Standard disclaimers apply. All things Buffy related, concepts, characters and monsters are belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy. Methos, Cassandra and the concept of Immortality all belong to Panzer-Davis as well as all things Highlander related. The only thing that is mine is the story and the characters I have created in between. For those who wish to archive feel free to but please send me an email so I know where my story is going =]
The two old, simple problems ever intertwined,
Close home, elusive, present, baffled, grappled.
By each successive age insoluble, pass’d on,
To our to-day—and we pass on the same.
The clouds are overcast, threatening to spill their contents onto the world. The wind is cold, biting at cheeks and noses, and the trees are bare. It is a day that not a living thing would be out if they had a choice in the matter. But the group standing in one of Sunnydale’s many cemeteries had no choice but to be there. Fall, would turn into winter, and winter would turn into spring and with it new life. However that will not be the case here. Fall will be a constant reminder that one of them is gone. Winter will be devoid of jokes and laughter, and spring will only amplify their loss amidst a world teeming with life. The group, consisting of a Watcher, a Slayer, a Witch, and a Werewolf surrounding a single grave.
Alexander L. Harris
There are no tears shed at this gathering. Those had been cried out long ago. All that was left was an empty longing. A need to ignore the great void so prevalent in their lives.
"No date?" Willow asks
"No, I thought it would be most appropriate," Giles replied, "I didn’t think he would want anyone to feel sorry him."
A round of affirmatives was all that could be heard.
"I can’t believe he’s gone…I mean for the longest time we been…" Willow couldn’t bring herself to finish her sentence. Only Oz’s reassuring hand on her.
"He’s gone, there is nothing we could have done to save him." Oz said sorrowfully, uncharacteristically showing emotion.
Buffy, was quietly reading the inscription on the tombstone. Friend, Protector, Hero. Friend. Protector. Hero. Three words that had been placed on her mantle, three words that now describe her lost friend. She was the hero, SHE was the protector, and what good did that do for her friend Xander? She knew she couldn’t be everywhere all the time, but she at least thought she would be killed first before any one of them.
"It’s not fair." Buffy said quietly.
"I know Buffy, he was so young…" Giles began.
"That not what I meant," she interrupted, "He had survived so much here in Sunnydale. The Master, demons, vampires, the ascension, all of it!" Her voice steadily rising, "He had left Sunnydale for a vacation! To get away from all of this, for at least a little while! For what? To die in a car crash? ITS NOT FAIR!" She screams. It isn’t directed at anyone, nevertheless all of them flinch. "It’s just not fair." She says quietly again.
Willow walks over to her and hugs Buffy. Both are trembling because of the sorrow, the loss, and the pain of loosing a good friend. The two men stay back, allowing the women to have their moment. The wind picks up a little, causing Giles to pull his coat a little closer to himself. The sound of the wind blowing through the trees was a low wailing. Appropriate for the setting Giles thinks to himself, it was as if Sunnydale itself had recognized the great loss of Xander Harris.
Giles, looking around the cemetery sees all the tombstones. Some of the dates show old and young, but in this particular section the young far outnumber the old. Sighing, he continues his survey of the cemetery, when something catches his eye. Confused, he takes his glasses off to see if anything is wrong with them. Finding no irregularities, he quickly puts them back. Nothing. Off in the distance he had thought he had seen a figure of a young man. Dark hair, slight slouch…maybe it was just his imagination. His mind’s way of saying that Xander wouldn’t want them to mourn his death, but celebrate his life. His hopeful thought that Xander was in fact alive, and that the empty grave that was placed here to commemorate their friend was not necessary. He was killed in a violent car crash, apparently he fell asleep at the wheel. They had found the car on the bottom of a river. They weren’t able to find the body.
The police said that he had probably struggled to get the car door open, but the pressure difference made that all but impossible. The struggling causing his air supply to dwindle faster and faster, by the time the water had filled the car enough water to open the door, he was probably already dizzy due to the lack of oxygen. Giles shudders every time he thinks of how Xander might have died, no chance to fight, just a futile struggle to the surface that would never come. Every time he thought of that, he would think exactly as his young charge had said, it just wasn’t fair.
"Giles you ok?" Oz asked him.
Turning back to the young man he says, "Yes, I’m fine. I just thought I saw…" He didn’t finish his sentence looking back to the spot he thought he had seen the figure.
"I know what you mean, Willow has been seeing him everywhere. I just try to console her when she realizes it couldn’t possibly be him."
"I’ve done it as well. I was about to call Xander’s house to ask him help do some research. Right before I dialed the number, I remembered…" The sentence just trailed off. "Then the next thing I knew the phone was beeping at me."
Looking up he saw that the two women had heard his story. Looking at him with understanding they walked up to the two men.
"Its time to go home." Buffy said, "Xander wouldn’t want us moping around here. It’ll take awhile, but we’ll move on." Looking back at the gravesite he added, "But we will never forget."
With that the group slowly plied into Oz’s van and pulled away from the cemetery. Two figures stood watching the van pull away. Both tall, and lanky with dark hair. But that is where the similarities end. The taller of the two has short hair. Jeans and a sweater covered his frame, and concealing his frame even more was a black duster.
The other had longer hair, a slight slouch and was dressed much like his companion. Turing to him he asked, "They can never know can they?"
"Will I be able to see them ever again?"
"No, you are dead to them. That is what that gravestone means. I know what this place is, I can feel it, so can you now I suspect." The taller of the two said.
"Yes, its like when you come near, but less intense, like a dull hum."
"You won’t be able to come back."
"Why not? Lots of weird things happen here."
"And what usually happens here if someone comes back from the dead?"
He had made his point, "Let’s go, we have a long trip ahead of us."
Adam Pierson turns around and says, "Yes?"
Adam looked slowly around him. Above him the gray clouds moved slowly, menacingly threatening to spill over. The trees swayed with the wind, the branches clacking together, the cold giving him the shivers. Then looking straight at him, "Because we are blessed, because we are cursed. Let’s go Alexander, you have much to learn."