|Ewoks, Homosexual Stimulation, and Captain Picard
Author: nerdhugger PM
Topher Brink and Andrew Wells meet at Comic-Con, and sparks begin to fly. Andrew's totally smitten, but Topher refuses to accept that he might not be straight. Will Andrew be able to get Topher to open up before they have to go back to their separate lives?Rated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Humor - Andrew & Topher B. - Words: 1,750 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 8 - Published: 12-30-11 - id: 7691413
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter One: Time Off
Andrew Wells took a deep breath and did his best to gather his courage. Although Buffy was just his boss now instead of his arch nemesis, she still made his palms sweat, especially with her Slayer, could-snap-a-nerd-like-a-twig powers and all that. Making Buffy mad was pretty much number one on his not-to-do list. But today, he was asking Buffy for a huge favor, and it was absolutely vital that she didn't turn him down.
He saw her out on the back lawn, training the Potentials, or the Slayerettes, as he'd privately begun calling them. He opened the back door and walked straight up to Buffy, who was right in the middle or teaching one of the girls a jump kick move, or something equally badass.
"Hey Buffy!" he said a little too loudly, causing Buffy to jump and spin around, putting him in a chokehold. Luckily, she hadn't been holding a stake at the time, or Andrew probably would have acquired an unfortunately placed puncture wound.
When she saw Andrew's face, she let out a sigh of relief, but still didn't let go. "Seriously, Andrew? Could you not interrupt me when I'm slaying, even if it's simulated, please?"
Still in the hold, Andrew nodded, his face turning red. "You look stunning today, Buffy; are those new nunchucks?"
She let him out of the hold abruptly and he fell onto the grass. Instead of sputtering on the ground as Buffy expected him to do, Andrew simply popped right back up, nonchalantly massaging his neck. "Sorry about that, boss. Could I possibly speak with you…in private?" He waggled his eyebrows, and she rolled her eyes.
"Fine. Girls, practice that move I just showed you. Denise, watch out for the other girls' teeth. I'll be back in a sec."
Buffy grabbed his elbow and pulled him to the side of the house, her face still full of annoyance. She threw his arm back to his side and put her hands on her hips. "What do you need, Andrew?"
Andrew could feel his shield of suave disintegrating. Buffy sure got annoyed when she was interrupted pre-slay. "I…well, the house is super crowded, right? I was thinking, maybe if I left for a few days, say from July 12th through the 15th, it would give everybody a little more room to kick and punch and—"
Suddenly, Buffy's eyes lit up. "Oh my god! You're asking for time off so you can go to Comic-Con, aren't you? Xander's been bugging me about letting him go ever since it was invented."
At that very moment, Xander bounded up to the pair like an excited puppy. "Did somebody just say the magic words?" he asked. When both of them looked at him with blank stares, he said, "Comic-Con?" Andrew nodded excitedly, and Xander's eyes got huge. "I knew it! Please, Buffy, can we go? Get some time away from the female invasion?"
"No. Nope, not gonna happen. Guys, this is ridiculous." As she said this, both of their faces fell, leaving Buffy scrambling. "We're thick in the fight with The First! With two of my best friends away, it would be a perfect time for him to strike. Or even worse, he could go to your little nerdfest, kill you, and then come back and pretend to be you!"
Andrew's eyes practically gleamed with joy. "Buffy…I'm…I'm one of your best friends?"
"So not the point," she said. "Guys, we're the real-life superheroes. Hell, you're living the lives of one of the superheroes you worship, and you don't even have to wear your underwear over your clothes to do it! You guys don't have to go see old guys dressed in spandex pretending to be Superman or whatever."
"Buffyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…," Andrew whined, pouting his lip. "Nothing's happened with The First in like, a month. If he's taking a break, why can't we?"
"You guys can give us big bear hugs when we walk in the door, and call us all the time to do a not-dead check," Xander said, trying to appeal to his friend's reasonable side. "Plus, with pretty much all of the guys out of the house, you guys can do all kinds of girly stuff like bawl your eyes out watching Titanic and complain about us leaving the seat up or whatever. Come on, Buff."
Buffy sighed, and both boys looked at each other with enormous grins. They knew their fearless leader's thick skin was softening. "Fine," she said, and both boys started to dance around like the complete idiots they were. "But. Both of you are gonna call Willow or I and check in with us every 12 hours. If you guys are so much as an hour late, I will not hesitate to send in a troupe of potentials to kick every fanboy's ass until we find you."
"Buffy, you're the best boss ever!" Andrew said, forgetting his dignity and hugging Buffy around the waist. "And you're one of my best friends, too," he whispered to her
Buffy grinned, showing the boys a side of her that they hadn't seen in weeks. "Well, shouldn't you boys go get packed?"
At that, both of them turned around and ran as fast as they could to the house to pack up their energy drinks, comic books, and Star Wars t-shirts before their fearless leader changed her mind.
Topher Brink had been trying to convince himself to leave the Dollhouse for over a month now. He'd always been pro-indoors, but was starting to realize that his aversion to the outdoors was bordering on agoraphobia. So when he heard that Patrick Stewart, pretty much the suavest guy in literally the universe, would be attending San Diego Comic-Con, he knew he had to brave the sunshine and unsafe driving statistics and haul his ass over there. Adelle gave all of the Dollhouse employees three days off per year, in case their parents suddenly dropped dead or an employee got the bubonic plague or California broke away from the United States and fell into the ocean or something, and since none of those scenarios were particularly likely, he planned to use them for his excursion. The only hitch was whether he would be able to convince Adelle that he was doing something important enough to take time off work.
He strode into her office, putting up his air of cockiness. "Adelle, I'm thinking I'm going to take my vacation days this weekend," he said. Maybe there was less of a chance that she'd say no if he didn't phrase it like a question.
Adelle turned from her Little Shop of Booze and gave him the look that pretty much felt like a particle gun, ripping him down to his atoms. "Topher, we do have several engagements planned during that time. May I ask what is so urgent as to keep you from your duties?"
He cleared his throat, putting on his Master Scientist look. "I happen to be going to the premiere biological engineering conference in all of—"
Adelle gave him another look, this time taking her blaster from stun to kill. "Topher, kindly avoid wasting my time."
He sighed, hoping his honesty wouldn't screw things up, as it usually did. "I'm going to San Diego for their Comic-Con. You know, superheroes, Star Trek, hot girls in spandex... It would be nice to play with some people who aren't effectively my imaginary friends for a change." He hesitated for a second, and then added, "Pretty please?"
Adelle sighed, pouring more amber liquid into her already almost full glass. "Are you sure Ivy is ready to handle the kind of responsibility you'd be giving her?"
"That's what I've been training her for, right? In case I turn all Doctor Evil or get killed when Echo finally decides to snap? Think of it as a test run, cept I'm still around to clean up whatever mess she makes."
There was a pause, during which Topher was sure that Adelle would tell him in the most British way possible that there was no way that they could afford to lose him at such a peak time. But then something happened that he wasn't expecting.
"I suppose we could probably do without you for a short time, as long as you have your phone on your person at all times," Adelle said, and Topher had to stop himself from letting out a very girlish squeal. "In addition, if Ivy has any sort of issue, you must be willing to return here as soon as possible, as an active's life could depend on it."
"Of course, aye aye, captain. But wait, you're actually letting me go?" Topher asked, his brow knit. This was not the hard-ass boss he was used to, even the one who had a bit of a soft spot for him.
"In all honesty, Topher, I'm just glad for something that can get you out of the Dollhouse. It doesn't really matter to me whether it's a family obligation or a movie premiere or even a comic convention in San Diego. You've been cooped up in here far too long, and the last thing I need is our principle programmer going crazy and pulling an Alpha."
She had a point. Topher hadn't been out of the Dollhouse since the premiere of The Phantom Menace, and from the second Jar Jar Binks appeared on the screen, he wished he'd stayed at home in his little crawlspace and just illegally downloaded it. However, the theater had been only about five minutes away, and he was now asking for permission to take a two and a half hour drive to another city. Which reminded him.
"Also, if I were to ask to take a car, you would say…?"
Adelle laughed. "It's fine, Topher. Have a lovely time."
"Thank you, Adelle," he said, shaking her hand and keeping his attitude as composed as he could. However, when he got out into the hallway, he broke out into a happy dance. "Comic-Con," he whispered, beaming, "here I come."