With the thought that they might actually be on the way to solving their problems, everyone at Wolfram and Hart, including Buffy and Kelly, seemed in lighter spirits.
"Well, I guess it’s almost over," CJ said reflecting back on the previous events of the evening. "Good God, I can’t believe we just went through all that."
"What are we going to tell the press?" Toby asked. "The world has been in crisis and the president has been ice skating?"
"I never thought of it all like that," Bartlet realized.
"Yes, Mr. President," Charlie pointed out. "The United States has been in devastation and you haven’t been on command. For all they know, we’re dead." In Washington D.C…
"When, Jeb gets his scrawny little ass back here, I’m going to kill him. I don’t care what his excuse is. He could say it was damn aliens from Indonesia for all I care."
"Abby, there is no need for that. I’ll kill him. I can’t believe that he left his chief of staff to cover things during a time like this. But I have to go. Fitz is on the phone. He thinks a situation might be arising in Zimbabwe." Back in Hollywood…
Bartlet’s look of panic quickly subsided. "No." He then placed his hands in his pockets and grinned satisfied. "They don’t think we’re dead, but they’ll kill us when we get back. If I were to bet, Abby and Leo are bitching about it as we speak."
"All I know is that I can’t wait to get home and call a therapist," Samantha said as she grabbed Tony’s arm. "I don’t think I’ll ever be able to forget this. It’s been so bad that I’ve been speechless most of the night."
"How many of us will end up in jail?" Josh asked.
"Oh, God!" Kelly gasped, rubbing her stomach. "Its OK. Daddy is a good man. I know that it might be a little hard to explain to your friends, but Daddy was always a man with good intentions."
"Oh please," Ferris mocked. "Morris thought about nobody but himself."
"Well, I don’t know about that," Cameron snapped. "But, I know that he didn’t let his best friend get arrested."
"You’re right Cameron, my dear friend. He ate him."
"At least he doesn’t still have handcuffs still on."
"No he never had…Oh Cameron!" He said running over to him. "I completely forgot, man."
Willow then cast a charm to break Cameron free without a second thought. She then said, "I think that I’m going to just wait until we get to the studio to try anymore."
"But how are we all going to get there?" Donna asked.
"If you’re suggesting another transportation spell," Willow snapped. "Then you’re out of luck."
"How about if we just walked there," Buffy suggested heading toward the door. "We would probably have as good of a chance that way as any."
They all started piling out of the door and onto the street. As they walked, Xander asked, "Do you think you can come up with a spell that would work?"
"Actually, I think I can. I would hope the new Defense teacher could too," Hermione retorted.
"Congratulations, honey," Lisa said coming over and hugging her husband. "After this is over and done with, we can talk. Living arrangements and such. Like where is this Sunnydale, and do they need fashion designers?"
"Wow," Willow gasped. "First Xander. Now Spike and Buffy are married. At this rate, Giles might be married before the sun comes back."
"Not if my pickings come from this lot."
"You should really look for someone," Kelly said approaching him. "You’re not bad looking and I bet you can be a real charmer."
Before Giles could comment, Harry said, "Is that it?"
The large Warner Brothers logo was confirmation. The problem that they now encountered was how to break past the security guarding the entrance gate.
"Great," Toby growled. "We get to the end and we can’t get through because of a lowly security guard."
"Not if I have anything to do with it," the President said walking straight up to the gate. The cries of apprehension and caution fell of deaf ears as he walked right up to the guard and punched him to the ground.
"Oh, God!" Everyone gasped.
"Well, I want to get this over with and get home. Plus, you can’t say that I wasn’t useful."
"I coulda just told the bloke ‘m Billy Idol," the singing sensation said, coming forward. "I’ve worked here before."
"Never mind that," Buffy said rushing past the disappointed Bartlet. "Let’s go."
By the time Carol’s car roared into the parking lot of Wolfram and Hart, Spike was more than certain that heads were going to roll. More specifically, a head was going to roll. Alexis’s nervous rambling had stopped just after the driver’s little stunt with the interchanging gears, but began almost immediately after the quasi-plan was formed. Evidently, the mentioning of bananas had given him a few bright ideas of his own—ideas that he felt the immediate need to share with the rest of the car, despite protest.
As the chattering in the back prattled on, Zack turned to Spike and said conversationally enough, “So, after all this is over, what are you going to do?”
The vampire smirked and reached for another cigarette, ignoring the voice of opposition that arose only half-heartedly from Carol. He wedged it between his lips, then frowned slightly as he examined the now-empty pack that lay at his disclosure. “Bugger.”
“Told you it would happen.”
“Yeh.” Spike contemplated a minute before shrugging his concession and lighting up. “Still not stoppin’, though. Guess I really have seen everythin’. ‘ve been smokin’ ever since it hit as the really big craze back at the turn of the century, an’ I ‘aven’t run out of fags before tonight. It was more bloody likely that those sodding aliens’d take over Zimbabwe like your country’s ever-so sane President keeps sayin’. Bloody Americans.” He chuckled around his cigarette, then remembered he was supposed to be considering an answer to something he was asked. “Ah, fuck. What was your question?”
Zack blinked, trying to remember himself. “Oh, right. What are you going to do after all this is behind us?”
Spike tossed a narrow glance at him, brows perked. “You really need to ask; after all we’ve been through together? ‘m hurt, Morris. Real hurt.” A chuckle rumbled through his lips. “’m gonna drag the Slayer to a room with no windows, no phone, no distractions. Nothin’ but a big, comfy bed. Well, an’ maybe a few chains. Then ‘m gonna shag her till she can’t walk…an’ then shag her till I can’t walk. We’ll get up every…uhm…twelve hours or so for the essentials. Food, blood, an’ smokes.” He tilted his head toward the aforementioned cigarette. “After we’re nice an’ sated—give or take two weeks—I’m gonna catch up on every bloody episode of Passions that ‘ve missed in light of all this hubbub. Then I—”
“Let me guess. ‘Shag the Slayer some more’?”
The platinum vampire frowned. “No need to be crude, Zangy.” There was a slight pause as he arched a brow. “I s’pose you aim to tell me that you have positively no intention ‘f lockin’ up that tasty li’l trollop of yours an’ not lettin’ her go till you’ve had your wicked way with her?”
At that, Zack managed to look offended. “Of course I…what’s a trollop? Anyway, I guess my intentions are more ‘get-y on with my life’ than just ‘get-y on.”
“You callin’ me a whore?”
“Heaven forbid,” Lecter drawled from the back.
Zack rolled his eyes. “Yes, your monogamous tendencies lead me to believe that you’re a whore. Could be worse. Could be like Clarice.”
There was a growl in the back. “I do not appreciate the tenor in your voice,” the good doctor informed him.
“Well, bully for you. She is my cousin, after all. And since she’s fucking someone who’s not you as of the current, I really don’t see why you would care.”
“I explained earlier. Clarice is merely suffering her teenage rebellion fifteen years too late. You of all people should know, Mr. Morris, that her restrictive childhood forbade her from experimenting with much that society deemed unacceptable. Every adolescent must at some point—”
“So, lawyer wanker,” Spike said loudly. “What’re you gonna do once this ‘s over?”
“Go back to Disneyland,” Ed replied easily enough. “Carol didn’t get to see the Animal Kingdom.”
“Well, tha’s all well an’ good.” He pulled the car to a stop. “We’re here.”
The Wolfram and Hart offices looked were virtually dead, which took even Spike by surprise as he had been forced to listen to Angel’s never-ending woes about the evil doings inside. They decided to split up, not entirely sure what it was that they were looking for.
“Here!” Ed yelped, holding up a legalize document when Spike was just about to suggest that they bugger this idea and torch the place. “It says here in the contract for the Batman movie that ‘production could not ensue unless Michael Keaton agreed to come back and assume the role of Bruce Wayne.’ Do we know who’s playing Batman in this movie?”
Zack and Spike glanced to each other. “Ummm…” Zack speculated blindly. “I think it’s…”
“No! Here it is!” Carol exclaimed, perusing through other legal documents. “‘The part of Bruce Wayne in the upcoming Warner Brother’s Production of ‘Batman Won’t End: Confrontations With The Tickler’ will be played by…Chip Esten?”
“Who’s he?” Zack asked Spike. Spike shrugged and began rummaging abandoned desks for more cigarettes.
Alexis sighed dreamily and gazed off, an intent look on his face. “Chip Esten,” he said wistfully. “He’s one of the occasional guys on Whose Line. He does all the provocative dance moves and…” He trailed off as he realized that everyone was staring at him. “Ummm…he’s some guy.”
Spike sniggered. “Yeh. I’ll bet he is.” He turned to Ed. “So, they’ve breached the agreement, then? This Keaton bloke’ll be out for blood, I suspect.”
“Yeah. He’s wanted to return to the role ever since he saw the…erm…success of the Val Kilmer version.” Ed squinted at the papers. “Or so it says here. He claims that the franchise wouldn’t be popular without his contribution, and therefore is entitled to either half of the proceedings, or a starring role in the next film.”
“Michael Keaton was in the Batman films?” Alexis asked.
He went ignored. “Anyway, since they’re keeping the production a covert operation to dominate the world, they’ll have to—”
“Can I help you boys with something?”
Spike, Zack, Lecter, Ed, Alexis, and—most peeved because she was labeled as a boy—Carol, slowly turned to observe one of the lawyers that had yet to abandon the firm. He did not look particularly happy.
Ed immediately assumed his business persona, clearing his throat and stepping forward. “Hello, Mister…”
“I’m Lindsey McDonald.” The man progressed slowly, ignoring the entertained sniggers coming from Zack and Spike. “And I do believe you’re going to have to explain yourselves very carefully.”
Ed nodded and held up the document, grinning lightly as Lindsey’s eyes went wide. “I’m Ed Stevens,” he said, “From the Law Offices of Stuckybowl, and I’m here to work out an arrangement for my client, Mr. Keaton, in light to your breach of contract.”
Zack and Spike grinned consciously to themselves. They had them, now.
Unfortunately that was hardly common knowledge. At the exact moment that Ed was putting forth the motion that would terminate the Batman movie, Xander was busy munching on a banana to provide the peel in the foil of their own plot.
Ferris chuckled richly. “Looks like he’s enjoying himself a bit too much,” he informed Jake. “Think he’s had practice at that sort of thing?”
Faith, dangling off Jake’s arm, arched a brow. “Oh, I don’t think so,” she informed him. “He seemed to enjoy the ride I took him on enough to convince me that he doesn’t play for the other team.”
“You’ve slept with Harris?” Jake asked.
“It was just once. I was out slaying, which always makes me hungry and horny, and I didn’t get the demon killed. Damn bastard nearly bested me. Anyway, Harris pulled up in his ride and took me back to my motel.” She shrugged. “I needed to get off somehow. He was there, he was male. It worked. ‘Course, it bugged the hell outta B, but I still say that’s just ‘cause she wanted to take him out for a drive before anyone else got the chance to.”
Buffy frowned. “Umm…ew?”
Lisa absorbed this information and, for no particular reason, whacked Xander upside the head.
“Okay,” Buffy said. “Xander, almost through with that banana?”
Ferris and Jake snickered.
“Yeah.” He handed the Slayer the discarded banana peel, and she frowned in turn. “Is Willow really up for this?”
“She thinks she is.” Buffy’s jaw was firmly set. “She has to be…though I do worry. If she pushes herself…well, you know what happens. That and she’s knackered from the teleportation spell. Her nose hasn’t stopped bleeding since we got here.”
“Hermione’s with her,” Ron said. “Hermione and Harry. Just in case the worst should happen.”
“Why aren’t you with her, too?” CJ asked.
“You’ve really never read the books before, have you?” Ron noted skeptically.
Kelly stormed forward. “Enough with the chitchat,” she barked. “If that little witch doesn’t bring Zack back soon, I’m going to tear her head off.”
“You’ve been hanging around vampires too much,” Buffy observed. “You’re beginning to resort to idle threats like the rest of the Scoobies.”
Kelly blinked, suddenly proud. “I’m a Scooby?” She seemed pleased for a minute before recalling that she was supposed to be angry. “Regardless, if Willow doesn’t bring Zack back soon…”
Clarice paused from her current shagfest with Angelus. By this time, the traveling party had grown so accustomed to it that it no longer fazed them. “Well,” she snapped, “now you know how I felt. And at least he’s not alone. She sent Hannibal to Disneyland with no one to…” For a minute, she actually managed to look somewhat regretful.
“Hey!” Lorena intervened. “Are we forgetting whose HUSBAND he is?”
“Besides, Clarice,” Kelly snapped in turn. “It’s not like you care.”
“Yeah!” Ferris chimed in, though he didn’t know why. “It’s not like you haven’t sucking vampire face—and god-knows what else—since I ran into you freaks.”
“Maybe next time we see a bunch of stragglers walking from Maryland to LA at night,” Cameron growled, “we won’t pick them up.”
“Cheer up, old chap,” Prince said merrily. “If you hadn’t, you wouldn’t have met me.”
At that, Cameron seemed to concede. “Well,” he told the dog, “as disturbing as it is that I’m talking to animals that have the ability to talk back, I will admit that it has been nice having the distraction. Even if I do think I’m going crazy.”
“Cameron,” Ferris said, “are you still talking to that dog?”
“The dog’s name is Prince, Ferris,” Cameron retorted, suddenly defensive. “And you better get used to it. He’s my dog, now.”
Cameron shrugged. “Why not? Stranger things have happened.”
“You can say that again,” everyone echoed in agreement.
Donna suddenly ran up, tugging Josh after her. “Willow says that they’re ready,” she told Buffy. “She and the kids have seats in the crowd. She thinks it might be a little conspicuous if we all sit together, but the studio seats are so—”
“How is it conspicuous?” Charlie demanded. “Who the hell knows we’re about to do this thing?”
“Well, the aliens from Zimbabwe, for one,” Bartlet observed.
“WOULD YOU STOP ABOUT THE ALIENS?!” Toby snapped.
“I don’t think you have any right to assume,” Bartlet rationalized. “I think that after everything we’ve been through, believing that aliens would invade Zimbabwe shouldn’t be too difficult.”
Billy Idol flicked open his lighter and lit a cigarette. “’m so not gonna miss you sods,” he informed them.
“Well, geez, rub it in,” Screech whined.
“All right guys,” Buffy said. “This is it. The fate of the world is in our hands. If we don’t succeed, the sun may never come back. Humanity, civilization as you know it, can and will come to an end. We will be under the regime of an evil we can’t begin to comprehend. Everything depends on these next few minutes. We cannot afford to fail.” She emitted a long breath. “But no pressure! Just try to enjoy the show.”
Everyone looked at her blankly.
“Right. Let’s go.”
The traveling group nodded to each other, muttered their goodbyes to those they would actually miss if the worst should happen, and made a large move to the entrance to assume their seats. Just as Buffy was about to pull the handle, the double doors swung open to reveal Ed Stevens—Spike, Zack, and Lecter behind him. All looked extremely pleased with themselves.
Ed smiled cheerfully. “Hi, guys.”
There was a collective group pause. Everyone stared at him in awe. “ED?!”
“It’s all over,” he informed them. “We’ve taken care of the entire thing.”
Kelly slowly came out of her shock and realized that Zack was there. “ZACK!” she screamed, rushing forward. “God, where have you been?”
“Took a little side trip to Disneyland,” he explained.
“Yeh,” Spike agreed. “Woulda been outta there sooner had your boy not gone entirely loony with the need to ride every ride in sight.” He turned to Buffy, who was also slowly emerging from her stupor. With a provocative waggle of his eyebrows, he smirked tightly and stepped forward. “Miss me, luv?”
As the respective couples engaged in their reunions—a show that could potentially put Angelus and Clarice to shame—Josh came forward, studying Ed intently. “What do you mean, it’s over?” he demanded.
“I’ve taken care of the entire thing. We nabbed their lawyers on a matter of legalities,” he explained. “The production has ceased, Colin and Ryan have been stopped, and…if I understood Lindsey right…the sun’ll be coming back within a few days. Once the Beast has been killed. He said Angelus could handle that.”
“Oh, he did, did he?” Angelus snarled.
“Well, he seemed to think so. Then the Beast showed up and said you could never take him.”
“WHAT?! Wait’ll I get my hands on…”
“WAIT! Hold it! Cut! No more!” CJ stormed forward, inexplicably angry. “Are you saying…that’s it? We stopped the ultimate evil from taking over the world by—”
“Whaddya mean, ‘we’?” Spike demanded, looking up from where he had been nuzzling the Slayer’s throat. “It was all me an’ Zangy, an’ that wanker of a lawyer.”
“I believe I provided some assistance as well,” Lecter observed.
“I helped them with the rides,” Alexis added, coming in from the other entrance with Carol at his side.
Donna blinked slowly. “So…that’s it?”
“That’s it,” everyone replied.
Lisa frowned. “That was…anticlimactic.” She glanced to Xander for help.
“It can’t be over,” he insisted. “I had such a cool banana plan. And…it can’t be over.”
Faith nodded her agreement, getting that familiar ‘I didn’t get my rocks off’ look on her face. “I feel so…dissatisfied.”
Cordelia snickered. “So it was all for nothing?”
A long beat of silence settled uncomfortably over the group before Lorena broke it, cheerfully running up when she saw that her husband was back.
“Hanni! Ohh, you made it!”
There was no room for consideration. The Good Doctor whipped out his Harpy and sliced her throat quick. She fell with a grunt to the floor.
Everyone stared at him.
“My apologies,” he said. “I just haven’t felt like myself for several hours.”
The California Dreams looked from him to Lorena, then to him again.
“Eh?” Sly shrugged.
“So…” Gunn pressed. “What’s gonna happen now? If it’s all over…”
Another long beat passed before the chords of a familiar song began emanating from nowhere in particular. It wasn’t optional; everyone swayed in beat, even if they didn’t exactly know what they were doing, or why.“Where do we go from here?”
Dawn sang, almost melancholy.“Where do we go from here?”
Spike and Buffy joined in.“The battle’s done, and we kinda won,”
Giles sang, joined by Zack and Kelly for the next. “So we sound our victory cheer. Where do we go from here?”“Why is the path unclear?”
Everyone chimed in slowly, moving together in syncopated rhythm. “When we know home is near…?”
Before they knew what was happening, they had formed a straight line, and were grasping each other’s hands encouragingly. “Understand we’ll go hand-in-hand, but we’ll walk alone in fear…”
Giles burst out into a mini-solo as the huge party dispatched to partake in moving hand gestures. “Tell me, where do we go from here?”
“When does the end appear? When do the trumpets cheer? The curtains close on a kiss God knows, we can tell the end is near. Where do we go from here? Where do we go from here? Where do we go…from—”
“Excuse me?” It was quite possibly the smallest voice in the world, seemingly not loud enough to interrupt such a large and moving number. Everyone stopped as the music came to a halt, looking around until they located a small greenish thing near the doorway. He was dressed in a black commando outfit and held a laser gun in one hand. When he saw that he had everyone’s attention, he continued. “Me and the guys are lost. Could you point us in the direction of Zimbabwe?”
There was a long, collective moment of astonishment. Bartlet fainted dead away.
“’S that way,” Spike said, pointing in the aforementioned direction.
“Great, thanks!” the alien said gratefully. “You’re the best!”
He turned and left just as quietly as he had arrived, leaving everyone staring in absolute horror.
Spike paused as though realizing something. “Hey, wait a minute.”
The peroxide vampire turned to Zack, who shrugged helplessly.
“Oh bugger,” they said together. BUT NOT FOR LOLA!
The writers of Now It’s A Disco would like to thank following people and organizations that made this story possible: Barry Manilow
Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy
Sam Bobrick and Peter Engel
David E. Kelly
Barry White (May he rest in peace. We love you, Barry!)
Every bowling alley in America
Every ice-skating rink in America
Every rest-stop in America
Every polka band in America
The creators of paper and pens
The Batman Movies
The Little Mermaid
St. Louis Bread Company/Panera Bread
Glendale High School for the curriculum that allowed us to write this during class
Everyone who has ever done interpretive dance
People who do mushrooms
The Church of Christ
Holly would like to thank Kimmie for being the best collaborator that she has worked with.
Kimmie would like to ditto that. This project sadly took more than a year and a half to complete. And that was only the beginning…