Disclaimer: I do not own anything. Anita Blake is owned by Laurell K. Hamilton. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is owned by Joss Weadon.
AN: I should warn you that this is darker and far more graphic than anything I have written before. I know I usually do cute one shots but I want to try something else. I want to test how I do at crime and horror.
This is something I have not done before so please give feedback so I know how I am doing at this genre.
The Eyes: They See
CHAPTER 1: To be or not to be, that is the question.
Another night another fight that was what Xander Harris was thinking. Every night, for the past two weeks, Xander and his two slayers, Sam and Janis, have been hunting a group of Zenwock demons and their hunters. For the past year he had been their watcher and finally really understood just how hard Giles’s job was.
Zenwock demons were a migratory species of demons. They looked similar to eight foot tall mosquitoes. They lived in packs with Three Zenwocks and three to four hunters. The hunters were humanoid minions’ with the strength of a vampire and claws like a partially transformed were. The hunters would go out every other night and bring back a human to feed to their masters. Zenwock’s would stab their proboscis into their victim and liquefy the internal organs before sucking the goo out as if threw a straw. The hunters would then devour the rest of the body leaving nothing but the bones behind.
Since the Zenwock rarely leave their lair they needed to follow a hunter.
“I don’t see why I have to be bait?” Sam whined. “This is taking too long people are going to start thinking I’m some kind of freak just standing here.” Sam had always been the impatient one in the group.
“Sam quiet,” Xander scolded. “It won’t be long now. We finally isolated their hunting ground.” Which was no easy task, it took many nights of patrolling, as well as research. They have used a new form of mathematical research that was developed by another slayer’s father who was a professor of applied mathematics and behavior at MIT. He postulated that they could isolate the area a demon might be in or hunt in based on the habits of other local demon behavior. Nights were spent gathering information on the reactions of other demons as well as searching for the hunters the old fashion way, brute force interrogation of demon hot spots, patrolling and sheer damn luck.
Xander moved to hide behind a blue rusted dumpster in the alley. From behind the dumpster he had a perfect view of both the storm drain and the crowds of people leaving the movie theater and walking past the alley. Looking up to the fire escape he motions to Janis to keep an eye out on the storm drain.
With in half an hour of waiting the lid to the storm drain moved and Janis texted Sam that it was time. A pale gray skinned human shaped creature in a dark brown leather trench coat. Xander knew from experience that it was no ordinary leather but in fact leather made from human skin. It made Xander sick to his stomach when the demons walked around wearing human remains. That was someone’s friend, some one child, mother, father, lover.
Sam slyly walked into the alley putting her back against the wall and pretending to light a cigarette. Xander hated plans like this one where one of his girls had to let herself be captured. However the risk was necessary if they wanted to find the Zenwock, and Sam was the strongest, if anyone could handle things it would be her. Sometimes she reminded him a lot of Buffy.
The hunter slinked up behind her and hit Sam on the back of the head. Had Sam not been expecting this or been a slayer the hit would have been enough to knock her out. Sam fell back as if she had been knocked out. The Hunter heaved her over his shoulder and ran back down the storm drain.
Janis jumped down from the fire escape and joined Xander. She pulled out her GPS device and watched as the little green dot was moving farther and farther away. Xander and Janis waited a few seconds, so as to be caught by the Hunter, before jumping down the storm drain and followed the tracking device.
When they arrived at the large junction the fight had just started. Xander and Janis quickly jumped into the battle to help their team mate who was leaping on pipes and slashing at one of the two living Hunter demons. The third Hunter, the one who had taken Sam, was lying dead, in a pile of putrid demon excrement, with a large gaping wound across its neck.
“Sam, catch,” Janis yelled as she threw a short sword to Sam. Sam immediately caught it and slashed at the Zenwock she was now attacking. Janis then moved to attack the second Zenwock and a Hunter. Xander moved with his sword to attack the third, however, without slayer strength he was at a disadvantage. His plan was to distract the Zenwock while dodging its attacks long enough for one of his girls to finish the others. Dodging was a specialty of his especially with the improved vision that Willow had placed on his eye patch. It allowed him to see faster and more accurately and improved his reflexes. Not only that bet after years of being a geek he had become excellent at dodging from years of gym class dodge ball as well as avoiding the flying beer bottles from his drunken parents.
Xander jumped back and tucked into a role as the demon lunged towards him. Just as he was about to stand up a second Zenwock came flying towards his as Janis kicked the creature back away from her so she could play slice and dice on the last Hunter. Xander not expecting the flying demon fell back slamming his head on a hot steam pipe, burning the back of his head as well as making him a bit dizzy. However, he had to keep fighting. The kicked demon immediately swatted at him before returning to fight with Janis. Xander dodged the attack but fell back into the Zenwock he was attacking.
Xander screamed as the three foot long proboscis, of the Zenwock demon, pierced through his abdomen. His hands were frantically grasping and trying to pull at the slimy smooth gray brown proboscis. He could feel his organs being chemically liquefied and sucked through the hollow appendage of the demon. This was it. This was how he was going to die. Xander knew it there was no coming back from this fight. Hopefully he distracted the beast long enough for his girls to take it out.
Truth be told he was relieved, he was tired of fighting. Ever since Willow and Buffy died last year, Anya three years before, and his first and new boyfriend Jay six months ago, he lost the passion to fight. He was drained, too many years, too many deaths.
It’s not that he wanted to give up. He knew the importance of what he does. He knew that the fight is to save the world. He was part of the front line of an unending war. He knew that with every night and every fight lives were being saved. Every time he fought someone else lived. He knew that every time he fought alongside his slayers that maybe he had bought them enough time to slay the demons.
Xander knew that he played an important role, he had been a part of many prophesies since the first. But he was tired, and it’s not like saving the world comes with vacation time. He was always needed. There was just too much to do: research to be done, rounds to patrol, girls to bandage and patch up. The house always needed to be repaired, weapons to sharpen, stakes to whittle. There were prophesies that needed to be puzzled and a never ending supply of vampires and demons. It seemed as though his side was always playing some cosmic game of catch up.
Looking at his girls, armed to the teeth and fighting with grace and strength, swinging short broad swords and daggers, Xander started to remember how his family got together.
Sam and Janis were potentials that had been activated three years before. They were twelve at the time and did not fully understand what was happening to them. Sam’s parents had been killed when a group of local vampires realized what she was and attacked her home. Janis had been thrown out of her home when her parents noticed her powers. With the councils pull Xander had been able to adopt her as claiming that he was a cousin. Giles had tried to explain to her parents about her powers. How she was chosen. However, they could only see that she was a freak. To them the powers came from the devil and that the bible told them to never suffer a witch to live. And while she is not an actual witch it was close enough. They had transferred guardianship to Xander, stating to the courts that he was a friend of the family and that they could no longer handle her. It was proven that since Xander was trained, through the Jenny Calendar School for Girls, also known informally as slayer academy, to deal with troubled girls, he had the resources to help her. With that they had become a family. They stayed at the academy, in Cleveland, for a year going through basic training before moving to Portland to cover their growing demon population. Xander did not want to leave his family, but he knew they were strong and had a large extended family of watchers and slayers that would take care of them.
Xander took in a shaky breath more painful than anything he had felt before, including when Celeb gouged out his eye. The grease like excretion had moved up to his lungs and was starting to eat away the organ. Xander looked up through his blurring vision to see Samantha (Sam) running at him with her broad sword. The sharp silver plated blade sliced through the proboscis severing Xander from the creature. Janis another of Xander’s slayers decapitated the beast. It was dead, they succeeded, he could finally rest. He closed his eye and took one last breath. “You did good. I’m ppp proud.” He stuttered. “Call Giles,” he told them. He never got to hear the slayers response.
Closing his eyes Xander felt himself being engulfed in whitish blue light. Warmth crept across his skin like a warm breeze. He felt as though he was waking up after a long restful sleep. The kind of sleep you get, after going three days straight researching and hunting a demon, when you pass out muscles screaming eyes burning and adrenalin crashing. It was waking up from the exhausted dead sleep refreshed relaxed and rejuvenated. It was waking up with the feeling of being able to do anything. Xander was feeling as though the afterlife was his oyster, well not oyster since he really didn’t like oysters more like Twinkies. Yes Twinkies yummy yellow cream filled cakes of goodness the perfect food for the perfect feeling.
Xander opened his eyes and looked around. He was in a room the wall seemed to be made of mist and the floor water; however, he was lying on top of the water completely dry. The air was cool and moist a crisp freshness that was bliss to breathe. At the front of the room was a large judge’s bench where stood five figures dressed in immaculate, if Clorox could dream, white suits.
“Where am I?” Xander asked as he approached the bench. “Is this the entrance to heaven, I thought Willow would meet me here.”
“Welcome, this is not the afterlife, and Miss Rosenberg is indeed waiting for you. We are the Powers.” The powers responded speaking as one. Xander personally though it was creepy how a group could speak synchronized sounding like one strong eerie ethereal voice. However he felt that telling them this would not be the best of ideas, what with them being the ever annoying Powers that be, PTB. So this is what the perpetual thorns in his backside looked like.
“What do you want now, I’m done fighting.” Xander told them. The power in the middle who seemed to be the leader stepped forward towards Xander placing his hand on Xander’s shoulder.
“We know you’re tired, and that this is a time of rest for you.” The powers spoke. “You are one of our greatest champions. You are the one who sees, and as such there is one more mission we have to ask of you.”
Xander looks up to the Power and ask “Why can’t I rest? Why can’t someone else help? Why can’t someone else be the one who sees? And sees what I never saw squat, hell I’m even missing an eye I can’t even see depth perception properly.” Xander was getting pissed he just wanted to see Willow, Buffy and Anya. He wanted to see rivers of hot cocoa and islands of marshmallows or whatever the hereafter was made of.
“There is no one else. Powers like yours can only be given to the worthy, to the pure of heart and of soul. Your powers come because you are one of God’s Chosen, his warriors. You fight, you protect, and every few lifetimes you rest. It is how it always has been and so shall be. You do not remember but you choose this path. There are those, like the Slayer’s and your witch, who only get called to fight once in all eternity, they do their duty and are rewarded by not being called again. They have fighting spirits but they are and always were human spirits. You are not a human spirit, though you take human form, you are an angel of God, a spirit of love. You were the heart of your last group. You are that which binds good warriors together. You are the one who sees. You see how to spark the will to fight and go on. You see hope and motivation even in the darkest hour. You see light, and love. You see beyond masks and into the heart of mankind. You see life.” The Powers explained.
“If I see all of that then why don’t I know it? You would think I could see what I am supposedly seeing.”
“You vision is not a conscious power but rather a subconscious…”
“You’re going psycho babbly on me and I don’t have a Willow to translate. I’ll just take your word for it.” Xander interrupted. “If I’m a so called angel, and I choose this, then why don’t I remember anything? You would think that dying would jump start the memory past life thing.”
“Normally this would be true,” the Powers responded, “however, you have not fully died yet. We need you to go to this other reality as you are, as Xander, and you cannot do that in your true form. You will have more powers, your seeing powers will be more amplified in order to help you.”
“Oh” Xander replied as if that made perfect sense.
“As with all realities an angel is sent to the chosen warriors. However in this case the angel was caught at a young age by an agent of evil and has lost his way. He is unable to guide because his spirit has been crushed. You are the best to go in because he is your soul mate. It is not often that angelic soul mates meet in the same job. They tend to be separated during working lives and only meet again in the heavenly plane.
“I have a soul mate, a male soul mate, what about Anya?”
“Yes everyone has a soul mate. Angels have no gender, so while his human body is male he is still an angelic soul. Anya is a human soul, and although she was a demon for thousands of years she was born human and such has a human soul mate to which she has met in the hereafter.” The Powers went on to explain, “You as an angel have found that your relationships with humans were not long lasting. This is because your soul is incompatible with human souls on a romantic level. It is why you were not able to marry Anya, as a marriage is a contract in God’s presents.”
Xander thought about this, it made sense and it boosted his ego. All this time he had felt that he was destined to be alone. Xander smiled. The thought that he could meet his soul mate, truly find love, real love, the forever love, the kind that doesn’t end, someone to hold onto. He had been searching for that for so long now.
The powers were going to give it to him; all he had to do was continue to fight. Xander sat down; he had to think about this. He had been tired of fighting; it wore too much on him. And now not only did he have to go back and fight, give up his long awaited vacation, rest afterlife peace, but he had to do so in another reality, a new place new people he did not know, new rules and new evil. Life was hard, and he felt like he was making sacrifice after sacrifice. Did he want to go through that again? However, getting to be with his soul mate, having the love he always wanted, that would be something worth fighting for, worth living for. It was then in that moment, when he felt the hope inside him flare, that Xander made his choice. Love was worth fighting for and he was willing to travel back to life and fight off hell to have it.
Xander stood up and approached the PTB. “I’ll go, but can you tell me what to expect? What kind of challenges, what kind of evil are we going to face?”
“Thank you for accepting this mission. We cannot tell you anything about your new world because you will not remember it. You will arrive with no memories of this conversation and most if not all of your memories of this past life will be gone. Only a few memories from this last life will remain and only to help you with your mission. You will not need most of your memories as it will confuse you with the different realities; your spirit will guide you to doing your job and finding your soul mate. ”
“But, but…” Xander attempted to interrupt but was wrapped in an envelope of white light.
AN: Tune in soon for the second chapter.
Please review and tell me what you think. I need feedback to know how I am doing in darker longer genre of writing.
Also if you would like to Beta for me and talk plot ideas I would really appreciate it, especially if you are familiar with Anita Blake Universe. My grammar and spelling are not very good but I try and learn.