Imagine: The List
Fic posted by members of Vo's Imaginings YahooGroup

Story Notes:

Started as the 2008 Nano story. 


Disclaimer – I don't own any of these guys. If I did, the shows would be a lot different.

AN: Not going into a lot of background for some of the people. Sorry but figure you should know Xander and some of the others, and messing around with a bunch of stuff so... Also thanks to Caliadragon for beta'ing. All mistakes are mine.

Warnings: Hate to say it, but another death/rebirth fic. So, there will be death and some angst, also slight character bashing but more on type of person versus the actual person.




A lone figure stood on a slab of concrete overlooking a wasteland. While things moved in the distance, there were no humans among them. After a few more moments the air stirred with a brief glance, he looked at who was sitting next to him. “Cordy, I take it there is a reason for the visit?”

Cordelia Chase looked at her old boyfriend, and then turned back to the wasteland. “The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Look at what happened and it wasn't even our fault.”

Alexander “Xander” Harris looked at her. “No this fuckup was someone’s idea of a plan and another screw-up of massive proportions. The monks should never have put the key in a human body. It was asking for trouble. Willow activating all the Slayers was a screw-up beyond screw-up’s. God Cordy, after all this time and all the fights humans have lost.”

“Giles taking over the Council after it was destroyed, and not realizing the spells in place. Buffy and her inability to find a decent man. I mean you may draw evil women, but they aren't evil towards you. Buffy can't seem to draw anything but scum, and yes I am including Angel in that.”

Xander looked over at Cordy in surprise, she snorted. “Yes, I was drawn to him as well, but in the end I can see what he really was, it's where the bleach killed what few brain cells Buffy had.”

They both sat looking across what at one point had been New York City and what was now a demon-infested hole. What few humans were alive, were wishing they were dead, due to the torture they were undergoing.

“I never thought Willow was that far gone. In my mind she always was the little girl I remembered and not something I needed to take out. I should of killed her on Kingman's Bluff.”

Cordy snorted. “You couldn't have, you didn't have it in you. If there was any way of redeeming her you were going to try.”

“And it was too late for that; the First Evil had already been released. Why didn't Giles double-check the spell? He knew she had problems. They purposely made sure I was never around her spell casting, their 'magic goes funny when your around Xander' complaint. Yeah it went funny because she was casting funny, not due to me. Found that out with some Shaman in Africa. They could caste without problems even on me and it never went funny. And gee, felt a lot better when they removed the three dozen spells Willow had placed on me over the years, especially the magic siphon. Sending us each to a content to find slayers was a stupid move. And no one stayed in North America looking. Faith and Robin had Cleveland but they were not looking for slayers. And especially after Faith, they should have realized not all slayers are in a good spot when they got called, and to call everyone with potential. There were six-month-old slayers and ninety-year-old slayers. Girls that would never normally find themselves called due to brain damage or other problems all of a sudden had the 'Yeah that was a good plan', NOT.”

Both looked out and watched a few demons tear into each other in the distance. “In the year Willow was in South America the only slayer she discovered was Kennedy and can we all be glad she went to South America because otherwise Kennedy's dad would have had Willow in jail for statutory rape charges. What was Willow thinking? Kennedy was just over 16, too late to be called normally but way under the legal age for a 22 year old. Though, Willow did delve farther into Black Magic while down there. She tried saying she was studying Earth Magic and then when the siphon got cut you could hear the desperation in her voice, the addiction was so bad and she went right back to it. She was making deals left, right, and center at that point to get more power. There was no way she could say no when the dealer wanted Dawn. Giles was so screwed up and we didn't even realize it. Hearing from Angel that there was an invasion planned, and yet they were doing nothing. My girls and I got there just after Fred fell. They were all down and if we hadn't stepped in, we would have lost LA. And Giles going off the deep end and declaring us all rogues because we weren't following Council procedure. I should have known and done something.”

Cordy slapped his arm. “Why are you the one that is always to blame? Andrew was in England with Giles, and Dawn was there. Buffy was in Rome. There were slayers and others all around them. You were doing your job and helping find and train slayers in Africa.”

“Because no one else did anything. Maybe if I had paid more attention and did something...”

Cordy snorts again, “Yeah, right, they would've listened to you – NOT. Remember who you’re talking about. Princess Airhead Buffy and her “I just want to be a normal girl” and “You can't do anything because you’re normal”, Mr. Semi Evil Andrew Wells who is even more of a geek than you, and believe me I didn't think that was even possible. Ms Dawn 'Someone pay attention to me' Summers who was probably the most put together of the bunch and the head idiot Mr. Rupert “Let me work with magic but have no protections on myself” Giles who is really to blame for the slayers mess. If the council is in charge of the slayers, and he is head of the council then hey the buck stops with him.”

Xander let a small smile grace his face as he listened nodding to himself. “Yeah, but it's still hard to look out there and see our world end and think of all the sacrifices made, all we put up with, it was for nothing due to a witches addiction and a spelled idiot.”

“You all knew Dawn was the Key. And Giles was in charge of research, he should have looked up everything to do with her. If he was so stupid, he honestly thought she was only good for one instance why the hell did they have the key locked up with a bunch of monks for millennia? They could have gotten rid of it when they got it. Buffy wanted Dawn to just be her little sister because then she was still 'Special Girl' and Dawn was nothing. If it was acknowledged that Dawn was an ancient artifact, while Buffy was just another slayer. Buffy's ego did not like that thought.”

“Yeah the Governments of the World were starting to round up their new Super Strong fighting forces, Willow giving Dawn to that demon who used her to open the a new hellmouth and let the other realms come in. It was a matter of who killed everyone first, the Governments or the demons. The slayers that killed as ordered going psycho and killing everyone in sight. Getting a Kill order on all slayers, the demons starting to take over the world and the fucking immortal that Buffy was seeing using the distraction to do his spell on Buffy transferring all the slayers powers onto his army. Yeah nice and joyful that was. She had the fucking scythe with her and using it and he got all slayers.”

Cordy quietly stated, “The lucky ones died in the first month. It is the first time that slayer rule one was wrong.”

A tear started working its way down Xander's face. “With everything we are and everything we have done, instead of helping save the world we help end it.”

Cordy looked over at Xander. “What would you change?”

Xander looked puzzled at Cordy. “Change?”

“If you could go back and change anything. Though make sure it's not Buffy not coming to Sunnydale because that was not cool when I did it and the Vampire you was very scary.”

Xander looked back over the field. “You know, the stuff with Buffy, all that. I couldn't change most of it. The pattern was set. All everyone ever saw was the joker and the mask I put on. Same as you were just Queen C. The change would need to be before then. Otherwise, at that point it would be too late. The mask was too entrenched; all ours were at that point, and all our reactions to each other.”

In a room under what used to be a warehouse a small girl leaned over and brushed her hand over the hair of the older man that had tried so hard to save her. When the world went to hell two years ago, he first saved her from the army that was trying to kill her and then demons. They both knew they were going to die but the time was unsure when. Leaning over she moved the eye patch back over the socket without an eye as her tears splashed on the cooling corpse. Moving his fingers from the death grip, she looked up as she heard the monsters trying to tear their way down to them. She looked down at the switch in his hand and smiled. As the demons burst into the room, she released the switch and smiled. Nothing would remain; the switch was tied to every type of device he could find. The White Knight was going to take as many with him as he could. And make sure any human still alive died before they could endure more pain, within a month the fallout of the weapons would wipe the planet clean of life. Perfect balance would be attained.

Cordy looked over at Xander turning into D'Hoffryn. “Granted.”

Xander looked startled at D'Hoffryn. “I didn't say wish!”

D'Hoffryn smiled, “My vengeance demons were killed when the gateway opened. And who is to say it was your wish I granted. Maybe it was mine to make sure everyone lives. Without humans I have no reason for being, nor do my subjects.”

Xander screamed. All of a sudden, he is comforted in a hug. “It's ok Alex it was just a dream. I know you’re worried about starting school soon but it was just a dream.”

Xander looked up at his mother. “Everyone was dead and demons were taking over the planet and ...”

A hand fell on his shoulder and a quick squeeze took the quick tensing of muscles down, “It's OK son. Do you want to crawl in with your mother and me for the rest of the night?”

Xander looked at his father and mother then shook his head. “No just a really bad dream.”

Tony looked at Xander. “Want to talk about it?”

Xander looked at his dad. “You went out with Robert Chase and got drunk and stayed that way and lost your job when they said you were incompetent. Mom soon lost hers as well because you both were drinking so badly and stayed that way for years. You would hit us whenever we were in reach or anything set you off.” Xander shuddered and shrank into himself expecting to be hit. Jessica and Tony looked at each other.

Jessica looked at Xander. “Alex, why didn't we leave him if he was drinking like that?”

Xander looked at her. “Alex... I haven't been called that since before I started school. Willow called me Xander and it stuck. We didn't leave because you joined him.”

Tony looked at Jessica and let out a breath slowly. Jessica wrapped Xander in a hug and Tony went to get a small tape recorder they had. Coming back with the tape recorder and a bunch of tapes, he looked at Jessica and nodded. “Son, why don't you tell us everything you remember from your dream.”

Xander looked up at his father. “Why would you be concerned?”

Tony looked at Xander. “Because both my parents are alcoholics and I slipped once in college and it took Jessica and all my friends months to get me sober. I have noticed Robert trying to get me to drink multiple times, and this is Sunnydale. If someone warns you about something you should listen.”

Xander looked at his father. “Then why are we still here considering the nightlife?”

Jessica looked sad. “I didn't realize I was pregnant ‘til I was about four months.”

Xander looked up. “And you’re the High School librarian so you were overtop the hellmouth all that time.”

Tony and Jessica exchanged quick glances then Jessica nodded. “Tony even went job hunting in LA, but when you crossed the stone marker outside the city limits you wouldn't stop screaming. It was like we were hurting you. You kept wanting the warmth back.”

Xander cocked his head. “So I'm tied to the hellmouth. Then why... Ok that wasn't in the dream.”

Tony looked over. “Or it was, but in such a way you never realized it. Jess would have left me immediately if I had started drinking. We made that pact before we got married. She was to kick me out and you and her were to live here.”

“What about Uncle Rory?”

Jessica looked at Tony. “Uncle Rory?”

Xander nodded. “Yeah, taxidermist, you guys were together a lot.”

Jessica looked at Xander. “Please describe everything for the tapes. Your language skills are a lot higher right now than they should be for a five year old. After we hear everything hopefully, we can help. If what you saw was that bad.”

Tears ran down Xander’s face “The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And how will I be able to face everyone if I know all this?”

A flash of light appeared in the room. “Describe everything in your dream onto the tapes. When you fall asleep after the information will recede into the background of your mind. The tapes will help in the future.”

Tony had taken a defensive position in front of Jessica and Xander when the being entered. It smiled at Tony. “I am D'Hoffryn. What I am is not important. Xander you know how I work. You have the chance.”

Xander looked at D'Hoffryn. “And the catch? You never do anything for free and without strings or dire consequences.”

D'Hoffryn stood looking at Xander, slowly Xander nodded. “Yeah, I don't ever want to see that happen again. If it helps stop the masks. Ok. I wish that Tony and Jessica Harris never started drinking and never became the alcoholics from my dream.”

D'Hoffryn nodded “Granted” he then went to Tony and waved a hand, then at Jessica. Tony looked at D'Hoffryn with distrust. “I just increased your willpower to refuse, and moved the trigger from any taste of alcohol to getting drunk.”

Tony nodded. “Thanks, but as Xander said what’s the catch.”

D'Hoffryn smirked. “The 'catch' is that you will be actual parents to Xander. The mask changes because he is no longer trying to hide from abuse and problems at home.”

Xander looked up. “No Zeppo mask this time.”

D'Hoffryn smiled at Xander. “Even Groucho admitted that Zeppo was the funniest of them and it wasn't as good after he left.”

Xander smiled shyly. D'Hoffryn nodded to both his parents and left. Tony looked at Jessica and both just nodded. “Alex, why don't you start talking to get the story out so you can sleep?”

Xander looked at her. “Yeah if you want to leave it, you both should sleep before work tomorrow.”

Tony snorted then messed Xander’s hair. “Right son, if you believe that. Things will be a lot different this time.”

Over the next two hours, Xander talked about what had happened while Jessica rocked him and Tony soothed his hair and kept him going. Finally, after a couple tapes Xander fell asleep. Jessica moved and tucked him into bed and Tony and Jessica left the room with the door open and a nightlight on in the room tears streaming down Jessica's face and Tony's looking very sad.

Chapter 1

“Hey why you crying?” Xander asks the small red haired girl in class a few days later. She holds up her yellow crayon sniffling. Xander looks at her confused “So...”

She sniffles some more “I broke my crayon!”

Xander looked at her. “So why are you crying. Jesse and I break crayons all the time and there isn't a reason to cry.”

She looked at him in awe. “But mom said I had to take care of my things or I wouldn't be allowed new stuff.”

Xander looked at her and frowned. “Here,” He hands her his unbroken yellow crayon, “but you’re a kid and as my mom says we are made for getting into stuff and breaking stuff.”

The teacher looked over at Xander and the red haired girl “Alexander, Willow. This is coloring time not talking time.”

Xander looked at the teacher. “Why can't it be both?”

Jesse pipes up from the a few rows away. “Because she can't think of doing two things at once.”

Harmony, Cordy, and the rest of the class started laughing Xander spoke up. “But she's a teacher. There are more of us than her and she knows she is going to have to help us all. If she can't do two things at once, she shouldn't be a teacher. Mom says that teachers are some of the most important people in molding us to adults but if they aren't good teachers they are as bad as child abusers.”

At this point, the teacher is turning purple in rage. Xander and Jesse are watching her. Willow is looking on with wide eyes. “My mom says you should never talk back to teachers because they know more.”

Xander looked over at Willow. “This is the same mom that would be upset that you broke your crayon? Your mom is strange. My mom teaches at the High School. She says she wants to make sure I get the best education I can but to understand what being a teacher means. I saw her with her classes last year when I couldn't go to daycare. She could handle the students doing multiple things at one time. She told me she enjoys getting them mvoleved because then she knows they are learning.”

“Involved,” The teacher corrected automatically before shuddering. “Ok everyone, why don't you break into groups and color and talk together.”

Jesse came over by Xander and looked at the girl. “Hi, I'm Jesse.”

Willow looked at both boys. “I'm Willow.”

Xander looked at her. “I'm Alexander.”

Willow looked at Xander. “Xander”

Jesse laughed. “If you want he can be Xander. The other is a lot. You were named after a tree? Couldn't your parents think of anything else?”

Willow started to tear up and both boys groaned at her before Xander spoke up. “Willow, if you want to hang around us you need to stop acting like such a girl. The crying is not good. Tears are for major things not little things.”

Willow sniffled and looked at Xander. “But I am a girl.”

Xander looked at her and laughed. “But I'm a boy. Jesse is a boy. So you can be an honorary boy.”

Jesse laughed and Willow smiled. Jesse looked over at the teacher and saw she was working with some kids a ways away. “So the teacher.”

Xander smirked. “Mom said she heard she had taught a bunch in Portland, and she wondered why she was here. Mom was contacting some friends to get more info on her.”

Willow looked at Xander in awe, “but she's a teacher.”

Jesse looked at Willow. “Didn't you say that already? And so?”

“Wow my mom would never think of doing that. She says that teachers are to be listened to and to follow their instructions without question.”

Jesse looked at Xander and they scowled at each other. “What does your parents do?”

Willow brightened. “They are psychiatrists.”

Jesse looked at Willow. “What are psychiatrists?”

Willow looked confused; Xander looked around and spotted the teacher. “Hey Ms. Anderson what is a psychiatrist and what do they do?”

The teacher smiled. “Your mother taking you to see one?”

Xander smirked. “No Wills parents are psychiatrists and I wanted to know what they do and she didn't know.”

A small “Wills?” was heard in the background. Jesse looked at her “If you can change his name, he can change yours.” A thoughtful look crossed her face.

Ms. Anderson looked at the three children then noticed the entire class was looking at her. “Psychiatrist are doctors that people see to help them overcome issues. They talk with the psychiatrist and they help them fix what is wrong.”

Cordy looked at Ms. Anderson, “My mom sees a psychiatrist, she says everyone is doing it and she was talking about sending me to one but they said to wait until I was older.”

Harmony piped up, “My mom is sending my older brother to one. Says he has anger issues. He told mom that he didn't want spinach with dinner last month.”

Xander frowned. “What's wrong with not wanting spinach with dinner? I usually try to get out of eating it as well.”

Harmony shrugged. “Mom heard from a friend that she should so the doctor could get Dave on some pills. I know Dave has been acting strange since he started taking them. I mean he acts like a zombie from TV.”

Another boy in class piped up. “Yeah my mom says that all psychiatrist are for is giving out drugs. She was talking about how bad it was.”

A glassy eyed girl chimed in. “Yeah the psychiatrist put me on these pills because he said I was ADHD whatever that is.”

The class shuddered looking at her. Xander spoke up. “Are you even in there – you look and act like you’re not.”

The girl looked in the area Xander was in. “Everything is fuzzy and I feel like I'm floating. Nothing can touch me.”

Jesse looked at Willow. “Your parent's do that!?!”

Willow started to tear up when both Xander and Jesse gave her evil looks. She quickly brought the tears under control. “I didn't know.”

Jesse looked at her. “If your parents believe everyone should act like that. Boy do they need help.”

Xander nodded. “Yeah, they want robots not kids. Explains the stupid things they tell you as well.”

Ms Anderson looked at Xander sternly. “We do not call other children's parent's stupid.”

Xander looked at her then looked at the glassy eyed girl. “Parent's that believe that is what we should be like are stupid. We are kids. My mom says the definition of kid is part headache, part heartache, and all trouble.”

Ms. Anderson laughed at that one. “And I am sure you try and live up to the trouble part.”

Xander and Jesse's faces both started to change to more evil and smirked at her. “You have no idea.”

At which Ms. Anderson went white and ran to her desk. The rest of the class laughed. After trying to clear her throat a few times, she finally squeaked. “Why don't you all go outside and play for a bit.” Everyone went outside laughing.

Tony came in late again that night. He looked at Xander and Jessica at the table going over Xander's homework and some additional things Jessica bought for him.

She looked at Tony and he shook his head. “I don't know what is wrong with Robert. Every night for the last two weeks, he has tried to get me to go out to a bar to discuss stuff after work. Last two nights I have gone and all he is doing is trying to get me to drink. I had to go to the bartender and threaten him that if he put alcohol in my soda again I was going to press charges. I told the bartender I am a recovering alcoholic. He said Robert was paying him extra to put the alcohol in the drinks.”

Jess looked scared. “Did you....” Tony shook his head “No, it seems that thing did help. Otherwise I would be right now.”

Xander nodded. “D'Hoffryn has his reasons.”

Jess and Tony looked at Xander. “Alex, honey, what do you remember?”

Xander looked at his parents. “Sorry it came and went. Maybe I got some of those funny drugs they have Melissa on.”

Jess looked startled. “Melissa is on drugs.”

“Yeah, we were asking about psychiatrists because Wills said her parents are that and Melissa said that her mother sent her to one and he put her on these drugs for ADHD or something like that. She is strange says everything is cloudy and nothing is touching her.”

Tony looked at Xander. “Wills?”

“Yeah met her the first day of class. Her parents are strange. She was crying because she broke her crayon because her mother was going to be upset. I gave her mine. She calls me Xander so I call her Wills. Jesse and I are teaching her the proper way to act. She actually believed that adults should never be questioned. Why would a mom be mad that she broke a crayon?”

Jess looked at Xander. “Not all mothers are moms. Some are mothers. Just as some fathers are dads and some are fathers.”

Xander looked at his mom. “Thanks mom that helps.”

The next day at school during a playtime Xander went over to Cordy. “Cordy is something wrong with your father?”

Cordy looked at Xander “Not that I know of. He hasn't been home for the last few nights ‘til after I went to bed.”

Xander nodded at Cordy. “He keeps asking my father to go out to bars with him and trying to make him drink. Even paid the bartender to put stuff in his drink.”

Cordy looked stunned then a little scared. “If I try to find out will you and Jesse leave me and Harm alone for a few days?”

Xander looked at Cordy. “If you think you can get him to stop sure.”

Cordy then looked sad. “I don't think I can. But my mom is seeing Alice at the hair place this afternoon.”

Jesse came over. “If it works we will leave you and Harm alone for a week.”

Cordy nodded and left to go back over to Harmony. Xander looked at Jesse. “I thought you were looking forward to painting that lizard pink and putting it in Harms hair?”

“It can wait. Whatever has you worried enough that you would agree with Cordy on that?”

Willow at this time had wondered over.”Yeah, dad says that each night Robert Chase has been trying to get him to drink. Grandpa and Grandma Harris are both alcoholics. And dad says he slipped in college.”

Willow looked at Xander. “What are alcoholics?”

Xander glanced at Willow. “You know those guys at bars that act more out of it than Melly?”

A disgusted look crossed Willows face. “The ones that smell gross?”

Xander and Jesse nodded. “If dad started drinking he wouldn't be dad anymore. I don't know what would happen just that it would be bad.”

After school, the three were walking around town. “Xander what are we looking for?”

Jesse looked at Willow. “Cordy said her mom would be at the hair place this afternoon. We are going to see if we can find her. Xander will ask about why Robert’s been after his father and she will go home and confront him.”

Willow looked at Xander then Jesse. “Why would she.”

“Willow remember when everyone laughed at that dress and how sad you felt and the other feeling?”

Willow nodded, as she turned red at the memory. Her mother had put her in a dress that everyone said looked awful on her. Her mom thought it was 'cute'. She had been teased by everyone. It ended up with Xander and Jesse taking her home and teasing her in front of her mother before her mother let her not wear it. Her mom and dad didn't really like Xander and Jesse. They said they were, “Bad influences”. That was until they realized Xander's mom was a high school teacher/librarian and his father was a Senior VP. Then they started getting false nice.

The three came up on the hair place and Xander smirked as he saw Mrs. Chase was in there. Motioning for the two of them to wait out there Xander walked in. “Hey Mrs. Chase, Why is your husband keep asking dad out and trying to get him drunk?”

Mrs. Chase sputtered as all eyes turned to her and whispers started. Looking around she looked back at Xander. “I am sure your mistaken Alexander.”

Xander smiled. “Nope. Dad says Robert asked him out every night for the last few weeks and when he went to the bar with him it was suppose to be discussing something about work but Robert kept ordering him alcohol and when dad refused paid the bartender to put stuff in dads soda. Dad said he had to have a talk with the bartender.”

Mrs. Chase looked at Xander. “I will be finding out. Don't worry about it.”

Xander looked at Mrs. Chase, “That’s good I was hoping he wasn't trying to make Cordy my sister.”

The place burst into twitters and Mrs. Chase turned beet red. Waving his hand, he walked out the door. Jesse and Willow were there waiting for him. Jesse snorted. “Make Cordy your sister. Oh man.”

Xander shrugged. “Had to be something major because she wasn't really going to do anything before I said that.”

Willow looked on in awe. “Wow”

Dinner the next night found all three kids at the Harris table as Jessica was serving dinner and Tony came in. Tony smirked at Xander. “I'm not sure what you did but Robert stopped asking me out. In fact he turned red when he saw me and mumbled something about Claire and pointy shoes that hurt.”

Xander looked at his father with innocence. Tony started chuckling “Like I would believe that face. You forget who I am.”

Xander smirked at his father, “I asked Mrs. Chase if Mr. Chase was trying to make Cordy my sister.”

Jess started laughing. “And where was Mrs. Chase when this happened.”

Jesse and Willow piped up, “Hair place.”

Tony and Jess started laughing out loud. After a few minutes, they calmed and she looked at the three “So Ice Cream with Chocolate syrup for desert?”

All three kids smiled happily at that. Tony and Jess shared a look over their heads, laughing softly. The same thought in both their minds. 'The three were terrors and very glad they are on our side but heaven help everyone when they hit their teens.'

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