Disclaimer: I own nothing. To prevent spoilers, a further disclaimer is at the end of the completed story.
In the middle of the desert, Xander Harris stood in the shade of the cliff overhang, his fists on his hips, as he thoughtfully eyed his unexpected discovery, and during all this, the man tried to decide if he should feel annoyed or intrigued about the whole thing, considering that he was supposed to be on vacation.
Ever since his sojourn in Africa several years ago looking for new Slayers after the collapse of Sunnydale, the remaining Scooby Gang women had continuously teased their friend over his preference to take his vacations from New Council business in the most remote, isolated places he could find. One particular female, who had a tendency to break out in hives whenever she found herself more than twenty miles from a mall, had just a few days ago aggressively demanded of the man, “What’s that all about, Xan? Don’t you want to have fun, see the sights, do something besides head to places where nobody but you is around in the whole county?”
Giving Buffy a fond look, Xander had then developed a somewhat peculiar half-grin on his face, as if he’d just remembered a very private joke, to then casually say to the impatiently waiting Slayer, “I like the quiet.”
Throwing up her hands in exasperation as she slouched back in her seat in the conference room of the Scottish castle of the International Watchers’ Council, Buffy glowered at a giggling Dawn and an equally-amused Willow next to her at the table, as the smiling witch looked up from the map Xander had given to the red-haired woman. Before the grumpy Slayer could say anything further, it was Willow who announced, “Well, you’ll have lots of that there, Xan. Apart from where you’re gonna be picked up and taken to your campground, there’s nobody else there in that particular stretch of the desert. No people, and most important, absolutely no demons.”
Leaning over to look again at the map of Xander’s latest vacation spot that Willow had just magically scanned for possible threats to her yellow-crayon friend, Dawn disbelievingly shook her head, and then she snorted, “Most
guys who had the money, time, and urge would go anywhere else in the world, like Hawaii, the French Riviera, or my bedroom, but no, Xander Harris instead decides to spend a few weeks alone in the American Southwest desert!”
” screeched Buffy and Willow in unison at what the younger Summers sister smirking at them both had slipped into her recent statement. Dawn then sent a very sultry look across the conference table at a red-faced Xander there, as she continued her relentless campaign since her eighteenth birthday to turn that man into the husband of Mrs. Dawn Harris.
“Okay, okay, settle down, everyone, or I won’t bring back presents for you all!” hastily warned a very discomfited Xander, feeling a bit more sure of himself once he saw how this threat had subdued the trio of women in his life.
The man’s short-lived sense of confidence abruptly vanished, as he now found himself the direct target of three pairs of supreme puppy-dog eyes from a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead, as the oldest of the females then cooed to him, “They’re gonna be wonderful prezzies, right, Xan? Better than last year, we betcha.”