E-mail: SPRITTLEX@aol.com
Rating: PG-14
Disclaimer: I just own the story I don't own any of the characters. Joss does.

Distribution:I would like to be asked, but I won't say no.

Feedback:I hope you'll tell me if you like this. I have an idea for a sequel(Don't I always) But if you want it It'll have to be Off list for XGG_NBA members because it doesn't have Xander.

Author's note:This is more or less a one shot. I got the idea from thescene in "Out of the Madhouse" in which Xander and Angel go hunting together.It intrigued me and this is the culmination of that.

Spoilers:This follows the series up until the scene in GD2 where Buffysees Angel disappear. The story begins about twenty minutes later. X/Afriendship.

Summary:Xander helps Angel pack and comes to terms with his feelings about the Slayer and the vampire.



Angel was packing away some of his books when he heard footsteps come in behind him. It had to be her. The Slayer. Why couldn't I have fallen for a nice vampire girl like my mother always wanted, he thought sarcastically to himself. He had hoped to avoid this. Better take it like a man.

"Listen, I don't think it's such a good idea. You being here," he said as he turned. Xander was standing there.

"I think I can control myself if you can, Deadboy," the teen said with a sardonic grin.

"If you're here to make sure I'm leaving, don't worry, I am," Angel said, assuming he was here to gloat.

"I wish it were that easy, my little Fang monkey, but I'm actually here because I wanted to talk to you," Xander said, a grudging look of chagrin crossing his features.

"Well, say whatever it is you have to say and then get out. I need to pack," Angel said, intrigued by the boy's behavior.

"First, I want to say that, as much as it pains me, I don't hate you anymore. Before you can say 'Yeah, because I'm leaving' that isn't the whole reason. The main reason is what your leaving tells me. It tells me that you really do love her. Enough to let her go. I know how much it hurts to love her and have her ignore you, so I can only imagine how much it hurts to have her love you back and then have to give it up. I know it probably doesn't mean much to you, but I sympathize.

"I think you may appreciate how much this is hurting me, considering the 'relationship' we've had, but I want you to know you can lean on me. I figure we can co-found a 'Guys Who Got it Bad for Buffy' club. We could have phone meetings every week. Sort of like AA only we'd help each other get over Buffy. I guess what I'm trying to say is that now that fate has thrust you into my shoes, I can understand where you're coming from better," Xander said all of this seemingly without breathing, and was now nearly hyperventilating.

"So what? You want to be friends now?" a mystified Angel asked.

"I guess that is what I'm saying. It's just that as the only people that seem to appreciate how special Buffy is I feel like we ought to stick together. You see, as backwards as it may seem, I feel like your leaving her is the first thing I've seen you do that makes me feel like you deserve her. I know it's screwed up, but so am I. So, can I help you with anything?"

"You can help me get these boxes down to the car," Angel said, deciding to take this strange turn events at face value. The kid seemed so sincere.

"You got it, Deadboy," Xander said, a relieved look on his face. He had been afraid Angel would smack him or something.

"If we're going to be friends, can you just call me Angel?" The vampire asked, wanting to smack him.

"That's kind of fruity. What else you got?" Xander replied.

"How about Car? My best friend when I was a kid called me Car, because my last name was McCarvey." Angel asked, hoping it would catch better than 'Deadboy' had.

"Car. Now that is a cool nickname. You should have told me that a while ago, I would have dropped Deadboy."



As they loaded another couple of boxes into Angel's U-haul the vampire decided it was time for him to match the effort that Xander had made.

"If you ever tell anyone what I'm about to say to you I swear I will hunt you down, and you won't like what happens when I find you.

"Now, I wanted to tell you a couple of things of my own. First, I have always been jealous of you. If You had any idea how much Buffy talks about you, and I mean 'you' personally. It made me feel like you were the one she was dating half the time. I want you to take very good care of her now that I'll be gone. Whether she ever sees it or not, you'll always be her White Knight, Xander.

"That brings me to my second thing. Pound for pound,you are vastly more heroic than me. You just throw yourself into the middle of a battle, half the time unarmed, with no thought to your own mortality. Some people would say that showed stupidity rather than bravery. I once knew a man, a great warrior, who said: 'The line between bravery and stupidity is drawn by the living.' I figure that since you're still here you must land on the brave side of that line.

"Finally, I have to say that all in all I just don't get the way the rest of the gang treats you. I have always seen you as 'KeyGuy'. I have memories, from when I turned, of being worried about you, and trying desperately to impress you. I saw you as the one I had to break to destroy the rest. Basically, I'm trying to say I consider you a role model. I think of you as my model of what humans could be if they tried," Angel finished, embarrassed by what he had said.

"I'd like to say Ditto, but there is that whole murder thing," as he noticed the pained look that crossed Angel's face he said, "Listen I was just kidding. That's what I do with my friends. I ride them mercilessly. I remember I picked on Jesse so bad when I first met him that he wouldn't talk to me directly for a whole year," Xander's face darkened at the mention of his lost friend.

"I just thought of something that bugs me about Buffy. Tell me if you've noticed this.

"Have you ever noticed how she acts like being the Slayer is all that makes her special. It's like she doesn't even realize what an amazing girl just plain Buffy Summers is," Xander said, trying to lighten the mood.

"I thought I was the only one that saw that," Angel said, glad Xander had provided them both with an out.



They continued talking as they finished packing. Unfortunately, as will happen, they eventually finished and Angel had to go.

"You be sure to call when you get to LA," Xander said as Angel got behind the wheel.

"I will, and I'll give you my address so you can write. Remember, I want to know how she's doing, just leave out the painful stuff," Angel said out the window as he started the engine.

"You take care, Car," Xander yelled after the truck as it pulled out.

Angel waved as he went drove away. Xander waved back, not knowing if Angel saw. Both of them had lost something that night. Angel his love, Xander his enemy. But they had both gained a friend.