Author's note: The muse won't leave me alone today!
Going to see Mr. Giles felt much like being called to the Principal's office. Not that Andrew had ever been there. Oh, no. No sir-ee. Not him. Still, the man was a legend, the Patriarch, the man who survived the first generation of Scoobies, and saw the group through to the esteemed position they held today. So, visiting the man himself to ask for a favor was indeed intimidating.
“Now, I know that it is truly an imposition to ask for the weekend off, because I know Dawnie can't hope to match my previously-planned-out Cardassian casserole, but I believe that the girls will be able to survive a few days of cold cuts and (gasp!) delivery pizza. I hope that the break won't traumatize anyone too much...”
“What? Oh, don't worry, Andrew, I'm sure that the girls will pull through,” Giles interrupted. “Might I ask where you will be going?”
Andrew beamed. “Oh, I'm just going to visit some cousins. They're Greek, you know?”
“That's nice. I will make certain that the girls leave the kitchen in the same condition they find it in. Have a good weekend.”
With that dismissal, Andrew got up to leave. “Thank you, Mr. Giles, sir! You won't regret this. I promise, I'll be back before you know it!” He practically danced out of the room.
After packing his suitcase with everything that he might conceivably need for the weekend (yes, even the Star Wars juice glasses, one could never leave them alone in a precarious situation), Andrew unfurled his slightly pink-tinged wings, and disappeared with a cloud of pink stars and a few bars from the Star Trek theme song.
Upon his arrival at his mother's temple in Olympus, Andrew was greeted by a hurricane of pink silk. “Mom!” he started, “Ooof! Careful, you'll knock me over!” He separated from her overly enthusiastic hug.
“After all this time with the Slayers, you'd think that you would have built up a little...stamina...wouldn't you? It is a dangerous job. Haven't they been training you?” Aphrodite asked, a look of confusion on her face.
“Well, Mom, it's not that they don't trust me, it's just that they don't want to hurt me by accident. Some of those girls don't really know their own strength, and after one or two little accidents, they thought it would be better to work on my running away skills rather than my fighting skills. But I'm getting better! They've even let me go out one the new girls' hunts to make training videos!”
“Oh, sweetheart, as long as you're happy. But if they ever mistreat you, just let me know and I'll teach them a lesson they won't soon forget!”
“Thanks, Mom, you're the best. So what should we do this weekend?”
Aphrodite brightened. “We'll have a party, of course. I invited all your friends to come over. It'll be a blast.”
Andrew squealed. “Thanks, Mom! That'll be fun. I haven't seen Joxer and Strife in ages. We'll have to see if we can play some tricks on that old stick-in-the-mud, Hercules. I mean, how lame, getting paid millions pretending to be someone else and playing himself. The man has no imagination. Maybe we can get Bacchus to set him up on a blind date with Drusilla. I heard she and the slime demon broke up. I bet she'd like to have a little fun playing with him.”
His mother smiled. “I'm glad you haven't lost your sense of fun playing with the hero-types. Just don't get caught. Remember, pookie, I can't get you out of everything. If you get in too much trouble, you'll have to find your own way out.”
With a nod, Andrew flounced off to his room to get ready for the party. Despite his mother's obsession with the color, he refused to wear anything pink, so he needed to unpack his wardrobe from home. A few hours later, he was finished, and the party had already started. Grinning, Andrew swooped down on the crowd from above, furling his wings at the last second, barely in time to avoid spilling Ares' drink.
“Watch it, you feathered freak!” came the annoyed call. “I might have to clip your wings!”
“Meany!” Andrew pouted. Of course, Aphrodite couldn't snub her brother; leaving out any family from party invitations was certain to create resentment and hostility. Not that anyone would want to bother the Goddess of Love, for fear of repercussions, but Andrew himself would be fair game.
“Come on,” Joxer said, drawing him away. “Our crowd is over here. Leave the older generation to their stodgy entertainments. We can plan out all the ways to show your friends just how much of a warrior you really are!”
* * *
Monday morning, the residents of the New Watchers Council, Reformed, were awakened to a strange sight. A glowing pink haze descended upon the dining hall, resolving itself into two figures: a geeky looking man in battered armor, and Andrew, still with pink wings out, missing his shirt and wearing a lampshade on his head. The two of them struck an unsteady pose on top of one of the long tables and began singing:
“Aaaandrew's the Champion, my friends. And he'll keep on fighting, 'til the end. Yes, he is the Champion, HE is the Cham~pion, Andrew is the Champion...of the world!”
As they ran out of steam, Andrew let out a hiccup and a giggle. “Thank you ladies and gents, we'll be here all week.” With a pop and another shower of sparks, the two figures faded out, leaving the breakfast crowd to scratch their heads.