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Notes From the Road

March, 2003

The first night without Faith was easier than the first night without Bridge; the first morning was harder. He was busy when they got to L.A., almost too busy to think. Girls to ferry to and from the hospital, e-mails to return, Spike to watch antagonize Angel so expertly that Xander almost wasn't sure who to root for. Hell, he ended up sharing a room with Larry again, so he wasn't even sleeping alone. The morning after, though, when Andrew got back from his supermarket run and Xander found himself in that huge, empty hotel kitchen making blueberry pancakes... yeah.

April, 2003

The package arrived in Namibia from London the day before he left Windhoek for the hills; he almost missed it.

Recovered from Sunnydale. I believe this should be yours, if you want it, the note said in clear, careful handwriting. I'm told it's harmless now, though given the source, I had that corroborated.

Actually, her word was 'useless.' I don't know what that use was meant to be; she claims not to either, just that it was never meant for a Slayer to wear.

~Wesley Wyndam-Pryce

The crystal was blackened and cracked down the center, though the chain still gleamed.

May 2003

To: nadia.santos, pippi.longstocking, pip.bernadette, walter.dornez, molly.hayes, blair.sandburg ///
Date: May 6th, 2003
Subject: Happy Graduation

I think you're the last ones left to be not getting these in Fandom, instead of someplace else. Hope Nadia did stick it out in school and didn't have to leave again. Not that you're not smart enough to get by even without a high school diploma, but you'd be surprised how often something I learned at FH comes in handy. I mean it's entirely possible I'll never eat lobster again, but quid pro quo, not mating with a giant Spider-god? Makes for a pretty nice day.


June, 2003

His eye ached when it rained, sometimes. The one that wasn't there. Also when it was too hot, too cold, too noisy, too quiet, when he was tired and sometimes for no reason at all that he could tell except to call attention to its absence. By June, he hardly needed the reminder. He was used to the patch and taking care of what lay behind it, even other people's reactions. It only threw him when he passed a mirror unexpectedly; he wondered how long it took before Angel and Spike had stopped blinking at what they didn't see there.

July 2003

Go figure. He really did lose his keys in Zimbabwe.

August, 2003

Xander still got e-mails from Isabel, the one with the short, dark hair. Pretty much no such thing as out-of-wireless-range on the twinkiephone, at least in this dimension.

Sometimes, though, in one of those places where 'hot and cold running water' meant a stream near the base of the volcano, he'd lay staring up at the stars and wonder if the other Isabel was staring back at him from somewhere up there, a universe away. If he closed his eye, it wasn't too different from the lights out in 406, a lifetime ago, and it didn't really seem that far.

September, 2003

He helped build a schoolhouse in one village, laid a cement floor in what passed for the hospital of another. Both times, though his translator swore it wasn't so, Xander got the feeling they thought he was buying their daughter in exchange for the work.

He knew, because he'd made Giles swear, that the girls could come back if they changed their minds once they understood more than Xander could explain about what they'd become, but it still made him twitch. He needed them to know right then, right there, that they weren't leaving home forever unless they wanted to.

October, 2003

He collected things as he traveled. A wee blue fish (live, and hadn't that taken some arranging with Willow) for Andrew. A stuffed boar for Buffy, in case Gordo missed the frog. Some, he didn't plan to send anywhere at all, though if he could, there were people who'd have liked them. A paperweight like the one that lay somewhere under the rubble in the hole that used to be Sunnydale, except the stars in this one were tiny flecks of Fool's Gold. A carved wooden giraffe, small enough to hold and grow warm in the palm of his hand.

November, 2003

"Come home for Thanksgiving," Buffy said, which made the kind of sense that was Scooby, since home was gone, and she meant London, where the only people celebrating were tourists, students, and them. He came, though. So did she, from Rome, with Dawn and Spike. Larry from Cleveland, where he was keeping an eye on the Hellmouth and finishing school. Willow and Kennedy from South America. Jonathan from the east-coast Slayer retrieval circuit. So far, none of the girls they'd found had been called after Willow cast her spell on the axe, and that was something to be thankful for.

December, 2003

Date: December 6th, 2003
Subject: Happy Birthday

...from Italy. I'm visiting Buffy and Dawn and Spike. They're both in school; Buffy's at university. I'm glad; she deserves to take some time off from slaying. Guess I should stop and pick up my last year sometime too, but not now. Too much to do, and anyway only been here a week and I'm already itchy to head back out. Don't know why; people are nice, there's a couple new Slayers around too. Could get to like it here -- just... not sure I *want* to.


January, 2004

He stayed longer in Rome than he meant to, though, because there was a doctor Buffy wanted him to see. Council's Euro, combined persuasive abilities of two Summers girls and a Rosenberg Resolve Face, and Xander wasn't going to argue. Much. Buffy of all people knew how much he hated hospitals, so how bad could it be, if she was suggesting it?

Wow should he ever know better than to ask that question. By the time he left for Spain, he was twitchier than ever, and all he knew for sure was he really hated people poking at his eye.

February, 2004

What he didn't tell Buffy: that when she sent Spike to L.A. to help Angel, he stayed that long getting his hands reattached. Not so much family bonding. What he didn't tell Dawn: about the girl in Berlin that the vamps got to first. What he didn't tell Giles: how close he'd been to reaching her in time. What he didn't tell Willow: that he met Oz in Vienna, where his eyepatch earned him a "Dude" and being himself earned him a cup of coffee and a song. What he told Oz: that the girl in Berlin's name was Reina.

March, 2004

He got drunk on March 18th, so drunk in Barcelona that somebody stole his shoes while he slept on the beach. Just his shoes. Not his wallet, not his phone, not the bag with his laptop in it which admittedly he was using for a pillow so maybe not too easy to steal, but OTOH they unlaced his shoes WTF. When he woke up, still not sober, he threw the whiskey bottle into the ocean with a message inside scrawled on the receipt: 3/18/2004. To: Pippi Longstocking. Could use boots now if you can throw that hard. Yrs, Xandr Harris.

April, 2004

Xander might allow if you got him drunk, which no because he liked his new shoes a lot and himself drunk not so much, that it wasn't just Rome. He hadn't wanted to like anyplace he'd visited enough to call it home.

So. Sunnydale again.

Big gaping hole, which the Hellmouth always was, but it wasn't the same. He was glad it wasn't the same. He left carnations and a stone Willow sent from Sao Paulo by the scaffolding where already they were filling it in to build some new city that definitely wouldn't be home, and didn't look back.

Date: 2006-12-13 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[ooc: *loves and adores, as per usual* Unusual: love the month-to-month of it, and the feeling of progression; love the shoutbacks to all that's gone before; love the feeling that Xander is doing okay, mostly, but that he's avoiding stuff until he can deal a little, too. And Pippi throwing boots! *cackles at Shoeless Xander* ]

Date: 2006-12-13 03:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[IT'S FUNNY! WRONG, BUT FUNNY! Also Parker would give him new shoes.]

Date: 2006-12-13 05:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
ooc: *applauds and wibbles* Almost time to come home to fandom?

Date: 2006-12-13 06:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You continue to be made of awesome.

Date: 2006-12-13 04:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Industrial Grade. Definitely. Definitely industrial grade.

Date: 2006-12-13 07:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[OOC: *loves you, and this ongoing saga of squee, flail, and wibble, like whoa*]

Date: 2006-12-14 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
[ooc: *gives all due applause and such*]


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