For the Better

Epilogue

For the better

A Buffy the Vampire Slayer crossover by Enterprise1701d

Epilogue

Xander sighed contently as he woke up, flat on his back, finding his beautiful wife curled up next to him, her head on his chest, her arms loosely around his torso.

He gently stroked her neck, tightening his hold on her almost imperceptibly.

"Hm..." Kirika purred gently as she woke from her slumber. "Good morning, Mon Chèr."

"Morning, Mon Coeur," Xander whispered in reply as her head turned up to look at him, a rare smile decorating her perfect lips. "Sleep well?" he asked. "Your first night as Mrs Harris..."

Kirika's smile broadened. "Would that make you mister Harris?" she asked, smiling gently.

Xander grimaced slightly. "Point taken, My Love," he replied. She smiled, shifting her body from next to him to on top of him, placing herself strategically upon him. He let out a groan as her fingers started playing with the skin on his chest.

"Kirika..."

"Yes?" she asked, coming across as perfectly innocent. He grinned at her, then suddenly reached up, grabbed her, and twisted her under him. Laughter came from the marital bed soon after.

"I can't believe we didn't leave our room for three days," Xander said, his tone indicating that he could very well DO believe it, and that he didn't mind it a single bit. "We're in Las Vegas for our honeymoon and don't even leave the room for three days... that's got to be sacrilege somewhere."

Kirika held his arm a little tighter, one eye conveying a sense of 'like you minded...'. Xander grinned at her, even if she had resumed her usual cool composure, as she always did while in public, she still could relay everything she needed to relay to him with a single glance of those mysterious red eyes of hers.

Together like that, Xander dressed in an impeccable tuxedo, Kirika dressed in a beautiful white gown, holding loosely onto his arm, they strode around the casino. Past the blackjack and roulette tables, past the craps game and the sports betting they went. Something drew her attention.

"Pool?" she offered, extending her free hand to the area with pool tables. Xander looked over, and grinned slightly. He remembered fondly the games they played in the Paris apartment. Soon, the newlyweds were shooting pool, enjoying themselves tremendously.

"It isn't Vegas unless you place a bet," a suave voice said from behind the couple just as Xander landed the eight-ball in the corner pocket. Looking up from their game, the couple looked into the face of a businessman. Handsome he used to be; but now the years were starting to fade his looks away.

"What kind of bet?" Xander asked, feeling just giddy enough to take the man up on the offer.

The man shrugged. "How about twenty dollars per ball?" he offered, motioning for the table. "My name's John, by the way. John Gage."

"Xander," Xander replied, shaking the man's hand both in greeting and in acceptance. "My wife, Kirika," he then introduced, really enjoying the feel of her new status rolling off his tongue.

"Enchantée," John said suavely, bending over to kiss her hand. He didn't exactly get the response he was expecting as Kirika merely looking at him with obvious neutrality.

"Pleased to meet you, Mr. Gage," she replied casually. He straightened out, then turned to the game Xander had set up.

Half an hour later, Xander was beginning to regret his decision, as he was now a couple thousand dollars in debt. Granted, he had enough money in the bank now... but the way he had been raised still haunted him, and those couple thousand were enough to deter him from continuing his challenger's games.

John merely smiled as Xander proclaimed his fill. "How about a different kind of bet?" he then offered, obviously getting the wrong idea that Xander couldn't afford his losses.

"What kind of bet?" the teenager asked, instantly on alert. He did not like the way the man was looking at Kirika at that point, and he could feel his body slipping toward the state of alertness needed to fight.

"If you win... one million dollars," John offered, grinning as Xander's mouth sagged open slightly. The grin vanished as he noticed Kirika hadn't raised an eyebrow. "And if you lose... I still give you one million dollars, but your wife spends one night with me."

Xander felt rage explode within him, and it was with iron will that he deterred the Hyena from ripping the man to shreds. "Forget it," the teen snarled, turning to leave the pool hall, motioning for Kirika.

"Love..." she whispered, stopping him in his tracks. He glanced at her, not believing what he heard. Only when he turned toward her did he notice the gleam in her eyes. "Let me do it..."

"Kirika? You can't be serious!" he grunted louder than he had wanted. "That's practically prostitution he's offering!"

"I have lived at the Paris apartment for a year... and I have played Mireille on numerous occasions. Not to mention that I have had the last thirty minutes to observe him," she whispered, turning to face him, brushing her lips against his. "Don't worry, Mon Coeur... nobody touches me but you."

"Kirika..." he whispered.

"Trust me, My Love," she whispered, stepping back after one final fleeting kiss. She turned to John Gage. "One million," she stated, grabbing the cue. "I'll take the stripes."

John gage smiled, motioned for the table. "You break, little lady."

A cold and calculating smile spread across her lips as she bent over the table to take the breaking shot. The cue ball slammed into the pyramid of balls, scattering them in all corners and directions. Two striped balls, numbers ten and fourteen, vanished into the corner pockets. She turned, pocketed number nine, and glanced around the table. Eleven, twelve, thirteen, fifteen, and the Eight Ball were still out there.

Number twelve was an easy direct shot, but her cue ball rolled forward a little too much to be in a direct line, and John smiled when he realized it. Kirika's eyes narrowed slightly as she calculated odds. "Number fifteen, center pocket." John lost his smile.

She bounced the cue ball off one side, hit number fifteen, bounced IT of a side as well, before it vanished into the center pocket. That left three stripes and the eight ball. The next two were obvious shots, and soon, all she had left was the Eight ball. But, once again, her cue ball was hidden behind some solid colors, preventing her from taking a direct shot at the Eight Ball.

"That's going to be a hard one," John said, trying to come off as sensitive. Kirika smiled.

"Eight ball, corner pocket," she indicated the corner just in front of John. He gasped, then shook his head, smiling.

"That's impossible."

Kirika's face betrayed absolute concentration, the same concentration she had learned and cultivated for most of her young life. Nothing penetrated that veil of silence between her ears as she concentrated, her mind slipping into some kind of subconscious meditative state.

The cue ball hit the first cushion at the exact right angle to ricochet it toward the side, where it bounced again. Now having successfully cleared the two full-colored balls that had hindered her, Kirika's cue ball hit the Eight Ball dead-on, slamming it with force into the correct corner pocket.

"We win," Kirika announced casually, righting herself. John's mouth hung open as he signed the check.

"That was some major shooting, Ma Chérie," Xander shouted enthusiastically as they entered their honeymoon suite five minutes later. "I still can't believe the gall of that guy!"

Kirika smiled once more, now that they were in private. "But the look on his face made up for it," she replied, smiling.

"That it did, My Love. That it did..."

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