Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners. I do not own any of them.
Buffy characters created by Joss WhedonCharacter DeathNon-CrossoverA/N: This story was inspired by the song Far Away by Nickelback.
The night was dark. Cold. A thin sheen of ice covered everything. A one-eyed man raced through the underbrush slipping and almost falling with every step.
‘God, I hope I’m not too late,’ he lamented. ‘She needed me and I wasn’t here. Why wasn’t I here?’
A branch snapped back hitting him in the face, knocking him to the ground. He got back up barely noticing the red welt that now lined his face, and stumbled forward intent once more on his path.
‘Almost there,” he thought. ‘Just a little bit further.’
He slid to a stop as the woods opened onto a clearing. An idyllic setting met his eye, a warped menagerie of horror and grace rolled up in one small package. There was blood everywhere. Crimson icicles hung from the doorway of a ruined church and bits of entrails were strung across the glistening, ice covered trees like twisted Christmas ornaments.
Xander took in the mass carnage and his heart sank. He had been too late. The big bad had come and he had not been here. His breath was coming in deep gasps, white on the exhale. Guilt threatened to overwhelm him. He needed someplace to sit down, but there wasn’t anywhere. So he just stood there for a moment trying to keep from dying inside.
Stepping into the clearing he took a good look around; trying to find some order in the chaos, trying to make sense of his life. He took it all in, the gore and the grace, the beauty and the pain.
He found her lying in the snow, golden hair falling around her shoulders, eyes closed as if in sleep. “Buffy,” he whispered, rushing to her side. “Buffy!”
He knelt down next to her and took her hand in his, not noticing how cold it was. “I thought I lost you,” he babbled, tears streaking his face. “I thought I’d never see you again.”
“Xander,” a voice came from behind him.
“In a minute,” he growled. “Buffy come on, I’ll get you out of here.”
“Xander,” a tear filled voice whispered.
“Come on Buff, you’ve got to get up,” he pleaded, drawing her body close to his. “I need you to help me or we’ll freeze out here.”
“Xander, its okay,” he felt a warm hand on his shoulder. “It’ll be okay.”
“Look,” he spun around angrily. “If we don’t get her out of here and someplace warm she’s gonna die!”
His words froze on his lips. “Buffy, how,” he looked at the corpse then back to her. “First…,” he started, and then stopped as he felt her fingers press against his lips.
“No,” she grinned. “Just me.”
“Yep,” she said. “In the flesh, sorta.”
“What?” he asked confused.
“I couldn’t let you die out here,” she breathed drawing him close. “So they let me come back for this.”
“For what?” he asked. “Who’re they?”
“I’m not sure,” she said. “They didn’t say, but as for what, to say goodbye.”
“You going somewhere?” he asked.
She let her head fall against his chest and hugged him tight. “Sometimes you’re so dense,” she laughed. “I’m dead. I just wanted to tell you I love you, before...”
“Before I have to go, crossover,” she whispered.
She looked up at him, filling her eyes with his image. “I’ve loved you for so long,” she said. “I wouldn’t let myself admit it; kept telling myself that you were just my Xander-shaped friend. Then we fought and you left.”
“Shhh,” he said running a hand through her hair. “It’s all good now. I don’t even remember what we were fighting about.”
“I don’t either,” she said, with tears starting to fall. “I just know that I didn’t treat you right, and now it’s too late.”
“We’ll fix it,” he said. “We’ll bring you back. It’s what we do. It’s what I do.”
She shook her head sadly. “Not this time,” she said. “They said this time it sticks.”
“Then they’re wrong,” he said. “We’ll figure out something. We have to. I can’t lose you again. I just found you.
She laced her fingers through his drawing him close, and softly kissed him. “I love you,” she said. “Forever.”
“Forever,” he said watching as she started to fade away.
“Take care of Dawn for me,” she said. “And give Willow and Giles my love.”
Then she was gone.
Xander stood there for a long moment his tears freezing to his face; sobs racked his body as he struggled to pull himself together. After a time he took Buffy’s body in his arms and started back home.