Disclaimer BtVS & Marvel – not mine.
A/N Found this buried on my hard drive and decided to dust it off.
Please note, this is heavily influenced by fanon and as such bears little resemblance to Marvel characterisations. It’s full of tropes, clichés, dodgy POV’s, plays havoc with timelines, there’s no ‘plot’ and later I cheat with maguffins left, right and centre. Oh, and it’s not beta’d therefore grammar will be appalling, no doubt.
That said I had fun so if I haven’t put you off – crack fic ahead.
Phil glanced in the bar mirror as he heard the door open. There was no reason to believe he was at any risk but years of training made certain things ingrained. It was more effort than normal to maintain his calm façade as he took in the one-eyed man. It was real, he could tell that much, the patch wasn’t some affectation. A one-eyed man -- one-eyed *soldier* -- moved a certain way. He suppressed a sigh at the unwelcome reminder on his night off.
Phil was surprised when the man took a seat beside him and just started talking.
“So, hi, yeah. For the record, I wouldn’t normally just crash on a guy’s solo drinking session but when I came in I saw,” Phil felt his eyebrow twitch as he picked up the odd inflection on that word, “you and I thought ‘you know what? That man right there, he’s a kindred spirit.’ And sometimes all you need to know is you’re not the only one, you know. And I’m sorry, by the way, for whoever I remind you of.”
The dark haired man gave Phil a carefree smile. “Oh, sorry, Xander.” Phil hesitated before grasping the offered hand.
“Phil.” The response was automatic, and he was surprised to find he didn’t actually mind the intrusion after all. “And you don’t, not really.”
The pair sipped their drinks in comfortable silence for a moment. Phil wasn’t surprised to hear Xander picking their ‘conversation’ back up.
“Now and then, it’s pretty hard being the normal one. Some days it seems that’s all the sum of my life’s going to be - wrangling people who seem to be so much more than me – the actual ‘heroes’. I’d also like to be acknowledged as just being Xander sometimes. Not that I exactly have time for a life of my own.” Xander absently wiped the condensation from the bottle. “What about you, Phil? Have you found the secret of a personal life and if so, pretty please, will you share it with me.”
“Almost. Ironically, it’s her job that’s separating us right now. Not that I can hold that against her, if it wasn’t that...” Phil let the words hang. Xander was right, there always seemed to be something, some reason, some crisis that held his attention more. It would hardly be fair, especially with the risks, to try and make anything more out of it.
“Yeah. And those in the know, well, they’re as crazy as we are, right?” Xander snorted. “I never imagined my life would turn out like this.”
Phil was prevented from answering as his phone rang. Xander gave a dark chuckle. “No rest for the wicked.”
“I have to…” Phil stepped away to answer but froze as the door to the bar slammed open and a young woman burst in.
“Xander, there’s a… thing. We need you, now!” Xander sighed, throwing some cash on the bar as he stood.
“Should have kept my mouth shut, eh, Phil?” Xander fished around in his wallet for a card. “We should totally do this again. Give me a call.”
Phil took it, with a nod. “Guys like us should stick together, right?” He allowed a wry quirk to his lips as the younger man smiled, slapped him on the shoulder and ran off. He snapped his phone open.