The gang took a break, collapsing in their seats, having been dancing for hours, something they rarely got to do these days without being interrupted by one emergency or another.
"So what happened after you kicked that one version of Buffy?" Kennedy asked.
"The one with the massive Afro between her legs?" Xander asked, trying not to grin at Buffy's expression.
Buffy groaned. "That is a disturbing thought."
"It was a disturbing sight," Xander assured her. "Well, she was down and wasn't really a threat, so I stepped around her, grabbed the ice cream and left."
"You didn't kill her?" Dawn asked, surprised.
"No," Xander said shaking his head. "For all I know she had a good reason for killing that Xander."
"I'd say it was for the sake of good taste, considering how you described his hair, but her own furry little problem negates that," Willow said.
"Yeah, I do my best not to jump to conclusions," Xander said, "and I really don't like killing friends when I don't need to."
"Only in our lives would that sentence make sense and not be considered a sign that you needed to be medicated," Kennedy said.
Dawn's stomach growled.
"And on that note, we should probably get some lunch," Xander said.
"Well, I am eating for two," Dawn replied with a grin.
"You're pregnant?!" Buffy exploded.
Dawn rolled her eyes. "I used the Ferula Gemina," she reminded her.
"Oh," Buffy said calming down.
"I'll make burgers and then we can relax and binge watch movies," Xander said. "They have a pretty good sized collection here."
"What have they got?" Willow asked with a bright smile, looking forward to tearing apart bad movies with Xander just like they did back in Sunnydale.
"All the classics and a number of new movies," Xander assured her. "One of the perks of the job is getting to order the movies for the hotel's collection."
"Food first!" Dawn ordered.
"Okay, that was a good movie," Buffy admitted, "I can see why you guys wanted me to watch it now."
"It's a classic," Willow agreed as Xander turned off the TV in the lounge.
"Time for bed?" Dawn asked before yawning.
"It is getting kinda late," Willow agreed.
"As you wish," Xander said with a grin.
"Hey," Buffy exclaimed, "I just realized all the times over the years you guys have said that you were saying 'I love you'!"
"I can't believe you'd never seen The Princess Bride before," Dawn said, "and yeah that's exactly what everyone means when they say it. You'd think you'd have at least asked why one of us said it over the years."
Buffy shrugged. "I always thought they were trying to be funny or pretending to be servants. A couple of times I thought it was someone making a point that I was being too bossy."
"It can be both," Xander assured her as he lead them to the elevator.
"Buttercup was a bit of a Bit-ca in the beginning," Willow agreed, "so really we can be saying we love you and be less of a Bit-ca at the same time."
Xander pressed the button for the elevator. "Yeah, it's a good way to tell someone they are being annoying, but you love them."
The elevator bell dinged loudly as it changed floors, making the girls jump a little.
"That would have been nice to know years ago," Buffy said with a sigh.
"Then you should have watched it with us," Willow said, "goddess knows how often we tried to invite you to our movie nights at my place."
Buffy shrugged. "You guys said you liked to watch bad movies at your place and some of the titles were definitely porn. It made me uncomfortable."
"Porn?" Dawn asked, "what ones sounded like porn?"
"It's been years," Buffy said, "so I don't recall all of them, but there was Orgazmo and Forest Hump."
"Orgazmo is a comedy making fun of the porno industry," Willow said, "not porn at all."
"Oh," Buffy said. "And Forest Hump?"
"Okay, that one actually turned out to be a porno," Xander admitted, "but in our defense we thought it was a comedy."
Willow laughed. "Oh god, I remember that movie. I watched it once you left, it was awful."
"Yeah, we realized pretty quickly it wasn't just a parody like Orgazmo was," Xander said.
"You really thought we watched porn together and were inviting you?" Willow asked Buffy.
"I'd just moved to Sunnydale and didn't know you two that well," Buffy reminded them, "and later when I did know you two, whenever I told mom I was going to a movie night at Willow's it was just a cover for Slayer business."
The elevator dinged harshly as it arrived at their floor and the girls all froze, ready for something deadly to come out of the elevator.
The doors opened and Xander stepped inside and turned around, before noting how tense the others looked. "What?"
"Just thought the elevator would be dangerous for some reason," Buffy said.
"Yeah, I was half expecting something to leap out when the doors opened," Dawn added.
"I was tense because they were tense," Kennedy said as the four got on the elevator with him.
"That's reasonable," Xander said as he hit the door close button, "but try to relax a bit, expecting things can cause them sometimes, around here at least."
They were all silent as the elevator rose to their floor watching the buttons light up.
"I can't wait to crawl into bed," Buffy said with a sigh as the doors opened and they exited the elevator, "it has been a long day, though not as long as yesterday's"
"Just remember don't crawl under any furniture," Xander told them once more.
After a few seconds of silence, Willow had to ask, "Are you going to explain that one?"
"Nope," Xander said as he opened the door to his room.
"Then can we get an explanation for why we aren't getting an explanation?" Buffy asked.
"Also no," Xander said, "Night girls." He quickly ducked into his room and kicked off his shoes. It had been a long day with them here and he really needed some sleep.
It took maybe five seconds for him to shed all his clothes, flip off the lights, and crawl under the covers.
He was just beginning to doze off when he felt someone slip into bed with him and crawl into his side. He wrapped an arm around her, used to Solstice showing up in one form or another, when someone slipped in on the other side of the bed as well.
"I'm not sleeping here alone," Buffy whispered.
"Cockblocker," Dawn mumbled, sounding more amused than upset.
"Glad I got a king size bed," Xander said, giving Dawn a squeeze and relaxing.
He was just about to doze off once more when Kennedy whispered, "Scoot over."
Two more bodies joined the pile of Scoobs as everyone got situated.
"That's everyone," Buffy said amused. "Night all."
"Night all," they chorused back.
"This is actually pretty comfy," Buffy noted as she slowly woke up sandwiched between Xander and Willow, which she was pretty sure wasn't the spot she'd gone to sleep in.
"Beats the hell out of sleeping alone," Kennedy agreed from her spot between Willow and Dawn.
"Shh, still sleeping," Dawn grumbled barely awake.
Xander lifted his head and looked at the clock. "It's almost eight, we have to get up or something horrible will happen."
"Something horrible?" Buffy asked, suddenly wide awake.
"He means he has to pee and he'll bite everyone between him and the bathroom," Willow explained with a grin.
"I've done it before and I'll do it again," Xander swore half seriously.
"I gotta pee too," Buffy realized and sat up.
"I didn't until you guys started talking about it," Kennedy complained, before crawling over Dawn and breaking for the bathroom.
"That's mine, use your own," Xander said, hurrying after her, his boxers tented out.
The two vanished into the bathroom and the door shut behind them.
"What, are they both going to use it at once?" Buffy asked before the shower started and she realized that one of them was probably going to pee in the shower. She made a face. "You aren't supposed to pee in the shower."
"Not in gym class, but a private shower is another matter," Willow said. "Are you claiming you don't?"
"You do?" Buffy asked surprised.
"Everyone does but you, apparently," Dawn replied. "It helps prevent Athlete's Foot."
"How does… You pee on your feet?!"
"It kinda ends up there when you pee in the shower, no aiming needed," Willow pointed out, "and yes it does kill Athletes' Foot."
"Sounds more like a fetish," Buffy said with a shudder.
"You are so prissy," Dawn complained with a groan.
"I need to pee still," Buffy said before unnecessarily rolling over the two of them and getting out on the other side of the bed.
"You are really lazy," Dawn complained as her sister vanished into the hall.
"I think we annoyed her," Willow said with a grin.
Muffled cursing came from the bathroom.
"Sorry," Kennedy apologized as she opened the bathroom door and stepped out.
"Come back to bed, it's not even eight yet," Willow said.
A red faced Kennedy glanced at the clock. "That's only seven minutes away."
"Exactly," Willow said and patted the bed by her side.
Kennedy grinned and slid under the covers to cuddle with her girlfriend.
"Seeing Xander's morning wood got you blushing?" Dawn guessed.
"It's bigger than I was expecting," Kennedy admitted.
"Porn star big?" Dawn joked.
"What? No!" Kennedy spluttered. "I was surprised by the rest of him. I mean, he's really muscular, his clothes tend towards the baggy and I always forget he's got some strength to him. That part of him is a good size, but I've got bigger toys."
"Suddenly, I feel like taking a shower," Dawn said brightly, as Buffy returned.
"Scoot over," Buffy said, sliding back into bed next to Dawn.
"I thought you'd be getting dressed," Dawn said.
"It's not eight yet," Buffy pointed out.
"Well let me out, I wanna shower," Dawn said, climbing over Buffy.
Buffy rolled her eyes but didn't stop her younger sister from getting out of bed.
"I'm going to get a shower, be right back," Dawn said from the bathroom door.
The four girls turned and saw another Dawn close the bathroom door as she entered.
Dawn quickly walked over and tried the knob. "Dammit, bitch locked the door."
"Hey, don't insult my sister," Buffy said with a grin, "I know she may be annoying at times, but she's still my sister."
Dawn groaned. "Trust me, I know the feeling." She sighed and climbed back into bed. "Greedy little shapeshifter stole my spot."
"Unless you're Solstice and she's Dawn," Kennedy pointed out.
"She's still wearing the 1920's dress," Dawn pointed out before asking. "Does anyone have a hairpin?"
"Going to pick the lock and join them in the shower?" Kennedy guessed.
"No, I'm going to steal her clothes," Dawn said, getting out of bed and going through the dresser. "Lockpicks!"
"He keeps lockpicks in his sock drawer?" Kennedy asked as Dawn hurried over to the bathroom and popped the lock.
"You don't?" Buffy asked.
"You do as well?" Kennedy asked before sighing. "Of course you do. Is this some Scooby thing I haven't run across because Willow doesn't practice it?"
"I keep lockpicks in my sock drawer too," Willow said, "you just haven't noticed because they're charmed with a notice-me-not."
"Why do you all keep lockpicks in your sock drawer," Kennedy asked, "and why is this the first time I've heard about it?"
Dawn locked and closed the bathroom door, her arms filled with clothes, shoes, and jewelry.
"I've had to escape from the police a few times and they're useful for getting the cuffs off," Buffy explained. "I used to have to bug Willow to pick them for me, so she taught me how and bought me my first set."
"Also useful for when someone loses the key to the fuzzy cuffs you're using when you don't want to call a locksmith of break the headboard," Dawn said with a grin.
"That only happened… twice," Buffy said embarrassed.
"Lock picks are too handy not to keep around," Willow said.
"And keeping them in your sock drawer?" Kennedy asked.
The alarm went off and Dawn shut it off.
"Dunno, it's just where we all decided to put them," Buffy said with a shrug as they got up.
"There's no story behind it?"
"Not really," Buffy said, "that's where Willow kept hers so they would be handy, so I did the same."
"And I copied you," Dawn added, putting Xander's lockpicks back in place and folding the clothes she'd stolen so they were easier to carry without dropping anything. "Well, I'm going to go shower, be back shortly."
"I'll use Xander's when he gets out, she takes forever," Buffy said as Dawn left.
"Meet back here in twenty," Willow said, "and if you're going to shower in Xander's room you should probably get your clothes."
"Good idea," Buffy said, "I've got… a cheerleading outfit, but that'll do for now I guess."
Everyone was dressed and showered as Buffy came out of Xander's bathroom wearing her old cheerleader outfit.
"Not one word," Buffy said.
Xander held up his hands. "Fine, ruin my fun."
"I'm surprised it still fits so well," Dawn said.
"Gotta love the Slayer metabolism," Buffy said cheerfully.
"Actually, that's probably genetics," Xander said. "Remember the cursed chocolate incident? Joyce dug out clothes she hadn't worn in decades and they still fit too."
"That's a good point," Dawn said with a smile.
"Okay, now who wants what for breakfast?" Xander asked.
"Pancakes," Dawn said.
"Scrambled eggs," Buffy added.
"That sounds good," Willow agreed.
"Glad you asked for scrambled," Xander said, "omelets would require a trip to the fifties."
The girls all looked at him.
"What? The breakfast cook in the fifties is world class," he said, "and I keep adding too much pepper."
"No massive killings?" Buffy asked cautiously.
"No, though we have a woman who pushed her husband out a window on the third floor, but this is the Overlook, much like Sunnydale, something bad is always going on."
"I'll stick with scrambled, thanks," Buffy said.
"Suit yourself," Xander said, leading them down to the hotel's kitchen.
The girls relaxed a little, relieved that nothing strange had happened along the way.
"I can help cook," Dawn volunteered as Xander started preparing breakfast in the massive kitchen.
"I'd rather chance the lobster," Buffy said, not entirely joking.
"My cooking isn't that bad," Dawn said.
"It kinda is," Willow said. "You never follow the recipe and always mix things together that should not be mixed."
"I'm fine with cooking," Xander said as he came out of the walk-in deep freeze with a package of bacon.
"I know, but I like to help," Dawn said.
"You can make the juice," Xander said, "grab some orange juice from the freezer and mix up a pitcher."
A second Buffy walked in while Xander was scrambling the eggs. "Can I have two over easy?" she asked brightly.
"Nice outfit," Xander told her while tossing another couple of eggs on the griddle.
"It's the classic playboy bunny outfit," 'Buffy' said proudly. "What do you think?"
"It looks good on you," Xander said with a grin as he made it obvious he was checking her out.
Buffy's eyes narrowed as she glared at Xander who was flirting with her twin, who she was pretty sure was Solstice.
"Hey, would you mind helping me with something in the office?" Xander asked 'Buffy.'
"No Xander, just no," Buffy said firmly.
"No what?" 'Buffy' asked looking from Xander to Buffy and back again, as Dawn came out of the deep freezer.
"No, he can't seduce you to get me a bunny suit to wear," Buffy said.
"Pretty sure I can," Xander said as he flipped the eggs.
"Talk about ego," 'Buffy' said as she checked Xander out with a smile.
"Talent my dear, pure talent," Xander said as he flipped her eggs.
"I'm not going to wear a bunny suit," Buffy said.
"Why were you going to steal my clothes for her to wear?" Bunny asked. "I mean, I know we look damn good in them, but you can always just get your own from storage."
"I forgot about that," Xander said. "All of Buffy's clothes are in room 237."
Buffy winced. "I can see where that would be a problem."
"I'm going to call you Bunny," Kennedy said, taking in the scene and wondering how many versions of them all Xander had dealt with and what the versions of her had been like.
"Forgot about what?" Buffy asked, deciding that Bunny was descriptive and not too insulting. "And why are you wearing a Bunny suit?"
"They've got a storage room full of costumes," Xander said, "for holidays and they probably put on small plays for guests."
"I was bored," Bunny said, "so I was playing dress up. If I'd known I was going to stumble across a room that was out of sync I'd have worn something else."
Xander filled the plates with everyone's orders. "Everyone grab your plates and let's get a table."
"Out of sync?" Willow asked.
"You guys are here and you have a me with you, she should already have briefed you," Bunny pointed out."
"Xander's the caretaker," Buffy told her, I'm just a friend that dropped by."
"Oh, well then he should have told you," Bunny said.
"We don't use the same terminology," Xander said, "but then I rarely run into anyone who does,"
"Oh," Bunny said. "I refer to rooms that aren't part of my timeline as out of sync."
"That makes sense," Willow said. "So, how did you end up the caretaker in your world?"
"I was investigating the many, many, many deaths at this place and saw the ad in the paper for a caretaker," Bunny explained. "The first year or two was kinda rocky, but I got a feel for the place, so I've stayed on. Plus, it pays really well."
"Shouldn't you be running the council?" Buffy asked.
"Why would I be running the council?" Bunny replied. "And what council?"
"The Watcher's council," Buffy said.
"Heard of 'em, but I'm not a watcher," Buffy said.
"Yeah, but you're the Slayer," Buffy said, confused.
"No I'm not," Bunny said. "Why did you think I was the Slayer… I'm the Slayer in your reality?! That is so cool!"
"Cool?" Buffy asked dumbfounded.
"It would be so much easier to kill vampires as the Slayer," Bunny said. "I mean, I get by with road flares and the small amount of magic I was able to learn but being able to fight them hand to hand would be so much easier."
"If you're not the Slayer, how did you get involved in all of this?" Buffy asked.
"My prom was attacked by vamps, that kinda clued me in," Bunny said. "I started looking around, making connections and… well, what else was I supposed to do?"
"Live a normal life?" Buffy suggested.
"Pfft! Bag that," Bunny said. "Who could just ignore vampires and demons going around killing people? Not me, that's who."
"Well, I can feel the slide coming, I gotta boogie," Bunny said. "Thanks for breakfast."
"Stop by any time," Xander said as she left, her form fading out as she reached the door.
"Why do you look so smug?" Kennedy asked Xander.
"No reason," he replied.
"Were you really going to seduce Bunny?" Dawn asked.
"I'm pretty sure Buffy would wear a bathrobe all day rather than wear a bunny outfit," Xander replied.
"Catch phrase," Willow told Buffy and nudged her.
"What?" Buffy asked confused as she hadn't really been paying attention, thinking of the life her 'normal' self had decided to live.
"Say your catch phrase," Willow told her.
"I have a catch phrase?" Buffy asked.
"You said it several times yesterday," Kennedy reminded her, realizing what Willow was talking about.
"That wasn't a no," Buffy said, wondering what she'd missed.
Xander shook his head. "It loses something when you deliver the line late and, on that note, I'm going to go do the dishes."
"I'll help," Dawn offered getting up and collecting the plates.
After they left Willow frowned in thought.
"What?" Kennedy asked.
"He still didn't answer," Willow said.
Typing by: fyrewolf5