Chapter 30 - Joining Forces
Chapter 30 - Joining Forces
Giles was worried and cleaned his sword. They had to stay here two extra days so that Ethan and Xander could recover. Ethan from a hard knock on the head and Xander from poison.
Angel’s healing magic had fixed up Ethan the second day, but the pure amount of poison in Xander was to huge. It would take days for him to recover, the spell stopped him from developing any permanent damage or die, but he had to work out the poison the natural way.
"He is bloody late. I would have expected a spawn of Quentin to be on time," Giles complained.
Miss Pryde rolled her eyes. ‘Humans… why are they always angry over something you couldn’t control.
Joyce smiled. "Giles, I’m sure TT is fine."
Xander sat and made some new arrows. Currently he was rolling an arrow between his hands balancing it and was trying to find a fault in the new arrow he had made. "I’m more worried about Willow," he said.
Giles blinked. "What do you mean?"
"You know I know that we are all champions. You and I believed that Willow and I weren’t champions, just tagalongs, RIGHT?"
Giles nodded while continuing cleaning his sword, a dirty sword is a rusty sword. "Eh well yes. You are all champions, even you Xander."
Xander rolled his eyes. "Aha, the shocked tone of your voice warms my heart. If the good guys in this world know about us, then the bad guys know about us as well. Meaning Willow is all alone."
Giles blinked. "I… I didn’t think about that, but you are right. You think something may have happened to Willow?"
Xander nodded. "I think she is dead Giles or worse possessed or something. I got that feeling about the time you and Joyce came here."
Giles put the rug down. "What makes you say or think that?"
"I do not know. I hope I’m wrong, but if I’m not, we failed her," Xander replied.
Joyce looked at him. "If you believe that why did you not ride back to Camarr."
Xander looked up. "Joyce, I believe in the need of the many is more important than the need of the one. Buffy is pregnant and if I rode back she would have followed to be one happy easy to find target for the bad guys.
Remember that Buffy is a slayer. So her child is a strong champion, a defender of life this world needs desperately," he said as he put the arrow down and looked at them.
"I believe that Buffy’s child is more important than any one of us. In fact any child you Joyce or Buffy have will be equally important, they will be slayers, free champions."
Giles nodded. "Yes we do know that."
Xander shook his head. "Giles you do know that. I know. I feel it with body, heart, mind and soul. I know slayers will be needed once the darkness falls on this world."
"Of course, it’s correct." Giles then stopped for a moment and then said, "You are correct, I let my personal feelings overshadow my knowledge."
Xander nodded. "That means that you’re a good guy Giles, a white hat."
Joyce smiled her hand hugged his hand. "So are you Xander."
Xander grinned. "Na, I think I’m gray, white gray, but still gray."
Inside he was still thinking about the 'gift' his uncle Rory had given him. Books about primitive guns, books about the chemistry of explosives, books about steam engines, even a steam cannon blue print of a working version build by an engineer that liked cannons.
Xander grinned. "I do what needs to be done Giles."
Time to make some more arrows or to play with Miss Pryde before she started to play with his arrows, her claws were sharp.
Miss Pryde purred as Xander started to play with her, dragging a piece of wood in front of her like a mouse, this is great fun.
A knock on their doors at the Inn woke them up. The Inn keeper told them a stranger was seeking them.
Giles frowned as he walked down.
Joyce and Selia walked beside Xander in case he needed their help. Xander bit his teeth. He was still a bit wobbly, but finally he managed the stairs from the top floor to the ground floor with no help.
"Tiberius, where have you been? And where is Willow?" Giles said in an angry voice.
TT paled as Ripper Giles anger was terrifying, but as a Barbarian Ripper, Giles would probably send most Master Vampires running. "Ripper is really the wrong name now, probably the Smasher or Bouncer," TT said, and then his brain realized what he had said. "Crap did you hear me say anything about Ripper?"
They all nodded.
Giles looked like a tomato and anger was pouring out of him.
Xander grinned and hid a laugh.
Joyce studied Giles nodding like she considered it a good name.
Buffy giggled and Angel hid a smile.
Ethan grinned. "Well Smasher old mate, settle down and let the kid talk."
Xander nodded and said in an ordering tone. "Sit down Giles, now."
Surprisingly Giles nodded and sat down. "If any one of you continues to call me Smasher or Bouncer I will test the name on your body."
Xander nodded. "I hear you loud and clear. But that would indicate that Buffy has the right to call you the Bouncer." He said grinning a bit at the dirty look Giles and Buffy gave him.
TT nodded. "Willow’s boyfriend Yold was serving the demon lord Xinu the corrupter. I tried to stop him and save Willow, but I was too late."
Xander nodded he was feeling sad and dirty. "What happened?"
TT continued. "Yold had put her in a trap. Become an undead monster possessed by a demon or swear loyalty to a 'god'. Yold had made a ritual binding spell so when Willow swore the oath of loyalty her soul was bonded to Xinu."
Xander wrestled with his emotions and urges to kill TT for being too late and urges to just give up and die. Willow… HIS Willow was dead or worse and it was his and Giles fault."
Buffy started to cry.
Angel held her tight. "We will save her."
Ideas and suggestions came raging from Giles and TT, but Xander’s next word made them silent.
"No, we will kill her. Willow is a champion, but Xinu made her a champion of darkness. We can’t afford to let Willow kill Buffy or Joyce. When Buffy is safe and the child can survive in a protected place then we might save Willow and cleanse her or something. But for now we will aim to kill," he said.
Xander couldn’t stop his emotions from bursting through. His control of his elven eyes dropped and was even boosted by the power of the Hyena, something had hurt its pack.
His friends paled as they felt his emotions, raw anger, fear and love every time he mentioned Willow and pure love. Every time killing Willow came up they could feel a soul tearing anxiety and sadness inside of him, but also a strong belief he would kill Willow if she put the slayers life in danger. They all understood that Xander would do anything to protect Buffy’s unborn child even killing Willow.
In moments like this Xander cursed his elven eyes transmitting his emotions like this. "Is there any way we can save Willow with what we know right now? Not what we might find in a library, but RIGHT NOW?"
TT and Giles looked at each other thinking hard.
Angel frowned thinking hard.
Selia was thinking everything she experienced and she was thinking about trying to find a method to save the girl.
"I have no idea Xander. But I’m sure in a library we could...,"Giles said but was interrupted by TT.
"Giles, do we have time for this while we dodge assassins, protect the child and fight against Willow if she comes after us?"
Giles blinked he could see Buffy was looking with hope at him. "Eee… yes there is that. No we can’t do that and keep the child safe." He dried a tear and then continued. "I think I see what you are saying Xander. Will you be alright?"
Xander sighed. "First Jessie has become a vampire and now Willow. It’s not the first time I have to plan the death of a family member. I only hope I don’t have to kill Willow myself. Jessie was my brother in all but blood and Willow is my sister. She might even be my half sister Giles," he said while standing up. Leaning on Selia arms they slowly walked up.
"But I will kill her if only to save her soul from the demon’s influence," he said from the top of the stairs.
Buffy started to cry as Angel hugged her close. "It’s not fair," she complained.
TT coughed. "Excuse me, but what did he mean with the brother and sister thing?"
"Jessie was a young man that was turned a while ago and Xander staked him. It was the first vampire he staked and Jessie was like a brother to him. But the comment about Willow being a half sister, I have no idea about."
Buffy looked up. "According to Xander his mother had a love affair with three different men, one was Willow’s dad and one was Jessie’s dad. He knows that Mr. Harris isn’t his real dad, but he isn’t sure which one of those three is his real dad."
Joyce paled. "Oh my. That’s terrible. Does Willow know about this?"
Buffy shook her head. "No, Xander never told her, he didn’t want to destroy Willow’s home."
Joyce nodded. "I see. That might explain why Xander always turned a blind eye every time Willow was flirting with him."
Angel nodded. "I just believed he was blind to her emotions. But…"
"I, for my sake and his, will do everything I can to be the one that does the killing if it comes to that," Giles said, than he frowned and turned to TT. "TT, does Willow know we are here?"
"No I… I… Crap, I think she might know that we are going eventually to Tuzan Rim," TT said.
Giles shook his head. "In that case we better ride tomorrow and go to another town."
Joyce nodded. "I think Xander would agree with you. Is he strong enough to travel Angel?"
Angel nodded. "He will. He can recover while he is riding."
In the bed room Xander finally let his tears flow and Selia carefully hugged the young man beside her, trying to send her strongest love in to him with her elven eyes.
Xander, in the safety of her arms, turned in to a crying pile of mush for the first time in years.
The sadness of losing Jessie, the sadness of losing Willow, the fear of the future and the loss of his home world came flowing out from him in a never ending river of tears.
Selia walked downstairs again.
"How is he?" Miss Pryde asked concerned.
Selia frowned. "He will be alright."
Pryde nodded "He normally doesn’t cry. Are you sure he’ll be alright? It’s hard to find a human or elf that can pet me the right way. You do pet me good, but you are only one elf and I like to have more than one elf or human to pet me."
Selia grinned. "So I’m just some one that pets you then?"
"Never underestimate the importance of petting, playing and feeding your cat. It’s extremely important and it makes you family and cats protect their family," Miss Pryde replied prideful.
Selia blinked. "Never thought about it that way."
Miss Pryde. "Elven… blind to everything but their own way of life."
Selia raised her eyebrow. "HEY," she growled. "Beside why can’t I feel you?"
Miss Pryde smiled a cat smile. "I was made by magic into image of a moon cat. It’s from a fairytale on Earth. Moon cats in that story are advisors and spies, working directly for royalty. So if I couldn’t hide my eyes I would be a bad spy, would I not?"
Selia nodded. It was rare that humans or non elven learned how to block their looks from the elven eyes.
A short moment Miss Pryde let Selia feel her look, before shutting it off again.
Selia nodded. "Impressive. So a spy?"
Miss Pryde snorted. "No, rather an advisor that can sneak around inside the castle listening and learning and then report to the queen. I’m also capable of limited bodyguard work. My human body is as small as a child, but strong as a fully grown human adult and I have strong sharp and deadly claws."
Miss Pryde then looked up. "Of course if you would like to use my ability as a spy it’s in your best interest to keep it a secret."
Selia grinned. "You know kitty cat this could be the beginning of a wonderful friendship."
Miss Pryde nodded. "But only if you give me some fish tonight."