Xander hated history class. He hated the pens and the pencils and the books...and, oh yeah, he really hated the teacher's dirty looks. He was sitting at his desk before the bell rang and he knew that he was forgetting something very important. Something that had to do with school. Something he knew that he should have been able to remember.
Willow would help him, he decided. She would know what it was that he had forgotten. She knew everything, and she even liked school. At least better than he did because he actually hated school.
He turned to ask Willow about helping him with his memory, and that's when it happened.
Now it was true that Xander and Willow had a special relationship. Everyone who knew them was aware that they were the best of friends ever since they were little. Buffy was their best friend, too, but only since she had moved into Sunnydale the previous year. However, she hadn't known the two of them all of her life. What she did know about them was that Xander liked her, and that Willow liked him. And she liked somebody else...you just can't win.
Xander treasured Willow's friendship more than anything. But something happened to him on that day and it changed his life forever. It happened when he turned to look at Willow, a question on the tip of his tongue ready to be asked. His eyes took her in and he had a thought.
A crazy thought.
A thought like no other thought before.
He saw in his mind Willow and himself alone in the classroom. She was looking at him with a sultry look and she breathed out his name. They kissed.
What in the world of all that was holy provoked such a thought?! he demanded of himself.
And the answer was sitting right there.
Willow sat at her desk completely absorbed in her homework which she was evaluating. She wanted to make certain that it was perfect before she handed it in. She was wearing her green sneakers, a blue jean skirt, and a short sleeve green shirt. On the right side of her head, her long red hair was upon her shoulder. On her left side, her hair was behind her and she idly brushed a strand aside, tucking it behind her ear. Her other hand held onto a pen, and her teeth were nibbling on the end of that pen as she looked at her homework. She was so engrossed in it that she didn't realized Xander was watching her.
Xander stared. Then he shook his head. He blinked. He looked at Willow and he blinked some more.
"Xander, what's wrong with your face?"
Xander jumped and he turned in his seat.
Buffy had joined them and she was grinning. She was grinning because she wasn't only the Slayer, but she was also a girl. As a girl, she had seen Xander watching Willow and she could guess with a great amount of accuracy what was going through his mind.
"Haba," Xander began, "Iba...wha?"
Buffy took her seat and smiled at Willow.
Willow, of course, missed it. "Hi, Buffy. How goes the 'you know what' 'you know when' and 'you know where'?"
The interpretation was simple. How did the slaying go on patrol last night in the cemetery? "Peachy keen," Buffy responded. "Took out two of them with my trusty stake and still had time to actually do my homework."
Xander slapped himself in the head. "Oh, man!! That's what I forgot to do!"
"Again?" Willow asked innocently.
Buffy grinned. "I think you've got way too much on your mind to think about homework, Xander." She looked at him knowingly.
Xander regarded her. "Are you trying to imply something with that? 'Cause if you are, I can tell you that I've got absolutely nothing on my mind!" He pointed at his childhood friend. "Tell her, Will."
"Yep," Willow said with a nod. "It's true. There's nothing in there. It's all cobwebs and dust and...you know, naked girls."
"Hey! Have you been sneaking peeks into my mind again?"
The bell rang.
They turned in their seats as the teacher was about to prepare the class for another great lesson in history. It would be a lesson that Xander would have rather enjoyed instead of what actually did take place.
It was like a bad movie. The music sounded. It was very ominous like something bad was about to take place. In slow motion, the door began to open. And then this horrible beast walked in. A hideous foul demon from the darkest pits of Hell.
He had one of his famous clipboards in his hand which he proudly showed off to the class.
Without so much as a howdy doody, the monster said, "I want every male student in this class room to sign this before you leave this room. That means you, too, Mr. Harris. You gentlemen will sign it and then you will be in the auditorium this Friday evening at six o' clock sharp. That's fifteen minutes earlier for you, Mr. Harris. Am I making myself clear?"
Everyone stared at him.
Xander couldn't help it. He wanted to know what it was he was signing. "What are you getting me into now? If it's a lifetime subscription for Penthouse, sign me up right now."
Snyder gave him a look. "Excuse me? Did you say something, Mr. Harris?"
Xander raised his hand.
Snyder rolled his eyes. "What is it, Mr. Harris?"
"What are we signing for? What's the biggie?"
"The 'biggie'?" Snyder frowned. "Have you been skipping out on English class again?" He didn't wait for an answer. "You and every male I can get on stage are going to be auctioned off this Friday night for the school fund. The bidders will be the ladies I can get to come to this event."
"Ah...Mr. Harris, keep your mind out of that stinking gutter. This event isn't what you think. The parents of these ladies must give their permission for them to bid. Then, once a bid is placed and taken, the lucky male will be expected to go to the ladies home and clean house. Do yard work. That kind of thing. So this weekend, you can expect to go to bed late-and in your own bed, I might add-then rise early to go to the house of the lady who purchased you...and work until your fingers bleed." He handed the clipboard to Xander. "And since you are so eager to participate in this event, I do want you to sign first."
Xander grinned. Actually, it was a grimace. He took the clipboard, and he signed it.
Willow watched him sign it.
Snyder took the clipboard and he turned to go.
But Willow had her hand up.
Snyder sighed. "What is it, Miss Rosenberg?"
"Uh, well, er...h-how do, I mean, c-can I make a bid?" She blushed suddenly as she realized that everyone was watching her. The whole class was looking at her.
Snyder sighed again. "I said, Miss Rosenberg, that the ladies who are participating must have permission from their parents. There will be forms for the ladies to take home after class." He shook his head. "If you intend to bid, I wonder what kind of riff raff you'll be bringing home over the weekend."
Willow couldn't respond to that. She was blushing furiously.
"Hey, Willow won't bid on riff raff," Buffy said in defense of her friend. "She's going to bid for X--"
Willow's eyes widened in horror.
But fortunately, Snyder interrupted. "Please tell me you aren't planning to make any bids."
Buffy straightened. "As a matter of fact, I will make a bid...or two. My Mom always says there aren't enough men around to do the yard work. So...I-I'll be there and I'll bid, you bet'cha."
Snyder looked at her. "I pity the poor fool who you will end up purchasing. That's if you can afford it."
He walked to the front of the class, handed the clipboard to the teacher, and left the room.
Xander ran a hand through his hair. "Oh, man...I have to work this weekend?" Then a thought hit him. "Oh, God...wh-what wh-what what if Cordelia bids for me?"
Buffy grinned. "You're doomed."
Willow ran into her house. She ran into her bed room. She literally tossed her books onto her bed. The books bounced and slid off her bed, landing on the floor in a pile. She shoved open her closet door and dove into it with a deep intensity. She began tossing things aside. She climbed into the back and found what she was looking for. A Barbie lunch box.
She brought the lunch box out and sat with it on her bed. She opened it and took out the money she had been saving for the prom. Like any one was going to ask her anyway. She counted it.
She had a nice wad of cash, and she was surprised at the amount. But she had been saving all summer long and into the school year.
Then she frowned. What if someone out bid her on Xander?
She hoped that didn't happen. This was the only way. The only way she was going to have a chance to make it work was if she bid on him and won the bid. Then he would belong to her for the entire weekend. Her parents were going away...again. She had forged their name on the permission slip. And Xander didn't have to really go home and then come back in the morning. It wasn't like he hadn't spent the night before.
But this was different...wasn't it? If she won the bid, he was hers. He belonged to her until the weekend was over. So Xander would have to obey.
She took the money and put it into her pocket. Then she put the Barbie lunch box back into the closet. That's when she found something else. She found a package that she had forgotten about. It was a package that had come with the Halloween outfit Buffy had almost made her wear on Halloween. Well, actually...she did wear the outfit, and then she put on a ghost costume. But the package had come with the outfit and she had never opened it.
Curious, she did open it.
Her eyes widened.
Inside was a set of novelty handcuffs and a small riding crop. She held the cuffs in one hand and the crop in the other and her eyes were wide.
She shoved them back into the package, tossed the package into the back of the closet, and slammed the door shut.
The bidding had been going on for an hour and Willow was trying not to fidget in her seat. She had been watching the stage anxiously, but Xander had not yet been called to appear.
Buffy smiled at Willow. "Easy, girl friend. You'll get your chance."
"I've got to win this bid, Buffy," Willow said anxiously. "It's the only way I can be with him."
"Will, you're always with him. You do hang out all the time."
She hesitated. "I-I know. It's just that...if I win this bid, m-maybe things will be different. M-maybe I can tell him how I feel." She looked at her. "It's the only way I know of that I-I might have some kind of a chance with Xander."
Buffy regarded her friend. "Willow, if you are serious about this--"
"I am. I have my whole savings."
"Three hundred and fifty-eight dollars."
Buffy paused. "Okay. But still, you have to be a different kind of Willow."
Willow looked scared. "Wh-what do you mean?" She tried not to think about the cuffs and the riding crop. What kind of a costume would come with that? she asked herself. Then she realized that it would come with the outfit she had bought for Halloween.
"You have to be tough. If you win this bid, Xander will be relieved that's it you and he'll think that you will let him off the hook." Buffy looked at her sternly. "You can't let him do that to you."
Willow tried to look meaner. "I-I can be tough." She sighed. "But...I hope no one bids higher than what I have."
Buffy smiled. "I brought some money to help."
"Buffy! I can't take your money."
"If you need to, Willow, you can. It's for the school."
Then the bidding for Xander started.
It began at $10.00. Then it went to $20.00, and that bid was from Cordelia.
"She's already won four other guys, what does she want with Xander?" Willow asked Buffy angrily.
Buffy looked at her. "It's not over yet."
More bids went around the auditorium. Xander began to look a little scared as he saw some of the bidders. He saw his best friend out there, however, and this filled him with hope.
But as the bids got to $300.00, he was scared again. This chick in the front row whose face was covered in pimples bid for $310.00. Xander was sweating. At least Cordelia had stopped bidding for him. She obviously thought he wasn't worth that much money.
Willow bid for $320.00.
Xander saw no other bids go up.
Except after some thought, the pimple-face chick raised the bid to $330.00.
Willow pushed it to $340.00.
The pimple-faced girl glared back at her and raised it to $350.00.
"Buffy!" Willow whispered. "I-I'm two dollars short!"
"No, you're not," Buffy told her. "Bid!"
Willow raised it to $360.00.
Silence spread throughout the auditorium. The pimple-faced chick was counting her money furiously. Then she sadly shook her head.
Willow won the bid.
Xander went back stage...and Jonathan came on.
The bid started.
No one raised a hand.
Buffy frowned. "Well...that ain't right."
No one still raised a hand.
Willow frowned. "Poor Jonathan."
Buffy raised the bid to $10.00.
No one still raised a hand.
She won the bid. "Well...I guess I've got a man to bring home for my Mom. And it only cost me ten dollars."
"Buffy..." Willow shook her head. "That didn't come out right."
Willow and Buffy went backstage to collect their men that they had won in the bidding. Jonathan walked shyly up to Buffy and he looked very scared. Xander immediately went up to Willow and gave her a great big hug.
"Willow! My hero!" He looked at her and smiled. "You have just saved me from a terrible fate."
"Uhm, I-I did?"
"Yes! Did you see some of them women?" He shuddered. "Yeech! I would prefer the Preying Mantis She-Bitch to most of them." He clapped his hands together. "We should celebrate! Say 'goodnight, Jonathan' and let's all go to the Bronze!"
Willow nodded and smiled at him. "Well...th-that sounds like a--"
Buffy cleared her throat and looked at Willow sternly. She made a fist as if to tell her to be tough.
Willow danced nervously on her feet and tried to look mean. "Well...uh, no. No, Mr. Xander, 'cause I won you...and you, mister, now belong to me. So-so you'd better get used to that idea if you know what's good for you."
Buffy gave her a thumbs up. Jonathan watched in fascination.
Xander looked at Willow as if she had lost her mind. "Will...what's gotten into you? It's just a bidding thing. It...it doesn't mean anything."
Willow put her finger in his face. "Oh...oh, that's what you think, mister! Well...well, uh, you just let me tell you something. You just cost me $358.00, and you cost Buffy two dollars. So...you're not getting off that easy! I paid for you for the whole weekend and you belong to me..." She shrugged. "Er, uh, at least until Monday."
"Have you gotten all of that, Xander?" Buffy asked.
Xander was looking at Willow. And, God, help him, but those thoughts were returning. He found that he was liking the way she was standing there with her hands on her hips, and that look in her eyes.
Jonathan liked it, too.
Xander cleared his throat. "Okay...Will. What are you telling me? What do you want me to do?"
Willow glanced at Buffy.
Buffy waved her to go on. She made a fist again.
Willow looked at Xander. "Well...for starters...you will follow me to my house."
"Can't I walk beside you?" He grinned.
"Uh, no. You are only my s-servant, and you will follow me home."
Willow froze. She had no idea about a then what. "Uh...er..."
"Why don't you wait until you get there to find out?" Buffy asked helpfully. She turned to Jonathan. "And, you!"
"Come with me."
"Y-y-y-yes, ma'am!" he said meekly.
Buffy and Jonathan began to walk away. "Do you know how to use a rake?"
Jonathan nodded. "Yes, ma'am. I do."
"Are you good?"
"Call me ma'am again and you'll be eating that rake."
There was a pause. "O-okay...Buffy."
When they were out of sight, Willow found herself alone with Xander. She turned to look at him and she found that he was watching her very closely. She had never seen him look at her like that before. There was curiosity, there was wonder. And there was something else. She stepped closer as if to look deeper.
"What now?" he asked.
She straightened. "J-just follow me like I told you." She turned and began to walk away. As she did, she tried not to look too panicky. She was so glad he was walking behind her.
She was silently asking herself what in the world was she doing? But she kept walking. She heard Xander following behind and she was amazed that he hadn't said anything more. It was quiet as they walked.
Until he said, "Willow..."
She didn't say anything. She was still trying to think about what she was going to do. She had no ideas. She thought for certain that he would say enough was enough and go to the Bronze.
He must think I'm delirious! she thought to herself. Ohmigod, what am I doing? He isn't going to take me seriously. He'll never see me as something other than his friend. Or a guy friend!
He had interrupted her thoughts. Because of her nerves, she spun around and pointed at him. "Did I give you permission to talk, mister?"
He looked at her. A grin was tugging at his face but he was trying to keep it back. "Will...I just wanted to ask you why we were passing your house?"
She looked behind him. Her house was a few houses back. They had passed it. She collected her composure. "Well...if I want to walk past my house...a-and then walk back, that's my business. You only have to follow."
She looked at him. Then she abruptly walked past him and headed for her home. Xander followed and he realized that he was enjoying watching Willow walking along ahead of him. That girl really could sway. He shook his head and wondered for the first time in his life...Why was I so blind?
Willow fumbled with her keys at the door and she was having a very difficult time with it.
Xander stepped up and held out his hand. "Let me get that."
"I-I can get--" she began, but then she tripped over her words. Her breath was short and she really did feel tingly all over.
Xander spoke softly. "I only mean to say that as your servant, I want to please you by opening the door for you."
That just about floored Willow. She dropped the keys into his hand. "Uhm...okay. Sure."
He smiled and he opened the door. Willow went in before him and he followed. Then he closed the door. He watched Willow. She had her back to him and she was wringing her hands together nervously.
She held up a hand. "Hush. I-I'm thinking." Then this crazy idea hit her. "Sit down on the couch...and-and wait for me."
Xander did as he was told. Willow ran into her room. A few minutes later, she came back out with her right hand behind her back.
"C-come over here, Xander." She stood in the doorway of the living room.
Curious and beguiled, Xander approached her. He stood in front of her as he looked at her face. "What is it you want me to do?"
"You want me to turn around?"
She tried her tough face look. "Just do it!"
Xander slowly turned around. He had never seen this side of Willow before and he was really starting to like it. "Okay. I'm turned around."
There was a pause. Willow took a deep breath. "P-put your hands behind your back."
Xander hesitated. But then he did as she asked.
Before Willow decided that she would back out and run for the hills, she slipped the handcuffs onto his wrists. Xander was stunned by this. He hadn't expected Willow to do such a thing. He turned around to look at her in wonder.
"Willow? Did you just...?" He stopped. Then he chuckled. "Oh, God! You little vixen! You did! You put me in handcuffs. You're a bad girl, Willow."
"Hush!" she exclaimed. Still trying to look tough, she guided him by the arm to the living room closet and then she opened the door. "Get in there!" she ordered.
Xander looked at her. "You're putting me in the closet?"
It was the only thing she could think of to do. She hadn't a clue as to what to do with him. She needed help. "Get in there!" she ordered again. "I-I have to do something and I don't want you trying to get away."
Xander got into the closet and with Willow to guide him, he sat down onto the floor. He looked up at her.
Willow hesitated. She was scared. "A-are you okay, Xander?"
Xander looked into her eyes. "Yes. I am."
She paused for a long time as she looked at his face. "I-if you want to...to go to the Bronze...I mean, this weekend--"
"This weekend belongs to you, Will. We'll go to the Bronze next weekend." He smiled and shrugged. "You did purchase me, so you might as well put me to work. Of course, I didn't think work and handcuffs fell into the same category, but what do I know?"
"Er, are they too tight?" she whispered.
He shook his head. "No." He paused. "Will...I have to tell you...You've really got me going. Buffy's told me that there's more to you than what's on the surface. I'm beginning to see that she was right." He hesitated. "I'd, uhm...I'd like to see more of what you have."
Willow looked at him. Then she put on her tough face. "Oh, would you now? Well...you just sit in here for awhile. And while you're in here, I want you to think of me. And only me. Think of nothing else. Do you understand?"
"I do." He smiled.
She then looked concerned. "Oh, but, uh...if the cuffs do start to pinch or-or hurt, just call me. Okay?"
She closed the door. Then she opened it and turned the closet light on. Then she closed it again. After a short pause, she opened it again and looked in as if she couldn't believe he was in there. She closed the door a final time.
Xander shook his head in wonder. Was this the Willow Rosenberg he had known all his life? He smiled. He really did like this Willow.
Willow ran into the bathroom and looked at her self in the mirror. "Ohmigod! Ohmigod!" She blinked. "Ohmigod!" She put her face in her hands. "What am I going to do? What am I going to do?" She looked at her reflection. "Call Buffy! I-I gotta call Buffy!"
She ran into her room and picked up the phone.
"Hi, Will. Wha'sup?"
There was a pause. "You okay, Will?"
Willow didn't know what to say, so she repeated herself twice more. "H-help, help!"
"Willow, is Xander there?"
"What is he doing?"
"Uh, he's, uhm, kinda tied up right now. W-with steel wrists thingies."
"I-I handcuffed him, Buffy!"
There was a pause. "Huh?"
"I-I handcuffed him a-and I put him in the closet."
There was another pause. "I think I've already said this, but...huh?" There was a crash. "Jonathan, did you just knock down a lamp or something?"
There was a muffled response in the background.
"I didn't tell you to vacuum the couch! I told you to take out the trash!"
Willow waited. Then she said, "Buffy?"
"I'm here, Will. You really have Xander handcuffed and in your closet?"
"Y-yeah, I do. Buffy, what's wrong with me?"
"Nothing, Willow. Is Xander complaining?"
"Well, uh, no."
"Then keep doing what you're doing. Still...I'd like to know where you got those cuffs, girlfriend. Are you keeping secrets from me?"
Willow blushed. "No, Buffy. The cuffs came with that outfit I bought on Halloween. It also came with a riding crop."
"A-a spanking stick."
There was a pause.
Buffy burst out laughing. "Ohmigod! Ohmigod!! You've really got it bad!" She laughed some more. "Are-are-are you going to spank Xander, Will?"
"No, Buffy. I-I could never hurt Xander!"
Buffy managed to stop laughing. "Okay, Willow. Listen up, 'cause this is what you're going to do. You're going to dig out that outfit and put it on."
"Buffy, th-that was for Halloween."
"Willow. Show Xander you're serious about taking on a relationship with him. Show him that you're not just one of his friends, but that you have what it takes to be his girl friend." She paused. "You can do this, Will."
Willow paused. "Are-are you sure?"
"Yes...Now put on the outfit. Fix up your hair and keep that crop with you."
"But I don't want to hit him, Buffy. I-I can't."
"You don't have to hit him. The crop is just a prop." She giggled. "Hey, that's a good one. 'The crop is just a prop.' Anyway, Xander will see you in a whole new light, and I guarantee you, you'll have him eating out of the palms of your hands."
"Trust me. I know."
"Call me if you need me."
Before she hung up, she heard Buffy say, "Where the hell did that cat come from, Jonathan. We don't own a cat!"
Willow dug out the riding crop and the outfit from her closet. Then she went to the closet in the living room and put her ear to the door. "Xander...are you okay in there?"
"Never better," came the response. "What'cha doing?"
"Uhm, give me a few minutes more. Okay?"
"Do you still want mt to think about you?"
Willow looked stern, even though she knew he couldn't see her expression through the door. "You'd better be thinking about me, mister, 'cause if you're not, I'm gonna give you a spanking!" Her eyes widened, and she clamped her hand over her mouth in total shock.
Did I just say that? she asked herself. Ohmigod, I did!
There was a pause. "Uhh..." came Xander's voice. "I'm thinking about you, Will. Believe me...I am not able to get these thoughts of you out of my mind."
"Uhm, okay. I-I'll be right back."
She hurried back into her room and changed into her outfit. She went into the bathroom, and fixed up her hair. She was wearing the Halloween outfit and as she held the crop in her hands, she looked at herself in the mirror.
"Ohmigod," she said.
She took a deep breath. "Here goes."
She walked to the living room, went to the closet door and she opened the door.
Xander looked up. "Ohmigod."
She held the crop in her hands and she looked at him sternly. "Have you been thinking about me, mister?"
He swallowed hard. "Dear God in heaven, yes, I have." He looked at the crop. Then he looked at her legs, her belly button, and her...Wow. She really did have some of those, he thought, and swallowed again. He looked at her face. God, she's beautiful. Her hair was done up and she was looking at him with a look that told him he was hers.
"Were they good thoughts? Or bad thoughts?"
Xander hesitated. "Uhm...Which would you prefer?"
"An honest answer."
"Oh..." He laughed nervously. He never thought he would laugh like that before Willow. It was the kind of laugh reserved for those women who didn't want to date him. "Well...they were very good thoughts about you."
She looked at him.
"But...in a bad way."
"Which was really in a good bad way, but not so bad."
"I want to know what you were thinking."
She pointed the crop at him. "No. Not Willow."
He looked at her.
"You will call me Mistress Red."
Xander looked at her. "Mistress Red."
"Yes." I can't believe this is happening, she thought to herself. She was loosening up and having fun with this. Looking at Xander, she could see that he was, too. "Now...tell me what you were thinking about me."
Xander looked up at her. "Well...Mistress Red...the truth is...I was thinking of you and me."
"What about you and me?"
"I saw you taking my handcuffs off."
She looked at him. "Oh...r-really?"
"I saw myself taking you into my arms and kissing you."
She froze. "Y-you did?"
He smiled. "I did."
Willow knelt down beside him and looked into his eyes. "If I-I uncuffed you, would you want to kiss me?"
He settled back and gazed at her. "I've seen a side of you I've never seen before, Will, and it makes me want to know you more than I already do. To coin a phrase from eons ago...Willow, would you date me?"
Willow brushed a tear from her eye. "I-I've never been asked on a date before."
"You've never handcuffed a guy and put him in a closet before either." He looked at her. "Have you?"
"I-I don't know what came over me."
"You came over you. There's a lot you can do, and I can't wait to see what else you have."
She took his face in her hands and kissed him. As they kissed, Xander put his hands around her and held her. When Willow tilted her head back, she realized that his hands were around her.
She gasped in surprise. "How did you--"
He grinned. "You dropped the key."
She laughed. Xander laughed with her. They both shared a good laugh in the closet and then their lips pressed each others again.
Xander and Willow spent the whole weekend together. Not as friends. But as boyfriend and girlfriend. And Willow wanted to thank Principal Snyder for making her dream come true by sponsoring the bidding.
She had bid for Xander.
And she had won his heart.