Million Dollar Bachelor

by
Forsaken2003



Part Twenty-Six

Three months had passed and Xander had not seen or heard from William. Of course he’d thought about going to William’s home demanding an explanation but every time he chickened out. He was afraid that the explanation would be what he had feared: William had been more attracted to Lindsey.

Xander adjusted his tie for the fifth time. He had received an invitation for a charity banquet for the animal shelters. It didn’t say who was sponsoring it but they were inviting everyone who had donated food and money to the shelter. After Xander bought Sparky he realized that the shelter could use a little more of everything so he would put a little part of his paycheck aside and donate.

With a sigh he decided he should just stop fiddling and go. He’d never been to a banquet before and was nervous he would stand out. Didn’t rich snotty people go to these things for publicity? Hopefully he wouldn’t make himself look like a fool. He picked up his car keys.

Sparky stretched his muscles; he had just woken up from a nap. He looked at Xander with a tilt of the head. It was obvious that Xander was still upset and missed William. He did too. Walking over, he licked Xander’s hand, wishing somehow that he could help.

“I’m fine,” Xander said reassuring him. “Everything is fine.” If only he believed that himself.

                                                                ***

William hated wearing ties. Why did banquets have to be so formal? Couldn’t they just be casual? Who liked dressing up? It was his own fault; when he set this up it wasn’t like he said casual but he didn’t say formal either so the invitations coordinator decided formal it was. Well there was no way he was going to wear a tux like the rest of these schmucks that had shown up, obviously uncomfortable.

So here he stood greeting everyone wearing a green striped suit, a light pink button down completing it with a darker pink tie with grey polka dots. He needed to stand out didn’t he? He was the one who put the whole thing together after all!

“Miss Calendar how nice to see you again,” William greeted. He took hold of her right hand and placed a gentle kiss on it. She was a pushover and the slightest bit of flirting would make the cheque that much bigger. “You’re looking as beautiful as ever.”

Jenny Calendar giggled. “You’re just saying that!”

“Of course not!” William said, insulted. “If I wasn’t gay you’d be my first choice you know. Steal you away from that husband of yours.”

Jenny lightly slapped him on the chest knowing it was a complete lie but that wouldn’t stop her from adding a few more zeroes to her donation. Her husband had plenty of money, he wouldn’t even notice. “I think my husband would have a problem with that, William.”

“You know I had to try,” William grinned. “I hope you have a wonderful time.” He watched as she walked off and mingled with the other guests. It looked like that was it so he closed the door. Time for his speech.

                                                                      ***

Xander was running late. Traffic had been hell. But what had he been expecting on a Friday night in downtown LA? He jumped out of his truck, slammed the door shut and rushed into the building. The door was already closed. Should he still go in? Was he late, late or fashionably late? How the hell was he supposed to know what fashionably late was? With a deep breath he squared his shoulders and opened the door.

Thankfully, no one seemed to notice him. Everyone’s attention was toward a podium at the front of the room. A man in a horribly ugly suit in Xander’s opinion was speaking. He walked closer and realized it was William. What the hell was he doing there?

“Hello, my name is William Pratt and I’ve invited you here tonight to talk to you about the increase of abandoned and abused animals. Los Angeles has multiple animal shelters but they are unable to produce all the help these stranded animals need. I never really thought about it until I met this extraordinary man a few months back. After that I decided to do some work of my own and realized how badly these animals have been neglected by us all. Sure some of us give a few tins of food a couple times a year, but we have the money that can really help these creatures. Regular checkups, medicines to help fight infections, making sure they have food every day. Helping the good people who run these organizations bring home a little money to their families and hire more people who will be able to spend more than just a few minutes a day with each animal.”

Xander’s mouth dropped open. William put this together because of him?

“These animals never asked to be abandoned or abused. All they want is to love and be loved. I think we all can take a page from everyone who has donated their time and efforts into helping them. To the people who have adopted these animals to finally give them a proper home and family. So today I am asking you to look deep within and ask yourselves ‘Can I really ignore this anymore?’ I hope your answer is no.”

As he spoke a projector lit up and showed pictures of various animals. Dogs, cats, even rabbits. Some had physical scars while others had mental ones, ones that no one would ever see.

“If you would like to make a donation today the wonderful people who run the multiple shelters are here today and ready to have you help them. I think they all deserve a round of applause,” William said and was the first to clap.

The entire room erupted into applause, Xander being one of them. Had William been the one to invite Xander?

“Thank you,” William said with a bright smile. “I hope you enjoy the rest of the evening.” He walked off the stage. A small band began to play. William had definitely thought of everything for this shindig. Multiple people went up to him telling how much they loved his speech and that they were definitely going to be making a contribution.

Xander had no idea what to do. Should he go and say hi? What if William hadn’t invited him and would be upset for him even being there? Maybe a quick exit would be best. Taking several steps backwards he bumped into some of the other guests. “Whoops! Sorry. Sorry about that.”

William turned his head. That sounded like....no it couldn’t have been. He was about to turn back to David Nabbit, a software engineer who made his first millions developing software that allowed blind people be able to surf the internet. He was also big on donating to various causes. William couldn’t stop himself though he had to find out if it was Xander or if maybe he was just going crazy. “David, please excuse me for just one moment,” William said and departed, leaving David confused by the sudden departure.

Looking around William couldn’t spot ‘Xander’. Was he seeing things? “Excuse me did you see a man, hazel eyes, brown hair about yay high?”

“Why yes I did. He ran right out of here as if his life depended on it,” Mrs. Rosenberg answered pointing towards the doors.

William raced out reminding himself to thank Mrs. Rosenberg after. He spotted Xander’s beat up truck easily enough. “Xander! Xander, wait a bloody minute!”

“Shit,” Xander cursed. So close. He turned around and smiled. “Hey, Will. What a coincidence seeing you here. I was just leaving.”

“Xander,” William let out a breath. “You look... good.”

“You too... well not the suit,” Xander said wrinkling up his nose.

William laughed. “I don’t know, I kind of like it. I stick out don’t I?”

“You always stuck out,” Xander said. He crossed his arms and then dropped them to his side. “I should get going. Sparky still hates being alone you know.”

“How is Sparky?” William asked curiously.

“Sparky’s...Sparky,” Xander replied. “It was nice seeing you, William.”

William grabbed Xander’s arm, stopping him from getting into his truck. Stopping Xander from leaving him. “I’ve missed you,” he said in a whisper.

“Yeah?” Xander asked. “I don’t remember you ever trying to contact me.”

“Do you miss me?” William asked, ignoring Xander’s statement.

Xander’s hands turned into fists. How could William even ask him that? “You know I do.”

“Then let’s start over,” William said. “What were the chances that you would show up at my banquet?”

“Start over?” Xander asked. “I’m not playing second fiddle to that fucking lawyer.”

Blue eyes squinted with confusion. “Second fiddle? What the blazes are you talking about, pet?”

A shudder ran down Xander’s back. He’d missed that nickname. “You made it clear that it was Lindsey you wanted.”

“And when exactly did I decide that?” William asked.

“When did...” Xander started at him in astonishment. “When you ended the fucking game when you realized what a douchebag Lindsey was!” he shouted.

“It wasn’t a game,” William said. “Do you truly believe I could have picked someone like Lindsey over you?”

Xander narrowed his eyes. “You did when you kicked me out. I should have listened to Jesse. It had been a bad idea.”

“You stupid sod,” William said. “That had nothing to do with you. Lindsey was supposed to be there looking for love and all he saw was my money.”

“I didn’t,” Xander replied.

William placed a hand on Xander’s cheek. “No, you didn’t. I’m sorry I hurt you. That was never my intention but I had to end it. I had to forget about all of it. Just move on.”

“And how did that work for you?” Xander asked. “I can tell you I haven’t.”

“It’s been hell,” William confessed. “All I bloody do is work on my book. That and plan this.” He waved toward the building.

Xander looked back toward the building. All those people in there making donations to help animals like Sparky. “Why did you do this?”

“Because it was the right thing to do,” William replied. “Before you and Sparky came along I never thought much of it.” He shrugged. “I’m sorry, Xan.”

“I am too,” Xander replied. “It’s not all your fault. I should have fought but I thought it was Lindsey you wanted.”

William shook his head. “It would never have been Lindsey. But you... I knew from the first night I laid eyes on you that you were the one.”

Xander stepped in closer. “Sparky’s missed you.”

“I’ve missed him too,” William said. “Missed you more though,” he mumbled and kissed Xander.

There was no stopping. Xander kissed him back. Finally he pulled away. “So does that mean I win?”

“You win,” William confirmed.

“Does that mean we can go home now?” Xander asked.

William smiled. Home. “Buffy and Liam will be happy to see you. Especially Buffy.”





Part Twenty-Seven

Buffy decided the house needed a good cleaning and since William was out for the night it would be the perfect time. She loved him but he always got in the way. Of course she took charge and ordered Liam to clean the bathrooms. She knew she’d pay for it. While she was washing the floors she heard the door open. That better not be Liam trying to sneak out!

“Hello?” Buffy called. She jumped when she saw William. “William! Are you trying to give me a heart attack?” Buffy crossed her arms while scolding him. “What are you doing home so early from your own banquet?”

“Sorry, ducks,” William said looking chastened. “Something came up.”

Buffy looked at him. “Please tell me you did not think of something new for that book of yours. You need to get out of this house every so often you know!”

“I brought you a present, but if you don’t want it,” William said and turned mostly to hide his smirk. Three...two...one.

“Wait!” Buffy yelled. “What kind of present?”

William turned back around. “Come on in!”

Sparky rushed in, his leash dragging behind him. He stopped to sniff everything.

“William...” Buffy stared at Sparky. “Please tell me you didn’t steal Xander’s dog.”

“William may be the sexiest man alive but I’d take him down in a heartbeat over Sparky,” Xander said strolling in to stand beside William.

Buffy squealed so loud that it made Sparky crawl under the table and attempt to cover his ears.

Liam rushed down. “What’s wrong?” He ended up slamming into Xander. “Xander!”

“Hey!” Xander said grabbing onto him to stop him from teetering over. “How’s it going?”

“All right...you?” Liam asked, looking from Xander to William to Buffy who just shrugged at him.

“I’m great,” Xander said with a smile.

Buffy put her hands on her hips. “What’s going on here? How did this happen?”

“Xander was at the banquet tonight,” William told them.

“So you two are together?” Liam asked, making sure he understood what was going on.

William smiled for the first time in months. “Yes.”

“We both decided that we were idiots,” Xander said.

“I told you that!” Buffy huffed.

Xander and William went over to her and each gave her a peck on the cheeks. “We will never doubt you again.”

“I expect to have that in writing,” Buffy said. “Have you guys told each other yet?”

“Told each other what?” Xander asked

“Buffy...” Liam warned. Why couldn’t that girl just mind her own business?

Buffy ignored him of course. “That you love each other! You’ve both confessed it to me. I think it’s time you confessed it to one another. Don’t you?”

“What I think is that it’s time for bed,” William said bypassing her question. “Should we take Sparky out one last time for the night?”

Xander frowned that William ignored Buffy’s question. “Yeah.”

“So Xander is staying the night?” Buffy asked, pushing further.

“Yes, and get your head out of the gutter,” William ordered her. “Why don’t you two go home? We’ll see you in the morning.”

Liam put his hand over Buffy’s mouth to stop any more questions. “We can finish up in the morning. Good night.” And he had to literally drag her out of the house.

Sparky was already at the door waiting for them. William opened the door and Sparky dashed out and headed for his tree.

“So you told Buffy you loved me?” Xander asked as he watched Sparky run around the tree trying to find the exact right spot to do his business.

“Not in so many words,” William said looking as Xander has he watched Sparky. “You told her you loved me?”

Sparky squatted and it was time to give him some privacy. “Yeah.”

“I never expected to fall so fast. The moment I saw you though, I couldn’t help it,” William admitted. “Didn’t think I’d ever get the chance to tell you, but yeah I do love you.”

“I’m going to sound so gay right now but after the last few months of hell I don’t really care. Never believed in love at first sight, I thought it was just fairytale crap for little girls. I only knew you for a few days but the moment I laid eyes on you I knew I loved you,” Xander declared.

“Would you kiss already?!” Buffy yelled in frustration. She somehow had managed to get away from Liam. No doubt he’d be walking funny for the next few days.

William smiled. “Want to do as the girl says?”

“Sounds like the best fucking idea I’ve ever heard,” Xander said. He pulled William flush against him. After a few minutes of kissing they pulled away. “You know Sparky is sleeping in our room right?”

“Fine by me, luv,” William said.

Sparky bounded over to them when he heard his name.

“Looks like we’re home,” Xander told Sparky.

Sparky barked in agreement. He just hoped they went to pick up all of his toys.




Epilogue

 

 One year later:

The party was a hit. Buffy the Vampire Slayer became an instant hit. A strong-willed girl with super powers who keeps a small town safe from vampire and demons alike all the while trying to have a social life with her friends who also help her keep the demon population down and who is dating a souled vampire who is looking for redemption for himself. What was not to like about it?

Spike was of course still in it. He and Drusilla ended up in the same town for two reasons. The most important reason was to find a cure for Drusilla. The second was for Spike to bag himself a third slayer. He soon discovered that she was different from the others. With friends at her side Buffy could face anything that was thrown at her.

“William, my boy!” Rupert Giles came over. “How in the world did you come up with such a unique idea?”

“I had a few friends who helped me,” William confessed.

Rupert smiled at that. Friends were always a wonderful inspiration. “I’m glad to hear that,” he said. “Now how are you and Xander doing?”

It was William’s turn to smile. “Great. I’m happier than I ever was. He is an amazing man.”

“And to think people thought you were crazy for that little stunt.”

“William is crazy but that’s one of the things I love about him,” Xander interrupted. He held out a glass of champagne for William. “Everyone is talking about how amazing the book is.”

Rupert watched as Xander wrapped his arm around William’s waist. Xander had definitely been a good influence on him. “Of course they are my dear boy! There are rumors about wanting to make them into movies.”

Xander jaw dropped. “Movies?”

William chuckled at Xander’s reaction. “It’s nothing new, luv. Lots of books get turned into movies.”

“But it’s your books, Will! That is amazing!” Xander kissed William on the cheek. “I’m proud of you.”

“You’re my inspiration, Xan. I couldn’t have made this last book as big a success as it is if it wasn’t for you,” William told him.

Rupert excused himself. They didn’t need him there hovering around.

“It was all you baby,” Xander whispered. “I’m just the cheerleader... male cheerleader,” he corrected himself. “Where’s Buffy and Liam?”

William grinned. “Buffy is enjoying the limelight.” He pointed over to Buffy who was being asked questions about the book and the fact that the lead character was strongly based off of her.

“That was really cool you know,” Xander said.

“Who would have been a better person to have as a bossy, strong-willed heroine?” William asked with a chuckle.

Xander grinned. William was right. “So now that the book is out what’s next?”

“I figured since this book has become such a success I think a book tour would be in order,” William confirmed.

“A book tour?” Xander asked with confusion. “You mean traveling all over the country signing books and reading chapters in book stores and stuff?”

“Yes. I’ve never done one before I think it would be an interesting experience for us,” William said with a smile.

Xander looked even more confused. “Us?”

“I would like you to come with me, luv. What do you say?” William asked, looking hopeful. A book tour would be a huge step in his career but he didn’t want to leave Xander for what could possibly be months.

“I think I’ll have to tell my boss I am on sabbatical,” Xander said with a sigh of relief. The thought of William leaving him and Sparky behind was like a donkey kicking him in the gut. “I’ve got at least a month worth of vacation time stored up. Plus I never did get to travel across America and who better to do that with than you?”

William beamed at Xander’s answer. “I’ll have Rupert set it all up. I figure driving would be best, I don’t see Sparky doing too well in a kennel and traveling alone by plane.”

“You are the sweetest, you know,” Xander said.

“Well, Sparky has me wrapped around his paw now and I’d hate to have him feel as if we didn’t want him around.” He was rewarded with a kiss for that. William loved making Xander happy.

Xander took a sip of his champagne. He thought back to the last year of his life. It had changed so much but at the same time it hadn’t. He still had his job that he loved. There was no way he was going to live off of William’s money, though it was nice when William showered him with gifts but it was give and take.

The only thing he would change if he could was the three months they had lost but that was the past and there was nothing that could be done about that. All they could do was live in the now and Xander was happy with his life. And he couldn’t wait to get out on the road with his family to see what kind of adventures they would find on the way.



The End