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Me And My Shadow

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This story is No. 27 in the series "My Name Is Legion". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Shades of night are falling and I’m lonely… No. 27 of the My Name is Legion series. August Fic-A-Day 2011 entry.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
DC Universe > Legion of Superheroes(Recent Donor)ManchesterFR1311,638011,21427 Aug 1127 Aug 11Yes
Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and DC Comics characters are the property of their original owners.

Author’s Note: The BtVS episode ‘Conversations with Dead People’ is the only one in which Xander didn’t appear. That’s because he -- or she -- was busy elsewhere.



Me and my shadow
Strolling down the avenue


The beautiful young woman in the tight-fitting and very skimpy cerulean costume that was only a few shades darker than her exposed azure skin continued in her melancholy journey down the deserted corridors of Sunnydale High. Finally reaching her destination, the body of Tasmia Mallor, alias Shadow Lass, paused in the open doorway of the school’s computer room. Looking sadly around for a minute or two at an empty classroom that was once the domain of Jenny Calendar, someone who’d earlier tonight had been transformed by Chaos magic into a 30th century superheroine now made the necessary gesture that activated a previously unmentioned power. A vertical, oval disk of inky blackness about eight feel tall and four feet wide promptly appeared in the classroom, and without the slightest hesitation, Xander Harris stepped through the shadow portal he’d just called up.

Me and my shadow
Not a soul to tell our troubles to


It took only a single pace for Xander to be transported from the computer room to his next visit of the night. Directly behind the man in the woman’s body, another shadow disk then flickered out of existence, leaving Xander standing in the school library. Also totally unoccupied save for himself, the familiar quiet surroundings with the books and furnishings throughout the whole room now seemed to actually have a sorrowful air, as if the space itself yearned to again be filled with young people and their mentor, all talking and arguing and laughing and quarreling, as the Scooby Gang once more prepared to battle against the creatures of the Hellmouth.

Xander knew better than to dismiss this sudden feeling as a mere idle fancy; far stranger things had occurred before in Sunnydale. Instead, while he drifted towards a particular point in the library, Xander bowed his head in respect until he halted in his tracks in front of the exact location where a Jamaican Slayer had fallen to the floor and perished years ago after an insane vampiress’ successful attack. Crouching down, Xander gently brushed for a few moments his fingertips against the floorboards, remembering Kendra Young the best as he could during all this.

Straightening up at last, Xander again deferentially nodded once to himself, before turning away and summoning another shadow portal. After disappearing into this midnight-colored disk, which itself vanished right away after completing its intended purpose, the library was once more left to its lonely solitude.

And when it’s twelve o’clock
We climb the stair
We never knock
‘Cause nobody’s there


Standing in front of a large driveway gate locked and chained in place, Xander peered through the steel bars of this entranceway past the overgrown lawn having its weeds encroaching onto the private road. The vast, darkened mansion at the end of this road appeared to be hunkering down in its desolation, almost hiding in shame. There was absolutely no signs of life in what had previously been the home of the richest family in Sunnydale. Mournfully shaking his head, Xander then brushed away a tear trickling down his feminine cheek, and he quickly left the Chase house behind himself via another shadow portal that soon became one of several.

Just me and my shadow
All alone and feeling blue


-- Another, much smaller house on a quiet residential street that was just as deserted as the prior residence. Though, Ira and Sheila Rosenberg hadn’t been around all that much in the past, either.

-- A shop in Sunnydale’s business district, closed and empty while awaiting a new proprietor. Tasmia’s eyes were able to perfectly see in absolute gloom, so the only difficulty Xander had in reading the words on the shopfront of ‘The Magic Box’ came from the faded wear now present on this business sign.

-- Slipping out of the shadow cast by the alley dumpster, Xander stared down this passageway at the Bronze’s back entrance. As expected, but still saddening, was the unoccupied parking space, where in times of yore, a battered van usually stayed for its owners to finish their latest gig as the band ‘Dingoes Ate My Baby.’

-- A seedy motel where he’d once been shoved out of a certain room clad only in his underwear while clutching in his arms the rest of his clothes.

Me and my shadow
Strolling down the avenue


Very unsure about this, but yet having a desperate need to finish off the night with one last visit, Xander circled the block again while trying to make up his mind if he could indeed get away with it. At least his pensive walk also allowed him to thoroughly check out the neighborhood, though this was probably one of the safest parts of Sunnydale, with the smarter vamps and other demons knowing better than to ever come anywhere near here. Stopping in front of the small house at 1630 Revello Drive, Xander cautiously eyed the illuminated lamp behind the curtains in one upper room, recognizing immediately who should be in there. However, her older sister’s room was fully dark, just like the entire lower floor.

Reminding himself that he still had to do this, Xander took a deep breath, and he summoned up another shadow portal while nervously muttering, “Get in, do it as fast as possible, and then get out. If Buffy catches you…”

And when it’s twelve o’clock
We climb the stair
We never knock
‘Cause nobody’s there


Materializing inside the kitchen of the Summers home, Xander thankfully found himself totally alone in the darkened room. Good, that meant not being instantly beaten to a pulp by a furious Slayer aggressively reacting to the invasion of her home by a complete stranger. Warily peering through the gloom, a message on a sheet of paper left out on a counter caught the eye of Shadow Lass. Reading this note hastily scribbled in someone’s very familiar handwriting made Xander relax a bit, since Buffy was clearly out on patrol and only Dawn was at home upstairs.

That last thought brought Xander up short, as an immense sadness now overcame him. Looking around, he found the proper spot, and walking over to stand there by the sink, Xander closed his eyes, and he remembered from so long ago…

It’d been sometime during the first year after the Summers had moved to Sunnydale, and he’d been invited to dinner. Afterwards, Buffy had gone to the bathroom, and while enthusiastically helping with the clean-up in the kitchen, he was scrubbing an used cooking pan soaking in the sink so hard that his hair fell over his eyes. Joyce Summers standing next to him and doing the drying had unthinkingly reached out to brush back this.

Seeing from the corner of his eye an unexpected hand coming towards him, Xander automatically reacted in his hard-earned childhood instincts due to living with a brutal father, and he’d violently flinched away, sending water spraying everywhere in the kitchen, with the cooking pan clattering loose in the sink.

Both of the people then in the room had become totally immobile. A horrified Joyce was frozen, with her hand still reaching out, and Xander was hunched up in utter humiliation, his mortified gaze fixed down upon his hands dripping with soapy water. An instant later, the teenage boy was gathered up in a firm female hug.

Stiffening in shock, Xander had let his wet hands dangle at his sides, until he finally relaxed against the older woman’s body, and then let his face fall against the top of her shoulder, as he began to quietly sniffle in tightly-controlled tears.

It was only when the faint sound of a toilet being flushed elsewhere in the house was heard by the pair in the kitchen that Xander gently but resolutely disentangled himself from Joyce, to then grab the kitchen towel by the sink and start thoroughly cleaning his face. This meant when a startled Buffy came into the room a second later, she straightway received a cheerful joke from her new friend about accidentally getting soap in his eyes.

Joyce then stepped in to shoo the younger people out of her kitchen, with Xander following Buffy out to the living room to wait for a promised dessert. On the way, the young man sent over his shoulder towards Joyce a parting glance of desperate gratitude for allowing him to maintain his pride throughout it all.

Years later, while once again in the same kitchen, Xander in his Shadow Lass body reflected on how neither he nor Joyce had ever discussed with each other what had taken place between themselves here. Nevertheless, they’d always had a connection of silent but shared affection throughout the rest of their time together…until Joyce had passed away, leaving behind a grieving family which included somebody who in his heart of hearts privately considered himself to be nothing less than her own son.

Feeling tears well up in his eyes, Xander wiped away the dampness there, and he murmured, “I promise, Mom. No matter what, I’ll take care of Buffy and Dawn.”

With an expression of intermingled sorrow and determination on the woman’s face, Xander called up his last shadow portal that would take him back to his empty apartment and return to his usual gender there a few minutes from now. Giving a last look around at a place where he’d found someone to love, the young man quietly left the house, never to know a few seconds later, another and much more malevolent presence would enter the Summers dwelling.

Just me and my shadow
All alone and feeling blue
All alone and feeling blue




Further Disclaimer: The song known as Me And My Shadow was written in 1927 and is credited to Al Jolson, Billy Rose, and Dave Dreyer. All rights belong to their proper owners.

The End

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