Nobody really noticed at first, how he looked the same as he did in his sophomore year. He entered 12th grade still looking the same as he did the year he met Buffy. The year Buffy died is face was still fresh and unlined. The year the hellmouth caved in, his hair was still as glossy and bouncy as it had been all those years ago. A year after he lost his eye everyone was shocked to find it had regenerated. That was the first time they noticed something was "wrong". Of course this led to a massive research party. Giles took the watchers diaries, Willow searched with magic, Buffy beat up demons to get answers, but it was Dawn who caught the first clue. She'd been looking in her sisters 10th grade yearbook. She saw Xander standing with four strangers in the Sunnydale high school quad. Underneath the picture was written 'hyena pack'.
"Buffy, what's this?" asked Dawn pointing to the pic.
"Oh those are the kids that got possessed by hyena spirits in 10th grade, Xander got one too." Buffy said.
"Did you notice Xander looks just like he does in this picture?" Dawn asked.
This sent everyone on a mad search for anything about Primals and possessions. It was a year and a half later that they discovered the only person to survive a Primal possession was found alive 220 years after the fact. This person, a shaman, hadn't aged a day and was said to have regrown one of his arms.
And so when Spike showed up 30 years later, having somehow survived the fight in L. A. it was a fresh faced Xander who greeted him. The years had mellowed the fiery anger and the two were able to strike up a warm friendship. It was this relationship that kept Xander sane as all his loved one's aged and died leaving him alone except for Spike.
Miss Edith said it was time for my pigeon to fly on his own. It's always hard to push a chick from the nest. My new friend with the horns and the lovely slime will keep me company. Miss Edith promises my Spike will find a kitten on the hellmouth all his own. Poor, poor prince, won't know what to do when the sparks pinch his brain. But the lovely boy will make it all worth while. My Spike will snatch up the slayer's knight and hold his heart close. That bit of wire and sparks will make my pigeon stop and think before he gobbles the sweet kitten up. Their love will last for ages. Miss Edith says the kitten won't ever get older, so Spike will have his love forever. The Slayer will wither and die, the witch will grow more and more bitter, but my Spike's boy will be fresh faced and dewy eyed when the Slayer's little toys are all broken and gone. All the stars will sing of their quarrels and dance to their union.
Willow bent over her journal, writing with a shaking hand.
"It's not fair! I've tried recreating the ritual that possessed Xander with the hyena primal. No matter how much magic I learn or how many times I try, I can't get it right. I've tried seven hundred and twenty-seven variations of the original ritual. Each try has left me feeling weaker and more frail. I've looked into other ways to become immortal but nothing has worked so far.
I can't even stand to look at him anymore. My red hair is now mostly silver and his is dark and lush as it was thirty years ago.
He acts like he's the one who's dying, all sighs and tears. I'm the strongest witch in over a hundred years and I can't stop my own aging. Xander refuses to tell me the secret! He claims he doesn't know why he isn't aging but I know he's just keeping it to himself. He always wanted to be the special one, he is jealous that I am so powerful, I'm sure of it! Just one more variation, I doubt I can do anymore for a while...
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