A Life Changing Decision in the Making...
Authors Notes: I now have a Beta, the bold, beautiful Bumpkin is my beta. So hopifully my story will read much better now. To Bumpkin: Thanks!
Xander Harris sighed as he rubbed at his eye patch irritably and sank down into the chair in Giles office in Slayer Central. For the last three months he had been surrounded by a well meaning Willow, a sad, sulky Dawn, a worried Giles, and a silent Buffy. At least he had been until Buffy took Dawn and ran off to Italy.
England was a depressing place; it was no wonder that so many people left it for the New World when they had the chance. All it had done was rain since he got here and to a Southern California boy, that much rain was just unnatural. But the best thing about being here was the fact that Giles was now head of the Watcher's Council. It had made sense that the Watcher with the oldest living Slayer would become the head honcho.
Xander himself really hadn't done anything since they had come to England after the fall of SunnyDale. Mostly, he tried to forget. Forget that Anya had died, that Spike had died. He had even heard that Cordelia had died in L.A. and if he ever ran into Deadboy, well, that souled vampire was as good as dust. No matter what Buffy wanted. But mostly he had been spending a lot of time with a bottle of Jack Daniels. It wasn't until after Willow left for Rio that he had pulled himself out of the bottle.
So, now he wondered what Giles wanted with him. Giles hadn't asked anything of him since they got here, not even to fix any of the windows that the young Slayers broke.
' Guess G-Man can pay people for that now,' he thought darkly.
Xander heard the door open and Giles walked in. He looked so much older now; Giles had only been in his mid-thirties when he had first come to SunnyDale. He now looked like he had aged twenty years in that time rather than the seven that he had been there. Xander wonder if the rest of the Scoobies looked that bad as well.
" Xander, I'm glad you're here." Giles told him with a slight smile at the fact that the young man was sober.
" Been here for months now, did you just now notice?"
" Well, without a bottle in your hand you were hard to recognize."
Xander frowned, had he been that bad. Apparently so.
" I'm trying." He muttered. Giles nodded as he continued to his desk sitting in front of Xander and sat down in the chair behind it. He opened a drawer, stared at whatever was inside of it for a moment before pulling out a black leather covered journal type book. Xander eyed it curiouly before Giles laid it on the desk.
" I need to ask you to do something for me. It will be dangerous so I want you to think hard before you give me an answer." Giles said pushing the black book across the desk to Xander.
Xander slowly reached out but stopped short of actually touching it, " What's in it?"
" Names, names of newly activated Slayers."
" Slayers," Xander asked confused, " do you want me to find them? Like Willow and Buffy are doing?"
Giles slowly shook his head, " No, I want you to kill them..."
Xander could only blink in shock.
Xander sat in the bed in the quarters he shared with Spike on Serenity. He was looking at a black leather covered book in his hands. A book that had been with him for five hundred years now. Spike was leaning against a wall smoking, when he suddenly put out the cigarette.
" Xan, you've been staring at that thing for hours now. What's so interesting in there?" He asked, although he knew very well what the bloody book contained.
" A name..."
" Well, what name?" Spike asked with a frown as he walked over and sat next to him on the bed. Xander held out the book and pointed to the name.
" River Tam, Well, what a surprise, that is," Spike said mockingly, " So what are you going to do?"
Xander closed the book and put it in the dark gray leather backpack that he carried his important things in. Clothes he would leave behind, weapons too if he had to but the pack he always went back for, even if it almost got him killed and it had a few times.
" Why," Xander asked the person he thought closest to a father, " why would you ask that of me," when he found his voice.
Giles sighed heavily as he took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes tiredly. He then gave Xander an unreadable look.
" Who else is there?"
Xander said nothing for a moment then asked, " What about the Council's wet work teams?"
" Most of them died when the old headquarters went down and the ones that are left, have no field experience. You know Slayers. You know how they think, how they fight..."
" I know Buffy, how she fights how she thinks..."
" You helped train those at SunnyDale."
" Giles..." Xander said standing up, with the intent to leave the office.
" Alexander, " Xander froze at that. Giles had never called him by his full...name... Ever!
" You are the only one I think can do this. In all the time I've known you, when it came down to life and death you have always done what's right. Not what's good. Did you know there was a difference? For a long time I didn't, not until Buffy died..."
" Do what's right Giles? How can you say that? I helped bring Buffy back, knowing it was wrong but I did it anyways. I summoned a singing demon, cause I wanted the fairytale ending with Anya. I blackmailed a young witch into doing a spell in order to make Cordelia fall in love with me only to have it backfire. What's right..." Xander muttered in disbelief.
" I never said you hadn't made mistakes, but I also know how right you have been in the past. You were right about not trusting Angel..."
" I just didn't like the guy."
" You saved Buffy after she faced the Master..."
" She still drowned."
" You stopped the zombies from blowing up the high school, when the rest of us were keeping the Hellmouth closed. Even after how badly we treated you that night."
Xander's mouth dropped open, " How did you find out about that?"
Giles only smirked at him, " Then you stopped Willow when no one else could..."
" That was only cause I have been her friend so long, that I knew what to say..."
" Xander, in all of those cases you could have walked away, turned a blind eye, but you didn't you did the right thing in each case." Giles told him.
" I wonder," he frowned, " It feels strange." Xander said as he looked down at the book.
" The coven in Devon preformed a spell, so that the name of the unredeemable Slayers will appear in the book in black lettering, those that still can be saved will appear in red lettering." Giles told him.
" Her name was in black, pet. You know what that means..."
Xander glared at Spike, " I know that, of course I of all people should know that."
Spike sighed, " So, what are you going to do?"
Xander smirked, " What I do best..."
Spike's eyes widened at that.
"...Make the black ink run red as blood...."
" Isn't there anyone..."
" No, Xander most of these girls are lost to the Slayer spirit. They have lost any ideal of who they were. They killed their families and friends and in a few cases their whole villages or towns. But some of them well, they like what they can do and use it for bad things. "
Xander kept staring at the book; apart of him knew Giles was right. But Xander didn't know if he could do what Giles was asking. It felt wrong, to kill the Chosen Ones who protected the world. After all he had spent seven years trying to keep a certain slayer alive.
" If...if I do this...and I'm not saying I will..." Xander looks up and stares hard in to Giles eyes, " The others, they never know...no one ever knows."
River sat in the corner of her room as she rocked back and forth muttering over and over to herself.
" He'll save me."