Disclaimer: Don‘t own anything recognizable.
“word” means talking, ‘word’ means thought
Cross: Babylon 5
A/N: just a one shot. Don’t know if it’s been done before but it was bugging me for a bit.
Xander sat at the bar of the restaurant he and the rest of the Sunnydale survivors had pulled into. He was tired, closer to exhausted. The last battle had taken a lot from him but the really hard part was having to keep up a cheerful demeanor for the rest of the potentials, now slayers, keeping them in good spirits so they didn’t fall into a survivor’s guilt depression over their fallen fellow slayers and supporters.
The 2H rule for slayers had come into effect and none of the surviving males were up to satisfying one of the H’s for all the Slayers. After getting Wood and any of the seriously injured checked into a hospital, they made their way to the restaurant they were in now. Buffy and Dawn had managed to get the banquet room opened just for the group so they could have some privacy while they ate. No point in drawing stares from the amount of food being consumed by the small group.
we going to do now?’ he asks himself.
It was the same question uttered at the crater’s edge. One that held a lot of potential for both good and evil. For now, it will have to be shelved. They had more important matters to deal with first.
“What’ll you have?” the bartender asks, standing in front of Xander.
“Jack and Coke, light on the Jack.” Xander responds.
He wasn’t much of a drinker. His parents had made damn sure that he knew the consequences of overindulging in alcohol. That didn’t mean he didn’t imbibe from time to time. The bartender quirks an eyebrow but doesn’t say anything. After getting his drink, Xander sits at the bar, nursing his drink keeping an ear out on the rest of his group.
“You look like hell. What happened?” A man sitting a couple of stools down asks.
Xander looks at the stranger. Clean cut, perhaps a little too clean cut, seems average but there is a black..shadow around him. He would say the man has an aura but he can’t see auras so that pretty much rules that out. But then again, maybe there is something to the whole ‘One who Sees’ Caleb had said before he gouged his eye out.
‘Naaaah’ Xander thinks before replying to the stranger.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. Suffice to say, a long series of events led up to a catastrophe just up the road. Ever hear of the town of Sunnydale?”
The stranger shakes his head and moves closer. Xander smirks.
“Well, now you don’t have to bother. It’s gone, baby, gone. Fell into a sinkhole. My companions and I were the last known residents to escape. At least as far as we can tell, we are. We had some injuries due to falling debris and plain bad luck but overall we came out of it relatively unscathed.”
“Any idea what the cause was and what kept you there so long?” the man asked, curiously.
“Like I said, long series of events. From what we could gather before it fell in, the city council’s plan to expand the sewer system weakened the surrounding bedrock which in turn caused a natural cavern system to implode and the rest, as they say is history.” Xander explains, amazed how quickly the lies were coming to him, “As for why we were there for so long? My group was gathering evidence that the council’s shady dealings led to sub-standard reinforcement of the system which led to the collapse. We had to wait for the records room was abandoned in order to get in there and find what we needed. Once we did, it was a mad scramble to get out.”
Xander grew pensive at the next part of his tale, “Not all of us made it out. We lost some good friends today. I lost my fiancée, well ex-fiancée, anyway.” He took a drink. “We had just started to patch things up. Maybe even try to give it another shot. Now, she’s gone and I never told her how much I loved her.”
“But now, once the evidence is presented to whoever investigates the collapse, I’m left with nothing left to do. My friends will all move on to other things and leave me behind. I’m now a liability thanks to my handicap.” Xander said pointing to his eye patch.
“And if there was a way to make you less of a liability?” the man asks, quirking an eyebrow at Xander.
“Like a prosthetic? Doesn’t help me much with my lack of depth perception, which as a construction worker, is kind of vital.” Xander replies.
“No, not a prosthetic. I represent a group of associates that have cutting edge technology and methods that can help make you whole again. Perhaps even enhance you if you so desire.”
“What’s the catch?” Xander asks, looking skeptically at the man. The shadows around him started to stir when he mentioned associates.
“Nothing too strenuous. Just some assistance when the time comes. Nothing that would put you at odds with your friends.” the man states with a smile, “Of course, you can refuse and remain, as you say, a liability but is that really how you want to live the rest of your life?”
“Who are you?” Xander asks.
The smile drops from the strangers face and his eyes get a cold glint. “Never ask that question.”
The statement is made with a finality that leaves no room for argument.
“Ooookay, can I get a name at least?”
“You can call me Morden. So,” Morden asked, “What do you want?”
For Xander, that question held the weight of the world.