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29 January 2007 @ 12:28 pm
A Different Kind of Wish  

Title:  A Different Kind of Wish
Characters: Xander, Buffy, Faith.
Pairings: B/X
Gen/Het/Slash: Het
Rating: R 
Warnings: Some strong languae and violence
Disclaimer: I do not own BTVS or any of the characters associated with the show. They belong to Joss Whedon and ME. I'm just playing with them.  No harm intended  and no profit made.
Summary/Notes:  This is a B/X fluff story.  It takes place a couple of years post chosen.  Xander and Buffy have been assigned to assist Robin and Faith with the Slayer School at the Cleveland Hellmouth.  Xander has started dating again and Buffy doesn't like his choice in date.  Buffy wishes that her and Xander could both find the two people that they are meant to be with and decides to help Xander out a little bit by helping him find a date.  When her attempt to find him a date for the evening fails she's persuaded to go out on a date with him herself.  Then things get interesting
.

Buffy Summers stormed into the library of the council house in Cleveland.  She stood over him with her hands on her hips and an annoyed expression on her face.

"Please tell me that your not seeing her...your not... are you Xander?"

Buffy stared at Xander Harris absolutely Stunned.

"Well, actually...look Buff, she's not a demon or anything like that.  I should think that you'd be happy for me. The pathetic one eyed loser has finally gotten a new girlfriend."

Buffy shook her head incredously.

"Lets get something straight here. First, your not a loser Xand. Alot of girls out there would feel extremely lucky to find a guy like you. Second, the whole she's not a demon thing is up for debate in my book. In fact, I've seen much friendlier demons than that shrew. Third, Why do you go for girls like that anyway, you could do... I don't know...better."

Xander jumped up from the table angrily and stood nose to nose with Buffy Summers.

"Thats funny Buff, that was the same thing you used to say about Cordy."

Buffy winced and recoiled visibly.

"Look Buff, believe me when I tell you I've tried to find a girl that has the kind of qualities that I like and is nice. But I really can't seem to find a girl with all of that and still have any  romantic interest in me whatsoever.  So if you don't mind, unless you can find that perfect girl out there for me, I'm thinking I'll take what I can get."

And with that Xander stormed out of the room and slammed the door. As Buffy dejectedly slumped down in a chair next to Faith.

"Well B, you sure handled that one like a Pro."   Faith commented in her smokey sultry voice.

"Hmm, the thing is Faith, I'm really not convinced Little Miss Congenialty is not a demon. What does he see in her, anyway?"

Faith laughed good naturedly.

"Face it B! Xans got a thing for forceful, fiesty, independant women. And as far as him being a demon magnet goes...well B...he's no more of one than you are. I don't see why who he's dating pisses you off so much."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?!" Buffy bit out angrily.

"It means that a girl whose dated two vampires and  Special Opps Commando Military Dude has no room to judge Boytoy on his dating preferrences."

" Well, thanks alot Faith, for your insiteful perspective!"  Buffy replied sarcastically.

"Don't mention it." Faith answered with a huge grin.

Faith and Buffy had become close after the collapse of Sunnydale, like sisters.  But as sisters will do, both enjoyed getting under each others skin from time to time. And Faith couldn't say that she wasn't enjoying watching Buffy squirm. Especially, since she felt like Buffy had an alterior motive for being pissed off that Xander had started dating other women again.  A motive that she realized Buffy herself, didn't know she had.

"It's just... I don't want to see him get hurt anymore. You know what I mean?"

Faith couldn't help but notice the serious and worried look on her sister slayers face.

"Don't worry about it.  I've got Rhona and Vi watching his back tonight. They'll make sure he gets back from his hot date in one piece."

"That's not what I mean."

"Yeah?! What do you mean?"

Buffy put her hand up to her head and rubbed it as if she were trying to ward of a migraine.

"I don't know." She finally replied.  "It's just after the wedding that wasn't with Anya and the big Willow goes dark and veiny incident he pretty much spent the summer with me and Dawnie.  I mean he had his apartment and all, but he was with us as much as he was there.  And we all really enjoyed it. It was nice spending so much time with him.  But, when it came to dating he kind of closed down and didn't.  I knew he was still in love with Anya...but... I don't know. Then Spike came back and things started happening again between the two of us and then the First shows up and things just got so mixed up.  Then Anya dies and he just pretty much closed down again on the whole dating thing.  Now he looks like he's trying to date again but I just don't want to see him get hurt this time...you know?  So much has happened to him already and Xanders really a great guy, he deserves better than that."

"Guess theres no guarantees B. He's just gotta put himself out there and hope for the best."

Buffy smiled mischieviously.

"So is that Robin's philosophy or yours?  You know Faith, you've come a long way since your whole... all guys are animals phase."

"Well B, I'm not going to deny that I think all guys still have a bit of the animal in them. But then again, thats all part of the fun isn't it?"

Faith shot Buffy a predatory grin as she got up and walked out of the library.

*******

Patrolling hadn't been bad.  She dusted three vamps tonight.  The smell of fall was in the air and it seemed that the local undead population was starting to feel fiesty again.  Summer had been pretty slow.  Her and Xander had been assigned to the Cleveland Hellmouth to give Robin and Faith a much deserved vacation but when Robin and Faith returned Buffy and Xander stayed on to help out with the Slayer School in Cleveland.  Buffy hated to admit it, but she actually really liked working on a Hellmouth again with all the action that came with it.

She enjoyed being close to Xan again too.  After Sunnydale's big collapse he went to South Africa on a mission for Giles to find as many new slayers in the region as he could.  She knew he needed that trip... needed to get away from all of them and just grieve and heal.  Still, she really hated it. When she found out that Xander had taken the mission she tried hard not to go ballistic on Giles for letting him.  She knew she was pretty defensive when it came to Xander. She couldn't help but blame herself for what Caleb had done to him. The day his flight left for Africa she said good bye to him with something akin to extreme anxiety and relief.  Anxiety because she worried about him and relief because she didn't have to look at the eyepatch and remind herself exactly how much she'd fucked up during their last days of Sunnydale.

So she did the normal girl thing, only she wasn't so much the normal girl.  She saw Europe, got an awesome tan in Marseilles, hung out in Rome, shopped, saw all the amazing sites, and if there was a cutie she wanted to go out with, then she went out.  She enjoyed herself for a while but it wasn't long before she started craving the hunt again. You can take the girl out of the hellmouth but you can't take the hellmouth out of the girl. 

And through it all she missed Xander and Willow, especially Xander.  They had become very close after Willow had left with Giles for London. Willow was so broken when he brought her back from Kingman's Bluff and Giles took her with him the next day. Xander really hated it too. They both understood though, Giles and the Coven could help her... could do more for her than they could. So Willow left and they arranged Tara's funeral together. They cried together and talked for hours on end, did everything together her, Xander, and Dawnie.  It occured to her that even though she was close to Xander, she'd always been really close to Willow and that summer she had gotten to know Xander better than she could ever remember being before, even though he was definately one of her bestfriends. Then fall came, Willow and Spike came back, The First came back, and all hell broke loose. 

After Anya had died he closed down. She knew what he was feeling. She remembered how it was after Angel, and she couldn't say that she wasn't hurting for Spike too. Still, he scared the hell out of her and Willow because neither one of them could remember a time when Xander closed down like that. It got her to thinking that maybe he did that more than they realized but he hid it with the comic relief routine.  The more he joked and made light of a rough or painful situation the less he had to explain or examine how he felt about it. Comedy or sarcasm, that was his way of putting off dealing with his pain and doubt. After Anya's death he just didn't have it in him to be funny, anymore. He was so quiet and he spent alot of time alone away from the rest of them. She was going to call him on it but before she could, he made the announcement that he was leaving for Africa, that evening, on some big mission for the council. So that really threw a kink in her plans for the big heart to heart among friends.  She had spent the rest of the day trying to change his mind and then when she realized she couldn't, resigning herself to the fact that he was really leaving.

So she'd spent her summer with Dawn in Rome. Xander would send back little souveniers from the places he'd seen.  Sometimes they were postcards, and sometimes it was a little gift he'd picked in a market place in a village somewhere.  Letters from him about the landscape, food, people, and the things he had seen and done. She saved them all in her weapons chest. She felt like a part of her was missing while he was gone. She knew it was probably because she'd never been that long without either Xander or Willow with her, to talk to every night but she still hated it.

Then halfway through Dawn's Senior Year he'd come back to help her in Rome.  And it felt like she was complete again. Then Dawnie went to South America to spend some time with Willow before College, while her and Xander got reassigned to the Cleveland Hellmouth. Through out the summer they had gotten very close again, maybe even closer than they were the summer that Willow went off to London.

Now Xander has decided that he wants to start dating again. Meet a nice girl and have a serious romantic relationship. And she just can't seem to figure out why the thought of Xander in a serious romantic relationship with a another woman bothers her so much. Theres just absolutely no logical reason for her to feel this way. And even though she feels guilty everytime she reads him the riot act when his romantic interest for a new girl doesn't pan out, she's still glad that it doesn't work out. She knows she loves Xander in a he's my bestfriend kind of way and she can't remember a time when his dating other women ever bugged her so much, but it does.

Resting comfortably on her bed and pretending to read a magazine, all these thoughts are running through her mind when she hears the front door slam downstairs.

Hmm, Xander must be back from his date. She thinks to herself before she jumps up off the bed and runs down the stairs to make sure that he's alright.

When she gets to the landing she sees him standing there, his shirt is torn up and he has a bloody nose and lip.

Ooh... looks like lover girl was a demon after all.

As soon as she see's the look on his face she feels contrite that she had hoped she was. 

He looks at her and smiles bitterly.

"Guess what Buff? Turns out your right...she was a demon. I give up!  I mean...what the hell! I might as well face it, I'm never gonna find a normal girl out there who'd have anything to do with me. The only kind that are ever interested in me are the kind that wanna kill me."

Buffy walks down to where Xander is standing and reaches out to take his hand in hers.

"Come on Xan." She whispers gently.  "Lets get you cleaned up." 

Xander hesitates for a moment and then follows her up the stairs and down the hall to her bedroom. 

"Sit here."  She says, as she pats the side of her bed.  "I'll go get some bandages and the first aid kit out of the bathroom."

When she comes back with the first aid kit and bandages she can't help but notice how sad he looks.

"You know what Xan?! Even if she had been human, she wasn't good enough for you anyway."

Buffy sits down in a wicker chair and places her supplies on the night stand next to them. Then she scoots her chair so that she's sitting across from him. She begins to unbutton his tattered shirt and as she moves her body in closer to him and pushes the torn shirt off his shoulders, she can't help but notice his quick exhale and the sound of him swallowing hard.

"Sorry. Did that hurt?" She asks, as she gently cups his chin in her hand.

"No it didn't."  He replies with a voice that sounds oddly hoarse. "I just... I'm not really used to you taking my shirt off is all. Not that I mind...cause I don't...it's just...Oh never mind."

Buffy smiles at him impishly.

"Why Xander Harris are you coming on to me?" She asks flirtatiously.

"Do you want me to?" He whispers, in a serious tone of voice.

She runs her fingers gently up his cheek to a scratch on his face and then tousles his hair away from his forehead as she leans closely into his body and gazes deeply into his eye.

"I ahh... I think we'd better get some neosporin on that scratch before it gets infected." She whispers, finding it hard to breath all of a sudden.

She picks up a warm washcloth and helps him wash his face, taking extra care around his slightly swollen lip. Then with shaky hands she pours the hydrogen peroxide onto some cotton and gently dabs his cheek where it's scratched.  She can tell that it stings him though he's doing a pretty good job of not showing it.  She can remember a few times after a really bad fight where he's had to clean her up, especially that night she fought that uber vamp that killed Annabelle. He was always good at being very gentle around the really sore areas.  Maybe it's because he's never had fast healing abilities but a part of her loves him for doing that for her and she wants to return the favor. So she's especially gentle around his scratch as she cleans up his wound and then applies the neosporin.

"Hey Buff, you remember that time after we saved Will from being Robbie the Robot Demon's love slave, how we joked about how we would all have doomed love lives?"

Buffy laughed at the memory of it. They were all so young and naive then and yet at times, it seemed like it was such an accurate prediction.

"Yeah, what about it?"

"Well, what if it's more true than any of us want to admit.  I mean have you ever stopped to think about it?  How could any of us ever have a normal healthy relationship knowing what we know and doing what we do?"

"Well Willow and Kennedy seem to be doing alright."

"Yeah, but for how long?"  Xander asked Buffy dejectedly.

Buffy cupped Xander's face in both of her hands and turned him so that she was looking him in the eye.

"Listen, were not doomed okay. Any of us! You just had a bad date night is all Xan. You'll find the right girl...she's out there.  You've just got to believe it."

"Yeah, Well after what I did to Anya I'm not even sure if I deserve to."

"Yes you do Xander! Don't say that!  Your a good friend and a good man. You deserve all the happiness in the world and don't you ever think any different."

Xander took her hands from his face and squeezed them tightly.

"Thanks Buff, I really appreciate that."

He gave her a warm smile and she couldn't help but to smile back. Without either one of them realizing it or knowing which one initiated it first, they both leaned in closely and for a split second they almost kissed each other gently on the lips. Then Xander dropped his head quickly and sighed.

"Look Buff, I'm really beat and not thinking to straight right now, and I know I'm gonna be feeling real sore in the morning. So, I think I'm gonna call it a night, Okay?"

"Umm... Yeah Xan, that's... probably a good idea. I know I'm pretty beat too. So a... goodnight Xan, see ya in the morning."

"Goodnight Buff, and Thank you." He whispered as he gently kissed her forehead and headed out of her room.

She didn't sleep at all that night. Just tossed and turned and wished that they wouldn't be doomed. Wished that they could both have a happy ending with the ones they were meant to be with

******

Buffy woke up feeling very tired.  She'd stayed awake most of the night trying to think of any thing that she could do to help Xander.  It was clear that he was feeling lonely and needed someone special in his life.  She could definately relate.  She was feeling the same way herself.

She padded downstairs to the kitchen. Poured herself a bowl of cereal and then just sat there staring at it.

Faith was watching the entire scene with amusement.

"Hey B! You look like hell, ya know that? Oh! And that bowl of cereal, it hasn't moved in the last five minutes. I don't think it's going to. What is up with you anyway?!"

Buffy sighed as she rubbed at her bleary sleep deprived eyes.

"Xander's dating." 

"Funny. I just knew you were going to say that.  Seeings how lately, Xander's romantic life is your favorite topic."  Faith said, more to herself than to Buffy.

"What about it?"  Faith asked, looking unexplainably annoyed with the conversation.

"Its just he needs to meet better women.  Human women would be real nice."

"And your gonna help him do that?"

"Sure, why not?"

"Maybe cause you've dated more vampires than you have human men."

"I can help Xander find a nice girl to date!" Buffy exclaimed, feeling affronted that Faith could possibly insinuate otherwise.

"I mean it! It shouldn't be to hard. All I need to do is list all his qualities that a girl would find attractive. List all the things that he finds attractive in girls and that should be easy considering how long I've known him. Then hook him up with girls who have the qualities he likes and likes the qualities he has. No Big! I can do that."

"Look B, not that your asking for my advice here, but I think I need to give it anyway, Don't play cupid for Xander. Okay? Besides, I don't see you hooking him up with other women to well anyway."

"You don't see me hooking him up with other women to well?  What's that supposed to mean?" 

"Look Buff! Just don't." 

And with that Faith got up and walked out of the kitchen. 

*****

Buffy was extremely frustrated.  She'd felt like she'd asked every girl in the greater and surrounding areas of Cleveland that she thought might be a good fit for Xander to go out with him and every one of them turned her down.  She'd even asked the local postal clerk that always took care of their mail.  And the really annoying part of it was, was that all the girls looked at her like she was crazy for trying to set them up with some guy that they didn't know.  And she kept getting asked why... if he was so great wasn't she dating him.

This was Buffy's current dilema as she explained it on the phone to Dawn.

"I just don't get it Dawn.  You would think at least one of those girls would want to go out with him. I mean Xander's got some really great qualities.  I mean... What's wrong him?  He's sweet, He's cute..."

"So you think he's cute?" Dawn interrupted.

"Well yeah, I mean...Yeah! Xander's a really cute guy. And don't try to deny it Dawn! Cause I remember your big Xander crush."

Buffy could hear Dawn's laughter.

"I'm not trying to deny it.  Your the one whose always been all denial girl. Hey! Why don't you go out with him?"

"Me?!  Oh No! Xander and I...We've just always been really good friends. He's my bestfriend Dawn. I've just never looked at him that way before."

"So what's wrong with him?" 

"Nothing!"  Buffy shot back annoyed.  "Look he's great, he's sweet, he's courageous.."

"He's cute!" Dawn replied "So why not go out with him?  It's not like your dating anyone now, anyway. And your always talking about how the girls he dates aren't good enough for him.  So why not?"

"Alright! Alright fine, I'll go out with Xander. I don't guess one date would hurt anything."

Buffy could hear Dawn sqeeing over the phone and found herself giggling too.

"Look Dawnie, I'm gonna have to let you go if I'm going to ask Xander out so I'll see ya okay?"

"Okay, Great! Good luck! Oh, and call me and tell me how it goes, Kay?! Love ya sis, goodbye."

"Love you too, Dawnie. Bye!"

After Buffy hung up the phone she spent a little while pacing back and forth before calling Xander on his cellphone. It was one thing to ask a cute guy out. She certainly didn't have a problem with it. It was another thing to ask Xan out. She  didn't know how she felt about that.  They had been such close friends for so long and she didn't want to do anything to mess that up. Still, something about the idea of having a romantic relationship with him felt exciting and thrilling. And what was wrong with dating Xander anyway? He definately had a strong list of good qualities. Although she knew his weaknesses well enough too.

Oh, why not?!  She thought to herself. And with that she picked up the phone and called him.

"Hey Xander! Whatcha doin?"

"Hey Buff! Not much. Just working on a sink in one of the Council houses. I'm happy for the distraction though, What are you doing?"

"Oh not much. Just got done talking to Dawnie a little bit ago."

"Oh really! So how is the Dawnster anyway? How's school going for her?"

"Oh she's doing great Xan. She's says Hi!  But look, thats not why I called."

"Okay, whats up?"

"I called to see if you wanted to go out with me tonight... on a date?"

"Listen Buff, Faith told me about your plans to try to set me up and...wait a sec... did you just say...excuse me, I don't think I heard you right...did you just ask me out on a date?"

"Yes Xander. I did."

Buffy could hear a large clattering and banging in the background as Xander yelled "Ouch!" along with a few other explicatives.

"Xan?! You okay?" Xander could hear Buffy's concerned voice on his cellphone.

"OW! Yeah. Hey Buff! Sorry. I just...mmm... bumped my head on the sink and my tool box fell over. I just got hit with a big wrench.

"You Okay?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I'm fine. So let me get this straight, you want to go out with me? On a date?"

"Well, Yeah." Buffy replied as she began to wonder if Xander hurt his head more than what he was saying.

"Oookay!  Holding down shock and excitement here, why? You didn't get whammied with a love spell did ya?"

Xander could hear Buffy's laughter over the phone and it made him grin.

"No Xan, It's not a love spell.  It's just... it's been a while since either one of us has really dated seriously... I mean... I know that your trying to. And I know that before, I was either involved with someone or you were but... I don't know.  Don't you think it would be nice to date each other and see what happens?"

"Yeah I do."  Buffy could hear Xander's quiet reply and it made her smile.

"Okay then. I'll see you when you get home."

"Okay. Oh and Buff, your iceskates, the ones in your closet, lace em up and have em ready cause your gonna need em tonight."

"Xander?!  Now you have me very intrigued."

"Trust me Buff. It'll be fun. See you tonight Buffy, Bye."

"Looking forward to it Xan, Goodbye."

*****

Xander Harris couldn't believe it. Buffy had just asked him out on a date.  How was that even possible?  He remembered the raging crush he had on her back in high school.  He still loved her in a platonic friends kind of way. Or at least, that was what he liked to tell himself, anyway. Still, as he drove home from the florists he couldn't help but feel like he was headbusting sixteen again with no regrets. He was going out on a date with Buffy Summers and life was good! Either that, or this truly was the end of the world.

Buffy was just putting the finishing touches on her makeup when she heard the front door open. Looking at the time she figured that it must be Xander getting home. She couldn't explain why she felt kinda giddy when she jumped up and ran downstairs to see if he had gotten in yet.  When she got to the landing of the stairs she saw him standing their holding a beautiful bouquet of pink roses.

Xander took one look at her standing on the landing of the stairs and for a minute or two he lost all coherent thought. She was wearing what looked to be a new pair of blue jeans and a pink silk blouse that looked stunning on her. Her long hair fell in waves around her shoulders and she flashed him a big bright smile.

God she's beautiful! He thought to himself.

He quickly shut his gaping mouth as she walked the rest of the way down the stairs towards him.

"For you milady."  He tried to keep his hand from shaking as he handed her the bouquet.

 He couldn't help but wonder how he could feel so nervous around a girl whom he'd known for years. Then again, best buds Buffy was one thing, dating Buffy was whole new territory for him.

"Oh Xan, the roses are beautiful! Thank You." She said as she took them and kissed him gently on the cheek.

"Um Buff, how does ice-skating and dinner sound to you?"

"I think it sounds like fun. Wait!  You know how to iceskate?" 

"You'll find I'm full of surprises."  Xander said, as a lopsided grin slowly spread across his face.

*****

She couldn't remember the last time that she'd laughed this hard. It turned out Xander did know how to iceskate. Well a little bit anyway. After he had showered, shaved, and got changed they headed over to the indoor iceskating rink and she was having a blast.  She hadn't skated since Sunnydale.

He was doing really well considering that she couldn't remember a time when he had ever skated. Oh, he couldn't do the spins and the jumps that she could, but he could skate. He could even keep up with her and skate backward a little. Although, he did take out an elderly couple when he tried to skate backwards for to long.  It was nice. Most guys would have tried to take her to a fancy restaurant or night club. A few guys might even try to get in her pants afterward. Not one of them had ever taken her skating, not till Xander anyway.

Buffy laughed so hard as she disentangled Xander from the old couple that she lost her balance and fell on top of him, into his arms.

"So tell me Xan, where did you learn to ice-skate?" She asked laughing.

"In Russia."

"In Russia? What were you doing in Russia?"

"I got an assignment there. Giles needed me to help this new slayer kill a rather powerful vamp in that neck of the woods and Anastasia Silovenski, the slayer I was working with, was a competitive iceskater. I remembered how much you liked it, so I thought it might be fun to try it. So Ana tried to teach me to iceskate."

"You never told me you were in Russia." Buffy said surprised.

"I wasn't there that long. Just long enough to help Ana with her vamp problem."

"Xander ice-skating. I would have never imagined that."

"I used to watch you, you know? When you used to skate in Sunnydale. The first time I saw you skate was that summer after Tara died and Willow went to London. I was really worried about you cause so much had happened. So one night after patrol I followed you to the rink and I watched you skate. I'm sorry Buff, I wasn't meaning to be all stalker guy but when you started skating...well, you were just so graceful... I just couldn't help but watch you."

Buffy gently put her hand on his cheek and whispered, "I wouldn't have minded Xan."

They almost kissed before they both realized that she was straddling him in the middle of the ice-skating arena and people were starting to stare.

Xander swallowed hard. "Buff, are you hungry cause we could go get a bite to eat now, if you want to?"

"Um Yeah, we...probably should." She said as she slowly got off him and straightened her clothes, feeling oddly horny.

She gave him her hand and helped him up. And neither of them said anything to the other till they got to the restaurant.

*****

In life Blades had done some pretty hard drugs and as a result killed alot of good brain cells.  As a vampire he was more violent than most. He loved the screams, the blood, and the mess he made of his victims but he wasn't a smart vampire.  A smart vampire, after being run out of his nest and seeing half his minions killed by slayers would have gotten out of town.

However, Blades could never be accused of being smart. So with gusto, and a real zeal for the kill, Blades and what was left of his minions headed to a little Mexican restaurant on the outskirts of town for the all they could eat Buffet of night time dining customers. Unfortunately for Blades and his cronies, they picked the wrong restaurant.

Xander and Buffy had just finished eating their meal when all hell broke lose. Five leather wearing, ugly, disfigured faced, individuals who looked like they belonged in a big haired eighties heavy metal rock band came into the restaurant and started  tearing the place apart. They came in knocking over tables, terrifying customers, and just basically making a nuisance of themselves.

"Oh damn it!" Xander muttered as he reached into his coat pocket for a stake.

"Not tonight! I'm on a date tonight you morons."  Buffy whined as she reached into her purse and retrieved her stake.

Buffy jumped up from the table in one fluid motion and distracted Blades just before he could sink his fangs into the neck of a young woman.

"Excuse me, but I couldn't help but notice that your an idiot. I mean come on! Of all the places that you could hunt you pick  here?! Instead of a night club, where you could lure someone out into a nice quiet alley and chow down. Are you begging to get staked?" 

Blades and the rest of his crew looked at the small petite blonde haired young woman with surprise and disdain.  It wasn't everyday that a potential meal wasn't terrified by the sight of them. And for Blades the fear was what made it all worthwhile. This girl just called him an idiot. Oh, he was going to enjoy killing her slow and making it hurt. She'd scream alright, he would make damn sure she'd scream.

"And just who the fuck are you?"  Blades asked, Standing taller and looking even more intimidating than before.

He could sense her whole lack of fear and realized pretty quickly that his fear tactic had failed.

"I'm the Slayer." Buffy answered him matter of factly.

"Your a slayer?"  Blades looked at her confused and then laughed psychotically. "Aren't you just a little bit old to be a slayer?"

"Uh Oh, mistake dude. Big, big, mistake." Xander muttered as he snickered a little to himself.

"What are you laughing at you little one-eyed pussy?!"  Blades growled at Xander.

"Oh nothing really, just the fun I'm gonna have watching her kick your ass."  Xander leveled back at him without a hint of fear in his voice.

"I didn't say I was a slayer, I said I was... THE SLAYER!"  Buffy hissed as she jumped into a fighting stance.

"Then I'm thinking your gonna taste real good when I drain you dry, bitch!" Blades growled as he lunged for Buffy Summers.

Buffy sidestepped and Blades hit the table as Xander slammed a big glass pitcher into the vampires head. "Just so you know, it's the one-eyed pussy who's gonna dust you." Xander said non-chalantly as he slammed the stake home through the vampires back and into his heart.

Xander jumped up from the table to help Buffy with the four other vamps that she was fighting. She had already dusted one in the time that Xander had dusted Blades. Now one was holding her while two others were coming towards her. As Xander staked the one that was holding her down, she kicked the first vamp that was coming toward her between the legs and he dropped to his knees in pain. The second one had hit Xander hard and knocked him across the floor. Buffy pounced on the second one after it hit Xander, knocked it to the floor, and slammed the stake into it's heart.

"Buffy look out!"  Xander yelled out to her as the vampire that she'd kicked in the balls got up and lunged toward her.

He knew that the Vampire would tear her throat out if he didn't move and move fast. Xander grabbed his stake and yanked back on the vampires legs just as hard as he possibly could before it could get to Buffy.  He caused the vampire to come up short but the vamp whirled on him with lightning speed. Just before the vampire reached him it disentegrated into a cloud of dust.

Now, in the very spot that the vampire had disentegrated, stood Buffy.  Xander couldn't help but to think that she looked like an absolute angel standing above him.  She reached out for his hand to help lift him up off the floor.

"Come on Xan, lets go home."

*****

They sat next to each other,leaned up against her bed,sharing a bottle of wine and watching "Casablanca". They were celebrating beating the bad guys. Sure, she was the slayer and he was a veteran demon fighter, but it was still five to two and Xander was just a normal guy. And then it hit her, Xander's anything but normal. No, he never had the supernatural speed, skill, and strength, but he always had the courage and the heart.  As much and maybe even more than any of the rest of them. And he always found a way to get it done, too. She knew what he'd done tonight. If he hadn't pulled that vamp back, had he not given her just enough time she wouldn't be here.  She really thought about it and realized she couldn't count the number of times he'd either out and out saved her life or bought her enough time. As tears filled her eyes, she reached out and gently carressed his bruised cheek where a vampire had hit him.  He turned slowly to look at her and when he saw the tears in her eyes she could see the concern for her on his face.

"Hey Buff, Whats wrong?"

She swallowed hard trying to find her voice.

"I never thanked you did I?"

"Thanked me for what?" Xander asked her, confused.

"For all the times you've saved my life...for...for everything."

"Buffy for all the times you've saved mine, I hardly see why it would be..."

She cut him off with a passionate kiss.

"Then again, if you really feel you need to..."  He said, giving her a huge lopsided grin.

Buffy giggled and slapped his arm playfully.

"Oh! I definately think I need to." she said teasingly.

"Well in that case..." He whispered as he leaned in and kissed her.

It was slow and tender at first. He wrapped his arms around her as he was kissing her. Gently gliding his tongue over her lips and probing into her mouth until it met hers, the kiss grew in intensity as they tasted each other and then, their passion ignited.

*****
 
Buffy woke up to the sounds of kids playing in the neighborhood and the September wind rustling through the curtains of her bedroom window. Xander lay beside her fast asleep with a peaceful smile on his face.  She could feel the warmth of his naked body next to her and it stirred a very positive reaction in her own body. And when she moved ever so slighty she heard him mumble in his sleep...

"love you Buff."

She took a deep breath and lay in bed frozen.  What have we just done?!

 Oh! She knew what they'd done alright. They had some of the best sex she'd ever had in her life. And in her modest opinion, she'd had some pretty good sex in her time too, so that was saying something.  Still, she hadn't meant for it to happen. He was her bestfriend for godsakes! There was no way this wasn't going to make things very weird between them. What had she wanted out of their date last night, anyway? Was she really so lonely herself that she could just throw away her and Xander's friendship like that?! And the thing that really makes things complicated is that she knows that she loves him too. But things can't be as simple as that, can they? They never are? Not her life. Cause isn't it scripted somewhere in cosmic destiny that she's doomed?

Oooh!  What do I do?  What am I gonna say to him?  She thinks to herself as she quietly and ever so gently gets out of bed as not to disturb him.

She grabs some clothes out of her dresser and than quietly leaves the room being careful to shut the door behind her.  Then she walks down to the bathroom down the hall, showers, fixes her hair and make-up, and goes down to the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee. 

When Xander comes down to the kitchen he finds her sitting at the table staring into space.

"Hey Buff, Good Morning."

She couldn't help but notice how cheerful he looked.

"Morning Xan." She said smiling at him, and trying not to look absolutely scared to death.

She couldn't hide it from him though. The moment he saw her face he knew. His cheerful expression fell as he sat down at the table next to her.

"You shoulda woke me up when you got up, Buff."

Before she could answer him, Mallory and Tricia, two of the younger slayers entered the kitchen chatting it up. Buffy couldn't help but be relieved.  It was Mallory that noticed that the wine bottle was missing from the wine rack.

"Who drank the wine?" Mallory questioned.

"I don't know. Why does it matter?"  Tricia replied.

"Cause wasn't that the wine that Kennedy had one of Miss Willow's coven friends put a spell on for Valentines Day but she forgot and left it here?"

The comment was innocent enough but it caught Xander's attention immediately. 

"Excuse me Mal, What were you saying about that bottle of wine that Me and Buffy drank last night?" Xander asked with an urgent tone of voice.

"Oh No! you two drank it?"

"What sort of spell was on that bottle of wine?!  Mallory!"  Xander shouted angrily.

"Sorry!"  Mallory answered looking hurt. "I don't know exactly. It was just kinda of a...you know... I'm in the mood for love sort of spell.  For Valentines Day I guess."

"Hahaha!" Xander snickered bitterly "Well! That explains alot now doesn't it?!"

The look of hurt and bitterness on his face cut her to the quick. And as he got up and grabbed his coat off the back of one of the kitchen chairs, she jumped up and grabbed his arm.

"Xander wait!"

"I'm sorry Buff, god! I'm so sorry.  I should have known last night. I mean come on... the only way you'd ever wanna be with me is if magic was involved."  Then he pulled his arm away from her and headed for the door.

" Xander!  Xander Please stay!  Where are you going?"  Buffy pleaded as she rushed to catch him before he walked out the door.

The two girls looked on in absolute shock.

She caught him at the door and pulled him around to face her.  She'd only ever seen him cry once. It was after Anya's death. He was trying to fight how much it hurt him that she was gone by cracking a joke about her and then he immediately broke down and cried.  She could tell now, by the look on his face that he was fighting breaking down here.

"Xander I..."

"Look!" He interrupted. "I just... I just need to get out of here and get some space, oKay?!"

And without waiting for her to answer he walked out the door.

*****

Thirty minutes later Faith dragged herself downstairs to the kitchen.  She'd been on patrol the night before and she still felt sore from the fun she'd had clearing out a nest of vamps.  She found Buffy pacing in the kitchen like a caged tiger.
 
"Hey B! Whats up?"

"Whats up?! I'll tell you whats up! That bottle of wine that Xander and I drank last night had a spell on it. And me and Xander... well we... Look! Just tell me something Faith, why the hell do you keep bottles of wine around with love spells on them?"

"Whoa, wait a sec B, you and Xander did the deed?"

"Yes." Buffy hissed

"Good for you. It's about damn time."

"What?!"

"Let me tell you something B, that particular bottle of wine that your talking about, Robin and I drank it about six months ago. So there was no love spell on the wine you two drank last night. And whats been going on between you and Xander just built up to a head last night. Damn B, I don't see why you have to be so uptight about it?! It's just sex."

"It wasn't just Sex Faith." Buffy bit out angrily, "I'm...I'm in love with him. It's funny how I realized just exactly how much after he walked out the door."

"So are you just gonna stand here feeling sorry for yourself? Or are you gonna go find him?"

"I'm gonna run!"   Buffy whispered smiling at Faith. And with that, Buffy and Faith grabbed their jackets and ran out the door looking for Xander.

Buffy came home feeling totally dejected. They couldn't find him anywhere. They looked in places they figured he'd be and then they started looking just any and everywhere. Still, no Xander.


Buffy was the first to see the note when she walked into the kitchen.

 Dear Buffy,

I can't even begin to tell you how sorry I am about all of this. The thing is Buff for you, it was just another love spell like in high school. But for me it's real.  I love you Buffy. I guess I always have. And after what happened between us last night I just can't keep pretending that I don't feel those feelings for you.  So I think its probably best for both of us if I leave...

 She never read the rest of the letter. And she only had one thought in her mind. Run!

"Shit B!   Are you trying to kill us?!  You drive like a maniac!"  Faith shouted as Buffy pulled up to the airport.

"Sorry Faith. I gotta run. Can you park the car for us?"

"Yeah, sure, but how do you know he'd go to London?"

"I don't. But I think he would. To, you know, see Giles and get reassigned. I hope thats what he's got in mind anyway."

Buffy jumped out of the car and ran through the airport. She looked for any of the nearest flights heading to London England. And when she finally found them she asked if a Xander Harris was booked for the plane. Making up all kinds of outlandish stories to get the receptionists at the flight desks to answer her question.

"Oh Yes! Here he is mam. He's on flight 290.  Oh!  But you better hurry if you want to catch him because they've already started boarding at the gate.  It's gate twenty-two your gonna have to really hurry."

Buffy took off and was gone When the receptionist asked her co-worker,"Did she say Alexander Harris or Alexander Harrison?"

When Buffy finally got to the gate she watched with tears in her eyes as flight 290 taxied down the runway and took off. She stood there leaned against the window shaking and crying as she watched and felt the rumble of the Jet as it took off.

She felt a gentle hand on her shoulder.

"Buff?!"

She turned around and saw him standing there in front of her. Her tears streaming down her cheeks.

"Oh, god Buff?!..."

She cut him off before he could say another word.

"I ran. You remember that time when Riley left and you told me to run?"

"Yeah." He whispered

"You said to me that if I thought I could love messy, no holds barred, need, kinda love, to run. Well I've run. I've run all over Cleveland and all over this airport looking for you. I love you Xander Harris... messy, no holds barred, need. And it has nothing to do with magic. Please don't leave!"

He stroked her long blonde hair and whispered, "I couldn't leave you. I tried. Bought the ticket and got ready to board the plane but for some reason I just couldn't physically make myself get on that plane.  I love you Buffy.  I love you so much.  Always have."

And with that he wrapped her in his embrace and they kissed passionately.

To the casual observer they were just another happy couple reunited at the airport. And no one noticed the beautiful, brown-eyed vixen sitting in a seat nearby at the gate as she watched the two lovers embrace. Anya watched smiling, with a satisified expression on her face as Xander and Buffy held each other tightly and walked away together.

"Wish granted."  She whispered.


The End.