The Road.
Author: Buffalo
Email: brfanfic@gmail.com
A very special thanks to
JonnyNapalm for his incredible work betaing this story.
I do not own any of
the fandoms used herein, this is a work of fanfiction and can not be used for
commercial gain.
please feel free to comment or send me an email on your
thoughts on this story.
A side note on cannon, all seasons of BtVS will be
considered cannon but after that the comics are not followed as closely.
if some of the characters act out of character to how they are known in their
respective source materials, please give it time all will be explained.
Thank you for reading.
Buffalo



 Prologue


The woman walks through the dense forest. She finds herself coming here more
and more, to see him.
The manor house was typical of the old homes of English
lords, hard and cold.
The woman breaks through the last of the forest and
finds herself on the edge of the over manicured lawn. She gazes up trying to
glimpse something through one of the numerous windows in the distance.
Her
breath catches, as it always does, as she sees him through a window.
He was
so different from the warrior who had died in her arms. So fragile seeming, his
glasses slipping down his nose as he buries himself in a book. He must be about
seventeen now.
She turns away blinking. He was the reason for all she has
done, she would not let him die again. Her heart would not survive it.
A
shimmering portal appears in the air beside her and she steps through. It
quickly vanishes, to leave a quiet forest.


Chapter One



Faith walks down the dark alleyway leading to nights. It was two weeks
since what the locals had deemed the battle of Boston. Two weeks of peace which
had been steadily pulling Xander into a depression, which Faith
recognized.
Xander had gone to a dark place after the fall of Sunnydale,
after the death of Anya. Faith had been involved in her relationship with wood
and hadn't been there to see his epic blowup in Cleveland. But she had heard the
fallout. He left the Scoobies and lost himself in Africa.
Xander had never
totally come clean, but Faith had put enough together to know that the first
months there had been spent in the bottom of a bottle. Xander had for years
struggled with his parent’s alcoholic nature, for years abstaining. But he had
lost all cares he just wanted to disappear.
Faith knows that an old soldier
had been the one to pull him back into the world, give him back his fight.
Xander rarely talked about his time with County, but it was clear he respected
the man.
After that stories started filtering out of Africa, of two
Americans. They were crazy tales of crazier men taking on armies and devils.
They were the Quatermain’s of the twenty-first century.
Faith suspects that
Xander would have liked to stay there forever, but things turned. County died in
battle, and Twilight had surfaced.
Xander always held it together better in a
crisis than peacetime.
Faith enters Nights. It is hours after closing. She
finds it eerie how quiet the normally bustling bar is. She sees him there,
sitting at the bar, drinking from a mostly empty bottle. Barny is waiting next
to the door for Faith. He had been the one to call her.
"Thanks for calling
me." she says to the massive troll.
"Hell, figured you'd be the one wantin’
to know. I'll leave ya ta be wit him," he says leaving the bar.
They are
alone in the dimly light space. Faith finds her eyes tracing the lines of
Xanders body. He had put on muscle since they had found each other; he was
already in better shape since the fight against Kakistos. It had really been
pure luck that they had both seen their way through the battle.
" H'lo
Faith," says Xander in a slurred voice without turning.
"Hey X-man," she
replies moving up to sit next to Xander.
"Wan’ a drink?" he asks sliding the
bottle across to her. She takes a swig of the amber liquid.
"Looks like
you're tryin’ for a record."
"Hell figure I drink enough an I'll trick myself
tha’ things are like they were."
"Before Halloween or before Anya?" Xander
finches like she hit him at the name of his former fiancé. He grabs the bottle
quickly draining the last of its contents angrily.
"Don't talk about
her."
"See I hit a nerve." Xander seems to collapse in on himself; he turns
to Faith with a tired look in his eyes. Faith had seen that look before. It was
the absence of hope which was all to familiar to anyone who spent some time on
the street.
"I failed her" he says after a moment "I should have protected
her, gods damn it I should have married her. It was one of the worst mistakes of
my life, leaving her there at the altar."
"She forgave you, in the
end."
"I need to move, I need a fight. I don't think when I have a battle."
Faith looks at him. She had been going crazy before he found her. She didn't
know whether to trust the memories, the violent life she had woken to find
implanted in her mind. But she too had been feeling the rising need for
something to do.
She knew she could have a home her, have peace here, she
also knew that if she stays she will undoubtedly end up killing herself from
sheer boredom.
 "We'll leave tomorrow," she says.
"Thank you," says
Xander looking at her with a gaze of complete relief.



***


Xander feels a weight lifting from his chest, as the Charger breaks free of
the Boston city limits. The road is rushing under them, and the horizon has a
million possibilities.
He turns for a moment to look at Faith. He wouldn't
have been at all surprised if she had decided not to come with him after his
display last night, but she had barely seemed to hesitate.
Xander feels a
pang of self-disgust at his display. He shouldn't have let himself lose his
composure like that. He is normally able to control his drinking, but there were
times when he found himself giving in. The Harris genes coming into
effect.
Conner and Murphy hadn't wanted to let them go. The brothers had a
strong protective streak that had come out in force after the battle. The two
Irishmen had adopted them, seeming to now think of Xander and Faith as younger
siblings.
They had finally agreed to meet up in LA next spring, when Xander
and Faith would be returning to Sunnydale, hopefully in time to prevent the
harvest.
The brothers McManus had given them their number if they run into
any trouble.
Xander turns his attention back to the horizon.
Faith is
looking over a map. It was good to be on the road.  She could see Xander
relaxing a soon as they left Boston. As if a great weight was off his
shoulders.
"So," says Xander "where to first?"


Chapter two.


Faith stretches her legs as Xander fills up the Charger. They had been on the
road for two weeks now. Faith walks through the isles of junk food in the gas
station. She grabs bags of assorted edibles as she makes her way to the
register.
Their funds had started to run low after the first week. You can
only get so much cash from raiding vamp nests; most don't even bother with cash.
In the end though they came up with a solution, a way to put their unique skill
set toward monetary gain.
It started with a job they had stumbled into it.
They had found a Slitheen nest in Wyoming being led by a charismatic human. He
was using the demons to rob banks. The story of the "Halloween bandits" had made
national news.
It was a moonless night, as the two warriors approached the
rundown house which the Slitheen were using.
Xander draws the shortsword
Barny gave him after the defeat of Kakistos. One of the demons is lurking in the
shadows of the house guarding against intruders. Luckily the demon wasn't very
proficient, he had fallen asleep on the job. Xander didn't give him the chance
to wake.
As Xander was taking care of the guard faith is entering the house.
She has a machete in her right hand ready for attack. It isn't long coming. She
is barely through the doorway when one of the demons is upon her. They fall to
the ground the demon on top. She feels sharp teeth sink into her shoulder as she
hacks at it with her blade.
The demon slumps heavily onto her and she can
feel the warm sensation of blood. Faith flops the now dead demon off of her.
It's yellow blood had soaked her shirt.
Faith almost swings her blade when
she feels a hand on her shoulder, but she realizes it is Xander. He is checking
the wound the demon had left with its teeth.  Silently his fingers probe
the wound checking to see if an artery or vein was nicked. After a moment he
removes his had, the relieved expression on his face making it clear that the
wound isn't serious.
Faith takes the lead as they venture deeper into the
house. They encounter two more demons in the next room. They are dealt with
efficiently and quietly.
Finally they are at the master bedroom. The door is
polished and clean, in fact it is the first thing in the house they have seen
which could be called such.
Silently Faith opens the door. Xander rushes in
blade at the ready, and is sent flying back out by a colorful burst of light.
Faith hears a groan as he hits the far wall, she hopes that the sound means the
magical blast hadn't harmed him much.
She readies her machete and rushes the
dark room.
She finds a frail looking man holding a wand. Without though she
manages to doge the blast of energy he sends her way with a word. Dodging back
and forth she rushes the mage. Closing the gap, trying to negate the advantage
he has. She gets in close enough to grab the man's wand. And in a single motion
snaps it.
The sudden change in the mage is astonishing. His eyes widen at the
loss of his focus. Faith expects him to simply continue casting his magics at
her, but he seems to fold in on himself. He shrinks back from her shielding his
face with his arms. He is crying like a baby.
Faith barely spares the time to
knock the man unconscious before running to check on Xander.
She finds him
slumped against the wall. She feels overwhelming relief flood through her as she
finds he has a strong pulse. She slaps his face lightly bringing him back
around.
"You get that trains number? I think I might sue." He says groggily
as he finally comes around.
"Don't know about the train, but I got the
driver," says Faith slumping down next to him.
"He's
alive?"
"Yeah."
"What we do with him now?"
"Beats me."
In the end
they decided to call Barny. It turned out that the British wizarding government
wanted the man, and he had a rather large bounty on his head.
Both Xander and
Faith had had dealings with the British wizarding government. They had been
involved in a loose alliance with the watchers council for centuries. They had
shared information for a time, but the wizards had decided to go underground
once the military started hunting slayers.
After the hefty payout they
received for the rogue wizard. Xander and Faith realized that there was
potential here. Faith finally put forward what they were both thinking a few
days later. They decided to become bounty hunters. The underworld had many
wanted criminals, demons, mages, and other assorted beings, and there were few
willing to hunt them down. 
There decision was why they now found
themselves in Texas, chasing a rogue werewolf.


Chapter Three


Xander watches Faith as she walks into the gas station. God he loved watching
her.
It was odd at time seeing her in a body so much younger then most of
his memories. It still throws him when he looks in the mirror and sees a
fourteen-year-old pipsqueak looking back. He misses the days when he could make
a path through a crowd with his glare alone.
Xander watches the fast rising
numbers on the pump absently. These past weeks on the road had been some of the
happiest he could remember for a long time.
He hears Faith returning with
food for the road ahead. She had scared up a job. A bounty had been put out on a
werewolf. He had taken to purposely locating himself in the center of population
centers on the verge of the full moon. The rogue wolf had racked up a truly
impressive body count.
He however had made the mistake of biting the daughter
of a wealthy mage. The man was a seer who had used his talent to make a fortune
on the stock market. He wasn't a battle mage, but he knew how to find those
capable of hunting a wolf.
The bounty had gone out two days ago. Xander had
no doubt that they were not the only bounty hunters after the small fortune that
was up for grabs.
Xander finishes filling up the Charger. Daylight was
burning, and the moon was coming.


***


Faith sits on the bed of the cheap motel they are staying in. She is
methodically sharpening her machete. She has grown rather attached to the hardy
blade; it's seen her through battle safe a half dozen time since Kakistos. She
was surprised it was in as good shape as it is considering the abuse she had put
it through.
"How long?" She asks Xander absently.
"Hours yet, before
moonrise," replies Xander from his place at the table. He is currently cleaning
his pearl handled colt 1911, a fresh box of silver shell sits on the table to
his side.
Neither of them like wolf hunts. Faith always finds memories of Oz
bringing shades of gilt to her mind remembering the fact the werewolf is human
all but a handful of nights. That they had a life and a family before their
change. But monsters like this one, when the human half is purposely placing
himself so he will attack humans, they are monsters in need of being put
down.
Faith starts at the sound of Xander racking the slide of his
reassembled weapon.
"You should get some sleep," he says absently, Faith can
see the tension in his shoulders "it'll be a long night."


Xander watches Faith as she tries to grab some sleep before
moonrise.
Xander wishes he could have a drink to calm his nerves, but it
would be foolish tonight. Compulsively he begins breaking down his freshly
cleaned gun again. He needed to do something to keep his hands busy.


***


Xander is in a mist filled wood. It is familiar but he can't quiet place it.
He casts about but it is just out of reach.
Looking down at himself he is
surprised to find the muscle tone and scares of his days after Africa. He is
holding a long dagger in his hand.
"Xander, run" says a familiar voice from
behind him. He turns to see a contour run into view, it takes Xander a moment to
recognize her as Dawn. Dawn, he hadn't though about her in so long, would she be
here, exist as Buffy’s little sister, or was she still the key, guarded by monks
in a distant land.
Dawn runs by grabbing his hand, pulling him up onto her
back. Xander finally puts the facts together; if Dawn is a contour then he knows
why this place is so familiar. It is the forest surrounding the castle, this was
the night Twilight attacked and destroyed their new home, killed so many of
their friends.
This was the first real battle of the slayer war.
Soldiers
appear out of the mist without though Xander takes him down with his
blade.
In the original time he and dawn had escaped the soldiers, made their
way deep into the forest. Dawn convinced the forest spirits, the centaurs, and
the ents to help them turn back their attackers. It was probably the first time
she had been glad her ex had cursed her into her new body.
But this wasn't
then. Dark shapes appear from the mists around them. Cruel caricatures of the
soldiers that had chased them so long ago. Xander feels them pull him from
dawn's back, their clawed hands ripping into him.
Xander wakes with a start.
He had fallen asleep in his chair. Apparently he had been making noise in his
sleep because faith is shaking him awake with a worried expression.
"You
alright?"
"Yeah, bad dream. It time?" he asks avoiding her questioning look.
He pulls aside the curtain to reveal the dusky sky "Looks like it's time to go
to work." 


***


The alleyway is dark, grim and covered. Xander tried not to let the stench of
urine turn his stomach as he lets the wolf enhance his sense of smell.
He
inhales, trying to catch the distinctive scent, which all werewolves have.
He
inhales, the smell of Faith, pulls at him. Her smell of ash and blood. He tries
to put it out of his head. He is about to give up when he catches a hint. It is
slight, but unmistakable for what he is looking for.
"Found him," he says
before breaking into a run. Faith is close on his heels. The wolf is headed
straight to the heart of the city.
Looking up he catches a glimpse of fur as
the werewolf leaps across the space between two buildings. It was using the
rooftops.
Xander jumps catching the bottom rung of a fire escape. His weight
pulls the ladder down to the ground.
Faith leaps up grabbing a higher step
and starts up. Xander follows as soon as the ladder hits the ground.
As soon
as they are on the roof the werewolf comes into sight. It had stopped it's
flight in favor of investigating it's pursuers.
It is one of the largest
werewolves Xander has ever seen, a true alpha, eyes glowing red in the light of
the full moon.
Xander draws his colt and empties his clip into the werewolf.
Shooting from the hip he hits dead center. Unfortunately it only seems to piss
the werewolf off.
Xander dives out of the way as it rushes him in a blind
rage. Xander pulls his short sword as he rolls away. He comes back to his feet
to see faith wailing on the werewolf with her machete. She had soaked the blade
in a special brew of wolfs bane the previous night; it seems to be having an
effect. Every deep valley she opens with her blade leaves a smoking wound which
heals slowly.
Xander tries for an opening but Faith is moving too quickly.
For a moment it seems she has the werewolf on the ropes, then it suddenly swipes
at her with a viciously clawed paw. Faith falls back.
"NO" screams Xander
lunging at the beast. He slashes at it with his short sword. He gets lucky, his
wild swing connects with the werewolf, cleaving through its arm.
It screams
in pain and rage. Not giving it the chance to recover Xander lunges in close
swinging his blade.
With a single motion he cleaves it's head from its
shoulders.
Not stopping to savor his victory Xander rushes to Faiths side.
She fell on her back, she is moving but stunned. Turning her over Xander looks
at where the wolf had connected with her.
Xander breathes a sigh of relief
when he sees that her leather jacket had taken the blow. The werewolves’ claws
hadn't broken the skin.
He collapses forward embracing her. He had though
that the werewolf had killed her. Faith returns the embrace.
The blow had
stunned Faith. The wolf hadn't gotten its claws into her but it's blow was like
being hit by a refrigerator. She feels Xander pulling her into a tight embrace.

She hears a muffled sound, he is crying. She wraps her arms around him,
holding him close.


Chapter Four


The wolf had returned to his human form at his death. Faith was the one to
grab the head, the bounty specified proof of identity.
They made their way
back to the cheap motel.
Faith is laying back on the bed, Xander is standing
staring out the window at the moon as it falls behind the horizon.
"I though
I lost you," he says after a moment "I’ve lost a lot of people, too
many...  I don't think I would survive losing you too." Faith doesn't know
what to say. They stay like that for a while, not saying anything.
"Come to
bed, it's late," says Faith finally. She scoots over to the side leaving room
for Xander.
Without response he takes the offered place, not bothering to
shed his clothes.
He lies on his back looking up at the ceiling. Faith
watches him for a time, watches his even breathing.
Finally she seems to make
up her mind. Moving surely she wraps an arm around Xander, laying her head on
his chest.
She falls asleep there.




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