Legal: All characters are (c) Joss Whedon, Fox, Mutant Enemy and probably a whole mess of other people. No infringement of copyright intended.
Archive: Go right ahead. Just let me know, please
Spoilers: All the way up to the end of Season 4 (Buffy) and Season 1 (Angel)
Summary: "What I did in the Summer Vacation", by Xander and Anya.
Rating: PG-13 (MPAA)
Notes: It's not slash, it's not an unconventional 'ship, and it doesn't even have a slayer in it. What kind of madman am I? And I should specify that this is not a songfic, despite the quote at the beginning.
We're all going on a
No more worries for a
Week or two
Fun and laughter on our
No more worries for me or you
For a week or two
- Cliff Richard, "Summer Holiday"
"Do you know that Cliff Richard movie Summer Holiday?" Xander asked cheerfully, as he haphazardly stuffed a sweatshirt into his bag, "You know … the one where his friend tries to buy bread in Italy and accidentally proposes to someone?"
"No." Anya answered with far less enthusiasm, eyeing Xander's enormous pile of bags and then glancing at her own neatly packed suitcase, "How are you going to get all that in the car?"
"I've seen it twice." Xander seemed oblivious both to Anya's question and to her complete disinterest in British pop icons of the sixties, "That's what living in your parents' basement and watching all night TV does to you. And I gotta feel sorry for Cliff. He tried so hard to make movies as truly awful as Elvis, but he never quite had the same style as the King." The young man paused, cocking his head thoughtfully, "Of course, Cliff's now sixty and looks younger than Elvis did when he choked on his last cheeseburger, so maybe he had the last laugh after all."
"Xander." The girl's tone took on a warning edge.
"Yes, my love?" he bounced over to Anya and smooched her exuberantly. "Are you packed? We gotta go soon."
"I've been packed for over an hour." She reminded him, feeling her irritation collapse under his infectious excitement, "You're the one holding us up."
"Oh." Xander looked genuinely surprised, then shrugged. "Well, I'm packed, now. And the car's filled with gas. So we're ready to roll." He grabbed the first three of his bags, then frowned at the enormous pile of luggage. "How long are we going for?"
"A month." Anya reminded him, "Assuming the car doesn't break down. I know what happens on these cross-country trips. I've seen National Lampoon's Vacation."
"A modern classic." Xander nodded agreeably, randomly throwing half of his bags back into the closet as he did so. "But perhaps not the best film to have shown you the night before we left. Still, at least it wasn't Duel."
Anya picked up her single bag and watched with a mixture of amusement and exasperation as her boyfriend loaded himself with luggage.
"Don't hurt yourself." She cautioned, suddenly concerned. "Remember when you strained your back and we couldn't have sex for a week."
"That was your fault." He reminded her, defensively.
Anya shrugged, trailing after him as he staggered to the car.
"I said I was sorry, didn't I?"
They were really doing it.
Even as they sped out of the city limits, Xander had to suppress an urge to pinch himself. The urge to follow in the tradition of Jack Kerouac had been burning inside him for nearly eighteen months, but his first attempt to do so had been so disastrous that it had taken nearly a year for him to work up the courage to try it again.
But now they were really doing it. They. Not he. Xander hadn't really known how Anya would react to the idea of the trip when he tentatively broached it to her nearly six weeks before, but her response had been typically pragmatic.
"A month away from the Hellmouth? Sounds like a good idea to me."
He grinned at her across the front seat, and was surprised by the warmth of the returned smile. Anya always kept him guessing. There were times when he wondered if she saw him as any more than someone who had the appropriate 'interlocking parts'; and then moments when she stunned him with her tenderness.
"Where do you want to go first?" he asked, trying to figure out how far the first tank of gas would get them.
"Las Vegas!" Anya grinned, "I want to see the tigers eat those two so-called magicians."
"Yuck. Vegas is full of lounge singers. Like Wayne Newton. Or Barry Manilow. And I don't think that Siegfried and Roy get eaten in their act."
"There's always a first time." The ex-demoness muttered darkly. Xander laughed, a little nervously. It could be hard to tell when Anya was joking.
"Vegas it is, then."
Prudence Munroe glided through the lights and noise of the casino, relishing the attention her flowing blonde hair and form-fitting red cocktail dress were attracting. She loved Vegas. It was a perfect playground, with its constant flow of visitors from around the world. So many of them men. So many of them eager for attractive female company. So many of them rich.
She glanced around for a likely prospect, her eyes lingering on a dark-haired young man at one of the blackjack tables. He was boyishly good-looking, with a quirky tilt to the corner of his mouth. For a second, she thought about approaching him, despite the small size of the pile of chips he was using to play. But then the girl beside the boy slid her arm through his, shooting a dark look at Prudence as she did so.
The blonde flashed a smug smile back at the other girl, who wore a dress as skin tight as her own. I could have him if I wanted, sweetheart. But she moved away. The girl's body language said "couple", and it was much less trouble to pick a man who was unattached. That way there was no-one else around who might remember you.
"Excuse me, Miss." The deep male voice came from behind her, and had a slow, southern drawl, "I was wonderin' if I might buy you a drink?"
Prudence turned, a welcoming smile already on her lips. It was far from original, as pick-up lines went, but she wasn't after a man for his conversational skills, after all.
"That would be lovely." She murmured, admiring the man's strong physique and expensive clothes, "Perhaps a rum and coke?"
"My pleasure." The man offered her his arm, and she took it delicately. "I'm Hank Parker, just up from Texas for the weekend."
"I'm Prudence." The blonde's smile was genuine. She liked Texans. They tended to carry a lot of cash. And they tasted so good. Must be all that red meat they eat.
As Hank walked her to the bar, she felt the eyes of the dark-haired boy upon her. She glanced back, giving him a playful wink, then laughed lightly at a clumsy joke from Hank. Yes, it was just as well she hadn't gone for the youngster. If he'd been smart as well as cute, she might have been tempted to turn him.
Xander winced as Anya jabbed him firmly in the ribs.
"If you're so taken with the blonde tramp, why'd you invite me on this trip?" she snapped, glaring daggers at the back of the girl who was now walking off with a tall, broad-shouldered man.
"What?" Xander frowned and shook his head slightly, "It's not like that. If I went off with her I'd get the kind of hickey you can't show in daylight."
Anya opened her mouth to yell at him, then closed it with a snap. Peering after the couple, who were now at the bar, she leaned in to whisper,
"She's a vampire? Are you sure?"
"You don't spend four years around the Slayer without picking up a few pointers." Xander muttered back, sliding a chip out onto the table to signify he would play the next hand.
"Typical." The ex-demoness complained, "we finally get away from the Hellmouth, and the first place you take us is crawling with the Undead."
"It's one vampire." He reminded her, "And why not get on the loudspeakers next time? That way you could really make sure everyone heard you." he didn't bother to point out that coming to Las Vegas had been Anya's idea.
"Sorry." The apologetic response surprised him. "Though it's so noisy in here that no-one would have heard me anyway." That was more like the Anya he knew.
"Maybe." Xander went bust drawing the Queen of Spades on a 12, and cursed distractedly. "Anyway, we should stop her. She'll kill that guy if we don't."
"Are you crazy?" Anya hissed, favouring him with a withering stare, "Last time I checked, Buffy was the Slayer, not us. Look, just because she's sizing that guy up like a McDonalds' burger is no reason for us to get killed."
"We're not going to get killed." Xander scooped up his chips and stepped back from the table. "I have a plan."
"Oh, wonderful." Anya shook her head slightly, "You have a plan. And what are we going to kill her with, harsh language?"
"I should never have shown you Aliens." He grumbled in response, then patted the pocket of his jacket, "I'm carrying two stakes and a bottle of holy water. Standard issue for Sunnydale alumni. Why aren't you armed?"
Anya glared at him,
"I can't even wear underwear with this dress. How could I carry a stake?"
It took a while for Xander to recover enough composure to outline his plan.
Prudence was surprised when the dark-haired boy slid up to her at the bar, familiarly placing his arm around her waist.
"There you are, darling." He flashed a lively smile at both her and Hank Parker, "I'm sorry I was so long at the tables. Who's your friend?"
The vampiress suppressed a small smile. The young man had really noticed her, it seemed. And he was making his play with far more verve and charm than the Texan. Briefly, she considered turning him away. He was almost too cute to eat.
"This is Hank Parker, honey." Almost too cute. "He was kind enough to buy me a drink. Hank, this is my fiancé …"
"Alexander Harris." The young man shook Hank's hand firmly, ignoring the half-startled, half-surly look on the Texan's face. "Very kind of you to keep my baby company, Hank."
"Think nothing of it." the Texan blinked slowly, obviously deciding not to press the issue, "But now I really must be going, if you'll excuse me."
The two of them watched Hank leave, Prudence amusedly noting the stiffness of the larger man's back. A sore loser, it seemed, but not sore enough to make a fuss.
"That was pretty brave of you, Alexander." she smiled warmly. "I imagine Mr Parker would not have appreciated your ruse, if I had exposed it."
The young man shrugged,
"If I see something I want, I go for it. And please, call me Xander. Can I get you another drink?"
"Not just at the moment," Prudence cocked her head to one side, feeling an indulgent smile tug at the corner of her lips. She wondered how this Xander would feel to know that the woman he was flirting with was three times his age. "What happened to the girl you were with earlier?"
"I gave her a hundred and sent her packing." He leaned against the bar, "she was just a Casino girl. Nothing special."
"Aren't I just a Casino girl?" she raised her eyebrows challengingly.
"No." Xander shook his head, "You're something quite out of the ordinary." She was surprised and amused by the sincerity in his tone.
"You don't know the half of it." Prudence breathed playfully, resting a hand on his arm. This one was young and direct, so she didn't see the point of wasting any time, "Why don't you take me to your room and I can show you."
"I thought you'd never ask."
The blonde pushed him against the wall of the hotel room, her lips cool but not unpleasant as they pressed against his own. Xander cupped her face in his hands, using the seeming tenderness to make sure she didn't lunge at his neck.
"What was your name, anyway?" he breathlessly asked in between two deep kisses, "I didn't catch it, earlier."
"Prudence." The vampiress played with the buttons of his shirt, flicking the top one undone.
"That's quite an old-fashioned name for such a young and pretty girl." He remarked casually, looking over her shoulder at the mirror on the dresser, where the reflection showed him standing alone.
"It was popular when I was born." The blonde chuckled, obviously amused by her own cleverness. Xander suppressed a smirk of his own as she undid the second button on his shirt.
"You know," he said conversationally, as she played with the third button, "you'll get a rude surprise if you keep doing that."
Prudence licked her lips. Even knowing what she was, Xander could understand the ease with which she attracted men.
"Why is that?" she teased, "Do you have a nasty scar?"
"No." he answered calmly, pulling his shirt open suddenly, "but you might."
The blonde recoiled from the iron crucifix around Xander's neck, the ridges of her game face forming from the shock and anger.
"You knew?" she hissed, her eyes narrowed.
"I'm from Sunnydale." Xander allowed his smirk to break through at last.
The vampiress snarled, the sound coming from deep in her throat.
"So you thought you'd play the hero, did you? I'm not some new-born cub, boy. And you're no Slayer."
"No, he isn't. But I am." Anya stepped out of the room's wardrobe, where she had hidden before Xander and Prudence entered the room. The ex-demoness spun a stake slowly in her fingers.
Prudence whirled, half-crouching as she did so. Then the vampiress frowned.
"You're no Slayer, either. Buffy Summers is a blonde."
"Oh please. With those roots?"
To her eternal mortification, the lovely Prudence Munroe died with a look of bafflement marring her usually perfect features.
Xander shook his head at the light pattern of dust on the carpet,
"How are we going to explain that to the cleaning lady?" he asked rhetorically, throwing the stake in his hand onto a nearby chair.
"Who cares?" Anya grinned, then flung her arms around him and kissed him deeply.
"Hmm …" Xander mused thoughtfully when they finally broke for air, "Perhaps I should go slay vampires more often, if it's going to have this sort of effect on you."
"Don't you dare!" Anya punched him lightly on the arm, then added in a small voice, "I don't want you to get hurt."
He tilted her head up gently and kissed her again. It was more tender this time, but no less heartfelt. At the end, it was the ex-demoness who stepped back, her cheeks flushed.
"That was … different." She observed quietly, as if not sure what had happened.
"Yes." The young man agreed, stepping close to put his arms around her once again, "It was."
Their lips met, and it was not until an hour later, as they lay entwined on the bed, that Xander sat up and frowned,
"Buffy dyes her hair?"