Halloween: The Curse of Xander Harris. Timeline:
Halloween episode for BtVS and really any instalment of the Halloween franchise (except for the third). Summary:
Out of all the costumes he could have chosen, why that one? Notes:
A very big 'Thank You' to Methos, who helped me get this story off the ground. Disclaimer:
I don't own any rights nor do I have any permission from those who do. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Inc, Kuzui Enterprises and 20th Century Fox. The rights to Halloween are owned by Dimension Films. No infringement intended. A few lines of dialogue have been borrowed from episode scripts. Specifically from Halloween
, Lie to Me
, and What's My Line
Xander desperately needed to find a costume to wear tonight or Snyder's already unbearable attitude towards them would only get worse. He had already found some old BDU’s that had belonged to an uncle, which meant the only thing he really needed to complete the costume was a fake gun. Busy rummaging through the bin looking for something resembling an assault rifle, he did not hear the man come up behind him.
“Can I help you?”
Xander yelped and spun around. He coughed to cover his embarrassment as the man smirked at his reaction. “Yeah, actually I just need a plastic gun. One that looks like what soldiers carry?”
“I’m terribly sorry, I did have a couple, but I already sold them this morning. Perhaps I can help you find something else?”
Xander sighed. “No. Thanks anyway. I don’t really have all that much to spend on a costume.”
“Not to worry. I’m sure we can find something.” He held out his hand to shake. “I’m Ethan Rayne, the proprietor of this shop.”
“Well, Xander, shall we try to find you something suitable?”
Xander followed Ethan around the store looking at various costumes. Despite the variety still left on the racks, nothing really captured his interest. That is, until he caught a glimpse of a familiar mask sticking out of a box on a shelf down low. He remembered seeing the movie on the previous night, and while it wouldn’t be his first choice as a costume, it was something.
As Ethan described the qualities of the classic ‘Dracula’ costume — while holding up a hanger bearing the costume in question — Xander pulled out the box. Looking inside, he saw that the iconic mask was complete with jumpsuit and rubber butcher’s knife.
“I think I’ll take this one,” he said.
Ethan replaced the costume on the rack and looked into the box. “Ah yes. You know this movie was essentially the start of the slasher genre.” Ethan grinned. “And I think this was one of the costumes used in the franchise.”
“Yes. Or at least that’s what I was told.” Ethan shrugged. It was entirely possible. “I acquired many of the costumes in the shop from various movie studios clearing out their closets.”
“Wow.” Wearing a costume that was actually used in one of the movies would be pretty cool. But then, if this was an authentic movie costume it would probably cost more than he was willing, or able, to spend.
“How much?” he asked cautiously.
“Well I hadn’t priced this one yet… but since nothing else seems to grab your attention, I’ll give it to you for twenty.”
Xander was surprised that it would be that cheap. Twenty was still more then he wanted to spend, but he really did need something for tonight.
“I’ll take it.” He dug into his pocket and pulled out various bills.
“Very good.” Ethan took the money and glanced over Xander’s shoulder. “Now if you excuse me, duty calls.”
Xander turned to see him watching Buffy and Willow searching through one of the many costume racks. Ethan went over to help the two, Xander in tow. He only stayed a short while longer, deciding to leave the two girls to their own shopping.
Ethan watched the young man leave as he held up the dress for the blonde youth. That particular costume would be quite problematic. It was absolutely perfect for what he was trying to accomplish. He grinned, wondering what would happen with that one. He helped the young women with their purchases and then closed up shop shortly thereafter.
It was time to start.
* * * * *
Xander rang the doorbell of the Summer’s residence and struck a pose, staring menacingly at the door with the knife raised. The door opened to reveal Joyce whose reaction upon seeing Xander nearly deafened him. Flinching, he covered his ears.
“Xander, is that you?” She glared.
Xander pulled off the mask sheepishly. “Yes, ma’am.”
She narrowed her gaze. “Did you know that I saw that movie when it first came out? I had nightmares for a week afterwards.”
“Uh, no, I didn’t know that.” Xander looked down at the ground and flushed.
She shook her head at his antics and opened the door wider. “Come on in, the girls should be ready soon.”
“Yeah, sorry about the scare.” He moved to the bottom of the stairs to wait on the girls.
“Oh Xander, I was just teasing.” She closed the door and laughed. “That happens to be one of my favourite horror movies.”
He looked up. “So you didn’t have nightmares about it?”
“No, I really did,” she replied, smiling. “But that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it.”
As she left, going back to the kitchen, Xander did not have to wait alone for very long. He stared, mouth agape, as Buffy walked down the stairs dressed in an old, frilly dress. Which, he thought, she looked very nice in.
“Wow, Buff. You’re really rocking the Victorian look.”
Buffy smiled at him. “Well thank you Xander. But wait until you see…” she turned and gestured to Willow coming down the stairs, wearing the ghost costume. She sighed. “Casper.”
“Hey, Will. Playing the favourite?”
Buffy shook her head in disappointment. She had only wanted to get Willow to let her hair down for the night, metaphorically speaking. Looking Xander up and, she asked, “And who are you supposed to be?”
Xander pulled down the mask and raised the rubber knife.
“Oh, that guy.” She rolled her eyes. “I don’t see why you needed to pick that given what we deal with every day.”
“Hey, it’s a classic!” Xander told her. The sound was muffled slightly by the mask. “…and besides, it was cheap and nothing else really looked good.”
“That explains it then.” She pouted in Willow’s direction. “Are we ready to go?”
Willow fidgeted under the look. “Yeah.”
“Lead the way, Lady Buffy,” Xander said with an exaggerated bow.
* * * * *
“Where’s your bodyguard, Harris? Curling her hair?” Larry passed by, dressed rather convincingly as a pirate. The Disney kind, at least.
He lunged at Xander, who flinched involuntarily. He laughed in Xander’s face before walking away. Xander raised the rubber knife, as if to stab Larry, but instead decided on a quick raising of his middle finger at Larry’s back. He hurriedly turned to his assigned group of kids. “Um, none of you saw that.”
Clearing his throat, he quickly launched into a small briefing on candy gathering tactics. “Okay, on getting extra candy: tears are key. Tears will normally get you the double-bagger. You can also try the old ‘you missed me’ routine, but it’s risky. Only go there for chocolate. Understood?”
They all nodded.
“Excellent.” He pulled the mask down over his face. “Let’s go.”
* * * * *
Pushing the curtain aside, Ethan walked into the back of his shop and knelt before the statue of Janus. He brought his hands together and winced. When he pulled them apart, blood flowed freely down his palms.
“The world that denies thee; thou inhabit.” Dipping one of his fingers into the pool of blood, he smeared some blood over one eye.
“The peace that ignores thee.” And again with the other eye. “Thou corrupt.”
The lat mark drawn was a cross on his forehead. “Chaos. I remain, as ever, thy faithful, degenerate son.”
Ethan smiled as he neared the end of the ritual. Just a couple more verses in Latin and he would be finished. About time too because his knees were killing him. He was getting to old to kneel in front of an altar for an hours long ritual. He turned his head this way and that to relieve some tension in his neck before bowing his head for the final chant.
“Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe noctem pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita potestas.
“Persona se corpum et sanguium commutandum est. Vestra sancta praesentia concrestcet viscera. Janus, sume noctem!”
He grinned. “Show time!”
* * * * *
Xander waited at the sidewalk as his group knocked on the door of their next house. His group of Elementary schoolers had been doing quite well in the candy gathering arena. He was very proud of their haul so far. A scream came off somewhere to his right and he turned to see a little demon trying to attack an older man at the house next door. Just as he was about to rush over, he felt a strong breeze blow down the road. He doubled over in pain and dropped to his knees. The wind died down and the leaves stilled.
The person who looked up was no longer Xander Harris. The mask had become more than a rubber representation of a movie character. It looked more real, despite not having changed much in its appearance. That was because Michael Myers was the one staring out through the dark holes which were the eyes.
Michael looked down at the now real butcher knife he held. He stared at the blade for a moment before standing up. He took in the scene around him. It was Halloween. There were little children running around all over the place in costumes. Only they weren’t costumes any more.
He didn’t recognise the place he found himself in but he still had that sense — that feeling
that always lead him to his family. He started walking down the sidewalk sedately. He had to finish it.
But he had all night to do it.