Disclaimer: Not mine.
Sorry for the really long wait.

Chapter 6

Xander groaned as he struggled to force his eyes open. After what felt like an eternity they did and then all he could do was stare at the completely unfamiliar surroundings. The only possible location his foggy brain could come up was Watcher HQ but he hadn't been back there in…just how long had it been? He weakly tried to push himself into a sitting position only to fail miserably. The door opened and he smiled tiredly as a familiar figure walked in, froze and then all but flew across the room.

"You're finally awake. How do you feel?" Dick asked in concern.

"Tired, sore." Xander croaked, gratefully sipping from the straw that appeared in front of him.
"Where? How long?"

"Wayne manor. I found you passed out in the apartment a month ago. You were in hospital for a week and then we moved you here since they couldn't do anything. Bruce, Oracle, Robin and I went crazy contacting anyone we thought could help. Zantana was the one who finally worked it out and healed you. She said it'll take you a while to get back on your feet but that there is no further risk. She left a week ago and you've been sleeping since. I've been calling Giles for you to keep him updated on your condition and he did everything he could to find a cure as well." Dick paused to take a shaky breath.
"We nearly lost you more than a few times Xan. You really scared me." He admitted.

"Sorry, try not to do it again." Xander said tiredly, fighting to keep his eyes open. Dick smiled.

"I'll let you get some sleep and let everyone know you woke up."


"Nice to see you awake." Xander looked up and smiled at the dark-haired teen lounging in the doorway.

"Robin I presume?" He asked and the teen nodded.

"You know Batman and Nightwing so there's no point not telling you. My name's Tim Drake."

"Nice to meet you Tim." Xander made himself more comfortable against his pillows.
"Dick said you helped look for a cure, so thanks. You didn't have to…"

"Yes I did. Dick's my brother and you're his friend." Tim shrugged.

"Well thanks anyway."

"No problem. Dick needs all the non-costumed friends he can get. Okay so you definitely do something weird for work, and no one's telling me exactly what, but you seem a lot more normal than people in our line of work."

"You really want to know what I do?"

"Only if you want to tell me." Xander stared at the teen in thought for a bit before deciding.

"In a few years, lets leave what little innocence you have intact for a while longer. Just…never invite someone in after dark, step back from the door and if they can't come in then shut it." That earnt him a very confused look but Tim nodded.


"Hey G-man." Giles couldn't help but smile at the familiar greeting.

"It's good to hear from you Xander. How are you feeling?"

"Better. Still really tired and walking isn't really happening yet. But better than I was. How's everyone?"

"Worried for you. They will be relieved to hear you are doing better. Buffy has been a little…difficult. She was not happy when your friends refused to tell us where you were and let us bring you here."

"I figured as much but it was for the best Giles. I'm happy G-man; I need time away from the Council, away from the apocalypse of the week. You get it, don't you?"

"I understand. Take as much time as you need, I'll keep Buffy occupied."

"Thanks, this isn't permanent I just need a break. I'll talk to you later."


Dick couldn't help but grin at the look on his friends face as the other man struggled to walk towards him even as he continually backed away.

"You're enjoying this." Xander grumbled, tightening his grip on the rail as his legs threatened to give way.

"Just the expression on your face." Dick told him.
"You're improving quickly."

"Yeah, it takes me ten minutes to fall over instead of five."

"Still a big improvement over five seconds." Dick pointed out with a grin. He helped Xander over to a chair and he collapsed gratefully into it.
"I have to head back to Bludhaven next week. I've run out of vacation time and apparently there's a case my partner wants my help on." Xander nodded, understanding that Dick was lucky to have had as long as he had off work.
"Bruce said you can stay here as long as you want, at least until you're fully recovered. After that's up to you but I don't mind if you come back to my place. Guess I've gotten used to having a flatmate."

"I think I'd like that, at least for a while. I'll go back to the Council eventually, I've seen too much to ever leave for good. But I haven't had a break since I was fifteen. They can live without me for a while longer.