Author’s Note: The previous chapter would have been the last for this story, until when I was typing that, I came up with the idea that resulted in the following seen below. I couldn’t resist adding this, so here it is!
The next morning, a high-school librarian sat behind his desk, and while slowly polishing his glasses, a very glum Rupert Giles wondered exactly how many people were going to kill them all, every last member of the Scooby Gang. This Englishman had never been that good at maths during his own student days, but he suspected there would certainly be an infinity symbol somwhere in that homicidal equation, representing the number of evil beings worldwide that would do anything
to get their hands, claws, and tentacles upon an Boundless Bag of Granting.
A brief, wary glance was now sent towards the black bag presently lying limply atop the main library table, next to its current owner and master, who was at that moment cramming into his mouth yet another Twinkie. Giles shut his eyes in true exasperation, as he contemplated again just what had resulted from a thorough pillock’s messing around with Chaos magic.
*Bloody hell, Ethan, even when it went all pear-shaped for you, the habits of a lifetime meant you still managed to totally cock up things for everyone else. It wasn’t bad enough you managed to escape after I smashed that Janus statue. Oh, no, when I got back here, Xander was right in the middle of investigating what happened to his purse that had changed into a bag during that last burst of magical energy.*
The older man opened his eyes again, and he glowered at the youth there wrapped in his majestic red cloak pinned at the front with an ornate oval gold brooch, and floating a few inches above his library chair. Munching away at his mouthful of golden sponge cake, the teenage boy was presently using the green ring worn on his right ring finger, which had a thin tendril of energy in this identical color leading from that piece of jewelry to a comic book having the rather crude cover art of a costumed man holding a car over his head. Engrossed in reading his mint copy of Action Comics #1 while using his Green Lantern ring to flip the pages over, Xander Harris was also absentmindedly patting with his left hand the top of an immense, six-barreled gun taking up the rest the library table.
Giles sent an exceptionally evil look towards that massive weapon, which had been explained to him by a thrilled Xander to be always referred as a ‘mini-gun’. If that was indeed the case, the librarian decidedly did not want to see what was considered a large
firearm in whatever locale that had previously contained this purloined gun. Particularly since Xander had nearly ruptured himself hauling out that incredibly destructive device from his bag.
During the next couple of minutes while Xander had discreetly checked his lower regions for anything that might have come loose, Giles managed to inquire if that young man had any idea whatsoever just why
his former purse was now seemingly capable of producing virtually anything requested by its new owner from inside the cloth bag. So far, the only specific limits found during the Scooby Gang’s examination of Xander’s prize were ‘nothing alive’ and ‘no objects wider than the bag’s neck’.
The high school student himself, in between mourning his failure to produce something called the ‘Good Arnold Terminator’, had to confess his own total mystification. “I mean, G-man, the purse used on the Laugh-In show by Ruth Buzzi as her Gladys Ormphby character was just something funny to wallop guys that were hitting on her. When I got changed into her last night for real by that asshole friend of yours, I was pretty much a back-seat driver. She
was the one totally sure that her purse would provide whatever she needed, and I have to admit, what with the stake that took care of Spike, Gladys was absolutely right. I dunno. Could that have carried over in some way when the Halloween magic ended? Being so certain about the purse that it somehow also applied to my bag?”
Several minutes later, Giles was still pondering those surprisingly insightful suggestions from his younger associate, unable to come to any firm conclusions thus far. Well, except for an utter determination to keep this whole bloody situation as secret as possible from everyone. And, yes, that definitely included the Council itself.
Unnoticed by anyone else, Giles did a quick shudder at the very thought of his superiors in that organization controlling the Slayer ever finding out about that innocent-looking yet immensely magical object over there. The librarian had for a while now his own dark thoughts about a bunch of wankers five thousand miles away who couldn’t ever be bothered to damn well turn up here and actually pitch in. Frankly, those berks’ concept of tangible support for a tiny band of humans desperately trying to protect the Hellmouth on their own never went any further than making condescending remarks such as, “Oh, you’ve saved the world again? Good show, keep it up. By the way, is that Summers gel as disrespectful as ever? You must be more than ready to return home when she dies and a proper Slayer serves the Council. Here’s hoping that happens soon, young Giles.”
Remembering a recent conversation with London which had gone very much like that, Rupert Giles found himself angrily sitting up straight and stiff in his chair, teeth grinding in fury and fists clenched hard enough for his fingernails to dig into his palms. At this point, he was infuriated enough to start wondering if that so-called mini-gun over there might possibly have an accidental weapons discharge of several hundred bullets in the general direction of any Council representative, if they ever deigned to come around--
“Okay, guys! We’re ready!”
A startled Giles felt his mental fantasy abruptly vanish, leaving him feeling a bit ashamed, as the Englishman now glanced over at the main table, where Xander was grinning at the librarian, evidently not noticing anything amiss. Ah, that lad had indeed also heard those cheerful words coming from further back in the library shelves. There, three young women had spent an extremely long time in doing whatever needed to be done among themselves, all to the accompaniment of incessant giggling. Well, that seemed to have ended, and now the two men in the library would finally see what Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, and Harmony Kendall had been up to together.
His Slayer, still out of sight behind the bookshelves, now jubilantly called, “Here I come!”
After that final word, Buffy now walked out from her location, stepping into view at the far end of the room and then taking a few more strides forward, where she halted and posed for her Watcher and her Xander-shaped friend.
As she observed two male jaws drop nearly to their belt buckles, Buffy’s face maintained her calm expression only because of incredible Slayer self-control. Which was in itself a superpower the young woman had discovered only two seconds ago, when she’d managed not to smirk at those dumbfounded guys there, who were now seeing little ol’ Buffy wearing what she’d earlier demanded from Xander, in a no-nonsense tone: “Postwar Dior in our
A doubtful teenage boy had then reached into the magic bag, not sure this would actually work, until when his hand was grouping away in there, his fingers touched soft cloth, and an astonished Xander had pulled out the magnificent dress that Buffy was currently wearing. Honestly, the Sunnydale native knew as much about dresses as he did about Tibetan puberty rituals, so all he could describe about that young woman’s spectacular garment was that it clung closely enough to announce to people in other solar systems that here was a superbly fit female, all dressed up in beautiful, light-pink fabric that seemed to actually shimmer in splendor, and cut in lines that were the culmination of the dressmaker’s art.
Standing like a gorgeous statue in the library, Buffy gleefully basked in the guys’ total and complete attention for several minutes, with this girl’s only movement being the soft rising and falling of her chest, causing the gigantic pink diamond dangling there from its necklace to glitter and sparkle under the room lights.
Only when a throat from somewhere behind the rear library shelves was loudly and crossly cleared several times did Buffy finally make her exit. Performing a grand, sweeping turn, the Slayer strutted back to rejoin her concealed friends. There, judging from the scowl Willow promptly aimed at the arriving blonde, that redhead was plainly irked about Buffy overstaying her welcome out in the room. An unrepentant grin was flashed at the other girl, as Buffy gaily whooped to the expectant pair of males, “Now, put your hands together for Willow Rosenberg, the one and only!”
A panicky expression now blossomed upon the features of that named girl, as she hesitated while clearly beginning to dither about her decision to join in with Buffy and Harmony during today’s latest Scooby pastime. Eventually, it took an actual shove by Buffy to force Willow to stumble out from behind the library shelves. A few steps later, the smartest girl in Sunnydale High came to an unnerved stop in the rear part of the area, fearfully staring like a deer caught in the headlights, right at the two people gazing back at herself.
The faces of both Xander and Giles then actually showed pure awe.
Instantly picking up on this, Willow inwardly felt an sudden surge of unreserved delight, which overwhelmed any previous feelings of nervousness, as she was obviously making one hell of an impression upon the guys over there. It was a much nicer sensation than when she’d worn the first costume suggested by Buffy earlier on Halloween night, when she’d felt totally self-conscious about wearing her friend’s raciest clothing.
Straightening up, Willow proudly stood before her audience, the jade green of her classic Dior dress strikingly bringing out the girl’s auburn hair. Resting comfortably upon Willow’s alabaster skin of her upper chest, attached to a fine gold chain around the young woman’s neck, was an enormous emerald, glowing with its own inner green fire.
Happily counting down in her head until Willow was sure she’d beaten Buffy’s modeling time by at least a good thirty seconds, the Jewish girl then gave a still-staring Xander and Giles a dignified nod of farewell, as she stately swept off towards the rear of the room. Once she was back behind the library shelves, Willow stuck out a defiant tongue at Buffy waiting there, a look of thunder upon the Slayer’s face.
Irritably grimacing at a now-snickering Willow, Buffy then forcefully announced, “Gentlemen, we’ve saved the best for last! Here she is, Harmony Kendall!”
As the last of the female trio went past, Buffy and Willow promptly forgot any potential hostilities between themselves, instead joining together in poking their heads past the end of the bookshelves. These two girls now watched how Harmony gracefully glided further down the room and then stopped, standing motionless there in anticipation of her audience’s reaction.
Rupert Giles felt his heart skip a beat at the sight of this lovely young woman in her sky-blue Dior dress. Xander, on the other hand, had an entirely different and much more evident response. Losing his control over Dr. Strange’s cloak, the boy plummeted from his position floating several inches above his chair, his descending rear meeting the seat of that furniture with a meaty ‘thud!’ sound that suggested serious bruising in the very near future. Though, once his eyeballs stopped bouncing, Xander seemed to totally ignore what had just happened to himself, to instead continue a glazed stare of worshipful adoration at his beautiful girlfriend wearing her superb deep blue diamond necklace.
That last piece of jewelry had been something of a surprise to them all. The Pink Panther diamond was easy enough, and the El Corazon emerald from ‘Romancing the Stone’ had eventually been suggested by Buffy. However, nobody in the Scooby Gang could come up with a fictional azure diamond necklace, until Giles had simply proposed that Xander reach into his bag and hope for the best. Several months later, a quartet seeing a first-run movie about a ship on its sole voyage had each and every one of them been truly staggered at seeing on the screen an exact duplicate of the keepsake lovingly hidden away by Harmony after Halloween, who had yet to know she possessed the Heart of the Ocean.
Inside the library, unmindful of the origin of her necklace, Harmony smiled at the young man across the main table obviously her total slave. Impulsively giving in to the last lingering trace of Chaos magic that remained inside herself, the blonde girl lifted her right hand to her mouth, and for a moment, she nibbled on the tip of her index finger, while a sheepish grin flickered upon her lips.
Then, Harmony Kendall delivered an absolutely perfect Goldie Hawn giggle.