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katemonkey organized secret_slasha 2008. I was assigned to Maggie, who asked for Angel/Xander in a light style.

Title: Next Summer's Teas
Author: voleuse
Fandom: BtVS/Angel
Pairing: Xander/Angel
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: Not mine.
Summary: Your final summer — sweet and meaningless, and not to come again.
Notes: Set after "Not Fade Away," and ignoring comics canon



Los Angeles needed some cleaning up after the monster mash, and Xander needed some quality time with In-N-Out. In-N-Out was his first love, after Thundercats, and also Teela from He-Man, but when he tried explaining that to Buffy, it devolved into a conversation about Prince Adam's wardrobe choices, and also why everybody's job would be twenty percent simpler if Giles had a Battle Cat of his very own.

"You think Giles will let me fly first class?" Xander asked in conclusion.

"Only never." Buffy threw a doughnut at his head. "Get some Skittles for me."

Xander looked sadly at the wasted doughnut. "If you say pretty please, I'll even pick up some Junior Mints."

*


His flight arrived at LAX a half hour late, but he wasn't meeting anybody but the next taxi driver in the line-up. He gave him the address of the Hyperion, and when the driver said it was half torn down, Xander told him it was just for old times' sake.

He found Angel in an old hotel, brooding in the elongated shadows of the lobby. Jagged moonlight slid through the gaps of the broken walls, poured through the spaces where the windows used to be.

"Ever think about remodeling?" he asked. "I hear they do wonders with brick and mortar these days. You can even get windows, if you're feeling all fancy."

"Right," Angel said. He rose like liquid from the ruins of a sofa, and for a second Xander caught his breath. He'd forgotten vampires could move like that.

Xander cleared his throat. "This is a fourth-class operation you're running here," he observed. "I hope you have room service."

Angel drew close, closer, and Xander took a deep breath. Most vampires smelled like ice to him, ice and blood. Angel smelled like a different kind of cold, like a morning after winter winds have swept through.

Angel reached out, grasped the strap of Xander's duffel bag, his fingers deft as they slid over Xander's shoulder. "There are still rooms on the second floor," he said.

Xander swallowed. "As long as we can take the stairs."

"The elevator blew up once," Angel said.

Xander scratched the prickling at the back of his neck. "Is that supposed to be comforting?"

Angel didn't reply.

*


Patrol wasn't the same when your partner wasn't quippy, Xander discovered. That was the nice thing about Slayers, he realized. They were quippy.

Most of them, anyway.

He had two stakes, one strapped to each wrist, and a flask of holy water disguised as Propel tucked into his back pocket. They ran across two vampires and something fuzzy Angel said came from another dimension. They staked the vamps and gave the fuzzy thing a stern talking-to.

It wasn't even close to midnight when Angel pointed at a building down the block. "We need to stop over there."

Xander squinted at the neon sign. "Did you have a sudden jones for tea latte or something?" he asked.

Angel frowned. "A what? No." As they stood in front of the store, he gestured upward, as if he could obscure the sign for Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. "This used to be a club," he said.

Xander nodded. "Okay. So?"

"A club for demons," Angel said. "It was safe. The spells still work."

"So you're taking me sightseeing?" Xander asked. "Because I won't lie, I could use a frozen mocha right now."

"The spells are still intact," Angel finished as he peered inside. "Why would you pay five dollars for a cup of coffee?"

"You still don't know much about America," Xander observed, and he ignored the shiver of the spell's threshold as he crossed it.

*


They left the store as it closed at midnight, and Xander was tossing his environmentally-friendly cup into an overflowing and not-environmentally-friendly trash can when something yanked him into an alley.

It was a vampire, of course, and it dragged him over to two of its hungry friends. It loosened its grip on him, preparing to bite, and Xander's reflexes kicked in. He dashed holy water into its face, staked it left-handed as the others rushed him from the right.

Angel arrived twelve seconds later, and all there was left was Xander and three piles of dust.

"You get slower by the century," Xander complained, rotating his shoulder and wincing.

"There were two others behind you," Angel said, then he looked around. "Nice work." He sounded surprised.

"Eight years and counting," Xander replied. "I've picked up a few things--"

"You're bleeding," Angel observed.

"--except for the ability to heal my own wounds," Xander finished. He touched the gash on his forehead and sighed. "Apparently healing factors aren't real things. Dammit. Ow."

"We should get back to the hotel," Angel said.

Xander nodded. "I hope you mean in a first aid kind of way," he remarked, and followed Angel out of the alley.

*


Xander didn't need stitches, which was good, because he had this thing with needles and his face. It was a thing even before the thing with Caleb's finger and his eye, which was not something he wanted to talk about with Angel. He was almost thankful for the peroxide Angel daubed onto the wound, and then he was in searing pain, because that's what disinfectant did to people.

"Your bedside manner isn't so much with the great," Xander said, and he tugged on the strap of his eyepatch, just to make sure it was there.

"You smell like blood," Angel said.

"That's because I'm bleeding," Xander replied. "Don't get any ideas, by the way."

"Right," Angel said.

Xander blinked. "Are you looking at my neck?"

"Kind of." Angel's smile wasn't the nice one.

Then Angel was walking forward, and Xander was backing away, and it was three seconds of Angel pressing him against the wall before Xander could dissect exactly what kind of "not nice" the smile was.

Angel's teeth against his neck were blunt, not pointy, but they gave Xander an unpleasant thrill anyway.

"You've really got to work on your technique, big guy," he gasped out.

Angel pulled away. "You talk a lot," he growled, and before Xander could comment his dry wit, they were kissing.

*


When the sun rose, Xander found himself draped over the sofa in the lobby, muscles aching in a good way. He closed his eyes and thought about hands skimming down his back, fingers clutching gripping him just right.

He smelled coffee, and he realized there was a blanket covering him.

"I didn't think you'd want me to move you," Angel said.

Xander opened his eyes and found Angel leaning against what used to be the receptionist's desk, a steaming mug of something in his hands.

"It doesn't get too cold this time of year," Angel continued, "so. I made you coffee."

Xander stretched, and watched Angel watching him. "Sometimes you make a lot of sense."

"Thanks," Angel said.

Xander took the proffered cup and sniffed deeply. He hummed, then laughed. "But you forgot the doughnuts."

Angel smiled, even in the shadows Xander caught it. "I don't know anybody who delivers doughnuts."

"This is Los Angeles, Angel." Xander took a long gulp of coffee, then held up a finger, Watcher-style. "Grab me a phone book, and I'll show you."


###

A/N: Title and summary adapted from Philip Larkin's An April Sunday brings the snow.

Originally archived here.

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