Don't own BTVS or Crow franchise
Title: Murder of Crows
Was saving this for the Holiday but my schedule looks like it will be to busy to worry about that.
Three youths were looking over the various costumes eyeing the various creations that were around them. There were the fancy and more expensive costumes up on mannequins, the much cheaper ones that were generic and disposable, and then there were all of the costume accessories that littered the shop as well. The three teens were all looking for costumes since they had been forced into the madness that was Halloween. The short blonde with hazel eyes was Buffy Summers, next to her was Willow Rosenburg a redheaded green eyed genius, and watching the girls was dark haired and eyed Xander Harris. The trio often acted as the only line of defense against the various demons that tried to open the hellmouth that they lived on. Currently the group were searching for costumes that they could use that night though.
"Come on, I'm just saying, why are we bothering to spend a lot of money on something that the troll is making us do?" Xander questioned his two friends curiously as he eyed the red dress that they were fawning over. "Why don't we just find a few odds and ends and make the guy an offer? Surely the guy has a bunch of castoffs that we could get cheap. Unless of course you want to admit that you are just one of Snyder’s drones." The Californian youth questioned the two girls in a challenging manner.
Buffy who had been about to reach out and touch the dress froze and had a pained look cross her face at this comment. There were many things that the blonde slayer had done, but she drew the line at doing things for the troll, but the dress was nice as well. "He does have a point," Buffy admitted reluctantly, as she let her hands drop from the displayed costume gown that had enamored her moments ago.
"Are you sure? There could be a hidden princess in there." Ethan Rayne said, as he tried to convince the girl to buy the expensive dress. The amusement he got out of his spell for tonight would be even greater with the added bonus of knowing that the people had actually paid for the costumes.
"Not if it means making Snyder think he can make me do whatever he wants. That's a price that I simply can't pay." The blonde explained to the shop owner, as she hesitantly, yet defiantly turned her back on the offered dress.
Ethan nodded in understanding; he knew what the blonde meant. Had he been ordered to dress up in a bloody costume for escort duty of a bunch of brats he wouldn't want to spend all that much time or money into putting the costume together either. The boy it seemed had brought out her rebellious side, a side that he knew that Ripper secretly nourished even if he would deny it. He knew his old friend too well to be deluded in that way. "Very well then, I shall leave you to look around then.” He said, backing off from them hoping that they would at the very least choose something interesting.
The three teens grouped together and began going over their money. Xander had a five, and Buffy and Willow each had a small handful of cash that they could use to cover the rest of the costs. The girls then turned to look at Xander. “I hope you have an idea or three for costumes, I just gave up on my first choice because of you.” Buffy informed her friend coolly.
The teen smirked at the blonde. “Have no fear Buffster, Xander Harris, the $2 costume king is here.” He said proudly, as he reached into the shelves and pulled out a large makeup kit. "This is all that we’re going to need to show dear old Herr principle Snyder what happens when you call kids on their bad behavior all the time." He said with a knowing smile.
"I just know I’m going to regret this." Buffy said as she looked at the makeup still unsure just what it was that her friend had planned. "Besides, I thought you were scared of clowns."
"It is perfectly reasonable to be scared of the disturbing clowns, Xander said in his defense. "I mean did you see Killer Clowns from Space?"
"Um no," Buffy admitted, "but I have somehow managed to live my life without needing to."
"Let’s just say that after watching that film, my fears of clown are totally and completely justified.” Xander argued with his giggling friends as they paid for the makeup." Heck, for all I know that could have been a reenactment of some demon clowns with the way the film went." He said thoughtfully.
"Sure Xander, just keep telling yourself that." Buffy said, as she patted her friend comfortingly.
"So, what are we going to go as?" Willow questioned her friend, turning their attention away from teasing the boy and onto what else that they might need.
"Why my dear Willow, we’re going to don our Goth like clothes and we’re going to become Crows." Xander said with a mischievous grin. "Think that will make old Snyder blow his top? In case you’ve never seen any of the films just think the Kiss band." He informed the girls.
Buffy giggled at this while Willow stammered nervously at that. "Who knows, we might actually get out of this whole thing if we go dressed like that." The Slayer chirped out happily. "You Xan are so the Costume King." She said appreciatively as she gave a mock bow to the teen.
"Yes, that I am." Xander said while mock buffing his nails.
Ethan watched the group curiously, while disabling the Slayer would have been extremely useful. He figured that he would allow for them to go without trying to push it. He would just have to deal with the fact that there might be a chance that the boy would come up with something.
Willow had found the required pictures on the internet and Xander had found himself under the ministrations of Willow and the Summer’s women for his makeup and wardrobe. The young man had to admit that he looked impressive when they finally finished up. His usual bright and garish clothes had been replaced with dark ones that almost looked like Dead Boy’s. and he had caked on white face paint with some black circle stuff around his eyes and lips. He looked into the mirror and grinned. Xander Harris class clown was gone, what was left was Xander the Crow. While he wasn’t ecstatic about the copy of Dead Boy's look, he really couldn’t say anything since this whole thing had been his idea in the first place. Still, he actually looked bad ass, something that he wasn’t used to looking like. He did draw the line though when Buffy offered to gel his hair. There was no way that he was going to become that much of a clone for the fanged wonder. He turned to look at the girls, and saw that they were donned similarly to him. Dark clothes had replaced their usually bright and sunny outfits, white face paint was layered onto their faces. hiding their Californian tans, and their usually brightly colored hair hidden away beneath dark colored wigs. When you added it all together, it actually more than halfway decent.
"Well, what do you think?" He questioned them with a grin. “Do I look like a good spirit of vengeance or what?" He then gave a mock twirl grinning a bit as he felt the jacket flapping around him. Sure it wasn't as good as when Angel or Spike did it, but it was something. Then again, those two had over a hundred years of practice in making their jacket's billow out behind them. Unless that was really some vampire power that they never told anyone about.
"You look suitably impressive." Buffy assured him with a smile.
"That’s what I wanted to hear Buff," Xander returned to her, "so are we ready to go?"
"Yeah come on, let’s see if we can’t get out of here." Willow said, trying to sound tough but failing at it as her friends laughed at her.
Joyce shook her head as she watched the three teens walked out of the house. She wondered what little trick the trio would come up with next for infuriating Snyder. For most people she would have problems with blatantly trying to annoy them. However, after meeting the tyrant of a man she was more than willing to allow the trio to mess with the little troll's mind as long as they didn’t allow it to get out of control. Besides it was Buffy that had stood up to those gang members during the parent teacher conference while Snyder had been more than willing to allow for others to die so that he could live. In her opinion that made her daughter ten times the person that Snyder was.
The three friends strolled into the school and people stopped and turned to see the trio. The image that the three students presented on this night allowed people to see just what it was that had the demons and vampires concerned whenever the trio went and hunted. The united front that they presented made everyone pause not wanting to anger the three. Larry who had earlier that day been mocking Harris and discussing how best to get into Summer’s pants nervously ducked his head as the group approached. Each member of the group had an edge to them that made everyone stop and reconsider what they were thinking. The Cordettes, who were there even stopped their talking as they watched the group that might even challenge their own leader for power if they were so inclined to so. The trio all had a dark aura around them of beings that were dangerous and more than willing to take the fight to the level that none of them wanted to even consider. The image was broken though, as Xander made a joke and the girls let out somewhat musical laughs.
With their previous image now shattered the Scoobies found themselves face to face with Snyder. "Summers, Harris," the man greeted them darkly. "I must say that I’m in shock." He jeered at them. "The pair of you actually showed up on time. When one considers the number of tardies that the two of you have I was beginning to wonder if you could actually tell time."
"What can we say, we were just oh so excited to be here." Buffy returned at him sarcastically.
Snyder glared at her in return for her remarks before he turned around and ushered them after him. "On the plus side, by dressing like that the world can see you as the bunch of degenerates that the three of you really are." He huffed at them as he led the group towards three different groups of kids. "Remember you don’t have to talk to them, you just have to guide them around the neighborhood. In fact it would be better for all of society if you didn’t try to influence them into your way of thinking Summers. I think that your corruption of Rosenburg was bad enough, no reason to increase the amount of trouble you've sown."
Buffy merely smirked at the man as he stomped off trying to intimidate the various people around him. It always infuriated him that the blonde never backed down from his diatribe, and usually had a smart mouthed comment to shoot back at him rendering him totally useless.
“So, who’s ready for lots of candy, scares, and treats?" Buffy questioned the kids with a smile that lacked the steel that she had been giving to the principle. The various kids all eagerly raised their hands in excitement. "Good then let’s go." She said ushering the kids out the door even as she heard Xander giving some sort of speech on getting as much candy as possible.
in the shop where half of the town had all bought their costumes a roman bust with a face carved into either side sat upon an altar. Around the altar traced on the floor were various magical writings and symbols. Ethan sat down in front of the statue and bowed before the statue before he began chanting.”Persona se corpum et sanguium commutandum est. Vestra sancta praesentia concrescet viscera. Janus! Sume noctem!”
The chaos mage finished his chanting bowed his head again as he felt Janus answer his call as the energy from the spell activated and spread throughout the town. "Showtime," Ethan said with a smirk as he looked back up at the statue. This should be interesting, not to mention fun.Buffy
Buffy sighed as she saw her kids bring back one of the most evil of things that a kid could get on Halloween, this was worse than getting sugar free candy from people. Seriously, this was like against all the rules and traditions that made Halloween what it was. To give out toothbrushes was just so wrong and demanded retribution. A part of her was thinking that she might need to teach these kids those skills that Snyder was afraid that she would teach. She now knew why Xander and Willow had so blatantly ignored the house though one of the problems with not having grown up in the town is you didn’t know all the cool tricks about the town. Her thoughts were distracted though as she began hearing cries of terror and pain. She felt herself moving into a battle stance when something blasted through her.
When she climbed back to her feet there was something different about her. Memories that had not been in her head moments ago were now flashing through her mind as she relived a life that was so like her own and yet not. She recalled how during the Parents Night at school Spike had caught the ax her mother had been wielding and the sunk the blade into her mother’s head before casually tossing the woman off to the side as if she was just a piece of meaningless garbage. The vampire had mocked her as she saw her mother’s unseeing eyes. The others had burst in and the vampire had taken great pleasure in killing each of them. Cordellia was drained, Xander had his heart torn out, Giles was given a Colombian necktie, Ms. Calendar had her head smashed into a locker, Angel had been lit on fire, and sweet innocent Willow had been raped and then tossed to the side. Then had come her own messy death. Spike had fed her to Dru, she could still feel the sting on her breasts where the vampiress had 'nursed' from her. The blonde vampire had then stabbed her a few hundred times to make sure he got every last drop and had then tossed her off the top of the school.
A year later she had risen and meted out justice to the entire town, destroying the vampires and demons that were in her way cleaning the town out one dark creature at a time. She had surprisingly gained new allies, defenders of the city who were trying to counteract all of the damage that the vampires and demons were causing to the town. Justine was a demon hunter from LA, Groo was an inter-dimensional demon fighter, Tara a witch, Kennedy the Vampire Slayer, and finally there was Doyle who was some sort of half demon seer or other.
Her powers had increased to levels that even the Watchers had never heard of, and they had merely pointed her in the direction that they wanted her to go until only she and Spike remained. She had killed him easily enough when the time came, only after she made him watch her drain the blood out of Dru of course. After that she had dragged herself back to her grave. She was hoping to finally be able to rest, to be able to have the peace that she had been denied and reunite with those that she loved. That was the deal as she understood it, there was one final task that she had to finish for whoever was in charge and then she could be dead. She had done her job had killed all of her enemies only to wake up here.
When she figured out what had happened and why she had been denied her reward she was going to rip their head's off. She had more than earned a reprieve from all of this. She turned as she sensed various vampires and demons running around. It seemed that the demons were trying to take over again. She reached her hand into the air and a large crow soared over her head dropping two wicked and curved blades that it shouldn’t have been able to lift. She would have to remind them why she was so feared. She would show them the power of the Slayer Crow.
Xander Harris sighed as he looked his little group of rugrats over. He chuckled to himself as he watched Buffy’s group head toward the toothbrush house even as he made a point to ignore it. “Observe little grasshopper,” he told one of his kids as they watched the other group rejoin the girl. They watched as they went up to Buffy to display their unwanted spoils. The small blonde may know where all the fang faces hung out, but she still had a lot to learn when it came to the art of mooching free stuff off of people in this town. He had more than ten years of experience though, he knew just what doors to go to get the candy in the bag.
He was distracted as frightened screams began to fill the air, and not the kind where a prank had just been set off but the kind where a monster was chasing them. After all of this time he had learned to tell the difference between screams of terror and screams of fear. Turning he saw that people were turning into monsters they were somehow actually becoming their costumes. He looked around for a weapon or something to help him when he fell down. When he climbed back to his feet he was a Crow, and memories of his time as one struck at him. He remembered Angelus, and everything that he had done to him and his friends. The vampire had managed to lose his soul and had been something of a pest to all of them. Buffy hadn’t been able to kill him as she had cared for both faces and was having trouble seeing the difference between their ally and the killer he had become. It had all come to a head in one of their fights, only difference was Angelus had set up a dangerous trap for them. The vampire had imprisoned them and then tortured them it had all come to ahead on the full moon and Xander had watched helplessly. Angelus had waited for the moon to come out and then set to work. He had fed Willow to Oz-Wolf allowed Ethan to turn Giles bones to goo, Cordy had her tongue ripped out and was then released, Jenny Calendar had been given the same treatment as the last Gypsy that Angelus had encountered, Xander had watched helplessly as Angelus then made Buffy’s nightmare a reality as he actually turned her and had Buffy kill first Giles and then him off. A year later after everything had happened he had come back somehow. The vampires had taken control of the town and were ruling it with an iron fist. The Slayer, some girl named Faith was barely able to keep up with her hit and run tactics. The fact that she was heavily scarred from where a vampire named Penn had nearly killed her was a testament to her abilities to stay alive though. He had come taking a pair of semi autos and ripped through the small hellmouth town. Blowing through one demon after another.
The hardest and most satisfying kill had of course been Buffy, as he allowed her body to dust and send it to its final resting place. Surprisingly she had actually thanked him as she became dust. It had been hard to kill the face of his friend and former crush but he had done his jo. As he did it, he finally understood the hardship that the blonde had gone through when she tried to deal with Angelus. If it hadn't been for the fact that she was actively trying to kill him at the time he wasn't sure that he would have been able to do it. The former Slayer hadn't gone down easily though, and had actually managed to slice his arm off before he managed to send his spear all the way through her. In a bit of irony, Angelus had actually been a cinch to beat in comparison to the former Slayer. Then again, he always thought that the vampire was more talk than he really was. Sometimes it was nice to be right. Faith the Slayer had tried to help him. Too bad for her she hadn't believed that the vampires would be all that dangerous without the aid of their leaders. She had died while being swarmed by a large crowd of vampires that Buffy had trained.
Xander's eyes roamed around and they finally noticed where he was. He was near the high school, he noticed that there were several kids and that they seemed to be turning into their costumes. he wasn't sure what was going on, but he didn't want to stick around here either. He quickly made his getaway before something decided to take him out. He needed a moment to process all of this and figure out just where he was and what was going on. Once that was done then he could go and kill whoever it was that had brought him back to life and kill them.
Willow Rosenburg groaned as she felt her head swim with memories that were not her own of a life that she knew was not hers and yet it was. She remembered how she had fought various demons on the hellmouth alongside of her best friends Xander, Jesse, Amy, and sometimes Cordellia. They were led by Rupert Giles and his vampire slayer ward Buffy Summers. The pair of them had come into town and quickly gathered together the various hunters making them all one unit, they had later been joined by the ensouled vampire Angel that liked to play the mysterious man in the shadows game, Oz the placid werewolf, and Jenny Calendar the techno pagan. They had been doing all right, killing several of the blood suckers several times. Demons, vampires, wannabe frankenstein’s, ghosts and anything and everythin else that went bump in the night. Despite all of the odds that were set up against them the were fighting, no they ad been winning. Then everything had changed.
Amy's mom was a witch, and in payment for allowing her to take over the body of her teenage daughter all she had to do was kill the Scoobies. Angel had been the first to die surprisingly. He had been locked inside of a building and the fire sprinklers had been turned on. The witch had the water tanks blessed with holy water though so the vampire had the equivalent of an acid shower. The Jewish side of her had winced in sympathy for the vampire once she knew of his fate. Cordellia had her eyes destroyed, and was then tricked into walking in front of a semi. The former beauty had to have a closed casket funeral because of how mangled she had become. Oz had his van explode on him, while Miss. Calendar had been used in a power enhancing ritual because she was part gypsy. Giles had been the victim of a Fyarl demon attack, and Jesse had been used as a sacrifice. The last four members of the demon hunting group had been knocked out and then had everything explained to them over what had happened. Mrs. Madison had gloated at each of the survivors over her victories and explained how she had decided that it would be by her daughter's hand that the last members of the group would die. She had performed some sort of control spell on Xander and forced him to rape each of them, after that was done she made him take a knife and pop Willow's eye out. Buffy had managed to break her bonds long enough to get behind him and break his neck. The blonde had been so busy dry heaving though she never saw Amy's body move forward and cast a spell that brought out the creature that was inside of Buffy. Her blonde hair had turned its natural brown and her whole being became more primal. The woman had fixed a collar to the Slayer making her a pet. Willow hadn't been as fortunate. According to Mrs. Maddison Willow's magical potential outstripped the combined ability of Mrs. Maddison and Amy, so she had set up a ritual that had drained Willow's magic out of her body. The ritual also had the effect of draining her youth out of her so Willow had been forced to watch as her body had gone from 16 to 26 then 36, 46, 56, 66, 76, 86, 96, and finally stopping when she was nothing but an old crone. It turned out with the combined magical power of Willow, Miss. Calendar, Mrs. Maddison's original body, all stuck in Amy's body she was going to be around for at least a few hundred years and be young for most of them. She had then gone about the process of slowly but surely skinning Willow with her magic. Keeping her alive somehow with her magic but also slowly killing her as well.
Willow had come back and she had been angry. Her body had somehow returned to its youthful appearance though her hair and eyes had changed from their bright red and green to a dark black. She had then learned of all that had happened in the year since her death. The witch in Amy's body had easily taken over the Hellmouth gaining all sorts of power as she took more and more. Willow had been surprised to learn that she had displaced the Mayor. She hadn't thought to much about it though as she began tearing through the forces of Amy the Wicked Witch of So-Cal. She had destroyed various demons and vampires that had pledged to follow Amy. There had been the Judge, a praying Mantis demon, some school bullies transformed into some sort of hyena like creatures, the swim team, a vampire that called itself the Master, another that called itself Spike, and even a demon robot named Moloch. They had all fallen to her though either through her weapons or through some other method. Finally the path had been clear except for the fact that there was Buffy. The Crow had fought against the primitive Slayer and the two had been nearly equally matched. Somehow Willow had broken the curse that made the girl serve Amy. The transformation was permanent though and she had been forced to leave the girl like that. The feral demon fighter had nodded and with a smile and a laugh and had lunged forward to deal with some of the other forces that were standing in between Willow and Amy. The fight had been long, but Willow finally won. She had seen the fallen form of Buffy for a moment before she dragged the girl to the memorial of where all the others had been buried. For one finaly moment they would all be together. She had closed her eyes and prepared herself for death only to awaken here in the middle of the streets of Sunnydale.
Now she appeared to be on the Sunnydale streets that were alive with action and she wasn't sure what was going on. She did notice that the others didn't appear to be dead though. Maybe they had a chance to try and do everything right this time she thought hopefully.
D'Hoffryn, the Lord of Vengeance Demons and Master of the dimension of Arashmahaar had been in the middle of a feast when he felt a surge of power. Somewhere out there in the multi-verse there was someone or something that was singing with the power of vengeance. It was a surprising feeling to pick up on when you considered the dimension that it was coming from. This world was a common enough place for his vengeance demons, but there were none there tonight. That reality's humans were currently going through their Halloween Ritual. A nasty little human ritual where people dressed as demons or other dark creatures. Vengeance was no fun when people merely thought it was all fun and games. It was better to meet in his kingdom and have a feast where all of his various children could tell their stories or compete against each other. Anyanaka and Halfrek had been in the middle of a particularly nasty fight of one up manship when this strange feeling had washed over him.
He disappeared with but a thought, and appeared on a roof. He looked down to see what it was that was causing the surge of unexpected power. His eyes widened in surprise as he saw just what it was that was down there below him. He grinned in excitement as he realized just what it was that he was seeing. This could prove to be a most interesting night after all. He mused to himself as he set himself to watch the trio of figures that were setting themselves up for a possible confrontation.
Three teens were facing each other in some sort of stare down. The shocking part though was that the power that was rolling between the three of them. He recognized the energy signature it was one that he occasionally ran across. It was the power of vengeance demons rolling off of them, and not just any type of vengeance either. These were the powers that rarely traveled to this dimension. The demon lord smiled as he summoned his throne and began watching the group curious as to just what it was that he would see next. If things progressed as he believed that they would, then this night could prove to be a most entertaining one.
The three Crows stood in the middle of the street and stared at each other with interest as they tried to figure out just what it was that they were. There was something very odd with how the three looked at each other. Each could recognize the face of their old friends beneath the white and black skin, however they were also sensing something that was so like them and yet so different as well. This was nothing like what they had gotten used to when it came to dealing with becoming a crow.
"How is this possible?" Buffy demanded as she looked at the pair with disbelief. "I watched you both die."
"Halloween," Xander said with understanding. "Its the only reason that makes sense, or makes sense when it comes to us he added in absently."
"Halloween?" The two girls asked their friend in confusion.
"Yeah, there's this magic guy that cast this spell over all these costumes." Xander explained to the two girls. "When it happened to us er, me, my Willow, and my Buffy we were dressed as a soldier a ghost and a noble lady. We did things like fight Spike and all while posessed by our costumes. Or rather I fought them while ghost Willow acted as a messenger ghost and lady Buffonia screamed in terror. Anyways, something must have caused things to change and we dressed as alternate reality versions of ourselves and that's why we're here." The male crow declared. "Its all very Twilight Zone." He admitted to them. "Heck, I just explained it to you guys and I barely understand it." He informed them.
"Fine, let’s just get this over with I want to be with my Xander and my Buffy." Willow said shortly. The other two nodded their heads in agreement with that choice, each of them wanted to be with their Scoobies instead of the versions that they were faced with.
"Let's go then, if we're going to get back then we need to get going." Buffy commanded as she took the lead with the other two taking up positions behind and to either side of her. Over their heads their bird companions cawed as they flew above them.
“A most interesting murder of Crows.” D'Hoffryn noted as the three stalked off into the Sunnydale night. It seemed that this was just getting more and more fun as it continued, he could hardly wait to see just what it was that happened next.
The trio moved through the streets and began slicing through the demons and monsters that got in their way. The vampire Spike, youngest member of the group known as the Scourge of Europe watched in surprise as the Slayer and her friends seemed to be slashing their way through the small army that he had formed. It was like nothing that he had ever seen out of any of them.
There was a ruthlessness to all of them that they hadn’t had before. He had first merely wanted to test these new and improved versions of the Slayer and her lackey’s. He wanted his victory to be all that much greater when the time came for him to kill them. Slayer had some sort of spear that she was fighting with, it had a sharpened tip on one end and a metal head on the other. Anything that got to close to her ended up either dusted or headless.
The boy had a pair of guns that seemed to penetrate anything and everything. While his shots might not always kill his opponents, the other two were quick to finish them off while they were down and out of the fight. Then there was the little red head, the girl had nails as sharp as claws and was slicing through her opponents with a precision that only something that was supernatural could accomplish. The girl that was usually about as dangerous as any other little helpless creature was slaughtering demons right before his eyes. The trio were much more deadlier than he had been expecting, and he wasn’t real sure just how it was that he was supposed to deal with these versions of the Slayer and her usually bumbling companions. He was actually hoping that whatever happened to the group; would end soon and the whatever it was ended. The sooner that they got back to the way that they were supposed to the sooner he could get around to killing them all.
Dru had told him that the death bird was supposed to fly with the Slayer and her friends tonight. He hadn’t realized that they were the death birds though. Now he had to figure a way to keep his unlife while making the most of this situation. Really not something that he wanted to lose all things considered. He winced as he saw one vampire get its head sliced off, while two fell to the quick jabs of the Slayer and a demon was shot. The three were simply to powerful the sooner this mess ended the better for all of them. Fortunately Dru didn’t turn no stupid vampire, and he knew when to make a strategic get away. Others might call it running away like a dog with its tail between its legs, but he knew that he was merely regrouping until the situation was more favorable for him. He was the big bad he didn’t run away from others, ever. Anyone that ever suggested something like that usually ended up with him killing them. Only Angelus and Darla had ever survived calling him names like that.
“Where is this shop of yours Xander?” Buffy questioned as she slashed a demon in the chest.
“Just up ahead.” Xander assured the girl so similar to his former friend that it hurt.
The birds flying over their heads took off and got ahead and the three each felt the vision of the birds. Buffy paused as she saw a figure that was trailing behind them. She would recognize the platinum blonde head of hair anywhere. “Spike.” She growled angrily, as she turned her head in the direction that the vampire was in.
“Where?” Xander asked, as he turned to look toward the Slayer.
“Behind us, and trying to sneak by us.” Buffy said as she began backtracking so that she could deal with the vampire.
“Who or what’s Spike?” Willow asked the other two curiously. The reactions of her two companions was somewhat surprising and she wondered just what it was that she and her Scoobies had missed that a dog name would cause both of them going into full destroying slayer mode within an instant. Tey were acting like it was a big bad or something like.
“Vampire that killed all of us in my world.” Buffy returned shortly. “I think I should make sure that he’s nothing more than a memory in this world just t be safe.”
“Works for me.” Xander said with a shrug. “It’s not like the shop is going to disappear while we play hunt the Spike.”
“Good.” Buffy growled back at him, as she began running in the direction that she had seen Spike heading in. if there was a chance that she could take care of the vampire before he became a threat then she could hold off destroying some magic guy that was the reason that she was here in the first place.
The other two followed after her falling slightly behind her but still keeping up with their companion with an ease that they never could have managed when they were ordinary humans. The trio practically flew across the pavement as they ran to intercept the vampire.
Spike cursed when he realized that the Slayer and her friends were now hunting him. This made things a lot more difficult, as his plan had been to wait this storm of craziness out. While this mess may have started out as fun with all of the destruction it was causing it was like the Boxer Rebellion all over again where he bagged his first Slayer. It was quickly degenerating into something not nearly as enjoyable though. With these whatever they were tailing after him he couldn’t head back to the warehouse and his minions though. He couldn’t risk Dru against these things anyways, not in her condition. He couldn’t believe that the Slayer and her lot were actually daring to hunt him. Did they forget just who it was that he was? He was Spike, William the Bloody, one of the Scourge of Europe, and Slayer of Slayers. He was the sodding Big Bad of the Sunnydale vampires. He wasn’t the prey, but the bloody hunter. His inner monologue of rantings was disrupted when several bullets clanged off a wall and the vampire was forced to dive to the side to avoid any other attacks.
He saw a nearby sewer access tunnel and quickly dove for it. The vampire screwed it shut, but doubted that it would hold them back for long. The group seemed to be after him with a dogged determination. While it was flattering that he could get that sort of reaction from them, he would rather not be stuck in an ash tray because of it either. There were only three people that he knew of that might be able to help with his problems. Dru was out because he didn’t want to lead them to her. Angel was more likely to help them destroy him and then try and turn them back. Sodding traitor that he was. His final choice was iffy as well though. Still beggars can’t be choosers. He hurried down the trail hoping that he knew the way as well as he believed he did . After a few turns he lifted a manhole and he found the building he was searching for. He strode in, and when he saw the double doors he kicked them in.
As the doors swung to the side he saw the rather shocked and flabbergasted look of one Watcher. “Oi! What the bloody hell is going on in this bleeding town?” The vampire demanded of Giles. “Tell me what I got to do to get everything back to the way it’s supposed to be Watcher.” He ordered the man.
“Spike?” Giles said in surprise. “I thought you were supposed to be staying in on this night.” The stunned Watcher said as he took in the appearance of the disheveled vampire.
“A vamps got to eat don’t he?” Spike demanded negligently not about to tell the Watcher the real reason that he had been out. “Besides, its hard to stay inside where it’s safe when the whole hellmouth is going crazier than Dru.” He snapped out at the librarian.
“What are you talking about?” Giles questioned.
“Do you even notice what’s going on outside of your own little world Watcher?” The vampire demanded. “I mean sure it wasn’t foretold or anything in any of your sodding books, but you’d think someone like you would notice all the monsters roaming the streets.” Spike said in annoyance, shocked that a Watcher could truly be as oblivious as this one appeared to be. “Now tell me what we got to do to fix the bloody mess before someone decides to dust me.” He commanded the Watcher. “How do we break the spell that’s got everyone turning into their sodding costumes Watcher.” Spike demanded, he growled as he saw that the man was still just dumbly sitting and staring at him. “Would it help if I said that I was going to eat ya if you don’t tell me Watcher?” He demanded as his face reverted into its game face.
“Tell me what’s going on exactly?” Giles demanded worriedly, he knew that the vampire would more than willingly carry out his threat if he thought it would be useful to him.
“Well if you would listen, you’d already know you sodding Watcher.” Spike grumbled in annoyance. “Somehow or other people are turning into their costumes and are becoming dangerous to be around. Kids are turning into demons and the Slayer and her friends are running through the streets killing just about anything and everything that they want demon or otherwise.”
“Fine, there has to be something at the store where they went.” Giles said thoughtfully. “I don’t suppose you have any ideas where that might be?” He questioned hopefully.
“There’s the party town and then there’s Ethan’s that opened up a few days ago.” Spike returned to the man.
“Did you say Ethan’s?” Giles said coolly.
The tone of his voice caused the vampire to look up to see that the Watcher was deadly still as he seemed to be processing something. “Yeah Watcher I take it that means something to you?” He questioned with interest, as he observed the man intently.
“It just might.” Giles said curtly. “What about Buffy and the others though? Surely they could manage to deal with this threat.”
“They’re stuck in their costumes for the moment Watcher. Face it, the only way something is going to happen is if ya put the sodding books down and do it yourself instead of depending on the Slayer and her lot to do all the work for you. The only hope you got is if Peaches comes out of whatever rat hole he hides in to play the hero. Sooner we stop this though, the sooner it’ll be that she’ll be her usual annoying blonde self.” He added in with a sneer.
“Yes, well I suppose we should get to it then.” Giles said as he gathered a couple of things. “Can you get me there?”
“Yeah, yeah.” Spike grumbled at the man. “Come on Watcher, let’s get going the sooner this is over the better. I mean before you know it you’re going to try and make me a tame vampire like Peaches is.”
“Trust me, the sooner that your back to being against us the happier that I’ll be.” Giles assured the vampire. “From what I’ve heard you even took out the Anointed One.”
“He wasn’t any fun, besides it saved the job for you and the Slayer, sides the brat was rather obsessed with bringing the Master back.” Spike shot at the Watcher in his defense. “And I wasn’t overly fond of that pointed eared, wrinkle face old wanker the first time around. I just didn’t see the point in trying to bring him back for another round. He had his chance and when it came down to it the Slayer had the better cards. Personally I thought he might have been more annoying than Angelus. And that’s saying something coming from me.” He added in.
“The Annointed One or the Master?” Giles asked with interest as he tried to understand the vampire. Spike was such a mystery as for the most part he rarely followed the same rules as most other vampires did. A chance to speak with the infamous vampire might give him some insight in how to train Buffy in how to take the bloodsucker down.
“Both.” Spike returned with a cocky smirk.
Angel frowned as he looked at what appeared to be Buffy and her friends walking with all the arrogance of vampires. Not exactly something that he was really sure that he wanted to consider with them. He wasn’t sure what had happened to them, but if it was anything like what had happened to all of the other people there was no telling just what it was that they could be. He had already dealt with a pirate, a dog face person, and gotten Cordellia Chase someplace safe. He had hoped that by finding Buffy that the two of them could somehow fix this entire mess. He had been forced to leave a nice night of reading for this and now the blonde slayer and her comrades appeared to be under the effects of the spell as well. He wondered if things could really get any worse than they already appeared to be. The vampire barely even noticed the black bird that was circling over his head.
A little bird tells me that we have a guest. Xander said as he stopped and looked over his shoulder in the direction of the vampire.
“Really, and just who is our visitor Xan?” Buffy questioned as the other two turned in the same direction that the young man was staring in.
Angel scowled at that how had Xander Harris the most human person that he had ever known of to involve themselves in the supernatural detected him so easily? That just didn’t make any sense to him at all if any of them should have detected him it should have been Buffy yet somehow the boy had noticed him first. Such a thing just didn’t happen still he might as well show himself since the group didn’t look like they were going to be real tolerant of his usual hiding in the shadows methods that he used.
The trio of teens all looked surprised to see the dark haired vampire step out of the shadows. Angel. They all said with a variety of emotions. When Willow said it there was relief when Buffy said it there was caring and finally when Xander said it there was a type of fury and anger in his tone that he recognized. It was the same kind of barely suppressed rage that Holtz had when he would address him. The vampire hunter had been one of the most skilled hunters he had ever met the fact that he did it all without magic or other supernatural allies made the person all that more amazing.
"What’s going on?" He questioned them. "I’ve been going up and down the streets fighting and saving people that seem to have become costumes."
Its simple dust for brains they’ve all become their costumes because of a spell." Xander answered with a sneer.
Angel was slightly surprised at this, not that Xander was being confrontational but that he had answered before Buffy did. The young man usually was so good about following the chain of command and allowing Buffy, Willow, or Giles to get in the main points of a conversation depending upon what the situation was. For him to start the insults already was off for him.
"Xan, something wrong?" Buffy questioned her friend.
"Well ya see Buffster, Captain Hair Gel over there is the reason that I was called. He destroyed everybody in my world. He even made you into a vampire when he lost his soul and made you eat me and be his sex toy."
"I see." The girl said grimly. "Well then, if that’s what he did then do your duty Xander. You could not hunt him anymore than I could not hunt Spike."
"Thanks for being understanding." Xander said in relief. "In my world you were a bit harder to convince of his danger."
"To me he’s already dead." Buffy returned.
"Buffy what’s going on?" The vampire demanded, not really liking how the conversation between the two was progressing. It didn’t sound like anything that he really wanted to be dealt with.
"Just try and make it fast since he seems to be on our side right now." Buffy pleaded with her friend.
"Yeah, because he’s like still Angel." Willow said in agreement with her friend. "And this Angel hasn’t done anything yet that would make us need to kill him and all. I mean he’s still all lovesick and everything with Buffy."
“You got it.” Xander said as he raised the gun in his hand and pointed the weapon at the vampire.
The two British born men quickly made their way to the shop the group froze as they saw the figures that were walking down the street towards them. “Now this is interesting.” Spike said, as he saw the not so welcome yet familiar forms of the Slayer and her lackeys. “What do we do now Watcher, knowing them as they are right now they’ll kill first and ask questions later.”
“Then you’ll have to keep them busy until I can figure out how best to stop this spell.” Giles returned to the vampire shortly.
“Giles?” A voice questioned. The two figures spun around and saw Angel seem to appear out of the shadows.
“Angel,” Giles greeted while Spike watched the approaching figures stalk down the street.
“What’s going on Giles, and why are you with Spike?” The dark haired vampire questioned, as he looked his former comrade over with disgust.
“Ya think I want to be here you soul holding pantywaist?” Spike questioned the older vampire in annoyance.
Angel growled, and moved to attack the blonde while Spike prepared to confront his grandsire by shifting into his game face. “Gentlemen, and I do use the term very lightly when I am talking to the two of you.” Giles said as he placed an arm in between the two vampires. “As enjoyable as it might be for Angel to kill Spike, we do have more important things to deal with right now than your mutual hatred of each other.”
“He’s the one that started it Watcher.” Spike spat, pointing toward the other vampire. “Besides. if there was going to be anybody killing someone it would be me killing him.” He shot off arrogantly.
“You want to test that theory of yours Spike?” Angel demanded ,as he growled at the blonde.
“Just try it ya bloody idjit.” Spike returned.
“Enough.” Giles said feeling like he was dealing with a couple of children. If anything the two vampires were worse than Buffy and Xander when they were feeling petulant. He idly wondered how it was that these two had managed to become such a fearsome force if this was the way that they acted. They were supposed to be the Scourge of Europe, some of the most dangerous and deadliest vampires ever, and instead they acted more like schoolyard rivals at the playground. Perhaps Darla had been the reason that they had managed to stay together as long as they had. With her controlling the group and Drusilla leading them with her visions it was not a complete surprise that they had done what they had. It was a bit interesting to learn about their psyches though since most records had Angelus as leading the other vampires.
Angel glowered at Spike for a moment before turning to look at the Watcher. "What do we need to do Giles? Buffy and the others are just as bad if not worse than most of the others."
“Yes, I imagine that as the normal protectors of the hellmouth, whomever or whatever is doing this is taking great pleasure in having them be one of the primary threats during this crisis.” Giles noted, as saw the incoming group of Crows as Spike had called them. He vaguely remembered the film from when he was a much younger man. As someone that could fit into the culture he had actually been tasked with searching to see if there was any substance into the curse of the Crow. Every time that people dusted off the Crow for some reason or other amazingly someone was usually severely injured in some way or other. You would think that people would learn their lesson and not try and resurrect something like that over and over, but as long as they were making money from it they were likely to continue doing so despite the obvious risks to themselves. He looked the pair of vampires over for a moment as he considered just what it was that he was likely to find on the inside of the costume shop. The fewer people who became aware of who and what he used to be the happier he would be. I suppose I’ll have to trust the two of you to behave and work together long enough for us to end this problem. Keep them out of the way and busy while I deal with whatever is on the inside.”
"Do you want me to help Giles?" Angel questioned calmly.
“No, I think that I can manage it easily enough on my own.” Giles assured the vampire as he made his way towards the shop door. “Just keep them out of here so that I can deal with the problem.” He tossed over his shoulder.
“Geeze, thanks for the easy job Watcher.” Spike growled, as he glared at the approaching group. “Alright you wankers, come and get it come and show old Spike just what it is that you’ve got.” The vampire challenged the approaching trio of Crows. “Let’s see if there’s more to it than just a bunch of pet birds and a few layers of cheap makeup plastered onto your faces.”
"Are you trying to make them angry, or is that just your usual set of manners coming through?" Angel asked curiously as he took on a defensive stance as he eyed each of the figures carefully.
“You heard the vamp, no reason to deny him what he wants is there?” Xander questioned as he drew his guns out and aimed them at the vampire.
“Don’t need to tell me twice.” Buffy said, as she brandished her spear at the vampire.
Willow smiled hungrily, as she looked at the vampire that her companions seemed to have some sort of personal problem with. If the vampire was even half as bad as Buffy and Xander had hinted at then there was nothing that she was going to do to stop them besides it meant that there was going to be one less vampire in this world something that she didn’t mind one bit.
“You better hurry up Watcher.” Spike muttered, as he went into game face as he warily eyed the group. If the old boy thought he was going to just stay here and sacrifice himself to give the Watcher time to deal with things then he was even dumber than the whelp normally looked. “Come on Slayer, come dance with the Big Bad.”
“If you insist,” Buffy said as she charged forward her spear leading forward.
The vampire sidestepped the blow but was knocked back by the twirling spear as it slammed into his face. He was then knocked back again as the blade slapped him in the face. While he stumbled back he was kicked in the gut and slammed into the wall.
Snarling the vampire managed to redirect the next punch which had the Slayer slamming her fist into a sign while the Slayer backed up the other two began their attack. The Whelp pulled back and began firing his guns in an attempt to wound him, but he was also trying to fire around Red who had some sort of magical claws or other that was allowing her to slice through things. It was making this fight more and more difficult. The vampire grabbed an incoming arm and then pulled Red over to him and then used her as a shield as several bullets slammed into the former useless researcher . While he could survive a bullet wound they were painful, and not something that he enjoyed in particular. He also couldn’t chance having something like that slow him down either.
Giles sighed as he entered the store as he looked around the place only had about a quarter of its costume left . In the center of the room there was a rather familiar bust of Janus. “You might as well come on out Ethan, I know that you’re there already.” Giles spoke out to the darkness. “This whole mess screams of your hand and you always did love to get a look at your handiwork before running off.”
“It is one of my main weaknesses.” Ethan admitted, as he came out of the back room where he had been hiding and waiting. “Then again, its better to do that than to trying to pretend to be something that I’m not.” He said while giving Giles a rather pointed look.
“Hello Ethan.” Giles greeted tiredly not at all surprised to see the much thinner man in the store.
“Hullo Ripper.” Ethan returned. “No hug for your old mate then Rupert?”
“I’m just sorry to see that my guess was right.” Giles returned to the other man. “This entire problem has your stink all over it.”
Ethan preened at the disgusted statement that his old comrade had said. “Yes it does, doesn’t it?” don’t wish to blow my own trumpet, bit is genius. The very embodiment of be careful what you wish for.” He smugly crowed to the librarian.
“Its sick, brutal, and harms the innocent.” Giles spat back angrily.
“Oh, and we all know that you are the champion of innocents and
all things pure and good, Rupert.” Ethan returned to the man mockingly. “It's quite a little act you've got going here.”
“Its no act, its who I am.” Giles declared to the mage that had once been his closest friend.
Ethan scoffed at what Giles was saying and gave a knowing smirk at the man. “Who you are? 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. Course from what I’ve been hearing they may have more in common with you now than they did before. If those costumes did what I think that they did then Slayer and her entire group just might relate better with Ripper than the pitiful Watcher that you’ve become.”
“If what I’ve heard about the changes that they’ve gone through is correct, they are the type of people that you would never want to have to deal with. Then again neither am I.” Giles warned his former friend. “Now break the spell. Then leave town and never come back.” He ordered.
“Why should I,” Ethan challenged, “what’s in it for me?”
“You get to live.” Giles said stonily.
While this confrontation was going on Spike was doing his best to stand up against the three Crows. All three of them were fighting levels above and beyond what they had ever shown before. The Whelp and Red were fighting nearly on par with him, while the Slayer herself was in a whole other league. Combined with the humiliating fact that they were bouncing him around between each other he wasn’t having the best of times. He was already heavily scarred and he was bleeding finding for the first time what it meant to be totally outclassed by an opponent. He was currently facing off with the slayer when he was grabbed by the front of his jacket and tossed through the front window of the shop. The vampire grunted as he felt glass shards puncture his body. He found the Watcher in a staring contest with some unknown figure. If that was the guy that caused all this he was oing to be sure to drain him nice and slow some time in the future.
“Hurry up and figure out how to stop this lot already.” Spike said as he climbed back to his feet as he saw the three Crows step through the now shattered window.
“What are they doing here?” A worried Ethan demanded as he saw that the Crows were entering his shop. The white faces and blood stains that each of them had worried him particularly when he saw the near soulless look in their eyes. “Why would you lead them here Ripper?” Ethan demanded, as he rounded on the Watcher.
“Ripper?” Everyone else questioned curiously as they turned to look at the Watcher in surprise.
“A name that no longer has any meaning for me.” Giles returned firmly. “Now then, if we can get back to convincing Ethan to break the spell?”
“Leave him to us.” Willow said with a grin as she looked at the mage. “I’ll show him just how persuasive I can be.”
“While your doing that, we’ll deal with Spike.” Buffy said everyone turned to see the retreating vampire as he tried to slip out of the back of the store.
“Now Slayer, I was only doing a favor. I figure that means that we should call a truce for this one don’t you think?” Spike said holding his hands up defensively as he tried to back away from the girl.
“Sorry Spike, but the me in charge isn’t about to make a deal with you like that.” The Slayer said as she moved toward the vampire.
The vampire knocked several racks in front of the Slayer and the Whelp and took off, not about to take a chance right now with the Slayer like she was she was more likely to kill him than anything else. He then took off ignoring the biting pain in his shoulder as a bullet tore into him.
“Let’s go.” Buffy said and Xander followed after the Slayer leaping over the various racks as they tried to catch the vampire before he could manage to get away from them.
Willow smiled as she displayed her claws slicing through a couple things for practice. “Now then, shall we get started ?”She questioned ominously.
“The Bust, break the sodding bust.” Ethan said fearfully. “Hurry up and break it already Rupert, just make sure she stays away from me.”
Giles walked over Ethan making sure that he ground the heel of his foot vindictively into the downed mage’s anatomy before he grabbed the bust and tossed it to the ground.
For a moment nothing seemed to happen and then Willow bent over holding her head in pain as she had this realities self take control back. “Okay that’s weird and kind of disgusting.” Willow complained as she removed her wig and tried to focus on just what it was that she had been doing and not sure just what it was that she had seen. Her brain was trying to sort out what was her and what was Crow her.
“Yeah I’m thinking of agreeing with you on that one.” Xander said as he and Buffy stumbled back in from around the corner.
“Did you get him?” Willow asked hopefully.
“No, but Xander shot his ear off and I managed to get his jacket.” Buffy said as she held the trench coat up. “He got it caught on a wire while trying to get away from us. We might have caught him if our heads hadn’t gone all wigsome” The trio chuckled at this as Giles led them all out of the store doing his best to ignore the teens as they helped themselves to the cash register.
“So Giles, I got to know. Where did the name Ripper come from? I mean its actually a rather cool nickname.” Xander questioned the Watcher curiously. “Not something that we usually think of when we think of you.” He added in after a moment.
“We will not speak of that name ever again Xander.” Giles returned with a finality to his voice.
“Come on, your just going to make me look all that harder Giles.” Xander said with a smirk.
Giles groaned as he heard the group of teens behind him cackle in amusement. As if things weren’t bad enough now he had to deal with this.
D'Hoffryn smiled as he watched the Slayer and her friends walk out. These three youngsters had been touched by the power of vengeance, and despite what they may want think or believe, there was a part of them that now belonged to him. He would wait for now, but if ever the need for vengeance rose within them they would come to their true lord and master. They would come to him. He could hardly wait to see what this group would do now. With their new mindsets there was no telling just how the world might change now that they were free to choose.
Unnoticed by the Slayer and her friends he saw the three birds that flew over their heads. This reality had just gotten so much more interesting. The Demon Lord thought to himself as he watched over the figures. The Murder of Crows was going to be fun watching.