A/N: Another installment in the Gunpowder series, the result of listening to the radio after consuming more caffeine than any doctor would ever recommend. *flails*
All references to / mentions of Lt-Colonel Ellis and his band of post-Initiative demon hunters (including backstory, code names and role) are the brainwave of Samarkand. I make no claim to their ownership, or to any kind of influence on their creation. I just used them for my own nefarious purposes. And while we're on that topic, NCIS/BtVS are also the brainwave of someone much, much smarter than me. Me no own. Me just twist. Me sorry. *grin*
Warning: Smut and potty-mouth, ahoy!
Hope you enjoy...
If Xander could change anything about life after Sunnydale, it would be to entice a few more men to enter his inner circle.
No pun intended, of course.
Sticky-fingered fantasies in the gloom of a certain basement about a world of Slayer-shaped (okay, Buffy
-shaped) females bowing down to him and calling him ‘Master’ turn out to be just that – fantasies. The only thing he’s ever been master of is… well, Cordelia always said he had a bright future as a master debator, given his way with words.
Yeah, it took him awhile to see the insult for what it was too.
Being the master in the world of hot chicks with super powers they’ve created mostly involves stocking the fridge of whatever Coalition house he’s borrowing with lots of ice-cream and similar consolation food in case random Slayers stop by for sympathy, medical attention and a sugar hit. The universe may have laid off on the butt-monkey for awhile, but he can still appreciate the irony of getting a call to talk about someone else’s booty.
Speaking of which, he needs to ask Willow to put an anti-Andrew spell on him. Or perhaps an anti-Xander spell on Andrew. Not that the little twerp – sorry, recently redeemed evil genius
– has tried to violate his person, unless you count the occasional late-night visit where Andrew moans about the lack of love and appreciation in his life and Xander tries to steer the conversation toward suitably manly things.
Guns. Monster trucks. Sex… well, not so much with the sex, because his mind is quite damaged enough already from all the concussions, let alone having to hear about Andrew’s sexploits.
Yep, he’s definitely in need of a booster shot of testosterone, though preferably not in the place where such shots normally go.
There’s been a distinct lack of manly men in Xander’s life up until now.
In fact, one could almost call it a drought, if that particular comparison didn’t lend itself to the thought of shimmery hotpants and the inadvertent humming of ‘It’s Raining Men’ in wholly inappropriate places.
Example the First: at the grocery store while he’s learning more than he ever wanted to know about the world of feminine hygiene products. It’s not enough that he has to venture down the pastel-coloured aisle and pretend he’s really looking for the condoms… and just happened to get stuck in front of the tampons by mistake as two oblivious Slayers debate the merits of Tampax vs Playtex.
If Aunt Flo’s coming to town, Xander not only emphatically
doesn’t want to know about it but doesn’t want to touch it with a ten foot greased pole. He certainly doesn’t want to be asked his opinion about brand choice, even if he suspects that they did it simply to push his buttons. That kind of shit pushes the wrong buttons so hard it leaves holes.
Cleanup, Aisle Six. Xander Lavelle Harris has melted into a pool of anti-manhood next to the pantyliners.
Example the Second: during ICWS command meetings that happen to involve the brokering of important deals with certain covert military factions. A deal that had the potential to get Xander a free (if temporary) pass out of what he once thought would be heaven, only he didn’t expect there to be so much talk about wings.
Still, he should have known better than to vague out in the face of all the military-speak and let his subconscious take over.
His subconscious apparently wanted to go out and let itself get absolutely soaking wet, and not in a subtle muttered way.
At least he didn’t shimmy.
Real men don’t even think
words like shimmy, do they?
Lt-Colonel Ellis still can’t quite look him in the eye. They just don’t make military men like they used to. Or perhaps they make them exactly like they used to, and therein lies the reason he’s spent the last two weeks knee-deep in another gross oversight on the US government’s behalf.
At least they’ve learnt that demons are mostly for killing, not for questionable experiments and grow-your-own-Frankenstein projects. And the ‘Apocalypse Now’ side of him is appreciative of all the impressive weaponry, even if he’s not allowed in the armoury without a commando shadowing his every move.
Xander knew that rocket launcher thing would come back to bite him in the ass someday. It’s not fair, really. Buffy and Willow blew up a whole town, and nobody makes them
turn out their pockets whenever they pass a ‘Now Entering X’ sign.
Still, it’s probably a good thing Buffy isn’t here, even if there’s enough hack-and-slash in this no-Starbucks town to keep a Slayer in the old H & H for months, and enough well-built soldiers of fortune to satisfy said urges. He’s practically drowning in all the testosterone. Thank GOD.
Slime doesn’t come out of suede in a hurry. From what he hears, there’s much soaking and scrubbing involved, and no small amount of whining until Giles caves and hands over the Amex Black. He’d heard rumours of this rare and mythical object, small and yet infinitely powerful (if one is looking to gain power over personal shoppers at Neiman Marcus, that is).
Not his fault if he heard Buffy and some of the Slayerettes talking about the appeal and clout of the Centurion and assumed there was a new overlord in town. After over a decade of experience in the demon-killing business (okay, sometimes he also temped in the screaming and running business, or Concussion Inc), Xander hears hoofbeats and immediately thinks ‘Centaur.’
Turns out that Centurion is not actually some strange collective term for a flock – herd? – of centaurs, which is good because he’s not sure he could look a man-horse in the face and not feel the overwhelming urge to ask whether its – his?
– uh, male parts didn’t feel the cold. All exposed and hanging and... it’s a little scary how much he’s thought about it. Or at least how much attention he paid to Anya when she mused about it once upon a time.
Actually, there are two things he would change about his world. He’s learnt his lesson about using certain words that start with ‘W’, but still…
Centurion turns out to be one of those multiple-meaning things that he might have missed the technical term for during English class. On account of being elsewhere – namely, in a fantasy world involving certain blonde Slayers unbuttoning trenchcoats with a sexy little shimmy.
There’s that damn word again.
Centurion: commander of Roman infantry and wearer of very uncomfortable armour. And also skirts, but in a manly kind of way, like a crater-making shiny bauble draped around the neck of a certain peroxide blonde foul mouthed vampire. Who has since dropped off the face of the earth, along with a good portion of Los Angeles.
He’s pretty sure that Spike lives on somewhere, biding his time like a growth that you just can’t get rid of no matter how many different ways you try to cut it from your skin. He won’t be surprised if one day he hears that the Bleached Wonder has turned up at someone’s door, threatening them with violence if they don’t let him in before Passions starts.
Then again, he’s not surprised by much these days.
Centurion: steering committee of what is essentially the Initiative, version 2.0. They prefer Foxtrot Three these days, and every time he hears the name he can’t help but chuckle at the morbid attempt at military humour, though he’s not entirely sure that he gets the joke. Sometimes you have to laugh even though you’re not sure why it’s funny, if only to save others laughing at you first. His own personal theory, filed under ‘trial by Hellmouth’ and cross-referenced under ‘funny syphillis’.
Centurion: small black piece of plastic capable of striking fear in the hearts of tweed-wearing librarians everywhere. Or one particular ‘where’, since he doubts that your average glorified schoolteacher has the means to qualify for acceptance into the elite cabal of the seriously fucking rich. And they are – or at least, the Coalition is – and thanks to what Giles calls ‘retroactive service payments’, Xander’s not doing too badly himself these days.
There comes a time when one has to either buy a Klingon costume and go with it or move out of the basement, and it’s not only his address that’s changed since his Buffy-lusting days. Lately, he’s all about black hair and gunpowder and new and inventive ways of fulfilling his inner schoolgirl fantasies.
“Harris!” Ellis barks from behind him, an unwelcome intrusion into his decidedly non-Catholic thoughts of knee high socks and little plaid skirts. He’s pretty sure that he has a stupid grin on his face when he turns around, but thankfully it goes unmentioned. “Get yourself cleaned up and pack your trash. Transport leaves at 1400.”
“Met your monthly quota of demon gore already? Gee, Sir, that’s gotta be a real feather in your cap.”
Ellis scowls most unbecomingly. “It would be, if the reason we’re scrubbing the fucking pavement in Shitsville, Alabama wasn’t because of a snafu of black-eye proportions. You going by Yossarian these days, or just ‘funny man’?”
“Whatever floats your submarine,” Xander says with a wry grin, wiping a streak of something he chooses not to overanalyse from his cheek. Ellis is a decent guy, all things considered, and a worthy opponent in the banter game. Still, he’s itching to get out of this place and back to waking up to something other than reveille.
Even if his preferred style of wakeup call is a kind of dirty that even Vegas hotels don’t offer. Though there might be a real niche market for that. He’ll have to suggest it as a possible business venture at the next meeting of the financial committee.
Right after he reprises his stint at the Fabulous Ladies Night Club on top of the boardroom table, chaps and all.
Though on the right person, the idea of chaps has considerable merit.
Later that night, he watches with curious fascination as pigtails bob and black nails scrape and slide him steadily towards the total loss of self-control, and wonders why the hell he thought testosterone was the answer to all of his problems.
“I saved the world with my mouth once,” he muses between groans, and Abby looks up, eyes full of amusement and mouth full of Xander. He whimpers in a decidedly unmanly way at the feeling of cool air on heated flesh in the sudden and unwelcome absence of her lips.
Thank sweet merciful Jesus on a rollercoaster made of butter that the clouds have parted and the forecast for the next few days is for clear skies and sunshine, baby, fucking sunshine from here to Alabama.
“Well, that sounds promising,” she says slowly in a throaty voice that suggests that if Xander isn’t already destined for hell, the next few hours will seal the deal.
A shimmy seems warranted at this point, but he's far too focused on screaming her name.
As always, comments are muchly appreciated.