A/N I really do have absolutely no idea where this came from. I've never seen a Telenovella, although they do sound kind of interesting. It just popped into my head one day and refused to leave. Anyway, I have no proprietary claim on BTVS or anything that makes a lot of money. Reviews are always welcome, even negative one's; it's how I learn to do this better.
They should have known that something was up when Xander asked for time off; but everyone was so overjoyed at the fact that he was finally taking some down time that they just forgot to ask what had inspired the request. By the time curiosity had seeped its way into Buffy and Willow’s heads, Xander refused to answer. So they had threatened him, answer or we’ll send a slayer to keep an eye on you.
He’d actually had the balls to laugh at that, and then had told them he was expecting Carridad to arrive in Mexico City within the hour; and had then hung up. When he called back two weeks later, they were still curious, but were a lot more polite about it. Unfortunately Xander still refused to tell them what he was doing. All he would say on the matter was that he was staying in Mexico City, that Carridad was sharing the experience with him and that it had nothing to do with Vampires, Demons or anything that went “bump” after dark. About a month later, Xander asked Giles to assign him to head up the Council in Mexico for the next few years, a move which Giles readily agreed to, although he admitted to being a bit surprised by the request. Xander replied that after Africa, he was more comfortable in third world countries than most Watchers.
About eight months after his request, he showed back up in Scotland to give Giles a progress report on how things were in Mexico. The fact that it was almost Christmas wasn’t coincidental. Having been alerted that he would be in Scotland, both Buffy and Willow made sure that they were around to see him and give him the third degree about what he’d been up to and why he’d chosen Mexico. These questions died in their throats when they saw him at the arrivals gate at Edinburgh’s airport. He looked good, better than they ever remembered him looking. He was incredibly tan for one thing, and his hair was now longer and perfectly styled. He was obviously well muscled and wearing a dazzlingly white suit that showed his body off quite well. But beyond all that, he looked happy, happier than either of them remembered seeing him for a very long time. Questions forgotten, the two women focused on simply greeting their friend. This involved them homing in on him like two guided missiles and hugging him into submission.
“God, have I missed you two,” Xander said. “Buffy, you look great and Willow, you finally look at peace.” Both girls purred like happy cats and snuggled into his embrace. Finally Willow pulled back a bit and looked up.
“Us, what about you? You look great Xander. I don’t remember you looking this happy since the wedding that wasn’t.”
“I haven’t been as happy since then; Mexico has been great for me. I was finally able to put all the things that happened in Sunnydale and then Africa into perspective. It wasn’t easy and it was something that I kinda had to do on my own. I’m sorry that I wasn’t Mr. Chatty Cathy, but it wouldn’t have been pretty if you all had been around while I was dealing with some of my issues.” He saw Buffy looking around and anticipated her question. “Carridad stayed in Mexico, she’s got family there.”
Both girls knew that there had been issues between Xander and themselves, heck they had issues of their own with the ex-carpenter and with each other. Both girls knew that the time they had been apart had been essential for them to work through their issues as well, which they had done. There had been many long talks since they had both come to Scotland and now that Xander was finally back, acting the way he was, both felt that reviving their friendship was probable not just possible.
There were indeed long and heartfelt conversations, liberally dosed with both laughter and tears. In the end, the three of them affirmed what they had said in the school right before Sunnydale became a crater. It warmed Giles’ heart to see that three of his surrogate children had literally walked through hell, and had come out intact on the other side. Christmas came much too quickly and there was an impressive exchange of loot. Not surprisingly, Giles got books from nearly everyone, although in Xander’s case it was a set of scrolls that were supposed to tell the story of a Mayan slayer and how she banished the demonic pantheon that had ruled the Mayan’s for years. The only real surprise gifts were from Xander to his two best friends. This was because he had gotten them both clothes. They were dresses, beautiful and obviously handmade, but very distinct from each other. When they asked why the dresses were different, Xander had simply replied that they were two very different people.
“You know Xander, wherever Cordelia is, she’s probably ready to skin you right now,” Willow said lightly as she held the dress up to her body.
“Why is that, Wills?”
“Because you finally got some fashion sense and she’s not around to appreciate it.”
There was a bit of an awkward pause and Willow started to wonder if she’d gone too far when Xander started laughing. It was one of those deep, soul cleansing laughs that made anyone who heard it both happy and sad. “You know what Willow, you’re absolutely right. Although I think Cordy got her revenge in the end.”
“Why’s that Xander,” Buffy asked.
“Because after all these years, I’ve turned into her,” he gasped out. “I’ve got the haircut, the wardrobe and everything that she always had. Cordy finally succeeded in turning me into her.”
Everyone had agreed to stay until New Years, and in that week both Buffy and Willow discovered some things about Xander that surprised them. Aside from his newfound confidence and body, something that had nearly every female at slayer central drooling; Xander had seemed to become something of a ‘Ladies Man’. On several different occasions, the three of them; four if Dawn came along, would go out but sooner or later, Xander would end up with another woman. He would always show up the next day looking rumpled but very happy. In their talks both Buffy and Willow had obliquely confirmed their status as a friend with Xander, but now Buffy, Dawn and even Willow, were wondering what the reactions would be if they tried to change that. New Years came all too soon, just like Christmas, but at least for one night Xander restricted himself to his three friends, although the kisses he received were a bit steamier than he had expected. January second found them heading back to their respective postings.
Willow was surprised in August when Xander just kind of showed up in Brazil. Despite her initial worry, he insisted that nothing was wrong, Mexico and Central America were as calm as they ever were and that he had just missed his friend. In truth, Willow had been missing Xander as well, and was happy to show him around. They went for long walks and talked about past events and future hopes. During these talks they finally put some old issues to rest and their friendship built back into something very close to what it had been prior to Buffy arriving in Sunnydale. Fortunately, or unfortunately; Xander was looking even better than he had been at Christmas and Willow found some feelings waking up in her that she had thought gone, and not just asleep. This culminated in a rather intense dream that had not involved Kennedy, Jessica Alba or any other female for that matter. Kennedy could tell that something was going on with Willow and was getting progressively snippier as Xander’s visit went on. Not being as oblivious as in years past, Xander could feel the stress building up and so he reluctantly cut things short and headed out for Rome. Willow was sad to see him go and at the same time she was relieved. Xander’s visit had started Willow thinking that perhaps she had been limiting her sexuality behind a label; because Xander had her definitely thinking about things that were not in the Lesbians’R’Us play-book. The other thing that she would definitely not miss was how a lot of people seemed to be staring at them during their walks. She was kind of used to it because of her pale skin and red hair, which were unusual in Brazil, but she’d gotten the distinct impression that everyone was looking at Xander. Not that she blamed them, Xander was looking especially good these days; but it had seemed to be more than that. All in all, Willow was kind of glad that Xander had cut his visit short, she really needed time to process and Xander was simply too distracting.
Buffy had been feeling kind of down when Xander had shown up, like an answer to an un-voiced prayer. She was trying to get over a rather messy break-up with the Immortal, but even Dawn’s effervescent presence hadn’t managed to lift her gloom. Then, one morning, she had answered the door clad only in her pajamas and found herself face to face with a wildly grinning Xander Harris. Buffy had nearly hugged him into submission when he’d opened up his arms, and Dawn’s greeting had only been slightly less zealous. The three of them had then proceeded to have two weeks of pure, unadulterated fun. They hit clubs and beaches, saw the sights and visited with interesting people. All the while, Buffy found herself becoming more and more attracted to her best male friend. His new look aside, Xander had somehow managed to come through all the events of Sunnydale with his spirit intact and this was something that really spoke to Buffy. She had found herself envying the man for his emotional resilience. The one time she asked him about it, he would only say that he had built a small part of his life outside of the supernatural. This was his refuge when things had started to weigh too heavily on him and it also allowed him to purge himself of the anguish that was a natural build up of a life spent dealing with evil. Unfortunately for Buffy, Dawn seemed to be just as smitten with Xander as she herself was. This was kind of a worst case scenario for the sisters, as both clearly remembered the TJ incident back in Sunnydale. It was clear that Xander was picking up on the vibes that were coming from both sisters; so he kept the flirting casual and made sure that it was evenly distributed. As with Rio, though; the tension so started to build up, and rather than be a wedge between the two, Xander cut his visit short here as well and headed to Cleveland to see what was up at the current Hellmouth. Buffy and Dawn were both relieved and disappointed that Xander had left. Once he was gone, both sisters really opened up to each other about their feelings and decided that if Xander ever was with one of them, the other would respect that decision and not try to sabotage the other. As they talked they both realized that on several occasions they had noticed several people staring at them. As they were attractive young women, this wasn’t unusual, but what was unusual was that most of the attention seemed to be focused on Xander. Buffy even remembered hearing the name ‘Don Alejandro’ whispered several times in Xander presence. Both of them wondered what it meant.
The revelation came a week or two later when they ran into Sophia Bonucci, their neighbor downstairs. She had breathlessly asked how they knew Don Alejandro. Both sisters had said that they didn’t know anyone by that name, but Sophia had just laughed and told them he’d been the man staying with them for two weeks. Dawn explained, because her Italian was better, that the man staying with them had been a friend from home; and that his name was Alexander Harris, not Don Alejandro. Signora Bonucci had blushed a bit and explained that Don Alejandro was her favorite character on a new Tellanova, and that their friend displayed an uncanny resemblance to him. Sophia had just assumed that he was the man who portrayed Don Alejandro. The elderly Italian lady excused herself soon after, leaving Buffy and Dawn determined to discover what, if anything, Xander had been doing with his life outside of slaying. It took a call to Willow and a little bit of computer searching, but the Summers sisters soon discovered the world of Mexican Telanovellas. What they found when they cross referenced Telanovella and Don Alejandro shocked them both to their cores. They found out that when Xander wasn’t being a Watcher, he was an international television star. He had previously starred in two of these productions, and both as the character of Don Alejandro. Considering their lives up to this point, this information wasn’t really shocking; after all if Kennedy suddenly turned into a giant marshmallow woman, it would barely rate a blip on the Scoobies ‘Weird-Shit’o’meter’. So Xander as some sort of TV star wasn’t that big a deal, but what was shocking was that in both, he was the villain.
The judicious application of the Council’s credit card and a week’s time found the Summers sisters in possession of both of Xander’s series. The character he played was named Don Alejandro, while his name as an actor was listed as Jesse Snyder. The plot for the first Novella, titled VENGEANCE; was fairly basic. We meet Carolina Baustos and her fiancé Carlos Perez. Carlos was a pleasant but colorless boy, while Carolina was the only daughter of Sebastian Baustos; the richest man in town. Enter the evil Don Alejandro, you could tell he was the bad guy because of the eye patch and white suit. He and his younger sister Carrina were in town to take their vengeance on Senor Baustos. As a much younger man he had seduced and abandoned their mother; it was even possible that Carrina was his daughter. They soon went to work, finding out everything they could about Senor Baustos and his business dealings. They watched as Xander (aka Don Alejandro), seduced and/or corrupted many of the ladies of the town and Carrina (aka Carridad) dug behind the scenes and teased the younger guys for information. The two quickly realized that Senor Baustos’ weakness was his daughter. They decided that Don Alejandro would do to her what Senor Baustos had done to their mother. Unfortunately, Carolina was somehow able to resist the wily charms of Don Alejandro and; with a bit of help from “Plot Device Man”, managed to stay true to her bland fiancé. Despite this failure, Don Alejandro and his sister still managed a bit of revenge in the end. In the course of several conversations, Senor Baustos’ prior conduct was made known to the whole town and the series ended with his daughter leaving him sitting alone, as the whole town was shunning him.
The second series was titled “Crossfire”. In it we start with Carrina falling for the son of a minor gangster. Don Alejandro sees this as an opportunity and is soon ingratiating himself with both the local gangster and his rival. The plan is to let them take each other out and that way he can walk away with all their money. His plans work exactly as he hoped, however the gangster’s son somehow survived the final confrontation; and learning of Don Alejandro’s duplicity, confronts him in order to exact his revenge. But as he shoots, Carrina pushes her brother out of the way and is killed. Don Alejandro then kills the boy and is still mourning over his sister’s body when the police arrest him.
Now that they were caught up with the “Don Alejandro” series, Buffy, Dawn and Willow were all eagerly waiting for the next and final novella, “Pursuit”.
In the first week, they watched as Don Alejandro planned and conducted his escape from prison by taking advantage of the naïve, and quite pretty, Esperanza; the prison’s new counselor. At the beginning of the next week they were introduced to the team of Federales that would be capturing him. As they watched, Buffy howled in outrage, swearing vengeance on Xander while Willow and Dawn just howled with laughter. The leader of the team was named Maria, but everyone called her ‘Angela’ because of her angelic face. She was moody, and liked to play with her hair a lot. The junior officer was bleached blond and if he had a name, no one used it. Everyone just called him ‘Clavo’, which means nail in Spanish. It was clear that Xander had some input with the writers as to the characters, because all through the Novella, the two characters exhibited some of Angel and Spike’s more common mannerisms. The novella was more episodic than the previous two, and Willow compared it to some old TV shows, like “The Pretender” or “The Fugitive”; where Don Alejandro would stop for a while and begin to settle in and then the Federales would catch up and he’d make a daring and creative escape while embarrassing the two cops; making them look like incompetent bunglers. During these episodes, though; his character started to evolve and he started helping out in places where he’d settle, it was quite the change for the previously amoral character. The other thing that changed with the character was that he stopped randomly seducing women, now forming friendships rather than just using them and moving on. This last bit bothered Buffy, Dawn and Willow for some reason, although none of them would talk about it. As the novella wound down, it was becoming clear that Don Alejandro had a plan to finally rid himself of the pesky cops. It ended in the rather cliché’d exploding waterfront warehouse scenario, out of which everyone watching knew that Don Alejandro had somehow escaped. This was proven to be true in the final episode, where Don Alejandro climbs out of the harbor onto a rather fancy sailing yacht with a pretty woman there to greet him. The surprise, though; was who the character was. Her name was Fe (Spanish for Faith), Clavo’s younger sister, she had been mentioned as someone supporting the investigation, but hadn't been seen on the air. But for Buffy, Dawn and Willow, the shock was even greater because the actress playing her was indeed Faith. And as the scene faded out for the final time, it was very clear that they were enjoying the kiss they were sharing.
Dawn turned off the television and sat back with a sigh, “it just goes to show you.”
“What does,” Buffy muttered.
“The bad girls always get the good guys.”