Sad but true

Author: BoxerMan <boxerman083[at]>

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

A/N: This is the follow up to Enter Sandman. After Xander remembers more of the Sandman's dream he changes more and more, and the people around him begin to change. He has to accept what is happening, no matter the cost in life or love.

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

A/N3: I posted this a couple of days ago, but it wasnt added to the archive. I know our resident anarchist, I mean archivist, is a bit overworked, so just let him know he's doing a good job.

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

Timeframe: S2 AU "Phases."

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

Latest addition

Chapter 1

"...In the days following the Sunnydale Mall attack, local law enforcement has been increased. While local parental groups have been lobbying for a curfew, Mayor Wilkins has made several press statements saying that a curfew would only increase paranoia and that local businesses need the night life to make a living. In unrelated news, The National Guard Armory outside of town has been raided several times, while authorities have yet to find the culprit. Officials there have stated quote 'some of the items stolen were not standard equipment for personnel. Some were personal belongings.' And now to sports with Kooky Kirk!!-*Click*."

Xander turned the radio off and laughed. Cordelia looked at him like he was crazy.

"What? I think its funny that the local news would do an editorial about some of my new late night habits, and yet the Channel Six 'investigative reporters' wont ever look into the fact that the school newspaper has an obituary right next to the lunch menus. Don't you think that's a little crazy?"

Cordelia shook her head and Xander swore that every now and then he could see a real person underneath everything. Inside her car, Xander found himself in a predicament. On the one hand, he was in a secluded area of the park at night making out with one of the most attractive girls in school. On the other hand, it was Cordelia.

Cordelia noticed that Xander was not fully into making out. "Do you even wanna be here?"

Xander shook his head. "Well, I'm not running away screaming."

Cordelia continued. "Because when you're not being mildly insane, you're not babbling about poor, defenseless Willow, or raving about the all-powerful Buffy."

Xander stammered. "I do not babble. I might occasionally slur words together, every now and then I kinda run on or stammer and stutter..."



Cordelia motioned outside of the car. "Look around. We're in my car, it's just the two of us, there's a beautiful, big full moon outside tonight. There's no one around. It doesn't get more passionate and romantic than this...So shut up!"

Xander stopped himself and looked at the brunette. Her long brown hair had fallen on both sides of her face. She was staring up at him with an annoyed look, but that only made her look even cuter. Xander chuckled and shook his head. "I'm sorry Cor. I'm just protective of my girls."

Cordelia leaned back in her seat and gave Xander a dirty look. "YOUR girls?"

Xander realized his mistake. 'Crap.'

"What do you mean YOUR girls?"

Xander heard a small noise and felt a familiar chill run down his spine. He looked out the window and reached for his tote bag in the front seat. "Did you hear that?"

Cordelia frowned. "What is it now? Don't think you can change the topic so easily."

Xander pulled out one of his pistols and a clip to load it. "I thought I heard something."

Cordelia fell back in her seat. "What? Is one of 'YOUR GIRLS' sending out some sorta distress signal that only you can hear?"

Xander wasn't paying attention to her as cocked the gun. "Huh?"

Cordelia inched back in her seat. "XANDER, WHAT THEY HELL ARE YOU DOING? I TOLD YOU NEVER TO..."

Xander covered her mouth. "Shhh."

After a second of silence, Xander let go of Cordelia and unloaded the gun and put it back in the bag. Cordelia was frozen. Xander turned back to her. "What?"

She started hitting him over the head with her bare hand. "I TOLD YOU THAT I NEVER WANT TO SEE ONE OF YOUR GUNS IN MY CAR EVER AGAIN!!"

*Thwack* "Ow, Cordy," *Thwack* "OW! Listen I know that," *Thwack* "Ow, QUIT IT!"

A hairy arm with a clawed hand punched through the convertible top. Cordelia screamed and made a grab for the keys, while Xander reached back for the pistol.


The creature on the roof of the car snarled as it reaches around for them inside. Xander finally got his pistol and quickly loaded a magazine. He shot several rounds through the roof.

Cordelia screamed, "Where are the keys?"

Xander's gunfire was enough to knock the creature off the car. "How the hell should I know? You were driving."

"Well, maybe if BUFFY was here, she'd know what to do"

"Well maybe if you were okay with us going to public places, we wouldn't be attacked by a giant Cujo!"

"Well, if I were a..." Cordelia was cut off by a large growl. The two of them turned to see a very pissed off werewolf looking at them through the windshield. Xander talked slowly and quietly. "We should be moving. Let's go."

Cordelia found the keys and started the ignition. "Oh, I got 'em! Got 'em!"

She put the car into reverse, making the animal fall off the hood.

Xander stood through the hole in the roof and kept defensive fire on the creature. Cordelia put the car in drive and speed away.

Xander sat back in the seat and put the safety on the pistol. He glanced over at Cordelia, who looked scared shitless.

Xander smirked as he put his seatbelt back on. "Told ya I heard something."




Giles walked back from behind the stacks with an assortment of books and handed one to each person. "And you're sure it was a werewolf?"

Xander replied with a strait face. "Well, let's see, um, six feet tall, claws, a big old snout in the middle of his face like a wolf. Hairy, with bad doggie breath, yeah, I'm sticking with my first guess."

Oz nodded. "Seems wise."

Cordelia sobbed and put her head on Xander's shoulder. "It was so awful."

Xander put his arm around her and started to comfort her. "I know."

Cordelia started to cry. "Daddy just had my car detailed."

Buffy walked into the library to see everyone else had already arrived. "So what's the what? Any new evil creepy crawlies in town."

Giles walked over to her and handed her a large almanac. "Last night Cordelia and Xander were cornered by what seems to be a lycanthrope."

Xander looked confused. "I thought it was a werewolf."

Cordelia smiled sweetly at Xander. "Or maybe we were attacked by one of Xander's relatives."

Giles took off his glasses and cleaned them. "When I researched further, it seems there was a, a number of attacks by a wild dog around town reported. Several animal carcasses were found mutilated."

Willow's face paled. "You mean, like rabbits and squirrels and stuff?"

Oz smiled reassuringly. "Oh, don't worry. I mean, they might not look it, but bunnies and squirrels can really take care of themselves."

Giles tried to get them back on topic. "Yes, um, fortunately, no people were injured. But my guess is that this werewolf will be back at next month's full moon."

Willow spoke up. "What about tonight's full moon?"

Giles put his glasses back on. "Pardon?"

"Well, last night was the night before the full moon, traditionally known as... 'the night before the full moon.'"

Giles nodded and went in search of more books. "Meaning the accepted legend that werewolves only prowl during a full moon might be erroneous."

Xander joined in. "Unless the werewolf was using last year's calendar."

Buffy looked at Giles, who was pacing back and forth between the library stacks. "Looks like Giles has got some schooling to do."

Giles stammered as he looked at the different demon encyclopedias. "Yes, I must admit I, I am intrigued. Werewolves, it's... it's one of the classics. I, I'm sure my books and I are in for an absolutely fascinating afternoon."

The group watched as Giles disappeared into the back of the library. Xander smirked. "G-man needs a pet."

Chapter 2

Xander sighed as he walked over to the fridge. The afternoon study session had turned into an all-nighter. He had wandered home about 2:30 am. Luckily his parents had gone away to his Uncle Rory's for the weekend, something about a woman, a chainsaw, and a book.

Xander smiled and shook his head. 'You just never know with Uncle Rory.'

The fridge, being as emptier than usual, left Xander feeling hungry as he walked to his room. His stomach grumbled as he shut the door behind him and carefully locked it.

"Its okay my sweet, I shall feed you tomorrow. We shall go to the casa de Summers, where the women are beautiful and the food is edible."

His stomach remained quiet, accepting his apology and promise of a meal.

He went around the room, making his nightly ritual of locking windows and checking guns. He hadn't actually needed to go back several times, since he had enough ammo and weaponry to start a small conflict. But he went back several times to see if they got any new goodies. He didn't understand why the Sunnydale National Guard had such...diverse firearms, but you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. His ritual finished, he stared at his bed. He hadn't been getting very good sleep. It wasn't nightmares or prophetic dreams. It wasn't any dreams. He would lie down and wake up several hours later. It had unnerved him at first, but lately there had been more...pressing issues.

The Soldier was back. And so was the Hyena. If Xander could dream, he wasn't sure he'd want to see what they had in store for him. They weren't in control and they weren't as powerful as they were. But the Hyena had saved him from Drusilla a week or so ago and the Soldier had saved him from the werewolf as well as gave him the inspiration to take care of the Judge. He remembered that feeling of the hunt and power from the Hyena. He remembered the skill and knowledge from the Soldier. But he wasn't sure if they were different entities or an ingrained part of himself. There weren't voices in his head; they didn't possess him. It was more like he felt their memories. But they were still there. Nudging him, pointing him in directions. He wasn't sure if it was because of the visit from the man in his dreams or of their own accord.

He looked to the bed, deciding whether or not to really try. 'In the end, you can always hope,' he reasoned and plopped down on the bed.


Giles stood in the middle of the library demonstrating the phases of the moon using a large earth globe with a smaller moon globe attached by a bar.

"...And, uh, while there's absolutely no scientific explanation for lunar effect on the human psyche, uh, the phases of the moon, uh, do seem to exert a great deal of psychological and magical influence. Note all of the rituals that require either a full or new moon to perform."

Xander made a lame joke. "And yet, ironically, led to the start of mooning."

Giles chuckled. "Oh...yes, mooning." He started to snicker and laugh harder. Buffy and Willow gave Xander a look. Giles shook his head and continued. "Y-you see, uh, the-the werewolf, uh, is such a, a potent extreme representation of our inborn animalistic traits that it emerges for three full consecutive nights: the full moon and, uh, the two nights surrounding it. The new moon however, it seems does not."

Xander tried his luck again. "I guess he's quite the party animal."

Giles ignored him. Xander shrugged. "Damn, and I was on a roll."

"And it, uh, acts on-on pure instinct. No conscience, uh, uh, predatory and, and aggressive."

Buffy spoke up. "In other words, your typical male."

Xander gave her a look and spoke with a poor French accent. "I fart in your general direction."

Buffy and Willow gave him a disgusted look, while Giles had a large smirk as Monty Python is required for British Citizenship. Oz merely raised an eyebrow.

Giles shook his head as he began to put his demonstration set up. "Yes, well, let's not jump to any conclusions."

Buffy smiled. "I didn't jump. I took a tiny step, and there the conclusions were."

Xander smiled, thinking he could 'acquire' some new ammo. "So then I'm guessing your standard silver bullets are in order here?"

Giles shook his head and looked at the boy. "No. No bullets. No matter who this werewolf is, it's still a human being, one who may be completely unaware of his or her condition."


Xander looked over his shoulder. He knew that Buffy and Giles would be patrolling this side of the park for the werewolf soon, so he had to act fast. He took out his machete and newly acquired silenced USP. The bullets shouldn't 'kill' the werewolf, especially seeing as how he unloaded a whole clip into it earlier, but it would probably slow it down a little. He checked and made sure that he had three clips for the pistol and put it in the brown harness he 'acquired' a week ago. When he left his house, he made sure that his clothes, while not camouflage, were dark tones. His navy blue long sleeve shirt and his dark green pants and black shoes, wouldn't be invisible, but they wouldn't be the easiest things to see at night in the woods. Also if he walked around the town and he kept his black jacket on, concealing the pistol, no one would give him a second glance.

He stuck the large knife in the ground and looked around. He had to concentrate. He had to be in control. If he could replicate the cold rush that happened when he felt the Hyena, if he could control it at will, he might stand a fighting chance. When he had been fighting earlier, it was the primal instinct to fight that kept him alive. If he was to keep on going, he had to be able to think clearly and not solely give into instinct and urges.

Once he made sure there was no one in the immediate area he took out a bottle of water and poured it over his head. The water washed through his hair and dripped down his face. He felt a small bead trickle down the back of his head to his neck. The tiny droplet rolled over the skin concealing his spine. The cold water touched the base of his spine, letting the cold seep into his skin, making the hairs on the back of his neck stand strait. He let go of the outside world and concentrated feeling the cold, feeling the strength. He felt the cold shiver wash over him and looked over the area. He bent over and picked up the machete. His eyes flashed yellow and he ran in search of his prey.


Cain walked through the park. He knew this is where the wolf had been. After years of fighting demons, his tracking skills had become unparalleled. He heard a rustle behind him and turned to see a teenage boy looking at him with a machete in his hand. He pointed the rifle at him. "Listen kid, I don't have time for your bullshit, go home."

The boy smiled and walked closer. Cain held back a smirk as he came close to the net trap that Cain had intended for the wolf-man. The boy stepped to his side and walked around it. Cain aimed the rifle at the boy's head "Hands are good right about there. Mind telling me what the hell you're doing boy?"

The boy's eyes seemed to clash amber with brown. He stared Cain right in the eye and spoke. "Be vewwy vewwy quiet, I'm hunting wabbits."

Cain fought the urge to shoot. "Boy, you had better not be fuckin with me."

The boy grinned. "Sorry, I couldn't resist. The name is Xander. I figure we can help each other out."


Xander smirked as he ran through the back alleys of Sunnydale. Cain hadn't been very receptive to his offer, something about splitting his money, but Xander got some information out of him. He muttered as he ran to the Bronze, "The werewolf is attracted to pent up sexual energy huh? No wonder the bastard found Cordy and me." He smiled, thinking of some of his favorite janitor closet moments.

After he did a sweep of the rest of the forest and the bluff, he finally got to the Bronze in time to see Cain and Buffy arguing.


Cain couldn't believe his luck, first the comedian, now this. "You let it get away."

Buffy walked over to pick up her stake and large chain leash. "I didn't let it do anything. I had the chain around its neck."

Cain rolled his eyes. "Chain? What were you gonna do, take it for a goddamn walk?"

"I was going to lock it up."

Cain walked over to Buffy and shook his head. "Oh, That's beautiful, real freaking beautiful. This is what happens when a woman tries to do a man's job."

Xander walked out from behind the corner and saw Cordelia and Willow over in the corner and went over to see if they were okay. "Hey, you two alright?"

Cordelia looked over at her 'boyfriend.' "You big jerk!" *Thwap! * "You were supposed to meet me here" *Thwap* "ten minutes ago." *Thwap*

Xander tried to duck under the barrage of slaps and punches. "Ow, Not for another ten minutes." *Thwap* "OWW!! That one hurt Cor!"

Cordelia picked up her purse and started to hit him with it. "That's not the point. I was waiting here for you and the werewolf attacked me. "*Thwap* "You're supposed to be there and protect me." *Thwap*

"Ow! Dammit Cordy!" Xander turned to Willow. "How about you? You ok? Where's Oz?"

Willow looked at her feet. "I don't know. He was supposed to be here twenty minutes ago."

Xander smiled. "Oh well, you know those band types."




The sun rose across the hills in Sunnydale, illuminating the forest. Oz woke up, atop of a small hill. He opened his eyes and noticed two things. He was naked and he was in a forest.


Chapter 3

Xander leaned against the wall. There was another meeting after school, and everyone except for Oz filtered in.

Buffy started the meeting. "I can't believe I let that thing get away. Cain was right. I should have killed it when I had the chance."

Xander walked up to the table and sat next to Willow. "So what are we looking for?"

Giles walked out of the office with a large book in his hands. "The lycanthrope..." Xander raised his hand. Giles sighed, "...werewolf, is supposedly created when one lyc... werewolf mixes his blood with that of a normal human being, it is the same idea as vampirism, but they keep their souls and are killed and handled differently."

Willow deciphered for the rest of the group. "Okay so it's someone who was either scratched or attacked by a large dog."

Giles nodded. "Yes, also they are supposed to be more aggressive: sexually, physically and emotionally. And generally are mean to those perceived as weaker."

Buffy stood up. "Oh my god, Larry!"

Giles stammered, "W-who?"

Buffy explained. "He is a total idiot sexist mean jock head, and he was awfully gleeful about tormenting Theresa. They found her body in the woods."

"Still, that doesn't necessarily mean that..."

Xander got up to leave. "I'm gonna go talk to him. Gonna force a confession out of him."

Buffy stood up to counter him. "Nuh uh, I'm the slayer. I go talk."

Xander smirked at her. "He's in the locker room, Football practice gets out about now."

Buffy's cheeks reddened as she sat back down. "That's a good idea, go talk to him Xander."

Giles looked up from his book. "Good. Go. Uh, in the meantime, we need to cover our bases. Willow, um, check the student files. See if anybody else fits the profile."

Xander walked up to the doors and saw Oz walk in. He couldn't help but feel himself snarl when Oz walked in. Oz looked at him peculiarly. "Sorry," Xander said, "got a frog in my throat."

Oz nodded and walked into the library. "What the hell was that all about?"


Xander ran down the hall to the boys' locker room. "What the hell was that all about?"


Xander stood waiting in the boys' locker room, waiting for football practice to end. He saw Larry come in and walked up behind him.

"Hey Larry."

Larry spun around and grabbed his chest. "Harris. Sheesh. Doesn't your keeper have you on a leash or something?"

Xander tried to keep a strait face. "Why so jumpy, Larry?"

Larry gave him a death glare while he opened his locker. "You'd be jumpy too if geeks and nerds were stalking you."

Xander raised an eyebrow. "Is that really it Larry, or is there something you're hiding?"

Larry leaned on his locker door. "I could hide my fist in your face, or better yet, my foot up your ass."

Xander stood up and looked Larry in the face. "I know your secret, big guy. I know what you've been doing at night."

Larry poked Xander in the chest. "You know, Harris, that tone of voice is going to get you beaten within an inch of your life one of these days..." He grabbed him by the collar, "like today for example. Today is a good day to die."

Xander grabbed his thumb with his left hand and twisted Larry's hand. "God Larry, be a drama queen why don't ya? Hurting me isn't gonna make this go away. People are still gonna find out. People can get hurt. Its all about how we handle this."

Larry let go and held his wrist. "Alright. What do you want? Hush money? Want me to make it easier for you with the 'in' crowd? Is that what you're after?"

Xander tried to reassure him. "I don't want anything! I just want to help!"

Larry put his forehead on the locker. "What, you think you have a cure?"

Xander put his hand on his shoulder. "No, it's just... I know what you're going through because I've been there. It's hard and tough. You don't ever forget what you did. You don't forget what youre capable of, no matter how much or how hard you might want to. You have to be able to accept it as a part of yourself. That's why I know you should talk about it."

Larry held back a sob. "Yeah, that's easy for you to say. I mean, you're practically nobody. I've got a reputation here."

Xander rubbed his shoulder. "Larry, please, before someone else gets hurt. I mean, last year, when it happened to me, the only reason I got through it was my friends. They understood. They helped me."

Larry turned and pointed at Xander's chest. "Look, if this gets out, it's over for me. I mean, forget about playing football. The looks I'll get. They'll run me outta this town. I mean, come on! How are people going to look at me..."

Xander put his hand back on Larry's shoulder. "Its okay Larry, just say it."

"...after they find out I'm gay."

Xander picked his hand up and looked at him in shock. Larry smiled. "Oh, wow. I said it. And it felt... okay. I'm gay." He approached Xander. "I am gay."

Xander took a step back. "Way to go, I heard you the first time."

Larry looks at the ceiling. "I can't believe it. It was almost easy. It feels like a heavy burden has just been lifted. God, I never felt I could tell anyone." He gestured to Xander. "And then you, you of all people, you bring it outta me."

Xander held up his hands. "Hey now, don't go involving me. It probably would have come out sooner or later."

Larry leaned on his locker door. "No, no, because knowing you went through the same thing, made it easier for me to admit it. Its easier if you know that someone else can handle it."

Xander's eyes widened. "The same thing..."

Larry put his arm around Xander. "It's ironic. I mean, all those times I beat the crap out of you, it musta been because I recognized something in you that I didn't want to believe about myself. I knew I hated myself for it, but you actually made me realize that I shouldn't hate it, I should accept it, just like you have."

Xander laughed nervously. "Hey now, Larry, listen, no, noooo, I am not..."

Larry nodded his head and patted Xander on the back. "Of course, of course not. Don't worry. Your secret's safe with me."

Larry whispered to himself. "I'm gay. Wow."

He smiled and gave Xander a hug and left.

Xander stood there looking at the locker door for a minute. "Well...shit."


Buffy saw Xander in the hallway looking pensive. "So how'd it go with Larry?"

Xander stood up and took a step back. "What's that supposed to mean?"

Buffy raised an eyebrow. "I think it's supposed to mean, how'd it go with Larry'?"

She stopped at her locker and reached for the combination lock.

Xander shook his head. "He's not the werewolf. Can't we just leave it at that? Can't you ever let anything be? Must you always just push and push?"

Buffy opened her locker. "I'm sorry. I was just wondering."

Xander leaned against the next locker. "Well, he's not."



Buffy rolled her eyes. Xander leaned against the wall as she took off her backpack and put it in her locker. "But there goes our lead suspect, which then puts us right back at square boned."

Xander smiled and shook his head. "You're not boned, you're Buffy. Baker of brownies. Killer of bad things. Defender of, um... things that need defending."

Buffy looked at her shoes. "Tell that to Theresa. She could have used my defending before she was ripped apart by that werewolf."

They both stopped for a second and looked at each other.

Buffy spoke first. "Nowhere in any of the reports did it say anything about her being mauled. I mean, they were linked to the animal attacks from the other night, so we just assumed werewolf."

Xander nodded. "And we all know there is no end of things that just love to maul people in Sunnydale."


Xander followed Buffy into the funeral home. They looked through the ceremonies and saw Theresa in her coffin with a scarf around her neck. Buffy pulled it back to see two puncture marks on the left side of her neck.

Xander cursed. "Dammit."

Buffy nodded. "Vampire."

Buffy walked over to the guest register and signed her name. "Instead of not protecting Theresa from the werewolf, I was able to not protect her from something just as bad."

Xander saw Buffy looking crestfallen "Buffy, you can't blame yourself for every death that happens in Sunnydale. You cant be everywhere all the time. If it weren't for you, people would be lined up five deep waiting to get killed. God, how many people have you saved since you got here? Even us, Willow would be a robot's love slave, I would be killed about five times by my count, Giles would still be overly British," he turned and looked at the coffin, "and Theresa's a vampire."

Theresa sat up and growled. Buffy turned around in time to see Theresa hop out of the coffin. She grabbed the newly risen vamp and tried to wrestle her to the floor, but Theresa threw her down and lunged for her neck. Buffy rolled her over and kicked her away. She was about to strike again when Theresa spoke. "Angel sends his love."

Buffy froze. Theresa kicked Buffy's arm and sends the stick flying away. She grabbed Buffy by the shoulders, and wrestled her onto her back to pin her.

Xander ran over to a wooden easel holding a flower wreath and broke off a leg. He charged the vampire and knocked her over. She got back up in time for Xander to thrust the leg into her chest.

Xander dusted himself off and looked at Buffy. "You okay Buff?"

Buffy sat and looked at the floor. "Angel."

Xander tosses the easel aside and looks down at her. "Hey Buff, its okay. She's gone."

Buffy stared up at Xander. He tried to give her a reassuring smile, but Buffy just looked aside sadly and then rolled over.

Xander leaned down to her and extended his hand. "Hey, are you okay?"

Buffy took his hand and started to get up. "This isn't happening." She pulled Xander into a soft hug and cried into his shoulder. "He's gonna keep coming after me."

Xander hugged her back gently. "Don't let him get to you. He's not the same guy you knew. I mean, hell, I didn't like the guy, but he wanted to protect you, I could respect that even if I didn't respect him."

She pulled back a bit and looks up at him. Xander looked into her light blue eyes and saw the sadness and hurt in the petite blonde's soul. He smiled a little and tightened the hug. "Its okay Buff, I wont let him hurt you."

She smiled back. "Come on Xan," she broke the hug to pick up her backpack, "we gotta run." She ran out the building hiding unshed tears.

Xander stood for a second, staring after her retreating figure. He sighed and mentally kicked himself. "No, my life's not too complicated. Nooooo, I just like to keep on falling for the same woman over and over again."

He walked out the door and jogged to catch up to her. "Stupid damn vampires. If its not taking over the world, it's fucking with my love life."


Chapter 4

Xander ran along the road to Oz's house. He saw Buffy and Giles running to the house. 'Great, the wolf's probably in there killing Oz right now.' A little part of his mind echoed, 'You wouldn't mind it that much would you?' He grimaced and turned that little part off. He saw the wolf break out of the back window and run into the woods. Willow ran out of the house and was followed by Buffy and Giles with a tranquilizer gun. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Cain pull up to the house and jump out of his truck with a rifle.

'Crap, Buffy, Willow, and Giles probably don't stand a chance, and Cain will probably kill the poor bastard.' Xander saw all four head into the woods. 'Where's Oz? If he's not there, either he's dead or...crap.' His run became more of a sprint and he felt the tug of the Hyena pull at him. His pores were on fire as the cold chill swept through his body, letting the sweat freeze and burn at the same time. His eyes flashed yellow as he ducked into the woods.


Cain ran through the woods stalking his prey. Werewolves, while very powerful and formidable, left a large enough trail that even amateur trackers could find them. Fortunately for him, only the experienced could survive the encounter. The boy from before cut him off, in his same navy blue shirt and dark green pants.

Cain walked forward and aimed his gun at the child. "Listen boy, I don't want to tell you again, this aint for amateurs, There's a 'were' out here and I aim to find him."

The boy smiled and shook his head. "No you won't. I figured out who it is, and while he's not my best friend. He means a lot to her. So I'll let you go and you don't ever come back."

Cain frowned. "Do you know what you're saying boy? You cant trust a 'were,' they're cold blooded killers. He'll probably turn your friend into a monster just like him, then what'll you do huh?" He walked forward, raising his voice. "If you loved your friend, you should just let me kill it."

Xander shook his head. "That's not my choice. And as for him, he can be controlled; I know that he can control the animal inside. It just takes time."

"What makes you say that?"

Xander leaned forward and bared a feral smile, his eyes glowing yellow. "Trust me."

Cain jumped back and shot at the boy, who simply managed to disappear into the woods. "Do you know what this town is? There are worse things in this town then accounted for in your humble mythology my friend and guess what?"

Cain turned around firing blindly into the dark. He turned to see the boy within inches of his face, the amber in his eyes burning away the brown. "I'm one of them."


Buffy, ran through the night. She turned behind her to see Giles and Willow struggling to keep up. Suddenly she stopped. Giles and Willow slowed to a jog until they caught up to her. She held up a finger to her lips, indicating for them to be quiet. They nodded and stood in silence for several seconds until a shrill scream was heard. Buffy sprinted off in the direction from where the sounds had come.


The wolf walked along the path. Smaller animals scattered away from the lumbering creature. It put its nose in the air and growled as it turned around. Behind him was a human holding a large metal stick that it recognized from before. The human held it up. "Hey Oz, I borrowed this from Giles' car do you think he'll mind?"

The wolf bared its teeth and charged the boy. "Crap." The boy jumped up into the trees and shouted down at the wolf. "Hey Oz man, It's Xander..." The wolf ran full force into the tree making Xander fall out. "OOMPH!"

The wolf lunged at him, the boy's eyes glowed yellow and his mouth made a slow growling sound as he spoke. "STOP!"

The wolf looked up at the being before him, it smelled familiar, something of both a friend and a rival. A calmer piece of its mind started to take form. The man spoke. "I know that you're gonna hate me in the morning aren't you?"

Xander took aim and shot the creature in the chest with the tranq gun. The wolf slowly started to howl and whimper as it shifted back to its human form. Xander sat next to Oz and waited until it was finished. "Listen Oz, I know we have our differences, but this isn't doing any good for Willow, and as much as it hurts me to say, I think that she might actually care for you alright?"

He looked at the prone form lying on the ground and took off his jacket and put it around him before picking him up. "I know that I'm not good enough for her, she deserves much better than me. And maybe you might somehow be good for her. All I know is that she actually smiles when you look at her alright?"

Xander sighed as he heard the voices of his friends start to get closer. He leaned the sleeping guitarist against a tree and removed the dart. "Ya know Oz, if you hurt her, I will not hesitate to kick your ass. And even if I somehow can't, I'll make sure that I find someone who will."

He smiled sadly as he heard Willow shout out for Oz. He took his jacket back and ran back towards his house.


Xander and Buffy walked past the trophy case and into the lounge. Xander talked to her as she went up to the vending machine and got some pretzels. "So you found Cain all unconscious next to a tree?"

Buffy nodded while looking for some pretzels. "Yep, We took him and put him on bus going to LA. And, as Giles said, 'good riddance to bad rubbish.'"

Xander smiled. He saw someone out of the corner of his eye and started to think aloud. "This is all so weird. I mean, how are we supposed to act when we see him?"

Buffy nodded but disagreed. "Well, it's gotta be weird for him, too. Now that we know so much."

Xander shook his head and leaned against the column. "All I know is I'll never be able to look at him the same again."

Buffy looked at Xander with disdain. "He's still a human being. Most of the time."

She bent over to pick up her Rold Golds. Xander raised an eyebrow. "Who are we talking about again?"

Buffy gave him an odd look. "Oz. Who are you talking about?"

Xander tried to change the subject. "Oh, No one. Just Xander being funny ole Xan-man, crazy class clown person, you know how it is."

She gave him an odd look before turning to see Larry's jock friends by the stairs knock a girl's books out of her hands and laugh. Larry came down the stairs behind her and quickly reached down to help her pick up her books. "Hey, let me get those."

The girl, while thankful seemed very surprised. "Thanks."

His friends seemed even more surprised.

Buffy's jaw dropped. Larry came over to Xander. "Hey! Xander. Look, about what you did. I, I owe you."

Buffy turned to Xander with a questioning look on her face. "What'd you do?"

Xander tried to move it quickly. "It's really nothing we should be talking about," he turned to Larry, "ever."

Larry smiled and waved him off. "I know, I know. It's just, well," he leaned over and patted him on the arm before walking away, "thanks."

There were several seconds of silence, as the whole student body had a very confused and slightly disturbed look on their faces. Buffy opened her pretzels and popped one into her mouth. "That was weird."

They walked over to a table and sat. Xander pulled out a brown paper bag. He noticed Buffy still looking at him oddly. "What, it's not okay for one guy to like another guy just because he happened to be in the locker room with him when absolutely nothing happened and I thought I told you not to push."

Buffy held up her hands in defeat. "All I meant is that he didn't try to look down my shirt."

Xander fidgeted with his hands and smiled nervously. "Oh, oh, yeah, that's the weirdness."

Buffy nodded. "Weirdness abounds lately. Maybe it's the moon. Giles was right, that does stuff to people."

Xander smiled and took out a salami sandwich. "I hear that."

Buffy saw Willow walk by with Oz. "Certainly gonna put a strain on Willow and Oz's relationship."

Xander shook his head. "What relationship? I mean, what life could they possibly have together? We're talking obedience school, paper training, Oz is always in back burying their things, and that kind of breed can turn on its owner."

After his little rant, Buffy continued to give Xander a death glare. He sighed. "I don't know, maybe its just me being all protective. I mean it's my Willow, what happens if he breaks her heart?"

Buffy smiled at the couple. "I don't know. I kinda see Oz as the loyal type."

Xander looked over his shoulder to see Willow smiling at Oz. Oz looked over and met Xander's gaze and nodded. Xander nodded and turned back around to his unfinished salami sandwich. He looked up to see Buffy looking at him with a little smile. "What was that?"

Xander took a bite. "What was what?"

Buffy maintained her smile, she knew what it was, but wanted to hear it. "That, the manly-man look between you and Oz."

Xander shook his head and took another bite of his sandwich. "I don't know, ask Larry."

He looked up to see a very confused slayer pop another pretzel into her mouth. He smiled and took one of her pretzels, earning him a death glare. He sighed to himself. There were thing he knew and didn't know, mostly the latter. No specifics, but an overwhelming sense of dread, but at the same time hope. He knew things could be okay.

He turned back to see Oz and Willow laughing and talking. He grinned and took another pretzel, this time earning him a punch to the shoulder. He rubbed the sore spot. Buffy didn't have to put a little slayer strength in it. He sat there in thought for a second. As much as things were looking down, he knew that they could weather it. It would be hard. There would be pain. But they could win.


Words and Music by James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich and Kirk Hammett Copyright é 1991 Creeping Death Music (ASCAP) International Copyright Secured All Rights Reserved

I'm your life; I'm the one who takes you there.
I'm your life; I'm the one who cares.
They betray, I'm your only true friend now.
They'll betray, I'm forever there.

I'm your dream, make you real.
I'm your eyes when you must steal.
I'm your pain when you can't feel.
Sad but true.

I'm your dream, mind astray.
I'm your eyes while you're away.
I'm your pain while you repay.
You know it's sad but true.

You're my mask; You're my cover, my shelter.
You're my mask; You're the one who's blamed.
Do my work, Do my dirty work, scapegoat.
Do my deeds, For you're the one who's shamed.

I'm your dream, make you real.
I'm your eyes when you must steal.
I'm your pain when you can't feel.
Sad but true.

I'm your dream, mind astray.
I'm your eyes while you're away.
I'm your pain while you repay.
You know it's sad but true.

I'm your dream,
I'm your eyes,
I'm your pain,
You know it's sad but true.

I'm your hate; I'm your hate when you want love.
Pay the price, Pay, for nothing's fair.
I'm your life; I'm the one who took you here.
I'm your life, And I no longer care.

I'm your dream, make you real.
I'm your eyes when you must steal.
I'm your pain when you can't feel.
Sad but true.

I'm your truth, telling lies.
I'm your reasoned alibis.
I'm inside, open your eyes.
I'm you.

Sad but true.