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The Zeppo No Longer...

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Review of chapter "Chapter One" from msdarque
Review:
Sad and tragic and kinda beautiful... Brought me to tears, but I liked reading it a lot. :)
Congrats and kudos!
Review By [msdarque] • Date [25 Aug 11] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from BuffyKaibaHunt
Review:
Wow! Very intriguing, brilliant and awesome!

The Scoobies were gathered in Giles’ apartment. They’d found a letter in one of Xander’s pockets, and they were going to read it.

The reactions to Xander’s death had been somewhat varied. Faith was confused, Willow was almost catatonic, Cordelia had taken to crying at random intervals, Buffy had sunken into the Slayer essence, giving her anger rather than grief, Giles was drinking heavily, and Oz… If one looked close enough, the corners of his mouth had turned downward into a frown.

Giles took a deep breath. “Well, we all know why we’re here. Let’s get on with it.” He opened the letter, and began to read aloud.



Dear Scoobies,

I guess I finally had the guts to go through with it. I didn’t think it’d get that bad, but apparently, it did. Let me explain what I mean.

When I realized that Buffy was trying to push me out, it hurt. It hurt a lot. In my entire lifetime, I’ve only had a few people I’d call family. First, was Jesse and Willow. I lost Jesse, of course, but I got a few replacements. Buffy, Giles, even Cordelia, later on. And Oz. He was the ‘Cool older brother’ I always wanted.

Giles was the father I never had. And before any of you try to delude yourselves, Anthony Harris is not my father. He had sex with my mother, and I was born. That was the extent of his parentage to me. Even though G-Man could get annoyed with me once in a while, he never stopped supporting me. He even kept it a secret that I kept all the memories from the Hyena thing. For that, I’ll always be grateful.



At this point, all the Scoobies looked at Giles. Sighing, he nodded. “It’s true. He remembered everything. He was afraid you all would abandon him if you knew.”

Not even Buffy could turn that into righteous anger.

Giles went back to the letter.



Willow, of course, is my sister, in every way that counts. I went to her house whenever it got too rough at home, and she let me stay, no questions asked. That’s more than I would ask of just about anyone else.

Buffy… well, she’s hard to quantify. I’ve been attracted to her, I’ve supported her, I’ve saved her life… And I know she’s been guilty of the last two, at one time or another. I’d like to think that the first one is true of her as well, but I have my doubts. Not that it matters anymore…

Cordelia. What can you say about the Queen C? She’s a bitch, I know that much, but she does it in a way that no one else can. She can tear you down, and make you feel like a million bucks at the same time. It’s an odd talent, but she’s got it down to a science.

Now, with a family like that, I should have been able to live quite happily, shouldn’t I? Sadly, it wasn’t to be.

Before I got into Slaying, I didn’t have anything worth doing in life. Sure, I hung out with Jesse, learned enough from Willow to keep my grades afloat, but I wasn’t really doing anything, you know? My life was going nowhere, and fast. Then Buffy hit town.

Suddenly, I had a reason. A purpose. For those of you who have never been directionless, let me tell you, it’s an amazing thing. It filled a part of me that I hadn’t known about. It gave me strength, as much as having someone to fight for does Buffy. And then… you pushed me away.

I felt like my heart had been split in two. My family, the only people that I could count on for anything anymore, were rejecting me. That’s not something I could handle. I could handle the ‘Fluke,’ I could handle Cordelia dumping me, hell I could handle the fact that Oz took Willow back so quickly, and Cordelia just took to insulting me. I still had my purpose, right?

Wrong.

My life began to spiral downward. I had nothing left. I’ve seen what happens when you don’t have a purpose anymore, and I refuse to become Tony. That is the one thing I will not accept.

Last night, while the rest of you were dealing with the Hellmouth, I discovered that Jack O’Toole, along with a few buddies of his, were planning to put a bomb in the school basement. I knew enough from the conversations the rest of you were having to know that it would probably spell Apocalypse if they pulled it off.

So, I stopped them. I cornered Jack, and didn’t let him leave until he’d disarmed the thing. Oh, by the way, turns out he was a zombie. Weird, huh? I say ‘was,’ because I’m pretty sure Oz ate him last night.

Anyway, I wound up sitting on my bed, thinking everything over. I knew that, no matter what I did, I wouldn’t be able to convince you guys that I can help. You’d still shove me away. To be honest with you, I couldn’t live like that. I couldn’t go back to being nothing, or as Cordy put it, the Zeppo. I can handle a lot of things, but not that. So, I came to a decision.

As soon as I’m done writing this, I’m going to go to Willy’s, find a willing vamp, and ask him/her to kill me. If you’re reading this, I guess it worked. I’m sorry if this hurts you guys, but I don’t have a lot in the way of options. I hope you can understand that.

Oh, one last thing: Faith, I want to thank you, for two things. First, you never treated me like second best, and second, if it hadn’t been for you, I’d have died a virgin. I don’t know if that gets you any brownie points upstairs, but it meant a hell of a lot to me.

With all my love (how ironic is that?),

Xander



Everyone was quiet for a long moment. Not even Faith could come up with a smart-ass comment for what she’d just heard.

Finally, Willow broke the silence. “We… We did that to him.” It was barely above a whisper, but no one missed it. And what’s more, no one disputed it.

Cordelia bent over in her seat, her head resting on her knees, and her hands on the back of her head. She couldn’t find the words to express what she was feeling.

“What do we do now?” Buffy asked.

Giles cleared his throat. “Xander left a post-script.”

PS. Giles (Hah! Didn’t call you G-Man!), don’t read this part until someone asks what they’re supposed to do (You owe me ten bucks if it’s Buffy). I’ll tell you what you do. You’ve got a fine pair of legs on you (Especially Cordy). Get up, and move forward.

***

In their own ways, every member of the Scoobies took Xander’s words to heart. Cordelia chose to fully take his place in the Scooby Gang, helping with patrols, research, and everything else she could.

Oz took up meditation, gaining control over the wolf inside him. Eventually, he reached a point where he could transform at will, fully in control of his actions. Willow was a great help, and joined him in his sessions, keeping careful control over her magic.

Both Slayers took up the cause with renewed vigor, finding unlikely friends in each other. Though she would never admit it, Faith had felt left out until then. Xander’s letter inspired the other Scoobies to accept her on a new level, giving her the family and support they had unwittingly denied Xander.

Giles continued in his role as Watcher, despite the fact that he was no longer part of the council. He trained the non-Slayers in combat, giving them a greater edge in patrolling.

Xander, from his position in the next world, watched all of this, a smile on his face.

Very neat! :)
Keep up your super-neat, very brilliant and creatively cool writing! :)
Review By [BuffyKaibaHunt] • Date [21 Jun 11] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from Stormguard
Review:
Nicely done.

Not an easy thing to pull off.

Very nice.
Review By [Stormguard] • Date [25 May 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from AonGealach
Review:
I would love to see what you would do with the sequel to this; if you ever write the sequel to this.
Review By [AonGealach] • Date [16 Dec 10] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from DannyMasters
Review:
-sniffle- how bitter sweet.
Review By [DannyMasters] • Date [20 Jul 10] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from Elleria
Review:
Sad but good. Sequel please?
Comments from author:
We'll see. I'm working on something else right now.
Review By [Elleria] • Date [23 Jun 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from (Current Donor)Shieldage
Review:
Harsh.

Well written.

Eh. I dislike that you have a scene dedicated to his afterlife. I feel that it cheapens the impact of the piece.
Comments from author:
I guess I can see that. But, I thought Xander deserved something. I didn't just want to send him to hell, or whatever.
Review By [(Current Donor)Shieldage] • Date [22 Jun 09] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from BAT
Review:
Normally, I don't like suicide stories, but this was well done. And it seems to fit canon. I can so see Xander doing that. Although, I think you should've included Angel.

“Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You’re going to protect a trio of students there. Come, I’ll fill you in on the details.”

Oh, I'd love to read that! Xander would so cause havoc as the Golden Trio's guardian.
Comments from author:
That is (most likely) forthcoming.

I tried to think of something that Xander would say to/about Deadboy in his parting words, but nothing came.
Review By [BAT] • Date [19 Jun 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from empressdeena
Review:
That was moving. I really enjoyed it.
Comments from author:
Glad you think so.
Review By [empressdeena] • Date [19 Jun 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from eriktheviking
Review:
Well written darkness without crossing over into depression.
Comments from author:
Thanks.
Review By [eriktheviking] • Date [19 Jun 09] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from Hawkehunt
Review:
Equal parts depressing and encouraging. Not sure what else to say.
Comments from author:
Well, since that's what I was going for, that's more than enough. :)
Review By [Hawkehunt] • Date [19 Jun 09] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from TweedWizz
Review:
I like Faith, but I don't know I'd agree that she didn't make him feel second-best when she flung him out of the hotel room, and I realise you're only answering a challenge, but I don't feature Xander committing suicide, leaving sure, but giving up on life?

Nah.

However, you've written the actual story itself pretty well.
Comments from author:
I'll just go ahead and focus on the positive bit of that.

I happen to agree with you, but the challenge was interesting to me.
Review By [TweedWizz] • Date [19 Jun 09] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from lamusicalady
Review:
I really disagree with the idea that Xander would commit suicide... at least without more to back up his belief of turning into his father.

that said, this is well-written and you handled the subject matter delicately. two thumbs up!
Comments from author:
Thanks. I think...
Review By [lamusicalady] • Date [19 Jun 09] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from AonGealach
Review:
Cool idea! I sometimes felt like if I was in Xander's place I would have done that exact same thing. Is Xander going to "enroll" as a student? Or just be on the sidelines? I really am looking forward to the next piece!
Comments from author:
I haven't actually gotten that far yet. Though, given his age, I don't think being a student is a viable option. We'll have to see.
Review By [AonGealach] • Date [18 Jun 09] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from mithrilandtj
Review:
Damn that was sad.

BUT you left an opening for a sequal.
Are you gonna write it? Please?
Xan as a whitelighter to Harry would be SO cool!
Comments from author:
I'm looking into the possibility. It all depends on whether or not I can make it believable.
Review By [mithrilandtj] • Date [18 Jun 09] • Rating [9 out of 10]
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