Title: The Possibility... (1/1)
Crossover: BtVS/The Beyond (Italian Horror Movie)
Disclaimer: Neither Buffy the Vampire Slayer or The Beyond belong to me. They belong to whoever owns their copyright. I am just borrowing them to get a story out of my head.
Summary: A kind of response to to Xander's Real Family challenge. Among the worst parts about hell is the death of possibilities.
Pairings: well John/Liza from The Beyond, vague references of Xander/Cordelia.
Spoilers: Welcome to the Hellmouth, The Harvest, Graduation Day, the end of season 6, Chosen/The Beyond.
Timeline: Canon BtVS. AU, probably on The Beyond. This story is set after the end of the movie, but I think I have a little more hope than the movie did. Enjoy.
"And you will face the sea of darkness, and all therein that may be explored."
The final words in The Beyond.
Among the worst parts about hell is the death of possibilities.
John McCabe and Liza Merrill knew this fact all to well. They were there when the one of the Gates of Hell opened underneath the Seven Doors hotel as predicted by The Book of Eibon. They tried to run, to escape, but there was no escape. The vast blasted plane had welcomed them with nothing but dark winds calling half forgotten names. Bodies of those that came before them were frozen in a brooding endless existence in the Beyond.
The pair now laid side by side in the ground utterly enclosed in darkness. They could hear each other over the constant moaning that surrounded them. Movement was all but impossible, so they talked when they were able. Other times despair drove them to silence. And it had continued this way for days (years? hours?).
In a particularly cruel torment, the Beyond began to show John and Liza what could have been, if they had not been in that place, that time, when time had lost all meaning. There was love, dating, courtship, marriage, a prosperous business. It was a life, while not perfect, was not a life in this place.
And there was a child.
That was the worst part for the two of them, yet the pain was continued. Their son was a good boy, somewhat of a clown, prone to mischief. Sometimes he was bad, sometimes good, sometimes in between. They saw him grow up, get hurt, make friends, fall in love. Through all this they tried to be the best parents possible. Their son was not perfect, but he was theirs.
After seeing the future where they had raised their son, the vision changed. Instead of what could have been, they were then shown reality after they disappeared. The reality of now, of the man who would have been their son.
Their son was born Alexander Lavelle Harris in a small non-nondescript town named Sunnydale. His parents grew to be drunkards and cold towards young Alexander, or Xander as he prefered to be called. John and Liza soon realized that Sunnydale was far darker then it first appeared. It was built over a Hellmouth, the darkness hanging of the vision like a shroud.
Xander grew up. John was angered when Tony would beat Xander in drunken rages. Liza wept when she realized that she would never been able to comfort her son. They saw vampires, a growing plague as the Hellmouth began to stir, awakened by diabolical forces.
Then Buffy Summers, the Slayer came to Sunnydale, and Xander's life would not be the same again.
John had heard stories from his English grandfather when he was a boy. Stories of strange beasts that stalked the shadows and those who opposed them. Stories of a girl, chosen to fight the nosferatu that hunted man. John had always thought of the tales as stories told to frighten the children around the campfire, as the rest of his family had. They weren't.
Liza was heartbroken when Xander had to stake his best friend Jesse to save another. She thought no boy should have to do such things, make such choices, but he did. A whole new world was opened to their son. Instead of running away or hiding, their son helped the Slayer fight.
And as they watched, Xander got older, and John and Liza were shown the good and the bad. His choices laid out, whether to cheat on his girlfriend or give up a possibility for love to save his Willow's life. His unrequited love for Buffy, which led him to both great jealousies and great heroism. They were proud when Xander gathered the senior class of Sunnydale High to prevent the Mayor of Sunnydale from sacrificing the crowd. They saw him fight vampires, monsters and his own demons along with his friends. They saw him risk his life over and over again, with a joke and his own growing skills as his only powers. And in a place where the world could end, Xander talked his best female friend Willow from destroying the world. Their son had saved the world.
The destruction of Sunnydale was a horrifying sight. Xander's ex-fiance Anya was killed, and the place of his birth fell into the earth. He lost an eye, gouged out by a madman. But he survived, riding away from the death that had claimed his town. His destiny unclear, Xander went into an uncertain future, but there was still hope.
As the images faded, John and Liza could once again hear the maddening whispers and cries that echoed around them. These voices were not calling out their names anymore, nor were secret sins echoing through their prisons.
"Suffering,suffering", the voices cried out. "He suffers still."
There was silence between the pair frozen into the ground. Then a strange sound echoed through the windswept plane. A sound that had not been heard there in many years.
John and Liza were laughing. Not a laugh of desperation or of madness. No. This was pure powerful laughter that started from deep within. A laugh of relief and hope.
"My son suffered, yes", John said. "But my boy is a fighter. He wouldn't back down. He wouldn't give up."
"Our son," Liza continued, "helped save the world. Several times over. And the most ironic part is that the only reason he was there was because you brought us here."
The howling wind stopped for a moment. Then it roared to life again, even fiercer.
"Not your son!", the voices hissed angrily. "Not your son! Not your son!"
But underneath the icy plane of the Beyond, two people lying next to each other found enough strength to break though the ice and grab a hand. For the first time in days (years? hours?). John and Liza had human contact again.
The constant voices became quieter and quieter as the pair fell into a deep slumber, still grasping each other's hand. John McCabe and Liza Merrill had faced the sea of darkness, and all therein. Amid all of the darkness that surrounded them, they had found a small possibility of hope. They dreamed of that hope. They dreamed of their son.
Somewhere else in time and space, the man who would have been their son, in a quiet moment alone, began to smile. He did not know why he was smiling, but he felt suddenly loved and comforted. And after all that had happened to him, Xander Harris grabbed on to that feeling and held it for as long as he could.
For Lucio, David, and Catriona.