Title: A Charlie Brown Halloween
Author(s): Whedonist and Lost
Summary: Season Three's Halloween patrol.
Whedonist's Author's Note: This once again proves you should not let me out of my cage. Nothing major…just a hardy thank you to Lost for being a pal and having some fun with the bored number cruncher trying to avoid work. This all stems from Val's "Why not the Great Pumpkin?" on the Sassy's Game thread over at Wiffyforums. I raise my hands in innocence…perhaps the plot bunny credit should go to Val? What say you, Lost?
Lost's Author's Note: *shrugs* Personally, I'm blaming caffeine. But yes, original plot idea I'm blamin' on Val. *smiles innocently* Oh, and we know that it's just supposed to be 'The Great Pumpkin' but I like the word 'king' so it got added on.
Disclaimer: Obviously we don't own any of the characters.
Buffy twirled her stake through her fingers, her eyes scanning the graveyard for some sign of the evil undead. "I still don't understand why we're out here tonight. It's Halloween. The badies are supposed to be takin' the night off."
Willow sighed before grumbling, "Stupid prophecy. I had a whole night of way too much candy and scary cartoons to watch."
The blonde nodded emphatically "Right there with ya." She paused, squinting off into the distance. The slayer turned back with a questioning expression on her face, "Wait, scary cartoons?"
A slight blush appeared on the redhead's face. "I was gonna watch The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown."
Buffy smiled bemusedly, "Aren't we getting a little old for cartoons?"
Willow frowned, a barely noticeable pout forming on her lips. "Buffy this is Charlie Brown. You're never too old for Charlie Brown. Besides which I didn't want to watch a movie with vampires, 'cause, hello? Sunnydale is full of them. I want my pretend pumpkin king."
"I am not pretend!"
The blonde glanced around quickly. "Did you hear that?"
Willow nodded before she realized that Buffy couldn't see her nod. She whispered, "Yeah," And moved to stand behind her blonde counterpart. She gestured to a little bit in front of them and off to the right. "It came from over there I think."
The duo tentatively walked forward. As they neared the edge of the cemetery where the underbrush seemed to have overgrown, they could hear muttering getting louder from the same whiney voice.
"Saying I'm not real. Of all the preposterous things to insinuate. I'll prove it. I'm real. They'll see when I take over the world!"
The redhead ducked behind the slayers shoulder, whispering. "What is it?"
Before them on the ground sat a rather large looking pumpkin. It had vines sprouting all over the earth around it, and looked as though someone had carved a jolly face in its rind. But the features were moving as it muttered.
It spun around at the sound of the whispered question. "What do you mean what is it? What do I look like to you? I'm the Great Pumpkin King!" It shook violently as it hollered its title.
Willow's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "Oh."
Buffy stared down at the pumpkin in confusion. "Wait, you mean from Charlie Brown? That's a cartoon. You're not real."
Its triangle eyes slanted inwards as if angered, "Of course I'm real! I'm sitting right in front of you." He pouted before continuing, "I just want to be taken seriously!"
Willow stepped out from behind the blonde, leaning down so she was closer to what could be considered eye level with the over grown gourd. Buffy grabbed at the back of the witch's shirt. "Will, I'm not sure that's such a good--"
The redhead hushed her instantly. "It's fine Buffy." She stared down at the pumpkin king. "Why don't you think that people take you seriously? You've got a pretty hefty title, I mean, not many people can say they're the king of anything. It does demand a certain amount of respect."
Before answering, he started shaking violently and little squirts of pumpkin juice started pouring out from his jack-o-lantern eyes. "A-are you kidding? I'm a freakin' pumpkin! Who's gonna take a pumpkin seriously? No one, that's who!"
Willow glanced at him sympathetically before turning her gaze to plead with Buffy. The blonde sighed heavily and resisted the urge to roll her eyes, but lowered herself to pumpkin level nevertheless. She looked at him perplexed. "So, taking over the world is your solution? Gotta say, not seein' the logic there." She paused briefly to chuckle to herself before adding, "Besides which, what are you gonna do? Roll everyone to death?"
The redhead swatted the slayer's arm and Buffy pouted before backing away from the pumpkin. "It's okay, she was just kidding, weren't you Buffy?" She sent a stern look over her shoulder to her blonde counterpart.
Buffy rolled her eyes, "Yeah, yeah."
The pumpkin king shook even harder and even more pumpkin juice started leaking from his triangle eyes. He yelled in a high pitched scream of hysteria, "No one understands my plight!!"
Sympathy welled up in the witch and she reached out, tentatively patting the pumpkin king's side. "Don't cry. Look...it's, people take you seriously."
The king's eyebrow shot up in disbelief. "No they don't." Swiping at the juice that was still leaking from his eyes, he let out a shuddery breath and continued, "You can't take anything seriously if you don't believe that something exists. N-no one thinks I doo!" He began wailing again causing his tears to splash Willow and Buffy.
"I'll never get these stains out," Buffy grumbled.
Willow once again shot a scathing glare to Buffy. "Not caring. He's...Buffy, less snarky more sympathy, please?"
Buffy saw the pleading face and caved. "You're lucky I can't resist your pouty, pleading face," Buffy griped. "Hey, look, uhm, maybe we can figure something out. Taking over the world or trying to, not a good idea."
The Great Pumpkin looked up at the blonde kneeling in front of him and asked, "Well, what can I do? I just want...I want to be viewed like the king I am. It's why I'm here. I was trying to find some minions. I was told Sunnydale was a great place to find minions."
Suppressing the annoyed sigh, Buffy took the king's hand and led him out from his hiding place. "It is. It's just that if you tried to do what you want, I'd have to slay you."
"What?" The king asked confused.
"I'm the slayer. It's sorta my job," Buffy said.
"Yeah and we don't want – I don't want to watch Buffy slay you," Willow said, patting his arm.
The king turned to the slayer with wonder and said, "I've heard of you. I thought it was…I thought you were just a myth."
A small smile tugged at the corner of Buffy's mouth. "Nope, all about being real and in the flesh here."
"Hey, hey," Willow said excitedly, "there you go. Look a perfect example!"
"Uh, Will, you wanna clue the rest of the audience in?" Buffy asked around the orange body that separated them.
"Well, it's just that both of you are kinda in the same boat. You're all shipmates and stuff. Neither of you knew the other existed, but you both do. See?"
The king looked up at the redhead on his left confused. He turned to the blonde on his right and asked, "Do you know what she's saying?"
Buffy laughed, "Not really, but she does this all the time. There's a point. I think."
"Buffy," Willow admonished. "The point is that, uhm, King, uh…Your Majesty Sir, just because somedon't know you exist doesn't mean that you can't be taken seriously. Look at Buffy. You thought she was a myth, but I bet the stories you heard were all fear causing…you can do the same."
"How?" he asked starting to firm up to what the girl was saying.
"Uhm, oh…" Willow's face scrunched up in thought. She hadn't carried her plan that far ahead. Snapping her fingers, she said excitedly, "Okay, you could start telling others about your great battle with the best slayer that ever was or, eh, will be, Buffy. Tell them that you fought her and won. You kicked her tush. That should give you a better rep."
"Hey, I don't think so." Buffy rounded the Great Pumpkin and stopped their meandering through the cemetery. "I won't have my rep dam…" Her voice trailed off as she looked at Willow. Resolve clearly showed in Willow's features and Buffy got the message loud and clear. "What I meant was…that you could totally say that. It'd be good. And I bet all sorts of badies would take you seriously." The slayer tried for convincing and ignored the sting to her ego that this conversation was causing.
"You really think that'll work?" The Great Pumpkin asked his voice full of doubt.
Buffy replied, "Of course it'll work." She glanced to Willow, only to see the redhead nodding emphatically in agreement with her.
The Great Pumpkin King sniffled a little, "But I so wanted little evil pumpkin minions. We could rule the world. It would be pumpkins everywhere." A single solitary pumpkin juice tear made his way down his cheek.
"But this would be so much better. All of the badies would be afraid of you. That's better than ruling the world, 'cause if you have their fear, then you have their respect." The witch paused, thinking for a second before adding, "Or something like that."
A small smile started to form on the Great Pumpkin King's face, "Yeah, yeah I guess you're right." His tone was much less whiney as he continued, "You know things used to be so much easier, children believed in me! Maybe not all of them, but there was a pretty big percentage that did. I'd say at least seven. And then out of nowhere. Bam! I'm no one to them. Santa Claus replaced me in their minds. But they just don't know… that really, he's the evil one! I'm good. I give them presents. He kills them." He sat down dejectedly on a nearby headstone.
Both girls' faces showed disgust. Buffy asked in disbelief, "He kills children?"
The Great Pumpkin King nodded, doing his best to wipe away the last bit of his tears.
Willow's eyebrows scrunched together. "Oh that's bad. That's emphatically bad."
He nodded again in agreement before standing up suddenly. He glanced excitedly at the blonde slayer. "So then, you don't mind if I tell everyone I beat you?"
Buffy did her best to not look uncomfortable with the idea. She took a quick peek at the redhead beside her, who had an encouraging expression on her face. She clinched her eyes shut and took a deep breath. "Yes, you can tell them that you beat me."
The smile grew across his face as he jumped triumphantly into the air and started sing songing, "I beat the slayer, I beat the slayer. Yippee!" And off he ran into the night.
Buffy and Willow both stared after the Great Pumpkin King, and then glanced at each other. "So, pumpkin movie huh?" asked Buffy, her eyebrow raised in amusement.
The redhead bit her lip before replying, "Uhm, I think I've had enough of the Great Pumpkin king for one night."
The slayer nodded in understanding, "Well then, what do you wanna do with the rest of the evening?"
An impish grin appeared on Willow's features as she walked towards the blonde. "Well, I was thinking snuggles. And smoochies. I'm definitely voting for smoochies."
Buffy smiled back at her girlfriend, "I second that vote." She pulled the redhead towards her, and placed a searing kiss on the girl's lips.
The blonde pulled back suddenly, a big pout on her face, "I can't believe you suggested him telling everyone he kicked my tush! That would so never happen! He's a pumpkin for—"
Any further argument was cut off as a pair of familiar lips covered hers.
When they pulled back they left their fingers intertwined. Willow smiled sweetly, swinging their hands. "C'mon, let's go home." She gave the blonde a peck on the cheek, then asked, "This was a strange Halloween, dontcha think?"
Buffy nodded and shrugged. "Normal by Sunnydale standards."