Making A Quick Decision

By Saber ShadowKitten
And Now For Something Completely Different 28

Tuesday, August 29, 2000

Xander jabbed the buttons on the pay phone as he dialed, little sparks of electricity dancing between his finger and the number pad. The other end of the line rang once and he slammed down the receiver into the cradle. Taking a step back, he grabbed the sides of the phone carroll, dropped his chin to his chest, and took several deep, calming breaths. It wouldn't do him any good to short circuit the phone, or to subject Giles to his bad mood.

"Stupid... idiotic... braindead... vampire." On his lips, the last descriptive sounded more derogatory than the first three.

Xander pushed away from the phone carroll and dropped into a crouch, resting his wrists on his knees. His anger at Spike for being gone so long was warranted. Spike knew Xander had wanted to see his old friends around dinner time and maybe score a free meal. After what had happened at Willy's the night before, Xander had most definitely wanted to see them while the sun was still shining and before Buffy had caught wind of what had occurred. But Spike had blown that plan out of the water by absconding with the bike until almost sunset. Yes, Xander could've walked, but the Hawk was his baby, damn it, and he shouldn't have to. Plus, he wanted to have a fast out, if need be.

The look on Spike's face, though, was what had made Xander the most angry -- angry at himself. Spike's expression of stunned hurt when Xander had yelled at him had slashed Xander to the bone, before Spike had gotten mad in return. The doof was in the wrong, so why shouldn't Xander yell at him? And he didn't even like the jerk, so why should he feel bad if he hurt Spike's feelings?

Xander growled in a passably vampiric manner, causing the actual vampire trying to sneak up on him to scurry away. This was not how Xander had envisioned his homecoming. He wanted to be smothered by his friends in welcoming hugs and kisses and by the excitement to see him. He wanted the girls to fawn over his tanned physique that had other men and women giving him hundreds of dollars to take off his clothing. He wanted to hear that he was missed, that they remembered who he was and wanted him to come home permanently.

What he did not want was to lose his temper at Willy the Snitch's bar; announce to the world that he could kick some major demon tail; act like the jealous boyfriend to his Butlerish vampire; and feel guilty that he'd snapped at Spike. Somehow, Xander was going to blame Angel for the mess that had befallen him. It hadn't been until they'd visited Deadboy that things had started going to pot.

Xander rubbed a hand over his jaw, stood, and picked up the receiver again. Maybe the shitiness of the past few days was a sign that he shouldn't have returned to Sunnydale yet. He could "see" with relative ease, but he had to wear his sunglasses almost all the time. He had control over his wild powers, but he couldn't predict when storms would develop. He could protect himself from the dangers of the night, but he was as weak as a newborn kitten immediately following a storm. He liked being alone, but was upset at himself for possibly sending Spike away.

Making a quick decision, Xander re-deposited his money and dialed. "Hey, Giles. It's Xander... Yeah, I'm going to have to postpone that presentation of the Life and Times of Xander Harris..."