Date: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 11:54 PM Title: I Drove All Night (The Boys Don't Cry Remix) Author: Victoria P. [firstname.lastname@example.org] Summary: "Xander supposed he meant it as comfort, but it felt more like pity." Rating: NC-17 Archive: Lists, Muse's Fool, Remix/Redux site. Feedback: Don't make me beg.
Disclaimer: All BtVS/Angel characters belong to Mutant Enemy et al.; this piece of fan-written fiction intends no infringement on any copyrights.
Notes: Thanks to Jen, Dot, Meg and Pete'n'Melissa. Special thanks to DD for the beta, and to s.a. for writing a lovely Xanderfic I could remix. The original story is called "Stray Birds" by s.a. and can be found here: http://fubos.bluezfire.org/hole/tales/straybirds.html. The Remix...Redux site is http://www.unfitforsociety.net/remix/
I think we can all agree Xander would listen to Roy Orbison and shun Celine Dion.
I Drove All Night
It was his wedding day, it was pouring rain, and Xander drove.
At first, he didn't even pay attention to where he was going. He just hit the highway and drove into the night.
When he found himself, after two hours in traffic, on the outskirts of LA, he sighed.
Cordelia. He would go see Cordelia. She would say something snarky, he would laugh and it would all be all right. For five minutes at least. He wasn't afraid she'd take Anya's side. Of course she would. Who wouldn't? But she would understand that sometimes leaving is better than staying. Especially when staying would be more painful in the end.
His thoughts twisted round on themselves, like a snake eating its tail, and he was grateful that he had to stop thinking and start paying attention to the streets, because he wasn't that familiar with LA.
The hotel was dark when he pulled up, and no one answered when he banged on the door.
He sat down on the front steps for a bit, waiting, but that just got him thinking again. And thinking was bad.
He couldn't get over the idea that he'd one day wake up and be his father, and Anya would be stuck in the role of his mother. There would be fighting and drinking and misery all around. He'd grown up with it, and didn't want it in his life anymore, wouldn't wish it on his worst enemy, let alone the woman he loved.
No. No thinking, he told himself sternly. You're bad at it, and it never leads anywhere good. If you're going to think, think of something useful.
There was only one other place he could think of to go.
He got back in the car and drove some more.
Someone was coming out as he was going in, so he didn't have to ring the bell, which was good. He wasn't sure he'd be able to talk into the little intercom and explain why he was here. Because how do you tell someone you knew for a few months three years ago that you walked out on your fiance on your wedding day, and hey, can I sleep on your couch for a few days while she clears her stuff out of my apartment?
He shook his head. Thinking bad, he reminded himself, and knocked.
Wesley opened the door.
Wesley stared blankly at him.
Xander opened his mouth, and as usual, the words just started pouring out, no conscious thought involved.
"Um. Look. I'm sorry to just come over, without calling or anything, but I didn't have anywhere else to go. I tried the hotel, but everyone was ... not there, and I couldn't stay in Sunnydale, and you're the only other guy I know in LA, so I'm kinda hoping you'll let me stay here."
"...Xander?" Wesley's voice was a hoarse rasp that barely rose above a whisper. Xander figured the big red scar that ran across his throat accounted for that.
"I forgot to say hi, didn't I?"
Wesley ran a hand through his hair, and rubbed his unshaven chin. "Just ... come in."
Xander stepped through the doorway, dragging his bag behind him. He looked around at the apartment, taking in the overwhelming blue-ness of it. Books and papers were scattered on every surface, which made it somewhat familiar. Giles's apartment had often looked the same.
He fidgeted nervously as Wesley closed the door, playing with the edge of his shirt and watching his host. Xander wasn't the best at reading people, but he got the feeling Wesley was at the end of his rope and in no mood to deal with visitors from Sunnydale, trailing with them reminders of failures past. He knew that Wesley had become integral to Angel's operation, that the ex-Watcher had made a life for himself in LA and was actually a good guy to have in a fight. No doubt he had no desire to relive his days as the prissiest Brit this side of the Atlantic, which was fine with Xander. He had no desire to go into his reasons for being in LA. Not with Wesley.
He was on the verge of turning around and walking out when Wesley spoke again.
"I don't have a spare room, or a futon." He pointed into the living room. "I suppose you'll have to manage with the couch. There should be some food in the refrigerator. I'm going to bed."
Xander nodded at Wesley's retreating back; he could deal with the lumpy couch and leftovers. He'd had worse.
But then again, he'd had better, too.
With Wesley gone, Xander settled on the couch. He could feel the fatigue seeping through his body, his brain hurt from all the thinking and not-thinking he'd done, and his eyes burned and itched at the tears he'd been holding back since the moment he'd gotten in the car and left Sunnydale.
He found the bathroom, changed into his pajamas, and went through his usual nightly routine before heading back to the couch, stumbling over the unfamiliar furniture in the dark.
He tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable, then gave it up and laid on his side, clutching a pillow to his face, so that when he finally gave into the sobs, Wesley couldn't hear him.
Eventually, exhausted, he fell into a deep sleep.
Xander woke to the scent of coffee brewing and the sound of someone rustling around in the refrigerator.
He opened his eyes and his stomach clenched in fear for a moment, as he couldn't remember where he was. And then it hit him.
He rolled off the couch and walked to the kitchen. Wesley stood holding a moldy hunk of cheese, a baffled look on his face.
"Big with the skeezy cheeses, aren'tcha Wes?" Xander said, and then remembered the last time he'd said something similar. He looked down at his hands, absently counting the polka dots on his sleeve.
Wesley didn't bother asking, for which Xander was grateful. He didn't want to start explaining.
Wesley simply tossed the cheese out and looked back at Xander.
"Would you like to go out?"
Xander shuffled his feet, let out a sigh. "Yeah. Lemme get some clothes on. We can do IHOP."
They soon found themselves sitting in a booth, ordering pancakes from a striking transvestite named Ginger. Xander tried not to stare; Wesley didn't bother to look after placing his order.
Xander ordered strawberry pancakes with whipped cream, trying to forget countless post-slayage pancake parties at Buffy's house, with Joyce or Tara in the kitchen, and Willow, Buffy and Anya at his side.
"I thought you had a job?" Wesley asked as they waited for their food.
"I, uh, took a hiatus," Xander said. He tried to control his fidgeting, tried to look like the bottle of ketchup was the most interesting thing he'd seen in ages. He knew he wasn't fooling Wesley, and he for damn sure wasn't fooling himself.
"I see," Wesley said, and Xander wondered, what, exactly, Wesley saw. A man on the verge of a nervous breakdown? A fool who'd walked out on the best thing that had happened to him since meeting Buffy? He tuned back in to hear Wesley say, "Exactly how long are you planning on staying in Los Angeles?"
Xander shrugged. "As long as you'll let me, I guess." He waved a fly from the table and stared into his coffee mug. Turnabout is fair play, he thought. "Um, I don't want to pry or anything, but shouldn't you be with Deadboy?"
"No." So much for that. Xander knew when a subject was off-limits.
They sat in silence for a moment or two, while Xander played with the sugar packets.
"I thought you were marrying Anya?"
Xander froze. "No." And it was amazing how much he sounded like Wesley had two minutes ago. When he was able to get control of himself again, he found he'd crushed a sugar packet in his fist. He spent several awkward moments dusting sugar off his palms.
He had never been so glad to see a transvestite in his life when Ginger sauntered over to their table and laid down their respective plates. "Eat up, boys," she said sagely. "Need to keep you strong and ... healthy," she said with a bit of a leer.
Xander gave a half-hearted smile before digging into his pancakes, and Wesley nodded, saying, "Thank you," as Ginger receded.
When they got home, Wesley went straight for his bedroom, leaving Xander to his own devices.
He looked around the living room, taking it all in. Bookcases everywhere. There was a table he guessed Wesley used as a desk, with papers scattered on it, and a laptop closed on a stack of files. A TV sat in the corner, and there Xander found it: the Nintendo. This was good. This was very good.
He sat in front of the television and flipped through Wesley's games until he found it. The game he just knew would be there. Zelda.
Xander didn't look up from the TV for about five hours, and then only when Wesley came within his line of sight.
"Um, yeah," Xander said, putting down the game control and standing up, his joints popping in the process.
Wesley went over to the desk, reaching for his laptop and a few random papers. He glanced at Xander once again, before withdrawing back to his bedroom. Xander started to wonder what was so exciting about that room, anyway. He sat down on the couch, rummaging through his stuff until he found his copy of "On the Road". He never left Sunnydale without it. He flipped to the first page of his favorite book, and fell into the words.
And soon, he fell into sleep.
His dreams were troubled, and he moved restlessly on the couch, begging Anya for forgiveness. She walked away and he clutched at her, bringing her hand to his lips.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you, I love you, I'm sorry..."
The couch shifted under extra weight, and the feel of warm, dry skin against his face woke him.
He opened his eyes, squinting in the darkened apartment.
"You were talking in your sleep," Wesley said.
"I-- Oh. Well."
"Yes." Wesley hesitated, and Xander closed his eyes against the question he knew was coming. "Things are-- not well in Sunnydale?"
"Way to state the obvious, Wes." Wesley looked away and Xander bit his lip. "I'm sorry. I--" He couldn't do anything right, and Wesley should know that, shouldn't make him say it.
"It's all right."
"No, it's not." Xander sat up. "I'm sorry." Then, "I wish it was that easy to say it to Anya."
"You can say it," Wesley said, "but do you mean it?" Xander had no response. "And vengeance demons -- even former vengeance demons -- are not known for their capacity to forgive."
"Some things probably shouldn't be forgiven."
"And some people will never forgive. And even if they did, they'll never forget..." Wesley trailed off, and his bitterness was palpable. Xander heard echoes of his own desperation in Wesley's voice.
"Can you make me ... forget? For just a while?"
Xander heard the hesitation, and made a subtle change in the way he was gripping Wesley's hand, tracing circles on it with his thumb.
He heard Wesley's sharp indrawn breath. "Well, maybe."
Xander didn't have time to do more than smirk half-heartedly before Wesley hauled him close, forcing their mouths together. Wesley tasted of desperation and single-malt scotch. Xander felt like he was tasting his own emotions.
Xander pressed himself to Wesley, grinding against Wesley's surprisingly hard cock. Hands fumbled with frustratingly difficult buttons and zippers, frantically pushing denim and cotton away with the overwhelming need to touch, to feel skin against skin.
It different from Anya, so different, and that was exactly what he wanted, what he needed to forget, even if it was only for the space of ten minutes.
He skimmed Wesley's body, hard planes of sweat-covered skin, muscles and scars, as Wesley did the same to him, making him gasp with need.
And then he felt the cold air against his skin, raising goosebumps.
Xander reached out and brushed his fingers down Wesley's face, feeling the stubble so similar to his own, and the soft skin beneath.
"It's all right," he said, his breathing still ragged. "It's what I want."
"It's what you want right now," Wesley replied. "In the morning, things may look different."
"Maybe, but that doesn't mean it's not the right thing right now." He dragged his thumb across Wesley's lower lip. "Besides, I'm all tapped out on regret."
Wesley's, "Me, too," was so low Xander wasn't sure he'd even heard it, but then Wesley's mouth was on his again and words were no longer important. He lay back, pulling Wesley with him, over him.
Xander thrust helplessly against the body above him, blindly seeking release, the oblivion he craved. Wesley bit down on his shoulder, and Xander knew it would leave a mark, but he didn't care.
Wesley stroked Xander's cock, making him buck madly. For a rare moment, Xander was rendered speechless.
Then he whispered, "Do it, do it, do it, do it..." It was both penance and pleasure, and an image from one of Giles' books flashed across the inside of his eyelids -- monks flagellating themselves, pain and pleasure in every strike of the flail.
Wesley flipped Xander onto his stomach, and he buried his face in the dark brown pillow, gritting his teeth. He felt Wesley's cock, slick and hot, at the cleft of his ass and muttered, "I've never--" and then Wesley was sliding into him.
It hurt. It hurt far more than Xander expected, and he struggled against the feeling of violation. Wesley murmured nonsense syllables in his ear, kneading Xander's ass to get him to relax. Wesley's hand snaked around and jerked on Xander's cock, and Xander stilled, adjusting.
When he was ready, he pushed up against Wesley's weight, and Wesley, taking his cue from Xander's body, started moving, slowly at first, but hard, deep. There was nothing gentle in the movement.
Xander could have sworn there were bright white sparks obliterating his sight. He was filled, violated, impaled - and some part of his mind told him that was what he deserved, to be impaled, because he always hurt the women he loved. A fitting end.
But the movement, the in and out, in and out, an erratic rhythm with only one goal, pushed all thought from his mind. He was nothing but nerve endings and raw emotion, pain and pleasure, the penitent sinner, sinning again.
It seemed to last forever -- he wanted it to last forever, this place where nothing mattered but rhythm and flesh -- but Wesley came, rearing back and shouting at the ceiling. Xander followed, the orgasm ripping through him like a tidal wave.
And it was over.
Xander came back to earth, slumped against the now-sticky brown cushions of Wesley's couch. He hoped it wouldn't stain.
Just one more mess he'd made. He couldn't stop the sobs that wracked him then, at the thought of all he'd given up, lost, because of his fear, his inability to speak up before it was too late, to face the truth head on, like a man.
Wesley lay atop him, and Xander supposed he meant it as comfort, but it felt more like pity.
All too soon, Wesley rose, leaving his clothes in a haphazard pile on the floor and going back to his room.
"Thanks, Wes," Xander murmured as Wesley shut the door.
And then he was alone. The way he was meant to be.
He wasn't going to regret what had happened with Wesley. He didn't have the energy for it, and anyway, regret was useless. It didn't -- couldn't -- change anything. He was going to be a man about it, go back to Sunnydale and face the situation, try to make it better.
Eventually, he found the energy to get up off the couch and clean up. He found a bottle of Febreze under the kitchen sink and tried to clean the couch. He folded Wesley's clothes neatly and put them in a pile on the coffee table.
He had manners, after all, despite what everyone else thought.
He shoved his own dirty clothes into his duffel bag and looked around the living room for any other signs that he'd been there. His eye fell on the battered copy of "On the Road," and he came to a decision.
He jotted a quick note inside the front cover--
Thanks for letting me stay here. And thanks for last night. I guess everybody has to grow up sometime. The open road calls... -Xander
And left it on top of the pile of clothes.
He was sore, and he was shaken, but he was going back to face the mess he'd left behind. It was the right thing to do.
Eyes squinting against the glare of streetlights breaking the darkness, Xander drove.
The Muse's Fool: http://www.unfitforsociety.net/musesfool
read my diary: http://musesfool.diaryland.com
We Invented the Remix...Redux: http://www.unfitforsociety.net/remix/
If you enjoyed this story, please send feedback to Victoria P.
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