Content Harry Potter Naruto Buffy the Vampire Slayer XMen Translations
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Xander couldn't decide if he was in heaven or hell.  He'd always thought that there would be a distinct difference.  In one place there would be the chorus of angels singing Gods praises.  In the other, small men dressed in red, sticking pitchforks in places pitchforks don't normally go.

He was not in any physical pain; he certainly didn't feel hot.  He hadn't smelt any sulphur recently, either.  He was warm, comfortable, safe.  He had nearly everything he wanted.  And that was the problem.

The window in the corner of his room was showing what it always did, so he settled down for another round of Buffy watching, his main hobby since his unfortunate incident involving a few pounds of plastic explosives and a giant snake.

Buffy was older now, and wore more respectable clothes, to his eternal disappointment.  Which brought up another issue.  Xander was growing older as well.  He had never been truly religious, but he remembered hearing a lot from his religious instructors about the soul being eternal.

< How can the soul be eternal if I continue to age? > he asked himself, watching the problems the Slayer was having with a Hellgod named Glory. 

He sighed softly; it was torture being able to watch her all the time, but never really see her, never talk to her, touch her.

He was alone, as he had been since his death.


This romeo is bleeding,
But you can't see his blood.
It's nothing but some feelings
That this old dog kicked up.


"I don't think I'm going to make it, this time, Xan," Buffy Summers whispered softly to the tombstone in front of her.

Once a week, since Xander had died, Buffy had followed the same ritual.  She would finish her patrol, then sit by Xander's grave till the sun came up, telling him about everything she had done during that week.  Over the years she had told him about demons and boyfriends, about happiness and pain.  Now she was talking about despair.

"We don't know how to stop her, she's so powerful!"

As always when Buffy talked to Xander, she could hear him inside, giving her a pep talk, encouraging her, telling her she could do it.

As the sun rose over the horizon, signalling a new day, Buffy turned to the gravestone.

"I still miss you.  There's a huge Xander shaped whole in my heart, that nothing's been able to fill," she whispered, staring at the tombstone.

A feeling of warmth swept through her, a feeling she had started to call a 'Xander hug from beyond' a year ago.

"Thanks, Xan," she whispered, a soft smile on her face. 

She walked away from the graveyard, into a new day, determined to continue to live her life.


It's been raining since you left me,
Now I'm drowning in the flood.
You see I've always been a fighter
But without you I give up.


Xander frowned; it was raining outside.  It had not rained since he had arrived. 

His attention was diverted back to the window, seeing Buffy fighting Glory on the top of some scaffolding. 

A loud thunder crack outside seemed to occur just above the house that had been his home for the past two years.

Deciding to go out and look, Xander put on a coat that hadn't been there a second before and went outside.  As he did, he missed Buffy kneeling in front of her sister, Dawn.  He missed her last words, as the Slayer turned and dived into the portal Glory had created.

Xander tried to remain upright in the buffeting wind.  Lightning exploded around him, creating huge craters in the once pristine ground. 

A swirling ball of energy formed above him, a dark hole suddenly appearing in the centre of it. 

Curiously, Xander wasn't scared, he knew he had to be here.  He didn't understand how he knew, but the knowledge was reassuring all the same.

There was a sudden silence as if he stood in the eye of a storm.  The small hairs on the back of Xander's neck stood to attention. 

Xander held his breath.  It seemed that his entire universe did.  The feeling of waiting was palpable. 

The sense of eternity was smashed.  With a huge flash of bright light, a figure fell through the hole.  It didn't take Xander a second to recognise it.  The blond hair was enough.  He dived forwards, catching the body.

The weight caused him to overbalance, he tripped and tried desperately to spin his body around.  He succeeded, but ended up on his back in the mud, with Buffy sprawled on top of him.

Buffy carefully opened her tightly closed eyes.  Something was unexpected.

She had dived through the Hellgod's portal, expecting to die, to maybe go to heaven.  She did not expect the feeling of arms, strong arms, holding her tightly against a chest.  A strong chest.  < Well, this is a good start, > she admitted to herself.

She opened her eyes fully and slowly looked up, into the worried eyes of the person holding her.

"Xander?" she gasped, tensing her muscles, readying herself in case he was a vampire or demon.

He grinned, a lopsided grin that brought back a thousand memories for her.

"Hey Buff, what brings you here?"

Buffy decided that laying on Xander at the moment probably wasn't the best place to have this conversation, no matter how comfortable it was.

She stood, then offered him her hand.  He smiled up at her, and took her hands.  Buffy pulled, then looked shocked as Xander pulled back, matching her strength.

He smirked at her, then allowed her to pull him up.

"Come on, Buff.  You've probably got a million questions.  Let's go inside and sit down. I think we've got a very long time ahead of us."

Buffy frowned at his comment, unsure of his meaning.  She followed him as they walked the short distance to the small house she had only just now noticed.

Xander entered, hanging his coat on coat rack that suddenly appeared for him.

Buffy froze in the doorway.  "Xander?"

"Hmm?" Xander asked, slightly distracted.

"That coat rack just appeared," Buffy stated.  The look on her face reminded Xander that first and foremost, she was a Slayer.

"It's OK, Buffy.  That happens a lot, you don't have to slay it."

Turning to a table, so she wouldn't freak, Xander turned back and offered her a cup of hot chocolate.  "Take a seat," he invited.

She sat down in a straight-backed chair, warily regarding the entire room as she took the cup he offered.

Xander relaxed in a large comfy armchair.

"Shoot," he said casually, inviting her to ask him the questions he knew she had.  He held his own mug in front of him, warming his fingers.

Buffy took a deep breath, trying hard to ignore all the strange things in front of her.

She decided to start simple.  "Where am I?"

"Heaven.  Well, close to it anyway," Xander answered immediately.  "Although I wasn't sure till you arrived."

"What do you mean?"

"Without you, there was something missing.  When you arrived, you filled that gap."

"Wait a second," a frown appeared on Buffy's face.  "Are you telling me that I am in your heaven.  I'm here to make eternity good for you?"

She started to get angry, not liking this at all.

"NO!" Xander said forcefully, moving suddenly so he could look directly into her eyes.

"That isn't how it works."  He took a deep breath, wondering how to explain the knowledge he suddenly knew.  "We aren't quite in heaven.  We're just below heaven, a place where everything is available for us.  We're here until we decide how we are going to spend eternity."

He held up his hand, stopping her before she could question him.  "Let me finish!  Don't jump to conclusions.  This place is where we choose.  Eternity is forever, the choices we make here will affect us for the rest of existence.  You have complete freedom of choice here.  When you decide that you want to go, you simply walk out that door, and you'll be gone, into your own heaven.  You were just brought here first because I am still here."

Buffy tilted her head, looking at Xander quizzically.  "What would you choose if I left?"

Xander waggled his eyebrows and leered at her, "The women of Baywatch."

She laughed, then moved to hug him.

"I missed you, Xand," she said quietly.

Buffy couldn't explain why she was accepting everything he said so easily, she put it down to being near to heaven and the feeling that Xander was telling the complete truth; she was free to walk out the door.

"How long do we have to choose?"

Xander smiled.  "As long as we need, Buffy.  There's no time limit."

She smiled, releasing him from her hug and settled back.  "So we just wish for things and they appear?" she asked, going back to the coat rack she had seen earlier.

"Not quite, it's more-" Xander paused, trying to explain in the easiest manner.  He decided to demonstrate.

He moved his hand down, at the same time saying, "it's more like you believe that there is a rose on the floor, there always has been a rose on the floor, and when you raise your hand," Xander moved in time with his words, pulling up a single red rose and handing it to her. "A rose is there," he finished.

Buffy looked confused, not understanding. 

"We create our own reality here, everything we think can be changed into action," Xander smiled.  "Do me a favour, Buff, pass me that book behind the chair."

Buffy automatically put her hand behind the chair, pulling out a book.

"This one?" she asked.

Xander smirked at her, "Of course, you just created it."

Buffy threw the book at him, then smiled.  She reached behind the chair again,  this time pulling out a large tub of chocolate ice cream. 

Xander didn't notice that the window he had used to watch Buffy was now simply a ordinary window.


Now I can't sing a love song,
Like the way it's meant to be,
Well, I guess I'm not that good anymore,
But baby, that's just me.
And I will love you, baby - Always.
And I'll be there forever and a day - Always.
I'll be there till the stars don't shine,
Till the heavens burst and
The words don't rhyme.
And I know when I die, you'll be on my mind,
And I'll love you - Always.


Willow walked slowly around the two gravestones.  It had seemed fitting to bury Buffy next to Xander; they had both saved the world with their sacrifices. 

In her hand was a picture, a photograph taken on the steps of Sunnydale High many years ago.  It showed all of them, laughing. 

"I miss you both, so much," she whispered, "I've cried more tears than I thought would be possible." 

She took one more look at the picture, then made her decision.

"I've found a spell, guys.  Because of the way you died, Buffy, I can bring you back.  We need you, I need you.  I'm so sorry I can't bring you back too, Xan.


Buffy was laughing hysterically as Xander repeated the snoopy dance for her.  Having lost at cards, this was his forfeit.  He was laughing pretty hard as well, which was ruining his coordination even more.

"Xander," Buffy said, suddenly changing tone.

"Yes?" Xander asked, picking up on the mood change, moving in front of her.

"I've been thinking about this eternity thing."

Xander nodded, a knot of worry forming in his stomach.

"I've decided that I can't really make a decision about how I spend eternity without all the facts," she said calmly.

"What do you mean?" asked Xander, now very worried.

Buffy looked at him, her face as expressionless as she could make it.  "It's hardly proper to ask a girl to spend eternity with you, without at least kissing her first."

Xander blinked.  He ran that previous statement through his mind again, trying to make sense of it.

"What?" he asked, a little stupidly.

Buffy laughed, then said through a large smile.  "I don't know how long we've been here, but I've enjoyed it.  We've talked, we've laughed, we've helped each other.  So, of the three things I think I need for eternity, you have the sense of humour thing, you have the understanding and supportive partner thing, and now I need to know if you have the passion thing."

Xander looked at her.  "You've been thinking about this a lot, haven't you?" 

Buffy just smiled.


Now your pictures that you left behind
Are just memories of a different life,
Some that made us laugh, some that made us cry.
One that made you have to say goodbye.
What I'd give to run my fingers through your hair,
To touch your lips, to hold you near.
When you say your prayers, try to understand.
I've made mistakes, I'm just a man.


Buffy slowly moved towards Xander.  He opened his arms, engulfing her in his embrace.  She brought her lips up to his, and gently pressed them against his.

They kissed, very gently at first, experiencing the feeling of each other's kiss.  As they found they both liked it, they slowly increased the passion behind it, taking each other to a new level, then pausing, letting the other back out if they wanted to. 

Neither did. 

Within minutes they were both kissing each other passionately.  They fell over, Xander laying on top of Buffy.  He kissed her harder, grinding himself against her.  She gasped, sliding her legs up, wrapping them around him, pulling tighter as she kissed him back.  He moaned against her lips; she swallowed the sound of his pleasure, pulling everything he had against her.

Slowly, they broke the kiss, breathing heavily, looking at each other.

She smiled up at him.  "I think I'm going to need to conduct a longer experiment.  Just to make sure I make the right decisions," Buffy teased gently.

"'K," Xander said, unable to remove the silly grin from his face.


When he holds you close, when he pulls you near,
When he says the words you've been needing to hear,
I'll wish I was him 'cause those words are mine,
To say to you till the end of time.

Yeah, I will love you, baby - Always.
And I'll be there forever and a day - Always.

---

Buffy rolled them both over, sitting on Xander's stomach, tracing patterns on his chest with her fingers.  He looked up at her, smiling into her eyes.

"Xan-" Buffy started, before being interrupted by the roof of the house suddenly blowing off as huge portal abruptly appeared, sucking Buffy in to it.

"Buffy!" Xander yelled, leaping up, grabbing her hands, desperately trying to hang on to her.

Buffy screamed, holding on to Xander, her feet waving in the air as the portal tried to suck her back through it.

"Let me go, Xan," she yelled.  "Don't let it take you as well."

"No!" Xander growled, "Where you go, I go."  With that, Xander jumped, holding Buffy tightly as they were sucked straight into the portal yawning above them.


If you told me to cry for you.
I could,
If you told me to die for you.
I would,
Take a look at my face.
There's no price I won't pay,
To say these words to you.


Buffy was angry.  She muttered to herself, waving her hands wildly, as she stalked towards Giles' house, guessing that they would all be there. 

She had just had to dig herself out of her own grave.

When she finally reached the surface, the fist thing she had noticed was Xander's grave next to hers.  She had dug down, hoping beyond hope that he would be there, that he would have come through the portal with her.  The bitter wind dug into her skin as she moved the earth, finally coming to his coffin. 

With a heave, the Slayer opened it.  To find it empty. 

A wave of desolation hit her, and she started to cry, as she realised Xander had no body left to come back to.

So she began walking, finding her way to Giles' apartment and opening the door.

Willow and Tara were sitting on the couch, Giles in a chair, while Spike was standing in the doorway to the kitchen.

"Buffy," Willow whispered, before yelling, "Buffy!" She launched herself at her friend, hugging her tightly.

Spike watched the slayer, noticing something different about her, an air of depression and desolation that hung around her like a psychic second skin.  He smiled to himself, realising the possibilities that the situation offered; maybe he'd be able to manipulate this to his advantage.  Maybe the Slayer would finally be his.

Hearing the commotion, Dawn walked out of the bedroom where she had been sleeping.  She took one look at Buffy, blinked, then leaped at her, hugging her as tightly as Willow was.

"Oh, God, I'm so glad you're back, I can't believe it," Dawn babbled excitedly, drowning out Willow's own excited chatter.

Seeing how happy they were dissolved Buffy's anger.  She didn't know where Xander was, she didn't even know if he survived.  She decided that she would talk to Willow about it tomorrow, to get her to help try and find Xander.

She locked up her tears, unable to explain her sadness while she was being welcomed back by the others.


Well, there ain't no luck
In these loaded dice.
But, baby, if you give me just one more try,
We can pack up our old dreams
And our old lives.
We'll find a place where the sun still shines.

---

"Where were you, Buffy?" Giles' English accent cut through the babbling.

Buffy took a deep breath, about to lie, unable to think straight, when there was a frantic pounding at the door.

She frowned and opened it a little, only for it to be knocked out of her grasp as a naked man dived through the gap, leaped over the couch, grabbed a blanket and wrapped it around himself.

Willow, Tara, Giles and Dawn's relative jaws each hit the ground at the same time.

"Xander?" Willow asked softly, unable to believe her eyes.

"Oh, it's you," Spike said casually from the corner.

"Vampire!" Xander shouted, noticing Spike.  He grabbed a spare stake from the table and ran at the vampire.  Spike raised a fist to defend himself, but his microchip, implanted by a secret government project, prevented him from harming a human.  He yelled, clutching his head in agony.  Xander didn't pause, he simply staked the vampire.  Spike looked shocked, then literally fell apart, his dust lightly scattering across the floor of the kitchen where he had been standing.

There was total silence in the room, as everyone looked at Xander.

Self-consciously, he hitched up his blanket.

"What?" he asked, his voice both questioning and defensive.

Still unable to believe that her friend was back, Willow said quietly, "Spike had a chip in his brain that stopped him from hurting humans.  He was working with us."

"Oh!" Xander exclaimed, then held up one hand.  "My Bad."

He turned to the dust on the floor, "Sorry."

He turned back, only to be the second recipient of a pair of hugs, from two extremely happy girls. 

Dawn and Willow hugged him hard, still babbling.  Xander looked over their heads at Buffy, and just winked.


After explaining to the others how he had appeared outside the school, naked, and ran all the way here, he turned to Willow. 

"We are going to have a very long talk tomorrow about your magic use," Xander declared definitely, his eyes pinning Willow's firmly.

Willow went white, then nodded softly.  "OK, Xan."

Looking at the clock on the wall of Giles' apartment, Xander said, "Why don't we call it a night, well, a morning anyway, go home, get some sleep and meet back here tomorrow?  Then I'll explain where I've been for the past few years."

Reluctantly, the others nodded.  "You're staying with us, Xan." Buffy stated decisively, before the question could arise.

Xander smiled and nodded.  He turned to Giles, "I couldn't borrow some clothes could I? I don't really fancy getting across town wearing only a blanket."

"Yes, quite, of course," Giles said, moving to his bedroom.  He returned minutes later.  "I used to wear these when I was a young man.  They, err, might suit you."

Xander looked down at the jeans and t-shirt.  He smiled his thanks and went to get changed.


Dawn was asleep, the emotions of having first her sister, then Xander delivered back from the dead had overwhelmed her.

Xander and Buffy sat on the couch together, each drinking a mug of hot chocolate.

"You knew Spike had a chip," Buffy said, watching Xander.

Xander blushed a little. "Yeah, I did.  But I saw him going through your underwear and then there was that whole Buffybot thing, and let me say ,"Eww!" about that.  When I saw him then, I kinda decided that it was too good an opportunity to let pass."

Buffy smiled, "I can't say I'm too upset."

The smile left her face as she looked him straight in the eyes.

"Why did you do it, why did you leave there for me?"

"I told you before, there is no heaven for me without you," Xander replied truthfully.

"You could have waited there, where you had everything your imagination wanted.  It wouldn't have been forever before I was back, one way or another," Buffy said softly.

"It would be empty without you," he said simply.   "I couldn't let you go on your own.  Sure, it's going to take some adjustment to get back into reality, to having to work for a living and everything else.  But it's better than being trapped, watching you and never being able to touch you, to talk to you, to kiss you.

"Besides, I couldn't let you face coming back from the dead again on your own.  Who knows what would have happened to you?" Xander looked at her thoughtfully.  "You have no intention of telling Willow how upset you really are, do you?"

Buffy shook her head, looking down at her lap.

Xander reached over, lifting her chin gently.  "I may have left you once.  But I'm never going to do it again."

Buffy smiled at him, leaning closer.  She gently kissed him, "I love you."

He smiled warmly against her kiss.

"I love you, I'll love you - Always."


And I will love you, baby - Always.
And I'll be there forever and a day - Always.
I'll be there till the stars don't shine,
Till the heavens burst and
The words don't rhyme.
And I know when I die, you'll be on my mind,

And I'll love you - Always.

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