The game was afoot.


The famous consulting detective with the hawk-like nose knelt down on the ground, intently examining the footprints through his magnifying glass.

Eyes popping open over a walrus mustache, another person also knelt by the first (it's none of your business whether or not that bothered an undisclosed wound from Afghanistan), and eagerly asked in their best British accent, "What have you discovered, Holmes? Damme, it's always a honor to witness your razor-sharp deductive skills! God save the Queen!"

"Now, Watson, you embarrass me. I'm doing nothing that any person written about by a dead-broke English doctor who loaded up his creation with more smarts than anybody would expect was capable of, you totally loyal dunderhead." Absently delivering all this while still studying the marks made by a pair of size-six-and-a-half Doc Martens, the detective now rose to his feet and mimed smoking a calabash pipe, while the other also stood up and watched all this with dog-like devotion until a ringing declaration was made by Sherlock Holmes:

"Watson…." (impressive pause) "….these are the footprints of a gigantic Slayer!"

Xander and Willow now gazed along the footprint trail to where Buffy was standing about a dozen feet away, her stiff back turned to them both, her arms folded across her chest, and with the young woman determinedly staring into the distance. Finally, a disgusted female voice spoke, with exquisite sarcasm dripping from every word in her California drawl.

"You couldn't have said that a little louder, Xan? I think maybe a couple of vamps three cemeteries away might not have heard you."

On the contrary, there was nobody around but themselves to be bothered by Xander's mangling of that famous literary line. Tonight, not just in this cemetery, but in all of the others visited on tonight's patrol, things had been totally de--. Ahem. Shall we instead say: boring. Dull. Uninteresting. Not a single vampire, demon, or any other supernatural creature with the slightest wish of doing harm to the Slayer had shown up the entire night. The bastards.

As a consequence, two fed-up members of the Scooby Gang had created their own amusements, which evidently included at this moment getting on Buffy Summers' very last nerve.

Looking with mild surprise at each other over Buffy's irritation, Xander used one hand to shift the indescribable object on his head that had been folded out from a found newspaper sheet into what the young man steadfastedly insisted was a deerstalker hat. Holding up his stick that had its other end twisted around to form a loop, Xander peered through his ersatz magnifying glass at Willow, and intoned, "She is being….THE woman."

Firmly nodding, and making a grab for the falling clump of grass plastered across her upper lip that imitated a certain Englishman's facial whiskers, Willow pressed her fake mustache back on her face, and lowered her voice as deeply as she could, delivering her best enunciation of how a combined Rupert Giles, Nigel Bruce and Benny Hill might have sounded. "Holmes, I believe what we are dealing with here is the curious incident of the Buffy in the night-time."

"AAAARRRRRGGGGHHHH!" screamed Buffy, as she stomped away several steps, abruptly halting, as her vile mood only deepened when the Slayer realized that right now, Xander Harris was undoubtedly studying through his imitation magnifying glass with utmost concentration and absorption a certain part of her body. Namely, her butt.

Gritting her teeth and spinning around to glower at her friends innocently looking back at her, Elizabeth Anne Summers growled, "If there was a waterfall around here, right now I'd be more than happy to throw the pair of you off it, whether it had a Swiss name or not!"