Once More, With Squealing

The Morning After The Night Before

It was the next day and Xander Harris was firmly ensconced in The Magic Box, sitting at the table, brooding about the magic box he'd failed to become firmly ensconced in the night before. He felt so bad; he almost didn't feel like singing today. At least his mood was buoyed somewhat by the fashion choices of those around him; maybe today was some annual fancy dress day and he'd missed the memo.

Anya looked hot in her Charlie's Angels costume from Halloween as she went over the ledgers with Giles (who had gone to the rather-extraordinary fashion lengths of discarding his glasses). Meanwhile, Willow and Tara, clearly having been too tired this morning to change out of their nightwear, giggled in the corner and made goo-goo eyes at each other as they stocked jars with magical ingredients.

That was when another magical ingredient arrived. The bell above The Magic Box door rang, and in walked Buffy, dressed in what appeared to be the same schoolgirl outfit she'd been wearing when he'd first met her all those years ago; not surprisingly and not displeasingly, it was rather tight on her now. He continued to stare at her, as she chatted to Willow and Tara, and then, when he realized Anya was staring at him staring at Buffy, he turned his attention to a bunch of pastries that were in front of him. He grabbed a couple, hoping food might take his mind off last night.

Buffy crossed over to him, dropping her bag on the table. He only vaguely noticed her, since he was now busy playing with his food, holding a long glazed cruller and a powdered donut, attempting to push forward the boundaries of pastry comedy. Sadly, the cruller crumbled in his hand.

"Don't worry, sweetie," said Anya, roller-skating by. "Happens all the time. Really it does."

He frowned, unable to look Anya in the face, so turned his attention to Buffy, who was still standing by the table. She was chattering away, but like himself she seemed to be avoiding the issue, reluctant to talk about something. Finally, she got to the point:

"So, did anybody, um... last night, did anybody, oh... burst into song?"

Xander exchanged looks with Anya. He'd already figured that it had to be more than just coincidence that the music had arrived the same time his mojo had departed, but it now looked like it hadn't just happened to them. He didn't have to blame this all on the Chumash tribe after all.

"Merciful Zeus," he exclaimed, as he suddenly realized that it might explain everyone else's bizarre fashion choices as well. He loosened his tool belt, and put his construction hat on the table, as Willow and Giles also simultaneously confirmed they'd been lost in music last night (although not with each other).

As Willow finished talking, Tara added, "We were talking, and then... it was like..."

"Like you were in a musical?" Buffy asked.

"Yes, of course," said Giles, "that would explain the huge backing orchestra and the librarian chorus line."

Xander smirked, but then the smile left his face as Anya suddenly revealed way too much information. "Xander and I were fighting about Monkey Trouble."

"There's a lot of that about," said Buffy.

"It's a film!" protested Xander.

"Of course it is, sweetie," said Anya, giving an exaggerated wink at Buffy. "And we were arguing and then everything rhymed, and there were harmonies and a dance with 'coconuts'." First 'monkey trouble' and now 'coconuts', Anya sure was shooting out the euphemisms today.

"It was very disturbing," said Xander. "I really don't want to talk about it."

Giles turned to Buffy. "What did you sing about?"

"I, uh... I don't remember," she said. "But it seemed perfectly innocent and wholesome."

Xander could tell that she was hiding something, but she was doing it a lot more skillfully than he was. He was about to say something, when Willow chipped in.

"Ours was anything but innocent," she said, Tara nodding. "A regular raunchfest."

"Well, I guess mine was ever so slightly perverted too," admitted Giles.

"Actually," Buffy said, coming clean, "mine was kind of M-rated. It was about Spike, he kind of let me down last night."

"He's not killing again?" gasped Giles.

"No, not killing; it's more a part of him is dying, frequently. His poor little guy keeps fainting on me."

"Oh, no, poor little Spike," said Willow, as she and Tara pulled glum faces, sympathizing with the vampire's plight. Now Xander wished he'd told them of his problem earlier, but if he did so now he'd just be seen as jumping on the impotence bandwagon.

"Maybe I could help?" said Anya, much to Xander's dismay. "Xander's got the same problem," she added, which just multiplied his dismay tenfold.

"That's good," said Buffy.

"Good?" exclaimed Xander.

"I mean it looks like it's not just Spike that's affected... Oh, one other thing, I can't help noticing that apart from me and Giles, you all seem to be dressed slightly outlandishly."

The others all looked at her in confusion, and started talking over each other, protesting that they were wearing the sensible clothes.

Xander then stopped waving his plunger around, took a bite of the donut on the table, and joked, "Besides, you don't know what Giles is wearing underneath." He was glad that at least his jokes weren't falling flat today.

That was when Giles looked back at him uncomfortably, trying in vain to find some glasses to fiddle with. "Th-they were just near to hand this morning," he said, leaving way too much to Xander's imagination, as the donut caught in his throat.

"Choking on the donut again, sweetie?" asked Anya, in euphemism overdrive.

"We need to look into this," said Giles.

"Exactly," said Willow. "With the books, we need to dive in," she smiled at Tara, "there could be diving..."

Tara smiled back at Willow and gazed into her eyes. "Do we have any books about this?" she added.

"Well, we need to sort things out, and quick. We need to get things back to normal, find out what the cause is -" started Xander, only to be interrupted by Giles's singing:

I've got a feeling

That it's a demon

A horny demon - Nah, something isn't right there

Willow was the next to join in:

I've got a feeling

Some writer's schemin'

And we're all stuck inside their tacky fanfic nightmare

As Tara mimed someone typing at a keyboard, Xander continued, "I've got a feeling we should end this soon."

Willow, Anya and Tara replied in a musical manner:

By us revealing

What we're dealing with, but first this tune

It was kind of groovy, like a blue movie. Now Xander was even thinking in rhymes. He was wondering what could be responsible for turning his life into an adult movie, and suddenly, remembering all those movies he'd deny ever watching, he thought of blaming lesbians. Then he saw Willow and Tara standing there, and he knew he was too clever to fall into that sort of trap. Looking at all his friends in their sexy outfits reminded him of a dream he'd had, and then he remembered someone else from one of his dreams, a man holding up a plate of -

"It could be cheeses, those skeezy cheeses," he said, leaping up, and saw Anya glaring back at him. He quickly dropped back down to his chair. "Which is ridiculous, 'cause they're dairylicious and calci-yummy and indescribable and I'll be over here."

Anya's glare died down, as she joined in:

I've got a feeling

It could be rabbits

Xander joined with everyone else at staring at his beloved. Why did it always have to be rabbits? He just hoped, after last night, that it was the animal variety.

The room had been plunged into silence, so Tara started to venture, "I've got a -"

Anya decided to interrupt, along with loud heavy metal backing music, as her body rocked, her skates rolled, and she sang her reasoning:

The rabbits now have a mechanical army

To satisfy our needs, replace our salami

And what's with all the batteries?

What do they need such power for anyway?

Rabbits, rabbits

It must be rabbits!

Anya stopped shrieking out her words, and calmed down. She looked at everybody else staring at her, as the music returned back to its previous lightness.

"Or other gadgets," she added.

Willow took her book of sensual sorcery and sat down on the table next to Giles. "I've got a feeling this could get much worse."

Giles joined her, "Before things get better, they could get more perverse."

Buffy's voice announced, "I've got a feeling, nothing matters."

Giles looks up at her, perturbed, but Buffy continued the song, explaining:

What can't we face if we're together?

Who cares 'bout whips and chains and leather?

We'll pucker lips

We'll right some wrongs

We'll grind our hips

And sing some songs

Xander and the rest joined in with her:

What can't we do when we're united?

To run away would be shortsighted

We're flying blind

Can't tell what may pass

It's bump and grind

"Let's shake our ass," sang Buffy, with the appropriate choreography. She gave a wry smile to Giles.

The group started singing, "What can't we face if we're together?"

Xander noticed that Giles, falling behind with the singing, was struggling to keep up. "What can't we face," he sang over them.

"It's us versus the big bad whatever," the group continued.

"If we're together," Giles sang, now a whole line behind

"There's nothing that scares us," they finished.

"Except for rabbits..." added Anya.

There was a long pause, as they waited to be sure that all the music had gone and that Anya wasn't going to embark on another mini rock opera.

"See, okay, that was disturbing," Xander said finally.

Willow detached her face from Tara's. "I thought it was pretty neat."

"So what is it?" asked Buffy. "What's causing it?"

"Thought it didn't matter," Giles said.

"Well I'm not exactly quaking in my retro yet far-too-small school shoes, but there's definitely something unnatural going on, and that doesn't usually lead to hugs and puppies."

Xander wished he could hug her puppies. Oh no, what sort of creepy perverted thoughts was he having now? Oh, wait, that was right, the usual ones. He just hoped he'd get through all this without having to express them in song.

"Well, is it just us?" asked Anya, bringing Xander back from his lusty thoughts. "Is it only happening to us? That would probably mean a spell, or -"

Xander decided to check for her, grateful he could still do something to please her. He got up, opened the door and looked outside. Down on the street below, he encountered the end of a large musical number, and saw people in various states of undress, covered in yellow goo, standing there, around a large vat. At the front, a large bearded man, dressed in a swimsuit, and covered from head to toe in a viscous yellow liquid, opened his arms wide and sang, "We got the custard out!"

There were splashes of yellow, as some of the people behind him dived rhythmically into the vat, while others danced, and then, as an ensemble, they echoed pitch-perfectly what the large man had said, just in case people were unaware of the unleashing of custard. Then, as one, they all leapt into the yellow liquid causing an almighty splash.

As a wave of custard came crashing towards him, Xander slammed the door shut, and put his back to it, wondering what kind of idiot could have started this madness.

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