Stuck Like Glue.
This story, like most of my stories, gets its name from a song. In this case the song is Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland. Do not own. Nor do I own BtVS.
Just read. Explanations at the end.
"Now that guy you can
shoot!" Willow shouted at private Harris.
A three-shot burst ripped through the skull of the vampire, covering the maiden in gore. She fainted. Harris turned his gun on the monsters.
"Don't! They're just children." Willow cried.
He flipped a lever on his gun and started spraying bullets on full-auto. "The rules of engagement state: If children start shooting at me, I shoot back. These things are trying to kill us. Therefore, I get to kill them back."
"But Giles is going to end the spell any minute!" she whined.
Giles stepped out the back door of the costume shop and sighed. He had only taken his eyes off the man for a moment to smash the statue like Ethan had said and the slimy git had slipped away. He looked both ways down the alley but didn't find Ethan anywhere. Not that he expected to. Ethan was a survivor. He expected Ethan to be in another state by morning.
Out of the shadows a green demon ran at Giles. But this was not the night to mess with Ripper. Ethan's prank had left him in a particularly foul mood as this demon was about to find out. He dodged the monster's clumsy tackle and threw and elbow into the back of its neck. Once it was down he pulled a stake from his jacket pocket and stabbed the creature to death. Not the cleanest kill ever. He'd gotten a spot of demon blood on his trousers that he wasn't sure would ever come out. And his stake was probably permanently stained. He washed the blood off in the shop washroom and wrapped it in paper towels to protect his coat before placing it back in his pocket. He then drove back to the library.
With Harris deciding to take the gloves off and go for the kill, most of the other monsters decided to run. Oddly, there were no dead demons anywhere. But the soldier hadn't been aiming to kill so much as just trying to hit enough of them to make them go away.
"Any second now. The spell will end and this will all be a bad dream." Willow tapped her foot, looking around.
"Whatever," Cordelia shook her head. She found a piece of wood and staked Spike. The vampire disappeared but the brain matter that the M-16 had taken from him still covered the wall and Lady Buffy. "Ughh, gross." she declared. “Shouldn't that... stuff go poof, too?”
Angel grimaced. “Wasn't connected to him when he dusted.” he explained.
“Man, vampires are the most disgusting things I've ever seen.” Cordy said with venom. Then she turned and smiled brightly. “So, Angel. What are you doing tomorrow night?”
Willow passed a hand through Cordelia's skull like she was trying to slap her upside the head. “I give up.” she whined.
“Probably hanging out with Buffy.” Angel said as he picked the noblewoman up. “I'm going to take her back to her house. You guys coming?”
“The house that all the monsters attacked and we got chased from?” Private Harris asked.
“Do you have any better ideas?” Even this new Harris was getting under Angel's skin.
“The library!” Willow suggested. “Giles will probably head back there. We can figure out why nobody's changing back.”
“Fine.” the soldier and the vampire said at the same time.
“Oh dear, oh dear.” Giles' shoulders fell as Willow walked through the doors without moving them.
“Giles! I thought you were going to end the spell?”
“Buffy!” Giles ignored the ghost as Angel carried in the Slayer. “What happened.”
“She's fine.” Angel assured him but surrendered the girl. “Soldier boy shot Spike at close range and she got some of him on her. She just fainted.”
“And I staked him!” Cordy added. Lest anyone forget her contribution.
Giles ignored the noise that emanated from the cheerleader's mouth. “And what happened to Spike?”
I killed him!” Cordelia said louder this time.
“What?” Giles was shocked by that revelation. “How?”
Angel nodded to Xander. “Guns won't kill a vampire. But they hurt like hell. And one in the brain was apparently enough to put Spike down for a minute. Cordy finished him off.”
“Well, thank god that that problem is taken care of. But why haven't they changed back from their costumes?” the watcher wondered.
“We were hoping you could tell us.” Willow crossed her arms.
“I don't know. I did exactly as he told me and...” Giles trailed off. “Dear God.” Giles found himself a chair as his legs no longer supported him. “I did what he told me. I should have known better. I- I don't know what that will do to the spell. I shall research to- to see if there might be a way to remove it another way. It's also possible that the spell will end by itself. Perhaps in the morning. Cordelia, if you could assist with the research?”
“Why me?” Queen C asked.
Giles shot her a withering glare and there were no further protests. “Willow, you will need to- to take Xander and Angel to where you left your body. We will have to secure it until such time as we can return you to it. It wouldn't do to have it damaged.”
“Oh!” Willow cried. “I hadn't thought about that. What if I'm really dead and can never go back?”
“I'm sure the spell has a way to return you to your body. But we will need to have it whole when you are returned. Spit spat.” He motioned for her to go.
“Come on, soldier boy.” Angel ran after her with Private Harris in tow.
Willow just had to try laying down in her own body to see if it would take. But it didn't and she lead the way back with Angel carrying her body and Xander guarding the rear. They ran into a group of demons that may or may not have been children. Willow kept her tongue while Xander fired in their general direction.
“When was the last time you reloaded?” she asked when he finished another full-auto burst.
“Reloaded? What's that?” Private Harris gave her a quizzical look.
“Nevermind.” Willow shook her head.
When they got back, Buffy was awake and clean(ish). She was surprisingly not disturbed by the crew returning with Willow's body. She shrugged. “People die. It is usually up to the women to care for the body before the funeral. I helped prepare my Grandmother's body when I was only ten. And other bodies of those who died in our Baronet since then.”
“You helped embalm your grandmother?” Giles querried.
“Oh heavens, no. Embalming is for those who live in cities. On country estates like ours, we must take care of our own dead. My father is Sir James Buffy, the 6th Baronet of Otterden. In Kent.” Lady Buffy explained.
“Ah, Otterden. I've been through there. Just an hour or so from London.” Giles said. “Lovely orchards.”
“Then surely you have never been there. For it is not less than 50 miles over country roads. Even with good weather, it usually takes all of a day. In the spring it is easier to travel to the coast and take a boat back up the Thames. And it pains me to think of home. Can you take me there? Or perhaps to London. I can make my way home from there.” the Lady begged.
“I'm afraid we are quite a ways from there.” Giles said softly. He plucked the globe of a bookcase and showed it to her. “This is England.” he traced his finger west, “This is the new world and this...” he traced to Los Angeles. “is where we currently are. On the west coast of America. Of the New World. I'm afraid you will have to resign yourself to staying here for a time before we can find you a ship going to England. It will mean months on a ship if you try to go back. It is never an easy journey. But think on it for now. There won't be a ship heading for England for months at least.”
“Giles?” Willow asked.
Giles gave her a look to warn her off saying anything. “Yes, Willow? Ah, yes. I suppose we should do something about your body.” he sighed and chewed on the earpiece of his glasses while he thought. Finally, “Well, if we can come to an understanding with the mortician, I think the morgue is best equipped to handle this.”
Willow pouted. “The morgue? And by 'understanding', do you mean 'bribe'?”
“That's exactly what I mean. And our only other choice would be a chest freezer. Then not only is there no telling how it might damage your body, but the risk to whomever stores your body should the police find out, is enormous. I'm sorry, but the morgue is the perfect place to hide a d- ...a body.” he finished.
Willow took a deep breath. (sort of) “Do you think it would help or hurt if I came along?”
Willow ended up going with. “So, Xander...” she began.
“Please don't call me that. That's not my name. It's Private Harris.”
“I'm not calling you Private Harris. What's your first name?” Willow requested.
“My rank is actually Corporal now. My first name really is Private. My mom was pregnant with me when my dad died serving overseas. She named me Private so I'd never want to join. Didn't work.” Corporal Harris explained.
“I'm not sure if that's funny or horrible.” Willow admitted.
Cordelia was tagging along as well and decided to jump in. “Considering it's Xander's imagination that thought it up, probably both.”
“You mean to tell me that this Xander you keep calling me, is the one that brought me here?”
“Or brought you into existence. Sort of. But at least you get a gun that never needs reloading!” Willow ended cheerfully.
“Really?” Giles' ears perked up at that.
“Again. I don't know what this 'reloading' you talk about is. I mean, at least when you call me Xander, I understand that you're talking about me. Like 'Small Wars Manuel'.”
“Small Wars Manual?” Giles queried.
“No. Manuel. The name instead of the book. He didn't talk much and his English wasn't great when he did. Plus he was always reading the Small Wars Manual, so we called him 'Small Wars Manuel'. It was a couple months later that we found out his name was actually Hugo. But the name stuck.” He laughed. “Anyway, you can call me Private or Harris. My friends call me Vette, as in Corvette. If you call me P or Privy, I'll slap you. Or if you're a guy, I'll slug you.” Harris looked over his shoulder at Angel to make sure he got that.
Giles decided that the straightforward approach would be best. He and Angel took Willow's body inside while the other's waited in the lobby. Giles explained about the spell and that Willow had gone as a ghost. The mortician turned white when he heard that some children had turned into their costumes but started breathing again when he heard that it was only one store. He child had a home-made costume.
He was willing to store the body for a couple weeks at $20 a day. For utilities and the trouble of keeping the body off their rolls while still keeping an accurate count. (An important thing in Sunnydale) Giles had enough money for five days on hand.
After they were done with that errand, it was decided that the three spelled teenagers would stay at Willow's house. Mostly because her parents wouldn't be back for several weeks and Willow didn't want to think what might happen if Vette met Xander's parents.
A/N: I was in a dark mood today and began wondering what would happen if Ethan had lied. What if smashing the statue made the spell permanent instead of ending it?
So, this story starts right as the spell would have otherwise ended and goes on from there.
Xander calls himself “Private Harris” and Buffy “Lady Buffy” (He also calls her Duchess of Buffonia, but a Duchess wouldn't be seeking to marry a Baron like Lady Buffy is)
I tried to make both costumes slightly more real despite Buffy's horrible accent, which makes Kendra's seem amazing by comparison. And realism leads us to:
Sir James Bunce, 6th Baronet of Otterden was the last Baronet of Otterden. (around 1775) Info was found on Wikipedia and fictionalized. Anything other than the name of him and the city/county is made up.
“Small Wars Manuel' would be a Latin American guerrilla fighter.” Created by Greywizard and Speakertocustomers in the story/comments of “God Bless Sergeant Bastard”. Used without permission. Do not own.
And I never saw Xander reload or even that he had a spare clip. Hence the unfamiliarity with the term 'reloading'.
I don't normally post unfinished stories that are this short. I like to have a good idea where it's going first. This one might sit for a long time before I think up a chapter 2. This one may be done or it may not be.
And finally, thank you to Cozzie for being the first to recommend this story and to CBH for being the second. Thank You!