Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters. I receive no profits from this. It is just for fun.
Archiving: Please ask.
Feedback: Constructive Criticism desired.
AN: Thoughts are set between asterisks (i.e. *She’s hot.*).
The first thing Xander became aware of as he slowly returned to a wakeful state was the smell. It was a familiar but not readily identifiable. There was an acridness to it that made him wrinkle his nose.
The next thing to make itself known to his fuzzy brain was that he was soaking wet. Putting the smell and his wetness together, his brain came up with a disturbing image that jolted him awake. The sight that met his open eyes was limited due to a white cloth with stitching that had some bright light filtering through it.
*This is very fishy.*
With that stray thought, he breathed a quiet sigh of relief as the smell was more accurately identified as being drying seaweed and not what he had imagined a few moments before. Of course that still did not explain how he had gotten so wet without being woken up.
Now that he had identified at least one of his questions, he turned his attention to trying to answer the wetness one as well as the question as to why he was lying on a wooden floor which he had seen at the same time as the cloth covering his face.
He cautiously moved his hand to remove the cloth from covering his face, to discover that not only was he on a wooden floor, the wall facing him was wood plank as well. There was also a small boat’s steering wheel in the middle of the wall. Also, there was no ceiling and the sun was shining.
He looked at the cloth that had been covering his face and determined that it was a sailor’s Dixie cup turned inside-out. Taking a look at himself, he discovered he was dressed in a long-sleeved red three-button pullover shirt with a white collar, light blue bell-bottomed denim pants, and white canvas, laced deck sneakers. Even though it was nothing like he had ever owned, let alone worn before, it still seemed familiar somehow.
Hearing a groan from behind him, Xander quickly turned towards the sound and found himself looking at the back of someone huddled on the other side of the open air enclosure he was in. That person also appeared to be soaking wet. Taking in the rest of the surroundings while he turned, he determined that the suspicion gnawing at his brain was borne out in that he and the huddled person were on the upper bridge of a small boat like the ones that took tourists on fishing excursions.
The huddled person seemed to be somewhat smaller than his mind appeared to be expecting, even though he had no conscious reason why he felt that way. The person was wearing a dark blue short-sleeved shirt and khaki pants. It also looked like he was wearing Navy blue topped, canvas, laced deck sneakers. Next to the man’s back, Xander was definite that it was a man, lay a soaked, dark blue captain’s hat worn by the captains of tourist fishing boats.
Again, this was continuing to feel familiar to Xander, but he couldn’t quite place why.
After hearing another moan from the huddled man, Xander carefully moved towards him and gently rolled him onto his back. When Xander saw the man’s face, he was very surprised. It was Oz.
“Oz. OZ!” prodded Xander, trying to get his friend to wake up and help him figure out what was going on. The fact that he was not alone and had a friend near helped ease some of the anxiety that had been building up since he regained consciousness.
Oz opened his eyes and immediately moved his right hand to shade them from the brightness that was streaming into his face.
He blinked a few times as though trying to focus on the dark face hovering over him.
“Xander?” he finally queried.
“Yeah, Oz, it’s me.”
“Most definitely,” was Xander’s response.
He helped the smaller man to his feet and they both took a good look around at their surroundings. In addition to their being on the upper bridge of a fishing boat, the boat itself was high and dry on the beach of what appeared to be a tropical island. The next thing they noticed was a life preserver with the boat’s name on it.
“No way,” said Xander in a near whisper, as the previously niggling notion became crystal clear.
Oz’s sole reaction was to raise both eyebrows when he read the life preserver.
They stared at each other for a very long time.
Finally, Oz spoke, “Passengers?”
“Five, of course,” replied Xander. “I’m positive who four of them are. Given the make-up of our group, the role assigned to the fourth one will decide the fifth. I have a sinking suspicion who the fifth one is and if I’m right it might be safer to be covered in chum and go swimming with a school of hungry sharks.”
Oz looked thoughtful for a moment and then just nodded.
Again there was a long pause before Xander spoke again.
“There’s never a school of hungry sharks around when you need one.”
“Or chum,” was Oz’s sole reply.
Xander bent over and picked up the hat that had been near Oz and handed it to him.
“Your chapeau, mon capitaine.”
Oz took the hat, wrung it out a bit, then put it on his head. He then followed Xander down the ladder to the main deck. There, they entered the enclosed bridge where the door to the forward cabin was.
Xander took a deep breath and let it out slowly, then said, “Here goes nothing. I hope.”
Opening the door, Xander stepped into the small cabin a ways to let Oz follow him in.
Xander’s face showed his sadness for being right about all five passengers. They all had on inflatable life vests, which made sense if they had really been in a storm at sea. They were also all still unconscious.
There was Giles sitting on the couch on the left of the cabin. He was dressed in Navy blue yachting pants with matching jacket and captains hat. He had on a white button down shirt with a red ascot. His deck shoes were also navy blue sneakers, but slip-ons.
On the right side of the cabin, next to the door, was Cordelia. She was dressed in a gold lame ankle length form fitting dress that tied like a halter in back of her neck. Apparently slit to the hip on both sides. The neck line was cut almost as low as the slits were high. She had on low heeled sandals with laces that snaked up her calf. Definitely no bra and he wasn’t too sure about panties based on the skin showing through the side slits.
Next to her was Willow. She wore a white button down men’s long-sleeved shirt with the cuffs rolled up to the elbow. Her pants were a lighter shade of khaki that what Oz was wearing. Her shoes were also Navy blue slip-on sneakers.
Next to Willow was Buffy. She had on a short-sleeved, red patterned, button down shirt that had its shirt tails tied just below her breasts. Only a couple of buttons above the tie were even buttoned. No sign of a bra. She also wore, although Xander could almost swear they were painted on, dark blue denim shorts with the hem of each pant leg being even with her crotch. The best she could have had on under the shorts would be a thong. On her feet were dark brown flat, leather shoes.
Xander then turned his attention back to the left couch, to the fifth passenger. The one that would make it very difficult for Buffy not to blow her cool over her presence. She was seated next to Giles, of course. Attired in a similar outfit to him, with a white button down blouse, Navy blue sneakers, and Navy blue yachting jacket. But instead of blue pants, she wore a pleated white skirt that was hemmed at least three inches above the knee. She also had a parasol with flower designs on it, along with a wide brimmed but elegant straw hat. All in all, Joyce Summers looked very fetching.
*Don’t go there, Xan,” Xander thought to himself. *Buffy’s going to be ticked off as it is. No need to give her a substitute target to vent on.*
Of course Xander was sure that Mrs. Summers was probably going to be better company than Wesley would have been if Cordelia had been given her role instead of the one she got. After all, Willow was a redhead and could have filled Cordelia’s present role based on that.
With a heavy sigh, Xander said to Oz, “Might as well wake them up.”
“Who first?” asked Oz.
“Giles and Mrs. Summers,” replied Xander. “I think it would help if her mother were already awake when we get to Buffy. Maybe even let her mother be the one to wake her. Might give us a chance at a head start before she loses it and begins slaying everything in sight.”
Oz just nodded sagely and proceeded to try and rouse Giles, while Xander did the same with Joyce.
Mrs. Summers woke up before Giles did and found herself staring at Xander.
“Wha…what’s going on?”
“Not totally sure, myself,” said Xander. “But we’ll try and figure it out as soon as everyone else is awake.”
He stepped aside so she could see the three sleeping girls on the other side of the cabin.
As she moved towards her daughter, Xander said, “Please wait until the others are all awake. I doubt she is going to take this well, especially since you’re here.”
Joyce paused then nodded her agreement. She just sat next to her daughter and made sure she appeared to be alright.
When Giles came around shortly after, Xander just said to him, “Explanations need to wait until everyone is out of dreamland. That way we won’t have to go over it more than once.”
Giles nodded and Xander turned to Cordelia as Oz looked after Willow.
The two girls came to about the same time and were also instructed to hold any questions until Buffy was awake. Cordelia looked for a moment like she was going to argue but instead just gave Xander a death stare that promised much agony if there wasn’t a good explanation coming soon.
Xander turned to Mrs. Summers and nodded his go ahead for her to wake her daughter.
“Buffy. Wake up dear,” she said softly.
“School gone. Sleep,” was the mumbled response from the petite young woman.
“Normally I would agree that you should be allowed to sleep in after blowing up your school but something has come up that I think you need to help look into.”
The tone in her mother’s voice caused Buffy to crack open one eye and glance at her surroundings. This prompted the other eye opening to verify what the first eye was seeing.
“What the f….”
“Easy Buff,” Xander cut in, in hopes to avoid an explosion to rival the school if not Krakatoa. “There are grownups present and you shouldn’t use such language where their sensitive ears might hear you.”
“Ok, doofus,” interjected Cordelia, also in an attempt to stop Buffy from blowing a gasket and delay further the promised explanation. “We’re all awake. Now make with the explanations.”
“While we’re not sure how we got here, Oz and I have a fair idea of where we are. Sorta.”
“What exactly does that mean?” asked Giles.
“Well, it appears as though the seven of us are stranded on a dessert island,” Xander responded.
Shouts of “What!” and “That’s impossible!” erupted for a few moments before Xander let loose a shrill whistle to send the cabin into silence once again.
“Oz and I woke up in the wheel house of a sightseeing boat which is beached. We found you in the cabin of that boat and woke you up.”
“What makes you so sure that we are on a dessert island?” asked Willow when Xander was silent for a few seconds after he finished speaking.
“The name of the boat,” he replied.
“What is the correlation between the name of the boat and being on a dessert island?” asked Giles.
Before Xander could answer, Oz started whistling a jaunty tune.
Willow was the first to recognize it, followed by Buffy, Cordelia, and even Joyce.
“No way,” breathed Willow.
“Yes way,” answered Xander. “However, we don’t know how yet.”
“Would someone mind letting me in on what is going on?” Giles said with an annoyed, but puzzled look on his face.
“American Pop Culture reference,” replied Buffy. She then went on to explain it.
“Good lord!” yelped Giles after Buffy’s explanation. “A bloody television show?”
“Worse,” said Xander. “A Sit-Com.”
“But a fun show,” interjected Willow in a forced jovial manner.
“That makes all the difference,” said Cordelia, not hiding her sarcasm in the least.
“The question remains, how do we get out of here and back to Sunnydale?” asked Joyce.
At Oz’s cough, everyone looked at him and then towards where he was pointing.
At the front end of the cabin, they saw, for the first time, an entertainment suite with a VCR and TV. Taped to the TV screen was a sheet of paper that just read “PLAY”. Xander walked up to the center and pressed the PLAY button on the VCR after removing the note from the TV screen. There was a few seconds of snow that filled screen then the smiling image of the late, and unlamented, mayor of Sunnydale appeared.
“Well, good, golly, gosh. If you’re watching this then my ascension didn’t go as I planned. Meaning you won and I lost. But as they say, ‘no good deed goes unpunished’. So I have arranged this little vacation for you as my way of rewarding you for a job well done in the never ending fight against evil. And to see to it that you are not disturbed during your time on the island, what with aircraft, ships, and satellites showing up just about anywhere, I have taken the liberty of casting an ignore curse on you. Basically it means that even if someone were to come to the island, they would just ignore you like you weren’t even there. They won’t even see you. Any attempt by you to interact directly with them or get them to acknowledge your presence would also be ignored. Anything relating to yourselves will be ignored by everyone else, such as any messages in a bottle you might try to send.”
“The ignore curse is quite elegant in its simplicity and much more practical than say an invisibility spell. With an invisibility spell magic could still find you, whereas with an ignore curse even magic ignores you. For example, locator spells won’t work on you nor can you use magic that invokes gods, goddesses, or other beings for aid in the casting because you are ignored. Who knows, after a few years here you might even begin to ignore each other. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?”
“I do hope you don’t mind my little bit of whimsy. I always liked the show and thought it would be rather appropriate given the desire to have you stranded and unable to get back to continue your crusade against the forces of darkness. I had considered having Angel in the role of ‘Skipper’ as it amused me to think about how Mr. Harris would react to being called ‘little buddy’ and being his bunkmate. However, Angel would not be compatible with using the ignore curse. Plus the whole tropical island and sun mix just wouldn’t work for him in the long run. Luckily, Mr. Osbourne brings a delightful primal aspect to the group dynamic and his own take on the ‘little buddy’ phrase that should be just as amusing. But don’t you worry about Angel, he has his own mission to accomplish. You see, the one drawback to having you goody-goodys stranded is that there is no one to keep the Council wet works teams from harming my poor Faith, other than Angel. He’s been contacted and told about you being stranded, but of course, not where. He has also been informed that if anything bad happens to Faith, then Buffy will suffer the same fate. I believe that will give him the motivation to ensure her safety.”
“Now for your own safety, you should pay attention to the following. If any of you get more than two miles from the island you will die in horrible agony and all the others will feel it. If one of you gets more than three miles from any of the others you will all experience pain beyond imagining for as long as that person is beyond that range.”
“I have made a few alterations from how the show went, other than changing the ‘Professor’ to be female. There are no steamer trunks belonging to the Howells full of money or clothes. Too expensive for the town budget to handle. You have only the clothes each of you are currently wearing and a swimsuit and towel for each in small beach bags with your names on them up on deck. I never understood how they could have gotten those steamer trunks onboard a boat as small as the Minnow anyway. You will not have a radio to listen to either. Other than that you will have to fend for yourselves just like they did.”
“By the way, I’m sure Mr. Giles has picked up on my reference to the fact that the magic that makes you ignored is a curse. And as you are quite aware, curses always have a way to break them. To give you a sporting chance, I will provide you with a clue to how the curse can be broken since you don’t have your books to research with. After all, they were rescued after fourteen years. Just be warned, even if you were to start today, it will take at least five years before you would have what you need to break the curse. Also be advised, that if even one of you dies before accomplishing his or her part in the process to break the curse, none of you will ever leave the island alive. Then who will save all those innocents from the big bad demons?”
“Listen carefully, because I won’t repeat it and the tape will self destruct in thirty seconds.”
“To lift the veil of ignorance, the issue of the Yin and Yang for each of those that already have from each of those that must create must come to fruition. Only then can one of the next call for revelation of all of the first.”
With that the mayor’s face disappeared and was replaced by a countdown clock.
“Everybody out, now!” shouted Xander, who was still standing closest to the entertainment center.
Three years of reacting to shouts of warning had Giles, Willow, and Buffy moving almost before Xander finished his shout. Oz, Cordelia, and Joyce reacted only slightly slower. They made their way out onto the deck and moved aft. Buffy and Oz jumped to the beach and helped guide Joyce and Cordelia off from there while Giles and Xander helped them from above. Willow found the beach bags the mayor mentioned and tossed them over the side before Xander helped her over as well. After Xander helped Giles over the rail, he jumped to the beach himself. Everybody then grabbed a beach bag and moved as far away from the boat as possible towards some dunes that might provide cover in case of a possible explosion that everyone was expecting to occur at any moment.
When nothing happened after the thirty seconds was up, Giles turned to Xander and in a panting breath asked, “Why d..d..did you scare us into running like that? If he had wanted us dead we would be already.”
“About the only thing I believe 100% of what he told us is that if one of us dies before we can break that curse, then the rest of us spend the rest of our lives stranded here. So even if he wants us alive to suffer, it doesn’t have to be all of us. Nor does it mean that he might not have set something up to cause severe injury. Besides it is always safest to run from any clock counting down unless you know for sure what it is counting down to,” replied Xander.
“I’m with Xander on this one,” interjected Buffy. “With the mayor, it is always better to play it safe.”
“You’re probably quite right,” said Giles. “Still a couple of us should go back and see if there is anything we might need to help with our survival.”
Just then the boat erupted in a ball of flame. Proving that Murphy, at least, was not among those affected by the ignore curse.