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Flickering lights

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This story is No. 1 in the series "The Campfire". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Possible futures of some of my stories that I wrote, along with possible stories, more to stop thinking about them then to add them to the body of the story itself.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Miscellaneous > Surprise Crossover(Current Donor)dogbertcarrollFR1575124,32043858412,13922 Feb 106 Jan 14Yes

XYZ

AN: After all they’ve been through all of the Scoobs should have a little something prepared in case they get tossed back in time. This was just off the top of my head and I have no actual plot prepared.

“Thank god that’s....” Giles began when a man wearing an eye patch over his left eye and carrying a battle axe appeared in a flash of light.

“Thanks for jinxing us Giles,” Cordelia growled.

“This doesn't look like home,” the man said.

“A slayer's work is never done,” Buffy said, climbing to her feet and preparing for another battle.

The man looked around the room. “I know Willow said it was a long shot I'd reach home, but I didn't think she was talking about time, just space.”

Angel sniffed the air. “It’s either Xander or a close relative.”

“Deadboy?!” Xander said with a grin. “Holy shit it’s good to see you!”

Everyone tensed and readied weapons, positive this was an impostor.

“Do you know how many jokes I’ve made up about you, since you died again, that I haven't been able to use?”

“It’s him,” Angel muttered as everyone relaxed.

“Pardon me, but are you claimed to be from the future?” Wesley asked.

“Joy, it’s the wuss version of Wesley, when he was still the Council's bitch,” Xander sighed, causing Giles to laugh and try to cover it with a fake cough.

“Wuss version?” Faith asked curiously.

“Yeah, after he got fired, or quit I was never sure which one, he became in his own words,” Xander grinned. “A rogue demon hunter.”

“There are rogue demons?” Faith asked.

Xander laughed. “Yeah, that’s what everyone asked him, but still he was kinda cool. Rode a harley, had the three day stubble thing going on... a folding sword that popped into his hand from a spring loaded contraption on his arm, always showing up in the nick of time...”

“Oh come on,” Faith snorted. “Like any of that is believable?”

Xander's right arm shot out and he was suddenly holding a sword. “He got me one of the folding swords because I had a blind date. Of course, reloading it is a bitch,” Xander said as he rolled up his sleeve and revealed some sort of spring powered arm sheath that he started messing with.

“You need a sword for a blind date?” Wesley asked.

“Every girl I've ever gotten involved with has been dangerous and has either tried to use me for a human sacrifice or destroy the world,” Xander explained as he finally got the sword folded up and put away.

“Not every one, surely?” Giles asked.

“Every single one of them,” Xander said with a sigh. “Just like Dawn gets kidnapped every Tuesday and we have to kill everyone Buffy dates and claims is the love of her life.”

“What?!” Buffy screeched.

“I turn evil?” Cordelia asked.

“You are evil,” Xander snorted. “But you're leaning toward actually making your life worth something when we find out that everything bad in your life is part of a greater plot to make sure you were a virgin when you have sex with Deadboy's son to give birth to a being of love and peace who will eventually devour all of humanity.”

“She's a virgin?!” Faith and Willow chorused in disbelief.

“Yeah, when she gets too close to someone the being who wants to eat humanity arranges for something to happen. The closest she gets is being magically impregnated by a rich sleaze bag, in a move that was all but hooking it. Of course Angel shows up to save the day because they wanted to keep her close to him. So she'd be on hand to bump uglies with Deadboy junior whose diapers she changed when he was a baby.”

“How do I get a son?” Angel demanded.

“Normally I'd make a sex-ed joke at the moment, but this is important enough that I won’t tease you. Evil law firm Wolfram and Hart, resurrect Darla as a human and you “rescue” her from them, knowing what it’s like to struggle with having a soul. Turns out you're being dosed with… dragon's blood I think it was, and Darla is dying because bringing her back also brought back the syphilis that was killing her before she was turned. She seduces you to try and free Angelus so she can get turned because she doesn't want to die; but all that happens is Angel knocks her up, thanks to the dragon's blood. Drue shows up and turns her just as she was resigning herself to death. So, boom we have a pregnant vampire being influenced by her unborn baby's soul. Apparently there was some dramatic moment when Darla says something about vampires not being able to make life and she stakes herself to give birth.”

“That’s insane,” Wes said in the stunned silence.

“No, what’s insane is how he ends up kidnapped by a time displaced enemy of Angelus' with Wes' help, because someone slipped him a false prophecy. Connor ends up raised in a hell dimension where time travels faster so he returns in a couple of months as a moody teenager.”

“So everyone you got involved with?” Faith asked concerned about her future.

“I don't!” Willow protested.

“Lover gets shot dead while you were recovering from an addiction to darker magics,” Xander explained. “You go all dark side and skin him alive, then to try and end the suffering of the world you try and raise a temple on the bluff; you'd already taken out everyone else so I had to stop you.”

“You killed me?” Willow asked, wide eyed.

“Does that sound like something I'd do? No, I told you I loved you and kept getting up when you tried to blast me away with dark magic. Eventually you broke down crying and we sent you to magical detox in England.”

“Oz got shot?” Buffy asked.

“They hadn't been seeing each other for over a year I think. There was a thing with a female werewolf and Oz decided he wasn't safe to be around until he could control the wolf... and by the time he got back, Willow was seeing someone else. I'm leaving out a lot of details, like a secret army base and I never did learn who the monks in Tibet were, but I really don't feel like dredging my memory for details right now.”

“Do I have to ask?” Faith asked.

“Oh yeah, you and Buffy were out hunting and during the melee, Buffy was throwing you vamps to stake. The deputy mayor jumps in and Buffy throws him to you and you stake him before Buffy can say anything. Somehow it all becomes your fault, which I never understood, and you try and strangle me when I was trying to help you, because you think all any guy wants is to get in your pants. Wes in the stupidest move of the century, well except for Buffy releasing that fear demon because she couldn't wait five seconds for someone to finish reading a goddamn sentence! Where was I? Oh yeah, Wes called the Council like a dumbass and they sent a team to kidnap Faith to take back to England so she could stand trial for murder. Faith is understandably upset, and still suffering PTSD from all the shit she's been through, joins the Mayor. We don't get her back on our side until a year or so later when she wakes from the coma.”

Faith's eyes were so wide it was a surprise they didn't fall out.

“Wes, you are her Watcher and you're falling down on the job because Travers made sure you didn't have the training. Travers wants Faith to die because having Slayers not trained by the Council doing so well with just a little support makes the Traditional party look like they all have their heads up their collective ass; which they do. Faith needs a couple of months R&R in a safe relaxing environment talking to someone who knows what’s what and a lot of alcohol. I believe the Watchers have a facility in Hawaii for that. In the mean time, remember you are responsible for her care; including housing and food.”

Willow's eyes darted from Xander to Faith. “You slept with her?”

“Let’s be frank,” Xander said, rolling his eye. “You are currently fucking Oz, so you get zero input in my sex life you red haired hypocrite you.”

Willow paled dramatically.

“I forgot how annoying and frustrating it was dealing with any of the Scoobs in high school,” Xander muttered. “Giles I feel for you, I really do.”

“Like you're so easy to get along with?” Cordelia snorted.

Xander laughed. “If you really think I'm going to go easy on myself when I see me, then you never really knew me at all.”

“Won't you telling us all this cause a paradox?” Wes asked.

Xander shook his head. “If it was that easy to destroy the universe we wouldn't be here.”

“So what're your plans?” Giles asked.

Xander shrugged. “My horoscope never mentioned this, and I figured I had only a one in three chance of surviving the closing of the Hellmouth, so I didn't make any plans. Just off the top of my head, I'm going to go see Joyce and borrow a shower and a bed if she doesn't mind. I suppose I should say a few words to my local self first... What time is it?”

“Its 12:15 and I don't want you waking up my mom,” Buffy ordered.

“When has what any of us wanted ever mattered?” Xander asked. “Now if you'll excuse me, I have to catch Xander before he leaves.”

“Leaves? I told him to stay home!” Buffy exclaimed.

“I don't know why you ever thought you had the right to order anyone around,” Xander said. “But Xander was in the basement convincing the zombie Jack O'Toole to disarm the bomb he had set to blow up the school.”

“Bomb?!” exclaimed half a dozen voices.

“But Oz is in there!” Willow worried.

“I think he ate the zombie...” Xander trailed off. “Well, later!”

Xander actually felt rather happy to be back in time, not that he'd tell the Scoobs that. They'd respond better to an annoyed older self than they would to an older friend he figured.

“Yo, Alex!” Xander called out, causing Alex to freeze in place.

“I took a few too many hits to the head?” Alex guessed.

“Nope, time travel,” Xander replied.

“And calling me Alex?”

“I get the name Xander because I have seniority; plus I'll pay you.”

“Fair enough. Here to tell me about a bunch of stupid things I did?” Alex guessed.

“Maybe later, at the moment I need a ride over to Buffy's and tomorrow I'll give you the winning lotto numbers, so you can afford college, a decent road trip and training.”

“I love me.” Alex grinned.

“Don't be too happy, you've got to keep it under your hat and I'm going to be stomping on your ego later; with cleats.”

Alex started the car while Xander hopped in. “That bad?”

“Let’s just say you're really going to hate yourself, or rather me, when we're finished, but you'll finally be proud of you.”

“I've read enough comics to be able to follow that,” Alex said agreeably as he drove.

“Good, we'll have to withdraw you from school, or something near enough that it won't matter, for a couple of months but being rich and connected has its perks.”

Alex pulled up in front of Buffy's house. “Seeya tomorrow after school?”

“I'll drop in on Giles during the last period,” Xander agreed. “But for now I want to see Joyce again.”

“Seeya tomorrow,” Alex called as he drove off.

Xander knocked on the door, smiling widely when he saw Joyce. “I can't tell you how good it is to see you again!”

0oOo0

“You slept with my mother!” Buffy growled at Alex.

“I'm pretty sure I'd remember doing something like that,” Alex replied confused when confronted by the three female Scoobs.

“Heh! Getting desperate Harris?” One of the football team sneered, “Going for old-erk!”

Alex found himself on the ground with both his hands around the larger boy's throat. “If you make one single improper or insulting remark about Mrs. Summers I may just skip saving you from “gang members” one night,” he growled, still a little concerned about Xander's parting words when he’d thought them over.

“He didn't mean it!” one of the other jocks promised. “He's new here.”

Alex got off the larger teen. “Sorry about that, check with the others about when you can bully or harass me and what topics never to mention.”

“This is a weird school,” the teen drawled as Alex helped him to his feet.

“You have no idea,” one of the others said as they led the new guy off.

“You're in love with my mother!” Buffy said shocked.

“No, but something Xander said when I dropped him off bothers me; and why did you accuse me of sleeping with her?” Alex asked.

“I have good hearing and you and mom weren't quiet!” Buffy whined, “I'm mentally scarred here Xander.”

“Alex,” he corrected her. “It'll cut down on the confusion telling us apart.”

Cordelia was clearly surprised by his announcement, but Willow paled as if she might faint. Not that Alex or Buffy noticed, being focused on the topic of sex with Joyce.

“You can't blame either of us for what the other did after he showed up last night. Because since we met, I'm not going to become him anymore.”

“What?!” Buffy asked, clearly confused.

“Everything until he came back in time was both our actions...” Xander tried to think of a way to explain causality that Buffy would understand. “Ok, think Siamese twins and last night we were separated. All of our actions are our own fault alone now.”

“Oh! The timeline split!” Buffy said, surprising Alex. “You could have just said that in the first place. What did he say?”

“He said he missed her and was looking forward to seeing her again,” Alex said solemnly.

“And?” Buffy asked.

“I think she died in his timeline. Now imagine going back in time and seeing someone you admired, cared for, and were attracted to, that had died but was now your own age.”

“Relief... Happiness... Boots knockin',” Buffy said, clearly picturing herself in a similar position. “Ok, I get that now. Do I have to worry about my mom dying?”

“You know me,” Alex said. “What would I do to anyone or thing I knew was a threat to someone I cared for?”

“What if it’s not something that can be stopped?” Buffy worried.

“Then … I'd probably react the way I did last night, before putting some serious work into finding a way to stop it anyway. I'm not about to let a little thing like something being impossible to get between me and helping a friend.”

“Yeah,” Buffy said cheering up. “So what were you up to last night?”

“I knew you guys had an apocalypse and didn't invite me,” Alex said. “But I found some things to do to keep from being bored.”

“So... Nothing exciting?” Buffy asked.

“My hobbies would probably bore … Did Xander say something?” Alex asked suspiciously.

“He mentioned a bomb and Faith kind of admitted to having sex with you,” Buffy replied.

“Then why ask me?”

“I wanted to see if you'd tell me the truth.”

“So I can hear another lecture on how useless I am and that I'll just get you all killed?” Alex asked. “I think I'll pass thanks anyway, and if you actually go over what I said, you'll find that I didn't lie once.”

“You'd never have said a word, would you?”

“It’s over and done, why would I mention it?”

“How many times have you saved one of us and not said anything?” Buffy asked.

“A couple,” Alex admitted.

“How can you consider us friends if you hide things like this from us?” Buffy demanded.

Alex's eyes narrowed. “The things you kept secret put our lives in danger; the things I kept secret no longer mattered.”

“I was confused … and wrong …” Buffy admitted, “But important life saving things should be shared.”

“So I can be insulted or belittled for having done them? I don't think so, and I sure don't want any more thanks for saving your life.”

Buffy recoiled like she'd been slapped.

“I've always done what I think is right no matter what it cost me, but when I get burned for doing the right thing and someone finding out... I'd have to be an idiot to bring it up again.”

“You were supposed to be safe.”

“If you thought for even a moment that I would ever stop fighting... Then maybe you never knew me at all.” Alex got up and left.

“That could have gone better.” Buffy admitted.

0oOo0

“Of course the whole timeline has changed now, so you can't rely on things happening the exact same way,” Xander pointed out to Giles, who had taken pages of copious notes.

“Not to mention I doubt we have a photographic memory,” Alex said as he entered the library.

“You'd be surprised what we can do when we put our minds to it,” Xander said. “Our fear of failure just keeps us from trying.”

Alex winced. “Joy, psychobabble.”

“Things are always more complicated than the phrases they toss out,” Xander replied. “But the concepts aren't too far off.”

“Says the man who is sleeping with our pseudo mother figure.”

Xander chuckled. “No Oedipus complex here, it’s the beautiful woman my own age I'm attracted to; with the age difference gone our feelings are completely different.”

“Not all of them,” Alex said grinning.

Xander laughed. “Ok, so we share having good taste in women. My tastes have just matured more than yours have.”

“Fair enough.”

“Pardon me, you're starting a relationship with Joyce?” Giles asked.

“As long term as I can make it and she allows,” Xander confirmed.

“Are you sure you can save her?” Alex asked intently.

“Pretty sure, but not definite,” Xander replied, not surprised his younger self would have guessed. “I'm early enough that I can think of a couple of different ways it can work.”

“Good, anything I can help with?”

“Nah, got it covered, but we have to deal with some pretty dark characters to do it.”

“Demons?”

“Worse,” Xander said seriously. “Lawyers!”

Typing by Dogodma, Typos by Dogbertcarroll.
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