The whole reason for the others’ overwhelming curiosity was that the only male student in the Scooby Gang and also the leader of the Inferior Five had both flatly refused to tell anybody exactly what happened during their fight with the sorcerer masquerading as a folksy human politician who’d quietly ruled their hometown for the last century. Not even Harmony or Athena, whatever their wiles or threats, could drag out of either guy in whatever body they were inhabiting any further scraps of the story involving what went on a couple of days right after their extraordinary Halloween.
Xander (plus Myron) had been willing enough to explain to all there in the Sunnydale High library at the end of the week following October 31st about his mental guest’s thorough investigation concerning the unfamiliar place where the Inferior Five had become stranded due to Chaos magic. During Merryman’s intensive research regarding Xander’s home, cheerfully helped along by the Sunnydale native now deep inside the purple-clad crimefighter’s mind, Myron had stumbled upon something genuinely far-fetched, yet still true but totally ignored by everyone in this California city. Namely, nobody ever noticed the highest elected official of the town’s government had been the same person for the last hundred years, a man named Richard Wilkins III. Or, as he’d also been known, Richard Wilkins II, and before him, just plain Richard Wilkins.
Xander himself had been unable to believe it, until Myron used their mind-to-mind communication to directly prove his discovery to the younger man’s consciousness. Only then did the ultimate Sunnydale Syndrome spell collapse, allowing a dazed Xander to finally realize the truth. Unfortunately, neither of the guys sharing the same body were really sure if the other Scoobies could also be released from the spell, even if the rest of the Inferior Five were presented with the same information Myron had just discovered. Much more genuinely obvious evidence was needed about the Mayor being some kind of evil wizard or worse. After getting this, hopefully the enchantment laid over Buffy, Willow, Harmony, and Giles would also end when they and their mental companions were exposed to the true facts. Xander and Myron had then grimly agreed between themselves to keep quiet about their discovery, until they could sneak into the Mayor’s office at City Hall and search for definite proof about Wilkins.
One reason why the pair of mischief-makers remained to unwilling to fully talk about their escapade was the resulting vocal eruption by their girlfriends, when the rest of the gang learned what these two had been up to recently. Harmony screamed like a fishwife at her cringing boyfriend, and later on, Athena yelled at Myron with all the power of her magnificent lungs, shattering windows throughout the entire city. The town’s glaziers made a fortune.
Anyway, after the feminine wrath had slightly subsided, a shell-shocked Xander rushed through the rest of his story. On how they’d found it surprisingly easy that night to get into the City Hall building and then inside Wilkins’ office. Myron found his success a bit worrying, even though the place was devoid of the hardcore security which was the only thing capable of keeping out someone taught by perhaps the finest cat burglar in their home dimension. (Only to assist in their crimefighting activities, The Patriot declared to his doubtful son while instructing him in this novice superhero’s breaking and entering lessons.) However, just before beginning their felonious investigations, the open door to the inner office they’d entered now abruptly slammed shut on its own, leaving them trapped inside the windowless room.
Right after this, a jovial voice spoke from the shadows across the back wall, “Gosh, it’s an almighty shame when youthful hi-jinks turn into actual criminal activities. Why, when I was a lad, we just confined ourselves to cow-tipping and moving someone’s outhouse back a few yards during moonless nights, to give their owners a real surprise the next time they had to use these.”
Richard Wilkins the third/second/first/whatever now casually walked through the solid rear wall, to stand there in the room while beaming at the frozen form of the young man dressed in a tight-fitting magenta costume. In the next moment, the Mayor’s eyes glowed a bright red, and every shiny tooth shown in his cheerful grin abruptly changed into needle-tipped fangs.
It was at this exact point of their story when Xander and Myron had clammed up. Which caused the fascinated others listening to them feeling really ticked off at the pair, given the fact neither would tell anyone what happened after that. Athena’s annoyance was matched by her new friend, until Harmony had a sobering thought hastily shared with the superheroine, in maybe their boyfriends were feeling guilty or ashamed about the Mayor’s death.
This politician’s demise had indeed been acknowledged, not just among by those currently in the library who’d been affected by the Halloween events, but by the entire municipality of Sunnydale. All due to the town’s newspaper breathlessly informing its readers about the discovery of the lifeless body of Richard Wilkins III in his office, when city firefighters had entered these chambers after being summoned by the building’s blaring smoke alarms. There, they’d found a large fire blazing away in the wrecked room, and also the Mayor lying dead on the floor. The next day, while in the school library, Rupert Giles’ suspicions were heightened by the fact no mention was made by the newspaper of just how
the creator of the town’s Sunnydale Syndrome had perished.
Yes, the Scooby Gang finally learned the truth about the Mayor, helped along by the horrific evidence of a personal diary and several other foul magical items the considerably-battered Merryman found in the office and took with him after his fight to the death with this fiend. A subdued Xander confirmed Myron had set the fire to cover his tracks and also to make sure anything else he’d missed was destroyed. Given how just reading the first few pages of the diary bound in the skin of a sacrificed baby made Giles vomit into the desk wastebasket, the Englishman then fervently assured the others in the library that Myron had shown superb self-control in not burning down the entire City Hall and then salting the scorched earth.
After their own magical forgetfulness concerning the Mayor had ended, the others sitting around the book-filled room were even more intrigued about the total silence of Xander and Myron over their exact actions which had accomplished this feat. Now really bursting with questions, Buffy, Willow, Harmony, and Giles had their impending interrogation hastily diverted by their friend wondering out loud how this would change things in the demonic underworld in Sunnydale. Eight people (four in their chairs around the library table and four in the seated persons’ heads) glowered at the young man innocently looking back at them all. Still, it was a good point, even though the others sent dark looks in unison at Xander, indicating this wasn’t over. The Scoobies now held a spirited discussion in the library, aided by their newfound allies, which culminated in an agreement to work together during the coming power struggle when other demons tried to gain control of the Hellmouth.
This had indeed proven to be the case over the next several weeks, finishing in tonight’s complete success at the warehouse in wiping out some of the most nefarious monsters in Sunnydale. Plus finally dusting that supreme pain in the arse known as Spike the vampire. However, during this evening’s little contretemps, something had been learned by one of the good guys, about which two other young men had really preferred none of his friends would ever find out.
This might have been the reason for Xander’s sudden proposal, while he nervously glanced around the warehouse. Smiling a wee bit sickly at the increasing hard stares of his friends (both physically present and those absent in body but still in attendance), Xander gabbled, “Hey, guys, what say we hit the all-night diner over on Broadway and celebrate with ice cream for everyone? It’s all on me, so go wild! Yeah, Buffinator, this includes you! Wanna see if you can knock off the whole dessert menu in one visit?”
Oh, no, for once she wasn’t going to be bribed with food. Not even chocolate. Giving her school friend the most threatening scowl she could manage, Buffy growled, “’Fess up, Xan! You too, Myron! What Leander told me just made me even more curious, in spite of how icky it sounded.”
“Er, what exactly did Leander say, Buffy?” inquired Giles, warily peering over his glasses at this young woman.
All the others of the Scooby Gang (except for Xander dolefully looking upwards at the warehouse ceiling in his glum acceptance that their secret was at last going to be revealed) now watched the Slayer blush absolutely scarlet, from chin to ear tips. Not meeting anyone’s eyes, she mumbled, “Um, he said the vamps argued about how the Mayor died. One of those fangsters talked about him choking to death on something shoved down his throat, with the other vamp holding out for, uh, how do I put it? Let’s just say, something else fatally stuffed up in the other direction.”
It took a few moments for Giles, Harmony, and Willow to figure out precisely what Buffy was trying to say, which resulted in a simultaneous triple gape at the very embarrassed Slayer. A stunned Giles was the first to express his astonishment, spluttering, “What the devil are you talking about? Wasn’t anything further said to make this more comprehensible--?”
Cutting off an Englishman’s beginning rant was the morose statement then delivered by Xander, “It was both at the same time, guys.”
” was yelped in chorus by the others in the warehouse, including those in their heads, as they all stared in shock at the defiant boy.
Xander lifted a stiff index finger, determinedly waggling this into their direction, as the high school student stuck up for his mental pal, “Look, people, it was total self-defense! Myron was in the fight of his life! The instant he saw an opening, he grabbed the first thing on hand from the Bag O’ Fun, and then… Um… Okay, he used it without even thinking, to make sure the Mayor went down for the count! Afterwards, we really didn’t want to remember it, much less tell you, even if what we did saved our lives. Yeah, it was that close.”
Seeing her boyfriend’s face abruptly paling, along with strongly shuddering at his horrible recollections, Harmony instantly rushed forward and threw her arms around Xander in a loving embrace. A beat later, the pair were joined by two other girls, with Buffy and Willow also hugging their friends. Giles just stood there, rapidly cleaning his eyeglasses with a handkerchief, all while trying to distract both himself and William in his mind on how narrowly someone the Watcher secretly thought of as a son had just missed falling in battle.
A few moments later, after being prompted by a bewildered archer sharing his body, the librarian appealed to a teenage male happily surrounded by three young ladies, “Excuse me, Xander, but how was it even possible for any particular weapon to accomplish, er, that?
As he gratefully breathed in the scent of Harmony’s hair pressed against his face, Xander absently replied, with his response being a perfect summation of the absolutely preposterous lives of the Scooby gang ever since Halloween:
“Oh, you really couldn’t call it a weapon, Giles. Nah, what finished the fight turned out to be a very elastic rubber chicken.”