A few days ago (last week?) she posted a manip that she had made for Mrs Drake. It gave me an idea.
So, WickedFox, here's part one of my Halloween story.
Mrs. Drake, I hope you don't mind that I used your manip as my inspiration, but really the story isn't anything at all like yours. I'm going a whooole differnet direction.
Title: Trick or Treat
Rating: FRAO - Part Two is going to be steamy. Part One is harmless really.
FEEDBACK: Will be appreciated
SUMMARY: Halloween, costumes, Ethan. You do the math.
DISCLAIMER: The characters mentioned in this story are the property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Sandollar Productions, Kuzui Enterprises, 20th Century Fox Television and the UPN Television Network. The story was written out of the love that I have for the characters (especially Giles) and for the enjoyment of the readers. No money is being made from its publication on Live Journal.
SPOILERS: None - set in the future - after Chosen.
This is a Halloween story for WickedFox. I took the idea for Giles' costume from the manip she made for MrsDrake. Hope you don't mind.
Trick or Treat
"No! Absolutely not! I refuse to take part in this charade."
A pair of soft green eyes stared at him mistily, tears gathering in the corners. A lower lip quivered ever so slightly. "But, you promised." A lone tear slid down one rosy cheek.
Giles glared at the disputed item and heard a slight snicker behind him. He turned to give the offender the evil eye, but she just winked at him unrepentant. He turned back to the expectant faces and gave a deep sigh. "Bugger. Very well." Cheers resounded through the room. He held up his hand. "For two hours only. We leave here at six o'clock sharp. If you are not ready, you will be left here. Agreed?"
"Yes, Mr. Giles," a chorus of voices answered. The youngest of the girls, the owner of the face and eyes that reminded him so much of Buffy, smiled shyly. "Thank you, Mr. Giles. It will be fun, you'll see." She gave him a quick hug and ran out of the room.
Giles turned back to Faith. "You put her up to that."
Grinning madly, Faith held up her hands in protest. "I swear, Giles, it was her idea." She became serious. "I've been worried about Abby since we retrieved her. If any people ever needed to have sense knocked into them it was her parents. They are members of a very strict religious group, and they had her locked up in a shed behind the house. They said that her Slayer abilities were the work of the devil and put her out there to keep her from 'contaminating' the rest of the family."
Giles looked towards the door where the girl had gone. "That was the girl? How could they do something like that to that exquisite child?
Faith shook her head in disgust. "I don't know. It was a good thing Robin was with me because he was the only thing that kept me from beating the father to a pulp. She was dirty, hungry, and so scared. She didn't know what she had done to cause her father to do those things to her. The first week she was here she hid under the bed in her room, only coming out to sneak things to eat after the rest of us left the kitchen."
"Rona was the one who finally got her to come out. She's been doing okay lately. Can you believe it? She had never seen television, or had a birthday present. The family didn't celebrate Thanksgiving or Christmas. She had been home schooled, so she really hadn't seen much beyond the windows of her family's house until we brought her here."
"Robin's been tutoring her himself and he says she had a photographic memory, so she's catching up to the others really fast. The hardest thing has been explaining that not all demons and vampires are bad, but he thinks she's got a pretty good understanding of things now. He's thinking about taking her out on patrols soon."
"That's good, but how does that - costume - come into this?"
"You are the one who made the rule that we let the girls do as many normal things as possible. Abby saw the stuff about Halloween on television, and the other girls talked about going trick or treating when they were younger, so she wanted to try it too. Most of the others feel they are too old to trick or treat now, but a few of them have agreed to go with Abby." Faith smiled again. "And you promised to go out with them tonight."
"And you know very good and well that had no notion what I was promising to do. I thought that I was going with a group on patrol. I just flew in yesterday, and I had forgotten about the bloody tradition."
"How could you not notice all the decorations?"
Giles heaved a deep sigh. "I have a great deal on my plate and I wasn't paying attention." He gave her a sour look. "It may have been Abby's idea, but you chose that costume."
"Nope, she picked it out. She said that it would be funny to have a vampire escorting a group of Slayers to trick or treat. The costume shop owner had to look in the back to find a vampire costume this close to Halloween. He said the only reason it was still there was that it's based on the Bela Lugosi version of Dracula and most people think it's too over the top. We were lucky it was in your size."
"Yes, lucky," Giles said, absentmindedly. Male owner of a costume shop. No, it couldn't be. Ethan was out of his life now, besides, there was no way for him to know that Giles would even be in this country. This trip had been a last minute decision. If anything, Ethan would be dreaming up mischief in London right now.
He gave another sigh. "Oh well, it's only for two hours." He picked up the costume and went to his room to put it on.
Ethan Rayne stood in the park across from the converted school, smiling a slightly wicked smile. Oh, Ripper, you have no idea what you are in for this evening.
The smile faded and his eyes turned hard. You never should have turned me over to the military. They enhanced my abilities far beyond what I was before, beyond even what we could do when we combined our powers together. This will be the last time I interfere in your life, my old friend. If you survive tonight, I promise to leave you alone.
The smile returned, and this time it wasn't very nice at all. IF you survive tonight.
He pulled a cell phone out of his pocket and flipped it open. He concentrated slightly and an image of Buffy appeared above the phone. He gestured, and the phone dialed itself. He raised an eyebrow as the number of beeps indicated an overseas call.
"Hello, Buffy. Happy Halloween."
There was an indrawn breath. "What do you want, Ethan." The voice sounded annoyed.
"Is that anyway to greet an old friend? You really shouldn't upset me, I might hang up."
"And I should care, why?"
"Because if I hang up, you'll never know what you could have done to save Ripper's life."
Silence. "Giles? What's wrong with Giles?"
"Nothing. Yet. But there will be before very long. Where are you exactly? Ah, yes, Rome. Too bad. It looks like Ripper is going to suffer for letting you push all of your responsibilities off onto him again. But, then that's what you've always done isn't it? You make your decisions, then off you go and Ripper has to clean up your mess. Rather like he used to do for me. Ah, the irony of it all; Ripper's death caused by two people he cares for."
"What, no snappy comeback? So you admit that you ran off and left him to clean up your mess? That you never thanked him for giving up his life, his freedom, AGAIN. That you trapped him with the responsibility for all of the Slayers that you called into existence then walked away from. That he has to listen to all the reports of you playing around with yet another vampire?"
"Why are you so angry?"
"Because you are a female version of me, and Ripper deserves better. Why he should love someone as selfish as you is a mystery to me."
"What do you mean, loves me?"
"You’re not stupid. You know very well what I mean. Is that why you ran away again, because you don't feel the same?"
"No. He doesn’t feel like that about me. He thinks of me as a daughter. Besides, how would you possibly know how he feels. There's no way he would confide in you."
"He doesn’t need to tell me. Your little soldier boy and his friends gave my magic a boost. Oh, they didn’t know they were doing it, but they did me a big favor. I've been keeping an eye on Ripper since I escaped. His dreams are very, interesting. Especially the ones he has about you. Trust me, he doesn't think of you as a daughter."
"What have you done to him?"
"Stop saying that!" Buffy was shouting and Ethan smiled again. "What are you planning to do to him."
"Do you remember our first meeting?"
"No. Giles wouldn't wear a costume. He'd never rent anything from a store, and even if he did there's no way you could disguise yourself from him. He'd know it was you."
"True, but he's not the one who rented it. After all, there were so few of us involved in that little fiasco. Not everyone who has access to Ripper now knows about that night or what I look like. And the costume is SO very apt, as I'm sure you would agree if you were only here to see it."
He heard a growl. "I swear, Ethan, if Giles is hurt by whatever you're doing tonight I will hunt you down and kill you."
"That old threat." He laughed. "Foolish child, you'll never get near enough to me to carry it out. No, whatever happens to Ripper tonight is on your head. If you were here, you could protect him. But you're not here, are you? The magic is already in place and I couldn't stop it, even if I wanted to, which I don't. Ripper's fate is in your hands, Buffy. You have fifteen minutes before the spell goes into effect." He disconnected the call.
He looked back across the street and, making a gesture, laughed again. No overseas phone calls would get through; all she would hear was a busy signal. He had picked up some very interesting thoughts from Buffy during their conversation. Ripper, old friend, if you survive this night you might end up thanking me.
In Rome Buffy slammed the handset down into the cradle. Busy. Somehow she didn't think so. No, Ethan was preventing her from warning them. There had to be a way.
London. She would call London and have them call Cleveland. She picked up the phone, then stopped. She didn't know who to call. She had deliberately not gotten involved with the new Council, or any of the new Slayers. She only had Giles' number in London, but he was in Cleveland.
Or was he? Maybe Ethan had just been yanking her chain. She quickly punched in the number for Giles' flat, and stood impatiently listening to it ring. There was a click.
"This is the home of Rupert Giles. For the next week, I will be in America on business, but I will be checking my voice mail. If you can't wait for my return, please leave a message at the beep and I will get back to you as soon as possible."
Buffy again slammed down the handset. She glanced at the clock. Five minutes had passed. Ethan hadn't been bluffing, she could tell. She had to warn them, but how? Damn Ethan and his magic!
Buffy scrambled through her desk, throwing things on the floor as she searched for Willow's number. Finding it, she glanced at the clock. Ten minutes gone.
She picked up the phone again and as she punched in the number for Willow's cell phone she prayed that it was charged and not turned off.
"Hello," came a sleepy voice.
"Buffy?" The voice grew more alert. "Something's wrong. What's wrong?"
"Giles," her throat closed. She swallowed hard. "I got a call from Ethan Rayne. He said he's going to hurt Giles. I have to warn him. I need your help."
There was silence on the other end of the phone, then with a small poof of displaced air, Willow appeared in front of her. "Where is he?"
"He's in Cleveland, and I tried to call, but all I got was a busy signal."
"Cleveland. With Faith at the school?"
"I guess, I don't know."
"Okay." Willow closed her eyes in concentration, then put an arm around Buffy. There was a small feeling of nothingness, and then they were standing in the great room of the school.
Faith and several of the Slayers jumped to their feet in alarm, then relaxed when they saw who it was. "B, Willow, what's the what? Is there a problem?"
The girls stared at them, and began to whisper together. Buffy ignored them. "Where's Giles? I need to see him right now."
"He's out with a group of the girls, being the grown-up so they could trick or treat. Cause all the crazy things that used to happen, the city passed an ordnance that kids had to be accompanied by an adult when they go around." Faith grinned. "He was so pissed about the costume, but Abby pouted at him and he caved."
Buffy and Willow exchanged worried looks. "Costume?"
"Yeah, one of those temp places opened up in the strip mall down the street. Almost didn't have what Abby wanted to get for him to wear, but the guy found something in the back that would fit."
"Dracula." Faith chuckled again. "He looked so hokey. I can't believe that women found Bela Lugosi attractive. Though, even with his hair slicked back like that, G didn't look all that bad. Just before they left he was really getting into it, doing the accent and everything."
Buffy moaned and her knees gave way. Willow grabbed her and Faith rushed to help her to a chair. She turned to Willow, "What's wrong?"
"The guy at the costume shop, was he English? About Giles' age, a little shorter, thin?" Willow gave an impatient shake of her head. She held out her hand and concentrated. An image appeared in the air. "Was it this guy?"
Faith looked at the image. "More grey in the hair, and he had a beard and mustache, but yeah that's him. Why?"
"His name is Ethan Rayne. He's a sometime friend, sometimes enemy of Giles'. The first time we ran into him he was selling cursed Halloween costumes. You became the costume. He called Buffy a little while ago and told her that he had put a spell into place that would endanger Giles. He implied that it was another cursed costume. And then you tell us that Giles is dressed as Dracula."
"Damn. But, they’ve only been gone a couple of minutes. It should be easy enough to find him. Okay, everybody gather round, we need to search for Mr. Giles."
Buffy's head swung up, and they saw the tears in her eyes. "No. Just me. If he's been turned into Dracula, he might attack them and they'd have to stake him. Let me handle this alone."
Willow gave her a concerned look. "I should go with you. I could counter Ethan's spell."
"No, I need the two of you to find the other girls and get them back here. I don't know if he put the spell on all of the costumes, or just the one for Giles." She turned to Faith. "Do you remember what the girls were wearing?"
Faith shook her head in frustration. "I only remember Abby. She was so excited about her first trick or treat costume. She was Xeina, Warrior Princess."
Willow gave a little chuckle. "Well, if all of the costumes were cursed, she's safe." She turned to the other girls. "Do any of you remember what the others were wearing?"
There was an excited babble of voices as the girls gathered around Willow and Faith. Buffy watched them as she cautiously slipped out of the room. Standing on the front step, she tried to decide which way to go. Her eyes again filled with tears. Giles was out there somewhere, but he thought he was a vampire. Only Ethan would think that was appropriate.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Vampire or not, part of him was still Rupert Giles, and she had a connection to him. It wasn't something she thought about very often, in truth she tried not to think about it at all, but the link was there. All she had to do was tap into it and she would be able to find him.
In her mind's eye she saw a gold thread extend from her body and it was heading to her left. She let the awareness of the link flood her senses. Opening her eyes she took off across the lawn, heading west towards the other end of the link.