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All Fall Down

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Summary: During the year from hell, Xander makes an accidental wish, which causes he, Buffy, Willow, and Dawn to return to their past. Misconceptions abound, and the cold truth is that it isn't what's outside but it really is what they have inside.WarningsInside

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Anita Blake > GeneralEmmaLoveFR15716,84401114,16224 May 0813 Jun 08Yes

Prologue/Chapter One

WARNINGS: Character Death! Murder! Yes, that counts as a warning because one character kills another. Considering the content I might should have marked this dark over general, but I went with general.
Not your typical crossover fanfic, but the idea came to me and I couldn't stop myself.

Disclaimer: If I owned Buffy the Vampire Slayer... Well, lets just say the canon you know and love/loathe would have been very different. Ergo, I couldn't possibly own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, nor am I am in any way associated with anyone who does or is in any way connected to anyone who does.
For the record, I also do not own, nor am I in any way connected or associated with anyone who does own Anita Blake.
This disclaimer business can be depressing. ;)

Note: The older Buffy characters come from Mid-Season Six before As You Were. So, Willow is on the wagon, but not cured, Buffy and Spike are still going at it hot and heavy, and Xander is drowning in doubts and fears about his upcoming marriage. The younger characters are from the summer after Season Three.

As for other things... Well, this was an idea that came to me and I simply had to get it out of my system, I think after finishing (yes, finishing) the rough draft I even understand why I had to write this fanfic. ;)

All Fall Down

Jason grinned. He was bored. Jean-Claude was off doing something, Anita was off doing something, everyone was off doing something. But they'd left Jason alone in the office with the computer and access to the internet.

He chuckled. They'd stopped doing that after he'd posted some naughty pictures to a website showcasing some of the things that went on inside the Circus of the Damned.

He still didn't understand what they'd gotten so uptight about, it wasn't like he'd actually posted nude pictures of Jean-Claude or Anita. Not only that, but Jason believed it was because of his postings that attendance had increased slightly in the weeks that followed.

Well, this time he wasn't planning anything like that.

"Nope," he smiled. He'd just finished watching all seven seasons of Buffy on DVD and had come up with a really great idea for a fanfic. Well, maybe it wasn't great, but it was his idea and he was going to write it whether anyone liked it or not.

He took one last look around, then clicked open WordPad. He knew he'd have to hurry if he wanted to get this done before someone showed up and put a stop to his fun.

"Buzz kills," he muttered to himself as he began to type.

All Fall Down
~Chapter One~

Xander looked around his immaculate apartment, and knew he'd done well for himself. If anyone was ready to get married, it should be him. Not only was he doing well for himself, but he had a girl that loved him.

He, Xander Harris, had managed to find someone that was so completely perfect for him that it was scary, and that was actually the problem. It was a little to scary.

Anya loved him, and wanted to spend the rest of her life as his wife. It was a wonderful feeling, but also very painfully terrifying, because more and more he was coming to realize that he just wasn't ready to take the short walk down that long scary isle and tie the knot.

He loved Anya, he really did, but maybe the song was right maybe sometimes love just wasn't enough.

He couldn't even blame it on the Hellmouth, because Xander knew even outside of any potential Hellmouth influence there were still a zillion things that could go wrong, and if his infamous luck held everything that could go wrong would.

Xander knew he wasn't perfect, that he was about as far from perfect as anyone could actually be and still be human. What probably scared Xander the most was the fact that Anya was completely human.

While she hadn't always been human, she was human now, and Xander couldn't help but fear what would happen if he turned into his father.

He was probably only average human strong, he paused. Actually, considering his nightly workouts that came from life on the Hellmouth by this point he was probably more than average human strong, and he'd seen it happen more times than he could count. Children growing up swearing that they would never become their parents, only to end up exactly like them.

The thought that he might turn into his father terrified him more than any demon he'd ever faced. He knew his father, knew what kind of man he was, and Xander never wanted to be anything like him.

It was worse now that he was holding proof positive in his hands that at one time his father had been on the verge of success, just like Xander was now. Xander suspected that if anyone had told his father back then that he would end up nothing more than a drunken lout there wouldn't have been anyone who would have believed it.

Xander had went to his parents house during a bit of nostalgia, and now wished he hadn't. His parents hadn't been home, and Xander had decided to check out his basement. They'd loaded it down with all their old junk, and for some reason he'd felt compelled to go through everything.

It had been a large shock to discover that after high school his father had had a promising career in sports. As far as Xander could discover, his mother had gotten pregnant, and he'd married her. Xander wasn't sure why his father hadn't went into sports anyway, but he hadn't, and the rest was history; painful, terrible, gory, and not distant enough history.

Xander looked up and blinked. At some point, Anya had returned home and was babbling about something. Something to do with the Magic Box.

Xander tried to focus, but found he just couldn't. He couldn't help thinking about not just what he was going through, but what Buffy and Willow were going through - what they were going through made what he was going through seem like nothing.

Not to mention Dawn. Poor Dawn, with everyone wrapped up in their own issues she was getting left out terribly. The sad thing was that Anya's demon friend was right they deserved to be punished for that alone. Dawn was in so much pain, and they'd all been to wrapped up in themselves to notice.

I wish, Xander thought absently. That Buffy, Willow, Dawn, and I could go back and change everything.

If we could, I know we'd make everything better. They could stop Buffy from jumping off the tower, and therefore dying, that one act alone would probably make everything a million times better.

Xander lost his train of thought when he heard Anya scream his name.

When he looked at her, he realized with no small amount of fear that he'd spoken his wish out loud.

That can't be good.

A moment later, he breathed a sigh of relief.

"See," Xander said with a smile. "Nothing happened. I'm a guy, and from what I've seen there are no demons running around trying to help out us poor guys. Right?"

Anya was looking at him as though he were crazy. However, before she could speak, Xander heard a voice that stopped his heart cold.


~ * ~ * ~

It was night, and Buffy was walking around Sunnydale. Monsters to kill, demons to slay, and all. But her heart just wasn't in it.

A week ago tonight Angel had left and she knew she would be lucky if she ever saw him again.

She sighed. It wasn't like he'd up and left without warning, but it still didn't make his leaving any easier to bear.

Buffy allowed the bitterness to rise up.

He shouldn't have left her.

"So, okay, we couldn't be together as lovers ever again," she ranted. That didn't mean they couldn't have remained a part of each others lives.

"But no one," not even Angel, Buffy thought bitterly. "Listens to Buffy, because they all know best! Stupid Buffy doesn't know anything."

At least Giles was trying to be comforting. That he was failing wasn't really his fault.

Buffy sighed.

Willow wasn't exactly being unhelpful, she was just avoiding the whole issue, trying to pretend that everything was fine and that a certain vampire hadn't just walked away. That is when she wasn't spending most of her time with Oz, if Buffy didn't know better she'd swear her best friend was avoiding her.

Buffy frowned. Even if she was, Buffy couldn't exactly blame her. Willow and Oz had futures, bright ones, it wasn't their fault that this, such as it was, was her life.

Xander was the worst, Buffy thought bitterly. He was clearly thrilled that Angel was gone, and never missed a moment to be happy about that fact. So, okay, he wasn't saying he was happy because Angel was gone, he was just annoyingly happy, and it was painfully obvious why he was so happy.

Buffy sighed. To be fair, it wasn't exactly his fault that Buffy knew why he was so happy, and it was possible that he didn't realize how much his happiness hurt her.

Though he really should know, she thought as she kicked a rock, and watched it bounce off a headstone.

Thankfully, Xander was leaving for his road trip sometime tomorrow, so Buffy would be spared his smugness for the rest of her summer.

Buffy frowned. Xander wasn't actually the worst of the bunch, just the worst of the Scoobs. Her mother was hurting her most of all.

For some reason, her mother seemed even happier than Xander that Angel was gone. Perhaps it was because her mother thought that with him gone her vampire slaying would stop, and that Buffy could go out and get herself a real life.

Buffy laughed, it wasn't a happy sound. "Like that can happen. This is my life. This will always be my life."

As if to prove the point, a vampire rose up in front of her. She didn't even bother fighting, she just dusted it.

Buffy turned to go, it was getting late, which she hoped meant that it was late enough that her mother would all ready be asleep. The last thing she needed right now was to have her shinny happy mother around.

As she turned, something caught her eye. When she looked back, she froze. There she was standing beside Willow, both of them looking stunned. There was a dark haired girl on the other side of her other self that Buffy didn't know, and Xander who was standing slightly off to the side.

Buffy almost grinned. Xander was looking a bit sheepish.

"What happened?" The girl asked, and Buffy picked up a bit of a whine.

"I'm not sure Dawnie," Willow replied.

"But don't worry," her other self said. "We'll figure it out."

"Um," Xander said hesitantly. "This is my fault."

Everyone turned to look at him.

Xander sighed. "I made a wish."

Three sets of eyes goggled at him.

"After what just happened?" Willow asked.

Buffy watched as extreme guilt crossed the one called Dawnies face.

"Xander, how could you be so stupid?" Her other self asked, and Buffy was surprised by how hateful she sounded.

"I didn't mean to," Xander said holding up his hands. "I was just thinking about how... Well, I was thinking about how bad things were, and how if we could go back, we could make things better. I didn't mean to make a wish, besides I didn't know there were any demons out there who granted wishes for men."

At that everyone started looking around.

Dawnie squealed when she saw Buffy.

"Buffy, look!"

Everyone turned to her, and Buffy had to fight the urge to run away. She'd almost rather deal with her mother right now over some magical bullshit.

"Hello, me," her other self said.

Buffy didn't know what to say, so she just kept her mouth shut. This could be some kind of demon trick, after all. Though most demons never got this elaborate.

"Where are we?" Dawnie asked.

"She means," Willow said. "What is the date here?"

"June 2nd," Buffy replied absently. "1999, to be exact."

The four of them seemed to sigh.

"Not long after graduation day," Xander said, and he seemed almost wistful.

"It's February 19th 2002, for us," Willow said. "Or at least it was."

Buffy shrugged, it wasn't like she cared. Though there was some comfort in knowing that three years from now she'd still be alive.

"So," Xander said. "We're really back. A week to the day after we blew the school to bits."

"Seems so," her other self replied absently.

~ * ~ * ~

PS - Yes, there will be more Anita characters showing up - otherwise I would have just done away with the opening bit and done a non-crossover. But in a way I couldn't have finished this fanfic without them. ;)
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