Rating: Pg-13 for now, it may get upped but this is never gonna be all about the pr0n.
Squicks/Warnings: Possible past lives, possible AU, gender-bending and het during that gender-bending. Oh and a boatload of ANGST.
Lyrics: (Just to be clear if I continue this story these lyrics will be BLATANT spoilers)
Author's Note: Just to be clear, my muse hates me. I was doing a little light housework to music, when a song came up on my playlist that I've been hearing a lot lately. 'In Lonesome Dove' by Garth Brooks. I don't know why it's been so stuck in my head, but suddenly the muse, she of the shiny distractions, glomped onto it and started plotting. Then there was gender-bending past lives and demons oh my. I'm posting a bit now to see what you guys think of it. Oh I should note that I haven't seen any of the Lonesome Dove saga mini-series that aired on CBS several years ago.
Alexandria looked out over the sea of grasses that waved and rolled to the horizon. With the exception of the members of the train, the broken down wagons, and the bogged down patch of mud they'd occupied for three days now, that's all there was to see. The strange waving grasses were by far the most interesting of the options.
The wagon train had been headed west, when they'd gotten lost in a sudden storm three nights ago. Instead of stopping like anyone with a brain and battening down, that drunken clod Warrick had driven the horses hard and not only managed to kill one and bust up two wagons, but to also get them hopelessly lost in the middle of the flattest land Alexandria had ever seen.
Now under normal circumstances, they'd just keep going, after all they were headed for the coast and the west may be wild, but there were bastions of civilization, and surely they'd either run into ocean or people at some point. Unfortunately, there was still a rather dangerous Indian presence in this part of the country. The buffoon God had seen fit to place in charge of the train had them so lost, that no one could tell which direction the Indian Territories lay. Warrick wanted to go forward anyway. He wouldn't get paid unless he delivered them all right and proper, and he wasn't about to forfeit his pay out on the pathetically minor chance he was leading them to death.
To top all of this off, the clouds out over the strangely rolling grasses was doing a bit of rolling of their own. As the sun disappeared from the world, the darkened clouds moved in deceptively slow. They crept closer and closer and all she wanted to do was find a hole and climb in it. The wagons were no real shelter, not in what she knew was coming. She couldn't take her eyes off the sky which was suddenly filled with streaks and forks of light that burned into her eyes. Just as the skies opened up and the rain began to fall in earnest, she thought she saw something cutting through the rolling grasses.
She tried looking, but the bolts of lightning that had illuminated whatever it was refused to co-operate again for several long moments and she found her heart was beating louder in her chest. Something was coming she could practically feel it. Suddenly, a bright bolt lit up the darkness to a purplish nightmare day, and she saw a man riding hard and fast towards them. There were others in his wake, but her eyes would not leave his form long enough to note more than their existence. It was almost as if a statue made of moonlight had found its way onto a horse. His hat shadowed his face, and try as she might, she couldn't make out anything of his features.
She watched as he rode into the haphazard circle that constituted their camp and demanded to speak with the 'damned fool who led these people so near ta death'. After a moment of yelling there was the flash of a fist and Warrick, who's fist had been the first thrown, found himself on his back with the moonlight man's boot across his throat. He leaned down and spoke softly to the downed man, who suddenly turned his own shade of pale and stopped struggling. He stood up, adjusted his hat and took an assessing look around the camp.
Alexandria let out an audible gasp as she looked upon him. His face was all angles that should have been hard and cruel, but the laughing blue eyes seemed to blunt sharp edges. A silver star was pinned to his chest, and just a hint of honey blond hair was visible under the hat. Even amid all the babble of the others, her gasp caught his attention, and blue eyes locked with brown. A small sweet smile spread across his face and he nodded in her direction before turning to speak with her father.
Xander Harris gasped as he jerked awake. He didn't quite know where he was, but he remembered, oh God he remembered. That bastard Warrick, had nearly killed them all. They'd been less than half a day from the most dangerous Indian - Native American, his mind insisted, mostly Willow's politically correct influence - whatever you call them, they'd been right at the front door of some well known for slaughtering trespassers on their lands. She - er make that he, could have been killed, or taken as a bride for some hunter he'd never understand and never love. Instead they'd been saved, by a Texas Ranger, no less.
It was at this point, as Xander began to remember just who had saved them, that he began to hyperventilate.
Rupert Giles stepped into his spare bedroom and called out softly. He kept the lights off, because Xander's condition was supposed to make him somewhat sensitive to light for the next few days. "Xander, are you alright?"
The reply he got caused him to stumble back and reach for the light switch, condition be damned.
Xander winced in the glare from the overhead light, and quickly threw up a hand to shield his eyes. His mind quickly processed that yes he'd called Giles papa, and he'd have been correct, Rupert Giles bore a remarkable resemblance to Alexandria's father, Robert Gilroy.
That wouldn't quite explain things to Giles however and he was currently staring in the doorway looking rather worried, and how much of that was from the soft almost, dare he say, girlish tone Xander had used while saying the word papa?
Xander seemed to realize the same thing at the same time and cleared his throat before speaking again. "Giles, what's going on? Where am I?"
Giles shook off his shock and stepped over to the bed, to put a stop to Xander's feeble attempts to sit up. "You've been injured, but I am most assured that you will be fine, especially now that you have regained consciousness."
"Is everyone else ok? What happened?"
"The Jaen'iktha were around in greater numbers than we'd anticipated. Several went after Willow and Tara as they were trying to cast the banishing spell. Spike noticed in time to stop them while Buffy fought the main grouping, but there was an incident with Spike's chip when he tried to pull Tara away from one of them. He managed to throw her out of the fray but with the chip left him incapacitated. Buffy and I were both busy with the main grouping, and both witches were exhausted by the spell. From what they remember you screamed rather loudly and then waded into the fray. You managed to hack through six of them, but the last one got in a shot with it's stinger." Giles gestured to the bandage high up on Xander's shoulder.
"So stinger, right.... Am I gonna grow a tail?"
Giles smiled reassuringly. "No, no my boy. According to the books, the results of a sting are temporary weakness, extra sensitivity to light and smells, and very vivid dreams."
"Dreams?" Xander squeaked.
"Well depending on what source you use, the translation on the effects is either dreams of past lives or visions of the past. This is the first modern day incursion of the Jaen'iktha and accounts of victims are sketchy at best. Have you HAD such visions?" Giles got a look that was half concern, and half excitement.
Xander simply closed his eyes and thumped his head back down on the pillows. "How long is this gonna last, Giles."
"There isn't any specific documentation on that, only that the results are in fact temporary."