Empty Lab Stool

Yawning widely Xander tried to keep his eyes open. ~ Wake up! You only have . . . ~ glances at watch ~ Ugh! . . . An hour left! ~ Looking to his left he sees Willow. She sat riveted in her slightly wobbly lab stool. Xander smiled at her, ~ Only Willow could find anything interesting in this drivel. ~

The teacher continued droning on about the cell structure of some creature Xander had never or will ever hear of again. Buffy and Cordelia in the row in front were both half asleep, for that matter except for Willow was asleep.

Xander’s head fell limply forward, finally succumbing to the battle with unconsciousness. Sleep and dreams took him away from the monotone voice of the science teacher . . .


Xander’s eyes sprung open suddenly. The teacher was still lecturing. Buffy and Cordy were still half sleeping in front of him. But when he turned to ask Willow what he missed he saw she was gone. ~ Willow! Why would she leave in the middle of science class, any class for that matter? ~

Another half an hour of class passed, without Willow. When the bell finally rang, the sleepy class stumbled quickly out.

Buffy and Cordy left together, Xander hurried to catch up. Throwing his arms around their shoulders he asked, “So, got any clue where Will ran off to?” Cordelia snorted and shrugged his arm off of her shoulder, Buffy quickly did the same.

“Don’t you have an elsewhere to be?” Cordelia spat. Xander used to her attitude didn’t think twice.

“So Buff, where did Willow go?”

“Who?” Xander laughed assuming this was some sort of joke.

“You know petite redhead witch. Our bestest bud!” Buffy gave a quizzical look, which was interrupted by Cordelia taking Buffy by the arm quickly pulling her down the hall. Xander caught Cordelia saying something about the commoners thinking they can associate with the elite.

Xander utterly confused wondered, ~ Since when did they hang out? ~ Shaking his head in confusion he headed for the library. Hoping to find Willow doing research there. But once inside he found her computer empty. He walked right into Giles office and said, ” Hey G-Man, seen Will’s lately?”

The British librarian looked up from the dusty book he had been perusing. “Oh . . . How may I help you?”

Xander blinked at his formalness. “I was looking for Willow, have you seen her?”

Giles removed his glasses and began wiping them on his handkerchief. “I’m sorry I’m not sure who your talking about. No one has been here all day, practically ever as a matter of fact.”

Xander staggered back. His face paling. ~ Giles is to stogy to ever be in on a practical joke. ~

Giles rose quickly seeing the boy was about to faint. Leading him to his chair he perched himself on the edge of his desk. “Do you need to the nurse, . . . ur, what was your name again?”

“Xander . . . Xander Harris.”

“Are you alright, ur . . . Xander?” Xander dropped his head in his hands. ~ What is going on here? ~ He stood quickly and left. Leaving the bewildered librarian to ponder the strange young man who visited him today.


Xander sightlessly walked to Willow’s locker. Knowing her combination he threw it open. Expecting to see the picture of all of them sprawled on the grass, he found someone else’s books, and someone else’s pictures.

Slamming it shut, he stormed away.


~ No Willow in any classes. Buffy a part of Cordelia’s followers. Giles doesn’t even know me! ~ School was finally over. Xander went to his locker to drop off his notebook. Opening it he gasped, it was as messy as ever, but the picture of Willow, Jesse and himself had been replaced with the same photo but with out Willow. ~ Where is Willow!? ~~


The feeling of confusion grew as he walked home. He walked to Willow’s house almost completely unconsciously. He walked up to the door and rang. After several moments and short dark haired woman answered. Giving him a warm smile she asked what he wanted.

Xander hoped that she was just one of the Rosenberg’s friends. “Is Willow home?”

“I’m sorry young man but I don’t know anyone by the name of Willow, maybe you have the wrong house?” Xander knew this house better than his own.

“I guess I must have. But . . . the Rosenberg’s don’t live here?”

The Woman looked away for a moment. “I’m sorry they moved away years ago. I think it was right after their daughter died in a car accident.” Xander nodded, willing himself not to cry. He thanked her for her help and quickly headed home.

Only after he was safely in his room did the tears fall. ~ How is this possible? How could Willow have died years ago? What happened to this place? ~ Xander didn’t like this world without Willow. Without Willow nothing was right. Her tiny life brought so much light to the world. Without her, Buffy was able to keep her social life off of the critical list, since she didn’t ask Willow for help in her classes or attack Cordelia with a stake. She was able to become a full fledged Cordelia clone. Without Willow the Slayerette’s had never been formed. So now Xander faced a world of endless loneliness..

Xander was cursed to know how wonderful the world could have been. He closed his eyes willing himself no to remember her beautiful face, or the twinkle in her eye when he gave her one of his lop sided grins. Something he knew he would never do again.


When night fell, Xander wandered into the unsafe Sunnydale night. He went without stake or cross. Not only because this Xander being oblivious to the things that go bump in the night, but also because he didn’t care. This was not a world he wanted to be in.

So throwing caution to the wind he strode through the worst parts of town. He was bound to find the bad element, undead or otherwise.

When he had passed the Bronze, spotting Buffy going in, he slowed his steps. He wondered if it was right to leave this world, or should he try to help it. As he was about to turn on his heal and go in the Bonze his decision was made for him. Something had clamped a hand on his shoulder. Letting out a tiny yelp he used what little instincts he had honed as a slayerette into twisting out of it’s grasp.

When coming face to face with one of the walking undead Xander knew his decision was made. He wondered briefly if it was going to hurt. He didn’t feel the fangs enter his throat. As his vision dimmed her swore he could hear a distant bell ringing and someone calling his name. . .


“Xander!” Willow shook his shoulders. Xander’s eyes opened quickly but not believing what he was seeing he leaned back. A mistake when one is sitting on a wobbly lab stool.

~CRASH~ When Xander fell taking Willow ,Who had her hands on his shoulders, with him. Now the two lay in an awkward heap on the Science room floor. Willow tried to pull herself off, but Xander reached around and held her to him. She saw their were tears unshed in his eyes.

“Xander! What’s wrong?” Xander smiled that lop sided smile up at her.

“Nothing now. You’re still with me.” He pulled her head to his and kissed her. A little surprised by his interest in her Willow tried to pull away for a second, but thought better of it, this was Xander kissing her.

“What happened to you?” Xander explained he had a nightmare, but they would discuss it later. Slowly picking themselves off the floor of the now empty science lab they gathered their things and left. Their joined hands a testament of Xander’s promise to himself, to never let Willow out of his sight again.

The End

Leave a Reply