Stakes and Gundams, Kirallie
"It's a scythe!" Will declared, taking the weapon from Jack and examining it closely. "The craftsmanship is brilliant! But the designs are arachic. How on earth did something like this end up here? And in such good condition?"
"Does it have gold lining?" Jack asked. Will looked closely at the weapon.
"No," he replied."
"Jewels on the handle?"
"Diamonds on the blade?"
"Well then I have no idea what it would be doing down here," Jack shrugged, his mind already turning back to the priceless gems behind him. "Throw it away."
"We're not selling it," Will told him firmly. "We're not doing anything with it, or these other things. Jack, you haven't the faintest idea where most of these things came from. You could end up in the same boat as Barbossa and his crew."
"Highly doubtful," Jack returned with a smirk. "But if we do, then I'll buy you a nice sword with my cursed gold."
“I don’t know!” the Slayer shouted defensively. “All I know is I’m coming down the hallway last night and the weapons closet is glowing. So I get you and we pick up the damn scythe, there’s this light and-”
“We ended up on a ship,” Willow finished for her, scrambling to her feet and looking around. “On a ship, docked in the middle of the ocean and by an island I have never seen before in my life.”
“Plus it’s a creepy island,” Faith added, wrinkling her nose unhappily. “I don’t like this Red. I think someone nominated us for a field trip without asking us first.”
“Scary thing is, I think you’re right,” Willow murmured, poking at some of the things on the deck.
"Stopping your whining will be thanks enough for me," the captain muttered, his brow furrowed as he shook his broken compass angrily for a second. With another dramatic sigh, Jack closed the device and slipped it back into his pocket. Will turned away from the captain, intent on putting his new possession carefully away in his cabin. Behind him, Jack could still be heard muttering unhappily.
"Who knew that North would turn out to be so important?"
“Yes Jack?” he replied finally, watching his captain with slightly concerned eyes. Jack swallowed deeply, staring straight up at the cabin ceiling, twisting his hat up in his hands.
“I’m starting to think that you have been right about the treasure.”
Will just groaned. It figures that it would take demonic intervention for Jack to admit that he might have been wrong about something.
"By the way, name is Xander. Xander Harris."
"Sparrow, Captain Jack Sparrow. And don't forget the Captain part. Everyone always does. I might not have a ship, but I'm still a fricking captain!!"
"Gotcha." Xander slid his arm through Jack's and both men began to sing the sad song under their breath, and three brown eyes started off into the night. Or at least they were off to the next bar.
Brown Eyes Blue, Candle
'Of course, that solves all my problems in one fell swoop. Say hello to my Sephiroth-shaped body. Wait, now I begin talking like the boy? When I find the worm responsible for this I will not be my usual charming self. Masamune will be introduced to his or her body _Sideways_.'
When he turned back to Sephiroth to appraise the 'Body Snatcher' of the situation he almost had a heart attack "Holy SHIT, what the Fuck did you do to my body you asshole! I look like you! Damn it, that is not cool. And another thing are your eyes glowing? why are your eyes glowing? My Eyes had better not be glowing when I get them back or i will find a way to hurt you! You break it, you bought lady boy!"
Had he just been *thought at*? Certainly, the ladyboy's lips had not moved, but Xander had heard his voice none the less. 'I am going to be repressing the events of this evening for the rest of my misbegotten life. Oh joy. Hyena boy come back, all is forgiven.'
Again Sephiroth found himself impressed. The girl hadn't stopped for oxygen once. Obviously Xander had learned the ability to 'babble' from Willow. "Then Xander, you will lead me to this Ethan. I will no longer be able to follow the magic to him."
"Those pesky breadcrumbs, eh Seph?" Sephiroth merely glared at him.
'Holy Shit Seph, we just walked through a wall man. That is so damn cool' Xander surprised him by deliberately thinking at him. The boy was a quick study. 'It is a very popular party piece. Walls are nothing. You should see the looks I get when I phase up from beneath the floor. What a pair of legs Aeris Gainsborough had...'
'Yeah, move over Alan Rickman. Emma Thomson is mine', his sarcastic side (not Sephiroth this time) put in.
Xander stood up from the floor and walked over to his cupboard. When he opened it Sephiroth was quiet for a handful of seconds, before screaming at Xander _What are these things? I thought you drew the line at torture!_ Sephiroth forcibly took control of Xander's body, grabbing every one of the brightly coloured shirts from the hangers they rested upon and wrestled them to the floor. Then he cast Fira on the entire cursed pile.
"I apologise, Xander but such things were not meant for mortal eyes." 'Oh, thanks very much. You liked them so much you didn't think anyone else deserved to see them? No one has ever said such a nice thing about my shirts before. Thanks Seph!' Sephiroth cast one horrified glance at the pile of ashes at his feet and shivered.
"You were bloody good."
"Not good enough, G-man."
"Have you ever been stabbed before Xander?"
Giles smiled in an unkind manner "Don't call me G-man."
"No, Giles it's Seph, short for Sephiroth." "You what? Sephiroth? Soddin' 'ell. What mother names her child that? Y'know what that means?" "Nope, but i'd be interested in finding out." "Let me tell you what it means my lad. In the Kabbalistic teachings of the Hebrews, there are 10 Sephirah symbolised in the Tree of Life. A single Sephirah is called a Sephiroth. Each Sephiroth represents a path of ideas, attributes and concepts that one must realise and understand within oneself. Once this has taken place, one will have reached a state of divine perfection."
Xander fell off his chair laughing.
When Sephiroth appeared on the library floor as a white silhouette, gaining colour and definition as seconds ticked away, his mind flickered back to the other times he had done this. 'Cloud's stupidity amazes me. How could he not realize I appeared in this position in order to look up Aeris' skirt?'
She at least had been intelligent enough to realise what he was doing. What a pair of legs. They just don't make them like that anymore. The fact that she had been the last Cetra, meant that this was factually correct. 'If I had been sane, perhaps I would have take her on a trip to Mideel. Sun, Sea, Sand and Sephiroth... what more could a girl ask for?'
There was no point standing around here brooding when he could be doing it in the comfort of Xander's head. As well as the amusement the boy was sure to provide.
'Like myself, fire holds no danger for you now, Xander. Eventually I will teach you how to use magic without using Materia. That is for the future. You will sleep now, to replenish your strength. Then we will go and create fear amongst the Demons that dwell in your home town. Then you will be expected to do your homework, young man. I will not be trapped in the mind of an imbecile'.
"Da name's Whistler. I'm a Balance Demon for the PTB."
"Who exactly are the PTB that they would employ a Demon? Also, what do you Balance? Plates on sticks?"
"The PTB ain't none of your concern, kid. For your information I balance Good and Evil. I'm the scmoe who sent soulboy on over to the mouth o' Hell."
"Then I should kill you on principle. That cowardly weakling is your responsibility."
"Why d'ya think I'm talkin' from the other end ova phone box, pal?"
"Very clever of you. Your death will be as painful as I can make it. I have forever, Demon. None have yet escaped my wrath."
"Look, I ain't callin' ta piss you off. You won. My boy's in LA. He finally got his dead Irish ass on the path to redemption. Once he finishes, he's human."
"How wonderful. Xander and I shall send him flowers."
'This is fun! I haven't been so amused since I broke Cloud's psyche into little pieces. Oh happy day!'
Jenny launched into her spiel "I am not really called Jenny Calendar. My name is Janna Kalderash, born…"
Xander chose this moment to interject. It was an opportunity he would never have again.
"…in the year 1518, in the village of Glenfinnan on the shores of Loch Shiel. And I cannot die."
Jenny had walked over to Giles and they had both gone to his office. The rest of the Scooby Gang had left them in peace to work out their issues. Or to implode spectacularly. Whichever happened first.
He would write a note to Xander, explaining his absence. The look on the boy's face when he realised Sephiroth had absconded with the physical body would be unspeakably amusing. A shame he would miss it.
Anastasia Novikova was not having a good day. She had first been kidnapped by a very large, extremely powerful Mohra Demon, then dragged off to the middle of Siberia. Worst, of all, she was Really Fucking Cold!
The first Vampire he came across was looking for a victim. It leapt on him from atop a crypt.
Xander calmly removed the sword from his back and held it aloft. The Vampire, unable to counteract the laws of Physics, was impaled on the blade.
Daniel Osborne awoke the nexy morning to a rather chilly breeze. He had an itch across his torso, and he appeareed to have picked up a couple of burns. Most unusual was his severe case of nakedness.
'All in all, I did pretty well. No need for a Phoenix Down or Revive Magic. I went up against Sephiroth and lived to tell about it. I feel kinda special.'
"Sephiroth, I presume? Wouldn't it have been less time consuming to telephone your enquiry?"
"Well, if I were at the other end of the telephone, I couldn't very well massacre you if your answer displeases me, could I?"
"Dismemberment is so much more satisfying in person, Mr. Sephiroth. Take it from someone who knows."
Sephiroth just smirked. Wilkins had so little idea who he was dealing with.
"Is that the rendition Cloud provided in Kalm?"
"Why Yes. Tifa's line of questioning was decidedly odd, though."
"Of course it was. After all, Cloud was never known for mental stability."
Sephiroth merely continued to play, already addicted to the Squaresoft game.
"Yeah, I really got down with my bad self. Take two of those and call me in the morning, Midgar Zolom."
"Seph, whatcha doin'?"
"I had a chat with the Mayor. He informed me where Ethan derived the idea for my costume. I am currently playing it."
"Do we get to play as you?"
"I'm the Big Bad. You get to play as the magnificent puppet."
"Damn, that sucks!"
Kronos: Spike called me to help with the plan, since we're both in the Villains Union, and since I'm still rather angry at you, Brother, I wanted in on the plan.
Nick: Villains Union? Do you get benefits?
Spike: T-shirts and buttons. Oh, and a monthly newsletter.
Spike: In other words, you'd better lose this abominations crap before I bite your ass and kill you for good! (Spike puts on his game face, silencing Horton rather quickly) You're here to partake in the worst torture known to man, vampire or Immortal.
Angel: Does this involve a chain-saw?
>> Sixty years ago--
Methos: Wow, look at that. A flashback. You must feel right at home, MacLeod.
Nick: She forgot what curiosity did to the cat, I see.
Duncan: It's a flashback, she can't die in a flashback.
>>Darla walked closer, touching the metal. Instantly she jerked her hand away, it was as hot as fire.
Nick: That would be the radiation. Now watch as she grows a third arm.
Nick: This is hell.
Angel: No. But it's *damn* close.
Duncan: At this point I'm tempted to put the gun to my head but since I know I'll just wake back up, it seems really futile.
Angel: 5,000, 400, and 800. It's a really odd day when I'm the youngest of the group.
>> "Don't be sorry. I'm not the one that has to clean it up. Mind telling me what you're looking for?"
Angel: 'My porn collection...have you seen it, Scully?'
Angel: Can we not argue about this? I'd give you a long explanation, complete with flashbacks, but unlike Duncan, I don't have a song to play in the background.
Duncan: You can borrow mine.
Angel: Really? Thanks.
>> "I'll try. Try to stay out of trouble." Angel said quietly,
Nick: And don't talk to strangers.
Duncan: Always cross the street with an adult.
Methos: I'm so lost right now.
Angel: I'm just choosing to ignore them.
Methos: Ah. Good plan. You are wise beyond your years.
Nick: If the town you live in attracts all manner of demons then....
Angel: You might be a redneck?
Methos: That reminds me...I haven't had a beer in....
Duncan: A few hours.
Methos: That long? Gods, I need a beer!
Duncan: You know, I've never been to Disneyland...wow, in 400 years, I can't believe I've never been there!
Nick: Maybe we should just wait until they all kill each other. I got five bucks on LaCroix.
Methos: I have to go with Kronos. He's been around for longer.
Angel: I guess I'll put twenty on the underdog. Put mine on Spike.
Kronos: You're betting on us?
Mystery Crossover Theatre #1, Jenni
can someone find me a link to this series? I can't remember where I found it
“Giles, my memories of last night are mostly blank, until the end, so what the ladies say I’ll have to take as the truth. Strange thing, though, is that I know lots of things now that I didn’t yesterday – how to prepare a proper English tea service, how to run and maintain a staff of retainers for an English home, how to make damned near any kind of handgun or firearm, given the correct tools and equipment, for just about any occasion, and how to properly address all forms of English and foreign dignitaries.”
Giles, by this point, looked like he was about to break down into a heap of joyous tears, “Truly?”
“Last night I had something of an odd dream, vague and slightly off-putting about being stuck in the body of a young man while taking children out for Halloween … well, I will not bore you with the details, but I then met the Scourge of Europe and decapitated his grandchilde, William the Bloody.”
Feeling the rare opportunity to get one up on Walter at hand, Integra quipped, “And you still made it back here in time to wake me up this morning? Why, Walter, I never knew you had such spring left in your step."
“Remind me again why we do not declare open war upon the Council, Walter?”
Walter sighed, “Because Her Majesty has asked you not to, repeatedly, and once had even threatened to ground you until your fiftieth birthday.”
Integra sniffed indignantly, “I was sixteen, Walter. I’ve learned my lesson.”
“Nothing, except deal with the world’s most inept police department already this morning, and it’s only 11 am now – don’t test me, Snyder, or you’ll find out how it feels to … hang yourself. I DO believe that’s how Principal Flutie’s predecessor died, right?” Xander’s smile was calculating and his tone was one that Walter used for not only unnerving his marks, but also to scare away door to door salesmen that tried to enter the front gates.
He nodded and looked at her Master, “Stay out of trouble, Alucard – no need to hear gunshots this early from Sir Hellsing.”
Master assumed a wounded pose, “You cut me to the quick, Pale Shadow. I would never irritate my Master enough to shoot me before she’s had her first cup of coffee.”
An Angel of a Different Sort, AnimeRonin
“What’s wrong with me?” Xander roared into the sky.
He started to growl as he continued to feel the change. He then started to run off.
Buffy stammered, “You’re…you’re…an alligator.”
Calming the Beast, White Werewolf
"What are we going to do? Go up to people and ask, 'Have you seen two big mobile suits with wings lying around here?' Come on Heero, I don't think whoever stole them were human."
Duo trailed after him like a Xander hyped up on caffeine while Heero moved beside Angel in a skeptic manner that was all too familiar to the ancient vampire.
"Aren't most magical items in the wrong hands dangerous?" Duo asked as he rocked back and forth on his heels.
Angel grinned for a moment and answered, "Well, you do have a point."
He told Heero, "You're driving. Don't let Duo touch the keys."
Heero nodded and replied, "Mission accepted."
Duo's eyes bulged and his mouth dropped in disappointment. He whined, "Hey, I wanna drive!"
First thing I'm gonna do is kill Duo. That's it. And I'll kill him slowly. Images of Duo being beaten with a fish somehow entered Angel's mind. He wondered where the hell the fish came from.
Elf: Heero's gonna kill him, Angel. Slip back into Angelus mode and we'll all be okay.
Angel: That wasn't Angelus mode. That was Jealous Angel Who Doesn't Like Stupid People Mode.
Elf and Duo: Okay, get back to that then.
"Yeah, that. Whatever, what I'm saying is," he paused before he shouted, "The God of Death Needs More Chips!"
(Darth Vader walks in. He looks at Riley and draws his lightsaber.)
Duo: Cool, he's got a beam sword.
Elf: (Correcting him) He's got a lightsaber. He's not a Gundam. Oh, and so I don't get sued, I don't own Darth Vader.
Heero: (Pulling out his gun) I will kill you.
(He shoots Elf. She catches the bullet, Ala "The Matrix" and drops it to the ground.)
Heero: You can catch bullets in mid air. You can give me a lightsaber.
(Angel begins to drag the two away, leaving Duo.)
Elf: Like the irony?
Angel: (Angelus grin appearing) Yes I do.
Heero: You just like him dying period.
A Gundam Quest, Elf
Raiden snapped his fingers and suddenly Faith was dressed. She was wearing black jeans and a white tee shirt. "Cool trick. Bet it's useful in bed, huh? I'm sure you can make people naked too."
"Can I be a god?" The Slayer said. "I'll be able to kick major ass."
Raiden chuckled, "I don't think so."
Mortal Kombat: Evolution, Whitewerewolf
"I can do a whole hell of a lot of things, Angel. I can bring Buffy back from the dead, but I need your permission and there's a price," Death replied grimly.
Angel asked, "What?"
"Can you get Cordelia to go out on a date with me?"
Vegeta sniffed with distaste. He snapped, "This had better be good, Duo."
Duo shrugged and asked, "Do you have the dragonballs?" Even saying that sounded wrong to Duo. Poor castrated dragon, he thought sadly. He forgot all about those. He was planning to fix everything on his visit and kill Glory.
Duo transported himself to where Dawn was tied up. The little girl looked at him and snapped, "Who are you?"
"Your local neighborhood God of Death," Duo replied as he untied her with a thought. He held out her hand and said, "And a friend of mine is going to kick Glory's ass for us."
Angel looked up to see Duo and Cordelia standing side by side, Cordy giggling as Duo grinned. Angel shrugged and grinned. He said, "I promised Bulma and Chi-Chi that I'd watch these two while they took Buffy shopping."
"Yeah, for a wedding dress," Cordelia taunted as she walked over to the unlikely trio. Goten giggled and Trunks actually blushed as she hugged both boys. She looked at Angel and asked, "Aren't you scared? I mean, when she asked you to marry you I thought that Spike would kill you, that Vegeta was going to force you into it, and that you were going to faint."
You're not so powerful!, Elf
Cheesy video game music rang in the background as a twenty-year old man jumped up in joy. He began dancing around the couch he had been sitting on. "Yes! I did it! I finally won! Yes! Yes! Yes!"
"This is not your fight."
"Congratulate me. I just adopted it."
Love's Bitch, Krys Yuy
Areena finally smiled a real smile. "Xander, I'm going to get very cross if the only reason you ever talk to me is to peruse the encyclopedia demigoddess."
"It's not my fault you only show up when I'm busy," Xander pointed out.
Beacon Calling Me Home, BigDestiny
"My coloring has been described as twilight," Goliath grumbled, a little hurt. "Not purple."
Xander's head drooped. That was it. He was stuck. He was cursed. Cursed by some Roman god who apparently thought it would be a real hoot for him to be a gargoyle.
Thanks again, Hellmouth.
"I appreciate the research-a-thon, but you don't have to go crazy about it. Besides, if you're tired you're not going to be able to use your brain as good."
"As well," she corrected automatically.
Xander rolled his eyes. "Okay, so maybe tired-brain-Willow is still smarter than freshly-rested-Xander, but you get the point, right?"
Defender of the Night, MMcGregor
Tony's eyes bulged out at first and his feet slowly left the floor; his face turned red and he began to struggle as her son wedged the door open, the grin never leaving his face until he came back up, and it was the dead look on his face that scared her more than anything. "You and everyone else may think I'm worthless, a joke, hell, you may not even think of me as your son, but let you tell you something, Tony – I survive because I do what nobody else is willing to do. I don't just cross lines that should never be crossed – I fucking POLE VAULT over them … and that has lead to you being in your current position." Tony's struggles began to become weaker as she watched Xander back up, his face still set into a cold mask as he looked over at her.
"I grew up on the fucking HELLMOUTH, Leo, with drunk and abusive parents – how the hell do you think I've been?" He gave Leo a cold grin, "Though to tell you the truth, Tony wasn't looking so hot when I left. Did he die?"
Leo looked vaguely sick for a second and then blank for several minutes before answering, "No, your mother saved him … for some reason I think she loves him."
Xander growled, "Hmm, I guess I'll have to try harder next time. What do you think of a sniper round? How about disembowelment? Oh, or beheading?"
Xander nodded once, but then got close to Leo, "Alright, but I need to think on my own for a little while. Also, a piece of advice and a warning: don't leave Piper or anyone else in a lurch like you left mom, and if you do make damned sure I never find out, because I will come after you and nobody under HIM will be able to save your sorry ass." With that said, Xander stormed out of the Manor and stalked down the streets of San Francisco in the early morning hours of a Saturday.
He sighed and then looked at Tara, who appeared to be choking down some of her macaroni and cheese, "And I have not forgotten your question, Tara; my classes were chosen for me, as were Faith's and she and I are stuck together – your being in my classes are purely coincidental." How he kept a straight face during that bald-faced lie was a mystery to him, but he did.
She snorted, "And who's going to keep you out of trouble?"
He gave her a wounded look, "Moi? Get into trouble? Never happen."
Sonja snorted this time. "Alcatraz."
He glared at her, "That was SO not my fault. You were the one who put us there, Sonja."
She held up her hands in defense, "How was I supposed to know there would be a tour at that time?"
Without a word he orbed the both of them up to the Pearly Gates, where there was, surprisingly, no line to wait in, only a pedestal and an old man in front of a computer.
The old man, who was wearing what appeared to be a white robe over jeans, sneakers and a t-shirt, typed in the name and, after a moment, frowned, "Another one – that's four today."
"Angel Investigations, we help the hopeless." He nodded, once, twice, and then began to write down on a tablet next to the phone, "Alright, I'll have a few people over there to assess and we'll get back to you on that – thank you." Xander ripped the paper off of the tablet and looked at Kate, "Yo, Police Girl, I've got something for you, Gunn and Wes." Wes sighed – he had caught an episode of 'Hellsing', an animated cartoon from Japan, and one of the characters, a former police officer, was called 'Police Girl' by her sire, whom she called Master. He knew that Kate hated the name, and Wesley suspected that Xander only called her that because of the fact.
"You feel like changing those?"
"Not really – I don't like dressing up outside of what I think I am, and right now I think I am a … normal guy who is graced with the astounding beauty of an upcoming actress who needs more attention on her, rather than whom she is sitting with."
She gave him a grin, "Wow, nice answer, but I think you didn't read far enough into the question – we're going to get you at least a shirt." He knew that tone, one that said 'you had better know to shake your head yes', so he complied, but then thought that it was odd that even as a demi-god, he was still answering to The Tone. Was it a male thing? It would be his luck that it was probably so.
He sat down in his chair and sighed, "What else can go wrong?" He groaned as the others looked at him, not believing he had said that, and it was at that point that the doors opened, letting someone in.
"Where are you, Harris! You owe me an explanation for vanishing from the parking lot – literally!" Standing in the lobby was Cecile Hawk, dressed in a pair of jeans, a tight t-shirt and wearing a snarl on her face as she walked up to him, "I want answers."
Even in the back of his mind, he was sure he could hear both Strife and Discord howling in laughter.
Revelations In White Light, Anime Ronin
Gods, if he ever got out of here, he was going to summon that cretin Bengal's spirit back from Hell just so he could stomp it into necromancer's powder and stuff it in an ashtray.
But he'd paid attention! Ethan thought indignantly. His ventilation ducts were too small to crawl through, he didn't have any beautiful evil daughters (or, given he was dealing with a Slayer, sons) to betray him to the hero, he hadn't killed any messengers bringing bad news, he hadn't ordered anyone to take the hero alive at all costs. All he'd done was enchant his costumes, sit back, and wait for people's own unknowing choices to do them in...
Wait. "Evil Overlord List #186: I will not devise any scheme that consists of A) tricking the hero into unwittingly helping me and B) laughing at him and leaving him to his own devices."
Which his spell, in effect, had.
Bugger all. He was screwed.
Evidently Miss Calendar knew his old friend well; she didn't give Ripper time to talk himself out of anything, just headed straight for the cosplay rack, picking out a dark uniform that hinted of WWI Germany, pointed ears, a nape-length black wig, and a rather nice set of upper and lower snap-on fangs. Dreizhen, she'd said when Ethan asked if the costume represented anyone in specific. The hound who will protect his mistress, even in the depths of hell.
He'd literally had to stifle his laughter in his sleeve, ringing it up. Rupert Giles, the Ripper himself, a guardian hellhound. How perfectly fitting.
What a wondrous night this will be...
Buffy? Ethan thought, incredulous. Someone had the gall to name a Slayer-to-be... Buffy?
Even with Battousai uppermost in his soul, Kenshin wanted to smile. Only one thing to do.
Oh god, the teenage girl with the chestnut braid thought, almost groaning. Not the Innocent Look. I can'tstand the Innocent Look...
I'm going to die, Buffy Summers thought, trapped behind Duo Maxwell's personality. She could see the light burns on Kenshin's cheeks - magical burns, not sunburn, like the barest touch of her cross to Angel's vampire flesh - and she knew damn well why Kenshin hadn't untied Shippou. I'm going to go down in the Watcher's List of Incredibly Stupid Ways for a Slayer to Die - they've got to have a list, Giles has lists for everything. And I'm going to be the first entry for "Took Holy Seal Off Innocent-Looking Demon While Under Crazy Transformation Spell". Perfect. Oh, I could just hurl-
Oh, and add to that "Trusted Somebody I Knew Was An Assassin, BECAUSE I Knew He Was An Assassin", Buffy fumed. Damn it, Xander! You told me Duo was neat. You didn't say he was nuts!
Only "running" includes "shoot both monsters, just to be sure", Buffy groaned mentally, beating her intangible head against an imaginary wall.
On the plus side, the fanged, clawed, half-demon creature Xander had become probably stood the best chance of all of them of surviving the chaos. It wasn't a new moon, and there was damn little that could take down Inuyasha any other night. Unless somebody went as Sesshoumaru. Or Naraku... whoof, morbid much? Just because we've got a girl as Shippou over there, doesn't mean we've got the rest of the show scattered around somewhere.
If I get out of this in one piece, I swear, I'm going to hunt down Sunnydale's comic book freaks and barbecue their whole stash! Cordelia thought, huddling within herself as Shido threw her body into the fray. Who the hell decided to go as Nakota, demonic seer and daughter of Lilith, mother of demons?
Ohmigod. My parents. Are in costumes. At Mrs. Summers' gallery.
Oh, it can't get any worse...
"Say konban wa," a tall, dark-haired swordsman in a red and white cloak said lightly, casually applying the hilt of his katana to the back of the ninja's head. The ninja collapsed without a sound. "Pitiful. Just pitiful. What has ninjutsu come to?"
This was worse than the PTA meeting. At least then, when that bleached blond and his gang of odd-looking thugs had attacked her daughter, she'd been able to pick up an axe and do something. Wait a minute, Joyce thought, hovering in the background as Signet stalked through the shadows near Hiko, keen eyes peering out into the night. I went after the blond with an axe? I hit him with an axe? And he walked away?
Why didn't I remember that before?
And that image dredged up others, one odd event pulling another out of memory in a cascade of accumulated weirdness. Signet's personality might be a wall insulating her from control of her body, but that very insulation seemed to have cut off some kind of blinder that had been affecting how she saw Sunnydale. A gang? Joyce realized. With fangs, and those faces, and walking away from axe blows... what on earth was I thinking?
I did hit him with an axe. And Buffy and Mr. Giles knew it.
And they've never mentioned it. Ever.
Just as she'd never said anything about the odd rips and stains in Buffy's clothes, night after night. The traces of dust that smelled like old death. The weird, half-heartedly explained incidents of destruction that seemed to hit town every week; a 'gang attack on PCP' here, a 'hallucinogenic gas leak' there, 'unexpected localized quakes' that left only certain buildings in fiery ruins. Homicides. Missing people. Buffy out at all hours with her friends, finding trouble - and she promised me she wouldn't go looking for it. Not to mention that boyfriend she won't talk about, who never shows up during the day-
Belatedly Joyce realized that Signet was drawing sharp nails lightly down a muscular arm, over the leather arm-guard, offering the pottery artist turned swordsman a knowing smile. The ermine in her loved killing or mating both, and there hadn't been nearly enough killing.
"Germany?" Mira clipped the metal cylinder to her belt. "I don't think I've heard of that planet."
"Bond. James Bond. And outrageous as it may outwardly seem, based on the rather striking evidence of various dismembered ruffians left along the way, this young lady does indeed appear to be-" he stifled a wry laugh, "-a Jedi. You should be perfectly safe."
That's the last time I listen to the rune-castings when I go picking Halloween costumes!
"We-ll, whaddya know." Duo's tone lilted, playful as Okita Souji about to slash his way through a squad of Ishin Shishi. The rising red mark on her cheek only accented the cold, berserk glitter in the Gundam pilot's twilight eyes. "Bullets no, energy blade yes." Palming a metal cylinder from her jacket, she snapped it out into a long handle, green scythe-blade humming to fiery life. "Welcome to hell!"
"Everybody who sees me dies!" Laughing maniacally, a teenage girl in a black priest's outfit and long chestnut braid was only steps behind, green energy-scythe swooping within inches of William the Bloody's black duster.
"Good lord," Giles managed, listening to the crash of the frantic vampire through hedges and hoping he'd impale himself on a handy branch. "I believe he may have set a new land-speed record..."
"Fang-boy, Himura," Buffy said shortly, hand almost reaching for her scythe. "Himura Kenshin, guy who calls himself Angel and morphed into real, sharp-toothed weirdness in what he says is my family kitchen. Which is crazy. 'Cause my family's dead. A long time ago."
Gods, Battousai. What kami did you mortally offend before you were born as Kenshin Himura? Only you could land in a situation this insane!
You know, if it weren't for the monsters, the being trapped in my own bod, and the whole evil spell gig, this would be the most fun Halloween of my life, Xander thought gleefully.
"Pretty," my claws. Long hair doesn't mean faint-in-your-filthy-arms girl, you idiot.
Inuyasha had felt the same, with a large helping of pure glee for the fight and none of Xander's caution at tackling a larger opponent. He'd grinned with full fangs as he swung one casual, pulled punch at the pirate's jaw.
The football player had gone down like a ton of bricks.
If this wasn't Heaven, it was a pretty good prequel.
You know, when this spell wears off, this kid's going to need serious therapy. Xander thought about that a second. Hell. We're all going to need it. Only I'm not exactly sure how we'd find a shrink without getting arrested. "Hi, Doc; I need to talk to you about this guy whose throat I tore out. Well, it wasn't exactly me, I was under a spell... um, who are you calling, and why are those guys in white coats carrying those shiny needles?"
"...And where, I ask, is Animal Control? Bizarre as it may seem, people, black falcons with white 'V' markings, giant sand-colored cats, and odd, white or black horses appear to have been accosting innocent civilians who then act very strange, even for Halloween. This reporter's own print counterpart was kidnapped by a bizarre white horse with blue eyes. I don't care what you think you've been 'Chosen' for, Gary, get back here!-"
Duo might have believed the redhead had enough sense to bolt before the blast went off, but having spent the last few hours submerged under the Gundam pilot's bloody mindset, Buffy could justifiably say Duo was just a little bit insane. Met his best friend by shooting him... why do I not think that's going to cut any ice with Angel? "Kenshin, if you didn't make it out of there, so help me, I'll kill you!"
Tired laughter tickled her ears. The redheaded swordsman picked himself off the ground beside her, eyes violet and gentle again. "It'd seem redundant, that it would." He looked her over carefully. "Buffy-dono?"
"Dear Lord." From Giles. Buffy swallowed dryly, gingerly poking fingers into her hair to tug off Duo's chestnut braid. Encountering not the rough scratch of a wig, but warm, soft hair that stung when she pulled. As in, Sunnydale has fallen into the ninth level of hell. Again.
"But - the kid - uh - and I don't hear anymore screaming-" Xander protested, furry ears flicking back and forth as he listened to the night. "Oh god that feels weird."
"Mr. Giles, I really hope you can fix this. Sounding British in California - it's too freaky!" A speculative gleam touched green eyes. "Though you know, I think I know how to drive now..."
"No driving," Buffy said firmly. "Driving without a license is of the bad. Driving like Bond, without weirdoes in wheelchairs with white cats and razor-Frisbee hat-throwing henchmen in hot pursuit, is of the evil."
"Besides, we don't have a car," Cordelia pointed out practically.
Jonathan's gleam deepened. "Oh... that's not a problem..."
Buffy shot him a quelling look. It barely dented his grin. "And hotwiring a car is definitely of the evil." No matter how much fun it sounded like. At least I think I'd drive better than Heero. That guy's a menace in anything with wheels.
Kenshin straightened. "I would not have come if I feared this place's perils, Giles-san. Vampires, sorcerers, demons-"
"Demons? High school, Battousai. Coming here, day after day, surrounded by jocks, cheerleaders, and numerous other cliques who'll see you as fresh meat to be chewed up and spat out as yet another of Buffy's social rejects. Teachers who'll expect you to know American history and math and science all these young idiots can rattle off without thinking; yes, I know you had as much education as most samurai, probably more given you're too damn curious for your own good and every book that went through the Takani household went through yours as well, but Willow and I will have our work cut out just catching you up to Buffy's level. Not to mention a principal who believes children are active forces of evil." Giles paused, then drove the thrust home. "And you can't kill any of them."
Kenshin stopped. Blinked. Paled. "Oro..."
"But- he's short!" Angel protested.
"You gave up being human to help Buffy?" Willow peered at Kenshin, wide-eyed. "Wow. That's just-"
"-The kind of impulsive, idiotic thing anyone would expect from the Slayer's crazy crowd," Cordelia cut across her words. "Could we please stay on mission here? I am not explaining a new liquid diet to my parents!"
A tall, dark-haired swordsman with a wry smirk and a white-and-red cape that reminded Buffy of Spawn stalked inside in her mother's wake. "Ah. There you are, deshi!"
Kenshin blanched. "Sh-shishou?" Thump.
Buffy stared at her arm-full of out-cold redhead. Glared at the caped swordsman. "And just who are you?"
"Kakunoshin Ni'itsu," the man answered levelly.
Piecing together a few last shards of inked wood, Giles snorted.
"But my friends often call me Hiko," the swordsman said without missing a beat. "I see my ward hasn't been taking care of himself. Again. Typical. Low blood sugar," he said over his shoulder to Joyce, deftly abstracting Kenshin from Buffy's grip. "I imagine he just hit the ground running and simply got caught up in the chaos like the rest of us. Do takeout places in this town still deliver at this hour?"
"Bad dream," Kenshin was muttering. "Bad dream..."
Checking his ward over for missing body parts or blood, Hiko shrugged. "It's not the first time I've had to handle jealous kunoichi. For some reason I seem to attract them."
"It's the mysterious disappearing," Kenshin put in, violet eyes flicking warily open. "Show skills that rival the clan okashira, and they have to chase you. If you really want them to leave you alone, shishou, just step on a few sticks when you walk."
Joyce swallowed dryly. "This is-"
"Disaster?" Buffy broke in. "Catastrophe? Cataclysm? Lady Une having a glasses moment? Tell me when I'm getting warm!" Oh man, I know exactly what Une going glasses-maniacal looks like. Just like I know what it's like to shoot someone, to crush them under Deathscythe, to knife them from behind...
"Catastrophe?" Cordelia burst out. "It's Armageddon!"
Dazed, everyone stared at her.
"My entire wardrobe! Useless! Nothing goes with lavender hair!"
"Oro..." Kenshin sighed.
"Thank you for putting that in perspective, Cordelia, but I believe Buffy was referring to the more imminent catastrophe of losing us to the hosts of Faerie at dawn," Giles said dryly.
"I see Battousai's not lost his talent for dramatic exits," Giles observed. "At least this one occurred without blades flashing, blood dripping, or, gods help us, buildings set ablaze... er, what is that?"
"For you, Rupert, Hiko got a special order," Jenny said pointedly, shaking the last bag of takeout. "Plain soba. Whatever that is. What's so funny?"
"Safe, huh?" Buffy jerked her chin toward the spare bedroom, where a frazzle-haired, sweatpants-and-t-shirt-wearing Jonathan had just darted out into the hall as if his life depended on it. "Then what's that?"
"Puppies," Jonathan answered, shaking his head as a low dog growl was answered by a higher, foxy yip. "Very big puppies-" Thump! The house shivered.
"-who I believe just went out your window," Jonathan finished.
Buffy looked at Willow. Willow looked at Buffy. Two minds with one thought, one realization, one unified plan of attack. "Camera!"
"...You have a legal identity, more or less; I've enrolled you here, and if that bakayarou of a principal looks into your paperwork-"
"Oh, believe me, he will," Giles put in.
"He'll find notes in your Social Services file that you were home-schooled by eccentric and borderline psychotic Japanese relatives before the state saddled me with you," Hiko finished. "That should cover most of your glaring idiosyncrasies." He looked his student over, topknot to straw sandals. "As for the rest..."
But Xander's yelp got applied to a shell-shocked, all but shivering swordsman, various bags clutched in his arms, who slipped into the seat by Willow as if it were the last refuge from the Apocalypse. "Kenshin?"
"Ah, but you've missed so much over the decades, deshi!" Hiko appeared behind his student, cloak wrapped around their swords, smirking. "No man should be blind to the wonder that is the push-up bra."
Kenshin buried his face in his hands. "Oro..."
"I like you," Xander said, giving Hiko an amazed grin.
"What? What'd I say?"
"Xander-san," Kenshin mumbled, not looking up. "If you do not yet know, you will only learn through painful experience, that you will."
"Ah, good afternoon, sir! And miss," a cheerful bleached-blond store clerk laying in wait pounced. "How can we help you to-"
"Miss?" Kenshin said darkly.
"...Sir?" the clerk tried to salvage the situation.
"Why do these say Womens on the side, shishou?"
"I've seen your feet, deshi. Your odds of finding anything in men's sizes are... small."
"Somehow, I get the warm and fuzzy feeling it's a wonder those two haven't killed each other yet," Buffy observed, handing down a sample of men's sneakers to Xander as he worked his borrowed shoes off.
"Xander, I know you and dogs are supposedly color-blind, but I thought Inuyasha could at least tell red went with his skin tone." She gestured at the sneaker currently in hand. "You are not going to wear fluorescent yellow-accented sneakers."
"Blue screen of death," Cordelia muttered. "Buffy! Where do you hit 'reset' on this idiot?" "I hear there's a dice game down by the docks after moonrise," Kenshin's archaic Japanese floated over to them.
"Huh? What? Where?" Xander shook himself. "Which docks? You haven't even been near the beach yet!"
"Weird. Worked, but weird." Buffy crossed her arms as she peered around the racks toward the red-haired swordsman.
You know you're having a bad day when you can track down the librarian by the growling.
But... Kenshin's scent when he spoke of her, or Willow, wasn't any more interested than Miroku's when he spied the next pretty girl. Not at all like the scents that accompanied the hentai monk's silent glances - and not-so-silent gropes - at one particular demon-slayer.
Though when you allowed for the kitsune flavor, it was all too like the scent of the monk about to thwack him over the head with a shakujo when he made Kagome cry...
Kenshin grimaced, but nodded. "Back to school, yes. Although... is it always like this?"
Xander cracked his knuckles. "History fit to bore you to death. Chemistry, where one idiot who may go down in infamy dumped sodium down the drain to blow out the plumbing. English, where believe it or not, the Lord of the Flies actually has nothing to do with demons. Though it ought to. Ugh. Yeah, it's always like this." He shuddered. "The wonders of modern education. If the demons don't get you, the pop quizzes will."
"Hai." Kenshin's smile was wry. "You endure years of this torment?"
"Yep. High school. Four years of hell, horror, and humiliation. It might be easier if we weren't smack on top of a Hellmouth. Maybe." Xander grinned. "And the fun part is... we get to do it all again tomorrow."