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Concrete Jungle

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This story is No. 2 in the series "Lost in Serenity". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Having arrived on Beaumonde Xander delivers the demon horn as promised. What's Xander after? Will he get it or make a powerful new enemy? Let's face it, what are the odds he won't tick someone off either way? Lost in Serenity Episode 2.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Firefly > Xander-Centered > Pairing: RiverMidknightJFR15612,27436230,32526 Aug 088 Nov 08Yes

Not Alone


Disclaimer: I'm poor. I own nothing

“I’m sorry Xander.” Buffy’s soft voice carried over the sound of Willow and Giles chanting. The two sat a ways apart, the air between them rippled with energy before exploding outward in an effect that looked disturbingly like the wormhole from Stargate.

A wind blew its way through the library, somehow only seeming to rustle Xander’s hair and clothes while it tugged him towards the portal. “What are you doing!” he yelled over the howling winds.

“It’s too dangerous for you here,” Buffy said, her soft voice still managed to carry. Gently she placed a palm on his chest. “You’re just normal.”

Then she pushed and he lost the fight to stay on his feet. He clenched his eyes shut as he tumbled end over end into the portal

No, he thought through the fear. No! It didn’t happen like this.

Then why did you dream it? a voice asked in his mind.

Xander opened his eyes to find he was standing alone in the library. No Buffy, Willow or Giles and definitely no portal. He felt eyes on him and turned towards the stacks. A beautiful woman in a flowing white dress seemed to float down the steps towards him. As much as he tried he couldn’t get a clear impression of her face, though he didn’t know if that was because she appeared to be glowing or something else. Maybe she just wasn’t letting him.

He should be disturbed by her sudden appearance but he wasn’t. The woman radiated a calm and peace that he couldn’t help but trust.

“I don’t know,” he responded to her question.

She ‘tsked’ at him and Xander could tell she didn’t believe him. “Okay.”

“I don’t resent them if that’s what you think.”

“I’m sure.”

“I don’t!” Xander exclaimed. “Sure it hurt that year they were pushing me away, and I was angry, but I never resented them.”

“And yet, we have this dream.” She made a wide gesture with her arms and Xander looked away. “Perhaps there are some unresolved issues there?”

It was awhile before Xander could meet her gaze again. “Who are you?” he asked. “Obviously this is more than just a dream now and I know you’re real. I feel like I should know you “

“I’m a friend,” the woman told him in a calm, annoyingly vague manner. “That will have to do for now.”

Xander snorted. “I’m not in the market for my own cryptic messenger. No matter how much cleavage that dress shows.”

“Good,” she said with a grin before she turned serious. “It’s taken far too much to send the messages I have today. I won’t be able to help you often.”

For the first time Xander noticed just how tired the mystery woman seemed. His mind still couldn’t take in the details of her features, but she did seem to glow less than when she arrived only moments ago.

“Then why…” he trailed off.

“Because you need to know you are not completely alone in this time. Things have been set in motion. Your presence may change things for the better.”

He shook his head. “Or the worse.”

“Perhaps,” she conceded. “But I prefer my version. Your experiences on the Hellmouth will have prepared you somewhat, though not entirely. The people on Serenity can help you greatly. Both in skills and perhaps… to heal.”

Xander turned his back on the woman. “When I was sent to this time I was told I had no destiny.”

“That is truth.”

“I-I don’t know what I could do here.” Xander bit his lip. “I just want to go home.”

The woman came up behind him, placing her hands on his shoulders comfortingly. “Nobody is forcing you to do anything Xander. You can still choose.”

“What if I choose wrong?” he asked, half turning his head to see her.

“That’s a risk everyone takes. Even those with a so-called destiny.” Gently she made him turn to face her and took his face in her hands. “You chose to fight when you could have walked away. That doesn’t just make you special, it makes you extraordinary.”

Xander took her hands from his face and held them for a moment before stepping back. “I’ve made bad choices since I got to the future. I got involved with criminals; hurt people.”

“You got involved with those who hurt others, yet never did yourself. Even when dealing with that demon clan on Triumph you found a peaceful solution.”

“Maybe, but I still knew what the people I got involved with were like,” he insisted. “I had an idea of what they did. I just wanted to get home so badly I turned the other cheek.”

“You were alone, confused and scared,” she told him as she came forward again, enveloping him in a warm embrace. “No one will judge you for that. Though, maybe it’s time to try something new. Maybe it’s time to trust again.”

Xander blinked away tears from his eyes. “Maybe.”

“Think about it.” She kissed him on the cheek. Be safe Xander.”

Slowly consciousness came back to Xander. He was groggy, but there was no pain. A matter of fact he couldn’t feel much of anything. Thank God for painkillers.

He could hear voices in the room and had to suppress a wince from the light when he opened his eyes. Jayne sat on a stool not far from the bed he lay facedown on, Simon working on the cuts covering the mercenaries face. The rest of the crew seemed to be crowded in the small infirmary listening as Jayne spoke.

“That’s when I shot the wolf jumpin’ at he kid”

“Wolf?” Mal said sceptically. “In a Pride tower?”

Jayne ignored him. “So I started over there and that’s when the bear showed up.”

That made Simon pause and send Jayne a look. “Bear?”

“Yah, bear,” Jayne insisted.

“Jayne,” Simon said slowly. “The only place you’ll see a bear is in a book or a holo at a zoo. Bears have been extinct since Earth-That-Was.”

“Tell that to the bear!”

“Alright, alright,” Mal cut in. “Extinct animals aside, we still need to figure out just what the tyen shiao-duh is going on.”

“Well, not that I like the kid or nothing,” Jayne started. “But we have to take him with us.”

“Why’s that?” Book asked curiously, himself believing they should take on the boy and wondering what Jayne’s reason was. He didn’t expect what came out of mercenary’s mouth.

“The Glowy Lady said so.”

Mal pinch the bridge of his nose and muttered, “The Glowy Lady said so?” Then he turned to the doctor. “Are you sure crazy isn’t contagious?”

Xander closed his eyes again, only half paying attention to Jayne going over the rest of the story. He knew they would want to know what happened; that he would have to tell them something eventually. What he would tell them he wasn’t sure. As it was the doctor would probably get them to hold off that conversation until he was a little less drugged up.

Speaking of the drugs Xander could feel consciousness starting to slip away but he fought against it. He didn’t want to sleep yet. There was too much to do.

He needed a chance to think, to figure out what to do now. For nearly a year now he had been searching for a way back to his own time. Walker had been his last chance, his final lead. He didn’t know where to go from here or what to do.

Xander felt tears start to prick at his eyes as a realization sunk in. He wasn’t going home. He wouldn’t see Willow’s smile or hear Buffy laugh again. He wouldn’t be there to help his chosen family through the tough times ahead. He was truly alone now.

Laying there fighting slumber Xander started to sink further and further into despair. Then he felt a presence at his side. As River slipped her small hand into his he thought, Maybe this time might not be so bad after all. Maybe I’m not so alone.

For the first time in a long while Xander felt safe and let himself be pulled back under. This time he had much more pleasant dreams.

A decidedly average looking man entered the darkened room nervously. The only light came from the night sky filtering in through a window that dominated the far wall. A male form stood silhouetted before it, staring out at the stars.

He gulped audibly as he came to the desk in the centre of the room. “Mr. Chairman, sir?”

“Ah, Mr. Wenders,” the form spoke without turning from the view. “I believe you said you had an important matter to discuss.”

Wenders clutched a small pile of files to his chest like a lifeline. “Y-yes sir. A surveillance t-t-team stationed on Beaumonde. They were as-assigned to watch The Pride building.”

“Why would I care about some too bit thug of a sorcerer. Shifter and criminal activities aside, Walker and his ilk are of no real consequence.”

“There w-was an inci-incident sir,” Wenders stuttered as he placed the folders on the desk, pulling out some reports and photos. “Anton Walker attempted t-to use a young man in a ritual.’


“He escaped, c-c-causing a great deal of c-chaos in the process.”

“I assume there is a point in all this or you would not have disturbed me.” There was a threat implied in the man’s voice that caused Wenders to swallow loudly and swipe his sweaty palms on his slacks.

“Y-yes sir.” Wenders nodded his head vigorously. “As a p-person of interest we ran his face through the d-d-database. Nothing.”

“Get to the point Richard.”

“History is my sp-specialty. I felt the man was famil-familiar, so I ran his image th-through our historical texts.”

The man inclined his head slightly and said dryly, “The suspense is killing me.”

“Alexander Harris,” Wenders blurted out suddenly and clearly. “A prominent figure in the Diaries in the late twentieth/early twenty first century. He-”

“I know who Harris is,” the man cut in, finally turning around and making his way to the desk. He picked up a surveillance photo from the pile, examining it closely. “He seems younger than he would have been at his desk. Two eyes as well. Interesting.”

“We d-don’t know any of the details of how he got younger or is still a-alive.” Wenders took an unconscious step back. The man’s presence was even more intimidating up close than at a distance. “Or even if it really is Mr. Harris.”

“It’s him,” the man said with surety. “I can feel it.”


“Spread the word Richard,” he said turning his gaze to Wenders for the first time since the man had entered the room. His lips curved into a wicked smile. “River Tam just dropped from top priority. Bring me Alexander Harris.”


Whew! There is episode 2 done. Lot's of plot threads introduced here to play with. Not one but two villain organizations, the Glowy Lady, and Xander's return to Serenity. Combined with the plots introduced in episode 1 and I'm going to be busy for a while yet.

Coming soon

Lost in Serenity
Episode 3
Big Talks, Small Spaces
Too Much Hair

While the crew pulls a job in Canton a recovering Xander is forced to confront his growing feelings for River.

The End

You have reached the end of "Concrete Jungle". This story is complete.

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