Single White Slayer
Chapter 2 - Nice Work If You Can Get It

written by Gileswench

"This is it, Buffy?" The redhead crinkled her nose."

"It was all I could come up with. Why? What's wrong with it?"

"I dunno, Buff. It just seems a little... needy to me. I mean the first part's okay: 'SWF, 20.' That's accurate, anyway. But it goes downhill from there."

"Maybe if I read it out loud it won't be so bad." Buffy cleared her throat. 'SWF, 20, seeks stable, reliable man, any age, for friendship, poss. romance. I'm committed, you be too. Ability to deal with the unexpected a plus.' What's wrong with that?"

"I'm committed, you be too? That sounds like you should be. Look, I know you're hurting, but there's better ways to put this stuff. Just because Riley left doesn't mean every guy will."

"They all have so far."

"What about Xander? And Giles? They're still here. And anyway, we need to write you a better ad. I still haven't come up with anything, so I thought we could talk a little about what you'd like and I could come up with something. Y'know, research the subject."

The Slayer peered intently into Willow's eyes.

"W-what? Why are you looking at me like that?"

"Just making sure it's you and not Giles in disguise."

"Ha ha, very funny."

"Look, I'm gonna get us something to drink. Put on some music and we'll talk it over when I get back." Buffy pulled a box of CD's out and handed it to Willow.

"Uh, Buffy? Are you sure these are yours and not your Mom's or something?"

"What do you mean?"

"It's just... there's classical stuff in here. Mozart, Vivaldi, and... and Carmen! That's an opera, Buffy! What are you doing with an opera in here?"

Buffy shrugged. "Since Giles and I have been doing the mystical training thing, I've been spending a lot of time with him, and sometimes we go places together to get stuff and he's always playing classical on the car radio. I sorta started liking some of it. When I hear something I really like a lot, I ask him what it is and then I go get a copy. It's no big, really. I still like Bronzey stuff too."

By the time Buffy returned from getting their drinks, Willow was finished.

"Here, Buff. This is the one we're running."

She handed her friend a slip of paper which read:

"'Music Lover: SWF, 20, seeks attractive, cultured man, any age, for friendship, concert-going, poss. romance. Mozart to Four Star Mary, Beethoven to Bowie. Let's make beautiful music together.'"

"And I'll set up a free email account for you so if you don't want to go out with some guy who answers, he won't have your phone number or real name or anything."

"I gotta say, Will, this is good. Okay. Let's do it."

* * * * *

"You're kidding, right? You're not planning to run this, are you?"

"I don't see why not. What's wrong with it?"

"Uh uh, the list will be shorter if we start with what's right about it. Nothing. Nada. A big, fat goose egg, Giles."

"And I suppose you can do better for me?"

"Don't think I could do much worse, anyway."

"You've been taking lessons in charm from Anya, haven't you?"

"Sticks and stones, my British friend, sticks and stones."

"Will you just tell me what's wrong with the bloody thing, Xander?"

"Okay, let's start with the opening: 'SWM, 46.' I think this would be a good time not to be so accurate. And then it goes on to say: 'seeks lady, any age, any race for friendship, poss. romance.' Not very picky are we? And then it stops. You're word guy, and this is the best you could do?"

"Well what should I say? 'Middle-aged, life-long bachelor seeks woman who can put up with a horde of teenagers tromping through our most intimate moments day and night. Must not feel threatened by attractive, petite blonde with crossbow'?"

"Again with the excessive accuracy. What you need is to blur the edges a little. Let her find out about the attractive blonde with the crossbow later. And did you just call Buffy attractive?"

"It's not as if I'm blind, you know. I have noticed that she's pretty. Can we just drop this and get back to the point?"

"Fine, okay, didn't hear a thing. So what do you plan to do with this potential lady of yours?"

"That's a rather personal question."

"Okay, that's something I really do not want to know about. What I meant was, where do you plan to take her on this first date? Dinner? An afternoon on the beach? A football game?"

"I don't know. Dinner and a movie, I suppose. Isn't that the traditional first date on this side of the pond?"

"What pond?"

"You would know it as the Atlantic ocean. At any rate, there's a revival house that just opened. I could take her there to see something."

Since when do you like old movies?"

"With far too many of them, since they came out. Still, I'm quite fond of some of the older ones. I-I like Fred Astaire quite a lot, and if you tell anyone about that I will deny it."

"Okay, here we go! I know how to write this puppy now."

Xander picked up the pad of paper and scrawled furiously for a minute, then handed the results to Giles.

"I can't even read that. How on earth did you graduate high school if your teachers couldn't read what you wrote?"

"A little thing called a computer. Will's not the only one who knows how to type, y'know. And I can read this just fine. It says: 'Classic Movie Buff. Single, mature, attractive, small businessman seeks SF, 18-40 for movie-going, poss. romance. Let's Face The Music And Dance'."

Giles looked thoughtful for a moment. "You know, Xander, that's not half bad. All right; I'll run it."

"Oh, and we'd better set up an email account for the replies. Y'know, so no psychos know your phone number or anything. I can set up something on Yahoo or Hotmail for you."

"Since when do you know so much about computers?"

"Hey, I took a class. I actually learned something."

* * * * *

That night, Tara found a slip of paper on her pillowcase. She smiled crookedly to herself as she picked it up.

"What's this?"

"What does it look like?"

"A personal ad. I wonder who could have written it."

"Guess you'll have to read it to find out, won't you?"

Willow snuck up behind her lover and wrapped the blonde witch in her arms.

"Hmmm, 'Wiccan Hacker, 20, seeks witchy woman for love, spells. Must be intelligent, quirky, deeply powerful. Levitation skills, knowledge of Tantric rituals a plus.' So should I apply for this one?"

The redhead nuzzled at the nape of her neck as she replied: "Nope. You already got the part."

"Does that mean we have to skip the casting couch?"

The two giggled as they fell onto the bed.

* * * * *

Xander took a deep breath before returning to the living room. He hoped Anya would like the surprise he had for her.

"Come on, Xander. You said you were just getting dessert. It shouldn't take this long."

He could hear an edge of panic in her voice.

"I'll be right there, honey."

One more steadying breath, and he re-entered the living room with two dishes of ice cream somewhat warmer than the manufacturer would reccomend for safety and enjoyment, and a small package in his pocket that felt unbearably huge.

"What took so long? Now the ice cream is all melty."

"I just... had to take a minute, An. It's okay. Look, I wrote this today,and I know it's no good. I just... here, read it."

He thrust a piece of paper into her hand.

She read.

'SWM, 20. If I were a carpenter and you were an ex-vengeance demon, would you love me anyway?'

Anya blinked. "This is your personal ad?"

Xander nodded.

Suddenly the girl was across the room rummaging in her purse. When she returned to the table, her smile was wide, and her eyes shone like stars. She held a piece of paper out to Xander.

"Here. This is the one I wrote. Read it."

"'SWF seeks Xander. Love me.' That's what you wrote?"

Her face fell. "What? Is it not good?"

The young man gathered her close to his chest. "It's perfect, honey. Just perfect. And I do."

Drawing back, Xander pulled the box out of his pocket.

"I know I can't offer you much right now, Anya, but I'm so in love with you it makes me crazy. It can't be right away, but I want to marry you someday, and, well, I want you to wear my ring."

He opened the box. Inside a silver filagree band with a moonstone lay nestled.

"I promise I'll get you a diamond as soon as I can. This is the best I can do for now."

He slipped the jewel on her finger. Anya stared at it for a moment, then looked into Xander's eyes, the love shining brightly.

"Who wants a tacky old diamond anyway? This is just right."

She threw her arms around his neck and kissed him enthusiastically.

"Oh, and Xander? I love you too."

He picked his love up in his arms and carried her to the bedroom.

* * * * *

Tara and Willow lay curled up together basking in the afterglow of their lovemaking.

"You know, I wrote one too."

"Hmm?" Replied the sleepy redhead.

"An ad. Did you want to read it?"

"If you want me to."

Willow watched her lover cross the room and return with a notepad in hand.

"Go on, read it."

"Okay. 'SFWiccan seeks same for love, sharing of cat custodial duties. Must laugh at my jokes, save world on a regular basis, and make the world's best guilt cookies. Sexy redheads only need apply' I dunno, do you think I qualify?"

"You are definitely overqualified." Tara leaned down and kissed her girlfriend. "I love you, you know."

"I love you too."

Read the next chapter: Things Are Looking Up