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um, what?

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After a long day at the construction site, Xander goes down into his basement for some funny cartoons. It's no surprise that as soon as he settles into his not-so-comfy couch that a knock sounds on the door.


“I don't want any lunch, ma,” He shouts up to her, clutching his hands so tightly that his knuckles turn white. He really doesn't want to deal with his family today. Not after the work his, well, work put him through.


“When did I turn into your ma? You think I’d might have remembered that.”


Xander knows that voice. And why is that voice making his heart go pitter-patter? And when did he say stuff like pitter-patter? He looks up the stairs to the closed basement door then takes the stairs two at a time, his hand sliding across the handrail. His hand closes around the doorknob and the door is being opened to show a very ruffled Riley Finn.


“Hey. What-what are you doing here?” Xander rubs his sweaty palms on his jeans, leaning against the doorjamb. When Riley doesn’t say anything right away, Xander jabs his thumb behind him. “Buffy isn’t here right now, but I’m sure I could take a message. You know me. I’m messenger man.”


Messenger man? Dear God, how does he get anyone to talk to him? Xander is pulled out of his thoughts by Riley sighing.


“I’m not here for Buffy.”


Xander stares at him. “Then what are you here for? Surely it isn’t my mother’s cooking. I wouldn’t even subject demons to that.”


“I’m here for you.”


Um, what?


“Um, what?” Xander’s fingers are twitching; his eyes wide in plain shock. Riley is just staring at him and while he looks calm, Xander can see a bit of a blush on Riley’s cheeks.


Riley sticks his hands into his pockets, taking a deep breath. “I want to take you out on a d-date.”


He stutters on the last part, but Xander doesn’t even notice. He’s still stuck on the actual word. There’s an awkward silence between them for a moment before Xander is gulping like a fish out of water.


“Again, I repeat. Um, what ?”


Riley starts to mumble, “This was stupid. I’m just going to go.”


He makes to leave, but Xander reaches out and grabs his arm. While Riley looks down at Xander’s hand, Xander takes the time to gaze at Riley’s face. His hazel eyes are casted downward at Xander’s hand, biting his lip.


“I didn’t say it was stupid,” Xander finally says, causing Riley eyes to shift up to the other boy’s face.

Riley smiles.