The whole ridiculous affair began a while back, when a perfect storm of unintended consequences all came together. Xander had been in his first year as Head of the Cleveland House, and he was gingerly becoming accustomed to being regarded as the sensible, mature adult in charge of things. Among everything else, this soon resulted in him requested by Giles to oversee the delicate negotiations to successfully sway a neutral demon clan in Chicago uncertain about seeking the protection of the New Council without any enemies learning about the meeting. So, the former California high-school slacker had been away from the Ohio city now possessing its very own Hellmouth when Willow Rosenberg and Dawn Summers showed up there at the same time, both looking to have a good, long, comforting cry on his shoulder.
Unfortunately, the necessary security of the discussions between Xander and some really fugly creatures of the night kept him out of touch with everyone back at his new residence. Afterwards, the younger Summers sister and a certain redhead always steadfastly maintained this absence (no matter the required cause for it) meant everything which next occurred was somehow completely and totally his
Making themselves at home in Xander’s apartment in the Cleveland House, Willow and Dawn presently learned they were here because of identical unhappy motives, which could be best summarized up in two words: relationship problems. Dawn’s latest boyfriend at Oxford had messily dumped her a few days ago. As for Willow, this witch’s long-time liaison with Kennedy had turned into an even worse disaster. Incredible as it might seem, that lesbian Slayer cheating on her lover decided out of the blue not just to bat for the other team, but she’d taken up with a pair of demon-hunting brothers. It was around this point when Willow broke down, leaving a rather confused Dawn with the impression Kennedy was in a ménage à trois with a couple of guys named Rifle or something like this.
Inwardly deciding to wait until a bit later before trying to find out more, Dawn then declared to a miserable Willow they both deserved a girls’ night in. Just the two of them, with lots of alcohol, junk food, loud music, dumb movies, and thoroughly trashing the reputations of their former significant others.
Early the following morning, Xander warily sidled into his apartment. He had no problems whatsoever in passing through the front door with its magical wards now set on this portal, which certainly hadn’t been there two days ago. Except for some reason, nobody else in the hotel last night had succeeded in getting inside through these or even contacting the occupants there and making whoever was playing Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill
at eardrum-shattering volume turn it down.
Though, however annoying this noise had been, what then ensued was a lot more terrifying to the Cleveland House’s inhabitants. At precisely midnight, an enormously powerful spell had been cast from Xander’s apartment. This tooth-rattling, bowel-loosening, hair-raising enchantment was felt by every single person in the hotel, whether Slayer, Watcher, witch, werewolf, friendly demon, house staff, what have you.
The very next second, the music blasting from Xander’s quarters had abruptly cut off, leaving behind only a very ominous silence.
A panicky phone call had then been made to a sound-asleep man in a Chicago Embassy Suites telling him all this, causing Xander to rush home at once from the completed demonic negotiations. There weren’t any flights at the moment from the Windy City to Cleveland, so a frantic Xander sped eastwards through the night in his rented car. Eventually, the house personnel found an airport along the way with someone there willing to take Xander by private plane for the rest of the trip (at a truly outrageous fee, natch). But in the end, he made it with the first light of day shining upon the clock face of the hotel tower when Xander scrambled out from his taxi ride and ran into the Slayers House.
Several moments later, the nervous staff clustered down the hotel corridor watched their boss walk without any trouble through the protective shields guarding his apartment. Not even the strongest magic-wielder of them all there had even managed to scratch the Red Witch’s wards, but Xander just turned the doorknob, went inside, and gently closed this panel behind himself.
Xander stood there just inside the apartment hallway, staring down in disbelief at the numerous shiny disks of music CD’s and cinema DVD’s which had been opened from their protective boxes and casually scattered around to cover every square inch of the floor. Judging from a quick count, it looked as if a good part of his whole media collection had recently been dropped and forgotten there. Shuffling forward to avoid stepping onto and breaking the disks, Xander slowly made his way along the hallway, nudging aside with his feet everything from jazz to film noir to Cruxshadows to Sergio Leone. A pause was made by him at the wall entranceway leading to his living room, where the rest of his movies and music were also strewn around the whole place. Not just on the carpeting, but over every other bit of flat space there -- the chairs, tables, bookcases, tops of the lamps, etc. At the far end of the room, the extra-large flat screen TV patiently blinked its message that someone should please remove the finished movie from the DVD player.
In the very next breath, this man then inhaled a genuinely alarming smell of burned plastic and other vile odors. Sniffing a few more times to check this out, Xander anxiously resumed his careful hallway walk until he got past the last of the discarded disks just before his kitchen. Or, at least what had
been his kitchen. This food-preparation area now resembled a cross between a mad scientist’s chemical lab, a garbage dump, and a blasted heath.
The remaining eye of an original Scooby Gang member started to bulge in shock. Xander gawked at such disquieting items in his kitchen as:
A melted blender puddled atop the counter.
The sink completely filled with empty liquor bottles.
Torn wrappers scattered around from every one of the main four junk food groups known as sweet, salty, crunchy, and gooey.
Several ice-cream cartons, ice cube trays, and other frozen groceries dripping their contents to the floor from the left-ajar freezer door of the refrigerator.
Finally, scorch marks extended from the sides of his wall-mounted microwave all the way up to the ceiling. There, a large charred circle gaily defaced the plaster.
Beginning to wrathfully grind his teeth, Xander took a step to the left to view what other gustatory carnage had been recently wreaked in his kitchen, only for his foot to land on something soft there on the floor. Instinctively flinching away from this unexpected sensation, the Head of the Cleveland House glanced down at a crumpled bit of fabric lying on the carpet. A cautious prod with his boot toe revealed this surprising object to be…Hello Kitty panties?
The man’s gaze drifted up the hallway, observing even more clothing items of a generally feminine nature also cast off in the exact direction pointing to his bedroom.
In due course, Hawkeye Xander, the greatest tracker on the Plains, stood in front of his nearly-shut bedroom door, and he extended an stiff index finger. Pressing the tip of this digit against the door, he lightly shoved it open, to reveal what he’d been pretty much expecting.
On the top of Xander’s bed where they’d collapsed together at the stroke of midnight, two stark-naked women laid on their sides just a few inches apart, with their upper arms thrown over the other’s limp body. Both fast asleep in a drunken stupor, the mouths of these young ladies were wide open, producing copious amounts of drool. This was accompanied by Willow and Dawn snoring loudly in unison right into their unresponsive bed partner’s face.
Pensively nodding to himself, Xander reached for his right front pants pocket. Pulling out from there his smartphone, he took a dozen pictures of premier blackmail material.
Some moments after the above, Dawn’s slack features scrunched up in sudden confusion, without this woman opening her eyes. Despite her present state of near-total unconsciousness caused by last night’s competition with Willow over who could down the most chocolate-ice-cream-and-Kahlúa smoothies, a noise close by had momentarily managed to attract the Key’s attention. That is, until Dawn’s awareness decided it was nothing to be worried about, and she happily went back to her alcoholic slumber while ignoring how a shower had just been turned on at full blast.
A good while later, after the usual shrieks, screams, cursing, vomiting, and other clichéd results of being damply awakened into hangovers deserving honorable mention in the Guinness Book of World Records, Willow and Dawn sat on opposite ends of the sofa in Xander’s den. Dressed in their friend’s bathrobe and its spare, the two glum women with drenched hair tremblingly clutched half-empty paper cups of water and waited for the painkillers they’d just swallowed to start working. Both also did their best to take no notice of the man sprawled out in the corner armchair and balefully eyeing them seated together.
Alas, a cleared throat soon made these Sunnydale ladies cringe. Especially when this came with Xander’s first question delivered with real menace, “Okay, party girls, what’d you do?
Besides destroying my apartment, that is.”