I do not own BTVS or DC Comics. I make no money from this fic. A/N:
So many superheroes to choose from, and Willow chose one of the Zeppos for him. Well...the joke's on the PTB...
“I am the god of hellfire, and I bring you:
Fire, I'll take you to burn.
Fire, I'll take you to learn.
I'll see you burn!”
--Arthur Brown, “Fire”
He gave Willow a friendly but skeptical look. “It's a shirt.”
Her smile widened. “No, see, I-I-I think it'd look good on you. And, and, I have a wig you can use.”
“Wills, I have
money, I'll get my own costume-”
“A soldier. You've gone as a variant of soldier for three Halloweens now, ever since your uncle's fatigues started to fit.” The disapproval in her voice was clear.
“I promise not to be a ghost if you do!”
...okay, that could be worth it. “Uh...okay. If you promise it's not some anime or manga character. You know I don't like those.”
She nodded eagerly. “No, it's, it's like a superhero guy. Character. You'll see!”
Right. A yellow and red shirt. That
was a superhero costume. Sure. Hey, if he wore a black tee with the Superman logo, he could be...oh, wait. Never mind.
“I look ridiculous.” He stared at himself in the mirror. The shirt...okay, the shirt was okay. He wore regular pants with them, so if it wasn't for the wig he'd look just like a normal person.
It was the wig that was
Orange, yellow and red were not
his colors, especially not hair-wise. But even that was acceptable...if it wasn't for the fact that it was all styled into the shape of a flame.
Yeah, Willow definitely
had to dress as not-a-ghost for this one.
He stared at her. Right. Of course. The ghost costume. “Hey, Wills.” He paused to inject the right amount of sarcastic venom. “Nice 'boo' you got there.”
If she had any good grace, she'd be blushing under that sheet. “Hi Xander. Hi. Sorry.”
“Yeah, yeah.” Oh, what the heck. Like he could be mad at her.
And okay, he had to admit Buffy was cute in that dress. But then, she'd be cute in a burlap sack. Even if she was being cute for Angel.
He woke up to screams. He blinked, confused. There was...something...on fire. It looked like – oh.
Dust, now. The flaming shape flailed briefly a final time before dissipating into the air with a faint wail.
He heard a laugh behind him. “Oh, God, that's...that's horrible
. Is it bad that I find it funny that you burped
Spike on fire?”
Xander shrugged. “Well, maybe I should have left that last burrito at lunch. The hot sauce can be a killer.”
His shameless grin made even Buffy stop and stare in awed disbelief. “That was awful
!” Then her grin came back. “Please, teach me, Master!”
He smiled even wider. “First, you must learn to let the Puns flow
through you. Only then can you snatch the gag from my hand, Grasshopper.”
“So who did
you dress as, anyway? All I noticed was the firebreathing.”
He pulled the wig off, shrugging. “Old two-bit character from a goofy comic book. See, when we were kids, me and Jesse were into the X-Men. Willow was more into the Legion.”
“Legion of Superheroes. Think a huge teen superhero team in the far future. Anyway, they had a team of the guys who didn't make the cut, the guys whose powers were too dangerous, pointless or erratic to work well with standard heroics.” He threw the wig away. Good riddance.
“What can I say? She always had a thing for Fire Lad.”
“...'Fire Lad'?” She was having trouble hiding another smile.
“Yep.” He looked at the still smoking pile of dust that had been Spike a few minutes earlier. “The funny thing is, the costume I wore isn't the one in the comics.”
He didn't mention that the memories he had weren't either. They were somewhat less...useless.
Staq Mavlen hadn't been the comic relief character that he remembered. Maybe it was because the costume he'd worn was different, what with it not being spandex or having that ridiculous cape, but the Fire Lad that he had become for a few hours had been...not useless, at least. His powers had just been too lethal to use safely in a heroic context. Well, not the kind of heroics they had in 4-color comics, at least.
was over and done with.
In a warehouse, quiet sobs echoed. They had abandoned her, once they realized her beloved was gone. She had warned him. Told him to beware the walking fire. He had scoffed and gone anyway.
And now he was gone.
She knew why. She had to...had to be good now. She had to do the things they had begun. Her birthday present was no longer something she would be acting surprised about when she got it. And the ringed men would be paid by her, not him.
The fire was making it hard to see beyond that, though. The fire that would burn her and all those like her.
Drusilla wept for her lost future, and plotted for its return.
There was a scorch mark on the ceiling.
Xander stared at it. Huh. He'd been reading some of his old comics, prompted by the night's events. They'd been dusty, of course. And the dust had, eventually tickled his nose enough to sneeze.
The jet of flame hadn't been very big, but the bluish white color had suggested intense
heat, and the mark on the ceiling proved it. That and the fact that all that remained of the comic book were the blackened, sooty corners he'd been holding onto.