Glowing in the Dark
Part Four: Glowing in the Dark
As Xander walked towards the light, he wondered if this was the way Buffy had felt the first time she had been killed. He felt so safe and content inside the tunnel that Xander almost didn't mind that he had been killed by a drunk driver.
After a while, Xander began to hear the sounds of a fight coming from below the tunnel. He attempted to lose himself in the feeling of the tunnel but seven plus years of fighting made him slow down and stop. Realizing that he couldn't just walk to paradise if someone was in trouble, Xander knelt down and began to search for some way to at least see what was happening below him.
Pressing his hands on the ground, Xander was surprised that it didn't feel like the solid stone he expected it to be, instead it felt soft and becoming softer. Soon he began to wonder how the light below him supported his weight and in that fatal moment of questioning, the light gave way.
After a few moments of falling, Xander experienced a softer landing than he expected.
"Hey, thanks for taking care of the frat guy," said a blond man wearing a lab coat.
"Frat guy?" asked Xander as he tried to get his bearings.
"He would be the thing you landed on," said the blond man. "Now if you will excuse me I need to find Ma'at."
Looking down, Xander saw that he had landed on someone, a someone whose image he had run across while researching several times. "Did this guy happen to say his name was Bacchus?"
"Yeah probably, I wasn't paying much attention."
"Crap, I just crushed a God. Like I need another powerful being mad at me," said Xander as he jogged to catch up with the blond man.
"If you are like me, you're dead. What can they do?"
"Pain, lots and lots of pain," said Xander with a grimace.
The blond man stopped and seemed to consider Xanders words for a while before you said, "Good point, hadn't thought of that before. In that case, you should probably tag along."
"I was planning to do that anyway until I found a way back into the light. Names Xander by the way," said Xander while extending his hand to the other man.
"Gav," said the man, but he made no motion to take Xanders hand. "Now where do you think the studio apartments that house cute Egyptian girls are in this place?"
"Um, shouldn't we be looking for a way back into the tunnel of light?" asked Xander.
"You mean the one that gives out the feeling of unimaginable joy and love? Come on something like that has got to be a trap," said Gav while giving Xander the look all pessimists give to people who dare to hope.
"So what is so important about this Egyptian girl anyway?" asked Xander as he attempted to shift the conversation away from what could become an argument.
Gave paused and got a caring look on his face as he said, "Her name is Ma'at, and the last time I was here she stole my heart."
"You know she is married, don't you?" asked Xander as he finally placed Ma'at from the research he had done after Buffy's resurrection spell.
"A minor detail," said Gav with light gleaming off of his thick glasses.
Xander fought back a sigh as he realized that he may have given up his chance at heaven to save someone who probably deserved what ever the drunken god would do to him. Deciding that he would have an eternity to complain about this later, Xander continued to follow Gav.
After several hours of walking around aimlessly, Xander was getting fed up with Gav's quest. They were dead and instead of trying to find a way back into the light, all this guy wanted to do was find an Egyptian goddess and if that wasn't bad enough, he was more annoying than Andrew.
Xander was about to tell Gav that walking randomly wouldn't help, when he stepped on a small withering shadow. Because nothing can be easy the small withering shadow just happened to be connected to a large withering mass of blackness and despair, and it didn't like mortals stepping on it.
"Crap!" yelled Xander as the monster burst from under their feet.
"Great!" yelled Gav as Xander ducked for cover. "This looks like the thing under my Egyptian girls apartment, we must be on the right track."
"Are you kidding me? This thing looks like it came from one of Lovecraft's wet dreams," said Xander as he attempted to find a weapon while dodging the creature's tentacles.
"So her building is lax about the tenants they let in, it's not her fault. Now do you think you could stand still and let the creature hit you for a while? It looks like its getting tired and I need to ask it where I can find my love before it goes back to sleep."
Xander was about to respond with some of the more colorful terms he had learned at construction sites, when he saw the tunnel of light. Of course this distraction let the monster finally hit Xander through several walls. Finding that he wasn't at all comforted that he was right about being able to feel pain, Xander quickly got back on his feet and started to run towards the tunnel of light while telling Gav to do the same.
"Why should I do that when I'm so close to finding the love of my afterlife?" yelled Gav.
Racing towards the monster and the tunnel of light on the other side of it Xander's mind flashed back to when he had walked in on Andrew one day soon after Sunnydale, giving him the perfect answer. "It's an evil tentacle monster. Do you really want to find out if it's going to act the same way it would on an Anime website?" said Xander as he came out from the wall he had been thrown into.
A quick look told Xander that the monster was slowing down, and that Gav was already half way to the tunnel of light. In fact Gav was moving much faster than and evil genius type should be able to move with the motivation Xander had just given him.
Sprinting for all he was worth past the monster, Xander leaped into the air, hoping and praying that the light would accept him back. Once inside of the light Xander took a deep breath that he didn't need, and saw a very annoyed looking Gav.
"So what's your plan, stay here until the monster goes back to sleep?" asked Gav.
"No, my plan is to go to where ever the tunnel leads, like I should have done in the first place," said Xander in an exasperated voice. "You can wait if you want but I'm gone as soon as I can figure out which way I was going."
Just then tentacles burst into the tunnel of light behind Xander. While they were moving slowly they were destroying the tunnel, breaking the light into small sparkles.
"Okay, that takes care of that decision," said Xander as he began to run away from the tentacles and a fate far worse than death.
After a while Xander lost sight of Gav, who had pulled ahead. As more time went by the tunnel began to blur, and the light became all encompassing.
Soon Xander could hear voices, some talking, most screaming. As his eye began to focus, Xander decided that he must still be dead. After all there was no way that a giant robotic ant could exist in the real world.
"Excuse me, but where did you come from?" asked a woman in dark clothing. In fact her clothing went beyond dark and into being Goth like. Xander would have almost mistaken her for a vampire if it wasn't for the cross resting in her cleavage.
"That is a good question, and one that I have no answer to," said Xander as he began to walk towards a young Oriental man.
"This is most frustrating," said the man as he fiddled with a remote.
"What's the problem?" asked Xander still more than a little unclear about what was going on.
"I do not know you, but the problem is simple. I am attempting to use this remote to free my friend from the giant ant, but the remote refuses to work."
"I can fix that," said Xander as he quickly took the remote from the man. As soon as he had the remote Xander began to hit it with the palm of his hand as hard as he could. Behind them the ant began to shake and shudder, but it soon dropped the body it was holding.
Giving the remote back to man Xander simply said, "When in doubt hit it until it starts working."
"Interesting, I will have to remember this method for later. At the moment though I believe that I should find out of my friend requires medical assistance."
Nodding in agreement Xander followed the young man to the body that fell to the floor. As they got closer Xander began to recognize the figure that was now moaning in pain. Smiling down at Gav Xander simply said, "So that is where you went."
Rupert Giles, Head of the Watchers Counsel, was having a bad day. Point of fact he was having a long string of bad days that could be traced back to the day he had become the Head of the Watchers Council.
Growling at the mountain of paperwork on his desk, Giles allowed himself a brief moment of sympathy for the late Quinton Travers. After all, if the man had to put up with half of the things Giles was finding himself confronted with on a daily basis, it was no wonder the man was such a prick. Sighing, he placed these new feelings into the dark corner of his mind and reached for the next folder in the ever rising stack.
Opening the plain envelope, he was pleased to see that this wasn't another batch of bills but a report on Xander's latest adventure. Deciding that the bills and other paperwork could wait until later Giles opened the envelope with a glee like that of a child on Christmas morning.
After a few moments Giles allowed himself a small chuckle at the situation Xander had found himself in this time. After all who else but his young charge could run into a giant nuclear powered ant? If he hadn't ruled it out years ago, he would have almost believed that the young man was cursed ever since the day he had picked up a certain blonde slayer's stake.
Continuing with his reading, Giles soon found a heartfelt smile creeping onto his face. Apparently his plan had worked, and Xander was fit once again for duty, he was even joking about returning so he could relax from his experiences in America.
Deciding that sending him back to Africa like Xander had requested would be detrimental, Giles began to think about where best to ease Xander back into full time duties. Immediately ruling out the hotspots, Giles eventually settled on Canada. A country of that size would have more than a few slayers that needed training and it would be close enough that Xander could lend a hand in America if there was a need. Yes, Canada would do perfectly.
This part was crossed with Nukees. This means that if it isn't a Buffy character they belong to Darren Bleuel. Check out Nukees at http://www.nukees.com/