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A lesson Andrew learned from Anya: a season 8 ficlet

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  • A lesson Andrew learned from Anya: a season 8 ficlet

    Author's note: this is set immediately after the end of Wolves at the Gate part III

    Xander hadn't moved from his seat by the window for the past hour, and it seemed now as if an invisible wall had gone down around him. The others didn't want to approach. There was something awful yet sacred at work, and the idea of just going over to him and giving him a hug, or touching his arm, or murmuring something softly to him ? it all seemed like swearing in church. His face was turned away, looking out of the window.

    Buffy and Willow were in the hallway outside peering in through the door, then moving further down the hall, out of earshot. "What can we do? Can we leave him? We can't leave him," said Willow.

    "I don't know what to do, Will. We need to get in this fight. We haven't got time. I have to go."


    Footsteps interrupted Willow. Andrew was hurrying towards them, wearing his military-looking sweater, with his hair cropped shorter than either of them remembered from last time they'd seen him. "Is Xander coming? We need him in on comms?"

    "Andrew. He's just..." began Willow. She sounded appalled. "Renee only died an hour ago."

    "I know. But we need him," said Andrew. "Let me go in? I can get him to come."

    "What makes you think that?" said Buffy.

    "Trust me?" said Andrew, and walked into the room before either of the girls could stop him.

    He walked over to Xander and said something, too quiet for them to hear. He put a hand on Xander's shoulder. Xander shrugged him off, angrily, he turned and Buffy and Willow could see his face. One puffy eye and a tight angry mouth. Blotchy cheeks.

    Andrew muttered something else. There was a moment of silence between them. Xander gritted his teeth, then got quickly to his feet.
    Buffy and Willow made as if they hadn't been listening in as he exited the room. "I'm ready," he said. His jawline was grim, but he looked steady, somehow. "Let's send those vampires direct to hell. Do not pass go. Do not collect two hundred dollars."

    Buffy nodded. She didn't touch him, or do any of the comforting things she longed to do. It wouldn't help either of them right now. "Let's go," she said, and they walked down the corridor to lead an army into battle.
    Willow and Andrew followed a little behind. "How did you do that?" Willow asked. "He was practically catatonic five minutes ago. How did you... make him all Clint Eastwood on a vengeance kick all of a sudden?"

    "I annoy him." Andrew didn't smile. He was one of the few people Willow knew who was pleasanter when he was deadly serious. He looked almost sweet.

    "And...?" Willow encouraged. She didn't quite see the link between Andrew being irritating and Xander springing into action.

    "You can't grieve when you're annoyed. It's petty. Grief is all big and stuff," said Andrew, with a shrug of his shoulders.

    Willow smiled. "I guess Giles really did teach you some wisdom when he was training you."

    Andrew shook his head. "No. I learned that from Anya. Her dying, I mean," he clarified. He stopped, turning to Willow with that squirmy look he sometimes got when he was confused by something, like a kid wanting to go to the bathroom but not quite self aware enough to know what it needs. "So, I was just thinking about how Xander doesn't have much luck with having his girlfriends not get killed. As the great irish playwright once said," he cleared his throat, and put on an Irish accent that would've made Oscar turn in his grave (if he was in one and not, in fact, heading up a coven in Morocco), "To lose one occasionally superpowered girlfriend is a misfortune. To lose two seems like carelessness."

    "And if you REALLY want to annoy him, that's what you should say. Especially in that accent. But let's not, and just avenge Renee's death huh?"

    "Agreed," said Andrew.

    And off they went, to do just that.

    -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --