:BTVS: Post-Chosen by about a few years. Twilight: All the books, mostly Breaking Dawn.Disclaimer
: BTVS belongs to Joss Whedon & Mutant Enemy. Twilight belongs to Stephenie MeyersA/N
: This was written as a response to the LJ Crossover exchange last year, however, I never posted it. Instead, I went with Fish Tacos on a Friday Night. There is nothing really remarkable or deep about this fic, it's... well, just a fic. At best it's a story which shows how I think Xander should be after losing Anya, and fighting with Buffy for so long... essentially, all grown up and mature. The prompt I wrote this for was 'Don't Forget', which puts the fic into context a little bit.
Many thanks goes to my beta the wonderful Zephyrrs for venturing into a new fandom to beta this fic. All errors relating to Twilight are totally mine.
She knows allowing herself to get lost in human men isn't going to help her get over Edward, but Tanya can't stop herself from trying. Edward Cullen has been in her thoughts almost constantly since his marriage to Bella. For the longest time she allowed to pretend to herself that Edward was just a conquest, someone unattainable she wanted to attain. However, seeing him gaze at Bella Swan – Cullen – made her realise how much she's been lying to herself. She's in love with Edward Cullen. She has been for years and now she can't seem to push him out of her mind, to forget him.
Her family is worried about her. Her cousins, the Cullens, are even worried about her, yet she simply can't stop herself from doing everything in her power to forget him. When she’s being honest with herself, she can admit that it is because she doesn't want to stop. She tries not to think too much about what she's doing or the risk she's taking. She and her sisters have always enjoyed the pleasures a man can give a woman, both human and vampire, but in the past she's never exposed herself so continuously. Usually, when it comes to human men, she tries to move on quickly and to not frequent any one place too often. Humans tend to not see her for the vampire she really is, but there's always the chance that she'll do something to arouse suspicion.
But since Edward's wedding, she's seemed unable to pace herself. She hasn't sought out humans so diligently before. She's had a different man each night in this town for the last two weeks and it was the same in the last town.
Her sister, Kate, thinks Tanya's behaviour is because she's heartbroken, because she lost Edward to a human
. Kate believes that subconsciously Tanya is now searching for one of her own. A human mate to love. Tanya is not sure her sister is wrong. Every time she plans to move on and go home a part of her hesitates. She wonders if maybe tonight she'll meet a human that will be to her what Bella is to Edward. She's doubtful, but there's a part of her that does wish for a mate.
So far none of her men she's chosen over the past two weeks have remotely interested her as anything other than a sexual conquest, including the man she's chosen tonight. A coy smile and fluttering of her eyelashes is all it has taken to lure the beautiful human to her. In fact, it's a little too easy. There hasn't been a human man who has ever turned her down, but that's not something she's going to dwell on tonight. Tonight, she wants to work on forgetting Edward Cullen so she smiles at her conquest and lightly grabs the hem of his jacket. She's about to suggest they go back to her hotel when she hears a chuckle from her left. She almost ignores it, but it's relatively early and there aren't many humans in his quaint little bar and there is no one over this side of the room except Tanya and her conquest, so the laughter isn't actually in response to anything. Tanya glances over her shoulder slowly to the table behind hers to see... a one-eyed man watching her with what could only be described as an amused expression.
"Is it even any fun?" he surprises her by asking.
Her conquest freezes next to her, no doubt fearful that someone was going to try to take her away. It wouldn't be the first time such a thing has happened, but just with one glance Tanya knows that she would never choose this man as her conquest. He's not her type. He's handsome for a human, but certainly nothing exceptional. "I'm sorry?"
His eye goes to her conquest. "Is it any fun when you know that they never stand a chance against you?"
She hesitates for a fraction of a millisecond before she takes a small breath. The smell of the one-eyed man assaults her senses and confirms that he's definitely human. He's human, but there's an inflection in his tone and a knowing look in his eye that sets her on edge. She moves fractionally closer to him and listens for his heartbeat. It's normal. He doesn't appear afraid of her, not like her conquest is. Like all the men before him, her conquest's subconscious has perceived her as the predator she is. Yet the one-eyed human doesn't seem to sense her vampiric nature. This bothers her more than she wants to admit. "They always have a choice," she says finally.
The one-eyed man snorts. "No, they really don't, but since they're still alive the next day and they don't appear to be any worse for wear I guess it's okay."
This time she freezes completely and turns to her conquest. Her former
conquest. "Leave." The word is a growl and she shows some teeth just for good measure. The human male leaves without hesitation and she turns her attention back onto the other human man who has captured her attention for all the wrong reasons. She meets his eye but says nothing. She can't
say anything. There's no doubt in her mind that this human knows something, or at the very least thinks he knows something. The fact that he knows that her conquests are alive after spending the night with her says it all. He's been watching her... and she never noticed. The realisation shakes her to her core and reminds her just how much she's allowed herself to be consumed by her inability to forget Edward Cullen. She's usually more careful than this.
"You haven't been obvious," he tells her, taking a sip of the drink in his left hand.
"What?" Never before has she wished so much for Edward's gift of mind reading.
"It's not obvious that you're not human, at least not to most people," he explains. "It's only obvious to those who know what to look for."
She's not sure what scares her more, that there are humans who know what to look for or that he's one of them. For a moment she considers that maybe the human is unbalanced, or maybe he's one of those humans who likes to believe that fantasy is reality... but his cool exterior and the seriousness in his eye makes her think that maybe he's not the type that believes vampires exist, that maybe he knows
they exist. "I'm not sure I know what you mean."
He laughs and shakes his head. "Please. Anyone who knows anything about the supernatural will know the second they look at you that you're not human. You're too
beautiful, too perfect. Humans don't look like you."
She knows she should protest, play dumb, but... there is an assuredness in the way this man speaks that effects her. For some reason she hesitates and the one-eyed man smiles at her, obviously taking her hesitation as confirmation.
"You are definitely not human," he repeats with even more confidence. He waits another few seconds before continuing -- probably waiting for a denial that surprisingly never comes. "But I'm not sure what you are exactly."
It takes all she has not to sag with relief at his words. He doesn't know what she is, which means she doesn't have to kill him. Obviously, he knew about supernatural creatures before he had seen her so technically she hasn't broken any rules. She'll just leave town and he'll never see her again.
"At first I thought you were a vampire..."
The relief she felt a moment ago is now replaced by horror. He knows about her kind? How?
"... but the last time I checked vampires didn't sparkle in the sun and they don't move as fast as you do," he says, completely oblivious to her shock.
And she is in shock. Her mind is whirling at the implications of his words. He’d seen her in the sun and seen her move faster than a human, but... he thinks this means she's not
"Then I thought maybe you were a succubus," he continues, and she stifles the shocked laughter that almost escapes her. Tanya and her sisters are the basis for the succubus myth, so the human isn't really that far off. "But then, like I already said, the guys don't appear any worse for wear. If anything, they, um, well, they're pretty happy."
She smiles, she can't help it. The human is blushing and she finds it... charming.
"You obviously don't hunt humans because there haven't been any mysterious deaths or missing persons since you arrived. If anything, you seem to 'like' humans. At least the males, anyway." He studies her thoughtfully. "You're not like any demon I've ever met and I'm kind of curious. What are you?"
Tanya stares at the man, still in shock. Although now she's shocked at hearing him compare her to 'demons' he has
met. Suddenly, she's no longer interested in finding a conquest tonight. The only thing – person – she is interested in is the human sitting in front of her. "I can't tell you," she replies honestly.
tell me?" he repeats, the eyebrow that isn't covered with the eye-patch raises.
"Our kind has laws. We cannot reveal what we are to humans; to do so means death for both the human and whoever reveals our secret." Most of the time, she considers with bitterness. Tanya knew of one glaring exception – Edward Cullen. He revealed to Bella he was a vampire and lived to tell about it. Bella, on the other hand, didn't come out of it so cleanly – she's doomed to become one of them.
"Really?" He seems surprised by this revelation. "Okay, that kind of explains why I haven't been able to find out what you are. Kind of harsh if you ask me."
Tanya shrugs. "It is the way it is."
He nods. "So you're just in town for a little fun before you move on?"
She can hear the seriousness in his tone. His question is not mere curiosity. Given his previous words, she suspects he's trying to discover if she's here to harm anyone. Her interest in the human increases to a level she's never experienced before. He knows of her kind and of other kinds, yet he lives to tell about it. More than that, he's taken it upon himself to watch her, to ensure the safety of her conquests. She wonders what he would have done had she harmed them in any way. There is obviously more to him than meets the eye. How else would he have been able to watch her without garnering her notice? Tanya studies him more closely, ignoring his outside appearance. She wants to know more about his human. Suddenly, she wants to know everything about him.
"My name is Tanya."
He smiles. "Xander Harris." He holds his hand out and she shakes it. As soon as their hands touch, he frowns and an expression of confusion crosses his face.
"I am here to forget," she says in answer to his previous question and his expression turns from confused to bewildered. Tanya feels a little confused herself. She's not sure why she said that, why she was honest. "You asked why I am in town. I am not here to harm any humans. I merely am here to forget."
He falters for a moment, clearly considering her words. "Forget what?"
Now she hesitates, not sure if she should answer truthfully. By all rights she should kill him, so why is she considering telling him that she's here to forget Edward Cullen? Maybe it's because she wants to keep him around and by telling the truth she might be able to find out more about him. Or perhaps it's because, for reasons she doesn't quite understand, she doesn't want him to think she's a threat. While she doesn't consider him a threat, the fact that he knows of the supernatural means that he's faced one before and lived. She's not sure how that's possible and she finds herself filled with the need to understand. "The man I had hoped would be my mate has chosen another."
His eye widens and now it's his turn to look shocked. His expression is a mixture of surprise, disbelief and maybe a little amusement, but she's not sure on the latter. "Wait... So you're telling me that the reason you're picking up all those men is not because you're trying to kill them or harness their energy or whatever, but because you're trying to forget a guy
He shakes his head. "You know, twelve years ago I would have called that bullshit, but strangely enough this isn't the first time I've had this sort of conversation with a demon." He studies her thoughtfully. "Demons don't usually use humans to get over their heartbreak."
Tanya shrugs. "They do not seem to mind."
"Yeah, I noticed that. Like I said before, they all seem unharmed after their, er, time with you."
"How long have you been following me?" The need to know is overwhelming. How much has he seen?
"Three days and before you think I'm some kind of pervert I didn't actually spend the night watching you." He blushes again. "The first time I saw you leave with a guy I thought you were going to kill him. I followed the two of you back to his house. When I realised what was going on I got as far away from his place as I could but still stayed close enough so I could help him if you actually did try to hurt him. I didn't hear or see a thing. I did that for the next guy as well. When I realised you weren't actually going to kill them, or at least you most likely weren't going to kill them, I put more distance between us. Mostly I watched you here and followed you back to the guy's place. That way I could check and make sure he was alive the next morning. I know it sounds creepy, but I had to make sure you didn't kill any humans. I couldn't take the risk that you were killing humans."
She shakes her head, stunned. "That's not possible. I would have noticed you or caught your scent..."
He reaches under his shirt and pulls out an amulet. "My best friend is a witch. She's gotten really good at shielding spells over the last couple of years. With the right words this amulet can shield me when I want it to."
A witch? Did even such a thing exist?
"If it makes you feel better, Will is pretty sure that nothing short of a god can get through the spell."
She shakes her head again trying to make sense of it all. She's lived over a thousand years and yet this human surprises her. No human has ever surprised her.
"So," Xander begins, changing the subject. "You're here to get over someone one. To forget them."
"Does it help," he asks. "Sleeping with all those guys, is it helping you get over him." He seems genuinely curious.
"No, it's not helping to forget, not really."
"Didn't think it would." He sounds almost disappointed and she wonders who he lost. "Were you two together long?"
"We were never together." Not for the lack of trying.
"Ah, unrequited love," he says. "I get that. It sucks."
"You say that like you have loved someone who hasn't loved you in return," she says, not because she's interested in hearing about his life but because she needs a moment. She hasn't talked about Edward to anyone since his wedding, not even her sisters who’ve certainly talked about it to
her more than enough. She's also not sure she wants to continue. She needs a moment... She wasn't expecting the wave of pain Xander's questions brought forth.
"I've been where you are once, kind of twice," he replies. "I fell in love with my friend Buffy in high school but she chose a vampire over me."
"Then I fell in love with my best friend, at least I think it was love. I'm not entirely sure if it was genuine or if it was because I was scared when she fell in love with someone other than me. What I felt for her was different to what I felt for Buffy, but I guess it doesn't matter. She ended up falling in love with a werewolf."
Tanya wonders if maybe he is lying to her, but his expression is sincere and his body isn't betraying him the way a human's usually does when they are lying.
"Why do you want to forget anyway?" he asks gently.
Tanya is suddenly overwhelmed and everything feels surreal. Is she really sitting here having this conversation with a human
? She idly wonders if Edward ever felt this way with Bella. "Why would I want to remember?" she asks in return, not wanting to answer his question.
He shrugs. "I don't want to forget any of the women I've loved. Don't get me wrong, I could have lived without the rejection, but... if they hadn't turned me down I would never have met Anya." His expression fills with pain and longing as he says the name Anya.
"My ex-fiancée. She died a couple of years ago."
Tanya can tell by his face that he still loves her.
"If I hadn't met Anya," he continues, "I wouldn't be sitting here having a conversation with a demon about unrequited love. Hell, I probably would have tried to kill you just because you are a demon. I sure as hell wouldn't have bothered to stick around to work out whether you were evil or neutral. Before Anya, even for a long time after I met Anya, I pretty much figured that all demons were evil. But after she died..." He trails off, his expression pained once again.
Tanya's surprised she has to fight the urge to reach across the table to take his hand.
"Don't forget the people you love," he says. "Even the ones that rip your heart out and stomp on it, because they change you... and I'm now sounding like a badly written love song." He laughs and shakes his head. "Sorry, sitting with you here reminds me of Anya."
"I remind you of Anya?"
"Yeah. Not physically, but the way you act around humans. She was a demon, too." He hesitates a moment before asking. "You're not a Vengeance Demon or a Justice Demon are you? Because if you are, you don't have to worry about revealing what you are because D'Hoffryn already knows that I know."
"No, I'm not any of those things," she replies, stunned. He loved a demon? Her mind starts sorting through everything she's learned from Xander and knowledge she's accumulated over the years. She has heard about the legend of Vengeance Demons... her mother once told Tanya and her sisters a tale about them or, rather, about one. Silly tales that Tanya had thought were nothing but stories to scare men. She remembers one particular tale her mother told them, about Anyanka, a Vengeance Demon who... "Anyanka?" Surely the legendary Anyanka was not the Anya he is so clearly still in love with.
"You've heard of her?"
She was the Vengeance Demon for women scorned. Tanya remembers her and her sisters laughing over the tales they heard. "Anyanka was your fiancée?"
"No, Anya was. She wasn't a demon when we met. She lost her powers," he explains.
Tanya finds herself leaning towards the human, completely and utterly intrigued. Her fascination with him as ascended to yet another level and she wants nothing more than to know more about him. Unfortunately, time is moving faster than she would have liked and the bar is now filling with humans. This isn't the place for them to have this conversation. "Xander..."
"Would you like to come back to my hotel, I would very much like to – "
Xander's laughter cuts her off. "Thanks for the offer, really, but... I'm trying to stick to humans these days. It's a lot less life threatening for me that way." He stands then holds out his hand and she knows the conversation is over. Tanya's more than a little disappointed. "But it was nice meeting you, Tanya. Since you're not going to harm the locals I don't think it's really necessary to stay in town. I was supposed to be in New Hampshire a week ago."
Reluctantly, she takes his hand. "It was nice to meet you too."
He smiles. "Try not to hurt the locals," he says as he pushes his chair in. "I'd hate to have to come back here with some of my girls."
The statement, as with most of everything Xander has said so far, piques her interest.
"Well, I'd better go. Don't forget what I said about forgetting." And with that he walks out of the bar.
Tanya watches him go and when the door shuts behind him she becomes aware of three things. The first is that Xander thought the offer to go back to her hotel room was an offer for something other than talking and he turned her down. The second is that Edward Cullen is no longer on her mind. And the third is that she's not about to let the first human who has interested her in a way that was much more than
sexual in nature walk away from her. -END-