Bring The Fun In

Title: Bring The Fun In
Author: Dea Brynhild Ensomhet
Pairing: Xander/Sweet
Rating: PG-13 for now...
Email: BrynSpikess@hotmail.com
Timeline: "Once More With Feeling", and then AU.
Archival: Just ask and ye shall recieve.
Disclaimer: Don't own any of the Buffy cast/crew/characters/plotlines/etc. Was chatting with dancinbutterfly one night, and this idea was sparked. That weekend when I tried to write Spander, Sweet kept popping up and dancing away with Xan while the muses played DJ. I am a slave to my characters, and Spike is still acting pissy towards me. So I let him have a quote at the beginning to try to make up for the lack of Spander in this story.
Author's Notes: If I was really talented, I'd not only write a song as well as sheet music for the song and play it on a musical instrument, but I'd also get a voice synthesizer and program my voice to sound like Xander's and I'd write the song for Nicky's vocal range. Unfortunately, I'm not that talented. I started by trying to write a song and then come up with a melody for it, but that didn't work. Then I tried to take a melody of an already existing song and write new lyrics for it, but that didn't work either. Finally I just wrote a poem and sung it. My apologies if my voice makes your ears bleed. Some people are born song-writers. I'm not one of them. And no, 'genteelly' is not misspelled. It's an actual word. And I don't own Willy Wonka or Disney's Beauty and the Beast.
Written for: dancinbutterfly, because she asked for it, and the bunny has been gnawing on my ankle ever since.
Last edited: 12/14/04

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Table of Contents:
Chapter 1: Consequences of Magic
Chapter 2: I tried to kill my pain, but only brought more...

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Music Selections:
From Chapter 2: Xander's Lament. Right-click and save-as to download. It's a wav file.

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Chapter 1: Consequences of Magic

That's the thing about magic. There's always consequences. Always!
~ Spike, After Life, BtVS

Lestat: No one could refuse me. Not even you, Louis.
Louis: I tried.
Lestat: (laughs) Yes, you tried. And the more you tried, the more I wanted you.

~ Interview with the Vampire

~*~

"If it was in the shop, then one of us probably..." Giles murmured, trailing off. The gang looked around at each other, and Xander slowly raised his hand.

"Xander!" Anya exclaimed in horror.

"What?" Xander replied defensively, "I didn't know what was gonna happen! I just thought there were gonna be dances and songs. I just wanted to make sure we'd... we'd work out. Get a happy ending."

Sweet grinned, his red lips curving wickedly. "I think everything worked out just fine."

"Does this mean that I have to," Xander gulped, "be your queen?"

"Afraid so." Sweet nodded, "Sorry, but I don't make the rules." He snapped his fingers, and Dawn was back in her regular clothes, while Xander's garments were suddenly stylish and casually regal. A pale green button-down oxford shirt was neatly tucked into perfectly tailored dark green slacks, and a matching green suit-jacket was worn over the shirt.

"No!" Dawn shrieked, "You can't have him! Take me instead!" Her fear was echoed in the faces of Xander and his friends. Willow quickly began to chant a protection and banishment spell while gesturing the glyphs in the air, but Tara knocked her hands away, breaking the spell. Willow stared at her, betrayed, while Tara returned her gaze steadily.

Sweet wisely decided to make his exit before the Scoobies had a chance to regroup. "Big smiles everyone! You've saved your little town from burning to ashes." He mock-bowed to them. "What a lot of fun, you guys have been real swell. And there's not a one who can say this ended well. All those secrets you've been concealing. Say you're happy now, once more with feeling. Now we've got to run. See you all in hell..." he sang, body shimmering into a red mist that floated above their heads. Anya tried to grab onto Xander's arm, but his body turned into a green mist that slipped through her fingers as it floated up to mix with the red mist. In a flash of light, both colors were gone.

Anya collapsed to the floor, tears streaming down her face as everyone stood still, shell-shocked. Dawn slowly walked down the steps from the stage, singing sadly, "Where do we go from here?"

~*~

In the middle of the kumbayayas, Spike broke free from the finale song and stormed out of the Bronze. Buffy was tempted to go after him, but she could tell Dawn was blaming herself for Xander being taken away, and she had to comfort her sister first.

The moment the song ended, Willow turned on Tara. "Why did you stop me?" she demanded, heedless of the rest of the group watching. "I could have stopped him. I could have saved Xander!"

"No, Willow." Tara replied, still shaking slightly from her earlier revelation. "Not with magic. Xander knew what consequences magic can have, and he still summoned Sweet. Now he has to live with those consequences."

"I can't believe you!" Willow shook her head. "No. I won't let Xander suffer in some hell dimension, not when I can bring him back."

"Like you brought Buffy back from a hell dimension?" Tara blurted out, and everyone in the room was silenced by her audacity. Anger stoked, Tara couldn't back down now. "You can't change things to suit you, Willow, no matter how much they hurt."

"What do you mean by that?" Willow frowned, "I never..."

"Shut up!" Tara said, voice thick and bitter with resentment. "I know what you did. I know you messed with my memories."

"Willow!" Giles exclaimed, not wanting to believe that Willow could have violated Tara in such a way. When Willow didn't deny the accusation, the pause stretched longer and Giles shuffled uncomfortably. Anya was still sobbing on the floor, Dawn seated next to her with an arm around the ex-demon's shoulders while Buffy had knelt next to Dawn, offering her sister the same comfort.

"How could you, Willow?" Tara whispered, anger quickly melting away to tears.

Willow took a step towards Tara, arms outstretched to embrace her, but Tara backed away. "I was just trying to make things better for us."

"But you don't get to decide what 'better' is." Tara said, hugging herself. She looked past Willow to Giles. "Giles, would it be possible to stay with you tonight?"

"Of course, Tara." Giles replied immediately, and escorted her out of the Bronze. Willow watched her leave, and Tara didn't look back.

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Chapter 2: I tried to kill my pain, but only brought more...

~*~

Try the grey stuff, it's delicious
Don't believe me ask the dishes
They can sing
They can dance
After all Miss, this is France
And a dinner here is never second best

You're alone
And you're scared
But the banquet's all prepared
No one's gloomy or complaining
While the flatware's entertaining

~ "Be Our Guest", Disney's Beauty and the Beast

~*~

Awareness filtered back slowly and dark red filled his vision. For a moment Xander just breathed, relishing the ability to feel all his limbs again. His body tingled from head to toe, an after-affect of whatever that dancing-demon guy did to turn him into mist and bring him here. Wherever 'here' was.

Upon examination, the dark red that he had been staring up at turned out to be the canopy of a very, very large bed. Xander sat up, and pulled off the soft dark red flannel sheets that had been covering him as he got out of the bed. He plucked at the black satin pajama shirt and slacks with a dark red lining that now clothed him, rather pleased at the quality and a little shocked at how similar they were to the pajamas he'd been wearing the previous morning when he'd danced with Anya.

The thought of Anya brought him out of his reminiscing, and he began to look around for clothes. The outfit he'd been wearing when he walked into the Bronze was nowhere to be seen, but there was a large bureau filled with a variety of clothes, ranging from expensive jeans and t-shirts to what looked like an Armani tuxedo. There was a tiny voice in the back of his head that hadn't stopped panicking since the moment he'd heard about the 'Queen' clause, but there was another voice that was used to the kind of situations that he got himself into and was certain that any minute Buffy would walk through the door and rescue him, or Willow would magic him out of this situation. He just had to be patient and not let himself be killed or taken advantage of. Clothes might help with that. He picked a pair of black jeans and a blue t-shirt and changed into them, not noticing the music swelling gently in the background. His thoughts tumbled out of his mouth without conscious thought as he slipped on socks and shoes.

"You'd think that after everything I've been though
I wouldn't have tried such a stupid spell,
And now instead of preparing for my honeymoon
I'm stuck inside a marriage from hell!

I thought I'd be the groom, not the bride.
At least with Anya I knew what kind of demon was at my side.
I don't want a husband with his own CD!
All I wanted was to make sure Anya and I would be happy.

Of course stupid me has to try a spell.
After all they've always worked for me *so* well!"

Xander sighed, sitting on the edge of the bed. "Why is it always me who has to be the buttmonkey?"

A knock on the door startled him out of his reverie. The melody of his lament faded into the background, and he frowned as he realized that there had been some kind of music that had been playing ever since he'd awakened and that it was still playing softly. He walked over to the door and opened it warily, revealing a short man with orange skin and green hair, dressed in a casual brown suit. "Alexander Harris?" the oompa-loompa inquired genteelly.

"Yes?" Xander replied, curious despite himself. The guy didn't look anything like what he remembered from "Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory" besides the basic coloring, and he wasn't singing either, which was kind of a good thing, 'cause the Oompa-loompa song had always freaked him out for some reason.

"Dinner is served in the Grand Dining Room. The Master requests your presence."

Xander quirked an eyebrow. "And if I refuse?"

"Then I am to bring you a menu from the kitchen and deliver whatever tempts your palate to your room. Although The Master did advise me to warn you that if you did refuse to accept his invitation, your food would be delivered on the singing flatware."

Xander had a flash of the Disney version of "Beauty and the Beast", and shuddered. "I think I'll pass on the singing dishes, thank you very much." He eyed the oompa-loompa. "I suppose you will have to show me the way to the Grand Dining Room?"

The oompa-loompa bowed low, "As you wish, your Highness," and turned, leading the way. Xander followed him, memorizing the hallways and turns so that he would know his way back.

The silence, save for the faint background music that was no recognizable tune though it seemed to mirror Xander's mood quite well, was getting to him. "What's your name?" Xander asked.

"I am Nostra, your Highness," he answered.

"You're an oompa-loompa." Xander stated.

"That is one name for our species, yes, sir."

Xander nodded. Oompa-loompa didn't sound very scientific; of course there would be a better name for the species. "Is there another you prefer?"

Nostra looked surprised at the question, but it quickly melted back into a respectfully apathetic gaze. "Dicarem, sir."

"Okay." Xander memorized the name for future reference. "And what are the characteristics of Dicarems, if you don't mind me asking."

Nostra bowed his head slightly as he walked. "Not at all, sir. Dicarems are primarily anthropomorphic with the obvious distinct hair and skin color. We are known for our extraordinary judgment and moral insight, affinity for sugar-free gelatin, and vocal talents."

"Huh." Xander filed the information away. "Why aren't you singing now?"

Nostra smiled. "No one is required to sing in this kingdom, by royal decree."

"This kingdom?" Xander repeated.

"Yes, your Highness. The Kingdom of Brigadoon, encompassing the entirety of the Descant Dimension, of which you are now the reigning Queen of." Nostra explained.

"Oh." Xander replied eloquently.

~*~

Willow placed a small bundle of Lethe's Bramble in the fireplace and struck a match. "For all my friends, this I char. Let Lethe's Bramble do its chore." She chanted, lighting the dried flowers on fire. She had thought about it all night, and she decided that she would get Xander back. She knew it would take time and research until she found a way, but she knew deep in her soul that she could use magic to find him and bring him back. All she had to do was find the incantation that had brought Sweet, and the proper spells to break the clause. But the most complete collection of research books were in the Magic Box, and Willow knew that Giles was really angry and wouldn't be letting her near them any time soon. But she had to get at them right away; she had to get Xander back before Sweet did who-knows-what to his new queen! That's where the Blank Slate spell came in. It would not only take away Buffy's memories of Heaven so she wouldn't be sad anymore, but it would also give her and Tara a fresh start, so that Giles wouldn't be mad and Willow could get the books she'd need.

"Purge their minds of memories grim, of pains from recent slights and sins." Anya stayed in Dawn's room that night because nobody thought it'd be wise to let her go back to her apartment by herself. She stopped crying but she hadn't said a word since Xander disappeared, and Dawn wasn't doing much better. This spell would also help ease their pain, taking away their grief until Willow got Xander back.

"Heaven's pleasure, betrayal's torment, let all this sadness be spent. Make Xander's existence pale and fade, until his return I bade." She took a white quartz crystal from her pocket and touched the end of it to the flames.

"When the fire goes out, when the crystal turns black, the spell will be cast. Tabula rasa, tabula rasa, tabula rasa." She tucked the crystal into her pocket and headed out the door, accidentally leaving the rest of her stash of Lethe's Bramble in a bag on the side of the fireplace.

~*~

Nostra opened the tall double doors and Xander entered a huge dining room with a high vaulted ceiling and a long table sitting in the center of the room. Several candelabras were placed along the table and around the room, bathing everything in flickering candlelight.

"Wow." Xander breathed, impressed despite himself. There were red rose petals scattered along the table and gold ribbon and glitter was artfully strewn among the dishes spread out on the table. There was a single chair at either end of the table, and the chair on the left had been pulled out. Sweet stood behind it, garbed in a royal blue silk shirt and black slacks.

"Welcome, Alexander." Sweet murmured, gripping the back of the chair. "Please, take a seat."

Xander warily approached him and sat down, Sweet sliding the chair under him before taking his own seat at the opposite end of the table. "Welcome to Brigadoon, Alexander."

Either the accoustics in the room were fantastic or else there was magic at work, because despite the good twenty foot table between them, he could hear Sweet as well as if he was only a foot away. "It's just Xander." Xander corrected, "And thanks."

"Very well, just Xander." Sweet smiled. "After dinner, if you desire, Nostra can take you on a tour of the castle and answer any questions you might have."

"That would be cool." Xander replied, helping himself to the dishes near him.

Sweet watched him eat for a moment. "Forgive me for asking, but you seem rather content in your position as my queen."

Xander choked on a mouthful of mashed potatoes. He swallowed and cleared his throat, "I'm not your queen. And my friends will be rescuing me any minute now."

Sweet smiled disturbingly. "You're sure of this?"

"Yes." Xander said immediately. "If you could only see them now. They're probably at the Magic Box, coming up with a plan right now."

"Would you care to make a wager on that?" Sweet challenged.

Xander snorted, "Sure."

"Nostra," Sweet called to the oompa-loompa standing by the door. "Bring the scrying mirror." Nostra bowed low and left, coming back in a moment with a large oval mirror. Xander moved his plate to the side, and Nostra placed the mirror in front of him.

"This will show me my friends?" Xander peered into the scrying mirror just in time to see Anya sidling up to Giles and hugging his arm, "It's a lovely ring."

Well yeah, it was a lovely ring. Only the best for his girl, but Anya had already shown it off to everybody before, so why did she seem more concerned about her ring than her missing fiancÚ? Xander leaned closer to the surface, trying to figure out what was going on. All the Scoobies were there, as well as Dawn, Spike in a really weird outfit, and another guy who looked vaguely familiar and about Xander's age but he couldn't place where he'd seen him before.

"Oh, great. A tarty stepmum who's half old daddy's age." Spike retorted, and Giles glared at him. Xander blinked in confusion.

"Old?" Giles exclaimed at the same time that Anya said, "Tarty?"

"You twerp, I'm young enough to still get carded." Giles continued, and Xander tried and failed to imagine anyone thinking Giles was under twenty-one.

"Carded!" Willow said excitedly as if she'd just figured out the demon of the week's weak spot. She dug in her pockets for a wallet, "Driver's Licenses!"

Xander watched as everyone who had identification read off their names - Anya mispronouncing her own name horribly - and Xander was almost knocked on his ass when the vaguely-familiar guy pulled out a driver's license and read off the name "Jesse McNally". It couldn't be... Jesse? Older and human, and as confused and amnesic as everyone else. Sweet walked the length of the table to stand beside Xander, watching the mirror as well.

After eavesdropping on the conversation for a little while longer Xander figured out that everyone had come down with a severe case of amnesia. It was torture, watching his friends helpless and under attack and not being able to help. The vampires eventually got staked and the weird shark-headed guy ran for his life. He turned away from the scrying mirror to face Sweet. "Did you do this?" he accused.

"Oh no." Sweet chuckled. "Your friends did this to themselves, my involvement with them ended when we left."

Xander wasn't sure whether to believe him or not. "I don't understand. What happened to them?"

Sweet gestured towards the mirror, and the image changed to show Willow kneeling in front of the fireplace, chanting. "It seems as if your friend cast a spell to make the other temporarily forget about a few things, including you. However, with the addition of a much larger amount of ingredients than necessary," the images sped to the moment a spark flew out of the fireplace and landed in the bag, lighting the rest of the flowers on fire, "the spell turned out to be much more powerful that she had intended it to be. Instead of making your friends only forget about Heaven, her overuse of magic, and your situation, it made them all suffer a complete wipe of all of their memories and rearranged reality so that you never existed."

"I don't exist?" Xander squeaked, eyes wide in shock.

"No, you never existed, not in that dimension at this time. Luckily you're in a different dimension, so that spell can't affect you here." Sweet assured him.

"But, if I never existed there, how come Buffy's alive?" Xander demanded, thinking back. "I was the one to rescessitate her after the Master drowned her." He looked down into the mirror, and it showed Angel and Jesse making their way into the Master's lair, and Jesse performing CPR to revive Buffy. "But Jesse turned into a vampire, and I..." Again, the images in the mirror shifted, this time revealing the night in the graveyard when he followed Buffy, the night the vampires took Jesse and killed him. Except this time he wasn't there; it was Jesse following Buffy, Jesse who helped save Willow from Darla and the Master's minions. Xander buried his face in his hands, overwhelmed.

"Try the grey mousse, it's delicious." Sweet suggested, returning to his seat and helping himself to some food.

~*~

TBC...

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