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From the Empire

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Summary: YAHF Buffy and the gang choose different costumes for Halloween. Chaos ensues. Challenge response.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > General > Theme: HalloweenspeakerforthesilentFR1823,2650197,18030 Jul 0716 Dec 07No

Prologue

I was disappointed to see this challenge, cuz, frankly, I was looking forward to seeing Weaver’s story on this. However, since I’ve had a plot bunny chewing on my ankle intermittently about this since we talked about it, I decided to answer this one.

I own nothing except my imagination. Answer to challenge 2808 on TTH.

XXXXX

Prologue

Willow looked at the costumes around her like a small child trapped on the tracks looks at an oncoming train. “Um, Buffy, I don’t think these are right for me at a-”

“Oh, don’t be ridiculous,” Buffy interrupted. “Halloween’s the one night that we can be ourselves without needing to worry about what people think,” the faux blond continued.

“Okay. Be myself.” The redhead repeated. “I’ll just be over here, doing . . . things,” she said as she tried to slip away. Buffy was having none of it.

“Oh, come on, Wills!” Buffy takes a quick look over the nearer racks and randomly grabs a black dress that would have been downright modest if it hadn’t been quite so short and a pinkish wig and undershirt with striped black and white stockings. The Slayer frowns at what appears to be a headband with cat ears and tosses it back onto the pile. “Here. This is in your size, and it’s different that what you’d usually wear,” Willow, on the other hand, is staring at her like she’s nuts. Buffy, seeing her best friend’s resistance uses the one tactical advantage she possesses. While Willow might have mastered the Resolve Face, Buffy was a master of the Kicked Puppy Look, a fact that she took unfair advantage of.

Willow folded. “Alright,” she said, taking the clothing from her best female friend’s hand.

Feeling a sense of accomplishment in getting the normally timid redhead to try something daring, Buffy turned back to her own costume search just in time to see the store’s owner take the dress that she’d been eyeing down from the mannequin and bag it before handing it over to another girl.

She does not have the figure for that! Buffy fumed as she frowned in irritation and had to forcibly restrain herself from stomping her foot as some flat-chested twelve year old bought the dress that she’d had her eyes on. Finally, Buffy admitted the real reason for her irritation. Angel . . .

“What’s wrong Buff? You look like you’ve just been diagnosed with cancer of the puppy,”

And now she was really irritated. She knew he meant well, but Xander had the bad habit of opening his mouth and shoving both feet in with surprising regularity. It was all she could do to level a glare at the self-proclaimed “Scooby,” After all, it was my great costume that had just went down the drain. I’m in mourning here! “My costume just walked out the door,”

“So what’s the plan? Ya know, I think I saw a Xena costu-”

The full-force Slayer glare cut him off. “Xander, can’t you be serious for once!” she half-yelled as she stormed off. Stupid, irritating. . .

“Can I help you, Miss?”

She very nearly jumped out of her skin. “Don’t do that,” she warned calmly as only a Slayer could.

“Ah, I’ll keep it in mind,” he said with a swallow. “Are you having trouble finding something?” he rallied.

“Yeah,” she admitted. “You already sold the dress I was looking at, though. I don’t suppose you’ve got any other costumes for noblewomen?”

Ethan simply smiled. If Buffy had been looking more closely she might have turned and left the store immediately. Oh this is too wonderful! “I’m afraid I’m out of costumes for European nobility,” at the crestfallen look on Buffy’s face he continues, “However, I do have one costume left that you might be interested in,” The Englishman leads the way to the back of the room. “That one, there,”

The costume appears to be half armor and half- “That looks like a uniform from the Revolutionary War,” she objects, but before she can continue, the Brit cuts her off.

“I can see how you’d think that,” he admits. “I suppose you’ve never studied Russian history, then? That,” he says, indicating the mannequin, “is Astharoshe Asran. The Viscountess of Odessa and Duchess of Kiev, one of the premier Nobles of the Empire,”

Ethan was right; Buffy had never cared much for Russian history, and had no idea that he was lying through his eyeteeth. All she heard was ‘Duchess’ and ‘premier noble,’ well, that, and she’d finally noticed the plate corset that the mannequin was wearing. She smiled. Angel couldn’t help but notice me in this!

“I’ll take it!”

“Very well. Give me a moment to take these sleeves in; I believe that they’re a bit long for you,” Ethan said as he pulled the outfit off the mannequin and brought it into the back room. Oh this is lovely! Such wonderful chaos she’ll create! Ethan had no idea what the dichotomy between Vampire and Vampire Slayer would do to the poor girl, but even the worst-case scenario would probably be better than what those Watcher prats would do to her.

XXXXX

Xander shot a glare at Buffy as she left the shop. So he’d made a joke in bad taste. For crying out loud, it had been a mild one at that! He’d just been trying to make her laugh.

Maybe that’s my problem. The thought hit him like a bolt of lightning. He’d spent so much time playing the goof that Buffy didn’t take him seriously. I know how to remedy that. Xander had planned on just dressing as a simple soldier and clowning around with the kids he was supposed to escort. But . . .

Something to get Buffy’s attention is definitely in order. The question of what that something might be, however, was unanswered. Xander thought about the costume that Buffy had picked out, and then froze. That was a character from Trinity Blood, I’m sure of it. And the costume she picked out for willow had cat ears. Xander thought about that for a minute. No way. Could Buffy possibly be a closet Anime fan?

Xander’s eyes immediately sought out the cosplay racks, but he quickly discovered that most of the good costumes were gone. Finally, after nearly twenty minutes of searching, he stumbled across a red haori and hakama and a beat up looking plastic katana with a silver wig and dog-ears. Inuyasha wasn’t his first choice; he was, after all, a little leery of dressing as a half-demon, even one that was basically a good guy. However, it was either the Hanyou or Xellos. Inuyasha won.

It was going to make a hell of a dent in his road-trip funds, but impressing Buffy would be worth it.

XXXXX

So wadda ya think? This ‘chapter’ is basically to set the stage for the rest of the story. More will follow. For those of you who are waiting for the next chapter of AMH, I’m working on it. However, as my must appears to be on vacation, I don’t have a timetable for when it’ll be finished. I’m actually closer to finishing the next chapter of We Few.

Drop me a line and tell me what you think. A cookie for the first person to tell me who Willow is dressed as.
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