"Who are you and what do you want?" Xander asked as he pulled his own sword, a Japanese Katana, and put himself into a guard position.
"My name is of no importance to you boy, what is important is, is that you killed a friend of mine three months ago and I am here for revenge," the man growled in response. "And just to let you know, once I have killed you, I will find your female friend and take great pleasure in taking her again and again against her will, breaking her until she is nothing more than a slave before I end her as well," the man spat, his eyes cold and burning with hatred.
Xander's own eyes turned cold and all of his emotions faded into the background. "That was your one and only mistake," he growled. "For that I will make your death painful," he added, before rushing forward.
Their blades clashed and they quickly began exchanging blows, Xander had one thing on his side in this fight and that was the memories of the immortal he had killed, who had been friends with the man now trying to kill him. The memories included knowledge on how the man fought and what tactics he liked to use and thus it gave him an edge.
He ducked the wide swing and brought his Katana up to try and catch the man in the side, only for him to bring the broadsword up in time to deflect it and push him away. Xander quickly backed away and swung his blade, he was waiting for the man to strike, which he did with a trust straight for his mid section, but he easily dodged it. As the man passed him, he brought his sword down in a quick swipe which cut into the man's back, causing him to cry out, but he quickly shrugged it off and faced him again.
They circled each other for a minute or two, before they struck at the same time. The blades deflected of one another and as they moved they both lashed out with their fists and whilst Xander missed, the man did not and nailed him in the face. He rolled with the punch and made sure to keep the man's sword in his view. He blocked another strike and pushed the man back before straining to push the swords down and to the left before lashing out with a cracking head butt which surprised the man trying to kill him and allowed him to follow it up with a kick to his mid section, which caused the man to bend over.
This gave him a chance and he took it, he tried to bring his sword down into the man's back, but cried out, as he felt the man's own blade ram into his stomach. The pain was immense, but he still had enough strength to knee the man in the face and bring his blade out and into a wide arc taking the man's head in a shower of blood. He dropped to the ground, having trouble breathing as the quickening hit, causing him even more pain, before it finally was to much and he fell to the floor dead.
(Xander and Tara's Apartment, two days later)
Tara entered the apartment, feeling tired and alone, having watched Willow ask her new girlfriend to marry her. The site had been heartbreaking, bringing back all of the old pain from having to leave the red head behind, when she became immortal. It had also added to her confusion over what to do about her feelings for Xander. She walked into the living room and was surprised to find Xander sitting in the middle of the room and behind him the dining table was decked out with candle light and a bottle of wine and some glasses.
"I thought tonight we'd eat in," was all Xander said.
Tara took a close look at her friend and noted he was unusually quite and serious. She came to the conclusion that something had happened, whilst she had been gone. The way he was looking at her was open and honest and in that gaze she saw things that she had only suspected, she watched as he got up and headed for the kitchen, whilst she finally moved and sat down at the table.
She opened the wine and poured them both a glass and waited until Xander returned with two plates of food. She looked over at what he had cooked and was impressed and slightly flattered that he had gone out of his way to cook her a surprise dinner. She looked him in the eye and asked a silent question and after a deep sigh he finally answered after a few minutes of thinking.
"I was attacked two days ago by a friend of the last immortal I killed, three months ago," he explained. "He wasn't just after me, he was going to come after you once he had dealt with me and what he said he wanted to do to you, was just too much, he pushed me over the edge as well as made me finally admit something I have been trying to hide," he added, looking away momentarily.
Tara shivered as she imagined what this immortal most likely said, before concentrating on the fact that as Xander was here, he must have won the fight, and also on what he had just said. "What did you realize?" she inquired, feeling her heart speed up a little.
Staring her in the eyes he finally decided to go for broke. "I love you," he stated, as clearly as he could and hoped he had not just destroyed their friendship.
Tara heard the words, as well as the feelings behind them and was stunned into silence. She had never really thought he would come right out and tell her the truth. She kept contact with his eyes and tried to summon a response, but words failed her and so she stood, joined a second later by Xander and then she pulled him into a deep loving kiss.
Her emotions broke loose and she ravished his mouth, desperate to convey her own feelings, a small part of her could hardly believe this was happening, but it was and she wanted it, wanted him. She pushed him towards her bedroom forgetting all about the meal he had prepared.
Xander was surprised by Tara's aggressive come on, but enjoyed it all the same and allowed her to take the lead.
As they hit the end of her bed Xander felt himself being pushed and he allowed himself to fall onto her bed and looked up at Tara. She stared down at him for a minute before a small smile lit her face and she began to unbutton her blouse. Xander took a deep breath, as she opened up the blouse and revealed her black silk bra, which encased her rather impressive breasts. He had always thought Tara was beautiful, but right now she was a god damn goddess. He watched as she shrugged the now open blouse off, before slowly removing her skirt leaving her in her bra and knickers. She was stunning as she crawled onto the bed and over his body.
Tara was slightly nervous, having never had any sexual contact with a male before, but she felt a rush at the moment that was keeping her from doing anything embarrassing. She quickly moved forward and captured his lips in a scorching kiss as his hands came up to her waist. She felt a shiver run down her spine, but moaned as one of his hands dropped down to grasp her ass and gave it a small squeeze.
Breaking the kiss for a minute, she looked him in the eyes. "Be gentle with me please, it's my first time with a guy," she whispered.
"Always," he whispered back. "You are the most important thing in my life now and I will never harm you," he swore. "Not even for the prize," he vowed.
Tara felt almost like crying at how serious he looked, before she kissed him again and allowed him to remove her bra and began to moan as he alternated between sucking her breasts slowly and grasping them. She liked the fact he was going slowly with her, as it said much about his character and showed why she had fallen in love with him.
She finally broke them up and climbing to her knees she removed her panties and left herself naked and then watched as Xander quickly stripped out of his own clothes. This was the first time she had ever seen a man naked and she was quite impressed by what she saw. She allowed Xander to pull her to him and began to moan, as he kissed her around her neck and shoulder, when he took one of her nipples into her mouth again she really moaned, whilst he guided her hands to his dick. This was a real new sensation to her and she was very nervous, but with a little guidance from Xander she began to get the idea. A few minutes went by before Xander lay down and slowly guided Tara into position. Locking eyes she slowly lowered herself onto him and groaned at the pain she felt at first, before she pushed herself the rest of the way. She felt her hymen break and she cried at the pain.
Xander whispered comforting words to her, as she adjusted to the pain before she began to move again. At first she was very unsure, but she quickly got used to the movements which were very different to what she had been used too. The pleasure soon overrode the pain and she fell into the sensations she was experiencing, as Xander began to once again alternated, between sucking and groping her breasts. Her moans got louder, as the pleasure built and as Xander captured her mouth in a kiss she knew she was close to climaxing.
Finally he let her go and the pace increased again, but she knew she was in control, as Xander's grip on her was light and was caressing her back, her climax when it came rocked her to the core and she screamed in pleasure, which doubled as Xander climaxed as well a second a later and the sensation of him coming in her was surreal.
Finally they collapsed onto the bed, holding each other tightly. Tara had never felt anything like what she had just experienced and she knew Xander had done everything he could to ensure her first time was special and gentle. They were now one she thought with a smile, which refused to leave as she felt Xander comb his fingers through her hair.
"I meant what I said Tara. I will never hurt you, not even for the prize," his voice was soft, as he spoke, but she could hear the honesty in his tone.
"Me neither," she replied. "It means nothing to me and I will always be with you," she added, before sharing another kiss.
A few minutes later they both fell into a peaceful slumber, still joined together, their futures now joined by far more than friendship, now they were a couple.
Connor sat with Methos and Amanda drinking a whiskey. Duncan was absent from the meeting due the fact he did not like Xander too much and Tara was just plain nervous around his clan brother, no matter how much she got to know him.
"So Connor what did you want to discuss about Xander and Tara?" Amanda inquired, as she finished off her own drink.
"I've been investigating the rather strange circumstances around their joint death and becoming immortals since I met them, as it has never happened before," Connor answered. "I finally found something with a little help from Joe and Cassandra," he added.
Methos grunted at the mention of the immortal Cassandra, but that was no surprise given their history. The fact that Joe Dawson had helped was not really a surprise, even though he was a watcher he did not let that get in the way of his friendships with their group. He had helped them many times over the years and they all considered him a good man and someone you could trust.
"What did you find?" Amanda inquired, very interested in what Connor might have found concerning her friends.
"A prophecy concerning two people killed and turned into immortals at the same time, both guardians of the mouth of hell," Connor explained, after a long silence.
"The Hellmouth," Method stated. "So it must be them," he added, to which Connor nodded in agreement
"The prophecy continues by stating that the two will change the game forever, aided by death on a horse, the noble thief and the Highlander," Connor continued, before being interrupted by Amanda.
"Does that mean you or Duncan?" she asked.
"It means me Amanda, I am sure of that," Connor responded, rubbing his eyes. "Duncan is mentioned as the dark haired clan brother who stands apart," he explained. "I'm guessing his problems with Xander keep him from being a part of the group," he said with a sigh.
"Where did this prophecy come from?" Methos inquired.
"It's Egyptian and is very old," Connor answered. "Old, as in Ramirez old," he hinted.
"You think he knew about the prophecy?" Methos asked, surprised by this.
"I do," Connor nodded in agreement. "I think he didn't just find me to train me to fight and kill the Kurgan, although that was important. I think he located and trained me because he knew, I would be needed to help Xander and Tara when they arrived," he said, speaking what he had come up with after leaning this. "I think had he not died, he would have helped us as well, sadly it was not to be," he said sadly, even now feeling the pain at the loss of his friend and mentor.
"If you are right McLeod, if Ramirez knew about this prophecy then that basically means, that there is a hell of a lot we still don't know about immortals, not even me," Methos interjected.
"Indeed," Connor agreed and then faded into silence, as did the others, before Amanda finally broke it
"What kind of changes is this prophecy talking about McLeod?" Amanda inquired, as she watched Methos finish his beer.
"There is no indication, but knowing them like I do, I think it will be something good," Connor answered. "They will never fight each other of that I am certain, they love each other and if they are not a couple yet, they will be soon," he informed them. "Think about how they came into the game, no immortal before them had a friend or lover they knew before becoming immortal also turn out to be one," he pointed out. "Nearly ever relationship any immortal has with another eventually falls apart, but their relationship is stable. Harming one another would just never enter their mind," he concluded.
"So if it came down to the two of them for the prize?" Amanda caught on to what Connor was saying, with Methos close behind.
"Then the game would stall. They will not harm another and I think these changes would be in effect, before the actual gathering starts," Connor finished with a smile. "Maybe I am just being a dreamer, but I think they will gather every immortal like us who just wants to live our lives together and forge us into an alliance, that will no longer fight one another," he finally stated his thoughts .
Methos and Amanda stared at him for a minute, before looking at each and then leaning back in their chairs to think over what Connor had told them and what he believed. The last part seemed a little far fetched, but knowing Xander and Tara, they could do it and then Methos frowned, as a thought came to him.
"There is a downside to this Connor," he spoke up. "If, and that is still a big if right now, they manage to do this, the head hunters might also group up to take us down," he stated.
"I know, I had already come to that conclusion as well," Connor agreed. "I think the Gathering will not be single combat, but mass combat between the light and dark immortals for the future of not just the human race, but our race as well," he said seriously.
"That is a rather big leap," Amanda said into the silence. "But it is one I can't really deny could be the truth," she added. "If you're right, then us meeting them was no accident and nor was it a coincidence that you happened to be in Sunnydale when they died and became immortal," she pointed out.
"Exactly," Connor said, pleased they were both following his thoughts so well. "If I am right, we may be able to stop the game in its tracks for a long while or permanently if no more new immortals become head hunters and that is if there are any new ones," he stated. "Since we've already met them I think it is clear the Gathering is on its way and we best prepare," he added.
"First things first McLeod, we better meet with Xander, Tara and Duncan and tell them what you've just told us," Methos interrupted seriously. "I think we can get Duncan to put his problems with Xander behind him and focus on this," he added.
"You're right Methos, we'll head to L.A. tomorrow and I'll let Duncan know to meet us there," Connor agreed, before standing up and heading for the phone.
The beings watched as events took shape and nodded in seeing their long plans for the immortals begin to take shape. It had been a long road, especially for some of them and now the game was reaching its long conclusion. The fate of the world now rested on the two guardians and their allies. They needed to pull together all of their brethren that thought as they did and forge them into an army.
They needed to do this to meet the army of darkness that the head hunters would forge, when the forgotten horseman rose to power among them. The time of the final Gathering was approaching and the sides were almost set. Soon the ultimate battle would be fought and who would win was anyone's guess.
(Author's Notes: This is the end of this story, however if someone wishes to do a sequel they are more than welcome, as long as they let me know so I can read it too.)