Secret Slasha — The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha — The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

The Curse of the Drinking Class
By Beth
For Kate

i. Amsterdam

A man walks into a bar and immediately wonders if his dry cleaner can get smoke out of his new suit.

But his attention then turns to the slight, pale man, grinning at him.

Xander walked up to the counter slowly, the way that he imagines someone should approach a ghost, "Oz?"

"You look different," Oz turns while pulling out samples.

Xander felt at the eye-patch, cheeks reddening slightly, "Yeah, had an encounter with a really vicious Salvation Army bell-ringer. Don't ever try to grab your money back."

"The clothing," Oz smiles, laying the baggies out on the counter, "Suits look good on you."

Xander proceeded to turn redder, chuckling self-consciously, "It's the one thing Giles has really managed to change. I still can't drink tea, and I don't understand why "The Prisoner" is so good."

"But it is great!" Oz exclaimed in a rare moment of stoner enthusiasm, before a glimmer of self-awareness ran across his face and he relaxed again. "Man, I forgot, Giles can really wear a suit."

"He also makes glasses look very nice," Xander said, staring at the counter, "Look, I'm too old to pretend to be cool, can I just have a brownie and some company?"

Oz turned to his coworker, gave a slight tilt of the head towards a row of couches, and walked out from the counter.

"What made you pick this bar?" Oz asked, placing two matching baked goods on the table in front of them.

Xander sat down next to him, the metaphoric light bulb going off over his head, "Giles actually suggested it."


ii. Japan

Two men sit at a darkened bar.

Xander had picked the bar, small enough for 4 chairs, a little grill, and what he claimed was the best grilled octopus he had ever eaten.

Oz had arrived days earlier to master how to order tofu properly to prevent having to eat the octopus.

Sitting in the shadowy, cramped space; the owner turned his attention to the baseball game on the TV as Xander and Oz drank tall glasses of a blue-green drink they assumed was beer.

"Grieving and living mixes together into some sort of bouillabaisse of death and wanting and happiness and never having enough of any of it," Xander shrugged sadly, recounting a new fallen comrade and only thinking of the ones that passed years earlier.

"Any of what?" Oz asked, pulling his bar stool closer.

Xander sat forward, leaning his face in his hands, "Emotions, feelings, urges; it all layers upon each other until you are so unsure of what to feel, you just feel none of it."

"You like cooking metaphors," Oz grabbed at Xander's hand and squeezed it.

He cracked a small smile in response, "Look, some people travel for the art or the architecture. I travel for the food and supernaturally strong teenage girls."


"And the company. The company is always welcomed," Xander turned his knees to touch Oz's.

Oz put a comforting hand on his thigh, "Next time, no food that wiggles before you eat it."

Xander feigned shock, "Are you saying I don't bring you nice places?

Oz shrugged, "I've put out for less."


iii. New Orleans

One man tends bar, while the other sits on stage playing guitar.

One wearing a linen suit, the other wearing a worn t-shirt and jeans.

It's the kind of bar that no one remembers opening, it's just always been there waiting with open doors and a memory that doesn't end. It stands as a living, breathing heirloom of a city that celebrated whenever they weren't busy mourning. Cracked glass over photos of ancient krewes, peeling paint on the bar, and walls tinted by years of smoke.

It was the type of bar that Oz dreamed of owning, filled with music, regulars, and the adopted family he had gathered over the year, united through battle.

A plentiful supply of beautiful waitress preternaturally gifted with the ability to carry drinks, a constant influx of visitors, and enough room upstairs for Xander's Babylon 5 plates and Oz's vinyl collection.

"Giles does want us to have a base out of the city," Xander had announced upon their first visit into the space, "I bet we can get funds to buy it."

Oz smiled and kissed the taller man lightly, eyes bright in the oil light of the lanterns on the wall.

"Can we still meet in Berlin in December?" Xander asked, embracing him tightly.

Oz nodded, "This is a world tour that you've signed up for."