By the way
Title: It’s Not Him 25/? (R)
Rating: R - Violent imagery
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the recognizable characters. I receive no profits from this. It is just for fun.
Archiving: Please ask.
Feedback: Constructive Criticism desired.
Summary: Buffy hesitates.
AN – Thoughts \\I am thinking.//
AN – Mental communication *Who are you?*
\\I should have thought of this while I was connected with Willow,// he thought as he checked out the fifth cemetery for his own grave.
Since his family wasn’t very big on organized religion, save the worship of the Great God Booze, and he doubted they spent any money on getting a burial plot, he wasn’t sure which cemetery he’d been buried in. He started out with the Jewish cemetery where he knew Willow and her parents had plots, even though it was a long shot since he wasn’t Jewish but figured Willow might have considered having it done anyway.
He never knew if Jesse’s parents had a plot but since he’d been declared missing instead of dead, like Xander knew he was, there was probably no gravesite for Willow to have suggested him being buried next to.
So just like when he had gone on patrol with Buffy, he would check out the sections where most of the newly interred where placed.
So far his luck was staying par for the course which meant all bad. Well, not all bad. True he hadn’t found his own grave, but then again he hadn’t run across any of the undead draining people either. Which saved him from feeling guilty about not being able to do anything about it due to his present lack of a body. Sure, he might be able to jump into the body of the person being attacked but wouldn’t necessarily ensure they survived. His experience with Aura showed him he still needed practice using other people’s bodies when he possessed them. Not that he wouldn’t try if it came to that, as a slim chance was better than none at all.
Three cemeteries later he finally found his grave. The headstone being present surprised him as he doubted his parent would shell out any money beyond the bare necessities and only then because the authorities would force them as he was a minor living at home and not indigent. No, if his parents had their way he’d have been put in a common unmarked grave with several other nobodies. One or more of the gang probably paid for the marker if not the entire burial.
When he read the tombstone he was certain it was the gang as it had ‘Xander Harris, 1981-1997, A True Friend’ written on it.
There were several bunches of flowers piled next to the headstone. Several of them had cards attached. Although he couldn’t touch the cards he found he could maneuver himself to be able to see what was written even if the card was still folded inside an envelope.
Although there were flowers from Giles, Mrs. Summers, and Miss Calendar, several were from Willow. That he sort of expected. But the flowers from two others were not. Well, only the one small bunch from Cordelia was unexpected. It was the fact that over half the flowers were from Buffy and always said the same thing on the card, “Forgive me”.
\\Whistler said my death was an accident and that Buffy knew that but this tells me that she still believes it to be her fault. And my little jaunt through Willow’s thoughts shows she was indeed less than supportive in helping Buffy deal with it. If I find out they used her guilt to get her to agree to leaving Sunnydale, I will find some way to make the PTB pay. I swear it.//
He really wanted to somehow let Buffy know he forgave her as well as ask for his own forgiveness at not being able to stop the Hyena from attacking her.
Daybreak found Deadman Xander hovering outside Aura’s house. There was no movement from within the house as yet, but he’d wanted to make sure he was there before Aura left for school. He’d stayed near his grave most of the night and just stared at the night sky trying not to think too much as most topics just ended up making him sad and upset.
While he waited he noticed a squirrel running about and for the heck of it followed it everywhere it went as a means to pass the time. It turned into an interesting time in that the squirrel would dart off in a different direction than it had been going in from time to time and Xander would have to quickly alter course to catch up with it.
This managed to keep him occupied and free of serious thoughts until he noticed Aura leaving for school.
She was wearing a stylish dress that ended just above her knees. It was a lot more conservative than what he remembered her usually wearing, though it could still be considered alluring.
He floated along about five feet behind her all the way to school.
When they got to school, she met up with other members of Cordelia’s flock. Harmony made a comment about Aura dressing like a nun, since she and the others were in very short skirts and dresses.
“Harm,” started Aura, using Cordelia’s pet name for the blonde. “We have class with Joe Dawson today. You know, the guy that likes to flick paper wads up skirts and down cleavages. I for one don’t desire to have my breasts or thighs scratched up. Plus, I happen to like listening to Mr. Johanson speak with his European accent and wish to do so without undo distractions. It makes his lessons less boring.”
Just then Cordelia approached the group and stated after appraising their outfits, “Joe Dawson day. Glad I don’t have him in any of my classes, but that’s the type of outfit I’d wear if I did. Good for you Aura.”
Beaming at the praise from the group’s leader, Aura glanced at an abashed Harmony before replying, “Thank you, Cordelia. Well, I’ve got a book to return to the Library before first period, so I’ll see you later.”
With that she left and headed to her locker to take out the books she needed and put away the ones she didn’t. She then made her way to the Library where she found Mr. Giles by himself behind the checkout desk.
Giles looked up and was a bit surprised to see Aura as he hadn’t expected her until after school was out.
Approaching the desk, Aura quietly said, “Mr. Giles, I just realized there may be a small problem with me being The Slayer, even on a part time basis.”
“Oh. What pray tell is the problem?”
“I’m not certain I can keep it a secret from the person I’m involved with,” she replied.