"Spike. Always a pleasure to see you gracing my humble establishment with your presence. What can I get you?"
"Hey Willy. Anything. As long as it's cheap and strong enough to knock out a mammoth, I don't care."
"Coming right up."
Willy reached under the bar and pulled out a bottle of something that Spike didn't recognise. It was a swirling mix of rancid green and puke-like orange, that smelled like inside the mouth of a Plonkter demon. A fairly tame creature, famed for their love of snacking on the interesting things they found in the sewers. Willy poured the substance into a glass, and placed it on the bar, in front of Spike.
"Do I wanna know what this is?"
Spike always considered himself a brave sort so he picked up the glass, pinched his nose and swallowed the liquid in one long gulp.
The sensation was unlike anything he had ever felt before. The fluid seemed to fizz and tickle his throat as he drank. His vision started to bend slightly and then snap back into place. His arms and legs suddenly felt like they were made of rubber and his head felt like it was floating six and a half feet above the rest of his body.
"Wow, that was..."
"Please." Spike held his glass out to receive more of this miracle elixir.
He'd just finished downing the second glass when a familiar voice wafted over from the other end of the room. Spike grabbed the bottle from Willy's hands and went over to investigate.
"Harris?" Spike could see Xander in one of the booths at the back corner of the bar sitting very close, and talking rather loudly, to an extremely large unfamiliar, ferocious looking demon, who was desperately trying to ignore the young man's drunken ramblings. Xander looked up and squinted at Spike until the recognition finally set in.
"Spike, my good man. My very bestest buddy in the whole wide room." Xander snickered at his own joke.
"And you're ugly. Heehee, I like this game, give me another." Xander snickered again.
The unfamiliar demon looked pleadingly at Spike to help him with his drunken human problem.
"Eh, Harris mate, why don't you come over to this booth and sit with me. Leave the nice-big-scary-looking demon alone for a bit 'kay?" Spike held his hand out to steady Xander as he got up and out of the booth. They got a few wobbly steps forward when Xander stopped, turned around and quickly went back again.
"M'sorry. That was really, really, really rude." Xander reached for the demons huge clawed hand and started shaking it furiously with a big grin plastered on his face. "It was really great meeting you. I hope we can do this again real soon." The demon looked disgusted at the thought and quickly shook off Xander's hand.
Spike grabbed Xander by the waist and hauled him over to a booth over the other side of the room, just to be on the safe side, with Xander shouting all the way "If you're ever in town again, look me up. We'll do lunch."
Spike finally got Xander seated, and Spike sat down opposite. "S'really nice guy. Really nice, great guy."
"Yeah, I'm sure. Looked the real cuddly type. Harris, what are you doing here drunk out of your gourd?"
"Anya left me." At that statement Xander fluttered him eyelashes and stuck his bottom lip out as far as it would go in a drunken, overstated pout. "She just packed all the stuff 'n' walked out, so I thought I would get myself a little bitty drink to ease the pain."
"Well, it's looks like you're little bitty drink turned into a full blown binge. Maybe you should ease up a bit, huh?"
"I can handle it, see." Xander extended his arms out as far as they would go and brought them back in again to try and touch his nose with his index fingers. "Ow!" He failed miserably and poked himself in the eye instead.
"Oh yeah, you're handling it real well. Here take my car keys, go drive a bunch of underprivileged kids to the beach, if you're so sober." Xander reached out for Spike's keys but he snatched them back before Xander could grab them. "That was sarcasm, brainless. You are not handling it okay."
"Pfft! I could drink you under the table anyday fangless."
"Well we'll just see about that. Let's see what you make of this stuff then." Spike poured Xander a shot of the still unidentified liquid from his bottle into Xander's empty glass. Xander, never one to refuse a challenge, not while completely insensible at least, did the same as Spike, and swallowed it in one gulp.
A dozen shots, a game of darts (with a lot more shouts of 'duck!' than any normal game should), and a rather slurred rendition of 'New York, New York' later, the challenge was completely forgotten.
"So why'd she leave you?"
"'Cause I said somethin'. One little innocent somethin' that she took *completely* outta context."
"What was it?"
"I called her an evil, manipulative, scheming, money-hungry, nymphomaniac bitch!"
"And she took offence at that?"
"Yeah. Go figure. Women huh? I mean, I meant it with the greatest affection. And, oh yeah, I said she had ugly shoes too. Funny though, I think she took more offence t' that than the rest."
"Women are a strange breed Harris. You're better staying well away from the lot o'them."
"I hear ya buddy. I'm through with the lot. They either wanna just be friends, or they wanna choke ya or they just wanna wither your winky with demands for 24 hour sex. Y'know, it sounds good in theory but, it's damn hard in practice...or not as the case may be."
Spike just nodded his head enthusiastically in agreement, his mouth too busy to answer as it was currently occupied downing another shot.
"She said she would go and find a man who could really appreciate her true nature. Someone who could satisfy her needs. Someone like Dracula. God I hate that guy. Bastard made me munch on bugs."
"Dracula? Stupid poncy git! We're old rivals y'know. Bugger owes me eleven squid."
"He owes you seafood? Oh wait, you mean quid?"
"S'what I said. Squid."
"Why does he owe you eleven squid?"
"We made a bet and he lost. D'ya know how much money that is with interest over a hunerd years?"
"So what d'ya bet?"
"He bet me that I couldn't fuck'im and suck'im at the same time. Hee, look I rhymed." Spike giggled then quickly slapped his hand over his mouth realising it was unseemly for a vampire to giggle. Even a drunk one.
"And he lost the bet?" Xander didn't even raise an eyebrow at Spike's revelation, which was a true testament to precisely how drunk he was.
"So you managed it? Nah. Don't b'lieve you. You're a lyin' bastard."
"No, s'the truth. Swear." Spike put his right hand over his heart and his left in the air.
"How 'n the hell d'ya manage that?"
"M'very flexibely...flexebili....flexilab....m'very bendy."
"Huh." Spike could see the doubt in Xander's eyes. Either that or he needed to throw up.
"You still don't b'lieve me do ya."
"Watch an' learn disb'liever."
Spike slithered across the booth seat and slowly stood up. He leaned against the table until he felt sure that Willy had switched off the mechanism making the bar spin round like that. Spike thought it was very inconsiderate of the man to turn the bar into a fairground while he was trying to do a demonstration.
He took his hands away from the table and held them out to his side in an effort to balance himself. Then he slowly started to bend backward. First it was just his head, then his neck and shoulders followed. Xander was watching all this in the kind of rapt attention that only a drunk can accomplish.
Spike had gotten as far as bending at his waist when Willy decided to turn the mechanism back on and Spike fell flat on his backside. Xander erupted into a fit of uncontrolled giggles.
"Hey Willy. Turn that bloody thing off will ya. M'trying to bend here. Wanker!" Spike muttered the last part. Spike thought the bartender probably did in on purpose just to humiliate him. It was a Sunnydale conspiracy to disprove his bendiness.
Xander was clutching at his sides, laughing so much he was finding it difficult to breathe.
"Shur'up!" Spike was going to prove this to Xander if it killed him. He got up off the floor as gracefully as he could. Which is to say, not gracefully at all, since he managed to not only bang his head against the table twice during the process, but step on his own hand as well.
He grabbed at Xander's arm and pulled. "Come on." If he was going to do this, he might as well do it properly.
Xander's laughter started to subside. "Hmm?"
"'Cause you're comin' wi me. I'll show ya bendy."
Xander carefully stood up and stepped out of the booth, managing to only bang his knees on the underside of the table once in the process. He was rather pleased with the effort.
"Right then. This I gotta see. If it's as funny as the last time, should be very entertaining. So how much are we gonna bet?"
"I'll betya five hundred dollars I can do this."
"Easy money. S'no way you're that bendy."
Spike took Xander's hand and the two of them staggered out of the bar together, periodically leaning against each other in an effort to stay upright, and on to Xander's apartment.
"Urg! Hello?" Xander's pitiful voice spoke over the phone to the evil person at the other end, who felt the need to torture him with what had to be the most malevolent sound in human history.
"Xander is that you?"
"Willow? Would you mind not ringing so loud, I have a guy in my head practicing the drums and he just gets pissed at the interruption and plays louder."
"You have a hangover." It wasn't a question.
"You're a very intelligent women Willow. Will you excuse me for moment I think I have to go introduce the toilet bowl to the contents of my stomach?" Xander's insides were doing an uncanny impression of a spin dryer, while his mouth felt like the entire population of Sunnydale had been using it as a garbage disposal.
"Wait a minute. I heard about Anya. Are you okay?"
Xander thought that sounded like the most ridiculous question he had ever heard in all his years of understanding the English language. He reconsidered his earlier statement concerning Willow's intelligence. "Do I sound okay?"
"Well apart from the guy playing drums, are you okay?"
"Yeah, I guess. It was probably for the best, you know?"
"Yeah. Feel better."
"Oh, Willow, before you go..."
"Can I borrow five hundred bucks?"