Title: Fluking II: Xander (1/?)

Author: Cyclone

Feedback: Please be gentle.

Distribution: Gimme credit and a link. Plus, archived at

Rating: I'm gonna go say PG.

Spoilers: Up to The Replacement, at least.

Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong to the almighty Joss. I'm just borrowing them for a while.

Summary: In season five, Willow and Xander begin Fluking again. This is Xander's side of the story.

Author's Note: I'm writing Xander's half, and Whisper2AScream13's be writing Willow's side. Both 'fics are to be read in parallel. This -- or, more precisely, Whisper's half of this 'fic -- is a response to a challenge at the Near Her Always Willow fanfic archives.

* * *

She opens the door, and a wonderful little Willow smile blooms on her face. "Xander, hey."

"Hiya, Wills," I say, cracking a smile in reply. "How're things on the home front?"

"Good, good," she says, stepping aside. She doesn't invite me in verbally. Why...? Oh, yeah. Night time.

I step in, proving my non-vampiness, and look around, "Hey, where's Tara?"

"She's got a night class tonight." She looks up at me curiously, "So, what's up?"

"Just came by to thank you." Of course, that's not the only reason, but it is the main one.

"For what?" She is so cute when her face scrunches up like that.

And they say _I'm_ the slow one.

"For believing in me. The not-so-suave me, I mean."

Another Willow smile, and she pulls me into a hug, which I return gladly. "Of course I believe in you. You're my Xander."

And don't you forget it.

I look into her eyes and smile, "Yeah. And you're my Wills." I don't know why I'm talking so quietly, but it just seems right.

Mmm... Willow lips. Sweet strawberry with a hint of lemon.

...

Waitaminute, here! What the _hell_ am I doing?!?

I practically throw myself back and stare at her. She looks pretty stunned, too. "What the hell was that?"

"I have no idea," she replies. "Wait, maybe it's some side effect to you being split up?"

I shake my head, "I don't see the connection, Wills. A-and didn't you fix that already?"

"Well, I thought I did. But what else could it be? I mean, I'm gay, and you've got... Anya..."

"Yes! Anya!" I latch onto the thought. "The woman I'm gonna..."

Whoops! Didn't mean to say that, not yet.

She's frowning at me. "Woman you're gonna what? Go lustbunnies with, because already got that loud and clear from her. Several times." Her frown twists into a grimace.

"No! No..." I can feel my shoulders slumping. I might as well tell her. "The woman I'm gonna propose to."

She's staring at me. What? Is it so hard to believe that I might feel ready for that kind of commitment?

"What? You and her? As in to have and hold?"

"Well, uh, that... was... the idea," I stammer. "I was kinda stopping by to... y'know... check with you. See if you thought I was going too fast. Which I clearly am."

Oh, no. I'm babbling. Shutting up now.

"Well, yeah. I mean you barely know her. And she barely knows how to be human."

"She's learning." Hey, I feel obligated to defend my hopeful fiancee, ya know? "Right now, I'm a _little_ more concerned about what just happened. _Did_ that just happen, or was I hallucinating?"

"No!" she shouts. "Well, um, it kind of did. Which is really confusing... and wait a sec, you going all changey with the subject, mister!" She's poking me in the chest now. Joy. "When did you decide this?"

"What?" Okay, _that_ question was a little unexpected. "Um, well... why do you care?

"Well, c'mon... it's Anya! Who's always all 'I like sex, and I like money. And I don't understand humans.' You really like her that much?"

Hey, I know you don't get along too well with her, Wills, but _that_ was uncalled for!

"Yes! I do! She... she listens, Will." Maybe I can lighten the mood. I grin, "Besides, I like sex and money too."

She shrugs. "Well, it can be good." After moment, she smiles. "Okay, sex part can be really good."

Okay, mind, get thee OUT of the gutter.

"But we both have more to life than just those. Oh, a-and what about the fact you forgot about her?"

"Well, excuuuse me," I shoot back defensively, "but I thought there was an evil me! I was discombol- discolob- confused and whacked out. I don't recall you going gaga over Oz when vampy you showed up."

She sniffs. I swear, she must have learned that from Cordy. "Well, that was different." Oh, of course it is. Uh huh. "I mean, you all thought I was dead for a while, and she was really confusing, and I was a-angry, and weirded out by her because of the whole gay thing at the time."

What gay thing?

"Gay? She wasn't gay."

"She was! Well, she was all sniffy, and getting really friendly with me, and not just my neck. And it was strange."

Whoa, whoa. Hold on. "Gay women do not grope men like she groped me."

She blinks. "She was? Uh, um... okay, I didn't know about that." Frowning, she mutters, "Um, okay, confused again."

What the hell is she confused about?

"About what?" I ask. "A-and why are we talking about her instead of the whole Homecoming flashback we just had?" Let's get back on track here!

"Well, you brought up the whole marriage thing." Hey, you asked. She shrugs, "And I don't know why. Not clothes fluke this time... I don't think."

"Okay, um, just a... really charged moment." I know I'm grasping at straws here, but there's gotta be a reason. I wouldn't cheat on Anya -- I'm not _that_ stupid -- and Willow would never do anything to hurt Tara. Neither would I, for that matter. I like Tara; she should come with a warning for diabetics. "I mean, the lighting, the whole cozy room, plus the big gratitude thing. That's probably it. Just a one-time slip-up. Won't happen again. Right?"

C'mon, Wills. I don't think I can stand another Fluke.

She's nodding furiously, "Oh, right, that must be it. And no, never again." She takes a step toward me.

"Not ever," I confirm, putting my hands reassuringly on her shoulders. "We did this before, and that was just pure disaster." Oh, God. Those lips look sooo kissable... "We're not gonna screw up like that again."

"No," she says quietly, "can't, 'cause that would be bad..." She looks up at me earnestly.

"And we don't want that," I pick it up from there, but I'm thinking this is a losing battle. "We're way over each other, anyway." My voice drops as I lean toward her.

"Uh huh," she says breathlessly. She closes her eyes, and I can feel her lips on mine again.

Mmm...

I pull back and stammer out, "Uh, I should go. Um, later, Wills."

"Yeah, right. Bye," she says as I'm high-tailing it out of there.

Life just got a whole lot more complicated.

* * *

Okay, okay. Calm down. It was just a natural reaction. Hormones, romantic lighting, cozy room, immense gratitude. That's all it was. It's not gonna happen again.

"Xander, what's wrong? Why are you pacing around like that?"

I jerk my head up. It's Anya. The woman I love. Yes. I love Anya.

I'm babbling again.

Two long strides, and she's in my arms. Mmm... her lips taste like honey with a touch of cinnamon and a hint of chocolate.

Sugar and spice and everything nice.

This is what a kiss should be like. Between two people who are in love with each other. Not between best friends who used to be in love with each other. Heavy emphasis on the "used to be."

"Sorry, An. Just a little stressed out from the whole two-for-one deal we had going for awhile."

Oh, God. I just lied to her. Just like that.

"Well," she smiles as she tugs me toward the bedroom, "I can think of a few ways I can help you relax."

* * *

Oh. Dear. God.

I betrayed An, and she doesn't even know it. And I'm not talking about the re-Fluke earlier either.

I nearly called out for her. I was having sex with the woman I had planned to propose to, and I nearly called out best friend's name instead. I managed to change it to a "whoa" though, and I don't think An noticed, but...

I look at her snoozing form. She'll start wheezing in a minute, but right now, she looks so peaceful, so beautiful. She loves me.

But I don't deserve her.

And I certainly don't deserve Willow.

* * *

Author's Postscript:

This thing's been sitting on my hard drive for awhile now. I figured I might as well go ahead and post it. If you want to see more, go bug Whisper, 'cause we're kinda coordinating, and I need to work with her on scenes for the next part. OTOH, she doesn't know yet that I've decided to release this part... *cough cough*