Accessories Make the Outfit, Chapter 2
Joyce Summers recognized that something was wrong the moment she saw their eyes. Those were not her girls’ eye colors, and their costumes hadn’t included anything like colored contacts. Neither had there been hair coloring included, but they each had streaks in their hair to match their eye color.
As one, they looked up and smiled at her. There was an unnervingly cold quality to the smiles, but they were genuine. “Mother.”
“What’s going on?” Joyce asked.
“We’re not sure.” Cordelia answered. “But it might be related with what happened to her. It looks like she was transformed into her costume.”
Buffy looked at the outfits that they were wearing. “That must be what happened to us as well, because we haven’t worn these since our coronation. Let’s go find our ‘maker’, shall we, and thank him properly.”
The others nodded and turned for the door. Buffy grabbed the collar of the body and dragged it behind her, pausing only when she reached the sidewalk, outside the fence, and turned to her mother, who was right behind her. “You stay here. I’m going to put up a barrier so that nothing else can get to you. The only one that it will allow past, other than us, are Faith and the boys. As long as they do not have ill intentions, since we can only assume that the same thing happened to them as well. If you see them, try to get them to stay here with you.”
Joyce nodded, making sure to keep her unease buried deep for later contemplation. Somehow, she knew that they would not react well to it. She looked past Buffy to see Willow standing in the middle of the street, her gaze studying the night sky, before turning and focusing off to the left. As one, they all began to walk off in that direction. Without thinking, Joyce began to take a step through the fence, but froze as pale purple eyes turned back on her.
"Ah, ah, ah," Buffy smiled, playfully wagging her finger. "You’re staying here, remember." Then, she snapped her fingers and Joyce stumbled back as her waist-high wrought-iron gate suddenly transformed into a nine-foot tall metal weave, that softly glimmered with purple streaks of energy.
“Figures that you would figure out how to use the powers first.” Cordelia remarked as Buffy stuffed the body into one of the garbage bins that was somehow still standing upright. “What did you do?”
Buffy shrugged. “Just thought about what I wanted and, snap, there it was.”
“If that’s the case, then it does make sense.” Willow said. “You’ve always been the most instinctive [a]
“Somehow, I find myself unsurprised.” Buffy commented wryly when they soon found themselves in front of the new costume store, Ethan’s. “Do you think he really did burn down PartyTown after all?”
Neither of her sisters answered the irrelevant question. The door was locked, of course, but opened easily enough with a twist of Buffy’s wrist. They made their way inside, then up the stairs, until they came to a room where a middle aged man was staring at a television. From what Cordelia could see over his shoulder, the television had been bespelled to show what was happening in the town.
“The magic is focused on this.” Willow said.
That man spun around in surprise to see the redhead standing next to his bust of Janus. He recognized the girls from the photo the young man had shown him, and the costumes that he had personally suggested just for them. These were Ripper’s girls. Shock shivered down his spine but he recovered quickly, wondering how they’d figured out what he had done and tracked him down.
“Ladies, don’t you look smashing this evening.” He greeted, even as he felt the first trickling of unease. There were changes to the young women that hadn’t come from the costume, and there was a sense of immense power that shouldn’t be there. The TriQueens, a creation of of Ripper, himself and their friends, a long time ago, had had no magic. It had been Deidre’s idea for the world that they’d created to be the one thing that they did together had was in no way related to anything supernatural. Instead, they’d conjured the girls using the so-called dark triad personalities, completely with contributing childhood traumas. When he’d come up with the Halloween spell, he’d had the dresses made simply because he wanted to see the women in real-life, if only temporarily. Now, something had quite obviously gone wrong.
“If this is destroyed, it will neutralize the spell, yes?” Cordelia asked.
Before Ethan could formulate an answer, Buffy spoke, her head tilted as she studied him curiously. “You know us, don’t you? Even though some of our memories have no knowledge of Varisa. Or any of the other Kingdoms.”
Ethan cursed to himself. Something had definitely gone wrong with these three. They shouldn’t even have ‘other’ memories.
“So, how about this,” Buffy pulled out her dagger with a smile, “you tell us what you know, and I won’t do any permanent damage.”
“Permanent damage?” Ethan said, shocked. “Why are you doing me damage at all? I brought you forth.”
“And we are grateful.” Willow nodded solemnly. “Which is why we aren’t planning to kill you out right. But other creatures that you also called forth attacked Mother, and if you do know us, you know that we will never let such a thing slide.”
Ethan swallowed hard, fear sliding down his spine. One of the contributions Deidre made to their personalities, was a fierce, often fatal, protectiveness of Leiji’s mother, the only person to who showed love toward the girls. Deidre’s mother had died trying to protect her from the drug dealer her father owed money to, when he had wanted to take her and let her ‘work off’ his debt.
“If you want to be stubborn about it, however...” Cordelia began, pulling out a dagger of her own.
“Please feel free.” Willow finished, doing the same.