|Pajama Party Award Winner (Ensemble)
Title: Xander and the Birds Of Prey
Setting: Buffy Season 3 somewhere.
Summary: Sometimes, these library research sessions could go on for ages, and be highly productive. Other times, Xander would compare everyone to super-heroes.
Length: Word count - 1310
Author's Notes: Thanks to sweetjane_69 for not telling me I was crazy.
It was yet another fun day at the library - research time for everyone to come up with a solution to Sunnydale’s latest and greatest demon threat. Naturally, boredom had set in for the Scoobies after the first two hours, and after only one for Faith. Cordelia, of course, hadn’t even bothered to turn up.
Giles eventually got up from the big library table they were all gathered round. Glancing down at everyone, he prepared to exchange his current text for another volume of arcane lore. Everyone was working hard, poring away, except Xander who had a comic book carefully hidden inside his Arts Arcana.
“I think that this search might be a tad easier on us if we were to have a small break right now,” Giles announced. On his way into his office, he turned and smiled, “Perhaps Xander might pass out some of the comics he has tucked away in his tome, and provide us with a little entertainment.” Entering his sanctum, he smiled at the boos and jeers that greeted his announcement.
“What? What?” said Xander defensively. “It’s not my fault they put the new comic shop right next to the donut place. You keep sending me out on donut runs, I’m gonna take a look in it while I’m there.”
Willow beamed. “That’s our Xander. Comics and donuts.”
“Thanks for the back-up there, Will,” said Xander, coincidentally checking the empty donut box for the last few crumbs. “Anyhow, there’s this one comic that is totally you guys.”
Buffy looked up from her volume. “Me? And Faith? What?”
Faith looked just as confused, but contented herself with blowing a bubble until it popped. Gesturing with one thumb at her neighbour, she spoke “Yeah, what B said.”
Xander held up the comic and showed it all around. Oz read the title out loud, “Birds of Prey Manhunt.” He considered it for a moment. “Cool.”
Xander smiled. “See, there’s this hot blonde here,” he said, tapping the cover. “That’s Black Canary. She’s all with the martial arts and the kicking and thumping of various bad guys. Plus, long time boyfriend older than her.”
Faith smirked and wound her bubblegum round her finger. Giles really hated it when you stuck it on the underside of the table. “Gotta admit it, B, sounds pretty close so far. What about me then, Xan?”
“Aha! Smile, ladies and gentlemen, as I reveal the Huntress! A sizzling hot brunette with an attitude problem, disrespect for authority and a distinct liking for crossbows.”
Faith held her hands up to the general chorus of laughs from around the table. “Yeah, yeah, Harris. I’m willing to cop to the sizzling bit, but that’s it, dude.”
Buffy raised her eyebrows. “You were enjoying yourself quite a lot with those crossbows the other day, Faith.”
“Aww, bite me, B,” grinned Faith. “Older boyfriend wasn’t it, Xander?”
“Aannnnnyhow,” said Xander, as Buffy blew a raspberry at Faith. “They’re after this one bad guy they both recognised.” He paused, “Well actually, they both recognised his ass.”
“What?” said Buffy, looking confused. “Now you’re saying I have ass-vision? We have ass-vision?”
Willow nodded solemnly, “Maybe it’s a Slayer power they never told you about, Buffy. You could always ask Giles…”
Faith snorted loudly, drawing everyone’s attention. “Sorry guys,” she said glancing around, “But I just imagined the police line-up. Excuse me miss, but which of these asses was the one that ass-ualted you…”
Even Xander winced at that pun. Oz lifted both eyebrows, which was equivalent to a run-on sentence from someone else.
Giles picked this moment to come back from his office with The Annuals of Senves in his hand. Buffy looked up and eagerly asked “Giles! Do I have ass-vision?”
Faith chimed in, “Dunno ‘bout you B, but I definitely feel something when I’m checking them out.”
Giles’s jaw dropped, and he started to say something, but gave up. He opened his mouth again, paused, pushed his glasses back up and gestured towards his office. “Um… excuse me… something in the… is that the telephone?” He fled, tweed coat flying out behind him.
“And that reminds me,” said Xander tapping the comic book again, “The Birds’s fearless leader, their own red headed hacker supreme… Oracle!”
“Oooh!” squealed Willow, sitting up really fast. Oz looked slightly upset at the lack of Willowness in his arms, but this was Oz – it could just have been a passing theological thought. “Do I get superpowers?”
“Um… actually, you’re in a wheelchair, Will,” Xander said, biting his bottom lip slightly. “But it’s a cool wheelchair – with weapons and all, I bet…”
Willow narrowed her eyes and glared at him. “No wheelchairs, mister. And you knew that!” And slumped back in her chair, leaning against Oz. “I could do with some hugs right now,” she said shyly, looking up at him.
Oz provided the hugs then glanced over at Xander. “Pout face. Care to explain?” he said succinctly.
Xander sighed. “It was five years ago at Halloween. I was all dressed up as Cyclops, --red visor, cool suit, y’know?” He gazed around at Buffy and Faith’s curious expressions, Willow still pouting, and Oz…. being expressionless. “And at the last minute, Willow backed out of dressing up as Phoenix.”
Willow sniffed. Loudly.
“So, I talked her into going as another X-Man in the end,” Xander continued. “It was just that hey! Last minute, nothing and nobody else left to go as.” He swallowed, then added very fast, “SoImadehergoasProfessorXinawheelchairan
“It was terrible!” burst out Willow, “You know how Xander gets, all with the you must play the part right, and with the not allowing me to walk anywhere. And getting dragged up all those stairs!”
“Yeah, bad, bad, bad Xander. I so got that drummed into me the next week,” he said, with a shame faced look. ”I promised Willow in the end, that I’d never mention wheelchairs and her in the same conversation again.”
“And now you rip open my childhood scars, in front of everyone?” demanded Willow fiercely.
“I was just saying,” said Xander helplessly, waving his hands over the comic, “Hello! Wacky coincidences ‘R us here! Hellmouth! Demonic costumes!”
“And ass-vision,” added Faith.
Xander just glared at her. “Really not helping here, Huntress!”
“Whatever, Xan,” Faith sneered back, “Like I couldn’t beat ya all in real life or in the comic books!”
“Aha!” declared Xander triumphantly, raising one finger up in the air. “Black Canary has a superpower you don’t! She has her Canary Cry!”
There was a long pause. “Yeeeeeah,” said Faith eventually, “I’m shaking in my boots here.”
Xander bristled. “Black Canary’s Canary Cry is a sonic scream. It stuns and knocks down anyone within a certain radius.”
“I don’t know, Xander,” said Buffy doubtfully, “It doesn’t sound that good to me.”
Faith muttered under her breath, “Unlike ass-vision, of course.”
Xander glared at both of them in turn. “Hey! All I’m saying is next time you’re surrounded by a horde of demons, try screaming at them and see what happens.”
Buffy snorted. “The day that I kill demons by screaming at them is the day that you stay completely silent. All day.”
“Ouchie!” said Xander, as Faith and Buffy exchanged a high five. “Any chance we can call off National Be Cruel To Xander Day yet?”
“No!” snapped Willow, still pouting as she threw the last donut at him.
“Hey!” shouted Xander. He threw a chocolate cookie at her. Unfortunately, it missed and hit Faith directly on the nose.
“You little -!” swore Faith, pouncing on the nearest biscuit herself.
Safe in his office, Giles heard the mayhem begin in earnest. Shaking his head, and grasping the bridge of his nose, he sighed. Truly, the earth was doomed. He turned back to his research. Some people still had a job to do, after all….
Now, was ‘ass-vision’ hyphenated or not?