Six Months In

Author: Beleg_Cuthalion1 <beleg_cuthalion1[at]>

Rating: PG, slight language.

Disclaimer: The characters do not belong to me; they belong to Joss Whedon and Co. Only the story is mine.

Category: B/X

Xander sat on the couch regarding his two roomies. It had become painfully apparent that there were drawbacks to their living arrangements. It was an early Saturday morning and he was sitting in his chair.

His chair; it was one of his pleasures in life. He had bought it about three months ago after a careful selection process that involved sitting around in a lot furniture stores. He hadn't allowed either Buffy or Dawn to accompany him and had in fact refused to tell them what he was doing when he went shopping for it. Then, when he had bought it, he had carried it up to the apartment alone, eschewing Buffy's offers of help. It was huge and dominated the living room. It didn't match the scheme the women had chosen for the room and he didn't care, despite their protests. He bought it for comfort and it was his. There was a rule: When Xander was in the living room, no one else got to sit in it. He loved it.

So, he sat in his chair and moodily considered the two females he shared space with and the problems they produced. Dawn was seventeen now. She was currently sitting Indian style on the couch in a tight little white top and shorts, just out of bed. Buffy had just walked through on the way from her bedroom to the bathroom in nothing but a shirt His shirt, he noticed. One of his good shirts he wore to work for meetings. Hard as he tried, he couldn't remember saying, "Hey Buffy, feel free to lay claim to all my personal belongings." Still, it must be admitted she looked damn good in his shirt, all sleepy looking with the tousled hair and long legs. Sometimes, it was damn hard on a man. He forced himself to stare out the window and count to ten.

He heard Dawn give a little sighing yawn and he glanced over. She was stretching along with her yawn and her arms were both extended far over her head. Xander looked out the window and counted to twenty.

From the bathroom, Buffy's muffled voice came, "Xand! I'm out of razors. Can I use yours? I'll get you some blades later."

"Would it make a difference if I said no?" he called back.

"Not a whole lot," Buffy replied.

Xander rolled his eyes. "Go ahead."

"Thank you."

It was a constant wonder to him that given the sheer amount of space they had taken up in the bathroom that either Buffy or Dawn could ever run out of anything. It seemed to him that they had enough stuff in there to groom an army; a very cute army.

"You're a pushover," Dawn said.

"That's me," Xander replied irritably.

He hadn't had a chance to shave yet himself and since it just occurred to him that Buffy was currently using his last one. That meant he had to be rough looking and itchy all day. It was further aggravation. In fact, after considering it for a moment, he couldn't remember the last time Buffy had even bought razors. She just used his. Dawn had razors, but apparently that was too much trouble for Buffy. "Damn it," he muttered.

"Xander, what's wrong?" Dawn asked.

"Nothing," he said.

"So you're just cursing out of the blue for no reason?" she replied.

"I'm the adult here," he said, "I don't need you monitoring my language."

Dawn was mortally offended, "Fine," she said. "Be like that."

"I will," he said.

Buffy entered the room a few minutes later to find it very quiet. Xander was watching TV, Dawn was trying to look busy and they weren't speaking. "What's up?" she asked.

"Nothing," Xander said a little brusquely.

"Okay," Buffy said, drawing out the word. "So what's on the agenda today?"

"Well," Xander said, "A trip to the store for you and no morning shave for me."

"Somebody got up on the wrong side of the bed," Buffy said.

"Sorry," Xander replied, "nothing to do with you guys." He stood up. "I think I'm going out for a while."

"Where are you going?" Buffy asked.

"For a walk," he said. He was already dressed and got up to leave.

"That shirt has something on it." Buffy said, "You need to change."

Xander looked at her, stunned and silent for a moment. "I think it'll be fine," he said shortly and walked out.

"What did you do?" Buffy said, rounding on Dawn.


Xander left their building and turned down the street. He felt a little bad. The girls didn't deserve to be the targets of his mood. They were indirectly responsible for it but that wasn't their fault. There they were, all the time. He never had any quiet or space. They treated him like a utility sometimes. Always in his face there were two extremely attractive females that were completely off limits. He had been celibate for six months and after his experiences with Anya that was something he didn't suffer gladly.

Simply put, Xander was horny and annoyed as hell and had no prospects for resolving either issue.

So he walked.

Their neighborhood was near campus, so Buffy could walk to school. There were a lot of students and they were out in the nice weather. He went down the sidewalk slowly, letting his tension drain. It really was a beautiful day. The sun was bright and clear and the fall foliage was out in force. Really, his situation was good, the best it had possibly ever been. For the most part, he was happy.

Still, if he didn't get laid sometime soon, he was going to burst.

He kept walking and consciously tried to force himself to take in the day so he could go back home his usual cheery self. Somewhere nearby he heard a yell. At one time, that would have put him on alert but now it was only a mild curiosity. It almost certainly didn't indicate some sort of supernatural awfulness. That thought alone helped his mood.

Then he heard it again, a woman yelling.

Turning towards the sound he saw one of the houses converted into apartments that made up most of the area. This one had a large picture window and through it he saw two figures, a man and a woman. The man had just slapped her. Xander's pace quickened into a run without a single thought on his part. The door to the house was open so he stepped in.

"Hey, kids," he said in a mock cheery tone, "Whatcha' doing?"

The man, who was very tall, taller then Xander but thin, turned, "Who the hell are you?"

"Oh," he said, "My name's Xander; I know what you're thinking, weird name, right? It's short for Alexander."

"Get the fuck out of here!"

"I would, see, but I saw you hit her," Xander said in a conversational tone, "and I'm not leaving until she tells me to. So," he went on, looking at the girl, "want me to leave so he can go on abusing you in peace?" The girl, looking very frightened, shook her head no. "So, if this is her place, you're leaving, pal. If it isn't, I'm taking her and we're leaving."

The man started towards Xander. It had been months since he had been in a fight but he remembered how it was done. He watched the man come at him and grinned in spite of himself.

A solid blow took Xander on the left cheek. It jerked his head around but was feeble compared to the attacks he had suffered from really dangerous opponents, surprising him more then it hurt him. He simply hadn't seen it coming. The girl screamed.

Still it was over quickly. Xander struck twice and landed viscously both times. The man crumpled like a rag doll. Opening the door, Xander threw him out by the seat of his pants. "You hit like a girl," Xander called after him.

Behind him, the woman sounded hysterical, "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God! Your eye! Oh God!"

Xander turned towards her and reached up, feeling his empty socket. "Oh," he said, "Its okay." He looked around on the floor and found his glass eye, which had been dislodged when he got hit. Picking it up he showed it to her, which may not have been the best thing to calm her, "It's glass, see? No harm done."

"Oh," she said, sounding shocked. "Good, I guess."

"Are you okay?" He asked her.

"Yes, that was just my asshole and as of right now ex-boyfriend Joe. Are you okay?"

"Fine," Xander said, "I just need to clean this," he said. "Can I use your sink?"

"Of course," she said, "Come in."

"Thanks," he replied.

"My name's Beth," she said, smiling at him.

Xander used her sink to clean his prosthetic and with a little trepidation at doing it in front of someone, popped it back in. Beth watched curiously. "See," he said, "no harm done."

He noticed her quite frankly look him up and down. "Want some ice for your face?" she asked.

"Thank you."

"I should be the one saying that," she said, getting out a cloth and filling it. "Thank you again."

"Tweren't nothing, Ma'am," Xander said, grinning.

"Whatever," Beth said. She smiled at him. "Would you like something to drink?" she asked.

Xander smiled.


Two and a half hours later, Xander was a much happier man. He was on his back, smiling happily at the ceiling of Beth's bedroom. Beth herself was laying half on top of him with an expression that Xander took as a compliment. "Can I ask you something?" she said languidly.

"Sure," he replied.

"What happened to your eye?" Xander was surprise. No one had ever just asked him straight out. When he didn't answer, she went on, "Was it in a fight or something?"

Xander sat up, dislodging her. "What?"

"Well," she said, now nervous, "when Joe came at you, you looked, well, not scared at all and the way you… It just seemed you've done that before. Were you in the army or a cop or something?"

"Or something," Xander said. "Yes, I lost it in a fight."

"Ooohh," she said, grinning, "mysterious. You were so cool. It was sexy."

Xander thought that he now knew how wartime veterans felt. This naïve girl had no idea what she was saying and had seen too damn many movies. "Sexy?" he said pensively. Buffy would have caught his mood in a second and understood. Beth just moved to kiss him and repeated herself.

"Very sexy." She molded herself to him again and he let her.

A few minutes later, his cell phone rang. After a moments fumbling he found it, even though Beth looked unhappy when he ignored her suggestion to let it ring.

"Hello," he said into it.

"Xander," Buffy's voice came through. "Are you okay? You've been gone forever."

"Yeah, I'm fine." he said in a cheerful tone. He had put Beth's comments out of his mind and opted to live in and enjoy the moment. It wasn't her fault she didn't understand violence; it was a good thing. "Just been out and about. I'm sorry I acted that way this morning, my fault."

"No problem," Buffy said, "as long as you're feeling better. Are you coming home soon? I need to run some errands and stuff. Want to come?"

"Sure," he said, "be home in a few. Tell Dawn I said I'm sorry too."

"Sure. See you in a bit"

He broke the connection. "Who was that?" Beth asked.

"My roommate," Xander answered, a little evasively.

"And who is Don?" Beth went on.

Xander chuckled, "My other roommate. I left kind of mad this morning and they thought it was at them."

"Was it?"

"Nope, just grumpy."

Beth smiled again, "Feel better now?"

"Hell, yes," Xander said. "Look, I have to go; errands and stuff. Do you want to do something tonight?"

"Sure, but I have a study group thing," she said," and I don't know when it will be over."

"Here," he said, noticing a pen and a slip of paper on her nightstand "is my address. I'll just be hanging around the place. Come by when you get done."

After a last kiss, he dressed and left. He whistled all the way home. It really was a gorgeous day.


Xander pushed the grocery cart along the aisles with Buffy and Dawn following and filling it. He was playing on their guilt that they had done something to upset him by simply calling out the names of the items he wanted. One of them would get it for him.

"You're all happy now," Buffy said out of nowhere.

"I am," Xander said, favoring her with a wide smile. "It was a good day."

"What was so good about it?" Dawn asked suspiciously.

"Not for the tender ears of youth," Xander replied. "But it was a fine, fine afternoon."

Behind him, Buffy dropped something. Dawn made a surprised noise and said, "What do you mean, 'Not for tender ears'?"

"I met a girl," Xander said simply.

"Well, that explains your good mood," Buffy said. "What's her name?"


"And how did you and Beth meet?" Buffy went on.

Xander considered telling the whole story but for some reason didn't want to mention his encounter to them. "Just saw a lady in need and responded."

"Hmmm…" Buffy said. "So that's where you were all day."


"Seeing her again?"

"Tonight," Xander said. He pointed at the rack and said, "Lunch meat," indicating what he wanted them to get for him as he had been doing. They both ignored him. After a moment, he got it himself. "We have highly tentative and undefined plans."

"Well," Buffy said, turning away, "I hope she isn't a mummy or anything."

That comment, for some reason, set his teeth very much on edge. "I do know for sure she isn't a vampire," he called after her.

Buffy stopped in her tracks and he thought she was going to turn but after a second she simply kept walking.

When they got home, Xander and Buffy were stepping carefully around each other. Dawn was used to it. Her sister and her friend had at least one good argument a month. It was apparently that time. As soon as the groceries were put away, she cleared out.

Xander settled in his chair and waited. It was a matter of time. After a few minutes, Buffy came in glaring at him and sat on the couch. They had figured out early on that following their old way and letting resentments build till they popped wasn't going to work. So, they had developed the method by which they resolved conflicts. They sat in their living room and yelled at each other.

"Will you ever let it go?" Buffy asked, starting it off.

"I'm not the one who started it," Xander countered. "You brought up history. Why is mine open for discussion but yours isn't?"

"Because yours was never an issue between us!"

"Really?" he said sarcastically, "I guess you never tried to kill Anya!"

"You wanted to kill Angel!" She returned, voice rising, "and you have never let me forget all that! But you were wrong, Xander. You were wrong! Look at all he's done!"

"And you were wrong! Look how she died," Xander said, bitterness clear in his tone.

Buffy stopped. Buffy froze. "But, with what I knew at the time," she said.

"Goddamn it!" Xander yelled, "How hard is it to just admit that you're wrong! When you ran away from home and left us all scared to death for you, you tried to justify your actions. You never just admitted you were wrong."

"Xander?" she said, suddenly and strangely calm.

"I want to hear you say it! 'I'm wrong'. That's all," Xander said.

"We aren't fighting about them," Buffy said.

"What!" Xander said, "Yes we are!"

"No, we aren't. We're fighting about something else completely."

Xander laughed and shook his head in pure astonishment. "I can't believe I'm about to say this, but that is so like a woman! We're arguing about one thing and all of a sudden you try to change the subject!"

Buffy was about to say something else, but there was a knock at the door. "Great," she muttered, "probably the neighbors." Buffy opened the door to see a woman she didn't recognize. "Yes," she muttered tightly.

"Does Xander live here?" the woman asked with an edge in her voice.

"Yes," Buffy said.

"Tell him something for me. Thanks for what he did, but I'm suddenly busy tonight." Beth said. "Also, you two can be heard from the street." She turned to walk away, but looked over her shoulder. "By the way, he cheated on you today. I'm sorry."

Xander had only been a few feet away and Beth had been able to clearly see him. He moved around Buffy and followed Beth into the hall. "She isn't my girlfriend," he called after her, "she's just my roommate."

"Really?" Beth said sarcastically, not turning. "I'm not playing this game."

Xander threw his hands up and did as she suggested. "Great. Just great." He sat back down, fuming.

"I'm sorry," Buffy said.

"Story of my life," Xander said, sounding clearly disgusted.

Buffy sat down also. "That's what we were arguing about," she said, quiet now. "That's what we were arguing about and I was wrong."

"What do you mean?"

"I said something I knew would hurt you, because I was upset," she said. "I know that some girl is going to come along and be swept off her feet by you. That always happens with you."

"Except with you," he said.

Buffy didn't respond to what he had said. "You told me you had met someone and the thought that went through me was 'Not now, not yet. I still need him'," she said.

"Buffy," Xander said and sighed, anger draining out of him, "I don't understand."

"I need you and I'm terribly selfish about you."

"What do you expect?" he asked. "I knew that this deal was going to make dating tough. I mean, bringing a girl home and there are these two very hot women and I have to do the old 'we're just friends' two step all the time."

"I know, Xander."

"So what, Buffy? I just wait around celibate until you're done with me?"

Buffy shook her head. "No, of course not."

"What then?"

"I don't think I'll ever be done with you," she said.

"That's great," Xander said. "I don't belong to you…"

"Yes, you do!" Buffy interrupted him, her voice cracking "you've always been there for me and now that I'm not slaying and, and all that's over, you won't have to stay. You'll leave me and I'll be alone."

"Listen to yourself," he said.

"I know," she said, "I know how I sound."

"Are you aware of how unfair that is? I deserve to have someone and it's sure as hell not fair for me to have to wait until you're ready for it."

"Are you listening to me at all?" Buffy said, fire re-entering her voice, "I just said I need you and will never stop?"

"What do you mean exactly?"

"I love you!" she shouted.

"You've told me that before," he replied, just as loudly.

"I swear to God, Xander," she said, "sometimes you are the most thick-headed man I've ever met. No wonder Willow pined after you for years and you never noticed!" Xander looked at her, bewildered. "Have you noticed that I've been prancing around this apartment for months trying to tempt you into something?"

Xander thought hard about that for a moment, "I thought you were just forgetting that I'm a guy, you know, just your asexual Xander friend."

Buffy made a little huffing sound. "No. Did you notice that I use your razors?"

"That I noticed."

She went on, "or that I sleep in your shirts and pass judgment on what you wear?"

"Well," he said, "Yes."

"And that didn't mean anything to you?" she said, beginning to sound exasperated.

"It was annoying?"

Buffy rolled her eyes. "Didn't that strike you as kind of possessive? You know, like territory marking behavior?"

"Uh…no?" Xander said hesitantly.

Buffy shook her head. "I want you to think over the last few months carefully as I say this, Okay?" He nodded agreement. Buffy stood and walked slowly towards where he sat. "I need you," she said. "I always will," she sat on his lap. "I got jealous of that girl," she reached into his hair and pulled their faces close together, "and I love you." She kissed him deep and long.

Xander returned the kiss. When she pulled away and looked at him through hooded eyes, he said, "Oh! I think I get it now! Cool!" Buffy settled into his arms and relaxed. "Why didn't you say something sooner?"

"A girl likes the guy to make the first move," she said. Her eyes were closed and she looked very content. "I guess I just got tired of waiting."

"Sorry about that," Xander said, sounding relaxed and happy.

"So do you want this? Me?" she asked.

He was glad she had at least the courtesy to ask. This was something he was willing to try but he was certain that she was assuming he would be thrilled just to be chosen by her and that this would last till she was ready for it to stop. It never occurred to her that he could walk away from her. There was plenty of time to disabuse of that notion later. "Yeah," he said. "We can give it a try."

Buffy smiled, a little smugly it must be admitted, and nestled closer into him. Suddenly, her eyes opened. Something had just struck her. She sat up and looked at him, "You mean to tell me that slut had sex with you the first day she met you?"

"Well, about that…" Xander said.