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The Lost Rider

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Summary: When something goes wrong in the middle of a battle, Xander ends up in another dimension and he isn't sure he wants to go home.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Fantasy > EragonjadedhavokFR1311,322361,83517 Nov 0917 Nov 09Yes
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all of its characters are owned by Joss Whedon, while The Inheritance Series and all of its characters are owned by Christopher Paolini. No copyright infringement is intended.

NOTE: This was written in 2007, when I was very very bored but hadn’t worked up the courage to post here yet. I’m a long time lurker, sorry. Inspired by The Xander’s Loving Faces manip number 42: Dragon Rider’s White Knight.





Xander was reflecting. He was sure that, eventually, the others would find him and, with Dawn’s surprising show of power and Willow already rivaling a goddess, he was sure it wouldn’t take much longer. He wasn’t sure how he felt about that. He missed his friends, of course he did… But… He wasn’t sure if he could leave.

It’d started with a phone call, as many things seem to. Dawn had apparently known the person and she’d run off to talk to Buffy and Willow and suddenly the Scoobies had been reassembled and they were off to LA. Xander had the vague feeling that he should recognize the scrawny, pale boy Dawn had embraced and spoken in quick, hushed tones with, but he’d brushed it aside.

The battle they’d walked into was bigger than any Xander had ever faced, but quite frankly, after standing by the Slayer’s side for so long, he felt no fear. Well, okay, the dragon had made him a bit uneasy.

His job was simple, as it always was. Protect Dawn. That was always his job, had always been his job. He took it seriously, always by her side. He didn’t hold her back like the others did, he simply followed her deeper into the battle and watched her back. She was like him, capable of much more than the others saw. She was heart.

He’d been fighting off a particularly ugly demon (and vaguely noting that it always seemed that the uglier the demon, the bigger the bad) when he’d caught sight of it. He didn’t recognize the beast and was more focused upon the sword that was being swung at Dawn’s unprotected form, knowing he was too far away to save her.

She dodged at the last moment, the sword creating a shallow cut across her stomach and hips rather than cutting her in two. The blood began to seep and it suddenly felt as if Xander had been dragged into a vortex. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t move.

He was dropped onto hard ground and laid there gasping. He staggered to his feet and looked around, eye widening as he quickly recoiled away from the dragon before him.

It raised its head, dark scales gleaming, and met Xander’s gaze.

Rider.

The voice echoed in Xander’s head and he fell backwards in surprise, landing on his ass. He stared up in shock at the great beast.

My rider.

“I-I… Rider?”

Yes… My rider. Xander.

“How do you know my name?”

A dragon always knows its rider. I am Briam.

“Briam?”

Yes… The lost one… The dragon hatched without a rider, stolen away from this land and hidden away in another to await the time his rider returned.

Xander hesitated, reaching out a hand and lying it flat on Briam’s scales. The scales felt almost familiar beneath his fingers.

“Briam.” Xander breathed.

It felt like something within him clicked into place. Something that had been missing. It made Xander recall a drunken conversation he’d once had with Andrew and Giles about Fate and Destiny. Was his Fate to end up here, with Briam? And if that was his Fate, what was his Destiny?

It took a while to work out the various kinks Xander didn’t know about dragons, but Briam helped with what knowledge he had. Mostly, the pair ran off instinct. Xander was good about following instinct. He crept into a town and stole some leather and fastened a saddle before he was able to ride Briam. After that, he traveled with much more ease.

Xander spent most of his time avoiding battles, not wanting to become involved in a war of a world he knew nothing about. He found a dense wood, suddenly thankful that all that patrolling with Buffy had made him such a good hunter. Damn, he missed microwaves. Really, really, really missed microwaves.

Xander, someone is coming.

Xander had looked up, suddenly very aware and one hand curling around the sword he’d been caring during the battle. When a tall, slender man stepped out into the clearing he was camping in, he’d been surprised by the calmness in his eyes. The man was almost perfect in appearance. His features were like an angel’s, his ears pointed in a way that made Xander think of all those pictures in Andrew’s D&D books.

“Who are you?” the man asked. “How did you get a dragon? Do you work for us or him?”

Xander blinked at the questions, completely confused.

“I… My name is Xander. I’m not from here. And this dragon is mine.”

Briam took a protective stance near him. The man didn’t weaver, not intimidated in the least by the large dragon.

“My name is Eragon. This is Saphira.”

“Sa–”

Xander snapped his mouth shut when a beautiful, sapphire colored dragon emerged from the wood. Eragon was a rider.

Eragon cocked his head, face slightly vacant. By the way he leant his head slightly towards his dragon, Xander guessed he was listening to her.

“Saphira says you need help. We’ll help you.”

“Thanks.”

So, Xander found himself no longer quite so alone. While Briam was good company, he wasn’t human. He didn’t understand sometimes and while they were very different, Xander found it easy to talk to Eragon, who seemed as starved for attention as he was.

Xander listened to Eragon’s tales of Brom and the dwarven caverns, of the elves and of Murtagh. He shared his own stories of the Scoobies, of fighting the First and battling Adam, of crushing on Buffy, the wonders of dating Queen Cordelia, being best friends with Willow, and loving Anya.

They grew closer.

It wasn’t until Xander stumbled upon Eragon bathing one night that he realized his attraction, but seeing Eragon in the water, moonlight making his skin glow… He could no longer deny it. Eragon was beautiful.

Xander was never very good at restraining his feelings. He’d never been able to hide attraction, far too emotional and affectionate for it. Not that Eragon noticed, as blind as he was. But Saphira did.

Do not hurt him.

“I won’t.”

I know.

Briam was his source of comfort. The connection he had with his dragon was unusual, different from anything he’d ever felt, but so right. There were no secrets between the two and Xander liked it that way.

It was Briam’s echoing voice in his head that woke him that night, urging Xander to open his eye. He was met with Eragon kneeling next to him, looking flushed and extremely guilty.

“I-I’m sorry!” Eragon gasped out.

Xander frowned. “What?”

“I’m sorry. I c-can’t help it.”

“Help what, Eragon?”

“How I feel.”

Xander’s eye widened as Eragon’s face neared and lips brushed his own.

Again, he felt something click into place. Fate.

Their relationship changed, just like that. For Xander, it came naturally, loving Eragon. It felt right, it came easily.

He realized it all at once. That it was love, not just lust.

“Let me heal you.”

Xander turned towards his lover. “Heal me?”

“I could do it… If you trust me.”

“Of course I do.”

Eragon smiled, lying his Marked hand over Xander’s eye patch. He whispered words unlike any spell Xander had ever heard Willow utter and tingling warmth spread through him. Xander gasped out and Eragon gently pulled the patch away. With wonder, Xander gazed at him with two eyes.

How he loved this beautiful man.

Xander knew one day, he’d be found. Buffy, Willow, Dawn, and Giles wouldn’t give up until they succeeded, he knew that. But when the day came, he hoped they would understand why he couldn’t return with them. This was where he belonged now.




A/N: As always, special thanks to Manda. For showing me this site, for proding me over the past few years to just post already, and for kicking me in the shin (metaphorically speaking, of course) until I finally did so.

The End

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