Beyond the gift

Author: canadiansatan2003 <canadiansatan2003[at]>

Rating: unsure but I'll give it a solid R. R for mentions of drug abuse. For the record I'm a recovering alcoholic and drug abuser, I neither support nor encourage drug/alcohol use or abuse in any form. While other may be able to enjoy a drink, sadly I cannot.

Disclaimer: blah, blah, blah all the crap that keeps me from being sued. I mean how ridicules are it that we actually have to put it here? If I owned Buffy and crew this would be an episode of Buffy, not a story being posted on a FANFICTION site. :) Ok rant over.

Spoilers: Just The Gift really, not bothering to acknowledge season 6 yet. I may write something later that takes place after or during season 6 *shrug*

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Chapter 1
The Aftermath

Before I met Buffy I drank... heavily, but from the moment I saw her all thoughts of booze fled my mind. Even in my worst drug induced stupor I remember every detail, the way her skirt flared when she turned. The wind had caught it just right and she was wearing a thong, I got the most amazing glimpse of her ass. I almost made a mess in my pants, and then I hit the railing. What surprised me was the way she winked at me, as if saying she knew I caught the peep show. It didn't make any difference anymore though; with her gone I was dead.

The moment I realized she had been killed, I felt a piece of me die with her. Handing Anya to Giles I forgot about them. I made my way to my parent's house, by then I was going on autopilot. Opening the door I expected them to scream at me, but they seemed to sense my aura of defeat. Wordlessly they offered me a seat, nothing was said but I could hear the words in the silence. 'Misery loves company son, we always knew you would be back, you're a failure from a family of failures'.

When my mom tied off my arm I knew what she was doing, you don't live in a house with drug dealers without picking these things up. I didn't care though, when she slapped my arm I didn't move, when the needle pierced my skin my face was blank. I willingly sank into the oblivion the drugs offered me, my mind in a world of it own. I was back at the tower, but this time I saved Buffy's life. In the drug induced euphoria I built a fantasy world, Buffy and I were together and happy.

To my friends I had disappeared, I don't think they even thought to check here. I didn't really care though; I had my drugs and my work. At first I was able to keep my drug use a secret from my bosses, when I was there nothing existed for me but the task at hand. Gone was the hollow mockery of the man I once was, gone were all thoughts of Buffy and the constant what ifs. As long as I had someone telling me what to do I was ok, if anyone reads this they'll probably question why I didn't do something about my 'problem'.

The thing is though when I was at work I didn't think, nothing mattered because I never really ever thought at work. Sounds kind of funny, eh? I mean I've been told over and over I'm a natural at construction and building in general. I think I owe my ability to concentrate so well to the soldier incident, my love of building things with my hands I owe to my Uncle Rory. Before he took the plunge into the alcoholic side of the family he had been a construction worker, and a damned good one. I actually owe my job to his reputation before his fall.

A few months after our death (and to be perfectly honest that's what it was) I had stopped living the moment she did, all my hopes and dreams died with her. If you think about it that's all that really keeps us going day to day. Any how the inevitable happened, my work started suffering; people started to notice my decline. The little things like not showering for days, not eating for weeks on end, not sleeping all of these things caught up with me. A few days after they noticed the signs my boss summoned me for a meeting in his office.

I was told due to my outstanding performance to date, they were willing to give me some leeway. Yippee, I wanted to shout; IT DOESN'T CHANGE THE FACT THAT SHE'S DEAD. Due to all the overtime hours, I had built up tons of vacation time; coupled with sick leave and general kindness they gave me three months to straighten my life out. As far as I was concerted I would take the checks and use it to buy drugs. If my parents can survive selling the shit, then so could I. FUCK THE WORLD.

It had been down hill ever since Buffy died, now it was at a much faster rate. I didn't have to hide my drug use anymore, so I reveled in it. Not a second was wasted in sobriety; I smoked, injected and snorted anything I could get my hands on. Then it happened, my dad asked me to pick up a shipment of heroin for him, so I walked across town to his suppliers house. On the way back I cut though the graveyard for no particular reason.

I think it was the last piece of the old me that drove me to do it, that little voice in my head that hated what I had become. When I saw her grave I stopped, I just stood there staring for hours. Night turned into day, I sat down and kept staring. Day steadily progressed towards night, as I slowly and painfully sobered for the first time in months I came to a conclusion. I couldn't continue anymore, it was either deal or die. Reality came crashing down on me like a ton of bricks; everything suddenly came into focus.

In avoiding her funeral, not coming to see her grave I had chosen the easy way out. Drugs had replaced grieving, so I sat there screaming and yelling with my soul laid bare. I began crying, not only for Buffy but also for what I had become. My tears were burning tracks down my face; I realized I could've done things differently. I should've turned to my friends instead of my family. They had welcomed me not in love, but in shared agony. If they had loved me they would've stopped me.

Even then I couldn't blame them, they couldn't be anymore than they were. I knew what my family was when I left, and when I returned I knew they only had death to offer. That's why I went there, it had been death I was seeking all along. It was all too much, all too soon. Beside me lay enough drugs to kill a small town, 100% uncut pure heroin. Pulling out my 'kit' I prepared my last dose; I couldn't live with myself, with the things I had done. By living there I condoned their lifestyle, by selling drugs I had destroyed lives.

Like I said it was too much. Too much grief, too much guilt and too much lost. The withdrawal alone felt like it was killing me, and I had been sober less than twelve hours. I knew that Old Xander could've done it, and done it with a joke on his lips but he was long dead. So I prepared my death in a needle, and sat there preparing to say something, anything. I needed to say something to Buffy before I joined her, even if it was to her grave.

Speaking was painful, my voice sounded like two rocks scraping together. "I'm sorry Buffy, sorry I couldn't be there in time for you. Sorry I've been wasting my life since you died. Sorry that my suicide will trivialize your sacrifice, but I can't do this anymore. I'm caught in a web of destruction of my own making; I just don't have the will power to fight anymore... I'm just sorry."

With everything said that could be said I picked up the needle. My acceptance of death gave me a new awareness of life around me. I heard the sounds of life around me, but it was too little too late. I tied a piece of rubber around my arm, the veins there were still good. Most of the time I shot in my legs, old habit from working and trying to blend in. I watched as the needle flashed on the setting sun, the way it reflected the dying rays of light. Everything seemed to fascinate me as I pierced my skin and prepared to take the final plunge....


Chapter 2

Flash Back

Xander fought the foreign spirit that had so easily overpowered his own, behind a screen of magic Xander raged. He raged against the actions this… fake Xander was taking against his friends. Hurting Willow felt like a knife in his gut, burning his insides more then a real physical knife would have. The worst was yet to come, Xander tried to scream at Buffy, tell her to run there was no stopping this beast that held him captive. That he couldn't didn't stop him, he raged with all he was, Xander could feel the magical prison that held him begin to crack. His rage alone began to tear down the walls around him, forcing the spirit to ignore 'his mate' long enough for her to knock them out. His Rage alone, that unflagging resolve to never harm Buffy had saved them both.


Xander's fear drove him forward, drove him to run faster then he had thought possible. Xander didn't even think about were he was heading, he just ran straight to where he needed to be. Xander's fear for Buffy's life drove him to run to the last person he would normally run to, Buffy's life meant more to him then his pride. Later when Xander stopped to think, it almost seemed as though an outside force, a force, was pushing him that only he could feel. It compelled him to go to the man he hated the man he loathed and get his help.

The same fear drove him to follow Angel into the tunnels that screamed death to him, the same tunnels Jessie had been dragged to his death in. Xander didn't let that fears overcome him, only use them to drive himself to save Buffy. Her life meant more to him then his own, he would save her even if that meant his death. Entering the Master's chamber was like walking into a void, a place that held no love of life. Xander's heart fell when he saw Buffy, he forced himself forward to try…. 'Never give up' his heart screamed at him and he listened.


Xander was standing toe to toe with Buffy, his heart screamed at him. Screamed at him in anger and he too screamed at Buffy. His heart had long controlled his actions, and anyone that put Willow at risk, put themselves at risk. Buffy may have had his heart, but Willow was his soul. There was only so far you could test him, push him before he would push back. To Buffy's surprise Xander not only stood up to her, but put fear into her. Buffy had seen him beat impossible odds, seen him destroy monsters that were twice as strong twice as fast as him. Xander's anger, his righteous fury forced her to look at herself. Xander's anger saved them all.


Xander stood in the school auditorium his loyalty to Buffy, to Willow, to Giles… to everyone in this pace compelled him to try. If the Scoobies were his immediate family, then these people were his extended family. That Buffy got the 'Class Protector' award told him that they did see, they might not understand what they saw but the knew something was happening in Sunnydale. Xander stood and made his speech trying to recruit them into the fight none of them should ever have been involved in. His loyalty to them demanded that he try, his heart demanded he succeed and his loyalty forged an army.


Xander stood at the head of the student army, he lead them guided them his courage was a shining example to them. Xander stood tall and brave against the giant snake, inside he cowered in fear, on outside he seemed as steady as a rock. As timeless as the mountains themselves, his bravery was that of heroes from days gone by. Had Xander been in the military they would have given him metals for the things he did that day, the bomb had been a group idea yet it was Xander that built the bomb. It had been Xander that had formed and that was now leading the army. Xander's bravery and leadership saved many lives that day.


Xander stood to one side in the Bronze watching Buffy, this wasn't the woman he had left. This woman was dejected, depressed.. she looked like she was ready to quit. Xander rubbed a tear out of his eye as he watched her. Xander watched her and thought, finally a plan formed in his head and he walked over. Forcing himself to smile Xander spun a tale to amuse Buffy, his real trip hadn't been exciting and he needed to see her smile. He needed to see Buffy, the Buffy he knew would never give up. It took some work on Xander's part but he raised her spirit, Xander's love for her compelled him to do it.

End Flash Back

All of this and more flashed through Xander's head in seconds, looking down at his hands he just stared at the needle he was holding. With a scream of rage he threw it away from him. Screaming Xander stood and turned, behind was a newly risen vampire. The vampire stood in shock as the mortal who was supposed to fear him launched himself towards him. The vampire came crashing to the ground, Xander began to pummel the unfortunate vampire. Xander still screamed, screamed even though his throat was raw. He screamed at what he had become what he had turned himself into.

He kept punching the vampire beneath him even as it lost consciousness, even as his own hands broke. Xander was beyond pain at this point, beyond feeling, beyond all things connected to Earth. When he was pulled away Xander turned to strike out at the intruder, until he saw whom it was. Xander stood gaping in shook for a minute, then he launched himself towards her. Sobbing Xander clutched her and together they fell to the ground. Buffy held the weeping man to her chest and began to slowly sob with him. They each had a journey to make Xander out of hell and Buffy back from heaven. Perhaps they would make the journey together.

The End