Chapter Four ~
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy, Star Trek or several other things in this story.
This is a challenge response to Scorpio’s “The Quest” challenge.
Xander’s eyes went wide with shock as the knife slid into his chest up to the hilt. He ignored Ezri’s screams as he tripped over his own two feet. He was so leaving that part out of the story when he told his wife about his day.
Sasha’s eyes almost blazed with fury as she turned and leapt at the Klingons that killed her watcher. Her first hit shattered the creature’s skull as she hit it with everything she had.
He reached up and pulled the vicious dagger out of his chest with an annoyed grunt. He ignored the black sand/dust like substance that briefly poured off the blade. The wound on his chest closed without a mark by the time he got to his feet. He tried not to consider that at least judging by Ezri’s face she had seen the dagger go into his chest and wouldn’t be satisfied with an easy answer. He flipped the dagger around so that he was holding the blade by the tip and tossed it with all his nearly four hundred years of practice. He was already spinning to line up his next shot with his own dagger by the time the Klingon dagger slammed home in the alien’s eye socket.
Julian snagged the dagger that flew his way out of the air and returned the shot with enough force to take the Klingon off his feet as the Klingon staggered back with a dagger in his throat. He lounged forward at the same time as Sasha reached for her next Klingon with murder in her eye having not seen Xander get back up.
Ezri watched in confusion as chaos erupted around her. While she had seen the girl fight in the arena, that had apparently been nothing compared to what she was capable of. She guessed that she shouldn’t have been surprised with how well Julian moved, as she knew he had been genetically enhanced, but she had never really looked at it and really considered what that meant. Some tweaks here and there, maybe better agility but nothing like this. Her happy go lucky friend had just pulled a dagger from the air and killed a Klingon without even blinking. She wasn’t sure what to even think about her friend and the knife she was sure had hit him in the heart. She blinked in shock as the fight was over in less time than it would have taken to tell the tale. “What the hell just happened?”
Xander snarled, “They picked the wrong group to mug.”
Sasha blinked in shock as she turned and noticed that Xander was up and moving around. “Are you alright?”
He sighed, “Yeah. We should get out of here though before the bodies are found.”
Julian nodded, “I don’t really want to have to explain this one.”
Ezri looked back and forth between Xander and Julian, “We weren’t supposed to leave for a couple of days. Do you have room for two more?”
“Yeah.” Xander reached down and quickly looted the Klingons of anything particularly interesting before vaporizing the bodies with their own weapons. “Less questions this way, at least for a while.”
Sasha blinked as she watched her watcher nervously, she was glad he was okay but she wanted an explanation for how he was still alive all things considered.
Xander smiled as he saw a familiar brunette leaning against his ship waiting for him. “Hey, you made it Cordy.”
She smiled, “I said I would, didn’t I?”
“That you did.”
She frowned as she noticed how tense he was, “What’s the hurry?”
He shook his head as he noticed that there were a couple of people close enough to overhear, “Let’s get on the ship. We can talk when we’re underway.”
She nodded, “Alright.”
Julian smiled as he noticed Cordelia, “Hello.”
Cordelia smiled at the handsome man that Xander had brought with him, “Hi yourself.” She looked at Xander, “New friends?”
“One old and one new.”
“Ah, leave it to Xander to complicate things.”
Xander ushered everyone onboard.
Sasha looked nervously at Xander then back at Cordelia, she had met Cordelia a couple of times and knew that she was a messenger for the goddess that her branch of the council worked for. “Can someone tell me why Xander isn’t dead?”
Ezri nodded, “I would love to know that as well.”
He sighed, “I don’t suppose you would believe I was wearing a vest would you?”
Sasha nervously shook her head, “No.”
He sighed, “Fine.”
Ezri laughed slightly, “You’ve looked the same since I met you way back in 2250. I’ve always been curious how you pulled that off, so spill.”
He looked at Cordelia and shrugged, “Do I have to?”
She rolled her eyes, “Your mess, your friends, I’m staying out of this one.”
Julian chuckled, “I’m guessing it’s more than just genetic tweaking and what species are you?”
Xander shrugged, “I started off human. At least I’m fairly sure. Never could tell with my dad.”
Sasha frowned, as she looked at Ezri, “What do you mean you met Xander in 2250? You mean you met an ancestor right?” She looked at Xander nervously, “Are you a demon?”
Cordelia broke into a fit of laughter, “No, but he’s sure dated a few over the years.”
He sighed, “Gee thanks.”
“What it’s totally true.”
Julian frowned, “Demon?”
Xander sighed, “Let’s just go with her word for alien and move on.”
Julian shook his head, “How about let’s not. Nothing I know of heals that fast. At least nothing that looks human. How old are you?”
Xander sighed as he decided to just lay everything out, as he would really like to recruit both of them, “I was born in January of the year 1981, on earth. Nice little town called Sunnydale. It was a place like most others and unlike most others. What most people didn’t know was that there was a sort of wormhole under the high school that opened to other dimensions.”
“Like the mirror world, were things had gone differently?”
“More like to worlds of demons and magic, but if it makes you feel better to think of them like evil aliens go for it.”
Julian shrugged as he considered the Q and Bajoran wormhole entities. “All things considered, I’ll suspend my disbelief for a bit, I’ve heard of stranger things.”
Xander nodded, “It started with a girl, a very pretty girl.”
Buffy smiled as she faded into view of Xander. “Why thank you.”
He chuckled, “She was destined to fight these evil aliens, and we got pulled in. Long story very short, seven and some change later I got cursed with immortality. See nothing for it, nothing to see here.”
Sasha blinked as it all snapped together, “You’re, you’re The Alexander Harris… oh my goddess!”
Cordelia rolled her eyes, “You’ve been traveling with him all this time and you didn’t figure that out?”
Sasha looked in shock at Cordelia, “But he’s so ordinary…”
She shook her head, “Xander was nothing ordinary when he was mortal let alone now after four hundred years.”
Xander ignored the others as he looked at his slayer, “I’m still just me.”
“But you’re not ten feet tall and can’t breath fire… can you?”
He glanced over at Cordelia, “Where did that one come from?”
“I believe that time you spat Everclear on a vampire then lit him on fire sort of spawned some legends.”
Ezri frowned, “Vampires, and how exactly do you get cursed with immortality?”
He shrugged, “Just think of them as one of the species from the other world that got brought over here. Though for the most part, there aren’t any of them left on earth anymore. Haven’t been for years.”
“Well if you don’t count Spike anyways.”
Xander rolled his eyes, “Yeah well, he’s not on earth these days is he. Damn bastard rigged the placements, got sent to Risa. Lying around enjoying the good life or unlife while officially keeping tabs on a friendly succubus clan, how I hate him.” He smiled to show Cordelia that he had for the most part long since gotten over any negative feelings for his fellow immortal.
Julian frowned, “Not going to tell us are you?”
He shook his head. “Nah, way too dangerous to let that secret out of the bag. Though if you want to learn more than you probably ever wanted to know about the world, I might have a job offer for you.” He turned to look at Ezri, “You as well if you want it.”
Ezri nodded, “I’m curious, though I don’t suppose you would let Julian run some tests?”
“Strictly off the record, sure.” He pulled out his knife and drew the blade along his hand causing a line of black sand to form before the wound sealed shut as if it had never been. “Does that help?”
Ezri winced, “Doesn’t that hurt?”
“Actually no more than being cut on with a very sharp scalpel after a very nice topical anesthetic has been applied. I can feel things just fine with my skin but anything that breaks it just feels sort of dull and weird.”
Julian looked at the sand, “That’s strange.”
Xander shrugged, “It gets a bit blasé over the years.”
Ezri frowned, “Can you die?”
Xander forced himself to grin, “Not so far.” He tried to not remember the time that he had been pushed into a volcano on a botched job. That particular misadventure had hurt more than he cared to remember. The time a demon clan had dismembered him and tried pulling a judge on him hadn‘t been particularly fun either. It hadn’t helped as the next day he had woken up back in England at the old Giles estate and light years from the planet he had been on. “I’ve no wish to test it beyond the passing of years.”
Sasha smiled as she realized that her watcher had way more stories than she had even considered. “So where do we go from here?”
Cordelia shrugged, “I take the dagger to Willow, you fly these guys to council headquarters, and we see if they want to help our group of girls.”
Ezri nodded, “I’ve got some vacation time saved up, might as well.”
Julian shrugged, “I’ve got a decent amount saved up as well.”
Xander grinned as Sasha handed over the dagger, “Send my thoughts to Willow.”
Cordy smiled, “Of course. See you when you get there.” She vanished with a flash.
Buffy smiled as she watched the other girl vanish, “Such a drama queen, still I want Willow to get that dagger as soon as possible.”
He nodded, “Yeah. Sasha, go ahead and plot a course.”
Willow looked over the dagger that Cordelia handed her with a smile, “Thanks, this should help.”
“I still don’t see how one old relic is going to change things all that much.”
“It’s a very special dagger, though in point of fact it’s not really a dagger, it’s more an idea, and it’s not really that old.” She smiled as she looked at the dagger with glee.
Cordelia shrugged, “You and Buffy get so excited over weapons.”
“No more than you used to get over clothes.”
Cordelia chuckled, “True enough, and speaking of clothes I’m going to get ready for the party. Why are we having a party anyways?”
Willow smiled, “We need a reason for a party?”
“When you’re pulling in all of the old guard, then yes.”
She smiled, “You’ll see.”
“Fine, keep your secrets.”
Willow watched her walk out of the room then gestured at the door to close it and ward it. She stared down at the dagger; she could feel its power. It was a dagger and it wasn’t, it was something much more interesting. It was a misplaced Q weapon in dagger form. It had taken a great deal of work to get it ‘misplaced’ in the first place, not to mention that she would likely only have one shot at making things work.
She looked up at the two portraits concealed with a glamour so that most people couldn’t see them. Not that very many people ever came to her sanctum but still it wouldn’t do to have the few beings that came here wonder. The left most portrait was a beautiful life sized artist’s rendition of Tara Maclay, her first real love. It was a remarkably good likeness for having been based off a couple of old photographs. She looked at the portrait on the right. She sighed as she noticed the line of blood on the painting’s hand. “Xander, you really should take better care of yourself.” She glanced back at Tara’s portrait, “I’m sorry that I couldn’t be as bright as you. In all of the years, you’ve both been my conscience. I think when I’m done… I’ll come spend some time with Xander. I wi…” She stopped, even here; she still didn’t want to use the wish word, old habits died hard she guessed. “If I’d known about the portraits back then how different would things have been?”
Buffy sighed as she spoke up, “That way leads to madness Will.”
Willow sighed, “I know, at least I can finally do something about the… well you know.”
Buffy nodded, “I know. I can’t stop you, just come back. You‘ve got people that love you. Willowy you, not even goddess Willow.”
“You, Xander, Dawn and maybe a few others.”
Buffy sighed, “That used to be enough.”
“It is and always will be.” She glanced sadly at the portrait of Xander on the wall, “Are you sorry, that we didn’t?”
“I was old and only blood magic would have changed that.” She looked down at her ghostly body, “Besides this form comes with nifty travel abilities. What happened with Xander wasn’t your fault.”
“Of course it was, he was dying… cursed to see his youth one last time then burn through his life in a matter of days. I stopped it, I…” She gestured to the painting. “I did that, to my best friend and I couldn‘t even tell him the truth, that it’s my fault he’s still alive.”
Buffy looked at the scar covered picture of her friend, so very different from the strong healthy vibrant person she had just left. In the picture he was hideously burned in places, in other places he had more scar tissue than flesh, in still others there were parts of him that looked remarkably normal save they seemed withered with age. “Life is what we make it. We got a whole lot of lemons over the years.”
Willow smiled faintly, “We made a lot of lemonade over the years didn’t we?”
Buffy chuckled, “That we did.”
Willow nodded, “I’ll see you back at the house, this whole being a recluse thing sucks.”
Buffy nodded, “Good luck, and give them hell.”
“Hell’s too good for them.” She grinned as she clutched the dagger and vanished with a crack of thunder.
Buffy winced, “Damn girl needs to work on her exits.” She gazed at the portrait and sighed, maybe it wasn’t right of her but she was glad that at least one of the old Scoobies was still walking around.