Title: A Moment of Change (1/1)

Author: Cyclone

Feedback: Please be gentle.

Distribution: Gimme credit and a link. Plus, archived at http://fanfiction.net/profile.php?userid=62966 or http://fanfiction.net/~cyclone

Rating: I'm gonna go say PG.

Spoilers: Up to Chosen and Oh My Goddess.

Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong to other people. I'm just borrowing them for a while.

Summary: In the aftermath, a Whitelighter gets reassigned.

Author's Note: This is probably going to be the last installment of the Moments series.

* * *

Xander walked through the darkened streets of Oxnard, California. His hand reached up and touched his eyepatch. He didn't dare heal himself and risk revealing his true nature, so he had left the wound as it was, just as he had refrained from healing Buffy's bullet wound completely a year earlier; he'd done just enough to ensure her survival.

That was when he heard the Elder's summons.

*Good,* he thought. *I guess the orbing restriction's been lifted. Maybe I can get some answers now.*

He orbed up and looked around in surprise. The place was in shambles. An Elder stepped toward him and doffed his hood. Xander blinked.


The new Elder nodded, "Yeah, it's me."

"What happened here?" Xander asked. "It looks like a tornado hit the place."

"Not quite," Leo said. "The titans got up here. Most of the Elders are dead."

"Where are the titans now?" Xander asked, alarmed.

"Gone," Leo said. "I empowered the Charmed Ones as gods, and Piper vanquished them."

"They're gods now?" Xander sputtered, reaching Defcon 2.

"No," Leo shook his head. "After the battle was over, I stripped them of their godhood."

Xander sighed in relief. That kind of power could easily go to someone's head. He'd seen it himself in his own charges on a smaller scale.

After a long moment, he broke the silence and said, "So, you're an Elder now."

Leo nodded.

"How's Piper taking it?"

"Not well, but I did what I could to help her move on."

"So... what now?"

"Now... you've been reassigned."

"What?" Xander sputtered. "But what about...?"

"They don't need a Whitelighter, Xander," Leo said. "Not anymore. But the Charmed Ones do."

"They have you," Xander protested.

"Not anymore," Leo repeated sadly, shaking his head. "I've got too much to do up here as an Elder."

"Can I at least tell the others?"

"It's against policy," Leo said, then smiled. "But then again, I'm an Elder now, so I _make_ policy. Go ahead, say your goodbyes."

"Thank you, Elder," Xander said formally, bowing and orbing out.

* * *

"Xander, what's going on?" Buffy asked, slightly annoyed. The meeting he'd called had interrupted a training session, and the four of them -- Buffy, Dawn, Giles, and Willow -- were now here, waiting for Xander to speak.

"I have an announcement -- and a confession -- to make to all of you," he said. "I'm not human, not anymore. I haven't been for some time now."

Buffy tensed, but Giles calmly asked, "What are you, then?"

"A Whitelighter," Xander said, pulling off the eyepatch and reaching up to the scarred and empty socket. The scarred tissue glowed faintly. After a moment, the glow faded, and his eye was restored.

Giles's eyes widened. "My word," he murmured, stunned. "A real Whitelighter."

Willow was equally shocked, but Buffy was just confused and a little apprehensive, while Dawn simply nodded, accepting that and waiting for Xander to explain.

"Um, what's a Whitelighter?" Buffy asked, raising a hand.

"H-he's an angel," Willow whispered shakily. "A-a guardian angel to guide good witches."

"Not just witches, Willow," Xander said, shaking his head. "You, Tara, Buffy, and Dawn were all my charges."

"Me?" Dawn frowned.

"You," Xander nodded. "Being the sister of the Slayer has its own troubles, Key business aside."

"I thought Whitelighters had to be dead," Giles frowned.

Xander shrugged, "I did die. When Olaf the troll clobbered me." He paused as he let that sink in, then said, "But that's not why I called everyone here. Buff, Wills, Dawnie... I've been reassigned."

"'Reassigned'? What does that mean?" Willow asked in a small voice. She had an idea what that meant, but she didn't like it. She hoped she was wrong.

"It means I'm leaving, Willow."

"No!" the redhead cried. "You can't leave! We need you!" Her voice dropped as she added petulantly, "_I_ need you."

"No. You don't," he shook his head, smiling faintly. "Goodbye. I love you. All of you."

He closed his eyes and vanished in a sparkle of blue and white.

* * *

"Hi. Piper? Phoebe? Paige?"

Piper frowned, looking cautiously at the stranger in their house, ready to blow him up if he so much as blinked wrong.

Phoebe eyed the newcomer speculatively. He was pretty cute... but knowing her luck, if he _was_ single, he was probably a demon or something like that.

Finally, Paige broke the silence, "Who wants to know?"

"Xander Harris. I'm your new Whitelighter."

* * *

Author's Postscript:

And that finishes up the Moments collection.