Disclaimer: none of the characters are mine, but belong to Joss Whedon and Co.
“And that’s how it happened, I killed the insect, and Wesley got to live – I mean leave and go and write his report,” Buffy finished telling Willow, when the redheaded Wiccan returned from her retreat with Oz.
“You have? Wow! That is so great!” Willow gushed. “Hey, where’s Xander?”
“I’m here,” the young man spoke, somewhat curtly, as he joined his friends. “Sorry that I missed the big fight, Buffster, I’ll make it up, I promise.”
“Don’t worry, Xander – you’ll always be our Xander-shaped friend,” Buffy said lightly, and she and Willow laughed. So did Xander, but in a different way than his friends – but they did not notice.* * *
“Well, the scorpion was a failure,” Richard Willikins the Third told himself, dryly, “but oh well – that was just the preliminary run; my Ascension will be the real event!” and he returned to his daily, more bureaucratic and less supernatural, duties.End.