Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and DC Comics characters are the property of their original owners.
Tightly bound to his chair, a very glum Xander Harris did another mental recitation listing the rest of the unpleasant details regarding his present captivity:
1. The duct tape over his mouth.
2. The pillowcase covering his entire head and completely rendering useless his vision, along with most of his hearing.
3. Worse of all, the fact that he’d fallen into the clutches of a quartet of absolute lunatics.
Surreptitiously testing once more the ropes keeping him prisoner, as if by any chance in the last two minutes they’d miraculously become looser, Xander then heard through the pillowcase the muffled voice of someone sounding mildly concerned. Clearly seeing what he’d just been attempting, the voice asked, “Do you think he’ll do it now?”
Xander instantly indicated with both of his hands, that were the only parts of his entire body capable of moving more than an inch or two, this young man’s answer to not only that last question, but also his entire pissed-off state of mind to every one of the four people he knew were sharing the room with him. Another, much more amused voice noted, “Judging by that double middle-finger gesture he’s giving us, I’d say no.”
“He should be more polite,” came a rather menacing voice from a third person. “It isn’t all that smart to annoy someone with lots
of experience in persuading people totally at their mercy to follow instructions.”
“Knock it off!” ordered the final member of the group detaining Xander. “You can catch more flies with honey than… Uh, how does that saying end, anyway?”
“Who cares?” retorted the voice of the amused one (referring to the second person who’d spoken). “Besides, you know we offered him right from the start a really fair price, and he turned us down flat.”
That provoked a very indignant response from the first speaker, who’d changed from concerned into actual irascibility. “Only because blabbermouth there spilled the beans, right in the middle of your first offer, about what we wanted! So, naturally, he passed up the case of Twinkies and instead went for something we wouldn’t do!”
“Quit blaming me! You’re just mad because I
don’t mind,” grumbled the menacing one, adding a sniff of sheer superiority after this. “Not after so long. Though, I still can’t see why it’s necessary for us to do this in the first place, or even why you’re so dead set against it, when all he asked was to--”
Buffy Summers roared at the top of her lungs, “HE’S NOT GONNA GET TO SEE ALL OF US STARK NAKED!”
In the next several moments of absolute silence after that extraordinary bellow from the Slayer, four girls stood around in the living room of the house at 1630 Revello Drive, with every window curtain there drawn to provide complete privacy for these young women presently wearing not a single stitch among themselves. With very mixed feelings, Buffy, Cordelia, Willow, and Anya watched the pillowcase-covered head of Xander Harris rapidly bob up and down, as this gagged male enthusiastically nodded his head in unyielding determination that either his price got paid, or he wouldn’t do squat.
Glancing at each other while otherwise ignoring their nudity, various looks of exasperation were traded among the quartet. Finally, Willow appealed in the direction of their blind prisoner, who cocked his head at that familiar voice of concern coming from somebody trying to appeal to his finer feelings. “Listen, Xan, the prom’s tomorrow, and we all want to look our best. But we also don’t have any other chance of getting an all-over tan before then, not with the crummy weather we’ve been having--”
Cordelia broke into the redhead’s plea with a noticeably irritated tone that had replaced any previous trace of amusement. “Plus, every single tanning studio in town is already booked solid, and there’s no time to go anyplace else, what with the other things we’ve got to do -- hair, fittings, manicures--”
“Cheesegrater!” Anya happily announced, only to look around in surprise at the glances of utter disbelief coming her way. Sighing, the former vengeance demon went on to explain in a matter-of-fact tone far scarier than any menacing gloat, “There’s a little trick you can do with this to his toes that’ll make him instantly fall in line--”
“Quit it, Anya!” again snapped Buffy. Glowering at the chair occupied by a young man that several minutes ago she’d tied, gagged, and blindfolded, the Slayer finally had enough. Rapping out her next words, Buffy informed him, “Okay, Xander, here’s how it’s gonna go. You either use your Sun Boy powers you got earlier to give us a great tan that’ll make us look good for the prom, or…we won’t do anything to you right now.”
Imperiously going on despite the sudden mutters of incredulity coming from the other girls, Buffy told an intently listening Xander (who’d never dreamed his latest manifestation of one of the Legion of Super-Heroes would lead to this), “Yeah, you can burn off those ropes and other stuff any time you want, getting free and catching sight of us all stripped to the buff. Something no other guy in the world’s ever seen. Just remember two things before you do it: That’s Mom’s favorite chair you’re gonna damage, not to mention sooner or later, your new comic-book stuff will
wear off. But, we’ll still be here, each of us with a really big grudge against you. So, do you wanna be a nice little Xander, or do we just leave you there, get dressed, and go off to plot together in making your life a living hell?”
Standing there proudly under the admiring eyes of the others, Buffy and the rest then watched Xander’s shoulders slowly slump in total surrender, which in turn didn’t really need the resigned nod that came afterwards. Managing to speak with only the faintest trace of smug triumph in her tone, Buffy now instructed, “Fine. Wait until we’re in position, and then you can start.”
In one of his most dejected moods ever, Xander lifted his hands, holding them fingers straight up and palms facing outwards. He knew that the four girls would now be arranging themselves in a line abreast (the teenager couldn’t help but to softly whimper at the instant mental image this produced) in front of his chair. The young women would then keep their arms horizontal, with their fingertips nearly touching those standing next to themselves. A second later, Xander heard Buffy call out, “Okay, do your thing!”
Concentrating, the recipient of a smidgen of Chaos magic after a Halloween years ago now called up the solar-based powers of the superhero known as Dirk Morgna, which caused his hands to brightly glow in the perfect mix of the electromagnetic spectrum that would create a sufficient, safe quantity of ultraviolet rays. All to cause a nice, even tan upon the bare skins of the four unclad girls currently turning in a slow circle in place to make sure every inch of their flawless bodies--
In a very offhand tone, Buffy asked, “Hey, Cordy, is that a Brazilian?”
Xander nearly bit through his gag.
Author’s Note: The following English translation is from Tumbalalaika,
a Russian Jewish folk and love song in the Yiddish language, whose authorship is uncertain.A young lad stands, and he thinks
Thinks and thinks a whole night
Whom to take and not to shame
Whom to take and not to shame
Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbalalaika
Tumbala, Tumbala, Tumbalalaika
Tumbalalaika, strum balalaika
Tumbalalaika, may we be happy
Girl, girl, I want to ask of you
What can grow, grow without rain?
What can burn and never end?
What can yearn, cry without tears?
Foolish lad, why do you have to ask?
A stone can grow, grow without rain
Love can burn and never end
A heart can yearn, cry without tears
What is higher than a house?
What is swifter than a mouse?
What is deeper than a well?
What is bitter, more bitter than gall?
A chimney is higher than a house
A cat is swifter than a mouse
The Torah is deeper than a well
Death is bitter, more bitter than gall