No Mummy Girl

Author: Bastard Snow <mamille5[at]>

Rating: PG

Disclaimer: I own exactly zero characters in this fic. Joss, and all those other people own 'em. Lyrics from Edwin McCain's "I Could Not Ask For More". I don't own those, either.

Spoilers: Not much, I think. I guess general S1/S2.

Pairing: W/X

A/N 1: Mummy never woke up. Ampata's a boy.

A/N 2: Thanks to Drake Tepes for his beta-work on this, despite his assaulting me with mental images of Spike and the Golden Girls. He says this is pretty sappy. I believe him.

Buffy and Giles faced each other, both sweating from a good deal of training. Xander was studying at the table.

"So, can I go?" Buffy asked.

"I think not," said Giles.

Buffy landed four hard hits on the training pad Giles was holding. He flinched at her blows, and after she was done, he put the pad down in favor of a much thicker one.

"How come?" Buffy asked, pouting.

"Because you are the Chosen One."

"Mm. Just this once I'd like to be the Overlooked One."

"Well, I'm... afraid that is not..." Giles started.

Buffy kicked the pad hard, making Giles stagger back a few steps.

"You have responsibilities that other girls do not," Giles said.

"Oh! I know this one! Slaying entails certain sacrifices, blah, blah, bity blah, I'm so stuffy, gimme a scone."

"It's as if you know me," Giles said, sarcastically.

Buffy continued kicking. Xander winced at each blow.

"Your secret identity is going to be difficult enough to maintain while this exchange student is living with you," Giles said.

Xander got up and pushed them apart.

"Nooot... *with* her. In the same house as her," he said. "Am I the only one who's objective enough to make that distinction?"

"So!" Buffy said. " I think going to the dance like a normal person would be the best way to keep that secret. Giles, come on, budge! No one likes a non-budger."

Giles said nothing. Buffy stepped back and went at him for an especially hard kick.

"FINE!" Giles said, prompting Buffy to stop her kick at the last instant.

"Go," he said.

"Yay! I win," Buffy said, smiling and jumping up to sit on the table.

"I'll just go and introduce my shoulder to a, an icepack," Giles muttered, walking to his office.

"So, I guess we're dance-bound," Xander said, facing Buffy. "Cool. I think I can get my mom's car, so I'm wheel man."

"I thought you were taking Willow," Buffy said.

"Well, yeah, I'm gonna take Willow, but I'm not gonna *take* Willow. In the sense of 'take me'. See, with you we're three and everybody's safe. Without you, we're two."

"Ah, and we enter dateville. Romance, flowers..."


Willow walked into the library, but Xander's back was to the door so he didn't see her. Buffy pretended not to notice.

"Oh, come on. In all the years you've known Willow, you've never thought about her lips?" Buffy asked.

"Buffy, I love Willow," said Xander. Willow broke into a grin. "And she's my best friend. Which makes her not the kind of girl who I think about her lips that much."

Willow frowned, disappointed. She opened her mouth to speak up.

"Or it did," Xander said. Willow froze.

Buffy grabbed Xander's hands, and dragged him in front of her, making sure he wouldn't spot Willow, who mouthed a silent 'Thank you.'

"Did?" Buffy asked.

"Yeah," he said. "It's like, over the summer, when you were at your Dad's, it was just me and Willow. And that's kind of a first, since we hit puberty. Jesse was always around, we were always a trio. And then, last year, after he... after I... after what happened, it was the three of us. And I was... fixated on you, I guess would be the word. I mean, hello? You're the Slayer, and you were like the first non-Willow girl to *ever* spend time with me."

"So, what, I was just a convenience?" Buffy asked, a little hurt.

"No, not at all!" Xander said. "What I felt for you was real... I wouldn't have asked you out if it wasn't. It was just... well, you like Angel, right? Over the summer, I accepted that, and moved on, that's all. Not that I have fluffy bunny feelings for him, but it's cool."

"Oh. Well, that's okay, then," she said, smiling.

"But how come you're being all over protective of me then, with this Ampata thing?"

"I fancy myself an older brother, meant to scare away young men come to woo you. Plus, it's fun."

Buffy laughed. "Okay, so, when did you notice Willow's lips?"

"The day you came back to town. We had an... almost kiss... and then there was that vampire that you so effectively dusted, and the almost... got lost. See, before, it was me and Jesse and Willow, and we were all there, and I never noticed she was... a she."

Buffy raised an eyebrow.

"I mean, intuitively, I knew. Willow's a girl, duh. But I never... *knew*. Until this summer."

Willow's face looked hopeful.

"And so... what? Do you like her? As more than a friend, I mean."

"I don't know how I feel, yet," he said. "I mean, you remember a couple weeks ago, when Eric and Chris were making that girl, and I was talking about... wanting the dream, and not what's in front of you?"

"I seem to recall you saying such a thing, yes," Buffy said.

"Well, I've been thinking about it. And that's what I've been doing my whole life. I never saw Willow, because she's been my best friend since forever. Right in front of me. And I realized she was... this beautiful girl... and it was like 'whoa, when did that happen?' So I've been thinking, and I just don't know yet. But I'm not ready for a date yet, I know that. And I'm a little scared, because... she's my best friend. I mean, I don't even know if she likes me like that. And what if she does, and what if it doesn't work? Can we still be friends? Because I love her, with what we have now, and I don't want to lose that, for anything."

Willow was at this point grinning like a fool.

"But there's a possibility?" Buffy asked.

"Oh, definitely a possibility," Xander said. "So you see now why I can't go to the dance... *with* with her. I need to figure things out, for real, and if it's just me and her, I won't be able to, because hey, still male. I need to figure out if I do have real feelings for her, and if it's just us, it'll be the whole lusty vibe on my part, and I don't want it to just be about lust, not with Willow. She's too important to me. She deserves better than that."

"Those are... some deep thoughts, Xander," Buffy said, glancing at Willow over his shoulder. Willow's face looked like it was going to crack open because of her grin. "But I'm glad. Because Willow deserves more than just lust."

"I know that, Buffy. If there is a thing here... I want to do it right. Because whether it's me or not, Willow deserves the best," Xander said.

"Well, then, I will be happy to be your chaperone," Buffy said. Willow slowly backed out of the library.

"So," Buffy continued, "we should find Willow, and inform her of the change in plans."

At that point, Willow walked back into the library, making sure the doors made some noise this time. "Hey guys," she said, smiling wide. "What's going on?"

"Will, just the person we wanted to see," Xander said. "Is it cool if Buffy comes with us to the cultural dance? Giles just okayed her attendance."

"Of course!" Willow said, still smiling. "Buffy is always welcome."

"What's up, Will? What's got you so happy?"

"Oh, nothing," she said. "Just a good day, I guess. Hey, so it'll be the four of us."

"Four?" Xander asked.

"Yeah. You, me, Buffy and Ampata."

"Ampata?" Buffy asked. Her eyes widened, suddenly. "Ampata! My exchange student! The -- the bus station!"


Buffy, Xander and Willow walked up to the bus station.

"Forty minutes late," said Buffy. "Welcome to America!"

"What if he left already?" Willow asked as she tested the door to the bus station. It was locked.

"Ampata?" Buffy yelled. "Ampata Gutierrez?"

"So, do we have to speak Spanish when we see him?" asked Xander. "'Cause I don't know anything much besides Doritos and Chihuahua."


A young Hispanic man walked out of the shadows from between the buses.

"I am Ampata," he said.

"Hi," said Buffy, approaching him. "I'm Buffy. This is Xander and Willow, my best friends. Sorry we're late, we got held up."

"That is all right," Ampata said. "The bus was late as well."

"Do you have all your stuff?" Buffy asked.

"It is right over here, by the curb," Ampata pointed. Buffy and Xander went to help him gather his stuff, Xander and Ampata taking a suitcase each, and Buffy grabbing his duffel bag.

"My mom's car is right over here," Xander said, walking towards the parking lot. "Come on, Will," he said as he threw his free arm over her shoulder. "Don't wanna get left behind."

Willow smiled and let him lead her to the car, Buffy and Ampata following behind.

"They are a cute couple," Ampata said to Buffy.

"Oh, they're not together," she replied. "But I have high hopes."


"I worked really hard on my costume," Willow said as she and Xander walked to the front entrance of the school. "It's pretty cool."

"Okay, but what about me?" Xander asked. "I've gotta think."

"Well, it's a celebration of cultures. There are lots of dress-up alternatives."

"And a corresponding equal number of mocking alternatives. All aimed at me."

"Bavarians are cool," Willow suggested.

"Okay, no shirts with ruffles, no hats with feathers, and definitely no lederhosen. They make my calves look fat."

"Why are you suddenly so worried about looking like an idiot? That came out wrong."

Xander smiled warmly at her. "That's all right. Oh, there they are," he said, noticing Buffy and Ampata walking up to the school. Willow and Xander walked up to them.

"So, Ampata," Xander said. "Your first day of school. Nervous?"

Ampata looked around. "It is just... more people than I have seen in a long time," he said. "My town is much smaller than this."

"Ah, don't worry," Buffy said. "You will have no problems making friends."

"I hope you are right," Ampata replied.


Willow, Xander and Ampata sat on the bleachers by the football field, waiting for Buffy to finish checking in with Giles.

"And this," Xander said, reaching into his bag and pulling out a Twinkie, "is a snack food."

"Snack food?" Ampata asked.

"Yeah. It's a delicious, spongy, golden cake stuffed with a delightful creamy, white substance of goodness. And here's how you eat it."

"This is impressive," Willow said, smiling at Xander.

Xander stuffed the whole Twinkie in his mouth, causing Willow and Ampata to break out laughing.

"Mm-hm!" Xander mumbles.

"Oh, but now I cannot try it."

"That's why you always have extras!" Xander said with a full mouth, as he pulled out a Twinkie each for Willow and Ampata.

Ampata opened his mouth wide and stuffed most of the Twinkie in, not quite getting it all down. Willow took a normal sized bite. Ampata laughed.

"Good, huh? And the exciting part is that they have no ingredients that a human can pronounce. So it doesn't leave you with that heavy... food feeling in your stomach."

Both Willow and Ampata laughed at this.

"You are strange," Ampata said, with his mouth full.

"You know, *girls* always tell me that. Right before they run away."

"Willow, you do not run away?" Ampata asked.

Willow shook her head, smiling. "Nope. I'm used to him."

"Will couldn't get rid of me if she tried," Xander said, grinning at his best friend. "She's stuck with me for life." Xander winked at her, and she blushed a little, all the while grinning.

"Hey, guys. What's going on?" Buffy asked, joining them on the bleachers.

"Twinkies!" Ampata said.

Buffy frowned. "I missed Twinkies?"

"Buffy, how many of us are there here besides you?" Xander asked.

"Three," she responded.

"And Twinkies come in packs of..."


"So in two packs, there are..."


Xander smiled, producing the last Twinkie from his bag and handing it to Buffy. "And thus is there one left."

"You're too good to me," Buffy said, grinning.

"Don't I know it," he replied.


Buffy was sitting in her room, wearing a red Chinese dress and applying make up to her face. Ampata knocked at the door.

"It's open," Buffy said.

Ampata walked in, looking like an Incan warrior.

"Wow, very fierce looking," Buffy said.

Ampata smiled. "Thank you," he said. "You look nice as well. I am wondering, do you have a comb? I cannot find mine, and my hair is... not as it should be. Also, a blue pen."

"A blue pen?" Buffy asked, handing Ampata a comb from her desk.

"Yes. For traditional warrior tattoos. I wish to look authentic."

"Oh, right," Buffy said. "Yup, here you go."

"Thank you."

The doorbell rang.

"That's Xander and Willow. I'll get it," Buffy said. "You draw your tattoos."

Buffy ran downstairs and opened the door. Xander walked in dressed as Clint Eastwood from a spaghetti Western.

"I've come for the dance," he said.

"And, uh, what culture are you?" Buffy asked.

"I'm from the country of Leone," he explained. "It's in Italy, pretending to be Montana." He looks Buffy up and down. "China, huh?"

"It's what I had," she said. "Where's Willow?"

"She called me and said she needed a few extra minutes to get ready. I told her we'd drop by her place after I pick you guys up."

"Oh, okay then."

"Where's Ampata?"

"He's drawing traditional Incan warrior tattoos on himself with a blue pen."

"Sounds like fun."

Ampata appeared at the top of the stairs with a blue stain on his arm. "The pen does not work as well as I had hoped," he said, frowning.

Xander laughed. "Don't worry about it. Nobody in this school knows enough about other cultures to call you on it. You guys ready?"

"Yup!" Buffy said.

"I am ready, as well," Ampata said.

"Mom! We're leaving!" Buffy yelled.

"Bye, sweetie," Joyce said, walking into the foyer. "Have a great time. All of you."

"Sure thing, Mrs. S," Xander said.

"And drive carefully, Xander," she said.

Xander nodded and smiled. "It's my mom's car, so if it gets dinged, I get to sleep in the basement. I'll be careful."


"No, Xander, just go get her. Ampata and I will wait here in the car," Buffy said.

"Fine," he said. "I'll be back in a minute."

Xander walked up the lawn to his best friend's house and rang the doorbell, suddenly more nervous than he should have been. The door opened and revealed Willow wearing a huge coat, lined with fur, and holding a pike with a fake fish on it. Xander laughed.

"Will, that's a great outfit. You look adorable."

Willow blushed. "You think so?"

"Absolutely, it's perfect," he said, grinning.

"Thanks," she replied.

He held out his arm. "C'n I escort you to yer carriage, ma'am?" he asked in a gruff voice.

"Thank you, yes," she replied, daintily. Together, they walked to the car where Xander saw Buffy had moved to the backseat with Ampata.

"Say, Will, it's your lucky day. You get to ride shotgun. Fun, yeah?"

"I'm not gonna argue."

Xander smiled as he opened the passenger side door for her. Willow, her movements hampered by the bulk of her coat, flopped down in the seat. "Oof!" she said as Xander leaned down to help her swing her feet into the car.

"There you go," he said. "Let's get this party goin', huh?"

Xander jumped back in the front seat of the car, started the engine and headed off to the Bronze.


The four youths stood at the door to the Bronze, surveying the scene in front of them.

"Wow. It's as if a bunch of high school kids dressed up in Americanized versions of other cultures' clothing," Buffy said.

"Great observation, Buff. It's like you knew what was going on ahead of time."

"I think it is a nice attempt," Ampata said. "Your costume is especially authentic, Willow."

Xander shot Ampata a quick glare, unnoticed by him, but noticed by Buffy, who smiled. Xander realized he didn't want other males looking at his Willow.

"Oh! Near faux pas!" Cordelia said, passing the group and looking at Willow's outfit. "I almost wore the same thing!"

The Cordettes who constantly surrounded her laughed like good little sheep. Xander got mad, and protective.

"It's a good thing you chose that outfit from Skank-O-Rama instead, Cor," Xander said. "Besides, they don't make this coat big enough to fit your hips."

Cordelia glared at him and stalked off, bested. Her flock quickly followed her path through the crowd.

"Thank you, Xander," Willow said. "But you don't have to do that."

"Sure I do," he said, looking down into her eyes, and cupping her face in his palm. "Nobody talks to my Willow like that."

She blushed.

"Besides," he said, looking back over the dance floor, "it's fun."

"Should we grab a table?" Buffy asked.

"Seems the thing to do," said Xander. "Hey, who wants something to drink?"

After gathering orders, Xander grabbed Buffy's arm and said "Why don't you come help me carry them?"

"Um I don't really... Okay," she said as Xander dragged her towards the bar.

Having placed the order for the group, Xander turned to Buffy.

"Okay. It's official, sports fans. The Xan-man definitely has a thing for his bestest bud."

"Yeah? How'd you figure it out?"

"When we picked her up, and I saw her in the very non-flattering, yet utterly cute Eskimo outfit, the only thing I could think was how snug she looked... and then how great it would be to have her feel snug with me... and to be holding her. Oh, and the other day, on the bleachers, I joked about her being stuck with me forever. Didn't sound so bad in my head. Then when Ampata complimented her, I felt a wave of jealousy pass over me. And then Cordy... "

Buffy laughed. "You got it bad, boy."

Xander slammed his head on the bar. "I love her, Buffy. What am I gonna do?"

"Well, gee, Xander, I don't know. You're here at a dance with the girl that you like. What could there possibly be to do?"

Xander looked up from the bar. "You're gonna have to spell it out, Buff. Xander brain no work."

"Ask her to dance, doofus. A slow dance. And while you're dancing tell her how you feel. Only be smoother than you were with me, because bumbling over words? Not so attractive."

"Thanks, Buff, that was a real confidence builder," he said picking up the drinks the bartender had just set down in front of him. "Okay. Let's go. I don't trust that Ampata kid."

Buffy laughed and followed Xander to the table.

"Here you go," Xander said, passing the drinks around. "So, what did you kids talk about while we were gone?"

"Ampata was just telling me about his girlfriend back home," Willow said.

"Girlfriend. Really? That's great," Xander said, smiling and suddenly more comfortable with Ampata.

"Yes," Ampata said. "I am very lucky. She... makes my head go all tingly."

Xander smiled at him and muttered, "Yeah, I know what that's like."

"What was that Xander?" Willow asked.

"Hmm? Oh, nothing. Just talking to myself," he said, grinning at his friend. "The voices in my head are acting up again."

Willow rolled her eyes and Ampata looked concerned. "You have... voices in your head?"

Xander shook his head and chuckled. "No, I was just joking. I sometimes talk to myself is all."

"Oh. Because I once knew a man who had voices in his head, and one day he went crazy and tried to kill many of the people in my town."

The three Scoobies sat stunned.

"Well," Buffy said, "Xander wouldn't do that. And if he tried, I'd kick his ass."

"Damn straight you would," Xander laughed.

The band finished up its song and the crowd applauded.

"Okay folks," the lead singer of the band announced, "we're gonna take a short break here. Your music will now be of the recorded variety, and doubtless sound much better. Have fun."

The opening strands of a song played out over the sound system, and lots of couples got up to dance. Buffy kicked Xander under the table.

"Yooowwww!" he yelled.

Buffy glared at him pointedly, with a quick glance over at Willow.

"Ah," he said. "Um... Willow. Want to dance?"

She looked up at him, surprised. She saw the sincere smile and hope evident on his face and her heart fluttered. "A slow dance?" she asked. "But, well, we've never..."

"Maybe it's time that we did," he said.

He took her hand and led her out to the dance floor as the words to the song started up.

Lying here with you, Listening to the rain, Smiling just to see, The smile upon your face, These are the moments, I thank God that I'm alive, These are the moments, I'll remember all my life, I found all I've waited for, And I could not ask for more.

"What's up, Xander?" Willow asked, as he pushed the hood of her coat down and then rested his hands at her waist.

"Hmm?" he asked as she put her arms around his neck. "Oh, just thinking about something."

"Well, do you wanna let your best friend in on the secret?"

Xander smiled at her. "Willow, you know I love you, right?"

She grinned. "Of course I do, Xander. I love you, too."

Looking in your eyes, Seeing all I need, Everything you are, Is everything to me, These are the moments, I know heaven must exist, These are the moments, I know all I need is this, I have all I've waited for, And I could not ask for more.

"And I would never want anything to come between us. Our friendship is too important to me to let that happen."

"The same thing goes for me. You're the most special person in my life, Xan."

Xander breathed deeply. "I have something to tell you, I'm just not sure how you'll take it. But I have to tell you."

I could not ask for more than this time together, I could not ask for more than this time with you, Every prayer has been answered, Every dream I have's come true, And right here in this moment, Is right where I meant to be, Here with you, Here with me. . .

"You can tell me anything, Xan, you know that."

"I know. It's just that... these past few weeks, I've been having some... feelings, that I'm not accustomed to. For someone I'm not accustomed to, I should say."

These are the moments, I thank God that I'm alive, These are the moments, I'll remember all my life, I've got all I've waited for, And I could not ask for more. . .

"And I'm kind of afraid to tell her, because I don't know if she feels the same way, and I'm scared to death that she doesn't. But I know I need to tell her. What should I do?"

"Well, I would say tell her," Willow said. "Otherwise, how will you ever know?"

"Yeah, you're right. Now I just have to work up the nerve."

I could not ask for more than this time together, I could not ask for more than this time with you, Every prayer has been answered, Every dream I have's come true, And right here in this moment, Is right where I meant to be, Here with you, Here with me. . .

"Willow?" he said, as he lifted his hand to her face and tucked a few strands of hair behind her ear.

She gazed up into his brown eyes. "Yeah?"

Xander looked down at her, seeing her bright green eyes gazing up at him, and knew instantly that he had to tell her, no matter what.

"I love you."

"I know, Xan. You already said that. I love you, too."

"Yeah, but... that's not what I mean. I mean... I love you. I can't keep you out of my head. When I picked you up tonight, the only thing I could think of was how wonderful it would feel to hold you in my arms, and protect you from everything bad that life throws at us. And right now, dancing with you, looking at this beautiful, radiant young woman who I grew up with and was too stupid to notice... I so want to kiss you right now. Very simply, Willow Rosenberg, I love you, and everything that you are."

I could not ask for more than the love you gave me, 'Coz it's all I've waited for . . . And I could not ask for more, I could not ask for more.

Willow stared into his eyes and her heart melted at the love and sincerity she saw. She reached up, pulled his head down to hers and kissed him forcefully and passionately as last notes of the song wound down. She rested her head against his chest, and he held her to him, tightly.

"It's about damn time."

Xander laughed, and held her tighter as they continued to hold each other and dance, oblivious to the people and music around them.