lilyleia78: Two naked men laying in bed captioned slash (Slash)
[personal profile] lilyleia78
Title: Anniversary
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Pairing: Xander/Andrew
Rating: R for sexual content
Summary: On the anniversary of Anya's death, the boys start an accidental tradition that turns into something more.
Note: A big thank you to [livejournal.com profile] ennui_blue_lite and [livejournal.com profile] mireille719 for the betas. You were both invaluable. I've tinkered with it since, and all mistakes are my own.

Anniversary

On the morning after the first anniversary of Anya’s death, Xander woke up to the beat of a marching band playing in his head. It reminded him of the old Sunnydale High marching band - really crappy but extremely loud and impossible to ignore. Xander rubbed his temple but was surprised to feel his headache already slipping away, a miracle given the sheer amount of alcohol and pizza he and Andrew had consumed the night before.

Where is Andrew? Xander tried to remember what had happened after the third viewing of Star Wars and got a vague impression of warmth and laughter. When he attempted to focus, the threads of the memory unraveled.

Xander mentally shrugged, rolled over and burrowed deeper into the covers and the warm body under them. Wait a minute, warm body? Suddenly Xander’s traitorous brain gave up all of its secrets in flashes of memory.

Andrew’s warm mouth pressed firmly to his own. The same mouth making sweet, wonderful little sounds as Xander wrapped his hand around the other man’s cock. The sounds he made in return when Andrew took a deep breath and swallowed him to the root.

The images played across the back of Xander’s eyelids in an embarrassingly arousing display, forcing Xander to push them aside before his body could react to the memory. When he was sure that he had himself under control, Xander opened his good eye slowly to peer at the other person in the bed. Yep, that’s Andrew.

He was curled into a ball on his side, back to Xander, face buried in the covers. Xander sympathized with the defensive posture, imagining Andrew would have his own hangover to deal with when he awoke. Surely Xander couldn’t have been the only drunken idiot at this two person party. Before he could decide what to do about the strange situation in which he found himself, Andrew began showing signs of life, yawning and making meaningless sleepy sounds. Xander froze with indecision, watching helplessly as Andrew stretched and spotted the man in bed with him.

Andrew’s eyes went so wide they seemed fill his entire face, then he sprang naked from the bed, not even bothering to grab the blanket for modesty. He landed in a defensive crouch, his arms unconsciously coming up in imitation of Buffy’s battle stance.

Surprising even himself, Xander began to chuckle. “Gotta love those Watcher-honed reflexes,” he explained to a nervously smiling Andrew.

Andrew said, “I’m usually not quite so graceful. That was totally cool – like James Bond or something. Maybe it’s because I don’t have any clothes to trip over.”

Xander’s chuckle grew into an all-out belly laugh at that. “Well there’s a suggestion for Giles, let’s explain to him why we’d like to fight in the nude from now on.”

Andrew began to laugh with Xander, and for awhile the awkwardness was lost in their mirth.

When Xander recovered, he looked at Andrew, who was still standing by the bed, smiling down at him. Either supremely comfortable with his body, or totally oblivious to its effect on Xander, Andrew still made no move to recover his clothing. Xander forced himself to focus only on the other man’s face.

“So it looks like alcohol is the kryptonite to our common sense,” Andrew ventured.

“Yeah,” Xander agreed. “Next time I visit, maybe we should skip the libations.”

“Next time?” Andrew latched onto the phrase hopefully. “You’re not mad…or...or…disgusted with me?”

Xander stared. “Of course not. It takes three to tango. You, me and Jose Cuervo.”

Andrew’s grin could have powered the whole Slayer complex in Africa. Xander felt his breath catch and quickly looked for a distraction.

“Yeah, well get dressed, Andrew Bond. We’ll put in something manly and forget this whole thing. How about Indiana Jones? Or maybe Die Hard?”

If Xander had been looking for it, he would have seen the quickly-quashed disappointment in Andrew’s eyes. But he wasn’t. So he didn’t.

**
On the second anniversary of Anya’s death, Andrew picked Xander up at the airport. He was jet lagged and more depressed than he’d been in awhile; the loss of a couple of Slayers would do that.

Andrew tried to fill the hole in Xander’s heart with comforting, meaningless chatter. He detailed the horrors of Dawn’s love life during the ride to his apartment, moved on to news from LA as he unpacked Xander’s stuff and ordered pizza, and was just finishing up a rundown about their latest attempt at recruiting demons to the cause when the doorbell rang.

Xander decided to raid the fridge while Andrew was paying. He shoved aside two cases of Mountain Dew (No wonder Andrew was so hyperactive. Where the heck did he even get Mountain Dew in the UK?) and found a six-pack of beer in the back. Xander felt a hot flush spread across his face as memories of last year came rushing back. Recklessly, he pulled a bottle from the fridge.

“The delivery guy forgot our breadsticks, but he was wearing a totally awesome Nightwing hat so I told him to bring us double next time and I’d let it go. It’s a good thing…” Whatever was a good thing was forgotten when Andrew caught sight of Xander holding the beer bottle aloft, one eyebrow raised in question.

“Oh! It’s not…I mean I didn’t…” Andrew stuttered. “I confiscated it from one of my Slayers. I think Faith bought it for her last time she and Robin were in town. The girls swear they got it on their own but I think they’re just afraid to rat Faith out. They’re more afraid of her than me. I don’t blame them; she’s way scarier. Although I could probably summon a demon that could totally take her. Except I’m all reformed now so I wouldn’t do that unless…”

Xander cut off Andrew’s ramble by opening his beer and taking a sip. Andrew watched, completely still for the first time since meeting Xander at the airport. He put the pizza box down and moved closer to the other man.

“Are you sure you want that? After what happened last time?”

Xander kept his eyes firmly on Andrew’s and took a longer swallow in answer. Andrew stared at him uncertainly for a few moments and then launched himself across the room. He plastered himself to Xander and kissed him frantically. Xander dropped the bottle in his haste to get his hands on the wriggling bundle in his arms.

The next morning Xander discovered a perk to going to bed sober – less confusion the next day. He opened his eye to find Andrew watching him and smiled sleepily, trying to get his brain working enough to think of a suitable second-morning-after quip.

Andrew beat him to it. “The Council actually pays our room and board. You don’t really need to be Julia Roberts to my Richard Gere just to have someplace to stay.”

“Too bad; I was hoping we could catch an opera.”

“Really?”

“Not unless they’ve made Nightwing into an opera.”

“That would be awesome! Who do you think they’d get to play…” Something about the goofy grin on Xander’s face made Andrew trail off. “What?”

“I’m just…” Xander waved his hand in the air as he searched for the word. When he found it he surprised himself, “…happy.”

Andrew remained uncharacteristically silent so Xander expanded. “I just mean that this seems like it should feel weird and awkward, but it doesn’t. It feels…normal - normal being a relative term in the world of eye-patch wearing demon hunters.”

Andrew nodded rapidly. “It seems normal in ex-evil-geniuses turned Watcher world too.”

“So let’s make it normal.” The words were out of Xander’s mouth before he could really think through the possible implications.

Andrew was practically bouncing off the bed in excitement – an impressive thing to manage while still lying down. “Like a yearly tradition. For most of the year, we’re just two friends hanging out and doing guy things, but every year on this date we get together and become something more. It’ll be like An Affair to Remember except with vampires instead of car accidents.”

Xander hesitated. He hadn’t actually known what he meant when he made the statement, but he felt inexplicably disappointed with Andrew’s interpretation. He cared about Andrew and didn’t want to be restricted from touching him 364 days a year, but he wasn’t really interested in a long distance relationship or moving to London either. Maybe Andrew was onto something. Giving into desire, Xander laid a hand on the side of Andrew’s face and gently rubbed his thumb over the soft lower lip.

“Anya would probably like us celebrating her life with sex,” Xander said.

“She was the perfect woman,” Andrew agreed readily.

“I think maybe she deserves a week long celebration,” Xander offered.

Andrew’s eyes danced happily. “That’s a great idea. Maybe we could get everyone together to tell stories about her. Or, since everyone’s so spread out, we could start a video diary about it. We’ll start and then send the tape to Buffy next. She’s handling something over in the States right now.”

“That’s not...” Xander began. Reconsidering he amended, “Actually, that’s a really good idea, but it’s not what I meant.”

“What did you want to do?” Andrew asked curiously.

“This.” Xander answered and covered Andrew’s mouth with his own. Neither man was seen by anyone except Tom, the pizza guy, for the rest of the week.

***
The week before the third anniversary of Anya’s death, Xander told all of his friends that he needed a two-week vacation and showed up in London early.

Xander watched, amused, as Andrew buzzed around, talking a mile a minute as he settled Xander’s stuff into the holes of his apartment.

“Whoa, Andrew. Time-out there big guy. Take a deep breath. Putting stuff up can wait till tomorrow. We have two weeks,” Xander called out as Andrew zipped down the hall to put Xander’s toothbrush in the bathroom.

Andrew stopped and turned to face him, a confused expression on his face. “You want to spend two weeks getting settled?”

“No, I want to spend two weeks wi…relaxing. It’s called a vacation. You should try it sometime,” Xander teased, catching him as Andrew attempted to snatch up Xander’s last bag. He pulled Andrew close and hugged him.

Andrew hesitated briefly before returning the embrace with a contented sigh. “This is nice,” he murmured.

Xander hummed in agreement.

“But its…I mean…you know…there’s a week…” Andrew trailed off as Xander pulled back.

“It’s just a little cuddling Andrew. Friends cuddle.” Xander nuzzled his neck gently as if to prove it.

Andrew made a sound that might have been doubt, but Xander decided to make his point by getting reacquainted with Andrew’s body. He let his hands smooth the fabric of Andrew’s T-shirt across his back, breathed the air around Andrew and smiled as he caught a hint of something cinnamon-y. Andrew must have been baking before he came to the airport.

The ringing of the phone pulled Xander abruptly out of a developing fantasy involving Andrew, an apron, and nothing else. Andrew sighed heavily and tried to pull away, but Xander stopped him with a teasing, “Friends also kiss.” And he matched action to words with a chaste press of lips as the answering machine clicked on.

“Andrew if you’re there, pick up,” Buffy’s voice came through the machine. “I know you asked for some time off, but there’s an emergency. We need something summoned - Uvall; that’s your department. Come help, pretty please? I promise to lose your number for the next couple of weeks.”

Andrew pulled away reluctantly and picked up. Xander ignored the side of the conversation he could hear in favor of investigating the delights of the kitchen. He sniffed out the apple pie in the oven in 15 seconds flat, and was happily searching for vanilla ice cream when Andrew returned to him.

“Sorry about this, but I really do have to go,” Andrew said regretfully.

“It’s a tough one?” Xander asked as he cut himself some pie.

“Yeah. It may take awhile,” Andrew informed him. “Do you want to tag along? You could keep Dawnie company.”

“Better not. No one else knows I’m here.” Xander shrugged as he dug into the treat before him. He looked up to offer Andrew a bite, but stopped when he saw the stunned expression on the other man’s face. “What?”

“Nothing,” Andrew said quickly. “I’ll be back.” He gave Xander a shy peck on the lips and hurried off. He returned in the early morning hours and crawled into bed next to Xander before falling into an exhausted sleep.

That was the last work interruption they had and, with a week to kill before the official Anniversary Celebration Week, Andrew and Xander spent their time with talking, cuddling, kissing and mundane tasks. Andrew cooked and Xander did the dishes. They went grocery shopping and discussed the benefits of invisibility in regards to laundry while folding clothes.

It wasn’t all chores and domesticity though. There were also film festivals with Tom, who now worked as a delivery guy for the Council, and quests to find the best American cuisine in London. There was the occasional tourist attraction, narrated in minute detail by Andrew. Xander did all his best pirate impressions but failed to make the palace guards as much as blink. So they moved onto the Tower of London and debated the merits of using it to house demons in the future – provided Willow could cast a spell to hide them of course. By unspoken agreement, they avoided anyplace where they might run into another Scooby.

On the day before the anniversary, they stayed in and pretended to watch The X-Files on DVD.

They fell on each other like starved men right at midnight. But, like kids on Christmas, they decided that the week didn’t end until they actually fell asleep on the seventh day.

When Xander boarded the plane back to Africa, he couldn’t for the life of him figure out why his heart felt so heavy when it was so empty.
**
On the fourth anniversary of Anya’s death, Xander was picked up at the airport by Tom.

“Where’s Andrew?” Xander asked, tromping down hard on the nasty demon-related explanations that came to mind.

“Andy is sick as a dog, Xander,” Tom said levelly. “He asked me to pick you up and take you to stay with Dawn.”

“Thanks, Tom. I appreciate the lift. But if it’s all the same to you, I’d prefer to see Andrew.”

Tom smiled knowingly. “I thought you might say that.”

Xander let himself into Andrew’s apartment with the key Andrew had given him on his last trip and padded down the hall, using his years of experience to move silently. The bedroom door was ajar, and he could see a bundle of blankets lying on the bed. The bundle was talking softly to itself.

“Irony in action,” the bundle said. Xander noted that the bundle sounded stuffy. “The power of Slayers, vampires, demons, and witches at his command, and the Mighty Watcher is laid low by the flu.”

“The Mighty Watcher sounds like he could use some Vicks,” Xander said as he entered the room.

The bundle squeaked and rolled over to reveal bloodshot eyes and a red nose set in a paler-than-usual face. “Xander.” Andrew’s voice was confusion, happiness, and surprise all rolled into one congested package. “What are you doing here?”

“I was feeling lost without my gaggle of super-powered teenagers to take care of, thought maybe I could take care of you instead.” Xander sat on the edge of the bed and toed off his shoes.

Andrew watched with fever-bright eyes as Xander tugged and pushed the blankets around until they were both fully ensconced. When Xander pulled Andrew tight against his chest, Andrew protested half-heartedly. “I’m probably contagious.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Xander whispered. When he felt Andrew relax into sleep, he got up to make a run for some supplies.

Returning home with an armful of Vicks, chicken soup, tissues and lots of liquids, Xander discovered that Andrew had relocated to the couch. Andrew looked startled to see him.

“What are you doing out of bed?” Xander asked cheerfully as he leaned down with every intention of kissing his sick friend.

Andrew pulled away before he could make contact. “I thought I dreamed you.”

“That’s me, your very own dream man. I went out for Make-Andrew-Feel-Better supplies.” Xander cupped Andrew’s face to hold him still for a soft, chaste kiss.

“Xander,” Andrew whined. “You’ll get sick.”

“Nah, germs wouldn’t dare attack this impenetrable fortress.”

Andrew smiled weakly and slumped back against the couch. Xander scooped him up against weak protests and carried him back to bed.

“This really isn’t how I pictured this happening,” Andrew wheezed.

“Me neither. But hey, I get to impress you with my manliness this way.”

“My hero,” Andrew whispered as he drifted back off. Xander felt something tighten in his chest at the words, but he shook the feeling off and went to put away his purchases.

On the last day of the anniversary week, Xander was awoken by a grip on his cock. He thrust lazily into the firm hand a few times before opening his eyes with a smile. “Feeling better?” he asked the owner of that very talented hand.

Andrew kissed him thoroughly in answer.

A week later Xander discovered that having the flu in Africa was even less fun than taking care of someone else’s flu in England. The fever burned him alive and put strange images in his head. He woke crying, laughing, yelling for Willow, for Buffy, for Anya, for Andrew. In his more lucid moments he worried about his tough Watcher image in front of his Slayers. If he’d had the energy he would have been embarrassed.

But he decided it was worth it for the unexpected pleasure of waking up to Andrew curled next to him when his fever broke. The other man was out cold. The girls told him later he’d barely slept since he’d arrived. They also informed him that Andrew had taken good care of him and them while Xander was incapacitated. He got the message. He made sure Andrew felt his appreciation. It was definitely worth it for the excuse to kiss the other man goodbye when he put him on the plane back to England.

A month after that, Xander got a note from Dawn scolding him for giving Andrew some mutated version of the illness he’d nursed out of Xander. Xander cursed the tardiness of the mail system. By now Andrew would be perfectly healthy, and Xander had no reason to go rushing off to nurse him again.

He was reminded of the first time Anya had gotten sick. She was outraged at the betrayal of her human body and demanded the doctors make her better. She just couldn’t understand how a common cold could keep her down. They’d swapped several mutations of that virus back and forth before Willow and Giles forcibly separated them.

Xander had pouted at his best friend when Willow told him with strained patience that love was torturing your friends for their own good. Xander had retorted that love was preferring a never-ending cold to being apart.

Now, years and miles away in a compound in Africa, the memory jolted Xander. The nameless warm glow that he associated with Andrew shook itself loose from its comfortable spot in his chest and demanded consideration. His world shifted slightly, memories of Andrew fracturing and scattering, reforming themselves into something new, and suddenly everything made sense. He was in love with Andrew.

**

Six months before the fifth anniversary of Anya’s death, Xander packed two suitcases. It should have been pathetic that his life filled only two suitcases, but Xander knew that much more awaited him in London. Comic books, CDs, DVDs, video games, and tons of clothing had been gradually taking up residence in Andrew’s apartment each time Xander left.

And even if everything he owned did fit into two suitcases – or none at all – everything that mattered was still in London: Dawn, Willow, Buffy, Giles. Andrew.

It was time to go home for good. Africa was harsh and beautiful and rugged and exhilarating. Four years ago the solitude had been exactly what Xander needed, but things had changed. Now what Xander needed was softness, warmth, laughter and a very specific pair of blue eyes.

It was those eyes that he kept thinking about as he sat on a tarmac watching time slip away. He’d tried to come home earlier, but settling the new Watcher in had taken longer than expected. And now some rain god was conspiring to keep him away from the soft kisses he had been dreaming of for months. Xander mentally reviewed the list of gods currently pissed at him, but couldn’t recall any that could control the weather. Maybe it was someone Andrew had pissed off. Either way, Xander offered up a prayer of apology to whoever might be listening and begged them to let him get home.

When Xander’s plane finally landed three days later than he’d planned, and six hours later than the airline had promised, all he wanted was to see Andrew. When he actually had the man in his sights, all of Xander’s carefully considered plans and speeches flew right out the window in the heady rush of relief, nerves, and love. His heart started pounding wildly in his chest, and Andrew was in his arms before Xander could think of what he wanted to say. Holding Andrew close to him, Xander couldn’t believe how long it’d taken him to realize that this feeling he got when they were together went beyond friendship. Andrew meant peace and safety and home. Andrew meant butterflies in his stomach and a low burn of desire in his gut. Andrew meant everything.

With no conscious decision on his part, Xander nuzzled Andrew’s neck. He kissed his friend, his - his Andrew, and was rewarded by the other man’s enthusiastic response. He poured his heart into the kiss – all the love and passion, all the worry and terror – everything he felt for Andrew was there.

He pulled back and searched Andrew’s face for a sign that the world had changed, but there was only a dazed look and a happy grin.

“I missed you too,” Andrew sighed.

“Well, you’ll never have to again. I plan on attaching myself to you from now on, like a big ole’ Xander leech.”

Andrew smiled but looked puzzled and maybe a little creeped out. Okay, so leeches probably weren’t the most romantic analogy. Xander couldn’t help it. Love made some guys romantic and poetic. It just made Xander geekier than normal.

Andrew’s smile dropped and he stepped quickly out of Xander’s embrace. Xander was slightly alarmed at this development and paced back into Andrew’s personal space, but Andrew stepped back again just as Xander heard Dawnie’s voice.

“Xander!” the young woman cried as she launched herself into his waiting arms. “Are you really back for good? We’ve missed you.”

Xander swung her around once, laughing. “I’ve missed you all too. And yes, I am definitely back for good. I was just telling Andrew he was gonna need a crowbar to remove me from here on out.”

Xander flashed a flirty grin at Andrew and was startled by the strained smile he got in return. Andrew looked almost panicky, and he kept shooting worried looks in Dawn’s direction. Finally, Mr. Slow-on-the-uptake got it. Andrew had no idea that Xander was in love with him, or that Xander wanted to make this a permanent arrangement. The kissing told him nothing, Xander was the one who decided kissing was a friendly activity that didn’t need to be confined to their anniversary week. There was no way Andrew could have known anything was different about Xander’s greeting.

Damn, he thought to himself, I’m going to need a plan. As the trio rounded up his bags, he idly wondered if Giles had any books on the subject. Maybe he could just call for a round of research on confessing your love for someone you were already sleeping with. That’d be one way to clue in Andrew - and everyone else for that matter.

At home, safely ensconced on their couch, Xander felt his stomach twist into knots. At least Andrew seemed more relaxed now that they were alone. They had dropped Dawn off with a promise to come back for dinner, and now Andrew was stretched out next to him, his back a warm weight against Xander’s side as Andrew analyzed some new superhero duo. Xander nodded whenever Andrew paused for breath and tried to figure out how to broach the subject of permanence.

“So, while I think it’s rather common for there to be sexual subtext to the hero/sidekick dynamic, I don’t necessarily think this guy pulls it off. He should either use more sub or more straight-up text; he’s being too indecisive about the whole thing. After all, the hero has to choose his sidekick based on more than sex appeal. I mean, look at us…” Andrew trailed off when Xander turned a confused, almost annoyed look at him.

“Andrew, you’re not my sidekick,” Xander said with an edge in his voice.

Andrew got a distinctly kicked-puppy look. “I know. I didn’t…”

Xander interrupted, “If anything, I’m yours. You’re obviously the hero with the demon-summoning mojo and the rampant sex appeal.”

Andrew gaped at him. “Sex appeal?” he asked, voice faint and strained.

Oh yeah.”

“Xander, don’t,” Andrew protested. “I’m not. At all. I mean…pale…skinny…talk too much…ugh. You’re the sexy one, with the eye patch and the tan and everything.”

“I think you’ve seen that pirate movie too many times.” Xander caught Andrew’s chin with his hand and forced the other man to meet his gaze. He needed Andrew to see this in his face. “Andrew, everything about you is sexy as hell to me.” Andrew blushed, but didn’t look away. Xander released him and leaned back into the couch, taking a deep breath before continuing, “Of course, I admit that I am biased. Being in love with you and all.”

Andrew’s head whipped around so fast that Xander thought he might need a neck brace later. “You’re in love with me?” Andrew’s voice climbed to an octave Xander was sure shouldn’t be audible to the human ear.

“Helplessly, hopelessly,” Xander answered cheerfully.

Andrew’s jaw worked wordlessly before he sputtered out, “But you’re embarrassed to be seen with me!”

Well, that was certainly not the reaction he’d hoped for. “What?”

“You never tell the others when you’re in town, and we always avoid them and anyplace they might be,” Andrew’s tone was resigned, not angry, and that made Xander feel like a complete heel.

He wracked his brain to see if there was any truth to Andrew’s assumptions, even if just subconsciously. Was he worried about his friend’s reactions? They took Willow’s news pretty well, and when they found out it had been in the context of Oz losing control and leaving again. It all worked out of course, but in the beginning Tara had been an outsider – a sweet, powerful outsider who made Willow happy, but an outsider just the same.

Xander had fallen for one of their own, a respected Watcher, a member of their new Council, the man they sent to face down Angel at a time when they weren’t sure they could trust Angel anymore. No, Xander wasn’t worried or ashamed. His friends loved him. They’d accept his happiness.

Secure in this knowledge, Xander answered Andrew’s concerns with the truth. “I didn’t want them to know I was in town because I didn’t want any distractions. They would have wanted my time and attention, and I don’t have any to spare when I’m with you.”

Andrew’s eyes were wide, lips parted as his breathing picked up. Xander leaned in to kiss those supple lips before continuing in a quieter voice, “Or worse, they would have taken all of your time and attention. I’m selfish; I want it all for me. Especially when it was only for a few weeks a year.”

“It’s all yours,” Andrew whispered. “It always was.” And suddenly, Xander had a lapful of laughing Andrew. “I love you too.”

Andrew planted a wet sloppy kiss on him, hands fumbling with apparent eagerness as he tried to work Xander out of his shirt. But Xander pushed him away gently. “Put your shoes on,” he said.

“Um, I was actually hoping for less clothing, not more,” Andrew told him with a smile. When Xander didn’t smile back, he reluctantly pulled away to look for his shoes. “We still have an hour before we’re due at Buffy’s,” Andrew said, a note of hopefulness in his voice.

“There’s something I have to do before the next time we…” Feeling slightly melodramatic, Xander forced himself to continue. “…the next time I make love to you.” As he turned away, Xander saw Andrew dazedly mouthing the words ‘make love’ to himself in wonder. He hid his smile and hunted under the couch for his own shoes.

When they arrived at Buffy’s front door, it was obvious that everyone was already gathered there in anticipation of Xander’s first dinner as an official Londoner. There was loud chattering, louder laughter, and the smell of something burning coming through the door. Xander knocked.

“Yeah, we don’t usually knock you know. I have a key if for some reason it’s locked. It shouldn’t be though; we only lock up for apocalypses.” Andrew informed him helpfully.

“I want to make an entrance; I have something important to say.” That seemed to break through Andrew’s nervousness, and he beamed at Xander.

“Was that the door?” Buffy’s voice asked from somewhere on the other side.

“Oh, good. Someone ordered pizza as backup,” Dawn’s voice was getting closer.

“I do not need backup! Don’t answer it by yourself. Only evil things knock.”

“Yeah, evil things and innocent people who don’t know the Slayer dislikes politeness,” Dawn opened the door as she finished the sentence. Willow was close behind her, probably to humor Buffy. “Xander? Why’d you knock? Only pizza guys and evil things knock.”

At the sound of his name, Buffy and Giles came to the door as well. Xander grinned. “Hail, hail the gang’s all here,” he muttered before turning to Andrew. He grabbed his friend around the waist, dipped him in dramatic fashion, and kissed him with impressive thoroughness.

When they straightened, Andrew pursed his lips, obviously trying to hold back a smile, and Xander turned back to the rest of the Scoobies and said simply, “Just wanted you to know.”

Giles and Buffy were wearing twin expressions of shock. But Xander was pleased to note it wasn’t disappointed or disgusted shock, just plain old ‘where the hell did that come from’ shock.

Willow was smiling like she’d know it all along, and Xander wondered what kind of liberties she’d taken with her magic lately. Dawn let out an ear-drum shattering squeal of “It’s about time” before launching herself at Andrew. Xander would have been jealous if he hadn’t been too busy laughing at the joy beaming from her face. She released Andrew to give Xander an equally ferocious hug.

Xander took Andrew back in his arms and agreed with Dawn’s assessment. “It is about time, isn’t it?” Andrew melted against him, and Xander had no choice but to kiss him again.

“Get a room,” Willow scolded them happily.

“Or at least come inside,” Giles said, polishing his glasses with a resigned headshake.

Andrew pulled away with a shrug and stepped forward to follow the retreating backs of their friends, but Xander put a restraining arm on his shoulder. Andrew’s eyes held a question when he turned to face Xander.

“I want you to know that I’m happy to be with you here - although I would be just as happy to take Wil’s advice and get a room,” Xander explained earnestly.

Andrew smiled and took a single step closer to Xander, leaning in so that the other man was forced to take his weight. “Just as happy?” he asked coyly before ghosting his lips across Xander’s.

Xander let out the manliest whimper he could manage and licked the taste of Andrew from his lips. “Maybe not just as happy. But pretty happy.” He grabbed Andrew’s waist and pressed the evidence of his happiness against Andrew’s thigh.

Now it was Andrew’s turn to whimper. “Maybe we’ll make this a short visit.”

Xander grinned his approval of this plan. “Whatever you want. We’ve got all the time in the world.”

**
The complete list of my fanfiction can be found here.

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February 2015

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