By Razial and Hawklan
Disclaimer: We don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or any of its related characters or connected media, they belong to Joss Whedon and whoever else has the rights. We also don't own any of the Charmed characters or its related media, they belong to Constance M. Burge and WB TV network.
Pairing: Xander/Tara Piper/Leo
Notes: This story is a sequel to Hawklan's short story The Dawn and will show what happened to Xander after his sunbath. This will start somewhere during season 3 of Charmed and then jump to season 4 of Buffy. There will be a few tweaks to certain characters back story and personalities, but nothing too big, except for Tara who will not be a lesbian in this story.
Summary: Xander's decision to wait for the first rays of the morning sun after being turned opens up a whole new world that he never knew existed.
For a while the only thing Xander felt was a lot of pain, but he didn't regret his decision at all. He threw one last glance at his best friend Willow and then the pain was gone, and there was only blackness for a moment until it was replaced with pure white. Blinking rapidly he looked around confused as to why he still felt anything, finally managing to adjust to the bright light he found himself surrounded by a ring of people all of whom were wearing long white cloaks. He was even more confused than before. 'Shouldn't I be dead now?' he thought to himself.
"Welcome Alexander," one of the people out of the circle said in greeting as he stepped forward. "I'm sure you are quite confused and uncertain right now, believe me we mean you no harm," he told him.
"Where am I?" Xander inquired as he looked around trying to work out what was going on, but he could see nothing but a bright light.
"I suppose you could call this place a middle ground between life and death," the man responded with a slight smile. "Only a few are ever brought before us, people who serve life beyond reason are of interest to us," he stated.
"You took up the fight against the darkness to avenge the loss of your friend Jesse McNally, but the thirst for revenge lessened as you began to understand how important the fight against the darkness was," another of the circle told him and this time he noted the person was a woman. "You did everything you could to aid the Slayer in her tasks, you even managed to defy prophecy and bring her back from the dead which in of itself is an impressing feat," she continued. "You also were the one to see how it was possible to destroy the Judge, a monster so powerful that the last time it ran amok it took an army and a Slayer to stop him and it cost nearly every last one of their lives," she went on as Xander listened still trying to work out what they wanted from him. "Yet this time he was stopped with little loss of life, because you managed to see what the others had missed," she said.
"Your other feats in the war are equally impressive and even your errors were not in vain. The love spell disaster made you aware of the dangers of magic in all of its forms, did it not?" the man inquired.
"Yeah it did," Xander replied wincing as he recalled that event. "Not exactly my brightest moment, but I saw how dangerous magic could be in the wrong hands," he admitted. "I should have known better after seeing what Catherine Madison did to her own daughter, but when in pain and filled with anger you never see clearly," he said with a sigh.
"Very true, now I'm sure you wonder what we want with you, do you not?" the man asked to which Xander nodded. "We are the Elders, we lead the Whitelighters in their tasks to guard and guide natural born witches," he explained. "It is a hard task to keep one on the right path where magic is concerned and thus the role of Whitelighter is not offered to many. Only to those who serve life with no thought of reward," he went on. "You never wanted to be rewarded for your help, in fact you've gone out of your way to keep some of your actions secret from your friends, such as standing your ground against Angelus with no weapons or hope of survival," he continued.
"I did what was nessacary to protect Buffy," was all Xander could say in response as he began to get an idea what was about to happen and he had no idea how to respond.
"You have a protective spirit Alexander and we believe you would make an excellent Whitelighter. We would like to offer you the choice to join us," the woman stated, stunning Xander with this offer.
Xander could barely believe this was happening to him, why would they want him to try and help teach someone how to safely use magic. "But I don't know much about magic?" he protested.
"Many of our recruits start of like this, some of them do not even know the truth of the world around them," a third member of the circle stated and Xander saw he was another male. "But the defining thing in each is their willingness to sacrifice themselves for another. You chose to kill yourself the moment you realised you had been turned," he pressed onwards. "The only thing you wished for before you did so was to see you friend Willow Rosenberg one last time. You explained why you were doing what you were doing and even turned down the offer of the soul curse," he went on. "You knew the dangers of that particular curse and didn't want to take the risk it could be broken and that you may end up killing your friends due to a mistake of passion," he pointed out. "I believe you would be an asset to our cause, once you are trained of course," he stated confidently and each of the people in the circle nodded in agreement with him.
"So will you join us?" the woman inquired. "Will you continue to serve life, help protect those whose job it is to hold back the darkness?" she asked.
"I will," Xander answered without hesitation, even if he was unsure if he was cut out for this job. But he still wanted to help people, especially those, who like Buffy and the gang, fought the fight against the vampires and demons.
None of the circle said anything, but they each took hold of the others hands. The brightness around them all blinded Xander as he felt something wash over him. Whatever it was put him into a calm and relaxed posture, he surrendered to it whole heartedly. When he opened his eyes again he felt very much alive and yet vastly different than he had been before. He felt calmer and more focused than he could ever remember. He also felt the power he had now been entrusted with. It was an amazing feeling and yet he was still unsure they had chosen correctly.
"This is Leo Wyatt, one of our best and brightest Whitelighters and he will be your teacher in our ways," the male who had spoken first told him. "He will instruct you in how to be a Whitelighter and how to use the power we have gifted you and most importantly the rules that now bind you," he added before the circle vanished in a flash of light.
"Nice to meet you Alexander," Leo said as he held his hand out to his newest student and colleague.
"Please my name is Xander," Xander responded as he shook Leo's hand. The older male nodded in understanding. "So what now?" he asked.
"Now... we begin your training young Padawan," Leo answered with a smirk Xander wasn't too sure off he liked.
(Halliwell Mansion, two years later)
Xander orbed into the mansion that had been almost like a second home to him, he had spent a lot of time here since Leo had been assigned as the Whitelighter of the Halliwell sisters, otherwise known as the fabled Charmed Ones. The Charmed Ones were the most powerful white witches to ever exist; their powers combined were enough for them to even go up against the Source himself. Every time he thought about that, it made him pause and as he contemplated just what any of the sisters or all of them could do if they ever turned against the light. It was a truly horrifying thought, but Leo seemed to have built up a good relationship with the sisters, especially Piper. He couldn't help but smirk when he thought about Leo and Piper. Those two had broken nearly ever law there was governing the actions between a Whitelighter and their charge. Not that he cared about that, he was not exactly what the Elders had hoped for. But then so far he was still in training with Leo, but he had helped Leo with his duties as best he could and sometimes he had disobeyed orders. But he had proven that he had what it took to be a Whitelighter, he had taken onboard all the lessons Leo had taught him, especially where it concerned magic.
Even if he still couldn't believe that Leo had him run through a humid jungle to build up his endurance for a first lesson. Damn...who had guessed that a Whitelighter who originally died in the Second World War was such a Star Wars geek? It was those lessons about magic he had focused on the most, because he knew if he didn't then he would fail when he was eventually gifted with a charge. He now knew far more about magic than he had ever expected to know. Hopefully when the time came it would be put to good use. Looking around he went to find Leo and found out why he had been called. He walked into the living room to find Leo and Piper in a romantic clinch while Phoebe and Prue looked on. He kept quiet, knowing that they had all been through a rather tense few days thanks to Prue's astral self going a little wild and disrupting Piper's and Leo's long attempted wedding. Even with that all behind them and been granted the Elder's permission to marry, the stress for it all had clearly gotten to Piper and she needed Leo to be around a little more.
Prue took note of his appearance and gave him a sign to just wait; clearly he was missing something if her warning was any anything to go by. Finally Leo pulled away from Piper who let out a sigh as she went and collapsed next to Phoebe on the couch. Leo took note he had arrived and moved to greet him.
"Good timing Xander," Leo said with a smile. "I have important news for you," he told him.
"Oh, I wasn't told anything when I was just upstairs," Xander responded as he allowed Leo to lead him to the other couch.
"The Elders wanted me to give you the news as I'm your teacher," Leo shot back. "It is my pleasure to tell you that you have finished your training and have been granted the rank of a full Whitelighter," Leo explained much to his surprise. "And there is more," he added, unsure how Xander would take this. He also wondered if the Elders had made the right call in where to send Xander.
"Well don't keep me in suspense Leo," Xander told him. "What else is going on?" he inquired.
"You've also have been granted a charge, and before you say it I know it is unusual for a newly minted Whitelighter to be given a charge, but they feel your experience will give you an edge concerning where you will be sent," Leo answered as he ran a nervous hand through his hair.
"And just where am I been sent?" Xander asked, not picking up on his friend's nervousness.
"Xander you are been sent back to the Hellmouth," Leo stated. "Your old friends have a new member, a natural born witch of some power named Tara Maclay," he went on. "She is new to Sunnydale, but her presence there is problematic. The Hellmouth has a bad effect on Whitelighters however you were born there and it may give you somewhat of an immunity to its effects," he explained. "That is the main reasons they have chosen to make her your charge. The other is of course your past relationship with Buffy Summers and her group," he added. "Having a Whitelighter in their group will be hard for them to trust, given they know nothing about us, but maybe an old friend will again be in your advantage," he finished.
Xander was stunned to say the least, not once since choosing to become a Whitelighter had he ever thought the Elders would send him back to the Hellmouth. This went against all the rules as they had been laid down, a Whitelighter was supposed to put his past life behind him. But he could see what Leo was saying, he was the perfect candidate for this job. Still facing Willow and the others again was not going to be easy, especially Buffy as he still had some hold ups where she was concerned. Had it not been for her running away after Angelus was destroyed then maybe he would not have been turned, then again he and the others made a conscious choice to try and pick up the fight after she left so maybe the blame lay with both of them.
"Are you going to be okay with this?" Leo asked after giving his friend some time to think things through. "This will not be an easy assignment especially if you are not as immune to the Hellmouth as we hope you will be," he admitted. He had had quite an argument with the Elders about this, but they were adamant that Alexander was the only one who could be young Tara's Whitelighter.
"When do I leave?" Xander asked as he finally sank into the couch.
"Tomorrow morning," Leo answered. "I will be going with you for the initial meeting, again due to the circumstances of you being chosen for this they feel lying to them about what you are would be a big mistake," he told him. "So your status and job will be made clear to them, granted some things will be held back, but for the most part I suppose you could say we will be forming an alliance with your friends," he stated.
Xander nodded in understanding, part of him was sad to be going as the mansion had begun to feel like home and yet now that the idea had sunk it that he would see Willow and Giles and maybe even Cordelia again filled him with joy. He could do this, he was sure of it.
"I won't let you down Leo," Xander finally said.
"I know you won't, but be careful as the Hellmouth might affect your powers, as well as your mind," Leo cautioned him. "The last Whitelighter to be there for any amount of time went insane, we had to stop him permeantly before he did something that could have had lasting repercussions for us all," he admitted, not caring that the Elders had told him not to tell Xander or the sisters about that.
Prue, Piper and Phoebe had all come to like Xander and they considered him a friend, he doubted any of them would be happy if he went insane due to his new job. Phoebe especially would be upset. The two of them had become fast friends due to their similar personalities. Both loved a good joke and had a rather care free attitude, even given the lives they lived. At one time he had felt maybe there was more to their relationship, but then Cole Turner had shown up and it was clear he had swept Phoebe off her feet. However he would have preferred it if Xander had been the one to gain Phoebe's interest, there was something about Cole he just didn't like, but he could not put his finger on it.
"How dangerous is this job going to be for him Leo?" Phoebe finally inquired. "I mean I get he risks going insane there, but exactly what will he be facing?" she inquired.
"Exactly what I used to be facing when I was only human," Xander was the one who answered with a sarcastic smile. "Vampires, demons and any insane or idiotic warlock who comes along and is stupid enough to want to open the Hellmouth," he told them. "That I can handle no problem, getting Buffy to not attempt to stake me when I first show up will be the challenge," he added with another sarcastic smile.
"If she tries it with you Xander then just orb out of the way and then give her a good swift kick up her ass," Prue shot back with a grin. "That should clear things up," she added.
"Or you could have Leo explain the truth so things do not get out of hand," Piper cut in. It was clear to Xander by her tone of voice she was in no mood for any messing around, especially not concerning such an important matter.
"I think Piper is correct, kicking Buffy in the ass, however satisfying it might be for a short while, would only makes things harder in the long run," Xander admitted with a sigh. "I guess I should turn in then, tomorrow will probably be a very long day," he stated before he got up and orbed out.
"Leo, he will be okay won't he?" Phoebe asked quietly as she watched Xander leave.
"I think so once everything is settled between him and his old friends," Leo answered, hoping to reassure them.
"What is his charge like?" Prue inquired as she joined her sisters on the couch.
"Tara is an amazing young woman. Very quiet and a little shy, but she has a brilliant mind and is quick to learn things," Leo responded with a smile. "I think she and Xander will get along very well," he assured them as they all settled in for a quite night. Piper quickly moved to his side and comfortably settled against him.
(Sunnydale, the next morning)
With two sparkles of light Xander and Leo appeared in a small side street near their destination. While Xander felt as always Leo's face went a bit white and he staggered a bit. He took a deep breath and then stood as sure as Xander, "Damn...the..." Leo started to say but was interrupted by Xander.
"Don't say it," Xander demanded.
"What?" Leo asked a bit confused.
"Just don't say it ok," Xander replied.
Leo shrugged. "I don't have clue what you're talking about."
"Just don't say the dark side is strong around here or something like that," Xander said in a complaining tone. "I know you want to."
With a smirk Leo replied, "I wouldn't have, but now that you mentioned it..."
To that Xander just groaned.
Leo smiled and with a bit of sadness he thought, 'I'll miss having him around. Joking around with him is always fun.' Aloud he said, "But the Hellmouth really had a hard punch and I won't be too sad if I can leave it quite soon. How do you feel?"
"Normal, I didn't feel anything out of the ordinary," Xander replied.
"Good, so it sees the Elders hopes were right," Leo said and the point over the street. "There we will find your friend Mr. Giles."
Xander looked up and saw the Magic Box he had often seen before, but never was in. "From High school librarian to clerk in a Magic shop...," he said with a smile.
Without another word both men went over the street and then entered the shop. As they looked around both had to smile as they both saw a lot of stuff a tourist would hope to find in a magic shop, but if you really knew the trade you also saw a lot of stuff a real Wicca could use. Behind the counter they saw Giles who just was ringing up several items a young blond woman had selected.
Xander eyed the woman a bit an enjoyed the view, to which Leo could only smile amused. They waited until the woman left with her bag then Xander said loudly, "Hey G-Man...How are you doing?"
Giles started to say, "Xander... how often do I have to tell you not to...," there he broke up, looked up in shock and then said, "XANDER...but... but you're dead."
Xander shrugged and in a calm voice replied, "I got better."
"And you mock me if I quote Star Wars," Leo said with a grin.
"What? I always wanted to say that," Xander said in a mock hurt tone.
Giles just stared as the young man, he believed to be dead and the stranger mocked each other a bit. "How?" he then asked. "Willow has told us how you visited her and then died in the first light of dawn. How are you alive?"
"That Giles...is a really long story," Xander said.
"He got chosen as a Whitelighter," Leo said with a smile.
As Giles eyes widened in surprise Xander added while he glared at Leo, "Or maybe not so long."
"A Whitelighter you say? Oh my I have heard of them, but never met one so far," he said while he went to the door of his shop and changed the 'Open' shield to 'Closed'. "Let me guess, you are here because of Willow," Giles then continued.
"Not exactly," Xander said. "By the way...Leo this is Rupert "Ripper" Giles, Watcher of the current slayer. Giles this is Leo "The Geek" Wyatt, Whitelighter to the Charmed Ones."
Both men glared at Xander at the way he introduced them, but then Giles looked up. "The Charmed Ones? The Halliwell sisters are active?" he asked with surprise in his voice.
Just as surprised Leo and Xander looked at him and Leo asked, "You know them?"
"I met their grandmother once several years ago, but as you said...that's a long story," Giles replied with a smirk of his own. "So if you aren't here for Willow, why? As far as I know Whitelighter normally don't come to the Hellmouth."
"And now I know why. My head feels like someone is using it as a drum," Leo complained.
"You are just getting old Leo," Xander said smiling. "And to answer your question Giles, I'm here for Tara Maclay. Unlike Willow she is a natural born witch and I was just assigned to her, but that doesn't mean I won't be able to keep an eye on Willow as well. So how is everybody doing since I left?"
And so the three spent the next two hours with some coffee and tea while first Giles told them what happened since Xander's 'death' and after that Xander told him a bit about what happened after he turned to dust.
While Xander was in the middle of telling a bit about his training with Leo they heard the door to the shop open and then the sound of a surprised gasp and then a voice asked in surprise. "Xander?"