Behind the Scenes

Title: Behind the Scenes
Author: Dea Brynhild Ensomhet
Pairing: Xander/Faith friendship
Rated: PG. Take the necessary precautions: practice responsible reading.
Email: BrynSpikess@hotmail.com
Archival: Just ask and ye shall recieve.
Disclaimer: Don't own Buffy or Angel cast/crew/characters/plotlines/etc.
Dedicated to: ponders_life, who asked GGI!Xander: Tell me more about your history with Faith -- how'd you meet and get to be best buds?
Author's Notes: Xander's prequel to "Gotta Get It".
Last updated: 1/23/05

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"God, this sucks."

Xander looked up from his book as a ten-year-old girl with long dark wavy hair wandered into the back of the youth theater building. "Something wrong?"

"Nothing, just all those goody-two-shoes auditioning for parts, scrambling for attention like pigeons for thrown bread crust." She flipped her hair over her shoulder, casting a glare back towards the people in question. "Losers." She turned back towards Xander, curiosity evident in her voice. "What are you doing back here?"

"I'm part of the tech crew." Xander grinned sheepishly. "Actually, I can't act at all, so I help John work on the scenery and props and stuff. What are you doing back here?"

She glanced back towards the stage. "Ma's forcing me to come here. It's one of the things that's in the divorce paperwork." She shrugged. "I'd rather be anywhere but here. I'm so not actress material."

"You wanna be part of the tech crew?" Xander offered. "There's not much to do yet - they've still gotta figure out choreography and props, but the furniture is almost always the same, so we can start painting it."

The girl considered. "Okay, sure."

Xander put his book down and offered her his hand. "I'm Xander."

"Faith."

~*~

Six years later, Faith and Xander were veterans of the summer theater gig. They knew where everything was, could set up or tear down the stage blindfolded, and knew all the passageways and cubbyholes in the building. Faith was in the process of organizing props on shelves in the girl's dressing room, as the girls that had been lucky enough to get parts bustled around, applying makeup and changing into costumes for rehearsal.

They were currently putting on a production of Sleeping Beauty, and Winifred Burkle had been cast in the title role. Faith stole glances from under her lashes as Fred changed into the princess gown. Fred wore the cutest white lacy bra, and Faith blushed as she tried not to stare. Fred was busy chatting with her best friend Tara, who'd gotten the role of the evil witch. Faith stepped closer to where they were applying makeup, on the pretext of replacing some of the light bulbs around the mirrors that had burned out.

"And did you see him yesterday after rehearsal? He was soooo hot in that black t-shirt, building the glass coffin."

Faith didn't have to eavesdrop long to figure out that they were gossiping about Xander. She handed Fred a tissue so she could dab off the excess lipstick. Fred flashed a smile at her, but was all too quickly re-engrossed in the conversation. Faith sighed. Sometimes working tech made her feel almost invisible.

She wandered into the back warehouse area. Xander was guiding wood through a saw, cutting the outline of flat trees. Privately, Faith had to admit that Xander was kinda hot. Puberty made him tall and lanky, but lugging around lumber and helping build the stage had given him muscles like the boys in the teen magazines. Hey, just because she liked girls didn't mean she couldn't appreciate the male form.

Faith stayed silent until Xander had turned off the saw and removed his safety goggles. "How's it going?"

Xander shrugged. "Larry's forgetting his lines again." And didn't that just sum up everything. She and Xan were behind the scenes for every rehearsal, and as a result of hearing the lines over and over again, both could recite the entire play verbatim. Larry didn't have a good memory for lines, and Xander would offer to help him learn his lines, except almost every time Larry's frustration would turn into anger at the fact that Xander knew every line. It didn't help either that Xander had a little bit of a crush on Larry.

Faith shook her head. "I don't know why you never audition. You'd make a kick-ass Prince Charming."

"I can't act." Xander replied, as always.

"You don't know that you can't until you try." Faith objected, per usual.

His voice was firm, "Don't need to try, I can't act."

Faith stopped pushing. "Well, if it makes you feel any better, Fred's still nursing her crush on you."

"Delusional twerp." Xander snorted, "Who'da thunk we'd get involved in a wacky unrequited love tangle?" He slung his arm across Faith's shoulders, his voice taking on a dramatic tone. "Love is that gentle mist that obscures mine eyes and casts your beauty into a radiant glow, blinding me to all others but alas, blinding you to me."

She mock-punched him in the stomach. "Toldja to stop quoting Shakespeare, dork. You spend way too much time here."

Xander laughed, mock-doubling over from the punch. "S'not Shakespeare, and you spend as much time here as I do, Miss Black Pot."

"Yeah, but you won't catch me quoting lines." She retorted, sticking out her tongue. "And if it's not Shake&Spear, then who is it?"

Xander smiled. "It's from this poem I read online yesterday. Guy named William Barstow wrote it. He has a few poems on his site - I thought I'd check it out again tonight, see if the rest are any good."

"Mmmm, another Friday night curled up in front of the computer for you, huh?" Faith sighed. "You've really gotta get out more."

"Tell you what, I'll take you out to a movie tomorrow, okay?" Xander offered. "And I'll even let you tell Fred, get her all in a jealous tizzy."

Faith kissed him on the cheek. "Thanks, Xander."

He grinned at her, and there was a scream coming from the direction of the girls' dressing room. "Spider?" Xander queried.

"Probably. Either that, or one of the girls forgot to bring their foundation." Faith headed back towards the dressing room.

"Never fear, Wonder-Faith to the rescue!" Xander called after her and she laughed, ignoring the improv theme song he was humming.

~*~

The End.

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Click here to read "Gotta Get It"

Click here to read Spike's prequel: "Facade"

The sequel, "Want, Take, Have" coming soon!

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