Authors: cordelianne and reremouse
Warnings: Buddhist jokes, beer, yaks
Summary: In a post-Chosen, post-NFA, non-comic canon compliant world, Xander's working with the Council and Spike's working with Angel. Somehow they keep running into each other.
All parts are collected in my memories.
A one-eyed guy walks into a bar in Lhasa.
And the bartender says: "All right. Who's stalking whom here?"
The point is, "You're tending bar in Lhasa."
"Yeah," Spike says but he means 'duh.' It's a fine inflection. Xander catches it.
"What are you doing tending bar in Lhasa?"
Spike looks like a guy with a million answers but the one he gives is, "Mu."
"You've been in Lhasa too long."
"What'll you have?"
"Oh yeah, that's an original line around here." Spike pulls him a beer and slides it across the bar. "Where's your Slayer?"
Xander takes a long drink because he did want beer. And he's been a long time beer-free on this trip. It tends to weigh down the pack yaks. "This is a Slayer-free mission."
"Yeah?" This time, Spike means 'I don't believe you but yeah, okay.' Xander's getting good with the inflections. He pulls himself a beer too and leans on his elbow to drink it. "What're you doing here?"
"Apparently, drinking beer with the enemy."
Spike snorts and drinks a long drink. "I told you, mate. I'm not the enemy. You're the enemy. We're the good guys."
"For a given value of good that actually means evil," Xander agrees and holds up his beer.
Their beers clink together. "What're you doing in Lhasa?"
"Apparently, serving beer to idiot tourists." He pauses and squints into the foamy amber depths of his mug. "It's good beer, mind. And the tips aren't bad."
Xander takes a casual drink like a guy with no agenda. A guy who might be in a hurry - who knows - he could have places to be, people to see. And asks, "So, are you going to be in Lhasa long?"
"Long enough, I suppose." Spike sees his casual and raises him infinite disinterest.
Xander's been to the post office. There's a really particular prayer wheel in the mail to London. But mail's slow out of Lhasa. "I've got a week."
Spike looks like a guy considering a lot of things. He also looks like a guy who's been stuck in Lhasa too long. "Yeah, all right." He pauses to pour a double whiskey and slide it to a woman down the bar who can probably give Spike a run for his money in the age department.
"So - your place or mine?" Xander asks. "Not that I've exactly got a place. But it could happen."
Spike considers. "You mind yaks?"
Xander doesn't. He doesn't mind non sequiturs either. He says so.
"Right. No problems then. I'm just up the street." Spike hands him a key, points. "Third door on the left. Mind the chickens. Meet you there in an hour."
Xander doesn't ask.
As a strategy, it works for him.