Lament for lost Heroes

Author: Knife Hand <d_lutke[at]>

Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated

Spoilers: Series 4 of Buffy. Oz didn't leave and Tara never came to Sunnydale.

Rating: PG-13

Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy. I would buy them but I am broke.

Summary: Xander reflects on the past, and must deal with his actions (Warning: Character Death).

Xander Harris sat in the small, sparsely furnished room, staring out at the afternoon sun. He could rest for another hour and then it would start, like it did every night. Xander let his mind wander into his memories, into the pain and loss of his life, the source of his strength. There was one memory, the one that haunted him everyday in this last hour before sunset, the memory that inspired the most guilt, pride, loss and the greatest need for vengeance.


Buffy and the Scoobies moved along the dark passageway of the demon lair, decked out for Slaying. Buffy lead the way, followed by Willow, then Xander, then Oz and Giles brought up the rear. The demon had been terrorising the town, sucking people's brains out through their eye sockets, so the Scoobies had dropped everything to find and kill the beast, which lead them here.

The narrow passageway opened out into a cavern shrouded in darkness. Willow formed a light so they could see the cavern. The first seconds showed a mass of vampires and various demons in the cavern, all seeming ready for a fight. After a second's pause all the demons and vampires attacked the group. Xander, Oz and Giles were desperately protecting themselves with their axes while Willow was casting spell after spell, mostly fireballs, at the demonic horde. Buffy was a whirlwind, Slaying demons and vampires at a furious pace but there were too many. Giles fell to a demon, who savagely ripped out his throat.

"Fall Back." Buffy yelled.

The remaining Scoobies tried to fight back to the tunnel and were managing quite well when Willow's magic tapped out. When she tried to throw another fireball nothing happened except an eruption of blood from her nose. Pulling out the small axe she had on her belt Willow tried to continue to fight but was quickly overcome, bitten by several vampires before being ripped apart. When Oz saw this he lost his temper and rushed at the demons, killing several before he went down, his stomach ripped open by the claws of some demon. When Buffy and Xander reached the tunnel, Buffy turned to fight and Xander turned with her.

"What are you doing? Get out of here." Buffy told Xander.


"Go. I could not stand it if you died too. I never told you this but I love you. Please, for me. Go!" Buffy said adamantly.

Xander paused for a second. The protectors of Sunnydale were gone, there was only him and Buffy left, and she was going to make a stand. Someone had to warn the town, and that someone had to be him.

"I always loved you, Buffy." Xander said, before running down the passageway.

(End Flashback)

"And I always will." he whispered, his head bowed as the sun sank. That night he had gotten some of the Initiative commandoes that had returned from their debriefing, many had not including Riley, which had hurt Buffy, and set up a watch on the cave entrance. When Buffy had not emerged after daybreak Xander had lead some commandos into the cave and had recovered what was left of the Scoobies. Xander had carried Buffy's body, killed by a broken neck and covered with wounds, out of the cave with reverence. That cave was sealed with explosives and the commandos looked to Xander for what to do next. By calling in markers, both Initiative and Scooby, Xander managed to get the town together for a meeting.


"Silence." Xander commanded and the congregation stilled. "There are some unwritten laws here in Sunnydale. Never travel alone after dark, never invite strangers into your house and never admit that you saw anything. These were the ways to stay alive. Now the world has changed.

"Ignorance was a shield that worked only because there was another shield. There were people who protected us from the unseen. There are now some hard truths to face. Firstly, we do not run this town; Sunnydale is run by the things that go bump in the night. Vampires, Demons, Hell Beasts and Chaos Magicians. Every thing that rational humans would dismiss as folly, insanity or fairytale, they all exist and they claim Sunnydale as home. Secondly, the protectors are gone, overrun by the darkness that consumed this town.

"For four years this town has been protected from every manner of evil by a select group of warriors. This I know because I was one of them. Some of the protectors sought their destinies elsewhere, but most have fallen in the fight. Buffy Summers, champion of this town, acknowledged by her peers as class protector (all of her classmates nodded in agreement at this) and called as the Vampire Slayer; Willow Rosenberg, a powerful witch, devoted friend and tireless in her research efforts; Daniel 'Oz' Osborne, guitarist and werewolf; and Rupert Giles, former high school librarian, researcher and protector of the Slayer.

"All these heroes died recently and horribly in the fight to protect your lives, and they are not the only ones. Kendra, Faith, Cordelia Chase, Wesley Whindon Price, Jenny Calender and Angel. They may be names without faces to you but I knew them, we all fought to protect this town, some of us lost our lives, some of us paused destinies elsewhere and some of us failed in our duties. Our eyes were opened to the world that we live in and we accepted the call to fight, we were not perfect and never clamed to be.

"You were protected and thus shielded yourselves with ignorance. No more can you do that. I was the only person who fought who did not have some special ability and I was lucky to survive when the greatest of us fell, but I did not give up, I could not stand by and let the world burn. That is your choice now.

"You can stay in Sunnydale and join the fight for freedom and to stop the destruction of the human race, or you can leave, practice the ignorance that you have used so effectively for all your lives and, if those who stay fail, die with the world knowing you could have made a difference."

"We will stay and fight." Came a unanimous call from the returned Initiative commandos.

(End Flashback)

"General, it is time." came a call from the door.

"Thank you, Sarah." Xander replied, without looking at her.

Xander had changed from the goofy member of the Scooby Gang. Now in his late twenties he was well muscled and his body was marked by scars. His hair was cut short in military style and a rugged scar ran down past his weary and sorrowful eyes. He was dressed in boots, army pants and a dark green t-shirt. Xander stood and walked towards the door, stoping when he reached it.

"Who did you loose, Sarah?" he asked.

Sarah was in her late teens, about nineteen years old, with brown hair and green eyes. She reminded Xander of himself when he was with the Scoobies, especially the innocence in her eyes.

"Sir?" she responded.

"Everyone who stayed or came to fight has lost someone, and you are no exception. Who did you lose?" Xander said.

"My twin sister was killed by a vampire in LA." she replied, with pain and loss in her eyes. (AN: This scenario may sound familiar, but she is not the same character as Justine who sided with Holtz in Angel.)

Xander nodded and proceeded to the planing meeting.


Xander enters the meeting room and everyone stands.

"At ease people." he commands, and they all sit down around the long conference table covered with maps of Sunnydale, reports and weapons.

"What is the current situation?" Xander asked.

"Not much to report, Sir." one of the sector commanders reported, her voice firm. "We kept up regular patrols today and teams are ready for their sweeps tonight. Ten percent of our operatives are on inactive status, mostly recovering from injury. Discipline is good and morale is high."

"Border patrols are continuing." said the perimeter commander in his husky voice. "We had a single intruder trying to enter the battle zone. She was detained and was not recognised by anyone. She kept asking for someone called Buffy."

"Buffy?!?" Xander said looking sharply at the man who nodded. "What does she look like?"

"Sir? She has long black hair, is dressed in black leather pants and a tank top, and..."

"Faith!" Xander interrupted. "Bring her immediately."

A few minutes later Faith was brought into the room, handcuffed and under guard.

"Release her." Xander ordered when she entered.

She was uncuffed and looked at the man who had given the order.

"Xander! What the hell is going on here? Where is Buffy?" she demanded.

"She's dead." Xander said, turning to his planing staff and the guards.

"Leave us."

Everyone left, leaving Xander and Faith alone. Faith had matured rather well for someone who had been in prison for years, and by the looks of her she had kept in shape.

"Buffy's dead? When did it happen?" Faith asked in shock.

"About six months after you turned yourself in. Her, Oz, Giles, Willow, their all gone. So when did they let you out?" Xander's voice was cool, almost emotionless.

"About a week ago." Faith replied. "B's dead."

"Glad to see you Faith." Xander said, bringing a slight smile to her face, which faded when she heard what he said next. "We need all the fighters we can get."

"Is that the only reason?" Faith asked.

"No. I really am glad to see you, but there is going to be a major battle soon and our side is outmatched and probably outnumbered." Xander said. "We have about eight thousand people here to fight, eight hundred of them are out of action, those who can are researching but we're probably going to be wiped out. As we fight, our numbers decrease and theirs stay fairly stable, maybe decrease slightly. We fight, die and then, far too often, are taken over and fight for the enemy."

Silence descends over the room for a few minutes, before Xander leads Faith over to the maps and reports on the table.

"So, what's the Slayer's take on the situation?" Xander asked.

Faith looked over the maps and reports for several minutes before responding.

"Not really a winnable situation, is it? Sorry, rhetorical question. The only way is see is to gather your strength and force a single, decisive battle. Not many will survive and the town will probably be destroyed."

"This town died the moment Buffy did. We fight to save the rest of the world." Xander responded, and then he pressed a button on the intercom.

"Send in the planning staff and begin patrols."