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Twenty-Three Weeks in Mexico

Author: Doyle (doyle@ntlworld.com)
Pairing: Andrew/Jonathan (UST)
Rating: PG-13 for some swearing. In Spanish. And one homophobic word in English.
Summary: Vignettes in Mehico.
Notes: Written for Emma for the We Are as Gods challenge. I hugely apologize for any mistakes in the Spanish. Thanks to Mary for the last-second beta.


*******


1. Four Things I Hate About You


Andrew tries to stay positive. After a few days he decides to move away from his whole "I hate this place and I wanna go home" mindset because, hey, big bonus about life south of the border is that nobody's tried to kill them yet. Well, except that trucker, but that was probably an accident.

He even makes a list. No paper or pen, so he makes it in his head one afternoon while he's waiting for Jonathan to come back to their rundown hotel room.

Reasons Why Mexico is Better Than Sunnydale, he thinks, and he imagines it in bold print, underlined.

One: way less chance of being hunted down and killed by vengeful Wicca.

Two:

He flounders for a second. There is no two ("there is no spoon" his mind automatically adds, and he smiles despite himself).

He hates this place. He wants to go home.

He sleeps for a while, and when he wakes up and Jonathan still isn't back, he gets bored and he reverses it. Reasons Why Sunnydale is Better Than Mexico.

One: most people in Sunnydale can speak English, which he never fully appreciated until he came to a country where he can't ask for a glass of water without getting tongue-tied.

("Didn't you learn the language in high school?" Jonathan had asked, and looked at him strangely when he'd answered no, he only took Spanish and some French.)

Two: he misses his brother and his aunt and his comic collection and cable TV.

He's cried for all that stuff in a way he hasn't cried for Warren yet. Thinking about Warren is like having his skin ripped off a little bit at a time, and it hurts so much that he can't cry at all.

Three: all the things he hoped would vanish when they passed the Welcome to Sunnydale sign, the vampires and demons and monsters, are still around. Not as many as there were back home - Sunnydale, he corrects himself and feels the lump start up in his throat again, not home - but enough to make some parts of the town a demonpalooza after dark.

There's no Slayer here. He supposes Warren and Jonathan must have been right about the whole There Can Be Only One thing. He thinks about what Sunnydale would have been like without Buffy, and feels glad they never killed her (but they wouldn't have, that was only a game, really, and he never ever thinks about Katrina).

Jonathan comes through the door then, tosses a couple of Happy Meal boxes on the bed. Andrew's fourth least favorite thing about Mexico is the food.

"You're so good at finding stuff," he says. "Way better than me." He's been uber-nice to Jonathan, these last few days. He tells himself it's because he feels guilty over the jetpacks thing.

He doesn't admit, even to himself, that he's terrified that Jonathan will leave him.

"We need to keep moving," his friend says. "The glamour on the money'll wear off tomorrow and the hotel people will realize we paid them in tic-tacs. We gotta be out of here by noon."

"Okay," Andrew says.

Andrew likes to be told what to do. He's a good follower. Warren always said so. And he'll follow Jonathan anywhere, just so long as he gets to be part of that "we".


--
2. Everybody Comes to Rico's


And slowly, things start to get better.

New town, and they find work in a bar that's relaxed about things like ID and work permits. Jonathan's a shitty bartender, but the senoritas seem to think he's cute. Andrew, formerly darling of Ms. Thomas the Home Ec teacher at Sunnydale High, works in the kitchen during the day. At night he sits in the bar and waits for Jonathan to close up.

Some days he wakes up and Warren isn't the first thing on his mind. Some days a red-haired woman walks into the bar and his heart doesn't freeze for a second.

He works out the dialing system, and at least once a week he stands at the payphone on the corner and punches in the numbers, but when Tucker answers he hangs up.


--
3. Language Barrier


It's past four am. Rico's is empty except for one guy, who's very surly, very drunk, and probably weighs more than Andrew and Jonathan combined. He doesn't show any signs of saying goodnight and returning to his hacienda.

"Can we go soon?" Andrew whines. "I'm tired. I wanna go."

The big guy jerks his head at him. "Su amigo es un inche pelotas," he growls, and Jonathan says "si".

"Cabron?"

It sounds like a question, and Jonathan flushes. The mountain grunts, seemingly losing interest, and shuffles away. When he's safely out the door, Jonathan mutters, "yeah, well, chingate, pal."

"What'd he say?" Andrew wants to know.

"Nothing. He said you were whiny and, uh, short."

"That is *so* rude," Andrew sulks. "You're, like, way littler than me."

A long, long time later, one of the Potentials tells him in her halting English that "cabron" is Mexican for "faggot", and his first thought is to tell Jonathan he was wrong.

It takes him a moment, as it always does, to remember that Jonathan is dead.


--
4. Truth and Consequences


"Andrew?" Jonathan says, shifting beside him in the darkness. "Are you awake?"

"Yeah."

"How come you never told me about. y'know. You and Warren?"

This is the question he's been waiting for for the last ten weeks. He thought it would come up when they started renting the apartment (such as it is), what with there being only one bed. For a second he'd thought Jonathan was going to suggest they take turns sleeping on the floor, but he'd obviously figured sharing a bed with the probably-gay guy beat being used as a throughway by cockroaches the size of puppies.

"Warren said not to," he says honestly. "And I thought you'd totally freak. You wouldn't even read The Authority after you realized Midnighter and Apollo were doing it."

"That was so not why I stopped buying it," Jonathan protests. "The quality went way downhill. And you should've told me you were."

Andrew waits, but an end to the sentence isn't forthcoming.

"I told you stuff."

Andrew rolls his eyes. "Yeah, like how you lost your virginity to gorgeous Swedish identical twins in your magic fantasy Jonathan-world."

"So?"

"So that's the kind of stuff you tell other guys. Not 'by the way, when I was twelve I had a major crush on David Duchovny, and, oh yeah, I'm sleeping with your other best friend.' "

"You should've told me."

"Sorry," he says quietly, meaning it. He wants to reach out and touch the other boy in the dark, but he's scared. Scared Jonathan would think it was a come-on. Maybe scared he wouldn't.

He's ready to answer the inevitable "what's it like with another guy" questions, but Jonathan just says "night" and rolls over to face away from him.

Andrew stares at the ceiling till long past dawn, wide awake and frustrated and deeply confused.

--
5. Things Fall Apart


Andrew dreams about Warren.

Dream-Warren stands silently by a door at the end of a long, gray hallway.

Andrew looks down, and realizes he's holding a knife. It's sharp, dangerous. Pretty design on the blade.

He's standing in a dirt pit, and there's blood everywhere, on the knife, on his hands, and Warren is smiling and smiling.

He wakes up, heart pounding. Jonathan is still asleep, curled on his side, and Andrew reaches out for him. Just for a moment, he tells himself, just to make sure he's real.

"You got a new boyfriend, Andy?"

If he doesn't speak, doesn't move, it'll be a dream.

Warren walks around the bed and crouches down to Andrew's eye level. "Miss me?"

"You're not real," he whispers.

"You and Frodo? Never saw that coming."

"You're not him. He's dead." He stumbles on the word.

And Warren smiles. "We can fix that. You and me." He leans in, and Andrew wants so much to believe that when the thing wearing Warren's face tells him "We're gonna be like gods" all he can do is nod, even as he starts to cry.


~The End~

Copyright Tania 2003-2004
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