Best Laid Plans
Disclaimer: If you recognize something, I don’t own it. I make no profit off of the following.
Joyce Summers had just hung up the phone confirming that the caterers were ready for the party tonight at her gallery, when she cringed as her daughter Buffy stormed through the front door. Biting the bullet she asked, “How was school today honey?”
Buffy deflected from heading up the stairs to instead crash into the kitchen. “Do you know what that troll Snyder did today? He thinks I need something to keep me out of trouble tonight so he made me sign up to chaperone a bunch of little kids around trick or treating!”
“Honey, I don’t see how that’s the end of the world. After all you didn’t plan on doing anything tonight anyway.”
Buffy gave her mom a ‘look’, okay, it wasn’t like she could exactly tell her mom that she was looking forward to doing nothing tonight, the one night of the year the supernatural took a holiday, so she could take a break and veg.
“Don’t give me that look young lady,” Joyce said sternly. “Besides, Partytown called and they had an accident and a lot of on hold costumes were damaged so I need to get a new one too. Why don’t I grab my purse and we can go to that new costume store downtown together”
“I’m supposed to be meeting Xander and Willow there,” Buffy told her. “I was just stopping to pick up some money for the costume.”
“Well,” Joyce told her daughter, “You can pretend you don’t know me when we get there.”
Twenty minutes later the two Summers women entered Ethan’s, Sunnydale’s newest costume shop. The proprietor was wandering through the store helping various customers out. Buffy spotted Willow and Xander in the back corner of the store and after saying goodbye to her mother, she headed over to her friends.
Joyce wandered the store trying to find something that caught her eye when she heard a voice with and English accent asked, “Can I help you find something?”
Joyce turned and found a slim man, with thinning brown hair whose name tag said, ‘Ethan’.
“Well, I’m having a party at my gallery tonight. I had a costume on layaway over at Partytown, but they seem to have had an accident.”
“Yes, so I’ve heard. I’m sorry for your inconvenience, but it is helping my bottom line a bit.” Joyce laughed.
“Perhaps I can help you find a replacement costume? I’ll even give you a discount do to your misfortune,” Ethan offered.
“You seem to be out of female pirate costumes,” Joyce said. “My gallery currently has a lot of 18th century Spanish art work and jewelry, along with some Mayan and Aztec relics. When I saw that pirate costume I thought it would fit right in.”
“I’m afraid your right, my last pirate costume went out the door about an hour ago. However, if a woman of adventure is what you want I might have something for you,” he said as he led her over to a costume rack not far from where Xander was looking over a set of what looked like baseball chest protectors attached to a set of football shoulder guards that had been painted brown.
Reaching up Ethan pulled down a costume that was on a hanger. The costume was a black leather bolero jacket, a blue t-shirt that might have reached her belly button. The t-shirt had a black widow symbol right above the bottom hem, and a pair of leather short-shorts, and a belt with what looked like a holster of some sort and pouches of various kinds hanging off of it.
“I don’t know,” Joyce said, “That’s awfully revealing.”
“Nonsense,” Ethan soothed, “I bet it’s actually more covering than the pirate costume.”
Joyce had to agree to that, “Okay, you’re right there. But it doesn’t look very Spanish Main like.”
Ethan couldn’t argue with that, but, “Ah, but the character that is attached to this costume is even more of freebooter than Anne Bonny or Mary Reid could ever hope to be.”
“Really?” Joyce asked, clearly unconvinced.
“Oh, yes, she was a member of a militaristic society that had fled a war. When rumbling started within that society about going back and conquering their original territory she was part of mission dispatched to see what had been built after they had fled. When the invasion seemed to be a foregone conclusion they were tasked with preparing the people who lived there for it.”
“Why would she do that?” Joyce asked.
“Because the faction she belonged too believed that the military that had fled was to protect their original people, not enslave them.”
“Alright, you convinced me. Let’s ring it up.”
Ethan smiled. One more bit of chaos about to be loosed.
Buffy walked up to where Xander was reading a card that went with costume he was considering. He’d originally planned on just picking up a plastic gun to go with the set of fatigues he had, but looking at the card that went with the armor he thought he might just have to stick a crowbar in his wallet and splurge.
“Find something?” Buffy asked as she came up.
“Yeah, this I think,” Xander replied.
Buffy frowned, “What is it?”
Xander stuck the card back in the envelope that was stuck on the front of the plastic that covered the costume, “It’s supposed to be body armor. It goes with the character.”
Buffy shrugged, “Looks okay, I guess.”
Willow was going over a set of classic costumes, and Buffy saw her reaching for a ghost costume, “What’ch ya doing Willow?”
Willow glanced over at her friend, “Getting my costume?”
“You’re missing the point of Halloween Willow,” Buffy chided.
“Free candy?” Willow responded.
Buffy shook her head in exasperation, “No, come as you aren’t! If you keep covering up how are people supposed to see you?”
“Well how about you, what kind of costume are you getting?” Willow challenged.
“Hmm, didn’t really think about it yet. But, we are talking about you, not me.”
Glancing around the store, Buffy spotted something. Grabbing Willow she dragged her to the opposite corner to what she had spotted. Grabbing the costume she held it up for Willow to check out. It consisted of a set of shoulder guards with a red gem on the front of one shoulder and a couple of blue ones on the other. It also had a blue cape attached to the guards. It had a pink shirt and dark pink pants. A set of bracers and a pair of tall floppy boots completed the costume.
“Buffy, this is some kind of a Cosplay costume. There is no way I can afford this!”
“If you please,” an English voice said, “I actually picked that up for a steal, if you really want it, I’m sure we can come to a price we both will agree is fair.”
Willow thought about it for a second, “All right, if the price is fair I’ll take it. But only on the condition that if you get to pick my costume Buffy, I get to pick yours.”
Buffy shrugged, she knew Willow wouldn’t pick anything to bad, “Sure, Willow. Pick away.” Willow had half expected Buffy to say no, and then she could go back to the old tried and true. Glancing at the card she saw that the character that went with the costume was a wizard too, so at least she had something in common with her, then seeing another thing she had in common was that the character was a red-head too. Well, now she had to find one for Buffy to wear, and it had to be at least as uncomfortable to her, as Buffy’s choice was with her.
Cordelia Chase entered Ethan’s in a funk. She had had the cutest cat costume reserved over at Partytown for the last three weeks. But, because of some klutzy better-be-ex employee, she had to scurry around to find a replacement. Then what happens when she gets to the costume shop? She runs into the Buffy and her posse. At least they wouldn’t be competing for the same costumes. Her eyes narrowed, they could though, maybe not the same exact costume, but they could still end up with the same type of costume. Nope, not happening, Cordelia headed for the Slayer.
Harmony and the rest of the Cordettes froze where they were as she headed toward Buffy. Looking around Harmony spotted a costume she just had to have, it was long green dress that looked like it would be ankle length, with a white long sleeve shirt and a wicked looking broach, like some kind of big gold bug. Anything with a big gold bug had to be perfect for Halloween. Grabbing the card she saw there was linked costumes to it so she went to talk the Cordettes into getting them.
Cordelia strode up to Buffy and asked, “What are you planning on wearing?”
Buffy looked at the taller girl and said, “And good afternoon to you too Cordy. Ask Willow, she’s choosing.”
Cordy looked at Buffy in shock, “You’re letting Willow chose your costume?”
“Hey!” Willow said, “Standing here! Besides, I let Buffy choose mine, so it’s only fair.”
“Okay, then what are you choosing? I don’t want to wear the same thing as her.”
“I’m thinking. Buffy said that tonight is come as you not. I want to pick something appropriate.”
“Come as your not,” mused Cordelia. Spotting a costume hanging she said, “I got it. Stay with that thought,” Cordelia ordered. Turning she grabbed a costume that consisted of a set of faux-leather armor, a long sword and a helmet with a nose guard. She headed up to the cash register to pay.
“Hey,” Aura said from behind her, “Looks like we are going as similar things!”
Turning to her underling Cordelia snarled and looked Aura’s costume over, seeing it came with a green wig she snarled, “Not really.”
Aura sighed, She hated dealing with Cordy after she had talked to Buffy and her dork friends.
Willow spotted the perfect costume. It consisted of a work shirt that was tied so it sat above the belly button, a set of short, short, short denim shorts, “Here we go,” Willow said sweetly.
Buffy cocked an eyebrow at it, “You want me to go as Ellie Mea Clampet?”
“Can’t think of anyone more ‘come as you’re not’ can you?”
Buffy shrugged, a deals a deal. Plus, she really wanted to get Willow out of her shell and the night was shot anyway, so…., “Fine I’ll wear it.”
Willow deflated inside a little. She’d seen Buffy eyeing a fancy gown, she figured she’d back off from something that was the antithesis of that. The two headed for the cash register.
Ten minutes after the Scoobies left Principle Snyder came storming into the shop. He had causally mentioned his plans of having his more juvie students being kept of trouble by making them escort trick or treaters in costume to one of the local school board members. The member had been so impressed he thought Snyder should supervise the activity, in costume too. When Snyder had tried to back out he had ordered Snyder to do it.
Snyder hated Halloween with a passion. He had decided on the way over he’d just grab what ever was inside the door and make any students who made fun of him life’s more of a living hell than he already did. He’d make a hobby of making the kid miserable. The first costume he hit had a wild brown fright wig and a beigeish body suit. Fine it was perfect. He headed for the register.
Ethan was content. He’d managed to sell almost all of the costumes he really wanted to get out on the streets, some were a little powerful, true, but he’d taken steps to ward his shop against any of them effecting him, so all he’d have to do is sit back and watch, cook some popcorn and enjoy the show. He was about to flip the open sign to closed when a chunky guy and his girlfriend ran up to the door. “I know you’re closing, but we got a late invite and we really need some costumes!”
“Please,” Ethan said, “I am in the business of selling costumes.” He opened the door and let the pair inside.
“Um, do you have any matched sets left? We’d kind of like to go together.”
“Well there you may have a problem, as I only have one left,” Ethan replied as he led them into the largely stripped store. Pulling down a pair of hangers, one had a black trench coat, pant’s and fedora, the other a slinky purple cocktail dress with a cigarette holder.
The guy turned to the girl and asked, “What do you think Kristen, up to chasing moose and squirrel?”