Title: Shadows Over Sunnydale
Chapter Three of ??
Crossover: BtVS/(Original)Dark Shadows
Disclaimer: All characters belonging to Buffy the Vampire Slayer are owned by Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Fox, etc. All characters belonging to Dark Shadows are owned by Dan Curtis, MPI, Dan Curtis Productions, etc.
Xander stared numbly at the white-haired old gentleman seated at the table. This had struck him harder than some of the sucker punches he'd taken fighting at Buffy's side over the past five years. "Chair, please," he croaked, leaning on the table. "Sitting would not be of the bad right now."
Wood scratched against wood as Buffy grabbed a chair and slid it behind him. Gently, she put one hand on his shoulder and one on his back as she helped him sit down.
"Why?" Xander asked, his voice almost too soft to be heard.
Barnabas nodded. It was the obvious question and one which could only be answered with the most delicate, careful telling of the truth. Told the wrong way, it would not be believed and the only child of a dear friend he himself had once romantically pursued would surely die. Had things gone differently, he pondered, the young man before him might very well have been his own son. He sipped his tea before responding.
"Your life was in danger and the threat to you grew with each day you spent in Collinsport. It can be a dangerous town to live in, with many supernatural hazards of its own. Had Julia and I known of Sunnydale's location on the Mouth of Hell, we certainly would not have placed you in such...precarious circumstances. The whole of the matter is a tale you not only deserve but need to hear. Tonight, if you wish. Tomorrow, if you prefer to first digest the news of the renewed threat to your life."
"Who would want to hurt Xander?" Willow asked. "He's not some male Slayer or warlock or half-demon or, or -- I don't know what. He's Xander."
"Thirty-four years ago," Barnabas began, "a young woman named Victoria Winters attended a seance at Collinwood, my family's ancestral home. Things went most thoroughly wrong and she awoke to find herself displaced in time, stuck in the year 1795. To make concise a very long story, her knowledge of future events and possession of a volume of my family's history made it easy for her to be framed by what you would call a dark witch. Peter Bradford -- your father, Alexander -- despite being her jailer, believed in her innocence and helped her to escape. Deeply in love, they sought to no avail to prove her innocence. In time, she found her way back to 1967 while he remained behind.
"They did not remain long separated, however. Victoria and I were driving to Bangor when a man stumbled into the road in front of us. Your mother crashed the automobile as she sought to avoid hitting him. Vicki was a warm, caring, decent and strong woman whose driving skills occasionally left much to be desired.
"When I awoke in the hospital, I learned that the young man she had nearly struck was named Jeff Clarke and that he bore a striking resemblance to her lost love. She was convinced from the start that they were the same man. After a time, we discovered that she was right. When he was drawn back into his own time, she found a way to follow him and there they were married."
"Actually, and forgive me for the correction, Mister Collins," Giles said. "it should rather be 'and THEN they were married.'"
"Perhaps," Barnabas said, smiling thinly. "But my own experience with time travel has made such precision rather moot."
"Look, G-man, I'm all Carpenter Guy down with the precision and all, but why am I not dead is what I want to know. Deceased. Defunct. An ex-parrot. Why am I here? And not in the philosophical sense, 'cause that one just gives me more headaches than a singing Reptannoch demon. Why am I here now and not there then?"
"Your parents, in their time, made the acquaintance of a Slayer and her Watcher. During the time shortly before and after your birth, the four of them ran afoul of the Servants of Nibrixxos."
"The demon Nibrixxos?" Giles asked.
"The very same," Barnabas replied.
TO BE CONTINUED...