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The Seduction(s) of Xander Harris : D/X

Title: The Seduction(s) of Xander Harris
Series: Birthday fic, bastardsnow
Pairing: Dawn/Xander
Rating: PG for fluff
Setting: Season 1 through post-Chosen
Word Count: 3,275 words

Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer was created by Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. All characters, places, and events are the property of the aforementioned and Twentieth Century Fox.

Summary: When you watch someone grow up, it's hard not to see them as a kid. Take time off from that, and this is how it ends.


Dawn turned the corner and froze.

“Mom, this is Willow,” her sister was saying. Mom nodded and smiled and shook the redhead's hand. “And this is Xander.”

There was a god in her kitchen. A tall, cool, dark-haired, rugged, awesome god of a god. In her kitchen. Just standing there, being all god-like. In her kitchen.

“Nice to meet you,” the god said, grinning. Oh, that smile. With the straight teeth and the twinkling eyes that glanced once toward Buffy and then once toward Dawn, and then once toward Buffy and then once toward Buffy.

“Oh, Dawn, come here for minute,” Mom said. Thank God, she didn't say Dawnie. Absolute vikings like this weren't drawn to people whose names ended with -ee sounds.

Xander glanced once toward Buffy.

I go by Dawnie!” she belted suddenly, eyes wide. The redhead, Willow, smiled as Dawn shuffled into the room. She glanced once toward her and then once toward Buffy and then once toward Xander and then once toward Xander.

Mom,” Buffy warned, only to be shushed. Dawn would have smirked at her, but it was more important to keep looking at the Xander-god-person in her kitchen.

Heya, Dawnster,” he said. “How old are you? Thirteen, fourteen?”

Eleven,” Dawn said calmly, leaning against the kitchen table. “But my teacher says I read at a sixteen year old level.”

What a coincidence,” Xander said. “My teacher says the opposite.”

Dawn shrieked out a laugh, not sure why Willow was giving him an admonishing look while patting his arm or why Buffy was rolling her eyes. Deciding that maybe he didn't want to be deafened by her shrill giggle, she clamped a hand over her mouth to muffle it.

That's funny,” she said when she trusted herself to speak. Xander cocked an eyebrow and turned toward Buffy.

Know what?” he asked. “I already like her more.”

Dawn managed not to faint, but she toppled with her chair. Mom wigged a little, running to catch her, but Xander was, too, so Dawn rolled toward him. He half-managed to catch her, keeping her from smacking her head against the floor.

She smiled blearily up at him.

Of course,” he continued, catching his breath and turning toward Buffy, “you're not nearly as clumsy.”

Dawn managed not to die.

* * *

So you know Buffy fights monsters?” Dawn asked. The high school library was a lot cooler than the junior high's library. A lot more books, and a lot more libraryish. Xander looked up from the thick tome he was reading—he looked so smart when he read thick tomes like that—and raised an eyebrow.

The—you—the what, now?” he asked. He wasn't very convincing.

Come on,” Dawn said, standing and folding her hands behind her back. She crossed the room halfway and stood on her tiptoes. He hastily covered the page he was viewing, but not quickly enough for her to miss the vague outline of a demon. “You're looking up stuff on monsters for her.”

I—I am not,” he answered, looking around for help. The librarian guy, Giles, was in his office reading yet something else. “I'm looking up things that aren't that.”

He was so cute when he was trying to trick her.

I help her sometimes, you know,” Dawn continued, walking to the cabinet near the cage locker. Xander stood quickly, managing the first letter of her name, but halted when she opened it.

Swords and axes lined the interior walls, and a crossbow hung from a hook. When she looked back to Xander, his mouth was hanging open. She could see his mind at work, struggling to come up with a suitable lie.

Like this?” Dawn said, taking out the crossbow and reaching for a bolt. “She always forgets to load the crossbows. It works faster if you load it before you have to use it, right?”


So why not just store it loaded? I swear, sometimes my sister's so stu—”

The crossbow clicked.

Xander “Gah!”ed.

When Dawn turned around, it was to find him wide-eyed, staring at the quivering bolt protruding from his leg. He lifted his eyes to meet hers. For the life of her, she couldn't think of anything to say.

Uh, Giles?” Xander called.

* * *

Xander, hi!” Dawn greeted.

Dawn,” he said shortly, pushing the door open and dragging Cordelia along with them. Ugh, Dawn hated Cordelia so much. She was such a word that rhymed with “witch.”

Both looked breathless and a little bruised.

And sweaty. Xander and breathless and sweaty mixed well.

What's up?” she asked with a grin, following him into the kitchen.

Crazy spell, half of Sunnydale is after me, and—” He paused, looking at her. “How are you feeling?” He was so sweet to ask her that when half of Sunnydale was after him.

Good,” she said. “Normal.” She heard a crash and jumped, looking up to see Mom standing there, the pan she had been cleaning forgotten on the floor.

Xander!” she said, eyes wide. Then her expression changed, and a weird smile Dawn had never seen on her face before spread across it. “Hey.” Mom never talked that hoarsely.

Hi!” Xander barked awkwardly. He turned to Cordelia, and then to Dawn, then to the stairs. “Bye!”

He charged up, dragging Cordelia along while Dawn quickly scrambled to stay on his heels. He made for Buffy's room, as usual, but Dawn was quick enough to keep up and managed to slide in before he slammed the door behind him.

Why is she normal?” Cordelia asked sharply, nodding toward Dawn. Cordelia always talked about her like she wasn't there, but Xander always talked directly to her.

Maybe she's too young?” Xander offered. Well, he wasn't talking directly to her just then. Maybe if Dawn could come up with something surprising, something that would throw him off his guard, he would realize just how not too young she was.

I'm not too young,” she said, trying for the voice Mom had used downstairs. She stood a little straighter and closer, and Xander, halfway between checking outside and listening to her, gave her his full attention.

But, uh—” he tried, but she had already climbed into the chair next to Buffy's window. Her lips were already pursed. She was already leaning in to take from him her first kiss.

And then Angel yanked him out the window.

* * *

Love sucks.” He said it the way that people say It's hot. Something self-evident, something that everyone could figure out.

Dawn looked at him for a second, ignoring the drama playing out between Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny.

I thought the song said love hurts,” she said.

That, too.”

She didn't say anything in response to that, just looked back to the television. Bugs, dressed like—what had Xander called it?—a Valkyrie. Elmer Fudd weeping over his unmoving form. If she didn't know anything about cartoons—and because of her friendship with Xander, she did—and she was just walking in on this scene, she'd think it too serious to be fun.

If she had met Xander today, all disenchanted and depressed, she'd think the same thing about him.

What makes you say that?” she asked. He scoffed.

Seriously?” he asked. “You mean it's a weird thing to think? Even if I lose my girlfriend 'cause she took a rebar through the hip and my best friend will barely look at me 'cause things are all awkward now and Faith used me for s—things?”

Dawn wasn't dumb. She knew what things meant. She also knew the bruises over his throat probably hadn't come from tangling with a vampire, since he didn't really patrol with Buffy anymore.

Sorry,” she said.

No, I'm sorry, Giovanni,” he replied, the barest hint of a grin managing to break out on his face. She still thought he had the cutest—handsomest—smile in the world. “See, this is why I like you so much. With them, it's always tragic love this, romantic entanglement that. With you, the heaviest question is What's Opera, Doc?”

There's nothing wrong with romance,” Dawn said through a pout. She was thirteen now, he needed to start thinking of her as more than a kid-sister-type.

There's everything wrong with romance,” he replied through a pout. He was eighteen now, he needed to stop thinking like that. Dawn just sighed and flopped back against the couch.

How did Cordelia and Willow survive him?

* * *

I'm not a person,” Dawn mumbled quietly. He put an arm around her shoulder, and it was instinct to lean into him, so she didn't fight it.

Yes, you are,” he argued. He rubbed her shoulder.

No, I'm not!” she said, unable to even look at him. Looking at him meant looking at him looking at her, and comforting or not, he knew as well as she did that she wasn't a person. He knew that nearly every memory he had shared with her, from pizza parties to crossbow injuries, wasn't real. Was fake.

If she had to see that realization in his eyes, if she had to see him looking at her the way Willow did, with all the thought and the logic and the trying to determine just where the line between fabrication and experience lay, it would crush her. If she looked at him, and she saw that he didn't think she was real, that she didn't exist, then it might just happen. If he could look at her that way, she might just disappear.

So why she turned her head to look at him, she would never know. But it struck her that he wasn't looking at her any differently than he normally did, except for the presence of sympathy. A kind of understanding, maybe.

You're real,” he promised her, pulling her close and kissing her forehead. That made the tears she had been fighting, because fake people didn't cry, finally spill out. “You're smart and strong and real. Don't let this make you think otherwise. I know you're real, and Buffy and your mom do, too. Willow and Tara and everyone.”

Everyone?” she asked. She slipped her hands around his arm.

Even Spike,” Xander said with no small amount of disgust.

Even though it hurt, she was glad that she could laugh at that.

* * *

How do I even hold this?” he asked, staring at the lumpy concoction. She turned around from the stove, regarding her creation. The color of a loaf of bread but the shape of something far more complex, it bubbled—or breathed—on the plate she had put in front of him.

You know,” she answered. “You just—” She made a snatching gesture with her hand. “Grab it.”

It looks like it's, uh, boiling,” he said. When he looked up and saw the annoyed pout on her face, he struggled for an explanation. “Which is to say, uh, yay, boiling?” He may have been able to fool her with something like that when she was a kid, but she wasn't a kid anymore.

I'm not a stupid kid,” she said, running with it. “You're getting married, so someone's got to throw you a party. And I'm not hiring any strippers for you, so here. Cake.”

Cake,” he echoed, looking down at the thing. Now that Dawn looked at it, it was kind of like the lumps that popped off Gizmo and turned into gremlins. At once, she mentally cursed Xander for ever showing her that movie. “Right.” He carefully reached out and tapped the gift, checking its temperature. “Oh, not as hot as I thought.” Considering it was still kinda bubbly, he looked surprisingly comfortable with that realization.

Dawn wondered if it was a good thing that he was relatively simple-minded.

He picked the thing up, and even Dawn couldn't help the grimace when it sagged around his fingers. It looked like it couldn't decide between being solid or liquid. Or gaseous, in some places. Xander offered her a somewhat uncomfortable grin as he brought the thing under his nose, giving it an experimental sniff.

Huh,” he said.


Nothing!” he said quickly. He had the expression that people sometimes got when they decided it was probably better to just tear off the whole bandage at once, or just dive right into cold water, rather than easing into anything. “Down the hatch, right?”

He took a big bite. A veritable lungful of steam erupted from where his teeth sank in, masking his face. Dawn jumped in surprise at the hissing noise she heard, wondering if it was from the shrouded Xander's discomfort at biting into something that was hotter than he had thought when he had thought that it wasn't as hot as he had originally thought, or if it was maybe the cake itself taking on some semblance of unnatural, antagonistic life.

Nothing could hold that much steam, though, so it eventually vanished, leaving Xander standing with a perplexed look on his face. He was chewing, which was a good sign, but he very rarely took on so thoughtful an expression.

So?” she asked. He raised one finger. When he finally swallowed, he remained silent for a long while.

I—” he began, cutting himself and thinking for a little while longer. His eyes were a little unfocused, like he was trying to remember something long forgotten. “Huh.”


I think I finally understand some of that chemistry stuff Willow was trying to teach me way back.” Well, that was a weird thing to understand after biting into a cake.

Oh,” Dawn said. “That's, uh, good.”

It is,” Xander said. He grinned. “Also, there's a good chance I'm about to faint. Get me a pillow?”

* * *

Does it hurt?” she asked, regretting it immediately when he fixed her with an incredulous look using his remaining eye. She looked everywhere but at him. “Sorry.”

It's fine,” he said stiffly. He was probably getting tired of his friends trying very hard not to look at him. How Willow had managed for an entire night and day was beyond Dawn, but she admired the woman for her bravery.

It's really not,” Dawn argued, staring at him. “You weren't supposed to get hurt like this, you know?” From what she could tell, he did know. “You've always been brave and nice without powers. I feel like this is because you told me—”

Dawn,” Xander cut in. No Dawnie, no Dawnster, no Dawn Quixote. “I'm happy blaming the scary priest for this one. Willow's bad enough. Don't you start blaming yourself on me.”

Dawn sniffed and finally looked at him. He had switched out the white hospital bandage for an eye patch. It made him look kind of dangerous, even with that bit of weight he had put on over the past two years. It occurred to her that maybe she should say something to make him feel better, if it was even possible to feel better after you lost a body part.

It's a shame,” she finally said. She looked down at her chest. “I've finally got these things, but you don't have depth perception.”

His attempt to reply was abruptly cut off by a cough, and then a wheeze, and then Anya calling him into the kitchen. He sputtered something out that sounding like a farewell of some kind, but he was so red in the face that Dawn couldn't even pay attention. Unable to hide her smirk, she glanced into the kitchen, spotting Anya and a carton of ice cream.

Better not keep the lady waiting,” Dawn said, waggling her eyebrows. She had seen him do it once, and had practiced it for just such a time when she could leave him speechless. He sputtered something else, dropped his head, and scurried for the kitchen.

Dawn wondered if his own mood had improved as much as hers.

* * *

When he approached her in the terminal, she almost didn't recognize him. A little grizzled, more stubble than she had ever seen on him, his hair and clothes a mess, he looked like a different person. Except for the grin. Two years hadn't robbed him of that smile.

Dawn Corleone,” he said, arms wide. She took the invitation like a vampire in a convent, half-tackling him. He spun her, the arms around her harder and stronger than she remembered. When he finally stopped, when he let her toes touch the ground, she looked up and tried to find the man she remembered in his face.

A few scars here. A line there. But he was there. His eyes hadn't dimmed, and his smile hadn't faded.

What?” he asked. Dawn blushed when she realized that she had been staring, but tried to fight it down. She was almost twenty now, after all.

Nothing!” she said quickly. “Just, you know. Two years! I missed looking at you.” Seeing you! “I mean seeing you!” He quirked the eyebrow over his eye patch, and she saw that it was a newer, smaller one. His faces had always seemed incomplete when one was hidden behind that patch.

Right,” he said. “I missed looking at you, too.” He whispered something under his breath that sounded like weirdo, but he continued before she could call him on it. “So. London, huh?”

London!” Dawn said, leading him toward the escalator as he tugged his carry-on. “Xander, it's wonderful. I can't wait to show you around. Do you have a place to stay?”

Not, uh, not as such, no. Can't really book much from Liberia.” Dawn shrugged as they stepped onto the escalator, walking in tandem with its lowering.

Well, you can stay at my flat.”

What's a flat?”

My place, Xander,” Dawn admonished. “My flat.”

Is that like an apartment?”

They're the same thing.”

So why not just call it an apartment?”

Because it's a flat.”

Xander glared at her as she paused, turning around to look at him. She was probably taller than he remembered, just a few inches shorter than him now. Sharing a step, they were standing closer than she could ever recall.

Dawn?” Not Dawnster. Not Dawnie. Not Dawnald Trump.


You got a couch for me?” She scrounged up the confidence for a smirk.

Nope,” she said. “Nothing big enough. My bed's a king size, though.” She started back down the escalator, with the Africa-hardened, battle-experienced Xander Harris scrambling down awkwardly.

K-King sized?” he stuttered.

Has to be,” she said. “I like to roll around, you know?”

Roll a—”

Which reminds me, I had to cancel a date to put you up,” she continued, about halfway down. Xander was fighting with his carry-on, stuck between listening intently and trying very hard not to listen.

She looked back one more time and smiled.

But you could always join in if you want.”

He lost the battle with his carry-on and tumbled the rest of the way down.


This did not wanna post. But here it is. Happy early birthday, man.

Really, really hope you liked it.

All the best.

You're the one who had me woken up by the newly crowned queen of making me horny.
-Xander Harris, "Falling to Pieces"


( 46 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 6th, 2009 06:09 am (UTC)
That was utterly, entirely awesome, and I love it. I really think you captured her very well at the different ages, and the voice changes worked excellently. Really fantastic. Thanks very much!
Sep. 6th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
Happy to have done it. There was an additional scene, one that took place in Season 4, that had to be cut because of the byte limit. I'm not sure, but in retrospect, it may have disapproved of my use of centering font and asterisks.

I felt all right cutting it, though, because it was short and lacked any development. Just filler, really.
Sep. 6th, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
I don't like Dawn, and I don't like fics which try to sandwich her into the early seasons.

This fic made me reconsider my position on both issues.
Sep. 6th, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
My issue with sandwiching Dawn...

Huh. Thinking about rewording that.

My issue with working Dawn into the early seasons is also kind of what I was careful with while working on Extra, that being that the new character shouldn't steal anyone's f**king cloud song.

There's a (non-canonical) comic story detailing changes made to the universe by Dawn's presence, and part of it entailed her taking a little glory from others. Since I'm a canon whore, though, it doesn't even phase me.

I do like Dawn, though, if only because she represents a teenage character in television, surrounded by adults, whom I don't hate. I like her characterization as the show went on, and I like her even more in Season 8.

And I'm glad the story worked for you.
Sep. 6th, 2009 06:14 am (UTC)
You did a terrific job with Dawn here. And I like that you dealt with the unreality of her early memories. This was really a very fine story! Mind if I add it to the weekly rec post I do on darker_spike?

Sep. 6th, 2009 06:18 am (UTC)
First, you never ever ever ever ever have to ask if I'm cool with you recommending anything I write. That answer's always gonna be yes, he said conceitedly.

Secondly, if it's at all possible for me to ask without you reconsidering, is it often that the rec posts include stories that don't, in fact, cover the darker side of Spike?
(no subject) - velvetwhip - Sep. 6th, 2009 06:23 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - waddis - Sep. 6th, 2009 06:24 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - velvetwhip - Sep. 6th, 2009 06:25 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - waddis - Sep. 6th, 2009 06:32 am (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 6th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC)
Oh honey, that was just terrific. Great voices and characterisation and excellent insertion of Dawn into canon without it feeling forced.

Really, a clueless man has no chance before the might of a determined woman, no matter what age she is *g*. I can't pick out a favourite section, but the cake-like thing was especially wonderful.
Sep. 6th, 2009 04:44 pm (UTC)
That was my favorite part to write. Realization-inducing food with a side of neurological event. Who could ask for more?
Sep. 6th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
I had to post again to say how awesome this fic was. Once wasn't enough. If I had to pick a favorite section, it would be either Dawn's unusual method of comforting him after the loss of his eye, or the word-perfect banter when they first meet.

If I had to quibble (and I do), it would be to say that the offer of not the cool kind of threesome would probably freak Xander out. But really, a very minor concern, and it may have been intentional.

This is definitely my favorite of your stories so far.
Sep. 6th, 2009 05:15 pm (UTC)
He did freak out, hence the falling down the escalator.

Although in re-reading that, it occurs that it could have been read as him hurrying down the escalator to follow her.

But no. He fell.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Sep. 6th, 2009 05:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - waddis - Sep. 6th, 2009 06:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sam_arkand - Sep. 7th, 2009 12:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - waddis - Sep. 7th, 2009 03:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 6th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
I feel pretty much the same way about Dawn-centric fics as you feel about crossovers, usually. Avoid on pain of death.

And yet this? I loved.

From Dawn's inital 'god' musings and pointed 'Xander looks at Buffy while Willow looks at Xander', through the teenage!melodrama years and Dawn's attempts at getting the one who sees to finally see her (Oh, the irony).

You made me like *Dawn*. Huh.
Sep. 6th, 2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
I certainly hope you can forgive me.
(no subject) - tigerlily0484 - Sep. 6th, 2009 06:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - waddis - Sep. 6th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tigerlily0484 - Sep. 6th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - waddis - Sep. 6th, 2009 07:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tigerlily0484 - Sep. 6th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - waddis - Sep. 6th, 2009 07:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tigerlily0484 - Sep. 6th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 6th, 2009 07:24 pm (UTC)
I had to comment again, btw. Just to let you know that this:

“It's a shame,” she finally said. She looked down at her chest. “I've finally got these things, but you don't have depth perception.”

is totally my favorite line. Just. Really freaking awesome.
Sep. 6th, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I gotta say, I was hoping you'd like it.
(no subject) - nothorse - Sep. 7th, 2009 10:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - waddis - Sep. 7th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Sep. 7th, 2009 01:27 am (UTC)
Dead-on Dawn voice, even as her eleven year old self. The bit with the crossbow had me laughing, if only for the image of Xander giving her an Eddie-the-Eagle lecture later on the Four Rules of Crossbow Safety.

One thing I enjoyed was the progression of her perception of him. From "smart god" to "adorable doofus" to "tough, stubbly man of adventure", yet still essentially Xander through it all.

Also, hey, now Word of God that this ship is now canon!
Sep. 7th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
So I've learned. I'm trying to decide whether I want to wait for the volume release or just get the individual issues for this arc. I still haven't read Predators and Prey.
Sep. 7th, 2009 03:06 am (UTC)
Dragon*Con has eaten my brain this weekend.

*Insert clever comment here.*

Great story!
Sep. 7th, 2009 03:40 am (UTC)
Number thirty!

Thanks for the remarkably clever comment.
Sep. 18th, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
I enjoyed the story immensely. I'm not in the mood for words right now so I made a banner for you.
Thank you for sharing a wonderful story.

Sep. 18th, 2009 06:42 pm (UTC)
Well holy freaking crap. I-you-that.


Thank you so very much.
Oct. 26th, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Hi there!! Its been a LONG time since I've posted anything on LJ but I found your D/X fic and I absolutely adore it. I used to run a D/X site called Daddy Like (which I'm trying to get up and running again) and when I do I would love to post it on there with your permission. Its far and few between that I find new D/X fics and yours was awesome so thank you! :)

Oct. 27th, 2009 12:00 am (UTC)
No problem.

Sure, feel free to do so. Keep me informed.

All the best.
Nov. 2nd, 2009 05:33 pm (UTC)
You've been nominated at the Unlocked Awards!
This comment is to inform you that you've been nominated at the Unlocked Awards, a new site featuring our favorite key-turned-awkward-teenager, Dawn.

Your Nomination(s):

The Seduction(s) of Xander Harris by waddis (PG; Dawn/Xander)

Category(ies): Best Dawn POV, Best Dawn Characterization

All nominations must be accepted by November 30. To accept this award, simply reply to this Comment. We'd like you to pick up a button or banner and link back to the site, but it's not required to participate or win.

And if you want to say thanks, why not pop by and nominate someone else!
Nov. 2nd, 2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
Re: You've been nominated at the Unlocked Awards!
Coolio. Thanks.
Jan. 10th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC)
This was adorable -- very nice job. :)
Jan. 10th, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)
Why thank you.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 17th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you liked it, thanks for commenting.
Aug. 13th, 2012 07:40 am (UTC)
I know I'm super late on the uptake but this was hilarious and amazing! I love Dawn/Xander and you got me in the feelgoods. Thanks for sharing!
Aug. 16th, 2012 01:44 am (UTC)
That's very kind of you to say. I'm out of the fandom nowadays, but I hope that you're able to find more here to your liking.
( 46 comments — Leave a comment )