GrayAfter having her world destroyed by the Winchesters, Eve wanted to rebuild her family. She claimed a soul with his own dark power and his own moral gray. He would be her champion. Hopefully. Xander just wanted to go home, preferably before the hunters Sam and Dean Winchester caught up with him.Chapter ONE
:: Chapter TWO
:: Chapter THREE
:: Chapters 4+5
:: Chapter SIX
:: Chapter SEVEN
:: Chapter EIGHT
:: Chapter NINE
:: Chapter TEN
:: Chapter ELEVEN
: Chapter TWELVE
:: Chapter THIRTEEN
:: Chapter FOURTEEN
:: Chapter FIFTEEN
:: Chapter SIXTEEN
:: Chapter Seventeen
:: Chapter Eighteen
:: Chapter Nineteen
:: Chapter TWENTY
:: Chapter TWENTY-ONE
:: Chapter TWENTY-TWO
: Chapter TWENTY-THREE
:: Chapter TWENTY-FOUR
:: Chapter TWENTY-FIVE
:: Chapter Twenty-SIX
:: Chapter Twenty-SEVEN
Are you guys getting used to the daily thing? It's time for a little down time for the boys, but that comes with its own problems.
Spike pulled their stolen car over to the side of the road after they passed the round blue sign that annoyed “Welcome to Carencro, Louisiana.” Xander stretched, arching his back off the seat.
“You still hungry?” Spike asked.
“Nope,” Xander said. “Well, not for cows.”
When Spike’s eyes started to yellow, Xander held his hands up in surrender. “I was thinking pizza, Spike. Pizza.”
“Geez. Mr. Grouchy,” Xander said quietly. He wasn’t willing to complain too loud because he really didn’t want Spike to go for the bondage gear. Xander was fond of being able to move all his limbs.
“Any idea where we’re going?” Spike asked.
For a second, Xander could only stare at him. “Me? Why are you asking me?”
“You’re the one with the powers, luv.”
“Me? You’re the vampire.”
“You’re the alph.”
Xander opened his mouth, but after a second, he closed it again without saying anything. That was true. “You’re supposed to call me names and imply I’m worthless,” Xander complained.
“You’re doing odd things to my self-esteem here.”
“We can deal with your issues later. Right now, find us some place with a lot of supernatural energy.”
Xander looked around. So far, Carencro pretty normal with browning grass lit by weak street lamp and shops lining the road. It was hard to tell where Lafayette had left off and where Carencro started, and nothing hit Xander’s weird meter. “I don’t see anything,” Xander said. He thought Spike might complain, but he just started the car and started down E. Gloria Switch Road. Someone really sucked at naming things.
Spike spent half the night driving back and forth as they wandered out into less populated parts of town where the houses looked less houselike and more shacklike and large areas of woods and fields lined the roads.
“This is feeling… Um… creepy?” Xander guessed as they passed an area with more trees than people. The air smelled funny, but Xander was almost sure that had nothing do with any supernatural forces.
Spike pulled off to the side of the road and looked around. “Any particular place?”
Xander looked at the greying sky. “We need to find shelter.”
“Focus, nit. Is there a particular place that feels creepy?”
Since he wasn’t winning this fight, Xander looked around. There was a beat up old building with a neon sign on the front, but it was dark. All Xander could see was the outline of a goofy alligator in a hat. “There,” Xander said. “I feel something weird there.”
“Right then, we come back as soon as the sun goes down,” Spike said as he pulled back onto the road. They’d passed a hotel a while back, and Spike did an illegal u-turn and headed back that way.
“In the history of finding people, this seems a little sketchy,” Xander pointed out.
“You’re the one who wants to find these Winchesters. I don’t much care.”
“Aren’t you a little curious about why Sam isn’t in hell? I mean, at the end of the books, Sam throws himself into hell, taking Lucifer and Michael with him.”
Spike glanced over. “Angel got out of hell, so did Fred. I could name a dozen more.”
“In our world,” Xander pointed out. “In this world, it seems to be a pretty big deal. Dean is the only other one.”
Spike rolled his eyes. “You’re too bloody naïve to be turned loose on the world, Harris. If one person did it, then others have too. Those books tell the story as the Winchesters see it, that doesn’t make them the truth.”
“But… the author is a profit.”
“And he’s a profit.”
“And Angel listened to every bit of rot the powers tried shoving down his gullet, too. Just because some tosser claims to be fighting for the white hates doesn’t mean you can trust them.”
“But…” Xander stopped. Okay, that was oddly logical, but Xander didn’t like it. “Good guys are supposed to be trustworthy,” Xander complained quietly.
“Right.” Spike laughed. “And you never lied to your mates, maybe telling Buffy to kick Angel’s ass. Sound familiar?”
“I was trying to keep Buffy from getting herself killed,” Xander defended himself hotly. He’d done what he had to, and he was really fed up with having that thrown back at him. Besides, Spike had been a bad guy back then. He had no room complain considering he’d been helping Angelus.
“And you were right, luv. Buffy didn’t have her head on right, but my point is that the good side is just as likely to lie as not. They have their agendas, just the same as the black hats.”
“And you think that the white hats are lying to the Winchesters?”
“I think those two are too soddin’ trusting.”
“Funny, I thought they were the sort that didn’t trust anyone.”
“If that were true, they’d say ‘shove it’ to all the prophesy rot and take care of themselves. Instead, they’re getting pushed from pillar to post, always reacting to some myth or story. They remind me of… well… every slayer I ever stalked before I ran up against Buffy.”
“That would be two, Spike.”
He pulled off into the motel parking lot before turning to give Xander a truly unhappy look. “No, I killed two, pet. I stalked plenty more and decided they weren’t worth the trouble.”
“And Buffy was?”
“She was young, reckless. I thought I could nip in, break her neck and get away.”
“Yeah, that worked out real well.”
Spike pursed his lips before he shrugged.
“Someone should probably say all that to the Winchesters, huh?”
Spike pulled the keys out of the ignition and turned to really look at Xander. “Is there another reason for finding those two?”
Xander shrugged. “I did want to introduce them to Giles and get them help, but I’m not sure I like Giles in this universe.”
“He certainly would go along with their theory that all monsters are evil.”
“But they aren’t,” Xander said softly. “Which is where I get kinda stuck because I don’t know what to say to them, so I don’t really know why we’re finding them.”
“Other than you want to,” Spike finished for him.
“Right. Dumb idea, huh?”
“Harris, you’re a demon. You’re going to be around for the next several hundred years assuming you don’t do something truly stupid. Given that you’re an alph, you might be around a few thousand. When you live that long, you learn the only thing that matters is doing what you want.”
Xander snapped his head up and looked at Spike. Whoa… he’d expected recriminations and discussions of stupidity and blaming, which Xander was 80% sure was the same thing as recrimination.
“The only two ways of being a demon are doing what you want or getting sucked into some clan or other,” Spike said. “Other than that, there are no guidelines for demons, no societies, no laws, no rules. You do what you like, you follow someone else, or you go slowly insane and end up hiding in some cave. I like the telly too much for a cave.”
Xander had trouble finding the right words, and before he could get any words at all out of his mouth, Spike had gotten out and was trotting toward the office. Thousands of years? For some reason, that reality hadn’t actually sunk in until this moment. Xander was going to live thousands of years. Thousands of years where he wasn’t really part of the world. He was a demon, exempt from the whole death and taxes thing.
Staring at the old siding on the motel, Xander thought about how many human generations that would be. If Dawn didn’t have a kid until she was thirty-five, and then Dawn’s kid didn’t have a kid until thirty-five, how many generations would it be in a thousand years, or even a hundred years? Four in hundred. Maybe. Xander’s brain wasn’t up to thinking in math.
Spike came back and pulled the door open. “We have room 112 at the end. Leave the car here and grab the bags.”
Xander did, but his brain was still stuck. If there were four generations in a century, that meant forty in a thousand years… or was it four hundred? Either way, that was a lot of generations. He would watch Dawn grow old and die, and then Dawn’s kid and then Dawn’s kid’s kid, and then Dawn’s kids’ kid’s kid, and his head was really hurting now.
He followed Spike down the walk, watched as he unlocked the hotel room door and threw his bag into the room and waited for Xander to go in first. Xander cringed as he caught sight of the netting hung from the walls and the old fishing signs and puke green bedspreads. Sadly, this still rated one of their better hotel stays in this universe.
“We’re going to watch Dawn die, and Willow and Buffy… they’re all going to die.” Xander blurted the words out before Spike could even close the door. For a second he stood with one hand on the knob as he just stared at Xander.
“Just now figured that out, did you?”
Xander sank down onto a dusty hotel bed. “You’re supposed to tell me that it isn’t true.”
“Hell yes,” Xander agreed. “Tell me that I’m making a big deal out of nothing and that I’m stupid and that Dawn is definitely going to outlive me because I’m an idiot. I’m an idiot that keeps catching the attention of really scary women.”
Spike closed the door and came over to sit next to Xander. It was kind of weird the way he went all quiet, and Xander blinked until the visions appeared. William was sitting against the wall, his expression twisted with pain, and a limp looking Drusilla lay across the other bed and an older woman in even older clothes sat next to a ghost fireplace.
Spike reached over and put a hand on Xander’s knee and all the visions scattered. “You don’t get used to it. That’s why most monsters try and steer clear of humans. They’re not exactly long-lived.”
Xander pressed his eyes tightly shut. He didn’t want to hear that. Nope. Not listening.
“The first time I realized Dru wasn’t getting better after that mob attack, I felt like a bloody ponce. She was dying, and I couldn’t do anything about it. It didn’t seem fair because she was a vampire. And then not long after that, I found out my yoda had gone and changed—gotten himself a bright, shiny new soul.” Spike sucked air through his teeth, and Xander cracked his eyes open just enough to look over at him.
“You’re going to see plenty of ‘em die, Harris.”
Xander shook his head. “I can’t. I’m the normal one. I’m supposed to die before all of them.” Xander felt something inside crack a little. “I was supposed to die before Anya. She wasn’t… she wasn’t the one who went out and did stupid things. That was me.”
Xander leaped up and brushed at his eyes. He wasn’t crying, but he was coming close. “Willow could find a way to undo this.”
Putting his hands behind him on the bed, Spike leaned back. “What will happen to all that magic under your skin then?”
“I don’t know. Something. I’ve had it in me for years now, so…”
“So something was bound to happen eventually,” Spike finished for him when Xander’s words trailed off. “Too many creatures will be attracted to that sort of power, particularly if you’re not using it.”
“So I should stay a monster? Newsflash, Spike, I’m not good at being a monster.”
Spike grinned. “Yeah, well I suppose I know something about that. But the first rule is that the world changes. People come and go. Dawn’s going to turn into a white-haired old woman and then you’ll be standing next to her grave. Of course, that’s assuming that we ever get home. We might be here until long after every person we ever knew is gone and buried.”
Xander felt the wall at his back, and he started sliding down it.
Then Spike was there, kneeling down in front of him. “It’s the way of the world. There will be new people to love, children, grandchildren. There’s always the telly, and when all else fails, a good whiskey.”
Xander buried his head in his arms. “This is stupid. Why am I panicking about Dawn dying? She’s not dying.” Xander threw out tendrils, seeking Dawn. He found Dorsey, sitting in a cell with Willow on the other side. They were watching TV and laughing. Xander felt the moment when Dorsey suspected that Xander was there, and he ripped himself away and lifted his head to look at Spike. “I can’t do this.”
Spike got his hands under Xander’s arms and lifted. “Sure you can, same as you do every other impossible thing you manage. The trick is living in the now. Do what you want now. Feel good about now. That’s all you can do, pet.” Spike guided him to the bed, and Xander let Spike arrange him on the ugly bedspread and then climb in behind him. Xander curled up and let Spike pull him close.
“This is stupid,” Xander repeated softly.
“I’ve been waiting for this particular breakdown since ya found out, pet. It’s part of knowing that you’ll outlive your family.” Spike sounded so sad, and when Xander blinked, the old ghost woman was standing next to the ghost fireplace. “The pain passes, luv.”
Xander wanted to cry. If he was normal, he would have cried. But he couldn’t. The truth drained him so much that he lay in Spike’s arms and let Spike croon to him until long after the sun had risen.