Xander signed the last report and put it in the right folder. Being foreman and telling people what to do and how, apparently came with an amazing amount of paperwork. He looked out over the construction site and couldn’t help feeling proud.
He wasn’t stupid enough to think this was all his doing. He knew that the actual work was done by the men building the mall, but still…in some small way this was his mall.
“Hey, man.” Joshua called from his truck. Xander turned around and waved “You gonna go pick up Hannah?” the dark-haired man asked.
“Yeah. She’ll probably be done at the library by now.” Xander yelled back.
“Great…then I’ll get home and cook.” Joshua nodded.
“You go do that, Pookie.” Xander teased.
“Shut the fuck up, Harris.” Joshua laughed and drove away.
Xander waited for Hannah outside the library. He sat down on the steps leading up to the large building. He really liked Joshua and Hannah. The two siblings were great fun and they both treated Xander as part of their small family.
Hannah reminded Xander of Willow. Not the witchy Willow but the girl she had been, before magic and demons became everyday occurrences.
He heard footsteps behind him and he slowly got up and smiled at Hannah. She was wearing a dark blue dress that made her hazel eyes shine and her light brown hair was braided. She smiled back. Xander reached out and took her bag.
She tapped him on the shoulder and pulled her little notepad out of the pocket of her coat. She started scribbling. Xander waited patiently. Hannah held her notepad up.
“What’s for dinner?” Xander read out loud “Well…” Xander said “I begged him at lunch not to make anymore cabbage soup…” Hannah rolled her eyes and started scribbling again “Yeah…” Xander laughed “Yeah…I told him it made him fart.” Hannah scribbled some more and showed it to Xander “No sorry, Hannah Banana…I’m afraid it didn’t work.”
Hannah sighed and leafed through her notepad until she found what she was looking for. She held the notepad up. Take out! The note said.
“Yep!” Xander agreed “Sounds like a great plan.”
Xander remembered being uncertain on how to interact with Hannah, the first time he’d met her. The girl had finally written him a note, telling him he was being stupid and that she’d kick his ass if he didn’t stop treating her like she was made of glass. After that, they had become friends and they supported each other through Joshua’s horrible attempts at cooking.
Xander rented their spare bedroom. It wasn’t much, but he only slept in there so it didn’t really matter. It didn’t matter that the walls were a horrible puke green colour or that someone had attempted to make it seem nicer by painting all the panels orange.
Joshua had heard about Xander’s futile apartment hunt and had offered to let him rent the spare room. And sitting here at the dinner table, eating Chinese take out and listening to Joshua pout about the demise of the “wonderful and nutritious cabbage soup” he really felt at home.
“Be quiet, Pookie.” Xander said and Joshua scowled.
They were friends, and it was good to have someone who didn’t need him to play sidekick or belittled him. Xander felt better here, sitting at a table he himself had made, surrounded but his best friend and his adopted little sister, than he had ever felt surrounded by slayers, witches and demons.