Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters are the property of their original owners.
Burzekk the Devourer couldn't believe what he'd just heard. Glaring with his smoldering red eyes across the dingy table of a demon bar on the outskirts of Albuquerque, this unholy creature felt his temper beginning to fray. Slowly speaking with a lurking intensity in his tone that indicated an verbal explosion wasn't far off, Burzekk said, "All right, to review what you just mentioned, there's a new hunter in the region."
At the opposite side of the table while sipping from his own mug of baby's blood, a vampire named Harry Westin who'd been turned just after World War I nodded in exasperated agreement.
"However, nobody knows anything else about this latest spoilsport who's been racking up a really impressive body count against us demons, except for two things. First, this monster hunter is a human guy, one of those normally dimwitted happy meals who thinks we're completely imaginary right up to the point where we tear out their throats."
Taking another mouthful of delicious hemoglobin, Harry cocked an eyebrow at where Burzekk now loudly bellowed in his utter disbelief, "AND, SECOND, HE'S CALLED FLUFFYCUDDLES!"
It took a while for the echoes of that final absurd word to die out among the shadows of the run-down, remote roadhouse which was the local gathering point after dark for the area's hostile predators upon humanity. A good many of these grotesque beings were now staring in shared annoyance at who'd just disturbed their own drinking.
Burzekk didn't care. Since he was about a quarter-ton of sheer muscle with torso scales providing natural armor below his chin, this demon had perfect confidence that nobody would dare bother him while he was growling at his table companion: "Harry, if this is your idea of a silly joke--"
"Hey!" exclaimed the indignant vampire. "I'm just passing on what I heard from people I mostly trust to tell the truth, at least in this case! Besides, there's no way anyone's pulling a gag about all those vamps and other demons around lately who've either vanished or wound up burned to cinders in the ruins of their lairs and watering holes!"
Thoughtfully twanging an exposed muzzle tusk with his thumb-claw, Burzekk then snorted in honest indignation, "So how do you explain that totally ridiculous name? I mean, from the Slayer down, all those other fighters who want to ruin our fun of snacking on humans have some kind of intimidating or scary moniker. I think there's an actual rule requiring this for those dumb champions. But no, whatever else about it, there's nothing the slightest bit scary about 'Fluffycuddles'!"
Just when he was about to open his mouth to respond, Harry's attention was diverted by three newcomers entering into the roadhouse by the dilapidated building's front door. Two of these were vampires he already knew, followed a few steps behind by some stranger wearing a hoodie while walking with his hands in his jeans pocket and looking down at the grimy bar floor.
Waving over to their table his pair of acquaintances, Harry waited while those vamps took their seats there. Ignoring how the stranger had wandered off into the general direction of the Place Which Shall Not Be Spoken Of (a rather fitting description for the demonic restroom), Harry leaned over the table and conspirationally addressed them all, "Okay, guys, here's the story. It starts off with a human family who got lost in Death Valley...."
A couple of minutes later, the entire fascinated bar then heard, "...and in the middle of dozens of dead bodies turning to goo or having the wind blowing away their ashes, the little girl gave her teddy bear to the man who'd saved them all. That kid's wholehearted thanks also came with 'I know you'll take great care of him just like you did with us, Mr. Fluffycuddles!'"
From those whose lungs still worked, an awed sigh rushed out at the conclusion of such an amazing tale. Well....one person there wasn't all that affected. To be precise, Burzekk was back again in glowering with increasing ire at where Harry was in turn taking a satisfied gulp at his crimson-filled glass.
This refreshment was interrupted by the immense ogre's fed-up monotone, "Harry, before anyone else interrupts, I'd like to ask you one
simple question. See, according to what you just said, the attacking demons trying to eat that family and their rescuer instead got slaughtered, down to the very last of 'em. The same thing's been happening to others of our kind, not a single survivor in the wrecked bars and hangouts. That brings up my whole point: if nobody ever managed to get away to talk about it, how the hell do you know this killer's stupid nickname is Fluffycuddles?"THUNK!
Standing behind the corpse of Burzekk, whose head he'd just cleaved in twain with a battleaxe pulled out a moment ago from under his hoodie, Xander Harris cheerfully announced at large to the motionless bar, "That's a damn good question, fellas! It almost matches the equally odd mystery that starts off the classic movie Citizen Kane,
where the old dude says with his dying breath 'Rosebud' but because he next kicks the bucket completely on his own, how come anyone ever learns about this in the first place?"
Looking around at the rest of the gaping fiends who'd just seen a human walk out of the room shadows from where he'd been leaning against the roadhouse wall and then murder one of their own, Xander saw this collective shock now turning into genuine fury. With a smooth tug of his arms, Xander extricated his axe blade from the dead demon's remains, and the Sunnydale native now calmly prepared for what was about to occur. Just before the onrush of enraged monsters began, Xander thought in a rueful inner voice to nobody in particularly while getting his weapon ready, *Seems like I'm not gonna find out the answer tonight to either of those!*
Strolling down the steps of the roadhouse, with his ash-coated axe shaft resting on one shoulder and the other hand holding a massive wad of dollar bills recently swiped out of the counter cash register, Xander saw before him on the ground the flickering light presented by the fire he'd just started in the bar at his back, fueled by a dozen bottles of alcohol smashed throughout the room and their flammable contents scattered everywhere. In this fiery glow through the tavern windows, the young man saw a few drops of purplish blood drying on his boot tops, virtually the only evidence upon him of the hopeless fight waged by a room full of now-deceased demons.
Standing at the front of the building about to go up entirely in flames, Xander shook his head in frank bemusement. After a whole summer of effortlessly exterminating hostile creatures of the night, it still beat him how amateurish they were in contrast to those fanged folks stalking through Sunnydale's deserted streets after midnight. It wasn't until about a week into his road trip back then that Xander finally understood the reason for this. His hometown, the Boca del Infierno, was the most mystically powerful Hellmouth in centuries, so naturally it attracted the most vicious and aggressive demons around in their attempts to seize this dimensional nexus for themselves.
Ever since the Scooby Gang was formed when Buffy Summers moved into her new house at Revello Drive, they'd been fighting against these same superior adversaries. Nonetheless, the small group of high school students along with a British librarian plus a souled vampire won every time. That had unsurprisingly given all of this brave band a great deal of hard-earned combat experience far beyond just about any non-Sunnydale demon. Or to put it this way, as Xander wryly thought, when even the third alternate substitute of a pro league team gets called off the bench to go up against a fifth-rate bush league team, there's no contest.
All it'd taken for Xander to realize this was a simple, impulsive decision the first day of his road trip. A quick choice between heading south to Los Angeles or up north towards San Francisco ended with the latter option and his car's transmission eventually disintegrating somewhere in Monterey County's back roads. While trudging down some unknown dark lane to find a telephone for calling a tow truck, Xander had been jumped by two vamps, which were in turn handily defeated by a truly pissed-off high school graduate. In the middle of this, though, the young man started wondering with growing bafflement over how easy it was to kick their undead asses.
After staking one of his ill-fated foes, Xander brought down the other vampire and conducted a quick and dirty interrogation on that bloodsucker. When this was over with and he'd learned everything the tortured vamp was whimpering, Xander finished off this walking corpse and then headed in the direction of the hide-out containing the rest of these damned pests. A dumbfounded Xander didn't have any trouble at all disposing of the entire foul nest, and he promptly looted the place of every bit of money in there.
Trading up to a new car paid in full on the lot, Xander spent the next couple of months roaming through several Western states, enjoying the scenery and otherwise being nothing but a tourist. A tourist, mind you, who occasionally went on seek-and-destroy missions against the nearest inimical demon location, all while picking up the odd souvenir or two from there.
Striding towards his car parked well away from the ablaze Albuquerque roadhouse now catching on nicely, Xander smirked evilly to himself. Stopping at the back of his vehicle (a restored '69 Chevy Camaro with the V8 powerplant), Xander clicked open the trunk latch, which caused the lid of this rear storage compartment to swing up. Tossing the money and the axe he'd been carrying onto the enormous pile of paper currency filling up to its brim the entire compartment along with various jewels, gold coins, and several ancient magical objects that Giles was gonna get as unexpected presents for next Christmas, Xander needed several tries to slam shut the trunk lid.
Once he'd accomplished this, Xander got into a classic car he owned free and clear, started it with the ever-glorious rumble of the overpowered engine shivering his whole body, and drove off. After a mile or so, when the light of the burning building had faded from his rear-view mirror, Xander glanced over at the passenger seat.
There, snugly held fast by an applied seat belt, a small, bedraggled teddy bear sat in its usual position as it'd done ever since being gratefully given to Xander a few weeks ago. In a firm voice, this same hero now told the furry toy, "Okay, Fluffy, we're on our way back home, just in time. College starts after Labor Day, so now that I can pay for it, me and Wils and the Buffster will be together again at Sunnydale U. They'll love you on sight, no question about it, little dude. Just remember, even if the girls ever find about exactly what I did on summer vacation during my road trip, one thing stays between us forever. Keep in mind the words 'no power on earth', and it'll all be good. I really don't
need for them to ever learn about someone called Fluffycuddles."