First kisses are always awkward. Or he thought they were supposed to be anyway. He wouldn't admit it to anybody, of course, but he wasn't actually as experienced as he made out to be. He'd had a few first kisses, a handful maybe, but not much past that. He was all flash with very little follow through bang. But that was a secret. He was the suave and debonair foreigner with the sexy accent. He was supposed to be a ladies' man. He had a reputation to uphold, after all.

He'd done his homework. If nothing else, Xander was resourceful. He'd hid in corners of libraries in neighboring towns, driving so far just so he wouldn't be recognized. He'd watched all the old romance movies he could find. He'd even done a few searches on the internet. Just to study the art of kissing.

The only thing was, all the information wasn't really that helpful. Nobody ever told you where to put your hands, but he figured up in the hair was good. He liked hair, especially when it was short and soft and easily grab-able. Nobody ever told you how to breathe, and that it took him months to figure out that's what you have a nose for, he would certainly never divulge. Not a single book, movie, or webpage even mentioned how to position your nose so it doesn't bump into the other person's nose. He'd absolutely ruined a date with Melissa by ramming noses and then stuttering out apologies. It had killed the moment completely and she had refused dates with him ever since.

All the movies showed the men grabbing the girls and just shoving their lips together. Xander knew that couldn't be right. For one, it was rude to just grab people like that. Second of all, it looked like it hurt, all that pressure. If it didn't hurt, it certainly couldn't be comfortable. Kissing was supposed to be nice. Pleasant. Not forceful.

And then there was the fear factor. Xander was terrified of first kisses. What if he did the wrong thing? What if the other person didn't want him to kiss her? What if he'd misinterpreted everything and ruined a perfectly good friendship? If he was wrong, it just led to awkwardness. He had to apologize and come up with some excuse for why he'd kissed her. He had to try to laugh it off when really all he wanted to do was crawl in a hole and hide forever. It sucked being male and being expected to make the first move.

All that combined meant Xander rarely kissed anybody. So it came as quite as quite a surprise, just as much to Xander himself as it was to Vida, when he cornered her in the back office the Rock-Porium and kissed her. He'd liked her for ages. All their verbal sparring tended to get him a little worked up so he often picked a fight with her just for the enjoyment of it all. But he never thought… well… Vida of all people? He'd never thought he'd actually DO anything about it.

But she'd been toying with him all day and he was in such a good mood. She was bathed in light from the window while she filed reports from the previous days register, the blue highlights of her hair practically sparkling. He couldn't resist. He'd just walked up to her, gently touched her arm, and then leaned down to kiss her.

It was easy, unlike any other first kiss he'd had. He automatically tilted his head, his nose going just to the side of hers. He'd been gentle, soft, with just the slightest bit of pressure. He felt the nervous flutters in his stomach turn to sparks when she started to kiss him back.

"So, does this mean all the yelling and antagonizing was because you have a teensy, tiny, microscopic crush on me?" Vida asked. They were still so close, he could feel her breath. He grinned and bent down for a second kiss. She smiled against him and he added a bit more pressure. His hands found his way to her hair, though he didn't remember making a conscious decision to do so. She seemed to enjoy it and chuckled in the back of her throat.

"You are such a stereotypical boy." He leaned back and stared down his nose at her. He could have gone with flowers and chocolate, but Vida wasn't that kind of girl. She teased him, she taunted him, and he loved every minute of it. Especially when she kissed him again.

First kisses are awkward. But, if you're lucky, they'll get amazing, real quick.