The Seer And The Knight
Authors Notes: This is a Highlander/BTVS/Ats crossover, my knowledge of highlander is a little sketchy as they only showed a couple of seasons on terrestrial tv here in the UK, so I maybe drawing on fanon more than canon. Post chosen and mid season 5 Ats.The Seer And The Knight
When Xander struggled awake the second time he decided he had to be hallucinating, there was just no way he was lying on a couch in some kind of corporate suite, being watched over by Spike and Angel. Especially as they both seemed to be sitting in direct sunlight. Definitely hallucinating, either that or he’d died for real and this was hell. Whichever option turned out to be true, he didn’t want to know, so he shut his eyes again and tried to will it all away.
It wasn’t meant to be, a blast of cold water hit his face and chest and he surged to his feet, only to find himself nose to nose with Spike, who had an empty jug in his hand. Ok Spike, he could deal with this, really he could, but maybe not right now, now all he could come up with was, “You’re dead.”
“Was gonna be my line pet, and you were dead a lot more recently than I was.”
“Human here Spike, sleeping, unconscious even, not dead; or we really wouldn’t be having this conversation.”
“Vampire here Xand, means I know when someone’s dead, and you WERE
dead when we found you.”
“Since when do vampire’s not get crispy in the sun?”
“It’s treated glass, now lets get back to the you being dead thing.”
“Not to mention the fact that you were stealing from my office.”
“Your office? Oh crap when did you lose the soul again Angelus?”
“I’m not Angelus.”
“So believable, coming from the man who runs a demonic law firm that kills people for fun.”
“We’re trying to change them from the inside.”
“You do realise that that sounds like the lamest story ever?”
“Whelps got a point.”
“Ok Spike, explain how you’re here, I mean didn’t you do the whole ‘die to save the world thing’?”
“I did, burnt up, final rest and all that. Couple of months later I pop out of the amulet right here in the Poof’s office. Spent some time as a ghostie before they figured a way to make me a real boy again.”
“Isn’t it sad, that my life’s so fucking weird, that actually sounds plausible to me.”
“S’what happened, ask Peaches.”
“It’s true, now maybe we could get back to you telling us why you were trying to rob me; and about the coming back from the dead routine that you and your girlfriend pulled.”
do I look crazy? Spike don’t you even think of going there. No she’s just a friend, I’ve more sense than to try anything with her.”
“A girl could be insulted by a comment like that.”
“Amanda, you’re ok?”
“As always darling, now how about you introduce me to your gorgeous friends.”
“I’m Angel, he’s Spike and Xander here was just about to explain why you were breaking into my offices and how come death doesn’t seem too permanent for either of you.”
“We weren’t dead sweetie, that’s just silly. When we knew we were going to get caught we just did this thing I learned in Africa. I met this wonderful shaman, studied with him and he taught me everything about my body’s inner chi. With a bit of work, we were able to lower our heartbeats so they were virtually undetectable and keep our breathing shallow enough that you wouldn’t see our chests move. It’s really a fascinating technique. We figured you’d leave our bodies alone and we’d be able to escape then.”
Angel and Spike couldn’t believe she’d tried to con them with such a preposterous story and were about to lose their tempers when Xander started to laugh. Babbling between giggles he managed to get out, “Ancient heart lowering exercises…. Inner chi…. Christ Amanda….Where in the hell did you come up with that one?”
“You are supposed to be helping Alex, and anyway Duncan’s the one who’s up on all that inner soul crap not me. What were you planning on telling them?”
“Pretty much the truth.”
“You actually think that’ll work?”
“You know Angel you could get us a drink, this story could take awhile.”
Angel stomped over to the sidebar and returned with a bottle of scotch and four glasses. Setting them down he poured everyone a drink and looked expectantly at Xander. Realising that he had probably pushed Angel about as far as he could, Xander began to tell the vampires everything he knew about why he and Amanda were there. Three Years Earlier
Cassandra collapsed as the vision hit her, she could vaguely hear Methos, Duncan and Joe; they were calling to her, trying to see if she was ok. She had to tune them out, focus on the images her inner mind was showing to her. There were two teenagers; a dark haired boy and girl, standing on what seemed to be the edge of a cliff. There was some kind of ancient temple behind the boy and Cassandra faltered when she recognised the markings denoting the evil goddess that had been worshipped there. Looking more closely at the girl, Cassandra could see the dark power flowing through her body, the evil that was visible even to the naked eye; it was obvious that the witch had been the one to call the temple back into being and that the boy was trying to stop her. “WILLOW: You can't stop this.
XANDER: If you wanna kill the world? Well, then start with me. I've earned that.
WILLOW: (upset) You think I won't?
XANDER: It doesn't matter. I'll still love you.
WILLOW: (angry) Shut up.
Willow gestures with her hand. No magic bolts of light, but Xander's head jerks to the side as if he's been hit. Three parallel cuts appear on his cheek, bloody as if scratched. He puts his hand up to them, looks at his fingers.
Willow watches, panting and looking a bit nervous. Xander looks back up at her.
XANDER: I love you.
Willow makes another slashing gesture. Xander doubles over and falls to his knees. Panting, he gets up again, and we see that his shirt is ripped open over the heart, more scratches visible on his chest. He pants and grimaces from the pain but faces Willow again.
XANDER: (panting) I ... love y-
WILLOW: Shut up!!
Now she does throw a blast of magic at him, and he staggers backward but doesn't fall down. Willow still holds her hand out, a little bit of magic crackling around it but not as much as she had expected. She looks surprised and anxious. Xander moves slowly toward her.
XANDER: I love you, Willow.
She sends another magic blast, but it's weak and barely hurts Xander at all. He continues walking toward her. Willow continues holding out her hand and making the magic gesture, but nothing happens. She starts to get teary.
XANDER: I love you.
Willow starts to cry and, as Xander gets right up to her, she starts hitting him with her fists. Xander just stands there and takes it. After a moment she stops hitting and starts to cry for real. She falls to her knees and Xander kneels with her, puts his arms around her and holds her while she sobs.
XANDER: I love you.
As Willow continues to cry in Xander's arms, the veins fade away from her face and her hair returns to its usual red.”
As she watched further Cassandra saw the boy ease the, now unconscious, witch from his lap. He pulled up his shirt and examined the deep wounds on his chest. There were tears in the Seer’s eyes as she realised how badly the witch had hurt her friend, the young man had risked everything to stop her destruction and was going to pay for it with his life. There was nothing she could do as she watched his body slip to the ground and his eyes slide shut. She could see the movements of his chest get slower and slower as he drifted away; until, finally, he lay motionless on the ground. As awful as it was Cassandra didn’t understand why the Powers had shown her this event, it was over and there was nothing she could do to save the boy. Just as she was about to let go of her second sight, she realised they weren’t finished with her yet.
Images and sounds began to rush past her eyes; endless possibilities, all surrounding the boy now lying dead on the cliff. He was a focus and a power in his own right, one day he would be needed to prevent something even worse than she had witnessed that night. Everything Cassandra had ever believed about herself and her people was thrown into question by the things the Powers showed her. In the coming months she was going to have to face some of the toughest tests of her long life.
She had a purpose again and it was centred round the boy she’d just watched die. As the Powers shifted her perspective back to the cliff, she saw him again. Just in time to watch him bolt up and draw deep breaths, trying to force oxygen into his re-awakened lungs. That’s when she knew for sure, he was Immortal, and what she’d seen had been his first death.
As Cassandra came back to herself she started to make plans for the coming months. Much as she cared for the men, whose worried faces surrounded her, she knew it was not yet time to tell them everything she’d learned. Methos was probably the only one who could truly comprehend what had to happen, but she wanted time before she had to share her burden. She’d tell them only the bare minimum, that she had seen the birth of a new Immortal and that the Powers wanted her to help him. Right now her only priority was to get to Alexander.
The explanations and plans were going well, right up to the point when she told them the name of the town she was going to visit. The minute she said the word Sunnydale, both Methos and Joe pitched a giant fit. It seemed that what the Powers had neglected to tell her was that the boy lived on a Hellmouth. All Immortals knew of the danger that exposure to Hellmouth energy could cause. It affected the Quickening inside them, twisting and corrupting it. Long-term exposure could make the worst dark Quickening look like a walk in the park. And mankind’s only hope had been raised right on top of it. She had to get him out of there; sooner rather than later. God only knows what could happen to him if she didn’t.
Two months later Cassandra was standing outside an apartment block in downtown Sunnydale. Looking up at the windows she let out a growl of frustration and seriously considered banging her head against the wall a few times, after all things couldn’t get any worse than they were right now. When she arrived in Sunnydale, she’d expected to find a confused and frightened boy; one who would not understand what had happened to him and would be grateful for her guidance and teaching. What she’d ended up with was possibly the only man on the planet who could drive her crazier than Methos.
Stubborn didn’t even begin to describe Alexander Harris. When she’d knocked on his door that first evening she’d been shocked when he appeared sword in hand and calmly asked her if this was a challenge. Her usual poise had deserted her when she realised that he already knew exactly what he was. A few days later she’d been through a crash course in survival, Sunnydale style, watching from a distance as her would be charge and his friends kept the demons from preying on the town. He’d told her that he’d used an old girlfriend’s contacts to find out what had happened to him up on the bluff and while he liked the immortality thing, he wasn’t interested in training for the game.
She couldn’t tell him the real reason he was so important, so she’d had to settle for emphasising how dangerous the Hellmouth could be for someone like him. Thinking that if she forced him to see that he could become a danger to the people he loved, she’d be able to persuade him to leave with her. It was no good, he knew about that too and had already arranged for some mystical shielding to protect him from the effects. She’d tried everything to get him to listen to her, but nothing had worked. Tonight he’d told her in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t planning on changing his mind any time soon and that she should go back to her life. The young witch was on her way home from England and he believed that Cassandra’s presence might hurt her recovery. Something he would not allow to happen. The Seer had been very vocal in her condemnation of Willow’s magical addictions and he didn’t trust her to be around his friend.
Despite everything she’d come to care for the brash young man, seeing in him a mixture of Methos’ bravado and Macleod’s sense of honour. He had an inner strength that belied his years and time spent in his company was certainly never boring. She knew she couldn’t stay in Sunnydale to protect him as the taint was already getting to her Quickening; for now she had no choice but to let him go and pray he would find his true path in time. In the end all she had to show for her pains was a promise from Alexander that he would call her often and let her know how he was; and that if he ever did decide to train he would come to her. She would not have given up so easily but the Powers had said that if she pushed too hard, she might be the one that sent him away from the light. Getting into her car and driving away was one of the hardest things she’d ever done. She headed back to Seacouver to wait for Alexander.
Over the next few months she heard often from Alexander, he would call her up and regale her with tales of his life in Sunnydale. She was never entirely sure if he was joking with her, some of the stories were so outlandish. He’d taken to calling her up in the evenings, when she was usually at Joe’s; and when her phone rang the others had started placing bets on how long it would be before her mysterious friend reduced her to tears of laughter. Only Methos saw the pain she hid beneath the surface, he’d noticed the subtle changes that had come over her and was worried. In the end she hadn’t been able to deal with it all alone and one night had gotten very drunk and told Methos everything. For the first time in centuries she saw the old fire in his eyes and remembered why this man had once been named Death. She’d made her peace with the man that he’d become but, much as she needed his help, to see him look that way once again was chilling.
Methos turned his agile mind to helping her and planning every last detail of what had to happen once Alexander came to them. He’d decided to train the boy himself, he’d need a level of ruthlessness that the gentle Seer wouldn’t be able to provide. Cassandra wasn’t exactly sure when she lost control of everything, but she was grateful for the help. It was all going fine until she didn’t hear from Alexander for a few weeks; she tried desperately to contact him but could never get through. Then one night they turned on the television in the bar and Cassandra fell apart. Right there on the national news was a picture of Sunnydale, or at least the large crater where Sunnydale used to be. She knew that something catastrophic must have happened to the Hellmouth and that in all likelihood Alexander and the Slayer would have been involved, she’d failed to keep him safe and now everything was lost.
She barely registered the door opening and the figure entering the bar, he felt like an ancient and powerful Immortal, but right now she didn’t care. Duncan and the others could see if he was a threat, she wasn’t interested.
She looked up from her place on the floor, taking in the dusty and battered figure before her. He looked as though he’d aged years in the months since she’d seen him and was almost unrecognisable. The eyepatch he’d taken to sporting didn’t help, but she’d know that voice anywhere, “Alexander.” Rising to her feet, she ran to him, enveloping him in a warm hug and crying tears of relief against his shoulder.tbc…..