Chapter the Second: Of Tea and Conversation
X-men Files: The Wolf and The Hyena
Disclaimer: I don’t own BtVS, or any of the characters from the show, neither do I own Harry’s bar or the X-Men. The former belongs to Joss Whedon, and the latter belongs to Marvel comics and the various authors of Codename: Wolverine and other such X-Men books.
A/N: So this came to me in the middle of the morning, after reading a lot of Xander centered fics, and realizing that Oz doesn’t have that many. I decided to change that. As for the X-Men side of it all, I’m pulling from a lot of different sources. Logan’s history, is coming from X-Men Origins: Wolverine. However there are very little spoilers for the movie. The other X-Men are coming from the movies and various books and comics, so they may seem a little OOC. Also, I know that Harry’s was originally in Manhattan or NYC, but I moved it for my purposes.
Pairing: Xan/Oz, Logan/Ororo
Warning: This contains slash, and if that squicks you, don’t read it. Graphic violence and such will be here, but they aren’t the mainstay of the story.
Summary: Xander left the bar with the others, retiring to a mansion that Oz swore was cool. The others all went to their beds, but he finds himself sitting up with Oz.
Chapter the Second: Of Tea and Conversation
Later that evening, after he'd met everyone and they all went back to the mansion that Oz insisted was on the level, he and Oz sat down in the kitchen, each with a cup of tea; even though he didn't remember Giles all that well, the tea thing had stuck.
“So what have you been doing all this time?” he asked Oz, looking at the way his hair started to change colors, not sure what was going on. Oz looked up from the tea with a surprised look on his face, as though what he'd been doing was the least important thing in the world. His hair stopped cycling through the colors and settled on a deep burgundy.
“This and that. I went to Tibet for a little while before I came back to Sunnydale. I told Willow at the time that it was meditation and herbs that was helping with the wolf, but even at that time I knew that it was Sunnydale that was screwing with my control. I hadn't changed in a long time, and I've only changed once since...” He looked morose, and Xander remembered the story that Willow told, the way she sobbed as she almost spit out the words about Oz going furry and attacking Tara, who was just a footnote on his life that he could never really know, just like Oz had been.
“You attacked Tara.” It as a statement, since he knew it had happened, but he was still sympathetic when Oz flinched, reaching out to put a callused hand over the smaller man's more delicate, softer hand. “And still you were welcome, but you left because you knew you scared Tara, and because you didn't want Finn's people to do anything more to you. Willow told me the whole thing,” he said, correctly interpreting the surprise in the earnest green eyes. “Even though she could barely get through it, she told me. I felt so bad for her then, being the last in a group to actually remember those events; she told me Riley and Buffy had died in one of the Apocalypse tries, and Giles soon after. Then it was just me and her, and then I lost my memory...”
It had hurt her so badly, that no spark of recognition came to her Xander-shaped friend's eye when she mentioned old jokes. And when she'd mentioned Jesse, and he hadn't reacted, she'd broken down again. He could still hear her voice brokenly whispering that there was only one mourner now for their oldest friend, who'd never really known his fate.
“How is Willow?” Oz asked, eyes downcast, turning his hand up as if to fully engage in the comfort circle. Xander choked on his own words, tears streaming from both eyes, as Caleb hadn't destroyed his tear ducts.
“She-she died of cancer last year, and towards the end... it wasn't even her anymore, you know? She wouldn't even smile, not until that last morning, when she somehow found the strength to grab my hand and make me promise to never forget her, and to try and remember everything she'd told me, so it wouldn't die with her. It was all written down, of course; our diaries are all in Cleveland, even the one you kept when you were running with us. I locked it up, yours and Faith's and Wesley's- he asked me to- and then read the others. It's like it all happened to someone else...” He put his head down on the table next to his cup and Oz ran his fingers through his hair, soothingly.
“I wish I'd known. Did the Baby-Slayers have a funeral?”
“Oh, they sent her out in style, alright. Pulled in her old coven from England and had a grand old ceremony, and then a huge party. It felt right, celebrating her like that, instead of mourning... But now I just feel like she would have been happier with a nice Jewish ceremony and then spread her ashes on the ocean, or the Great Lakes...” Oz put his other hand out, and Xander latched on like a drowning man.
“Do you know where you put my journal? I'd like to look at it again. I know it's full of Oz-babble about Willow... but I'd like to remember her the way she was, you know? Before the blackness and death. I heard about what happened to the man that shot Tara, and I can't even think the words 'Bored now' without cringing.” Xander cringed at the memory of Willow's story, and how her eyes got darker just thinking
about those times. He then sat up, looking Oz in the eyes.
“We can go get it next week, if you'd like. I'm almost normal in Cleveland, the way I used to be, so you might want to keep a heavy leash on your feral side. It's not as powerful as Sunny-hell, but it's got it's own issues.”
“Cool. Hey, it's 2 AM. We should both be getting to sleep soon; I know Logan was talking about getting those tests done, and knowing him, he'll want it done first thing. I've also gotten picked to teach the little ones about music tomorrow; their usual teacher is on her period, and with her, she actually has to go out of town to avoid running up the electricity bill and making us go broke getting her chocolate.”
“Ha... You talk more now.”
“I grew out of the terseness, I guess. And I did talk a lot, you just weren't around to hear it.” Oz stood, still holding his hand, and pulled him to his feet. “Come on, you can have my bed tonight.”
“Where will you sleep?” he asked, his voice approaching innocent from across a football field.
“Well, it IS my bed... but let's not do any of that tonight... Plenty of time for that later. Besides, just being close to each other will make the bond strengthen.” Xander nodded and leaned himself against Oz as they walked, enfolding the smaller man in a hug.
“Good. Can I maybe sit in on your class tomorrow?”
“I think you could, if you aren't doing anything else.” Oz smirked suddenly, and Xander felt a chill.
“Why do I not feel comfortable with that smirk?” he asked plaintively, causing Oz to laugh quietly.
“I'm just wondering what everyone else will make of you.”
“Logan likes me, sort of... That might be mostly because I stood up to him in a fight...”
“No, I mean the students. Those girls and boys had best keep hands to themselves.”
“Oh really? And why is that?” Xander asked, interested in the extreme now.
“I'll lose control and gut one of them.” The words were said in a matter-of-fact tone, as if he'd just been talking about a chord or something similar.
“Well, we'll have to make sure that doesn't happen. Plus, you'd never get the guts out of your fur...”
A/N: Yea, I know that ending this the same way as the first one, with a laugh isn't all that great, but it's my little effort to keep Xander at least marginally in character.