By: Wynna PenDragon
Rating: PG, so far
Warnings: Slight OOC-ness, Original character
Summary: Set 5 years after ‘Not Fade Away’.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, Joss/Mutant Enemy etc. etc. do.
“Your next mission is to the planet Terra. We have reason to believe that it is rife with the force, however, it is tainted by a great evil..."
* * *
"We have reason to believe there will be yet another apocalypse."
“It mentions the hellmouths around the world...our warriors not enough...two champions..."
* * *
"Well, all we have to do is wait until we see a blaze of fire."
"The blaze of fire couldn't mean literally."
* * *
"I don't think they ran a full diagnostics test before we shipped out. We are going to crash."
"Oh my god," Exclaimed Buffy, looking up into the sky, "Is that a meteor?"
* * *
"I am sorry, we do not know of whom you speak. I am Jedi Master Wyn-Udiin Fiori. This is my padawan, Will. The young twi'lek is named Freya Yao and is under our protection."
"Wesley?" Angel breathed.
* * *
A not so long ago time, in a galaxy not so far away…
“Wesley?” Angel breathed.
They saw Wyn-Udiin’s brow furrow, but before he could say anything, Andrew ran up to Will and wrapped his arms around him, “Oh my god you’re alive! Er...undead still! Angel said he couldn’t find you after the Great Battle in Los Angeles. We thought you were dust.”
“Yeah,” Buffy said, “Funny we didn’t get the memo that you came back.” She folded her arms and directed a pointed look at Angel, “Wanna explain that?”
Will looked down at the man still holding onto him, “I am sorry that I caused such…” He took the younger man by his shoulders and created some space between them, looking deep into the young man’s eyes he asked, “Do I know you?”
Will could hear the veritable pin drop at his question, all sound seemed to have been sucked from their little meadow. He looked at each person before them, their faces ranging from shock, bewilderment, and what was most surprising of all…pain. That look was reserved for the man with an eye-patch, he stared at Will as if he couldn’t believe he was real, it confused him in more ways than one.
Xander took a few steps forward, standing next to Buffy. He could not believe that Spike was standing before them, whole and well, with what one would assume, no memory of them. His appearance had changed drastically; no longer did he have bleach-blonde hair, but medium-brown, shoulder length hair gathered in the back, with a small waist-length braid hanging from behind his left ear. His clothes reflected the other man’s, only his were a darker color. He could have laughed about the dark clothing, it seemed as though the vampire only knew two colors: red and black. For some reason however, seeing the other man, made him feel…He couldn’t describe what he felt.
When Spike didn’t make it back to them after the amulet did its work, annihilating all of Sunnydale, he didn’t feel anything. He couldn’t really, not after hearing about Anya. Now to see that not only did Spike survive, apparently has been technically alive for a while, and absolutely no word from Angel about any of it? He just couldn’t get a bead on any emotion to cover his shock. Too much information at one time blew his circuits, he supposed. All he could think was that he looked good for being supposedly dust twice over.
“You mean,” Buffy steppe closer, “You don’t remember anything?”
Will frowned, “I remember some things, but not everything.” His eyes closed, eyes tightening, “Some things are coming back, however.”
Buffy looked over her shoulder at Angel and frowned, “Why didn’t you tell us?”
Before Angel could say anything, Wyn stepped forward, “Maybe this is not the best place to talk about this. It is not safe out here for any of you; we should all reconvene at a different place tomorrow and talk.”
“Master what are you saying? I do not know these people, nor trust them. That Angel-“
“-Seems to remember you. They all do, in some fashion. These people may be the ones that are able to restore your memory.”
“How do you explain them being here just after we crash land then? They might know me, but in what fashion is our relationship with one another? They could be acting.”
Wyn mentally sighed, “Yes but we need answers. Would you rather stumble around blindly in this planet, hoping for a memory, or would you rather glean as much information as you can from these people?”
Will couldn’t deny the truth of his master’s words, already he had flashes of memory, and some were so strong he could barely concentrate. He blew a stream of air through his nose and looked up, his eyes locking with the eye-patched man. A tremor ran through his gut, the force of it nearly taking his breath away. He had no idea what it meant, but he did know that as soon as he saw the man, he couldn’t deny that somehow he knew him. He was broken out of his reverie as the blonde woman spoke.
“Oh you don’t need to worry about us; we can take care of ourselves.” She grinned. She looked behind her, “Sorry, you must be wondering who we are. My name is Buffy, and these men,” She motioned to the three men behind her, “Are Angel, and Xander. Andrew is the one that hugged you.” She said softly to Will.
Wyn, Will and Freya bowed to the four people. Wyn stepped forward and smiled, “It is a pleasure to meet you Buffy, Angel, Xander and Andrew.” He nodded to each one of them. The man called Angel was still gaping at him, which totally dismayed him. He shook his head, “Nevertheless, it is not safe here, those creatures-“
“-Are vampires,” interrupted Buffy, “Don’t worry, we’ve fought them countless times before, we can deal.” Buffy looked behind them, “Your uh, spaceship-thing is smoking.”
Will whirled behind him, “I hope nothing is on fire…” He trailed off as he walked up the ramp. Freya glanced back at the group, and then she looked to Wyn. After receiving a nod from the Jedi master she followed Will into the ship.
“Look why don’t you all just come back with us?” Buffy asked. “We have more than enough room, it won’t be any trouble.”
Wyn bowed to the blonde slayer, “It would be an honor, Buffy. I must confer with my companions; however I am sure they will acquiesce to your request.” He nodded to them and walked back to the ship.
“Guys, I can take care of things here. Andrew, I need you to go back to the castle and get a couple rooms ready. I’m sure they’re tired after their…crash. Angel, go with them back to the castle, dawn isn’t far off. Xander, I need you to get a hold of Willow, catch her up on what’s happening. Tell her I’m going to need her ASAP.”
Xander nodded, “Sure Buffy. No problem.” He motioned for Andrew and Angel to follow, and started off for the castle, Andrew close behind.
Angel hesitated, taking a few steps forward, “Buffy I’m not going to leave you alone with these people. We don’t know what they’re here for, they might be dangerous.”
After he said this, a silence befell the wood. Buffy clasped her hands behind her back, still facing the ship. Quietly she said, “That was an order Angel. I don’t believe that was up for discussion.”
* * *
The three companions agreed, with much deliberation on Will’s part. They agreed that the only way they would get any answers, is to stay with the people that had first made contact with them, who seemed to know more about Will. It was as if the Force had willed it so. They had nothing to bring with them, for a Jedi carried no possessions. As the early morning light crested the top of the forest trees, the Jedis descended the ship’s exit ramp, meeting once again with the blonde woman. Buffy: a peculiar name for a most peculiar woman. Jedi Master Wyn had felt no deception from her or her companions, but nevertheless he was not about to let himself be blinded by their hospitality.
He was not going to lose those close to him through inattention.
* * *
Darkness enveloped the cathedral, the silvery-cold moonlight the only illumination in the seemingly desolate building. The walls were ivory white, adorned with tapestries and framed paintings depicting seemingly religious scenes, only serving to horrify the onlooker. The aisle leading up to the grand altar was covered in a deep-almost maroon-red runner, flanked on either side by dark walnut pews. Columns that stretched across the entire room served as monoliths, not only sustaining the marble and stained glass ceiling above, but also to create shadowy alcoves for mysterious rendezvous.
The altar itself was monstrously huge, a grand affair of expensive marble and granite, swathed in lush velvet embroidered cloth. Two gold candle sticks stood as silent sentinels on either side of a large tome resting in the center. A sizeable statue of a man nailed to a cross hung just behind, a horrible reminder of barbarism passed, meant not only to invoke the subject of sacrifice, but also to subdue spectators.
It was silent save for the muted footsteps of a black-robed figure walking slowly down the aisle, only to stop and gaze at the large statue behind the altar. The figure had never seen anything like this depicted as a form of decoration for a holy place, he had seen however, men in the same position and usually by his own hand. The power he held over the weak had to be displayed for all those that opposed him, to serve as a reminder who truly held the reins in the universe.
He grinned, “I like this place.”
Another form appeared beside, seemingly to bleed through the shadow, “I found them.”
The master closed his eyes, “They are so close now…I can feel my former pupil.” He turned his head to the side, as if listening for something, “You are close to the learner, yes?”
As if from reluctance, the other replied, “Yes.”
“I love it when my pawns fall in line so quickly.” He reached out his hand, concentrating on the bright beam of light in the force, the two Jedi that could foil his plans if he didn’t do something about it right now. He focused on the learner, the one with the most potential, the one better to affect his former padawan. He released his sick hatred into him, seeing the poison course through his body, making him weaker and more susceptible to the taint growing on this planet. He wanted his former padawan to watch his blessed learner die slowly and ever so much painfully.
He hated him that much.
* * *
As they drew closer to Buffy, Will felt a wave of nausea, and his world went slightly grey. He stumbled slightly, Freya grabbed his arm to steady him. He smiled at her in thanks and straightened, walking with his back ram-rod straight as they reached the blonde. Wyn-Udiin and Freya shared a concerned look behind his back, something was wrong in the force. As they set off for the castle, Wyn-Udiin sent his senses out wide, he had felt a disturbance in the force not too long ago, just before Will stumbled, he had a bad feeling about this.
He could feel the malevolence of this planet, a teeming surge just simmering below a pleasant veneer, it would be easy for the users of the dark side of the force to hide here. He was concerned about his charges welfare, whether it was such a good idea to come to this place; it seemed so at the time, although now he wasn’t so sure. He knew his padawan could take care of himself, but he couldn’t bear for his pupil, his friend, to be injured or at the very worst killed so close to his knighthood because his master could not protect him well enough.
What he found chilled him to the core, it was a presence that he had not felt in a long time, that of his former master. Rhys Vahkar. Just before Wyn-Udiin became a Jedi Knight, his beloved master started to sicken, which was a very strange occurrence since Jedi were not prone to illness and learned at a very young age at the temple how to resist such things. He soon began to weaken, barely able to ward off attacks with his lightsaber, however he was still able to access the force and use it, which astounded most. The illness soon started to reach his mind, warping it, and he soon began to question Jedi doctrine, upsetting younglings and the Council. Their last mission together…it grew worse. Wyn-Udiin shuddered at the memory, they did not part on friendly terms. It was a memory that had haunted him every night, much like Will’s last memory haunted him. All this time, he thought his master had died on Korriban, which begged the question…
How long have they been followed?
* * *
“I hope your room is alright,” Buffy said, leading Will into a spacious bedroom, “We had to do some major reconstruction a few years back, someone set a missile on us and nearly leveled the place. Some of the rooms are pretty drafty.” She turned around to see Will quietly surveying the room. She walked closer to him, saying softly, “So you don’t remember anything at all, huh? Not even,” She bit her bottom lip, looking at her feet, “Not even me?”
“I am sorry milady,” He said quietly, “I have no idea. I am sure that with enough time, I shall remember.”
She looked back up, and her smile faded, “You don’t look so good.” His skin looked ashen, sheathed in sweat, and he seemed to be swaying on his feet, “I think you need to go to our infirmary.”
He shook his head, waved his hand to the side slowly, “I’ll be fine, honest. I just need some rest is all.”
Her brow furrowed, but nodded, “You’ll be fine. You just need some rest is all.” He smiled and moved passed her to the bed. As she reached the door, she looked over her shoulder at him, “I guess everyone looks like that after a crash. I’ll just leave you alone now.” She shook her head as she left, something really weird was going on.
More so than usual.
* * *
Will supposed that he should have felt at least a little guilty for using the Jedi Mind Trick on the girl, but she didn’t need to know that he felt close to collapsing as soon as they started for the castle. It could have been whiplash, or a result of the crash like she said, but ever since they landed-and that was what he was going to call it, no matter what his master or anyone else said-he felt as though there was something, someone, acting against them.
He felt a disturbance unlike any other, although he could have just chalked it up to nerves, this place felt so wrong somehow. As he sank down into the bedding of his borrowed quarters, he felt some of his tension melting away. It wasn’t for the Jedi to accept, nor succumb to such luxury, but after the past few days, he wanted to set up camp inside this bed.
He stared at the ceiling, his mind too awake for the rest of his body. This place and its people were so strange, and that was something considering the bizarre places they have visited. Their reactions, as they saw him, were what had thrown him the most. He surmised he should know the blonde woman quite well, she put off the impression that they were pretty…close. His heightened senses, a trait that he had before the Jedi started teaching him, sent him mingled signals. Her scent surprised him, alerting him to her many emotions: anger, surprise, remorse…desire. Her heartbeat quickened when she saw him, sped up as he spoke, then stuttered and slowed as he revealed his amnesia. It seemed as though she had a rough few years, her eyes and mouth were tight as they walked to the castle.
He shook his head, Will and the young man must have been close. Close enough for the young one to invade his personal space by hugging him. It was very uncomfortable, but strangely endearing. The tall, bulky one seemed flabbergasted by all of them, a natural sign of suspicion, but something about the act seemed so contrived. He knew that in the future, he would have to keep a closer eye on the man, something told him to stay wary around him. Out of everything that had happened, nothing concerned Will the most except for the feeling of closeness to Angel. He curled his body into a small ball, lying on his side, the nausea was getting worse, whether or not there was something wrong with him or the feelings he picked up off of Angel.
He took a few deep breaths, his thoughts at last landing on the eye-patched man, Xander. He couldn’t explain the feeling he had when locking eyes with him. It felt like a deep knowing, as if he knew things about the man that no other could dream of. It was as if the force was trying to tell him something, sort of pulling him towards the young man. What concerned him the most was how much of the force he could sense in Xander, there wasn’t much time to speak of it to his master, and even thinking was starting to make his head throb.
He rolled onto his stomach and buried his head under the pillow to drown out the sounds from the Scottish moors. Usually he enjoyed listening to the late-night sounds of nature, whenever they had to camp on a new planet, he always spent the first night just listening to all the myriad sounds. Tonight however, he could barely stand the early morning rain pattering against the pane-glass window. He wrapped his arms around the pillow, forming the cushion tighter around his ears, muffling everything. He sighed in utter relief and slipped into the oblivion of sleep.
* * *
The older vampire came upon William as he was writing in his journal on a rug near the hearth. He bent down without notice, only to see that not only was the younger doing something as mundane as a mere mortal would do, but he was writing poetry.
It was about his sire, and really bad by the looks of it.
He swooped down and grabbed the book, knocking the young vampire away as he was reaching for his journal.
Apart from my beloved.
The heart aches,
The soul weeps,
To find thyself unloved.”
The older vampire quoted mockingly, and tutted, “Ah William.”
“Give it back!” William growled.
“Will?” He heard the disembodied voice, muffled as if from far away, or remembered from a dream. He wanted to answer, but found he could not.
It grew quiet; one could hear a relative pin drop in the room. The older vampire stared down his nose at William, and casually tossed his journal into the fire. William’s eyes widened, if his heart could beat it would have skipped as he saw the beloved leather-bound novel being slowly consumed by the flames. All of his work, everything he had ever written since he turned twenty had been carefully written by his own careful hand into the journal, the only he had kept since he was turned, all of it turned to ash. He blinked away the moisture that welled seeing the buttery soft leather blacken and crackle, so easily destroyed. He looked up at his sire, Angelus and choked, “Why?”
Angelus sneered and swiped William across the face with his mighty paw, scoring five deep gashes. The force of the blow knocked him into the corner, the blood running down into the collar of his shirt.
“Will? Answer me, please.” Will started shaking, feeling real fear for what seemed like an eternity, may well have been since his turning.
“Why?” He froze as the deceptively innocent question passed the older vampire’s lips. William looked up to see shadow falling across his angelic features. His sire stood in the middle of the rug, hands hanging at his sides. Before William had time to say anything in his defense, his sire grabbed him by the back of the neck and tossed him into the middle of the room, and before he could scramble away, he felt a great weight settle on his back. His knees were pressed into the wood, could almost hear them cracking under the pressure over the noise of the fire. His left arm was caught underneath him, but his right arm, his writing hand was free. “Oh God,” he thought. His sire wouldn’t literally—
His hand was grabbed in a crushing grip, angled behind his back, and he knew that if he tried to move, he would help break the limb. It happened before. “I’ll tell ye why William,” Angelus lowered his voice to nearly a whisper, all the better to get his childe’s attention. He grabbed his forefinger, squeezing harshly, “Because you are nothing.” He yanked the finger back, until he heard a crack signifying the break. He reveled at the wail that came forth, and grabbed the middle finger, “Always had been nothing.” He yanked back again, breaking another finger issuing forth another cry, and moved on to his ring finger, “Will always be nothing.” He took the littlest finger, and leaned down to whisper into Will’s ear, “And once you have served your purpose, you will be dust in the wind as far as I care.” Then he swiftly snapped the bone. He sighed as William screamed again, and covered his mouth with his left hand, “If ye keep carryin’ on like this, I’ll just have to break the whole thing so ye learn yer lesson. Ye don’t want me to do tha’, do ye William?” He laughed and shrugged, grabbing the mangled hand, “Guess it doesn’ really matter what ye want, does it?” He twisted the hand until he heard the liquid snap, and William’s hoarse cries.
* * *
Will awoke with a scream dying on his lips, covered in a cold sweat. His right hand ached as if it was broken all over again. He brought the hand closer to his face, his vision blurry, and saw that it was stark white, stiff and cold. He shivered, and flexed the fingers gingerly, hissing softly as the merest twitch sent pins and needles up his arm. He would have to go back to their ship and wrap it up before working on the electrical system.
“Will?” He heard the voice again from his dream, but realized with some chagrin that it was in fact his master.
“Yes, Master. I am sorry, I must have overslept.”
“Is everything alright, Padawan?” He could feel his master’s concern, like a light brush against his mind, and felt immediately guilty for letting his guard down so easily. “You did not look so well last night, will you be able enough to go through our morning exercises?”
Will nodded, and sighed at the futility of the gesture, “Yes Master. I will be there in due time.”
He levered himself out of the comfortable bed, every muscle ached and felt heavy, and every joint felt stiff. His head felt worse however, it immediately started pounding, his vision trailed, and the nausea was almost overwhelming. He stepped into the adjoining bathroom and cringed at the image that greeted him in the mirror, he looked like the walking dead. His skin was pale and looked almost paper-thin, his eyes were sunken, dark circles ringed them. His eyes were blood-shot, aching and feeling tight. His ears felt as if stuffed with cloth, everything was muffled and throbbing. His lips looked bloodless and were cracked; his bottom lip was split, but thankfully not leaking blood.
He sighed and leaned against the sink, resting his head on the cold surface of the glass mirror in front of him, he couldn’t stop shaking. He splashed cold water on his heated face, and then turned backed to the bedroom to put his boots on that he kicked off, supposedly in the middle of the night. Although how his toes could maneuver the complicated buckles was a mystery to him. He paused as he stepped into one, and wondered who the hell took his boots off for him. He chuckled, it must have been his master, the other man couldn’t leave well enough alone sometimes and if he expressed his concerns this morning, and Will knew that he must have come to check on him during the night.
He buckled up his boots, and then flopped back on the bed, closing his eyes. He took a couple of deep breaths and concentrated. His body felt weak and ill, but his mind was active through the pain. He reached out through the force, feeling the cool and soothing balm already healing some of the illness. He sighed, and kept his eyes closed as he wrapped up his spontaneous meditation, silently thanking the force for its use. As he opened his eyes, he saw everything a litter clearer, breathed a little easier. He knew that if he went through a complete healing trance, it may be knock out the sickness altogether, but there was little time. With that, he stood and went to join his master.
* * *
“Willow called,” Xander reported as he entered the library, “She’s flying in, she had to take care of something last night.”
“Or someone,” Buffy said ruefully. Xander chuckled lightly and picked up a large tome. He settled down across from the blonde, looking as if he was reading intently. Buffy cocked her head, “Xander, are you okay?”
He looked up from the tome and shrugged, “Why wouldn’t I be?”
She mirrored his shrug, “I don’t know you’ve just been acting funny.”
“What?” He questioned, “Like funny as in ‘ha-ha’ or funny I-need-a-straight-jacket?”
She sighed and shook her head, “Funny as in weird, strange, not you. Is this because of our ‘visitors’?” She asked as she made bunny ears with her fingers.
He shut the book and settled it in his lap, folding his fingers over the soft leather, “What is this about?”
Buffy rubbed her forehead, “I don’t know. I guess I’m feeling guilty about just letting them stay here, without discussing it with you. I know the history between you and him, and I just thought-“
“-You don’t need to explain anything, Buff.” He held up a hand, effectively silencing her, “What happened in Sunnydale, stays in Sunnydale. It’s kinda like Vegas like that. I haven’t thought about that crap since my hometown turned into a canyon, believe me, there’s no love lost there.” He blushed, suddenly remembering his lost love Anya.
It seemed Buffy thought the same thing, “I know what you meant, Xan. It’s okay.”
Xander looked out the window, “I don’t know what’s up lately, Buff. I think seeing Spike…err, Will again just…I can’t really explain. I’m kind of confused about the whole thing. I mean how-“
They were interrupted as the library door opened, revealing a harried slayer, “Ma’am, Ain-Lee just called. There’s trouble in Japan. They requested your help.”
All the color drained from Buffy’s face, “Ain-Lee? Is there any word on Satsu?”
The girl shook her head, “I think that is the reason why she has requested assistance. She hasn’t heard from Satsu for a few days. She should have been back by now.”
Buffy’s lips thinned, it wasn’t like Satsu to just take off after a mission or not leave anything behind if she was taken somehow, she would have to get to the bottom of this. She nodded, “Tell them that I’m on my way.” She turned to Xander on her way to the door, “Xander, I need you to keep a close eye on these guys. If they really are who they say they are and can help us, I want to make sure we can trust them…and that they don’t get dead.”
Xander nodded, “You can count on me, Buff.”
She beamed, “Always have.” With that, she left Xander to his thoughts, which were in a mighty jumble.
One the one hand, he was glad that Buffy chose him to look after their new visitors, and trusted him to see it through. Even after all these years, he still didn’t know how he could contribute to their cause. At first, it was because they were all friends, namely Xander was Willow’s friend, as the two girls struck up a friendship first. Then as the years went by, they all grew close, and he was trusted for babysitting, a few laughs, and the occasional take-out/delivery food. When he got into construction, he was needed for weapons-making/upgrading. For a while after Sunnydale, namely after losing his eye; he didn’t exactly know what the hell he could do for Buffy. He guessed that after years fighting alongside a slayer gave him some credentials to help train the new ones, but mostly he was just there for Buffy, like he always had been.
He supposed he should have done something else with his life after what happened to Sunnydale, should have found something else less heart-breaking than slaying and fighting the forces of darkness, but every time he thought of anything else, something always seemed to stop him, and steer him back to slaying. He thought for a while that he just wasn’t over Buffy, and wondered what it was about her that always brought him back. Until one day he realized…it was never about her. It was about doing what was right, saving innocent people from evil that they could never possibly imagine. No matter the cost, or sacrifice, he would never turn his back on the path he was on right now. Even thought there had been times he would look back, and wonder why he was still running up the down-slope, he knew there was no turning back and no way of completely obliterating evil.
He tipped his head back against the chair, staring up at the ceiling; the next few days until Buffy came back were going to be difficult. He wondered how he was going to be able to keep tabs on the Jedi without them getting suspicious, not to mention making sure that they survive whatever it was that threatened them. One of them being an amnesiatic Spike was a whole other matter all together. How Buffy was taking all of this, he didn’t know. Xander supposed he didn’t mind having to hang around Spike, if that’s who he really was. However, Xander got a kick out of Spike being a Jedi, and he supposed that it must have been hard for Angel to deal.
Xander stood and walked to the window, pulling back the drapes to get some much needed light into the room. What he saw when he looked out the window, made his heart stop. Outside the castle walls, in the meadow where their ship crashed, were the Jedi doing an exercise he had seen Buffy and Angel doing years ago. That wasn’t what made him nearly choke however.
Spike was in the sunlight: very much alive.
Xander’s blood ran cold, how could he still be alive in the sun? What frightened him even more was that Angel could probably see this happening, since they had sun-proofed windows.
Angel was so gonna kill Spike.
* * *
They ended their workout with a deep breath, smiling slightly as they felt the force thrum through their bodies. They never realized how much power they could raise just by doing a few simple stretches, but wonders never ceased. Wyn guessed it was because it was more than one person concentrating on the force and what they wanted accomplished. Will enjoyed it just for the simple fact that he could let his body separate from his mind, letting the force move through him in a symbolic dance of their unity in the force.
All things must come to an end, so after the last deep breath, they opened their eyes and faced each other. The two padawan learners bowed to the master, and walked back to the castle, speaking quietly to each other. After Freya suggested a spirited race to the doors, and then promptly setting out into a sprint, Will could do nothing else but to shore up his speed and out run her. His longer legs quickly ate up the distance, and he reached the doors first, holding the door shut behind him, laughing softly all the while.
His laughter quickly slammed out of him as he was slammed against the wall, a forearm pressed harshly against his throat, cutting off his air supply. He grabbed the cool flesh, pitting his vast strength against the other’s.
“How did you do it?!” Angel screamed, his face flushing with borrowed blood, “How can you walk outside?!” He leaned all of his weight on his arm; Will tried kicking and clawing at the immoveable flesh. Angel grew tired of Will’s struggle and kicked his legs to the side, digging his hip into Will lap, effectively cutting off his movement. As Will raised his arm to try and force push Angel off of him, the bigger man grabbed his wrist and shoved it against the wall, a sickening crack could be heard above the struggle and panting. Will flinched, looking Angel in the eyes, and paled. His hand and wrist throbbed, throwing him into a panicked frenzy. He was starting to lose consciousness, black spots appeared in his vision, his limbs were moving much slower.
The door burst open and Will heard a faint gasp, “What are you doing?! Get off of him!” His eyes lolled to the side to see a very blurry, very pissed off Freya. He could only hope she wouldn’t light her saber, he didn’t want to lose a limb on top of a broken wrist and what he wished wasn’t a collapsed trachea. Before he could warn her of the danger, she hurled herself at his assailant, punching him in the tender area where his neck met shoulder. Angel toppled to the floor; hand over his wound, making a strange liquid sound. He looked up at the seemingly frail creature above him, his face suddenly contorting into a monstrous mask, causing Freya to take a few steps back. Will could only wheeze softly before his vision grayed and he passed out.
Freya made a motion to assist her fallen friend, getting a warning growl from Angel in response. He slowly straightened, his golden eyes boring into her. Her hand slowly strayed to the training lightsaber equipped to her belt, it wouldn’t cause grievous harm, but it would hurt like hell. All she needed was a few seconds before Wyn would walk through the door to their aid. Her chin lifted, “You stay away from him. He has caused no harm to you.”
He sneered at her, and as she slowly bent down to lift Will against the wall, he moved like lightning and struck her across the face. She looked up, holding her stinging cheek, and witnessed Xander pinning Angel against the adjacent wall, holding a wicked-looking stake to his chest. Xander’s eyes burned like fire, his rage was so great. He leaned into Angel’s space, and whispered into his ear, “Next time? You won’t be so lucky. Back the fuck off.”
As Xander moved back, Angel shook off his ridges, glaring one last time at the two on the floor. He turned sharply and left the scene, blending into the shadows as usual. Just then, the door opened, revealing Wyn looking slightly troubled. His eyes flicked from a brassed-off Xander, to the slightly bewildered Freya, then to his injured padawan. He paled, and fell to his knees beside his friend. He gently turned Will over and examined the livid bruising over his throat. He looked across from himself as Xander bent down as well, kindly turning Will’s head over to inspect the damage.
Wyn gasped as a sudden flash of vision struck him, he blinked, eyes narrowing at the two before him in disbelief. At Freya’s questioning look, he shook his head. “He’s breathing, but very weak. Are you alright Freya?” Xander asked turning his attention to the young twi'lek, still keeping a hand lightly stroking Will’s neck. Wyn sat back and watched the display with a slight grin on his face.
Freya smiled, “I will be fine; I think Will’s injuries are more important.”
Xander nodded, his brow furrowing as his hand stretched out over Will’s skin. Wyn-Udiin leaned closer, “What is it?”
“He’s burning up. I think he might be sick.”
The Jedi Master put his hand on Will’s forehead, “Force! You are right.” His eyes widened as he looked closer at his pupil’s face. He was very pale, his lips were papery and nearly chapped, and his eyes were ringed with dark circles and sunken. Wyn-Udiin was surprised he left his quarters that morning, not to mention how he was able to hide it from his master. A Jedi feeling sick was an alarming enough occurrence, but going so long without treatment is a very serious matter. The fact that Will was powerful enough to hide it disturbed the master, the master wondered how long Will had hid his sickness.
“I’m going to bring him to our infirmary, see what is going on.” At Wyn’s nod, Xander put both of his underneath Will and lifted him gently. He glanced down at a worried Freya, “With your permission, Master, Freya could come with us and oversee treatment.”
Freya turned excitedly to Wyn, who nodded, “When he awakens again, notify me immediately.” He watched as Xander adjusted his precious cargo, cradling Will closer to his chest and left the room with the Twi’lek in tow.
His lips thinned and he nodded, there was some investigating to do.
* * *
He awoke to a resounding crash from above, startling him nearly out of his skin and cursing the dust that rained over him. He brushed off as much as he could and looked through the basement window from the lounge chair that he was tied to, cursing yet again. It was too damn early for the Drunken Harris Show. Usually they waited until mid-afternoon or early-evening to start the trumpets, but then again, last he knew it was a weekend. Harris Senior didn’t work on the weekends, if he worked at all, which usually meant the whelp spent the day with the girls out of the house, and not coming home until he was positive that they were passed out or out of the house for the night. That usually meant that: one of them drank until they blacked out, one hit the other with enough force to knock the other out for the rest of night and then passing out, or the cops had to come in and settle things.
Usually it was the second.
By now everyone was used to the shenanigans going on at 502 E. Main St. to even care about which Harris that was going to the hospital that night, which was typically the boy. He glared at the basement’s ceiling, he was getting tired of the bloody racket though. It was too damn early for Passions, and way too late for any good movies on the telly. He slumped down and made himself as comfortable as he could in what he could only assume was a torture device from the early 50’s, the boys taste in furniture left something to be desired.
He heard a crack from above, then a disquieting crash. His brow furrowed, that sound couldn’t have possibly been the female, and she was way too small. It couldn’t have been the other man, he was way too large. It must have been-
He heard someone picking themselves up from the floor, directly above him, then a shuffling step to the basement door. As soon as the door opened he smelled the alluring scent of fresh, hot blood. His eyelids fluttered as his fangs descended, the rest of his face staying the same. It hurt to keep the demon in check, but for some reason he didn’t want to frighten the boy. He opened his mouth to keep the burning smell out of his nose, the boy’s blood was heady, he knew if the boy came any closer he would break the bonds that kept him to the chair and…
For the unlife of him he was not going to finish that thought.
He saw as the young man kept a white-knuckled hand on the banister as he limped down the stairs, a white bag and small, slightly dented, cardboard box cradled to his chest. His vision went red as the young man’s face came into view, now the real battle to tame the beast was on. The boys face was vividly bruised, his cheekbone purpling and cut. His bottom lip was cut, his nose was bleeding and one eye was nearly swelled shut. That was nothing however, to the gash on the boy’s forehead, blood ran swiftly and intoxicatingly down the front of his stark white shirt. The boy wordlessly gazed at him from across the room, no sound could be heard in that small basement except for the footsteps walking up the above stairs, a door shut, they were alone. He panted quietly in his chair, his hands were shaking, his arms nearly bulging from the force of keeping himself in that damned chair.
He suddenly understood why the human tied him to the chair, at the time he didn’t because hello? Chip. He couldn’t hurt a living soul without getting a nice zap for his trouble. But now, now oh how he wanted, craved to-
No. Not going down that road. He got the gist of it, he wasn’t going to think or fantasize about anything he wanted to do to the Slayer’s Boy. He may have slipped every now and then, think of something fairly graphic he wanted to do to Slutty and the Gang, but hell, they deserved it from time to time.
He slowly blinked, and went to his happy place…err, as happy a place he could go to now because of the Safety Chip. After a minute, he was calm…er. The boy took that time to go into the bathroom and change, bringing out the first aid kit. He set it on the table and sat down on the couch, his hands dangling between his knees, his shoulders slumped, his head down.
What an image his boy mad… if only he was on his knees like that.
* * *
Freya watched as Will’s hand twitched on the blanket that was covering him, she reached over and covered it with her own, she knew how much he hated hospitals. She could remember a time, just a few years after she was taken to the Jedi Temple, that she joined them on an ambassador mission to the planet Ryloth. It was her race’s homeland, although she had never stepped foot on the planet itself. They were suppose to just be observers at a ceremonial celebration, but later ended up having to defend the officials present against a revolutionary revolt. Wyn-Udiin and Freya left the scrap in relative health, apart from a few injuries, but Will defended a young twi’lek priestess with his body, taking most of the damage that was meant for the frail female. He stayed in the hospital for a week, his most grievous wound would have killed anyone else, but he swore it was just a scratch just to get out of the hospital.
Her attention focused on the man that was currently trying to take care of their unconscious, yet unwilling, patient. Will’s temperature had spiked as they brought him to the infirmary, he was covered in sweat and mumbling uncontrollably. Nothing he said made any sense to Freya, but seemed to amuse Xander, who was currently setting Will’s hand into a splint.
“How is his hand?” She asked.
Xander shrugged, “It should be fine once Willow gets here. She’s good at this sort of thing. I don’t really know what’s wrong with Will, all we can do is make sure he’s comfortable.” What he didn’t tell her, was how concerned he was for Will. He had never seen someone suffering like this, his skin looked almost gray. The times when Buffy was sick, even when she literally had to fight death, she didn’t look so bad. He sat across from Freya, his eyes riveted on Will, in case he woke up or moved, he didn’t notice his hand wrapping around Will’s.
Freya sat back, letting go of Will’s hand as she watched Xander. She had never seen a bond like this form so quick, it was something she would have to tell Wyn-Udiin as soon as she was able to. She knew that he told her to stay with Will was a way for him to investigate this new development without having to worry about her, which was going to be yet another thing to discuss with him. She hoped their healer would get to the castle soon, she was afraid that Will may be getting worse. There were fine tremors wracking his body, lips slightly trembling, it seemed as if he was suffering from pneumonia. She looked back down at her friends’ face, and gasped in alarm. He gave a great shudder, then stiffened in pain. His face contorted into a rictus of pain, his skin grayed further and thick, dark veins stretched over his skin.
“-Crap.” She finished for him. Xander’s chair clattered to the floor and he ran to the door to call for help. Freya wished with all her might that she had an apprentice bond with Master Wyn-Udiin, it looked as though things were getting much worse, very fast. All she could do was wipe the cold sweat on his brow and put another blanket over him.
The door opened before Xander reached it, and a gentle breeze wafted through the room, carrying with it a scent of wildflowers and the scent of a crackling fire. A figure cloaked in dark green entered the room, a gloved hand pushed back the hood to reveal the face of his childhood friend. She smiled, “Called for a witch?” The smile soon faded as she saw the panic written across his face, “What’s wrong? Is it Buffy?” He shook his head and moved to the side, looking back to the figure on the bed with an expression of desperation.
Willow gasped, “Spike?”
* * *
Wyn-Udiin walked up the plank to the ship, noting that the generators to the ship were turned on, and he could feel the oily feeling of the dark side as soon as he entered. As he followed that feeling, around the corner leading him to the ship’s main hold, and around that corner into the infirmary, he couldn’t help the feeling that he was being watched. As the door to the infirmary slid open, he stifled his gasp of alarm as he took in the scene before him.
The soft blue lighting above the examination bed was flickering, the lighting wires snapped. The bed itself was slashed open, the stuffing littered the floor and mingling with the various medical paraphernalia that used to be housed in the cabinets lined against the wall. The doors were mangled open, some were swinging on one hinge, and some were ripped clean off. He noticed marks gouged into the metal the size and shape of claws, as the same marks were all over the walls.
He had no idea what it was they were searching for, most of the materials could be found in any hospital or pharmacutical unit. He didn’t have the time to clean this room up, he had to find out what it was they were searching for. He moved on, following the malovent force to the security deck in the main hold. He had a horrible feeling, and he hoped that he was mistaken. He didn’t notice upon entering the ship that the all of the lights were flickering, so intent was he on finding their culprit. The breath left him as their main computer came into view. The outside shell was shattered, wires and all matter of electrical machinery spewed forth.
There was no way to repair their computer without a droid, and the knowledge to fix this sort of thing. He doubted he could even find the materials needed on this planet to replace the ones that were destroyed. He looked down the hallway where their navigation computer was mounted, noting with dismay that it too was shattered. He supposed that he would find their communications deck was in the same condition as their security deck.
They were stranded.
* * *
Xander sat on one side of their patient, Freya on the other, each holding a trembling hand. Will was sliding in and out of consciousness, at one point he opened his eyes and smiled at Willow, calling her ‘Glinda’. She took it as a sign of clarity, as he recognized no one else since he has been back. Soon, however, he shuddered again in tremendous pain, seeming to wilt before their eyes.
Only a few steps brought her close to the bed, her luminous green eyes surveyed the damage that some unseen force was causing. She knew it to be a mix of astral, natural, and a magickal kind of malady, but she couldn’t pinpoint the source, or what it was doing to him exactly. She took the glove off and rested a cool hand against his flaming forehead, shifting slightly as a bolt of pain traveled up her arm.
“What is it?” Xander gazed up at her in concern.
Willow’s brow furrowed, “I need to figure out what’s going on.” She turned to both of them, her calm features instantly relaxing them. “I have to ask both of you to leave the room. Now don’t worry,” She lifted her hand as they both were about to voice their concern, “He’ll be perfectly safe, but I have to be alone with him. I need both of you to guard the door so that no one enters and ruins my concentration, I will let you both know when I’m finished.”
Freya, used to this sort of thing by the temple healers, stood up and bowed reverently to Willow, “I trust your judgement, Healer. We will be outside. Come Xander,” She motioned the dark-haired man to follow, “She must have privacy to work her craft. Let us give her that.”
Xander looked one last time at Will, and followed the twi’lek, not noticing the look his friend gave him. Willow’s eyes narrowed, seemed there was a lot of explaining to do.
* * *
Wyn-Udiin walked towards the infirmary, finding Freya and Xander sitting against the wall. The young twi’lek bounced from her seat with a grace that could only be found in the females of her race. There was a reason why almost half of the twi’lek females were dancers, their beauty rivaling their natural poise. She trotted over to him and gave him a look that he could only describe as ‘I-have-much-to-tell-you’. He glanced over at Xander and his eyes narrowed. He looked like a family member waiting for news of their loved one, which concerned the Jedi Master. The bond that was developing between his padawan and the young man was a little disconcerting, given how suddenly it formed, they only just arrived on this planet.
It would have to be discussed later, there were more important matters to attend to. “How is he?”
Freya’s full lips thinned, “We do not know, the healer just arrived. Although,” She glanced at Xander, and whispered, “There is something very wrong. His skin grew gray, and thick veins appeared on his flesh. I suspect it is-“
“A force drain,” He finished, “Although I don’t understand why he’s being drained so slowly. A lesser man-“
“A lesser man would have died long ago, Master. Our Will is made of stronger stuff than this, for him to be floored like this is-“
“-Disconcerting.” He sighed, “Will heals very fast, I am sure that whoever is doing this must be very powerful indeed. I hope their healer is able to break the hold, otherwise-“
“Otherwise is not an option, Master. He will be healed, we must trust in that.” Freya said with utter conviction, he wished he had her faith. He had seen so much, in such a short period of time, that he feared his faith was dwindling with every fallen comrade. He honestly didn’t know what he would do if he lost Will, or even Freya for that matter. He shook himself, that was fear talking, and he would not let that consume him. He settled down against the wall with the two young people, closing his eyes and repeating their crede that seemed to be ingrained into his soul, feeling the words instilling peace.
“There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no chaos, there is harmony.
There is no death, there is the force.
There is no death, there is the force.
There is no death, there is the force…
There is no death…
There is no death…
There is no death..”