I do not own any of the rights to ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ or ‘The Dresden Files’ and am making no money from this story.Dimensional Shift
Once the portal had closed and the endless stream of suit demons stopped the slayers were able to finish off those left behind. The last of the goo quickly evaporated and there was no evidence that the demons had ever even been there.
“Man, I wish more demons cleaned up after themselves; it saves on clothes,” Faith said looking around to the mini-slayers, frowning she saw that a face was missing, “Where’s Xander?”
The girls all looked around and then at each other before shrugging. Faith glared at them and was about to start up a scathing rebuke when she caught a flash of red moving in the corner of her eye. She turned to see the sorcerer who had started this whole mess struggling to lift himself up off of the floor. It looked like he was tangled up in his stupid looking red cloak that didn’t quite manage to cover his deathstar T-shirt. Faith stalked over to him.
“You,” She said angrily, lifting the kid up by his collar and thrusting him up against the wall with one hand, “Where’s Xander?”
“What? I- you…what’s… I-“ the kid stuttered in obvious fear of the woman that currently held him up against the wall with one hand. His feet weren’t touching the ground.
“Guy with an eye patch, carrying an ax. What did you do to him!?” Faith snarled into the kids face.
“Nothing!” The kid said in a trembling voice that cracked as Faith tightened her grip on his neck, “I- he might have fallen through the portal. I- I didn’t see!”
“So open it up again and bring him back.”
“I can’t,” The kid whimpered
“What do you mean you can’t?” Faith asked in a dangerously low voice, enunciating each word very slowly, her teeth gritting together. The three slayers that stood behind her knew the tone. The wrath of Faith was imminent.
“Th-the staff. He broke it. I can’t open a way without it,” he said, his face growing red as he scrabbled at the Slayer’s hand in a futile attempt to loosen her grip on his collar.
“So, get another one.”
“It was an antique, one of a kind. Passed down through the generations. It was the only one! One of a kind! He broke it I- I can’t open the way. Please don’t kill me!” The kid sorcerer was one blink away from crying as Faith dropped him unceremoniously onto the ground.
“I don’t do that anymore,” Faith said with a glare that cut as violently as a knife.
“What does that mean? How are we going to get Xander back?” Kathy asked with wide eyes, knowing that Xander was missing because she had jumped into a situation without thinking.
“Looks like we’re going to have to call Red to tell her that she’s going to have to cut her vacation short,” Faith said and then smirked, “Kennedy’s going to pissed.”…….
“So, what’s with the Michael Jackson glove?” Xander asked trying to break into the silence inside of the car, well not silence per say. The car was making enough noise by itself, rattling and clunking all the way down the road, but neither of them had spoken since Dresden had told him they were heading to his apartment. 10 minutes of no speaking should count as some sort of silence.
“What’s with the eye patch?” Harry shot right back trying to make his voice light. Xander knew he had hit on something the wizard didn’t want to talk about. Xander knew because he’d used that tone of voice quite a lot over the years to keep life from seeming too crappy. He didn’t comment on the wizard’s use of it.
“I just tried it on one day and it fit,” Xander said with a grin. Dresden raised an eyebrow obviously not believing him.
The car fell back into a rattling, clunking silence until they were parked outside of a large wooden boarding house that looked like it had been standing there for at least a century. There were three mailboxes out front and Dresden checked one before heading to the side of the building where a narrow set of steps led down to the basement. The cement of the walls on either side of the steps were scored with various nicks and scorch marks. The steps led down to a battered looking steel door. What was this guy into that it was putting dents in a reinforced door? Xander felt uncomfortable and it wasn’t just his wet clothes. It was almost like the feeling he got when something was about to go wrong. Dresden paused in front of the door for a moment without opening it and then, just as Dresden was opening the door, the feeling seemed to go away. Xander’s inner carpenter winced as Dresden forced open the door with his shoulder to unjam it from the doorframe, a poor show of craftsmanship if Xander ever saw one.
Xander followed Dresden in without waiting for an invite. It was a habit Xander had fallen into after years of dealing with creatures that couldn’t enter a home without an invite, an easy way to show that he wasn’t a vampire. Dresden didn’t say anything about it but it looked like he understood what Xander had intended. The apartment was dark and Xander couldn’t see much until Harry waved his hand and gave a muttered “Flickum Bicus” and what looked like every candle in the apartment lit up. The first thing that Xander took in was the pony-sized dog that was licking Dresden’s hand.
“Hiya Mouse,” Dresden said enduring the licking for a moment more before moving his hand up to pat the giant dog’s head. Mouse’s eyes turned to Xander and Xander got the distinct impression that the dog was sizing him up.
that?” Xander asked because it could not be a normal dog.
is a dog. His name is Mouse. Mouse, this is Xander,” Dresden waved a hand in Xander’s direction and Mouse cocked his head at him. Xander tensed slightly as the ‘dog’ walked towards him, but Mouse just gave him an interested sniff before walking away toward a doorway, Dresden seemed to relax a little by Mouse’s dismissal. As the dog walked away Xander could make out an old fashioned refrigerator through the doorway, the kind that didn’t run on electricity. In fact, looking around the rest of the apartment, Xander didn’t see anything that ran on electricity. No television, digital clocks, lamps, he didn’t even see a radio anywhere. There was a phone however. It was an old rotary style that Xander was pretty sure wasn’t in production anymore.
“Can I use your phone?” Xander asked looking over to Dresden, “I’m pretty sure I’m not in Kansas anymore, but making a few phone calls could always prove me wrong.”
“Knock yourself out, Dorothy,” Harry said, leaning his staff up against the wall beside an umbrella stand that didn’t actually have any umbrellas in it, instead it was filled with canes and other carved staves. Xander was just sitting down on the battered looking orange couch when Dresden muttered something else and the fireplace burst into flames before him. Xander was man enough to say that he jumped, though to be fair, it was a small jump.
“Nice trick,” Xander said, “I get the feeling you’ve got a thing for fire.”
Dresden opened his mouth to respond, but was interrupted by Mouse, who apparently gotten tired of waiting in the kitchen. He was carrying a food bowl in his mouth. Dresden smiled down at the dog for a moment, “Make yourself comfortable.” He said to Xander and headed back into the kitchen with Mouse and his bowl at his heels.
Xander had only managed to dial one number when Dresden came back into the room. It took an exorbitant amount of time to dial a ten-digit number on a rotary phone, no wonder they weren’t in production anymore. It had connected to someone named Alice and most definitely wasn’t the Cleveland School.
“Any luck?” He asked
“You mean with the one number I managed to dial? How do you use this thing, I think I’ve lost years of my life,” Xander was not happy with the phone or the fact it didn’t connect to the right phone, but at least the fire was warming him up.
“I’m going to take that as a no,” Dresden said amusedly, “You keep making phone calls I’m going to check with some of my sources.”
He pulled up a rug, revealing a trap door set into the floor. Dresden pulled the door up to reveal the top of a ladder that led into a dark hole.
“You have a basement in your basement apartment?”
“It’s called a sub-basement.”
“I’ll be back up in a few minutes,” Harry said as he started his descent down the ladder.
“You’re just going to leave me alone with all of your…” Xander trailed off as he took a long look around the small room taking in the book shelves filled with paperback books and various memorabilia, the sad beaten-up orange couch on which he was sitting and the throw rug that was an image of Elvis’ face, “..stuff.”
“I’m sure that Mouse can keep you out of trouble,” Dresden said wryly as he descended into the hole in the floor. Xander turned to look at the dog in question, he seemed to have heard his name and was looking at them from the kitchen, still crunching on kibble. Mouse didn’t look like he was planning on doing much if Xander did decide he wanted to snoop around Dresden’s apartment, not that it really mattered much as Xander wasn’t planning on leaving his warm spot in front of the fire. The ugly orange couch was probably the most comfortable couch he’d ever sat on and he had a few more phone calls to make before he’d be completely sure he wasn’t getting home tonight.…..
Harry closed the trap door behind him as he climbed down the ladder into the sub-basement the he had converted into a lab, leaving Xander alone in his apartment. Harry wasn’t sure what he should think about the one eyed man he had saved in the Nevernever. Xander didn’t strike him as being insane, but then on the other hand he was also maintaining that he was from another dimension.
He lit up the various candles in the room with a wave of his hand, a small focus of will and a muttered, “Flickum Bicus”
“Bob, it’s time to go to work.” Orange lights flickered to life on the skull’s empty eye sockets.
“What’s up Boss?” the Skull managed to say clearly despite the clear lack of a tongue, lips, vocal cords, anything that was necessary to create speech, but, being a spirit of intellect, things like that didn’t really apply to Bob.
“What do you know about traveling to other dimensions?”
“Is this a theoretical question, Boss? Or are you finally planning on blowing this popsicle stand? Though, to be honest with your luck I don’t think your life would improve much.” Bob never tired of telling Harry how crappy his life was.
“So, it is
possible,” Harry said sounding unsure.
“Seventh law of magic, Boss. They don’t usually make laws for things that aren’t possible,” Bob said, the orange lights in the skull’s eye sockets flickering. Harry got the impression that Bob would be rolling his eyes if he had them.
“’Thou Shall not seek beyond the Outer Gates’. The Outer Gates are other dimensions? Why didn’t they just say ‘Other Dimensions’?” Harry asked exasperatedly. He was never all that up on the old world language that was most prevalent in the supernatural communities, the White Council in particular, though that might have had something to do with the fact that he had had their sword hanging over the back of his neck waiting for a single slip up to execute him. The Doom of Damocles was what he had been sentenced with for killing his guardian in self-defense.
“Yeah, they sure had a handle on theoretical physics when they were naming things in the Middle Ages, Harry.”
“…Right. And why exactly is travelling to different dimensions a bad thing?”
“Well, it’s only a bad thing if you think ripping holes in the fabric of reality is a bad.”
Harry paused, staring at the skull for a moment.
“I think that merits more of an explanation, Bob,” Harry growled at the skull in annoyance.
“Do I get some incentive Boss?” Bob asked eagerly, probably hoping Harry would offer up another trashy romance novel to add to the spirit’s already substantial collection.
“How about you tell me and I won’t bury your skull in cement for the next year”
“Ah, don’t be like that Harry,” Bob whined
“What do you mean ‘ripping holes in the fabric of reality’?”
“Well, why do you think they made the Seventh Law?”
“I always thought that it was to keep Outsiders from coming through.”
Bob gave a huff, “What are they teaching wizards these days?”
“Get to the point Bob.”
“Well, way back before the White Council had even thought of forming up, there were a few Wizards who made it their goal to be the ‘most powerful of all’. A lot of them did that by summoning things through the gates or travelling through them. What they didn’t know was that when you have so many wizards poking holes in our reality to get at one another you end up with swiss cheese for a barrier. Holes started to open up all by themselves and all kinds of nasties started to fall through and, since no one had summoned them, there was nothing to control them. It ended up bringing Wizards together in an attempt to battle the flood of Outsiders and shore up the walls of our reality. Now the White Council has rules against it, but someone’s always watching to make sure the wall’s holding steady.”
“The Gatekeeper,” Dresden muttered to himself in realization. Rashid was the most mysterious member of the Senior Council always wearing a cloak that only allowed glimpses of his face. He was also the only one that was taller that Harry.
“What brought this on Boss?”
Harry told him about the man he had saved from the spiders, the man who insisted he was from another dimension and was currently upstairs making phone calls to confirm it.
“Oh Boss that’s not good.”
“Yeah, I got that. But Xander’s not an Outsider, he’s definitely human.”
Harry had used his the Sight to take a look at Xander when he had been explaining the Nevernever. He was in armor and the ax he held was a shining sword, but the most telling was that Xander shone almost as brightly as Murphy who Harry had always thought looked as close to an avenging angel as anyone could.
“That all depends on your definition of an Outsider. Technically anything that’s not from our world is an Outsider. Wizards just have a habit of only summoning up the truly nasty stuff so most Outsiders are pretty impressive.” Impressive was an understatement if Harry had ever heard one. The Outsiders that he knew of were immune to most magics and even the members the Senior Council, the most powerful and experienced wizards alive, baulked at the thought of going up against one.
“Xander gave the impression that he came from another version of Earth, he even cracked a Harry Potter joke. That just doesn’t sound like an Outsider.”
“Well it’s not as if there’s a whole lot of info on what’s out there. Anything could be beyond the gates, alternate version of Earth isn’t impossible, but Boss, the White Council’s got the Gates pretty locked down and if things are falling through then… Are you sure this guy’s not just crazy?” Bob asked hopefully
“I don’t think he’s crazy, Bob”
“That’s right Boss because you always
get the right impressions of people,” Bob said in an upbeat tone that reeked of sarcasm.
“Mouse liked him,” Harry said crossing his arms, he might not always be right about people, but Mouse was never wrong. “Looks like I’m going to have to make some calls of my own.”
“Looks that way Boss” Bob agreed cheerfully
Harry heaved a sigh. He hated asking the council for help, even if he was a Warden.......... AN: Details of the Outer Gates aren't outlined in the books, neither is the time Pre White Council. So, I just went with it and filled in some details of my own :)