Disclaimer: I do not own anything mentioned in this fic. Only the idea of Xander's new job was my idea.
As I sit here on an asteroid in the Andromeda galaxy, staring out at the stars, I can't help but sigh at just how boring this job gets sometimes. When I was first offered this position, and the duties it entailed, those jerks never deigned to mention just how much downtime I was going to have in-between assignments. I mean sure, they get to be pretty exciting sometime, but what the hell are you suppose to do once you get finished with all of the paperwork.
I guess that's the life of a Watcher.
Oh! I didn't tell you?
My name is Alexander and I am The Watcher. That's right the kind with a capital 'The' in the front of it. I have go strictly by Alexander now since the others don't think Xander is a dignified enough name for a Watcher. Personally, I think Acba is a goofy name, but I still wound up getting out voted by the others.
Right now you're probably wondering how somebody like me was "given" such a prestigious responsibility. Well, if you're familiar with my life at all, it was exactly how you're imagining it now. A dick with delusions of grandeur, a botched ritual, and me as the sacrifice.
I wasn't chosen for any particular reason, I just happened to be in the wrong place at the right time.
From what I could see, while being strapped down, the it didn't seem to be an overly complicated ritual, but the guy was obviously a dumbass. Thanks to the clichéd bad guy monologue, I found out that my life force was gong to drained out of me, killing me in the process, and used to temporarily restore the essence in some god's corpse long enough for its powers to be transferred in to him.
Things didn't go quite as he hand planned and when I finally woke up, I was alone in a room with a charred skeleton.
It only took a moment to break free of the charred ropes, but as I started to head for the door way I was suddenly transported from what looked like a warehouse to some kind of high tech observatory. I was also not the only one in the room.
Upon first meeting a member of the Watcher species, it can be quite disconcerting. As a race they have a base form, but each time they appear to a different race they assume a form that they can comprehend. In my case, and what turned out to be permanent, they appeared as some kind of 15-20 foot tall humanoid beings. Except for the abnormally large craniums they all looked like really tall bald-headed white guys. Which was… disturbing… when I found out that several of them were actually female in gender. The unscheduled meet -n- greet was due to the fact that they had detected the energy signature of one of their lost siblings.
Turns out the corpse wasn't a god, but one of them.
By the time they locked on to try and him, it was already dead again Somehow though, that energy they had detected had been absorbed by me. The interrogation eventually boiled down to me being changed into a Watcher like they were and being "offered" a job. It felt more like being pushed in to service against my will, but having learned over time just what I was capable of, I don't resent them for making me join.
Like I said before, it's actually kind of cool being a part of the universe like this and observing things on such a large scale. It kind of sucked that I would have to leave home and everyone I cared about since Watchers are forbidden from interfering with the lives of lower beings, but it was kind of comforting to know exactly how things would play out for them, before I was shuttled off to an alternate reality.
I trained under a Watcher called Uatu for the first few decades. Yes, it's that Uatu and yes I did mean decades. Each Watcher is assigned a segment of… existence I guess… to observe and record. There is only one Watcher for each segment, but their forms and actions very in each one. In several of the realities I followed Uatu to, he appeared as he normally did. However, in one reality he and the Watchers that were currently in that reality assumed the forms of large monoliths. Kind of like the one from '2001: A Space Odyssey', except they had like a circuitry design to them. After training was completed I was assigned to segment of reality that focused on my loved ones. That's not to say that other ideas that I was familiar with as a mortal never appeared, but Buffy and the others always had a starring role in whatever was going on. The first reality I was assigned to was pretty much like normal, except for one tiny change. Jessie had never been turned. Everything went somewhat like I remembered, but Jessie was there to help out. I kind of wanted to kick him, when I saw that in this reality it was going to be him that Cordelia was going to hook up with, but I had to let it go since this wasn't my Cordelia anymore than this was my reality. It helped that in this world Willow and I had started dating and it was her that I lost my virginity to. If I ever see my Willow again, I don't think I'll ever be able to look her in the eye again after I heard, and saw, some of things she and her Xander got up to.
Things followed along like that for a while as I got used to my knew role. As I got used to things, then I started to get the assignments that were a little more interesting. In one reality, Buffy had gone on a road trip to get her head together after the defeat of the Acathla and Angel's death. She eventually found herself in the small town of Smallville, Kansas. Wasn't long before she and the future 'Man of Steel' Clark Kent, wound up as a couple. There were several realities with one of us winding up being involved in Smallville one way or another. Willow even got knocked up with a half alien baby once, who traveled back in time to when Sunnydale was still around to meet a younger version of her mom.
It was really fun to see how different choices and situations would have played out for us. A couple of times I was turned into a vampire. The weirdest one was when Drusilla turned me while she was carving a sigil into my chest. I got turned into some kind of uber-Supervamp that couldn't be killed. At least I don't think he could have been killed. I hate that I was a vampire, but man did he have a way with the ladies. Can't blame him either, since if I could have pulled something off like that I'd have done it in a heartbeat. I'm also liking the fact that in most of the assignments I've been sent on, me and the others have always been as close as possible in the personalities that I was familiar with. On more than one occasion, I even got to be the hero that saved the day. Although that does bring up the odd situation I find myself in.
As a Watcher, unless I choose to reveal myself, I'm suppose to be invisible in every way or form to lower beings. It's starting to become a slightly disturbing trend in the number of beings that can see me.
The first time it happened I had been doing this for awhile and I got sent to a reality where the alternate version of me was apparently God. I don't mean a god either, I mean GOD! It freaked me out when I couldn't read anything off of him, even his past was blurred to my sight. When he turned around a waved at me I hightailed it out of there as fast as my ascended being legs could carry me. Given that I operate on a cosmic scale, it was fast.
It was a long time before the next occurrence happened. I was assigned to observe a reality where I was killed back in 2000 and summoned to the 24th century and given the quest to rally the forces of the universe against the demonic threat and its leader. The geek in me was excited at the prospect of me getting to meet the characters from 'Star Trek' I was even further geeked out when I found out that the alternate me was going to wind up hooking up with Seven of Nine. What was slightly upsetting was the fact that the forces of darkness was lead by a fallen Q who was called Lucifer. I don't know if he was the actual devil in all of existence, but in that reality he was THE Big Bad. I was watching a conversation he was having with that realities Xander when his attention was drawn to me after the other Xander had gone to bed. I tried not to move or say anything as he just walked around me, studying me. He smirked and called me a half ass attempt and being a Q before he left to wherever. I was about to leave when a Q dressed up as Alice Cooper came and told me that I was doing a good job and that I shouldn't worry about others seeing me. I left not long after that, but I did stick around long enough to see the realty's Xander stab Lucifer through the heart with a 'god' sword and destroy all of his Q abilities. I laughed with popcorn in my hand as I watched him get decapitated by said sword.
The most recent occurrence was again with some being who appeared to be God. I was in a reality where that world's Xander had been chosen as the bearer of a powerful weapon. There was a lot of hardship and setbacks, but he always seemed to come through in the end. Sometimes I wanted to try and talk to him, when it seemed like the weight of everything was getting to be too much, but something always held me back. He pulled through in the end and kicked ass. Somehow he managed to resurrect a long dead knighthood and united the world against any forces that threatened it, be it from demons or from threats outside the planet. I was actually brought to tears a couple of times, by the things he accomplished. The most important one was the day he saved a woman named Bethany and her child. A woman that looked like Alanis Morissette with an Alan Rickman look-a-like showed up that night and I had never felt so loved like I did in her presence. I was about to leave and go take care of the paperwork on that reality when I was stopped by a hand grabbing me. I was shocked to find that Alanis and Rick were looking at me, while everyone else was leaving. Neither of them said a word to me, but the look she had in here eyes was the same look my mom used to have when I'd rush home from school with something new I'd done that day. She kissed me on my forehead just like mom used to before she and her associated faded away.
From what Uatu has slipped to me on occasion there is some kind of being that sits above all things. The very fabric of existence itself is only a part of it, but whether this being is God and the people that I've encountered in my journeys is this same being or just a part of it, is unknown. Whatever it is, I think it's kind of exciting to know that there's even more things out there to learn and that everything I've come across has just been the tip of the iceberg.
There goes the pager with another assignment. I wonder where this one is going to take me.
Some of the stories mentioned in this fic were written by Luciafel (Blood Moon series and Prometheus verse), Tenhawk (Journeyverse), StarwayMan (31 Days of Halloween). All authors are on Tenhawk Presents and I recommend you check em out.