P.S. Oh, oh no. I'm wondering if this led to Buffy actually arguing Xander should've been there during the Zeppo, but since he'd ticked off Willow (& the others hadn't seen him actually use the Exoskel or magic), the rest overrode her. /throws up hands People, really!
Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Iron Man Crossover (Self-Made Hero)
Summary: Sometimes, you've got to be there for one friend even when that might burn other bridges.
Word Count: 340
“So, how was the City of the Angels?” Xander asks with a slow smirk and Buffy bursts into tears.
He looks alarmed now. “That bad, huh?”
She blinks. “Wait, what?” She’s staring at him as if she’s never seen him before. He wasn’t…he wasn’t yelling at her?
He grins briefly but quickly turns serious. “Hey, it’s hardly like you’re the only superhero in town. I’d rather you take some time off than be distracted and die.” She quickly glances at the rest, including Mom’s friends, but they’re suddenly all talking to each other. She suspects he’s using some kind of magic, which if it gives her a break is fine with her.
She doesn’t care that everyone else is in the room. She runs into his hug, because if nothing else Xander is good at hugs. “Why…?”
“I like Angel.” She pushes away to stare at him. He hasn’t been replaced by an evil clone while she was away, has he? “No, seriously, I do. Mostly. I tease him and everything else. He’s also the only one who will let me patrol without a fuss. But I like you alive more. Selfish, definitely, but. And go on and hate me if it makes it easy, because lemme tell you, Willow does. She’s barely talking to me, and it hurts, but…” he shrugs. “…it’s not like I don’t deserve it.”
She bites her lip. “Angel would’ve made the same choice,” she says slowly. “That doesn’t mean you’re off the hook, mister, but. I understand. Sometimes we have to make the hard decisions.” She’d been feeling so alone as Slayer. Like no one understood.
“Everyone else hates patrolling, but I’ll keep doing so in your stead if you don’t wanna.” Moving on. Business. He might be a goofball, but he knows how to be serious when it’s needed.
“Actually, you get demoted to my sidekick.” She lets a smile play around her lips as he pouts theatrically. “In Angel’s memory.”
He nods, wiping away all trace of the amusement. “In Angel’s memory.”