Xander woke with a groan. There was something weighing him down. He could barely lift his head to look around. What the hell had happened to him? Okay, think Xan. What is the last thing you remember?
His heart clenched. Buffy. It took him several minutes to get himself back under control. He would need to grieve later; first he needed to know where he was and why the hell the sun outside the window was red? He had a sudden flash of late night TV and the old Ray Bradbury story the Martian Chronicles.
Suddenly he remembered the portals that were opening all around Dawn. He had fallen through one. He remembered pain then nothing else. Oh, Fuck! He was in Hell. What had he ever done to deserve Hell? Ok sure there was the whole love spell thing. But was that really evil? And the lusty thoughts about Oz, and Giles. And Larry, and Angel and Spike. Lusty thoughts about guys but.… Was that really Hell worthy? He'd actually been with Anya. Okay not so great an example ex-demon and all. He'd eaten the last of Giles chocolates that one time and blamed it on Spike. Giles had believed him; Spike had respected the lying ability. So respect from a demon. Hell worthy? He sure as hell didn't think so.
As his internal babble took him further and further back into his childhood thinking of anything that he could possible think of as Hell Worthy he didn't notice when the quiet figure slipped through the door.
T'San stood in the doorway observing the human male for a long moment. The last four days had been interesting with many theories and discussions being postulated about the human's appearance. While their species was known to the Vulcan’s, outside from a cursory examination of their star system, they'd been deemed entirely too barbaric for contact.
Xander shifted on the hard surface, sitting up at the realization that he wasn't restrained; it was just the air pressure. He stiffened as he caught sight of the being by the door. He just knew he was about to be tortured horribly.
T'San glided into the room as the male sat up. His eyes were wide and she wished to abort any form of panic, greeting him despite the lack of a translator. "Shacha, kesu fumo. Yana itisha muhl. Yana ek'manek. Nam-tor hayal." Hello, young male. You are well. You are safe. Be calm.
Xander blinked; that didn't sound like a threat or any form of demon language he'd ever heard. The woman approaching him was doing so slowly as if nearing a cornered animal. She took another step and Xander gasped as something brushed along his senses. A small shiver ran down his back. He hadn't felt anything like this since the one time he'd been off the Hellmouth. Even then it hadn't been this strong, only a slight niggle in the back of his head. A faint sensing of the paranormal. It had vanished once he'd re-entered the Hellmouth's boundaries. Still, it had served him well.
And this was no demon. No supernatural being. She was as normal as he. His first thoughts echoed again. Oh, God. He was
on Mars. How the hell had he gotten on Mars? Everyone had it wrong. Martians weren't little or green. Hell, she looked like she was taller than him. He had no idea what she was saying, but she seemed to be trying to reassure him. He guessed if he were freaked, his hosts had to be as well. To them he was the alien. She seemed very regal however and more than likely was greeting him. Or was his jailer. Either way it'd pay to be polite.
"Hello, I'm Xander," he said slowly, feeling a bit ridiculous. "Xander," he said pointing at himself.
T'San observed the human. Curiosity piqued as he calmly spoke, surprised that he had not panicked upon his awakening. As far as she knew, there had been no contact with his planet by any species of yet. When he pointed to himself and spoke the foreign word again she realized he was giving a form of address. She listened carefully as he repeated it again.
Xander pointed to himself one last time then quieted. He could see the intelligence behind the eyes.
T'San attempted to wrap her tongue around the odd language. She spoke slowly. "Sandar," she said, pointing at him. She then pointed to herself. "T'San. T'San."
Xander nodded his head and repeated the name. "T'San," he smiled, pleased that it was an easily pronounceable name. Evidently she didn't want to torture him to death. Thank all the little gods for that, he thought. He moved slowly off the bed, clasping the silky material he had been covered with around his waist as he stood. He blushed and scratched the back of his head.
"Clothes?" He eyed the female and spoke slowly; shuffling forward a bit to motion towards her robe, then back to the sheet.
"Sai-vel," she nodded. "Bek-tor," she held up a hand.
Xander hoped that meant she understood and they were waiting on someone or something. He nodded and walked to the window keeping her in his peripheral vision. The sun was a huge red ball on the horizon. He sighed deeply; the portal had brought him to freaking Mars. How the hell was he supposed to get home? Were the others looking for him? Did they even know he had gotten pulled through one of the portals? Oh God, Buffy! They were probably all freaked about loosing Buffy because no way did she survive that fall.
Someone clearing their throat brought him out of the grief that threatened to overwhelm him. He turned from the red landscape slowly; the heightened gravity pulled on his muscles. Another female, younger this time, had joined the first. She nodded to him when he was fully turned.
"Greetings, human. I am called Mestral. This is High Councilor T'San."
Xander's eyebrows rose. She spoke English! Martians knew English!
"Mestral, hi I'm Xander," he stepped forward with a bright smile and offered his hand to her. "Wow, am I glad to meet you. And you speak! English I mean, T'San introduced herself so yeah, I know you speak, but English. That's great! Where am I? How long have I been here? Where is here?"
Mestral cocked one eyebrow and shared a look with T'San. She tried translating all of the babbled words but the human was speaking too fast.
"Stop," she commanded raising her voice slightly.
Xander stopped mid-rant. "I'm sorry. I know I babble when I'm nervous. Shutting up now." He motioned zipping his mouth shut.
Mestral spoke with T'San for a moment before turning back to him. "My apologies Sandar. I will attempt to answer your questions. You will ask them one at a time so that I may translate them to the High Councilor."
"Ok, yeah. But uhh.… Do you think I can get some clothes?"
Mestral walked to a panel on the wall and pressed. A drawer popped out. She pulled out a white robe and handed it to Xander. He struggled for a moment to get the robe on without loosing the sheet still wrapped around his hips. He felt better once he was covered, at least the thing covered more that the normal hospital robes he was used to.
While he was struggling with the robe Mestral began to speak. "You are on Vulcan. We know not how you came to be here. The sky opened and you fell out. You have been here four days."
T'San spoke for a moment before Mestral translated. "The Councilor wishes to ask if you know how you came to be here?"
Xander sighed again. What should he say? Definitely couldn't tell them about Dawn. He didn't know if he could trust them really. "I was running to help a friend. There were portals opening all around her; she was in pain. I guess one just opened in front of me and before I could stop I had run through it. Hurt like hell too. Then I woke up here. Where exactly is Vulcan?"
He waited for Mestral to translate again. He really needed to learn the language if he was going to be here very long. This translating thing would get old fast.
"Vulcan is 16 light years from earth."
Being the sci-fi geek that he was he caught on immediately. At least he wasn't in an alternate dimension.
"How do you know English?" he just had to know. He couldn't be so lucky that 'Men in Black' was real and there was a transport going back and forth daily.
"I am a Cultural Science graduate student. Earth is the culture I am studying currently. We have not made contact with Earth as it is viewed as to barbaric as of yet. But we do monitor the planet."
Oh great, he was considered too barbaric for them to contact. He wondered if they could get him home. And what was up with the attitudes? Neither of them had done anything but stand there stone faced. He groaned. They probably didn’t even have a sense of humor. Great, he landed on a planet of Broody Deadboys. Just perfect.
"So can you guys get me home?"
"Yes, Sandar," began Mestral.
"Yes," yelled Xander, he barely refrained from doing the Snoopy dance.
"However," began Mestral again,
Xander froze. That didn't bode well.
"We can not return you home," Mestral said slowly, each word carefully pronounced. "When you arrived four days ago you were injured. While we were aware of the hazards of attempting a cross-species transfusion, it was the only viable option our doctors could find."
Xander remained silent. He could sense a big fat but coming.
"But there were unforeseen results. An enzyme we believe might be quite unique to you reacted with our hemoglobin. There was a chain reaction that reworked your blood. Effectively, making you half-Vulcan."
"What?!" barked Xander.
"We can not return--"
Xander cut her off. "I got that part! What the hell do you mean half-Vulcan! What exactly does that mean?"
Mestral glanced at High Councilor T'San, and then repeated Xander's comments. T'San began speaking, Mestral listened attentively.
Xander began to pace the room, the robes swirling around his bare ankles. He could only keep up the movements for a few minutes, the gravity weighing on him quickly. He stilled leaning against the window. After several minutes, Mestral finally turned back to him.
The dark eyes locked with his. "I am afraid Sandar that I do not sufficiently understand the medical changes myself to explain them to you. I was told that there should be no harm to you physically. However, it is believed you will develop some our traits."
"Traits," asked Xander slowly.
"I do not know if you will understand but I will try to explain," said Mestral.
Xander nodded, shifting uncomfortably beneath her direct gaze.
"We are a race of touch telepaths," began Mestral. "Telepathy is..."
"The communication of messages or thoughts directly from one mind to another," finished Xander. He didn't like being talked down to. Even by obviously advanced alien beings.
Mestral paused, eyebrow rising. Interesting. "Correct. One of the changes the enzyme instigated was to enhance your own telepathic ability."
Xander blinked slowly. His own telepathy? "I'm not... you must be mistaken."
"No, Sandar. Our scientists were very intrigued. One of the doctors said your abilities were fascinating. We can not allow you to leave without training."
"If that's it, I've got friends back home who can do that," exclaimed Xander. He was certain Giles knew somebody. And if all else failed Angel.
"I am not finished," said Mestral.
Xander squirmed beneath the steady gaze. He'd never been the sole focus of a woman's attention like this. His gaze darted to T'San. And yes, her gaze was unwavering as well.
"While the extent of your abilities is a factor in our decision, it is not the main reason. You are now effectively a child of Vulcan. We do not allow our children to leave home until they are properly educated."
"Oh, no. I graduated all ready. No more school, for the Xan-man," snapped Xander. Of all the arrogant assumptions, as if he were some child whom they could make decisions for. But of course, remember you're the barbarian here. "I am going home."
Mestral's head cocked to the side. "How do you plan to accomplish that Sandar?"
Xander growled, gaze snapping from Mestral to T'San. Suddenly tired of the bug beneath a microscope feeling. "For such an advanced race you sure are rude," he sneered.
"What basis do you have for such a statement," asked Mestral, curiously. She was after all a cultural student. This entire conversation was a learning experience for her.
"Well it's not nice to stare at people like exhibits in a zoo," said Xander. "Even if they are barbaric humans."
Mestral lifted a brow, again. Xander wondered if that was the extent of her emotional expression. If so she was going to be worse than Deadboy.
"I am sorry if you are offended, Sandar." Mestral said not looking away once. "However, we believe it is rude not to give your full attention to one to whom you are speaking."
Xander's mouth snapped shut. He'd forgotten for a second that he wasn't dealing with humans. He'd never be so rude if he were dealing with any other woman. "Actually, I'm sorry. I'm upset but that's no reason to take it out on you."
Mestral accepted the apology with a tilt of her head. "I understand. You have had a trying experience, and have yet to have refreshment. We have been conversing for over an hour all ready. I suggest we take a moment to meditate over the situation and for you to break your fast."