Golden

Oct. 28th, 2009 02:10 am
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Title: Golden
Author: Devo79
Characters: Xander, Jesse

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“How does it feel to die?“ he asks Jesse and the dead teenager frowns as if he wasn’t expecting the question.

“Well,” he mumbles and looks around.

The desert is golden. Not brown, not grey but golden. Like liquefied sunshine stretching on and on. Not as far as the eye can see, there’s the shocking blue of the sky floating above the sea of grainy sunshine, but far enough for Xander to wonder if this is the world. To wonder if the golden has bleed out over the entire planet.

There’s a little bit of red there as well staining the perfection of the golden sand.

“It’s…” Jesse continues, “It’s hard to explain,” he scratches the tiny scar just over his left eyebrow and hums quietly, “It feels like…Have you ever played in the snow? I don’t remember if you’ve ever been out of Sunnydale before coming here,” and Jesse makes a swiping movement with his hand indicating everything from the desert to the whole continent of Africa.

“Was in Russia for a few months before coming here,” Xander says and looks up at Jesse. The dead teenager is eclipsing the sun and it shrouds him in a halo of white-hot brightness.

“That feeling you get when you’ve been outside in the snow for too long and then come inside?” Jesse kicks at the sand and a small cloud of dust settles on his sneakers, “The prickling in the fingers and toes? How your cheeks go numb?”

“Yeah?” Xander lifts one hand and holds it up, shielding his eye.

“That’s how it feels…well, that’s how it felt to be drained anyway,” Jesse shrugs and shuffles his feet for a second, “Just cold, you know, like standing still too long outside in a blizzard.”

Xander stretches his legs out, his back resting against the small dune behind him. It’s scorching hot. Every minuscule grain a furnace burning through the clammy sweat-soaked cotton of his dark green t-shirt.

The sun is slowly moving across the sky as if it is in no hurry to get where it’s going. Nothing to do and forever to do it in. He swallows and closes his eye, tilts his head back and isn’t the least bit surprised when he feels Jesse slump down next to him.

“Beautiful isn’t it?” the dead teenager asks.

“Hmmm,” Xander mumbles and squints up at the relentless sun, “Hot,” he manages to mumble.

“Well, yeah,” Jesse agrees.

“So,” Xander turns his head just enough to catch a glimpse of his old friend out of the corner of his eye, “What brings you to Africa? I mean, being dead and all I’m sure you could have gone wherever you’d want.”

“You’d think that, wouldn’t you,” Jesse moves slightly and the sun makes the outline of his body blurry with heat, “But it’s hard…with the traveling.”

Xander scratches the tip of his skin-peeling nose with a warm suntanned finger. He looks up at the sky and frowns when he sees the silhouette of a large bird above them, “Being dead. What’s that like?”

“Remember Mrs. Schmidt?” Jesse asks and Xander turns his head and stares at him, “Okay, yeah. Just listen, right,” he continues, “So remember how her classes seemed to stretch the fabric of time and space? How the more she yammered on about grammatical rules the smaller the classroom seemed and the longer the minutes ended up stretching? Remember how that felt? How you’d look at the clock hanging over the door and then, when it felt like a century had passed, you’d look again and it’d only been a minute?”

“That’s what it’s like,” Jesse leans forward and starts drawing little circles in the sand with his index finger.

“Being dead is boring?” Xander asks disbelievingly and presses his hand harder against the red spot spreading across the green t-shirt, “Guess I’ll be making my own experiences soon.”

“That?” Jesse pokes at the red damp stain on the t-shirt and Xander flinches, “That’s nothing, man.”

“The demon that ripped out one of my ribs might disagree,” Xander swallows, attempting to moisten his dry mouth and shivers suddenly despite the scorching heat.

“Starting to feel cold?” Jesse asks and puts his arm around Xander’s shoulder.

“Uh huh,” he manages to nod and squints his eye when the world starts precariously tilting to the left.

---------------------------------------

Date: 2009-10-28 01:32 am (UTC)
vikingprincess: Big girl panties?  I'm putting on my ass-kicker boots and going commando! (Default)
From: [personal profile] vikingprincess
this is poignant and creepy. quite the combination!

Date: 2009-10-28 09:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thank you. This one just wouldn't let me be.

Date: 2009-10-28 02:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spiceblueeyes.livejournal.com
Jesse came to get him, he was a good friend.

Date: 2009-10-28 09:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
The story had been in my head for some time. This image of Jesse appearing in the desert to take Xander with him just kept getting more and more detailed.

Date: 2009-10-28 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] whichclothes.livejournal.com
Wow! That packed quite a punch! Beautiful imagery.

Date: 2009-10-28 09:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thank you. It went through a lot of editing and I deleted quite a lot of dialog to get to this version.

Date: 2009-10-28 03:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] annabuffy.livejournal.com
Very fitting that Jesse was there for Xander at the end. His best friend to meet him and take the fear out of passing over.

Date: 2009-10-28 09:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
I thought so too :)

Date: 2009-10-28 04:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chaoskir.livejournal.com
Oh I like the thought they are still friends even when they are both death.
I like Jesse is there for him.
Thanks for sharing.

Date: 2009-10-28 09:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thanks for reading.

I've been thinking about this one for awhile and finally realized that it just wouldn't leave me alone.

Date: 2009-10-28 05:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lil-jei.livejournal.com
Well I'm just a little more depressed than I was a minute ago.

But wow the talk b/n the two of them...how ironic and bittersweet that Xander would see Jeese at the very end of things...but the idea of death, how you described it w/ such details was sadly beautiful.

Date: 2009-10-28 09:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Think about it this way: Xander wasn't alone to face that last obstacle. He had his best friend with him.

And thank you :)

And how can you be depressed when you have a nice Sweater!wearing!Tony icon?

Date: 2009-10-28 06:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] missmirandarae.livejournal.com
wow, that was so sad...but good that xander had a friend there for him. It still amazes me that you can write such a detailed and involved story is so few words. i think that why I love your writing

Date: 2009-10-28 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thank you, I'm glad you like it *hugs*

I edited this a lot before posting it. Deleted a huge part of the dialog so it would be as short as possible without being too short.

Date: 2009-10-28 08:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragonyphoenix.livejournal.com
Oh! I totally didn't get that the "What's it like to die" question had a purpose behind it. Can't believe I didn't see that coming.

Awesome. ;-)

Date: 2009-10-28 09:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thanks.

Considering how I keep killing Xander I'm surprised you didn't see it coming.

Date: 2009-10-29 01:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragonyphoenix.livejournal.com
*laughs* Sadly, I'm not too bright.
(deleted comment)

Date: 2009-10-29 11:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thank you.

Both Apple Pie and Golden were much longer and had big parts deleted.

I like the Spike and Xander twisted version of Accidental Fatherhood best but honestly I've always thought the Angelus one had enough meat on it to become more that a one-shot, so you never know.

I'm working on the 21nd chapter of Equal Rights and hope to have it posted soon. Maybe even this weekend.

Date: 2009-11-01 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aislinamara.livejournal.com
This was beautiful and bittersweet. Nicely done.

Date: 2009-11-01 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thank you.
I wasn't sure if I shold post it because it was ANOTHER Xander death!fic.

Date: 2009-11-04 06:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasonsnene.livejournal.com
You keep killing my boy!!! But this was beautiful and touching and I loved Jesse being there for him in the end. thanks for posting at Ultimate Xander.

Date: 2009-11-06 02:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thanks :)

I like Ultimate Xander caause it has all kinds of Xander stuff not just the slashy fics and artwork.

Date: 2010-01-27 11:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morgan-idril.livejournal.com
Ow.. This is nice, well not Xan dying but that Jesse came to him in Africa.

Date: 2010-01-28 12:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thank you.

I was working with colors in this fic and had fun finding ways to use them.

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