This is Helloween
If you are familiar with manga at all, then you probably already know who it is that Buffy dressed up as. However, I am most confident that you will be suprised by the other costumes. And yes, there was concept art of Xander's character out and about at the time of the episode, so technically it doesn't bend time at all, even though the completed version was released later.
Minor AU as Dawn already exists as Dawn. Why? Well that will be explained later on in the story, I think... If not, well... a wizard did it... Damn Black Mage... Hey, No Stabbing Me! NOOOooooo-erk...
Ehem, sorry bout that, needed to go bust out my sword-chucks.
Edit: Forgot disclaimer, so I'll put it here. I own Nothing. There.
Accursed Demons! Hounds of darkness! Come, face the iron might of God!
And may he have mercy on your black, black souls, for I have none left to give.
-Giacomo Lugosi, The Blade of God-
The thing you have to understand is, God, He's a schemer.
Everything we do, everything that has been done, its all a part of His plan.
Where this plan goes, either towards salvation or damnation, I don't care much.
I am quite sure though, or at least hope, that it isn't going to end up with Eternal Peace or such crap.
Because if it did it would be boring as crap, and I'd be out of work.
- Mordekai "Dead Eye" Richler, mercenary-
The jingle of little bells signalled the opening of the door and the entry of the first customer of the day. Ethan Rayne, chaos mage and trouble maker extraordinaire, turned from where he had been setting up one of the last few displays with an irritated expression.
"Can't you dumb gits bloody read. The sign says we're closed, so if you would kindly lea-erk!" The potential customer gave the choking chaos mage a look of amusement, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. With a shake of his head, the man in the hat walked over and put his arm around Ethan's shoulders companionably, ignoring the sudden shakes that had struck Ethan.
"Now is that any way to greet a fan of your work. From the way you're reacting I'm sure you know me, but allow me to introduce myself properly. The name is Whistler, and I work for the big boys up top. But you knew that already so lets get down to business." Ethan blinked at the abrupt change in tone, as Whistler had gone from joking to dead serious with suprising suddeness.
"Normally I only take orders from the Powers That Be, but it seems they've gone and done something, or will do something that ends up pissing off the Big Man upstairs. And so, lucky me, I get to be the first demon to be the mouthpiece, however temporary, of the Almighty Himself." Whistler gave Ethan a pat on the back, mainly to restart his heart, but also because he was choking on his own spit.
"Oh relax, you aren't in any way involved in that mess, but you are an important part in His plan. In fact, he sent me down here to make sure that this Halloween goes perfectly. So for the next," Whistler looked down at a stop watch he pulled out of a pocket," ten hours or so, I will be your assistant, helping to make sure that everything is just right for the big night. All you," Whistler emphasized his verbal point with a physical one to Ethan's chest," have to do, is cast that little spell of yours. I'll take care of the rest, that sound good to you?"
Ethan swallowed the lump that had grown in his throat before nodding. Maybe he could salvage what was left of his plans he could before things hit the fan. The sudden teeth baring grin on the balance demon's face though, cast serious doubts onto the matter. "Why don't you go in back and get everything set up for tonight. I'll take care of everything out here so go on, get busy." Letting go of Ethan's shoulder Whistler moved towards one of the displays, taking a moment to cast one more comment over his shoulder before Ethan walked out of earshot.
"Oh, and don't bother trying to run. All I am allowed to say is if you do, let's just say it won't end well." Ethan shuddered before moving slightly faster. Whistler chuckled and then looked down at himself, frowning as he considered his appearance. "Now this simply won't due, if I use this form here then I can't use it later, and I do so enjoy wearing this hat of mine. Let's see here, a simple glamour aught to do the trick. And voila! Perfect disguise."
In Whistler's place was instead a rather average looking young man with slicked back brown hair and sleepy looking eyes that hid behind a pair of glasses. A pair of jeans and a Within Temptation t-shirt completed the illusion of, relative, normalacy. Pushing the glasses from where they had slipped a few inches, Whistler moved over to a bin of cheap fake guns.
Taking a quick look around, before remembering he was the only one in the store other than Ethan, he reached up into the air. Frowning, he moved his hand around until it dissapeared. With a flourish and smile of victory he withdrew an object from the non-space, and then buried underneat some of the other fake weapons. As he stepped away Whistler muttered to himself quietly. "Alright, one down, three to go."
Walking past a rack of costumes Whistler reached into the empty air again, this time drawing out two simpler costumes. With a smile, he couldn't help but live up to his namesake, whistling a cheery tune while he set the costumes to hang behind some of the others. "And then there was one, but that can wait until later." The balance demon in disguise walked over to the front door, his hand flicking the closed sign to open. " Now then, Show Time!"
By the time the Scoobies showed up at Ethan's it was already late into the afternoon and most of the costumes were sold, though the three that Whistler had planted had remained untouched, their nature letting none save those their were meant for to notice , let alone touch them. Whistler gave a death's head grin as he watched the group of teens enter the store and begin browsing, completely unaware of what was soon to be unleashed.
Whistler took a look at the watch on his wrist, silently counting down the seconds before it was time for him to act. According to the plan the first two should be getting into position right... about... now. Which left him with just enough to walk up quietly behind them and...
"Can I help you two young ladies with anything?" Whistler had to bite his tongue to keep from laughing at the reaction his words recieved. The older of the pair, a bubbly redhead, practically jumped out of her skin while the younger only gave a mild start in suprise. The redhead spun around and gave a relieved sigh when she realized it was only the shopkeeper.
"Don't do that!" The redhead clutched a hand to her heart as she spoke. "Sorry but doing that to people in Sunnydale is just a bad idea." Whistler gave her a wry smile.
"I'll keep that in mind. I'm Jonesy, the assistant manager. Now is there anything you need? A unique costume perhaps?" The redhead gave a shake of her head.
"Oh, I'm Willow and this is Dawn, sorry about jumping like that. As for the costume, I'll be fine. I already have a costume picked out, see." Whistler raised a brow at the stereo-typical ghost costume he was presented. Smirking a little, he grabbed it from her hands before she could protest and started leafing through the costume rack. Easily finding the first of the costumes he had hidden, he grabbed it and held it in front of his chest, making sure that his customer couldn't see it. He gave a couple of exaggerated looks between the costume and Willow before thrusting it into her hands.
"Here ya go, the perfect thing for a stunning lady like yourself! Much better than that dinky little ghost costume."
Willow gave the costume in her hands a look that was a mix of impressed and trepiditious. It was a beautiful black robe of silk with a hood, covered in ornate and arcane looking embroidery in a silvery-blue colour. With a smile Whistler decided to give a bit of history on the costume.
"Your quite in luck you know, that costume there is the robes of a truly legendary witch from ancient times, one of the two students of the witch Baba Yaga. There are legends that speak of her tricking the devil into making her goddess, though I personally put little stock into such tales. But suffice to say, there are still places in the world where the various names of the Queen of Ravens strike fear into those who remember her."
Seeing Willow quite entranced with her costume Whistler turned to her younger friend." And now for your costume. Hmm, tell me are you familiar with the wonderful world of opera at all? No, shame that, Der Freischütz is such a wonderful piece of art after all. But for you, I have the perfect thing." Whistler frowned as he looked at the costume rack." Now where did Kaspar get off to? Aha, there you are!"
Reaching into the rack Whistler pulled out a feminine cut black business suit. He cocked his head to side before reaching into the rack again, this time retrieve a large flintlock rifle. Wordlessly he handed them off to the young brunette, who smirked at some internal joke. She looked up from the costume with a large smile.
"Awesome costume. You didn't happen to sell a Zamiel costume did you?" She laughed at Whistler's suprised expression, his own laughter joining hers a moment later.
Whistler gave a wry shake of the head. "Well, looks like someone has herself some secrets, hmm? And no, you don't have to worry about Zamiel whisking you off this night. Why don't you two take these up to register. I'll be up there momentarily to ring you up. " Dawn and Willow both gave nods and moved past Whistler towards the counter. The moment they were past the smile slipped from Whistler's face, it replaced with a grim expression as he moved towards his next target.
Xander, still mildly upset with the mornings events, was digging around in the miscellaneous gun bin looking for the last piece he needed to complete his costume. Frowning as he tried to push away his frustrations, he pawed through the various plastic pistols and machine guns, none seeming to be what he was looking for. He was about to stop and try somewhere else, when his hand snagged on something that most certainly was not a gun.
Confused, he pulled the object out of the bin. His eyes widened as he stared at a vicious looking sword, its edge serrated and its guard carved to look like a demonic skull, the blood channel leading into the skull's mouth. The entire blade had an odd blue-ish tint to it, and the runes engraved along its length were highlighted with silver paint. All in all, it was quite an impressive piece.
Xander was about to but it down to the side of the bin, considering it didn't belong with the other items, and resume his search for the last piece he needed for his costume when he noticed someone approachin out of the corner of his eye. Turning, he saw the assistant who had been helping out Willow and Dawn earlier heading his way with a relieved expression on his face.
"Thanks man, I've been searching for that damn sword everywhere. The boss would've had my head if I lost it, as if I don't have enough problems already." Xander gave a shaky nod in agreement. Whistler gave him a quick look, before coming to a quick decision. "Hey, listen. Since you did me a favour in finding it, how about I let you get first crack at a one-of-a-kind-knock-your-socks-off costume?"
Xander shook his head, "Nah that's fine, I've already got most of my costume already, last thing I needed was the right gun for my soldier. Besides, I doubt I could afford the costume, whatever it is." Xander couldn't help but gripe as he was quite limited with his funds at the moment, especially if he wanted to take that road trip he was planning.
"Hmm, that is a problem. Hey why don't you come check it out first and then decide. If you like it, maybe I can swing something with the boss and let you have it for cheap. No harm in looking, right?" Whistler assked with a smile as Xander clearly fought himself, giving several long looks towards the gun bin before nodding his agreement.
Whistler cheerfully lead Xander towards the back of the store, deftfully navigating his way through the maze of costumes and glass display cases. Whistler let out a quiet sigh of relief as he passed the door to where Ethan was preparing the night's ritual, as he wasn't sure if the door had been shut or not, and it would have been quite a shame for the evening's events to be curtailed by such a thing. Instead he pushed open another door, whic lead to a nearly empty and quite dark storage room connected with the cargo entrance.
With a quiet curse as he smacked into some object in the dark, Whistler fumbled around for the light switch. With a quiet exclamation he found it and switched it on. Xander blinked away the spots caused by the sudden brightness, and when his sight returned his jaw dropped in absolute awe. Standing in front of him, still mostly within its moving crate, stood the most intimidating armour Xander had ever seen.
Something about it just seemed to draw him, or maybe it was it in its entirety, from the spikes and the skull shaped knee-caps to the fur-lined cape. Hell, forget about the gun, This was the absolute most manly thing he would ever be likely to find, period. He barely noticed the assistant come up to him and put a hand on his shoulder, sighing dejectedly. Xander did notice when he started talking though.
"Wonderful piece, isn't it. Friend of mine does work at a game company and he managed to get his hands on some unreleased concept art for an upcoming game, sent it off to a guy in Cleveland, and voila. I told him I'd do some promoting for it but they lost the helmet in the mail. And no matter how much I'd like to, I can't simply let someone buy this incomplete, at least not at full price. And if the customer was willing to plug the game a little, maybe a bit more could be knocked off the price?" Whistler trailed off specutively, though inside he was laughing at the sheer desire that Xander was radiating towards the armour.
Xander took one last glance at the armour, then the sword and made up his mind.
Whistler stretched as he stepped behind the counter, his shoulder popping loudly as he let out a relieved breath. The one thing he hated about using glamours long term were the physical constraints that were imposed on the body, especially if one was larger than the form they were glamoured into.
Whistler cast his gaze warily about the store, taking in all the various customers, before settling on the group of four who were approaching, costumes in hand. Well, most of them anyway. The three who did possess costume were deep in discussion with the last member of the group, her blond hair and innate aura easily marking her out as the Slayer.
he rolled his eyes as he watched the blonde Slayer and her friend, the one he had sold the suit of armour to, trying to have a, to his outside perspective, touching moment. Whistler did let himself smirk a bit as the Slayer broke off and moved towards a corner of the shop, ignoring her friend's protests as she made her way over to a noblewoman's gown on a display stand. Quickly cracking his neck and knuckles, Whistler maneuvered himself to intercept the blonde teen at just the right moment.
Buffy reached a hand to touch the dress that had caught her attention, only to snap it back quickly when the shop assistant appeared next to her from behind a costume. She quite nearly took his head off with a backhand on pure reflex, only barely keeping her Slayer and Sunnydale survival instincts under control. The assistant shook his and gave an apologetic look as draped a reserved sign over the neck of the display stand. He started to head back towards the counter, before he turned back to face Buffy, a strange look on his face.
"Hey, um, I know you wanted that costume but maybe I can help you find a different one. A better one even!" It was Buffy's turn to shake her head. that dress was probably her best chance at sedu-impressing Angel in the entire store.
"I doubt that," She half-snorted her response, before blinking in realization of what she had done. "Sorry about that, its just that I really wanted to impress a guy, and that dress was probably my best shot at it." Whistler nodded and made a show of thinking of a solution, before melodramatically snapping his fingers and quickly heading back to the counter.
A somewhat confused Buffy followed closely on his heels, herself being followed by the rest of the Scoobies. Ducking under the counter Whistler dug around the various boxes and drawers until he was sure that his next moves wouldn't be observed. For the last time, he reached into empty space, this time though his hand appearing to disappear into the wall of the underside of the counter. With a flourish Whistler withdrew a long black box, handing it over to Buffy after quickly blowing off a layer of dust.
Buffy peeled up one corner to sneak a peak inside, blinking as she found a small card on top of the dress. Pulling it out and taking a look, her jaw dropped at what had to be the most stunning dress she had ever seen. Even Cordelia wouldn't be able to top this one. And Angel, ooh, Angel would be putty in her oh so willing hands.
Whistler not-so-discreetly coughed as Buffy became lost within her own little dream world, a trail of drool slowly making a wet trail down the side of her mouth. Shaking herself, Buffy quickly wiped away the spit, giving quick and meaningful looks to her friends, and giggling little sister, before turning a radiant smile onto the assistant. "This, this is perfect! Thank you so much! Is there anything I can do for you?"
Whistler made another grand show of thinking of an answer, going so far as to put a foot on a handy nearby box and make a variant of the famed "Thinker" pose. "Hmm, a beautiful young lady offering anything to me, what ever shall I ask of her? Aha!" With that he moved his foot off the box and sprang forward, ensnaring a blushing Buffy's hand in his own. "How about you pay for the costume and we call it even?"
This time Whistler really did laugh out loud.
The group had split up and gone their separate ways after leaving the store, Xander to his house to await the arrival of his costume, while making sure his parents' didn't get a hold of it, and Buffy, Willow, and Dawn to the Summers' house to get ready for the evening. They had agreed to meet up at Buffy's house before heading off to the school to show off their costumes to each other.
For Xander, walking through the streets of Sunnydale while decked out in full armour was an interesting, if slightly bothersome, venture, as while all the impressed and interested looks he received were quite nice, it was still hot in the armour and somewhat cumbersome to move in, even if it was made of light plastics instead of actual metal.
Stepping up to the door of the Summers' house he gave it a couple light raps. Taking a step back while he waited for the door to be opened, he readjusted the sword in its scabbard on his hip. The door opened and Joyce Summers let out a small sound of surprise. "X-Xander? You look, very impressive. Why don't you come inside, the girls will be down in a minute." With a smile she turned and shouted up the stairs. "Girls, your knightly escort is here!"
"Heh, Thanks Mrs. S. So how come you aren't in costume? It should have been easy to find a nice Wonder Woman costume for you, though I'm pretty sure the Catwoman one would have fit better." Xander asked slyly as he ducked his head under the doorjamb.
Joyce shook her head at Xander's antics. "Well I actually have a meeting tonight and I'm pretty sure they would not approve of your suggested costumes. By the way however did you get your hair to look like that?"
Xander blinked, before responding easily. "Oh I just went down to the drug store and picked up a couple hair dying kits, one to die hair grey and the other blonde, then mixed them. Seemed to work out pretty well. Are you really sure about the costumes though, because I think I still have one here somewhere." With that Xander dug around behind his back before producing a black skintight body suit made out of either leather or possibly vinyl, considering how it reflected the light. "Voila, one Black Widow costume ready to be worn!"
"Xander! Stop trying to get my mom into one of your silly comic book costumes!" Buffy's shouted ultimatum caused Xander to chuckle, a witty retort leaving his lips even as he began turning to see his friend.
"Ah, but my dear sweet Buffy. My life will not be complete until I see at least one Summers girl, or lady in this case, in a skintight outfit, spandex or otherwise! Isn't that ri-ararrrurrraaaaawwgggrr..." It took Xander's mind a moment to register the information his eyes were feeding him, but when his mind did take in the information it proceeded to commence complete and utter shutdown.
Buffy descended the stairs gracefully, the end of her costume trailing along the ground behind her like a tail. Considering what she was wearing it was no surprise that Xander was out of commission. The absolutely skintight black and red Lycra dress clung to every curve like an alcoholic to his last bottle, and the cut V that bared all the way down to her navel didn't help matters. Added together with the dyed snow white hair and the red six pointed star emblazoned on her forehead, then the only difference was the lack of deeply tanned skin between Buffy and Hild.
Buffy gave a laugh at Xander's reaction, before noting another fact that had her smirking. "Really Xander? While I appreciate the the thought behind it, drooling is so not cool. But I must say, you make one swanky looking knight." She admitted without even a bit of reluctance.
The compliment seemed to snap Xander from his sweet daydreams and back to the present. " Sweet Lord of the Twinkies. I hereby now and forever renounce my dreams of superhero costumes for you. Besides," Xander cocked his head to the side in a contemplative manner, "I think that what your wearing is tighter than any superhero costume I could even dream of." As Buffy blushed from the compliment, Xander marked the mental scoreboard at one to one for the evening, before asking the question that had been bugging him since Buffy had descended the stairs, or at least since he had recovered mentally. "So where are the others?"
Xander received his answer a moment alter when he felt something crash into his back with an audible thump, the impact forcing him to take a step forwards as two small arms wrapped themselves around his chest. Turning he found himself staring into a smiling Dawn's eyes, eyes that now had a red colouration thanks to some special contact lenses, framed by a pair of small round cut glasses. Her hair had been tinted a darker brown that bordered on black and brushed straight, with extensions that had it reaching close to the back of her knees. Xander couldn't help but poke at the piece of hair that stuck out off her forehead.
"Cool costume, but uh, who are you supposed to be?" Frowning a bit, Dawn pushed off of Xander and stared at him, one eyebrow raised questioningly.
"What, you've never heard of Hellsing?" At Xander's shake of the head Dawn let out a sigh as she lightly palmed her face. "Süße Mutter Gottes, du Dummkopf." Xander, Buffy and her mother all gave Dawn surprised looks as she let out a muttered curse in German. Dawn returned their looks with a questioning one of her own. "What? Was it something I said?"
As she looked between them the last member of the group made her appearance. Dressed in her black robes with the hood down, the normally quite small and shy Willow cut an imposing figure. Whether it was due to the slightly darker tint of her tied back hair, or from the two stuffed ravens that sat on her shoulders, there was something about her that made her stand out far more than she usually did. Although, the effect was somewhat reduced by the way she was blushing and staring towards the ground. Her blush was due in part to the impressive figure Xander cut in his costume, and partly due to the part of her costume that she hadn't seen in the store, the section that went underneath the robes which was the only reason she had put it on. Even if it wasn't visible though, the tight leather corset, black stockings and thigh-high black boots still made her feel a trifle uncomfortable.
Xander gave an approving nod of his head, it was about time, in his opinion, that Willow stopped wearing that silly ghost costume for Halloween. "So we ready to head out? Can't keep the kiddies waiting after all, and though I wouldn't mind making Snyder a little frustrated I really don't need any more detentions." He received easy nods from Buffy and Willow, and a ridiculous looking salute from Dawn.
"Gleich mein König!" Dawn's statement, accompanied by the salute, proved enough to send her sister, friends, and her own mother into riotous laughter. Once again she gave them all strange looks before muttering to herself. "Seriously, you'd think they never heard German before." Giving a shake of the head she raised her voice so the others could hear her. "Alright, fun time's over, let's go so I, I mean we, can get some candy!"
With that as their rallying cry the gang left the house and headed off towards the school, unmindful of the chaos that was soon to be unleashed upon the town. As they left Joyce gave the piece of latex like fabric Xander had pulled out a look before picking it up and opening it. She couldn't help but stifle a laugh at the spray painted chunk of stitched together latex gloves. She gave the group of teens a humour filled look, maybe next year she could skip out on the party and do something nice for the boy.
"Thank you for shopping at Ethan's. Hope you have an absolutely haunting Halloween." Seeing off the last customer of the day Whistler let his smile fade as he closed and locked the front door. He gave a sigh and headed towards the back, letting his glamour release as he did so. Stopping in front of the door to the back room he gave it a quick knock before opening it and stepping in. He gave the room's decorations a brief look over before settling on the figure kneeling on the ground in front of a small two-headed bust.
"Well mister Rayne, its seems our time together is coming to its end. Well I must say it has been a most enjoyable endeavor their is still one last piece of unfinished business between us." Whistler gave a grim smile as Ethan gave an involuntary shudder. "Now, cast the spell and I can be on my way. That is, unless you want me to stick around?"
Ethan paled before rapidly shaking his head in the negative. The last thing he needed was a bloody Balance demon hanging around him, he'd attract more trouble than a bus full of virgin Japanese schoolgirls passing by a Shikima clan-meeting. Pushing down his anxiety he began his spell, the gathering of the energies of the Hellmouth sending a chill down his spine. Completing the last part of the incantation there was nearly tangible shock-wave of magical energy that pulsed outwards from the bust of Janus. And moments later there came an almost echo, like a radar bounce, of an even greater amount of magical energy, quickly followed by a massive weight that left Ethan gasping for breath.
As his eyes rolled back into his head and he fell unconscious, he couldn't help but think that maybe he had made a dread miscalculation. Whistler himself had vanished the moment the spell had completed, he knew what was coming and he knew that he didn't want to be anywhere close to the same realm as the Lady of Hell. And the mages, seers, and various oracles of the world all felt a moment of tremendous fear, for something had been unleashed that night that would forever change this world's fate.
Utterly spent from casting the spell, Ethan slumped back against the wall. A few minutes later and he could already hear the screams of panic coming from the darkened streets, though the sound did not bring the pleasure he had originally been hoping for. Instead he tried to block them out as he got to his feet and retrieved his important articles and spell implements. Once that was done he packed up the last of his stuff into a case and left a little note on a stand in front of the door telling how to break the spell, after that he left the costume and the Hellmouth behind him, though he was pretty sure it wouldn't be the last time he was there.
Arthas Menethil, former prince of the Kingdom of Lordaeron, opened his eyes. Which was odd for him, because he hadn't thought of himself as Arthas in many, many years. The reason for that would be, of course, the fact that he had his soul stolen by the cursed blade Frostmourne and then his body taken over by the spirit of a damned, literally damned, orc.
But here was, completely and utterly free of the blasted Lich King, and, now that he thought about it, the undead Scourge as well. Which was quite strange since he was still in possession of Frostmourne, its weight on his hip telling him so, as well as the same set of armour he wore the day he had slain his father. Speaking of here, that was something he didn't know.
Looking around him, he was reminded of a mix of Lordaeron, Stormwind City, and the halls of Ironforge with their steam machines. Try as he might he couldn't think of any place that he had ever heard of or seen, either as himself or the Lich King. As he walked along the streets he noticed that the small creatures he had first noticed crowding the area when he had ,awakened, had fled from his presence.
He was just about to turn down another street when someone jumped out at him from behind. Spinning he brought Frostmourne up to guard and he gave a feral grin at the sparks as his sword blocked the cutlass of appeared to be a human pirate. Still grinning he brought his armored boot up, hitting an area that all men would consider of vital import, the impact causing the pirate to drop his blade and stagger backwards stunned.
Now Arthas could kill the man, but he had no idea if the cursed blade in his hand still retained its arcane properties and he had no intention of damning another man's soul, no matter how possibly black it may have been, to the hell that existed within the confines of the blade. Instead he reversed his grip and slammed the pommel of the blade into the pirates forehead, sending tumbling backwards into unconsciousness.
As he turned from his fallen opponent he couldn't help but feel strangely vindicated about something. Shrugging it off as simply being able to finally fight a battle on his own terms instead of those of the Lich King, he headed off along a random street in the search of something familiar, his eyes failing to notice the way the plants near him withered and began to decay with his passage.
The woman once known, a long time ago in a nearly forgotten life, as Ulrika Petrovich opened crimson eyes and beheld the world. It was decidedly odd, not her opening her eyes, but the fact that she was able to perceive the world and herself as her own conscious being, instead of as a slave to the will of the dark being that had killed her.
It was decidedly strange, for a long while, though for all she knew it may have been a very short time, she had existed as part of a merged whole, a group of souls with no firm idea of self within an utter and absolute void. And know she was back, and what made things even stranger was the fact that she was, from what she could tell from the appearance of the nearby houses and the writing on the street signs, somewhere in America.
First Lieutenant Rip van Winkle, the name she had acquired during her teen years from her constant napping, caused by the fact that she often worked late into the night, and the name that she had taken with her when she had joined the German military, felt oddly light. Now this could be attributed to either the fact that she had somehow come back to life, well considering the fact that she could still feel her fangs, un-life, it could also be attributed to the fact that for the first time in over sixty years she couldn't feel the annoying buzz at the back of her mind from the chip that had turned her into the being that had become a terror of the battle fields of the Second Great War.
But now, she was free from all the chains that had bound her, and more importantly, she appeared to have somehow arrived in a place where she could sate her hunger with impunity, as the little monsters that were roaming the streets were hardly even worth a moment of her time, nor a single one of her special bullets. As she walked down the street, occasionally slamming the butt of her rifle into the head of a monster that had worked up enough courage to approach her, she couldn't help but reminisce about her past.
She idly wondered what her mother would think, if she would have been proud of what her daughter had become and what she had done. Ah her mother, a young farmer's daughter who lived in a town a little ways from Magdeburg, and her father, the Russian wanderer who had stayed around long enough to name his daughter and see to it so that she would receive the last of his few possessions before dying. She couldn't remember much of her father, his death having come a year or so after her birth, but she could remember how her mother had tried to raise her to love her homeland to point of near fanatical devotion, in order to make up for the 'disgrace' of the blood that ran in her veins.
When the call to fight sounded Rip answered with an eager need to prove herself to both her country and her own mother. She had easily turned the talents that had put at the top of the hunters of the forests of Germany towards the hunting of a different kind of prey. It was her skills and her father's special rifle that had garnered the attention of the Letztes Bataillon.
The last thing she could remember with any clarity was the pain of being devoured, of being so utterly and completely consumed by a monster far stronger and more horrifying than any she had ever seen, even more monstrous than the Major. But now she was as far away from the aircraft carrier that had become her grave as was possible, though it didn't quite seem so.
Turning down a street she saw a large figure, taller and much more solid than even the Captain, turn a corner a block away. The figure turned to face her and Rip felt herself begin to blush, though she couldn't for the unlife of her figure why. As he started to approach she took in more of the details, and, once he was close enough to see the crimson of her eyes, she attacked. Her first strike was a quick knife edge blow to the throat, an incapacitating but non-lethal blow, that was blocked with ease.
Her next series of blows were all met with blocks, yet there was no counter attack from her opponent. Finally she managed to sneak a blow through, her fist impacting into the stomach of the far larger figure and winding him. Taking advantage of his moment of weakness, Rip moved behind him and before he could react bit down hard onto his neck. Her eyes widened explosively as she reeled back at the first taste of her prey, coughing and spluttering out air. Incredulously she stared at where she had bit down, only to find a set of puncture wounds from her teeth, yet no blood.
She rolled her eyes as she stood up. Of course the first human looking thing she came across had to be already dead, though he wasn't a vampire from what she could tell. Oh well, maybe he could help her out then, if he wasn't too upset over her biting him like that. As for Arthas, he was feeling a bit confused. When he had seen the young lady who was currently standing off to the side of him he was curious. To his senses she felt very similar to himself and, from what he could remember, to Sylvanas as well.
He had approached her in the hopes of gaining her aid and when she attacked he was caught off guard, though he still managed to block her first blow thanks to his reflexes. When he had been fighting her he had found that each of her blows hit harder than an orc, the surprise caused by that preventing him from launching any reprisal. Her speed was quite good too, easily equal to any elf, and when her blow slipped under his guard and slammed into his stomach he was very glad for the armour, other wise he would have probably ended up with a crushed torso. And then she bit him. She BIT him, him a prince of the realm, well former prince anyway, and he would have knocked her off himself had he not felt the strangest feeling, it was a spreading warmth that caused him to shiver and his blood to rush to his heads, and once more he was glad he in his armour.
But based on her reaction, the bite hadn't done exactly what is was supposed to do. Though, if she was similar to the undead then it was probably designed to affect living beings, something that he hadn't been for a long time. Maybe she knew what was going on, after all what did have to lose, since he had yet to draw Frostmourne he was reasonably sure that he could defeat her if she decided to attack again.
"While I do find your manner of greeting lacking, perhaps you could help me. Do you know how to get to Lordaeron from here?" His question was met with a confused look and a tentative shake of the head. Sighing he decided to try a different location. "How about the city of Stormwind?" Another shake of the head, this time more confident. "Ironforge? Quel Thalas? Gilneas?" By now he was growing desperate as it was become more and more apparent that wherever he was, it was most likely not Azeroth. "Kul Tiras? Northrend? Great, now what am I supposed to do."
With that he sat down on the curb of the street, the young girl, undead thing, sitting across from him. He gave her a wry look. "I don't suppose you know any magic do you?" He recieved yet another shake of the head. "Well, I thank you for your aid any way. Although," He smiled lecherously towards her, " If that lovebite of yours was anything to go by, would you care to pass the time with me?"
Rip's face went carefully blank as she reached behind her back and pulled out her rifle. Still expressionless, she aimed her rifle at the laughing knight. A ghost of a smirk tugged at her lip as she pulled the trigger, the world vanishing in a crash of thunder and billow of smoke. With that she calmly set her rifle across her lap and began the painstaking process of cleaning it, not even bothering to look up at the stunned knight who was inspecting the rapidly closing hole in his chest. "Hochmütig eselhengst." She muttered quietly as she gently polished the hammer on her rifle.
The being known throughout the dimensions ,and various parts of the multiverse, as the Daimakaichō, the ruler of the True Hell, though that was only a part of Nifelheim, opened her eyes. Now that, for her, was decidedly odd, since she had, before opening them, been dealing with her daughter over a certain matter that shall not be mentioned here. And yet, somehow she had been ripped from her dimension and transported to a wholly different one.
No mere mortal, nor god or devil, had the power to do such a thing save one. And, after taking a moment to study her current body, or at least the body she currently was inhabiting, she knew this was exactly what he would do, which didn't stop her from cursing his name.
"ODIIIIIN! When I get back, I'm gonna-" Anything further she might have added was lost as tremendous bolt of lightning impacted the tree closest to her. As she was now she couldn't pull even a fraction of her true power, and she though she would truly enjoy it, she couldn't do anything like she had planned. Instead she simply grumbled a bit and cursed under her breath as she took to the sky, until she reached a position with which she oversee her current surroundings.
Once there, she summoned her terminal and tried to connect to the Nidhogg system, frowning when it failed to respond. She repeated the process a couple more times, her frown growing darker as it still failed. Now grimacing, she tried to connect to the only other system, the Yggdrasil system in Asgard. Her grimace though, turned into confusion when she was locked out of accessing the system. Now, usually she would have found that completely reasonable, but in those cases the system would send back a response reading, "For use by the Powers That Be only." And while Odin and quite a few of his gods and goddesses had large egos, they never called themselves the Powers That Be, or such drivel.
So that meant that Odin, may his lightning strike him down, had sent her here for a purpose. It wouldn't be the first time she would have to deal with a situation where Odin had gone and gotten himself locked out from influencing things due to a coup of some sort, though they had still yet to figure out a way of dealing with those blasted Chaos Gods in that one dimension now that she thought about it. But, if only Yggdrasil was here, then that meant that Nifelheim did not exist, as the Nidhogg system was intricately linked with the existence of the realm.
Hild gave a grim smile as she considered things. The spell that brought her here would eventually run out and she'd return to her own dimension, but that didn't mean she couldn't leave something behind. She had already searched through her host's memories and found a couple things she could use to her advantage. The first was her nature as Slayer. It wasn't too hard to break the bindings and use the loose ends to attach a portion of her essence to the young girl. The second thing she found while searching through the girl's memories was her sister. The moment she had stumbled across the first memory she had noticed something off about it.
Well well, it seems that there was a little paradox she had to deal with. It seemed her host's sister was not merely her sister, but also a repository for arcane energy wired with a variety of dimensional abilities. And from what she could tell, she had made her host's sister herself, though she had yet to do so, and altered reality enough that the Ultimate Force actually interfered and set the changes into reality. Not wanting to be caught in a temporal break, Hild spared a moment to complete the changes necessary.
With all that she could think of completed, Hild was about to end the spell that had brought her to this dimension, before she felt a somewhat familiar presence appear behind her. She didn't even bother to turn and face the new arrival, instead offering her arm for an abnormally large raven to perch upon. Smiling she petted the bird as she turned around, her eyes facing down into the raven's.
"Well, I can't say I'm none too happy to see you, but then again we didn't exactly part ways on the best of terms, did we Morrigain?" With that Hild cast her eyes up towards the chuckling redhead floating in the air across from her, the black robe she customarily wore thrown open.
"Oh please," She dismissively waved her hand towards Hild, "your just upset that I was able to escape payment for your contract. Besides, what happened to the favour you owed me for stealing from your ex? Then again, its only because I did manage to steal away my little babies that I was able to escape from ending up in Hell, so I guess it all worked out. Isn't that right Huginn?" She gave the raven that was perched on her shoulder a pat on the head as she smirked at Hild.
Hild narrowed her eyes as she stared at the being across from her, the raven on her arm taking off and flying over to land on Morrigain's other shoulder."If your here then I guess Huginn and Muninn already told you what was going on?" Recieving a nod in return Hild gave a bitter laugh. "Then its a shame that we can't settle things properly, I was so looking forward to the day when I had you screaming for death at my hands. But then again," a thoughtful look stole its way across Hild's face, "maybe we can settle things. Besides, beating on you would do my temper a world of good."
Morrigain sniffed disdainfully before rolling her shoulders and dislodging Huginn and Muninn. "Fine then, though I dislike having to fight, seeing your face when I've defeated you will make it worthwhile." Morrigain raised her arms into the air as she gathered her magical energy. "Ís vígi!" Morrigain smiled toothily as she summoned nine immense rune carved monoliths of black ice, the runes shining with their own infernal light as they began to orbit around her.
Lowering her hands, Morrigain gestured towards Hild, "Fryst sker!" From the centerpoint of each of the monoliths emerged a tall skeletal figure, each one baring a massive weapon made out of black ice, from one with sword wider than a man's chest and as long as a car, to one with a scythe that seemed to catch the evening light and trap it within its dark depths.
Morrigain floated over to the closest figure, this one armed with a pistol and cutlass, and bearing the traces of a beard upon its chin, and draped herself across it, her hand reaching up to trace the contours of its bare skull with a loving tenderness. She cast a sly glance over to Hild, who was watching things with interest. "Beautiful aren't they? Each one of them painstakingly crafted by hand and with only the most valiant and powerful souls bonded to them." Morrigain laughed at Hild's shock. "Oh yes, each one of them possesses the soul of a warrior of great power that I had my ravens steal away before they could escape. This one here," she playfully tapped the skeleton on the chest, "is someone you should be quite familiar with, isn't that right Blackbeard? Now get her!"
Still off balance from the revelation that someone had managed to steal away a soul that had been highly prized by her talent agency in Nifelheim, a soul that all had figured had been cursed to forever walk the earth when it never appeared in any of the various afterlife destinations, Hild had little time to bring up a shield to block the magically created and enhanced pistol ball from erupted from Blackbeard's flintlock. The ball of arcane ice shattered against the wall of solidified tar-like blood that had erupted from Hild's arms. With a thought the blood flowed back inside her body, revealing a Hild with a very disapproving glare on her face.
With a gesture her of her hand she let out a gout of black blood that spilled out into the air. A moment later and the purpose of the act was made clear as thousands of tentacles baring maws filled with sharpened teeth that whipped around in the air, forcing the other skeletal figures to hack their way through them, one of them already surrounded and devoured by the tentacles.
Soon enough the last of the tentacles were cut down and the Fryst sker began to advance towards Hild. Frowning she reached into her robes and retrieved a ridiculously large spike of iron that still glowed cherry red and causing the air to waver from the heat as if freshly retrieved from the forge. With a flick of her wrist the spike flew through the air and impaled itself into one of the monoliths, the heat of the metal causing the ice to explode as its inside was turned to steam in an instant. With the shattering of the monolith that it had emerged from, one of the Fryst sker melted into a puddle of liquid that near instantly evaporated.
That still left seven Fryst sker who were advancing towards Hild. Frowning she pointed towards a pair of Fryst sker who were advancing together, before forcefully closing her fingers into a fist. The moment her hand tightened dozens of bloody, barbed chains erupted from the air and pierced the figures through a large portion of their bones. Hild's frown turned into a smile as she opened her hand, the chains mimicking the action and tearing the two Fryst sker into pieces.
Then there was no more time for ranged attacks as the first of the Fryst sker was on her, his sword whistling through the air with deadly intent, each swing punctuated with a forceful strike with the shield strapped to his other arm. Hild growled as she forced onto the defensive, then with almost contemptous ease slipped under his guard and wrapped a hand around his skull, giving Morrigain a look filled with dark promise as she crushed the skull and the gem inside that sustained the Fryst sker.
Hild gave the remnants of the broken summon a pointedly false apologetic look. "Oops, looks like I broke your little toys. They just don't make them like they used too anymore." Morrigain cocked her to the said as she considered Hild's words, giving the remaining Fryst sker a look, before they each erupted in a spray of black, tar-like blood covered in demonic amethyst eyes. She looked back up just in time for Hild to catch her full on with a spectral claw of pure, solidified evil, the impact sending her hurtling uncontrollably from the sky.
Hild winced as her foe hit the street below, Morrigain already recovering from the shock of the impact and subsequent cratering of the ground. No longer bothering with her conventional ice-based incantations, Morrigain fell back to her roots, summoning a swarm of ghostly ravens to attack Hild. Utilizing the distraction the ravens caused, Morrigain tapped into the ambient magical energy of her surroundings to drop the temperature rapidly. A black frost began to radiate out from her position, large crystals of the frost forming on metal objects nearby.
Soon enough Hild had disposed of the last of the summoned ravens but it was by that point too late to stop Morrigain's technique from being completed. With the surrounding area encased in her black ice Morrigain unleashed one of her more powerful techniques. From every single ice covered surface emerged a gleaming black blade or spike of ice, save for the ground closest to Morrigain. Instead, emerging from the ice like a dark and terrible primordial beast of myth was a titan of finely sculpted ice, its handsome male features marred by the gigantic claws that emerged like wings from its back.
Fully manifested, the titan charged towards Hild, its attack aided by a barrage of the near uncountable blades and spikes of ice. Its claws tearing out great gouges of the terrain the titan caught Hild with a glancing blow, the momentum of the impact causing her to spin in the air, barely avoiding some of the flying projectiles. Taking advantage of the need to reorient herself, Morrigain slammed Hild with a massive spike of ice from above, the column driving the Queen of Hell into the ground.
Morrigain had only a moment to savour her victory however, as the column of ice, as well as her titan, were swept away by a torrent of pure infernal energy, the destructive blast tearing through Morrigain's constructs as if they were made of wet paper. The torrent of energy took the form of a sea of red and black blood filled with eyes and lots of teeth that seemed to gnash when they weren't devouring something. The shockwave from the blast knocked the breath out of Morrigain, and the heavy feeling caused by the energy forced her to her knees, gasping for air.
She raised a defiant eye towards the sky, finding Hild floating there unconcerned, her appearance immaculate and completely untouched from the assault she had just withstood. Morrigain began to draw on more of the energy of the Hellmouth when the flow was abruptly cut off. Eyes wide she stared at a smirking Hild, who was giving her wag of the finger, as if she were a small child being punished for spoiling her supper.
"None of that now, you've had your fun, as have I. But its well past time for us to return to our own dimension, am I wrong?" Morrigain growled, she dearly wanted to refute Hild, but she had to agree, and considering how much it had taken out of her already she wasn't sure if she could stand against a Hild who was truly angry at her, she had only done so well up to this point because of how much weaker Hild was in her current vessel.
"Fine." Morrigain spat out bitterly. "But you had better not screw with me." Hild chuckled, causing Morrigain to again growl angrily.
"Now now, I have nothing to gain from causing you trouble, at least in this dimension. Trust me on this matter though, should our paths cross once we return, I assure you the outcome for yourself will be much more, hellish. I trust I have your understanding of this fact?" The normally smirking expression on Hild's face was gone and in its place was a grim and serious one. Morrigain didn't doubt Hild's words for a moment and nodded her acknowledgement.
"Wonderful!" Hild clapped her hands together, a smirk-like smile back on her face. "Is there anything you have left to do before we leave this world? I have already left a few gifts of my own as payment to my host, and its only fair." Morrigain snorted derisively.
"Yes that's the word, fair. But yes, I've left a few spells for my vessel, though she'll have to earn anything beyond the first few cantrips I left her."
"No need to get snippy just because you lost, and you should have known there wouldn't been any other outcome. But that's besides the point, its well past time we were gone from this world." As Hild gathered the energy necessary to break the spell, Morrigain decided to slip in one last word.
"Oh, and tell that little succubus of yours to stop using my name, its damaging my reputation." She wasn't expecting a response and she didn't receive one, though that may have been due to the fact that the spell had broken, snapping her back to her home dimension. With a sound like a high tension wire snapping in two all those affected by the spell snapped back to their own bodies. For most, the chaos of the evening would be written of to various causes such as bad candy or too much drink, but for one group, the evening would leave much more lasting effects.
First thing, the costumes. Now, I could have changed just Buffy's costume, but that would leave the rest of the gang seriously underpowered, even compared to how they are with a normal Buffy. So I decided to go with costumes that would play to each of their strengths, Willow dressed as a goddess of magic, Xander as a former paladin, and Dawn, well, Hellsing is just awesome. Besides, I have some plans for later on involving, well lets just say Big things are gonna happen.
Also, Hild's powers I'm borrowing from the Dominus Exxet Rulebook for the Anima Beyond Fantasy RPG. Collectively they make up the technique tree known as A'arab Zaraq or The Infernal Arts. As for the powers that Willow's choice wields, those are partially from the afore-mentioned book, some created by myself, and a a few borrowed from the Anima Beyond Fantasy Forums. Specifically, the techniques created by Elric of Melniboné. If your reading this, which I kinda doubt, you rock man!
Buffy = Daimakaichō Hild from Ah Megami-sama. Not OC.
Willow = The Queen of Ravens, other aliases as follows : Morrigain (Not the succubus from Darkstalkers but the Celtic Goddess of War, Death and Magic), The Winter Witch, The Blackfrost Tzarina, Hel, and Morgan la Fey. Semi-OC combined with mythology.
Huginn and Muninn, Odin's ravens, named Thought and Memory respectively, who travel around the world bringing him news. See above.
Xander = Arthas Menethil, former prince of Lordaeron and ex-Lich King, still a Death Knight though. Definitely not OC.
Dawn = First Lieutenant Rip van Winkle, from Hellsing, now a True Nosferatu instead of a prototype Freak copy. Her former name, Ulrika Petrovich, is probably recognizable to those who read a lot of fantasy, as it comes from one of Games Workshop's more popular series, and that is all I will say on the matter. Nope, not OC either.
As for the quotes at the top, they belong to two characters from a fantasy novel I'm working on. Yeah, you heard right, I'm working on a piece of original fiction that I hope to eventually publish. Yes, these ones are the OCs.
Second, translations, according to google:
Süße Mutter Gottes, du Dummkopf = Sweet mother of god, you idiot.
Gleich mein König = Right away my King.
Hochmütig eselhengst = Arrogant Jackass.
Ís vígi = Ice Fortress
Fryst sker = Frost Reaper
Lastly, I hope you all enjoyed this, and come back next chapter to see what happens when good ol' Giles finds out. Here's a little snapshot:
"OH MY GOD! I SHOT XANDER!"
So look forward to it. Or not, its your choice.
Flames will be used to heat my house, it gets kinda cold up here in Canada.