Ordinary Men By: BoxerMan

Description: Xander meets a kindred spirit.

Buffy/Batman/Seven Crossover

Disclaimers: I can carry everything that I own, and I don't see how I can carry a TV show, maybe a TV, although I could carry a comic book, but I still don't own anything really.

I dedicate this story to my fiancée who puts up with all of the crap I put her through.

A/N: Ok, like I said, I'm not sticking to the ENTIRE format of the desert scene in seven, but I am sticking to my impressions of the movie. Xander has to make a choice. And this chapter is more or less his thoughts, as he wants to kill Caleb. And Bats' thoughts as he tries to talk him down.

A/N2: please send me your reviews, please please please.

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The Desert

Hundreds of neurons fire in the human brain each second. Millions of thoughts, dreams, emotions, carry through the synapses in the human brain. In a split second, decisions are changed, made, broken. But in each living thing, each neuron is based on one decision. One choice. Left or right? Up or Down? Fight or Flight? Anything can be simplified down to a choice between two outcomes: yes or no.

Xander Harris stood between two outcomes: kill or don't kill. In killing, he not only takes another life, he would change who he is. He would be a murderer. Sure, he had killed hundreds of vampires, demons, and other hellish creatures. But this was different. Caleb was still human. Even animals in the wild only kill if they have to. Out of need for food or defense. How would killing Caleb solve anything? Would Anya be back? Would she forgive him for leaving her, for letting her die? Would he have been a father? Would they have lived happily ever after? No, he knew that they wouldn't. Nothing could ever bring them back. Anya died a vengeance demon. Perhaps it would be a fitting tribute. To her work, to her cause, to her.

He'd still be a murderer. Look what happened to Faith. She was back now, but after so long. Ever since Willow killed Warren he hadn't been able to look at her the same way. He still loved her, but it was like a little piece of his mind that every time he looked at her, he saw Warren skinned alive. He wasn't under anyone's influence. He wasn't addicted to black magic. It would be a choice. He would be killing in cold blood. Out of anger, out of hate, out of rage or spite, it would still be a conscious decision.

The only thing it would do is making him feel better. 'An eye for an eye.' The First tried to change the rules, but the oldest ones still apply.

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The man knew what was happening. If Xander killed Caleb, the First's work would be complete. The seven mortal sins of man. All of the others had given in to their darker sides and committed their sins, knowingly and longingly. Xander was the last.

He remembered what Caleb had said, 'You are here to bear testament to my work. The Desert is where the unjust are sent to be judged and cleansed.'

But how does committing the sins complete the First's plans? He looked at Caleb with his head nodded down and his eyes staring impassively at Xander. He looked at his priests collar. The sins of man. 'When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, they wandered The Desert for forty days and forty' nights because they sinned. They SINNED. They created a false god; they were idolaters. The Desert is where men's true selves are judged and punished. Xander was being judged. The man began to fear for Xander's sake as well as his own. Xander was being judged and mankind was being tried. But why him?

He looked at Xander. He wasn't anyone special. He wasn't anyone special. All the others were human, more or less, but he was the only real one there. His core had always remained. 'I don't go out looking for fights or anything because I think I am God. I AM only human and that is what gives me the right to help people in any way that I can.' His faults, his weaknesses, his strengths, everything he had inside of him was human. He knew the darkness and stood for the light. He could not succumb to temptation. He had to distract him and make him see what was happening.

He shouted, "Why are you here?"

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"Why are you here?"

Xander lost all train of thought. "What?"

"How did we get here? Why is he in chains? Why does he want you to kill him?"

Xander looked at the man, tears streaked down his face. "How the hell should I know? He's fucking crazy."

The man replied. "He WANTS you to kill him. Gluttony, Sloth, Greed, Lust, Pride, Envy, Wrath. If you kill him, YOU become WRATH. Its what he wants."

"ITS WHAT I WANT!"

"NO. You want Anya back. Killing him is not going to do that."

He said it. Anya was dead. Xander knew it. They both knew it. Where there was blinding hot rage there was now cold indifference. Xander felt that one small part of himself fighting to keep from drowning in a sea of apathy and despair start to falter. He felt his face start to cool down. It was better to feel rage than nothing at all.

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The First didn't like how things were starting to look. Xander had to be kept in the heat of the moment. The man was not supposed to come, but it thought that he would have no bearing on the outcome. It knew about his secrets. He was tainted with darkness. That was why Caleb chose Xander. He was still pure. Pure of heart and soul. He had been conflicted with his love for Anya and wanted to not hurt her. But it was still pure. He also was the only one of the fighters to not have any magical essence left in him. The magic from the Halloween incident as well as the hyena were gone from misuse. He was 100 percent human. Everyone else had sinned, but Xander had not yet chosen his slot in hell.

The Orb was supposed to trigger the cleansing light so that the final judgment could be made. Only something human could be allowed in. The man was wholly human as well and had been transported with him. The same went for Caleb, but Caleb was planned for. Caleb had incredible strength and stamina, but that was not from magic. What people did not realize was that energy is energy. Power is power. Whether by magic or science. Steroids and drugs are purely human creations and it was simple enough to have the preacher on a steady diet of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones.

The Orb's cleansing light banishes all magic from the Desert. The First wasn't magic. It was human. From the temptation at the tree of knowledge with Adam and Eve, to Pandora and her box, to the kid that stole a Butterfinger Bar at the local 7-11 when they thought that the clerk wasn't watching, the First thrived on it. It didn't create evil in Man. The First Evil WAS the evil in Man.

The First watched Xander's face as he made a decision.

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Xander turned to Caleb and said coldly, "I'll see you in hell."

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The First as Anyanka smiled. "Yes you will."

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*SHHINNK!!*

A decision made. A slot reserved.