Buffy raised the stake, and Xander held up his hands in defense. "Wait!" he cried, stepping back. Buffy stopped, one eyebrow raised in suspicion. She obviously thought it was a trap. Giles had taught her really well. "I'm not.....bad."

"Oh?" She asked, keeping the stake raised and circling around him.

"No.." She lunged at him, and he sidestepped it. She was on her feet immediatly and charged him. He grabbed her and threw her face first into the floor. "Could we please stop fighting so that I can tell you what's going on?" Buffy got to her feet and stepped back a few feet.

"Okay. You have three minutes, and I stake you." Xander nodded, smiling. His memory wasn't what it used to be after his turning, but now she was coming back to him in full force. Who she was, and why he loved her so much.

"Angel....he got me one night. He turned me."

"Why did you allow it?"

"I had to warn you about something..." he frowned as he struggled to remember "Something was coming...a demon? I needed to stay alive so I could help you."

"You became a vampire so you could warn me of danger?" She asked, staring at him. He nodded, smiling.

"Yeah. Stupid,no?"

"No. Not stupid. Sweet and well....yeah, stupid." She stepped forward and embraced him. "We were so worried."

"That big scaly demon!" Xander announced "Some Vampires brought him in..."

"I killed it." She said, smiling sweetly. "Sorry." Xander smiled and nodded.

"For some reason I figured you did." He turned and sat down at one of the tables. "He's worse than I thought."

"Who?" Buffy asked, sitting across from him.

"Angelus." xander replied, not looking at her. "His thinking is terrifying." His eyes widened as he remembered. "Buffy....he.... Oz is dead. I couldn't help him...." The color drained from her face and her breathing picked up. He reached out and held her hand. "I'm sorry. I didn't remember him at first, and when I did....it was too late. That's what made me remember you and...Willow." He looked down. "God, how am I going to tell her that I let him kill him..."

"Don't." Buffy said "Sometimes the truth hurts so much that it's better to lie. What you don't know can't hurt you." Xander nodded.

"I'll tell her that I tried and he beat me." Buffy nodded.

"I'm glad you're back. You are back, aren't you?" Buffy asked.

"Yeah." Xander said.

"Wait a minute." Buffy said, getting to her feet and raising the stake. "How do you have a soul......"

"I don't know." Xander said, watching her calmly. "Listen, Angelus and I have been trying to figure it out. He thinks it was Willow..."

"Xander!" Came the happy shout from behind them. Willow rushed up and wrapped Xander in a bear hug. "I'm so glad you're back..." xander looked over at Buffy and smiled sadly.

"Willow....I'm a vampire." He said. Willow watched him for a moment, not saying anything, letting it sink in. She then started to laugh.

"Yeah, right!" She giggled. Then when she saw the expression not change on his face, she looked over at Buffy, then back at Xander, then back to Buffy and finally it returned to Xander. "Oh my god." she said. She started to cry. "Oh no, now we have to stake you..."

"Xander has a soul, Will." Buffy said "He and Angelus have been trying to figure out why."

"Angelus made you?" Willow asked. Xander nodded, looked over at Buffy, and then looked long at the red-head.

"He killed Oz, Will. I tried to save him, but Angelus beat me..." Willow began to cry again. She ran to Buffy and let her hold her close. Xander reached out to comfort her, then stopped as he realised that it was partly his fault. He stepped back and caught Buffy's sad gaze. Willow turned towards him and stared at him. He looked away sadly. Willow walked over and hugged him."I'm sorry, Xander."

"Will, I lied." Xander said "I watched while Angelus killed him." Willow cried harder, stepping back in shock "I didn't remember him at first, then when I did, I was too late. God, I'm sorry, Will. I know that doesn't make up for it,but...."

"Xander..." Willow began. She stopped and then fled the room. Buffy walked up and put a hand on his shoulder."She'll get over it." Buffy said.

"I don't deserve it. She should never get over it." Xander moved for the door, only to find it blocked by Giles, holding a weeping Willow. Giles looked at him with hatred in his eyes. Xander looked down at the ground.

"What happened?" Buffy asked, pushing past him.

"Ask the Vampire." Giles said, looking at Xander. Buffy turned to look at him. Xander shook his head.

"I don't know." Xander said "But why should you believe me? I'm just a monster." Xander turned and fled out the back.

"Xander,wait!" Buffy called. She didn't get an answer.

"Angelus left Jen-jennys corpse on my bed. The bastard du-dug her up." Giles said, holding Willow close. Buffy stared at him in disbelief.

.............................

Xander walked into the mansion. "Angelus!" He screamed, his voice echoing in the empty room. Angelus walked out, laughing.

"Was I right or was I right?" he asked, laughing his high pitched laugh. "Aww, your lil' friend don't like you anymore?" He asked, pouting mockingly. Xander walked up and threw him into the wall. Angelus laughed the whole time as Xander threw him around the room into walls. Xander dropped him onto the floor and looked down.

"What did you do to Giles?" He asked.

"I gave him a chance for him and his ex to get back together." He said, laughing again.

"What does that mean?"

"You're a smart guy,Xander,figure it out." Angelus got to his feet and sat down.

"You dug her up." Xander said, turning towards him, furious. Angelus nodded, grinning.

"Mmmm,hmmmm. So how is that little buxom blonde?" Angelus asked, crossing his legs.

"None of your damned buissness." Xander said "And you'll never know." Xander pulled the stake he had taken from Buffy and lunged at Angelus. Angelus was out of the couch and behind Xander before Xander had it fully drawn. Angelus kicked him and then threw him across the room. Xanders' head struck like a dart against the wall. He fell to the ground in a heap.

"I'm not going to kill you,Xander." Angelus said "Simply beacause you're my son." Xander got up, game face on.

"I'm not your son. I'm nothing like you."

"But you are. You're a killer, just like me. Accept it. Buffy and the rest hate you. You were made by me, the worst vampire in the world. You watched me kill the werewolf. You are as bad as I am..."

"NO!" Xander said, running for the door. Angelus again moved faster and was in front of the door before Xander could exit. He shook his head.

"Stop whining and crying and act like a monster." Angelus said. "Help me get the slayer and her little pals. You remember all that they have done to you. Remember when they made you stay home because you were weak? When they told you it was too dangerous while Willow went? And Giles? And Willow, making time with that Oz boy without a care about you, or your love for her. And Buffy, always running off with me while you were there since the begining,always helping her. And Giles, almost always doubting your intellect, treating you like you were a fool. What have they done for you, Xander? You've given so much, and they've given so little." Xander looked down at his feet, not wanting to believe. But it was true. He looked up sadly and nodded. He then followed Angelus out the door

....................................

"I don't think Xander had anything to do with this,Giles." Buffy said. Willow sat at the table, not saying anything, With Buffys' arm around her,watching Giles pace the room, gathering weaponry for an assault on Angelus..and Xander.

"Nonsense. As much as I care for Xander, he's one of them now. There is no way that he could just automatically have a soul." Giles said, loading the crossbow. They heard a window break. Giles turned and found himself looking at Angelus, with Xander standing behind him, head bowed.

"See?" Buffy got to her feet."Xander...." She began.

"He doesn't want to talk to you, Slayer. He's tired of you all. He's ready to move on." Angelus said "He's..."

"Sick and tired of you all treating me like an idiot," He looked over at Giles "Or a weakling" he looked over at Buffy "or a toy." he looked over at Willow.

"Xander, whatever he's said to make you believe all that..."

"He's right." Xander said "You can't take back the way you've all treated me. I've saved all of you hundreds of times, saved the world and everything, and nothing I ever do is good enough. That time the hellmouth opened, and you all told me that it was too dangerous? I stopped a bomb from going off in the basement."

"You stopped that bomb?" Giles asked "We were wondering who left that there..."

"Xander, it's not true. We love you..." Buffy said.

"I love you." Willow said behind her.

"There it is again, treating me like that. Always leading me on, making me think I mattered, and then you'd go off with Oz." Xander shouted "I've had enough!" He pulled free a stake and drove it into Angelus' heart. Angelus turned, shocked. He stared at Xander, and then burst into dust. "Of you manipulating me." Buffy and Willow rushed forward, embracing him.

"Xander, we never meant to make you feel that way..." Willow said.

"I know." Xander returned, smiling. He looked up at Giles. The british man smiled, nodded, and left him to be alone with his friends. Xander looked at them. "I...can't stay like this." Buffy and Willow looked at him. He handed to stake to Buffy. "Do your job." Buffy dropped it.

"I can't." She said, pale.

"You have to!" Xander shouted. He opened up his shirt and pointed at his heart. "Do it!" Buffy backed away, shaking her head.

"I'm sorry, Xander." Xander struck her, hoping she would fight back and take him, but she just fell, tears coming to her eyes. Xander then felt the stake in his back. He spun around to see who had done it, and looked into Willows' tear soaked face. He smiled. "Thank you, Will. You'll always be my girl." and he burst apart into dust. Willow cried and fell collapsed. Buffy rushed over to her and held her. Giles walked in, stopped for a moment, and then put together what happened. He ran forward and held both of them as all three of them cried.

THE END

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