Rating: Adult for language and sexual situations
Warnings: Graphic M/M sex
Disclosure: BmbleBee owns none of the characters used in this story.
However, the story idea and plot are the property of the Bee. Please do not take
without asking and please do not incorporate sections of the story for your own use.
Summary: Modern technology is a wonderful thing. It is Xander's connection to his best
friend, Jesse until that connection is unexpectedly severed. What happens next leaves Xander baffled.
Thanks to Naughty Fae for the pre-read and encouragement
Banner done by the talented Petxnd
For the first time in as long as anyone could remember, Xander was punctual for the start of the
school day. Unfortunately, it wasn't a sudden thirst for learning or a craving for a quality education
that inspired his timely arrival at Sunnydale High. It was a desperate attempt to prove that he had
not gone round the bend on a fast train to Psycholand ,and that instead, the bizarre occurrence of
last evening had both a reasonable and logical explanation.
"Oh, no, Buff, I don't think the miniskirt is too short." The two girls bounced through the doorway of
the homeroom class. Willow had her books clutched to her chest and Buffy cracked her chewing gum
as the redhead expounded on her friend's new look. "I would have suggested panties underneath but,
hey, that's just me. So where did you get it and how much.... Xan?"
Willow slid into her seat and was startled at the fact that he was there before her. Before the arrival
of the teacher. Before the ringing of the first bell. "Xander! Wow, you're here. On time. Go you!"
Xander rolled his eyes at the exaggerated praise. "Ah, come on now, Willow. It isn't as if I NEVER
get to school.... Okay. Point taken. Hey, can we talk for a mo before class starts?" Xander's
question was delivered on an expression and the low tone of an undercover conspiracy
that, unfortunately, sailed high over Willow's head.
"Sure, hon. What's up? Oh, if this is about the algebra test later, you know you can...."
Xander shook his head. Well, yes, he would copy off her but that wasn't the pressing issue.
Leaning forward towards his redheaded friend, Xander glanced up and couldn't help but notice
how Buffy, on Willow's other side, appeared intent on dipping into the private confab. It just added
to the fact that the new girl gave him the wiggins.
But time was short, and with or without Buffy's eavesdropping, Xander decided to forge ahead.
"So, Wil, you do anything interesting last night?"
Willow frowned in an expression of both confusion and recollection. "Interesting? Last night?
No. Buff came over and we did our nails and dissed on some of the cheerleaders. Buffy mentioned
that if Cordelia is going to be the top of the pyramid, she should look into a Brazilian. Hmm. What
else. Oh, yeah. We watched American Idol, popped some corn and sucked down a few diet
Cokes. After that, she left around ten and I went to bed."
Xander tore his eyes off his friend and he glared directly at Buffy. This time neither of them
pretended that Buffy was minding her own business and Xander directed his question to her. "You
were out in the dark again? After everything that happened, you are still roaming around at night?"
Buffy twisted around in her seat and pretended to be generally uninterested in Xander's inquiry.
Without looking in his direction, she fussed around in her backpack, appearing to search for a
homework paper that didn't exist. "It's only a few blocks between our houses and besides, I told
you, I'm used to being out late."
Xander just shook his head at her ignorance and refusal to recognize the Bigfoot dangers that
the nighttime concealed. He had done his part. He had warned her, and now if she got eaten
by what was lurking in the shadows, well, that was on her. "Yeah, whatever. So, Willow, you
didn't get any strange phone calls last night, did you?"
Willow was surprised. "Phone calls? Like prank?"
Xander scratched his head and he glanced around. They were now less than two minutes from
the first bell and the room was already full of students laughing, talking and tossing a frisbee from
the front of the classroom to the back. "Yeah. No. Not really prank just.... So no one called you
Willow pulled out her cell phone and scrolled through the menu of recent calls to assist her
memory before she answered. "No, not after ten. Who would have called?"
While her two classmates continued their discussion, Buffy stared straight ahead, seemingly
fascinated with the equations written on the chalkboard while her hearing tracked every bit
of the conversation. Although she was still very new to this whole slayer gig, one thing was
certain. Something this morning had her skin itchy and her hair tingling.
And the uncomfortable reaction hadn't started until they came into the close proximity of Xander
Subtly, Buffy glanced over as Xander and Willow still sat with their heads together, and the blonde
did her best to read and evaluate him. Up to now, Buffy dismissed him as a rube. A hick. An idiot
that was only a blip on her radar because of his relationship with Willow. Now, he felt like more,
and Buffy was unsure why.
She inhaled deeply. It was frustrating and puzzling. She could almost swear that she detected the
faint scent of vampire on his skin, but that made no sense. Xander was scared shitless to be out
at night so how could he have possibly come into contact with a vampire? It had to be something
else. A cheap cologne maybe. But that wouldn't account for the physical repulsion she was
feeling towards him.
Maybe it was just a fluke or a malfunction in her slayer senses. Either way, she resolved to speak
to Mr. Giles later. After all, he had told her that he was her watcher and she could go to him with
any questions and problems, and right now she had a big question about Xander Harris.
By lunchtime, the boring normalcy of the school day had given Xander a fresh perspective on the
whole odd situation. Clearly it wasn't what it seemed and he was beginning to feel foolish. It was
a prank. It was a fuck-up of the phone company. It was a message from outer space. It could have
been any number of things, but what it wasn't was a call from the grave from a dead friend.
Xander chuckled as he sat in the warm, safe sunshine of the courtyard and ate the last of his ham
and cheese sub. He crinkled the wrapper and tossed it towards the trash can, missing it by several
inches. Sitting back on the green, slatted bench, he stretched his legs out in front of him and he
crossed his feet at the ankles. He stared at the other students, and a bone-deep loneliness descended
over Xander as he watched them mill around, walking together, chatting, and no doubt making plans
for the weekend.
Xander missed Jesse.
It was an emotion that triggered an automatic reaction, and before Xander could overthink himself,
he reached into his pocket for his phone. Moving quickly before his brain could interfere and
complicate the situation, Xander powered on and dialed up. He just wanted to say 'hi'. He just
wanted to hear Jesse's voice on the mailbox message. He just needed to feel connected.
On the first ring, the corner of Xander's mouth twitched upward as he subtly glanced around to make
sure no one was looking his way and would overhear his one-sided conversation. On the second
ring, he allowed himself a small smile as he thought about what he would say. Possibly a
profanity-laced chastisement for last night's scare. It was actually the sort of joke Jesse
would have played. If he could still play a joke.
If he was alive. Which he wasn't.
On the third ring, Xander waited for the pre-recorded message to begin. What he got was something else.
"Hello?" The distant voice sounded sleepy and slightly irritable. It sounded somewhat muffled
and disturbingly normal.
Xander blinked. He fought the urge to slam his phone to the ground and crush it beneath his
second-hand Chuck Taylors.
This wasn't a dream and this was not a misunderstanding lost in the shadows of the night,
and surprisingly, this time Xander wasn't as frightened as he was pissed. "Who is this? Who
am I talking to? How did you get this phone? Grave robbing is a serious crime buddy and
believe you me, I'm not afraid to call the cops."
The sigh of annoyance on the other end was long and slow and deep. "Oh for fuck's sake, Xander,
are you really that stupid? Nobody dug me up. Although it would have been a whole lot easier if
By now, Xander was all but hyperventilating. He had leapt to his feet and turned his back to the
main area of the courtyard, hoping no one would notice that all of the blood had drained from his
face in horror. He cupped his hand over his mouth and phone and he squeezed shut his eyes as
he whispered one, small, tentative word. "Jesse?"
Xander's heart jumped into his throat and his stomach fell to his feet in an organ rearrangement
that tossed him to the edge of passing out. The one-word response, delivered in the mocking,
sarcastic tone, was exactly what he would have expected from his supposedly deceased friend,
and Xander had to try again. "Jesse?"
"Xander." This time the name was spoken in a flat, bored response that said the speaker was tired
of this nonsense. Again, very Jesse.
The buzzing in Xander's ears made the final lunch bell impossible to hear, and he was oblivious to
the fact that the other students were filing back through the open double doors and moving on to
their next classroom, leaving him alone in the round, quiet outdoor space.
Slowly Xander lowered himself back onto the wooden bench in case he toppled over from the
shock. This was impossible. This was so Twilight Zone that Xander was scared shitless, however,
in the weighing of emotions, he found curiosity coming out on top.
Cautiously, with a quiver in his voice, Xander hesitantly picked up his end of the conversation.
"Hey, buddy. I've missed you. So, how's it going?"
Jesse gave a snort and a dark chuckle. "Oh, it's going pretty good. Course being dead is a bit
of a bummer, but hey, we all have our crosses to bear. Mine's being a corpse, and if my messages
are to be believed, yours seems to be an attraction to dicks and an interest in butt fucking."
Xander's fear and trepidation was instantly replaced with an indignation tinged with
embarrassment. "HEY! Those were private! Besides, it isn't what you think. Okay, yeah,
it probably is, but I didn't think.... I mean.... Damn, Jess."
Jesse laughed. "Hey, don't worry about it. Truth is, I guess we are both looking at things in
a different light these days. You like sucking dicks and go for an area a little higher."
Xander scratched his head in confusion. "Huh?"
"Never mind. It isn't important." The implication was that, despite Jesse's words, the subject
was indeed important.
Xander dropped his head and he rubbed his hand over the back of his neck, trying to ease some
of the tension in his muscles. There were so many questions he wanted to ask and so few
answers he wanted to hear. "Where are you Jess? You ain't still in that box, are you?"
Jesse whined pitifully and moaned long and low. His voice fell to almost a whisper as he pleaded.
"Oh, Xan, buddy. It's so cold and dark down here. It's lonesome and I can't get out. It was all
a mistake. They buried me when I was still alive."
Xander gasped in horror. His eyes bugged and his heart raced. Images of the old 1950s
movie 'Premature Burial' flashed through his mind. He again lunged to his feet and he began
pacing frantically. "Oh God! Jesse! Hang on, buddy. I'll get help. I'll call someone. We
can get shovels and...."
Jesse whooped and roared as he laughed. "You fucking moron. Of course I'm dead. They don't
fuck up like that and bury people that ain't breathin'. Jesus, Xander. How fucking gullible are you?"
By now, Xander was ticked off. He would have thought that croaking would make a guy mature
a bit, but apparently in Jesse's case, that was not true. "Fuck you, you ass-wipe."
Jesse snorted at his friend's predictability. "Listen, Xan, I was sleeping when you called, but hey,
maybe we can get together later. Tonight. After the sun sets. I could sure use a bite and we can
catch up on old times. You know, visit for a minute while I eat."
Xander paused. The conflict within him raged like a tornado. His entire being craved the
close proximity of his best friend, and yet the logical little voice within him screamed at him
to examine this whole bizarre situation and, for once in his short, fucked up life, think before he
acted. "Oh, yeah, sure, buddy. Right. We could totally do that. Well, I would love to chat
further but the bell is about to ring and you know how bitchy Miss Kinser gets when we are
late for science lab. So. Um, call ya later. Okay?"
Jesse yawned. "Right. Later. Oh, by the way, Xan. Just a little tidbit for you to mull over
this afternoon. The Longview Cemetery does NOT have a night watchman."
Bonk. End call. The line went as dead as his friend and Xander was left feeling shell shocked.
He flipped shut his phone and his arms fell limply at his sides. His mouth hung open slackly and his
eyes glazed over while he tried to absorb everything he had just heard. Jesse was dead, but
apparently not so much that he couldn't talk on the phone. That was zinger number one.
Zinger number two came on the wings of the information that if Spike was not the night watchman,
who the fuck was he?
Xander whimpered. He dropped his phone into his trouser pocket and tried to coax his legs to
move. When his motor skills marginally returned, he lurched toward the courtyard gate that led
to the sidewalk and away from the school. What he needed to learn today would not come from
From there, he headed straight for the edge of town. He needed to look for answers in the place
where all of this started. The Longview Cemetery. And this time, he wanted to do it in the
harsh, protective light of day. No shadows. No scary voices. No sneaky Bigfoots (Bigfeet?)
lurking about and hunting for its next juicy meal.