Apocalypse, Please Part 1

Title: Transitions From Blindness: After the Start

Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel the Series—AU from Tabula Rasa onward.

Pairing: Spike/Xander

Genre: AU, Romance, Angst

Content Warning: M or MA

Warnings: past canonical child abuse/neglect, None planned, but I’ll update as things occur.

Word Count Goal: 30,000 minimum

Xander dug the edge of the green scrub pad into the corner of the pan.  Giles had used the good dishes to cook the turkey and it’d been worth it. The turkey had been perfect. The mashed potatoes were slightly over-salted, but Giles had fixed that with a quick splash of milk.

The same application was apparently useful with a number of different demons, but then the oddest things seemed to be useful when it came to dealing with Demons. Look at Spike. Some decent beer and a friendly round of pool or poker had cut the death threats to the minimum. It was rather nice not being threatened with bodily mutilation as well.

He was almost as creative as Anya.

Anya. Yeah. It’d started there.

Or maybe everything had started to go downhill when he’d seen the cookies. His stomach had certainly turned on him and not in the, “So good. So good. I want those” way. No. It’d been a punch to the gut because they weren’t just delectable pastries with chunks of gooey chocolate spread throughout. They were a trap. Take the cookies and it’d be back to the way things had been for years. Forgive and forget, especially forget, one more time. It’d be Tabula fucking Rasa all over again, except this time there’d be no spell. Just habit. Yeah, it was definitely the cookies.

He’d known Willow was coming. She’d said she would come. Tara had said she’d join them a bit later when he’d asked after she’d arrived and picked a seat at the table as far from Anya and Harry’s barely contained makeout session as she could get. He just hadn’t expected the cookies, which was maybe a bit dumb of him, but there it was.

Xander should’ve told her it’d been cancelled. He should’ve shut the door and walked away, but this was Willow, his best friend. The last of his first friends, so he didn’t. Instead, he’d dredged up a smile, waved her in and told her he’d be at the table with the others.

At least he didn’t take the cookies.

She’d noticed that. How he hadn’t even commented about them, and he’d seen the hitch in her step and the way her smile trembled for a moment, but he wasn’t breaking. He wasn’t giving in this time and he wasn’t letting her off easy because of green crayons and nights spent hiding at her house when Tony was looking for a bit of sport. Instead, he’d walked away and joined the others in the living room.

Harry and Anya didn’t bother looking up from where they were kissing… again. Or maybe they’d never stopped since they’d been at it before he’d gotten up to answer the door. Giles was ignoring them, having given up fussing at them. He had his back to the room as he stood at the counter hole-in-the-wall thing and focused on cutting the turkey into perfect slices. Spike and Tara though, had looked up when he stepped into the living room, breaking off their conversation about something called Victorian flower language. Apparently Spike knew it and Tara was a big fan.

“Willow’s here.” He offered Tara a brief smile that in no way mimicked a grimace at her wince and shrugged. “We’re just waiting on Buffy and Dawn.” He headed towards his seat between Spike and the seat at the head of the table Giles had laid claim to.

A teenage tornado streaked in front of him and tackled the open seat next to Spike as if she expected someone to fight her for it.

“Or not.” Xander grinned. “Hey, Dawnie. How ya doing?” How in hell had he missed her and Buffy? Because where Dawn went, Buffy was sure to follow.

“Hungry.” She flipped her hair over her shoulder and stared hard at the food. “Buffy cooked breakfast.”

Xander nodded as he flopped down in his seat, batting away Spike’s helpful hand that would have tipped it backwards. Spike called it awareness training. Xander called it annoying, but he preferred it over threats of evisceration. Especially at the dinner table and why did he feel like he’d forgotten something important. There were drinks. Food. No alcohol. Plates. Silverware that was actually in the right order. Dessert was in the kitchen oven. Giles would join them as soon as Harry and Anya broke it off—

“What the hell, Xander? Who is that and since when has Anya had more than one boyfriend because that, that is not friendly-friendly. That is decidedly sexy-friendly. ”

Oh yeah. The whole not talking to Willow and Buffy because he had not jumped on the forgiveness cookie wagon meant he hadn’t told them about that yet. Or about the fact he’d hooked Anya up with his downstairs neighbor and co-worker, Harry the friendly sexed up Satyr. Or that he’d changed apartments. Or anything really. Well…  fuck. An apocalypse might be useful right about now. Just a little one. An afternoon distraction. Really, it wasn’t like he wanted the world to end. He just needed to hit pause for a moment. Please?

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. littlenezumi
    Apr 05, 2013 @ 22:53:05

    Is it odd that I’m proud of Xander for sticking to his guns and ignoring the guilt filled cookies? I really am! You’re off to a great start!

    Reply

    • saharrashadow
      Apr 05, 2013 @ 23:09:04

      Nope. I’m proud of him too. That took some fortitude to ignore those cookies. And thank you. I’m trying. This is the first time I’ve tried to write more than 1k shorts in years. I’ll mostly post on Friday through Sunday with the occasional post during the week as work allows. I have a friend who’s playing cheer leader and she’s awesome at poking me. :)

      Reply

  2. greywolfthewanderer
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 02:35:24

    fiendish, to hide teh spell in the cookies… I like it!

    Reply

    • saharrashadow
      Apr 07, 2013 @ 14:52:12

      :) It’s not so much that the magic is in the cookies as accepting the cookies would be following old patterns and telling Willow that it meant everything was okay. If there’s any magic in the cookies, it wouldn’t be deliberate magic as much as the fervent imprint of Willow’s wish to be forgiven and her transgressions forgotten.

      Reply

  3. sorka42
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 08:37:46

    This is a nice start. Good Xander voice and interesting personal conflicts.

    Reply

  4. starr_falling
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 11:13:32

    I love when Xander isn’t a doormat. It’s the one thing I never liked about canon Xander. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

    Also, I always had to wonder if maybe Willow’s cookies had a little something extra in them, to explain why people kept forgiving her.

    Reply

    • saharrashadow
      Apr 07, 2013 @ 14:54:57

      That was my one issue with the series as well. Xander is an awesome guy when you think about it. Out of everyone, he was the only one who stood up to what was wrong using his own strength. Everyone else had some power or ability that gave them an edge over the nasties. Buffy was a great kick-ass character and I adored her, but Xander was always the one I admired.

      If there’s any magic in the cookies, it wouldn’t be deliberate magic as much as the fervent imprint of Willow’s wish to be forgiven and her transgressions forgotten.

      Reply

  5. iadorespike
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 11:18:02

    Oh, yes…I must have more of this! You’ve done an awesome job with the characterizations. Xander’s voice is word perfect, and the actions of the others are excellent, too. I’m so very glad that he’s not letting Willow get away with her crap – cookies really don’t cut it. :( I loved the throwaway comment about the splash of mild being useful with some demons, too. Actually, I loved the whole thing. Loved.

    Thanks so much!

    Reply

    • saharrashadow
      Apr 07, 2013 @ 15:27:56

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. I was worried it was going to turn out quite badly. I haven’t tried to write more than 1k shorts in years. I still find it ironic that I’m writing this story with my back to the computer and my wireless keyboard in my lap because it’s “Transitions from Blindness” and I’m writing it blind. I’ve found it’s the only way to stop focusing on the blank page. It is fun though and there will be more. Probably a bit later today. :)

      Reply

  6. silentflux
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 12:03:49

    Loved this start :) Xander’s voice is great and I can’t wait to see how everything develops!

    Reply

  7. kaleecat
    Apr 06, 2013 @ 15:24:58

    Wonderful start & I’m happy to see some Spander fic. I do so love a Xander who shows his backbone against Willow. I got so aggravated at how he always forgave her. Everyone constantly handwaving her magical slips from the first was part of the problem. So Xander ignoring/refusing the cookies is a huge sign that she can’t just show sad eyes & a trembling lip for forgiveness–go Xander! I like your Xander voice & I like the little glimpse of his friendship with Spike, and that Tara has her own friendships with the others.

    Reply

    • saharrashadow
      Apr 09, 2013 @ 21:12:29

      It was always the little things with them that meant the most, so I figured the best way for Xander to express his betrayal was to simply break one of the little traditions that had become the unspoken encouragement of the problem.

      Reply

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