Feeling Empty

Author: cobra_7422000 <cobra_7422000[at]yahoo.com>

It's finally over. The first is deafeated and life can go on. Everyone can move to another town, start another life. Even me. The question I keep asking myself is if it's worth it. Is it worth the extra pain and heartache to try and move on? I've already lost so much in this life, could I stand to lose more in my next. Lose another loved one, lose my only remaining eye. Lose my innocence, lose everything all over again. Could I do it? These are the thoughts plagueing my as I watch the scenery fly by outside the bus window.

"Xander?" The cautious voice of Dawn brings me from my musings. I look at the young woman I think of as a sister and can't seem to bring the usual smile to my lips. Don't get me wrong I've faked so many smiles in the last seven years that I'm a pro. But I no longer think it's worth it.

"Yeah Dawnie?" I asked with no emotion in my voice. Emotion is overrated and I'm sick of it. Half of me wishes I was back where Sunnydale had been, buried in the tons of rubble.

"I was wondering.. if uh.. you wanted to talk." She said with uncertain words and body language. A little part of me wanted to smile at seeing a Summers girl unsure of anything. But, it was only a little part and the bigger part of me just wanted to be left alone.

"No. I'm okay." And I'm a lier.


Who would have thought I'd be staying in the same building as Angel and not give a damn? Certainly not me. When Buffy said we were staying in L.A. for a few weeks while everything was sorted out I simply stared ahead. I didn't care about staying anywhere. I heard the door behind me open and I knew by the missing sounds of footsteps Angel had just walked in. I was sitting on the bed doing nothing. Eyes closed and breathing shallow as I wallowed in all my self pity.

"Xander? We have to talk." I didn't open my eyes as I answered him.

"Get out of here deadboy, before I make you." I wasn't kidding, I wasn't trying to act like a badass. I simply wanted Angel gone. And if he wasn't going to leave I was going to make sure he did. Or die trying.

"Talk Xander. Everyone is worried about you." I opened my eyes... wait, EYE and looked at the dark haired vampire I hated as a teenager, as a child. I always thought I was a man when I began fighting the creatures of the night. Now I know that in truth most people are never fully grown-up. There is always a childish streak somewhere deep inside them that keeps them from fully maturing. Fully falling into the darkness that is being GROWN. Making choices and living with the consequences. Most people have that little bit of childish innocence that keeps them from going insane over a screw up. The little part of there mind that shrugs and says. "Fuck It" To the world and everything they feel they can't control. Being a 'grown up' takes that away. Losing to much takes that away.

"Go to hell Angel. Again." I could tell by the way his movements became more defined that he was losing his patience. So was I.

"Buffy and the others are worried Xander." I finally stood from the bed and looked at the vampire with a glare.

"Then why the hell are you here? I'm going to say it one more time Angel. Get out." Of course the vampire didn't move. Just stood there and looked at me. Oh Well. I swung with a quick left that moved his head then lashed out with a low kick that made his knee turn at an awkward side angle. Then threw out with an uppercut that I hoped would take him off his feet so I could finish the fight. But everything I ever hoped for had never happened. Why start now. I was caught by suprise as his right hand connected with my chest sending me back through the air. I stayed on me feet and at landing ran at Angel full speed hitting him in a tackle that sent us toward the door. An earsplitting crack was heard as the door gave way under our combined weight and momentum sending us into the hallway. The few slayers in training that occupied the hall were shocked into screams as I landed on the vamped out Angel and began to hit him over and over again. As I landed my fifth or sixth blow he was able to put his feet under me and push me off and toward the stair case. I rolled down the first set toward the lobby but caught the banister with my hand and pulled myself back up the steps only to bump into the running vampire. As I fell backwards I wrapped my arms around his neck and twisted my body so he was under me when we fell. We rolled to the floor of the lobby still punching and kicking. He wrapped his arms around my waist and began to squeeze forcing the air from my lungs. I quickly brought my knee up slamming in between his legs causing the vampire to howl in pain as I brought my elbow down on his nose. His arms loosend enough for me to sit up and get more leverage in my punches. I landed maybe three before I felt strong feminine hands pull me off the vampire with a soul. I knew who the two women were before I was on my feet.

"Don't fuck with me Angel!" I yelled as I pulled my arms free of Buffy and Faith's holds. It was probably because they were in shock that I was able to walk toward the stairs.

"Where do you think your going?!!" Buffy yelled at me as she began to walk toward me. I turned quickly and looked at the slayer with a gleam in my eye that made her stop in her tracks. I began to walk back down the stairs never taking my eyes from her.

"To get my stuff and leave. Do I need your permission for that little miss slay and lay?" Buffy stepped back as if I punched her and for a small second I wanted to take back what I said. But I didn't.

"Everything we've done this year has been part of your half assed little plan. When the First Evil made its self known you were more worried about your bleached blonde pet vamp then you were the world. Or a human." I said the last part pointing at Robin Wood who only stood silent. He agreed with me. I could tell by the look in his eyes.

"And the little plan to close the Hellmouth? Let me tell you this slayer, your not that good. You keep getting lucky. That's the only reason your half assed little plan worked and the more I think about it the more I wonder if it was the right thing to do." I look around the room thinking about everything we've been through when I notice that everyone is here. Might as well say my piece.

"A Slayer is three times more dangerous than any one master vampire. We've dealt with it before Buff. Can you imagine how much trouble a group of them could cause?" I can see my words having an effect. Especially on Faith who looks as if I shot her puppy. I can't seem to care right now. I'm just telling the truth.

"Plus a lot of the girls don't have a Giles to look to for advice. Hell as far as you know they might not have anyone. Can you imagine what a 13 year old girl who lived on the street taking what she needed her whole life would do with the power?" I can tell that no one has. Not even Giles who is standing silently behind the counter with Gunn and Wesley.

"Let me give you this little bit of advice slayer. Before you make a plan to go to Cleveland or wherever. Try and fix OUR fuckup. That's what I'm going to do." I turned and walked up the stairs with slow and deliberate movements. I couldn't believe what I had just done. I had yelled at Buffy and fought with Angel. That's something most things don't walk away from. Maybe now they don't think I'm the weakling I was when Buffy first came into my life. Maybe they think i'm dangerous now, and maybe I don't care what they think. Now it's time for me to go out on my own, be my own man and all that jazz. But I know that's not the real reason I'm leaving, I can't handle being near these people anymore, the sad thing is I don't know if I changed, or they did. Maybe it doesn't matter. And maybe, just maybe, I won't wonder about it anymore.



If anyone wants to use this as a starting point to launch a full fic, TAKE IT. Later and don't forget to leave a review.