EAD: Depth Perception

Title: Depth Perception
Author: Kylia Toreel
Fandom: SGA/Buffy
Relationship: Ronon Dex/Xander Harris
Word Count: 2700
Summary: Alexander Harris was fourteen when he was told he’d never come online and classified as Dormant. Then he spent ten years fighting demons and other things better left forgotten. At twenty-six he spent more time traveling the hidden places and aiding other than fighting demons until his best friend decided she knew what was best. Now he’s in another galaxy, running from something just as evil as the hellspawn he had left behind, and oh yeah…turns out he’s not a dormant guide. His Sentinel was just out of his reach.
Notes: TS Fusion

Story

Prologue

“Check again!”

Alexander Lavelle Harris sank into his chair in embarrassment as his father yelled at the poor, innocent technician. His mother looked at him sympathetically, which he appreciated, but he didn’t trust it. He knew her sympathy would only last as long as Tony Harris wasn’t focused on her.

“Sir, I’m sorry, but we ran the test twice. There was no mistake.” The technician said calmly, his guide aura releasing those vibes that would allow for anyone nearby to relax.

Anyone who wasn’t Anthony — Harris, that is. He may have been a dormant sentinel, but he was still pretty much immune to any guide ‘tricks’ as he liked them. His wife could attest to that.

“Sir,” Jessica Harris spoke up. “He did test positive for the Guide genes.”

The technician nodded. “Yes. He has all the indicators that tell us that he is a Guide, and will come online at some point in his life. However, there are also other indicators that we see, less often, and unfortunately, are never wrong, that tell us, his gifts will never manifest.”

“You’re going to list him as Dormant then,” Jessica said wincing as her husband dug his fingers into her wrist.

“It’s all we can do.” The technician said sadly. “He will never come online. He will be better off finding happiness as a mundane.”

Tony stood up, anger in every line of his body. “Alexander, it seems you are broken after all. Come.”

Alexander shuddered slowly following his father, his mother making their apologies and following meekly behind.

*

Los Angeles Sentinel and Guide Center Director Sebastian Towers watched through the two-way glass. Sometimes these meetings got out of control and it was wise to have a second pair of eyes on the proceedings. He waited for Doctor Michaels to enter after the family left.

“You weren’t honest in there, Max.”

Doctor Max Michaels huffed. “You saw the father in there. He was about ten seconds away from a feral episode, no matter than he’s a dormant and not an online Sentinel. I was honest. The kid has the markers, the same as the other anomalies. None of those cases have ever come online before.”

Towers nodded in acquiescence. “Perhaps, but we don’t know exactly what the markers are for. All we know, and it’s a guess at best, is that they need some sort of trigger to bring them online.”

“Right. The theory is that they have to come face-to-face with their online Sentinel in order to force them into a similar online state. However, in an effort to prove that theory, several of the Guides with these markers have been to various meet and greets with online, unbonded sentinels, with zero results.”

“That only tells us there’s another factor we don’t know about…yet.” Towers pointed out. “And you left that family and their young son with no hope.”

Michaels sighed. “Maybe, but I got a very bad vibe from the father. Maybe in a few years when the kid is older, I’ll contact him, alone, and clarify. maybe by then, we’ll have more to tell him.

Towers sighed. Michaels was right. There wasn’t much he could do at this point. But he was going to keep an eye on the young Mr. Harris.

1

Xander Harris sat in his rental car outside of the city limits. He wasn’t sure if he wanted to go home. Well, where his family considered home. He didn’t really have a home these days. He spent more time on the road than he did in any one place. Though there were places he went to on a regular basis.

England wasn’t one of them. He only came here every six-to-nine months, and only then if Willow was really pressing. He just felt like he didn’t have to fit into the Xander-shaped-friend box when he was on his own the way he inevitably did when he was with Buffy and Willow.

“Are you going inside, boss?”

Xander sighed as he turned his head so he could properly see the driver. “Yeah. Might as well see what this is all about.”

His self-appointed valet, Aris, gave him an arch look. “Sir, if I may ask, if you hate returning to England so much, why do you come?”

Xander huffed. He’d asked Aris to quit calling him sir, but the Frehven demon was more stubborn than Willow when she’d made up her mind about something. “Aris, human relationships are complicated. But you’re right, coming back here is doing no one any good. Perhaps it’s time to stop.”

Aris nodded as if he agreed and understood though Xander wasn’t sure if he could truly understand, not without knowing Willow and Buffy and Giles, but Xander could feel his satisfaction nonetheless.

“Just drop me off outside the gates, go back to the hotel, and pack everything up. Once I’m done here, we’re not coming back.”

Xander waited until the car had stopped completely before he climbed out and grabbed his single bag and moved away.

“Sir?”

Xander turned back to Aris and waited.

“Don’t forget this.” Aris held out a small item, no more than forty-five centimeters long, 5 centimeters wide. It looked like baton of some sort at first look.

Xander huffed. The Tsohrah was never far from him, not since he’d bonded with it two years ago, but he usually kept it in his bag. There was something about this trip that made him cautious. Once they had cleared the airport he had taken it out of the hidden compartment of his luggage and placed it where it was more accessible. “Of course not.” As he took the Tsohrah back he felt the wood humming in his hand, and felt how pleased it was to be back in his hand. “I’ll be fine.”

“Of course you will, boss.”

Xander watched as Aris drove away. He waited until Aris had turned the corner before turning towards the iron gates that led towards what Andrew referred to as Slayer Central. He entered the side gate meant for pedestrian traffic and started walking towards the old house. Though really, house was a misnomer, because it was more like a castle. He approached the building with a weariness that he only felt when he was here.

He loved his friends. He did, but he just couldn’t relate to them anymore. He truly wasn’t sure if they could ever really relate to one another. The only thing they’d ever had in common was demon hunting.

Pax appeared as Xander stepped into the entryway, causing him to pause.  Pax never materialized in front of his friends. Xander took a deep breath and stepped further into the entryway.  He was hit with this pervasive feeling of no, not yet. It made him nervous because this trip wasn’t unplanned. Giles and Willow both knew he was coming. He hadn’t shared his specific itinerary, because contrary to popular opinion he didn’t need his arrangements made for him, nor did he need someone waiting at the airport to drive him around. He already had one mother hen. He really didn’t need another.

That was another issue he preferred to ignore. Aris traveled with him whenever he went anywhere. Well, anywhere Aris deemed unsafe or outside his safe zone. He’d never explained to Xander what his safe zone consisted of, or why he had decided to be Xander’s keeper. To be fair, Xander had never asked.

He hadn’t really needed to. Xander’s empathy had been humming under his skin for a decade, but it had fully woken the moment Caleb had decided he saw too much and liberated him from seeing anything out of his left eye. He was thankful it had. The influx of raw emotion from too many people all at once had shorted out his ability to feel anything, which given his physical condition at the time was probably a good thing.

The whole situation at the vineyard that night was nothing short of chaos. There too many injuries. a few deaths, and more than enough blame to go around. Adding his own issues into the mix was just one more thing he couldn’t deal with right then.

He hadn’t come online, not the way a guide should. At least that was what he was thinking at first. Even after so many years, he was still stuck in Anthony Harris’ warped view of Guides.

But being a Guide was about more than empathy. There were strong Empaths in the world that weren’t Guides. Just as there were some Guides with weak empathy. The two were not always interconnected. For about a year after the Fall of Sunnydale he’d thought that maybe they’d got it wrong all those years ago, and he wasn’t really a Guide.  Eventually, he’d realized that it didn’t matter whether he was a Guide or not. 

He’d learn to trust his Empathy in a way he didn’t trust his other senses.  His time with the Frehven and a few other clans like them had taught him how to use his abilities in ways that even the strongest Guides were unaware of.  His Empathy was warning him to be cautious now and he heeded that warning and he looked around the entryway.

The hall and staircase were empty, but he could sense people upstairs.  He took another cautious look around and entered the den that had been used on his previous trips.  Usually there was at least one Slayer-in-Training in there.

Not this time.  It was empty.  There was a weird tension in the air though, though he couldn’t explain what it was or where it was coming from.  He hadn’t noticed it in the hall, and it seemed centered in the room.  It made him leery.

Pax made the shrill call he made when there was danger.

“I know, buddy,” Xander said as he took cautious steps around the room, extending his empathy in a way he never did while visiting the Scoobies.  He felt an energy building in the room.  His skin was tingling.  He didn’t like this at all.

Before he could move any further the lights flickered and died. He took out the Tsohrah and extended it to its full size, looking around the room carefully. He could feel the others in the house, but their emotions hadn’t changed since he entered the house, which in itself made him wary.

Suddenly there was a flash of bright light and a gust of wind.  Xander whirled around, eye searching the room.  There was a blue light hovering in the air in front of him, getting larger every second.  

A Portal.

Portal’s were never good.  He remembered all of Anya’s stories, about other dimensions and what kind of dangerous things could be found on the other side.  He took a step back, putting more room between him and the portal.

Pax squawked once before disappearing in an angry huff.

Another gust of wind circled the room, and he felt something grab him.  And drag him closer to the portal.  He tried to resist, push himself backward out of the path of the portal, but the wind just got stronger, until it lifted him right off the floor.


There was another flash of light so bright it was almost blinding then an explosion of sound as he felt his body propelled forward.  He couldn’t breathe for a second, feeling as if all the oxygen had been burned out the room.  Xander clutched the Tsohrah tightly in his hand as he was thrown out of the portal.


He landed with a hard thump, but looked around swiftly, trying to gauge the level of danger.  It was dark, but he could tell he was in a jungle.  There were trees everywhere.  He stood up and looked around, trying to see if there was anything that would tell him exactly where he was.  There were a lot of jungles.  He’d been through a few of them in his travels.


He moved towards a large tree and some nearby plants that were wildly overgrown.  There was something off about them.  He moved closer trying to place the species.  He’d spent a lot of time learning about plants and herbs and what could be used for food, or healing, or was just toxic enough for poison.


He needed to find shelter.


Just as he was going to move out of the bushes he heard a strange noise.  It wasn’t anything like he’d heard before.  He moved towards the sound and found…well he wasn’t sure what it found.


It was a giant ring made out of some sort of metal.  And it was spinning.  Xander just stood there and watched as something weird happened.  The ring was some sort of portal.  It opened and some sort of aircraft came through.  It was making a weird humming noise.  Once the aircraft was through, several people started walking through the portal.


Well, he thought they were people.  Not human certainly.  But he’d seen worse looking demons, so he wasn’t going to judge.


He watched as they ran in one direction.  They were clearly here with a purpose.  But he was going to stay hidden until he could determine if they were friend or foe.


“Definitely not in Kansas anymore.”  Xander murmured to himself.

2

Xander moved cautiously through the dense foliage.  He was being extra-cautious because he wasn’t sure exactly where he was, but he’d observed enough to know he was no longer on Earth.  At first, he thought it might have been another dimension, but he’d actually been to a handful of other dimensions and while they weren’t exactly the same as Earth proper, it was different is specific ways.  The nether planes tended to be less in the way of alternate earths like his comic-book upbringing implied, and more about habitats fit for whatever lifeforms that called the place home required. 

He’d heard some whining noises that sounded to him like some sort of energy weapon discharge but wasn’t sure what sort.

There was something going on nearby.  He’d seen tracks and was pretty sure that the weird impressions he was picking up were connected to whatever species had come through the portal.  They were grouped together indicating three or four people were moving together.  They were also deep, which told him they were made by someone with a heavier weight distribution.

Those…whatever they were, were a pretty decent size, though nowhere near the largest thing he’d ever encountered,  they also seemed to be dressed in some kind of cured hide.  He didn’t suppose it was cow leather, but it was probably something similar.

Just as he was about to step out of his cover he another weapon, this one sounded different than what he thought might be a fight.  He could feel…something odd coming from the direction of the noise.

That cold and calculating sensation he’d felt from the demons, or whatever they were, had elevated, but now it was being joined by a sense of exhilaration.  There was something else out there too.  Not just the demon things.  He couldn’t quite recognize what it was.  It seemed both alien and familiar at the same time.

He felt drawn towards it, and before he knew what he was doing he was moving forward.  Just before he reached the tree line where he could feel their presence, Xander heard a grunt, another weapon firing, and then nothing.  Xander stopped and stood still for a moment, waiting.  When nothing else was heard he moved forward again.

What he found, he wasn’t prepared for, no matter how many insane left turns his life had taken.

*

Aris had just arrived at the old structure Xander’s Platheu’ called home  when he felt something shift in his core.  He stopped and looked around, trying to determine the source.  Nothing seemed out of place in the immediate area. But there was definitely an echo of…something not quite right.  He closed his eyes and took a deep breath.  He needed to meditate. He was not comfortable in this place, but he wouldn’t leave without Xander.

Glossary

Satedan Words:

Ililsa – Spirit Animal

Ililsa-vek – Spirit Plane

Kjarja – Guide

Korsiin – The Closing

Kria – Feline

Kri’sun – Pride

Reyat – Sentinel

Rey-nor – physical plane

Sundassa – The Path – The Journey between ‘Onlining’ and Bonding.

Sunvae – on the path together

One Comment:

  1. I love crossovers anyway, but this one really has me hooked! I will respectfully hope it calls to you at some point. In the meantime, thanks for posting.

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