Alright, for all of you who have been wondering what the pairing is, I'll tell you now, so you don't get half-way through the story, then decide to quit reading. I can promise you though, there won't be a lot of fluffy, happy feelings in here, and no sex--PG-13 only, and lots of angst. The pairing is Angel/Xander, and it's explained in this chapter why that's the only workable solution. I suggest you read this chapter before flaming me, telling me it will never work, I'm stupid, etc. I've had this planned out for almost a year, a few people telling me they hate it ain't gonna make me stop. So :6
Warning:This part contains a couple explicit mentions of homosexual behavior. If you've made it this far, it probably shouldn't bother you, but... just in case, I'm warning you. ^_^
[words here] = thoughts/inner voice (I tend to write people's thoughts anyway, but this is just... anything that's in first-person.)
Xander seated himself in the same chair he'd occupied the previous times they'd discussed his predicament. Hopefully, the news Wesley had now would be better than on those other occasions. Angel had said earlier that he'd come up with an idea, maybe that was what this was about. Why else would the vampire be permitted into the private conversation, when Cordelia hadn't been?
Wesley leaned back against his desk, supporting his weight on his arms. He didn't want to be sitting with an obstacle separating him from Xander when he delivered his news. He glanced over to where Angel had perched himself in the client's chair beside Xander's. He was rather nervous about this whole thing, and he still wasn't sure how Angel had convinced him he should be the one to tell Xander about their plan. Of course, Angel was technically his employer, and could force him to do it, but Angel would never do that.
[Oh, no,] a sarcastic voice muttered in his head. [Why would Angel force you to do anything, when most of the time, all he has to say is 'jump' and you ask 'how high?' on the way up.] Ah, yes, that was how Angel had convinced him - merely by turning on the charm. "Wes," he'd said in that ingratiating voice he got when he was about to wheedle Wesley into something the younger man would never normally agree to. "I think you should tell Xander about this whole thing." When he'd started to sputter in protest, Angel had continued, "Come on, Wes. You know Xander - he's not too fond of me, never has been. Coming from me, he won't even hear me out before he rejects it. But you," here his voice turned into honey, the voice Wesley was sure Angelus had used to lure pretty virgins to their demise, like lambs to the slaughter, docile and acquiescent. He had been no different, come to that. "You have his trust, and you have a diplomacy that I just... don't. You know me -- hit first, ask questions later. You're the talker, Wes. You can get him to listen to you."
So, here he was, a nervous wreck, trying to think of the words Angel was so sure he could use to make Xander listen to him and agree to the plan. He cleared his throat, suddenly wishing for some water. Or, more preferably, something much stronger. "Er, Xander." He stopped, took a breath, and started again. "Xander, Angel and I... well, Angel, has come up with a sound plan to help you with your... situation." Why was this so hard? He'd had no real trouble talking to Xander about his demon aspect (though on a few occasions he'd thought he'd have acquired a permanent blush from reading about said demons themselves). Perhaps it was all the flashes of images his brain kept feeding him, now that he knew just how Xander was going to deal with his problem. Wesley cleared his throat abruptly again, looking down and pulling his glasses off to clean them on his shirt.
"Oh, God," Xander moaned, staring worriedly at Wesley's glasses. When Wesley looked up, Xander met his gaze and said, "Giles always does that, before he says there's gonna be another apocalypse. That's his 'I-have-bad-news-and-don't-know-how-to-tell-you' gesture."
Wesley sighed as he replaced his glasses. He was being silly, really. He was frightening Xander, and that was not the reason Angel had asked [coerced] him into doing this. "Xander, it's not that horrible. Erm... I'm not sure how to put this. Angel's thoughts on this -- and I concur -- are that vampires, well, they have, er, more stamina, when dealing with... this sort of thing, they can... last longer... Also, they're stronger, so they would be able to withstand any sort of... physical display of anger, shown against them. In essence, I really believe that a vampire is the solution to your--"
"No." Xander's face was stony and determined, his voice cold and unyielding. "No, there is no way that's happening." He stood up, unable to contain his agitation. "I mean, how could you even suggest--? It's insane, and I won't do it!" He was waving his arms slightly haphazardly in large, exaggerated gestures, to show how against the idea he was.
"I get it," Angel finally spoke up. "You don't wanna sleep with me."
Xander stopped mid-rant, his arms held frozen in the air. He turned his head to look at Angel and asked in confusion, "What? Who said anything about sleeping with you?"
It was Angel's turn to look confused. "That's... what Wes was getting at. What did you think he..." belatedly, Angel went over Wesley's explanation and realized just what Xander had thought was being said. Failing to hold back a smile, Angel asked, "You thought we were gonna turn you, didn't you?"
Xander took offense at Angel's amusement, and responded vehemently, "Well, that's sure what it sounded like! And why are you laughing? You want me to sleep with you?!" The last came out as more of a yelp, as the rest of what was being said fully penetrated Xander's thought processes.
The amusement drained out of Angel's features. "It makes sense, Xander. You know the facts as well as I do. Succubi need to draw energy from men during the sex act, and the longer the man lasts, the more energy the succubus gets. Wesley just explained it to you: vampires have more stamina than humans, so they can draw the, the sex out longer. You'll be getting more energy, and if you do show some violent tendencies, you won't have to feel guilty about hurting an innocent -- it'll just be me, and I don't really qualify, do I?"
Xander frowned at those last words, ducking his head and refusing to look at either man. Sure, he'd never liked Angel, had in fact gone out of his way to be a royal pain in the ass to him. But... that didn't give him an excuse to abuse him, should he show any violent signs -- which Xander was sure he would, considering the background he came from. He knew he could be a nasty sonofabitch when he felt like it, so the tendency was already there, the demon would just draw it to the surface. Angel might not be innocent, but that didn't mean he had any right to hurt the guy.
But Xander wasn't about to tell Angel that. He protested against another aspect of this plan of theirs. "I think you're neglecting something. Sure, this all sounds good on paper, but the fact of the matter is, you want me to sleep with you. Which means have sex with you. You want me to have gay sex with you, and I am so totally against that."
Angel retorted wryly, "You're gonna have to have gay sex with someone, Xander. Who would you rather it be with: me, who'll at least try to make it as... comfortable as possible, or some random guy from a bar, who won't give a toss if you're a virgin or not?"
Xander kept his blushing at bay by sheer force of will. Fine, okay, Angel had a point, which he was never going to admit out loud, but still! This was Angel here. Buffy's Angel. [Buffy.] That was it. "How do you expect to pull off this great sexcapade of yours, if you can't have sex without losing your soul?"
"Actually," Wesley interjected uneasily, clearing his throat, "that's what we were out checking on earlier. It seems it's not just sex that Angel can't have. It's--"
"Buffy," Angel said dully, glancing off to the side morosely.
Wesley shrugged uncomfortably, but nodded. "In essence, yes. What Angel had with Buffy was... naïve, and innocent. Virginal, if you will. It was... a consummation of all their love, a love they knew was shared and reciprocated, and..." Wesley shrugged again. "Well, to continue with the analogy, one can never regain his virginity, his innocence. Angel won't lose his soul, should he choose to have sex again, and certainly not if he doesn't love his partner as he did Buffy." No one spoke, but the words hung heavy in the air around them.
He'll never love anyone the way he loved Buffy.
Next Chapter:...I have no idea. I'm still working on the next chapter, so... it'll be a while. I've explained what's happening/going to happen to Xander, so... I have to figure out how to segue into the next part of my epic story. There will be more, though!