Author’s Note: I hadn’t really intended continuing this story past the previous chapter, but since you wanted it…
When it was all over, the Scoobies were relaxing in Giles’ private study at their Scottish castle headquarters. Past the large picture windows, a thick icy mist hanging in the air blanketed the heather growing in the low hills stretching away from the ancient building.. A more cheerful contrast existed in the room, where a crackling blaze burned in the centuries-old fireplace, casting its appreciated warmth upon those chatting with their friends about the group’s latest bizarre adventures.
Four of the people there were presently sitting in the pair of sofas facing each other, with a coffee table beyond where Buffy and Giles were sharing one of the upholstered seats. Opposite those who’d always think of themselves as a Watcher and his Slayer, Xander had Willow comfortably perched in his lap and both arms tightly wrapped in a fond embrace of her. The witch’s own right arm draped in turn around his shoulders while they both sank back against the upright cushions.
The last of their small company was at Giles’ desk. A few minutes ago, before turning on his computer there, Dawn pretended to blow dust off the keyboard. In reaction to this teasing of his well-known opinion of ‘that bloody machine’, the Director of the New Council sniffed disparagingly at the muffled giggles coming from the others among him. Smirking to herself, Dawn then got to work identifying exactly where Amy Madison’s latest attempt at vengeance had sent her sister and the rest of the Hellmouth veterans.
After hearing the detailed descriptions of their surroundings and encounters with whoever else had the opportunity to meet a quartet of mice abruptly transformed from humans by a magic wish, Dawn didn’t have all that much trouble locating those specific dimensions visited by Buffy, Giles, Xander, and Willow. Though, when Dawn played through the computer speakers the chirping music from the 1973 short animated feature presumably done by a certain cricket, Willow firmly shook her head.
She announced to the listening room, “Oh, it was much more wonderful than that, everyone! Give me a chance to finish my version of a pensieve, and I’ll show it directly to you for yourselves!”
“I’m just glad you didn’t go all black-to-the-max again, Wils,” a relieved Xander informed the young woman in his lap before giving her a fervently grateful kiss on the redhead’s nearest cheek. Willow affectionately smiled at him in turn, and the Wiccan hugged Xander hard again, just as she’d done at various times ever since plopping down upon him when they’d taken their seats.
Nodding in agreement over how badly things might’ve turned out, Buffy nevertheless had a very sardonic expression quickly pass over her face. She called out to the witch, “Hey, Wils! If you’re really figuring how to whip up a memory thingy from the Harry Potter books, are you gonna let us have a peek at what Xander looked like dancing in that ballet recital?”
Over Willow’s sudden gleeful snort, Xander’s outraged protest burst from him, sent at the guffawing young lady in his arms. “Oh, no you don’t! You pinky-swore you wouldn’t tell, ever!”
A devilish look instantly suffused Willow’s features while she reminded the sputtering man, “After I found you first and watched the whole recital, yeah, I promised I’d never talk about it. But I didn’t say anything about showing
your absolutely darling performance through a spell which’ll broadcast my memories in full size and in living color on the nearest wall, did I now?”
Xander stared in actual horror at the beaming redhead. His dismay ratcheted up to an even higher intensity at hearing Dawn’s excited, “I know! That’ll be the perfect highlight for Xan’s birthday party next month. We’ll invite the whole castle to a ballet theme in the main ballroom! Xander and the other guys can wear leotards like he did or other costumes from the different ballets. For us girls, we’ll wear tutus in our favorite colors!”
Opening his mouth to declare at his maximum lungpower that nothing like what Dawn was proposing was ever
gonna happen, Xander instead caught sight of the identical, starry-eyed gazes abruptly borne by the three females in the room with him. It was obvious enough Dawn, Buffy, and Willow were each contemplating their fulfillment at last of similar childhood dreams having to do with appearing as a ballet dancer, even if they’d never had the chance to actually be one.
He was utterly doomed. Unless…
Silently glancing with frantic appeal across the room, Xander thankfully heard Rupert Giles assert in his most inflexible tone, “I’m not
going to put on a leotard--”
“You don’t have to, Giles,” happily interrupted Buffy. At the older man’s startled look, the Slayer continued, “Nope, you can dress up in a real artistic style at the party and we’ll be sure to treat you like some retired, legendary dancer from years ago. Kind of like our own version of Nureyev or Baryshnikov, say, who still makes all the women fans totally swoon over him.”
“Hmmm…,” came from a not too displeased Giles, who sounded then to an aghast Xander as if G-man was actually considering it!
Indeed, the ultimate betrayal came a moment later, when this mature Briton nodded benevolently into the one-eyed man’s direction and next informed him in the former librarian’s best deadpan, “I suggest you stock up on talcum powder sometime before the party to prevent chafing, Xander. In my younger days, I dated a dancer from the Royal Ballet, and she confided to me this was something of a problem for the male performers in their leotards.”
Among the evil snickering from his girls, Xander snapped to the smug bastard on the other sofa, “I can’t believe you! What’d I do lately to tick you off so much?”
Giles simply drawled in his snootiest upper crust fashion, “Perhaps you’ve forgotten my
last birthday party, for starters. After it ended, a hasty interrogation between myself and Andrew soon had him begging for mercy and confessing all. He might’ve been the one to openly suggest the Dr. Who theme for the festivities, but that lad was more than willing to admit you put him up to it! A single eleven-foot scarf is sufficient for one lifetime; I really didn’t need another half-dozen of the same for birthday gifts!”
At that point, Dawn, Willow, and Buffy were giggling in delight at seeing Xander’s unparalleled pout over being so neatly put on the spot. Subsiding back in the sofa despite an armful of cackling witch coming along with him, Xander grumpily waited until things quieted down a bit. Resigned to his upcoming terrible fate, he nonetheless tried to steer the conversation towards anything but what they’d just discussed, “I’m so
glad you’re all having fun with this. If I’d actually had a choice of what mouse to be changed into, I sure would’ve liked being somebody else of those little guys a hell of a lot more!”
Wiping away a tear of hilarity, Dawn lifted an inquiring eyebrow. “What’re you talking about, Xan? Shouldn’t I
be the one to complain about never getting transformed by Amy’s wish either time? How come it worked out like that, anyway?” This last question was spoken in a much more reflective tone, due to Dawn suddenly realizing she was a bit jealous over not sharing the Scoobies’ latest bout of magical wackiness.
Buffy turned in Dawn’s direction to give the other Summers daughter a wryly sympathetic look. While not all that in favor of Dawnie also participating in what could’ve gone a lot worse, the blonde also knew her younger sibling really hated being left out of things. Even so, Dawn had capably kept the New Council running on an even keel while the others were mysteriously out of touch with the rest of the castle staff working for this supernatural organization.
Speaking with real respect in her voice, Buffy told the discontented woman at the desk, “Hey, little sis, it just probably has to do with Amy never getting mad at you personally. The bitch’s always blamed Wils, me, Xan, and Giles the most for the whole rat lifestyle, even though she originally did it to herself back over the whole MOO disaster. Considering how weird things went in Sunnydale after that, Amy simply might not have ever thought it was your fault, too. I mean, you never met up with Miss Rat Girl then, right?”
“I…think so,” Dawn doubtfully shrugged. She had to acknowledge even years later, nobody in the Scooby Gang was quite sure how accurate their memories were regarding life in this California city where the Key was involved. *Huh. For once, that might’ve worked in my favor. I still wouldn’t have minded getting pulled in though, now that it turned out to be kind of fun for the others. As for me, gotta wonder where Amy’s wish could’ve sent me, and what mouse I turned into then. Say, Xan never did answer my question.*
Giving the one-eyed man across the room her best gimlet scowl, Dawn decisively demanded from him, “Okay, out with it, mister. Are you telling us you’ve always had a fantasy about living la vida de ratón loco?”
A very wide grin pushed up Xander’s eyepatch while he genially answered, “Only after coming to the land of tweed, Dawnstar. Wils, please get off. I need to be up and on my feet for this.”
Willow’s brow wrinkled in bemused surprise, but she all the same willingly slid out of Xander’s lap. Remaining seated while her yellow-crayon friend did as he’d just said in vacating the sofa, she and the others watched him walk away a short distance to a space in the room between the desk and the pair of sofas. During this, the man had on his lips such a wicked smile to make his comrades really curious. Xander stopped to stand in a spot where he was sure nobody would have any trouble watching him. Inwardly glad he’d improved a good deal in what he was about to do ever since the Sweet episode, Xander struck a mock-heroic pose with his fists on his hips, took a deep breath, and he started to sing.
“He’s the greatest
Wherever there’s danger he’ll be there
He’s the ace
He’s the strongest
He’s the quickest
He’s the best
About halfway into the song when the others (yes, even Giles) were howling with laughter, Willow had both hands tightly pressed over her mouth to just barely suppress her own noisy mirth. This unlikely restraint was due in part to the witch also keeping a wary lookout by means of her mystical sight. That included anything which might occur by Xander right now tempting the Fates. No, on second thought, this man gleefully singing about an English animated mouse hero hadn’t just tempted them, he’d likewise gone up to these dangerous ladies, given all three of them a major wedgie, and then dared Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos to do something about it.
Yep, that was Xan all over.
Still not sensing anything which might be a sign from on high to knock it off, ranging from a majestic lightning bolt to Amy Madison’s vengeance wish coming back for a third try, Willow cautiously relaxed and allowed herself to enjoy it. Indeed, when Xander came to the secret agent mouse’s codename (which was so secret this had a codename of its own), a truly fiendish thought struck the witch…
In his singing, Xander triumphantly repeated for the third time the Danger Mouse name. Right after this, a finger was surreptitiously crooked into his direction, and someone muttered under their breath. A spell was cast, holding within it all a redhead had learned about another enchantment while first watching how it’d been removed by Ethan Rayne, and then doing this herself four more times.
Xander abruptly glowed with a shimmering light all over his body, and then he shrank.
A six foot, 170 pound man dwindled in only a second or two into a four inch, 1-1/2 pound mouse who now stood immobile in his total shock on the study floor. Unconsciously leaning forward in unison to peer more closely at this little beast, an equally open-mouthed Dawn, Buffy, and Giles studied a man-shaped mouse with pure white fur matching his tiny turtleneck sweater and stretch pants. The only bits of actual color displayed on the little rodent’s body were the bare pink skin inside his wide ears, a red nose, and the same scarlet shade making up a belt with a gold buckle. These latter hues also made up the circular badge attached to the chest of the mouse’s sweater. There, against a red background, were two golden initials: XM
Staring down at his new body, the small animal looked up to glare with one single yellow eye across the room at where Willow was innocently gazing off into the distance. This angry glower was made even more ferocious by the black patch covering the mouse’s left eye. Rising his right fist to irately shake it into Willow’s direction, the mouse stopped short in this at a sudden blast of music coming from Giles’ desk.
Leaning back in her chair after she’d just rapidly typed on the computer keyboard, an overjoyed Dawn and the others now listened to what was being broadcast from the speakers. After one presentation, the song repeated itself as ordered. Only on this occasion, by the beginning of the second verse, all the humans there joined in as well, clapping in time while also making one small change to a certain line:
“He’s the greatest
Wherever there’s danger he’ll be there
He’s the ace
He’s the strongest
He’s the quickest
He’s the best
At the sound of that,
the mouse grinned in satisfaction. He then began dancing around on the floor, doing karate kicks, strikes, and other martial arts moves, even when the third verse was started at full volume by his friends:
He’s the greatest secret agent in the world
He’s the fastest
He’s the greatest
He’s the best
The Scoobies jubilantly shouted out the final line, and Xander Mouse did a back half-somersault to end up flawlessly balancing himself on his right index finger. Bouncing gently up and down on this sole digit, the upturned rodent merrily waved with his other free hand at Willow, Giles, Dawn, and Buffy, who all then collapsed in gleeful hysterics in their seats.
Author’s Note: If you must know: Danger Mouse
and its theme song was created in 1981 by Brian Cosgrove and Mark Hall for Thames Television and Fremantle Media.