Disclaimer: All characters and institutions are the property of whomever owns Alice in Wonderland and BtVS;. I just borrowed them, and make no profit from their useThe Red Queen: Where is Alice?
The Mad Hatter: I've been considering words that start with the letter M. Moron. Mutiny. Murder. Mmm-malice.
The Red Queen: Well, we're looking for an A word right now. Where is Alice?
"Sweet!" Xander yelped, scooping the die from the gutter. He did a quick check and yup, there was the other, caught in the crack of the sidewalk. He grinned up at Willow, who blinked blankly back at him.
"Sweet?" She asked, shifting her plastic bag from Ethan's
from hand to hand.
He held out his cupped palm so she could see his new treasure, and she grinned up at him. "Sweet."
"Think I could pull it off?" He asked, eyebrow cocked.
"Meet you at five. We'll make it happen."
"Say what now?" Buffy huffed, the long garment bag with her fussy new dress flapping against her back as she bobbed from one to the other. Xander held out his hand and she took a look, but obviously didn't get it. "And I say again…"
"Demon dice!" Xander crowed while Willow nodded enthusiastically.
"Much as I hate to engage in redundancy," Buffy prompted.
"Video game. Alice Liddell -"
"Alice in Wonderland," Willow cut in.
"Went crazy after her parents burned to death in a house fire. She's locked in a mental institution, and has to go through a seriously whacked out Wonderland to be sane again."
Buffy nodded slowly, unsure of her two enthusiastic best friends' point.
"She's got wicked awesome toys, too, and the Cheshire Cat." Willow's grin was kinda starting to freak Buffy out.
"Demon Dice," Xander finally explained. "You throw them and they blow up on contact."
"Okay." Buffy understood, really, but so what? "And?"
"Well…" Willow trailed off provocatively, and Xander started singing.
"One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small -"
"But the one that mother gives you don't do anything at all -" Willow took up the Jefferson Airplaine song.
"Go ask Alice…" Xander drawled with an insinuating leer, rattling the inch-wide dice in his hand.
Buffy shook her head. "Right. Giles can't understand any of us, but sometimes I need a dictionary just for the two of you!"
Willow cocked her head and exchanged a surprised glance with Xander. "He's going to go as Malice, Buffy."
"Ma-, oh." Xander started, then paused, nodding. "That's good, Wills. Real good."
She giggled and the two shared a conspiratorial exchange of glances. Buffy just rolled her eyes and began planning out her Willow-transformation.
"Man-Alice, Buff!" Xander posed in the doorway, dolled up in as much pseudo-Victorian apparel as he could wheedle from everyone's favorite Watcher. He wore khaki trousers and his own white shirt - a little small now, as the funeral it had been bought for was several years past - under an embroidery-fronted waistcoat done in reds and blues with a silky red back. His wore an old, broken pocketwatch, heavy fob connecting button to pocket and glinting merrily under the incandescents, and a plain straw boater with a red band was cocked forward on his head. If that had been all, well, he would have looked nice enough, Buffy supposed. But his eyes were rimmed with kohl, his lips darkened as if he'd been biting them, and he was wearing his purchases he'd made at Ethan's
when he dragged them all back to exchange his gun: a heavy brass clip-on hoop spilling from the curl of one ear and a remarkably discrete pair of fake vampire fangs, just lengthening his canines slightly and drawing them to points. He looked a bit like a feral poet. Especially when he pulled those damned dice from a pocket and began rattling them in his palm.
"I see," Buffy offered, slightly put out that she had been so involved in observing his outfit while he had barely seemed to notice hers.
"Whereas you, milady Buffy, need no explanation." He bowed, putting paid to her internal grumbling. "You are a delight to the eyes and a balm to the heart; I hereby renounce spandex."
She giggled. "Wait'll you see - " She was cut off by the sound of footsteps on the stairs, and turned to see "Casper."
"Good lord!" Xander exclaimed. "You've a ghastly ghostly manifestation; perhaps something might be done?" He started listing possible means of dealing with the 'ghost,' each more ludicrous than the one before, and Buffy and Willow giggled as the three made their way towards the school.
Malice was… unexpected. An inversion of expectation led the inhabitant spirit to a complete and unprecedented freedom of expression. He moved like water on light, he faded into shadow, he slipped into the shade of the little red-headed whore and pulled enough memories from the encounter that he knew what he had to do.
He tried to hand the heavy axe to Buffy. "The vorpal blade went snicker-snack. He left it dead, and with its head. He went galumphing back. Its all about you, you know." Xander's teeth shone as he smiled encouragingly at the recalcitrant lady.
"I'm not slaying anything. I don't slay, so put it out of your mind," Buffy retorted.
"Damn and blast!" Xander exclaimed. "And no wonder; the source is befuddled - have I ever been a Hatter?" He asked Willow entreatingly. She shook her head and he sighed. "Well, then, the confusion is plain. Peril be to the penis!"
Buffy sucked in a horrified breath and Willow gasped, but Xander merely shifted his hips a time or two.
"Ah, that's better. Much less complicated; on my last journey I was - shall I tell you? - shrunk, stretched, scratched and stuffed into a teapot! This time I was merely burdened by an appendage the likes of which no proper child should bear… Of course, I do hope the dear boy will fetch it back; he seems a bit outraged at the prospect."
"Did you just…" Willow breathed in incorporeal horror.
Xander blinked, then stuck out a hand. Willow watched carefully, but it only faded to translucence and back again. "I'm a girl in a man-suit, a wicked thing, no doubt. But the man has a mind of his own, and the mind of the man means I must pay the rent, and how better to do than by facilitating the end of this rather awkward attempt? I've no compunction about the ending; there's much to befuddle 'fore the foes entreat." He pulled his hand back. "Exploration is key. How else to find my way home?"
He knew the strange blonde creature with the pretty face and the old coat.
"I try to believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast. Count them, Malice. One, there are drinks that make you shrink. Two, there are foods that make you grow. Three, animals can talk. Four, cats can disappear. Five, there is a place called Underland. Six, I can slay the Jabberwocky." Xander squinted and leaned in, whispering harshly, "that's you!"
Spike eyed her curiously. "Are you mad, or am I?"
"How's Drusilla?" Xander asked with a smirk, and Spike nodded resignedly.
"The tea party commenced apace."
"Of course it has. But then again, why would it have done? It's rather late, is it not?"
Spike blinked. Jabberwocky. He had a very strange feeling… "Where're you from, then, lad?"
"I was lost; I suppose it's good advice to stay where you are until someone finds you. But who'd ever think to look for me here?"
"And what world are you from, then?"
"If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary-wise; what it is it wouldn't be, and what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?"
Spike rolled his eyes; quote upon quote and really, he'd rather watch the film.
"Then again, there's a deal more… violence."
Spike started. "Violence?"
Xander grinned and pulled the demon dice from his pocket, their tiny faces howling silently. "Best of five?"
"You could stay," Spike offered, not really understanding why.
"What an idea. What a mad, crazy, wonderful idea." They smiled at each other, shy in a way no vampire nor hunter should ever truly be. "But I can't."
"Oh." Spike blinked. "Right."
"The spell will end, and as much as Malice bears affection, the man and the Alice shan't reconcile." Xander nodded sorrowfully.
Xander woke in his own bed with strangest sense that something wasn't right...
It really wasn't fair.
He missed his dick.