SUMMARY: Andrew tries to escape Willow's wrath once more, this time by cleaning up a slight mess he's made (Season 7 between Showtime and Potential).
SPOILERS: Through the Buffy Season 7 episode "Potential"
FEEDBACK: Totally welcome (APostModernSleaz@aol.com)
ARCHIVE: More than likely okay, but please ask first.
DISCLAIMER: The characters used within are the property of Mutant Enemy, Twentieth Century Fox, and of course Joss Whedon. It's their sandbox, I'm just playing in it.
NOTES 1: Based on Challenge #282 at You Got the Stones? proposed by Mouse: "1-Spike 2-Marshmallows 3-Photographs that move, ala Harry Potter 4-Dawn dying her hair and/or getting a mohawk 5-Someone walking in on someone doing something 6-Anya in all her amusingness 7-A computer fiasco 8-Scotch tape 9-A period of time in which there is "girltalk" btw. Willow, Tara, Buffy, and Anya 10-Very retro-style shoes"
NOTES 2: As always, much love to my master beta Shadowlass, and to NautiBitz for bequeathing this challenge to me. Love you guys! (Completed 3/9/03)
"So Buffy, you never answered my question." Willow handed another block of wood to Buffy, who promptly began carving yet another stake—careful to keep the chips on the plastic covering the floor—to add to the already impressive pile at her feet in the living room. "What's it like having Spike live in the house now? I mean, for you."
Before Buffy could answer, there was a clatter from the dining room. A few seconds later, Andrew ran in, came to a screeching halt in front of Willow, and began nervously bouncing on the balls of his feet.
"Um...hypothetical question—say while you're playing Dungeons and Dragons online, your character gets killed by a wizard. So you get kind of mad, and the screen inexplicably falls off totally on its own. Will scotch tape fix it?"
Buffy looked at Willow. "Remind me again why I untied him?"
"Sorry, got nothing," she grumped, glaring at the computer violator. "Andrew, I thought you were a computer geek?"
"No, Warren was the only one of us who knew that stuff."
"So you're just a plain geek," Buffy said, smirking as she continued her carving.
"I prefer to think of myself as socially misunderstood. So, um, I should probably mention that the computer was making this really weird clicking sound...."
Willow rolled her eyes and stood up. "I'm on it. But if I find out you were downloading fake nude Alyssa Milano pictures again and overloaded the hard drive, I'm gonna get cranky."
Andrew sat down in Willow's vacated spot on the couch next to Buffy and watched her carve stakes. After several minutes of fidgeting while Buffy pointedly ignored him, he broke the silence.
"When is Giles coming back from training the Potentials? I can't find my Sumerian dictionary and I think he borrowed it or something."
"They'll be back tomorrow morning, and I really doubt Giles had to borrow your dictionary. Listen, I'm going to go downstairs and check on Spike." Buffy put the half-carved stake down and stood up, stretching. "If you want to make yourself useful, carve a few more stakes."
"Sure, I can do that!" Andrew beamed. "But, uh, don't I need your knife?" As she shot him a skeptical glare, Andrew said, "Oh, right, I remember—only butter knives for me."
"An emphatic uh huh."
When Buffy was gone, Andrew put the stake down and immediately lunged for one of the research books on the coffee table. Ever since he and Jonathan had fled to Mexico, Andrew hadn't had a chance to do any reading up on the occult. Then there was the killing in the name of The First, the being tied up, and now that he was untied, Buffy and her friends kept chasing him away from any of the cool magic and demon stuff. The book was red, heavy, and mostly in Lumanchi, a demon language he hadn't studied in almost two years.
"Ko n'mod nutrek tsicomec...." he haltingly tried out a few phrases, but before he could get any further, he heard a chair scraping across the floor in the dining room. Andrew stashed the book behind a couch cushion and tried to look as innocent as he could when Willow came in.
"When you were using my computer, did you hit alternate, control, and delete?"
"I don't think so."
"Okay. When Buffy comes back upstairs, tell her I had to run to the store and pick up a new motherboard. Are you going to be good and not touch anything, or do I have to tie you up again?"
"I'll be good!"
Willow nodded. "Good, back in a few." She grabbed her purse and left.
A sudden chocolate craving hit. Andrew stood up and walked into the kitchen. No one had gone food shopping since before the whole übervamp thing, so the cabinets were pretty wiped. Definitely no chocolate, but...
"Can't make that, the microwave's busted," Dawn informed him while dumping her schoolbooks on the counter.
"Drat. Do you guys have any, like, chips?"
"Nope. The Potentials tend to wolf down everything in sight." She checked the cabinet nearest the door. "Um...oh, we have a bag of marshmallows. Which are actually the reason we don't have a microwave at the moment."
As Andrew leaned against the island, Dawn hopped onto the opposite counter by the sink and handed him the bag. Through the two marshmallows shoved hastily into his mouth, Andrew said, "How did that happen?"
"I put a marshmallow into the microwave and turned it on high for ten minutes to see what would happen, and the front door kind of exploded."
Andrew swallowed. "I don't think that's...possible."
"Oh, well, The First Evil might have helped a little."
"Oh." Andrew popped another marshmallow in his mouth and said, "Hey, wanna see the cool book I found?"
"You found a book? Where?"
"On the table in the living room."
Dawn looked at him. "That isn't really finding so much as...seeing, isn't it?"
"True. But come check it out anyway!"
Dawn followed Andrew back into the living room. "You know, this isn't as exciting as it would have been last year. Buffy lets me do research now. She even used to let me patrol, before the Big Bad got all proactive."
"Yeah, but this book is in Lumanchi, which is, like, really rare." He sat down, looked around to make sure Buffy and Willow weren't around, and pulled out the book. "Look, this passage is talking about how the Desata demons would summon lesser demons to confuse their enemies."
"Wow, you can understand all that?"
"I've always been good with languages," he shrugged. "I can teach you some if you want. Sumerian is pretty easy to learn."
"Oh, that would be cool!" Dawn exclaimed.
Andrew looked down at the book again. "I don't understand this section though. 'Dunoc dem moy t'gish kaimond oneva....'"
There was a loud pop and a small, furry green demon was suddenly perched on the table. Dawn jumped up and away from it as it screeched, skittered off the table, and bolted up the stairs. She looked at Andrew.
Willow was standing with her arms crossed in front of Dawn and Andrew on the couch. Anya and Xander were on the floor by the fireplace.
"I go out for fifteen minutes and you two manage to summon a demon. Unbelievable." Andrew squirmed as Willow glared at him. "I don't want Buffy to know about this. She's had an insane few days, she deserves a break, so we're going to deal with this without her finding out. Do you at least know what kind of demon it was?"
Andrew nodded. "It's a Travesura. Not dangerous or anything, it's just a mischief demon."
"We can handle this," Xander said, "no problem. Anya, you and Willow get Buffy out of the house, keep her out until I text message you. Dawn, Andrew and I will get rid of this thing."
When Anya and Willow went downstairs to get Buffy, Xander asked Andrew what he knew about the demon.
"Mostly, he hides stuff, and moves stuff around, eats underwear, steals left socks out of dryers, that sort of thing. Um, to get rid of him, you have to smash the jewel on his tummy, but he's really fast and hard to catch."
"Eew, he eats underwear?" Dawn asked.
"Wait, 'smash a jewel on his tummy'? What is this, a troll doll?" Xander said.
"The original makers got their idea from a Travesura."
"Spike, you have to drink some more or you'll never get your strength back." Buffy was sitting on a chair next to Spike's cot in the basement. Only a few feet away from where she'd told Spike she believed in him just before the Harbingers kidnapped him. She nervously smoothed one hand down the side of her pants and pleadingly held the glass of blood towards Spike with the other.
"I'm fine, pet. You've been worrying over me for two days now. Being chained up for a while doesn't beat having an organ fall on me and I recovered from that just fine."
Buffy was suppressing the urge to remind him that he was in a wheelchair for months after the organ incident when Anya's ridiculous purple vinyl platform shoes—had she found a stash of Harmony's castoffs somewhere recently?—made such a clatter coming down the stairs that Buffy completely lost her train of thought.
"Buffy! You look horrible, let's get you some coffee!" Anya bubbled.
"No thanks, I've got way too much to do."
Willow's voice floated down from the top of the stairs. "Come on Buffy, just you, me, and Anya. We haven't had a break in forever."
Buffy glanced at Spike, who smiled and leaned back against the wall. "Go on, I'm fine. You'll drive a bloke mad with your constant fretting. Bit of fresh air'll do you good."
Andrew, Xander, and Dawn were on the move as soon as they heard the back door shut after Willow.
"So Andrew, how do we find this thing?" Dawn asked.
"I think I read that they like goat blood, tears of a virgin, and peanut butter, so whichever you have around."
"We're out of peanut butter," Dawn said.
"You heard her. Time to cry, Andrew."
Andrew frowned. "What makes you think I'm a virgin?"
"Do I really need to answer that?"
"Well, what about Dawn, I bet she's a virgin!"
Xander turned to Dawn. "Well, he has a point. I mean, we would have known if you weren't, what with Buffy killing you and all."
"It's none of your business one way or the other," she said, crossing her arms and glaring at the boys.
"Fine, fine," Xander raised his hands in surrender, "I'll go and get peanut butter before you both decide to claw my eyes out."
"What do you want us to do until you get back?" Andrew asked.
"Keeping the demon from destroying the house might be nice."
"This is nice, isn't it?" Anya blew over the top of her espresso to cool it down then grinned—only slightly maniacally—at Buffy.
"Yes, because we don't have coffee at home," Buffy said. The past few days had been such a whirlwind that any inactivity tended to make her more cranky than relaxed, as if her body thought she was quitting and decided to rebel.
"Actually, we don't have coffee at home," Willow grimaced. "House full of bottomless teenaged pits, remember?"
"Oh. Right. Well, see, all the more reason why I should be out there grocery shopping or something else useful instead of sitting in the Espresso Pump."
"Buffy, relax," Willow said. "You haven't even recovered from the übervamp thrashing, and more importantly, you still haven't told us how you're handling Spike." Anya smirked, Buffy blushed, and Willow grinned sheepishly. "Uh, poor choice of words."
"Well, it's weird." Buffy poured some more milk into her coffee and stirred it. "I mean, of course it's weird. Spike has a soul, and now he's living in my basement. I have no idea where we stand, I didn't know what our relationship was even when I was sleeping with him last year. This would be hard enough to figure out if it was my only problem. Add an ancient evil that wants to kill us all and a house full of strange teenaged girls to protect, and it's just a little more than I want to have to worry about. What I really want right now is to go home and enjoy a quite house free of Potentials for the first time in ages."
Another picture came tumbling from the mantle as the Travesura tore around the living room, Dawn and Andrew right behind. It leapt onto the drapes and clung there, panting. Andrew slowly opened the weapons cabinet and grabbed a small ax, which he handed to Dawn.
"I'll sneak up behind him and distract him," he whispered. "Then you make like Googie Withers in Dead of Night. Only, you know, smashing a jewel instead of a mirror."
As Andrew crept closer to the Travesura, an errant stake found its way under his right foot and he let out a yelp as he went headfirst into the couch. The Travesura howled and sprang from the curtains, ricocheting off Dawn's head before running towards the kitchen. Pushing himself to his feet, Andrew's jaw dropped when he caught sight of Dawn.
"You might not want to look in a mirror for a little while...."
Dawn ran to the mirror in the hall and screamed. "Why is my hair green?!?" She stormed back into the living room. "Andrew, my hair is green!"
"Aw, it looks good on you! Really, not everyone can carry it off...."
"You'd better fix this," Dawn snapped.
"What the hell is all the racket? Bloody...Nibblet, why is your hair green?" Spike was propping himself up against the door jamb.
"Don't worry Dawn, once we get rid of the Travesura, everything he effected will go back to normal," Andrew said.
"Oh, good job you gonk, you summoned a mischief demon here?"
"Not on purpose!"
"And we're trying to get rid of it before Buffy gets home. Xander should be back with the peanut butter soon," Dawn said, pulling her newly-green hair back with a scrunchie before bending down to start picking up the fallen pictures. "Uh, guys? Is it my imagination or is this picture of Buffy, Willow, and Xander moving?" She handed the silver-framed photograph to Spike.
"Not your imagination. Travesuras can make inanimate objects move," Spike said. As he continued to watch the photo, he started to smile. "Haven't seen the Scoobs look this happy since I don't know when."
Andrew peered over his shoulder and watched the picture of Buffy playfully shove Xander around as Willow laughed. "Cool, it's just like Harry Potter!"
"You like Harry Potter?" Dawn asked, perking up.
"Are you kidding? How can you not love the part where—"
"Oh, God," Dawn had picked up another photo. "This one's of Tara and Willow." Her hand shook slightly as she watched the witches cuddling and smiling. Occasionally, Willow would smooth Tara's hair back and kiss her on the nose. "Maybe we should wait to get rid of the demon, just until Willow gets home? She should see this."
"Nice sentiment, love, but it could be a little more bitter than sweet for her."
"Yeah. Yeah, you're right." Dawn wiped at her eye with her sleeve and placed the photographs back on the mantle.
Thunk-thunk-thunk! The Travesura came flying down the stairs, a pair of lavender silk panties wrapped around its neck. As it rounded the corner, it dashed between Spike's legs, sending him falling to the ground facefirst. Meanwhile, Andrew dove after it and landed on top of Spike. A second later, Xander walked in the front door with a jar of peanut butter.
"Eesh! Okay, Andrew, I believe you, you're not a virgin! You didn't have to prove anything!"
"Shut up, Harris," Spike said, shoving Andrew off him and pushing himself upright.
Xander snickered. "Here, Dawn, do you want to put this on a plate for the...what happened to your hair?"
"Don't ask," she said, taking the jar and going into the kitchen.
"I hope this works," Andrew said. "Willow looks like she'd be willing to go all Dark Phoenix on me again if Buffy finds out about this."
"Hey, not funny," Xander frowned.
"If you won't be needing me, I'll head back downstairs," Spike said. At the top of the stairs, he turned around and looked at Xander. "And if you try and tell Buffy that I'm the reason for the missing underwear, I'm going to tell everyone what I found in your sock drawer when I was staying with you."
As Xander blanched and nodded, Spike turned and left.
"Here you go." Dawn came back in, set the plate of peanut butter on the floor, picked up the ax where she'd dropped it earlier, and handed it to Xander. "Just whack it when he runs by, and smash the gem."
They didn't have to wait long; the Travesura made a beeline right for the plate. Xander whacked it on the back of the head and waited for it to slump forward, unconscious.
Instead, it howled and turned around to face Xander. He swung out towards the thing's stomach but was forced to duck as it launched itself towards his head.
"Andrew, do something!" Dawn shouted. "Can't you do a spell to immobilize it or something?"
"Jonathan was the magic guy! I was the demon controller!"
"Then control it!"
"Hey, little help here?" The Travesura was clinging to Xander's back and making panting noises.
"Do something, Andrew!"
"Okay. Um...demon be gone!"
Dawn snorted. "Yeah, like that's gonna...." With a pop, the demon was gone. "Huh."
Xander crouched down and tried to catch his breath. "Good job, Andrew. But why didn't you try that sooner?"
"Who cares, as long as my hair isn't green anymore."
Andrew looked at her. "Oops."
"Oops?!?" She ran back to the mirror. "You said if you got rid of it...ah! It's in here!"
Xander and Andrew ran into the hallway, where the Travesura was huddled in a corner chewing on the lavender panties.
"Here we go again," Xander sighed.
"I'll get the ax," Andrew said.
The door to the basement popped open and Spike strode out, grabbed the demon, and punched the red jewel in its stomach. It emitted a piercing howl and a burst of light before it disappeared.
"There. Now maybe a bloke can get some sleep around here."
Pictures had stopped moving, Dawn's hair had reverted back to normal, and almost all the panties in the household were back in their proper drawers. Xander, Andrew, and Dawn were all on the living room couch, spent.
"I am never moving again," Dawn said.
Andrew nodded. "Being tied up was way less tiring."
They heard the front door swing open as Buffy, Willow, and Anya returned.
"Hey guys, we brought you back some coffee," Willow smiled. As Buffy had her back to the group, Willow mouthed "Is it gone?" Xander nodded.
"Okay," Buffy said, turning to everyone. "It's been a long couple of days, and I don't mean to sound totally selfish, but I think I earned some quiet time. You guys, go out and see a movie or something. I have some stuff to do and I want the house to myself for a few hours."
"But—" Dawn started to protest, but Buffy held up her hand to cut her off.
"No 'but's. You three have had the house all to yourselves for the past couple of hours, you've had plenty of time to relax. Go, movies, now."
"Willow's giving us that scary look again," Andrew whispered to Dawn.
Xander groaned and stood up. "Fine, but no chick flicks, okay? I think we're pretty set with estrogen as long as the Potentials are here."
The group filed back out of the house and Buffy went upstairs to draw a bath. As she went to get her pajamas, she noticed that her underwear drawer had been completely re-arranged. Buffy sighed.
"Yep, having Spike in the house is definitely weird."