Notes: Hope you enjoy this Halloween themed chapter just for you! I expect to get things rolling in the direction of case by case episodes next week, but I wanted this to be a bit different than the usual Halloween theme.
Stay safe everyone and have a Happy Halloween!
Disclaimer: I do not own Supernatural or BtVS- I make no profit this is solely for fun- blah blah blah!
There was a biting and frigid edge to the cold, waning night. The flames in the fireplace licked at the enclosing stone, their warmth emanating from the hearth. The colors danced around and left a glow against the surrounding area. Crackling sounds of the burning wood echoed against the near empty walls, causing a relaxing reaction.
The heat from the fireplace that warmed the inside of the room, shielded it from the icy temperature that was outside. The night was colder than usual- especially for Halloween. It was definitely not an ideal night for trick or treating children. It was a night for thick blankets and hot chocolate- which was what a group of hunters had decided was an excellent idea.
Dawn grasped the mug, her fingers intertwining through the handle and around the warm surface of the cup. She was sitting on a couch, her legs curled up on the cushion. She sat surrounded by her three friends, who were also enjoying their cocoa near the fireplace. They had checked into a hotel during their travels, which was very desolate. The quiet was pleasant, it almost made them forget that they were in a hotel.
“I wonder what crazy monster Buffy is fighting right now,” Dawn sighed. Her thoughts drifted to her sister, and just how desperately she missed her company. After years of fighting and bickering with her sister, she had come to admire her.
“I thought she had a night off on Halloween?” Mercy looked over at Dawn with a confounded expression. “Don't most monsters and ghoulies, think scheming on Halloween night is too obvious?”
“Supposedly yes,” she nodded. “But we have had some very eventful Halloween's anyway.”
Dawn thought about all the times that the Scoobies had planned on a night free from monster attacks, but were caught by surprise. She thought about the fake memories, the Halloween debacles that she was never really there for- the monk implanted memories. Then she thought about a few Halloween stories of her own- it seemed Halloween was rarely a boring night.
“Yeah,” Dean interjected. “I haven't found that to be true either. The bad guys seem to ignore that little rule.”
“Surprise, surprise! Bad guys ignoring rules!” Sam emitted a sarcastic chuckled from his throat and took a sip from his cocoa. The chocolatey drink warmed his throat as it slid down smoothly.
“I want to hear some of your stories,” Mercy grinned. “Who has a creepy Halloween story? And not one about some run-of-the-mill monster, something really spooky.”
Mercy curled up on the couch, staring starry-eyed at the three hunters. She was awaiting a reply, in hopes of a spooky story or two. She tucked her vibrant red hair behind her ear and leaned back against the sofa with an expectant look on her face.
“I kind of have a story,” Sam added from the sofa opposite them.
“Oooh, do tell!” Mercy beamed- her dazzling cerulean eyes stared in Sam's direction, awaiting his tale.
Sam couldn't help but smile at the blithe behavior of this whimsical girl. Her eyes were nearly enchanting enough to distract him from his previous conversation. There was something about this strange girl that reminded him of someone, but he couldn't quite place his finger on it.
“Alright,” Sam agreed.
“Dean switch seats with me please?” She demanded with excitement in her voice. “That way I can hear every detail perfectly.”
Dean just shook his head and stood up from his seat on the couch next to his brother. They both walked around the coffee table and to their new seats. Mercy snuggling into her blanket and curling up warmly on the couch next to Sam. There was an eagerness that made it obvious to Dawn exactly why she had asked to sit next to Sam.
Dean was perfectly happy to move, he sat on the couch next to Dawn. She slid closer and rested her head cozily onto his lap. As she awaited the story, she let out a relaxed sigh. There was a strange comfort that she felt when she was close to Dean. It was almost like being whole again, and as if when they were apart she was missing something she did not even realize was absent.
They all looked over at Sam, who began the strange act of reciting the tale. Sitting around a fire telling ghost stories was probably the strangest thing he had done in a long time. It made him feel like a kid again, but like a kid who had a normal childhood. Instead of telling ghost stories, his life had been spent living them.
“Alright-” Sam began. “One night- long before Dean came and dragged me away to be a hunter again. Long before I lost Jessica.” He felt a twinge as he spoke her name. It still hurt, even after all this time- the pain never really goes away. “It was the night before Halloween and I was headed to the campus library...”
Sam walked down the well lit street, the night moon had begun to shine down upon the pavement below his feet. He adjusted the strap of the messenger back that was digging into his shoulder, before opening the door to the library.
Once he was inside, he noticed a couple students inside studying. They apparently had the same idea in mind as Sam- instead of wasting time partying he had hoped to get ahead on his classes. He had one complete ass of a calculus teacher, and although he was the best student in the class- it was obvious the professor was a bit jealous.
Sam could just check out the books he needed and use his laptop back in his dorm room. The problem with that idea was that every other student at his dorm was more preoccupied with pre-Halloween partying. The library was a much better location to get the work done that he needed. Besides if he spent tonight getting ahead on his work, that meant tomorrow night would be spent with Jessica.
He set his books out on the table and grabbed his laptop, getting straight to work. The few people around him seemed to have been there longer than him and he knew one of them. There was a young frail girl that he had class with, and a guy who looked a bit like a member of a fraternity. Sam laughed at the site of the guy wearing a pink polo shirt with a popped collar. He instantly thought of his brother, who he had not seen in a while. He thought of how Dean and him would get a good laugh together making fun of the frat boy who was drenched in the smell of Axe body spray. Sam released a silent chuckle to himself and went back to his books in front of him.
After only a few minutes Axe-boy received a phone call from his buddies and he followed the sound of stumbling drunk college girls out the door. The young girl from Sam's class was still sitting at the table across from him, buried in a book. She was a pretty girl, with jet black hair and thick eye-makeup. She had a couple piercings and wore very dark clothing, she fit into a very particular rebellious look. Sam liked her non-the-less, she was a nice girl- he wasn't much for judging people because they were different than him.
The librarian had been in the hospital for the past few days, so her assistant was there. It was an elderly gentlemen, with white hair and glasses. He was very quiet and reserved, but all the same he seemed nice.
A few hours had passed and Sam was growing tired. He stared at the stack of books in front of him, his eyes growing a bit fuzzy. He realized that it was just him inside the library now, and the librarian's assistant seemed to be busy organizing. Even the lights inside of the library were left to just the very dimmest brightness possible.
He let out a loud yawn and decided maybe he should start packing up his books and head back to the dorms for some rest. As he slid a thick blue biology book into his bag which was sitting on the chair next to him- he heard a noise. It sounded like a faint whisper, almost like a voice coming from somewhere very close by. Sam quickly looked around the room for signs of someone around him. His computer was shut off, so he knew it could not be coming from some pop up add, from the internet, that he had missed. When he saw that there was no one around- not even the library assistant- he rubbed his eyes and continued packing up his books. He just chalked it up to the fact that it was very late, and he was clearly exhausted from all the studying. It was easy to hear noises that were not there, especially something so quiet he couldn't be sure it was even a voice. He chuckled and shook his head, he was clearly being foolish.
After he had packed up all his books, he stretched his long arms above his head and released another loud yawn. Sam heard another noise- this time it was louder than before. It sounded like the same whispering as before, accept it was louder this time. He swore the voice was speaking his name, but the thought made him feel unbelievably ludicrous. Then it struck him- maybe someone was just messing with him- playing a bit of a joke on him. Most of the guys on campus loved playing Halloween pranks on people and scaring the wits out of them.
But again he heard the voice- much clearer than before. “Sam-” the eerie voice called to him. The sound was scratchy and it made the hairs on the back of his neck stand at attention. He quickly rose to his feet and pulled his bag around his shoulder and jerked his head around the room trying to catch site of whoever it was.
“Who's there?” Sam asked, his voice deliberately relaxed.
At this point he still assumed it was just a friend, trying to get a rise out of him. He wanted to make sure they did not think that he was afraid. Which although he was slightly concerned, at this point he was not scared. Sam was used to much worse than a creepy voice in an empty library. But the fact that he knew about real monsters, did make him wonder slightly if something menacing could be afoot.
He waited for an answer but heard nothing this time. He expected his friends would continue trying to mess him with- but most likely they would have answered. He took a few steps forward and looked around again.
“Alright guys- I know you're there.” Sam rolled his hazel eyes and let out a deep breath. “Who is it? Is it Rick? Or Danny?” He called the names of the two friends who were mostly likely to play a petty and idiotic prank like this.
He heard no reply and so he continued walking towards the door. Then he heard it again- that same creepy voice calling his name even louder this time. He tried to look towards the direction of the noise, since the volume was clearer now. His eyes caught the site of a skeleton figure, which had recently been moved in there. It seemed strange to Sam that they would move one into the library, normally they left those for the science rooms. He took a few steps closer, trying to get a good look at the skeleton. It seemed like the direction that the whispering voice was emitting from.
He looked over the skeleton, which seemed perfectly normal. Nothing appeared to be odd about it, and it most certainly did not look like a talking skeleton. Sam scratched his head and took a step backwards. He felt instantly like the butt of an obnoxious joke, or maybe he was going crazy? He most certainly needed some rest- he was spent.
As he headed back for the door once again, he heard a loud banging noise coming from further into the shelves. Sam instantly knew where the noise came from and felt his heart leap inside his chest. Something was clearly going on here and part of him knew it was not just a childish prank.
He began walking in the direction of the loud noise, reaching into his pocket for his Swiss Army Knife. He had no idea what he was walking into, so he crept slowly towards the racket. He continued walking deep into the library's back rooms, looking around as he wandered through the barriers of bookshelves. It was darker within the depths of the library, but Sam could still see enough to know where he was. The thick smell of dust clouded the air, and grew stronger the further he went. He felt a tickle in his throat, making him want to cough so that he could expel the dust particles.
Sam stopped when he heard another noise, it was the whimpering voice of a girl. He turned and saw the young raven haired girl from his class, sitting on the floor. She had a band of duct tape slapped across her mouth, and her hands were bound together. Her legs were tied to a pole which was on the end of one of the shelves. He rushed to her side and tore the tape from her lips, trying to be gentle, but she still let out a groan of pain. Sam continued to quickly slice at the rope with his knife as fast as he could.
“Sam!” She exclaimed, as tears streamed down her fear covered face. “Thank you so much! I thought I was dead.”
“It's okay, I'm gonna get you out of here,” he promised as he sliced at the last rope. “Who did this to you?”
“The librarian's assistant,” she shivered and rubbed her sore wrists.
Sam was instantly shocked at her reply. He couldn't imagine the old man would do something like this, then again people never really were what they seemed. The old man who seemed perfectly innocent had abducted and tied up this young girl, for some personal reasons. Sam recalled stories of a few young girls going missing on campus, but it only seemed to be a very small amount and not enough to take notice of. He realized it must have been the librarian's assistant, but Sam felt that the strange timing suggested something deeper than just murder was on the old mans mind.
“Come on,” he said as he pulled the girl from the ground gently.
Suddenly his eyes caught site of a shadow at the end of another bookshelf. He grabbed the girls hand and made her walk behind him as he advanced quietly towards the direction of the shadow. The last thing he wanted was for the girl to be in more danger, but he needed to deal with the man before he got away, and the girl would be safer with him than without him.
They came across a small round table, with a few strange things on top of it. Sam recognized the objects immediately as ritual sacrifice items. The old man was sacrificing the young girls that he captured on Halloween, for some sort of demonic ritual. Seeings as it was minutes until midnight, Halloween was fast approaching and the man would need another sacrifice now. Sam knew he had to stop him before he got another girl.
As they walked further, suddenly he felt the girl being ripped from his arms and he spun around instantly. The old man had a knife to the girls throat as he inched backwards away from Sam. He was standing near his table of tricks now, attempting to put as much space between himself and Sam as possible.
“Take one step and the girl gets it!” The old man's shaky voice shouted.
“Just take it easy,” Sam said calmly. He held out his hands to gesture that there was nothing in them.
“Just get out of here!” He hissed angrily. “I have to sacrifice her! I have no choice!”
“Why?” Sam quested, trying to keep the man distracted as long as possible.
“I made a deal a long time ago, with a demon. I have to keep giving her sacrifices every Halloween or else she takes me to hell!” The man was becoming increasingly fearful as he held the girl from behind. She trembled and tried not to move too much as tears ran down her reddened face.
“Just stay calm, I can help you,” Sam assured him. “No one needs to die here.”
The man instantly started inching towards the alter, and it was evident that he could not be reasoned with. Sam slid his hand into his pocket, wrapping his long fingers around the knife. Without hesitation he flung it towards the man at full speed. The knife struck the man in the face, and he dropped the knife in his own hand. He quickly fell to the ground, completely unmoving. Sam ran to the girl and lifted her once again, checking her over for any injuries.
They walked out of the deep shelves of the library and into the front room. He set her down in a chair, sitting next to her.
“Let's get you out of here,” Sam said softly.
“Sam you saved my life,” she spoke clutching onto him. “How did you even find me?”
“You were calling to me...”
“No-” she shook her head confused. “I had the tape around my mouth, I didn't say anything. I made the loud crashing noise when I slammed against the bookshelf.”
“So you didn't call my name?”
“No, not once,” she replied, furrowing her eyebrows.
“Then who did?” Sam asked in complete dismay.
“Are you fricking kidding me!?” Mercy exclaimed in surprise. “You made that up!”
“No, I swear,” Sam shook his head. He couldn't help but smile at her amusing excitement. “I never found out who was calling my name. But I think it might have been a ghost of one of the girls he sacrificed. I believe that she was calling me to the girl, so I would save her life.”
“Wow!” Mercy's sat next to Sam, completely slack-jawed.
“Look at her,” Dawn giggled. “She's so amazed by a silly little ghost story.”
“Shut up!” She hissed, trying to hold back her smile.
“Okay miss scream queen, do you have anything better?” Sam asked cocking his head.
“I do actually,” Dawn nodded as she sat up straight now. “Accept mine isn't exactly a first person tale, it's about Buffy.”
“Ooohh, slayer tale,” Mercy said her eyes wide.
“What is it with you tonight?” Dawn giggled.
“She's just into the Halloween spirit.” Sam suggested, and then looked over at the cherry haired girl.
“Exactly!” She bobbed her head and pouted her bottom lip. “Now what's your creepy story?”
“Alright, alright!” Dawn pursed her lips and took in a deep breath. “This was back when my sister Buffy had just died, and been resurrected. I've told you all about how when she came back the bills had piled up. Willow and Tara honestly were not much help at all, they basically used school as an excuse to leave the money troubles all on Buffy's shoulders.”
She shook her head in disgust, remembering just how unfair the witches had been. Almost as if they just brought Buffy back so that they could give her all the stress they had been too weak to deal with. Willow and Tara had used college as an excuse, almost as if because of that they did not have to get jobs. Dawn was young then, but now that she thought about it from an adult perspective, she was extremely ashamed of them.
“That's not fair-” Mercy sighed, her face holding an unhappy expression.
“Yeah, it wasn't fair,” Dawn nodded in agreement. “But anyways- Buffy went looking for a job and one job on the long lists of attempts she had, was as house cleaner...”
Buffy had finally found a job that seemed reasonable- one that shouldn't be interrupted by her slayer duties. It was a job she could do- as much as she didn't love cleaning, it would work for her. The woman that she worked for was the nicest boss she had ever had- so it made the job bearable.
She had been working for the woman named Alyssa for around a weeks time. The plan was that she would work only twice a week, but at first she needed her there everyday. The woman had plenty of filing to be done and clutter that needed to be organized. She was paying Buffy a lot of money to get it done as fast as possible.
It was Halloween and Buffy arrived at Alyssa's home in the morning. She did her usual cleaning, but noticed that there were absolutely no paintings on the wall. It was highly unusual since every other day that she had arrived at the house the walls were not baron like this. It gave her the creeps the second she noticed it, something just looked wrong about walls that were so utterly naked. She tried to ignore the awkward sight that was making her uneasy and continued with her work.
“Hey, Buffy!” Alyssa announced as she walked into the room, the click-clacking of her high heels previously announcing her presence. Buffy had no idea that she was still home, normally she would be at work on a weekday.
“Oh, hello Alyssa,” Buffy looked at her stunned. She held a cloth in her hands as she wiped down the kitchen counters.
Alyssa was a pretty woman, only about ten years older than Buffy was at the time- which meant she was heading into her early thirties. She had long locks of reddish brown hair that lay across her shoulder in perfect silky waves. She had a very angular and intense structure to her face that made her perfect for modeling. Her body was long and slender, and her choice of clothing was always chic and stylish.
“I was wondering if you could start sorting through the papers in my office. I can show which boxes I want you to organize if that is okay?” She grinned sheepishly. Buffy had never had a boss act so nice, or be so polite to their worker.
“Of course!” Buffy answered and began following her towards her office.
They walked down the long hallway and at the end they arrived at the locked room. Buffy had never been allowed inside of this room before. Alyssa turned the key inside the door, making a clicking sound and entered first gesturing for Buffy to follow her.
“Just those boxes over there,” she pointed to a small pile of cardboard boxes filled with papers. “Everything else is off limits. Here's the key so you can lock up the office when you are done.” She handed a small key ring with a few keys on it to Buffy. “Are you all set?”
“Yeah,” she replied. “Can I ask you a question, Alyssa?”
“Of course!” She said in a perky tone.
“Where are all of the paintings?”
“Oh-” Alyssa's face dropped to the floor. “I- um- sent them to get cleaned up and some of them re-framed.”
It was evident by her reaction that she was not telling the truth. Buffy just couldn't understand what she could possibly be lying about. What was the deal exactly with those missing paintings? Why were the walls completely empty...she felt a little strange event thinking about it. But usually when Buffy felt uneasy about something she had a reason- call it a slayers intuition.
After Alyssa left and shut the door behind her, Buffy began organizing the boxes like she had been asked to do. She was nearly finished when she decided to search for something- anything really that would tell her why her boss was lying. She wasn't sure that Alyssa was untrustworthy entirely, but she could feel that something was making her nervous.
Buffy moved her long blond hair behind her shoulders and made her way to Alyssa's work desk. She tried to slide the long middle drawer open but it would not budge. Then she noticed a small keyhole in the center of the wooden drawer. She grabbed the keys out of her pocket that Alyssa had handed her and searched for the appropriately sized key. Finally after attempting a few similar sized keys which failed to open the desk drawer, Buffy found the correct one. She slid it open slowly, and looked inside the desk. It almost felt like she was opening Pandora's box and in that moment all the evil of the world would come flowing out of it- she chuckled at herself.
She rustled the papers around, trying not to mess them up too much. She was searching for anything that might be important enough to Alyssa that she would hide it inside a locked drawer. Most of what she found was just account numbers and personal information that she wanted kept safe.
Finding nothing inside the middle drawer Buffy used the same key to open the large drawer on the right side of the desk. The second she slid it open, her attention was drawn to a small brown book that seemed slightly tattered. It was obvious she used this book often- maybe it was a diary? She opened the book, thankful that it did not have a lock as well. She tried to skim through the pages, hoping to find something- which was hard since she had no clue what she was searching for. Then she came to a page that was inserted into the book, it appeared to be a letter addressed to Alyssa.
I am sorry to inform you that I could not find any escape from this curse. There is little information on the woman who cursed you and I have no way of finding her or more about the magic that she used on you. All I can suggest is that on Halloween you stay as far away from paintings as possible, I fear that mirrors could be just as much of a problem. Keep in contact with me and I will keep searching for a solution to this dreadful spell. Be safe and if you are ever in need of my help just call.
Buffy could hear some noises in the living room nearby so she shuffled to put the book back into the drawer and lock it up securely. She quickly scurried towards the other boxes where she had been sorting and began going through them once again. She was relieved when Alyssa did not walk into the room, but she did not go back to probe the drawers again.
Soon she was finished sorting and she left the office, locking it up behind her. When Buffy walked into the living room, she saw Alyssa sitting on the couch pouring herself a cup of tea from a fancy pot.
“Hey!” Alyssa greeted her warmly with a smile. “Did you finish?” She asked as she plopped a few cubes of sugar into her cup.
“Yup,” Buffy nodded.
“Come sit,” she patted the empty space on the couch next to her. “Want some tea?”
“Sure,” Buffy said as she sat next to her.
Alyssa poured a second cup full of the scolding liquid and continued to ask Buffy how she liked her tea. She plopped in the many cubes of sugar and the cream that she requested. Buffy enjoyed being able to relax around her boss- even though she knew she was lying to her about something- she trusted her. It was obvious now that whatever she was lying about was this curse someone had inflicted her with. Alyssa pulled out a cigarette, her hands were shaking nervously. It was obvious that she was afraid, and Buffy wanted desperately to ask her what was wrong.
“Do you mind?” She asked gesturing with the cigarette in between her fingers.
“No,” Buffy shook her head. “I'm used to it- but I thought you didn't smoke anymore?”
“I don't- but I am a bit on edge today.” She swallowed anxiously and rummaged around her purse for a lighter. “Do you have a lighter?” She asked dramatically dropping her arms when she realized her lighter was no longer in her purse.
“Um- maybe in my purse-” She answered and went to stand up quickly to retrieve it.
“No- I'll get it for you!”
She rose to her feet and went to retrieve the small white purse that Buffy had gotten as a gift from her sister. At this point and time Dawn was going through a bit of a kleptomaniac phase and she hoped this purse was not another in a long line of items nabbed with a five finger discount.
Alyssa sat down and handed Buffy the purse. She sat it on the couch in between them and began fuddling through the items inside in search of a lighter. If she had one it was one that Spike had placed in there, and she believed he had done so. She grabbed a few things from her purse which clearly needed to be cleaned it- it was packed with unnecessary items- and stakes. She held the side of the purse with a small hand mirror clutched in her hand.
Suddenly Alyssa's eyes were drawn to the mirror and her face became a painting of terror. Buffy looked over at her fright filled face and suddenly realized what she had done. She remembered the letter and how it had said to avoid mirrors as well as paintings. Before she could pull the mirror away, she watched as Alyssa began to look different- something strange was happening. Her skin began to lighten and morph, almost as if it were turning into some form of smoke. Almost as if she were floating- molecule by molecule, she glided like fluid towards the mirror. Buffy could feel the force entering the mirror, and it pushed against the strength in her hand. Within seconds, she was left, sitting completely alone in the large house. Her mouth hung open as she stared down at the reflector in her hand- which seemed exactly the same as before. It certainly did not appear to be a vessel for her boss.
“Maybe she was a genie-” Buffy spoke from the corner of her mouth and began foolishly rubbing the side of the mirror.
Buffy had seen many horrors and shocking things in her life- but nothing topped this. By simply grabbing a mirror carelessly from her purse, she had caused Alyssa to become sucked inside of the glass- possibly forever.
“Wait- where did she go?” Dean asked looking over at Dawn in shock.
“Buffy and the rest of us did everything we could to find out what happened and to try and get Alyssa back. We contacted Mr. Benson who had sent her the letter,” Dawn explained. “He told us that Alyssa was not dead. The curse caused her to become sucked into any kind of portal that she looked at- and only on Halloween. Paintings are considered portals into other realities- if she looked at a painting she would become a part of it- a part of that reality. But a mirror is different, she would be sucked into another dimension of some sort.”
“Holy crap!” Mercy gawked. “And you couldn't get her back?”
“No,” Dawn sighed. “The only way she will be able to get home, is by finding the right portal, and jumping around. If she was lucky- than whatever place she ended up, was still celebrating Halloween and she could continue to jump through dimensions.”
“Did you find out who cursed her?” Sam asked, his eyes wide.
“All we know is that the woman who cursed her did it out of jealousy. She was in love with a man who loved Alyssa. Sadly, Alyssa lost him in another dimension years ago and has never been able to get back to him.”
“Okay- I am officially spooked for the night.” Mercy's expression was completely awed, as she subtly wiggled closer to Sam.
“Happy Halloween!” Dawn chirped, giving her friend a teasing grin.