BHM Xander - by Undine (~BHM, Intrigue, ~~WG)

Discussion in 'Recent Additions' started by Undine, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. Sep 7, 2014 #141

    loopytheone

    loopytheone

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    Oh my gosh!!! Poor Cee! I knew something wasn't right but man... poor Xander and Cee, I am almost crying! Please let them be okay!
     
  2. Sep 7, 2014 #142

    Xyantha Reborn

    Xyantha Reborn

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    Oh!

    My!

    Gawd!

    I freakin love this story, and I am so in love with Cee and Xander!! I think pudge is my new favourite word!!
     
  3. Sep 7, 2014 #143

    Anjula

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    Simply perfect! I just hope Cee will be ok 😱
     
  4. Sep 8, 2014 #144

    lurksville

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    That was awesome. Omg the creepy rising anxiety as they go down to the basement together... so well done.
     
  5. Sep 8, 2014 #145

    Tad

    Tad

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    oh, wow, this story has always been extremely good, but this chapter just pulled so many things together so nicely, so fluidly, so naturally. It was both a mini-climax and a really deft piece of writing.

    Of course, now I'm just dying to see what comes next!
     
  6. Sep 8, 2014 #146

    wildandfree

    wildandfree

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    Nicely said Tad. I agree. This is my favorite "FFAntasy" !
     
  7. Oct 1, 2014 #147

    Derpfang

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    im hanging out for more!! got this pinned in my web browser!! :D
     
  8. Oct 9, 2014 #148

    Undine

    Undine

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    Hi, friends! Once again, I've come to you to apologize for taking so long between installments. I started a new job and am dealing with a completely new and strange schedule, and it's taken quite a bit of getting used to, what with adjusting my sleep schedule and trying to find a new routine to fall into. Also, it seems that whenever I come to you and apologize for my tortoise-like writing speed, it spurs me on to finish the next chapter. Here's hoping that continues to work!
     
    Tad likes this.
  9. Oct 9, 2014 #149

    bayone

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    Here's hoping our responses inspire you!:D
     
  10. Oct 9, 2014 #150

    Tad

    Tad

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    The great white north, eh?
    I just re-read the ending of that last chapter, and got all the 'great story doing cool stuff can't wait to read what happens next' happy tingles down my spine again. I know I raved about this chapter before, but I figure it never hurts to do so again :)
     
  11. Oct 9, 2014 #151

    Xyantha Reborn

    Xyantha Reborn

    Xyantha Reborn

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    I have been holding my breath since the last installment! I was so excited to see the bolded text with your name beside it i almost dropped my phone scrolling to the bottom!

    Sleep schedule stuff throws you totally out of wack. Hopefully your body is adjusting!
     
  12. Nov 18, 2014 #152

    Goreki

    Goreki

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    You glorious ratbag! I didn't see this until I was copying the whole thing to put into my phone and read for the umpteenth time.
    I hope you're well and that your creative juices are happily marinating :)
     
  13. Nov 21, 2014 #153

    gainer2

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    Any updates?
     
  14. Mar 27, 2015 #154

    Undine

    Undine

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    Maybe someday I will learn how to write without taking 6 month+ breaks...but today is not that day.



    "Xander?" Ken called again, gently knocking on the door.

    He hugged the pillow tighter to his chest and tried to sink deeper beneath the covers.

    "Hey, they're here, man. Cee's parents are in her room, and everyone else is downstairs. They want to see you. Are you coming?"

    Xander clenched his eyes shut, but managed to stop short of slapping his hands over his ears like a two year old. You can't let them see you, you disgusting tub of lard. You can't. They'll take one look at you and know that everything was your fault because you're too fat and stupid to have realized that a demon was possessing their daughter and you almost killed her. You almost killed her, you freaking piece of crap. The pain drove itself into his chest again and again as he saw her, grey-faced and still, laying in his arms on the basement floor. The looks on their faces as the hunters stopped dead at the bottom of the basement stairs and saw him clutching her, weeping helplessly. The distance even Ling had kept from him since then. The sharpness he could smell - and now see, and feel - in the air in the house. He had locked himself in the guest bedroom last night and had only snuck out a few times to use the bathroom when he was sure the hunters were nowhere close by. He had spent the rest of the day in bed, his stomach filled with nothing but the tea he drank lukewarm with water from the bathroom sink and shame and desperation trying to claw their way out. He couldn't even stand the sight of himself in a mirror, and they wanted him to meet Ling's and Cee's families?

    Ken knocked again. "Seriously, Xander, are you okay? I know you're not asleep..."

    The door creaked as it opened, and Xander shuddered involuntarily as he felt Ken approach the bed. He hastily wiped the tears from his cheeks with the comforter that was covering his head.

    "Dude...what's wrong?"

    He swallowed hard and replied, his voice raspy, "Just...just tired."

    "You're a crummy liar." He felt Ken's hand rest upon his shoulder momentarily, then pull away. "Geez. What's wrong with you? It's not your fault. None of us even suspected anything was wrong. You're the reason she's alive."

    He let out a short, involuntary bark of laughter at that. "I'm the one who almost killed her."

    "Seriously, you're not that stupid. The demon almost killed her. You got the demon out. Cee's family is practically ready to kiss your feet."

    Xander tried to swallow past the lump in his throat and tell him that he was wrong, he didn't understand...but he couldn't.

    Ken breathed a few profanities. "Do you want me to go get Ling and Darshan? Or how about I just tell everyone to come in here to see you?"

    "No!"

    "Then come on, get out of bed."

    Xander let out a small noise that was a cross between a whimper and a groan, but he yanked his shirt back down over his belly and inched out of the cocoon.

    "Come on. Go wash your face. Change your pants. Do you have another shirt?" Ken asked, eyeing Xander as he lurched to his feet.

    He gaped at him, head swimming. "What?"

    Ken spoke slowly. "Do you have a different shirt you can wear? That one's...a bit snug."

    His breath hitched as he looked down at himself. The charcoal fabric was stretched taut across his soft paunch, barely containing the thick roll that gushed over the waistband of his sweatpants. But...but this is a new one, the thought raced wildly through his mind. It hasn't even been two weeks. He tugged at it frantically, but the fabric remained tight, and his insides clenched. "Crap."

    "Hey, you'd better take some of that stuff Ling gave you...you don't look so great."

    His shaking fingers scrabbled against the smooth wood of the nightstand as he grabbed for the tiny bottle. He considered upending the entire thing into his mouth, but the thought of Cee's family's first encounter with him being trying to heft his massive, unconscious body off the floor was nauseating enough to stop him. Gulping back a wheeze, he managed to drip three drops under his tongue before wearily plopping his ass back down on the bed as another wave of dizziness crashed over him.

    He could feel Ken's eyes on him. "Are you going to be able to pull it together?"

    A laugh turned to a cough as the air caught in his throat. "I don't know," he finally admitted. Tears pricked his eyes again, but he closed them until the burning stopped.

    "Seriously, do you want me to go get Ling?"

    Xander shook his head. "I'll be fine. Just...let me get changed."

    "Alright. But I'm going to wait outside, and if you're not out in five minutes I'm going to assume you got back in bed and I'm going to tell Ling. Then she can deal with you."

    "Fine." Xander sighed as Ken shut the door behind him, and, fighting a rush of nausea, rose from the bed to rummage around in his bag for some presentable clothing. He settled on the pair of cargo pants he remembered feeling the roomiest when he'd tried them on, a black t-shirt that felt smaller than it should have, and over it a grey button-down left open in hopes of camouflaging how tight the t-shirt was.

    "There's a good man," Ken said as Xander opened the door and stepped into the hallway. "Now go wash your face, you'll feel better." He obediently entered the bathroom and, avoiding the mirrors, turned the cold handle on the sink. He leaned over as he let the water fill his cupped hands and, feeling a fresh wave of misery as his belly smushed into the cool porcelain, splashed the liquid onto his face. After a few repetitions his warm cheeks had cooled and his eyes felt less scratchy, so he reached for a towel and patted his skin dry.

    "You good?"

    Xander just stared at the faucet for a few moments. His face stared back at him from the shiny metal, pale and distorted by the curves of the fixture. "No," he muttered. He turned from the sink and walked towards Ken, who was waiting in the doorway.

    "Alright, Cee's parents are in her room with her. Her mom's name is Aislin and her dad is Zarek," Ken rattled off quietly as he led Xander down the hall. "Her mom and dad are nothing like her, it's so weird. Her mom is like this fae-looking, soft-spoken Irish woman and her dad is this chill Greek dude. Her youngest brother, Kai, is in there with them - they're really close. Her other two brothers are downstairs. The oldest is Costas, the middle one is Talos. Good luck telling them apart: they look so much alike I was convinced they were twins. They're...a handful."

    He swallowed a jolt of queasiness, wondering if he should administer more of Ling's tincture now or wait until he was completely freaking out. "Great..."

    Ken was shaking his head. "Don't worry, it'll be fine. Now, Ling's parents are downstairs, too. Her dad is Thomas and her mom is Mei. They take some time to warm up to people, so don't be, like, offended if all they do is nod their heads at you. That's just how they are. It's really Cee's two oldest brothers that you need to worry about..."

    Xander stopped, his head swimming. "Maybe I shouldn't..." He turned slightly to retreat to the guest room, but he immediately felt Ken's strong fingers sink into his thick upper arm. He choked back a gag at the sight of Ken's hand dwarfed by his flesh.

    "Look, I get it. You don't like people. Understandable." He kept his grip on Xander's arm as he spoke. "I know what you're afraid of. That's why you should meet them now. With what you did last night, you've got a free pass, you get me? You could have a gigantic facial tattoo of a lewd sex act and they'd still want to kiss your feet." Ken released his hold and looked at Xander earnestly, his words slowing. "You saved her life last night. You saved all of us. In a big way. None of us can conjure that much energy, let alone know how to do what you did with it. If you hadn't flushed that demon out, it would have gotten each and every one of us alone and killed us. And with us dead, who knows when or even if anybody else would have figured out what we figured out about the demon attack. You get where I'm going with this?"

    "But I don't even know how I -"

    Ken rolled his eyes. "Dude, it doesn't matter. You'll figure it out. Point is, you're basically wearing a halo right now. They're not going to care that you're socially awkward. They're not going to care that you're fat. Yeah, Costas and Talos will probably be dicks to you, but they're dicks to everyone, and deep down, they're really grateful that you saved their baby sister's life. I know stuff sometimes, remember?"

    Yeah, but they haven't seen me yet, Xander thought miserably. One look at this and they won't be able to contain their disgust. Or laughter. Probably both. But to Ken he just sighed, nodded, and followed him down the stairs, feeling his heart jump with every creak the old wood gave under his weight. He peered cautiously into the living room and, despite a strange, intermittent blurring that seemed to have begun in his vision, saw that it was empty save for two slender, dark-haired people, a man and a woman, sitting on the green couch and talking quietly. They turned their heads at Ken and Xander's approach.

    "Mr. and Mrs. Kwan, this is Xander," Ken introduced him.

    Mrs. Kwan, whose hair was dusted with silver strands despite her smooth, practically-glowing skin, stood immediately, her head tilting slightly in a manner so similar to her daughter's that Xander was almost comforted as she looked him up and down. But her heady floral scent momentarily darkened, and Xander gave silent thanks for his inability to read minds.

    Her husband stood more slowly, his slim brows arching in obvious concern as he took in their supposed savior. "This?" he inquired.

    "Yeah, this is him."

    Thomas bowed his head slightly to Xander. "You have done us a great service, Xander. I thank you."

    "Um..." he sputtered, "uh, thanks."

    But Ling's parents were already lowering themselves to the couch, deep in conversation again in a language that Xander could not understand. Ken grabbed his arm again and led him towards the kitchen, where a sudden bang made Xander jump.

    "That was pretty good," Ken murmured to him.

    "That?"

    "Yeah. Now just...take a deep breath or something." He clapped him on the back as he swung the door open.

    "Did you check the oven? Sometimes mom hides stuff in there." A tall man with sandy brown hair and tanned, freckled skin was rummaging around in a cabinet across the room. "Like the cookies. Maybe they do that, too."

    "I told you, that was the first place I looked," came a voice immediately to their right from the open refrigerator. "I'll bet it's Darshan, with all that health food bullsh-" The fridge door closed and they were confronted with green eyes and a frown. "Oh. Figured out why there's no food here."

    A near-identical gaze met Xander's eyes as the other man turned from the cabinet to face them. "Oh. Yeah, guess he ate it all."

    Ken planted his palm in the center of Xander's back just as he tried to turn to leave. "Guys, this is Xander. Xander, Costas and Talos. No, I don't know which one's which."

    "Obviously I'm Talos," the one by the cabinets said.

    "And obviously I'm Costas. I'm a half-inch taller, and his IQ's forty points lower."

    A box of wheat crackers flew at Costas's head from across the room. "Shut up, douche."

    "Make me, dickwad." Costas chucked an apple at him. "What up, Ken? It's been a while." He held out his fist and Ken bumped it with his own.

    Ken shrugged. "Ah, y'know, narrowly escaping death, prophecy bull, your sister being possessed by a Greater Demon. The usual. You guys?"

    Xander started at Ken's response. By a what?

    But Costas was already speaking. "Ha, of course it'd be our sister. It's like she can't help but get herself involved in ridiculous crap."

    "Speaking of ridiculous crap," Talos said, "what's this?" He jutted his chin at Xander, his eyebrows raised.

    Xander looked at the floor, his heart pounding with the effort of trying not to dry heave as Ken answered. "This is Xander," he said, patting him on his soft back. "The guy who saved your sister's life."

    He could practically taste their disbelief, feel their eyes widen in the few seconds of silence that followed. His view of the floor tiles blurred and darkened.

    "Seriously?" Costas murmured as Talos said, "What?"

    "Yeah, he flushed the demon out all by himself."

    Talos gaped at him. "This is the dude from the prophecy?"

    Ken nodded firmly. "Yup. Among his other talents, he smells energy."

    "What do we smell like?" Costas asked, a hint of suspicion coloring his voice.

    Xander shifted uncomfortably, every movement making him hyper aware of the most minute jiggle. "You smell like stone...granite," he mumbled. "He smells like apple blossoms."

    "Haha, you smell like pretty flowers," Costas taunted his brother.

    "Shove it, buttwipe, at least I don't smell like a filthy rock."

    Ken gave Xander a curious look. "What about me?"

    At least they're distracted from how awkward and huge I am, Xander thought. Momentarily, anyway. "You smell like a field of grass when it's really hot out. Like summer."

    "Huh. Cool. What about -"

    Talos interrupted him. "So how'd you do it?"

    "Yeah," Costas chimed in. "How did you manage to exorcise a Greater Demon? You only even found out about all this like a month ago, you have no training, and you're -"

    "Ling's been training him," Ken cut in before Costas could say what they all knew he'd been thinking. "Your sister, too. He's caught on really fast."

    "Yeah, but still... We can't even do that. I don't even think our mom can do that. Not by herself," Talos countered. "So how does an inexperienced fatty like you manage?"

    Xander's muscles contracted as he tried not to stumble, another rush of dizziness blinding him. "I don't know," he replied quietly.

    "You don't know?" Costas said, his incredulity stretching out his words like elastic.

    "Hey," Ken interjected, "let's focus on the important stuff here, like the fact that because of Xander, we're not planning your sister's funeral right now, huh?"

    Talos and Costas looked at each other, abashed. "Sorry," they muttered in unison. "And thanks," Costas added.

    They stood there in awkward silence for a few moments, Ken glancing back and forth between them, until Xander suddenly felt the kitchen door swing open and bounce off of his protruding ass. His cheeks flushed as he jumped and immediately tried to move out of the way. A light, lilting voice exclaimed, "Ooh, goodness, I'm sorry! Let me swing it the other way." And then five more bodies were crowding the kitchen, making Xander feel that much larger, crammed into the space with eight other people who were each less than half his size. He tried to shove himself as far into the corner by the basement and back doors as he possibly could, observing the Argyris family as they congregated around the table with Ken, Ling, and Darshan. A tall, solidly built man with dark hair, olive skin, and rugged features draped his arm around the shoulders of a tiny, pale, freckled woman with a thick rope of flame colored hair pouring down her back. Cee's parents smiled at each other, and Xander felt the sweetness of their warm, earthy scents wash over him with a pang of jealousy. He averted his eyes, only to be confronted with a gaze that was a scant shade or two darker than the vibrant peridot of Cee's. Kai was staring at him, one eyebrow cocked curiously. Xander felt himself shiver violently as the man's clove-like scent seemed to brush his cheek, and he caught Kai's eyes narrow under his fine dark brows before he could look away. I hope Cee wasn't lying when she said she was the only one in her family who can read minds, he fretted.

    Ling's voice rose above the din. "Aislin, Zarek, Kai - you should meet Xander." She nodded in his direction, and he saw their heads turn his way.

    Before he knew what was happening, Aislin's arms were wrapping around him in a tight squeeze. "Oh, Xander," she sighed, her voice musical and full of unshed tears, "thank you. Thank you so much, dear. If you hadn't been there..." She pulled away to look up at his face, which he was certain was almost purple with embarrassment. "We owe her life to you. Thank you. Anything you need, anything we can ever do for you, just say the word." She reached up and touched the back of her fingers to his cheek, smiling softly.

    She stepped aside to let Zarek get close to him. He was as tall as Xander, and looked him squarely in the eyes as he shook his hand in a firm grip. "My wife is right," he told him simply. "Thank you." Not knowing what else to do, Xander just nodded, absently hoping that they didn't notice the sweat that had begun to pour down his face.

    Then Kai was before him, and Xander's stomach twisted painfully. This was Cee's favorite brother, more like her twin than a sibling, as she had explained it. What if she had told him how he felt about her? What if he shook his hand and he knew? What if he shook his hand and he knew everything -

    And then he was shaking his hand, Kai's palm warm and dry in his clammy grip. "Thank you, Xander. I'm very glad you were there for Cee." A strange look crossed his face before he let go of Xander's hand, his freckled nose crinkling just slightly.

    "Alright, everyone," Darshan called. "Are we going to discuss plans now, or later?"

    "We should talk now," Aislin responded. "Thomas and Mei have a prior engagement that will take them away just after six, so let's figure out the best course of action."

    As Aislin was speaking, Xander noticed Kai lean close to Ling and whisper in her ear. They both looked over at him, worried expressions on their faces. No, he thought miserably. His sight darkened again and he closed his eyes to try to still the spinning.

    "...all go sit in the living room," Aislin finished.

    Ling spoke up. "Aislin? I have something I need to take care of. Will it be alright if I borrow Kai for a bit?"

    "Of course, dear, just check in with us periodically, alright?" The Argyrises drifted out of the kitchen, followed by Ken and Darshan. Xander began to cautiously exit the room, too, but before he could reach the door, Ling and Kai stopped him.

    "Xander?"

    "If I'm not allowed in there, I can just -"

    "When was the last time you had something to eat?"
     
  15. Mar 27, 2015 #155

    Anjula

    Anjula

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    Ohhhhhh it's so good to read about Xander again! Thank you for an update and hopefully you won't make us wait another 6 months :p
     
  16. Mar 27, 2015 #156

    agouderia

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    Very happy to have you and a new installment back Undine!

    And ever since the first story with Garron Riese you have an incredible knack of hitting very close to my world with your name choices.

    Argyris is the name of our famous local village roast chicken king!
     
  17. Mar 27, 2015 #157

    clockworklove

    clockworklove

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    I love this update. Man, is he EVER reacting to that tea! You've managed to flesh out this world and cast of characters so well-- it's a rare treat for me to be able to sink so thoroughly into a story. Thanks! :bow:
     
  18. Mar 27, 2015 #158

    Tad

    Tad

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    Happy dance!!!!!! Thank you :)
     
  19. Mar 27, 2015 #159

    loopytheone

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    Yaaaayyy! So happy~! <3
     
  20. Mar 27, 2015 #160

    wildandfree

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    I haven't read it yet but YES! !!!! Thank you for the update!
     

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