A Chance Meeting
Disclaimer: I do not own either set of non-original characters and I do not make money off of this endeavour.
Time period: After Season seven of Buffy. And the other show, season 3.
Xander wiped his fingers on his pant legs, trying to scrape the remaining blood off. His stomach twisted.
He’d just killed someone.
He could still feel the knife leaving his hand, hear the sound of its impact, hear the wet gurgle that accompanied the man trying to draw breath.
He hadn’t thought about it, he’d just looked up to see the man pointing a gun at Sydney’s back and had just reacted. The knife had been in his hand after wrestling it away from the man so it had been what he’d used. He hadn’t thought about what he’d been doing.
The warmth of Sydney’s hands was fading from the sides of his face where she had gripped him a moment earlier.
Sydney. She’d told him to box it up, put it away, and deal with it later.
He took a deep breath, swallowing his gorge, and focused his attention on Sydney’s back as she faced the hallway.
Get a grip, Xander. You have a person who needs your support, right here, right now. Deal with it.
He took a steadying breath and whispered, “Is there any cover in the hallway?”
She glanced back at him, saying, “Not a bit-”
One of her arms lashed out and jerked him flat against the wall while her other swept the gun up and sent too shots down toward the door they’d entered by.
Xander caught a glimpse of a man with a gun diving back behind the cover of the door.
Shit! He grasped at a faint hope, and suggested, “Airport security?”
“No; they would have identified themselves.” Her voice was tense. “I was afraid he had back up.”
Xander glanced toward the door and then to the hallway, men with guns on both sides. They were so screwed.
Sydney grabbed his hand and said, “Don’t let go.”
She aimed the gun toward a box on the far wall of the gunman’s hallway and pulled the trigger. There was a shower of sparks and the lights went out. A moment later the emergency lights cut in bathing the hall in a harsh white glow.
Sydney’s gun barked twice as she put a bullet through each light, dropping this section of the hall into darkness. He could see her silhouetted against the light reflected around the corner.
She said, “Get ready to run.”
Crouching, she leaned around the corner and her gun spoke twice more. There was pitch blackness. She yanked his hand, hard. They were moving, round the corner, through the darkness toward the gunman.
A muzzle flash from ahead lit up the hall and a bullet whined past them. Sydney yanked him to the side as darkness again locked around them. There was a second muzzle flash and a bullet whined through the space they were in a moment before. They were almost to the doorway.
Sydney yanked down and Xander followed the motion, an instant before the gun spoke again and he felt a bullet pass above them.
They were at the doorway. Sydney’s hand jerked away from his, and there was the sound of flesh impacting flesh. Scuffles, grunts, the sound of something metallic impacting the floor echoed through the space.
An arm brushed him. It was too big: definitely not Sydney’s arm. He latched onto it and twisted.
There was muffled swear and an elbow impacted his side.
If it wasn’t for the whole life-in-danger thing he might have chuckled; he’d had vampires slap him harder than that.
The man squirmed, violently trying to escape his grip. Xander just squeezed harder and reached for another body part with his other hand.
There was a sudden flood of reflected light. Someone had opened the door around the bend in the hall. It the grey half-light he could see the man he had a grip on and Sydney standing about a meter to his left in a fighting stance.
The man reached down beneath his vest and yelled something in a language Xander didn’t understand.
Sydney obviously did; her eyes widened and she spun into a roundhouse kick that whistled by Xander’s head with only inches to spare. It hit the man squarely in the side of the head knocking him out of Xander’s grasp and sending him skidding to the floor.
Sydney grabbed Xander by the shoulder and practically threw him through the door. He stumbled back into the hallway, getting out a confused, “Wha-”
Sydney began to sprint back down the hallway pulling him with her as she yelled, “Bomb!”
Oh shit! Was all he had time to think before the world exploded.
* * *
Thud, thud, thud. What the hell was that noise? Pain and nausea flooded through him, accompanied by a ringing in his ears. Thud, thud, thud. Oh, wait a minute. That was his heartbeat.
He lay still, trying to get everything to stop hurting, until he was sure he wasn’t going to immediately drop dead. Drop figuratively speaking, considering he was already prone.
He opened his eyes. Nothing. He couldn’t see a thing. He felt a flash of panic. Was he blind? He began to be aware of other sounds through the ringing. Creaks, pops, things that sounded like material settling.
What- The bomb. Explosion. Sydney!
It came out more a croak, than what he’d intended. “Sydney?”
“Sydney?” said again. He began to sit up, to move. His entire body felt battered, but he didn’t think anything was broken.
His hand brushed warm flesh. “Sydney?” There was her arm. Shoulder. What was… soft, round, moving slightly, and- Whoops.
He jerked his hand back.
Well, at least he knew now that she was breathing. Of course the fact she hadn’t reacted when he touched her um, chest, meant she was probably unconscious.
After a moments hesitation he went over the rest of her body, touching lightly, searching for any injury. There didn’t seem to be any thing beyond what felt like a few scrapes.
Okay situation: I can’t see a thing and Sydney is unconscious. He reached his hand up to his face. Probing gently at his good eye. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with it. That was good.
Because that meant there was another reason why he couldn’t see. He began to feel around himself in the dark. There was debris everywhere. He tried to stand up but banged his head into something solid.
Swearing, he crouched back down. After a few minutes of investigation he’d come to a rather grim conclusion.
The bomb had collapsed the part of the building they were in. They were trapped in a pocket created by a girder falling over them at just the right angle.
His freakish luck.
He wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry. Any way you looked at it there wasn’t much he could do. So he sat back down next to Sydney. Took her hand, and prayed that someone upstairs was watching out for them.