Title: Thessula in Action
Author: Dea Brynhild Ensomhet
Rated: PG-13. Take the necessary precautions: practice responsible reading.
Archival: Just ask and ye shall recieve.
Disclaimer: Don't own any of the Buffy or Angel cast/crew/characters/plotlines/etc.
Inspiration: Darkhaven's first line: Xander stared blankly for a moment and then laughed.
Last updated: 1/27/05
A hundred cries for help, a thousand pleas for mercy, and a million tear-filled sobs filled his ears. His memory had never been the best, losing keys and forgetting information being only too easy for him. He'd never experienced such clarity of memory as he was experiencing at this moment. Dozens upon dozens of people, and he remembered every single one. Remembered the old man with mold-scented skin and whisky-laden blood in the alley. The six-year-old curly red-head sucking on a strawberry lollypop who wandered too close to the edge of the playground. The twenty-something artist with thirteen gypsy bells in his dark dreads that had tinkled so pretty while he thrashed. The dull-eyed prostitute with the rose tattoo on her left thigh who'd welcomed the darkness. The teenaged blonde outside the club with her waist-long curled and perfumed hair that'd been so easy to grab and yank. The days and places blurred together, but each and every face stood out in sharp relief. He could see clearly every wound he'd inflicted, taste every ounce of blood he'd drank. Ghost flavors caressed his tongue and he gagged, ambrosia turning to ash in his mouth.
Xander huddled in the corner, gasping in shock. Buffy, Willow, and Oz were gathered around in a loose semicircle, keeping him trapped. His gaze darted between them, the terror, horror, and despair raw in his eyes.
"Xander? It's me, Buffy." she took a step closer. "Are you all right? Can you hear me?"
Oh, the things he'd had planned for her, for them all. He'd kill the wolf first, sell the pelt on the black market to fetch a pretty penny. Slayer he'd kill next. He'd seen her train, watched her patrol countless time while he'd been human. He knew her moves, knew her weakness, knew that if they faced off, he'd win. He'd have fun with her body, drinking and mutilating it, and then leave the work of art on Giles' porch. Willow he'd save for last, capture her and break her in before he turned her. Craft her into such a creature of darkness that cities would tremble at their names. Such wonderful and bloody plans, all ruined by a small crystal orb.
Willow held Oz's hand, bouncing with happiness. "It worked. I knew it'd work, and now you're back, Xander. It took a few years to track you down, but we found you and now you've got a soul and you're back!" Oz squeezed her hand in support, but regarded Xander with caution.
Xander stared blankly at her for a moment, and then laughed. It was a horrible sound, a blood-curdling wail of a chuckle that froze Buffy in place and wiped the smile clean off of Willow's face. As quickly as the laugh had started, it stopped. Xander watched them, could feel the tension in the air, could hear the blood rushing in their veins, could almost see the cells of their body dividing and dying.
"How could you?" he whispered, "You have no idea, Willow, what it feels like. I can feel them, every single person I've hurt and killed. I remember every desire, every moment of pleasure I took in their pain. God, Wills, how could you do this to me? It's torture." Willow's eyes watered and she started to cry, Oz embracing her.
Xander turned to Buffy, pleading. "Please, Buff. I can't go on like this. Help me." He reached towards her and she forced herself to stay still, battling against the natural instincts to flinch away from the vampire's touch. He pulled the stake out of her pocket, and pressed the blunt end into her palm, wrapping her fingers around it. "Give me peace, please."
Buffy blinked rapidly, her chin trembling as she nodded. "Okay, Xander. We love you." He leaned in and kissed her forehead, and she shoved the stake into his heart.
"Thank you." he whispered as his body turned to dust.