Seeing the future (and it's messing with his head)
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing. At all. Full stop.
A/N: This is Xander, leading up to his decision to leave with Squad Three. Popped into my head and wouldn't go away.
A pretty blond girl with brightly-coloured streaks in her hair was setting the table as he watched, laughing with a figure that he could see clearly, but was definitely wearing a suit, and had a Welsh accent. A boy came flying into the room at high speed, and the girl called to him, telling him to slow down and that she was sure Uncle Jack would be alright for a few more seconds so that he could walk. A third figure came into the room, laughing at what a fourth had told him. This last figure was definitely Spike. The girl kissed Spike on the cheek, and asked where Dad was. One more figure entered the room, and kissed Spike sweetly. The boy cried Daddy, and hugged him, while the pretty blond just grinned. Xander felt faint. The last figure to enter his vision had been an older version of himself. The girl laughed and spoke with a familiar accent that was a mish-mash of London’s east end, Brooklyn and Newport.
“Daddy dearest, how was your day?” said the girl, who he now recognised as one of their Slayers, Pippa Martinez.
“Just fine, thanks, Pip. G-Man keeps trying to convince me that actually you’re all evil and that I have been tricked into following you all and there’s actually a spell on me and I need to go to Edinburgh so that they can remove it.”
The table erupted into laughter while Xander did a little half-bow from his seat. Pippa punched the man in the suit lightly on the rm.
“Think you can beat that, Ianto?”
“Definitely.” Said Suit-boy – Ianto, Xander corrected himself mentally.
“They’re breeding the kids to not like us. I heard a five year old say ‘Jolly Torchwood’ today. Right after she almost got mauled by a weevil.”
More laughter from around the table. The boy, Locke, spoke up.
“Professor Umbridge told me that The Scourge of Europe was not in my textbook in case it gave us kids nightmares.” A moment of silence. “And then I found an entire chapter on you guys in the middle of the course book!”
Xander smiled as he watched the little family laugh and joke with each other through dinner. Pippa, Locke, Spike and the older version of himself bouncing jokes off the two other members of their little dinner party, who, as the night progressed, Pippa and Locke had started calling Uncle Yan and Uncle Jack. Then he frowned. The others had seen terrible things in their visions of the future. Willow had been staggering into a tourist bureau, begging for help from someone they couldn’t see. Buffy had been begging someone to stay, and Giles had been drinking way too much, while looking at a photo of the four original Scoobies. Only Xander had seen a happy future. Why? And why was he with
with Spike in his vision? Good Goddess, why was the idea so damn appealing?
He realised he must have said this out loud when Buffy hit him rather firmly on the back and asked him if he was thinking straight. Goofball high school Xander took over, and he said that he wasn’t, obviously. He was thinking bent.
Willow laughed. The others didn’t.
“Look. It was just trying to confuse us. Don’t worry, they probably won’t come true.” Buffy looked like she didn’t believe him at all, and Giles was already flicking through his books, looking for more information on that particular vengeance demon. Willow was running her fingers through her hair, and trying to figure out how much older they had been in their visions. But Xander – Xander was just sitting with his hands in his lap, trying really hard not to think about how happy Pippa and Locke had been, or how the laughter had lit up suit boy’s face in a way that was eerily reminiscent of Jesse, or how happy future-him and Spike had looked together, as they held hands over the table. He tried not to think about how future-him’s expression had melted every time Pippa had called him ‘Dad’.
Xander Harris sighed. The three other Scoobies turned to look at him.
“Xander… Do you like
like Spike?” said Buffy, looking slightly worried.
“What?” said Xander, coming back to the present.
“Do you?” Willow asked, coming to stand next to her friend.
Xander stopped to think. It wasn’t actually that hard, and soon he had pictures of a certain blond vampire floating in the forefront of his brain, smirking at him, blue eyes dancing with mirth.
“Yes. I think I do.”
Buffy stared at him. Willow smirked and clapped her hands. Giles took his glasses off and started to clean them vigorously.
Xander sighed and rubbed the top of his nose.
“So what if I do like him? I mean, hello, cheekbones?” he muttered. “And you all got over it when Buffy liked him.”
It was at that moment that a very tired and slightly beaten up Spike came into the room, carrying Pippa, and being propped up by Connor. Pippa’s leg was bent at an odd angle, and she was unconscious. Connor looked like he was about to pass out himself. And Spike … Well, Spike looked like he was going to rip Buffy’s head off, soul or no.
“We asked.” The vampire spat. “We asked so many times. We asked until Rona was hoarse from yelling, so much that she couldn’t even whisper for help. And still, you wouldn’t give it to us.”
Xander stared at his best friend, eyes wide. They’d sent Squad Three – Spike’s squad – to deal with a minor apocalypse in the Edinburgh hellmouth, but it shouldn’t have been anything they needed backup for. Xander had got Squad six to be on standby in case things got out of hand, but they had stayed in all night, so he’d supposed everything had gone fine.
“You guys were in trouble?”
“We got our backsides handed to us on a silver platter. We barely made it out, and Pippa’s leg’s broken and Issa won’t wake up!”
Xander rose from his seat, calling the infirmary people to take care of Pippa and Connor, while he dragged a still-ranting Spike to a seat and started to patch him up. He knew now, that the vision had the potential to be real.
Once he started patching Spike up, the vampire had calmed down.