Epic

Chapter Six - Revelations.

Buffy couched down beside Xander and Anya followed suit.

"Xander?" She whispered. "It's Buffy. Buffy, your best friend. Do you remember me?"

"Yeah, hi Buff. What's happening?"

Buffy and Anya were shocked. They withdrew from Xander, looked at each other and then back at him.

He grinned, "What?"

There was silence.

"I thought..." Buffy managed before falling silent again.

Xander slowly rose to feet and waited for the girls to recover.

"I thought..." Buffy tried again. "I thought you couldn't remember...I thought you..."

"I was only joking Buffy. Man, did you lose your sense of humour when I was gone?"

"But you were in a hell dimension."

"Hell dimension? What are you talking about?"

"Anya..." Buffy pointed at Anya but trailed off.

Anya finished her sentence, "I sent you to a hell dimension."

"...Err...No you didn't."

"Where were you then?" Asked Anya.

"I don't know but it was fun. Maybe it was a water park? I can't quite remember but I do know it was fun."

"Fun?" Said Buffy.

"Yeah, fun. Lots of fun actually. Kind of put everything in perspective."

"Put what in perspective?"

"You know, life." Xander turned to Anya and took her hand. He looked into her eyes and said, "I'm sorry. I know I caused you a lot of pain," He paused as if he was remembering something, "a lot of pain. I was wrong. I hope you can somehow come to forgive. I'm not asking for you to forgive me now but hopefully sometime in the future you will be able too. I hope anyway."

Anya had not blinked during Xander's speech. She had just stared into his eyes the whole time. When he finished she continued to stare just for a moment then turned away without saying anything. She got up, brushed her dress and then turned back to Xander. She paused before saying in almost a whisper, "Thank you." And with that she walked away.

Xander watched her all the way until she was out of sight then he turned to face Buffy. "Do you think she bought it?"

"Bought it?" Said a bewildered Buffy. "Bought what?"

"The whole fun dimension thing?"

"You weren't sent to a fun dimension?"

"You really think there is such a thing?"

Buffy went into deep thought mode for a moment but that didn't solve her confusion. "Wait, I don't understand."

Xander put his arm round her shoulder and started to walk, "Let's go to the Magic shop and I'll explain on the way."

*****

[Magic Shop]

Buffy and Xander entered the shop causing the little bell to ring. This, in turn, caused Willow and Giles to look up with their books. Upon seeing Xander they both went into the exact kind of shock that Buffy and Anya had gone into.

Xander grinned and put up a hand, "Hey."

There were still in shock.

"I think they're in shock." Xander said to Buffy.

"I know the feeling." She replied.

Willow recovered enough to ask, "Xander?"

"Yeah, it's me. The Xan-man."

"But..." Willow looked Xander up and down. "...But...how?"

"Anya brought him back." Explained Buffy.

"Anya?" Said Willow not taking her eyes off Xander.

"Yeah, she sent him to a hell dimension and then brought him back."

"A hell dimension?"

"That's right, isn't it Xander?"

"Yeah, a hell dimension."

"My God." Giles said before taking off his glasses. "Are you all right?"

"Nothing a nice bubbly bath, won't cure." Xander paused. "Forget I said that."

"I don't understand." Said Willow.

"That was me about half an hour ago." Answered Buffy. "But there is a nice simple explanation that explains everything."

"Really?"

"Yeah."

"Well..."

"Xander? Shall I?"

"Be my guest."

"Well..."

[End of Chapter Six]

*****

[Start of Chapter Six]

Epic

Chapter Five – Revelations.

Buffy came back to the Magic Shop to find it cornered off as a crime scene. There were only a couple of police officers left apparently to guard the scene. She still couldn't believe what had happened there. Anya was gone. Gone. She was definitely in shock. Man, if she was in shock then what was Xander in? That would explain what just happened, wouldn't it? It was all down to shock, nothing more. He just lost Anya. Anya? She was gone. Definitely shock. There was a tap on Buffy's shoulder and she turned round to see Giles, Tara and Willow.

"Did you find him?" Asked Giles.

"Yeah." Replied Buffy.

Giles looked around, "Well, where is he?"

"He...err...he ran off."

"Ran off?"

"Yeah."

Willow noticed something about Buffy. She couldn't place her finger on it but there was definitely something about her.

"Do you know where he went?" Continued Giles.

"...No. I stopped him from going into the cave and then he ran off."

"Well, that good." Said Tara. "I mean good that he didn't go into the cave, not that he ran off."

"How do you know he didn't wait until you left and then went back into the cave?" Asked Giles.

"I know."

Giles was about to ask another question when Willow stopped him. "I think we should all go home and rest." For some reason Willow decided that they should stop asking Buffy questions. Her instinct told her it wasn't a good idea. Something had happened but Buffy wasn't about to tell them what. Not yet anyway.

Giles seemed to accept Willow's suggestion, "Err...yes. It has been a long day," He looked at the crime scene before him. "A very long day. Perhaps we should go home and rest."

"What about Xander?" Asked Tara.

They all looked at Buffy but she didn't answer. Finally Willow stepped in, "I think he needs some time alone."

*****

[The Hospital]

Xander was sitting beside the body of Anya. He didn't say anything. He didn't do anything except sit there.