Thank You Card

Author: Danii <debrabantknight[at]>

Summary: Fourth in the Card Series. Xander, who is on his way to becoming a genuine person again, is tested. And he and Buffy grow closer.

Disclaimer: I own no one. Don't sue. All I get are odd stares and headaches.

Distribution: Put it where you want. Just tell me where it is and put my name on it...Unless you already have some of my stuff. Then just take it.

Ships: B/X, the rest are canon

Feedback: Please...

Rating: PG-PG13

"Are you sure you're ready?"

Xander couldn't help the small growl that rose in his throat. He loved her; he knew that...but this was the fifteenth time she was asking tonight and words just weren't working.

But the growl did, because the Slayer automatically got a rather guilty expression on her gorgeous face that quickly turned into a sheepish smile. He smiled back at her.

"Sorry..." she said, giving a gentle squeeze to his arm, which was wrapped protectively around her as they leaned against the brick wall, "It's just...I'm worried about you. I mean, we've come so far, and-"

"And I don't intend to go back." Xander finished gently, a loving yet mischievous grin on his face that only slightly showed his fangs.

Things had changed very much over the four months since the dark- haired young man had returned to the Scoobie gang. No longer were Xander's hands twisted into paws, though they did contain retractable claws, and while he still had a bit of the feral amber in his eyes, the majority of the animal color had drained from the once-chocolate irises. In fact, he was practically human, except for the fact that he had permanent fangs, and could rip up just about anything that screwed with him easily. Practically human. And now they were on their first patrol together since he'd saved her two years ago.

"I'm sorry..." Buffy said again, leaning into him as her hand snaked up to run through his head of perpetually-wild, dark hair. How she loved his hair..."It's just...I lost you once, and I don't want to lose you again!"

"Shhh..." Xander cooed, comforting her, "I'm not going anywhere...all I'm going to do is help you beat up a couple vamps...I promise I won't go crazy or anything from that, okay?"

"Okay..." Buffy said without much confidence. She hoped he would buy it.

He didn't. "Look," the young man said as he brushed some hair away from her face, "I know you have bad experience with guys going insane on especially...but I'm okay brought me back..."

The Slayer took a moment to absorb what he'd said, and then she got a rather pensive look on her face.

"Yes, but-"


"I don't know!" she practically shouted it, "I mean, everything seems so...right. Usually when things get good, they turn to really bad! And right now, everything's just wonderful. You, me...slaying,"

Xander gave a small barking laugh; it was one of the things he would never get rid of from the hyena within him. "Oh, Buffy...I'm glad you think of me as wonderful..."

"Of course I do!"

"But you have to stop worrying!" he said to her in an urgent whisper as he pulled her into a quick kiss, "Yes, you have happiness...but how many years of unhappiness did you have before this?"


"Exactly..." he said triumphantly, his eyes shining gold with excitement; he was getting through to her finally, "You worked for this happiness. We both did. I had two years of being...gone, and you've had so much heartache over your life, not to mention the months it took to get me back to quasi-normal..."

"I guess..."

"You're just getting what you paid for in blood and tears. Happiness. Happiness that you whole-heartedly deserve..."

There was silence as the two of them just grinned at one another in the twilight, then Buffy broke the quiet.

"How did you get so smart?" she asked with a mischievous little smile.

Xander pulled her close to him. "You taught me all that..." he said, his lips brushing against hers as he spoke in a way that made her stomach do odd things.

"I did?" she asked huskily as she felt herself getting hot, "I taught you all that..."

"Yeah, you did..." he answered, finally diving onto her lips for a swift kiss, "And I really ought to get you a thank you card or something..."

The comment completely smashed the intimate mood and set the Slayer into a giggle fit. Xander, his hyena laugh high and fast, joined in. The two split as they laughed, and then Xander stopped laughing for a moment to listen. Buffy did the same, waiting for him to tell her what he heard.

"Vamps..." he whispered, his voice completely business now, "Around a block over, coming this way. They've got two humans with them...I think they're planning to use this alley for feeding..."

"Well, they planned wrong..." Buffy said with a smirk, "Because the Slayer and her..."


"Just what are you anyway?" she asked, another smile on her lips.

"Not a dog. Don't call me the Slayer's dog..." Xander told her with mock severity, "How about 'the Slayer's love bunny'?"

Buffy fought hard not to laugh and alert the vamps to their presence.

"Don't do that!" she hissed as soon as she got herself under control (though there was a bit of a giggle at the end of the statement).

He just laughed at her quietly. "Don't underestimate the power of a bunny, Buffster...I could be the one guarding the cave, and he was scary! They needed the Holy Handgrenade for him, you know!"

The Slayer battled valiantly against the giggles that wished to come out of her.

"I knew I shouldn't have let you rent Monty Python..." she whispered heatedly again, this time with more control in her voice since she could now see the vampires who were even now coming towards their alley.

Xander didn't have a reply to this. He was too busy watching the vampires cross the street. Buffy, instead of watching the vampires, watched him.

It was so odd. Xander was so...still. Like one of those lions in the grass you saw on nature shows. Like an animal. It was such a change to see him like that, considering how jovial he'd been just a few minutes ago. His shiny claws ready, sticking out from his fingertips. All the muscles on his body tense. His eyes nearly amber as he watched his prey. The most disturbing was Xander's tongue, which was licking his large white fangs up and down. He was practically human, she knew, but there were times when she wasn't quite as sure of that as she could be.

The Slayer's thoughts were interrupted by the sound of talking. The vampires, and their human 'dates' were right there...Time to get out and quip them into fighting, Buffy thought.

But she was beat to it. Xander stepped out, looking more normal that he had a minute ago, and stepped right in front of the two 'couples'.

"Hi." He said simply, his eyes just a little feral from what Buffy could see. His nose was twitching as well.

"Hello..." one of the vampires said, his voice angry but polite.

The part-hyena looked to one of the girls, the vampire's intended meal. "You shouldn't be out with these two, you know. They're vampires..."

The girl's eyes widened for a moment, and then a facade of disbelief went over her face. She must have had experience somewhere with the undead, a likely occurrence in Sunnydale. But that could be good or bad.

"Vampires...yeah right..." the girl said with a snort. Then her face got a rather perplexed expression on her face, "Hey, don't I know you from somewhere?"

The vampire who she was with got angry at this point. "Look, buddy...get the hell away from us, all right you freak! Vampires...what a nut!"

It was at this point that Xander punched the vampire. The vampire reeled back, then charged, his face the ridged true face of his kind. Obviously, the vamp didn't care about his girl knowing anymore.

The other vampire, the one who hadn't said anything the entire time, vamped out and jumped toward Xander in an attempt to help his friend. But Buffy got in his way at this point with a stake to the heart. This vamps girl ran screaming.

"What a wuss..." Buffy muttered beneath her breath.

Meanwhile, Xander was pummeling the other one while his girl watched in fascinated horror. He went so fast...faster than Buffy could even. Xander was a blur, if that. He obviously didn't have any way to end the fight, so Buffy handed him a stake a few moments later. He took it, and ended the vampire's existence a moment later, the vamp turning to dust beneath him. Then Xander stood up, his claws still flexing as he breathed heavily.

The girl who was still there watched him for a moment, then her eyebrows shot up in surprise.

"I DO know you!" she shouted with delight at figuring out his identity, "Xander Harris! I knew it!"

Xander looked up to her tiredly, then gave her a nod.

"But I thought you were dead..."

"Nope." Was the young man's simple reply.

"Oh." she said quietly, "Well...I don't think you'll remember, but I'm Marcy Silverland. I was in your algebra class..."

He was obviously trying to reign in the hyena within, but still he gave her a nod.

"What's wrong with your eyes?" Marcy asked curiously, "and your hands? Are you a werewolf?"

"Hyena..." Xander got out as he finally got his beast under control. The young man stood up straight. "Long story...and how come you aren't surprised by all this?"

"Oh, Buffy saved me from a vamp a few summers ago," she said matter- of-factly, "Thanks by the way. After that, I looked into that sort of stuff...and found out just how scary this town is."

Xander turned to Buffy, a large grin on his face. "We've found an aware one. That gives me a happy..."

"Same here..." the Slayer said with a bit of a grumble. She didn't like the way the girl was looking at Xander.

My man, bitch! When you find one of your own and get to reteach him the entire English language, you can have one...but this one is mine!

"So I guess you'll be going now?"

"Yeah..." Marcy said, hearing something in Buffy's voice that made her feel better and worse at the same time, "I'll just head home now...and I'll try not to leave the Bronze with a vampire again, okay?"

"Good..." Xander said.

"Fantastic..." Buffy grated, her voice just a hint sarcastic.

"Then I'll see ya..." Marcy said with a wave as she walked off. As soon as she was out of earshot, Xander turned to Buffy, who was looking rather miffed at the moment.



Xander rolled his eyes, "You have irritation coming off of you in waves. I can smell it, and it is not a good what's wrong?"

"Nothing..." Buffy repeated tiredly, "You just-"

"I don't like Marcy. Never have, never will. She's a bit of a snob, and her perfume was giving me a headache." The dark-haired young man said quickly, his face blank until he finished. Then it went into a smile. "Besides, I love you more than my own life..."

The Slayer felt herself blushed, and got angry at her traitorous body.

"That's better..." he said, a smile on his lips. Those lips she just wanted to kiss into oblivion. "Now, you look and smell absolutely...divine..."

Buffy couldn't help the little grin that the comment produced. He really did love her...and he was so sweet.

"That's my Slayer!" Xander said with a loud happy shout, "Now let's go home, sweetheart..."

"Sweetheart?" Buffy asked.

"You are my heart..." he told her with a gentle seriousness, "My heart, my soul. My reason for fighting. My reason for being. My reason for trying. I love you, Buffy..."

"I love you too, Xander..." she said quietly, pulling him closer by way of his arm.

"Then you won't mind sharing you're 'vampire dust stain removal' methods with me, will you?"

The sound of happy laughter filled the street, the town, and the hearts of two valiant warriors, where it would stay for a good long time if the dark-haired young man had anything to say about it.

The End