By Saber ShadowKitten
"...And Xander was wearing these baggy pants," Anya was saying awhile later. The group had moved from the "work" portion of the retreat to the embarrassing stories after breaking for a few minutes to get drinks and open the chips and dip. Willow had chosen Anya to start and then they would go counter-clockwise, ending with Spike, who was feeling quite mellow due to the vodka he'd sneaked when he'd gone upstairs to get ice.
"He stopped in front of the cheerleader's to watch as they tried to build a pyramid on his way to meet me on the other side of the football field," she continued. "Now, I'm all for seeing men suffering and this is no different." She smiled at Xander. "One of the football players sneaked up behind him and yanked his pants down. Underwear and all!"
"Way to go, Xander!" Buffy cheered, clapping and whistling. Cordelia joined her and Willow hid her laughter behind her hand. The other men chuckled.
Xander was blushing and scowling at Anya. "Yeah, yeah. It happened. I didn't know that you'd actually witnessed that glorious moment in my history." She giggled and took a sip of her soda.
"Ok, my turn," Xander said, rubbing his hands together. "Because of the requirements, I can't tell you all the wonderfully juicy stuff I know about our fair hacker, but I do have a story."
"Oh boy," Willow gulped and nervously twisted the pen in her hands.
"Junior High was the time, ladies, gentlemen and dead things," Xander said. Angel and Spike glared at him. "The culprit: a carrot stick. The victim: Willow's tooth."
He grinned at Willow, who was blushing faintly. "A certain redhead we all know and love thought she was a walrus one day at lunchtime. Using two carrot sticks she'd gotten in her lunch, she stuck them on her teeth as tusks. Jessie and I laughed, because it was kinda funny. Then the teacher came by and scolded her for playing with her food."
"That's not too bad," Oz whispered to Willow.
"It gets worse," Willow replied.
"Well, needless to say, Willow turned beet red and took out one of the carrot sticks," Xander continued. "Why only one? Because the other was stuck on her tooth. Really stuck. As in, none of us could get it off."
The chuckling had started with Buffy and moved on to the others. "Willow ended up with that carrot on her tooth the rest of the day because she was too embarrassed to go to the nurse. We broke it off as short as possible, but every time she had to answer a question, Jesse and I could see her orange tooth," Xander concluded with a large smile.
"You know, I think this is more embarrassing now," Willow said. She grinned good-naturedly. "Ok, Oz is next."
"Cordelia had big '80's hair one night," Oz said simply. He held up his hand above where his bangs would be. "Her bangs were this high, stiff as a board and slightly curled at the end. Devon made her hang her head off the couch and he used her bangs as a type of ski-jump for some gumballs. Candice took a picture. Needless to say, she never had big hair again."
"Oz, I'm going to kill you," Cordelia stated, while the others laughed. Angel, however, smirked at the brunette, sending the explicit message that he would be using the information as much as possible -- and would try to find the picture. Cordelia caught this and narrowed her eyes, then a slow, evil smile crossed her lips. Angel's smirk disappeared immediately.
"I'm going to pour myself a drink," Angel said, rising and walking over to the bar.
"It's my turn," Cordelia said in a voice that made Spike sit up and pay attention. "Someone we know who's very tall, brunette and has fangs was talking to this girl at some bar we were at, looking for information. Before we got to the bar, there was a...slight altercation, which resulted in Angel needing to get redressed in a hurry. Don't ask, because it falls under the protective rules, which really sucks, because it's so funny."
Angel downed the scotch he had poured, then poured another glass.
"Anyway, Angel was talking to this girl and he had no clue that his shirt was hanging out of his zipper," Cordelia said. She waited while everyone burst out laughing, then continued. "The girl kept looking down and trying to hint, but Mr. Suave here was oblivious."
The friends were wiping the tears from their eyes as she finished. "Well, the idiot finally got a clue, closed his jacked and quickly left. Of course, I had to follow him and rub it in. Then I made sure to tell Doyle and Kate, who proceeded to rub it in. I also told the landlord, our mailman, the lady behind me in line at the bank..."
Angel had a look on his face that was a cross between embarrassment and thirst for revenge. He returned to the couch and sat back down beside Buffy with his drink. "Just wait, Cord, you'll get yours some day and I'll be there to witness it."
"Buffy, it's your turn," Willow said once everyone calmed down.
Spike swallowed nervously. Of all the people in the room, Buffy and Angel had stories on him that would make even the most testosterone-laden sailor blush if it happened to them.
"There are several I could tell about Spike," Buffy said with a wicked grin at him. He waited to be decimated, but she shifted her gaze. "But I have a short one about Anya that should be told, so she doesn't feel left out."
"Oh no," Anya said.
Buffy shifted on the couch and bounced slightly in glee. "I was walking back from class when I saw Anya standing in front of the MacDougall statue -- talking to it. This was before she and Xander hooked up."
Xander looked at Anya and arched his brow. She blushed.
"She didn't notice that others had stopped to witness her asking the statue out on a date. She was obviously practicing for some specific person." Buffy looked at Xander. "Well, some guy finally yelled out 'hey honey, if MacDougall says no, I'll go out with you.' Anya blushed about the color she is right now and practically ran away from there while everyone was laughing."
"When I get my powers back, you are the first I'm going to destroy," Anya muttered. Xander leaned over and kissed her on her red cheek, while the others laughed.
Then Angel looked directly at Spike and the blond knew his time had come. "Oh bugger," he muttered, quickly rising to his feet. He retreated in much the same way Angel had before Cordelia's story, putting the bar between himself and the others.
Angel took a sip of his scotch, then set it on the coffee table. He stayed leaning forward with his forearms resting on his knees. The others were looking at him with unabashed interest. A wicked smile curved his lips. "This story goes way back to when my boy over there was first turned," he began. "It's short, but it's very embarrassing. For Spike."
Spike needed to find that stake. Desperately.
"I was walking down the hallway of the house we had taken over when I heard Darla through one of the bedroom doors," Angel said. "Since she was my sire, she had the right to do whatever she wanted with any of my childer, but at the time, I didn't know it was Spike she was laughing at."
Since he couldn't find the stake, Spike opened a new bottle of whiskey and guzzled part of it. He could already feel his face flaming, because he knew exactly what story Angel was telling.
"Well, her voice carried easily into the hallway and I stopped to listen." Angel continued in a mimic of Darla's voice. "'What are you doing?' she said. 'Oh my, this is wonderful. You don't have any idea what you're doing, do you?'"
He looked over at Spike and smirked. "Darla's laughter rang out and, shortly after, Spike came rushing out of the room, clutching his clothes to his chest. Of course, he ran right into me and I had a great laugh at his expense, as he stood there waiting for me to tell him he could leave. I finally did, he disappeared and Darla told me in detail exactly what happened, which I can't share because of the rules. But I think you can figure it out for yourselves."
All eyes turned to Spike, who growled, "Sod off," at them. Lower lips trembled, nostrils flared and eyes blinked rapidly, as one-by-one they figured out what Angel meant and tried not to laugh. Buffy was the first to snort, followed by Willow, then as a whole, they burst into loud laughter at the blond vampire's expense. It lasted for ten minutes, during which time Spike continuously drank the whiskey.
"Oh goddess," Willow said, trying to catch her breath after they began to calm down. "Spike, it's your turn."
Spike raised a finger and pointed at Angel. "You are a bloody bastard," he stated. Then he pointed at Buffy. "And you are next." Buffy shifted uncomfortably, as he walked back over and took his seat on the floor again, another beer in his hand.
"You chits are always locking each other out of your dorm rooms," Spike began. "And, thanks to the Witch, the Slayer was locked out while she was taking a shower."
"Oops," Willow said, grinning apologetically at Buffy.
"I was walking up the hall on my way to fetch her and saw that she was banging on the door with a towel wrapped around her and a bucket by her feet," he continued.
"Oh god, you saw that?" Buffy said, turning a rosy shade of red.
He nodded and smirked at her. "At the same time I was coming up the hall, one of those tour-things with the parents and prospective students was coming down the hall from the other direction," he said. "Suddenly, some girl came running past me and grabbed the Slayer's towel. She screeched and turned to chase the girl, and gave the female full-monty to the entire bloody tour group instead."
Buffy was bright red and hiding her face in her hands, as the others laughed. "There was, like, twenty people in that group," she groaned. She looked over at Spike. "I can't believe you saw that. I can't believe you saw that and didn't rescue me."
"Why would I?" Spike asked with a devilish grin. "I had a great soddin' view of something I didn't know you had on your left cheek."
Angel turned to Buffy and quirked a brow. "And what would this something be?"
"It's just a, um, tattoo," Buffy said. "And that's all I'm saying about that." She gave Spike a pointed look. "And that's all you're saying, too, unless you want me to tell them about how I found you when I got here."
"No!" Spike replied quickly. "That's quite alright, Slayer. Mum's the word."
"Which leads us to our next question," Willow segued, glancing down at the binder. "Share something about yourself that most of the people in this room don't know. Angel, Spike and Anya, try to think of something non-evil, please. Here's an example -- Buffy can tell us what the tattoo is or why she got it or something else. Buffy?"
"I am so not going to tell you what the tattoo is or why I got it," Buffy said. She leaned forward and stuck a potato chip in the dip. "Um, most of you don't know that I was complete airhead before I was called. We're talking 'lights on, no one's home' type blondness, here." She shook her head. "I was so bad, someone told me that the reason the sun set at night was because it got too tired of staying up in the sky and went to bed...and I believed him."
"What's so different now?" Cordelia asked.
Buffy rolled her eyes and the others tittered. "What about you, Cordelia?" she asked.
Cordelia thought a moment. Oz reached down and began to rub Willow's shoulders. The redhead dropped her head back and smiled at him. Xander scooped up a handful of potato chips and fed Anya one, who giggled softly.
"Except for Xander, you guys didn't know that I worked at that store the Hellbeast ate that guy at during senior year," Cordelia said. Buffy and Willow looked at her in shock. "I had to wear a stupid name-tag and everything. It was awful."
"Why?" Willow asked.
"Because it was tacky and plastic and clashed with everything," Cordelia said.
"I think she's asking why you worked, Cordy," Xander pointed out.
"Oh," Cordelia said. "I needed the money to buy a prom dress. It's old news now that Daddy lost all of ours." She gave Xander a secretive smile. "I didn't think I was going to be able to get it, but everything worked out." She paused, then added, "And I looked great in it."
"Wesley was practically drooling over his loafers," Xander said.
"Eew, can we not mention that," Cordelia said. Angel, Willow, Buffy and Oz chuckled.
"I'll go next," Xander volunteered. "Willow, Cordelia and Anya know this, but the rest of you don't." He lifted up his shirt and pointed at his navel, which had a ring pierced through the skin. "Nothing too exciting here, except that Willow was the one to pierce it for me in eighth grade. She used one of her Mom's gold earrings because it was 'more sanitary.' I think I still have that earring somewhere."
"Oh goddess, I'd forgotten about that," Willow said. "If you find the earring, give it back to me. My Mom still complains about it disappearing."
"My birth name meant 'scum found on top of the water,'" Anya said suddenly. They all looked at her and she shrugged. "It was the only thing I could think of that didn't involve the humiliation and degradation of the male gender."
"But it's so much fun when you talk about how evil men are," Xander teased. She gave him a dirty look.
"I got one," Willow said. "I'm technically not an American by birth."
"Really?" Angel said. "Where were you born?"
"In Nigeria," she replied. "My parents had moved there after they got married and declared citizenship. So, when I was born, I was considered Nigerian. According to the stories, it took my parents years to turn me into an American. Lots of red government tape." She took a sip of her soda, then asked, "Who's next?"
"I'll go," Oz said. "I had a twin sister. She died when we were six."
"Hellmouth?" Buffy asked sadly.
"Car accident," Oz replied. Willow laid her head on his knee and rubbed his calf lightly. "I miss her sometimes."
"I had a twin sister, too," Angel said quietly. He smiled slightly at a good memory. "She used to beat me up all the time. Right up until the day she married. Then she beat up her husband."
"I'll go one better than you, mate," Spike said. He held up five fingers, the amount of alcohol he consumed starting to inhibit him. "I had eight sisters who liked to pick on me. Me! Can you believe it?"
"Eight sisters?" Buffy said. "Wow. That's a lot of sisters."
"They were all older than me, too," Spike grumbled. He laid back on the carpet and stared up at the ceiling. "Cor, they used to use me as their seamstress dummy. I wore more bloody frocks than they did. An' they used to braid me 'air, too!"
Everyone snickered at him and he growled. "It's not funny."
"Yes, it is," was the chorused reply, which sent everyone into stitches once more.
"So, is it true?" Buffy asked Spike a little while later. The group had taken a break and Spike had wandered to the kitchen to microwave some popcorn, the alcohol in him making the world spin every-so-often and loosening his tongue, as Angel had warned.
"Is what true?" Spike replied. He frowned at the buttons on the microwave, trying to read the blurred numbers.
Buffy reached past him and pushed the correct buttons. "You were a virgin when Angel vamped you?"
"Yup," Spike answered, popping the 'P' with his lips. He watched the bag spin on the revolving plate in the machine.
"But weren't you kinda old already?" she asked.
"Twenty-five," he replied. He turned his head to look at her and frowned at her astonished face. "What?"
"But you're a guy."
"Really? What gave it away?"
Buffy ignored him and went on. "I would think you'd have had sex earlier than that."
"I wasn't married," Spike said. He opened a cabinet, frowned into its depths, then closed it and opened the correct one that housed the bowls.
"Who wasn't married?" Cordelia said, entering the kitchen.
"Spike," Buffy replied.
"And this has meaning how?" she asked.
"He was a twenty-five year old virgin," Buffy explained.
Cordelia arched one dark brow at Spike. "Twenty-five?"
"Who's twenty-five?" Willow asked, joining them in the kitchen.
"Spike's virginity," Cordelia answered.
"Wow," Willow commented. "That's pretty old. I thought he was only nineteen, at most."
"He said it was because he wasn't married," Buffy told Willow.
"Well, I guess the times were pretty different back then," Willow said. "And it sounds like he came from a big family with lots of girls. They were expected to be virgins until they married."
"Who were suppose to be virgins until they were married?" Anya asked, coming into the room.
"Women," Cordelia answered.
"Yes," Anya said. "And all the men are suppose to be experienced. That double-standard really gets my goat."
"Gets your goat?" Buffy giggled.
"If the women are suppose to be virgins and the men are not, I wonder how the men lose their virginity," Willow said thoughtfully.
Spike decided to make a quick, but silent, escape from the kitchen through the dining room. He returned to the basement and flopped down on the couch beside Angel. "This is all your bloody fault, you nonce."
Angel exchanged a puzzled look with Oz, who had looked up from Willow's binder when the blond vampire spoke. Oz shrugged and returned to his perusal. "What do you mean?" Angel asked.
Spike waved his hand towards the stairs. "They're all in the kitchen cackling about me because of your soddin' story."
"If it's any consolation, you're way, way, way past being a virgin," Angel said. Xander chuckled from across the room. Spike socked Angel on the thigh, giving him a Charlie-horse. The dark-haired vampire dropped his arm from the back of the couch around Spike's neck and put him in a head-lock, then rubbed his head with his knuckles.
"Cut that out, tosser," Spike growled, trying to get away. Angel just held on tighter.
"I got a question," Xander said, returning from the bar with glasses of alcohol in his hands. He handed one to Oz, then set Angel's refill down on the coffee table. "If you were a virgin when you were turned, Spike, who did you finally lose it, too? And I'm talking female, here. None of that...that...that, between you and soulfang."
"Darla." Spike's voice was muffled by Angel's shirt.
"What was that?" Xander said.
"Darla," Angel replied for Spike. He smirked. "That was quite an interesting day. Pleasurable, if I remember correctly."
"You were there?" Xander said, his brows rising.
"Of course," Angel said, offhandedly. "Someone had to teach the boy what to do."
"I'm sitting right here," Spike grumbled into the shirt, still trying to get away.
Angel gave him another knuckle-rub and asked, "What about you, Xander? Who did you lose yours to?"
"Faith," Xander replied after a moment, somewhat embarrassed. He picked up the dark alcohol and watched as a bead of perspiration on the glass ran down the side. "It was very...abrupt. Takes the meaning of wham, bam, thank you ma'am to a whole new level."
"Jaqueline Ronkowski," Oz said. He looked up from the binder and focused on an invisible point across the room, a slight smile on his face. "She was quite the looker."
"Angel?" Xander prompted.
"Eileen O'Connell," Angel replied, grinning unabashedly. "Ah, now she was a lass that made a fellow stand up and salute. I was very patriotic the week she was visiting." He frowned. "Of course, after her, I was quite patriotic with the rest of Galway and the neighboring villages, too."
"'E was the town whore," Spike stated, finally pulling his head free from Angel's grasp. He ran his hands over his hair, smoothing it back into place.
"It wasn't my fault the ladies found me irresistible," Angel said, a self-satisfied smirk on his face.
"Did you love any of them?" Oz asked curiously.
"Not a single one," Angel replied, with a shake of his head. "The first woman I ever loved was Buffy."
"And we all know how that relationship went," Xander said with a wry smile.
"Shut up, Harris," Angel said. He leaned forward, picked up his drink, then leaned back and put his arm on the back of the couch again.
"Huh," Oz said, his eyes back on the binder.
"Is that a good 'huh' or a bad one?" Xander asked.
Spike slouched down, leaned his head back on the couch and dropped his eyes to half-slits. A hazy mellowness drifted over him. He folded his hands on his stomach and sighed. He may make it through the night after all.
"The next question could go either way," Oz replied to Xander.
"Let's hear it," Angel said. "That way we can be prepared."
"I always knew you were a bleedin' Boy Scout," Spike mumbled. He expected to be smacked upside the head, not his sire's fingers to begin running through his hair. He should probably protest, but it felt really good.
"We're suppose to say who we trust least in the room and why," Oz summarized.
"Great, serious stuff," Xander commented. He finished his glass of scotch. "I think this is going to require much more alcohol."
"Much, much more," Angel agreed.
"I'll second that," Oz added.
Xander went to refill the glasses. "Spike, do you want?"
"I think he's already drank himself to readiness," Angel said. The corners of Spike's mouth turned up. "I'll take that as a yes."
"What else is in there, Oz?" Xander asked. "Aside from the past years' retreat notes." He shook his head. "I can't believe she takes notes."
"It's Willow," Oz said simply.
"She's a bloody little firecracker," Spike commented. "Bet she's explosive in the sack."
"Keep your mind off her," Oz stated in a hard voice.
Spike opened his eyes and blinked at the tone in the werewolf's voice. "Sorry, mate." Oz nodded once and went back to studying the binder. The blond vampire glanced over at Angel, who shrugged with one shoulder, his other hand still occupied in playing with Spike's hair.
"There's a game," Oz said, his tone back to its usual calm. "A couple of them. Oops."
"Oops?" Xander said, returning to the couches with the drinks.
"CPR and First Aid refresher comes before the question," Oz replied.
"I guess we should have waited on the drinks," Angel said with a grin.
"Guess so," Xander said.
"Yep," Oz agreed. The trio looked at each other, then downed the glasses of scotch in one continuous gulp.
Spike chuckled. "You two are going to get wasted," he told Oz and Xander.
"That was the plan, small-fry," Xander said.
"Will you stop calling me those bloody names?" Spike growled.
Xander grinned. "Not a chance."
"Call him 'Flower,'" Angel said. Spike's gaze shot to Angel, causing the dark-haired vampire's hand to still. He saw that his sire had a devilish glint to his eyes. "What, you didn't really think I wouldn't find out? I know everything that you do, my boy."
"Is there something you'd like to share?" Xander said.
"No," Spike stated, not breaking eye-contact with Angel.
"But-" Xander started.
"No," Spike repeated with a growl. Angel arched his brow, but said nothing more.
"Who needs a refill?" Oz asked, standing. Angel held up his empty glass.
"Me," Xander replied.
"I'll take one," Spike said.
"Spike, how many fingers do I have up?" Angel asked, holding his hand out in front of him.
"Hold it still and I'll tell you," Spike said, trying to focus on the moving hand. Angel and Oz exchanged looks and Xander snickered. Spike turned his head and frowned at Xander. "What?"
"Nothing, shrimp," Xander replied.
Spike grumbled under his non-existent breath and settled back on the couch again. Oz returned with the drinks and passed them around. The blond vampire quickly downed his, then set the glass on his stomach, his hands folded around it. He heard the girls come down the stairs behind him, then they walked into view and stopped on the opposite side of the coffee table. All four looked directly him and he had the feeling that he was going to be made fun of. He wasn't wrong.
Buffy cleared her throat, then began speaking. "We've decided that Spike deserves a standing ovation for putting himself through grueling torture and having the unbelievable courage...," she paused dramatically. "To change his clothes."
The girls clapped, Xander laughed and Oz shook his head. Spike groaned and looked at Angel, who was chuckling. "You love me, right?" he asked.
"Of course," Angel replied immediately.
"Then please put me out of my misery," Spike begged. He thumped his chest over his heart with his fingers. "A little piece of wood right here should do it."
Angel chuckled again and patted the top of the blond's head with his hand. "Not a chance, boy. If I have to suffer, so do you."
Spike scowled at him, then looked back over at Buffy, who was snickering, and scowled at her. "Sod off," he told her. She just smiled in response.
Willow retook her seat in front of Oz's legs and looked in her binder. "Ok, next up, we have a CPR and First Aid refresher..."