An intervening event
Look!! I'm not dead!!!!
I still don't own anything or anyone. :(
Joyce raised an eyebrow at the teen standing nervously in her doorway. “Can I help you with something, Xander?”
He flashed her an anxious smile and stepped into the office, closing the door behind him. “I hope so. I need some advice.” He paused, obviously searching for words.
She smiled reassuringly at him and gestured at a chair. “Sit down, relax. I’ll do what I can, though I would think your mother would be a better choice.”
He snorted as he plopped into the seat. “That drunk bitch?” He flinched. “Sorry Mz. S.”
She was very still for a moment. “Is that why you’re living with Adam?”
He nodded uncomfortably. “Actually, that’s who I wanted to talk to you about. I don’t know if Buffy told you, but I really screwed up a couple weeks ago.” He shifted in the chair. “I disappointed him pretty badly.” He looked up at her pleadingly. “I’ve been trying to make it up to him, but nothing I do seems to change anything. You and Giles have known him for a while, so I thought you might have some ideas.”
She sat back and looked up at the ceiling thoughtfully. “Are you sure it’s disappointment? If you were Buffy, and yes, she did fill me in, I’d have been more hurt that you didn’t come to me.” She looked him in the eyes. “If you really want my advice . . . . .?” He nodded. “Think about something he’s been talking about. Prove that you do listen to him, that you trust him.”
Xander nodded thoughtfully, leaning back and slouching a bit. “That makes a lot of sense. I didn’t think about it that way. I figured he was just being nice to the Slayer’s friend.”
There was a long pause as he stared at his hands clenching and unclenching in his lap. Her hands stilled his gently as she crouched next to his chair. “Xander, you are a wonderful, caring, strong person. I am so proud that my daughter has earned your friendship and loyalty. Someone would have to be either blind or very stupid not to value you as I do, and Adam is neither.” She placed a hand gently on his bowed head. “He has never wasted his time on students he considered unworthy.” Her voice turned wry. “And he has very
high standards.” She kissed the top of his head and slipped quietly from the room as the first tear fell.
* * * *
Xander paused for a moment before taking a deep breath and forcing himself to knock. The door opened slowly and he smiled weakly at the occupant. “I need a favor.”
* * * *
Xander, Buffy, and Oz looked around at the collection on the lawn. “Goodwill for everything not obviously trash?”
Xander frowned. “Might want to ask Adam or your mom to go through it, make sure there’s nothing worth keeping or selling.” He looked at the Slayer and Werewolf. “Thanks for helping me clear it out.” He gestured at the Carriage house.
Oz shrugged. “Why did we need to?”
Xander shrugged, blushing slightly. “Adam . . . . *cough* Adam’s been trying to get me into working with my hands. He’s been talking about turning the ground level into a workshop. After the spell thing, I guess I just wanted to prove that I do listen to him.”
Buffy smiled softly and bumped his arm. “You know what’s gonna happen once you get set up in there, right?”
He frowned, wary. “No?”
She grinned, mischievously. “Stake central.”
He blinked at her for a moment, then groaned. “Awwww, com’on Buff. You don’t go through that
She shook her finger under his nose. “Giles hands me a dozen every night and I’m usually down to Mr. Pointy by the end of my last patrol. Besides, we’ll need more with you and Wills going out too.”
Xander smiled slowly, then threw his arm over her shoulders. “Now that calls for a celebration. Let’s go break open the bubbly!”
Oz trailed them back towards the main house. “Bubbly?”
Xander shrugged sheepishly. “Apple juice. Adam won’t let us even drink beer. I think he’s scared of what it might do to Willow, honestly.”
The three of them contemplated that for a long moment.
“Yeah, me too. Let’s keep her away from alcohol, like, forever.”
Oz and Xander nodded in agreement.
A/N: I pormise, I will start updating again on a regular basis. Soon, even. :)