"That's a door," Jesse said as he stared at Xander's latest creation where it rested inside a new circle, one that seemed simpler than even their first one. "Really wide, but just a door."
"It's more than just a door," Xander said, rolling his eyes, "it's a pair of doors on a frame, each attached to a box just deep enough to fit the doorknob on the other side."
Jesse looked at Xander and then back to his bizarre creations sitting in the middle of the latest circle. The girls all giggled and he sighed. "Alright, I'll bite."
Xander grinned waiting for him to ask when Jesse grabbed his hand and bit him… hard.
The girls outright laughed and Xander yelled and swung his arm around, Jesse firmly affixed by his teeth. "I'll talk, I'll talk!"
Jesse went flying as he released his death grip on Xander's hand, thumping into the side of the wall about eight feet up and falling to the floor before springing to his feet with a grin, completely unharmed.
"Dude, not cool," Xander told him.
"But extremely funny," Jesse argued. "Stole it from Tom and Jerry."
Xander considered it for a moment before nodding. "Fair enough."
"Good, now what IKEA forsaken creation is that?" Jesse asked, pointing at the pair of doors.
"They're connecting doors that can be closed and will fit through the wardrobes or opened to pass wardrobes through," Xander explained.
"That's why they're so wide but thin," Jesse realized. "Do they really work?"
"Just need to enchant them," Xander said.
"We haven't tested them yet," Willow pointed out, "cause you weren't here to help."
"Willow did all the bookwork on them," Xander said confidently.
"Cool," Jesse said. "We can put them in all our houses, so we don't have to catch rides or walk anymore."
"We haven't tested it yet," Willow repeated. "It may not work."
"Xander did the carving and you did the brain work," Jesse said with a grin, "it'll work."
"That's what we said," Sharon told him.
Willow smiled and quickly set up the candles to hide her blush while Xander grabbed the paint tray filled with blood and a couple of paint brushes, passing one to Jesse.
It only took them a little over a minute to paint the runes and fill the circle with blood.
"Okay, boy girl order at each point of the compass," Willow ordered as she stepped into the circle and placed a hand on both the doors.
"Where's our music sheets?" Sharon asked.
"I just need you guys to chant something at the same time," Willow replied, "Doesn't matter what it is, as long as you're all doing it at once."
"Row, Row, Row Your Boat?" Amy suggested.
"That works," Willow agreed. "Okay, take your places, light your candles, and start chanting!"
The kids looked at each other and grinned before starting to sing, stumbling over one another's voices until they caught the rhythm and sang in chorus, "Row, row, row your boat!" while lighting their candles.
Willow nodded and closed her eyes as she began her own chant which was more of a liquid sound, rather than the guttural rasp she usually used when doing magic.
In just under a minute a bright flash of light caused all the kids to yelp and stop chanting as they rubbed their eyes.
"Did it work?" Sharon asked. "Cause I didn't feel the normal heaviness."
"I'll let you know when I can see again," Willow said tiredly.
"Next time we wear sunglasses," Jesse ordered, blinking spots from his eyes.
"I can kinda see again," Xander said, squinting as he looked around. "I think it worked, or at least the blood is frozen anyway."
"This wasn't as tiring as it usually is," Amy noted.
"Speak for yourself, I'm wiped," Willow said, lying on the floor, feeling completely rung out.
"You're the heavy lifter on these things," Jesse said, "plus I don't think we helped all that much. We must have gotten something wrong."
"Yeah, doesn't feel like we did much," Xander agreed, checking on his girlfriend to make sure she was alright and taking a seat next to her so he could pull her into his lap.
"So… since I missed everything or at least the planning bits, busy with the rents, what's the what?" Jesse asked.
"Thanks to Elan telling us about anchor runes and the timing aspect, I figured out how to link things together," Willow explained, cuddled in Xander's arms. "Well, if it worked anyway."
"I made them to fit through the wardrobes," Xander added, "so we can move everything to the lodge."
"Is there going to be enough room?" Jesse asked.
"We're going to move all the completed stuff to the lodge," Xander corrected himself, "and just build stuff here."
"We're going to make connecting doors for everyone that we can put in our rooms that lead to the lodge," Willow said, "that way we don't have to worry about getting in trouble for walking around at night and we can visit each other easier."
"Is the lodge even done yet?" Jesse asked.
"The boys finished it this morning," Xander said, "the cement had all set up yesterday and they only needed to put in the doors and hook up the plumbing this morning."
"Plumbing?" Jesse asked. "How does that even work?"
"Upside down Fishbowl container mounted inside the water tank and the drain feeds into the Desert," Xander replied. "We don't have hot water, but the bathroom sink and toilet works."
"No kitchen or shower?" Jesse joked.
"Nah, it's all modular, so I ordered the one that's one large multipurpose room with fireplace and bathroom," Xander explained.
"Bathrooms have showers," Jesse pointed out.
"Not this one," Xander said, "it's only got a toilet and sink."
"Electricity?" Jesse asked.
"No electricity," Xander said. "I set a couple of Desert boxes up for heat and light. If you want electricity, you'll have to run an extension cord from your house or something."
"Put a door in my closet and we can run it through there without my parents noticing," Jesse said.
"Sharon lives the furthest from the rest of us, she should get the first door," Willow said, "then Amy and then us, since we practically live together."
"Thanks!" Sharon said with a bright smile.
"Someone check the doors to make sure they work," Willow said, curled in Xander's lap and not planning to move anytime soon, Xander gently stroking her hair.
"Sure," Jesse agreed, grabbing one of the doors while the girls got the other one and setting them both against the wall.
Amy opened the door, revealing another door inside it and knocked on it, the sound coming from the other door.
"Who's there?" Jesse automatically replied.
"Just open it," Amy ordered him while the rest of the children giggled.
Jesse shrugged and opened the door, finding Amy on the other side. "We've already got an Amy," Jesse said, "but I wouldn't mind another." He pulled her through the doorway with a grin.
"Door works," Sharon said, "just like we figured."
"Good," Willow said, closing her eyes and leaning into Xander's chest.
"Well, let's get things set up," Jesse said, closing both doors. "Open the Lodge and I'll carry it through."
"If we made sliding doors on these we could mount them under our beds and climb through that way," Sharon said as Amy helped Jesse move the door.
"Dude, this is huge!" Jesse called back from inside the Lodge.
"Sliding doors would be a pain," Xander said, "but I could manage a small door you could hide under your bed."
"One in the back of the closet is good enough," Sharon said with a shrug before following the two into the Lodge.
"I haven't seen our hub yet," Willow said, "but I'm too tired to move. Carry me?"
"As you wish," Xander said, giving her a kiss on the forehead before standing up with her in a princess carry.
Willow blushed and buried her face in his shoulder as he carried her through the large wardrobe into their lodge which was dimly lit by the light leaking through the wardrobe.
"If you'd waited a second you could have used the door," Jesse pointed out as he set it against a wall and opened it, revealing the warehouse and making it easier to see.
"It's very round," Jesse said.
"Just like an igloo," Amy agreed.
"It's the strongest design," Xander replied, turning so Willow could see everything. "Fifteen foot ceiling in the center, thirty foot circle type room with two doors at either end, one to the bathroom and one to outside."
"And a nice big fireplace with a real bearskin rug in front of it," Willow said with a smile.
Sharon opened one of the doors revealing a short hallway that was almost pitch black. "Why's it got a hall?"
"So they could connect to other domes," Xander said, "it's all modular."
"Is the bathroom this size?" Jesse asked, gesturing around the room.
"Nah, seven foot ceiling, fourteen feet wide," Xander said.
"That's a big bathroom," Jesse said.
"It has room for a bunch of stuff we didn't order, cause we couldn't afford it at the time," Xander explained. "They've got kits for bathtubs and showers and everything."
"It's a bit chilly and dark," Amy complained.
"That's what the Desert trunks are for," Xander said, "just put one in the center of the room and it'll provide heat and light."
"I like it," Jesse decided.
"It's all ours," Xander said proudly, "the entire world! Well, the bits the bears haven't claimed anyway."
Willow giggled. "I think the boys will take care of that little problem."
"We need shelves, lots of shelves," Jesse said. "I can hide my playboy collection here so Mom won't find it!"
"Four magazines is hardly a collection," Xander teased.
"It'd be ten times that size if she didn't keep finding them," Jesse complained. "I have no idea why she is so against me looking at boobies. I'm a boy, I'm supposed to like them!"
"It's a mystery," Willow said dryly.
"I know," Jesse exclaimed, shaking his head while Amy and Sharon giggled.
"We'll need shelves for all the stuff we don't want other people to find anyway," Xander said, "like big leather-bound tomes for instance."
"Yeah, I think my parents might get upset if they find out I've discovered magic ahead of time," Willow admitted.
"A set of shelves for magic, a set for boobies," Jesse agreed.
"Joy," Willow said, rolling her eyes.
"Also need one for carpentry and metal smithing," Xander said, "properly labeled so we don't get them confused."
"Yeah, Miss September's turn ons aren't likely to help you build a dresser," Sharon agreed.
"I don't know," Jesse began with a grin.
"If you make a wood pun I'll bite you!" Willow threatened.
"And on that note I'll go get the trunk so we've got some decent light in this place and we can start moving things in," Jesse said quickly.
"Are you going to put Willow down anytime soon?" Amy asked Xander.
"Nope," Xander replied.
"I wonder how long we could get Jesse to carry us around," Sharon said thoughtfully.
"Both at once would be too awkward," Amy said, "we'll have to take turns."
"We need a bed in here," Willow told Xander.
"Gonna have to be a big one," Xander said.
"Or two of them," Amy suggested.
"Nah," Sharon disagreed, "it's more fun when we're all together."
"I can make one this weekend," Xander said, "I just need to find the right design."
"Something we can jump on," Amy said.
"We're going to need to buy mattresses and blankets and everything," Sharon pointed out.
Jesse stepped through the door carrying a wooden chest and set it in the center of the room before opening it, flooding the place with light and heat. "We're going to need one of these for the bathroom too."
"And soap and towels and toilet paper," Willow listed off.
"And a TV stand," Jesse said with a grin. "If we make a tiny door, just big enough for a wall plug, we can stick it over one rather than run an extension cord."
"That's a good idea," Willow agreed.
"So are we going to move the wardrobe to here in here?" Amy asked.
"I'll put it in my room," Xander said, "that way I can wait till last to get a door here."
"Sounds good," Jesse agreed, "we can use it to get here until we start making our own doors."
"I'll still have to catch a ride with my Mom," Amy said.
"Yours will be the door we make after Sharon's," Willow reminded her.
"And that's going to be limited to one set of doors every other day," Xander said firmly, "cause they really take it out of you."
"Yeah, that's probably for the best," Willow agreed, snuggling into his chest.
"We'll set things up, you two just keep standing there," Jesse said with a grin, wondering how long Xander was going to carry Willow around.
After the three had left, Willow sighed. "One day we won't have to go back home and we can just live here," she said wistfully.
"College first," Xander said, "or at least high school."
"Yeah," Willow agreed cheerfully, as Amy and Jesse carried a wardrobe through the door.
Typing By: Abyssal Angel
NobodyAtAll Omake – Fronds and Enemies
"How was your lunch?" asked Willow as Linda lead the Boys out of the Lodge, licking blood from her face with a surprisingly long tongue.
"Mmm, bear," said Linda with a wide smile, "I love bear. And there's no shortage of them out there. I love this job."
"It's going to take a while to clear them out from around our shelter, huh?"
"Years," said Greg, blood dripping from his satisfied grin.
"Darn it," said Jesse, "If we can't clear out the bears by Christmas break, we won't be able to show it off. Hey! Maybe we could set fire to the forest. That would clear them out!"
"Jesse, no-one is going to be impressed by a soot-blackened shelter in the middle of a dead forest."
"But it would be so metal!" complained Xander.
"It's a shame, really. It could almost be a step in the right direction," mused Amy, "getting rid of the bears makes more prey come to the area, pulling in more bears. Getting rid of everything and starting again from scratch-"
"I've got it!" shouted Willow, and ran from the workshop, pausing only to grab some money from the kids' shoebox.
"Huh?" said Sharon.
"No idea," shrugged Amy, "Let's see what she comes back with."
Willow looked triumphant when she returned with a bulging shopping bag.
"It's obvious," she said before anyone could ask, "We want a clean slate. A world with plants but no animals to start with, and we just introduce the ones we want to keep."
"How do we make a wardrobe going to a world like that?" asked Sharon, "All the ones we've made so far have had animals, except maybe the Desert."
"No, I saw a lizard there yesterday," said Jesse, "when I was checking on my goop. It was checking out my goop too. I think it was hungry."
"You saw a lizard and didn't show me?" said Amy, her eyes brimming with disappointment.
"Sorry," apologized Jesse, "I went after it, but it ran away. I didn't want to chase in case I lost sight of the portal."
"Aww, that's okay," said Amy, giving her sensible boyfriend a forgiving hug.
"So, that proves it," said Willow proudly, "Every wardrobe with runes made with animal blood has animals. Human blood leads to humans. So to find a world with just plants, we need to use..."
Everyone stared at her, waiting for the big reveal.
Willow sighed, "The blood of trees!" and pulled a gallon jug of maple syrup from her bag.
"Ohhh!" chorused her friends.
"Ewww, you're both all sticky."
"At least they got the runes well covered with syrup."
"Along with everything else in the room."
"True. Come on, let's dunk 'em in the waterfall to wash them off."
The boys ran laughing, chased by the girls.
Willow had the honour of opening this door this time. They'd pointed the simple inner circle to the South, and the outer circle to the East. The chant had been almost too easy.
"Yes!" she exclaimed after peering in, "It worked! I dub this wardrobe 'The Plantrobe'!"
She confidently marched into the jungle that was waiting for them, closely followed by the rest of the gang.
"Wow!" said Sharon, looking at the strange and colourful plants all around them.
"Wow feels about right," said Xander walking backwards as he took in the world.
"Uh, guys," said Willow, suddenly a little worried.
"Huh," said Xander as a drooping vine seemed to twitch as it brushed against his arm.
"Guys!" shouted Willow.
Everyone stopped moving and looked towards her. The vine twitched again.
"Look around," said Willow, "I think a lot of these plants might be-"
The hanging vine, taking advantage of Xander's stillness, wrapped itself around Xander's arm and dragged him into the air.
"-carnivorous," sighed Willow.
"Take your stinking tendrils off me, you damn dirty plant!" said Xander as he tore himself free and dropped to the ground.
The kids looked at the plants with new perspective.
"Look! That's a venus man trap!"
"I think this is a stupid hangman's tree," said Xander, holding up what was left of his assailant.
"-That is a ginormous pitcher plant-"
"-does that triffid look a little hungry to you?"
"-is that a whomping willow?"
"Why are there so many carnivorous plants on a world with no animals?" asked Amy.
"I've got no idea," said Willow, curiously peering inside the maw of a venus fly trap, "isn't it fascinating?"
"Okay," said Xander, "This isn't too bad. We just need to find a friendly dryad and I'm sure that we can all get along."
"Ain't no such thing around here, tasty little boy," said a voice behind him.
"Oh look!" said Jesse excitedly, "An Audrey II! Hello!"
"What a mouthwatering delight it is to meet you," said the Audrey II, waving a tendril.
"Hello Mr Audrey II," said Willow, "We-"
"Call me Bertha, sweetcheeks," said Bertha, "and come in a li'l closer." It quietly maneuvered a runner around the children, encircling them.
"Oh, okay, Bertha," said Willow, stepping forward, "We were wondering- Wow that is a lot of drool. Are you hungry?"
"You betcha, sweet-thing. But don't worry, I'm sure that you can help me out with that in a snap."
"Yup," said Willow, nodding confidently, "Bears."
"Huh?" Bertha paused in confusion.
"Bears. We've got a world with lots and lots of bears. Too many, really. Would you like one?"
Bertha retracted its runner with a sudden sense of trepidation, "Uh, sure. That'd be downright neighborly of you. Thank you."
"Hold on, I'll get the Boys to grab one for us," said Jesse, and he headed back through the portal.
"Make it a few," called out Sharon, "I'm sure that some of the other plants are peckish too."
"Mmm, now this is one darn fine bear," said Bertha with one mouth as another munched on the bear, "Haven't had a bear like this since the war. Well, the after-party after the war."
"The war?" asked Amy, watching the bear get eaten with fascination.
"Mmmhm. Terrible thing. Plant against man. The day the garden gardened back," Bertha beckoned them closer with a tendril and stage whispered, "We won. Then we got kinda peckish. Bit of a celebration, you dig? And there were all those other animals out there looking so darn tasty. You can't blame a plant for acting true to its nature, you know?"
"Oh sure," said Jesse playing along, "I know what that's like. You wipe out one species and half an hour later, you see that other species over there looking all juicy-"
"Exactly!" roared Bertha, "Exactly. And once you've started you just can't stop. A real shame, it was. Been a bit light on victuals since then. All those animals were delicious though."
The jungle resounded with the noise of Bertha's belch as the last the bear slivered down its gaping mouth. "Hey, you guys got any more bears?"
Bertha was savoring this bear, making it last. Xander, Sharon, and Jesse had gotten bored listening to Bertha reminisce about past meals and were now feeding bits of bear to various plants, leaping back with a giggle whenever the meat was snatched out of their hands.
"So what started the war?" Asked Willow, from the comfort of her seat on a particularly soft patch of carnivorous moss that was futilely trying to devour her.
"Well, that's the thing, sweetie," said Bertha, "No idea. Everyone was gettin' along jus' fine one moment, love was in the air, and then out came the flamethrowers. We had to evolve pretty darn fast, I can tell you." Bertha sighed philosophically, "Still, it all worked out in the end. We grew up."
Willow leaned back, and shared a glance with an equally bemused Amy.
"In fact..." said Bertha, "Now that I've had some delightful bears, I'm kinda in the mood for love again. It's been a while, ya know. And I think my friends are feeling fine too, so thank you kindly."
"Well, you're welcome Bertha," said Amy as she stood up, "I'm glad that we could help, but I think it's time for us to go."
Bertha was too lost in the feeling spreading through its sap to respond.
It took some time to pry Xander from his scientific project to determine which plant was the most fun to feed. He only really stopped when the plants stopped eating, and started humming. And vibrating.
The party had almost reached the portal before the reason for the war exploded all over them.
Catherine Madison looked up from a conversation with Jerry to see multicoloured blobs running out of the Plantrobe.
"Aaaaaaahhhhh!" screamed Sharon, trying to wipe something sticky from her eyes.
"Aaaaaaaahhhhh!" screamed Willow, vainly trying to protect her hair from whatever had assaulted them.
"Aaaachooo!" sneezed Jesse.
"Aarghhh!" shouted Xander, a little later, has he methodically destroyed the Plantrobe with well placed kicks and punches, "Plants! Must! Die!"
Amy was stoically suffering through her stuffy nose, itchy eyes, and her mother's ministrations as she tenderly cleaned Amy with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol. A growing pile of cloths sodden with pollen and spores was forming at their feet.
"So, darling, what have you learned from the Plantrobe?"
Amy thought for while before responding, "All plants are evil."
Catherine Madison raised a single eyebrow. "Is that all?"
Amy thought a while more, about what she'd seen and heard, and what it felt like to run through air filled with the results of plants making love. She nodded decisively. "Yes. Plants are evil and should be destroyed."
Catherine sighed, and dropped her last cloth onto the pile for burning.
Outside, Jerry was watching Sharon and Jesse desperately try to brush their clothes clean before they had to go home to their parents.
'They are beings of light,' he reassured himself, 'Very subtle. It is fine. I am sure that this is fine. It will all work out. Really.'
He watched the spores of the homicidal plants catch in the air and drift off into the night.