Of Tea Masters and Coffee Mistresses
Xander Trax 11: Cop on the Hellmouth
Author: Tohonomike firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners...it will start off with the Joss/ME characters, and the Lorimar characters aren’t mine either and any other characters or real-life folks are clearly not mine. NO money is involved. None are mine.
This is dedicated to those of you who watched the show.
Tuesday, May 12th, 1998 – Getting the Hang of It
“Well, at least they let us know they’re interested in us for future contracts,” Alexander Lambert told the group as they gathered after school at the coffee shop.
“Well, was it your age, or the fact that the security parts of the business are just being brought together?” Jenny asked, “Some of the companies you’ve merged weren’t the strangest before.”
“Well, there’s that; though the planning board guys told us that our filling out the paperwork would be the first step, and that once the full background and other checks are made, we should be good for anything coming up after July 1st of this year. So we’ll be on government contract lists. Good ideas all-around, and I did get some quotes back on putting together the Battle Trucks.”
Willow rolled her eyes, “Can we please call it something that wasn’t in a bad 80s sci-fi movie?”
“Um…no,” Xander smiled softly, then nodded, “Okay, surveillance vehicle it is. And Selma, if we can, maybe we should consider another ‘Bot for each of them, and have them concentrate on general sweeps as often as possible, and including the other nearby towns’ likely trouble spots.”
“Do you wish me to go beyond budgets, Captain? We’ve only just broken even after consolidations.”
“Hmm, you’re right. I guess if we can get the vehicles done this week, we might even start to get some real information before Drusilla shows up.”
Buffy nodded, “And with all this business stuff of yours, we’ve just been back to patrols since February. And I, for one, would like to get more shopping money by hitting a few lairs.”
Giles held up a hand, “Buffy, only after some more team practice. We need to see where we need to polish up; avoiding injury should be a primary goal as always.”
“Thanks Giles, and are we talking a six-bot backup for me? Or something more SWAT-like?”
“Well, first of all, I think the latter might be the best approach, though if Alexander and Willow have the requisite number…”
“I think we have six exactly, Rupert,” Xander responded, “And right now, we’re just sending them out as ‘couples’ to the Bronze and college hang-outs we don’t get to, just to keep the number of stray vamps down.”
Buffy shook her head in amazement.
“I never would have guessed all this a year ago…”
“Yeah...” Willow smiled, “Buffy working …”
“…for free coffee and a wage.”
“Free coffee?!” Buffy responded, and turned to glare at Xander, “Since when?”
Willow smiled, “You mean Xander’s been charging you for your coffee?”
“Xander!” Willow laughed, and looked to see the young man walk around the counter and pull-out a piggy bank that looked like Mr. Gordo.
“I’ve matched every charge…” he sniffed, “And minus the triple mocha in a ceramic cup she threw at Larry last month when he said something rude and could have just thrown the acrylic pitcher of ice water instead, there’s about five hundred dollars in here.”
“Good Lord, Buff! That’s an enormous amount of coffee!”
“Giles, he’s matching, so that’s like two a day, one on the way to school, and the other when I start my shift. So there, Free Tea Guy.”
“That’s entirely different. I’m an investor.” He smiled in a superior way.
“One percent of everything, Giles. *One* percent.”
“And in lieu of dividends I enjoy my role as Tea Master.”
Buffy stared at the Watcher. Then stared at Jenny. Then at Xander.
“I want free a coffee. A big one with lots whipped cream and sprinkles.”
“How long until your shift, Buff.”
“Until work…drink up. But any boyfriends and such still cost full price.”
“Yah! Hah, Giles, that makes me Coffee Mistress!” she smiled smugly and headed for the equipment. Jenny smiled.
“Hey Willow, does that mean you’ll be lending Buffy that dominatrix outfit you threaten Xander with? Buffy should have a uniform if she’s Coffee Mistress.”
“Miss Calendar!” Buffy blushed deeply as her Slayer-enhanced healing allowed her to catch the joking remark, “Not you too!”
The woman picked up her calendar, “Of course, it says right here, Pick on Buffy Day.”
“You can borrow the outfit Buffy, but only if we can put your picture in our advertising,” Willow replied as though serious. “So I’d suggest a ‘dark roast.’”