Spike pushed open Mojo's main doors and approached the bar with Xander not far behind him.
"Two pints, please." He nodded to the bartender - a tall, well-dressed man who looked to be in his early 20s. "And a bar menu?"
"You guys aren't from 'round here." The barman said, stating the obvious as he pushed the two pints across to Spike and Xander, offering his hand. "Name's Mark. I'm in charge here. You guys here for the convention? We don't usually get convention folk wandering in here. They tend to stick to the event bars."
Xander lifted his pint and, taking a long swig from it, studied the menu.
Spike took the offered hand and shook firmly. "We're not here for the convention." he replied, peering over Xander's shoulder. "I'm Will, and this here is my mate, Xander."
Xander looked up from the list, shaking Mark's outstretched hand.
"So what brings you to these parts then, gentlemen?" Mark asked, moving along the bar to serve more customers as he spoke. The bar itself wasn't particularly busy but the tables around the room were filled with groups drinking and eating.
Xander glanced at Spike, waiting to see if he chose to answer. He didn't have to wait long.
"Just passin' through." Spike shrugged, pulling the menu from Xander's hands and dropping his gaze to look over the offerings. "Two lots of steak 'n' fries, I reckon. Yeah, Xan?"
"One medium, one rare." Xander nodded as Spike pushed the menu card back across the bar to Mark who stuck his head through a hatch and shouted something before coming back to serve at the bar again. Xander turned towards the room, looking for an empty table. He found two - both booths situated towards the back of the bar.
"We'll be over there." he mouthed to Mark, nodding towards an empty booth near the back window. Mark raised a hand in acknowledgement, and both Spike and Xander wandered over to the booth, sliding themselves into the plush red velour bench seat.
"Cosy." Spike quipped, as he knocked elbows with Xander.
"Kinda busy, isn't it... Will?" Xander raised an eyebrow at the vampire who was deliberately avoiding eye contact.
"Yeah, well. Had to come up with something, eh? That Mark seems like a sound guy, and we might be able to get something from him if we're friendly enough." Spike drew on his pint, downing half of it in one go.
"Don't worry, Xan." Spike reassured, noticing Xander's reaction, "Vampires don't really get drunk." He leant over, whispering into Xander's ear. "Feel free to go ahead yourself though." Spike winked, eliciting a bark of laughter from Xander who promptly clamped a hand over his mouth.
"If I don't eat something soon, I'll be drunk on this pint alone." he replied, taking another long drink with an elbow dig at the vampire.
"So, see anyone of interest?"
Spike surveyed the tables of customers - men and women, some eating, some drinking, most chatting and laughing comfortably amongst themselves.
"Well," Spike started, "that guy over there seems to be eyeing you up."
"What, me? You're kidding?" Xander looked in the direction in which Spike was indicating, his face failing to hide mild shock and panic as he grasped Spike's arm. "Where? Who?"
"You're so easy, mate." Spike laughed openly, draining his pint. "But seriously though, why wouldn't somebody be interested? Look at you!"
Xander's lingering hand on his arm had more than a mild effect on the vampire. The point of contact felt intense and its effect went straight to Spike's groin. He shook off the feeling, reluctantly.
"Shit, sorry." Xander realised he was still attached to Spike's arm and snatched back the hand, as if burned. "I just... sorry." He mumbled into his pint glass, emptying the last half in one long gulp, and the two sat in contemplative silence for a few minutes.
"Two steak and fries." A slim waitress with long dark hair appeared, holding two plates, "One medium, one rare?"
"Medium here." Xander responded, hand raised and almost grateful for the distraction. "Thanks."
"No worries." the girl responded, putting the plates in front of the two men. "Can I get you guys another drink?" She pulled an order pad from her pocket and slipped a pen from behind her ear.
"Sure thing, doll." Spike winked. "Two more pints and two double JDs."
She nodded, returning the wink and, after scribbling the order on her pad, slid the pen back behind her ear and took the two empty glasses.
"You fellas enjoy your meal."
She spun on her heels and wandered across to the bar, leaning over to Mark and whispering something to him as their eyes glanced briefly across to the booth where Spike and Xander were sitting.
"Reckon she fancies you, Will." Xander giggled, placing deliberate emphasis on Spike's rarely-used name. "Maybe you can get your information from her instead."
Spike looked up at the girl. She was pretty enough. Her long dark hair was was tied back loosely, emphasising her pale features, but she didn't really do anything for Spike.
"Maybe." he mumbled, cutting into the rare steak. He hoped it wouldn't come to that.
They ate in relative silence, stopping only to occasionally cast their eyes about the room, watching the comings and goings of other people who they presumed to be locals. Everybody seemed to know everybody and Xander wasn't sure if that was a good thing or bad.
As he pushed his empty plate away, he took a drink and sat against the velvet bench seat's back.
"Do you think you'd recognise her if she came in?"
Spike finished his last mouthful of fries and took a drink of his beer before answering.
"Reckon so." he nodded. "I have a pretty good memory for faces. Presuming the images Giles sent over were accurate. I mean, it's not as if she'll have aged since."
Xander hmmed. It was something he'd considered.
"See anybody suspicious in here then? Anyone not human?"
Spike discreetly scanned the room, paying more attention than he had previously and extending his preternatural senses.
"Guy at the bar. Jeans, red check shirt and brown cap. Vampire. Real one, I mean. Girl with him doesn't know. Mark does. Dunno what that means."
Xander swore under his breath.
"Girl over by the door. Short denim skirt and white shirt. She's something. Part-wolf, maybe. Not sure, but there's something about her."
Spike necked his JD with one flick back of the head, "This place is certainly interesting."
"Fuck." Xander cursed again, downing his own whiskey similarly.
Bordensville was turning out to be no better than Sunnydale.