The New Adventures of Buffy and Xander

Episode Three: "Love Square?"

Summary: What starts out as a simple task, soon leads to disharmony between Buffy and Xander
Disclaimer: All BtVS stuff belongs to Joss Whedon, UPN et al and the Quantum Leap stuff belongs to Bellasarius Productions.
X-Over: Buffy the Vampire Slayer / Quantum Leap
Episode Rating: PG14
Spoilers: If you're up-to-date you'll be fine. 'The Pack', 'Prophecy Girl', 'BBB', 'Becoming p2', 'The Zeppo', 'GD p2', 'Who Are You?', 'The Replacement' and S5 Dawn stuff.
Author's Notes: 1. Set after 'Crush' but before 'IWMTLY'. 2. Having decided that the Key didn't match any of her outfits, Glory gave it up and became and became editor of her own fashion magazine. 3. British spelling. *_*'s indicate word emphasis and //_//'s indicate direct character thoughts.


When there was light again, Xander found himself looking up at a ceiling. He was in no more pain. He looked down at himself and saw that there were no burns, not even a little bit of soot. Xander was also tucked up in bed; the covers only pulled up to his waist.

"Morning honey"

Xander looked across the room and at the speaker; a pretty, petite red head who was currently attacking her hair with curling tongs. She sat infront of a small dressing table and was dressed only in a white cotton bathrobe and pink bunny slippers on her feet.

Xander blinked "Uh... hey"

His new companion put down her curling iron and moved over towards him, sitting beside him. Xander tensed a little when she began running her hand down his chest and didn't back up enough in time to stop her kissing him full on the mouth.

She smiled seductively at him when she pulled back "Hey baby?" she slipped the robe from her shoulders "Wanna go for another ride?"


Buffy swung her legs over the side of the bed she found herself in after she leapt. She was alone in the room. Buffy looked down at herself and discovered she was naked. She grabbed a sheet off the bed and wrapped it around herself before standing up.

Buffy walked over to the only door in the room and opened it cautiously. No one bounded through so she poked her head through the gap and found herself looking upon an empty corridor.

//A dorm room?// Buffy closed the door and sat back down on the bed. She looked around on the floor for some actual clothes. Buffy was about to pick something up when the door suddenly burst open and a guy clad only in boxer shorts came bounding in and flopped onto the bed next to her.

"Max didn't have any" he stated, turning over onto his side, propping himself up on his elbow "And why are you getting dressed?"

Buffy groaned inwardly //Oh boy//.


Xander caught his new friend's robe before it completely fell. Unfortunately, Xander admitted to himself, there was a split second of ogling on his part before he covered her up and drew his focus back up to her face.

Xander cleared his throat "Um... y'know what?" Xander shifted himself so he was sitting upright "I'm thinking that maybe-"

"Sugar" the redhead silenced him by putting a finger to hips lips "It's too early to start thinking" she leaned further towards Xander "C'mon Alex" she pouted and kicked the bunny slippers off her feet "All your gorgeous-i-ness is going to waste"

Xander gently removed her finger "If you'd let me finish, I was saying that I think your curling iron is melting the top of the dressing table"

"Oh crap!" the red head leapt off the bed and tried her best to rescue the situation of melted plastic strings unwilling to detach from her curling iron. In the end she gave up and just ripped the plug from the wall and just left the melted mess to be. When she turned back around, she was a little dismayed to find that Xander had actually found a pair of jeans (that fortunately fitted him) underneath all the mess on the floor and had put them on.

She sighed "I guess we really don't have time" she went over to Xander and kissed him softly on the forehead "Not if we want to meet up with Liz and Will on time anyway and you know how Liz gets about tardiness. Look, why don't you go back to your room, shower then get dressed and then meet me back here in a half hour, huh?"

"Uh, yeah, sure"

Sean pointed the red head "Jenny Orson, twenty, your girlfriend of two months"

Jenny smiled at him and handed Xander a T-shirt "Go on. Move that cute ass of yours"

"Thanks" Xander smiled back. He hesitated before leaning forward and kissing Jenny a little awkwardly on the cheek "See you soon". Xander pulled the T-shirt over his head and grabbed his trainers before exiting the room and followed after Sean.

Sean flashed him a big smile when they were outside the room "Great to see you're not Cajun style anymore"

"Thanks" Xander mumbled, quite aware that he appeared to be in some kind of dorm corridor and not alone as there were people milling about, chatting "All though I still feel like hell"

"Well, you got blown up" Sean replied "Bound to shake you up a bit. Anyhoo, your name is Alexander Gregson, twenty years old. You're studying English Literature here at Lampton University. Quite good at it apparently"

"Great. Body leaping" Xander murmured "I knew that was the only way I'd get into college"

"You don't have to go to college to prove you're smart Xander" Sean replied "Stop knocking yourself"

Xander glanced at Sean and saw the sincere look in the other man's eyes. "Thanks" Xander mumbled "But you're still not my type" he added with a small smile.

Sean laughed softly "Xan, I get it, you're straight. OK, c'mon we're nearly here. Turn left at the end of the corridor, fourth door on the right. I'm going to have to leave you now. Best check in with Buffy" Sean stopped and let Xander carry on "Have fun, ciao"

Xander got to his room following Sean's directions. He found a key in the back of the jeans he was wearing and went in. Xander let the door close behind him as he sat down on the bed. He scrubbed his face with his hands and yawned //OK. On the whole this seems a lot better than being blown up so far//. Xander scratched his head and stood up. He stretched his arms and looked around for a mirror.

There was one to his left, hanging on a wall amidst pictures of Jenny and obviously some friends of theirs. Xander went and stood infront of it and raised an eyebrow at what he saw.

"Uh huh" Xander said to his reflection "And yet another new look. His reflection was of a good looking, white guy with short, black curly hair and dark brown eyes; about average height and build.

"Same name, but this so very definitely new" Xander looked at his new self for a few moments more before sitting back down on his bed. Xander looked around at the room. It was a pretty average single dorm - the posters of early Bon Jovi and one large poster of Madonna, still with her beauty mark, denoted the time period. The floor was reasonable tidy, clothes that weren't in the closet were mostly thrown over the chair that was infront of a small desk with books atop it. Alex did have a double bed but it didn't leave much room for anything else. Xander glanced at the bedside table, on which stood a lamp, alarm clock and a photo of Jenny and Alex sitting together under a tree.

Xander picked up the photograph and saw that this couple seemed to be quite happy together. Xander sighed and put the picture back. //I wish Anya were here. God, I miss her//. Xander sighed again and got back on his feet.

"OK. Skip the shower as I have no idea where that is, so I guess it just leaves me to get changed and get back to Jenny - if I can remember the way, then off to meet some girl called Liz and some guy called Will" Xander looked around for a towel "Maybe *then* I might find out where Buffy is"


Buffy gripped the sheet closer to her chest. She adjusted her vision to the dim light in the room and looked at the guy who lay beside her //And *hoo* boy... woah... and muscles... and come to *momma* and please tell me I'm not drooling//

"Man, Liz" the guy on the bed chuckled "I love it when you get that twinkle in your eye" he sat up and brushed some of Buffy's hair back behind her ear "Makes you look even more beautiful". Suddenly he smacked his palm against his forehead "*Damn*. We're supposed to meet with Alex and Jenny"

Buffy focused back in on the conversation "We... we are?"

"Yeah. You don't-" Will got off the bed and started hunting around for some clothes "-um... oh good, still wearable jeans... remember?" he turned to her with one foot in a pair of jeans "And Liz? Looking at my ass isn't going to get *you* dressed any quicker"

Buffy flushed pink //So long as I wasn't drooling... no harm done// "When are we meeting them again?"

Will glanced at his watch "About half an hour" he replied just as he got tangled up in his jeans and fell to the floor "... I'm OK"

Buffy laughed and, with sheets still gathered around herself, she stood up "C'mon" she flashed him a brilliant smile //...after all I'm only doing my job...// "I'll help you put your pants on //Damn it// and you can help me find my stuff underneath everything else" Buffy gestured to the floor.

Will grinned back "Actually the toga look suits you"

"Hey Buffy and *wow*" Sean's draw dropped a little when he saw Will lying on the floor finally winning the battle with his jeans "Come to *daddy*"

"Hey Liz?" Will called up from the floor "I think I can see your bra under the bed"

"Great" Buffy ducked her head down to look "Whereabouts?"

"And you're gonna get changed infront of a total stranger are you?" Sean's jaw had obviously started working again.

//...Ah/// Buffy straightened up, bra in hand and looked at Will "Y'know, maybe I should grab a quick shower. I can change when I'm done then"

Will shrugged "Sure"

As soon as Buffy had grabbed the rest of her things and a bathrobe, she left the room and followed after Sean as he led the way to the communal bathroom. Luckily it was empty and Buffy dumped her things down in the sink.

"Can we make this quick?" Buffy asked Sean, disappearing into a shower stall with her clothes "Who am I? What am I doing here? And where the hell is Xander?"

"This would have anything to do with you wanting to get back to that goddamn gorgeous Greek God of a guy back there would it?"

Buffy peered over the door of the stall and raised an eyebrow "Nice alliteration and I saw *you* drooling too" Buffy ducked her head back down "Does he have a name?"

"William Burges" Sean answered "And you're Elizabeth Collins. You're both twenty-one and studying in your final year here at Lampton"

"Uh huh" Buffy slipped a dress over her head and tugged it down "And Xander?"

"You'll be getting together soon. He's he Alex part of the couple you're supposed to be meeting in half an hour"

Buffy stepped out of the stall "He's OK?"

Sean nodded and Buffy smiled in relief. Buffy stepped infront of one of the mirrors above the wash basins "Hey, I'm back to blonde again" Buffy turned from side to side in the mirror, striking poses. Buffy was looking back at a tall girl with blonde hair and green eyes and a golden tan. She stepped up closer to the mirror to study her new face better "And I'm still pretty"

Sean rolled his eyes "You and Will make a beautiful couple"

"I have to be really convincing so he doesn't suspect, don't I?" Buffy turned to Sean with a slightly hopeful look in his eye.

"God, you're in total lust aren't you?"

"Can I have his children?"


Xander had given up trying to keep Jenny's hand from resting on his ass. She was very determined and currently her hand was tucked into one of his back pockets. //I just really, really hope Anya doesn't have window into this world. I don't want anything going green and falling off//.

He and Jenny were now walking outside on campus. Xander was justifying Jenny's hands on him because he had absolutely no idea were they were supposed to be meeting this Liz and Will and he was letting Jenny guide him gently towards their destination.

//Oh I really hope nothing goes green and falls off//

A few moments later, just as they were rounding a clump of trees and onto a grassy area that seemed to be covered in students lying in the sun, he spotted Buffy sitting on the grass too and chatting animatedly to a good looking, dark haired guy. Xander noted with an arched eyebrow that Buffy was practically sitting in the guy's lap.

Xander thought that he and Jenny were going to just walk past them, but Buffy and her friend looked up and the guy waved them over.

"Hey Jen, Alex" Will called out "Looks like we just beat you here"

"Hey you two" Jenny greeted as she sat down with Will and Buffy "How's it going?"

"Great" Will replied "You two?"

"Also good" Xander answered with a slight smile. He then caught Buffy's eye "Hey Liz? Did you get a hold of that guy Sean?"

"Oh, uh yeah" Buffy said "He's going to check on some things before he gets back to me"

"Who's Sean?" Will asked, putting his hand over Buffy's "Get back to you on what?"

Buffy smiled brightly back at Will "Just some books I might need for study" she lied "Alex said he knew a guy who had some that might be helpful"

Jenny leant up against Xander, resting her head against his shoulder "That's my sugar" she tilted her head up and smiled at Xander "Always being helpful"

Xander dutifully smiled back at her and Jenny seemed happy with that and put her head back down, just nestling against him.

All four continued chatting about nothing in particular which helped Buffy and Xander as Sean had not reappeared, even steering the conversation to the weather at the moment. But after half an hour, Buffy and Xander realised they were beginning to struggle and were glad when Jenny suddenly looked at her watch

"Oh, I was hoping this time wouldn't come" she sighed "I've got to see Professor Housten"

"About the Marlow essay?" Will asked Jenny, who nodded "Yeah, I've got to see him too" he continued "You wanna go face our doom together?"

Jenny turned to Xander "You don't mind?"

Xander shook his head "No problem. I'm sure I can find something interesting to talk to Liz about"

"It's that OK?" Will then asked Buffy.

"Uh... yeah. Sure" Buffy reluctantly replied //I wanna go with the cute guy// she whined in her head //He has muscles I wanna feel... again// "We'll keep each other entertained"

"OK" Will kissed Buffy on the cheek before getting to his feet.

Jenny then kissed Xander on top of his head "See ya later sugar" She gave both Xander and Buffy a bright smile before walking off with Will.

Buffy waited until Will and Jenny were out of sight and earshot before she leant forward and hugged Xander "Oh I'm so glad you're OK" she said "You've got no idea how horrible you looked"

Xander hugged her back "Well I don't know about *looked* but I felt pretty deep fried" he gave Buffy a smile when she drew back "Did it all work out?" he asked "I could hear words... was Felicity in on it?"

Buffy nodded "I kicked her butt real good for ya" she told him "And it all worked out for the good" Buffy brushed some hair off her face "So *sugar*" she changed the subject to their new problem "Sean didn't happen to tell you anything about our gig here did he?"

Xander shook his head "Haven't seen him since he told me my name... y'know, I haven't been called Alex in a *long* while... hey, speak of the devil" Xander nodded to Sean who had appeared beside Buffy.

Buffy looked up at him "Where did you go in such a hurry before?"

Sean laughed "Oh you're gonna love this" he said "You two get to play matchmaker"

"OK. Doesn't sound so hard" Buffy replied "We can do that. Who do we have to get together?"

"Jenny and Will" Sean replied.

"Jenny and Will?" Buffy gave Sean a look of surprise "Why? They seem happy as they are"

"Oh they are" Sean assured her "It's just they're not with who they need to be. And it's you two that are standing in the way" Sean looked between both of them "Look I don't think we should talk here. We should head back to Alex's dorm room, as it's nearer, and I can fill you in a bit more"

"Oh yay, there's more" Buffy got to her feet.

"Actually in theory" Sean said "It's a pretty easy task"

Xander got to his feet too "And didn't you say if it seems too easy it usually is?"

"That's why I put in the 'in theory' bit" Sean replied "Just wait until you get the details"


(An hour later)

"Can we run through that one more time?" Buffy asked.

Sean sighed "OK, OK. Fact *one*, as well as dating Jenny, Alex is also sleeping with Liz, and obviously the same applies to Liz cheating on Will. Fact *two*, Jenny and Will are also having an affair with each other. Fact *three* The only affair people know about are the ones that they're having" Sean looked between Buffy and Xander who were sitting on Alex's bed infront of him "Are we following so far?"

Xander nodded "One big love square. Gotcha"

"Yeah, I got that bit" Buffy said before Sean spoke again "But it's the rest that's just screwy"

Sean gave her a look of agreement "Anyway, the thing is, is that Will and Jenny are the ones that are truly in love with each other. Now, because Will and Jenny also care a lot about Liz and Alex, they won't break up with them because they think they're sparing their feelings and heartbreak"

"Whereas" Xander supplied "Liz and Alex really couldn't care less"

"Exactly" Sean said "Now, come graduation Liz and Will; Jenny and Alex; *and* Will and *Jenny* finally go their separate ways. Will and Jenny split because they graduate and end up on other sides of the country" Sean paused for breath "I'll have to stop for a moment because I've confused myself"

"No, I remember the rest" Xander said "Will and Jenny meet up a few years later and get involved again. They want to have children, but can't because of a car accident that Jenny had a year after graduation"

"And we need to make sure Will and Jenny get together *before* graduation" Buffy continued "So they feel they *don't* have to split up, there's no accident and then they can have all the babies they want and live happily ever after"

Sean nodded "Yup"

"Uh huh" Buffy was then silent for a moment before asking "Sean?"

"Yes Buffy?"

"So... what you really want me and Xander to do, is break up with Will and Jenny?"


Xander followed on Buffy's line of thinking "So in fact" he said "You could have just *said* that, instead of confusing us and *you* with all that stuff about what happened in the future"


"So why *didn't* you just say that?" Buffy asked.

"'Cos I thought it was interesting?"

"Uh Sean?" Buffy said "*Interesting* is having to stop the world being sucked into hell because your ex-boyfriend thought it would be fun" she paused "And then having to kill him"

"And" Xander added "Having to stop a giant sixty foot demon snake from eating you at your high school graduation"

Sean looked between them both "Sucked into hell, huh?"

"Do you know my girlfriend is eleven hundred and twenty?" Xander kept on.

It was quickly followed by Buffy's - "One of my ex-boyfriends was a vampire"

"I've been possessed by a hyena"

"I've been turned into a rat"

"I've been split in two"

"I've *died*"

"I've stopped a bomb from going off"

"My sister is actually an ancient, big shiny ball of energy and did you say *bomb*?"


A little while later after Sean had given them room details and a little bit more information about their new selves, Buffy and Xander were left alone. Xander was still lying on his back on the bed and Buffy was sitting on the chair by the desk.

"You do know you can't keep putting me off forever, don't you Xander?"

"I'm gonna try"

"You can't just say *bomb* and expect me to forget about it"

"I can't?"

"Just wait until we get back" Buffy said "I'll get Willow to give you her puppy-dog eyes you until you spill"

Xander sat up "You're gonna bring out the big guns?"

"The biggest"

Xander thought this over "Then I guess you'll just have to wait until Willow gets me then, aren't you?"

Buffy stuck her tongue out at him "C'mon, we're supposed to be breaking up with people. We really should get started. Sean said we should be firm and make it a clean break"

"Take no prisoners?"

"So we should get going on this then?"

Both of them made no move to get up.

"Do you think maybe we should practice first?" Buffy asked "I mean, I've never really broken up with someone. Not on a mature level anyway"

"Same here. I've only ever *been* dumped"

Buffy sighed "It's not fair. Why do I have to break up with the cute guy? He's really muscly and lovely and did I mention muscly?"

"More than twice" Xander brought his feet up onto the bed and sat cross legged "OK. So we practise dumping each other first. OK" Xander's voice became sincere "Buffy, I don't know how to say this-"

"Hey, hey, hey!"

"I wasn't finished"

"I don't care" Buffy huffed "How come you get to break up with *me* *first*?"

"You were too slow"

Buffy scowled at him "So about that bomb..."


(An hour later)

Buffy hummed to herself as she wandered through the corridors. She just about remembered the way back to Will's dorm room. Finally she and Xander had broken up with each other enough to feel confident about going straight in and breaking up with the people they were supposed to. Xander, however, was still in his room as he hadn't been able to get in touch with Jenny.

But as she had made contact with Will, Buffy kept going and trying not to think //What does it matter if we stay here for a little while? A few more days isn't going to hurt. I mean, Will is an absolute honey and I wouldn't mind hanging around for a little more ogling//.

Buffy soon found herself outside Will's dorm room. She tried the door handle gently first, but the door didn't open. Buffy rapped her knuckles against the door.

The door opened and when Will saw it was Buffy he grinned at her and allowed her to come into the room. He kissed her on the cheek "Hey sweetie" he said, closing the door "Don't tell me you lost your key again"

"Oh, I uh-" Buffy smiled back "Just temporarily misplaced it, that's all"


"Well, you know me"

"So... you decide to blow off classes again today?" he asked as he turned to walk over to his closet

"Um yeah" Buffy watched his back for a couple of seconds before going over to Will's desk and absently rummaging through some papers that were on it, taking the opportunity of Will's turned back for a few moments to have a closer look around the room. It seemed pretty ordinary to her - nothing that would help them anyway. Her eyes idly flicked over the books on his desk noted the titles of the books he was apparently reading. //Very impressive//. Buffy began to turn back around //Very Oh please God, why did you have to do this to me? Why did you have to show me naked cute guy?//

Will saw Buffy's slack-jawed and slightly glazed expression and raised an eyebrow "Liz, are you OK?"

"...Unnh" //Lookathisfacelookathisfacelookathisfacelookathifacelookathisface//

Will looked down at himself and then back at Buffy "OK, not that I don't appreciate the goldfish impression Liz, but you *have* seen me naked before"

"I know" Buffy's voice came out in a squeak. Buffy swallowed hard, trying to regain some composure and not give in to her desire to rake her eye over every tanned inch of Will's muscled body "It's just..." she couldn't think of a way to finish the sentence and instead concentrated on not reaching out just to touch.

It didn't help her when Will walked over to her; slowly and with a seductive smile on his face. Buffy cleared her throat //Oh please God help me// . "It's just" she managed to continue "Um... why are you naked?"

"I need to be naked to change clothes" Will was now only a couple of feet away.

"Oh... right. Obviously" //Don'tlookdowndon'tlookdowndon'tlookdowndon'tlookdown// "So, uh, why aren't you, uh, changing then? Y'know, to stop the being naked and all that"

Will laughed "What is up with you?" he asked, resting both his hands on his hips lightly "You've been acting a little weird since this morning"

"Weird? No" Buffy fiddled nervously with a strand of her hair "Well, maybe a little. Will I need to-" Buffy broke off when Will reached out and caught hold of her hand that was playing with her hair. Will brought her hand to his lips and kissed her fingertips.

"Need to what?" Will asked in a soft voice, looking at her intently. He stepped a little closer to her.

Buffy stared back up at him and found herself looking into rich, dark brown eyes "I... uhh..." //What was I supposed to be doing again?//

Will caught hold of an unresisting Buffy's other hand and brought both her arms forward before wrapping them around his waist, still keeping hold of her hands behind him. He smiled tenderly at her "Need to what?" he asked again.

"Um, well..." //OK, Buffy, all you have to do here is push him away. Just push him away... c'mon you can do it// Buffy's arms seemed to respond when Will let go of her hands and put his own on her waist. Buffy's arms fell to her side //Oh good limbs. Good limbs. Now, Buffy, you're doing well ignoring the fact that the naked man is only a hairsbreadth away//

Will drew his gaze away from Buffy and bent his head to her neck, planting a soft kiss on her skin.

//OK... maybe not so well// Buffy realised //Where the hell are my Slayer sensibilities? *Please* arms, just push the naked man away// Buffy stifled a slight moan when Will nibbled at her earlobe //And ooh, the arms are moving, the arms are moving... to his ass. Stupid arms//

Will drew back and looked back into Buffy's eyes "Do you realise how much I'm hot for you?" he murmured.

//If what is pressing against my hip is anything to go by.. then yes// "You are?" Buffy tried hard not to squeak. She knew shouldn't be doing this. It wasn't *her* who he was talking to - it was Liz. But the part of Buffy that missed being held, missed being looked at with lust or love or anything that meant someone cared about her like that, missed having the opportunity to feel like a woman - was the part that was in control at this moment.

//This isn't hurting anyone// she told herself when Will's lips began to move slowly towards hers //It really isn't like *I'm* cheating on anyone. I'm still gonna break up with him// Buffy closed her eyes when Will's lips finally brushed up against hers //Not hurting anyone//.

As Will deepened the kiss, Buffy moved one of her hands up to the back of his neck, holding him closer //Oh God. I really hope Xander doesn't get mad//.


Sean waited until Xander had laid the pen down on the desk before speaking and therefore making Xander jump out of his skin.

"You know you're the second person I want to have a bell around their neck" Xander said as he turned to face Sean who stood behind him "What happened to you anyway?" Xander asked, "We wanted to ask you a quick question"

"We needed to kinda recharge the hologram projector thingy"

"The hologram projector *thingy*?" Xander raised an eyebrow "Is that a technical term?"

"About as much as I care to know about it" Sean said "I just walk into chamber and let the machine do the work" Sean held up the small black computer device he always carried "I don't even know what this is called"

"Ah, a technical man after my own heart" Xander grinned "I like you more now"

"Really?" Sean grinned back "How much?"

"Not that much" Xander smiled back good naturedly, then gestured to the device Sean carried "So what *do* you call it then?"

"Gizmo seems to work well"

"Because of it's resemblance to a small furry gremlin?"

"Well, it's not good with water"

"I'm glad we cleared that up"

"OK OK" Sean peered over Xander's shoulder at the letter on the desk "Whatcha doing?"

"Writing out how I'm going to break up with Jenny. I've been drawing on my experience with my ex-girlfriend and what she said to me"

Sean read what Xander had written "Oh my God" Sean chuckled "What the hell did you do?"

"I cheated on her. Let's not dwell"

"OK, but I really don't think saying that to Jenny is a good idea. So where's Buffy then?"

"Gone to see Will. Do the break up thing"

"And you're not with Jenny be-" Sean didn't get to finish the sentence as 'Gizmo' bleeped at him. Sean looked at the screen and was silent as he read the information being given to him. Shortly he glanced back up at Xander "Uh... tell me again what it was that Buffy going to do?"

Xander began to frown at Sean's expression "Why? What's up?"

"Uh... I don't think you want to know"

"Is Buffy OK?"

"Pretty much" Sean replied "She's uh.. she'shavingsexwithWill"

"She's having what with who?"

"Sex with Will"

Xander stared back at Sean in silence for a few moments before closing his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose "I can't believe this" he moved his hand from his nose and then through his hair "I just can't..." Xander looked back at Sean "What does she think she's playing at?"


"Would it help if I told you to take deep breaths?" Sean asked Xander a little while later as Xander paced around Alex's dorm room in an effort to try and rationalise Buffy's actions

Xander didn't glance at him "Probably not"

"In that case I'll just mention that *technically* she hasn't done anything wrong and before you but in" Sean added hastily when Xander looked at him this time "I'd just like to *reiterate* that point *and* she's adult enough to make her own decisions" he paused "Granted it wasn't the right one, 'cos now you've gone like two steps backwards"

"Gee, you don't say" Xander kept on pacing.

"Xander, OK, you may not have the inclination, but Buffy and I sure as hell noticed that Will is a total stud and I know I'd find it hard and don't even try and make a joke out of that" Sean tried a different tact "Look, haven't you ever just *not* been looking for something and then suddenly it's throwing yourself at you?"

"Yes. She was called Faith"

"See, there you go"

"But then she tried to kill me"

"So probably not something we want to focus on with you"

"Sean" Xander stopped pacing and sat down on the bed "I appreciate what you're saying and I know Buffy can make her own choices but for *Christ's sake*" Xander hit his fist onto the bed "How can she go from breaking up with someone to having sex with them?"

"Maybe she was trying to ease the blow"

"Probably not the best choice of words"

"You know what I mean. Xander" Sean made sure he had the other man's attention "I doubt she did it on purpose"


(One hour later)

Buffy smoothed down her clothes and took a deep breath before knocking on the door to Alex's dorm room.

"Who is it?"

Buffy opened the door a little and stuck her head through the gap "Only me" Buffy came in and closed the door. She saw Xander lying on the bed, his hands stretched out to his sides and staring up at the ceiling. "Hey. You get hold of Jenny yet?"

Xander lifted his head up a little to look at her "Nope. What about you? How did it go?"

"Oh... fine, fine. Did Sean make an appearance?"

Xander sat upright "Yeah, but he's taking a break" he gave her a concerned look "You OK? You look a little flushed"

"Flushed?" Buffy put a hand to her cheek "Oh... well, uh maybe a little" she dropped her hand and shrugged "Probably just the humidity"

"Or maybe the sex"

"Or maybe the... the" Buffy cleared her throat and studied her friend's face. Xander was giving her a blank expression but she could see how his mind was working behind his eyes. "Oh. I see" Buffy crossed the room and sat on the chair by the desk "The all knowing, all seeing Sean, huh?"

Xander turned around to face her "What did you think you were doing?"

"I thought you just said you knew what I was doing"

"No, I knew *who* you were doing" Xander replied "I just don't know what you thought you were going to achieve by it"

"I wasn't planning on achieving anything by it" Buffy retorted, not liking the way Xander was taking this "I didn't plan on anything"

"I think that was fairly obvious"

Buffy stared at him in disbelief "I really don't have to explain myself to you Xander. I really don't" she stood up and then leant up against the desk "It just happened and that's all there is"

"You had *one* thing to do Buffy. *One*"

Buffy rubbed at her temple "Xander, look-" she began.

"No, come on Buffy. Did you just think that this job was too easy and that we needed something to spice it up?"

"Xander, it didn't even have anything to do with you. I can't believe you're getting like this"

"You can't believe I'm getting like this? Buffy, I don't know about you, but I want to go home and we can't do that unless we do these leaps as quick as possible"

"Don't make it like you're the only one that wants to get back home Xander" Buffy's voice rose. Buffy shoved herself away from the desk and moved over to the other side of the room "Y'know, I'm thinking the only reason you're getting like this is because I got some and you're pissed 'cos you've got to wait until we get back"

Buffy instantly wanted to take back those last words when she saw the emotions flicker over Xander's face and she opened her mouth to apologise but Xander cut her off.

"Save it Buff" Xander stalked towards the door "I'll just get on with my part of this whole thing". Xander shook off Buffy's hand when she reached for his arm as he made his way to the door "Maybe I'll just camp outside Jenny's door or something 'til she shows up"

"It just happened Xander" she said as Xander stood in the doorway "I know it was stupid"

"Yeah. It was" Xander didn't look back as he let the door click closed behind him.

Buffy sighed and went over to Alex's bed, flopping face down onto it and groaning loudly into the covers "Ugh. Why do I always get hit by the crap from the fan?"

"That's a lovely image"

"Decide to stay out of it?" Buffy rolled over onto her back to face Sean.

"Something like that" Sean answered "I thought you both had points"

"Fence sitting huh?" Buffy sat up "Probably the best way to go"

"But I do think you should have thought about what you were doing more"

"So falling more over onto Xander's side" Buffy gave Sean a half smile "How 'bout I tell you what Will looked like naked?"

Sean's eyes glazed over for a second "Oh, that's very tempting but how 'bout you just leave it to my imagination, huh?"


"But then again, if you want to give me a few hints when I'm showing you the way to your dorm, you won't find me stopping you"


Xander found himself lost on the campus. He realised once he'd left Alex's room, that although he knew the room number and building, he couldn't remember the way nor could he see any of the landmarks that he tried to store in his memory from his trip from there earlier that day.

He looked around at the people who seemed to know where they were going and wondered if Alex knew any of them and if he could play dumb and ask the way to his soon to be-ex temporary girlfriend's dorm room. Xander sighed //Or maybe not//. he spotted a nearby bench and sat himself down on it. He slumped back and closed his eyes.

Xander had only meant to try and have a rational conversation with Buffy about her actions, but instead it had all spiralled out of any kind of rationality. //But she never actually said that it was a mistake and how could she event think that I would be jealous 'cos *I* wasn't the one having sex?//

"Penny for them"

Xander opened his eyes at the sound of Jenny's voice and found her standing infront of him, a half-amused, half concerned look on her face. "Hey" Xander gave her a small smile "I was just coming to see you"

Jenny frowned a little "Did you forget I had classes now?"

"Oh, I uh... yeah" Xander shifted over so Jenny could sit next to him "Guess I did"

"Are you OK?" there was still a small frown on Jenny's face.

"Is there any chance you could cut? I kinda want to talk to you about something" he looked around "Somewhere not here?"

"Alex, I can't. You know I'm way behind in all my stuff. It'd be stupid to miss anymore lectures". Jenny gave him a questioning look "You can't talk to me quickly now about it?"

"It's not really a quick thing" Xander tried to explain "Look, you go learn stuff and I'll drop by later?"

"Oh yeah, like I'm gonna concentrate when I know you want to talk seriously" there was only half a note of humour in her voice "Alright" Jenny conceded. She stood up "You can come by later". Jenny leant back down and kissed him on the forehead, maybe a measure of how wary she was of his motives for wanting to talk to her. She still smiled at him anyway before she turned to take her leave.

Xander waited until she was out of sight before he began to make his way back to Alex's room, hoping that he'd be able to talk to Sean and see if he could get some more information on all of the people that were involved in this leap.

As he walked, Xander's thoughts drifted back to Buffy and how he could try and talk things over with her. If they were to work together on this, then they needed to be able to talk to each other.


Liz's room was very much like Buffy and Willow's dorm room they shared in their freshman year, except this was a one-person room. There were posters of bands on the wall and a tiny kitchenette and a desk up infront of the only window with piles of book stacked on it.

And now, for the second time that day, Buffy was changing clothes a few feet away from Sean. She stood behind a strategically opened wardrobe door. Buffy tugged the dress over her head and flung around the edge of the door, aimed at Sean but it only flew through him and landed on top of the TV.

"I'm just saying Buffy, that maybe you should try and see it from Xander's point of view"

"I've seen it from his point of view Sean" Buffy replied, smoothing down the skirt she just put on "And I like mine just a teensy bit better"

Sean groaned "Buffy, I thought you wanted to straighten things out with him"

"I do" Buffy emerged from behind the door now fully dressed with a thin green, v-necked sweater complimenting the knee-length black skirt "Just not right now. And I know you're just playing his corner" Buffy's words weren't harsh "Because you think he's a babe"

"Of course. After all, he has a much nicer ass than you" Sean kept his face straight "It's probably going to be a winning factor everytime"

"You're just a laugh a minute aren't you? And there is no way his ass is nicer than mine"

"So you've looked at it enough to be able to make a comparison then?" Sean shot back.

"Th-there may have been occasional glances" Buffy glared at Sean when he smirked when she faltered "And it's not really my fault if he wore those swimming trunks-"

"Swimming trunks?" Sean's eyes lit up "Tell me more"

"Gee, is that a canoe in your pocket?" It was Buffy's turn to smirk.

"Nah. Aircraft carrier"

Beginning to get annoyed because Sean was matching her, Buffy gestured to her outfit "Do I look like I belong in the eighties?"



Sean arched an eyebrow "So know you've changed, what are you going to do about Xander?"

"If I tell you what Will looked like naked again, will you stop asking me that?"

"What if I asked you to try and talk to Will again? Actually *break* up with him this time"

"Oh, I can't do that tonight" Buffy declared "If I see him again this soon, I'm going to want to have sex with him again"

"My God girl. Don't you have any self control?"

"I seem to have lost that with my Slayer abilities"

Sean raised his hands a little, a gesture of temporary defeat "OK. Fine. Take tonight off. I'll go see how Xander is doing"

"Tell him I still haven't forgotten about the bomb"


(Later that evening)

For the second time that day, Xander fell back onto Alex's bed. His legs dangled over the edge and he brought both his hands up and put them over his face, closing his eyes too.

After a few moments of contemplative silence, he suddenly flung his hands arms out to his sides "What the hell does it take?!" he shouted up at the ceiling.

"Am I supposed to answer that?"

"Rhetorical question Sean"

"Something not go well?"

"Not really"

"Do you want to tell me or the ceiling?"

Xander sighed and propped himself up on his elbows, looking at Sean "I finally got to see Jenny"


"I didn't break up with her"

"God, you didn't have sex with her did you?"

"No, I didn't have sex with her Sean. Do I look like Buffy?"

"Not in this light, no" Sean ignored the withering look Xander gave him "So what *did* you do?"

"I *tried* to break up with her. Really, I *did*" Xander told Sean "But she wouldn't have any of it. She kept saying she didn't believe that's what I really wanted and that we could try and make it work" Xander sat up "Sean, I thought you said that she was totally in love with this Will guy and not me, I mean Alex"

"She *is*" Sean assured him "I don't know, maybe she feels guilty about cheating on Alex and wants to do the best by everyone by giving him another shot. Did you mention about him having an affair with Liz?"

"Tried to" Xander admitted "But she got a phone call and said she had to take it. I just left. Maybe that might help"

"Well, at least you got further than Buffy" Sean said, "It's something"

"Oh, I think Buffy got pretty far"

"Xander why don't you just try and settle this thing between you OK?" Sean tried to mediate "Because I'm getting tired of having to flit between you both and get you to make nice" Sean carried on when Xander looked a little guilty "OK, so she had sex with someone and she said it was all safe and yes I know, overall, it wasn't the best idea she's ever had, but jeez Xander, just get over it. It's not like you're her Dad on this trip"

"I'm not *trying* to be anything Sean"

"Really? 'Cos to an outsider, you're acting like a jealous boyfriend"


"I'm just saying that's how you're *acting*. Xander" Sean stayed firm "I'm just trying to get back a good working relationship here. Give it tonight. Get some rest and try again tomorrow. Buffy's going try again with Will, the *breaking* *up* part that is"

Xander fell back onto the bed again, a little defeated "You're really bossy, do you know that?"

"I'll have you know some guys like that about me"

"... and thank you for that visual"


Xander rolled his eyes then lifted his head up to look at Sean "So... try again tomorrow, huh?"

"With Jenny *and* Buffy"

"OK. But only because you asked so nicely"

"I'm here to help you *both*" Sean said with a smile, he looked at his watch "Look, I'm gonna go. If I hurry, I might just run into the cute guy who's in charge of the hologram projector thingy"

"Have fun"

Sean grinned wolfishly "I might just do that". He disappeared.

Xander stared at the space where the other man had been "Everyone's having sex but me"


(Next morning)

"Do you really think it's such a good idea to do this outside?" Sean asked Buffy as he followed her out of Liz's dorm building "It's very public"

"I'm hardly going to go at it with him outside am I?" Buffy muttered back at Sean under her breath "And I'm definitely not going to if you're standing beside me"

"Thank God for that"

"Ha ha" Buffy held a can of soda up to her mouth, pretending to take a drink "OK, how's Xander doing?" she mumbled.

Sean looked at 'Gizmo' "Nothing's happening so far" he told Buffy "But then he might not be there yet"

Buffy still held the can up to her lips as she walked "I can't believe he couldn't just ditch her" she continued to mumble, only loud enough for Sean to hear. She hoped. "And he was angry at me because I didn't break up with Will"

"But he didn't get pelvic with Jenny, did he?" Sean reminded her.

"No. No he didn't" Buffy removed the can from her lips and sighed "He was the perfect gentleman"

"I'm not saying you did any thing wrong Buffy" Sean assured her "Just next time think about who else is involved"

"Sean, I don't think there are going to be anymore next times" she whispered "I'm beginning to feel horrible enough as it is, realising that someone wasn't having sex with me, but who they thought I *was*"

"You've only just realised that?"

"It's Riley and Faith all over again" she sighed "But Will's not going to get hurt by it" she turned to Sean "Is he?"

"Won't know a thing"

"Good" Buffy actually drank from her soda this time as she carried on walking to where she'd arranged to meet Will. She looked around at the handful of students that were around and wondered idly if any of them had even given second thought to what things went bump in the night or that people could leap into other people's bodies or even if people could get possessed by hyenas or turned into rats.

"You OK?" Sean asked her after a little while of silence between them both

"Yeah" Buffy glanced across at him as he walked beside her "Y'know, I feel I should feel *used* or something"

"You don't?"

Buffy shook her head a little "I just felt... nice"

"Shouldn't you be telling all this to Xander?"

"Do you see him around anywhere?"

"No... but I see the girl he supposed to be breaking up with" Sean pointed to Jenny, who had just exited from a building a little way in the distance, looking distressed "Looks like Xander may have just done the business" Sean said.

Buffy watched as Jenny was walking quickly and bumped un-caring into a few people as she made her way away from the building. Buffy then saw Xander appear from the same building as Jenny. He called after her and Jenny stopped and Xander walked up to her. Buffy winced when Jenny slapped Xander across his face. Several people stopped and gave the couple some stares, but Jenny just turned and stormed away.

"I'd say you were right" Buffy said. She continued to watch as Xander rubbed his hand over his cheek. He watched after Jenny for a while before shaking his head sadly and starting to walk away from the building he'd just exited from with Jenny.

Buffy looked around. She was supposed to be meeting Will here, but he had yet to arrive. //Maybe I should take this time to talk to Xander//. Buffy took a few steps in the direction that Xander was head and called out.

"Alex!". He didn't turn around so Buffy tried again "Alex*xander*!" Buffy raised her hand in the air when Xander turned around.

"You could have just got me to yell" Sean commented as Xander began to head over.

"No one stopped you" Buffy replied, going to meet Xander half way.

"I'm supposed to be a mind reader now?" Sean shot back as he followed after her.

Buffy ignored Sean "Hey Xan" she gave Xander a small smile "I see you've been busy this morning" she gestured over to where Xander and Jenny had previously been "How's your cheek?"

"I'll live" Xander said "As we haven't leaped out, I take it you haven't seen Will yet"

"He hasn't appeared yet" Buffy told him "I thought I'd take the chance to speak to you"

"Sean didn't throw a hissy fit with you too did he?"

"It was *not* a *hissy* fit" Sean said indignantly "I merely stated my opinion firmly"

"And Buffy, I don't think we're going to get to chat anytime soon" Xander then added, he nodded over Buffy's shoulder to where Will had just spotted them.

Buffy turned around "Well I'm *definitely* not going to have sex with him if you're here"

"You mean you were going to if I *wasn't*"

Buffy noted his slightly incredulous tone. She turned back to him "Don't start"

"I wasn't starting"

"I now that tone of voice, Xander"

Sean smacked his palm against his forehead //I give up//

"What tone of voice? I was just saying-"

"Yeah" Buffy put her hands on her hips "And you were *just* *saying* last night"

Sean saw that Will was beginning to head over towards them "Uh guys?"

"Not now!" Buffy and Xander replied in unison.

"*No* *now*" Sean replied firmly "Will's coming. Look if you really want to finish this argument, just do this break up quickly and then you two can argue all you want"

"*Fine*" Buffy shot a look at Sean before turning back to Xander "Just put some damn effort into this and then we can go"

"Effort into what?"

"This" Buffy took a deep breath and in one swift movement she brought her hand up to the back of Xander's head and pulled him down, closing her eyes as his lips met hers.

Xander's immediate reaction was to jerk back in surprise, but Buffy felt it just in time and put a gentle pressure on the back of his head, trying to keep him there.

"Okaay" Sean glanced quickly at Will, who had stopped in his tracks, before drawing his attention to 'Gizmo' "And we seem to be getting some where". Sean looked back "But then if Will comes any closer and sees you two looking like you've just kissed a frog, we might not be"

Xander opened one eye and glared at Sean who just gestured to him with both hands for the two of them to get closer. Reluctantly Xander circled one of his arms around Buffy's waist. Xander tried to relax a little as Buffy's other hand slid down his back and ended up somewhere where he'd never thought Buffy's hand would ever be.

//And if this isn't the weirdest thing I've ever done to break up with someone..// Buffy thought //And if I so much as feel any bit of Xander's tongue, I'll kill him//

Sean watched on as Will set his jaw firmly and began to make his way once again over to the couple. He glanced down again at 'Gizmo' which was now bleeping "100%" at him.

"Say bye bye you two" Sean said "Have fun arguing on the other side"

At Sean's words, Buffy and Xander immediately broke apart and just in time to see each other leap.


The second he saw light again; Xander felt a tug on his wrist. It took him another second to realise that Buffy was no longer infront of him and that he was lying on his stomach, his shoulders at the edge of a cliff.

"What the-" Xander felt another tug on his left wrist which saw was reaching down the cliff face. "Holy crap" Xander looked down and saw that the reason for the tugging was a handcuff encircling his wrist.

And that in the other handcuff was Buffy's wrist.

Buffy didn't appear to be in any trouble. Her feet were planted firmly enough on a little ledge. She was just waiting to be pulled up.

Buffy looked up at him, then at the handcuffs, then back at Xander. "Oh you've got to be joking"


Read the next episode No Ruby Slippers

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