Disclaimer: I own neither of these two franchises.
Xander was studying the faces around the bar through his half-empty beer mug, his head lying on the bar. Tomorrow they all got on a plane to England. Giles had commanded that everyone would be on their best behavior while they were negotiating with the Council. Faith had tipped an imaginary glass while Giles’ back was to her.
She’d gone out to Slay, promising to meet him at some little hole in the wall bar that she used to drag her Ma out of on occasion. She wanted to prove to the proprietor that she’d made something of herself. Her stint in prison was to be kept firmly under wraps.
Dawn thumped down on the stool beside him, mildly ticked that they wouldn’t serve her booze yet the bartender still hit on her. Whatever she was going to say was cut off by a fat guy coming through the door and everybody calling, “Norm!”
Norm waved distractedly as he made his way to plonk down beside the postman that’d been there when Xander and Dawn had gotten there. “Gimme a beer, Sam,” he demanded.
Dawn turned her gaze from the locals to Xander, worry crinkling the corners of her eyes. “Xander, we have to get on a plane to England in the morning. Are you sure you want to be hung over for that?”
“I’m hoping,” he mumbled without lifting his face, “to get so drunk tonight, that I’m still drunk tomorrow morning.”
She sighed. “Xander-”
Faith cut her off, having sauntered in while everyone was focused on Norm. “Let the man drink, Little D. Not everybody likes to fly, yo.”
Dawn’s brows furrowed. “Everything we’ve seen and you’re afraid of flying?”
Xander lifted his head and pointed a finger at her, almost taking out her eye. “You can fight demons. You can not fight a plane plummeting 25,000 feet.”
Faith patted his shoulder. “We’ve got Red with us, we’ll be fine.”
Xander rolled his head, hoping for his neck to pop. “Phobias are irrational. If they were rational, I wouldn’t be scared of clowns.”
“Oh no,” Dawn said, shaking her head. “Clowns are creepy any way you go about it.”
Faith nodded. “Even I think they’re wigsome.” She straightened as the good looking bartender came their way with a smile. “Hey, Sam.”
The bartender nodded. “I’m not sure who you are but hey.”
“Faith,” she said, smirking. “Maggie’s girl.”
Sam rocked back on his heels. “Really? Maggie’s girl. What do you know?”
Faith propped herself up on Xander as she grinned. “I just wanted to stop in and say hey before the company drags us across the pond.”
Sam nodded. “I’m glad. You look good, better than your Ma did at your age.”
Faith’s grin slipped a little. “I’ve had it easier.”
Sam smiled. “That’s great.” A customer down the bar shouted for his attention and he said as he walked away, “Drinks are on me tonight.”
Sam Malone wasn’t sure how such a little girl could hold so much liquor. The guy Faith was with wasn’t doing too bad himself. The youngest, Dawn, had sipped her soda and snickered at their gradually more brazen behavior.
Finally, Sam gave last call.
The guy, Xander they’d called him, stood and said in that solemn way drunks had, lifting his glass, “For all my lost girls. May they find their way home again.” He chugged half his beer. “Or may they wait for me in heaven.”
He stumbled over air and hit the floor and Sam would have been worried except drunken giggles floated up from the floor.
“Faith,” the guy slurred, then sighed. “Faith, they’re gone. And they’re not coming back. And I don’t think I want to cry.”
Faith tugged Xander off of the floor in an amazing show of strength and steadiness. After all, she’d put away almost an entire fifth of whiskey.
Dawn patted Xander’s head. “Acceptance is the last stage of grief.”
Faith caught him before he tipped off his stool again. “You know they’ll be waitin’ for you.” She stood and draped one of his arms over her shoulder. She waved at Sam. “I gotta go. There’s a plane we gotta catch.”
Sam nodded. “It was good to see you again. And I’m glad you did better than your Ma.”
Xander swayed into Sam. “She’s a gift. Her and Dawnie and Buff and Wills. They’re gifts.”
Sam smiled a little. For a drunk, the man was very sincere. “I get that. And I’m sure your other girls were too.”
Xander grinned widely. “Oh, they might be dead
but they don’t stop being gifts
. They get to live on with us.”
Dawn smirked. “Somebody gets sappy when they’re drunk.”
Xander looked at her, surprised. “Who?”
And they laughed their way out the door, new fits starting ever time Xander asked, “No, really, who?”
AN: P.S. It's Cheers
that I crossed Buffy with.