: Yeah, this will be an AU since I am changing some of the big events. Don’t hurt me too much. Well, read enjoy, and let me know what you think…Also, I, of course, own nothing you recognize…The PresentSunnydale, August 15, 2002
Xander returned from class that night exhausted to no end. He was slowly wearing himself away to nothing. During the day, he was working at the construction site and in the evenings sitting through long classes on drafting and machinery. Then the night was filled with slaying. The past few years had held so much hurt and pain, that Xander was still trying to digest it all. After Buffy had died he almost didn’t want to continue life himself. It was Cordelia and surprisingly Spike that had kept him going.
Spike had turned around with the chip in his head that kept him from hurting the good guys. Xander had even grown fond of the annoying vamp to a point of course. Then no one expected the feelings that Spike had for Buffy until after she died. He had become an empty shell. He would not talk, drink blood, or even complain. Then a few days after Buffy’s death Xander went to check on the vamp and found a note laying on the only piece of furniture in the small room. It read:My luv is gone, so am I.
The gang decided that Spike left for good or, an idea they tried not to think of, he had dusted himself. Maybe one day he would return again, after he had grieved for the love he couldn’t have. Or maybe he had gone to ease his own pain. That night Xander had sat in his empty apartment thinking on all that had happened, all that he had lost. There had been Jesse, the first friend lost to the supernatural. After the first, it was not easier, only harder. There was Principal Flutie, Jenny Calendar, and Faith. Xander heard that Faith was trying to redeem herself now, but he was still in pain when he thought of all that happened. All the brooding Xander was doing that night was leading him to a place that he did not need to be. He was close to losing it when there was a knock on his apartment door.
He opened it to reveal a worried Cordelia. That night she sat and just talked with him. She let him spill all his feelings on her and she just listened and nodded. She never let Xander know about the vision that had led her to his door that night. The horror of him holding a gun to his head stayed with her for the rest of her life. Xander was spared that night, but had changed. A shadow seemed to follow him and he couldn’t shake it. Now he was just a tired young adult who had survived a war that nobody should fight. All he wanted to do was curl up in his comfy recliner and try to forget the horrors that plagued him every time he closed his eyes.
But no sooner had he sat in his tattered recliner than a knock on the door told him that it was time to go play the unknown hero and save unsuspecting citizens from the horrors of the night. He took a deep breath then crossed the floor to door knowing who was standing on the other side.
“Hey Xander, are you ready to meet our nightly slayage quota? Oz, Giles, and Joyce are going to meet us at the Magic Box.” The red head grinned at her long time best friend. Willow had noticed that Xander had become more withdrawn from the group lately and he wasn’t his normal abnormal self. She figured it was the stress of work, classes, and slaying all catching up with him. Yet something in her intuition told her it was even deeper than that. Sometimes Willow just wished that someone one come along who could understand Xander and give him the attention that he needed in his life.
“Let me grab my gear and I’ll be right out Will.” Xander grabbed a bag he kept near the door that contained all the essentials to living on the hellmouth. It contained everything from Holy water to stakes to Playboy magazine (everyone needs a little entertainment now and then). He swung his black leather jacket, a surprising gift from Angel (Dead Boy was starting to grow on him), over his shoulder and left his run down apartment with Willow to go see what vamp, demon, or other horror awaited them tonight.
Giles sat in the back room of the Magic Box in the exact same seat he had been in all day. Joyce had brought him some food and drinks but he had not touched any of it. He just sat reading an ancient book with an unreadable expression on his face.
“Rupert,” Joyce tried to get his attention, “the others will be here soon. You’ve been looking at the dusty old book all day what does it have in it.”
Giles continued staring at the book and Joyce walked to the front of the store exasperated at the man she loved. ‘Why do men have to be such a one track mind,’ she thought to herself. She heard the door open at the front of the shop, so she went to greet her deceased daughter's best friends. She now considered all three of them like they were her own. At least they would talk to her, unlike the man with the dusty old book.
Giles could not believe he had found a copy of the book he had been holding all day. They had found it the night before when they had tracked a vampire group back to their nest. It was in pile of other ancient texts, but this one had drawn Giles attention the most. Nostradamus had written the book. It was not even known to exist and Giles could not put it down. He had managed by this time to figure out the time frames and places that were written the book. Many of the events he found had already occurred, but there were two that kept Giles transfixed on the pages. They roughly translated to:In the land of stars, and on the first,
That summer, fall will come,
Sun shall not shine,
Unless The Seer sees death
The One has come,
He learns his way, his life.
Sun shall shine.
But all will fall without.
After a day of staring at these puzzling pieces, Giles had only made a few conclusions. The quatrains that were found did not follow the same pattern as previous documents believed to be by Nostradamus. But Giles determined that the first one was talking about California, the land of stars, in the year 2001. He thought that it could possibly be describing Buffy’s death with the fall in the summer. The only Seer he could think of was Cordelia, but nothing major had happened with her seeing death. She hadn’t even seen Buffy’s death.
The second one had him completely perplexed. The One sounded like it could be a slayer, but the text said he, and no male had ever been called as a slayer. Although, Giles felt that the need to find the next slayer was greater if this was the case, because it did say that without, all will fall. Just then, Giles was torn from his day long pondering when someone grabbed the book from his hands.
“Hey, earth to G-Man, what visions of doom does this book have in it? Or does it contain stories of hot women who would do anything that a man asks her to do?”
Giles looked up at the young man he had grown close to over the years and gave him a disapproving stare. “It is actually a book written by Nostradamus and I believe we have some research we have to do now. It may mean life or death for everyone."
The group looked at Giles as he said the words they had grown so use to hearing over the years. Life and death was something they faced everyday, and they weren’t going to let death catch them yet. “What books do we need to look at first?” Willow stepped up ready to get to work.
“What kind of doughnuts does everyone want? I’m going for the creamy filled kind myself.”
Xander left to get the doughnuts, the longer he took the less research he had to do. 'Ahh, the life of the doughnut man,' Xander thought as he walked down the darkened street.