Guess Ghoul's coming to town?
A BTVS/ Tales from the Crypt crossover....
I do not own Tales from the Crypt or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The Cryptkeeper was created by William Gaines of EC comics and Buffy was created by Joss Whedon. Tales from the Crypt the TV show was produced by HBO, Warner Brothers and The Geffen company. This is a piece of fanfiction and is not written for profit.
Xander Harris struggled against the ropes that bound his wrists behind his back.
“Breathe child. Remember what I've taught you.” The Crypt-Keeper said as he pushed a red-hot fireplace poker towards Xander's face.
Xander fought the urge to flinch before relaxing and slipping out of the ropes.
“Good.” The Crypt-Keeper said. “You've mastered knots. I need that in a stage hand. I'd say you earned your money this week.”
“About that.... my dad found my stash.” Xander said quietly.
“How much did he take?” The Crypt-Keeper asked.
“All of it. He said it got him some high quality booze.” Xander said as he gripped the rope in his hands, causing his knuckles to go white.
“Patience, child.” The Crypt-Keeper said. “As you know from my stories, things have a way of working themselves out. How about we set up a bank account for you? One he can't get to.”
“You can do that?” Xander asked.
“I can do many things child.” The Crypt-Keeper said. “So... now that you know knots, it's time to move onto wood and stage crafting.”
“Don't you need a regular crew?” Xander asked. “I can't do it all.”
“I'm sure we can.... dig some up.” The Crypt-Keeper giggled. “There's an old plot out back. Tell me, have you ever seen a reanimated corpse?”
Xander stared at his employer.
“Besides me.” The Crypt-Keeper frowned. “I'm an animated corpse. Big difference.”
“Yes sir.” Xander said. “So.... what else is out there? What else is real?”
“Everything.” The Crypt-Keeper said. “Everything lad.”
Xander nodded. “So.... now what?”
“Grab a shovel kid.” The Crypt-Keeper said as he tossed the now cool fireplace poker onto the floor.
Later that summer....
“What have you been up to?” Willow asked Xander as they walked to the movie theater for an afternoon double feature. “Jesse says you didn't visit him the whole time I was at camp.”
“I got a job up at that old house. The owner's a little strange but we get along.” Xander said with a shrug.
“Your parents are letting you work there?” Willow asked. “Really?”
“Yeah. As long as I stay out of their way and trouble.... they don't care what I do.” Xander said as he paid for their tickets.
“So what do you do?” Willow asked.
“I change light bulbs, do a little digging. Stuff. The guy's kinda old. Doesn't get around easily.” Xander said.
“Oh.” Willow said. “Can I meet him?”
“I don't think that's a good idea.” Xander said. “He likes his privacy.”
“Okay.” Willow said. “But I want to meet him. Resolve face mister.”
“Sorry Wills, but I need the money.” Xander said.
“How much is he paying you?” Willow asked.
“More than enough.” Xander said. “That's all I can say for now.”
“Is that where you got your new clothes?” Willow asked. “What happened to the bright shirts you used to wear?”
“Bright clothes attract attention.” Xander said. “That isn't a good thing, not in this town.”
“Xander, what's wrong with you?” Willow asked.
“Willow, you're my friend. Trust me. Okay?” Xander said. “Please, stay out of this.”
Willow nodded. Something was wrong with her friend and she'd find out what it was.
“Someone followed you.” The Crypt-Keeper said as Xander entered the house. “She managed to avoid the traps.”
“Willow's here?” Xander asked. “Dammit.”
“You're learning to swear. Good.” The Crypt-Keeper said. “I won't harm her. She has.... potential.”
“Potential for what?” Xander asked.
“That I can't tell you.” The Crypt-Keeper said. “Come in child.”
“Xander.... what is that?” Willow asked fearfully.
“My boss.” Xander said. “I help him with his TV show.”
“TV show?” Willow said.
“Her parents don't let her watch cable.” Xander explained. “She doesn't know.”
“We're only a few episodes in.” The Crypt-Keeper said. “It will catch on.”
“Willow, this is the Crypt-Keeper. He's the... man with the plan and my boss.” Xander said.
“He pays you?” Willow asked. “With what?”
“Cash and some gold. Also whatever I can dig up.” Xander said.
“Dig up?” Willow asked.
Xander nodded over to the pile of bones that he'd been gathering over in the dining room.
“Oh.” Willow said. “That's gross.”
“Honey, you haven't seen anything yet.” The Crypt-Keeper told her before turning to Xander. “Set up the stage. I've already got the stuff you 'll need unpacked for you.”
“Yes sir.” Xander said before he got to work.
“I... how did you get so good at that?” Willow asked Xander after he'd finished building the stage set-up for the weekly shoot.
“The Crypt-Keeper is a good motivator.” Xander told her. “When we leave, walk where I walk. The traps double in number after dark.”
“Xander... was that story true?” Willow asked.
“They all are Willow. Ghouls, zombies and people being....people.” Xander said. “All we can do is learn from them. We can also make a profit provided we don't take advantage of others. Well... anymore than they allow us to.”
“You're different.” Willow said flatly.
“I like spending my days with a desiccated talking corpse instead of my parents. I don't care if I've changed. I'm learning a lot.” Xander told her.
“Your vocabulary's improved too.” Willow said with a hint of a grin.
“Shut up!” Xander said before shoving her lightly. “Come on. We need to get you home before someone notices.”
Later that summer....
“Where's the money?” Tony Harris slurred as he loomed over his young son. “You've been working at that house all summer. Where's the money?”
“He paid upfront.” Xander lied. “You spent it already.”
“Bullshit.” Tony Harris said. “I know a liar when I see one. Stop it.”
“It's safe. It's also where you can't reach it.” Xander said as he stared defiantly into his father's eyes.
“Little bastard.” Tony muttered as he used one hand to brace himself against the wall.
Xander moved faster than his father could track. The next thing Tony Harris knew was that he was in pain and that his hand was stuck to the wall.
“My employer has taught me a lot this summer.” Xander said as he looked at his father. “There's enough space in the human hand to stick a blade between two of the metacarpals without causing a lot of damage.”
Tony's world came into focus through the haze of pain as he stared at his hand and then at his son.
“It's stuck in the stud. Another thing I learned this summer.” Xander said. “He also taught me that this town is different. Some people here develop... abilities. Like how you can tell if someone is lying.”
Tony stared at his son. “So you know I can't shut it off.”
“Then listen. You're a drunk and useless as a parent.” Xander said. “Just because you see when people lie doesn't mean you can make the rest of us as miserable as you. Be a man and suck it up.” Xander told his father before pausing. “Was I lying then?”
“No.” Tony said quietly. “No you weren't.”
“Getting drunk isn't the answer.” Xander said before pulling the knife out of the wall and his father's hand. “You lay a hand on mom or me again and I'll put this somewhere that will cause more permanent damage. Was any of that a lie?”
“No.” Tony said as he clutched his bleeding hand. “No it wasn't.”
“Good.” Xander grinned. While things might not necessarily get better, they weren't going to get worse.
He had the Crypt-Keeper's teachings to thank for that.
“Where have you guys been?” Jesse asked Xander and Willow. “I haven't seen either of you in like, forever.”
“Busy.” Willow said as she briefly looked up from her sketchpad. The Crypt-Keeper was right when he said she had potential. She was in charge of wardrobe, set design and lights as Xander did most of the construction. She had developed excellent skills with needle and thread as well as other tools of the trades.
The Crypt-Keeper was an excellent if eccentric teacher. Now that they were in break, he was going to focus on teaching them other things, like human anatomy. Both children were looking forward to dissecting a fresher corpse than the ones Xander had dug up from the plot at the house.
Who knows, maybe they'd get a real 'live' vampire to dissect instead. The Crypt-Keeper always told them it was more fun to cut up something that could feel it.