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 amazing Purpledodah for the wonderful banner.
Immediately, the room of spectators exploded in
chaos. Jumping to her feet, Willow threw out her
hand, reaching for the image contained in the floating,
liquid window to the other dimension.
Tackling her at the last second, Giles stopped her, knowing that any
touch to the suspended watery screen would cause it to burst.
Wesley rushed to them, not certain if it was to prevent injury to the
witch or assist the watcher in holding her.
Andrew leapt to his feet and ran from the room. Giles couldn't
blame him. Andrew had always been delicate and if the stress
had gotten too severe, then he needed to do whatever he
needed to do.
Screaming in fury, Willow finally stopped struggling and angrily
jerked her arms from the men who held them.
"Giles, he did it. That fucking demon separated them. It had to have
known that losing Spike would be Xander's weak spot. What
are we going to do?"
Giles finally gave in to his urge and began polishing his glasses as
he watched Spike beat his fists against the blank cement wall.
"We do nothing. This is Xander's fight and he will have to correct his
Willow whimpered at Giles cold statement.
"No! That's not true. We CAN help."
All eyes turned to Andrew who had returned with a book in
one hand and an empty beer bottle in the other.
"Look, I read up on the spell you used when you did it before and I
noticed in this other book, a reference to it. It describes the spell as
you did it but it also mentions some side issues and additions not
included in the basic, more elementary witch craft guide you have."
Immediately Willow bristled at the perceived insult to her talents and
abilities. Quickly, she checked herself. This was about helping Xander.
She could always slap the face off Giles's little bitch later.
Giles positively beamed with pride. Andrew was indeed a man of
"What does it say? What can we do?"
Andrew dropped to the floor and sat cross legged, the open book on
his lap and the beer bottle at his side.
"O.k. As Willow often mentions, most spell come with safeguards.
Addendums to the casting that usually can only be done once, but that
gives the recipient of the spell a type of protection."
Willow frowned. The boy was smart. Smart and right. Apparently
there was a lot more to Andy Pandy than she had given him credit for.
"What can we do?"
"Well, I don't know if it will help at all, but we can send a message.
We can only send it to one of them and we can only do it once so we
have to choose our message and our moment right. To do it, we
need the DNA of the person we are sending to. Dead or alive,
DNA is a part of that person, a direct connection, a link. Thus,
the beer bottle."
Andrew held the bottle up in triumph. They all knew it was Spike's
None of the other's drank that brand of cheap piss water.
"When we are ready, we drop a message into the bottle and drop the
bottle into the water. If I'm right, it should go directly to him."
Willow had grabbed the book from Andrew's lap and studied the
spell carefully. Her pride took a massive hit but she had to admit,
"He's right. I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work."
Immediately, Giles grabbed paper and pen and they rushed back to
watch, hoping when the exact right moment occurred, they wouldn't
"XANDER! XANDER! GODDAMN IT! XANDER!"
Spike's fists were raw and bloody from beating on the solid block wall
that had, just moments ago been an open door way. Finally realizing
he was getting nowhere fast, he stepped back. He spun in a 360 circle
and tried to assess the situation.
He was trapped in a dream, there was a demon after them and most
importantly, he had lost Xander. The last point caused an uncontrollable
fear to churn around in his gut. Reason and rationality were being relegated
to the back corner of his brain and pure instinctual survival took over.
With no idea where to go or what to do, Spike threw his head back
And he took off running.
Xander rushed toward the board that now stretched nearly 10 foot
high and twenty foot long. The outside border, in a bizarre pattern of
decoration, was covered with bugs, birds and small rodents stuck to
the cork backing with huge hat pins shoved through their dead bodies.
In the center of the board, hung the men. Four on the bottom row
and two on the top with a space clearly saved for a seventh. Without
asking, Xander knew that was a place set aside for Spike.
Spike, who, because of Xander's own stupidity, was now no longer
at his side.
Unlike the bugs and birds whose glassy, unseeing eyes left no doubt
of their death, the men seemed different. Their pink skin and closed
eye lids gave Xander hope that they could still be saved.
He looked up to where his dearest, closest friend hung and he stared,
focusing on the man's chest. 'THERE! IT MOVED'
Warmth and joy flooded his body. Kim was breathing!
Turning to where Buffy stood, he saw her frown, her image flickered
and waivered very slightly.
"I don't know what you think, Xander, but you can't save them.
Not like that. You can't just pull them down and take them home.
Their lives belong to me! Unless.........."
Suddenly the vision of the slayer became strong again, almost real
"I have it. A game. A trade off. You for them. This is my world,
Xander, and I like it here."
In a blink, the person standing before him was now the Watcher,
tweed clad and exactly as Xander remembered him 10 years
earlier. He was younger, darker haired, his face smoother and less wrinkled.
"I need you here, son. Running through my hallways, feeding my soul
with the energy of your fears. It would be perfect."
Xander looked deep into Anya's blue eyes.
"Just you and me, Xander. Just like it should have been if you hadn't
dumped me at the alter and ruined my life. You are the only one I really
want. You promise to stay and I'll free all these others. They are
Xander blinked, using all the internal strength he had to break eye
contact, he looked down and rubbed his hand over the back of his neck.
He wished with all his heart that Spike was here. Spike would know
what to do.
The demon chuckled. It had him. If he consented, it could keep him
trapped in this dream dimension forever, tormenting him, feeding off
his terror, growing stronger every second of every night. Right now,
however he could feel his power flicker. He needed to return to his
home, his refuge. He needed Xander to come to him.
"Jesus, Xan. You still can't make a simple decision?"
Xander's head shot up. That voice. It couldn't be.
"Yep, it's me. Your best friend. Your buddy. Your pal. At least until
you killed me I was. But, hey, no hard feelings. Tell you what.
You need sometime to think over the offer on the table? No sweat.
Come find me and we'll talk."
With that, Jessie reached over to grab the side of the bulletin board
and he gave it a huge grunt and a spin. Like the giant numbered wheel
on The Price Is Right, the board flipped rapidly around. Blank
side, pinned bodies, blank side, pinned bodies.
Faster and faster till it was all just a blur. Then, in a flash, it all
disappeared and he was back in the empty hallway.
Looking up and down, he felt alone, abandoned, afraid. His cries of
"SPIKE!!" were answered with silence. Not knowing what else to
do, he did what he always did in the nightmares, he began to walk,
then trot, and soon was rushing through the hallways at a dead run.
When the sound hit him, he slid to a stop. His heart pounded and his entire
body trembled. Now he knew. He knew where in his dream the demon
lived and gained strength.
With no hesitation, Xander took off in the direction of the cheering, the
basketball game apparently had already started.