I don't own anything. Buffy is not owned by me. It is owned by rich, talented people. I'm a nobody. Please don't sue me.

Dinner and an Aborted Talk

When they returned to their temporary headquarters in Scotland Buffy and Xander had a great many things to do and little time to do it in. It was several hours later before Xander ran into Buffy at the entrance to the cafeteria. They had both taken the time to shower for the first time in days and to change into casual clothing.

"Buffster! Gettin' your grub on?" Xander asked as he followed her towards the food.

"Well, I had thought about coming here to catch up on some Zs, but then I thought: hey! No beds! Plus: food! So, here we are."

"Ah, to be the Watcher of the original Slayer. How Giles ever survived the sarcasm I'm without a clue."

"Such are the mysteries of the universe," Buffy said, nodding sagely.

"Anywho, food it to me! Balor's kitchen wasn't exactly overflowin' with the delicacies."

"Yeah, well, I was living off rations, cage-boy."

"Cage-Man thank you. Now let's see what bountiful spread we have before us. Well, I see dishes three. And I'm thinkin' salmon."

Buffy turned slightly green as she saw the cooked fish. She had been a salmon not very long ago, and the thought of eating it felt a bit too cannibalistic for her sanity. "Pass. What else is there?"

"Hmm," Xander said, eying the other dishes. "Well, looks like the other two choices are exciting. First, you can have this... which is apparently called Mince and Tatties."

"Mince and Tatties," Buffy asked, eyeing the choice dubiously.

"Or, you could try the Lamb Collops."

Buffy swallowed her gorge as she smelled the sweet scent of cooked sheep. "Mince and Tatties it is."

Xander looked at her questioningly as he grabbed some of the salmon and followed her to an empty table. "So, what's with the culinary branch, Buff?"

"What? Can't a girl try the local cuisine?"

"Sure," Xander agreed with a nod. "But, a girl doesn't usually turn green about the eating of the sheeps and the salmons, and not even blink at the... whatever tatties are."

"Long as they aren't eagles," Buffy muttered under her breath.

"Did something weird, maybe interesting, maybe able to cause the forgetting of certain outfits, happen to you over there?"

"No!" she said sharply, shaking her head and determinedly digging into her plate. She started to squirm when he kept eyeing her. "Fine. Weirdness happened. Weird, bad, humiliating stuff. Stuff that will never ever be spoken of."

"Come on! What are best friends for? Don't make me get Dawnie in on this."

"Not talkin'."

"I'll get Wills to point her resolve face at you."

"No power on this earth," Buffy said, miming sealing her lips with a key.

They ate in peace for a bit as Xander considered his next topic. Finally, with a sigh he plunged right in. "So I called the Japanese office."

Buffy stiffened, then continued to eat, feigning nonchalance. "Oh?"

"Yeah. Seems Satsu collapsed for a couple of minutes right in the middle of training. Everyone got real worried, then she just got better. No idea what happened."

Buffy didn't respond, didn't even look at him as she finished her food.

"What are you gonna do, Buff? I mean, you love-"

"Do you think we'll have any problems from this," Buffy interjected, suddenly all business. "I mean, the King of the Fomori and the Queen of the Banshees are dead. Plus, that Rua guy got the sword in the end. Do you think it's gonna come back to bite us?"

Xander gave her a hard look before reluctantly answering. "I'm more worried about Twilight. You just redeadened the Fomori King, and I doubt many people even noticed he was out and about in the three minutes it took you. I'm pretty sure that Rua was one of the Tuatha de Danann, same as Clionadh, so I think we just got jerked around by an internal struggle there. Probably won't spill over."

"Two of the Dannon? You mean like, the yogurt?"

Xander sighed long sufferingly. "Don't insult my intelligence, Buff. I know you looked up what happened before you even showered, so you know what I'm talking about. Just like I know you checked on Satsu before you even did that. Talk to me."

Sighing, Buffy fiddled with her plate. "Nothing to talk about."

"You love her. She loves you. I mean, I get that the whole you she and she she thing could be a bit wiggy, although I always thought there was something going on with you and Faith..."

"Don't even mention her. Plus, that isn't it at all. I mean, I've never been with any other women, but... that's not the point. The point is, it doesn't matter."

"Of course it matters! Buffy... I don't know how to say this, but..."

"Then don't!" she snapped as she stood and grabbing her empty tray. "There's nothing to say. 'Sides, didn't you see what just happened? I let her go, and she still gets her soul ripped out. People who love me... Nothing can happen. Even if we... no. Nothing will happen."

"Buffy," Xander said, standing up and looking at her with so much compassion that she felt her eyes watering for a moment before she forced everything away. She was the Slayer, not some love sick schoolgirl. The mission was what mattered. It was all that ever really mattered.

"No. Now, we've got work to do. This Twilight character? I need to know everything about him five minutes ago. I think we can safely say apocalypse season is getting ready to start."

"I'll let this go for now," Xander said quietly as he gathered up his own tray. "But this talk is not over."

Buffy didn't even acknowledge him as she headed out to check in with Command and Control. She had work to do.

She always had work to do.

Author's Notes

Another story finished! This is just the first part of a longer series, but for now this tale is leaving Celtic mythology behind, and heading to a Norse. I hope you enjoyed this exploration of one of the less well known mythologies.

Also, I would like to point out now that this series will be Buffy/Satsu, although it won't be very quick. I've never written romance, so I'm easing my way into it, rather than focusing everything on that aspect. The plot isn't suddenly going to be abandoned in favor of the pairing – I'm trying to make it organic.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this, and that you'll read what comes next! See you Monday for part two: Gram: Wrath.