: Neither Marvel Nor Buffy Characters Belong to Me. All rights belong to the respective ownersLondon, Giles’ Estate
“You’re a brave little toaster,” Buffy muttered, gaze fixed on the monitors. A black and green blur flashed across the various screens. Her fingers twitched, itching for a stake as a gray blob was smacked from the air.
Willow’s worried gaze darted from the largest screen to Xander and back. “Really, Xan?” Her voice filled with bewildered disbelief. Eyebrows climbing as the green and black blur sent a red and gold blur careening across the sky.
Xander glanced up at a monitor, winced but nodded his head. He wheeled his chair over to one of Willow’s special monitor’s, fiddling with the touch screen before it zoomed in on the green and black blur. The image shifting and changing until the picture was sharp and clear. Battle filled the screen for a moment, before the view changed pulling back until only Loki filled the frame.
Xander paused on a close up of the Aesir’s face. He was quite for a long moment, trying to think of way to make what he saw clear. All the madness and despair the man before them was drowning in. “This isn’t Angelus or even Spike’s level of bat shittery,” he offered, finally. “He’s lost and raging. In that dark abyss that birthed Faith’s rage, Dark Willow’s pain.”
Both women shifted to face the screen. As Buffy studied the god’s face, she began to understand what Xander meant. Not that she’d doubted his reasoning in the first place. It was plain to see, that the man wasn’t well. Now whether he was willing to accept help was an entirely different matter. “I wish you luck,” she said, eventually. Not quite sure this was her friend’s brightest idea ever.
Willow watched for a moment longer, gaze narrowed and calculating. “I know you’ve got this yen for fixing people, Xander. But I don’t think it’s gonna work this time. There’s no yellow crayon here.”
“Ah, my bestest bud. That’s where you’re wrong,” countered Xander, moving up beside her. His one eye focused on the figure flitting across the monitors.
“Loki’s not a bad guy. Misguided, vengeful, possibly psychotic and definitely cranky but not evil. I get the feeling any crayons he had were broken or snatched away, that’s if he ever even had a crayon. So, I’m going to offer him a crayon and this analogy thingy has just gotten way outta hand.”
“I still think you’re pushing your luck,” argued Willow, turning to face Xander as she leaned back against the command center. She’s feeling the slightest stirrings of uneasiness. Ever since the Twilight and losing Dawn, her Xander-shaped buddy had not been himself. Half a year later, he was still quiet and withdrawn with everyone but her and Buffy.
“Oh, let’s face it. None of us are ever gonna have a happy normal relationship.” Buffy declared before Xander could respond. She thought it was kinda awe-inspiring that Xander could keep trying. She’d thrown in the towel after that fiasco with Angel and almost wiping out existence. Adopting Faith’s philosophy; get some and get gone.
“Yep, doomed to badness,” groaned Willow, a weary resigned look creeping onto her face. Oz and his happy family, flashing briefly through her thoughts.
“Okay, time-out. Flag on the play!” Xander barked, hands forming a T-shape. “Who said anything about a relationship? No relationships here. I just think the guy needs a friend. Somebody on his side.”
Willow and Buffy exchanged looks.
“What’s with the side eye?” He asked, pointedly glaring at the pair. Really, like he couldn’t see them. He was standing right here.
“It’s just, well this seems kinda…” Buffy trailed off, hesitant to voice her objections. She had vowed to be support-o gal. She hadn’t been so understanding when he and Dawn had gotten together. And afterwards… well afterwords there wasn’t anything she could do but be there.
“Like a trap,” finished Willow, arms crossing a fierce look in her eyes. She hadn’t told Buffy about the times she’d found Xander curled up with something of Dawn’s. But that didn’t mean she’d forgotten. It always made her wish she still had the power to go toe to toe with a goddess. “I know we joke about it, but Xander your love life really is cursed.”
Xander frowned, looking away unable to take the sympathy filled stares. “Lover of many, Keeper of none.”
The memory of her hollow words surfaced, always lurking beneath his thoughts.He shoved it away, consigning it to the depths of his mind once again. “This has nothing to do with that. I wouldn’t give that heinous bitch goddess the satisfaction.”
Willow sighed, throwing up her hands. “Fine. You want to court Death and disaster. So be it.”
“Ah, Wils.” Xander murmured, moving to wrap his arms around her. “I’ll be okay.”
She buried her face in the curve of his neck and clung tightly to him. She sniffled quietly. “The Lady and her coven are waiting in the gymnasium for you. She knew you wouldn’t change your mind.”
The walk through the new Slayer and Watcher headquarters was a silent one. Though murmurs could be heard from the slayers in residence as they made their way through the building.
The Lady was waiting for them, facing the door hands out in expectation. A dozen brightly clothed women were scattered across the room, chatting with the school’s regulars. Willow hurried across the room and clasped her hands. “Bright blessings, Lady.”
“Blessed Be, child.” She answered, before stepping back and shifting to face Buffy. “Slayer, merry meet.”
Buffy fidgeted beneath the pupil less gaze. The solid white orbs unnerved her. Truthfully, The Lady (whenever Willow called her that Buffy always heard all capitals) just unnerved. The woman read as human as anybody to her slayer senses but her own instincts put lie to that. “Yeah, right back atcha.” She ignored Willow’s elbow to the ribs.
“Hjärta, are you ready?” She intoned.
“hatta what,” mouthed Buffy at Xander who shrugged. Xander had made a vow never to question the woman. Not after he’d seen Illyria back down from a hard look one day. Buffy made to speak, only to receive another elbow to the ribs.
The Lady waited solemnly and Xander had a feeling she’d wait forever for an answer if need be.
“I’m a comfortador. I’m always ready.” The words were jokingly said but his gaze was serious.
The Lady made a gesture and the witches gathered in a circle, leaving a space for Xander in the center. “Tell Loki hæit
Breaker of Worlds, if he would learn there is a Völva
who would teach.”
Xander tipped his head in acknowledgement as his vision was filled with blue flames.