The dozen children stared up at Xander a little fearfully, as his costume wasn't exactly designed to inspire trust.
He knelt down so he was at their level and pulled up his mask so they could see his face. "Gather around and I'll tell you how to get the most candy you've ever gotten as trick or treaters."
The children quickly piled in front of him, eager to hear the wisdom of the master.
"Who here wants to be a candy ninja, a ninja dedicated to getting as much candy as they can?" he asked and grinned at the response.
"And don't you go corrupting them by speaking to them either missy!" Snyder warned Buffy before starting to turn away and then turning back when she opened her mouth to speak to them. "Ahh!"
Buffy rolled her eyes as the children giggled at the troll's activities.
"Oh dear lord, I left Harris unsupervised!" Snyder burst out, before hurrying off.
Willow smirked before she purred throatily, "Too late!"
Buffy smirked at how different Willow was acting, mentally taking credit for Willow being bolder, although she would admit Xander's outfit probably helped. "What's too late, Willow?" Buffy asked.
"Xander has had over five minutes alone with those kids. That means they probably not only know the best ways to get candy, they also have some sort of group theme."
"You're kidding?" Buffy asked as she watched Snyder berate Xander who cheerfully ignored him while the group of children stood in a loose formation in front of him.
"Nope. Look at how the children are quiet and well behaved. Tell me that's natural! They probably have something planned. Watch!" Willow grinned, unaware that both her and Buffy's group of kids were listening and watching.
Snyder was pacing back and forth while chewing Xander out, who had his mildly surprised 'who me' look on his face. A little girl in a Tinkerbelle outfit waited until Snyder had his back turned and darted out and into his path, getting knocked to the ground and crying loudly. Xander quickly examined the girl and turned on Snyder like he was going to rip him in two, until the little girl tugged on Xander's arm and whispered in his ear. Xander carefully picked the girl up and said something to Snyder that made him retreat with his tail between his legs.
Buffy started to head over but Willow grabbed her hand. "Watch!"
After Snyder was gone, Xander swung the girl around and set her down on her miraculously healed feet. The girl bowed while the group made some sort of handsign and tapped their right feet as applause.
"What the hell was that?!" Buffy asked shocked.
"That was Xander turning a group of children into a cohesive unit. If that little Tinkerbelle had actually been hurt, Xander would have kneecapped Snyder. She had to tell Xander it was an act."
"How did he know he'd need them to pull that to tell them what to do when she had to tell Xander it was fake?" Buffy said and then paused. "Did that make any sense?"
Willow giggled. "Xander didn't tell them to do it, he simply told them the best way to manipulate and cover for your friends, the rest they did on their own." While Buffy and Willow talked a couple of their kids excused themselves to check on their sibling in different groups. Neither Buffy nor Willow noticed these kids head for Xander's group or their excited return a couple of minutes later.
There was a loud whistle form one of the school teachers as she got everyone's attention. "Two hours people! It's five now, so I expect to see you all back here with your kids by no later than seven! Now everyone have fun out there!"
Buffy and Willow turned towards their groups only to find they'd become one big group. A boy dressed as the hulk handed Buffy a piece of paper and rejoined the group.
Buffy looked at the paper and grinned. "Cool, we've got a new route with houses to avoid listed and we're combining groups. This should be fun!"
A wave of dizziness swept over Xander and he went to one knee, dropping the bright orange plastic pumpkin pail he'd brought along, filled with things like band aids and glow sticks to distract the kids and bandage any little bumps they might get.
Rorschach rose to his feet, shaking off any lingering dizziness as he took stock of his situation.
A small winged girl picked up the softly glowing pumpkin and checked out the assorted monsters around her, each of them making a handsign and receiving a countersign in return.
Rorschach absently made a sign at the little girl who bowed and sent the signal to the group. Their kage would be busy; she was to lead the mission herself.
Lady Maria Lavitte rubbed her head and cursed in French before blushing and reminding herself that a lady doesn't curse like a dockworker, which apparently, the nearly naked redhead next to her had never been taught, because the length and strength of her invective was most impressive.
"When I find out who slipped me a mickey I'm going to knock them into next week," Willow swore.
"Pardon moi," Maria excused herself politely, as despite her confusion and the slayer spirit she was a lady.
Willow turned and looked at Buffy in surprise as she took in the chaos in the streets. "This? But this all happened years ago!"
Maria had been told many prophecies in her career as a slayer, so someone seeing their future or the past wasn't new to her. "What all happened?"
Willow looked Maria over closely and said, "Well for one thing it was different. You dressed as Lady Useless. You went from being the slayer to being a normal girl from the 1700's who thought cars were demons."
"What are cars?" Maria asked, but before Willow could answer she replied, "And I am a lady, but I am hardly useless."
Willow smiled at the annoyance in her friend's tone. "Cars are horseless carriages and this is the twentieth century. You are my friend Buffy and we went through this exact situation before, it's like time has looped, but there are a couple of major differences. Last time for instance, I dressed as a ghost, so I spent the entire night trying to distract monsters from attacking you, since you thought you were a spoiled noble from centuries past and I couldn't touch anything."
"So I am not the slayer, Lady Maria Lavitte?" she asked doubtfully.
"You are the slayer Buffy Summers," Willow said seriously. "Look around you, back in whatever year you come from none of this existed. Of course it's entirely possible that you are the slayer Maria and you are possessing my friend until the spell breaks, in which case… well that changes little really. Fortunately you are still the slayer so we can fix all this quickly. A chaos mage named Ethan Rayne turned everyone into their Halloween costumes. If we break the statue everything returns to normal. If we break one of his legs we can also prevent him from running."
Maria opened her mouth to respond, but was distracted by a small winged girl carrying a flaming pumpkin appearing from the shadows and speaking to a small boy who was popping metal claws in and out of his hands. "You are called. Are you ready? You must put away fear like an old toy. Our lives are not easy ones and for all the powers we are granted, so too are we granted responsibilities. Only one whose heart is pure can walk our path."
The boy pulled an unlit stoogie from his mouth and locked eyes with her before he lit it from the jack o lantern's flame. Reaching in with his right hand he pulled out a black ring, his eyes never leaving hers.
She smiled at him. "You are worthy."
"I coulda told you that, darlin'," the little boy responded before taking a puff of his cigar and blowing out a cloud of smoke that obscured him from sight. When the cloud cleared they were gone.
Maria raised an eyebrow. "I think we should take care of this mage quickly."
"Agreed," Willow said numbly.
Rorschach paused with his foot about an inch from the nose of a demon who was holding a white bag filled with candy. "Where did you get that?"
The blue skinned, four armed being swallowed heavily before replying, "I knock on doors and people give me candy. It happens every year!"
Rorschach lowered his foot to the ground and tipped his hat. "Sorry, I thought you were something else."
"Err, ok," the demon said. "So I can go back to trick or treating?"
"Sure, knock yourself out."
Rorschach continued down the street, passing a pissed of Cordelia Chase. "I'm never getting my deposit back from Party Town and where did all the midget ninjas come from anyway?' she ranted kicking a furry man-thing who was tied up with enough rope to keep three things his size secured.
Illyana Rasputin looked around at the chaos and confusion and wondered where she was and what was going on. Usually she was pretty good at figuring out time and place but this felt like pure chaos! Deciding that discretion was the better part of valor she used a light disk to teleport back to the X-mansion, missing the look of shock on the face of Joyce Summers as she watched her baby vanish.Typing by : The Last Primarch!