Worth the Risk
By: Princessbuffy79


~*~I've kept it inside for the longest time
And I can't keep keepin' in
All this love that's inside my heart
Maybe it's safer not to say that I care
Maybe this road won't lead me anywhere~*~

You know what's really stupid? Rejecting the one person in the world you were meant to truly love…now that's stupid. But I did it. Over and over again. You think I would have learned by now. But no, I'm a glutton for punishment.

You see, I honestly didn't know I loved him until recently. Maybe I was blind, but maybe I just didn't want to see the truth. I told him no that first time and it broke my heart. I said I didn't think of him that way. I'm such a liar. What girl in their right mind could spend so much time with that guy and not feel at least a flicker of something more? But I felt more than just a flicker. I felt the full-blown, knock-your-socks-off power surge. I get nervous around him and sometimes, I don't know what to say. When he touches me, I feel a shiver go through me. A shock of electricity. But I don't show it on the outside. I must be a great actress to pull it off this long.

Why did I turn him down? I ask myself that very question every minute. I had my chance. He asked me out to the Spring Fling. But I turned him down. I told him I wanted to be friends. Funny thing is I became so good at getting others to believe that little white lie that I started to believe it myself. I was such a fool. Instead of Xander, I chose Angel.

To be completely honest, I did love Angel. But I knew it would never work out for us. Everything was too hard and hurt too much. What kind of life would we share? Angel was just a way for me to keep busy, a way to pass time. I loved Angel, but it wasn't the type of love I want in life. I want someone who makes me happy. I have enough pain and darkness in my life. It comes with the job.

~*~But if I don't tell you now
I may never get the chance again
To tell you that I need you
Tell you what I'm feelin'
If I keep these feelings in
And if I don't say the words
How will you hear what's inside my heart
How will you know that
If I don't tell you now~*~

The TV is on, some campy beach movie playing. But I'm not paying attention to it. Instead, all I can think of is the guy lying on my couch. Xander is sprawled out, his head resting in my lap. His hair is getting long. It's still beautiful, but it hides his face. I can't resist the temptation and I brush his hair from his face. Xander doesn't move, he's too busy paying attention to the movie. So I keep doing it, just running my fingers through his hair.

Tonight has been nice. We've shared many nights together lately, just being together. We don't do anything spectacular, but I wouldn't give our nights up for anything. Ever since Anya went on her little "learn about mortality" trip, Xander has been spending quite a few nights at my place. And the other nights, I stay at his apartment. Sometimes, I just need to get away from here. There are too many painful reminders. Reminders that my family is gone and I am all alone.

I need to tell Xander how I feel. It's eating me up inside but I can't find the words to explain. How do you tell someone that you hurt him because you were scared? I was so frightened I would lose him, I pushed him away. I lived in denial for so long, it became a part of me. But I cannot deny my feelings any longer. Lately, they are all I can think about. I need to tell him. But how?

~*~I'd give anything to be in your dreams
And I can't stand standin' by
With this dream that's inside my heart
Maybe I'm only gonna make a mistake
And there's a chance my heart will break~*~

Xander looks up at me briefly and smiles that silly grin of his. I can't help but to smile back. He has this way of making me happy, no matter the situation. I know he would make me happy. I've dreamt about it for years. Even when I was with Angel, I would dream about Xander. My heart has known all along what my head refused to believe. I wonder if I've lost my chance. I don't know if he feels that way about me now. If he doesn't, could he ever feel that way again? Of course, how will I know if I don't just ask him?

~*~How will you know you're inside my soul
Oh it's drivin' me crazy
Cause you don't see
You're the world to me
I'm so afraid to say
The way that I feel~*~

My hands are shaking. I know it's time. I have to tell him now, tonight. Otherwise, I'm going to lose my mind. I've already had every conceivable conversation in my head. If he says yes, I will be the happiest girl in the world. But if he says no… Honestly, I don't know what I will do. As long as he doesn't leave. He can't leave me. If he leaves, I'll die. Sad to say, but that's not a figure of speech with me. I'm not talking suicide or anything, but I do mean death. Xander gives me a reason to get up in the morning. When fighting, he gives me a reason to win. What would I have to live for if he isn't there? He has to stay. If he chooses to remain friends, I'll just learn to deal with it. Besides, it would only be fair. I rejected him and he's still here. I just want him to say yes. I want him to say yes more than anything I've ever wanted in my life.

~*~But if I don't tell you now
I may never get the chance again
To tell you that I need you
To tell you what I'm feelin'
If I keep these feelings in
And if I don't say the words
How will you hear what's inside my heart
How will you know that
If I don't tell you now~*~

The movie is over and the credits are beginning to run. I take a deep breath in a vain attempt to calm my nerves. It's not working. Oh well, here goes nothing. "Xander…"


I'm in heaven. That's the only explanation I can give for the past few days. Or I'm in hell. That description works just as well. You see, I, Xander Harris, am lying on the fair Buffy Summers' lap. She's running her fingers through my hair and I can't think of anyplace I'd rather be. There's a movie playing on the TV, but I couldn't tell you what it's about if I tried. And trust me, I don't care.

I want to close my eyes and relish this moment, but I don't dare. If I close my eyes, she might stop. I don't want her to stop. So I stare at the blurring colors on the television set, unable to focus on any particular shape. See, I'm in heaven.

I bet you're wondering what the problem is, aren't you? Well, I'll tell you. I am in love with Buffy, but she and I are "just friends." So there you go. I'm in hell. I am so close to this beautiful woman, but she's not mine. I've wanted her for years, but it wasn't meant to be. Instead, I've had to be her friend. We're the best of friends and lately, we've grown closer than ever before. But I still long for that something more. Maybe one of these days I'll get lucky. But I'm not holding my breath.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not pining for Buffy or anything. Nope. Not me. I have had girlfriends. And I learned I could love someone else. I loved Anya, but she left. I don't like to talk about that because it still hurts. I've moved on. But no matter how much I loved Anya, I could never give her all of my heart. I tried. I definitely tried. Anya knew the truth even when I was trying to deny it. A part of my heart belongs to Buffy. Always has. Always will. So what's a guy to do?

I can't resist glancing up at Buffy. She is looking at me, so I cover quickly with a smile. She smiles back and it lights up the room. Wow! Do I sound cheesy or what? But it's true. Buffy is absolutely beautiful. I turn back to the TV and realize the credits are beginning to scroll. Damn! No more movie means no excuse to lie on Buffy. At least, not a valid reason that wouldn't get me killed.

I release a silent groan and attempt to get motivated enough to roll off the couch and turn off the television. But Buffy speaks before I can move. "Xander..."

She sounds kinda funny. "Yeah Buff?"

"Sit up," Buffy orders me. *Uh oh, this doesn't sound good.* I do as she says, though, because I don't want her mad at me. Slayer wrath sucks, trust me. But now we're just sitting here, neither one moving or saying a word.

Buffy inhales and releases a long slow breath. She's just staring at me. Normally, this fact wouldn't bother me. No, what bothers me is that 'deer in headlights' look she's wearing. What's up with that? Buffy sighs. "God! I can't do this!" she cries, sounding frustrated.

Something is up. I'm not an idiot. Even I can see that. "Buffy, you know you can tell me anything, right?" She nods. "So, what's bothering you?"

Buffy looks like she wants to cry. "I can't tell you," she whimpers.

Talk about aggravating. I want to grab her shoulders and shake her until she spills whatever it is she's hiding, but I don't. You see, that would be stupid. I'm an adult now. "Buffy..." *Was that my voice? It was so low...*

"I know, I know. I can tell you anything," Buffy replies. She opens her mouth to try again, but quickly shuts it. Shaking her head violently from side to side, she cries, "I just can't!"

Buffy jumps off the couch and races up the stairs, leaving me sitting here in the empty living room. "What just happened here?" I mutter to myself. Five minutes later, Buffy returns and finds me in the same place. I meant to move, I just didn't. She offers a small smile, just a gentle curve of her lips. Then she holds something up. A cd.

I must look confused because Buffy explains, "I can't find the words to tell you, but this song is exactly what I want to say."

"O-kay," Whatever she wants is fine with me. I just want answers.

Buffy pops the cd into the player and pushes play. The music fills the room and I notice Buffy beckoning me to join her next to the stereo. Mechanically, I do as she wants. I get up and walk over to her. She takes my hand. "Just listen to the words."

So I listen.

~*~Been running from these feelings for so long
Telling my heart I didn't need it
Pretending I was better off alone
But I know that it's just a lie
So afraid to take a chance again
So afraid of what I feel inside~*~

*What the...* My mind is racing. Is there some other meaning hidden in the lyrics. She can't possibly mean. Buffy moves her small hand in mine and pulls my arm up, as if positioning me for a dance. She gently rests her cheek on my chest, still holding our arms up. Slowly, we begin to sway to the music. "Is this okay?" Buffy whispers, tilting her head up to look at me. I can't speak. I'm still not sure what's going on. So I nod and continue to listen to the music.

~*~ I need to be next to you
Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh..
I need share every breath with you
Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh..
I need to know I can see your smile each morning
Looking into your eyes each night
For the rest of my life.
Here with you near with you
I need to be next to you~*~

My mind was racing just moments ago. But now, I don't think it's doing anything. I can't process anything. I know I didn't hear it wrong. The song…she wants to be with me? Please, God, don't be messing with me? I've wanted this for so long. I feel her eyes on me and I realize that we've stopped moving.

Buffy smiles and closes her eyes. Then she begins to sing the next part, quietly at first, but gaining volume as she loses herself in the music.

~*~ Right here with you is right where I belong
I lose my mind if I can't see you
Without you there is nothing in this life
That would make life worth living for
I can't bare the thought of you not there
I can't fight what I feel anymore

I need to be next to you
Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh..
I need share every breath with you
Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh.. Ohh..
I need to know I can see your smile each morning
Looking into your eyes each night
For the rest of my life.
Here with you near with you
I need to be next to you~*~

Buffy may not be the world's best singer, but if you ask me, I've never heard anything more beautiful in my entire life. There is passion lacing each word and when she looks at me, her eyes smolder. I know I should say something, but I can't. I open my mouth, but nothing comes out. I just stare at her, this gorgeous woman before me.

"Xander, I..." Buffy starts to say, but I quickly cover her mouth with my hand, preventing her from saying anything more. I don't want words to ruin this moment and shake my head no.

Pain flashes in Buffy's eyes and I realize she misread my reaction. "No words," I tell her, my voice low, my emotions intense.

I can't believe I'm doing this. If this is a dream, I don't ever want to wake up. Our heads move closer together and before I know it, we're kissing. Buffy and I are kissing. Her lips are touching mine and it's not a life or death situation. But it will be if I don't come up for air soon.

I pull back, panting from the lack of oxygen. Buffy looks at me with a funny look on her face. I know I can't stop smiling. "Took you long enough," I tease her.

She smiles back at me and I can't breathe again. "Yeah, well I had to decide if you were worth the risk," she laughs.

I raise an eyebrow, "Well, am I?"

"The verdict isn't in yet," Buffy smirked. "But you could definitely try bribery. That usually works." The joining of our lips stifles my laughter. I place my hand on the small of her back and pull her closer.

Oh yeah, baby, I'm in heaven. And I think I'm going to stay.