I know the movie came out years after the Halloween Episode of Buffy... but who the hell cares, jah? So this is YAHF where Xander unwittingly dresses as the star and namesake of the movie Sivaji: The Boss. Knowledge of Sivaji would be helpful for understanding this story, but not entirely imperative.
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, nor do I own Sivaji: The Boss. The rights to those belong to their respective companies, of which I have no affiliation.
Xander: The Boss
Xander looked at the suit hanging off of the mannequin in front of him. For a moment he thought that it looked like something that Angel would wear. It was all black, with a knee-length leather coat, and a small bag of accessories hanging from the neck on a twine. It was the picture in the bag that caught his attention before he dismissed it outright. It showed a tan-skinned man with a clean shaven head and sharply defined facial hair, a look of utter control and confidence seeming to radiate from him.
The caption to the picture said Sivaji: The Boss. AKA: M.G. Ravichandran, The New Boss.
A smirk played over Xander's face as he imagined having half the confidence of the man in the picture. Maybe he wouldn't get picked on so much by Larry... or the Cordettes...
In the bag was a set of large sunglasses, their lenses a dark brown, with a few diamonds on the outside edge. There was also a pair of large diamond earrings, and a steel gray metal watch with gold trim on the face. A fake mustache and beard with some spirit gum, and a small tin of dark tan foundation makeup were also in there, so you could look more like the actor. Much to Xander's relief, there was a bald cap there as well. He didn't like the idea of having to shave his hair just for a Halloween costume.
The final, most confusing object, was a single coin. A One Rupee coin.
Looking at the price tag, Xander flinched at the price tag: $50. If he wanted to get it he would have to dip into the money he was saving for his road trip. On the other hand, after checking the tag on the jacket, and looking at the shoes, he realized that they were both made of real leather. Checking the watch in the bag he saw that it was actually working, and also showing the right time.
For $50 one would be hard pressed to buy just the shoes, let alone all of it. Even if it was to be his Halloween costume, he could easily wear parts of it afterwards and get more value from it over time.
"It looks like you've found your match," said a British-accented voice from directly behind Xander.
"Geez!" Xander spun around. "Don't sneak up on people in this town!"
Ethan took a step back, holding his hands up in surrender, a smarmy smirk on his face.
"Would you like me to bag up your purchase, young man?" Ethan asked.
"Sure," Xander nodded.
The man carefully took the clothes from the mannequin and placed them in a large paper bag. After he collected the money from Xander, he stapled the receipt to the folded top of the bag, holding it closed.
Xander was amazed at how well the clothes fit. They were a little loose on him, and the jacket a little bit too baggy, but there was the chance that he still had some growing left in him, and would fit them better later. He was glad to find out that the earrings were held on by some kind of magnet instead of a piercing. The bald cap fit so well that he couldn't find the edge by looking in the mirror. Putting the foundation makeup on his face helped blend the line. It took longer to actually figure out how to get the beard on, it was lust a line running across the jaw line, and connected to a thin mustache that ran down to meet it on his chin. However, after a few failed attempts, he finally got it right.
He tossed the coin up in the air and caught it between his hands, opening them to reveal the tails on the coin, with what looked to be a three-headed lion. With the coin placed in his left pants pocket, he grabbed the jacket, noticing something in the breast pocket on either side.
In the left-hand pocket was a wallet with what looked like an international driver's license, Indian green card, and a First USA credit card. In the right-hand pocket was an Indian Passport. All in the name of M.G. Ravichandran.
Xander shrugged, and placed them back in the pockets. He would deal with that later, right now he had to get over to Buffy's house so he could walk his girls to School.
Placing the glasses on his face, he imagined a robot-like sound effect, and smiled at himself in the mirror.
Xander took a step back from the door after ringing the bell. The door opened a moment later, revealing Joyce Summers. A confused look came across her face, as she obviously didn't recognize him. Not that he blamed her, he was a bald man with a goatee, wearing a nice leather jacket. His eyes and eyebrows hidden behind the sunglasses, and the diamond earrings reflecting the porch light distracting from and recognizable features.
"Hello," Joyce answered. "Can I help you..."
"M.G.R." Xander responded in a deep voice. "The Boss."
It took Joyce a moment to realize that it was Xander standing there. Having fed him to many dinners, she recognized his voice, and picked out his features a moment later. She stepped aside, letting Xander into her warm home.
"Well, who am I to deny The Boss," she joked, looking him over. "You clean up nice. Did you-?"
"No," Xander shook his head. "It's a bald cap, thankfully."
"I see... well, it is a good look for you, young man. If I didn't know
better, I would think that you were here to keep ME company tonight while the girls were away," she flirted.
Xander blushed, but the makeup kept it from being noticeable, giving him an air of unflappability. Spinning his wrap-around sunglasses to the back of his head, he stepped into the home.
"Is that Xander?" Buffy's voice came from upstairs.
"Come see for yourself!" Joyce shouted up to her daughter.
Xander turned around from his inspection of the Summer's living room when he heard a brush of cloth against cloth from the stairs. Looking up he saw Buffy slowly navigating the steps in her noble woman's dress. There was a determined look on her face as she took the last few steps, being careful not to step on the beautiful dress. The dark locks of her wig framed her face beautifully.
"My Lady Buffy, Duchess of Buffdom, I hereby denounce Spandex," Xander praised her beauty.
Buffy looked up after taking the last step down, and froze in shock as she took in her male friend's appearance. With the glasses spun backwards it was much easier to recognize him due to the familiar smile in his eyes.
Starting from his face she checked him out, going over the goatee-beard, bald head, and earrings first. They gave him a cleaner, more mature look, and the darker skin brought out highlights in his eyes that were normally hidden by his paler face. The jacket was smooth leather, with large buttons on the right-hand side. A black turtleneck, rib-knit shirt slimmed his figure beneath the coat, drawing attention to the large oval belt buckle with an understated engraving of an eagle on it. The pants were a pair of business-suit trousers, wide pin-stripes complementing the shirt. The shoes were made from soft leather, with thick soles, and expertly-tied laces.
"And what are you supposed to be?" Buffy asked, smiling at her friend. "Some kind of action hero?"
"I don't know, exactly," he shrugged. "But I liked the coat, it came with a working watch. That, and I've been needing a new belt for a while. My old one was starting to crack."
"Well, it looks good on you."
"Thanks," he blushed again, and again it was unseen.
"Just wait until you see... Casper."
"Mighty fine Boo you got there, Wills," Xander smirked.
He expected no less from his best childhood friend, the ghost costume was traditional for her. He, however, had finally broken his record as the two-dollar-costume-king.
"Xan-Xander?" Willow exclaimed, barely recognizing him.
"M.G.R." he responded, spinning his sunglasses back to the front of his face and smirking. "The Bald Boss."
Buffy and Willow trailed behind their mutual friend as they reached the front doors to the school. They had both noticed a new air of confidence he was exuding, the easy swagger in his step, with his familiar grin outlined by the goatee. A gust of air sprung up behind them as they reached the door, sweeping some dry leaves in from the parking sidewalk. Xander walked with confidence through the doors as if he owned the place, all eyes turning to them.
Larry, who had threatened to punch him earlier that day over a soda, tried to swallow as his mouth was suddenly dry. The poor boy might be in the closet, but that was the finest looking man he had ever seen off the silver screen.
Cordelia, in her leopard-print cat suit turned away from her stunned Cordettes, and spotted him a moment later. As he passed the girls, he grabbed a gumball out of his left breast pocket. He had filched several from Joyce's candy dish in the living room before they had left.
Using a move practiced with grapes in his spare time, he tossed the gumball from his left hand to his right, then threw it at the palm of his left hand again, causing it to ricochet into his waiting mouth.
Harmony almost swooned as he finally passed, and even Cordelia was wondering who he was. The fact that Buffy and Willow came about ten feet behind him at this point helped hide the fact that he had walked with them.
Xander slumped forward as the spell swept all of Sunnydale into it's grasp. Beneath his coat, his frame filled out until his clothes fit as if they were tailor made. The bald cap became a bald head, his goatee becoming real hair. The earrings settled into place, now fitting into actual piercings.
Sivaji opened his eyes behind his sunglasses, taking in his surroundings. He was in an American town, it looked like southern California, close to where he had worked as a Software Systems Architect.
The little growling monsters terrorizing the citizens were new though.
Sivaji looked over to the voice to see a 'modern' girl with red hair racing up to him. She had a look on her face like she recognized him, but the name that she was calling was foreign to him.
"I don't know any Xander," he responded in accented English.
"It's me, Willow!"
"I don't know any Willow."
"Xander, quite messing around. This is no time for jokes."
"What the hell's going on here?"
"You don't know me?"
Sivaji shook his head in negative, and spotted one of the children-turned-monster stalking towards them with obvious ill intent. Grabbing a gothic looking axe that had been dropped by one of the costumers from the ground, he swing it a couple of times to get the heft of it. It had been plastic before the spell made it real, but it was dangerous enough now.
"Lady, I suggest you find cover."
Willow rushes around to stand in front of him, trying to block his path to the monster. Going to brush her aside with his hand, they were both shocked as no physical contact was made. The sensation brought a gasp from Willow, and Sivaji shook his now cold hand a few times.
"What are you?" Sivaji demanded.
"Xander, listen to me. I'm on your side, I swear! Something crazy is happening. I was dressed as a ghost for Halloween, a-and now I am a ghost. And you were dressed as The Boss, and n-now you're... you..."
"You expect me to believe that?"
The monster across the street growls, and Sivaji growls back, lifting the axe higher. Hearing the lion-like growl from the obviously armed man in front of it, the monster chose the safer path and ran away. Once again, Willow jumps in front of him, keeping him from following.
"What do you think you're doing?! That's still a little kid in there!" she shouted at him.
"A child?" he shakes his head. "It would be a mercy to end it's suffering. Do you think this can be reversed?"
"I don't know... We just need to find... Buffy!"
Willow runs down the street a bit to where a women wearing a large dress stood in shock. For his part, Sivaji drops the axe as he walks over. If it was true that it was a child turned into a monster from a cursed Halloween costume, then it would be wrong to attack to injure. He would have to settle for knocking them out of they got close.
It wouldn't be too hard for the sega fighter.
"Buffy! Are you alright?" Willow asks her friend.
"What?" came the confused reply.
"Are you hurt?" Sivaji clarified.
Buffy takes a step back, confusion now joining the panic on her face.
"She's not Buffy," Willow mutters to Sivaji.
"Who's Buffy?" he responds, blinking behind his sunglasses.
"Oh, this is fun," Willow mutters. "What year is this?"
"1775, I believe," Buffy replies, confused and hyperventilating. "I-I don't understand. Who are you?"
"1775?" Sivaji mutters. "Surely this is 2007!"
"We're friends," Willow tells Buffy, then turns to Sivaji. The fact that it was 1997, not 2007, made her wonder if this man was from the future, or just deranged. The idea that he could be from the future seemed a little farfetched for a moment. But, then she realized that she was a ghost, and the slayer was currently a noblewoman.
"F-friends of whom? Y-your dress... Everything is strange! How did I come to be here?"
"Breathe, okay, breathe. You're gonna faint," Willow told her, turning again to Sivaji. "How are we supposed to get through this without the Slayer?"
"What's a Slayer?" he asks her.
Willow didn't have time to answer, however. A monster came from around a tree behind Buffy, fangs bared and claws ready to attack. Screaming, Buffy falls to the ground, dress billowing up around her as she lands.
In a blur, Sivaji appeared before the monster, blocking its way to Buffy. With a twist of his head, he spun his sunglasses to the back of his head. Smashing his forehead into the monsters, he knocks it down, and out, in one hit. Another twist of his head and his sunglasses are back in place. Turning around he looks at the two women with him, and raises his right hand to drum his fingers from front to back along his bald scalp.
"I suggest we get inside before we come across anything--"
"A DEMON! A DEMON!" Buffy interrupts, getting behind Sivaji. "A DEMON!"
A sport utility vehicle comes driving down the street with its headlights on. In the eyes of an 18th century noble, it could be nothing but a demon.
"That's not a demon. It's a car," Willow huffs.
"What does it want?"
"Is this woman insane?" Sivaji mutters to himself.
"She's never seen a car," Willow told him.
"She's never seen a car?"
"She's from the past."
"And you're a ghost."
"Yes! Now let's get inside."
"Cool. Where do we go?"
"Where's the closest..." Willow thinks. "We can go to a friend's."
After a bit of walking, they get to the Summers house. The front door was locked, but Willow knew where Joyce kept a key above the kitchen door, letting them in. Opening up the door, Sivaji walks in first, scanning for danger.
"All clear!" he calls to them.
Willow is the next to come in.
"Hello? Mrs. Summers?" Silence is Willow's response. "Good, she's gone."
Sivaji closes the door behind them after Buffy finally enters the house to join them. To him, the kitchen seemed normal, if a little out-dated for America. To Buffy, things were still entirely foreign.
"Where are we?" she asks them.
"Your place," Willow responds. "Now we just need to..."
Buffy notices a picture on a table and goes over to take a look. She picks it up, and sees that it's a picture of her wearing a spaghetti strap top. She turns around as Willow comes over to her.
"This... this could be me."
"It *is* you. Buffy, can't you remember at all?"
"No! I, I don't understand any of this! Uh, uh, th... This is some other girl!" Buffy puts the picture back. "I would never wear that, that low apparel. I don't like this place, and I don't like you. I just want to go home!"
"You *are* home!"
Buffy is nearly in tears at this point, and sits down heavily on the couch. Willow, unable to comfort her friend due to lack of a body, turns to Sivaji.
"She couldn't she have dressed up like Xena?" she mutters to him.
Sivaji smirked, and then cursed, hearing a scream from outside the house. He ran over to the door and looked out, spotting a woman in a tight-fitting suit running away from a giant, hairy beast.
Flinging the door open he ran out at her. Seeing the man from earlier, Cordellia immediately ran towards him, screaming for help. He let her pass him, and stood in between her and the beast. A sudden wind picked up, spreading from where he stood, and the sound of a lion's growl could be heard coming from deep within Sivaji's chest.
With a twist of his head, Sivaji's sunglasses spun to the back of his head, showing his hazel eyes. He took a step forward, dry leaves rushing away from his feet.
The beast froze, instinct recognizing the danger of the man in front of him. Seeing the tasty-looking woman behind him, be took a single step forward, seeing his prize nearly in his grasp. Reaching into his pocket, Sivaji grabbed his faithful one Rupee coin. The beast froze again, this time his eyes squarely on the man in front of him, no longer distracted by the woman.
The coin rung in the air as it flicked from one hand to the other. One final flick spun it up into the air, to be caught between his palms. At that moment, the wind died down to silence as the world around them awaited the verdict.
Slowly, he lifted one hand, revealing the heads side of the coin.
Lifting his chin towards the beast, he signaled for it to leave. Not having to be told a second time, the beast turned tail and ran away, leaving behind a tell-tale trail of piss on the ground from where it had wet itself.
"Cool," Sivaji smirked, turning to Cordellia. "Come, it is safe inside the house."
Cordellia could only nod, stunned by the non-verbal exchange she had just witnessed.
"Wait a... What's going on?" Cordelia demanded, stepping back from a frantic Willow as the girl rushed over to them.
"Okay, your name is Cordelia, you're not a cat, you're in high school, and we're your friends. Well, sort of."
"That's nice, Willow. And you went mental when?" Cordelia snarked.
"You know us?"
"Yeah. Lucky me. What's with the name game?"
"A lot's going on."
"No kidding. I was just attacked by Jo-Jo, the Dog-Faced Boy. Look at my costume!" she shows a tear in one of her sleeves. "Do you really think that Partytown's gonna give me my deposit back? Not on the likely."
Sivaji snorted quietly, securing the door again and placing a chair against the door knob. He could tell that her vanity was used to cover her own panic, a defensive maneuver.
"Okay. You guys stay here while I get some help," Willow told them. "If something tries to get in, just fight it off."
"Well, i-it's not our place to fight. Uh, surely some men will protect us," Buffy replied, face pale.
Cordelia looked at the noblewoman, eyes incredulous at what she had just heard.
"What's that riff?"
"I-it's like amnesia, okay? They don't know who they are. Just sit tight," willow turns to leave.
"Who died and made her the boss?"
Willow walks through the wall behind Cordelia. Buffy stares in wide-eyed amazement. All Sivaji did was smirk, turning to Cordelia after securing the front door. It was more likely at this point that any intruders would come from the back door, he would have to secure that next.
"You!" he said, pointing to Cordelia. "Check upstairs. Make sure everything's locked up. I'm going to check the back door."
Before he could even get to the Kitchen, Angel steps into the living room, having just entered from the unsecured door. A look of relief passed across the vampire's face as he sees Buffy sitting on the couch.
"Oh, good! You're alright. It's total chaos out there," Angel sighed.
The bald man, on the other hand, was unfamiliar.
"Who are you?"
Buffy and Sivaji both look at each other, then to Angel.
"Who are you?" they ask back.
Giles shuffled through the stack of cards he's pulled from the card catalog. He hears yelling and sirens outside and looks up, wondering what's going on. Moments later, Willow phases through the wall in front of him. Yelling on shock, the cards fly out of his hands and land all around him.
"Hi," Willow greets.
"Uh... ah... huh..."
Giles was speechless.
A few tense moments later, Angel recognizes Xander's scent, though there was definitely something different about the young man. He'd never paid much attention to the boy's appearance, really, so he wasn't quite sure. He knew the goatee was new, and the clothes were DEFINITELY new.
"Okay," Angel scowled. "Is somebody going to fill me in?"
"Do you live here?" Sivaji asked, moving subtly to place himself to intercept the man if he rushes Buffy.
"No, and you know that. Buffy," she jumps, "I'm lost here. You... What's up with your hair?"
"They don't know who they are," Cordelia replies, coming down the stairs. "Everyone's turned into a monster, it's a whole big thing. How are you?"
The lights go out, bathing them in darkness as their eyes adjust. Buffy grabs Cordelia in fright, pulling the scantily clad woman almost into her lap.
"Do you mind?"
Buffy reluctantly lets go of the other woman, and looks at the two men in the living room with them. Sivaji sighed, looking towards the kitchen where the other man had come from.
"You take the princess and secure the kitchen," he told Angel. "Catwoman, you're with me."
Cordelia follows Xander as Angel heads for the kitchen. Once Angel and Buffy are in the kitchen, Angel notices that the back door was ajar, letting in the sounds of distant panic from outside.
"I didn't leave that open," Angel noted.
Moving toward the door as he looks around for an intruder, he reaches out carefully towards the door. The basement door behind Buffy quietly opens, and a pair of arms grab her. The arms were attached to a rather cliché-looking vampire, turned horribly real due to the magic in their costume.
Angel quickly came to her rescue, pulling the lesser vampire off of her, and wrestling him to the floor. Angel asks Buffy for a stake, forgetting that she had no memories of being the Slayer. Looking around, she grabs a knife she off of the counter.
"Hurry up!" Angel snarls.
Turning around to see what's taking her so long, he reveals his vampire game face to her. Screaming in fright, she grabed the front of her skirts, hiked them, and then ran out the still open back door.
Back in the library, Giles is in the cage getting a stack of old papers. He blows the dust off of them and comes back out. Meanwhile, Willow is standing at a table, looking forlornly at a book.
"I don't even know what I'm looking for," she tells him. "Plus, I can't turn the page."
"Well, alright. L-let's, let's, let's review," he replied, setting the papers on the table. "Um, so everybody became, uh, whatever they were masquerading as."
"Right. Xander was some kind of action hero, and Buffy was an 18th-century girl."
"A-and, uh, your, your costume?"
He gazed at the scant amount of clothes that she was wearing.
"I'm a ghost!"
"Yes. Um... w, uh, uh, uh, the ghost of what, exactly?"
"Well, this is nothing," she blushed, covering her midriff with her arms. "You should see what Cordelia was wearing. A-a, a unitard with cat things, like ears and stuff."
"Good heavens. Uh, sh-sh-she became an actual feline?"
"No! She was the same old Cordelia. Just in a cat costume."
"She... didn't change."
"No. Hold on... Partytown. She told us she got her outfit from Partytown."
"A-a-and everyone who changed, they, they, they, they acquired their costumes where?"
"We all got ours at a new place. Ethan's."
Buffy had fled all the way to one of the alleyways in the warehouse district of Sunnydale. Impressive, when weighed down by a layered set of skirts and a corset. Taking a look around, she tried to decide what to do next. The entire world seems foreign, and frightening, to her.
Lifting her skirts back up, she starts to walk again, glancing over her shoulder as she goes. When she turns back around, she is startled to see a burly man dressed as a pirate standing there.
"Pretty, pretty!" Larry, the pirate, grins at her with rotting teeth.
Buffy turns to run away, and he gives chase, a foul gleam in his eyes.
Cut to Ethan's Costume Shop. Giles looks around as he and Willow come in. There were almost no costumes remaining, giving Giles a horrible idea of how many people were ensnared in the night's madness. The thought made his blood boil.
"Hello! Anyone home?" he called out.
"Giles..." Willow points out a partially opened curtain in the back.
They slowly go in and see the statue of Janus there. On one side is the clean-shaven face of a young man, on the other side the wizened, bearded face of an old man. The eyes on both sides glow an unearthly green.
"Janus," Giles notes. "Roman mythical god."
"What does this mean?"
"Primarily the division of self. Male and female, light and dark--"
"--Chunky and creamy. Oh, no, sorry, that's peanut butter."
Giles turns around and stares at Ethan as the man walks into the back room with them. The librarian's face was pale, as though he'd seen a ghost.
"Willow, get out of here, now."
She quickly flees the store, running unnoticed straight through the wall.
Back in the warehouse district, Buffy is slowly backing away from Larry. She turns to run again, but trips and falls over. Her gown billows up around her, and Larry grabs her as she tries to get up, shoving her against a crate. He pushes her hair away from her frightened face and moves in to kiss her.
Moments before the kiss connects, Sivaji flew out of the darkness, light reflecting off of his sunglasses. Spinning in mid-air, he connected with a heel kick to the Pirate's neck, bowling the man over.
The pirate drew his cutlass as he slowly stood up, and then with a burst of motion went to cut at his attacker. Dodging the wild swing, Sivaji stepped into his defenses. Grabbing the pirate's wrist, he twisted it around, causing the sword to fall out of Larry's hand. Using the wrist again as leverage, he pulled Larry down to his rising knee, hitting him in the gut.
The air rushed out of Larry's mouth in a rush of foul breath, his eyes bulging in pain. Grabbing a hold of the man's belt, Sivaji lifts him up with his head to the ground, and into the air in a show of inhuman strength. A shove starts Larry's path towards the metal wall of the warehouse, and a kick to the small of his back gives him the momentum to leave a dent in the side of the building.
Cordelia arrives behind a stunned Buffy, Angel following immediately behind her. They hadn't seen the fight, as Sivaji had rushed on ahead of them at the last moment, and wondered what the deal with the unconscious pirate was.
"Buffy! Are you okay?" Cordelia asked.
Seeing Angel, the noblewoman yelps, hiding behind a large box. The fright and panic could easily be seen, even in the low light of the alley. A look of pain crosses Angel's face at this.
"What's your deal?" Cordelia snaps. "Take a pill!"
"He's, he's a vampire!" Buffy cries, pointing at Angel.
Cordelia turns to Angel, an exasperated look on her face.
"She's got this thing where she thinks... Uhhh, forget it." Turning back to Buffy, "It's okay. Angel is a good vampire. He would never hurt you."
"Really?" Buffy asks, slowly standing up.
"Absolutely. He's our friend."
"It's strange, but beating up that pirate gave me a weird sense of closure," Sivaji mutters to himself.
Angel smirks, having seen before the bullying that Xander had endured from the other teen. Suddenly, he sound of a familiar voice, Willow's, calls from the other end of the Alley.
"Guys!" she shouts, running up to them.
"Willow!" Angel exclaimed.
"Guys, you gotta get inside."
Looking where she had come from they see Spike walk into the light of the alleyway, a pack of the children-come-monsters around him. Sivaji knew he could take care of himself, but he couldn't take them all on and protect the girls at the same time. Besides, he didn't fully trust Angel, either.
Without a single argument, they followed Angel to an open warehouse door further down the alleyway, away from Spike and his gang.
"What? No hug? Aren't you pleased to see your old mate, Rupert?"
"I'm just surprised I didn't guess it was you. This Halloween stunt
stinks of Ethan Rayne." Giles growls.
"Yes, it does, doesn't it? Don't wish to blow my own trumpet, but it's genius. The very embodiment of 'be careful what you wish for'."
"It's sick, brutal, and it harms the innocent."
"Oh, and we all know that you are the champion of innocents and all things pure and good, Rupert. It's quite a little act you've got going here, old man."
"It's no act. It's who I am."
"Who you are?" Ethan considered. "The Watcher, sniveling, tweed-clad guardian of the Slayer and her kin? I think not. I know who you are, Rupert, and I know what you're capable of. But they don't, do they? They have no idea where you come from."
"Break the spell, Ethan. Then leave this place and never come back."
"Why should I? What's in the bargain for me?"
"You get to live."
"Oh, Rupert, you're scaring me."
A sudden left-handed punch from Giles hits Ethan in the face. Grabbing the man's hair, Giles punched him three more times with his right, before bringing the man's head down on a raising knee. Ethan flew backwards to hit the floor, and Giles opened his hand to let some ripped out hair fall.
Once inside the Warehouse, Sivaji turned and closed the door behind them. Angel sat Buffy down on a crate, and Cordelia joined her there as Angel went to check the other doors to make sure that they were locked.
With very little sign of effort, Sivaji placed a large metal barrel drum in front of the entrance, causing it to clang as it dents the metal door. That would give them at least a few moments notice before they were able to get in. The monsters were in large numbers, and the pale man seemed to have a certain air of strength about him, as twisted as it felt to Sivaji's senses.
Taking a look around showed that someone had been working on replacing some of the metal pipes that the wires ran through inside the building. Cut pieces of rigid metal piping, some with couplings on the ends still, were stacked to one side. There was also an open topped pan with oil in it, a few shop rags sitting next to it where someone had wiped their hands off.
Taking all of this in took only a few moments, and those few moments were all the monsters needed to reach the door. The sound of pounding and scratching outside met their ears, causing Buffy to once again cling to Cordelia.
"Oh, faboo, more clinging," the brunette muttered.
Sivaji picked up another barrel and sets it behind the first one as the monsters force the door open. He tried to hold it in place as they pounded on the door, but the sheer numbers and supernatural strength of the monsters combined was working against him.
"Go!" he commanded the girls.
The girls run, but he stays behind, waiting for them to finally get in to the building with him. With a screech of metal against concrete, the barrels are forced the last few inches that the monsters needed to fit through the gap. One by one the monsters pushed their way in to the room until they all arranged stood against him, bared fangs and claws ready for combat. With a smirk, Sivaji took a fighting stance, ready for their attack.
Back in Ethan's Costume Shop, the namesake for the store is lying on the floor. He was at that point heavily bruised, and in some places bleeding; however, the smirk on his face is not dimmed by the pain he was feeling at the moment.
"And you said the Ripper was long gone," Ethan chuckled in pain.
"Tell me how to stop the spell," Giles snarled down at him.
"Say 'pretty please'."
A sharp kick to the kidney is Ethan's response, causing him to yell out in pain. To top off all of the pain he was going to endure for the next while, he could now add 'peeing blood' on to the list of indignities.
Spike had found another entrance to the warehouse while some of his monsters tried to follow the group directly. He had finally caught up with Angel and the two girls. He slowly sauntered over to the nearly catatonic Buffy, savoring this moment. Buffy slowly backed away from him, trembling in fright. The only friendly people in the room restrained by the monsters this beast commanded.
"Look at you. Shaking. Terrified. Alone. Lost little lamb," Spike taunts. "And my little monsters should be done with your 'protector' by now."
Buffy's back hit a crate, stopping her from going any further. Taking one quick step forward, Spike slaps her across the face with the back of his hand. Falling to the ground with a yelp of pain, she started to cry in earnest now.
"I love it."
"Buffy!" Angel shouts, struggling against his captors.
Spike was leaning down, about to grab her throat, when he heard a sound from nearby in the darkness. A low, animal-like growl, reminding him of the lions he had seen once at the zoo. Vampiric eyes easily adjusting to the darkness, Spike spotted the leather-coated Sivaji standing there with a metal pipe in his hands.
Sivaji bent down and grabbed a rag from a pan of oil. Slowly and deliberately, he ran the oil-covered rag along the length of the pipe, giving it a glossy sheen. The rag was dropped back into the oil, and Sivaji stepped forward, the light gleaming off of his sunglasses.
Spike stood up and stepped towards him, smirking. The little whelp would be no match for a vampire such as he. Though he had to admit that the boy at least had good style. Maybe he'd take the boy's coat from him when he was done killing him.
Sivaji blurred to the side as Spike charged him, swinging the metal pipe at the small of the vampire's back. To Spike, it felt like an entire freight train had hit him, and a loud snap signaled one of the vertebrae cracking under the force. Shouting in pain, the vampire couldn't react in time to stop the pipe from swinging town and shattering his left shoulder blade.
The monsters froze in shock as they witnessed this, their captors not even fighting against them any more as they watched the bald man slowly work the master vampire over with the oil-coated pipe. Not knowing that it took a beheading or a stake to the heart to kill a Vampire, Sivaji kept at it, hitting the vampire every time he moved so much as a muscle.
Back at the costume store, Ethan had no idea how good he had it as Giles kicked him in the gut. Sure, he was bruised and beaten, but Giles had kept it all to soft-tissue damage.
"Now, tell me how to stop the spell," Giles demanded.
"Janus. Break its statue," Ethan whimpered.
Giles grabs the statue and lifted it over his head to smash it.
Cut to the warehouse, where Spike has finally stopped trying to move. Sivaji droped the pipe to the ground with a clang, then looked over at the monsters who are still holding on to Angel and Cordellia. They were all shocked with the brutal ease with which he had just dealt with Spike. Hell, even Angel was looking pale, knowing exactly how dangerous Spike was, having Angelus' memories of running with him.
Buffy, on the other hand, was looking in worship at the man who had saved her from a fate worse than death. With her current mindset, she thought that the foul man had meant to have his way with her, not knowing that he had meant instead to drink her blood.
This man could be no less than a noble knight, there to rescue her.
Giles throws the bust to the ground shattering it to pieces. A wave of energy passes over the town, releasing those in costumes from the spells that had held them transformed.
All but one of the costumes had been generic. Things such as princesses, soldiers, pirates, monsters, and ghosts. Traditional Halloween costumes.
The one exception had been a costume that Ethan had found in his shop that very morning, the voice of his god Janus telling him to sell it to the first person that showed interest. This costume was of someone from a movie that would not be made until ten years later, depicting an over-the-top protagonist and action hero.
Sivaji, The Boss.
As the wave hit the warehouse, the monsters turned back into children, and immediately started to cry. Buffy turned back into herself, still staring at Sivaji, the emotions that she had felt as the noble still running through her system.
When it hit Sivaji, he stumbled, then fell to the ground unconscious.
Back at the costume store, Giles looks behind him and sees that Ethan has gone. Snarling to himself, he leaves the store and heads back to the library. No doubt the Scoobies would be joining him there soon.
"Are you back to being you?" Angel asks her.
Buffy nods, looking over to where Sivaji... no, Xander... was laying face-down on the floor. From the rise and fall of his leather-coated back, he was still breathing, which was a good sign.
"Is that Spike?" Buffy mutters.
"Well, what's left of him," Angel responded.
"You guys remember what happened?" Cordelia asked.
"It was weird," Buffy nodded. "It's like I was there, but I couldn't get out."
"Yeah, I know the feeling," Cordelia grumbles. "This outfit's totally skintight."
Looking over at Angel, the brunette is disappointed that he wasn't eyeing her up. The vampire had eyes only for Buffy. Oh well, maybe their sleeping friend would appreciate her once he woke up.
"Well, I guess you better get them back to their parents," Cordelia pointed at the children.
"Yeah, everybody seems to... Where's Willow?" Buffy asked.
Willow woke and got up, pulling the ghost sheet off of her body. Taking a few moments to catch her breath, she looked down at her body. She realized just how she was dressed a moment later, and started to put the sheet back on. Thinks better of it, she balled it up under her arm and walked in the direction of the school.
Angel carried Xander over his shoulder to the Library as Buffy returned the children to their frantic parents in the lobby. Xander still hadn't woken up since the spell had ended, and they thought it best to bring him to Giles.
Willow became frantic the moment that he carried the boy in, at first thinking that Xander was dead. Relieved that the boy was still breathing, if unconscious, she helped the two men lay Xander down on a hastily cleared table, his rolled up leather jacket being used as a pillow under his head.
After dropping him off, Angel went to escort Cordelia home, much to her not-so-hidden delight. A few minutes later, a harried Buffy walked in. She was still wearing her dress, but had taken off the wig, revealing her own blond hair. Giles was pouring over three separate tomes on another table, and turned to her as he heard her enter.
"Angel tells me that Xander passed out the moment the spell ended," Giles told her. "Have you experienced any lasting effects from the spell?"
"Honestly, I haven't paid any attention," she replied. "Any idea why Xander still hasn't woken up?"
Willow looked up from her own book, eyes red from unshed tears.
"I think I found the spell that guy was using," she told them. "At least, it matches what we saw in his store."
Giles and Buffy rushed over to her and looked over her shoulder. The book showed a depiction of the bust of Janus, with what the book said was a high-priest and his followers. Meant to imbue the protectors of the temple with aspects of might, based upon garb imbued with some of the spell caster’s blood.
One of the effects of the spell was that it would empower the protectors to embody the essence of what they were wearing. For example, even an untrained boy dressed in the garb of a soldier would have the strength and skill of a veteran of war.
There was a cautionary tale at the bottom telling of when they had tried to embody the skills of a particular enemy General, and ended up having the protector be taken over by the spirit of the General. Even after the spell was ended by the bust being broken, the protector ended up being a blend of his past self and the General, and joined forces with their enemy when the part that was the General was too much for the boy's own mind.
"The spell should have ended if he was just dressed as a generic action hero," Giles noted. "Was there anything to indicate he was copying a specific person?"
"Well, he called himself some weird name," Buffy mentioned. "Something, The Boss."
They walked over and started checking his pockets. The first thing that they found was a one rupee coin, which they immediately set aside on the surface of the desk. They also removed the watch, and the sunglasses. The earrings they left in once they realized that Xander's ears were now pierced.
It was after this that things got interesting. Willow tried to find the seam for the bald cap, but couldn't find one, running her hands along the top of his head revealed that it was an actual shaved scalp, with a bit of sweat on it from his fighting earlier. Looking closer at the young man revealed a much wider, and muscular, frame filling out the shirt. Giles noted that the muscles felt like those of a trained fighter, not a body builder, having done sports massage before training fighters.
It was when they checked Xander's coat pockets that they hit the jackpot. A wallet containing an international driver's license, Indian green card, and a First USA bank card, all in the name of M.G. Ravichandran. In another pocket was an Indian passport in the same name.
"Where did Ethan find all of this," Giles questioned. "And look at this, the travel stamp on the passport and the issue dates for all the cards are for around ten years from now."
"He did say that it was 2007 when I asked Buffy what year it was," Willow told them. "Is it possible that the spell brought him from the future?"
"Maybe. If not our own future, then possibly another future. You can never be sure when the effects of Chaos Spells are involved."
"Can we fix him?"
"That remains to be seen," Giles replied. "I hesitate to interfere with chaos magic. It is entirely possible that, when trying to get rid of the new personality, that we might accidentally get rid of everything that came from Xander instead."
"That's bad," Buffy said, looking at their friend.
With the spell no longer subduing Xander's soul, he awoke to the sounds of what sounded like a lion fighting against a jackal. Immediately snapping to awareness, he opened his eyes and found himself lying on the ground in the middle of a large grass-covered plain.
The sounds of combat were coming from his left, where he saw the large Jackal that represented the Primal Spirit that had invaded his soul the year before. Fighting against it was the man that he had dressed as, still wearing his leather jacket. In fact, he was still wearing his wrap-around sunglasses as well.
"Xander, do you mind imagining a weapon for me?" the man asked in slightly accented English.
Without meaning to, Xander imagined the first weapon that came to his mind. Sivaji deftly caught the metal cylinder as it fell from the sky, taking only a moment to smirk in recognition before thumbing the activator on Luke Skywalker's light saber.
The green blade ignited, casting eerie shadows on the ground from its light. Swinging the blade in intricate patterns caused the shadows to stir and dance around them as Sivaji started to attack the Primal Spirit in earnest this time.
Seeing the chance to finally be rid of its presence, Xander imagined Bruce Campbell's rifle from Evil Dead. Yes, that's right, the twelve-gauge double-barreled Remington, S-mart's top of the line.
The echo of the gun going off startled the Jackal as the slug shot hit it in the left flank. The force of the blow stumbled the beast, giving Sivaji the opportunity to blind it in one eye. Wounded, half-blind, and outnumbered two-to-one, the Primal Spirit fought back with all the ferocity of a cornered beast.
Snapping forward it got a hold of Sivaji's left leg in a bone-breaking bite, causing the man to let out a lion's roar in pain and anger. Blood rushed from the wound as the Primal tossed her head around to tear at his flesh.
Swinging wide in fear of taking off his own limb, Sivaji cut a large gash on the beast's shoulder, trailing down to its ribs. Burnt fur and flesh split apart, filling the air with a horrendous stench.
Xander's body twitched, his face twisted in pain. Once he had begun moving restlessly, they had laid him on a small cot laid out in the book cage. The door was locked on him in case whatever woke in his body was not friendly. The sounds from his throat had become more desperate in the last ten minutes, his unconscious movements more frantic.
Buffy was busy pacing back in forth in front of the cage, wringing a wooden stake in her hands like it was Ethan's neck. If she could get her hands on the bastard, she might have to make an exception to the 'no humans' rule of slayage.
Despite what he had said, Giles had hit the books the moment that they had shut the cage on their friend. Willow and he were pouring over what texts they could find on possession and transformative magic. They had found little that would help them so far, due mainly in fact to the rare magic that the Chaos Mage had used for this spell.
Suddenly, a lion's roar came from the cage, causing everyone to stop and stare at what was happening there. A green mist rose up from Xander's suddenly still body, looking tattered and torn, taking the vague shape of a heavily wounded beast.
From Giles’ studies, it looked like a Primal Spirit being exorcised from its host body, though much dimmer than described. But that would mean that not all of the Hyena had been dismissed from the boy when...
"Dear lord," Giles muttered to himself.
Buffy looked torn on what to do, nothing in her training had prepared herself for a situation quite like this. Luckily, the beast was in no mood for continuing the fight, and quickly disappeared through the ceiling and back into the wilderness.
Coughing, Xander blinked open his hazel eyes, and stared blearily back at the other occupants of the library. There was something alien in his body language that sparked caution inside of Buffy’s mind. With a sudden motion, he pulled his legs to his chest and kicked out, launching himself to his feet. Brushing dust from his shirt highlighted the highly-defined muscles gained from when he was transformed by the costume, the clothes fitting him as if they were custom-tailored to his frame.
Grabbing his leather coat from where it had been rolled up as a pillow he shook it out and put it back on with smooth motions gained only by practice. With this done, he walked over to the door of the cage and looked out at the other three people there, a self-confident gaze in his eyes.
"Who are you?" Buffy asked, bringing her stake to bear. "And what have you done to Xander?"
Willow stared at Buffy in shock, then back to her not-so-Xander-shaped friend with her own suspicious pout. For his own part, Giles merely grabbed his crossbow from the table in case it was needed.
"Ha ha ha ha-ha," Xander laughed, "Good joke."
"You'll be laughing when I kick your butt, mister," Buffy snarled.
"You could try, yes," Xander nodded. "But I think that Rupert has some clue of what has happened, is that not right, Mister Giles?"
Eyes turned to a shocked Giles as he fought the urge to polish his glasses, his hands otherwise occupied by the crossbow. Licking his upper lip in a very British manner, he collected his thoughts for a moment before speaking.
"Not all of the Hyena Primal Spirit left after that night, did it," Giles stated. "He did not have the strength to fight all of it off."
"Not on his own, no," Xander nodded sagely. "Luckily, he was not on his own tonight, and that made the fight possible.... But, not easy."
"What do you mean, not all of it left," Buffy snapped. "You told me it was gone!"
"Buffy," Giles replied, "a Primal Spirit is one of the strongest of Nature's beasts. For Xander to have fought off as much as he did speaks greatly of his strength of will and character. It was unrealistic for us to believe that he could have fought it off entirely."
"So, this is--"
"No, the Primal Hyena is no longer here," Xander told them. "We were able to fight her off, at a great cost."
"The possession from earlier tonight helped you, didn't he?" Willow whispered.
This was the first thing that she had said since they had locked the cage.
"Yes, though both of their souls were terribly damaged in the fight. They had to combine their souls together, to remain among the living. In a sense, they both live on in me, I have both of their memories. I am they, and they are I."
"Who are you?" Buffy asked, confused.
"Who am I?" he asked.
A pair of sunglasses was pulled from his coat pocket and placed over his eyes.
"Xander, The Boss."