Lady Starlight - September 24 2001
I sit down in my chair and reach out to flick on the telly. Ah, Baywatch. Hollywood's good for something after all.
Aw, shit! Someone's at the door. Hmm, can't be Her Royal Slayerness, she never knocks. Dawn? Possible, although she doesn't wait for me to answer sometimes. Even though I had to explain to her that since sometimes I wander around the crypt naked: might be a good thing to knock first, give me some warning.
"Alright, alright. Keep your bloody shirt on." And the crossbow is...loaded, good. Pull open the door and.
"Spike, I'm desperate. Really, completely desperate. Otherwise I never would have come here. But every other male is gone. Giles's gone. Riley's gone. Oz's gone."
Panicked look on the whelp's face, and-what's this? Beer, two cases of real English beer and two of the brown water the Americans laughingly call beer. "Might as well come in. Fridge's in the corner." I back away from the door, and put the crossbow away.
And so help me God, he just looks at me like...well, I don't know but I'm sure the Great Poof would. "Xander. Give me the beer. Go sit down." Takes a little doing, but I manage to fit the American crap in the fridge. Grab one of each, hand him one and sit down myself.
"So," Ooh my, that's good. Never could persuade Willy to stock English stout. "Not that I mind the free beer, but why are you here?"
"Women. All over my apartment. Flowers. Dresses. Invitations. Appetizers, for christ's sake!" Now I'm really starting to get confused. "Xander, drink your beer and tell me what's going on."
He drains the bottle in one long swallow and tosses it over his head. "Everyone is at my apartment planning my wedding. Not that the wedding is bad, that's good, but everyone is planning it. Do you have any idea how many bridal magazines there are? Modern Bride, Brides, Bridal, Modern Weddings, Traditional Weddings. I haven't seen Vengeance Demon Bridal yet, but I'm sure it's out there." Voice spirals out of control and I sprint for the fridge. Cold beer's overrated anyways.
Grab some beer and put one in one of his hands. "Here, drink this." One long gulp and crash against the wall. One of these days, I'll have to nick a broom from somewhere. Not that I care, but really don't want to hear the lectures if Little Bit cuts herself. Of course, it'd be my fault. Wouldn't matter that I've told her about a million times to quit poking around in the corners, that there's nothing there. Bitty Buffy doesn't listen if she doesn't want to.
"If I hear one more word about shrimp...I'll run away. Shrimp curry, shrimp cocktail, shrimp puffs, shrimp fried rice, deep-fried shrimp. And colours? Don't get me started on colours. Salmon vs. teal vs. blue vs. green vs. pink vs. lavender. Baby blue, navy blue, royal blue, sky blue. Blue is blue! Pick a colour and move on!" Ah, now it's starting to clue in. Harm used to natter on about this stuff, until she finally figured out that the odds were pretty good that the wedding thing? Not going to happen, at least with me.
Put another beer in his hand and take one for myself. I guess I'm the designated male who listens to the whelp and then sends him back to the demon refreshed and ready to listen to a dissertation on colours. Ah well, free beer's free beer.
He blinks at me, like he's surprised I'm still there. Oh, guess this is the part where I talk. "Well, you love her, right?" Uh-oh, wrong thing to say.
"Love isn't the problem here! The problem is, I don't know what the problem is." Crash over the head again. Back to the fridge for more beer.
"Xander, just tell her that the colours of the dresses don't matter. Tell her that you love her and you want to marry her."
He takes a sip of beer and thinks for a minute. "Think that'd work?"
I shrug my shoulders. "Search me." For some reason, this strikes both of us as really funny and we start laughing. Laughter trails off and we drink our beer.
"Who'd you do? If'n Anya'd never find out."
"Before or after she fixed the implants?"
"Um, before. And Jennifer Lopez."
"What's it like?" He says, tries to focus his eyes on me, but fails miserably. Can't hold his liquor worth a damn.
"What's what like?"
"Being married." And with that statement, I'm spewing half a bottle of stout onto the floor. Well, mostly the floor.
"What the hell...I've never been married!" Damnit, that was my last clean shirt. Oh well, not like I'm going to get close to anyone any time soon.
With unassailable drunken logic, he says, "Well, you were with Drusilla for, forever. Isn't that close enough?"
Very carefully, I take a pull from the bottle, waiting for any other surprise remarks. Of course, he shuts up after the beer hits the floor. Bloody wanker. "It's...a little different than a human relationship."
"Duh, I know that." He drops his head and talks to the floor. "I don't have anyone else to ask."
"It's...nice." He looks at me with surprise written all over his face. "It's not having to explain things, because the other person gets it. Oh, Dru wasn't exactly sane, but she still got stuff." I grab another bottle and keep talking. "It's always having someone to hold on to at night. Miss that, especially when the ni..." Whoops, forgot he was here. Mustn't let on the Big Bad has nightmares.
Drops his head again. Damn vampire hearing. "So how come she left you?"
Startles a laugh out of me. "Y'know, I'm still not sure. She said I tasted of ashes, that when she looked at me all she saw was her. But I went back to her, damnit! Bloody women."
He considers that for a minute, then holds out his bottle to me. "I'll drink to that." Drains the last, and looks around. "Any more left?"
I hold out a bottle of stout. "Try one of these, it'll put hair on your chest." He takes a swallow and I fall over laughing at the look on his face.
Bangbangbang. Oh, bloody hell, my head! No, not my head, the door. Good, maybe someone'll stake me. Open the door, careful of the sunlight. "Blghm." Cough, clear throat, try again. "Buffy. What brings you hear this early in the morning?"
She pushes past me, dumping me on my ass. Bitch. Can't she see I'm suffering here? "Where's Xander?"
"Right there." I point to my chair. "Can't you hear him snoring? Enough to wake the bloody dead."
She just glares at me and goes over to wake him up. Good luck. Is there, nope. All the beers are dead. No hair of the dog for Spike today. Xander's up and swaying. Can't be easy to talk when you're 45 degrees off vertical, but he manages, "No, Buffy, I'm fine. Just, guy stuff." He finds his coat and follows her out. Comes back.
"Spike, if you don't want to be my best man, that's okay."
Best man? What in bloody hell...oh right. He did ask me, and think now, c'mon brain cells, I said I would. "If you want to find someone else..." Oh, just stake me now!
He smiles. "Well, I figure you're the only one strong enough to make me sit still and listen to Anya's plans." Shrugs. "If I have to listen, you have to listen. Unless you want to get stuck wearing a powder blue tux..."
"What time?" Right at the moment, I'm praying for noon.
"Oh, she starts around 6:00. But she usually doesn't get serious until 7:30 or so."
"Right. I'll be there. 'Cause there's no fucking way I'm wearing powder blue. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out." Crawl back to bed, horizontal never felt so good.
"And, Spike? Um, about the nightmares? I won't tell."
Chokes me up. Damn. Clear throat. "Thank you."
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