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This story is No. 1 in the series "Learning To Live". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Xander is falling into a miasma of despair. Trapped in a depression with no reprieve, that is until he is given a choice. Spoilers for Supernatural Season 5 episode 1.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Supernatural > Xander-CenteredxanderfanFR1311,6600113,26824 Sep 0924 Sep 09Yes
Title: Invite me in
Pairing: none
Warning: Very sad and could be seen as scary to some. Spoilers for Supernatural season 5 episode 1 (general references but spoilers nonetheless)
Disclaimer: Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Supernatural are not my property. They belong to Joss Whedon and Eric Kripke.
Summary: Xander is falling into a miasma of despair. Trapped in a depression with no reprieve, that is until he is given a choice.

A/N: Hello all! I was off today, hooray. Clap for the happy time for oneself. I watched some of the shows that I had saved on DVR. Vampires Diary (Interesting) Fringe (squeal of happiness) and Supernatural (almost fainted), but this came about. Totally short, no sequel in sight. The idea hit me like a sledge-hammer and left me winded. Hope you enjoy it.
Not beta-ed, was merely jotted down and posted.

Xander was becoming more and more despondent. There was something watching him. He had enough experience with the travelers of the night to know, to be aware.

It’s been years since he’s hunted and he’d thought the area where he lived low in activity, but now he suspected otherwise. The intense observation would not have escaped even the most denial ridden normal. Xander, as entrenched as he was in the supernatural community, felt the attention as loud as cathedral bells.

The stalking was noticeable and with a few precautions easily ignored. The dreams though, those were hard to disregard. They were bloody heart wrenching dreams. Visions that were terrifying not because of the horror they wrought but the memories they resurrected.

Xander had done everything in his power to forget, pushing those thoughts so far down that they’d almost ceased to exist. Now all he sees are the visions of death, bloody nightmares that make him gasp awake, limbs shaking. Not in fear, never fear, but a sense of inevitability. Something was going to happen; he could sense it in his bones.

Tonight was not atypical. Just like every other night, he couldn’t sleep. Closing his eyes, just for a second, made him see bloody visions, faces conjured up that he’d thought forgotten. Outside the trees brushed against the small little house making it creak eerily.

Xander looked around at the painted walls. Markings and protections symbols on every walls, he was protected against most, if not all, demons. Nevertheless the feeling that some entity had infiltrated and watched him, never diminished.

Leaning against the wall he sighed, daring to close his eyes. He cringed at the first flash, it was Giles. Xander shuddered. The watcher was bleeding profusely. His lower body slashed open, blood pouring from the long gash, and then there was red hair like a halo on a limp neck, and metal protruding between blue eyes. Blood and smoke and metal exploding into a flash of fire.

Xander’s eyes popped open. The images of death went away. They echoed in his mind but he couldn’t see it anymore. The feel of a cooling body was no longer as vivid, the bitter smell of iron less poignant.

He headed to the kitchen and grabbed one of the bottles. Easy to reach, easy to open, he didn’t even feel the burn as he consumed the beverage. His body was quick to fall under the spell of the distilled liquid. The softness of the bed was vague and his body slumped, muscles loosening involuntary as his inebriated mind answered the call of slumber.

Xander trembled in the cold and felt movement. Opening his eyes, he felt strangely sober. There was another shuffling and he turned towards the sound and gaped. Jesse stood in front of him, whole, alive and smiling.

At once, Xander knew it was a dream. There was a pang of sadness of course but Xander was happy to see something other than blood. He preferred the sight of the familiar smiling, compassionate eyes instead of dimming ones.

Jesse smiled, “You’re dreaming, Xander but it doesn’t mean this isn’t real.”

Xander frowned and whispered. “Jesse?”

He shook his head, “No, Xander. I’m not your friend. I’m an angel.”

Xander froze, “An angel?”

Jesse smiled sadly and murmured. “My name is Lucifer.”

At that Xander let out a gusting sigh. “Sure naturally, just my luck.”

He turned to the being wearing his friend’s face, “What are you?”

The being smiled, “I’m here because you’re special Xander. There are very few people like you. You’re a vessel.”

“And that means?”

“I need to take control of your mind and your body,” the being answered.

Every muscle in Xander’s body tightened, ready to defend himself to the last breath.

The figure shook his head, “Don’t be afraid, this is your choice.”

Xander didn’t relax. Demons lied all the time and he wasn’t going to give it the opportunity. Xander stood up and moved away from the approaching demon.

“What are you?” he asked again.

“I told you, I’m an angel.”

The being grinned and Jesse’s easy smiling lighted up the room. “I’m not the ‘First’ or whatever demon you’re conjuring up. I am who I said I am. I am Lucifer or the Devil or Satan. Whatever nickname you wish to use but nonetheless, I am an angel.”

Xander frowned. “Well that’s great Satan. I have to say thanks but no thanks. I’m not interested.”

Lucifer, Satan or whomever, sighed. “This is not the life you’d planned is it? You thought that you’d be with your friends. Dead or alive, you always pictured yourself in their company but now you’re alone. Losing hope as each day goes by, trapped in this endless cycle of destruction and haunting memories.”

“I can give you relief. Alleviate the pain. I can’t make you forget, but I can take some of the burden. You just need to let me. Give me the chance to make it better.”

The choice he was given was a tempting one. Xander wanted to leap on it with open arms. A way to disappear, to forget, but a terrible knowledge settled deep in his gut. He knew that his body wouldn’t be used well. Not that he was making the best of it right now moping around his house drowning his memories but he didn’t fight all his life to give in, to give up. Xander shook his head, pushing away the temptation.

The figure leaned in close, breath warm on his face. Jesse’s face scrunched in, an expression that made Xander ache. “Can I tell you a secret?” the angel asked.

Xander shrugged, “whatever.” He’d already decided. There’s nothing it could do barring killing him. And death was an escape that would be too benevolent for such a malevolent figure.

Jesse, no not Jesse, the being wearing his body, chuckled. Then quickly the expression turned serious. “He exists.”

Xander frowned, “what?”

“God,” the angel whispered. “He exists.”

Xander stared blankly and the familiar eyes dimmed with sadness. “All of your life, you secretly wished and prayed for someone to come save you. For someone to stop the abuse that you’ve been dealt, the childhood stolen by drunk parents.”

“Then later, when life became even more horrible, even more horrifying, you still hoped. When the monsters were more horrible, more tangible outside your house than in and you had nowhere to hide. He was there. Watching but he never lent a hand, did he? He didn’t care.”

The words were spoken with finality. With a sureness that frightened Xander.

He shook his head, “No. No, you’re lying.”

The eyes were solemn now, “I don’t need to lie. The rules of this insist upon that fact.”

Xander’s breath hitched and he held on to his control. “I don’t,” breath stuttered and he continued, “I don’t believe you.”

“I need you, Xander. I need you to be my vessel.”

Xander shivered, “I’m not going to let you go around wearing my body and help whatever evil plan you have.”

The angel, Lucifer, closed his eyes briefly. “It isn’t my purpose. I’m not interested in destroying the world. What was my sin?” Xander knew it was a rhetorical answer and didn’t answer.

“My sin, my crime,” he continued. “The reason I was expelled from heaven was because I loved God too much.”

“And he betrayed me.” There was such lost in those eyes. “He punished me for that love.”

There was a small pause and he continued quietly. “He punished me, just as he’s punished you. How can God stand by and allow your friends to die in such a way, such a mundane end for those who bravely survived death daily, fighting to save the world.”

“How can a drunk driver ram into your friends car killing them all so quickly. Giles, Buffy, Willow, even Dawn, all powerful, all strong life forces, extinguished, snuffed. The worse of it, the thing that is even crueler, was leaving you behind. The accident mere blocks from where you were to meet, bodies of your friends, your chosen family, left for you to find.”

Tears were pouring from Xander’s eyes and the familiar feel of Jesse’s hand pressed on his shoulder. “It was horrible. You heard the sound but you never thought it your friends. You ran to help, hoping to save a poor unfortunate stranger but instead reached the remains of your companions. How can God stand idly by and allow them to be taken away after all the pain that you’ve shared. All the times you’ve saved the world, protected it using only tears and blood. Sacrifices after sacrifices and no relief.”

Xander sobbed and was pulled into a hug. “Let me. All I want is to hold him accountable for his actions while he dare stand and judge us all. I can’t bring them back Xander but I can bring your justice.”

Xander shook his head. “I can’t,” he sobbed. “I can’t. I can’t sully their memories by giving up, by becoming the thing that we fight.”

Lucifer smiled sadly, “and that is all that remains, memories. I can’t promise you that it won’t hurt. I can’t even promise you that I will not do things that you will think terrible but I can promise you peace, rest, justice.”

Xander looked into eyes that he knew so well and felt such a deep encompassing pain. It was crushing, squeezing his inside. Lucifer whispered, “Xander, I need you to invite me in.”

As tears fell from his eyes, Xander breathed. “…”

The End

A/N: So what do you think?

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