Title: Secrets and Other Junk
Author: Jade Hunter
Disclaimer: None of the characters or properties of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Spiderman 2 belong to me.
A.N.: Wow, after so long, and with a disappointing lack of Buffy match-ups found in the FFA list, I finally got the urge to write again. 989 in the FFA, Buffy Summers and Harry Osbourne. I was a little iffy with Harry's characterization here, but realized that, well, since it takes place after a shocking discovery that no one saw his reaction to, I could do whatever the hell I want.
"So I hear you bitch-slapped your best friend at some fancy party a few months back."
He froze, mouth open, spoon halfway to mouth, looking for all the world like someone had just peed on his best shoes. Slowly, he raised the spoon the rest of the way and swallowed.
"Who - uh - who told you that?"
She hid a smile, trying to look all severe, but he sounded like a ten-year-old who'd just been caught setting the cat on fire. And she did not know where all these really gross phrases were coming from, but she just wished they'd stop.
"Well, ever since I agreed to that first date, my friends started digging up dirt on you," she told him frankly, and he blanched because he'd heard stories about her friends.
And Buffy tried not to giggle, because Harry Osborne really was a cutie. To be honest, that was why she'd gone out with him. That, and, to be even more honest and sound like a shallow blonde, because he was rich. She could distinctly remember thinking that she needed a break from hunting down that stupid chaos demon, and probably he would take her to a restaurant nicer than most people saw in ages, and, dammit, she was the Slayer, she deserved to be pampered at least for one date!
True to form, he had taken her to a fancy schmancy place. Had been surprisingly cute, not only in looks, but in personality, like a little boy doing all these tricks just for a smile of approval. Which, she had found out, he sort of was, but that had come later. She'd only agreed to the second date because he'd looked so pathetic when she'd tried to hem and haw her way out of it. Again, had a surprising good time, with a bonus of flowers. She'd agreed to the third date because of the flowers, actually, since he had proven himself more thoughtful than most men. Once more, she was whisked away to a fancy place, and so it continued, until flowers had been replaced by shiny trinkets, and until she had actually gotten sick and tired of it.
That day, she'd made him walk out on a lobster-and-filet-mignon-only place after ordering, tired of having to order appetizers and four course meals, only to go to the local fast food place and gorge on greasy hamburgers. He had been awkward, baffled, and Buffy had told him flat out that she didn't want any more fancy restaurants and events - he could still give her jewelry, though.
And Harry Osborne had blinked at her like she was speaking Sumerian, and nodded slowly, still baffled.
So she had taken it upon herself to teach this rich boy about tacos and burgers and pizzas - not cooked at the mansion by the chef, but made greasy and unhealthy by some minimum wage worker. And he'd responded nicely, assimilating to normal life wit surprising dexterity for a twenty-two-year-old CEO of one of the biggest companies in the world, and by the time she'd taught him all she knew about being normal, he'd grown on her.
Which was why they were in her kitchen - technically, not hers, since it WAS the New York City outpost; they had one place to stay in every major city in case of mission emergencies, since hotels cost more after a while - eating ice cream. Teasing him about the dirt she had on him.
Except...well, he looked more nauseous than mortified, and not in a bad-ice-cream kind of way. "That was a bad time for me...he's not really my friend anymore, I guess."
And he chuckled a little, but there was no humor there.
Becoming serious, Buffy asked simply, "Why?"
"Because," he said, and ate another spoonful of ice cream. "Because he had a secret, and I didn't find out until much later."
"Was it a bad secret?"
"I guess not," Harry said glumly. "Unless you look at the newspapers, but the Bugle's all trash nowdays. My father was the one with the bad secret, really. But I didn't know that."
"So your friend is Spiderman?" Buffy asked suddenly, tilting her head thoughtfully. "Huh."
He looked thunderstruck. "What? How - what?"
"Well, you said the Bugle said trash about him, which, really, lately, it's been all Spiderman all the time, except for the pieces on Michael Jackson," Buffy pointed out with a wrinkle of her nose. She could sympathize with being a good guy and getting a bad reputation. "Plus, ooh, big secret that's not really bad."
Harry took that in, looking mightily chagrined. If he was thinking that he was very stupid not to have figured it out when Spidey was his friend, while she had worked it out in a minute, she was going to hit him. It wasn't like she was as stupid as she pretended to be, after all - plus he had given her a really big, freaking huge clue.
"And your dad?"
Surprisingly, he answered, about how his father had been the Green Goblin and he'd found the secret room and figured out that his father had been the bad guy. After all, Harry did still distinctly remember people being murdered by the Green Goblin - with Spiderman saving the day. Buffy felt a wave of pity for him as the whole story came out, about how he'd gone on a vengeance kick until the discovery, and how horrible he felt how. And how he had been avoiding his friend since then.
After he was done, Harry looked at her almost defiantly.
She ate some more of her ice cream, and said, "I should probably tell you something now, then, what with your bad luck with secrets."
Having expected a pitying remark, or some advice on what to do, Harry was surprised, to say the least. "Huh?"
"I'm the Slayer." Dramatic pause, before Buffy amended hastily, "Well, a Slayer, technically."
Harry blinked. "Huh?"
"Ice cream is melting," she pointed out, and smiled. "Well, see, it's a funny story, but not really, more like terrifying, but it'll put all the crap in your life into perspective, so I'll tell it to you, okay? Try not to interrupt, I hate it when people do that..."