Xander Season Two
A week later, Xander smiled as he looked around the club. It had been quite some time since he'd actually gone clubbing. He hadn't realized how much he'd missed it. He'd stunned Harry earlier tonight when he announced that he was going out. Apparently, Harry had expected him to be more broken up about everything, but after a couple days, Xander found that he was feeling, to borrow a phrase from his mother, footloose and fancy free.
He wondered if his mother's sudden approval had something to do with the fact that he felt good. She hadn't said anything bad about Catherine, but somehow he knew that his mother didn't approve of her. Xander forced himself not to wonder how much of that might be jealously on his mothers part, because that just never led anywhere good. Never.
Watching the bodies moving around him, Xander felt almost like he imagined vampires to feel. All these people were his for the taking, if he chose to do so, but for the moment he was content to sit back and simply watch.
"Fancy meeting you here," he heard from behind, and turned to see Kate standing behind him holding a drink.
"Right back at you," he replied as she moved to sit down.
"I don't know about you," she said after taking a sip of her drink. "But I decided sitting around my motel room wasn't helping me deal with my issues."
Xander smiled. "Never really does."
"So, I decided a party was just what the doctor ordered."
"Having fun?" Xander asked.
The look in her eyes said no a moment before she spoke. "Not really. I'd forgotten how pushy men in clubs could be."
"Stay with me, and I'll keep them away."
"That's the idea," she replied with a half smile, and Xander realized that she was on her way to being good and drunk.~ * ~ * ~
Xander opened his eyes and realized three things at once. One he wasn't alone, two he wasn't in his own bed, and three it was daylight outside.Oh shit
, Xander cursed himself as he woke enough for the memories to come rushing back. He was so screwed, because like Catherine, Kate was not a one night stand, like Catherine she deserved better than that.
When she looked over, he was mildly relieved to note that she looked as horrified as he felt.
"Oh," she muttered.
"Relax," Xander said suddenly feeling calm. "What we've done is not a bad thing."
"I've never done anything like this in my life," she blurted out, then looked sheepish before smacking her forehead with the palm of her hand. "That sounded really cliche, didn't it?"
"Little bit," Xander replied. "But if it helps, I believe you."
Xander grinned when she visibly relaxed.
She spun and headed into the bathroom where this motel, for some reason, kept the coffee maker. When she returned a few minutes later she had a cup of coffee in her hand, and she seemed calmer and also more awake and alert.
"Okay," she said after taking a third sip. "I'll understand if you'd like to leave now."
She didn't look happy about saying it, but something told him that she did mean it.
"I'm good here," Xander said, and as he spoke he realized it was true. Logically he knew he wasn't ready or even eager to jump into another relationship, but also realized that he honestly didn't want to hurt her by walking out. And it wasn't just hurting her feelings, he simply didn't want to walk out.Strange
, he thought to himself as Kate contemplated him intently. It was clear that she understood the reason he'd been in the club last night, he'd been out last night looking for a hot woman to have a raging night of meaningless sex with (well, that, and to watch the way manufactured hooties moved as the women who had them danced), and now she was trying to figure out if he was just staying to spare her feelings.
He almost smiled. He was even enjoying the awkward morning after more then he ever had before.
"Are you sure?" Kate asked. "I'm not trying to be pushy, I just wouldn't feel right forcing you into something because of... Well, because we had... Well, you know, what we did."
Xander tried not to smile, he really did, but it was clear by the glare she sent him that he'd failed. Still he believed that if you were actually having sex then you should be able to say the word sex.
"Sex," Xander said, and realized he was feeling better than he had since the threesome. "The word you're looking for is sex. Awesome, wonderful, mind-blowing sex, if you want to get really specific."
When he looked up she was blushing, and Xander thought she was adorable.
"So," Xander said slowly, having decided to throw logic and reason out the door. "Want to go out for breakfast?"
Kate looked thoughtful for several long moments, but finally she nodded.~ * ~ * ~
Penn's grin at the sight of Xander entering the office quickly turned into a frown. Xander was having sex again, and he knew the scents from Xander's job, and this was not one of those ladies, and Penn had never known one of those ladies to give it up and jump into bed after a first date, which meant Xander had found someone knew, or was possibly reverting to his old ways.Time will tell, I suppose
, Penn thought before being distracted by the nervous tension coming off Warrick. Penn knew, even without being told, that Warrick was afraid Xander was going to react badly. Penn could have told him otherwise, but since scent wasn't always exact Penn had kept his silence.
"So," Xander said slowly, and Penn realized that Xander was also nervous, though to a lessor extent than Warrick. "How's tricks?"
Warrick relaxed slightly.
"Okay," Warrick said lightly, but then Penn watched as he turned serious.
"Are you really okay with me and... Well...,"
"You and Catherine?" Xander asked, and Warrick nodded.
"I am," Xander replied. "I love Catherine, and I loved what we had together, but that wasn't enough for her, and... You know what, I'm actually happy for both of you. But if you hurt her..."
At that Warrick completely relaxed, and Penn felt his level of amusement drop considerably, despite the rather creative threat Xander made involving Warrick's manly bits and a nut cracker.
"Now I pronounce us well and good, and suggest that we turn back into men before a woman comes along and sees us behaving all girl-y," Xander said, and Penn almost laughed.
Warrick did laugh. "Yes," he said clearly relieved. "Thank you, and now we're done here."~ * ~ * ~
It was now May, and Xander was finally feeling truly happy again. Things weren't perfect, a week ago, Kate had found out about his job, and Xander knew it was only a matter of time before she started trying to get him to give it up. That left Xander feeling pressured and uncomfortable, but in spite of all that he had finally made a certain amount of peace within himself about what he had to do.
He stood at the bottom of the stairs and watched his mother uncomfortably pace in her cage. It wasn't right to keep her locked up like this, and he couldn't allow Harry to do the spell that would put her soul back in her body. He knew he couldn't watch her walk out of his life, and he was certain that if her soul were restored that was exactly what she'd do. It would be better, for him, in the long run if he could remember this demon as his mother. This demon wanted to be with him in a way his mother never had (and in his mind he would always and forever be ignoring the naughty bits), which was somewhat surprising for a vampire.
Watching his mother pace, Xander realized several things. His relationship with Kate would be ending soon. He loved his job, and he hadn't been willing to give it up for Catherine and he certainly wasn't willing to give it up for Kate. Still Xander did care about Kate, and there was no one better to be with when it came to a good round of Angel bashing. So, he was starting to think he'd simply wait until Kate chose to end things, since for the most part he did enjoy being with her.
"I can smell you, my baby," the thing that looked like his mother said. "Are you finally ready, darling? You smell ready."
And that was the other thing he'd come to realize. The woman in the cage wearing his mother's face was not actually his mother. He might never understand what it had been about becoming a vampire that had turned the woman who'd given birth to him into someone who actually wanted to be his mother, but at least he would be able to keep this version of his mother in mind when he thought about the woman who'd given birth to him.
His real mother wasn't worth remembering. She'd been a drunk who even on a good day could barely remember that she'd had a son, and those were the good times.
"I want you to know that I love you," Xander said stepping into the room.
The woman in the cage smiled warmly.
"Do you?" Xander wondered. "I remember the woman who gave birth to me, the one I watched growing up, but she's not the one I love. Once upon a time I did, but not now, not after you've shown me the way things should have been."
He watched her face. "You understand? Good. I love you, the demon that took her place," and that was the whole fucked up truth of the matter.
The thing in the cage looked happier than Xander had ever seen her look. And Xander realized that while his resolve was firm, this was still going to be the hardest thing he'd ever done or likely would do. He accepted that he had to do it, but that didn't make doing it easy.
"That has to be weird, right?"
"You are starting to understand," the thing said, and Xander realized that the creature thought she'd won. She honestly believed that Xander was giving in. He actually hated the thought of disappointing her, but disappoint her he would.
"The rest will come," she said happily. "You'll see. Now come to mommy," she ordered, and Xander obeyed.
He quickly unlocked the cage, and before he could completely turn she was on him. He felt her fangs enter his flesh, and for one brief moment, he considered giving in, but it was only a fleeting fantasy.
When he opened his eyes the dust was floating gently to the ground.
There was a noise behind him, and Xander spun around to see Penn standing at the foot of the stairs. He should have realized he wasn't alone, but Warrick had left town several days ago, and Xander had assumed he'd be alone for this, because while Catherine had not left town with him she still lived in her own home.
Xander frowned. He'd been sloppy in his planning, because he'd planned to be alone for and after.
"Are you okay?"
Xander nodded. "I did what had to be done."
"You could've let me do this, or you could have let Harry do the spell," Penn said, but Xander didn't get angry, because he knew Penn wasn't trying to hurt him. He was simply speaking the truth.
Xander nodded. "It wasn't safe for Harry, and sadly her soul wasn't worth the danger to him. Do you understand that? She was a better person without the soul then I think she could've ever been with it."
Penn hesitated, and Xander knew what he was going to say.
"Angelus was a completely different vampire after getting his soul back, even different from the man he had been."
"I know," Xander replied. "But you are more the man you were, and that makes me think Angel's personality change might have something to do with the fact that his soul was restored by a curse," Xander no longer cared about that, but about a month ago he'd wondered about the differences. "She wouldn't have been like Angel."
Penn nodded, and Xander felt his heart lift, this conversation was over, and he knew Penn wouldn't bring it up again.
"So," Xander said after a moment. "Want to go grab a beer?"
"I don't drink beer
," Penn deadpanned, but turned and started up the stairs. Xander followed, and soon they stepped out into the warm Vegas night.THE END!
COMING SOON - The third and final season of my little Xander epic!
Unless, of course, I change my mind, and decide to keep going, but that isn't very likely at this point.