It was all over. They'd lost, and she'd won, as simple as that.

Gleefully shrieking with triumphant laughter, Glory glanced down at the battered body of the Slayer lying at the hellgoddess's feet in their fashionable high heels. In turn, Buffy stared up through puffy slits of eyes in absolute horror at Dawn struggling fruitlessly against the skank in the red dress gripping her sister by this younger female's throat. Desperately searching her vicinity to see if the other Scoobies might be able to do anything, Buffy only saw the rest of the gang also captured and subdued by Glory's numerous minions around the battlefield tonight several miles outside the Sunnydale town limits.

The despairing Slayer's attention was abruptly drawn back to the cause of all the trouble gladly declaring at the top of her lungs, "At last! All I have to do to get home is to open the portal, kill the Key, and I'm back ruling my world, grinding my subjects into the dust, and finally wearing my most comfortable slippers, which I've missed so much!"

Her superhuman healing factor was already at work, but no matter how hard she tried to get up, Buffy still couldn't manage to lift herself off the grassy ground to attempt one last hopeless attack. The California girl could do nothing but watch while Glory kept hold of Dawn and then used her free hand to rip through the very air itself, tearing a gaping wound in the universe's substance. Ripples of mystical energy expanded, shaping themselves into a circular opening hovering a few inches above the ground, from which a brilliant white light spilled…and also producing from the portal a man's genuinely happy voice. In a British accent, no less.

"Why, thank you very much! That was most polite, saving me the time and bother!"

An instant later, someone came through the portal, nimbly hopping from this supernatural aperture to continue taking a few steps forward onto the more solid earth. Looking around curiously, this man blinked at then finding himself the target of everyone's astonished gazes - the minions, the Scoobies these underlings were holding prisoner, Buffy on the ground, Glory, and lastly, even Dawn still in the firm clutch of that hellgoddess.

As they continued to stare in shared bewilderment, these people saw standing there a slightly cross-eyed newcomer who appeared to be a mature Caucasian man in his late forties with shoulder-length, pure white hair, and wearing a gaudy yellow robe.

Things now became even stranger, if that was possible, as the man disgorged by the portal cheerfully lifted up a straight index finger, clearly requesting a moment's patience from everybody. Right after this, he used his other hand to pull open the front neckline of his robe and look down into this space, next uttering several baffling words in a coaxing tone, "Wakey, wakey, sleepyhead! Here's the other half of what you need, so come out!"

All there gawked at what the last statement produced, which was the sudden wriggling of something under the front of the man's robe at chest level. A hidden lump of a moving object then shifted upwards, abruptly revealing itself as this animal clambered free from under the neckline, to scamper onto the man's shoulder and quizzically peer around as it perched there.

At this specific point, each and every person of the engrossed audience had a collective reaction of their brains short-circuiting, with mental sparks and thick smoke clouds suddenly existing inside their minds. To be fair, it's not like anyone there had actually expected the emergence of what looked like nothing but a little squirrel.

It was all there: bright eyes, cute small paws, a quivering black nose, and sleek fur ending in a puffy tail. Okay, okay, the dark purple hair covered with multiple iridescent green polka dots was rather unusual, but aside from this, it resembled any other squirrel trying to cadge a peanut from you during a picnic at the city park.

This was why nobody expected what they then heard.

A terrified, whimpered, "No," from Glory herself.

The man's head turned at this, which was also mirrored by the squirrel on his shoulder, so they both stared intently at the woman in the red dress, whose beautiful face had abruptly become a mask of absolute fear. Glory's hand clutching onto Dawn now had these fingers relax. The younger Summers sister, sensing this was her chance to escape, hastily jerked free, to stumble away a few steps and collapse onto the ground, gaspingly rubbing at the sides of her crushed neck at the mottled bruises blossoming there.

Ignoring this, and also how Buffy scooted across the grass to wrap her arms around her sibling as they both stared upwards at Dawn's former captor, Glory let her hand fall limply to her side. The hellgoddess was now as white as a sheet, and she started to quiveringly edge backwards.

"Oh, so it's you," nodded the robed man, who then continued in his very mild tone. "Well, you can console yourself it's for the preservation of a most unusual species, so let's not make it any more painful than it has to be, shall we?"

"Nooooo!" Startling everyone with her sudden scream of frantic denial, Glory spun around with blinding speed and she sprinted for the portal.

However, the squirrel was even faster, as it leapt with incredible power off the man's shoulder, sailing through the air right towards the back of the fleeing hellgoddess. Just when it was about a foot away, right before Glory would've passed through the portal, the entire form of the squirrel shimmered for less than an eyeblink. Following this, the little mammal dropped to the ground directly in front of the portal. As for its prey-

There was absolutely no trace whatsoever of Glory to be seen. A blonde woman in her scarlet clothing and stylish stiletto heels had completely vanished.

While the crowd continued to incredulously gape at the latest far-fetched events, they numbly watched the man stride forward and then bend down to pick up and hold the diminutive rodent in his cupped palms. Everyone heard him chuckle as he regarded the tiny beast there, "Your tummy's so big, you greedy little beggar! Well, that should be enough, so let's go back home right away, and you'll be able to wait in the most comfortable pen I can provide until you become a mother!"

Not paying any attention to those behind him, the man then purposefully made his way towards the portal, until a truly confused voice from Xander Harris called out, "Hey, wait up! You can't just leave like that! Who the hell are you, not to mention, what happened to Glory?"

Turning around with a somewhat surprised expression on his face, the man paused for a moment, to then ruefully reply, "Oh, pardon me! I don't know where my manners are nowadays! I'm really pressed for time, but before I leave, permit me to introduce myself: Xenophilius Lovegood, at your service. Er…not really, because I do have to be off. Anyway-"

Looking down with pride at the dozing squirrel with the bulging stomach still nestled in his hands, Xenophilius glanced back up with a slightly insane but still exultant gleam in his intersecting eyes, as he explained, "This charming little girl is Mathilda, and she's the only example of a Gnobblehyne I've ever come across. They're not just scarce in my world; I think she might be the only one in existence. Sad to say, while the species can live possibly forever, they do need to procreate to continue their kind, and the only thing which will bring forth young is to have them consume a matching pair of hellgods: one male and one female. During our last visit before coming here, in another dimension during some sort of conflict there, the bloke dressed up as a Chiroptera confirmed what Mathilda ate then to be someone called Trigon, or so I heard."

Pausing to take a deep breath in the appalled silence from the others, Xenophilius joyfully went on. "Imagine my surprise when I started searching for a female hellgod, and one offered herself up right away, poking a hole clear through all the dimensions to my own! I couldn't possibly pass up the chance, so we came here and you all saw what happened next. Well, I hope that covers everything, because we must now be going! You can return to whatever business you were occupied with before we dropped in, but rest assured, in only a few months, there'll be a very blessed event! Ta, everyone."

Giving his open-mouthed audience a final farewell nod as he said those last words, Xenophilius then turned back around and calmly walked into the portal, which immediately popped out of existence after his body completely entered this dimensional aperture.

For the next few moments, nobody in the Sunnydale night moved or spoke, until another cultured British voice broke the disbelieving silence: "Ah… Pe- Everybody, it seems there's no longer any reason for us to be in conflict. Why don't we simply agree to depart from here and set off on our own separate ways? Frankly, I think we all need to just go home, have a good stiff drink, fall into our beds, and then pull the covers over our heads, while trying not to think about what happened tonight. What do you say?" finished a wearily appealing Rupert Giles.

Among the entire crowd, quick glances were made out of the corners of both human and demonic eyes, as various beings sized up the situation. Soon enough, the whole throng was cautiously relaxing and then backing away… Several minutes later, the field of battle was completely deserted.

(Afterwards, when it occurred to one of the Scoobies that Buffy and Dawn had been the closest witnesses still around to see what took place when Glory went bye-bye, questions were promptly asked. Which caused Dawn to turn a light green and dash off to throw up in the nearest toilet. Buffy, on the other hand, grouchily answered, "I only got a really quick impression when it dropped its magical disguise, but whatever that thing was, it had dinosaur-sized dripping fangs, enough tentacles for a dozen Japanese girls' boarding schools, and can we stop talking about it already!")