Notes: No, I am not prejudiced against rednecks. I happen to qualify myself, at least part of the time. Every time I'm tempted to deny my redneck roots I remind myself of three things: my daddy's name was Bobbie Joe (yes, female spelling. It's on his birth certificate), my own name is Fannie Mozell, and my grandmother dipped Levi Garret snuff. And I'm not sure which Grizzardisms are in which books (or monologues). I'm just plucking out what I need.
The Difference Between Naked and Nekkid
Buffy had been sure that she was going to be the first to arrive at the Magic Box, and she was feeling a little smug about it. Smug turned to miffed when she was greeted with the sight of Xander slumped comfortably at a table, reading a paperback. *Reading a paperback?* "Xander, you're reading."
Xander didn't look up. "Uh-huh." chuckle
"It isn't a research book."
"It isn't a men's magazine."
"It isn't a TV Guide."
"Buff, could you make whatever point you're shooting for? I'm trying to read, here. Oh, damn!" Xander finally stopped reading. Instead he put his head down on the table, laughing hard.
Buffy came closer. Xander still clutched the book, but it was lying, cover up, on the table. She read the title. "Shoot Low, Boys--They're Riding Shetland Ponies?" Xander's backpack was sitting open on the floor beside him, and she could see several more paperbacks inside. The thought of Xander voluntarily packing around reading material that wasn't required reading was interesting enough to over ride the 'mustn't poke in people's personal stuff' boundary--not that Buffy's boundary was set very high in that area. She pulled the books out. "Chili Dawgs Always Bark At Night. Dawgs? I Haven't Understood Anything Since 1962, and Other Nekkid Truths? Xander, you weren't even a glint in your father's eye in 1962. Was your father even old enough to get glints in his eye back then? Kathy Sue Loudermilk, I Love You. Kathy Sue? Who'd name their daughter Kathy Sue?"
"Said the girl named Buffy. Put 'em back, please. I actually spent my own scanty cash on those."
Oz, Willow, and Giles came in, and Buffy pointed at Xander, declaring, "He's reading!"
"While that is unusual," said Giles, "I don't recall seeing it listed in any prophecies about the end of the world."
"He's reading something by someone named," Buffy peered at the book, "Grizzard. I can't trust anything written by someone who has a last name that sounds that much like chicken innards."
"Lewis Grizzard?" said Oz.
Buffy blinked. "You've heard of him?"
"Sure. He rocks. Well, he used to rock. He died a coupla years ago." Oz mimed taking off a hat and holding it over his heart. "Anyone who can name a dog Catfish is all right by me."
"Oh, Xander, that reminds me." Willow dug in her purse. "I finished Won't You Come Home, Billy Bob Bailey?" She handed him a paperback. "Now can I borrow When My Love Gets Back From the Ladies Room Will I Be Too Old to Care?"
Buffy did a double take. "He knew Cordelia?" Xander and Willow were immediately struck with a fit of laughter, and even the usually laconic Oz cracked a wide smile. "Okay, what?"
Willow wiped her eyes. "Should we tell her?"
"I dunno." Xander managed to pull himself back into a sitting position. "She might let it slip, and that could be a disaster of epic proportions. After whipping our collective asses for even knowing about it, Cordie might go after Lewis."
Buffy frowned. "Oz said he was dead. What's she going to do--dig him back up and sue him?"
"You're forgetting, Buffy--this is the Hellmouth. Some people actually consider such actions," said Giles. "But go ahead and let us in on the joke. I'm curious as well."
"One of Lewis' minor, but unforgettable characters," said Xander, "is Cordie Mae Poovey."
There was silence in the Magic Box. "Oh, dear," said Giles. "The name alone conjures up, uh, visions." Xander, Oz, and Willow nodded. "Yes, I think it might be better to not mention this to Cordelia."
"Mention what to me?" Cordelia was just coming through the door, accompanied by Spike.
"Simon and Garfunkel wrote a song about you," Xander said promptly. He started singing. "Cordeeealia, you're breakin' my heart. You're shakin' my confidence daily. Oh, Cordeeeealia, I'm down on my knees. I'm beggin' you please..."
"I hope you never get on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, Xander, because you've had enough failure in your life. That was Cecilia."
"Who or what were you talking about?"
Xander held up a book. "This guy."
Cordelia frowned at the book. "Nekkid? What on earth is 'nekkid'?"
Willow, smiling, started to say something, but Xander held up a hand. "Wait! I have this one. It's a Grizzardism. Lewis once said there is a difference between 'naked' and 'nekkid'. Naked means you've got no clothes on. Nekkid means you've got no clothes on," he wiggled his eyebrows, "and you're up to something."
Spike rolled his eyes. "Wanker."
"If we can end the love fest," said Buffy dryly. "Time to patrol."
Xander stood and saluted. Spike stared. "Oh, bloody hell, you're not going out dressed like that, are ya?"
Cordelia blinked. "Isn't that my line?"
"What?" Xander looked down at himself. "I'm clean. I'm decent."
"Ya just barely escape the 'indecent attire' statute in those jeans, mate. I've seen sausages with looser casings. How the hell are ya going to be able to run in those?"
"The same way dancers dance in high heels--talent and practice."
"And how many times have ya washed those things? That fabric looks thin enough to be used as Kleenex. Plus you've got a hole worn there," Spike pointed, "on your left thigh."
Xander looked down and experimentally poked a finger into said hole. "Son of a gun, He Who Should Be Inanimate is right." He plucked a thread.
"Oh, lovely! Now he's unraveling it."
"Spike, you do not have time for Xander to go home and change clothes," Giles pointed out. "Now, trot along. Just remember, please, that if you see any creatures with burnt orange skin, you are not to molest them. There is a group of Panteserii demon tourists in town, and they're completely harmless. Quite nice people, actually. Very friendly. They like humans, and not as food or pets."
"Right," said Buffy. "Oz, you can come with me tonight. Willow, and Spike. Xander, and Cordie."
Xander checked the large, silver plated hunting knife on his belt, then picked up a stake off the table. "Time to boogie, Miz Poovey."
"What did you say?" asked Cordelia. "And why are Oz and Willow giggling like someone goosed them?"
"I said wow, you're looking groovy. C'mon." He started toward the door. Just as he came alongside Spike he suddenly paused, slapped his hips, then his ass, and looked shocked. "Damn! I'd better hope these jeans don't split, because I completely forgot my underwear. I'm more commando than Riley right now."
As they left the room Cordelia said frostily, "If that was for my benefit, you needn't have bothered."
Xander heard a faint, very low growl, and smiled. "It wasn't."
Giles checked his watch as he heard the knock on the front door. It was a little early for the Scoobies to be checking back in, but it HAD been rather quiet lately. Usually they'd report, perhaps grab a soda, then go to their respective homes. Occasionally, if his parents were going through a particularly bad stretch, Xander Harris would sleep in the guest room. While he would have wished the boy to have a smooth home life, Giles liked having Xander sleep over. The boy had a habit of wandering to the bathroom in his boxers. Giles quite enjoyed the sight.
The sight that greeted him when he opened the door wasn't nearly so appetizing. There was Xander, in the flesh. In the burnt orange goo dripping flesh. "Good lord. Xander, are you all right?"
"Peachy." Xander skated a finger through the slop on his arm, then flicked a gob away.
"Xander, you look as if you've been Jello wrestling in... Yes, peach Jello would be about the right shade."
"Not quite. Can I come in? I think this stuff is beginning to congeal."
"I suppose so, but please stay on the hall mat. Congealing it may be, but you're still dripping." Xander entered. He squished as he walked. Giles locked the door. "Can you tell me what happened?"
"I'd really rather not discuss it, but I suppose I should." He sighed. "Patrol was routine. Dusted a couple of vamps, no biggie. We all met up outside The Bronze before heading in, and we ran into a small group of those Panteserii you mentioned. Seemed like nice people. Their information about how to blend in locally was a little outdated. The women were wearing Flashdance gear. Oh, and it turns out they aren't just any old tourist group. This was a royal jaunt. The reigning Shizznit and his family were on vacation. Anyway, their equivalent of a princess slipped her bodyguard and went to the powder room on her own, and there was a pervy vamp hiding there. I was the closest to the door, so when she screamed, I burst in..." He paused. "You know, usually when I'm in girls restrooms, it's because some jock shoved me in there. Anyway, I jerked the vamp off her and dusted him. She was grateful. Very, very grateful."
"You said it. I understand that she had sex with me. I'm not entirely sure what happened--I know nothing was open in the clothes department. All I know is that things sort of blurred, and when they cleared, I was like this. Oh," he pulled a polished chunk of stone out of his pocket and handed it to Giles. "Her dad was grateful, too. I think I'm an honorary member of the Grand Exalted Defenders of the Most Royal and Holy Squabbalor. At least that's what it sounded like. Giles, she isn't pregnant, is she? Come to that, I'm not pregnant, am I?"
"No, no, Xander. Humans and Panteserii can't interbreed."
"That's a relief. I'd look awful in maternity clothes. Anyway, the others were delayed with flowery speeches, but they should be along soon. Can I please use your shower? I'm afraid this stuff is turning into rubber cement."
"Yes, of course. There's plenty of soap and towels. I'll bring you a robe in a few moments, and we'll put your clothes through the wash. I think Dawn dishwashing liquid should get it out. It does with almost everything else." Xander started to go. "Wait! Shoes off."
Xander grunted as he pried them off. "Damn suction." He squelched upstairs. In a few moments Giles heard the shower turn on.
Giles gingerly picked up the shoes and carried them back to the kitchen, setting them to soak in a sink full of hot, soapy water. There was another knock at the front door--or rather a pounding. Sighing, Giles went to answer it, murmuring, "And I wonder who this could be?"
Spike pushed past him impatiently when he opened the door. "Where's the whelp?"
"He's attempting to get clean. He says he had sex with a Panteserii?"
"The little tart molested him. I'm all for gratitude sex, but the bloody rescuer ought to be allowed to ask first, or they ought to at least wait so a person can pick a good vantage point. Anyway, he couldn't have enjoyed it--it happened too fast."
Willow, Buffy, Cordelia, and Oz came up the walk, and Cordelia said, "And thank you very much for just trotting off and leaving us to shake all those hands, Spike. I think some of those Tang colored guys were turned on. I got slime on my hands. Ick. I need to go wash them." She started for the stairs.
"Not there, Cordelia. Xander is occupying the bathroom. Use the kitchen," Giles directed.
Spike was rubbing his chin thoughtfully. "His clothes must be in a right state."
"Yes, I'm going to be washing them for him. I must admit, I'm considering getting a garbage bag and some barbecue tongs, rather than touching them."
"Ya can leave that to me," Spike assured him, starting up the stairs. "I'll get 'em for ya."
"Spike being helpful without bribery or threats? What's wrong with this picture?" said Buffy.
Xander stepped out of the shower, feeling much fresher. He dried off sketchily and wrapped a towel around his waist before going to stand in front of the mirror. He wiped steam off it, then started to try to finger comb his hair into some semblance of order. Over his shoulder he saw the bathroom door open. There was no one there. "Close the door, Nosferatu. There's a draft."
Spike shut the door and leaned against it. "You enjoyed that, didn't you, you trollop?"
"Enjoyed it?" Xander turned, leaning his hip casually against the sink. "Spike, she had to tell me what happened. I'm still not entirely sure I believe her. I mean, I know sex can be messy, but this..." Spike was across the room and against Xander in a flash. He leaned in to him, making the boy lean backward over the sink. "C'mon, Frosty, I just got warmed up. But you like that, dontcha?" He wiggled. "All that added heat from the shower sort of steaming off me..."
"You're a fuckin' prick tease, Xander. You know damn good and well I don't want you wearing those jeans in public. You might as well hang a sign around your neck saying ! Sex on legs."
Xander grinned at him. "You say the sweetest things. Must be the Victorian coming out in you."
"And then you pulled that commando shit, knowing that I was being sent off with Miss Cordelia-Pees-Ice-Water Chase. I was thinking about that every single second of patrol."
Xander clasped his hands behind Spike's neck, purring, "You were supposed to. I was attempting to make you mad with horniness." He humped against Spike, encountering a cool, firm bulge at the vampire's fly. "And it looks like it worked."
Spike growled again, grabbing Xander's hips, and thrust against him.
Wonderful erotic move.
Very bad choice of location.
There was a sort of cracking, ripping, crunching, thud. Who would have known that Giles' bathroom sink was so loosely attached to the wall?
Immediately voices were raised in alarm and confusion, and there was the pounding of footsteps on the stairs. Xander had fallen back against the wall, but escaped slipping through Spike's grip. He cocked an eyebrow at the vampire and said, "Are you sure that your last name isn't Murphy?"
"Don't worry, they can't get in."
"You locked the door behind yourself, right?" Silence. "Spike? You did lock the door?"
The door smashed open just as they stepped apart, and the knot on Xander's towel started to slip.
Buffy didn't know what she had expected to find. Most likely Spike trying to put the bite on Xander. She wasn't prepared for what she did see.
Giles' sink was on the floor, but that was the least disturbing part of the tableau. Spike was lounging against the far wall, smirking. Xander Harris, gloriously nude except for an only barely large enough towel, was struggling to retie his makeshift loincloth. The front of the towel and the front of Spike's jeans were in similar tented states.
Buffy gaped. Willow gasped, covering her mouth. Giles took off his glasses, polished them, put them back on, and wondered if he could get away with removing the towel under the guise of checking Xander to be sure he was unharmed. Oz peeked over Giles' shoulder, assessed the situation, gave Xander the 'thumbs up', and went to stop Cordelia before she could come up. No further hysteria was needed.
Finally Buffy regained speech. "Xander, are you all right?"
"Aside from the fact that I hadn't planned on giving a Chippendale imitation, yeah. Was there something you needed? Kinda busy, here."
"But... but... but... but..."
"Kick the needle over into the next groove, Buff." She looked blank. "Sorry, forgot you aren't familiar with ancient technologies. Skip to the next track?"
"Xander... you're naked!"
Well, I suppose the open secret is out in the open now. Might as well say fuck it. Xander smiled. "No, Buffy, I'm not." He went to Spike and gave him a hard kiss, with tongue, then grinned at his friends. "I'm nekkid."