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Career Counseling

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Summary: Someone visits Sunnydale during the summer, and Xander's life is never going to be the same.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-CenteredGreywizardFR1535,09326120,07219 Dec 122 Mar 14No

Chapter One

Disclaimer: They all belong to Crack-Head Joss and ME. Deal with it. I have.

Category: Multi-crossover in later chapters.

Time Frame: Set in the summer following the Season One finale 'Prophecy Girl.'

Spoilers: None intended, but if you don’t know what happened up to this point, why are you reading this story?

Character Bashing: None.

Feedback: Of course!

Archiving: Talk to me first, please.

Author’s Note 1: Many thanks to Bill Haden and Theo (Starway_Man) for beta-ing this story.

Author’s Note 2: As usual, “word” indicates speech, :: word :: indicates mental communication and { word } indicates a character's thoughts.

Author’s Note 3: This is a plot bunyip which has been pestering me for a while, and I'm writing this to try and banish it. I'm not sure exactly when I'll be following this up

Author’s Note 4: This is story #19 in my own personal Christmas Fic-A-Day Challenge.

~/~/~

Kingman's Bluff
Sunnydale, CA

June 28, 1997

Xander Harris lurched upright from his previously relaxed slump against the side of a massive oak tree as he noticed the air a few meters away begin to shimmer with an iridescent sheen while swirling in a haphazard, generally counterclockwise pattern.

"What the Hellmouth-?" Xander murmured as the light show before him seemed to gain in solidity. An instant later, a foot abruptly poked through, followed a fraction of a second later by the rest of the body it was attached to.

As the light show abruptly vanished, just as silently as it had appeared, Harris blinked with surprise and evaluated the appearance of the man now standing in front of him.

The obviously supernatural arrival was wearing a T-shirt that read 'Your village called – They want their idiot back,' jeans, tactical boots and a broken-in, but still serviceable leather jacket. And, interestedly enough, he was carrying a rucksack over his right shoulder, just like any of the myriad youth seen hitchhiking along most major roads.

Tall, dark-haired, with several days' growth worth of beard not concealing the rather smug smirk on his face, the man who'd just stepped through what was clearly some sort of interdimensional portal seemed vaguely familiar to the Xander, but the teen couldn’t really put his finger on exactly why he felt that way.

"Excellent!" the guy exclaimed as he glanced around and noticed Harris sprawled beneath the oak tree, before rubbing his hands the same way mad scientists in old horror movies used to do. All the while, the smile on his face practically stretched from ear to ear.

"You're Xander Harris, right?" the new arrival stated, more than asked as he walked over to look down at the extremely puzzled teen slouched on the grass and staring up at him.

"Ah, why am I even bothering to ask?" the guy then stated, apparently rhetorically. "Of course, you are. That's why I showed up here, after all."

"Yeah, I’m Xander Harris," Xander reflexively nodded his head in response to the other guy's question as he pushed himself off the ground and onto his feet. " Who's asking?"

"Alexander Lavelle Harris," the older guy introduced himself, much to the younger guy’s shock.

"But you can call me Xander," the new arrival added, his smile growing even wider at the gobsmacked look on the teen's face upon hearing his words.

"But, but, you can't be –" the wide-eyed sixteen-year-old Xander began objecting, only to be cut off by the new arrival.

"Actually, I can be, kid," the new guy said, interrupting his younger doppelganger's incipient protests. "And I am."

"And in order to avoid wasting both our time with all of the usual questions which I already know you're going to be asking, let me give you a quick rundown of exactly what the situation here is, okay?" the purported older Xander Harris said, settling down on the ground next to the teen and pausing only long enough to allow the befuddled youth to nod his agreement.

"All right-y then," the guy nodded, before launching into an explanation of his presence, "Bottom line, I'm an older version of you from an alternate reality, and I'm doing some very powerful people a favor. Said favor involves traveling to a number of alternate dimensions like this one, here, where events that have occurred in my world, haven't happened yet.

"And I'm doing this to, hopefully, prevent at least some of those things from happening here, and in the other dimensions I'm hitting," the apparent interdimensional traveler stated.

"Why?" the native Xander Harris interjected, unable to remain silent after hearing his alleged doppelganger's partial explanation.

"Why what?" the alien Xander asked, looking amused.

"Assuming this isn’t a dream after too much junk food, why did you show up here, with me? Why aren't you looking for Buffy or Giles or even Willow, instead?" the native Xander inquired, his curiosity clearly inflamed by what he'd heard.

"I’ve got my reasons, kid," the visitor answered, his eyes fixing on the teenager with a focus he found more than a bit disconcerting.

"First off, it’s much easier for me to convince you I am who I am, than any of those other people. Trust me, the odds are they’ll immediately think I’m a shapeshifter demon or something; it’s happened before, and it’ll happen again. Second, even though she's the Slayer, Buffy is just one person," the ostensible older Harris said, "and as you've seen over the course of the past year, she can be a mite stubborn in getting her own way whenever she sets her sights on something, or she believes she’s right and everyone else is wrong. Well, if your Buffy is anything like mine was, which most of them are.

"Third, given the way he acted at the end of the school year, do you really think that letting your Buffy depend solely on Deadboy is a good idea?" the new arrival questioned him.

"No way!" Xander practically spit at that particular suggestion, and his older alleged duplicate gave him another smirk as he said, "Yeah, I didn't think so."

As the elder Harris stretched out on the grass, as though relaxing, he added, "Reason number four for why I'm talking to you and not any of the other people you mentioned, is that Willow's going to be finding out some things in the next couple months that are going to have her making some pretty significant decisions about which direction her life is gonna go in," the new guy said.

"And that's really all I can say about that, because they're decisions Willow's going to have to make on her own, without any influence from anyone else," Older Xander added, when it looked as though Xander was going to ask additional questions.

"And finally – and most importantly, as far as I'm concerned – I know that you've been trying to figure out how you can help Buffy out with the Slaying more than you did this past year, and I've got the perfect way for you to do that," Xander's visitor informed him, making his younger alternate self look at him with even greater interest.

"Yeah?" the teen replied, clearly intrigued by that specific comment. "What did you have in mind?"

"Well, to put it in D&D terms, my young friend," Older Xander said with a grin, "Would you rather be a warrior, a rogue or a wizard?"


TBC
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