You lost me at Hello

Author: Adrian_Tepes <charles_parkerh[at]>

Rating R.

Warning: Crossovers, cameos and guest appearances ahead. Disclaimer: I own neither Xander nor any of ME created characters or anyone's characters save for ones I created and those should be obvious.

Summary: Xander takes the first step of the rest of his life.

Author Notes: As I said, I took some time off to review and rework my earlier plans series into something that was closer to what I wanted. I'm still in the process of doing that but I've got a lot of good ideas and the limits of bad taste to explore.


Every once in a while a story comes along that redefines the genre and sets a new standard in fiction.

This is NOT that story. This story will go places where NO man has gone before. Most likely the ladies room and beyond.

Xander squinted reflexively in the heat of the afternoon. He had just returned to the Norfolk hotel from his latest foray out into the countryside. The hotel, according to the brochure had a long and rich history that was deeply entwined with Kenya's own history. While he wasn't sure of the history part it certainly was a luxurious hotel. Satellite TV, air conditioning (something he quickly learned to classify as being a luxury in this country) and a private bath complete with it's own phone.

All paid for by the late members of the original Watcher's council. And in Xander's opinion money well spent. His only question was should the money have been spent on him. That had been Giles's decision to make. It almost made up for the fact that he was essentially alone in a foreign country that was at best a couple decades behind where the others were.

"Good morning Mr. Harris." The concierge spoke impeccable English, which seemed both odd and strangely appropriate in this setting.

"Good Morning Nate. How is everything?"

"Splendid as always Mr. Harris. Oh Miss Jones left a message at the front desk. It was that as soon as you awoke and were ready to please meet her at the poolside bar."

The poolside bar was the place Xander had first met Elizabeth. She was recovering from several, lengthy emotional battles with her family over her life and it's state. Fed-up at what she perceived as meddling by her parents, she had packed up and come to Kenya for rest. She was breath-taking beautiful and the first woman in some time that he had felt a mutual attraction with. Before he had gone into 'the bush' last time, they had talked and he had tried to feel her out about the subject. For her to leave a note with the front desk meant that she had meant reached a decision.

"Thank you Nate."

Xander took a deep breath and made his way out towards the pool. He spotted her instantly sitting by herself at a table near the pool.

She was dressed in a fashionable yet subdued dress reading over one of the papers the hotel delivered daily. Confidence in his step, he walked over to where she was seated. The Englishwoman looked as he neared and gestured for him to be seated.

"Good Morning, Beth."

"Alexander, you can't begin to imagine how happy I am to see you today."

"Oh I can imagine quite a bit Beth." He smiled broadly at her.

"Yes I believe that. Do you remember Robert?"

Robert was Beth's former boyfriend, like her, he was a member of England's upper class though he came from a blue collar family that made good as opposed to inheriting his position. His father had risen up the ranks of Britain's banking circles becoming a millionaire in the process and earning a spot for him and his family in the elite's eyes.

"Yeah, what about him? Has he done something else to tick you off?"

One of the reasons Elizabeth had listed, as being behind her decision to leave was Robert's apparent inability to make a commitment to their relationship. He had been considering going to America to work in his father's overseas office without informing her of that decision. Xander didn't think much of Robert personally or at all.

"No Alexander, in fact, -"

"Ah, hello. You must Alexander Harris, the man that Elizabeth told me about."

Xander looked up blinking as young man dressed in he thought of as "English cut casual" joined them. He was a few years older then Xander with lighter brown hair and appraising brown eyes that seemed to be evaluating the American ever so briefly before the man's smile widened.

"I must say you're quite different from how she described. You look nothing like Charley."

He glanced over at the Englishwoman with a question on his face, "Nothing like you described?"

Robert chuckled, "She said that you were like a brother to her."

Ah, that made sense. Charley was Elizabeth's older brother and like all brothers, he was in her words, a tad over-bearing and a bit protective of his younger sister.

"Well I'll take that as a compliment coming from her and you."

Elizabeth spoke up, "Robert flew in while you were out in the countryside on one of your excursions. We talked a great deal and, " she hesitated before showing him her hand, glittering on it was a fairly expensive looking diamond and sapphire ring, "He gave me this."

Xander took all that in and in less then a second let a goofy smile spread across his face. "Well with the size of that rock, I'm sure you could afford to reserve the whole hotel for a week at least."


"Seriously, I am happy for you both. Have you set a date yet?"

"Oh good heavens no. We're still haven't told our families yet. But we did agree on one thing. When we do, we'd like to invite you as a friend of the families. Will you be able to attend Alexander?"

He leaned back a little in his chair wearing a smile he did not feel, "Nothing would please me more then to be there for both of you. I do have my work but as long as I get enough advance notice, I think it'll be okay."

"Ah yes your work," Robert inquired, "What is it exactly you do? I've rarely come across Americans in this part of the world, especially ones in your position."

What exactly did he do? What had he told Elizabeth?

"I'm a consultant for a fairly large British and American firm that specializes in assisting developing countries make greater use of their assets." That was vague enough to be somewhat accurate he thought.

"And they let you stay here as opposed to being somewhere else?"

"Well got to make full use of those tax write-offs Bob." Both men laughed at that and soon the conversation went to other topics including what was going in their respective countries. Roughly half an hour later, by mutual consent the breakfast meeting broke up.

Elizabeth and Robert were retreating to their room to telephone her family. Xander had planned on remaining in the hotel for a few days to rest and recuperate but that had changed.

Now he couldn't wait to get out of the hotel and away from civilization at least for a while. During his packing and trip preparations he managed to bang his head twice, once on the interior roof of his Land Rover. Unsurprisingly Elizabeth and Robert had not been out of their room all day. He left a message for the newly engaged couple saying he to attend to some business out in the countryside and wishing them well on planning their future nuptials before driving off.

He had been driving down one of the more serviced and more traveled roads, thinking about how long he was supposed to remain in Africa when it happened. A sudden and violent explosion knocked him right off the road and his rover right onto its side. As the cobwebs started clearing, Xander struggled to unfasten his seat bet and get his door open. He was greeted by unexpectedly bright sunlight that made it hard for him to see anything. Squinting he walked towards where he thought the road would be. That's when a second explosion knocked him off his feet.

And into something wet.

"What the hell?"

He blinked the light somehow dimming substantially as he did so. And was immediately certain of two things. One, his car was nowhere to be found because he almost certainly wasn't in Kenya or possibly in Africa anymore. For you see, there aren't any swamps with tall cypress trees in that part of Africa. It was this first certainty that led Xander to the second. And that was for the second time in less then a day, God had elected to kick him square in the crotch.

Chapter one

'Okay let's review, I was in my land rover, heading out to the boonies after getting kicked right in the teeth by Elizabeth and Robert and now I'm in the middle of a swamp with no car or a clue how I got here. Yeah that sounds about right.'

Further thinking on the subject was interrupted, as Xander became aware of a motorboat slowing down. He looked behind him and saw that there was indeed a boat approaching the little piece of land where he was lying. A boat carried two armed men with rifles pointed directly at him.


The ride back to wherever the men had come from was quiet and dark for Xander. Of course being handcuffed behind his back and having a bag placed over his head had something to do with that.

'Note to self, "hi" probably is a bit lacking when greeting armed men with guns. I wonder how those guys found me and what they were doing out there in the first place. They didn't look like surprised to see me. 'Hmm, sounds like this little trip is coming to a close and I'll be getting some answers one way or another shortly'.

The boat stopped and he heard footsteps of more then one person approaching. The boat shifted slightly as the men moved around.

"Who is this?"

"Sir, this is what we found at the location described, sir."

"Nothing else?"

"No sir."

"Bring him."

Xander felt himself being helped up and assisted off the boat by the others. Still unable to see, he allowed himself to be guided further onto what sounded like asphalt and concrete. Eventually the men guiding him stopped and so did he wondering what the hell was going on.

"You may remove the hood now." This was a different voice, he noted, vaguely familiar with an English accent. The hood was removed and he blinked rapidly as he re-adjusted to being able to see again and then froze.

Standing not more the five feet away was Gwendolyn Post. He closed his eye briefly then re-opened it; yep she was still there. Watching him watching her.


She moved slightly closer and he forced himself not to move as she did so. "You act surprised by something. Who are you?"

"Me? I'm uh, Xander."

"Xander? What sort of name is that?"

"It's uh, short for Alexander."

"Ah. Tell me, 'Xander' what exactly were you doing in the middle of a swamp?"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you."

Post's eyes narrowed as she focused her gaze onto him, "Try me."

"All right, I was in my land rover heading out to the African Bush when it was knocked off what passes for a road over there by an explosion. I got out trying to see what the hell was going, there was another boom and I wind in the middle of the swamp."

Gwendolyn appeared to be pondering what he had said for a few minutes before responding. "I believe you're serious."

"I am serious. This morning I was in Africa, and now I don't know where I am."

"That I can answer. You're in the swamps of Louisiana." She scanned him again before turning and addressing another man that was standing nearby. "Tell the Captain, I will be taking Mr. Xander with me."

"Yes Ma'am."

She gave him one long look before leaving, apparently headed to speak with 'the Captain'.

Xander remained where he was watching her leave. As she got of his vision he turned to the other soldiers (as he now thought of them) and asked, "Can someone remove these cuffs?"

Not too far away from Xander was, Gwendolyn post was in the process of speaking with the unit commander, a Captain Frakes.

"I don't like this decision, Ms. Post."

"I did not ask you whether or not you 'liked' the decision, Captain." The tone in her voice was curt, "I am telling what I plan to do as senior liaison with your unit."

"Ms. Post with all due respect, what you're proposing is extremely dangerous. That young man, -"


"Xander, we have no explanation for how he came to be in that area. There were no signs or reports of either boats or aircraft in the area and it's highly unlikely that he simply walked out there on foot. We would have detected him beforehand. So that leaves..."

"That Captain leaves mystical means which is my area of expertise. If this young man did arrive here via magical means, I will almost certainly be better equipped to deal with it then you or your forces are which is yet another reason why he is coming with me. Do not worry Captain he will be thoroughly and completely checked out by us. If he did arrive via magical means and is indeed what we were looking for, then we will take care of that."

Frakes didn't like it but nodded his agreement. He summoned his aide and made travel arrangements for Ms. Post and Xander. Gwendolyn didn't stick around for that discussion and headed out to recover her newest charge. She found him still handcuffed, though this time in front, sitting between soldiers trying desperately to start a conversation.

"Good evening Mr. Harris."


With a wave of her hand, she dismissed the guards and waited until they were out of earshot before continuing. "My name is Gwendolyn Post but I suspect you already knew that."

He blinked slowly, trying and failing to hide his surprise.

Seeing that she was correct, Gwen pressed on, "You know a great deal about me then you're letting on don't you?"

Xander looked around uneasily before answering, "I knew a Gwendolyn Post and if you're anything like her, I'm screwed."

"And why is that?"

"Because she was evil. She tried to kill me and my friends."

"Who were your friends?"

'Buffy Summers, the Slayer, and Rupert Giles, her watcher."

"Buffy who?"

"Buffy, the Slayer. The Chosen One, the one who fights the vampires and demons. All you Watcher types know that."

Gwen was silent for a moment before speaking again, "I have never heard of this Buffy person nor do I know what a Watcher is. You and I young man, are going to have some very interesting conversations before I am satisfied."

Behind them a jeep pulled up announcing that their flight was ready.

On the plane flight out, Xander stared out the window in silence. He could feel Gwen's gaze from time to time settle on him briefly and tried not to think about it. 'At least the cuffs are gone'.

Post for her part remained silent while studying the quickly assembled data she had while comparing it to the young man seated near her. The purpose of her trip was to investigate reports of odd things appearing and disappearing in the area. There had also been reports of strange flashes of light and loud bangs. So with the rest of her 'team' resting she had flown here to find out what was going on.

'And this young man was the source of all that?'

A crewmember appeared abruptly and handed her a message form before returning to his station forward. 'Good, they've returned from their R&R and will meet us at the base. Hopefully they will not have burned down anything else since last time.'

The flight arrived without incident at its destination. Gwendolyn gave instructions to the driver waiting for them to drop her off near the base commander's office and for him to drive Alexander to where the others were.

The jeep drove a bit further to some buildings standing apart from the rest of the base. The driver turned and addressed his passenger, "You get out here. They're waiting inside for you."

Quietly Xander got out of the jeep and knocked on the door. "Enter' was all he heard and with a twist of the knob he went inside. And promptly found nothing going on. The interior of the building was decorated in oddly normal fashion. The living room was pretty generic and dully furnished. "Oh hello."

Xander and found another man staring at him from the hallway drying his hands with a towel. The man tossed the now wet towel on the couch and walked over to him with his hand out. "Hey, I'm Aaron."


"Xander? What kind of name is that?" He focused on the eye-patch, "Are you a pirate?"

"It's short for Alexander."


"And I was a foreman in a construction company."

"Oh. I bet that guy got fired."

"What guy?"

Aaron indicated the patch, "that's one hell of a mistake to make on site."

Xander sighed, "That wasn't a construction accident. Oh never mind. Can you tell what's going on?"

He started to answer but was cut off by the sound of another door opening and a deeper, rough voice calling out. "Hey man, bring the camera, I think we got a two or three flusher here."

Aaron quickly shifted his attention towards the direction and headed that way with Xander following behind him. They reached an open door where another man was standing. He was roughly the same height as Aaron and Xander but much more stout and with a distinctive gut hanging over his waist. He also had mustache and looked he needed a shave. He gestured towards the inside of bathroom, "You got to see this."

Aaron stepped inside the room and peered down into the toilet, "I don't remember you eating that much corn."

"Remember that steakhouse the other day?"

"Oh yeah."

It was then that the other man noticed Xander, "Who's the new guy?"

"Oh that's Xander."

"Huh," he looked Xander over briefly, "I'm Tyler, and this is Aaron."

"Yeah, I got that. What's going on?"

"Well I don't know about you I'm going to get the camera, this is a big moment not to be forgotten." The two men left the bathroom and Xander stood there feeling a bit confused and not a little out of place. He heard the door open and someone else enter the room.

"Hey guys! You'll never believe what just happened. That dead possum that was lying on the road just got run over by a tanker truck and exploded everywhere."


"Yeah, now there's possum guts everywhere and some even got splattered on the General's car. He's gonna be pissed off for sure."

"Oh yeah? I just had a two-flusher and now we're going to record it."

Xander watched as the other man's jaw dropped, "No way. I have to see this for myself." Aaron, Tyler and the other young man went to the bathroom with Xander watching them do so. The door opened yet again and this time, a figure more familiar to Xander entered the building.

Gwendolyn Post.

She entered the room with a purpose and noted that Xander was standing by himself in the room and the other three men were huddled around the bathroom.


The group turned from where they were focusing, saw Ms. Post and quickly moved to the center of the room, loosely hanging around Xander. He took the opportunity to focus on the newest stranger. He was a little taller then himself and seemed to be in much better shape athletically. His bright blue eyes seemed to hint at something more then was immediately apparent.

"What were you three doing?"

Aaron coughed briefly as he stepped forward and answered her, "Well, Ms. Post, we were investigating an event of special and extraordinary rarity."

"And that event would be?"

"Well," He scratched the back of his head and the other boy spoke, "Ty took a HUGE dump and we think it might take two or three flushes to get rid of. We wanted to videotape it." Xander noted that the other two shot him a dirty look but didn't say anything. Ms.

Post sighed, "All right then. Perhaps one of you will be good enough to explain how the remains of a deceased vermin, managed to end up decorating the base commander's personal vehicle?"

Ty and Aaron looked at each other for a second before speaking together, "Cole did it."

Cole protested, "I did not, it got hit by a tanker truck."

Ms. Post had a notable twitch in her face as she focused all her attention on him, "Young man, I happen to know for a fact that dead animal was located quite some distance from the road where those trucks travel. Now unless you happen to have an excellent, 100% reason for how this could happen, I will become EXTREMELY upset."

Cole hesitated before answering, "Well maybe it was playing dead. You know it was a possum."

Gwen gritted her teeth, a move that drew immediate and deep concern from both Aaron and Ty, Xander noted. She took a deep breath before speaking. "Outside all of you. NOW."

The group quietly and quickly headed for the door, before they got there, she stopped them. "Cole, Aaron, Tyler. Take Xander with you. And try NOT to get into anymore trouble."

The group nodded and went out the door. As it shut behind them, Cole turned and looked at him. "Xander huh?"

"It's short for Alexander."

"Oh, you guys want to go to the Kwik-E-Market?"



Cole nodded and looked over at the Xander, "You in?"

Xander took a minute to consider his situation before answering, "Why not. Let's go."

Chapter Two

The group of four young men clambered into a blue mid-size sedan with Tyler getting behind the wheel. Xander and Aaron ended up in the back seat with Cole riding shotgun.

"So where ya from?"

"Sunnydale. It's a small town in California."

"Never heard of it."

Xander sort of shrugged in response. "It's not really important, what about you guys?"

"Oh us? We're all from Texas. And Colorado but mostly Texas."

"Yeah," Cole twisted around in the front seat, "We were born in Texas, then moved to Colorado, then back to Texas."

Xander nodded then paled as he saw a car headed straight at them. Tyler didn't seem to notice the car as it sped past. Xander followed then looked and saw more cars all headed seemingly in the opposite direction they were traveling.

"What the hell!"

Xander watched as cars whizzed by, leaning on their horns, and missing the car by increasingly narrowing margins. He had survived almost his whole life on a Hellmouth, fighting vampires only to die in a car wreck?

"Sorry man, one way street." Cole twisted halfway around from the front seat to face him, "Yeah this happens a lot."

Xander glanced over at Aaron who nodded reassuringly, "It's no big deal."

"I'm telling you," Tyler was speaking again, "people today are lousy drivers. They'll give just about any fool a driver's license. As soon as I get mine, I'm quitting."

There was silence after that except for the clicking of a seat belt. Thankfully (in Xander's opinion at least) they turned off the one-way street and things calmed down momentarily. Then cars started whizzing by, missing them again by inches.

"What's going on NOW?"

Cole glanced at the window, "That was a BMW."

A second car whizzed by, "That was a Porsche 911."

Then something else, much smaller, moving even faster whizzed by. So fast that Cole had to turn his head and follow it for a bit.

"What was that?"

"That was a gerbil, must have been doing close to a 100."

Xander paused, trying to process that bit of information, "why was a Gerbil going that fast?"

Cole looked back thru the rear view window and pointed, "He was running from Harvey Fierstein."

Xander twisted around and sure enough there was the actor, yelling from a convertible as he maneuvered past them, "Come back here. I put in a wheel, just for you." He watched him go in silence and settled down to think about what he had seen.

The rest of the ride to the convenience store was uneventful until they parked. As they were getting out of the car, Tyler perked up again, "Hey. There's that skinny little bastard who still owes me money."

"Tyler man, forget it. Every time you go after him, he and his buddy kick your ass."

"Not this time, I'm getting the money that skinny little pothead owes me." He slammed the car door and headed off behind the store. The others just shook their head and went inside. The store was about what Xander expected, smaller, every available space crammed with food, beer, and other assorted crap. There was also a small rental movie section.

Cole excused himself and headed towards the drink bar while Aaron headed towards the movies with Xander opting to follow him. The movies were about what he expected, a collection of five and ten year old movies of various genres. A few Sci-Fi and Horror movies some dated and low budget comedy tapes took up most of the rack. And of course, the expected skin flick and others. Xander picked up one of the 'others'.

"What is 'The End of the Affair'?"

"That's the beginning of the divorce court."


He replaced the video on the rack as Aaron picked up another one. "Hey look, Mutant Were-Shark, Part 7. MWS goes to NYC."

"Part 7?"

"Yeah, I thought part 4, MWS in Hawaii was the best. The series really went downhill when the original writer left."

"You know I'm gonna go see what Cole's doing."

He found Cole staring at the Slushee machine with a confused look on his face. "What seems to be the problem?"

"Well I really wanted a Slushee but all they have is the grape. I hate the grape." They both looked up as Tyler walked in with a fairly large bruise on his jaw and a knot forming over his right eye. He saw them looking at him and cut them off, "Don't say it, all right? Fucking little bastard and his fat ass buddy."

"They punked you again didn't they?"

Tyler turned and glared at Aaron, "What do you think you fucking spic?"

Aaron looked on unfazed, "He kicked your ass again and you still don't have your money back. Come on, let's get out of here." They gathered their purchases, mostly snack food and headed towards the register where they encountered their next problem, a fairly large, well built black man in early twenties talking on a cell phone and ignoring the clerk behind the counter.

The cashier, a young East Indian looking girl, attempted to get his attention a few times while they watched. After a few minutes, Xander cleared his throat rather loudly trying to get the man's attention. That didn't work so he moved a little closer and politely tapped the man on the shoulder.

Annoyed he turned and glared at Xander who stepped back from his gaze. The man returned to chatting amiably on the cell phone. Xander felt someone brush past him and saw Tyler move past him. Tyler paused and looked at him, "here watch how it's done X."

He walked boldly up to the other man and tapped him on the shoulder. Again the man turned around this time saying "What?"

Tyler responded by kicking the man as hard as he could squarely in the crotch. Instantly the man folded over as the cell phone slipped from his fingers and clattered to the ground. Xander watched in stunned silence as they had their items rung up and left.

Chapter Three
'Season's Greetings'

"Oh shit. I almost forgot we have to get a tree." "What?"

Tyler looked in the rear view mirror at Xander, "A tree, its Christmas."

Xander turned and looked around noting the decorations and such he had missed the first time while fearing for his safety amidst Tyler's driving skills. About the only odd thing he saw currently was a clown jogging by the side of the road.

"Ah there's a tree lot." Tyler pulled into the parking lot and they got out. Already a salesman was headed in their direction. "Hey y'all here to buy a Christmas tree?"

"Nope. Just got to take a piss, these trees look really inviting."

Xander paused and looked at Aaron who had a smart-ass look on his face. Tyler and Cole either hadn't heard the exchange or didn't care and had moved onto the task of finding the right tree. Shaking his head he followed them and the trio abruptly paused in front of one.

"Did he really just do that?"

"Do what?" Cole looked back over his shoulder as Tyler used the opportunity to scratch himself. "Say what he said to the salesman?"

"And what did that stupid gook have to say?"

"What's it to you, you fat ass dildo?"

Xander looked behind him as Aaron made his way to the group.

"Don't call me fat, you son of a bitch. I'm big boned."

"Dinosaurs are big boned. You're fucking fat."

"Listen up you no talented, Star Trek loving, mama's boy. Unlike you, I actually got some meat on my bones."

"'Mama's boy?' At least my mom isn't in prison for VOPing AGAIN during Christmas."

He watched the exchange get more colorful before turning and gesturing to Cole, "They're not gonna fight are they?"

The other man was rubbing his, trying to stave off a sneeze before responding, "Probably. They've been friends since they were five.

They always do this."

Xander had little to do but nod. After one particularly loud volley, Xander cleared his throat and stepped in between them, "Guys. Please. Can we just get the tree and go?"

Both men glowered at each other for a second then it was forgotten and the group resumed their search. Eventually they found the tree that appeared to fit what they were looking for. There was only one problem with it.

"I don't know."

"What do you mean you don't know? It fits all the other criteria."

"Yeah but..."

"But WHAT?"

Xander groaned as a headache started to throb in his head. "Okay, what will it take to convince you," he indicated Tyler, "This is the right tree?"

"Well," he crossed his arms, "We really need to see what it would look like decorated before we buy it."

Exasperated, Xander seemed to sag, "There's no way we can see that."

At that point Cole let loose with a particular violent and mucus-y sneeze. After first checking to make certain that they weren't caught in the spray, the others turned and looked at the tree, which had caught almost Cole's entire outburst. Tyler then smiled and nodded.

"That looks about right. We'll take it."

"Hey guys."

They turned and looked over at Cole, "You can tell this guy's dog has been eating Christmas tinsel."

Xander sighed.

Later after they (or more accurately Xander and Cole) had loaded the tree onto the car and strapped it to the roof of the car, he was beginning to wonder what else could happen today.

"All right guys the tree is secured."

Aaron and Tyler returned from dealing with the salesman, "And we're all done haggling with that bunch, they agreed to knock off ten bucks if we bought one of those twenty-five dollar tree stands."

Cole brightened considerably and he seemed almost giddy, "That's great." Aaron strode up to them with a confident look on his face, "It was quite a deal we struck my friend."

Cole grabbed his hand and vigorously shook his hand. Xander interrupted, "Guys not so fast." As soon as he said that, the handshake slowed down considerably to the point that even the participants watched it. "You know, I worry about you, I really do."

Once again Xander's headache threatened to make its presence felt.

Back at the base, he sought out a quiet place away from the other three and found it in an office looking room that he was fairly certain none of the others would venture into. Alone, he let out a sigh and sat down in one of the room's chairs, closely his eyes as he did so.

"Good evening Mr. Harris"

Xander's eye snapped open as Gwendolyn Post moved quietly by him and sat behind the desk. He stared at her silently before saying anything, "You know I never asked how you knew my name."

By way of answer she placed something on the desk and slid it across to him. It took him less then a second to recognize it. "My Wallet."

"Yes it appears you're little accident elsewhere ended with it being separated from your person. One of the soldiers who found you located it as well."

"You already went thru it."

"Tell me more about where you come from, Xander I'm curious."

He reached out and picked up the worn piece of leather. Idly, he thumbed thru it and noted with some surprise that all of his cash was still there. "Well, I guess it can't hurt."

For the next thirty or so minutes he outlined and summarized what his life had been like starting his sophomore year in high school. During that time, she asked no questions but only sat and listened. When he finished she sat in silence studying him.


"I really don't think it's anything special."

She pursed her lips before replying, "While you may not regard it as such, your life is very remarkable Alexander. Furthermore the fact that your world is also plagued by vampires and demons is extraordinary."

"'Also plagued by vampires and demons? Does that mean-"

"Yes they exist here as well. And like your world, we have a mystically empowered champion to battle them."


"Yes. In fact you spent the afternoon with him."

Xander thought for a bit, "Cole. It's him isn't it?"

"Correct again Alexander."

"He's a bit slow upstairs."

"Is that polite way of saying, how Americans put it, he's dumb as a rock?"

Xander was silent by way of reply as she continued on. "Yes, he's not very intelligent and truth be told, some of his quirks are unfathomable even to me."

"You mean having an asshole like Tyler hanging around."

She paused and considered his words, "He can be a bit grating and difficult at times. But though he does have a lot of bad points, he is very loyal to his friends, to the fight and has been since the beginning."

"The beginning?"

"Yes. Aaron and Tyler have been with Cole since he accepted the mantle of 'the Hunter', that is what the chosen champion is referred to here. They have had ample opportunity to give up the fight and leave but have steadfastly refused. As I said, they are extremely loyal and resolute in their convictions. Qualities I think suspect you have a lot in common with."

"I suppose so. But I'm guessing there is more to this conversation then shop talk."

"The US military and others want to take you into custody and pick your brain of all it's useful information and keep you little more then a prisoner."

"That doesn't sound too appealing."

"No it does not and I believe what I propose you'll find more appealing."

"And what are you proposing?"

"That you join our little group and continue the fight."

"I haven't seen any signs of the fight like back home."

"Though it may not be obvious Alexander, our world is infested with the demons and denizens of the dark as surely as yours is. Your presence would bring a great many positives and pluses to our group. As a bonus, the earlier threat I mentioned would be entirely removed."

"What about the Cole and the others? Wouldn't they object? Or don't you have full confidence in their abilities?"

She sighed, "I remember the first full report and projection I made about Cole and his friends when I met them years ago. I'll repeat to you what I repeated to them. That Cole and his friends had all the potential and can save the world from any threat. That is if they don't screw it up first."

He really didn't have a response for that and as she continued, "I realize this would be a major step for you Alexander but I cannot guarantee you that we will be able to send you back home, if indeed such a way exists. All I can offer you is a chance to do more good in this world."

Xander considered his options for all of a few minutes.

"Sure, why not. I'm in."

The End