In Days Gone By
Disclaimer: I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts *dee da la dee*, there they are a standing in a row *dum dum dum*, big ones, small ones, ones the size of your head; I picked one up and this is what it said: Stop singing, you own nothing.
Warning: There is mention of male/male likeing, but not really detailed. *sniff* I'm just not good at writing romance!
Xander and Dawn blinked in disbelief as they stared at the sight spread out before them. There were hut-like buildings grouped together to make a moderate sized village. Smoke came out of various structures, with no cars, telephone poles, or anything even hinting of technology. Even more jarring were the people that were walking around.
“Maybe they’re weird re-enactors? You know, go into the wilderness and live like people did long ago.” Xander weakly offered as they stared at people walking around with tunics, wrapped boots, and rough, hand made spears and bronze swords. They looked pretty authentic from the clothing to the beards and longish braided hair.
“Xander, I don’t know about you, but I think Willow dropped us off a little farther back in time than she meant to. These guys look pretty genuine to me.” Dawn said slowly.
“We’ll come back closer when the sun goes down.” Xander said. “We don’t know anything about where, or when, we might be.” After the sun went down they came back to the settlement and found a new problem.
“Damn.” Xander cursed softly. “I suppose it would be entirely too fair if these guys spoke English.” The people spoke in a strange liquid sounding language unlike any Xander had ever heard.
“Oh.” Dawn breathed quietly in disbelief.
“What?” Xander asked sharply, knowing that Dawn had figured out something.
“I’m not completely sure, but I think they might be speaking Gallic, or even Lepontic. I recognize a couple words, but that would mean…” Dawn trailed off in stunned contemplation. She sat on the ground biting her lip as she considered the ramifications of what she began to suspect.
“What does that mean Dawnie?” Xander said with as much patience he could muster.
“Lepontic was spoken by the Gauls, or the Celtic people…in the area of what will be France in 2,500 b.c.” Dawn said in a whisper.
Both sat in the dark staring at the ancient people chattering in a dead language, their thoughts whirling at the reality of their situation. Finally Xander muttered, “How are we going to communicate with them? I don’t suppose you speak Leopard-tonic or whatever.”
“First of all it’s Lepontic. Second, it’s a dead language. I’ve only read a little of it, and these guys weren’t, er, aren’t big on the whole book thing, they rely on oral tradition.” Dawn recited automatically from what she could remember. “Umm, there’s this translation spell I could try.” she offered.
Even in the dark she could see the wary look Xander gave her at the suggestion that she do magic. “Hey, I’m getting better!” Dawn said indignantly. “Besides, it isn’t a permanent spell, I’d have to keep renewing it so we’ll eventually have to learn the language.”
“Perfect.” Xander said sourly.
The next few days Dawn worked on correctly casting the spell, and a few other ones that could be useful. She wasn’t as bad as Willow had been when she first started doing magic, but with the extra infusion of power that Dawn had received, it was hard adjusting.
Xander meanwhile scouted out the territory. Though he didn’t speak the language, he picked up on the tension in the people he observed. He could also smell something, strange. These Celts, while not overly hygienic, didn’t account for the unusual smell. They had recently had an encounter with the supernatural, and from the sense of alertness and uneasiness they were displaying, it hadn’t been a friendly encounter.
“Okay, I think I’ve worked out all the kinks in the translation spell.” Dawn reported to Xander after he finished telling her his observations. “Anything else before I cast the spell?”
Xander started to shake his head no when a thought hit him. He gasped, his eyes widening. He grabbed a stick and started to madly scribble in the dirt. When he was finished he let out a small moan and shook his head.
“What? What is it?” Dawn asked, worried.
“I just realized something.” Xander said in a mournful voice. “It’ll be 4,433 years before I can have another Twinkie.” Dawn’s jaw dropped as she stared at him in disbelief. “The first Twinkie won’t be invented until 1933 by the genius James Dewer. No, this is the absolute worst.” Though he couldn’t really consume food, Xander could still eat small amounts of regular foods and drinks, and his addiction to Twinkie’s had followed him beyond death.
Dawn rolled her eyes in annoyance at the random workings of Xander’s brain. “You know, maybe in this universe they’ll never get invented.” she suggested impishly in revenge for worrying her. As Xander stared at her in horror Dawn began casting the translation spell.
Ceadmon shifted nervously closer to the fire. He could feel them out there. While he was a brave warrior, not at all a coward, those creatures were monsters sent by an angry god or goddess. They were vaguely human like, but those creatures didn’t feel any pain, ate the flesh of humans, and only came out in groups at night. Last time they caught his clan unprepared and unsure how to fight them. A sidelong glance at the silent druids gathered around the fire calmed him a little. This time would be different.
Then he heard them coming. Ceadmon alerted the other warriors of the creatures approach, for they weren’t stealthy at all. Branches snapped loudly in the night air, and he could see the otherworldly gleam of their many pairs of eyes.
The next twenty minutes was a chaos of grasping hands and the yells and screams of the warriors. Some druids used plants and trees to restrain the creatures and rip them apart, but what was most effective were the ones throwing fire at the monsters. The creatures seemed to catch fire easily, and they feared it. Unfortunately this fear meant that they started to concentrate their attacks on the druids. Things began to get desperate when THEY appeared.
In a flash of moonlight two figures materialized, one male and one female. The male picked up a sword from a fallen warrior and turned into a whirlwind of death. Many warriors stared in awe as the figure’s outline blurred with his incredible speed. Sometimes the man stuck his sword into the creature and simply plucked heads and arms off as easily as one would pluck a petal off of a flower.
Meanwhile his female companion wasn’t idle. Unlike the man she picked up no weapon. Instead she stood still, standing protectively in front of the injured druids. Power swirled around her like an invisible wind, and bolts of light flew from her hands to strike down the creatures with explosions of fire.
With these two powerful beings assisting them the battle quickly ended, the creatures were all killed, or lying in pieces around them. Once things calmed down, the clan was finally able to clearly see their rescuers and stared in astonishment.
The man, no, the god was captivating. His face was deceptively young looking, while his eyes burned with experience and knowledge not found in a youths. He was slender in an athletic way, and his pale features drew the eyes of men and women alike. His hair was an exotic dark brown that curled loosely to his shoulders. The god stood proudly looking back at them.
The goddess was also luminously fair. She had shinning straight brown hair that fell to her lower back, and an elegantly slim figure. Her face glowed softly in the moonlight as she smiled benevolently down on them.
Belatedly realizing their lack of respect the entire clan, the men, women, and children, knelt and bowed low to the ground. Camlin, the eldest and most respected druid, walked slowly with assistance up to the unknown deities.
“God, goddess, we thank you for your assistance in destroying the monsters. In what way can we honor you? Anything that is ours is yours.” That said, Camlin also bowed slowly and respectfully.
The god surveyed them impassively for a moment, then a smile lit up his face creating a radiance that almost painful to view. His visage was so compelling that everyone beholding him instantly fell in love. Surely it was too much for mere mortals to view the full glory of this god. The god turned his head and commented in melodious tones something to his companion in an unknown language.
“Well that was unexpected.” Xander said in amusement to Dawn in English. They had seen the horde of ghouls attacking the people and couldn’t not help them. Now they had apparently been mistaken as gods.
He watched in admiration as Dawn gracefully walked toward the injured old man who had spoken to them. Before they heard the approach of the ghouls, Dawn was able to transfigure their clothing into attire that resembled the clothing worn by the Celts.
However upon closer comparison their clothing was much more finely made, with more elaborate decoration, and smoother lines. Xander gave a small snort at the thought that Dawn could be vain about clothing that wasn’t even from their century.
‘No wonder they think we’re gods.’ Xander thought with humor at the idea of godhood. ‘We show up and save their hides using unnatural skills, and we’re dressed up all spiffy.’ Xander didn’t yet realize the devastatingly magnetic aura that he exuded captivated and ensnared all that saw him; and like all brothers he couldn’t see how beautiful his little Dawnie appeared. Either when wielding devastatingly destructive magic, or gently healing as she was doing now she also glowed from the inside in a softer and less dramatic way than Xander did.
‘I suppose this was one way to introduce ourselves. I wonder how we’ll clear this up…’
Camlin was startled when the goddess also smiled and walked toward him. She stretched forth her hand and murmured something in that strange language. A soft white light lit up her hand, and he could feel the scratches and cuts tingle. Before his astonished eyes, they began to heal rapidly, leaving behind only a refreshed feeling of energy.
As he looked into her bright blue eyes, unable to speak words of gratitude. The goddess smiled with understanding, then asked in a soft voice, “What is your name?”
Honored that a goddess would want to know his name he stammered, “C-Camlin goddess.” Then, emboldened by her kindness, he asked, “What is your name and the name of the other god?”
When the goddess’s face smoothed out to a blank expression and he was afraid he had offended her, but then her smile returned and she said, “We have no names. Could you name us?”
Camlin wasn’t the only person to gasp. That they had no names meant they must be very new gods, with no followers. The fact that they appeared to them meant they intended to be their gods!
With a low bow he responded, “We would be honored. You must be Minerva, Goddess of healing and warcraft. Your companion shall be the God Lugh, the darkly shinning one.”
“That should be fine.” The newly named Goddess Minerva said.
From that day the God Lugh, and the Goddess Minerva began to gather a following. The next couple of years they stayed with the Clan of Ceadmon, and the clan benefited from their attention.
Then Dawn built a residence in the woods where people could pilgrimage for healing. She also spent time with the Druids learning from them as they learned from her. Eventually she became known not only as a Goddess of healing, but also as the patron goddess of Druids and Witches.
For a while Xander hung around the forest where Dawn taught and lived. Ultimately he wandered farther from her when he realized how well protected she was in her forest surrounded by many layered wards, and devoted followers. Besides, he was nearly scarred for life when he saw her conduct a ceremony “sky clad.”
Xander traveled to the many Celtic clans, sometimes educating them on how to fight various supernatural creatures, other times only observing and helping them from the shadows. By now he had realized the strange effect he seemed to have on humans. After the first dozen women, and men, had fallen in love with him he worked hard on controlling this new power.
He eventually learned that his strange new ability to fascinate and enchant others didn’t only extend to humans and animals. He was exploring the northern clans when he ran into the first vampire he’d seen since entering this reality. Literally ran into the vampire.
While Xander lay on the ground internally cursing his demon magnet ways, even though he was now technically a demon too, the vampire looked over the human that had run into him.
The vampire was at first annoyed with whoever dared to run into him, for he was already a fairly strong master vampire at the young age of 300, not someone to be trifled with. Then the moon broke free from the clouds and shed light on the form lying before him. He froze in shock at the beauty of the youth whose features softly glowed in the moonlight. As those dark eyes looked back at him he wondered, dazed, if the young one before him could be a vampire. Yet, when the boy gave a nervous grin he saw that there were no fangs.
Xander meanwhile was a little intimidated. Sure he knew that he was a pretty special souped up vampire in his old reality, but he wasn’t so sure how he measured up to the ones here. Especially when he felt the power coming off of the vampire staring at him. Faced with another of his kind, Xander could feel the trickle of power coming from himself, and with the inspiration only danger can give, he increased the trickle to a flow.
The vampire got a vaguely dazed look on his face then took a step forward, his hand reaching toward Xander. Not knowing that he had already neutralized the threat toward him Xander jumped backward with blinding speed, his fangs dropped down and he let out a low warning hiss.
The other vampire drew back his hand in astonishment. He was sure that this stunning creature was human, but now it registered as a vampire to his senses. Feeling a strange affection verging on besottelment that began to cloud his thoughts he quickly doubled his mental defenses. After he did he was astonished to find that the young feeling vampire before him had actually managed to ensnare his mind. What surprised him even more was that when he looked at the wary young vampire before him with his defenses fully in place he still found him stunning and pleasing to behold.
“Who are you?” he asked before he realized it.
The young vampire looked surprised then answered, “I am called Lugh.”
A smile formed on the older vampire’s face. “Darkly Shinning One indeed. And how long have you been a vampire Lugh?”
After another searching look Lugh answered hesitantly, “Um, about 120 years now. What’s your name?”
It took a while for the other vampire to process this new information. “I am called The Traveler.”
After that first meeting Traveler began to educate the shockingly ignorant Lugh about his own kind. Lugh however seemed to live, or unlive, to shock Traveler. Not only did he have fangs that apparently retracted, something no other vampire had had, but Traveler was surprised when he found out that Lugh was a daywalker as well.
Lugh on the other hand would simply give a boyish grin that lit up his face, shrug, and reply, “What can I say? I’m just special that way.” And he was indeed special. All the strongest vampires had special abilities, sometimes from the line that they descended from, and sometimes powers were developed on their own. Traveler for example got his name from the fact that he could jump into different bodies. This was a power that was uniquely his own.
Lugh explained that the one who made him was killed shortly afterward. So together they tested his abilities to “charm” living things. Humans, Vampires, Werewolves, regular animals, no matter what it was, his power worked on them. The most amazing thing was, that half the time without even the touch of his power, he had the ability to win over most people. It was something innate to him.
The more time Traveler spent with Lugh, the more infatuated he became with the good natured, beautiful featured Lugh. He was crushed when he first realized that Lugh was a lover of women. At first he tried to proposition Lugh with the body of a woman he borrowed, but that turned out disastrously when Lugh realized who it was. He didn’t speak to Traveler for months after that.
After that Traveler began working on wearing down the defenses of the younger vampire he was smitten with. It took twenty years, and while Traveler didn’t have the special ability that Lugh had, he did have 300 years of experience to call on.
Poor Xander was completely conflicted. Mr. Strait as an arrow Xander was now starting to feel a little less strait, and a little bit wavier. Traveler had been a really good friend and mentor, surprisingly so considering that he was a vampire. He was also very sneaky in finding ways around Xander’s defenses. The only thing that kept Xander from despairing was the fact that he suspected that vampires here seemed to have souls. While this didn’t automatically make them all fluffy kitten, do-gooders, it did mean that they had the potential to be good.
When he realized that he was on the verge of giving in to Travelers subtle, and a few not so subtle, advances Xander realized there was only one thing he could do. He had to run his new friend, and potentially his first boyfriend, by Dawn, the goddess Minerva. It had been thirty years since his last visit so she was already not going to be happy with him. Add in the fact that he now had a male vampire suitor in tow…it was not going to be pretty.
The Goddess Minerva was happy today. Her followers all smiled at the joy she had on her face, and the happy sparkle in her brilliantly blue eyes. There was a rumor why she seemed especially pleased.
The rumor going around was that the God Lugh was coming to visit her. This in itself caused a stir. Those old enough to remember him yearned to once again view his perfect features. The unlucky ones not old enough to have seen or remember were excited to see the warrior God that they had heard about. Surely he couldn’t be as enchanting as the stories said.
Suddenly the followers heard light laughter echoing in the woods, and with only the slightest rustle of leaves as warning a figure appeared in their midst. Clear brown eyes gleaming with private amusement caught the attention of all who saw them. Smiles appeared on their faces at the sheer force of good will exuding from the God, for this could be no other than the God Lugh.
The enraptured silence was broken by at the Goddess Minerva who actually squealed at the sight of the other God. The handsome God seemed to vanish and reappear in front of the Goddess. He then proceeded to swing the Goddess around in a hug! Those viewing this sight immediately forgot everything else when the God turned and bestowed a glorious smile upon those gathered. A few fell to their knees in awe. While they loved and respected their own Goddess, something about the God Lugh touched them deep inside.
“Please excuse us.” the God Lugh said with a voice many wished they could listen all day to. When no one said anything, they all barely even breathed, the God gave another small, mind scrambling smile and entered into Minerva’s house with the Goddess.
When the God finally disappeared from their sight, some breathed sighs of amazement, while others felt bereft of his presence. None was left unmoved from the captivating encounter with the God Lugh.
“I can’t believe you Xander!” Dawn shrieked, her eyes sparking in anger. Literally. “D-Dating a...and he’s a he…vampire… you…” she sputtered, unable to find the words.
Xander lounged on a carved wooden couch with a wryly amused look on his pale face.
“So which part are you most upset about? Me dating, the gender thing, or the fact that he’s a vampire?”
Dawn, who was actually upset about all of the above, desperately latched onto the last one.
“Vampire! You can’t date a vampire, they’re no good, and if they do happen to be good they’re mopey, broody avengers who’ll only end up hurting you and I’m going to take a stand right now and say vampires are all no good!” Dawn finished triumphantly.
“Dawnie, sweetie, have we forgotten who else here is also a vampire? Hint, I’m not talking about you.” Dawn’s face flushed because in truth she had forgotten he was a vampire. He was her Xander-shaped older brother.
The sudden smile that appeared on Xander’s lips lit up his face and dark brown eyes. Dawn felt her breath catch at the beauty of his features. Then she shook it off and scowled when she remembered she was upset with him.
“Well, he’s a guy! You don’t like guys, so he must have used sneaky vampire mojo on you!”
Xander moved in a blur and quickly grabbed Dawn’s hands which were raising in a gesture to detect and dispel any mind controlling power.
“Dawnie, you need to calm down.” Xander said, looking worriedly into her eyes which were becoming a VERY dark color. He continued in a softer tone. “You’re getting kinda scary little girl. What’s wrong?”
Dawn’s eyes faded from black back to a vibrant blue. She felt awful because she had hear the fear in his voice, not realizing that it was fear for her, not of her. Staring at the floor she answered in a small voice.
“You’re all the family I have left, but you’re changing and leaving me behind.” A single forlorn tear ran down her cheek. Faster than even the supernatural eye could see, Xander swept Dawn up in a comforting hug.
“No one can ever take me away from you little girl.” He whispered fiercely. “No matter how many people we meet, or whatever choices we make, I will always love you most.” Xander had spoken so intensely and sincerely that the force of his words left Dawn no option, but to believe him.
Dawn looked up into deep brown eyes and whispered, “Forever and always.” Dawn then gave Xander a watery smile. “Well, looks like I better go get my shovel and meet this vampire. Gotta deliver the obligatory new boyfriend/girlfriend speech.”
Xander laughed and led Dawn outside, his arm still around her waist.
Traveler and Xander were together for decades before they broke up on friendly terms. Dawn, now a legendary Druid Goddess, loved living in her forest.
It was only Xander’s intervention that prevented her from destroying Rome when they began to concur the Celts and destroy all the druids. He felt helpless as he held a raging and sobbing Dawn. He had a momentary flashback to another special girl he held to keep her pain from turning to destruction. He had to remind her that they were trying to not interfere with important events that could potentially change the course of the future.
“Shh. It’s okay little girl. I’m sorry, but we both know this can’t be stopped.” Xander paused thinking hard. “Yet, so you will not be the last druidess, I will do this for you. I will bite three of those you choose and want this.”
Dawn had de-aged to eight to fit more easily into Xander’s arms. She looked up at him in shock at his offer. “But Xander! You said that you never wanted to turn anyone!”
“Yes, but they’ll die anyways. And here they’ll be able to keep their souls. Besides, the way I understand it I’ll be able to mentor them for a bit and have a certain amount of control over them.” Then with an even softer voice he said, “Dawnie, it’s almost scary what I’m willing to do to make you happy.”
Dawn wrapped small arms around Xander’s neck. “I’d stop the world for you Xan.” Reluctantly Dawn let go of Xander and stepped back into the moonlight, her arms extended towards the moon. Aided by her element Dawn’s small form shimmered and stretched until a beautiful woman with hair down to the ground, clad in a white flowing dress appeared in her place.
Xander smiled as this mature woman held her hand out to him. Taking it the two shimmered and disappeared with out a sound.
Author's note: Sorry this took so long, but I had most of this saved on an old laptop that my sister took, and I just recently was able to copy it and finish the chapter. Won't be so long a wait promise. And I AM working on Brown-Eyed Stray...I'm just bogged down with actually writing it. How'd you like it? Xander's too sexy for his own good! More soon!