"Hmm," says Xander, gazing down at the engine.
Giles crowds in to peer too.
"What is it?"
"Well, that's just the thing."
Giles fixes him with a look. "You have no actual idea what's wrong with it, do you?"
"Well. Um." He decides to go on the attack. "Tell me, what exactly were you thinking when you bought another of these things? It's got citrus in the name. It practically screams lemon."
Giles stammers. "Well ... I, em, missed it."
"Uh huh. The regular visits with the import mechanic, the incredible feeling of adventure of driving at night never knowing when the transmission might drop out and strand you in the midst of a band of vamps?"
Giles scowls. "It wasn't that bad."
"It wasn't that good. The zippy, sexy red number just wasn't you, was it?"
"It's not that. It's just --" A shadow seems to cross his face, a sadness so naked that Xander reaches out to touch his face, leaving a black smudge. "What?" he says softly.
"That year," Giles murmurs. "What a terrible year that was. I came to feel -- it's completely ridiculous, of course --"
"Tell me," Xander says.
"That stupid car felt like a curse."
"Mm." The playfulness has whooshed out of Xander, like the breath rushing out after a blow to the gut. "Yeah."
He wipes a smudge off the Citroen's fender with a soft, clean rag.