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Strange Meetings

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Summary: Set between Entropy and Seeing Red. Ever wonder why Xander came back?

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
BtVS/AtS Non-Crossover > Dark > Xander-CenteredlorwenFR1511,266032,4312 May 082 May 08Yes
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners. I do not own any of them.
Buffy characters created by Joss Whedon

Character Death

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. A guy walks into a bar and sees a pretty blonde sitting all by her lonesome. The girl looks up, and seeing the guy looking at her, smiles. It’s an old story really. Boy meets girl, wades through a horde of demons, smiles and offers to buy her a drink.

“Hey,” she said.

“Hey,” I said. “I’m Xander.”

“Hey Xander,” she said, drawing out my name. “I’m Darla.”

“Darla,” I repeated, slipping into a chair opposite her. “What’s a beautiful girl like you, doing in a place like this?”

“Having a drink. Care to buy me another?”

I stared at her for a moment, trying to make out if she liked me or was just another demon that wanted Xander for lunch. I like to think that I have a sense for these sorts of situations, but if the past is anything to judge me by; let’s just say that I haven’t found a human one yet.

“Willie! Another drink for the lady, and a beer for me!”

I turned back around and gave her a good once over. She was a bombshell; golden blonde with sapphires for eyes, and a figure most women would kill to have. All in all I was surprised that she would give me the time of day much less buy her a drink. Yep, definitely a demon.

“Why so sad?” she leaned across the table and took my hand in hers.

I looked up into her eyes, I could have gotten lost in those eyes. There were whole lifetimes there, a sense of antiquity tempered with a touch of sadness.

“Just been doing some thinking,” I said, glad that our drinks had finally arrived.

“About?” she asked.

I took a long drink from my short glass and contemplated recent events. “My life in general,” I said after a minute. “Why things happen the way they happen. Why people always seem to let you down.”

“Mmmmm… Sounds like a long story,” she sipped her wine. “And a familiar one. Wanna share?”

So, there I am spilling my guts, and for the first time in a long time I am starting to feel better. Not Snoopy dance better, but kind of okay. It helped to have someone that was a great listener, even if she was a stranger.

“So what you’re telling me is that you caught your ex-fiancé screwing a Billy Idol wannbe, and when you confronted them it came out that your best friend was screwing him too,” she laughed.

“When you say it like that it does sound kinda Soap Opera-ish,” I grinned sheepishly. “Or at least a bit like Jerry Springer.”

Her hand slipped over mine; stopping me from ordering a third glass of beer.

“Why don’t we get out of here?” she said. “Maybe go back to your place.”

I stared at her for a long moment as my emotions warred within me. All the rage and pain that I felt was pushing at me, goading me to take her up on her offer. To hurt her like I had been hurt. It would have been easy, every bit as easy as either getting myself killed or drinking myself into a drunken stupor. I had been contemplating both. Now, though…

“Look, Darla,” I started, but one look from those eyes caused my words to flee.

“Xander, I don’t have much time left,” she said. “I know that we don’t really know each other very well, but I want what time I do have to be spent with you.”

I saw her then, perhaps for the first time. I saw the uncertainty in her eyes, felt the trembling of her hand on mine. That moment I wanted nothing more than to sweep her up into my arms, to shield her from the cares of this harsh world. I let her lead me from the bar and into the warm night.

The moon was full and bright, a fact that made me uncomfortable. I haven’t looked at the moon the same way since I found out that Oz was a werewolf. It’s kind of hard to be romantic when the person you’re with has a tendency to get all growly three nights a month. At least that’s what Willow says, when she speaks of it at all.

“So, back to my place then?” I asked, holding her hand tight.

“Sounds good to me,” she leaned into my shoulder and we made our way down the street.

I don’t know whether if it was the alcohol, the fact that I had a beautiful woman on my arm, or the images of Spike and Anya dancing in my head. But I didn’t see the attack coming until it was too late. Something cracked me on the back of the head and I went down hard.

“Xander!” I heard Darla scream.

“Looks like someone ain’t getting lucky tonight,” a rough voice whispered in my ear.

Strong hands grabbed me and flipped me over. I could see Darla struggling with the shorter of our two attackers. The other one stood above me, in full game face.

“Spike sends his love,” he rasped, swinging a huge fist at my head.

I rolled off to the right just in time and his fist met blacktop. “What’s the matter fangface?!” I taunted. “You trying to stake yourself?”

He let out a string of curses and came at me again. Somehow I got my foot up in time to meet his crotch and he went down like a ton of bricks. I didn’t waste any time. I pulled the spare stake out of my jacket and dusted him before he could recover.

“Sunnydale: Come for the food, stay for the dismemberment.”

I stumbled to my feet, and dusted myself off the best I could. “Yeah, vampires are real,” I said. “Town’s crawling with’em.”

“Forget about something blood bag?”

“Naw,” I said. “Just figured that you’d run home by now.”

“Funny man,” he tightened his grip on Darla. “Let’s see how funny you are when I’m draining you dry.”

I heard a sharp crack and looked up in time to see Darla’s body falling to the ground. I watched as her pretty blonde head hit the pavement and bounced once, then was still. The light in her eyes seemed to dim, and then go out. Something broke inside me then. The last bit of my innocence erased.

Images of Jesse filled my vision followed by Ms. Calendar’s savaged body and Giles’ tortured form. Rage blossomed like a flower and my world turned red. I don’t remember much of what happened after, only that there was one less vampire in the world and that I was holding Darla’s dead body in my arms. Warm tears fell on her cold face as I dialed 911 and reported the attack.

The ambulance came and the paramedics took her away in a black bag, like so much luggage. I watched as they drove away, lost in my own world, a place where happy people went about their lives and didn’t have to worry about monsters hiding under their beds.

Shows what I know doesn’t it? The police took my statement and wrote it up as a mugging by a gang on PCP. Hey, whatever helps them get through the night. Me, I know what’s out there, and I know that I can’t fight it alone. I need my friends as much as they need me. I just wish it didn’t have to hurt so much.

The End

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