The characters here are the copyright and intellectual property of Joss Whedon and TPTB.
“I’m telling you, he’s crazy
. Really, you should have heard him.” Xander then hung his head when he heard the wince in his voice. Nervous that he’d be overheard, he grabbed his beer and sat down, scooting his chair closer to Oz.
This time he purposely lowered his voice. “Seriously Oz, he talks to it like it’s a person! I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked talking to your guitar is a bit…” Xander didn’t finish the sentence just twirled his finger in a circle to emphasize exactly what he thought.
Oz watched from under hooded lashes then just shrugged like he had heard worse.
“No, you don’t get it. It’s not just the talking, but he… he named it. Called it Vera
. I saw him caressing
it, her, whatever…. You can’t tell me that’s not weird, like in crazy weird?”
Oz barely glanced up, staying focused on tuning his own guitar. Xander eyed his friend, aghast before demanding. “What? Don’t tell me you named it…” He waved his hand in the direction of Oz’s guitar.
Grinning Oz shook his head though Xander couldn’t actually tell if that was a yes or a no response. Then decided to ignore it all together because it didn’t really matter since he wasn’t interested in sharing his bed with Oz. "Right, see, it's crazy. People just don't do that."
“What people?” Oz asked.
“ Don’t be thick--normal people
Oz nodded, “So Jayne isn’t normal people, but you are? The same you that sent flowers to him before he’d agreed to go out on a date with you?
“Yeah, no, but that doesn’t count.” Oz only stared and waited until Xander caved. “Ok yeah, I sent him flowers, but it was only a small bouquet. The florist kinda screwed that up.”
“Huh, and that turned into… what? Three bouquets, and a dozen long stem roses?”
Xander glared at his friend, “Charged me a fortune for ‘em too, it was originally supposed to be that roundy garden thing—’sides and you know damn well, the whole flower thing was Devon’s idea. Asshole said it’d melt a man’s heart just like a woman’s—that he’d be flattered.”
Oz burst out laughing, “I believe he was.”
Xander shrugged conceding the point because it did in fact win him a date with Jayne. Not that he ever plans to tell anyone that Jayne had only agreed to go out with him if, and only if
, Xander would stop sending him the damn flowers. “Doesn’t matter. It got me the date, but it was my winning charm that got me breakfast.”
Oz looked over, barely hiding his smirk.
Shit, he didn’t mean to say that. Feeling the threat of a possible blush, Xander dipped his head though it didn’t stop him from smiling, “Right, like you wouldn’t?” He then bobbed his head enthusiastically as his lips split into a wide open mouth grin and he added, “Never said he wasn’t hot. I mean come on it’s Jayne, you’ve seen him right?” It was a rhetorical question that Xander didn’t need answered and he continued on, “tall, dark, muscular… those arms, and long talented fingers that can…” Suddenly he felt Oz’s expectant stare. This time he lost the battle, knew he was turning red, and probably from head to toe.
Oz laughed, then softly asked, “And crazy?”
Frustrated Xander sighed, “Yes, no. I don’t know, everything’s happening so fast. Don’t get me wrong, its great!” Xander stretched back, straightening his legs, and fidgeted in his seat. “Really. Jayne’s great. Like really, really great!! With mindblowing sex-great!”
Talking more to himself then Oz, Xander shook his head. His knee bouncing as he shook his head firmly. “I’m good. Hey even Anya said I was a Viking in the sack…” His humor fading, he added before trailing off, “…or just lucky.” Then shrugged, his thumbnail picking at the label of his beer.
“It’s just this Vera thing, ok? It’s weird! I mean come on, I went over there early last night and caught him rubbing her down, whispering soft nothings, to his fucking guitar, and he called it Vera!”
“You sound a bit jealous.”
, “Jealous? Me? What, of a guitar? Come on--it’s a stupid guitar. Nothing but wood and strings.” Even as he denounced it, Xander looked away, shocked to hear that it sounded like he was lying.
He only side glanced at Oz, but kept talking. “I know it’s not like the others… like William. But I’m doing it again, falling fast…” His front teeth gnawed on his lip, as he continued peeling scraping the bits of paper left from his beers label. His voice lowered to barely above a whisper, speaking more to himself than to Oz. “With Jayne… DON’T think I’m falling anymore.”
At Oz’s noncommittal ‘Hmmm.” Xander just shook his head, “Forget it. Its just this Vera thing.”
From under hooded eyes, Xander looked up in time to see Oz’s fingers caressing the neck of his own guitar. The timber of Oz’s voice dropped a degree. Without looking up, he spoke softly almost lovingly to his own guitar. “Sometimes its more. When everything is in synch, she can talk to you, call out.” To demonstrate, his fingers started to strum, then picked through several notes of a sweet medley. Oz’s eyes rolled shut as he lost himself in the music.
Xander swallowed past a lump, then closed his mouth. Always amazed when Oz played anything outside of Dingoes’ set list. His true level of skill was something Oz rarely showcased.
Although he lacked musical talent, Xander had an excellent ear, knew real talent when he heard it. Oz was good, damn good, but if Xander were honest, Jayne was better.
Oz didn’t stop playing, however transitioned into a different song. With a little more bluegrass, and a twinge of melancholy that was better fitted for Xander’s mood.
Losing himself into the music, he started to mull over previous relationships, mostly bad relationships. None had ever worked out, except with Jesse. If he hadn’t died… But that wasn’t the case. Then there was William. He fell hard and fast. Jealousy might of played a hand there, but the drugs and William’s psycho bitch ex-girlfriend were at the core of that break up. After that then there was Lindsey, Angel, and more recently Larry. Each relationship was a whirlwind where he fell hard, and each time he was burned. And here he was doing it again with Jayne. OK, I'm pretty sure I’m not jealous, at least not of Vera. But the way everything is happening so fast, its… I’m fucking scared…
Started by the sound of his voice, that he had spoken out loud, Xander’s head snapped up. Only to find that Oz had not only stopped playing, but also had left, and now he found himself staring up at Jayne. Blinking, confused, Xander just gawked.
Jayne grabbed the back of the chair and twisted it around and straddled it as he sat down with his arms folded over the chair’s back leaning toward Xander until he had the chair balanced on two legs. Jayne nodded, a slight greeting, but nothing more. “Nice to know you’re not jealous of Vera.” Jayne paused for a moment staring seriously, and then spoke slowly emphasizing his point, “because Xander that’d be a bit strange...” then added, “even for you.”
Xander's mouth was hanging open and he quickly shut it, gritting his teeth as he fought the onslaught of a major freak out.
“Now tell me why you’re scared?”
Xander was too late, his internal freak out meter had quickly passed stressed and was now edging toward terrified. He tried to unclench his jaw to talk, not happening— he was having a full out anxiety attack. Panic overriding any logical judgment, Xander stood, with only one thought, to get the hell out of there, now!
He even surprised himself with how quickly he moved when properly motivated. Must of surprised Jayne too because he had almost made outside before Jayne seized his shoulder and turned him around.
The momentum spun him around, and into Jayne’s embrace. Anger, frustration and embarrassment collided. He was pissed with himself for being such an ass. “Whoa Xander…”
His jaw clenched, tension bleeding through as Jayne suddenly let go, looking very contrite as he raised his hand off of Xander’s shoulder. “Listen, I’m sorry, can we start over?”
Xander still had no words, so he just turned to walk away.
This time Jayne didn’t grab him, but sidestepped to block him from leaving. “Alright, alright… whatever you want, ok? We can go slower… I’ll back off…”
In disbelief, Xander shook his head and looked away; he had to be hearing things, imagining them, but the depth of Jayne’s confusion and panic stunned him. Xander looked up again into Jayne’s eyes, saw the sincerity, the concern, and fear— fear that he was losing Xander, but Xander knew that couldn’t be right.
“Shit Xander please
give me a chance, I know I can get a little possessive, move a little too fast, but….” Xander’s eyes widened, utterly shocked by what Jayne said… that he was pushing asking for to much too soon—when it was Xander, it was always him that fell too hard and too fast…
Jayne suddenly dropped his head then shaking it as he started to pace. His hand reached up, rubbing his neck in frustration as he started cursing. “Fuck!
I really thought we were starting to have something. God-damn, sonofbitch!!
Probably means I have to leave? I was just starting to find my way around town, fuck!”
Astonished Xander stared, he had to be hearing it wrong, but the look in Jayne’s eyes told him differently. Ignoring his doubts, Xander grabbed Jayne by the shirt and stepped up into his personal space, then leaned in aiming for a kiss. Startled out of his rant, Jayne accidentally moved and the kiss missed its target, catching Jayne on his cheek.
Jayne pulled back, and looked steadily into Xander eyes. They just stood there quietly reading each other, until both came to a consensus and they both started smiling.
Licking his lips Jayne tentatively asked, “We’re good?”
Xander grinned; quickly nodding, then added to his answer by gripping Jayne’s head firmly between his hands and pulling him down for a serious lip lock. Jayne responded by pulling Xander closer, nearly lifting him off the ground—this time neither missed their target.
Note: originally posted for a challenge on LJ back in 1-09