No announcement yet.

Challenge #4 -- Community Service, the Scooby Way

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Challenge #4 -- Community Service, the Scooby Way

    Title: Challenge #4 ? Community Service, the Scooby Way
    Rating: PG
    Spoilers: none
    Setting: Summer before Season 5

    "Harris, what the hell is going on at that house?"

    Xander winced when his foreman came up to him beside the cement mixer. He suddenly found himself wishing he had the keys to thing so he could turn it on and pretend not to hear him.

    "Harris, answer me!"

    No way to escape, Xander turned around with as innocent a face as he could manage. "How can I task for you, taskmaster?"

    Now he saw the foreman wince, and remembered that nervous joking had never really gotten him far with angry management.

    "Son, I put you in charge of our community service project because you seemed to have a way with people. But now I've seen it all. You want to tell me what the hell happened out there?"

    "Gulp", Xander gulped. He hadn't been at his best out at the development site, and he hadn't been all that good with people. In fact, the only help he'd managed to get was his friends. Buffy, Willow, Tara, Giles, Dawn, Anya, and Riley had chipped in, and he hadn't realized quite how much the Scooby Gang sucked at everything that didn't kill demons until that weekend.

    It had started so promising ? Xander had all his friends a couple of other guys from the site gathered up at the work site for the Habitat for Humanity house they were building. Nine in the morning on Saturday, full trays of coffee and donuts, and everyone there wearing the t-shirts Anya had helped design for the project.

    That's around when Anya asked why she didn't get to use the hammer, and it all had gone down hill pretty fast.

    "Anya, you think you should be handling a blunt instrument about people? Or, uh, wood?" Willow had shot at her sarcastically.

    "I'll have you know that Xander has worked with me many times on ?putting the wood to it' ?"Anya started. Xander turned red just thinking about the looks that had gotten. Giles had cleaned his glasses, of course, which was exactly the wrong thing to do since he promptly got knocked out by one of Xander's crew walking past with a four-by-four.

    "Now look what you did!" Willow accused Anya, as though she'd been carrying the wood.

    Xander hadn't wanted to get mixed up in it yet again between them. It was bad enough he'd been having dreams about Willow and Tara, he didn't want to risk fantasies that started with Will and Anya fighting. Especially since they'd all be getting sweaty today anyway.

    "Giles, don't move," Riley had said, going over to help the Watcher come around. Of course, he had to look cool and competent doing it, because that's what Riley does. Buffy had come over to him with a bag of ice from the drink cooler. "There you go, big guy," Riley encouraged Giles, who was starting to sit up and took the ice bag.

    Riley had stood up smiling at Buffy, but she'd already turned away from him to concentrate on the table saw they'd brought out to the site.

    "Dawn? Where can I start?" Dawn had snuck up on Xander, smiling brightly. She looked? oddly inappropriate, actually, and was staring at him eagerly.

    "Uh, Dawnie, do you think spaghetti straps on a tank top say "construction site" or "Alternative Prom Night? Where's your Team Xander t-shirt?"

    "Ugh, it's all orange. Definitely not for me. Buffy looks good in it, it covers her blotchy skin. Besides, it's too hot for sleeves."

    Yeah, that hadn't been awkward at all, Xander grimaced. "Anya?" He'd called out, half to get a lead block away from Dawn, half to keep her and Willow from actually rolling around on the foundation slab of the house and pulling each other's hair. "Dawn, how about you help Anya get the refreshment table set up? I'm sure you too can have fun making catty comments about your sister together." He smiled gamely, taking Anya by the hand as she walked up, visibly pouting from being summoned.

    "Xander, you specifically told me that was part of your job! You said I was a grateful client and took off your tanktop-"

    "By all that is merciful, please stop," Xander pleaded, unable to look Dawn in the eye where he could see her grinning beside him. Then, to Anya, he whispered "you're not just a grateful client, you're the best client, but I don't share, uh, every part of my job with the others. How about you and Dawn work on the refreshment stand, okay?"

    He hadn't waited for an answer before walking away from her, before Anya said more about his sex life in front of Dawn. Giles was back on his feet, so Xander had gone over to check on him.

    "Xander, I'd appreciate if you could show just a bit of decorum with Anya in public. Now, before we do anything else, there is something I've vital importance I have to tell you. It's about this part of town. If I'm correct, this area is actually home to a very dangerous clan of demonic-"

    Xander jumped back as Giles went down again. He looked down and found a piece of two-by-four on the ground and a red mark on Giles forehead. He was out cold.

    "What the hell?" He shouted as Riley came running back over to them. Xander looked around and saw Buffy, standing by the table saw.

    "Oops," she said, with an embarrassed smile. She was holding the rest of the lumber as the saw spun to a stop. Apparently, Slayer strength had sent a piece of wood flying when she put it on the saw.

    And that was probably the most work they had gotten done that day.

    "Uh, well, it's complicated," Xander said, coming back from his thoughts to answer his boss, "managing a group of volunteers can be, um, complex and the, uh, complexities of volunteers often aren't manageable?"

    "Shut up, man," the contractor interrupted. Xander was sure this was the part where he'd get fired.

    Then his boss started grinning. Xander actually frowned in confusion.

    "I don't know how you did it in a single weekend, but the house looks great, it's ready for the painters. Gonna have a big sign with our name and the Habitat for Humanity logo in the yard. Should be great for business! Great job, Harris!" His boss gave him a high five, which stung Xander's hand and left him standing there, holding his hand up in completely bewilderment.

    During his lunch break, Xander's boss drove him over there to help him put their sign in and congratulate him again. Xander looked at the place in amazement. When he'd left on Saturday, Giles had been knocked in the head three times, Anya had made at least seven inappropriate sexual comments, Riley had been too busy trying to get Buffy's attention to do much work, and Buffy had been busy studying all the construction equipment for its potential as a weapon.

    The only one that had noticed nothing had gotten done had been?

    "? I still don't know how you pulled this off, Harris."

    Xander looked back across the street before answering. He saw Tara smiling shyly from under a tree by the nearby bus stop. He waved at her, drawing a smile.

    "Must have been magic, sir," Xander said, "What else could it have been?"
    Banner by LRae12