WARNING: m/m sexual activity. Adult language. Story is generally
SUMMARY: 10 Years after the fall of Sunnydale, Xander has
distanced himself from his past life until a demon forces him to look
DISCLAIMER: I own nothing including the characters and products
named in this story. I do, however own an unused treadmill. If you
want to sue for that, help yourself.
Thanks to the wonderful Petxnd for the excellent banner.
Xander slammed through the steel back door of the club and
marched, unspeaking, past the security guard. He was tired,
irritable, and restless. He had slept badly, and when he could sleep,
he tossed and turned resulting in a crick in his neck and a
charlie horse in the arch of his left foot.
To make matters worse he then woke with an odd combination of
empty stomach and heartburn.
When he finally dragged himself out of bed, his plan of calling Kim
for breakfast was shit canned for several reasons. One, he didn't
think he could face his friend's perpetual positive attitude. Second,
because he was in no mood for light chit chat about the price of
bananas, the weather forecast, and, oh, yes, apparently there
really are demons and monsters flitting about in the world and
Xander is on a first name basis with at least one of them.
No, Xander knew he was in a foul mood and the real reason he
didn't phone was that he couldn't subject his friend, whom he
thought of as a brother, to his nasty, 'wanna snap the head off
someone', attitude. Besides, he reasoned, he would see him at
work and by then maybe he would feel better.
Xander stomped down the hallway and into his office. He did
NOT feel better. Dropping down into his chair, Xander picked
up the mail on his desk and started glancing through it.
It was a bit of normalcy that went a long way towards easing his
mind and calming his rattled nerves. When he finally thought he
could act in a civil, adult manner, he hit the intercom button,
calling the security desk.
"Yes, Mr. Harris?"
"Jim, do you know where Mr. Li is?"
"Mr. Li hasn't come in yet, Sir."
Xander frowned and checked the time on his watch. He had
been running late today and the club was just minutes from opening.
Kim was never late. Something felt wrong.
Xander's bad mood just took a dive south.
"Look, Jim, I'm going to make the rounds and get the dancers set
up for opening. I want you to try to call Mr. Li on his cell and at
home. Just make sure he is all right. Let me know as soon as
you talk to him."
"Will do, Sir."
The private plane was just 1000 miles from it's destination. A mere
drop in the bucket of time when you consider how far they had already
come. The occupants had now circled together and were discussing
the perplexing results of Willows detection spell.
Andrew was the first to react. He withdrew his hand from Giles, and
went straight into business mode. He pulled out his notepad and began
jotting down notes, comments, facts, anything Rupert may need to
Knowing his aide was ready, Giles began. Although it was information
he already knew, he ask the question more for the documentation of facts.
"Wesley, you are the demon expert, what exactly is a Nambulist?"
Wesley shoved one last pecan biscuit in his mouth and began relaying what
he knew as he brushed the crumbs off his hands on to his pant legs.
"A Nambulist is a particularly dangerous demon because it is so difficult
to dispatch. It is a dimensional slider, usually coming into this world through
a portal of dreams. Because of that, it is incorporeal in our dimension.
Like a phantom it can't be touched, killed, or captured. It is a shape shifter.
It can take the form of any living thing but most often it mimics the
appearance of the one who called it forth. Which brings us to the most
perplexing part of all this. Willow was most correct when she stated it
was a self summoner. Apparently Xander has called this demon himself,
although I can't imagine why."
Willow immediately felt her blood start to boil at the percieved accusation.
"I don't believe it! Xander always hated magic. He wouldn't do something
like that. If this is the demon that's responsible for those men's disappearance
that would make Xander a killer and HE ISN'T!
Casually, Wesley began rooting through the basket at his side. He was sure
there were one or two of those cookies left.
"Actually, Willow, you don't know what he may be doing. Ten years is a long
time and may have changed him a great deal. You can't possibly say what
he may or may not be capable of. After all.........AHA!"
Wesley triumphantly withdrew one last pecan crunchy out of the bottom of
the pile of chocolate chip and mint pattys, waving it high in the air.
Instantly, Willow slapped it from his hand. The portable table along with
Giles briefcase and Willow's own laptop tumbled to the floor as she
leaped to her feet. Screaming and looming over him, Willow shouted
her anger and frustration as heated tears stung her eyes.
"NO! YOU don't know him, but I do! How dare you accuse Xander
of murder, or magic, or anything bad. He's not like that. I don't care
how many years it's been, he wouldn't do that. I know him! I know
him and he's still Xander."
Giles, too had scrambled to his feet, stepping over the fallen objects and
grabbing Willow around the waist, holding her back, away from the man
who now sat frozen, eyes bugging comically and mouth hanging wide
open. Mashed cookie lay in globs on his tongue.
Andrew tossed his notes aside and quickly gathered things off the floor
before any more damage could befall them. Catching Wesley's eye,
Andrew shook his head wildly, signaling to him that standing up right
now would be the worst possible thing he could do.
Wesley stayed seated.
"Stop it, Willow, NOW!'
Giles stood behind her, arms wrapped around her waist holding her back.
No one, including Willow thought she would actually hit Wesley, but she
was enormously grateful for the solid grip of the older man that allowed
her to struggle and burn out the sudden burst of fury and frustration that
surged through her.
Within minutes, her small body went limp. Her hands went to her face
and her shoulders shook with the sobs that consumed her.
"I...I'm sorry. I...I didn't mean it. I just miss him so much. It's all so
confusing and so frightening."
Giles released her gently and helped her sit back down.
"We have all missed him. We love him very much, Willow, he is family,
but we must be prepared. Ten years is a long time and we don't know
what changes have taken place in his life. Whatever happens, we will
still love him, and I promise, no one will hurt him. O.k?"
Willow wiped her eyes and blew her nose. Still not trusting her voice,
she just nodded.
"Mr. Giles and party...."
All four looked toward the cockpit as the overhead intercom crackled
with the pilot's voice.
"We are approximately 20 minutes from touching down. Please prepare
for arrival at our destination of Oxnard California. A customs official
will meet you there and pass you through immediately, Sir.
We will remain on stand by and you may call at anytime to arrange the
Without comment, the four officials of the Watcher's Council straightened
their appearance, collected together their belongings and prepared
themselves for the business of saving mankind.