Almost Me

Author: Danii <debrabantknight[at]>

Summary: Conversations at a bar.

Pairing: mention of X/Anya

Note1: Post-Chosen

Note2: Crossover with...well, that would be telling, now, wouldn't it?

Note3: If I make any mistakes with the crossover...tell me but don't beat me, k?

Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing. Nothing. I don't even own the barstools they're sitting on. I don't even own his SHOES...I just wish I did. Whose? Well, either of them really...

Distribution: -falls over laughing- you WANT this? Okay...well, I'm not responsible for your judgement, but if this really does catch your fancy, just email me and tell me where you're putting it. No permission needed...just my name on it and an address so I can show all my friends that others find my literary dribblings at least entertaining. Unless you already have some of my stuff on your site already --blinkblink-- and then just go ahead.

Dedication: To all the people who remember my stories. Sorry I haven't updated, but Buffy the show has beat me down and I'm still having trouble getting back up. Not an excuse, just telling you. But the fact that you remember my fics and still bug me (and I mean that in the most endearing way possible because I LOVE it) to finish things means that I'm still on the road instead of just giving up on them all together. Much appreciated, folks. Much appreciated. And to Jason --I still remember the fic I owe you...I'm just trying to make it better then a drabble ^_^

One sits forlornly at the bar, his hand around the first bourbon manhattan he ordered. Still hasn't finished it even though it's been there so long that the ice is melting and the tumbler is almost overflowing. There was one sip, and he's just stared at it since then. His entire being would scream "beat" if it had the energy to scream. Right now, it's more of a disgruntled mumble with a side of tired sigh.

Another sits two seats down the bar, first drink gone along with the second, third, and fourth. A still burning cigarette, bent, smokes gently between his fingers and would catch his jacket if he just moved one quarter of an inch to the left. Lucky for him and the jacket that he's just too exhausted (among other things) to make even that tiny adjustment. Well, one would assume it's lucky. Doesn't look like asking him is a good idea.

A hand suddenly moves on the first to run through hair desperate for a shower, the dark brown of the strands close to the dirt-stained hands which glide over and through it. Nails bitten, calluses old and hard, a finger catches and stops on the small satin band which runs around his head connecting to the patch over his left eye. Slowly, shaking...the hand returns to the bar.

For some reason, this action calls the attention of the other, his light hair shining despite the dark of the bar and the dirt that he hasn't had time to wash out. Cigarette twitches and moves with the rest of his body to turn, once more just mising the jacket, as he takes the man two seats over in with bleary eyes.

Tall, broad, young...but not overly so, and covered in occult energies of some big happening not too long ago. Must have been in America, he muses, or some other place 'cause even like this, he woulda noticed something that big. He guesses America from the rest of the package and something else he can't quite identify.

One eye notices the once over, turns himself, and looks at his companion-by-chance. Blonde hair and blue eyes in a face that probably twisted into a ner-do-well smile whenever it could. No chance of a smile at the moment, but he can fell the "fuck the world" attitude from here balanced with...ah, there's the guilt. Another glance at the four glasses lined up next to the full one he's holding confirm it.

Xander says the first thing on his mind.

"You remind me of Spike."

The actual speech seems to take the stranger by surprise, but he recovers quick enough.


"" Whatever impulse has gotten him to speak has hidden in a cave again, and the words feel stupid before they even reach his mouth, "He was...well...not a stranger but certainly not a friend. Can't fault him now though, can I?"

A blank stare greets him as his audience can't think of anything to say, or even figure out if he wants to hear more. But the blonde's mind is naturally curious about people like this, and no one's ever accused him of being smart, so he doesn't turn either. Easiest to leave the ball in his court, he thinks, and this one looks like a talker.

"It just sucks!" the younger man growls out, "I mean, I hate him, and he fucked up everything, everything, and then he goes and saves the fricking world and I can't really hate him now, can I?"

"I 'spose not..." he enters in what he hopes is a helpful gesture. Even though he feels it, feels the tendrils of this kid's life reaching out to entwine him into some mess or another, he can't pull away. On so little, even as bleary as he is...he can't pull away.

"I mean, the guy sleeps with my fiancee! I left her at the alter, but it's not because I didn't love her. I still loved her, but it wasn't the right time and I was so scared of becoming like my father because that stupid demon-"

Blue eyes perk and the Xander notices it even through his ranting. His own browns widen as he realizes his slip.


He figures he ought to help again.

"Just keep going, luv. Pretty sure I can handle whatever you toss my way."

This gets him another stare.

"Jeez, I don't know if you really -do- sound like him or if just coming to here just makes -everyone- sound alike."

"Who?" he asks again.

"Spike, the...vampire of a bastard--"

Now it's the blue eyes' turn to widen. "William the fucking Bloody?" He waits for a nod. "You think I'm like -that- wanker? Don't know if I'm insulted or complimented. Definitely surprised."

"Well, there's the hair and the eyes and the fact that previous to coming to this country I knew all of two English people ever. Well, four if you count the crazy lady and the asshole. Well, the younger, non-vampire asshole. His name was Wesley, but apparently he's been-"

Xander is stopped by frantic and not-entirely-sober hands swishing in front of him in a request for clarity.

"Yean, can't you just FEEL the Californian oozing off of me."

"Think it's covered by the depression, mate."

The two sit and think on that before suspicion slides into the one eye.

"Why do you care, anyway?"

He just roles his eyes at this. Bloody hell, he thinks, thought only the gals had that kind of radar.

"Don't." More suspicion. "Okay, do. But nothing behind it. Just figured since I've been where you seem to be right now, and not a soul was there to hold my head over the toilet, so to say, I'd at least talk to you. Doesn't cost nothing, does it, and s'better then staring at my glass."

"Oh, so you've seen your entire home town swallowed by a closing Hellmouth then?"

Bloody hell, -that's- what that's from. He'd heard rumors and felt the same sorta shakes that had been going around the globe for a few months, but he'd had no idea that it had really happened. That kinda shit...that kinda shit is big. Uses the big players, people he'd got no place with and didn't really feel comfortable discussing let alone meeting let alone knowing. And this scrap of a man had been there?

"Hadn't gotten the memo yet then, Mr. I-know-about-what-bumps-in-the- night?" the dark-haired man says as he finally takes another sip of his watered-down drink, "Sunnydale, the California Hellmouth...closed for business."

He wonders how he missed that.

"And you-"

"And I got to see friends, memories, neighbors, and the corpse of my...of..." He's having trouble, so the other holds him up with a steady hand. "Anya. She was killed in the battle close it."

The cigarette is pulled from its exile towards his mouth and sucked for its cancerous calm. As he pulls it from his mouth, the blonde gestures to the patch.

"That how you lost that bit then?" he asks carefully. Could bring up the girl, but that kinda shit is too close to his own heart for him to stir it. Far too close.

A shake of the head.

"Nah," Xander responds, "Lost that before saving someone from this wacked out preacher working for the bad guys. Woulda lost more if it wasn't for that bastard..."

"The preacher?"

"Spike" the young man asserts while looking at his listener like he didn't just switch topics out of the blue.


"Guess I can't be mad about the circumstances though, right?" he continues, "I mean, guess the powers that be just pick who's going to do what, and we just have to deal with it as best we can."


Suddenly, a hand is presented to the stranger, whipped back to be scrubbed hastily against the man's pants, then presented again. He stares at it.

"Name's Xander Harris. Figured, considering, I might as well get that out, since...yeah, I suck. Good thing you know about this crap. I can't keep my mouth closed to save my life. Well, I can but-"

"Trouble for all of us, I 'spose." the other says as he reaches to take the hand offered. God, this is the last step. He can stop now, stop knowing this kid and leave things as they are, with him only involved in 99% of the world's problems. He can push out those tendrils, cut off this connection like it was nothing more then a thread, even though he knows that thread is going to lead him like a trail of breadcrumbs to even more trouble then he could have imagined before.

But no one has ever accused him of being smart.

"John. John Constantine. Lovely to make your aquaintance."

The End...for now : )

John Constantine [I SOO <heart> John Constantine, by the way] is from Hellblazer, one kickass set of comics [I <heart> Vertigo in general since, well, Sandman, Hellblazer, Preacher (come on: Caleb versus Jesse...anyone else want to see that matchup?), Transmet, etc. so own my soul] that I recommend for anyone and everyone. John always strikes me as an odd combination of Spike, Giles, and Xander, so I figured "why not?" Might continue with this, might not. I make no promises and will just wait till I see what people think. Happy Holidays!