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All For The Life Of A Child

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Summary: Things went a bit differently after a night with Faith. Xander is left to deal with the consequences. Rating just in case. *I challenge you! Look at AN for details.*

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-Centered(Past Donor)MistressAshleyFR15717,66435922,7927 Sep 0923 Sep 09No

Torchwood

Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy or Torchwood. If I did I'd be likely to shoot Gwen on one of her more stubborn, sometimes motherly, rants. (Though I did come to somewhat like her in CoE as they actually gave her character a personality of her own.)

AN1: I'm using a general map for this. I've never been to Bristol or Cardiff or really, anywhere but where I am now. I don't know if you can get a ferry over the Mouth Of The Seven and right into Cardiff but I'm not risking it.

Forgive me, this is a bit rushed but I could find any better way.

AN2: Also, I've put up a poll. Review with your choice or go here (FFN is easier for me so if you have an account please go there.) This story is coming close to the end (I'm running out of crossovers I can make work) and I don't want to rush a romance (if there will be one and if there is it likely won't be graphic). This poll will tell me what kind of pairings I should look for (Slash, Gen, Het) so go answer! As some of you probably know I'm partial to slash but don't let that put you off! For my readers I'm willing to write just about anything. Vote! If, after you vote, you have a pairing suggestion - let me know.

I don't know when the next chapter will be up. I'm having a bit of trouble getting it to go in the direction I want. The updates after this will be probably be few and far between. I'm trying to find a way to wrap it up into a nice, neat package.

Spoiler blurbs for ... well most of Torchwood so don't read if you don't want to know.



Alexa followed Ares' words ... almost. She figured she really didn't have to visit George, just the general area, right? Because there was no way she was risking being eaten in a vision again. *I mean, what happens if I die in a vision? Or get mauled by a werewolf? Will I die in real life or become a werewolf too? Definite reasons not to risk it!*

So she'd gone to the general area, found a nice (*quiet*) spot, and hoped to feel the 'pull' Ares had talked about. It was a bit like the meditation techniques she'd seen Giles try to teach Buffy. They'd never worked for Buffy, who tended to fall asleep only to be woken and lectured by Giles, but maybe they'd help her?

Alexa opened herself fully to the idea, taking deep even breaths through her nose only to release them through her mouth. She let her mind drift; giving each thought that drifted through her mind a moment's pause before pushing it back out, traveling deeper through an imaginary well.

Alexa didn't know how long she'd sat there before she felt something, she examined the feeling closely. *It would be just my luck to try following it only to later realize it was only hunger.* But while she was indeed feeling hungry - this feeling was different, like a tug in heart that pulled her in a certain direction.

Grasping that feeling tightly, Alexa opened her eyes, which quickly widened as she realized she sat in this spot for most of the day.

A quick stop off at a convenience store procured her a huge sandwich which she savored on her way back to the hotel room she'd rented for the night. Alexa also grabbed a book of maps; she had no idea where the pull would take her so she hoped this would be enough preparation.

Once back in her room, sandwich gone, she spread out the make of Bristol - tugging the 'pull' closer to the surface of her mind. She got a general direction of west and vague 'pretty far' distance but consulting the map only got her set down into water. That left her only going up and around. It would probably take longer but was by far the safer option. Thankfully, the hotel had a phone book and a quick call got her a train ticket for the next day. It would take her from Bristol Temple Meads right to the closest place that had an accompanying tug, Cardiff Central. According to the assistant on the phone it'd only take her an hour or so to get there.

With that, Alexa changed and collapsed on the bed.

----

The alarm woke her the next morning. She had chosen an early train, as she wanted to get there well before dark so she'd have time to look around.

The ride itself hadn't been as horrible as some of the plane rides she'd taken since leaving Sunnydale but it definitely hadn't been fun. The old woman next to her had taken the fact that she was pregnant as an okay to strike up a conversation about all of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren! Which she'd had many of, complete with what seemed to be a purse full pictures. There'd also been the little hellion behind her that had kicked her seat until he'd fallen asleep halfway into the journey. She'd bet anything the mother had given him candy to get him up so early and onto the train. That was the only thing Alexa could think of that would have a kid that age up before seven and ready in time to catch the ride and yet put them back to sleep after only a small amount of time.

So it was, with great relief, Alexa disembarked the train. A quick stop to grab her luggage and rent a car. *Definitely something I need. It'd be wonderful to have a taxi ... go this way, no the pull is more that way. Can we go that way? He'd drive me right to the loony bin and drop me off!*

Alexa followed the pull only to frown when she found that it was taking her passed the Cardiff Bay train station. *Why had the pull been wrong?* was the thought on her mind but she was just happy to have gotten this close.

Alexa stopped at a hotel near the Millennium Centre, dropping her bags in her room she left to explore.

She found the Tourist Centre fairly quickly but debated over entering ... the place gave her the shivers. It was like there was something there just waiting ... waiting for the time to come out and devour ... something or someone, maybe? Since her meeting with Ares, her senses had opened more but they were nowhere near perfect, more as if they built upon her flight or fight instinct she'd gained since knowing of the Hellmouth.

She decided she'd spend the day finishing her exploration and then call Giles when she made it back to her hotel. He'd do the Watcher research thing and tell her what she was feeling. *Maybe there was a prophecy somewhere about it? That'd be nice, ya know, as long as it wasn't doom and gloom.*

As she walked away Alexa felt her shoulders twitch as if someone was watching her but a glance around showed no one paying any more attention to her than they were paying anyone else out at this time. She brushed the feeling off as paranoia.

----

A call to Giles when she was back at the hotel assured her he'd have the gang research. He had told her not to expect too much as they had their own problems to research but he'd get back to her with or without anything.

She stayed in the hotel not wanting to miss his call by some out of range chance.

Alexa snatched up the phone when it rang. *Uh oh, Giles is Oh Dear-y.* "Giles! Chill. Take a breath and tell me what you've found."

Alexa felt her eyes widen as she listen with horror to the story Giles was telling her. *A demon, trapped under Cardiff? A true demon?* After the explanation of the difference between a true demon and the demons they fought she was even more horrified.

"How do you kill something like that?" Alexa asked weakly.

A sigh on the other end of the phone was almost answer enough. "I'm not too terribly sure. It was trapped for a reason. They, they weren't sure how to kill it either."

"Did you find out what kind of demon it is?" Alexa asked, hoping the information gave some idea. *Maybe it's like the Judge. He was an unkillable demon but technology advanced so much from his time that he wasn't so unkillable anymore.*

"From what the texts describe - the demon, Abaddon, was a life stealer - his very shadow itself would steal the life from any who were caught within it. He would devour it and it was stated, if, if I'm reading it correctly - it's a very old text and most certainly not within any language I'd say I'm proficient in - it says the stolen life would make him stronger."

*Wow, it must be big if Giles is so flustered.* "Is it something that needs to be taken care of now? Is there a prophecy?"

"Not that I'm aware of ... to, to both questions. It's been there for so long now that it's almost a negligible threat. The only was it could be a threat was if someone released it."

"How do you release something like that? Can it be done by accident?"

"I don't," Alexa heard the turning of pages, "no, no - it must be voluntary. The texts are very specific. It can't be a follower, what few of them there are now - it must be an innocent. They don't need to be aware of what they are releasing just think that they are doing the right thing." Giles explained.

"Harsh."

"Quite."

"So," Alexa drug the word out, "not a problem?"

"Unless you know something I don't?"

Alexa thought of the creepy man with the cravat she had seen the other day before brushing it off. "No. Nothing on this end. If I find anything I'll give you a call. Give the girls my love and take care of yourself."

"I will. Be careful, Alexa. I'm not comfortable with you being so far away in your condition."

Alexa gave a laugh. "You make it sound like I'm diseased or something. I'm pregnant Giles. I've gotten used it ..." She confided in an almost whisper, "I even like it sometimes."

"It's to be expected. You'll look after yourself, won't you? You'll not jump into anything head first?"

"Of course not. Who do you think you're talking to?" Alexa asked, not sure whether to be offended or not.

"The, the demon-magnet, as Buffy and Willow call it." Giles said in exasperation.

"Hey! I've gotten better and it's not like I go looking for the trouble - even Ares said so!

"Quite." Giles said wryly. Alexa heard a crash and could almost picture Giles flinching. "What the bugger is going on out there?" She heard him sigh.

"Go on Giles. I'll be leaving Cardiff soon so there's no need to worry about me. Go find out what's broken."

"Yes, yes, that's perfect. Take care of yourself and I'll let the girls know. Until next time." He didn't even give her time to say goodbye before he hung up, drawing a laugh from her. *Poor Giles. I wander what Buffy broke this time?*

----

Alexa's stay was prolonged when odd things began happening or rather odd people began to appear. It was small at first, it was passed off as nuts and children playing dress-up but then the problem got worse. She d even heard a rumor of a quarantine at the hospital because of plague!

Another call to Giles showed that while he hadn't missed anything in his research, the books weren't complete and all knowing after all; he was reading the signs as well. Something was happening and by Giles' calculations these were past events ... time was cracking and the cracks were spreading - the epicenter was in Cardiff.

"You think it's Abaddon, don't you? Someone is trying to free him."

Giles sighed; frustrated that he couldn't be more help. "I'd tell you to leave if you could." That was answer enough for Alexa.

"Is there anyone here that knows what's happening ... that can help?"

"The Council has been hands off with Cardiff for many years - The Queen's orders. Only those of the Board know the specific orders but we were told she already had a team placed there."

"And the Council listened?" Alex knew orders by the Queen were a big thing but she figured the Council had gotten too arrogant of late to care much.

"They didn't at first. They placed a sect of field Watchers," Giles snorted thinking of Wesley whom the Council termed a field Watcher, "there but they were returned to the Council in varying shreds. There's something there but whoever watches over Cardiff knows how to deal with it so they resentfully left them to it." Giles explained.

"Do you know where I can find this team? If they haven't put the pieces together - if they don't know about Abaddon ..." If the Council left the team to deal with things like this they probably knew but she'd feel better if she were positive. *I don't want to be killed by a shadow!*

"I, I don't know. You should be close or at least able to follow the clues. Look for someone wrapped up in everything happening. From what I know, they answer only to the Queen - meaning they'll be able to take over from the police if need be."

"Wow. Isn't there anyway we can get something like that?"

"Oh, how I wish but it's something appointed by the government ... not asked for."

Alexa was about to answer when the world spun around her. She dropped her phone, fingers going numb. Looking up through blurry eyes, Alexa saw the man from the yesterday, the one with the cravat. "What?" She tried to force the words out but her tongue stuck. The man only smiled at her before reaching out to grab her arm and the world spun once more.

Alexa pried her eyes open, blinking, only to see they were outside. Vaguely she hears the man who had kidnapped her talking about Abaddon.

"Come to feast on life." A gentle whisper in her ear, "And what a feast you shall be."

She has no time to get her bearings as she's pushed forward to land in the arms of a man, his arms reaching out to catch her instinctively. *Wrong move.* She only had time to think before she was forcibly drag into an endless line of visions all pushing to get her attention. Years upon years of memories - forgotten memories and what could have been's and what will be's - all pushing on her mind. Her mind felt like it might fracture as she tossed her head back, unknowing of her eyes that glowed a bright white, and Alexa screamed as her mind shut down.

-----

Alexa woke on a metal table, her back hurting almost as much as the time she'd been tossed through several headstones on patrol but at least they'd been thoughtful enough to give her a pillow. She leveraged herself up only to hear shouting above her and stomping of feet as someone pushed her back down.

"You've been out for a while, its better if you just relax for now. Ianto, grab her some coffee or tea. Tosh, do we have anything light for her to eat?" The voice of a woman yelled as she grabbed her head and groaned. *Too much noise.* She could still feel everything she'd gotten from the man trying to suffocate her though as least they were no longer fighting for front stage just giving her a killer headache.

There was a rattle of drawers opening before she was gently sit up and passed a glass of water with two small pills. Alexa tried to examine them through bleary eyes.

"It's alright, they're just Tylenol." Was said reassuringly.

She quickly took the pills, washing them down with a healthy gulp of water before she was once again pushed back.

Alexa relaxed back onto the pillow, closing her eyes against the glare of lights. She stayed that way until the pain began to dull.

This time, when she tried to sit up, she wasn't stopped. She looked around at the people watching her, looking for the man, Jack, but not seeing him. The memory of what these people had done was forefront within her mind. She could see it all - their selfishness that brought them to this point but also she could see their courage and even, to an extent, feel Jack's love for them - his forgiveness. She was torn between wanting to be mad at them and forgiving them because once upon a time she'd have done anything to get Jesse back. It was their innocence and good intentions that unleashed Abaddon. *And as the saying goes - The way to Hell is paved with good intentions.*

"Where is he?" Alexa asked tersely.

She watched them exchange nervous and shamed looks before the woman who'd helped her spoke up, "Who?"

*As if they don't know who I'm talking about.* Her eyes narrowed. "Jack. Where is Jack!"

The feelings she was having were weird, or maybe not weird just different. She didn't think she'd ever know anyone as well as she knew this man she'd never met - not even Willow. He felt like an older brother, a father, everything all wrapped up into one complex package. She knew what he'd been, what he was now, and even when he didn't ... what he'd become. That his past and his future spread through time. It was a terrifying thought but also very comforting.

Once again she watched them exchange looks. Alexa felt her eyes narrow further, lips compressing, she pushed herself off the table, shoving the woman out of her way when she tried to push her back. She followed the steps up and took the path that seemed most likely. *He just fought a demon and while he may live forever he can still die.* She ignored the questions and orders from behind her; her steps were sure.

When she found him, he was laid out upon the drawer table, dressed in a white hospital gown and in an open white body bag. "How long?"

"I'm sorry but, but Jack is dead." Gwen consoled, though she sounded doubtful herself, as she tried to place a hand on Alexa's shoulder, which was quickly brushed off.

"How long has he been like this?" Alexa repeated the question slowly.

"A, A few days." Toshiko spoke tremulously from her place by the door.

"It will take longer. He's had the life sucked out of him in an endless stream." She turned around with narrowed eyes and a condemning look upon her face. "I'll say it now because when he comes back - he won't. This is your fault. Your selfishness brought this upon him, made him choose. He may love you and he may forgive you but you have broken his trust. That's something that you'll have to work very hard to win back. Be prepared for a long wait." She looked at their tear-stained faces. At Tosh, whose eyes were even now spilling over and while she felt sympathy, it was something they need to know.

"Who are you?" Owen's angry voice cut through the quiet.

"A friend of Jack's. That's all you need to know. Now leave." She turned her back on them and wandered over to the table with a sad sigh. She could almost feel him lost in the dark, struggling to find his way back.

Alexa pulled a chair from the corner and settled down for the wait.

----

It was hours later that she came to the realization maybe he couldn't make it back on his own. He felt so lost and a tad resigned - as if he knew it as well.

Alexa stood to lean over him. She wasn't sure how she could help but she figured she could try. "Come back, Jack." She whispered feeling a small spark but it wasn't enough. "Come on, Jack. You can do this. Don't let it beat you. This team of yours needs you." She felt him struggle for direction, reaching out to run her fingers through is hair, unaware of the white light gathering at her fingertips.

"Come back, Jack." Suddenly, Alexa could feel the memories in her mind slide down her arm and through where her fingers rested on Jack's forehead. The future was still hers but the memories that had already been his were ready to go home. Alexa slumped back into the chair, exhausted, as she heard a harsh pull of breath as Jack awoke, jackknifing up only to fall back and gasp for air.

Alexa was gasping for her own air. *I feel like I've just gone up against a nest of vamps after an already long night of patrol.*

She looked up through her hair to see Jack had turned his head to look at her. Her eyes went deer in headlights, large. "Uh, I can explain?"

----

A long and tedious explanation commenced and by the way the others hadn't burst in, she imagined she'd frightened or shamed them enough not to have been listening.

"So, you're some kind of seer?" Jack asked. He was a tad doubtful but if a little girl could tell him his future through Tarot cards, he was pretty okay with taking a leap of faith.

"No or at least I won't always be?" She put her hand on her rounded stomach. "My daughter will be and for right now I share her power."

Jack nodded, "Right."

Alexa gave a laugh. "You don't have to believe me but it'd be best if you did." She finished seriously.

That seemed to catch Jack's attention more than any arguing could have. "Why, what do you know?"

A sad sigh escaped her lips. "Are you sure you want to know? It may help them," She pointed up through the ceiling towards his team, "but it could break your heart." That wasn't something she wanted. She didn't want to see him hurt but while she thought those above deserved some emotional pain ... *They don't deserve to die.*

"Tell me." Jack demanded, determined and worried.

So, she told him - of how he'd lose Owen and use the glove, of how Owen s mind would be trapped in his dead body. She told him, though it pained her, of his brother and how he would come to exact revenge on Jack and how his team would lose two ... Owen, this time for good, and Tosh.

Alexa turned away from the tears in his eyes, feeling her own tears slide down her cheeks.

She finished with the 456, wrapping her arms around him as his tears spilled over at Ianto's death. She couldn't bear to tell him of how he got rid of the 456 - that truly would ruin him. She told him to trust Tosh, give her the puzzle and she would find a better way.

"You've got to trust that team of yours. If they had known even half of it, Abaddon may never have happened. They work here but they have no clue what the rift can truly do, what it is. You've got to confide in them." She remembered his immediate future, the one that would happen tonight. "Let them know before you leave." With that cryptic statement, she went to collect his clothes, leaving a confused Jack sitting on the tray wondering where he could be going that he wouldn't tell his team.

Alexa was unhappy she couldn't warn him about Prime Minister Master but something told her everything would work out as it should.

----

With one last hug from Jack, her goodbyes were said and numbers had been exchanged - she was ready to leave. She had felt the urge last night to get into her rental and just drive. She'd called the rental company last night and been directed to their nearest car drop off point - London.

She looked once in the rear-view mirror to see Jack and his team watching her leave; she wondered if this would be the last time she'd see them alive? *I guess all I can hope for is the best and trust in Jack - that he'll be able to get his team through the hard times ahead.*



Forgive me, this is a bit rushed but I couldn't find any better way for the kidnapping. Keep in mind that Bilis is a time-traveler and could very well know of Alexa and her child from the future. What better strength giving meal than the most powerful seer and a being created by the Gods?

A few more explanations ...

- Bringing Jack back isn't part of Alexa's power. It was just a small spark, like the difference between a battery and the power lines. Whatever keeps Jack alive also protects his mind from the crushing weight of his memories - if it didn't he'd end up an immortal vegetable - and when Alexa got the memories and only a small part of his future (as his future spans across time and even with the spark the small amount she got almost did break her) she got a small spark to, somewhat, protect her own mind - hence why she passed out. That's what she's giving back - it will guide Jack home and help him reignite his own immortal spark. Like throwing a match into the fireplace - eventually it will catch and burn on its own.

- I might write a followup for this and I always hated the team dying so the visions and telling Jack are there in the hopes of stopping it.

- Also, for those who didn't get it I deliberately got the train 'pull' wrong. Alexa is untrained so I wanted to convey that she can get close but more than likely, she's going to be off. Though, just knowing the gift is there is going to help her - training it is all about will power.

The End?

You have reached the end of "All For The Life Of A Child" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 23 Sep 09.

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