Title: Xander Harris is Cool
Author: Twisted Slinky
Pairings: established Xander/Vala, some Daniel/Vala
Disclaimer: I do not own any rights to Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Stargate SG-1.
Summary: So what if Vala is still in love with Daniel Jackson. Xander can handle it…maybe. Or maybe not. Loose sequel to "Not Just a Demon Magnet."
Author's notes: Follows the brief meeting in "Not Just a Demon Magnet"… Seriously thinking of calling this universe "The Zeppo and the Space Pirate," if that's not already taken. Enjoy.
Word Count: ~1200
He that is not jealous is not in love. ~St. Augustine
It wasn’t that they were serious. They weren't. In fact, some would argue that they were too casual. Less connected than "friends with benefits," but past their "one night stand" time stamp.
Xander thought he really didn’t care what they "were." He wasn't so much a label guy, so he'd let her define their relationship. And since she wasn't so much a dictionary woman, that definition remained fairly…unformed.
"Yes, Xander, we have very fun sex. I like it quite a bit."
Which, what guy didn't like hearing that? Especially in that sexy accent she somehow managed, despite being from another planet.
But the thing was, they'd seen each other nine times over the past year. And though neither of them ever planned for the next get-together, it inevitably took place.
Except for this time. When it didn't.
"I have a thing," she said.
Xander nodded, pretending he knew what that actually meant. "Like a date thing?" he said. "You can have date things…We never said we couldn't have date things. I mean, it was stupid of me to just show up like, all assuming there was a lack of date things to be had."
Vala was silent a moment. "No. I don't have a date."
Her reply was what scared him. Because Xander got the impression she wasn't lying. Only, there was some omission there, in the answer, an unspoken "but." Xander knew what regret sounded like, and he could almost fill in the blank for her: "I don't have a date. But I wish I did."
Not with him, though. If she just wanted any date…well, here he was, in Colorado, all dashing and wearing a satin-y new eyepatch. No, Vala didn't want just any date.
There was a someone.
"Who?" Xander asked.
He expected her to play dumb. Avoid the question. Change the subject.
Instead, she leaned into the wall, her arms crossed over her chest. "Xander," she breathed, like it actually hurt. There was a wetness to her eyes that hadn't been there a moment ago. "Do you remember meeting Daniel?"
It wasn't so bad, being the other guy. Choice number two.
Xander figured it wouldn't change anything. After all, Vala wasn't his first choice. His true love. She hadn't popped his cherry, damn it. Vala was an acquaintance. One he liked to see naked. That was it.
So he listened, and smiled. Nodded. Said it was cool--he hoped to God it was still cool to say "it's cool." Not that she'd know it wasn't cool. Because, hello, he was kind of ahead of her in the pop-culture/urban dictionary/ cool points area. At least in the Earth division.
The best way, he figured, to prove he was "cool" with her being in love with another guy and all was to offer her helpful suggestions.
"Hey, jealousy, it works," he noted.
And he'd offered to go with her to this barbeque that had her all worked up. A barbeque being thrown for Daniel Jackson's birthday. Dr. Daniel Jackson. Genius level space adventurer who killed false gods and negotiated peace treaties, that Dr. Daniel Jackson.
No reason to be intimidated, though. Because Xander was cool. Sure. And he was just doing his good naked-time friend a favor. Sure.
Xander made horrible first impressions. Which is why he was always confused when more people than expected ended up enjoying his company. Before he left Colorado, headed back to the Cleveland base, he'd gotten a half-dozen new phone numbers. Made a few new friends. Even scheduled a laser tag man-date with a big guy named Teal'c for the next they were both sharing the same planet and all.
And, hell, he'd even hung out with Dr. Jackson. Her Dr. Jackson.
Mr. Friggin' Perfect.
Xander hated that he kind of liked the guy.
Xander said he'd hold off. Xander said he'd put some distance between their meetings. Xander said a lot of crap that never held its weight:
"Damn it, Vala!" he snapped.
Because, seriously, who made a cross-country bootycall only to end up crying on said bootycall's shoulder most the night.
She looked up, a little surprised by the outrage in his voice. Her wide eyes blinked slowly up at him, making her look ten years younger than the make-up and cute pigtails ever did.
Xander stood up from the hotel bed, running a hand over his jaw, shaking his head in frustration. "I just don't get it," he said. Realizing he was still sounding more angry than confused, he forced himself to sit back down on the mattress. "How can you still love him? He left you, Vala. You offered him every damn thing and he walked away from it." Then he groaned and threw himself back. Half a second too late, he realized the whole slamming his spine against bedfluff thing was a bit too teenage girl. He really hoped Vala didn't make that comparison. A moment later, he felt the bed shift as she laid back as well, turning her head to look at him.
"I get it, I really do. You guys have shared a lot of time together. You owe him for the favors he's done you. You're close." Xander frowned. "And the guy might be able to speak thirty languages or whatever, but… He can't speak Vala."
"You can?" Her voice was low, almost lost.
Xander coughed out a laugh. "I happen to be very fluent in space pirate."
Xander paused, brow raised, and rolled his head to the side. "Vala, if I thought asking you to be my girlfriend would actually work, if I thought for a second it would help you get over Daniel, then I would. I'd ask you to be mine. Just mine."
Vala pushed herself back up onto her elbows, staring down at him. "Are you asking me to be in a relationship with you?"
Xander snorted. "Only if the answer is yes. If the answer is no, that whole ramble was entirely hypothetical."
Vala's lip twitched, trying to hold back a grin. "Alright then. I suppose we could try it out. This dating thing. We still get to have gluttonous amounts of sex, though, right?"
"Sure, until we get married."
Vala leaned down, giving him a soft kiss on the lips before sitting up. Xander followed the movement, confused when he saw her move for her cell phone and press in a number.
"Calling for pizza?" he inquired.
She looked back, surprised. "Oh, no," she said, smiling, "I just need to ring Daniel up. Tell him his whole jealousy plan worked. He'll be delighted."
Xander's eye widened slightly, his jaw slack. "But…I…You…" He huffed. "That was tricky."
Vala tapped her chest with one finger. "Space pirate," she reminded.