Disclaimer: I do not own any of the copyrighted elements that may be in this story. Full disclaimer at the bottom.
It was the cheapest costume set in the whole store, only ten dollars, and Xander needed it after his soldier costume plan went down the drain, quite literally in fact. He had learned that enough bleach could actually liquefy clothes.
Taking a quick glance at it to make sure it wasn’t too stupid he bought it and headed home, not planning to open it until the next day before the event.
When he finally did rip open the bag it turned out to be more complicated then he thought, meaning it was more than just a black robe. There was some white greasepaint to cover his face and hands, the only parts the robe left exposed, and a red gemstone necklace. The final piece was a set of glow in the dark contacts. He briefly considered the potential consequences of sticking glowing objects into his eye, then ignored them and went ahead with it. Staring at himself in the mirror he realized it was worth it as he actually looked rather intimidating.
The cloak covered him from head to foot, a piece looping over his face to leave only his eyes exposed, and the hood was trimmed in a dark red color that matched the necklace. His white face and almost glowing yellow eyes stood distinctly out from the black void of the hood and gave him a menacing air. With a smile Xander went about to collect his brat pack.
Ghost Willow rushed around frantically looking for Xander, she knew he should be somewhere on the street if he had followed the proscribed path, and she needed him as she couldn’t exactly do anything at the moment, what with being intangible and all.
She just caught sight of him, barely able to make out his black clad form on the street, his cloak blending in with the darkness. “Xander!” He turned at the call and suddenly he was very visible, his glowing yellow eyes and pale skin standing out like a beacon. “Xander!”
“I am not this…Xander. I am Richard, Chief Warlock of the Brothers of Darkness, Lord of the Thirteen Hells, Master of the Bones, Emperor of the Black, Lord of the Undead, and the Mayor of a little village up the coast.” Lightening flickered and thundered roared behind the undead warlock as he made his announcements.
“Your name is Richard?” asked Willow, still stunned at what she had just heard.
“You were supposed to pay attention to everything after that part,” replied the warlock in a cross voice.
“Look, that doesn’t matter. The thing is you’re possessing my friend and we need to stop whatever is causing it.”
“Hmmmm, that would explain why the last thing I remember is my disembodied head being used as a book end,” pondered Richard.
At that moment a group of mini-demons charged down the road. FWOOSH! Richard’s hands suddenly glowed with fire. “Finally something I can kill, being a bookend was boring and no one ever answered my questions three!”
The fire lashed out, consuming one of the monsters. Immediately the others began to turn to run.
“No! You can’t kill them, they’re children!” protested Willow as another one went up in flames.
Richard paused, an icebolt halting in midair less than a foot from another mini-demon’s head. “Really?”
“They’re affected by the same spell as you are, their costumes became real,” Willow explained, relieved that Richard had stopped his slaughter.
“Well, that changes everything…it makes killing them twice as fun!” The ice bolt shot forward to impale the still cowering creature as Willow looked on in horror.
“Richard, stop this!” she cried.
“Can do,” the warlock agreed, “as soon as they’re all dead.”
Later, after finally persuading Richard not to kill everything he saw, including herself and Buffy, Willow had believed him when he claimed to know how to torture a ghost, the small group was at Buffy’s house.
“No, don’t!” Willow ordered, reflexively trying to push Richard’s flaming hand down.
“And why not?” he asked, magical fire still engulfing the limb.
“Because I said no killing and you might alert the other monsters out there if you start throwing out fire blasts.”
The undead warlock gave an annoyed sigh. “Fine, but then you’ll tell me where the absolutely delicious evil energy is coming from? I haven’t seen any babies lately and I could do with a snack.”
“I promise once this whole situation gets sorted out I’ll tell you where to find the Hellmouth,” said Willow, neglecting to mention that once everything got fixed he’d be nothing more than a memory.
“I still think I’m missing something with our deal, but I’ll go along with it for now,” agreed Richard. “Still, if you’re going to keep trying to be my conscience, you’ll have to be promoted from nagging spirit to ‘Can you guess my gender?’ good hearted elf. I can’t believe people still mistake Cale’anon for a girl. ”
He dropped the unconscious Lady Buffy on the couch and strode out into the night, ignoring Willow’s puzzled question about the elf comment. The dog like creature and two mini-demons chasing Cordelia stopped when he approached them, regarding him as the bigger threat. Richard moved, breaking limbs and crushing bone with his blows. With in less than half a minute all the monsters were on the ground, crippled and unconscious.
“Wow,” breathed Willow in amazement. “You were as good as Buffy, how’d you do that?”
“I drained the soul of a warrior monk once, it tasted like chocolate,” stated Richard conversationally.
The small group went back into Buffy’s house, Cordelia actually shutting up when Richard helpfully offered to burn off her ‘deformities,’ in reality the car tails and ears from her costume, so that she could live a scarred but normal life.
As Willow tried to figure out what to do Richard wandered the house, finally coming to a door. He went to open it when Willow stopped him. “You can’t go in there.”
“Really?” He turned to face her, arm upraised dramatically. “I find this constant discrimination against my kind rather offensive. It is time…for a change. I say to you today, my friends, that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. I have a dream that one day warlocks will rise up and cast off the shackles of oppression. I have a dream that one day we will no longer be judged upon by how different we are from you. I have a dream that one day we will be looked at and simply labeled as ‘Friend.’ I have a dream that one day, when all this has occurred, that we will take the advantage of surprise and slaughter as many of you as possible. I have a dream that one day there will be no structure left standing, no man or woman left un-decapitated and no babies left un-devoured. I have a dream that no one is spared from the horrors of our rule.”
Willow backed away slowly as Cordelia shuddered from where she was sitting on the couch. “Way to go, Willow,” she snapped as the ghost girl got near.
“I was only going to tell him it was a closet, he wouldn’t have been able to go in,” she whispered back.
“Free at last! You’re all dead, but we are free at last!” Richard continued to speak, lost in his own gruesome fantasy.
Richard sighed, allowing the feeble mockery of an undead to lead them through the streets. He still wasn’t sure why he agreed to help out the group, boredom probably. He would have preferred to stay and fight the horde of monsters and equally feeble mockery of an undead that was following them, it had been too long since his last massacre, but he got outvoted. Instead they were hiding in some building, the horde pounding on the door. Still, he might as well have some fun.
“I found an exit!” Richard pointed to a fist sized hole in the wall.
“That’s too small,” said Angel as he glanced at it.
“I cast an illusion around the door to make it appear smaller then it is. It will help shake off pursuit. Quickly, you go first and I’ll guard the rear while the others follow.”
Angel nodded and ran for the exit, only to run face first into the wall, his head getting stuck in the too small hole.
“Ha ha h-” Richard’s laughter was cut off as a mini-demon, running through the freshly smashed in door, drove a fist through his stomach and clear out the other side. “Hmmm, this could be a problem.”
At that moment Willow ran through the wall next to him. She stopped and stared at the sight of him with the gaping hole in his stomach, the wound still dripping green ichor. “What happened to you?”
“I wanted to lose some baby weight…caused from the last baby I ate.” Willow looked nauseous, unable to tell if he was joking or not. “But we are all back together again, my annoying want-to-be conscious has arrived from her quest! This is a beautiful moment, I may compose then break into a song to celebrate!”
Spike stepped into the warehouse, his demons having already subdued Cordelia, Lady Buffy, and the still woozy Angel, after having pulled him from the wall. “Now that might be a problem, after all, what rhymes with ‘Your wholesale mass slaughter?’”
“Locate and butcher your daughter,” replied Richard, no hesitation in his voice. “Hmmm, this seems like déjà-vu.”
Spike blinked for a moment in shock at the prompt and twisted response before recovering. “And who the bloody hell are you?”
“I am Richard, Chief Warlock of the Brothers of Darkness, Lord of the Thirteen Hells, Master of the Bones, Emperor of the Black, Lord of the Undead, and the Mayor of a little village up the coast.” Once again thunder sounded as Richard made his introduction.
“Your name’s Richard?” asked Spike, repeating Willow’s earlier question.
“Why does no one ever pay attention to everything after that part?” complained Richard.
“Well, listen Dick-”
Whatever Spike was going to say got cut off as Richard interrupted him. “Rejoice, for Very Bad Things are about to happen.”
Fwooooosh! Once again the magical fire engulfed the undead warlock’s hands. “For Pony!” With that fearsome battle cry, Richard attacked, the first blast engulfing and immolating Spike. As he turned to deal with the rest of the group, imaginative and creative deaths already floating through his head and all thoughts of the deal he made with Willow forgotten, the spell ended.
Xander looked down at his hands, which still glowed with mystical power, and at his stomach, which still had a gaping hole in it. “I think we have a problem.”
Author’s Note: This is crossed with the Looking For Group story, a very funny web comic. The majority of the funny lines in here came from the comic itself. I recommend you read it, its a very nice fantasy story line with lots of humor.
Disclaimer: I do not own Looking for Group or Buffy.