Disclaimer: Do not own rights to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or These Old Shades. They belong to Joss Whedon/Mutant Enemy and the estate of Georgette Heyer respectively. If you're in the mood for a really good read, try her out. Be warned, her paragraphs can go for over a page. But very good.~~~~~
“It's come as you aren't night,” Buffy had said. She had been trying to persuade Willow to wear something sexy/skanky at the time, but Will had gone another direction. Still very much come-as-you-aren't, though. Oh, yeah!
It turned out that they had both dressed as eighteenth century ladies – Will had gone on to say that her lady was set blah blah blah years before Buffy's, at which point I had tuned out – but while Buffy was some random concept of a twentieth century mind, Will had had a very specific character in mind, based on one of the (actually, very) historical romances she kept hidden from her mom. And hadn't that been a shock to the system!~~~~~
SoldierBoy was really confused. I looked around the streets, and didn't know where I was. The place was a mess, and there were monsters big and small running around, chasing and chomping on wild-eyed civilians. I remember the confusion, amazement, horror at the scene before me. But then my attention was caught by a girl's screams. Only, they weren't terrified 'help me' screams. No, they were damn well pissed off 'I'm going to rip your arms off' kind of screams. My kind of person. I headed on over.
There she was. My Willow. Except she was no more my Willow than I was her Xander at this point in time. She was magnificent. Dressed in this huge white gown, red hair piled high on her head, kicking, and screaming, and lashing out at the monsters around her. Screaming in French, and, if I miss my bet, swearing like a sailor. She dressed up real pretty, but had the devil's temper, that's for sure. So I rescued her.
Which is to say, I jumped in and started bashing things with the butt of my rifle, and, between us, we managed to scare them off.
“Hey, lady. That's a nice snap kick you got there.” Smooth, Harris. Real smooth.~~~~~
Then there was the scene where Willow met Buffy. You know, I still snicker when I think about that. So very not herself, Willow was. We'd just got acquainted, me as Lieutenant Coleman, and her as Leonie, ward of the Duke of Avon (very fancy) and I was wondering where to retreat to so I figure out what the hell was going on, and how to deal with it. Then we heard another girl screaming. This was one of those 'help me' screams, and I was strangely compelled to answer that cry. Well, it was Buffy screaming, after all, and the bit that was Xander, tucked away deep in my brain, knew that, so off we went.
Well, we found her. Not fending off mini-demons. No, the Buffster was screeching at cars. Sure, one of those things could kill you, especially if Buffy herself was driving, but, honestly, pretty low on the scare-o-meter. Will? She went straight up to Buffy, slapped her, and told her to pull herself together. In French. There may have been insults. There were certainly tears.
“How dare you?” Buffy gasped. “Do you not know who I am?”
“Of course I do not know who you are. Me, I do not care who you are, but if you start screaming again, then I will slap you again.”
Buffy pulled herself up, all righteous indignation, and can I say, spandex those dresses may not be, but they are fan-fricking-tastic for the display of the bosoms.
“I am Lady Elizabeth, my father is a very important person, and I am going to London to have my season and find a husband.”
Will cocked an eyebrow. Don't think that was the way to win friends and influence people. “Really? In that gown? But it is so difficult to find fashionable clothiers in provincial towns, is it not?”
Hoo-yah! Catfight coming up.
“I'll have you know this is the height of fashion in London.”
“Really? But then, my Guardian, the Duke of Avon, insists on having my wardrobe fashioned in Paris. Milady Fanny, the Duke's sister, arranges everything for me.”
Buffy blinked. Thought about it. And offered, “My modiste is French.”
“As you say,” Willow returned. Never thought Will could pull off queenly, but there you have it. Stately as the Queen of England. Or, well, France. Since she's French and all. ~~~~~
Well, since we were all firmly entrenched in our characters, we had no idea where we were, or where we could hide out. We were moving along, because staying put seemed like an even worse idea, when who should turn up but Deadboy himself. Rocked straight up to Buffy and pulled her into his arms, going on about how he had been looking for her, had checked her home, the library, blah blah blah. Very romantic.
Buffy looked like she didn't know whether to scream or swoon. I think she was about to go with the swoon when Will went up and slapped him on the arm, saying that 'gentlemen' don't manhandle 'ladies'. And I'm pretty sure she was using the quote marks, too.
Of course none of use had any idea who 'Buffy', 'Willow' or 'Xander' were, so, after a number of minutes of confusion, Angel said he would escort us to Giles. Which was actually a good idea, which is why I shall not mock him for it. Damn.
We were on the way when we came across Cordelia. Sexy, sarcastic, oddly unchanged Cordelia. 'Course, I was more interested in the curves than the fact that she was still good old Cordelia, but DB thought it was interesting, and Cordy thought Will and Buffy were hysterical. Actually, I think she thought Buffy was hysterical, while considering joining up with Will in the 'Buffy is a loser' act. Scary thought that.
Well, we got to the library to find Giles working on – of all things – the filing. Man, he lives on the wild side! Well we got into who we were, and why Cordy was still her usual, charming self. Seems she had got her outfit from Partytown. Well, none of us could tell where we got out clothes from other than London, Paris, and the base's commissary, but Cordy suggested that we, the losers that we are, had gone to the new place, Ethan's.
Actually, I get the imagery of cats among pigeons, except that this time there was only one pigeon, and it was more looking like a sabre-toothed pigeon than your usual rat-with-wings. Suffice to say that naming the shop that we so-very-not-losers blessed with our patronage was enough to get Giles up and at 'em.
The weirdest thing thing I think I saw that night was Willow's reaction to the weapons cage. And the funniest had to be Buffy's reaction to Willow. I mean, Will was just about drooling over the swords. She ended up choosing a light rapier – heavy enough to do the job without tiring her. When Buffy started in on her scandalised lady act, Will then explained how she had learned swordsmanship first from her Guardian (the Duke, don't you know) and then also from his brother (Lord Rupert) and quite enjoyed herself. Buffy was looking quite ill at this point, so, with such a sweet smile on her face, Will went on to complain about how bad skirts were for fighting in, and how she had her pants. At which point Buffy fainted. Which, actually, was a pain in the ass, but what can you do? Apart from laugh your guts out, that is. Giles wasn't laughing, though. Poor Giles.~~~~~
We made it to Ethan's shop, got an introduction to Ripper, and stopped the spell. Not before Will got a few good kicks in though, hot-tempered girl that she is. Buffy fainted, again, at all the violence going on. Could have been worse, though, she could have screamed and run out of the shop before Giles had gotten to the statue, so I'm counting that one as a win. Of course, when we all woke up, Buffy gave Ethan a kick for doing that to her, so all's well that ends well.~~~~~
Well, if this were a proper story, this would be the epilogue. I retained memories of SoldierBoy, which ended up being very useful. The nightmares not so much, but practical stuff, like how to blow up high schools? Oh, yeah. Buffy quickly lost most of her memories. Either that, or severely repressed all those mega-helpless feelings she had that night. Willow? Well, she was the most changed of the lot of us. She retained a lot of Leonie. A hell of a lot, actually. If you get her really pissed, she'll start cussing you out in French. She's still a mean swordsman. Swordswoman? Swordsperson? Whatever, she can slice and dice with the best of them. And she now has no problem standing up to Cordy. Yep, our little Will has well and truly found her inner Leonie, and she likes it. Me, too.
Oh, yeah! Me, too.