Notes: See notes in first chapter for ownership disclaimers.
Notes 2: I know that one of the problems with these stories is why didn't anyone help with the hellmouth. Well this chapter will give you guys a slight hint of my reasoning behind it. I hope you enjoy.
Note 3: Yes, I did use direct quote from the episode when doing the spell that Ethan used.
Buffy stood in front of the mirror examining how the costume that Xander had picked out looked on her. She smiled as she turned back and forth thinking, ‘Change the shirt, so its not so superhero vibey, but I like it. Could be a cool look to wear every so often.’
The opening of the bathroom door drew her attention away from the mirror. Her smile got even wider as she watched Willow meekly walk out of the bathroom. While the newly dyed black hair made her skin seem a little on the pale side, Buffy had to admit that she looked really good. However, looking at her friends stance and the look on her face Buffy could tell that she was worried.
“Willow, you look great. I’m sure Xander and a bunch of the guys at school are going to like the new look,” Buffy said, trying to support her friend.
“I don’t know, Buffy. It’s kinda tight,” Willow said, as her right hand unconsciously raised up and started to pull a little on the top as if trying to make it cover more skin.
Buffy shook her head, grabbed the trench coat that was laying on her bed and quickly helped Willow put it on. She then laid her hands on Willow’s shoulders and guided her over in front of the mirror.
“That’s why Xander got you the trench coat, Will,” Buffy said, and looked her directly in the eyes through the mirror and continued, “You’re a dish, Will, and I for one can’t wait to see Xander go non-verbal when he sees you.”
Willow smiled and was about to thank her but then fear raced across her features at the sound of a knock on the front door, and Miss Summers letting Xander into the house. Buffy could see the panic starting to rush in so before Willow could do anything she quickly led her out through the door and to the top of the stairs.
Meanwhile, Joyce was just handing Xander the altered costume when they heard the sound of Buffy’s door opening drawing their attention to the top of the stairs. Xander looked up expecting to see Buffy coming out of her room but his jaw dropped open at the sight of Willow standing there. While the trench coat did cover a lot of the costume he could definitely see enough of what was underneath that made him question how he had seen her for a long time.
‘Wow, she actually got a pretty good body. Not Cordelia or Buffy good, but good,’ he thought, but then he noticed the look on her face and he quickly said, “Wow, lookin good, Will. I actually like the black hair.”
Willow blushed at the complement and said, “Thanks, Xander.”
Buffy walked out from behind Willow with a pleased expression on her face and mouthed “Thank you,” to Xander. Unfortunately, as soon as she walked out Xander got a poleaxed expression on his face, Buffy just shook her head at him and lead Willow down the stairs.
“If that’s going to be your reaction when ever you see us, Xander. How exactly are you going to get through the night being around this much hotness.” Buffy laughed.
Xander opened and closed his mouth a couple times before he mumbled that he had to change and quickly rushed into the downstairs bathroom, leaving behind three laughing women. After getting control over herself Joyce ushered the girls into the dinning room where she had some snacks prepared for while they waited for Xander.
“You girls look terrific and I hope both of you have fun despite having to escort the kids around for Halloween,” Joyce said.
Suddenly they heard scrambling coming from upstairs and feet frantically running down the steps, before a yellow blur streaked into the dinning room.
“Is he here, did I miss Xander’s reveal.” Dawn gushed.
Buffy’s large smile instantly disappeared at the sight of what Dawn was wearing. Pink wrap around sunglasses covered her eyes and a bright yellow knee length coat covered most of her body, but she could still see the blue shorts and pick t-shirt she had under it. But the most damning thing of all was the belt with the distinctive red X belt buckle.
“Mom, you didn’t,” Buffy complained.
“Yes I did. When Dawn heard what you guys were going as, she asked if she could dress up too, she even went online and found a costume that she could do without having to buy to much. Admittedly I had to get the sunglasses and the coat from Ethan’s but they were actually pretty cheap,” Joyce said, but when she saw the look on Buffy’s face she continued, “Now Buffy Summers, Dawn has just as much right to dress up as you do, if she wants too. And I don’t think it’ll hurt you one bit to watch over your sister, for tonight.”
Willow chuckled at the expression that crossed Buffy’s face but then she lead Dawn into the living room asking about the character that she had dressed up as. Buffy looked at the resolved face of her mother and just sighed and put her head down on the dining room table in defeat. Joyce smiled at the small victory and then headed into the kitchen to grab her purse.
“Now, Buffy. I have to go, a major donor wants to talk to me early in the morning tomorrow in LA so I’m going to have to spend the night up there and come back tomorrow after the meeting. Take care of Dawn tonight and please don’t get in trouble.”
Buffy got up and nodding her head gave her mother a hug good bye. Joyce hugged back, tilted Buffy’s head up and gave her a gentle kiss on her forehead.
“I love you, Buffy. Be safe tonight,” Joyce said, “Oh and get a couple of pictures of the four of you together if you can, or even better all five of you if you can get Cordelia to join in since you said that she was going in a matching costume.”
“Ok, I’ll get a couple of pics as soon as Xand comes out of the bathroom. As for Cordy, I’ll try but I think she’s mostly going through with this because of Snyder.”
“Well at least try. I know I only met her once at the gallery but I think that she could probably use a couple of true friends,” Joyce said, as she headed out of the room and after saying good bye to Willow and Dawn she walked out of the house.
Seconds after the front door closed the bathroom door opened, causing all three girls to jump up and head into the hallway to get a look at what Xander was wearing. At the sight of Xander clad in a the leather jumpsuit, both Willow and Dawn silently mouthed “wow”. Buffy shook her head at her friends reaction while she worried a little at Dawns.
‘Damn I knew the girl had a crush on Xand, but get real,’ she thought before saying, “Lookin’ good Xander. Are you ready to go?”
“Yeah, I’m all ready. Was that your mother leaving, Buff?” he asked, and then at her nod said, “Damn I wanted to say thank you. She did a good job with the alterations, I almost can’t tell that this thing had ever been any different.”
“I’ll tell her you said thanks and that you appreciated her work. Now if you three can stand next to the door, I’ll get a couple pics for mom and then we can get out of here.”
It was then that Xander noticed Dawn standing there in costume and he said, “Cool you’re coming too, huh Dawnster. Great job on the Jubilee costume.”
Dawn blushed and excitedly said thanks as she pulled him in front of the door so that they could do the pictures, but just before the first picture could be taken someone knocked at the door. With a look of curiosity on her face Buffy opened the door to reveal Cordelia standing there in costume. All four of them stood there speechless as they stared at her in shock. After a couple seconds of the open staring Cordelia started to fidget a little before she got control of herself and an annoyed look crossed her face.
“So are we going or are you four going to get out of the way so I can come in?”
Willow ran her eyes from the top of Cordelia’s now purple haired head down to her feet before she realized what she was doing and quickly moved out of the way so she could come through the door. ’What’s wrong with you, it’s Cordelia,’ Willow berated herself.
“What’re you doing here?” Buffy asked.
“Look, its like this. While I can tell everyone that I’m dressed as a ninja to spare me some dignity, I do have to at least be seen coming into the school with you by Snyder, so he can see that I’m part of this theme that he picked out. So I figured I might as well come and meet you three here rather than wait outside the school for you,” Cordelia explained, like it was obvious.
“Oh,” Buffy responded, “Well we were just about to take some pictures for my mother. She wanted to know if you would be willing to be in them too?”
“Sure, she was very nice the few times Mother took me to her gallery. I do have to wonder though, she has such excellent taste in clothing,” Cordelia said, looking at Buffy.
Buffy frowned at the implications of her statement but before she could say anything Willow quickly spoke up and said, “Ok cameras in place get in your positions.”
Xander stood in the middle of the doorway, and after a brief subtle shoving match between Dawn and Buffy, Buffy took the place to his right. Dawn was about to try and take the place on his left when the imperious glare she received from Cordelia made her decide to stand next to Buffy. Willow smiled and quickly set the camera before moving over to stand next to Cordelia. Before they could move after the flash, Willow told them to wait because she had set it to take three shots.
After the photography was finished, Cordelia looked at the others and asked, “Are we ready to go now?”
Buffy nodded her head, led the others out the door and started down the street. Unconsciously the three long time friends fell into the usual order that they tended to take during patrols, Buffy in the lead with Willow next and Xander at the rear. Cordelia shook her head as she watched Dawn move next to Xander and engage him in conversation over some movie that she had watched. Rather than deal with the annoyance of the younger Summers and not really wanting to deal with the older, she ended up walking next to Willow.
Cordelia looked out of the corner of her eye at Willow and watched as her hand seemed to unconsciously stray up her top and try to get it cover more of her. ‘Hmm, well Buffy started it, maybe I’ll try a little of her way see if I can help reinforce that back bone a little.’ Cordelia thought.
“You actually look decent in that outfit, Willow. Maybe you should think about including some of its ideas in your normal look.”
“Th..thanks, Cordelia,” Willow said, not really sure about how to take the complement, “You look good too, not that you don’t always.”
“Of course,” Cordelia said, she was just about to add more when she decided to try a different tract, “Look, Willow, I know I don’t usually say stuff like this to you but good job on your come back with Harmony. I may don’t really like the outcome but I was impressed.”
Willow looked over at her in shock before asking, “But then why did you berate me so hard afterward if you liked it?”
“Willow, there was only one problem with what you did. You did it in front of me and a bunch of other kids at the school. I couldn’t not respond to it, after all unfortunately that airhead is my second in command,” she explained, but from the look on Willow’s face she could tell she still didn’t understand, “Its like this Willow, while I was impressed with your comeback and even though Harmony did deserve have her swelled head deflated a little. I had to respond to it because if I didn’t then my status would have taken a hit, because in the eyes of the school here was a nobody attacking an elite with no repercussions.”
Willow thought about her explanation for a couple minutes before she said, “I think I understand, thanks.”
They continued on in silence for the few blocks left before the school, each lost in their own thoughts about what they were going to do after the punishment. As soon as they walked into the school and checked in with Snyder, Cordelia took her assigned group and quickly left the building. The others just shook their heads at her actions and got together with their groups and headed out as well.
Ethan kneeled before the candle lit alter in the back of his shop a slight smile crossed his lips as he felt the magic power that was slowly circling the room just waiting for some form or direction to be given to it. He focused all of his concentration and will towards the outcome that he wanted and started the spell.
“Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe noctem pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita potestas. “
Ethan could feel the magic start to circle faster about him, filling him with a sense of warmth and fulfillment.
“Persona se corpum et sanguium commutandum est. Vestra sancta praesentia concrescet viscera. Janus! Sume noctem!”
Ethan felt a wave of happiness fill him as he felt what had to be the eyes of Janus turning their attention on him, as the magic suddenly burst from the room in a roaring wind. Ethan felt pleasure ripple through his body as he realized that his grand spell was working.
“Show time,” he said, with a smile on his face.
Suddenly his smile turned to a grimace as he noticed that more and more magic was filling the room as if something was fighting against the spell. Frantically he tried to force more direction more willpower into the spell attempting to get the spell to complete. However, he noticed that he was quickly losing the battle as cracks started appearing in the idol sitting in front of him. In desperation he cast his mind out onto the wave of magic trying to find what could possibly be preventing the spell from completing.
What he found was a barrier like nothing he had ever seen before, his mind filled with wonder as he looked on the barrier, but as pain started to wrack his body he turned to trying to find some way to at least put a whole in the barrier to let the magic out. His mind kept telling him that it was going to be impossible to breach the barrier, but then pain is a great motivator. The one type of magical energy that seemed to have no problem with the barrier was the magic of the hell mouth, so in a moment of insane inspiration he used the last ounce of his will and linked the two energy forms together.
The magic instantly flooded out of the room as the hell mouth energy allowed his spell to find the tiny cracks in the barrier. Ethan fell back onto the ground as the pain in his body slowly came down to a more manageable level.
The last words to cross his mind before he passed out were, ‘Let Chaos Reign!’
Several simultaneous screams erupted throughout the Watchtower sending Justice League members and support staff running. Before the first scream stopped Flash reached the rooms belonging to Zatanna. Only his amazing speed saved him from injury as an explosion sent the door to her room hurtling across the hall with enough force to dent the steel wall. He very carefully peaked his head into the room only to find that the entire room was destroyed, every piece of furniture smashed into millions of pieces, and Zatanna laying in the middle of the room.
Flash zipped forward and checked to see if Zatanna was all right and released a breath of relief when he found that she was unconscious but uninjured. He quickly picked her up and raced off to the medical unit with her. No sooner had he gotten there than Superman raced into the room with the equally unconscious body of Wonder Woman.
“What the heck happened?” Wally asked.
“I don’t know, I was talking to Diana when she suddenly threw her head back and screamed in pain, before falling down unconscious.”
“Yikes, your lucky you weren’t with Zatanna, whatever happened caused an explosion that took out her entire room.”
“B…backlash. God…what..did..they do,” the pained voice of Dr. Fate came from the door, before he too fell to the ground unconscious.
Clark raced across the room and caught him before he hit the ground and carefully carried him over to one of the monitor beds, before looking up at Wally in concern. Worry filled Wally’s face as he realized that Fate was the most powerful mage he knew.