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liliaeth and I offer this brief interlude in the action, and a glimpse into the life of a missing Scooby. In case you were wondering where he was and what he was up to.

Please, as always, read and comment! The muse is busy buying stock in Kleenex.

Goddess bless willa_writes - A little insight into one of her favorite boys.

To read Beloved from the beginning, go Here.

Full-sized banner by banner_grab beneath the cut.

Beloved – Interlude 11-12 – A Hundred Bottles of Beer on the Wall

After Willow called about a new spell to rescue Buffy.

Xander hung up the phone. He couldn’t think of Buffy’s possible return without getting sick to his stomach.

Five bottles of beer sat on the shelf in front of him; all of them untouched. Three bottles graced the rack above his sink. Every available flat surface in Xander’s modest apartment had received the same decorator’s touch.

They’d been acquired slowly, over the course of the past three weeks. M’bule, a neighbor, told him he was crazy. If he wanted the benefits of all that beer, he’d have to actually open the bottles and drink them down.

Xander, however, shook his head and refused to touch a drop. Several more bottles found their way to the top of his small box refrigerator. Everywhere he stood, he saw them. On his nightstand, they stood in a ring around his lamp. In the bathroom, they stood neck and neck with his shampoo and body soap.

All sealed, all covered with the dust that inundated the small abode, and still Xander continued to shell out his cash for more.

Adeola had teased him about the first five bottles. The fifteen year old Slayer placed in his charge grew tired of trying to keep them dust free. She’d pushed the point, eventually threatening to drink them herself.

“Go on, silly man,” she’d teased one overly sweltering evening. “These are beer bottles, not genie. Your Anya not come out to smack you for taking your pleasure.”

He’d punched her. In the jaw.

That had been three weeks ago.

Though grateful that her Slayer strength prevented him from harming her physically, the look in her tearful brown eyes gutted him.

It had been three weeks since Anya’s name had been mentioned in passing. Three weeks after belting the girl placed under his protection and guidance and he’d begged her to leave.

And still Anya was lost to him.

Before she left, Adeola had a few choice words of her own.

“You’re a ghost, man. Nothing more than a shadow. You allow death and loss to rule you when you should rejoice in still living. Perhaps it was you should have died, for all the life you not relish.”

Nothing more than he’d repeated to himself at least once a night since Sunnydale went belly up.

Each day he added more bottles to his collection, now covering entire surfaces.

He’d hit the girl. A child under his protection. His ward. Worse than his father, he was. Old Pops might have beaten on his mother in a drunken rage, but he’d never laid a finger on his son.

Yet he’d hit her, like his father had hit his mother, and his grandfather had hit his grandmother.

Hidden inside his nightstand were two bottles of unopened Scotch. He’d bought three of them on the black market instead of food years ago. He’d lost his appetite, and only ate when his stomach sounded louder than the droning cicadas.

The third bottle stood on his bathroom sink – the only one he’d opened. It was on the occasion of Willow’s phone call four yeas ago – when she told him of Spike’s resurrection.

“Did Anya return, too?” he’d asked her, already knowing the answer.

Spike was back, given yet another chance at life – his fourth go round, while Anya lay buried under the rubble.

Xander had opened the bottle and poured most of its contents into the toilet, followed by whatever he’d eaten for breakfast that day. His hand curled into a fist for want of smashing the bastard in the face for coming back. It was something he couldn’t face. How do you look into the eyes of a child and wish it dead?

He picked slowly at a scab on his hand before dumping the remaining scotch into the toilet.

It had been three weeks since he’d told Adeola to go back to the Council for another Watcher. He wondered if she, too, would return.



( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 21st, 2006 02:05 am (UTC)
Never thought that anyone would be able to make me feel for Xander. You just did.
Jan. 21st, 2006 02:10 am (UTC)
Never thought I'd be sympathetic enough to write him, thus. liliaeth has been good for me.
Jan. 21st, 2006 02:09 am (UTC)
*ouch* harsh chapter - I hadn't been surprised that Xander didn't tag along with Giles and Willow for Will's birthday, but hadn't thought he'd be taking it this badly ... and scarily ...
Jan. 21st, 2006 02:14 am (UTC)
I've gotta tell ya, the man's not in the world's best headspace right now. Nor has he been, for a long time. I wonder if we'll see him again some day?
Jan. 21st, 2006 02:18 am (UTC)
*ooh* is that a hint of future direction?
Jan. 21st, 2006 03:09 am (UTC)
Moi? Hint? Whatever are you inferring? la la la
Jan. 21st, 2006 11:11 am (UTC)
me? Nothing ... *looks around furtively* but he is coming back, right? okay, I'll be off *scampers away - whistling*
Jan. 21st, 2006 01:51 pm (UTC)
When is Angel/Buffy loving gonna happen.
Jan. 21st, 2006 01:55 pm (UTC)
Re: Bangel
When is someone going to read the author's note that states this is in no way an Angel/Buffy fic? Bangel and moi have not ever been, nor will ever be mixy.
Jan. 21st, 2006 02:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Bangel
You did say hints of Angel/Buffy so I was waiting for it.
Jan. 22nd, 2006 01:17 am (UTC)
Re: Bangel
Well we just thought we'd warn the spuffy fans amongst our readers that we're not denying that Angel and Buffy have had a relationship in the past. That Buffy looked upon Angel as someone she once loved. We've shown that; we've shown her wondering what it would have been like if she'd been the one to marry Angel.

We've also shown Angel's feelings for Buffy, that even though he's no longer in love with her, that part of him still loves her and always will.

Other than that... the pairing is Angel/Nina. Angel's a one woman vamp. He loves Nina now and has for years. We might still add moments where Angel and Buffy remember their past together. But I'm afraid that that's about all we'll do.
Jan. 21st, 2006 09:39 am (UTC)
Now that was interesting, and jam packed with truisms. Xander has always been a character that I've alternatively appreciated and wanted to strangle. Not entirely sure what I'd be up for offering this Xander, maybe congratulations on not drowning in booze. Very intriguing insight though.

Will be keeping my eyes peeled for more. Thanks to you both for the lovely interlude that has that grey matter of mine pondering - again! Hugs, sweetie. xxx
Jan. 22nd, 2006 04:20 am (UTC)
Xander is conflicted - so say all of us. We're pleased to have made you think... which in turn, makes us think. So... with a think-festival going on, perhaps there's more to Xander's story. Stay tuned and find out. **smooches**
Jan. 21st, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)
I did post this on spike_fics but it appeared as an Anonymous posting (??) so I thought I'd re-submit my feedback to you on your LJ.

That's so sad.

After reading it I had to sit back and consider. Was I sorry for him, for his losses and his loneliness? Angry at him, for wallowing in self pity and resentment? Frustrated with him (and the writers), because Xander's always been the normal guy who rises to the abnormal challenges thrown his way?

I suppose there were fragments of all of those things in my head... but, my overriding feeling was one of resigned acceptance. Overcoming everything that had happened to him, cumulatively over the years, needed to happen with the support and love of his 'family', friends and colleagues... and sadly they were all dispersed, killed or lost in the aftermath of 'Chosen'. Loneliness feeds pain. Anger and resentment are products of lonliness.

This has been written beautifully, and provoked some serious introspection here at CasaLinnit...

I do hope the muse doesn't abandon Xander now, and there will be a need for him to enter the embrace of the LA family fold for Buffy's and his sake.

*passes muse some menthol and balm coated tissues - guaranteed to speed recovery and inspire fanfictional creativity*

Another fine interlude, ladies. Thank you.
Jan. 22nd, 2006 04:35 am (UTC)
Hey, Chrissie! Silly LJ, thinking it can hide you in anonymity.

I have a funny feeling that once introduced, Xander's gonna refuse to go back in the closet. Sooner or later, we'll be hearing from him again. Oh, those tissues pleased the muse no end. Thank you!
Jul. 16th, 2006 04:07 am (UTC)
Wow... poor Xander. :(
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )