AUTHOR: Siege (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DISTRIBUTION: Anywhere just let me know 'K
DEDICATION: To Vincent, my son. May Gene Roddenberry’s vision come true so that you may see humanity, as it could be.
DISCLAIMER: All things BtVS related belong to Joss Wheadon and M.E. Star trek and all that belong to someone else, not me.
SUMMARY: Part of the Prometheus-Verse (Tentative Title) series of stories, Comes after To Go Where No Xander Has Gone Before,
Where ever did Satan send Xander to?
FEEDBACK: Please Do, and if you check My Website you will find "The Wall". I am trying to put everyone who gives me Feedback
on "The Wall" to show that I read it and Thank you :-)
KEYWORDS: BtVS, Star Trek TNG, Voyager, DS9
BETA READ: Merlin The Enchanter.
AUTHORS NOTES: N/A
CHAPTER 1, REDUX
Xander’s eyes flickered open slowly his eyes swimming and head throbbing as his various senses started to report information to his abused brain. His cheek was telling him that it was laying on something wet and cold. His noise reported a musty smell, earthy tones mixed in with a vague whiff of Vanilla Planifolia. Although his brain replied it didn’t know what that was. His arm screamed that he was bleeding and his hair was telling him that there was a breeze. Then his mind interjected that he’d spat into the devils eye. But he decided that he couldn’t deal with that right then. Then that sixth sense that says when someone is close by or watching told him that someone was indeed close by. He heard a soft footfall and reacted with instinct. He was on his feet and facing the threat with his katana in a flash.
His eyes then told him something he couldn’t believe.
“I don’t know who you are buster but you shouldn’t go to sleep in the cemetery even with that pig sticker” said a feminine voice.
Xander stared shocked into immobility.
“Hey, mister, put it away, I’ve got no problem with you ok?”
Xander stayed still not trusting himself to move or speak, or even think.
“Ok buster, you getting on my nerves now” the female form said and took up a fighting stance that made Xander’s heart sing. Then a horrible thought occurred to him.
“No, no its not real, this isn’t funny, you bastard” Xander shouted into the sky. “You can’t get me like this”
The woman, a fairly young woman, short and petite became very still her mouth open in shock. She looked more closely the strangers voice triggering something within her. She could see a fairly tall man with dark hair wearing all black, a full- length frock jacket; dirty, black trousers also dirty. She noticed that he wasn’t wearing a shirt a glimpse of chiseled pectoral muscles just visible. But it was his face that had caused her to freeze her blood running to ice. “Xander?” she said hesitantly.
“This isn’t fair you son of a bitch” Xander raged, the sound of her voice cutting him to the core, a few tears leaked out of his eyes, “This isn’t fair” he said as the reality of the situation started to sink in.
“Xander?” she said stepping in closer.
He looked into a pair of tearful hazel eyes, “Buffy” he breathed.
Buffy’s face-hardened, “I don’t know where you’ve been hiding vampire, but you picked the wrong face”
“No, no, buff wait” Xander tried to stop her but it was to late she had already launched a punch. He blocked it.
“Oh, so you wanna play” Buffy said her face grim.
“No wait, buff,” Xander blocked the next strike falling back, “It’s me” he paused to grunt as he blocked another strike, “I’m not a vampire. Look” he said pulling out his cross and holding it in his hand.
Buffy stopped dead, “Xander?” she said her voice full of emotion.
Xander nodded and stepped forward, “Buffy, oh god Buffy this isn’t fair” he said
Buffy ignored his words and rushed into his willing embrace.
24th Century, Bay Towers
Seven slumped to the floor, “Xander?”
“Gone” Maria said her heart clenched.
“There was someone there, maybe...” Dee trailed off at a loss for words.
“We have to go back” Gabriel said, “How did we get there? The medallion”
“Xander has it” Maria said staring off into space slumping down next to her distraught Slayer and pulling her into a hug.
“Oh god, no” Zandra said tears forming in her eyes.
“We have to go back” Gabriel repeated, “I owe him, I can’t repay it if he’s d…”
He was cut off by Dee slapping him and she looked into his eyes with fire “Don’t say it”
“He would’ve found a way out right?” Jacinta sobbed, “Right?”
Buffy hadn’t let go of Xander all the way back to her house, hadn’t let him out of her site up until they reached her door, then she only glanced away to place the key in the lock. It snicked open and she dragged him inside.
Xander stood in the doorway holding it for support as he saw the people who had been the most important in his life, Willow with Tara, Giles, Dawn and Buffy, who walked to the centre of the room and cleared her throat. The chatting people stopped and looked at her. She beamed at them and just pointed at the door.
They turned as one and Xander watched as the color drained from their faces. The room became suddenly still.
“Buffy, what the hell do you think you’re doing, stake it” Giles said angrily striding forward to do it himself.
Buffy stepped in his way, “He’s not a vampire, Giles, look at his chest,” she said indicating Xander’s bare chest where rested a silver cross, something she hadn’t noticed before. She’d been a bit put off by the amount of muscle her old friend was showing.
“Oh god” Giles said words failing him for the first time in his life, “Oh God”
Willow stood up and squeaked, then promptly fainted back into Tara’s waiting arms. Xander winced slightly at that.
Dawn got up very slowly then without appearing to cross the distance in the middle she jumped into Xander’s arms. “Xander, Xander, Xander”
“That’s my Name, don’t wear it out Dawnie.” Xander said smirking. Dawn looked up at him her big eyes full of tears then she suddenly kissed him on the cheek and hugged him to her with all her might.
Giles stepped forward and placed a hand on either of Xander’s shoulders noting that there was more too them than he remembered, then he smiled, “Welcome back my boy, where have you been?”
Xander smiled warmly then laughed, “That is a long story G-man”
Giles smiled, “I’ve never been so happy as to hear you say that”
24th Century, Sector 12; Grid 15
The Intrepid Class ship slowed to dead halt hanging in the vastness of space without sound.
Captain Carman was a tall man, nearly seven foot but he wasn’t the sort of man who used his height to intimidate, his crew loved him because he was firm, but fair. He was graying at the temples at nearly 50 earth years, but he was still a virile man.
“Helm, are we at all stop?” he said.
The helm officer, a young man just out of the academy turned slightly in his seat, “Aye Sir”
Carman smiled in a fatherly way, “Helm, you can call me captain”
The operations officer looked up from her board, “Showing green across the board sir, except a fluctuation in the upper Quantum bands”
She was cut off as the ship suddenly lurched under their feet, “Shields…” the captain started but cut off as the ship was attacked from a dozen different directions. Phaser fires cutting the small ship apart like putty. Captain Carman only had time to hit a button on his chair before his world turned white and he and the 270 strong crewmembers were vaporized into the vacuum of space.
21st Century, 220 Revello Drive
It had taken some time, but they had managed to wake Willow up and stop her from fainting again as they re-introduced her to her once life long friend. Buffy smiled to herself as she watched Willow and Xander Interact, she’d taken a back seat for a while, letting the others welcome their friend back. The questions she had would wait, her own hellos and hugs would come soon enough. So she took the opportunity to study this new Xander.
He was, new, the once gawky young man had matured into a man, and powerfully built he held himself with a confidence she had never known him to exude before. When he walked he walked like a panther, a fighter. Buffy knew that wherever he had been it had been somewhere where he’d been fighting, just like he always had. She wondered if the war he’d been fighting in was the same as the one he always had. The war against evil the war to hold back the demons from overrunning earth. She couldn’t be sure, but she was almost certain it would’ve been.
Then there was there way he was dressed. It suited him, the cut of the coat showing off his height, something that normally he tried to hide, or did. His shoulders were much broader and those muscles. Buffy shied away from that thought but she blushed slightly.
Xander turned and found Buffy watching him and shot her a disarming smile, “Hey Buffster, whatcha doing all the way over here?” he said was he walked over to her leaving Willow babbling at the others. He took a seat next to her on the couch and stretched out his legs.
Buffy sniffed, “Xan…”
“Can I smell blood?”
“Oh, that” Xander said quickly hiding his arm. Buffy spotted him and grabbed it before he could hide it away. She pulled up his sleeve and gasped.
“This looks like a bite” she said inspecting it. “It needs cleansing”
“What?” Xander said sharply.
“I said it needs cleaning,” Buffy said getting up to fetch the first aid kit.
Xander shook his head blinking rapidly.
Buffy returned quickly and set out the kit, “Here, let me take a closer look”
Xander held out his arm with a strange expression in his eyes.
“What?” Buffy asked worried.
“Nothing, just a case of De-Ja-vu”
“Oh, all over again hey” Buffy said smiling into his eyes.
“So, you were dead” Xander said smirking.
“I got better” Buffy said off handily.
“Takes more than mere death to keep my Buffy down” Xander said proudly.
“Your Buffy?” Buffy said with a slight smile.
“Always” Xander replied.
“You’re different” Buffy told him
“Yeah, you seem, I dunno more confidant”
“Maybe, been busy, had to grow up”
“Really, whatcha bin doing?”
“Ah, I wondered how long it would take someone to ask”
“Well, you die, your body disappears from the morgue and then two years later you turn up out of the blue”
“Two years?” Xander asked shocked, “Two years, you serious”
“Oh yeah, why, how longs it been for you?” Buffy asked curiously.
“Less than a year. Man I hate time travel,” he said vehemently.
24th Century, En-route to Sector 001.
Picard turned to his number one officer with a smile, “We seem to be visiting earth more than usual lately don’t we” he said.
“That we do captain, its like they don’t trust us anymore” Riker replied.
“Perhaps a certain section has decided that it is better to keep us close and under a watchful eye.”
“Either that or Admiral Janeway has pulled some strings to keep us close in case we’re needed”
Picard nodded, “That is very true number one. Tell me, what did you think of her?”
Riker went to stroke his non-existent beard, “Capable, tough but fair, attractive too”
Picard favored him with a thin smile, “I agree, and she appears to be on our side as it were”
“Always a good thing Captain, the more friends we have the better”
Picard nodded he opened his mouth to speak but a flash of white light interrupted him. Once it had cleared the all too familiar form of Q was standing on his deck with an attractive female with long red hair standing next to him holding an infant.
“Q, how nice of you to drop by”
Q didn’t reply with a quip as would be his normal response instead he said, “Can I talk to you in your ready room captain?” he asked.
Picard looked at him shocked to the core at having a request from the thorn in his side; “Certainly” he managed finally regaining his composure.
Then Q walked, actually walked to the ready room waiting for the captain to go in before him. The doors hissed to a close and the female Q sat down in the Captains chair with a regal air about her. Riker glared at her until she finally sighed and moved over into Troi’s normal seat. Once that was done Riker softened slightly and looked down at the baby. “Who are you and who is he?”
“I’m Q, and this is little Q mine and Q’s son”
Riker goggled at her.
Q turned to Picard as soon as the door closed his face more intent and free from mischief as ever Picard had seen it. “Where is he?” he demanded.
“You don’t know?” Picard said with wry humor.
Q’s face darkened and the lights dimmed, “Now is not time for petty grudges Jean-Luc. It is of Galactic, no, Universal importance that I find Xander now”
Picard looked seriously at the super being, “I don’t know” he said simply.
“Damn it, he’s hidden him from me, I need your help Picard. Call his home, get his friends involved anything I’ll try my way.” Q said lifting his fingers to click, “Oh, and look after little Q” with that he clicked his fingers and was gone.
Picard blew out an annoyed breath.
Q wasn’t sure what to do at first; Satan himself was blocking Xander’s signature. That meant that not even Q could find him, but then what he’d said to Picard took shape. What would Picard do, he would follow a logical path. Q thought about that for a moment and realized that he’d already tried watching to see what had happened, no that was shielded from him as well. What did that leave? What would Picard say, start at the beginning, yes, that was what he’d do, start at the beginning, but in which universe?
Q started to sift through the sands of time.
24th Century, Enterprise
Picard walked out of his ready room and tugged his jersey; “Get me Earth, 25 Bay Towers, now”
Data’s hands flew over the LCARS system looking up the relevant data and acting on it, within seconds a tear stained face appeared on the screen.
Picard recognized the face of Mrs. Maria Michaels and his heart sunk.
“Captain Picard, what can we do for you?” she asked her voice steady.
“Mrs. Michaels, I am looking for Xander”
He winced as her eyes filled with tears but she controlled them and stopped their spill. “I can’t answer that captain, because I don’t know”
Picard nodded, accepting that for now, “Perhaps I could talk to Seven Of Nine”
Maria glanced of screen her face showed extreme sympathy for a moment and switched back to Picard, “No I’m afraid she is in no condition to talk”
“I see, may I ask” Picard softened his voice, “What’s happened to Xander”
Now the tears fell. “He’s gone” she said her voice sounding lost.
The female Q gasped, attracting Picard's attention, she had blanched. Deciding that anything that could make a Q blanch was worthy of concern he turned to his helm officer, “Warp 9.9, Earth” his face was bleak, “Engage”
“Captain, that is inadvisable” The officer started, effectively ending his career.
“Data” Picard snapped, "Take the Helm!"
The gold skinned android moved from his science station only to be cut off by Riker who nodded at him before turning a baleful look at the Lieutenant.
“You’re relived of duty Lieutenant, confine yourself to quarters until I’ve had time to deal with you” Riker said standing and taking the helm himself from the suddenly white officer.
Picard fancied he could feel the mighty ship lurch into action under his feet, “Now Mrs. Michaels, please; tell me what happened”
21st Century, Revello Drive
Buffy goggled at him, “Less that a year, where have you been?”
“That’s a very long and very weird story, Buff”
“I’m listening” Buffy said.
“We all are” Giles said taking a seat as Willow, Tara and Dawn did the same.
“Ganging up on me hey”
“You Betcha!” Willow said perkily, she was feeling pretty damn perky; after all she’d just got her oldest friend back.
“Ok, where do I start” Xander said wondering what, if anything he could tell them.
“You died” Buffy said
“I got better” Xander shot back at her with a smile, “Ok, well I woke up in this white room, beautiful white light and you know I thought that, that was that. This guy turns up wearing this funky outfit and we talk. For a minute I thought it was St Peter or something. Well, whatever else he is Q is not angelic”
“I’ll get to that, basically I had to go somewhere, a long way away from here and help a slayer”
“Another one” Giles said in shock, “Faith is still in prison the last time I checked with Angel”
“No, as I said it was a long way away” Xander paused, “They have their own slayers”
“Oh?” Willow said her lips pursed in thought. “I understood it that a slayer had to die to activate another one”
“I did” Buffy said her voice small.
“Why hasn’t the council heard of this slayer?” Giles asked
“Not everything makes shows up on the councils Sensors”
“Sensors?” Tara said quietly.
“Yeah, you know like radar” Xander elaborated.
“Oh” Tara said looking at Xander’s aura in confusion.
“Well that’s it really, I’ve been fighting the same ole fight, just in a different place”
“So what’s her name?” Dawn asked.
“Jacinta” Xander told her with a smile.
Dawn screwed up her face with confusion, “Jacinta, that’s a weird name”
“Its Indian, It means Beautiful”
“Oh, really and is she” Dawn said with a smirk, “Got a new woman in your life?”
Xander laughed, “You don’t want to know Dawnie, trust me well I tell you this”
Buffy shared a look with Willow, “Oh no, now we’re really interested” she said with an evil grin.
Xander groaned, “Oh how to explain the complicated knot that is my love life”
“So is this Jacinta a part of it?” Willow asked leaning back into Tara’s embrace with a smile on her face.
Xander shook his head, “No, she’s like I dunno a sister or something. No currently she’s kinda interested in this guy called Gabriel, I ask you what sort of guy is called Gabriel”
“Is it just me or does he sound jealous?” Buffy said with a chuckle.
“You know people keep telling me that, I just look out for her is all, besides…” Xander trailed off with a slightly pained expression.
“Go on…” Dawn said eagerly.
Xander looked to Giles for help who just smirked at him.
“Oh thanks, OK, well I’m interested in this woman called Sev… Anika”
“Sev…” Buffy prompted.
“Sort of a nick name, Seven”
“Don’t ask Willow, you wouldn’t believe me if I told you”
“Oh” Willow said disappointed
“But…” Dawn prompted
“You know you’re very interested in my love life Dawnie”
Dawn shrugged with an impish grin, “Just looking out for my man”
“Your man” Buffy said with a lifted eyebrow
“When I’m legal he is”
Xander laughed, “That’s possibly the nicest thing anyone’s ever said to me” he said smiling.
Dawn nodded, “Of course it is, now back to this Seven character”
“Well, she wasn’t interested” Xander said with a minute glance at Buffy.
“Ok, but it sounds like there’s more”
“Ok, well where I was there is this group called Section 31, they’re a bit like the Initiative”
“Okay, but what’s that got to do with it” Willow asked.
“Well, there’s this agent called Dee…”
“Xander! You didn’t” Giles said with a laugh.
“Well, I didn’t fall for her or anything, its just S…” he glanced at Dawn, “…Some Companionship” he corrected himself, “Besides it was her mission”
“I hope she didn’t get what she was sent for”
Xander nodded, “Oh she did, I gave it to her, no hang on that didn’t sound right” he corrected over gales of laughter.
“So who are you that military types send seductive agents after, 007 and a half?” Buffy asked him shaking her head in laughter, “Somehow I don’t see it”
“As you said, Buff, I’ve changed. They want what I’ve got in my head and they didn’t think to just ask. Typical Military types”
“What is it in your head they wanted”
“Knowledge of demons, how to kill them and all that stuff”
“You know all that” Dawn asked.
Xander shared a glance with Giles who smiled at him and said, “Xander was ‘research boy’ as I believe he put it, and despite his lack of self-esteem in that regard he was and I suspect is a very bright student. He learned many things during free periods. He said that he wanted to be able to help so he learnt”
“Alright G-man, you didn’t have to tell them all of that. Lets just say I know my Mohra from my Polgaran.”
“You’re fit too” Dawn said eying his naked chest just peeking out of his open jacket.
“Why thank you miss”
Dawn blushed as Buffy glared at her, “I mean you’re in shape”
“And a very nice shape it is” Tara said shocking them all, “What I’m a lesbian, that doesn’t mean I can’t see”
Willow laughed, she was glad that Tara was showing glimpses of the person she knew to her friends.
Buffy shook her head, “O…K….” she drawled.
“What like you weren’t looking,” Dawn said with a smirk.
Xander shrugged off his jacket, shed his trousers and kicked his shoes and socks off, then pulling off his boxers he stepped under the steaming water letting out a sigh of pleasure as the wickedly hot water hit his skin. They had talked well into the early hours trying to get as much information as they could from their returned friend before finally Xander had yawned and been packaged off to bed, now it was morning and Xander had snagged the bathroom before any of the woman who lived there could.
There was a light knock at the door, “Xan?”
“Yeah” Xander called over the sound of the shower.
“I brought you some clothes” Buffy called through the door. “I thought we could put your clothes in the wash”
Xander chuckled, “Sure thing”
“Are you decent” he heard her ask.
“Nope, but don’t let that stop you” Xander replied smirking.
Buffy stared at the door in shock then shrugged and stepped in, figuring that he was joking luckily he had pulled the shower curtain across but she still caught a glimpse of him that caused her to blush scarlet. “Oh, urm, oh” she said.
“Just bung them over there buff” Xander said putting his face under the spray. Spending so much time in the presence of women lately had stripped him of his petty imbursements. Well a couple in particular had stripped him, so to speak, of his worry of being seen naked.
Buffy collected the clothes quickly and virtually ran from the room. As the door closed behind her she heard Xander chuckle throatily, it was a very strange thing to hear the once painfully self-confidence lacking man doing. It was what could only be described as an evil chuckle, not truly evil like the sound of Angelus about to strike, but one of a man with a wicked sense of humor. Buffy pursed her lips opened the door and walked over to the toilet.
“Back again Buff?” Xander said through his chuckles.
“Just had to do something”
“Well hurry up the waters great”
“Oh, nice and warm is it?” she asked innocently.
“Yep, come in and try it”
“You wish” she replied and pulled the flush.
“Yeaow” Xander said as the water turned ice cold, he heard the door click closed and laughed loudly. “Ok, so maybe I deserved that” he said to himself dipping his head back into the shower and enjoying the icy shower almost as much as the hot. That is until it reminded him of standing in Pylea under the rain, then turning and seeing his friends. He then thought of Seven and his face turned sad and he rested his head against the wall tiles.
Buffy looked up with a smirk as Xander walked down the stairs wearing a set of his own old clothes that had been left there on a sleep over. He was toweling his hair dry as he went. “Enjoy your shower?” she asked innocently.
“Yeah, thanks, I think you need to get your plumping checked though, for some reason it went kinda cold all of a sudden, can’t think why” he said eyeing her and trying not to smile.
“Well, you know what they say, a cold shower is good for you” Buffy told him primly hiding a smile of her own.
“After the day I’ve had, I’m not sure bromide would help” Xander muttered to himself.
Buffy who had sharper than normal slayer hearing frowned, “Bromide?” she said.
Xander blushed, “nothing” he said quickly
Buffy nodded sagely, “Oh, so the Se…Some Companionship was what I thought it was” she said slowly then smiled widely at him.
“Oh ha, ha, laugh it up”
“You know Anya left” Buffy said suddenly serious.
Xander nodded, “I thought she would” he said quietly, “She wasn’t ready for that”
“Why didn’t you come back?” Buffy said asking the question that had been plaguing her and keeping her awake the entire night.
“I couldn’t,” he said simply.
“You’re back now”
Xander nodded, “Yes I am, and you know why?”
Buffy shook her head.
“Nor do I but I have an idea and I don’t like it”
Buffy frowned but shook it off, “So, what’s the plan for you today”
“Well, I’ve got no money, no ID and I’m officially dead. So what do you do in a situation like this?”
Buffy smiled, and shook her head his humor infectious
“No, well its easy, you grab a gorgeous blonde” he said taking Buffy by the hand, “Then you get her to by you a coffee at Starbucks” he smirked, “And hit the mall and do all those things you’ve not been able to do whilst you’ve been away”
Buffy laughed, “I think Willow will want in on that,” she told him.
“Are all I need now is another blonde, an old English man and a brunette” Xander said.
Buffy pursed her lips, “Well you know I think I know where we can get those,” she said.
“Ah, you’re a genius Buff” 24th Century, Bay Towers
Maria wandered through a virtual treasure trove of Watcher goods her head heavy. She had told Picard everything, uncaring of any potential security issues; now that Xander was gone it didn’t seem important. She picked up a globe and stroked its surface sadly.
She nearly dropped it as it came to life in her hands glowing bright aqua blue. A small figure formed inside of it.
She looked at it in shock, it was the figure of her forefather “Rupert Giles” she said.
“I am” it said, “In a manner of speaking. The spell was a success?”
“The council is whole again, you have retrieved the archive”
“Oh yes” Maria said feeling a little foolish talking to a globe.
“You are of my line, are you not?”
“Then I have an admission”
“Your memories are incomplete”
“Tell me about it” Maria sighed.
“There is reason, but it is of no import now, I am those missing memories” the figure said seeming to grow and shrink at the same time it shot out of the globe and up her arm. She didn’t even have time to scream before slumping down to the ground. Same Time, The USS Ulysses, Sector 22101
“My god what is that” Captain Maynard said in shook. In the view screen of his Nova class ship was a turbulent boiling of the very fabric of space itself.
“Manners, talk to me” the captain said.
The science officer turn to his captain, “I’m sorry Captain I can’t tell you anything. Other than it appears to be some sort of dimensional tear. But that’s subjective because the sensors won’t read it. We can see it but we can’t analyze it”
Maynard held his chin leaning forward in his chair, he was a scientist first and foremost and a captain second, “What about a Class III probe,” he said thoughtfully.
“Sir?” Manners asked.
“Launch a Class II Probe into the damn things maul”
Manners tapped in the appropriate commands. “Probe ready, Sir”
“Launch!” Maynard said and turned to his first officer, “What do you think First Officer?”
Maynard’s Number One tilted her head applying her Vulcan logic, “Without further data I can tell you no more than Ensign Manners”
Maynard smirked; his long association with T’rell had made him accustomed to Vulcan body language. He knew that it was understood that Vulcan’s had no specific body language and he knew some thought that Vulcan’s showed no emotion. They were wrong. He knew that his first officer was as excited as he was.
“Telemetry coming in from the Probe, Sir” Manners told him.
“Tell it to me, Mr. Manners”
“Probe approaching a thousand Kilometers distance and is showing quantum fluxions on all bands, there are also Chronometric Particles. It’s approaching 500 Kilometers and now showing that the upper EM band is full of static and, Sir, look at the visual.
Manners punched up the visual feed from the probe and the collective mouth of the bridge dropped open. “What, in gods name is that” Maynard exclaimed.
The feed showed a massive creature entering space via what was almost certainly a dimensional tear. It was a gargantuan; the probe was showing the measurements as it scanned the creature. It was the size of an Ambassador class ship, 323 wide from bat like wing to bat like wing, and it was 526 long with a head the size of his own ship. A long maul with razor sharp looking teeth was the last thing the probe saw as the thing lashed out quickly and snapped the probe out of space.
Maynard’s eyes widened, “Helm reverse course, get us out of here top speed. Ops send out a buoy just in case and prepare a priority transmission”
His crew leapt into action like the well-oiled team they were and the Nova class ship warped away just as the giant snapped at it.
24th Century, Bay Towers
Dee looked around her at the assembled misery, it was a new thing to her this feeling of missing something. She tried to push it from her mind but with little luck. She got up and started to pace the room, wandering around the strange and wonderful artifacts without much interest. She could not and would not allow herself to have feelings. In her profession they were suicide. If Xander had not died would she have fallen for him? She wasn’t sure; she already knew that he loved another, at least one other. She knew that he seemed to have an infinite capacity for love and wondered briefly if some of that big heart could have been hers.
Dee stopped her pacing and shook off the tears that were falling from her luminous eyes with an air of annoyance. She firmed her jaw and set her lips into a thin line. It didn’t matter know, all that mattered now was the mission. That was what she would concentrate on and not on flights of emotional fancy.
She was briefly jealous of Gabriel, the man had lost so much but at least he was free, free from the section. Of course when she’d started it had been voluntary. Her almost religious fever for the good of the federation had carried her through many a horrible night on her back. Now she had something else to help her through, a memory of a man who’d been more than she’d thought. A man who’d been gentle and loving and above all, a man who’d known what she was and what she did and didn’t care.
Dee straightened her back and smiled slightly before pressing her necklace with two fingers and shimmering out of existence, her last thought as the transporter took hold of her was of a mission that she’d actually enjoyed.
21st Century, Restfield Cemetery
Buffy perched on the gravestone of a Mr. Michael Powers as she watched her friend in action. They had spent the day together doing things that twenty something’s were supposed to do with their time, shopping, hanging out enjoying each other’s company and generally relaxing for the first time in a long time. Xander had laughed and joked with them, but not like he used to. She’d said it before and she’d say it again, this Xander Harris was a very different man to the one who she had known.
It wasn’t that he was any less Xander; it was that he was something else as well. Mature, sort of, responsibility looked good on him. But there were other things as well. Like now, the way he fought was different. Before her death Xander hadn’t been the best fighter in the world, but then he wasn’t bad either. He was able to go toe to toe with a vampire and come out on top nine times out of ten. Now, well, now was different.
Xander ducked and thrust out his arm in a powerful punch that folder the vampire in half. Then the silver of his katana flashed in the moonlight and the vamp exploded into dust. He quickly checked the area stepping quickly over to another vampire who was moving away. “Yo! Fang face”
The vampire turned and sneered at him, “Blood bag”
“Oh, very original”
“I bet you’d not be so big without that butter knife”
Xander smiled, “Really ya think?”
“Come on, unless your afraid” the vampire said.
Buffy smirked, like Xander would fall for that. Then to her horror he twirled his sword stowing it in his jacket.
“”You know the last person who said that to me is now an ambassador” Xander said.
The Vampire frowned, “What?”
Xander smirked, “Never mind, lets go, …” he said making a sign of come hither.
The vampire charged, as most vampires do with its arms outstretched and fangs bared.
Xander executed a side thrust kick that hit the charging vampire and knocked him back six feet. Then drawing his Katana he leapt forward and decapitated the hapless demon, “You must think I’m stupid” he said as the blade cut through flesh and bone.
“Well, he might have a point” he heard from behind him. He turned and smiled disarmingly at Buffy saying nothing but he indicated the dust pile.
“Ah, but what if he hadn’t charged?”
“Oh, he was definitely a charger” Xander said, “He had it written all over him. It said, I’m going to charge you, honest he shoulda made a sign and hung it around his neck”
Buffy giggled slightly, “You’re insane”
“So I’ve been told”
“Well come on champ, lets do the rounds and then head over to the Bronze, although they have jazz band tonight so it might not be worth it”
Xander smiled, “Did you say Jazz?”
24th Century, UFP HQ
Alex Cove looked up at the beautiful woman standing before him, her entire posture was stiff as a board and she appeared to be a cadet up for punishment. The thing that worried him was that she had just been congratulated in her latest mission. The book she had brought him would help them to no end. She had stolen it from right under Mr. Harris’s nose. It was a coup for the Section but Lt. Commander Dympna Amara looked like someone had just told her she was on jankers.
“Is something the matter Lt. Commander?” Admiral Cove asked his voice soft.
A pair of brown eyes met his for a moment and he had to fight of the urge to give a whole body shiver at the chill in her gaze. “No Sir” she said crisply.
“Is there anything else you would like to report?”
“Mr. Harris was lost on a mission, Admiral” came the cool reply.
Cove stared at his agent, “I see, was he lost or did you loose him?”
“He was lost, I was unable to do anything either way”
“I see” Alex said again, “Anything else”
A smile flickered on her cold red lips and her eyes bored into him, he thought for a moment he could detect satisfaction, but it was too brief to be sure, “Yes, there is a new player you should be aware of Admiral”
The smile was still there but her eyes were now staring forward, “Gabriel Masters”
Admiral Cove’s eyes widened, it had been he that had given the order to terminate the agent and he had thought it had been carried out. The entire affair had been messy, an over zealous agent had wiped out most of Master’s family before going after the man himself. A sick-o, it happened even Section’s Betazoid interviewers couldn’t catch everyone, “Well, I had thought him dead”
“It appears that he has turned his hand to Piracy Admiral, the News feeds call him Blackheart”
Cove chuckled, “Well this is interesting. Is he still at Mr. Harris’s apartment?”
“I did not see him there when I left” Dee said truthfully, she had been round the corner out of sight.
“Very well, I believe you requested leave?”
Dee nodded, “Yes Sir”
“You’ll have it, six weeks was it?”
Dee nodded again.
“Seems like a long time”
“I’m tired sir” Dee told him honestly, “This mission was hard and I’ve not taken leave in nearly three years”
“I understand Lt. Commander, no need to worry yourself, take all the time you need. You are very valuable to us”
“Thank you Sir”
Alex cove narrowed his eyes at her for a second; again her entire posture was off. Normally the type of compliment he had just bestowed on her would have an agent beaming. Yet she was as cold as she had been all the way through the meeting, “You’ve not got any Vulcan inside you have you?” he asked with a smile hoping to get a reaction.
“Not since last year, Sir” Dee said with no hint of amusement or anything else in her eyes.
“Dismissed” Cove said finally.
“Thank You, Sir” 21st Century, The Bronze
Xander walked into the nightclub known as the bronze with a smile spreading across his face, “This place never changes”, and then he muttered, “Of course in a few hundred years it’ll be buried in rubble”
There was indeed an acid jazz band playing up on stage and a few brave couples were swaying to the music. He turned to Buffy, “Quiet night”
“Yeah, well” she waved at the band, “What’d you expect”
The band stopped playing and Xander turned and looked at them for a moment, then came back to Buffy with an evil smile, “So you don’t like jazz hey, why?”
Buffy was looking around the club and didn’t notice his smile. “It’s not fast enough, nothing to dance to”
She turned around to find Xander there, gone, “Hey where…” she trailed off as she saw him talking to the bandleader.
Then he turned to her a much larger smile in place and waved her over, “How about I disprove that theory” he said.
“Oh really, how you going to do that” she said just as the bandleader came back with a trumpet and handed it carefully to Xander.
“Thanks, mines back in my Apartment, you sure you don’t mind?”
“Knock yourself out man” the African American man drawled out laconically.
Xander jumped on stage.
“Xander, what the hell are you doing” Willow said. She had walked into the club from hers and Tara’s personal patrol route in time to find Xander jump up on stage.
“Just proving that Jazz is the best music in the whole world”
“I thought you liked Country”
“The music of pain has its time and place but someone’s recently switched me on to this” Xander licked his lips and turned to the rest of the band, “1 and a 2 and a 1, 2, 3” he said and placed his lips on the trumpet. Then instinct took over and the trumpet seemed to play itself, a fast lively tune that belonged in Dixie.
Within minutes the dance floor was moving everyone infected by the upbeat tune. Buffy, Willow and Tara were all staring at Xander with smiles on their faces.
21st Century, Revello drive
Xander walked into the kitchen, “Hey Wills” he said as he noticed the red haired Wicca.
She beamed at him, “Hello you”
“What’s that what” he said then frowned himself, “I haven’t said that in ages”
Willows pout flickered into a smile, “That’s because you’re with your friends”
Xander pulled her into a hug, “I’ve missed you so bad” he said kissing her on the crown of the head. Then he reached out and snagged a smiling Tara, “And you” he said kissing her in the same place.
“Hey where’s mine” Dawn said pouting as she walked into the kitchen dressed for bed.
Xander reached out and pulled her into the growing hug kissing her as well. Buffy stepped up behind him and wrapped her arms around him from behind. Suddenly it was all too much for him and he started to cry. Giles who was sat at the counter smiled warmly as the group huddle started to sniffle in time with each other. He was tempted to join it himself. Until Xander looked up and met his eyes, they were not the eyes of a happy man, he looked infinitely sad, torn.
Giles shot to his feet “My god man, whatever’s the matter”
Xander shook his head at him, “Nothing Giles, nothing” he said his voice sounding far away, “I’ve just miss you all so much”
Willow looked up sharply, “Miss?”
Xander stepped away from the huddle grudgingly, he sniffed once more and then his eyes burned, “Q!” he called out.
“Xander whatever is the matter?” Q Continuum
Another universe gone, Q took a figurative breath and was about to turn to the next when he felt a tickle in the back of his mind.
21st Century, Revello Drive
“Q!” Xander called out again. “I’m so sorry, I’ve just realized this is what he wants”
“What who wants?” Buffy asked tears in her eyes, “What ever it is we’ll deal Xan. We need you here with us”
“Yeah, please don’t go I don’t wanna loose you again” Willow said biting her lip.
“I know, but I have a job to do where I came from, I was sent back here to get me out of the way.” Xander said smiling warmly at them, then his eyes snapped to Buffy, “Do me a favor Buff”
“If you ever see the devil, spit in his eye and tell him it’s from me” Xander said passionately, “Q!” he called. Q Continuum
The tickle grew into an itch and Q started to sift faster and faster until the power he was putting out started to attract attention from his fellow Q, the watched him as he seemed to buzz through different dimensions, alternate universes were inspected within a blink of a Q type eye. They looked to each other with what passed for surprise on their faces as Q started to multiple the amount of realities he was sifting, in parallel. Something No Q had attempted before. He himself seemed to multiply as he tapped any and all power sources, bar one, in his quest.
21st Century, Revello Drive
Xander looked at his friends, “He’ll be here soon” he said, unsure how he knew, he just did.
“Who?” Dawn asked, “Who’s going to try to take you away from us again?” she turned to her sister, “We’ll kick its ass right?”
Buffy looked from her sister who she’d spared a proud smile, to her friend and the smile dropped. “He’s not going against his will Dawnie”
“Huh, Xander would never leave us” Dawn said so sure of herself that Xander almost believed it.
Xander cupped her chin in one hand; “Normally I’d agree Dawnie, but this time…. I’m sorry I have to go. This is what he wanted to happen, he wanted me to come back here and not leave. He can’t win”
“Who?” Willow asked
Xander met her eyes his expression grim, “Most call him Satan”
“Whoa, now that’s playing in the big leagues” Buffy said.
Dawn wiped a tear, “Honestly?” she asked.
Xander nodded, “Of course, I wouldn’t lie to one of my girls,” he glanced at Giles, “Or my stuffy English guy”
“So who is Q?” Buffy asked biting her lip.
Q suddenly stopped a thousand realities hovering in still around him; power was reverberating, as the entire multiversity seemed to hang paused. Q’s eyes were unfocused, sensing; feeling his way through the realities hanging in the void around him, and then with a triumphant laugh he dived into one of them. 21st Century, Revello Drive
White light flashed into existence in the corner of the room and Xander had to stop Buffy from attacking when the form of Q replaced it.
“Hi Q” Xander said starting forward, only to stop in his tracks when another form flashed into existence.
“Q, there you are, little Q and I were worried, the continuum is in an uproar, how did you…” the female Q cut off when she noticed the humans looking at her in shock.
“The little woman?” Xander asked with a smirk.
Q rolled his eyes.
“Xander, who are your friends?” Giles asked stepping forward protectively.
“G-man, meet Q, Q and urh, Q I suppose”
“Have you developed a stutter?” Buffy asked him smirking.
Q glared at him but there was humor in his eyes, now in the presence of the man himself he was able to lock back into his signature and what he saw made him feel, something.
He half smirked, “You spat in his eye?” he said amazed.
Xander shrugged, “He’s a bastard”
The female Q’s eyes widened, “This is he?”
Q nodded. The female Q walked towards him passing off her child to Dawn. Q smirked. He watched as his child’s eyes opened and Dawn cooed over him. The baby suddenly fascinated with the girl holding him. Q knew why even if the young Q wasn’t consciously aware of it yet. He’d not know she was here, here and now. The key, one who was as alike to him as any other creature in the galaxy, even if she had no idea that what she was, not really. The Key was sentient in so many more ways than any monk could ever know. He knew he child could sense the power lying dormant in the human shell the key currently inhabited. Q briefly wondered if she would reach her potential, or would she pass onto dust as was required by her physical form. He’d have to check later. He turned away from the cooing dawn and fascinated baby back to his wife who was inspecting Q with a critical eye.
“You’re this Xander he talked about?” the female Q said.
The female Q nodded, “I can’t see why you bother Q”
“They have potential,” Q told her by way of explanation.
“And this one?”
“Oh, he’s unique”
“We think so,” Willow said stepping into the two virtually omnipotent beings conversation without a care.
Xander blushed, “Aw, Wills you’re embarrassing me” He turned to Q, with pain in his eyes, “We have to go”
Q nodded and raised his hand. “Wait” Buffy said, “Aren’t you at least going to say goodbye?”
Q paused looking at Xander who smiled gratefully.
“Yeah” he said sadly, “I am” He walked over to Giles, “G-Man, I want you to know you’re the only father I wanted. Oh and get married and have kids, because you’d be proud of your great, great, great, great, great-whatever grand daughter.” The two men clasped hands. Then Xander turned to Tara.
“Look after her, she’s my oldest and dearest friend, and look after yourself, because you’re my friend too” Xander told her hugging her warmly.
He turned to Dawn, “I love you kiddo, look after your sister for me, and I know your going to break a lot of hearts, just don’t forget your old crush hey” Xander said softly as she wrapped herself around him.
When he finally managed to extract himself he turned to Willow. He found words failed him so he pulled her into a crushing embrace that seemed to last a very long time.
Then, finally, he stood before a softly crying Buffy. “Oh Buff, you’ll always been my hero I hope you know that” he said cupping her chin, “But you’ll always be something else as well.”
Buffy looked at him curiously. Xander took a deep breath and ducked down capturing her lips with his own he kissed her lovingly as well. When he finally broke the kiss he stared into her eyes, “You’ll always be my first love” he said backing away. Then he turned.
“Wait! Your sword” Buffy said after shaking herself from the after effects of Xander’s kiss. His sword lay where he had left it on the kitchen table.
“Keep it Buff, it’ll look after you in my absence” he told her finally turning to Q tears starting to fall.
Then he froze. “You” he hissed. 24th Century, Bay Towers
Zandra walked away from the still sobbing group looking for a little alone time. Finding somewhere away from the others wasn’t difficult with the amount of junk piled all around the apartment. She sat on a box and held her face in her hands her shoulders shaking. She wiped her eyes after a moment of silent tear shedding and something caught her eye.
The latch on the box was marked with a large stylized X. Looking for a way to distract her away from her grief, she got up and flipped the catch open.
The studied the catch for a moment then lifted the heavy lid on the trunk like box. She reached inside and pulled out an elaborate sword case.
She fished around in the box and pulled out a letter yellow with age. She placed the letter down on the side of the box and turned back to the sword case. She flipped up the catches and lifted the lid.
She looked at the sword in shock and suddenly screamed.
21st Century, Revello Drive
Satan froze time, as both Q’s turned to find their adversary standing next to them wearing a smirk. Xander was the only human not affected and all Q present were not touched.
“Hello Q, that was some trick” Satan said.
“Thanks, Lucy” Q replied with a deadly smile, “I aim to kill, oh, sorry please”
“Still the funny Q, hmm?”
“I think so,” Xander said stepping up next to his friend.
“Oh yes, I can see that this is going to be so much fun”
“Glad you think so” the female Q said shading her baby away from the fallen Q.
“Are, finally the Q have realized the futility of that law” Satan said smiling like a shark, then he turned a hard eyed gaze onto Q, “Shame it’ll die when you loose”
Q’s eyes darkened but the smile stayed in place, “What do you want Lucy?”
“Me, I just dropped by to say that you can’t take this human back, the treaty forbids it, as you know”
“Really?” Q said looking honestly confused, “But this isn’t covered by the treaty”
“Oh, you think not, this should be interesting”
“Tell me, Xander, did you not call for me and CHOOSE to leave?”
“I did” Xander said.
“There you go, freedom of choice and not even you’ll mess with the big guys rules” Q said his voice becoming more and more deadly as he continued.
Satan snarled and flashed out of existence, his voice hanging in the wind, “We’ll meet again,” it said into the wind.
“Thoroughly unpleasant isn’t he, yes isn’t he little Q, yes he is a bad man, yes he is” the female Q said, mostly to her child.
Xander turned to Q, “Does she do that a lot?”
Q nodded, and clicked his fingers.
24th Century, Bay Towers
Zandra dived back into the main area brandishing the sword and unopened and yellowing letter in her hand, “Look, look” she said.
Seven lifted her eyes unfocused and puffy, then her entire being snapped to attention, “That’s Xander’s sword,” she said.
“I know, and look this letter, its addressed to him,” Zandra said excitedly.
Maria stepped out from the cover of the stacks of books with a wide smile, “Then I should keep it for a moment if I were you” she said.
Xander stepped out of his bedroom still dressed in his sweats, “Hello, can I interest anyone in timeshare?”
The room froze for a moment before he was suddenly bombarded by his friends all rushing him at once.
Gabriel stood back a little smiling at the reunited friends. He himself was glad the man was unharmed, of course that didn’t explain how he was dressed differently, but then he was finding out quickly that strange things happened around these people.
“What happened?” Jacinta demanded and was quickly backed up by the rest.
Xander smiled, but it was tinged with sadness, “I went on a little side trip”
“What happened to your clothes?”
“They’re in the wash” Xander said with a chuckle.
“No they’re not” Zandra said holding out the sword box and letter, “They are in the trunk that I found these in”
Xander stared at the items in awe, he hesitantly reached out and touched the elaborate box running his hand along its lines, then took the letter from her and a tear entered his eye when he noticed the handwriting adorning the envelope. “Oh god” he choked.
“What is it?” Seven asked cautiously she was standing as close to Xander as she could and remain descent.
“Buffy” Xander said reverently. “Its a letter from Buffy” he turned it over in his hands, “Its so old, fragile” he said, “I don’t want to open it, it looks like it’ll fall apart”
Seven put her hand on his, “I can do something about that, if you wish,” she asked softly.
Xander nodded with a grateful smile, “Thanks Seven”
“Thank you all” he said noticing the tears I the room, “I missed you guys” then he frowned, “Hey where’s Dee?”
Bay Towers, The Next Day
Seven used the tweezers to pull the letter out of the preparation fluid a carefully placed it between two sheets of duo- plastic. The fluid had allowed her to unfold the brittle paper and remove it from the envelope and the plastic would seal around the letter protecting it from harmful light and the elements. The clear bold handwriting was now the blue ink stood out in a sharp contrast to the yellow paper.
She carefully placed the sheet on to the plastic and closed the sheath. Then she started all over again with the next sheet, and so on for the ten sheets of letter.
She respected Xander’s privacy and had tried not to look at the paper. Problem was that as a Borg her data acquisition and retrieval was vastly faster than a normal humans and an eidetic memory all added up to mean that she now had Buffy’s private words to her friend, or whatever he was burned across her mind in foot high letters.
The letter became wetter as a tear rolled out of one deep blue eye onto the paper. Luckily it was no protected from the acid in her tear by the special plastic that hugged it in a protective embrace. Not for the first time Seven cursed her decision to remove the neural blocks that were in place. Without them she found she was occasionally a martyr to her emotions, like now she felt saddened to the point of tears for her time stranded friend, and the decision he must have made to come back to them. She cursed Satan for Xander’s ultimate temptation. It would have been so simple for him to stay behind with his friends of old. But Xander had come back, to protect his new friends and his precious slayer’s. It was true that Seven felt a little jealous of the slayer, but only because she knew that Xander would lay down his life for any of them, not that he wouldn’t do the same for her, but there was only one of her, there were potentially thousands of slayers each on the front lines of a battle. She knew Xander would lay down his life it meant that he could save just a single one of theirs, despite of his importance to the coming war. Somehow Seven resented that fact and was jealous of the many women that felt a similar connection that she felt to him and she knew that it was illogical, selfish even, but then love is very much a selfish thing.
Standing and quickly drying her tears Seven carried the delicate sheets now neatly stacked in her hand to her friend. She walked out of her apartment and down the corridor to his. She was able to walk straight in as no security was yet in place on the door. She looked around the apartment seeing that Jacinta and Zandra were assisting Maria; they were cataloguing the books found in the watchers archive. Gabriel she knew had returned to his ship. He had however promised to return later that day to an annoyed Jacinta.
Maria nodded at Seven and then nodded towards Xander’s bedroom. Seven nodded back and walked to the door, being careful to knock.
“Come in” Xander called out looking up from his perch by the window as Seven walked in.
“I have finished” Seven said simply.
Xander smiled and nodded at her, “Thank You Seven, You have no idea what this means to me” he said accepting the precious sheets from her.
Seven nodded, “I will leave you to read, I will be in my apartment if you need me” she said her voice soft.
Xander looked into her eyes and nodded. “Thanks again Seven”
Seven nodded and turned on a heel walking away and out of the room.
Xander looked down at the sheets in his hand with a sad sigh. Then he started to read.
Starfleet Head Quarters
Janeway looked down at the report in her hands and blanched. A woman who had single headedly beaten the Borg Queen, faced the Vidians, Kazon and most importantly who had fulfilled her promise to herself and her crew to get them home from the other side of the galaxy, turned white at the picture in her hands.
“Dear God” she said as she read the statistics picked up from the ill fated probe, she thanked god that the crew had got away from this space kraken, but by all accounts only be a hair. A Nova class ship was now returning to the nearest space dock because of damage to the warp propulsion drive. The beast had snapped at the small craft and the resultant backwash had nearly blown it to smithereens. Luckily the craft had been able to limp away without further incident. It had been seriously close, too close for Janeway’s comfort.
She turned to another report of a missing craft, and another and another. She read about an Intrepid craft just like her own Voyager that had been obliterated. The investigators had gone out when the ship had not reported in. They found only trace elements remaining, that and a badly damaged Buoy. She keyed in the command to bring up the visual feed overlaying the various systems information. It was a tiniest snap shot of information from every system on the ship. As she studied the data she was forced to agree with the inspection squad. The ship had been utterly trounced, destroyed within seconds. There was no weapon that could cut through shield so quickly, and she noticed that it hadn’t. They had their shields down, scanning the immediate area, for what reason Janeway would never know. Whoever had attacked had done so quickly brutally and with no warning. None of the federation remaining enemies was so callous, it was spine chilling. No official declaration of hostilities, no warning shots fired, just quick and efficient death dealt at the hand of multiple phaser shots on multiple attack vectors.
So they had an unknown enemies and a huge space living creature the likes of which had never been seen before. It was obvious that there was something afoot, a very big something and she knew just who to talk to about it. Bay Towers
Several hours later after much crying and laughter a badly shaken and emotional Xander stepped out of the bedroom to find that the others had gone on patrol. He sniffed almost walking back in the bedroom, but he needed to be with someone. He needed to feel the comfort of another humans presence he needed a friend. He walked out of his apartment not really knowing where he was going to go and found himself at sevens door. It was open unusually; he stepped inside and just looked at Seven for a moment, until she looked up into his dark, tear filled eyes. She put down her pad uncrossed her legs and stood in a fluid motion.
Three steps crossed the distance between them and she did something virtually unthinkable for the Borg, but so very human. She took him into her arms and held him, feeling tears starting to flow down her own cheeks, she wasn’t even sure why she was crying, she just knew that Xander was in pain and that it made her hurt. So she continued to hold him, as the sobs were wretched from his very soul.
On another plane of existence a fallen Q known as Satan was laughing out loud happily slapping his thigh.
“Now that’s my sort of fun and games,” he said his eyes glinting darkly.
:::: The End ::::