Chapter Eighteen


"You said Falen tried to teach you black magic, right?" Xander asked.

"Yeah," Nicholas answered, clearly confused.

"And what nullifies Black magic?" Xander questioned urgently.

"Well, white magic would. But I don't see..." Nicholas trailed off as realization dawned upon him. " Oh you can't be serious."

"Yes I am," Xander responded with a gleam in his eye. "Don't you see? You are the descendent of the Followers. Good guys. They were empowered by good. With the powers of white magic."

"No," Nicholas said while shaking his head. "I'm a demon remember?"

"A good demon," Xander answered, emphasizing the word, good. "You have incredible control over your dark half. Maybe that's why you couldn't do black magic."

"You might be right," Nicholas replied, actually considering the idea. "But the problem at hand would need some knowledge of white magic. Something I don't even have."

"You're right," Xander responded. "Too bad I am not a descendent. I could have probably done it. I have knowledge of hundreds of spells."

"You do? How?" Nicholas asked.

"Oh, I did a lot of research into the occult and stuff. You learn a few tricks along the way," Xander replied.

"If that's so, there may be a way," Nicholas uttered hopefully.

"What do you mean?"

"I could merge with your body, like the two Followers merged," Nicholas replied. "I've done it with Falen. That's how he mainly tried to teach me. But the interesting thing is that when the two forms are merged, their minds become one. But... If we did do this, there would be a danger."

"Danger?" Xander echoed.

"My demon."

"Look, if it'll save my friends, I'll do it," Xander said. "No risk, no danger is too big. Let's do it."

Nicholas nodded silently and placed his hands at the sides of Xander's head. Slowly, their bodies became one. Then it happened. An explosion of pure thought. For what seemed like years, Nicholas' and Xander's minds exchanged thought.

Xander saw Nicholas play with his mother as a baby.
Nicholas saw Xander playing football with Willow and Jesse.
Xander saw Nicholas have his first kiss.
Nicholas saw Xander meet Buffy.
Xander saw Nicholas meet Falen.
Nicholas saw Xander fall in love with Buffy.
Xander saw Nicholas' fear and horror of the ancient vampire.
Nicholas saw Xander's heart get broken when Buffy rejected him.
Xander saw Falen feed on Nicholas.
Nicholas saw Xander's pain after Willow's and Angel's disappearance.
Xander saw the demon Nicholas reborn.
Nicholas saw Xander's pain over those two years.
Xander saw Nicholas' pain when he received his soul back.
Nicholas saw Xander's joy at his reunion with his friends.
Xander saw Nicholas' hope with Buffy and her friends.

They were one.

Xander opened his eyes to find himself alone. Yet he felt otherwise.

<Nicholas?>

And from the depths of his mind, he received an answer.

<Yes Xander?>

<Where are you?>

<I am here. Within you.>

<Are you okay?>

<I was about to ask you the same. Can you feel my demon?>

<Yes. We have it in check. What do we do now?>

<We fight.>

<Do you have access to the spells in my memory?>

<Yes. We are ready. Xander?>

<Yes?>

<Clowns?>

<Oh, be quiet.>

Xander heard Nicholas chuckle in his mind. Xander looked down at Falen and his friends. They were ready.

~ * ~ * ~

Buffy clenched her eyes shut, not wanting to hear Falen's chanting. Not wanting to know that she was about to die. All she cared about, all she thought about, was Xander. <I never told him I loved him.>

From behind her, she heard a shuffle, as if something was moving behind her. She felt the chains behind her strain and weaken. She looked next to her and noticed that Willow's chains were doing the same. Suddenly all the chains, holding all her friends, snapped and fell to the ground. She pulled herself free from the post, as did her friends and looked behind her. Around them was nothing but shadows. Then from the shadows, emerged a figure. A figure that shined of hope. Of power. Of love.

Xander.