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You've Been Xandered

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This story is No. 24 in the series "Wishlist 2011". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Sequel to Boredom is Dangerous: Sherlock decides to stalk Buffy into calling on Xander. And what, exactly, is being Xandered? He thinks it sounds painful...

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Literature > Crime > Sherlock HolmesMissEFR1512,2465186,1257 Jan 127 Jan 12Yes
Prompt/Prompter: Reviews of the previous story; Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Sherlock (2010 BBC); [Xander Harris, Sherlock Holmes]

Disclaimer: Don’t own or claim rights to Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Sherlock (2010 BBC)

Notes: And this is the last of the Wishlist fics for 2011. I made it!

~~~~~

John had been watching Sherlock with increasing trepidation. The last time he’d gotten this bored, he’d hit upon the ‘marvellous’ idea of challenging their neighbour to a hunt. Translation: a bag of paint balls, and a dare to follow him all across The City. It had ended with an exhausted but elated Sherlock returning, absolutely covered with paint, to their flat, saying that Buffy had threatened to have him ‘Xandered’ if he tried it again. John had said at the time that that sounded painful, and he was beginning to think they were about to find out just how painful it was going to be.

~~~~~

Sherlock almost bounced into the flat, wearing a broad smirk. “Things are looking up,” he announced happily.

John groaned, and slouched into his chair. “What have you done?” he asked in deep trepidation.

“Nothing!” Sherlock declared, affecting a look of utter innocence. When he saw that John wasn’t buying it, he shrugged. “Well…”

“He’s been annoying that nice young American girl again,” Mrs Hudson explained from the doorway. “You left your mail on the table again, Sherlock dear,” she added, carrying it into the flat.

“Sherlock,” John began cautiously, “are you trying to get ‘Xandered’?”

Sherlock dropped down onto the couch, and swung his long legs up to stretch out. “I have checked into the word, and the only connection I can find is the Scandinavian diminutive of Alexander. However, Buffy is Californian, whereas the greatest concentration of Scandinavians in America is in the upper Midwest, Pacific Northwest, Utah and Alaska. California has statistically fewer people of Scandinavian descent than the general populace of the United States, so I’m not sure where she would find someone with that name, unless it’s a more recent development.” Sherlock frowned at the ceiling, pondering the puzzle.

“Or … his younger brother or sister couldn’t pronounce Alexander,” John suggested simply.

Sherlock twisted to frown at his flatmate. “Does that happen?” he asked in consternation.

John sighed. “Yes, Sherlock, it happens. It’s how a number of nicknames come about.”

“So I’m about to be assaulted by someone with a younger sibling with a speech disorder?” Sherlock asked doubtfully.

“Quite possibly,” John nodded calmly. “And you undoubtedly deserve it.”

~~~~~

John was working on his blog when he heard a quiet knock on the door. He looked around to see a dark-haired man poking his head in through the doorway. “Yes?”

“Hey,” the stranger grinned, and he didn’t need to be Sherlock to pick the man was American.

“Hi,” John nodded. “Can I help you?”

“John, right?” the stranger clarified, entering the flat. “I’m Xander.”

“Ah,” John murmured, sitting back in his chair. “And you’re here for Sherlock, I assume.”

“However did you guess?” Xander smirked. He dropped down onto the couch, and swung his long legs up to stretch out. “So Buffy says he’s really annoying. I’m guessing he’s smart, curious, and has a really lousy brain-mouth filter.”

“Unbelievably intelligent, insatiably curious, and, er, his brain-mouth filter is probably missing,” John grinned. “According to him, he’s a high-functioning sociopath, not a psychopath.”

Xander frowned at John. “Aren’t they exactly the same thing?”

John smirked. “Essentially,” he nodded. “It comes down to whether it has a social or genetic origin. In other words, Sherlock is saying he was made, not born.”

“Nurture, not nature?” Xander clarified.

“Precisely,” John nodded. “Oh, and when I said he was unbelievably intelligent and insatiably curious, I was not exaggerating. If anything, I was erring on the side of caution.”

Xander grinned. “Sounds like fun.”

~~~~~

John wasn’t quite sure what Xander was doing, but it was having an effect. In fact, all he could see happening was Xander visiting Buffy, and totally ignoring Sherlock. The young American would waltz in, call a cheery hello to Mrs Hudson, then retire immediately to Buffy’s flat, sometimes carrying her mail for her. When he came out, he would farewell Mrs Hudson, sometimes have a little chat, and then leave. He never even approached their flat after his first visit, and didn’t even acknowledge Sherlock the two times he’d passed him on the stairs.

“He’s ignoring me,” Sherlock frowned from his place on the couch, having obviously read John’s mind.

“Who’s ignoring you?” John asked, determined to stay right out of it.

“Buffy’s friend, that Xander chap,” Sherlock scowled. “Why is he ignoring me?”

John waited. His input was not needed at this point, and would lead to Sherlock’s excess scorn being heaped upon him, rather than someone more deserving, or at least less him.

“This could be the first stage of being ‘Xandered’,” Sherlock considered, bringing his hands together and up to rest his fingers on his lips. “By ignoring me, he is fostering my curiosity, causing me to become more interested in him, so that he when he does … whatever it is that he’s going to do, I will already be in place to receive my so-called punishment.”

John waited for Sherlock to look to him for a response, but he was still processing his own thoughts for now.

“But he’s ignoring you, too,” Sherlock went on. “Why is he ignoring you? You haven’t offended Buffy, so why are you being included in this exclusion.” A hand shot up, and Sherlock smiled. “You can’t tell what you don’t know. If he ignores you, then it removes you from my list of persons to interrogate: clever, clever. He is a rather clever young man,” he smiled at John, who smiled perfunctorily back. “But he does pay attention to Mrs Hudson, who would tell me anything I asked. Obviously he’s only telling her what he wants me to know; well, that’s just good practice,” Sherlock dismissed. “I wonder where he got his training from?”

John girded his metaphorical loins, and opened his mouth. “You could always ask Mycroft,” he suggested mildly.

“Ask Mycroft?” Sherlock was so shocked, he swung his legs off the couch and sat up, gaping at John. “But that would –”

“Be the smart thing to do?” John smirked.

Sherlock huffed, and laid back down on the couch, promptly feigning sleep to ignore John.

~~~~~

John and Sherlock were both on the landing with Mrs Hudson when Xander ran up the stairs. He shrugged off his overcoat and scarf, and draped them over his arm as he cheerfully greeted Mrs Hudson with a kiss to the cheek, and spent a few moments with her in idle gossip. He then turned to the two men, and smiled at John. He thrust out his hand, and smiled. “John, isn’t it?” Xander greeted. “Buffy tells me you’re a doctor.”

John flicked a glance at Sherlock as he shook hands with the American, and nodded. “Uh, yes, I work in one of the local surgeries.”

Xander made a face. “Not really my kind of thing. I barely passed high school; the thought of going to college about gave me hives. But, hey, if you’re smart enough, good for you!” With that, he took the proffered mail, and strode off to Buffy’s flat, whistling jauntily.

Mrs Hudson dithered uncomfortably for a moment then fled back to her flat, just managing to hide her smile. Sherlock glared after Xander, then turned his frown to John, who showed him an innocent face, and shrugged.

“He’s ignoring me,” Sherlock pouted. “I was right there, and he acted like I wasn’t.”

“Yep,” John nodded, heading to the stairs. “Next thing he’ll be repeating everything you say.”

“Really?” Sherlock asked, surprised. “Why would he do that?”

“Because it’s annoying, which is the whole goal of all this,” John shrugged.

“People do that?” Sherlock asked.

“Well … children do, anyway,” John grinned.

“Are you suggesting he’s treating me like a child?” Sherlock asked, astounded.

“Are you suggesting he shouldn’t?” John shot back.

~~~~~

John was a little uncomfortable. Xander had taken him to a pub, which was fine in and of itself, except that he knew Sherlock had contacts at this pub, and probably already knew he was here with Xander, drinking beer and just generally chatting. He started when Xander looked over his shoulder and smiled broadly: had Sherlock come down to see what was going on?

John stood when Xander did, and turned to see their visitor. Instead of Sherlock, though, their visitor was an older man, with greying hair, laugh lines, and green eyes behind his wire-framed glasses. When he greeted Xander, John was surprised to hear a rather refined English accent.

Xander brought the stranger forward, and waved to John. “And I really should introduce you, Giles: this is John Watson, one of Buffy’s neighbours.”

“Ah,” Giles nodded, “the doctor, unless I miss my guess.” He turned to Xander with a frown. “I do hope you’re not putting him in a tight spot, Xander.”

Xander hummed thoughtfully. “Maybe. Sorry about that, by the way,” Xander smiled.

John grunted. “Sherlock’s just about crawling the walls trying to figure you out. Any more of this, and he’ll break down and call his brother.”

“Ah, yes,” Giles nodded, “Mycroft. Well, he won’t get anything from that source, that’s for sure.”

Xander tilted his head. “Mycroft,” he mused, frowning slightly, “isn’t he the guy who runs everything?”

“Apparently,” John nodded. “You should see the two of them together; it’s quite funny at times. The first time I met Mycroft, he described himself as Sherlock’s arch-enemy.”

Giles nodded thoughtfully. “Yes, I can quite see that. And speaking of Mycroft, he has asked, Xander, that you discontinue your little punishment of his brother. He’s been expecting the call, and isn’t looking forward to it. Well,” he went on smirking, “he is looking forward to that call. It’s the call from his mother, some ten minutes later, that he’s not looking forward to.”

“Fine, Giles,” Xander sighed, “I’ll play nice, and stop torturing the highly intelligent, sociopathic Mummy’s boy.”

“Very good,” Giles smiled. He rose to leave. “Oh, and if you see Buffy before I do, ask her about her plans for Christmas. I was thinking of a family Christmas at the place at Bath.”

Xander smiled. “Sounds great, count me in.” He watched Giles leave, then turned to John. “So, shall I go put the Great Sherlock Holmes out of your misery?”

John opened his mouth to correct Xander, then thought about it. No, the American was exactly right; Sherlock would be put out of John’s misery. He grinned. “Sounds like a plan.”

~~~~~

Sherlock was lying on the couch, discontented. John was out with Xander and another man, while he was here, alone and neglected. He turned his head slightly as he heard footsteps and men’s voices in the stairwell: John and Xander had returned. He stiffened for a moment, trying to decide what to do, then relaxed: he had been lying on the couch when they began walking up the stairs, and, by god, he’d stay lying on the couch.

John walked into the flat followed by Xander, and showed him where to hang his coat. Together they walked into the living room. Xander smiled at Sherlock as if it were the first time he’d seen him, and held out a hand. “Hi, you must be John’s friend Sherlock,” he greeted, nice to meet you.”

Sherlock sat up and stared at the outstretched hand. “Do not pretend this is the first time you’ve seen me; you have seen me any number of times. You’ve seen me on Mrs Hudson’s landing, you’ve seen me around London, and I am the very reason you came to London, is that not so?”

Xander tilted his head as he considered the irate Englishman then nodded firmly. “You got me,” he conceded. “Although I didn’t actually come to London for you,” he contradicted, “I came for business. London is where we have our European headquarters, and I recently gave in and transferred here, since this is pretty much where all my family is.”

“So that was your father who dropped in at the pub tonight?” Sherlock interrogated.

Xander smirked. “Yeah, let’s go with that. So, you’ve now been officially ‘Xandered’; how do you feel about that.”

“That’s it?” Sherlock narrowed his eyes at the other man. “You ignored me for two months, one week and three days, and that’s it?”

Xander laughed. “For a man like you, I could think of no worse punishment than to be ignored.”

“A man like me?” Sherlock repeated, suspicious.

Xander rolled his eyes. “Freaky intelligent and curious,” Xander explained. “I know Will always hated it when Jesse and I ignored her.”

Sherlock examined him for a moment. “Which one was it that shortened your name?”

“Will,” Xander nodded.

“You treated me like a child,” Sherlock pouted.

Xander leaned forward and poked Sherlock on the chest. “If it waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck,” he gave another poke, “it’s a duck.” He turned to John. “Well, I’ve got to see Buffy before I leave, so I’ll see you later.”

Sherlock watched the American shrug into his coat. He waited until the man was at the doorway before he spoke again. “Why did you finally end this?” he demanded.

Xander chuckled, and looked back at Sherlock. “Because Mycroft didn’t want a nasty call from your mom.”

Sherlock turned back to John, who simply shrugged. It was, after all, what Xander’s friend had said to him. He wandered into the kitchen. Maybe some tea would help.

The End

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