Title: Tuition
Author: gleefulmusings (formerly xanzpet)
Beta: mysterious_daze
Fandom: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season Four AU
Pairing: Xander/Graham
Rating: T
Warning(s): Extreme amounts of schmoop.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, lyrics, etc. are the property of their respective owners. Snippets of dialogue may be incorporated from the original canonical episode(s) and belong to their respective authors/creators. The original characters and plot are the property of the author(s). The author(s) is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended, nor should any be inferred. No profit is being made.

Summary: It's Dork At First Sight for Xander and Graham.

Graham Miller was meandering around the campus of UC-Sunnydale, depressed and incognizant of the many lustful and longing looks sent his way, too busy silently bemoaning his lack of a love life. He plopped down and splayed himself across the bench outside Cooper Hall, which housed the History Department. He was supposed to be moving into his new office and setting up appointments with undergraduates, but decided instead to indulge in some wallowing.

He still wasn't sure why he had accepted the appointment. Sunnydale certainly wasn't anything spectacular, and while the program was adequate and some of the professors renowned, he had earned entrance to more prestigious institutions. In the end, however, UC-Sunnydale had awarded him the largest grant and, truthfully, a doctorate wasn't necessary to teach high school, which had always been his goal.

Really, he had come here to follow his best friend, Riley Finn, whom he had met and clung to from his first day at Penn State. And while Riley was very intelligent, he wasn't the best student, and psychology was an extremely competitive track. His friend hadn't elected to partake in one of the more obscure specialties, preferring instead to study psychopathology, an extremely popular field. Thus, Riley's choices had been limited. Graham just hadn't been able to face starting over someplace new by himself.

"Dork," he chastised himself. "Wimp."

He sighed heavily and laid down on the bench, staring up at the cloudless azure sky typical of southern California. He supposed that, if nothing else, at least he had chosen a good climate in which to further his education.

Riley, of course, was in his element. The Golden Farmboy had already attracted a perky co-ed, Bunny something-or-other. A book had been dropped on the lug's head, one of the few ways guaranteed to get Riley's attention, and it was all he had been able to talk about for the past three days. How cute Bunny was, how funny Bunny was, how wonderful Bunny was.


If he had to listen to the girl's name one more time, he was going to stick a pencil in Riley's eyeball. Graham knew his friend had it bad and he was horribly jealous. Still, he kept a pencil at the ready, just in case.

"I need a man."

He supposed he could look into the school's LGBT organizations, but such activities always seemed a little desperate to him and, while not exactly closeted, Graham didn't openly proclaim his orientation, either. He wasn't embarrassed or ashamed; he was just a very private person.

Riley tried to help in his own peculiar way, often pointing out guys whom he thought Graham would find attractive. As mortified as he was, Graham couldn't help but laugh at his friend's antics, trying to be the hip hetero life partner. If it wasn't completely obvious that Riley was straight, his taste in men would all but herald it.

Their first day in Sunnydale, they had immediately chanced upon the Espresso Pump, which thankfully served a decent French roast.

Hey, Riley had whispered, check out the ass on that barista! I think he likes you!

He both chuckled and grimaced at the memory. Said barista's ass had been flatter than a mesa, while his face had enough oil to power a banana republic for the next century.

Graham wasn't particularly vain or shallow, but he did want a boyfriend who washed with regularity. That wasn't too much to ask, was it? He also didn't want to date a boy whose nametag read 'Lucky'; it might as well have been a dog collar. And if that was Lucky, he'd hate to see what Unfortunate looked like.

It was nice that Riley was so accepting and comfortable around him, but he was about as anxious for his friend to set him up as an ox would be to be yoked to a kangaroo.

He sighed again, this time more wistfully. All he wanted a nice, attractive guy with whom he could catch a football game, a quick beer, and then some hot sweaty man sex. Was that so wrong?

Xander Harris was wandering aimlessly about campus in search of his two best girlfriends. Friends who were girls. Like guy friends, but with breasts. And PMS. Really bad PMS. Quite possibly preternatural PMS.

Still, they were his girls and he loved them. Besides, Buffy had new arm candy whom Willow insisted needed to be checked out and, if deemed suitable, had to be delivered the infamous Shovel Speech.

It was sweet how Willow told every potential suitor of someone in the group that she would beat them to death with a shovel should they ever hurt one of her friends. The only one who had ever escaped unscathed had been Cordelia, because Willow would sooner tie pork chops around her neck and chase polar bears than overtly threaten the former Queen of Sunnydale High.

He chuckled. He needed to give Cordy a call to check up on her and Deadboy, reminding her that L.A. was only two hours away, and he could deliver the Shovel Speech in person to her dates should the need arise. Or even if it didn't.

Just as quickly as the humor had appeared, it faded.

He really missed her. He hadn't known how much or how quickly until she began pulling out of his driveway. It was all he could do not to run alongside her car like an abandoned puppy. Instead, he had stood there waving, finally giving way to the tears which had been threatening ever since graduation; since that night in the factory, truthfully. Their romantic relationship might have ended badly, but they were in a new place where they were actually friends, and it was somehow much deeper and more personal than all of their makeout sessions in the broom closet.

Feeling like a nerd, he sighed and reached into his back pocket, withdrawing the campus map with which Willow had gifted him. It pained him to admit he now found it necessary, having loudly protested that he never needed directions for anything, but he was completely lost. He knew he was supposed to hook up with them somewhere on the quad, but they should have explained that the quad was actually the size of several football fields.

He squinted down at the map and then looked back up to survey his surroundings, quickly discerning that the small piece of paper was insufficient. If he was going to find Buffy and Willow, he needed more than this. Like MapQuest, or a canary. Possibly a Native American.

His restless eyes combed the landscape before him, the bright afternoon sun forcing him to squint and reminding him that, despite Corey Hart's declaration, sunglasses were meant to be worn during the day.

He looked around helplessly, realizing he had little choice but to ask someone for assistance. This school needed one of those neat kiosks that they had at Disney Land, with some bright-eyed dope dispensing navigational wisdom.

Xander sighed again. He didn't want to have to talk to someone he didn't know, especially dressed in the UC-Sunnydale t-shirt he now regretted asking Willow to pick up for him. Five minutes on the campus had disabused him of the belief that students gave their institutions free advertising. He looked like a total rube. And the shirt was too tight. He hoped Willow wasn't getting any ideas.

He supposed he'd have to worry about that later, however, because the last thing he needed was she and Buffy getting mad at him for being late. He continued stomping along his path, studying the map and not paying attention to where he was going. Thus, he wasn't too surprised when he tripped and fell on top of someone.

"Aw, crap. Sorry!"

"That's okay. It's totally my fault for lying here on a bench which obviously has done you wrong."

Xander looked up and realized he was atop another guy. A very good looking guy. A very good looking big guy. Not just tall, but built. He had no trouble imaging the body the clothes barely hid.

And that's when he realized he was petting the other's guy's chest.

"Uh, I seem to be petting your chest." He managed to shut up before adding that he was enjoying it quite a lot. "That's weird, right?"

"Hm. I seem not to be stopping you."

Well. That was unexpected, but certainly welcome. "Oh."


"Yeah. I should probably get up now."

The other man sighed. "If you must."

Xander bit the inside of his cheek. "Well, I'm not in a rush or anything. Not anymore. And I kind of like the view from down here. Oh! And I'm totally hitting on you, aren't I?"

"I sure hope so. It's not just anyone I let molest me."

"In a very dirty way, I feel special."

"I'm glad. Perhaps you'd care to tell me your name? Otherwise, how will I write this up in my Hello Kitty diary?"

Xander's brow furrowed. "You have a Hello Kitty diary?"

"I might."

"But what if I don't tell you my name? What will you write?"

"Dear Hello Kitty, I met a boy today who felt me up, but wouldn't tell me his name, so now I'm forced to call him Yummy. I got Yummy's number, and we're meeting for coffee later. Gee, I hope he likes me! XOXO. Love, Me."

Xander blinked. "That's detailed."

"Hello Kitty inspires such confidences."

"How does she do that? She doesn't have a mouth."

"Which is why she's such a good listener."

"The scary thing? That makes sense." He paused, and peeked up from beneath his lashes. "So. Yummy, huh?"

"I'm Graham."

"Xander. But you can still call me Yummy. Often, and in public."