Alternate Universe: Unexpected
Story Title: Hokey-Pokey
Chapter Title:

What if the Hokey-Pokey Is All It Really Is About?

Time line:

December, 2004



Joshua "JJ" Harris was born on April 21st, 2004

The twins (Danielle, "Dani" and William, "Billy") were born on February 12th, 2004

Annie turned five on February 14th (she was born in 1999)

Spike and Buffy have been married five years in February. (seems longer, doesn't it?)

Buffy turned 23 on January 19th.


All the Potentials were endowed with full Slayer power in February 2003.

Buffy and Spike learned of the other dimensions in May, 2003.


William/Spike was turned by Dru in 1880; first came to Sunnydale in Sept. of 1997.



Christmas day, continued ...


Notes: Thanks to my "ET" and wonderful Beta, PaganBaby, for her wonderful suggestions, corrections and encouragement! She's the best!


Music Referenced:

“White Christmas", Bing Crosby

"FreeBird", Tony Head (originally by Lynyrd Skynyrd)

"Under Your Spell", Amber Benson

"Masochism Tango", Tom Lehrer

"Grow Old Along With Me", Mary Chapin Carpenter

"I Got You Babe", Sonny and Cher

"The Hokey-Pokey"

"What if the Hokey-Pokey Is All It Really Is About?", Jimmy Buffet


ScreenCaps courtesy of ScreenCap Paradise:


Rating / Warnings:

This chapter is basically "G" rated - family friendly!


Saturday, December 25th, 2004 (Christmas Day):


Late morning:


Giles, Faith, Wesley, Anya, Xander, and JJ, and Clem arrived bearing food for the big Christmas feast at the mansion. It had become a tradition for all of Spike and Buffy’s friends to gather here on holidays.  They had the most room – plenty of space for the kids and adults to mix and mingle or just relax.  Plus, they had the only dining room that would accommodate their growing circle of friends and the double oven in the kitchen helped to get everything cooked for the hungry mob.  They didn’t often use the large, formal dining room – Spike, Buffy and the kids usually just ate in the kitchen, but it was put into use on special occasions, and Christmas day certainly qualified.


Everyone brought a covered dish (or two or three) … usually their ‘specialty’, depending on the occasion. For Christmas, Anya and Xander brought pies… one of each: apple, pumpkin, cherry, and pecan; Giles usually brought the rolls, but Buffy had asked if, as a surprise for Spike this year, he could make a traditional English Christmas pudding … so he ordered one and had it shipped over from England (since that wasn’t something you can just whip up like tapioca). He also got enough Christmas crackers for everyone and brought a bottle of brandy to use to light the Christmas pudding ablaze…there may be enough left for him to have a sip or two after dinner…


Faith lucked out and got to bring the rolls in Giles’ stead, Wesley brought three bottles of wine and a bottle of Peppermint Schnapps and Clem brought appetizers, also known as chips and dip, they were his specialty.


Buffy, Willow, and Tara cooked a turkey and stuffing and warmed a honey-baked, spiral cut ham, along with candied yams, mashed potatoes, gravy, peas, and green beans. Lorne got the table set and was in charge of cleanup, Spike was in charge of keeping the kids out of everyone’s hair.


For Christmas, Buffy and Spike had given Faith and Wesley gift cards to Bed, Bath, and Beyond to help them furnish their new apartments; they gave JJ some toys and books (which they had sent home with Xander and Anya so he could open them this morning); they gave Xander and Anya a certificate for a ‘romantic long weekend at Big Sur,’ including a cabin at the same place Spike and Buffy loved, meals at the best restaurant, and free babysitting for JJ for whatever weekend they wanted to go and they gave Tara and Willow the same – sans the babysitting.


Buffy was always at a loss when it came to Giles. He got the usual – ties and a bottle of scotch from her, but Spike had a different idea …


“Santa left this ‘ere for ya, Watcher,” Spike explained as he handed Giles a small, brightly wrapped box.


Giles furrowed his brow as he took it from Spike.  He’d already gotten his normal gift from Buffy … what in the world could this be?  Buffy stood in the doorway of the kitchen, leaning on the jamb, as Giles sat down on the couch and opened Spike’s gift.  She wasn’t too sure about it herself…but Spike wanted to do it, so, of course, he did.


Giles pulled the paper off carefully as Spike stood over him and watched.


“An iPod?” Giles asked with confusion as he pulled the box out. “Uhhh…thank you …but…” Giles started to object – he wasn’t really an iPod type person … he was a vinyl person. 


“Come into the twenty-first century, Rupert,” Spike insisted, sitting down next to him and pulling the silver music player out of the box, attaching the earphones and sticking them in Giles’ ears before cueing up The Who’s  ‘Who’s Next’ album for him.  Spike had charged it and pre-loaded the iPod with every classic ‘60s album he could think of.


Giles frowned when Spike stuck the earphones in his ears …this wasn’t how music was supposed to be heard – it was sacrilege!


“Spike …” Giles started to object and he began pulling the earphones out of his ears when the music started. It was clear and crisp – almost like Roger Daltry was standing right there singing. The guitar licks were sharp – you could hear every note that Pete Townsend played. Still – where was the album? Where was the cardboard you could hold in your hands? The liner notes? The pictures?


“I know it ain’t the same, Rupe,” Spike told him, as if reading his mind, “But you’ve got all the music at your fingertips … hundreds of bloody albums right ‘ere,” Spike informed him, holding the small player up and waving it in front of his face. “It’s bloody amazin’.”


“I don’t know,” Giles droned … he still wasn’t completely convinced. “How do you get the music beamed into that thing?”


“I’ll show ya’. If I can do it, you can bloody well do it. Hell, Annie can do it for ya if you feed ‘er chocolate,” Spike assured Giles … but Giles had stopped listening to Spike – he’d closed his eyes and began singing softly along with The Who … “ No one knows what it’s like to be the bad man, to be the sad man, behind blue eyes…”


Spike smirked and pressed the player into Giles’ palm … he knew he’d like it if he’d just give it a bloody chance.  Giles took one of the ear buds out and soon Spike was showing him how to work the iPod … how to choose an album, a song, an artist, a playlist, adjust the volume, etc. 


Spike looked up at Buffy and smiled triumphantly. Buffy smiled and shook her head before turning and going back into the kitchen, she would’ve never believed it in a million years – Giles moving away from tradition.  Next thing you know he’d stop wearing ties and drinking scotch, then what was she gonna get him for Christmas?




Anya and Xander came into the great room a little while later after putting their offerings in the kitchen to find Spike sitting on the floor entertaining JJ, Dani, and Billy.  The ‘cousins’ were all intently watching as he turned the handle on a jack-in-the-box. The toy played “Pop Goes the Weasel” on the tinny music box as he cranked it. 


Spike stopped when they came in and waited for Anya and Xander to sit down on the couch near him and the babies before starting again.


“Got this for the Whelp,” Spike told them. “He really likes it. Here – give it a go,” he said to Anya as he stood up and let her slide down off the couch and sit in his spot on the floor.


“Did you know ‘jack-in-the-box’ in French is called ‘diable en boîte’ … ‘boxed devil’?” Anya pointed out as she sat down. “That’s weird … I never understood where they got that…”


“It’s ‘cause Sir John Schorne cast the devil into a boot to protect the village of North Marston in Buckinghamshire in the 1300s  - that’s where jack-in-the-box started… you weren’t there?” Spike asked her with a smirk. She always seemed to have been at every other historical event over the last thousand years.


“Huh…” Anya thought a minute. “Nope – I was in Scotland … they beat you Brits and kept their independence … they kicked ass with their longbows.  I turned one of those archers into a bull’s-eye as I recall … he was poking his ‘longbow’ in places it shouldn’t be…those were fun times,” Anya reminisced with a sigh.


“Babies love jack-in-the-boxes,” Xander said enthusiastically, trying to change the subject – he hated it when Anya started talking about her vengeance days and all the wars she’d been to – she collected wars like normal people collected concert t-shirts.


Spike smirked as he watched Anya start to turn the crank.  Spike added the lyrics to the music box music as she turned the handle …


All around the mulberry bush

The monkey chased the weasel;

The monkey thought 'twas all in fun,

Pop! goes the weasel.”


When the ‘Jack’ popped up out of the box, all three babies laughed and reached for it … but Anya shrieked in terror and jumped back, crawling backwards on the floor away from the hideous creature.  The “Jack” in this box was a cute bunny rabbit.


“Xander! Get JJ away!” she screamed at her husband as if the devil had actually just jumped out of the box.


“Are you crazy!?? I can’t believe you!” she screamed at Spike, standing up as Xander picked JJ up and handed him to her. She held JJ close to her chest, turning her back and putting herself between him and the devil in the box.


“He’s lost his soul again! Check him for a soul!” Anya demanded, pointing an accusing finger at Spike.


Spike laughed. “What? He likes it…they all do,” Spike pointed out, motioning to Dani and Billy who were laughing and waving their arms up and down, urging the bunny to do it again.


“Geez, Spike …” Xander moaned and rolled his eyes as Anya huffed and stomped out of the room with their son.


“What?” Spike asked innocently as he moved back over to where the twins were waiting for someone to make the rabbit pop again.


“Ok – what do I have to do to get you to stop? Anya didn’t know Annie was listening … can’t you give her a break?” Xander asked, stepping in front of Spike to stop him from sitting back down. “C’mon, man – you’re killin’ me here.”


Spike pursed his lips together and rolled his eyes to the ceiling in thought. Xander was already doing all the maintenance on all the cars and the Harley… hmmmmm.


“Buffy wants a redo on the upstairs bath … get rid of that lime green, pink, and black tile; says its ‘pukey’. How ‘bout for ‘er birthday, I buy new tile and you take that old bit out and pop in the new…” Spike suggested.


“And you’ll quit with the bunnies?” Xander asked suspiciously, still not trusting Spike to stop.


“Yeah – no more bunnies,” Spike agreed.


“No rabbits, no Peter Cottontail, no Bugs Bunny, no Roger Rabbit… absolutely no pictures, discussion, toys, books, songs, games … videos – nothing,” Xander clarified. “Starting now.”


Spike rolled his eyes and stuck out his right hand. “Deal.”


Xander shook Spike’s hand – he’d rather spend a few of his weekends redoing their bathroom than the rest of his life listening to Anya complain about Spike and his evil bunny fetish.


“Can you please put that up now?” Xander asked, motioning his head towards the rabbit-in-the-box.


“It’s JJ’s… he likes it,” Spike reminded Xander.


“JJ said to donate it to some toy starved child in another country – far away from here,” Xander told him as he turned to go find his wife and settle her down.  Xander turned back before entering the kitchen to see if Spike was getting rid of the toy. “‘Starting now’ means starting now …” Xander reminded him, waving his hand at the box that was still sitting on the floor.


“No worries,” Spike assured Xander as he picked it up and pushed the bunny back down in the box and closed the lid. “See? All gone!”


“Spike! ‘Pukey tiles’ … remember? Do you know how to lay tile?” Xander asked him.


Spike sighed and took the toy and put it up on one of the bookshelves and pulled some books in front of it.  He’d gotten his point across to Anya anyway – he would’ve probably stopped with the rabbit talk soon regardless…now he got new bathroom tile for Buffy’s birthday out of the deal. Wasn’t that what Christmas was all about, after all? He’d made Xander happy, Anya would be happy, Buffy would be happy – even Willow and Tara would be happy with a remodeled bathroom … brilliant!




Xander got Anya calmed down and told her that Spike wouldn’t bring up the ‘B’ word or the ‘R’ word anymore.


“How did you manage that? Did you tell him you weren’t gonna stand for him terrorizing your family anymore? Did you threaten him? Oh! Did you rough him up with your big, rippling construction muscles?” Anya asked him, running her hand down one of Xander’s arms.


“Uhhh…sort of,” Xander hedged.


“Oh, Xander! You defended us from that evil lunatic vampire … God, that’s so sexy! I want to take you home right now and give you lots of orgas…uhhhh,” Anya stopped and looked around the kitchen – everyone was looking at her, including Annie who was helping Buffy mix the stuffing for the turkey.


“What I mean is…later, we should go home and play hot, sweaty Scrabble…all night long,” Anya amended.


“Hot, sweaty Scrabble?” Buffy asked with a smirk, looking from Anya to Xander.


“Yeah – Scrabble’s very… very hot and sweaty when played right,” Anya defended.


“Who knew? We’ve been doing it wrong all this time,” Buffy laughed and rolled her eyes. Wait until Annie asked Spike how to play hot, sweaty Scrabble.




The meal, made up of everyone’s contributions, was perfectly wonderful.  The Christmas Pudding was a huge success … everyone applauded when Spike set it on fire … Annie was enthralled with it! It was the neatest edible thing she’d ever seen … if it had only been chocolate, that would’ve sealed it as her favorite thing ever.


“Why do you put that holly on there and then set it on fire?” Buffy asked later. “I mean, who wants to eat the part with the holly ashes on it?”


“It’s tradition, luv,” Spike assured her.


“It’s a dumb tradition – who made that tradition up? The Devonshire Holly Growers Cooperative?”


“Actually,” Anya started and Spike rolled his eyes … Here we go again


“The holly on the top of the pudding is a reminder of Jesus' Crown of Thorns that he wore when he was crucified,” Anya continued.


“I suppose you attended that function, did you? Along with the last supper and the parting of the Red Sea? Front row seats, was it?” Spike suggested with a smirk.


Anya rolled her eyes. “I’m not that old! Xander, do I look that old?” she asked, turning to her husband.


“No, snookums, definitely not,” Xander assured her.


“If my memory serves from vacation Bible school, Jesus wasn’t burned … plus – not crucified on Christmas. So, again – dumb tradition,” Buffy insisted.


“Well, in fact, Christmas pudding does have some traditions relating to Easter,” Giles reluctantly came to Anya’s aid. “In addition, during the Middle Ages, holly was thought to bring good luck and to have healing powers. It was often planted near houses in the belief that it protected the inhabitants, so, perhaps you’d rather go with that theory…” he suggested as he began serving the pudding.


Buffy snorted softly but didn’t say anything else … why wouldn’t you put the holly on it after setting it on fire? English customs were so…oddly English.  But, the fire bit was neat, Spike seemed to have enjoyed it, and she didn’t have to make it so that was all that mattered.


About halfway through the traditional dessert Tara hit something hard in her pudding with her spoon. “What the heck is this?” she asked, picking something out of her plate.


“It’s a silver six-pence, pet,” Spike offered.


“And it’s in my pudding because…?” Tara asked, cleaning the coin off.


“It’s probably a tradition,” Buffy posited, rolling her eyes.


“Indeed. It is tradition,” Giles explained. “The coin brings luck to the person that gets it.”


“There was money in the pudding?” Anya asked, suddenly looking closely in her plate for any sign of a coin. “No one told me there’d be money in the pudding…”


Suddenly, everyone started looking in their plates for silver coins…well, everyone except Spike and Giles. “There’s only one, you nits! Ya can’t all have good luck … Glinda got it – you all lose.”


Everyone else sighed and went back to eating the brandy soaked pudding.  Buffy definitely thought that the brandy was the whole reason Christmas pudding was so popular – well that and the lighting on fire thing, that was pretty cool, too.  Too bad there wasn’t chocolate involved … that would’ve made it perfect. She wondered if it would be breaking tradition if she drizzled some Hershey’s syrup over it…




“Welcome to the First Annual Crawford Street Christmas Review!” Lorne announced later that afternoon from the small stage that had been set up in the open area of the great room between the research area and the garden doors and everyone in the audience clapped and whistled. 


Lorne had had a hard time convincing everyone to start a new Christmas tradition … a private talent show performed by and for Spike and Buffy’s extended family, but finally everyone had agreed, some more reluctantly than others.  Giles and Spike were easy to get onboard – after all, they’d performed onstage at the Bronze before, this would be nothing for them.  Even Buffy wasn’t too hard to convince, especially when Lorne pointed out how much Annie would enjoy it.  Faith and Wesley were the hardest, insisting that they didn’t really have any talents – well, Faith actually said her best talents weren’t “G” rated, but in the end, everyone had bought into the idea.


Lorne had the low stage set up and a portable karaoke system brought in for background music for those who wanted to sing – but any talent was welcome.  This was the kind of thing he loved … performing and showing others the joy of it – especially the children.  JJ, Dani, and Billy were too young to really get much out of it yet, but Annie would.  If he had a family, it's what he would do for them and he loved his adopted family just as much as if they’d been his own.  This was why he left his home dimension, his actual family, and everything he knew behind him and made a new life here, where singing was not only tolerated, but encouraged and enjoyed.


Lorne kicked the show off with one of his favorite Christmas songs… White Christmas.



Everyone applauded enthusiastically as Lorne finished.  He took a deep bow before handing the stage over to Giles, who had volunteered to go next.


Giles brought his guitar with him as he took the stage and sat down on a stool there.


“Some of you may know this song … for those of you who don’t know it, come back with me to the twentieth century…”


Giles began playing his guitar softly, but shortened the intro of the song (as he did the instrumentals in the middle to bring a nine minute song down to something that wouldn’t challenge the attention span of his overstuffed, and perhaps slightly tipsy, audience) before starting to sing “Freebird”…




Annie sat on the floor in front of the stage captivated by Uncle Giles – who had transformed into a rock star of sorts right in front of her.  She looked around the room, no one else seemed surprised by it – but she’d never seen it before. When and where had he learned to do that?  It wasn’t the lyrics that held her captivated; it was his voice, melding with the notes coming from his guitar, that mesmerized her … it was almost magical.


Lorne watched Annie as she watched Giles and he knew immediately that he’d done the right thing by badgering everyone into this. Annie was enthralled by the music; music coming not from an iPod or a radio or the TV, but from the instrument itself. Even the babies were quiet and listening intently as Giles played and sang. The line from “The Mourning Bride”: Music has charms to soothe the savage breast, to soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak, came to Lorne’s mind.  It was true – music seemed to have an otherworldly power – as if it were sent down from the gods. He was sure this tradition would be something Annie, and later JJ, Dani, and Billy, would carry in their hearts their whole lives.


Everyone clapped enthusiastically as Giles played the last note. He stood up and took an exaggerated bow before relinquishing the stage to Tara.  Tara really wanted to get this over with so she could enjoy the rest of the show, but she didn’t want to go first, so she’d asked to go second. She was in the choir at her church back home when she was a kid, but had never had the confidence to sing anything solo before, so she was really nervous. 


Everyone applauded as she hesitantly took the stage. Spike caught her eye and gave her a confident nod, “You can do it,” he mouthed to her and Tara smiled and nodded back at him – she could do it.  She picked out a song to sing especially for Willow, she focused on her wife, her soul mate, as she sang, letting her heart come through and fill the whole room with warmth and love.


"I'm Under Your Spell" , Amber Benson


I lived my life in shadow
Never the sun on my face.
It didn't seem so sad, though
I figured that was my place

Now I'm bathed in light
Something just isn't right.
I'm under your spell
How else could it be
Anyone would notice me?
It's magic, I can tell
How you set me free
Brought me out so easily.

I saw a world enchanted
Spirits and charms in the air.
I always took for granted
I was the only one there.

But your power shone
Brighter than any I've known.

I'm under your spell
Nothing I can do
You just took my soul with you
You worked your charms so well
Finally, I knew
Everything I dreamed was true
You made me believe.

The moon to the tide
I can feel you inside

I'm under your spell
Surging like the sea
Pulled to you so helplessly
I break with every swell
Lost in ecstasy
Spread beneath my willow tree
You make me complete!
You make me com-plete
You make me com-plete

As Tara finished, Willow stood up and joined her on stage, wrapping her arms around her dropping a soft kiss on Tara’s lips. 


“That was amazing…” Willow whispered to her as everyone else applauded.


Tara gave everyone a crooked smile and curtsied before she and Willow stepped down off the stage; Tara felt on top of the world! She did it!  She actually did it!


Clem was next up…. he had a magic act.


“Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls … prepare to be amazed!” Clem announced dramatically.


“Nothing up my sleeves …” Clem pointed out, showing his bare arms to the audience.


“Pffft…nothing up his sleeves my sodding ass,” Spike snorted quietly to Buffy. “He could hide a fifty-seven Chevy in the bloody folds of his skin!” he continued in a whisper.


Buffy laughed as they watched Clem pull a big, fluffy red ball out from behind Dani’s ear and hand to her as she laughed; he pulled a quarter out of Anya’s ear, which Anya grabbed immediately and pocketed, then he turned a red scarf into a bouquet of flowers for Buffy.  He had planned on pulling a (fake) rabbit out of a hat as the finale, but Spike stopped him – he didn’t want to be accused of instigating it and lose his tile man, so instead, Clem pulled Elmo out of the hat and Annie shrieked in amazement as he handed it back to her – it had been right next to her on the floor a minute ago – Clem could do magic!


“Ta-da!” Clem announced at the end and everyone applauded him.  Clem smiled and took his seat near Spike and Buffy. Spike gave him a fist bump – the Elmo thing was brilliant … even though just about everyone except Annie had seen him when he picked it up with one hand as he was pulling the ball out of Dani’s ear with the other. But, he didn’t have the advantage of scantily clad assistants to draw the audience’s attention away from him for tricks like that…


Clem was glad that he’d met Spike at the kitten poker games at Willy’s and they’d become friends over the years.  It wasn’t easy for him to make a lot of friends – most demons were just a bit too demony for him … and most humans were afraid of him.  Spike and Buffy had welcomed him into their family without reservation; it really made Clem feel less like an outcast and more like a regular guy – a regular guy with lots of skin, floppy ears, red eyes, and less than ideal dental insurance.


Faith was up next – since she couldn’t display her best talents with the “G” rating this show required, she settled for one further down the line … drinking shots while standing on her head.  Faith got her balance, standing on her head as her lovely assistant, Wesley, handed her shot after shot of Peppermint Schnapps, which she downed in quick succession as everyone cheered her on.  After her twelfth shot, Faith rolled down gracefully from her headstand and sprang up to her feet, throwing her hands in the air and everyone applauded and laughed. 


“Only Faith,” Buffy whispered to Spike as Faith took a deep bow and then did a pirouette before leaving the stage.



“Bet her blood tastes like hundred-proof candy canes…” Spike mused and Buffy elbowed him in the ribs.


“You’ll never know,” she informed him with a sideways glare.


Spike laughed – Buffy was so cute when she was jealous.


Anya and Xander were up next … they were showing off what they’d learned in their dance classes with a sexy tango.  But, of course, Xander had to add some levity to it by dancing to the ‘Masochism Tango’ …


"Masochism Tango", Tom Lehrer









I ache for the touch of your lips, dear,
But much more for the touch of your whips, dear.
You can raise welts
Like nobody else,
As we dance to the Masochism Tango.

Let our love be a flame, not an ember,
Say it's me that you want to dismember.
Blacken my eye,
Set fire to my tie,
As we dance to the Masochism Tango.

At your command
Before you here I stand,
My heart is in my hand. Ecch!
It's here that I must be.
My heart entreats,
Just hear those savage beats,
And go put on your cleats
And come and trample me.

Your heart is hard as stone or mahogany,
That's why I'm in such exquisite agony.
My soul is on fire,
It's aflame with desire,
Which is why I perspire
When we tango.

You caught my nose
In your left castanet, love,
I can feel the pain yet, love,
Ev'ry time I hear drums.

And I envy the rose
That you held in your teeth, love,
With the thorns underneath, love,
Sticking into your gums.

Your eyes cast a spell that bewitches.
The last time I needed twenty stitches
To sew up the gash
You made with your lash,
As we danced to the Masochism Tango.

Bash in my brain,
And make me scream with pain,
Then kick me once again,
And say we'll never part.

I know too well
I'm underneath your spell,
So, darling, if you smell
Something burning, it's my heart.
Excuse me!

Take your cigarette from its holder,
And burn your initials in my shoulder.
Fracture my spine,
And swear that you're mine,
As we dance to the Maso-chism Tango.

 Everyone hooted and hollered at each dramatic pause in the dance, which just made Xander ham it up even more. They finished with a flourish … with Anya in a deep dip, leaning down nearly to the floor in Xander’s arms and everyone whistled and applauded as they held the pose at the end.  Still holding hands, Xander bowed deeply and Anya curtseyed to their audience; she was beaming – the spicy wings and beer diet, along with the dance lessons, really seemed to be paying dividends now! Maybe they could get on one of those talent shows and win some money


Willow was up next. She had insisted to Lorne that she not only could not sing, but would not; in fact she had no talents to put on display …


“I can read, write, do arithmetic … hey! I could work out a calculus problem on a blackboard for everyone!” she’d suggested to Lorne when he approached her about it, but he just shook his head.  “A dry-erase board?” she amended hopefully, but Lorne just rolled his eyes.


“Break down a sentence into its elements … nouns, verbs, adjectives…you know,” she suggested next and he shook his head again.


“I can do magic…but you already have a magic act…” she sighed. “Why don’t you let the witch do the magic and Clem can do something …‘Clemish’?”


“Because you do magic all the time, that’s not something challenging or new – it’s almost like your job,” Lorne explained.  “Tara’s singing … why don’t you just try?”


Willow sighed. “How about I play a song and lip-sync?” she begged, her shoulders slumping. 


Lorne rolled his eyes. “Just try, Sugar Plum – you’ll be surprised what you can do if you just put your fears aside.  C’mon, it’ll be fun!” Lorne encouraged her.


Maybe she could write a magic spell that would make everyone just think that she’d sung …


But, in the end, of course, she couldn’t write a spell to use magic for personal gain, that would be wrong.  As she stood behind Spike, who was seated with Buffy on the couch, waiting for Xander and Anya to finish, she muttered to herself, “I could sure use some courage…” as she tried to calm her nerves and steady her breathing.


Spike lifted the half empty bottle of Peppermint Schnapps that he’d confiscated from Wesley up over his head so she could reach it.


“Thanks,” Willow whispered as she took the bottle, removed the cap and gulped down a big swallow of the hundred proof, liquid candy cane.  At least she’d have fresh breath as she ruptured everyone’s eardrums with her singing.


Willow took one more swig of the sweet liquid as Xander and Anya took their bows and then she handed the bottle back to Spike … Oh Goddess, I hope that courage kicks in soon…


Willow had chosen a song that she could sing for Tara - Willow hadn’t known when she’d picked it that Tara had chosen a song to sing just for her, but now her choice seemed serendipitous.  She had to change a couple of the words to make it work for them, but she loved the song and it reflected exactly how she felt about her girlfriend…


Willow took the stage, her eyes met Tara’s and the courage kicked in just in time – was it the Schnapps or the love she saw in Tara’s eyes that gave her the courage?


Grow Old Along With Me, Mary Chapin Carpenter

Grow old along with me
The best is yet to be
When our time has come
We will be as one
God bless our love
God bless our love

Grow old along with me
Two branches of one tree
Face the setting sun
When the day is done
God bless our love
God bless our love

Spending our lives together
Lovers and friends forever
World without end
World without end

Grow old along with me
Whatever fate decrees
We will see it through
For our love is true
God bless our love
God bless our love


When the song was over, Tara joined her on the stage and hugged her tightly as everyone applauded Willow’s efforts – she’d done really well – not a ruptured eardrum in the house. 


Willow grinned as Tara released her and Willow took a bow – she’d done it and it felt great! Lorne had been right – she could do it and, now that it was over, it was fun! Or was that the Schnapps?


Lorne took the stage as Willow and Tara stepped down. “There will be a short intermission before our next act …” he announced. “Ten minutes – but don’t be late – you won’t want to miss this one!” he informed them as everyone stood up and headed back towards the kitchen to refill their glasses and stuff a little more pie or turkey into their overstuffed bodies.


Spike and Buffy headed in the opposite direction, into the training room to get ready for their duet…


When everyone was back in their seats, Buffy and Spike emerged from the training room … as Sonny and Cher.  They both had on wigs – Buffy had long, straight, black hair and bangs; Spike had shoulder length brown hair and a small, furry rug, also known as a fake moustache, glued onto his upper lip.  Buffy was dressed in ‘70s style white, bell bottom hip-huggers and a tie-dye, midriff  baring halter top; Spike had on a long sleeved, white peasant shirt, a faux fur vest, and bell bottom jeans that sported lime green and black stripes.


Everyone broke out laughing and cheering as they walked, in character, from the training room to the stage – Buffy swung her long, straight hair like Cher would, flipping it back over her shoulder when it fell forward and pressed her tongue against her cheek as she walked hand in hand with Spike, who pursed his lips and dared anyone to say anything to him. If anyone said one word about the costume, he’d rip their heart out and feed it to them. 


The Sonny and Cher thing had been Lorne’s idea – everyone knew Spike and Buffy could sing and dance, but doing an impersonation while singing would add an extra challenge to it…Buffy had loved the idea, but Spike was harder to convince.


“Right then – you get to be tall, dark, and sexy and I get to be short, dumpy, and dead,” he’d objected at the time.


“You are dead, so that kinda works out …” Buffy pointed out with a smile and Spike rolled his eyes.  “Aww, c’mon, honey – it’ll be fun – being all rock star retro and stuff.”


“Pfffft,” Spike snorted. “Sonny was not a bloody rock star! Cher was the bloody talent, she’s the star - he just lucked out there for a while, getting to stand in her light…” Spike’s voice trailed off and he pursed his lips together – isn’t that exactly what he’d told Buffy about himself – she was the star, he was just lucky enough to stand next to her, to be bathed in her light?


Buffy wrapped her arms around Spike’s neck and pressed her body against his. “I’ll bet Cher rocked Sonny’s nights … I’ll bet she’d rock yours. Tell me you never had the hots for Cher and we won’t do it,” Buffy whispered seductively against his ear.


Spike pulled back and arched one brow at her … an image of Buffy as Cher rocking his night flashed in his mind and his blood abandoned his brain and flowed quickly south of the border. “Bloody hell,” he muttered and nodded his acquiescence – he never could resist Buffy in a costume.


Lorne had placed a small box on the stage and Buffy stepped up on it so she’d be slightly taller than Spike, just to keep in character. Buffy continued to swing her hair dramatically as the music started, the audience quieted, and the warriors began singing “I Got You Babe” as Sonny and Cher. 


Spike endeavored to sing like Sonny, through his nose and with an American accent … which was asking a lot. As he looked into Buffy’s eyes, half veiled with dark bangs, and watched her move like Cher, smile like Cher … sing like Cher – it got easier and easier for him to get into character and become Sonny.  Their audience seemed to be enjoying the show, hooting and hollering and dancing – maybe being a dead almost-rock star wasn’t so bad, after all.


They each sang more to each other than their audience as they got more and more into character; so many of the lyrics still held meaning for them as Spike and Buffy – it wasn’t hard to put their hearts into the performance.

"I Got You Babe", Sonny and Cher


I got flowers in the spring
I got you to wear my ring

 And when I'm sad, you're a clown
And if I get scared, you're always around

Then put your little hand in mine
There ain't no hill or mountain we can't climb

I got you to hold my hand
I got you to understand
I got you to walk with me
I got you to talk with me

I got you to kiss goodnight

I got you to hold me tight
I got you, I won't let go
I got you to love me so

 Babe, I got you babe
I got you babe



By the time they’d gotten to the “I got you babes” at the end of the song, everyone, even Annie, who’d never heard the song before, joined in with them.  And it was true – they all had each other. This group of misfits, ne’er-do-wells …kooks, had come together and suddenly found where they fit, a place that they did do well, even if the rest of the world never knew it.


Everyone laughed and cheered and hugged as the song came to an end. Buffy wrapped her arms around Spike and took his lips in a sweet kiss.


“I love you, babe,” she whispered to him as their lips parted – laughing lightly as his fake mustache tickled her nose.


“I love you, too, you retro rock star,” Spike replied before leaning in for another kiss. He wrapped his arms around her, holding her tightly, picking her up off the box she was standing on and setting her down lightly on the stage in front of him.


Spike and Buffy finally broke their embrace and took their bows, pulling their wigs off as they bent down and waving them at the audience before sitting back down in their places on the couch to await the final act – Annie.


Lorne had worked with Annie on her act – it was going to be the finale and was a surprise for everyone, well, except Lorne and Annie.


“Now for our final act to conclude this First, what I hope will be Annual, Crawford Street Christmas Review … Miss Annie Weckerly performing the Hokey-Pokey!” Lorne announced and everyone clapped as Annie clambered up onto the stage with Lorne.


Everyone had cameras flashing off and on through the whole show, but everyone’s came out at once when Annie took the stage – plus Willow had the video camera going, as well.  Buffy and Spike could use this for blackmail when Annie was about fifteen … they could get all kinds of chores done with this hanging over her head.


Lorne started the music and he sang the words along with her as she did the dance…



{{Thanks sooo much to Vette for morphing Spuffy and creating Annie for me!!}}


You put your right foot in, you put your right foot out, you put your right foot in and you shake it all about. You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about!” Lorne sang as Annie put her right foot in and pulled it out, put it in and shook it all about then danced around in circles, swinging her hips and waving her arms in the air as she did the ‘hokey-pokey’.


Everyone laughed and cheered as she went through the left foot, right hand, and left hand… then Lorne announced, “Ok, everyone on your feet … audience participation time!”


“Bloody hell,” Spike moaned, rolling his head back and looking up at the ceiling – he had been enjoying it up until now – Annie was doing brilliantly. Wasn’t it bad enough that he was dressed like a ‘70s reject?  No way was he doing the Hokey-Pokey, too – that was just more than Big Bad could handle in one day.


All the girls, and even Xander and Clem, jumped up and joined in with Annie as Lorne started the song over. Buffy picked up Dani and Tara picked up Billy so they could be part of the act, too, while Spike, Giles, and Wesley stayed on the sidelines and simply watched.


Buffy and Faith noticed the lack of participation by their Watchers and deemed that unacceptable, so they each retrieved their respective Watcher, pulling them by the hand into the circle of slightly tipsy, happy people in the middle of the floor who were doing the hokey-pokey, and before long Spike was the only observer.


Buffy handed Dani to Willow and hokey-pokeyed over to her husband as he sat on the couch.


“No bloody way,” Spike objected, shaking his head adamantly as she got to him.


“Yes way,” Buffy replied, taking his hands in hers and pulling him to his feet. “Come dance.”


“That’s not a bloody dance…that’s…that’s a child’s game. Perfect for children and over-the-hill shopkeepers, not century old vampires with reputations to protect.”


“Awww, Big Bad can’t hokey-pokey?” Buffy teased as she pulled him closer to the circle of dancers.


“No, I can not. Got no rhythm … don’t know m’ left from m' right, and turning in circles makes me dizzy,” Spike explained, pulling against her.


“Oh, that’s too bad,” Buffy sighed in mock sympathy before leaning in against his ear and whispering, “‘Cos I was thinking that later … when everyone’s gone, we could have some private, naked hokey-pokey time. But, if you’ve got no rhythm and it makes you dizzy and all…well, I guess not.”


Spike pulled back and looked at her with narrow eyes and pursed lips.  “You’re shameless … rotten to the bloody core, Buffy Anne Summers-Weckerly,” he informed her.


Buffy shrugged and leaned back in near his ear. “ Put your hard body in, put your hard body out… do the hokey-pokey and shake it all about…” she sang softly with an evil glint in her eye and a sly smile as she ran a hand down his chest and settled on his belt buckle.


“Bloody hell…” Spike moaned, rolling his eyes and letting her pull him into the circle … Thank God Angel wasn’t here to see this – he’d never live it down if he lived to be a thousand. Now all he needed was his fingernails to be painted a new shade of pink and he’d look a right ponce…Would he always be love’s bitch?  Apparently so.


Annie squealed in delight when Spike joined the group and ran over to stand next to him as Lorne continued the song …


  You put your head in, you put your head out, you put your head in and you shake it all about. You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about!  


You put your whole body in, you put your whole body out, you put your whole body in and you shake it all about. You do the hokey-pokey and you turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about!


Spike had to laugh in spite of himself as he did the hokey-pokey and turned himself about … Slayers and Watchers, demons and witches – the occasional ‘regular Joe’ … even Miss Kitty came awake to see what was going on and sat in the center of the circle twitching her tail and trying to make sense of all the commotion. Everyone was laughing, everyone was dancing … some were having a hard time figuring out their left from their right and some had to lean on the person next to them after turning all about. But that was okay – they were all accepted, they were all family – even the mangy cat.


What if the hokey-pokey is really what it’s all about?







"What if the Hokey-Pokey Is All It Really Is About?"

 - Jimmy Buffett

The universe is runnin' away
I heard it on the news just the other day
There's this new stuff called dark energy
We can't measure and we can't see
It's some elemental mystery
Train that we can't catch

But our heads are in the oven
And somebody's 'bout to strike a match

Meanwhile back on our big round ball
Things are getting serious as cholesterol
Permutations, calculations,
Greedy piggies at the trough
Arrogance and ignorance
Just to top it off
I just can't keep up with the NASDAQ
Who got sold and bought
I've got to take my lunch break
But I'll leave you with a little for thought

Maybe it's all too simple
For our brains to figure it out
What if the hokey pokey
Is all it really is about

What if life is just a cosmic joke
Like spiders in your underwear or olives in your coke
My life can get as messy as a day old sticky bun
So I arm myself with punch lines and a big ol' water gun
They say it's not that simple but just maybe it should be
It's time to change the subject, would you join me in a cup of herbal tea?

Maybe it's all too simple
For our brains to figure it out
What if the hokey pokey
Is all it really is about

I still believe in rock 'n' roll
It pays my bills and soothes my soul
There really really isn't
A whole lot more around
Except for Frank Sinatra and the Big Band sound
I want music in the music
I want chicken in the soup
I want caffeine in my system let's revive the hula hoop

Maybe it's all too simple
For our brains to figure it out
What if the hokey pokey
Is all it really is about?


Feedback: Email me feedback, I'd love to hear from you! passionate@passion4

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