A/N This was just a plot bunny that jumped up and bit me while I was sitting in Stop and Go traffic in Maryland (In my opinion, the worst drivers in the world, they make Roman cabbies look like something out of Driving Miss Daisy.) Anyway, I have no proprietary claim on BTVS or anything else recognizable.

They're Guaranteed to Raise A Smile

They say that repeated pain dulls an organism to that pain. Right now you couldn't prove that with Xander Harris. He was currently sitting at a table in a rather nice Jazz club, watching a very sweet young woman walk out of his life, yet again. It currently felt like a black hole had been substituted for his heart, and it was currently sucking in every possible good feeling.

He wanted to scream that it wasn't fair, that he deserved a little happiness too. But if he did then all of his friends would look at him and exclaim that he had them, and it would be complete with a hurt expression. Which was true, he had some extraordinary friends, friends that he had been through hell and back with. But as good as these friends were; it just wasn't what he was looking for. And it wasn't like they didn't have other connections in their lives. Willow had switched back to guys, just not him. Buffy had dropped the Immortal and was dating several guys, just not him. Dawn was seeing some Watcher Trainee that she'd met at Oxford and wasn't him. Heck, even Giles was keeping time with the mother of a new Slayer. Xander figured that if Andrew started a steady relationship, he'd throw himself off a cliff.

The problem wasn't sex. Xander knew he could pick up women without much effort; he was in good shape from tromping around Africa for three years and the eye patch gave him a hint of mystery; but the one night stand just left him feeling a bit hollow inside. Heck, he'd even tried dating guys when he was stuck in Johannesburg for two weeks, but that just didn't feel right either. It was just his luck, being a heterosexual that was interested in having a long term relationship.

Xander sat and brooded . . . . errrr, that is thought deeply for a while; because Xander didn't brood, he didn't use enough hair gel for that. Anyway, as he contemplated his situation, it came to him that the problem was one of availability. First and foremost he refused to introduce some unsuspecting female to the world that he dealt with; he just couldn't do that to someone. Unfortunately that ruled out most of the women on the planet and a few that were off it. Of those remaining, he would never date a slayer; again, it just didn't feel right. So that left female Watchers, Watcher trainees, and the relatives of Slayers as a pool of potentials. Most Watchers and Watcher trainees freaked out when he came around. As one of the original Scoobies, he was regarded as a virtual rock star in their world. So any time he asked one out, it was like asking out a groupie rather than a human being; and so far none of those attempts had lasted more than twenty five minutes. As for those women who were related to Slayers and of datable age; well number seven had just stepped out the door. While they knew about the darkness, Xander realized that a vast majority couldn't handle someone who lived their whole life there. He had just resigned himself to the unfairness of it all when two men sat down at the table without being invited. Both were thin, one with light brown hair and the other with dark hair and a mustache, for some reason Xander felt he should recognize them, but he just couldn't recall where.

"Mr. Harris, may we speak with you," the guy with the mustache asked. Considering where the club was, the English accent wasn't a surprise.

"I'd say you already were," Xander shot back.

"If you want us to leave, we will," the lighter haired guy cut in.

"That's OK," Xander replied, "honestly I could use a bit of a distraction right now."

"Indeed," mustache guy said, "rather rum luck you've had."

Xander's danger alarms went off scale at that. "You've been following me," he said, quietly but firmly as he started to rise.

"Only for a bit," Brown Hair said, putting a hand on Xander's arm. "We had to make sure you were eligible."

"For what?"

"We represent a multidimensional business. We were looking for suitable candidates and your name came up."

"My name?"

"In some dimensions, you and your exploits are legendary. Unfortunately so is your dating history, and not in a good way there mate."

"Do you mean to tell me that I'm a dating joke in more worlds than just this one?"

"'Fraid so."

"Well isn't that just peachy, so what do you guys want me for, aside from the comedy value?"

"You can play the drums, right," Mustache asked.

"Yeah," Xander replied, puzzled at the change of topic. "I learned while I was in Africa. One of the Witch Doctors taught me so I could help him with a ritual or two, and it kind of stuck."

"Could you give us a bit of a demo," Mustache asked again.

"Why not," Xander shrugged and moved to the stage; which was empty for the moment. He searched around in back and scrounged up a pair of conga drums and a pair of bongos. Then he cracked his knuckles, closed his eye and set off on a blistering solo. He played for nearly five minutes, his pain being temporarily forgotten as the joy of the music filled him. Honestly he enjoyed this as much as carpentry because this was something that was his alone, and not related to the darkness. When he finished the crowd erupted in applause accompanied by calls for an encore. Blushing, Xander just shook his head and sat back down at his table. "So what do ya think?"

Mustache turned to Brown hair, "I'd say he's hired, what do you say?"

"I'd say he'll fit right in," Brown hair replied; then he put a delicate pair of glasses on.

As soon as he did this, Xander realized where he'd seen these two before. "But aren't you . . . . . . .?"

"Multidimensional, remember," Brown hair replied.

"So who . . . . .," Xander started to ask.

"People we've met who though they might like to be us for a while, shame it worked out the way it did. But all that was beyond our control," Mustache chimed in.

"So what exactly do you guys want me for," Xander finally managed.

"We need a new drummer," Brown hair said, "and we liked the way you played. Plus you meet the other requirement."

"Which is?"

"Alexander Harris," Mustache said in a rather formal voice, "welcome to Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."

A/N II: And you thought that Sgt Pepper was just a cute album, shame on you ;-)