Realizations of things lost and found

Author: Michael Wilson <wyrdradio[at]>

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Rating: PG

Disclaimer: Joss, Mutant Enemy, and a lot of other people own the characters from Buffy. The Crow is owned by James O'Barr and Miramax Films. The song "In The End" is by Linkin Park. I get nothing by writing this except maybe some kind words of encouragement and a few cheers... at least I hope.

Spoilers: The Gift... then beginning of Season 6

Summary: Sequel to Unfinished and Neverending. Xander faces unlife alone....

Author's Notes: This story is a Buffy/The Crow crossover. " " as always means talking... while * * means thoughts. # # is the voice of the crow

Feedback: Yes please!!!!!

Distribution: If you like it... please feel free to place it on your site... but please tell me first.

The wind whipped through the trees and caught onto the edge of the long jacket that Buffy Summers was wearing. It was a heavy jacket... but it did nothing to keep out the cold. It was almost like it had become a part of her... all the way down to her core.

*I'm so alone here... its so harsh and painful... because he's not here.*

Buffy stared up at the night sky and squinted at the moon. It was a tiny sliver... barely shining any light at all... but yet, for some reason, it gave her a bit of comfort.

*I wish Xander were here... to share this with me. He would love it.*

Buffy sniffed and wiped her eyes on her coat moments before soft gasping sobs escaped her lips. She missed him so bad that it hurt. She hadn't cared, like that, before she died... but lately she had been having these dreams... dreams in which she and Xander were together, and in love.

"God.. why did you let them bring me back and not bring back Xander? I need him..."

She was so caught up in her crying that she didn't hear the vampire walking up behind her until it had grabbed her by the shoulders and was about to bite. Buffy jerked in shock and moved to throw it off... when suddenly it wasn't there. She spun around and saw him... the one the others had been talking about.


He was amazing... all dark and fast and deadly. He cut through the vampire... and the four others that had emerged from the shadows... like they were nothing.

*He moves like me... like a Slayer.*

It was what happened next that startled her. He spoke.

"No one messes with my girl..."

He ripped the vamp's head off and then watched it explode into dust. Buffy stared at him, her jaw down and began to shake.


The figure flinched and lowered his head. Buffy walked over and touched his shoulder. He jerked and fell to the ground, writhing, as if in pain...


Xander had seen Buffy go into the cemetery. He was going to just watch and not jump in... but when the vamp had managed to surprise her, he knew something was wrong. He just dove in... and made short work of them. Everything was fine and he was about to go when he heard her voice.


It sounded so sad and yet hopeful. It reached all the way down to the core of his soul and he knew he was trapped. With a jerk, he lowered his head and let her move closer to him. He was just going to let her get closer.. just aching to let her know.. when she touched him, and he learned a new definition of pain.


Xander fell to the ground as images and feelings flooded his mind. Everything Buffy had gone through when Glory was here... everything with Dawn... and dying, he felt it all... and it was too much to take.

*Make it stop!*

Xander rolled onto his side and felt a hand touch his arm. He let himself be turned over and opened his eyes, looking into the terrified eyes of Buffy Summers...


Buffy jumped when the man fell and moved to help him. He was rolling and writhing on the ground, as if he were in pain, and she knew she had to help. Reaching out, she touched his arm and rolled him onto his back... then gasped in shock at what she saw.


It was Xander... only different. His face was pale white with black around his eyes and mouth... looking like a harlequin mask... and there was something wrong, so wrong it scared her.


Xander flinched and backed away.

"Don't look at me..."

Buffy moved closer.


Xander crawled away faster.

"Don't look at me.."

Buffy, openly crying, got to her feet and ran to him just as he got up.

"Xander... is that you?"

Xander stopped and turned away.


His voice was so soft... it was almost impossible to hear. Buffy ran to him and wrapped her arms around him from behind.

"Xander.. oh Xander.. oh my Xander.. you're ok..."

Xander shivered and closed his eyes.

"You shouldn't do that... I'm not Xander anymore. I'm not alive... I'm just a Crow now."

*I'm not alive....*

The words echoed in her head and Buffy let go, in shock.

*Not alive... but.. but he's still Xander.. and I don't care... I love him.*

Xander felt her let go and knew that it was over.

*Can't love a dead thing... no.. loved Angel but can't love me... What's the use then...*

He moved forward a few steps and shook his head.

"Bye Buffy... tell them I miss them..."

With that said, Xander ran off... disappearing into the darkness, leaving a stunned Buffy behind.

*Tell them...what... why can't you...*

She looked up and Xander was gone.

"Xander... Xander.. XANDER!!"


Xander ran as fast as he could, tears steaming down his face. The Crow mask faded as his heart broke into a million pieces.

*She doesn't want me... and I can't die.. I'm doomed to feel like this forever...*

The crow flew past Xander, keeping up with him.

#I'm sorry.. this hasn't happened before... I don't know what to tell you. Just be calm.. you can get over this..#

Xander came to a stop on a bridge that crossed an overpass and stared at the bird.

*What do you know? Have you ever loved so much it felt like you were going to die.. then had he other person tell you that its over. It hurts! I'd rather go back to being dead than live in this hell!*

Xander stared at the road below with its many speeding cars. It wouldn't be too hard... maybe land on my head... or get hit by an 18- wheeler. Maybe if I'm broken into enough pieces...

\\ (It starts with)
One thing / I don't know why
It doesn't even matter how hard you try
Keep that in mind / I designed this rhyme
To explain in due time
All I know
time is a valuable thing
Watch it fly by as the pendulum swings
Watch it count down to the end of the day
The clock ticks life away
It's so unreal.....//

Xander stepped up onto the edge of the railing and looked down... watching the traffic... waiting...

\\ Didn't look out below
Watch the time go right out the window
Trying to hold on / but didn't even know
Wasted it all just to
Watch you go
I kept everything inside and even though I tried / it all fell apart
What it meant to me / will eventually / be a memory / of a time when
I tried
so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter

One thing / I don't know why
It doesn't even matter how hard you try
Keep that in mind / I designed this rhyme
To remind myself how
I tried so hard
In spite of the way you were mocking me
Acting like I was part of your property
Remembering all the times you fought with me
I'm surprised it got so (far)
Things aren't the way they were before
You wouldn't even recognize me anymore
Not that you knew me back then
But it all comes back to me
In the end
You kept everything inside and even though I tried / it all fell apart
What it meant to me / will eventually / be a memory / of a time when I
I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I've put my trust in you
Pushed as far as I can go
And for all this....//


Buffy had been running for what felt like forever, searching for Xander.

*Oh god.. he ran away.. he thinks... he thinks I don't love him..*

She was afraid he was going to do something stupid.

*Damn it.. where is he!*

It was then she heard it... the sounds of heavy traffic, and the caw of a bird. Buffy picked up speed and raced to the interstate overpass and saw him... perched on the edge.

*No.. god no!*

Buffy ran to him, trying to will herself next to him... wanting to stop him before it was too late.

*Please... no!*

It was as if everything was in slow motion. Xander stood taller and stepped off, his body leaning forward. Buffy saw this and screamed.



\\ There's only one thing you should know
I've put my trust in you
Pushed as far as I can go
And for all this
There's only one thing you should know
I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn't even matter
I had to fall
To lose it all
But in the end
It doesn't even matter.//

Xander wiped his eyes and stepped off just as an 18-wheeler was approaching. It was then he heard the scream.


He turned in mid air and saw Buffy running toward him, tears pouring down her face.

*Huh.. Buffy.. she... but... oh god no..*

He reached his arms up, trying to catch the lip of the railing and was shocked when Buffy's hand grabbed his wrist.

"Xander! I've got you... hold on!"

Buffy pulled Xander up and then collapsed to the ground, with Xander on top of her. She began crying harder then and pulled him into a hug.

"Oh god Xander... I almost lost you... please... please don't leave me... I love you so much..."

Xander stared at her in shock as he heard her words and felt her hands and arms holding him.

*Loves me...*

"You love me... but earlier.. I.. I thought..."

Buffy leaned back and kissed his.... normal-looking face... and smiled.

"I was scared.. I'm sorry.. but yes, I love you Xander... I LOVE YOU!"

Xander smiled and then kissed her back.

"Oh Buffy... I love you too.. I love you so much that it hurts. I couldn't think of being here if you didn't love me..."

Buffy caressed his hair and pulled him to her, holding him tighter than before.

"I want you, Xander. I need you in my life. You are my reason for living. I love you so much..."

It was then that Xander began to cry... tears of joy... and kissed Buffy again.

"I don't want to be alone any more, Buffy..."

Buffy nodded, understanding.

"You won't be. You have me... and Dawn... and Willow.. and Tara. We all love you... and you're coming home with me."

Xander sniffed and nodded. He climbed to his feet, pulling her with him, and smiled... then frowned.

"What about... me? Can you live with what I am now?"

Buffy nodded.

"To have you back... I can live with anything, Xander.. and love you just the same. Now... let's go home, there is a certain group of women who would love to hug and kiss you right now."

Xander laughed and then smirked. He scooped up Buffy and held her in his arms. Buffy's eyes widened in shock and she giggled.

"My Xander... so strong now... and why is your face not all mimey?"

Xander laughed.

"The Crow mask... its under my skin."

Buffy touched his face in awe.

"Can... can I see?"

Xander nodded and summoned the mask. A crackling sound was heard and Xander's face went white. Black smudges appeared around his eyes and then lined shot out up and down... the same thing happening around his mouth, only side to side, forming a smile. Buffy stared at it and ran her fingers along the lines.

"Do they hurt?"

Xander shook his head.

"No.. don't really feel them."

They had been walking as Xander talked and were soon walking up the driveway to Buffy's house. Xander smiled and walked up the steps.. then knocked on the door with his foot.

"... get it!"

The door opened and there stood Dawn wearing what looked like one of Xander's old shirts. Xander smiled and stepped inside, still carrying Buffy.

"Hey Dawn Patrol... miss me?"

Dawn's eyes widened and she squealed in delight.

"I knew it was you!"

She ran to hug Xander, but Buffy was in the way. She pouted and stomped her feet.

"Put her down so I can hug you!"

Xander laughed and moved to lower Buffy down.. then grinned evilly and shifted her up onto his shoulder.

"Ready for ya now.."

Dawn smiled at Buffy's dangling head and kicking feet and giggled... then ran into Xander's arms... squeezing him tight.

"You're never leaving me ever again... never ever ever!"

Xander smiled and nodded, then looked over his shoulder at a smiling Buffy.

"Sure thing, Dawn.. sure thing."

Dawn looked up at Xander and smiled.. then giggled as Buffy spanked Xander's butt.

"What's going on down here, Dawnie... who is it?"

Willow and Tara walked down the stairs then paused in shock.


Xander nodded and was soon hit by a red blur.


Xander laughed and looked over Willow at Tara.

"Did you catch that? I've been gone too long to understand it anymore.... oh, and you look nice, Tara."

Tara blushed and smiled.

"She says she missed you and you're not leaving.. ever... and I agree with her."

Xander stared in shock.

"You didn't stutter."

He looked down at Buffy.

"When did this happen? I'm dead for a year and the blond wicca babe stops stuttering."

He heard a gasp and regretted his words seconds after saying them.


The next sound was three thumps as his other three girls all fainted. Xander put Buffy down and stared at the girls.

"This will certainly be some explanation..."

He looked over at Buffy and then bit his lip. She looked so good...

"... but it can wait for later. You and I have some things to... go over."

He leered at her seductively and smiled. Buffy's eyes widened as she understood and then began to giggle.

"Oooh.. catch me Xander..."

She laughed and ran upstairs. Xander watcher her run and then sighed happily.

"It's good to be home..."

The End