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Beer Bad; Whiskey Worse

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Story

This story is No. 1 in the series "Changes In Destiny". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Response to TTH challenge 310, 'Woke Up In Vegas.'

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Las Vegas
Television > Without a Trace
GreywizardFR1312,7601118,97031 Aug 0631 Aug 06Yes
Disclaimer: Is this really necessary? If anyone really thinks these characters belong to me, then you’re even more out of touch with reality than Crackhead Joss was. All of the BtVS characters belong to Crackhead Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc., Martin and Sam (Missing Without A Trace) belong to Hank Steinberg and whoever he's affiliated with, and Danny (Las Vegas) belongs to Gary Scott Thompson and whoever he's affiliated with. There is no intent to profit from this, I'm just borrowing the characters for a while. Only the story is mine, and even that is negotiable.

Category: Response to TTH challenge 310, 'Woke Up In Vegas.' Story #1 in my 'Changes In Destiny' series.

Summary: The title says it all, people.

Time frame: Beginning of seventh season, when Buffy and Xander were still behaving like intelligent and rational people who hadn't suffered extensive and apparently irreparable brain damage.

Character Bashing: None.

Spoilers: None. Nope. Not at all.

Feedback: Of course! Constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated, while flamers will be ignored and added to the lists of those to be painfully exterminated, once I am appointed to my rightful position as King of the World. (Yeah, you just wait and see if I’m kidding.)

Author’s Notes 1: Another idea which caught my muse's fancy and wouldn't go away. I'm writing this in the hopes she'll be grateful enough to let me proceed with 'Prophecies' and some of my other WIPs she's decided to ignore lately. Wish me luck.

Author’s Notes 2: Thanks to Lori Bush, Tim Joy, Bill Haden and Drake the Archr for beta-ing this story.

~~~

Title: Beer Bad; Whiskey Worse


The bright desert sunshine coming in through the gap in the curtains covering the balcony door managed to catch her directly in the eyes, so Buffy grumbled an only partially-intelligible curse and rolled over to get out of the direct line of the bright and sleep-disturbing light, taking the opportunity to snuggle more cozily up against the well-muscled chest she encountered.

{ Wait a minute! Well-muscled chest?! } Blue-green eyes flew open at the sudden realization that she was not alone in her bed, but rigid self-control allowed her to not abruptly sit and throw her currently unknown bed partner across the room and, possibly, through the wall. The fact that she didn’t know what floor they were on could make that a potentially fatal fling.

Given her current position and the way the pillows were bunched up, she was unable to make out the face of whoever it might be presently sharing her bed, so she desperately tried to figure out how it was she'd ended up with whoever it was lying next to her.

Although it wasn't her own bed, she suddenly realized, as memories started to slowly filter back through her slightly throbbing headache.

{ Let's see now, } she thought to herself, { Xand and I had tracked that Gwer'le'ptim demon to Las Vegas, where it was planning to perform whatever dark ritual it had stolen that silver sacrificial dagger for, and that was where we encountered those two FBI agents looking for that kidnapped little boy. And since it was obvious (at least to us) that the Gwer'le'ptim was responsible for that kidnapping, too, it only made sense to cooperate, so we teamed up and started checking out possible hiding places it might be holed up in. }

{ And once Giles managed to determine the location of the old temple it had to perform the ritual in, if it was going to open up a portal for its 'god' to come back through and we realized that it had to be somewhere inside that hotel, Xand got in touch with that girl he knew who worked there, the one he'd gone to school with years ago, before her parents had finally decided to move somewhere less vampire-friendly, } she recalled, while trying to ignore how nicely she fit against the warm and most definitely male body next to her and smiling with pleased delight as the bed's other inhabitant grunted sleepily and shifted position so that certain parts of his body reflexively reacted to her own quite warm flesh.

{ Yeah, I've still got it, } she smugly thought to herself, with more than a little satisfaction. It seemed like she'd been going through a bit of a dry spell lately – actually, it was a lot more like an endless drought, if she was being truthful – when it came to actually getting together with living and breathing members of the opposite sex, but judging by the evidence that was pressing against her hip, that didn't seem to be a problem anymore.

{ Although, I'm gonna have to admit I'm not exactly sure just what Prince Charming's name is, } she frowned to herself as another thought occurred to her. A lot of her memories of last night were kinda – fuzzy – she reluctantly admitted to herself, especially the ones after she tried the Strawberry Margaritas in the hotel bar.

{ Now I remember why I swore off alcohol after the whole Cave-Buffy incident. }

Although those memories from last night she could remember brought a pleased smile to her lips.

The aforementioned smile disappeared quite abruptly as her attention suddenly focused on the sunlight glinting off the engraved gold band around her left ring finger.

{ What the hell?! }

~~~

"Mmmm, stop hogging all the covers."

The voice was vaguely familiar, but the little man with the god-killing sledgehammer pounding the inside of his head was making it extremely difficult to figure out exactly who it belonged to, Xander decided as he pulled the pillow more securely over his head.

He froze a moment later, when the fact that he was not alone finally finished percolating through his somewhat impaired consciousness, along with the sensation of a warm and comfortably soft body cuddling up against him.

Yes, indeed. Very soft and very nice. And, thankfully, warm enough to rule out a vampire.

Unfortunately, however, he had absolutely no memory of who the very soft and very snugly female type person who was sharing his bed at the moment might be.

Cracking open his eyes the slightest bit, an action that the throbbing in his head took as a sign that it should immediately treble in intensity, all he could make out was masses of long golden brownish-blonde hair.

{ What the hell happened last night? } he thought frantically to himself, while trying to ignore the completely involuntary reactions being produced by the very pleasantly soft and extremely naked form snuggling up against him.

{ I remember helping those FBI guys, Martin and Sam, get the kid away while Buffy took down the Gwer'le'ptim demon, } he realized as he went over his and Buffy's actions the previous night, { and then, after we gave them our official statements, we went back to the Montecito with Mary and Danny, who really doesn't seem like such a bad guy, after all, } he thought superfluously.

{ And then Martin and Sam showed up with some more questions about how the Gwer'le'ptim could have gotten away without being seen, what with all the hotel security guards and the rest of us around there, and I remember Danny buying everyone a round of drinks to celebrate rescuing the kid, and then I bought another one after that, and things start getting kinda vague after that, } he recalled with the faintest twinge of worry.

The sudden stiffening of the form snuggled up against him alerted him to the fact that his bedmate had apparently just realized that she wasn't alone, either, and he reflexively turned his head to meet a pair of incredibly entrancing hazel eyes staring at him with a mixture of shock, curiosity and possibly dismay.

"Ah, not to sound rude or anything, but – what the hell are you doing in my bed?" that same throaty and melodious voice he'd heard a moment before was asking him.

"I'm thinking I should be feeling kind of insulted if you really don't remember anything we were doing here last night," he heard himself reflexively answering with a joke as he took a moment to give an appreciative look at the very interesting display of skin revealed by the young lady next to him as she abruptly sat up and stared at him.

"And I think this is actually my room," he added after a quick glance around him. After a second look at the bewitching eyes (but not in any actual magical sense of the word, mind you) staring at him, recognition kicked in.

{ Well, at least I can be sure she's not any kind of Xander-killing demon, } he decided with a small sigh of relief as he watched those enthralling eyes narrow in a frown and then glance around in shock at the rest of his room with a mixture of surprise and dismay. { Since I’m pretty sure the FBI only hires humans. }

{ Yes! I knew my luck with women couldn’t stay horrendously suck-y forever, } he silently further exulted to himself with a pleased grin as he considered some of the fragmentary memories the sight of naked flesh a moment before had stirred in his still-throbbing brain.

It was at that particular moment, of course, that he noticed the thin gold band encircling his left ring finger.

{ Oh, man. Looks like I might have spoken too soon. }

~~~

She yanked on the sheets, trying to adjust them into a more comfortable position across her back, only to feel them being pulled back, apparently because her bedmate was equally as possessive as she was when it came to the covers. She had a headache hammering against the insides of her skull and she wanted nothing more than to go back to sleep and wake up again in a few hours, hopefully to find the final vestiges of the hangover long gone.

"Mmmm, stop hogging all the covers," Sam complained as she snuggled closer and draped her leg over the muscular form next to her and tried again to rearrange the sheets more to her liking.

She sleepily smirked to herself as she absently noticed the physiological response her proximity was producing, then abruptly stiffened as she finally realized she was sharing the sheets with someone she didn't remember inviting to join her.

What the hell was going on? She remembered her and Martin's meeting up yesterday with the pair of civilians from California, who had insisted they had information pertinent to the case. What were their names? Bunny? No, Buffy! That was it – Buffy Summers and the guy with her, Xander Harris (who seemed more big brotherly than significant other-ish, she remembered thinking when she met them), apparently believed that the kidnapper was also the person responsible for the theft of some ancient and very valuable antique temple knife of some kind they were searching for, and which they also believed he intended using on the kidnapped child in some sort of forbidden religious ritual.

With Jack, Viv and Danny busy checking out reported sightings of the perp across town, it was left to her and Martin to follow up on the possible lead the pair had brought them – that the perp was hiding somewhere inside the hotel. Not wanting to waste precious time, they'd all rushed down into the sub-basements to help the head of security and his people with the search, where'd they'd eventually managed to locate the missing boy and prevent the perp from cutting his heart out with the stolen dagger.

Things got really strange after that, since it looked like the perp had pulled on some sort of weird monster mask right before he'd attacked them, somehow managing to take down both her and Martin, not to mention a half-dozen of the security guards before going one-on-one with the California blonde. Seeing her in action, Sam had realized immediately the woman had to be some sort of martial arts expert, from the way she seemingly effortlessly bounced the guy around the sub-basement they'd ended up in – although, according to Buffy, he'd eventually somehow managed to slip away despite the security.

After a couple hours spent filling out the inevitable paperwork involved with the case, she and Martin had ended up back at the Montecito, since they still had some questions about exactly how the two Californians had managed to track the perp to the hotel.

They'd eventually found the pair in one of the smaller hotel bars, together with some of the hotel's security people. Both of them had been extremely evasive when answering any of her and Martin's questions, however, which had made her begin wondering about just what kind of possible connection the two might have had with the kidnapper and made her even more tenacious in her determination to find out more about them.

She could remember accepting one of the house specialty drinks that the hotel’s security chief had bought for everyone and thinking that it tasted very smooth, and then letting Xander get her a second a little later, but things got kind of – blurry – after that point.

She could also remember thinking, after a couple more drinks and a lot of conversation that, what with that aura of strength and toughness mixed with sensitivity and protection that seemed to almost radiate from him, he kinda reminded her of a mixture of Jack's and Martin's best and most attractive aspects. Not to mention that he was actually pretty good-looking, once she stopped thinking about him as a possible perp, she'd decided.

And she had been feeling a little bit lonely lately (after all, the job and the hours she ended up working did make dating more than a little difficult) and a whole lot horny, too, she recalled with a growing sense of dismay, which probably meant that with the liquor neutralizing her usual inhibitions, she might have actually acted on impulses she would normally have quickly squelched.

Opening her eyes, she found her face only inches away from the guy she'd decided was incredibly cute last night.

"Ah, not to sound rude or anything, but – what the hell are you doing in my bed?" she asked, not quite sure what else she could say at the moment, since she really couldn’t remember most of last night.

Although the parts she could remember were – Wow!

"I'm thinking I should be feeling kind of insulted if you really don't remember anything we were doing here last night," she heard him saying with a grin, but whatever else he might have said went unheard as her attention was instantly distracted by the glint from an engraved golden ring on her left hand.

{ Oh, shit! } she thought. { The guys are *never* gonna let me live this down. }

~~~

Danny smiled to himself drowsily as he felt the petite figure next to him cuddle a little more comfortably under his arm.

Yeah, a good part of last night's memories were still a bit hazy – which was completely understandable given what he could recall about the amount of alcohol they'd consumed during the impromptu celebration they'd had in Mystique last night after successfully rescuing that kidnapped kid from that psycho. But the memories he could remember were simply incredible.

As he reached up to scratch an itch on his nose, his attention instantly focused on the shiny gold band he was now wearing on his left ring finger.

{ Oh god, no! Don’t let that be what I think it is! } he silently began praying.

Movement on his left side made him reflexively turn his head and he found himself staring into a pair of equally stunned blue-green eyes.

“Uh. Hi,” he smiled, a bit hesitantly. “I’m Danny.”

~~~

The banging on his door interrupted him before he could say anything more, and he recognized the “I’m really pissed and getting even more so” tone in Buffy’s voice as she demanded he open the door, so Xander gave the blonde in his bed a quick smile and shrugged as he quickly slid out from beneath the sheet and grabbed his pants.

“Hold on a minute, Buff!” he called back as he quickly slipped them.

He also noticed the blonde in his bed frowning, as she asked in a not-at-all-pleased tone, “Let me guess - by some weird chance of fate, would that be your wife?”

“Nah, just a friend,” he shook his head in denial of her unspoken accusation as he headed towards the door, pausing only to pick up two sheets of paper lying on the floor in front of the closet next to the door and glance over them as he opened the door.

“Xander, why the hell did you let me get married last night?!” Buffy demanded angrily as she rushed past him, followed by a vaguely familiar looking guy who gave him a somewhat nervous looking smile as he passed him.

“And why in the world would you sign the license as a witness?!” the petite blonde continued her rant, only to stop short upon seeing the blonde who was now sitting up in his bed clutching the sheet around her and staring at the two newcomers with a mix of annoyance and mortification.

“And who’s she?” Buffy asked in a much calmer, very interested tone. The grin on her face as she turned to look at him told Xander she was bursting with curiosity and already looking forward to discussing this *very* interesting little item of news with the rest of the Gang.

“Well, to take your questions in order, Buff,” Xander answered with a wry matching smile on his face as he held out the two sheets of paper in his hand, “one, apparently, because you wanted to get married to someone named Danny McCoy; two, to return the favor of you being a witness to my marriage; and, three, that’s my wife, Mrs. Samantha Spade Harris.”

FIN

The End

You have reached the end of "Beer Bad; Whiskey Worse". This story is complete.

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