“You died? What do you mean? You died?” demand Riley, “and what Harvest?”
“When did you die?” asked Sam at the same time as Riley.
“Oh man,” sighed Jesse, “this is gonna take a while. Help me out here, Xan.”
“OK, the Harvest happened in sophomore year, over 7 years ago. It was our first apocalypse,” said Xander.
“The day before, I was captured by Darla, and turned to use as bait for the Slayer. I was staked by Xander the next night, the Harvest to stop me from killing and turning Cordelia, and killing him,” said Jesse, leaning back against the door frame. “The next thing I know, I'm in this, I dunno, room, for lack of a better word, and there's voices all around, and two funky looking dudes called the Oracles are in front of me. They don't tell me jack shit, except I've got a second chance at life, and they send me to Abydos. I have no idea how much time has passed between being staked and being reincarnated. But three weeks later, the goddamn Powers let me know why I was brought back.”
“And why was that?” asked Graham aggressively.
“To fight the Goa'uld,” Jesse said simply. “I know more about them than anyone alive who hasn't had a snake in their head, and that was before I was 19 by the way, even Jaffa like Master Brat'ac or Teal'c,” he added at Graham's look of skepticism.
“And to those of us just tuning in?” said Xander, and Dawn just rolled her eyes at that comment.
“Honestly Xander, didn't you read the briefing notes that Major Davis sent us?” she asked.
“Er, no. Too much crap involved, needs pictures to go with it,” replied Xander shortly as he looked harder at Jesse. Then he nodded as if he'd made his mind up about something that had been bothering him. “OK, Willow! Get your witchy butt back here now!” he shouted.
“Er, overkill, Xan,” said Dawn quietly.
“Is a talent of mine, and you know it, Dawn-Patrol,” replied Xander belligerently, as he crossed his arms and waited for Willow to make an appearance.
Who showed up 30 seconds later in a flash of light.
“Whoa, I knew you were powerful, but I didn't know you could do that!” said Riley in awe.
“Yep,” said Willow, rather chipper for someone who'd been summoned back so abruptly. “Now, what's the rush, mister, that I had to abandon what I was doing to come home this quickly?”
Xander just pointed behind her at Jesse, so Willow turned round, and then went white as well. “Jesse? Hasanyonetouchedhim?IsittheFirst?” babbled Willow.
“He's real, Willow. Nearly bounced me to insanity in the 4X4 from far to much sugar,” said Graham dryly.
Willow took a tentative step forward and touched him on the arm, “Jesse? Oh Goddess, you're really alive!” and then she hugged him and started to cry.
“If it helps, Xander, we have to have a lot of post mission medicals, so we know that he's not a vampire,” offered Riley.
“The Powers wouldn't let me come home,” admitted Jesse as he hugged Willow tightly.
“Why doesn't that surprise me with those fuckers,” snorted Xander in contempt. “Missed you too bro.” And he joined Willow in hugging Jesse.
Dawn just looked at Sam and shrugged, then looked out of the window, “er Willow. Kennedy alert, and she looks pissed.”
“Kennedy alert?” repeated Jesse, letting go of Xander. But Willow just wouldn't let go, “who's Kennedy?”
“Kennedy is Willow's uber-bratty girlfriend,” put in Dawn, “basically, we tolerate her for Willow's sake.”
“Girlfriend? Willow, you bad girl!” said Jesse with a dirty grin on his face. “Of all the things I imagined, and I imagined a lot, this was never one of them. Can't think why not. Are they hot together?” he asked Xander, who started to laugh.
“Stop it mister, she's gonna get angry, and she's a Slayer too,” Willow said in exasperation. “Hey, Kennedy, this is Jesse.”
“Right,” Kennedy said, looking pissed. “But why's he holding you? And I thought he was dead.”
“Yeah, I kinda get that a lot,” replied Jesse mildly. “Let's just say that your bosses gave me a second chance, and leave it at that, shall we?”
“How about let's not?” shot back Kennedy aggressively, “let go of my girl, now!”
“That's enough, Kennedy,” said Xander. “Jesse's not a vampire, or anything evil, and he's not after Willow. She's like a sister to him.”
“You're not my Watcher, you can't tell me what to do,” answered Kennedy belligerently.
“Oooh, Watcher, kinky Xan,” teased Jesse. “So who do you Watch? And more importantly, what do you Watch?”
“That's not helping Jesse,” complained Willow over the sniggering of Dawn and Graham. “Goddess, I'd forgotten just what you two were like together. Just how much sugar have you had today anyway?”
“Not that much, just a few sweets and a few cans of drinks with caffeine in, had worse in the past,” admitted Jesse. “Why? You gonna join Graham in the 'Spoil Jesse's Day' club, with restricting my sugar intake? And Xan, I think he's got his eye on your sugar intake too,” he added under his breath to Xander.
“The Hell you say! No one restricts my sugar intake!” shouted Xander, glaring hard at Graham, and looking quiet scary with the eye patch.
“Xan, what's with the Nick Fury impression?” asked Jesse. Willow just sighed. Even after all this time, they still liked the comics. At least they weren't as bad as Andrew.
Xander just laughed, “I'll tell you later over a beer or two, man,” he said. “Maybe I'll even tell you the truth, if you tell me the truth about what happened to you.”
“Deal,” said Jesse, and he stuck his hand out, and they shook on it.
Over the next 15 minutes, over a dozen Slayers turned up, including Buffy Summers, who remembered Jesse from her first day at Sunnydale High School all those years ago. Although her reaction wasn't quite as extreme as Willow and Xander's, it was still fun for Riley, Sam and Graham to watch. And confusing for the other Slayers.
Giles ended up putting his foot down, and insisted on a full briefing after dinner, which in turn made most of the junior Slayers groan. They knew then that they'd miss out on what was shaping up to be a very interesting story. As Andrew bounced off muttering about a Klingon based dinner, Xander grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, and insisted on Chinese.
“The military would look very poorly on us if we attempted to poison four of their people, Giles. MRE's out of the question, this is a cruel and unusual punishment.”
“Quite,” said Giles, “very well. Oh, don't whine Andrew, I'm sure you'll have another opportunity to poison us in the near future.”
Jesse just shook his head and asked Willow if he and Xander had ever been that bad, whilst she giggled and reassured him.
Three hours later, after dinner, and a full briefing, Xander and Jesse were loaded for vampire, Goa'uld, and Cleveland issue mugger's, and on their way to a local bar that Xander knew of.
“So, how'd you know what MRE's taste like, Xan?” asked Jesse with curiosity.
“Halloween '97,” said Xander laughing, “I dressed up as a soldier. Giles' old playmate, Ethan Rayne, Chaos mage extraordinare came to town, and cursed the costumes. So I got turned into a soldier for the evening. Full sensory experience, man. Came in handy for the Judge and graduation, I tell ya.”
“What did Willow dress up as then? Don't tell me she went as a ghost again?” Jesse asked in disbelief.
“Yeah, she did. But this time she turned into a ghost as well. But Buffy was the funniest,” laughed Xander. “She just had to impress her creature of the night boyfriend, Angel, with how pretty she could be. Granted, she looked hot,” he said as they reached the bar, “but she turned into the most helpless noblewoman you've ever laid eyes on. Eighteenth century.”
“Wait a minute, back track a bit here,” said Jesse, a little confused and amused at the thought of strong, Slayer Buffy completely helpless. “She's the Slayer, scourge of demons and vamps...”
“Yep,” said Xander, nodding as they reached the bar.
“And her boyfriend was a vampire?” Jesse really couldn't believe this now.
“Yeah, and she also knew what he was like before he got his oh, so soulful act on. Two Guinness' please,” he asked the bartender. “Then she nearly got her ass handed to her by Spike, Angel's vampiric grandson. Willow was walking through walls, scared the shit out of Giles, she said. Thanks.”
They took their drinks over to a corner and sat down. “Cordy got her costume elsewhere, otherwise she'd've turned into a cat. Might've been funny to see, but, man, would she've bitched,” Xander continued. “Now, Dawnnie, we remember her dressing as a fairy. She was only about 10 at the time.”
“What, wings and all?”
“Bet that was fun for her, what did Mrs. Summers say?”
“Nothing, all of the adults ignored everything, until they tried to burn Buffy, Willow and Amy Madison at the stake in senior, I'll tell ya that one later, dude. But Mrs. Rosenberg repressed everything about that night, except that Willow was dating Oz. We call it Sunnydale Syndrome, and it exists in Cleveland too,” explained Xander.
“Ah, I think we got a bit of that back in Colorado Springs,” said Jesse kicking back and sipping his Guinness. “Sometimes we bring some weird shit back with us, and, let's just say, it don't interact well with the outside world.” Xander started sniggering.
“Ya gotta meet Clem sometime, neutral demon. Pretty cool guy, stays with us sometimes, and an easy way to let the girls know about the world in which they live in. But what happened to you?” pressed Xander. “Ya got that whole threat assess mode that Ri, Sam and Graham got, and yeah, I know I got it too sometimes. So give, what happened really?”
Jesse sighed, and carried on drinking his Guinness for a minute or so, and then said, “three weeks after I was given a second chance, these aliens that squat in your spinal column and head arrived. They took prisoners, and killed a load of people, including the head man's family. Whilst all this was happening, the Power's decided to let me know why I was on Abydos, what my purpose was, and why I couldn't come home home. They filled my head with shit about the Goa'uld, they're the snakes that live in people's heads, if it easier, think of 'em as demons from outer space,” added Jesse.
Xander snorted, “been there, man.”
Jesse just looked at him. “They normally enter your body here, at the nape your neck, hurts like a son of a bitch too. Got my ass snakified when I was 19, but the Powers did something to me, so they didn't like how I tasted or something,” he grimaced in remembered pain.
Xander snorted in laughter, “dude, you're as much of a weirdness magnet as I am. Just wait until Will's finds out. Me, hyena possessed at 16, soldier possessed at 17, Indian curse at 19, and we can't forget Dracula, much as I wish we could -”
“Dracula's real?” asked Jesse all wide eyed.
“Yeah, and a right annoying bastard too,” grumped Xander. “I also attract demonic females, nearly married an ex-vengeance demon, called Anyanka, still miss her. She died when we closed the Hellmouth and Sunnydale turned into a sinkhole,” said Xander sadly.
They stayed in the bar all night, swapping storied back and forth, and getting more and more drunk, until it was closing time. Jesse taught Xander a rather rude Abydonian drinking song, which was similar to Ancient Egyptian. Which they went into the Slayer house house singing at the top of their voices after getting out of the taxi which brought them home. Much to the blushing of Willow and Giles, and the amusement of Riley, Sam and Graham who's heard it before.