I do not own BtVS, Xena, or any of the other stories mentioned herein.
I didn't mark this as a Halloween fic even though there are elements of it here, because this doesn't actually deal with the events of the episode.
I haven't forgotten about my other fics, just had an idea.
Xander walks down the stairs. Jack had defused the bomb but it was still their so Xander had returned to disassemble it. He had been halfway home when he realized that he had absolutely no desire to go home. He reaches the basement to find the bomb and a rather chewed on Jack O'Toole. Xander goes over to him, he looks down for a moment at the now permanently deceased terror. He crouches down and starts going through his pockets. He takes Katie and her belt sheath along with a little cash. It takes him a while but Xander manages to disassemble the crude explosive without it blowing up in his face. He drags the gas drums to opposite corners of the room. He decides to hold on to the timer for a rainy day. Now Xander turns his attention to the body. He wraps it in a tarp and drags it up the stairs to his waiting car. He drives O'Toole out to a secluded clearing and digs a grave, Xander plans to anonymously tell the now dead zombies' grandfather of his location as soon as he can, it never pays to be on the wrong side of a voodoo priest.
He sits in his car. He is in the parking lot of one of Sunnydales' many cemeteries. He nearly jumps out of his skin when someone raps on his window. He turns to see that it is Faith. He opens the door and steps out.
"Hey Faith didn't expect to see you out, after what happened tonight."
"How did you know what happened?"
"Oh well. I. Um. So nice night huh."
"Fine keep your secrets" she says with a bit of a grin moving to lean against the car next to Xander.
"You didn't answer my question, after what you just faced I'd hit the hay for at least a few hours."
"To wired. Though I'd try an scare up a few vamps see if that would get me tired. What are you doing out here, 'bout time for good boys and girls to be safe in bed in their nice houses."
"Most nights I try and crash in the library. But seeing as it's a bit torn up at the moment that wasn't really doable" says Xander. He never tells anyone about his sleeping arrangements not even willow, but weather from the night he's just had, or because he's dead on his feet he feels himself in a confessional mood.
"Why you sleep there, you have a problem with a soft bed or something?"
"Not with the bed, the company in the morning however leaves something to be desired."
"Can understand that. You have something lined up for tonight?"
"Figured the back seat would work."
"And if a vamp comes along?"
"Then I guess I won't be seeing you in the morning."
"Fine, come on" she says moving around to the passenger door and getting in.
"You can stay with me for the night." Xander, at this point to tired to really question, simply replies.
"Ok" and then he gets into the car and drives off.
It doesn't take long to reach Faiths' motel. They go up to her room, Xander automatically gets ready to sleep on the floor but Faith tells him to get in the bed.
"Really, after before I don't think now is the time to be gettin' shy." Xander sits on the bed and is surprised when he feels Katie pressing into his back. He pulls the large knife out and looks at it for a moment.
"Cool knife, where did you get it?"
"Took it off a dead man a few hours ago."
"You kill him" asks Faith not really being taken aback by his statement.
"No but I did kill his friends, they were zombies but." He pauses trying to find the words.
"A little while back" he starts "a sorcerer enchanted the costumes on Halloween, I went as a soldier. For a while after I had memories from him, they gave me terrible nightmares from wars, all of them. One night it would be WW2 the next I would be a Celt fighting a roman, the next I might be the centurion. But after a while the memories started to fade, with them the dreams went. But tonight killing them. It's starting to come back."
"Do you want them back?"
"I don't know" he says. He puts the knife on the bedside table and gets undressed. He lays next to faith thoughts racing through his head. He is surprised when he feels her start to wrap her arms around him as she sleeps. Something about the feeling of her arms chases his thoughts away. For the first moment in a long time he truly falls asleep, feeling secure and unafraid of the morning.
The next day he awakes to find Faith using him as a pillow. He simply lays their for an hour enjoying the feeling of her. But then he looks at the clock and sees the time. He tries to slip out from under Faith without waking her and starts getting dressed. He pauses for a moment looking at Faith.
"You know this is the first time a man is trying to sneak out on me, I usually do that" says Faith opening her eyes looking at Xander.
"I was debating waking you before going" he says shifting from one foot to another "thanks for letting me stay. I should be able to stay in the library tonight."
"Don't be an idiot. You can stay here tonight."
"Thank you, I'm really late for school" he says turning to leave. When he pauses screwing up his courage. "
Oh hell" he says stepping forward and kissing Faith full on the lips "I wanted to leave an impression this time" he says with a grin.
"Hell boy-toy shoulda' done that sooner, I might have a better idea then school for today" she says with a grin that would make a sailor blush. She grabs Xander and pulls him down onto the bed and starts stripping him. The two don't leave that bed all day.
They spend much of the following week that way with Xander only showing up to enough classes not to get expelled. It seemed that the others thought that the reason he no longer patrolled with them was that he was following their advice to be more on the sidelines, but he didn't stop patrolling as they thought. He took to watching Faiths' back nights. Faith tries not to think about the fact that this is the first man she's had anything approaching a relationship with with. Ever.
Which brings us to a night nearly two weeks after the O'Toole incident. Faith needs two things to survive and having thoroughly satisfied the first finds herself needing to address the later, so the two leave, what Faith is starting to consider, their room and hunt. They walk through one of Sunnydales' many cemeteries Faith with a stake and Xander with Katie he felt strangely comfortable with the weapon. Xander hung back as Faith dusted her way through a half dozen vampires. Then the stumbled across something weird even for the hellmouth.
There were three demons surrounding an alter with a young girl tied to it. two seemed to be chanting while the third prepared a very sharp looking dagger. It wasn't a stretch to guess what was about to happen. Xander motions that he will free the girl while Faith takes down the demons. The two break out from the bushes and charge the demons. Faith quickly takes the attention of the demons putting two on the ground and starting to tussle with the third. Xander proceeds to the tied girl and starts cutting her bonds. What he doesn't see is that the demon with the dagger get up off the ground and start toward him. Xander manages to finally free the girl and she runs off without a word, Xander turns to see if he can help Faith and finds the demon planting a blade in his gut. He falls to his knees, the last thing he sees is Faith snapping the neck of the demon who stabbed him and falling to the ground next to him. Everything fades away, and Xander feels like he's floating, until he feels a harsh yanking deep within his chest. He hits what feels like the ground. He looks up to see a man wearing leather lounging back in a thrown. He looks strangely familiar.
"Didn't think I'd just go letting you die now did you" asks the man as he takes a bit from an apple which seem to just appear in his hand.
"You're Ares aren't you" asks Xander finally realizing why the man seems so familiar.
"So you learned something from the dreams at least."
"Why am I here?"
"I have decided to take an interest in the mortal world once more. To do that I need a champion, I chose you."
"Ha ha. Are you crazy" asks Xander with mirth "of all the people you have to chose from I should be at the bottom of the list. I can't fight let alone be the champion of war."
"Ah but you can learn how to fight. It's what you have inside that's important. You have fire in you, I like that."
"So I have no choice then I'm your champion weather I like it or not."
"Well, you see you have to make the choice. To serve me or, well die."
"Better dead then a puppet."
"Before you make your decision. Let me show you what will happen to your precious friends" he says motioning with his hand. A portal opens in the air showing images, dark images of a hell come to earth. The school being massacred by a giant snake. Faith falling to the dark and angel finally being forced to kill her. Willow trying to stop the dark hordes that spill forth from a rip in reality the magics turning wild and killing her, destroying everything around her. Buffy and Giles falling side by side fighting the good fight saving some of the last surviving humans.
Angel is the last to fall, he has gathered a small force around him they fight to the end but only one survives, Illyria, a former god, she finds herself actually feeling something in the absences of the few champions she had actually started to consider equals. She releases the last portion of her once vast power and wipes the earth clean.
Xander falls to his knees before the god of war.
"Good lord, that will all happen?"
"All of it. Unless, I can give you the power to stop it. You can even save that raven haired slayer you seem so fond of."
"What do I have to do?"
"You change your mind so quickly."
"If I can save them, I'll do what I have to."
"Very well" says the god getting to his feet, he pulls a sword out of nowhere "if you accept this blade you become my champion on the earthly plane. You will honer and obey me your god. Do you accept?"
"Without hesitation" says Xander taking the proffered weapon. And then he wakes up in Faiths' arms.