Author's Note: this is very, very much an Elseworlds story. (A story in which the characters of the series are placed in a completely different situation than the one that they're originally in in the series. Er. Right.)
feedback: it's good for the soul. just don't give me heartburn.
The Game of Six
part three: the first meeting
Dame Buffy and her teacher sat themselves down at a table in the corner of the Bronze Inn tavern, carefully scanning the room for anything resembling impending doom. At least, Dame Buffy did so. Giles seemed more intent upon studying a rather large and cumbersome scroll he'd pulled out of his saddle bag before entering. I of course took a seat at the table just next to them, by the hearth where I immediately set about tuning my guitar, and biding my time until the room was drunk enough to appreciate the at times less then melifluous tones of my voice. Is it my fault that I just happened to be close enough to listen in on their conversation? No, I didn't think so.
"Do I really have to patrol the town tonight Giles? I mean, it's not like I'm going to be staying here for very long. We're just passing through."
"We're always ‘just passing through', Buffy. Until we locate the fiefdom of Sunnydale, and the hellmouth located therein, we're going to be ‘just passing through' where ever we go."
A hellmouth? If that was true, then I could be getting some real, earth altering adventuring in by hooking up with these two. If that wasn't enough to get my career rolling, I didn't know what would be. I leaned back against the wall, and began strumming a few practice chords. So what if the position just HAPPENED to get me closer to their conversation? Seemed worth it to me.
But once again, Harris Xander found his way into the situation.
"May I buy the lady a drink?" He asked, sidling up to their table, as if, in spite of out of the way position in the tavern, he'd just happened to be in the area. It was, over all, very suave. That is, until Buffy happened to look him directly in the eye. Harris was lost to the world on the spot.
"I mean, ‘cause, um, you and me, we're in the same tavern! That's gotta mean something! Doesn't it?"
Buffy gave him a slight bemused smile. "And you are?"
"Harris! Harris Xander! Is, er, me." Harris' face fell. Now that was less than suave. "Um, drink? Do you want? A drink. Do you want a drink?"
"I have one." Buffy was now grinning, obviously amused by his ineptitude. "Thank you though."
"Right! But if you need one, I'm your man!"
Harris grinned at her and then walked away. As soon as he was out of her sight line, his hand came up and smacked his forehead. "Stupid."
I had to laugh. Which unfortunately drew Harris' attention to me.
"What about you? Any luck?" He asked me, seating himself in the chair across from mine, apparently forgetting that the object of his recent humiliation was still sitting right next to him.
"Nah. Haven't tried yet."
Harris nodded, giving the room the benefit of his gaze. "Wise man, Oz. Very wise. So, you going to play anything for us?"
There was a long and relatively uncomfortable silence between us. Then he spoke up again, this time much quieter. With all his bravado, it still surprises me how stealthy he can be when he wants.
"Have they gotten a room yet?"
"I think so."
"Good." With that he was up again, this time heading for the lobby. I didn't know what he had planned, but I had a feeling that I'd find out before the night was over.
In the mean time, however, the crowd was getting restless. I finished tuning up, and after a quick mental check of my limited repertoire, picked a song and began my first number.