Casa Xander, Sunnydale
The magic shop was still closed for repair, and Xander
had invited his construction team over for an evening
of pizza, light talk, and videos.
"I can't believe Giles made me carry everything by
hand," said Willow.
"I think it's a matter of discipline. Or possibly
penance," said Tara.
"Yes, penance. That was all your fault, you know."
"Anya, you're--" Xander looked at Anya. "Right, of
"Don't you forget it."
Buffy started giggling. "I'll get the plates."
They sprawled around the television set, snarfing their
pizza and carbonated beverages. Xander and Anya held a
tug-o'war over the remote, Tara was rubbing Willow's
shoulders, an act coming dangerously close to foreplay,
and Buffy was juggling her stakes. Then, Xander grabbed
the remote and jabbed at the television set.
"What's on tonight?"
"Well, we have the latest Jackie Chan tape, but I think
I'll go through the stations first. South Park is on
Xander flicked through the stations. "College
basketball? Ice hockey? Jazz? Indian musicals?"
"I'll take Indian musicals for $100, Alex," said Buffy.
"Not tonight, and don't call me Alex."
"It's okay, Xander. I'll tell you that story later,
Buffy," said Willow.
Xander continued to flick through the stations.
"What's that?" asked Anya.
Tara looked at the newspaper listing. "That's the new
Fox garbage, Temptation Island."
"I have got to see this so I know what to laugh at,"
"They got a bunch of dating couples, and they put them
on an island with some singles to see whether they can
break the couples up."
They heard Anya yell. "Wretched lunatics! If I still
had my powers, I'd smite the ones who thought this
up. I'd cover them in boils. I'd make their private
parts turn black. And short. I'd twist their
intestines. Promoting adultery. I'd kill them!"
"The couples aren't married yet, Anya."
"Willow, do you think that matters? If you tried to
break up Xander and me, I'd scratch your eyes out."
"And I'd deserve it, too. Especially after--" Tara
hugged Willow in an attempt to distract her.
"Anya, this is Fox Television. No one on their shows
deserves any consideration at all," said Buffy.
Anya sounded miffed. "Perhaps you're right. But the
idea makes me want to puke."
"Me too, Anya. Love is too important to be played with
on television," said Xander. They sat back and watched
the opening of the show for a few minutes. Anya called
out, "Bored now," and Xander was about to change the
station, but Buffy grabbed his arm.
Xander turned to look at Buffy, only to see her choking
with rage. "What is it, Buffy?" All Buffy could do was
to point at the screen. Xander and the rest turned back
to the set, and Xander's jaw dropped. Willow made an
_Eep_ noise. Tara said, "I didn't expect that." And
Anya and Buffy looked at each other and said in unison,
"Buff, Anya, if he ever comes back to Sunnydale, I'll
kill him myself. He'll get the Jimmy Hoffa
treatment. That bastard!"
And on the television screen, Riley turned to his date
for the evening, and they got up to dance.