Title: Gotta Get It
Author: Dea Brynhild Ensomhet
Pairing: Spike&Xander, Buffy&Faith
Archival: Just ask and ye shall recieve.
Disclaimer: Don't own Buffy or Angel cast, crew, characters, plotlines, etc. I do, however, own a copy of the book "Five Seasons of Angel: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Vampire", and I ordered the Buffy book too. I don't own Barnes and Noble, Google, or anything else I referenced within. The poems Spike writes were written by me, so any similarity to any other poem in existence is entirely coincidental. It was Shadow's awesome Spander fic "Twilight Time" wherein William is given 'Barstow' as a last name. So yeah. I didn't make it up, credit goes to Shadow for the awesome last name. Spike singing "Something Good" from Sound of Music is a shout-out to Saber Shadowkitten's Summer Series and Higher Learning, a looong Spillow fic that was one of my favorites for a long time. SW was my OTP before I discovered slash and SX. Them watching Velvet Goldmine is a shout-out to Gunbunny's "Title-defying Series", a Spike&OC fic. Enjoy!
Author's Notes: I give in to the urge to angst, so you might want to have a few tissues ready. There will be a happy coughcliffhangerycough ending, but you gotta go through the angst to get to it.
Chapter 1: Xander goes to the bookstore
Xander sipped his milkshake, one hand on the wheel, alternative music blaring as he barely kept to the speed limit on the highway. His cell phone vibrated in the pocket against his chest, and he put the drink in the cupholder. Glancing at the caller ID, he smiled, flipping open the phone and holding it to his ear.
"Hiya, slut." he said, turning the music down enough to hear the voice at the other end.
"Hey tramp. What are you doing?" a woman's voice replied.
"Nothing much. Driving home after someone made me come over to squish an invisible spider and then roped me into cleaning out their storage closet. I just left ten minutes ago, did you miss me already?"
Faith chuckled. "Nah, I couldn't wait to get your ugly face out of my sight. I just thought you might be interested that I just got online, and that book you wanted is out."
Xander's hand reached out and flipped the radio off, just to make sure he was hearing her correctly. "It's out? You're sure?"
"You think I'd tease you? You've been so hyped up about getting it, I just thought you'd like to know. It was released last week, B&N should have it in stock by now."
Xander grinned. "Thanks for telling me, Faith. You're a peach, I don't care what everybody else says."
Faith laughed. "Yeah, well, if you've been spreading rumors about me around again, I know where you live. Call me back later, okay?"
"Will do." Xander said. He flipped the phone closed and then open again, before speed-dialing the bookstore. It was the sorry state his life was in that he had more stores and carry-out food numbers programmed into his phone than friends.
"Barnes and Noble, this is Buffy, how can I help you?" a perky female voice answered after the third ring.
"Yeah, I'm wondering if you have a book in stock." He told her the title and author, and she put him on hold while she checked the shelves. Xander tapped his fingers against the wheel as he drove, hoping it was in. The world wouldn't end if he had to order it and wait a week, but he was an instant gratification kind of guy - when he found something he liked, he wanted it right away.
Buffy's voice came back on the phone. "Yes, it's in. Would you like us to hold a copy for you?"
"Yes." Xander replied quickly. "Last name is Harris." He spelled it out for her. "How late are you open?"
"'Til nine." she said. The glowing numbers on the dashboard read 8:49. Xander swore. "We open at nine in the morning." she continued, helpfully.
Even if Xander had been willing to wait, he would be at work at eight in the morning. "Okay, go ahead and hold it, but I'll try to make it before you close." He hung up, shoving the cell back in his pocket, right foot pressing a little harder on the accelerator. He prayed he wouldn't get a speeding ticket.
Four minutes and counting until the store closed, Buffy glanced out the window just in time to see an old beat-up Buick race into the parking lot and come to a screeching halt in the space closest to the door. A dark figure jumped out of the car, stumbling a bit as they shoved the car door closed and jogged to the store's entrance. The man pulled open the door so hard it smacked the wall and he winced at the sound, but didn't slow down. He was dressed in worn jeans and an old flannel shirt, and his hair was mussed up. There was a little bit of a crazed desperate gleam in his eyes as he spotted her uniform and headed toward her.
"I called like five minutes ago to put a book on hold." he trailed off as she nodded, turning around to pull a book off the shelf against the window.
"Hold on just a sec while I find someone who's still on register." she said. The guy nodded, starting to catch his breath as he pulled out his wallet. "Hey, Spike, wanna ring this guy up?"
Spike, who'd been arranging the calendars on display, set down a pile of merchandise and slipped behind the counter. "Okay." He frowned at the mischievous smile Buffy wore as she handed him the guy's book and made herself scarce. He glanced down at the title of the book, and blinked. His gaze swung up to meet the disheveled young man watching him, or more appropriately, the book he was holding, with undisguised interest. "This the book you want?"
"Yeah." Xander nodded. "The collected poems of William Barstow."
Spike shook his head to clear it, and swiped the barcode into the computer, setting the book on the counter. "This all for you tonight?" The boy nodded as he picked up the book, and Spike read off the total, accepting the cash and making change while the boy flipped through the pages. Spike took the moment to look at the boy, face flushed, mouthing the words to whichever poem he was looking at.
"Effulgent." the boy breathed, and Spike's eyes widened.
"Here's your change." Spike blurted out, before he could say anything else. The boy looked up, practically glowing with happiness as he accepted his change.
"Thanks so much. Have a nice night." he said, shoving receipt and change in his pocket, and then he was gone, nose buried in the book as he walked out at a much more sedate pace than he'd come in. Spike watched him go, not noticing Buffy come up behind him until she slapped him upside the head.
"Ow!" Spike exclaimed, hand coming up to cradle the back of his skull.
"You idiot, why didn't you say anything?" Buffy said, hands on hips. "It's not every day you finally get your poems published, and some cute guy is so frantic to get his hands on your book that he probably broke the speed limit trying to get here before we close."
Spike tried to look sheepish. "I was in shock, okay? You could've warned me before he got here, you know."
Buffy winked. "And miss the look on your face when you saw what book he wanted? Never. I just wish I had a camcorder handy."
"Probably never see him again." Spike's gaze had wandered back to the door. "I don't even know his name."
"Alexander Harris." Buffy said. Spike turned to stare at her. "He's in the computer. We've got his address and phone number. Plus I checked the list of books he's bought in the past - quite a few on the occult and vampires." She mock-punched him on the arm. "You might actually have a chance with this one."
"Maybe." Spike smiled, hope beginning to blossom in his chest