Eye of the Beholder

Author: BoxerMan <boxerman083[at]yahoo.com>

Pairings: a little angst for right now, something more substantial later.

A/N: This is the continuation of Enter Sandman and Sad But True. Xander must remember that spells don't work exactly right on him, where before they were annoying, now could be catastrophic.

A/N 2: God knows you can't write more unless you get reviews.

Disclaimers: I don't own anything relating to Buffy, Angel, or Metallica.

Timeframe: S2 AU "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered."

Dedicated to the ones you can't save, and to the ones you can.

Latest addition

Chapter 1

Xander made up his mind. Willow was happy with Oz, so he could be happy for her. Buffy was not in any place to be in any kind of relationship, besides, although he felt the familiar heartstrings for her, he knew that she would never feel the same way about him. Cordelia actually returned those same feelings for him. He wasn't exactly sure how their relationship started, or how it would finish, but he genuinely cared for her. He could, maybe, actually love her. He smiled as he walked through the graveyard with Buffy. He enjoyed the company, and he needed to make sure that he could protect the blonde slayer. Besides, he needed her opinion.

Xander held up the necklace. "So, what do you think?"

Buffy sat on a gravestone and took it from him, admiring it. "It's nice."

Xander walked around the freshly dug grave and approached her. "But do you think Cordelia will like it?"

Buffy shook her head. "I don't know."

She pulled it toward herself to take a closer look and pointed to the heart. "Does she know what one of these is?"

He yanked it out of her hand and put it and his hands into his jacket pockets. He gave her a sarcastic smile. "Okay, ha ha, very funny. I'll let you know that underneath all of that angry, sarcastic, feminine, sexy...

Buffy rolled her eyes and slapped him upside the head.


"OW! When are you guys gonna stop hitting me there?" he rubbed the back of his head gingerly. "I swear I'm gonna have a bald spot within a week at this rate."

Buffy smiled sweetly at Xander. "I'm sorry. But...hmmm, never." Xander smiled and shook his head while Buffy continued. "It's just with Cordelia, I dunno. I just think you could find somebody more...better."

Xander gave a small chuckle. "Uh, parallel universe, maybe."

Buffy looked over her shoulder as a lone vampire bum-rushed the duo. She threw her stake and dusted him about twelve feet away.

Xander exhaled and continued, "Man, that was anti-climactic."

Buffy smiled a little too hard before continuing. "I'm glad that you guys are getting along. Almost really, kinda, sorta. But don't stress over the gift, its perfect, if she wont take it, she's crazy...er"

Xander smiled and looked up at the sky. "Well, this is new territory for me. I mean, my Valentines Day is usually met with heartfelt restraining orders, police citations, and/or," Xander pointed to the back of his head, "getting hit."

Buffy shook her head. "Well you shouldn't worry about the locket, she'll love it."

Xander walked to the other side of the grave as the dirt on the grave began to move. "I wish dating was like slaying you know, simple, direct, stake to the heart, no muss, no fuss."

He turned to face her again just as a vampire rose from the fresh grave. Xander reacted quickly and took a stake out, leaving his pistol in the back of his pants, where Buffy can't see it. Buffy jumped down from the tombstone and stood back as the newly risen vampire clawed her way out of the grave. Xander looked at Buffy, "May I?" Buffy shook her head, "Nah, I need to work off some steam tonight."

Buffy leapt at the vampire spinning into a double kick to his chest with both feet in rapid succession and landed upright as the vampire staggered back into another tombstone. Buffy charged him, but he blocked her first two punches and ducked a third swing. She switched tactics and kicked him in the testicles and followed up with a right uppercut, knocking the vamp down for the count. She reached into her jacket and pulled out a stake, and quickly plunged it into his chest, turning the vamp into a cloud of dust

Buffy yanked the stake back and watched with satisfaction as the ash fell to the ground. She walked over to Xander who shuddered. "Did you have to go for the nads? I mean I'm standing right here. You shouldn't do that infront of guys, it's just not right."

Buffy placed a stray hair back into place. "Sorry to say, Xand, slaying is a tad more perilous than dating."

They started to walk out of the cemetery.

Xander smirked. "Well, you're obviously not dating Cordelia."

He then stopped and smiled, "Oh, but if you were."


"Ow! Come on, is EVERYONE allowed to hit me?"


Xander sat in the back of American Literature. He smiled as Willow and Buffy sat next to him. He held up his paper and leaned over to Willow. "Ha, ha, ha. This time I'm ready for you Ms Beakman. No 'F' for Xander today. No way, this baby's my ticket to a sweet D-minus."

The girls rolled their eyes. Xander didn't mind being a goofball. Before, it was a defense mechanism, now it was more of misdirection, who would ever take 'idiot Jed' seriously? Ms. Beakman stood up to address the class. "Papers on my desk. Anybody tries to leave without giving me a paper is looking at a failing grade. So come on kids."

Xander smiled as he stood with his paper in his hands. He actually spent a decent amount of time on his paper on 'On the Road' by Kerouac. He worked hard on it, and between the slaying and his other late night activities, it took up most of the rest of his time. Everyone in class got in a line to turn in their papers. Willow stepped down the aisle and stopped next to Amy.

"Hey, Amy."

Amy smiled as she pulled on her backpack. "Are you guys going to the Valentine's Day dance at the Bronze? I think it's gonna be a lot of fun."

Willow turned to Buffy with a huge smile on her face. Buffy smiled and patted her shoulder. "Go ahead. You know you wanna say it."

Willow turned to face Amy again, grinning broadly. "My boyfriend's in the band!"

Amy smiled and laughed. "Cool."

Xander leaned in and nudged Willow from behind Amy. "That's about it Will, I think you've now told everybody."

Willow pulled her backpack up and grinned. "Nah, I still have to hit Europe and Indonesia."

Amy turned to Buffy. "What about you?"

Buffy waved her off. "Oh, Valentine's Day is just a cheap gimmick to sell cards and chocolate."

Amy shook her head. "Bad breakup, huh?"

Buffy rolled her eyes. "You wouldn't believe it."

Finally, They stood infront of the teacher's desk, Buffy turned in her paper.

Mrs. Beakman took the paper. "Thank you."

Buffy headed out of the room as Willow held up her paper as well.

Mrs. Beakman smiled at Willow. "Thank you."

Willow followed Buffy out. Amy stood in front of Mrs. Beakman and stared her down. Xander stood behind Amy and slowly lost his smile. Mrs. Beakman smiled at Amy and took an invisible paper from her.

Mrs. Beakman smiled blankly. "Thank you, Amy."

Amy smiled and started out of the classroom. Xander walked up to the desk staring open-mouthed and handed his paper in also. "Um, Mrs. Beakman?"

The teacher didn't even look up. "There's no extra credit Xander."

Xander shook his head and walked out of class. "Never mind."


Xander stood inside the Bronze. There had been a lot going on in his life lately. He wanted to be sure that he was doing the right thing. He was scared. Having someone that actually reciprocated and valued his feelings was nice. It made him feel good. It made him feel worth something. He looked up and saw Cordelia sitting at a table alone. He smiled. 'She looks beautiful.' He got up the courage and walked over to her.

Cordelia looked up to see Xander start to walk over and stood up to meet him. 'It's okay girl. You need to do this.'

Xander smiled widely. "Hey."

Cordelia looked him up and down. "Your clothes... You look so good." 'Why did he have to make it so hard?'

Xander looked down at himself. "Oh. I let Buffy and Mrs. Summers dress me." Cordelia gave him a rather odd look. "What? Oh, not physically, but they showed me what to wear."

Cordelia muttered under her breath. "Perfect. You had to make this harder, didn't you?"

Xander took a step back. "Okay, clearly the fact that I please you visually has got us off on the wrong foot here."

Cordelia took his hand. "Xander..."

Xander stopped her with a gesture. "Let me finish. I've been thinking a lot about us lately... the why and the wherefore. There's been a lot going on lately with me and with everyone else, but also with us. I mean between us. You know, once, twice, a kiss here, a kiss there. And you can chalk it all up to hormones. A-and maybe that's all we have here. Tawdry teen lust, but maybe not. Maybe something in you sees something special inside me. And vice versa. I mean, I think I do. See something. So..."

He pulled out the jewelry box and handed it to her. She took it and looked up at him.

Cordelia tried to hold back her tears. "Xander..." she opened the box, "Thank you." She held up the necklace and pendant. "It's beautiful."

Xander grinned. "I knew you'd love it."

Cordelia exhaled. "I wanna break up."

Xander's face fell. "Huh?"

Cordelia shook her head. "I know. I'm sorry. It's just... Who are we kidding?" Xander looked down at the necklace. "Even if parts of us do see specialness, we don't fit."

Xander felt the shiver in the back of his mind and looked up suddenly. "Yeah! Okay... Do you know what's a good day to break up with somebody? Any day besides Valentine's Day! I mean, what, were you running low on dramatic irony?"

Cordelia looked at him apologetically. "I know. I didn't mean to do it this way. I..."

Xander did his best to hold it back. "Do you know how long I had to save up for this? How hard I worked? Between the slaying and the whole thing with Angel, and the sleepless nights and everything else. God, I wanted you. I wanted you to like me. I thought you might actually fucking care for me. YOU care for ME. I can't believe that I actually believed someone would fucking think that I was anything else than a little dishrag for their emotions"

Cordelia bit her lip, she would not cry, not infront of him, not now. "Xander, I didn't..."

Xander felt the shiver over come him and interrupted her. "Well, you did."

Cordelia closed her eyes and tried to compose herself, when she opened them, he was gone.

Chapter 2

A newly risen vampire in Sunnydale was having a bad day.

Xander grabbed the vampire by the neck threw it into a tombstone. "I mean how could she?"

A very bad day.

After the incident at the Bronze, Xander decided to take a lesson from Buffy and let out his frustrations on the undead. He went home and changed into his patrol clothes, or as he called them, his 'nighties', consisting of dark tan khakis, navy blue shirt, and black jacket. He looked at the downed vampire before continuing. "I worked my ass off trying to buy her that locket and she just fucking dumps me on VALENTINES DAY!"

The fledgling got up and shook his head. "Women suck man, if it wasn't the vamps that got me, my girlfriend would've put me in the ground sooner or later."

Xander looked at the vampire and nodded his head. "I thought she might actually care for me."

The vampire tried to punch Xander in the chest. "Women are like that."

Xander dodged to the side and kicked the vamp in ribs. "I know, I just wish that she would actually know what its like to feel."

The vamp snorted and landed a punch to Xander's face. "Good luck buddy."

Xander's eyes glowed yellow and he smiled at the vamp. He pulled out a pistol and shot its kneecaps out. The vamp fell to the floor screaming in agony. Xander walked over and readied his stake. "Thanks, you've been very therapeutic." He dusted the vamp and walked out of the cemetery.


Xander walked through the halls of Sunnydale High school the next day wearing his usual Hawaiian shirts and blue jeans. A boy patted him on the shoulder as he passed by. "Dude, way to get dumped."

Xander shook his head. He could handle the looks, the points, and the laughs; he just didn't want anyone's pity. He looked up and saw Buffy coming the other way. 'Well, maybe someone's pity.'

Xander grabbed Buffy's hand and stopped her. "Hey, Buffy, you will not believe..."

Buffy ripped her hand away and looked at him. "Can't talk right now. Angel."

Xander nodded and walked with her. "Do you need help?"

Buffy shook her head and waved him off. "It's alright."

Xander watches her walk towards the library, and started to walk after her. A group of girls passed around him, staring and giggling at him. He exhaled and watched them go. A few steps further along he heard Harmony. "Gee, Xander, maybe you should learn a second language so that even more girls can reject you."

Xander turned around. "Nah, I just need to save a couple of dollars, then I'm sure I could pay for your services."

Harmony gasped and walked briskly away. He walked along the hallway seeing more people just staring at him. A moment later he noticed Amy in a light green sweater heading toward the stairs in front of him. He looked back for an instant and then rushed over to her.

"Hey Amy."

Amy looked at him. "Hey Xander, I heard about what happened with Cordelia..."

Xander looked around quickly before pulling her into an empty classroom. "Yeah, good to see you too. You're a witch."

Amy's eyes widened as she glanced around and smiled nervously. "No, that, that was my mom, remember? Its me, Amy, I don't do spells or magic."

Xander shook his head. "I saw you working that mojo on Mrs. Beakman. I have nothing against witches. Will is a witch. Ms. Calendar is a witch, see, good witches. But working spells so you don't have to do homework, methinks that's not very good. Now what I need is for my good little witch friend to do me a favor."

Amy held onto his arm and glared at him. "Maybe Mrs. Beakman was being nice."

Xander kept on talking. "Now a bad little witch friend who doesn't do me a favor, well..."

Amy growled. "AARGG, that's just...mean."

Xander smiled and sat her down. "You know Amy, blackmail is such an ugly word for such a pretty girl."

Amy looked confused for a second. "You think I'm... wait, I didn't say blackmail."

Xander smiled. "Yeah, but I'm blackmailing you, so I thought I'd bring it up."

Amy sighed and folded her arms. "What do you want?"

Xander chuckled. "What do I want? I want, for once, not to be the freaking buttmonkey. You and me, Amy..." he looked out the door window to see Cordelia walk by with Harmony, "we're gonna cast a little spell."


Amy nodded understandingly, "So you don't want a love spell."

Xander shook his head. "Not exactly. She doesn't love me, fine. She doesn't care about me, fine. I can live with that. All I want is for her to feel what I felt. I want her to go through the same hell she's been putting me through. Like a simple empathy spell or something. It's like kharma, what goes around, comes around."

Amy considered it for a moment and then got up. "Well, empathy spells aren't that tricky." She grinned at Xander. "And because its Cordelia, I might not feel that bad about doing it." She sighed and walked over to him. "Still, I'll need something of hers, a personal object, but something connected to you, like a picture or a gift."


Xander waited in the hallway for her. He knew that she had cheerleading practice and would be getting out about this time. They used to meet just down the hall and to the left. The janitor's closet. Hell, for the past few weeks, every time he walked past the corridor, he'd have a huge guilty grin on his face. Several times Buffy or Willow had to slap him upside the head just to bring him back to reality. Now, every time he saw it, all he wanted to do was just crawl up into it and die. He sighed and looked at his watch. 'Five more minutes until practice lets out.' All he had to do was just wait by her locker. He saw Cordelia come out from a corner. He had a slight smile as he watched her walk down the hallway in her cheerleader uniform, with her head a magazine. His smiled dropped when she picked her head up and spotted him. She spun around and started to hurry the other way.

Xander growled and sprinted around the corner to catch up and pass her. He spun around to stop her in her tracks.

Xander held a strait face. "Oh, come on, don't flatter yourself. I'm not gonna make a big scene. I just want the necklace back."

Cordelia stared at him in disbelief. "What? I thought it was a gift."

Xander tried to keep his anger in check, but felt the low growl escape his throat. "No. Last night it was a gift. I worked long and hard to pay for it, and since it doesn't hold any value for me, I figure I can just hand it back, after all, I kept the receipt."

Cordelia's eyes widened in shock. "You kept the receipt?"

Xander's eyes narrowed. "I kept the receipt."

Xander didn't mean for the venom in his voice to come out, but he needed to rush this along.

Cordelia stammered. "You're pathetic!"

Xander clenched his mouth. "Come on, I'm not gonna add to the Cordelia Chase castoff collection. I don't think there's any room left between the jocks, the frat boys, and half the state. Besides, after I worked so hard to save up for it, I might as well have something to show for it."

Cordelia glared at him. "It's in my locker."

Xander crossed his arms. "I can wait."

She gave him another look, and then walked over to her locker. Xander stepped to the side of the hall and leaned against the lockers several lockers infront of her.

She opened the locker and glanced over at him to see if he's looking. "Excuse me!"

Xander glared at her. "What?"

"Turn around, I don't want you knowing my combination."

Xander sighed and turned around. Satisfied that he wasn't paying close attention, she leaned in behind the locker door, and reached under the collar of her blouse. She pulled the necklace and pendant out. She sighed and stared into her locker mirror for a second to make sure there were no tears.

"Done yet?"

She closed her locker, stepped over to him and handed him the necklace.

Cordelia slipped back into venom mode. "Here. It's a good thing we broke up. Now I don't have to pretend I like it."

Xander felt the remaining embers in his heart snuff out as he walked away. Before he turned the corner he yelled back at Cordelia. "Pretend to like it, or pretend to like me?"

The cheerleader felt a few tears roll down her face before walking out to her car.


Xander sat down at the lab table and handed the locket to Amy. "So that's it, no big ceremony, no holding a candle and sitting bare- chested and cross-legged on the floor inside a large red symbol on the floor with three red vertical stripes are painted on my chest."

Amy gave Xander a confused look and shook her head before setting up the lab beakers containing several potions. "No, this is just a simple empathy spell. No half nakedness." Xander faked hurt. "Sorry Xander. It loosely ties some of your soul's excess energy to another person, but how do you know about the ritual to invoke Diana, the goddess of the hunt?"

"You know what my friends and I do right?"

Amy nodded as she sat down opposite him.

Xander gave her a smirk. "Well, we research a lot of occult and spell books, and there is no way any guy I know wouldn't look up a love spell if he had the chance."

Amy chuckled and looked at the necklace in her hand. "You know Xander I think that Cordelia was nuts." She stood and put a hand on his shoulder as he got up. "It's a beautiful necklace."

Xander turned to leave and gave her a soft smile. "Keep it when you're done. It should go to someone with a heart."

Amy smiled sweetly before going back to setting up the spell.

Chapter 3

Xander was back in the dark room. "Oh great, where's cryptic guy and his chairs? I wonder if he wants to play yahtzee this time?"

A voice came from behind him. "You have to let go."

He turned to see the man standing and looking into space. Xander started walking towards him. "Yeah, I guess I should let go of Cordy, but I just wanted to let her know how it feels for once. Let her be the one used and thrown away."

The man disappeared into the darkness. Xander turned around. "Okay, we didn't talk about this last time."

The man appeared to his left. "Unknowns change the equation."

Xander nearly jumped out of his skin. "JESUS! Don't do that!"

The man disappeared and then stood behind him. "Not only will things be different, YOU will be different. I have no way to know how or what changes will happen to you. This could jumpstart several different magics that you were exposed to and WILL be exposed to. God knows what could happen."

Xander's face fell. "Oh God, don't tell me..."

He heard the man's voice to his right. He turned to face him again. "Damn I just never thought that you'd actually get it."

Xander looked at him. The man wasn't even looking anywhere near Xander. He was just staring off into space. "You're not really here."

The man reappeared several feet behind him holding a glass of water. "...and we're technically not here, it still kinda helps you talk after a while."

Xander tilted his head and looked at the man. "You're an echo."

The man reappeared inches behind Xander, smirking with the same expression again. "Damn I just never thought that you'd actually get it."

Xander jumped back a little. "Yes we've been over that. So what's happening now, why are you here?"

The man appeared to his left. "YOU will be different. I have no way to know how or what changes will happen to you."

Xander sighed. "Yeah, I got that memo."

The man appeared before him and seemed to look strait into his eyes. "This could jumpstart several different magics that you were exposed to and WILL be exposed to. God knows what could happen."

The man then appeared right behind Xander and whispered into his left ear. "You'll remember bits and pieces now and then. But not all of it."


Xander woke with a start. He turned over to look at the clock. 'Crap, its 7:06. I'm gonna be late.'

He jumped up and grabbed a pair of black jeans and a light blue Hawaiian shirt before running out the door.


Xander growled as he ran. He didn't know what happened last night. It was like the first dream he had. He could only remember fragments. Trying to remember felt like trying to push cement through a funnel. He slowed as he saw Cordy and the rest of the popular girls walk into school.

Cordelia saw him coming and put her best game face on. "What?"

Xander straitened his back out and tried to appear confident, but he couldn't help but still feel hurt and angry. "Morning, ladies." He turned to Cordelia. "Some kind of weather we've been having, huh?"

Cordelia gave him a death glare. "What do you want? God, I already gave you back that S-mart looking thing."

Xander chuckled and leaned in to Cordelia. "Is this guilt or hurt...anything? 'Cause maybe on you it doesn't look that different."

Cordelia pushed him away and growled at him. "Are you going, like, stalker-boy on me now? Gonna be all 'please take me back, I cant live without you?' God you're pathetic." She pulled out her cell phone. "I'm gonna call the police if you don't get your Sears- shopping, blue-light-special ass out right now."

Xander felt his hurt melt away, being replaced by anger. He clenched his teeth and walked away. "Sorry, my mistake."


Xander walked into the library to see Giles and Buffy. He took a seat at the end of the table. "I have a plan: I go into the warehouse and tell all the vamps about my life. They'll be so moved that they'll dust themselves."

Giles commented as he walked between the stacks. "While I'm sure that the recent... romantic troubles are grounds for self-staking, I don't believe that the vampires will give you a chance to speak."

Xander's head hit the table with a loud thud; his voice was still rough with anger. "Okay, then we'll still stick with plan A and just let them kill me."

Buffy got up and sneered at him. "Yeah. I heard about you and Cordy. I figured it was going to happen sooner or later."

Xander was surprised by the level of venom in her voice. "Hey, I knew that you and I weren't exactly on the same page when it came to Cordy, but you don't have to be mean about it."

Buffy rolled her eyes and went back to reading her book. "Well, I have to say 'I told you so Xander.' I mean, come on, the Princess Bitch? God, I never thought you'd actually sink that low. I didn't want to say anything, but we all know how that ended. I mean, you gotta pay for those services."

Xander stopped her with his hand. "Okay, uh..." He looked around for a second to see any hidden cameras before shaking her hand. "Hi, I'm Xander, Xander Harris, have you seen a nice, sweet, cute little blonde running around by the name of Buffy Summers, because you sure aren't her."

Buffy growled and sneered at him. "Just because you got dumped by an egotistical bitch, don't go blaming it on me. I was trying to look out for you. Its not my fault you had to go for someone so totally out of your league."

Xander was about to shout that he didn't think he should be getting dating advice from someone that had sex with a vampire when he realized that Buffy could punch him into the next week. He sighed and looked at the blond slayer. She still had a slight grimace.

Buffy seemed out of it for a second before she smiled and looked into his eyes. "I don't know, I just heard that you and Cordy broke up, and I guess I was just surprised how glad I was." She reached forward with her hand and started playing with his shirt. She bit her bottom lip and leaned into him. "It's funny how you can see someone every day but not really see them. You know?"

Xander chuckled nervously and pushed her away. "Oh, yeah its funny. Hilarious even."

Giles appeared from behind the stacks. "Buffy, has there been an increase in the amount of risings as of late?"

Buffy sighed and leaned back as the British librarian interrupted her.

"I believe that because of the recent...ah, addition of Angelus, there should be a whole legion of fledglings that have been sired by Angelus, Spike, and Drusilla."

Buffy didn't even turn to face Giles, and continued to give Xander an increasingly lustful stare. "Sorry Giles, but I think I've only been getting the leftovers every night for the past two weeks."

Xander stiffened, and decided that he should be somewhere else. He looked at his watch. "Hey, look at the time."

Buffy looked at the clock on the wall. "It's about ten minutes till school ends."

Xander nodded as he backed out the door. "Yep, don't want to be late."

He shook his head. He was not going down that road with her again. No way in hell. He turned around to see Amy walking down the hall and jogged over. "Amy, can I talk to you for a minute?"

Amy looked a little annoyed but stopped walking and turned around. "What do you want?"

Xander looked back into the library. "I don't think the spell worked out right."

Amy rolled her eyes and continued walking. "Oh, yeah, it bombed. No biggie. Maybe next time a girl leaves you, you wont have to resort to magic. See ya later, loser."

Xander ran infront of her and stopped her. "No, I think the spell worked, but didn't do what it was supposed to. I mean, one second Buffy, BUFFY, was all angry and mean to me, the next she wanted to hop in my lap and smear chocolate all over me."

Xander smiled and stood there for a second. "Actually, maybe I should go back in."

Amy's eyes glazed over as she walked closer to him. "Xander."

He raised an eyebrow. "Amy?"

Amy smiled and looked up at Xander. "Well, we can always try again."

Xander gave her a questioning look. "I don't think doing the 'fuck with Xander's friends' spell again will help. I mean, look at Buffy."

He looked back through the library window and saw Buffy looking out at him with a lustful stare. Xander turned around to see if she was looking at someone behind him.

Amy walked a little closer to him. "I am still pretty new at this."

Xander turned to face her. "I know, it was wrong to meddle with the forces of darkness. I was just hurt, okay?" He looked back in to possibly see drool start to form at the corner of Buffy's mouth. "But I think I should probably go and let things die down maybe." Xander made a move to go away.

Amy stopped him with her hand. "Oh, we don't have to cast any spells."

Xander looked back into the library and saw Buffy staring out at him with her finger between her lips. He shook his head trying to clear it. "Uh huh."

Amy tried to get his attention. "We can just... hang out."

Xander looked at Amy. "What?"

Amy smiled. "Well, I liked spending time with you. You're so sweet. You know, it's funny how you can... you can see a person every day and..."

Xander felt a cold shiver run down his spine as Buffy walked out. "...not really see them."

Buffy walked over and stood between Xander and Amy. "Excuse me, Xander, but I was wondering if you wanted to come over for dinner tonight."

Amy tapped her shoulder. "Do you mind? We were talking."

Buffy turned around and snarled as she took his right arm. "Yeah, well my best friend Xander was just about ready to come back into the library for some studying"

Amy took a step forward and growled as she took his left arm. "That's funny, my new friend Xander and I were just talking about hanging out later."

Xander felt the cold shiver flow through the back of his head. The girls' eyes glowed yellow as they both turned to him. "Xander?"

'Ohhhhhh crap.'

Chapter 4

Xander rushed into his house and ran up the stairs.

'Crap, crap, crap, crap.'

He barged into his room and slammed the door behind him. He sat on the bed and sighed. Behind him, the covers stirred. Xander felt the mattress shift and turned to see and Willow sit up from under the covers wearing one of his shirts. Willow smiled seductively, "Sorry. I wanted to surprise you."

Xander jumped out of the bed in surprise and stares at her in shock. "Good job! Whoo, You got me there."

Willow pushed the covers up and crawled over to him. "Don't be so jumpy. I've been in your bed before."

Xander stammered. "Yeah, but Will, we were watching Care Bears and playing with Legos."

Willow blushed and moved closer. "Xander, I've been thinking."

Xander fidgeted. "Will, that's you you're a thinker. You, you're smart, I should know. I'm not smart. I am very, very, VERY stupid, but I think I know what you've been thinking. But this is all, all my fault. I cast a spell, and it sort of backfired."

Willow rubbed the sheets. "How long have we known each-other?"

Xander became even more nervous. "A long, long time. Too long to do anything that might change that now. Once again, I have to stress the longness of this situation."

Willow moved to the edge of the bed and smiled up at him. "Well, friendships change all the time. People grow apart. They grow closer."

Xander took a step back. "Yep, they sure do. Hell, I feel very comfortable with this amount of closeness. In fact," he pointed behind himself, "I can even back up a little and still be happy." He took two more steps back and smiled nervously. "See?"

She got up from the bed and slowly approached him. Xander looked down and saw that his shirt was the only thing she's wearing. 'Oh God.'

He started to back up more when she reached him. She put her hands up against his chest. "Shhh. We both know it's right."

He backed into the door as she leaned into him for a kiss. Xander backed his head away. "It's not that I don't find you sexy."

Willow leaned away to look at him. "Is it Oz? Don't worry about him. He's sweet, but...he's not you."

She started to rubs his chest again. Xander held her hands up and grinned fanatically. "Yes, he is. And you should go to him. 'Cause he's me, and I'm him, we switched you see. Right now, I'm out there, you should go find me. I know I would find me."

She leaned up to the side of his face and started to kiss his earlobe, making all Xander speech come out in vowels. "Oaua uayyyu iieo"

Willow smiled and nestled into his neck. "Do you know how long I've wanted this Xander?"

Xander shook his head nervously and slowly started trying to pry the redhead off of him. "Noooo, can't say that I do. But probably since last night or so. That's when everyone else started wanting it."

Willow grinned evilly and hit him. "You know that I've wanted you since we were six. I can feel it. I can feel everything inside of you, but don't worry. I already knew you..." Willow's hand slowly started to reach downwards. "...inside, " Her hand hovered over his jeans button for a second. "...and out."

Xander sighed. He had been having... some of those thoughts about Willow, but he knew that even if she really wanted it, it was still wrong. She leaned forward and started to nibble on his earlobe again. "I dreamt about you Xander. Every night since we were little, I wanted you. Sometimes I would just lie in bed fantasizing about being with you."

Xander found himself able to speak again. "I-I don't wanna use force."

Xander felt the cold chill spread through his body like lightning. She let go of his ear and leaned back to face him again with a feral smile on her face.

Willow growled as her eyes became an eerie yellow. "Mm. Force is okay!"

She leaned around and bit his ear, Xander screamed in pain and pushed her away. She stared at him in confusion.

Xander's eyes glowed yellow back. He felt the mate within Willow. It called to him. Xander felt her need in the back of him mind. He could smell it. Willow growled again and lunged at him. Xander caught her arms and threw her onto the bed. "That's it! This has gotta stop. It's time for me to..."

Willow started to lift up her shirt. Xander opened the door behind him and ran out. "...run away."


Xander ran to the library. "GILES, GILES!!"

Giles walked out from his office and set his books down on the table. "Xander. What is it?"

Xander panted. "It, it's me... throwing myself at your mercy."

Giles took off his glasses and cleaned them. "What? Why?"

Xander sighed. "Well, several things. Remember the hyena?"

Giles took a step back. "Stay right here Xander. I-I just need to go back into my office."

Xander rolled his eyes. "Giles, I know you keep the spare tranq gun in the office, but it's not me," 'Well not really,' Xander reasoned, "all the girls in Sunnydale, they got the horny hyena running around in their head and they want to make me their bitch, in both or either ways."

Giles' jaw dropped. "What? The hyena?"

Xander nodded as he went back into the office. Giles shook his head and followed him. "I don't understand. The only way for the hyena spirit to inhabit anyone is through a series of intense rituals followed by a predatory act. And besides, the hyena spirit no longer resides in you."

Xander walked out of the office with the two tranquilizer guns and tossed one to Giles. "Nope, no its not. But is wanting to rip my clothes off and wanting to play sticky naked twister count as a predatory act?"

Giles caught the gun and looked it over. "Yes, I believe so, but they would still need some sort of connection and either a focusing location or object in order to transfer the spirit."

Xander checked the tranq gun. "What else would be considered a predatory act?"

Giles took off his glasses and cleaned them. "A, um defending your territory or mate, the umm mating process, but even so, why would the girls be after you in the first place?"

Xander sighed. "I made a mess, Giles. See, after Cordy ripped out my heart and stomped on it, I found out that Amy's into witchcraft. I wanted to teach her a lesson, so I got Amy to do this little spell..."

Giles face darkened. "Amy?"

"Amy suggested the spell. She said that it wasn't tricky or anything."

Giles groaned. "A love spell?"

Xander laughed. "God no, I'm not that stupid. It was just something to make Cordy feel what I felt, but now every woman in Sunnydale wants to make me her cuddle monkey, which may sound really nice on paper, but see, it was an empathy spell."

Giles sighed and began looking for some books. "Well, if it were still in you, a spell that enhances or simply uses some of your soul's excess energy could have an effect like what you are describing, but there are so many variables, I don't see how. It would still be a million to one chance that..."

He was interrupted when Ms. Calendar came into the library behind them and walked up to Giles. "Rupert, we need to talk. Hey, Xander. Nice shirt."

Giles gave Xander a look, while Jenny started to rub his shirt. "Look, Rupert, I know that you're angry at me, and I don't blame you, but I am not just gonna go away. I mean, I care far too much about you to..." She stopped and looked at Xander's arm. "Have you been working out?"

Xander looked back at Jenny and pushed her off. Her eyes glowed yellow. Xander turned back to Giles to explain further when he saw the librarian's eyes change amber behind his glasses. "Oh crap."

Giles growled and stepped toward Xander. "Jenny is mine."

Xander backed up a step. "Oh crap."

Giles grabbed Ms. Calendar and flung her over his shoulder and ran out of the library. Ms. Calendar squealed. "OH RUPERT!"

Xander looked at their retreating figures. "Oh...crap?"

Several seconds of silence elapsed as Xander stood alone in the library. "I don't know whether to be happy or very, very disturbed."

Xander shook his head and quickly moved to push the mobile card catalog in front of the doors in an attempt to keep people out. As he headed back toward the table Buffy pulled the door out and open and stepped in wearing only a short black raincoat that reached barely down to mid-thigh and black high heels. When Xander heard the door swing shut, he grabbed the tranq gun and spun around.

Buffy stood with one hand on the catalog and the other propped up on top of the theft detector. She smiled at him. "Alone at last."

Xander stared open-mouthed. "Jesus Buff, give me a stroke!"

Buffy started a sexy walk toward him and began to untie her belt. "Oh, I'm gonna give you much more than a little stroke."

Xander backed away, gesturing with his hands. "Buff, for the love of God, in the name of all that is holy, don't open that raincoat."

Buffy undid a button and leaned toward him. "Come on! It's a party! Aren't you gonna open your present?"

Xander kept backing toward the stairs nervously. "Yeah, well, it's my party and I can cry if I want to, but for crying out loud, please don't open that raincoat. It's not that I don't want to. Part of me does. Part of me really, really, really, does. So badly that I went through so much Kleenex that I decided to buy in bulk. But not now. Not like this. This isn't real to you."

Xander tripped over the first step and Buffy stepped up and put her leg over him. Xander swallowed nervously and shook his head. "You're only here because of a spell. I mean, if I thought you had one clue what it would mean to me...or what it would have meant to me... But you don't. So I can't."

Buffy got very upset, her eyes shimmering with amber fury. "So you're saying this is all a game?"

Xander replied shocked. "A game? What the hell are you talking about, does this look like Monopoly to you?"

Buffy growled angrily. "You make me feel this way, and then you reject me? What am I, a toy?"

Xander felt himself get angry. "ME use YOU! Are we forgetting that whole dance at the Bronze to make you psycho undead killer boyfriend jealous?"

Xander felt the temperature in the room drop as he slowly walked towards her. "That's real funny. I am the fucking doormat for the entire female population of Sunnydale. I KNOW what its like to be used and thrown away. And you think that I'm just a goddamned puppy dog, going to follow you around all damn day huh?"

He sighed and turned to walk out of the library. "I don't blame you Buffy, I forgave you a while ago, but just don't accuse me of ever using anyone."

Buffy sprinted infront of him and kicked his legs out from under him. She crouched over his prone position and looked at him hungrily. "I know you want me, I can smell it."

Xander kicked her back onto the second level of the library. "Yeah, well Buff, I do want you, but I'd have to say that it's only as a friend. You know the whole 'friends only' deal."

The hairs on the back of his neck stood up as he muttered looked into her eyes. Buffy's eyes glowed. She liked the anger, the forcefulness, and kissed him hungrily. Xander felt himself return the kiss. The unrequited lust filled his lungs. He felt the wanting when he first met her. He felt the waiting and uncertainty when he first asked her out. He felt the potential mate in her scream for him to take her. He felt the rejection, the hurt. He stopped and pushed Buffy off of him. Buffy growled and tried to kiss him again. Xander let the cold overtake him as he threw her into a stack of books. She got up and snarled at him. The amber in her eyes forced out all other color. "You asshole"

Amy walked into the library with glowing yellow eyes. "Get away from him. He's mine"

Buffy turned towards her. "Oh, I don't think so." She turned back to Xander. "Xander, tell her."

Xander was already halfway down the stairs. He picked up Amy, threw her over his shoulder and grabbed the tranq guns. Amy moaned in lust. "OH XANDER!"

Buffy screamed in anger. "ARRG XANDER!!!!!"


Chapter 5

Xander ran out into the hall with Amy over his shoulder rubbing his back profusely and kissing his neck. "Would you, uh, stop that? It's making it hard for me to concentrate."

Amy moaned. "Oh I'd just hate to make it hard"

He groaned and turned the corner only to get a strong left jab from Oz. "Ow." He turned to face the musician. "What the hell was that for?"

Oz growled and took a step forward. His face started to get hairy and his features became exaggerated. "I was on the phone all night, listening to Willow cry about you. Now, I don't know exactly what happened, but I was left with a very strong urge to... hit you."

Xander rubbed his chin and put Amy down, who immediately pouted and started to grope him. "Well, you did. Good job there Oz ole buddy. Now if you'll excuse me."

Oz howled and lunged at him. Xander dropped to the floor and flipped him over. He grabbed one of the tranq guns he dropped and shot Oz in the leg. Oz let out a small yelp and fell unconscious. "Crap," he turned to Amy "You wanna help me drag him to a classroom?"

Amy bit her bottom lip. "What do I get?"

Xander smiled, playfully, he hoped. "It's a secret."

Amy squealed and they put him into the American Literature 101 classroom. They walked out of the room to see a very ragged Cordelia. "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?"

Xander held Amy back. "Are you attracted to me in any physical, emotional, or mental way?"

Cordelia shook her head and shouted. "NO!"

Xander turned to Amy. "Good, she's sane."

Amy draped herself over Xander, protecting her territory. Her eyes flashed a bright amber. "Just remember that bitch."

Xander turned back to Cordelia. "What's going on?"

Cordelia shook her head. "I don't know. I mean one second, we were all laughing and joking, then all of the sudden, all these girls start hitting me and telling me how wrong it was for me to dump you."

Xander felt a knot in the pit of his stomach. He never meant for it to go this far. "I'm sorry Cor, I never..."

She interrupted him with a finger to his lips. "Xander, it made me realize something..."

Amy unlocked the door behind them and threw her into the classroom with the unconscious werewolf. A yellow eyed Cordelia banged on the door window. "Let me out right now you heinous BITCH!"

Xander turned to Amy. "How did you know she was possessed?"

Amy turned back to him. "She was possessed?"


Xander stopped at his house. He slowly let Amy down and led her inside. "So any way of knowing how to undo this?"

She smiled and purred into his ear. "Undo what?"

Xander, it would seem, had a soft spot right under his earlobe as he was reduced only to making gurgling sounds. "Uggg crrrlahhhhss."

He pushed her off. "I mean, do you remember the spell I asked you to do?"

Amy smiled sweetly. "Yeah, we spent so much time together I think that was when I actually realized..."

Xander muttered under his breath as he walked up to his bedroom with the tranq guns. "Yeah, I think that's when everyone realized."

He walked into the room and placed the tranq guns on the bed. Amy rushed in and pulled Xander to the bed, moaning and panting. Xander tried to fight her off. "I mean, uhh, did you have a focal point or something for the spell?" Amy nibbled on his collarbone. "...or something?"

Amy leaned back on the bed and spoke with a sultry voice. "Lets not talk about spells right now, I want to work our own magic."

Xander groaned. Even he had to admit that line was lame. "No, I mean talking about it gets me all hot and bothered you know?"

Amy raised an eyebrow. She smiled and then got on all fours and crawled forward and spoke with a sexy voice. "Well, I needed the locket..."

Xander's eyes widened. "The locket, do you have the locket?"

Amy smiled softly and placed her hand over her chest. "Always, it was a gift."

Xander nodded excitedly. "Okay, where is it?"

Amy looked confused and patted her chest again. "Right here."

Xander shook his head. "I don't see it."

Amy smiled. "No, I keep it under my shirt, close to my heart."

"Oh, um, can I see it, to you know, and reminisce?"

Amy smirked and leaned back into the bed. "Come and get it."

Xander's jaw dropped. "Um, what?"

Amy pulled his hands to her collarbone. "Xander wants it. Xander go gets it."

Xander's forehead got very sweaty. "Run that by me again?"

Amy pulled him into a passionate kiss. "Kiss me you fool."

Xander complied and slowly worked his way down her shirt. 'Just feel the chain, just feel the chain. AACK that's not the chain.' Finally, he was able to find the pendant and took it off of Amy, who pouted. "Hey."

Xander looked at the necklace with a grin and backed up towards the window. "Good, I can finally end this, we should be safer up here."

An arm came through the window and pulled him out of the room.

Angelus smirked in game face and kicked him off of the roof. "Works in theory."


"Where's Buffy?"

Xander landed on the ground with a loud thud. "OOMPHFF."

Angelus leapt down after him and stood over him. "Perfect." He grabbed Xander and pulled him up, "I wanted to do something special for Buffy, actually to Buffy, but this is so much better!"

Xander kneed him in the crotch and stood up, Angelus reached out and flipped Xander over backward onto the grass again. He jumped over and pinned Xander to the ground. "If it's any consolation, I didn't like you very much either. You were so damn annoying and you would just talk and talk."

A hand grabbed Angelus by the shoulder, pulled him up and threw him aside into a tree. Xander jumped to a conclusion and looked up at his savior. "Buffy, how..."

Drusilla smiled at the boy. "Don't fret, kitten. Mummy's here."

Angelus picked himself up. "I don't know what you're up to, Dru, but it doesn't amuse me!"

She growled at Angelus and gently stroked Xander's hair. Xander was half frozen in fear and shock, the other half in confusion. "If you harm one hair on this boy's head..."

Angelus raised an eyebrow. "You've gotta be kidding. Him?"

Drusilla turned Xander to face her. "Just because I finally found a real man..."

Angelus shook his head as he backed away. "Damn Dru, I guess I really did drive you crazy." He turned to face Xander. "I was just going to kill you, rip your arms and legs off, and leave them in random places for your friends to find. I don't even wanna know what she's going to do to you."

Drusilla moaned as she ran her fingers over Xander's lips. "Your face is like a poem. I can read it."

Xander shifted back "Really? It doesn't say 'go away' by any chance?"

Drusilla leaned in for a kiss. "Shhh. How do you feel about eternal life?"

Xander balled his hand into a fist as he saw the locket laying several feet away. "Sounds good in theory, but then with all the hair gel and the blood, I think it'd get a little old don't you?"

Drusilla smiled. "Silly boy."

A gunshot rang through the air. Amy stood by the front door with one of Xander's pistols. "Get away from my man you undead slut."

Xander took the opportunity and kicked Drusilla off him and crawled over to the locket, he grabbed it in his hand. Drusilla tackled him and bared her fangs. "Naughty boy," she turned to look at Amy, "Mummy wants to play hopscotch with your kidneys."

Xander threw to necklace back to Amy and concentrated on getting Dru off of him. "Break the pendant!"

Amy gave him a look of shock and hurt. "But it was a gift."

Xander threw the vampiress off and shouted back. "Just break it." He turned back only to get tackled. He decided to play a low card, "It was Cordy's first remember?"

Amy dropped the necklace on the floor and gave it a look of disgust. "Bitch."

She brought down her heel on the piece of jewelry and crushed it.


Xander sat down at lunch alone. It seemed that most of the student body avoided him like the plague. He couldn't blame them though. The men hated him for 'stealing' their girls, and the girls just plain hated him. He frowned as Willow and then Amy passed him with their lunch trays. "Well, I'm back to being incredibly unpopular."

He heard a feminine voice come from behind him. Buffy smiled and put her tray next to his before sitting down. "It's better than everyone trying to kill or seduce you, right?"

Xander chuckled. He was glad to at least have one friend left. "Mostly, but, uh... Willow won't even talk to me."

Buffy opened her coke and took a sip. "Any particular reason she should?"

Xander shook his head and looked back towards at the petite redhead who quickly turned away. "How much groveling are we talking here?"

Buffy looked at her tray, noticing the lack of actual food. "Oh, a month, at least." Xander turned back and faced her. "Xander, come on, I mean... this is worse for her than anyone. She loved you before you invoked the great Hound Dog spirit. The rest of us..."

Xander groaned and slip back into his seat. "You remember, huh? Figures."

Buffy raised her eyebrows and shook her head. "Only some things. I remember coming on to you, remember begging you to undress me, yelling at you, you yelling at me... And then a sudden need to kill Amy. I also remember that you didn't."

Xander deadpanned. "Kill Amy?"

Buffy smiled and looked at him. "Undress me. It meant a lot to me what you said."

Xander smiled back and took out a twinkie. "C'mon, Buffy, I couldn't take advantage of you like that. Okay, for a minute, it was touch and go there... "

Buffy put her hand on his shoulder and gently squeezed. "You came through. There might just be hope for you yet."

Xander chuckled and looked towards the Cordettes. "Well, tell that to Cordelia." He turned to see several other girls looking at him with disgust. "...and everyone else."

Buffy shook her head and took a bite of her Snickers bar. "You're on your own there."

Buffy smiled and took another bite of her snicker's bar. "Hey, do you see Giles today?"

Xander almost choked his twinkie.

Buffy patted him on the back. "Are you okay Xander?"

Xander looked sick. "Yeah, yeah, just a little stomach quirk."

Xander gazed over at the brunette cheerleader. She glanced over at him, but quickly went back into her conversation. He turned back towards Buffy. "You know what Buff? I'm going to take some good advice given to me by an old friend."

Buffy smirked. "Is this old friend blonde and able to kick undead ass?"

Xander laughed and shook his head. "Sadly no, but he was still pretty smart. I have to let go. I know the journey is going to be rough. I know it'll hurt..."

Buffy smiled. "You've got 'but'-face."

Xander gave her a dirty look. "What?"

"You've got 'but'-face. I sense a 'but' coming."

Xander smiled and teased her. "Well, we all can't have a 'butt' like yours now can we."


Xander rubbed the back of his head. "Ow, okay, okay. Anyway, I have to let go. I don't mean that we wont ever get together again, or that anything'll happen in the future. It's uncertain. What I'm saying is that...it could always be worse. Its about perspective, how you look at things today. I can live with that."


Words and Music by James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett
Copyright © 1988 Creeping Death Music (ASCAP)
International Copyright Secured All Rights Reserved

Do you see what I see?
Truth is an offence, Your silence for your confidence.

Do you hear what I hear?
Doors are slamming shut, Limit your imagination, keep you where they must.

Do you feel what I feel?
Bittering distress, Who decides what you express?

Do you take what I take?
Endurance is the word, Moving back instead of forward seems to me absurd.

Doesn't matter what you see, or into it what you read.
You can do it your own way, if it's done just how I say.

Independence limited
Freedom of choice
Choice is made for you, my friend
Freedom of speech
Speech is words that they will bend
Freedom with their exception

Do you fear what I fear?
Living properly, Truths to you are lies to me.

Do you choose what I choose?
More alternatives, Energy derives from both the plus and negative.

Do you need what I need?
Boundaries overthrown, Look inside, to each his own.

Do you trust what I trust?
Me, myself, and I, Penetrate the smoke screen, I see through the selfish lie.

Doesn't matter what you see, or into it what you read.
You can do it your own way, if it's done just how I say.

Independence limited
Freedom of choice
Choice is made for you, my friend
Freedom of speech
Speech is words that they will bend
Freedom with their exception

Do you know what I know?
Your money and your wealth, Your silence just to hear yourself.

Do you want what I want?
Desire not a thing, I hunger after independence, lengthen freedom's ring.

Doesn't matter what you see, or into it what you read.
You can do it your own way, if it's done just how I say.

Independence limited
Freedom of choice
Choice is made for you, my friend
Freedom of speech
Speech is words that they will bend
Freedom no longer for you

Doesn't matter what you see, or into it what you read.
You can do it your own way, if it's done just how I say.