Title: I Have Loved You for a Thousand Years (5/?)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Joss Whedon has that honor. I’m just taking the characters out for a joyride.
Synopsis: Xander gets turned into a vampire hybrid and gets shoved into another dimension. When he comes out he’s not the same. Will Spike be able to reach him or has he gone round the bend permanently?
It was a couple hours later when Spike was finally able to quietly slip out of Xander’s room once the young man was finally sound asleep. It unnerved Spike deeply that Xander was so far removed from the young man he had stayed with so many years ago. Closing the door quietly he made his way downstairs and over to the Slayer Compound to get a bite to eat.
“Don’t know what Rupert was thinking, bloody berk…me helpin’ the boy re-adjust! Boy’s barmier than Dru ever was, made no mention of the 1800’s. Just rambled on like I wasn't even there, and what was up with the whole demon mess? Xan needs a doc not a bloody vamp!” Spike muttered angrily as he slammed cabinet doors in the kitchen trying to get a mug so he could heat up some blood.
Sitting there in the quiet and sipping his meal, he couldn’t help but ask out loud “Why do I have to babysit Harris? I’m positive he’d rather have Red or Buffy or Nibblet. Why me? Whelp and I never got on before, don’t see that ever changin’!” Not getting any answers from the appliances and having nothing else to do Spike got up and wandered around Slayer Central.
He marveled at the serenity while all the good little Slayers were in bed and somehow his feet led him to the outside of the Library. A soft glow of light shone under the double French doors signaling someone was inside. Sliding it open he was surprised to see Giles hunched over numerous books and scrolls with a look of deep concentration on his face.
“Need help Watcher?” Spike asked leaning against the doorframe.
Looking up startled, Giles took off his glasses and nodded as he stretched his neck. Spike could hear the bones snapping back into place from across the room. Apparently Rupes had been at this for hours.
“Ah, yes. Thank you Spike. Your help would be greatly appreciated. I feel I’ve hit a bit of a brick wall when it comes to our young Mr. Harris” Giles said wearily.
“Well let’s see if I can help. What’s got you hung up?” Spike said as he walked over to the overflowing table.
“Would you like a list?” Giles quipped with a slight smile.
“After what I saw tonight, I could do with one, yea” Spike replied as he sat down.
“Right” Giles said seriously as he shuffled numerous sheets of paper until he found the list he had written down.
“What we know is that Xander was the unfortunate victim of Phillip LaMond’s experiment to create day walkers. He was tossed into another dimension. He shows up again with a new eye which can only be demonic. He doesn’t know what year it is, and he’s now apparently a thousand years old. Did I miss anything?”
“Besides the partridge in a pear tree.” Spike said with a smirk.
“Quite” Giles replied as he rubbed his temples. “What exactly is this term day walker you keep throwing around? Buffy mentioned something in her phone call that the demons she encountered were here due to this “day walker”.”
“A day walker is what Phillip LaMond was trying to create. What I can gather from these ancient texts is a day walker is a human/vampire hybrid who possesses their soul but can also hunt during the daytime without the fear of turning to dust.”
“So basically a human with the vampire perk package” Spike said as he stood to get a better view of some of the scrolls.
“Essentially yes.” Giles replied leaning his head back and staring at the ceiling.
“These are in Ancient Sumarian…says something about a day walker and a demon coming together to…” Spike says as he skims the ancient text.
Giles head snapped up and standing abruptly he looks at the scroll Spike is reading.
“What was that?” Giles said skimming the scroll.
“Just rattlin’ off this part here” Spike replied, pointing to the torn section.
“You’re translation is impeccable but what does that mean?” Giles muttered as he skims the scroll again looking for any other clues.
Spike bristled at the compliment and simply muttered "Don't have a clue."
Across the campus up in his room Xander curled up tightly into a ball as memories of his time in the other dimension assaulted him while he slept:
The landscape was scarce and barren with a few dead trees scattered across the horizon. Looking around all Xander saw was miles and miles of gray sandstone outcroppings. There was hardly any vegetation and the sky was a harsh red from the angry sun that shone relentlessly.
“Where the hell did he send me?” Xander muttered, “I wonder if this is one of those dimensions without shrimp that Ayn always mentioned? Although it looks like it’s a dimension without a lot of things…”
Heading off Xander tried to keep calm at his misfortune, after what felt like hours of walking he found a hill with some caves. “I wonder if those are safe?” he thought as the sky turned a violent gray signaling a rain storm was approaching. Xander jumped as the first few drops hit his skin and started sizzling.
“What the hell? OW! OW!” Xander cried as he ran as fast as he could toward the caves for cover. Once inside the cave he looked down and noticed that his skin had blistered where the “rain” had hit his exposed skin.
“So not your normal rain. Great, if it burns my skin, means no watery goodness for the Xanman” he muttered staring out at the storm.
“Um, excuse me Sir!”
Xander whipped around and there in the back of the cave was a Spike doppelganger only with weird clothes and glasses.
“Uh, hello” Xander replied giving a small wave.
“There’s a small pool of water back here that’s safe to drink” the man said pointing to the far left corner of the cave.
Xander walked forward cautiously unsure who this guy was and looked where he pointed. Sure enough a small pool of water glistened in the light of the cave. Xander knelt down and reaching out touched the water with his finger. It touched the cool liquid and Xander almost cried with relief as his skin didn’t burn.
Turning toward his mysterious companion he exclaimed “Thank Yo….” The words dying on his tongue as the cave was completely empty. “Great I’m going crazy and I haven’t been here a full day” he said turning back to the pool and drinking his fill. He didn’t notice that further back in the cave an invisible creature lay in wait to attack.
Xander tried to keep track of how long he’d been in this new dimension. He found an old hide of some creature and started scratching lines to keep track. For each day he added a tick mark, he couldn’t tell how long the days were but marked the passing of each day with the rising and setting of the angry red sun that never seemed to move unless it was nearing nighttime.
Xander was in a deep sleep when he was startled awake by a piercing yell.
“WAKE UP WHELP!”
Xander shot up awake and spun around looking for Spike around the cave .Turning back he noticed his groin was wet and looking down noticed a grotesque red eyed demon about to devour his penis with razor sharp teeth. Rearing up one leg he kicked with all his might into the face of the demon sending it reeling back against the opposite wall of the cave. It screeched and shook off the shock as Xander scrambled back trying to zip himself up in the process.
“What the hell?” Xander cried jumping to his feet. The demon charged again and Xander hit it back with a branch he had collected as firewood.
“I. AM. NOT. YOUR. BUTTMONKEY!” He yelled as he hit the demon over the head. One the third hit, it grabbed the branch and threw Xander back across the cave causing him to land on his back.
Xander shot to his feet and lit the branch he held with fire and charged the demon out into the darkness outside the cave. Xander stood there, breathing heavily as he watched the shadow of the demon disappear against the horizon. Its angry screams echoing off the rock faces as it passed.
Turning back into the cave, he walked over to the small fire and sat down staring into its depths. He didn’t know how long he sat there contemplating his fate in this new landscape but he reached over and patted the wall of the cave and whispered hoarsely “Thanks.” Unbeknownst to Xander this caused a ripple of delight to shoot through the cave and connecting him on a psychic level with the benign entity that lived in the cave.
The next day Xander was sitting against the wall of the cave sharpening spears to help kill the small creatures he’s relied on to eat. He was concentrating on getting the sharpness correct when a voice called out from the back of the cave.
Xander spun around and gawked at the Spike clone he’d seen when he first arrived and had helped him find clean water. Closing his mouth and swallowing audibly. He gave a small wave.
“I just wanted to tell you. You did quite admirably against that hideous monstrosity that came in here last night” the clone said
“Thanks I guess, but why didn’t you help?”
“Oh I was too frightened, I was hiding in the back, but I knew you would scare it away.”
“What’s your name? I’m Alexander but my friends back home call me Xander”
The young man smiled and stepping closer to his new companion replied simply…
“Hello Xander, you may call me William.”
Xander started to enjoy William’s presence even if he looked like Spike. It was nice to have someone to talk to, he really didn’t want to end up like Tom Hanks in “Cast Away” and end up talking to an inanimate object when that day came he’d hope someone would just stake him. Surviving day to day was hard and soon he couldn’t wait to hide in his cave away from the angry yellow eyed demons that lived down on the flat lands whose eyes followed him as he did his routines. They always seemed to stop what they were doing and just stare at him with those unblinking eyes, as the entrails of the small animals they were eating dripped from their jowels.
When Xander got back to the cave after his latest excursion to get more firewood. He was surprised to see Spike near the back, leaning against the wall of the cave.
“Are you here to rescue me Spike? Please tell me Buffy and the others finally figured out where I am. I knew Willow would find me. God, I can’t wait to see them all again. Buffy, Dawn, even the G-Man…”Xander rambled as he dropped the firewood on his growing pile.
“Ain’t here to rescue you Harris. Just here to give ya a heads up on those nasty beasts out there. They’re called Mothrak demons. Don’t see many in our dimension but they have been known to be conjured up a few times. Dru and I came across one in Madrid. Nasty buggers.
“You’re not here to rescue me? Then why the cryptic message about those creatures anyway?” Spike stood there staring at him, something was off about Spike but Xander couldn’t put his finger on it. Finally after a few tense moments of just staring at each other Xander couldn’t take it anymore.
“Get to the point Spike!” Xander groused.
“My point is. Best way to kill em’ Harris is to gouge out the eyes. The eyes see all. Good luck.” Spike said as he sauntered back into the darkness at the back of the cave.
“Gouged eyes. Got it. Thanks Fangless!” Xander called to the back of the cave. The only answer he got was the quiet dripping of water into the pool.
“What the hell?”
Xander’s lungs burned as he ran as fast as he could from the gang of yellow-eyed demons. They were closing in. His feet moved on their own accord. He zigged, he zagged. He could see the cave off in the distance all he had to do was get there and be safe. He was close when a sharp claw grasped his shoulder and flung him to the ground. He flipped over and stared up at the demon who just stood over him staring at him.
He watched in horror as it reached up and with one hand ripped its own eye out of its socket. Looking back down at Xander it slowly brought its clawed hand down that held the dripping eyeball, Xander tried to flinch away but the others had pinned him down by standing on his limbs. One sharp nailed finger flicked his eye patch away and in an instant slammed the new eye home into the empty socket. Xander screamed as the nerve endings grew into place.
Xander woke up with a start. Laying there he let his racing heart calm down. Staring around the room, he fell back onto the floor. He wrapped his arms around his legs as a stray tear fell and the only thing he could help but wonder was “Where are you William?” as he rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.
Unbeknownst to the personnel at the Hospital and the Scoobies, something from the other dimension came through the portal with Alexander Harris. For in the shadows a steely toothed red eyed demon lay in wait for the right time to pounce.