Mean Girl Attraction
Xander was settling in at the Council better than he had thought he would. His favorite slayer so far was Alice just because she was so danged weird. Plus he liked her two-tailed dog. She asked a lot of questions about where he’d been in the world, so Xander was thinking the next time he went to fetch a slayer, he’d ask if he could take Alice. She was just like having an oddball little sister around.
But she was always pulling on his chin scruff. Xander really needed a shave and a haircut. He was starting to look like the unibomber.
“Hey, Grizzly Adams, what’s up?” Oz said.
Xander glared. “You have facial hair too.”
“Mine’s trimmed all neat and stuff.”
He really needed a haircut.
“I could cut your hair for you, Xander,” Alice said.
Daisy shook her head no.
“Er, thanks, Alice, but despite all the comments, I might let it rest for a while before I do something about it.”
Alice made a face. “Are you growing it out for Locks of Love or something? Because you look scary. I’ve seen pictures of you. You know, without all the...”
“Oh sweet Salazar,” a voice said behind them. “There are two of you
Pansy stared in horror at the wolf and his new companion. He looked even rougher. She was on her way to see Draco and ask how the troll removal fared, and while she had resigned herself to running into the annoying one--because the fates hated her--she had not known she would have to endure twice the torture.
Xander turned and looked at who had spoken. His eyebrows went up. She was short with dark hair and very light eyes. The ‘oh sweet Salazar’ in that British accent told him she was a witch.
“Hello, Pansy,” Oz said.
Xander made a face. “Why do you say there are two of us? We don’t even look alike. Unless this is a Schwarzenegger Twins situation. In which case I guess I should be glad it’s not a Terminator situation.”
Oz chuckled at the look on Pansy’s face.
“Xander, this is Draco’s friend Pansy Parkinson. Pansy, this is Xander Harris of the Sunnydale Harrises.”
Xander stuck out a hand. “Hi, any friend of Draco’s is a friend.... no, wait a minute.... shall be treated as suspect until the level of sarcasm contained within has been registered.”
Pansy leaned back as far as she could without actually taking a step back. “I don’t shake hands,” she said with a glare. “I’m just passing through on my way to Draco’s rooms. Excuse me.”
She finally stepped away from him.
Xander looked at his hand and spoke to it. “But I washed you today and everything.”
Alice started snickering.
“Don’t take it personal,” Oz said. “She’s like that with everyone, even Draco.”
“Please,” Xander replied. “How long did I date Cordy? And let’s not forget who almost married Anya. If someone being a little bitchy to me hurts my feelings, I think I’m living in the wrong house.”
“She didn’t want to shake Pevensie’s hand either,” Alice said. “I think she’s a germaphobe.”
“I am no such thing,” she snapped as she spun around. She just didn’t like to be touched at all, regardless of the state of cleanliness.
“Then you’re a snob?” Alice asked.
Oz couldn’t help it, he started snickering.
“Alice,” Xander said. “Not very nice. Might be true. Still not very nice.”
Pansy wasn’t sure who truly deserved the bulk of her ire, so she ended up glaring at the other man who wasn’t a superhuman girl. “I do not like to be touched by anyone. I also greatly detest children. If being selective of those I choose to keep in my presence classifies me as a snob, then so be it. Do you even own a mirror?”
Xander kept his face carefully blank. “No. Why?”
Both Alice and Daisy started laughing. Oz was just watching. This was familiar too.
She knew her nostrils were flaring but it was the only outward sign of her anger. Pansy just needed to stop coming to the Council and start writing owls. Almost every time she came, she found herself insulted, irritated, and about ready to hex something out of anger.
“I wasn’t aware the homeless look was voluntary,” she said through clenched teeth. “My mistake.”
“Is there such a thing as an involuntary homeless look?” Xander considered this. “Besides, I thought you wizard-y types liked beards.”
“How delightful of you to judge our entire race as one entity,” she with a sneer on her face. “If, as you say, the wizarding types liked beards, they would only like the trimmed and kept faces, not the face of a mindless toad who takes so little pride in his own appearance that he can’t be bothered to look in a mirror.”
Before either Xander or Oz could say a word, Alice hopped off of Daisy’s desk. “You take that back. Xander doesn’t have time to spend all day grooming himself. He has a real job. He travels the world looking for slayers to send here to be trained. And he’s not mindless. He’s really smart. Smarter than you are. Put you in a room with a vampire and no wand and you wouldn’t even last half as long as he could.”
“Easy, Alice,” Xander said, looking at the normally easy-going slayer with concern. “I was making a joke, Miss Pansy. Obviously I misjudged your sense of humor.”
Pansy ignored him and looked straight at the slayer. “But I do
have a wand and I know exactly to use it. Draco’s not the only one who can move quickly.”
“Okay,” Oz said, putting himself in between Alice and Pansy. “Pretty much gonna be steppin’ in guy now. Alice, why don’t you go to the training room. Kasie’s down there, and would probably like a sparring partner.”
“Alice,” Xander said. “Please.”
She nodded at Xander and took off with no more argument.
“Looks like I know who someone’s watcher is going to be,” Oz said. “She doesn’t even agree that fast with Draco unless he snaps at her.”
Xander sighed. Then he snapped at Pansy to get her to look at him. “Over here. Hi. Look, I know you’re friends with Draco, and you seem like maybe you could be all right once you get past the exterior here. I knew a girl like you. She was great after you got to know her.”
“All right. She was great to me after I got to know her. Everyone else, it was iffy depending on her mood. That’s not the point. The point is, you just threatened a slayer, and one who’s not trained fully. She could have hurt you. You can’t come in here acting like that. You’ll get hit in the face, and that would be such a bad thing to happen to such pretty bone structure and flawless skin.”
Pansy was speechless. She didn’t know whether to hex him or thank him for the compliment. She knew enough about them to know when they were given falsely, and he had not done so. In the end, barely contained a huff of annoyance. “Do not snap your fingers at me again. I am not a dog that you can command.” She glanced over at the direction the slayer had trotted off to. “And if she is so poorly trained that she would physically assault another human after a few insults, well, someone needs re-evaluate the effectiveness of the training.”
“What do you do when you get angry?”
She made a face at him that was part confused, part annoyed.
“Like really angry. You strike out, right? You hex someone. That’s what a slayer does in a manner of speaking. The ability to just react at a moment’s notice is embedded in the genetic code. Sometimes they make the wrong choice in a reaction. Like say, disarming a witch then popping her in the nose just because said slayer got so upset she stopped thinking. Alice isn’t poorly trained... because Draco’s been seeing to her training since her watcher was killed, and he doesn’t half-ass anything. He’s the full ass all the time.”
Oz started chuckling.
“That, I’m actually aware of,” she snapped. This just solidified her decision to never show up in person here again. “And I refuse to cater my personality and censor my speech because some teenaged girl has a poor hold on her emotions. Now if you’ll excuse me, I am trying to reach Draco’s rooms but everytime I come to this godforsaken building, I inevitably end up waylaid by irritating men who like to see my teeth grind in anger. I’m so happy to see this time was no different.”
Both Xander and Oz started laughing then.
“Look, no,” Xander said, chuckling. “I would never want you to not be you, because this is all... it reminds me of someone. But maybe just not make any direct threats like that, that’s all. Slayers don’t like it. It makes them cranky, and when slayers get cranky, things get broken. Like walls and coffee tables and bones and stuff. I’d hate to see you with bruises, is all. You seemly really, well, nice isn’t the right word.”
Oz could not stop snickering.
“You’ve got a distinct lack of tact that I find refreshing.”
being laughed at. “Move,” she said in a low voice, before changing her mind. “On second thought, I’ll take my leave. I’ve my fill of this place.” Pansy spun on her heel and began walking in the other direction.
Xander glared at Oz before hurrying after her. “Look, I’m sorry. We don’t mean to make you upset. Well, I don’t anyway. I’m just having fun. That’s how I am. I make jokes. I kind of have to because if I stop and think about how crappy my life can be, I get depressed, and oh my God, am I ever not fun then. Let me walk you to Draco’s. I’ll make Oz stay here. He’s got that canine thing going for him so a good firm ‘stay’ in a commanding tone should work.”
“We apparently have very different types of humor,” she snapped, still walking away and ignoring the man at her side. “Well, I take that back, we both find humor insulting the other. Perhaps it’s not that different after all.”
“I wasn’t insulting you,” Xander said. “I don’t even know you. I just find humor in life, you know, in general. Because life is funny that way.”
That caused Pansy to stop short. “You and I have led very different lives if you think there is humor in life.”
“I choose to see my life as a comedy. If I didn’t, I’d have killed myself a long time ago. If it hadn’t been for Willow and Buffy, I probably would have. There was also the dark period, no pun intended, when I lost my eye. I didn’t make any of those ‘it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye’ jokes for a long time after. My life’s been no picnic, but if I let every little thing get me down, I wouldn’t have much of a life. I just got back from spending my days and nights on a mostly deserted beach in Thailand. Other people have it a lot worse. Not to say it’s been all Thai beaches. I also lived in my parents’ basement for a while with a vampire.”
Pansy barely curbed the urge to ask why on earth he had done so, but she did. “While I’m sure your life is a very fascinating tale, I must leave. My short time I allocated to visit Draco has past since I spent it all in your lovely company.” She glared at Oz, who was still rather close. “And this time, I shall not be convinced to stay with the promise of wine and talk of torture.”
“Oz plied you with wine? I’ll keep that in mind for next time. Or I could just have you a pair of shoes.” Xander looked at Oz. “Girls still like shoes, right?”
“And what’s this allocated business? You have a tea party to get to? I guarantee Draco accidentally setting his pants on fire is way more interesting than any old tea party. Unless it’s given by the Mad Hatter. In which case, cool.”
She chose to ignore the latter statements that came out of his mouth. “You could not afford the shoes I wear nor the wine I drink.”
“And there she goes, letting my physical appearance decide how much money is in my bank account. So sad.”
Oz just grinned. He knew Xander didn’t spend any of his paycheck, so he probably could afford Pansy.
“Are they like some of the ones that Buffy likes? Because she’s made me go shoe shopping with her before, and I think I could swing a pair of those.”
She grinned at him indulgently. “These were custom. £3,600. I believe that’s just over five thousand US?”
Xander just grinned, thinking of what the balance in his bank account had been the last time Willow had checked it for him. He’d been fortunate in the fact that most of the people he’d stayed with while hunting out slayers in the last ten months had liked having people around who fought darkness and had been very generous with their shelter and food. He’d been so busy working, he hadn’t taken the time to spend money. There was also the fact that his construction job in Sunnydale hadn’t exactly paid bad, and he’d still had a lot of that nest egg saved.
“It would be your birthday and your Christmas present,” he said jokingly.
Pansy just shook her head with a smirk. “Well then, I expect a pair of Gianmarco Lorenzi heels this Christmas. The dog over there knows the kind of wine I prefer. He can worm that out of Blaise.”
“They’ll be no worming necessary. It’s one of those fancy ones Andromeda gets for us, isn’t it?”
Xander would have to ask Buffy who in the hell Gianmarco Lorenzi was. She would probably know.
She quirked her eyebrow. While she doubted she would receive shoes for Christmas, a bottle of wine that was given to them anyway wouldn’t be a hassle. “Of course.”
They had arrived at Draco’s door and Xander knocked. He could tell by the look on her face that she did not think he would do it. Now he was going to just to see the same surprise he’d gotten from Cordy when he’d finished paying off her prom dress.
Draco opened the door. “Oh bloody hell.”
Pansy raised her eyebrow at him. “Is there a problem, darling?” she asked, even though she knew very well what was going through Draco’s mind.
“He’s mean girl catnip; you’d best keep away,” Draco said, actually taking Pansy by the arm and putting her behind him. “No, Harris. Just no.”
Draco actually shut the door in Xander’s face. Both he and Oz started laughing.
“Come on, Xand. Let’s go to Hogsmeade and get a drink.”
Pansy slapped Draco’s hand away before opening the door. “Any color but red or pink. I accept nothing less than four inches of heel.” She closed the door with a grin, ignoring Draco’s look.
“No,” was all Draco said.
“He wants to buy me shoes for Christmas.” She scoffed. “He thinks he can afford me. I’ll let him try to scrounge up the money for a pair and then laugh when he fails. What’s so wrong with that?”
“Pansy, you don’t know anything about him. He’s not what he looks like, so be careful.”
Draco knew enough to know Xander Harris could afford the shoes. He also knew Harris’ track record. He had a 2-2 streak of converting ice queen bitches and making them productive members of the side for good.
She rolled her eyes. “I should hope he isn’t what he looks like. He looks like he shares the underside of bridges with trolls. Speaking of, how did the Halloween fiasco turn out?”
Draco let it go for now.
“Well, the slayers are saying it’s the best Halloween in years. Buffy thinks I shouldn’t plan anymore parties for a while. Which she’s doing this big dinner for the Yank holiday Thanksgiving. Everyone’s warning me she turns into a maniac when cooking this particular dinner. Should be interesting if you’d like to come.”
“Last time I came to a party here, I was almost crushed by a troll. I shudder to think what will happen during Christmas.” Pansy waved him off. “I don’t care about any American holidays. I’ll pass. I was going to say I’ll owl instead of dropping in personally, but if I can bully myself into a new pair of shoes, it might be worth it. Perhaps I can get a new pair of earrings out of the deal.”
Draco gave her a look. “Don’t. Just don’t.”
“Be careful,” she said lightly. “The more you protest, the more I will.”
Draco sighed. “Well don’t come bitching to me when you fall for the Muggle.”
She gave him a look.
“Anya almost married him, okay. Anya. The demon almost married him, and while I pick on him quite a lot, he’s actually a decent chap. Always there when he’s needed. Bloke may only have one eye, but he doesn’t miss a thing.”
Pansy chuckled. “I’m not going to marry him, Draco. Mother and Father would cut me off if I dared to touch a Muggle. Although, it sounds like you have quite the crush.”
Draco sighed again. “Just remember that I warned you.”