Disclaimer:Don't own Anita, BtVS or Merry Gentry
For the first time since he entered the Hellmouth three years ago Xander suddenly feels a presence in his mind that had nothing to do with Willow or..Tara. It took him a moment to realize who it was. Asher. Asher who he had not talked to since he had asked Asher to choice between Jean Claude and he and only been greeted with silence. Xander had left the room then the state swiftly after, ignoring Asher's calls to come back, that he loved him. Xander knew he didn't, that it was all just a trick as Asher couldn't have Jean-Claude sexual so he was using Xander. Making him his human servant so that Xander couldn't leave him. Only he hadn't realized that Anita's friend Tammy would tell him that the Hellmouth would destroy the marks.
So Xander had driven from St.Louis to Sunnydale in eleven hours, breaking every speed limit in the books to do it as he was going to get there before Asher could get to him. Asher himself had admitted that he couldn't step foot in Sunnydale, no vampire of his breed could. The Hellmouth drained his kind while filling the demonic breed with power. No one knows why. So Xander just drove and refused to listen to a single word Asher spoke as each word was a lie. Then he reached the Hellmouth and felt such pain that he almost reconsidered and return but upon remembering Asher's betrayal and the hurt it had caused and stayed. It was worth it.
The pain eventually stopped and Xander was free of Asher forever, free to love again which he eventually did with Tara and Willow, but he was wrong. The Hellmouth must only block it, not destroy. No one probably ever realized as must people don't escape the Hellmouth, let alone destroy one. Now.....Well, now he did not know what to do. Asher was once again in his head, using the marks he had thought destroyed. The marks he had consented to willing when he had thought to spend eternity with him and thus his powers would not break them. The marks he had never told the others about. He was so screwed. Then he was forcibly pulled into his mind.
Asher was there and still as perfect as ever but Xander shed from that thought, not willing to think like that. Asher moved to him while he was distracted and he was thus startled when he was being touched. "Mon amour, please. Speak to me.. I have missed you so much..I thought about going to you, of risking death to get to you."Xander turned away, by not doing it Asher showed how little he meant to him. Asher seemed to sense it, his thoughts."I didn't come only because of the fact that you ran from me...You left me willing. I couldn't bring myself to force myself on you....I thought about it, about begging you but...I've punished myself so many times for losing you, been punished but its never enough. Xander, please I."Then he was awake.
Willow was staring at him,having sensed...something was off with him but being able to sense what it was exactly, only that something was. They may not be 'together' right now, the grief of Tara still being to fresh but their love was binding, far more binding then stupid, meaningless marks. Xander pulls her to him and just holds on tightly and tries not to cry at the futility of it all. Soon Asher would discover where he was and Xander didn't know what to do. Could he let Buffy, the other Slayers or even Willow herself kill him. Ignoring his own possible death, did he want Asher dead.
The answer to that question was sadly still an unknown to him so Xander just held Willow. Not reacting when the newly healed Cordelia joined them and touched them both. Trying to offer what comfort she could, even Faith joined them, sensing something was going on with her Boy-toy and not liking it. He had been hurt enough. The four of them just touched each other in silence as Giles drove the bus to ...wherever they were going. Not that Xander cared as Asher could find him anywhere thanks to having three marks. Xander refused to go back to the man who had willing hurt him, chose another over him.
With those thoughts in his mind, Xander put all his will behind the marks closing, preventing Asher from entering his mind. It wouldn't last long term as they were to closely bond and he sucked at keeping his shields up while he slept but it worked for now.Xander untangled himself from his girls and went to the front of the bus, to Giles. Who immediately turned to his son.
"What is it, Xander?" Worried at the feeling he was getting from him. Xander smiled slightly at him.
"Could we pull over. I need to speak to several of you without supernatural ears listening in." There was several hmps coming from all of the Slayers in the bus which caused both of them to smirk as it proved Xander's point. Giles soon pulled over at a motel and they got several rooms. Xander, Willow, Cordelia, Faith, Buffy and Dawn piled into the room they'd gotten for themselves. Well, the two rooms thanks to a connecting door. As they had no interests in being separated and would share the four beds. They all sat down on two of them and looked at Xander.
Who sighed and tried to figure out where to start, how to explain what had happened during his 'missing months' as they called them. The beginning would probably work.
"It all started when my car broke down in St.Louis."