Xander hid between the bookshelves, clutching the math book he’d been sent to the library by Willow to find. As it turned out, Willow’s wow/amazing/so cool librarian from a cool British museum (or maybe the British Museum) was Buffy’s enabler of weird and, frankly, horrific fantasies. Had to be that: they were talking about vampires for crying out loud! And dead people, and Slayers, and sucking things. (Hmm… Buffy and sucking things… Gah! Wipe the drool, and get your mind back on track.)
Oh, and now he’s talking about duty. (Dude, this is California: do we even have that word in our dictionaries?) Oh, and every horror movie and every nightmare? And all of it was real, according to Mr horrifically-British-and-dutiful. Werewolves and zombies? Needed to be back in his comics, except that all that information came in a handy Time-Life series, complete with free phone or calendar: who knew? And someone needed to get a life. Somewhere far (far!) from the D&D game board, too. Of course, both of them took off, leaving Xander alone (hopefully) in the library with his math book, which was as much horror as he was constitutionally capable of handling, thank you very much.
“May I help you?”
Xander started; the librarian was back, and – hey! – he knew that look. The screwy mouth, ‘jeez, now I have to deal with this’ look. “Uh, yeah. I, um, need to check this book out.”
The librarian scowled at him, as if to determine what breed of vermin he was. “You do not have a maths text?” he asked, raising his eyebrows in what was no doubt an elegant and adult manner.
“Uh … no. That would be why I’m checking it out now,” Xander reasoned in a tone he knew adults despised, but couldn’t quite avoid (and secretly quite liked; messing with adults could be dangerously fun.)
The librarian’s eyes slid to the whopping great big book still sitting on the reading table, but Xander steadfastly refused to look at it. Nope, no way was he going to ogle the ‘Vampyr’ book creepy stalker dude had been threatening the hot new girl with. “Well … I guess I’d better,” he waved vaguely at the check-out counter, “process that for you.”
“Would be an idea,” Xander nodded firmly, making sure to place the book on the counter, rather than in the librarian’s hands. No need to let the creepy stalker dude too close.
The process of checking the book out was relatively simple, and soon Xander was exiting the library with a speed suitable to a young man escaping a den of torture, er, place of learning. Now all he had to do was figure out whether to avoid Buffy, out her, or just ignore the whole thing. Ignoring it all had many benefits, but then he ran the risk of innocently coming up against the librarian’s enabling of teenage fantasies. Although, thinking about it, it did kind of explain the (admit it!) stake she’d dropped earlier.