TITLE: Outside In
AUTHOR: Siege (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DISTRIBUTION: Anywhere just let me know 'K
DISCLAIMER: All things BtVS related belong to Joss Wheadon and M.E.
SUMMARY: Xander finds love in a most unexpected place.
FEEDBACK: Oh yes please!
RELATIONSHIPS: B/X, sort of
AUTHORS NOTES: AU in season Seven. For the sake of this story, Anya’s run off to Europe with Spike.
Also, I started this ages ago, and I mean like two years ago. This is the first airing it's had.
We had been in a factory fighting with a lot of vamps that were giving us serious trouble just because there were like a load of them all rushing us at once. Like when did they get bright?
We were fighting the best we could Willow was working her Witchy Magicks with Giles beside her, Me and Buff were fighting one on one with the vamps I was at her side like I always was when bang all of a sudden there was a huge flash and all of the vamps dusted poof, just like a Magic show.
It took a while for the dust to settle, leaving one quite small leather jacket clad girl lying right in the middle of the factory floor whimpering. We all managed to get up and dust themselves off and moseyed on over to look at our strange Savior, then we had the biggest shock of their lives, it was Buffy only it wasn't.
"Who ordered Slayer?" I said, my quip reflex kicking in. The others didn't even look at me.
Her hair was still blonde, like when I first saw her and her clothes duller somehow and there was a scar on her lip. Also their was the look in her eye the one that broke my heart, because that was my Buffy down there, it wasn't really I knew that my Buffy was standing next to me doing her guppy impersonation, but the scarred Buffy looked up into my eyes, and screamed, begged me not to hurt her. Of course that was to much for me, before anyone could stop me I swooped down on her and put my arms around her murmuring "You'll be fine your safe now", for some reason she stopped crying and held on to me.
Original Buffy was looking shocked and a little scared as well when Giles said, "Well this is perplexing" wadda go man, understatement of the year.
We were all like staring at the New Slayer like and wondering what the hell to do when Giles cleared his throat in his usual British guy way.
“I think we should go somewhere a little safer to investigate. Let’s all go back to the magic box. Buffy?”
"Yes", Original Buffy said
"I'm sorry Buffy, but I was addressing our new arrival"
Buffy shuffled her feet a bit and smiled a little then looked over at exhibit A and said "Will you come with us".
With that my new friend with the scar clutched onto me a bit harder and surprised me by saying yes, just one barely above a whisper syllable, but it was a start, she was trembling less now, but her slender body was still shaking slightly. I started to get up slowly and she followed me up but when I made to let go she wouldn't let me.
Buffy gave me a strange look and I shrugged, we then walked back to Giles' shop with the new slayer clutching my arm.
Once we arrived at The Magic Box it wasn’t long before we all plopped down in whatever chairs we could find. New Buffy hadn’t let go of me since the warehouse and Original Buffy was starting to look annoyed at that. Though I’m not sure why. Anyway New Buffy was virtually sat on my lap because she was sat so close. We had sat at the table we used for research along with Buffy and Willow. Giles was looking around his bookshelves in the private collection. You know the type, the really big old smelly books. He found whatever he was looking for and dumped a gigantic tome on the table. Dust flew all over the place and once it had settled Giles was sat thumbing through it.
I thought about making a quip, as was my place in life to do so. But with this new Buffy sat so close and obviously still fearful I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Something about her was bringing out the protector in my, just as Buffy had when she first arrived on the scene all those years ago.
“So, Buffy, where you from” I asked her.
She looked at me and when she answered her voice was sow low I had to strain to hear her, “Cleveland”
“Cleverland is that were Wowie and the Beaver live?”
I was rewarded for my efforts at a joke by a wry smile, “Not exactly” she told me her voice gaining a little power.
“Are you a slayer?”
She nodded at me her eyes taking a hard edge that I have never seen in our Buffy. Her admission that she was a slayer caused her to sit up a little straighter. It was as if she suddenly remembered that things were supposed to be scared of her and not other way around.
I smiled at her as her eyes and her eyes lessened their hardness but the resolve was still there. “Hey Jeeves, what's taking so long?” she asked her voice now held power and confidence once again. She was however still sat very close to me.
G-man’s head whipped round I thought he was going to break something. He looked at my new Buffy with shock but seemed pleased that she had got her groove back, or whatever the English version was.
“I’m afraid I really do not have the faintest idea where to start. If there is anything you can tell me to help then we would be most grateful”
NB, New Buffy, nodded and started talking, with her resolve came her memories apparently, “I was in hell” she began, “and I mean the actual hell with pitchforks and little red demons running around the place sticking everyone with them”
The room went real quiet at that; even I didn’t have a quip, “Man I didn’t realise Cleveland has got so bad” Okay; apparently I did after all.
OB, Old Buffy, shot me a withering glare, the one she uses to make the vampires wet themselves. NB laughing her ass off muted the effect. Her laugh wasn’t like Buffy’s it was harsher and less amused than hers but it was still a good sound.
“Man, you’re funny” she said eventually, “It’s not that different really, specially during rush hour”
It was my turn to laugh along with her this time. I was liking this new Buffy’s sense of humour, more even than OB’s.
“SO What happened!” Buffy said cutting us off.
NB turned to me and whispered into my ear, “Is she always like this?”
Her breath on my neck was having serious effects on me but I tried to ignore it and just nodded.
“Well!” OB demanded.
“Alright, chill, just got back from hell here. I think I’m aloud a laugh with a cute guy!” NB said with a glint of fire in her eye.
Well I obviously was kinda happy with that comment but I kept my expression totally blank. Or at least I tried there was a small smirk in place I think. OB actually blushed which I thought was kinda funny but again I tried not to show it. I was getting real good at the whole restraint thing.
“Perhaps if we concentrate on the point” Giles said with that special aggrieved voice he uses when we’re all one step away from being Ripper’d.
“OK, Jeeves, since you asked pretty like” NB said, she was seriously getting back into her groove now and her eyes held a good deal of steely humour now. OB was looking a little wigged at her double calling G-man Jeeves; Faith was in the habit of calling him that. It was obvious from that one nickname along that NB had gone through a very different life than that of our Buffy.
“Well, One minute I’m in hell with this large Polgarth demon clan trying to extract my head from my body, for the tenth time, then
I’m here and then cute-guy here, was calming me down.”
“Can you stop calling him that” Buffy said annoyed, “His names Xander”
This new Buffy was seriously wigging out OB with the liking me thing, I was almost insulted. Alright, I Was insulted but then Buffy has done a lot of things over the years to insult me without realising it so I’m kinda immune.
“Why he is?” NB said forever becoming my bestest bud, after Willow of course.
“Yes he is, but he’s also my friend and you’re WIGGING me out” OB said, as I said wigged, wigged, wigging. Then she blushed again.
NB sat back with a smug grin on her face.
“You’re taking this very well” Willow said, ever the one for getting the knowledge.
“I’m not there now, being a slayer you get kinda a tough brain for this shit”
I looked at her in shock, a move not unnoticed by OB who shot me a glare. I’d always thought that Buffy wasn’t very good at dealing with most things, tending to either go postal or running away. She always got back on the horse and saved the day in the end, but it was still disturbing. This New Buffy was obviously made of sterner stuff.
“Wow” Willow said eventually, “But hell!”
“No need to swear,” I said mostly to myself, but new Buffy sniggered. Damn slayer hearing.
“Oh wait up, there was something, I think I was somewhere else before I got here but I can’t remember where” NB said out of the blue.
Giles looked at her with a curious expression, I knew that look it was his ‘ah ha’ look. He always had that when he found out something that triggered that big brain of his into action.
“Indeed!” Giles said, confirming my suspicions. It was the second stage any minute now…
“Then I may have a solution, I must make a phone call if you’ll excuse me?” We all nodded, like he really needed to ask, stupid British manners. That left me the lone male in a room full of babes.
NB and OB were eyeing each other with weird look, but then they would wouldn’t they. Talk about surreal, only Willow had any idea how they felt after the Vamp-Willow episode.
Willow was idly thumbing through a book which left me to stare off into space not my favourite occupation. I was, however, saved from my inspection of the ceiling by NB who nudged me in the rips. I turned and was faced with an evil grin that was worthy of Faith.
“I need to get out of here, take me somewhere?” she whispered, “Meet me outside in a minute” then in a louder voice she said, “Where’s the toilet?”
“Down the hall to the left” OB answered watching NB with suspicion. As the new Buffy got up she caught my eye and winked which set my hormones on fire but I kept my cool.
Now because it was Buffy I had no chance but to do what she asked, because I had never been able to refuse Buffy anything so after a few seconds I got up and walked around the room a couple of times before meandering out after her.
I found her outside as she said she would be, “Look Buff, we can’t just up and leave they’ll be worried.”
She pouted at me the scar on her lip puckering in the most endearing way, “Fine leave a note. I’ve been stuck in hell I just need to kick back a bit ‘kay? Besides I’ll have you to look after me and see that I don’t get into too much trouble.”
I nodded and pulled out a piece of paper and a pen from my ever deep pockets and scribbled a note which I stuffed under the door. I knew that Giles would see it when he came back from his phone call. Then we walked off into the night with Buffy looking all around her smiling and sniffing the air.