a/n: lines used from BtVS episode bargaining.
"I know. I'm sorry." Willow said as tears ran down her face. "I'll explain everything later." She turned to everyone else. "We need to leave. Xander..."
"I got 'em Red." Spike said, bending down and picking Xander up as gently as he could.
"Thanks Spike." She turned and gathered the others with a look. "Let's go."
It was late. They were back at the house, Buffy, Dawn and Tara had gone to bed. Giles and Anya had gone home and Spike back to his crypt. Willow walked down the stairs greeted by one confused brother and the other obviously distressed.
"Hey. You guys can crash on the couch tonight and however long you decide to stay." Willow said to the brothers as she sat across from them.
"Thanks." Dean replied gruffly.
"Willow..." Sam said trying not to break down. "What happened... Xander..."
"It's a long story." She sighed. "There was a God. She was going to use Dawn's blood to open a dimensional portal to her world. We found out if she succeeded all worlds would bleed together. Hell on earth. She got Dawn. We went but...but we were too late. The portal was activated by her blood and wouldn't close until the blood stopped flowing. Xander... I didn't even know he knew magic. He probably planned this out. He did a spell so that he and Dawn would share the same blood, jumped into the portal and when he... died, the portal closed."
They were silent for a while until Dean hissed, "That's crazy."
"Dean!" Sam snapped, outraged.
"No, it's alright." Willow said. Turning to Dean, "Crazy's relative here. We live on a hellmouth. It's exactly what it sounds like. It attracts all kinds of things. Demons, vampires." She paused. "I'm sorry, I know this is a lot to take in."
"It's not." Sam said quietly.
"What?" Willow asked looking confused.
"It's not." Sam repeated. "Do you remember when we left?" He asked, when she nodded he continued. "My dad, he was hunting the thing that killed our mother. Turns out it was a demon. He trained us since we were kids. We're hunters."
"Wow. I mean I've heard of hunters." Willow said obviously surprised. "Where's your dad now?"
Sam looked down while Dean fixed his steely gaze on Willow.
"He's dead." Dean said. "Killed by the demon that killed our mother."
"I'm sorry." Willow said standing up. "I'm exhausted. Like I said you can stay for however long you like. We can talk in the morning. Goodnight." She said walking to her bedroom.
"Don't." Sam said roughly. "I can't... I just can't do this right now." He got up and walked to the kitchen.Dammit!
He thought as he slammed his fist on the counter. I could've stopped this. Why the hell would they show me this if I couldn't stop it. Fuck! I'm sorry Xan.
He put his head on the counter and silenty cried.
"Waiting for me? Xander said stepping closer to the two strange beings. "Why?"
"Because," The male said. "We have brought you here to make a choice."
"A choice." The female added. "That may save many lives."
"Then there's no choice." Xander stated. "If I have the chance to save someone, I'll do it."
"You are truly a Champion." The female said. Looking to the male she asked, "Isn't he brother?"
"Yes sister, he truly is."
"And that is why lower being," She said approaching Xander. "That I am sorry to give you these choices."
"What choices?" Xander asked warily.
"You are dead. Sacrificed your life to save your friends and the world." The male said.
"Your witch, she will find a way to bring you back."
"What? Why?" Xander asked the female breathlessly. "I did what I had to do. I'm done."
"We cannot stop her." The male answered.
"Such is free will."
"What are my choices."
"When the witch brings you back, you can return as you are. Memories intact." The male said.
"But, she will rip you from heaven. You will feel betrayed by your friends. The only person that would understand is the vampire."
"You will seek comfort from him. Possibly fall in love. But in the end he will drag you into the dark."
"You will not care. About your friends or the world. All will possibly be lost." The female finished.
"How do I know you're not lying?" Xander asked fiercely.
"You do not, lower being." The male answered icily.
"This is one of many possible futures. There is one where the witch will fail to bring you back, among others."
"What's my other option.?" Xander asked softly.
"To return as a Guardian." They answered together.
"Ok, even I heard the capital in 'Guardian. What is it?"
"A Guardian is a being with immeasurable power."
"A protector of humanity." The female added.
"And what are the consequences of choosing to be a Guardian?"
"Your memories will be erased. You will not know any of your friends."
"What? Why?" Xander asked shocked.
"This is the way things are." The male answered.
"You will be given a Guide. Someone to help you. To guide and train you."
"When the witch brings you back, you shall meet your Guide."
"There may be others like you, but as of now we cannot see." The female said.
"There is great battle on the horizon Guardian. Your friends and the world will need you." They said together.
"If I choose either one, when will I get to go back?"
"It will take the witch a while to get what she needs to resurrect you."
"During that time, what will I do, where will I be?" Xander asked approaching them.
"In heaven of course." The male answered.
"Where all Champions go."
"I don't know." Xander said sighing. "This is a hard choice. On one hand I could have my friends back, but at the cost of my life and the world. Or I can save many people and never know my friends."
"You will have the chance to have these friendships again." The female reassured him.
"Think of it as a second chance."
"So what is you choice, lower being?" They asked.
~~~~a couple of months later
Sam was in the cemetery with Willow, Tara and Buffy. He and his brother had stayed. He thought back to Xander's funeral. They had had it close to sunset so that Spike could attend. Angel and his crew showed up. Everyone devastated by the lost. I never got to see him again.
Sam thought sadly. Giles had left soon after the funeral, saying he need some time away from the hellmouth, no one could convince him otherwise. A few weeks ago Anya had become a vengeance demon again. She said she was to afraid of dying like Xander, no one blamed her. He and Dean stayed and helped the others through the rough times, and kept an eye on the hellmouth. They were sitting around Xander's grave, they had kept what they were about to do a secret from the others.
"Does everyone have their candles." Willow asked interrupting his thoughts.
"I'm trying, I'm trying." Buffy said still trying to light her candle.
"Well hurry, it has to..."
"What time is it?" Tara asked cutting Willow off.
"A minute till midnight." Sam said looking at his watch.
"Come on Buffy, do you have it?" Willow asked impatiently.
Buffy continued until she got her candle lit. "I got it. I got it."
"Okay. Start the circle." Will said seriously. "Now."
The all kneel in a semi circle around Xander's headstone, holding their candles, Willow holding the urn of Osiris. Willow starts to pour fawns blood into the urn and Sam looks around nervously.
"Osiris, keeper of the gate, master of all life." Willow says, dipping her fingers into the urn, marking her forehead and cheeks with blood. "Before time and after. Between knowing and nothing." Tipping the urn, she pours the blood onto Xander's grave. "Accept our offering. Know our prayer." She jerks back panting, deep gashes appearing on her arms.
"Willow!" Sam yells reaching for her.
Tara grabs his arm. "No! She t... she told me... she'd be tested. This is supposed to happen."
"Osiris!" Willow's voice grows louder. "Here lies the protector of the people. Let him crossover. Osiris let him... ah." Willow stops speaking choking, then a snake slithers from her mouth.
The others look on she continues, red light and magic swirling around her.
"Osiris release him." She pants.
"Willow! I need service." The Buffy-bot yells coming into view, followed by a gang of demons on motorcycles.
The demons circle the Buffy-bot, some of them circling the group. Willow screams as one of the demons run over the urn of Osiris, shattering it.
"No!" The magic and light around Willow dissipate as she collapses to the ground.
Sam grabs Willow as he and the other run off, the demons on their heels.
"We need to get out of here." Buffy says anxiously. "I can't take them all."
"Let's get home." Tara says, checking on Willow as she starts to stir.
"Willow? Willow are you ok?" Sam asked.
"Did it work?" She asked weakly.
"I'm sorry." Sam says and shakes his head.
As they near the house they notice that the front door is open, they all stop and look around. The street and the houses were trashed, broken glass and garbage strewn everywhere.
Buffy and Sam called out as they ran into the house. Sam set Willow down on the couch, turning to look at Buffy.
"They're not here." She said worriedly. "We need to find them."
"Ugh..." Willow grunted sitting up. "Where are we?"
"We're back at the house." Sam answered sitting next to her.
She sat up and looked around, turning back to Sam she nearly yelled, "The ritual! We have to go back!"
"Will, I told you." He says as he pushes her back down.
"We have to try again!" She says getting louder.
"No, we can't."
"We have to... Xander." Willow wailed. "He... he's waiting. He's counting on us, on, on me! I can't leave him there anymore. I won't, we have to finish."
"Shh, it's too late Willow. The urn, it's broken." Sam told her softly.
"No." Willow whispered, devastated.
"Wills, are you able?" Buffy asked. "The others, they're missing."
It feels like he's being torn apart bit by bit. He can't breathe. What's going on?
He takes a deep breath and opens his eyes. Dark. It's all dark. Where am I?
He reaches out and feels around. I'm in some kind of box. What if... oh god, I'm in a coffin. I'm buried alive. NO!
He starts to panic, breathing harsh. He hits the roof of the coffin with his fist over and over again until dirt starts to trickle in. He hits harder when the dirt starts to tumble in quicker. He hold his breath and punches through the wood and the dirt. Clawing his way to the surface.I'm out, I'm out.
He thinks, relieved.
Looking around he see's a headstone. It reads:
He was truly a Hero
"Is that me?" He asked aloud, his voice hoarse.I have to get out of here.
He thought as he looked around the graveyard.
"It's not your fault. We... we don't know if the spell would have worked, even if the demons hadn't..." Tara tried to say as she and the others walked down the street looking for the others.
"It would've worked." Willow said fiercely.
The others were talking amongst themselves when something dropped to the ground in front of them. Shaggy hair obscuring his eyes, in a filthy suit, crouching there staring at them through his hair. He waits a moment then rises.
"It... it's Xander." Sam says breathlessly, walking forward.
"Xander?" Willow asked stepping forward slowly.
Xander stares at them fearfully, then bolts away.
"Xander!" Willow and Sam call after him.
They and the others run down the alley after him, turning a corner.
"Where is he?" Buffy asks.
They stop, seeing Xander huddled in a corner between the wall and some random junk.
"Xander?" Willow asks moving towards him. "Xander are you..."
Xander hides his face and turns away as the other Scoobies approach him.
"It's Willow." She says. "Can you hear me?"
Xander looks up, looking around nervously, then hides his face again.
"What's wrong with him?" Buffy asks.
"Nothing!" Willow nearly screams. "He...he's in shock."
"His hands." Tara said, her voice shaking. "They're bleeding."
Sam shakes his head in dismay. "Oh no."
"What?" Willow asked looking at him.
"No. How could we... so stupid!" He yells.
"Our spell. Our resurrection spell, worked liked a magic charm." He hissed. Turning to Xander he said, "We brought you back to life Xander." He turns and looks at Willow. "Right where we left him."
"Oh god." Willow said looking sick.
"In his coffin." Sam finished.
They continue to try to reach Xander but nothing seemed to work.
Sam leans down next to him, speaking quietly, "Xander... it's going to be alright. We brought you back, you're home now."
"Home?" Xander asked confused.
Sam smiled. "Yeah, that's it. You're home."
"Yeah, welcome home." Someone snarled.
They turn to see five demons standing there staring at them. They growl and attack. They hold them off for a while till a demon back hands Sam.
"Now you die." The demon said picking him up by his neck.
He struggled, trying to break free and failed.
"Sam!" Willow yells, as she and Tara fend off a demon.
Sam starts to see spots and his visions going dark, when he hears someone yell.
"Enough!" Xander yells, the demons hit with some unseen force fly into the alley wall.
The gang looks over at Xander, his hair blowing in a non existent wind and his eye glowing pure white as he approaches the demons.
"You will not harm anyone else." He says, raising his hand.
The demons scream as their bodies ignite in flames, soon they are nothing but ash.
Xander turns back to the group, his eyes fading back to their normal color. "I..." He starts to say, then passes out.
"Xander!" Sam yells, rushing to him. "Buffy, help me."
Buffy walks over helping Sam carry him as they walk out of the alley. A couple of blocks down the road a black impala screeches to a halt next to them. Spike, Dean and Dawn hop out.
"Buffy!" Dawn yells, running to her sister, stopping when she see's Xander. "Is that..."
"Yes. We need to get back and clean him up." Sam answers for her. "Now!"
They all pile into the car, Xander's prone form laying across those sitting in the back, his head cradled by Sam in his lap.
"How did this happen?" Spike hissed out.
"Later." Sam answered, staring out the window.
let me know what you think