The O.C.

Episode Two: The Model Home


Xander Cohen's body was probably more active in keeping itself from not dying of adrenaline than it ever was in its entire existence. His heart was going a million miles an hour, and his stomach was still somersaulting, even as he creaked the door to a close. Every noise in the house seemed to be amplified—maybe it went hand in hand with the whole adrenaline theory, or perhaps it was because that he was paranoid that any sound-making would result in the waking up of parents, and therein, major groundation. Ambling across the living room, he dropped one foot on the single step leading to more floor space, with the other faltering and tripping. "Shit! My foot, my foot!" Xander cried.


"Shit! My mom, my mom!" Xander amended. His eyes fell on his mother's blue ones observing him in a manner frighteningly similar to when those eagles on the Discovery Channel were about to impale baby bunnies with their talons. He imagined that a similar punishment was in order.

"Where have you been?" Kirsten offered the most obvious question first.

"IMAX Theater?" Xander replied weakly, and then changed the subject. "You know, with Return of the Jedi coming out next… someday, we should probably buy tickets in advan—"


"Ah, she woos me with the use of the unabbreviated first name. Very classy. Very swift." Xander countered, ever the fine procrastinator.

"I can explain, Mrs. Cohen."

"Almighty Zeus, don't do that! At least make a little noise when you enter a room." Xander suggested to a disheveled Angel in the midst of the living room.

"I—took him to a party that went a bit later than I thought." Angel continued honestly, not admitting the whole truth. "I—I'm sorry."

"Angel, you're hurt," Kirsten observed, deciding that conveying anger right now wasn't the most amazing idea. "You—"

"I'm okay." He interjected.

Kirsten, against her better judgment, let it fly by and continued with the interrogation. "Why exactly were you at this party without me knowing about it?"

"Buf—" Angel covered Xander's mouth before he could say any more. "Um, Mrs. Cohen… it's kind of late… can we do the whole punishment thing tomorrow?"

Kirsten sighed, uncharacteristically giving in again. "Okay—but tomorrow it is. And—Angel, I set up a bed in the poolhouse… so you don't have to sleep… on the couch."


Angel couldn't sleep.

Sitting there, staring up at the fan blowing cool air over his body just dressed in boxers and covered in white linens. He sighed and rolled over, flipping the pillow to make a cold spot for his head. It was still hot, even at night, and apparently the poolhouse could provide no air conditioning whatsoever.

Tomorrow. Tomorrow would be his last day here. Then were? Back to Sunday? He couldn't, he—it was impossible to think about. He might have even liked it here—Xander was a really cool person, and it was a wonder he didn't have many friends, and Buffy—God, Buffy… she was so—everything.

This might be the last night that he would spend in a real bed in a long, long time.

Author's Note: And that would be cue for the theme song :) For the next chapter, I'm bringing in Willow a bit early, she's actually going to be more of a blend between the position of Anna and Lindsay more than just strictly Lindsay.