Buffy: The Vampire Slayer
Seth Green/Sarah Michelle Gellar
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9:02 p.m. EST
Hands? Numb. Nose? Number. Ears? Numbest.
Fuck, it's cold.
Funny how the combination of New Year's Eve, Manhattan and snow will do that.
Seth checks his watch again, momentarily taking his eyes off the crowd going by on the littered sidewalk.
A (possible) former linebacker, dressed to the nines in lavender satin and tulle charges through the masses and knocks him right smack into a plate glass window, her six little charges trailing after her like a dog-sled in reverse, each one furrier than the one before.
The last one loses her hat as they stampede around the corner and he briefly (very) entertains the idea of snatching it up for his own purposes.
Too bad the bright pink poms-poms would clash with his outfit. And it might be a tad small. Maybe.
He pulls away from the window and checks his pockets automatically. Wallet? Check. Phone? Check. Little piece of paper with cryptic instructions telling him to be at this place at this time? Check.
He's right in the middle of another inner monologue consisting only of the word "fuuuuuck" when the door behind him suddenly opens and cracks into his elbow.
The next words out of his mouth are gibberish. Or possibly Eskimo.
As he picks himself off of the pavement he wonders when he learned Eskimo.
"Oh, dear! Sorry about that."
There's a kindly man in a tuxedo bending over him now. "Here." He holds out a (warm-looking) hand.
Half a second later Seth is back on his feet and checking his pockets again. Check, check, check.
"Had to get out of there for a minute." The man thrusts an open cigarette case out. Seth stares at it for a moment and then looks up at the jolly face of a man who could be Santa Claus. If Santa were in his (late) forties. And smoked.
Santa studies him for a moment, taking in his lack of response. "No?"
Seth shakes his head and tries to remember English. "No, thanks though."
They stand there for a moment as a cigarette is carefully chosen, plucked from the silver case, tamped and lit.
Seth's mind cries out at the sight of fire and he wonders if now would be a good time to start smoking.
He tucks his hands under his armpits instead and studies the people going by.
The man is humming under his breath, something that sounds suspiciously like a Christmas carol crossed with a drunk, dying moose.
Seth averts his eyes and steps away a little.
"A little out of your part of town, aren't you?" the man asks as he flicks his ashes discreetly away.
Seth gives him his best half-puzzled-prepared-to-be-amused look.
"I mean." Puff and exhale. "Not likely to find many customers around here, are you?" He actually smiles as he asks this.
And the night just got better.
Seth stifles an angry retort as he takes stock of what he must look like: slick red vinyl pants, slightly fuzzy (also red) jacket, tight black t-shirt that barely covers his stomach, and most telling of all, eyeliner.
He gives the man an appraising look. "You'd be surprised," is all he says.
"Ah." One last drag and the man is extinguishing his cigarette in a dirty drift of snow. He crinkles at the eyes and smiles benignly. "Well, then."
And that's when Seth hears it.
His eyes narrow as he turns toward the window and catches a flash of golden hair.
That laugh is unmistakable.
The man is almost at the door when Seth calls to him, "Hey. What is this?" He gestures to the party inside.
The man stops and looks at where Seth is pointing. "Fund raiser," he says.
He leans in conspiratorily. "Terrible photographs and the food isn't much better, but it's for the children so I have to put on a brave show, you know?"
Seth nods. "Yeah."
They both watch as a striking brunette swathed in fur heads toward the door. She is smiling and holding up a long black coat.
"Ah." Another crinkly smile. "The wife," he says smugly.
He turns to Seth as she steps out. "Happy holidays, young man. Watch out for yourself."
And suddenly his newfound friend is gripping his shoulder and copping a feel.
Or possibly tucking something into the front pocket of his pants.
Seth pulls out two fifty dollar bills. "Wait," he says. But the couple has already disappeared into the back of a cab.
And hey, free money. He shrugs and tucks it back where he found it.
He checks his watch again.
Shit. It's late. They've probably already headed to the club.
9:25 p.m. EST
It takes him a minute or two to adjust to the heat inside, so he stands just inside the door and lets the sounds (chatter, glasses clinking) and smells (perfume, hors d'oeuvres) wash over him.
He couldn't be more out of place in a scene like this, everyone dressed in their finest, jewels glittering from every corner like miniature Christmas lights.
And he's starting to get a few looks.
Right. He'll just have to make it quick before he gets thrown out. No problem.
He finds her in a corner, studying photographs, a glass of champagne in one hand, napkin in the other. She's wearing a black dress that drops just below her knees. It's covered with beads that sparkle and her back is bare.
He can't resist.
She jumps and squeaks when his (still) cold hand settles between her shoulder blades.
"Seth!" She's hastily wiping her fingers of spilled champagne and shooting looks all around. "What are you...oh my God...how have you been?" She leans in and gives him a warm hug. "It's been years," she whispers.
"Yeah." Now that he's come over here and made contact, he's floundering. He wishes he had a script, something to tell him how he should act and what he should say.
She releases him and sets her now half-empty glass down on a column by the wall. "What do you think?" she asks, gesturing at the framed photographs.
Seth studies them for a moment, unsure of what to say. They are all black and white photographs of children, some smiling, some playing. One in particular grabs his attention, a small dark-haired girl in a tattered white dress, clutching a doll to her chest, her face a study in sorrow. It's not bad.
Sarah smiles brightly. "They're mine," she says.
"Yours?" He notices a small placard underneath the photos. "It says Meredith Black-Jones."
"Oh." She waves at the name dismissively. "Couldn't use my real name, of course." She frowns at him. "What are doing here?"
"And dressed like that! You look like a...well, I don't want to guess what you're trying to attract in that ensemble." She sniffs and picks her glass back up.
So, that's how she's going to play it.
He takes in her appearance, contrasting it with a remembered image of her from years ago. "I'm meeting up with some friends," he says with a grin. "Not that you would know what that's like, would you, Sarah? Unless you've changed."
She gives him a dirty look.
"You're certainly looking healthier now. Did you get over your bitch disorder at the same time, because it doesn't really seem like it."
Half a glass of champagne thrown in your face makes a lot more mess then you would think.
9:51 p.m. EST
Seth finds himself back outside, Sarah next to him, pink-cheeked and sputtering with rage.
"I never...! I can't believe...! I'm going to...!" She's glaring daggers at anyone and no one in particular, smoothing down her skirt and shivering.
"Well," Seth says, "it's been fun and all. Take it easy." He starts to head off, mentally shaking his head and wondering what's going to happen next.
"Wait!' Sarah grabs his arm, stops him from turning the corner. "I..." She looks back at the party from where they had just been evicted. "My coat." She shivers. "And my bag. They're still in there." She looks at him beseechingly.
"You're joking," he says. "After all that you want my help?"
"I'm sorry?" she asks.
He gives her a grim look and wipes his sticky (the champagne) hands on his t-shirt.
She rubs her bare arms. The snow is starting to pebble her dress with tiny wet flakes and it's obvious she freezing. And also not wearing a bra. "I'm sorry, okay?"
He raises an eyebrow.
She sighs. "Fine! I'm sorry I threw champagne on you and...and your clothes are not whorish at all and...and could you please help me get my things?"
He ponders this and makes a hmm noise.
"And!" She's reaching now. "And you're right, I was a terrible friend and..." Her voice falters. "I'm too embarrassed to go back in there."
She bites her lip and gives him her best poor-little-girl look from beneath dark lashes. "Please?"
"Okay," he says easily. He would have done it anyway, but it was nice to get a little control over the encounter.
It only takes a few minutes to get her things, though he is asked to wait outside while they are fetched. Sarah waits quietly, not meeting his eyes until he wraps her coat around her and puts the small beaded purse in her hand.
"You're welcome." He wonders if he should go now or offer to call her a cab.
"Listen," she says, grabbing his hand. "My evening is ruined and I haven't seen you in ages and I was thinking maybe we could go...I don't know...get a cup of coffee or something."
"Well..." He tries to figure out what to do.
"My treat," she adds, squeezing his fingers.
"I have plans, Sarah. I'm meeting up with some friends, we're going to this club..."
Her eyes are wide and she looks so pretty when she pouts and there are snowflakes on her cheeks and...
"Do you want to go with me?" he asks.
"Really?" She squeals and hugs him. "Do you think this dress is okay for where we're going? Oh, I need to fix my lipstick! There's a cab! Oh, this is going to be so much fun, I can tell! What kind of music is it? I haven't been dancing in forever!"
Seth lets himself be propelled into the back seat of a cab, and as Sarah chatters on he starts to question her sanity. And his.
10:17 p.m. EST
The cab drops them off in front of the club in record time, which Seth is grateful for. Sarah hadn't stopped talking and fussing the entire way, though he is thankful that she had some handy-wipe things in her purse. He is a lot less sticky from the champagne now. She even helped him repair the damage to his eyeliner.
They are let in with a nod, bypassing the long line stretching down the street. Celebrity can come in handy in times like these. They check their coats and head out onto the main floor of the club. Sarah, holding onto his arm, has gone strangely quiet.
"You want a drink?" he asks, almost shouting over the disturbingly loud (he's getting old) music.
"Sure." She looks bewildered and a little lost. "Where are your friends meeting you?" She squeezes his hand tighter. "Do you think they'll like me?"
"You'll be fine, don't worry." He scans the crowd. "Look," he points, "they've got a table over there. Go say hi and I'll get us something to drink."
Sarah looks at where he is pointing and stiffens. "Oh. No." She shakes her head and starts to turn back. "I can't. They don't want to see me."
He hauls her back and stills her. "It'll be okay," he reassures her. "It's been years, remember? They might surprise you."
He starts to head over to the bar, but she is still standing there, staring. He can tell by the determined line on her brow that she's steeling herself.
He has to take matters into his own hands, it seems. He gives her a swat on the ass. "Go!"
The indignant look she gives him just makes him laugh.
10:35 p.m. EST
Seth gets back from the bar to find one quietly pale and two highly inquisitive faces looking up at him from beneath the sweeping, bright lights from the dance floor just beyond the table.
"Hey, Nick. Aly." He nods at them as he slides into the circular booth. He hands Sarah a cosmopolitan, hoping he remembered correctly what she liked back then. His beer is nice and cold and he suddenly wishes that he had another one.
Sarah downs her drink in one go and makes a frustrated noise at the bottom of the glass. Everyone watches with wide eyes. "I was thirsty," she explains.
No one says anything, but Nick and Aly start shooting him looks that speak louder than words. He knows they want to know what is going on, but he honestly doesn't know how to explain, so he just smiles and shrugs.
"So, Sarah..." Nick starts.
But she ignores him and scoots closer to Seth, poking him in the side.
"Let me out!" she whispers desperately, "I want another drink."
Aly puts her hand on Nick's arm, signalling she wants him to move and slides out of the other side of the booth.
"I'll go with you, okay?" she asks Sarah.
Sarah pokes Seth again and he gets up to let her out.
He watches the girls as they walk over to the bar. They've linked arms and Aly is smiling and nodding as they disappear behind the crowd.
Nick clears his throat. "What the hell, man?" His eyes bulge out a little and they both laugh.
"Honestly?" Seth puts his beer down and starts peeling the edge of the label off. "I'm not really sure. And I really can't explain Sarah, so don't ask."
Nick gives him another look. "Well, where have you been? We've been waiting..."
"Yeah, sorry about that. It's just been a really weird night. I ran into Sarah at some fund raising thing and apparently she's a photographer now and she threw champagne in my face and now we're here." He laughs and finishes his beer.
"What? A photographer?" Nick is incredulous.
"Champagne?" He leans forward.
Seth nods again. "We got thrown out into the street and she was pouting at me and I wasn't sure what else to do."
"Oh, man. It's going to be an interesting night." Nick looks a bit scared as he settles back. "I could use another beer." He looks sad now. "Or ten."
10:53 p.m. EST
The girls are soon back with more drinks, but they only stop long enough to drink them quickly before heading into the fray on the dance floor. They are both giggling and whispering to each other now and Seth thinks that can't be good.
"That can't be good." Nick says. "We should..." He gestures at the dance floor.
Seth gets up, drains the beer Sarah dropped off for him in a couple long swallows and waits for Nick to do the same.
They find the girls in the middle of the dance floor, doing some kind of writhing sexy dance together, Sarah's hands are under Aly's sequined tank top and Sarah has a violet lipstick mark on her neck.
"Jesus," Seth says, "did they do shots when we weren't looking?"
Nick makes a wild noise in his throat and joins them without further ado, but Seth hangs back for a moment, enjoying the show.
Sarah looks happy (and quite drunk). Her earlier fears gone, she is obviously enjoying herself. She is flirting with both Nick and Aly and trying to get them to do some obscene dance that involves her in the middle. She is groping Aly, who's gone all flushed, her eyes closed and mouth slightly open, while Nick grinds into her from behind.
Seth just watches them, trying to ignore how turned on he is getting. Some of it is because of how beautiful they all are together, but it's mostly because of Sarah. She looks gorgeous under the lights, her skin is glowing from the heat and her eyes are shining. At him.
She smiles and beckons him over, but he shakes his head, not really wanting to join their dance orgy. Not trusting that he can keep his hands to himself and this is a public place and...
Sarah extricates herself from the others and wraps her arms around his neck. "Dance with me?" she asks.
She dances well and it's easy to lose himself in the music and the swaying of her hips, the way she smells.
"God, you smell good," he murmurs into her neck.
"That's Aly, I think," she says with a grin. "We were getting reacquainted."
Seth groans. "I didn't know you liked girls like that."
Sarah laughs and turns, presses herself into him while wrapping her arms back behind his neck. "There's a lot of things you don't know about me."
"I'm getting that impression, yeah."
She turns back around again and pulls him close, runs her hand down the front of his pants. "Too bad these are so tight," she says, fingers rubbing. "I bet no one would notice if I were to just slip," her thumb trails lightly on the skin above his waistband, "my hand inside and then I could..."
The expression on her face is pure evil and Seth realizes if he doesn't stop this soon they are going to get thrown out of a second party tonight.
He steps away from Sarah and glances around wildly for the others. He finally catches Nick's eye and indicates they are heading back to the table. Nick nods and says something to Aly and soon they are all back in their booth.
Seth is now sitting between Sarah and Nick, holding a complimentary glass of pink champagne and trying to not react to Sarah's hand creeping up his thigh.
She takes a sip of champagne and casually leans into him. "I used to have such a crush on you, you know."
11:27 p.m. EST
Nick snorts and almost chokes on his champagne, while Aly laughs.
"You did?" Seth asks. "I didn't know that. You never said anything."
Sarah pouts at him. "It was a secret crush, you weren't supposed to know. Haven't you ever had a secret crush?" Her hand tightens on his leg, putting a stop to the slow, sweet torture.
"I..." He's not sure where she's going with this, what response would make her happy.
"Oh!" Aly comes to his rescue. "I know he had a crush on Nick!"
Not the rescue he had in mind. She ignores his glare.
"What?" Sarah is looking at them all in turn. Nick is studying his glass intently.
"Yes," Aly continues. "And they kissed once. At a party. I saw it."
Seth and Nick both stare at her in shock.
"I don't believe you," Sarah states firmly. She removes her hand from his lap. "Prove it."
"What?" Nick and Seth are now staring at her.
"Kiss," she demands.
They look at Aly again. "What's the problem, guys? You have done it before." Her brow furrows in consternation.
They look at each other. Nick is licking his lips and he looks a little strained. "Uh."
This isn't really what he had in mind for the evening, never mind who he wanted to kiss, but now the girls are chorusing, "Go on! Come on! Just one!" and Seth gives in, scooting a little closer to Nick.
"You okay with this?" he asks. He barely waits for Nick's quick nod before tilting his face up to meet Nick's lips.
His first thought is how long of a kiss would satisfy the girls. His second thought is hey, this is kind of funny. Or something. His third thought gets derailed with the introduction of Nick's tongue in his mouth.
He stops thinking after that. Because, well because Nick is a really great kisser and he's warm and his mouth is soft and his tongue is doing this really cool thing and...
He's suddenly wrenched back and Sarah is saying something about leaving and Nick is staring at Seth, lips slightly parted and Aly is gone.
"Where's..." he starts to ask Sarah.
She's pulling him out of the booth now. "She went to get our coats, we're meeting her outside. Come on." She's gone all pink and won't meet his eyes.
"Where are we going?" he asks Nick.
All he gets is a shrug in response.
11:40 p.m. EST
They somehow manage to all crowd into the back seat, the girls sitting in the middle at first, but they soon gravitate to his and Nick's laps. Seth tries to ignore their grins and giggling, knowing that the only way he is going to make it to wherever they are going is by concentrating on something, anything that isn't warm and squirmy and, he gasps as Sarah shifts, not wearing underwear.
"Tell him," she demands.
"What? Who?" He looks at Nick for an explanation, but Nick is far too busy kissing Aly's neck to notice.
"My what?" He's confused.
"Tell the driver your address, we're going to your place," she says firmly.
"Um." He gives her a quizzical look. "Okay."
It takes him three tries to get it right. Funny how distracting someone unzipping your pants can be.
They take off with a lurch.
11:55 p.m. EST
They are lights flashing behind his closed eyelids and the driver has turned up the radio. Some countdown show is broadcasting live from Radio City Music Hall and Seth can hear the crowd in the background getting more and more excited as it gets closer to midnight.
They are currently slowly moving in the congested streets and Seth has gone past excitement straight into oblivion. Sarah's been teasing him for what seems like hours now, alternating between slow wet kisses and sneaky gropes, his lap (thankfully) covered by her skirt.
She licks up the side of his neck and breathes into his ear. "Are you having a good time?"
He opens his eyes. "Ye.." Her hand speeds up. "Fuck, yes, just like that."
Nick groans next to him and he tears himself away from her shining gaze to look over at his friends. He can't help but goggle as Aly shifts subtly to meet the thrust of Nick's hips. It's so obvious what they are doing, despite the coats they have somewhat covered themselves with, that Seth feels a surge of panic (maybe some lust too). But when he looks at the driver, he's relieved to see that the guy is either oblivious or very circumspect, he seems to be mainly paying attention to the radio and the traffic all around them.
"Ooh!" Sarah says. She pulls off her coat and leans up a bit and before he can protest (well, he might have) she has escalated matters past the point of any return.
His mind is shouting at him about the danger of getting caught, but it's quickly drowned out by heat and slickness and tightly contained movements and (oh my god) they're moving again.
"Almost there!" the driver says with enthusiasm.
Sarah grabs Seth's hand, placing it precisely where she wants it. "Almost!" she says joyfully.
11:59 p.m. EST
The crowd on the radio has reached a fever pitch.
Seth throws his head back.
Sarah changes her angle.
He's biting his lip.
She's clawing at his legs.
A rush of sound.
12:04 a.m. EST
Seth later dimly remembers paying the cab driver with the two fifties from earlier in the evening, but he doesn't remember anything between the end of the countdown and then. He's relieved to find that he's completely dressed as they stagger out the cab into the cold night.
Sarah smoothes the front of her coat and links her arm in his as he struggles to remain upright. "You gonna make it inside okay?" she asks.
He looks around at all the fuss as people celebrate around them. "Yeah. Hey, it's the new year." He can't help but smile.
She smiles back at him.
"As long as no one makes any jokes about starting it off with a bang..." Nick comes up behind them, an arm on each of their shoulders and kisses each of them on the cheek. "We invited up?"
"Of course." Seth leads them up to the entryway where a doorman stands. He nods at Seth as they approach and opens the door. "Good evening, Mr. Green." He nods at Sarah. "Mrs. Green."
"Happy New Year, Gerald."
As they wait for an elevators, Seth sneaks a look at his glowing wife, at his friends.
Nick catches the look and grins. "Fun night?"
Seth just laughs in response as the elevator doors open.
"Yeah, hey Sarah," Nick holds the doors and waits for them all to file in. "What was up with all that stuff tonight?"
She gives him a cross look and stamps her foot. "It was a game! You were supposed to pretend!"
Aly elbows him and shakes her head. "Oh..." Nick says.
Sarah looks brightly at them all. "We could try a different one next week. I was thinking that Seth and Nick could be returning from South America, and Aly, you're a dancer in some sleazy bar. I have this outfit that would work perfectly. And I could be..."
Seth ignores the slightly scared looks on their faces as Nick and Aly absorb Sarah's latest scheme. He grins. It's going to be a fun year.