Million Dollar Bachelor

by
Forsaken2003



Part Six

Saturday morning seemed to come way too soon. Sparky was licking Xander’s hand, demanding that he get up and take him out for his morning business. With a groan Xander rolled out of bed and stumbled out of his room in only his black and red striped boxers and a white wife beater. When they hit the bottom of the stairs Xander almost ran into William.

“Will!” Xander exclaimed. “Holy crap, you scared me,” he laughed.

“Sorry, I was just coming to wake everyone for breakfast,” William explained. He looked Xander over. “Though we usually don’t eat in our knickers.” He quirked an eyebrow.

Xander looked down and began to blush. “Oh god. I’m so sorry. Sparky needs to use the little boys’ room and he doesn’t like to wait. I love the guy but he's a bully with that kind of thing. Anyway as soon as we take care of his business I’ll get dressed,” he babbled.

“I didn’t say I didn’t like it,” William said with a smirk. “Like you said you don’t want to keep Sparky waiting and I’d prefer he doesn’t do his business on my floor.” He watched in amusement as both Xander and Sparky scurried off, before he went off to wake Gunn and Lindsey.

William was greeted by Lindsey, who was just coming out of the bathroom in only a towel. “Wow,” he whispered. Lindsey had a spectacular body.

“I’m glad you like the view, Will,” Lindsey said as he ran his hand through his damp hair. “Hopefully you’ll be able to see the rest soon.”

“I hope so. I mean, that would be nice,” William said recovering slightly. “Breakfast will be done in a few minutes. Are you ready for our outing today?”

Lindsey grinned. “I am. I know it hasn’t even been a day but I feel a connection with you.”

“I do too,” William confessed with a smile of his own. “I can’t wait to spend the day with you. Now you go get dressed while I rouse Gunn. I’ll meet you downstairs.”

“Don’t take too long,” Lindsey said and watched as William strolled down the hall to Gunn’s room. “Fuck, today is going to be a long ass day,” he muttered to himself before entering his room and closing the door.


                                                                   ***

After multiple attempts at getting Gunn out of bed by knocking on the door, William finally decided to go in and shake him awake. He wanted to make sure he saw Gunn before he left for the day.

“Gunn,” William whispered and placed a hand on Gunn’s bare shoulder.

“I don’t want to go to school, Mom,” Gunn said and stuffed his head under the pillow.

William chuckled and shook him. “Last time I checked I wasn’t your mum.”

Gunn pushed the pillow off his head and peeked at William. “Will? What time is it?”

“Almost nine. I was hoping to have breakfast with all of you before Lindsey and I go out for the day,” William explained with a soft smile.

“Oh,” Gunn said and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “Yeah, I’ll just throw some clothes on and I’ll be right down.” He tossed the blankets off of his body and he looked up startled when William made a strangled noise. “You all right, Will?”

William stared at Gunn who apparently only wore boxers to bed. “Yes, I’ve just been privileged to see all of you in your knickers,” he said as he stared at Gunn’s muscular legs. Very lucky indeed. “Well you get dressed and I’ll meet you downstairs.”

Gunn watched as William scurried out of the room. He smiled as he pulled blue jeans on and a red tee shirt. There was no way he’d ever forget the look on William’s face. William obviously liked what he saw.


                                                                    ***


Breakfast for the most part was quiet. Buffy had gone all out with some help from Liam. There was French toast, bacon, pancakes and scrambled eggs. By the time breakfast was finished there were hardly even any crumbs left. Even Lindsey couldn’t find fault with the meal. The only thing Lindsey didn’t like was that Xander fed Sparky some bacon. It was disgusting. Weren’t dogs supposed to eat dog food?

William wiped his mouth clean of any food and smiled. “That was delicious.”

“It was,” Xander agreed.

Sparky lay down on his side and decided that a nap was in order.

Lindsey stood and stretched. “Are you ready to go, Will? I can’t wait to get you to the shooting range.”

“Just give me a few minutes to freshen up and we can head out,” William replied and he watched Lindsey walk out the front door to wait for him outside. He turned to Xander and Gunn suddenly feeling guilty. “What do you two have planned for the day?”

“I have to take Sparky for a walk,” Xander said. “I don’t want him to become lazy.”

Gunn shrugged. “No clue. Maybe there’s a billiards place around here.”

“I actually have a pool table,” William informed Gunn. “You are more than welcome to use it.”

“Cool,” Gunn said and turned to Xander. “After you’re done walking Sparky want to have a few rounds?”

Xander nodded. “Sure, sounds like fun.”

“Now, no betting you two,” William said, shaking his finger at them mockingly.

“We’ll be good boys and if not Liam can send us to our rooms,” Xander said jokingly.

Lindsey came back in, looking more than just a little annoyed. “Come on, Will.”

“Coming,” William walked over to Lindsey. He pulled out a set of keys. “Why don’t you go wait in the Viper? I’ll be there soon.”

“Viper?” Lindsey asked excitedly and rushed out of the house.

“All right, you two have fun and I’ll see you tonight,” William said. He rushed off to get himself ready.

Once they heard the front door close and the Viper peel out of the driveway Gunn turned to Xander. “I’m not trying to start any shit but Lindsey? I don’t trust him one fucking bit.”

“Maybe he’s just nervous? I know I am,” Xander said with a small smile. “I just hope William has a good time. Though I really don’t see him much as shooter.”

“Nah, Blondie isn’t the type to be into guns,” Gunn agreed. “Hopefully he’ll enjoy the batting cages.”

Xander patted Gunn’s shoulder. “I’m sure he’ll have fun. Besides I don’t think it matters what you do but the time you have together to get to know each other.”

Gunn smiled. “You’re a good guy, Xander.”

“You’re not too bad yourself. You feel like a walk?” Xander asked.

“Why not,” Gunn said and went to grab his shoes.

                                                                      ***

Lindsey was having the time of his life. The Viper was absolutely amazing! He’d always wanted a Viper but even on his salary which was pretty good he still couldn’t afford it. He wondered if William would buy him one, but not red; he’d want his in blue. “Damn, this baby really flies doesn’t she?”

William laughed. “I’m not sure about that, I’ve never really checked to see how fast she can go, not really interested in a ticket.”

“Yeah I understand,” Lindsey said slightly disappointed. “So are you excited about our date?”

“I really am,” William said with a smile and he turned into the parking lot of the shooting range. “Are you sure it’s not too early?”

Lindsey waved a hand in dismissal. “Knox owes me a favor. He can suck it.” He climbed out of the car and led William into the small building.

A skinny man with brown hair waved to them from behind a counter. “Hey, Lindsey! So this is your friend? You were right, he is sexy.”

William blushed. “Thank you.”

“Yeah, this is William,” Lindsey said. “Do you have us all set up?”

“Oh yeah, and I’ll close this place down. I’ve got some work to do but it’ll be like you’ve got the whole place to yourselves,” Knox said. He turned and grabbed a rifle. “Will you be needing two or just sharing?”

“I think we’ll share one. William’s never used one so it’ll be safer,” Lindsey said and accepted the rifle and a box of bullets. “We’ll show ourselves there,” he said, dismissing Knox. Lindsey slightly nudged William in the direction of another door that led them outside.

The sun was high but hid behind the trees. William instantly saw the multiple individual shooting areas. He started to think that this was a bad idea.

“You ready?” Lindsey asked.

William thought he was going to pass out.





Part Seven

William smiled nervously at Lindsey. “Yeah. I’m a little worried though. What if I miss the target? What if I hurt someone?”

“Don’t worry, if you miss you miss. And you won’t hit anyone. This place is blocked off and Knox should know better than to be wandering around back here. If he isn’t he deserves to get shot,” Lindsey replied.

“Good point,” William said. He hoped Lindsey was kidding about Knox deserving to get shot. “All right let’s get this started, shall we?”

Lindsey grew excited. It had been months since he’d be to the firing range; he was looking forward to releasing some tension. “Great.” He held up the rifle. “This here is a T-Bolt Composite Target rifle. Hold it, get a feel for it.”

Uneasily William accepted the rifle. “It’s lighter than I thought it would be,” he commented.

“You don’t want something too heavy,” Lindsey replied. “Now let’s do a trial run. Don’t worry, there are no bullets in it for now. I want you to wrap whichever hand you use most often around the grip of the gun. Keep your index finger outside the trigger guard.”

“Okay,” William said and did as he was instructed. He had to stop himself multiple times from placing his index finger on the trigger. Even though he didn’t know what he was doing William’s mind went to all the action movies he’d ever seen. They had always made it look so easy.

Lindsey nodded in approval. “Next cradle the front of the guard with you other hand. Don’t touch the barrel. If you do when you are firing your hand’s gonna get burnt and we don’t want our date ending in the ER.”

“Burnt?” William asked. This was sounding more and more dangerous by the minute.

“Next lock the rifle into your shoulder,” Lindsey said and helped William set it comfortably against his right shoulder. “Hold it firmly. Good. All right, you see that red button?” William nodded. “Press it; it’ll take the safety off.” Lindsey saw that William was hesitant and had to refrain from rolling his eyes. “Don’t worry. There’s no bullets remember?”

“Right, sorry,” William said with a nervous chuckle. He pressed the red button and heard a soft click.

Lindsey rubbed William’s tense back. “It’s fine. We’ve got all day. Are you ready to put your finger on the trigger?”

“I think so,” William said, his hand shook as his finger barely touched the trigger. He took a few calming breaths. Mentally shaking his head he knew he was being a git. How stupid did he look being scared of a gun that had no bullets in it? “Now what?”

“Look through the scope and line it up with the target,” Lindsey instructed. He waited impatiently for a few minutes as William tried to line them up. By now he would have been on his third target. “When you’re ready take a deep breath, slowly let it out and gently pull the trigger.”

A few minutes later William finally gained the courage and pulled the trigger. He jumped slightly when there was a loud click. “Bloody hell,” William whispered. He lowered the rifle before turning to look at Lindsey. “Can I try it with a bullet now?”

“I think we can do that,” Lindsey said excitedly.

                                                                       ***

After a few hours of target practice, during which for the most part William missed the target, they decided that they deserved some lunch. They both agreed on Matsuhisa, a sushi restaurant. William was happy that Lindsey enjoyed sushi since it was one of his favorite foods.

“So what did you think?” Lindsey asked as he took a sip of his Sapporo. “I think you did pretty well for your first time.”

“Really?” William said excitedly but there was a hint of a blush that colored his cheeks. “I have to admit I was scared about the thought of shooting a gun but it really was kind of exciting,” William confessed. “Though I think I’ll stick to non-moving targets.”

Lindsey nodded. “You don’t seem like the type of guy that would enjoy hunting animals. That’s one of the things I like about you. You think everything deserves to live their lives and learn from their mistakes. I guess that’s why you picked Gunn,” he commented nonchalantly. Now was the time to slip in Gunn’s past while they were alone.

William’s brow wrinkled. “What do you mean?”

“He didn’t tell you?” Lindsey asked, feigning shock. “I don’t know if it’s my place to say. Though I don’t want you getting hurt,” he said and took hold of William’s hand entwining their fingers. “Should I tell you?”

“Do you think that this information is something I need to know?” William asked. What was it that Lindsey knew but William didn’t?

Lindsey took a deep breath as if he were trying to work up to telling William. “Promise not to be mad at me?”

“Why would I be mad at you?” William asked. Lindsey didn’t answer but the look in his eye made William decide to trust him. “Of course I won’t be mad at you.”

“Okay, you know how I am a lawyer?” Lindsey asked and continued when William nodded. “Well, when we were getting settled into our rooms I decided to check out Xander’s and Gunn’s background.”

William frowned, unsure of what he thought about Lindsey looking into Xander’s and Gunn’s pasts. It was an invasion of their privacy. But there was obviously something in Gunn’s past that Lindsey thought that he should know. “What did you find?”

Lindsey took a sip of his Sapporo drawing out the suspense. He placed the glass down and leaned in close. “When Gunn was fifteen he was arrested for stealing.”

“Stealing?” William let out a gasp. “What did he steal?”

“I couldn’t find out,” Lindsey confessed; he had been wondering the same thing. No doubt it was a stick up at a store with a gun or knife though. Lindsey kept his guesses to himself. “Are you mad at me?”

William smiled softly. “No. You’re just looking out for me after all. Thank you,” he said and leaned in and placed a kiss on the side of Lindsey’s mouth.

The first kiss. Lindsey received the first kiss. He was definitely going to win. Maybe he could convince William to buy them a bigger place. After all Lindsey did deserve the best! A smile spread over his lips but William assumed it was because of the almost kiss. “I’m glad you’re not mad at me. I’m not trying to get Gunn in trouble or anything but you were nice enough to let him stay in your home. I think he should have told you about that, after all he is possibly your soul mate. You shouldn’t start a relationship of any kind with lies right?” Somehow Lindsey managed to say that with a straight face.

“You’re right, I think I do deserve to know,” William replied seriously. He worried that Gunn was maybe in that Hells Angels gang that he had heard about. What if he was and he was trying to get out? Would they be looking for him? Suddenly William became worried for safety with Gunn. They definitely needed to have a talk but William had no idea how to bring it up.

“Don’t tell him it was me. I know he’ll turn it around and say I just did it to get you to kick him out but I swear that’s not my intention at all,” Lindsey easily lied.

William squeezed Lindsey’s hand. “Of course, I’ll tell him my own lawyer did a background check on all of you.”

Lindsey nodded. For being a writer of stupid vampire books, William wasn’t as dumb as he had thought. His own lawyer checking all of them out was a great story. “Thanks, Will.”

“I don’t want any of you feeling uncomfortable with me,” William said. He then bit his lip in thought. “Did you look into Xander’s past by any chance?”

“Yeah...” Lindsey said slowly. He wasn’t sure that he liked that William all of a sudden became interested in Xander. Maybe telling William about Gunn’s past wasn’t the smartest thing Lindsey could have done.

William leaned back getting comfortable. “Is there anything I should know about him?”

FUCK! What the hell was Lindsey supposed to do now? If he told William that Xander had been beaten as a kid sympathy points would go to him and Xander already had enough pity points from that damn ugly dog. Maybe he could say that he couldn’t find anything. After all William probably didn’t know how powerful Wolfram and Hart was. “Nah, the guy’s clean. Not even a parking ticket. Pretty damn boring if you ask me.”

“Oh, okay,” William said and went back to chatting about Lindsey. He never noticed that Lindsey never once asked a question about him.






Part Eight

 When Lindsey and William returned home William found Xander and Gunn in the billiards room. Gunn had kicked Xander’s ass four times while Xander only won one game. “Have you two been behaving while we’ve been gone?” William asked.

“Yup, we only got one time out,” Xander replied with a smirk.

“Xander started it though,” Gunn replied, as he sunk the eight ball. “And I win again.”

Xander pouted and put his cue away. “And I think I’ll call it quits. There are only so many times I can get my butt whooped in a day before taking offense to it.”

William patted Xander’s shoulder in sympathy. “I’m not very good either. But I have a few friends who enjoy playing. Which is code for wanting to kick my arse.”

“Where’s Lindsey?” Gunn asked, after putting his own cue away.

“Oh, he needed a shower,” William said. “The shooting range was definitely a new experience.”

“Did ya all have fun?” Gunn asked, not completely interested in Lindsey but it wasn’t like he wanted William to have a terrible time.

William nodded eagerly. “It was fun. I’m not very good but it was very exciting. I have no interest in going hunting though.”

Xander let out a sigh of relief. “I’m glad you guys had a good time. Why don’t you go get cleaned up yourself and we’ll meet out on the patio?”

“I don’t stink that badly, do I?” William asked, not so subtly sniffing his armpit. “Okay maybe I do,” he said sheepishly. “Sure, if I bump into Lindsey on the way up I’ll tell him where to meet you.”

After William left Gunn and Xander shared a look before going out to the patio. Maybe a drink was in order if they had to spend the evening with Lindsey.

When they got to the patio Xander was greeted by Sparky, who had been tied up to get some exercise and sun. “Hey, bud. Missed me, huh?”

Sparky barked in response before he rushed over to Gunn. Xander stood in shock as Sparky actually jumped onto Gunn. It was like the wind had been literally knocked from his body. Sparky was very careful when it came to other people, so much so that besides Xander, Jesse was the only one that he’d allow to come that close. “Well, fuck me.”

“Sorry, you’re not my type,” Gunn joked. He petted Sparky’s head. Gunn decided that Sparky wasn’t nearly as scary as he’d originally thought. “You decided you like me, huh?” he asked Sparky.

“This... is amazing,” Xander said in shock. “I mean, it took him a while to get used to Jesse.”

Gunn shrugged, “he’s probably just learned that there are other good people around.”

Sparky nuzzled his head against Gunn’s stomach.

“You know this means you're friends now, right?” Xander asked. “That means he's going to expect you to come visit him. And of course treats will have to be involved.”

“Ahh so that’s why you’re buddy, buddy with me. You wanna con treats out of me,” Gunn accused. Sparky just sneezed on him. “Gross.”

Xander snickered. “Sparky doesn’t like people for treats. I hate to tell you but you’ve got a friend for life.”

“It could be worse right?” Gunn said. “He could hate me and pull a Cujo on me.”

                                                                    ***


Lindsey heard William coming up the stairs. As soon as he saw William he pulled him into his bedroom and closed the door.

William stared startled at Lindsey with wide eyes. “Lindsey, what are you doing? Is everything okay?”

“I was just thinking,” Lindsey said. “It’s most common that after a date there’s a kiss.”

“Oh,” William replied. Was it proper to kiss Lindsey? He had kind of kissed Lindsey at the restaurant but that was different. Gunn and Xander hadn’t been anywhere near them. But if he didn’t kiss Lindsey, Lindsey would think he wasn’t interested. To say the least William had no idea what to do.

Lindsey saw William’s hesitation. “Come on, Will. I thought you liked me.” Lindsey pulled away. “Maybe I’m just wasting my time here,” Lindsey said. He turned away.

William grabbed Lindsey wrist. “I do like you,” he said and turned Lindsey back to face him. “This is all new and I’m dating three men. It just feels a little like cheating I guess.”

“I won’t tell them,” Lindsey promised. He placed his hands on William’s face and before William could pull away he kissed him.

On instinct William wrapped his arms around Lindsey. He welcomed the kiss and for a few minutes forgot about everything but Lindsey. When they pulled away from each other both of them looked like they had been well-kissed. William coughed slightly and pulled away. “Well...I should um...” He had to remember what he had come up to do. “Change. I should change. The others are out on the patio and I’ll be down shortly.”

Lindsey watched as William stumbled out of the room. “He is so fucking easy,” he commented to himself. With a smirk Lindsey decided to join the others. No doubt they would notice a change in him.

When he walked into the kitchen he told Buffy he wanted a cold beer with three cubes of ice. When he was out of sight she flipped him the finger.

Lindsey watched as Xander made a big deal about Sparky liking Gunn. The dog probably didn’t even know that he’d gone to Gunn instead of Xander. Putting on a pleasant smile Lindsey joined them. “Hey, what’s all the hoopla?”

Xander turned excitedly to tell Lindsey but froze. He knew that look. The “I just had an amazing make out session” look. For some reason that tore into Xander and he had no idea why. It’s not like he’d spent a lot of time with William. They haven’t gotten to know each other very well yet. Maybe it was the fact that it meant Lindsey and William had a connection, one that maybe he and William wouldn’t share. Would William even be interested in his date with Xander now?

Gunn didn’t bother acknowledging Lindsey; he was too busy getting to know Sparky who seemed to like to sit on his lap.

“Oh! Sparky has grown attached to Gunn. I know it probably seems dumb but it takes him forever to trust people enough to become that friendly,” Xander explained excitedly. He tried to ignore the jealousy. If it was towards Lindsey with William or Gunn with Sparky Xander couldn’t answer.

“I hope he likes me soon,” William said startling them all. “I’d like to think I’m a nice guy.”

Gunn grinned. “I’m sure he’ll like you after your day with Xander.”

Sparky would have agreed but Gunn was scratching behind his ear and that was too nice to ignore.

“So what’s the plan for tonight? Or are you still on your date?” he asked, holding his breath.

“No, our date is over,” William confirmed. “It was nice though. But I thought maybe we could order some take out and spend the rest of the evening in hot tub,” he said and became concerned. “Is that all right with you, Gunn?”

That perked Gunn’s attention. “Hot tub? I’m there. But maybe you should sit next to me just to keep me from doing something stupid.”

“I will protect you with my own life,” William vowed.

                                                                       ***


For the next fifteen minutes they argued about what they should have for dinner. Lindsey was saying they should have pizza while Xander disagreed since he and William would be making pizza in a few days. Gunn suggested burgers while William said Italian. Finally Liam and Buffy came out when hearing voices over one another.

“What about Chinese?” Liam offered. “Or at least order from Chang’s. He does burgers and subs. No pizza though.”

“Chang’s is great!” Xander said with a smile. They had the best ginger beef and dried fried ribs.

Everyone agreed after a few more minutes of Lindsey trying to persuade them to get pizza. William finally said it would be rude to get pizza if that was something Xander wanted to do. Xander couldn’t stop the smile that crept over his face. William defended him even though he had a make out session with Lindsey. Maybe it wasn’t that great on William’s side? Xander could only hope.





Part Nine

Two hours later everyone was full and relaxing in the hot tub. Since Gunn hadn’t brought swimming trunks he stripped down to his boxers. He had joked about stripping down to nothing, which caused William to blush and sputter.

“Will, can I ask you something?” Xander said. He had sat across from William, not necessarily a bad thing. It was the best seat. Xander’s feet would bump into William’s every so often and he would be rewarded with a smile.

“Sure,” William said and put all of his attention on Xander.

“I was just wondering if you’ll be writing another book about Spike?” Xander asked and leaned forward. When he had first bought the books he had been wary but in fact the story line was great and he was instantly drawn in.

William went still, staring hard at Xander. Was he a fan? Just someone who thought William was Spike? “I don’t know,” he answered gruffly; his attitude startled everyone. He also couldn’t stop the annoyed look that crossed his face.

Gunn bumped William’s bare shoulder with his own. “Chill dude, it’s just a question.”

Xander frowned. He hadn’t expected that reaction from William, he thought maybe he would be excited about new adventures for Spike and a way to cure Drusilla. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have asked.”

“No, Xander...” William started when he watched Xander stand up. “Where are you going?”

“I’m tired,” Xander replied. “I think I’m going to head to bed. We all have a big day tomorrow.”

William nodded. “Yeah, that fair thing that’s going on by the beach.”

Xander took Sparky’s leash and led him into the house. Sparky had time to look back at William and snort before disappearing.

“Dude, that’s not the way to get Sparky to like you,” Gunn said and shook his head. “What’s the problem? The fact that he’s interested in your work?”

“Don’t listen to him, Will,” Lindsey intercepted. “Besides you can do better than writing about vampires anyway.” He was giddy, two days in and William was already upset with Xander. Maybe he’d demand that Xander leave.

Gunn snorted at Lindsey’s statement. “Well, college boy, if you read any of the local newspapers you’d know that vampire Will has been writing about is a big hit with teenagers and adults. It’s bigger than that Twilight crap.”

Lindsey shot Gunn a dirty look. “I knew that. All I meant was that Will didn’t have to dedicate the rest of his writing career to one character,” he said, though to be honest he didn’t know a thing about William’s books. Not that it mattered; obviously William wasn’t interested in some freak fan. Who wanted to read about stupid vampires anyway? What was so great about them?

William didn’t hear a word of their argument, his mind on Xander. He hadn’t meant to hurt him. To sound so rude, it was just that the thought of a fan being here looking for something that wasn’t real upset him. “I should go talk to him.”

“No!” Lindsey yelled and grabbed William’s arm. “I mean...maybe you should wait until tomorrow. You both obviously need to calm down,” he said recovering.

“Oh yeah, wait until tomorrow so Xander thinks he did something wrong?” Gunn asked. “Don’t listen to this fool, Will. If you want tomorrow to be fun you’ll go talk to him. Now!”

“Or you go see him now and he’s upset with you and decides to leave instead,” Lindsey shot back with a smirk at Gunn.

Not wanting to chance Xander leaving William settled back down. “No, I think Lindsey might be right. I’ll talk to Xander before we head out.”

Gunn shook his head. He wished it was Lindsey who William had insulted. “Whatever. Just remember I tried to help.”

“And why is that?” Lindsey asked. “This is kind of a competition. You and Xander are supposed to be competing for William’s attention, not becoming friends.”

“Because Xander’s a good guy. Too bad I couldn’t say the same thing for a certain slimy lawyer,” Gunn commented.

William didn’t want any more fighting. “Let’s not argue. We’re here to have fun.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Gunn replied and snuggled up against William. He decided to forget about Xander and focus on William. “I’m excited about the fair; they have the best cotton candy.”

“I’ve never had cotton candy before,” William confessed looking sheepish. Who had never had cotton candy?

“You’ve never?” Gunn was stunned. “But it’s so good! Sticky and sugary.”

Lindsey snorted. “It’s pure sugar. Last time I checked we were all adults and not children.”

“You’re only as old as you act!” Gunn replied with a big smile.

William smiled back though his mind was still on Xander. He wondered what Xander was doing.

                                                                       ***

Xander walked past Liam and Buffy who looked like they were ready to head out for the night. “Hey, Xander. How’s the hot tub party?” Liam asked.

“It’s fine, but I’m tired so I’m just gonna hit the hay. I don’t want to be a party pooper and fall asleep in the hot tub. That would be a major downer,” Xander said jokingly. It was a flop.

“What’s wrong?” Buffy asked. Xander did not look like a man who was tired, he looked upset.

Xander smiled at her. “Nothing, just a small thing that I’m blowing out of proportion. I’m sure it’ll be fine tomorrow,” he said. Unless of course he had really upset William and he was asked to leave. Why had his question upset him so much anyway? Apparently dating guys was as complicated as dating girls.

“Do you want to talk about it?” Buffy asked. She was ready to sit down and listen to what was wrong with Xander. She didn’t care how many times Liam told her to stay out of it.

“Buffy,” Liam moaned slightly. She never did listen to him.

“No, I’m fine,” Xander said putting on his brave little toaster face. “You and Liam should head out. You guys have lives outside of here.”

Liam shot Xander a thankful look. “Come on, sweetheart. We’ll see him tomorrow.”

“Well...if you’re sure,” Buffy said, as she looked like she was ready to drop her purse and help Xander work out all his problems.

Liam groaned.

“I’m sure. Go. I’m sure Liam would like some time with his girl,” Xander said with a real smile.

“Okay.” Buffy knew when a man didn’t want to talk. Liam was the same way, though she couldn’t nag Xander into telling her like she could with Liam. “We’ll see you tomorrow before you go to the fair.”

“Yeah,” Xander said and waved to them as Liam had to basically drag Buffy out the door. He was glad Liam understood that he didn’t want to talk about it. The main reason was because he knew he was acting like a big girl. Sparky rubbed his head against Xander’s leg. “Come on, boy. Tomorrow is going to be a long day.”





Part Ten

William was up early the next day. He had hardly slept, trying to figure out just what to say to Xander. It wasn’t that he was overly mean was he? He had just become defensive. That wasn’t much of an excuse though. The point was he'd obviously hurt Xander and he needed to apologize and explain. So William found himself at Xander’s bedroom. He knocked several times but received no answer. Finally William just opened the door to find it empty. No Xander or Sparky.

Fearing that Xander had decided to leave, William rushed down the stairs almost running straight into Liam. “Have you seen him?”

“Seen who?” Liam asked. There were a few ‘hims’ staying in the house.

“Xander!” William exclaimed. “He isn’t in his room. Did he leave? Did he say anything?”

Liam looked bewildered. “Yeah. He said he wanted to take Sparky out for a walk before leaving for the fair.”

William let out a sigh of relief. “So he didn’t leave?”

“Why would who leave?” Buffy asked. She heard William in a panic and wanted to make sure he was all right.

“Xander,” William said. He then explained what had happened the night before.

Buffy couldn’t help herself. She punched him in the chest. “He was interested in your work and you got pissy with him?!” She was able to contain herself from actually yelling. “What’s wrong with you?”

“He’s read my books,” William said and was just stared at. “I didn’t want to date a fan. They don’t want to get to know me. They want Spike.”

“Did you indicate that you were not interested in fans?” Liam asked. He wasn’t going to admit it but he liked Xander. Xander was a good guy but Liam had made a promise to keep his opinions to himself.

William was silent as he realized that no, he hadn’t. “Well bugger me.”

“You owe him an apology, mister,” Buffy said and poked William in the chest. “Besides not all fans believe fictional characters are real. Now, you better make things right with Xander.” With that she huffed and stormed into the kitchen.

“Xander should be back soon. Why don’t you go wait for him in the backyard?” Liam suggested. “I’ll go wake up Gunn and Lindsey in half an hour. That should give you enough time to sort things out.”

William smiled in thanks and went into the backyard making himself comfortable on the patio furniture. He fidgeted and chewed his thumbnail. After what seemed like hours Xander and Sparky finally came from around the side of the house. William watched Sparky’s tail wag and the dog barked at Xander who just laughed.

“Xander,” William said interrupting. He watched as both Xander and Sparky looked at him. Sparky’s tail stopped wagging.

“Hey,” Xander said as he tied Sparky up. He’d have to remember to bring out food and water for the day. “You’re up early.”

William made his way over to them. “I was hoping I could talk to you before the others woke up.”

“Yeah, sure,” Xander said worriedly. He finished tying up Sparky who was eyeing William. “What do you want to talk about?”

“About last night,” William replied. “Let’s sit.”

Xander nodded and made himself as comfortable as possible. “About last night. I just wanted to apologize.”

“You have nothing to apologize for. I should have made myself clear when I started this whole thing,” William said, and then cleared his throat. “I’m not him.”

“Um...you’re not who?” Xander asked with confusion.

William waved his hand around. “You know. Spike.”

Xander scratched his head. “Yeah, I know. What I don’t know is why you are telling me that.”

“You’re a fan. You’ve come here looking for something that isn’t real,” William replied sadly. He had been looking forward to getting to know Xander.

Realization dawned on Xander. “You think I’m some whacked out fan who thinks Spike is real?”

“You’re not?” William asked.

“Fuck no!” Xander said with a laugh. “I only read your books after I got your email. I thought it would be good to know what it is you write.”

William suddenly felt like a bigger ass then he had the night before. “So you aren’t a fan?”

“I don’t know,” Xander said with another look of confusion. “I thought the books were great. It seems weird to be a fan of someone you might date, doesn’t it?”

“Yes,” William said with a sigh. “I didn’t mean to be rude last night. I was just thrown off by your question. Gunn was right, I was an idiot.”

Xander’s eyes widened. “Gunn called you an idiot?”

“Well no, but he might as well have,” William said with a small smile. “I’m sorry.” He grabbed Xander’s hand. “Forgive me?”

“Well...” Xander said considering William. He grinned. “Only if you promise to tell me your idea. But while we’re making pizza.”

William sighed. The main reason he got so upset was that his idea was so dumb. “Deal.”

Xander smiled and it made William smile. It made him want to kiss Xander just because such a little thing made him so happy. William decided to throw caution to the wind and began to lean in. He did a mental happy dance when Xander started leaning in. Their lips just met...