Author: Lara M. E-Mail: Rating: PG Content: Some innuendo, general bickering. Spoilers: Nah. Pairing: C/X hintage. Disclaimer: All characters belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and its respective copyrights. Don't sue me. I'm poor and sad. Distribution: Old School and whoever else wants it. Feedback: It's a must. Please. Summary: Xander spends a day in detention with his friends (And Cordelia) and muses.

"Detention...detention...detention- detention."

Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, Xander Harris, and Cordelia Chase stared at Principal Snyder in shock. He stood in front of them, his shiny black shoe tapping on the newly waxed- and newly stained- tiles of Sunnydale High. His eyes reflected pure hate from their point of view, his beady eyes burning into each and every one of them individually.

Cordelia stepped forward, offering the elder man a dazzling smile as she tried to brush off the green substance on her burgundy and gold cheerleading outfit. "Principal Snyder...I can assure you- I wasn't even WITH them- I was coming from cheerleading practice like an upstanding, NORMAL citizen when HARRIS brutally threw me to the ground-" Xander's mouth dropped open as he stared at the girl incredulously.

Principal Snyder held up his hand, silencing Xander before he could say a word. "Don't try that, Miss Chase. I saw you with that axe."

"Axe?! Not MY axe- Summers THRUST it into my grasp- I had no time to react!" She protested loudly. Buffy rolled her eyes behind her, wiping a dab of demon guts from her neck. "Sir, you cannot give me detention!"

"Why not, Miss Chase?"

"Because...I have a perfect record. I have never had a day of detention- not ever!"

The man smirked. "There is a first time for everything...enjoy detention." He turned to leave.

The cheerleader's head whipped around to the other three. 'Say something!' she mouthed silently. They simply stared at her. Her hazel eyes narrowed as she spun back around. "I won't go!"

Willow inhaled sharply, lowering her head. "Oooh, boy..." Buffy and Xander backed away from Cordelia, immediately cutting off any visible ties they had to her.

"Excuse me?" His little black eyes narrowed. She said nothing, staring at him. "Well, then- I guess a suspension is in order..."

She gasped. "WHAT? Because I won't come to detention?! What is your purpose in life? Are you just, like, living with cats?!"

"See you in detention, Miss Chase..."

Cordelia spun around, scowling at the other three. They started to back up as she moved forward. Hands clenched tightly at her sides, eyes fiery. "I. HATE-"

* * * "-YOU!"

Xander jumped, staring at Cordelia wide-eyed. She stood in front of him, arms crossed tightly. "And this loving feeling is new because..."

She glared at him. "I am missing practice and a date to be here, you know that?"

"Who has a date on a Friday afternoon?" Willow piped up as she walked into the art room. The May Queen gave her a look that could've killed a snake. "Oh. You. Right. Sorry?" She slipped into a chair at the large, rectangular desk.

Xander smiled and offered her some of his potato chips. Cordelia reached over the desk and snatched the bag from his possession, helping herself. He stared at the space where the bag was, flexing his fingers back and forth to further demonstrate the lack of substance. "My, you're the polite one, Cordy!" She stuck her tongue out at him, planting herself across the two.

Buffy dashed into the classroom nosily. "I'm here! Four o'clock doesn't count as late!"

"Four-o-five." Willow corrected.

She frowned. "Really?" The witch nodded. "Well, that oh! Chips!" She grabbed the bag from Cordelia's hands, digging in. "Ooh, barbeque chips..."

"Chips that belong to ME." Xander replied, annoyed. He watched in near horror, as Cordelia and Buffy seemed to reach a truce with the sharing of his food. He picked up a capped pen and threw it, connecting with the cheerleader's arm. Her head jerked in his direction, scowl in tact. "Get your grease free hands off my grease filled chips!"

Cordelia smiled sweetly. His eyes narrowed- this wasn't good. "I'm sorry,, take your grease back..." She daintily raised her hand and wiped it on his blue and black shirt.

He stared at the more than obvious stain. "This was my only clean shirt." He turned to Buffy, next to Cordelia and across from him. "Kill her now."

Buffy shook her head, chewing. "No can do, Xand. She's not a demon."

"Evil Bitch Succubae don't count as evil?" Cordelia rolled her eyes. "C'mon, Buffy- make with the killing. She's evil. Pure evil."

"And you're a dork. Pure dork." Cordelia muttered, slamming her book bag on the table. "Get over it- it was a sixty cent bag of potato chips."

A frown spread across Willow's face as she played with her eggplant-colored shirt. "But it was his chips, know he doesn't eat that much..."

Cordelia laughed. "Really..."

"Okay- NOT helping the fight against evil, Wills." Xander muttered. The witch shrugged. He raised his hands. "You know what? I don't care. Eat my chips, Cordy Chase. Eat all the chips in the world. Get fat and pimple-y."

"I will NEVER be fat and pimple-y!"

"Well, I didn't want to say anything, but..." She gasped loudly.

The door slamming open interrupted their argument. "Shut up, both of you." Snyder snapped, walking in. "Now pay attention- SUMMERS." Buffy looked up, guiltily putting down her nail file. "I have a meeting with that stupid Parents Association this afternoon-"

"My mother is in that!" The Slayer called, frowning.

Snyder stared at her blankly. "I have a meeting with that stupid Parents Association this afternoon and I cannot grace you with my presence- I can SEE you, Mister Harris. WIPE that victorious look off your face." He scowled and continued. "So I will have to reluctantly and with definite regret trust you four to stay here until six o'clock."

Cordelia raised her hand. "I don't wanna stay here alone with these three."

"SHUT IT, Chase." She pouted. He fixed his tie, and then crossed his arms. "I hear all. I see all. Don't even try to breathe irregularly." He moved out the door. "Especially you, Miss Summers." He was gone.

Buffy looked at the others in confusion. "What did I do?"

"You moved here." Cordelia offered curtly, pulling out a mirror from her pocket and examining her hair.

The blonde grinned slightly. "You know I love making your life hell, Cordy." The brunette smiled faintly, pulling out a tube of lip-gloss. She sighed loudly. "I'm never going to make it to the Bronze in time after this. Angel's going to stop waiting for me..."

Willow leaned forward, smiling. "Come on, Buffy. You know he would wait a hundred billion years for you."

"And now I feel like killing myself." Xander muttered, leaning back in his chair.

"Don't let us stop you." Cordelia replied absently, rubbing her lips together. "I honestly don't know what he sees in you, Buffy."

"A soul?" She met Xander's smirking face and scowled.

A slightly worried look came over Buffy's face. "What DOES he see-"

The boy sat up, slamming his hands on the table. "And enough with the Brooding Hunk talk!"

The cheerleader smirked. "Did you say Brooding Hunk?" A confused look came over his face, then was quickly replaced by a horrified and very offended one. "Thought so. I knew there was something about you, Harris..."

His face reddened considerably. "BUFFY- I am serious. Kill her. I'll look for Snyder-"

"Calm down, Xander!" Willow exclaimed, holding onto his arm to keep him from lunging over the desk at the girl across from him. "It's just Cordelia..." The girl raised her eyebrows at him several times, more than satisfied with his reaction. He scowled. The witch's eyes caught her brazen display of cockiness and grasped his arm tighter. "Xander! Count!"

"Willow-" He whined.

"Do it!"

Buffy watched in concern. And confusion. "Count?"

Cordelia calmly returned to her book bag, pulling out a textbook. "He's been doing it since third grade. It's sad, really..."


"One Mississippi...two Mississippi...three Mississippi..."

Her green eyes openly showed her pity. "Ooh..."

The brunette shrugged. "Anger problem. Must be hereditary."

"SIX Mississippi..."

"Just like the drinking and the failure and the bad fashion sense..."

"NINE MISSissipPI...TEN MississipPI...

"Oh- I forgot the stupidity-"

"THAT'S IT!" Xander shouted, jumping out of his chair before Willow could stop him. "We are throwing down, Chase! I don't care if you LOOK like a girl- I know what you are! Evil! And I'm kicking your ass! Come on!"

She jolted to her feet, a determined look on her face. "I TOOK you AND Jesse in the fifth grade and I can do it AGAIN!"

Buffy watched in shock, then looked at Willow. The redhead leaned forward, a worried look on her face. "Jesse and Xander ambushed Cordelia when she was going to her ballet lesson when we were her leotard and hair all dirty...she went crazy and beat them up really bad..."

Xander shot a glare at her. "IF Jesse hadn't ran away she wouldn't HAVE-"

"You ran TOO!" Cordelia shot back.

"You gave Jesse a black EYE!"

Buffy once again looked at Willow. She nodded in confirmation. "This is true."

The boy glared at the cheerleader for a long moment before settling in his chair. "Don't think this means you won, Cordelia."

"I think it does." She sat down as well, looking at him as if he were a bug to be stepped on. A long silence followed, and everyone was still. Suddenly- "Dumbass."

Xander started to stand and this time Willow caught him, gripping his arm tightly. "You are so-"

"This is not good!" Buffy abruptly exclaimed. She looked at each person in the room. "Guys- why are you fighting? Let's just chill. We have two hours here, and I think it will do us all good to just relax and not fight because I'm missing a date with Angel and if you anger me, I will have to hurt all of you violently."

"Start with her." Xander mumbled, glaring at Cordelia.

"Xander-" She impulsively stood, digging through her book bag. "Willow- let's see if we can get some fatty and greasy junk food from the cafeteria."

The redhead's eyes widened. "W-What? I thought we were talking about them- now? Buffy, we'll get in trouble!"

She pouted slightly. "I'm hungry. Giles made me miss lunch. C'mon, Will."

Xander straightened up slowly. "By Willow, you mean me and Willow, right?"

"I mean Willow."

Alarm spread through his face. "Then where will I be?"


"No- not with her. Anything but her." Buffy rolled her eyes. He shook his head. "No- you don't understand. You leave, she will suck me dry. Goodbye, Alexander LaVelle Harris." The cheerleader snorted, and he shot her a glare. "Shut UP." He reached over the table and grabbed Buffy's fingers. "Please don't leave me."

Cordelia scowled. "I am NOT that bad, Harris. Just leave me the hell alone and I won't have to kick your ass. Again." She pulled out two dollars from her book bag, handing it to Buffy. "Diet Coke and a cherry Popsicle?"

The Slayer nodded, grabbing the money- and Willow- and sneaking out of the room. Their sneakers thumped slightly on the floor as they dashed across the school. Silence filled the room again.

Xander began to tap on the desk with the tips of his fingers, humming under his breath. Cordelia stared at him, not bothering to hide her annoyance. His eyes rose and met hers, and he made a face. She rolled her eyes and shifted in her chair. Her shoes appeared on his side as she stretched them. Toe pointed, feet rotating in circles, back and forth.

He stared at her shiny black shoe, then back at her. "Do you mind?" She looked at him blankly. He nodded at her feet. "You're invading my personal space."

Her mouth puckered into a frown and she kicked his knee. Hard. He jerked his chair back and stifled a cry as pain shot through his leg. She smirked, picking up her book and beginning to read. His attention was brought to the pen that he had thrown at the cheerleader earlier. It rested on the floor, right beside her chair. His foot stretched out, trying to move the pen in his direction without falling out of his chair.

He wasn't successful.

After a short hesitation, Xander slid off the chair and to the ground. He crawled under the table with the simple aspiration of not slamming his head on the table. He reached and snatched his pen with a triumphant grin. He stared to back up and stopped, his eyes catching on something else.

Cordelia's bare legs.

Her legs were propped on Buffy's chair, feet on the edge. Her black skirt was hiked up slightly from her raised legs. His eyes traveled up her long legs to her knees and her thighs. He cocked his head slightly, trying to estimate the actual probability of seeing her underwear.

He wondered if they were nice. They had to be- expensive too. He remembered looking through lingerie catalogs as a twelve year old and making observations of what types of underwear there were for women. Cotton, silk, lace...she had to wear lace. Or silk. Definitely something expensive. That of course led to the more important question- was she wearing a thong? She had to...there was no other explanation for the lack of lines in her tight skirts. He smiled slightly and made a mental note to ask one of the guys to watch her while she was going up the stairs.

He frowned slightly. What did HE care about Cordelia's underwear?

The door suddenly slammed open, and Xander's head promptly crashed against the desk. Cordelia jerked up in her seat at the noise, her feet hitting the ground. "JEEZE, Summers..." She grumbled. "Discreet much?"

The boy popped up, rubbing his head. He climbed into his chair, only then noticing the looks he was getting from Buffy, Willow, and yes, Cordelia. He slowly held up the pen. "My pen?"

Buffy threw him a bag of chips. "So you went on an obviously dangerous mission for a pen? I could've lent you one..."

He smiled nervously, opening the bag. "Nope, Buffy- I couldn't bear to tear you away from your pink fluffy thing. Besides, I had to save my manly blue ballpoint from the Wicked Witch's clutches." Cordelia glared at him, drinking her soda.

The four gradually became silent. Willow was deeply engrossed in her English textbook, obviously reading something that was due in a week. Buffy was writing furiously on a perfumed piece of paper, her arm covering the words from prying eyes. A 'Dear Angel' letter, no doubt. Xander stared at the ceiling, trying to balance his pen on the bridge of his nose, the theme to Spiderman running through his head. Cordelia was leaning on the table, a new copy of The Handmaid's Tale in her grip. She was completely into the book, her eyes narrowing at certain points and almost emotional in others.

Xander watched her in the space between his face and the pen in near fascination. Was Cordelia Chase reading a book for fun? From what he heard from Willow, they were reading MacBeth in their English class. Definitely for fun.

The wonders never ceased.

His gaze shifted to his left and rested on his friend. The witch made notes sloppily in her notebook then moved her pencil to the textbook, running the point over the sentences she was reading. Mismatched wasn't the word to describe her. Her hair was pushed behind her ears. A baggy, purplish shirt covered her thin frame and clashed with the brown corduroy pants she was wearing. Her blue sneakers were slightly dirty, the shoelaces untied. Her foot tapped nervously against the floor. And she paid him no attention.

His eyes moved to the Slayer across from him. Buffy was hot. She was so hot. Buffy was...not so hot at the moment. Her hair was messily pinned up, and she wore no makeup. Her blue overalls were a size too big, and the pink shirt underneath was still stained with the demon she had slain earlier. Her shoes were invisible from his position, but he saw them earlier. Blindingly white sneakers, the soles inked with 'B+A'. He felt like rolling his eyes just thinking about it. She wouldn't notice.

Xander's stare moved rather reluctantly to the girl next to Buffy. Her deep red cardigan hung off one shoulder, revealing the red tank top and bare skin underneath. Her wine-colored lips were puckered slightly in thought, her eye shadow bringing out her eyes greatly. The pen fell off his nose and onto his lap as he sat up slowly. He stared at the silver necklace that hung around her neck, a single diamond resting at her collarbone. His gaze slid to her shoulder. A bra strap. She was wearing a black bra.


He knew it.

He leaned forward, suddenly fascinated by the cheerleader. She chuckled faintly at something she had just read, and to his surprise, a slight grin appeared on his face. She rarely smiled, but when she did- it was something to come across. Not those fake smiles- genuine smiles. They were bright and real. Her face lit up whenever she smiled. She didn't seem like such a bitch when she did. She had opened her Popsicle and was eating it absently, her eyes on her book.

Hey, she's really hot-

He blinked when Buffy appeared in his vision, tapping on the brunette's shoulder. She looked as if she were deeply annoyed by the interruption, giving her a glare. The blonde held up the pink piece of paper, covering half of it with her hand. Cordelia skimmed through the exposed paper and shook her head, plucking the pink pen from her grasp and rewriting something on the paper. The Slayer read it over, and then grinned, nodding. She returned the smile slightly, and then went back to her book.

Xander had to shake his head. Those two were hard to understand. They hated each other- but were able to get along when they needed to. Or the world was ending. Girls...

He leaned back in his chair, the front legs rising with his feet. He supported his weight on the chair's back legs, trying to keep a considerable amount of balance. Willow exhaled sharply, her wrist winding in circles. She returned to her homework. Buffy was busy scratching yet another proclamation of love for a certain vampire into the bottom of her sole. Cordelia had now given up on her book and was now filing her nails with Buffy's file.

She sighed loudly, pulling the empty Popsicle stick from her mouth. "It's TOO quiet in here! I think we-"

"That's the essence of silence, Cordelia. And the world's a better place when you're silent. Stop wasting our oxygen and our time and go back to the ever important nail filing." He replied icily. She stared at him, a flash of hurt passing her eyes, and then started filing her nails furiously.

Guilt began to slink up in Xander Harris. What reason did he have to snap at her like that? Were his reflexes that tight that he didn't know the difference between her insults and actual conversation?


"Gee, Xander- I had no idea your useless and utterly stupid presence meant so much to the world. Silly me." She smirked, her eyes dropping to her nails again.

He stared at her for a long moment, not sure of what to say. A smile crept onto his face. She could hold her own. Nice. He watched her for a few more seconds, balancing on the two chair legs. She sighed and licked her lips slightly.

Cordelia was suddenly crawling across the desk, straight for him. She stared at him seductively as she reached him. Her slim hand grabbed his shirt, jerking him forward. She bit her lower lip before kissing the living crap out of him. Her hands ran through his hair, her soft mouth on his. He started to run his hands down her back as she moved closer when-

He went crashing to the floor.

Xander jumped to his feet, fumbling to pick the chair up. Cordelia, Buffy, and Willow stared at him in confusion as he mumbled incoherently.

The cheerleader started to clap, a wide grin on her face. "That was great, Harris...absolutely brilliant. Your title as World's Biggest Dork is still in tact."

He plopped into his chair again, frowning. What the hell was that? His fantasies involved Buffy. They ALWAYS involved Buffy. Not the girl who had made his life a living hell for the past twelve years. That was against all laws of mankind. It had to be the detention. The detention was driving him crazy.

She continued to smile at him. A patronizing, yet cocky smirk. He met her stare, his eyes narrowing. Suddenly, she puckered her lips into a kiss. He blinked in shock. There was no way he imagined that. She raised her hand, and he watched her. What the hell was going on? Her smile faded as she gave him the finger.

Of course.

He scowled at her, opening his mouth to counter that brazen display of disrespect. He was interrupted by Buffy shooting to her feet. She gathered her jacket and books, racing for the door. "Hey, Buff- we still got an hour..."

"I HAVE to go- I have a date!" The door slammed open, and the Slayer was gone.

The other three stared at the door, then at each other. Cordelia cleared her throat, straightening up. "Did that just happen? Did Summers just leave?"

"I think she did..." Willow muttered.

"Hold on." Xander replied, watching the door. "Any second, Snyder is gonna walk in here with Buffy in his clutches." The doorframe remained empty. "Any second now." Nothing happened. "Any moment..."

Cordelia stood. "Screw this." She shoved her book and Buffy's nail file into her book bag. "I am getting the hell out of here before Snyder does show up." Her heels clicked on the floor as she made a hasty exit. Xander and Willow looked at each other before grabbing their stuff and running out of the room.

"I dunno, Xand..." Willow mumbled. "We could get caught..."

"Shut up, Wills." He replied, suddenly walking faster. "Come on...hurry up..." Cordelia kept ahead of them, making a dash for the double doors. He grinned at Willow, and then started jogging. "Hey, Cordy!"

She stopped in her tracks, her head whipping in Xander's direction. "What?" She hissed, looking around. "We're going to get caught."

He stared at her. He had no idea why he had even called her name. Her eyes narrowed suspiciously, watching him. He smirked slightly. "I think you're getting a zit right in the middle of your forehead..."

The cheerleader gasped, reaching up and patting her brow. When she felt nothing but smoothness, she scowled. Her glare grew as he laughed. She raised her hand and smacked his arm hard. "Jerk..." She growled, shoving him aside and running off.

"What was that?" Willow mumbled, appearing at Xander's side.

"What was what?" He replied, watching Cordelia run to her red Porsche.

The witch frowned. "That. That 'Hey Cordy, let's have a conversation' thing."

Xander turned to his best friend as Cordelia drove off, leaving skid marks on the school parking lot. "Willow, you should know me by now. I never know what I'm doing." He wrapped his arm around her shoulders, leading her out of the school.

"You never talk to Cordelia willingly...are you okay?"

He grinned. "Perfectly fine. Just insane, obviously."

She returned his smile. "Insane because you talked to Cordelia?"

"Insane because I thought about Cordelia." She looked up at him in utter confusion as they walked away from the school.