Title: Asha’man Harris
Author: Knife Hand
Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated
Spoilers: Fifth series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and up to the Ninth Book of the Wheel of Time Series
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Wheel of Time. I would buy them but I am broke.
Summary: Xander is missing after the battle with Glory and returns several years later a changed man. Crossover with Wheel of Time. (Wheel of Time events)
AN: Contains spoilers for Wheel of Time series; however knowledge of the series is not needed as important details will be included. This is the Wheel of Time series of events, to read the subsequent Buffy series of events, read Warrior of Truth. Pre book 10, have not read it yet
AN2: Apologies about the break formatting, FF.net did it, not me.
Xander was exhausted, he had not slept in thirty-six hours, having just returned from a two and a half month tour at the front. In the five months since the borderlands had been overrun, an exhaustive effort had been made to hold the Dark One’s forces in the captured area, causing an effective stalemate. Unfortunately this effort allowed darkfriend saboteurs to strike with virtual impunity.
Xander had studied the cultures and history of this land and was ready to unveil his idea, an idea that had been brewing in his mind for over three months and he was sure could potentially turn the current stalemate into an advantage. When he glanced in the mirror he barely recognised himself, seeing a battle hardened warrior rather than the goofy carpenter who had fought alongside his lost love, Buffy.
Only the two pins on his collar, one a sliver sword, the other a red and gold dragon, marking him as a full Asha’man, and the Herons, inlayed on the hilt, scabbard and blade of his sword, indicating a blade master, broke the un-relieved black of his Asha’man uniform.
Logain arrived, bringing Xander out of thoughts of the past, to show him to the audience chamber. The arrangement at the audience was mostly to be expected. Rand al’Thor, The Dragon Reborn, the Car’a’carn, the Caramoor, King of Illian, and about half a score other titles, sat upon the dragon throne with the Crown of Swords, the crown of Illian, upon his head. He was accompanied by his three wives; Elayne Trakand, an Aes Sedai of the Green Ajah and Queen of Andor sat directly to his left on the Lion Throne of Andor, with the Rose Crown upon her head; Aviendha of the Nine Valleys Sept of the Taardad Aiel and Wise One to the Car’a’carn stood behind her first-sister, Elayne; and Min Farshaw, former stable hand at the Stag and Lion Inn, stood behind Rand.
Off to the left stood Perrin Aybara, a childhood friend of Rand’s, who’s experience as a Blacksmith was evidenced by his broad shoulders, his Yellow eyes shining slightly in the dim shadow in which he stood, with one hand caressing the large Axe at his side while the other rubbed his chin through his short, curly beard.
To the right stood Lord Davram Bashere, High Seat of House Bashere, Lord of Bashere, Tyr and Sidona, Guardian of the Blightborder, Defender of the Heartland, and Marshal-General to Queen Tenobia of Saldaea, one of the overrun Borderlands, and father to Faile, Perrin’s wife. Next to him stood Mat Cauthon, another childhood friend of Rand’s, General of the Band of the Red Hand and husband to Tuorn Athaem Kore Paendrag, Daughter of the Nine Moons, and heir apparent to the Crystal Throne of the Seanchan Empire. These two men were recognised as the two finest Generals alive, although it was a well hidden fact that Mat gained his knowledge of soldiering in a similar manner to what Xander had experienced during a very weird Halloween.
By the door through which Xander had entered, Logain having waited outside, stood twenty, Far Dareis Mai, Maidens of the Spear, forming Rand’s ever present honour guard of the fierce female Aiel warriors.
“My Lord Dragon.” Xander said to Rand, saluting in the Asha’man way, with his fist over his heart.
“Your Majesty Elayne Sedai, may the Light shine upon you.” He greeted the Queen.
“Wise One Aviendha of the Nine Valleys Sept of the Taardad Aiel, May you find water and shade.” Xander greeted in the Aiel manner, before turning to face Min.
“Lady Min. Sight can be a great gift, but sometimes blindness is the greater. Would you not agree, Lady?” Xander said, cryptically.
Min stared at Xander for a second, half in shock, before nodding.
Xander turned to the two Generals, snapping a US Military salute, which confused everyone.
“Generals.” He said simply, in military fashion.
Bashere and Mat recognised the military bearing and were impressed at his adaptiveness.
Xander turned to face Perrin and something silent seemed to pass, but no one, not even Perrin, was sure what.
“Wolfbrother. May your hunts be successful. May the forest, and the Forge, welcome you home and should the bird fly from your shoulder, may she return in good stead.” Xander said, giving a greeting very similar to that of the wolves.
“May she’s bear you many cubs. You are not a Wolfbrother yet you have to feel of the wild.” Perrin said.
“A Wolfbrother, I am not. I do know something of what you face and I sympathise with your plight.” Xander said, thinking of his Hyena possession.
“May the Far Dareis Mai always find water and shade. In my homeland there is a protector, she is my near-sister. Among my people, to be compare to her is one of the greatest honours. I know that she would agree that the Maidens of the Spear are her match for courage and strength of will.” Xander said to the Maidens guarding the door.
For a moment the Maidens guarding the door looked stunned and embarrassed. After a few seconds, one stepped forward.
“You honour us too highly. We have Toh.” The one who stepped forwards said.
“There is no Toh.” Xand said. “Unless you wish to deprive me of my honour by refusing what I bestowed.”
Maiden handtalk flashed rapidly between the women, some even flashing from the pedestal that held the thrones.
“We accept this honour, unworthy as we are. If you ever need assistance, the Far Dareis Mai will be there.” The Maiden who spoke before said.
“She would be proud to fight alongside any Maiden.” Xander said, bowing deeply, before turning back to fact the thrones.
Over the next several hours, Xander’s plans were considered and discussion went back and forth as to the plan that may well change the course of the War.
Everyone silently left the audience chamber, thinking about the plan that Asha’man Harris had proposed. Up on the podium, Rand and his wives were talking softly.
“I think it will work. No one will ever suspect it.” Aviendha said.
“Something worries me about Asha’man Harris.” Min said.
“What?” Rand asked. “A Viewing?”
“Sort of. I see the images and auras around him, like all the Asha’man and Aes Sedai, but this is different.” Min replied.
“What do you mean, different?” Elayne asked.
“I don’t see his future. I see his past. He knows what it’s like to be me.” Min whispered.
“To be you?” Rand said.
“To see what others can’t, or won’t. Knowing what can or will happen and being unable to tell others for fear that they will disbelieve you, call you crazy or that you will make it happen. He’s seen more than you can possibly imagine and came through basically intact. He’s stronger than he knows, and that scares me more than I can say.” Min said.
After a few seconds of silence, Min turned and left the audience chamber. Elayne went off to find her Warder, Birgitte, who was probably off drinking with Mat. Aviendha went to talk to the other Wise Ones about this new development. Rand sat on the Dragon throne, thinking about the enigma that was Asha’man Xander Harris and the possibility that this new plan could work.
Xander sat alone in the inn, trying to get obliterated, dressed in civilian clothes so as not to draw undue attention to himself. It had been eleven and a half months since he had proposed his idea. Eleven and a half months of training, of planning, of squeezing the best out of the chosen men. Tonight however, Xander didn’t care; all he wanted was a release from the pain that threatened to overwhelm his soul.
Tonight was the second anniversary of the fight with Glory, the night he had lost absolutely everything. Xander looked up at the sound of the tavern door opening and saw Birgitte enter. Birgitte, Queen Elayne’s Warder and at one point, Captain General of the Queens Guards, had been introduced to Xander as liaison to the special project that he had devised. Over the last eleven and a half months, they had grown to be close friends and had shared many stories about their lives.
Xander had told Birgitte all about Sunnydale, vampires and the Slayer while Birgitte told Xander her true identity, one of the heroes of legend that were born again in times of need. Birgitte had expected Xander, like everyone, to act as if she could do anything, and had been shocked and relieved when he didn’t.
“Why would I expect that? I lived with a genuine hero for five years and never expected her to be perfect, hell I even saved her life on a number of occasions. Heroes are just people who do what they have to when it is needed. Nothing more, nothing less.” Xander had told her when she had asked him why.
They had become firm friends and drinking buddies, often getting drunk in the company of Mat, who Xander seemed to connect with. Back in Sunnydale, Xander had been described as ‘a girl who knew guy stuff’, by Willow. Birgitte was exactly that, if anything she was more ‘one of the guys’ than most of the guys, and Xander felt surprisingly happy to have a female friend that he could talk about guy stuff to, having spent many years with mostly female friends who did not understand guy stuff.
Birgitte was the only other person who knew the significance of this day. She had suffered a similar fate, being torn out of Tel'aran'rhiod by Moghedien and had to be bonded as Elayne’s Warder in order to survive. Not many people truly knew what it was like to have everything you knew ripped away in a second, but Xander did having experienced it twice, once when he found out the truth about Sunnydale and when he had though he was giving his life for his friends.
Sunlight flooded through the window of the unfamiliar room, waking Xander. The first thing Xander noticed was that the room was unfamiliar; the second was that there was a body next to him. For a millisecond, Xander thought that the last two years were a really strange dream but he quickly dismissed the thought. When his eyes became fully functional, Xander realised who he was in bed with. It was Birgitte. She was still asleep, the sunlight playing across her naked form which was half covered by the sheets of the bed.
Xander’s mind panicked. He remembered last night vaguely, both Birgitte and himself consuming approximately half of the inn’s alcohol supply before they had decided that they were too drunk to walk home and they took a room at the inn, the reason for taking only one room was hazy. The rest of the night was a blur, except for a vague memory of calling out Buffy’s name. Beside him Birgitte began to wake, causing Xander to panic even more.
“I’m sorry Birgitte.” Xander said hastily when she awoke.
“About what?” Birgitte said with a faint smile.
“Well, um. Last night, I mean…” Xander began.
“Don’t worry about it. I used you, you used me. We’re cool.” She responded. “Or is this about Buffy?”
“Kind of.” Xander said nervously, not overly comfortable talking about other women when he had one naked in bed next to him.
“Look, it’s not as if you two are married or anything, hell I’ve got Gaidal Cain around somewhere, probably as a small child and I’m his soul mate. Think of it as stress relief, cause hey, tomorrow we may be dead.” Birgitte said as she got up and started getting dressed. “Got to go, Elayne needs me.”
“Yah, and I got to get back.” Xander said, quickly dressing in his clothes from the previous night.
The major thought going through Xander’s head as he walked out of the city and created a Gateway back to the Black Tower was that he had betrayed Buffy. Shaking his head, Xander stepped through the Gateway and let it close behind him.