Rating: NC-17. Explicit sexual content.
Character: Xander and Anya
Disclaimer: I don’t own these characters, and I’m not making any money from this. On the other hand, I can do things with them that Joss can’t get past the censors.
Summary: Xander remembers what made his relationship with Anya special.
Despite what it may look like from the outside, it’s not always mind-numbing terror or bone-crunching action around here. Nights can get just as slow here in Sunnydale as they do in any other small, fairly affluent suburb. Tuesdays are generally pretty exciting, but the weekends can be positively dead. I don’t understand it either. Maybe Mayor Wilkins needed something to get him out of the mid-week doldrums back in the day, and now all the nasties around town have a hundred years of habit.
We don’t always go out to the Bronze on those dead nights. Are you crazy? Cover charges add up, and the drinks cost you, well, not an arm and a leg, but your digits—one knuckle at a time.
What usually happens is we rent a video or watch the Indian Movie Channel and sit and shoot the breeze. Sometimes, though, things come together just right: it’s a dead night, Dawn’s at a friend’s house, the movie is over but we don’t want to go home and nobody has to go to work in the morning. When that happens, we don’t just hang out. We actually Talk. And I don’t mean arguments or Painful Revelations or Heart-to-Hearts or other forms of spilling our guts. I mean we sit and talk, like old friends—much older friends than we’re supposed to be. Sometimes it seems to me like we’ve all skipped a couple decades somewhere. Buffy’s a single mom working a job that doesn’t really pay enough, trying to raise a fairly ungrateful teenager. Which is a real gyp, ‘cause she didn’t even get to have the sex that produced Dawn. Not that anybody did, but I digress. I’m Divorced Guy—not that we ever actually got married—and Willow is a widow.
In case you couldn’t guess, we’re having one of those nights right now. We’ll talk the sun up, I guess, if nothing bad happens. Buffy and Willow live here (we don’t really talk about it, but Willow never moved back home after telling her parents just why she was rooming with "her new friend" Tara instead of Buffy for her second year at UC Sunnydale. About the same time, Willow started hanging out at the Financial Aid office a lot more), and I’ll crash on the couch.
We’ve just gotten done watching some chick flick. I’m not sure which one—except for Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill, they all kinda blend together for me. And I liked those two much more for the ensemble than the love story. As usual, the Hero has pulled some fairly stalker-y maneuvers, but he’s won the heart of Our Heroine anyway. So now the three of us are talking about the precise moment when someone won our hearts.
Funny thing is, we discover that, despite our very dramatic lives and frequent life-or-death circumstances, it’s always something simple. Angel saving Buffy from the Three—and then helping her cover it up with her mom. The first time Cordelia unashamedly put my picture up in her locker. Oz telling Willow about monkey pants and hippo dignity and how sweet her smile was.
Buffy laughs as she tells us about the time that she had a particularly bad case of the monthlies, and Riley showed up with an industrial-size drum of Midol and a red rose. That rose is dried and pressed and somewhere in Buffy’s room, and we’re still working through that thing of Midol. Yes, we. Between my day job and fighting the good fight, I end up with some serious aches and pains, and I’m not going to turn down the good stuff just because it threatens my masculinity.
Willow mists up a bit—more than a bit, really—as she tells us about that crystal Tara gave her. More importantly, about discovering just how valuable it was, in terms of both magic and money. Oh, it was neither the Hope Diamond nor the Dark Crystal, but it was still quite a dent to your college student-witch. Value of a poor man’s rose, baby. Tara never mentioned it, and as far as Willow could tell, Tara actually believed that she didn’t know.
Then it’s my turn. They both turn to me, and I know there’s no wriggling out of this, not after Willow told a Tara story. Like them, I remember the exact moment that I realized Something Special was going on with Anya. Like them, it was a very small, simple moment. The difference is that their stories were sweet. Mine is salty.
It was a night a lot like this one: very dull. No Scooby Gang action. Nothing to do, and, since I was unemployed at the time, no money to do it with. No one was around, either. Spike had moved to his crypt, Buffy and Willow were still in the "there’s no one else in the universe" stages of their new relationships, and my parents had passed out for the night. I didn’t know where Anya was, but then, we were still in the "We’ll get together every couple of days" stage of our relationship.
I’d scraped together three dollars from somewhere, and I’d rented a porno tape. Something from the Rodney Moore ouevre, I think. Hardcore, but funny and reasonably friendly.
What do I mean by friendly? Well, some porn is hostile. I’m not talking BDSM here, nor am I talking about some kind of illegal thing where people really get hurt—though if I wanted some, I’m sure it could be found somewhere in this town. I bet Warren had some. I’m talking about calling the girls names, scribbling insults on them with lipstick and magic marker, deliberately messing up their makeup until they look grotesque, setting up the scenario so it looks like they’re being "punished", even spitting on them—that sort of thing. I don’t like that kind of porn. I watched a Max Hardcore tape once, and never since.
See, I like women. Not just the ones I hang with but women as a group, as a species. So it’s not really a turn-on to me to see them degraded and made ugly.
I like friendly porn better, where the participants at least act like they like each other, and that they’re having a good time. Sometimes there’s a laughable scenario and some "acting", sometimes there’s an interview, sometimes they cut straight to the chase. That’s beside the point—point is, it looks more like something I’d like to take part in than something I think I should run out and stop. There might even be a smile or a laugh, the occasional joke or even a compliment paid here and there. See? Friendly.
So I was just settling in, sitting in the recliner with my pants off and my shirt open, a bottle of Astroglide sitting on the table at my side. Things were just starting to get going onscreen after a couple minutes of tedious "acting"—the "actress" was giving Rodney a blowjob. I was oiled up and stroking, but not really pumping yet. I wanted to last out the whole twenty-five-minute scene. So for now it was just a stroke every little while to keep me hard.
Of course, that was the moment that Anya chose to come down the stairs. Sure, I had that lock that I’d gone on rent-strike for, but I’d given her a key. I must not have heard it in the lock over the alleged dialogue.
"Good evening!" She said, all chipper as usual. "I was bored, and I decided to come over and see if you were doing anything interesting tonight."
I jumped like a cat on amphetamines.
I snatched my pants up off the floor and wadded them into a ball, which I held protectively over my crotch with one hand (trying to avoid smearing them with lube) while I clawed frantically for the remote control until I knocked it onto the floor and out of my reach.
"Apparently so," she said, completely unperturbed.
"Anya!" I snapped as loud as I dared. "You’re supposed to knock! No matter whose personal space you’re invading."
"Why?" she asked. "I’ve had sex with you. Why does it matter if I see you masturbating?"
"It just…does," I said, but her attention had already moved on.
"Is that a pornographic video?" She asked, looking at the TV.
I had a moment of dread when she asked that. A lot of women I know would be none too pleased to find their man with porn. Most would think it was sleazy, some would take it as a sign of misogyny, and some would be insulted: "What? I’m not enough for you?"
I was praying Anya wasn’t a member of the last group. When she got insulted, she usually started thinking in terms of vengeance. And I was still naked from the waist down.
"I’ve been wanting to see one of these for a while," she said, sitting down on the couch.
"Uh, Anya? I…uh…"
"Don’t mind me," she said, waving me off without taking her attention from the TV. "Go back to what you were doing."
Yeah, right. My dick had shriveled up into my chest cavity.
The scene ended shortly thereafter.
"What a remarkable amount of semen," she said. "He must have been saving up for several days."
"It’s his claim to fame," I said weakly.
She chuckled and glanced over at me, only to see the wad of sweatpants I was still holding in my lap.
"Are you still embarrassed?" She asked. I remember that she was wearing a black, knee-length skirt with white polka dots. I will probably remember that skirt for the rest of my days, because of what she did with it next: she flipped it up, pulled her panties off, and settled back into the couch with her hand between her legs, poised for action. "Does that make you more comfortable?" She asked.
"Comfortable" wasn’t really the word, but my dick was suddenly standing tall and ready for action again. "Uh, An, are you sure you don’t want to do something, you know, together?"
"We are," she said. "We’re watching the video. We can have intercourse afterwards. I told you, I’ve been wanting to see one of these for a while." Then there was a groan, and she looked back up at the TV. "Oh, look," she said. "They’re starting to have sex."
They were. Rodney was the one doing the oral favors this time. I glanced at the screen just long enough to see that, then went back to staring at Anya.
She was watching avidly, clearly fascinated, but not that excited yet—she was just absently stroking her fingers through her muff, probably the equivalent of my one stroke every once in a while.
She didn’t look at me, but somehow she knew that I was looking at her, because after a moment she said "Don’t watch me, Xander. Watch the video." She explained to me later that she didn’t know just how impossible that was. She didn’t even know that she was doing anything particularly arousing. I quote: "I thought sitting around and masturbating was the protocol for watching a porn video."
I did as she said, or at least, I did my best. I turned back to the video, where Rodney was continuing to snack on his co-star. I was so hard it hurt—you want to talk wood? I was teak that night—but I didn’t quite dare touch myself, or even take my pants away, yet.
I was "glancing" at Anya for the third time in as many seconds when she frowned, and I thought I was in trouble. Fortunately, it was the video she was displeased with, not me. "Why is he keeping his distance like that?" She complained. "She can’t be feeling much."
I could feel myself starting to deflate again, and to this day, I can’t tell you if I was more disappointed or relieved. "They’re putting on a show," I explained. "What either of them are feeling is a bit secondary."
"Well that hardly seems—oh, my," she breathed, cutting herself off.
I twitched a glance toward the TV. A second man had entered the scene.
"He’s…huge," she said in awe.
I tried not to get insecure. "Well, sure. This is a porno. It’s a whole different scale." I tried to stop there, but the insecurity wouldn’t let me. "They’ve all had hormones, you know."
"And half of the women’s body mass is silicone," she answered tartly. "That doesn’t stop you from staring."
She was rubbing harder now, making little circling motions, and she was starting to breathe hard.
So was I, as a matter of fact. I’d sprung back up—gifts of youth, huh?—and I’d tossed my sweatpants away and taken handle in hand at last, and I was oak. Prime hardwood.
"Video, Xander. Not me." My head snapped back to the TV.
We sat like that for awhile, the silence only broken by our breathing and the sounds from the TV. Until—
"What is that he’s doing to her?"
"Uh, that’s called anal sex, An. Don’t tell me you’ve never—"
"I’d never even thought of that," she said. "Have you ever done it?"
"No," I answered quickly.
"Would you like to?"
That did it. I wasn’t going down again until the little man cried. I think I managed to stutter something a good boyfriend would say, something like "Sure, when you feel up to it" or "If you want to". I think she saw my wild eyes and how much faster my hand started moving, and she understood the real answer: Roll over on that couch and I’ll show you how much I’d like to, I’ll show you right now.
"Video," she said softly. I think she’d realized by that point just what she was doing to me.
I obeyed, but it was hard to stay turned toward the video. I heard her breathing growing ragged, and then I started hear these moist smacking noises. A quick glance showed me that she was getting both hands into it—two fingers up inside her, the other hand still circling.
I was going crazy. I was pumping hard and I could feel my balls tightening into my body, my belly tightening like I’m trying to do that 200th sit-up, the heat rising up my shaft, ready to blow any second now, but trying to hold off, wanting to make it to the end—
"It’s almost over," she panted. "I think it’s going to end the same way."
Please stop talking.
"Would you like to do that to me?"
That did it. Fuck the video. I looked over at Anya—had she come already? She had the flush on her face and her neck and her upper chest but she showed no signs of stopping—and when I met her eyes, I realized that it wasn’t just a question anymore. She knew exactly what she was doing.
"Would you like me to kneel in front of you, like she’s doing?" she asked. "Would you like to come all over my face and my breasts and—"
And that was when I burst. I went absolutely rigid and I choked my shout down to a loud groan and I came not in spurts but in jets. One, two, three, pause, heat rises again, one, two…
Finally, I collapsed into the chair with a sigh. It was like I had no bones. For a moment, I was totally relaxed. For a moment. Then I realized that, instead of Anya, I’d come all over myself. There were sticky ropes and pools all over my chest and belly. I was lucky I hadn’t shot myself in the eye.
I was embarrassed all over again. No, embarrassed is entirely too wussy a word. I was mortified. I couldn’t stand without dripping. I was pinned in the chair by my own mess. Any second now, Anya would make a disgusted face, say "eww", and the moment would be complete.
Instead, Anya got up without a word and went into the bathroom. She stayed there for a few minutes, so I assume she cleaned herself up in there. Anyway, she emerged with a roll of toilet paper (stolen from a UC Sunnydale bathroom the last time I visited Buffy and Willow) in her hand.
Then she did the small, simple thing that made me realize that there was Something Special Here: she cleaned me up. She took a wad of toilet paper and wiped up the pools and the ropes and the little streams that were trying to escape and drip on the chair.
Somehow, that gesture was more tender than all the sex we’d had up until that point. I don’t know if she ever realized how unusual the whole sequence of events was. We never did talk about it.
I thanked her, she welcomed me. She went back into the bathroom. I followed. She flushed the wad of toilet paper, I rinsed off the lingering stickiness. We returned to the main room, pulled our pants back on, and sat down together on the couch.
"So," she said, pointing the remote and clicking off the video. "Is there anything else to watch?"
Of course, I don’t go into that much detail with Willow and Buffy. I keep it bare-boned: Anya walked in on me watching a porno, and sat down and joined the fun.
They both just stare at me for a moment, and I can just hear what they’re thinking: "So your relationship was based entirely on sex?"
I don’t want to leave them thinking that, so I elaborate: she joined in the fun, rather than getting upset or embarrassed or anything like that.
Still don’t get it.
It was, admittedly, a somewhat sleazy moment. It’s never fun to get caught in the middle of one of your vices. A lot of other women would have been grossed out. Not Anya. Sleazy or not, it was just me, and I guess nothing about me could gross her out.
Now the lights are coming on.
It wasn’t just about sex, though. She’d do all sorts of guy things with me. Of course, she did them for her own reasons. She liked sports, especially football—she liked to see the players bend over at the line of scrimmage. She watched action movies for all the sweaty, muscular men. She ate of the beef and enjoyed to show off her bosoms.
In short, she could deal with a guy just being himself. She accepted me as I was. How rare is that?
And that’s what I gave up. That’s what I bolted from ‘cause my parents and some spiky-headed demon with a shiny rock had me running scared.
As I once said, not nearly as long ago as it seems: I am Xander, King of Cretins. Let all lesser Cretins bow before me.