Walking on Sunshine 7
A flash of light heralded the arrival of the pair in Florida.
Dr. Strange sniffed the air. "Let's grab a pizza and some drinks as well."
"Sure thing," Xander agreed.
Three stops and a hundred dollars later...
Xander balanced the stack of food containers in his left hand while Dr. Strange carried an ice chest filled with drinks.
"Ok, let's fly," Dr. Strange said, opening a portal and floating through it.
Xander flew after him, coming out above a 'deserted' desert island and scanned the area. "This way," Xander told Strange, and the two flew off to the west.
"Looks like Stephan is breaking his diet," Fury remarked as they watched the monitor. "Put our flying nudist down as a known associate of Dr. Strange and put a note in his file that he may be trustworthy."
"Sir?" Maria asked in surprise.
"Stephen is an excellent judge of character. I trust his opinion slightly more than seeing if someone can lift Thor's hammer as a test of character."
"Should we make contact?" she asked.
"Have one of our resources in the area see to it," Fury agreed. "Low profile, tentative feelers. He'd be useful in construction if nothing else."
"Nice work," Stephen said in admiration as he looked over the island.
"Thanks," Xander replied. "I considered making a volcanic island and having a giant skull carved in the side, as is tradition, but I thought the resulting tsunami would upset the neighbors."
"Good call," Stephen said before turning his attentions towards the castle. "You have to be kidding me!"
"What?" Xander asked.
"You built the castle of BadAssitude," Stephen said with a groan.
"And that's bad?" Xander asked as they landed in the clearing where he spent most of his time, and set the food on a picnic table.
"No, just embarrassing," Dr. Strange said, looking around.
"Why do you have so many lawn gnomes?"
"Same reason I have so much redwood patio furniture: salvage," Xander replied, raiding the cooler for a cola. "So why is the castle embarrassing?"
"Because I designed it during a week where I'd been de-aged to about fourteen," he admitted, snagging an order of deep fried chicken.
"It was one of the stranger plots against me, I admit, but my fourteen year old self was a lot easier to distract and much more prone to rushing into things."
"So tell me about the castle," Xander replied with amusement.
"Didn't you build it?" Stephen asked.
"I built it based on the blueprints included, but the language everything was written in isn't one I recognize."
"It's a made up language," Stephen explained. "Steve-o thought it would be cool."
"He thought Stephen sounded too stuffy," Dr. Strange admitted, embarrassed.
"Ok," Xander agreed, trying not to laugh. "And should I be concerned with the glowing runes? They look really creepy."
"No, they're doing exactly what they were designed to do."
"What's that?" Xander asked curiously.
"Glow and look really creepy," Stephen replied. "Remember, it was designed by a fourteen year old boy."
Xander laughed. "I can't throw stones. I am the one who thought the design looked cool and decided to build it."
"This is exactly the kind of place I designed it for," Stephen told him. "Deserted island in the Bermuda Triangle. The only things missing are the dinosaurs."
"I was planning on letting the foliage grow in some more before I brought them in," Xander admitted.
Stephen Strange, Earth's Sorcerer Supreme just stared at him for a moment before speaking, "You are so much like my fourteen year old self, it's scary."
Xander laughed. "Come on Steve-o, this setup was cribbed from the original King Kong movie."
"Heh," Stephen said as he thought about it. "I hadn't realized that was where I got it from, but I believe you're right."
"But, back to the castle," Xander said. "Me and magic don't exactly mix that well. What kind of things do I need to worry about?"
Stephen waved it off. "I designed it so a good sized lightning strike would charge it, so no casting on your part will be required. It'll keep itself clean and repaired. The obsidian wall in the main dining hall is a scrying device, though it requires rhyming requests to function."
"Like the magic mirror in Snow White?" Xander asked.
"Yes," Stephen replied, a bit embarrassed. "I like Disney. It works best on scrying television channels."
"Handy," Xander said.
"It even unscrambles premium channels and can watch up to a year in the past. The plumbing teleports water from the ocean and filters it, returning it the same way. There are also dozens of hidden rooms and secret passages, for no other reason than to have them."
"I guess it is a bit cool," Stephen admitted.
"It is not only cool, it has style," Xander assured him. "It only seems a bit childish because every kid who ever watched the classic monster movies thought about designing their own place just like this."
"The modern movies just don't have the same feel," Stephen admitted.
"So what other cool ideas did you have for it that you know how to pull off now, but didn't think of when you were de-aged?"
Stephen set his slice of pizza down. "And what makes you think I did any more work on the idea when I was restored to my rightful age?"
Xander chuckled. "Not even as a mental exercise?"
"How goes the... He's a girl again?" Buffy asked.
"Yeah, but he - or rather, she - doesn't look upset. Xander simply looked at the moon and laughed," Willow replied. "The sun rose and he's still a she."
"That is one hell of a bush," Buffy said, shaking her head.
"He, erm... Xander doesn't shave," Willow said, red faced.
"And how do you know that?" Buffy asked with a grin.
"Freshman year, he was acting like he got poison ivy someplace uncomfortable and he admitted he'd gotten bored one day while showering and shaved all the hair off."
Buffy burst out laughing.
"I had to buy him some hand lotion, which is why his hands are still so soft."
"Still..." Buffy had to wipe tears of laughter from her eyes.
"He's a guy," Willow said. "Too bad he hasn't kept up the habit now that he's blond." She turned bright red as she realized what she'd said.
Buffy stopped laughing and got a little flushed as she remembered how he looked as a man now. "I don't suppose we could send him a care package with some lotion."
"What? We don't want him to get sunburned, now do we?"
Typing By: Ordieth