First And Last
~ Xander ~
She’s giving me THAT look.
Now, usually, that look means we’re about to be attacked by some really scary and often smelly demons but, since we’re not on the Hellmouth, it only means one thing.
He sensed her.
God! Can I just say how much we DIDN’T need this right now?
Getting through this is the last major obstacle Willow and Sam have to go through to be together the way they should be. After everything, is it too much to ask for this one little thing to go right?
Obviously yes, because now Sam is giving me THAT look too.
If I had any doubt Jacob Carter sensed Willow, Sam just squashed it.
He sensed her all right, which means we’re in big trouble.
In more ways than one.
It’ll be hard enough explaining to Jacob, if it gets down to that, that his future daughter-in-law is probably the most well known, and feared, witch in the Northern Hemisphere. But it’s going to be even harder to explain why his daughter-in-law AND the father of their child know WHY he sensed her.
If there was one thing we didn’t want to happen today – this was it.
We all knew – Sam, Will, and I – that there was a chance of Jacob sensing Willow’s power. Sam only ever felt the ‘buzz’, as I like to call it, after Will did a spell and we thought it would work the same for Jacob. We were so careful; Will hasn’t done a spell since she conceived. We thought we’d be safe…
But I guess Jacob is a little different to Sam.
Will and I are the only Scoobies who know just how different Jacob is.
A secret we have sworn to go to our graves with. A secret I have wished – repeatedly – that I didn’t know. Seriously, the next time someone says to me ‘you don’t want to know’ I’m going to believe them.
Knowing aliens are real and that my best friend’s lover used to have one inside her is something I can live without. We have enough to handle trying to keep demons from taking over the world – I don’t want to know that aliens are trying to do it too.
Still, it’s not exactly our fault that we found out there was something different about Sam – but it is MY fault that we know the full story.
Since I stopped Will from ending the world, I’ve been kind of protective of her.
No, that’s not what I mean.
I guess you could call me the unofficial guardian of Willow. She doesn’t need protection, at least not physically, but she needs someone watching her – making sure she doesn’t stray and, if she does, pull her back.
Someone to stop her.
It was a job Buffy and I discussed at length many times.
Giles, Dawn, Spike, Anya, none of the others know about this. In fact, I don’t think Willow knows how carefully I look out for her. After the Sam incident, I think she has an idea, but she doesn’t know the extent.
See, it was my need to safeguard Willow that forced Sam to reveal everything – and I mean forced literally.
I only did it because I knew how much Willow loves Sam.
After Tara, I honestly didn’t think Willow would ever love someone that completely again. Not because of what she did after Tara’s death, but because I didn’t think anyone could be that lucky twice. Buffy never loved anyone the way she loved Angel, I never loved anyone the way I loved Anya, and Will… she loved Tara more than she loved anything.
And it scared the hell out of me, still does, that she loves Sam more.
At first, I didn’t even know of Sam’s existence. Willow had been horrified by the one nightstand she had had with Sam and hadn’t mentioned it to Dawn or me. I won’t lie, it kind of hurt that she didn’t tell me, but I guess I can understand why she kept it to herself.
But when I answered the phone one night, and Sam was on the other end, Will had come clean.
She had too.
When I told her a woman named Sam was on the phone, she went so pale I almost called an ambulance.
That started the most stressful time of my life.
A time that hasn’t ended.
Watching Willow fall for Sam was the most painful thing imaginable. It was bad enough knowing that Willow had kept their first meeting from me, but it was worse watching their relationship grow.
Willow fell in love with Sam a long time before she realized it. I saw it after the tenth phone call. I saw the way her eyes lit up whenever she called; I saw the way she laughed.
I also saw the pain she went through whenever Sam cancelled a date. The worry she endured when Sam didn’t contact her for months on end. I saw the loneliness she felt when she had to spend night after night after night on her own.
I saw it all.
You could say I saw too much.
I didn’t just see how Will was with Sam, but I saw how Sam was with Will.
I knew Sam cared for Willow. I watched, as the visits became more frequent, her feelings grow but I also saw something else.
I saw her react to Willow.
The first time she reacted to it had been when she showed up a mere hour after an apocalyptic battle. Let me tell you, we worked our butts off to save the world before Willow’s date. At that time, Sam didn’t know about us yet. She just thought we ran a newly rebuilt magic shop.
But that day, after Willow used her magic to stop some really smelly demons from opening the Hellmouth, Sam jumped when Willow touched her. Sam thought, she told me later, that it was an electric shock but after Will came clean to Sam she knew what it was.
When Will did a spell – a major ‘baton down the hatches and get the heck to minimum safe distance’ spell – she could feel Willow’s power. Ordinary spells didn’t cause a reaction, which was why we thought we were safe today, but big spells did.
I didn’t really think any of it at first, it was only after Will started mentioning electric shocks too, that I started getting suspicious.
And when a vampire bit Sam – I had my proof.
You know back home when the authorities want to hide a vampire attack they say it’s kids on PCP?
Well, when a vampire drinks Sam’s blood…
It’s like a vampire on PCP.
NOT a pretty sight.
Saving Sam almost killed me, and saving me and Sam almost killed Willow and if Spike hadn’t shown up when he did – we’d all be dead. The vamp was high. It was more powerful, more vicious than any vampire I have ever seen.
Will killed it with a fireball – and that was after Spike doused it with my stash of Holy Water.
Spike and Willow both missed the pre-show action; they had no idea that Sam was the reason why the vamp went nuts, but I did.
I couldn’t just let it go so, with the help of Anya and Dawn, we did a truth spell to find out what my best friend’s girlfriend was. They did the spell and, at Sam’s desperate plea, they left me alone to question her.
And I did…extensively.
I had to know the truth.
If Sam was anything other than what she claimed, it could have sent Will over the edge. There really is only one thing that sends Willow over the edge and losing the people she’s in love with is it.
After she lost Oz she did that ‘Thy Will Be Done’ spell; after Tara, well, I don’t need to remind you. So as her unofficial guardian I had to find out. Willow losing it isn’t just bad for her; it’s bad for all of us.
But more than that, I couldn’t let anyone hurt her. I know I said I couldn’t let Willow lose it, but in all honesty, I just wanted to keep her happy and safe.
I’m Willow’s best friend, first and last, and I’ll do anything to protect her. I didn’t want to see Willow hurt ever again… And I did whatever I had to.
Again I tell you ignorance is bliss.
I was expecting the truth spell to reveal Sam was a former member of the Initiative. They pumped their guys full of drugs, so it would have made sense for the vampire to go nuts after drinking her blood.
But what I got was something far worse.
I found out about the Stargate Program.
And, in true Sunnydale fashion, so did Willow.
I wish I could say Willow found out because she felt the spell when Dawn and Anya performed it, but she found out because we all suck at keeping things secret from each other. If only Dawn had acted naturally when Willow asked her where Sam and I were…
Though I guess, when you look at it, it actually worked out well that Willow did find out. Because if she didn’t know, she would’ve been very shocked a few minutes ago.
Still, a part of me wishes we didn’t know – or that Sam was as normal as me and… well, that Sam was normal.
If this goes badly, I don’t know how Willow will react, especially now that she’s pregnant. It still honors me that Willow asked me to father their child and it’s something that I’ll never ever regret.
But now Willow has so much more to lose – so does Sam.
She loves Sam and I honestly don’t think she could stand losing her. She wouldn’t have stayed with Sam if she didn’t love her more than life itself, and I want nothing more than Willow to have the happiness she deserves.
And I am still willing to do anything to make that happen.
I blink, surprised to see Will, Sam, her Dad, and the rest of her friends standing in front of me. Giles and Dawn are beside them, looking at me strangely. Oops. “Oh, sorry Will…” Too busy panicking about what this means.
Have I mentioned how much we didn’t need this?
“Xander,” Willow begins. “This is Sam’s Dad, General Jacob Carter. General Carter, this is Xander Harris, my best friend.”
I hold my hand out for Sam’s Dad to shake but he doesn’t notice; he’s still too busy looking at Will.
NOT a good sign. “A pleasure to meet you, Sir.”
He turns to me now, kind of surprised to see me. Good to see I’m not the only one lost in thought… though seeing Jacob so deep in thought doesn’t fill me with confidence. We shake hands and he watches me carefully.
Think you’ll feel the buzz again, huh?
“And these are my best friends,” Sam takes over the introductions. “Colonel Jack O’Neill, Doctor Daniel Jackson, and Murray.”
SG-1. “It’s good to finally meet you,” I tell them and shake the hand closest to mine, Colonel O’Neill’s. “Sam told me a lot about you.”
“Really?” the Colonel asks, his eyebrows rise in interest.
Ahhh… looks like Jacob’s reaction to Willow isn’t our only problem. Colonel Jack O’Neill does NOT look happy.
Guess I’d be unhappy too if one of my closest friends had a life I never knew existed.
But, hey, if the Colonel is lucky, Sam being gay will be the only surprise he has to deal with.
“Jack!” Dr Jackson admonishes, holding his hand out to me. “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Xander.”
He seems as nice as Sam says he is. If he is, then at least we have someone on our side. I shake ‘Murray’s’ hand next and then we stand in awkward silence for a moment. The introductions are over and we’re now at the hard part.
Dawn, Giles, Willow and Sam are standing around awkwardly. Teal’c’s face is unreadable, Jacob is still casting confused and concerned looks Willow’s way, and Colonel O’Neill looks about as happy as a vampire with watered down blood.
Suddenly I’m as nervous as Willow was inside the house a few minutes ago.
Today is supposed to be the first day of Willow and Sam’s life together, but it looks like their last obstacle is going to be bigger than we thought.