A Buffy the Vampire Slayer/? Crossover Fanfiction Story

Author: Jason Thompson <Pilamsega[at]worldnet.att.net>

April 13, 2004

Disclaimer: Once upon a time there was a guy he wrote a story with characters and settings he didn't own, but he put a disclaimer on his story and that made it a little less illegal. BTVS and Angel are owned by Joss, Fox, Mutant Enemy, and the WB. ? is owned by their producers and distributors. I don't own anything except the situation characters are in.

Category: AU Hints of Cordelia/Xander and Faith/Xander

Spoilers: Buffy up to and past Chosen, Angel up to the end of Season four.

Warnings: Character death, kind of.

Summery: Gravely injured while saving Anya, Xander faces a choice.

Rating: Rated PG

Distribution: Ask First.

Notes: There was no reconciliation between Anya and Xander in season 7 and Faith didn't hook up with Wood.

Chapter 1

Angel stood with Faith, Buffy and Willow at the foot of the intensive care bed in Wolfram and Hart's science lab. The lessons of the last year were hitting them harder than ever before. The lesson that try as they might, none of them were untouchable, none of them were safe. Xander's still form and his failing struggle with death was testament to that, the latest in fact.

Cordelia and Wood's deaths, the sacrifice of Spike, even Xander's sacrifice was eventually somewhat futile. Anya died trying to help Andrew get Xander away from the fight. Angel himself had made a sacrifice that tore him apart, and he couldn't even talk to anyone about it, no one knew who Connor was anymore.

Angel was growing tired of futility. He was tired of watching good people (and Spike) die. Truth be told, his heart was breaking. As he looked at his friends and watched the tears fall freely from the redhead and brunette and Buffy's chin shaking in a heroic attempt not to cry herself, he knew he wasn't the only one.

Yesterday, he was clearing his personal items out of his room at the hotel and came down into the lobby to find it filling with half beaten and bloodied slayers. He called Wesley and told him to get a medical team over there on the double. Then the doors burst opened, Faith and Buffy carried in a pale and barely conscious Xander. He had been stabbed in the stomach and had lost a lot of blood.

The medical staff at Wolfram and Hart did the did their absolute best to save the young man, but two hours ago, they came out and told him there was nothing he could do and he'd be dead by the end of the day. They were also afraid he wouldn't wake up. He stepped backwards and turned back towards the exit, he felt like he was intruding.

When he exited the room, he found Wesley, Giles, Dawn and Andrew at the door. He shook his head, they all knew at that moment; nothing could be done to save their friend. Dawn collapsed silently into tears and buried her face into Giles' chest, the former watcher; the man who loved Xander like a father was biting back tears himself. Andrew sank down the wall and buried his face in his hands, and Wesley removed his glasses before turning away.

For the first time in hours, Angel found strength to say what his mind had been screaming for hours. "He might regain consciousness before, but." He cleared a growing lump in his throat, "There's nothing that can be done." With those words, the vampire walked down the hall.


Xander knew he was dreaming when he looked at the bed and saw his own, dying body lying on it. The next clue was the strange lighting of the room. The light streaming into the room from the window was almost smoky and orange, like at sunset. The room was quiet and the equipment was off, or at least it was paused. He stood and roamed the room; then caught sight of his reflection. He looked at his own face and reached up tentatively to touch the skin around his restored left eye, he couldn't even feel any of the scarring

He turned back to his body and was struck with a realization. "Oh God, I'm dying." He turned away from his body and ran his fingers angrily through his hair.

"I'm sorry Xander." He whipped around to find Cordelia standing across the bed from him. He then noticed a man standing in the corner. He was white with short, sandy colored hair and was dressed in white. She looked down at his body and smoothed its-his hair back; she looked back up at Xander with unshed tears in her eyes. "I had hoped never to see you like this."

He blew a breath out slowly, "That makes two of us. Why am I here? Like this, I mean, why am I dreaming like this?"

She shrugged, "You're at a crossroads Xander. You gave your life freely, when you saved Anya, someone who had grown to hate you, and wished you dead. In that sacrifice you saved her soul. Maybe one in a million people could hand over their life for someone who hated them. Even fewer only because it was the right thing to do."

He shrugged, "So, I gave up my life for Anya, she still died."

The man in the corner spoke for the first time, "But she died wanting to change."

He watched his body quietly, "How does that change anything?"

Cordelia circled the bed and tilted his chin up, "It does, that's what matters, that's *all* that matters and it's why you may be able to survive this." His eyes widened and she nodded, "We. Well, he" she gestured at the man in the corner, "can help you."

He turned to the man in the corner, "Who are you?"

He shrugged, "My name is Daniel Jackson, and I've gone through what you're going through."

"What is that?"

He smiled slightly, "Being given the chance to ascend."

Xander looked between them, feeling his confusion overtake him, "'Ascend?' Ascend to what?"

Cordelia smiled slightly, "To a higher plane."

He bit down a comparison to John Sheridan at the end of Babylon 5, but Daniel laughed. "Kind of like Sheridan, yes."

His face paled and his eyes widened again, "How did you know that I was thinking that?"

Cordelia grinned, "We're in your head, remember?"

He nodded, "Okay, so what then? Do you ask me, who I am? What I want, and why I'm here? Then I flash away in a bright light?"

Daniel walked over to them and explained, "Not exactly. First you have to know several things. You can't flee death and ascend, and you can't ascend when your mind is still on earthly pursuits. You have to release your burden."

"My burden?"

There was a flash, and the room was more in focus. Xander also could hear the sound of his life support machinery. He turned and found Buffy, Willow and Faith at the foot of his bed. After a moment, Dawn, Andrew and Giles entered the room as well. He could see that all of them were pretty badly shaken by the experience, Faith almost more than the others, which was kind of surprising. He and Faith had grown closer since she returned, but not so close that she should be torn up this badly.

He took a deep breath, "My burden, you mean my need to take on all their troubles."

Daniel nodded, "It's admirable to give of yourself so freely, but you can't take their pain as yours, their pain is theirs, and by holding onto it eventually you hurt them and yourself. If you can unburden yourself, you'll learn so much and see not just Earth but other worlds, other dimensions even, you'll be able to help the fight against evil in a way you wouldn't be able to here, even if you were to survive."

Xander sighed, "I love them, helping them is all I've ever known."

Cordelia smiled and caressed his cheek, "Your journey with them is over, one way or another, but you can begin a new one, with us. You can do so much more; you can help so many more people."

He smiled, "I like the sound of that." He looked at his already mourning friends. There was nothing more he could do, his life was ending. However, he could still help his friends, and the way Daniel made it sound he might be let in on the very secrets of life. He watched Angel re-enter the room and pull Buffy Willow and Giles aside to discuss something. "Could I ever come back?"

Cordelia smiled and took his hand in hers, "There's no real way of knowing."

He grinned, "But I figured as higher beings you'd know."

Daniel laughed, "We do, but we can't tell you. It's the rules, Cordelia was just being polite."

Xander nodded, "Can I say good-bye first?"

Cordelia nodded, "Hurry, Angel's come up with a plan, and I don't think you'll like it."

He knew almost immediately, "They'll turn me, and give me a soul." The ascended pair nodded, "Give me a minute?"

They agreed and back away to the corner. He crossed the room to stand next to Faith, and then reached out to touch her.


Faith felt a jolt go through her and the hospital room changed. The room became darker, and the others disappeared. Xander's bed was emptied, Cordelia and another man were in the corner, and both were dressed in white. She felt a hand on her shoulder and turned to see who was touching her. Her face erupted into a smiled and tears of joy slid down her cheeks as she yanked her friend into a crushing hug. "Oh God! I thought I'd never get to talk to you again."

Xander returned the hug and spoke into her hair. "Faith, I don't have much time. You can't let Angel turn me."

She shook her head, "You. I. But you'll still be here."

He stepped back with a smile, while hanging onto her hands, "No, Faith, you know I wouldn't want this. Cordelia's offered me something new. I can't stay here."

She continued not to believe him, "Xander, don't make me do this. Don't make me kill you. Please, I love-"

He reached out and cupped her cheek, "I love you too, I love all of you. Just trust me, let me go. I want to do this."

She nodded rather unsurely, "Will I. Will we ever see you again?"

He shrugged, "They won't tell me, but I'd like to think so."

She smiled slightly, "Where are you going?"

Xander turned to the others and the man shook his head slightly. He turned back to her and said. "I have no idea. Just tell Andrew, I went off to sleep in light." He turned to the bed, and back to her. "You have to go, right now. I don't have much time, and neither do you." He grinned, "I'd say I'll see you around but... So I'll settle for Good Journeys."

There was a flash and Xander was gone, as were Cordelia and the other man. Angel, Buffy and the other were back, and the vampire was hovering over Xander's body. His resperator tube was out, and his monitor was beeping an alarm. Angel vamped out before Faith snapped out of her daze. "Don't!"

Everyone paused and Willow turned to her with tears in her eyes, "This is the only way Faith."

Faith shook her head, "No, it's not."

Buffy clenched her fist in rage at the situation, "I know it sucks Faith, but he would want us to help him."

Her sister nodded, Faith's heart broke all over again at the tears pouring down the young woman's cheeks, "We can't just let him die."

The dark haired slayer shook her head. "He would want us to let him go."

Giles nodded, while Willow stepped forward, "How do you know that?" A few years ago, that question might have house distrust and jealousy from the redhead, now there was an almost hopeful tone.

Tears burned her vision for a moment and she said. "He told me." She turned to Buffy and Angel, "Please, he doesn't want this."

The vampire turned to the blonde and Faith could see the tears in her friends' eyes. "Don't Angel. Let him go."

Angel lowered Xander's body onto the bed and stepped back. Suddenly, Xander stiffened and he gasped. Light seemed to erupt out of his body, before the body itself disappeared. In its place was a being with many tentacles and was seemingly made of the most brilliant white light she had ever seen. She heard Giles whisper in awe, "Dear God in Heaven, he's ascended."

Behind her Andrew whispered almost as reverently, "He's like Sheridan."

The light seemed to float in front of them for a moment and each of them felt a feeling of love and affection touched them deeply. Faith smiled through her tears at the feeling. Xander was saying good-bye. Then as suddenly as the light erupted from their friend, it was gone. There was a long silence before Faith remembered the last words he said before sending her back to stop them and repeated them. "Good Journeys, Xander. We'll miss you."


Faith sat in the garden nursing a bottle of beer. She was looking up at the night sky and wondering. She heard a noise and found Dawn standing a few feet away. She smiled and patted the spot on the ground, the young woman obliged her. They sat in a companionable silence for a while before Dawn spoke. "Giles is yanking his hair out trying to explain to everyone what Ascension is. Willow's cried almost since we got back, Buffy can't figure out why he took it over staying with us, and I think Angel feels a little upstaged." She grinned, "All the while Andrew will not stop comparing Xander to John Sheridan and going on and on about Babylon 5."

Faith smiled, "Xander's probably laughing somewhere."

Dawn sighed, "Where do you think he went?"

The slayer smirked, "Knowing him, some higher plane janitor's closet with Cordelia, but I like to think he'll be watching over us." She looked back at Buffy yelling inside, telling Andrew to shut up before she shut him up. "The way Andrew's going, he'll need someone to keep an eye on him at the very least."

The former key smiled, "Yeah, I think that we should probably do that for him, being a higher being probably means he won't have much time to protect our resident dork."

With a shrug, Faith said. "You're right. Andrew is our burden. Lord only knows what Xander's burden will be." She stood up and pulled Dawn to her feet, "C'mon Dawn, let's go save the geek. Xander's no doubt already learning the meaning of life."

Dawn nodded and followed, she felt a breeze go by and instead of a cold gust of night air, gentle warmth surround her for a moment. She knew then; Xander might be a higher being, but she wagered her friend wasn't too far away. She followed Faith inside with a smile.

The End