Chapter four Trunk calls An anonymous call shop, London
Willow looked at Dawn and Buffy, who gave her an encouraging smile. A locator spell had found Xander in a small African village. Extensive research had located a call shop in the village. The Council thought Dawn and Willow had fallen out over Willow ‘having yet another orgy when you were supposed to be with me!’
And now here they were in a call shop in London, getting ready to call.
BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP BtVSBtVS HPHP Elmina, Ghana
Xander was starting to understand why his parents had yelled at him a lot when he was six years old and still curious about what went on behind their closed bedroom door. Joyce was a lovely girl and he adored her, but there were times when he really wanted to be alone with Luna.
But having been raised in a house with no privacy, Joyce didn’t really understand the concept.
Nor, for that matter, did Luna understand it as Xander did. At least, she was in some ways as uninhibited as Anya. Though thankfully she seldom mentioned orgasms in public, at least out loud. And was less focused on money.
Actually there was very little comparison between the two. Xander sighed as he drew Luna closer. They had been taking it slow, starting with kisses and touches. Luna was open about her sexuality, but her experiences had hurt her deeply.
He was just very glad that that one guy, uh, one Neville Longbottom, had managed to seduce her before the Death Beats had gotten to her. At least her first time had been with someone she loved, even if it hadn’t lasted much beyond the crisis that had thrown them together.
It was obvious that Luna still held great fondness for her first boyfriend and lover. And that she worried about him, about his traumas as well as her own. That was something Xander could relate to. He still mourned Anya, still remembered Cordelia with a little more than friendship, and his relationship with Willow, well even now with their estrangement, if she called and needed him, he thought he’d go running.
He sighed. A few years ago he would never have believed that they could grow apart so far so fast.
Xander brought his attention back to the present situation, which featured a mostly naked Luna draped over his thighs, her hair happily covering parts of him he did not feel ready for Joyce to see right now. If ever.
“What is it, Joyce?” He asked in a gentle voice. He knew it wasn’t a nightmare or ‘siesta-mare’ or anything bad. Maybe she was just curious, or lonely. Xander had made it a very important point never ever to shout or yell at Joyce, let alone lift a hand in anger. He knew much to well what that was like.
“I’m sorry, but there’s phone for you,” Joyce replied. Despite the fact that English was the official language of Ghana, the girl had primarily been taught Dagbani and she still spoke haltingly.
Xander frowned at the phone on the bedside table. “I didn’t hear it, Joyce.”
Joyce nodded. “There’s a man outside. He said that there’s phone for you at the shop. You have to come there and not tell anyone or call anyone else. I was to tell you ‘Yellow Crayon’.”
Xander blinked. If not for those two words he would be very suspicious right now. With those two words his paranoia knew no bounds. But even though he preferred to laugh in the face of danger, then run away and attack from the rear while evil was wondering what the heck just happened, you first had to come face to face to laugh at it. *I need to work on that simile*
Xander noted to himself. “I’ll be right there.”
Joyce nodded and left the room. Luna lifted her head. She’d stopped what’s she’d been doing when Joyce came in, but had obviously listened. “I’ll go with you.”
“Luna, this might be dangerous-” Xander winced and stopped at the look she shot him.
“Okay, okay, I get it. Sheesh. You’re not some weak flower,” he raised his hands in defeat.
“And don’t you forget it,” Luna smiled as she pulled on her shirt and trousers and dug out her hat.
Xander pulled on his own jeans and less than two minutes later they were headed to the call shop in the nearby market.
The owner smiled at them and gestured at a phone in a worn plywood booth with two much abused stools in it. “Call for you, Mr. Harris!”
Xander nodded and sat down. With a press of a button the shopkeeper put the call through.
“Xander? This is Willow. Are you alright?” Willow asked anxiously.
Xander frowned. “Yeah. Why wouldn’t I be? Why are you calling Willow? And why like this?”
“Because someone has been messing with our mails, letters and calls. I mean all of us have Council approved and supplied phones and laptops, right? And all our mails run through headquarters? And with a touch of magic it’s real easy to lift a letter from a postbox…” Willow babbled.
Xander had to smile, even if it was a trifle bitter. “Sure. And who could do all that?”
“Dawn and I thought it was Buffy, helped by Giles and Andrew,” Willow said quietly. “But then Buffy showed up, and she’s been railroaded too. And we checked. We know for certain something is wrong. We looked at the mails we sent and the ones we received and they don’t match up. And I think they may have magicked the phone so we always think that we’re being insulting or something. Playing on our weaknesses, harping on the past.”
Xander felt a tension leave him that he didn’t know was a part of him. “So… you still want to see me? And Buffy doesn’t want me to be fray adjacent?”
There was a snort and Xander could hear Buffy. “Want yes, ask to, no.”
Xander was about to reply scathingly when he saw Luna’s raised eyebrow. “Yeah. I can get that. So what do we do now?”
“Well, we get the gang together and remove all the icky magic. But we’re a bit worried,” Willow’s voice sounded it too.
“About?” Xander asked.
“Faith. If we reacted like this, can you imagine what getting hit with this stuff would’ve done to Faith? She was just getting herself back together.”
Xander ran a hand through his hair. “Damn. You’re right. How soon can we get to her?”
“That’s just the problem. We don’t know where she is.”