Willow was feeling pretty good about her costume. She'd worked really hard on it, and was excited for Xander to see her. Sure, he didn't pay too much attention when she tried to tell him about it earlier — he was too busy worrying about whether or not to ask Ampata to the dance — but, well, Willow certainly stood out in the crowd at the Bronze with a fur trimmed hood and harpoon. She would definitely get his attention. So she was feeling good.

Right up until she walked through the door.

Everyone else was decidedly not wearing fur. Well, unless you counted Harmony, who was wearing a fuzzy leopard print bikini and carrying a stick. Willow wondered whether anyone had explained to her what the student exchange program actually was.

Cordelia strolled in, her hair perfectly tousled, as if she'd just come from the beach, a giant tiger lily tucked behind her right ear, and a violently pink ley around her neck. She was wearing what appeared to be a Hawaiian floral printed table cloth cut into two pieces: a tiny piece tied around her chest, and a slightly larger piece wrapped around her hips. Knowing Cordelia, thought, this get up was sure to be wildly expensive and couture. At least she hadn't opted for a coconut bra, Willow thought.

She looked down at her costume self-consciously. Maybe I should have worn something sexy, she thought, as Cordelia met up with a geisha and a Scottish bar maid across the room.

She bobbed her head in time to the Dingoes. Devon was crooning…something heartfelt, it sounded like...and a quick glance at the stage showed his short lead guitarist on back-up vocals. Willow turned back to the door. She had to shift her whole body to do so - she had absolutely no peripheral vision in this coat when her hood was up. There was a guy in a white shawl and a black hat dancing enthusiastically near the door with his plain-clothed friend. Willow winced.

Then Xander walked in with Ampata. He was holding her hand.

Oh, Willow thought. She looked down at her puffy blue coat, the brown fur on the edges of her vision, the handle of the harpoon sliding through her be-mittened hands. Ampata was wearing a simple dress of light brown fabric - it looks so authentic, Willow thought - with a thick, intricate belt around her waist. Her hair was pulled back from her face, soft thick ringlets of black resting on her shoulders. She was wide-eyed as she looked around - at the students, at the band, at the Bronze, all dimly lit and humming with excited conversations above Devon's insistent chords and groaning. She smiled so giddily and sweetly that Willow couldn't even be jealous. She's beautiful, she thought. And Xander looked like he could hardly believe his luck. Willow looked down again at her costume.

"Maybe I should have warn something sexy." She said it aloud this time.

Xander and Ampata made their way over. Ampata smiled at her.

"Wow," Willow said. "You guys look great."

"I love your costume. It's very authentic," Ampata offered. She even looked like she meant it. With her shimmering gold eye shadow and dark eyeliner, she practically smoldered. Willow had hardly even bothered with mascara before leaving the house.

"Thanks," she said.

"Yeah, you look…um." Xander paused, searching for the word. "Snug." He bit on his fake cigar and looked distractedly around the Bronze. Trying to seem cool, but his eyes kept darting back to Ampata and widening a little, like he couldn't believe she was real, and was here with him.

"That's what I was going for," Willow said glumly. She held back a sigh. "Where's Buffy?" She turned her whole body around, trying to look through the crowd.

Stupid, stupid. Such a stupid costume.