Xander meets the Endless

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

Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Timeframe: Set after Buffy's death in season five.

An idea I had that I'm strugling with now, please advise me where you want the story to go.

Latest addition

Chapter 1

Seven figures gathered around the body of the fallen Slayer Buffy. Each figure had been her friend in life and now they were her silent mourners in death, that silence was soon broken however by the words of one Xander Harris.

"Please don't take her the world still needs her." When he spoke these words he received looks of pity from the rest of the group but his next words made them worried for his sanity. "I know that isn't how it works but you can make an exception this time I know you can. I know in my heart that it isn't her time to go."

"Xander Buffy is dead, I'm sorry but there isn't anything we can do about that" said Giles.

"I know there isn't anything you guys can do but SHE can do it Giles so please let me go back to my conversation with her."

"And just who is it that you are talking to that can bring back Buffy" asked Spike a small glint of hope in his eyes.

"Would you like to show your self, if I just tell them they will put me in a nuthouse."

Suddenly standing by Buffy's body was a pail young woman with black hair dressed all in black with a silver ankh hung around her neck. "Giles, everyone I would like you to meet Death of the Endless" said Xander.

The reactions to meeting Death varied, but the most vocal was Aynas. "Xander what are you doing talking to Death!"

"I was wondering that my self," replied Death. "There are only certain types of people that are supposed to see me, the dead, people with certain spells cast on them, and living people who I allow to see me, Xander doesn't fit into any of those categories. Would you like to explain how you saw me?"

"I don't know how but I've seen you after I staked Jesse. At first I didn't know who or what you were, I just thought I was slowly going nuts. It wasn't until we cleared all the books out of the library before we blew up the school. What got me interested was a book titled 'The Endless' that had a picture of a guy I've seen in kind of a shadow form fallowing Buffy, after reading the book I found out it was your brother Destiny. After that I was able to put a name to some things I had been seeing. Back to the point though is there anything I can do to bring Buffy back, like a trade maybe?"

Death smiled in complete contrast to the stoic figure that we often associate with death and said, "Normally I don't make deals but you're in luck just before I came here Destiny said that I should give the person that saw me a chance to accomplish what they want. Here is the deal, you get five of my brothers and sisters to agree that Buffy should come back and I'll bring her back until she either dies a violent death again or she dies of old age. This is a one time deal so if you succeed and she dies a year later don't ask me for a repeat offer. So what do you say, deal?"

"Deal," responded Xander.

"Cool," said Death.

Chapter 2


Xander sat in his room waiting for the visits he knew would come. The blanket explanation he had given everyone after Death had left wouldn't satisfy anyone for long. Sooner or later, in groups or alone they would come to him demanding more details, details that he had just given himself time to sort out.

'Let's see,' thought Xander 'Unless I've completely lost touch with her over the years Willow should be knocking on my door about now.' Then as if on some hidden queue there was a knock on the door followed shortly after by Willows voice asking to come in. After doing just that Willow settled down and got straight to what was on her mind.

"Why didn't you tell me?!" There was no reason to ask what she was referring to after all there was only one of his secrets that he had let slip recently and this was exactly the reaction he had needed time to prepare for.

Shrugging his shoulders Xander responded, "What good would it have done? If I was going to see them I was going to see them. They weren't hurting anyone, not really. For a time I thought I was just going insane because of what happened to Jesse and I thought that if I told you guys you would take me out of the fight. I couldn't let that happen, I had to help Buffy and get back at the things that hurt Jesse. I know this wasn't the best way for you to find out but it's the way it worked out."

Willow simply stared at Xander unable to form the words to describe what she was feeling pain, anger, remorse, sympathy, and guilt tore through her like a hurricane changing so quickly that not even she could tell what it was she was feeling from one moment to the next.

After a while Willow simply got up and left, not trusting herself to speak until she had more time to think things through. Xander let her go knowing what she had to do and knowing that if he tried to press her now in anyway he could end up loosing her as a friend, and in his opinion he had gone through enough losses for a while. Besides others would be coming and he would have to be here to answer their questions.

When they came they all asked the same question 'why,' and so Xander gave them all the same speech he gave Willow but altered slightly for each person to make it a bit more personalized. None of them simply walked out like Willow did each one had a different reaction.

Giles: the father figure

"I must say I wish you had decided to confide in me, never mind that you thought I would betray that trust by alienating you from the fighting the fact is when you learned what you were seeing and decided not to tell me it shows that you had little to no faith in me."

"It isn't that G-man I swear I trust you. It's just that everyone has his or her own secret and once I found out I wasn't insane having a small harmless secret to myself made me feel kind of special. I honestly hadn't felt very special for a while and being able to see things that others couldn't gave me a bit of confidence."

"Very well Xander, I suppose that we all have our own secrets in our lives, heaven knows that I have mine. I do regret that we have seemed to drift apart these last few years though, perhaps we could do something to rectify that after all of this is over."

"Why wait, listen my car is in the shop so I'll need a ride to my first destination if you are willing to drive me we could start with that whole male bonding thing that I've heard so much about."

"Very well, I'll pick you up around ten in the morning and after a brief stop at my place we will go where ever you need to go." With that being said Giles left to go prepare for the next day.

Spike: the unwanted guest

"I didn't say you could come in Spike."

"You said it once Droopy and that's all it takes. Listen you can save the speeches unlike the Watcher I don't need to hear them. I just came here to thank you for what you are doing."

"Figures the only one to thank me tonight would be the one person in the group that I didn't want to hear it from. Listen Fangless if it was up to me you would have been dust long ago so don't thank me for anything. Heck if it wasn't for Dawn I would have I would have dusted you myself after the battle with Glory. The thing is, Dawn has lost her mother and sister in under a year, she doesn't deserve to loose anyone else she cares for, and for some reason she cares for you. If you hurt her though I will personally make sure you see a sunrise only after being nailed to a cross while feeding you holy water for several hours."

Looking into Xanders eyes Spike could see he was totally serious so it was with a little bit of fear that he said "Yeah I get ya, just don't be getting stake happy to soon though."

Anya: the lover

"That was a very nice speech Xander but I've decided you shouldn't go."

"Anya I have to go, you know I can't stand by when a friend needs me."

"I need you and I'm your fiancé! What that means is we are supposed to grow old together while giving each other lots of orgasms not dieing just because a friend died and that's what will happen to you if you do this. The truth is that the Endless are too powerful for you to do this. Any one of them could destroy this world without breaking a sweat."

"I'm sorry but I've been given a chance, I can't just ignore it."

With tears streaming down her cheeks Anya said "Then I can't marry you. I'm sorry but I'm going to find someone else to give me orgasms. Here is your ring back." And with that she not only walked out Xanders home but out of his life, perhaps forever.

After just sitting there stunned for a while Xander decided to go for a walk outside grabbing a stake a cross on reflex before heading out the door. Now taking a walk at night in a town where vampires roamed the streets wasn't a very good idea and doing it on a night when the person who killed the vampires was now dead is about the worst idea that anyone could have but Xander was to the point where he just didn't care.

"I'd say that you look like your best fried just died but honestly you look worse" said a familiar voice.

Turning around Xander faced Death for the second time that day. "Well I've lost my best friend but have a chance to get her back as you know but I also just lost my fiancé and I don't think I have a chance of getting her back."

"I'm sorry to hear that," said Death, and what surprised Xander was the fact that she genualy looked and sounded sorry for him. "If you don't mind me asking why did she leave?"

"I think she was afraid not just by the fact that I'm going on this quest but the fact that I can see you guys at all. I told my self that I was going to take this walk to clear my head but all I've been doing is making excuses of why I should give up so I can get back with Anya. I've come up with some really good ones to but all it takes is a single thought of Buffy in some Hell dimension suffering and the excuse doesn't seem very reasonable."

"She isn't in a Hell dimension, she's at my place, and while it isn't the Ritz it isn't Hell."

Xander perked up at this information. "You mean Buffy's alright?"

"For now I decided to just let her stay with me until you finish what you have to do. Its been a while since I had some one over at my place for more then a few minutes and Buffy is a neat person so its kind of fun."

"She isn't freaked out or anything is she?"

"No she isn't, but then she hasn't figured out who I am or what happened to her, I don't think she wants to figure it out yet. She has been talking about her life and family, it's all very interesting."

Letting his shoulders slump a bit Xander whispered "Thank you, it means so much to know that she is alright."

Smiling Death simply responded "No problem. Now go home and get some rest Xander you have a big day tomorrow." And that is exactly what Xander did.


"So where are you going to start your quest Xander," asked Giles as the two sat in the elder mans apartment. They had enjoyed a nice breakfast and as promised the night before they began to get caught up in one another's lives, but now the time had come to discus the matter at hand.

"I'm going to start with the one that started Buffy down Slayer road, Destiny."

"And just how do you plan to find him, no text states just how to get into his realm."

Xander smiled at the fact that for once he seemed to know more than Giles on something supernatural. "That's okay, I know how to get there and everything that I need is at the amusement park."


The ride to the park was short and silent, neither man talking for his own reasons. Once there Xander went straight to a kiddy maze, turned around and spoke to Giles for the first time sense arriving and said, "Thanks for the ride Giles but I think I have to do the rest myself."

Giles simply sighed and said, "I understand, I may not like it but I understand."

With that being said Xander entered the maze. After a while the walls of the maze began to change from padded wood, to stone, to living bushes. If Xander hadn't been so involved on having the correct mind set or making the correct turns at the correct time he would have noticed this as well as the fact that the sky changed as well some times to the point where it would have been obvious that he was no longer on Earth.

Finally he came upon a man warring a brown monks robe with the hood drawn shackled to a large tomb. Taking a deep breath Xander began to talk to Destiny of the Endless.

"Hay Destiny, you know why I'm here right?"

"I do Alexander Harris but what I don't know is why the page concerning this conversation is missing from my book."

"Well I could point out that there are pages that aren't in your book just like there are paths outside of your garden but the truth is I don't think I walk those paths at least not really. The reason this conversation isn't in your book is probably because I don't have a destiny so I'm below your radar. Besides I bet that if you look at that page after we have finished this conversation you will find it completely filled up."

"And why do you believe this?"

"Because some times destiny isn't written until after it has happened. Buffy's destiny hasn't finished writing its self. She needs to be brought back. I know you called another Slayer but she has to work through her own issues before she can fill her roll. That is one reason why I'm here but the more important reason is that she is my friend, so please give me your answer yes or no."

And Destiny looked at his book and sure enough the blank page had been filled with not just the conversation they had just had but with very important incites that explained how Xander knew to use those words so that for the first time since the beginning of the universe Destiny exercised free will. "You have made me do something I have never done before Alexander and that frightens me. My book tells me how you were able to do it even if you don't yet realize what you have none, never the less my answer remains the same. Yes, you may have your friend back."

Chapter 3

As Xander began his journey back to Sunnydayle he began to wonder at something that had been bugging him lately, like how exactly he had known how to enter Destiny's realm. Giles had been correct when he had said that there were no texts describing what he had just done and yet he had known exactly what to do. Also Destiny made it sound like he had done something important, just what had he done? For a few moments thoughts of being possessed once again raced through his mind as well as thoughts on being manipulated by some more powerful being. Even though these thoughts were unsettling to say the least Xander pushed them away as he continued towards his goal reasoning that he could work all the weirdness out after he got Buffy back.

When he returned home he was assaulted by questions from almost every member of the current Scooby gang. Every one wanted to know something different. Giles wanted to know if he reached Destiny's realm while Dawn wanted to know if he voted to bring Buffy back, only Spike and Tara were silent each for their own reasons. Eventually he answered them all, yes he did make it to Destiny's realm, yes Destiny did agree and they now had one vote to bring Buffy back. When asked what he would do next Xander simply responded "I'm going to kill two birds with one stone, I'm going to sleep and dream."


The first thing Xander noticed was that he was in a cloud, or perhaps a fog and he had no idea how he got there. Slowly Xander forced himself to remember where he was and as he remembered the fog lifted to reveal two houses.

'Okay,' Xander thought to himself, 'this is the Dreaming but I doubt either one of those houses is the home of Dream. Well technically I suppose they are sense Dream exists everywhere there are dreams. I could just call him and he would here me, better not, I know that I wouldn't want to be bossed around in my home so I'll just travel to his home the hard way. First I better ask for directions.' No sooner had these thoughts flashed through his mind then Xander began to head towards the house on the right.

Soon after knocking on the door Xander found himself facing a fat, odd looking man. "H-hello, w-would like to co-come in fo-for some tea?" Not wanting to be too rude Xander went in the house but politely refused the tea.

"I was wondering if I could get directions to the palace where Dream of the Endless lives." Xander said while looking around the living room. To say that the place was odd would be an understatement; there were things here that would look more at home in the dark ages then what you would find in a living area now.

"Wh-why do y-you want t-to g-go there?" asked the odd man while his eyes scanned the room looking for something specific, though what it was Xander had no idea.

"I want to get my friend back and if Dream agrees to bring her back then I just need to get three more votes and she will come back." By this time Xander was on full alert, his years on the Hellmouth making him take notice of his surroundings with no outward appearance of doing so.

"Th-that's nice, b-but you d-don't h-have to. Th-there are t-two Slayers to s-save the w-world." Before Xander could comment on the last statement a shout came from the rafters.

"Secret! You bumbling, blubbering, moron you told another secret!" The speaker was identified when he dropped from the rafters and started to stalk towards the man he had been talking to. What really shocked Xander was that for some reason the new arrival reminded Xander of the man he had been talking to even though they were nothing alike. The new arrival was tall, thin, clean shaven with reddish hair while the man he talked to was short, fat, and had a light beard and mustache with dark hair, though the biggest difference was that the new arrival moved like a predator while the other just fumbled around.

"I-it wasn't a b-big secret brother. W-we have a g-guest p- please don't do a-anything."

By this point the new arrival was looming over the odd man and looked like he was about to kill him. Luckily for the odd man Xander had not been idol, while the new man had moved toward the odd man Xander had grabbed the poker from the fireplace and now had it inches from the back of the new mans head. "Back off or I'll run this through the back of your head," stated Xander.

The new arrival turned around with a look of confidence that irritated Xander. "You won't hurt me, you can't" stated the man.

"Oh, and just why can't I," asked Xander while thinking that this man was trying to bluff him. Even if the poker didn't work there were other things he could use, if living on the Hellmouth had taught Xander one lesson it was that anything could and would go down if it was hit hard enough.

Sensing that Xander would indeed hurt him with out a second thought the new man decided to take a different approach. "We seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot, so to get back on the right one let me introduce my self and my brother. We are the duo of Cain and Abel, the tall one and the short one, victor and victim. We are one of the first stories created by the Lord of this realm. You are concerned that I would do permit damage to my brother correct?"

"I'm concerned that you are about to kill your brother," stated Xander

"You are quite right, I was about to kill him still planning to as a matter of fact." A look appeared on Xanders face that promised a painful death if he didn't come up with something quick. Being the smart man he believed he was Cain hastened to comply. "He wouldn't stay dead for long. You see our contracts state that I can kill him as many times as I want and he will always come back to life, he doesn't really mind me killing him."

"H-he's right. I d-don't m-mind, he's f-family a-and he l- loves m-me, a-after all," said Abel.

"You mean to tell me that you don't mind getting killed by this guy because he's your brother?" At Abel's nod Xander muttered, "And I thought I had family issues."

As soon as Xander lowered his guard Cain broke Abeles neck and Xander could hear him mutter "It's so nice to get back to the basics now and then."

As soon as he turned around Cain found himself at the pointed end of the poker and facing a very angry Xander. "I'll give him five minutes to revive, if he isn't back in that time I'm shoving this through your eye and into your brain."

The complete lack of any emotion in Xanders voice caused Cain, the first man to commit murder, to break out in a cold sweat. Gathering all of his courage Cain retorted "If you harm me in any way you will have the wrath of God come down on your head."

"Doesn't matter," Xander said with out hesitation and in that same emotionless voice. "If he doesn't come back you join him simple as that, because there is no way that I'm going to let you live and do this to someone else later when I can stop you now."

The seconds ticked by each one seeming like and eternity to Cain as he stared into the eyes of what he was beginning to think of as a force of nature. Just as the time ran out and Cain thought he was about to reach the end of his existence Abel let out a long groan. In a moment Xander was by his side helping him up and asking him if he was all right.

"I-I'm fine d-don't w-worry about m-me. A-are y-you still planning t-to g-go t-to Dreams castle?"

"Yeah Abel I'm still going to go, I can't pass up a chance to save my friend," stated Xander as he began to head towards the door.

"It's about time to," said an odd, new voice from the window but when Xander looked all he saw was a raven grooming its self. "Great," muttered Xander while looking at the bird, "I'm loosing my mind, and I was hoping to meet the youngest Endless last."

"You aren't loosing your marbles," said the raven. "Listen my names Mathew, the big guy sent me here to help guide you to the castle."

"A talking raven, guess I shouldn't be too surprised, this is a dream after all," said a wide eyed Xander.

"Yeah, it's a dream, but that doesn't make it any less real," said Mathew. "Listen can you hurry this up the boss man may be mellower but it still isn't a good idea to keep him waiting for too long."

"Okay Mathew, lead the way," said Xander as he tried to identify what was odd about Mathews voice. 'If it just sounded like a man talking like a raven I would understand, but it isn't like that. I guess its more like a raven talking like a man. This is one cool world.'

After walking for a while Xander glanced over his shoulder and saw that the path disappeared about a yard behind him. "Hay Mathew, what's up with the path?"

"The path is a one time deal," explained Mathew. "This path is more of a warning beacon to any passing nightmare telling them not to mess with us. Because the path crosses so much of the dreaming the boss is uncreating it as soon as we pass over it, that way the rest of the Dreaming doesn't get interrupted while we head to the castle."

"Nightmares? Mathew I fight vampires on a daily biases, been possessed by a hyena and a soldier, and almost been mutated into a fish monster. This doesn't even include my dating life. Trust me when I say that I've been living with nightmares for the better part of five years now, I honestly don't think I need to be protected from them," Xander said with a little bit of annoyance, if there was one thing he hated more than vampires it was being 'protected.'

Mathew simply snorted at Xanders little outburst, which was interesting because Xander didn't think that birds could snort. "Listen if you had met the really bad nightmares you would be lucky to be sane, some people don't even survive their encounter with them. Luckily those are rare so we probably wouldn't run into them even without the path. But you do need to be protected from the every day nightmares because at the moment you are a lucid dreamer, in fact you are probably the most aware dreamer in the Dreaming at the moment and that's dangerous. It's like in the Matrix, this is so real to you that if you die in here you die in your world."

Xander was absorbing this information, trying to find a flaw in what Mathew said when he stopped in his tracks. Looking around Xander saw that they had wandered into a desolate place that just seemed wrong, not because it was desolate but because it felt so dead.

"What is this place," asked Xander as he tried to figure out why it was so wrong for this place to feel this way.

"This was Gilbert, or Fiddlers Green depending on if he was a person or a place," replied Mathew, a sad tone in his voice. "He was a good place, and for a while a good person, in fact he was so good that Dream made him a heart of the Dreaming. He was one of the people killed when the Furies attacked the Dreaming, it wasn't a pretty sight. When the big fight with the Furies was over the boss brought back the others but for some reason Gilbert didn't want to be brought back. Dream took it hard but respected Gilberts wishes, even though he could had made it so Gilbert wanted to be brought back."

"Why didn't Gilbert want to be brought back," asked Xander. Even as he spoke those words he began to feel something build inside of him, something that he couldn't explain.

"From what I was told he thought that if he was brought back his death would have no real meaning," Mathew refrained from saying more as he turned to Xander, feeling the power radiating from him.

"A heart should never be empty," said Xander in an almost trance like tone, as he released a wave of energy that washed over the landscape and rose into the sky changing the train before one very astonished raven.


With a sound that was somewhere between a death rattle and a cry of a new born child the ground rent its self forming a chasm larger and deeper than any in the waking world. Slowly the larger portion of the land that Mathew was very grateful that he and Xander were not on began to sink until there was nothing but blackness stretching onward as far as could be seen.

By this time Xander had began to sweet but he knew he couldn't leave this place as he had found it. Forcing himself to go on Xander focused on his task. Off in the distance Mathew began to hear a low rumble that grew constantly louder until he could hear nothing else. On the horizon a glimmer of blue appeared reflecting light and growing with the rumbling that had by this time become a great roar.

When the water hit the wall the ground shook almost as if some vengeful god had decided to smite the beings standing on it. As the foundations of this realm began to tremble Xander stood still with his hands outstretched almost as if he was calling the waves to come more often and with more power each time. In places the cliff walls began to crumble and erode forming under sea caverns and beaches. With the water on his side Xander accomplished in moments what would take eons in the real world, but he wasn't finished yet.

Hand on the ground and drenched in sweat Xander continued his task, after all the sea is very much alive beneath the waves, he thought. With that thought the sea began to glow gold as life began to form. First he created the sea animals he knew existed the fish, dolphins, sharks and so fourth. Surprisingly he felt knowledge flowing into him urging him to create every kind of fish mammal or other kind of creature that man knows roams the sea. Then he moved on to the species that may very well only be real in our hearts.

Beneath the waves merpeople began to swim along with leviathans. Soon every creature that man had dreamed existed with room to spare, after all in a dream you could fit an entire mountain on the head of a pin, so why not fin an ocean into a valley.

Xander slowly turned around facing the area that was still parched waist land. Placing his hands upon the earth he began the final stages of the change. Soon parts of the land along the shore began to crumble turning into fine sand, while the rocks that were left began to look more natural instead of reminders of a nuclear explosion. Past the shore line tropical trees began to grow giving shade to any who would want it. Soon the entire land had been transformed in this manner except for one small patch of land. This land was untouched by the changes and like a scar blemishing otherwise unmarked beauty, by this hideous cropping was a sign that simply said 'So those that came before are never completely forgotten.'

Mathew silently flew over and landed beside the now kneeling Xander. "Well," he began in his rough raven voice, "have you given any thought as to what you are going to call it?"

Xander sat and thought for a few minutes before answering, "How about 'Sailors Secret.'"

"I like it," said a new voice from behind Xander and his black feathered companion.

Quickly turning around the duo were greeted by the sight of a beautiful woman, one who Xander immediately recognized, or more accurately he recognized parts of her. She had Cordelias body, Willows auburn hair, Buffy's face and smile except for the scar on her left cheek, Jenny Calendars eyes, and her voice sounded like his mothers before she crawled into the bottle with his father.

Recovering from the shock of seeing parts of every girl that has a place in his heart combined into one being Xander finally was able to get enough brain cells working to ask her who she was. Smiling the woman responded, "I'm Sailors Secret, as you so aptly named me, but when I'm like this you can call me Steph."

At this news Xander turned toward Mathew and asked "Can all of the places turn into people here?"

"Don't ask me about this, you're the one that created her" was Mathew's eloquent response.

It wasn't long before the two started to notice that the sky was beginning to darken and the sound of distant thunder. Turning around they were able to see and equally dark look on Stephs face. "You know it's rude to talk about someone as if they aren't there." Having lived around strong women for years now Xander did the only thing a man can do in that position, he began to apologize again and again until the clouds began to dissipate and Steph started smiling again.

After soothing Stephs ire and bidding a fond farewell with promises to come back and visit Xander turned to Mathew and asked him what was next on the agenda.

"Well we were supposed to just stay on the path and go straight on to the castle. Unfortunately someone decided to break up the landscape and dump an ocean on top of it. So unless you feel like taking a swim we are going to have to take a longer and more dangerous rout." Mathew's voice was full of sarcasm something Xander would have taken note of if he wasn't so preoccupied with his own thoughts. He didn't know how much time he had before he woke up and if he didn't see Dream before then he would have to go through all of this again. That is assuming Dream was willing to see him another time.

Deciding that maybe a swim wouldn't be so bad Xander followed the golden path to the shore and into the water. With each step the water rose higher and higher until it was up to Xanders mouth. Keeping his breathing even he took the last step and got a lung full of salt water. Xanders body told him to rise up, that he couldn't breathe water, but he forced another lungful of water in and out while his mind told his body that he could breathe water here if he wanted to. Soon enough his body caught up with his mind and realized that it wasn't drowning.


As Xander walked along the path that was now at the bottom of an ocean he took a bit of time to look at the scenery. He wasn't fooled for a moment to believe that it was safe, a fact that was driven home when a shark swam along the path for a while. This world may be beautiful but it could also be deadly. Xander smirked when he realized that the same could be said about the women in his life.

Without Mathew to talk to Xanders thoughts began to wonder from the scenery to other things, like how he would convince Dream to bring back Buffy. Dream wouldn't be as easy as Destiny. While Destiny would go along just because his book said he would, Dream would probably need more of a reason. The trouble is that Xander couldn't think of something that he could give Dream. Maybe he could get lucky, after all Dreams have become much kinder after that incident with the Kindly Ones.

This brought Xanders thoughts into a disturbing path. He could see the Endless, he knew things about them that weren't in any book, and he just created a new heart for the Dreaming. These weren't normal, even by his standards; the question now became it this dangerous.

So far he had benefited from the knowledge and abilities he had exhibited so far but how long would that last? Nothing, good or evil, ever comes without a price the question was could he pay it. Yes. If it didn't cause the others anything he would pay any price to bring back Buffy.

Xander emerged from the salt water to see a strange site, even for a dream. Standing before him dressed in loose work cloths and smoking a hand rolled cigarette was a moving scarecrow with a Halloween pumpkin for the head.

"So, you the one decided to put an ocean on the path?" Spoke the creature in a low class accent.

"Yah, I am," replied Xander. "Sorry if I caused you any trouble." Xander couldn't say why he apologized to this being but somehow it felt appropriate.

The scarecrow creature seemed to consider for a moment wisps of smoke trailing out of its carved triangle eyes. "Naw ain't that much trouble really. You dreamers come and make some changes then you leave, n' the changes just fade. Gota hand it to you though, you do some nice work. Maybe I can convince the Boss ta let you stick around, help with the work. Nothing big at first, you start at the bottom just like everyone else."

"Maybe I'll take you up on that," Xander said with a smile. He couldn't help it there was just something about this particular dream creature that struck a cord in him. "Names Xander by the way."

"So you're the big guy that's causing all the fuss. Got to say after what you did to the boss's big brother it's a slightly frightening honor to meet you."

"Thanks, I think. Listen I didn't do anything to Destiny, I just explained some things and asked him to bring my friend back. The only reason that I went to see him at all is that Death said that I had to convince five of her brothers and sisters to bring back my friend."

The scarecrow gave him an odd look, an impressive feat considering he changed the carved shapes on his head without any noticeable muscles. "Hey, Mathew this guy stupid or something? I mean how he could not know what he did; its all anyone is talking about on either side of the mortal plane."

After landing on Xanders shoulders Mathew just cocked his head to the side, "Don't know about stupid, but he may nuts. I found him threatening Cain, you got to be nuts to do something like that."

"Hey, right here you know!" exploded Xander. "And just for future reference, don't like being called nuts or stupid, especially by people that haven't even told me their names yet."

"Jeez, sorry bout that kid. You know I didn't mean anything by it, right? It's just a couple of guys talking is all. Names Mervyn Pumpkinhead, the dreamed spirit of the average working man, but you can call me Merv everyone else does."

"Thanks Merv, and sorry for snapping back there I just don't like it when people talk like I'm not even there."

"No one does kid. Listen I was heading back to the castle anyway so why don't I just walk with the two of you. That way I can give you a bit of a tour to make up for being rude earlier."

Xander smiled imagining just what kind of tour Merv would give him. Thinking that back in the waking work it would include the better strip clubs in the area Xander just smiled and said, "It's always nice to have more friends along for a trip."

After a while Xander began to tune out Merv. It wasn't that Merv was being boring it was the fact he was telling such tall tales Xander was trying hard not to roll his eyes. Soon Xander began to hear two voices screaming for help, two voices that Xander knew very well.

"Buffy, Willow," muttered Xander as he began to walk off the path, only to be stopped by Merv.

"Kid you really are nuts! You step off this path and every nightmare in the Dreaming will be after you. Now stop struggling and stay still!"

"But they need my help; I can't just stand by while they need me!"

"Those aren't your friends calling for you Xander," said Mathew as he circled above the air. Soon Mathew called out to something waiting beyond the path, "You better come out before I call Dream. You know he will be upset about the way you are treating Xander."

Soon a human looking creature appeared. It was male, about the same height and apparent age as Xander but that is were the similarities ended. Its hair was a shocking white, its facial features slightly distorted by cruelty. The most stunning feature would be the fact that it had mouths full of sharp jagged teeth, where its eyes should be.

"Now Mathew you know as well as I do that Dream won't punish me for being too cruel, after all my predecessor was destroyed because he wasn't cruel enough," said the creature with its normal mouth. "Besides the child is pretty enough to provide us with entertainment for the night," said the right mouth eye. "And his eyes look especially delicious," the left mouth eye finished the explanation.

"I will go now," said all three mouths together. "Not out of fear, but it would be rude to keep you from Dream any longer." With those words the creature left to visit the dreams of some poor unfortunate dreamer.

"What was that thing?" asked Xander as soon as he regained enough composure to do so. It wasn't the creatures' physical experience that had shaken him but the fact that it seemed to be some kind of twisted mirror that showed the very worst of humanity all at once. An experience like that would shake even the most hardened of men.

"That would be the Corinthian, as far as nightmares go he is the worst," said Mathew as he once again settled down on Xanders shoulder.

"Suddenly I have a new respect for the bright and shiny path that keeps them away," said Xander as he silently vowed not to leave the path even if he saw Buffy or Willow out there, it was just too dangerous.

"Always nice to talk with someone who appreciates good work when they see it," said Mervyn.

The small group walked in science until they approached a castle guarded by a Griffin, a Dragon, and a Winged Hoarse. These weren't the cute and fluffy ones you would find on a kids show though, each one looked fierce enough to wipe out an army on its own, and all three together were awe inspiring.

Luckily a tall man with glasses that reminded Xander of Giles for some reason met them at the door, so they weren't challenged.

"Greetings Xander," said the tall man. "My name is Lucien; I'm the librarian for this realm. Dream has asked me to escort you to your audience."

A librarian that explained the Giles vibe thought Xander before he spoke aloud. "Thanks, I would have probably gotten lost looking for the right place."

"Indeed you would have, and that is why I was sent to escort you," said Lucien in a slightly stuffy tone of voice.

After a while of silence Xander asked just what kind of books were in the library.

"All of them," replied Lucien. "Every story, poem and song, written or unwritten resides in my library. After all they were all dreamed long before being put in writing. To prepare for your visit I even went over your works before meeting you."

"Hate to break it to you Lucien, but I have never in my life written anything, except an occasional note to Willow during Math. I don't have a section, you got me confused with some one else," said Xander.

"I could quote the lyrics to 'The Song that Will Make Buffy Dump that Looser Angel' if you wish. The title could use some work but the words create an interesting image. Perhaps you would prefer if I described scenes from the video section, you had this scene in 'Slayers Gone Wild' that is most memorable."

"Enough already, I believe you! Man how did you get those, they are just some stupid daydreams that I had when I was a hormonal teenager."

"Exactly they were dreams concerning writing, and filming, there for it became my duty to archive them. It doesn't matter if you are awake or asleep when you dream them, if you dream them I will archive them and they will remain there until the last species in the universe stops thinking of anything other than the here and now, the moment where all dreams have finally died."

"Okay I can respect that," said an embarrassed Xander. "Could you do me a favor though? If any of my friends come here could you not tell them about the imagined videos, I really don't feel like living out the rest of my natural life in a coma."

Lucien gave a small smile at the pleading tone in Xanders voice. "Fear not, if your friends should ever come I will endeavor to direct their inquiries else where."

"Thanks I appreciate it," said Xander as he stopped by a large set of doors.

Lucien simply continued to smile, "Well I've taken you as far as I can. Those doors will lead you to the throne room. It will be up to you to convince Dream to bring back your friend and you alone. Good luck."

With that Lucien began to walk back down the corridor, leaving Xander to face the monarch of this strange realm. For a moment Xander felt fear, standing before those great doors, Anya's voice ringing in his head, telling him that his mission will kill him, and for a fraction of the moment Xander wondered if it was too late to turn back. Then the moment had passed and Xander opened the doors and walked into the throne room.

When he entered the throne room, Xander was almost overwhelmed by how vast it was. There sitting in a throne fit for a king in the middle of the room was a being that could only be Dream of the Endless, though not the Dream Xander was expecting.

The Dream that sat before Xander had some things in common with the Dream that was featured in the tomes that Xander had read. This Dream still appeared to be tall and young, about Xanders own age and only had softly glowing lights set in pools of black instead of eyes, a precious stone hung around his neck, but that was where the similarities ended. The Dream in the tomes was dark and brooding draping himself with black. This Dream was dressed in white and serenity came off him in waves, a stark contrast to what he was before.

"Greetings Xander, it is nice that you have finally arrived," said Dream as he rose from his throne.

"Hi," said Xander. "I had heard that you had changed after you died but I must admit this wasn't what I was expecting."

"Perhaps I was more in keeping with your conceptions boy?" said a voice directly behind Xander.

Xander spun around to face Dream as he appeared in every tome that has ever been written about him. His dark hair and clothes a sharp contrast against his marble white skin. His face appeared to be chiseled in a permanent frown, and Xander wondered if a smile had ever crossed that face in the billon trillion that had passed after the big bang.

"Two of you? But I... How can… I never… And once again I say huh?"

The Dream in white simply smiled and said, "Fear not I am the only true Dream here. This simply shows me as I was before I died. People still remember me this way and so they dream of me this way. In time those that remember will pass to my sisters realm or they will begin forget what I once was. As it stands it will only be a few short millennia before what I was completely dies."

"Okay, that makes sense, I think," said Xander after he recovered enough to talk. "I suppose that you know why I came here?"

"Yes," replied Dream. "It is a great thing you ask for. Everything passes from this plan to the next. Even we that call ourselves the Endless will someday feel the embrace of our sister, so tell me why I should give your friend more than her allotted time? What argument could you make what gift could you give me to do this thing."

Xander though long and hard about his answer before going with the strange knowledge that has guided him to this point, "A name."

"I have no need for names Xander. I am Dream, that is enough."

"But that wasn't always the case, was it Daniel?"

Dream raised an eyebrow and the lights in the dark pits that should be eyes shone brighter. "While I would be interested to know how you knew that name, the name its self is useless. All that was mortal was burned out of me."

Xander simply gave a lopsided smirk and said, "You are the combination of the dreams of everything in the universe, you will always be part mortal because we are mortal. My advice is to stop being Dream every now and then and just be Daniel.

"After all we mortals have dreams to escape into so we can recharge ourselves. You can't do that so just be what you were when you need to escape. It will help you stay on the right track in the long run."

"Once I gave an emperor of your world much the same advice you have given me. It served him well and I believe that it will serve me well. For giving me this you may have my vote to bring back your friend. Now continue on your journey, with my blessings and my thanks."

And with those words, Xander woke up.

Chapter 4

"And that is the life of Buffy Summers," said Buffy as she finished off her cappuccino. She didn't know why she was sitting here talking about her life with the pale dark haired Goth woman.

The woman gave Buffy a smile before reaching for the empty mug. "Somehow I think there is more to the story than that," said the woman. "Its okay if you don't want to tell me though, after all everyone has secrets."

Wait did she know about the Slayer stuff? Maybe she was trying to kill her or capture her, but she seems so nice. If she really wasn't evil then there should be no trouble with me leaving.

"I'm sorry, but I really have to go. If you would just show me where the door is," said Buffy hoping she was wrong about the other woman.

"Sorry Buffy, you can't leave just yet," said the woman even as the pit of Buffys stomach fell out, her worst fears confirmed.

Quickly moving into a fighting stance Buffy tried the more direct route, "Listen, um, woman that I just realized never told me her name, I could force you to tell me if I wanted to. Just tell me so I don't have to hurt you."

The woman who was simply way to calm for Buffy at the moment let out a sigh. "Buffy, what is the last thing you remember before you started talking to me?"

"What does that have to do with anything?! Just show me the door; I really don't want to hurt you."

"Buffy, pleas calm down, your Slayer abilities won't help you here. Just trust me, if you remember what happened just before you came here everything will make more sense."

What was she talking about? Right before she came here she was, well she was fighting Glory. Wait, that wasn't right, she was on the tower, the portal had opened, and to close it she had to…

"Oh God," whispered Buffy as she slid to the floor. "Does this mean, am I?"

"Dead?" asked the woman. At Buffys nod she continued. "Yeah, you are."

"Then who are you, and what kind of afterlife it this?"

"Well this isn't an afterlife, this is just my place. As to who I am, well I'm Death."

After Death finished the last sentence Buffy began to giggle. Slightly confused but happy about Buffys reaction Death said, "Not the reaction I usually get. Got to admit that it's better than how I expected you to act."

Calming herself down Buffy tried to explain her reaction, even though her voice indicated that she may start giggling again at any moment, "I'm sorry but you just can't be death. Death is some skeleton in a black cloak that carries a scythe, not, well, you."

Death let out a groan as she ran her fingers through her hair and said, "I dress up for a party one time, a billion years before your sun even ignited, and everything still believes that's what I look like! Really, I have very little to do with skeletons. Someone higher up than me decided that you would have them, and it's not my fault that they last the longest."

Buffy cringed at Deaths rant; after all she had similar things happen to her in life. "Sorry about that. I guess I can relate though. Everyone expect me to be this large mega fighter just because I'm the Slayer. They are usually surprised when they find an excheerleader, that is slightly vertically challenged, but not short."

"Never short," said Death with a smile on her face.

"Darn tooten," replied Buffy, more relaxed than she was moments ago.

After a few moments of relaxed silence Buffy asked a question that had been on her mind, "If I'm dead, can I see my mom?"

"No, I'm sorry, but you can't."

"Why not, if this is some kind of afterlife shouldn't I be able to be with my mom?"

"Like I said before Buffy, this isn't the afterlife," said Death. "Let me see if I can explain this right, you have heard of the light at the end of the tunnel haven't you? Okay, this isn't the light at the end, it's the tunnel it self. This is the dark before the light, the sunless lands, me."

"Then why don't you take me to the afterlife," responded Buffy.

"Normally I would but you are a special case," said Death, her grey eyes conveying just how serious this situation was. "As we speak your friend Xander is on a quest that will determine if you come with me now, or if you will live some more first."

"I don't get it, what can Xander do? I fell from a tower, into a mystical portal, and fell on a pile of bricks. Somehow I don't think CPR will work this time."

"He isn't using CPR. I made a deal with him, if he could convince five of my brothers and sisters that you should be brought back then I'll bring you back. He has already convinced my brothers Destiny and Dream, so he is off to a good start."

"Wait, how do you know that, you have been with me the entire time?"

"I'm with you, but I'm also with the infant that was just killed in china because her parents wanted a boy. I'm with the old homeless man in that just passed on from exposure, and at the same time I'm across your galaxy with Q'Lar as her energy escapes from her crystal skin. I'm where ever I need to be."

"Don't you think its odd being in more than one place at the same time?"

"Nope, it's perfectly natural," said Death.

"So what are we supposed to do now, just sit and wait for Xander to finish his quest?"

"Well I've always wanted to play Monopoly but no one has ever stayed long enough for a good game. If that isn't to your liking I'm sure we can find something else, I'm kind of a pack rat so there is a lot to choose from."

Buffy simply smiled and said, "I call Top Hat!"

Death smiled as she set up the board, picking the racecar for herself. It was a bit incontinent keeping a bit of herself here, especially with that galaxy imploding, but it was worth it.

Chapter 5

When Xander awoke he found that he remembered every moment of his dream. He remembered Cain, Able, Mathew, Gilbert, everyone and every thing that he had encountered.

Slowly, silently, Xander crept out of his room, careful not to wake the others. He knew what he had to do; he just had to find her.

He tried the obvious places first, the grave yard, the hospital, but Sunnydale seemed to be going through an unusual streak of life. Just as he was about to go back home and tell everyone what happened with Dream a familiar figure walked up to him.

"You know we really should stop meeting like this," said Death.

"Yeah, people might think we are dating or something. No offence to you but I just don't see myself becoming one of those brooding people who are obsessed with you," said Xander.

Death simply gave a huge smile that seemed to make everything better before she said, "As much as I'm enjoying this if you have something to tell me, just tell me."

Xander sighed and ran a hand through his hair. "It's about the deal we made."

"You aren't trying to get out of it are you?" asked Death cutting Xander off.

"No, definitely not," said Xander. "It's just after my last adventure with Dream I think something should be changed."

"Sorry but you still need three more agreements before I bring her back, its set in stone."

"Don't worry I'm not trying to change the agreement part, I want to change the bringing Buffy back part."

Death had been around ever since the first one celled organism was formed; it wasn't very often that she was surprised. So when both her eyebrows tried to connect with her hairline everyone with the slightest magical talent took note. "Perhaps you should calm down and explain better Xander."

"Okay I'm going to get the agreements from your brothers and sisters, or die trying. After that though I want Buffy to be the one to decide if she comes back or not.

"If she decides to come back to the land of the living then I'll definitely do the Snoopy dance of joy. If she decides to stay then she should be able to get the rewards she has waiting for her. I just want her to be able to choose, after all she has done she deserves that much."

Death just stared at Xander, her steel gray eyes reading his very soul. After what seemed like an eternity her lips turned into a half smile and she said, "Let me get this straight. You are going to face your greatest challenge just so your friend has the choice of coming back? You would risk your life, death, and everything in-between and be okay if she turned you down and said 'thanks but no'?"

"Uh yeah, I guess I am. I won't be happy if she turns it down but she should be able to choose either way."

Now Death was smiling again, in fact she looked like she was about to start laughing she was so happy. "At times like this it's easy to see why the creator takes an interest in your race, you are full of surprises. Consider it done; I'll give Buffy a choice if you get the last three agreements. No matter what way this turns out it has been a pleasure to be able to talk to you Mr. Alexander LeVell Harris."

"Thanks Death, but could you lay off the usage of my full name, I'm just Xander."

Death just rolled her eyes and said, "I could tell you just what a bonehead you are for making that last comment but I really have to get back to work."

"Oh, okay. I'll see you later then."

"Everyone always does," said Death as she faded away.

Xander walked around for a while before heading back to his apartment. He winced a bit when he spotted Giles' car in the lot. He had known that the others would probably stay, but honestly he was hoping that they would leave before his next journey. Bowing to the inevitable Xander opened the door and was attacked by two whirlwinds, one with red hair one with dark almost black hair.

"Xander I was so worried when you were here when I woke up I thought Dream had taken you. I was so scared that we had lost you too soneverdothatagain!" said the red whirlwind, also known at times as Willow.

"I knew that you would be back but I was still worried. What did Dream say? Did he agree to let Buffy come back?" asked a more controlled Dawn but Xander could tell that she was close to braking.

"Don't worry I just had to take a walk. It's light out so no vamp worries okay?" said Xander deciding that they didn't need to know about his conversation with Death. "And to answer Dawn Dream agreed to bring Buffy back so we only have three left to go."

"That is good to hear," said Giles as he emerged from the kitchen with Tara. "So who will you seek next?"

"Despair," said Xander. "She is the one right after Dream so she is next on the list."

"Despair and Desire are twins so why not go with Desire first?" asked Tara.

"They are twins but honestly I don't think Desire likes me if my love life is anything to go by. I think that if I start with Despair I may have a chance with Desire," replied Xander.

"Tell me Xander how do you intend to enter the realm of Despair? I assume that you already know how," asked Giles.

"Shouldn't be that hard, all I need is a large mirror and some time alone."

While he received some funny looks Xander soon had a full length mirror that used to belong to Joyce. The fact that it caused an ache in his heart showed that it was perfect for his needs.

Placing a hand on the mirror Xander began to remember his life. He thought of every slight, every time his parents got drunk and what they said to him. He brought up memories of his best friends trying to push him out of the group, and comments about how he was nothing more than a doughnut boy. He let every feeling of sorrow he ever had enter into his heart and settle there, he allowed despair to wash over him and the mirror opened and let him into the realm of Despair.

The mists that engulfed Xander as he passed the threshold weighed heavily on him threatening to crush his spirit. He stood but just barely as Despair hobbled towards him.

Even thought Despair was female and naked there was nothing attractive about her. Her figure was squat and bulbous, with grey clammy skin. Her eyes were black marbles, like those of a rodent, set in a face that had jagged teeth protruding from her lower jaw.

As Despair took in Xander she gouged her left cheek with her hook ring, splitting flesh and spilling blood. She did not enjoy the pain that this action brought but it stopped her from being effected too much by herself and let her concentrate on the matter at hand.

"Ask what you have come here to ask and be done with it," said Despair a voice that had decayed from disuse.

"Will you agree to bring back my friend," gasped Xander he fell to the ground.

"Why should I do this? What could you possibly offer me?"

Xander didn't have an answer to that question. In fact he couldn't remember why he was here in the first place. Buffy was dead and his world destroyed, and there was nothing he could do to change that. He was just an ordinary person, how could he possibly expect to go against beings like the Endless.

Just as he was about to give up Xander stumbled across a piece of his heart that was almost completely closed off in this realm. It was small but it glowed, and the more he concentrated on it the more the mist receded. Finally Xander realized that this was the answer he needed.

"I can offer hope," said Xander as he climbed to his feet. "If you help bring back my friend that is as close to me as a sister I can offer hope that your brother may return."

"Destruction left a long time ago, he will not return," said Despair but there was a spark of something in her black eyes that made Xander press the point.

"He may no longer be Destruction but he is still your brother. If you can except that about him then maybe he will return when you need him, just like any big brother would."

The hook which had dug so deep in its path across Despairs forehead it had cut through the bone suddenly stopped. "Do, do you really think he would come back as just our brother?" asked Despair a note of pleading in her voice.

"Yeah I do, after all isn't that what family is about?"

Suddenly Xander found himself back in his room looking at the mirror as it showed Despair. "You have my agreement, now leave me be," said Despair as she closed off her realm to this particular mortal for the time being.

Despair had gone to work once again, the blood that she had spilled being lapped up by her pet rats. Even thought no one could tell by looking at her a seed of hope had been planted in her lonely heart. A seed that she was protecting and nurturing without even thinking about it, and for the first time since the beginning of time a miniscule smile crossed the face of Despair.

Chapter 6

Xander fell to the floor as he came back to his room. He had just encountered three members of the Endless in two days, and the last one decided not to provide any protection against her realm.

He was exhausted from the effort of maintaining hope in Despairs, and he probably looked like hell but he now had three of the five votes he needed to bring back Buffy so it was worth it.

Just as he was about to close his eyes and give Dream another visit Xanders door burst open and a frantic Willow, Tara, and Dawn stormed into his room.

"We heard a thumb and… Oh my goddess, Xanderareyouallright?" asked a very concerned Willow.

Giving up the idea of sleep for the moment Xander forced his eyes to open and said, "Yes Willow I'm okay. There is no need to worry, I'm still breathing and Xander shaped."

"Th-then why are you on the floor?" asked Tara.

"Well it looked so comfy I thought I would see if I could use it instead of a bed."

"As much fun as this is can we get on with it? What did Despair say?" asked Dawn.

"Never fear Dawn, we now have one more vote to bring back Buffy if she wants to come back."

Willows eyes narrowed. "What do you mean IF she decides to come back? I don't remember any ifs, ands, or buts in your deal with Death. You get five of her siblings to agree that Buffy should be brought back, Buffy is brought back, and we all live happily ever after, the end. Where is the IF?"

"Well the deal was kind of changed this mourning."

"Death changed the deal! Oooh, I knew she was going to be trouble when I first saw her. Death is supposed to be creepy skeleton guy with a scythe, not cute and sexy Goth Girl. Anything that is cute, sexy and supernatural can only mean trouble, especially if it involves you. I meal look at your record, Mantis Lady, Mummy Girl, Cordelia, Faith, Anya."

"WILLOW! Please don't bring up former girlfriends that only left me two days ago. And you shouldn't be mad at Death; she only changed the deal because I asked her to." For a moment Xander wondered why he said that, no good could possibly come from saying that. He figured it was probably because he was a human male, the only creature alive that could put its feet, hands, and its but in its own mouth before it decides to shut up.

"Let me get this straight. You are going to face your greatest challenges, maybe even die, just so Buffy may come back? You would risk your life, death, and everything in-between and then give her a chance to turn you down?"

"Um, yeah I am."

"ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR FREAKING GOURD!?!?!?" screamed Willow while she turned a very unhealthy shade of red.

"Calm down honey," said Tara in a soothing voice.

"But he is being such a… a… man!"

"I know he is but oxygen deprivation is not the way to go. Now jus breathe, let your best friend explain why he did this, and then you can turn him into a toad."

"You mean turn him into a rat. We already discussed this, there is to be no mention of frogs or frog like creatures in this relationship."

Tara just smiled and continued stroke her lovers back, "You better explain yourself before Willow decides to give Amy a playmate."

"Buffy has been through more then all of us combined. If she wants to stop fighting and receive any rewards the afterlife offers her she deserves it. All I did was alter the deal so she had a choice."

"What if she chooses to stay?" asked Dawn in a small voice.

"Then I become your guardian Dawn. Me, Willow, Tara, Giles, and even Spike are your family, we aren't going to let you go."

Dawn smiled when she heard the distaste in his voice when he spoke Spikes name. "You really don't like Spike do you?"

"It's not a matter of liking him; it's a matter of remembering what he is. Even though he has protected you, and even came as close to loving Buffy as you can get for a creature without a sole, he is still a vamp. If it wasn't for that chip he would probably kill us all eventually. I don't allow myself to like him because if that chip malfunctions or he finds a way to remove it we will need to put him down fast."

Dawn didn't like it but she kept silent.

"Well I should probably head out if I want to see Desire tonight," said Xander as he grabbed his keys and wallet. He was soon stopped at the bedroom door by three females that had identical resolve faces.

"We decided that we are coming with you," said Willow in her strictest voice.

"This is a bad idea guys I should do this on my own."

"You looked like you were half dead when we came in. We decided that you aren't doing this alone anymore."

Xander sighed. He really didn't want to put the girls in danger but every moment he wasted arguing was a moment that he could be working on getting Buffy back. Finally he decided to relent slightly, after all how dangerous could Desire be. "Okay Willow and Tara can com but not Dawn."

"Why not Buffy is my sister you know!"

"Because you would be arrested, that is why. And if I get you arrested Buffy will kill me when she comes back."

"Oh and why would I be arrested?"

"Because we are going to a Temple of Desire and they don't let in anyone who is too young to drink. Well none of the legal temples do."

Folding her arms Dawn gave a look that would have done her mother proud. "Fine, but you are going to eat something before you go."

Xander was about to protest when his stomach let out a roar. "Traitor, okay a quick meal and then off to a Temple of Desire."


"This is a Temple of Desire!?"

Xander could understand Willows confusion considering where they were. After all when Xander thought of a Temple he thought of a church or some ruins where a demon would attack him, not Harold's House of Horney Hooters.

"Think about it," said Xander as he got out of the car. "People go in there and they want. Instead of getting what they want like most places they can't even touch what they want so they want more. They keep wanting until they go somewhere else to satisfy themselves. Honestly could you think of a better definition of pure desire then wanting but never getting?

"I understand if this is distasteful to you so you don't have to come if you don't want to."

"We said that we are coming with you and we are," said Willow though she sounded a bit less sure than before.

Walking in they all paid the two drink minimum and sat down at a table. After a while of watching naked women dance Willow became a bit impatient. "So when is Desire coming?"

"Desire is already here Wills, we just have to wait for it to come and talk to us."

"It? Isn't Desire human looking like the others?"

"Desire looks human Wills I just refer to Desire as it because it isn't male or female but a combo of the two."

"Okay, that is kind of gross."

Xander simply shrugged and took another sip of his drink. "Gross or not it's the way it has to be Wills. If Desire was totally male then probably only males would be desirable, even to other males. This way the other side has a chance, in most cases that is."

"Not the first time I've heard it explained that way but I suppose that it's the best you can do," said a new figure at the table. The figures skin was the same color of smoke and its yellow eyes took in every detail of the three friends. It was uncertain if this figure was male or female and that marked it as Desire.

"So you are the little mortal that is making all the noise," said Desire. "You don't have to explain what you want I already know, but let me make a counter offer."

With a snap of Desires figures every woman stopped what they were doing and walked over to Xander. "Years ago you had a love spell cast that went wrong, what I'm offering you is its perfected version. Every woman, creature, and demon will desire you, but only as long as you desire them. As soon as you tire of one of them they will leave you alone."

The stripers began to cress him, whispering and blowing in his ear. He was just holding out when he saw Willow and Tara begin to strip down to their underwear.

"You can even have them if you want them," said Desire a smile playing across its ruby lips. "All you have to do is give up. Stop bugging us to bring back one friend live out the rest of you life having every desire no matter how deep and dark fulfilled. Really, what is one friend compared to what I'm offering you."

Xander was going to say yes. He never wanted anything more than what Desire was offering him at that moment and he couldn't hold back his response much longer. Desperately searching his sole for some reason to say no he found a flame of want that was separate from the one Desire had built in his heart.

He wanted Buffy back. He wanted to hear her laugh; hear her complain about Slaying, heck he even wanted to hear her talk about how great Angel was again. He wanted her to be back and happy more than he wanted to live, and he wanted it more than he wanted what Desire was offering him.

"Sorry but no. What I want is for my friend to be alive and happy, but mostly happy."

"You want what I'm offering. You've wanted it ever sense you first wanted girls. You want so badly I can taste it!"

"Yeah, I want what you are offering, but I want Buffy back more."

Suddenly the women stopped caressing him, and Willow and Tara began to put their clothes back on. Glad to finally have enough blood in his head to think properly again Xander asked, "So are do you vote to bring back Buffy?"


Xander blinked a few times in confusion. "Wait you can't say no. Its story telling 101, when the brave knight overcomes the obstacle set up by the powerful being said powerful being has to give the knight what he wants."

"If you want a story go talk to Dream again, that's his domain. Personally I try to stay as far away from stories as I can. Now if you will excuse me there is an underground party in London that I plan to attend," and with that Desire disappeared.

"Well that could have gone better," said Xander as he followed a now dressed Willow and Tara to the car. Thinking of how he was going to be treated because of what Desire made the two of them do filled with dread. Desire must really hate him for some reason.


Chapter 7

The quiet on the car ride back was an oppressive, tangible thing. Every time Xander opened his mouth to make things better, the quiet would jump down his throat and strangle his words.

Soon they pulled up to the Summers house. Opening the doors for the girls Xander decided to try to apologize one last time.

"Willow, Tara I'm sorry. I shouldn't have let you come no matter what you said, I was afraid something like this would happen."

Willow stopped on the steps of Buffys home and motioned Tara to go inside. "I don't blame you Xander. The thing is having our emotions played with like that is a big deal, and for me it brought back some very painful memories. It isn't your fault, but it will take me and Tara some time to get over this okay?"

"Okay," whispered Xander as he got back into his car. On his way home he silently cursed Desire. Not only had it disrupted his plan it had endangered his friendship with Willow.

His plan. Now that Desire had said no he was forced to do something that he didn't want to. He just hoped that the others understood when the time came.


Xander woke up feeling greatly refreshed. Following the smell of bacon and coffee he went into his kitchen, where he found Dawn fixing breakfast.

"So, the dead arise. Welcome back to the land of the living Xander, let me just call the others."

"Come on Dawn I didn't sleep in that late," complained Xander.

Dawn just chuckled and said, "Xander you have been asleep for two days. Giles figured that your body just collapsed after meeting so many powerful beings, the way he tells it only the Creator and Lucifer are higher up on the food chain then this family."

"Two days, man sorry about that Dawn, I was hoping to have this wrapped up by now."

"Its okay Xander, with Willow keeping her on ice there isn't a big rush."

Before Xander could answer his door burst open and the rest of the gang came in. Willow and Tara gave him joint hugs just to let him know that everything was cool.

"Well lets have some breakfast and then on to the next Endless," said Xander in a far too chipper voice.

"Where to this time Droopy, another nudie bar?" asked Spike.

"Nope not this time fangless. This trip I can make from the comfort of my own home."

"Oh? Would you mind filling the rest of us in on which one you plan on going to see this time? There are only two left Delirium, and Destruction. Neither have ever been sought to my knowledge, they simply appear when they wish to," said Giles as he sipped his tea.

"I'm going after Delirium today Giles, Destruction will be a bit more complicated. Besides Dels realm is the closest, I just didn't want to visit it first and get stuck there."

"If you could get stuck there why don't you visit Destruction first?" asked Dawn innocently.

Xander sent a stern glance to Giles before answering, "I have my reasons Dawn Patrol, let's leave it at that."

"Okay whatever. I guess that you want us to leave again don't you."

"Just the opposite this time Dawn, I need people here to make sure that I don't hurt myself or others."


Xander sat tied to a chair, his friends, and Spike, surrounded him to make sure that he wouldn't do anything he would regret later.

Deliriums realm was the closest and the easiest to get to. All anyone needed to do was scratch at the surface and find the layers underneath.


Smelling the color blue while listening to coarse wood and seeing chirping from the other side of the moon. She isn't here/must go deeper.


BlUe wind rushes past the dead rain as the frog buzz where are the golden ones that deliver the moonlight on purple water. Not here/go deeper.


Pain hurt, slash them all before they hurt. Sharp knives cut out the pain, sharp enough to cut spirit. Here not/deeper go.


"Are you my brother?" asked the blue and green school of fish.

"Maybe if you want me to be," said Xander as he leaned against the sundial, his mind suddenly clear.

"Always wanted a little brother, tired of being the youngest, it would be nice to be the older one" said the butterflies.

"You'll have to excuse Delirium, she has been thinking of her family lately," said the talking dog.

"What happened to her?"

"Don't know she has been like this before the planet formed."

"That is too long," said Xander and that is when something truly amazing happened. The realm of Delirium was pushed and shifted away from the girl with rainbow hair by an unmovable, unbreakable rock.

In that instant as the tides of insanity pulled away Delirium was defined.

A young woman that appeared just slightly older than Dawn walked towards Xander, her sparkling green eyes taking in the scene before her.

Xander laid thrashing next to Barnabas the talking dog, the weight of Delirium crashing against him.

The young woman sat down next to Xander and began to talk in a smooth assured voice. "Thank you for this glimpse of what I could be. One of my greatest fears was not knowing what I was changing into. I know why you are here, Desire asked me to turn you down, and perhaps that would be the kindest thing to do, but after the gift you have given me I will give you your chance.

"You have my vote to bring back your friend. Now leave before the tides destroy you." With these words the rock vanished from the realm of Delirium.

"Delirium is that you?" asked Barnabas.

The young girl with the mismatched eyes of blue and green with blood red hair just giggled and dissolved into a combination of blue fish and green butterflies.