Buffy would like it known that the next time someone uses the words ‘spell casting’ and ‘completely certain it’s going to work’ in her presence, she’s going to kill whoever says it and then run for the hills.
Seriously. In order. With optional screaming and property damage.
Everyone knows that Willow’s track record with spells is kind of shoddy. Pseudo weddings, blind watchers and mass amnesia, anyone? But.
And here comes the but.
Buffy thought that, perhaps, at twenty-seven, her best friend had learned her lesson. Ha! This one is the worst fuck-up to date and yes, she’s totally using the f-word here because there is no other word in the English language that conveys her state of pissed-off-ness at falling for Willow’s puppy dog look again and ending up here.
Here being America. Here being a sleepy little town in the middle of nowhere. Here being the nineteen-friggin-sixties!!!
Age of short skirts and constitutional misogyny, of chauvinist assholes grabbing her ass at the diner, of old men patting her like she’s cattle and calling her dollface and no-one listening to her or taking her seriously or even goddamn getting her name right.
If Buffy ever makes it back to 2008 – even if she has to take the slow way - she is going to burn every single spell book she can get her hands on in a big, cozy, warm bonfire. And she’s going to make Willow watch because that’s still not nearly enough for all the crap she’s endured for the past six months of her temporal exile in horrible-land. Temporary, also, hopefully, but definitely temporal.
Sure, there are upsides to being completely out of her time. No responsibilities are a great thing. No minis wanting things from her, no Scoobies making demands on her, no Dawn being clingy. No ex-boyfriend making heavy breathing sounds in the phone when he stalker-calls her at three in the morning. No weight of the world. No money problems. No apocalypses. No dreary London weather.
But for every upside there’s a downside. She’s lonely. She has no papers, which means she’s working as a waitress again. She sort of thought she got over that phase at seventeen. She’s being treated like an uneducated piece of skirt, which makes her want to scream at the top of her lungs that without her, this world would have ended a dozen times over. Except that that’s in the future and not actually real for these people and anyway, she doesn’t think she’d do well in a straightjacket. And…
Okay, so that’s all the immediate downsides. She misses her friends and family – except Willow, the witch – and she doesn’t have papers. And the upsides probably outweigh the downsides, to be honest, but she doesn’t like the sixties, okay? They’re not even at the sexual revolution thing yet, so it’s all tight, prissy idiots and no fun.
She was planning on retiring to the Bahamas, not 1962.
Mostly, she just feels trapped.
Buffy hates feeling trapped.
Literally, right now, since Mr. Sleazeball at table five just put his arm around her waist to stop her from leaving and is this guy serious? She takes an experimental step backwards and glowers down at him, but he just gives her his smarmy, stinking grin and, oh god, she can see where his spinach got stuck between his teeth. He tightens his hold on her and she takes a deep breath, blows it out her nose and tries really hard to think of all the reasons killing him would be a bad idea. A really bad idea. She’d totally lose her job, and Jimmy is the only boss she’s had in the past six months who isn’t a total asshole, so she’d really kind of like to keep working here.
So instead of breaking Mr. Sleazeball’s neck she says, very, very politely, “Please let go of me.”
By now half the restaurant is staring and the guy says something patronizing and stupid that ends in ‘sweetheart’ and okay, now all bets are off because, hello, ugly yellow waitressing outfit or not, Buffy Anne Summers is not a piece of meat. She raises her empty tray above her head and whacks him so hard with it that it cracks in her hands. Then, when he reflexively digs his fingers into her hip, she grabs his forefinger and twists until there’s a satisfying snap.
When she lets go, he just sort of… slides out of his seat and onto the floor, holding his head and his hand both, gibbering and whimpering. Crybaby. It’s only a goose egg and a broken finger. Jesus.
She sneers down at him in disgust and looks around at the gaping, paralyzed guests and staff surrounding her. “Does anyone else want to treat me like a tasty steak, or was that the last idiot? Because, you know, totally willing to bash in a few more skulls…”
There are some murmurs around her that all sound a lot like ‘no’ and a few of the women – especially the other waitresses – look they want to applaud or give her a standing ovation, but no-one does and then Jimmy yells from across the room, “Summers!”
Yeah. That’s another job down the drain.
On the plus side, she tells herself as she carelessly flings her broken tray on Mr. Sleazeball’s table, she’s not going to jail.
It’s the little things that count.
Doesn’t mean she wouldn’t kind of like to pull Willow’s spleen out of her nose. Really.
Stepping out of the backdoor of her former place of employment, Buffy has a moment of jarring, painful déjà-vu, because there’s someone lurking in the shadows, clapping.
Except that this is the past and if one is being picky, then the thing with Spike should have been the déjà-vu bit because this was before then and really, time travel. Not enough Advil in the world to figure it out.
Then the shadows move and detach from the wall and there’s not one but two hot guys coming toward her. Neither of them bleach blonde, thank god, that would have been too creepy. One is taller than the other and grinning like he’s got too many teeth in his mouth and the other looks a bit like a doll, in a really hot, nerdy way.
What? She hasn’t gotten any in six months and this age has yet to discover the wonders of battery operated little friends in bright neon colors. So.
Suddenly Mr. Dollface makes a face that’s half constipated half fascinated and she thinks he might need the Heimlich maneuver, but then Mr. Teeth lowers his hands and says, “That was a very impressive display of violence.”
His voice is smooth and deep and yes, Buffy is, quite possibly, terribly horny and needs to get laid. Damn Faith and Spike anyway, for introducing her to her inner nympho. She sketches a mock bow and says, very sweetly. “Thank you. Would you like another demonstration?”
His grin turns sharper, his friend’s color turns redder and Buffy licks her lips because Mr. Teeth? Totally flirting with her.
He cocks his head to one side, considering. “Would I get as close up and personal as… what did you call him? Mr. Sleazeball?”
She’s about to fire off a snappy comeback, when the final part hits. She tenses up, ready to kick some serious ass because, “I never called him that out loud.”
No, you didn’t.
It’s not Mr. Teeth’s voice, so she glowers at the Mr. Dollface instead. “I don’t like people sneaking around my head.”
He smiles, outside her head and inside, says, “My apologies. Perhaps introductions are in order. My name is Charles Xavier and this is my colleague, Erik Lensherr.”
Well, paint her pink and call her candy, she thinks. She’s got the number one poster boys for mutants standing in front of her, only younger and hotter and with more hair than there are in her time and –
She slams up every paltry shield Giles and Willow ever helped her build and holds her breath. She’s in the past. And those dudes are not exactly small fry and if the telepath reads her mind and figures out what she knows about him and his bestest frienemy, the whole universe might explode and there really isn’t enough Advil for that anywhere.
Mr. Do--- Charles frowns at her and Erik’s gaze kind of flickers between them for a moment. Making with the mindphone, if she’d had to guess.
“You are locking me out,” Charles finally observes. She wants to feed him a cookie for stating the obvious.
“Why? You recognized our names and you know who… what we are but then…”
She shifts a bit in her horrible flats, bites her lip. One the one hand, these guys are strangers and one of them is going to go sort of evil overlord-y pretty soon. On the other hand, if anyone isn’t going to lock her up for a crazy story, it’s the guy who reads minds and the other guy, who makes like Uri Geller, only bigger.
“Uhm,” she starts, eloquently. “How open are you guys to the idea of time travel?”
“Impossible,” Erik immediately says.
She rolls her eyes. “Yeah. Because moving through time seems soooo much more unlikely than turning metal things into pretzels with the power of your mind. Obviously. I mean, I totally get that. Not. Fact is, I’m from the future. Which, no, before you ask, no flying cars. Yet. But I kind of know you two, or know of you at least and I don’t think you should know about your future selves because I’m not very scifi savvy and even I know that that’s bad. You might turn out to be your own grandfather and the universe might explode and even though life kind of sucks and I just lost my job - again - I would really like for the world to continue existing because I have an important date in, oh, forty-six years with my so-called best friend, whose ass I’m going to kick for sending me to the freakin’ sixties of all places. Seriously. Hoopskirts would have been better.
“Also, sorry for rambling at you guys like that, but I’ve sort of been bottling that up for a while and you’re the first people I’ve met who might not lock me up for the crazy talk so please, please believe me? Please? And… uhm. I’m done now. I think. What was the question?”
She blinks at them, sort of confused by herself but she really needed to get that off her chest, okay? And they both look like they sort of just saw a naked monkey run past, which is okay and not appropriate since monkeys are always naked and they’re both totally flabbergasted and she’s sort of really tired of this whole shit and would like to home now please.
The universe hates her.
“She’s telling the truth,” Charles finally observes, which, yay, but also, of course she is, she’s a crappy liar. Have you seen her secret identity attempts?
“She’s telling what she thinks is the truth,” Erik corrects. Not cool.
Charles shakes his head. “My friend, I cannot properly read her mind anymore, but what I saw before she put up her shields has me convinced. She really is from the future. And, like she said, it’s not so out of the realm of possibilities, is it?”
Buffy raises one hand, waves. “She can also hear you. So. While we’re here. Want to tell me what you want from me?”
Erik makes with the frowny face this time, but he seems to trust Charles, which, knowing how those two are going to end, wow. But then they’re standing way too close and she can smell them all over each other, thank you for the enhanced senses, no really, so she figures they probably have something going on the side. Which also explains all the tension between them later and yeah… now she’s imagining old men having sex, which, just, no.
Better to imagine young men having sex and… hello, yes, thank you.
Charles cringes. Apparently, her shields need work. But, hey, she’s not thinking of future old geezers making beast with two backs anymore. So. Kudos to her.
While Charles is quietly turning an adorable shade of embarrassed, Erik says, “We’ve come to recruit you, and other mutants.”
She snaps her fingers. “Right. The whole CIA thing. You do realize that’s going to bite you in the ass in a major way, right?”
She thinks Erik’s lips are twitching in something like vindication. Charles looks a bit… out of sorts. “Now, I’m not sure…”
“Whatever,” she cuts off. “I just got fired. And I haven’t kicked anyone’s ass in a while, so I’m in. Except… uhm… you know I’m not really a mutant, right? I mean, I’m totally with the superpowers and stuff, but not really… genetical, the whole thing. More…” She doesn’t say magical, but it’s a close thing. Instead she shrugs.
Erik cocks his head at her again. Damn, that man is sex on a stick. Charles coughs and she glares. “Well, stay out then. I haven’t gotten laid in a very, very long time.”
Erik lets out a bark of laughter, sharp and surprised, says, “But you’re not human, either, are you?”
Is she? Once she would have totally said yes. But it’s been a long time and a lot of deaths since then. “No,” she says. “I’m totally one of the freaks.”
She says ‘freak’ with a smile. Proud. She can be proud, these days, without mourning all the things she isn’t anymore.
“Then I don’t think we’ll have a problem,” Charles concludes. “Although, perhaps, we should attempt to keep the time travel to ourselves?”
Buffy nods and thinks that wow, this was actually sort of easy. But then one of them can read her mind and the other can crush her into a very small cube of Buffy, a Buffycube, so to speak, with the frightening powers of his mind. They really don’t have anything to fear from her, except maybe their brains exploding from all her bottled up ranting and raving.
“Sure,” she nods, then waves at the mouth of the alley. “Lead the way, kind sir.”
Charles does. She totally checks out his ass as he goes.
“Ms. Summers!” he eeps, cutely.
She grins at Erik, who is definitely getting a kick out of this. “Sorry,” she calls back, not meaning an inch of it.
It takes about thirty-five seconds to hammer out a plan, which starts with a trip across town to get Buffy’s meager possessions from her ratty apartment. And thank Jesus, they have a car. A real, honest to god car. She’d been riding the bus for the past six months and regretted it every single time. Smelly people. Pot holes. Bus stations. Life just wasn’t fair and public transport even less so.
While they made the - considerably shortened due to car – trip, they inform her of how they found her. Apparently, Charles can do amazing things with his brain and had found a whole bunch of mutants by nothing but their brain signatures. Apparently, Buffy’s brain signature says mutant, too. Interesting.
She’s more concerned with the dark looks Erik keeps giving her, like he expects her to try and kill them both any second. Because apparently he doesn’t trust her time travel story, even though he trusts Charles and she thought they were fine. Apparently not. Huh. A skeptic. How refreshing. Not.
In the end she leans forward between seats, putting her face between theirs and says, very deliberately, “If I meant to screw you over, I would have just kept my mouth shut. You would have taken me along if I’d ‘just’ been a mutant, right? So how about this: Sometimes fact is stranger than fiction and really, even if I were evil and had some grand scheme, I totally wouldn’t kill you two.”
Predictably, one of them asks why. She flashes a bright smile. “You’re too cute to die.”
That seems to do the trick because the atmosphere shifts again and it’s all peachy keen. Erik really does have too many teeth in his mouth and Buffy might flirt a bit too much with him. But.
They both make faces as they pull up to her complex and she glowers at them before letting them in to quickly scrape together the few things she owns. Charles asks if he can use the bathroom. She shrugs, points, tells him, “Sure. Down the non-existent hall, only door on any side.”
Then her and Erik are alone and he looks at her with that glint in his eyes, the one he had in the alley, when he clapped. “That was a very smooth move, in the diner.”
Complimenting a girl’s fighting technique is absolutely the way to her heart, so she grins brightly, chirps, “Thank you!”
“You were holding back.”
Uh-oh. Mental note, Erik can look absolutely guileless even when going into interrogation mode. His grin never falters, but there’s an edge to his words. “If by holding back you mean I didn’t break his hand instead of just his finger, then, yeah, sure.”
“I mean, you could have killed that man.”
She could lie. Really. She could. But there’s a human lie detector in the bathroom and she sucks at it anyway. “Yeah. I wouldn’t have, but I could have.”
“Dangerous,” Erik summarizes. The way he purrs it makes her think that he probably likes that. She could show him dangerous, she thinks, biting her lip. Then she very slowly turns her back to the mutant to strip of her god-awful yellow uniform dress. There’s long beat of silence behind her until she pulls a clean shirt over her head and tugs a nifty black skirt up her thighs.
Charles is beet red again when he comes out of the bathroom.
Buffy would also like it known that she is not generally a slut. Really. It’s just that… okay. There are many reasons.
Relief at not being completely alone among strangers anymore, for one. The fact that both Charles and Erik are pretty damn hot. The fact that she is just about combusting from sexual frustration. Also, non-sexual frustration, which just keeps building and building every time she wakes up in the morning and finds herself still stranded. She’s been alone, scared, worried and oh yeah, worried, for the past six months, without break. She’s worked dead-end jobs that she got fired from at least once a month. Money was tight. No papers. No way out, no future and nothing to punch because in the rural buttend of nowhere she’s landed, there aren’t even any demons.
Here they are, two hot, male specimen who don’t look at her like she’s crazy – much, who take her seriously and are going to give her something to punch in the form of some evil guy named Shaw, who makes Erik’s jaw clench and his eyes burn with something dangerous and dark.
They’re also sort of… well, Charles has the whole souled-Spike thing going for him, without the bleach, but with the awkward Britishness and Erik has the bad boy vibes Angelus exuded on his best days, minus the leather pants.
And they’re both sitting in the front seat of the car and she’s pretty sure Erik’s hands are wandering, even though she can’t really see from her place behind them. She could peek, but she isn’t. The strip tease was pretty much as far as she’s willing to go with this.
“So, tell me about your other recruits,” she chirps instead, intentionally leaning further back. “Any cool powers?”
“Alec shoots lasers from his torso,” Charles replies, willingly enough. "Sean can turn his voice sonic and Angel flies and spits acid balls. My sister, Raven, changes her shape. Armando adapts to his environment and Hank has some… primate aspects. You know, of course, what Erik and I can do. And your power is… super strength, yes?”
She waves a hand, “And speed, and healing, and senses. The whole package really. Do you have anyone super powered? Because I haven’t gotten a good fight in forever and I’m all kinds of itchy.”
Regretfully, Charles shakes his head. “There was one man who would have fit the bill, but he turned us down rather… rudely. Erik here is our best fighter, I’m afraid.”
Erik makes a noise of protest as the ‘I’m afraid’ part, and then again when she asks, “How good are you?”
He gives her a look over his shoulder. “Good enough to have survived so far.”
She tries, really, but she can’t quite stop the small smirk that twists at her lips, full of anticipation and the darker things she so likes to pretend aren’t there. Erik matches it with his own expression, a twin to hers.
“Good enough, then,” she concludes. “Do we have a date?”
He looks at her thoughtfully, then nods.
“Brilliant! Can I bring shiny, pointy objects?”
His eyebrow rises in time with some loose change he must have had in his pocket. It stops moving at eyelevel, just floating there. “I don’t think you want to bring knives to a fight against me?”
Poking at one of the coins, she shrugs, “Might make things more interesting. Otherwise I’d have you on your back in two minutes flat.”
“You sound very sure,” he half-asks, sending one coin shooting at her head at more-than-playful speeds. She ducks it deftly and flicks it back on course in his direction. Charles is watching them in the rearview mirror instead of focusing on the road. Bad driver!
She shrugs and he keeps needling, “Arrogance.”
The glance he gives her, probing and sly, reminds her of nothing so much as early-days Spike, all fire and blood and sassy banter. She leans forward. “Takes one to know one,” she tells him, catching three of the four coins out of the air and holding them still in her fist even as they strain for freedom.
“Snacks,” Charles says, quite suddenly, pulling off an exit almost too abruptly and rolling into the only gas station for miles. He more or less flees the car, leaving Buffy and Erik to stare after him bemusedly because obviously, something is very wrong in telepath land. But, hey, not her business, so Buffy gets out, too, and stretches while Charles disappears into the shop to buy those snacks, presumably.
Erik joins her as she leans against the side of the car, eyes half closed, taking in the scents and sounds of the summer night around them. He walks for a moment, then stops, close enough for her to touch. She can feel his heat, sense him, smell him, even.
“Do you really think you could put me on my back?” he wants to know, voice too low, too private.
She opens her eyes and he takes that as an invitation, takes another step closer. Danger attracts danger. Two predators circling. Wooing, Giles would say and she would laugh, but he’d be right. Because the fire in his gaze says that he likes what he sees and he wants to put her on her back in a very different context.
Once she would have pretended to be blind to it, would have pretended that fighting, the anticipation and the thrill of it, didn’t turn her on. Once. She’s done a bit of growing up since then.
So she simply says, “I don’t think. I know.”
He takes a step closer and this time, there’s barely enough space for the light from the dim bare bulb above them to shine through. “Really?”
Challenge. Tease. Promise.
She bites at her lip, watches his eyes fall on it, fixate. Leans forward and says, “What does your boyfriend think about you flirting with me like this?”
He rears back like she punched him in the nose, eyes wide, nostrils flared, ready for an attack, for a fight, for just about anything. Charles comes clattering out of the store a moment later, a bag full of junk food in his hand, forgotten. He looks panicked where Erik looks furious and she remembers, right, 1962.
“Aw,” she says, “Crap. Guys, I don’t care. You two can make with the nasty all night long. None of my business, except, actually, it’d probably be kind of hot.” She tilts her head to one side in contemplation. “Really hot, I think.”
They exchange looks – and probably thoughts – and then relax abruptly. Reading her mind again. She glowers at Charles, but only a bit. She did just unintentionally scare them out of their minds by knowing something that’s… is that kind of thing still illegal in 1962? She should have paid more attention when Willow was rambling about gay rights. Whoops.
“You really don’t care,” Charles says, something like wonder in his voice. At the same times Erik asks, “How did you know?”
She holds up her hand, one finger extended. “One. Why would I? You’re consenting adults. Two, told ya, super senses. You two sort of… reek.” She wriggles her second finger in the air, then drops the arm. “Can we go now? I’d kind of really like to sleep at least for a few hours tonight.”
They check into a motel at almost one in the morning, all of them bleary-eyed and tired and annoyed because apparently, the only vacancy is the family room at the very back, which is more of a suite than anything. Buffy thinks the guy is trying to rip them off, but Charles buys it, so probably not.
The clerk’s eyeing her and the boys in turns, looking like a sleazy lech. She takes it stoically until he winks at her and licks his lips in a move she will never, ever be able to bleach from her brain. Eugh. No, thank you.
She grabs Charles’s hand because he’s closer, leans into him and calls him honey. To his enormous credit, he doesn’t even stumble as he finishes filling out the forms. While she snuggles up to him, she makes small talk with Erik and manages to slip in the words ‘military’ and ‘brother’ and look at that, miracles do happen, the sleaze bag finds something else to leer it.
They grab the key and make their way out the door, where Buffy immediately disengages her hand. “Sorry,” she apologizes, “but that guy was freaking me out.”
“He was…” Charles start and then apparently can’t think of a diplomatic thing to say.
“Looking at me like I was a prime piece of meat,” she snaps and shudders because she hates things like this. She’s been groped and threatened and touched so many times by so many enemies over the years that it’s kind of a pet peeve for her. Guys treating women like meat. It makes her angry and sick and it reminds her of Spike in her bathroom and she doesn’t like to be reminded of that. Charles looks at her sharply, suddenly, and she waves him off.
They reach their room, which is actually two rooms, a bedroom and a sitting room with a fold-out sofa. She sends the guys to get ready for bed while she pulls out the sofa for herself. She gets bored while waiting for the bathroom and bored equals tired, so she decides to forego a shower tonight and just take one in the morning. She’s stripping to put on a night shirt when the door to the bedroom creaks behind her and Erik says, very close by, “I don’t think he minds.”
She whirls around, remembers that she’s half naked, snatches up her discarded shirt and holds it in front of her chest. Erik smirks and looks his fill. “What?”
“Charles,” he explains. “I don’t think he minds me flirting with you.”
Her eyebrows might or might not hit her hairline.
“And what,” she starts, then stops to clear her throat because there might be some, ehm… squeaking going on, “And what exactly makes you think that?”
Instead of a verbal answer, Charles suddenly pops around Erik’s back, all fresh from the shower and beet red again. It’s not really a good color for him, objectively seen. He takes two quick steps forward, then stops and makes a noise that sounds a lot like eeep. He looks back at Erik, who’s wearing a shit-eating grin and then back at Buffy, who’s still standing in the middle of the room with her shirt clutched to her chest and her eyes wide as saucers.
“Bloody hell,” he suddenly snaps and closes the distance between them and then he’s kissing her and okay, yeah, she sort of understands why that might mean he might not complain about Erik flirting with her and it’s really kind of hot and she accidentally lets go of her shirt and then there’s only skin and his sleep shirt and she’s probably forgetting something, what was it, yes, okay, right, kissing back.
She reaches up, sinks both her hands in his hair and jerks him closer hard enough to make their teeth clash, which, ow, not sexy, but she gets over it and Charles’s hands are on her hips and for someone who looks like their own grandfather he’s really kind of good at this and the thing he’s doing with his tongue, goodness, isn’t stuff like that illegal in the sixties, and anyway, doesn’t he ever need to breathe, not that she minds, she could do this for hours. Days, possibly and -
Do you ever stop thinking? he asks, and it takes a moment to realize that a) he’s actually in her head b) he heard all that and c) he can totally talk and make with the smoochies at the same time, which, wow, mad skills.
Make me, she shoots back and then, because, And stay out of my head. It’s rude.
He makes a noise that is absolutely not apologetic, says, “Challenge accepted.”
For a moment she thinks he’s screwing with her mind because there are too many hands all of a sudden, but then her brain catches up and remembers Erik, who’s…. she checks, nope, not behind Charles anymore but behind her and he lost his shirt somewhere on the way. Hello, abs of steel. His hands are rougher than Charles’s, moving from her hips up and up and up and around to her front, cupping, ohh, and his lips on her neck, biting, licking, sucking and her brain is kind of going on the fritz, Jesus and -
Their hands drop away like she said ‘bomb’ and there’s no more kisses, only cold air on naked skin and she makes an unhappy sound. “No,” she whines, sounding a bit desperate even to her own ears, “not stop-stop. Just, stop. Pause. Because I need… you have to… I don’t usually do things like that, okay?”
She really needs them to know that because if they’re not going to respect her in the morning then she’s going to go outside dig herself a hole and lie in it until it’s 2008 again.
“I mean, this. With total strangers. And more than one, too. Actually, never done that before. The plural thing, I mean. I just… this is sort of like thank-god-we’re-alive sex, only more thank-god-I’m-not-alone in-1962 sex and I’m a bit messed up, emotionally, right now, I mean, and this isn’t…” Right. Less Willow-rambling, more Buffy-charge-taking. “I’m really kind of not a slut and I’d like you to know that.”
Oh god. These dreams she used to have? About being naked in front of the whole school? This is way worse, and not just because she actually is half naked. But Charles’s eyes are crinkling in a smile and he’s red again, but not from embarrassment this time, no sir.
“Buffy,” he says, and did she mention that his accent and his voice are kind of killer? In her panties? “This is not a usual occurrence for us either. But we can’t help but find you… fascinating.”
Well. Okay. She noticed that Erik’s seriously turned on by her kicking ass and taking names, but she didn’t realize Charles was in that boat, too, except for all the blushing he’s been doing and he’s in her head, so maybe. Yeah. Alright then.
“Thank you?” she tries, not sure how to react to being called ‘fascinating’, but sort of flattered all the same.
Behind her, Erik laughs, but neither of them is moving, so she frowns and then says, “So… go?”
And the hands are back and Erik is still laughing at the silliness of it all and she kind of wants to elbow him, only then he might stop with the hands. These men have criminally skilled hands, holy groping, Batman. So instead she turns around between them and reaches up to drag him down to her level and kisses him until there’s steam coming out his ears and Charles is making very small, very hot noises in her ear, his hands going down, down, down, finding the hem of her skirt and rucking it up slowly, inch by inch. Erik’s hands are farther up, fondling and tweaking and she’s got her own hands split, one in front and one behind and –
You know what? That’s really none of your business.
No-one uses the fold-out sofa, which is probably a good thing because it looked dangerous. And anyway, waking up curled half on top of a really hot man and in front of another really hot man is totally the way to go.
She snuggles into Charles’s chest, feels Erik’s hand tighten on her hip and there’s no awkwardness, which is of the good. She’s aching in all the right places, too, and feeling safe and calm for the first time in six months. Balanced.
It’s like they screwed the frustration right out of her, she thinks, and then hums a bit in remembered pleasure. She has no idea how this is going to turn out, if it was a one-time thing or not, but she thinks she likes it here, maybe, after all, just a bit. And someone should probably stick around to make sure Erik and Charles don’t split and pull mutantkind apart with them, because that way lies a fifty-year-long cold war and Buffy’s got this saving people thing. She can’t help it.
Maybe, she thinks, she should just see this as her Bahamas retirement. New life, new place, new chance. She can be Buffy, instead of all those other things she is in the future. Maybe she’s going to try and get a message to Willow, telling her to leave well enough alone, just this once.
“Stop thinking,” Erik admonishes, his lips close to her ear. She grins.
“I thought Charles is the telepath in this bed?”
Erik hums his agreement and Charles cracks one eye open enough to glower at her and says, “I am. I second the motion, though. Less thinking.”
She tickles his side for being mean and he squirms, laughing. Apparently, Mr. Xavier is ticklish. She’s about to roll on top of him and test the theory, when Erik pulls her back against him, digging his own clever fingers into the spot below her ribs, making her shriek with laughter.
Who knew that being stuck in the past could be this much fun, she thinks, and then starts her counter attack, which ends with all of them sprawled in a mess of sheets and pillows on the floor, still laughing helplessly like total idiots.
And then there’s morning sex to go with the evening sex they last night and yeah, still none of your business.