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Getting On

Tisienne Blue

Part Twenty-Three

“Um, I guess what I’m trying to say, Sir…” Angel swallowed hard, his eyes darting nervously away from Rupert Giles to skim skittishly over the form of the man’s lover, “Um, I mean Sirs… is that I… well, that is, Buffy and I were um…”

Oh, bloody hell. There was no way the young man was ever going to manage to spit it out in the next few hours, Ethan decided, and as he had some fairly time-sensitive plans for his beloved, that just wouldn’t do.

“Are you planning to shack up, or do you intend to do the honorable thing and marry the girl?” Ethan demanded, his lips twisting into an obviously evil smirk when Liam Aurelius blushed, then paled, then started to stammer. “After all,” he continued as though the elder Aurelius brother wasn’t making a sound, “We would like some grandchildren eventually and Buffy isn’t getting any younger, is she? It’s not as though we can look to Xander for that, and Willow has many more years of school ahead of her.” His smirk deepened. “Well, boy? Speak up, for God’s sake!”

Rupert barely held in the loud laugh he felt building in his chest. He had been the one to insist upon Ethan’s presence during the ‘meeting’ the large and glowery-looking Liam had insisted upon, and now… well, now he knew why. His lover had never been one to pull punches, after all, and in this case, it was entirely too amusing to see the puffed-up young man at a loss.

Of course, he also felt a tiny twinge of sympathy for the fellow. He could only imagine what it would have been like had he ever been in similar state, so as much as he hated to deny Ethan further amusement, he stretched out one hand, taking his love’s oddly long fingers in his own and squeezing slightly.

“I believe that what Ethan means to say is… we’d like to know your intentions, Liam. Buffy is a good bit younger than you are, and while she has never been foolish with regards to… romantic entanglements, she seems to be rather more taken with you than would indicate a casual connection.”

Okay, it took him a good fifteen seconds to work through what Buffy’s father meant, but that was better than trying to find a way to respond to her Uncle’s insinuations and downright rude comments.

Of course, none of that made what he had to say any easier.

“Um… we want to… I mean, I know…” And there was no way to put it politely; not when he was so fucking flustered just because two old guys were staring at him… and suddenly Angel understood how Rupert Giles and Ethan Rayne always managed to come out on top. They were scary. Individually scary, but even more so when they were together, as they were right then.

“I love her,” Angel finally said, his eyes flicking back and forth between the two older males’. “And she loves me. And I know she’s younger and all that but we get each other. I… honestly, Sirs, I’ve never felt anything like this and I know it’s fast and everything, but…” He gulped, even as he clenched his fingers into fists and hoped for the best. “I do want to marry her. I almost asked her earlier, but… Hell. I figured it would be best to do this the old fashioned way, you know? More… romantic.”

Ethan who saw the nearly invisible eye-roll Liam Aurelius was trying to hide, though the subtle shaking of Ripper’s shoulders mere moments later told him that he wasn’t the only one. ‘Well, well,’ he thought with a great deal of internal laughter, ‘she’s got him firmly wrapped around her finger already. Nice to know that all my years of coaching haven’t gone to waste.

Rupert Giles didn’t even have to look at his beloved to know what the man was thinking. Fortunately, he found it all equally funny although he took great pains to keep that particular expression from his face.

Instead, he sighed dramatically—almost too much so—before nodding slowly. “Well. I can’t say that I have any particular objections, assuming Buffy is willing to hear your suit. Ask her, Liam, and if she agrees, then we can set our legal staffs on it and try to come to some sort of equitable arrangement.”

The older men somehow held in their laughter until the tall, dark and broody younger man had left the room looking stunned. Once he was gone, however…

“Oh, bloody hell, that was fun…” Rupert gasped, small tears leaking from the corners of his eyes as he collapsed back in his chair.

“Ripper… the boy’s so bloody twisted up in his knickers, he’ll be decades getting untangled! That girl is a master!”

The laughter continued nearly to morning, though it changed many times… and if there were a few loud-soft-cried-whispered pleas thrown in randomly, well… they’d been together for a very long time and both of them were rather good at… multi-tasking.


It always made Oz uncomfortable to be with his girl in her family’s home, and not just because he worked for her father in more than one capacity.

It would be one thing if he and Willow were a recognized ‘item’, but since they were secretly involved, he had no way of explaining why he was in Willow’s wing of the house at an hour that would normally have had him at home in his bed. Or at Willow’s dorm in her bed.

Unfortunately, he’d gotten way too used to sleeping beside her over the last year or so, and now… he just couldn’t stand being in an empty bed.

So he snuck, using what degree of stealth he’d managed to acquire since their whole relationship had begun. It didn’t make him feel good about it, though.

He didn’t truly believe that his Boss—or bosses, if he included Ethan, who only a moron would disregard—would have too much of a problem with the idea of him being involved with Willow. They’d known him forever, after all, but still there was the difference in their… situations, not to mention…

There were certain things that Oz was sure would upset the two men if they found out by accident rather than by design, and… honestly, sneaking around where he had no legitimate reason to be might just clue them to the truth… or enough of the truth to make things very… uncomfortable for him and Willow.

And now, according to his better half, Xander knew about them.

He’d be damned if he had any idea of exactly how the brunette man might have figured it out, but Willow was sure of it and that… worried Oz.

Xander and Rupert Giles had always been very close, after all. Even after Xander had up and left home, he and his father had kept in touch. It wasn’t likely that Xander would keep Willow’s secret forever, and that meant…

“Oh, hell,” Oz groaned to himself as he slipped silently through a doorway and into more appropriate parts of the house. “I’m gonna have to tell Giles and just… hope for the best.”

He nearly jumped out of his own skin when a quiet chuckle answered his despondent words.

“That would probably be a really, really bad idea, buddy. Dad’s probably going to be kind of upset soon, so you might want to pick your time a little bit better.” Xander grinned dangerously, baring even white teeth. “Assuming you were talking about telling him what’s going on with you and Willow. You know Willow, right? About so tall, red hair, cute as a bug in a rug. My little sister. That Willow.”

And fuck. Things just kept getting better and better.

He was totally nailed, Xander obviously did know what was happening, and… the brunette clearly wasn’t happy about it.

“Uh… look, Xander, I never… I mean, I don’t even know how it happened, okay? One minute we were just friends and hanging out when we both had time and the next thing I knew, we were all…” Oz swallowed hard, editing his words before they could leave his lips. “I… it’s not like I planned it or anything! I mean, how could I know she was gonna be so… Willow!”

Damn… if William hadn’t been waiting for him in his bed, Xander would have spent a bit longer tormenting his friend, simply for the sake of impressing upon the younger man just how much he didn’t like being kept in the dark. But Will was waiting and while Xander truly did want to make sure that his baby sister wasn’t heading for a world of heartache, he was somehow far less worried about her than Buffy. He was pretty sure he knew the kind of man Oz was, after all.

He found himself frowning slightly, the grimace of a smile fading from his face as though it had never been.

“Fine,” Xander said after another moment, “For now. But we are going to sit down and talk about this. No details about… stuff!” He announced the last with one hand held up in the universal ‘stop’ gesture. “Tomorrow. After the dinner but before the dancing. Arrange to be free, Oz, or… well, you won’t like it. Okay?”

It would take some rearranging of his schedule, but Oz nodded almost eagerly. It was cool that Xander knew some of the truth, but if he could get the guy on his and Willow’s side, then maybe the rest of it wouldn’t come as such a shock to Giles and the others.

“Just tell me where,” Oz agreed slowly.


“Well?” Buffy demanded worriedly after exchanging one swift kiss with her boyfriend, “What did he say?”

Angel almost wanted to laugh but he had a sneaking suspicion that Buffy wouldn’t take that at all well… or that she would take it too well and then be upset when she heard what had really happened.

He smiled a bit uncertainly as he held her close. He hadn’t been able to spend the night with her, after all, and he’d missed her.

“I’m supposed to ask you. And if you say yes…”

Hazel eyes rolled and Buffy snorted softly and delicately. “I’m saying yes. Now what?”

Angel did laugh then. “No, you’re not. You’re saying yes later tonight. After I ask you very romantically, with all the attendees as witnesses. So look surprised, love… and remember to gush over the ring.”

The fact that Angel was kissing her long and hard was the only thing that kept Buffy from laughing as well. She did wonder about the ring, of course, because Angel had told her he’d bought it himself nearly a week earlier, and since Heinrich had given Darla the family ring when they’d married and the couple had disappeared along with their yacht so many years earlier, it couldn’t be the famous Aurelius diamond. But Angel insisted that he wanted to surprise her, and… if she didn’t like it, Buffy knew Angel would replace it with one she really wanted.

Her arms tightened around his big body, her hands resting at the small indentations just above his buttocks… and when he finally straightened, pulling his lips from hers, she smiled. “I’ll look as surprised as I was last night,” she promised, “but tell me what they said.”

Buffy sighed silently as Angel explained.

If her father and Uncle Ethan really meant all that, it would be months before Angel was really hers!

Of course, it could take even longer to plan a wedding, she reminded herself, and if she started right away…

Her lips twitched into a sly grin and she laughed softly, already picturing flights of doves and horse-drawn carriages.

Angel nearly groaned when he saw the wicked smile on his girl’s face. She was plotting again. Of course, he’d enjoyed her plots so far, so… yeah. Let her scheme. As long as it ended up with them married and together, he didn’t mind at all.

Part Twenty-Four

The proposal had been beautiful, Xander admitted, and so had Buffy’s daintily tear-streaked face.

Of course, he wasn’t entirely sure of whether the tears had been because she was going to be getting married or were due to the three carat diamond claddagh ring Angel had offered her.

Either way, his sister seemed to be happy, and while he still couldn’t say he liked Liam Aurelius, he realized that he didn’t really have to. After all, it wasn’t like they’d be spending that much time together, even with the guy being Will’s brother.

So on the whole, Xander was happy for Buffy and wished her well.

His main concern at the moment was William, however, because ever since the dancing portion of the evening had become an impromptu engagement party, Will had been acting… strangely. So strangely, in fact, that Xander had felt the need to pull his love outside and wrap his arms tightly around him, his head bowed just a little to press his lips softly into the crook of William’s neck.

“Come on, baby,” he murmured quietly, “tell me what’s wrong, okay? We can’t make it better if we don’t try, right?”

William sighed and shook his head. “Don’t think it’s something that can be made better, luv. Just… jealous, I suppose. Of them. Angel. Buffy.” He sighed again. “Them. I’ll get over it, yeah?”

The only thing Xander could think of in that moment was Willow’s question the first night he’d been back. ‘Are you gonna marry him?’ she’d said, and while he’d never really thought about it because they were guys, what else could Will be jealous about?

Was his love worried that Xander didn’t feel as strongly for him as Angel did for Buffy? Or was it something more?

“Will… baby, I… you know I love you, right? I… hell, I should have asked before but I didn’t want you to think I was a big girl, you know?” He blushed. “Especially,” he mumbled, face hot against Will’s cooler neck, “you know… considering how much I love it when you, um… do me.”

And just like that, William was laughing at his slightly younger lover.

“Bloody hell! Xander! I don’t want to get married, for God’s sake! Not like we need that, is it? Know where I stand, and…” He laughed a bit more when embarrassed brown eyes met his. “It’s just… there isn’t anyone on the face of this earth who’s going to look at your sister with that tacky bloody rock on her finger and think she’s available, is there? I… bloody hell. I want that.” William’s brow furrowed. “And I’m not explaining this well at all. It’s simply that…” He sighed, defeated.

“You want jewelry,” Xander finished with a grin that felt like it was going to break his jaw if it got any wider. “So everyone knows, right? So that anyone—guy or girl—who sees you knows you’re taken. By me.” And fuck if Xander didn’t want that too, all of a sudden.

Hell, if he had a ring on William, even that fucker Lindsey would know just how taken Will was, and that was important because Xander had a feeling that the bastard would eventually realize just what he’d thrown away, and…

“As soon as we get home, baby,” he whispered, his mind made up completely and irrevocably by the sudden blush William was sporting. “Maybe we’ll have some sort of little… ceremony or something, too. Nothing official, because… well, it’s Texas, right? But… rings. Words. Party. Then you and me, lover… and when I call you mine, you’ll know I mean it.”

William blinked quickly, willing the entirely too emotional tears away. “R-rings? Did you say… as in plural…?” His heart tripped helplessly. If he’d heard correctly, then Xander was offering something he’d never even considered asking for. He wanted it, though. Wanted that. Not a wedding as such, but… some sign that they were both unavailable.

This time, it was Xander who was laughing. “Rings… a tattoo on my ass saying ‘property of Will’… whatever. Because I’m not letting you go, baby. It’s like I told you that night I first rode you. You’re stuck with me.”

Long, pale fingers tangled in silken sable locks and William smiled. “Best present I ever got, luv. And I’m going to work harder with Cordy. Going to get my leg all better for you, yeah?” He cocked his head and smiled wider. “Might even see what can be done about the scars, too. Plastic surgery may be up to the task now. Making leaps and bounds in that field, they are.”

‘Dear God… let that fucker Lindsey get what he deserves,’ Xander prayed desperately, even while he grasped the back of William’s head and kissed him breathless.

“Don’t you dare have your scars even touched, William,” he ordered, eyes pleading as he pulled back to meet blue that looked shocked by the words. “They’re a part of what made you into the man I met near I-35 that night… a part of what shaped you and formed you into you.”

The hand that had been on William’s side rose to the pale, beautiful face, fingertips stroking lightly at the slow tears that fell from disbelieving eyes.

“I know you were Spike Martin,” Xander went on slowly. “Cordelia made me watch every tape she could get of your games when we were in school. After your accident, I mean, because she was so fascinated by what happened. Hell, I knew you looked kinda familiar when we met, but I couldn’t figure out why… All that aside, baby… I never wanted Spike. Even with me being gay and with him being so… you know, almost as beautiful as you, but with less character.” He shrugged. “My point… and I do have one, baby, is that…”

God, William thought he was going to pass out. Xander didn’t want him to have the scars removed, and somehow his bloke had always known who he was…? But no, that didn’t make any sense because he would have known… would have felt it if Xander had just been trying to satisfy some odd urge to be with a ‘celebrity’, no matter how former the fame might have been, and… and maybe he’d only found out when he’d discovered who William really was, but even so, that wasn’t a part of his life that he wanted to remember or be reminded of and that had been all about Lindsey and him—and close to three hundred other random blokes and chits in the years it had lasted—but there wasn’t a ‘Lindsey and him’ anymore and he was glad of it and…

Xander swallowed hard and bit his lip just a little before forcing himself to go on in the face of William’s obvious distress.

“My point is…” he smiled shakily, leaning back against the stone balustrade of the balcony and pulling William flush against him, “if you’d never had the accident; if you’d never gotten those scars? We wouldn’t be here right now, Will.”

The blond blinked slowly, his eyes going wide, then narrowing, then widening again as he realized the truth of Xander’s words. “But…”

“But nothing.”

The words left Xander’s lips without even a thought.

“You would still be some arrogant, irritating, annoying bastard. You’d be fucking everything that moved and wouldn’t care about anyone but yourself and we never would have met because ‘Spike Martin’ never would have been on that road in the first place, so…” Xander sighed and hoped his next words wouldn’t drive an irremovable wedge between himself and his lover but he had to be entirely honest.

“I’m glad you had that accident, Will. I am! And I’m glad that you had to go through all those months—years!—of pain just to walk again! I’m glad that Lindsey-fucking-MacDonald is such a huge fucking moron that he couldn’t see what he had and abandoned you! And mostly…”

Xander sighed, sure that he was going to lose his lover forever… or go to Hell for what he knew was still coming out of his mouth.

“Most of all, I’m glad that you have those scars, William. Glad that you were so worried about them that you never let anyone touch you for those years between him and me. And just so you know, baby… I’ve never seen them as ugly. They’re just… a sign of your strength and your will to survive. And I love them. I… I’m glad you have those scars, Will. And a classic car that breaks down more often than not. I never would have had the chance to know you—love you—otherwise. And I’ll never love anyone else like this. Not ever. I don’t think I could even if we hadn’t gone for coffee that night.”

He’d been about to break and run—or try to, considering his bloke’s hold on him—right up until he’d heard those last words.

William didn’t really want to do anything but be offended and hurt and disgusted that Xander was happy about the hell he’d been through, but… a part of him had already considered it, apparently—the fact that everything he’d lived through had brought him to his love, he meant.

So in part, he was offended, hurt and disgusted… but the more he thought about it, the more he realized that his bloke was right.

The accident hadn’t been fun at all; neither had everything he’d gone through just trying to recover as much as possible.

Lindsey’s reaction to his ‘healed’ body had been heartrending and had broken him in more ways than he’d realized.

But now… now, here he was with Xander.

Xander, who didn’t mind his scars—and in fact had demanded that he leave them be.

Xander, who with no reason to lie had stated plainly that Spike wasn’t to his tastes.

Xander, who had made no secret of the fact that he wanted Will for Will— scars, quirks, bizarre mood swings and all.

Xander… who loved him and wanted to exchange rings with him. Who wanted to keep him. Who had never been anything other than loving and tender and sweet with him, except when William had wanted him to be loving and rough and demanding, anyway, and…

He pulled away, rather amazed when his bloke let him do so.

His eyes darted around the balcony, finally lighting on an almost hidden stone staircase in the far corner that ran up the side of the house.

“Where does that go?” William asked suddenly, his body already missing the pressure of Xander’s against it. “It seems a rather convenient way of leaving the main rooms without being seen.”

The brunette frowned deeply as his lover’s words registered.

He’d just spilled every secret thought he’d had and William was wondering about a staircase? Well, obviously, though it didn’t seem to bode well for ‘happily ever after’.

Still, he couldn’t ignore Will’s question, and so Xander sighed.

“It’s a direct route to the third floor, William,” he said sadly. “It’d be closer to go back the way you came. You know, for leaving and stuff. But you could stick to the edges of the room. I doubt anyone would see you unless you wanted them to.”

He held back his deep sobs at knowing he’d lost.

Blue eyes widened and William couldn’t help taking his bloke’s hands tightly in his own while he swallowed hard and made himself say what he’d never thought he would.

“I’m glad I had the accident too, Xander. Because you’re right. I wouldn’t be here and I wouldn’t have you to love and to love me, and… it would be incredibly rude to rush through the Ballroom right now, so I thought we might use those stairs to…”

From broken to brand new in just three point four seconds. It was a new record, Xander figured.

Of course, the speed with which he scooped up his love and ran up those stone stairs was likely another record, though he doubted Guinness would care.

“Will,” he whispered, laying the blond down on his bed mere minutes later, “God, Will…”

William smiled and started shimmying out of his clothes, well aware of what the heated look in Xander’s dark eyes meant.

“Might have to insist upon that tattoo, though,” Will admitted while he watched Xander rip fabric without care in his desperate effort to become as naked as William was. “Of course, it goes both ways, pet… and I don’t have a problem with having ‘Xander’s only’… oooomf!.. on my rear.”

Xander couldn’t hold back his smile. Hell, he’d been grinning when he’d pounced, and Will had barely even marked it.

One hand slid down, spreading tight, toned cheeks and finding the goal hidden there.

“How about we just have rings… and rings inked on, baby?” Xander growled wantonly as he stretched his lover carefully despite his desperate need. “Wouldn’t want your ass or mine too tender for weeks on end…”

And as that was something William completely agreed on, he simply nodded… then cried out loudly as his bloke slid to flush, filling him the way only he could.

“Xan… y-yes…! Yes!”



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