Xander Season Three
On the first day of June, Xander went back to Sunnydale. He went directly to Buffy's grave, after driving past her house. From the outside it appeared as nothing had changed. But Xander wasn't surprised, because he knew that Willow and Tara had moved into Buffy's old house to take care of Dawn. Still it seemed a bit weird that everything looked unchanged.
There was a part of Xander that had wanted to stop by and see everyone, but that was emotional stuff, and because Xander had been ass deep in his own emotional turmoil for the better part of a year he just couldn't bring himself to stop. He promised himself he'd come back to Sunnydale and visit everyone soon.
At least visiting Buffy's grave, and settled Xander's thoughts on the matter of bringing Buffy back. Buffy was dead, and while Xander wasn't thrilled about that, he figured that was one of those things that was better left alone. Though selfishly he didn't like thinking about a world without Buffy in it.
However, by the time he arrived back in Las Vegas, he discovered that he was glad Willow wouldn't be able to find everything she needed to bring Buffy back, which surprised him.
It was time to let Buffy go, to let her rest in peace, and for everyone else to pick up the pieces of their lives and move on. Which Xander admitted was probably easier for him, since Buffy hadn't been a regular part of his life for over two years now. He missed her, and hated the thought of a world without her, but he could admit that it was probably easier for him to accept her death then it would be for Willow and Dawn.
"I'm back," Xander said softly as he entered the house.
"Welcome home," Harry called out surprising Xander. He hadn't thought anyone would be home. Harry's job while not generally an all nighter like Catherine's had started to keep him out a bit later these days.
"Why aren't you working?" Xander asked, as Harry entered the living room from the kitchen.
Harry smiled. "Why? Aren't you happy to see me? Maybe you have another girl stashed away? Want some time alone?"
Xander tossed an empty soda can in Harry's general direction.
"I got the night off," Harry answered. "Marty finally broke down and hired someone else."
"Good," Xander replied. "Unless, of course, you miss raking in those big bucks."
"Maybe a little," Harry said. "But I think I'll enjoy having two days a week off more than I'll miss the money."
Xander grinned. He could understand that. It was one of the reasons he'd come to love his new job, despite the fact that it was a killer on his relationships. Obviously, Xander had to spend more than few days working in order to make any money, but at least his client list was firmly rounded, so that he could at least take two nights a week off.
"You okay?" Harry asked, and Xander realized some of his thoughts must've shown on his face.
Xander nodded. "Just thinking about Kate."
"Figured," Harry said. "Feel like talking about it?"
Xander shrugged. "What's there to say? We had a one night stand that we tried to turn into something more, it wasn't meant to be."
And that didn't even cover the big blow up that had happened the first time Kate laid eyes on Penn. Finally, Kate had agreed to let things go, but she'd left the implication that if Penn put one toe out of line she would be the first in line to stake him. However, that was nothing compared to the blow-up that occurred when Kate had learned about his job. Weirdly, she could accept the idea of a reformed vampire, but not dating a man who dated women professionally.
Harry frowned. "Why? I mean, why did you try to turn it into something more?"
Xander smiled. "Catherine. She left me because she wanted more out of a relationship, and I think I'd started thinking I did too."
"But you don't?"
Xander shook his head. "Nope, I miss Catherine, I wish we were still together, and I love her, but
I'm glad she left instead of trying to change our relationship, which would have ended things with her almost as fast as things ended with Kate."
"You think there is such a woman out there?" Harry asked. "That can give you what you want without wanting something more."
Xander frowned. "Maybe, but if not, there's always my former method."
"An endless string of one night stands," Harry said, then grinned.
"Yep," Xander said happily. "It's good to be me."
Harry laughed.~ * ~ * ~
On October first, Xander grabbed a bag of chips, and popped a movie into the play. He had the night off, and he was going to make the best of it, despite the fact that Harry didn't have the night off. But that was okay, Xander didn't mind watching movies all by himself, and Harry would probably be home before the first movie ended.
About half-way though the first Scary Movie
, he hadn't seen Scary Movie 2
yet, he was waiting for the video, instead of Harry returning home the phone started to ring. Xander reached out for the phone, expecting Harry to say that he was going to be late.
"Willow," it was good to hear her voice, but also potentially bad. "What's up?"
Xander could hear people speaking in the back ground, Anya's voice in particular was clear, though she was talking about how excited Giles would be, which didn't tell Xander anything.
"I have a plan," Willow announced, and Xander was lost.
"A plan? What? Why?"
Willow chuckled. "I know how to bring Buffy back," she announced.
Xander's mouth flew open, but he couldn't decide how he felt about her announcement, let alone what to say.
"But I need you here."
"Again," Xander managed to say. "Why?"
He had no magical skills, so it didn't make sense that she'd need his help. Plus the idea of bringing Buffy back, especially since she'd been dead for months, did not sit right with him.
Willow sighed. "I need a core group of people who love Buffy."
That made sense, or at least as much sense as anything magical ever made to Xander.
"Tara and Anya have agreed to help me."
"I don't know," Xander replied honestly. Then he thought about the names she'd spoken. "Why Tara and Anya? Tara loves you, not Buffy, right? I mean unless you've got a juicy secret you're about to confess, and if so I am all ears."
"Tara loves me, I love Buffy," Willow explained, ignoring Xander's request entirely. "Plus she's a witch, her power will help. Anya's a bit different," Willow said, then sighed.
"They broke up right before Buffy's death," Willow whispered.Who?
But then Xander suspected she was talking about Giles and Anya, which was interesting since he hadn't known they'd ever gotten together in the first place.
"But she still loves Giles, and I think maybe he still loves her," Willow continued, confirming Xander's thoughts. "But he's decided to leave us," Willow said, and Xander decided to ignore the slight tremor in her voice on that last bit.
"Let me guess," Xander said dryly. "She thinks helping bring Buffy back will keep Giles from leaving and get them back together."
"Pretty much," Willow replied. "But that also means that she wants Buffy back as much as everyone else."
"I don't know, Will," Xander said. "Buffy died in May, and this is October... I don't like thinking about it, but her body... Well, it's been buried for months," he was stalling, and he knew it. He also realized that he wasn't being very subtle about it.
"Don't give me that, Xander Harris," Willow snapped. "You don't think I've thought about that. That's why it has taken so long, not only do I need to bring Buffy's soul back, but I also need to restore her body."
Xander frowned. It all sounded good, but again there was something that felt off to Xander about the whole thing.
"Xander," Willow said, her voice soft and trembling again. "I think she's in hell."
And Xander's mouth flew open again. That was something he hadn't considered.
"She jumped into the portal Glory opened," she said, then paused to sniffle. "The portal was to a hell dimension."
Xander felt cold all over, because he could see the logic in Willow's statement, and the idea of Buffy in hell was just wrong on so many levels.
"She could be suffering in hell right now!"
"Do you know that?" Xander asked, and realized that he was still stalling, and for the life of him, he didn't know why. "Have you checked?"
Willow huffed. "There's no time," she snapped. "I've been focused on getting the things needed to bring her back, and it would be months before I'd be able to even attempt to contact her."
Xander still didn't know what to say, but even considering Buffy in hell he was still against bringing her back. Xander supposed that was just another black mark on his soul. After all, what kind of person would be willing to leave a friend in hell?
"I guess you don't care, though, do you?" Willow said, her voice turning nasty. "After all, you're a big Vegas man now, and maybe you're glad she's dead," Willow said, and Xander felt as though he'd been punched in the gut.
"I mean if you'd been here she'd probably still be alive, but no! You had to run off and abandon me-us-Buffy!"
She couldn't honestly believe that, could she?
"But instead you're off playing the Vegas hero! So, really, you owe it to Buffy to help me."
"When?" Xander finally managed to ask. He didn't want to do this, but thanks to Willow he was starting to believe that Buffy's death might actually be his fault. Maybe Willow was right, maybe if he'd went back to Sunnydale Buffy wouldn't be dead.
Logic said that he couldn't have done anything against a hellgod, but right now Xander wasn't listening to the voice of logic, because his heart was telling him that just maybe he could've done something that would've changed the outcome.
"Tomorrow night," Willow said, sounding normal again. "And you can't tell Giles, Dawn, or Spike. It wouldn't be fair to get their hopes up if it fails."
"Are you sure about this?" Xander asked, and quickly wished he hadn't when Willow turned nasty again.
"Yes," Willow snapped. "I wouldn't do this if I wasn't sure. Xander, you know me."
Xander opened his mouth, but couldn't come up with anything to say. He thought he knew Willow, but the person on the phone was not someone he knew.
He heard Willow sigh.
"Don't you even care? Buffy's dead, but more then that, she's suffering in hell
. How could you be so cold? If it weren't for Buffy, you'd be dead, you know," Xander could tell that Willow was just warming up.
"No big bad Vegas hero if it weren't for Buffy! Just a loser janitor who hangs out asking the kids where all the cool parties are this weekend."
And she still wasn't done. Willow continued, and Xander could only listen helplessly as she tore him apart. When she finally stopped, Xander felt like Hilter, the Boston Strangler, the Zodiac killer, and Benedict Arnold all rolled into one.It's not so good to be me, after all
, Xander thought sadly as he hung up the phone. He loved Willow, and he would return to Sunnydale to take part in her spell, because she was right about one thing, if Buffy was in hell, then he couldn't leave her there.
As he packed, he also realized that no matter how this played out his friendship with Willow was totally and completely over. Even if she did have a point, she still had no right to say most of the things she'd said to him.
Xander frowned, as he picked up his bag. In his younger years he knew he would've probably accepted the things Willow said and just let it go, but that Xander and those days were long gone. As far as he was concerned once they got Buffy back his relationship with Willow was over.
He went to the kitchen, and scribbled a note to Harry, then he was out the door. Hopefully, he'd only be gone a few days. After all, Willow said she had everything she needed, except for him.~ * ~ * ~
: No, I'm not planning to turn this into a Willow bashing fanfic, but I do feel that Willow would be likely to pull out the blame card (at this point in her canon characterization) to get what she wanted. However, I firmly understand why someone might think I was heading down a Willow bashing road here.