A CUTE COUPLE
Disclaimer: I don’t own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or XXXHolic, so I earn no profit from this.
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Another installment of the Adventures of Xander and Faith. Sorry its been so long. Thanks to Storyseeker for beta-reading this. As usual, if you have any comments or preferences, please don’t be shy. RandR.
“So,” Faith summarized, “you work for her to pay a debt, but the weird situations she gets you into mean you need to ask for her help over and over, deepening the debt?”
“Pretty much,” he sighed melodramatically.
The skinny Japanese teenager seemed to do everything melodramatically, Faith thought. She and Xander had just finished pulling him and his quiet friend out of a real mess and would be happy to be on their way. The possibility existed, however, that they could go home, if the sorceress that their new friend worked for was half as talented as advertised.
The boys led them to the shop where the sorceress and her two helpers waited. The helpers looked like young girls, but something about them made Faith’s senses itch. The sorceress wasn’t doing much for her either.
“So you’re the dimension travelers,” she greeted them. “Lovely to meet you.”
“Likewise,” Xander replied. “We’ll be even happier if you can send us home without any more side trips.”
“Sadly,” she answered after a moment’s quiet consideration of the two demon hunters, “this magic comes from a place beyond my reach. I have no ability to affect your destination.” She shook her head. “This is one wish I can’t grant.”
Xander visibly wilted, and Faith scowled. “Not what we were hoping for,” she muttered, even as a portal shimmered into existence, “especially after dealing with this mess. This stop has been freaky, even by our standards.”
“Hmm,” the sorceress nodded absently. “Today has been a tad unusual.”
“A TAD?!” Their beanpole of a guide looked incredulous. His quiet friend sighed and stuck his fingers in his ears. “A TAD?! This has been the weirdest day ever, and that’s saying a lot! There were the animal spirits!” He threw his hands in the air and stomped around, recalling the highlights of the day as he ranted. “And then the crazy sprites! And I don’t know what that other thing was!”
Xander smiled politely while backing away slowly, and even Faith eyed the apparent lunatic warily. The sorceress took it all in stride, taking a swig from her bottle of rice wine. The other Japanese boy looked bored, but then, Faith recalled, he usually looked that way, even when something was trying to eat him.
“And what are you so calm and cool about? You almost died three times!” he actually paused in his rant to wait for an answer.
“True,” his friend allowed, not taking his fingers out of his ears, “but I didn’t, so what’s the point in throwing a fit?”
“A FIT? You think I’m throwing a fit?” The rant continued.
Faith looked at Xander with a slight grin. “They make a cute couple, don’t you think?”
The room was suddenly dead quiet. Both boys looked at her, the quiet one with a slight frown, the other with a vein visibly pulsing in his forehead. The sorceress merely cocked an eyebrow at them. The silence was broken by her assistants.
“A cute couple of what?” the girls asked in unison.
Xander grinned. “That’s the question, isn’t it?”
The sorceress tipped her head back and laughed delightedly even as Faith groaned.
“Xander,” she sighed in exasperation, “that joke had mold on it when the Marx brothers were making movies.”
“Oh come on,” he said, “It was just lying there. I’m supposed to ignore an opening like that?”
Instead of answering, she took him by the ear and led him through the portal.
“A cute couple,” the sorceress smiled after them, even as the portal faded. Then she glanced at the boys speculatively.
“Watanuki?” his friend asked, “why am I getting a sinking feeling?”