Disclaimer: Legal stuff, don't own characters, haven't made any money, this is for entertainment purposes, no profit earned, lawyers go away. –kisses-
Spoiler Alert: There are tidbits from past episodes and Spanderverse: stories.
Notes: Fifth story in the Spanderverse-universe, following “Spanderverse: Burial”.
Everything from the television series through the defeat of Adam also occurred as depicted, in the Spanderverse. Following Burial and before this story BTVS: Real Me occurred. This is the Spanderverse: version of BTVS: The Replacement.
Note in the Spanderverse, Anya was employed at the Magic Shop by Mr. Bogerty until ‘Real Me’, as mentioned in Spanderverse: Dracula.
People’s thoughts are depicted in italics. You’ll find emphasis depicted with an underline.
Spanderverse: Confusion of Three
Alexander Lavelle Harris; the one and only Xander Harris; stood in his former parent’s and now his former bedroom looking over the room at the boxes piled here and there. Riley Finn was writing on one of these boxes: ‘Summer Clothes’.
“So,” said Riley, “You’ve decided to stay in the apartment, then?”
“Well,” Xander responded, “My soldier alter-ego already signed the lease, so I’m sort of stuck with it now. Although, I expected us to be booted out thanks to the damage Toth did. The Hellmouth strikes again, though. Anya blurted out some cock-and-bull story about an ex-boyfriend stalking her and suddenly Bonita, the landlady, was all a’blubberin’ in sympathy for her. I guess Anya gets her way this time around. Speaking of which, can you help her later with her things… I’m kinda barred from stepping on Ms. Milner’s property.”
“Yeah, no sweat. What are friends for?”
Xander stood for a moment, listening out of the bedroom window as the gang below laughed and joked. They were packing things in
“It’s going to take some clever juggling to be able to afford the apartment and make the minimal repairs this place requires to get it sold, not to mention a mortgage in the meantime. Of course, I can skip a payment here and there and make up for it during closing, I guess. If I'm really lucky, maybe mom can send a few bucks to help out.”
“You’ll do it,” Riley said, “You’re really gifted at all of that construction stuff. And we’ll be here to help out in any way we can, you know that. And really, is it so bad getting a fresh start?”
Xander thought for a moment as he folded a heavy comforter for the move. “I guess I just don’t really feel ready. I have the memories of my other selves still and Anya was talking to soldier-guy about kids and pets and a house with a white picket fence. I’m not even ready to marry her, yet, let alone get into all of that other life-stuff.”
Riley looked over at his friend, “You have the hyena persona’s memories, too?”
“Yeah. Pretty freaky. I mean, he killed and ate raw animals in the woods. And I’m trying like hell to repress that scene with Spike in the apartment from all of our memories.”
Riley quirked his brow, “He seemed to be really into Spike.”
The room grew still as Xander tried to hide what was going through his mind. When he sneaked a peek, Riley was looking at him and waiting for his response.
He cleared his throat a little nervously, “It, uh, was just that he had this pack mentality. He kinda resented Buffy the Slayer being in charge of the Scoobs. I guess he was looking for somebody to take as a mate who would add to his own strength. Y’know, challenge Buffy for leadership. When I was possessed before, back in high school I mean, I tried to force Buff to mate with me. Thankfully she just clobbered me before I could do something I’d be regretting forever. Plus, technically, the Hyena spirit that originally possessed me was an Alpha-female. That kinda made me a male lesbian when trying to get Buffy and a straight woman when going after Spike. It’s all a big mess of confusion.”
“You know,” Riley tried to pick his way carefully around the topic, “It’s okay if you’re not 100 percent straight. I mean, nobody would treat you any different.”
“Maybe. But I thought I was straight, completely straight I mean. Recent events are really confusing me about it though. Listen, I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t go talking to everybody about this though, Riles. I need to sort everything out in my head. Not to mention what I’m gonna do when I see Spike, next. He must be completely freaking out over all this.”
“Sure. I can keep it to myself, but just so you know, I’m here to talk to.”
“Yeah, Mr. Commando, I’m sure you’re really gonna want to hear all about the ‘rainbow pride’ in me. Assuming it’s not just a residual of bi-hyena.”
“My friend, Graham? He’s way gay. I’ve got no problems with that at all. In fact, I still consider him to be the closest friend I have. Despite the fact, that I’m not exactly sure where he’s at these days.”
“Well,” Xander said, “Thanks. Right now, I just want to focus on Anya though. Maybe the rest of it will just fade with a little time. Those personalities kind of went away after a while, before."
Riley shrugged, “You couldn’t have a better woman. And at least she really seems to be head over heels for you.”
Riley looked at Xander again, meeting his eyes. He took a deep breath, surprised he was about to air out loud the thoughts he’d been harboring since the Dracula incident.
“Buffy is one of the greatest women I’ve ever known. When I’m next to her, I just feel more alive.” He gave him a brief and sad smile, “But she’s not in love with me.”
Xander didn’t know what to say to that. They both went back to boxing up the contents of the room in silence.
Dawn walked into the kitchen, having just gotten home from school. She expected to find Buffy waiting with her foot tapping, as Dawn had hung out at the candy store for a bit with Janice before coming home. Instead, she found her mother looking over a cookbook.
“Hey, mom! How come you’re home?”
“Oh, I got caught up on things for a change. So I left Denise in charge and told her that I was going to cook something delicious instead of making you girls heat up something frozen for a change. I’ve missed cooking, and that’s something I thought I’d never say.”
“You’re feeling okay, then.”
“Sure, honey. So, I’ve checked the freezer and I can de-thaw pork chops or chicken breasts in the microwave. What are you in the mood for?”
Dawn smiled, “How’s about ordering pizza!? Like a meat lovers with extra sauce? Oh, and those cheesy bread things with the dipping sauce?”
Joyce laughed, “I think you’re missing the ‘I was gonna cook’ part of my plans.”
But even as she said it, Joyce was headed for the phone to dial Mr. Pizzeria’s Home of Pies. As she reached out for the phone, she felt a wave of sudden dizziness catch her by surprise.
Dawn saw Joyce grab the counter, her body swaying unsteady as she’d been reaching for the phone.
“Mom?” she questioned, worried over her mother’s sudden odd behavior.
Joyce turned toward Dawn with a confused expression on her face, “Who are you? How’d you get in this house?!”
As Dawn struggled to make sense of what was happening, her mother suddenly fell to the kitchen floor.
“Mom! Mom,” Dawn cried, rushing to the still form of her mother, “Mommy, wake up!”
She raced to the phone and dialed 911, tears were flowing down her face.
“Help me, my mom’s fallen unconscious! I can’t wake her up!” she screamed over the phone.
Stories in Series
BTVS: Seasons 1 through 4 up to, but not including ‘Restless’.
Spanderverse: To Dream
Spanderverse: After 314
BTVS: ‘Real Me’
Spanderverse: The Confusion of Three