Chapter One – The Beginning, Surprisingly Enough.

 "Xander! Noooo!"

The dark green ball of light struck Xander in the upper left hand side of his body. He fell back with a muffled cry of pain and then his vision started to darken and he was gone.

He slowly tried to open his eyes, they hurt, they hurt a lot.

"He's awaking up." Said a distant voice.

"Xander?" That voice sounded familiar. "Xander? Can you hear me?" It was Buffy.

He tried to speak but there was a sudden sharp pain in his throat.

"Don't try to speak." That was Willow.

His eyes were fully open by now but his vision was all hazy. He could make out three figures; Buffy, Willow and he guessed the other had to be Giles. Again he tried to speak and again a sharp pain hit him.

"What are you trying to say?" Asked Buffy.

Xander tried his best to mime his question but wasn't helped by the fact he was rubbish at miming or by his arms, which seemed to be moving a lot slower than he remembered.

"What does that mean?"

"I think it means he is thirsty."

"You think that means he is thirsty?"

"It could."


"Many this" Willow imitated the wild arm movements of Xander "means, can you get me some water?"

"I don't think so. If this" Buffy now imitated the wild arm movements "means anything then it means…"

"Shut up!" Shouted Xander caused himself immense pain. "I'm not thirsty."

"Told you."

"It looked like you were asking for a glass of water."

"I wanted to know what is wrong with me."

"Oh." Said Willow as if the arm movements all now made perfect sense.

"We don't know what is wrong with you."

"The doctor said he would be in to tell you when you woke up." Added Giles.

"How are you feeling?"

"Is pain a feeling?"

"I think so."

"Then pain, lots and lots of pain."

"Is there anything we can do for you?"

"I bought grapes." Said Buffy while at the same time revealing a big bunch of red grapes.

"No, there is nothing you can do." Answered Xander looking directly at the grapes. "Nothing."

Then the door to the small hospital room opened and in stepped a doctor in a bright white coat. "Ahh, I see Mr Harris is awake."

"Indeed he is." Said Xander.

"Are you in any kind of pain?"

"The worst kind."

"Okay I'll have a nurse give you something for that." He said writing something on a board he had gotten from the edge of Xander's bed.

"Doc, is there anything wrong with me?"

The doctor looked up at this question. He hesitated, "I think I better said to you alone."

"It's okay, they're friends of mine."

"Still, I think it would be best if they stepped out for a minute."

Xander saw the look in the Doctor's eye and somehow this convinced him to agree. Buffy, Willow and Giles left the room and it was just Xander and the doctor. "It's bad isn't it."

"Yes, I am afraid it is. You have an extremely rare condition where your heart is ageing a lot faster than the rest of your body."

"My heart is ageing faster?"

"Yes, it does sound a little unbelievable and to be honest we don't have a clue as to why it is doing that."

"Can you fix it?"

"I'm afraid not."

"Am I going to die?"


"How long?"

"I think I should warn you Mr Harris. We don't know what we are dealing with here. Any predict I give you will be at best educated guesswork."

"How long?"

"Six months."

"Six months?"

"Like I say it could be a lot longer than that."

"Couldn't it also be a lot shorter?"

"Yes, it could."

"Six months?"

"If you need help…adjusting…then the hospital does have a counselling service."

"Can I go?"

"Excuse me?"

"Can I leave the hospital? Do I need to stay?"

The doctor checked the chart, "Err…I see no reason why we need to keep you here. All you need to do get your pain medication and then you can be discharged."


The doctor looked Xander said in the eye and said in a low voice before turning away, "I'm terrible sorry." And with that the doctor was gone.

It wasn't long before Buffy, Willow and Giles returned. "So Xander, anything wrong?"

Xander didn't answer. He was gazing into space.



"Was there anything wrong?"

"Err…no. Everything is fine. All in working order."

"That's good."

"Yeah." Again Xander's gaze drifted and he repeated in a low voice almost as if he was speaking to himself, "Yeah."

[End of Chapter One]


Chapter One – The Beginning, Surprisingly Enough.

"Xander! Noooo!"

This shout alerted Xander to the rapidly approaching dark green ball of light just in time for him to get out of its way. It smashed against the wall behind him creating a massive hole in the bricks. All was silent until a low rumbling could be heard and soon the whole building was shaking.

"It's coming down!" Shouted Xander.

Everyone ran for the stairs trying to dodge falling pieces of rubble. Eventually Xander made his way out of the building followed by Buffy. They had ran about seven paces when the whole building collapsed down on itself. They were covered in a cloud of dust. After a minute of lying on the ground and with the cloud of dust starting to thin Buffy picked herself up.

"Hey Xander, I think it's okay."

Xander opened his eyes and looked up at the dust covered Buffy and started to laugh.


"Nice look Buff."

She looked down at his outfit and tried in vain to brush some of the dust off. "Man, this was my favourite shirt."

"Look on the bright side."

"Bright side? What possibly be good about this?"

"At least your shirt is no worse than your hair."

"What is wrong with my hair?" Buffy instantly reached up to her head.

"It looks like the worst case of dandruff ever." A large grin emerged on Xander's face.

"I don't know what you are smiling at. You look like a 50s B-movie monster."

"Really? Cool."

"Why is it that men don't mind if they look terrible?"


"I'm too covered in dust in even think about how you came in with that."

"I didn't know dust affected your intellect."

"Why else do you think people vacuum so often?"

"That would explain it."

While Xander was thinking about Buffy's question Willow emerged from behind some cover. She, luckily for her, was not covered in dust. "Wow, you two look like dust twins."

"Dust twins?"

"Okay, there may not be any such thing."

"I see you aren't covered in dust, why is that?"

"I hid behind that wall."

Buffy turned to Xander, "Why didn't you think of that?"

"I was too busy trying not to be crushed by really heavy building."

"You have an excuse for everything."

"I bet on my death bed you will say that when I explain why I forgot to get you your milk."

"If you forgot my milk then you would be one step beyond the death bed."

"You really like milk."

"Who likes milk?" Giles arrived just on clue to be puzzled by Xander's comment.


"Buffy likes milk?"


"Can we stop talking about me and milk?"

"You bought it up."

"No I didn't, you did."

"Did not."

"Did too."

"Guys! Does it really matter?"

"Did we get them?" Asked Giles while rubbing his glasses.

"I think so."

"Isn't this the point where in the movie where they think the monsters are dead but really their not and they attack again?"

Everyone looked at Xander and then at the collapsed building. After a moment Buffy said, "That's only in the movies, right?"

There was another pause before Xander replied, "Yeah."

 "Hey Giles, what was that green stuff they fired at Xander?"

"I don't know."

"Could it have killed me?"

"I don't know."

"Was it magic?"

"I don't know."

"I thought you were knowledge guy?"

"Knowledge guy?"

"Yeah. Buffy is strength guy, Willow is magic guy and you're knowledge guy."

"Which guy are you?"

"Carpenter guy."

"Not many superhero groups have a carpenter guy."

"Not many superhero groups have a genuine solid oak dining table."

"That's true."

"So, what do we do now?"

"I don't know what the rest of you but I need a shower."

"I also need a shower, want to share one Buff?"

"Ewgh! No way."

"Not even for water conservation?"


"Worth a shot."

Buffy, Willow and Xander slowly walked away laughing and joking together. Giles remained watching them walking away. He took off his glasses and started to clean them and said to himself, "I can't believe they are the only thing between the world and utter destruction."

[End of Chapter One]