Disclaimer: I own nothing of value. Seriously…I tried to sell my sense of humor…it
got returned the next day and they *demanded* a refund.
AN: This idea came to me while reflecting on a story I am currently greatly enjoying, Dark Becomes Light, by WhiteWerewolf. Now, the more I thought about it the more it grew and I just can’t get it out of my head. So I decided to write a prologue. My main problem is the only knowledge I have of the show, Xena, is from when I used to watch it a few years ago. Well…I’m going to go forward with this prologue and hope it goes somewhere.
I’m also hoping you all will let me know if I should drop it, see where I can go with it, or perhaps someone would be kind enough to lend me a hand. Well…thanks…and thanks to WhiteWerewolf for writing his great fics!
AN2: Sorry…if anyone wants to try to help you can reach me on Yahoo Messenger…my ID is mjdeh1980 Thanks!!! OK….now on with the fic…really ;-)
He had to admit, before graduation day he had been extremely worried about loosing his friends. Buffy and Willow were both going to college, and people grew distant when such a milestone occurs. And on top of that natural progression of life, the fact that ‘the group’ had tried, on several occasions, to faze him out of the fight, he figured he had a right to be worried.
Some people could perhaps deal with such a problem. Sure, they would try their hardest to stay in contact with such great friends. Hell, he knew that’s what he was going to do. But for him, it was worse. To him, they were all he had. They were his only family.
His ‘biological family’ was anything but a family. How could someone live in the same house with others, who were no better than strangers, drunk and abusive strangers, was beyond him. Just the thought of loosing the only family he has ever wanted, and spending more time at the abode where these ‘strangers’ dwelled, depressed him to no end.
He would never let that depression show. That was evident as he helped to lead the students against their, now demon, Mayor. Not only did he stay focused on the job at hand, but he directly saved many lives. And when all was said and done, and the school was lying in ruins, he was personally thanked by just about every student, teacher, and most parents. Perhaps it was a shame that his never showed up. Surprisingly, that little fact didn’t depress him in the slightest. In fact he felt like he was on some sort of high. In all the time he had been doing this, not once had anyone stopped to thank him. Damn, it felt good.
That feeling lasted for the next two days, when ‘his group’ had there own private celebration. Than, that feeling was eclipsed by an even better, stronger emotion. He couldn’t even describe it. It was something else to have so many people thank him for all he did. It was something else entirely to have the people he knew was his family to do it all over again.
Even Buffy, especially Buffy, was there paying him compliments with the rest of the group. He wasn’t sure what had brought it on, but he was more than willing to accept it. For the past few hours he had been talking with ‘his girls’ and Giles, his father. Joyce was there as well. Oz was there, though the man was a quiet as he ever was, and surprisingly, Cordelia was relaxed and chatting amicably with everyone. Perhaps that was because she was leaving soon to go to LA and become a star, or perhaps it was something else entirely, he wasn’t sure, not that it mattered at this point in time. All in all, in that brief time, he felt far closer to all of his loved ones than he had ever before.
He had been reassured by all, including Mrs. Summers, that he was to stay in contact with them. And they would certainly be doing the same with him. There was no way ‘The Scooby Gang’ was breaking apart.
What it was that brought this night to the pinnacle of perfection, was when Buffy, herself, had presented him with a present. She had wanted to do something to show him how much everything that he had done for her, for the group, had meant.
She had brought out a beautiful pendant. The pendant was a solid circle, and he could swear that it was made of gold. On both sides of the pendant were intricate designs with identical pictures. It was one that made him smile. Curling around the circular pendant was some form of a serpent. The serpent curled around the circumference of the pendant, even hooking slightly beyond the border in one place. There was a blade cutting diagonally across the pendant that seemed to flow through the serpent’s neck. Within the curled serpent were a few glyphs. He had no idea what any of them meant, but perhaps he would ask Giles about them later. All in all, it was a lovely item, one he almost refused to take.
Buffy had told him that she had seen it the other day when she was visiting her Mom in her shop. Joyce had gone on to tell him how it was a definite antique she had picked up in San Francisco. He was really only half listening at this point.
He was much more concentrating on the feeling pulsating throughout his body, that seemed to be emanating from his hand, still clutching the pendant. He couldn’t truly put this feeling into words, the only thing he could really say was that it felt ‘right’ to be in his possession.
It became apparent that his attention was being drawn elsewhere. This earned a chuckle from the girls that only deepened when Giles, clearing his throat, got no response. It was when Buffy asked him if he wanted to go patrolling that brought him out of his apparent daze. When he retuned to the land of the living he was received with quite a few chuckles and smiles. Buffy once again asked her question, to which he quickly replied that he would love to go patrolling.
The moment he said this Willow got up from where she was sitting and retrieved a large rectangular box. Apparently the rest of the group had gotten him another gift. It was a long brown leather duster.
The coat fit him perfectly. He had reluctantly put down the pendant so he could better explore the many hidden compartments of the coat. It could hide tons of daggers and stakes. There were even small compartments at the end of the sleeves that would hold two daggers, or stakes as the case may be. There was a small latch on the inside of his coat near the front that he couldn’t quite figure out. It was Giles that pointed out what it was to him.
“That, my dear boy, is there to secure a sword should you wish to carry one. I had that duster specially designed by one of my contacts in The Watchers. It’s from all of us, I hope that enjoy it, and use it wisely.”
There was a smile on his face as he went to retrieve a sword for one of his young charges. Knowing Xander, there was no way he was going out tonight without one. Selecting a Katana, a lighter weight sword, he brought it over the beaming brown haired child.
He looked down to the table where he had placed his pendant to find it no longer there. He looked to his left to find Joyce smiling at him. She was holding the pendant by a leather strap that she had secured around the pendant where the snake had curled off the border slightly leaving the tiny gap. Seeing it like that, staring him straight in the face, the pendant just seemed right, it seemed complete as it was. He graciously took the pendant and placed it over his head. He placed it under his shirt, and when it rested on his chest, a feeling of peace and calm washed over him.
This was the greatest night ever. He was fully kitted out, complete with multiple stakes, a few blessed silver daggers that he never went anywhere without. And let’s not forget one kick ass Katana.
He knew that ‘the gang’ had probably discussed everything prior to this night. He must not have been able to hide his depression well enough. Right now, he really didn’t care. His family cared for him, and that was all that mattered. He looked to his left and smiled.
Walking next to him was Buffy. It was just the two of them patrolling tonight. Perhaps to better help them bond, he had no idea. He had been told several times that they would most likely see very little action. After destroying the many demons trying to assist the Mayor it wasn’t really a surprise. Add to that, the fact that you were now entering your summer lull, and he figured that they wouldn’t see any action tonight. Well, now that he had thought it, he knew that they were screwed. And right on time, about a dozen vampires and one huge, ugly, and deadly looking demon emerged from the darkness. The demon, along with half of the vampires headed straight for Buffy. She never even had the chance to yell at Xander to run before she was in the thick of things.
With a quick flick of his wrist, a movement he had been practicing all night, a stake appeared in each hand. He had the element of surprise as he rammed his stake into the undead heart of the first vampire. The problem was the other five that were beginning to swarm him.
Knowing that he was in trouble, he reached into his jacket to retrieve his Katana. It was a futile effort. The vampires were simply too fast and we already on him before he could get his hand fully on his sword.
A brutal punch was sent to his stomach that severely winded him, and almost put him on his ass. He had lost his other stake as he went off balance. His flicked his right wrist one more time, and this time a blessed dagger fell into his hand.
He sent out a vicious swipe of the dagger that cut long a deep into the face of the closest vampire. The vampire fell back hissing in pain as his skin began to smoke where his blade had cut it. In response, another vampire reached around him pinning his hands behind his back in a painful manner. His coat slid back, no longer adding protection ass the Vampire he slashed stalked up to him. With its claws opened, it swiped at his chest tearing his shirt and opening four lines that immediately began to bleed.
The pendant had moved along his chest with the force of the blow, and slowly came to rest where it had been originally, right atop 3 of his bleeding wounds that were gauged by the vampire’s claws. As soon as Xander’s blood made contact with the pendant everything changed.
Where there was once a warm, and peaceful feeling, there was now only blinding, earth shattering pain. The pendant began to glow in an unearthly white light. The brightness of the light became such that the vampires had to turn away. That is when things turned sour for the vampires.
The light began to pulse outwards. To the vampires it was like being exposed to condensed sunlight. They barely had time to scream before they were fully consumed by the light and turned to ash. The light seemed to pulse outward in a blinding flare before is seemed to disperse. Xander dropped to his knees, the pain ever increasing, yet silent.
When Buffy’s vision cleared it was only her and the Demon remaining. It was still recovering and seemed to be in immense pain. The smoke coming off of its body seemed to be a good indication of this. With two quick, efficient, and brutal moves the Demon was dispatched to whatever hell awaited it.
Buffy looked around her in amazement that turned to horror as she came upon her friend on his knees, slumped to the ground. She started to make her way over to him when she was stopped short. In front of her was a scene she would never forget. It was one that would haunt her even past her own death, of that she was sure.
Xander had been slumped towards the ground with his eyes seemingly shut. His body became stiff as a board. His head arched towards the heavens. He opened his eyes and mouth at the same time. He let out a scream that was so loud, so filled with pain it looked as though the force of it was going to puncture through his throat. But that wasn’t the worst of it. Those unearthly white lights shone out of his eyes and mouth like veritable spotlights. The waves of light seemed to pulse and become stronger as his head writhed in agony. As the light grew and grew, it began to encompass his body. And as quickly as it all began it stopped.
The sounds of Xander screaming stopped as though it had never happened. The light began to fade into a dull nothing, and when it had dispersed Xander was no longer present.
Buffy didn’t remember how long she had stared in utter shock, horror, and other ranges of emotion flowing through her. To this day she never remembered running back to Giles house, where the rest of gang had decided to spend their evening. And she never remembered bawling out in front of everyone, creating panic in all of her friends. She never even remembered going into a catatonic state, but she will always remember that scene as it played through her mind until her dying day. She would also remember the feeling of loneliness, like having a part of her amputated, when she awoke two days later.
Xander had no idea how long he had been unconscious on the dirt path for. He barely realized that he was now walking and moving in the early morning sun. He could barely focus on any one thing. The pain was still that intense. Not one coherent thought could be made as he walked for what could have been miles. It wasn’t until he tripped over a root that alerted him he was still among the living.
It was at that point that the pain began to ebb away as the pendant once again began to emanate that feeling of peace and warmth. ‘Yea right!’ He was about to take the damn thing off and chuck it away when he realized he was not alone.
The sound of someone falling had awoken the two women warriors from their sleep. The dark haired beauty was up in a flash and had placed herself only a couple paces away from the strangely dressed man. He was clutching at something under a torn garment of clothing when he seemed to take notice of her.
He looked at her for a moment. Slowly he took in his surroundings and something akin to shock formed on his face. He gave her a small smile and proceeded to stand.
Xander looked at the woman for a second. Right off the bat he knew something was wrong. If it wasn’t for one thing he could have sworn she looked familiar. But, from that one thing, he knew who she was. But still he decided to look around. Both she and her blonde companion were wearing clothing that he had seen before. He just hadn’t seen anyone wear them outside of conventions. He could have passed it off. If it wasn’t for the wilderness in every direction, or the fact that he *knew* the pendant had done something to him, he would have written it off. But he knew who she was, who they were.
The damn chacram gave it away. But where was he? Another dimension was the most likely explanation. Dead or dreaming would be another good guess. Perhaps he was in the past? He didn’t think that was likely, but you never know. Well, until he knew more he decided to act as nicely and politely as he could towards Xena, The Warrior Princess. And let’s not forget about Gabrielle, The Queen of The Amazons. ‘Oh boy, this should be interesting.’ And with that he gave Xena a soft smile and began to rise. His first mistake.
As he was starting to get up, Xena’s hand went directly to the hilt of her sword.
“Do not move!” She gave him a stern glare. “Who are you? What are you doing here? Trying to sneak into my campsite?”
Xander almost gave her an incredulous look. ‘You mean she actually speaks English?’ Again, different dimension, perhaps it was the pendant. Well, this being the past is looking less likely.
Xander was trying to give a peaceful gesture. Splay his hands open, palms up, what he wasn’t planning on doing was twitching his wrist. This had the unfortunate side affect of letting his other blessed silver dagger fall onto the dirt ground. Xander’s eyes followed it on its path down. When he looked back up into Xena’s enraged eyes the main thought going through his mind was, ‘Oh Crap!’
Without hesitation, Xena’s sword cleared her scabbard. She took a swing at his head which would have decapitated him if he had not let himself fall backwards onto the ground.
Xander went with the backwards motion and put himself into a roll. He wound up back on his knees with Xena still advancing on him. Knowing that it was *extremely* unlikely for him to actually come out on top of this, he tried his previous movement and prayed he was still alive after this.
With his arms held wide, and fingers splayed apart, he yelled, “Please, I come in peace!”
With cold fury Xena continued advancing on him. She seemed to get into a position to run his through. She had made a movement to thrust forward but had slowed down considerable. She stopped the motion right in the center of his chest. Or it would have, if the pendant had not been between her sword and his flesh.
In a harsh tone, promising pain and suffering before death, she spoke. “You better have a good explanation. But first show me this.” She jabbed slightly at his pendant. “If it is the mark of an assassin we will have no more words.”
Xander slowly reached under his torn shirt and pulled out his pendant. The pendant seemed to gleam flawlessly. Whatever blood that had come in contact with it had apparently been absorbed into it, or something had occurred. Xander quickly checked himself to find no scars and flawless skin under his torn shirt. Amazingly, there wasn’t even blood on his shirt. He was drawn out of his amazement from the gasp that came from the woman a few scant feet away.
He looked up an into Xena’s eyes. There was no longer the cold, hard fury that had been present before. A whole plethora of emotions seemed to radiate from her entire being. She looked shocked, almost to the point of complete disbelief. There was also a mixture of hope, longing, and something he was completely unsure how to read.
When Xena saw the pendant that the child withdrew, it felt as though she had been punched in the stomach by the Gods themselves. She wasn’t sure how, but she managed to breathe. Dare she even hope?
With great trepidation, she slowly extended her hand forwards. Her hand lightly grazed the pendant when a feeling that she never believed to feel again washed over her sending her sword clattering to the ground. Soon thereafter, she was on her knees looking straight into the chocolate brown eyes of a complete stranger.
As soon as her fingers came in touch with the pendant that feeling of rightness seemed to peak. Xander watched in mute amazement as the woman released her weapon and collapsed onto her knees. Her face was but a few inches from his own.
The pendant began to vibrate. Both pairs of eyes locked down onto it. Of its own accord the snake began to slither around both sides of the pendant. The leather strap was drawn into the pendant becoming part of it. Instead of two identical pictures they intertwined with one another becoming one complete scene. As the pendant seemed to settle into place, it pulsed lightly in a thin glow. Once it was done both pairs of eyes rested upon the other.
Xander was more surprised than he believed possible, and he wasn’t sure why that was. But in front of him was Xena, The Warrior Princess. She seemed to either gasp or sob as she tried to speak to him. Tears were actually streaming down her face.
She finally seemed able to regain herself. With a tremendous amount of affection she cupped Xander’s face lightly before letting it go. After what seemed like forever, she was finally able to speak.
In almost a whisper that seemed to carry the landscape, she spoke. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.” Her hand lightly clasped his hand that was still holding the pendant. “I’m so sorry, my son.”
Xander was too stunned to respond. Gabrielle, however, was not. In a voice loud enough to do a banshee proud, she exclaimed. “Your SON!!!”