."

Kurt grinned and nodded... then teleported away. Xander smiled and turned to the Professor.

"Nice kid.. but his teleporting out stinks to high heaven."

Charles nodded and smiled. Xander laughed and then headed out into the hall...


Xander walked down the hallways... passing open doors... seeing people he didn't recognize... and then bumped into a young woman with wild purple hair. She was wearing a skintight purple outfit and she looked pissed.

"Watch where you're going, idiot... and stop staring at my breasts."

Xander blinked in shock and moved away.

"Sorry... not looking where I was going."

The young woman nodded and then moved past... continuing on her way. Xander watched her go and shivered.

*Something about her feels.... weird.*

He took one last look at her and then continued on down the hallway... headed for his room and the welcome home party he was going to throw himself.


Xander entered his room and smiled. Everything was the same... down to the smallest detail... but there was one thing that was bothering him...

*What the hell is it?*

He sat down on the bed and a waft of perfume floated up to his nose. Xander's eyes widened and a tear fell down his cheek.

*Kitty... god.. I still miss you....*

He closed his eyes and lay back on the bed. He felt bad about his feelings for Kitty... considering he was with Buffy now and loved her with all his heart. He just didn't know what to do...


Soldier kicked down a half-crumbled wall and then began rebuilding it. He was moving at a speed unnatural to anyone alive... and it was scaring the shit out of Richie.

"Damn it man... how do you move so fast?"

Solider placed another block and paused to answer Richie.

"Speed is nothing... the rules are different here. Do you really think this is air you are breathing? Do you really think that I am building a wall? Do you really believe that any of this is real?"

Richie nodded.

"I'm breathing... I'm watching you.. so yeah, its real."

Soldier shook his head.

"You're dead... nothing.. none of this is real... we are just the psychotic ramblings of Xander's troubled mind. We mean nothing."

To make his point.. Soldier pointed at the wall with his hands and it was imediately restored.

"This is also not real. I was only making a point by acting like I was repairing it. Do you begin to understand?"

Richie thought about it. He had wondered why time never seemed to pass here... why there was no food, yet he never got hungry.. why there was nothing to do but yet he never got bored. Maybe Soldier was right.. maybe none of it is real.

"If what you say is true... then why are we here?"

Soldier smiled then.

"Because he needs us."


Xander heard a knock on the door and opened his eyes. He walked to the door and smiled at the young woman standing outside.

"Hey sugah... missed you."

Xander grinned like a fool and pulled the girl into a hug.

"God, Rogue.. I missed you too."

He smiled at her and then took in her appearance. She was wearing a skintight green bodysuit and black gloves. Xander ran a hand down her bodysuit covered arm and giggled.

"Found a loophole... good for you."

Rogue nodded and smiled.

"That and a few other ways..."

Xander raised and eyebrow at that remark.. but let it slide.

"Later... and in detail."

Rogue nodded and laughed. She then stepped into Xander's room and opened the window.

"Get ya some fresh air in here... clear out the spirits."

Xander nodded and sat down on the bed.

"I meant what I said when I said I missed you. You and Kitty were my only friends... even though I didn't get to know you as well as I would have liked."

Rogue turned to Xander and grinned.

"Well thank you sugah.. that's very sweet of you."

She sat down next to him and leaned her head on his shoulder.

"So.. you got someone now?"

Xander nodded and pulled out a picture from his pocket. He had made it earlier... wanting to have something with him. He showed it to Rogue and then smiled.

"Her name is Buffy... we're engaged."

Rogue looked up at Xander with sad eyes.. then smiled and nodded.

"Good for you..."

She leaned in and placed her hand on his lips.. then kissed her fingers... pretending it was his lips she was kissing.

"Welcome home."

She then stood and left... leaving a very confused Xander behind....


The party was in full swing by the time midnight rolled around. It had grown so much that it had slowly drifted down the hall and eventually everyone agreed to move into the auditorium.... where even more people showed up. Soon, pretty much everyone was there, a sight which made Xander feel pretty good.

*Never knew there were this many people here..*

Xander smiled as he mingled with everyone. He could see those he knew, Scott, Jean, Rogue, Kurt, Beast, Wolverine... and those he hadn't met before today. They were new, found sometime after he left it seemed. The Professor calls them his "secondary team" and Xander could see why. They were wild, restless, flippant with their powers, and just acted plain stupid. It was one of these, a girl calling herself Boom Boom that really irritated him. She just kept making these small bombs and then left them in the drinks or the food or what have you. It was after one such incident that Xander decided to teach the girl a lesson.

*That's it... go ahead... no one's looking... and when you do.. I'm going to get you.*

He watched as she made a small bomb and then placed it in Scott's drink. The bomb was only the size of a pea.. so it wouldn't hurt if it exploded on someone.. just sting alot... so the moment she let go of it and turned away, Xander grabbed it from across the room and dropped it down the back of her pants. The following explosion was priceless... and the look on her face brought laughter induced tears.

*That got her.*

She looked around in shock, an embarrassed red flush on her face, and then ran pass Xander and out of the room. Xander waited a moment, then followed. He found her crying in the hall and moved next to her.

"Sorry about that.. but you had it coming. You can't just do whatever it is you feel like doing and not expect someone to turn around and throw it back in your face. Don't you agree?"

Boom Boom looked up at Xander and nodded.

"Yeah.. I know.. its just so boring here."

Xander smiled and nodded.

"I know.. but things get exciting once you prove yourself enough to get placed on a team.. then you have missions and saving the world and stuff... so it gets less boring."

She looked at Xander and frowned.

"How do you know?"

Xander smiled.

"I used to be one of the X-Men... for about a year or so... then I had to leave."

Boom Boom smirked.

"Why.. you do something wrong? Did you kill someone or something?"

She had been joking... but was shocked by his answer.

"Yeah.. I did."

She jerked her head back and stared at him in shock.

"What?! Who?"

Xander frowned.


Boom Boom's eyes widened.

"The freak who killed Kitty Pryde... so you must be Xander Harris... but how? I thought he was an Omega Class mutant."

Xander stared at the girl before him and pondered her words.

*Omega class... what the hell is that?*

Xander frowned.

"A what?"

Boom Boom's eyes widened and she made a sound that sounded like a small squeak.. before she ran away in fright. Xander watched her go and then stormed back into the auditorium.

*Where is he? He has some explaining to do...*

Xander looked all around for the professor... but couldn't find him. He did, however, spot Jean standing by the deserts. Xander nodded to himself and walked over to her.

"Jean.. hi.. can we talk... in private?"

Jean stared at Xander, confused, and just nodded. She lead him over to the side of the room and then into a small side room.

"What did you want, Xander?"

Xander sat down on a bench. He looked up at Jean and sighed... not sure why he was so nervous.

"Jean.. what do the words Omega Class mean to you?"

Jean gasped and took a step back... then shook her head and sat down beside Xander.

"Omega Class, Xander, is a classification we use. For example.. the new students, they are Beta class. The rest of us, those who have been here a long time, like myself, Scott, Wolverine.. etc, we are Alpha class. Then you have Omega class... and they are people like Magneto, The Shadow King, and Apocalypse."

Xander nodded.

"I kicked Magneto's ass. What does that make me?"

Jean swallowed, nervously, and a bead of sweat trickled down her cheek.

"You very will could be Omega class yourself."

Xander sighed.

"How do I find out?"

Jean smiled.

"We can ask the professor. If anyone would know.. it would be him."

Xander nodded.

"Tomorrow. For now.. let everyone enjoy the party... including you."

Xander smiled and kissed her cheek.

"You know.. I can see why the men all find you so attractive. You remind me of my Willow... only you're in better physical shape... but if you ever tell her that I will deny everything."

Jean laughed and nodded.

"I see.. well, I'm glad you're an admirer as well."

Xander smirked.

"I never said I was an admirer."

He stood and then grinned at her.. before they walked back into the party.


A few hours later, the party had wound down some and most of the people had left... leaving only the main core of the X-Men. Xander smiled at them and noticed someone he hadn't met before standing in the shadows in the corner. He walked over to Rogue and tapped her on the shoulder.

"Rogue.. hon.. who is the guy in the corner... why is he staring at you.. and do I get to kick his ass for you?"

Rogue laughed and shook her head.

"That, sugah, is Gambit. He's staring at me cause he's sweet on me.. and no, you can't kick his ass... cause I like him some too."

Xander nodded.

"Does he know about..."

Rogue raised and eyebrow.

"Ma powers... yes, he knows... and he ain't afraid either."

Xander smiled.

"Well.. he's either brave... stupid.. or in love."

Rogue blushed and smiled. Xander laughed and leaned in to kiss her cheek... her bare cheek... then walked over to talk to the others, leaving a shocked Rogue behind.

*He.. he kissed me.. but I didn't drain him... how?*

She watched him, her eyes wide with wonder and shock... and she wasn't the only one. Across the room, Wolverine saw everything and frowned. A low growl escaped his lips and he walked over to Xander.


Xander looked at Wolverine and frowned.

"How what?"

Wolverine growled softly.

"You kissed Marie... but you're still kickin... so I'm asking you, how?"

Those words caught everyone's attention. Xander stared at Wolverine.. then looked over at the stunned Rogue, who was holding her cheek, and his eyes widened.

"I.. I don't know..."


The incesent knocking on his door awakened Charles Xavier from his sleep.

"Yes.. yes.. what is it?"

From outside the door he could hear a mix of voices... then Jean over the others.

"Professor.. can you come out here? We have a... problem?"

Charles sat up in bed and wiped the sleep from his eyes... then slid across his bed and into his hoverchair.

"I'm coming.. just one moment."

He floated over to the door and opened it.. revealing a small group surrounding a very startled Xander.

"What's going on?"

Wolverine stepped forward and pushed Xander with him.

"New boy here kissed Marie.. but no zapping occurred. We want to know why."

Charles raised and eyebrow at this development and nodded.

"I suspected as much..."

Xander looked around at everyone and shook his head.

"Does this have anything to do with me possibly being an Omega Class?"

Once those words left his lips, everyone.. except Jean.. took three steps back. Charles nodded.

"Yes.. I believe so."

Xander sighed.

"Ok.. so.. am I or not?"

Charles shrugged.

"I do not know."

This made everyone gasp in shock. The All-Knowing, All-Powerful Professor Charles Xavier was unable to answer a question. Xander blinked in shock and shook his head.

"Ok.. how do we find out?"

Charles smiled and pointed down the hall.

"Follow me..."

He then headed down the hall.... toward the Danger Room.


Inside the room, Xander and Charles went below while everyone else went up to the monitoring room.

"Scott... please run program Xavier Omega Three Three Gamma."

Scott nodded and within seconds a large glass cylindar appeared in the center of the room. It was filled with a pink fluid and something about it made Xander feel uneasy. He could see, out of the corner of his eye, Wolverine flinch in shock.

"I have to get in that thing?"

Charles nodded.

"Yes.. the fluid will cushion your power and will allow you to release a full power blast... so we can measure your level."

Xander looked at the thing and shuddered.

"Can Wolverine come down here... to be with me?"

For some reason.. he wanted the man with him. He wasn't sure why, he just felt that the other man's presence would be comforting. Xander looked up at the room and saw Wolverine nod.. then he was gone... only to appear in the room a few minutes later.

"I'm here, kid, so you can relax now."

Xander nodded and smiled.

'Break me out of there if something goes wrong."

Wolverine nodded.

"Will do."

Xander walked over to the cylinder and picked up a mask and breathing apparatus. He slipped it on carefully then climbed up into the tank. He took one last look around... then sank down into the pink fluid.


Inside the tank, sound was distorted... but he heard the Professor's voice.

"Ok.. Alexander... build power until you cannot hold any more... then raise your hand to notify us... then release all of your power at once."

Xander nodded and began to draw on his power. He tapped into his own internal power source... feeling the power rising quickly. He then tapped into the force and felt his mind expand immensely... but yet there was still more. He reached out as far as he could and felt this enormous wellspring of power... and with a long drink, absorbed it all until he was vibrating with intense power.

*Not much more...*

He took a bit more then raised his hand.

"Now.. Alexander... release."

Xander focused his power into a blast and let it radiate off of his body in all directions... his head jerking back in the process. Light filled the tank and within seconds, it was too bright to look at. A low hum began to echo in the room and then a crackling sound. Almost immediately after that, the cylinder exploded, sending power, glass, and pink fluid in all directions.


Wolverine tackled the Professor to the ground just seconds before the power wave crashed over them... blasting a groove in the wall 10 feet deep... before Xander was done, collapsing to the ground.

Wolverine helped the Professor to his feet and placed him back in his chair.. then the two of them rushed over to Xander.

"You ok, kid?"

Xander raised a tired head and nodded. His eyes rolled back in his head and then he passed out. Wolverine stared at Xander then looked back at the Professor.

"He's Omega... isn't he?"

Charles nodded.

"I'm afraid so... and I believe he may be above Magneto in power... possibly even The Shadow King as well. I think only Apocalypse is more powerful... but I will have to see the results from Cerebro."

Wolverine nodded and then picked up Xander.

"You go do that. I'll drop off the kid in his room."

Charles nodded and then floated away. Wolverine watched him go.. then walked off to the senior wing, an unconscious Xander over his shoulder.


Xander awoke minutes after someone dropped him onto his bed. He noticed the time that passed in between his fainting spells was getting shorter.

*Must be that I'm getting used to them or something...*

He opened his eyes and looked around. He was in his room and he was alone... but he could tell my the time on the nearby alarm clock that he hadn't been out for long.

*Just about 10 minutes... not bad. I had better get up and go see what's going on.*

Xander sat up and stared down at himself. The pink fluid was still covering his body and he was surprised he hadn't felt it.

"Better get cleaned up first."

He climbed off the bed and walked into his bathroom, stripping as he walked...


Sometime later, cleaned and freshly dressed, Xander entered the Professor's office and found it empty.

*Must still be down there..*

He turned and walked to the Danger Room.. but it was empty as well.

*Cerebro then...*

Xander had heard of the room.. but wasn't exactly sure where it was located. He closed his eyes and felt for the Professor. He felt him.. about three floors down. Xander opened his eyes and teleported to him.


Charles sat in his chair with the metallic helmet in place on his head. He was examining the information recorded by Cerebro when he felt someone touch him mind... then seconds later, he felt Alexander teleport next to him.

"Hello Alexander... please wait a moment, I am just finishing here."

Xander nodded and sat down on an outcropping of metal to wait. He only had to wait a few minutes before the Professor removed the helmet and turned to look at Xander.

"Well.. Alexander... I am pleased to tell you that you are an Omega Class Mutant... with notable ones being Magneto, The Shadow King, and Apocalypse."

Xander nodded.

"And where do I fit in on that list?"

Charles smiled.

"You are second in power only to Apocalypse himself... and that is because you are still young and semi-inexperienced to your powers. With time, and training from the world's experts.. you could possibly outclass him someday."

Xander had heard of all those people and was frankly shocked.

"So am I dangerous?"

Charles was taken aback my the question. He hadn't expected it at all.

"Some may feel so, Alexander, but I do not. I know you had the inner strength necessary to do the right thing."

Xander nodded. He knew that the Professor had scanned him soon after arriving.. so he knew that the man knew everything he had done... and yet.. he still trusted him.

"Thank you."

Xander paused and then smiled.

"I thought about your question earlier... about joining the X-Men full time. I.. I'd like that."

Charles smiled and nodded.

"Have you thought about which team?"

Xander nodded.

"Whichever one Rogue and Wolverine are on."

Charles nodded and smiled wider.

"Well then.. Alexander... welcome to.."

Xander stopped him.

"Not Alexander... if I'm going to be one of your X-Men.. I want a codename."

Charles nodded.

"Very well.. what did you have in mind?"

Xander smirked.

"You know about the whole White Knight deal..."

Charles nodded.

"... and the magic..."

Charles nodded again.

"... and the killing the unholy, vampire and demons and sort..."

Charles nodded and smiled, sensing where this was going.

".. so I was thinking... what about this."

Xander smiled and chuckled.

"Call me... Paladin."

Charles smiled. The name seemed to make sense.

"Paladin it is then. Do you need help with an outfit?"

Xander shook his head.

"No.. I have something in mind. I'll go work on it and meet you later to show you..."

Charles nodded.

"There is a team meeting in about an hour.. in my office."

Xander nodded.

"I'll be there."

With that said, he teleported out...


Buffy turned in her sleep... moaning... missing something that should be there. She had been unable to sleep all night and she knew why... because Xander wasn't there.

It had all started from that little present he had given her. His feelings and wants.. all compressed in that fantasy. It had made her shiver for hours, a grin plastered to her face... but now, in bed, she was all alone.

Unknown to her.. however.. a flash of light filled the room as Xander teleported in. He looked around and spotted Buffy... asleep.. in his bed. It made him smile... and then he noticed she was naked, and he did more than smile.

*No time.. you're on a schedule...*

He moved to the closet and opened it, the squeak loud in the deafening silence.

"Xander... is that you?"

Xander smiled and turned around.

"Yes baby... its me."

He looked at her, the moonlight shining in through the window, making her body a portrait of shadow and breathtakingly beautiful nude skin. A smile crossed his face and he blushed.

"You're in my bed, Buff... in the buff... not that I'm complaining or anything.. but its kinda startling."

Buffy grinned and motioned for him to come to her. Xander smiled and nodded, ten walked over. He sat down next to her and leaned in to kiss her, softly at first, then with more passion.

As they broke the kiss, Xander sighed and kissed her nose.

"I love you so much, Buffy, and I know that I promised... but I have a meeting in less than 45 minutes and I really have to do what I have to do."

Buffy grinned evilly and growled under her breath.

"More than enough time..."

She pounced on him and ripped his clothing off... then proceeded to crawl up his body, ready to have her way with him.

"After that little gift you left me... well.. I want the rest of it..."

She dove at him and was a bundle of wild, animalistic fury... and in that moment, Xander learned never to make a Slayer horny...


It was about 30 minutes later while Xander was gasping for breath that Buffy finally crawled off of him. Xander stared at the ceiling, sweat dripping off of his body, and fully aware that they hadn't used any protection that he began to worry.

"Baby.. you do know that we weren't safe."

Buffy leaned over him and nodded, smiling.

"We're Immortal.. we don't need to."

Xander winced.

"I'm not fully normal... Buffy. Remember Cordy?"

Buffy nodded, a confused look on her face.

"Yeah.. so?"

Xander sighed.

"I'm fertile. Her baby is mine.. and you might be pregnant now."

Buffy's eyes widened and she swallowed in shock.

*Pregnant.. from one time... it could happen... but am I ready?*

She looked into Xander's troubled, yet still love-filled eyes, and smiled.

*Yes.. I want his baby.. I want a part of him to be with me forever... a part of both of us...*

Buffy grinned.

"If I am.. then it is a gift... and we will just have to not tell her.. or him.. that his parents were naughty before the wedding."

Xander laughed and nodded.

"Oh Buffy.. I love you so much."

He kissed her again and then got out of bed.

"I really do need to get ready now. Can you get out my stuff while I get a quick shower?"

Buffy nodded and then leered at him as he walked naked into the bathroom.

*He's mine... all mine.. and damn, he was sooo good.*

She got out of bed and stretched, wincing slightly.

*Oh.. going to feel that in the morning.. man he was good.*

She moved to the closet and pulled out Xander's box. Inside were his things... his stilsuit/armor, his lightsaber... still seemed funny to her that her Xander has visited the Star Wars people...

Buffy looked up as Xander entered, clean and glistening, and growled playfully.

"No time for that, hon, but maybe if you're a good Slayer.. I will teleport you to my room in the mansion from time to time... until it is safe for me to come home."

Buffy nodded and smiled.

"What do you need all this for anyway?"

Xander smiled.

"I'm one of the X-Men now. Slayerette and X-Man... two, two, two Xander's in one."

Buffy giggled and fell back onto the floor.

"Oh god.. that's funny."

She caught her breath and looked through the box.

"So.. you like making a costume or something?"

Xander nodded as he pulled out the stilsuit and the mithril vest. He placed them on top of each other and then fused them together.

"Yes.. I had an idea.. and figured I would get it all together..."

Xander then took the cape from the box and shifted its color so that it was a metallic silver... then set it aside. He then created a molten ball of silver and formed it into a stylized cross.. and fused it onto and over the heart of the suit.

"... and as you can see, I had a few idea in mind."

Buffy nodded. She could see and appreciate much of what he had decided on.

"Looks pretty... black with a flash of light purple.. and then a hint of silver here and there... not bad."

Xander finished up and nodded.

"That's what I thought."

He picked up the stilsuit and pulled it on over his naked body. It fit him like a second skin and it was almost comforting. He then grabbed the cape and attached it to his shoulders.. letting it flow down his back.

"There... how does that look?"

Buffy took at good look at him. He was a vision in black.. with the shimmering purple scales of mithril over his chest.. and the silver cross right over his heart... and the cape flowing behind.. his lightsaber on his hip with the longsword he had used a few times on his other hip. He looked amazing.. but something was missing.

"You look great.. but there are two things missing..."

Buffy ran over to her purse and pulled out a small silver ring. Her mother had given it to her when she was 15 and it meant a great deal to her. She then grabbed a hair band and walked back to Xander.

"This ring.. is important to me.. and I want you to have it... to remember me and have a piece of me with you at all times."

She placed the ring onto his finger and watched, amazed, as it glowed and then appeared almost one with his skin.

"Oh.. Xander.. you.. you didn't have to.."

Xander smiled at her.

"Yes.. I did.. because I will love your forever, Buffy, and it will never come off my finger."

Buffy began to cry.. then wiped her eyes as she handed over the hand band.

"You need something on your head... and I was thinking you could make this into something... like a silver band that you wear across your forehead or something."

Xander understood what she was saying. A band of silver across his forehead.. sort of like that which he saw once in a book about King Arthur. A simple band of silver.. worn over the eyes.. a few inches up... it would look good.

"Thank you.. my love."

Xander took the cloth band and transmuted it into a thin half-circlet of silver.. then slid it into place across his forehead.

"Now how do I look?"

Buffy smiled and kissed him.

"Perfect... my...?"

Xander smiled.


Buffy grinned.

"The holy knight who kills demons and stuff... I like it."

Xander nodded.

"Exactly... the counterpart to the Slayer... man and woman.. husband and wife... protecting the world for all eternity."

Buffy began to cry again and nodded.

"Oh Xander.. I love you so much."

She threw herself into his arms and hugged him so hard it almost hurt... then let go and ran to get a camera she had seen earlier.

"I have to get a picture of you... Willow isn't going to believe this..."

Xander nodded and waited as Buffy got the camera.. then turned on the lights.

"Hold still..."

Xander smiled and waited as Buffy took shots of him from pretty much every angle.

"There.. you can move now."

Buffy placed the camera on the bed and frowned.

"Do you have to go now?"

Xander nodded.

"Yes.. my love.. but I will return tomorrow night.. and set up something here for you so you can come visit me whenever you want. I'm thinking a portal or gate than you can open and close at will.. I still need to work out all the details..."

Buffy nodded and kissed him one more time.

"I love you, Xander. Come home to me soon..."

Xander nodded and then vanished in a flash of light....


The X-Men had gathered, one by one, in the Professor's office and were waiting for the reason they had been called.

"What's going on?"

Charles turned to Scott and nodded.

"We are here because I have an announcement to make... as soon as.."

Just then, Xander teleported into the hallway.. and his flash of light was visible under the door. Charles noticed the light and smiled.

"... as soon as Xander arrives.. which he just did. Well, my X-Men.. I would like to introduce to you... the newest member of the X-Men... Paladin."

The doors opened and in walked Xander, his cape flowing in the air behind him.. the light glinting off the mithril armor covering his chest and the silver cross almost glowing in the light.. and at his side.. on the left, a longsword that looked polished and well-used, and on his right.. the lightsaber he had had before.

A gasp of shock was heard as Xander entered and then cheers and congratulations were given from everyone. Xander nodded and gave his thank you's.. then nodded to the Professor.

Charles nodded and smiled.

"There is more... "

Everyone grew silent and turned to look at the Professor.

"Paladin is an Omega Class... and he is second in power only to Apocalypse himself."

The room exploded in uproar then.. and Xander just stepped back and let them all do their thing.. knowing his world just got quite a bit more complicated.....


Days passed quickly for Xander as he adjusted to his new life as a full member of the X-men. He had been welcomed openly... but not really warmly. Many of the students seemed terrified of him with the rest just ignoring him... which was fine with him. As he saw it, the fewer people he interacted with... the better.

He had allowed himself a day to settle in before he had set up the portal in his closet. Xander had discovered that the magic required had been quite difficult and very experimental... and after three explosive tries, he had a stable portal connecting his closet in the mansion with Buffy's closet back in Sunnydale. He and Buffy celebrated the portal with a all night long romp... exploring their relationship fully.

When Buffy had to leave, he was sorry to see her go... but he knew that she would be able to return any time she had a free night, and he was happy about that. This would allow them to grow closer and make their time apart seem not as bad.

It was almost a week later... when all hell broke loose......


Xander ran into the meeting room and came to a halt next to Rogue. He was in full uniform and the surprised and amused look on her face made him smile. He leaned in and whispered in her ear.

"What's going on?"

Rogue pointed to the viewscreen and shook her head.

Magneto is up to something. He's in South Florida and he is creating a large bubble of magnetic energy."

At the mention of Magneto's name, a snarl crossed Xander's face and his eyes darkened.

"How long has he been there and when can I kill him?"

At this, Professor Charles Xavier spun around in his chair and stared at him, a look of shock on his face.

"Alexander... I am shocked. I would have thought you would be beyond this..."

Xander shook his head.

"That bastard killed Kitty! For that... he dies!"

Jean moved closer to Xander and shook her head.

"Xander... Magneto didn't kill Kitty... Sabertooth did and you already killed him. You need to calm down and get a grip."

Xander glared at her and growled.

"He told Sabertooth to do it. That makes him just as guilty in my book... and so he will die."

Charles moved closer to Xander, a concerned look on his face.

"No... Alexander... you cannot do this. Magnus has much good in him. You cannot just take his life for no good reason."

Xander, infuriated by now, moved closer to the Professor with his hands bundled into fists... and was stopped by Wolverine.

"Freeze kid... it ain't worth it."

He reached out to restrain Xander and in that instant... something happened. A flash of light flooded Xander's mind and for a second... his and Wolverine's minds were linked. Images flashed across the back of Xander's eyes and he saw every moment of Wolverine's life... at least everything he could remember... and he knew by the look on Wolverine's face that the same thing must be happening to him as well. In that moment... Xander got a flash of Wolverine's future... and he saw something horrible. He saw Magneto capturing Wolverine in some manner... and then... he saw him rip all of the metal from his body, painfully and over a long stretched out time. It was torture.

Wolverine, linked to Xander, saw this as well... and a cold chill came over him. With a shudder, he looked into Xander's eyes.

"If you can stop that from happening... I'll help you do anything you want... just promise me. Promise me."

Xander felt the emotion radiating off the other man and slowly nodded his head.

"You have my word. What we saw will never come to pass. He will die by my hands and you will have his corpse as your proof."


An hour later Xander, Rogue and Wolverine were searching South Florida for Magneto. Xander would have teleported them there... but for some reason, he was having trouble pinpointing his location. It was very strange. It was as if someone... or something... was blocking him. The best he could narrow it down to was somewhere around Miami... and so there they were... searching for their prey.


"Damn it! Shit! Where the hell is the bastard!"

Xander slammed his fist into and through the brick wall directly in front of him, completely obliterating it. He was beyond mad... beyond angry... beyond furious. He was in a level of rage and white-hot hatred so intense... it was unknown in all of existence... and even the Emperor himself, had he been near, would be quaking in fear. Lucky for him he was millions of miles away.

"I want him now!"

A wash of energy exploded off of Xander in all directions, causing Rogue and Wolverine to drop to the ground to take cover. It also had one other effect... it caught someone's attention.


Deep underground a lone figure raised his dark head. He sensed something... no, someone... powerful... very powerful indeed.

*What is this? The power.... so near my own level... but this... this cannot be. I am so far above mutants that there is no way for anyone to possibly approach me.*

He looked at the energy cage hanging on the wall next to him and sneered at the broken and bleeding old man inside.

"Who is it, Old Man? Answer me... and maybe I will end your life quickly."

Magneto lifted his head and stared at the abomination before him.

"Never... I will never do anything for you... Apocalypse............"


"Something's wrong."

Giles looked up from his book at Buffy and raised and eyebrow.


Buffy leaned in closer to his face.

"I said... something's wrong."

Giles closed his book and stared at her.

"Yes.. well then.. go ahead. What is it?"

Buffy frowned.

"I... I don't know. It's just a feeling... not much more than that... but I know it has to do with Xander."

Giles nodded.

"Can you get in touch with him?"

Buffy shook her head.

"I checked out his room at the school... but he wasn't there. In face, not many people were there... and the ones that were were talking about someone named Magneto being in South Florida. Do you think I should go back and ask them where Xander is?"

Giles pondered this for a moment.

"Yes... you do that. Head over there and see what you can discover. I will research this... Magneto... if I can and get back to you."

Buffy nodded and ran home. She was getting more and more worried the closer she got to her bedroom. She threw open her closet and activated the portal by tapping on a small ruby embedded into the wall; the portal opened and Buffy stepped through...


A couple of hours earlier....

"I know he is here... somewhere... and I just have to find him."

Xander stormed his way through the city, knocking people out of his way, searching for Magneto... with Rogue and Wolverine following.

"You need to calm down, sugah, you can't concentrate if you're angry."

Wolverine nodded, agreeing with Rogue, but said nothing... for there was something strange in the air... but he couldn't figure out exactly what it was.

"I don't have time to calm down. I have to find him and I have to do it..."

Just then, a silver feather-shaped dagger imbedded itself in Xander's shoulder. As he screamed in pain and shock, he looked up to see a strange creature diving down at him. It appeared to be a blue skinned man with silver metal wings.

"I have you now, Apocalypse. You're disguise can't fool me."

He swung his wing around and a volley of feather daggers came flying at them. Xander, still with the feather imbedded in his shoulder, screamed at the others to get down then sent a blast of lightning up at the flying man, grazing his shoulder... which made him spin out of control.

"Shit... this thing hurts!"

Xander was in shock. Nothing should have been able to pass through his armor... or his skin.. and yet, there was a dagger stuck all the way through his shoulder. To make things worse.. it was doing something to his nervous system... making it impossible for him to lift his arm or remove the dagger.

He looked up at the man and saw him swerve off into a nearby park. Xander wanted answers... but first, he needed that damn dagger out of his body. He grasped it with his good hand and tried to pull it out... but it was stuck.

"Shit! Wolverine.. I need help!"

Wolverine got to his feet and moved over to Xander. He examined the dagger and winced.

"I'm going to have to cut it out."

Xander nodded.

"Just do it."

He clamped his teeth shut and nodded. Wolverine grabbed Xander's shoulder with one hand.. then extended his claws into Xander's shoulder with the other Xander... then began spiraling them around the dagger... cutting it free.

Xander screamed out in pain and threw Wolverine off of him... with the dagger in Wolverine's hand.


Xander fell to the ground and stared at the open hole in his shoulder... then concentrated and made it close up... healing from the inside out. Once healed, Xander looked up and nodded his thanks.


Wolverine nodded and slid the dagger into a pocket in his uniform. He wanted to save it for later. He walked over to Xander and helped him to his feet. As Xander stood, he stared at Wolverine and frowned.

"Who the hell is that freak and why did he think I'm Apocalypse."

Wolverine nodded slowly.

"His name is Warren Worthington... but now he is known as Archangel. He has a blood vendetta against Apocalypse.. for some reason. He thought you were him cause you're both so close in power."

Xander nodded.

"So that means..."

Rogue stepped forward.

"It means, sugah, that Apocalypse is here too."

Xander looked over at the park and nodded.

"Rogue... tell the Professor that we have a problem. Wolverine and I are going after Archangel."

Rogue nodded and ran back to the jet. Xander watched her go and then headed toward the park, with Wolverine following...


Buffy stepped out of the portal and into Xander's bedroom. She then stepped out into the hallway and was nearly run over by a girl with a white streak in her hair. Buffy recognized her. She was Rogue... a friend of Xander's.

"Rogue! What's up?"

Rogue stopped and turned to look back at the girl who spoke. It was Xander's fiance... Fluffy.

"Xander... in trouble.. no time to talk.... Apocalypse!"

Rogue ran down the hall and heard Buffy following her.

"Where is he?!"

As Rogue reached the end of the hall, she paused and answered before running down the second hall to the Professor's office.


Buffy nodded and ran back to Xander's room. She had to talk to Giles.


Xander walked into the park and found the blue man lying on the ground. Xander walked over to him and then ducked as a second volley of feathers was thrown at him.

"I'll kill you!"

Xander raised his hands and backed away.

"I'm not him, Archangel!"

The man frowned and sneered.

"You can't fool me, Apocalypse... I can sense your power signature anywhere!"

Wolverine stepped forward.

"Warren... its not him... but I think he is here."

Warren looked at Wolverine... then at Xander... and then let out a breath.

"Come closer."

Wolverine nodded and Xander stepped forward. Warren stared at him then nodded.

"Sorry... you're not him.. but you're close. I.. I didn't know."

Xander nodded and helped the man to his feet.

"No problem.. just no more funky feathers, ok."

Warren nodded and folded his wing back against his body.


Xander nodded.


Warren smiled.

"Pleased to meet you. So.. why are you two here?"

Xander frowned.

"We're hunting Magneto. He's here... somewhere.. but something is shielding him from detection."

Warren nodded.

"Or someone... I think we are after the same thing. I think Apocalypse might have Magneto with him... for Apocalypse can shield himself from detection..."

Xander nodded.


Warren nodded.

"Yes... we work together on this one."

Xander smiled and then looked back at the city.

"Any clue where to begin?"

Warren nodded and pointed down.

"Logan... can you track him... below ground?"

Wolverine nodded and then headed to a manhole, ripping it open.

"Follow me."

He then jumped down into the darkness... Warren and then Xander following....


Buffy ran into Giles's apartment and slammed into him.

"Giles.. Xander's in trouble. They talked about an Apocalypse in Miami. He's there!"

Giles rubbed his shoulder and nodded.

"I don't see how... nothing is mentioned about any Apocalypses recently. Let me check my books."

He walked over and picked up a few books and scanned through them... and noticed something he had never seen before. It was a drawing... and there was something familiar about it.

*What is this... my word.. it can't be...*

"Buffy... look at this and tell me what you see."

Buffy looked down at the drawing and gasped. It was a drawing found in a cave in Egypt of a dark bluish-purplish man fighting a young man in black armor...

"It's Xander!"

Giles nodded.

"This drawing is over 6000 years old, Buffy. What on earth has Xander done..."

Buffy stared at Giles... then looked back at the drawing... wondering that very question herself.....


Xander slammed into the wall and through it, destroying it completely. Apocalypse's blast had been something he had never experienced before... and it frightened him.

*God.. he's as strong as me... I'm in deep shit.*

Xander climbed to his feet just in time to see Archangel launch himself again at Apocalypse... only to be thrown back again, this time landing with a sickening crunch. Xander winced and jumped back into the laboratory through the hole his body had created.

"Time to end this, Apocalypse."

Apocalypse turned and looked at Xander and smiled. He was alone now, what with Archangel out of the picture from that last blast and Wolverine unconscious and bleeding in the corner, and now he was left with the young man who's power signature was so close in strength to his own.

*There is something about him... something I cannot quite place...*

Apocalypse nodded slowly and grinned evilly.

"Time.. yes... quite correct young one. Time to end this indeed... but what time?"

Xander frowned, not understanding, until he saw Apocalypse's body begin to waver. Xander could feel someone using temporal magics and knew that Apocalypse was about to escape.


Xander ran toward Apocalypse and leapt upon him just as his body became translucent. He was caught in the wake of the monster's temporal fold... and was dragged along with him... to who knows where.



It flows... not like a river... but like a spider web of rivers, flowing out and in in all directions.

Given skill... and the right power... one can go anywhere.

Xander was discovering this himself as he flailed along behind Apocalypse as he transferred himself through time...


Buffy grabbed her stomach and hunched over in pain.

*Oh god... no... no!*

Something deep inside her... something primitive that extended beyond her own existence... felt something it hoped to never feel... the loss of a mate.

"He's gone!"

Giles looked over at Buffy and gasped. They were in one of the Professor's jets with Rogue as she flew them back to Miami.. along with the Professor himself and the rest of the X-Men.

"What do you mean... he's gone?"

Professor Charles Xavier nodded his head.

"She is correct. I also cannot feel young Alexander. He was here one second... then gone... and I fear I do not know to where or what has happened to him."

Buffy stared straight ahead, his eyes glazed and filling with tears.

*God.. no.. please.. you can't do this to me.. please... please.. I can't live without him now that I have him... please.....*

Tears fell from her eyes and Buffy turned her head away, not wanting to have people stare. Her heart was breaking and she just wanted the jet to land so she could be alone. It was Giles who happen to realize something they didn't...

"Dead... that's impossible... we have proof that he is spotted 6000 prior to now fighting a strange man. The books prove it..."

Giles pulled out the book and handed it over to the Professor.

"See... that is Xander..."

The Professor nodded and then frowned.

"... and that is Apocalypse."

Buffy looked up, her eyes red from crying.

"Apocalypse? You mean its a person?"

The Professor nodded.

"Indeed... only not a person. He is a monster, an abomination, that so far no one has been able to kill. He has existed for as long as recorded history.. perhaps longer... no one knows for sure."

Buffy closed her eyes and let out her breath.

*He's still alive... thank god...*

She opened her eyes, a new hope showing in them, and smiled... knowing that her heart still lived. All she had to do now was find him.


Xander materialized next to a muddy river and fell beside it, knocked off balance by the act of the journey itself.

*Whoa.. what a rush.*

Xander shook his head and looked around. All he could see was sand for miles and miles. He had no clue where he was.. but he had a feeling it wasn't South Florida anymore.

"Where the hell are you, you freak?"

Xander spun around in place and spotted Apocalypse walking off toward what looked like a partially built pyramid... only it was flat on top and looked strange.

*There you are... I've got you now!*

Xander grinned and ran after Apocalypse, reading to kick the living shit out of him...


Apocalypse lowered himself down into the caverns below the tesseract and descended the stairs that lead to his rejuvenation chamber. He felt odd... and figured he needed to recharge. He had no clue that he was not alone... that is until he felt the side of his head blown off by a blast from behind.


Apocalypse grabbed his head and spun around, his vision fuzzy, and was able to see who hit him.

"Surprise... it's me asshole!"

Xander jumped toward Apocalypse and ignited his lightsaber in midair... then impaled it through Apocalypse's chest... before dropping to the floor to regroup. Apocalypse screamed and swung at Xander, releasing a blast of his own... but missed.

"I will crush you like the insect you are!"

Xander laughed and sent lightning cascading at the injured monster before him.

"Not likely... you have to catch..."

Xander was cut off by a punch to the head that had come out of nowhere... knocking him to the ground with blood pouring out of his nose and mouth... and a little trickling out of his ears.

"Sucker punch... knew you're stoop to something like that."

Xander climbed to his feet and felt his world spin for a moment... then right itself. He shook his head then winced in agony.

*Something is knocked loose up there...?*

He glared at Apocalypse and only had a second to avoid the next oncoming attack... then fired back one of his own.

"I will beat you..."

Apocalypse laughed evilly and stared at Xander.

"You will die!"

Xander grinned himself and nodded.

"Let's party."


The jet landed and Buffy ran out to meet Wolverine and some blue guy who had approached them.

"Did you see Xander before he left?"

Archangel shook his head.


Wolverine turned to him and nodded.


Archangel nodded.

"Yes.. he was alive... last I saw him. He followed Apocalypse through time. He could be... anywhere. Apocalypse has many places he goes throughout time."

Buffy frowned and then nodded slowly.

"But he was ok?"

Archangel nodded.

"He was holding his own."

Buffy nodded and smiled.

"Then he will come back to me."

Archangel looked at her then sighed and shook his head.

"You might have a long wait..."

Buffy grinned.

"I can wait forever..."


Xander felt his leg crumple under him and he screamed out in pain. It joined his other one and now he was crawling to move out of the way of Apocalypse's blasts.

*Not much more left.. got to end this now.*

Xander turned his body to look at Apocalypse... who himself was on the ground, missing a leg and an arm... removed by Xander personally.

*Got to focus everything... only get one shot... getting too tired to continue much longer...*

Xander pulled all of his power and crawled toward Apocalypse. Apocalypse glared at Xander and felt something he had never felt before... fear.

*He's killing me... I.. I need to escape.*

He started to shift through time but felt something hit his neck. He looked down, in mid shift, and saw his neck opening... and a sword's blade extending out of it. The blade itself looked like any other.. except for the faint blue glow to it that made his eyes widen in shock... moments before he saw and felt his head separate itself from his body.

Xander grinned in triumph.. then frowned and leapt onto Apocalypse's fading body... feeling time grab onto him once again... but this time... there was no one steering the ship...


The X-Men and the Slayer and her Watcher, all began to walk back onto the jet when something unusual happened. Both Archangel and Buffy cringed and then looked around franticly.

"He's back!"

They had both screamed it. Buffy with relief, Archangel with anger. They stared at each other then ran off into the park... the others following soon behind them.

*He's alive!!*

Buffy grinned as she ran in the direction she felt Xander... then stopped and gasped in shock and horror at what she saw.

Xander stood before them, a feral gleam in his eyes, and held something in his hands... Apocalypse's head, a surprised look forever frozen on his face. Xander looked them up and down and then ran his empty hand over his clothing, now shredded and very old looking. He tossed the head to Archangel and laughed.

"A present.... Archangel."

Archangel gasped as the head fell at his feet. He stared down at it in disbelief and then looked back up at Paladin.


Xander closed his eyes and swallowed.

"I removed his head... after ripping most of his body apart. He had gotten me good and I knew we were both in serious trouble. I got him just as he tried to leave... but with no one at the wheel... I ended up someplace... different."

Buffy started to move toward Xander, wanting to hold him in her arms, but stopped at the look in his eyes.

"Different how Xander?"

Xander frowned.

"I ended up in the Axis of Time... but only after being ripped into a few dozen pieces....."


Years Earlier....

Xander felt himself ripped apart and he screamed in unending agony as he died.... only to awaken sometime later to see a funny little man staring down at him.

"I was right! Hot Damn!"

Xander glared at the man and then sat up. He felt something in his hand and looked down to see Apocalypse's head.

*When did I grab that... and how the hell did I hold onto it?*

He looked up at the man and swallowed.

"Where am I?"

The little man grinned.

"You're in the Axis of Time, my boy, and you're the first living person I've seen in close to 100 years."

Xander nodded slowly.

"The Axis of Time... and that would be?"

The little man sat down... in thin air... and smiled.

"The place where all time meets. You're here... after being ripped apart by the temporal forces here. I felt something unusual about you and gathered up all your pieces... then put you back together and you just grew back into one piece. Scared the you know what out of me."

Xander nodded and lay back down, closing his eyes, trying to process everything.

"How do I get out of here?"

The little man laughed and then laughed some more.

"Leave... you can't leave... no one has ever left before... except of course that scarred fella... but he was special..."

Xander opened his eyes and sat up.

"What did he do? Whatever it is.. I'll do it."

The little man squinted at Xander.

"It'll hurt..."

Xander shook his head.

"I don't care... show me."

The little man nodded and floated higher... allowing Xander to stand.

"Follow me."

He floated away... deeper into the realm.. toward a shining tower...


"... and then you just enter, and it takes you to some random place. You have to just hope you get close enough to your own time."

Xander stared at the swirling vortex of energy and frowned.

"What if I don't get home? Then what?"

The little man grinned.

"Then you is lost... my boy. Do you still want to do it?"

Xander looked at the vortex again and then nodded.


The little man laughed and smiled.

"Good luck then... you're gonna need it."

With that said.. he vanished.. leaving Xander alone.

"Better do this before I lose my nerve..."

Xander took a breath and stepped into the vortex... then screamed as he was swallowed by time.....


"... and I was trapped inside there... being spit out here and there only to be sucked back in.. only to feel the agony again.. and again.. and again..."

His eyes, filled with what almost looked like madness, where what scared Buffy the most. She was seeing her Xander... broken... and she needed to do something.


She ran toward him and grabbed him up in a hug... kissing his face and running her fingers through his long, dirty hair.

*Please let this work... please come back to me...*

Xander returned the kiss... then inhaled deeply and growled as 200 years of longing exploded out of him all at once, catching Buffy off guard. As they broke the kiss, she looked into his saner eyes and tilted her head.

"Xander... how long..."

He looked at Buffy.. then past her to the others.. then back at Buffy and sighed.

"I was there... in that hell... for... close to 230 years."

A collective gasp echoed around Xander as the shock of what he had been through finally sank in. It was similar to what they had thought about Angel when he had returned from the Hell Dimension... only this time it was Xander and it had been for much longer.

"My god..."

Giles rubbed his glasses and shook his head. The Professor nodded and closed his eyes.

"We need to get back, Alexander. The authorities will be..."


Everyone looked at Xander at his outburst.

"I'm going home... with Buffy.. and we are going to get me cleaned up then I'm teleporting us to Vegas. We are getting married and then I am not going anywhere for at least a good 20 years. The Government can try to do anything.. I don't care. After what I've been through.. nothing they can do can ever scare me... not anymore."

They stared at him and then nodded slowly. Giles moved toward Xander and Buffy and then waited for them patiently. Xander nodded at Giles and then placed a hand on his shoulder. He then turned to everyone and stopped his gaze on Wolverine.

"He's dead. You will find his corpse in a sealed tomb in Odessa. I have kept my promise."

Wolverine nodded and saluted Xander. Xander returned the salute then teleported himself, Buffy, and Giles home.


"... and do you, Elizabeth Anne Summers take this man, Alexander Lavelle Harris to me your lawfully wedded husband. To love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, as long as you both shall live?"

Buffy looked up into Xander's eyes and nodded.

"I do."

Elvis grinned and shook his hips.

"Then, by the power invested in me and my hips, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your hunka hunka burning love."

Xander grinned and kissed Buffy. He could hear cheering and crying behind them and smiled as they broke the kiss. He turned and looked at his family. Willow and Tara were both sobbing their eyes out. Dawn was smiling.. but with a sad look in her eyes as well. Joyce.. Mom now.. was smiling and holding back tears. Giles was wiping his glasses.. and his eyes.

"I'd like to introduce to you all... Mr. and Mrs. Xander Harris."

Xander grinned at Buffy and sighed happily.

"Ready to go, Mrs. Harris?"

Buffy giggled.

"Ready if you are... Mr. Harris."

Xander nodded and swept Buffy off her feet.. then carried her down the aisle and out into the hotel.. almost running to their room... happier than he had ever been before. Little did he know that his happiness wouldn't last long.....


The wind howled as it swept across the jagged peak of the snow-covered mountain and rattled the windows of a small cottage on the outskirts of a Tibetan village. The cottage was places in the middle of a cemetery and had been blessed by the local priests when the stranger had arrived a few decades before.... and once a year since. The stranger never spoke to anyone but the priests... and never left his cottage. He never had visitors... until that fateful day...


The man walked up the treacherous path to the ridge and then slowly slid his was along the shelf to the next section of path. He had been traveling for over a week and was determined to reach his destination... no matter how long it took.

He jumped across a small gap in the cliff to the next section of path and found carved steps leading to the plateau above. Climbing the steps, he wondered if this was such a good idea after all.

At the top, the man stopped to catch his breath and was in awe of the view. He could see for miles and miles and it was breathtaking. He pulled out a map, once rested, and double-checked it... then headed off toward the village he knew had to be up here somewhere.

After walking another half-hour, he came upon the village... and the cottage. He knew what he was looking for and his suspicion was confirmed when he felt the buzz enter his head.

*Found you....*

The door to the cottage opened and a young man stepped out stared at his visitor. He leaned against the railing and nodded.

"What do you want? I don't play the Game anymore."

The man smiled evilly at the younger man and shook his head.

"Doesn't matter... you don't have to play... just bend over and I'll take your head."

The younger man shook his head.

"No thank you... and this is holy ground... so leave."

The visitor laughed and pulled out a grenade. He pulled the pin and threw it into the cottage through a window. The younger man screamed and ran away from the building... and off holy ground. Seconds later the building exploded.

"You're not on holy ground now..."

The younger man stared at his visitor and growled. He then mumbled something under his breath and a sword appeared in his hands... as if by magic. His visitor smiled and bowed.

"Your head is mine, boy."

The younger man grinned and spun his sword.

"My name's not boy, Duncan, its Xander... Xander Harris."


Xander walked slowly around Duncan as he looked him over. There was something different about his once mentor that made Xander know there would be no talking this out.

"Why are you doing this, Duncan?"

Duncan laughed evilly and stalked Xander.

"Why.. why.. you have the audacity to ask me why after everything that happened!"

Xander looked at Duncan, a confused look on his face, and shrugged.

"I don't understand. What happened? Why don't you tell me?"

Duncan growled and ran at Xander, attacking as he spoke.

"If it wasn't for you... she'd still be alive!"


Cannes, France
43 years earlier...

Duncan walked up the steps of the apartment building and smiled when he felt the buzz of his love... his wife. He opened his apartment door and stepped inside.

"Amanda... I'm back. I got a great bunch of grapes at the market and some nice tomatoes..."

He walked into the living room and saw Amanda... lying on the floor... crying. She was covered in blood and her clothing was ripped. Duncan dropped his bags and ran to her, taking her in his arms.

"What happened?"

Amanda looked up into his eyes and shook her head.

"Savian... he's here."

Duncan's eyes filled with rage at mention of that animal's name. The... man... had been stalking Amanda for close to 2 years now... always evading Duncan at every turn... and now he had stepped too far and had hurt Amanda. Now he was going to kill him...

"He dies..."

Amanda looked up, terror in her eyes.

"No! You can't! He.. he said he has Alexander..."

Duncan closed his eyes and growled. It had been over 50 years... but he was still furious at Alexander... Xander.. his former student... and the one who had killed his best friend.

"What are you talking about?"

Amanda sat up and looked into Duncan's eyes.

"He said he's a Hunter.. that Alexander is in Sanctuary... and that he will kill him if I don't do as he says..."

Duncan stared at her in shock.

*Sanctuary... no... it's... it's only a myth...*

"The place doesn't exist. Methos has been looking for it for years... and he's never found it."

Amanda shook her head.

"You haven't spoken to Methos in over a year. Savian said that he was there.. and that he took Methos's head."

Duncan gasped in shock.

*Methos... dead?*

"No... it's not possible..."

Amanda nodded and began crying even more. Duncan pulled her into an embrace and smoothed her hair.

"He's lying. Methos wouldn't go there. You and I both know that. He had to have been lying."

Amanda looked into Duncan's eyes and shook her head.

"He spoke to me... told me what I had told only him... about Alexander. Duncan, no one but Methos knows my feelings for Alexander... not even you. Savian has Methos's Quickening... for there is no other way he could know."

Duncan looked at his wife and bristled.

*Her... feelings... for Xander.*

It still bothered him that she wouldn't tell him anything... and that she was linked to Xander was just another thorn in his side. Duncan sighed and shook his head.

"Did he say where Sanctuary is located?"

Amanda shook her head.

"No.. all he did was leave a phone number. I'm.. I'm supposed to call him when I decide to give myself to him... freely... then, he said he would let Alexander go."

Duncan nodded slowly.

"Call him. I'm going with you... and then I'm taking his head. If Xander is there... we will deal with him as well."

Duncan looked at his wife and realized that the blood was just on her clothing; her wounds had already healed. He sighed again and pulled her to her feet.

"Come on.. get changed.. then call him."

Amanda nodded and walked into the bathroom to shower and change...



"We went looking for you. She loved you that much, you bastard, and in the end.. the other bastard took her head... right in front of me!"

Duncan sliced at Xander, missing again. He was so enraged that he didn't even notice that he hadn't landed a single slice.. or that Xander wasn't really fighting back.

"I'm sorry.. I.. I didn't know... I.."

Duncan kicked at Xander and almost fell, cursing Xander in three languages.

"And you weren't even there! It took me three years to find him... Three Years! I made him pay though... I got him good... and now... now I'm going to get you!"

Duncan increased the speed of his attacks, his sword flying through the air in a deadly dance with Xander's... but nothing landed.

"Stand still you bastard!"

Xander evaded a slice.. then a kick.. all the while trying to wear Duncan out. He didn't want to fight him... because he knew he was faster, stronger, and more skill than him now. He knew it wouldn't be fair... plus the man was once his friend and he couldn't bring himself to kill him.

"Duncan.. stop this.. now.. before you go to far."

Duncan glared at Xander and spun his sword up and around.

"Too far! I'll show you too far."

Duncan twirled on one leg and slid under Xander's sword arm. Xander raised his sword and pivoted to the side, his sword sliding up behind his own neck. What happened then shocked Xander for the rest of his life. Duncan stood and locked his own sword with Xander's... trapping it in place.

*What the hell?*

Xander tugged on his sword.. but it wouldn't move. Duncan grinned evilly and kicked Xander in the stomach. As Xander lost his breath, Duncan yanked his sword arm down... freeing Xander's sword arm to swing... a no miss shot.

*What... no.. no!*

Xander's sword spun down from his shoulder.... across his chest... and directly lined itself with Duncan's neck. As the cold steel touched Duncan's skin, a peaceful look crossed his face. With a whisper, Duncan closed his eyes.

"I'm coming Amanda..."

Xander's eyes flashed open with fear as his sword sliced cleanly through Duncan's neck.. severing it completely from his shoulder.


The rest happened in slow motion. Xander watched as Duncan's head rolled back and fell to the ground... followed seconds later by his headless corpse. Xander dropped his sword and fell to his knees as the white mist of Duncan's Quickening floated out and away from his body... then winced as it flooded into him.

He witnessed everything Duncan had done in his life. Every battle... every death... every love... he witnessed it all. Then.. something bizarre happened... he witnessed Amanda's life as well. In that moment... he knew the two of them were together.

As the Quickening finished, Xander fell back onto the ground and began to cry.

"I'm sorry.... I'm sorry... I'm sorry......"


Xander placed the cross into the ground and brushed his hands off on his pants.

"Goodbye... Duncan. I hope you and Amanda are happy."

Xander looked up and over at the village and shook his head sadly. He knew it was time for him to go. He grabbed his backpack and tightened it across his chest. Then, taking one final look at the place that had been his home for close to 30 years, he nodded to himself... and vanished in a flash of light.


Sunnydale, California... a quiet town with a nice school and a great college. Once the hotbed for everything mystical and evil... now, those days are over... ever since the day he had shown up and sealed the Hellmouth.

Xander teleported into the middle of the park and looked around. The town had changed drastically. Everything was cleaner and there were more people out enjoying the early night air... something they had never done when he had lived there.

*Yeah.. not since I got that weird guy Ash to help me seal the Hellmouth...*

As he walked down the street, he smiled... remembering.....


"You want me to do what kid?"

Xander stared at the man before him. The man was scary looking.. what with only having one had and the myriad of scars on his face and body.

"I need your help to close the Hellmouth. It's a dimensional portal to a Hell Dimension. I heard about you.. and what you've done.. and thought you could help me."

Ash stared at Xander and shook his head. He had thought he was through with fighting evil and killing deadites... but now this kid was standing in front of him.. wanting help fighting more.

"You're crazy kid.. there is nothing you can..."

Xander smiled.

"I can give you back your hand."

Ash stopped and stared at the young man.

"You can do what?"

Xander smiled.

"I can give you back your hand. It's not that hard."

Ash gaped in shock and then slowly nodded.

"So let me get this straight. I help you... and you give me back my hand... my good hand, not the evil possessed one.. right?"

Xander nodded.


Ash grinned.


Xander laughed and took Ash's hand. Before he could say anything, Xander ripped off the gauntlet that was there and then cut the stump with a small knife. Once the blood was flowing, Xander concentrated on the wound, mumbled a few words, and then watched as Ash's stump began to glow... then grow a new hand.

"It should take about an hour. When it stops glowing.. you're done."

Ash stared down at the small lump of flesh that was growing out of his stump.. and couldn't believe his eyes.

"Wow... um.. thanks kid."

Xander smiled.

"No problem. So.. you ready to help me now?"

Ash nodded.

"Where to kid?"

Xander grinned.


Before Ash could ask where Sunnydale was... Xander grabbed his good arm and then they both disappeared.... only to reappear inside his and Buffy's home.

"What.. where.. what the hell happened?"

Xander smiled at Ash.. then listened as he heard people coming.

"I teleported you. We are in my home. If you will hold on one second.. my wife and family should be arriving shortly."

Ash stared at the kid and his eyes widened.


The doors opened then and a very gorgeous, and pregnant, blond entered followed by a beautiful redhead and another blond... along with a young brunette and an older gentleman. Xander turned to them and grinned.. then walked over to the pregnant blond and kissed her.

"Hi honey... I'm home. How's junior?"

Buffy giggled and patted her tummy.

"Junior... is fine. Mommy, on the other hand, is cranky, hungry, and missed her husband very much."

She smiled seductively at Xander and ran her hands over his chest and down his back to his butt. Xander smiled and shook his head. It still shook him up some that Buffy was so... horny.

*It must be the hormones..*

He wasn't going to complain though... not after what it had taken to get her pregnant in the first place. It had taken Xander a few years to research and develop enough of the Hive to transfer them to someone else. He knew that some had transferred to Cordelia when he had made love to her.. and that his baby carried them.. cause he checked when she was born... but he wanted to make things more secure. So.. he had worked on it.. and worked on it.. and eventually, Xander had a way to transfer the Hive. His first subject was Dawn. He gave her a full transfusion of his own blood... and then he smiled as she aged before his eyes, stopping at about 20.

When it came time to do that same for Buffy, he had redefined it more so that all she needed was a partial transfusion. It was much safer then. When he drained her, Xander then give her a transfusion.. with a mental command to the Hive to set up a second Hive inside Buffy... and to repair her like they repaired Xander. It took a good month of Buffy feeling sick before she finally adjusted and became even stronger, faster, and healthier. She was happy... and then they were even happier half a year later when it was confirmed she was pregnant. Her pregnancy is what gave Xander his idea about sealing the Hellmouth... and why Ash was there.

"Everyone.. this is Ash... Ash, this lovely pregnant blond is my wife Buffy. The redhead behind her is Willow and her blond is her wife Tara. The dark haired beauty is my little sister Dawn... and finally, the distinguished gentleman is our father, Giles."

Buffy smiled at Xander's description of Giles. They had been so happy when he had proposed and then married her mom. It was too bad that she hadn't lived too long to enjoy married life again... or to see her first grandson be born... but she knew that her mom was happy and had died with a smile. She still remembered her last words...


Joyce smiled up at everyone and coughed. Everyone had come. Angel and Cordy were standing nearby with baby Rachel in Cordy's arms. Wesley, Fred and Gunn were standing in the doorway, all too sad to end. Willow and Tara were both sobing on the left side of Joyce's bed.. while Dawn, Buffy, Xander and Giles were on her right.

"It's ok... everyone. I'm ok. I've had a full and happy life. I have five lovely daughters, a handsome son, and a loving husband. What more could I want?"

She smiled at them and then yawned.

"I'm just so tired... I.. I think I need nap..."

Buffy nodded and wiped tears out of her eyes.

"We understand. You just get some sleep, Mom, and we'll talk more later."

Joyce nodded and smiled as she closed her eyes. Giles leaned down and kissed her and held her hand... then watched as her hand slowly grew limp... and then fell from his. Within seconds.. the room erupted in crying as they watched their mother leave this world.

Cordelia handed Rachel to Angel and walked over to Willow and Tara.. and was pulled into a hug. As they cried, she turned to Buffy and swallowed her tears.

"She said five daughters... did she mean?"

Buffy nodded.

"Yes... me, Dawn, Willow, you and Tara."

The girls nodded and began crying even more, realizing that they had just lost someone who had loved them that much... and that things would never be the same....


Buffy looked down at her belly and then looked over at Giles and smiled.

*You made her happy.. and for that I will love you forever.*

Giles saw Buffy's smile and grinned himself... then walked over to hug her... as if he too had just remembered everything.

Ash looked at the group and nodded.

"Nice to meet you. So.. where is this Hellmouth? I need to look at it to figure out how to close it."

Xander smiled and nodded.

"Right this way... follow us."

He turned and walked into the living room... and then outside to a mini van. Ash stared in shock and frowned.

"What.. no flashing over there?"

Xander shook his head.

"Nope... don't want to miss and end up on Pluto."

Ash's eyes widened and he slowly nodded... then climbed into the back of the mini van. As he sat there, watching the people enter, it dawned on him that he might have bitten off more than he could chew....


"This is the Hellmouth?"

Ash looked around the ruins of the High School and frowned.

"Doesn't look like much."

Xander smiled and shook his head.

"The Hellmouth is below ground. Follow me."

Xander walked off to the side and then down into the sewers... following the path he and Angel took to get back out... after they rescued Buffy.

"Watch your step.. everyone.. and no slaying, Buffy."

Xander could almost hear Buffy's dirty look and just grinned as he lead them deeper and deeper into the earth. They walked for about 10 minutes before they came to a large cavernous room. As they entered, the hair on the back of Ash's neck began to twitch.

"This place... is evil.. very evil."

Xander nodded and pointed at a crack in the ground.

"Yup.. and the Hellmouth is down through that crack."

Ash nodded and walked over to it. He looked down into it and frowned.

"Damn.. this is the one time I wish I had paid more attention to those looney's back in la la land."

He opened a pouch on his belt and pulled out a glowing stick... like the kind you would find in a costume shop at Halloween. He shook it till it was glowing brightly and then dropped it into the crack.. watching it as it fell and counting in his head.

*... 33.. 34... 35...36*

He counted until the light vanished and then nodded.

"Right... ok. Can any of you do portal magic?"

Xander nodded.

"I can. What do you need?"

Ash looked at the crack and then frowned.

"Damn.. I need that crack wider."

Buffy smiled.

"No problem."

She walked over to the crack and kneeled next to it. Then, with a mighty punch, she widened the crack by almost double. As she stood, she turned to Ash and smiled.

"That good enough?"

Ash stared at the young woman and was in awe. She was amazingly strong.. and seemed so powerful... even in her pregnant state.

"That's fine.. thanks."

Buffy smiled and walked over to her husband, taking his arm. Ash watched her go and then shook his head.

"Ok... now I need someone to transmute the walls of the hole to this..."

He pulled out a black stone and handed it over to Willow.

"It's from a large ring I found in Egypt. Strange thing was.. it took me a hell of a time to crack off that tiny sliver.. but that thing has power."

Xander smiled and nodded. He recognized the stone... and got an idea as to what was going on.

"Willow can do it."

Willow nodded and closed her eyes. Her hands glowed and then she walked to the edge and ran her palm across the rim.. and it looked as if liquid stone slid down to completely cover the hole.. all the way down.


She got to her feet and walked back over to Tara. Ash nodded and turned to Xander.

"Ok kid.. now its your turn. Open a portal... up here.. with the edge of the opening the same as the crevice here.. then send it down, unopened, to the bottom... all the way. When it gets there.. reverse the polarity of the portal and open it."

Xander stared at Ash and nodded slowly. It made sense. He wouldn't be sealing the Hellmouth... he would just be making it open up somewhere else.

"So.. its not going to be sealed.. just moved to another dimension or planet?"

Ash nodded, surprised the kid understood.

"Exactly. You can't really seal something as evil as this... not unless you used like.. a nuclear explosion or something.. so I'm just... diverting it."

Xander smiled and laughed.

"Right.. very cool."

He walked over to the crevice and sat down next to it. Xander created a portal and then stretched it to match the crevice itself.. then he slid it down... farther and farther.. into the heart of the planet itself... until it stopped. He then reversed the polarity of the portal and linked it with the empty world he had made.

"Ready... here goes..."

He opened the portal and felt a surge of power radiate through him. The portal was open and it was merging itself with the crystal walls... creating a backwash of power as the Hellmouth was moved... sending the backwash up and out of the crevice... knocking Xander back 10 feet.

"Whoa... didn't expect that."

Xander climbed to his feet and brushed gravel out of his hair. He turned to Buffy and smiled.

"Feel any evil, hon?"

Buffy closed her eyes and concentrated.

"I can sense a few vampires.. a demon or two.. but... the Hellmouth... its.. its gone!"

Xander smiled.

"Good... then my honey is safe... forever."

It was then that Giles cleared his throat.

"You sealed.. THIS.. Hellmouth."

That got a reaction from everyone.


Giles blanched.

"There are more than one.. but the others were empty.. because this one was open... but that is no concern of ours now.. the other Hellmouths are in Europe and Australia... and so someone else will be assigned to them. Buffy... you're in retirement now."

Buffy blinked in shock.

"So.. I'm.. I'm the first Slayer to make it to retirement?"

Giles nodded.

"Yes. Once you clean up the evil that is here.. although I expect many of it will leave on its own in a few days.. you will be done."

Buffy looked down at her belly and smiled.. then began to cry.

"Xander... I.. I'm finished.. I'm finally finsihed... I did it..."

Xander nodded.

"Yup.. you sure did honey.. you sure did..."


Present Day... some 90 or so years later...

Xander smiled as he walked down the street. He was home... and it felt good to be home. As he turned the corner of the street, he saw his destination. A large three story building with toys in the front yard. Xander walked up the driveway and over to the front door. He rang the doorbell and waited. The door opened a few moments later to reveal a beautiful little blond girl who looked like she was 6 or 7.


Xander smiled at her and nodded.

"Hi there... is your mommy home?"

The little girl nodded and yelled for her mommy. Xander could hear footsteps coming from the kitchen.

"Yes.. what is it Lexi?"

Xander smiled.

*Finally.. someone named after me.*

A woman arrived at the door and Xander was momentarily stunned. It was his Willow... only with blond hair. She saw Xander standing on the porch and pulled Lexi toward her.

"Yes.. can I help you?"

Xander smiled and nodded.

"How is your mother, Angela?"

Angela frowned. Her mother had been dead for many years... ever since she turned 30.

"She's passed on. Who are you?"

Xander frowned. He was surprised to hear that she was gone.

"My name is Xander Harris... I'm your great grandfather... and you look so much like your great grandmother."

The woman stared at Xander in shock and then grew angry.

"I don't know what kind of game you're playing.. but this is not funny."

Xander sighed.

"Willow and Tara.. with aid from me.. begat Anne.. Anne and Robert begat Rebecca.. Rebecca and Timothy begat you, Angela.. and you begat little Lexi here. I can prove it if you need."

Angela's eyes widened in shock.. then slowly swallowed.


Xander smiled.

"I'm Immortal..."

Angela heard the words and flashbacked to something she had seen as a child... a strange tattoo on her father's wrist. She had asked once what it meant and he had smiled and said he was a Watcher... and that he watched Immortals. Angela had only been 5 at the time.. so she quickly forgot it.. till now.

"I.. I see.. I'm sorry.. come inside."

Xander nodded and entered.

"Thank you."

Inside he could see photos everywhere and smiled at some he recognized. He found an old one of him, Buffy, and Willow... all together.. and then wondered why she couldn't see the resemblance. It was then he caught his reflection and saw that his features were different.

*Oh.. right.. I changed them back when I was hiding from The Kurgen...*

Xander closed his eyes and wiped his face... reverting himself back to who he was. As he did this, Angela looked in his direction.. and then gasped in fear.


Xander opened his eyes and looked in the mirror. His old face was back.

"Ah.. much better... now.. "

He started to turn around and was hit over the back of the head with a fireplace poker... and was knocked unconscious...


Xander opened his eyes and saw the limbs of a tree hanging directly above him. He frowned and sat up... then looked around. He was in the park... and there was a piece of paper pinned to his chest. Xander ripped it off and read it.

To anyone who reads this... leave the man asleep. He is dangerous. Just walk away and leave him alone.

To the man... I don't know who or what you are... but don't ever come back to my home, or I will be forced to kill you.

Xander frowned and sighed.

*Abandoned... again.... and another link is broken...*

Xander leaned back against the tree and cried... remembering everyone he had lost...


June 18, 2023
Somewhere in Denmark...

In the early light of dawn... three robed figures stood around a shard of crystal and gazed into it.

"The time is approaching. He gateway must be opened so that our Lord, the Great Tyresot, can reign again. The way must be cleared... we need the Key..."

They stared at the crystal and slowly an image formed inside it. The image was of a beautiful woman in her early 20's with long flowing brown hair and sparkling eyes.... Dawn. The figures nodded and turned to a figure standing in the shadows.

"That is the Key... bring it to us. We need its blood. You may do as you like with the rest of it."

The figure nodded and stepped closer. It was a man in his 40's with long blond hair cascading down his back. At his side hung twin swords and over his shoulder hung a sub machine gun with a tranquilizer dart attachment.

"I will get her... and bring her to you. Where is she.. and where will you be?"

The figures made Dawn's image swirl then change.

"She is in London, England... south side... in a large ivy covered building 3 blocks off of a large square."

The man nodded.

"Ok.. I should be able to find her. Where will you be?"

The figures nodded and changed the image. It showed a vineyard on the edge of a mountain.

"A few miles outside Provance, France."

The man nodded.

"My payment?"

The figures turned to each other.. then back to the man.

"Half is now in your account.. the rest when we get the blood."

The man nodded.


With that said... he turned and walked off... disappearing into the mist.


Dawn stepped out of the department store with a bag in each hand. She looked so different now... more grown up. The Hive had aged her to 21 or 22... and she was gorgeous.

*Ok.. I have something for Willow and Tara... and I already have Cordy and Angel taken care of.. and little Rachel... just need something for Buffy, Liam, and of course Xander...*

She walked to the taxi waiting for her and handed the bags to the driver. He placed them in the trunk then walked back to the front. As he walked past, Dawn noticed beads of sweat on his forehead... but ignored them as she climbed into the car. It was then a complete shock when she came face to face with the barrel of a gun.

"Don't move."

Dawn's eyes widened in shock and she started to scream.. when the man lowered the gun and fired a tranquilizer dart into her stomach. She managed a slight squeak before her eyes rolled back in her head and she fell unconscious. The man smiled and thumbed a ring on his finger. The gem in the ring changed from red to black and the man laughed.

*Glad I found this baby. Hides my Quickening perfectly... she never even felt me.*

He looked up at the driver and growled.

"Take me to 153 East Terrace.. "

The driver nodded and gunned the engine, pulling away. They drove for a few minutes until they arrived in a deserted part of London. The man pulled Dawn out of the taxi and then turned to the man. He handed him a 100 pound note and smiled.

"If you agree to not contract the authorities for 30 minutes... you can have this on top of the fair."

The driver looked at the money.. then the woman.. then back at the money and snatched it out of the man's hands... then sped off. The man laughed and watched the taxi driver leave.. then picked up Dawn and headed into a large ruined factory. As he got inside, he heard a large explosion come from a few blocks away.

"Greed.. its a sin, you know."

He laughed... picturing the taxi as it exploded... then walked inside.


Dawn opened her eyes slowly and blinked. The room was dark and she couldn't move. She blinked her eyes a few times and then looked around. It appeared she was in what used to be a factory.. and she was restrained inside some... machine.

"No need bothering to move, beautiful, you're not going anywhere... not till I get all of your blood."

Dawn looked all around for the source of the voice and was confronted with a tall man as he appeared out of the shadows.

"Why? Why are you doing this?"

The man walked closer to Dawn and grinned.

"You know..."

Dawn looked into his eyes and swallowed.

"The Key... but I'm not.. not anymore."

The man shook his head.

"Yes.. you are. I did some research.. and you are. You aren't for Sunnydale.. put that is but one of a multitude of portals. I have been hired to use you to open one... in France."

Dawn shook her head.. not believing.

"No.. why.. who are you?"

The man smiled at her.

"I am Jacob Marx. I work for the Order of Teraka...and the Uterwurd Sisterhood is paying me well to bring them your blood..."

Jacob walked over to Dawn and smiled. He ran a hand down her face and across the front of her blouse.

"Lovely.. very beautiful. Maybe..."

Dawn looked into his eyes and saw something that gave her some hope. She saw interest... lust.. and if that was there... she might manage to live a few moments longer and in those moments find a way to escape.

"You.. you're attracted to me?"

Jacob nodded.

"Yes.. lovely..."

Dawn smiled and blinked her eyes at him.

"You.. you need my blood... but do you need to kill me? What if you didn't.. I.. I could be grateful..."

Jacob closed his eyes and smiled. He then reached out and turned on a light... allowing Dawn to see what was holding her down. It looked like a cross between a spider, a milking machine, and a bathtub.

"Maybe.... maybe not."

Jacob laughed and pressed a button next to Dawn. There was a loud hissing sound and then 20 spikes shot forward and into Dawn, impaling themselves deep inside her. Dawn screamed in pain as her body was attacked and continued screaming as slowly... all of her blood was drained from her body.

"... maybe not."

Jacob ignored Dawn's screams as he watched all of the blood being drained out of her. It was sucked out and pooled in glass jars on a table nearby. He smiled, pleased with his machine, and watched as Dawn stopped screaming and slowly died.

When the machines only sucked air.. and Dawn was very shriveled... Jacob turned off the machine and released her corpse. He quickly gathered up her body and carried it out to a car. He then came back and moved the jars carefully... before he headed to meet up with the Sisterhood...


Jacob handed over the jars of blood and nodded to the Sisterhood.

"There you go.. all of her blood."

The Sisterhood nodded and moved the jars over to a large rift in the ground. Jacob watched and then smiled. He turned and walked back to the car... pulling his sword as he walked.

"The money has been transferred?"

He heard a yes and then Jacob grinned. He pulled out Dawn's corpse and saw that she had filled out some in the time it took to drive over. Jacob laughed silently and raised his sword.

"There can be only one..."

He then swung down and severed Dawn's head from her shoulder. Jacob laughed out loud and then smiled as the young woman's Quickening floated out of her body and into his. Bolts of lightning exploded in all direction and one blast slid across the ground and into the rift.. causing it, Dawn's blood, and the Sisterhood to be explode... with the Sisterhood being disintegrated by the blast.

*Power.. such.. power... no.. too much.. too much..!*

Jacob screamed and then fell to the ground as the Quickening ended. It took him a few minutes to get up the strength to move.. and as he stood, his eyes glowed with madness.

"The leaves drink blood and the dandelion wants my soul... a pox on the sheep for they tempt the wolves..."

He cackled and then ran off into the woods... wandering... completely insane...


Xander looked down at his hands and sighed. It had killed them when word came of Dawn's death. The girls took it the hardest.. and Liam was devastated.. for he loved his aunt more than life itself. Buffy, however, was changed the most. She was upset.. yes.. but she was also cold. She wanted revenge... and it took her 18 years to do it.


It had been a long and hard journey, one filled with close calls and a few dead ends... but finally Buffy tracked down Jacob Marx...


Somewhere in South Africa
September 3, 2041

Buffy climbed the side of the hill and stared down at the house below her. It was in terrible shape and there was a madman wandering around outside it.

*I finally found you.. you Bastard!*

Buffy crawled over the top of the hill and was hit by the buzz of the man's Quickening. She noticed the man stop moving and look around franticly... then run... away from the house.

*Away... huh?*

Buffy jumped to her feet and chased after him, pulling out her sword as she ran. It had been years since she had tapped into the abilities she had as Slayer, and the rush they gave her was breathtaking. Within seconds... she caught up with him.

"Stop now!"

The man came to a halt and turned around. His eyes were wild with insanity and his hair was covered in mud, filth, and blood. Buffy stared at him and snarled.

"I'm Buffy Summers... and I want your head you sick Bastard!"

The man stared at Buffy and then slowly nodded.

"Quails and ticks playing poker in the dirt by the stream.... Jacob..... the rabbit and the donkey dancing in the moonlight don't notice the wolves gathering to cut in... Marx."

Buffy's eyebrows narrowed in confusion. She had heard he had gone insane.. but this... this was just too weird. As she listened to him ramble.. she heard him say his name. With a scream, Buffy launched herself at Jacob and swung her sword at his neck... only to have it meet steel as Jacob blocked the attack.

"I'm going to see the shining one.. and he's going to make all the voices go away..."

Jacob then appeared to regain his senses for a moment and with a snarl of his own.. he launched a vicious attack at Buffy, his sword becoming a blur as he used every second of clarity he had to his advantage... pushing Buffy back... but his moments of clarity never lasted long.. and soon, Buffy was able to gain back the advantage as Jacob slipped back into insanity.

They fought like this for over an hour... before Jacob finally lost it completely and left himself wide open. This was Buffy's chance... and she took it, along with Jacob's head. Her sword stretched out and cleaved Jacob's head from his shoulders... and then she watched as his body fell to the ground. Slowly... his Quickening appeared and then entered her... and in that moment, she was finally reunited with her sister.


As the Quickening ended, with tears in her eyes, Buffy noticed that she was still feeling the buzz of an Immortal.

*But.. how.. he's dead...*

It was then she screamed as a few feet of cold steel emerged from her stomach from behind. Buffy looked over her shoulder and saw a terrifying man standing over her. He was tall and dark and deadly... and his sword was sticking half in and half out of her body. As she opened her mouth to speak, blood trickled out and over her lips.


The man smiled at her and laughed, a harsh gravelly sound.

"Mmm.. lovely... I think I might hang on to you a bit.. before I take your head."

He yanked the sword free and smashed it across Buffy's face.. watching as she died. He then picked up her body and carried her back to a jeep hidden behind some bushes. He tied her to the back.. then walked over to the corpse. Smiling, he bent down and took the ring off the man's hand.

"Thank you... my friend.. you helped perfectly... and soon.. soon I will have fun with the woman... and she will be the perfect bait for him... the one I need to complete my collection before I face the Highlander."

The man slid the ring onto his finger and tapped the gem. He watched it change colors and deactivated it..

"Soon... Highlander... soon you will die to me... The Kurgen!"


Light came first and with it warmth... and with the warmth, pain. Buffy opened her eyes and winced as the ice covering her eyes cracked and broke away. He had returned...

"Up.. wake up pretty... it's time again..."

Buffy groaned and tried to move... but it was hard to move when your body was half frozen. He glared at the monster before her and shook with anger. She had been in the freezer for so long she had no idea what day it was. She would awaken, he would tease and taunt her, then he will turn the temperature back down and she would die slowly as she froze to death... over and over... and each time he would say the same thing before he left.

*He doesn't care about you, pretty, he has ignored every message sent to him. He wants you to die...*

She shook her head. Her Xander wouldn't be like that... wouldn't do that to her... but yet she was here, being frozen then thawed... over and over.

The Kurgen walked over and kicked her onto her back so he could look into her face.

"Yet again, pretty, he has not made contact. I have been waiting.. using you as bait... so that I can use Harris as bait for the Highlander... but I am tired of waiting. Five months.. five fucking months.. its long enough."

He pulled out his sword and lowered it to her neck. He was toying with her... waiting for the room to get warm enough for her to speak.

"Any final thoughts, pretty?"

Buffy glared up at him and shook her head... refusing to speak. She was screaming in her mind, trying to will her body to move... but it had been frozen so many times that her muscles just wouldn't listen anymore. She was helpess and the monster knew it. The Kurgen nodded and brought his sword up.

"There can be only one..."

Then with a swing, the blade came flying down. In Buffy's final seconds she screamed out with her mind.


It was done.

The Slayer was dead.

The Kurgen stood still for a moment before the girl's Quickening exploded into his body and with it... the Slayer Powers. His eyes widened as untold power flooded his mind, taking him closer and closer to the brink of insanity.

*Power... such power... Highlander will die now!!!*

As he absorbed the Quickening, his skin began to smoke and his hair caught fire. Within seconds.. he was completely bald and his skin was darkening in patches. By the time it was over... The Kurgen was standing... dead... on his feet. He fell back dead and remained in the ice-covered room for three days before awakening... then went out to spread the news.... that the end was near.


Years... years he searched for the Highlander but found nothing. The Kurgen lost track of how many years he wandered from town to town, state to state, continent to continent... searching before he finally found a gathering of Watchers in Berlin... and beat the information he wanted out of them before he killed them...


The room was silent... deadly silent... except for the sound of breathing, slow shallow breathing. The Kurgen smiled as he walked through the darkness toward the breathing. He entered a large room to find a large metal case with tubes and wires coming out of it. There was no one around and the room was covered in dust, years worth of dust. The Kurgen smiled and moved toward the case... examining it... seeing the flashes of flesh that emerged here and there.


The figure in the case flinched and the case began to tremble.

"I know you're in there, Highlander. I can smell your fear... a gift from the Harris woman."

The case began to shake as if the person inside was trying to break free.

"Such power she had... was using her as bait to get Harris... to get you... but she was so sweet.. like honey... like power."

The Kurgen watched and smiled as he taunted the man in the case.

"She gave me enough to kill you... and I'm going to enjoy killing you, Highlander."

The Kurgen moved to the case and removed the section covering Connor McLeod's head to reveal a hairy face with wide eyes.

"Highlander... look upon the face of death and weep."

Connor stared in horror and tried franticly to get his arms free as the Kurgen moved closer. He wanted to scream but had a tube running down his throat... keeping him alive. The Kurgen looked at the tube, ran a finger along it, then savagely ripped it out. Blood gisered out of Connor's mouth as he screamed in pain.

"Oooh... yes... scream for me Highlander.. scream as you die!"

Connor took a gasping breath as the Kurgen lifted his sword and pulled it back to swing at his head. The Kurgen laughed and grinned evilly.

"There can be only one, Highlander, and it will be me!"

The blade came down toward him, moving in slow motion, giving Connor enough time to react. He pushed outward with all his strength and managed to get an arm free. He then ripped the bracing holding his neck in place loose and ducked just as the blade sliced through where he head was seconds earlier. The Kurgen's blade passed over him and his the electronics keeping him alive. Circuits were cut and electricity backwashed up the blade and into the Kurgen... electrocuting him.


As the Kurgen writhed in electified agony, Connor ripped his other arm free and then undid the bindings holding the rest of his body in place. The Kurgen broke free then and moved to attack Connor... who fell to the floor and rolled away.

"You can't kill me that easy, Kurgen... and who were you talking about before? Who is Harris?"

Connor knew who Xander Harris was... he just wanted to keep the Kurgen off his game long enough for his body to return to normal.

*Come on body.. get back to normal so I can stand.*

The Kurgen growled and stalked Connor, who was rolling across the floor, moving from piece of electronics to other piece of electronics.

"The Harris woman... former Slayer.... wife to Xander Harris... strongest of us all... except maybe you, Highlander. He was to be my bait for you... but you quit the Game.. so I hunted you."

Connor listened and nodded.

*He killed the boy's wife... another Immortal... damn!*

"Really... so you're scared of me... good, very good Kurgen... you should be."

Connor felt his legs twitch and knew they were almost back to normal. He grabbed a steel pipe from off the ground and climbed to his feet.

"So.. you ready to end this?"

The Kurgen roared and stormed forward toward Connor. The fight was on. The Kurgen assailed Connor with blow after blow, each one blocked with the steel pipe as Connor held Kurgen off. Neither one gained any ground... or lost any... they remained deadlocked.... until...

"You can't beat me Highlander. I will kill you!"

Connor blocked a thrust and saw an opening. He spun around and swung down under the Kurgen's slice and smashed the monster's knee, shattering it. The Kurgen fell to the ground and dropped his sword in shock. Connor flipped the sword up with his foot as he swung the pipe as Kurgen's head, knocking him to the ground. Connor then caught the sword and swung it at the Kurgen's head.

"There can be only one..."

The blade passed through the monster's neck and the Quickening that followed was unlike anything seen by mortal man. The collected power of countless Immortals, a Key, and a Slayer passed into Connor all in one bolt... and it was enough to make his mind shatter.

*No... no... too much... no.. no.... NO!!*

Connor fell to the ground, his eyes wide and unseeing, and just lay there... for hours... before he blinked and an evil gleam filled his eyes.

"Just you and me, Harris... then I collect the Prize...."

He climbed to his feet and stormed out of Sanctuary, out into the night... to hunt the last Immortal.


Xander kicked the door down and then stormed into the room, rolling across the floor to avoid the rain of bullets that flew over his head. He rolled to his feet and threw a dagger toward the shooter. Hearing a scream of agony, Xander moved further into the room and found a man pinned to the wall by the dagger he threw. The blade had gone through the wrist of the hand holding an AK-47 and the owner of the hand was staring at Xander in terror.

"Where is The Kurgen!"

The man shook his head.

"Dead! He's dead!"

Xander took the AK-47 and threw it across the room then ripped the blade free, wincing as the man screamed in agony.

"Who killed him!"

The man cradled his wrist and glared up at Xander.

"Go to Hell!"

Xander growled and backhanded the man across the face. Blood splattered the wall as the man was knocked sideways.

"Tell me or I will make you beg me to kill you!"

The man trembled and looked back at Xander.

"The Highlander... last seen headed for New York."

Xander nodded to himself... then knocked the man unconsious with the hilt of the dagger.

"You're lucky I don't kill for pleasure... or you'd be dead right now."

Xander moved to the door and paused, his mind ablaze.

*The Highlander... Connor... he killed Kurgen. I have no choice... I want Buffy and Dawn back. I NEED them back. They're all I have left...*

Xander shook his head and then vanished into the night...


Lights lit up along the framework then a flash of blue light filled the frame as a gateway was activated. Xander stepped out of the gateway and then moved to the side to let the next traveler through.

*Portal travel... who would have though of it.*

Shaking his head, Xander headed into the heart of New York City to begin his search for Connor. The Gathering was at hand..


Xander stared down at the men fighting in the ring and waited, knowing that being out in public would draw Connor out. The cheer of the crowds as the fighters hacked and slashed each other to bits was completely ignored as Xander scanned the crowd, searching for his face.

*Where the hell are you, Highlander?*

As Xander's eyes reached the balcony across the stadium from him he glimpsed a flash of metal. Xander focused his eyes and saw Connor staring at him, grinning like a maniac. Xander moved to stand and motioned toward the exits. Connor nodded and stood as well... then vanished into the darkness behind him. Xander turned and followed...


Xander stepped into the empty parking lot and reached out to feel for Connor... but found nothing.

"Where are you, Highlander?"

Xander walked slowly through the lot, listening for footsteps but heard nothing but droplets of water and muted cheers from inside. As Xander reached a section empty of cars, he noticed a shadow falling behind him and dove to the ground just as a sword swished right where his head was.

"You die, Harris, and I claim the Prize!"

Xander swung his sword up and caught Connor's blade as it came crashing down toward him. He twisted it to the side and scrambled to his feet.

"Connor... think about what you're doing. Do you really want to kill me?"

Connor nodded, evil light gleaming in his eyes.

"Yes... and I know all your secrets, thanks to your wife. Did you know that Kurgen made her scream before she died?"

Xander shook his head, not listening to the lies.

"Shut up, Connor. Don't make me kill you."

Connor laughed and moved closer.

"Why not, Harris? We're the last ones, the final two. One of us has to die..."

Connor screamed and ran toward Xander.

"... and it won't be me!"

Xander backed away, bringing his sword upward to fend of the attacks. Blade hit blade and the sounds of ringing metal filled the room. Xander kept up a defense, not willing to openly slay his friend, until he heard the sounds of sirens approaching.

"Connor... stop this!"

Connor moved closer and managed to get his sword through and jammed it deep into Xander's shoulder just as the lights of a patrol car shone on them both.

"Freeze! This is the New York Police Department. Drop your weapons and put your hands up!"

Connor glanced over at the car and hissed.

"This is not over, Harris. Meet me in Central Park or I start killing random people!"

Connor howled and threw his sword up at the lights. Sparks flew and in the commotion, he ran off into the darkness. Xander hesitated for a second then ran off as well, in the other direction...


Xander stepped into the park, his mind scanning the shadows for any sign of Connor.

*Why the hell couldn't I feel him?*

Xander moved along the path, trying to remain hidden, as he searched for the Highlander... not knowing he was right behind him.

*Yes.. keep going, Harris, keep going and I will just snip off your head and then the world is mine...*

Xander walked out into a clearing, his eyes darting back and forth looking for a sign, any sign... then... pain exploded along his back as Connor sliced open his lower back, missing his spine by inches.


Xander fell to the ground and rolled onto his back, screaming in pain as the open wound hit grass and dirt, and looked up into the demonic face of his once friend.

"It ends!"

Connor brought his sword up and moved to make his strike. Xander thrust his own sword up and impaled Connor through the gut, then yanked his sword free and sliced at the descending hand... slicing it free from Connor's arm.

*What the fuck!*

As Connor's hand fell to the ground, the buzz of his Quickening exploded into Xander's mind. It was then that he noticed the ring glistening in the moonlight on Connor's severed hand.

*The right... it must be...*

Connor screamed and bent over to grab his sword. Xander backed away, his back healing, and got to his feet, stumbling away from the wounded man.

"I'll make you pay, Harris!"

Xander turned and ran, needing to get to high ground, hearing Connor right behind him cursing him the whole way. Xander knew he had to get his thoughts clear and plan what he needed to win... for he knew that Connor would never give up.

*Need a few minutes... just a few minutes..*

Xander sprinted toward the busy streets and ran out toward the speeding traffic. A car almost ran him down but Xander managed to jump away just in time. Connor wasn't as lucky. Tires squealed and a loud thump was heard and as Xander glanced over his shoulder, he could see Connor lying on the hood of a taxi, blood pouring out of his nose and ears.

*Good... this will buy me some time...*

Xander ran off towards the edge of town... knowing what kind of location he needed.... knowing Connor wouldn't be too far behind him.


Connor jerked and came to as the paramedics were loading him into the ambulance. He roared and them and fell off the side of the stretcher.

"Where is he!"

People drew back and cringed in terror. Connor grabbed the taxi drive and pulled him to within inches of his face.

"Where is Harris!"

The driver whimpered and swallowed.

"The man you were chasing... he ran down the street... toward the bridge."

Connor threw the man backward and ran down the street, pausing every few blocks to search for Xander's blood trail... knowing it would dry up as he healed.

"Damn you Harris! I will have your head!"


Xander ran across the bridge and saw a series of warehouses lining the river. He headed toward one hoping it was empty, not noticing the drops of blood that were trailing behind him...


Connor approached the bridge at a dead run and saw a small blood splatter near the railing.

*I will have you, Harris!*

He flailed to the side as a car almost ran him over then ran across the bridge, just a few minutes behind Xander...


Xander entered the warehouse and paused at the open door. He reached a hand around behind and found his back was almost healed. His hand came back bloody and Xander smeared the blood on the door... marking it... baiting his trap.

*He's insane... driven by rage and evil... I can use that....*

Xander ran up some rotting stairs to the second floor balcony and paused to wait near a large shipping crane hook.

*He isn't thinking clearly... he'll run inside... not look where he's going... I can surprise him and then get down there.*

Xander gasped as his body tried to scream at him to stop... but he couldn't stop. He knew it was time to end it all. This would be the final fight. There would be only one...


Connor reached the end of the bridge and spotted the warehouses. He ran toward then and ran from door to door until he saw the splash of red on one door.

*I have you now, Harris. You're mine!*

He kicked the door in and burst inside. Light filled the room and he blinked as his eyes tried to adjust. He didn't see the hook flying toward him until it was too late. It smashed into him, just below the lungs, and lifted him off his feet and into the steel walls. Xander watched from the balcony and then ran down the stairs.

"Give it up, Connor. Stop this now."

Connor writhed on the hook and tried to free himself from it as blood gushed out in all directions.


Xander nodded to himself and moved closer.

"Then I have no choice."

He kicked Connor's fallen sword away and moved closer to the flailing man.

"There can be only one.."

Xander focused his thoughts and leapt into the air. He seemed to float as he rose higher and higher... until he was even with Connor's chest. Xander swung his sword in an arch and separated Connor's head from his neck... then landed on the ground a few feet away. Xander looked up at Connor's headless corpse and backed away as the white mist of the man's Quickening emerged... and grew.

*The Prize...*

Xander could feel the air electrifying and it terrified him.

*This... this isn't right... too much power... too.. much.. I won't survive it.*

Connor's Quickening launched itself at Xander and he screamed in agony as it flooded him. Connor's memories filled his mind... then came the Kurgen... then the ones he wanted most, Buffy... and then one more.. and then Dawn. He could feel them... and hundreds more entering his mind as power unlocked from the universe itself opened him like a key in a lock.

"I can feel it..."

Xander's body floated up into the sky as lightning crashed into him from all directions.

"I... I can feel everything..."

Xander floated higher and higher, his body writhing.

"I know everything..."

His eyes widened and began to glow, as if filled by the light of a million stars.


Light filled the room, exploding off of Xander's body... until there was nothing. A lone sword fell from the sky, impaling itself perfectly in the stone floor. Silence filled the room as the blade quivered a few times... then was still.

Xander... was gone.


Light... light and floating mist as far as the eye could see... and warmth... and love.

Xander looked down at the Earth and could see millions upon millions of pinpricks of light, each one symbolizing a human life. He was aware of all of them. He knew their thoughts, their dreams, their every desires... both good and evil. He knew them all... and yet he was alone.

"You're not alone, Xander. You'll never be alone."

Xander looked up as a light enclosed figure moved toward him. The light receded slowly and a familiar form emerged.


Buffy smiled and moved closer, opening her arms to her husband. Xander rushed into her arms and began weeping against her chest.

"Oh God, Buffy... I've missed you so much. I'm so sorry... I love you so much..."

Buffy ran her fingers through Xander's hair and made soothing sounds.

"Shh... baby... it's ok. Shhh... sweetie... you did it."

Xander looked up into her warm, loving eyes and frowned, a confused look on his face.

"I.. I did it. Did what?"

Buffy smiled and kissed Xander's lips.

"You won... you got the prize... you've ascended."

Xander leaned back a hair and looked at his wife, his eyebrows wrinkling.

"Ascended... what are you talking about?"

Buffy sighed and smiled.

"You're a God, Xander... and I'm only here in your mind. You made me, from my memories."

Xander pulled away from her and frowned.

"You're not real.."

Buffy frowned and vanished, as if made of mist. Xander stared where she was and began to tremble.

"None of this is real..."

Xander looked back down at the Earth and made it move closer. He focused in deeper and deeper until he was staring back down at Sunnydale... many, many years earlier. He watched himself as he ran from the school... to the bluff... then beyond.

"I'm back where it all began... and I'm all alone again."

Xander reached out and froze himself in mid-air.

"It would be so easy to just end it all. Kill me here and none of this will have happened. I can end everything..."

Xander let his mind roam free, remembering his entire life. All the people he met... the people he saved... the people he loved... Buffy and Dawn... Rachel and Liam, his children. He took in a shuddering breath as tears began to fall from his eyes.

"So much pain... yet even now, I'd keep it all for the few moments of joy I had. I wouldn't take that from you, young Xander, not for anything. You need the pain to enjoy the love. You don't see it now... but you will, someday. Maybe when you're here, in my place, maybe you'll have the courage to make the decision I couldn't."

Xander looked off into the mist and watched as a world was created. It was isolated, far away from everyone. Xander filled it with good water and air and ground. He made a perfect world... and knew just what to fill it with.

"I... I won't be alone..."

He turned back to young Xander and smiled... then began to laugh as he unfroze his younger self. His laughter roamed across time and he watched his younger self look around in confusion... then disappear in a sparkle of light.

"Safe journey, my friend."

Xander then turned to his new world and vanished in a flash of light, dispersing his knowledge, his power, the memories of everyone he carried... and his very soul in that new world...


Buffy walked down the steps and over to the fountain. She smiled at Willow and Xander and then sat down in Xander's lap, kissing her boyfriend on the lips.

"I hate Chemistry... it's evil."

Xander laughed and nibbled on his girlfriend's neck.

"Yes... we know that Buffy, but we have to take it if we want to get into a good college... besides, Willow here can help you... right Will?"

Willow nodded eagerly.

"Oh yeah... Oz and I are both taking pre college courses in Chemistry. We can get you back on your feet and getting straight A's in no time."

Buffy smiled and reached out to hug her best girlfriend.

"Thanks Willow. What would I do without the two of you?"

Xander smiled and kissed Buffy passionately on the lips.

"Well, Buffy, that's the one thing you'll never have to worry about. I love you with all my heart and so does Willow... in her non-romantic sort of way and we, my love, we three will be no matter what. Nothing will ever break us apart. We will be happy, together... forever."

The End