Series: The Zeppo and the Space Pirate
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Stargate SG-1. Written for fun, not profit.
"The Man-Date" Summary: Xander Harris realizes that dating an alien is hard; dating your alien girlfriend's guyfriends is harder.o)O(o"The Man-Date"o)O(o
Dating was hard.
It really shouldn't have been, but it was. He'd had years of practice. He'd been on movie dates and dinner dates and slay dates; after learning many lessons, some of them repeatedly, Xander liked to think he wasn't particularly bad at being a boyfriend, either.
For the last year, he'd been making special trips nearly every month to Colorado to meet the same woman for a round of athletic sex and verbal sparring. And, she was an alien, so totally his type, though he'd not admit that to anyone, ever. With that in mind, he liked to think his personal date-failure had nothing to do with the girl in question.
In fact, all evidence pointed to how easy it would be to transition from casual naked-time fun to actual dating. Only it wasn't. It was hard. Mainly because he wasn't just dating Vala Mal Doran. He was dating her team.o)O(o
Xander whistled a jaunty tune, laying the roses out on the hotel's luxurious gold bed-spread. Red roses were likely not Vala's favorite flower, however he knew her well enough that he was all but certain she'd be delighted to hear that she was taking part in the age-old Earth tradition of giving your hunny an overpriced dozen. And, Xander also knew that a delighted Vala equaled a Vala willing to try on the tiny little number he'd bought for her.
Yes, today was going to be a good day.
He grinned to himself, rather proud of the boyfriend points he was currently racking in, and then all but skipped to the small table, giving his cell phone an anxious glance.
Still no call.
He forced the smile to stay put. Okay, he was not being stood up. So she was running a little late? So what? She traveled to other planets as her day job—there were plenty of reasons why she might not have had the chance to call or text him to announce she'd be a few min—Mother Fletcher, was it really already one in the afternoon?
She was officially two hours late.
The knock on the door sounded just before he went into panic mode. "I'm coming, and get used to hearing those wor—" His voice broke off when he glanced through the peep hole. That was not the face of a hot alien chick.
In fact, it was the face of a reasonably handsome alien dude.
Xander glanced down at himself. Shiny pink boxers were not the right look for this meeting, and since he'd been promised by Vala that no one would ever know he owned them, he jumped back from the door and scrambled into his jeans, answering a moment later.
"Uh, hey, big guy," he said, somewhat breathlessly.
Teal'c dipped his cap-covered head slightly, a small smile on his face. "It is good to see you again Xander Harris."
Xander leaned around him, spotting two other men virtually hiding behind the alien's hulking form, awkwardly shifting their weight as they waited. He raised his brow. "You're not Vala," he stated.
Colonel Cameron Mitchell and Dr. Daniel Jackson shared a glance with each other, as if neither of them wanted to reply, and then stared pointedly at the back of Teal'c skull.
Teal'c nodded once in confirmation. "Vala Mal Doran has been detained at Stargate Command."
"She's in quarantine," Daniel interrupted, and quickly raised his hand to ease Xander down from the building worry. "It's just for a possible fungal infection one of the other teams might have brought through. It's nothing very serious, but they're checking out everyone who was still there."
Xander released a breath. Then realized the men were still standing at the door. "Uh, thanks for letting me know…You could have just called though."
Again with the shared look. Cam—because Xander had determined at the barbeque where he'd met the rest of the team that he wasn't going to fall in line with that whole 'rankings' trend—gave a forced chuckle. "Uh, actually, Vala asked us if we might keep you company while she's out, since you traveled so far and all. She said we could, you know, catch a movie—that new Slash Reeper
looks good." Daniel shot him a glare. Cam backtracked. "Or just go for a steak and beer. The usual."
"You also agreed upon a game of laser tag," Teal'c reminded, solemnly.
Cam and Daniel winced but didn't disagree. And Xander couldn't either. Mostly because, yes, he had promised a laser tag man-date. Why had he promised that, again? Xander sometimes befuddled himself…
"So, just us guys then…hanging out?" Xander watched as they all smiled in reply. He suddenly felt a chill run down his back as he reinterpreted what was happening…Vala was their teammate. A close teammate of the trust-you-with-our-lives variety. And they were getting him alone this time. No burgers or girls to get in the way. How did he react when new guys dated his slayers? Interrogation, infiltration, initiation. And if the guy failed? Oh, I'm dead.
He blanched. "Sounds like fun."o)O(o
Xander was in pain. In fact, he was pretty certain he hadn't been in this much pain since the last time he was thrown into a wall by a nine foot tall slime demon in D.C. But, he refused to let it show on his face, and tried to lessen his hobble as well, as he followed behind Team Gryffindor, aka Cam and Teal'c.
Why Teal'c had insisted on the name theme, Xander was still not sure. What he was sure of was that a.) no one argued with Teal'c and b.) the man took his laser tag seriously. As was apparent by their current state and the fact that nightfall was already upon them.
Cam's new shiner almost made up for the amount of agony running from Xander's knee to his ankle. He smirked, proud of himself. However, Xander's own teammate was still not in the teasing mood.
"I don't want to be paired with the new guy again," Daniel announced.
Xander pouted. "Hey!"
Daniel only turned to face him, a brow raised, as if begging for an argument. The archeologist was sporting a split lip and a cut at his hairline that was still seeping a small amount of blood. Xander wanted to say, "That's what you get for naming us Team Ravenclaw." Instead he said, "I still say the twelve-year-olds on their team were on steroids—it's a good thing you had those spare glasses with you, after that boy scout knocked out your contact lens and all."
Daniel took a breath, as if trying to restrain himself. "Yes. Thank you for reminding me, Xander."
Xander shrugged. "Any time, Dr. J. Oh, and you've got a little—" He waved a hand at his hair. "Yeah, right there…and sorry about that. Completely forgot you were on my team for a minute there."
Daniel grimaced, pressing a fresh napkin against his head. "You know, you and Vala really are a match made in—"
" Cam warned, biting down a chuckle.
"I was going to say heaven
," Daniel replied, frowning.
Despite all injuries, and the good Doc's lackluster feelings toward laser tag, Xander was pretty sure he'd passed whatever test was being given. Now…now was time for beer. Beer of the good. Beer of the manly. Beer of the—oh, shit, a vampire
At ISO, The International Slayer's Organization, there was a big map that rated locations by their number of supernatural disturbances. Colorado Springs was listed as a virtual dead-zone for vamps. Xander would have to correct the girls when he got home.
Right there, sitting at the bar across from them, was a pale kid with a dazed, hungry grin on his face. Xander would have liked to have told the slayers who he'd helped train that he'd spotted his foe because the kid's outfit was dated or his reflection absent or his smell distinctly grave-yard-y. But, alas, no. Xander knew this vampire was a vampire because he'd graduated school with him.
Gumball Yardley—no, that was his real name—was one of those faceless grads who'd taken up arms in the battle with the Mayor. Unfortunately, he was also one of those faceless grads who'd been counted amongst the local law enforcement as having died by BBQ fork. Xander had thought they'd cleaned up the mess afterward, but, as Harmony had obviously escaped, they should have realized there might have been a few others slip through the cracks…Hence the appearance of Gumball.
Xander froze, realizing the vampire was staring his way…Only, as it appeared, Gumball hadn't recognized Xander. Xander was determined this was all the eye patch's fault—surely, he hadn't been so unknown in high school that a kid named Gumball hadn't remembered him, right? Right. Eye patch was to blame, plus a way better, almost unrecognizable physique—even if didn't seem very superior when he was getting clothes-hangered by an alien warrior with a fake gun.
Xander even tossed out a smile. No reaction. Gumball's eyes were glued on someone else. It appeared Dr. Daniel Jackson, and his bloody napkin, were getting pervy-eyed by the fanged foe. Which is why, considering what Vala had told him about Daniel's luck, it made perfect sense when Daniel glumly announced he was going to the bathroom to clean up.
Gumball must have heard because he slid to the end of his stool, ready to follow his supper outside.
"Me, too," Xander said, falling in behind him. "Gotta wash my hands."
"Uh…Okay…" Daniel shot a look over his shoulder. "Fine."
What was not
awkward about following another man to the bathroom and pretending to take four minutes to wash one's hands while waiting for him to drain the lizard? Absolutely nothing.
"So, Vala…She's doing okay, minus the possible fungus problem?"
Daniel joined him at the sink, blinked twice at him, as if to ask if he were serious, then went back to the soap. "You know, you can just ask."
Xander, who'd been preoccupied with watching the door for vampire activity, shifted his attention quickly. "Say huh?"
Daniel sighed, drying off. "If she's mentioned you at work? If she seems genuinely interested in making your relationship last? If the commitment has caused her to panic? The answer to all of those questions is yes, by the way…"
Xander smiled. Then frowned when the last part sunk in. "She panicked?"
Daniel shook his head, amused. "If you know her well enough, you can tell…And, yes, she did. But, she restrained herself. No running away. No coming up with excuses. Which is why I think she's trying, Xander. It says much about her feelings toward you."
Xander wasn't blushing. No way. He was still red from that exhaustive final round of laser tag. "Really?"
Xander stepped out, holding the door for Daniel to walk past him. Gumball was still there, looking peeved that he hadn't gotten his prey alone. Xander made a slow move for the flask of holy water he kept tucked inside his jacket, and then Gumball noticed him. And promptly made a run for it.
"Crap," Xander muttered, and darted past his table, toward the exit, at a dead run.
So much for not ditching his date(s).o)O(o
Xander didn't try to hide his hobble when he stepped back through the restaurant, covered in ashes and grass stains, a patch of dandelions clinging to his hair. He slid into the booth beside Dr. Jackson, who was already enjoying a fried cheesecake, and pretended to be obvious of the blatant stares sent his way as he picked a wooden splinter out of his palm and then cut into his cold steak.
He blinked, glimpsing up at Cam. "Hmm? Oh, that guy? Someone I knew from high school."
"No kidding." Cam eyed him warily. "You know you split your pants when you ran outta here, right?"
Xander ignored him, sipping on his watered-down beer instead.
Daniel cocked his head, looking down at the seat. "Huh. Are those the silk pink boxers Vala bought you?"o)O(o
Xander's face hit the pillow-top mattress. He lay there a moment, still fully clothed, unsure if he'd actually closed the hotel room door behind him when he'd drug himself through it. It was late. Very late.
Somehow the Slash Reeper
movie had run three hours, and afterward the guys had still been up for a somewhat fresher beer, partly to get Jackson drunk enough to forget about his obvious hate of cheap-thrills action films and partly as celebration. Because, yeah, Xander was right. There'd been a test somewhere in there, but he wasn't sure where. Maybe during the part where they'd asked him what it was like to date such an odd woman, and Xander had been honestly confused, as Vala wasn't really so odd (by comparison).
He blinked, staring out at the room and just then realizing that he was crushing wilted flowers. Oh, and that there was a scantily clad woman laying with her back against the headrest and her bare legs in front his face.
With effort, he raised himself up onto his elbows. "Vala?"
She smiled brightly, bouncing with excitement against the bed springs. "Guess who was cleared from quarantine?"
He tried to grin, fairly certain he looked far drunker than he was. "Missed you," he muttered. "You okay?"
"Oh, it was awful," she groaned, waving a dramatic arm through the air. "I spent the entire day locked in a room. So boring
! And now I have all this pent up energy. How about you crawl up here and help me get rid of it?"
Xander let his head drop again, groaning into the mattress. "I tired. Long date."
He felt the bed give as she dropped down beside him, planting a kiss on his cheek. "Oh, I know, dear. I figured you'd have a particularly fun, if trying, man-date…But, you know what they say?"
"After a good date, you're required
Xander glanced up. "Say you're joking?"
Vala shook her head, a sage expression on her face. "Nope. It's an Earth tradition, and I know you're a stickler for those..." She leaned in close. "Now, drop your pants and entertain me."
"Dating is hard."