A New DestinyAuthors Note: This is a crossover story between Buffy: The Vampire Slayer and Charmed though it will be focused on specific characters from Buffy as opposed to Charmed. Story events take place during the end of the Buffy season three episode The Zeppo. This idea came to me after watching the episode again, plus I’ve recently been on a Charmed kick, so I thought what the hell and wrote it out hope you all like it.
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters that I am about to play around with for my own amusement. They remain the property of their respective creators.
A tense, edgy silence reigned in the basement boiler room of Sunnydale High School as Xander gazed with a calm resolution at the face of Jack O’Toole. Between them was the bomb that the sentient zombie and his undead friends had built ticking down the final thirty seconds to a detonation that would not only destroy half the school but ensure the Hellmouth that Buffy and the other Scoobies were trying their hardest to close stayed open.
Watching Jack Xander could see the panic building in the zombies eyes as the walking dead man realised that there was no way he would allow him to escape not while the bomb was counting down. Had he still been capable of it he was sure that Jack would have now been sweating as the prospect of permanent death when the bomb went off as Xander was well aware that at this close a range the blast would completely vaporise both of them – and Jack seemed to know it too as he kept glancing at the decreasing time.
00:10… 00:09… 00:08…
Jack met Xander’s gaze and for the first time since meeting him found himself scared of Alexander Harris. Gone was the goofy teenager instead the guy looking back at him had the look of a hardened warrior who was completely committed to dying for his cause.
00:06… 00:05… 00:03…
Jack broke. Lunging forward he pulled the green wire out of the bomb. Instantly the timer froze before going dark as the bomb lost all power. Jack gazed at it shivering and feeling like he wanted to throw up from the reaction of realising how close he had come to embracing the void of death again – permanently this time as their was no magic in creation that could bring someone back if their body was completely destroyed at the moment of death. He was so lost in his reaction that he didn’t hear the sound of footsteps Xander abruptly spoke.
“I don’t want to see you on campus anymore Jack,” Xander hissed in his ear with a terrifying coldness that clearly threatened him with final death if he ever dared to show his face here again. A coldness that sent a very real shudder of fear through his whole body as Xander began walking away.NO your not getting away with humiliating me like this Harris!
Jack thought spinning around and crossing the distance between the two of them in an instant before wrapping his arms around Harris neck from behind and beginning to strangle the life out of the other man. “You won’t be,” he hissed, “but then no one will see you again either Harris.”
Xander gagged and struggled, hands reaching upwards for Jack’s arms as he struggled to breathe. He began pulling as hard as he could at the zombies arms but found he couldn’t move them as not only was Jack about forty pounds heavier than he was but he had no leverage to pry the arms away from his airway. He still tried pulling and kicking his legs back to pummel Jack’s legs but nothing seemed to be working, with desperate adrenaline-fuelled strength he pulled and hit but Jack stubbornly hung on as his vision literally went red before darkness appeared at the edges of his vision rapidly growing until it enveloped everything and all sensation vanished…
… for a few moments he knew nothing beyond the darkness.., then light blossomed around him and he suddenly found himself standing alone in a strange white void. He could breathe again and the pain and panic faded being replaced with a sense of calmness and serenity. It surged through his body relaxing him in away he had never truly been in his life before.
“Am I dead,” he asked his voice echoing oddly in the white environment.
“Yes you are, Alexander,” a male voice said as a dozen figures all dressed in white robes that looked almost like something the Minbari from Babylon Five would wear appeared in a circle around him.
“Is this heaven,” Xander asked strangely feeling no discomfort or turmoil at the reality that he was dead. He had known ever since he’d started helping Buffy that death could come for him at any time and he’d long ago made his peace with the issue of his own mortality.
“Not quite,” the robed man answered taking off his hood to reveal a human face though there was something about it, something in his eyes that said the man was anything but human. “This is what you would call – for lack of a better term – a halfway house between the realm of the living and the heavenly realms of the dead. You are here because we would like to offer you a choice.”
“And who are you?”
“We are the Elders,” the man answered, “we have been watching you for a long time, Alexander waiting for when this day would come. Your selfless actions helping the Slayer Buffy Summers and guarding the Hellmouth and your willingness to put the welfare of others before your own has impressed us.”
Xander blushed, “thanks but not that I don’t appreciate the compliment but what is it you want with me,” he asked before realising he might sound a little self-centred in saying that after being paid a very rare compliment, “sorry I meant no offence.”
The Elder smiled. “No offence taken,” he replied, “we wish to offer you a job, Alexander a job that you are an ideal candidate for.”
“We would like you to become a Whitelighter.”
Xander was stunned. Contrary to the popular belief of the other Scoobies he wasn’t completely useless or ignorant he had read a number of Giles’ books and tombs over the last few years. Mostly in the summer time when the Hellmouth was quiet and he and the ex-Watcher were usually the only members of the gang present in Sunnydale as Buffy, Willow and Cordelia were usually away with their parents on holiday and Oz was usually off with the Dingoes doing various gigs all over the country – save for a certain three days every month when he transformed into his wolf state. In those books he had come across references to Whitelighters and knew them to be angels of a sort.
“You want me to be a Whitelighter?” he repeated.
“Yes,” the Elder smiled again, “you know of Whitelighters?”
Xander nodded. “I’ve read about them in some of the books Giles has,” he said. “They’re kind of like guardian angels for good witches.”
“Good witches and other servants of the light that is correct,” the Elder replied. “Our numbers are few as most mortals do not possess the right temperament or personality required to be a Whitelighter.”
“And you’re saying that I do?”
“Yes despite what some people will have told you in your life you are a very selfless and caring person Alexander, a fact that is remarkable considering both your family background and your continued exposure to the corruptive energies of the Hellmouth. Most beings mortal or otherwise in such a situation would have become corrupted or tainted in some fashion from such a prolonged exposure to the demonic energies – you have seen this yourself with the witch Catherine Madison and with your own parents as the energies amplify and twist the more baser instincts of human beings and can make addictions harder to defeat than they normally are – the fact that you have not been points to a tremendous strength of character, strength that would serve you well as a Whitelighter.
“Now what is your decision?”
Xander looked down in thought for a moment, considering what to do before looking up at the Elder again. “Before I make that decision can I ask you two questions?” he asked respectfully.
“Of course, we understand that this is a very momentous decision for anyone to make. If answering your questions will help you chose then we are very happy to do so.”
“Okay first question what happens if I say no.”
“Then you will be permitted to continue your journey into the heavenly realms and the presence of the creator of all.”
“Okay second question if I agree to do this, will I be allowed to say goodbye to Buffy and the others?”
“That would not be necessary,” the Elder replied. “While normally a Whitelighter is required to relinquish all ties to their mortal existence you present us with a very unique opportunity so we have agreed to wave that rule. We have read your aura thoroughly and have determined that even as a Whitelighter your long term exposure to them means you will be immune to the negative effects of the Hellmouth’s energies.”
“I take it that Whitelighters cannot normally go to the Hellmouth,” Xander asked as he’d long wondered why Willow didn’t have a Whitelighter given that she was well on her way to becoming a powerful witch. In fact he’d also wondered why Amy hadn’t had one before she’d gotten herself transformed apparently permanently into a large black rat.
“No the energies tend to corrupt them causing either insanity or giving rise to a Darklighter. That is the reason why we have not been able to assign one to your friend Willow Rosenberg and the Slayer Buffy Summers. If you accept our offer they will become your charges.”
“Does that address your concerns?”
“Good so what is your choice Alexander?”
Xander looked down again and considered for a few moments. On one hand he was tempted to say no, to move on to heaven and see Jesse and all the others he’d lost over his life again. But could he really turn his back on Buffy, Willow and the others? He knew the answer was no, despite how they’d been treating him recently and trying to force him out of the fight against the darkness he couldn’t just abandon them. To do so would be to break the vow he’d made to himself when he’d first become aware of the true nature of the world and the creatures that lurked in the dark waiting to feast on humankind. The vow to fight them until his last breath, becoming a Whitelighter would let him continue to do so and be an even bigger help to Buffy and the others than he’d could have ever been before.
“I’ll do it,” he said looking back up a look of absolute resolution on his face.
The Elder smiled more widely than he had before. “Excellent,” he replied raising his arms. All around him the other Elders did the same till all of them had their hands pointed at him. The hands began to glow, surrounded by a soft golden light that shimmered and pulsed like water before leaping towards and surrounding him in a shimmering cocoon of power.
Immediately Xander tensed expecting the transformation to hurt as the energy completely enveloped him and penetrated into the very core of his being. The pain never came instead all he felt was a profound sense of peace and contentment even as he was aware that he was changing, he closed his eyes and relaxed completely letting the feelings wash over and through him. After a few moments the cocoon of power faded away leaving behind a sense of peace while at the same time awareness of the incredible power and responsibility that he Alexander Lavelle Harris had now been entrusted with.
“Welcome to the ranks of the Whitelighters, Alexander,” the Elder who’d been speaking said as he opened his eyes again. “Now ordinarily you would be assigned to another Whitelighter for field training in the use of your abilities. However events unfolding on the Hellmouth leave us no time for that so we have downloaded – so to speak – basic information on using your primary Whitelighter powers of orbing and healing into your mind.”
“I assume you mean the Sisterhood of Jhe and their attempt to open the Hellmouth.”
“No that situation has already been contained your friends have already defeated the Sisterhood and beaten back the guardian beast allowing the Hellmouth to once more close. There is a much larger threat brewing in Sunnydale that your friends will become aware of in due time. Your first task will be to ensure that the threat is dealt with as soon as is possible. After which you will need to return here for full training in your abilities.”
“What is this threat?”
“There is no time to explain now, Alexander all I will say now is look deeply into the mayor of Sunnydale what you will find should surprise you.” Xander frowned in confusion wondering what it was about Mayor Richard Wilkins the Third that had the Elder saying he needed to look into him after a moment though he nodded to indicate that he would do as instructed before making a mental note to have a word with Giles.
“So what happens now,” he asked after a moment of silence.
“Now we return you to Sunnydale you will be returned at the exact moment of your death, deal with the abomination O’Toole in whatever way you see fit.”
“One more thing before you leave a Whitelighter is normally not allowed to make him or herself known to their charges, while this might not be possible with the Slayer and the ensouled vampire Angel we would ask that you endeavour to try and keep your true nature a secret for as long as is possible.”
“As you wish,” Xander acknowledged. The Elder gave one final smile before making a hand gesture and Xander abruptly felt a strange light sensation that he somehow knew was orbing. The Elders and their white domain vanished in a flicker of blue-white light and for a moment all he saw was the light before suddenly he was back in the basement of Sunnydale High.
With Jack O’Toole’s arms around his throat.
Jack grinned in victory as he felt Harris’ struggles weakening. “Say goodnight Harris,” he hissed in the human’s ear as Xander abruptly stopped struggling.
“I don’t think so Jack,” Harris said before being enveloped by a blue glow and before his disbelieving eyes dissolved into a twinkling shower of blue-white lights that flowed away from him before reforming into Harris standing a few steps up the stairs, arms folded and a smirk on his face.
“How did you…” he started to say stunned by what he had just witnessed Harris do.
Xander raised an eyebrow. “That’s for me to know not a walking corpse like you, Jack,” he said. Jack snarled at the insult before leaping forward again only for Xander to once more orb out of the way and appear a few steps up making Jack fall against the stairs as he passed through where Xander had been a moment earlier. “You cannot hurt me, Jack,” he said. “Not now and never again.”
“What…what the fuck are you,” Jack asked getting back to his feet and rubbing his nose which was quite sore from hitting the step.
“Something beyond your comprehension, Jack,” Xander replied. “Now I suggest you go and don’t ever come back here again, if I ever find you in the school again I will not be this nice about it. I might even be forced to inform the Slayer of your existence.”
Jack gulped slightly having been warned by his grandfather upon being risen from the dead that he should stay clear of Buffy Summers and been told that as a slayer she was easily stronger than him and fully capable of destroying him. “Okay I’m going,” he said after a moment, “but I won’t forget this Harris,” he threatened before turning and walking back down the last few steps into the basement.
Xander followed a few steps behind – just to make sure that Jack didn’t take the time to reset the bomb even though he knew the Hellmouth was now closed – and paused in the doorway as he observed the zombie cross the room to the exit that led first another part of the basement and ultimately another surface access point. Jack paused a moment and looked back to see Harris watching him, before opening the door only to be promptly bowled off his feet by a large, furry thing.
Xander winced when he saw Oz in his werewolf form burst through the door and tackle the sentient zombie. Jack screamed loudly in pain and terror as Oz began mauling him razor sharp teeth and claws rendering the zombie’s flesh like paper. Ouch,
he thought wincing as Jack ceased screaming as Oz literally ripped his throat out. Wolf-Oz looked up at him snarled but then stopped as it sensed he was not a potential meal/victim/additional set of bones to gnaw on and lowered his head and adopting a submissive posture before grabbing his ‘meal’ and dragging him away back into the other basement room the door shutting behind him with a thud.
“Well that was odd,” he said softly to himself surprised that Wolf-Oz hadn’t attacked him instead seeming to sense and respect his new nature and backing away with his meal submissively. He supposed he shouldn’t be that surprised as in werewolf form Oz would likely be far more in tune with supernatural and magical forces and beings than he was when he was himself.
After a moment he shrugged and walked up to the bomb. Now to dispose of this,
he thought as he carefully began disconnecting the bomb from the fuel oil drum it had been attached to. While the bomb had been disarmed for the most part by O’Toole he knew it was still dangerous and while it was unlikely to kill him if it exploded it would make one heck of a mess of the school if it were to somehow go off now.
After a couple of minutes of careful work he had separated the bomb from the full oil drum and was about to pick up the bomb and orb it somewhere where he could dismantle it without risking a devastating explosion in the High School basement when the sound of approaching footsteps caught his attention. A second later he heard the door behind him open followed by a gasp of surprise.
“Xander,” Buffy said startled to see Xander here when she’d told him to stay away, and then she saw the bomb. “What the hell is that?”
“A bomb, Buffy what does it look like,” Xander replied with a hint of sarcasm in his voice. “The Sisterhood of Jhe had Jack O’Toole and his boys – who were all zombies by the way – leave it here as a backup plan in case you stopped their plans. I believe they were probably planning to blow up the High School and ensure the Hellmouth stayed open; fortunately I overheard Jack and his boys talking about it and came here to disarm it. I assume you’ve taken care of the Sisterhood from hell?”
Buffy blinked. “Yeah we have. How do you know how to disarm a bomb,” she asked.
“Same way I was able to get you that rocket launcher last year which you used to blow the Atomic-Smurf into a million steaming bits.”
“That’s a relief. Wait you said Jack and his boys were all zombies where are they? I’ll get Faith – she should still be in the building - and we can go slay them all.”
“No need for that Buffy I’ve already dealt with them. I’m not as useless as you seem to think I am sometimes Buffy. One’s now a headless corpse in the street a few blocks away, another is headless in the cafeteria, the Sisterhood got another in the nurse’s office and as for Jack well he kind of had a run in with wolf boy though we won’t tell Oz he ate someone in the morning. He’ll feel terrible about it even though Jack should have had the sense to stay dead the first time.”
“Indeed we won’t,” Buffy agreed. “I’m not even going to tell, Willow that way she can’t let it slip to Oz at some point. Sounds you’ve had quite a night yourself Xander.”
“You could say that,” Xander replied inwardly smiling as he thought back on everything that had happened tonight from loosing his virginity to Faith, to becoming a Whitelighter.
“You should have told me about Jack,” Buffy admonished, “you could have gotten hurt again.”
“You were busy with the Sisterhood and the Hellmouth beast. Besides I’m not helpless Buffy you should know that by now.”
Buffy winced slightly at the implication that she’d thought Xander helpless even though she knew he wasn’t, hell he’d saved her life more than once since she’d met him nearly three years ago. “I just didn’t want you to get hurt like you did the other night,” she admitted approaching her Xander-shaped friend and putting a hand on his shoulder and immediately frowned as she felt something at the back of her mind. Something soothing from Xander that made the Slayer spirit within her quieten down and relax somewhat. For a moment she frowned then put it out of her mind as being exhaustion as the fight with the Sisterhood had been one of the worst she’d ever been in, even the demonic slavers she’d encountered in her last ‘trip’ to LA hadn’t been this hard of a fight.
“Something wrong,” Xander asked frowning at her. Please don’t let her find out I’m a Whitelighter, not yet,
“It’s nothing I’m just tired. So what are we going to do with this bomb?”
“Put it somewhere safe till I can get the tools to dismantle it properly. It’s not going to blow up now because the power source is disconnected but I would feel better having some proper tools before I dismantle the thing. Besides you never know when we might need the explosives in it.”
“Good point. Come on we’ll leave it with Giles. Then you can tell me all about what happened with Jack and his motley crew. Deal?”
“I’ll wait for you in the remains of the library; let Giles know your coming. Give me a few minutes okay.”
“No problem, I have to move this fuel oil drum from the middle of the floor first anyway.”
“Okay but be careful I don’t want you hurting yourself,” the Slayer told him before removing her hand and disappearing upstairs again.
“No danger of that Buffy,” he said softly as she disappeared out of earshot. Alone once more he carefully moved the bomb off the top of the fuel oil drum, before grabbing the latter and orbing it back to the fuel store room where Jack and co would have gotten it from. After carefully replacing the barrel as well as he could he orbed back to the boiler room and picked up the bomb.
Resisting the impulse to start whistling he began moving up the stairs with it, allowing himself to feel relief that Buffy so far didn’t seem to realise that he wasn’t human anymore. Not human,
he thought, I’m not human anymore. Oh well being a Whitelighter certainly is better than being dead. I just hope the others don’t freak out about it when I eventually have to tell them what I am now.
If they did freak out well he would by disappointed but he would deal with it.
He always did.
~~~///~~~Authors Note: Okay that’s where this particular one shot ends. I will be continuing the story of Xander’s adventures as a Whitelighter, how it effects what happens in the rest of season three of Buffy and the Scoobies reactions to his new status in the full length sequel that I’ll be working on intermittently over the next couple of weeks in between working on some of my other fanfics.