I do not hold the copy right to Buffy the Vampire Slayer™ or The Merry Gentry Series™, nor do I claim to. All characters belong to their original creators, their publishers, and subsidiaries. I make no profit from the making or sharing of this fanfiction. No slander, insult, or infringement is intended with the making and sharing of this fanfiction.They say opposites attract. Examples: magnetism, heterosexuality, yin and yang, blah blah blah. What they don't have a saying for is that similarities are just as attractive. Examples: electricity, homosexuality, the Sacred Chao (1), blah blah blah. And let me tell you, there was some serious electric sparkage. If things had gone differently, I would have been majorly burned. But things didn't go differently, they went the way they went.
I'm betting you want to know what "things" and what "way" I'm talking about, right? Well, it goes like this.
It was Dawn's turn to pick the movies for the monthly film night: the one night a month that all the senior members of the NWC (read original Scoobies) booked off. Nothing short of imminent death or apocalypse would pry them away. They had popcorn, cheesies, pretzels, ice cream, enough chocolate to send them all into diabetic coma, and enough soda to drown a small elephant.
The Dawnster had developed a recent obsession with the post-WWII era after she did a bit of research on Spike. Apparently he had run afoul of some gangsters at one point in New York. So it kinda made sense that she picked a whole bunch of film noir for them to watch. Various groans and pouts made their appearance once everyone found out what the were to watch, but the power of a Dawn-pout overruled them all.
They watched The Devil Is A Woman, The Maltese Falcon,
and Double Indemnity
(2). After that, Xander was hooked. It was just so. . . cool. The style, the stories, everything. His favourite was a toss up between the last two. Humphrey Bogart was the epitome of the rogue white knight, while the character Phyllis Deitrichson was the original femme fatal in noir.
And then Dawn mentioned a convention over in Chicago and it was too good to resist. They both booked some time off, enough to drive over in Dawn's newly-refurbished 1934 Nash Ambassador (3). It was beauty of a car even it it guzzled more gas than Giles did tea. The two of them packed up a bunch of period clothing and were out of Cleveland in the morning when Slayer central was at it's quietest.
The convention was as enlightening as the aborted road trip of 1999. The engine didn't fall out three towns outside the city, but Xander did end up doing something more embarrassing and risque than stripping.
It all started with the costume contest. Who knew there was going to be more than one cyclops, faux P.I.? Certainly not either of them. And then we come back to the whole opposites thing. The guy and the girl with him were glamoured, but that was nothing against the power of The One Who Sees, declared such by the ultimate evil. Ever since Caleb had gouged out his eye and he went on a walkabout in Africa, nothing and no one could lie to him in any way, shape, or form. They were Sidhe.
As soon as the two one-eyed men saw each other, they froze. Xander was the first to recover, being more used to seeing the horribly maimed from his tour through Africa. "Why Arges! Long time no see. You haven't seen Steropes around here have you?" (4)
"Nope, can't say I have. Though Polyphemus (5) is still a pain." They shared a grin and introduced themselves.
"Alexander 'Xander' Harris."
"Dawn Kleis (6) Summers."
"Rhys Goodfellow." Xander snort-coughed and brought a hand up to cover his mouth.
"Merry Gentry." Xander burst out laughing. He got a collective strange look from the other three.
"Come on! Those names are so. . . cliche. Your glamour is really good, don't get me wrong. But to anyone sensitive enough to have a vague suspicion, those kinds of names are dead give aways. It's like a werewolf calling himself Remus."
The two Sidhe looked at each other. This was a first for either of them. Merry didn't have any real magic besides her glamour. That a mortal could see through it could be written off as a weakness of her blood, despite the fact that her personal glamour was stronger than any one else's at court. But seeing through Rhys's. . .
"Okay, you got us. Just don't give it away, please."
Wait, the costume contest. Right. It all started with the costume contest. Xander met the two Sidhe while standing in line for the contest. Rhys was dressed head to toe in pale cream and ice blue, which set off his colouring very well. His entire outfit looked like it was made out of silk, even the embroidered eye patch. Xander on the other hand looked like he had just stepped out of a film. A beaten up black fedora, well worn tan trench coat, wrinkled brown trousers and suit jacket, unbuttoned shirt and half-mast tie. He looked the part of an overworked P.I. just off a case.
Despite all the other contenders, and despite faery magic, Xander won the contest because of the pure realism of his outfit. It probably helped that it wasn't a costume per se, but actual clothes. Any way, he and the Unseelie got to talking after the contest and that as they say is that.
Some would say that that was the start of a beautiful friendship. In some ways it was. Xander and Rhys would occasionally e-mail each other and when he was in the area, Xander would drop by to say hello. In other ways it was so much more. Let's just say that Xander got more than a little drunk on gin and if it weren't for Queen Andais's geas. . . Well, you know.
(1) A symbol in Discordianism, representing Apparent Order and Apparent Disorder, which are only human constructs under which lies Pure Chaos. For more information, see The Sacred Chao and Psycho-Metaphysics
. Also, look up Discordianism in Wikipedia
(2) Double Indemnity
, The Devil Is A Woman
, and The Maltese Falcon
(3) Nash Advertisment
(4)Arges, Brontes, and Steropes
(6)Behind the Name