Strong Enough For A Man

Buffy stalked into the training room in the Magic Box, glowering at all and sundry. But mostly the room's lone occupant, one Alexander Lavelle Harris. Coming to a stop in front of said occupant, who was sitting on the floor in the middle of the one of the training mats cleaning a variety of guns, she glared at him and demanded, "Is there a reason why Dawn told me you stole my tampons?"

Xander blushed, eyes skating towards the red-handed giveaway of the aqua and purple box of super-absorbent Tampax sitting in the midst of the guns and cleaning supplies. "Ah, well, G-man sorta talked me into helping him clean all these weapons up, and there were a lot of shotguns, and I heard somewhere that t-tampons were good for getting inside the barrels."

Buffy's eyes narrowed, but she appeared willing to listen. Apparently it wasn't that time of the month – yet – and not being in dire need of the tampons, Buffy was willing to allow him to explain before she disembarked her Xander-shaped friend. "Where did you hear such a weirdass story?"

"Hey, it worked," Xander objected, gesturing to a nearby twelve-gauge. She scowled, and he quailed, answering, "Um, when I was on my road trip last summer, on the way back from Oxnard I ran into these two demon hunters. Brothers, name of Dean and Sam Winchester. I helped them take down a pack of wild…well, some sort of supernatural thing, obviously not of the good."

Buffy's eyes widened, the brows rising in interest. "Demon hunters?"

Xander nodded frantically, hoping that Buffy's interest would lead to him not getting mauled, maimed, or otherwise killed. "Yeah; seems like they'd been at it at least as long as us, so I asked for some tips. Dean was kinda tight-lipped, and he used a shotgun, so it was Sam I ended up talking to. Sam told me that Dean used tampons to clean out the inside of the barrels on his shotgun, so I…borrowed yours."

Snorting, Buffy dropped down to sit tailor-fashion on the floor to the left of Xander. "Borrowing implies that you're going to give them back. I don't want them back once you're through with them." She gave the gun-powered blackened tampons lying next to the half-used bottle of gun oil a disgusted look.

"Eh-heh…" Xander gulped, feeling sweat start to trickle down his back. "Sure, Buff." That was all she wanted, right? No shish-kebabbing of the Zeppo?

Sighing, Buffy waved a hand in the universal gesture of 'You pissed me off, but I'm okay now.' "If you used them all up, you're buying me a new box. Tampons aren't cheap."

Xander nodded once more as he watched her walk out of the room. It took a few moments for his fear to abate enough for him to stop nodding, and Xander wondered if he'd ever stop feeling like a bobble-head doll around the women in his life.

He thought not. And also resolved to never ever ask Anya why it was that she hadn't had any kind of female things in her half of the bathroom cabinets that he could use. He didn't think he wanted to know the answer.