Title: Technomancy (0/?)

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: For Buffy, up to an AU version of The Gift. For Babylon 5/Crusade, up to some things introduced in The Long Road, but occurring before then.

Disclaimer: Most of the characters depicted herein belong to the almighty Joss. One belongs to the illustrious (and far superior) J. Michael Straczynski. I'm just borrowing them for a while.

Summary: "The blood of a true hero," and the return of a friend thought dead.

Author's Note: I just happen to like this story idea, that's all.

* * *

"He needs... the blood," Giles said. "The blood of a true hero."

Angelus snarled.

* * *

"Xander!" Buffy cried out as she struggled with the vampires. She saw Angelus grab him and slice open his arm.

She watched in horror as Angelus -- his hand covered with Xander's blood -- reached out...

..and pulled the sword free from Acathla.

"NO!"

Rage exploded within her and lent her strength as she began to cut through the vampires like a scythe through grain.

* * *

"Oh, God, Xander, are you all right?" Buffy asked anxiously.

"Yeah, just a flesh wound," Xander replied. "Buffy, how are you gonna close that thing?" he asked, nodding toward Acathla.

"I... I..."

"What?"

"To close it requires your blood, Xander," Giles said softly. "And... you will go to hell in the process."

Xander closed his eyes for a moment, then opened them and nodded. "Then do it, Buffy."

"I... I _can't_..."

Xander hissed and grabbed the sword, pushing the surprised Slayer back.

"No, Xander!" she shrieked.

But it was too late.

He plunged the sword into his belly and looked up as hell claimed him.

"Good bye."

* * *

"Captain, sensors are picking up a lifepod," Ivanova reported.

"So?" Sheridan asked. Given that they'd just fought off the thirdspace beings, lifepods were hardly a surprise.

"It's... not one of ours, sir," she replied.

_That_ got his attention.

"Bring it in," Sheridan ordered, "and have a security team waiting, fully armed."

* * *

With a hiss, the thirdspace lifepod depressurized and opened. A figure rose out of the lifepod, obscured at first by the gasses.

"Don't move!" Sheridan called.

"Uh, hi?" came a very human voice.

"What the...?" Sheridan stared.

He was human. He was human and speaking _English_.

* * *

"As far as Medical can tell, he _is_ quite human. More than that, it sounds like he's either confused or from an alternate Earth. He claims to be from Sunnydale, California, in the year 1998, yet our records say no such a town ever existed. I've decided to grant Mr. Harris temporary asylum on Babylon 5. I hope I don't end up regretting that."

--John J. Sheridan. Personal log.

* * *

Xander sighed as he sat in the Zocalo, nursing a drink. He couldn't remember what it was called, but that didn't really bother him. There was so much that was... _new_ in this world. The technology, the cultures, the species...

He shook his head.

"You seem to be a little out of place."

He turned, "What?"

"I said, you seem to be a little out of sorts, my friend," an older man said. His eyes told of an age and wisdom beyond that suggested even by his silver hair.

Xander snorted, "You could say that."

"Well, I've found that it helps to talk to someone," the man said jovially. He extended a hand, "My name is Alwyn."

* * *

"Are you sure?"

Xander stopped near his ship, then turned, "I have to go, Alwyn. I have family. I have to help them."

"Even our powers -- _your_ powers -- cannot fight off a thirdspace invasion, Alexander, you know that. Even the Vorlons couldn't. If the thirdspace creatures invade your world, you will die."

"I know," Xander said. "The idea is to make sure they don't ever get there."

Alwyn nodded slowly, "Well, good luck then."

* * *

Xander blinked back tears as he flew away from Regula 4. He was leaving his mentor behind...

...but he was leaving him for his family. His _real_ family.

On _his_ Earth.

* * *

Author's Postscript:

Blame Sci-Fi Channel for this one. I caught an episode of Babylon 5 and a Crusade marathon the other day, and this one sort of hit me.