Disclaimer: Not mine.
A/N: A fill for this week's prompts at Fag Ends.
All of the prompts.
Ten year high school reunion, everyone has a better job apart from…, high school sweetheart hookup, the years haven't been kind to the Homecoming Queen, and baby bores.
Goes off canon before the comics, but there are some nods in there.
The Sunnydale High Class of '99 Ten Year Reunion is spectacularly underwhelming. Considering they'd parted ways under attack of a giant snake monster, it probably shouldn't be too surprising that not many alumni felt inclined to reconnect. However, the sad fact is that Harmony, the only one of the multitude of deceased students who'd managed to attend, is the most alive aspect of the evening, bouncing and prancing and generally getting down on the dance floor.
As a general rule, Buffy feels disinclined to party with unsouled vampires (and the souled ones aren't particularly renowned for their partying, seeing how Spike had excused himself for a smoke break more than twenty minutes ago), but since Harmony did pay for and plan the whole thing, one night probably wouldn't hurt.
The cheerleader-turned-vampire-turned-secretary-turned -superstar had pushed her luck when she'd pounced on Willow the moment the Scoobies had walked through the door. The delighted squealing had managed to negate that natural instinct of stab-with-wooden-things-until-dust, though.
"Oh, my God!" Harmony paws at Willow's sleeve, oblivious to the witch's less-than-discreet attempts to free herself. "It's so awesome you guys are here!"
When she actually looks at Xander she tilts her head. Then she frowns. Then she tilts her head a little more. "Wow, Xander! You look way less like a hopeless loser reject than I remember!"
Xander preens and sticks out his chest. Harmony may be shallow and not terribly bright, but, well, she's shallow, and receiving her compliments is not to be laughed at, no matter how back-handed. "Thanks," he says. Buffy has to turn away to keep from giggling. He's so lowering his voice. "It's the who eyepatch thing. Makes me look all manly and Nick Fury-like."
Harmony stares blankly. "Uh-huh." Then the switch is thrown and it's back into teen-gossip mode. "Did you guys see Holly?"
"Holly Charleston? The half-Homecoming Queen?" asks Willow. Buffy makes a scowl. She would have looked cute in that tiara, dammit.
"I am so glad I died right after graduation," says Harmony. Then her head snaps up in a flurry of blond hair that attacks Willow's face. "Ooh! Aura's here!"
Despite her quick departure, the Scoobies don't get much time to be relieved.
Stupid Heidi Barrie and her need to share all of her family pictures with her former Hyena packmate.
Also, stupid Willow with her fellow nerds and excuses to escape.
"Mmhm," Buffy says (because it's her turn to mmhm since Xander did it last time) to a story that's either about a turtle or a towel or possibly a turbine. She's not sure which, but mmhms seem to be a pretty safe bet as far as responses go. Sadly, the side effect of responding properly is that people tend to appreciate proper responses.
"Well," says Heidi, "after that," she waves an exaggerated hand and Xander manages to hit the mark with the most awkward, pained laugh Buffy's ever heard, "Leah decides—"
"Oh, we have a Leah," Xander interrupts.
"Oh?" says Heidi. She manages to look both interested and annoyed. "I didn't you guys had any kids."
"Yup," says Buffy. "About fifteen—"
"Oh, wow!" Heidi's expression swings closer to the interested side of the spectrum.
And back to annoyed.
"All girls," says Xander. He laughs the first real laugh he's made all night, or possibly since they got off the plane in LA two days ago. "It's crazy."
Heidi nods blankly. "Well…" she says, a little uncertain under her annoyance, "it was nice seeing you guys again."
Her retreat is incredibly hasty for someone so involved in the conversation only a minute earlier.
Xander and Buffy exchanges grins.
"Let's do that to everyone now."
Their next conversation, however, opens with a lead to things even better than their ridiculous number of charges. Well, doesn't quite open, per se, but it gets there pretty darn quickly.
"So, last I heard you were marrying that Anya girl."
Xander coughs and Buffy grimaces uncomfortably.
The wound's closed, slowly, but it still stings a bit when jabbed and there's always that faraway ache in the backs of their minds and hearts for the losses they've seen. For Anya, and for Tara, and for her mother.
"Yeah," says Xander, "she died. Six years ago."
"Oh," says Gwen. The former Cordette manages to disentangle her arms from the man Buffy is about seventy-eight percent positive was Cordelia's foreign exchange partner and cover her mouth. "Oh, I'm so sorry."
"Yeah," says Xander, a little awkwardly.
Buffy starts to nod, starts to wave off and direct the conversation to an elsewhere before she realises who's walking their way.
Ugh. Scott Hope.
"My boyfriend's dead too," Buffy puts in, a little louder than probably necessary.
She waves across the hall to Spike, being introduced to one of Willow's old spell-casting buddies whose name escapes Buffy. The vampire waves back at her, looking as annoyed as she is miserable.
"Gosh," says Gwen, "that's awful. I'm sorry." Gwen and her husband look mortified. Scott changes his trajectory. Xander bites his lip and tries not to laugh.
He almost fails, but fortunately the giant spiders provide sufficient distraction.
"It's your fault!" yells Tucker, once Spike's got him by the throat and Buffy's sweater is totally ruined with spider guts. "Why didn't you invite me?!"
"Ugh," says Harmony. There's a little trickle of blood on her leg and her dress is torn from when she kicked in a spider's head. "Because you're gross and weird! Duh."
"Also, you do keep trying to kill people with giant monsters," Xander points out. "But, hey, I'm sure you have every reason to want to catch up. Prove our 'Least Likely' votes wrong. How's life, then, Tuck? Still working at Little Caesars?"
"It's a different one…" Tucker protests feebly. Spike gives him a shake.
"You know this wanker, then?"
"Yeah," says Willow. She seems to be holding hands with Aura. Huh. "He's Andrew's brother."
"Of course he is."
Harmony folds her arms. "And you're not invited next time either!"