And So It Began

Author's Note: This story is set at the beginning of the last series. Thank you very much BBC.

Chapter One – Thanks For All The Fish

            Xander had begun to wonder. He was not known for his wondering. Actually he was not known for much. Maybe for being able to build a house on time and within budget but that isn't really much to be known for now, is it? It's not the sort of thing that would set history books alight, matches are much better for that. Anyway Xander began to wonder. What triggered off this moment of wondering was a simple act that one would not normally associate with the triggering of wonderment. The act was the flicking of hair. By this I mean the swift hand movement intended to remove hair from one's vision. A very simple act unless, of course, if you have no arms. Luckily this person did have arms, two of them, both located at the upper part of the body, as one would expect, or in some cases, hope. This flicking of hair took place in the ordinary surrounding of an ordinary home in an extraordinary town. For you see something lurked in the shadows of this town. I would tell you what that something was but it was too dark to see what with the shadows and all. I always underestimate the darkness of shadows. The occupants of this ordinary home with its ordinary surrounding were, like the town they lived in, extraordinary. They knew the dark secret of existence. This secret that has been kept from the rest of humanity by a series of clever deceptions, implausible events, and just a general stupidity, that is commonly correlated with the human race.  That dark secret was also obscured by the darkness of its dark nature. Nevertheless this dark secret exists and these people know that it exists. They also know that other people don't that it exists and don't know that they know that it exists. They do know that other, other, people do know that they know it exists and that they know that they know that they know, you know? Basically, some people know, some people don't and the rest refused to answer my questions. Anyway, back to the ordinary surrounding of the ordinary home of the extraordinary.

A redheaded girl shouted at the dark amply built man seated on the chair opposite her "Xander?"

He did not respond.

She increased her volume. "Xander?"

He still did not respond.

"Xander?"

This time she threw a cushion timed to hit him as the last syllable came out of her mouth. This time he did respond.

"What?" He said removing the cushion from his face.

The redheaded girl pointed to the glass table in-between them.

"Are you going to eat that last slice?" She asked.

Xander looked at her with a mix of disbelief and annoyance in his eyes.

"You threw a cushion at me to ask me that?" He paused ever so slightly before continuing. "Of course I'm going to eat it."

At this he reached down and picked up the solitary slice from the flat cardboard box on the table and began to eat it in one of the most disgusting ways imaginable. The redheaded girl turned away in either disgust or irritation, it's hard to tell with women (Probably just alienated a part of my audience there, oh well). A blonde girl emerged from the kitchen carrying her own slice of pizza and also eating it in a disgusting fashion. By a pure piece of chance she walked straight into the eye-line of the redheaded girl as she turned her head away from Xander. Now the redheaded girl didn't know which way to turn and ended up rolling her eyes towards the ceiling.

"Where did you get that?" She said returning her gaze to the blonde woman.

"What?" She responded in mock innocence.

"That slice. Where did you get that slice?"

"From the pizza. That's usually where you get pizza slices from."

Xander let out a laugh at this retort. Well, he tried. The laugh came out more as a choking sound, which was not helped by the fact that it was followed so soon by him actually choking. After a few seconds an extreme noise he recovered enough to slam a hand against his chest and make a remark about the pizza being smooth. After this the redheaded girl went back to looking at the blonde girl, this time with an accusing look more suited to a daytime television detective.

"You hid it, didn't you Buffy?" She said in her best I-know-what-you-did voice.

"No, of course not, Willow. How silly. Why would I hide a pizza slice?" Replied the blonde girl in her I-know-that-you-know-what-I-did voice.

Xander looked on intently as thoughts of catfight raced through his mind. Willow stared for a long time relative to really short periods of time, such as the amount of time a man spends during his lifetime thinking about wallpaper.

"Maybe you wanted the last slice for yourself. Maybe you hid it in the kitchen to make sure of this. Maybe you broke the rules of the takeaway pizza. Maybe."

Buffy looked confused. "Broke the rules of the takeaway pizza? What the hell…?"

"Everyone knows the rules of the takeaway pizza." Said Willow as if it was a scientifically proven fact or a widely believed Internet rumour about a member of the British royal family.

Buffy turned to Xander for help, "Xander?".

"You don't know the rules of the takeaway pizza?" He said in shock. "I thought everyone knew."

"Okay, you two are insane. You know that, right?"

"Buffy, it is quite simple." Explained Willow. "The rules of the takeaway pizza are, all slices of pizza must remain inside the box until they are taken out to be eaten. After they are taken out then they must be eaten within three minutes or they have to be returned to the box. The second rule is that the last slice of pizza must be offered by the person who wants to eat it most to the person who most wants to eat it after them. The third rule is that any pizza remaining the next morning is fair game for everyone, including those who were not there to eat it, and paid for it, the night before. The final rule is that pineapple is not and must never be a pizza topping."

"And everyone knows these rules?"

Both Willow and Xander nodded their heads, "Uh-huh."

"Everyone?"

"Yep."

"Then why don't I know them?"

Willow thought about this for a moment and then looked at Xander. Xander thought about catfights and then looked at Willow. Neither responded.

Finally Xander spoke, "Maybe it's because you're the Slayer."

"Are you saying that being the Slayer means that you do not learn the rules of the takeaway pizza? Is that what you are saying?"

"It's the only logically conclusion I could come up with."

Willow scorned this conclusion and Buffy derided it as stupid but neither of them could come up with a better one so they blamed the lateness of the night for their lack of lateral thinking, or any kind of thinking really. They decided that their time would be much better spent watching brainless Hollywood action blockbusters instead and so they did. Little did they know that while they sat complaining at implausible plots the forces of evil were gathering themselves. That sounds a lot ruder than it is but then again the forces of evil are rather evil so I wouldn't put it past them to be a bit naughty every now and then.