Xander Makes A Wish
Starway Man

Date written:  Sat 18 Sep 1999
Author:  Starway Man
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Highlander Crossover
Email address: theop@kew.hotkey.net.au
Main characters: Xander, Angel, Duncan MacLeod
Spoilers: Anything up to Season 3 of BTVS and Season 6 of Highlander.
Disclaimer: The Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters are the property of 
Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and WB Network; Rysher, Davis and Panzer 
Productions own the Highlander universe; no infringement of copyright 
is intended; yadda yadda yadda.  No profit will be earned as a result 
of this work (like that needed to be said).
Setting: This fanfic takes place after Season 3 of BTVS.
Acknowledgments: Thanks to AleXander’s transcripts for much needed 
Rating:  R-ish (violence, language)
Warnings:  Spoilers for all seasons present. Also, it’s my first 
attempt at BTVS fan fiction, so that should be warning enough.
Summary:  Xander unwittingly makes a Wish, and creates an alternate 
universe. Along the way, he discovers that he is an Immortal.

Xander Makes A Wish

12 A.M., June 21, 1999

Angel looked around at his temporary home, wondering why on earth he 
had decided to come back to Sunnydale. After the attempted ascension 
and the death of the mayor Richard Wilkins III, he had left for LA, but 
he just couldn’t stay away. He hated to admit it, but he missed Buffy 
Summers, the vampire Slayer, too much.

All of a sudden there was a bright light, and Angel tried to shield his 
eyes from it. When he could see again, he felt an unfamiliar emotion - 
fear. Standing in front of him was the image of Jenny Calendar, and it 
was an understatement to say that she looked angry.

“What are you doing here?” he asked. “You ARE the First Evil, right, 
and not the ghost of Christmas past?”

“I’m here to correct a mistake, you fool. You are of no more use to 
me,” she hissed at him. “You failed to kill the Slayer, and you failed 
to kill yourself. On this night of the solstice, let your soul begone!”

Angel would have tried to protest or run, but another incredibly bright 
white light filled the room. When it was gone, the First Evil had 
vanished, and so had the human soul of Angel. All that was left was the 
unconscious form of Angelus - the demon, the soulless vampire who did 
not just feed to live, but lived to feed on the blood of mortal man.


The high demon D’Hoffryn was sitting at the altar in his dark chapel, 
staring at his visitor. “You cannot be serious,” he said in disbelief.

“You bet your ugly backside I’m serious,” said the demon known as 
Whistler. “This is an emergency here. The First Evil wasn’t supposed to 
put the old whammy on our boy Angel, and the big guy’s plans are now 
totally out of whack. If she really was a broad, I’d be thinking a 
serious case of PMT...as it is, everything’s gonna end up in serious 
crapola if we don’t do something fast!”

“Your concern for the lower beings is irrelevant to me,” D’Hoffryn said 

“Yeah, fine, whatever. Just get her here, and then we can get outta 
your hair.”

D’Hoffryn looked at him curiously. “I’ve known Anyanka for a long time. 
She was a fool to let herself be robbed of her powers, but that doesn’t 
remove over a thousand years of experience. Just what makes you think 
you can force her to carry out your plan?”

Whistler just grinned. “Hey, I don’t force anyone to do anything. You 
just gotta get 'em angry enough, and they’ll do what you want without 
you having to lift a finger.”

D’Hoffryn gestured and thought, < He’s an imbecile to think of giving 
her back her powers. But if nothing else, this should be worth watching 
just to see what she does to him. >  The demon murmured a spell of 
incantation, and the ex-demoness appeared in a blaze of light.

Anya looked around in puzzlement, then in awed comprehension. She 
stared at the two demons and said, “Why am I here? By all the pestilent 
gods, who summoned me?”

D’Hoffryn looked at her in disgust. “I did. My companion here wanted to 
talk to you.”

Anya looked at his companion. “Who are you? Apart from being someone 
with a really bad taste in clothes, of course.”

Whistler said enigmatically, “Name’s Whistler, toots. Wanted to meet 
ya, in order to settle a bet I got going with my old buddy here.”

She looked puzzled. “What are you talking about?”

“Well, let’s just say we’ve been keeping an eye on ya, on account of 
you’ve been kinda buddy-buddy with the Slayer and her friends. 
Especially that Xander guy, huh? You got a thing going for him, maybe?”

Anya looked enraged. “You’re out of your mind! For a thousand years I 
wielded the powers of The Wish. I was the matron saint of scorned 
women, and I brought ruin to their unfaithful husbands and sweethearts. 
I hate all men!”

“Yeah, sure,” Whistler said, smirking. “Like a friend of mine once 
said, doll, methinks you doth protest too much.”

Anya looked even angrier. “If only I still had my power center, I’d 
show you what I...”

Whistler gestured, and a green light glowed around her throat. Anya 
looked stunned, as she saw her necklace. All of a sudden, she changed 
back to her demonic form, and stared at Whistler. “Why did you...?”

Whistler just shrugged, still smirking. “Part of the bet, toots. Now 
why don’t you go find this Xander kid, and start making with the 
smoochies? You know you want to...”

“Never!” Anyanka screamed. “I’ll be back to take care of you, after I 
deal with him!” She then vanished in a blaze of light.

Whistler glanced at his companion, and D’Hoffryn looked back at him. 
“Not bad,” the high demon admitted grudgingly. “Your plan might just 
work, after all.”

Whistler no longer looked amused. “It better, old buddy,” he said 
absently. “For all our sakes, it sure as hell better.”


Xander Harris was lying on the bed in his hotel room, watching 
something on TV late at night. Since graduating from high school, he 
had thought about joining the army, but then he decided that he needed 
to experience more of what life had to offer, before he enlisted. 

Thus, he had decided to go on a journey to “find” himself, but he’d 
quickly discovered that camping out alone in the woods got pretty 
boring. He’d eventually ended up in Seacouver, about 20 minutes away 
from Sunnydale up the interstate highway.

He remembered wandering along the streets, and eventually finding a 
martial arts dojo. Intrigued, he’d gone inside and met Duncan MacLeod, 
the owner of the establishment. “Hello? Anyone home?”

The Immortal turned to face Xander. He’d felt a telltale pain in his 
head even before Xander had come through the door, and thought, < 
Someone’s coming. >  The Scot gave Xander an appraising look, and 
replied, “How can I help you?”

Xander shrugged. “I dunno really, I was just passing through and I saw 
your sign outside. Thought I’d check out your place, see what it can 
offer me.”

Although Duncan showed no change of expression outwardly, on the inside 
he was somewhat amused. < He’s a pre-Immortal alright, one with an 
attitude.  I can’t wait to see what the training will do to his 
cockiness. >  The Highlander replied, “What’s your name?”

“Xander Harris.”

“Well, Mr. Harris - may I call you Xander?”

“Go ahead.”

“Thank you. I consider myself a good judge of people, and I’d say 
you’ve got potential. But I don’t think you’ll want to train here.”

Xander blinked. “Why not?”

“Your attitude sucks.”

Xander started to grow angry. “Hey, I don’t have to listen to this!”

Duncan chuckled, which just made Xander madder. “What are you laughing 

Duncan replied amusedly, “You. And, your inability to control your 

By now, Xander was furious. He took off his backpack and his jacket and 
said to the Highlander, “Come on, let’s see what you’ve got!”

Duncan simply shrugged. “All right, I promise not to hurt you too 

Xander spat, “Don’t do me any favors!” He charged the Immortal, who 
simply stepped out of the way. Cursing, Xander tried to deck him, but 
always failed; either his punches were blocked, or he was too slow, or 
else Duncan didn’t appear to feel anything when his blows struck. 
Finally, MacLeod hit him with a reverse roundhouse kick, which sent him 
sprawling to the floor.

Xander saw stars. When his head cleared up a little, he saw Duncan 
standing over him, offering his hand to help him up. Still a little 
dazed, he accepted it and got unsteadily to his feet.

Duncan looked at him and said, “We’ve got to work on your stamina, 
first of all. Leave your stuff in one of the lockers, and get dressed 
in a T-shirt and sweat pants. I’m taking you on a little jog.”

Xander looked at him in a stupefied manner. “Huh?”

Trying to be patient, Duncan said, “We’re going for a run. What part of 
that didn’t you understand?”

“You mean you’re gonna train me??”

“Let’s just say, I now want to see what you’re capable of.”

As the weeks passed, Xander grew fitter, and Duncan began teaching him 
how to fight properly. They began with the basic martial arts, and as 
Xander began to grow more proficient, the Highlander also started to 
teach him how to use a sword.
One night when Xander had done well, Duncan decided to end the training 
session a bit early and take his newest student out to relax and 
unwind. They went to Joe’s Place, and Xander spotted a hot-looking girl 
at the bar and immediately went to hit on her.

Duncan just smiled wearily to himself, and sat down to talk to Joe 
Dawson, the owner and his personal Watcher. “Evening, Joe.”

Joe stopped wiping the bar, and replied “Hello, Duncan,” He looked at 
his friend closely, and then glanced over at Xander. “What’s the story 
with your young friend?”

MacLeod decided to play innocent. “He’s just a new student at the 

Joe looked at him disapprovingly. “Don’t try that routine on me, my 
friend,” he said warningly. He rubbed at the tattoo on his arm, which 
signified his affiliation with the Watchers, an organization that kept 
tabs on the Immortals. “I know that look. He’s a new one, isn’t he?”

Duncan grimaced and grunted, “No. Not yet. Look, Joseph, just leave him 
alone, okay? He doesn’t know he’s going to become Immortal, and with 
this sort of thing ignorance really IS bliss. He’ll find out the truth 
soon enough, God knows...”

Joe nodded. “Okay. But you know the news won’t stay quiet forever.”

“I know, I know.”

Joe looked at Xander appraisingly. “You know, Duncan, he reminds me a 
lot of...” before he suddenly cut himself off.

Duncan looked pained. “It’s alright, Joe, you can say his name. Richie 
Ryan. Killed by yours truly. And before you ask, no, I’m not doing this 
to atone for what I did to my friend after that business with the 
demon. Xander knows about it, in fact he’s had a lot of experience 
himself, with vampires and demons alike.”

Dawson looked stunned. “How’s that again?”

Duncan simply smiled. “We’ve talked a lot. He’s from Sunnydale. The 
fact that he survived living on the Hellmouth, even with the protection 
of the Slayer, is pretty amazing. Some of the stories he also told me 
about the Slayer’s Watcher were...”  

Joe interrupted him. “Hold it! Vampires? Hellmouth? Slayer? And most 
importantly, WATCHER?”

Duncan couldn’t help laughing. “It’s a long story. Get me a drink, and 
I’ll tell you all about it.”


Xander was pulled out of his flashback, by the sound of knocking at the 
door. Although he didn’t feel like talking to anyone, he got up and 
answered it.

When he opened the door, he was utterly surprised to see Anyanka 
standing there, in her human form. She in turn stared at him and said, 
“Hi, good to see you. Can I come in?”

Getting a grip on himself, he muttered “Sure,” and gestured for her to 
enter. After she had done so, he closed the door and turned to face her 
again. “I wasn’t exactly expecting to see you again, y’know.”

Anya looked pained. “I know. You must all hate me, after the way I 
bailed out on you guys back then.”

Xander shrugged. “I don’t, but I doubt you’re the most popular person 
back in Sunnydale because of how you ran away like that. By the way, 
how’d you find me?”

Anya hesitated a moment before replying, “I ran into someone I knew, 
and made a few enquiries. So, Xander, what happened after I left?”

Xander grunted. “We survived. The mayor got what he deserved. Oh yeah, 
afterwards Angel and Cordy left for LA, Willow and Oz went off touring 
with the band, and Buffy kept on doing her thing with Giles.”

Anya looked at him closely. “Is something wrong? You sound upset.”

Xander looked away. “It’s nothing.”

She came closer. “No, it’s not. If you need someone to listen, I’m 

Xander seemed to sag. “It’s - it’s Jesse.”


“Jesse. He was my best friend, before he became a vampire and I killed 
him,” Xander said bitterly. “No one remembers him now, except me.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I got a call from my parents today. Seems that Jesse’s last surviving 
relative died in an accident, and he left some of Jesse’s things to me 
in his will.” Xander started to pace, no longer looking at his 
companion. “It really bugs me, y’know? He would have been 18 in a few 
weeks. He didn’t deserve what happened to him. If I had a chance to do 
it all over again, from the day I first met Buffy, I swear I would make 
things different. I wish I could just have that chance to...”

He broke off as he suddenly stared at Anya - or rather, Anyanka. The 
demon. She was grinning at him. “Done,” she said in her demonic voice. 
A bright white light seemed blanket everything, and he knew nothing 


Xander was lying on the ground, as he slowly regained consciousness. He 
became aware of sounds and images, as he slowly got to his feet.

He looked around. It was Sunnydale - in fact, it was Sunnydale High. He 
would have known his old high school anywhere. < How the hell did I get 
here? >  Then he looked around at all the activity. < And when did they 
rebuild the school anyway? Last time I saw this place it was a smoky 
hole in the ground. > 

Then he saw something he tried very hard not to see, because he was 
afraid that it meant he was losing his mind. Principal Flutie - a man 
who had been dead for years, killed and eaten by hyena spirits.

Mr. Flutie stopped as he noticed Xander staring at him. “Is there a 
problem here?”

Xander just shut his eyes and shook his head, hoping it would all just 
go away. “You are not there. I am having a nervous breakdown, after 
living in Sunnyhell too long!”

The principal merely looked exasperated. “Not another one! First that 
transfer from Hemery named Buffy Summers, now you? I swear, you kids 
these days have GOT to stop taking those recreational 
pharmaceuticals...” he kept talking to himself as he started to walk 

Xander didn’t try to stop him. He was rapidly becoming convinced that 
all of this was real. He suddenly remembered his conversation with 
Anyanka. < Ohhh shit... >  Then he searched himself. Sure enough, there 
it was; the stake that Buffy had dropped, on the first day he met her, 
so many years ago.

Xander raced to the bathroom, and examined his face in the mirror. 
There was no doubt about it, he looked younger than he remembered. He 
then sped out and found a copy of the school newspaper in the trash; 
today was March 10, 1997.

 Xander was stunned. He wasn’t sure what to do at all. Then he 
remembered, it was nearly lunchtime, and they were all supposed to meet 
in the quad today. He hurried off to find his friends.


Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg were having lunch, when Jesse came 
up to join them, throwing his bag down. “Hey!”

“Hey,” said Buffy and Willow.

Willow said, “Buffy, this is my friend Jesse. Jesse, Buffy.”

Jesse asked, “Great to meet you. Have you guys seen Xander? We were 
supposed to meet up, but he was a no-show.”

Willow replied, “Sorry, I haven’t seen him.”

Buffy asked, “Who are we talking about again?”

Jesse grinned. “Willow’s boyfriend.”

“Jesse!” The grinning boy ducked as Willow threw a pencil at him. He 
said simply, “Hey, Will, I told ya, he’s gonna find out how you feel 
one day. And you guys are MADE for each other.”

Just then, Xander came up and joined the group. Although he tried not 
to show surprise, he couldn’t help it - the sight of his best friend, 
who had been dead for over two years, and his other two best buds as 
sophomores was a bit more than he could handle. Basically, he almost 
lost it.

Willow looked at him in concern. “Xander, what’s wrong?”

Xander looked at her. She looked so young, so innocent. They all did, 
damn it - for the first time in his life, Xander felt OLD. Even though 
he was in his sixteen-year-old body, something about him suggested he 
was different, and the others felt it too. They couldn’t understand it, 
but Buffy in particular had a serious case of the wiggins.

“We’ve gotta talk,” Xander said seriously. Then he turned to Buffy. “I 
also wanted to return this,” he handed her the stake.

“Oh, right,” Buffy said uncomfortably. “A-a-actually it’s for self-
defense. Everyone has them in LA. Pepper...”

“Spray is just so passé, yeah, Buff, I remember,” Xander interrupted 
her, looking off to one side.

Buffy was growing even more nervous. “How’d you know what I was gonna 

“Doesn’t matter,” Xander said cryptically. “We have to get to the 
library. G-man has to hear my story too, so I may as well wait till 
we’re all together. It’ll save time.”

All of a sudden, Cordelia Chase appeared, addressing Buffy. “Are these 
guys bothering you?” 

Buffy said, “Uh, no!”

Willow added, “She's not hanging out with us.” 

Jesse went and stood next to Cordelia. “Hey! Cordelia!” 

Cordelia sneered at him. “Oh, please!” Turning her attention to Buffy, 
she added, “I don’t mean to interrupt your downward mobility, but I 
just wanted to tell you that you won't be meeting Coach Foster, the 
woman with the chest hair, because gym was canceled due to the EXTREME 
dead guy in the locker.”

Buffy was shocked. “What?” 

Willow was no less affected. “What are you talking about?” 

Cordelia seemed happy to elaborate. “Some guy was stuffed in Aura’s 

Buffy stated rather than asked, “Dead.” 

Cordelia agreed, “Totally dead. Way dead.” 

Jesse said to Cordelia pleadingly, “Y’know, if you need a shoulder to 
cry on, or just to nibble on...” 

Buffy interrupted him. “How did he die?” 

Cordelia put on her disinterested gaze. “I don’t know.” 

Buffy had to ask. “Well, were there any marks?”

Cordelia looked at her strangely. “Morbid much! I didn't ask!”

Buffy looked at everyone, and noticed that Xander in particular was 
staring at her. Almost as if he knew something the others didn’t. “Um, 
I gotta book. I’ll, I’ll see you guys later.” She grabbed her things 
and left. 

Cordelia stared after her. “What's her deal?” 

Xander looked at her with resignation. “That conversation was so déja 
vu. God, Cordelia, I’d almost forgotten what a complete bitch you could 
be, back in these days.”

Cordelia stared at him, stunned. “How dare you say that to me, you 

Xander wasn’t interested. “Save it already. Or else maybe the IRS is 
gonna get an anonymous phone call, about what your father gets up to.”

Cordelia started to look nervous. “What...”

Xander cut her off, oblivious to the stares of his two friends. “Man, 
we REALLY don’t have time for this. Willow, Jesse, we gotta see Giles, 
right now. Get to the library.” As his friends  went off in 
bewilderment, Xander couldn’t help adding before he left, “By the way, 
Cordy, don’t ever date anybody named Kevin. It’s the least you could do 
for the guy.”

“What?” But it was too late, and he was gone.


Buffy barged into the library, after having discovered the vampire bite 
marks on the dead man. “Okay, what’s the sitch?” she demanded of Rupert 
Giles, the school librarian.

Suddenly she noticed Xander, Willow and Jesse standing near Giles. She 
tried to cover her remark, by saying, “Have you found that book I was 
asking for...”

“Knock it off, Buffy,” Xander interrupted her. “I know you’re the 
Chosen One, the vampire Slayer, and that Giles is your Watcher, who 
trains and prepares you, blah, blah, blah.” Ignoring the amazed stares 
from his companions, he continued, “I have a story to tell that you 
probably won’t believe, but what the hell, I’m gonna tell it anyway...”

Xander sat down and started to talk. Buffy and Giles listened intently 
as he explained what had happened to him, although Willow and Jesse 
looked at him as if he was crazy.

“You’re from the future??” Jesse exclaimed in disbelief. “Buddy, does 
the phrase ‘reality check’ mean anything here? You’ve been watching too 
many Star Trek reruns!”

Xander was tired from talking, and although he knew it was hard to 
believe he couldn’t hold in his anger. “Oh, yeah? Then how come I knew 
Buffy was the Slayer, and Giles was her Watcher?”

Giles said quietly, “It - it’s not impossible that you might have...” 

“Oh, really? I didn’t know the Watcher Council was that incompetent 
about keeping secrets. By the way, G-man, does the name Ethan Rayne 
ring any bells? If not, how about Eighon?”

Giles went so pale, he almost looked like a ghost. “H-how did you...”

“Ancient history, where I come from,” Xander said sarcastically. “Look, 
from what I remember, you were researching about this new crisis that’s 
supposed to happen when Buffy arrives here in Sunnydale. To save you 
some time, it’s called the Harvest. The Master’s gonna wake up and try 
to open the Hellmouth, and kill a lot of people.”

Giles looked concerned. “I’ll have to...”

“Research, yeah, I know the drill,” Xander said dryly.

Buffy looked confused. “The Master?”

Xander looked impatiently at her. “Ugly vamp, centuries old, who 
deserves to be in Hell more than any of them.” He broke off, suddenly 
realizing something. “I got someone I gotta go see. I’ll see you guys 
tonight at the Bronze.”

Willow looked horrified. “Xander, you can’t ditch school just like 

Xander gave his friend a sad look. “Yes I can,” he said softly. “Look, 
Will, I’m not the same Xander that you knew this morning, okay? I - I’m 
different. That’s what comes from spending the next few years on the 
Hellmouth. If there was one good thing about high school for me apart 
from you guys, it’s the fact that it’s over, I graduated. End of story. 
Now excuse me, I gotta go find Dead Boy.” With that, he quickly left 
the library.

Jesse looked at the direction his friend had gone, and then made for 
the telephone. “Talk about needing a rubber room...”

Willow stopped him. “Jesse, you can’t! It’s Xander!”

“Look, Willow, I know you’ve been hopelessly in love with him since you 
were five, but COME ON! He’s flipped out! We gotta put him in a 
straightjacket before he hurts somebody!”

Giles said quietly, “Why don’t you students, uh, get to your next 
class, and I’ll take the responsibility for what we’re going to do 
about Mr. Harris.”

Jesse shrugged, deferring to the authority of the older man. “Sure, 
works for me. Come on, Will,” and he dragged her off.

Buffy made to follow them, but Giles stopped her. “Miss Summers, c-
could I have a word?”


“This is m-most unsettling,” Giles remarked, in his most British 
accent. “I - I’ve heard of this demoness Anyanka, vaguely, and this 
thing about The Wish, a-and  I must admit it - it both frightens and 
gladdens me, that we now have such a - a resource in this young man.”

“You mean you believe him?” Buffy was incredulous.

“Oh, yes,” Giles said, as he took off his glasses and started to polish 
them. “H-he knew things about me, th-that no one could know.”

“Yeah, what was all that about?”

Giles seemed very uncomfortable. “A-another time, perhaps, I’ve got 
rather a lot of work to do now. Please - please, just keep a close eye 
on our Mr. Harris.”


Xander hurried along the street, glad it was still daylight. He was 
headed for where Angel’s old apartment was, both hoping and not hoping 
that the vampire would be there. Just in case, he had brought along his 
cross, a stake and some holy water if he ran into trouble.

He entered the building, and went to the appropriate door. Hesitating a 
moment, he started banging and called out, “Rise and shine, ya got a 

The door opened, and Angel squinted out. “Who the hell are you?”

“I like to think, your worst nightmare,” Xander replied. “We gotta 
talk, Angel.”

Angel gestured, “Come in.”

Xander did so, and before the door was fully shut he said, “Just so 
we’re clear about this, I don’t trust you. If you try anything, I’ll 
shove a stake through your undead body so fast it’d make your head 

Angel looked at him in curiosity, rather than fear. “You know who and 
what I am? What’s your name?”

“Yeah, Dead Boy, I know who you are,” said Xander. “And the name’s 
Xander Harris.”

“Who sent you? Whistler?”

Xander was puzzled for a moment, and then he remembered who Angel was 
referring to. “You mean the so-called good guy demon? No. You’re close, 
but no cigar.”

“Why don’t you start at the beginning? It’s usually the best place, so 
I hear.”

Xander grinned, despite himself. “No one ever accused you of not having 
a sense of humor,” he replied sarcastically. “Lemme tell you what 
happened to me...”and he did so. He finished up by saying, “...and 
that’s where we are now.”

Angel was astonished. “Time travel? I never heard of such a thing.”

“Yeah, well, it happened. How else would I know about those gypsies? I 
mean, how they gave you your soul back, with that curse. And how to 
break the curse too, while we’re at it?”

The 240-plus-year-old vampire’s jaw nearly fell to the floor. “You know 
- what?”

Xander almost panicked for a moment. “Uh, maybe I shouldn’t have said 

Angel just looked at him. “I believe you. You want to know why?”


“Because your story is too crazy NOT to be true. And there’s another 
thing I’ve noticed - your body language. You act as if you’ve been 
around me for a long time, whereas I KNOW I’ve never seen you before. 
Any human this close to a vampire who knows what it is will either be 
terrified, or calm as only a lunatic can be. You’re neither.”

Xander grinned again. “Thanks...I think. But the real reason I came 
here was to warn you never, EVER to sleep with Buffy. No matter how 
much you love her, or...” he paused for a moment in pain, “she loves 
you. If you ignore what I’m saying, a lot of people are gonna die, and 
you’ll be responsible. Plus, I don’t think Hell would agree with your 

Angel looked confused. “What...?”

“Never mind,” Xander glanced at his watch. They had been talking for a 
long time. “Heck, I gotta get going. And so do you, if you’re still 
planning on catching Buffy tonight.”

“How did you...no, don’t tell me. In fact, it might be better if we 
didn’t see too much of each other, from now on. Too much knowledge 
about the future might be very dangerous. For example, if you knew when 
someone’s going to die...”

Xander had been heading for the door, but suddenly stopped in shock. “I 
almost forgot! This thing with the Master and Buffy, fighting in a few 
months. We were both there, she drowned, I gave her CPR and brought her 
back to life...”

“Please!” Angel shouted. “I don’t want to know any more. We’ll deal 
with that when the time comes.”

“Yeah, well, just in case something happens to me before then, I 
thought you should know. This IS the Hellmouth, remember? See ya 
around, Fang Boy.”


Later that night at the Bronze, Xander showed up early and discreetly 
kept a watch on his friends. He saw Giles and Buffy talking on the 
upper level, after Buffy had left Willow behind. He was determined to 
change things this time around, so as soon as Willow started talking to 
the vampire Thomas he came up to them and shoved his cross into the 
demon’s face. As Thomas vamped out, the teen used his other hand to 
plunge a stake into the creature’s heart, and the Debarge-like vampire 
quickly exploded into dust.

Willow looked around in panic, but no one else seemed to have noticed; 
the din and the jostling crowds had masked Xander’s activity. She 
spluttered, “Xander? What...?”

Xander just gave her a small smile. “Believe me now, Wills?”


Xander didn’t wait around for a reply, he had already spotted Jesse 
with the four-hundred-year old female vampire called Darla. “Go get 
Buffy!” he told her urgently, and Willow scrambled to obey.

As Darla led Jesse out the door, Xander shoved his way through the 
crowd in an effort to reach them. He didn’t want to think that he might 
too late, that he might have screwed up...again.

Outside in the parking lot, he started to catch up with them. “DARLA!” 
he shouted at the top of his voice.

The vampire stopped and turned around, surprised that someone actually 
knew her name. She took one look at Xander, and KNEW that this human 
understood the situation. As she put on her game face, she grabbed 
Jesse by the neck and growled, “No closer! Or I’ll sever his carotid 
artery so fast you’ll drown in his blood!”

Xander stopped, and Buffy, Willow, and Giles came up to join them. “Let 
him go,” said Giles in his most authoritative voice.

“I don’t take orders from a human,” she sneered. “Especially one who 
has such a lousy dress sense, as to wear nothing but tweed.”

“Who are you?” asked Buffy.

“Her name’s Darla,” said Xander, glaring at the undead killer. “She’s 
Angel’s sire.”

Darla again looked astonished. “How did you know about Angelus?”

“Don’t ask me no questions, I won’t tell you no lies,” Xander mocked 

“You’re all going to die,” Darla sneered. Speaking like she was quoting 
scripture, she continued, “And like a plague of boils, the race of man 
covered the Earth. But on the third day of the newest light would come 
the Harvest. And the blood of men will flow as wine, when the Master 
will walk among them once more! The Earth will belong to the Old Ones, 
and Hell itself will come to town!”

“Yeah, yeah,” Xander said wearily. “I liked it better coming from that 
what’s-his-name vamp, Luke, in the mausoleum, but whatever.”

“WHO ARE YOU?” she screamed, sounding positively demented.

“Just somebody who knows how to break that gypsy curse placed on your 
undead boyfriend 100 years ago,” Xander said enigmatically. “Would that 
be worth anything to you?”

Calculation began to show itself on her face. “Tell me now, and maybe 
your friend lives!”

“I don’t think so,” said a voice from behind her.

Darla whirled around, spotting the source of the new voice. 
Unfortunately for her, Jesse tore himself free while she was 
distracted. He dragged himself over to the others, who clustered around 
him, making sure he was alright.

Xander looked over, and saw Angel standing nearby. Darla was silently 
snarling at him, but all that mattered was that Jesse was safe, and 
alive. Xander almost sighed in contentment; he hadn’t made a mess of it 
this time, after all.

Darla had backed up, and was now sneering at them again. “You’re all 
going to end up dead!”

“Somebody change the CD,” Buffy wisecracked. “You think you can take on 
all of us?”

“Maybe not,” she grinned horribly, “but I think they can.”

The gang looked around, and saw vampires coming at them from all 
directions. Immediately a fight broke out; Buffy and Angel fought the 
undead, while Giles grabbed Willow and Jesse and hustled them back 
inside the Bronze. He would have grabbed Xander as well, but after 
seeing the expression on the teen’s face he suddenly knew better than 
to try.

“Xander!” screamed Willow. Xander paid no attention; he just grabbed 
his stake and launched into the fray. The other two fighters were too 
busy trying to kill the enemy to tell him to go. They fought and 
punched and kicked, dusting the vamps where they could.

Eventually though, Xander’s luck ran out. Just before the remaining 
vampires gave up and ran off, a really ugly fangster backhanded him so 
viciously that he flew across the lot, and slammed into a parked car. 
He hit it so hard, he was knocked unconscious immediately and stayed 
that way for a long time.


Xander woke up groggily, finding himself in the school library. For a 
moment he was disoriented, not remembering what happened; then it all 
came rushing back. He tried to get up, but almost immediately started 
to fall down again.

“Hey, take it easy!” Willow exclaimed. “Don’t try to get up yet, you’ve 
been hurt! I thought we should have taken you to the hospital - ”

“No,” Xander croaked. “We don’t have time for that. The Harvest -”

“Xander, man, I gotta apologize,” Jesse said as he came over to help 
his friend, who was trying to get up again. “I saw it, but I still 
kinda don’t believe it! Vampires...”

“Yeah,” interrupted Xander. “Hey, where’s Buffy? Giles?”

“Right here,” said Giles, coming to join them, along with Buffy. “Are 
you all right, Mr. Harris?”

“Call me Xander, Giles, please,” the teenager replied. “Mr. Harris is 
my father.”

“Well, Xander, then,” the Watcher tried not to smile. “I’ve just been 
explaining to everyone what we’ve come up with, i-in regards to the 
Harvest. Young Miss Rosenberg h-has been most helpful, using that 
infernal computer device. Apparently once a century, th-the Master can 
draw power from one of his minions while it feeds. Enough power to, uh, 
open the Hellmouth. The minion is called the Vessel...”

“Yeah, right,” Xander interrupted. “I know, Giles, I’ve heard it all 
before. Come on, we’ve got to get to the Bronze.”

The Watcher looked uncertain. “A-are you sure? There are a number of 
places they could go...”

“Yeah, I’m sure,” Xander said testily. “What time is it?” he looked at 
his watch. “No! Come on, we’ve gotta hurry!”

The rest of the battle went pretty much as it had the first time 
around, according to Xander’s memory. They arrived there late, with the 
vampires having taken control of the club. Buffy went to fight Luke 
(the Vessel), while Giles and the teenagers got the rest of the people 
out of there. Darla tried to kill Giles and Jesse but was driven off 
screaming, by the holy water Willow threw at her. Xander did his best 
to stake the vampires, glad yet again that Jesse wasn’t among them. 
Finally Buffy destroyed Luke, and the danger of the Apocalypse was 

As the gang left the club, exhausted after their ordeal, Darla watched 
them exit the Bronze. She was still scarred by the holy water, but more 
than that she wanted to kill Xander. She believed that somehow, he was 
responsible for this debacle. She had gathered the remaining vampires 
that had fled after the Vessel had died, and waited.

As she sent the other vampires to attack, she came out of hiding and 
aimed a gun at the boy. As she fired, she felt a sharp pain in her 
chest, and turned around to see Angel and the stake he had used. 
“You...” she barely had time to say, before she exploded into ashes.

Angel looked over towards the others, and saw Buffy fighting the 
vampires. He rushed to help her, noting one of the humans was lying on 
the ground. He was somewhat more concerned to realize it was Xander, as 
he fought the Master’s minions.

While the battle was raging around them, Jesse was with his friend, 
trying to get him to hold on. He was afraid to move him; Xander had 
lost so much blood, and Jesse was secretly thinking it was already too 
late. “Come on buddy, stay with me -”

“Jesse, shut up,” Xander croaked. “Don’t have...much time. Stick 
close...to Buffy. Lotta freaky things’re...gonna happen. And what I 
said...about Cordy? Didn’t...mean it. She’s worth...” Xander’s slurred 
voice gave out, as the last of the life drained out of him and his eyes 
stared blankly at nothing.

“No!!!” screamed Jesse. He drew the attention of a huge-sized vampire, 
and scrambled away from Xander’s corpse as it charged towards him.

The fight continued, until once again the vampires were either dead or 
fled. When it was over, Willow looked around and asked, “Where’s 

Jesse drew her into a hug. “I’m sorry, Willow. I’m so sorry.”

“NO!!” she screamed and buried herself in his embrace. “Where is he? I 
wanna see him!”

“He’s right over...” Jesse started to point, but then looked at the 
spot in surprise. “Hey, where’d he go??”

“What’s going on?” Buffy limped over, as Giles and Angel joined them.

“It’s Xander. He’s...”

“He’s dead, isn’t he?” asked Angel. “I saw it. I’m sorry I wasn’t quick 
enough to stop Darla. For what it’s worth, I made sure she didn’t 
survive long enough to enjoy her handiwork.”

“But where’s the body?” asked Giles in confusion.

Jesse replied, “I don’t know. Maybe the vampires carried it off - we’ll 
have to start searching, the least we can do is give him a decent 


Xander jerked up awake, on the bed in his hotel room. The TV was 
buzzing softly, the black and white snow filling the screen. He quickly 
examined himself, but there was no bullet wound, no injury at all. 
Going to the bathroom, he splashed water onto his face, and then looked 
at himself in the mirror. It was the same old face it had been this 
evening, not his younger self.

He went over to the hotel room calendar, and checked the date and the 
year was what it was supposed to be. There was no sign of Anyanka, 
either. “I have GOT to start laying off those anchovy pizzas...” Xander 
grumbled to himself, as he decided it was all just a dream.


The next day Xander went over to the dojo early, as he wanted to say 
goodbye to Duncan before catching the bus to Sunnydale, to see his 
parents about their phone call the previous day. When he got there no 
one was around, so he let himself in with the key Duncan had in a 
secret location.

A short while later, he suddenly felt a strange buzzing, like somewhere 
in the back of his head. A few moments later, he saw Duncan MacLeod 
enter, and the sensation vanished.

“Duncan?” MacLeod didn’t answer him, but simply withdrew his katana. 
Xander became somewhat uneasy and asked, “Hey, what are you doing?”

“Are you here to challenge me?” the Scot asked Xander tersely.

“What? No, why?”

Duncan frowned. “Are you that newly Awake? Don’t you know the Rules?”

“What rules? What are you talking about? I just came to say goodbye, I 
gotta go back to Sunnydale for a bit...”

“Who are you?” MacLeod interrupted him.

Xander was completely dumbfounded. “It’s me, Xander! What’s the matter 
with you? You’re acting like you’ve never seen me before!”

The Highlander nodded slowly. “I haven’t.”

Xander burst out laughing. “C’mon, quit kidding around! A joke’s a 
joke, but this is going too far...”

“I’m not joking,” Duncan said emotionlessly. “But you’re acting as if 
YOU know ME. Explain yourself.”

“Huh? Look, Duncan, I have no idea what’s going on here, but I’ve been 
training with you in the dojo for weeks! Then I have that really nutty 
dream last night,  I felt this weird pain in my head just before you 
came in, and now you’re acting all psycho on me...”

Duncan frowned again, lowering his sword. “Are you seriously telling 
me, that you don’t even know that you’re an Immortal?”

“I’m a WHAT?!”


Duncan and Xander talked for a long time, telling each other 
everything. To convince the new Immortal what they were, MacLeod killed 
himself and quickly came back to life, disregarding the teen’s abject 
horror of his actions. 

Later, Joe Dawson came over, and he too had no idea who Xander was, 
despite having met him at his bar. Xander was still finding it hard to 
believe everything Duncan had told him, even though he trusted his 
teacher implicitly. “So...explain to me again, what exactly an Immortal 

Duncan sighed. “Xander, I told you that we ourselves aren’t exactly 
sure what we are. Although we appear completely human, we’re not - for 
example, we can’t have children. The bottom line is that after we’re 
killed and resurrected the first time, we no longer age, we can’t get 
permanently sick or injured, and we don’t die. Unless someone cuts off 
our heads.”  

“Gross,” Xander muttered to himself. “But when did I die? I mean, I 
would have remembered - oh, no. That wasn’t real, was it? It can’t have 

Joe said gently, “Xander, you’re babbling. What exactly are you talking 

“Uh, never mind for now. But if I’m an Immortal, where did I...”

“Come from?” Xander nodded. “I don’t know. You see, we’re all 
foundlings, none of us know where we really come from. 

“What I do know is that since the dawn of mankind, we’ve lived our 
lives among them in secret, fighting throughout the ages for something 
called the Prize. But none of us know what it actually is, just that in 
the end the last of our kind is supposed to claim it, at the time of 
the Gathering. Our only refuge from all this is holy ground, we can’t 
fight there, it’s a major rule that not even the most evil of us can 
break.” He gave the teen an enigmatic grin. “This may not be the best 
time or place to say it, but welcome to the Game, Xander.”  

“Thanks,” Xander said in confusion. They kept on talking, and 
eventually Joe excused himself to go back and check on his bar. Duncan 
then asked Xander to show him what he was capable of with a sword; he 
had decided to take on the teenager as a student, secretly doubting 
that he had done so previously.

As they fought, though, Duncan finally became completely convinced of 
Xander’s story; he recognized things in Xander’s fighting style that he 
taught to all his students, that no other Immortal did. Eventually, 
they stopped when Xander was completely exhausted.

“Duncan?” Xander said tentatively.


“This thing, about the Games...”

“The Game, Xander. Call it what it is.”

“Yeah, right. WHY do we have kill each other?!”

“Because that’s our nature, that’s what we ARE, buddy boy. Kill or be 
killed - but don’t take any pleasure from it. My teacher and kinsman, 
Connor MacLeod, taught me that.”

“You know, this so-called Game sucks!”

“True. But we have no choice but to play it.”

“Well...what if I decide not to?” 

Duncan looked at him, compassionately. “How long do you think you could 
avoid the others? There are those of us who can spend their entire 
lives on holy ground, but you’re not that type of Immortal, Xander, I 
can tell that already. Sooner or later, if you won’t defend yourself, 
someone WILL take your head. No, Xander,” he said sadly, “for better or 
worse, you’ll play the Game. You won’t be able to help it.”


All of a sudden, both of them felt the telltale pain in their heads, 
that signified the approach of another Immortal. Duncan turned around 
and hissed, “Xander, whatever happens, remember you can’t interfere. 
The fight is always one-on-one. If I die, get out of here and 
disappear, Joe will help you. Keep practicing until you’re strong 
enough to fight the other Immortals.”

“What? But I...” Xander started stubbornly.

The other Immortal, a swarthy forty-something man of roughly average 
height, appeared through the door. “MacLeod,” he said simply.

“Parisien,” the Highlander said emotionlessly.

“Who’s your young friend?”

Xander spoke up then belligerently, “Xander Harris.”

Parisien gave him a quick glance, and looked back at Duncan. “You 
surprise me, Highlander,” he said with a sneer. “Don’t you remember 
what I did to one of your previous students?”

“What do you want?”

“Can’t a man just show up to say hello to an old friend?”

“We are not friends,” Duncan said in the same emotionless voice. “If 
you’re here to challenge me, either do it or leave now.”

Parisien just gave him an evil grin. “I told you, MacLeod, I just 
dropped by to say hi,” he said in a pseudo-friendly voice. “I’m not in 
the mood for a fight right now. Maybe later.” With that, he left.

“Who was that?” Xander asked his teacher.

“One of the worst types of Immortal,” Duncan replied. “You’re in 

“And you’re not?”

“Not as much as you are. Konstantine Parisien is a headhunter, one of 
those who deliberately targets Immortal infants like you, for the easy 


“Quickenings, Xander. I explained it to you - our life-force, all that 
we have ever known and felt - and more.”

“Duncan - you just called me an infant. So, like, how old are you?”

The Highlander smiled. “I was born in Scotland in 1592, Xander.”

The younger Immortal was amazed. “Over four hundred years ago? That’s - 

“I know.”

Later that night, Xander went back to his hotel. His head was still 
spinning, from all the things he had learned about himself. Suddenly he 
had so many questions he wanted to ask his parents - his adopted 
parents, he reminded himself - and there was also that thing with 
Anyanka he had to investigate. He made a decision; he was going back to 
Sunnydale immediately.

He composed a letter the next day to Duncan, and shoved it under the 
door of the dojo on his way to the bus depot. However, he failed to 
realize that Parisien had spotted him. The older Immortal thought to 
himself, < He’s not protected by the Highlander now. This should be 
fun, >  as the bus to Sunnydale pulled away and he followed it.

As Joe and Duncan arrived at MacLeod’s dojo, they found and read the 
letter. Both men started cursing, as they knew he would be easy 
pickings for the Immortal headhunter all alone. Getting into Duncan’s 
car, they also started down the road to Sunnydale.


Xander arrived home, after sunset. He went to his house, and tried to 
open the door with his key, but it wouldn’t work. Confused, he rang the 

A strange man answered it. “Yes?”

Xander said, “Hi. Could I come in? I have to talk to my parents.”

The man frowned. “I’m sorry, son, but your parents aren’t here. Were 
you expecting them to be?”

“Well, yeah, they live here!”

The man frowned again. “You must have the wrong house. I’ve lived here 
for over a year, ever since the Harris people left.”

Xander was now nervous. “They left?”

The man shrugged. “So I heard. I talked to the neighbors, and 
apparently they weren’t exactly Mensa types, if you know what I mean. 
Nothing but drunken fights all the time. Also, they’d lost their 
teenage son in some gang fight a few years ago. They could be 

Xander couldn’t help himself, he was fighting back tears. He choked, “I 

The man was not a fool, he realized something was upsetting Xander. 
“Are you okay? Would you like to come inside for a moment?”

Xander backed off, he didn’t want to go inside. There would be too many 
painful memories, and besides this wasn’t his home anymore. “Uh, no 
thanks. I’ve gotta be going, I appreciate your help...” he turned and 

“WAIT!” But it was too late, Xander was gone.


Xander wandered the streets for a while, not sure where he was going. 
All of a sudden, he pulled himself together. < What am I doing? I gotta 
go see Giles! He’ll know what to do. Heck, he always does. > 

He quickly made his way over to Giles’ house, praying that the man 
would still be there. He rang the doorbell, and sure enough, the man in 
question answered. “Yes?”

Xander threw himself into a big embrace with the older man. “Giles! 
Man, thank God you’re here! I was beginning to feel like I was in a 
freaking episode of the Twilight Zone or something!”

Giles managed to free himself of the teen’s hold. “May I ask, who the 
devil are you?”

Xander really started to panic. “It’s ME, Giles! Xander Harris! The guy 
from school, who always called you G-man, and you hated it? Don’t tell 
me you don’t recognize me, or I might seriously lose it here!”

Giles stepped back to study the boy, and suddenly he gave a start of 
recognition. “Good God, it IS you! But it’s been years - h-how...” 
Suddenly he stepped back, and brandished a cross in front of him. 
“Don’t come any closer!”

Xander looked confused. “What are you doing?”

“You’re a vampire, a-aren’t you?”


“How else do you explain being here, a-after you ended up dead at the 
Bronze over two years ago?!”

“Oh man, that was REAL?” Xander said to himself. He then reached over 
and touched the cross...but nothing happened.

Giles looked absolutely astonished. “You’re not a...w-what ARE you??”

Xander grimaced. “I’m an Immortal.”


“Can we go inside and discuss this? 'Cause I get the feeling it’s gonna 
take a long time, and I’m freezing out here,” Xander said.

“Uh, yes, of course,” and Giles gestured for him to come in.

As they entered the librarian’s home, Xander looked around and 
remarked, “I see things haven’t changed much around here...” when all 
of a sudden, Jenny Calendar walked into the room. “Rupert, who was that 
at the door?”

“Well, I’m not...” Giles broke off as he saw Xander was staring at Ms. 
Calendar. “What’s wrong?” he asked him.

Xander couldn’t stop staring. “You’re alive,” he said to her, blankly. 

“Yes,” she said uncertainly. “Who are you?”

“His name is Xander Harris,” Giles said quickly. “Is there a problem?”

“No,” she replied. “I’ll just be in the kitchen, it looks like you two 
have a lot to talk about.” She then turned and left.

Giles turned his attention to Xander. “What’s the matter?” he asked the 

“It’s just - I didn’t think she’d be here,” Xander stammered. “I 
thought she was dead.”

“DEAD?” Giles exclaimed. “No, she’s not! Is she in some kind of danger? 
Tell me what you know, right now!” 

“Chill, Giles, I was planning to do just that,” Xander continued. “But, 
maybe you oughta get all the gang over here first. No sense in having 
to repeat everything I tell you.”


Some time later, the doorbell rang, and Giles went to answer it. In 
came the so-called ‘Scooby’ gang; Buffy, Angel, Willow, Oz, Cordelia - 
and last of all, Jesse.

Xander got up off the couch. Willow and Jesse took one look at him and 
screamed, “XANDER!!!”, backing up to the door.

There was fear and pandemonium for a few moments. Giles eventually 
managed to restore some semblance of order, by yelling at the top of 

As the dust settled, Buffy withdrew a stake and asked, “What’s going 
on? Who is he?”

Xander flinched; although he was getting used to people not knowing him 
anymore, somehow the fact that Buffy was one of them made it a million 
times worse. Fortunately, Willow came to his rescue. “Buffy, that’s 
Xander! Don’t you remember him? It was when you first came to 
Sunnydale, and he died, a-and I...” she broke down and started to cry. 
Oz took her in his arms and tried to comfort her, glaring at Xander.

Buffy lowered her stake, squinting at him. Suddenly, she also 
recognized him. “Right! I remember now. But you...” she raised the 
stake again. “You must be - if you try anything...”

Angel lowered her arm. “He’s not a vampire, Buffy,” he said to her. He 
looked at Xander in confusion. “But...you’re not the same person as 
before. You’re...different.”

“Well, you got that right,” Xander remarked sarcastically.

Jesse stammered, “Xander? Is that really you?”

Xander sighed. “Yeah, buddy. It’s really me. The original Xandman, 

Jesse and Willow ran over and hugged him, overcome with emotion. 
Cordelia kept her distance though, and Giles, Buffy and Angel hung 
back, as they hadn’t known Xander very well. And Oz and Ms. Calendar 
just looked on in confusion as in this reality, they hadn’t known 
Xander AT ALL.

“Would someone please tell me what’s going on?” asked Jenny Calendar.

“Here we go again...” Xander said to himself.


After Xander had told his story, the others just looked at him in 
silence. “I’m supposed to be dead?” Ms. Calendar asked in wonder.

“Me too?” stated Jesse.

“I know it sounds crazy,” Xander said tiredly, “but it really did 
happen that way, once upon a time. When Angel lost his soul...”

“But I never did!” claimed the vampire. “I remembered your warning. 
Buffy and I never...” he suddenly broke off.

Buffy looked at him in sudden comprehension. “So THAT’s why you 
wouldn’t...” and she suddenly stopped too, embarrassed.

“What?” Oz asked in confusion, but neither of them replied.

Xander tried to change the subject. “So, Oz, are you still a werewolf?”

Oz looked startled. “Yeah! How did you...wait, never mind.” He started 
to shake his head. “I don’t think I wanna know.”

Xander looked around. “So what else is different here?”

“Pardon?” asked Giles in confusion.

“Well, y’know, how about the Master’s death. What happened this time 

Angel said, “It all happened just like you said. When we learned what 
was in the Codex of Prophecies, I remembered and I brought Jesse along 
to give her CPR when she drowned.”

Xander grinned. “Way to go, buddy! I don’t suppose you became a soldier 
at Halloween one time, just like I did?”

“Yes! I...” Jesse stopped. “This is major weird. Uh...”


“Did you know Cordelia and me would end up together too?”

Xander’s eyes nearly bugged out of his head. “WHAT?”

“I’m guessing that’s a no...”

Xander stared at Cordelia, who so far hadn’t said anything. “Hey, 
Cordy. I, uh, guess congratulations are in order.”

“Yeah, thanks,” she said vaguely. It was obvious she didn’t feel 
comfortable in his presence, and he searched for something else to say. 
“Hey! What happened to the other Slayers? Kendra and...” he paused, 

“Uh, th-they’re both dead,” Giles stammered in his usual way. “We’ve 
been looking for the new Slayer for a while now...”

“Faith never got out of the coma, then?”

“What coma?”

“She...” Xander stopped. “I’m guessing, she never ended up in a coma 

“No,” Buffy said. “Some demon bitch killed her, not long after my 18th 

“Your...” Xander said to himself. “Oh, right. I remember now. Yeah, she 
would have been, wouldn’t she? If I hadn’t been there with my car...”

Buffy looked furious. “You mean you KNEW? Why didn’t you warn us back 
then? For that matter, why didn’t you warn us about what would happen 
to Kendra?”

“Whoa, Buff, gimme a break, I kinda had my hands full back then, 
remember? You guys didn’t believe half of what I told you, anyway. So, 
what DID happen to Kendra?”

This time Angel spoke. “Drusilla killed her. Her vampires kidnapped 
Giles, and tortured him to reveal how to activate Acathla. Fortunately, 
we were able to stop her and the others before the world was sucked 
into Hell.”

Xander looked at him. “And that’s ALL that happened?”

“Yeah! Now what about Faith?” Buffy said angrily.

“Buffy...” he said slowly. “Before I answer that, I gotta ask, what 
about the mayor? That thing with the ascension?”

“That vampire, Mr. Trick, he spilled his guts to us about that,” Willow 
said. “We were able to prevent...”

“Okay,” Xander interrupted her. His mind was racing furiously, on what 
to tell them. “Buffy, about Faith...I mean, something happened. It 
was...bad. There’s no point going into the details now, it doesn’t 
really matter, does it? Let’s just say she ended up in a coma after 
being stabbed, and she was probably gonna die anyway, so it’s kinda 
better if we don’t say any more about it, okay?”

Buffy still looked like she had a lot of questions, but a voice 
suddenly said, “You’re sugar-coating it a lot, kid, but what the hell, 
you’re basically right.”

Everyone looked up to see a badly dressed man lounging against the 
kitchen door, wearing a strange hat. Angel immediately recognized him. 
“Whistler! What are you doing here?”

Xander looked at the vampire. “HE’S Whistler? The demon?”

“Yes...Buffy, calm down!” he tried to restrain the Slayer as she 
brought up a stake, focussing on the new arrival. “He’s one of the good 

Xander looked confused, and asked the demon, “I thought she knew you?”

“Not this time around, kid,” Whistler said. “I just dropped by to say 
congrats and all that, and have a nice life.”

Everyone started asking questions, and Giles again had to yell for 
quiet. “Who are you?” he asked. “What do you want here?”

“Again with the explanations,” the demon grumbled. “I really hate this 
part. Okay, listen up, 'cause I’m not gonna say this twice...” and he 
told them about the First Evil, and D’Hoffryn, and the meeting with 
Anyanka. “And I’m guessing our little buddy here has told you the rest 
of it?”

There was a silence, which Xander was the first to break. “Dead Boy 
lost his soul AGAIN? So that’s why you gave Anya her powers back, and 
tricked her into sending me back in time. But how did you know I would 
wish for...oh right, you’d have known about my parents. But what 

“Hey, kid, I didn’t come here to play twenty questions!” Whistler 
exclaimed. “Let’s just say Angelus would have seriously screwed things 
up big-time, so I hadda do what I hadda do. You did all right, too - 
fixed up what once went wrong, and we’re talking a new and improved 
Hellmouth here. Sorry I had to leave ya in limbo for a few years after 
that bullet, but it’s not like I had anywhere to PUT your dead tokus. 
So, all’s well that ends well, that’s what I say.”

“I guess it’s not that important, y’know, but I AM curious - does 
anyone else remember the original history?”

“Well, apart from you and me and that Anyanka broad - no. As a matter 
of fact, I’m gonna have to avoid that toots like the plague for the 
next few centuries...”

“But Xander came back from the dead?!” Willow shouted. “You still 
haven’t explained that part of it.”

“Uh...” Xander stammered, “Will, that’s a long story...”

“And that’s my cue to bug outta here,” Whistler said as he stepped into 
the kitchen.

“Wait!” Giles shouted. Jenny Calendar raced over and looked in the 
other room. She turned back and faced the others. “He’s gone!”

Angel gave a wry grimace. “He does that sort of thing a lot...”


All of a sudden, Xander began to experience a buzzing in his head. “Oh, 

“What is it?” asked Willow.

There was a knock at the door, and Giles answered it. “Hello?”

Parisien came striding into the house, as if he owned it. “Harris,” he 
said, locking eyes with the young Immortal.

“Parisien,” Xander replied in the same tone.

“Excuse me, but what are you doing in my home?” Giles exploded. 

Neither Xander nor Parisien paid any attention to him. “Is this about 
what I think it is?” said Xander.

“I’m glad to see you’ve got some brains,” sneered the older Immortal. 
“You’ll need them. I’m sure MacLeod has explained the Rules to you. 
When and where do you want to do it?”

“This does NOT sound healthy,” Jesse said to no one in particular.

He was ignored, just like Giles had been. “There’s an abandoned factory 
at the north end of town, just off the main road,” Xander said. “Will 
that do?”

“Sounds like it,” Parisien agreed. “Meet me there in less than an hour. 
Or else I’ll come find you. Anybody I kill on the way, it’ll be on your 
conscience.” With that, he abruptly left.

“What the hell is going on?” shouted Buffy. “Who was that guy?”

“He’s like Xander,” Angel said slowly. “He felt...different, but the 

“You got that right too,” Xander also said slowly. He took out the 
Manchu broadsword from his trenchcoat that Duncan MacLeod had loaned to 
him, until he could afford his own weapon. He examined the blade, 
making sure there were no imperfections and disregarding the looks of 
amazement from his companions. “I’ve gotta get going...”

“No!” cried Willow. “Xander - what was all that about? We could call 
the police if he’s not a vampire or a demon...”

“NO!” shouted Xander, before calming down. “Look, this doesn’t have 
anything to do with you guys. Just - stay out of it. I’ll be back...”

“Will you?” asked Cordelia cynically.

Xander looked at her, and she couldn’t hold his gaze. “Maybe not,” 
Xander said, being honest. “But if I don’t go, bad things are gonna 
happen. You can trust me on that. Uh, if I don’t come back, and a man 
named Duncan MacLeod ever comes around asking about me - well, just 
tell my teacher I said thanks for everything.”

“Xander, wait!” But it was too late. Xander had sheathed his weapon and 
was already headed out the door.


Some time later, Joe Dawson and Duncan MacLeod rolled up at Giles’ 
house. They knocked at the door, went inside, and were told what had 
happened. Duncan started cursing again. “The young idiot is gonna get 
himself killed!”

Jesse asked tentatively, “Uh, is that gonna matter? I mean, he’s been 
dead before...”

“Yes, it does matter,” Joe replied. “There’s a way that Xander can end 
up dead...permanently dead.”

“We’ve gotta go after him!” said Willow firmly.

“No, we will, you won’t,” said Duncan even more firmly. “You have no 
idea what you’re dealing with.”

“You - you’re like Xander, aren’t you?” asked Giles. “You’re a...what 
did he call it...Immortal?”

“Yes,” said Angel, as all heads turned to look at him. “I can feel it.”

Duncan turned to look at him. He suddenly had a flash of insight and 
said, “You’re the vampire?”

Angel put on his game face for a moment, to demonstrate. Duncan shook 
his head and said, “Well, that answers that.”

Joe said in concern, “Duncan, we really should get going. Now.”

“You’re right,” and they quickly headed for the door.

Jesse jumped up and yelled, “We’re coming too!”

Duncan turned around. “I told you...”

“No, I’m telling YOU!” Jesse yelled. “I just found out today that 
originally I became a vampire and I’ve been dead for ages! Then my 
buddy saved me. Now that he’s in trouble and he might die, AGAIN, you 
expect me to just sit around here?! You’re nuts!”

Duncan could not help grinning; he understood now why the two teens had 
been such inseparable friends. “What the hell...we’ve got to hurry.”


At the factory, Xander walked up to the main entrance and went inside. 
He had many bad memories of this place, but he thrust them aside. He 
felt the pain in his head, and knew that Parisien was nearby.

He walked to the factory floor, where he found Parisien waiting for 
him, with his sword withdrawn. Xander stared at it - it resembled a 
cross between an oversized kukri used by the Gurkhas of India, and a 
Roman gladius. “Nice sword,” Xander said as he withdrew his weapon, 
“but I think mine is bigger than yours.”

Parisien gave him a rare genuine smile. “Very amusing. It’s not like I 
haven’t heard that one before, in the past 210 years.” Then without any 
further chat, the fight was on.

Less than a minute after it began, Xander’s friends came barreling 
through the door.

“We’re too late!” exclaimed Joe.

“DAMN IT!” swore Duncan.

“What can we do?” asked Willow worriedly.

“Nothing,” said Duncan, steeling himself for the worst.

The fight continued, but it was pretty evident that Parisien was going 
to win. He was obviously stronger and more experienced than his 
counterpart. He taunted Xander as they fought, “You know, you don’t 
exactly strike me as one of MacLeod’s students. They’re usually better 
than this! You sure you been practicing?” Xander snarled and attempted 
to slash at his midsection, but Parisien easily blocked it. “I suppose 
so. Well, enough with the fun and games,” and he ran Xander through 
with his sword, who then collapsed to his knees but somehow managed to 
hold onto his sword.

“We have to do something!” said Buffy.

“You can’t interfere!” said Duncan sternly.

“Maybe not,” Angel said, “but I owe him. We all do. And somehow, I 
don’t think your rules apply to my kind.” So saying, he took a running 
start and did a huge back-flip, landing right behind Xander, in front 
of Parisien.

Xander had just staggered to his feet and the older Immortal had begun 
his final swing to take his opponent’s head, when Parisien suddenly saw 
the demonic visage of the vampire appear right in front of him. 
Needless to say, he was surprised; he stopped and stepped back for a 
moment, trying to deal with the new situation.

That moment of distraction was all that Xander needed. Taking a wild 
swing with all of his strength, he decapitated Parisien, whose head 
flew off and landed on the floor a short distance away. The young 
Immortal yelled viciously, “THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!!” as the head 
clattered to a stop.

The Highlander began to motion everyone to leave. “Everybody out! Right 

“Why?” asked Giles, ever curious.

“No time! Just go!”

Unfortunately, no one was listening to him apart from Joe. They were 
too busy looking at Xander and the headless corpse, wondering how they 
were going to explain this one to the authorities. All of a sudden, the 
dead body began to float and glow.

“Too late!” shouted Dawson. “Everybody, take cover!”

As everyone scrambled to obey, Xander dropped his sword and stretched 
his arms out wide. Suddenly, electrical bolts began to criss-cross the 
factory floor. The Quickening started to focus itself on Xander, who 
then started to float in midair.

The crates started flying and the glass in the windows exploded 
outwards in a million pieces; Xander started screaming, as the 
lightning entered his body. He was encompassed by over 200 years of 
Parisien’s life, taking all of his opponent’s knowledge and power. The 
agonies of life and death played all over his features.

Suddenly it was over, and Xander fell to the ground. Panting heavily, 
he began to drag himself up and recover his sword, as the others slowly 
came out of their hiding places.

“What was that?” Cordelia asked in a small, terrified voice.

In a low voice, so low she wasn’t sure if she heard him correctly, Joe 
Dawson muttered, “The Quickening.”


A short time later, almost everyone was gathered back at Giles’ place. 
Xander and the others were waiting for Joe and Duncan, who were taking 
care of some other business. Everyone apart from Xander was still 
pretty freaked out over what had happened, and also somewhat annoyed 
that Xander wouldn’t explain any details. But MacLeod had warned him, 
“The less the mortal world knows about us, the better.”

“But what about Joe?”

“He’s different. The Watchers take a non-interference oath with regard 
to our lives. Do you think the rest of the world would do the same if 
we ever revealed our existence? I saw the witch-hunts. Today’s 
government laboratories would be worse. Trust me on this.”

Xander was pulled back to reality, when he heard his name mentioned. 
“I’m sorry?”

“Xander, you really haven’t changed much at all! You still never pay 
any attention to me!” Willow exclaimed.

“Yeah, you’re right,” Xander said with a smile. “What was your question 

“I said, how long are you gonna be gone before you come home again?”

Xander blinked, and said slowly, “I don’t know.”

“What does that mean?”

Xander got up and faced everyone. He looked at them all - Giles, Jenny, 
Buffy, Angel, Willow, Oz, Cordelia and Jesse. His friends. For the 
first time in his life though, he felt out of place here. This wasn’t 
his Sunnydale anymore. “I mean, I don’t know. It’s not like this is 
exactly my home, y’know? Not now.”

“But Xander...” began Jesse.

“No, I mean think about it,” Xander interrupted. “My parents aren’t 
around any longer. The rest of the world thinks I’ve been dead for 
years. I don’t really belong here anymore.”

“But we’re your friends!” said Willow.

Xander gave a small grin. “Yeah, I know. I didn’t say I wouldn’t come 
back to visit or anything, I’m just saying I’m an Immortal now. Things 
are way different. Besides, you guys have gotten along just fine 
without me all this time. Why should things change now?”

“WE DID NOT GET ON JUST FINE!” shouted Willow. “Do you have any idea 
how many times I cried myself to sleep after you died? Do you have any 
idea of the guilt Jesse felt when he was unable to save you?”

“Yeah,” replied Xander, calmly. “I went through what Jesse did too, 
remember?” He went over and hugged her. “Look Will, I’m just saying I 
have no idea what the future holds. But I’ve got a whole lotta stuff to 
learn, that Duncan’s got to teach me. And besides, I don’t exactly feel 
comfortable with the thought that you guys will be in the line of fire, 
if some sadist with a sword comes to take a whack at me again.”

He heard the car outside, and gathered his things. He briefly gave 
Jesse, Buffy, Willow, Ms. Calendar and Cordelia a hug, and a handshake 
to Oz and Giles as he began to say goodbye. He left Angel for last, and 
spent a little extra time with him. “Thanks again for saving my life, 

The vampire looked embarrassed. “You’re not calling me Dead Boy 

“Nah. It’s getting pretty old, don’t ya think?”

“You know what? Let’s meet at least once every fifty years. I’ve kinda 
gotten used to hearing you call me that.”

Xander grinned again - this brand of humor, he would definitely miss. 
“You got a deal.” He left without looking back, and met Duncan by the 
car, with Joe at the wheel. “Are you sure about this?” the Highlander 
asked him.

Xander turned around, and sure enough, everyone was gathered at the 
door. He waved briefly, and they all waved back. He shoved his things 
inside and told MacLeod, “I’m sure.” They climbed into the car and 
drove off, into a bright new future.


***** Hope you liked it!  All writers love feedback, please e-mail me 
at:  theop@kew.hotkey.net.au