Word Count: 1,414
"I'm kind of going to miss her," Giles said over his tea in the kitchen.
"I think we all are," Buffy said. "If only for the fact that I think Xander's going to be mopey for a while."
"I can't say as I blame him. I don't know what I imagined," he said, taking a sip of the steaming hot beverage. "But when he first mentioned her staying here."
"Me, too," Buffy said, knowing Giles had had many of the same reservations Buffy had. "If I could handpick slayers, she'd be one of the first I'd choose."
"To think what she went through. And they're, her guardians, they're sure this baby the woman had is normal?"
Buffy shrugged. "Xander said that Bill told him everything checked out. Human as human can be."
"Well, that's fortunate."
"Yeah, I'm not sure I could have done what he'd been asked to do."
"She obviously trusted the man, Buffy."
"True," she said, realizing that this man right here was the one she trusted over anyone. "If I'd been in that situation, I'd have asked you."
"And I'd have done it."
"Let's hope, however, there are no demon babies in store for you."
"That would require my having sex, Giles, and it's been so long I'm not even sure I know what the word means anymore."
"Sex?" Xander said from the doorway. "There's nothing wrong with not getting any."
"Says the man who's been getting some."
"Not anymore for a while anyway. And, hey, you aren't supposed to talk about that."
"Like Giles doesn't know, Xander."
"Well, anyway, no sex for Xander for a while."
"Unless you count the cyber variety," Buffy said.
"Yeah, not so much."
Buffy chuckled softly. "Uh huh, come talk to me in a couple of weeks after she's been gone and is at school with her own computer to do with whatever she pleases with."
"There are phones, Buffy!"
"So, she got on the plane okay?"
"Yup, I watched the plane taxi down the runway and everything."
"I'm sorry," Buffy said as Giles excused himself from the room.
Xander shrugged, grabbing a beer from the fridge. "It had to be done. I knew it when she came to visit."
"So, got your tickets for your next trip booked yet?"
"No, actually, I think she might be coming here."
"Really? No Bill's house?"
"I think that's why. They're getting married around Halloween."
"Yeah, something about bow hunting season, or something."
"Oh," Buffy said as she thought over that. "So, he's one of those types."
"He is, but she's going to go with him."
Buffy laughed a little. "So, they're going hunting on their honeymoon."
"Uh yeah," Xander said, taking a sip of the beer.
"Well, I guess if that's what she wants to do on their honeymoon."
"I think it was more along the lines of their entire relationship having Kylie then Starla around, so going to a remote area with a cabin and nobody but animals appealed to her."
"I could see that, I guess," Buffy said, though no, not really. She'd still have chosen something other than killing Bambi for her honeymoon trip.
"So, anyway, they're going to be gone for a while I guess. Bill hasn't taken a vacation in like three years or something, always understaffed so he's got a lot of time coming."
"Which puts them gone over Thanksgiving, I assume."
"You can just say you want her here for Thanksgiving."
Xander shrugged. "I wasn't going to bring it up to her. She did. And the plans may change. I don't know."
"If it means anything, Giles, Willow and I like her."
"Well, thanks, Buff."
"I didn't mean it like that, Xander. I'm just saying. She's nice."
"I know she is. And hey she didn't run away screaming or have nightmares the first time she saw me without the ol' Blackbeard prop. So, I guess that just cements it."
Buffy walked up to him, taking a sip off his beer before reaching for his patch.
"Xander, if there's anything I could undo it would be…"
"Don't even say it because you wouldn't. I know it and you know it. Seven years and I got out pretty unscathed if you think about it. I'm not dead, I lost Anya but not in the way Willow lost Tara or you lost Spike and Angel." He shrugged. "It's who I am now."
"But you could be doing construction or something."
"And miss out on all of this?" He shook his head. "Don't be ridiculous, Buffy. For that matter, I wouldn't have met her your way of thinking. I mean, I don't know what's going to happen. Four years is a long time. She could meet someone else. I could meet someone else. We could decide to hell with it and get married in a year. I don't know."
"But I will say that it made me see things. About me. About Anya and me," he said, "I wasn't ready to get married. I thought I was, wanted to be, but in the end, that guy did us a favor. I can't help but think we would have been miserable eventually, and I would have forever been afraid she'd do something demony to me if I tried to get out. Do you know how nice it is to just sleep with someone? I haven't had that ever. It was nice, you know, to know she wanted to be with me like that. For me not for my body or what sort of pleasure I could give her."
"Xander, you're a great guy."
"I know, I know, I've heard it all before, Buff. I'm not saying I haven't believed you. I'm just saying, being around her, seeing and hearing how normal couples work through things. It was nice. I mean, no offense, but I'm surrounded by slayers all day. Giles is off the charts smart and Willow's a powerful witch. Sometimes a guy starts to get a complex no matter how nice he thinks he really is."
"So, say she wanted you to move to South Carolina?"
"You wouldn't stay because of me? Us I mean?"
"That depends I guess. I wouldn't right now, no. She needs the same thing I had. Time and a chance to experience stuff. I can't help but think that maybe we were what we needed, you know? I think she needed having someone there for her towards the end of school that wasn't a part of her life from birth to her family being murdered by aliens."
"It's been nice seeing you happy."
"I told her she could see other people."
"I'm sorry, you did what? Xander!"
"I didn't want her to think she couldn't. I mean, I don't want her to, but she's eighteen, Buff. I can't chain her to me being across an ocean from her. So, if she meets someone and wants to go out with him she knows I won't hate her for it."
"So, that's how you said it?"
"What do you mean?"
"You didn't tell her you wanted her to see other people, did you?"
"Well, no, I just told her that if she met someone or whatever I wouldn't blame her. The distance thing is hard and I understand that."
"What'd she say?"
"Nothing really. I don't think she realizes she'll have the opportunity. I mean, hopefully she won't meet up with any of the Parker's on campus."
"You know what I mean, Buff."
"I do," she said wryly.
"But if she meets a Riley or something."
Buffy's eyes widened.
"You know, a good guy, I couldn't really blame her."
"But you didn't say you wanted to see other people, right?"
"No, of course I don't. I'm pretty sure I love her not that I'd tell her that right now. If my heart gets broken, so be it. It's probably about time I got mine crushed rather than the other way around."
"It doesn't work like that."
"It's how I think, though."
"You off to patrol?"
"Yup, a slayer's job is never done. I'll see ya later. When she calls to tell you she landed okay, tell her I said hello."
"Ten euros, Xander."
"Ten euros she calls within an hour of the plane landing."
"Not taking it because you know I'm right."
"Well, tell her I said hello just the same."
"Will do, stay safe."
Story ©Susan Falk/APCKRFAN/PhantomRoses.com