His Safe Place (Fight Your Secret War: Xander's Remix)
Time Frame: Second season BtVS, post-”Innocence”
HIS SAFE PLACE
He managed to avoid a less than manly yelp as he was yanked into the broom closet; more importantly, he avoided punching Cordelia in the face with a last second twitch that caused him to strike the wall instead. He still had the adrenaline to deal with, and he waited it out while giving his girlfriend an exasperated look and whispering, “God, Cordy.” The “I almost hit you and I'd have felt really bad about it” part was unspoken, but the quiver in his voice communicated it effectively nonetheless.
Cordelia, ever practical, decided on a non-verbal apology and ran her hand through his hair as she kissed him gently at first, then with increasing urgency. He relaxed and continued to kiss back as her nimble hands unbuttoned her shirt, then his. A jolt of pain caused him to involuntarily draw away, and he realized that she had brushed the dark bruise on his chest with her hand. He cursed inwardly for letting the pleasant sensations distract him from remembering that problem, and he quickly took another step back and began to pull his shirt back on.
She opened her eyes a moment too soon, and he knew that she had seen the injury—her eyes narrowed with concern as she inquired urgently, “What—I thought last night was quiet?”
He turned away from her, needing to avoid the all-too perceptive eyes as he lied through his teeth: “It was an accident.” He was not going to say the words, “My father beat the crap out of me while in a drunken rage”--no matter that Cordelia and most everyone else in town knew damned well what went on at the Harris house.
He turned enough to see her without meeting her eyes, and she was already looking at him with skeptical eyes as she began, “Xander-” She stopped abruptly, and he had the sense that she had stopped herself from saying something that the old Cordelia would have—something that would have crushed him without effort as she walked off to be with her flock.
He felt her reach for his chin, and lift his head to look into her eyes. He saw affection there, and a hint of exasperation as she said “Xander” again and kissed him hard, avoiding the injured area as she did. He responded by pressing her against the wall and moaning into her mouth as her arms moved around his back and pulled her closer.
Through the rapidly increasing pleasure, an odd thought occurred to Xander. Willow was his best friend and always would be. Buffy was his hero, and always would be, occasional frustration over Angel issues notwithstanding. But there at that moment, in the closet a few dozen feet away from the Hellmouth with Cordelia's arms around him—he felt safe for the first time he could remember in a long, long time. He smiled into Cordelia's mouth at the thought, then went back to kissing.