Date written: Sun 24 Mar 2013
Authors: Nodakskip and Starway Man
Email: nodakskip at aol dot com, theop at hotkey dot net dot au
Disclaimer: The BtVS and Angel characters aren't ours, and neither are the Star Trek ones; they all belong to their respective owners. Part of this story is taken directly from the BtVS episode 'The Wish' and the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode 'Sacrifice of Angels', and so belongs to the writers in question.
Category: AU, Action, Adventure, Angst, Crossover, Romance
Acknowledgments: Major thanks to Greywizard for beta'ing this story.
Author Notes: This fanfic contains various Star Trek crossovers, including the DS9 one set during the Dominion war. Especially the battle seen in the episodes 'Favor the Bold' and 'Sacrifice of Angels'.
Main characters: Xander, ensemble
Feedback: As they say, it's the coin of the realm. So please tell us what you thought of it.
Summary: Xander ends up somewhere very unexpected, as does Cordelia, thanks to a member of the Q Continuum.
Title: Where No Zeppo Has Gone Before
Part One: Exeunt
Sunnydale High School, Sunnydale, California
December 1st, 1998
If there was one thing Alexander 'Xander' Harris was sure of, it was that his life SUCKED.
His life had always sucked in one way or another, granted. Harris had been born and raised in a town that was Vampire Central, where people constantly disappeared due to the 'night life' infesting this suburb north of Los Angeles. Plus, he had a pair of top-of-the-line uncaring alcoholic parents. Not to mention his grades at school were never exactly the best. And he'd been regarded as a loser geek by his peers, even before high school had started.
The ironic thing was that, ever since sophomore year, Xander had actually thought his life was getting better. He'd made it to his senior year of high school, alive and in one piece. He'd helped stop a number of world-ending apocalypses. His best friends, Buffy Summers and Willow Rosenberg, the Vampire Slayer and an expert computer hacker, had survived along with him and were blossoming into vibrant and beautiful young women.
And hard as it was to believe sometimes, Xander had even gotten himself a girlfriend: the one and only Cordelia Chase. The richest, hottest-looking girl in Sunnydale High.
But since this was Sunnydale – home of the Hellmouth, no less – and since he was a Harris, it was pretty much inevitable that something had to go wrong and screw up completely. In this case, it had been Xander cheating on Cordelia with Willow for over a month, and finally getting caught in the act last week.
Not to mention his now ex-girlfriend falling through a basement flight of stairs, and almost getting killed after being impaled by a rusty rebar through her stomach.
( Why? ) Xander asked himself, and not for the first time. ( Why did all that happen? Why couldn't I control myself around Willow? For that matter, why couldn't I stop myself from hurting the people I care about? Not only Cordelia, but Oz as well! Guy's a rockin' musician, and pretty much the definition of cool. What the hell was I thinking, fooling around with his girl... )
What, indeed? And if Xander had been a little less upset and a bit more suspicious in nature, he might very well have wondered whether there was more to all this than just him and Willow acting like hormonal idiots since October.
After all, it was more than somewhat amazing how Willow's boyfriend had been aimlessly driving around the streets of Sunnydale in his van, along with Cordelia – and then the werewolf had suddenly caught a stray whiff of his girlfriend in the air. Especially given that Oz had never even hinted that he could do anything like that before, in all of the months he'd been hanging around the Scooby Gang.
And then, when both Oz and Cordelia had come racing into that abandoned factory basement to rescue their significant others...they had somehow arrived at the very moment Willow and Xander had chosen to make out, due to their impending death situation. Broadcasting their betrayal at the worst time ever, and causing Cordelia to be injured in such a way that she wouldn't even consider forgiving Harris for his infidelity.
Bottom line, all that had stretched chance or coincidence or whatever you wanted to call it...just a little bit beyond belief.
"Hey, Xander," Buffy said brightly, as she and Willow came over to the bench Harris was sitting on. "What's up?"
"Nothing much, Buff," Xander shrugged, as his two best friends sat down. "Hi, Will."
"Hi," the redhead said with as much enthusiasm as she could muster. Which wasn't much, to be honest.
"What's up with you two?" Xander asked curiously, turning to see the girls staring at him.
"Uh, you didn't hear what happened last night?" Buffy briefly looked surprised.
"No, what?" the young man frowned.
"Um, Buffy had to take Cordelia to the hospital. There was a fight with a vampire outside the Bronze, and Buff slayed – but Cordy pulled her stitches when it crashed into her during the battle," Willow semi-babbled.
"Is she okay?" Xander asked worriedly, looking around before relaxing somewhat. He had just spied his ex talking with some girl he didn't know, not all that far away, and so had already figured out the answer to his question.
"Yeah," Buffy sighed. "Cordelia was kinda pissed at me for ending up in that dumpster, actually, but I figure she'll get over it. Eventually. She's in a pretty bad place right now, so we gotta make allowances and all that."
"I know," Willow nodded. "Oh, I betcha she's gonna have issues about what happened last week for a loooong time. Just like Oz. Personally, I just wish I could get him to talk to me again..."
Interestingly, the neophyte witch's wish was about to come true; primarily because it was almost time for the so-called engines of destiny to explode into little pieces.
All of it thanks to one utterly infuriated, somewhat amoral and almost god-like individual.
Not far from the main quad
A short while earlier
The enraged higher being known as Q Junior struggled to calm down, having just departed the higher dimension which was the home of the so-called Powers That Be. And the creature which, soon enough, planned to call itself 'Jasmine'.
Q Junior had good reason to be angry, and not just from the recent meeting with the rogue Power. Conceived during the Q Civil War, Q Junior's original purpose had been to restore the status quo and end the conflict within the higher realm known as the Q Continuum. It – or rather he, as Q Junior chose to emulate a male appearance – was someone who had been born to be a figurehead for both factions within the Continuum to get behind, in order to put a stop to all the violence.
Unfortunately, although everyone had held great hopes for Q Junior as the 'savior' of the Continuum, those high expectations had had a very negative effect on the youth's attitude. Instead of a knight in shining armor, Q Junior had rapidly become an obnoxious, spoiled, disruptive teenage brat; and he completely lacked all of the qualities needed to inspire the much-needed peace and compassion within the Continuum.
So much so, that even his own mother had abandoned him.
Frustrated with his son, Q Junior's father had seen to it his offspring had learned a valuable lesson in humility and self-sacrifice with the aid of some human acquaintances, lost in the Delta Quadrant of the Milky Way galaxy. In addition, Q Junior – who had faced the terrifying prospect of being transformed into an Oprelian amoeba or, at best, into a powerless human – had learned that his father had decided to take responsibility for his son's actions for all eternity, in return for the Q collective restoring his powers.
( I'll justify your faith in me, Father, ) Q Junior thought to himself, as he made his way towards someone he had learned was very important to human history. ( Of course, I know you won't approve of me putting the wrong things right this way, but if you had met that so-called Jasmine person – I'm sure you would be tempted to do this, yourself! )
Not far away from the godling, the human-looking vengeance demon Anyanka, who was using the undercover name of 'Anya Jenkins', said to her client, "Are you okay?"
Cordelia Chase, who had been targeted by Jasmine to eventually give birth to the renegade Power in about five years, replied, "Oh, I just pulled some stitches last night. Know why?" Cordy looked in the direction of the Vampire Slayer, "Surprise. It was all Buffy's fault!"
At that moment, not far away, the girl named Harmony Kendall and her troop were subtly distracted by Q Junior – and so Anyanka followed Cordelia's gaze, and saw Buffy, Willow and Xander sitting together on their bench. ( Oh, yes, the unfaithful male and the little hussy he was running around with. Good, excellent! )
Smirking to herself, Anyanka said craftily, "I don't get it."
"What? I already told you – when that girl moved here back in sophomore year, that's when all my troubles started!" Cordelia winced in pain and held her side; she was still badly hurt after getting impaled by that rebar. "If it wasn't for Buffy..."
"You'd have been dead half a dozen times over by now? Yes, of course, we all know that!"
Both Anyanka and Cordelia turned around to see what looked like a typical male teenager standing there, dressed in expensive designer clothes. The vengeance demon's eyes went wide at sensing Q Junior's power, though, and 'Anya' instantly vanished from sight; she knew that granting a Wish to make her quota for this month definitely wasn't worth tangling with a member of the Q Continuum.
Primarily because Anyanka understood that with his powers, Q Junior could erase her from existence with just a thought, if she annoyed him in any way at all.
"So who the hell are you?" Cordelia asked, before abruptly noticing that 'Anya' had disappeared. "Hey, where did-"
"Your demon friend sensed who I am, and very wisely decided to leave," Q Junior interrupted, knowing what Cordelia was about to ask.
"Demon-?" Cordy's eyes went wide, figuring this guy knew about vamps and demons and so there was no need to pretend otherwise. "Oh, geez. A girl's not even safe on the school campus anymore!" Then she returned her gaze to Q Junior. "So who are you, anyway?"
"Someone who's become interested in you. Call me Q," the higher being smirked.
"Q? What kind of a name is that, outside of a James Bond film?" Cordelia asked sarcastically.
Q Junior raised an eyebrow. "Aren't you even going to ask me why I'm here?"
Cordelia exhaled wearily. "Fine. Why are you here?"
"Well, believe it or not, I've come to help you. You and your former consort...but not here, and not now." With that, Q Junior snapped his fingers and the next moment, Cordelia's entire world went white.
Close by Lake Sunnydale, California
Cordelia materialized with a burst of white light, dazed and disoriented as she struggled to get her bearings. She suddenly noticed that the pain from her stitches had vanished and, quickly examining herself, the female teen saw the injury from the rebar was gone – without even a scratch to show she'd ever been injured. "What the – what happened?" Cordy then looked around, "And where am I?"
"Exactly where you were, give or take a few miles." Q Junior's voice made her whirl around, and then Cordelia gasped as she saw the huge lake behind him, dammed off by a thin strip of land from the ocean. "Welcome to the 24th century."
"The WHAT?" Cordelia demanded, backing away from this obvious freaky weirdo. "What are you talking about?"
"I'm sure you're not deaf, and there's no point indulging in denial at this point in your life," Q Junior said rather arrogantly and condescendingly. "You're just outside the former Sunnydale city limits, and today is May 29th, 2354 by your calendar – although the locals prefer using their interstellar stardate system, just so you know."
"What?" Cordelia said numbly. "You, you can't be serious, this can't be..."
"This can't be happening? Come now. This from someone who constantly complains, 'Why me? Why do I get impaled? Why do I get bitten by snakes? Why do I fall for incredible losers?'" Q Junior imitated Cordelia's voice perfectly, before going back to his own. "So if all that is what's been typical of your life since you met the Slayer...then why should this be any different?" Q Junior asked, the smirk on his face growing with every passing moment.
Cordelia got mad, suddenly deciding that this had to be all Buffy's fault somehow. "Look, if you've got a beef with that bottle-blonde freakazoid, leave ME out of it! Just send me home!"
Q Junior shook his head and snapped his fingers again, and in another blaze of white light Xander and the British Watcher known as Rupert Giles appeared.
"What the..." both males started to say in unison.
"Giles! I never thought I'd say this, but am I glad to see you," Cordelia rushed over the Englishman and gave him a desperate hug, before letting Rupert go.
"Wha – Cordy? Where are we?" Xander looked around at the trees and the lake in confusion.
Not surprisingly, Miss Chase ignored her cheater ex completely. "Come on, Giles, DO something! Make this guy send us home already!"
"What? Home?" Giles looked utterly confused towards the brunette, before gesturing at Q Junior. "Cordelia, who-who is this person?"
"I don't know! He calls himself Q or R or some other stupid letter of the alphabet – and he said that the date today was May 29th, 2354!" Cordy said in exasperation – just before Giles and Q Junior both vanished from sight in another burst of white light.
"What the HELL is going on here?" Xander demanded. Just a few seconds ago, he'd been seated on that school bench talking to Buffy and Willow – and now, here he was alone with the girl who practically loathed him, in the middle of nowhere.
"I DON'T KNOW!" Cordelia screamed back at him. "GILES? Anybody?"
At that moment, there was a burst of smoke and lightning, and a black box materialized on the ground in front of the two teenagers. Hesitantly, Xander picked it up and saw that there was a card attached above a big red button. The note simply said, "PRESS ME."
"Well, what are you waiting for?" Cordelia's voice distracted Harris. "Press the button, already!"
Somewhat surprised not to hear the usual venom in her tone, Xander said to the Chase girl, "So, how do we know it won't kill us or something, if I do that?"
"Oh, sorry – guess I forgot how I just got stranded here with a complete LOSER!" Cordy sneered at her male companion. "Come on, what are the odds of that happening under these circumstances? No way I could be that lucky in getting rid of you!"
"Fine. But if this thing blows up in our faces, Cordy? Put me down for a big fat 'I told you so'," Xander sniped back at her before pressing the button.
There was a whining noise, and a beam of light was projected out of an orifice on the top of the box. Both Xander and Cordelia gasped as they saw a hologrammatic image of the good old Scooby Gang – the emphasis on 'old' being rather apt.
"Xander, Cordelia, hello. Hopefully, Willow's spell has worked and this, this confounded contraption has made its way safely into your hands," the white-haired Rupert Giles said with a slight wheeze, his hand resting on the thirty-something Buffy's shoulder.
"If not, whoever's watching this right now – you may as well quit viewing this message, because this is a private farewell between friends," the thirty-something Willow added with what looked like a sad look on her face.
( Private farewell? ) Cordelia thought in horror.
( Oh God, no... ) Xander likewise thought at the same time.
"Xander, Cordelia, believe it or not – we've been trying to bring you back for nearly twenty years," Oz commented, looking just as old as his former classmates; and having lived a VERY different life than what he otherwise would have.
"But now, we have to give up on doing that," Buffy said painfully.
"What? Why?" Xander had a justifiably freaked look on his face, just like Cordelia did.
"You're probably wondering why. And the short answer is, this world is now a very different place from what you remember...thanks to the Augments," Angel's recorded image shook its head, still looking like the same 26-year-old vampire the temporally displaced pair had known – even though he had recently been granted his shanshu by the Powers That Be, and finally become human.
"Augments?" Xander muttered to himself.
"Genetically engineered supermen, in case you were wondering. They started what's become known as the Eugenics Wars, and from now on, we have to completely focus on saving what little of humanity we can," Angel finished up.
Oz continued the story, "And even if that wasn't a consideration, the truth is, all our efforts have been blocked since day one. That Q guy who sent you to the future – he wanted you to stay there."
"I'm so sorry, Xander. You too, Cordelia," Willow said apologetically, grabbing hold of Oz's hand. "You don't know how incredibly sorry I am, especially after all the time and effort we've put into trying to get you two back, but the fact is – this is goodbye. The odds are certain we won't live all that much longer, not after what the Khans have managed to accomplish lately. The genocide, the...not long ago, that Q person showed up and told us that we could send this farewell message to you two, but that's it; and luckily, we've never forgotten the date which Giles said Cordelia mentioned, when he arrived back on that day during 1998."
"I know this is gonna be impossible for you to accept, Xander, but you and Cordelia are stuck there together in the future – and we can't help you, damn it. Like it or not, we've failed. And at this point in time, all we can do is wish you two all the best, in your own personal futures," Buffy said sadly, grabbing Angel's hand. "Goodbye."
"Bye," Willow, Oz, Angel and Giles all echoed with varying degrees of sadness, before the hologram projection switched itself off.
"No, no way," Xander shook his head in complete denial as he threw away the projector and it smashed apart. "This is insane. Or a trick, or – this is not happening!"
"Xander..." Cordelia trailed off, looking uncertain.
"THIS IS NOT HAPPENING!" Xander insisted, utterly refusing to acknowledge that he had been permanently cut off from the people that he loved and considered family, in spirit if not blood.
"Xander, someone's coming!" Cordelia shouted, grabbing hold of her ex-boyfriend tightly. Right now, he was the most familiar thing in the entire universe to her; and the young woman had honestly forgotten that she was supposed to be mad at Harris for betraying her trust that way.
Instinctively, Xander shoved Cordy behind him as the vehicle heading towards them slowed down and came to a stop. Calming down after his recent rant, he babbled, "Okay, okay, let's not panic..."
"That's easy for you to say!" Cordelia griped, as she quickly changed her mind and decided she wouldn't hide behind the unfaithful male, moving to stand at his side instead.
Benjamin Lafayette Sisko, recent graduate of Starfleet Academy, got out of the car along with his girlfriend, Jennifer. The pair had met earlier this year at Gilgo Beach, and had fallen in love almost straightaway. While still waiting for Sisko's first assignment, soon enough they would move to Benjamin's new posting at New Berlin.
Ben took one look at the clothes Xander and Cordelia were wearing and asked, "Can we help you two, maybe?"