Back in the ring
AN: Sorry about the really late post, especially considering that this is the last chapter. In my defence, I just finished my MA (by defending my thesis). So, I've been busy. Enjoy!
I don't own either BTVS or The OC. I don't make money from this story (nor will I). Back in the ring
Ryan was looking at Xander stretch. They were about to have another sparring match. In the weeks after Dawn’s visit things had really changed with the two men. Xander was fully immersed in learning how to deal with the world as a mostly blind person. He expressed continual surprise that he was actually enjoying school, for once. He was even thinking of taking more classes at the community college when he was finished adjusting to his blindness.
Things with Seth were still on slightly rocky ground, but getting better with every conversation. The early ease of their friendship was resurfacing, now that Ryan wasn’t trying to hide from his feelings. Ryan was also noticing that as much as he still loved Seth, the painful edges were wearing away and it was settling into something more platonic. Having Xander in his life helped, since he had an outlet for his feelings.
As Xander finally finished stretching they squared off and all Ryan could think about was the difference. This was actually sparring. Somehow, over the course of their last few bouts, they had stopped fighting and started sparring. They no longer left the ring bloodied and bruised. The sex that followed was still just as hot and aggressive. But where their fights used to be about longing and despair, they now laughed and smiled.
To a great extent there was still a lot of stuff up in the air. He still didn’t know what he and Xander were doing. But when he lay at night with Xander in his arms, or in Xander’s arms, he felt at peace. His life was good and had been for quite some time. Xander seemed to give him enough peace to finally enjoy and fully embrace it. A part of him would always wonder and worry that it would all be taken away. At least now he was able to enjoy it while it lasted.
Xander was also lighter hearted. He didn't go out at night anymore. Sure he couldn’t fight vampires or demons anymore, but there were actual muggings and human crimes he could have got involved in. Whenever Ryan asked about it, Xander only shrugged and said that there were other ways to help people. Xander was thinking of going into social work, to maybe help troubled youth. It was something good, worth doing, and quite necessary. Xander said he’d gotten into the habit of helping people and didn’t want to stop. Ryan didn’t think he should because, even though he was still getting to know Xander, he could tell that Xander had a big, caring heart. One, now that he’d cut all but one of his ties to the past, he was free to use again.
The future was uncertain but, for once, it made Ryan smile. Xander smiled back and held his glove out to start their match. Today, however, all Ryan wanted to do was laugh and lean back in Xander’s arms.