Xander and Anya's Excellent Adventure
Xander stared at the basement ceiling, his eyes tracing a spiderweb coated with dust as he contemplated his life. Halloween was hell once more with a side order of poking at mental scars and the following week actually sucked even more because I ended up serving Buffy cursed beer after being given proof that my fears weren't groundless.
The outside basement door opened with its customary creak, letting in a flood of sunlight that made Xander wince.
“I hope you're down here Xander because I plan on having sex with you and masturbating in your bed while thinking of you is a poor replacement.” Anya said in her usual blunt as a sledgehammer way, the sunlight cutting through the white sundress she had on and sending a very curvy shadow Xander's way.
Closing the door behind her she beamed as her eyes adapted and she saw Xander lying there. “I'd heard you go got fired so I came to monopolize your free time!”
“I was working on a first class mope,” Xander said falling silent as her sundress pooled around her feet leaving her in a pair of blue satin panties. Later...
“You make it impossible for me to mope, you know that?” Xander asked lying beside Anya.
“Isn't the girlfriend's job to keep the boyfriend's spirits up?”
“And vice verse.” Xander agreed.
“Well there are plenty of dead end jobs that pay a barely acceptable wage you can get to tide you over while looking for something better.”
“I know and in Sunnydale dead end sometimes means just that,” Xander said, recalling several jobs he'd had and the reason for the high turnover rate. “I was actually wondering if things might not be better off the Hellmouth.”
“Really?” Anya asked, eyes wide, “you'd be willing to move someplace safer?”
“I'm seriously considering it,” Xander replied, “I mean, I don't have many reasons to stick around anymore and I never did get to see what the rest of the US was like.”
“I thought you drove all over the country during the summer?”
“I got as far as Oxnard before the engine fell out of my car and I was forced to get a job to replace it,” Xander admitted.
“That's horrible!” she exclaimed. “Not working in Oxnard, because I got a job working as a bartender at a strip club there while fleeing the mayor but the fact that you didn't even reach LA.”
“The Fabulous Ladies Night Club?”
“Yeah, the eye candy was nice, the tips were good and the owner would hire people she thought would make good strippers as dish washers and then have a dancer pretend an injury to get him up on stage.”
“It was an act?!” Xander groaned.
“Susie got you up on stage?!”
“I'd never have made enough money washing dishes to fix my car, the engine fell out was literal fact in this case.”
“Well if you want to see the US there are several jobs that let you move around a lot and pay enough to cover the costs.”
“Stripping?” Xander guessed.
“And bar tending.”
Xander began to grin, “Anya, how would you like to see the US with me?”
“Travel around, make contacts and see the sights with an eye towards finding the perfect place to live?” she suggested.
“Yeah,” Xander mused thoughtfully.
“I'm surprised Willow and Buffy aren't here,” Joyce said at Xander's going away party, held in her house at her insistence.
Giles nodded, “I'm sure something important must have happened to hold them up.”
Dawn clung to Xander like an octopus, upset that he was leaving but understanding the reasons why. “And you better write!”
“I will,” Xander promised, “I'll send souvenirs and post cards I swear.”
“Thanks for being so understanding.” Joyce told Anya.
“If it was Buffy doing it or Willow I'd be a lot less understanding,” Anya admitted, “but I can't fault her taste and I don't think she'll be a significant threat for several years. By being nice to her now she'll be hesitant to use underhanded methods against me later. Hopefully Xander and I are compatible enough that by the time she matures enough to make a play for him we'll already be bonded.”
“That's … well thought out.” Giles said after a couple of seconds of silence.
“She could grow out of her crush.” Joyce suggested.
Dawn suddenly grabbed Xander's ears and kissed him hard before running off leaving Xander frozen in shock.
“If it is just a crush, yes.” Anya agreed.
Xander stumbled over to the loveseat and collapsed next to Anya, “I … uh...”
“Have some coffee.” Joyce said, offering Xander a cup.
“Thank you,” he replied reflexively as he accepted it.
“Any idea where Willow and Buffy are?” Giles asked.
“No idea,” Xander replied, glad for the change of topic, “I've called and left messages every day this week, heck I even over nighted a couple of joke reservations to them yesterday morning.”
“I'm sure they're just running late,” Joyce said, “what's your itinerary?”
“A quick stop in Oxnard for old times sake,” Xander said, exchanging a grin with Anya, “and then LA. Did you know I've never been to Hollywood or seen any of the sights even though I only live a couple of hours from there?”
“As a resident of California I believe you're legally required to go to Disneyland at least once,” Joyce said mock seriously.
“That's the corporation with the rodent as their mascot, not the one with the bunny right?” Anya asked.A couple of hours later …
“This has been great, but we'd better get going.” Anya said reluctantly, having genuinely liked getting to know Joyce as she collected her purse.
“Buffy and Willow should have been here,” Joyce said with a sigh.
“We'll have to catch them the next time we come to town,” Anya replied, “it's not like we'll never return.”
“Yeah,” Xander agreed, his mood brightening.
Joyce gave Xander and Anya a hug, “Write, call, email – just don't lose touch.”
“We won't,” Xander said as he and Giles shook hands.
“Now go upstairs and give Dawn a hug and promise you won't forget her,” Anya ordered.
Xander looked at Anya with some surprise.
“Yes it'll make her miss you more,” Anya answered his unasked question, “but it'll also keep her from getting all depressed and mopey. Do you really want her dressing in black and wearing lots of mascara until she turns twenty?”
Xander found himself being pushed toward the stairs by Joyce.
“That was very nice of you,” Giles said.
“The key to a good partnership is to help each other; I may not understand a lot about humanity because I was apart from it for over fifty times the amount of time I was part of it but I've seen enough wrong answers to love to get a feel for what the right ones are.”
“Look after him for me,” Joyce said, “he's done so much for my family that he's become a part of it.”
“I will.” Anya promised.
Willow glanced around with a worried look on her face the second Xander's car passed the city limits.
“What's wrong?” Buffy asked.
“Feels like something's changed.” Willow replied after a moment of thought.
Buffy looked around their dorm room. “It doesn't look like anything is missing.” AN: Typing by Godogma.