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.
~Battle against Glory at her tower, 2001 AD~
Xander watched as Spike climbed the tower, trying to reach Dawn, feeling helpless. When Spike was half way up the tower Xander came to a decision. He rose from behind the forklift that the Scoobies were using as cover and ran up the tower, he had to help, even if it did not matter, he had to try. As he neared the top, his heart sank when he saw Spike fall, thrown off by Doc.
As he climbed he grabbed a pipe, figuring any weapon was better than none. Without stopping at the top, Xander advanced on Doc, who had already cut Dawn, with her blood dripping to open the portal. Before Doc could turn, Xander savagely hit him over the head with the pipe, causing him to fall. Xander quickly untied Dawn’s ropes and moved her away from the edge, while she struggled to get free of his grasp.
“Let me go, Xander. I have to jump.” Dawn told him. “It needs the blood.”
Xander saw Buffy running up the stairs of the tower and knew that she would jump for Dawn, and he was just as committed but for a second he did not think he could save one of them, and then he remembered Adam. Before Dawn was made human, Xander, Giles, Willow and Buffy combined their essences, their souls, to defeat the techno-human-demon hybrid. Xander just hoped that the combining gave him enough connection to Dawn to pull off his plan.
“Dawn, can you deliver a message for me?” Xander said, continuing without waiting for her nod. “Tell everyone I love them, except Spike. Tell Anya that I’m sorry but she was right. Tell Willow that she’s my best friend and I’m glad she got Tara back. Tell Giles that the idea I had about Adam helped again. Tell Buffy that I wish her happiness, will miss her and that it’s my turn. As for you, if you were eighteen I would have dated you in a second. I’ll miss you, Dawnie.”
While he was telling Dawn these things, the portal was widening and Buffy was getting closer to the top of the tower, and he knew that she would stop him. Xander ran for the portal a second before Buffy reached the platform and a second before Dawn realised what his words really meant. The sun cleared the horizon directly in front of Xander as he ran down the platform and he absently thought, ‘Fitting’ before he left the edge.
“Xander!” the two Summers’ girls called out together as he jumped.
Xander’s diver was like the swimmer he had pretended to be once in highschool, without the elegance that Buffy would have used. As he went through the energy field of the portal, Xander felt something shift and for a split second knew he had succeeded, that Buffy would not have to follow him.
~Somewhere in the Black Hills, 999NE~
(AN: NE means New Era and is the calendar system in the Wheel of Time universe. Maps pertaining to The Wheel of Time can be found in the books or on the internet but searching for ‘Wheel of Time’ or ‘WoT’)
“Buffy!” Xander screamed as he awoke.
He was confused for a second, and then he recognised the farm he had been working on for the last four months.
“Who is this Buffy? You dream about her every night.” Nathan said.
Nathan was the old man who owned the farm and he had taken to Xander after Xander had suddenly appeared in his fields.
“She’s from my past.” Xander replied.
Nathan nodded. Xander’s past was strictly an off limit subject and Nathan respected that. Xander had bulked up over the last four months, the tough daily work as a farmer had conditioned muscles that had started to strengthen through his construction work. Xander got out of bed and began his morning work around the farm. Around midday, Nathan and Xander headed into the nearest village to get some supplies for the farm.
Xander never learnt the name of the village, it was always referred to as ‘the village’ by Nathan, and so that is how Xander thought of it. When they arrived there was a large gathering in the village square, with a few men dressed completely in black addressing the crowd.
“As some of you may know.” one of the older, black clad men was saying to the crowd. “The Dragon has been Reborn. The Dragon Reborn is requesting volunteers to fight the Dark One. If you wish to fight, you will be paid the standard soldier’s wage and will be well trained. If you do not wish to come, you may freely stay; we seek volunteers, not a forced mob. If you wish to join, come and see us within the next twenty minute. Make any preparations before you come as we will be leaving and not returning. Thank you for your time.”
The man stepped down from the cart bed that he had been standing on and the black dressed men moved off a distance. The crowd milled around, some running off to pack or tell others.
“I’m going.” Xander declared.
“You sure lad? Why don’t you stay on the farm with me?” Nathan asked.
“I can’t do that. Has to do with my past.” Xander replied.
‘I have to Buffy. I can’t turn my back’ he thought desperately.
Xander walked strait over to the black dressed men; he was the first to do so.
“Private Harris reporting for duty.” He said, snapping a US military salute.
“What?” the spokesman asked.
“I’m in. Name’s Xander Harris.” Xander replied.
The spokesman just nodded. Twenty minutes later there were almost a score (twenty) of young and middle-aged men standing around the black clad men. The men in black lead the volunteers to a clearing where they med with another black clad man. When he saw them approach the waiting man turned and a vertical slash of light appeared and seemed to turn into a doorway.
Some of the villagers were scared of this, but Xander, who had already been through worse, looked through the doorway and saw what looked like a military base, swarming with black dressed men. While the other villagers stood around nervously, Xander walked through the doorway, moving in a step hundreds of leagues south, just outside Caemlyn in Andor. A look of surprise to flash across the face of some of the black dressed men.
“Brave, young one.” The man who spoke at the village said.
“I’ve been through much worse. Is this a sorting depot or are you guys in black Special Forces?” Xander asked.
“We are Asha’man. If you can do what we need, you will become one of us, if not, you will join the Legion of the Dragon.” The man replied.
“So what’s the test?” Xander said facing up to the man.
“The ability to Channel.” The man replied.
“Right. They must be warrior mages.” Xander whispered before raising his voice to a conversational level. “Let’s go. What do I have to do?”
The villagers and Asha’man looked surprised. The villagers looked up to Xander because of his courage in the stressful and frightening situation. The Asha’man hoped that Xander would be able to Channel; he was the kind of guy they would fight beside and follow in battle. The Asha’man that Xander had been talking to stood in front of Xander and a flame appeared in this outstretched hand. Xander felt nothing for a few minutes before he felt a warm echo inside him. After another second the flame disappeared from the man hand and he smiled.
“You can learn. Welcome aboard. Xander right?” he said and Xander nodded. “My name is Logain, Logain Ablar. Now, who’s next?”
The testing took a while and in the end only one other villager passed. The rest, not knowing wether to be relieved or disappointed, were put into carts and taken to the Legion of the Dragon’s campsite.
‘These Asha’man can teach me how to get back to you, Buff. I promise I’ll get to you, when this war is over. I could never turn my back, I hope you understand.’ Xander thought as the carts rolled away.
“So, Logain. What’s next?” Xander said, giving his lop-sided grin.
Logain showed Xander to a room in one of the houses, the same one that Logain lived in, while the other successful villager was shown to a different house.
“This is your room. Uniforms are in the wardrobe; you will be required to ware them at all times unless ordered otherwise. You have two hours till orientation on the main training grounds. You may spend them as you wish.” Logain said before leaving.
The room was small but comfortable, with a bed, wardrobe, writing table and reading chair. The wardrobe contained several sets of clothing; trousers, boots, shirts, coats and cloaks. All black. The military nature of the Asha’man and the site’s resemblance to a base brought back Xander’s memories of the Halloween when he had turned into a soldier as a result of a spell.
Changing into trousers, boots and a shirt from the wardrobe, Xander made his way over to the training grounds. There were groups of Asha’man training, either martial arts or with swords. Xander moved to an unused section of the training ground, removed his shirt, and began to practice the completive and brutally efficient fighting style that is the hallmark of the US Special Forces.
Xander kept moving, altering combinations and patterns until he was completely exhausted. When he finally did stop he found that he had a crowd of onlookers in a ring around him.
“Xander?” Logain said from the front row. “Where did you learn that? It’s like nothing I’ve ever seen.”
“Long story. How long left?” Xander replied.
“Ten minutes.” Logain said with a smile.
An oil lamp burnt on the writing desk in Xander’s room. The afternoon orientation had been fairly simple, with the rules, expectations and organisational structure of the Asha’man being explained to the twenty-three new Soldiers, the lowest rank of Asha’man.
Tomorrow they would begin to learn how to fight and Channel. Xander read over wheat he had written in, what he would eventually call, his journal as he dipped his quill in the inkpot. His journal was written in a leather bound book with fine quality paper and was in the form of letters. Xander was concluding his first entry.
In the four months that I have been in this world, I have come to terms with the fact that I would never return to you and that I would live out my days as a simple farmer. Today, however, I discovered two facts, one joyous, the other sad. The joyous fact is that I can learn a form of magic that will, one day, allow me to return home, to you. Therein lies the problem.
The sad fact is that there is a war going on, this is the reason that they are searching for those who can perform this kind of magic. You know I was never one to run from a fight, and failure here will mean the end of this world as surely as any of the Apocalypses that we faced in Sunnydale did. We all do what we have to, you taught me that, so I am going to stay and fight. My conscious won’t let me do otherwise.
I miss you everyday, Buffy, and you are always in my thoughts. I will make every effort to return to you, but if I should fall, I will make sure that these testaments will reach you.
I have loved you from the moment I first saw you and, though at times I tried to hide it, I will love you with my last breath. I only hope that I can see you between then and now.
Xander, satisfied with what he had written, signed the letter, blotted it with sand, closed the book and prepared for bed.
In the three and a half months since Xander had joined the Asha’man, he had risen quickly through the ranks, in part thanks to his soldier memories. He was now a Dedicated, the second of the three ranks of Asha’man, and wore the silver sword on the left side of his high-necked collar.
Logain said that it would be a matter of days before he received the Dragon pin, signifying a full Asha’man. When not formally training, doing chores or teaching Soldiers, Xander was doing his own training or discussing tactics with Logain.
Xander had been involved with a few raids and skirmishes but had seen no real combat, until politics got involved, about two months after Xander had joined the Asha’man. There had been two factions within the Asha’man with the numbers divided fairly equally, but several Asha’man held allegiance to neither group. One faction, lead by Logain, believed that the Asha’man and the Aes Sedai, their female counterparts, should co-operate or, at least, leave each other alone. The other faction, lead by Mazim Taim the semi-official leader of the Asha’man, believed that all Aes Sedai should be killed outright.
When it eventually came out that Taim and most of his staff were darkfriends, the enemy, there were many defections to Logain’s side. Fierce fighting ensued and by the time it was over Taim had fled the compound and most of the darkfriends were dead or gone. A heavy price had been paid for this coupe, with one hundred and forty-three of the seven hundred and nineteen Asha’man, total, were dead with another twenty-five, including Taim, having fled to join the enemy.
Two days after the fighting at the Black Tower, the home of the Asha’man, had concluded, a vast horde of Trollocs, Myrddraal and other creatures of the Dark One overran the Borderlands, counties full of warriors that had been holding back the tides and forces of the Dark One for thousands of years. The horde carved a swathe of destruction from the Aryth Ocean, across the top of the Black Hills to the Spine of the World. The new battlelines had been drawn and the world rallied behind the banner of the Dragon Reborn, scrambling to establish defences along a front they had thought contained, if it was thought of at all. Meanwhile the Dark One’s forces tried to assimilate and consolidate their gains, while planing their next move.