6 – Nightmare on Xander’s Street
Title: Enough – Part 6 – Nightmare on Xander’s Street
Rating: PG-13 (for now)
Pairing: mentions of B/R and Xander/Anya with a possible future slash
Summary: Xander confronts Buffy about her feelings for Riley.
Spoilers: After The Replacement, season five
Warnings: AU, possible M/M in the future.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: A day or two after The Replacement. Goes AU after that.
Xander jumped when the pounding on his door started.
“Xander, I know you’re in there. Open the door, Xander.”
Riley, who had frozen with a beer half-way to his lips when the yelling started, glanced down at the man in question, who was resting under Riley’s arm, against his side. Panic was rising in both their eyes.
“I could just break down the door, you know that, but I won’t if you let me in right now. Don’t make me break down the door, Xander. You’d never get your security deposit back.”
“What the hell does a security deposit matter when you’ve been ripped limb from limb and are dead and broken on the floor?” Xander whispered to Riley as they both slid off the couch to the floor and started crawling towards the back bedroom, and the fire escape it led to, hoping to avoid being seen through the windows.
“What was it you said, Xander? Oh yeah, ‘it’ll be fun, they’ll laugh and get off our backs, nothing to worry about,’ you said. Is that why we’re cowering in fear right now?” Riley whispered back sarcastically.
“I can hear you moving around in there, you know. You can’t hide from me, so just open the door. I won’t hurt you, I promise… or at least, I won’t hurt you too much. Just enough to make you very, very sorry,” was shouted through the door.
The two men froze in their positions on their hands and knees on the floor, looked at each other in terror and stood quickly, deciding as one to take their chances and make a dash for the bedroom and escape.
They quickly made their way to the room and wrenched open the window, first Xander, then Riley, climbing through onto the fire escape and making their way down. Xander dropped the last few feet to the ground, followed quickly by the former soldier.
When they got their equilibrium back, they both froze at the sight in front of them: two very pissed off blondes. One with a great deal of experience in tormenting men and the other whose very essence was riddled with violence and who practiced stabbing things for fun.
“Uh, hi girls. Wow, Buffy, you got down here fast. How was the Bronze?” Xander tried to ask casually, the effect ruined when his voiced cracked on the last word.
“How was the Bronze? How was the Bronze? The Bronze was fine, Willow and Tara are still there, having a great time. It is, after all, ‘lesbians get in free’ night. Which you failed to mention when you asked us to meet you there tonight and didn’t show, for the third time in as many weeks. Not to mention the bouncer let us in for free because you had showed him our pictures last night and told him we were very excited about our first outing as a couple,” Buffy said, her body rigid with anger.
“Not that we minded not having to pay, because I’m all for saving money,” Anya pointed out.
“Anya! Not the point. Focus here,” Buffy said through gritted teeth.
“Oh, so you didn’t like it when we invited you some place and then didn’t show up so that you two would be alone together on a set up date?” Riley asked innocently.
“Of course we didn’t, that’s mean and rude and… exactly what we’ve been doing to you for the past several weeks,” Buffy ended guiltily.
“But we were just trying to help. You kissed, Alicia told us you did. I know you said it wasn’t real, but she said it was really hot and you both seemed to be enjoying it,” Anya said, confused about why she was supposed to feel guilty.
The two girls noted that both men blushed at that description.
“Anya, honey, Alicia is crazy, she wanted to set a wedding date like five minutes into our first meeting. I was trying to get rid of her, I was desperate. Desperate enough to enjoy kissing Riley if it would get her not to go stalker on me and boil my pet fish,” Xander said in his gentle ‘explaining the world to Anya’ voice.
“Hey!” Riley protested, offended at the idea the a person would have to be desperate to enjoy kissing him.
“Yeah, hey! Riley is a great kisser, you don’t have to be desperate to enjoy kissing him!” Buffy exclaimed in defense of her ex-boyfriend, who was, in fact, a very good kisser.
“I know he’s a good kisser. Wait, ignore that. Anyway, that’s not the point,” Xander defended, ignoring Riley’s raised eyebrows and slight smirk, continuing before he could comment. “Can’t we just call a truce? You won’t push us on each other and we won’t push you on each other? You won’t fix us up on bad dates and we won’t fix you up on bad dates? Doesn’t that seem fair, and not at all likely to get me killed or turned into a butt monkey?”
Anya and Buffy stepped back to confer quietly. After a few minutes of whispered conversation, they turned back to the two men and Buffy said, “Here’s the deal: we won’t set you up on dates anymore and we won’t push you to date each other anymore if you promise to hang out together as friends at least once a week and show up for every Scooby meeting to hang out with us, barring prior commitments or injury or death.”
Riley and Xander stepped back to confer for a moment.
“It’s not like we don’t hang out three or four times a week anyway,” Riley offered in a whisper.
“Yeah, and I’m tired of skipping Scooby meetings just to avoid the awkward conversations and setups, and I am starting to miss Giles’ overcomplicated explanations and glasses cleaning,” Xander whispered back.
They turned back to the girls.
“Deal…” Riley began.
Xander interrupted him with, “But, we have a few conditions of our own.”
“We do?” Riley asked, but at Xander’s lift of the eyebrows that obviously meant ‘play along’, he corrected himself, “Yeah, we do a have a few conditions.”
“And they are?” Anya said impatiently.
“You two agree to hang out with each other as friends at least once a week, without plotting to get us together or in other relationships, and let us take patrol at least one night a week while you, Buffy, take the night off to spend it with your mom and sister and you, Anya, spend it however you want, as long as it’s not patrolling. You could spend time with Willow and Tara, teaching them what you know about demons and magic and how to practice magic safely and responsibly, which I know you know how to do. Or you could hang out with your non-evil demon friends. Or you could hang out with Joyce, I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t mind answering your questions about humanity and stuff. Or heck, talk demonology with Giles sometimes, he’s probably get a kick out of it.,” Xander offered, knowing that Anya needed friends who weren’t him and that she and Buffy had really started to bond over torturing him and Riley.
Anya and Buffy were about to respond when Riley continued.
“And you let us know when either of you need help or are feeling overwhelmed. We may not be your boyfriends anymore, but we are still your friends. We don’t have superpowers, but we can still help and be here for you when you need us, either of us.”
The girls rushed forward to give hugs to the two guys.
“We agree,” Buffy said, teary eyed.
“Your terms are acceptable,” Anya said with a suspiciously soggy sniff.
“Cool, we’re going to go back and watch our action movie that has absolutely no girly romance in it whatsoever,” Xander said as he turned back to the fire escape.
“Uh, Xander, why don’t you use the front door?” Buffy asked.
Xander blushed. “I may have forgotten to grab my house keys when we were fleeing in terror.”
Anya smirked and dug into her purse for her spare key that she’d never returned.
“You had that the whole time? Why didn’t you just use it instead of pounding on the door and threatening us?” Riley asked, bewildered.
The two women shared a smirk. And Buffy said, “Now, what fun would that have been?”
As the girls walked away and the two men headed inside, Riley whispered in Xander’s ear, “So are we ever going to tell them that we’re kinda dating now?”
“Are you kidding? And let them know they were right? We’d never hear the end of it. They would lord this over us forever. We need to let enough time pass that we can pretend it was all our idea and had nothing to do with their machinations,” Xander responded as he approached his door.
“Machinations? Have I mentioned how hot you are when you’re plotting and using big words?” Riley said softly, his breath hot on Xander neck as the younger man fumbled the key into the lock.
“You might have mentioned that a time or two?” Xander said with a sexy smirk as he pulled Riley by the collar into his apartment and slammed the door behind them.