Title: The Cracks of Planning Ahead
Author: Lady FoxFire
Warning: Character death
Category(s): Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Setting: Season 1 - Prophecy Girl
Summary: Sometimes when you right a wrong you find out that the wrong was the best thing there was.
Disclaimer: I do not own the Buffy the Vampire Slayer series nor do I make any money from this fic.
Bad Author Notes: Yes, this fic is crack. I know it's crack as does my editor who told me it was crack. I wrote this fic a while ago when my mind was in a really weird place and I've only now got around to editing it. I have no excuse for this fic except to say it made my Muse very happy while writing it. And as any author know, never piss of your Muse. So have fun with the crack.
Walking with a quick and determined stride, Xander headed toward the section of town he know Angel had an apartment in. In his left hand was the cross he planned to use to force Angel to follow his plan and in his right was a stake he needed to defend from other vampires and to use on Angel if he refused to follow his plan.
The plan itself was simple. Kill the bad guys, save the girl. Of course Angel was the local guide into the Master's cave and insurance against the vampires that would try to save him.
As he was passing an empty playground, a voice called out from the shadows. "You need to let her die."
Xander spun around to face the source of the voice. His hand tightened around the cross and stake as he prepared to fight for his life or run for it.
A man whose hair was a mix of brown and dirty grey who was wearing a patch on his left eye appeared out of the shadows. He was wearing a weird looking knee brace on his right leg. And strapped to his back was a very large axe.
But what stopped Xander from doing anything was the fact that the stranger looked a bit like photos of his maternal grandfather, who had died before he was born. His mother had commented once when she was sober that he was the spitting image of her father when he was Xander's age.
"If you go down into the Master's cave, more people will die," the stranger stopped just beyond Xander's reach.
"What do you mean?" Xander demanded. "Who are you?"
The stranger sighed wearily. "I'm you," he replied. "In about 16 years."
Xander backed up a step, babbling as he looked the stranger over. "You're not me. I'm me. And I know you're not me."
"Hunting is hard on the body," the stranger replied. "And as I said, I'm you in 16 years."
Xander opened his mouth. Closed it. Open. Closed. "Time travel is bad. Kirk proved it."
"Actually Star Trek proved it was possible to change things in the past and how bad the result could be," the older Xander countered. "Besides it was McCoy who saved Edith Keeler causing an alteration in the timeline. Kirk only stopped him so she died."
Xander's eyes narrowed. "How do I know you're really mean and not some type of demon trying to trick me?"
"Do you remember when you were 6, and you were at a sleep over at Jesse's when you had an accident. Jess help you covered it up and gave you a pair of Batman underoos to wear since you had to throw the other pair out?" The older Xander asked.
Young Xander blinked a couple times. "You could be a demon that read my mind."
"That's a species from Australia called Qab He'," the older version of Xander replied. "Well they're the only species that can read minds and still communicate verbally."
"That's Klingon for bad smell!" Xander stated.
The older Xander nodded his head. "Yeah. Klingon's a demon language. And the Qab He' really do smell bad especially since they don't have any noses so they don't know when to take a bath. Kind of smell like a week old diaper."
"Klingon's a demon language?" Xander asked in disbelief.
"Oh yeah!" older Xander explained. "Weirdest thing I ever heard… Klingons with an Australian accent."
"Very weird but that doesn't prove that you're not a demon who can read my mind," Xander pointed out.
"You know anything I say to prove I'm not a demon you can counter with I read your mind," older Xander replied. "Just trust your gut on this."
Young Xander stared at his older self for a moment. His face crinkled up with a distasteful expression. "You're really me."
The older Xander snorted. "Like I said hunting is not an easily job."
Young Xander nodded his head. "The eye?"
"Human bad guy," older Xander replies.
"And the leg?"
The old Xander bent his leg to show that it still worked even with the aid of the brace. "Asshole terrorist. Couldn't stand that someone followed a different religion then his," he replied. "Come to think of it most of my injuries were caused by humans and only a few from hunting."
Young Xander looked off into the direction of his home. "Yeah," he said softly. "So time travel… why?"
Older Xander started to walk in the direction his younger self had been heading in. "Come on we can talk while we walk. That way you can decide what to do."
Old Xander explained as they walked along, "A long time ago before the first Slayer, the Creator…"
"The Creator?" the young Xander interrupted.
"Yeah, the Creator. Humans made the Gods and Goddesses to explain everything they didn't understand and the Creator made everything else," older Xander explained. "Most of the time the Creator looks like Alanis Morissette in a tutu. Don't ask, you'll understand a few years."
"I'll take your word for it," Xander replied. "So you were saying…"
"Right… before the Slayer line was created the Creator call together all of her… I guess you could call them helpers and gave them the job of coming up with a way to battle the evil that was on Earth," Xander explained.
"Hold on! If God… the Creator is all knowing why didn't she come up with her own plan?" younger Xander demanded.
"Think corporate America where you assign people projects and then have those projects compete with each other to win. Then combine that with keeping little kids busy and you get the Creator's plan," older Xander replied.
"You mean the Slayer line was a way to keep the Powers That Be out of the Creator's hair," young Xander said in disgust.
"Yes and no," older Xander answered. "It's more complex than that. You'll understand someday when you have kids."
"We have kids?" young Xander said with a mix of happiness and horror.
"We have Slayers," Xander replied sadly. "Anyway the Power That Be won the competition and were allowed to create the Slayer line on a trial bases. They were only allowed to create a limited number of Slayers that if they properly cared for and supported could last a very long time. After they got through their Slayers the project would be reviewed and either continued or ended."
"Buffy's the last of the Slayer line, isn't she?" young Xander asked piecing things together.
The older Xander nodded his head. "After Buffy's death the Creator was going to review the Slayer line but I performed CPR on her, I brought her back from the dead. And because of that screw up, Kendra was called."
"Kendra?" the younger version of Xander echoed the older.
"A Council trained Slayer," Xander replied. "She was more like an emotionless demon killing machine than a girl. It was only around the time of her death that she started to break out of her training." Xander sighed. "After Kendra came Faith. Then Buffy died again and we ended up screwing the pooch."
"Buffy died fighting a Hell goddess and Faith… Faith was needed elsewhere. We were losing… so we did something stupid," Xander explained.
"And what was that?" the younger Xander asked.
The older Xander looked at his younger self for a moment before looking away. "We resurrected her."
The younger version of the hunter stopped his is tracks. "You resurrected her."
The older hunter sighed. "At the time… I think the Powers That Be tricked us into doing it but at the time we thought that Buffy was trapped in a Hell dimension. We thought the only way to free her and to save the world was to bring her back."
"I'm guessing that you were wrong," Xander commented.
The older Xander snorted. "Buffy was in Heaven or a Heaven-ish plane and while trying to save the world we almost destroyed it. We had to activate all the potentials in the world over the age of 8."
"That… sounds bad," younger Xander stated.
"You know what's worse than an 8 year old Slayer? It's an 80 year old Slayer," the elder Xander answered. "An 80 year old Slayer that lives in a retirement home filled with men and women who can barely walk let allow care for themselves." Xander ran a hand through his hair. "Did you know vampires are attracted to Slayers? I had one vampire tell me that blood from the elderly is dry and lacking the usual spark you get from someone full of life but on the flip side you can get one hell of a buzz from all the medication they take."
"And you didn't stop them?" the younger Xander was outraged.
Xander shook his head. "We couldn't. There were only so many of us… and we had to choose who we could save since we couldn't be everywhere. There isn't one of us that doesn't regret that we couldn't save everyone… that we had to choose who lived and who died."
The younger Xander kicked a stone that was in his path. "And if Buffy dies and stays dead…"
"Then none of that will happen," Xander told him. "The Creator will review the Slayer project… and from what I know she is less than pleased, so will she probably let another team try out their idea."
"How do you know all this? I mean about the Creator and everything," the younger demanded.
"Ever see the Princess Bride?" the elder Xander asked
The younger Xander snorted. "If you're really me then you know I did."
"Yeah, Jesse had a real hard on for that movie," the older Xander chuckled. "Ok, to put it in the movie terms I was mostly dead."
The younger Xander rubbed his forehead as if to ward off a headache. "Did you get to meet Miracle Max at least?"
"No, he was off eating a nice MLT sandwich," the elder Xander answered.
"MTL?" the younger Xander said before slapping his forehead. "Mutton, lettuce and tomato."
"Yeap," Xander chuckled. "Anyways while everything that happened more or less flew under the banner of Free Will, the Creator was not a happy lady. Since I was dead even if it was mostly dead, she could tell me all the secrets of the universe like which came first the chicken or the egg… the egg came first if you're curious. Since humans have the gift of Free Will and I am human, I was give the options of what I could do which even included becoming all dead or going back further in time."
"Further back in time?" the younger Xander inquired.
"Stop Jesse from dying," the elder Xander replied. "And before you asked I did talk with Jesse and he said it was best to leave his death as is. Turns out if Jesse hadn't died then he would have died a few years later in a way which would have taken out more people. He would bump into some fruitcake by accident which would send the guy off the deep end. Besides he volunteered to be reincarnated and he is supposed to be reborn soon. Said he gets to be the son of some sarcastic bastard of a doctor in New Jersey; gets to brighten his life."
"And this is a good thing?"
Xander nodded his head. "I've met the guy before… and yeah he deserves Jesse."
The younger Xander ran a hand through his hair. "Ok so you came back in time to stop me from saving Buffy."
"Tell me if you knew your death would make it so that there were no more Slayers, no more girls sent off to fight demons until they die, would you do it? Would you die?" the elder Xander asked.
"If I knew everyone would be safe, that the demons wouldn't win… then yeah I would," the younger answered.
"And do you think Buffy would?" the older Xander asked.
"Yeah," the younger version sounded certain. "Yeah I think she would."
The elder Xander nodded his head.
"So… I do nothing," the younger Xander said with a mix of dejections and frustration.
Xander once again nodded his head. "In a couple hours you can ask Angel to retrieve her body from the Master's cave. Mrs. S deserves the chance to bury her daughter."
"And what about the Master? How are we supposed to defeat him without a Slayer?" the younger version demanded.
The elder Xander chuckles darkly. "Oh I wouldn't worry about Master. From what I understand he's due to have a run in with Murphy."
"Murphy's Law," the elder Xander replied with an evil grin. "From my understanding the Gods of Chaos and Mischief are planning on having some fun with the Master and his followers. Before I was sent here I heard someone mention a cricket bat and a prostate exam."
"Right. Note to self don't piss off any God or Goddess," the younger Xander commented to himself.
"Don't forget to add women to that list. A pissed off women especially when it's that time of the month is a dangerous thing," the older Xander added in. "As for the Hellmouth, it's going to follow the example of Mega Maid from Spaceballs."
The young Xander looked at his elder self in confusion.
"Oh come on I can't believe you don't remember that! It's a classic! Mega Maid is sucking the air from Druidia until Lone Starr used the Schwartz to change it from…"
The younger Xander's brow was furrow as he tried to remember the movie. "From suck to blow?"
"Yeap! The Hellmouth will go from being a focal point of evil energy to a place of good energy," the elder Xander explains. "In other words it goes from being an all you can eat buffet to a hippie communes."
The younger Xander shivers. "I'm not sure which one is worse."
"Different sides of the same coin," the elder Xander answers with a shrug of his shoulders. "Of course with this being the new feel-good place in the world the Mayor will have a lot of visitors calling in the debts he owes to them."
"The Mayor? What does he have to do with all of this?"
"Evil bad guy," the older Xander answered. "We killed him when we blew the school up."
"You blew up the school!" the younger version sounded both shocked and awed.
The elder Xander smiled fondly. "Yeah, it was pretty when it went boom."
The younger Xander rubbed his forehead once again. "This is almost too weird for me. Time traveling, the end of the Slayers, Sunnydale becoming a hippie commune, you getting to blow up the school. What else going to happen?"
"Well there is one last thing," the elder Xander said hesitantly
"Willow?" the younger Xander said with dread.
The senior Xander chuckled. "Nah! Willow's the type if you show her something new and interesting she'll dive right into it until she's the expert in it. Before you know it, Willow will be running around without a bra, wear long skirts and peasant blouses. No, the last thing we have to deal with is you."
"Me?" the junior Xander squeaked as he back up a step.
"Well… it's more like me," the older Xander said as he ran is hand through his greying hair. "You see there can't be two of us. It creates problems."
The younger Xander eyed his older counterpart warily. "So what are we going to do about that?"
"Well we got a few options. The first one I don't like so we'll skip that one," the more experience Xander said.
"What the first one?" the younger Xander interrupted.
"I kill you and take your place in the universe," the older Xander answered.
"I don't like that idea either, so let's skip it. What's option two?" the younger Xander asked quickly.
"I disappear someplace i.e. die and you go on with your life and whatever the future has stored for you," the senior Xander replied.
"I'm mixed on that idea. I like living but I really don't want for you to die," the younger Xander told him.
"The third option… we become one. We agree to become one being. You gain my knowledge and experience and I gain your youth and health. Oh and we really invest in Apple. We'll make a fortune when they come out with an iPod," the senior Xander said.
"Isn't there some rule against that? Some time travel rule that doesn't allow you to profit off what you know?" the younger Xander demanded.
"You would figure but nope. No rules on what a time traveler can do or not do especially when they don't plan on go back to where or should I say when they came from," the older version of Xander explained.
"So if I join with you, I get your knowledge and a list of the hot stocks to for the future. So what are the cons if those were the pros," the younger Xander asked.
"Well you know about hyena then we have soldier boy. Not sure if the mermaid taint will carry over along with the exposal to malaria, smallpox and syphilis. I know how to strip and how to please a woman for hours on end. Not sure if connection between me and Drac still exists, hope not," the senior Xander listed off a mix of pros and cons. "Of course you'll have the collection of nightmares from the jobs I've done but I'm sure you expected that. Of course if we want we could be the new King of horror with the stuff I've seen"
"So the pros seem to outweigh the cons aside from those 3 little diseases," the younger Xander countered.
"Got the white cells but not the disease," the older Xander answered. "Will… my Will thinks that some crackpot might be able to boil down the disease from my blood, bones or whatever but they would have to know about me first to be able to do that. And it's not like anyone test for diseases that are extinct."
The younger Xander nodded his head as he chewed on his bottom lip. "Say we do join, what will happen to us?"
Xander looked at his younger self in confusion. "We become one. My experience and knowledge with your youth and health."
"No. I mean what will we do?" the younger Xander demanded. "I kind of expected to die doing this. Never figured to grow old."
"Ummm… well… there are still demons around. Not sure how the changes in Sunnydale will effect them. I know we need to stay away from the type that possess people since we kind of suck them in and keep them," the elder Xander suggested. "Or we can become a CSI. A crime scene investigator. Ran into one in Miami and I thought that job was kind of cool plus we can still help people that way."
"We need brains for that," the younger Xander countered.
"We have brains. Sunnydale High sucks monkey balls," the senior Xander replied.
"Sucks monkey balls?"
The senior Xander shrugged his shoulders. "One of my Slayers, Vo, she used to say that all the time. It kind of caught on among the girls. Beside it was true. Sunnydale High sucks monkey balls and other nasty things."
"Weird girl," the younger Xander said with a shake of his head.
"You have no idea. I swear if she was killing something she was writing or reading slash, which is guy on guy porn. The problem is that half the time those fics where better than the stories about a girl and a guy," the elder Xander confessed.
The younger Xander opened his mouth to say something when he sudden shut it. "You know something… I really don't want to know. So what are our options post-Sunnydale?"
"Let's see there is traveling demon hunter as long as we stay away from the possessing type demons. CSI officer which if we do that I'm leaning towards ballistics since we can play with guns all day that way. There is construction, which I did like to do before I lost my eye. Linguist thanks to all those moldy old books Giles made us look through. Make a career out of stripping which pays very well and finally there's always the military," the elder Xander answered.
"Ok demon hunting maybe. CSI is iffy, not sure about guns. Construction is a maybe. Linguist is a no since Giles says we don't speak English so I'm not sure if I want to take on a third language. Stripping is 'Are you kidding' and the military is a maybe," the younger Xander answered.
The elder Xander shrugged his shoulders. "Fair enough. Beside you still have a couple more years before you graduate to decide.
The younger Xander kicked a stone that was lying near his foot. As he looked in the direction it flew, he said, "When we join… I'll no longer be me, right? I mean I'll be more you than me."
"Honestly, I'm not sure," the elder Xander replied. "I mean I'm you. I have all the same memories you have up to the point you met me. But after we join, I have no clue. You might just get all my skills or you might get all my memories too. But understand this, no matter what happens you'll still be Xander Harris. You'll still love Twinkies and goofing off when you can. And you'll also still jump in to help when you see a person that needs help. Who we are won't change, just our skill level and maybe some memories."
The younger Xander stared at his elder counterpart for a moment before nodding his head. "Ok so what do we do? To join I mean."
The elder Xander held out his hand. "Shake."
As the younger Xander grasp the older Xander's hand they were surrounding by a white light. When the light fades there was only one Xander, with a very large axe hanging off his back.