Getting It

Author: Bastard Snow <mamille5[at]>

Rating: R, for language

Disclaimer: I don't own any of it. Not mine.

A/N: This is set during S3, Post-Amends, pre-Zeppo. Difference: Willow and Oz never quite reconciled during Amends.

A/N 2: This is based on another dialogue bit that Drake came up with, and as with the last, he reserves the right to pick it out and use it in another fic. I'm pretty sure this one has more of a point than the last one like this that I did.

Feedback: Please!

Chapter 1

"You're some piece of work, you know that?"

Xander looked up from the whiskey that was sitting in front of him, turned and saw the speaker, then tossed back the drink and shook his head.

"Go to Hell," Xander said.

"Tried that once, didn't take. Been meaning to thank you for that actually."

Xander signaled to the bartender for a refill.

"No," Angel said. "Cut him off."

"Screw you, Deadboy," said Xander. "It's my money, I can do what I damn well please."

"Willy," said Angel. "Cut him off."

"Sorry, kid," Willy said. "He scares me more than you do."

Xander's only response was a glare.

"And what are you doing serving minors anyway?" Angel asked.

"He serves fucking demons! You think he cares about legal age limits?" Xander asked.

"Come on," Angel said, grabbing Xander by the back of his jacket. "You're going home."

Xander shoved Angel away from him. "Don't you dare touch me," Xander said. "Why are you here, anyway? Consorting with your demon buddies?"

"Buffy asked me to look for you. She's worried."


"Xander, you screwed up, but she's still your friend, and she *is* worried."

Xander stood, unsteadily, hand still on his glass. "And I said… you're a LIAR!" he yelled. Xander spun and hurled the empty tumbler into the mirror behind the bar, shattering both.

"That's my mirror!" Willy yelled.

"Not like your customers need it anyway," Xander muttered, slumping back on the bar.

"She's still your friend," Angel said, "and she's out looking for you. Everyone is. Well, not Cordelia or Oz, but that's only to be expected."

"There a bridge you want to sell me, too? Maybe near Brooklyn?"

"What's gotten into you?" Angel asked.

"Somebody gonna pay for my mirror?" Willy asked.

"SHUT UP!" Angel and Xander yelled.

"Why do you all of a sudden care what happens to me?" Xander asked.

"Because Buffy does, and if you died on my watch… well, let's just say our chances of staying together would be somewhat less than that of you and Cordelia."

Xander extended a single finger at Angel.

"Nice," Angel said. "Come on, you're going home."

"Fine," Xander said. "But you lay one finger on me and so help me I will… do something really bad."

"Great, I'm intimidated, can we go?"

Xander walked his way, a little slowly, out of Willy's bar.

"You gonna pay for my mirror?" Willy asked Angel.

Angel rolled his eyes. "Just water your liquor down a little more, it'll pay for itself in no time."

Out on the street, Angel found Xander holding on to a lamppost, barfing into the street. After a minute, the retching stopped, and Angel leaned down so his head was at the same height as Xander's.

"You steady now?"

"I'm better, yeah," Xander said.

"Good. Let's go," Angel said, heading off in one direction.

"Hey, my house is the other way," Xander said, pointing behind him.

"No, it isn't," Angel said.

Xander looked up and down the street, then behind him, then up in the air. "Oh, yeah. You're right."

They walked in silence.

"See, here's what I don't get about you," Xander said after a minute. "You're two hundred and lots of years old, and you like a sixteen-year-old girl. How do you reconcile that with not being a pedophile?"

Angel sighed. "Xander, I'm not going to have this conversation with you."

"No, no, I'm serious. How do you delude yourself into thinking that what you're doing isn't just some gross perversion of the natural order of things. You really old, she pretty young. You vampire, she slayer. All of it. How?"

Angel looked at him. "You really want to know?"

"I really do," Xander said.

Angel shrugged. "It's simple. I love her. The rest of it… it's just details."

"Pretty big fucking details. Some love, you got there, too."

"You don't get it," Angel said. "When you love someone like that, none of that stuff matters. I mean, I'd kill for her. You know? I'd die for her. That's… that's what love's about."

Xander laughed. Hard. So hard, they stopped walking. "I don't get it, he says. To me, of all people. He says I don't get it."

"You got something to say? Or are you just going to take shots at me all night pretending to be more drunk than you are?"

"You think I don't get it?" Xander asked, his voice rising. "You think there is something about love that you can possibly tell me? There is nothing you can tell me! You're the one who doesn't get it."

"Doesn't get what?" Angel asked. "Is this about Cordelia?"

"Oh my God is she so not even in the picture! You're clueless, and this is why you and Buffy will NEVER work out! Love, it's not about what you're saying. You'd die for her, you'd kill for her, ooh, big deal! You do it once, and you're done, and what do you have? Either way, somebody's dead. Dying… killing. That's the easy stuff. Living… to truly live for someone. To go day after day, living each second, putting up with a life that you hate, in a world that time after time, it throws you down, and you get back up, and you fight. You fight because you know there is ONE THING worth living for, and you do it. No matter how much it hurts, no matter how sometimes, you wish it would all just go away, you live, because you never want to cause that person one bit of pain. To continue a life that you despise… *that* is love. Love isn't about death, it's about life! And you don't get that! So don't talk to me about love, because there is nothing that you can teach me."

Xander took a deep breath.

"You knew I lied to her?" he asked.

"What?" Angel asked, stunned at the sudden change of topic.

"Buffy. You knew I lied to her?"

"Oh," he said, still too startled to give thought to anything else. "Yeah. The demons in hell kind of taunted me about it."




"That whole thing was about Buffy, wasn't it?"

Xander sighed and shook his head. "Like I said. You don't get it."

They began walking again in silence. When they reached Xander's house, they stopped again.

"Are you sure you'll be okay, getting inside?"

"Even if I wasn't, there's no way you'd be getting an invite," Xander said.

"I do love Buffy, you know," Angel said.

"Yeah," said Xander. "And she loves you. But as long as you're both focusing on death and dying, it'll never work out. Sorry."

Xander opened his door and walked inside.

"Hey, one more thing," Angel said.

Xander paused, his door still open.

"If it's not Buffy, and it's not Cordelia, that only leaves one other person. Why don't you talk to her?"

"You think that guy you saw back there yelling and screaming and throwing whiskey glasses is the right guy for her?" Xander asked.

"Could be," Angel said. "One thing I've learned in my two hundred and a lot of years is that you never know until you try."

"I did try," he said. "Didn't work."

"So I only have one question for you," Angel said. "This thing you're doing. Drinking away your sorrows, avoiding everyone, lashing out at people who don't deserve it, and, might I add, keep secrets that would earn you a major beating from a certain blonde we both know, you think this is living for her? Living is more than just breathing, Xander. There's the whole… 'life' aspect of it."

"I tried," Xander said, repeating his point. "It didn't work."

"Yeah?" Angel asked. "You tried *once*, and failed. If she is the one thing worth living for in your life… are you really going to let a little thing like failure stop you?"

Xander turned around and looked at the vampire on his lawn.

"Just something to think about," Angel said as he turned and walked away. He raised one arm and waved behind him. "I'll see you around."

Xander stood in his open doorway for a couple of minutes, staring off into space, before closing the door and heading upstairs to his room. That night, he fell asleep with a smile on his face.

The End