A/N: I own nothing. Original inspiration comes from my artsy mind – I wanted some Carpenter!Xander, so I wrote at least three fanfics to that affect. The only hope you have of me updating is in the picture “The Professor and the Carpenter” by TexasAries.
again, this picture is by TexasAries
Xander lovingly sanded down the ornate dinner table he had spent a week carving. The bell over the shop rang, and he almost whacked his head against the bottom of said table.
“Can I help you?” he called out instead.
“Um, yeah – are you the owner?”
“Yessuh!” Xander grinned as he slipped from under the massive piece of woodwork. “Whaddaya need?”
“My mom’s old coffee table is falling apart – my stupid brother keeps propping his Federal Agent feet up on them, so it’s filthy and fragile. I don’t expect you to do anything about the mess, but could you strengthen it somehow? I could engineer it myself, but my carpentry skills are rather rudimentary at best…” the man trailed off.
“How about you show me this table, Mr…?”
“Eppes – Charlie Eppes.”
“I’m Xander Harris, nice ta meetcha. Did you bring it with you?”
“No, I’m afraid not. When would you like me to bring it in?”
Xander screwed up his face in thought. “Well, it kinda depends on how it looks. How about I follow you home, and you show me your mom’s table. I’ll give you an estimate, and I can take it back in my truck if y’ like. That sound good?”
“Okay, could I get a little map just in case I lose you?”
Charlie nodded and drew something a little enthusiastically on his legal pad. Xander smiled at the equations covering the rest of the pages.
“Okay, buddy, I’ll see you in a few,” Xander nodded to the shorter man, following him out of the store. He flipped the “OPEN” sign over and locked up.
The table was a beautiful piece of work, and matched the amazing Craftsman home very well. Xander held in his awed whistle, and settled for a goofy smile.
“I love this house.”
“Well, you can’t have it,” Charlie laughed. “I bought it from my dad not too long ago. I grew up here.”
“It sure has a lot of history, I can tell ya that right now. Other than the table, d’ you have any problems?”
“I’ve got some practice doing grunt repairs, too – used to work in construction, lived as a handyman for a while. That, and I really want to see as much of this place as I can so I can make my own.”
Charlie blushed. “Well, there are a-a few things worth fixing. After you finish with the table, I’ll give you a tour.”
“Thanks, buddy. Wow. So, the table?”
Xander ran his hands gently over the piece. It had been wonderfully crafted in its time, but the finer details were worn with loving use. He smiled, soaking in the emotions of a close family. The legs were a bit wobbly, and one was slightly splayed, but he could fix this beauty up in just a short stretch.
“Charlie?” he called out.
“I’m in the kitchen,” the man replied. Xander stood and moved to the other room. “What is it? Can you fix it?”
“Yeah – I have some tools in the truck, and a couple bits of wood. This shouldn’t take more than an hour, it’s a very fine piece of work.”
“That’s wonderful,” Charlie said gratefully. They discussed price for a few minutes, and Charlie managed to haggle Xander down a bit. “Would you like something to drink?”
“Sure – juice would be nice, orange if you’ve got it.”
Charlie bustled about in the kitchen. It seemed a little odd to Xander, that a man in his late twenties, obviously single, had bought this house clearly meant for a family. There were signs of another man or two living there, so maybe he took care of his dad, and obviously his brother was by a lot. He grinned. Then again, if he made enough cash, he would have a place exactly like this, and he’d have over anyone who would help make it feel like a home.
“Charlie?” a man called out as he came in the house. Xander stood up rapidly, still holding his hammer. The guy whipped around and trained a gun on him.
“Don?” Charlie answered back, coming out of the kitchen. He dropped the thankfully plastic cup, spilling orange juice all over. “Crap – Xander, this is my brother; Don, this is Xander Harris. He’s a carpenter, came to fix the coffee table. You can stop trying to kill the repairman now.”
Don put the gun away, looking really sheepish.
“Sorry,” he muttered.
“Hey, strange man in your baby brother’s house? I’d shoot me, too,” Xander shrugged. Then he made a face. “Somehow, that sounded a lot more sexual when spoken aloud.” He turned back to the coffee table, missing the disbelieving look Don gave his back.
“A carpenter, huh?” Don asked, even as he helped Charlie clean up the orange juice.
“A carpenter, huh,” Xander nodded with a laugh. “A Master Carpenter at that.”
“I get the feeling that should be capitalized,” Don retorted, amused.
“It should be – three years apprenticing for the meanest bastard I’ve ever met, plus two journeying, plus the hardest goddamn test I’ve ever taken in my life…ok, other than the Chem final in high school, but the hardest goddamn test I ever passed.”
“So what’s wrong with the coffee table?” Don asked, sinking into the couch to watch Xander work.
“Charlie mentioned something about a brother propping his Federal Agent feet up on it, but you’ll have to ask him about that,” Xander grinned. “I’m just stabilizing it, evening it out a little,” he shrugged, bending over to nail in more supports.
He didn’t notice Don’s eyes measuring the contours of his ass, or he might have gotten jumpy. Charlie hustled Don into the kitchen after a few minutes.