Draggin' the Line

Making a living the old, hard way
Taking and giving by day by day
I dig the snow and the rain and the bright sunshine
I'm draggin' the line (draggin' the line)

My dog Sam eats purple flowers
We ain't got much, but what we've got's ours
We dig snow and the rain and the bright sunshine
Draggin' the line (draggin the line)
-Beat Goes Bang, Draggin' the Line

The eyes of Buffy, Xander, Anya, Andrew, Tara, Dawn, Giles and Duke widened as they looked at all the money that was on the table in the back room of the Magic Box. Anya had counted it all, and altogether there was exactly five thousand dollars altogether.

Not a bad amount there, either.

"Well, what do you think?" said Yami Yugi, his baritone voice seeming to bounce off the walls. "Not bad for my first time being a gigolo, either."

As their shocked looks turned from the money to the confident smirk on Yami's face, he then added, "It was quite simple, really. All I had to do was lure the pimps and the wealthy rapists into an alley before putting them under a spell of false sense of security using my Shadow Magic. Then, after I took their money, I lifted the spell. They were pretty shocked to find out how powerful I was. Of course, I couldn't have them go blabbing about it to the others, though. Nobody would believe them about a five-thousand-year-old Pharaoh coming to life and stripping them of their money, after all. So I put them into a coma – a powerful one at that – and then left them there where they can easily be found." He then smiled. "Not bad for someone like me, I might add."

It took a while for Buffy to get over her shock. But she managed to find her voice after a moment. "Wow. Uh, Yami, all this money – and you're not keeping it for yourself?"

Yami shook his head. "No, Buffy. I'm dividing it into fourths. Some I'm giving to you guys since you could use some emergency cash for a rainy day. I'm also giving some of it to you and Dawn, Buffy, so you can pay off all those bills."

He turned to Dawn, and Dawn nodded while at the same time giving Buffy a pointed look that spoke of how serious Yami was. Dawn understood exactly what Yami meant right away.

Buffy and Dawn's mother Joyce had died quite some time ago, and Buffy had been raised from the dead by the Scoobies. Buffy had sacrificed herself to save Dawn by jumping into the portal that had been made by Dawn's blood from the tower (which had been constructed by the hell-goddess Glorificus, who preferred to be called "Glory"). Glory had wanted the part of Dawn known as "the Key" so she could get back home to her dimension, and Dawn's blood opened the portal that would destroy all worlds. However, Buffy's jumping into the portal from the tower not only closed the portal thus saving the world again, but also made her realize what the First Slayer had meant when she said that death was Buffy's gift. Also, Dawn's blood opened the portal; Buffy's blood closed it, which was mostly true because of Buffy and Dawn having the same blood. However, the portal's energy then took away Buffy's life.

That made it the second time Buffy had died; the first time she had died was back in high school when she was sixteen and there had been a prophecy that foretold Buffy's death at the hands of the Master, who had drowned her in a pool of water before Xander brought her back thanks to CPR.

Then, there had been quite the surprise waiting for Buffy. Well, "surprise" wasn't the right word for it. It turned out to be quite a shock. In Tara's and Xander's words, Joyce was prepared and had life insurance, but the hospital bills she had gotten because of the tumor in her brain (which had some side effects that eventually led to the aneurysm that killed her) had pretty much sucked up all the money. In other words, Buffy had discovered she was, for all intents and purposes, broke.

So after hearing about it, Yami decided to take up a job that nobody in the Scooby Gang thought somebody like him would do – and that was to, as Xander put it, "practice the world's oldest profession". Of course, when the Scoobies heard about it, they tried to get Yami to change his mind and think of getting a different job so he could earn money in order to help Buffy out. However, Yami stood firm and stuck to his guns – and Dawn agreed with him, of course. And after seeing the serious look on Yami's visage, Buffy, Andrew, Giles, Xander, Willow and the others eventually felt they had no choice but to back off.

Of course, they had gotten the shock of their lives one moonlit night when they watched from afar and saw how Yami, his crimson eyes glowing in his handsome face, simply take down a few pimps who had mistaken Yami for a rent-boy that owed them money – but didn't know how powerful he really was. They swore at him and then tried to hit him and knock him out, but failed in doing so thanks to Yami's putting into practice what he had learned from Buffy's teaching him when it came to martial arts moves, especially how to sense when his opponent was sneaking up on him, too.

Yami then sent the pimps to the Shadow Realm before taking the money out of their wallets (which he would leave behind along with their owners). It was finally, at that very moment, that the Scooby Gang realized that Yami was serious about wanting to help them out with the issue of earning money.

Back in the present, Xander spoke up. "You know, Yami, I will say this for you – you sure have something going here for you. I ought to know, as I'm still getting used to what I call ‛the miracle of a steady paycheck' every two weeks."

Yami nodded. "I see, Alexander. And I agree with you there as well about the concept of a paycheck, except my vision of it's quite different from yours, of course."

This time Xander was the one nodding in agreement. "Yeah, you're right. But that's OK, though."

Silence filled the room. Andrew blinked, unable to take his eyes off the pile of money at first before finally turning to Yami.

"Wow, Yami. I got to tell you, you sure knew what you were doing, and when you said it was to help Buffy and Dawn pay the bills, you sure were serious about that, too."

Yami nodded. He definitely was serious about that. "Too true, Andrew. You really, as you say, ‛hit the nail on the head with' that one."

Andrew nodded, agreeing with Yami's words.