Title: Loose Ends

Author: Jane McCartney

Disclaimer: All the characters you recognize belong to Joss & co. (all hail the crackhead). I'm just fooling around with his universe, with no intention of making money or anything.

Classification: Buffy-Angel crossover

Rating: PG13

Feedback: Yes, please! Doesn't everyone want it?

Email: janemccartney@bol.com.br

Distribution: Anywhere, I don't mind, just credit me and inform me where it's at.

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Theo, who actually made this project a viable one with his amazing and wonderful work - I'm truly grateful for your help with the English grammar and all the necessary adaptations. You're my savior.

Note: This is my very first attempt at fan fiction, and English is definitely not my native language, so I'd be happy if you guys didn't go too hard on me - please. I'm just doing the best I can here.

Summary: [Buffy-Angel Crossover] Xander shows up in Los Angeles, and brings with him a secret that'll lead him into dangerous territory. Can he cope with that? And his friends, will they be there for him?


The sky of Los Angeles was full of stars at that moment, a fact that could at the least be considered unusual for a city like this.

The darkness had already settled over the streets and alleys of the City of Angels, and the creatures of the night were out anxiously looking for their next victim.

In one particular alley, a young man was resting against a crashed wall, while he tried to get his breath back.

He was dressed in dark blue jeans and gray jacket, over a black T-shirt. His hair was a complete mess, with a few dark locks falling down over his face; he had bruises and scratches on his arms and chest, that were still bleeding weakly.

He got up, and the young man started off along LA's streets once again; his eyes full of despair and confusion.

"You've got to do this. You've got to. It's the only way and you know it, you coward."

The fear was easily heard in his weak voice, while he was trying to complete his mission. It would be a long and hard night, he knew that. And he needed to be ready - which was the hardest part.

With uncertain steps, he finally stopped in front of the Hyperion hotel's main door. For a single instant, his heart rate started to accelerate and he found himself breathless. The man tried to calm down, and won enough self-control to make his entrance into the hotel.

What he found was an empty and quiet place - at least, for one or two seconds. Then three or four voices started to fill the interior of the residence with a loud racket, which immediately scared the young man.

Jumping onto his feet, he just stared at the four confused faces that appeared and started analyzing him up and down.

One of the brunettes took the first step, with a babbling that obligated the visitor to make a mental note of Willow's new competitor in this area - which actually created a half-smile on his face for the first time in days, even weeks.

"Hi! Welcome to Angel Investigations, and we hope that we can help you with your problem. You've got money to pay to us, right? Not that it's all about money, we'll help either way. I think. It's just that they'll cut off our electricity soon, and we need George Washington and his friends in our hip pockets to stop that rude fact. That's the cruel price of modern life, I believe, but - wait, stop. You're a client, right?" Fred looked around, and saw that none of the other persons inside the hotel had as yet spoken a single word.

She kept going, "It's a monster problem, or that kind of thing? You look pretty scared, really. We can help you, right? Wesley? I kinda need support here."

Once again Fred won no answer from her friends, who kept their eyes locked onto this stranger. The Texan girl finally gave up and stepped back, waiting for someone to end the weird silence.

And Gunn turned out to be the one to do so.

"Hey, I know you! You're that Sunnydale guy, right? The one who Cordelia-"

"Gunn, shut up!" Cordelia shouted, sending a dark look to her friend. One that instantly gave Gunn the idea that he should just obey her, if he had any love for his life and he'd like to keep his butt intact.

The next one to introduce his voice into the already disturbed ambience was Wesley. "Xander? I - I mean, we - we didn't know that you'd be coming today, is there a problem back in Sunnydale?"

When the former Watcher got no answer for his question, he looked concerned to Cordelia.

"Xander?" Cordelia's voice was fearful, and at the same time perplexed. "Is everything OK? I mean, you look awful - even more awful than the usual awful."

The brunette seemed relieved when her tentative attempt to break Xander's discomforting silence was successful. And a genuine smile was born on the lips of her ex-boyfriend.

"Yep, there's the Cordy I know."

Xander's answer was unexpected at least for the others in the hotel, considering the fact that a few seconds ago the guy had seemed like he was bearing the world's worst news or something.

Then Xander thought to himself that maybe he should calm down. He couldn't generate suspicions about himself, or he'd ruin everything - which would certainly be a genuine Xander-like thing, but that couldn't be allowed to happen this time.

Not this time, 'cause his friends were depending on him. A lot of people were depending on him. Even the whole world, maybe.

Great. If there was a God, it was definitively a stupid one to put the fate of the world into his hands.

Anyway, these four didn't know what had happened and they didn't know what the hell he was doing in LA - and the whole 'I'm-in-silence-and-acting-like- a-freak' thing wasn't a good idea right now.

He simply needed to calm down, and try to act like old Xander. Should be a great time to come up with an excuse or something like that, he thought matter-of-factly.

"So, Xander," Wesley said. "May we know the reason for your unexpected visit?"

"Aren't you supposed to wear tweed?" Xander's statement instantly made appear an evil grin on Cordelia's face.

"There isn't a bloody Watcher's manual for that kind of stuff, OK?" Wesley seemed a little irritated for an instant, but his curiosity immediately replaced it. "Now can we know anything more about your sudden appearance in LA?"

"Oh, right. Why am I here? It's a good question, a real good one, ya know? And you'll get the answer right now, 'cause I certainly have one."

"You're babbling! It's that bad, huh?" Cordelia's voice sounded suddenly panicked.

"I'm not babbling!" Xander tried to stand up for himself, and his former girlfriend sent him an incredulous look.

"Oh, you're so babbling! As in, if there's a land of babblingness you'd absolutely be the King of it!" Her features were getting agitated at this point. "I know you Xander, at least enough to know when something's wrong."

"I'm here representing Giles, OK? He had those demon books for you guys, and I'm only here to make sure you receive them."

"Where are those books, then? 'Cause I can only see this horrible bag that you've got under your arm, and I can't think of a single way that books can actually fit into that."

Cordelia was about to go on with her little speech, but something caught her attention first. "What's that?" Her voice sounded frightened for a moment.

Xander suddenly froze. The first thought that actually crossed his mind was a "Damn it" one. "Those scratches in my hand? I just fell down the stairs, that's all," he said in a fake humorous tone.

"Really, it's nothing important. Ya know, Sunnydale's prize for fighting evil without the whole 'I'm the Chosen One' spiel." Unfortunately, none of Xander's words seemed to convince the brunette.

"Xander, I'm serious!" Cordelia exploded, while winning curious looks from both Fred and Gunn.

On the other hand, Wesley was staring at Sunnydale's former odd couple with something near a half-smile. He and Angel were the only ones who knew how much Cordelia and Xander, together, always seemed to represent a potential disaster area.

The brunette girl continued, "Why do I have the impression that you're tellin' us a big fat lie, huh? Do we really need to push so we can get the truth outta you?"

Xander grinned at Cordelia's concern. "I didn't know you cared so much, Cordy."

"Hey, who said I cared? I-I don't! Truly!" Cordelia's rage grew, when she observed that everyone in the lounge was sending her grins and incredulous looks. "OK, maybe I care a little," she admitted. "But that's just a little, moron. Like I'd care for a...a dog, or a piece of candy!"

"This is not true, Cordelia. Please," Wesley pointed out. The young woman just settled a dark look onto her British friend.

"Some things never change, I guess."

Xander's words were spoken sadly, but nobody seemed to notice that. Instead, Cordelia was disappointed by the fact that Xander thought she was still the same girl she'd been, when she'd left Sunnydale.

The 'bitca' one.

Oh boy, if he only knew what I've gone through since Graduation, he'd get a slap on the face for that - metaphorically or otherwise. Maybe both, she concluded with an evil grin.

"I hate to cut short this chat between old friends, but I believe some of us would enjoy a explanation here," Gunn pointed at Fred's confused features. "If one exists, that is."

"I believe we would all enjoy an explanation from you, Xander. I don't yet understand the true motive that brings you here in LA." Wesley's interruption didn't bother Gunn at all, since the young vampire hunter was embraced by the euphoria about something he could actually understand.

"Um - the chicks, maybe? Hollywood? I always wanted to meet the celebrities in this city, ya know."

While Xander was trying to hide his true reason for the whole Los Angeles trip, the other four looked him up and down once again, with their stares of incredulity.

His voice became serious. "I'm here with Giles' books, I already told you guys. They're in my hotel room - if a five-dollar room with smashed windows and crawling with cockroaches can possibly be called hotel accommodations. But that doesn't matter, so it's OK I guess."

Fred just laughed, but both Gunn and Wesley shared suspicious looks.


Hey, folks! To be continued soon... Hope I'll see you all there!