Kamen Rider Will-OAuthor:
Willow Rosenberg/Cordelia Chase, Faith Lehane/Tara Maclay/Charisee KennedyDisclaimer:
The entire Kamen Rider property (including Den-O) belongs to Toei. And I’m not Joss Whedon or someone who might be able to legally make money off the Buffyverse. Not mine!Summary:
The train of time, DenLiner. Will the next station be in the past or the future? Thanks to Ethan, it's making a stop in Sunnydale just in time for Halloween…Joe's Note:
Obviously, if this is back in 1997… Willow can't be watching Kamen Riders Den-O or Kabuto, or Boukenger or Gekiranger. I've moved the entire thing up to 2007 to make the timelines work. But does it really matter in the grand scheme of things?
Waiting until Buffy and Xander were out of sight, Willow ducked back into Ethan's. Now that the pushy blonde was gone, she wanted a chance to look around and actually pick out a costume for herself. Not that Willow didn't appreciate Buffy's help, but they were just very different people. Just because Buffy liked an outfit and thought the redhead would look good it in didn't mean Willow wanted it on her body.
Wandering along one of the walls, Willow blinked as she peered through a beaded curtain. She hadn't seen this section when Buffy was pulling her around the store. Stepping through, the redhead looked around in wonder. She recognized this stuff! Zecters, Accellulars, GekiChangers… all sorts of Japanese import toys. "What is this?"
"This, my dear, is how I pay the bills." Eep! Response to a rhetorical question! Willow looked back over her shoulder. Ethan, the nice British gentleman who had sold Buffy her dress, was behind her. "Whatever did you think I did eleven months of the year? This month is very lucrative, but not enough that I live off it all year. I make ends meet by selling high-quality period replica outfits, Japanese imports, and shall we say… special… adult costumes."
It took Willow a minute to figure out what he was talking about with the last bit and she blushed bright red, ducking her head and turning her attention back to the toys to hide her reaction. "So, um, is this stuff still for sale this month? Or is this just a stock room?"
Ethan chuckled and the curtain clinked softly as he entered the room fully. "Why it's still for sale, of course. I just relocate it because I realize that most of your peers would not appreciate things such as these. I do my best to listen for people discussing certain shows and then direct them back here. If I had known, I could have steered you in here before."
Nodding, Willow ran her fingers over a few of the boxes on the shelves before stopping at one. A large silver and black belt, with a familiar logo on the box. Den-O! This was perfect! It was part of her and Xander's normal Thursday night; he'd come over and she'd download the latest episodes of his favorite programs and they'd watch them.
Buffy wanted to be an eighteenth century woman to get Angel's attention, and now Willow knew exactly how to get Xander's. After all, what better way to remind Xander she was there and she was a girl than to remind him of the times they spent curled up on her couch watching television?
"I take it you're interested in the Terminal Buckle, miss?" Willow grabbed one off the shelf and turned to Ethan, nodding. "Excellent. Since it's Halloween tonight and I likely won't have another chance to sell that before closing… thirty dollars. And I'll even throw in a box of hair dye for you." Turning, he exited the back room and Willow followed behind.
Hair dye? Willow reached up to pat her head a few times. She didn't dye her hair. It's not like she had red hair with brown roots or something that he'd think she needed to touch up. Which reminded her, she needed to find a tactful way of reminding Buffy it was that time again. "Why do I need hair dye?"
Ethan placed the box on the counter and perused a display behind the register for a moment before setting a box of dark brown hair dye next to it. "I do try to watch these shows a bit so I'm not completely confused when my customers come in and attempt to discuss them with me. The hero… he is a brunette, is he not?"
"Oh. Yeah. You think I should dye my hair?" Willow reached up to run her fingers through her red locks. She'd never even considered that in the twenty or thirty seconds she'd spent working on her cunning, cunning plan. "Well… do you have stuff that's not permanent? So I can wash it out after a few days?"
Huffing, Ethan began to ring up her purchase. "Of course; that's what kind I gave you. I didn't think you'd want to turn such glorious red hair that color permanently. Thirty dollars plus tax comes to… thirty-two dollars and eighteen cents."
Willow dug into her purse, very glad she'd taken her parents' debit card and visited the ATM on the way. Two crisp twenties would pay for this… and then maybe she would visit the mall to spend a few more. After all, she was coming as she wasn't for the night. Buffy said she was supposed to get 'wild and crazy'. Nothing in her wardrobe worked with either of those things. Which meant… as much as she dreaded it… shopping time.
"So you're trying to be… a Japanese guy for the night?" Buffy looked Willow up and down and gave the former redhead an uncertain look. "I'm not sure what to say there. Because if I tell you that you did good, that means you look manly and that's not a compliment. Except you're definitely wearing a push-up bra, which is giving you a very not-a-guy effect there. I'm confused."
Willow sighed as she stood in front of the mirror, trying to fluff her dyed brown hair into a style that looked messy without LOOKING like it was supposed to look messy. "No, I'm not trying to be a guy. I'm trying to be a character from a Japanese TV show that HAPPENS to be a guy. When you cosplay, it's okay to be a character that's the opposite gender. Well, if you're a guy trying to be Sailor Moon things can get kinda icky-looking, but for girls it's really not that weird."
There was a long slow blink from Buffy before the blonde shook her head. "I'm going to nod and smile like that made some kind of sense, and then I'm going to go over here and get my wig, kay?"
"It's really not that… oh, whatever." Willow sighed and went back to messing with her hair. Why did it bother her? She was probably going to spend most of the night explaining who she was to the kids… so why did Buffy being, well, Buffy-like bother her? Probably because her prepared excuse for the kids, comparing it to Power Rangers, would have gotten her an even weirder look and so she had nothing to work with?
Sighing again, Willow looked herself up and down in the mirror. She wasn't used to seeing herself with brown hair, for one. While it was a nice change of pace, she was really hoping the brown temporary dye actually DID come out after a week's worth of washing and was glad she had talked herself out of cutting it to actually look like Ryōtarō's. Apart from that, the only visibly different thing was the clunky Terminal Buckle belt around her waist and the black Rider Pass tucked into her pocket.
Well, actually she was different from head to toe. Hair, dyed. A tight-fitting new t-shirt and equally snug jeans, courtesy of a stop at Old Navy. And, as Buffy had pointed out, a push-up bra. Willow couldn't even think about the underwear she had on without blushing. Victoria's secret probably had something to do with how she got women to pay so much money for such tiny underwear. She wiggled her hips a bit. Were thongs supposed to feel like that, or was she just not used to them yet?
Sadly, they were the first clothes she had ever bought for herself. Cordelia's teasing about her mom shopping for her came back to her and Willow scowled. It wasn't that she couldn't shop for herself, it was her mom who kept ordering stuff from catalogs while on the road. Willow just didn't have the heart to try and send them back, or leave them in the delivery boxes while spending more of her parents' money to get new clothes.
The doorbell rang and Willow gave the ghost costume a fleeting look. She'd dug it out of the attic from last year (waste not, want not) just in case… but she wasn't going to wear it again. She had a perfectly good costume that she was comfortable in, so why not wear it? Giving her hair one final fluff as Buffy pushed past her to head for the stairs, Willow straightened up and smiled. Show time.
Standing near the top of the stairs, Willow waited and fidgeted nervously as she listened to Xander compliment Buffy. He really liked her costume… even though he knew who she was wearing it for. Well that wasn't fair. He was supposed to be irritated that she was dressing up for Angel, not drooling over it!
Willow rounded the corner and stomped down the stairs. Even with her deliberately heavy footfalls, Xander didn't look up from his appreciation of Buffy until after Willow had reached the bottom of the stairs. "Hey Will. Thought Halloween was about dressing up? Although hey, you dyed your hair. Looks… different."
"…you don't know who I'm dressed up as?" Willow looked down and then made a show of smoothing her t-shirt down to make sure it was behind the belt and not obstructing it, not to mention bringing attention to the Terminal Buckle itself. Xander still looked a bit confused. "I'm Den-O! From Kamen Rider Den-O! Remember? You make me download it every week and burn it to a DVD so we can watch it?"
There was a moment of silence pondering and then Xander frowned. "Uh, I hope I'm not the first to tell you this, but you're a girl. Ryōtarō is a boy. Unless something Hellmouthy is going on and you have a secret you need to tell me."
Willow scowled at her best, albeit quite dense, friend before pushing past him and heading for the door. "Don't we need to go pick up some kids?"
The spell was cast, and a pulse of magic rocketed outward from the back room of Ethan's. All across the Hellmouth, the power of Janus fed upon the small bursts of magic that Ethan had imbued in all the costumes and accessories he had sold.
Soldiers. Criminals. Demons. Angels. Aliens. Janus was just as imaginative as those who had dressed up, seizing upon every opportunity to inflict as much chaos as possible. The residents of Sunnydale suddenly found themselves at ground zero for rematches of everything from the Revolutionary War to classic comic book battles to the supreme war between good and evil.
Ethan Rayne smiled. "Show time."