First do Know Harm
Disclaimer: I don't own any TV series.
Xander heard a muffled scream from behind the Bronze and froze for a second. The problem was that, that sort of noise could mean two things and there was no way of telling which was which from a distance. Xander bit back a groan. He really hated these situations – he'd either be saving someone's life or interrupting a very private moment. Either of which could get him killed.
He almost smiled when he caught a glimpse of the girl, if she was involved it was almost a sure bet that it wasn't anything he needed to interfere with. Then he saw the fear in her eyes and just how tight the man with her was gripping her.
"Try and hit the heart through the back or aim for the back of the neck?" Xander wondered aloud.
The figure holding Harmony froze.
"Did I say that out loud?" Xander asked.
Xander's question seemed to break the man from his daze as he released Harmony and then ran like the hounds of hell were after him.
"Was it something I said?" Xander asked dumbly just before a tearful Harmony threw herself on him.
Xander quickly wrapped his arms around her and rubbed her back. "It's ok, just avoid wandering off wandering off with strange men in the future and you'll be fine."
"But his clothes were in fashion!" Harmony cried.
"Being in fashion isn't always a sign that someone is safe to be around."
"It isn't?" Harmony asked. "My parents said it was!"
"What exactly did your parent's say?" Xander asked curiously.
"They said I had to be one of the popular kids and dress right so I'd always be surrounded by friends, and not to go off with any fashion disasters because the lack of fashion sense marked them as potential psychos," Harmony said seriously.
Xander continued rubbing her back. "Let's just say that the lack of fashion sense is a good indicator that they want to hurt you, but it's not one hundred percent accurate."
"How can I tell who to trust then?" she asked worriedly, burrowing into his arms like she wasn't ever planning on leaving them.
"There are several good indicators that go with the lack of fashion sense. If they are pale and have cold hands they're unsafe. Also look to see if they avoid mirrors and religious icons."
"So if I wore cross earrings and a crucifix I'd be safe?"
"You'd be safer and the fashion dead that are dangerous would avoid you. Just remember that some of the fashionable people, most of the people who dress retro in fact – are dangerous."
"Hello, hello... What have we here?" a leering British voice asked, as a man in black slacks and a leather jacket slinked out of the darkness.
"Quick, in fashion or out of fashion?" Xander asked quietly, pushing her behind him.
"In fashion, but only if he's gay. Cause that jacket is something that's in for girls and gay guys right now."
Xander sighed before stepping forward. "Which one of us is more attractive?"
"Wow, you don't ask the easy questions do you?" the man asked, as he scratched his chin thoughtfully.
"Hey!" Harmony complained.
"Come on, he has the whole tall dark and handsome thing going on and he dresses like he worships Thomas Magnum."
"Tom Selleck is so Eighties!"
"The man's sweat could make a young boy's balls drop and his sister gain a cup size. Tom Selleck was a man's man! Unlike the girly pretty boy actors Hollywood is pushing on us these days. Leonardo DiCaprio? Please, do I look like I like boys that could be mistaken for underage girls...No! I want broad shoulders and some hair on the chest."
"I suppose you have a point there, he is hunky... isn't he?" Harmony admitted looking at Xander.
"And don't sell yourself short, no one is going to be passing you by without a third glance and a peak down your shirt!"
"He never peaks down my shirt!" Harmony complained. "I'd swear he was gay, but Larry says he isn't and he dates some very attractive women when he does date."
Xander groaned. "I have female friends and have been educated on how peeping is annoying..."
"That's a lie," Harmony and the stranger chorused.
"All women want you to take a peek while complaining that they don't. It lets them know they're attractive and worth risking their ire for a look," Harmony explained.
"Yeah, if you treat them like they ask, you get labeled as one of the girls," the man said ruefully. "It's one of those Catch 22's with women, so its best just to be damned and do."
"And the attraction to jerks?" Xander asked.
"Two part answer to that one," the man explained. "One; jerks are dominate and aggressive..."
"Which really revs up the female hormones," Harmony admitted.
"And two, being forced to chase after a guy makes them seem that much more valuable as you value things you have to work for more," he explained.
"I wish I'd had you two to explain these things to me years ago." Xander groaned. "It would have made things so much simpler."
The man nodded. "Well back to your original question – I'm going to have to say she edges you out in sex appeal, because she has more confidence in herself than you do."
Xander nodded. "Thanks, I was trying to figure out if you were a vampire, but truthfully, the fact that you haven't attacked us by now kinda covers that."
"Vampires aren't real," the man snorted. "Well, not any more I mean."
"Ah, I love when dinner delivers itself," a voice chuckled, as a vamp in full game face stepped out of the shadows figuring the shock would freeze them up so he could grab one without having to chase them down.
"Yeah, I hate going out for fast food," snickered a female vamp as she came up behind them, leaving them trapped between the two.
Xander slipped a large wooden cross to Harmony and turned to the male vamp with a large friendly smile. "Just the man I wanted to see."
"What?!" the vamp asked, lowering his guard as Xander placed a hand on his shoulder, taking advantage of his confusion, and slammed a stake in his heart – leaving Xander holding a leather jacket as the vamp dusted.
He quickly spun around at Harmony's scream, only to see the new guy get his neck snapped.
The vamp lunged at Harmony only to recoil as she presented the cross with such faith that it glowed brighter than the full moon above them.
The female vamp began to smolder in the light coming from the cross, seemingly paralyzed, before Xander staked it.
A groan from the side led them to the man they'd been talking to before they were jumped.
He lay there limply, his neck at a strange angle groaning a bit in pain. "I've never seen vampires like that before."
"You'll be ok, we'll get an ambulance," Xander promised doing his best to make the man comfortable without moving his neck.
"It's too late for that, I can't feel anything and it's all going dark. Give me a kiss before I die?" the man asked.
Xander barely hesitated before fulfilling the man's last request, the tongue was a bit of a surprise but since it was a last request Xander did his best to make it a memorable kiss.
The man stopped breathing after a moment, his movements became sluggish as Xander laid him down and closed his eyes.
"That was a great thing you did," Harmony said, patting him on the shoulder as he looked down on the fallen man. "... and it was also kinda hot."
"Harmony!" Xander groaned.
"What?! It was!" she protested.
"A man died here," Xander said solemnly. "Show some respect."
"He gave his life protecting someone else, I can't think of a surer way to get into Heaven," Harmony said firmly. "So I don't see a reason to mourn."
"What?" Xander asked dumbly.
"He died and went to the good place. Mourning over his corpse is like being sad because a homeless bum won the lottery – it makes no sense."
"I didn't even learn his name," Xander said sadly, trying to explain his view on the matter.
"It's Jack," the man said suddenly, sitting up and opening his eyes.
Xander blinked as his brain rebooted and considered panicking for a moment, before simply reaching out and placing two fingers on Jack's carotid artery.
"You're alive," Xander accused.
"Yes," Jack admitted.
"You were dying," Xander pointed out bluntly.
"Yes, I was dying... Then I died... Now I'm back," Jack replied.
"Does this happen a lot?" Harmony asked curiously, knowing that Xander was mixed up in some strange events and deciding not to panic as long as he wasn't.
"Far too often," Jack sighed.
"Are you going to explain that or just leave it at the cryptic?" Xander asked, brushing off his pants.
Jack climbed to his feet and straightened himself up. "It's kind of personal."
Xander nodded. "Fair enough."
"Can you teach me how you do that thing with your tongue?" Jack asked.
"It's kind of personal," Xander replied with a grin as Harmony made him put on the vamps leather jacket and generally fussed with him.
"Fine, I'll trade you my secret for your secret, as long as you promise to keep it a secret."
"Hey!" Harmony complained.
"I was including you in the secret," Jack promised.
"Good," Xander replied. "Because to learn the tongue thing will require a lot of kissing and you just ain't my type."
"Score!" Harmony cheered and drug the two guys off. "Did I mention my parents are away for the weekend and I have a hot tub?"
* * *
Xander awoke with a yawn and two bodies snuggled up to him. He froze for a second as he remembered Jack but cracking open his eyes he saw that Aphrodisia was on his left shoulder and Harmony was on his right – Jack was nowhere in sight.
"My head hurts," Xander muttered with a wince.
"That was probably from when you headbutted the Doctor," Harmony yawned.
"Doctor Who?" Xander asked but Harmony simply giggled.
"Could have been the screwdrivers," Aphrodisia said demonstrating the fact that she was awake as well, and all three felt similar from the low tones they were using.
"Sonic or vodka?" Harmony asked thoughtfully.
"Vodka, but Xander probably feels the way he does because of that mind meld thing the doctor did."
"He was a Vulcan?" Xander asked confused.
"Nah, just a telepath. I guess your memory is a little scrambled," Harmony said.
"Going to need a play by play I think," Xander said, but Harmony slapped him gently on the chest.
"I told you, no video taping. If you want to refresh your memories Aphrodisia and me are willing to do a repeat."
Xander snickered. "I meant what happened overall – though remembering how I lost my virginity would have been nice."
"You mean, you and Cordy never..." Aphrodisia trailed off.
"Nope, said she was waiting for marriage," Xander said.
"Huh. That's bull. I walked in on her and the quarterback last year," Harmony giggled.
"And that trip with the folks to Mexico? She had hickies on her inner thigh though she claimed nothing happened and someone must have slipped her a roofie."
"Well, damn..." Xander sighed, wondering why he didn't find Cordelia's lies more surprising.
The two girls hugged him tightly, immediately and visibly improving his mood.
"You're problem is that you bought into the whole 'true love and romance' crap," Aphrodisia told him. "Life just ain't like that."
"Yeah, the only bolt from the blue you can expect will be aimed at the libido. Lust at first sight is a given, but you have to know someone before you can love them," Harmony added.
"So you guys don't believe in true love, soul mates, love at first sight..."
"Nope," the two chorused.
Harmony sighed. "Unlike fairy tales, true love requires effort. You can't truly love someone until you know them, and their flaws and love them for them, not despite them."
Aphrodisia nodded "And none of that is possible in while in our teen years because of hormones and high lust levels. Best just to have friends and wait until mid to late twenties to marry."
"Friends, I can deal with that... Will you two be my friends?" Xander asked.
The two girls giggled.
"If you'd asked us that in kindergarten your life would have been so much better," Harmony said, kissing him on the cheek.
Aphrodisia followed suit. "Yeah, but we'll have to act casual in public. My dad doesn't think I'm old enough to date yet."
As the three laughed Xander noticed something. "Are you sure we didn't tape anything?"
"Not positive, but mildly," Harmony replied. "Why?"
"Cause I see a video camera over there with the light on."
Harmony sat up and rubbed her eyes. "Huh, I guess we did. I wonder what all we taped?"
"Shower, food then watch," Aphrodisia suggested, climbing to her feet.
"Seconded," Xander said stretching.
"There's still some room on the tape," Harmony pointed out.
"And?" Aphrodisia asked archly.
"Well, if we recorded everything else we might as well record the three of us in the shower?"
"Three?" Xander asked hopefully, his brain still a bit fuzzy.
AN: Thank godogma for the typing and me for the typos!