The man in his office swallowed hard at sensing the extreme threat level he was now getting from his dearly beloved. Xander frantically searched for some way out of this which wouldn't involve him sleeping alone on the couch for the next month. "Errrrr....will a little bribery work here in making you calm down and not tell the Scoobies what I did? Like, say, being given nothing less than the original Fluffy for your very own?"
"You mean you still
have it?" came in Dawn's disbelieving tone, her former irritation momentarily diverted by this news.
Xander fervently nodded, adding without turning around, "Sure. That teddy was in the trunk of my car when it was being serviced by Mel's Classics Auto Shop in Santa Barbara throughout the First Evil mess. I didn't pick up the Camaro until months after Sunnydale collapsed, remember? Anyway, when I got my ride back, I found Fluffy where I'd left it, untouched and in good shape. Erika's present stayed there until her stuff got really popular, so much that I was getting offers just about every other week for the car alone. Do you know that the specific year and make of this Chevy brand has doubled in value just because of the show?"
Dawn's eyebrows rose a bit at hearing the last, but she nonetheless cleared her throat to force Xander back to the more important point.
"Right," said a meek Xander, "Now, where was I? Once I figured out how much the teddy bear might be worth, what with it being the inspiration for the whole craze, I stored it away in a safe deposit box. Just say the word, and it's yours."
There was now a hush in the office during which Dawn was clearly considering this anxious inducement for her agreement to keep the entire secret of Fluffycuddles. As for the man himself who bore the responsibility of instigating a young girl to write and draw wacky parodies of the Scooby Gang (which undoubtedly wouldn't find this all that amusing if it ever came out), Xander was holding his breath for Dawn's final decision.
A pair of arms were then wrapped around Xander's chest and hugged him tightly. Xander's sudden relief at this seeming display of forgiveness was tempered just as quickly by Dawn whispering into his ear, "Don't think you're gonna get off completely, mister. I'll take Fluffy, thank you very much, but there's still the matter of some more well-deserved punishment waiting for someone called A. L. Harris!"
Xander happily pressed his body back into Dawn's familiar form, feeling much better now. So much, indeed, that he was compelled to argue, "Hey, I had no idea that Erika was memorizing everything I said about the Buffster--"
"That's not what I meant, Xan. See, your big mistake was neglecting to mention to her about a magic ball of light who got turned into a real human girl that fell hard for Fluffycuddles, eventually made this idiot admit he felt the same, turned him into her absolute slave, and had a wonderful marriage with this hero that produced two darling children."
Rendered speechless for nearly a full minute, Xander eventually sputtered, "What the hell are you talking about? Those monks of Dagon didn't even do the spell that sent you to Sunnydale until later on the year after my road trip, so why...."
After trailing off in his indignant statement, Xander began all over again in a much more defeated tone, "I'm not going to win this one, am I?"
A kiss was delivered by Dawn to the back of Xander's neck, along with a smug,"Nope."
"Fine," Xander said with mock outrage, beginning to see the humor in this and also genuinely curious as to what might come next. "You brought up something about punishment. Thank god, diaper duty's over and done with. So, what, are you sticking me with going by myself to all our kids' PTA meetings for the upcoming decade?"
Dawn snickered while leaning her forehead to press it against the back of Xander's skull. "No, dear. You'll definitely do something just as stupid around then to get saddled with that, so I won't waste this. Instead, I've come up with a much more appropriate penalty."
Xander inwardly shivered at the horrific thought which had just occurred to him, of how Anya the former vengeance demon had spent hours together with Dawn during the thousand-year-old female's occasional baby-sitting duties at the Magic Box. The extended discussions then among these two surely encompassed the proper retribution upon feckless miscreants, so Xander dolefully knew he wasn't going to get off lightly over his recent transgressions. Keeping this in mind, the one-eyed man awaited with stoic fatalism Dawn's pronouncement of his fate.
"Just like you told Jesse and Joyce, we're all going to Fluffycuddles Park. It'll be first-class all the way, though, with you
paying every penny for the plane, the hotel, the visit to the place itself, and armloads of souvenirs of our stay."
It might have only been his imagination, but Xander could've sworn he actually heard an anguished whimper coming from the upper left desk drawer where he kept his wallet there with its credit cards. Unfortunately, Dawn didn't stop there.
"Besides one very special souvenir I'll damn well make sure of, a whole bunch of other gifts from the park will be handed out to the Scoobies at our next reunion. Guess who'll be doing this, sweetie?"
"Me?" risked Xander.
"Got it in one," happily replied Dawn. She went on, "Better sharpen your acting skills, too. Because if I need to keep the big secret of how our friends are the alter egos of Fluffycuddles’ neighbors, at least I'll get to watch you give Buffy, Giles, Willow and Faith a few presents showing the same characters they inspired. All without them ever guessing the why of it. Right now, I'm thinking a life-size poster of Grace the Huntress for Faith and a perfectly-fitting deerstalker hat for Giles. I'll have to see what else they've got on sale for the other two."
In the middle of the absolute glumness which had now descended upon him, Xander unwillingly ventured a question he really didn't want to ask, "Wait, what did you mean, the very special souvenir?"
A truly vindictive giggle was delivered by Dawn, followed by Xander developing cold chills running the entire length of his spine when he heard her explain in this same terrifying tone, "If I have to, I'll hunt through the entire park to find them, dragging you along the whole time. Just to let you know in advance, if you even try to get away then, your ass is grass and I'll be the lawnmower. Because once I have the camera ready for your picture, the park actors impersonating Blackie and Blondie will earn one hell of a tip from me by standing on either side of you, and giving you a pair of big, sloppy kisses on both cheeks."
After a long period of awed silence from him, Xander broke this by intoning, "Dawn Summers-Harris, you are a cruel, cruel woman."
Contently giving her spouse another firm squeeze, Dawn agreed, "Darn tootin', to quote Willow."
The couple spent the next few moments luxuriating in each other's company until Dawn spoke up again, "Don't you want to know what else I'm planning to get from Fluffycuddles Park?"
"Please, no more," moaned Xander.
"That's it, start practicing saying that," Dawn crooned to him in her sexiest voice. "You'll be repeating it a lot in our bedroom with the locked door. My new leopard-skin bikini is gonna look great on me, until it won't fit any more."
Xander blinked in surprise, until he frowned at the window. "Why wouldn't it fit--?" After stopping short, Xander gently unwrapped Dawn’s arms from around him, and he turned around while still holding onto her hands. He stared down into Dawn's shiny eyes and quivering lips for no more than a second before breathing, "How long?"
She smiled at Xander with infinite tenderness before answering, "The doctor said yesterday I'm at five weeks now, and everything's fine."
Xander promptly gathered up Dawn in his most careful embrace, which resulted in his wife giggling into her husband's chest, "Erika Nathanson can have her whole imaginary world with all the money and fame from this. I've
got the original Fluffycuddles, and now the original Fluffy, too!"