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.
"Omissions" Summary: Xander hasn't so much lied about the fact that he's now dating an alien as not bring it up at all. But, hey, no one asked. Third in my The Zeppo and the Space Pirate series. Written for twistedshorts August Fic-A-Day.
Warning: Mentions of previous sexy fun times.
Author's notes: Sequel to "Not Just a Demon Magnet" and "Xander Harris is Cool." (See the 'read the series intro' above and it'll link you to those first two one-shots if you're interested). You don't have to read those stories first, but they explain how he and Vala ended up in this whole "dating" situation, so I recommend it.
Setting: Doesn't account for the Buffy comics, but it's set years after season 7 of BtVS. Urr, probably post season 10 for SG-1, but that's not set in stone.o)0(o "Omissions" o)0(o
Xander struggled to keep the towel up on his hips while shoving his bath products into the bag. His clothes were waiting, not-so-neatly folded across the arm of the hotel room's short sofa, but he refused to make the time to put them on right now. Nope, because he was going to prove how damn easy it was for him to get everything into one bag.
"Need any help?"
Xander shoved a dirty shirt into his duffel in a quick effort to keep his shaving kit from popping back out, before glimpsing up. Vala had her head down, acting as if she was more entertained by the cell phone in her hands—which, wasn't that his phone?—than his attempts to repack his bag. He knew better.
Earlier that morning, he'd spent a whole five minutes believing that she was sobbing over his decision to leave for Cleveland a day early. Then he'd realized she was laughing—apparently she'd just fully comprehended the Earth phrase, "you pack like a girl." Xander tried to defend himself, then realized he'd spent most of the last decade with girly girl packers teaching him their girl ways without him even knowing it. Damn. He'd really thought he'd gotten control of his luggage issues on that trip to Africa. Alas, no—that had probably been less due to his skillful packing and more due to the fact that he'd had all of his things stolen upon arrival.
In summary, Vala 1: Xander 0.
Trying not to let the strain show on his face, he leaned down onto the bag, forcing the zipper around. His toothbrush holder popped up out of the side panel like a Jack-in-the-Box. He could tell by the twitch of Vala's cheek that she was watching.
"Got it," he grunted, and collapsed onto the bed beside the bag.
It wasn't his fault really. He'd shown up in Colorado with the intent of spending two days horizontal with his naked-time friend, Vala, and had ended up staying two weeks instead, much to the chagrin of Robin Wood who was taking over his duties while he was on "vacation." Somehow Xander had managed to pick up more clothes for the stay, a few old books from Dr. Jackson, and a nifty looking statue of…something faintly humanoid from his new buddy Teal'c. Oh, and he'd ended up with a girlfriend.
An official girlfriend. Not just a person he met every couple of months for athletic sex and verbal sparring. A girlfriend. Alien girlfriend, if one wanted to get specific. He huffed out a chuckle at the thought.
"It's been two weeks."
Xander looked up, brow raised in question.
Vala pressed a button on his phone, scrolling through something. "Since we started dating," she elaborated.
"Is this the part where we have two week anniversary sex? Because I can make time for that before I leave…I mean, I'm already naked and everything."
She looked up, finding the response surprising. "Is that really a thing? Do people really celebrate a week mark in their relationships? And how is this 'anniversary sex' different from what we did two hours ago?"
Ah, yes, the reason for the shower…
Xander brightened. He loved being the Earthling in these cases. "It involves costumes. Usually chosen by the male participant. It's an Earth tradition."
"Huh." Vala considered it with a tilt of her head, like she wasn't quite buying it. "Well, if it's tradition... But, actually, our anniversary is not what I was talking about." She sat the phone down on the table and crossed the room, tossing herself onto the mattress beside him. "It's been two weeks since we started dating. You need to leave for work. I've got a planet to visit. But, we're going to see each other again in three weeks, correct?"
"That was the plan, why?"
"Well." She twirled a lock of her black hair around one finger, and as sweet as the move appeared, it worried Xander. It was the false-innocent kind of gesture she'd used the first day they'd met; that day had ended in bad guys with guns chasing them and a stack of nondisclosure forms. And sex. But that was beside the point… "I was just wondering," she went on, "if you're planning to tell your friends about us. That is, unless you're ashamed to be dating me."
Xander opened his mouth. Closed it again. Because his brain needed a minute to go back in time and relive every conversation they'd ever had about his work and his friends.
He'd mentioned them, sure; it was impossible to spend much time with someone without mentioning the Scooby Gang and Co. But, as unfair as it was that he knew about SG-1's secret alien-adventure fun-times and that Vala and her team didn't know about things that go bump and his relationship with killing said things, that was just the way things had turned out.
Vala's team had wanted to look into his background, of course, make sure he wasn't part of the secret organization they were having trouble with—which sounded so innocent when it wasn't accompanied by a hail of bullets—but all they'd managed to get was the bare minimum before they'd been stopped. Even Xander hadn't known that the old Watcher's Council had, despite their destruction, an apparently still in affect agreement with certain higher bodies of the US government—color him peeved to be not-in-the-know.
But, it had certainly been convenient that all the higher, err, highest-ups had only allowed the team to know that he was an operative for the ISO, which they believed to be an international man-for-hire operation… Yeah, so maybe they thought he was a no-nation spy. Not so far off base as far as the work/danger ratio went.
Vala had, to his ultimate shock, not tried to get more info from him. Apparently, the mystery made thing more interesting. For now.
But—there was always a but.
But, when he'd first learned Vala's origin story, he'd decided not to bring up his little close encounter at the next International Slayer Organization meeting. It had seemed like a good idea at the time—he'd figured he'd never get around to seeing Vala again, anyhow. She'd be part of his secret weirdo-weekend that never happened…
Only he had come back to visit her. Several times. Over the past year. And he still hadn't told his friends and family, only partly because of the giant stack of paperwork threatening him with jail time…
"Are you having a stroke?"
Xander blinked to awareness. "What? No!" He put a hand to his forehead, as if he could somehow feel the occurrence—he wasn't, was he? Nope, just a good old fashion panic. He sat back up, planting a wobbling grin on his face. "Uh—yeah, I'll probably bring it up to my friends next time I see them. Not that we sit around talking about my relationship status. I mean, I'm a guy. Men don't do that locker room talk thing outside of the locker room, and I don't do locker rooms, or even visit a gym that often, so you can see how it maybe didn't come up that—"
She smirked at him. "So, you haven't told them yet, but you'll probably tell them sometime over the next three weeks?" Vala supplied. "But not about the alien part, I'd imagine."
"Not unless they ask, and of course I'll tell them about us
." Xander gave her a light kiss on the forehead and hopped off the bed. "Why wouldn't I tell them?"
Her grin widened, something slightly devilish in her eyes. "Because you really don't have to, if you don't want to…"
Oh, no. Xander remembered this part of dating. That, that
right there was a trick.
'If you don't want to' was her way of saying, 'you better or else.' It was like a girl asking him what he'd said after he'd said something especially stupid—it was some small mercy, a chance for him to redeem himself. Xander might not have officially dated much—or at all—over the past four years or so, but, as he'd told her once before, he spoke the language of Vala.
"I want to," he assured. "I will. Heck, the old gang will be begging me to shut up about you by the time three weeks is up."o)0(o
Okay, so maybe he hadn't jumped right on the Let's Talk About Xander Express as soon as he'd arrived back to the Cleveland base. Mainly because he'd come back to find Robin Wood had left his oldest girls in charge in order to go help Faith and Vi, who were having a particularly hard time with a sewer alligator in NYC—no really, a sewer gator. Xander had merely shook his head.
Then he'd entered the Dormitory, aka the main warded housing base for temps, permanents, and guests of the ISO staying in the area of the Hellmouth.
To say a small tornado had been unleashed down the corridors was not an understatement. No, really. It wasn't. Because one Britney G. had caught one Sarah H. making out with one Brian T., who was one of Willow's visiting students, and Brian T. had assumed the best way to break two fighting slayers apart involved creating a small super-storm inside a building.
There were days when Xander wasn't so sure about the next generation of world-savers.
So, week one, he played the carpenter, the disappointed father figure, and the house maid.o)0(o
Week two. On a Hellmouth, there was no such thing as a slow week, but Xander was starting to wonder if someone had opened the 'mouth while he was on vacation. Then he found out that, yes, actually, someone had opened the mouth while he was on vacation.
Apparently, Principal Wood had left Andrew to babysit the Hellmouth for a few days, and there had been an accident. Yeah.o)0(o
On the third week, he rested. Mostly because of the concussion.
But, as the days began to pass, he started to remember that tiny bit of news he'd meant to pass on. It helped that Vala had sent him a particularly dirty limerick via text message—apparently, the art form could be found on other planets, too. He'd giggled for a good minute before realizing that a text message meant that she'd made it back to Earth safely and on time and that they were due to go watch the new Slash Reeper
action movie on Saturday.
Like a real dating couple, minus the romantic comedy.
It was at that moment that he remembered that he'd yet to tell a single one of his friends about his whole girlfriend situation. Not that he could really tell them much at all without telling them everything. But if he told them everything, then they'd probably realize he hadn't told them everything when he should have told them everything.
Oh, this would not be pretty.
Xander considered his options…He had a good list of excuses. At the top was the fact that he hadn't seen any of his friends lately, which was kind of a downer, but true. And the few times he'd talked to them over the phone, their conversations had been interrupted by trouble of the slayer variety. So, yeah, Vala would understand…
God, he was so not getting laid this weekend.o)0(o
Since he was flying out this time, and since he'd decided to Man-Up his packing, he had only a light carry-on bag slung over his shoulder as he headed out the door. He'd left Asma, a Nepali slayer with a shopping habit that rivaled Buffy and Dawn's combined, in charge of the Dormitory for the afternoon, until Robin arrived back. In theory, the place should remain safe until then. He turned, getting one last glimpse of the open foyer and saying a little prayer to the PTB that they'd allow it to stay standing over the weekend.
"Umph!" Xander took the tackle to his center, relaxing a second later when he looked down to see long, highlighted hair he recognized. "Dawnie!" He returned the hug before pulling her away to get a look at her. "How's our little grad student? Kicked out already?"
Dawn gave him a playful punch, but her face was blushing with excitement. Xander could tell from the overall glow that she must have been doing great in her classes—of course, he had no doubt of that. Part watcher/part super student/part ass-kicker, Xander couldn't be prouder.
"You headed out?" she asked, pouting.
Xander hated letting her down. "Just for the weekend."
Her smile returned. "Awesome! I'm off all of next week—the professor I'm working with has a special project that needs his attention, so, yeah, I'm supposed to spend the time grading papers and doing research… Like I haven't already finished that. So, I'll see you Monday, then?"
"Pick me up from the airport?" At her nod, he smiled back. "See you then, kiddo—my ride's waiting. I gotta—"
"Oh—" She grabbed his arm before he could step out the doors. "Congrats on the girlfriend, by the way. We're all happy for you."
Xander froze in place, eye rolled up as he once again ran through the conversation. Had he mentioned…No. No, he hadn't. "When…How did you hear about…?"
"From Buffy, duh. You know, from when she called you a few weeks back—you were in the shower and your girlfriend picked up the phone. Buffy wanted me to tell you that Vala sounds great, by the way. Apparently they talked for like twenty minutes about your affection for stiletto heels."
Xander blinked. "Vala…Vala talked to Buffy?"
While he was in the shower. The day he'd left…she'd been playing with his phone and he'd—shit, she was sneaky! Why did he keep forgetting the space pirate part?
Xander let out a laugh. It must have sounded somewhat hysterical because Dawn frowned at him. "You having a stroke or something?"
He shook his head. "No, nope, not me. Just thinking about what I'm going to say to my wonderful girlfriend when I see her in the morning…"
"Huh, okay then…" Dawn lifted her brow, then she grinned. "She's not a demon or anything, right?"
Xander snorted, stepping out the door. "Nope. Just an alien."
Sure, he'd let her laugh for now.