Title: Holliday Costumes
Rating: PG. Definitely nothing worse than the show.
Disclaimer: Is this really necessary? If anyone really thinks these characters belong to me, then you're even more out of touch with reality than Crackhead Joss was. All of the BtVS characters belong to Crackhead Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, etc. There is no intent to profit from this, I'm just borrowing the characters for a while. Only the story is mine, and even that is negotiable.
Category: Yet another Halloween story.
Summary: Xander dresses up as an historical medical figure.
Time frame: Alternate S2 'Halloween' epsiode.
Character Bashing: None.
Spoilers: None, since this is a completely different AU than any thought up by Crackhead Joss.
Feedback: Of course! Constructive criticism will be greatly appreciated, while flamers will be ignored and added to the lists of those to be painfully exterminated, once I am appointed to my rightful position as King of the World. (Yeah, you just wait and see if I'm kidding.)
Title: Holliday Costumes
“Miss Summers. Just the juvenile delinquent I've been looking for.”
Buffy, Willow and Xander all recognized the non-melodious voice emanating from behind them and immediately spun to address the speaker.
“Halloween must be a big night for you,” the Troll observed as he stood glaring at the three sophomores. “Tossing eggs, keying cars, bobbing for apples, one pathetic cry for help after another. Well, not this year, missy,” he predicted as he lead her to the sign-up table, while Willow and Xander followed behind them.
“Gosh, I'd love to sign up, but I recently developed carpal tunnel syndrome, and can tragically no longer hold a flashlight,” Buffy informed the troglodyte, an expression of sorrow decorating her face.
Snyder merely held up the clipboard and pen.
“The program starts at four, the children have to be back at six.”
Buffy reluctantly grabbed the pen and clipboard and signed herself up.
Behind her, Xander smiled at Willow, who suddenly had a concerned look on her face. Looking back over his shoulder, Xander saw Snyder holding pens out towards the two of them, too.
“With your grades, Harris, you need every scrap of good will you can muster,” Snyder croaked with a malicious smile. “In fact, given your last History grade, I think you need to come up with a costume historically correct in every detail. And to make it even more useful, make it someone who was a noted medical authority, too.”
The malevolent expression gracing his face made it clear that he was looking for an excuse to come down hard on the male Scooby, so Xander merely stared expressionlessly at him, nodded his head and remained silent.
“My, Xander, you certainly clean up well,” Joyce smiled as she answered the doorbell and greeted the brunet.
“Thanks, Mrs. Summers,” the male Scooby grinned. “I guess I really shouldn’t be too surprised at people’s reactions; this isn’t the kind of outfit I usually wear.”
“It does seem a bit out of character,” she agreed with a smile, looking over the mustache and small goatee, black Stetson, black suit, deep red satin vest, white-collared shirt and string tie the male Scooby was wearing.
“I guess I’m just accustomed to seeing all of those wild Hawaiian shirts you usually wear. I never would have expected to see you dressing as a old-time western gambler,” she said, eying the .41 1877 Colt Thunderer replica pistol that hung in a crossdraw holster at his hip.
“Well, I’m not, exactly,” he corrected her politely. “Snyder told me to come dressed as someone who was a noted medical authority, so this is who I dressed as,” he smiled as he held up the copy of a page from one of the library’s history books.
“Very clever, Xander,” Joyce grinned as she read the biographical summary. Her dislike of the Troll was well known to the kids, and that she enjoyed seeing him taken down a peg whenever possible.
“Buffy! Lady of Buffdom, Duchess of Buffonia, I am in awe! I completely renounce spandex!” Xander loudly announced as he watched the Slayer make her way down the stairs.
“Xander, what do you think you’re doing?” Buffy exclaimed when she saw his costume. “Snyder told you to come as an historical medical authority. He’s gonna expel you, for sure, when he sees that costume!”
“Principle Snyder has absolutely nothing to complain about, Buffy,” Joyce announced firmly. “If he makes any fuss about Xander’s costume, I’ll definitely be having a little talk with him.”
“Okay,” Buffy replied uncertainly. “But who’re you supposed to be?” she asked, frowning as she looked at her friend’s costume.
“Come on, Buff! You don’t recognize – Hey, Will, that’s a fine boo you got there,” he broke off his explanation as he turned to look at Willow as she descended the stairs in her ghost sheet.
Willow slowly pushed herself up from her position on the porch, noticing as she did so her body was still sprawled on the wooden flooring, and that she was wearing her sexy outfit now, just without the sheet.
“Ohmigod!” she exclaimed in horror as she accidentally backed up through one of the porch’s uprights. “I'm a real ghost!”
Turning, she saw her childhood friend standing in the middle of the street, shaking his head and looking somewhat dazed.
“Xander?” she called as she ran out into the street and came up behind him. “Xander!”
“Ah beg yoah pardon, ma’am,” the young man said, as he quickly spun around to confront her.
“Mah goodness, young lady,” he said, a shocked expression on his face when he saw her, “how is that the good folks of the city let you grace the streets of the town looking like that? Ah do believe the self-righteous harpies of the Ladies Auxiliary would be stricken dumb with both outrage and envy, were they to see you attired in such an outfit!” he smiled at her.
“Xander, stop fooling around! It's me, Willow!” the redhead snapped, absently noting the southern accent with which the young man addressed her.
“Ah regret to admit, mah dear, that Ah don't know any Willow,” the brunet replied. “But Ah am delighted to make yoah acquaintance. Dr. John Henry Holliday, at yoah service. But you can call me Doc,” he said, as he took off his hat and bowed before her with a flourish.
“Xander, quite messing around! This is no time for jokes!” Willow said, as she reflexively went to slap his shoulder in annoyance. Unfortunately, her hand passed completely through his shoulder, something observed by both of them.
“Ah should have known,” ‘Doc’ immediately said, smiling to himself after seeing a demonstration of Willow’s incorporeality. “Ah must be having one of mah spells, again.
“But Ah must say,” he added with another smile towards her, “that you certainly are the most charming spirit I have ever been fortunate enough to meet, even in a fever dream, mah dear.”
“Ohmigod! You’re really not Xander anymore!” Willow exclaimed, clutching her hands to her mouth as realization of the situation sunk in.
“Xander, listen to me. This is important, I swear! Something crazy is happening. I was dressed as a ghost for Halloween, a-and now I am a ghost. And you were supposed to be Doc Holliday, and now I, I-I guess you really are!
“We just need to find... “ her voice trailed off as she searched the area for their companion.
“Buffy!” she yelled as her eyes lit on the costumed Slayer, who was standing motionless, watching several of the transformed monsters roaming the night approaching her.
“Xander – Doc! Make them go away,” she indicated the two approaching creatures.
“But don’t shoot them!” she yelled when she saw him draw his pistol. “They’re really just kids inside! They were affected by the spell, too,” she explained.
“Very well, mah dear, I will comply with yoah request. Ah do have the most fantastic dreams,” Doc commented to himself as he lowered his pistol and shot at the creatures’ feet, driving them away.
“Buffy! Are you okay?” Willow asked as she reached out to her friend, only to have the (now) black-haired Slayer scream in terror when the redhead’s hand passed through her arm.
“A ghost! A spirit! Get away from me!” she shrieked, bolting away from the redhead.
Seeing Xander standing nearby, she rushed towards him and cowered behind him.
“Please, good sir! I beseech you! Guard me from the spirit!” the terrified woman practically begged him.
“It would be mah pleasure to aid any woman in distress, mah dear,” the enspelled brunet gallantly replied. “Especially one so beautiful as yoahself.
“Consider me yoah guardian for however long you might desire,” he promised, making the petite beauty’s eyes light up with gratitude at his words.
“You are as noble as any knight that the priests have ever spoken of,” she declared, frantically clutching his arm with an unusual degree of strength, he noted.
“And you, mah dear, are entirely too kind. Doctor John Henry Holliday at yoah most humble service,” he said, brushing her knuckles with his lips.
Blushing a most becoming shade of pink, Buffy replied, “Lady Michelle Summers,” before performing a brief curtsy.
Not appreciating the dance of courtship going on before her Willow interrupted.
“Xander! I mean, Doc! We need to find you guys somewhere to stay until we can figure out what’s going on!” Willow caught the youth’s attention again as she mumbled to herself.
“I know! Buffy’s house is closest! Okay, follow me, guys!” she instructed as she headed off down the street.
Shrugging his shoulders, Doc merely smiled to himself. “Ah do have some very interesting dreams,” he repeated his earlier observation.
“Oh well. If you would, dear lady,” he said, as he offered the smaller woman his arm, “why don’t we see where the lovely spirit would have us go?”
“If you believe her, good sir, I will trust in your good sense.”
“Why can’t she be that cooperative and trust our recommendations when she’s really herself?” Willow snarked as she heard the noblewoman’s comment.
“Come on, guys, hurry up!”
“Are you sure Lady Summers came this way?” Doc asked.
“No, not really. It’s hard to distinguish her scent with all of the garbage smells around,” the dark-haired, brooding *vampire* that this Willow spirit had assured him was an ally replied.
“She'll be okay.” This comment came from the tall, dark-haired beauty dressed in a cat-like costume who had joined them shortly after they had taken refuge in what the spirit had informed them was this girl’s, this Buffy’s, house. The same one from which she had bolted when the demons had attacked. Despite his heartfelt desire to believe otherwise, Doc was now fast becoming convinced that this was, indeed, not a fever dream.
Which made finding the frightened young woman all the more urgent. He had promised her his protection, and if any harm came to her, it would be on his head.
“*Buffy* would be okay,” the vampire noted. “Whoever she is now, she's helpless. C'mon!”
None of them noticed the blonde-haired vampire hiding behind a tree, surrounded by the transformed children the Scoobies had been accompanying earlier as he eavesdropped on their conversation
“Well now, do you hear that, my friends?” Spike smiled at the assembled monsters as he considered the news they had just heard. “Somewhere out here is the *tenderest* meat you've *ever* tasted, and all *we* have to do is find her first!”
“Miscreant! Leave that woman alone!” Doc yelled as he pulled the brigand off the frantically struggling woman. Spinning the man around, he drove his fist into his opponent’s solar plexus, then kneed him in the face as he doubled over in pain.
As the would-be rapist straightened up and pulled out a cutlass, Doc produced his own knife, one fully nine and a half inches long, and grinned back his own feral smile, as he gestured with the blade towards the pirate while pulling his pistol with his other hand.
“Captain Kidd, you madcap, where do you think yoah’re going with that sword? Well, com’on then,” he invited the ruffian. “’And cursed be he who first cries, Hold! Enough!’,” he quoted with a wild smile.
One look at the knife and pistol and a second at their wielder was more than enough, and the transformed Larry took to his heels in the opposite direction as though the hounds of hell were after him.
“Willow!” Angle exclaimed as he saw the ghostly redhead come running through the wall of a nearby building and down the ally towards them.
“Guys, you gotta get inside,” Willow urged them, glancing back over her shoulder.
At the mouth of the ally, the small group could see Spike and his monster gang heading their way.
“Give me the girl, and I’ll let you go,” the bleached blonde demon said as they approached.
“Well now, actually, I won’t,” he admitted with a grin. “But if you give me the Slayer, I’ll kill you quick.”
“Does this mean we can’t be friends anymore? Ah couldn’t *bear* it if we couldn’t be friends anymore,” Doc shook his head in disagreement as he moved to stand in front of the group.
“Get out of my way, you sodding buffoon,” Spike spat in annoyance at the Slayer’s lapdog.
“Ah'm yoah huckleberry,” the youth said to the yellow-eyed demon as he pushed his jacket back behind his hip to reveal the pistol he wore at his waist. “You’ll have to go through me before you can get to that dear lady.
“And if you take another step, I’ll burn you down.”
“Go ahead, whelp. I’ll drink your blood down to the dregs,” Spike laughed as he started forward, only to scream as the sound of a shot rang out and a sudden jolt of agony surged through his right knee, followed immediately by the sound of a second and its accompanying anguish in his left.
“Playing for blood? That’s just mah speed,” the Georgian gentleman told the demon.
As he dropped to the macadam surface, the crash of gunshots sounded twice more and pain lanced through both of his shoulders, leaving him lying helplessly on the ground, loudly screaming out curses as his makeshift troops fled back down the ally.
“How can I best ensure the dear lady’s safety, if this creature is, indeed, a kinsman of yoahs as you insist?” the brunet asked, turning to query Angel.
“A stake through the heart or decapitation are the surest ways,” Angel answered as he stared with concern at the intense young man before him.
Willow suddenly gave a low groan and disappeared at the same time that Buffy and Xander seemed to sway for a moment before recovering their balance.
“Whoa, that was strange,” Buffy said, as she reached up and pulled off the wig she wore, at the same time the Bowie’s blade in Xander’s hand arced downward and Spike’s screams abruptly ceased.
“Hey, Buff, I’m gonna go check that Wills is okay,” the tall brunet stated as he got to his feet. “Catch ya later.”
“I’ll be along in a minute, Xand,” the Slayer told him as he moved off down the ally towards the spots where they had first been affected by whatever was responsible for their earlier transformations.
Angel stared after the youth who had just eliminated one-fourth of the Scourge of Europe as casually as swatting a fly and wondered yet again why everyone else in their little group seemed to think that the boy was not only helpless, but needed to be looked after to ensure his safety.
“Is everything okay, Angel?” He realized that Buffy had evidently had to repeat her question, since she was looking at him with a bit of concern in her eyes.
“Huh? Uh, yeah, Buffy. I’m fine,” he responded. “I was just thinking about something, that’s all.”
“Good,” the petite blonde smiled at him. “I just wanted to make sure. I’m gonna go check on Willow and Xander. Make sure they’re all right.”
“Okay, Buffy. I’ll see you later.”
“So, you don’t seem to have any side-effects from the spell, then?” Willow asked as they made their way to the library, a mixture of concern and curiosity in her voice as they discussed the repercussions of the previous night’s events.
“Well, I’m pretty sure I aced my French test this morning, which will probably freak Mrs. DeVries out almost as much as it did me,” Buffy confessed with a smile.
“And I still seem to have a lot of Lady Michelle’s memories floating around the back of my brain. I have this urge to inventory all of the supplies in the house and make sure we have sufficient stores to last the winter,” she added with a grin. “I think Mom would be majorly freaked if she saw me doing anything extra around the house that she didn’t specifically order me to do.
“How about you? You okay after everything that went down last night?” the diminutive blonde asked in return.
“Yeah, I seem to be fine,” the Scooby’s hacker nodded. “No walking through walls or doors or anything else like that, thankfully. Everything seems to be one hundred percent back to normal,” she ventured as they entered the library.
Considering the amount of time she had put in helping Buffy with Hellmouth-y stuff, she should have known better than to make a statement like that.
“Xander! What do you think you’re doing?!” The words seemed to issue from both girls’ mouths simultaneously when they saw their male compatriot sitting at the research table cleaning a matched pair of stainless revolvers.
“Uhm, is this a trick question?” the brunet Scooby asked as he looked up at the girls. “ ’Cause I thought it was pretty obvious that I was cleaning my Colts.
“Aren’t they beauties?” he asked, looking down at them with obvious pride.
“When did you get any guns, Xander?” Willow demanded, clearly stunned by what she saw.
“This afternoon,” he replied, as he returned to cleaning and reassembling both revolvers.
“It turns out most jocks aren’t nearly as good at poker as they are on the playing fields,” he noted parenthetically with a bit of a smile. “And Percy seems to be obsessed with trying to draw to an inside straight, poor boy.”
“You won enough money playing cards to afford to buy those guns?” Buffy asked. For some reason, the idea of Xander with firearms seemed somehow appropriate and even proper to her.
< Maybe it’s because I saw him use them last night, > she hypothesized. < He was so good with those pistols, it almost seemed like magic. >
“Yeah, I really cleaned up,” Xander admitted. “But I didn’t clean anyone out,” he pointed out virtuously. “Just a little bit from a lot of people really adds up. I couldn’t get any Thunderers to replace mine, so I settled on these Pythons,” he said with a truly wicked smile. “Nothing beats Hartford steel!”
“I guess you got some stuff left over after the spell ended, too,” Buffy pointed out the obvious.
// But, of course, I did, my dear lady, // he replied in passably good, if southern accented, French.
“And if you ever need a tooth pulled, just give me a call and I’ll be right over,” he grinned. “I’ll even do it for free.”
“EWWW! Not a chance,” Buffy shivered theatrically at just the thought.
“Although maybe we could consider that for any vamps we might run into,” she added, thoughtfully.
“Just let me know, Buff,” Xander smiled at her.
"Ah'm yoah huckleberry."
Author’s Notes: Everything I noted above about Doc Holliday is as factual and accurate as I could determine. He was considered one of the deadliest men of his time, and had he not been on the winning side with the Earps at the O.K. Corral battle, might easily have been considered a criminal.
Wyatt Earp described him as “the most skillful gambler, and the nerviest, fastest, deadliest man with a six-gun I ever saw.” He was considered an expert with a pistol and very well trained with a knife, also, although his favored weapon was a ten-gauge, double-barrel, sawed-off shotgun.
By the time he joined the Earps in Tombstone, which was the site of the O.K. Corral battle, he had already killed approximately two dozen men in fights involving both pistols and knives, some of them a result of arguments over winning card hands. There were also several instances in which he found it necessary to leave town shortly before a group of ‘concerned citizens’ could request his participation in a ‘necktie party,’ as they referred to hangings at that time.
Before leaving for the West, Doc Holliday had received a classical education that was considered standard for the son of a Southern gentleman, and knew French, Latin and Greek. He graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery and first went into business as a dentist.
The expression "I'm your huckleberry" meant "I'm just the man you're looking for!" according to the "Historical Dictionary of American Slang," which I think is an especially apt description of Xander.