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Forever and a Day

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Forever Is A Very Long Time". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Buffy's resurrection in the Master's cave may have had another explanation.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > GeneralGreywizardFR181375,80457557,42415 Oct 0423 Mar 08No

Forever and a Day

People: After some discussion with Bill (//BILLHADEN@aol.com//), he has graciously allowed me to continue this story he began, for a variety of reasons. The main story idea is his, but I'm doing the writing, so if anyone has a problem with how the story actually works out, let me know, because it'll be my fault, not his.

Title: Forever and a Day

Author: Greywizard

E-Mail: greywiz@gmail.com

Rating: G for this chapter, maybe R later for violence and some language. I'm not sure yet, but definitely not much worse than the show.

Disclaimer: They're not mine. Deal with it. I have.

Category: Mainly B/X, D/X, B/D (family stuff).

Summery: Buffy's resurrection in the Master's cave may have had another explanation.

Time Frame: Through fifth season. Becomes AU in midseason 5.

Spoilers: Prophecy Girl and The Gift mostly

Character Bashing: None.

Feedback: Of course! It's like food, water and air to a writer.

Archiving: If you want to archive this, I would be honored. Just let me know where, please.

{ } indicates character thoughts.

:: :: indicates mental communication.

********

Chapter 1

1997

"Come on, Buff. Breath!" Xander said as he completed the current set of compressions and went back for more mouth to mouth.

{ Come on, God, don't do this! Please! Take me if you need to take somebody. I know it's not an even trade, but she doesn't deserve to die, } he pleaded silently. { Do whatever you want to me, just let her live! Please!!! }

Angel waited, watching silently, feeling helpless as his unacknowledged rival for Buffy's affections tried to breath life back into the blonde's small form.

Then something caught his eye.

As Xander blew air into her mouth, he could swear that he saw a pale blue sparkle of light flow between their joined lips. Blinking several times, he dismissed it as an optical trick of the Master's lair when it didn't repeat itself.

Buffy's coughing up the water in her lungs brought him back from his distraction. And his heart dropped as her first word, post revival, left her mouth.

"Xander."

The relief in his voice obvious, Xander's reply followed with an extreme joy. "Welcome back."

{ Thank you, God! Thank you! } the elated teen thought, as he helped Buffy to her feet and they headed out of the caves in pursuit of the Master.


Two hours later at the dance, Angel was having a quiet conversation with Giles after Xander had stolen Buffy for a dance.

"…and I could swear that I saw something come out of Xander's mouth and enter Buffy's. Some sort of energy," Angel was telling the Watcher, as he kept an eye on the gyrating boy in question while Ballroom Blitz was blaring out of the speakers

"It must have been a trick of the light," was Giles' measured reply, motioning for Angel to reclaim the Slayer as the dance ended.

Ushering Jenny out onto the dance floor for a much slower dance than what had just been playing, he let his thoughts wander as he smiled down at the wonderful woman in his arms.

He had never told the group much about the Watchers. In fact, the Council of Watchers only made up a small part of a much larger organization. The Council, at most, was made up of fifty or so individuals. Researchers for the most part, the majority of whom examined ancient prophecies for warnings of any upcoming apocalypse and how to circumvent them. There were only six field Watchers out training potential Slayers at any one time. And, of course, one training and helping the active Slayer.

No, for the most part, the Council was nothing in size when compared to its parent organization, The Society of Watchers. The Society chronicled the lives of a group of men and women called Immortals. People who, for whatever unknown reason, will live, if not killed in combat with their own kind, forever. People who will never grow older after experiencing what they called their 'first death.'

The Society of Watchers had reason to believe that Alexander Harris was Immortal.

Five years before, an Immortal named William Tomas, known for training newly resurrected members of his own kind, had observed the boy for a good half hour before continuing on his way. Tomas had a highly developed ability to sense pre-Immortals, and a reputation for training only the ones of good character.

Alerted to the possible existence of an as-of-yet unawakened Immortal, Tomas's Watcher had spent two days tracking down information on the boy. All the facts going into a new file that would be the beginning of his Chronicle, should young Harris actually turn out to be an Immortal in the making.

When Giles had come to Sunnydale to look after his Slayer, he had been informed that there was a possible Immortal in the same high school class as the girl. Imagine his surprise when the boy in question had begun to help Buffy fight the vampires and demons that were drawn to the Hellmouth.

Like every other Immortal known to the Society, Alexander Harris, or Xander as he preferred to be called, was adopted, any information surrounding the circumstances of his birth unknown. And also like every other pre-Immortal known, he appeared completely normal in every conceivable way. Unlike any other pre-Immortal of which Giles was aware, though, Xander Harris threw himself into the line of fire daily in the supernatural battle between Good and Evil. There was also the fact that no other pre-Immortal was known to have been raised in the proximity of a Hellmouth.

{ Yes, } he thought, { this could get very interesting. Could his Quickening have helped him revive Buffy? She had been, supposedly, completely drained before she had drowned. }

It was something he'd have to look into, in the morning. Right now, there was something much more important to do. With a wide, and slightly Ripper-ish, grin on his face, he dipped Jenny deeply and with perfect time to the music.

~~~

The Magic Box 2001


{ Could my life get any more complicated? } Xander thought as he completed another in a seemingly endless series of sword katas under Giles' watchful eyes. The fact that he could use the full tang ninja style katana without lopping off a portion of his own anatomy was still a wonder to him.

Of course, for the first two months that he had practiced with his new toy, Giles wouldn't let him take off the plastic practice guard, something that allowed him to walk away afterward with just bruises instead of massive hemorrhaging, he acknowledged, while he let his thoughts wander.

It had not been a good year. For any of them.

It had started off well enough. He had a girlfriend that actually liked him, a great apartment, and a job that he actually liked to pay for it. He was riding high.

The crash soon followed.

Anya, in the end, hadn't adapted all that well to mortality. She spent time every morning looking through the obituaries, a significant section of the paper in good old Sunny D. The idea that death was surrounding her and that the town was cursed and trying to kill her became all consuming.

{ We live on the gateway to Hell, Ahn. Of course, it's trying to kill us. }

So she left.

Three days before Thanksgiving, he came home from work to find a note taped to the fridge. To say he fell apart wouldn't be a stretch. Two weeks of doing nothing but work and sleep made him look like something he used to help Buffy stake.

Then one evening at the beginning of his third week of unwelcome bachelorhood, he opened his door to see two girls determined to drag him back to the land of the living.

The Summers sisters, refusing to take "no," for an answer, had almost literally dragged him out to see a movie. The following night it was an excursion to The Bronze with the two gorgeously attired, almost-beautiful-beyond belief Summers women on his arms (something that left all of the men, and some of the women, there drooling), and the night after that was a vid fest at Casa del Xander. Little by little, he came back and re-engaged in the world around him. Whether it was patrolling the undead centers of town with Buffy, or helping Dawn with her homework, they kept him involved. It felt good to be wanted, especially after what had previously felt like Buffy and Willow's pushing him away during their freshman year of college.

He hadn't felt this close to Buffy in a long time. A fact that hadn't gone unnoticed by Riley. It seemed to remind the soldier that the internal wall Buffy had built to protect herself after Angel left kept him on the outside looking in. Last straw on the camel's back and all that.

But Xander wasn't on the outside. He had been there before the walls went up, along with Willow and Giles. The four of them seemed to form some kind of unit, an interlocking network of people who seemed to understand each other on a level so deep that it sometimes appeared that they could read each other's minds, and whose emotional support for each other formed a bedrock that could never be shaken, let alone broken.

When Joyce got sick , Xander did every thing in his power to help. Every day after work would find him at the Summers' house, doing small repairs, taking care of the lawn work, or just doing his best to keep their spirits up. It had been hard, but Joyce's operation went off without a hitch, and everyone sighed with relief.

Then Riley left, and Xander quickly found himself playing the role of the comforter instead of the comforted that he had been a few short months before. Not a new role for him where Buffy was concerned, by any stretch of the imagination. Helping her deal with Riley's departure and then, in quick succession, with the revelation that Dawn was some sort of interdimensional Key soon left him appearing to be her primary means of emotional support.

And now, he felt himself falling for her all over again.

{ Best not think about that now. } He knew he should be thinking about the Slayer's little sis.

Dawn. Buffy's little sister, that he remembered from when they had first moved to Sunnydale. But not really.

Every memory he had of her before this year was false. Every conversation, every night that he had babysat her, every card game they played, and every day she supposedly sat with the Scooby Gang in the school library had never really happened. As if everything that happened in this town didn't do enough to mess with your mind normally, now something was doing it intentionally.

It didn't matter.

Dawn was a good person. He knew that without any doubt. He could feel it in his soul. In Sunnydale, innocence was a rare thing, and Dawn was an innocent in this whole matter going on around her. In his mind and heart, he had made a niche for her where a little sister would have been if he had one. That wasn't to say that he didn't know that she had a crush on him; he had, after all, given up emotional blindness as a hobby after the whole Fluke thing with Willow. When Buffy had finally revealed the truth to the Gang about what the monk had told her, Xander had silently pledged then and there that he would do anything to protect the younger brunette, just as he had done with her big sister.

Then Joyce died, and their whole world was ripped apart again.

He had never realized how much Joyce had kept them all going till she was gone. Buffy and Dawn were, in a word, shattered. Everyone did what they could for them, but this wound would not be recovered from quickly, if ever. Over the next few weeks, it was a rare night that he didn't hold one or both of them till they could cry themselves to sleep.

His apartment became a place he would only see for a hour a day as he spent the rest of his free time either at the Magic Box, training himself and helping Buffy train, or at the Summers' house, doing every thing from the routine maintenance owning a house required to helping Giles settle Joyce's estate. Their rec room couch became his regular bed.

It was an odd thing to discover that he was better at helping other people with their lives than leading his own.

"Xander, you're dropping your shoulder again."

With a start, he brought himself back to the here and now, and concentrated once more on the kata he was supposed to be doing. Giles had finally agreed to begin training him, just after New Year's. He idly wondered what had changed the ex-Watcher's mind; he'd only been asking to be trained since the week after he found out that Buffy was the Slayer.

{ Maybe he's just slow. And maybe Glory will just pack up and move to Maine. }

{ Yeah, right. }

Giles obviously thought this was going to be bad. After facing everything that they already faced, that had to be saying something.

None of it of the good.

As he completed the kata's final movement with the carbon-fiber composite blade of his katana, he wondered what was going on behind the seemingly placid expression Giles was wearing.

*****
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