Pairings: Eventual Spike/Xander but slow going.
Rating: K+ for now and just to be on the safe side.
Disclaimer: Not mine, never been mine. Just borrowing chacters here and there.
Warnings: HP crossover; Slashing of the male characters; Writing in Progress
Summary: Sometimes things happen beyond your control.
Previous chapters: Prologue
Notes: Finally felt inspired enough to pound out the next chapter. I hope it does not disappoint. I was unsure how to proceed and this is how it eventually came out.
Spoilers: (BtVS) Post series. (HP) Pre-series... AU; veers off from original storyline.
It has always been like this.
Evans, his bright little boy, would come home from school and hesitate at the door before coming over to give him a shy hug. Every afternoon, Alex would relish that strange tingle of awe that skittered up his arms into his heart, when those skinny arms would wrap loosely about his neck. His arms would wind themselves carefully around the rather small delicate body and Alex would breath in the soft scent of baby shampoo that still clung to those raven locks. Green eyes would peek at him curiously from beneath shaggy bangs because no matter how many times Alex attempted to cut them straight, they would look exactly the same the very next morning.
He pretends to not notice that if and when Evans speaks there is a tinge of an English accent to it just like.... someone? Someone he thinks he once knew but can only see books upon dusty books and eventually shakes his head to clear the images. He cannot remember ever meeting a girl with green eyes but neither can he remember exactly when Evans entered his life. Alex assumes that Evans has always been with him but cannot shake the feeling that the assumption is wrong. They both ignore the fact that there are no pictures of them together; nowhere in his tiny little apartment. Alex does not comment, and Evans does not ask.
Alex thinks that when he first moved here, he could have sworn it was a one bedroom apartment. Obviously he is wrong because a little bit down from the bathroom there is a room, half the size of his, decorated and filled with Evans stuff.
It is an odd little room that does not really match the rest of the apartment. A twin bed sits in the very center, the head shoved up and below a single window. The comforter stretched neatly on top has an odd pattern of little gold balls with wings. There is a single poster of an owl taped carefully to the forest green wall and nothing else. Strewn around the floor is random bits of socks, papers, and some toys.
Alex feels pretty confident that that room does not truly belong there. But again, that feeling is quickly banished into a locked part of himself.
In the mornings they eat together. Evans likes his eggs scrambled with a pinch of sugar, some milk, and a little bit of salt. Alex knows this but Evans acts surprised every morning he has had it. Alex gets a little tinge of pleasure from the pleased expression on his son's face.
When he feeds Evans, clouds of confusion puffs half-heartedly through his mind. He cannot understand nor explain why Evans always curls slightly but protectively over his plate. But as soon as the confusion comes, it disappears buried deeply in a place he can never quite reach. He drinks orange juice like he has never had it before and blinks in confusion at the pop tart on the side of his plate. Alex does not draw attention to this continuing to inhale his own pop tart. There is a Twinkie in his cabinet calling his name but he must set a good example for Evans. No junk food for breakfast.
When Evans leaves for his bus stop after breakfast, Alex makes sure to slowly hug him and tell him he loves him. Evans always blinks before giving him a slow sweet smile and stutters the words back. He pats his son's head and shoos him out the door.
When the door shuts behind Evans, Alex is suddenly feeling very lost. He drifts over to the window and peers outside. Down a ways, he can just barely make out streetlights. They switch rapidly- green, yellow, red. The red light makes him blink. A finger taps absently on the glass as the image of red willows swaying gently to the Star Wars theme fills his head. It does not make any sense and he cannot form a connection. He thinks it has something to do with dusty books but cannot tell. A dull throbbing pain in the back of his eye makes him shake the images out of mind.
Alex leaves the window, the red light fading from his mind, wispy images of willows swaying in the wind stubbornly clinging but those too, fade. In the bathroom, he prepares for the day. He brushes his teeth quickly before rinsing and spitting. When he looks up into the mirror though, he does not know the face staring back at him.
Plain brown eyes, average nose, slightly full lips a little turned down at the corners and drooping eyes. It is not until a sudden twitch from his head has a lock of hair falling down to cover an eye that it feels a little better. One side of his vision is blocked and for some reason that feels right. He lifts a hand to smear the mirror so that his image is obscured. He does not want to see himself.
His closet holds clothes that he cannot imagine on himself, but they must be his, they were after all, his size. So he prepares himself to go to work. Carefully folded black dress pants are pulled impatiently on. Most of the button up shirts hanging in his closest are dull blues or bright whites but he manages to dig out a loud blue and purple striped shirt. Over that is a colorful brown and yellow knit vest. Mix-matched socks go on each feet before he forgoes the dress shoes in favor of sneakers. Alex is satisfied when he looks in the mirror. The colors clash horribly but he has never felt better.
The library is two blocks down from his apartment so he walks. When he gets there, the receptionist eyes him oddly but gestures an absent wave that Alex takes as hello. All he does today is put away books and he feels so comfortable in this duty that he blanks out working on automatic. It is a boring job.
Throughout the day, Alex feels his hands twitch at odd moments, like they were meant to do something else. He sees and feels the callouses on his hands. He knows a librarian should not have those kinds of callouses.
Throughout the morning until he leaves, he never sees anyone come in but there are always so many books to shelve.
Alex makes sure to leave at four sharp. It takes him ten minutes to walk home to his apartment. It takes him five to chill himself down and be in the kitchen when his son gets home.
Like clockwork, the lock clacks loudly before the knob turns and the door swings open. His son is home. Evans hesitates at the door first. It is not until Alex crouches to his level that Evans will approach like a wary animal a shy smile growing. Little twig thin arms slide around his neck and Alex will breath a sigh of relief.
Together they will prepare dinner. While preparing dinner, Alex will chatter and joke about his day. Evans listens attentively helping out where he can. He never says much but always offers the ghost of a smile at every joke. Alex does not know how to cook beyond making scrambled eggs. For dinner, he digs in his freezer and gets lucky. He finds a ready to oven meatloaf prepackage. So he lets Evans tear open the box while he preheats the oven. He even lets his son poke holes in the film on top before popping it in the oven. It is only slightly burnt after fourty-five minutes and he is considerate enough to cut and give Evans only the good parts. When Evans is away at the sofa staring in fascination at the 'telly' Alex sneaks a Twinkie to get rid of the slightly burnt taste on his tongue.
He makes Evans do his homework at six every night. The instant the sun begins to set though, Alex will begin to fidget and walk the perimeter of his apartment. He checks that the windows are shut and locked. He would close the curtains, or draw the blinds tight. The door has three other locks besides the main one with a medium sized silver cross hanging on it. Alex does not think he is a very religious person but can never get himself to remove it. Each lock is carefully put in place on the door. Evans ignores all of this in favor of watching Sponge bob.
Evans is put to bed around eight and Alex always tells him a bed time story. Every time it is about a superhero who saves people by slaying and defeating evil creatures. Whether male or female, the superhero's name is always Buffy.
When he himself lays down to sleep, he will dream about vampires. The good, the bad, and the downright fugly. Willows with red leaves and a bleeding heart carved into the trunk. It rains dusty old tomes around him. Two sprites dance drifting like a mirage in front, barely visible with wheat blond hair curling around their pale faces. He looks about him. There is a yellow school bus, the wrenching feeling of loss and a large empty hole in front. There is a blond man, hollowed cheeks, blue blue eyes glittering like jewels. He has a different English accent but he always goes up in flames embraced in darkness and the sky collaspes. In the background, trembling softly at first but growing in strength, something giggles in high pitched hiccuping gasps; two bright green eyes flare into life in the shadows drilling into him. A beautiful woman will reach out from the darkness, inky black hair like oil moving in the darkness. At first her arms wind gently around him but then when she kisses him, her grip turns vicious, her mouth opens and she tries to suck out his soul. When he jerks awake, his heart is pounding and he is sweating tangled in his sheets.
Alex would immediately pretend to be sleeping when his door opens and a small body slips inside. He snores every so often ignoring the slight dip of the bed and the curling warmth of a child's body curling against his. But his hand does tighten around the small hand wiggling into his. And he wont say, but Alex is actually quite glad for the company and when he sleeps again, it is better and dreamless.
The next day when he looks in the bathroom mirror, he still does not recognize the face in the mirror. He thinks maybe he is missing something but cannot fathom what it is and shrugs off the concern.
He tells himself that it has always been like this. But in his heart, he thinks maybe it has not.