Having fun yet?
Anya shook her head. They were seriously expecting her to believe that just because he made a few friends, that he was some kind of old one? “I think it's time to put the wine away.”
“Nah...I can understand your disbelief.” Buffy said. “It was just an example of something unusual.”
“Do you know how...famous those two names are in the world of magic? Henchgirl and the Doctor are close friends of Mr. Black.” Willow exclaimed, “They say that they are among the most powerful wizards and witches in the world!”
Now it was time for Anya to gulp her wine and look a little nervous. Her voice came out in a whisper, “I've heard of Mr. Black. I don't think there's a person in the world that hasn't heard of him. But a lot of people know him, and know his employees. Given Xander's luck, he would end up with them at some point.”
“Yeah. I have to admit that. Xander's luck would seem to be running as usual. All bad.” said Buffy, “Unfortunately, I don't think it has anything to do with luck.”
“Because we followed him when he left.” Willow said as she went to pull out a new bottle from a stash kept in the store. “Rum, Vodka, Whiskey, or should we have Giles Scotch?”
“Touch his Scotch and we'll never hear the end of it.” Anya stated flatly. The story they were telling was entertaining, but a bit too surreal.
“Scotch it is!” Willow answered.
Anya grimaced. Giles would not be pleased with this event. “Are you sure this just isn't an excuse to get blasted? You have to admit, it seems strange you'd get suspicious, just because Xander has a friend that you don't know. Come to think of it, I know that Xander has something at his apartment that mentions Henchgirl and the Doctor. I just can't remember what it is right now.”
Buffy shook her head, “It's not an excuse! As she said, we decided to follow Xander, and he led us to Willy's...”
After the three of them left the Magic Box, Xander decided that this was a night to celebrate and, for once, truly relax in this cursed city.
For that, he would have to put one of his contingency plans into execution. Not to be modest, but it was a brilliant idea that allowed him and others to have various holidays, much like the regular people of the world. The way it was executed was also pleasing, and provided much fun in terms of seeing demons fearful of not accepting his invitations.
“Ladies, lets go have fun!” Xander exclaimed as he led them towards one of his favourite bars. One that not only provided information, but allowed him to store certain barrels that made both the owner and his customers nervous. This would show the two of them that he didn't need to be watched over!
Henchgirl and the Doctor looked at each other and frowned. Xander was up to something, and that usually meant trouble. The Doctor decided to open the conversation, “Where we should be going is back to your house so that you can rest and go to bed.”
“Ah, what's the fun in that?” Xander smirked, “Besides, I've had worse going to a party after the rite of accession, or the Kal'Hyah's I'm known for hosting.”
Henchgirl groaned. She remembered the one that was held for his namesake. “Xander, what are you planning?”
Xander smirked, “Nothing much. We're just going to host a party.”
The Doctor shook her head. Every time Xander held a party, or at least what he considered a party, it ended up with a lot of people suffering from hangovers. Well, at least it would be something to do. “Where are you having this party?”
“First things first.” Xander said as his clothing shifted. “We've got to dress properly.”
Henchgirl took a look at what he was wearing. “Xander, not again! We're not on Qo'noS!”
“Trust me. This uniform will get a lot of respect from the patrons of this particular bar,” Xander said as he continued walking. “Change your own clothes, and don't forget the accessories.”
Not far back, Willow and Buffy were following.
Willow, because she was concerned about her best friend and his knowing some very powerful people without telling anyone.
Buffy, because she was jealous of anyone in her group who could be a better leader, slayer, whatever, than her. She would never admit that out loud, however. Her official excuse was he was her 'Xander-Shaped' friend who couldn't do much and couldn't break out of a paper bag unless he had a huge sword.
Ah...Jealousy does such strange things to people, including doing things that they would never consider under normal circumstances.
“The only place they could be going is Willy's. Unless Xander has another possible place in this area.” Buffy told Willow.
“I know a spell that would be perfect for spying on them, if they go there, but I'll need about four or five minutes.” Willow responded. “It's called a Glamour spell, and it's designed to hide a person as someone or something else.”
Buffy rolled her eyes as she replied, “Hello? Slayer here! I helped you look up that spell a year ago, remember?”
Willow blushed. When it came to magic, she became excited about being the only practicing user among the group. It made her feel needed and necessary rather than a burden on the others. “Right. If he goes in, we'll wait a few minutes and follow him in.”
Willy was polishing a glass, keeping a careful eye on the door. While most of Sunnydale kept an eye on the door after dark, in case something 'unexplainable' happened, the reason Willy kept an eye on the door was to make sure a few people did not come into the establishment, or if they were new, that they knew the rules. In this bar, one did not survive long if they did not follow the rules.
Now, given some demonic bars, this would mean that the people would be killed then and there.
Not at Willy's.
What it meant that they could not come in anymore. Every being in the bar would gladly help tossing the perpetrator out on the street. After all, it was nice and calm here. A neutral ground where beings on both side of the fence could come, meet, make deals, and walk away without harm. Even the Slayer tended to follow this rule, although she was by no means one of the people who had to listen to any rules.
As most of the demons who went to the bar were rather peaceful and wanted to keep their heads, they treated her like a normal bar treats the local cop. Cautious, helpful, and wanting her out of the place before someone stupid did something that would cause her to pull her 'Mr. Pointy.' A description which was way too accurate when it came to Buffy and the Scoobies.
The rules themselves were simple. No one coming in having a pissed offed Slayer looking for them, if you break it, you bought it and had to pay immediately, the humans that go to the bar were off-limits as this was neutral ground, Xander could do anything he wanted, and no doing ANYTHING to bring HIM back here.
Some of the dumber first timers growled at the first one, were pissed off at the second one, didn't like the third one at all as humans were food, laughed at Xander being a threat to anyone, and asked who him was.
Fledgling vampire were usually the ones to do the last three, and ended up being thrown out in the first two minutes after ranting about the stupidity of the rules and saying that they were not going to obey them. The more persistent ones were quietly dusted in a nearby back alley. Only one fledgling took the opportunity to learn more. He bought a bottle, drank it down at once, bought another, drank it while smoking a cigar, grabbed a last meal consisting of a Reuben sandwich and waited for sunrise on a park bench.
No one broke the rules of Willy's Place willingly.
So it was not a surprise that when Willy saw Xander come in, wearing THOSE clothes, with two similarly dressed people, he shuddered. It would mean publicly drinking from Xander's private stash, and holding it down. He quietly told a person to get one of the barrels out of the back room.
“Hey Willy!” Xander smiled as he came towards the bar. “Tonight is a night to celebrate, and I want at least a cask from my private stash brought out.”
'Oh Lord Above' Willy thought silently as he nodded. It was time to lock the cabinet to the soft drinks. If he was going to have more than one barrel of that stuff out, then it wouldn't do to have the more esoteric drink available where anyone could drink it by accident.
The Doctor looked around, recognizing the absolute fear that was in the bartenders eyes. While she normally did not like that, it became obvious what Xander was doing. He was going to put the fear of himself into the town for a few days. To see people who condoned evil fearful was a good thing in her book.
Henchgirl also had a grin on her face. She had bottles of antidote with her, so she nodded to the bartender and said, “Hi. I was wondering if you have something available?”
Willy gulped. “I-If I have it, it's on the house.”
Not changing her expression, she grumbled to herself. This bartender had absolutely no backbone! Henchgirl asked. “Do you happen to have some of 'Mr. Black's Black Cola' available?”
Willy swallowed hard. That was the cabinet that he just locked up. “Ummm...Sure. Let me just get it for you.”
“Oh, keep the antidote,” Henchgirl said with a smile.
“Do you want to die?” Willy asked incredulously.
“No. The three of us just don't need an antidote.”
“Why the Hell not?” Willy asked, suddenly very scared.
“Why should I need an antidote for something I made for my brother?” Henchgirl grinned.
Upon hearing that statement, Willy passed out, his mind not being able to take the sudden flood of thousands of incoherent thoughts.
Looking at the passed out bartender, who was face down on the counter, she decided to poke him. Receiving no response, she poked him harder, finally shoving him onto the floor. Looking down at him, Henchgirl shook her head. He was a bartender at this bar?
She was still a bit lost in thought as she went over to the others. If the bartender was anything to go by, then the evil entities in this town, or attracted to this town weren't anything like what they've faced in other dimensions. The bar was also a quiet place, and she'd seen rowdier places elsewhere. This was the place that Xander was having trouble with? Definitely time to bring him home.
The Doctor noticed her distraction and asked, “What's the matter?”
“It's the bartender,” Henchgirl replied, thinking of some place where the obviously stressed man could get some rest nearby, “I made one little comment and the man got scared. I swear, he should move somewhere safe, like Bel-Aire.”
Xander started to chuckle, then laugh, huge belly laughs that drew the attention of everyone at the establishment. It was unusual to hear someone actually laugh in good humour, without some of it being forced. People tended to notice those things. That Xander was laughing like that was not a good thing in their books.
Several of the regulars had only one job. Sit in the bar and report anything that was happening back to the people they were working for. It was a plush work, getting to drink and eat on the job, with the only drawback being that you kept an eye out for The Slayer or her group. These people usually sat in out of the way places with a good view of the entire bar and it was these people that had cell phones open and informing people of what was happening.
After Mr. Black's visit, where the Demons learned that he was not responsible for the burning of Rome and that Xander was, the boy's reputation started to go up. In the early days, some thought that it was a case of mistaken identity, but which each 'triumph' where Xander did something, everyone was watching him. This was especially true when they learned that it was because of Xander that at least two Slayers, possibly more, were moving in the world.
They wanted fair warning in case Xander was about to go on one of his 'Historical Rampages.'
Outside the bar, Willow had just completed her spell and the two were about to enter when a voice called, “Who do you think you're going to fool?”
They turned around and saw someone who Buffy was not glad to see. “Whistler, what are you doing here?”
“I came to warn yah, kid.” the balance demon stated, “The Powers don't really want you to find out whats in that bar.”
Buffy snorted, “Right. The same Powers that had Angel suffer in hell for things he never did? The same powers who keep trying to have me killed? I don't work for them, the council, or any of the idiots. They don't have a hold on me.”
Whistler sighed, the Powers-that-are-idiots fouled up again. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a couple of necklaces and two packets of pills. “Listen kid, I just passed on the message from the Powers. Myself, I know you want to go in there, so you'll need this. The pendents allow you to be disguised without that spell you're using being seen through, and the pills are so that the two of you don't get drunk, or too drunk. I want to talk with you about some things, and you'll need to see this to understand. I'll give it a few before I see you again.”
Willow frowned, “You work for the Powers?”
“Yeah, the Powers-That-Be. I'm a balance demon who's supposed to keep good and evil balanced between each other. Personally, given what's happened, I think they're idiots, but a jobs a job, know what I mean?” Whistler replied. “Look, you want to know a few answers? Go into the bar no matter what the powers say. I'll talk with you later.”
As Whistler took his leave, Buffy nodded to Willow to put on the necklace and both took the tablets before walking into the bar.
As they walked in, both noticed what Xander, the Doctor, and Henchgirl were wearing and stopped.
Buffy groaned to herself. She followed them here for this? Her life was complicated enough.
Willow tried to hide her face. She knew Xander was a fan, but this was too much. Way too much.
Everyone was walking up to a barrel that was in front of Xander and two of the most powerful magic users on the planet. As they passed, each grabbed a metal cup and dipped it into the red substance that was too viscous to be wine, and yet too thin to be blood. The two girls followed suit and soon everyone had a cup filled with the substance.
Xander called people to attention and held his glass up high along with the two women beside him. This was going to be fun, and since he was technically the youngest of the group, the twins wouldn't forgive him if he didn't poke some fun. Hooking his thumb in his belt he started the festivities.
“Everyone! This is a day to celebrate as two _old_ friends have arrived.” Xander grunted slightly from the force of two elbows which made their way into his sternum. “As behooves the occasion of a celebration of Honourable Warriors, we open barrels of Iw HIq, both in remembrance of battles past, and battles yet to come. As we drink, we remember that battle of the most honourable nature is that of one being to one being. I say now, we recognize the honour and that for the next two weeks no battle take place without a challenge given and challenge accepted. Qapla!
The entire bar then shouted 'Qapla' along with him.
Buffy nearly threw up when she tasted the drink. It was blood! Xander was drinking blood! Did he become a vampire of some kind?
Before she could say a word, Willows hand came down on hers. Her friend indicated that she should listen to the conversation going on behind them.
“Well, he did it again.”
“Do you want to challenge him?”
“No way! The guys crazy. Besides, he not only speaks, reads, and follows Klingon traditions like on that show, he has barrels and bottles of blood wine stored here. I ain't going to get my head chopped off.”
“Glad to hear it. He and the two with him are in uniform ready for battle, which means we better be good little demons and tell everyone its a truce for a couple of weeks. Any bets on how many stupid ones will go against his decree?”
“No bets. Only fledglings, or Wolfram and Hart are that stupid.”
Buffy suddenly didn't have any trouble drinking the wine. The two behind her were actually scared of Xander.
“We spent the evening there, and got a lot of strange information. Most wouldn't talk about Xander to a 'Human'.” Buffy concluded the tale.
Anya had been smiling during the last part of the story. She couldn't help it as she knew something that they didn't and it caused the smirk to grow. Soon she was laughing so hard that she fell to the floor, pointing at Buffy and Willow.
Willow looked at Anya and huffed, “Hey! It's true!”
Getting some control, Anya said, “I remember where I heard the names before, and you've got it wrong.”
Buffy was not getting angry. She was just disturbed that Anya didn't want to believe. “What do you mean by that?”
“Do you know what Xander does for a living?” Anya said.
Willow shrugged, “He writes and wants to get a few scripts produced. Normal for Cali.”
Anya shook her head. “He's a consultant for Paramount Studios. Specifically for Star Trek, as are the Doctor and Henchgirl. He's got a lot of un-aired episodes, and does a lot of work with Klingon culture for the show, even appearing in a few of them. He's written five plays in the Klingon language and several songs.”
Anya smiled at the two. “You caught him doing a costume play!”