Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to their respective owners.
Note: contains some spoilers for the official series.
“So, where are we going?” Bo asked.
“I hope that it’s a rhetorical question,” Xander said flatly, “since you’re a succubus and all.”
“Yes, but you dropped the oars. Can you imagine Charon’s reaction?”
“Why, there were precedents?”
“No. No succubus had lost one of his oars ever,” Bo said brightly.
Xander could not help but snort.
“Whereas leasing his boat is a common pastime for your race?”
“Oh, just stop arguing and go and fetch the oar. Who’s the unsinkable hero here, anyways?”
Xander looked doubtfully at the river Styx.
“You want me to go dive in there?”
“And why did this boat have only one oar? What’s with the overly archaic approach?”
“It’s no boat,” Bo said with a quiet dignity she did not feel. “It’s a canoe. A frail one.”
“Look, it’s not my doing. The Fae world is built like this, apparently. Charon ferries all of the deceased in his frail craft and receives one coin from each customer and no more.”
“But why just one oar?”
“I have no idea. It may be stylish, to just row with one oar,” Bo suggested.
“Hah,” Xander said venomously. “It is, is it? Well, call me a slow loris then for failing to see the logic – to row with one oar, to fly with one wing...”
Both fell silent. Dead silence reigned, which, since it was Hades, was quite appropriate.
Their craft meanwhile was being gently carried downstream by the current.
“So,” Xander finally decided to break the silence, “why does he need money?”
“It’s the same thing as with the single oar,” Bo shrugged. “The Fae world is weird like that.”
“In other words you don’t know?”
Before Bo could reply, a shadow came over them. She and Xander looked up and saw Aoife, Bo’s own mother, look down on them from a head of a big Styx dragon.
“Hi, Bo!” the elder succubus said brightly. “I cannot tell you how happy I am to see you! And who is your companion? Emergency rations, I hope?”
“No,” Xander managed from the bottom of Charon’s craft. “Bo asked me to stand-in for Kenzi while Kenzi is off with her new-old boyfriend. We’re here to rescue you?”
“You are?” Aoife said brightly. “That’s so sweet! And you lost Charon’s oar too!”
“Did you find it?” Bo felt compelled to ask.
“I, uh,” Aoife shifted away, “broke it? Sorry?”
Xander just shook his head. Aoife was much scarier than Bo normally was, but the family relations between them were unmistakable.
“Eh, let’s just give him a board to carve a new oar and go home?” he suggested, eying the serpent-dragon – the damn creature was eying him in a way that Xander cared little about.
Aoife and Bo exchanged looks that were very similar to each other.
And the feeble canoe, towed by the dragon, now floated dynamically upstream for a change.