The Darkest Road
Summary: Part 3 in the Gypsy Chronicles: Xander and his friends continue their journey before finally heading to the Romany clans to issue a challenge for the control of the Lavelle Clan.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any other of the characters in this story they belong to Joss Whedon and whoever else created the characters used in this story. Any characters I created I own.
Pairing: Janna Kalderash/Xander Harris (There will be other relationships in this story, but this is the main one.)
Xander pushed himself as hard as he could as he ran through the park trying to keep the pace he was setting. It had been one and a half month since Lilith, Tara and he had been retrieved from their journey through alternate dimensions and while things had settled down they were still some problems which had come from that journey.
His and Janna's relationship had gone through some very rough patches after the revelations about his bonding to Tara. Janna hadn't been happy about how important Tara had become in his life and the powerful connection she now shared with him. There was also the fact that a small romantic attachment had surfaced between him and Tara which had come to light when Tara had almost been killed during a patrol with Kendra and Adrian.
This had really caused trouble within the group and after a lot of arguments and stress things had settled down and Janna had accepted that his relationship with Tara could not be altered and that she would have to accept it if she wanted to keep their own relationship going, as well as rising their child when he was born. She wasn't happy with this, but for now had no other choice except loosing Xander altogether, which wasn't willing to.
Then there was also the small fact that Alucard had stated that the bonding ritual itself was the purest form of marriage there was. It had been used centuries ago when magic users were everywhere and had the power to use it in a group. This had ended the argument between him and Janna and after a few days she had come to accept it as she did not want to be cruel to Tara for things outside her control or choice.
They had stayed in Sunnydale to rest and continue their training and he had been surprised by the fact that Alucard and his master Sir Integra had decided to stay to help.
He had to smile as he recalled how annoyed Janna had become when she was told she would have to start taking it easier due to her being pregnant. Her training was restricted to learning magic and weapons usage. Tara had begun learning to use not only the sword she had been given in Middle Earth, but also the weapons the Hellsing organization used in the fight. Lilith had continued along with her father to teach them the ancient magic of the Romany people. He stopped running as he almost ran straight into Buffy and Willow. He had stayed away from them for the time being, not wanting to aggravate the situation between them.
His journey through dimensions had reminded him of some of the better times he had when he had been friends with them and it had also shown him that maybe it was possible to re-forge their friendships, even if it took a long time. He hadn't been expecting to run into them today and he was unsure how to react.
"What are you doing back here Xander?" Buffy demanded to know, instantly angry at seeing the person who had killed Angelus and in so doing made sure there was no way to save Angel.
Xander was about to shout back when he stopped and pulled in his own anger, something which had become easier thanks to his bond to Tara and Lilith's meditation methods. He knew reacting angry would only worsen things and so he decided to try and stay as calm as possible.
"We've been back for a month and a half Buffy," he started. "We tracked a cult here who was trying to do a ritual which would have resulted in a lot of deaths," he continued, deciding not to give them the full truth yet about what the cult had done. "We managed to stop them and we decided to stay and rest for a bit. We've been quite busy since we left," he also decided not to tell them the cult had been killed as he knew Buffy would never accept it for any reason.
"You have some nerve thinking you can hang around here after what you did," Buffy spat, not really caring what had brought him and his group back to Sunnydale.
"You don't own this town Buffy, which means anyone, including me, can come here and stay," he replied a little annoyed at her statement. "You need to remember Buffy I didn't kill Angelus to spite you or the others, I did it to save countless lives and I destroyed the soul spell to save anyone from sacrificing their soul to bring Angel back, something which I don't believe Angel would have wanted you to do," he added.
"How dare you?" Buffy started to say, before Willow cut her off.
"Buffy stop," the red head almost shouted, sick of the argument already, even if Xander had responded in a calm manner. "Continuing to be angry is going to do no good. He may have a point," she continued. "I've read up on the soul spell since Angelus died and so has Giles and we've both found out if I or Miss Calendar had done the spell we would have corrupted our souls with black magic and become as evil as Angelus in seconds," she finished. "We didn't tell you because we knew you wouldn't listen, but considering Xander and his group are back now, you might as well know and I can't believe Angel would want you to sacrifice your friends to save him," she finished.
Buffy stared at her friend for a few seconds before turning and storming away. She couldn't believe what Willow had told her. Willow watched with a sigh as her friend stormed off. This was one of the reasons she and Giles hadn't tried to tell the slayer what they had found out as they knew she would just get even angrier. She turned and faced her former best friend and noticed he was watching her closely to see what she would do next.
"You may have been right Xander, but still you could have waited until we could have found the same answer and made sure Buffy knew it as well," she finally told him.
"We had no more time Willow and you know that," Xander replied. "Too many people had died as it was and Janna almost died at his hands and with her our unborn child," he continued. "Buffy refused time and time again to kill him, so I did whatever I had to make sure Jana and the rest of Sunnydale, including you guys, were safe from him and his childes," he added with a little heat in his voice. "I didn't make that decision easily Willow, because I knew it would destroy any hopes of savaging our friendship, but I knew I had to do it," he went on hoping to get through to her. "You know saving the lives of people means more to me than almost anything else," he finished.
Willow stared at Xander as he finished speaking and thought deeply over everything that had happened since the love spell which had started everything. She knew he was not a vindictive person and wouldn't have tried to kill Angelus and destroy the soul spell just to hurt Buffy. She also knew that since Jessie had died when they first became friends with the blond slayer he had done everything he could to save as many lives as he could and that he had felt devastated when they did fail to save the lives of those who didn't even know that vampires and demons were real.
But could she ignore the damage that had been done during the Angelus crisis? Their friendship had been damaged deeply as she had sided with Buffy, refusing to listen to any of the arguments he and Miss Calendar had pushed forward and she had to admit she had been wrong to do so. She had no right to ignore the danger Angelus represented just because his destruction might hurt Buffy. She didn't know what to do really and so she decided to have a long talk with Giles before she did anything else and maybe Oz and Cordelia as well.
"I need to talk to the others Xander. I'm confused as to what to do," she finally admitted. "I know you had your reasons for doing what you did and a part of me agrees with what you did, but another part of me thinks you should have done things differently, especially in regards to Buffy," she went on. "I'll come and see you and let you know what we've decide. I take it you're back at the Hellsing mansion, right?" she asked.
"We are," Xander replied. "But don't take too long Willow. We will be heading out soon to continue our journey. I would like to go, knowing we've repaired at least some of the problems between us and maybe I can share some of what's happened since I've been gone. I think you would find it interesting," he informed her with a small smile before turning and running back towards the mansion.
Willow watched him leave and thought over what had been said and she couldn't help but acknowledge a part of her did want to rebuild her friendship with Xander. She sighed and then turned and headed for the school knowing Giles would be there and she hoped that he could help her sort through her muddled thoughts.
Cassandra watched the rather tense meeting between Alexander and his former friends. She wasn't surprised with the blond slayer's reaction as she was still consumed with herself at this point. However she was pleased to see the red head was beginning to see the error of her ways and if she had heard correctly maybe there was hope for Rupert Giles as well.
She looked up, as her lord, Tanith and Jonas the new joint leaders of the powers that be walked into the room. The reconstruction of the powers that be was still on going after the events surrounding Malek's betrayal and Alexander and Lilith's trip through dimensions, even if the trip itself had helped them more than it had hindered them.
"It would seem my lord that not all of the blond slayer's group is completely lost," Cassandra reported. "Willow and Rupert Giles both seem to have seen the errors they have made and realized that Alexander and Janna were correct about the soul spell," she added.
"Good, they may be of some help in the future," their lord replied as he came to a stop near the viewing pool. "I believe Alexander's last stage of his journey will be his and his friends most difficult," he added with a frown.
"How so my lord?" Jonas inquired.
"They still have much to do before they head to the Romany tribes to finish their journey and I believe it is during this period they will face there most difficult challenges," their lord answered.
"I take it my lord their period of rest is almost over?" Cassandra asked.
"It is Cassandra," their lord agreed. "They have at least a few more days before fate once more catches up to them," he continued with a small smile.
"I hope Willow and Rupert Giles come to a decision before Alexander leaves. I believe it will help him greatly to know he has patched up some of his destroyed friendships," Cassandra stated.
The others nodded their heads in agreement with her statement before turning to the viewing pool to watch Alexander enter the Hellsing mansion.