Despite having been a good boy for the past several years, I’m afraid I’ve yet to assume ownership of either Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel: The Series/DC Comics. As such, I am merely borrowing their characters and will make no money out of this work of fan fiction. Waaah!
Talk = “blah blah blah”
Thought = -think think think-
Rise of the Butler…
Twas the day of Halloween, and all through the town, not a monster was stirring, ‘cept to turn the TV down.
Sunnydale High School / 10.45 / 31st October
“So, Halloween is a night off for the monsters?”
“That’s what Giles said.”
“But appreciated. I now get a night off. Giles was practically jumping for joy about getting some uninterrupted filing done. I’m thinking movie and pizza.”
“Xan-der! No, no horror, no mystery, nothing to make me jump.”
“Action then. I vote action.”
“Well Xander, we two discussed this just now, and we vote for Bridget Jones’ Diary.”
“Ach! Chick-flick! No! I am undone…”
Due to Xander’s antics, the three defenders of Sunnydale (and the World!) were unaware of Principal Quark, no, sorry, Principal Snyder heading their way, pausing only to hurl insults at students.
“Yes Principal Snyder?”
“You and your little coterie of chaos-mongers are no doubt planning something for tonight.”
“Why, yes sir. We’re going…”
“Well no more. To save the town from your depredations, you are going to escort some [shudder] primary-schoolers
around town to do their trick-or-treating. No Tricks, understood. Be here at 6 sharp. Oh, and costumes are mandatory!”
With that, the troll-like figure turned to go, only to stop a couple of feet away.
“Normally, anyone not present who I have designated to be there would be in detention for a month, you three, however, with your predilection to wrongdoing, would be expelled.”
“But Principal Snyder.” Xander spoke up, “Aren’t you worried about all those gangs on PCP running around? We might not be safe!”
“Harris, not only am I not worried about you, it would give me a near-physical feeling of pleasure if you were the victim of a gang on PCP.”
As Snyder walked away, Xander reached into his pocket and pulled out a cassette recorder.
“What do you say? Blackmail or getting him fired?”
“Xander, that’s …” began Willow
“…Brilliant!…” completed Buffy
“…completely illegal!” further completed a frowning Willow, then she grinned, “Fired.”
“Fired. But we’ve still gotta do the Halloween thing, give the system time to respond to it.”
“There’s a new costume place, just opened, called Ethan’s. Maybe it’s got a sale on?”
“Sounds like a plan.”
“That’s me, plan guy!”
To allow them more time, the three acquired a lunch pass, actually from Snyder, so as to get their costumes.
Ethan’s Costume Shop / 12.15 / 31st October
The shop was split into two, with a men’s section separate from the women’s. A veritable cornucopia of costumes filled the store, from floor to ceiling. Racks bursting with outfit after disguise after costume. All very depressing to the self-proclaimed ‘$2 Costume King’. Headed to a deep container marked simply ‘Guns’ he looked in it.
“Well don’t that beat all.” he sighed.
“May I Help you sir?”
Xander leapt straight up in the air, “Merciful Zeus!” accidentally knocking over one of the displays.
“Entirely my fault sir, I should have suspected a surprise would engender that response.”
Ethan Rayne was getting tired. Physically *tired* from dealing with all these idiots. Endlessly flitting between different costumes, unable to choose. When this young man had entered, immediately headed for what he wanted, Ethan had headed over to help him, as a decisive person would be like a tonic. Then he’d seen the symptoms of disappointment.
-Blast, I’ve run out of whatever he wanted. The spell won’t work without the wearer actively wanting to be the costume themselves. Blast.-
“No, I’m just clumsy. Let me help you set it back up.”
-Good Lord! An American who not only admits a misdemeanour, but attempts to rectify it!-
“Much appreciated lad. Might I enquire what prompted your obvious disappointment?”
“Oh, you’re out of M-16s, I’ve got some fatigues, and not much money, just wanted a prop to go with them.”
-Good Lord! An *inventive* American! I must help him, simply for the novelty of having met such a character.-
“Well, I seem to be at fault for not having ordered enough stock. You say you don’t have much money?”
Xander shrugged, clearly uncomfortable at the question. “Just, um, twelve dollars and fifty cents.”
“Well, there’s nothing in here for so little.”
“No lad, I am at fault for under stocking. While I can’t give you anything for a discount now, others might pay full price for them, if you come back around half four, we’ll see what we can do.”
“Um, ok. Thanks.”
Ethan’s Costume Shop / 16.35 / 31st October
The shop was less brightly lit than earlier, but was still navigable. As Xander wandered around, he nudged a bust of Janus
-Blast, G-Man’s book learning is taking hold of me!- off a table. He managed to catch it, but an edge caught his palm.
“Ow!” Xander yelped. Quickly replacing the bust -odd thing to have. Oh well, takes all sorts.- on the table, he examines his palm.
“Just a scratch.” he mutters.
“Would you care for some tea?”
“Yaah!” Xander jumps, this time managing not to disturb the merchandise.
“Terribly sorry.” Said Ethan.
“Sure, just, please don’t do it again.”
“Certainly lad. Now, I know you were going as a soldier, but what else tickles your fancy? No hurry, we‘ve got all the time you need.”
“Thanks. Um, are you new in town?”
“Yes, but what’s that got to do with costumes?”
“Oh, nothing, it’s just that Sunnydale has a bit of a, um, gang problem. They’re weird, only come out after dark, so you’d better get home before sunset. Oh, and one of their iron-clad rules is privacy, they refuse to violate it, so they won’t enter a home unless invited, but might trash your shop unless it’s secured. Um.”
-He is obviously talking about vampires. His hesitation when calling it a ‘gang problem’ suggests he knows the truth. And he’s trying to warn me without coming off crazy. An exceptional specimen. He needs a good costume for tonight. Simple gratitude compels me to try to get him to survive.-
“Thank you lad. Now, I have a wide range left over, seems I over-estimated the spending money of Californian teenagers hey.” Ethan smiled, this time a genuine grin, and Xander smiled back.
“It varies. What have you got left?”
“Well, most people ignored the comic-book characters, preferring movie and TV characters. Some er, cowboy costumes, a ghost, a suit of armour labelled ‘Spartan-117’, um, various odds and ends.”
“I’m not sure I’m the sorta guy who gets super powers. I’m more the supporto guy.”
“Lad, anyone can be a hero. Now, what makes you think you couldn’t be one?”
“Ever met one? I mean, er, I haven’t or anything, but heroes carry our trust and stuff. Tales of their triumphs and myths and legends which even Giles can’t say did or didn’t occur…”
-Giles! Great Scott, this lad knows Ripper. So, he knows the Slayer I sold that pretty dress to. Hmm. I can see why a teenage boy would be intimidated. Yet, he calls himself ’supporto guy’, so he does try to help. Maybe…-
“Well, if you don’t want a…” Ethan glances at his list of costumes, which included brief notes on what aspects a costume would transfer. -Hmm. Former SAS member. Could work.- “…Spiderman suit, or a set of Jedi robes, perhaps I could persuade you to take possibly the most famous non-costumed supporting character I have left.”
“Who is it?”
Ethan turns the list and points at it.
Summers Residence / 17.20 / 31st October
Xander made it to Buffy’s house with minutes to spare, Ethan had kindly let him change at the shop. The costume even
included shoes and socks! Xander had stuffed his clothes into his rucksack and was intending to drop it off.
“Hi Mrs. S!”
“Hello Xander. Now who are you dressed as?”
“You can’t guess?”
“I’d say, Bond, James Bond.”
“Close, but no.”
Buffy made her way down the stairs in full regalia.
“Buffy, Duchess of Buffonia, I completely renounce spandex!”
“Xan-der. Who are you dressed as?”
“Will! Get down here!”
Willow came down, in a sheet.
“Nice ‘Boo’ ya got there Will.”
“You need to get to the school if you don’t want to be late.”
“Thanks Mrs Summers.”
“Bye Mrs. S.”
Ethan’s Costume Shop / 18.30 / 31st October
Ethan conducted the ritual, everything going according to plan until he got to the part where he cut his palm to get the
blood sacrifice needed to complete the ritual. The spell went off as planned, but the minute amount of blood on the bottom of the bust of Janus from Xander focused the spells effects upon him.
Sunnydale High School Library / 9.15 / 1st November
“So you went as a Butler?!”
“Please Miss Buffy, I prefer Gentlemen’s Gentleman.”
“So you’ve still got the memories of this person, fresh and not fading? What if hetakesover? Whitish’sabadman?
“Relax Wills. You know me, I don’t dress as the bad guy.”
“But he’s British…” Giles looked up, annoyed, “And costumed British guys tend to be evil.”
Buffy nodded in agreement. Film baddies were English, or occasionally Russian.
“Not this one.”
“Alright Xander, you’ve been dancing around this since you got here. Who did you go as? From the costume I would have guessed James Bond, but he’s not a butler, sorry, ‘Gentlemen’s Gentleman’.”
“Well Mr Giles, the character I dressed as was an accomplished actor, former member of the British SAS and a mechanic of some accomplishment. Following his fathers death he followed him in the service of a family his had served for generation, though at the time I intended to leave their service in short order. Unfortunately, the two adult members of the family were murdered before then, specifically leaving their child in his care. As the child grew, he decided upon a course of action I advised against. In the end, I aided him to the best of my ability in his chosen course of action. I helped him become the Bat-Man.”
“You mean you…”
“Indeed Miss Buffy, I have the full memories of Alfred Pennyworth, ‘Butler’ to Bruce Wayne and Batman alike. I also have a newfound craving for tea…”
Giles interrupted “Excuse me, do you mean to say you seem to be, I mean to say, you have become a fully trained English Butler? One capable of dealing with an employer who was portrayed as more stubborn than Buffy is?”
“Yes, Mr Giles. I feel the need to note that Master Bruce was *far* more stubborn than Miss Buffy has ever been.”
And, as the *Tears of Joy* stood out in Giles’ eyes at the idea of someone English to converse with and debate about tea blends and no more never-to-be-sufficiently-accursed ‘G-Man’s to endure, Willow and Buffy looked on, wondering what changes this would bring to the Scooby Gang.
“Of course, I’m still in here too, G-Man…”