Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

By LindaMarie
For Maggie

It's been three years since Sunnydale went down. Literally. Three years of globe-hopping and girl-training and general world-saving. Three years since Xander lost an eye and an Anya and a one-way ticket to nowhere.

Today he's got a one-way ticket too, but it's to Jo'burg to meet with Faith and break a Slayer out of jail. "Girl murders deformed man in cold blood." The headlines are something like that, and there's no way to explain that the creature she killed wasn't a man, and did indeed have cold blood. Hence the prison break. And hence the one-way ticket, and hence the layover in London/Heathrow.

Xander has six hours before his flight, and he's not sitting in the international terminal while people walk by and comment about his eyepatch in languages he can't understand, while their full sets of eyes speak a language everyone knows. Xander's thought about getting a glass eye but he doesn't want to be Sandy Duncan or Sammy Davis, Jr. He'd rather be a pirate, or a barbarian. A conquistador. The Slayer girls who were tough even before they were activated can't help but be impressed by his battle-scar, his badge.

He leaves security and finds a cab, gives an address, sits back. Resting is nice. He likes the flights, unlike most. He can hunch over with his reading light and his comics, and it's thankfully nothing like being in his old basement but it's still...familiar. Simple. Being on the road can be much lonelier and tougher than he thought it would be.

Xander keeps his eye closed, answering questions from the cabbie when needed, and doesn't look around until the car's stopped and he has to find money. He had some pound notes left over from the last time he was passing through, and they're in his pocket now and he uses them.

It seems like Giles' place is everybody's safe-haven, now, but Giles always makes sure the house is empty when Xander comes. Maybe he does the same for some of the others--Xander doesn't know, doesn't ask, doesn't care. It's just nice to have a place to come home to, of sorts, a place to have an old friend open the door and make you tea (Yes, tea has grown on Xander over the years. He drinks it with too much sugar and absolutely no cream.) and make friendly conversation where you don't need to account for anything, just talk. Be people.

He only gets a few hours here, now and then, just on a layover like this, but they never feel rushed. Sometimes Xander has an obscure record or an old Watchery book for Giles and sometimes Giles has a new weird CD or a particularly spastic audiobook for him, so they exchange things and they drink their tea and eat cookies ("But you tweedy Watchers call them BISCUITS, don't you?" he'll say to Giles sitting there in his t-shirt and jeans. "Oh, ra-ther, old sport," Giles will answer.) and maybe watch some TV, sitting next to each other on the couch and sometimes just look at each other.

Sometimes thing are different. Xander doesn't really stop and think about it when it happens. Giles isn't the old man Xander used to think he was, and Xander isn't the boy he used to be. With this life, you've got to take what comforts you can get, from the people you know you can trust, because while life is pretty cool overall, you never know when it's gonna be finished. Xander learned that the hard way, and now he doesn't let himself doubt.

Today they sit and watch Doctor Who reruns together, making private Scooby-Gang jokes. Xander makes them grilled-cheese sandwiches, and when the tea and the food and the shows are over, he kisses the corner of Giles' mouth, and they just stay like that for a while, just small kisses, until it's time for Xander to head back. Things aren't urgent. They're world-weary, and sometimes comfort is all either of them need. Xander may look like a conquistador, but he's a comfortador too. And Giles...Giles seems to be able to be whatever he, Buffy, the rest of the gang, need him to be. So today he's a comfortador also.