The Fandom: BtVS
Pairing: Canon through S5, implied Spander.
Disclaimer: If I made money from bad fanfic, would I still need a job?
Summary: Xander wouldn't just leave her! There was something terribly wrong! She needed ice cream, and Hugh Grant movies, and maybe a mud-mask courtesy of her female friends... Warnings for mild implied Spander.
Rating: PG
Warnings: Aside from goofiness and potential spelling mistakes? none.
Notes: This was part of a much larger, much more depressing story, but I'm re-writing that and this amused me too much to let it go so I stuck an ending on it and am calling it 'humor.'
Feedback: Do the yuppies dig their Starbucks?

The Break Up

Rayne Jelly

Willow's door was trying to shake off its hinges. Groggily she peeked around the swell of Tara's shoulder to glare at her alarm clock on the suspected charge of not getting her up on time, only to find that it wasn’t quite seven AM and the innocent clock wasn't supposed to chirp until nine. That didn't help the problem with the door though. "Tara... Tara wake up I think it's a home invasion."

"S'Anya..." Tara mumbled from beneath her cocoon of blankets, trying to burrow deeper as the piercing voice of the rattling door got louder.

"I know you're in there! I know Buffy walked you home last night! We need to talk! Let me in!"

"Shut up!" Came the bellow from the West wall of the room, causing the door to temporarily switch targets.

"Hey! I am right in the middle of a crisis here buster! You don't get to tell me to shut up! You shut up!"

"Lady... I don't care if the world is ending. It's seven o'clock in the morning. Shut the hell up!"

The door gasped. "Do you think it's an apocalypse? Really? That would explain everything! Willow! Open the door, the world is ending again!"

"Time to get up." Tara said gently, awake and already sliding in to pyjamas behind the silk screen that marked their closet space.

Willow, who had never been in the habit of sleeping naked fell out of bed and stumbled across the wasteland of their room to open the door, nearly stepping on Miss Kitty Fantastico as she did. "Morning Anya. Tea? Coffee? Sedative?"

"Oh thank god you're home. Xander's breaking up with me."

"Huh. Can't imagine why," Was Willow's dry response before her brain caught up with recent events. "Wait? What? Xander broke up with you?" Tara was shuffling around making coffee, truly the woman was a goddess in disguise.

"You don't have to sound so happy about it you know." Anya sniffed indignantly, "That sort of attitude might hurt my feelings."

"Sorry... er..." She flailed for a moment trying to switch gears to deal with Anya, as far as she knew Xander and Anya were perfectly happy, well, in as much as they ever were. Life with Anya was a constant mystery; Willow wouldn't have been surprised if that relationship were coming to an end out of sheer momentum. "But... when did this happen? Xander didn't say anything about wanting to break up. Are you sure?"

"I do have some experience in these things you know!" Tara pressed a kiss to her cheek and coffee into her hand, sweet and milky just the way she liked it – goddess. Anya's indignant face reappeared "Excuse me, some of us are feeling bereaved and other people being lovey dovey is hurtful. Xander broke up with me, so I came to my female friends. You're supposed to comfort and embrace me – we're supposed to watch girly movies and eat ice cream until I feel better."

Tara came to the rescue then, taking Anya gently by the elbow and leading her to a seat on the bed while Willow stood by blinking stupidly at the side of seven am that she hadn't seen since high school. They hadn't gotten in until past two and even then they'd all been covered in demon slime so between showers and repeated scrubbings neither Willow nor Tara managed to crawl into bed until three. Four hours later the evidently inexhaustible Anya was pounding at their door, Willow was still trying to catch up. Her brain was convinced that she was asleep and dreaming this while her body was absolutely certain she was awake and not happy about it.

"What happened exactly?" Tara was asking, her arm around Anya's shoulder. There was a box of tissues between them but Anya wasn't crying, instead she was nervously shredding a sheet of tissue that Miss Kitty batted at. Willow plunked herself down on the floor and dragged Miss Kitty into her lap, prepared to listen to whatever Anya had misunderstood so she could get back to sleep.

"Xander and I were fighting because he forgot our 48 week anniversary. I was ready to be the bigger person and forgive him, but he wasn't there!"

"Forty... eight? Anya, did Xander know you were having an anniversary?"

Willow caught herself wondering if 48 had any particular demonic significance before Anya answered. "I shouldn't have to warn him about these things. Forty eight is a perfectly reasonable number. It's not my fault he forgot it. And don't give me that look, the woman picks an anniversary, the man forgets it, they fight, and I get called to the scene. I know how these things work. I've seen it hundreds of times."

"Well... yeah, but usually anniversaries happen once a year, not once every forty eight weeks..."

"Is it my fault that Earth years are illogical?"

"What do you mean he wasn't there?" Tara cut in before Willow could begin a lecture on earth years being perfectly logical if looked at on a four or twenty-eight year scale, thank-you-very-much. Privately, Tara agreed that it was simpler when the sun went around the Earth once a day and people were grateful for it.

"I mean, he wasn't there. He's packed up, moved on. I've been given to understand that's what this culture does when a relationship ends. One person packs and moves away, the other stays and cries a lot. I don't like to cry so I'm not going to do it, but that's how it works."

"That's... usually only when people live together, honey." Tara explained patiently. "You didn't live together, so there would be no reason for Xander to move away. Are you sure he was gone?"

"Yes! It was very disappointing. I wanted sex and he wasn't there to provide it."

"Gah." Willow added to the conversation, prompting an amused look from Tara that clearly read 'you don't have a lot of room to talk.'

"He broke up with me!" Anya wailed again and finally gave into the urge to start crying. The West wall of the room yelled "Shut up!" again.

"But why would all of his things be gone?" Tara, ever the voice of reason, asked mildly.

"It's traditional!"

They ignored this. "For that matter, when was the last time that we saw Xander?"

Anya sniffled a bit as they all gave the question some thought, Willow spoke first. "It was... I know he missed the Scooby meeting, but I thought he had to work."

"He has most evenings off these days, I don't know where he was because we were fighting, remember?"

"And usually he calls if he's not gonna make it. But he was at the meeting before that, right?"

Another sniffle, "No. He has to work late on Tuesday nights until the shift manager can get there. You really ought to know this by now."

Willow winced, feeling like a bad friend. "I know he was at the meeting before that, because there were definite signs of Xander with the joke about the Space-Time continuum and the donut powder everywhere, but... I don't think I've seen him since then."

"That was last Thursday... So we haven't seen him for a week." Tara concluded mildly, inciting instant missing-friend panic in Willow. She leapt to her feet, eliciting a yowl of rage from Miss Kitty and raced to her computer while Tara asked "Anya... when was the last time you spoke to Xander?"

"Monday night. We were fighting, like I said. I kicked him out and that was the last time I saw him."

"Any time in the last four days then..." Willow said distractedly, the screen on her monitor scrolling faster than either bystander could read. "There's no sign of an Alexander Harris in the county morgue, and none of the John Does fit his description..."

"You don't think he's dead, do you?" Anya asked, perking up in a way that disturbed the room's occupants. "Because if he's dead then I don't have to be sad and angry."

"I don't think he's dead! I'm just... making sure."

"You do! You think he's dead! You think he's dead and you're just lying to protect my feelings. For the first time ever. Or you don't think he's dead and you think he's run off with some trollop and you're trying to protect him from my wrath."

Willow continued to scroll, serenely reaching for the phone and dialing a very familiar number while Tara set about soothing Anya. "Hello... this is Willow Rosenberg... I'm calling for Alexander Harris."

"I was a vengeance demon for eleven hundred years, I know wrath. And Men! He's been cheating all along, hasn't he? He's been cheating on me."

"No, no Xander hasn't been cheating on you. Anya... he can't even lie about who ate the last Dorito - he hasn't been cheating on you. Probably."

"No... no sir... I don't... Sir... there's no point in yelling at me."

"Are you sure? I mean, you're right he's an awful liar..."

"Remember the time he tried not to tell Giles about the bookshelves in the basement..."

"The time his 18th century manuscript got covered in Buffy's diet Pepsi and we had to re-trace it all from ink-smears?"

"No! I don't know where he is... You know... no! You're... I! He's missing! He might be dead! If he is you'll feel like one big poop head, won't you!" Willow slammed the phone down and made a frustrated noise.

"Is that the boss that has the daily aneurism?" Anya asked delicately, taking in the furious pout on Willow's face.

"Twice daily sounds like. Tara... Xander hasn't been to work since Monday. Can you do a quick locator spell? I'm gonna call Buffy, we've gotta find him."

"So... this means he hasn't broken up with me?"

“Wouldn’t be so sure of that.” Willow said unthinkingly, then backpedaled while Tara went digging in the bedside table for the folded square of muslin and the black sand they used for emergency locator spells. “Uhm… I mean, who knows!? But he’s not in the morgue, so he’s not dead, I mean, he can’t be dead so…”

There was another bang on the door, mercifully shutting off the stream of babble, and the guy on the West wall groaned “Oh for Fuck’s Sake!” the capitals snapping into place with ease, “It’s not even eight o’clock yet!”  

“Maybe it’s Xander!” Anya cheered, shooting off the couch and nearly toppling Willow over in her enthusiasm. She flung the door open with an upset cry of “Alexander Lavelle Harris I am going to… Oh, hi Buffy.”

“His middle name’s Lavelle?” The blonde in the doorway blinked, then shook her head, trying to clear it of the hazy cognizant dissonance left by Anya opening Willow’s door. “Anya? What the…”

“Buffy, you’re here early.” Anya stated frankly, giving her a speculative stare, “Did you hear the bad news about Xander leaving me?”

“Come on in, Buff! Grab some coffee and a yogurt,” Willow called out, and Buffy took the advice, pushing past Anya and skirting the chaos in the dorm room to dig a peach yogurt out of their mini fridge.

Casually she nodded to Tara, who was sitting on the floor trying to keep Miss Kitty from chewing on the candles. “What’s up with the mojo, guys?”

“Xander’s missing.”


“Why’re you here again?” This from Anya, who had gone back to sniffling pitifully on the couch.

“I found a demon. I don’t know what it is, but it handed my ass to me,” Buffy admitted, wincing as she straightened up, “Does Xander missing have anything to do with my demon?”

“I don’t know, do we have anything to do with your demon?” For someone so new to the singles crowd, Anya did catty very well.

“I was hoping one of you’d seen Spike recently, he’s not at his crypt.” Buffy said, by way of explanation. “Why’re you here anyway?”

“I’ve explained this a dozen times, I thought Xander broke up with me.”

“And what, you thought you’d switch teams?” Tara snorted softly, and passed it off as a sneeze when Buffy automatically said “Bless you.”

“Thanks… it’s ready to go. Buffy, do you want us to try to find Spike for you?”

“You can do that?”

Willow snatched up Miss Kitty and dropped her in Anya’s lap, then folded herself down to the floor across the square from Tara, making sure her pajama pants were tucked well away from the cloth. It hadn’t been pretty the last time. “Sure! How do you think we always find you when you’re patrolling with Riley?”

“Huh. Neat.”

“Though… we usually only look for you.” Tara added quietly, flushing.

“But not always, cause sometimes when you say patrol you don’t mean making out.”

“You do make out a lot, I’ve noticed. I find that variety of foreplay unfulfilling – life is too short to fritter it away kissing when there are more stimulating sexual practices involving the tongue. I particularly enjoy it when Xander…”

“Yes! Please find Spike for me.” Buffy cut in quickly, hiding her embarrassment behind a spoonful of peach yogurt. “I’d like to be able to escape this conversation as soon as possible.”

“That really explains a lot…” Willow said thoughtfully, but nobody dared ask ‘about what?’

Tara chanted while Willow poured black sand across the fabric and there was a surge of hot, powerful amber that slipped out of the air and sank into the girls on the floor. Initially it looked like a mess, but soon began coalescing into a shape, lines, and then a city as seen from the bird’s eye. “Spike will be red,” Willow stage-whispered to Buffy, trying not to interrupt her girlfriend, “Xander’s green. Like Christmas!”

Sunnydale bloomed out of the black sand on the muslin, a map without labels, but the University was easily recognizable at the center. Tara murmured something soft, her hands passing over the square and the picture shifted, flowing south from the University across the numerous graveyards and down I-101, stopping suddenly over a cluster of nondescript buildings to reveal a murky brown dot.

“What the hell?” Slipped out of Willow before she could stop it, and she leaned in closer to peer at the map. “That doesn’t make any sense, Tara sweetie, you okay?”

Tara frowned at the picture, but still caught up in the magic she didn’t dare to speak, having to settle for a nod. That was either where Spike and Xander were – together – which seemed impossible, or something had gone off and she was picking up something else. Buffy’s demon, maybe.

“Can you zoom in?”

“This isn’t Google Maps, Anya.” Willow muttered crossly, but the picture was already spreading wide, the sand reconfiguring itself and zooming in on a specific building. The dot didn’t move, and didn’t change, still a strange sort of brown that didn’t make much sense to anyone.

“Ow! Hey! Damned cat!” Miss Kitty had decided that Anya’s pedicure was a threat and needed to be eliminated.

“It looks like…” Buffy peered at the building schematic that had been drawn out before her, seeing into each of the tiny rooms, “A hotel maybe? Can you get closer?”

Tara nodded again and the sand re-formed a final time, expanding and swarming until they were looking at a three-by-three foot replica of a room, now the dot was swimming in their vision, green and red and brown in a strange and intricate dance of color. The dot suddenly split apart into red and green as the red dot moved to the far corner of the fabric – the bathroom – and stood there for a moment before returning to the green dot. “Oh!” Tara said sharply in a moment of understanding, and the picture dissolved completely, the dots disappearing and leaving black sand scattered all over the muslin. “I um…”

“What is it, sweetheart?”

“Is Xander okay?”

“Should I be staking Spike?”

“Huh… uh, no… Th-they’re fine I think uhm…” Tara could feel herself blushing to the roots of her hair. “Very okay I think uh, Xander didn’t say anything about slipping away for the week, uh, at all?”

“Well, yeah.” Anya said stiffly, managing to scoop Miss Kitty up and hold her out at an arms length, “But I assumed he’d be taking me along. Wait, he broke up with me?”

Buffy was the next to get it and blushed furiously as she muttered, “I’m definitely staking Spike.”

“Xander may’ve already done it.” Tara snickered, then almost immediately regretted it when Willow gasped.

The little light had pinged on in the red-head’s brain and she giggled insanely, “You mean! … oh. Oh! That’s… Spike?”

Buffy was much less enthusiastic, “Yeah, oh.”

“What, what oh?”

Ever the conscientious citizen, Willow asked, “Why d’you think Xander didn’t let his boss know he was going?”

“Because his job sucked,” Tara explained with a shrug. “I think they’ve eloped, it’s a little romantic.”

“Is everybody I know gay?”

“What 'oh?' Who’s eloped!?”

“Anya,” Willow said gravely, clapping the frazzled, cat-distracted ex-demon on the shoulder in a show of giddy solidarity while Tara packed up the magical things and Buffy wandered away towards bed to commune with her yogurt, “You have definitely been dumped.”

“Oh.” She gave this a second’s serious consideration, “Damn.”

The End

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