Time and Affect Chapter 3
Trance breathed a sigh of relive. She finally felt strong enough to reform and go looking for Dylan and their friends. The trip back through time had taken every bit of power she had. Even with Dawn's help it had been hard to pull them all back, as well as grab a hold of the alternate Gaheris Rhade and make sure he came back as well, still the fact she could do that, raised questions about Dawn's true origin and just what she was.
She had plenty of ideas, including that Dawn was also a sun avatar, but that did not tally completely with what they had just done. She decided to see if her people had any answers before tracking down Dylan and the others as it may be important for them to know. She just prayed they would succeed in their mission. She had not been joking when she had stated this would be their last chance. If they failed here there was no point trying again, as it would prove there was no way to win, she sighed before heading for the meeting place of her people, intent on getting answers.
Jenny awoke in the arms of her husband and smiled, knowing their time together was going to be very limited, until their mission was complete. She hated that, but knew it was a small price to pay for saving Earth and the universe. Still even with that thought in her head she would miss being able to just climb into bed with Xander whenever she wanted. She shifted back into him with a smile, feeling him press up against her silk covered behind and wiggled a little, causing Xander to moan.
Xander awoke to Jenny pushing herself into him and making him very aware of her presence. She loved teasing him even after all these years and her silk nightgown just made it all the more noticeable. Letting his hands roam upwards towards her breasts making her moan in return made him grin when suddenly a beeping sound broke them out of their intended actions.
Cursing he turned to the comm panel near the bed and pressed it. "Yes Twilight?" he asked, as Jenny rolled over into him more.
"Sorry to disturb you Xander, but the Andromeda has come out of slipstream and is on approach," Twilight responded. "They will be in range within the next five minutes," she added.
"Very well I'll be on the bridge in a minute," Xander replied, knowing he and Jenny could not make love right now, no matter how much he wanted to ignore Andromeda's arrival and just indulge himself.
Turning the com off, he got up and stretched, before putting his uniform back on. Turning back to Jenny he paused as she lounged on the bed with the top half of her nightgown pulled down, exposing her breasts with a smirk. Cursing again he leaned forward and kissed her, before he headed out the door, trusting Twilight had cleared the corridor.
Jenny watched him go with a sigh, before getting up and going to get ready herself. As she climbed into the shower her mind began to drift into the past and she remembered the day things changed between her and Xander.
(Flashback, Sunnydale just after graduation)
Jenny sat in the Summers house alongside Buffy, Dawn, Joyce, Giles, Oz, Willow and Cordelia. This would most likely be the last time the group was all together for some time. That was a sad thought after all the things they had been through. Angel was already gone, headed for LA to try and redeem himself, not that she was sorry to see him go. Cordelia was intent on going to LA herself to try and become an actress and she wished the girl luck in that.
Buffy and most of the others would be heading for college when it was time.
The battle with the mayor had been costly for them all and especially Faith.
Their lost friend lay in the hospital in a coma. Her descent after accidentally killing a man was understandable to them all, even Buffy, once she got over her anger at being betrayed. They had all agreed that once Faith woke up, that they would try and bring their lost friend back into the fold.
She looked around and wondered where Xander was, as he had said he would be here. Maybe he was still recovering from the fight, but she doubted it, no he was up to something she was sure.
"So what are we going to do for the next three months?" Willow finally broke the silence. "I mean until college actually starts what is there for us to do?" she added.
"Well to be honest I have no idea," Giles responded. "With the destruction of the High School I am without a job and I have no idea what to do at the moment," he continued. "Granted we have taken out the mayor and a lot of the more dangerous vampires and demons he brought here, but that doesn't make Sunnydale safe," he warned.
"So you mean we still have to patrol?" Buffy stated, annoyed at this.
"I'm afraid so Buffy, however you will have plenty of time to mess around and shop, as you no longer have to deal with school," Giles shot back with a smile, which was returned by everyone else.
The door opening caused them all to turn as Xander entered, looking quite cheerful.
Jenny caught herself looking her friend over and noting the changes in him over the years. Shaking her head she turned back to the others, as they greeted their friend while he sat down next to her.
A lot had changed in the last year or so. Since being saved by Xander and Kendra from Angelus, she had formed a very strong bond of friendship with the young man, which she had thought off and on in the last couple of months could lead to something else.
Xander would be eighteen in a month's time and he had finished school. She was no longer a teacher, like Rupert she was out of a job since its destruction, so any rules or regulations forbidding a relationship were mute and void. She could admit she was attracted to him, but she had never seriously considered anything, until the last month before the battle with the Mayor. Now the idea seemed much more agreeable to her. She knew Xander was attracted to her as he had admitted as much to her before the fight. He had not done anything as he was still getting over his failed relationship with Cordelia and the fallout from the fluke he had shared with Willow.
She had told him that mistakes like this were bound to happen, as most teenagers ended up doing things like he had done. Hell she had told him about one of her own mistakes from high school which had caused him to relax and start seeing things in perspective.
Still the decision was not something she should rush, so she settled back and just listened as the group talked.
"So Xander, any ideas on what you are doing?" Cordelia asked her ex boyfriend.
The reforming of their friendship had been a slow process, but now it was complete. They would never have a relationship like they'd had before again, but they were once again friends. The sting of his betrayal still lingered, but she knew it would fade in time, plus she doubted their relationship would have lasted much longer anyway. She always had plans to be famous and heading to LA was the best starting place, however she knew in her heart Xander would never leave Sunnydale or the gang behind.
"Actually I'm going on my road trip, as I originally planned Cordy," Xander answered. "I managed to wangle a deal with my parents to loan me some cash to add to what I saved up so I can do it," he informed them.
"So you won't be able to hang with us during the lull, before college starts?" Buffy complained slightly, whilst Willow stared at her best friend since they were kids unable to believe what he had said.
"I need to get out of Sunnydale for a while Buffy, to clear my head and find some peace after all we've been through," Xander responded, running a tense hand through his hair. "Something tells me once college starts up we're going to be thrown right back into the fire," he stated.
"Don't you think you're being a little melodramatic Xander?" Willow argued. Unable to help but feel what had gone down between them had helped to push Xander into making this choice.
"Not at all Wills," Xander said with a smile and a shake of his head. "Even with the Mayor gone the Hellmouth is still here and that will always attract vampires and demons and even with the ones we've killed there are still major bad asses out there, right G-man?" Xander argued.
Giles removed his glasses and polished them again, ignoring Xander's attempts to wind him up. "Yes Xander, you are basically correct in your arguments. We've won many hard fights, but our duty is not over I'm afraid," he finally answered. "In the end the lull we have now, with the Mayor gone, will soon vanish and then we must prepare to meet the new threats that will eventually turn up I'm afraid," he explained with a sigh.
Buffy and the others exchanged worried and annoyed looks, but they all knew the former watcher was correct. More would come as long as the Hellmouth remained active. Joyce listened to it all with worry in her heart, as she began to fear what the future would bring for her daughters and their friends. She hoped that with the destruction of the Mayor they would all be given a lot of time away from risking their lives, but it seemed it was not to be so.
Dawn shifted closer to her mother, as she felt a cold shiver descend on her at Xander and Giles' words, she too had held out hope that the threats would soon end. Now it looked like it was never going to happen and that made her sad.
"When do you leave?" Oz inquired, breaking his silence.
"Tomorrow at about noon," Xander answered, shocking the others with how soon their friend would leave them for a time.
Jenny too was shocked and her mind began to race with thoughts and ideas about what she should do, the others just stared unable to really say anything in response. The idea of Xander leaving them for any serious amount of time was alien to them, and for Buffy and Willow they did not quite understand how they would get on without him or how he would do without them.
They had been together for the last three years almost none stop, bar the period where Buffy stayed with her father or ran away to LA, after sacrificing Angel to stop Acathula. This would be something new to their world and they were unsure about it.
"Do you have any idea where you will go?" Cordelia asked, interested to see where her friend intended to go.
"First stop LA and then from there San Francisco, but after that no really sure," Xander replied. "I'm borrowing my uncle Rory's jeep as he basically told me it would last the trip better than the Chevy," he added. "I can't wait to start, and by the time I come back I'll hopefully be a little wiser," he said with a smile.
"Well just be careful Xander and watch your back," Giles warned him. "Vampires and demons exist outside of Sunnydale and if you let your guard down you may just not come home," he added, ignoring the looks he received for his comments.
"Don't worry Giles I know that and I will not be going unarmed," Xander assured them all. "I promise I won't take any risks, unless someone's life is in danger," he added, as Buffy and Willow went to protest.
After another half hour of conversation the gang broke up and began to leave. Jenny had used that time to think long and hard and so she followed Xander and quickly caught up to him as he walked home.
"I don't suppose you would accept some company on your trip would you, Xander?" she inquired glancing at him.
"You want to get out of Sunnydale as well, Jenny?" Xander replied, wondering why she was asking this.
"I do, I think it would be good for me to be absent for a while," Jenny responded. "Plus together we can ensure we both come back alive," she added seriously.
Xander took that in before nodding his head, as he decided having some company would not be so bad and Jenny was his closest friend after the fluke business at the moment, he knew he could trust her.
"Ok, make sure you're ready to go by noon tomorrow," Xander finally said. "I'll pick you up at your place," he added with a smile.
Jenny smiled and quickly gave him a quick hug and kiss on the cheek, before taking off for her own home to prepare. Xander watched her go, wondering just how their road trip would go.
Jenny finally shook the memories away and turned the water off, before she began to dry herself. Her thoughts drifted again, as she recalled the day that had begun the journey that would lead her to first fall in love with Xander and then to marry him.
Their union had lasted through the centuries and every so often they held a wedding ceremony to reaffirm their vows. They had many children who sadly were all gone now, even most of their descendants. However unlike Buffy who had become weighed down by these kinds of losses she and Xander had held onto the good times and remembered this was how life was meant to be, yes loosing their family was always painful, but it was part of the cycle.
The only reason they were even here was because they had followed Buffy in her rebellion against the Powers that be. She closed her eyes as she saw glimpses of that before banishing them again. Getting dressed she grabbed her own force lance and headed out of the room, intend on being on the bridge.
Dylan watched as they came out of slip stream in the Acheron system, well it was almost time for them to sit down and start planning how to save the Commonwealth and hopefully with it the universe. He looked over at where Rommie stood and wondered what she was thinking about, before he shook his head and turned back to the screen.
"Have we locked onto the Twilight's position?" he inquired.
"Yes Captain, they are just orbiting Acheron station itself," Vincent responded from his post.
Dylan nodded in reply, it kind of crept him out seeing people he had long accepted as being dead once again walked around alive. He had to ensure he didn't do anything to make them distrust him or doubt him and at the moment that was hard.
"We're been hailed Captain, it's the Twilight," Rommie spoke up from her station.
"On screen Andromeda," he ordered and watched as his A.I's face was replaced with the bridge of the Twilight and Alex smiling face. "Captain Harris," he stated with a smile of his own.
"Welcome to Acheron Captain Hunt," Xander responded with a nod. "We're ready to receive you," he added.
"We'll come aboard in twenty minutes, I'll see you then," Dylan replied, before cutting communications and turning to his crew. "Have a slip shuttle prepared to transport us to the Twilight, set up a patrol route and keep radio silence," he ordered, before he moved to leave the bridge.
As usual his crew obeyed without anyone raising a single question, he remembered just how he was respected in this time frame. Hopefully the talks would not be slow, as he doubted Andromeda's absence from its proper station would go unnoticed for long. Gaheris and Rommie quickly joined him, as he headed for the hangar.
"Dylan, where do you think Trance is?" Rommie inquired.
"I'm not sure Rommie, but she said she'd find us and I am sure she will," Dylan responded.
"Trance is a very mysterious person and I am sure she will turn up when we least expect it," Gaheris added with a shake of his head. "I trusted her, but I could never tell just who or what she represented," he added.
"Well you'll find out during the talks Gaheris and believe me it will blow your mind," Dylan shot back. "Then again from what Trance said, Alex and his friends have a few things to tell us which we do not know also," he mused.
Silence descended as they walked as they all wondered just what kind of secrets and plans would be put forward at the upcoming meeting. They were all worried about just how they would manage to do something they had failed to do twice already.
(Darkness of Space)
In the vastness of a black hole something stirred, as it sensed changes and danger to its plans. The Abyss screamed in rage, as it realized what its enemy was trying to do and began to plot its counter move.