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Immortal Instincts

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Summary: Season 2 ends with the wrong vampire getting their soul back and a Scooby never being allowed to know peace ever again.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Highlander > Xander-CenteredAnimeRoninFR18981,475104362,09531 Jan 0517 Dec 05Yes

Immortal Instincts, Kindred Spirits

Immortal Instincts, Kindred Spirits

Author: Anime Ronin

Rating: R

Summary: Season 2 ends with the wrong vampire getting their soul back and a Scooby never being allowed to know peace ever again.

Disclaimer: Yeah, I own these … in my dreams (please note my use of sarcasm on the first part, please)

Beta: Yorath_thewolf (thanks)

AN: Bunnies, Bunnies everywhere, and not a machine gun loaded with explosive ammo in sight – help me, please! I don’t care if it’s .223 or .50 cal – something to drive these bunnies away! (Sorry, off my meds for a moment – back on them)

AN2: (returning grip to sanity – barely) May have a ship between a lust-worthy Immortal and our favorite Zeppo – may not (my muse isn’t sure – she’s off her meds).

AN3: Kindred stuff in from PC game, Vampire the Masquerade: Redemption – gets a little murky at times, and I promise to explain when I can. The Buffy stuff is basically canon up to this point, except for the fact that Jenny is still alive – no other unexpected changes until start of story.

1/? –Stoking the fires of Immortality

Even as her childe drew her away from the fight between the naughty Slayer and her daddy, Dru felt a presence in her mind and immediately it silenced both the stars and Miss Edith – she dropped to the ground, clutching her head in agony even as her Spike continued to try and drag her along, but she was in no condition to do anything as memories and feelings assaulted her mind, as shattered as it was, and it began to mend. Murder upon murder, sin upon sin, night upon night began to boil over in her mind and, for the first time in over a century and a half, Drusilla ‘The Mad’ began to weep true tears of regret as her conscience, her soul, once again made its presence known.

“Ducks, now ain’t the time for you to go all to pieces! The Slayer gave us a chance, and we’re taking it.” She looked up at her childe, her Spike, as he tried to drag her away, but she silenced him with a sad smile and crooked a finger at him.

“William, I have much to tell you – God rebukes our kind, damns us to hell over a choice to become one with the night.” She reached up and stroked his cheek, his face suddenly bewildered as she reached her other hand back into the folds of her dress, “But when our bodies are dust, he welcomes us home to his loving arms.”

“What’re ya saying, sweets?”

A single blood tear coursed down her cheek this time as she withdrew her hand from her dress, clutching a wooden stake, “It’s time to go home, William.” With that, she thrust the stake into her childe’s withered, blackened, un-beating heart and for a second he gaped at her, but he then exploded into dust, letting her fall to the floor, “I am sorry, William. Go with God.”

Over the next few minutes she collects herself, her mind quickly dealing with the massive amounts of guilt and heartache she was feeling by putting it off until later, when she can deal with them on another level, but this time allows her to watch her sire and his lover, the Slayer, fight their deadly fight as the portal of the demon begins to open – she wasn’t sure how she knew what was to happen, but in her heart of hearts she knew the Slayer would do the right thing even as Angelus was stabbed through the gut and positioned in front of the portal. Dru drew herself up and quickly fled the scene as the portal flashed closed, Angelus having been sent to hell, but she did not flee the city – she remembered a crime that she and her sire had committed in the absence of her childe, one against a soul that should never have been touched by evil as it had been, a soul that was centuries out of date, that of a Knight, a White Knight … and she had helped kill him over the many, many hours. They had taken him the night that she had killed the no-fun Slayer and his screams had filled the halls of the mansion for hours, but not before just as many hours of his silence – her Kitten, Alexander, had been resolute in his silence, taking spikes of iron, wood, even hot pokers and knives into his body without so much as a grunt or a scream, but when Angelus had started to peel away his skin, her Kitten began to scream the scream of the defiant.

“Such awful, wonderful screams,” she giggled, her grief and suffering returning to madness for a moment, but that moment passed and she was rushing back to where she and Spike had once hidden. She had left many things there, one of them a book that held many nice pictures and funny words, words that she could not understand then, but now she knew they were the path to her potential Redemption – they were old tomes that held the knowledge and teachings of an ancient breed of Vampire, one that dated back to the days of the first families on Earth. She packed her things, leaving nothing to chance, and with her bag filled, she went not to the bus station, but rather to the hospital – she had someone to see.

(Later)

She watched as the men left his body alone in the big, cold room, and she marveled at the way he had already recovered – her Alexander had always been a fast healer, even when he was a child and his nasty father had beaten him about the head, but he had also held within him the power of Eternity, the keys to life everlasting, and at the same time he held a curse to unending suffering, torment and combat. He would one day rise as an Immortal, an Undying One, and thanks to her, he would do so before becoming a man, the thought of which sent another blood tear down her cheek even as the lights began to flicker within the room and his eyes snapped open – her Kitten’s back arched and he let out a gasping yowl of fright, which brought a sad smile to her face as she drew back from the glass and quietly left the building. He would need all of that strength for his trials ahead, and even in her heart, Drusilla knew they would meet again after this day was over, both as allies and as enemies.

(Later - SHS Library)

The sun felt warm on his back even as he sat in the middle of a large rectangle of illumination, bathed in it’s gentle and life-bringing rays, burning away any thoughts of what he might have been turned into even as the Watcher whom had taken the place of his father stood back in awe of what had was seeing – Xander wasn’t sure where he had been for the past day and a half, in fact the last thing he remembered was Angelus lowering his face to his neck and the piercing pain of fangs entering his flesh, but after that, there was nothing … and worst of all, there was no proof of it ever happening. In fact, there was not a single, solitary scar on his body, and boy, he’d had a really large collection of them going at the age of only 17 – most of them, admittedly, had come from fighting vampires and demons on a nightly basis for the past two years, but some of them … some of them had come from his father, many years before, and they, too, were gone the way of the dodo.

“Xander, while I must say that your story is quite fascinating, Buffy is missing! We must find her.” And once again little Miss ‘I can’t get the job done’ Slayer is more important than he was – typical.

“Sure, Giles – I’m going home. When you find her body, piss on it for me.” Giles just ignored him and Xander walked out of the Library, angry more at himself for thinking that his problems would, for once, take precedence over those of the ‘almighty Slayer’, but again he was wrong, so he decided to head home … not knowing what he was heading for.

(Later - Harris Residence)

Chief Michael ‘Harley’ Davidson watched as his chief detective, Frank Stein, was put into the back of a waiting ambulance from the beating he had just incurred from the son of the decedents, Alexander Harris – Frank had, true to form, tried his hard ass routine on the kid, trying to get him to confess to the crime, but apparently Harris was having the worst day in the history of bad days and had snapped, breaking Frank’s nose when the detective started to smack him around, but not stopping until four other patrol officers were forced to pull Harris off. The EMT said that Frank would be out of commission for a few days, even a week, and that from what he had seen, the kid was about two seconds from killing a cop – having spent twenty years as an Army Ranger and Green Beret before ‘retiring’ to the police force, Mike was forced to agree and decided to not press charges against the kid for assaulting a police officer … for now.

Anthony Harris had been split up the middle, from crotch to jaw line, and had been torn apart while Jessica Harris, mercifully, had only been shot twice in the back of the head, execution style – blood painted the entire kitchen and living room, and Harris Sr.’s internal organs were hanging from light fixtures and the backs of chairs in some kind of macabre art deco form – only the most hardened ME had been able to get the bodies and not lose his lunch. “Son? Are you okay?” It was a stupid question.

“I just found my parents fucking murdered and butchered – do you THINK I’m okay?” The total lack of emotion in Harris’ voice was what scared Mike the most, and dead look in his eyes almost made him lose his bladder, “I mean, sure, I thought about killing that asshole when the PD wouldn’t respond to the Domestic Disturbance calls just because it was after dark, but no, I’d never had done this … I’d have just slit his throat, not gutted him like a hog.” Mike knew about the Harris household, it was a legend in the force about ‘how to follow the Mayor’s orders’, but even now he wondered if this was one time that he should have disobeyed the boss, “Can I at least get some of my stuff?”

“Sure, kid – stay out of the crime scene areas, though.” That meant that the kid would have to be Houdini to get to his stuff, but with the way he flipped from the porch to the roof, then crawling into his window, Mike could tell that he’d done this before, the sneaking in thing.

(Xander’s Room)

Even as he crawled into his room via the window, Xander knew something wasn’t right – things were out of place, if only slightly so, and of course there was the sword that was lying on his bed, sheathed, with a note on top of it. He walked over and, after checking for bombs, tripwires and shit, he picked up the note and opened it, carefully – inside, in flowing script, were five words, ‘There Can Be Only One’ and nothing else, which made him look down at the sword itself; it was a European rapier, possibly Spanish or French, with a long, slightly tapered blade, an ornate basket that protected his hand and on that basket were two symbols – one was a shield with some markings on it, flowers or something, but the other symbol, which was opposite of it, was a cross. It was old, well-used and cared for, and it was going with him, so he stashed it into the long duster that was under it. From his closet emerged an OD green duffle bag, two small carry-all bags about the size of single-ball bowling bags, a backpack full of clothes and he grabbed a few other odds and ends from his room before stopping at his night stand and picking up a key he had hidden there and looking at it – the key was non descript in nature, but it unlocked a trove of hidden goodies that he had picked up here and there, and he was going to have to make a stop there before too long.

“You ready to go, kid?” He didn’t jump at the voice of the Chief even as he walked into his doorway, and picked up his bags as he did, “Lot of stuff?”

“Not as much as you’d think – just a few mementoes and some things that have … psychological meaning,” Xander said casually as he picked his way down the stairs and towards the front door. “Is there any chance that the Sunnydale PD will do its job and find whoever did this?”

“Not much evidence to go on, kid – whoever did this, was a professional.” He could hear the level tone in the Chief’s voice that said that, yes, he did pick up on the insult towards the PD for its glorious lack of results, but yes, there would be a real investigation. “Anywhere we can drive you to?”

“That won’t be necessary, sir.” Xander looked up and saw Joyce standing there with Jenny just behind her, both sets of eyes wide with surprise and a few tears as the bodies were carried out of the house, “You’re coming home with me, Xander.” Her tone brooked no argument and, after the Chief took some contact information, Xander found himself on his way to Joyce’s house.

Ten minutes later, at Joyce’s house, he was surprised to see both Oz and Willow, the latter of which had apparently just been released from the hospital, as she still had her wrist band on, and Giles was already pacing in the living room – Jenny brought them up to speed on what had happened at his house as he put his things into the spare bedroom upstairs, and by the time he got back down there Willow was as pale as a sheet, Oz’s eyes were sympathetic, and Giles was floored, “My God.”

“And on top of that, I was left this and a cryptic note.” He pulled out the rapier and handed it to Giles, who looked it over with a professional eye.

“French, circa seventeenth century – you say this was left for you with a note? What did it say?”

“’There can be only one.’” Xander arched an eyebrow as Giles gasped, dropped the sword and sat back heavily on the couch, “Are you okay?”

“No, Xander, I’m not, and I apologize for not listening to you earlier.” The others looked confused even as Giles cleaned his glasses, “That message, though, may explain how you happen to be here right now, given what you claimed happened to you.”

Xander’s temper flared, “’Claim’? Giles, I was fucking TORTURED, and now I don’t have a damned scar on me from it, only some of the scars that I had from before this.” He held out his left hand, palm up, and showed Willow the exact spot that she had accidentally cut him to the bone with a kitchen knife, which had left a nasty scar for all to see.

Giles held up his hands placating manner, “I didn’t mean to say that it didn’t happen, Xander, but I need to make a call that may be able to confirm it.” With that, he stood and walked to the kitchen and picked up the phone.

“Tortured? By whom? Why?”

He went and picked up the rapier before he looked over at Jenny, his eyes dull and his ire lessening, “It was Angelus who did it, with Drusilla’s reluctant help, and to get at Buffy – he figured that I’d crack soon enough and he’d leave my body for Buffy to find, to really shake her up.” Xander looked down at his hands, disturbed, “What I want to know is how Angelus was able to open Acathla – I thought only Giles knew that?”

Giles looked vaguely disturbed about it as well, “Yes, quite right, but if one were to be believed, she has access to information that nobody can account for.” Xander gave him a look and Giles went on, “Remember, she was a seer before she was turned by Angelus – she could have seen it.”

Joyce looked sick as she spoke up, “How long?” Xander looked at her and she asked again, “How long were you …”

He closed his eyes, the memories assaulting him, “I lost count after ten hours – I started screaming after seven.” Oddly, one of the memories that came up was one of Dru gently stroking his cheek and with something akin to sympathy in her eyes even as Angelus drew a strip of skin from his leg, “Last thing I remember was Angelus feeding from me, and then I wake up in the Sunnydale Morgue – I didn’t burn in the sunlight, and I have a pulse, so I’m not a vamp.”

“How did you do it?” He looked up at Willow, who was openly crying now, “Seven hours ... how’d you do it?”

He smiled wanly for a second, “Remember what I told you about Solder Boy?” She nodded and he studied his hands, “He went through and passed SEER school, apparently. Well, that and my pure pig-headedness to not give the ass the satisfaction.”

Joyce frowned, “Seer?”

Xander shook his head, “Almost, SEER – Survive, Escape, Evade and Resist; it’s a school in the military that teaches you how to keep from becoming a POW or, if that isn’t possible, how to keep from breaking for as long as possible while in captivity and to escape, if at all possible.”

“But you broke.” He looked up at Oz, who was frowning by then, and the werewolf went on, “Does that mean you failed?”

“No – the DI told the soldiers learning there that while under torture everyone breaks, eventually, that all they had to do was to make sure they died first or gave their captives nothing of consequence from their questions. Three guesses which I did.” It felt odd, speaking about what he recalled of his ‘death’, but not one bit of the entire thing made any sense, so that could be considered an anomaly.

Giles took that point to walk into the room, his face ashen even as he pulled down the cuff on his left shirt sleeve, “I’ve confirmed it, Xander – you were brought into the Sunnydale morgue without pulse, and looking quite like someone had royally worked you over.”

“And as to why I look like this? Like nothing happened?”

Giles took a breath and let it out slowly, “I’m not clear on the details myself, but I assure you that the person that is coming will be able to tell you more than I could.” He took off his glasses again and rubbed his eyes, “Can you think of anyone or anything that has happened in the past week or so that is out of the ordinary, even for Sunnydale?”

“Aside from how well Joyce is taking this, no, not a thing,” he looked over at Joyce and saw Jenny rubbing her upper back in small circles. “Joyce? How long have you known?”

“Buffy told me some of it before she went off to fight that … that monster, Angelus, but Jenny told me a little just before we went to see Giles, and then go and get you.” She paled at a memory and fumbled for a minute before asking, “Why do you do it, Xander? I mean, Buffy is this Slayer, Willow is a witch and Oz is a werewolf, but …”

“I’m the normal one?” He gave her a mirthless smile and chuckled harshly, “I know, Buffy’s browbeat me with that more often then I care to admit, but think about this for a second, Joyce – before this week, she’s never had to face someone on their terms, their turf, and for them to be 100% human. If that ever came to pass, it’d come to me or Giles to do what was necessary, as your daughter isn’t wired to do that kind of thing.”

“You mean you’d kill them?”

He looked at Willow, who looked very sick at that point, “I’d do what you couldn’t, so, yes, if that means kill them, so be it.”

Giles spoke softly, “Could you? If you had to kill someone, if they challenged you or something like that, would you kill them?”

Xander thought about it for a second, closing his eyes and running every possible scenario through his mind before opening them again two seconds later, “If I had to and there was no other way around it, then yes – self-preservation and all of that.”

The room was still, too still, for nearly an hour – Joyce fretted slightly as Jenny did her best to calm her, Oz held on to Willow, Giles wrote in a booklet of some kind with an odd design on the front, a circle with three leaves at 120 degrees a piece that overlapped in the middle, but Xander merely unsheathed the rapier and studied it, looking over it with a casual eye while raking his memory for anything that was out of the ‘Sunnydale norm’ as far as people or events – the only thing he could come up with was an occasional headache he had over the day, since he left the morgue, and that lasted only a few seconds at a time.

When the phone went off, though, they all jumped and Joyce answered it, “Hello?” There was a few seconds of silence and she blinked, looking around cautiously as she did, “Yes, one moment. Xander? It’s for you.”

Xander was there in a few steps, afraid it was the PD, saying they had the people responsible for his parent’s murder, “Yes?”

“The old factory, midnight – come alone or all of your friends die, and I’ll make sure to keep the girls alive for a few days, the same way I kept your father. I do hope you like sword I left you – it was once belonged to an enemy of mine.” The voice was low, gruff and had a very distinct accent to it, French, but as soon as he finished, the phone was hung up.

Xander let the phone back into its cradle, and then snarled, “Son of a bitch.”

“Who was it, Xander?”

“The guy who killed my parents – he wants to meet.” Without waiting, he turned and walked up the stairs, his mind not flaming as he thought it would have been – it was cold, calculating, and completely ignored the others as they called for him to stop as he reached his room and grabbed his duffle bag, opening it and upending it.

“Xander, think for a moment – if this is the man responsible, he must surely be waiting for you!” Giles walked into the room and stopped as he looked down at the bed and what lay there, “My God – where did you get those?”

Even as he stripped off his shirt and pants, pulling on the black pants, boots, shirt and then upper body armor, Xander answered him, “Here, there and the other place – I made a return trip to the Sunnydale Armory and got the armor, clothes I picked up from some vamp who was about my size, places like that.” All of the clothes fit him tightly, making not a whisper of noise as he moved and the boots he’d had especially made with soft soles to keep footsteps from leaving treads or making noise, but once those were on, he slipped on a shoulder harness and fit several magazines into it.

Jenny and Willow both pushed their way into the room, the former speaking as the latter gasped, “Xander, he’s waiting for you! This must be a trap.”

“Good – that means he’s not expecting me to be ready for him.” He tucked away two knives into his vest and then found his gun, a machine pistol he’d taken from a vamp’s lair, checking it over, “He killed my father, and while I wanted to do that more than a few times, I’d have done quick, clean. He killed my mother …” His mind flared as he remembered all of the times he had taken a beating for her from his father, and visa versa, “I’ll have to make him hurt for that, first.”

“Xander, please, be reasonable about this.” Giles took him by the shoulders and spun him around, “There is nothing you can do that will bring them back.”

“You’re right – this isn’t about bringing them back, Giles.” He jerked away and grabbed the final bit he’d need, the key, “This is about getting even.”

“And then what?” He looked at Willow and she went on, “What good will that do?”

“It’ll put it all to rest, Willow – think of it as therapy via killing … and in case you haven’t noticed, I have issues and need therapy.” With that, he turned and walked out of the room, brushing past them all and picking up the duster, covering his clothing and weapons, but then he stopped – there, on the couch, sat the rapier, and something inside of him told him, no, screamed at him to not forget his rapier, so he put it away in the coat as well even as Joyce made her way down the stairs.

“Xander, please … think about this – is this something that Buffy would want you to do?”

“No, and frankly, Joyce, I could care less about what Buffy would want me to do. I stopped listening to her a long time ago.”

She flared a little at this and set her jaw, “Then is this something that your mother would want you to do?”

This gave him pause and he cast his mind back to all of the times he’d spent with his mom and her family, “Mom? Probably not. Her family, however, is another matter – you kill one Irish man or woman, you had better be ready to kill them all, because they are coming after you.” Steeling his nerve, he walked to the front door, pausing at there and giving her a sad look, “I’m sorry, Joyce, but blood demands blood … and I can’t ignore the calls of my blood.” With that, he walked out as the sun began to sink – he wasn’t going to the factory just yet, as he had to pick up one other party favor.

(Old Factory – 11:00 PM)

He wasn’t surprised to see the van pull up and six men with guns hop out of it, but what he was surprised to see was the guy barking out orders – he was about medium height, a deceptively thin build, with short black hair, a goatee, dressed in dark clothes and what looked to be a cloak, but the one thing that struck Xander as odd was he was missing an eye, his left one, and he wore a patch over it, like it was a badge of honor of some kind. This man then looked around and looked more than a little confused, but Xander didn’t pay any mind to that as he moved his crosshairs to follow one of the men – his rifle wasn’t much to look at, in fact it had nothing on the newer models that had come out in the past twenty five or thirty years, but none of that mattered now that he’d put a suppressor, a bipod and a light-amplifying scope on it. It hadn’t been fired, before he had gotten it, for nearly a half-century, since Korea, actually, but now that he’d put some time, effort and TLC into it, the old Garand M1 was ready for a little action.

“Hi there,” he whispered as one of the guards stepped behind a secluded area to light up a smoke, and he then squeezed the trigger – the large bullet, meant to stop a man dead in his tracks at a hundred paces, made barely a noise as it left the gun, thanks to the large, coffee-can sized suppressor he’d put on the end of the weapon, and it slammed into the man’s chest less than a second later, erupting out the other side and burying into the ground with a cloud of blood, flesh and bone even as the action spit out the old brass and picked up a new round from the internal magazine of eight, well, now seven. He wasn’t scared of the muzzle flash, as faint as it was, being seen, as he was in some scrub grass in the surrounding area, but what he was afraid of was that his targets would be against the metal building, which would ring like a bell when the bullet went through them and hit it – it would make his entrance a bit harder to mask, but you couldn’t have everything in life.

Thirty minutes, three shots and three kills later Xander tucked the weapon away on his escape vehicle and looked around, grabbing both the sword and checked the rest of his things – there was no turning back now. Who knew, maybe he’d see the next sunrise?

(Ten minutes later - Factory Exterior)

Even as she dropped the bloodless corpse to the ground silently, she smiled a blood-filled smile as she watched her Kitten emerge from the shadows, a knife in hand, and stalk his prey like the good Kitten he was – she didn’t even flinch as he grabbed the man’s mouth, pulled him back, slid the knife through the side of his throat and push out, in fact she felt both a touch of regret and a dose of arousal with the cold proficiency with which he executed the man, “Oh, no naughty thoughts for Mummy about her Kitten. No naughty thoughts … not just yet.”

She walked unmolested to a window of the factory and listened as the low, gravely voice of the killer spoke to her Kitten, “Very impressive, Mister Harris – given how new you are to this, I figured you to be holding your head in agony by now.” Dru curled her lip and sneered at the man – she hated the French, namely because they tasted so foul back when she, grandmummy and Angelus were romping across Europe, but that hate left as her mind returned her back to her path of Redemption.

“That’s me, full of surprises – who the fuck are you?”

“Oh, I’ve gone by many names over the centuries, but once, a long time ago, I was a Musketeer, and I then served the Cardinal when I was asked to leave that service by your ancestor’s mentors.” She watched as he pulled his sword, but was smiling as Alexander had yet to come out of the shadows yet, “Tell me, boy, did your father ever tell you of his family line?”

“No – did you know my mother is … was …Irish?” There was that same hint of accent in her kitten’s voice that was in her daddy’s voice, but this time it was dead.

“No, I did not – I guess that does explain why you are here, though. I realize that there is no love lost between you and your father, and while I have nothing against you personally, I have long since sworn myself to extinguishing the line of D’Artagnian. Come, boy, for destiny awaits us.”

“When you get to hell, say hi to Tony for me … and save me a seat.” She watched him step out of the shadows of the factory, with a rapier in one hand and a pistol in the other.

The man sneered, “Ah, so the coward emerges within you – do you know your father offered me your mother to let him live? That I could defile her body in any way I could imagine, just so he could life another day of his miserable life?”

Dru actually winced as Alexander spoke, his voice even and lacking any kind of surprise, “That doesn’t surprise me, really.”

“Do you know that, as I cut out his innards, he cursed me, his family line, his wife and you, especially? That with his dying breath, he cursed you to the depths of hell?”

“Well, what do you know? He felt the same way about me that I felt about him.” With that said, Alexander squeezed the trigger of his pistol and out came a flurry of his bullets, like a nest of hornets who were terribly vexed, and each of them slammed into the man’s chest and body, blowing through the other side until the pistol locked open, “Never bring a sword to a gun fight.”

Dru watched as her Kitten walked forwards, putting his gun away and gripping his sword, but the man on the ground wasn’t done, just yet, “That ... was against … the rules.”

“You killed my father, as worthless as he was, and you killed my mother – my Irish blood demands vengeance … so do you think I give a fuck about your ‘rules’?” She watched as the bad man’s wounds began to close, sealing with bolts of lightning, but Alexander apparently did not know what it meant.

The man decided to try and stall for time, “Mercy … please, have mercy.”

“Mercy? What’s that?” No sooner had her Kitten said that, then he drew his arm back and stabbed his enemy through the stomach, but the man was apparently not as stupid as he appeared to act because he rolled out of the way, albeit not without some pain, and made a grab for his sword. As Alexander recovered, the former Musketeer grabbed his sword, got to his feet and was able to get several good swings in, one of them getting close even as Alexander clumsily parried and blocked with his own rapier, but not before blood was drawn on Alexander’s cheek from a glancing strike.

“Hmm, it appears that you are not as good as you would think, boy. It’s a shame, really, that this will have to end so quickly – it’s been some time since I’ve had a good fight with one of your blood.”

“Really? Since when?” Her Kitten held his sword at the ready even as he backed away, the wound of his cheek already closing, “I mean, as long as we’re here, you could answer me that.”

The man smirked slightly, “Yes, I could, but where would that get you?” He stepped in and tried to stab Kitten in his torso, but Alexander turned slightly and shoved the man away, causing the bad man to lose his grip on his sword, it skittering away, and on pure reflex Alexander appeared to just stab down and pin him to the ground, stomach first.

Alexander looked at the man for a moment, as if not sure what he had done, but then shook his head clear and walked over and picked up the other man’s sword, “You know, your note said that ‘there can be only one’; I’m not sure why you left it for me and, frankly, I don’t care. You killed Tony Harris, something I’ve wanted to do for a while, and while that in and of itself is mostly forgivable, you killed my mother – that isn’t.” With that, he decapitated the man on the ground and kicked the head away before reaching into his clothing and pulling out a rosary, kissing it, “Vengeance is served, mama.”

Dru pulled back from the window and began to quickly move away, knowing what was going to happen – this wouldn’t have been the first Quickening she had seen, and she knew how easily the storm that was to come would destroy her if she were in the area. Of course, she also knew that she could not feed from an Immortal – their blood tasted vile and hurt her tummy like holy water did once it got there, but not before, something most vampires learned after their first experience with draining an Immortal. Of course, the fact that she had attacked a holy man on holy ground who happened to be Immortal might have had something to do with it, but she wasn’t going to risk it ever again.

It started out as a flicker of light, then with an explosion and some very naughty words from Alexander, the Quickening began with a fury – the explosions of fire, glass, steel and his screams soon intermingled and Dru found herself alternately wincing and becoming aroused, again, as her soul and her insanity vied for control of her mind. She had so loved the screams of men as she tortured them in the past, but now that her soul was back, she was often torn between that love and sickness as she tried to come to grips with both sanity and soul, but also insanity and her soul as well. Finally, though, the lights died out and she dashed to the window again, spying her Kitten, her Alexander, on the ground, and she could not hear his heart, so she dashed inside, kicking the bad man twice for all of the trouble he had caused along the way, and then stopping and kneeling over Alexander’s body – he was pale, unmoving, yet she could smell the life coursing through his veins as burns healed on his skin and muscles twitched.

“Mummy … I must leave for now, Alexander – may God protect you … and the stars sing their lovely song to you.” She picked him up by the front of his vest, grabbing his rosary as well, burning her hand, but not caring as she pressed her lips to his in a kiss for several minutes before releasing him and nursing her hand, running away into the night.

(Later – Factory)

He gasped and arched his back even as he smell of burnt flesh and … lilacs (?) ... assaulted his nose – he sat up with a coughing fit and immediately wished he had not, as nausea and pain hit his body, but also as the memories hit his mind. Whatever the lightning storm the guy had created had done to him, it hurt, and it made him remember all sorts of things he really didn’t want to, so he just lay there as his mind sorted out what was real and what wasn’t, what was ‘his’ and what had been the other guy’s.

Memories of past battles, past lovers, family, friends, loss and hate assaulted his mind in waves, but having been possessed twice and having dealt with the memories of the Soldier, he found a way to shunt those memories that were not his off to another part of his mind, where he somehow knew they would stay until he needed them. By the time this happened, though, he could see the first rays of light beginning to fill the sky, which made him get up and get moving, pausing only long enough to grab his sword and that of the man … who was now looking like a lump of decaying matter, quickly decaying, at that, before he ran out of the factory but stopped at one of the bodies – he had killed five of the men that had come with ‘Frenchie’, but number six had not been killed by one of his bullets or his knife, in fact he looked like he’d had his throat torn out and been fed off of by a vampire. This got his mental wheels turning as he frisked the men – he’d smelled lilacs and burnt flesh when he came to several hours before, but now that he thought about it, he only knew one person who wore lilacs or anything that smelled like lilacs … Drusilla. What had she been doing there? Was she the one who had killed the other guard?

Those thoughts, though, took a trip to the back burner as he heard several cars coming his way, police, more than likely with as much noise as the ‘storm’ had made, so he high-tailed it over the small ridge and over to where he’d set his Uncle Rory’s mountain bike – no sense in bringing a car that could be heard and tracked, after all. Getting the guns and everything else home, though, was going to be a challenge, even in Sunnydale.

(Later – Summers Residence)

Joyce watched Xander like a hawk even as Rupert examined the sword that he had brought back, a ‘khandar’ that was in excellent shape, and Joyce briefly wondered what was going through Xander’s mind even as Willow and Jenny eyed him warily, Oz having left for practice the previous evening and he had not returned as of yet – she and everyone had given Xander a piece of their minds about what he had apparently done the previous night, ripping him several new ones until he was allowed to speak, at which point he told them about the man, who he had been, what he had done, and why he had done it. Giles had taken that point to say how it could have been handled differently, but Xander had only laughed at him.

“Don’t look me in the eyes and tell me that you wouldn’t have done it the same way, RIPPER. I hated Tony with every fiber of my being, but … but mom deserved better than that – I did what any son would have done.”

Giles, though, had come right back with a scathing retort, “Damn it, boy, for once in your life THINK! He could have had back up, reinforcements.”

“He did – they’re all dead. Funny thing, though, that I didn’t get one of them – vamp did.” He had gone on to explain what had happened and their proposed role in the entire thing, to soften him up for their boss, at which point he had snorted, “I take offense to being ‘softened up’ for anybody.”

Joyce shook herself out of her thoughts as Giles came into the room, handing the sword to Xander, “You have a work of art in your hands, Xander – don’t lose it.”

“I’ll try not to.” Joyce could see a slightly haunted look in his eyes even as Xander took the sword, looking over the pommel and ornate scabbard, “So, I take it you know what I am, Giles?”

“Yes, as I suppose you know as well by now.” As he started up his tale, Joyce remembered just what Rupert had told them the previous evening about what he had guessed Xander to be now, an Immortal, and that guess had been confirmed about one that morning – Xander would never age, never die a lasting death save for if he were decapitated, would never have children and would be in a constant state of mortal combat until, in the end, there was only one Immortal left to rule the world as something akin to a god. This had sent shivers down her spine as to just what it meant for the young man – sure, he would never feel the ravages of time, but he would also never grow old with someone he loved, he would never father children, he would be … he would be a killer for the rest of his life, constantly on the edge of death and danger. That was no life for a young man to lead, Immortal or not.

Finally, an hour later, as Giles finished his tale for a second time, Xander sat back in the couch, his eyes dark, his face drawn up into a flat mask, and for several minutes he said nothing until he finally sighed, “Typical – once again I am the butt monkey of the cosmos. It’s all one big FUCKING JOKE on ME!” He shot to his feet and, after grabbing his sword, stormed out of the house to the back yard, snarling the entire way.

“Leave him,” she heard the librarian say to both Willow and Jenny. “He has a great deal to process right now, and he has even more to accept.”

“But, he shouldn’t be alone right now, Giles.” She pitied Willow, she really did – for the first time in her life, she could not help or set right something with her best friend, being relegated to merely watch.

“He’s always going to be alone, in one way or another, isn’t he?” They all looked at her and Joyce felt a slight blush cross her cheeks, “I mean, from what you said, he’s always going to look 17 or so, never have kids … he’s going to be alone.”

Rupert only sighed and hung his head, “In one respect, yes, he will be – few Immortals ever form lasting friendships, given the nature of what they do when they meet in combat, but some do, which is why I have had an associate call a friend of his to get Xander a teacher. With any luck, he will live for centuries, perhaps even longer.”

“Or he may die tomorrow, permanently.” Willow’s voice was edgier, more cynical even as Jenny pulled her close and hugged her.

“Let us hope for the best, then,” Rupert said even as Joyce got to her feet and walked to the kitchen, her coffee mug in hand. From there, she could see Xander in her back yard, holding his sword and making his way through some kind of exercise as if he only half-remembered it. She put the cup into the sink, sat on the floor, and proceeded to cry for the loss of his innocents – someone, after all, had to.

(LA)

Drusilla set up the last thing into place in her new home, her new haven, and looked around – over the previous night she had come to terms with her bouts of insanity, that they come and go, and now had her feet on the right path for the first time since before she was turned; she now had herself tucked away in the deepest basement of an old, abandoned hospital on the outskirts of LA and, much to her discomfort, it was right below the old chapel – she’d spent all night dragging things down there, but now it was all set.

She worried about Alexander, she supposed she always would, but those thoughts were chased from her mind as she knelt before the large wooden cross and crossed herself, her hand still healing and showing the perfect burn of the crucifix Alexander had been wearing. She’d find a way, now the she had her soul, to redeem herself in the eyes of God – she couldn’t dust herself, that would be taking the easy way out, and she knew that a soul lost, regained and truly repentant would not be all she would need to earn her Redemption. No, she’d need more power, more training, and a lot of luck even as she began to speak, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, Amen.”

AN: Okay, that’s it for this part – what do you think? Warning, this will get a little dark in places, and there will be a rather sizable gap of time that passes between this part and the next one in the story. Next part, in fact, starts at the beginning of Season 3 – let the training and insanity ensue.

AN2: Let me clear something up right here, well, two something – first, this is not a Drusilla and Xander story, but also I know it seems that Dru is odd, even for Dru, but that’s because her sanity and insanity are fighting right now, so she’s switching back and forth between what is ‘right’ and what is ‘Dru’.
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