Third Time’s the Charm
Alexander Harris was nervous. He wasn’t sure the reason for it either. He didn’t even confess to being nervous with Giles who had only been pulled away by the news, well rumors, of Dawn’s probable lack of virginity. Even though he was thousands of miles away, he did not pity for the boy that would be facing the wrath of Ripper-Father Giles. At least, the boy had another 1/2 a day while he Giles made his way to Rome from England.
Xander knew he should call Buffy to make sure it wasn’t true, but he couldn’t help shake off the feeling and it was bothering him more than the news. Xander quickly prepared for the day, although he stalled as long as he could. He even tried by cleanly shaving the morning stubble (and wincing at two applications of aftershave).
By breakfast/lunch he was feeling better. So far nothing had happened, he was getting ready to call Buffy when he heard someone scream. Grabbing his axe, Xander went outside, careful to hide the axe as best as he could. What Xander saw made him blanche.
“Uh…” He could not utter any words at the large man standing before him.
The giant or giant like man did not look at all bothered. Xander looked around and saw several of the town’s women staring at him. He could barely make out their talk in their native tongue, it was too fast and bothered.
The man’s large beard looked like it had a life of it’s own, making Xander was wondering if there were indeed beard demons. “Er, wasn’t s’pose ta do that!” Xander gaped at him. Do what? Muscles readied to strike if need be.
As if this action sent off waves, the giant turned around to look at Xander. He seemed surprised to see the white man in the crowd of dark-skinned natives. “Er, hello.” The Devon accent told him the man was from the United Kingdom but it didn’t tell him his intentions. As if something had suddenly occurred to the giant-man he fumbled with his words. “Sorry, but do you speak English?” He asked hopefully and with a half apologetic tone.
Xander slowly nodded.
“Good!" he replied cheerily. "Can you tell me where I am? I'm thinking I over shot Egypt.” The giant-man said looking around clearly lost.
“Yeah,” Xander suddenly realized that he himself held a slight inflection in his voicethat hadn’t been there before. He cleared his throat. “You’re a few hundred miles from there.” The inflection was less pronounced but still there.
“Overshot it.” He muttered. As if that was all he needed, the man fumbled with a small map. “Can you tell me where I am exactly?” Xander had a feeling this was the start of a very bad day. “I’m Hagrid by the way, Rubeus Hagrid.”
After Xander had bid farewell to the wizard-giant his day proceeded to get worse.
He could not find hide or hair of his slayers.
He had to convince for a group of magic users to leave without erasing the inhabitants' and his own memories.
His good axe had fallen apart.
He found he was short of holy water.
Worst of all, the small inflection had gradually increased until he could only speak with a pronounced British accent that reminded him of both Bella and Giles. He faked his American accent and knew he wasn’t doing it very well. He sounded like he was trying to sound like Giles doing a bad American accent.
When he found himself being giggled by the town, Xander stormed home. He knew magic was up to this. It just had to be. He couldn’t possibly want to be British and Giles-y in his subconscious. That was the only non-magical explanation he had. Listening to Bellatrix, Giles’ nightlong rant, Hagrid the Giant, and the group of wizards had finally pushed it into full-blown out British-ness.
That didn’t even make any sense to him. Sure he liked a cup of tea every once in a while but after spending the last 5 years with a Giles how could he not? But full blown British? No way. At least, he hoped so because he’d have to see a therapist.
Picking up his phone, he dialed Giles’ phone number. Andrew picked up. “This is Mr. Giles office, may I ask who is speaking?”
Xander growled audibly into the phone.
Andrew eeped. “Sorry sir, you must have the wrong number!” Andrew said quickly before hanging up.
When the operated asked him to hang up and try again, it finally registered. Andrew had hung up on him! Xander redialed.
“Mr. Giles' office, may I ask who is speaking?”
Xander took a deep breath. “Andrew, it’s me. Let me speak to Giles.”
He could hear
Andrew frown. “I'm sorry but I don’t know who you are. Can I have your name?”
“Andrew, it’s me, damn it! Xander!” He heard Andrew moving while huffing.
“Now look here, I’m not stupid! I know Xander and you aren’t him! Call here again and I’ll sick the real one you. Not to mention what Mr. Giles would do to you if you did anything to him!” He hung up.
Xander took a deep breath.
Don’t kill him. Don’t kill him. It’s not his fault you have this stupid accent or maybe it was. Andrew had worse luck than Willow at successful small level spells.
He redialed. “You again! I told you not to call!” Apparently Andrew had looked at the caller id.
“Andrew, listen to me because I’m only going to say this once. I’ve been having a very bad day. This accent happens to be part of it. I’d call Willow but she told me not to call her under the threat of death today. Now, let me speak to Giles or I’ll smash all your damn actions figures and burn your stupid comics! That includes the Mega Man you have under your bed!” He screamed.
Andrew stood up quickly or must have moved fast because he heard furniture scuffing. He faintly could hear him call Giles.
There was a faint click and Xander knew he had Giles on the line. “Hello, I take it you’re the man impersonating Alexander?” Xander felt the headache that had been building up all day turn into a migraine.
“Giles,” He tried to cut in but Giles clucked. Crap.
“Now listen here,” Giles began, voice lowering to a threatening level. Xander wondered what could cut him off as he heard a couple of death threats.
Hm, How to confuse a British man with British accent he wondered.
His migraine flared and he groaned. The first thought that popped into his head was yelled. “Anya and I had sex on the counter of the Magic Box! Dawn took some photos of you singing! I gave you three pairs of custom made superhero silk boxers with the words Librarian Man, Man of Tweed, and Ripper Van Winkle on Father’s day!”
He winced. Yelling not good for head. He thought. At least Giles had stopped yelling though.
“Xander?” Giles’ voice was tinged with disbelief. A brief pause followed, “Is that really—you had sex on the counter?!” Maybe he should have left that out.
“Yeah.” The slow and pained reply from the invalid on the other line.
An inhalation. “Are you alright?” The concerned father voice. He’d heard Xander’s discomfort. “Aside from the accent, I mean.” Giles clarified, most likely imagining Xander with a ‘Duh!’ expression.
“No. I have a migraine from hell, in the non-literal sense. My day sucked.”
In England, Rupert Giles cancelled the events he had planned and took out a brand of whiskey. He knew this would be a long phone call as he made his way toward the recliner in his study.
If anyone looked closely enough, nearly impossible in the cameraless and warded room, they would see the waistband of silk, emerald green boxers with the words Ripper Van Winkle as Giles knelt down to deposit the bottle onto the coffee table. Of course, Giles would never admit to wearing them or that it was one of his most comfortable and favorite pair.
Xander stumbled off to bed, hoping that he wouldn’t have to patrol tonight. He was feeling better after talking to Giles. It made him feel cared for. Especially since Giles had arranged to go there himself. Ripper-Father mode. He was concerned about him.
Signing contently, he drifted off.
Bellatrix Lestrange looked at the gift certificate Alexander had given her. She was confused as she entered the obvious muggle establishment. She didn't know what Xander had wanted from her with this but she would do it. Although she never had gotten over her disliked for the muggles it had simmered and eventually boiled down to disinterest, when she was half-sane, and mild interest when she wasn’t.
She walked to the counter, the receptionist blanched. Bellatrix smiled. She was well known in the area for kidnapping, torture, and suspected murder. None of her victims ever remembered her though. Not to mention her unusual home that had appeared out of the blue.
“I have a certificate.” She replied proudly. The woman took the certificate with a shaking hand. When Bellatrix smiled, the woman’s hand steadied. Not because it comforted her, it was because she remembered why dentists existed.
Bellatrix sat in the waiting room, her wand quickly shooting sparks as she played with it. The two men near her moved away. She ignored them and concentrated on the nonmoving news articles in the outdated magazines.
The woman and baby across from her were fussy. Bellatrix couldn’t concentrate. She shot them a glare and a silencing charm. The woman looked both furious and offended but there was also a slight touch of relief at the quite calls from the child. Bellatrix returned to reading the outdated article.
After an hour, she found herself impatient, twitchy and ready to scream at the room. When two children approached her, she glared at them. Stupid muggle children. One-stepped back but the smaller girl kept nearing her. Bellatrix poked her with her wand. The child grabbed at her wand. Sparks flew.
A muggle born! She thought delighted. Unfortunately for her, she could not contemplate this phenomenon any longer as she was called into the office. The little muggle born girl was staring at her with wide hazel-green eyes. Bellatrix planned.
When the doorbell rung Xander had been expecting Giles or Bella but not this younger woman. When she smiled, a perfect Colgate smile, he felt his heart speed up. There was something familiar about her but Xander couldn’t place his finger on it.
“Would you like to come in?” He asked her before realizing he hadn’t introduced himself yet, accent forgotten. He was about to; a move that would have been detrimental when she laughed delighted.
The laugh resonated on his porch. Xander again felt his heart speed up. “Of course, Xander.” She replied and Xander felt his heart freeze.
Bella? “Bella?” He half-greeted, half-asked. She pushed past him with the mannerism of an aristocratic lady. She seemed pleased by his reaction.
“Surprised?” She cackled. Xander sighed in relief. It was Bella all right.
“Yeah. You look pretty.” She turned around. Grey lined hair flew back and Xander wondered what that distinctive flutter in his chest was. Her eyes narrowed, her fingers twitched, and the hint of insanity glinted in her eyes. Xander acted fast as the words exited his mouth. “er. You look prettier.”
Her demeanor changed and Xander relaxed. “I could get dinner ready,” he suggested.
Bella nodded. “What would you have done, Alexander,” She cooed, “If I had not been me?”
Xander smiled, safe ground. “Remind myself,” that I wanna live!
“of you.” He spoke confidently.
She nodded. Cackling evilly as she followed him into his kitchen. “I can’t make it next Friday.” She stated. “So, we’re spending today together.” Xander nodded, he didn’t have any plans anyway. He would have to talk about his schedule being considered later. He knew that Bellatrix usually didn’t have any plans being in ‘retirement’ but he wasn’t there yet.
Dinner was made quickly and simply. Bella looked at him during the entire time. Not once commenting on his accent. He wondered.
Suddenly it occurred to him. “Bella,” He began. She looked at him again and Xander reconsidered. “Uh, do you want chicken or steak?” She smiled.
They ate in silence until he asked her how she got so young again. Xander expected an answer filled with virgin sacrifices and blood baths. What he got in return turned to be less disturbing. Potions and demon parts. That wasn’t so bad. He thought.
As they walked back to the living room, Xander still noted that his slayers were gone. He thought about asking Bella but he figured she would not know. As if reading his mind, she smirked. Evilly and insanely of course.
He saw her sit on his couch and he looked at her. She didn’t know much about his way of life. Looking at his scant DVD collection, he suddenly had a brilliant idea.
“Bella,” She turned to him. “Would you like to see Hocus Pocus?”
“What is that?”
“A movie.” He explained patiently.
“Moo-vee?” Xander wondered if being One Who Sees included seeing her visualization of the word.
“Yeah. Moving images with a story usually.”
She looked both curious and hesitant. “This one is about witches.”
She smiled, Xander finally asked. “Bella, your teeth?”
“Sixteen hours of work and magic.” She replied easily. She spat suddenly. “Filthy muggles.” Xander shrugged.
Xander was reconsidering having such a bad day halfway through the film. Bella’s commentary was hysterical and oddly comforting, in a hellmouthy way. “Blondie looks like Cissy.” She commented once and Xander wondered who that was. Although he had to save his television from her wand. He quickly thought of a list of rules. One of them was “No Wands around TV”.
By the end, he was certain this was one of his most normal dates. When Bella kissed him, he agreed he settled that it was. It was a very nice kiss and Xander had not been relationship for a while. It felt nice. The events that unfolded were decent, rated PG-13, and sponsored by FOX.
As Xander leaned in to kiss her again two ear piercing screams resonated through out the house. Xander turned to find both his slayers staring at them with a look of mortification and horror. Bella looked annoyed and angry. Cursing, Bellatrix Lestrange vanished in a loud crack.
So much for a good date.
When Rupert Giles finally knocked on his door, Xander was scowling. When his eye fell on Giles, he beamed. “Hey,” He greeted.
Giles shook his head. “It sounds like you’re my son,” Giles commented absently. “It sounds wrong.” Seeing Xander’s hurt look, Giles chastised himself. “As much as I love you, Xander, my accent does not become you.” Xander smiled.
“I don’t know.” He said smiling. “Alexander Giles has a certain ring to it.”
Giles rolled his eyes. “That was my grandfather’s name unfortunately.” Giles walked with Xander to the couch where his two slayers where. They hadn’t bothered to hide their eavesdropping. Giles smiled at them. They left giggling. No doubt to snoop out of sight. “Bastard, really.” He mused.
Xander laughed. “Now, Giles, what can you do about this?”
Giles sighed, “Unfortunately, not much. It seems like Bellatrix worked her a spell on you.”
Xander looked crestfallen, accepting, and unshocked. He’d suspected as much.
“Why?” He asked not knowing the answer.
Giles took off his glasses. “She’s grooming you,” He made a slight grimace, “as a possible husband.”
Xander chocked and two gasps were heard in the vicinity. “Why the accent?” He asked, wondering.
“Most likely seeing if you would handle her. At her age though, I suspect you would look like a younger man trying to take advantage of an older lady. “
Xander coughed into this hand. “About that,” Giles stopped polishing his lenses for a moment.
Giles pulled out a bottle of whiskey. “Hey!” Xander protested. Giles sighed comfortably. Now he was ready for anything.