The Xander, The Watch and a New Sunnydale 9 Finis
The Xander, The Watch and a New Sunnydale 9 (Finis)
Author: Tohonomike email@example.com
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners...it will start off with the Joss/ME characters but any other characters aren’t mine either and any real-life folks are clearly not mine. NO money is involved. None are mine. Inspired by The Girl, The Gold Watch and Everything. A 1980 flick starring Robert Hays.
The group gathered at Xander’s place the next evening, just after the sun went down, to find a whole bunch of swarthy types that looked like they were probably relatives of Ms. Calendar. The group were apparently reinforcing the guest building, and moving in a few pieces of furniture.
Willow turned to Xander as they watched Joyce pull up in the driveway with Buffy.
“So…how many are moving in?”
“Two couples, and they’re making sure that in an emergency Dead Boy can’t hurt any one.”
“But he has his soul back…”
“Does that mean it’s physically impossible for someone to go crazy from remorse and murder lots of people? I think a bunch of death-row inmates didn’t get the memo, Wills.”
“You know what I mean…”
“Yeah, and until there’s real proof that Dead Boy is back to…Dead Boy normal at least, no one needs to take a chance.”
Joyce frowned slightly as she came up, expressing disappointment, “Xander, I thought you were going to make sure … that … person would leave town.”
“Well we just can’t let a wounded animal back into the wild, Ma’am. If the soul goes crazy, how do we know he won’t do human-crazy killing things. This way, he has two couples taking shifts to keep him away from Buffy. And they’ll help him act like a real man.”
“So, um, is the vampire still in the clothes from yesterday?” the woman asked uncomfortably.
“No, after taking plenty of pictures, I gave him some old sweats and all of my old Hawaiian shirts.”
Even Buffy smiled wanly and they heard Cordelia walk up the drive, “And if that isn’t cruel enough punishment, Xander’s threatened to find matching pants and boxer shorts online.”
Joyce smiled a little, twenty-four hours a day watch was better than ust running the weirdo out of town.
“For now, Xander, but I reserve the right to bring this up to a vote in the future.”
“You won’t hear me complaining when it’s time to give Dead Boy the boot, Mrs. Summers.”
“They pressured you, didn’t they?”
“It hadn’t reached that far. They merely pointed out that as I made the mistake of telling them about the vampire, hat it should be voted on. There were many votes for preventing Buffy and Angel from ever getting together again, and this was seen as the way to make sure it was ‘Angel’ and not a form of ‘Angelus’ we’d be releasing.”
“And if they are found alone together without a good explanation?”
“All he is…is dust in the wind…”
Buffy looked very uncomfortable with her mother’s attitude, but being Buffy, she could only keep quiet so long.
“Mom, if he were human would it make a difference?”
“He’d be doing jail time for what he did, Buffy. He’s too old for you. End of story. But the fact that he’s following a young girl around after being around longer than this country is even more disturbing.”
Buffy sighed and looked around, hoping to see Angel at least one more time…make sure he was going to be okay. But if it came down to Angel or Mom…Mom would win.
It wasn’t quite a circus atmosphere, but close, as the ‘vamp of the hour’ was let out of the secured room downstairs to interact with everybody. While embarrassed and still a little ashamed of his previous appearance, Angel was still able to give Buffy a wan smile as he stepped into the midst of the gathered group. Xander had explained things to him and the Romany earlier, that he wanted Angel to start acting like a human to torture the demon within, but that his relationship with Buffy was over. Xander interrupted and told him that he himself was dating Cordelia Chase, and had no interest in Buffy any more. Angel had noted that the boy seemed to be telling the truth, and that made it a LOT easier to swallow.
“Am I being executed?” he asked half-seriously as the others stared at him.
“No, Liam Angel, you are not,” Stefan Kalderash told him as he and the other ‘roommates’ stepped forward. “It’s just that everyone here is a party to the agreement as to your continued existence in this world. You, the soul, will sacrifice and sever all ties to Slayer Summers, and devote yourself to the hunting of demons, and the torture of the one that took your body. You will also be expected to act as the human you allege to be inside.”
One of the women, a Sofia Lovari, stepped forward and held up a necklace.
“Please bow down, I’m not that tall,” she admonished, “This will keep the soul anchored and sealed on you. It is not enough to cancel the curse breaking condition we know, but no other magic, or simple lightening of the curse will happen. It also, um, prevents your physical capability for breaking the curse, for the next number of times equal to the number of links.”
Angel bowed enough, then felt a shock when she uttered a Power Word of some type.
“There,” Stefan Kalderash nodded, “NOW, you are somewhat trustworthy. While Sofia has told you the part of the necklace’s magic important to you, the part that is important to us, is that the links of the necklace were each created with an old magic, and you will now experience ten times the pain you inflict on a human, and will not be able to kill one without your own decapitation occurring.”
Angel looked pale at the thought, Xander speaking up.
“Just don’t go around hurting humans and you’ll be fine. It’s not like you’ve been doing much of that the last few decades, right?”
Angel nodded slowly in agreement, but he did wonder, “Will it work if Angelus comes back again?”
“Yeah, so there’s that.”
“Good. Will this come off easily?”
“It won’t come off as long as you’re a vampire.”
Buffy frowned, “Okay? It sounds like slavery, Angel.”
“No, Buffy,” he sighed with a sad smile, trying to fight the exhaustion he’d felt for a hundred years, “It means I might be able to let go of my fear that I’ll hurt someone. It’s not bad. It just takes getting used to.”
“But what about us?” she said, those around her trying not to roll the eyes or grimace—none too successfully. A couple of throats clearing kept her from getting closer than arm’s length from him.
“There can’t be an ‘us’ anymore, Buffy. We’ve both known it couldn’t work out. It hurts. If I’d been thinking, maybe I’d’ve tried finding out more about the curse. Maybe some one should have said something about it. I have a lot I have to atone for—”
Xander cleared his throat, and interrupted, “You DON’T have a LOT to atone for, Angel. Other than Liam letting himself get turned, and Angel pursuing a young girl, the rest was done by a demon. So you have some stuff to make up for, so unless someday the heavens open up and turn you human again? Your ‘sentence’ will be a hundred and fifty years of Angelus-torture. At that point, you’re free to go and even the Kalderash have agreed to require only the wearing of the necklace as justice served.”
Buffy looked overwhelmed, “Xander, a hundred and fifty years is like forever!”
“Buffy, that’s how long Angelus was roaming around killing folks. Angel isn’t being punished for the century he just sat around and did nothing. And there are probably the ghosts of a lot of fathers and husbands out there that are resting easy knowing that Liam can’t run around with the ladies any more.”
“What’s that got to do with anything and why are you calling Angel Liam?”
Xander waved an upturned palm to Angel to field that question.
“My human name was Liam, Buffy. And I was pretty much a waste. While I don’t like all of this, the fact that things are settled, a hundred and fifty years of being a better man and hunting demons to make my demon unhappy? It’s starting to sound pretty good. Human justice by those who understand the situation. I can accept that.”
The vampire sighed, and removed a claddagh ring from his hand, and uncertain, she did likewise, “In the tradition of my people, these rings, they signify betrothal.”
He took the one from her hand, and handed them to the woman he now knew as Jana of the Kalderash, “And if we have to give up, sacrifice, move on, I guess they should be given to the family of the potential slayer that Angelus killed, the Kalderash. Angel, who was Liam, came back and knew you because of them, so they deserve them.”
He looked at the woman they’d known as Jenny Calendar, then turned back to Buffy.
“While I hope to see you again, it will only be as a friend, Buffy. Please find someone you can walk in the sun and have children with someday…Good bye.”
And Angel headed out of the room to take a look at his new home. Buffy cried and sighed a little, but put on a brave front. Joyce stepped close and handed her a coffee.
“It’ll hurt for a while, but you’ll be fine, Buffy.” The girl nodded silently at her mother and sipped at the coffee as others began to move about and give them some room.
Giles paced his hand behind Xander’s shoulder blade as they walked into the other room.
“So Xander, what are your plans now?”
“Learn the business stuff, be a good boyfriend to Cordelia, train to be a demon hunter and Watcher type.”
“Yeah. Doesn’t mean I’m going to try matching Buffy, or even get to your levels, G-Man, but since I have all this money and stuff, I’m going to try being the best me I can be. Back up guy to as many of you as I can.”
“Well, with your newfound wealth, and your contacts, I’d say it’s only a matter of time before you attain your goals.”
“Time is the one ally I don’t think I’ll have a problem with, Giles. For some reason I think I got that one covered.”
Jana Kalderash smiled at the boy’s remark as she followed the two men, wondering about the future, and just how close to the truth Xander danced about other things…
Author’s Note: Thanks for reading this little series. I’ve decided to end it here on a light enough note. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it. I hope you don't mind that Xander's happy to be Number One Back Up Guy instead of Uber Xander, but I felr the character after one LONG week could see his current limitations and needs better than everyone.