Gravity and Suffering
Title: Gravity and Suffering
Summary: No good deed goes untortured. After stopping a group of demons, Xander finds himself in a personal hell.
Spoilers: End of Buffy & Angel. Post-Unifying Force in SW:NJO.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Jack… hell, don’t even know Jack. Yes, that joke was painful for me too. So painful in fact that none of you who hold the rights to these characters will sue me, right? I mean, obviously that joke demonstrates I’ve suffered enough.
Author’s Notes: I want to state before you read this that I do, in fact, like Xander. Really I do. Honest. It just may not seem that way for awhile. Okay, I need to majorly thank Mark, again, for being my beta and helping to keep my facts straight and the story coherent. One last thing, credit to Louie Says for helping to inspire the title.
Feedback: Yes, please. I’ll sit up and beg and even roll over for it.
- - -
Xander had arrived in Johannesburg a week ago, just a week, and already the shit had hit the fan. After arriving, getting used to the heat was his first priority. He’d sent Andrew a fish, hoping it would get the annoying man to leave him alone and had let the others know he was well. He still wasn’t used to the heat that was present even at night, so he was already covered in sweat even before the fight had begun.
The fact that he had interrupted five vampires and three unknown, but large, demons who were in the middle of a ceremony -- and the thought that he might not have interrupted them -- sent a chill down his spine. He’d just been walking around whatever small city he had traveled to that night as he was constantly on the move and never quite sure where he was, loaded with holy water, a cross and a couple of stakes, when he heard low chanting. Surprisingly, it was in a language he didn't recognize, because though he knew fluently only English, his time as a Scooby made him familiar with the sounds of all the normal ritualistic languages.
His eye fell upon the unmoving figure of a young woman, with hair almost the same shade of red as Willow's. The cuts on her bare torso and wrists accounted for the blood used to form the circle that surrounded the demons. Bile rose in his throat as he looked at the girl, and for just a moment saw Willow's face. Anger burned inside of him, prompting him to act immediately, damn the consequences.
Xander charged in quickly, managing to take out two of the vamps before anyone was alerted and then another in the immediate confusion. The demons stopped their chanting just after the third vampire was dust in the wind and for a moment Xander thought he’d managed to stop the ceremony. Then he noticed a shimmer in the air and saw what he assumed had to be a portal. Seeing the three demons move toward it, Xander threw one of his two stakes at the demon and winced internally as it went into the demon’s left eye, killing it.
The momentary mental wince allowed one of the two remaining vampiress to tackle him as the other and the demons went through the portal. Rolling on the ground, Xander was thankful for the holy water as it’s bottle burst in his pants pocket. The glass shards in his thigh hurt, but the holy water seeping through to the groin of the vampire distracted it long enough for Xander to drive his remaining stake through it’s heart.
Standing up and wincing at the pain in his thigh, Xander looked at the portal trying to decide what to do next. Pulling out his cell phone, he was glad to see he had full contact. Hitting the memory button for Giles’ number, his shoulders sank as he got voice mail. “Giles, this is Xander. I just interrupted a ceremony by some vamps and these brown demons, six and a half feet tall, muscled with tattoos carved on them. There’s a dead one where I am. One vampire and two of the demons made it through a portal they were opening. Nothing’s come through so far, I’m thinking they have to meet whatever they were wanting on the other side. I’m going to go through and try and stop them, so I’m glad this is voice mail so you can’t talk me out of this. I’m going to leave my cell on, so if you don’t hear from me have Willow do her mojo and find my phone and see if you can find a way to get me back. And if I don’t… You’ve been like a father to me Giles, you all mean a lot to me. Let everyone know I love them. I wish I had time to say more but the portal is shrinking. My love to all, see you on the flip-side and don’t forget the Twinkies!”
Xander closed the connection and hid his phone where it was unlikely to be found by any passersby.
With one last breath, Xander jumped through the portal.