Feedback: Yes, thank you.
Spoilers: Through the end of the series, though in a very, very warped way.
Distribution: The Blackberry Patch and If you're interested, please let me know.
Summary: In the kingdom of Sunnydale, there live a bold champion, a maiden fair, and a talking donkey. Wackiness, as it is wont to do, ensues.
Author's Note: This was written in response to willshenilshe's Fractured Fairytale Ficathon. The request was from agentalpo, and the request was for the plot of Shrek, Tara (as Fiona), Clem (as Shrek), Andrew (as Donkey). All other characters are open to interpretation if they're needed, Cameo by Willow somehow. Andrew accidentally saves the day, No Spike or Buffy involved whether you want them there or not (I'm assuming that just means no Spuffy as opposed to no Buffy or Spike at all… hope I'm right on that.
Disclaimer: All characters are owned by Mutant Enemy (Joss Whedon), a wonderfully creative company whose characters I have borrowed for a completely profit-free flight of fancy. Kindly do not sue me, please, as I am terrified of you. Thank you. Shrek is owned by Dreamworks. I don't own anything from them, either. Also, please don't sue me. Thanks.
Shrek with Wrinkles
Once upon a time, in the kingdom of Sunnydale, there was a demon. Well, actually, Sunnydale was more like Demon Central, but this particular demon lived in a bi-level crypt in one of the city's many scenic cemeteries. This is the hero of our tale: a demon from a long and noble line of demons, one with a taste for the spicier side of life, one with a fondness for the Slayer's kid sister.
Of course, I'm speaking of Clem.
Clem was very happy living by himself and crypt-sitting for his ole buddy Spike, eating chicken wings and Doritos and the occasional tabby. It was a simple, peaceful life on the Hellmouth. Except that life on the Hellmouth never stays peaceful for very long.
For on the other side of the city, Lord Jonquaad was busily preparing a campaign to get rid of the demons, evicting them left, right, and center. Anything that smacked of the supernatural was being hunted down for a sizable bounty by Lord Jonquaad's men and moved to a new location. And those guys wound up with some stories, let me tell ya.
The demons were brought from near and far around Sunnydale to the mansion that Jonquaad had somehow managed to once again wind up in possession of after losing it during his brief stint as a superhero. On the grounds outside, many and many a demon was brought forward to be disposed of.
"Hey!" screamed a redheaded girl. "I am not a demon! I'm Willow!"
"You're a witch," one of Jonquaad's men, who had a name tag marked "Riley," said almost boredly before stuffing her in a magic-proof box. "Same difference. Next!"
"I bring you this exotic demon from L.A.!" said a man backing up a teeny-tiny pick-up truck to the center of the action. "It's Angel!"
"You caught an angel?" the soldier asked in disbelief.
"No," the driver said with a groan. "Not an angel, the Angel! He's a vampire!"
"We got lots of those," the soldier said with a sigh as he picked lint off his cloak.
"I'm not a vampire! I'm a real boy!" yelled a dark-haired man from a cage inside the truck bed. "I've got a soul and everything, see?"
"Right," said Riley as he stuck a taser in between the bars and shocked the vampire.
"YOW! Sissy fighter," Angel growled as his face became a mass of ridges.
"Okay, a certificate for fifteen free Doublemeat burgers in payment for the vampire," Riley said, handing out a book of coupons.
"Fifteen lousy burgers? I had my own show! The Senior Partners wanted me dead! And you're giving him a gift certificate for flame broiled fat?" Angel said in disbelief.
"First off, they're not just any burgers. They're a mix of chicken and beef. Second, we're in a recession, bub. Now pipe down or I'll confiscate your cool leather coat," Riley barked. "Graham, get this garbage out of here!"
As Angel's cage was stacked on top of Willow's box, still more demons kept arriving: a Fyarl demon who was insisting he was a librarian, though no one could understand a word he said; a warlock named Ethan who was wearing a flowered nightdress, not that anyone wanted to ask him why; and even a set of handcuffs that seemed to be floating through the air. Whatever was wearing them was marched off to a cage that appeared to be full of more gravity-defying objects. A paper party hat tipped itself politely at the handcuffs, and a voice was heard saying, "Hey, I'm Marcie."
At long last, only one little donkey was left, and it was being turned in by a rather unsavory looking fellow named Warren.
"You're human, right?" Riley asked suspiciously.
"Yeah, yeah, I'm human," Warren replied quickly. "Uh, this donkey is enchanted so it can talk. I have no idea how it happened, had nothing to do with, in fact I was in another state at the time," he said, pushing the donkey forward. "How much money will you give me for him?"
"Hmm," Riley said, looking into the donkey's big brown eyes. "He's not saying anything."
"Uh, he's shy," Warren said quickly. "Talk to the man, Andrew."
The donkey just looked back and forth between Riley and Warren.
"Right," Riley said with a snort. "Nice try, civilian."
"No, really, he talks!" Warren said desperately. "Come on, Andrew! Talk!"
The donkey continued to look rather adorably confused.
Just at that moment, one of the other prisoners, Glory by name, got such a chocolate craving that she bent the bars of her cage and started stalking away.
"Hey, you, goddess! Stop right there or I'll…" Riley began.
"Or you'll what?" Glory said, turning around with a hand on her hip. "Oh, just shut up already."
She waved a hand menacingly and a flux of power came shooting out of it, but her divine aim seemed to be a little off as it slapped the donkey on its posterior.
"Hey! Ow! That hurt you!" whined Andrew loudly. "And I… uh, I'm not talking, nope, not a peep!"
"Okay, Warren," Riley agreed as he went to put a rope around the donkey's neck. "The possessed donkey's good for a year's supply of cappuccinos at the Espresso Pump."
Angel gave a furious humph in his cage, which Willow answered with a placating "If it makes you feel any better, they only paid a couple extra-large fries for me, and I tried to end the world once."
Just then, who should show up but Clem.
"Hi guys!" he said cheerily.
Everyone turned and stared.
"Run!" screamed Riley. "It's a demon!"
"Uh, aren't all of us demons?" asked a nearby chaos demon politely.
"But none of you are anywhere near as hideous as that thing. Retreat! Retreat!" he yelled as he and the rest of the Initiative disappeared into the night.
"Not a very friendly bunch, are they?" Clem said as he munched on a hot wing thoughtfully. "Huh."
As he wandered through the dark and empty streets of Sunnydale, he heard a clickety-click, clickety-click behind him, and just as he was about to turn around, he was suddenly hugged hard from behind.
"Ooof!" Clem said in surprise.
"Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!" repeated the little donkey who was continuing to squeeze him.
"Uh, you're welcome. Hot wing?" Clem offered.
"You saved me! I owe you my life and stuff," the donkey enthused. "Oh, hot wings! Yummy."
"So, I've never seen a talking donkey in Sunnydale before," Clem said good-naturedly. "You new in town?"
"Not really. Stupid Warren was playing with one of his dumb gizmos, and he turned me into a donkey," Andrew said, kicking at the dirt dejectedly. "Then he turned me in. Big loser."
"That wasn't too nice," Clem agreed. "But at least you're free to go home now. Uh, you are going home, right?"
"Well, I kinda lived with Warren," Andrew said sadly. "So I'm pretty much homeless. Can I come live with you? CanIcanIcanIcanIcanI?"
"Well, I'd invite you to crash at the crypt, but it's not really mine," Clem said doubtfully. "Are you housebroken?"
Andrew gave him an offended look.
"Okay. But Spike will have my hide if the place smells like donkey when he gets back," Clem said.
"Yea! From here on in, I can be your sidekick. I'm natural sidekick material. I'm cute and funny and know all about Star Trek and I have comic potential and no ability to carry a plot on my own and I'm a natural born follower," Andrew said with a grin. "You lead, I follow. You say jump, I say how high. You… walk into a creepy crypt in the middle of a cemetery, I… uh… walk into a creepy crypt in the middle of cemetery. You live here?"
"For now," Clem said.
"Uh, does it normally have an entire barrage of characters stuffed into every possible nook and cranny?" Andrew asked as he took in the fact that every single supernatural being in Sunnydale seemed to have taken up residence in the crypt.
"Nope, that's new," Clem said in surprise.
Lying on top of one of a sarcophagi was a glass coffin that had a blonde Slayer inside. Angel, having broken out of his cage, was lurking near the refrigerator and helping himself to blood. Willow was trading stories with a group of fungus demons, and down in Spike's basement, Ethan was slumbering away on the bed. Everywhere Clem looked there were ghosts, goblins, seers, witches, vampires, poltergeists, and assorted other demons. There was even a group of Turok-Hans sitting in front of the black and white TV, busily trying to get a picture in so they could watch reruns of The Love Boat.
"Guys?" Clem asked nervously. "What are you all doing here?"
The Fyarl demon stepped forward and explained very clearly exactly what the trouble was, but as no one there spoke Fyarl, he was forced to sigh, swipe a pair of glasses off someone else's nose, clean them furiously, and sit down in a corner.
"I can explain," said a voice somewhere around Clem's kneecaps. He looked down to see an itty-bitty fear demon straining towards him.
"Okay, shoot," Clem said.
"Lord Jonquaad said he all have to live here now," the fear demon said. "He threw us out of our homes. Now fear me!"
"Aw, that's too bad, and really unfair," Clem said, "and also, no."
"Yeah, that sucks," Andrew agreed.
"But, see, this isn't my place," Clem explained. "If it were up to me, you guys could all stay and we'd just pig out on chips and dip until this whole thing blows over, but, I'm betting Spike kinda wouldn't like it."
"Well, what else can we do?" Willow asked morosely. "I mean, due to that whole election-thingy, Jonquaad did get elected Prince of Sunnydale, and now, unless we want to go into a bloody revolution, we gotta do what he says. And I can't do the killing and chaos thing anymore myself. I'm on the patch. See?" she said, raising her sleeve to show a little skin-colored piece of plastic stuck to her arm and labeled Acme Anti-Magic Crack Patch.
"Well, I guess I better go talk to Lord Jonquaad myself, then," Clem said. "I really hate conflict, though."
So Clem set off on journey to see Lord Jonquaad, with Andrew tripping along happily at his toes. Meanwhile, Jonquaad was busily engaged in picking a bride.
"Okay," he said, "let me get this straight. I can only become king if I marry one of the princesses, right?"
"That's right," said Wesley, the king's advisor. "According to the Codex of Really Rare Rituals and Absolutely Arcane Anecdotes, in the event a botched election makes a person under the height of 5'2 the ruler of Sunnydale, he may only fully ascend the throne if he marries a princess first."
Jonquaad sighed. "Okay. Who are the contenders?"
"Well, the first is Miss Cordelia Chase. She's 100 pure princess, but she has a bizarre fondness for shoes. She would most likely bankrupt the kingdom, but she would do it in style" Wesley admitted.
"Probably not a good choice then," Lord Jonquaad said as he looked at the photograph Wesley had handed him. "Too bad, though. Nice-looking girl. Anybody else?"
"The second option is Darla, who while not technically a princess is heiress to the line of Aurelius, which is close enough," Wesley said.
Jonquaad stared at the picture. "Okay, that's a really hot chick. What's the catch?"
"She's a vampire who would kill you within two minutes of your first meeting, lay waste to the kingdom, and go on a murder spree the likes of which has never before been seen in Sunnydale, which is saying something," Wesley admitted.
"We'll put her in the Not a Good Idea pile, too," Jonquaad said. "Anybody else?"
"Well, there's one," Wesley said. "The Princess Tara. She's a very sweet thing, gentle and good-natured."
Jonquaad looked at her photograph. "Wow, she's really pretty. Okay, so what's wrong with this one?"
"First, she's a lesbian," Wesley said.
"Okay, well, for the purposes of this story we can switch around her sexual orientation. That's done in fanfic all the time. I mean, people pair you up with Angel a lot, and you never really had a thing for him," Jonquaad said certainly.
"Um, no, not at all," Wesley said, but he crossed his fingers behind his back.
"So, that's taken care of. Anything else?" Jonquaad asked.
"She's locked in a tower built over the Hellmouth and under the guard of deadly vampire," Wesley explained.
"That's mostly doable," Jonquaad said. "I'll just hire a rogue demon hunter to go and get her for me. Do you know any?"
"No, not a one," Wesley said, and gosh and golly gee if he hadn't crossed his fingers behind his back again.
"Uh, excuse me," said Clem, knocking on the door. "Sorry, but your doorbell's out of order. Can I just talk to you a minute, your lordship, sir?"
"Yeah, can we come in, Whineaquaad?" Andrew said. "You know, it just doesn't have the same ring to it anymore."
"What's up?" Jonquaad asked, hopping up on his throne.
"Uh, you're sort of moving all the supernatural creatures into the crypt I'm crypt-sitting, and I'd kind of like them to go back where they came from, please," Clem said politely.
"But I had in my campaign promises that I'd get rid of all the demons and stuff!" Jonquaad said. "Everyone knows politicians can't go back on their campaign promises."
"You haven't been in this business very long, have you?" Wesley said with a roll of his eyes.
"But I'm sure there are fire codes and things being broken. It's kind of a small crypt. Trying to stuff every supernatural creature in Sunnydale in there is as silly as, well, trying to stuff every potential Slayer in the world into a tiny two story house, and you know no one would ever do that," Clem reasoned.
"That would be pretty dumb," Jonquaad agreed. "Okay, I tell you what. Let's make a deal."
"Oh, Monty Hall! I love that show," Clem said happily.
"Yeah, you go rescue the Princess Tara for me from the castle over the Hellmouth and deliver her to me so I can marry her, and I'll let everybody go back to where they were," Jonquaad promised.
"Even the evil guys?" Clem asked. "Because, you know, I don't want to show favoritism or anything."
"Even the evil guys," Jonquaad agreed.
"Okay," Clem agreed. "Come on, Andrew."
"See you Thursday for the Babylon 5 DVD marathon, your lordship," Andrew said as he happily followed Clem out the door.
It only took a few minutes for Andrew and Jonathon to reach their destination. There, on the other side of a lake of fire, stood a tall, abandoned high school, and in the topmost classroom, a flickering candle marked the spot where the princess was imprisoned.
"Let's get going," Clem said cheerfully. "It's just a rickety old bridge with several missing boards above a swirling magical whirlpool of liquid fire."
"Yeah," Andrew said, his face turning white. "Fun. By the way, just for the record, I so did not open that. Much."
They managed to get across the bridge, Andrew humming the theme from Star Wars the whole way to get his mind off things, and were confronted with an eerie sight on the other side. The main hallway and the cafeteria of the school were littered with skeletons and the remains of many other champions who had come to free the princess.
"Hey! I'm the champion! No fair using that word for anyone who isn't me," yelled Angel from the crypt on the other side of the city, but no one really paid any attention.
"This doesn't look too safe," Andrew said nervously.
"Oh, let's not worry before we have to," Clem said.
At that moment, they bumped directly into a dark-haired vampire wearing a Victorian dress.
"Uh, that'd be now, Clem," Andrew whispered.
"Oh, right," Clem agreed.
"Good evening," said the vampire. "My name is Drusilla, and I'll be your murderess this evening. Would you like me to start off with an appetizer, or should I just give you the menu of different tortures available for the main course?"
"Get back, you fiend!" Andrew yelled, brandishing a wooden stake in his hoof. "Back! Back!"
"Now don't be rude, Andrew," Clem said. "That's just how vampires do things. You're Spike's old girlfriend, aren't you?"
"Yes," Drusilla replied, surprised. "You know my sweet knight?"
"Small world, yeah. I'm crypt-sitting for him," Clem said.
"Really," Drusilla said. "That's quite a coincidence."
"Yeah," Clem said, putting down a sack he'd been carrying with him and rummaging through it. "Say, I've still got half a bucket of hot wings in here. They're warm, too."
"Dipping sauce?" Drusilla asked, eyeing him warily.
"Ranch AND honey mustard," Clem said, nodding knowingly.
"Oh, lovely!" Drusilla cried. "Thank you ever so."
"Why don't you stay down here and have a little picnic with Andrew while I go nab Princess Tara. Okay?"
"Okay. I'm bored staying here all the time," Drusilla said, sitting down primly on the floor across from the donkey and staring at him in a very unsettling fashion. "You're pretty. I like you."
"Who? Me?" Andrew asked.
"Yeah," Drusilla agreed. "There are spaceships flying round and round your head. The Millennium Falcon keeps beating the Enterprise, though."
"Right," Andrew said, then out of the corner of his mouth, he muttered to Clem, "She's cuckoo."
"You kids will be okay for me to run up the stairs and grab the princess," Clem said, disappearing up to the next level, ignoring Andrew's whines of fear at being left alone with Dru.
Just as the sun came up, Clem finally found the right classroom and walked in to find the Princess Tara lying on the teacher's desk, clasping a bouquet of daisies over her heart.
"Oh no!" Clem cried. "Tara's dead!"
"What? No, I'm not," Tara said, sitting up. "Sorry, just taking a little nap. Uh, who are you?"
"I'm Clem. I'm here to take you back to Lord Jonquaad so you two can get married and live happily ever after," he explained.
"You're a demon, aren't you?" she asked.
"Floppy ears, red eyes, and multiple skin folds give it away, huh?" he said. "Is that a problem?"
"Nope," Tara said, hopping off the desk. "Let's go."
Together they walked back down the stairs and into the cafeteria, where Drusilla had just reached the bottom of the bucket of hot wings and was starting to look at Andrew rather amorously when she noticed Tara.
"Tara, pretty one," Drusilla said, running over. "Are you going away?"
"Yes," Tara said. "Clem and I are going to go see Lord Jonquaad."
"Okay," Drusilla said, grinning wickedly. "It's been fun being locked up all alone with you for a very long time. I like our games."
Tara smiled, then waited for Clem and Andrew to leave the room before looking back over her shoulder and silently mouthing the words "Call me!"
After the rickety bridge broke halfway across, causing Andrew to make comments about this all being "so like that scene from Temple of Doom," they left the castle-slash-high-school behind them, Drusilla waving bye-bye with a heartbroken expression from a window.
Tara, Clem, and Andrew were slowly making their way back across town when a loud call echoed through the empty streets, and a figure draped in a heavy blanket swung on a rope out of one alley, grabbed Tara around the waist, and continued swinging Tarzan-style into the next alley.
"Ah-ha!" the figure cried in a familiar voice. "I have saved you, fair maiden, from the dread demon who captured you!"
"He didn't capture me, Spike," Tara said, pulling off the blanket now that they were in full shadow. "Besides, you know Clem. He's your buddy."
"Oh. Right. Hello there, Clem," called Spike, slightly embarrassed.
"Hey," Clem said, waving. "We still on for poker Friday night?"
"Sure. Say, you mind if I put the moves on your girl here? Frankly, I always thought Tara was hot, and since this story decided to sort of ignore the whole lesbian thing, I figure maybe I finally have a shot with someone who isn't loopy or doesn't consider beating the hell out of each other foreplay, yeah?"
"Well, that's really up to the lady, isn't it?" Clem said.
"I guess it depends on which Spike you are: Evil Spike, Chip Spike, Soul Spike, Ghost Spike, Recorporealized Spike… I'm probably missing a few," Tara said apologetically.
"Mainly just William the Bloody and Subway Spike," he said off-handedly with a fetching grin. "I'm actually hardcore Evil Spike, though."
"Ooo, sexy! I mean, hey, back off," Tara said, catching herself. With a wave of her hands, accompanied by some computer-animated sparkles in pretty pastel colors, shackles bound themselves around his wrists and ankles, securing him to the wall.
"Hey! No fair!" Spike said struggling against the magical bonds as Tara walked back into the sunlight with Clem. "I knew I should have worn leather pants this morning."
So Tara left Evil Spike chained to the wall (let's all ponder that thought for a moment, ladies), and Clem followed behind her, his mouth hanging a little open.
"Wow, that was really neat!" he said. "You're a witch."
"Yes, but I don't do magic crack," Tara said seriously. "I use the other kind of magic. I'm not really sure what the other kind is, but it's the one that isn't addictive and doesn't make my face break out in purple veins."
"That's nice," Clem said. "You're really very pretty for someone with no fat folds."
"And, you know, you've got the cutest little floppy ears," Tara said, then blushed pink.
Andrew looked on from the distance and smiled knowingly as the duo tripped hand in hand across the pavement. He softly whispered, "It's like watching Amadala and Anakin all over again but without the angsty subtext."
They were nearly back across town—and as usual, Sunnydale's size was shrinking and growing with no known reason—when the sun began to set once more.
"Uh, we need to find a place to camp, right now," Tara said nervously, then barreled into a conveniently located motel.
"Okay," Clem said good-naturedly, paying the guy at the front desk and taking the room next to Tara's.
Around one o'clock, Andrew woke up from a nightmare about all the good shows on TV being cancelled and replaced by reality TV to hear Tara crying softly. Concerned, he trotted down the hall to her room and knocked on the door with his hoof.
"Princess? Are you okay and stuff?" Andrew asked tentatively.
The door opened just a little, and he heard Tara say with a crack in her voice, "Yes, I'm fine Andrew. You can go back to sleep."
"I just wanted to make sure everything's okay," Andrew said, as usual not realizing when he wasn't wanted, and pushed the door open with his head.
There stood Tara, only it wasn't quite Tara. She had floppy ears, big creases across her skin, and it looked like she'd packed on about seventy pounds. In fact, except for the hair and the dress, she looked just like…
"Why do you look like Clem?" Andrew asked in confusion.
Tara sniffled, then said, "Oh, Andrew. I'm under a curse. Turns out my dad was right. Until I have true love's first kiss, I turn into a demon every night, and, well, this isn't really how I'm supposed to look, is it?"
"I gotta admit, this look just isn't you," Andrew agreed. "Why don't you tell Clem? You like him, right?"
"Well, yes," Tara admitted. "He's very sweet. But do you think he'll really want a demon around him?"
"Tara, hello. Clem. Demon. Synonyms," Andrew said.
"You've got a point," Tara said. "Okay, I'll tell him first thing in the morning."
Unfortunately, Lord Jonquaad became extremely tired of waiting for his bride to arrive, and Clem, suffering a case of serious junk food withdrawal, was away at a local Quick Mart stocking up on pretzels and Ding Dongs.
"Oh," Tara said in disappointment when she realized he wasn't there, "I… I g-g-guess he doesn't really like me after all."
"Hi ya, Princess Tara," Lord Jonquaad said as he opened the door to an extremely long limo and got out of it, only to have Tara wonder if he was actually still sitting down.
"Oh, hi down there," Tara said. "So, you want to marry me?"
"Yeah, if that's okay," Lord Jonquaad said. "Fair warning, though. I'm not still growing."
Tara took one last look behind her, hoping Clem would be there, but he wasn't. Sighing sadly, she nodded. "I guess no one else wants to, so okay."
Andrew started jumping up and down, waving his four little legs around, yelling, "No! You don't get it! It's not you! He just went out on a food run!" but the limo pulled on, oblivious to his calls.
When Princess Tara disembarked at the mansion, there was a woman waiting for her who immediately grabbed her arm and pulled her through the front door and up the stairs.
"I'm Anya, the wedding planner," she said brightly, "kind of like J-Lo, only I'm not dating Matthew McConaughey. Lord Jonquaad is paying me a small fortune to get you a dress and a cake and do other bridal-type things for you, so let's get cracking!"
"I'm not sure that's really necessary," Tara said as she was nearly dragged off her feet.
"Oh, and you've got the nicest, biggest ring in the whole world. Well, except for mine. I bought two. I figure his lordship won't notice the difference, so, what the heck, you know?" the woman babbled as she pulled out a rack of wedding dresses and held them up to Tara one by one. "Too matronly… too retro… too boring… too ugly… too frilly… too plain… too big… too small… too Carmen Miranda… too RuPaul… ah ha! This one!"
Tara looked at the dress, which was actually quite pretty, and shrugged. "Whatever is fine."
"You don't seem overjoyed," Anya said in concern. "That spells marital trouble. I tell ya what I'm going to do. I'm going to give you a really good rate on vengeance insurance. If he leaves you at the altar, I'll zap him into a toad before he can wander off in a downpour. See?"
Anya fished through her pocket and pulled out a very large toad.
"Is that…?" Tara asked.
"Can someone please just call Giles and get him to turn me back," croaked the toad.
"Xander? Actually, I haven't seen Giles around, come to think of it," Tara said curiously.
Anya just smiled wider and made sure the How to Turn a Watcher into a Fyarl Demon spell she'd bought off Ethan was still carefully tucked in her shoe.
"Can you at least get me a Twinkie?" the toad pleaded.
"Hush, Xander. Twinkies are for good boys, and you're very, very bad" Anya scolded him before shoving him back in her purse with a faint "ooof!"
"So, vengeance insurance? From one girl to another, I'll give you half off," she offered.
"Thanks anyway," Tara said, "but unless I want to keep turning into a demon every night, I've got to marry someone, and it may as well be Jonquaad."
"Suit yourself," Anya said with a shrug. "So, the ceremony will be in an hour. Why don't you sit up here and sadly ponder your future position in a loveless marriage, and I'll get the band downstairs to play some snappy showtunes!"
"Okay," Tara said as the other woman ran away. "Thanks!"
Meanwhile, Andrew had broken the no pets rule at the Quick Mart and cornered Clem by the dip display.
"Tara's gone!" he yelled. "She's going to marry Lord Jonquaad, and it's all because she thinks you love potato chips more than her!"
"Gosh, that's not what I meant," Clem said, visibly shaken. "I just wanted to show up and declare my undying love with some barbeque chips in hand. You know, like how Spike wanted to declare his love for Buffy by giving her chocolates."
"Yeah, and look how that turned out!" Andrew screamed hysterically.
"Point," Clem agreed before throwing the various bags of popcorn and corn chips in the air and running out the door.
Clem ran across town, his facial folds flapping in the wind, his ears blown back by the force of his speed, screaming, "Tara!" repeatedly. It was really a very moving and romantic moment. No. Really. It was. He was running in slow motion, and there was stirringly heroic background music played on violins and kettledrums. Andrew, meanwhile, ran the other way to bring in the big guns just in case.
When Clem reached Jonquaad's mansion, the guests were already inside, the doors were locked, and the organ was playing the final notes of the wedding march. Clem quickly picked the lock using a stray earpin (well, you wouldn't expect him to have a hairpin, would you), then stormed up the aisle.
"Wait! Stop everything! Hold it!" he yelled, and the faces of everyone in Sunnydale quickly turned to him. Lord Jonquaad did not look pleased, and Tara looked pained but curious.
"What's the meaning of this?" Jonquaad asked angrily. "I'm in the middle of getting married here!"
"But I love her!" Clem said.
"What… how? I sent you to get her for me, not for yourself," Jonquaad said in disbelief.
"You've never read 'The Courtship of Miles Standish,' have you?" Clem said, shaking his head.
"You love me, Clem?" Tara said in a shaking voice. "Really?"
"Yup," he declared. "Even if you're all flat-skinned and thin."
"I love you, too," Tara said happily.
"Really?" Jonquaad asked. "Huh. Well, if that's the way you two feel, I won't stand in your way. Congrat…"
Lord Jonquaad was interrupted by the back window of the hall being shattered to smithereens by a very angry-looking Drusilla with Andrew riding her piggyback. In the blink on an eye, she swooped down on Jonquaad, drained him dry, slashed her wrist, and sired him.
"I saved the day!" Andrew said proudly. "Now the evil Lord Jonquaad will not bar the way to your wedding day."
Clem and Tara exchanged looks.
"Let's not tell him," she said.
"Okay," Clem agreed.
"I'm gonna go get an Orb of Thessula," Willow said, standing up in the audience and scurrying out the door with surprising speed. It was as though she wanted to leave before something else happened. How odd.
At that moment, Clem and Tara gazed deeply into each other's eyes. Tara smiled shyly, and Clem swooped down and gave her a passionate kiss. Half the crowd awwed. The other half ewwed.
No sooner had their lips separated than Tara suddenly floated up in the air, and gold and silver light started shooting from her fingertips and toes. A blanket of light enveloped her and there was a loud singing sound in the air.
"Oooo," cooed Drusilla enthusiastically. "This is going to be good."
However, when Tara settled back down to earth, she looked exactly the same: still human, still the same size, no odd extra folds of skin.
"What was all that about?" Clem asked, and as everyone turned to look at him, there was a collective gasp.
"Uh, Clem," Tara said in shock, "maybe you better look in a mirror."
He frowned, then took the mirror that Cordelia, who happened to be sitting in the front row and who, of course, always carried a mirror, handed to him.
"I'm… I'm Johnny Depp!" Clem cried, then fainted dead away.
Later that day, another wedding was held outside of Spike's crypt. Tara and Clem were wonderfully happy, though it took Clem a while to get used to his "hideous" new appearance, but it helped that Tara said she loved him just the same. When the bouquet was thrown, Buffy and Cordelia nearly killed each other over it, but it was eventually caught by Drusilla, who gave Andrew an extremely significant look that made him gulp. As Tara and Clem rode off into the sunset in their carriage magically made out of a giant cheese puff, the Fyarl demon summed things up beautifully by saying in a romantic sigh, "and they all lived happily ever after."
Unfortunately, no one understood him, so they just handed him more wedding cake and continued to party until Spike kicked them all out before they trashed his crypt.