Strangely enough, just like last year, Fandom Snowflake inspired me to create a ficlet for someone to whom I am most grateful. This ficlet is an offering to the very sweet, kind, and talented sparrow2000. I hope she enjoys it and that the rest of you do too.

Rating: FRT/PG

Summary: *Set right after the ending of NFA* The battle is over and all that's left to do is... well, maybe nothing much.

Warning: No comics canon whatsoever is used in this ficlet. Zero. None.

Word Count: 892

Feedback: Please.

Beta: The ever-awesome lilbreck

Distribution: My LJ, my DW, and my site only.

Disclaimer: I own nothing. It all belongs to Joss and a bunch of other people who are not now and have never been me.

Author's Notes: This was inspired by Fandom Snowflake and the very wonderful sparrow2000, whose encouragement and praise made my week!

When It's All Said and Done


"Never had Willow fix that for you?"

Spike was staring at his eye - or at the patch covering the place where his eye used to be, anyway - and Xander wanted to be... away. Anywhere but right here right now.

"No." There should probably be some sort of wordy explanation inserted into the space after that one, elegantly Oz-like syllable, and Xander actually had one, but he didn't feel like sharing, especially not with the vampire he'd thought was dead until, oh, about an hour or so ago. How long had that battle lasted? It felt like an hour so, hey, he was calling it an hour.

Had he just thought about Oz? Okay, that was weird. He was having a wiggins now.

Where was Willow anyway? Shouldn't she be here? She'd been here - unleashing fireballs and energy fields and making him very uncomfortable. Guess he was never going to get used to 'Willow the Uber Witch'. It brought back difficult memories of crayons and cliffs and... crying. Seeing Willow cry like that... knowing he couldn't fix it. That had almost been worse than the end of the world. Almost, anyway. He liked living too much.

Spike hadn't said anything else and Xander was having another wiggins. Silence was not his forte, so he asked a question of his own. "So, this back to un-life thing, how long has it been going on?"

"A while." Spike shrugged, but it was forced and Xander realized it was payback for that 'no.' Spike obviously hadn't changed.

"Really? And here I thought you'd just strolled back from your un-death to do good one last time."

Spike guffawed. "Un-death?"

Okay, another thing that hadn't changed? Xander hated being laughed at. "Un-life... un-death," he said, as if he was talking to a two year old -which he pretty much was, if Spike's maturity level counted, "get it?"

"I get it, moron, it just doesn't make any bloody sense."

He was about to defend himself but... He was tired. He'd been battling monsters for an hour and there'd been that horrible flight before that. Next time, the Council was springing for first class; that was all he had to say. "Yeah, whatever."

Was that shock on Spike's face? Gobsmacked: that was the word for it where Spike was from, right? "Guess that two-headed thing took more out of you than I thought."

Huh? Spike had been... "You were paying attention to what I was fighting?"

"Hard to miss. Blighter was ugly. Plus, two heads. You don't see that every day."

Now he felt guilty. He had barely noticed Spike at all after the initial glimpse he'd gotten when he and the others had first come charging into the alley. Should he apologize for that? Probably not. Spike didn't even know, anyway, did he? "No, you don't."

"You did a good job. Dispatching that bugger, I mean. Nice job figuring out where its heart was."

Okay, this 'admiration' thing? Xander was having his third official wiggins. Who was this guy and what had he done with Spike? "Thanks." And he wasn't going to mention that figuring out where the heart was had been a complete accident. He just happened to stab in the right place. "You were great yourself. Hey, we won."

"Yeah, we did."

Xander followed Spike's stare to the far side of the lobby... where Buffy was sitting with Angel. He wanted to ask if Spike was okay, but that... that would just point out that he noticed and... No, he didn't want to hurt Spike's feelings.

That was new. But they were bonding now, or something, and it had been a very long time since he'd had a friend of the male persuasion. "Hey, I happen to know that there's a bar nearby. Wanna go grab some beers? Celebrate saving the world, again, without even making the six o'clock news?"

"You buyin'?" Now that was the Spike he remembered.

He pulled out his wallet, dangling it tantalizingly. "Oh yeah."

Spike gave him a cocky grin. "Then we're goin' to this pub I know. Only place to get decent ale in this whole bloody state."

"Lead on."

It didn't take two eyes to notice that Buffy didn't notice them leave, and Xander blanched, knowing this was going to get expensive. What the hell. They'd saved the world. He'd just have Willow figure out how to get the Council to reimburse him. She was good at stuff like that.

He was surprised when Spike led him into a parking lot and got onto a motorcycle. "I take it asking if you have a spare helmet is pointless."

A sharp bark of laughter. "You were almost eaten by a dragon and you're worried about wearing a helmet?"

"Guess it's manlier without, huh?" Something made him stop right before he got on and ask another question. "Whose is this anyway?"

"Don't know. Don't much care. We just saved the world. The least it owes us is a ride to the pub."

You know, there was logic in that.

Without another word, he got on the bike. Time to go celebrate in typical manly style.

Yeah, they were gonna get drunk. He and Spike.

He figured, by the end of the night, Spike would get that long explanation about his eye. With any luck, though, tomorrow, neither of them would remember it.

The End

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