"So?" Fred asked. "How do I look?"
Wes was visibly groping for a tactful way out of the question – a fatal mistake that would only prolong the agony. When there's no right answer, tell the truth; it may not be pretty, but at least it's quick. "Terrible," Gunn said. "That's the ugliest dress I've ever seen."
She nodded glumly, smoothing the lime-green ruffles around the neckline. "It really is, isn't it."
Well, that was a lot more painless than expected. "So what gives?" he asked. "You just felt like dressing up as a radioactive fruitcake today or what?"
"An old friend of mine is getting married today."
Wesley blinked. "And you felt the occasion warranted a dress designed to scorch the retinas of anyone who dared to look upon it?"
She shook her head. "I'm a bridesmaid."
Oh, dear sweet baby Jesus. "I have a thing!" Gunn blurted out.
"How nice for you," Fred said dryly.
"What thing?" Wes asked blankly.
"You know, that thing."
"No, I don't know. What kind of thing is it?"
"A very important thing, okay? I do things. There are things that I do. I don't spend all my time hanging out with you guys."
"...okay, maybe, but today, I–"
"Let me guess," Fred said. "You have a thing."
This couldn't end well. "Yes?"
"A thing which tragically prevents you from accompanying me to this wedding?"
He was so screwed. "Yes?"
Fred arched an eyebrow. "You do realize that I didn't actually ask you to go with me, don't you?" Gunn winced. Yeah. Screwed. "But since you ask so politely, Charles, I'd be delighted to be your date."
Why hadn't he realized Fred was such a vindictive woman? "Okay."
"Pick me up at 3:00." She swept out of the room, looking more regal than a woman wearing a lime-green bustle should.
Gunn had to give Wesley credit: he managed to keep the laughter under control until Fred was gone. He glared, then stalked over to the weapons cabinet and took down the crossbow. "Catch!" He tossed it over.
Wesley turned it over in his hands. "Why do I need this?"
"You saw that dress," he said. "That thing was clearly cursed."
"How so? And why are you giving me weaponry? I'm not going."
"If I have to go, you have to go, Mr. Thing-What-Thing. And anything that can make our girl Fred look that ugly has got to be supernatural."
Wes looked like he wanted to argue but couldn’t think what to say.
"And besides," Gunn continued. "This is us. Of course it'll end in bloodshed."
As it turned out, they didn't need the crossbow after all. Or the ax. Or the holy water.
But tying tin cans to the back of the groom's car apparently really does chase evil spirits away. Who knew?