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19 April 2009 @ 03:49 pm
Fic: The Perfectly Ordinary Life of Xander Harris  
Title: Drabbles and doubles: The Perfectly Ordinary Life of Xander Harris
Rating: Teen
Warning: character deaths
Characters/Pairing: Xander/Anya (up to a point), Jesse
Summary: Would Xander’s life have been better if he hadn’t been a Scoobie?
Words: 1100
A/N: Thanks for letting me join the party. I hope this isn’t too sad an offering!


Season one:
If Xander had gone to the library that day, it would have changed his life. It was the day the new girl came, the one bringing trouble and excellent short skirts in roughly equal measure. Buffy Summers, bane of his life, though he didn’t fully understand that.

Something weird happened that day. He never did know exactly what. Something around the library, and the fogey new British librarian. Cordelia knew about it. And Larry. What a party that must have been. But mainly that was the day he started to lose Willow, because she was in on it too. Whatever it was. They made a team, a kernel of… something-ness… far away amid the teen concerns of their high school companions.

Xander was nowhere near the core, nowhere near understanding. And, as Willow seemed to be avoiding him, there was no chance he’d get in on the mystery. Or pass math, come to that.

It was cool. Who needs a girl friend when what you want is a girlfriend, right? Especially a funny, geeky type like Willow…right? Just him and Jesse then, two eligible beaux on the prowl. Ladies beware!

No, of course they never got any girls. Good grief.

Season two:
High school is tough. Especially when you lose a couple of classmates per semester. Xander and Jesse made it through. Nervous, and watching each other’s backs a lot, but they survived. Jesse got a car, and a girl on the strength of it, but she didn’t last. Xander envied him on all counts, and remained a virgin till summer, when by the grace of Grathnar he impressed a holidaymaker with his Frisbee prowess and popped his metaphorical cherry on Kingman‘s Bluff. The relief was considerably greater than the pleasure, but it allowed him to start senior year with head high.

Season three:
“Okay, so I know this town’s weird, but you’re trying to tell me the mayor’s a demon.”

“Wannabe demon,” corrected Oz, quintupling the number of syllables Xander had previously heard from Willow’s boyfriend.

“Okay, wannabe demon. Who’s in league with some vampires and the scary Buffy-friend Faith…”

“Slayer. So’s Buffy.”

“Yeah, so you said, and I’m still struggling to take that seriously. And they’re going to feed us to the demon mayor?”

“Come on, Xander, makes as much sense as anything round here does.” Thanks Jesse, real supportive.

He didn’t believe it. But took his place with the rest, ready with pouch of stakes and arrows. Moved on Larry’s word as the vampires rose. Missed Jesse being crushed along with his flamethrower.

In the aftermath, he was aware of the coterie, those geeky, freaky types who’d just saved a whole generation. (No, not a whole generation. Not everyone made it). They were laughing and crying and the centre of attention, especially from Buffy’s lurking ex. All together.

Xander sat, alone, waiting for the triage team. Jesse lay still beside him, already black tagged. Behind was the high school, burned and gutted from the inside. Xander knew exactly how it felt.

*
Season four:
Everyone understood Xander had to get away. Not college, he’d no chance of admission. He tried a journey instead, like he’d planned with Jesse - on the road, On the Road-style. Not so great in reality, alone and aimless, missing home and the friend he’d never see again. Even less so when he washed up in Oxnard, penniless and car-free, forced into waiting tables and stripping to survive. It’d be a funny story, if he’d had a bunch of good friends to share it. Not so much, when it was just Xander staring down the barrel of his future.

*
Season Five:
But you can’t stay forever in Oxnard. Not if you’re a Sunnydale guy, at any rate. Xander made his way home soon enough. He didn’t have to strip (not often, anyway), but he worked through a whole bunch of jobs almost as crappy. Pizza delivery, ice-cream guy, lifting, shifting, hefting. If it was manual and everyone got to give you orders, Xander did it. For a fortnight, max. Everywhere but the Doublemeat. He was never that desperate. Everyone knew the Doublemeat got through employees faster than even natural wastage of the wasted could explain.

But there was a bright spot. Anya. Sudden arrival at high school, weird new girl #2, but with the significant advantages that she knew he was alive and now for some reason wanted to sleep with him. He reciprocated. She was cute. Perky smile, perky breasts. Those he could get used to. He stuck with her, even when she had a deeply peculiar spell; started talking garbage and eventually joined some kind of wacky cult building a crazy tower on the outskirts of Sunnydale. Xander worried and missed her deeply, to the point where he proposed on her return. Wasn’t that, surely, enough for a lifetime?

*
Season six:
And yet… The didactic manner and the fact Anya seemed to know everything about everything that had ever happened got him down sometimes - she could seem so very old. But she was funny, she got him, they made an okay team. Was that enough? Maybe.

Yes, it was. So he told himself, until the point where vows were about to be exchanged. Then he fled, leaving the perky, weirdly wise, girl who loved him, broken and humiliated and vowing revenge she never took.

He always regretted it and yet never thought it was the wrong thing to have done.

*
Season seven:
Yeah, he was a cowardly piece of shit. But, bright spot, work was looking up. He’d made a name for himself in construction by this time. A good name - reliable, sensible, effective. Kind of name that gets you employed for long stretches in responsible positions. It felt good. And Sunnydale, with all its peculiarities, was a rich prospect for a carpenter. From the leather demons smashing up the place the year before to the glossy new-build high school, opportunities abounded. Xander was making a mint. Feeling good, moving on, the future was his .

And then everything went to hell again. Clearly the town’s secret underbelly was winning out over its sunny skin. A sensible man would have left with the rest, especially once the power went out.

But there was still call for carpenters. Houses, abandoned, needed additional security. Tremors shook foundations, shoring up became necessary. Not much need for delicate creativity but a guy who was good with planks and nails could still do pretty nicely. He might not sleep much, but there was work to be done.

Anyway, where else was Xander gonna go?

As it turned out, nowhere but down.

******
 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
 
 
 
keyairreemkeyairreem on April 19th, 2009 05:54 pm (UTC)
Ouch! Well done but poor Xander!
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on April 19th, 2009 06:20 pm (UTC)
I know! I really tried to write something more cheerful for this comm, but this was what came out... Sigh. (Still, it makes our Xander's life look pretty good in comparison). Thanks for commenting!
cmk418: BtVS girlscmk418 on April 19th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)
Great job! It's interesting to see how Xander's life was impacted by that one moment. It's also a testament to Xander that he managed somehow to survive in Sunnydale all those years before the final battle.

And I loved this line -
“Wannabe demon,” corrected Oz, quintupling the number of syllables Xander had previously heard from Willow’s boyfriend.

Well done!
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on April 19th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
It's no picnic being 'normal' in Sunnydale, certainly.

The occasional Oz-moment is good for all of us! Thanks for commenting.
Kevin Jonesmulder200 on April 19th, 2009 06:27 pm (UTC)
Ouch! Makes his life with the Scoobies seem great in comparison.
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on April 19th, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
*g* Well, if he was going to be in deadly danger anyway - why not have friends and a purpose too? Thanks for commenting.
Two legs good, four legs okaynothorse on April 19th, 2009 09:00 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure why he didn't leave with the exodus, but he always was stubborn.

Sad good story.
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on April 20th, 2009 05:20 pm (UTC)
Not knowing where to go or who to go with, I guess. Glad you appreciated it, even though it's sad (honest, I've written total Xander fluff before this - just came out bleak this time!)
kitanekitane on April 19th, 2009 10:32 pm (UTC)
Poor Xander! You can't ignore the Hellmouth.
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on April 20th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
Nope - better to face it, even if you're scared, I think! Thanks for commenting.
piratescribe: BtVS - Carpenter!Xanderpiratescribe on April 19th, 2009 11:03 pm (UTC)
Awww! :( Makes me very glad that he WAS a part of the Scooby gang! It was very well written, though - you really got the quippiness going :) Great job! :)
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on April 20th, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Yes, definitely better to be a Scooby than to be lonely - especially for Xander.
The Anti-OTPsnowpuppies on April 20th, 2009 05:39 pm (UTC)
Oh, I like this! Great re-interpretation (and wonderfully sniffly).
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on April 20th, 2009 07:13 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm not a natural angster, so this was a bit of a surprise - glad you enjoyed it.
The Mezzaninedeird1 on April 20th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
This is really cool.
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on April 20th, 2009 09:03 pm (UTC)
Thanks; not happy stuff, but glad you enjoyed it!
brunettepetbrunettepet on April 29th, 2009 12:20 pm (UTC)
Wow, this was an intriguing, in voice "what if Xander hadn't been hiding in the stacks" journey. On the plus side, Jesse survived until graduation, on the minus: everything else.

This was especially grim, though nicely put: It’d be a funny story, if he’d had a bunch of good friends to share it. Not so much, when it was just Xander staring down the barrel of his future. Xander's just not funny without an audience, and it seemed things were looking up when he found one in Anya. Poor boy, he's still Xander, missteps and all. Staying in Sunnydale is the last one he'll make.

Thanks for sharing his well written, melancholy journey.
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on April 30th, 2009 07:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for commenting on this - I'm still sure it's not the right place to post this bleak piece, but it's good to hear that you got something good out of it.

For Xander, I think hell would be this kind of alone-ness, with no one special to care for or laugh with.
cordelianne: Xander Librarycordelianne on June 1st, 2009 09:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, I love this! What a fantastic "what if". It's really neat to compare this Xander with less friends and lack of purpose with the one we know and love from the show.

I also love that we got Scooby dialogue even in a fic in which Xander isn't a Scooby:
“Okay, so I know this town’s weird, but you’re trying to tell me the mayor’s a demon.”
“Wannabe demon,” corrected Oz, quintupling the number of syllables Xander had previously heard from Willow’s boyfriend.
“Okay, wannabe demon. Who’s in league with some vampires and the scary Buffy-friend Faith…”
“Slayer. So’s Buffy.”

I especially love the Oz line.

Very sad and poignant at the end. An awesome fic with a great concept. Thanks for participating in SWX! :D
brutti_ma_buonibrutti_ma_buoni on June 2nd, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I had fun writing this what-if, even if it's a sad outcome, and it was great to be part of SWX!

(I must write more Oz...)
yourlibrarianyourlibrarian on January 1st, 2010 03:14 pm (UTC)
Here from buffyversetop5
“Wannabe demon,” corrected Oz, quintupling the number of syllables Xander had previously heard from Willow’s boyfriend.

Heh. Interesting idea, what if Xander had been outside the Scoobies all along.
ares132006: Looking over shoulderares132006 on February 22nd, 2010 06:09 am (UTC)
"Nowhere but down." Oh dear. Poor Xander. If only he had met the slayer...:0)

Interesting idea.
Butterflysnogged on February 22nd, 2010 03:46 pm (UTC)
This was really fascinating.

Well done!
Mierkemierke on April 10th, 2010 07:50 pm (UTC)
This was so harsh. It's so sad to see Xander going through all this. This got me most of all:

In the aftermath, he was aware of the coterie, those geeky, freaky types who’d just saved a whole generation. (No, not a whole generation. Not everyone made it). They were laughing and crying and the centre of attention, especially from Buffy’s lurking ex. All together.

Xander sat, alone, waiting for the triage team. Jesse lay still beside him, already black tagged. Behind was the high school, burned and gutted from the inside. Xander knew exactly how it felt.
brutti_ma_buoni: scooby filesbrutti_ma_buoni on April 10th, 2010 10:11 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry! But hold onto the fact this is AU: in our world, Xander went to the library and it was all okay in the end. *patpatpat*

Glad the angsty was effective, all the same!