A/N After I finished and posted "The Truth of Her Existence", my daughter read it. She burst into tears (whether at the story or the bad writing, I'm not sure) and smacked me in the head. She then insisted on a happy ending. So here it is, a happy alternative ending to "Why Do You Hate Him". Enjoy

THE ALTERNATIVE TRUTH OF HER EXISTENCE

Xander was hers, and that was the truth of Dawn's existence. She'd joined him in Africa over three months ago, when the time had come to learn the practical side to being a watcher. She had heard the expected complaints from Giles and her sister, but Dawn pointed out that Xander was the best field watcher the Council had, and she wanted to learn from the best. So she'd come to Africa and tried to get Xander to re-connect to the humanity he seemed to have left behind when Sunnydale turned into a crater. It had been slow going, and at times she wondered if it, if he was worth the effort. But then she'd watch him work with their slayers, and she saw the artless way that he had with them and knew that reclaiming Xander was worth any effort. They had been doing well until that day, the day he came.

Dawn had been in Nairobi, securing the supplies they'd need for the next two months. When she'd gotten back Dawn had noticed that Xander seemed agitated about something but she'd written it off as one of his mood swings. But after dinner she'd confronted him about it and he told her what had happened.

"Deadboy came by while you were gone."

"What did he want?"

"He wanted me to know he's human now, he got his big sanshu."

"So, why tell you" Dawn had asked even if she already knew the answer.

"He said he loved me" Xander replied, almost too quiet to be heard.

"What?"

"He said he loved me and has loved me for a long time."

"I take it your reaction wasn't what he was hoping for."

"Nah, I was pretty freaked out and I let him know that."

"I see" Dawn paused "Xander; I want you to be extra careful for a while."

"Why?"

"Because Angel can be dangerous and when it comes to you, I don't think he'll stop at anything."

"What are you talking about" he asked.

Dawn sighed "sit down and get comfortable, this is gonna take a while" and she told him everything, everything she knew or suspected, all the clues she'd found and the secrets she'd uncovered. It was a lot of ground to cover but in the end she convinced Xander to take every possible precaution because "I think he might just go the 'if I can't have it, no one can' route; and that's not acceptable."

It happened three days later, the gunshot, the struggle and the capture. Xander's chest was bruised and three of his ribs were cracked, but the Kevlar vest had saved his life. Kewithe, the slayer detailed to shadow him that day had seen the assassin and had beaten him severely before she brought him into the compound. Xander had wanted to talk to him, but Dawn had insisted on doing this herself. It had taken four hours, but eventually she got a name, a name she was familiar with. She then made two calls; the second was to her sister.

"Buffy"

"Dawn, what's the matter?"

"I need you to come down here right now, you and Willow and Giles."

"What's going on?"

"It's Xander, please hurry" and then she hung up the phone.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Twelve hours later, the three core Scoobies, plus two guests arrived at the compound in Kenya. Buffy ran to her sister even before the helicopter rotor stopped spinning "Dawn what is it; what about Xander?"

"He was shot in the chest" Dawn replied, her voice clipped and tears rolling down her cheeks.

Buffy just gasped and hugged her sister tightly. Both Willow and Giles had heard Dawn's reply and joined the group hug; Kennedy and Angel hung back, they were not really part of this. The group slowly moved to the main building, it was difficult with all the tears and hugging that was going on. Once they got there, they were immediately aware of two constables standing at attention; one thick and fair haired the other tall and thin. Before they could ask why they were there, the two moved forward and wrestled Angel to the wall and the thin one spoke. "Mr. Liam O'Rourke, you are charged with conspiracy to commit murder; I am placing you under arrest and taking you to Nairobi where you will stand trial.

"Wait a minute" Buffy started but Dawn gently pulled her back and said "wait".

Protesting his innocence the entire time, Angel was led away.

Buffy turned to her sister "just what was that all about?"

"Angel hired a man to kill Xander" Dawn bluntly replied.

Everyone sat down, too stunned to speak almost to mind numbed to think about what they'd just heard. Finally Willow cleared her mind enough to ask "why would he do that?"

"Love, as crazy as that sounds" Xander said as he walked in from the other room.

He was immediately tackled by a blond and red headed blur, who; after making certain that he was alright, started berating him for letting them think he was dead.

"Sorry guys, but we had to make sure that Deadboy wasn't tipped off, he had to be arrested here."

"But Xander" Willow persisted "you never really told us why he'd try to have you killed."

"I'll take that one" Dawn said "but it's a long story so get comfortable."

The reactions to the story were mixed; Giles was livid, Buffy was disgusted and Willow was shaken up. The witch was trying to figure out if Tara had really loved her or if it had just all been an act. She walked outside and stared up at the nearly full moon.

"She loved you" a voice said from behind her.

She whirled to see Xander standing there with a sad smile on his face "you know she did."

"How do I know that?"

"Because if it had been an act, she would have left as soon as you came out of the closet; once your head was turned away from me, her job was done. No from what I gathered Deadboy just set her out to be found, and once you two had met he counted on your feelings, both your feelings to pull you away from me."

"But how could he have hurt you like that if he truly loved you?"

"Come on Will, you know how love makes you do the wacky; I imagine that to him it made perfect sense."

"I suppose" she replied, then arm in arm they headed back towards the others; "so what about you and Dawn" Willow asked with fake innocence.

Xander stumbled.

OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

Angel was now in jail and the others had headed back to their assignments, only now they kept in better touch. As for the two of them, it had taken two months to convince Xander that she truly did love him, and that she wasn't going anywhere; and they had been together ever since. She gave a secretive smile as she snuggled into his side in their bed, she couldn't wait to tell Xander that he was going to be a father.

THE END, AGAIN