Into the Night
The Home of Alexander Harris
September 15,1999 10:00 A.M.
"FREEDOM!!!!" he screams at the top of his lungs as he watches as his parents drive off. Mel Gibson's last line from the movie 'Braveheart' echo's up and down the street.
Alexander Harris is finally free, with the untimely death of his dear sweet Grandma Rose. I haven't seen her since I was four. His father (the drunk that he is) received $200,000 in insurance polices that he didn't even know existed. Xander's parents paid off the remaining $28,000 on the mortgage and gave the house to him, lock, stock, and barrel. He was now a homeowner.
"We're moving to Florida, son. Sunnydale’s to crazy for me and your mother. You can waste your life here if you want to. All you have to do is pay the yearly house taxes and utilities. Maybe YOU could even get a job. Don't fuck this up, boy. We're not sending you any money. From here on out, you’re on your own," his father said.
Thank you, dad. Your support has meant so much to me over the years. Now, maybe all the cabinets in the kitchen can be filled with food instead of alcohol. he thinks. Xander stands on the front porch feeling like a new man. His parents left also him with $5,000 in the bank. I just about had an orgasm when they told me. He now will sleep in the master bedroom. Now the mice have the basement all to themselves. I am sleeping mouse-free from now on.
Jingling the keys in his front pocket, he can't help but smile. He has been ready for a long time to be on his own, but his finances told a different story up until now. Now it's all up to me. Put up or shut up time for the Xan-Man.
Walking back into the house and slamming the door behind him, Xander can actually visualize his life improving. First things first, get new furniture, throw out ma and pa's bed, GO FOOD SHOPPING!!!, buy a new TV, order the Playboy channel. Without the constant fighting and put-downs from his parents, he can sleep peacefully at night. At least as peacefully as anyone does on the Hellmouth
"I've gotta get the old shack ready," he says aloud to no one in particular.
In two days, he will have his first roommate. And if she doesn't try to kill me in my sleep, I'll be a ok.
Faith is coming to live with him.
A Slayer in his bed.
Well, at least one of the beds in HIS house.
Maybe not the Slayer he wanted.
But a Slayer nonetheless.
He remembers all the years Willow and her family took care of him. They didn't ask a lot of questions, but they had to have known things weren't right in his house. Nonetheless, they just loved and supported him because Willow did. They bought him clothes from time to time. He ate dinner with them. Sometimes when his parents constant bickering got to be too much, he spent the night at their house. They showed him the kindness he never got at home.
The same kindness he is sure Faith never received either.
Xander has only seen rare glimpses into what her life may have been like before she came to Sunnydale. He is almost certain she was abused as a child in some form or another. Plus the overwhelming guilt she feels over her first Watcher doesn't help either. He won't turn a blind eye to her, to the things she's done. But he has decided to give her a place to stay, somewhere to call home. A chance to turn her life around.
Faith woke from her coma about two weeks ago with no memory of the last six months. She called Buffy. The whole gang went to the hospital with her for support, since she was still feeling guilty for almost killing her. Well death is your job, Buffy. Anyway, Giles calmly informed her of everything she had done. The Mayor, the business with Angel, the Ascension. As always she put up her tough girl front, trying to act as if it was no big deal. “I really kept you guys on your toes, didn't I,” Faith said.
The Watchers Council felt it was a big deal.
They were about to have her killed. But after Giles helped Buffy stop the Mayor, the Council reinstated him as her Watcher and decided to spare Faith’s life in exchange for one thing. If called upon, Buffy must do one JOB for them, no questions asked. If she doesn't, all three of them die.
After much debate. “Are we all on crack cocaine… You can't possibly agree to that,” Xander said at one point. Buffy made the decision to go along with this. She felt she needed to give Faith a chance.
As always, she is my hero.
As always, I'm doing this for Buffy.
Faith was shocked that someone would put herself on the line like that for her. As much as Willow still dislikes her, she even agreed that we need to try and help her. I think she saw little of me in her.
So, Faith will live with me, for the time being. She will be an official member of the Scooby Gang again. She will resume her Slaying duties of hunting the undead. Two weeks out of a coma and she has a job already. Giles will be her Watcher. And I will try to be her friend, if she lets me.
Making his way upstairs, he can't shake the feeling of sadness he has always associated with this house. I've got to find way to change that. Making his way to the master bedroom he will now furnish with his things, Xander tries to muster up some feelings of regret that his parents have essentially abandoned him. So far though, he can only find positives in that departure. Peace and Quiet, that’s all I want.
Tonight, Xander is having a little get together for his friends.
All three of them.
Buffy, Oz, and Willow, some heart-attack-by-the-age-of-thirty pizza, and some good movies.
Alexander Harris has not felt this good in years.
Sunnydale Memorial Hospital
September 15, 1999 11:15 A.M.
Faith has been, for the last twenty minutes, trying to find something on television. There is only so much Jerry Springer the mind can take. she muses to herself. With the remote control in hand, she goes from channel to channel, looking for anything to take her mind off of the boredom.
With a somewhat apprehensive look on her face, Buffy Summers enters the room. "Hey, you up for a little company?" she says. Buffy hopes to try and reestablish a friendship with the wayward Slayer.
"Five by five, B." Faith answers in her usual slang. Ok, Faith. Time to try a mend a few fences She takes a deep breath as her visitor approaches the bed. "Buffy, I just want to say again I'm sorry...for everything. And that I appreciate what you did for me. You know I'm not very good with words."
"You're doing just fine." Buffy smiles, feeling a little more at ease. She takes a chair and pulls it up to the bed. Now glancing at her watch. "Look, Faith. It's been five minutes since I've arrived and we haven't tried to kill each other. Must be a new world record for us."
"I could try and strangle you with my IV," Faith teases. After the deputy Mayor’s murder, Faith completely lost her way from what Giles told her. Now, she wants to find it again. With Xander offering her a place to stay and Buffy risking her life with the Watchers Council, she knows there are people who care about her. That’s the easy part.
Getting used to that will be the hard part.
"Not necessary." She pauses briefly. "So how is my homicidal friend feeling this morning?"
"I killed breakfast this morning. That made me feel better. I'm gaining a little of my weight back and the scar on my stomach is not as bad as I thought it would be."
"I'm sorry about that."
Faith shakes her head. "B, I was trying to kill you and your friends, you were defending yourself. I don't know what type of weird fixation I had with the Mayor, but it totally fucked me up. I just hope I can win your trust back."
"It won't be easy, but time heals all wounds," Buffy offers with a smile.
"I hope so." Glancing at the time on the wall. "Ah B, aren't you supposed to be in class, ya know, doing the college girl by day/Slayer by night thing."
"The college girl thing is OK. The Slayer girl thing is as good or bad as usual, depending on how you look at it. It's the personal life thing that sucks."
"I know a lot about that, B," Faith replies.
"Angel is in LA now. We broke up for good," Buffy says in a somber tone. "I know that no matter how much we love each other, a relationship between us won't work. I haven't been on a date in almost three months. Xander was gone all summer and Willow went on a five-week tour with Oz and his band. I spent most of the summer alone."
"At least you were awake," Faith offered.
"Yeah, that’s something I guess."
"I'm sorry, Buff, but matters of the heart are not my forte," Faith says softly.
At that moment Buffy wonders if Faith has ever been in love. The only thing anyone has ever taught her is pain and betrayal "That doesn't appear to be mine either."
"You've still had more luck than me."
"Thats debatable. My last boyfriend wasn't alive," Buffy said.
"Buffy, you knew good and well Angel is a vampire. All the so-called love in the world will not overcome that. Look, the new Millennium is coming. When I get out of here, we are going to hit the club circuit, find us some stupid guys to buy us things, fuck them, and never call them back. Now how does that sound?" Faith says, grinning.
Buffy is laughing as well, happy to see a spark of the old Faith, mixed in with new one. "We'll see," she says. "I've got a class in fifteen minutes so I've got to be going." Buffy stands to her feet and pulls her purse over her shoulder.
"Ok....Buff, go out tonight. Do something, don't just sit around and mope over Angel. Remember, he left you. It's time to move on."
Staring at the bedridden Slayer, Buffy asks, "Should I call you Oprah the vampire slayer."
"Not if you don't want make me try and kill you again."
"Well, I won't be sitting around the house tonight. Me ,Willow, and Oz are going over Xander’s. We are going to kill a few brain cells with TV and junk food," Buffy said cheerfully.
"Leave some junk food, will ya. They're springing me from this joint in two days."
"Yeah, I almost forgot about that. You'll be back to kicking demon ass in no time." Buffy is really looking forward to the added help of another Slayer.
"Together, we are going to send evil back where it came from, wherever that is." Faith has not had many friends in her life. Buffy is one she would like to keep. "B, once again.... Thanks for everything."
Buffy leans over and gives Faith a hug. "We all need second chances, Faith. Just make sure you take advantage of yours." Buffy walks toward the door and leaves.
Don't worry, B. I will, Faith mutters to herself. Feeling for the first time in a long time like she has something to look forward to.
The Home of Alexander Harris
September 15, 1999 7:30
"I would rather relive my high school years than have one of you catch me doing that," Xander says while biting into another slice of pizza. The scene he is referring to is from American Pie, when the guy is caught by his father having sex with an apple pie.
"Xander, really think about that.....RELIVE HIGH SCHOOL. Hell noo!!" Buffy says next to him. Xander and Buffy are on the love seat with Willow and Oz on the couch.
"Buff, if you found me, in my kitchen, jeans around my ankles." God, she's beautiful! Xander thinks, watching her smiling face. "With me holding a pie level with my crotch. And I'm moving said pie in a rhythmic motion, you would freak the fuck out. I know you've seen some strange things, but I doubt you've ever seen that.”
"He's got a point Buffy." Willow says while munching on popcorn. "We've seen demons, vampires, the undead. But some one having sex with pastry. I just don't think Giles has a book on that."
"Yes, he does, it's on the second shelf. There's Demons-R-Us, then ARE YOU REALLY DEAD?, and lastly, men who have sex with pies," Buffy says serious voice.
"Really, I've never seen that one," Oz says in his usual monotone way.
"Our resident evil destroyer is just kidding, baby," Willow croons into his ear.
"I knew that," he says with a slight smile. "I mean, who would need a book on how to have sex with pies. I think it's pretty self explanatory."
When the movie has finished Willow and Oz say their good-byes. "They are leaving to go have sex," Xander whispers in Buffy' ear. A smack to the shoulder shuts him up.
"You sound like you're jealous," Buffy asks, taking a sip from her pop.
"Don't tell me you've still got a love jones for Willow."
"Now who's jealous?" Xander teases.
"In you dreams."
Every night Buff, every night, Xander says to himself. "Me and Willow are fine. If we wanted to be together, we would be. Oz offered her an out. She didn't take it." Buffy notices a somber slump in his mood.
"You were in love with her weren't you?" she states.
"Yeah, but she choose Oz. I'm happy for them, but at that time, I really wanted to be with her. I think she thought I was still hung up on you," Xander said without looking at her.
Buffy contemplates that for a moment. What comes out of her mouth next is unplanned.
"Buufffffyy! You can't ask me that!" Xander said, looking away.
"Why not? We have always been honest with each other. I see the way you look at me. I'm not blind. My Slayer sense's extends to more than the three-headed dogman’s heavy breathing.
Xander can't believe she said that. He looks at her like she is crazy. I guess I'm busted. Taking a bite of the last slice of pizza, he answers, "You are a total hottie, Buff. People should call you Buffy the Blonde Bombshell. When you’re around, the blood is really pumping, either from someone’s neck or his groin."
A shy blush creeps across the young woman’s face at his compliment. "Well if that’s the case, why haven't I been on a date in over two and a half months?"
"Because you don't have the time to date someone that doesn't know what you do at your night job. Having to lie at the outset of a new relationship is not the way to start one. What are you going to say? Sorry, but I have to cancel dinner tonight; my Watcher says there is a class 17 demon from hell looking to resurrect a few of his buds. Can I get a rain check?" Buffy grins at that. “Plus, you're scared," Xander said honestly.
It's Buffy's turn to look away now. How does he know me so well? she wonders. "I'm tired of being hurt." Xander scoots a little closer to her. "If Angel were human, we would be together. I have no doubt about that."
Xander wonders if there will ever be a time he will not feel an ache in his heart when Buffy talks about Angel or any other man.
"But, just like a Husband who's wife passed away, you just have to accept some things and move on. You can't let it kill you."
"You know Angel is still in love with you, right?" Xander asked. Even I know that.
"Yeah. But it's not going to work between us, and I have to move on." Xander moves his arm over her shoulder and gives her a squeeze in support. "Enough about me. What does the fall hold for my Xander shaped friend?"
He would like to hold a Buffy shaped friend. "Uh, finding a job would be nice. But other than that, as of right now, I'm pretty happy. I've got my own house. How many guys can say that? I’ve got some money in the back, so at least I can by a car that runs. And as of right now, I've got my Slayer. What more can a guy ask for?" Xander joked with a wide tooth smile.
"At least while your on my loveseat."
"So anyone who sits on your furniture belongs to you?"
"Only the most beautiful of women."
"Where do I rank?" Why did I say that.
"You are so full of shit."
Xander gazes at the woman next to him. I'll never have her, but at least I can live off of a few moments like these. "You're number one, Buffy. As long as you don't tell anyone about my stripping last summer."
"When are you going to tell me the whole story?" Buffy inquired. Taking in the muscular shoulder and expanding chest of her friend. That dancing over the summer filled him out a little more. Willow had taken him clothes shopping a few days ago. He bought more solid colors and more name brand clothes. The slightly new look already complemented a nice package, she thought.
"Buffy, one day I will confide all. But for now, know that I needed $900 dollars to get my headgaskets fixed, and I needed it badly," he emphasized the last word. "Still, if you want a demonstration." He rises to his feet and slings his black T-shirt off of his back. Then he straddles her thighs and begins humping her slowly.
Reaching into her purse, Buffy retrieves a one-dollar bill and puts it into his pants. "Shake it, baby," she says, before running her hand up and down his chest. Now Xander looks shocked.
"I will, if you promise to return the favor."
Buffy finds herself smiling in a flirtatious way at him. "You play your cards right."
Getting off of her lap and pulling his shirt back on Xander asked. "Ya know, Buff, we could take a stripping show on the road. The B/X EXPRESS. We could wear matching outfits. You could dance for the guys, and I could for the girls. We'd be a hit. I can see you right now in a bright red thong grinding on a pole, sliding up and down."
"XANDER!!" she exclaimed in his ear. "I am not wearing a red thong," she said softly. "All of my thongs are black.
Xander needs a minute for his ears to catch up with his brain. "I don't believe you. Bring them over here and let me see for myself," he said daringly.
"Don't need to; I'm wearing one pair now." As Xander’s eye's start to bulge, Buffy rises to her feet and stands between his legs. She then seductively starts to unbutton her jeans. she slips her fingers on each side of her hips to lift the edge of her underwear just enough for him to see how thin and sexy it is. The Slayer adds a little twist of the hips for effect. This is the best I've felt in a long time
"Do you know what they make down south, Buffy?"
"No, Xander ,what?"
"A whole lotta wood."
"You really know how to flatter a girl.....Well, Xander, I've got an early class tomorrow. I'm about to be up."
Already feeling her loss in the house before she leaves, Xander stands to his feet and pulls her into a hug.
"Thanks for the lap dance, Xander. No guy has ever given me one before."
Anytime, Buff, anytime. "Well just remember , you owe me one," he says grinning down into her gorgeous green-blue eye's. Can I have you.....now maybe?
"Just call me." Standing on her tiptoes she places a lingering kiss right next to his lips, but not on them. What am I doing.....I almost ki... don't go there!
"Goodnight, Buffy. Don't let the vampires bite."
She reluctantly pulls herself from his arms and heads for the door. "Thank you, Xander." She leaves before he can get the last word.
Xander can't remember a better night in his entire life.