Los Angeles, California,
Sunday 14th November 1999,
"So, Mr. Harris, what do you have planned for us today?" Buffy asked as they made their way back to their suite from the restaurant, having had a late breakfast.
"Well, Ms. Summers," Xander replied, "just like the rest of this weekend, it's a surprise."
After their little adventure last night, not to mention the talks they'd had with their respective ex's, the pair had done nothing more than get back to the hotel and crash out on the bed. Unfortunately, unlike the morning before, they hadn't been spared the, whilst not uncomfortable, awkward position of waking up in each others arms, with one of Buffy's legs draped over Xander's and pressing against his crotch.
Both knew that whilst it would be so easy to give in to the new sensations they were feeling towards one another, they wanted to take things relatively slow, making every effort to ensure that, when they did finally take that step, there would be no doubts about what they were doing.
Those thoughts hadn't helped Xander's 'predicament', having realised that one particular part of his anatomy had made it's presence known, nor did the wide eyed stare Buffy had given him when had also become aware. He strangely hadn't found himself embarrassed as he thought he would, but that had a lot to do with the fact that Buffy hadn't shown any either, and had simply turned over in bed and stated he could use the bathroom first, an offer he had quickly accepted and utilised.
It being a Sunday, Xander forewent his morning exercises, knowing that he would be doing something similar later on that day, and instead they had taken their time to get themselves ready and get everything packed before going down to breakfast.
"After last night, I'm not sure I could handle any more surprises, Xander," she told him with a smile, letting him know that she was only teasing.
In actual fact Buffy was quite looking forward to whatever Xander had planned, as despite a couple of snags yesterday, she'd had a whale of a time, more fun than she could remember when she thought about it.
"Oh, I know you're going to love this one Buff," he replied, "I can almost guarantee it."
"So, can you at least give me a clue?" she asked hopefully, adding a little pout to help persuade him.
"Well," he drawled, "I can let you know that we're going to a place just outside of LA, but I do need to get something from you."
"What's that?" she asked, intrigued.
"Your solemn vow that you will never tell anyone what you will see today," he told her seriously.
"You want me to promise not to tell anyone that I've seen something, before I've even seen it?"
"Absolutely," he replied instantly, "because I know getting you to promise afterwards will be impossible. Now if you can't do this for me, I'll just cancel what we were going to do and go with Plan B."
Buffy looked at the completely serious look Xander was sending her way, and for a moment didn't know what to do. She could easily tell how big a deal this was for him, and the fact that he wanted to show her whatever it was and no one else did make her feel extraordinarily special, but she knew that to promise not to tell anyone included Willow and her mother, who she knew would both be like a dog with a bone in getting all the 'juicy details'.
This was a big thing he was asking of her, but seeing the earnest look on his face, she just knew that it would be worth it. "I give you my word that I will never tell a soul," she vowed.
Xander released the breath he hadn't even known he was holding. He knew that he was being a little overboard with the whole vow thing, but he knew that if this ever got out Willow and the others would never let it go and would rib him about it until the day he died. Again, he was probably exaggerating things a little, but this meant a lot to him and he was glad that Buffy had agreed.
Showing his gratitude, he quickly pulled Buffy into a hug and spun her around gently, mindful that they had just eaten. "You are a goddess among women, and I do not know what I've done to deserve you."
"That's easy to explain," she told him softly, "you're you."
Fabulous Ladies Nightclub,
Sunday 14th November 1999,
Denise Wren, owner/manager of the Fabulous Ladies Nightclub, watched as avery familiar face walked in, an attractive blonde on his arm, a bag in his hand and a smile on his face. Even though she had known he was coming for a few days, it was still a surprise to see him again, although most definitely a welcome one. Neither one had seen her yet, as there weren't many lights were on in the club, so she made her way closer so she could hear what they were saying.
"Xander," the blonde began, "don't take this the wrong way, but why in thehell have you brought me to a strip club on our first date. Sure, it's a male strip club, but still…"
"You don't remember, do you?" he asked, disappointed and hurt that she had forgotten what he told her. Those feelings disappeared however when he saw the realisation dawning on her face.
"You mean this is the place where you…"
"No power on this earth Buffy," Xander said cutting in, "I told you that."
She looked at him incredulously. "You've brought me to the place where you spent the summer stripping, and you still won't tell me about it?"
"I made a promise to myself that I would never tell anyone and I keep my promises. I'm sorry Buff, but that's just the way it is."
"Well," he began smiling slightly, "I figured that if I can't tell you…"
Buffy's eyes get a gleam to them and a wide smile appeared on her face as she realised what he was getting at. "You're gonna show me?"
"If that's alright with you?" he asked with a smirk.
"Oh yeah," she agreed heartily, "that's more than alright with me. I gotta admit, since that night you told me a little about what you did here, I've had more than one dream that filled in the blanks that you wouldn't."
"Oh you have, have you? You're a very naughty girl, Miss summers," Xander chastised her, although the smile on his face ruined it.
"You haven't begun to see how naughty I can be, but I promise that you will," she replied huskily, enjoying the fact Xander had to swallow suddenly. "One thing though," she went on, having decided she'd toyed with him enough, at least for the moment, "do they have an 'open mic' kinda deal here? I can't see them just letting you get on stage and shaking your tail feather just like that."
Denise decided that this was the best time to make herself known. "There's always a spot open for Al here, whenever he wants it."
Buffy had known the woman had been there since the moment they came through the door, but as there was nothing causing her Slayer-Sense to tingle she had said nothing about it. She saw Xander smile as he recognised the voice of the woman and watched as he span round and pulled the woman into a hug.
"Denny!" he exclaimed happily. "It's great to see you!"
"You too baby doll." Denise saw the jealous look that Buffy was currently sending her way, mixed in with the generic 'hands off my man, bitch' glare that all women have sent and received countless times in their life. "Sorry hon," she said to Buffy as she released Xander, "Al here quickly became a favourite among our clientèle. What he lacked in skill he more than made up for with enthusiasm."
Xander flushed slightly at Denise's choice of words, knowing it was in no way unintentional. During his time working there, he had gotten somewhat of a reputation as a ladies man. It was completely undeserved, as while he had received more than one invitation to a ladies bedroom after a show, he had never accepted any of them.
Ever since his 'encounter' with Faith, and the subsequent fallout, the idea of a one-night stand had held no appeal to him, even though some of the women that had offered appealed to him a great deal. A couple had actually seen his refusal as a challenge, and while there had been moments when Xander had been close to giving in, he never did.
The biggest problem was that he had never been a 'kiss and tell' kinda guy, having never liked the jocks at school who had bragged about getting laid like it was a competition, so whenever one of the other strippers asked if he'd taken them up on their offer, he had always kept tight-lipped, something the others had taken as an admission, and the rest, as they say, is history.
"Buffy, I'd like you to meet Denise Wren, the owner if this fine establishment and the best dancer this side of the Mississippi. Denny, I'd like you tom meet Buffy Summers, my… girlfriend?"
"You don't sound too sure there Al," Denise teased.
He wasn't really; he'd been thinking of Buffy as his girlfriend from the moment she had agreed to go out on a date with him, but one date that wasn't even over yet didn't exactly equate to girlfriend/boyfriend status. He knew what he wanted, but until Buffy said what she wanted he didn't really know where he stood. He never really knew where he stood with Buffy; he could read her pretty well about anything else, but when it came to him it was as though he had a blind spot, so he didn't want to assume anything or make her feel pressurised.
"It's actually our first date," Buffy told her, "but Xander's right with the girlfriend thing though," Buffy said to the older woman, but looked directly at Xander when she said it.
Denise noticed the way Xander's face lit up at Buffy's confirmation and knew straight away that she was very special to him. While she along with everyone else had ribbed him mercilessly over his supposed womanising, she knew that he hadn't taken any of the women up on their offer.
In her opinion it was rare for any man to turn down sex when it's offered to them on a silver platter, and almost inconceivable from someone of his young age. Of course, now that she'd seen Buffy, it made more sense to her; why go out for hamburger when you've got steak at home?
"It's nice to meet you Buffy," Denise greeted, "any friend of Al's is a friend of mine. So, you're here to see what he can do, huh?"
"It seems that way; I had no idea where we were coming until we got here."
"Well, we've got a VIP booth free, or would you rather reserve a place at the table?" she asked.
"Uh, 'table'?" Buffy asked in reply.
"It's what we call the seating area around the stage," Denise explained. "You'll get a better view there, but the booth gives you a little more privacy."
"I think I'll sit at the table," Buffy told her, "I always want to be where the action is."
"Oh I like her Al," she told Xander with an approving smile, "she's definitely a keeper."
"I've known that for a long time Denny," Xander affirmed. "Is it alright if Buffy comes in with me quickly to meet the guys?" he asked. "I know that now's probably the best time without her getting a free viewing as it were."
"Sure, if you think she can handle it."
"Denise I can handle anything," Buffy answered before Xander had a chance, "don't worry about that."
"Oh yes, definitely a keeper."
"Yo, Al," one of the strippers, Trent, called out in pleasant surprise as Xander and Buffy appeared backstage, "long time no see. How's 'tricks'?"
"Good to see you too, Trent," Xander replied warmly as he gripped the other man's hand. "I'm not in the business anymore though, instead I work construction."
"Yeah, I can see you put on some muscle since I last saw you," he commented as he gave Xander a professional once over. "So what are you doing here, especially with such a pretty lady with you?"
"Well I thought I'd make this weekend special for my girlfriend Buffy here," Xander said, giving Buffy a quick squeeze, "and make a one time only return gig."
Trent's eyebrows almost hit his hairline when he heard that. He remembered when Xander first got roped into dancing when Denny was a man down, and how they all thought he would give himself a stroke going as red as he had gotten in embarrassment as he did his first routine.
Denny had kept him on as a stripper after that, as even though it had been an amateurish performance at best, both she and the other guys could see he had tremendous potential, not to mention that he had been well received by the clientèle.
They had all gotten on with Xander from the moment he'd first set foot in the door of the club the day his car had blown up, and could all see that what he needed, beyond anything else, was a serious ego boost, and that was what they intended to give him.
Getting Xander to train with the other strippers to improve his skills, not to mention his physique and fashion sense, and getting the attention of the ladies that frequented the club, had helped to bring Xander out of shell a great deal during his time there.
Despite his success on stage, they could all tell that Xander would never be comfortable enough to do this as a job full time, so for him to volunteer to go out there just to impress this girl showed just how much he thought of her. Trent took a look at Xander's lady friend, Buffy if he heard correctly, and wondered if she knew just what she had in Xander, and decided to find out.
Then something Denny had told the guys a couple of days finally clicked into his mind. "So you're the 'star attraction' Denny talked about a couple of days ago huh?"
"What?" Xander said nervously, knowing now that Denny had something up her sleeve.
Trent saw the look and smiled. "Yeah, she told us that someone special was coming in tonight, and then broadcast it to the audience."
"Oh my god, I'm gonna kill her," Xander moaned as he realised what that meant, Trent's smile widening as he realised Xander had no idea.
Buffy watched the byplay between the two and wondered what was going on. "What's wrong Xander?" she asked him.
"I picked doing this on a Sunday as it's generally the quietest night of the week, what with it being the Lord's day and all, but Denny is known as a great judge of character, so if she's told everyone that someone special is going to be on stage tonight…"
"This place is going to be packed wall to wall with women," Trent finished.
Buffy wasn't sure what to say to that; part of her found it funny that Xander would have to do his routine in front of so may people, but the thought of that many women ogling her Xander like a piece of meat brought the green eyed monster into play. "You know that if you don't want to do this you don't have to," she told him eventually, her concern for him overpowering everything else.
Xander shook his head. "No, I said I'd do this and I will, it's just that I never got used to having that many people watching me like… that, and it makes me nervous."
"You're gonna do fine," Trent assured him, making a mental note for him and the others to go through Xander's routine with him later just to be on the safe side. "Now go on and say hi to the others while I grill the missus here," he said as he gave Xander a gentle push towards the guys.
As Xander followed Trent's request and went and caught up with everyone, Buffy turned her attention to him. "So, what was it you wanted to say without him hearing?" she asked immediately, recognising his ploy for what it was.
"Nothing bad I assure you," Trent told her, wondering why the hairs at the back of his neck suddenly went up. "I just wanted to check and see if you knew just how much Xander cares for you."
"What the hell do you know about it?" she asked, feeling a little put out that someone she barely knew would speak to her like that.
"I do this job because I love it," Trent began, ignoring Buffy's tone, "I love the attention, and I really love the money. Xander is different; initially he did it as a favour for a friend, and then because he realised it was his best chance of making enough money to buy a new car and get home before he hit thirty. He got better at it, and could have made a decent living had he continued, but he never really enjoyed it enough to make a career out of it."
"What's your point?" Buffy asked, wondering where Trent was going with this.
"When he left to go home," he continued, as though he hadn't heard her, "we all figured he'd never set foot on stage again unless he had to, mainly because he'd always felt so self-conscious when he was out on stage, but here he is getting ready to go out there again, not because he has to, but because he wants to do something special foryou. I just wanted to be sure you knew that."
Looking at her for a moment to check that his message had gotten across, Trent then walked over to Xander and the others, leaving Buffy to her thoughts.
Buffy hadn't really had time to process what was going to happen today, but Buffy did know how big a deal this was to Xander. When he had made a passing reference to stripping after his return to Sunnydale, he had been quick to dismiss the topic, and she had abided by his wishes as she could tell he really didn't want to talk about it. It was the same reason she hadn't mentioned it to the others, knowing that Xander would be uncomfortable with the questions that would inevitably follow, not to mention the teasing, not matter how good natured it would have been.
She knew from the way he had reacted to seeing Denise and Trent again that Xander didn't regret his time here, or that he thought it a bad experience, so she wasn't worried about that. What she was worried about, thanks in part to Trent's little talk with her, was what going out there again would be like for him. She should have realised how uncomfortable he must have felt being ogled by a room full of women after the way he had reacted during his time on the swim team, not to mention the way she and the others had reacted to him.
For Xander to do this for her did indeed show her how much he cared, but she started to get concerned that he might be putting himself through this because he felt he still needed to impress her, and she had to speak with him to make sure he knew that she was more than happy with the way he was, and that she didn't want him any other way. She wouldn't have said yes to this date if she did.
She wouldn't, however, do that in front of his friends, knowing that it would embarrass him, so instead she walked up and threaded her arm through his and got to know the people he became friends with during his time in Oxnard.
"Off! Off! Off! Off! Off! Off! Off! Off! Off! Off!"
Buffy could barely hear herself speak over the noise of a room full of women all chanting for the current stripper to remove the final piece of cloth that kept his decency, although she wasn't sure he'd had any decency to begin with.
If the circumstances were different, Buffy knew without a shadow of a doubt that her face would be glowing red with embarrassment at the situation she was in; she wasn't a prude, but she'd never been as extrovert as to go to a strip joint She doubted that she would again, but tonight was a special occasion, an experience to be savoured.
The stripper strutting his stuff at the moment, Lucas, had not ingratiated himself to her at all earlier today, as he'd been less than subtle in his appraisal of her when they'd met backstage, not to mention vocal, to the point where Xander had needed to intervene, if only to ensure that the guy kept his spleen.
It hadn't seemed to matter to Lucas that she was with Xander, and he had even tried to insinuate that Xander and he had 'shared' women in the past, which had been what had driven Xander to get involved. She knew that Xander would never do that, as he treated women with too much respect to pass them around like party favours, and some of the others guys that had suddenly tried to distance themselves from him when they'd heard his comment knew it too.
Xander had taken her to one side and had immediately professed his innocence, Buffy waving his concerns away with a smile and a hug to show she knew him better than that. She had then used it as the perfect opportunity to assure herself that Xander knew he didn't have to prove anything to her, or anyone else, by going out on stage tonight.
Later on, she and Denise, or Denny as she'd asked Buffy to call her, had talked for a while as she did a final check around the club, where she'd gone on to explain Xander's unwarranted reputation as a ladies man, and the reasons behind it, probably wanting to ensure that she got the full story and that she wouldn't think badly about him. Buffy had thanked Denny for her concern, but explained that she had known Xander for years now and that there was little to nothing she could be told that would change her opinion of him.
Buffy had found herself liking Denny immensely, especially when she'd discovered that it wasn't only Paris that Xander had saved from vampires during his time there, meaning she didn't have to be so cagey when talking about herself.
She hadn't seen Xander since leaving him backstage, as Trent and a few of the other performers helped him prepare for his routine, so she had been left to her own devices so to speak, and had gone on a little stroll to check out the local neighbourhood. It was a nice town, reminding Buffy a lot of Sunnydale in fact, although without that pesky mouth of hell feeling she had gotten used to. She had even popped into a local gift shop and purchased a few trinkets for Willow and the others, adding to the items they had gotten in LA at the beach, before she finally headed back to the club to ensure her a prime seat at the table.
It was a good thing she had come back when she did, as less than twenty minutes later the club was standing room only, and Buffy's heart went out to Xander knowing how he was going to react to so many people being there for his show. She was still of two minds over the whole thing herself; there was a part of her that wanted to see Xander in all his glory, but it was warring with the part of her that wanted to gauge the eyes out of every woman in the place, with the former just edging out over the latter.
Denny had assured both her and Xander that it was at the stripper's discretion whether they go fully nude or not, stating that she would never force someone to expose themselves so completely when she herself would never do so, but both realised that it wasn't Denny but the crowd that would be applying the pressure.
It was a pressure that Lucas had decided to give in to at the culmination of his routine, given that his loincloth had just gone sailing over her head and had been caught by a top heavy brunette who began to wave it over her head in delight.
Buffy had no idea what Xander would do, but after taking a quick look at Lucas and then remembering the way Xander had filled out those Speedos, she knew he'd end his routine with a bigger finish than Lucas just did, no matter what his decision was.
Trent came out next, wearing an authentic look RCMP uniform, at least it looked like the one in 'Due South' that Benton wore, which told Buffy that Xander would be up next. She took a sip of her drink, and for a moment bemoaned that fact that while Denny had allowed her in, despite her club having a strict over 21's policy, she had told her not to even bother trying to order anything alcoholic.
She had to admit that Trent looked good, in that way men in movies and TV looked good but never truly matched up with reality, but she was too focussed on seeing Xander to take too much notice. When Trent finished his performance, standing to attention in more ways than one, Denny took to the stage with a microphone in hand.
"Alright ladies, let's here it again for Trent!" Denny cheered as the crowd went wild once again and Trent left the stage. "Now, it's my distinct pleasure to welcome back one of our most popular guys, for one night only. Put your hands together for the one, the only, Lavelle!."
Buffy bit back a grin at the name, knowing from Denny that when he'd first gone on stage as a favour to her, he'd had little time to think of a name, and had decided to go with his middle one. All thoughts of smiling disappeared from he mind the moment Xander came through the curtain, as did pretty much all thoughts period, apart from 'hubba, hubba.'
Xander was wearing Navy dress whites, and looked like he'd just stepped out of the film An Officer And A Gentleman. His toned physique filled out the uniform nicely, and he seemed to be exuding confidence, although Buffy was sure that she was the only one in the club who could see that he wasn't feeling anywhere near as confident as he looked. That only heightened the experience it for her, knowing that he was nervous but not letting it get to him.
She had half a mind to drag him off the stage and... her ability to think abruptly left her as the music began to play, and Xander began his routine.
Xander began to strut his stuff to Holding Out For A Hero, and Buffy found it apt that he chose that song, given that he met so many of the characteristics that Bonnie Tyler was looking for. He moved around the stage as though he owned it, and for the length of that song there wasn't a single person in the club that would have disputed it.
As the clothes came off, each item showing more and more of him to the rapt audience, Buffy's world became the walking wet dream in front of her, completely under his spell like the rest of the crowd, except she knew that he'd be coming home with her, and no one else. The noise in the club had gone from silence as he began his routine, to an almost deafening roar as the ladies all cheered and clapped when the pants were ripped off in a single smooth movement, leaving Xander in just a pair of small black briefs and his cap.
He circled the edge of the stage, allowing the highly charged audience a close up look of his body, and several of the women slipped money into his briefs, their fingers lingering a little longer than necessary against his skin. Buffy held in the growl that wanted to break free as she witnessed that, especially as Xander managed to keep out of her reach as he passed by, and finally returned to centre stage. She knew why he had veered away, as while he was playing a part for the rest of the audience, he would not have been able to maintain his cool if Buffy had done the same thing.
She'd just have to make sure she got to have her chance at a later date, something she knew Xander would not object to.
As Xander returned to centre stage, he span round once and then his gaze became fixed on Buffy, and she knew without a shadow of a doubt what he wanted to know. He was leaving it up to her whether he went all the way or not, and Buffy actually felt a little faint at the power he was giving her. At that moment, the part of her that wanted to rip the rest of the crowd limb from limb at ogling her boyfriend suddenly came to the fore, and although a large part of her wanted nothing less than to say yes, she found herself doing the opposite.
With the barest of movements, she shook her head in the negative, and a flash of relief appeared in Xander's eyes for a moment before it disappeared, Buffy knowing that she would be the only one to have noticed. As the song neared its end, Xander slowly made his way over to her, knelt down and placed his cap on her head, caressing her cheek with his hand before he stood back up and returned to the centre of the stage for the final time, where he performed a perfect salute just as the lights went out.
There were a few moans of protest of not getting to see everything, but the vast majority of the audience had been more than satisfied by what they'd seen, and proved it by almost raising the roof with their applause. When the lights came up again, Xander was nowhere to be seen and Denny had taken his place, a wide beaming smile on her face as she fanned herself with her hand.
"Whew!" she exclaimed a little breathless, and Buffy couldn't tell whether she was faking or not. "He can fly me anytime!"
Cheers of agreement met her comment, as did a round of "Encore! Encore!"
Buffy knew that there would be no encore, and that 'Lavelle' had performed for the final time. She was glad for that, as while she wouldn't swap this experience for anything, she knew she would have a big problem with Xander doing this on a regular basis. That wasn't to say that she wouldn't ask for a private performance every now and then, but after tonight it would be for her eyes only.
She chuckled as she realised that her mind was running away with her, as they hadn't even gotten their kiss out of the way yet, and even then they were far too early in their relationship for her fantasies to become reality.
Well, at least most of them.
Buffy left the club ten minutes after Xander's routine, knowing that he would soon be joining her. Normally the men would do 2-3 routines each night, but Xander had no intention of going through that again, nor would Buffy want him to. What he'd done had been big, and while it was completely outside of what she thought would happen on a first date, she had enjoyed herself immensely.
The front door to the club opened and Denny came outside, taking a short break from hosting the show. "Don't worry hun," Denny assured her as she saw Buffy outside waiting, "Al will be out in a few minutes; he's just saying farewell to the others before he leaves."
"Yeah, I kinda figured that," Buffy replied, having realised he wouldn't just leave, "and he'd probably want to take a shower before leaving, f only to get all that oil off him," she added with a small grin.
"Yeah," she agreed with a chuckle, "he always hated putting that stuff on, saying that he felt like a turkey getting basted. It's a damn shame you know; Al has the ability to make it big in this business, especially now he's filled out a little."
"Going by his performance tonight I can see why," Buffy said a little warily, feeling that Denny might ask her to speak to Xander about returning on a more regular basis, "but you can only be the best at something if you love it, and Xander doesn't love this. He really enjoys what he's doing at the moment, and I can't see him wanting to do anything else."
"Oh I know, and I wish him well," Denny told her, having felt Buffy's unease, "but a girl can dream, can't she?"
Before Buffy could respond, Xander appeared from the side of the building, the bag that had his costume in his hand, which confused her a little as she thought he'd come out through the front.
Xander could see her look and decided to explain. "I used the fire exit; some of those women can get a little grabby with the guys if you try and leave through the front." he then noticed Denny standing there and flashed her a smile. "Thanks again for everything Denny," he told her sincerely.
"The pleasure was all mine, believe me," she replied, "the crowd loved you, and I almost had a riot on my hands when they found out you were only performing the once tonight. There's a lot of disappointed women in there right now," she teased him, knowing how flustered he had always gotten when the customers tried to get a private showing.
"Yeah, well," Xander said, a little flustered, "that was my last performance, Denny. It just isn't me." he wrapped his arm around Buffy and smiled as she leant into him, almost instinctively. "We better get a move on if we want to get back tonight," he told his girlfriend, a small grin appearing on his face as he thought that.
"I know," Buffy sighed, feeling a little sad that they're date would soon be over. She brightened up however when she realised that there would be plenty more dates to come, a lifetime of them if she had her way.
Buffy and Willow's Dorm Room,
Sunday 14th November 1999,
"Well, here we are," Xander said as he dropped Buffy's bags at the foot of her bed, Willow fortunately nowhere to be seen.
Both knew that if she were around there'd be no chance of peace, as she'd be asking questions from the moment she saw them. Their weekend, and first date, was coming to an end, and neither one wanted it to. They both knew that there would be other dates, but that didn't stop them from wanting this one to go on forever.
"I had a fantastic weekend, Xander," Buffy told him sincerely, for what must be the dozenth time.
"Me too, although I have to say I hope we don't get held at gunpoint every time we go out, or have to deal with Cordelia."
"Nah, we've just got demons and apocalypses instead," she replied with a small smile, which only increased when she heard his groan.
Silence descended between them, as they both knew they couldn't stall any longer. There was one more thing to do before they parted ways, something they had both been looking forward to from the moment the date began; their first kiss.
Xander had thought of what their first kiss would be like on and off from the moment they first met, and their numerous close calls had only stoked the flames of his imagination. While she hadn't been thinking about it as long as Xander, Buffy was just as nervous about what was about to happen, more nervous than she could remember for that matter, but also filled with anticipation.
Suddenly, a feeling of calm flowed through Xander, and he made the first move and stepped closer to her, Buffy taking that as her cue and did the same. Soon they were so close to each other they were almost touching, and Xander looked down at Buffy for a few moments and allowed his eyes to show the depth of feeling he had for her, and was thrilled to see the same reflected in hers.
"Buffy, there's something I need to tell you," Xander whispered as he leaned down, their face inexorably close, "something I've wanted to tell you for a long time."
"What's that?" she asked softly, her eyes drawn from his eyes to his lips.
Xander took a deep breath and said the one thing he never thought he'd get to say to her. "I love you."
With that declaration, Xander closed the gap between them. Their lips moved against each other languidly, both of them savouring ever sensation, neither wanting to rush the moment. Xander's hand moved to gently cup Buffy's face, the pads of his thumbs gently stroking her silky skin.
Buffy's lips parted and Xander deepened the kiss, and his tongue silently requested entrance, a request that was immediately granted. Their tongues circled one another, dancing to a rhythm only they could hear, and their bodies began to follow, and they began to sway in time with the music.
After what felt like hours, although was probably no more than a few minutes, they parted, their eyes darked by the emotions invoked by the kiss, their chests rising and falling rapidly in an effort to replenish their air supply. After a moment, Xander touched his forehead to hers, their eyes still locked on each other, unwilling to break their connection.
"Wow," Xander breathed, almost overwhelmed.
"That was definitely worth the wait," Buffy said in agreement.
Eventually, they pulled apart, both smiling widely and completely unbothered by how silly they both looked.
"I don't want to, believe me I don't want to," Xander began, "but I have an early start at work tomorrow so I need to make a move."
"Yeah, and I have Walsh first thing, so I need all my wits about me," Buffy replied, although her tone indicated that the last thing she wanted was for him to go.
Xander leant down and kissed her again, forcing himself to step back back after only a couple of seconds, and went to the door. "Goodnight," he whispered, "I'll see you tomorrow."
"Goodnight," Buffy replied, and watched as he opened the door and left. Just as he was about to close the door behind him, she called out. "Xander!"
"Yeah Buff?" he said as he poked his head back in.
"I love you too," she told him with a smile.
The smile Buffy received was brighter the sun.