All Hallow's Eve, Part 1
TITLE: Half the Man 1/?
AUTHOR: Daevanus (name withheld to protect the guilty!)
FEEDBACK: Yes, please… especially correcting mistakes/inconsistencies.
DISTRIBUTION: Ask, please.
SUMMARY: Xander finds a different costume for Halloween…
SPOILERS: Second season of BtVS
PAIRINGS: Unknown at this time, but I’ve always been a fan of Xander/Faith ,Buffy/Angel, Will/Oz. Fair warning
CONTENT/WARNINGS: Profanity, violence as right now. Future chapters will have warnings as needed.
DISCLAIMER: Joss Whedon, ME, and whoever else does own it, owns it, not I. This is just for fun.
‘Tanis’ is property of MW & TH. If you don’t know them, you might not understand a lot of the little pieces of this fic, but you may still enjoy it.
All Hallow’s Eve, Part 1
Xander walked through the store, his eyes casually scanning the costumes. Granted, he had his already, save for the toy gun he had in his hand, but that wouldn’t stop him from at least looking around. The self-proclaimed ‘Two-Dollar Costume King’ wouldn’t be spending money, but he could at least get some ideas for next year.
He stopped suddenly, the plastic gun falling from his suddenly uncaring hands as he rushed over to the costume hanging on the hanger. It was the last one in this corner of the store, which would explain why someone else hadn’t grabbed it yet. It was, simply put, amazing.
“Ah, I see that this has finally caught someone’s eye,” came a voice from behind him, causing him to spin suddenly. The middle-aged man that stood there, hands clasped behind his back, smiled softly as he walked over to the costume and lifted the hanger carefully.
“Alright, you’ve got to chill on the sneaky,” Xander quipped, his heart slowing to a slightly less frantic pace. “This isn’t really the town for it.”
“My sincerest apology, young man. I’m Ethan Rayne, owner of this quaint little shop. And I see this piece has caught your eye.”
Xander’s slight surprise over the man’s faint British accent faded quickly as his eyes turned back to the costume. “Yea, but there’s no way I could ever afford this.” His shoulders slumped slightly as his eyes lowered to the ground and came to rest on the cheap plastic toy he had dropped.
“Well, that is a bit of a dilemma,” Ethan replied, “But, no one else has even glanced at this one. I’m sure that we can come to an agreement on you renting the costume.”
Buffy opened the door, blinking in surprise at the sight that greeted her. Instead of the army fatigues that she was expecting, there was a cloaked man standing at her door. The hood of the cloak, pulled low, cast most of the man’s face in shadow.
“May I enter, Milady?” For a moment she couldn’t place the deep voice. But when the man raised his head slightly, allowing light to reveal his features, she was surprised to see a slightly grinning Xander.
“Of course, kind sir,” she finally said, moving to the side and curtsying slightly as he walked in. He lowered the hood slowly and allowed the cloak to open slightly, giving her a better view of his costume. The leather armor that he wore seemed almost real, as did the sword at his side. A quiver of arrows hung at his hip, and a longbow was slung over his shoulders. He wore a headband to hold back the auburn hair of the wig he wore, much longer than his own hair.
“Wow, Xander, that’s… impressive. I thought you were going as a soldier?”
“Changed my mind… Got a real good deal from that Ethan guy.” When his eyes finally registered what Buffy’s costume was, he blinked twice. “Holy mother of Batman, Buffy! That’s… I mean… all right, it’s official. Lady Buffy, Duchess of Buff-onia, I stand in awe… and completely renounce spandex!”
“You should see what Willow’s wearing,” Buffy said, smiling brightly, “I mean she’s a real dish…” her words died on her lips as her best friend came down the stairs.
“That’s a mighty fine ‘boo’ you’ve got there, Wills.”
Xander sighed heavily. The kids weren’t that bad, and he’d been able to teach them quite a bit about getting extra candy from pretty much every house they’d been to. And, since the sun had finally gone down, he could drop the kids off at the school, and maybe salvage something fun to do tonight. Maybe he’d ask Buffy to…
A scream stopped his daydreaming cold as he spun quickly, his eyes going wide in surprise at the sight that greeted his eyes. Demons were running around! Giles said that tonight would be quiet, that…
A cold wind brushed the young man, and something happened.
“Oh, thank God! Xander!”
The green-cloaked man spun quickly, pulling back the arrow with amazing speed even as his eyes found the girl that called out. Not a threat, he thought, but still… in this place…
“Stay back,” he said gruffly, lowering the bow slightly as he continued to survey the area. The surroundings were so… strange. Street lamps that gave off light without burning oil, some sort of strange stone beneath his feet, oddly build homes….
“Xander, it’s me, Willow!” He looked at the girl again, his annoyance clearly written on his face.
“Who is this… Xander?” he asked quietly.
“You… don’t you remember?”
“I’m damn sure I know my name, girl. Tanis, if you‘re wondering.” he muttered as he suddenly spun, releasing an arrow as soon as he had visually picked up his target. The large, hairy beast stumbled back as the arrow pierced its shoulder, bellowing loudly.
“Stop! That’s a kid in there!” The fool girl jumped in front of him, raising her arms and trying to block his sight. With a slight snarl, he reached to push her out of the way, but his hand… passed through her!
“What in the Nine hells!” he swore softly, stumbling back a few steps and dropping his bow. Quickly, he drew his blade, knowing that at least the enchanted steel would hurt the specter before him.
It wasn’t his blade.
“What in the name of the Abyss is going on here?” His voice was soft as he stared at
the plain steel blade he held in his hand.
“We’ve got to find Buffy,” the ghost… Willow, said. “She’ll know what to do!”
“Right,” Tanis replied softly. “Fine, we’ll find this ‘Buffy’ go from there.” Taking two steps, he paused for a moment before glancing at the girl. “What kind of name is Buffy anyways?”
“She’s…” Willow paused, glancing at him again. “Tanis Half-Elven, right?”
“Yes,” he replied, sheathing his sword readying another arrow as they walked. “Why?”
Willow breathed in deeply, glancing at him once before she began to speak. “She’s the Chosen One, she fights evil that no one else in this world can. Vampires, demons, and such. There must have been some sort of spell, because you shouldn’t be here, and I shouldn’t be a ghost.”
Tanis nodded once, his eyes constantly scanning his surroundings. “Alright, I can understand that. So I’m not me? Or, did this spell… summon me… for some reason?”
Willow shook her head slightly, glancing at him out of the corner of her eye. She seemed to be considering something, and to tell the truth, it was kinda pissing him off. Reminded him entirely too much of a red-robed mage he knew…
“You’ll understand once we find her,” she said finally, sighing. “It’s gonna be a long night.”
Even when he was sulking, his back and forth pacing was predatory, his lithe form moving with a cat-like grace. Every turn caused his leather duster to billow out slightly, every drag on the cigarette illuminating his features for a mere moment before the exhalation clouded them again in smoke. He really hated Halloween. It was so… boring.
“Daddy’s not happy,” Dru cooed from where she lounged on the old, slightly battered couch. Clutching on of her dolls, as she almost always did. “Daddy wants to go play.”
“Of course, luv,” Spike stopped his pacing cold, his attention diverted to his dark goddess for a few moments.
“Daddy should go enjoy the Chaos,” she murmured, her dexterous fingers playing calmly in the doll’s hair. “Someone’s new in town, and he wants to be naughty tonight.”
“Oh really?” Moving quickly, he knelt before his insane sire, one delicate eyebrow arched slightly as his free hand gently caressed her arm. “What do you see, pet? Tell Daddy what you see, Dru.”
“Everything’s topsy-turvy tonight, and it makes her weak.” She smiled for a moment and giggled at Spike. “But..”
“But what, luv?
“Kitten’s grown. Something not dark, but not light either. Two sides on this coin. Not the White Knight, is Kitten, not anymore.”
Who the hell is Kitten? Spike thought, frowning slightly. He was torn, as he sometimes was after Dru said something completely wonky.
“Go play,” she said suddenly, a moment of clarity in her centuries-old insanity. “You can’t miss tonight, say the stars. Just remember to come home and wash behind your ears.”
Grinning slightly, Spike rose with the same fluid grace that he would have been known for, if many had survived encountering him. One final glance at his lover and sire before disappearing into the night, seeking this... Chaos.
Tanis was confused, and just a bit scared. After all, some of the things he’d seen just walking for a few moments were… outlandish and impossible, his mind told him. But at the same time, any one of the gnomes he had met during his travels would have been overjoyed to see that some of their ideas were indeed possible. Cars, she had called those smelly, steel vehicles that moved under their own power.
Despite feeling so out of place, he kept his calm, his eyes constantly searching as he and the ghost made their way in search of this warrior-woman, Buffy. He’d seen dark things before, had faced dragons and been in the presence of a goddess. It would talk a little more to truly scare him witless.
The same couldn’t be said for Buffy. They found her fairly easily, Willow calling out to her as soon as she was in site. Funny thing was, she looked more like a noblewoman of slightly odd dress than any sort of warrior. Damn woman had fainted at the first vehicle that moved past her.
“She’s not normally like this!” the ghost… Willow… said quickly. “It must be the same spell that’s got everyone! We have to take her someplace safe!”
Tanis nodded slightly and knelt beside the woman, slapping her face lightly, and then with a little more force. Thankfully, she fluttered her eyes and gasped, pushing away from him before rising a bit unsteadily to her feet.
“Where did that demon go? Please, you have to save me!” she fairly screeched, her voice growing faint towards the end.
“Breathe, girl,” Tanis murmured soothingly, his hands once again on his bow as he carefully scanned the surroundings. “I’ve no intention of carrying you. Willow, we need to take her someplace a bit safer than here.”
“Yes, we’ll go to Bu… a friend’s house. It’s closer, we’ll be safe there.”
“Alright, lead her,” Tanis said, rising fluidly and drawing his arrow back, fletching barely brushing his cheek before he released. A scream of pain came from a short, troll-ish creature as the arrow sank cleanly through its thigh. So long as it was human, it would be a minor wound, even if it were damn painful.
“Kids in there!” Willow yelled at him, trying without much success to lead the terrified Buffy anywhere.
“Damn it to hell,” Tanis said as he slung his bow over his shoulder and lifting the noblewoman easily into his arms. “The kid will live. Lead, now.”
Pushing the door open with his shoulder, Tanis quickly looked at the house. Shouldn’t be too much of a problem to keep anything out, save for the large window in what he figured was the living room. He dropped ‘Buffy’ on the couch unceremoniously and walked over to the door as Willow went over to try and comfort her. Shaking his head slightly, he readied his bow and looked out the still open front door.
“Hey, Willow,” he said cautiously. “Girl with some sort of spotted skin…” squinting his eyes, he got a better look at her, “Never mind, she’s human, some sort of suit.”
“Cordelia, she’s here?” Willow looked over from the couch. “Is she a… cat?”
“Dressed as one, I guess,” Tanis replied, taking a step out the door and a second to the side, loosing an arrow at the large, hairy beast following her, hitting squarely just below the knee. “I assume she’s a friend?” A second arrow, catching the beast in the opposite knee, finally seemed to slow it.
“You could say that, I guess,” Willow muttered under her. “Why?”
Tanis didn’t answer, but fired another arrow, this time catching the beast in the meat of it’s left shoulder. This time, it snarled once and ran off, giving up its chase on the girl. She continued running straight for the house, making small, terrified noises that he heard clearly, thanks to his half-elven parentage.
“Thank god, Xander!” she sobbed as she ran into the house, the first sensible thing that anyone had done tonight. At least she didn’t try to embrace him while he had his bow out, or faint, or be a ghost…
Shaking his head slightly, Tanis lowered his bow and slipped inside, closing the door behind him and glancing around. Grabbing a chair from the room opposite the living room, a dining room of sorts, he braced it under the doorknob, hoping that it would hold if something tried to break it down.
“Alright, will someone tell me what the hell is going on? First it’s dog-boy, who ruined my costume, by the way! And Buffy, will you stop whining, God! And Xander…” The woman, Cordelia, stopped cold, looking at him strangely as he joined the three women in the living room.
“Tanis, for now,” he replied. “I’m not used to that name, and if you need to get my attention, better use something I’ll answer to.”
“Right,” she acknowledged, her eyes slowly running over his form again. A small smirked tugged the corners of his lips as he returned the favor. She was pretty attractive…
“Guys!” Willow yelled. “Eww! Bad, bad! We’ve got serious problems here, and you two… eww!”
“Something tells me this isn’t normal for this… Xander?” Tanis asked quietly, still smirking as he met Cordelia’s gaze. Her lips were slightly parted, and she was blushing slightly.
A slight noise came from the rear of the house, and Tanis drew his blade instantly as he turned to the darkened hallway leading past the stairs. That noise, again… a door had been opened and shut. Seconds later, a tall, broad shouldered man walked in. Dressed mostly in black, he paused momentarily when he saw Tanis, standing ready with blade drawn.
“Relax, Xander, it’s only me. Where’s Buffy?”
“Angel!” Willow exclaimed, jumping to her feet and running over to the man. “She’s caught in some sort of spell, so is Xander, and me too!”
“Knew something was wrong,” Angel mused, “it’s supposed to be quiet tonight.”
“Yea, well, I need to go to Giles,” the red-head said. “Keep them safe, I’ll be back as soon as I can.”
“Wait, Willow, it’s…” the words died on his lips as she walked right through a wall. “Since when could she do that?”
“I’m just as lost as you are,” Tanis answered levelly. “Take the ‘princess’ with you, make sure the back door stays secured. Cordelia, stay with me. You have a weapon, Angel?”
“You know I don’t need one,” the man replied darkly.
Raising an eyebrow, Tanis merely shrugged. With no reply forthcoming, Angel took Buffy’s hand and led her to the kitchen, murmuring softly to her, trying to calm her.
“So, Xan… Tanis,” Cordelia began, “You don’t remember anything?”
“I remember quite a bit,” came his reply as he peeked out the windows, glad that the streets seemed calm in the immediate area. “But nothing of this place, or who ‘Xander’ is.”
“Oh,” she replied quietly. Glancing at him out of the corner of her eye as he continued to slowly walk from window to window, leaving his bow propped against the stairs and his blade still in hand. She looked about to say something before a scream issued from the back of the house.
Tanis was moving before Cordelia could react, his blade leading the way into the darkened kitchen where the man, Angel, was struggling on the floor with another man. The struggle ended even as Tanis moved to give aid, as Angel brought his forehead down into the other man’s face once, then once again. The other man stopped his struggles, obviously out cold.
“What’s going on?” Tanis asked quickly, eying the open door.
“Buffy… she ran,” Angel said, rising slowly. Tanis nodded once and ran back into the other room to gather his bow and Cordelia. With a slight nod, the three set off through the back door, tracking down the helpless ‘princess’.