Notes & Disclaimers:
I submit for your reading pleasure, another, extremely short, chapter. All other notes and disclaimers are at the beginning of the story.
Xander sat back and took a sip of his beer. Spending all his time surrounded by an army of hormone driven, and mostly under-age, girls was out of the question, so he tried to get out as often as possible when he wasn’t working.
He travelled a lot, going places to oversee Council locations, or as a friendly non-threatening face (he didn’t know whether to be disappointed or not that many found his eye patch less ‘rugged and threatening’ and more ‘cute and endearing’), to inform new slayers of their abilities. He still spent a lot of time in London, so as such, he had his own apartment, or ‘flat’ as the locals said, and he even knew the area pretty well. On one of his journeys to familiarise himself with the area, he had found a nice bar near his place.
The same bar he was currently in.
He was sitting in one of the chairs that made up a living-room-like area in the bar. There was a sofa near him and another two chairs with a little coffee table as the centre point. The area was occupied by two men. Or three, as another sat down after coming from the restroom.
The resulting overheard conversation was… interesting to say the least.
* * * * *
“What did Susan want?” Jeff asked as Steve sat back down.
“Just asking me if I ever met Jane’s aunt,” Steve replied.
“Didn’t we go to her funeral?” Patrick asked.
“This is a different aunt: Drusilla,” Steve explained. “A bloody lunatic if you ask me.”
Paying no notice to the man sitting near them choking on his drink, Patrick asked, “How so?”
“When I started dating Jane, her aunt showed up at my door in the middle of the night holding a shovel and said that if I didn’t make Jane happy, she’d use my entrails as sock puppets.” Steve shuddered at that point. “If that imagery wasn’t bad enough, there was something that looked unpleasantly like blood on the shovel.” Steve took a sip of his drink. “And I have a feeling she was going to say even more violent and descriptive things, but thankfully Jane showed up and took her away.”
“What did you do?” Jeff asked.
“What else could I do?” said Steve. “I dated Jane for another four years.”
“Well, that certainly explains a bit about Jane doesn’t it?” Patrick spoke up. “Growing up with an aunt like that. I wonder if all of her family is mad?”
Steve shook his head. “I don’t know and I’d really rather not find out.”
“Well, madness is mostly hereditary, so it they all might be,” Jeff spoke up. “You know, for a long time, I was scared of catching madness. I always thought it was contagious and tried to be careful around mad people; not touching them, avoiding direct eye contact, and eating onions all the time to counteract any exposure.”
“What made you think onions would ward off madness?” Steve asked.
“My Uncle Dafydd taught me how he protected himself from catching craziness. It didn’t matter in the end though,” Jeff explained. “But at least he’s with his sister now.”
“I’m sorry, Jeff,” Steve said. “When did he pass on?”
“What?” Jeff said in surprise. “No, he’s at the Chatham Sanatorium now. He has a room right next to my aunt.”
Steve blinked and looked to Patrick who was silently shaking his head.