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Wild Card
By Danii Debrabant

 


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_Wild Card_
_Category:_ TV Shows ? Buffy: The Vampire Slayer _Censor:_ PG-13
_Genre:_ Drama _Reviews:_ 1 StoryID: 49829
_Author_: DeBrabant Font Size: Bigger (+) - Smaller (-)



Wild Card
By Danii
Summary: Two years after the events in "Last Card", Buffy finds out
about Xander's whereabouts.
Distribution: Anyone, as long as you put my name on it and tell me
where it is!
Disclaimer: I own no one. Don't sue. I get no money for this, just
headaches and odd stares.
Rating: PG-PG13
B/X
Feedback: Please!
NOT BETA READ!


In the room, Chaos was being redefined by the battle. There was no
order. No one was even looking for their allies; they were simply
trying to survive. The demons were all around, their strange,
contorted faces covered in maniacal grins as they realized that,
despite the casualties, they were winning. And for once, it looked
like the Slayer and her friends were not going to be able to turn the
tide.

Willow lay on the floor, her halo of red hair turned even more
crimson by the blood that ran slowly from the head wound that had
knocked her out. Near her, Tara fought with the axe Giles had given
her, its blade bloody and starting to crack. Slashes and cuts were
all over the blonde witch as she tried to fight off the demons that
had knocked out her girlfriend.

Giles was in the thick of it, his glasses now covered in a concoction
of blood and slime, as he used one of the broadswords from the
weapons closet as well as a normal human could. Yet, he still could
not keep the demons from advancing. Blood poured down his right arm
from a gash made only a moment ago, but he continued fighting. He had
to. They couldn't die.

Anya sat on the floor, her battered body nearly out for the count due
to the repeated blows to the head she had received. Yet still he
attacked. Above her, Riley was fighting to get the thing away from
her as it had tried to eat her a moment ago.

But the worst was Buffy. Too many to count were attacking her, their
spiny claws swiping at her, hitting more often than not. She was
bleeding from so many spots that her most important thought was not
to slip in her own blood. She attacked, but there were just too many
for her to fight off. When she killed one, another took its place. It
seemed as if the battle was nearly over, and that the outcome was
certain.

But then a wildcard was put into play.

Something crashed through the window of the apartment, eyes alight
with frightening power. It immediately lunged towards the pack of
demons attacking Buffy, it's teeth and claws bared as it made a
high-pitched laughing noise. The demons turned around to defend
themselves from it, but they were too slow, and it ripped them to
shreds from behind. Blue blood flew through the air as the humanoid
creature slashed his way through them in a most un-human way, his
fangs tearing into the bodies. He killed them, then he moved on to
other groups.

The thing moved incredibly fast, slicing, gnawing, ripping. The
demons didn't have a chance against him. And as he attacked, his
piercing laugh-like cry echoed around the room with supernatural
volume. The sound was eerie as it bounced around the apartment, a
bizarre, yet fitting, counterpoint to raging and screaming of the
demons. All watched and listened, too shocked to do a thing.

But as the last fell, the cry stopped, and the thing slowly stood up
on two legs. His dark clothing, which was covered in blue blood,
seemed to fit him like a second skin, showing off the large amount of
muscle he had acquired since they had last seen him. His arms, both
thick and filled with amazing destructive force, flexed in an almost
relaxed fashion, making the strange claw-like hands move slightly.
His legs, bare for the most part due to the shorts, were like his
arms, filled with a now quiet power. But what they looked at the most
was the face. It was a face they had all known and loved for so many
years, a face they had thought they would never see again. But
something was different.

The eyes. The eyes were different. Still that wonderful, familiar
shape, but the expression and the color had changed. Gone were the
chocolate brown irises, with their compassion and concern. They had
been replaced by a feral amber-yellow, filled with something primal,
like an animal. Yet a glimmer of the old seemed to be in them.

He walked over to Willow, who was still out, and began to lick her
forehead. He pulled her into his arms, holding her to his chest as he
gently pawed her in concern. The gang watched as he did this, unable
to move due to the shock. It took a minute, but the redheaded witch
woke up, her eyes dazed and confused.

"Xander?" she asked in a whisper, her eyes blinking and unsure.

The thing answered in a deep growling noise that somehow managed to
be comforting instead of frightening.

"Xander? Is it really you?" Willow questioned, sitting up. He pulled
back as she did, giving her the space to sit upon the floor by
herself, "how are you-"

He looked into her eyes, those strange untamed yellow eyes boring
into hers with an intensity that had come straight from the animal
within. They held the gaze for a moment, then he stood up and looked
to the Slayer.

A strange growling noise escaped his throat, and Buffy immediately
pulled out a weapon. But Giles held her back.

"No, Buffy, he means no harm. He could have left us to the demons if
he wanted us dead, and he did nothing bad to Willow..."

"Then why is he growling?" Buffy asked, the fear in her voice
betraying her cool exterior.

"I don't believe he's-"

"Brrrrrrrrrr..Buuuuuuuuu..."

They watched as the thing strained with his growls. It seemed
frustrated at the sounds coming out of its mouth, like a child who
wants to tell a parent something, but can't find the right word.

"Buuuuuuuf. Buuuuuuff..."

"Oh my God..."

"Buuuufffy..." he finally got out, the strange expression on his face
turning almost into a grin at his success, "Buuffy..."

"Dear God, Xander!" the Slayer cried, running forward into the arms
of the thing, not caring about anything but him.

"Buuffy..." it said again, sounding content, nearly purring as he
pulled her into his arms, "Buffy..."

"Oh Xander..." Buffy said, tears running down her beautiful face, "Oh
God, I thought you were gone. I thought I'd never see you again. How
did you-"

"Rurrrrr..." the thing once called Xander growled, obviously trying
to speak again, "Vrrrrrrr...Wrrrrrrr..."

"What? What, Xander?"

"Waaaaaa....Waaatch...Iya-I waatch...B-buuffy..."

The Slayer's eyes opened wide at the words that came from his lips.
What did he mean? It couldn't be what she thought. He hadn't-or had
he? Had he truly stayed all this time, out of sight, watching her
from afar so that he could save her? Dear God, he had been there all
along?

"You've watched me? Made sure nothing killed me? Protected me from
the monsters?" she pointed towards one of the creatures on the floor,
"From this?"

The thing nodded, then made a sort of low growling, similar to a
purr, and began to paw her on the shoulder gently. The Slayer took
his hand, then turned to Giles.

"He can speak...he can talk a little bit..." she told him, her eyes
filled with hope, "Do you think, if we work with him, we could...we
could bring him back?"

The Watcher stared at Buffy, then at Xander, whose soft growling was
almost soothing. He looked at the claws, then the teeth, and then he
looked at the way that he held her hand. They had to try.

"Maybe." The former librarian said, his own eyes now filled with
optimism, "As long as you are there, Buffy, I'm pretty sure Xander
can and will do anything..."

"Buuffy..." he said again, sounding for all the world like a begging
puppy.

"Yes, Xander?"

"Iya-I luuuuu...luuuuf...luv Buuffy..." he told her, pulling her into
his arms gently so that his claws didn't scratch her.

"And I love you too, Xander." Buffy said, the tears running down her
cheeks, "It took me a while, it took me too long, but I realize that
I love you...I'm so sorry, Xander. I'm so sorry..."

As she finished, he began to whine and pat her back softly.
Obviously, he forgave her everything. But the Slayer wasn't sure
about another person. She turned to the one she had been dating for
the last two and a half years.

"Riley?" she asked. She hated this. She hated this, but she couldn't
lie to herself, or anyone else again. Besides, Xander needed her.

The commando's eyes seemed to fill with unshedable tears, and it
looked as if he was swallowing all the pain of the world, but he
managed to shake his head. "I won't hold you..."

"Thank you, Riley..." she said, "Thank you. And don't ever think that
I don't care about you..."

There was silence, and then he said, "I know you care. I know that.
But him, you love. I knew that when he was human, and it scared me
everyday that someday you'd realize it. And it's okay. I don't like
it, but if it's what makes you happy, then I won't stand in the way.
I'll be your friend. I'll be both your friends, and I'll try to help
you the best I can...just don't ask me to be an usher at your
wedding, all right?"

Through the tears, Buffy smiled at him. He was a very good man and he
had done so much for her. But there was someone who had done so much
more. She turned to Xander.

"Xander?"

"Buuffy?" he asked

"You're going to stay with us now..." she explained slowly, as if
talking to a child, "You're going to stay with us, and we are going
to help..."

"Buuffy..."

"Yes, I'll be right there, Xander. Right beside you. I love you,
remember? It took me a while, but I know I love you so much..."

"Ia-I luuv Buuffy..." Xander said.

"I know. I knew the second I saw you. And for that, I have to thank
you, Xander..."

There was a confused growl.

"Thank you for being Xander. Thank you for all you've done for me,
for what you've given up for me...Thank you, Xander..."

The confusion left from his tone, and then it turned back into that
gentle near-purr as he wrapped his arms around her. The Slayerettes,
who had watched with fascination and now joy, finally came over and
hugged Xander. He licked them back, or pawed them. And as they were
all together, he made a laughing noise; no longer feral and angry,
the sound filled the air, and it's carefree tone filled each and
everyone of them with hope.







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