Oops, I didn't realize the summary got the last few characters cut off by word limit, so here's the full summary:
Summary: Just when Xander thought the worst was over, he gets a call from Willow - Buffy's dead. Also, Dracula is still out there somewhere. But in the end, it's Harry's life that will be thrown off the rails when someone from his past finally catches up with him.Disclaimer
: And once again - I do NOT own Buffy
(alas!), I'm pretty such Whedon and Fox in some combo own Buffy
, and without a doubt Whedon created them. Got that? Need me to repeat it? I own nothing, nothing, NOTHING!
Not true I do own some things, but not much, and certainly not Buffy
. And that's not the only thing I don't own. I also don't own Harry Potter
(owned by Rowling and possibly Warner Brothers, I'm honestly not entirely sure how that works), nor do I own CSI
, and I'm sorry but I'm honestly not sure who in fact owns CSI
, I just know it ain't me.
If I owned even one of those (let alone all three) I'd probably be off rolling around in my big money pile, and not writing fanfic. Okay, fine, I'd probably be too busy to roll around in my pile of money, but I'm not so I is writing fanfic.Notes
: At first this will probably look like a PG-13 fanfic, but there's a few things later that will justify the slightly higher rating. WARNINGS
: There will be character deaths (why Buffy practically dies before this part starts), but it's not just Buffy, there will be a few other deaths, perhaps even one or two from Team Xander later on, but other then that I can't think of anything else that I need to warn for right now.
This picks up right after "Season Two" ends, which you'll actually see in just a moment, so I'll shut up now. Xander Season Three
Catherine entered Warrick's office to bring his daily mail and paper inside. The moment she laid the mail on Warrick's desk, she realized that she wasn't alone here. A quick check revealed no one on the upper floors, so that meant whoever was here was in the basement. There was two ways into the basement, and Catherine decided to go down the way less traveled.
She suspected that no one had broken in, but on the off chance she was wrong, she was going to be cautious.
These days, Catherine hated going into Warrick's basement, because it made her sick to her stomach to see the thing in the cage that Xander called mother. He tried to hide it, but Catherine knew he cared very deeply about the thing. What really bothered her about that was that she strongly suspected Xander cared more about that thing then he did his real mother. It was possible, though, that only bothered her because she was a mother herself, and couldn't help but wonder if Lindsay was in Xander's situation would Lindsay feel the same way about her as Xander did his mother?
As she quietly opened the basement door, Catherine tried to push that thought aside.
She knew, and she suspected that Xander knew as well that while the thing in the cage wore his mother's body it was no longer his mother.
Catherine sighed. The thoughts just kept coming.
What finally helped was that Catherine had started to suspect that all had not been well between Xander and his mother. Though even that wasn't entirely enough to help Catherine understand how Xander could love the thing in the cage more then his own mother. Even her own mother hadn't been perfect, but she knew that she would not feel anything for a vampire that wore her mother's flesh.
She stopped, she could hear talking, but what had her pause was the sudden realization that because she'd broken things off with Xander, she had no right to tell him what he should or shouldn't do, let alone what he should feel. Of course, while she'd been with him, she'd tried to keep her thoughts mostly to herself.
To be fair, there was moments when Catherine wondered if all her problems stemmed from the fact that the thing in the cage hated her. Though she neither needed or wanted the things approval, but before she'd ended things with Xander, she'd started to fear that Xander was being affected by what the thing thought about her. Of course, it didn't matter now, but the whole thing still bothered her.
Or at least it did until she made it to the last step, and saw Xander actually stake the thing.Have I been wrong all this time?
She opened her mouth, but closed it again, and simply watched Xander and Penn start up the stairs on the other side of the room.
After she heard the door close, she moved from her position, and grabbed a broom.
After their break-up, Catherine had started to fear that Xander might end up running off with the thing. She hadn't been the only one afraid of that, she'd noticed that after the break-up the others had started to keep a closer eye on Xander. However, even with all of them keeping their eyes on him, they couldn't actually watch him twenty four hours a day seven days a week. Meaning that if Xander had decided to run off with his mother, all the watching in the world wouldn't have stopped him.
Once she had the dust in a big pile, she headed back upstairs, and out to her car.
She wouldn't have admitted this to anyone, especially Xander, but after their break-up she'd started carrying an urn around with her. At first, she'd told herself it was in hopes that Xander would do the right thing. Now she knew the real reason, she was starting to feel guilty about ending things with him the way she had. After all, she had chosen one of the worst times of his life to end things, and while she still felt breaking things off had been the right thing to do, she could admit that the timing made her feel horrible about it.
Catherine sighed. Maybe it wasn't all about the timing, but she was very happy with Warrick, though she could admit that she missed, at least a little, what she'd had with Xander.
She grabbed the urn, and headed back downstairs.
Quickly she placed the dust into the urn, and in a few days she would give it to Xander. She didn't know what he'd do with it, and it wasn't really her business anymore, but she felt he deserved to at least know where his mothers "remains" (such as they were) ended up. He could keep them, display them in the open, or toss them with the rest of the trash, either way she would not judge him.
Though she hoped he'd toss them, but she was almost positive that he'd keep them. At best she could only hope that he wouldn't openly display them, but again she'd do her best not to judge if he did just that.
Once she finished her task, she realized that it was moments like this that made her wonder if she'd chosen the right path. Being with Warrick was good, but about a week before he'd left, she'd started to feel smothered. She thought she'd done a good job of keeping her feelings hidden from Warrick, but she couldn't make the feeling go away.
The problem wasn't Warrick, she knew he was only behaving how he thought she wanted him to, or maybe even the way that was natural for him in a relationship, she really didn't know. Sadly, it was what she'd thought she'd wanted, but now she wasn't sure.
In the time Warrick had been gone, she'd found herself feeling relieved. It was strange, but she did miss knowing that once things were done in the bedroom that she was free to leave at anytime. Warrick probably wouldn't have made a fuss, but that didn't matter, because she
didn't feel free to leave anymore, so more often then not she ended up spending the night with him when she'd have rather been home.
She started up the stairs almost on auto-pilot.
She was coming to realize that her feelings for Xander was much stronger then she originally thought. What was strange was that Warrick seemed to understand. She couldn't deny that Warrick was a good friend, actually a great friend, but that was also part of the problem. There were times, even when they were behaving like lovers that Catherine found herself thinking of Warrick as a good friend, and a good friend was not the same thing as a lover. Good friends could become good lovers, but once that line was crossed, Catherine wasn't sure that you'd still think of that person as a great friend.
She started her car, and as she drove away, she wondered once again if ending things with Xander had been the right thing to do.
Catherine shook her head. It probably wasn't ending her relationship with Xander that was the problem. The problem might have been starting a relationship with Warrick right away.~ * ~ * ~
Exactly one week after staking his mother, Xander came home from work to be greeted by a ringing phone as he struggled to pull his keys out of his pocket. His hands found his keys as he thought about how he'd placed the urn with his mothers dust right beside the phone. He was going to find a better place for it, perhaps somewhere out of sight. However, the thought of hiding it made him feel guilty, and so for now it remained by the phone.
Thankfully, staking his mother, in the end, had not made him feel as though he'd murdered her. The moment she'd turned to dust, Xander had found (or remembered) that killing a vampire was not murder. No matter how much you might care for the creature, it still wasn't human, and killing a vampire just wasn't, and never would be, the same as killing a person.
In the past week, Xander wondered what kind of person that made him. He'd come to love the demon that had taken his mothers body. Of course, he'd also come to understand that he had almost as many mommy issues as Buffy had daddy issues. Still it wasn't staking his mother that made him question what kind of a person he was, it was that he could keep being Penn's friend after realizing the things he had, and in light of his mothers death that seemed wrong.
Still Xander liked Penn, even considered him a good friend, but at the end of the day Penn was a vampire. Sure he had a soul, and his mother hadn't, but Xander now knew that if it ever came down to it he would be able to stake Penn, it would be easier then staking his mother.
That didn't mean he was thrilled about having staked his mother, but even before he'd made the decision to stake her, he'd come to terms with the fact that staking her was really his only option. Unless he wanted to end up a vampire, and he really didn't, though at times the temptation had been strong. Thankfully, between his friends and his therapist he hadn't given in to that temptation, and now he felt as though his head was back on straight.
Seriously, in the past week, there had been more then a few times when Xander couldn't understand why he'd been so tempted. The one thing he'd been certain off, since he'd learned about vampires, was the fact that he didn't want to be one.
Sadly, though, Xander knew that he would miss the demon who'd taken his mother's body. He would also never understand why becoming a vampire had made her ten times more interested in him then she'd been while alive, but over the past week, Xander had made peace with the fact that when he thought of his mother, it would be the demon that he actually thought of.
Again, he was sure that didn't say good things about him as a person, but for now he could live with it, and Lady Heather had said at their last meeting that being able to live with it was all that mattered. At least for the moment.
Somehow, Xander managed to get in the house, close the door, and answer the phone before it stopped ringing. Alas, no one else was around to see his moment of triumph.As usual
, Xander thought.
"Hey," Xander said, as he sat down and started removing his boots. He hated them, they looked like ladies porn boots as far as he was concerned, but the ladies seemed to spend more money when he wore them, so he would keep wearing them.
"Xander," Willow's voice came from the phone, and Xander's heart froze in his chest. She'd only said his name, but her tone said that something was terribly wrong. By the time Willow spoke again, Xander was all ready planning his trip back to Sunnydale.
"I'm sorry," she said, which seemed weird.
"But I forgot to call you in time," she said, and Xander could tell a full Willow-babble was about to begin.
"Breath, Will," Xander said cutting her off in mid-babble.
"Sorry," she said after a short pause. "There's no easy way to say this..."
"Say what?" Xander asked, though there was a part of him that just didn't want to know.
For a full minute Xander couldn't do anything. Couldn't move, couldn't think, couldn't even think about moving or thinking.
"When? How?" Xander's mind slowly started working again.
"Glory," Willow said, then Xander could almost see her frown. "Not Glory. Dawn."
"What?" Xander asked, and wondered if he should have done something about Dawn, but for all intents and purposes he'd accepted that she was harmless. More then that, though, he'd honestly started to think of her in terms of being Buffy's little sis.
"Xander," a new voice said.
"Yes," Xander replied, the voice sounded a bit familiar, but he couldn't place it.
"This--is T--Tara," she said. "Willow couldn't--couldn't--she had to go."
"Fine, but what's going on?"
"Buffy's d--dead," Tara said softly, but bluntly. "She died s--six days ago. Willow didn't know exactly how to tell you this, but Dawn isn't really Buffy's sister, she's a magical key."So, not a princess
, was all Xander's mind could come up with.
"No one is entirely sure how it worked," Tara said, and Xander realized that she sounded calmer. "But at some point a group of monks, who'd been guarding the key, decided they couldn't keep it safe from Glory. So, they made the key human, and sent her to the Slayer, Buffy, for protection."
Xander wondered what he'd wear to the funeral, and how he'd be able to face Dawn while he was there. He was angry at her, though his logical side (and who knew he had a logical side?) said that what had happened probably hadn't been her fault, no matter how Willow had made it sound, but Buffy was dead, and Dawn was not, and Xander couldn't stop himself from being angry about that.
"We went on the run, but Glory found us. She took Dawn, and used her to open a portal back to her own world. She'd been banished from somewhere a long time ago, and the key, Dawn, was her only way back."
"So, why is Buffy dead?" Xander asked, because none of this was making any sense.
"Something about the blood," Tara replied. "Or maybe simply something about Buffy being willing to lay down her life for another. I--I don't really know."
"How did the portal get closed?" Xander asked. "Or did it?"
"It's closed," Tara replied. "Dawn's blood opened the portal, and Buffy's death closed it."
There was a moment of silence. "No one knows, but it worked."
So, Buffy was dead, Dawn was alive, and the world wasn't about to become hell on earth. Xander should have been happy at least by one aspect of that, but he wasn't. Buffy was his friend, he'd saved her life, she'd saved his, but more importantly they were friends. He barely knew or cared who the hell Dawn was.Except
, Xander's annoying inner voice pipped in. She's someone that Buffy loved enough to die for.
"When's the funeral?"
"That's why Willow was having so much trouble," Tara replied, and Xander could almost hear the smile in her voice. "The funeral was four days ago. Willow wasn't going to tell y--you, be--because she t--t--thinks she m--might be able to bring Buffy back."
Xander's whole body started to tingle. Bringing Buffy back sounded like a good plan, but something told him that Tara didn't exactly approve.
"But the m-m-magic is complicated," Tara continued. "And there's some things needed, that she--we can't find."
"Can I help?"
"Probably not, it's magical stuff, and from what I understand you aren't into magic."
"Nope," Xander felt his heart break all over again.
"She wasn't going to tell you until after Buffy was back," Tara said. "But I don't--don't think that'll happen now."
"How's Dawn?" Xander felt compelled to ask, and there was even a part of him that hoped she was okay.
"Not good," Tara replied. "You r-r-remem--remember h-h-how--how bad it was after Mrs. Summers died?"
Xander nodded, then frowned. "Yeah."
"This is m-m-much worse."
By the time Xander hung up the phone, he wasn't sure how he felt about the idea of bringing Buffy back. He also wasn't sure how he felt about missing her funeral. Part of him was shamefully glad that he hadn't been there, but another part said he needed to get back to Sunnydale now to, at the very least, visit her grave. ~ * ~ * ~