Rating: Mature Audiences – for content and themes
Summary: Xander has PTSD after rescuing one too many slayers. Spike is recovering (sort of) after the battle with W&H. Fate may have it they eventually find each other - she's funny that way.
Spoilers: Sometime in early season five – or possibly late six BtVS.
Warnings: M/M – if you don’t like boys together, don’t play here!
Disclaimer: Don’t own the characters nor make any money from stories etc, and bow down to their original creators Joss, et al., plus all the wonderful online writers who continue to give the Buffy/Angel verse characters life.
New Story: Swan Lake
“It’s Farah Litand. Is Mr Giles available please? It’s… well… it’s really kind of urgent.”
The young slayer tapped her chewed pencil impatiently on the side of the small cracked Formica tabletop that was one of five in the tiny backstreet café in Algiers.
She was relieved when the phone made a clicking sound indicating her call had been taken.
“Mr Giles, I… I think you need to have someone come here and… and um…”
In Esher, UK, Giles removed his glasses and in frustration ground out, “Oh do spit it out girl I’m…”
“It’s Xander, Mr Giles, it’s my watcher Xander! He just won’t come out of his room, won’t even answer me. He’s been weird all week, I found him crying on Sunday. He said it was just an old memory. We’d just dusted three vamps – no big deal, but there was a little girl with blonde hair, a tourist I think. She was drained already, nothing I could do.
“He picked her up and carried her back here and contacted her parents, just like normal but then he… well he was crying after and then after that just stared at the wall all day then…then he yelled at me when I said we should go patrol, kept saying something about a Zeppo and it going on and on and something about everyone dying, he said he just couldn’t… couldn’t stop it, couldn’t stop me from dying and then went really quiet, just turned and locked himself in his room and now… Mr Giles, I’m scared he will do something or maybe already… Mr Giles?”
“Break the door down.”
“You heard me girl. Kick it in. Make sure he’s… Just make sure he’s still… well, in there. Now”
“OK… I’ll just… Just wait OK? I’ll do it.”
Giles heard the phone go quiet then an almighty crash in the background, followed by what sounded like a struggle. Finally the phone was picked up again, this time it was Xander’s familiar voice though despite the words, the flat tone was less than reassuring.
“Hey G, I guess the Council is going to have to pay for the repairs this time, ‘cause I didn’t bring my tool kit.”
Giles had seen it before, not necessarily whilst in his current role heading up the Council of Watchers, but he had a nephew who had recently served in Iraq returned to England for the very same reason. A brilliant field surgeon Nigel had arrived home reduced to a barely functioning human being, terrified if a helicopter flew over their home, and prone to fits of despair or rage for no apparent reason. His dear wife and he had finally agreed that professional help was needed. A year on he was doing better, but it was a slow process.
Xander had been on the ‘front line’ effectively for the past eight years. Post Sunnydale he’d apparently accepted his parents’ death in the Sunnydale implosion with stoicism worthy of any Brit, claimed the insurance money and government disaster compensation due him and moved to Portland to work in construction.
A year later he had turned up at the Watchers’ Council doors in England and volunteered his services, claiming that normal life wasn’t for him. He’d been in the field, collecting new Slayers ever since.
Giles knew he needed to act, and quickly, but also aware that Xander would not appreciate a ‘kid glove’ approach.
“Xander, I need you to bring Ms Litand back to England with you. It’s a matter of urgency. I will make the necessary calls to her parents and arrange your travel details. Can you be at the airport by tomorrow morning?”
“I thought you wanted me in Kenya after this one.”
“I’ll send Russell, he’ll be thrilled to be deployed at last.”
Expecting an argument, Giles was rather surprised by the resigned, quiet tone of the answer, “We’ll be there. See you in a couple of days then. Email me the details.”
“Indeed… and thank you Xander. See you shortly.”
As soon as the phone cut out, Giles rang Andrew, “Yes arrange it immediately and blind copy me the Email if you will… And before you ask, yes it will be me that picks them up from Heathrow.”
Xander was coming home.
The final battle with Wolfram and Hart’s Los Angeles Branch brought it down with blast from Illyria but not before Angel was dusted and Gunn dead.
Illyria had been standing over a badly injured Spike when she threw the blast that not only knocked out Wolfram and Hart, but also somehow removed her from Earth’s dimension.
Spike woke as the sun poked its head through the clouds, lighting the sky with pale reds and warm pinks.
He was too broken to move, so simply lay still, expecting to dust. He opened his working eye, the other too swollen to manage, and stared at the pink then blue above, hoping that someone would perhaps remember him, reflecting on his long life as the Sun’s rays gradually crept closer.
It was an agonizing three hours later that the lady Sun finally broke through to the alley. In a blast of heat he felt the moment and closed his eyes, sending a last minute prayer that his Grandsire might have found peace and wishing his mother hers also.
But then… nothing happened.
There was no whooping for joy. He felt for a heartbeat, but none was present. He breathed, then found it was as unnecessary as ever, though broken ribs seemed to demand he… not.
He was aware enough to register a figure appearing in his peripheral vision, felt strong arms lifting him, then blissful black.