Lightning Never Strikes Twice
Xander Harris knew he'd jinxed himself when he started thinking about how he
liked his life.
It was a typical Wednesday night at The Fabulous Ladies Night Club. Xander
had been working at the club for months, trying to earn money to repair his car
in order to continue his travels on the open road. Not that he had gotten very
far in his travels before his engine had decided it would be more comfortable on
the ground than under the hood of his car.
Oxnard was roughly three hours from Sunnydale, due west. The town wasn't that
bad. It had a cheap, mostly-bug-free motel, a Twinkie-stocked grocery store, a
gas station/repair shop where his car was in ICU, and a strip club called The
Fabulous Ladies Night Club, which catered to both women and men, and
had been the only place in town hiring when Xander's car went kaput.
Xander actually liked working at the club. He had gone out on his own with
the express purpose of broadening his horizons and experiencing what life had to
offer. What better way to do that than to work in a dimly lit, raucous strip
In the beginning, Xander had felt awkward clearing tables and cleaning up
vomit while men of various shapes and sizes writhed on stage to the music
pounding from the speakers. The first time he'd gotten a good look at one of the
male dancers, he'd had to quickly go out back until he'd overcome his
embarrassment. Seeing another man's parts bounce and grow hard for the
audience's benefit was not something high school had prepared him for, not even
in Mr. Murphy's very detailed sex ed class.
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays were ladies nights at the club. Mondays,
Wednesdays and Fridays were the men's nights. Men's nights as in men dancing for
the benefit of other men. It should have made Xander uncomfortable, but, in
fact, he felt the complete opposite when he was in a club filled with gay and
The women who came to the club on their nights were literal animals. They
hooted and hollered and pinched Xander's ass until it was black and blue. Their
language could not only make a sailor blush, but the entire US Navy as well.
And, worst of all, they didn't take "no" for an answer. It should have been a
19-going-on-20-year-old's dream, but after the fiftieth proposition and
accompanying painful pinch, Xander felt like Amy had miscast her spell again.
The men, however, acted entirely different. Sure, they hooted and hollered,
but instead of pinching Xander's ass, they tended to only "accidentally" brush
against him as he passed. The propositions he received were either bluntly or
shyly asked, but his "no thanks'" were always taken with a shrug and an "okay,"
sometimes followed by a "your loss."
Then came the night that Mario broke his ankle, and Xander quickly found out
that being labeled a dork in high school had major monetary benefits.
Darlene, Xander's boss, had asked quite nicely if he'd be willing to take
Mario's place as one of the private dancers for a bachelorette party in the back
rooms of the club. Xander had refused at first, then Darlene had told him he'd
be paid $300.00 not including tips -- an equal to a week's wages -- and all he
needed to do was take off his clothes to the music.
Three hundred bucks was a lot for ten minutes of shaking his groove, so
Xander chose to make it into a life-experiencing adventure that he'd never tell
anyone. Armed with Darlene's instructions to first get the money, then to have
fun, Xander disappeared into the back room and proceeded to make a total fool of
As the stereo blared Staying Alive, by the Bee Gees, Xander wiggled,
shook, bounced and tripped over his feet while removing his clothing. The women
at the party ate it up. They thought his fumbling, awkward, stiff movements were
part of the act, and Xander made close to $100.00 in tips.
In fact, he was so popular, Darlene asked him to work another, and then
another. "High School Geek" became the stripper to have at a private
party at The Fabulous Ladies Night Club, for both sexes. The women loved him
because he invoked memories from their high school days. The men just thought he
was sexy, which never ceased to amaze him.
Xander was sitting out on the back stoop on break, chewing on a swizzle
stick. The night was hot and humid, but he didn't mind being outside. Shirtless,
he watched the stars winking in the distant sky, and found himself wondering
what Willow and Buffy would think if they could see him right now. Would they
laugh at the fact that he'd only reached Oxnard, or would they commiserate with
him on the death of his car? Would they be open-minded to the fact that he was a
stripper, or that he was starting to prefer the company of men to women?
The brunette sighed and leaned back on his elbows. He stretched his legs out
in front of him and crossed his ankles. He could hear the cars on the county
highway, and he could tell which drivers were locals and which were just passing
It was getting near the end of September. Buffy and Willow would have been in
college for almost a month, learning stuff that Xander had been told he'd never
understand. Which was the truth, in his own opinion. He didn't like to learn
things that came from books unless it had to deal with destroying evil. Besides,
life was more than just school, school, school, and he was out experiencing it.
He was experiencing it naked most of the time, but experiencing it he was.
Ralph had stopped by late last week to the motel Xander had made his home,
and the old repairman had told him his car was fixed. Xander could leave Oxnard
at any time he wanted. But, now that he could, he was reluctant to do so. He'd
found a niche that he fit into working at the club. He'd made several friends,
flirted shamelessly with both men and women, and made a good deal of money by
just being his dorkable self.
Xander glanced at his watch, then returned his eyes to the clear sky. He had
five more minutes before he had to return to work. Five minutes to sit outside
in the heat and--
From out of the cloudless sky, a bolt of lightning slammed into Xander's
chest. His head smacked against the concrete stoop on impact. His eyes were
frozen open in shock at the searing pain coursing through him.
Therefore, he was witness to a second bolt of lightning coming straight at
Xander let out a garbled scream a moment before he was struck by lightning
for the second time. It hit him in the same exact spot as the first bolt, right
in the center of his chest. The acrid smell of burnt flesh floated up to his
nostrils, and he mentally crossed "getting hit by lightning" off his Things To
Then, everything went dark.