Death for the Asking
By Andria Marie Marcoux
Summary: Angel seeks a favor from Xander.
Disclaimer: Every character belongs to Joss. The rest is mine.
"You've gotta be kidding me." Xander Harris said, rubbing the back of his neck where Angel had clubbed him earlier that night.
"Do it for Buffy." Angel tossed Xander the stake. It thudded against Xander's chest and fell to the floor.
"Yeah, I'll tell everybody I did it for Buffy. And after she's done 'thanking' me, Willow can reanimate my corpse so Cordelia can show her appreciation, too."
"You don't have to tell them anything." Angel stepped forward to retrieve the stake, and Xander backpedaled, keeping the distance between them constant. "They'll just think I moved on."
"Good. Then do that. I'll show myself out." Xander said. He headed for the door that Angel was suddenly in front of.
"You think I don't want to?" Angel hissed. Xander threw up his hands and walked back into the apartment, flopping down in the only chair. Angel sat on the edge of the coffee table, still holding the stake in his hands.
"She would look for me," Angel pointed out. "That's why you have to."
"Then write her a note. 'Dear Buffy, I can't live with all the pain, yadda, yadda, yadda, by the time you read this letter I will be barbecue, blah, blah, blah, learn to love again, that Xander is quite the handsome fella."
"And if I change again?" Angel asked. "I'd come back. The next time I'd . . ."
"Wait a minute. Change again? The next time?" Xander leaned forward. "Giles says there's no way, right?
"Yeah. Giles says. All I have to do is suffer." Angel shrugged.
"You're good at that." Xander said encouragingly.
"I can't take that risk. I won't!" Angel stood up, and began pacing the room.
"Fine. You want to die, then die. But leave me out of it. The sun should be up in . . ." Xander squinted at his watch, trying to read the time in the dim light.
"37 minutes." Angel offered.
"Plenty of time to write the note, straighten up a bit and go for a stroll in the sunshine."
Angel turned to Xander, snarling. "Do you think this body would allow it?"
"Whoa!" Xander jumped half-way out of the chair as Angel showed his demon face.
"The urge to run, to hide, to live, is too strong." Angel shook his head. "I can't."
"It could work. Chain yourself up, or walk into the desert, or . . ."
"No! I can't." He leaned against the wall by the window.
Xander stood, shaking his head. "I get it. You can't. It would be wrong." Xander walked over to Angel and took the stake. He stepped back and began flipping the stake from hand to hand. "Or, you're a coward. Which is it?"
"It has to end." Angel said.
Xander nodded. "Uh-huh. So, this just occurred to you? A hundred years of suffering and you never before thought to ask someone to . . ."
"There was no one . . ."
"Who wanted to kill you?" Xander snorted. "I doubt it."
"No one I could ask. Or trust. I didn't have any friends back then."
"Look, I am not your friend. And there is no way I'm going to hell for you."
"That's not how it works," Angel snapped.
"Oh, really? If it's wrong for you to kill you, then it's wrong for me to kill you." Xander wandered over to the fridge, still juggling the stake.
"You've killed vampires before. This is no different." Angel reasoned.
"So have you," Xander replied sticking his head in the fridge.
"We could make it self-defence," Angel said, moving towards him.
Xander looked back at Angel. "Nah, we'd both know it wasn't really. Besides, you'd hafta go all out and end up killing me instead."
Xander tossed a packet of blood at Angel, and shut the refrigerator door. "Just take care of that," he said, gesturing with the stake at the vampire's face. "You're creeping me out."
Angel dropped the packet on the coffee table. "Will you help me?"
"Ask me tomorrow." Xander headed for the door once more.
"The day after today. Tomorrow. Only, call. We should save this knocking me unconscious and dragging me to your lair thing for special occasions." Xander said as he left.
Angel sat in the chair and picked up the blood packet.
"I guess I can wait one more day." he told the empty room.
He jumped as the door flew open and Xander popped his head back in.
"And you might want to stock up. A six-pack of Surge. Ooh, and some cheesy chips."
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