Your Life Will Never Be The Same


The pain was sudden, billowing through his chest like thunder and Xander collapsed on the cold damp grass of the cemetery. He could still hear the fighting going on around him, the sound of shouting and a sound similar to the jackhammers at work that he figured must be Buffy pounding at the demon with everything she had. He smiled feebly; Buffy could always be counted on to save their lives.

The sound stopped and Xander jerked his hand weakly up to his chest. It fluttered uselessly around the sharp metal pole protruding from his chest, terrified to touch it but trying to make the terrible agony stop.

“Buffy?” Xander called out, his voice sounding pathetically weak even to his own ears. “Buffy?”

Silence was his response and then suddenly he could hear them calling for him, their voices frantic with panic. He had been thrown into the shadows beside a large tomb and for a moment the fear that they would never find him, that he would lie here all alone in pain until he died staggered through him. And then Willow’s head popped into his line of vision and she screamed, calling for the others to come over here as quickly as possible.

“Oh gods, Xander!” she said gently, kneeling next to him in the grass. Her eyes focused on the pole piercing his body, the bits he could see of it slick with his blood. His body wracked with the force of the pain but they were here now, he assured himself as he saw Buffy and Giles racing towards him. They’d help him.

He could hear them flittering around him, their voices panicked, but the edges of his vision were greying and he closed his eyes in pain. The voices grew louder, more frenzied and small strong hands slapped at his face gently. He opened his eyes, staring into Buffy’s worried ones, and tried for a smile. She disappeared from his line of sight and Xander tried moving his head but it felt like it was unattached to his body. Pressure grew at the base of his spine and some of the pain must have shown on his face because a large warm hand clasped his and Giles’ worried face appeared in his line of sight.

“You’ll be alright, Xander, we’ll make sure of it. Buffy’s gone to call an ambulance and you’ll be perfectly fine,” Giles whispered, his voice suspiciously soft. Giles had always been someone he trusted above all else, someone whose word he could depend on when everything else didn’t make sense. Tonight, for the first time, Xander found himself not believing a word that was coming out of his mentor’s mouth. Perhaps that’s what growing up was all about, Xander thought and the idea made him want to sob. He didn’t want to die.

“Giles, I want you to promise me something,” Xander said, his thoughts starting to mesh together in a haze of pain and confusion. “Promise me you’ll… look after them.”

He could hear Willow crying beside him, her tears dripping onto the grass that was stained with his blood. Giles looked solemnly on, his eyes suspiciously wet, and he nodded to Xander with a look that Xander could have sworn was pride.

He could hear Buffy somewhere nearby again, her voice raised as she argued with what sounded like Spike. It was getting difficult to breath, getting difficult to speak but he needed to say it now before it was too late.

“Willow,” he called out plaintively and the familiar red hair appeared in his line of vision. Her face was pale and tearstained but as beloved to him as ever.

“You know I’ve always loved you, yeah?” he asked and she bobbed her head in response, sobbing too much to talk. “All I’ve ever wanted was for you to be happy, so don’t forget to smile for me.”

Giles moved away and suddenly the sound of raised voices stopped. Buffy appeared in Xander’s line of vision, her face drawn and haggard with despair.

“You’ll be okay, Xan,” Buffy whispered, as though she couldn’t believe it more than he could.

Xander smiled in response, his head growing weary. “Keep fighting for me, Buffy,” Xander coughed in response, his strength failing him. Buffy tensed beside him, abruptly standing up and moving to his side where he could hear her engaging in a furious argument with Giles. Willow stared up at them in confusion. Suddenly her hand left his, she went to join them, and then he was alone on the blood slick grass, slowly dying.

He was so tired of talking, so tired of keeping his eyes open and lying here while his friends argued beside him. His limbs felt heavy, like unmovable burdens that weighed him down. He felt his eyes closing and he let them; he was so sick of carrying on and fighting all the time. The pain in his chest lessened and he was almost there, almost free from the pain and the suffering. Suddenly, something cool pressed against his lips and something bitter and cloying trickled down his throat. He tried to open his eyes, to fight his way from the dark to find out what was going on, but all he could see was a pair of bright blue eyes staring down at him before he was swallowed in by the silence and the dark. And everything went suddenly still.

The End