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[personal profile] devo79fanfic
Title: Finding home
Author: Devo79
Characters: Angel, Xander.
Rating: PG13

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Xander stood on the pavement outside his house and stared at the light streaming out the window in the kitchen. He looked to the left, scanning the street.

Angel could smell the nervous energy pouring off the boy and he shifted slightly behind the parked cars so he could keep an eye on Xander. The teenager was still just standing there. Finally he walked briskly up to the front door and was just about to knock when he hesitated. A low rumble coming from Xander‘s stomach, just loud enough for the vampire to hear, made the boy clench his hand and knock on the door.

Silence. Then the front door opened a fraction of an inch, a tiny beam of light breaking the gloom of the evening air.

“Mom,” the door was opened a little more, “He’s not home, is he?” Xander asked anxiously and looked over at the empty driveway.

“No,” the woman’s voice sounded brittle.

“Can I come in?” Xander asked.

“I…I’m sorry, Honey, but,” she ran her hand up and down the door as if she was soothing it.

“Come on, Mom,” Xander leant closer to the door, “Dad isn’t home and I just need my clothes. Please. I think the teachers are starting to notice. Please,” he begged.

“I can’t, Alexander,” she whispered, “He’ll know. He’ll find out and you know how he gets. Just…” she reached out and put her hand on Xander’s chest, “Give it another week and I’m sure he’ll have calmed down…I can’t let you in…I can’t. I’m sorry,” she looked embarrassed.

“Okay. It‘s okay,” Xander said.

“Did you find somewhere to sleep?” his mother asked.

“Sure, I told Willow we’re redecorating and that my room was a mess. She has a guestroom and I can stay for as long as I need,” Angel could hear Xander’s heartbeat quicken as he told the lie.

“You need any money?” Xander’s mother started fumbling in the pockets of her housecoat.

“It’s okay,” Xander said and placed his hand on his mother’s shoulder.

“I only have five dollars,” she held up the money, shamed by the amount. When Xander didn’t reach for it she tucked it in his jeans pocket, “Take it.”

“Thanks,” Xander whispered and kissed her cheek.

“He’ll get a new job,” she said almost hopeful, “And he’ll stop drinking then.”

“Sure,” Xander said.

“He’ll let you move back in,” she sounded as if she was trying to convince herself.

“I’m okay for now, Mom. Go back inside. It’s getting really dark and it’s cold tonight.”

“Okay,” she nodded and was just about to close the door when she said, “Thank Willow’s mother for letting you stay.”

“I will,” Xander promised and didn’t move away from the door before his mother had closed and locked it.

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

Following the boy was easy. He made as much noise as a herd of stampeding buffalos.

Xander stopped outside a small store, turned around and stared right at the delivery truck Angel was hiding behind, “You can stop doing your stalker impersonation now, Angel,” he said, “I’m going inside,” he pointed over his shoulder at the 7Eleven behind him, “I’m gonna get me something to eat.”

Standing outside the 7Eleven, his mouth still open to form some kind of protest, Angel felt quite foolish when Xander came out of the store and waved mockingly at him.

“Slow night for the brooding crusader?” he asked as he walked past the vampire and crossed the street.

“I don’t brood,” Angel mumbled and couldn’t shake the feeling that he had been played by a lesser adversary.

“Right,” Xander said and opened the small bag of toast bread he had bought. He took out one slice and started eating it, “’Cause,” Xander sprayed small bits of toast all over his shirt, “hanging out in the dark, following people around and contemplating all the wrong things you’ve done is just so damn positive,” he held out the half eaten piece of bread offering it to Angel.

“No, thanks,” Angel said a little surprised.

“Okay,” the boy said and took another bite of it, “’S more for me.”

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

“You sleep here?” Angel made a face as they passed what had once been the bathroom but now seemed to be a recreational resort for rodents.

“The second floor is much nicer. Cleaner too,” Xander reassured him and started up the rickety steps.

“No rats?” Angel asked and kicked a dead rat out of his way before he started following Xander up the stairs.

“And that would be why it’s nicer,” Xander disappeared into a room.

The door was gone. Probably stolen, Angel thought glumly.

“Home, sweet home,” Xander exclaimed and held out his arms as if hugging the room.

“Reeks,” Angel said bluntly.

“So do you,” Xander retorted and pulled the door to a build in closet open. He took out a metal box and put it on the floor. Opening it, it became clear that it functioned as a pantry. The toast bread was pressed into the box.

“You can’t live here,” Angel said and looked around the room. Apart from a mattress with some nasty stains on it, a few blankets and an old chair with one of its legs held together with string, the room was bare.

“Funny how I’ve been living here for a week and a half then,” Xander took a bottle of water out of the metal box and opened it. He took a few sips, screwed the bottle cap back on and put it in the box. The box itself was put back in the old closet.

“What about…” Angel was searching for words, “Showers and clean clothes?”

“Take showers at school. Told the girls the washer is broken and we’re getting it fixed,” Xander brushed off a few crumbs of toast off his t-shirt, “Used some of my money to wash my clothes at the laundromat two days ago,” Xander shrugged.

“Pack up your stuff,” Angel took a step closer to the human, “I have a couch you can sleep on and I’ll buy food.”

“Um…I could do this whole show and dance routine about how I’d rather stay here than spend time with the undead…but honestly,” Xander ran a hand through his already messy hair, “You totally suck less than the rats and the weird noises at night in this place.”

“So you’ll pack your stuff?” Angel asked and looked around the room again.

“All done.”

Xander was holding a backpack in his hand, “Right,” the vampire said and started walking out the room.

“Wait,” Angel turned back and watched as Xander opened the closet, pulled out the metal box and took the lid off. He ripped the bag of toast bread open and left it on the floor.

“You‘re feeding the vermin?” Angel asked with a disapproving frown.

“Rats need to eat too,” Xander shrugged, “Just a goodbye present for my furry neighbors,” he nodded over at the corner where a rat was peeking out from a hole in the panel.

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

“So this couch of yours,” Xander looked at Angel as they made their way out of the house, “It wouldn’t be situated in front of a really nice TV with cable, would it?”

“No,” Angel said, “TV rots your brain. Not that anyone would notice.”

“Pfftthhh! You know what?” Xander threw his arm over Angel’s shoulder and gave him a one-armed hug, “I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

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Date: 2009-11-09 02:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spiceblueeyes.livejournal.com
That's our Xander, all smiles and sarcasm in the face of adversity :)

Date: 2009-11-10 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
True.
I wanted to show a Xander who was strong despite everything being f**ked with his family.

Date: 2009-11-09 02:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] supernaturalfun.livejournal.com
I liked this ... though I have a bit of a thing for Xander at odds with his world. Nice.

Date: 2009-11-10 02:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thanks.
Xander at odds with the world is always good to read.

Date: 2009-11-09 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragonyphoenix.livejournal.com
Wow. The whole Xander kicked out of home and nobody noticing? Aaaahhh. *runs off screaming*

*but them comes back to say* Good on Angel for taking him in. *runs off again*

Date: 2009-11-10 02:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
But people did notice something was wrong Xander is just very good at misleading them with lies.

Date: 2009-11-10 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dragonyphoenix.livejournal.com
I would say he should be less deceptive but I can really see why he wouldn't want to tell his situation to anyone.

I just don't like seeing Xander in such a bad place. :-(

Which would be why I'm happy that Angel's taking care of him. This was an evil and scary plot bunny, sort of like General Woundwort from Watership Down.

Date: 2009-11-10 03:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
I don't like seeing him there either but for some reason I still like reading about it...Hmmmm....

Date: 2009-11-09 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ladyvirgo1956.livejournal.com
I like the premise of this story. How will the Scoobies feel when they discover that Xander is staying with Angel.

Date: 2009-11-10 02:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thanks.
There won't be anymore of this story. It's one of those bunnies that've haunted me for more than a year but just wouldn't let me write it. Now I'm killing off all those bunnies with this new series called Paths Not Taken. Each story in this series is a standalone and is only connected by it being about Xander.

Date: 2009-11-09 04:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chaoskir.livejournal.com
Oh that was an interesting fic. Do you write more? I liked Angel was helpful for this poor boy. Thanks for sharing!

Date: 2009-11-10 02:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thanks.
I won't write more. This series (Paths Not Taken) is all about getting the bunnies that have been in my head for a long time down on paper and out so I can write some of the things I really want to write.

and nobody noticed...except Angel!

Date: 2009-11-09 05:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] k-rhnd.livejournal.com
In the majority of the Xander stories I read, his friends don't give much thought to Xander. He's an extra body when they need one. He makes coffee and snack runs for them. He's bait for them. He helps with research. He's an ear to listen and a shoulder to cry on when they have problems. But clowning goofy front aside, nobody but ANGEL noticed that anything was wrong?! I think Xander had better claim Angel as a friend, and step back a bit from the others.

Re: and nobody noticed...except Angel!

Date: 2009-11-10 02:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
But people did notice. Xander, like many abused kids, is just very good at misleading people and making them not pay attention to him. He tells the girls the washer is broken and he tells his mother that he's staying with Willow.

I always try to show a strong Xander in my fics. I can't stand the stories that forget how strong he was in the show. I wanted to show that Xander despite everything was taking as good care of himself as he could, getting himself fed and finding a place to stay.

Angel might just be the friend Xander needs.

Date: 2009-11-09 09:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bmblbee.livejournal.com
Totally Xander and Anglish. And they are off and running.

Date: 2009-11-10 02:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thanks.

And they are off and running and I'm done with the damn bunny that's been haunting me for almost two years. YAY!

Date: 2009-11-09 02:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] beccers4469.livejournal.com
You somehow had to of known I would friggin adore this, like whoa;0)

God bless Xander and Angel:) I loved it:)

Date: 2009-11-10 03:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thanks.

This is the bunny that started the long fic Home. It started out with the idea of Xander being thrown out of home. He was then supposed to end up in a house living with a few demon kids that were in the same trouble as him.

Somehow this little story started out Angel/Xander and ended up Spike/Xander in the long fic. But I always liked this idea of Angel taking Xander in and giving him a home.

Date: 2009-11-10 12:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] demonspot.livejournal.com
This is my problem: I read something like this and it catches my attention and even though the tag says standalone I still hope for more.

Date: 2009-11-10 03:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
I know.
But at least you will be getting lots of standalones all about Xander in this series. And who knows I might one day return to this but honestly I doubt it. This feels done.

Date: 2009-11-10 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jasonsnene.livejournal.com
Excellent story. I really liked the scene between Xander and his mother and the fact that Xander knew Angel was watching. Just goes to show that he really wasn't clueless after all.

Date: 2009-11-10 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thank you.

I really wanted to show that even when everything goes against him Xander won't break.

Date: 2009-11-13 08:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alterian.livejournal.com
I like this!! It's very sad but by the end you had me giggling

Date: 2009-11-14 02:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Thank you.
It was hard to keep it in that tone where I wanted the reader to know how much trouble Xander was having but at the same time I wanted to show how he dealt with it by using his optimism.

Date: 2009-11-14 11:27 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] samueljames
Poor Xander, I'm glad Angel is helping him.

Date: 2009-11-14 01:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] devo79.livejournal.com
Yeah, Angel might be just what Xander needs.

Date: 2009-11-14 01:10 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] samueljames
Yeah, I think Xander's a little too skilled at deceiving his friends and Angel can see through the lies to see he needs help.

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