Twenty Nine Kisses

~ This is an AU world where Oz ran into Xander before running into Eskimo!Willow. Written for the Roald Dahl challenge on could_be.

Years ago, Jesse and Xander had begun a tally. Xander always thought Jesse had fudged his numbers a bit -- probably claiming that a kiss on the cheek from a cousin counted. But he could never prove anything, and Jesse *had* dated Darlene Masterson for nearly a week, back in eighth grade. They could have spent a lot of the time kissing.

Could have. Probably not, considering how quickly she'd broken up with him.

By the time Jesse died -- and he can say that now, to himself, without feeling that streak of pain that jags through his inside, burning everything it touches -- Jesse had been up to twenty-eight.

Xander, at the time, was still at two.

He'd continued to keep count, because someday he's going to see Jesse again, and he's going to ask. Sometimes, when Xander has a chance to think clearly about the way his brain works, he wonders why he thinks he'll want to taunt Jesse about the kisses he missed by being dead.

The rest of the time he just keeps count, because Jesse will ask. And besides -- until lately, it wasn't difficult at all. 'Two' was an easy, if embarrassing, number to remember.

A week ago, his number of kisses soared to 'five'. Or maybe six, because there was one which might have been two, or might have been one long, complex, multi-stage kiss. Their mouths had never really broken contact, but at one point neither of them were moving, barely touching their lips together, and Xander isn't completely sure they didn't *stop* kissing, and then start again a second later.

But he's willing to count it as one, because he has every reason to believe that he'll get more kissing in before he ever sees Jesse. He's expecting one in a few minutes, in fact, because Oz is just like that. Very oral, Xander had once observed, and Oz had just given him that half-mouthed quirk of a smile, before giving him kiss number five. Or five and six.

So Xander knows that when he sees Jesse again, he'll have beaten Jesse's record.

Even if Xander has a heart-attack now and has to give Jesse an accounting -- what they just did had to count for at least twenty-four kisses. Xander was finding it difficult to count, exactly, but the few brain cells he had awake and working at the moment, told him it was probably pretty close to twenty-four.

Which gave him twenty-nine kisses. Or five/six kisses and one really mind-boggling fuck.

Both of which beat Jesse's score.

Oz made a noise, then Xander felt him moving. The arm draped over Xander's chest gave him a brief squeeze, then, "Awake?"

Xander nodded. "Think so."

He looked over to find Oz giving him the same look Oz had given him right before he'd said "Wanna lose those pants?"

Xander kissed him, quick. Thirty. Or seven. Either way, he wins.