Thanks to [info]theladymerlin for the great beta!

Lovable Losers


2 Coming Out to Friends

Xander was getting impatient. He couldn't handle the stalling anymore. He wanted Spike out of his basement, and hopefully out of his life for good. He wanted Spike out. Period.

"Out," Xander spoke his thoughts out loud. "Before I get the Slayer over here to kick your ass out."

Spike released a bored sigh, leaning to pick up his coat. Good sign. Putting on his coat meant he'd be out of here in no time. "Don't know why she didn't come. Say good-bye, shed a few tears."

"Well, she has an appointment with somebody who's actually still scary."

Spike's expression went rigid for a second before his eyebrows met in clear annoyance. He started stuffing his bag with everything in sight, including a bunch of Xander's comic books.

Xander rolled his eyes. I've no time for this crap. He took a couple of steps toward Spike and sent him falling on his ass with a rough push. As he began emptying Spike's bag of his comic books, he knew Spike wouldn't let him get away with what he'd just done.

He felt Spike's presence before him instantly and lifted his gaze to find Spike's face inches from his, his fierce blue eyes promising nothing but pain. Xander raised his eyebrows daring him to do anything, knowing that he was safe due to the chip in Spike's head. The muscles in Spike's jaw worked in wordless irritation, and Xander could see the ugly realization reflected on the pale face.

Beat, Spike tossed the rest of Xander's comic books out and grabbed his bag, treading to the door.

A sudden inexplicable feeling of sorrow crept upon Xander making his stomach knot. His hands fisted in aggravation at himself; where the hell did sorrow come from? He wanted Spike gone, didn't he? He'd wanted him gone the second Giles had announced he'd stay at Xander's. Just because they'd had sex didn’t mean that anything changed.

When Spike slammed the door shut behind him, Xander's chest swelled. He should be dancing with glee, but he couldn't even force a sigh of relief out of his chest. What happened to him? Just yesterday he was having sane feelings; he'd almost dropped dead when Spike stayed for an extra day. The vamp-wonder was too caught up with his ability to hurt demons that he had dragged Xander and Willow along to the cemeteries. Unfortunately, for Spike, there were no vamps to slay. Fortunately, for Xander and Willow, they had Buffy's nineteenth birthday party to attend. They'd left Spike calling out to the beasties and tortured puppies.

"That was mean, Xander," Anya scolded him. He jumped slightly, forgetting she was here. "You don't tell your houseguest that they're not scary anymore."

Xander gave her a look. "Let me guess: you've read that in some book."

"I did. Guests should be treated with respect and hospitality." It didn't take long before her glare dissolved into a perky smile, and she reached with her hand to play with his collar seductively. "So, now that Spike is gone, we could…" She made a gesture to the bed, using her eyebrow.

Xander shifted nervously. "Yeah, about that, we can't." He dropped his gaze hastily.

She blinked up at him. "But we got rid of Spike."

At this stage, Xander seemed to know her more than before. The whole lecture about respecting guests would be tossed away for sex. Was he doomed to be liked only by people who considered him a sex toy?

"Anya, it's not Spike." Well, it was Spike. Without Spike, Xander wouldn't have turned down Anya sex. But he wasn't going to tell her that.

Anya frowned. "Then what?"

Xander twitched anxiously, rubbing his palms on his sides. Then he took Anya's hands and looked down at her confused face. "Anya, I've been meaning to tell you… I…" He sighed, looking down a few times before focusing on her eyes. "I'm gay."

Anya blinked. "Gay."

"Gay," Xander confirmed.

"Gay," Anya repeated. "As in penises instead of vaginas?"

"Crassly put, but yeah."

She pulled her hands away from him as if he was a disease. "When… when did that happen?"

"Remember when… I couldn't…" He combed his hair with his hand, uncomfortable. Who would have thought this would've been so hard. Anya was someone he could tell anything to, but right now, it felt like the hardest thing to do.

"Perform," he spit out, mortified. "Yeah… it seems I can perform with guys better than with girls." He frowned. "Come to think of it, I'm still not sure about that either."

Anya looked like she was on the verge of bursting into tears. "Tell me you're talking about performing plays. Because that doesn't mean you're gay."

"Not plays, Anya, sex," Xander whispered, trying hard not to avoid her gaze.

She stared at him for a while, her face expressionless and then she looked away. Xander wanted to apologize. Hug her. Make it better somehow. However, he knew any gesture from him would be unappreciated.

Suddenly, Anya looked back at him, fuming. "You cheated on me, you son of a bitch!"

Xander blinked.

"You jerk, asshole, piece of garbage!" She flipped him the bird and then stormed out.

Xander blinked some more. Well, she's got a point. I did cheat on my girlfriend. Again.

Groaning, he slapped his palms against his temples and flung himself on bed.


"Pizza delivery for my favorite gal pals!" Xander announced, pushing the door to Willow and Buffy's dorm room open without knocking. He'd always done that on purpose in order to catch one of them or both in the process of taking off their clothes. Right now, he didn't know what his purpose of doing that was. Although he still wanted to catch a naked Buffy. It became kind of a habit.

Buffy and Willow were seated on Buffy's bed staring at him in silence. Weird uncomfortable silence. That was a first. Usually they'd scream at him for walking in without knocking or roll their eyes at him, or mock him.

"What?" he asked, his eyebrows furrowed with concern.

Buffy, the fearless Slayer, ventured to tell him first. "We've come across Anya this morning."

"Oh." Xander set the pizza on the study desk, feeling a twinge inside.

"She was pretty pissed," Willow said in a small voice.


"She was cursing and yelling and told us how she sought vengeance upon you from D'Hoffryn," Buffy said. "She didn't seem to take the break up very well."

Xander walked toward them slowly. "Anya tried to have vengeance on me?" he asked, shocked.

"I told you she's not good for you," Willow pointed out, crossing her arms and looking contented.

"I can't believe she'd do that," Xander sat down on Willow's bed, upset. "Wait, why aren't I vengeanced yet?"

"Because D'Hoffryn spit on her face," Willow said with too much glee. Xander looked at Buffy, because apparently when it came to Anya, Willow wasn't the most reliable source for information.

Buffy smiled. "Her words."

Xander considered this. "Okay, so… did she say anything else?"

"Uh, yeah…" Buffy shifted uncomfortable, looking at Willow to continue.

"Anya said…" Willow stared, before looking back at Buffy.

"Yeah, she said…" Buffy tried to say before she turned back to Willow.

"Guys, while we're still alive!" Xander snapped, annoyed.

"You're gay," Buffy and Willow said in a union, before looking down and blushing.

Xander felt his cheeks flush as he looked down as well.

"So, it's true?" Buffy asked.

"I wasn't planning on telling you guys so soon, not until I was sure of it and thought about it some more."

"You're not sure?" Willow asked, concerned.

"I-I am. I think. I was afraid you won't be cool with it."

"We're cool," Willow piped up.

"Total coolness," Buffy also jumped in with crossed fingers. "And there's no reason to be ashamed of that, Xander." She nodded wisely.

Xander's eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

"It kinda explains a lot," Willow mused out of nowhere.

"Explains what?" Xander asked with a frown.

"Falling for girls you can't have and the fact that when you finally got something good going on with Cordelia, you screwed it up."

"Hate to interfere with your psycho analysis, Will, but you also got something good going on with Oz and you blew it."

"Yeah, but I had feelings for you. At that time, I used to think I was in love with you and, you know, I thought I just settled for Oz, it's kinda understandable why I cheated."

"Yeah." Buffy nodded. "And it's also understandable for you. Cordy didn't have a penis."

Willow shifted in her seat, looking thoughtful. "You know I've always thought Cordelia was a man trapped in a woman's body."

Buffy jumped with excitement. "You thought that, too."

"Hey, no trash talk about Cordy," Xander chided. "She's our friend, remember?"

"Sure," Willow said, not sounding convinced.

"So who's your boyfriend?" Buffy asked, patting him on the thigh and grinning with excitement. Willow wiggled in her seat in anticipation.

Xander looked between, speechless. "Boyfri… I don't have one."

"Oh, did you guys break up?" Willow asked, troubled.

"No, it was… you know, I'm not comfortable talking about this with you."

"You want a boyfriend?" Buffy asked eagerly.

"I'm still new with this. Please, don't make a big deal out of it."

"But it's huge!" Willow protested.

"No, no, it's not. And would you please stay out of it," Xander demanded with a hard stare. "No boyfriend fixing or anything stupid like that." At that moment, he wanted to kick himself for putting ideas into their heads.

"Of course, we won't fix you up with a boyfriend," Buffy and Willow promised but their eyes gleamed with evil plans.


"I can't believe I'm doing this," Xander muttered under his breath, just noticing that Willow had taken down the 'Dingoes Ate My Baby' poster.

Buffy peaked outside at the long line of college men –AKA potential boyfriends- waiting to be interviewed for the job. She closed the door and squealed, "One of them is your soul mate." She eyed Xander's polo shirt and black slacks that she and Willow had gotten him for his birthday and nodded in approval.

"I'm not doing it," Xander objected for the tenth time, stomping his foot.

Buffy glared and pointed at the chair they'd prepared for him. Xander shook his head. But, one look at Willow's resolve face made him sit down. Should've known there was no emergency meeting. Since when do we have emergency meetings anywhere other than Giles' place?

Willow fixed his hair and straightened his shirt. "If you don't like one of them just gesture for us and we'll call the next one."

The glare he cast her was screaming death. "I hate you."

She giggled and pinched his cheek, and he stuck out his tongue at her.

"So, Gay Guy No.1. Please, come in," Buffy called cheerfully. A nervous young man walked in and stood in front of Xander with a timid grin, trembling. "Hi…"

Xander's eyes observed him thoroughly; he was skinny, short, and with strawberry blond hair.

"H-Hi. M-my name i-is Jake. I-I'm a freshman." He rubbed the back of his neck, mumbling to himself, "Oh, God, um…" He looked back at Xander. "I'm…" A nervous chuckle. "God, okay, okay." He cleared his voice. "H-hi, I'm…uh…" He looked down, chuckling nervously.

Xander blinked and then looked at Willow with a helpless gaze. She nodded understandingly, moving forwards in order to let the boy down easy.


Xander, Willow, and Jake looked at Buffy with wide eyes. She looked back them, confused. "What?"


"Hello, name's Francis." A stylish young man with long straight hair waved a hand at Xander. "When I saw the ad, I was like oh my God, someone, like, finally did it, like, you know, to have buoyancy to come out in public…"

Xander couldn't possibly keep up with Jack McFarland as he went on blathering. He could see from the side of his eye Buffy perplexedly mouthing 'buoyancy?' to Willow, who beamed because apparently she knew what it meant.

"So, cutie," Francis said with a wink. "Do we get the Y.E.S.?"

Xander's answer was a timid smile.


"Hey there, name is James Carter, and yeah, I'm gay," a blond young man said. However, his eyes were not looking at Xander, they were firmly fixed on Buffy's tight blouse. He looked at Willow with a cocky smile. "But you can call me JC, babe."

Willow smiled nervously. "Are you sure you're gay?"

JC moved closer to her. "Why am I here then?" he whispered seductively.

"Obviously not for me," Xander replied sarcastically, slapping his hands on his thighs and standing up. "Okay, think I'm gonna go."

"What?" Buffy and Willow exclaimed in union. "But… but there are still more gay guys out there," Willow said, her eyes pleading for him to stay.

"Sorry, Will, but I really don't think any of them is…" he stopped as he noticed JC trying to feel up Willow's behind. "Get away from her, dumbass!" he yelled at JC, grabbing him by the shoulders and shoving him outside the room. All the guys standing in the line outside whistled and clapped. Xander just rolled his eyes.

He suddenly felt Buffy's hands grab him and pull him inside the room. He was pushed to his seat and almost fell backward to the floor. "You're not getting out of here without a boyfriend," Buffy threatened.

"Why the insistent need to give me a boyfriend?" Xander threw out his arms in anger.

"Because you don't have one."

"Willow doesn't have one either!"

"Ehm, excuse me," a nervous voice from outside said. All the three friends looked at shy looking dark haired guy. "I think it's my turn to be interviewed."

Before Buffy and Willow could answer, Xander quickly stood up. "I'm sorry, buddy, but interview hours are over." He looked at Buffy and Willow. "And now I need to leave." He ran away, praying to God Buffy wouldn't try to catch him.


"I could've spent my afternoon quietly reading Tennyson and having another cup of tea instead of trying to walk in this boisterous, crowded supermarket," Giles complained while trying to roll the stroller between the assertive mass of people.

"Giles, you were watching The Bald and the Beautiful," Xander pointed out, throwing a box of Cocoa Puffs into the stroller.

"It's Bold."

"I know. But Bald sounds more bold." Xander looked at the stroller, full of groceries that Giles desperately needed –according to Xander- but one thing was missing. He looked at the freezer by the corner where the fried goodies lay.

"Okay, I'll go get the chicken nuggets," Xander said.

Giles squeezed his eyes shut to show his suffering. "Xander, we've taken enough."

"Tonight my dinner will be fried chicken nuggets," Xander insisted. He hopped between the crowds and waved a hand. "Won't take long."

The minute he reached the freezer, he smacked onto the back of a man, his body recoiling backwards and his back hitting the steel shelves that contained glass bottles of alcohol. A few bottles dropped on top of Xander and broke on the floor. Shocked and hurt, Xander looked up at a buff looking man in front of him. The man was simply charming. His hair was light brown, his features were angled and his build was perfect. And his face… looked absolutely pissed.

"Are you fucking blind?" the man roared at Xander.

"I'm sorry," Xander said.

"Next time walk like everybody else instead of trotting around like a bungling clown!" He looked down at Xander's alcohol soaked clothes. "Losers like you are the reason our country is backsliding. Wish one of these smashed your head into un-reattached pieces."

Xander blinked, unsure how to reply to that.

A shorter man appeared behind Rude Charming Man. He patted the muscled arm with his clammy hand and tried to calm the taller man down. Rude Charming Man scoffed and walked away. Shorter Skinny Man looked at Xander with embarrassment. "I'm sorry. Dana has been through a hard break up, that's why he's so cranky." He trailed off after Dana.

Xander stared at them in shock before he heard Giles call out his name. "Xander, good lord. Are you all right?" Giles helped Xander up and opened a box of tissues for Xander to use on his wet clothes.

Giles stared at the retreating men, polishing his eyeglasses. "That was odd."

"You betcha," Xander let out. "Who the hell names a boy Dana?"


"I can't believe I spent all that money on pointless groceries," Giles complained, dragging four bags of groceries to the front door of his apartment. "I can't believe I paid money for five bottles of beer I did not drink."

Embarrassed, Xander threw Giles glance. "Sorry about that."

Giles opened the door and they walked in. Xander stopped short when he noticed Anya sitting by the edge of his sofa.

"Didn't I lock the door?" Giles asked, confused.

"I see you got here first," Anya said, looking at Xander. "Damn!" she cursed angrily, storming out of the apartment.

Xander closed his eyes tiredly, heaving a sigh.

"Got here first?" He heard Giles question in confusion. "What is she talking about?"

"We broke up."

"Oh" Giles appeared sympathetic. "When?"

"Two days ago."

"Oh," that 'oh' had a whole different tone to it. "And I'm assuming Buffy and Willow know about this." He gave Xander a hard look as he leaned on the bar of the kitchen with his arms crossed.

Xander shifted, uncomfortable. "Yes."

Giles cursed, making Xander withdraw in case. "How is it that I'm the last one to know about certainly everything?"

"Hey," Xander exclaimed trying to defend himself. "Sorry you're having problems with Buffy spilling her beans to the GI Joes. But it's not like we, and by that I mean you and I, have this sort of talky talky relationship."

Giles frowned. "Don't we?"

"No! Only times I come to you are when I screw up and ask you how to fix it, or to research. Other than that…"

"Or when Buffy and Willow are busy with their college matters, and you have no one to bother but me." Giles smirked. Giles should never be allowed to smirk.

"It's never been like that," Xander denied weakly.

Giles gave him a look.

Xander was about to protest, but instead hung his head in shame.

Giles shook his head and took one of the bags and headed to the kitchenette to put some of the food in the fridge. "If you don't mind, can you tell me why you and Anya separated?"

Xander sighed. "I'm gay."

Giles scolded at him. "Really Xander, if you don't want to tell me..."

"No, Giles, that's the truth. I'm gay."

Giles looked deeply into Xander's eyes in such a ridiculous fashion that Xander leaned forward imitating him. Giles' eyes widened comically. "You're serious."

"I am." Xander rubbed his hands on his sides nervously. "We broke up because I'm gay." A pause. "And I cheated."

"Xander," Giles sounded disappointed.

"But… but… I'm gay. Cheating was the only way to discover that," he shut up when Giles looked at him disapprovingly. "And I'm a big selfish jerk," he muttered, looking down.

Giles sighed, resuming clearing up the bags. "No wonder Anya was quite upset."

"I know," Xander whispered. "Can you… like talk to her or something? She's pretty much alone and has no friends, so maybe if some of us talked to her, she'll know we care."

Giles looked at him. "You care about her."

"I do. Believe me, if I didn't know… about the gayness, I'd still be dating her. So could you?"

"I suppose I shall. She was here anyway, so I believe she wanted to consult me about this more than anyone."

"Nah, she already talked about it to Buffy and Willow, and since their reactions were enthusiastic delight, she thought you'll be the one who'll take it hard, and therefore, have me embarrassed in the process."

"Oh," Giles looked down, dismayed.

"But I could be wrong you know," Xander blurted out, knowing how much Giles felt neglected and useless lately. Something Xander could understand.

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