Slayer Lost

A Buffy the Vampire Slayer Fanfic

By Jaelle


Disclaimer: Buffy tVS is the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. No infringement on this is intended.

This story is designed as a kind of, "What if?" story. It's set a long time after Buffy the Vampire Slayer has finished and Buffy has finally shuffled off this mortal coil (permanently this time). The year is 2024, the place is London, England, and the phone is ringing... now.


The telephone trilled softly in the Watcher library. Rupert Giles rubbed his tired eyes and sighed softly before answering it.

"Hello?" he asked hopefully, wondering if the news would be good.

"Giles? Hey man, what's the what?"

"Xander?" Giles blinked in surprise and then smiled. "It's good to hear from you. How long has it been?"

"Oh, couple of years. How are you doing?"

"I'm fine, still ticking along. And you? Still in Sunnydale?"

"Yeah. Every year Anya and I talk about leaving, but knowing our luck we'd probably wind up in another town with a hellmouth, so we keep sticking around. Better the demons and vampires you know I guess."

"I suppose. Are you managing to keep things steady over there?"

"Yeah. It's a real help now that the boys are old enough to come on patrol with their old man. You should have seen Robert last week – two vamps with one shot. He's 17, he's got three girlfriends, he's failing math and geography but acing history, and he can nail a vamp in the heart from 70 feet away. I'm so proud."

"But you'd be prouder if he were acing math and geography as well?"

"I'd settle for a D- really."

Giles smiled wearily. "And how are the other boys?"

"Jesse's good. Not much of a sniper but his traps and inventions keep the vamps on their toes. He's just gone 16 and he's growing like a weed. I think he's going to be taller than Bruce."

"How's he doing at college?"

"Great! He even joined a fraternity. No snake worship though."

"Yes, well. And little…"

"Rowan's fine, yes. And how about you? They keeping you busy down there? I keep leaving messages on your home answering machine, you're never in!"

"Well, there's work you know," Giles protested somewhat feebly. He really had been putting in ridiculous hours lately, but then, so had everyone else.

"You really have to get a mobile phone or an email or something – every time I try to call you the Watchers receptionist gives me the runaround."

"Well we are supposedly a reasonably secret organisation," Giles said with a yawn.

"Oh man, did I wake you up? I coulda sworn I got the time zones right this time…"

"No, no, I'm fine," Giles said quickly. "Things have just been rather frantic of late."

"Really? What's up?"

Giles sighed. "I really shouldn't tell you…"

"Hey, I'm discrete. Give it up G-man!"

"Xander, I am nearly 80, please refrain from calling me G-man."

"Well I'm 44 and everyone still calls me Xander, now quit trying to wriggle out of telling me the hottest gossip in Watcher central."

Giles stared at the wall for a while.

"Giles?"

"We can't find her," Giles said softly.

"Who?"

"The new Slayer."

There was a long pause.

"Are you serious? That's huge! Wait, when did the previous one die?"

"Six months ago."

"Six _months_?! This is that South American girl right? The one from Argentina?"

"Brazil," Giles corrected. "Nina. No, she died in action three years ago. The new girl, Marie, was from France."

"Man, is it just me or has the Slayer life expectancy dropped dramatically in recent years?"

"It's not just you," Giles said tiredly. "Since Buffy and Faith, no other Slayer has lasted more than five years. The Council can't understand it. We give them all the training, all the knowledge, all the accumulated wisdom…"

"Do you give them friends?"

"Xander, let it go," Giles said. "I know you were angry that the Council told you to stop helping Sharon when you found her."

"She was a kid Giles, terrified of her own shadow. She never had a chance! I got her through eight months of pain and heartache and then the Council took her away. Two weeks later she's dead. Maybe the Council needs to rethink their training agenda. Maybe Buffy wasn't so wrong."

"You know I agree," Giles replied. "But the Council doesn't listen to me."

"Well they should," Xander's anger was palpable over the phone. "They're wrong and we both know it. Maybe the new Slayer is better off _without_ their help."

"Without any guidance at all?" Giles interupted, harsher than he'd intended to be. "Confused? Alone? With noone to help or advise, to do the research and provide back-up?"

"Watchers provide back-up now? They're actually getting up off their lazy butts and helping? Oh well, pardon _me_ for critiquing!"

Giles bit back a rude response. Xander's concerns and arguments were valid and he knew it. "No, they're not, although I've suggested it to them."

"And?"

"They set up a committee to look into it," Giles braced for another explosion, but instead the pause extended and turned conciliatory.

"You sound exhausted, Giles."

Giles sighed. "We all are. We've never been this long without finding the Slayer. We've even tried to locate her by magical means – nothing."

"So it's been six months and you've got no clues at all?"

"Yes, we've searched everywhere, but found nothing. Not a ruddy thing."

"That would have made it in March, right? Around the middle of the month?"

"Yes, the 16th. Poor girl."

"Yeah."

Pause.

"You really _do_ sound beat."

"I am," Giles sighed.

"Hey listen," Xander's voice was a little hesitant. "Why don't you take a break, come over for a visit? We'd all love to see you."

"Xander, that's very kind of you, but I hardly think the Hellmouth is going to be a relaxing place for a holiday."

"We could go to Vegas."

"I heard about the last time you went to Vegas, Xander, and I am never going there with you."

"So that story's out, huh?"

"Vampiric roulette?"

"Hey, don't blame me, I didn't sire them."

"And thank goodness for that," Giles smiled and leant back in his chair. "I'm trying to imagine you as a vampire and it's taking most of my willpower not to laugh."

There was some quiet grumbing in the background before Xander resumed nagging. "So can't you even come over for a _short_ visit? I promise, you wouldn't have to slay anything. Everyone misses you, and the kids want to see their Uncle Giles again."

"You know I'd love to Xander, but with this current state of affairs, I just can't leave. Everyone is out searching for the next Slayer. We're petrified. It's unheard of for us not to have found her by now. Every day she could be in danger or worse..."

"Worse than danger?"

"Xander..."

"Sorry."

"Also, we're having to maintain constant vigilance on the potential Slayers that we do know about, just in case the current one dies before we can find her. The Watchers have called in absolutely EVERYONE full time in an effort to track her down. Even me, and you know they've been trying to get rid of me for years."

There was another pause.

"If everyone's out looking, why are you in the library?"

Giles sighed. "I'm hoping there might be some clue we've overlooked. A prophecy, a hint, a comment about potential Slayers, anything. Besides, I'm getting a little old for all of this running around."

"You're not _that_ old."

"That might have been convincing 20 years ago, Xander, but not today. But thank you for the sentiment."

Another pause.

"It would really be great if you could come over. Or, if it's too much for you, we could probably come and visit _you_."

Giles had a sudden mental image of Xander and Anya and four teenagers infesting his house and shuddered. "That's a kind thought Xander, but I know how busy you all are with Anya's business, your construction work and the children's schooling."

"Oh. Well, give me a call if you change your mind," Xander sounded very reluctant. "Seriously, we'd love to see you."

Giles smiled wearily. "Thank you Xander, I've always been grateful that you all took me in to your family. Speaking of family, have you heard from Dawn or Willow lately?"

"Dawn is working with Angel in L.A.," Xander sounded distinctly disapproving. "She seems to be doing fine."

"He's not a vampire anymore, Xander," Giles reminded him.

"So? I still don't like him. I'm allowed to, it's not a crime," now Xander sounded sulky.

Giles sighed. It appeared that Xander's antipathy towards Angel was going to be a permanent fixture. "And what about Connor?"

"He's well. He visited just last month."

It always surprised Giles just how well Xander and Connor got along, considering Xander's feelings towards Connor's father. Connor had, like Giles, been unofficially adopted into the Harris family as a much-loved Uncle. Xander's son Robert in particular idolised him, and Connor always seemed to enjoy visiting "the crazy Harris clan". Giles theorised that Connor simply enjoyed spending time in a (comparatively) normal family setting, although he sometimes suspected that Xander had deliberately fostered the friendship just to annoy Angel.

"Oh, you'll never guess who also showed up with him."

"Who?" Giles asked almost absently, taking a sip of his long-cold tea.

"Drusilla!"

Giles choked on his mouthful and put his cup hastily down. "You're not serious?"

"I'm _completely_ serious. She's still around, still crazy, and hanging on Connor's every word. That girl _really_ wants to vamp him. Or love him. Or something else too terrifying for me to even speculate on."

Giles tried not to think about it either. "How's he coping with it?"

"He's managing. I think he's a little fond of her, to be honest. She's been following him around for quite a few years now, and he's getting used to it. I think he's the closest thing she's got to family, now that Spike and Darla are dust and Angel's all human and everything."

"Oh dear," Giles wiped at his face. "Well, hopefully nothing bad will come of it."

"Mmmm," Xander sounded a little doubtful. "Well, Willow says Drusilla doesn't intend any harm towards Connor. But since Drusilla's definitions of harm don't exactly match anyone else's... Still, we can probably handle her if we have to."

"Willow certainly can," Giles chuckled. "I still get reports whenever she uses particularly powerful spells. Rather a lot of people are still worried about her."

"It's that whole, 'I could end the world if I wanted to' vibe she puts out sometimes," Xander's reply was a little sad. "But she's kind of resigned to people still being nervous around her. Actually, _she_ was just saying the other day how much she'd like to see you too."

"Xander..." Giles said warningly.

"Yeah yeah. Anyway, Willow's fine. Happy. Her coven is growing all the time too, which is a _real_ help around here, let me tell you. It's nice to be able to call in the bigger guns sometimes."

"Even if they occasionally melt things," Giles put in wryly.

"Or set them on fire. Oh well, nobody's died yet," Xander sounded a bit nervous about this prospect, but it was undeniable that the witching power in Sunnydale was keeping a firm lid on the bigger demonic doings that normally ran rampant on the Hellmouth.

"So, in short, everyone is well," Giles was pleased. It was good to hear some good news for a change.

"And missing you," Xander replied. "The one of us who is not so well."

"I'm fine Xander, just worried and overworked."

"Oh, is _that_ all? Well, no problem then." There was a pause. "You really need to take a break, Giles."

"Xander, I promise, when this is all over, I will come over for a nice long visit, alright?"

"... Okay." Xander's reluctance was obvious.

"I've really enjoyed hearing from you," Giles said, beginning to bring the conversation to an end. "But I need to get back to work now."

"Take it easy Giles. Give me a call if you need anything."

"Well, if you happen to find the next Slayer, please let me know!" Giles joked. "Goodbye Xander."

"Ha!" Xander's laughter at his joke died quickly. "Bye G-man."

Giles sighed and hung up. Xander would never change. In a way, it was rather comforting, and he certainly felt more energised and optimistic after the phone call than he had before. There was nothing like hearing good news from people you cared about to improve your mood. He really _should_ go and visit them all soon. He hadn't spoken to Willow in an age, and it sounded as though Robert could use some tutoring. Not to mention that Jesse would undoubtedly have some lethal new weapon or trap to demonstrate (his repeater crossbow still terrified Giles), and he'd love to hear how Bruce was doing at college. And little Rowan, why she'd be nearly fifteen by now!

Nearly fifteen. On the Hellmouth. With her carpenter/vampire-hunter father and three older brothers and her former vengeance-demon mother. Not to mention her Uncle Connor and Grand-Uncle Angel, some of the best fighters Giles had ever seen, and her Godmother/Aunt the most powerful witch in the world, all of whom disliked and disagreed with the Council's methods.

All of whom really, _really_ wanted him to come for a visit.

Oh for God's sake!

"Bloody hell!" He snatched up the phone and dialled quickly. The phone rang twice at the other end and then was snatched up.

"Yello, Harris household!" A cheerful voice sounded over the phone. "Construction, magic ingredients and vampire slaying a specialty! Ask about our tofu and strawberry pizza!"

Giles blinked in confusion at this strange greeting. "Hello Robert? Jesse, is that you? It's Giles. I need to speak to Xander."

There was a long pause, and then some whispering.

"Um, hello?" Xander's voice came onto the line. "Sorry about Jesse, he gets a bit overenthusiastic sometimes. What's up Giles, you forget something?"

"Xander…" Giles trailed off and nearly hung up. It was stupid, it was ridiculous, it was… highly likely. "Is Rowan the next Slayer?"

"Ummm… maybe."

"XANDER!!!"

**

Xander winced and held the phone away from his ear as the rest of the Harris household gathered around him. If this was _Giles'_ reaction, then the rest of the Watchers would probably be even _worse_.

Beside him, fourteen year old Rowan stared at him anxiously.

"So, does that mean Uncle Giles will be my Watcher?"

**

Opening Credits

Rowan: The Vampire Slayer

{Into every generation, there is born a Slayer.}

[Actually, it's more like several Slayers. We go through them quite quickly.]

*But we try to avoid that happening. So be careful.*

[Yes Aunt Willow.]

(So it should be plural then, right?)

{Do you mind?}

[(Sorry Uncle Giles!)]

{Ahem. In every generation, there is born a Slayer. A girl with the power to…}

[Kick serious ass!]

(Turn grown men to stone with a single glance!)

[JESSE! You're so gonna pay for that!]

(Try and catch me shrimp… OW! DAD! ROWAN USED HER SLAYER POWERS ON ME!)

[Tattle-tale!]

+Will you two grow up?+

(Bite me Robert.)

<Kids, I told you to be quiet and let Uncle Giles do his monologue. Now shush.>

{Thank you Xander. Where was I?}

*Into every generation there is born...*

{Ah yes, thank you Willow.}

+Can we go already?+

{No! Be quiet! Ahem. Into every generation there is born…}

[(+A Slayer!+)]

+One girl with the power to turn back the dark.+

[With her older brothers, family and a couple of friends along to lend a hand and, you know, supply the magic and pizza and rides and stuff.]

(She is the Chosen One.)

*The one to fight the vampires and stand against the night.*

{She is the Slayer.}

<My little girl!>

[Oh Dad.]

+NOW can we go on patrol?+

(Shotgun!)

+I got dibs on the good crossbow!+

[Dad, can I borrow Mr Pointy?]

{Sigh. And I thought Buffy was impossible.}

*But isn't this more fun than the other way?*

<And you know you wouldn't miss this for the world.>

{Amen. Right. Let's go stake some vampires.}

[<(+YAAAAAAAY!!!!+)>]

The End.

**

Key for end sequence:
{Giles}
[Rowan]
(Jesse)
+Robert+
<Xander>
*Willow*

**

Author's Notes:

This is a story that's been brewing for some time. I just really loved the idea of Xander's daughter being the next Slayer and the Council having to deal directly with someone who _knows_ what's going on, and isn't going to let them have it all their way. Then it kind of bulged out in strange directions.

For those of you wondering what happened to some of the characters only briefly mentioned in this story – I'd imagined that Darla had finally met her (this time permanent) end, and that Spike and Buffy had passed on after the series ended, dying more or less around the same time (possibly fighting together against a great evil... you know the drill). I'm not a big Spike/Buffy fan, but I thought I'd leave it open so you can read it whichever way you like. As for the rest of the crew at Angel Investigations, that was just a few too many people to include in the story, so choose your own ending for them.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the story, thanks for reading this far!

Jaelle
30 March 2003.


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