Disclaimer: I own nothing. All Buffy the Vampire Slayer characters and IPC Magazines/Fleetway/Rebellion Developments characters are the property of their original owners.
Ethan Rayne wished the young man would just go away.
Glaring at the unknowing teenager poking around in the rejects bin, the Englishman impatiently awaited for this youth to make his choice and depart the costume shop. Ethan really yearned for time alone, to have a proper lengthy villain’s gloat, along with cackling, recitation of statements all in capital letters and exclamation points (“At Last I Shall Have My Revenge!”, etc.), and possibly, capering. With that latter playful jump or leap around being done in a suitable, manly fashion, of course.
Certainly he was allowed some kind of celebration, since after years of searching, he’d finally found Rupert Giles, his former friend who’d turned away during his earlier years from a life of wonderful decadence shared with Ethan, and basically had become a total prat, joining those Watchers looking after the Slayer. With that demon-hunting girl herself having brought from Ethan today a noblewoman’s gown that was going to change her--
“Hey, what’s in here that’s worth twenty bucks?”
Abruptly wrenched from his delightful reverie about later tonight when the chaos spell would be cast, Ethan blinked and stared at the teenage boy standing there, holding a large, sealed cardboard box and carelessly rattling it, unmindful of possible breakage. His ire only increasing, Ethan bestowed a haughty look towards the front of the box, where there in his handwriting was indeed a four-digit numeral indicating the price, but with nothing else to indicate the contents of said box. Impatiently shrugging, Ethan snapped, “I don’t have the slightest idea at this moment, but those boxes usually contain portions of various costumes that weren’t complete. So, do you wish to purchase it?”
The boy sighed, and dropped the box onto the counter, beginning to turn away while speaking over his shoulder. “No, thanks. I don’t have enough cash for that, so I’ll just look around some more for something cheaper.”
*Oh, for Janus’ sake.*
“Wait! Just how much money DO you have?” frantically called Ethan, eager to make his last sale of the day, have that idiot boy out of his shop, and get on with the ceremony.
Stepping back, the teenager said a bit shamefacedly while digging into his front pants pocket, “Uh, just this.” He pulled out a couple of crumpled dollar bills, sheepishly proffering these.
Ethan rolled his eyes in utter exasperation, but he leaned over the counter anyway, grabbing the two dollars out of his customer’s hand, and as he straightened back up, the Englishman picked a pen off the top of the counter, and with a flourish, he used this to draw a diagonal line through the last digit of the price on the front of the box. “There! You’ve paid the exact cost! Now, take it, and go! Out, out, OUT!”
Hardly believing his luck, the boy seized the box, and rushed out of the store, while muttering to himself, “Geez, I thought all Britishers were born polite….”
Smirking to himself as he prepared to close up, Ethan turned the shop sign to the CLOSED position and then he slammed shut the front door.
Several hours later, with a thunderous boom, this portal, along with the entire front of the whole costume shop dissolved into innumerable splinters and other debris, leaving more than enough room for a massive figure to calmly walk into the building.
From where he’d been admiring the two-headed bust of Janus perched on top of the register counter, Ethan was lifted off his feet by the blast of the explosion and hurled entirely over the counter, landing on his back onto the floor. Dazedly getting to his feet to lean against the counter by the small statue that hadn’t been disturbed the slightest, Ethan stared with horror at the person now disdainfully examining the magician.
An enormous battle-axe, stained with demon blood and ichor in numerous colors, dangled in the casual grip of a left hand that was more than large enough to easily hold it, with this body part corresponding in scale with the rest of the immense body in its warp-spasm. Even in his new shape, this man’s costume of a sleek black and gold outfit fitted perfectly, with a strange helmet covering his head and hiding his features, though from this headgear peered two glowing white eyes. At last ending his immobility in the middle of the store, this dreadful being now lifted his right hand, pointing an unique weapon directly at Ethan’s face.
In that instant, a terrified Ethan Rayne finally remembered what had been in the box, and that written on it the four-digit number of two thousand hadn’t been a price, as in 20.00.
It had been a date. To be specific, 2000 AD.
The Lawgiver handgun barked twice, sending its first standard execution bullet right between Ethan’s eyes, blowing out the back of his skull. Since he was unsure if this specific round would also work on the small bust that his mutant eyes had seen emitting a strange type of energy, Judge Harris sensibly fired an armour piercing round into the statue, shattering it into a million pieces.
Steadily watching through his Strontium Dog eyes the flare of mystical energy that blasted towards the destroyer of the chaos magic, the new Judge wondered if he’d still be the law in Sunnydale afterwards. Well, at least tonight he’d properly cleaned up the town--
Author’s Note: My YAHF entry for this month, as written by someone who actually has the first issue of 2000 AD. Splundig Vur Thrigg, Earthlings!