Title: Between Life and Death
Rating: R or M…depends on what system you want to go by.
Spoilers: Post “Chosen” in BTVS, post “Haunted” in DLM
Summery: During a mission from Giles, Xander has an unfortunate accident. But just how unfortunate is the question.
Disclaimer: Buffy: the Vampire Slayer is owned by Fox, UPN, Whedon, and ME. Dead Like Me used to be own by Showtime, now Sci-Fi airs it, so I really don’t know who owns it anymore. Not me though. If I did, I’d put it back on the air in a heartbeat.
Author Notes: Well, this is my attempt to come back to my personal fics. With William helping me co-write Path to Power, it also started to re-ignite my old muse. I'm going to be writing Path to Power mainly, but whenever I have some time in waiting in chapter development, I'm going to work on a fic of mine. So, this is what I first wanted to come back to.
This fic started before the Dead Like Me DVD movie. So, that movie isn't canon. For one thing, Rube is still around in story. And anyway, we all like Rube. So the movie isn't part of canon here.
I couldn’t help but take a step back. Right in front of me was Jesse McNally. The same Jesse McNally that died eight years ago. Eight years after Darla turned him and I staked him.
I shook my head.
“But you’re dead.”
The scenery around changed as well. I no longer was in a spacious corridor of this maze, but rather in a spacious bare room. In the center, a pedestal started to raise from the ground. As soon as it stopped, light shined briefly. A sword...I'm guessing the Bane of Truth, appeared atop the pedestal.
Around the pedestal, new rods came up from the ground as well. They seemed easily to fit the purpose of a barricade.
He grinned, “And that stopped me before?”
His question stopped my inner musings. I shrugged. “True enough.” But I immediately went for the axe that rested upon my right hip.
“Relax, Xander. I’m not a vampire.”
I took the axe. “Funny. That’s what a vampire would say.” I raised it above my head. Both my hands held tightly around the hilt. I drove it down, fast.
The blade went right through him.
“So if you’re not a vampire or demon…” I sighed. “I left my proton pack at the hotel room. Stay here, I’ll head back to Seattle, grab the proton pack, and I’ll do my best impersonation of Peter Venkman. I already got the cats and dog line in my arsenal.”
Jesse smiled, “This isn’t 1985, Xander.”
“No shit. I’m still trying to stomach 1988.”
McNally smirked, “Fair enough.” He then walked around me. His eyes still locked on mine. “Because we all know the truth about Mrs. Henry.”
We both rolled our eyes at the memory of our third grade teacher.
“But that’s not why I’m here.”
“So catching up between two best friends is out of the question.” I said simply.
“Not this time, Xander.” He shook his head. “That’ll happen when you die.”
“Sorry to disappoint you, Jess.” I smiled, “Just found out that it’s going to be a while before that happens.”
Jesse nodded, “Oh I’m ok with that, Xander.” He shrugged. “It just means you’ll have more time to torture yourself.”
“Torture myself?” I grinned. “Obviously you don’t know what it’s like to be used by your friends.”
“No, I don’t…”
A moment passed.
“But I do know when your friends neglect you.”
I shook my head. “I never neglected you!”
I couldn't help but stand in awe at that moment. Jesse just stood there and told me that I neglected him? How the hell did he feel like I ever did that to him.
"I did not neglect you." I told him, repeating my previous thought.
"Oh so you weren't around when Darla turned me?"
I shook my head.
"I tried to save you, Jesse."
"Well, look what happened. You and Wills escape with your lives. You lived to see another day. And me?" Jesse said each word with anger. "I became Elvira's chew toy."
"Look, Jess man, I'm sorry. But…I didn't neglect you."
"You left me. You forgot about me." Jesse approached me. Hurt in his eyes. "I thought we were best buds."
"Best buds don't leave each other behind. You saved Willow. Why couldn't you save me?"
Watching Jesse die all those years ago was painful. Watching him come back to the Bronze as a vampire, having to stake him. Hell, I didn't even have the courage to stake him. He accidentally fell on my stake.
I then remembered something.
"I did come back for you. Me and Buff. We tried to find you."
"Trying wasn't good enough." Jesse sighed. "You were a waste of a best bud."
"I would've saved you."
He then disappeared. My heart broke. I had nightmares all the time about this. For years, I could remember seeing Jesse die. His parents even left Sunnydale after the funeral. They couldn't stay and I didn't blame them.
I let out a breath that I was holding in. I looked up at Jesse again just appeared right in front of me. Now, I know it's been a few years since I actually talked to him, and things to have a chance of seeming different when you meet up again on an old friend. Granted, Jesse died 8 years ago. I still remember allot about him.
How could I not?
But this Jesse did seem off. His mannerisms weren't the same. Sure, I'm sure some things aren't exactly how I remember them, but he just didn't seem right. I wanted to make sure of something. I bent down to the ground and picked up a small rock. I took it in my hand and tossed it briefly. Caught it easily again within seconds.
I straighten up. I looked at him. With a shrug, I said, "Maybe you just weren't strong enough, Jesse. I did try. What did you do? You just rolled over and became vamp food. To Darla of all vampires."
Jesse took a step back. "So this is what you're going to do, Xan? Try and play reverse psychology? Please, we both failed Mrs. Feldman's Psych class."
"True, but hell, I even learned some things in school." I took the rock, "Like what happens if I were to through this?"
Jesse smirked, "You already know that's not going to do anything. You did try and chop my head off."
"Fair enough." I said simply. "But I want to prove something." I then through the rock straight at Jesse. Just as I suspected, the rock went through him with ease. "I wondered what happened to the first evil."
I looked at the pillar behind it. "I guess you're only allowed to guard sacred swords." Giving a shrug, I went right through him and placed my hands on some of the rods surrounding the pillar that had the Bane of Truth resting upon it.
"So you remember our last encounter?"
I smirked. "How can I not? You tried the something last year, 'Jesse.'" I turned to Jesse. "Now how do I get the sword?"
"You think I'm going to tell you."
I rolled my eye. "So this is what you do? You change forms?"
The first evil walked over and started to circle around me. "If I knew what I know now, I would have chosen you."
I told her with venom. "I'd rather die, Darla."
"Which makes you a better candidate. No fight for the soul to survive."
She grinned as she continued to circle around me. "You get turned, and then you leave." Darla added. "You could've had so much potential."
"I think my potential is fine just the way it is." I retorted. I left the pillar and focused on 'Darla.' I approached her. "Now are you going to tell me how I can get the sword?"
"I think I'm going to enjoy taunting you forever." Darla said with a grin. "We had so much fun last year."
When the first evil mentioned that, my eye glared at 'Darla. "Don't you dare bring her into this."
The first evil grinned. "I lost someone too because of that night."
I growled, "You didn't have a body!"
Darla shrugged, "Oh, I still had a body..."
"Don't you dare..." I said to it when I faced the first again.
"Why wasn't I born, Daddy?"
I was thinking about this chapter, and realized between this, last chapter, and the next one, chapter 1o actually appears as a long chapter. So, this is chapter 10b. Next will be 10c which will continue this 'mini-arc.' It works for the Bane of Truth idea anyway too. More surprises in 10c. Sorry it took this long to get out.
Thanks to William Gilmore for helping with this angle.