Title: Slayer Rangers: Beginning: Halloween
Author(s): Troy Guffey & Joshua "The Evil Guy"
Summary: Xander & 5 others wear matching hero costumes for Ethan's Halloween spell.
Disclaimer: I own none of the characters.
@ Sunnydale High School
October 30, 1997
Buffy, Willow, Xander and Amy were walking down the hall towards their lockers when they saw a sight fit to freeze the most toughened of warriors: Principal Snyder at a table set up in the hallway. A sign taped to the table read: Halloween Safety Program. Snyder abruptly reached out and grabbed a passing girl, pulling her towards the table.
"Hey!" she protested.
Snyder picked one of the clipboards off the table and pushed it at her, along with a pen. "You're volunteering."
"But I have to get to class," she protested again.
Snyder just shrugged. The quartet walked quietly behind Snyder trying not to attract his notice.
Their lockers were uncomfortably close to the Volunteer Table. Cordelia was at her locker fairly close. She looked up at them for a moment, and then continued her task in her locker.
Willow said, "Snyder must be in charge of the volunteer safety program for Halloween this year." She began opening her locker.
Xander said, "Note his interesting take on the volunteer concept."
Buffy asked, "What's the deal?"
Cordelia finished her tasks and headed their way in the crowded hallway.
Xander said, "Oh, a bunch of little kids need people to take them trick-or-treating. Sign up and get your own pack of sugar-hyped little runts for the night."
Buffy shuddered. "Yikes. I'll stick to vampires."
There was a 7-way collision as Daniel "Oz" Osborne attempted to pass through without getting tapped for the "volunteer" program. Unfortunately he had zigged when Snyder had zagged.
Snyder turned around to see who had bumped into him. He took in Oz's currently purple hair, and noticed Buffy as well.
Snyder gloated, "Miss Summers. Just the juvenile delinquent I've been looking for."
Buffy gulped, and then squeaked, "Principal Snyder!"
Snyder said, "Halloween must be a big night for you. Tossing eggs, keying cars, bobbing for apples, one pathetic cry for help after another. Well, not this year, missy. And look, I have only six slots left and there are six of you. How convenient. Sign." He pushed a clipboard and pen at Buffy.
"But I can't..." came an unexpected chorus from the six students.
"My, what synchronization. Since it seems you all work so well together, why don't you all show up wearing matching costumes, too?" Snyder's tone allowed no argument.
Buffy gave up and signed the clipboard, then passed it along. Each of the six did the same unhappily.
Snyder took the clipboard. "The program starts at four, the children have to be back by six. Now, get to class." He stalked off back to the table and began collecting all the other clipboards and things.
"Ugh!" Cordelia protested as they all walked away towards the lounge, unconsciously staying in the group. "I can't believe this! I was going to the party at the Bronze on Halloween night, and I already had this great cat costume picked out at Party Town! I wanted that time to get ready."
"I'm in the band playing the party at the Bronze," Oz pointed out, "But that's not till later."
"I'm free," Amy said.
They had reached the lounge area. Buffy realized the other three needed to get to class. "Can you meet us in the Library right after school?" she asked.
Amy, Cordelia, and Oz nodded and went off their separate ways.
"This is so unfair! Halloween was supposed to be my night off!" Buffy protested.
Xander complained, "I can't believe this. We have to get dressed up and the whole deal?"
Willow answered, "Snyder said matching costumes were mandatory."
Buffy complained, "Great. I was gonna stay in and veg. The one night a year things are supposed to be quiet for me."
Xander inquired, "Halloween quiet? Oh, I figured it'd be a big old vamp scare-a-palooza."
Buffy said, "Not according to Giles. He swears that tomorrow night is, like, dead for the undead. They stay in."
Xander smiled. "Those wacky vampires! That's why I love 'em! They just keep you guessing!"
@ Sunnydale High School Library
Buffy, Willow, and Xander quickly made their way to the Library as soon as their last classes were ended.
"Giles, you have to do something!" Buffy complained. Willow and Xander flopped down at the table and slumped in their chairs.
"About what?" her Watcher asked.
"That runty troll Snyder roped us into this stupid Halloween Safety Program! We have to escort snotty-nosed sugar-hyped rug-rats and yard apes around on the one day you said I could be sure to have off," sulked Buffy.
The Watcher gave a sympathetic shake of his head. "While I sympathize with you, I'm afraid I can do nothing to help. It's only for a couple of hours, correct? You could consider it part of your Slayer duty to protect the helpless, if that helps."
"Not a bit." Buffy went over to the table and slumped into a seat.
"So, what are you doing, just sitting here?" Giles asked.
"We weren't the only ones Snyder grabbed. He assigned us, Cordelia, Amy, and Oz to wear matching costumes because he caught us at the same time and we dared to protest," answered Willow.
"I see," said Giles. He went back into his office and resumed his work.
Cordelia and Amy arrived within the next couple of minutes, followed almost immediately by Oz. They all copied the three already there and took seats at the table. There was an uncomfortable silence for a bit.
Cordelia finally tired of the silence. "So, I'm stuck with matching costumes with you losers. So, how do you feel about going as cats to match me?"
Xander said, "I think that would cost far too much and please Snyder way too much. So, I think that's a 'no'."
There was another silence for a short while.
Amy spoke up. "You know, just to spite Snyder we should spend as little on costumes and as little costume as we can. I'm a little short on cash anyway."
There was a round of approval at this idea.
"So, let's go to Party Town and see what else they've got." said Cordelia.
"Wait, there's a new shop opening up and they're having a grand opening sale," volunteered Willow. "That would probably be the best place to start, if we want to get it cheapest."
Cordelia thought it over for a moment, and then agreed. "So how do you want to get over there? I can't fit all six of us in my car and I'm sure not going to go over there and wait on you guys."
"I've got my van, but it's kind of full of band gear at the moment. I've only got two seats open," said Oz.
"Well, I'm willing to give three of you a ride. Who's going with who?" asked Cordelia.
"Why don't we girls go in your car and the guys can follow in the van. Willow may know where this place is, I don't." said Buffy.
"Fine by me." Said Cordelia.
"Bye, Giles. See you later." called Buffy as they all got up from the tables and headed out of the library.
@ Ethan's Costume Shop
Half an hour later, the six were standing in the middle of a surprisingly busy shop, mostly just looking over the options without moving.
"Wow," Amy commented, looking around. "Who would have thought Halloween would be so busy on the Hellmouth?"
"I guess it's the fact that these things are so cheap that whoever owns this place is practically giving all this stuff away," Cordelia snidely replied. "Party Town has a much, much better selection. Not to mention their merchandise is of a higher quality."
"Yeah, but their cheapest costume costs a lot more," Buffy logically shot down. "All right, we need ideas here people. Six matching costumes. And Halloween is tomorrow so there's no coming back later."
Xander immediately was drawn to a rack where the adult sized costumes were. On one entire rack were a number of costumes, each with the same, large logo on their tags. "It's just too novel to resist!" he called when he caught the looks every one of the others shot him.
"NO!" all of them, even Oz, shouted.
Then the quiet one put logic to their denial in saying, "Besides, there are six of us, and only five in the Scooby Gang. And there isn't a Scrappy Doo." Xander pouted, but agreed that going, as 'Mystery Inc.' was not a go.
"Besides, I hate wearing that tacky color of purple and..." Buffy said then trailed off as she caught sight of something in the back, and slowly gravitated towards it.
Cordelia bristled slightly as she snapped, "Hey! If anyone, I would wear the Daphne costume, and...hey!" she shouted when everyone moved off after Buffy.
"I'm sorry," Buffy apologized, briefly looking back but then returned to the costume that had caught her eye. It was a red and pink noblewoman's dress, with white ruffles along the sleeves and low V-neck collar. "But... look at this..."
"It's amazing," Willow said, Amy nodding her head in agreement.
"Eh, too bulky," Xander grunted, "I prefer my women in spandex." He received a triple 'Girl Death Glare' as reward.
Suddenly the apparent shopkeeper, a tall man with grayish black hair in his mid-forties appeared around the corner and noticed the group, and Buffy's interest in the costume. "Please, let me," he said as he took the dress off the wire-frame mannequin holding it.
"Oh...I-it's, uh..." she can't seem to form a complete sentence as Ethan holds the costume up in front of her, looking at a mirror before them.
"Magnificent," he finished her sentence, "Yes, I know. There." He pauses as everyone takes in the image of Buffy in the costume being reflected in the mirror. "My. Meet the hidden Princess. I think we've found a match, don't you?"
Buffy jumped, startled out of her daydream, recalling seeing a picture of a woman in a dress just like this in one of the Watcher's Diaries that she had read to get information about Angelus. "Oh! I, uh, I-I'm sorry, but..." she never finished as Cordelia finally caught up and snorted at the scene.
costumes!" she huffed and then turned around to go back to another part of the shop.
Buffy was cursing the universe for ever allowing the birth of a creature like Cordelia, but smiled apologetically at Ethan and said, "Sorry. I can't. We all have to get costumes that go together or something. I think my very future depends on it actually. Thanks for the preview though. Maybe I'll get it for next year." Then she turned around with all the others to spread out and try and find something else.
Ethan just stood there for a moment; glowering at the girl he knew was the Slayer. If only he could have convinced her of this particular costume...
Xander had originally planned on getting some Army fatigues at the local Army Surplus store, and then getting a toy gun or something else here to complete the costume, maybe even get some fake dog tags. He did notice there was a small stand full of them on the front counter, but there would be no way he could convince all of the others to go as some kind of military group. Especially not Cordelia.
He really couldn't understand that girl. He had begun to see there was something more than the surface that had caused Willow and him to form the "We Hate Cordelia" Club. Perhaps she had grown out of it. Or perhaps those hidden depths had been there all along, but hidden by the snobbish socialite surface that would have made Gandhi contemplate violence.
He quickly moved on, moving closer to the Kids section, where most of the crowd was. He was amazed by the number of demon-like masks and so forth on other costumes, but what really surprised him was a rack solely dedicated to Power Ranger Villains. But without it's counterpart.
He noticed Willow nearby, who just glancing at the rack of half-empty Putty costumes, he knew had counted and calculated how many were there and how many had already been sold. He loved having a super smart friend.
Just then, as he turned away from the PR Villain rack, inspiration struck him. Directly in his line of sight, under the glass countertop that held up the register, were a number of silver-lined watch-like bracelets. They were further diversified by a different base color between the silver lining on each band part of the bracelets. And each was only $10.00 apiece.
Smiling, Xander began to strategize on how to convince the others of this, as well as anticipating their counter arguments, including undoubted pointing out of the difference in number of correct genders. He smiled further.
"Guys!" he called everyone together, then stepped forward to the glass case. It didn't take him long to figure out how to open it to get at the contents, as it wasn't locked. He pulled out one of each color band bracelet, except green, and set them all atop the counter. He turned to showcase his decision.
"What about it?" he asked.
"About what, dork head?" Cordelia scathingly demanded.
"Well, I couldn't help but notice that there is a lack of Power Ranger costumes. Sure, there are the Villains and Putty costumes that are already all off the shelf, but not Power Ranger. These...are the Wrist Communicators the Power Rangers have when in civilian dress. We could go as the civilian Power Rangers. Are you getting this?" he asked just to twist Cordelia's chain, as though she were comprehension-challenged.
She glared at him and opened her mouth with a no doubt further scathing remark, but he beat her to the punch by saying, "You get to be the Pink Ranger."
She blinked, and shut her mouth, and then with a shrug, she said, "OK."
Everyone, except Xander, turned to stare in shock at her, then they all looked back at Xander and the props. Oz frowned and pointed out, as Xander had expected him to, "Doesn't even out man. The Power Rangers are four guys and two girls. Not the other way around."
Xander gave Oz a look of abject pity. "Oz, Oz, Oz," shaking his head, "I certainly didn't expect such a sexist remark from you." Oz blinked, but otherwise his face stayed blank. "Since we all followed Buffy here, none of us would have a problem with her being the Red Ranger. You know, the leader of the Rangers?"
Buffy looked about to protest, and then she actually thought about it and smiled slightly. It always worked to stroke the ego Xander congratulated himself.
"And I can be the Blue Ranger, since the Blue Ranger is supposed to be like really, really smart," Willow bubbled, getting caught up in the idea.
"I think I'd rather be the Yellow Ranger. I don't feel like pretending to be a guy or something like that," Amy chose. Xander nodded and handed out the matching color bracelets to those that had decided on their color.
"I'll take Black," Oz said suddenly. "That is if you don't mind," he added, looking at Xander.
Xander grinned and handed the appropriate "communicator" to the musician.
"That's all right. I'd rather be the 6th Ranger anyway," Xander smugly added.
"Great, now we got these, and we can actually afford to buy them ourselves," Cordelia outlined. "Why don't we all just meet at Buffy's house about...an hour before we have to be at the school to pick up the rug rats? That'll let us all get ready and whatever and plan out what we're going to do and stuff."
Oz said, "There's one more thing we'll need. Color-coded clothes to go with the watches."
Xander said, "Yeah, I almost forgot that. I think we'll split up for that though."
They all nodded, agreeing with the simple logic and then got in line to buy their "costumes".
@ Buffy's Room
"Who knew the army surplus store had so many plaid shirts?" Cordelia asked for the fourth time that afternoon since the girls had gotten back from said Army Surplus store where they had all gotten the "rest" of their costumes.
Xander and Oz had of course been with them, but after that point they had to diverge as the rest had to be done at different stores at the mall.
They had all raced to find six pairs of jeans, plaid work shirts, and tank tops in the colors of yellow, red, pink, black, blue, and either green or white. Xander said that he actually had a pair of white jeans at home. Unfortunately, Amy, Buffy, and Cordelia did not have yellow, red, or pink jeans...that fit.
Now, they were all at Buffy's house, which they had planned as the meeting point and the girls were just finished changing. The result, to say the least, was spectacular.
Cordelia was also doing Willow and Amy's make-up while Buffy did their hair.
"Apparently the Army just got too many," Buffy replied, long ago having lost the interest in coming up with more clever comebacks to Cordelia's inane questions.
"Yeah, well, I was wishing they had at least one blue one in my size," Willow complained. Hers and Amy's had both been too large for their petite frames while Buffy and Cordelia had managed to get red work shirts that fit just fine. So for Willow and Amy, that meant they had to have almost ridiculous knots tied to keep the shirts from looking like coats, and rolled the sleeves up until they too were quite bulky.
Just then the doorbell rang, and at just the right time too as the fashion-masters Buffy and Cordy finished their final touches on Amy and Willow.
Buffy went downstairs first, followed by the others in color order (Red-Pink-Yellow-Blue). She opened the door to see Oz and Xander standing there, looking impressive in their own rights. Oz's hair, which had been purple just the day before, was now a complete solid black.
"Go Rangers! Wow! You look SO good I'm wondering what the Spandex uniforms would look like right now." Xander cheered at the sight of the girls all lined up side-by-side. They all looked at each other, and then gave him an x4 "Girl death glare".
It didn't seem to affect him too badly as Xander just tossed each of the girls a large copper coin, although from the shininess it looked gold.
"What are these?" Amy asked.
"Our power coins," Oz was the one to answer, holding up his own token.
"Actually I think they're like fake Spanish doubloons," Xander admitted, walking into the Summer's home. "I found them in the 'junk bin' at the magic store after our shopping excursion yesterday and figured that you can't be a Ranger without Power Coins. It's like an unofficial rule somewhere."
The glares continued, so Xander finally rolled his eyes and explained, "Look we're going to be around the target audience all night and you think that they're just going to believe we're the Power Rangers just cause we have watches and wear matching outfits. This way they don't keep ragging on us and make with the over-zealous whining. We show them proof, make up something about only need to transform when the Big Ugly Monster shows up, and we're all happy because they aren't whining at us anymore."
They all thought it over, then steadily agreed. "Good idea, Xander," Buffy immediately pocketed her "Power Coin" as did all the others.
"Yeah, who would have thought that it took one with a child-like mind to anticipate childish behavior," Cordelia bit. Xander just gave her a dirty look.
"Good thing they aren't the real Pink and White Rangers," Oz whispered to Willow as they left Buffy's home. She smirked and nodded.
@ Sunnydale Street
After leaving the school, just as much for safety reasons as the way their costumes "worked together", they all went in pretty much the same direction, walking their kids along the same streets, and keeping within sight of one another.
As expected, the first thing that most of the kids asked when they saw the teenagers by themselves was "What's your costume supposed to be?"
It was at those times that all of them, even Cordelia, praised Xander for his idea with the coins and the communicators. What was surprising though was how many of the kids with Putty costumes had ended up in the "Rangers" groups. In fact, as Willow counted and told them all during a brief respite where they all went up to the same house, all of the kids that had gotten Putty costumes from Ethan's were in their groups. There were little demons, a cowboy, fairies, and princess costumes as well, but between the six groups, there were over thirty Putties.
Xander's group had a pair who had somehow managed to put on their costumes inside out. The tags were showing. Xander pointed out their error, but in retaliation they made fun of him being a "civilian Power Ranger".
The sun had set just over an hour ago and all the kids were having a blast, and all the teens were too, despite being anxious to drop the kids off with their parents so they could all go Party, capital P, at the Bronze. Xander looked at his "communicator" which really did have a working digital clock in it, and noticed the time was about 5:45pm.
He looked up and noticed Willow's group passing his and going in the direction he'd just come from, and Buffy across the street but going in the same direction he was. He waved to the both of them, and then pointed at his communicator. Willow looked and smiled at him. Buffy just nodded back at him and then bent down to welcome "her kids" back from the house they'd just come from.
He couldn't help but hear her comment on the toothbrushes, smiling as he directed his own troops to the last house before they would all head back to the school.
@ Ethan's Costume Shop: Back Room
The curtains leading into the back room of Ethan's Costume Shop slipped aside as Ethan stepped through. He knelt before a statue that had a man's face on one side and a woman's on the other. He pressed his hands together and winced in pain. When he pulled them apart there were wounds in his palms with blood flowing freely from them.
"The world that denies thee, thou inhabit."
He dabbed some of the blood from his left hand with his right middle finger and smeared it over his right eyelid.
"The peace that ignores thee..."
He dabbed the blood from his right hand with his left middle finger and smeared it over his left eyelid.
" ...thou corrupt. "
He dabbed blood from his left hand with his right middle finger again and smeared a cross onto his forehead.
"Chaos. I remain, as ever, they faithful, degenerate son."
"Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe noctem pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita potestas." (Janus, I invoke your spirit. Hear my plea. Seize the night for your own reason. Come, appear and show to us that which is infinite power.)
"Persona se corpum et sanguium commutandum est. Vestra sancta praesentia concrescet viscera. Janus! Sume noctem!" (The mask transforms itself into flesh and blood. Your holy presence curdles the heart. Janus! Take the night!)
@ Sunnydale Street
Xander stopped, almost stumbling as a wave of dizziness passed through him. Then all of the children he'd been guiding across the street suddenly turned into whatever their costumes were and suddenly scattered in the mass chaos that had erupted in the streets.
Willow and Amy had been on the porches of their last houses, Willow going up to, Amy leaving, when the same dizziness struck them at the same time. Amy's troop of monsters scattered, hers having the most Putties among the kids. Willow, clearing her head for a moment, didn't have it so lucky as one of the kids in front of the kind old woman he was getting candy from, suddenly started to strangle her.
"Hey!" the Blue Ranger sprung into action to defend the innocent and helpless against threats. She leaped forward and twisted the mini-demon's arms back to release the woman, and then she did a sweep kick combined with twirling it around and then threw it off the porch. The other mini-demons that had been in Willow's group saw this and quickly scattered.
Buffy and Oz quickly found each other in the confusion, both of their groups scattering as soon as the transformation had occurred as well. That didn't last long as all the Putties in the area found them shortly there after. They began to circle about, waving their arms and legs crazily about, as they usually did when attacking the Rangers.
The Red and Black Rangers stood back to back, both in martial arts stances to defend against the Putties' attacks. "Oz, do you see the others?" Buffy asked over the racket, "I thought they were nearby."
"I lost track of Cordy and Amy, but Willow and Xander are heading our way," Oz pointed. Buffy nodded, keeping most of her attention on the putties.
"Is it my imagination or are these like pygmy Putties?" Buffy suddenly asked.
"I noticed that too," the Black Ranger confirmed as the Blue and White Rangers suddenly flipped over the wall of transformed clay soldiers.
"Hey guys, miss us?" Xander teased with a lopsided grin, settling into his own martial arts stance.
"As if!" Buffy teased right back, giving him a ribbing grin. He returned it.
"What happened?" Willow demanded to know. "One second...I think I'm helping trick-or-treater's and then I'm pulling some mini-demon off an old lady handing out candy to it...and now we're facing off against mini-Putties?"
Everyone paused as they all thought the Blue Ranger's observations through. "Thinking what I'm thinking?" Buffy asked.
"Spell," everyone said.
"But who?" Xander asked. "The Master used vamps, Spike just took over for him, and I can't remember the last time we had to deal with just Putties."
"We'll have to figure that out a bit later Xand," Buffy called out as the Putties stopped circling and suddenly went on full attack. "Stick close! We can take these guys!"
"Right!" they all answered back.
They split up, all going on as much offensive as the Putties were.
Across the street, Cordelia and Amy had just found each other, having to fight off a couple of Putties and several mini-demons. Cordy even had to fend off and then knock out some kind of werewolf/dog creature that she had spent all of three seconds screaming over before sweep kicking it on it's back, and then knocking it out with a kick to the face.
"Cordy!" Amy shouted the moment they were within sight of each other.
"Amy!" the Pink Ranger shouted back, relieved beyond words. "What the heck is going on?" they both asked each other at the exact same time. Having their answer, they just sighed and then started looking about for another source of answers.
They didn't find any answers. They quickly wished they hadn't found what they did find.
A seven foot, brownish rust colored, slimy demon with glowing red eyes and a large sucker, like on squids' tentacles, for a mouth ringed with sharp fangs, snuck up behind them and growled out in a throaty kind of growl, "Well, well, what do we have here? Two normal teenagers in the midst of this storm of chaos? Normally, as a resident of the Hellmouth and a Plasmodia demon, I stay in on Halloween. But when we Plasmids detect such magicks as this about, none of us could possibly stay in to ignore it."
The girls had backed up immediately as soon as they noticed the demon, which somehow in their guts they knew was a real demon and not like the mini-demons that had been attacking them so far. "Ew, gross. And what they heck do you want? To stop the...magic?" Cordelia asked it, still backing up as it continued to approach them.
The demon gave a reply that sounded nothing like, but could have been laughter before answering, "Quite the contrary. I'm going to enjoy feasting on you and any other untransformed humans I come across this night! You think vampires are bad? Just think of me as one really, really big mosquito."
Cordy and Amy shared a look before shrugging and replying together, "OK." Then they proceeded to try and swat the mosquito.
@ Sunnydale Street
Meanwhile, the other Rangers were doing ok, but they were still way outnumbered. And there were still too many normal humans around to risk morphing just yet.
"Willow!" Buffy called, after knocking a number of the Putties into each other.
"Uh-Yeah?" Willow replied after flipping one of her own opponents.
"Try to reach Giles at the Library and see if he can figure any of this out!" the Team Leader ordered. "Oz! Xan! Let's cover her!" she then moved in to her own position to cover her redheaded friend.
Immediately the other Rangers moved into a semi-circle around Willow as she stopped fighting and starting trying her communicator. First, she tried to contact Giles at the Library. The one that always had the answers to the supernatural problems of the Hellmouth, their Watcher.
"Giles! Giles, come in! It's Willow! Come on Giles, we need some serious help out here? Giles?" Willow waited and kept trying for a whole minute, but there was no answer.
"Guys!" she shouted to the others, "Giles isn't answering! It's like he's not there, or the communicators aren't working!"
"Try the others!" Buffy shouted, jumping up and roundhouse kicking one Putty into a group of others.
"Amy! Cordy! Are you there?" Willow shouted into her wrist device.
A few seconds of silence followed that felt like an eternity to Willow, half-expecting no response as before but mostly hoping to hear something. Lucky for her sanity, half a second was all she had to wait.
"Willow!" Amy's voice came over the communicator.
"Amy! Thank god! Where are you? I can't reach Giles, and we're being attacked by Putties!" Willow informed her teammate of the situation.
"We see you! We're not far away and coming as fast as we can. Oh, and we've got a little company," Amy cut the connection.
"Company?" Willow asked, when suddenly the Yellow and Pink Rangers flipped over the crowd of Putties, joining their friends in the center of the conflict. The Blue Ranger quickly rejoined the conflict.
All of a sudden, the Putties parted, showing the demon that had been chasing the two Rangers. "Whoa. Really gross," Oz commented when they noticed the Plasmodia demon.
The Putties more or less formed up in a shallow V line with the demon at the point and looked at it. A just barely recognizable look of comprehension suddenly filled the large demons face. The demon chuckled and nodded. "I've always wanted to have an army of minions, and vampires are just too stupid or ambitious to work with. Get them!" All the Putties attacked.
"OK, that just made things worse than they need to be," Buffy whined. She quickly looked about, seeing that, for the moment, they, the demon, and the mini-Putties were the only ones on the street. "Let's do it guys!"
"Right!" they all shouted back, nodding their heads in agreement.
Almost unconsciously, they all gathered in a line, which Buffy and Xander were at the head of. "It's Morphin' Time!" Buffy shouted, reaching into her pocket for her Power Coin.
A clap of thunder was heard over the Hellmouth.
Chaos magic works in very unpredictable ways. That's why it is called chaos.
Ethan Rayne, while a powerful Sorcerer, and a loyal follower of chaos, most definitely did not have the amount of power it would take to transform six semi-ordinary teenagers into true Power Rangers, even for a limited time. The demons, Putties, and other costumes had been easy since he could use possessing demons to do much of the actual transformation.
But again, chaos works in unpredictable ways.
The Power Rangers TV show and movies, while purely fictional, had some similarities to the way magic worked. Among those similarities was the Morphing Grid. The writers had heard of lines of mystic power running over and under the surface of the Earth and had given it a new cooler name.
The spell of costume chaos
lacked the power to do what was demanded of it. But it's intent to "morph" the rangers drew down a far greater power like a kite string attracting a thunderbolt. The mighty ley lines that intersected under and over Sunnydale flared with energy and poured it into the six teenagers. The power went past the surface making changes to the cores of their beings.
Thunder roared as the Rangers transformed.
Xander: "White Slayer Power!"
Cordelia: "Pink Slayer Power!"
Oz: "Black Slayer Power!"
Willow: "Blue Slayer Power!"
Amy: "Yellow Slayer Power!"
Buffy: "Red Slayer Power!"
A blinding flash of light, and a rainbow stream of energy surrounded the teens for a moment longer before the Slayer Rangers suddenly stood before the horde of Putties and demon.
"What the...? I thought you were just normal teenagers!" the demon screamed.
"Yeah right!" Red Ranger Buffy shouted back. "You're dust, you overgrown insect!"
"We slay evil where it gathers to protect the world!" Yellow Ranger Amy followed.
"To protect the innocent and the decent and to safeguard our planet for the future..." Blue Ranger Willow left it hanging only to have Black Ranger Oz pick it up.
"We fight the demons, the vampires and the forces of Darkness!"
"And we look good doing it too!" Pink Ranger Cordelia added with flair.
White Ranger Xander took a step forward, a white battle saber appearing in his hands as he pointed it at the demon, "The demon kinds like yours that prey on humans are our enemies. Get ready demon, because you're about to face..."
"THE SLAYER RANGERS!" all six shouted at once, each drawing a unique weapon out of nowhere.
"Nice choreography," the demon commented, "But you talk way too much, when you should be..." it never finished its sentence as the Rangers sprung into action so fast, it began to wonder if the Power Rangers really had come to Sunnydale.
It was while she was holding onto one Putty while knocking the living snot out of five more that the Red Ranger noticed it. She had been holding it by a chokehold, and as she looked down just as she was about to flip it into another pile of Putties, she noticed a small white tag on the back of it's neck.
"What the...?" she asked as her other hand and foot lashed out to protect her from other attacks as she looked closer at the tag. It read "Ethan's Halloween Shop" along with size information. The size of a child if Buffy judged correctly.
A wave of cold horror filled her being as she knocked the Putty away. They were fighting children! The horror gave way to the anger, pure unrestrained hatred. Whoever had done this to innocent children was going to pay, and pay dearly.
"XANDER!" she shouted over the fight.
"What?" he asked back casually.
"They're little kids! All of the Putties! They're kids! We have to end this quick because I don't want to know what shape they'll be in when whatever this spell is that's done this wears off!" the leader of the Rangers ordered.
The White Ranger nodded. Then an idea struck him. He pulled out and then reversed his battle saber so the hilt was facing him. He tapped the tiger's face and said, "Saba! I need your help!"
The hilt of the head of a Tiger suddenly came to life and spoke with a rather proper American accent as it asked, "And how may I be of service, White Ranger?"
"Knock out all the Putties! Don't hurt them; they're really little kids in Halloween costumes. Just one quick smack to the back of the neck please!" the White Ranger requested.
"Of course, not a problem," the Tiger said before it suddenly flew out of Xander's hands and then started smacking Putties on the back of the heads, immediately knocking them to the ground.
In less than a single minute, all the Putties were knocked out, and as usual when Putties were defeated, they vanished in a rainbow flash of lights...but this time leaving unconscious children, wearing Putty costumes.
The Rangers turned as one towards the demon.
"Uhh..." it moaned out its fear and then suddenly made a gesture at its wrist. "Oh wow! Look at the time! I'm outta here!" then it started to run.
"It's mine," the Red Ranger growled out dangerously, her long sword in her hand.
She got into a basic Kendo stance; glaring after the demon, and then everyone saw a deep red glow around her body and the blade.
She started to run after it, at first not very fast, but she kept getting faster and faster until she was a red streak. "SLAYER SWORD FULL POWER!" she shouted. The guard around the hilt suddenly changed, from compact and round, to pointed and deadly spikes on each side. The red glow around the blade reached critical power, and then the Red Ranger ran her fingers along it's flat edge from hilt to tip, and in the wake of her fingers, burning white energy replaced the glowing metal.
With a mighty cry, the Red Ranger slashed downward with the white energy blade, temporarily paralyzing the demon so that when she passed it by in her charge, her blade could slice clean through it instead of as it ran. In a surprise move, as she had just passed it, she turned around mid-air and cut a second swipe through the demon, and then continued to flip about until all her momentum had been used up and she caught herself in a steady pose as the demon exploded right behind her.
The explosion quickly died down, leaving only fairy fire, which also quickly vanished in a puff of harmless smoke.
"You all right?" Xander asked when Buffy rejoined the group.
"I will be when we find out who is up to this," she growled. "Little kids! And I think I know where to start looking."
"Where?" Willow asked immediately.
"Look at one of the tags on the costumes. I bet they all say Ethan's Halloween Shop. But we should check on Giles, make sure that the Library hasn't been compromised...again." the Red Ranger outlined.
The Black, Yellow, and Blue Rangers all nodded. "We'll go," Oz offered.
The Red Ranger nodded back. "Wills, you, Amy and Oz go to the Library. See if Giles is OK, and check out what could be causing this. Cordy, Xander and I will head for the shop. Contact us when you've caught Giles up to speed guys. Chances are we'll run into more kids turned into monsters along the way, but obviously our Ranger powers allow us to detect which are real demons and which are not. Trust your instincts, and only if you can't avoid it do you do anything beyond restraining actions against the kids. Everybody understand?"
"Right!" they all said unanimously. Buffy nodded back. "Let's do it then," and they split up.
@ Sunnydale High School Library
Giles was quite grateful for a guaranteed night off from the heavy business of being the Watcher of a Slayer. Tonight he was just going to be a simple librarian and work on the card catalog. He had gotten behind lately.
He had pulled quite a few suspect and out-of-date cards and was sitting quietly going through them when he noticed the sound of sirens outside. Quite a few of them. And other disturbing sounds of commotion.
He started to shuffle the cards back into a compact bundle so he could go see what was going on. As he did three columns of light appeared in the library. One blue, one yellow, and one...black? Black light?
He jumped in surprise and the cards went flying all over the table and floor.
The columns vanished almost immediately to reveal three figures clad in tight outfits of white and another color. Each figure was clad in the same color as the column of light. Each was wearing a similarly colored full-face helmet with relief details that reminded him vaguely of animals.
The blue one started towards him immediately. "Giles, you're OK! We were so worried when we couldn't get you on the communicators! Something odd is going on, I mean there's always something odd going on, but this is more than our usual brand of weird," the figure said all of this without taking a breath.
Giles took an involuntary step back.
The yellow and black-clad figures had reached up and removed their helmets to reveal Amy and a boy he didn't immediately recognize.
"A-Amy? What are you doing here?" Giles asked.
"Like Willow said, Giles. What's wrong with you?" asked the Yellow Ranger, concerned.
The blue figure took off her helmet to reveal Willow.
"Willow? How did you get here? Why are you wearing that outfit?"
The Rangers glanced at each other in confusion and concern. Giles was acting way weird.
"Did the spell affect you, too, Giles?" asked Willow finally. "Do you remember who you are? Our Watcher?"
"Yes, I believe I am quite well... *Your* Watcher? All of you?"
"Well, of course all of us. We are the Slayer Rangers. So that means we need a Watcher," Willow said.
Giles stared for several moments, obviously thinking things over. Finally, after a long hesitation, he opened his mouth to say, "Perhaps I-I am a b-bit confused. Eh, why don't you tell me our history as you remember it?"
"Giles, do we have time for this? There are hordes of Putties and Demons, and who knows what else loose on the streets. We're pretty sure it's a spell, so can't we just get to work on that?" said Amy.
"Just humor me a moment. Willow?" said Giles.
"OK, how far do you want to go back?"
"Why don't you start with Buffy's arrival in Sunnydale and include how each of you became a...Ranger, I believe was the term?"
Willow rolled her eyes, but began: "Buffy came to Sunnydale after her last Watcher died and she burnt down the gym. You had arrived here to be her Watcher and the librarian. Xander and I met Buffy at lunch her first day, and found out about vampires and stuff at the Bronze that night."
"The next major thing was the Harvest. Xander and I helped you evacuate the Bronze while Luke was fighting Buffy. Oz was there and he helped, too. Afterwards, he stayed around and since he knew about vampires...." Giles nodded, saying he understood.
"Then Amy's witch mom went all psycho and switched bodies with her so she could be a cheerleader, and we took care of her."
"Cordelia came around with the invisible girl thing and started being a friend."
"Then there was the first prophecy thing and Buffy died, but Xander went with her and did CPR and brought her back."
"Then we had that problem with that band of nomad vampires right before school started where we all worked together to slay them."
"That's when you realized she and us were supposed to become the Slayer Rangers."
"I did? Why?" asked Giles.
"It was the other prophecy thing," said Willow. "It went:"
"The Chosen One falls but lives again
She shall find Five who See the Night
Rainbow Warriors now share her Mystic Might
Rangers Six hold shut the Mouth of Hell
And with their Becoming, Salvation knells."
"You got the power coins from the Watcher's Council and they worked for us. So now we are the Slayer Rangers."
"I see...." Giles began to wipe his glasses.
"But let's get to tonight's problem!" Willow urged.
"Quite right! So you said something more much odder than the normal oddities was happening?"
"Yes, we were doing the Safety Program thing when there was this wave of dizziness hit all of us for a moment and then all the little kids turned into their costumes. Lots of Putties, Giles. We also had a 'Demon-of-the-Week' but Buffy took him out with her Slayer Sword."
"I see. You say everyone became their costumes?"
"Well, most of them. We saw a few people running around in obvious costumes who were normal, but most of them changed."
"Oh, dear. So did you see any other clues? It would be best to have all the facts before getting out the books."
"Well, we realized that the Putties were just kids when Buffy noticed a tag on one of them. He must have put on his costume inside out. We knocked out the rest and they turned back into kids in costumes. We found tags on lots of them. They were all from the new costume shop. Ethan's."
@ A Different Sunnydale Street
Spike and about a dozen of his minions were walking along the street, every one of them vamped out. Dru was by his side, strangely quiet and not talking after all her prophesizing before. The master vampire didn't let that bother him though. He was having too much fun.
"Well this is just...neat!" Spike said as he watched all the little creatures that he could smell and knew to be human children run around and cause general chaos, but at the same time they were demons too. Already he and his minions were attracting a number of the transformed children, who all quickly joined his gang.
Then it all came crashing down as three costumed figures came running around the corner. One was dressed in mostly red with only white around her arms, calves, and around a coin like emblem in the center of her chest. He could tell it was a 'her' from the contours of the armor. The other two were in more spandex-style costumes, one in white with a gold and black chest plate armor with a similar coin symbol in the center chest region. The other was in a non-armored form of the one in red, but pink and with more white to her costume.
"Well, well, well, lookie what we got here," Spike drawled, overconfident.
The red armored figure stopped and seemed to seethe at the sight of the vampire and his gang. "I'm sure you're enjoying this, you worm," she cursed. That was all it took for Spike to recognize her voice. He blinked in shock for a moment before the toothy grin returned.
"Slayer?" he asked. "What the bloody hell are you doing in that getup, pet?"
"Oh that does it..." the Slayer cursed and started forward but the other two stopped her.
"B-Red Ranger, we've got to get going. We don't have the time to deal with this creep," the one in white and black spoke to her.
Spike started again, "Red Ranger!" Then he burst out laughing, along with all of his minions. All except that is, the Rangers...and Drusilla.
The vampiress sire of William the Bloody whimpered at what she saw had happened to the humans, and what it meant for her and her "family". She disappeared into the shadows.
"Uh...guys? Dru-belle's gone," Cordelia said, loud enough that Spike heard her even over his own laughter.
"And that's a bad thing?" Xander asked her incredulously.
Cordelia then pressed a button on the side of her helmet that activated the radio in their helmets. Now she could speak privately to the others. "No, it's a good thing, cause it keeps Spike distracted long enough for us to move on."
"Cordy, I am not just leaving Spike out here to do whatever the hell he wants. And look at how many kids he's got with him! What do you think he's going to do when they suddenly turn back into humans?" Buffy interrupted over the commlink.
"So lets make sure he follows us instead," Xander replied in the same way.
"Dru? Dru! Pet, where are you?!" Spike was starting to panic.
"I don't have time for this," Buffy shouted at the vampire, though making it seem for said vampire's benefit that she was saying it to her friends. Then she suddenly rushed the vampires, startling most of them, before she just suddenly leaped impossibly high over the entire group and then kept running in the direction the Rangers had been going. The White and Pink Rangers quickly joined her.
Spike, momentarily forgetting about his missing love, turned to his minions and shouted, "Get them! I think it's time I got my third Slayer." The entire gang chased after the three Rangers, picking up any strange child-turned-demon they came along.
"OK, they're chasing us, now what?" Cordelia asked.
"Now Xander whittles them down," Buffy answered. Xander took the cue and suddenly it was as if he just disappeared mid-step.
"I love it when he does that," Cordelia giggled.
Under her helmet, Buffy grinned too.
Back with the horde of demonic creatures chasing them, the number had almost reached a hundred, about thirty or more of them being true vampires. Xander, standing off to the side of the road and on the roof of a building watched as they all passed him by. He quickly counted and identified who were innocents and who were true demons. He also saw about four more of those demons that Buffy had killed show up and "join the parade" so to speak.
Pulling out Saba, Xander nodded to himself and got to work.
Spike was too incensed over Dru's sudden disappearance to be thinking clearly, but he was even more pissed at the Slayer and her two White Hat stooges to do anything but chase after them.
He just kept urging his pack of vampires and mini-demons on, right at the front, leading the merry chase for the Slayer in red armor.
He was so focused on his goal in fact, that he never noticed that with every corner the pack turned, he lost at least three more real vampires or demons, leaving him with just the transformed people and children.
It wasn't until he realized they were in downtown now, out of the residential areas, that first of all the "Rangers" had stopped running, and there were only two of them. It was also when he realized that he had lost a very large portion of his actual minions. He only had five other vampires with him, and one idiot who had dressed up as Dracula for Halloween.
Suddenly the White Ranger stepped out of the shadows and joined the Pink and Red Rangers, who had stopped in front of a Halloween costume shop with a big sign saying "Ethan's" on the front. They had turned to face the demon horde coming after them, all three in martial art stances.
"Bloody hell," Spike cursed when he realized what had happened. Then he noticed all the demons he still had with him. His cockiness returned with the affirmation he had over fifty demons on his side, and there were only three "Rangers".
"Nice work Xan," Buffy said over the helmet comm.
"Thanks, but they picked up some friends along the way. I took out all the vamps, but the demons required more than stealth permitted I'm afraid," Xander apologized.
"I hate to say it," Cordelia said, "but I think we're going to need some help."
The chaos magics drew more demons to the surface and then those demons joined Spike's crowd for the anticipated battle. With every passing minute more demons showed up. By the time the other three Rangers came out there were approximately 100 true demons and vampires, along with many transformed humans.
@ Ethan's Costume Shop
Three Minutes Ago
The front door of the shop swung open as Giles and the three Rangers came into the shop.
"Hello! Anyone home?" called Giles.
They spread out through the store. Willow noticed the curtain to the back room was slightly open. She called, "Giles?"
Giles looked at Willow, and then went through the curtain where she pointed. All four eyes landed on the statue of Janus that was glowing green.
Willow asked, "What does this mean?"
Giles answered, "Primarily the division of self. Male and female, light and dark."
Ethan appeared out of nowhere. "Chunky and creamy. Oh, no, sorry, that's peanut butter."
Giles stared at Ethan as though he'd seen a ghost.
Giles said, "Rangers, get out of here, now."
Willow protested, "But..."
Giles gritted, "Now!"
They obeyed him and left.
Giles said, "Hello, Ethan."
Ethan replied cheerfully. "Hello, Ripper."
@ Street Outside Ethan's Costume Shop
The Blue, Black, and Yellow Rangers had just left Giles alone with "Ethan" and left the shop for the street right when the parade of demons turned the corner and they all just noticed that the other Rangers had just gotten there.
"Uh...hey guys," Willow greeted as the Slayer Rangers, complete, took up a line of defense in front of the shop.
"What the heck are you three doing here?" Buffy demanded. "You were supposed to go to the Library. We're the ones that go to the costume shop."
"Yeah, we did go to the Library," Amy answered.
"Giles wanted to come here," Oz added.
"So you went to the Library, talked with Giles, and then argued about coming here, and you still got here ahead of us?" Xander asked, incredulous. "That bites!"
"Yeah well, we didn't have to deal with so many distractions like you guys did," Willow pointed at the demons. "And that's another thing. Giles didn't seem to know who we were. Well, I mean he knew who we were, but he didn't know, or at least he seemed to have amnesia about us being the Rangers for some reason. It was all very confusing. Then, when we told him the name of the costume shop, he demanded to come here. He wouldn't explain, he just demanded, and then when we tried to argue, he pulled rank. I know that Giles only pulls rank when we're over our heads in Watcher business."
"I think he knows this Ethan guy, that's why he's so out of it. Ethan might have even put some kind of amnesia spell on him in the midst of this," Oz suggested.
The Red Ranger suddenly tensed, and so did each of the other Rangers. A moment later, Spike stepped to the front of the demon horde. That was when the Rangers noticed that more and more demons were joining the group before them, and right now the number of real, true, non-costume wearing demons was in estimate of over 50 and slowly rising with each new member.
@ Ethan's Costume Shop: Back Room
"What? No hug? Aren't you pleased to see your old mate, Rupert?" Ethan asked with an irritating pout.
"I'm just surprised I didn't guess it was you," Giles almost growled. "This Halloween stunt stinks of Ethan Rayne."
Ethan grinned, maniacally rather proud of himself, "Yes it does, doesn't it? Don't wish to blow my own trumpet, but it's genius. The very embodiment of 'be careful what you wish for'."
Giles took another step forward, his face almost set in stone, and his tone extremely serious, "It's sick, brutal, and it harms the innocent."
"Oh and we all know that you are the champion of innocents and all things pure and good, Rupert," Ethan replied sarcastically. "It's quite a little act you've got going here, old man."
"It's no act," Giles responded immediately, "It's who I am."
"Who you are?" Ethan repeated, incredulous. "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." He briefly stopped, seeming to consider something before continuing, "But they don't, do they? They have no idea where you come from."
"Break the spell, Ethan. Then leave this place and never come back."
"Why should I? What's in the bargain for me?"
"You get to live."
"Oh, Rupert, you're scaring me," Ethan teased.
He didn't have much time to do anything else as Giles suddenly punched him in the gut with a powerful left, making the Chaos sorcerer double over in pain, followed up with a right knee to the head, driving him to the ground.
@ Street Outside Ethan's Costume Shop
The fighting began shortly after all of the demons' patience ran out, which obviously was not very long. The battle raged all over the street. and To make sure their Watcher was not disturbed in whatever he was dealing with, they could not split up, or even risk trying to draw the demon army away to a more abandoned area of the Hellmouth.
The Rangers only advantage was that they were not fighting a demon *army*, but just a bunch of demons out to kill them. There was as much infighting to get at the Rangers as there was fighting between the Rangers and the demons.
Shortly into the fighting, the Rangers had brought out their primary weapons: Buffy's Sword, Xander and his tiger-talking saber, and the others.
Amy had a pair of daggers that actually were blessed athames.
Oz, the Black Ranger, had two sets of claws, nearly identical to those of Wolverine from the X-Men. And he used the black colored blades with the same, if not greater, effectiveness as Wolverine.
Willow's primary weapon was a pair of tonfas. (police batons with a right angle handle close to one end) Sometimes she held it by the handle with it laying along the outside of her forearm and used it to punch demons, other times changing grips and yanking demons feet out from under them.
Cordelia had a pair of pink shape-shifting weapons called "Power Battlers" As need dictated they changed between a sai and a whip.
Most of the time Cordelia and Willow hung back from the others and used their secondary weapons: a pistol that fired bursts of colored energy.
"Guys!" Willow yelled after she was almost overwhelmed by a group of Guipure demons, "We're outnumbered here! We won't be able to hold out for long at this rate!"
Buffy looked at the numbers stacked against them, and cursed to herself as she realized Willow was right. "Blue Ranger's right guys! Drive'em back with everything you've got, then get ready to bring'em together!"
None of the Rangers were worried about the demons overhearing about their new plan. They hadn't used the D.D. Gun enough for any demon to know they should run as fast as they could away from them the moment they heard the Rangers say that.
Instead, the rather dumb and chaos drunk demons just thought of it as a last plea for help, or a cry of hope, and just started to push harder on the Rangers. Spike was right in the middle of it.
@ Ethan's Costume Shop: Back Room
Ethan lay on the floor, his lip, and several other cuts on his face bleeding, and from the way his leg was twisted and the way he's breathing, he at least had a few broken bones. Giles stands above him, clenching and unclenching his fist as he wipes Ethan's blood from his knuckles.
"And you said the Ripper was long gone," Ethan wheezed from the floor.
"Tell me how to stop the spell," Giles said rather "British-ly".
"Say pretty please," Ethan wheezed through a bloody grin.
The beating continued, as the battle grew more heated outside.
@ Street Outside Ethan's Costume Shop
It had taken a lot more than they had expected, but finally the Rangers had driven the demons back enough to establish a momentary twenty foot space between them. Xander had to use his own full power special attack with Saba as Buffy had with her sword, and Cordy and Willow firing non-stop into the demons, killing any true demons they hit, while knocking the children unconscious.
They didn't waste the reprieve on regaining their breath though.
"Let's Put 'em Together!" Buffy shouted.
All the Rangers held up their primary weapons, which began to glow brightly, each the color of the Ranger that owned it.
On the edges of the crowd of monsters were two of Spike's minion vampires, named Josh & Troy. Spike had found and turned them near a hotel nightclub, not realizing that the two had been at the hotel for the Role-Playing Games convention being held that weekend. Spike had turned them for their size. They had been both rather tall and bulky, but at that time it had mostly been fat. When they had become vampires the fat had gone out of them leaving them tall and adequately muscled. They looked good in mass intimidations, but they were still rather cowardly geeks.
When they heard the Red Ranger say "get ready to bring'em together" the two minions looked at each other in concern.
"Did she just say what I think she did?" said Troy
"I think so. Do you think running or hiding?" said Josh.
"Ummmmmmmm, BOTH! Sewer!" concluded Troy.
They both frantically started looking for a manhole. They found one, and started pulling up the cover.
Spike had been pushed back into the midst of the crowd and now saw what the two were doing. "What are you bleeding wankers doing? Get in there!"
"Boss, I think it's time to leave. The Red Ranger said they were going to put it together. It's time to save vs. box text."
"What the heck?" said Spike.
"They're about to fire their super-weapon. It blows up monsters really good. And I don't think Rita or Zed are going to be around to revive us and grow us to building size after that."
"Guess you might be right. Maybe that's what Drusilla was going on about after we saw those costumed freaks.," said Spike.
The finally got the lid off. "After You, Boss"
Spike leapt down the hole, followed by Josh, Troy climbed down the ladder, and pulled the lid back on.
The lid clanged shut just as the Rangers had cleared the space between them and the monsters.
"Saba!" Xander yelled and threw the white saber into the air above them.
The tiger-hilted blade hung in the air and changed it's shape to form the base of the D.D. Gun
Willow called out, "Power Batons!" and brought her tonfas together back-to-back and they fused together forming a cross. She threw it up up, and it attached to the forming combination weapon.
"Power Battler!" Cordy called, as she joined her twin weapons into one, then threw it up to attach.
"Power Claws!" Oz called as his claws flew up, almost by themselves, and connected to the front of the combo-weapon.
"Power Athame!" Amy fused her two athame's together, creating a larger, more crystalline dagger, before connecting it to the front of the weapon between the Power Claws.
The armored Red Ranger was the last and pulled out her Slayer Sword, and then activated it so the spikes were fully emerged before she leaped up to where the weapon floated. She attached the sword to the top of the weapon like the barrel of a rifle or a crossbow bolt. She shouted, "Slayer Sword!"
She landed back on the same spot with the Demon Death Gun in her arms. The Rangers lined up in a triangle with the Red Ranger at the point. Everyone else laid a hand on one of her shoulders. She raised the weapon and pointed it at the mass of demons. Buffy shouted, " Demon Death Gun Chain Reaction Mode! Activate!"
"FIRE!!!" all six shouted at once and a rainbow beam of six colors shot out of the gun.
The beam went completely through the first demon, a vampire. He began to flame as if caught in sunlight. The beam came out of his back and immediately divided into two beams identical to the one fired from the Ranger's super-weapon. These beams hit the next two nearest demons where the same thing happened. Again and again. The result was a brilliant rainbow web of destruction connecting all the demons for several seconds.
The vampires caught fire as if caught in sunlight from within. The true demons screamed as white light consumed them from the inside out, and the light shone out of their eyes and mouths. Those transformed by their cursed costumes shimmered brightly with light.
The second after the last demon was hit the beam stopped. The vampires collapsed into dust. The demons collapsed into ash. Costumed people collapsed to the ground.
@ Ethan's Costume Shop: Back Room
Giles finished up the latest beating with a solid kick to the ribs, eliciting a final cry from the chaos sorcerer. "Now tell me how to stop the spell," Giles repeated.
"Janus. Break its statue," Ethan replied, defeated.
Giles looked outside where there was a blazing flash of rainbow colored lights. He looked out the window and saw the Rangers destroying the last of the demons. Only when they had stopped firing did he rush to the table, where the glowing statue still sat, raised it over his head, and sent it smashing to the floor.
@ Street Outside Ethan's Costume Shop
A wave of dizziness passed over the Rangers again, but it happened much quicker than it had before so they barely even noticed it. They did notice the other effects though. The cursed costumes suddenly vanished leaving many children and other people lying there, clad mostly in underwear.
The Pink Ranger let out a huge sigh of relief. "Thank goodness that's over, huh?"
"You said it Cor-err, uh Pink Ranger," the White Ranger quickly corrected as he realized the kids could hear them. Lucky for the Rangers, they were still too disoriented to make much sense of anything.
Buffy realized they didn't have time to try and teleport out. She wanted to make sure Giles was okay first. "Guys! Quick! De-morph, while they're still out of it!" the leader of the Slayer Rangers ordered.
They all gave a confirming nod, and then with a mental command and force of will, let go of their powers. In a flash of color the Slayer Rangers disappeared...and left Amy, Buffy, Cordelia, Oz, Willow, and Xander in their place.
"What. The. Hell?" Buffy asked in monosyllables.
They were all just standing there, in their matching costumes as Snyder had ordered, the color-coded clothing, the costume watches/communicators, and a bunch of confused and scared looking kids right in front of them. And they remembered everything.
"Oh my gawd," Cordelia gawked as her eyes glazed over in memory.
"Hunh," Oz grunted. Then he looked around and saw all the dust and ash on the ground. "Cool."
"Cool?" Willow, Xander, Amy and Buffy all repeated, disbelieving.
Oz just pointed at the dust and ash. They then had to acknowledge that knowing they had just vanquished over a hundred demons was, as he put it, "Cool."
"Omigawd! Giles!" Willow started, and turned around and ran towards the shop, all the others immediately on her tail. Cordelia wondered why she cared, but followed.
The door opened before they got to it, and Giles came out, a little madder than usual, but overall unscathed.
@ Ethan's Costume Shop: Back Room
Twenty Seconds Ago
Giles turned around, once he was certain the magic was really stopped, only to find Ethan already gone, as if he had never been there.
Giles sighed, mentally cursing himself. But for the moment, he put it behind him and walked outside to see how his... charges were doing.
@ Just Before School Starts
Sunnydale High School Library
It had been a busy Tuesday night for everyone, and because of the "unexplained riots" as the news was calling last night's working of chaos magic, school had almost, almost been canceled. Almost.
But still, everyone, because of necessity, showed up at school. Six a bit earlier than normal, just an hour after the sun had fully risen. They all went straight to the School Library the moment they got there, and coincidently enough, all arrived at the same time.
"Hey guys," Buffy greeted everyone. She was wearing a red T-shirt with a black mini-skirt, with her favorite knee-high boots. She took the time to look them all over. They looked tired, but in good spirits. Amy was wearing a yellow blouse with blue jeans; Cordelia was wearing a light red skirt and a soft pink, collared blouse; Oz wore black denims and a black T-shirt; Willow was wearing a blue denim skirt and a white T-shirt with a dark blue vest over that. Xander was a surprise. He wore plain, almost white, faded blue jeans and a plain white T-shirt with a single color beige dress shirt, left open and untucked.
Xander smiled at the looks all of the girls gave his clothes. Even he had to admit, as he thought back, he normally wore a more color-diverse outfit, but this morning, he just didn't have the energy to try and put something like that together. At least that was what he was telling himself.
"How are you all doing?" Buffy asked, concerned for her...friends? The emotion to confirm the thought came too quickly to deny or further question it.
Amy shrugged and Oz frowned a little. "Vampires and demons are real. I'm dealing," he admitted.
"I knew about this stuff from...before," Willow and Buffy both nodded they understood as to what Amy was referring to, "but now... Guys, I want in. I...caught a glimpse last night of what you do, and for a while after the deal with my mom and getting settled with my dad and his family..." Amy trailed off for a second before she seemed to fully resolve herself to her decision. "I want in. I can't just stand by while...demons keep trying to destroy the world and do nothing."
The school was opening up and Buffy could hear the other early arrivals start to walk the halls. She gestured to the swing doors and said, "C'mon, let's continue this privately." They all entered the Library.
"Look, I know that I kept getting dragged into situations where I got involved or needed to be saved by you guys before the whole costume deal, but..." Cordelia began as they all took seats around the central table, "Amy's right. Maybe it's a side effect, or somehow I got the Pink Ranger's sense of duty to keep or whatever, but...I can't just sit by and wait to be rescued by you guys while you're trying to save the world at the same time. I may not be good on the reading Latin or fighting the Big Bads like you guys are, but I can bring in snacks, not to mention I've got a car."
"I'm in too," was all Oz said. He had a look that was similar to Willow's "Resolve Face".
Buffy, Willow and Xander each shared looks with one another. It was strange, because they now all had two sets of memories from the point of when Buffy moved to Sunnydale. Of how it was just the three of them and Giles, how the two of them were the Slayerettes while Buffy was the Slayer. The Scooby Gang against the demon underworld, fighting real ghosts and goblins and demons.
Then...there was the point of view of the "Slayer Rangers".
From the looks on her two best friends' faces, Buffy knew the decision was ultimately hers. She was the only one with the real destiny. The others were just offering to help shoulder some of her burden. She smiled and she remembered conversations she'd previously had with Amy and Cordelia, and while the latter was too self-involved for her own good, she was probably a good person. And so was Amy. Oz they had all just met, despite Slayer Ranger memories, so she could not yet give an objective statement about him. She realized that it was an all or none deal at the moment.
She looked each of the other three in the eye, and saw the conviction, the need, and the resolve in them. She smiled and nodded. "OK. But there are certain rules. Number one, Vampires. Don't invite them in. Sunlight, holy water, crosses, fire...and me kill them. Keep a stake, cross, and holy water with you at all times when you go out at night, and even keeping them readily available during the day couldn't hurt. This concludes the rules."
The new Slayerettes all grinned and had relieved expressions. Talk went to more trivial matters until Giles came in, surprised to seeing them all there. He had a hard expression on his face, as though he were angry and trying to bottle down the reason for it.
"Giles? What's wrong?" Buffy asked when she noticed.
He looked up at her, slightly startled. He had thought he'd hidden his feelings a bit better. Either way, hiding the truth from them right now would do no one any good, and it wasn't a particularly vile secret.
"I...went to the Halloween shop this morning. Ethan's gone. Packed everything and abandoned the shop, and there's no trace of him anywhere," Giles admitted.
Amy cursed and Cordelia grumbled something that no one really heard. Oz had an indifferent expression, while the other, experienced three looked as if they had half expected that to be the case.
"Don't worry," Buffy comforted her Watcher as he walked to the table, "He can't do us or Sunnydale any more harm, and if he does come back, we'll get him."
Giles nodded, smiling at his Slayer with gratitude for her sympathy.
"Now, could you please explain what you're all doing here so early?" he asked. Then he took a closer look and added, "And why you're all still wearing those...er, 'costumes'?"
They all startled and everyone looked at one another and then down at him or herself.
"What are you talking about G-man?" Xander asked. "These are clothes. OK, I admit, normally I don't wear stuff so light, but I was too tired to try and piece together a more colorful outfit."
"Thank god!" all four girls exclaimed. Xander glared at them.
"Uhm, yes, quite," Giles stuttered. "But actually, I was referring to, um..." he pointed at Xander's wrist. Everyone then looked and noticed as if for the first time that they were all still wearing the costume watches they'd bought from Ethan's.
"Huh," Buffy grunted. "I didn't even notice. Well... they're harmless now, and they are pretty cool, and keep the time well enough. Too bad they can't really be communicators though."
"Yeah, I've been thinking about that," Willow said suddenly. "I think that I can set us all up with some cell phones, and we wouldn't even get charged for service or anything. It would make it easier in a crisis and Buffy can check in with Giles when she comes across something weird on Patrol."
"Cool," Oz observed.
"Yes, well, um Buffy..." Giles started to speak, but Buffy held up her hand for pause.
"Giles, there's one more thing..." she looked at the others, then gestured at Amy, Cordelia, and Oz, "The others know my secret...Amy and Cordy obviously already knew, but Oz found out with the whole costume deal last night and...they want to help. The same way that Willow and Xander do. And I agreed."
Giles stared uncomprehending for several moments before he sighed, rolled his eyes, and then started cleaning his glasses in an agitated manner. "Buffy, I...I understand about the lack of discretion involved in this case, but..."
"We're not just going to sit by and do nothing while Buffy is out there, alone, risking her life for all of ours and the rest of the world!" Cordelia interrupted the Watcher.
Giles stared, stunned by the display of passion by the absolute last human being he expected on the planet to say such a thing. A small clue pieced together in his mind to the whole picture. "Would this happen to be a side effect from...er, last night?" he asked.
"Probably," Cordelia answered, sitting back down.
"That's not the only thing," Oz pointed out as he stood up. "Amy?"
Amy nodded and got to her feet. They stepped out and away from the table a bit, and then suddenly, they both fell into familiar looking martial arts stances, and then began to spar at high skill.
They only did a few moves, but it was enough that Giles, and all the others were convinced that a conviction to fight demons wasn't the only thing left behind by Ethan's spell.
"Oh my..." Giles was too stunned at this realization to do much more than stare.
"Cool!" Xander drawled, his eyes wide and eager, like it was Christmas.
Buffy however suddenly looked nervous. "OK...maybe I might have been a bit premature in my decision," she said, causing the newcomers to look just as nervous. "About the rules that is. I'm not saying everyone joins me on patrol and whatever, but..."
"It's OK Buffy, we get it," Amy said as she and Oz rejoined those at the table. Buffy just smiled and nodded gratefully.
"So...you all retain all of the martial arts knowledge you had as...as..." Giles stuttered to say.
"Power Rangers?" Willow finished for him. Unable to say it himself, he nodded.
They all answered in the affirmative.
"And you wanna know what's so funny about that, G-man?" Xander asked without really asking. "According to our "Slayer Ranger memories"... you're the one that taught us those martial arts."
"Yeah," Cordelia added to the conversation. "Not to mention I think I'm a better gymnast than Buffy is now."
"Well, sorry, but I think it's true."
"No, it's...it's OK, it's just that...I think I know where you're going with this," the Slayer stood up and seemed to think heavily on the idea for a moment before turning to her Watcher and saying what was on all of the group's mind.
"Giles, what if you started to train all of us, for real?" she asked.
The Watcher stared for a moment before he began to sputter. Before he could raise arguments, Buffy continued, "No, I'm serious Giles! Look, I probably should have done this from the beginning when I met Xander and Willow, but I was too caught up in not wanting to be the Slayer. If they're going to help, and even if I told them not to, I think they might anyway. They should have the best chances at defending themselves against vampires as they can."
"We're not about to go out and start hunting them ourselves G-man," Xander added to the argument, "but for when we are attacked, wouldn't it be better for us to be able to defend ourselves enough that we get the chance to run away? Martial arts goes a long way towards that end, especially against stronger opponents."
They all nodded in agreement with Xander.
Giles sighed again and started cleaning his glasses, again. "You're not going to give this up, are you?" he asked. He got a group shaking of the heads, and then Willow brought out the Resolve Face. He sighed again. "I'll think about it," he finally said. "Everyone show up here after school and, we'll set something up."
Just then the bell rang. "Now get to class, all of you. I'll see you all later, I trust?"
"Yep!" they all said, smiling like the teenagers they were as they gathered their things and scampered off to their first period classes. Giles, looking after them, couldn't help but notice that Willow and Oz kept looking at each other and blushing each time one of them was caught, and then the even more amazing sight of Cordelia holding Xander's hand as they left the Library.
"Good lord! I need a drink!"
@ Sunnydale High School: Cordelia's Math Class
It was just that afternoon, about an hour after Lunch, and even though it had only been for the morning, the rumor that Cordelia Chase and Xander Harris were dating was already burning the rumor mill.
"It's not true, is it?" were the first words out of Harmony Kendall's mouth at the first moment Cordelia had seen her all day. Normally the two were like Dorothy and Toto.
"Is what true?" Cordelia absently asked as she started going over her homework. She and Harmony were in Algebra class, quite easily the dullest yet at the same time easiest class given at Sunnydale High. The teacher was an old, senile man that seemed lose his glasses on the top of his head more times than Giles cleaned his. And Cordelia was excellent at Math.
"You and Harris!" Harmony fumed. "It's not true. Right? I mean, Aura said that Larry said that he heard Parker say to Gemini that you and he were like holding hands and making eyes at each other this morning when you were coming out of the Library. Of course I immediately told her that you would never be seen near the Library, well except maybe to like exchange your books or something and..."
"Harmony would you just shut up for one minute!" Cordelia snapped. Luckily the teacher was not in the room. Not even he would have ignored that. The rest of the students present certainly didn't.
Harmony looked hurt for all of two seconds, telling Cordelia that it was faked and inside the blonde was seething, and then it was replaced by mock-horror. "Omigawd! It's true, isn't it!"
"I'm not dating anyone at the moment," Cordelia honestly answered. "And it would take a lot more than rumors or 'eyes' and hand holding to make me even consider dating Harris of all people at this school. A lot more." Cordelia stopped talking and thought to herself, 'Lucky me that he does have more. A WHOLE lot more.' She recalled last night, seeing him in action as the White Ranger, and even before that, as nothing but the Slayerette.
Maybe she could do something to start to turn Xander's reputation around. Get him involved with one of the sports. The Swim Team was doing well this year, and so was the Basketball team, but that one wasn't very likely. Suddenly she remembered that Sunnydale High had a Martial Arts club. Had only about four members and the Gym coach supervising it, but...
"So what was the deal? Cause Gemini swore that..."
"I had to go on the stupid safety program last night and Xander helped pull me out of a jam during the riots last night. And I needed to get a book from Mister Giles. For a book report." Cordelia answered.
"Uh huh. What is up with that creepy librarian anyway, I mean he..." Harmony was saying, but stopped suddenly when she saw the look on Cordelia's face. Lucky for the blonde that right at that moment the teacher walked in and started the class. Also lucky was that the two girls were not sitting anywhere close to each other either.
@ Sunnydale High School: Outer Walkway
Harmony, by all measurable accounts had completely forgotten about the incident in Math class earlier and was talking avidly about some boy that had almost asked her out. Some frat guy that Cordy knew the Fraternity of, but only knew the guy by the car he drove. She was cursing herself for her shallowness, but with all their other "friends" around, the leader of the Cordettes couldn't help but be excited for Harmony over this chance.
Just as Harmony was explaining how she had almost gotten asked out, as they were turning the corner in front of the stairs in the courtyard, Xander had just finished walking down the stairs and saw the group and tried to avoid them, but Harmony still ended up walking right into him.
"Watch it!" Harmony screeched as she was interrupted in her gloating. Xander stepped back, his face immediately apologetic, until he caught Cordelia's eyes and was like a deer caught in the high beams for a minute.
"Sorry," he apologized.
"Gawd," Harmony drawled insultingly, "You know I'm glad your mom took enough time from working at the drive-thru long enough to dress you!"
Xander frowned, only slightly hurt by the remark because he knew he couldn't, and wouldn't, retaliate against Harmony. Cordelia was another story. Harmony...sometimes he wondered if the only thing that said she wasn't a vampire was her ability to walk in direct sunlight.
Suddenly the blonde ditz brightened and turned back to Cordelia saying, "Oh! That reminds me; did you see Jennifer's backpack? It is so..."
"Harmony, shut up!" Cordelia snapped angrily.
Xander stopped in his retreat and turned back to look on with surprise clearly etched into his features, but some brotherly pride mixed in there too. Harmony was too stunned to do anything other than shut up.
"You know what you are Harmony?" Cordelia asked her angrily, "You're a sheep!"
"I'm not a sheep," Harmony whined.
"You're a sheep! All you do is what everyone else does just so you can say you did it first! And for the longest time, there I was scrambling for your approval when I'm way cooler than you because I'm not a sheep. I do what I want to do, and I wear what I want to wear. And you know what? I'll date whoever the hell I want to date."
Xander, looking on, couldn't help but smile as his Cordelia finally stood up to those simpletons that had tried to control her life. His face fell as he thought, '/Where the hell did that come from? She's her own woman, not *my* anything. Not yet, at least/.'
"No matter how lame you think he is! Rumors be damned!" Cordelia then huffed off, right in Xander's direction. He smiled comfortingly at her, and held out his hand. Staring for a second, she slowly took it, smiling as their fingers knotted together of their own accord.
They walked off together, both of them smiling. For about five steps.
"Oh god! Oh god! Oh god!" Queen C started to hyperventilate.
Xander brought their hands up and patted her supportively. "It's OK, just keep walking," he advised.
"Oh god, what have I done? They're never going to speak to me again," she began to ramble.
"Oh sure they are," Xander assured her. "If it helps, whenever they're around, you and I can fight a lot."
Cordelia smiled impishly at her new boyfriend. How did he always know the right things to say? "You promise?"
"Can pretty much count on it," Xander admitted with a bit of a grimace, but keeping up the supportive aura. They kept on walking, heading to the Library, Cordelia smiling brightly, and Xander had the look of a guy that had just gotten everything he ever asked for, and the one thing he really needed.
@ Inside Cordelia's Purse
Unseen and unnoticed by anyone, at the moment the newest official Slayerette stood up to her "flock of sheep", the coin that Xander had given to her, which she had kept close to her even as she slept, glowed a brief rainbow of colors before returning to a soft pinkish glow for the duration of the conflict before fading away as she and Xander walked away.
The coin in Xander's back pocket, in Amy, Buffy, and Willow's purses, and Oz's pick-case, a similar phenomenon happened at the exact same moment to their individual coins that they also had kept close. The flash of rainbow colors, before each settled on a specific and individual color.
And on the higher spiritual planes, several powerful entities watched with pleasure. The Chosen Ones had been forged.ROLL END CREDITS