TITLE: Liar (1/1)

AUTHOR: Wicked Raygun

E-MAIL: wicked_raygun@yahoo.com

SUMMARY: Sequel to Zauriel Angelus' excellent character piece "Where We Belong." Xander decides on his place in the world after the final battle with The First has been fought.


SPOILERS: General spoilers for seasons 1 through 7. And of course Zauriel's excellent "Where We Belong." You probably don't have to read that to read this, but it's such a kick ass story that it wouldn't hurt to read it anyway, if you haven't.

DISCLAIMOR: I refuse to believe this is necessary. Does anyone here actually believe I own this stuff in any way? Well… To the folks who do own a piece of the Buffster and/or her friends and enemies, I mean you no harm. I'm simply borrowing your toys to put on a little puppet show. I promise to bring them all back in near-mint condition. Even Spike.

FEEDBACK: Everyone needs a little love. It makes the world go round and writers post faster.

AUTHOR'S NOTES: This is a pretty weird story. Anyways, assume that after the events of "Where We Belong" The Scoobies and Angel Investigations made their last stand, and survived. Then Xander decided that he had done his part and decided to quietly leave Sunnydale. He can be pretty much anywhere really, the story's pretty ambiguous on that front, but, personally, I like to think he tried to have a go at it in San Francisco. So whatever's your city of choice, picture him there.

"Where We Belong" was written by the wonderfully talented Zauriel Angelus. His work can be found here:


Please read and review his stuff. You won't regret it.

Also, for those who are interested in some of my other work, including Hero Complex, and Nonsense, it can be found here:


And here:


That's my brand spanking new website, created by the wonderful and talented Joanne W. and was the coolest Christmas gift ever! It's also the only place you'll find my "mature" stuff. Please, go to her site, read her fine work and leave many reviews for her as well.


Now, onto the show.


**You can't walk away from me… And you know it.**

"Maybe not, but I think I'll try a little longer."

It's a good thing the waitress isn't around to hear me talking to myself because I'm just not in the mood to get an "oh-how-sad" look from anyone today. I don't like pity. Frankly, it pisses me off. So the last thing I need is to get it from people who don't know me. Although, I must say, if anyone were to choose a time to pity me, this point in my life would be it.

It's been three months. Three lousy months and I'm barely existing in this stupid city. I have no job, with no real chances of getting one anytime soon either, no car, fifty-three bucks to my name, minus the eighty cents this coffee is costing me, and an apartment just barely clearing hole-in-the-wall status. By the way, unless I come up with some cash within the next three weeks, I'm losing that too.

Yep, you done real swell for yourself, Harris.

**I'm still here, you know.**

And, oh, yes, I'm going insane as well.

"Yeah, I know. Can I at least finish my coffee like a normal human being?"

**I'll still be here.**

"Once again, I'm very aware of that."

**So why don't you pick up that newspaper over there and do something about it?**

"No. That part of my life is over."


Voices in your head shouldn't do this to you. Sure, I've talked to myself before. But arguing with yourself? That can't be healthy.

I finish my coffee with relative silence from the peanut gallery, and made my way home. Well, I guess it's home… now.

"It's not like I wouldn't, you know," I say addressing that voice defensively, when I see no one else on the street.

**Wouldn't what?**

My inner voice wants me to spell it out. Typical. This type of stuff could only happen to me.

"Help someone… You know, if I came across someone who needed it, I'd do the good citizen thing. I just don't think I should be actively looking for the bad. Besides, this city probably doesn't have much in the way of vamps and demons."

**That's not who you are. Why do you hate me so much?**

"I don't hate you," I said hesitantly. "I just… There are plenty of people in this world who do that stuff a lot better than I ever could. It's not my destiny to be out there."

**You don't believe in destiny.**

"That's not the point."

**Then what is?**

"I don't owe anyone anything, you know. If anything, it's the other way around," I said, dodging that question and feeling more than a little annoyed.

**That's not why you fought. And you know that.**

"I never fought. I was just there," I sneered, very past annoyed now, and deep into the realm of angry.

**And now you can be there for other people.**

"I don't have to prove anything. Not to her, and certainly not to little voices in my head. I'm proud of what little I could do, okay. But it's over now. I did my part, and it's over. You can't guilt me into this."

**It's not about guilt, and it's not about her. If you were honest with yourself, you'd know it was never about her. Not really.**

"Then what was it about?"

**It's the right thing to do… And it's who you are.**

"Were," I corrected.


I don't know how to answer that, and that scares me. I hate this. I really, really hate this. Just what am I supposed to do? Go at it with the forces of darkness, only this time without the help of anyone resembling anything remotely heroic to pull me out of the fire when I get in over my head?

**I never said alone.**

"Well, guess what? I'm not dragging anyone into this sick, sad little drama I call a life. So, yes, if I did do it, I'd be alone."

**Wouldn't be the first time.**

"I could die."

**That's always been a possibility. It never stopped you before.**

"I deserve a normal life."

**So does everyone else. But they don't know about the darkness, and you do. So what are you going to do about it? Ignore it?**


**You'll hate yourself.**

"Big surprise," I muttered.

**Why do you want this normal life so much, anyway?**

"I told you, I deserve it."

**But is it what you want? Or was that what she wanted for you?**

"Shut up and leave her out of this."

**You know I'm right.**

"It doesn't matter. Nothing matters."

**Yes, it does and you know it. You're not like her. You know exactly why a hero should keep fighting. She spent so much time thinking she was the victim of her destiny that she didn't realize that if she had been like you, no powers, no destiny, she would have made the same choices you did. That's what you loved about her.**

"I told you to leave her out of this."

**It's okay to feel cheated, you know.**

"No, it's not. She wasn't some prize or reward for my life sucking so much. She had no obligation to love me the way I loved her. She chose Dead Boy Jr. End of story."

**I wasn't talking about that. Friends shouldn't judge, but she was more than your friend. She was your hero, and she let you down. She went against everything you felt she stood for just because she thought she couldn't do any better than Spike. It's okay to feel hurt. It's even okay that you left Sunnydale… But you can't run from who you are.**

"Oh, and just who am I?"

**You're Xander, the carpenter. You fix things that are broken, and rebuild what has been destroyed. You help people.**

"I'm not a hero."

**You don't have to be… You just have to try.**

I stopped to lean against the wall in the alley by my apartment building. It's starting to get dark and it's very obvious people are trying to get off the streets before that happens because I don't see that many, and the few I do are noticeably hurrying and looking behind their backs nervously. I don't even see any homeless around. I guess they have places to go to be safe. I guess I could shrug that all off as being symptoms of a high crime rate, but… There's evil here, I know it.

**So what are you going to do about it?**

"I don't know."


I grit my teeth. I have a cross and stake with me. Plus, I'm wearing a crucifix for that last-ditch, something-holy-save-me protection. Old habits die hard. There's a cemetery near by… I could do a patrol tonight to check out the situation, then tomorrow a little research at the local library, dig up what I can about this part of town in particular. Maybe I could get a map of the sewer system for this area. That's probably where the vamps would be hiding, if there were any. Plus, there's a couple of condemned buildings near by I could check out. Oh, and the church in the next block. The people there might now something.

Then I shook my head. This is crazy.

**People are dying from something you could stop.**

"I don't know that."


I'll hate myself, if I don't do anything. I know that, but… What can I do? Honestly?

**What you've always done: help people… just in a different way.**

I groaned about just how badly I was losing this internal struggle. "I must be insane."

**No arguments here.**

I laughed. Okay, fine. I'll do it. I'll try out my sort-of-a-plan plan. But if I don't find any evidence of major demon naughtiness, that's it. It's over. I'm through. I'm officially retired from the slaying business altogether… again. No more hero stuff. Period.


This time, I smiled.

"Oh, yeah, I'm doomed."