Cause & effect
Xander dodged down the back of the mercantile. Larabee *really* didn’t have much of a sense of humour. Glancing back over his shoulder to make sure he hadn’t been spotted, Xander failed to see the furtive-looking figure coming round the corner.
The pair rebounded heavily, causing Xander to stumble and end up on the floor. The resulting angle meant he was able to see under the other’s wide-brimmed hat.
The demon squeaked and looked round in a panic, scrabbling to pull his bandana up over his face and pulling his long brown coat tightly around his body. “Er, no. Sorry. Must have me confused with someone else.”
Xander stood and brushed himself off. “Sorry, thought you were someone I knew from the Ash’thar clan.” The demon froze at his words, giving Xander a better look. He could see the difference now; a wrinkle here, a fold there.
“You know what I am?” the demon asked, surprised.
“Sure. I also know you guys are neutral except when it comes to poker or kittens,” Xander said with a grin.
“Oops. Damn, gotta watch the timeline and all that. Anyway, nice to meet you. Bye.” Xander slapped the demon on the back and hurried off.
Xander arrived in the saloon for his shift, his gaze automatically taking in and assessing the room. He paused when he looked over at the poker table. Seated with Ezra was a figure in a familiar hat and coat, but swaddled up like the elephant man.
Without thinking, he drifted over to the table. Ezra looked up with a smile.
“Good evening, Xander.”
“Hey, Ez, good game?” Xander asked, giving a smile at the demon who quickly looked away.
“I’ve been engaged to teach Mr. Ash here the basics of the game. Since his terrible affliction means he doesn’t get out much, I’m sure he’ll have plenty of time to practice and become quite a formidable player,” Ezra replied proudly.
“Teaching?” Xander choked out. “That’s, er, nice. Good luck, Mr. Ash.” Xander hurried away to the bar.
“Ah, hell.” Xander muttered to himself. What were the odds for a chance encounter with a member of a demon clan he knew in the future? Had he changed something? Poker wasn’t exactly uncommon; Clem’s clan could have picked up from anywhere, right?
Was it a paradox, or simply fate?
All he knew right now was his brain hurt.
A/N Couldn’t find the name of Clem’s species but you get the idea :0)