Title: Reality Bites
Content: C/AUS, C/A, B/A (Sorry…its not for long!)
Summary: Halloween goes wrong when Angel decides to dress up too…
Spoilers: BTVS Season 2 up to Halloween
Disclaimer: The characters in the Angelverse were created by Joss Whedon & David Greenwalt. No infringement is intended, no profit is made.
Notes: This is my first fanfic so please be kind! The chapters start off quite short but they seem to be getting longer the more I write…
Thanks/Dedication:To everyone at AO, you guys provided the inspiration so thanks to you lot! Ficpic by the Lovely CydneStorm. *mwah*
Feedback:I think so…
…”and Giles said that Halloween isn’t a big evil night so, you know, I was just thinking it could be fun,” Buffy stared hard at the floor hoping that if he couldn’t see her eyes he wouldn’t be able to tell just how nervous she was. There was a long pause,
“Fun?” The dark-haired man sitting on the tombstone opposite finally queried, looking slightly nonplussed.
“Yeah we get to dress up, pretend to be something we’re not, you know do the whole escapism thing. Plus candy, there is no bad there.” She watched him hopefully her eyes wide and pleading. He gazed back at her with dark, unreadable eyes.
She really thinks I’d enjoy getting dressed up on Halloween, the one night of the year creatures of the night take a break. It’d be like having to work a holiday – without the extra pay.
The more he thought about it the less he liked the idea but then he began to think about how she never really asked him for much and how hard was it really to look stupid for one night.
Hell, Xander does it every day, so how tough can it actually be?
If he could do this one relatively simple thing for Buffy that would make her happy then the dark vampire was willing to do it. If she wanted a normal night of Halloween fun with her friends then he’d join in and pretend to enjoy it, or at least he’d lurk in a dark corner until he could safely leave.
“Sure, why not,” he found himself saying. Buffy was clearly not expecting that answer as she began what sounded like a well rehearsed tirade,
“I don’t see why you don’t wanna come. I mean I know you don’t like people and social things and candy isn’t exactly your food of choice…”
This was shaping up to be a long and persuasive argument that Angel just didn’t want to hear,
“Buffy, “he shouted, “I said I’d come, although I have no idea where to get a costume from. Do I really need a costume?”
He was hopeful that she’d say no, that his being there was all she needed to make her night great. Buffy blinked looking slightly taken aback. She was truly expecting him to put up more of a fight.
“Really, you’ll come? Cool…we’re all meeting at the Bronze after we finish our enforced baby-sitting duties. Don’t worry I know just where you can go for a costume, the same place I got mine – Ethan’s.”
So no chance of avoiding the costume thing the…
‘Ethan’s’ was heaving with last minute costume hunters. Children dashed around the store yelling to their parents that they wanted to be a power ranger or Harry Potter.
A what? Who?
Angel had no idea what the kids were talking about. He thought the traditional Halloween costumes were ghosts and witches but apparently the current trend was for bright pink lycra bodysuits, strange helmets and black robes being billed as ‘what real wizards wear’.
These people wouldn’t know a real wizard if he walked up and cursed them, thought Angel as he fingered one of the robes doubtfully.
I am not wearing pink lycra…not that I couldn’t carry it off…
The regret at agreeing to this was beginning to come back again. When he’d agreed the other night it hadn’t seemed such a big deal, plus it seemed the thing to do in order to avoid a long and impassioned plea from Buffy. Then there was the big non-coffee date at the Bronze last night, cancelled due to unscheduled slaying. He got it, he really did, but he had made the effort to actually appear in a public place – the least Buffy could have done was stay for a drink. Not that the evening had been completely awful, he had actually enjoyed chatting to Cordelia Chase, not something he had ever expected to do.
How could any guy stand her up? He wondered, unless he was blind, but then don’t blind people use touch instead to ‘see’ people, in which case the guy must be absolutely crazy…
He wandering thoughts were interrupted by the oily shop assistant materializing at his side.
“Can I help you, Sir? You look as though you’re having a little trouble selecting an outfit.” Angel regarded the man in silence for a moment.
Talking of crazy people…
Out loud he replied, “Yes I need a costume, but something simple – nothing over the top.” He’d agreed to the dressing up thing but there was no way he was purposefully looking stupid if he could avoid it.
“Of course, I have just the thing,” with that he slid into the crowd of what Angel was rapidly coming to believe were in fact small demons rather than real children. The assistant returned a few moments later looking extremely pleased with himself, he had what appeared to be a long black cape draped over one arm.
“This vampire costume should do the trick. All you need is a cape and some glow-in-the-dark fangs and if you really want to you can always remove the fangs later.”
“I’ll take it,” Angel replied, thinking that at least it wouldn’t test his acting skills too much, although he imagined Xander would have a field day.
“Excellent – a good choice if I do say so myself. You should carry the role off admirably.” Angel trailed behind as the man headed towards the cash register.
I’m sure there are some vampires out there who’d disagree with you on that.
A look of intense satisfaction passed across the face of the shopkeeper as he rang up Angel’s purchases. The tall vampire didn’t notice as he was focusing on the exit and the all too appealing outside world, shiny sun and all. Angel left the store tightly clutching his bag to his chest and looking furtively around. This was not something he wanted the evil community at large to know about. If it got out that he’d been buying a costume for Halloween then his reputation would be shot to pieces. His last thought as he slipped into the sewers was,
Could have saved money on the fangs…
“So you actually convinced tall, dark and dorky to dress up?”
Xander, Buffy and Willow were slowly strolling towards the school in full costume, ready for two hours of fun, fun, fun.
“Xander,” Buffy looked at him disapprovingly, “no making fun of him tonight.”
“But he’s definitely coming, right?” Willow’s voice was slightly muffled by her billowing ghost costume.
“Yep, he agreed pretty easily too.” Buffy wasn’t sure why but she wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth either. Maybe it was a sign that he wanted to move up from coffee.
“Should be a fun night then,” said Xander, “first we get to escort a bunch of munchkins trick-or-treating and not get to keep any of the candy ourselves and then we get to hang at the Bronze with a dead guy who has all the social skills of Vlad the Impaler on a bad day…good times.” He was not happy about Angel’s attendance, in fact he had counted on the vampire not being there since when he was around he took up all of Buffy’s attention.
Oh well, at least there’ll be one easy target for me tonight.
Ethan Rayne watched the tall vampire leave. He’d heard about the vampire with a soul from one of his less upstanding contacts (who was he kidding? None of his contacts were upstanding, a few of them didn’t even have legs to stand on). He couldn’t believe his luck when he’d seen who’d walked into his store earlier.
Tonight should definitely be fun, he grinned, rubbing his hands together in anticipation.
The night was not going well. First she’d chickened out of wearing the outfit Buffy had helped her with, then she’d died and now she was trapped in a house with a slayer who thought she was an extra on a bad costume drama, Xander the toy soldier and Cordelia, who unfortunately had not turned into her costume. Plus all the little kids had turned into monsters and demons – and not in the metaphorical sense.
“So Xander has amnesia?” Cordelia’s sharp voice interrupted Willow’s depressing thoughts.
“Yes, Cordelia. He lost his memory and now he thinks he’s an actual soldier.” She kept the explanation simple hoping that it would satisfy the curious brunette.
“Well I guess its the closest he’ll ever get to being in the real army – I hear you actually have to, you know, be a man to get in. And what’s up with all the kids out there? Are they all on major sugar highs or something? And when did Buffy turn into Scarlett O’Hara?”
“Ok! Enough with the questions.” Her night just kept going down hill. “As far as I can tell we seem to have somehow turned into our costumes – Xander is a soldier, Buffy’s a lady from back in the day and I’m a ghost. I have no idea why you’re not affected.” Willow knew she had to get to Giles fast to figure this out but she wasn’t sure she could leave Xander and Buffy, although Xander did seem to be pretty handy with his gun.
“I think we’re all secure here. I’ve checked all the doors and windows and we should be safe,” Xander said as he entered the room with a timid Buffy trailing in his wake.
Wow, thought Willow, authority really suits him – stop; I need to figure this out – not think about how hot Xander looks in his combats.
“Listen, I need to go and get help to fix all this. Will you three be ok on your own?” Xander nodded firmly, Buffy looked doubtful and Cordelia simply raised an eyebrow.
Who am I kidding…two of them don’t know who they are and Cordelia isn’t exactly what I’d call useful in a crisis, but needs must…
Just as she was turning to make her way through the nearest wall she caught sight of a tall figure with a large, black cape billowing around him entering the kitchen. She rushed over to him,
“Angel – thank God – you’re ok right? Buffy said you got a vampire costume but since you’re already a vampire I guess you’re just, you know, you.”
“Sure,” he grinned, “just me.”
Well that explains a lot, he thought, I must remember to thank Buffy for convincing me to dress up before I kill her. Also – note to self – send the costume shop owner a thank-you card.
He remembered putting on the outfit earlier in the evening. He’d dressed in his usual black ensemble and then stood gazing doubtfully at the cape that was draped over the back of a chair. He’d approached it warily, as though afraid that it may bite. Slowly he’d pulled it on and then turned to eye the glow-in-the-dark fangs that were innocently sitting in the middle of the table. He’d picked them up and turned them over in his hands,
These aren’t even close to real and imagine if our fangs did glow in the dark – we’d kind of lose the whole element of surprise thing.
However, as if an invisible force was guiding his hand he’d raised the fangs to his mouth and inserted them. There he stood in all his glory – a creature of the night, a mythical vampire – with glow-in-the-dark fangs.
This isn’t going to work, surely just the cape will do.
With that he’d ripped the fangs out of his mouth and made his way out of the apartment, hoping that he wouldn’t run into anyone he knew, not that he knew too many people. He remembered making his way to the Bronze, steeling himself for the night ahead, when he’d felt a sudden burning pain and then…nothing. The soul was gone and he was free.
You gotta love the Hellmouth.
Willow watched the tall vampire, he looked slightly odd, almost happy which just plain freaked her out. However, she didn’t have time to question Angel about his apparent conversion to the joys of the holiday. She beckoned him into the dining room where the others were waiting. Buffy and Xander quietly regarded the caped crusader who had entered their midst.
Xander was weighing him up as a potential ally or a potential threat. Buffy meanwhile was slowly edging towards Cordelia hoping that the other girl may have some smelling salts as she was beginning to feel rather faint. Cordelia, on the other hand, had perked up considerably since Angel had entered the room, seemly normal and unaffected by the who costume thing.
“So, you’re ok right? No amnesia for you?” She questioned. The night was starting to look up, monsters aside. Now that Angel was here perhaps Halloween wouldn’t be a complete write off. They’d got on well at the Bronze before, he’d seemed nice, genuine and the fact that he was easy on the eyes was a big bonus. Plus she knew her flirting would piss Buffy off, amnesia or not.
Angelus turned to look at the brunette addressing him. Dressed in a tight leopard print bodysuit that accentuated her curves she was a feast to the eyes. Her long chestnut hair was loose around her shoulders and the cat ears perched atop her head completed the enticing picture.
“Cordelia,” he almost growled, “good to see you again.” The night was definitely looking up. He’d come here to kill the slayer and as an added bonus finds Cordelia Chase – the perfect post carnage distraction.
“Great, you can stay here while I go to Giles and try to fix all this,” interrupted Willow, who was already halfway through the wall.
“Sure,” called out Angelus, “I’ll stay here and keep an eye on everyone.” An evil smirk spread across his face.
You’re not going to be able to fix this before I’ve had my fun.
Spike strolled though the normally quiet streets of Sunnydale. All around him chaos reigned. Demons and humans were racing around – the demons gleefully chasing the screaming people.
“You know,” he said out loud, “I could be converted to Halloween if it was like this every time. People screaming, people dying; people prancing around looking stupid. Hours of fun…”
He glanced happily around at the unfolding chaos.
Must find who to thank for all this. Now, lets go see what the slayer decided to wear. I hope its something fun – like a nun’s outfit or a school teacher costume.
Yes sir, this was shaping up to be the best Halloween ever.
Silence descended on the room. Three of its occupants stood somewhat uncomfortably, unsure of what to do next. The forth member of their merry band however, seemed entirely at home and prowled around the room picking things up, examining them and then gently replacing them in their original positions.
The fun begins, thought Angelus happily. He had debated about following the redheaded ghost and putting a stop to her reaching the watcher, but then he wasn’t altogether sure about how to stop a ghost.
Not like I can just snap her neck. He stood and stared into space momentarily caught up in the image of snapping someone’s neck. It had been a long time since he’d got to do that and the memory of the joy it brought made his hands itch. Giving himself a mental shake he decided to focus on those he could physically torture and kill. He wasn’t sure how long he’d be allowed out to play so he had to make the most of it, rack up a good body count. He glanced over at the three teenagers who were all regarding him with varying degrees of curiosity. It was Xander who finally spoke,
“I think we should check the perimeter. I did a sweep earlier but its best to make sure. We should block up all the doors and windows – like you said earlier – we don’t want anything evil getting in.”
Things just kept getting better and better. They were practically doing his job for him. He wondered if their helpfulness would extend to voluntarily sitting still while he tied them up.
“You and the cat lady secure the living room, me and the princess will take the kitchen.” With that Xander took Buffy by the arm and led her from the room. She followed him happily since he was the one with the musket. Silence again reigned as Cordelia regarded the dark-haired man in front of her. Something wasn’t quite right about him but she couldn’t figure out what. He seemed different from the slightly shy man she’d shared coffee with.
Snap out of it! You’re in another life or death situation thanks to Buffy and her band of freaks, don’t go wigging out about one of the good guys. She took a deep calming breath,
“So, shall we get on with the securing thing? I don’t normally listen to Xander but since he came over all Rambo he actually seems to be talking some sense.” With a flick of her hair she turned and made her way to the living room. Angelus followed at a leisurely pace, taking his time to appreciate the wonderful view of her ass.
I love Halloween! He thought happily. He entered the room to the sight of Cordelia busily removing cushions from the couch.
“That should make it easier for you to push up against the window,” she flashed a smile at him. Angelus watched her in silence, wondering what to next. He knew what he’d like to do and the couch WITH the cushions featured heavily – but damn it he had people to kill and a limited time frame.
Cordelia began to fidget under such scrutiny, there was a fire in his eyes that unnerved her and she wasn’t sure if she should run screaming from the room or jump his bones.
Quick…think about something else…
“So what’s your costume supposed to be?”
Thank goodness for Halloween. Evil takes a night off and I finally get to catalogue the new acquisitions.
He turned to replace the index cards and got the shock of his life, which considering he lived on the Hellmouth was saying something.
“Good God,” he exclaimed as the cards flew up into the air, “Willow what on earth…I didn’t hear you come in.”
“Sorry about that, I keep forgetting that I don’t make any noise. Giles we’re in trouble, big trouble…”she trailed off, unsure of how to explain.
“Willow, take a deep breath and tell what’s wrong,” the teenager was clearly distressed but he need her to calm down.
“That’s the problem – I can’t take a deep breath – I’m dead! And Xander’s a soldier and Buffy’s turned into the fainting lady.” Willow began to pace the room, “and all the kids have turned into demons and have started killing people and its all just terrible – Halloween is ruined!”
Giles stared at her a moment trying to digest everything that she had said. He found that rather difficult considering she had made little sense.
“I’m sorry, did you say that you were dead?”
“Yes,” Willow cried in exasperation, “I dressed up as a ghost and now I actually am one.”
“You dressed up as a ghost?” Giles questioned doubtfully. Clearly he understood Americans less than he originally though.
If that is a ghost costume then I am the height of fashion.
“Giles, focus. Everyone has turned into their Halloween costumes, well not everyone, but enough to make it a really bad night for trick or treating.” Giles stood in silence absorbing what he’d been told.
The Hellmouth strikes again and there goes my peaceful evening.
“So not everyone was affected by this?” he immediately clicked into watcher mode trying to break down the problem to reach a solution.
“No, some people are still normal – like Cordelia – she dressed up as a cat but she didn’t turn into one, she still just Cordelia. She was complaining that ‘Party Town’ wouldn’t give her back her deposit – you know focusing on the real problem.”
“And where did you get your costume from?”
“Me? I went with Buffy and Xander to that new place – ‘Ethan’s.” Giles turned to her sharply, a look of panic passing across his face.
“Ethan’s?” Surely not…
“Yeah…do you think that’s it? Everyone who got their costumes there has been effected? It would make sense…but wait! Angel got his costume there and he was fine.”
“Angel? In a costume? Really?” For a moment Giles couldn’t quite get over the image in his head, “what was he dressed as?”
“A vampire,” replied Willow, “but he was fine. I left him to keep an eye on Buffy and the others.”
“Oh dear,” Giles removed his glasses and pinched the bridge of his nose, “if we’re right and Angel was dressed as a vampire then I fear he will have reverted to the natural vampiric state which is that of a souless killer. He will have become Angelus – the demon he was prior to obtaining his soul. The most evil of creatures.” Icy fear slid down Giles’ spine at the prospect of meeting the legendary Angelus.
“Willow, you return to Buffy’s and warn them. Do not confront Angel, just get away from him.”
“But what are you going to do?” A look of steel entered Giles’ eyes,
“I’m going to pay a visit to an old friend.”
“So what’s your costume supposed to be?” Cordelia had decided that distraction was the best course of action. If she focused on talking to him then she wouldn’t be focusing on other more interesting things she could be doing with him.
“Can’t you tell? The guy in the costume store said it was perfect for me.” Angelus spread the cape out so it framed him dramatically.
“Umm…an undertaker?” Cordy questioned.
“Not quite,” he purred, “but you may want to keep that in mind for later.”
This is just too much fun.
He slowly began to move towards her, forcing her to back up until the backs of her legs hit the couch. He was sure he had time for a bit of pleasure before he got to the business part of the evening – she just looked too damn good to pass up.
Even soulboy noticed that!
Wide hazel eyes stared up at him in confusion.
“Want another guess or do you give up?” An evil grin slowly spread across his face, his eyes however remained cold and calculating.
“No…No idea? I can see I’m going to have to get a refund.” He stood over her, their gazes locked and Cordelia found herself unable to look away. He slowly leaned into her an whispered,
“I’m a vampire..”
“I’m a vampire…”
Cordelia instinctively took a step back and abruptly found her world upended as she fell back over the arm of the couch. She looked up at him, trying to figure out if he was joking, she prayed that he was but the cold, flat look in his eyes seemed to imply that he was telling the truth.
Oh crap. Not good, not good at all. Ok…stay calm. Its just the costume making him act like this. Giles will figure it out soon and Angel will go back to being a nice, normal human being.
Angelus watched the play of emotions that ran through the brunette’s eyes – the fear, the hope, the desperation…
She’s hoping that she’ll be rescued before I get the chance to have my wicked way.
“Now, you could scream,” the vampire said conversationally, “and believe me, I don’t have too much of a problem with that. But think about it – soldier boy will come running and then I’d have to kill him…although I don’t have too much of a problem with that either.” He looked thoughtful for a moment. Cordy had already weighed up the possibility of calling for help but soldier Xander didn’t know about vampires and besides she didn’t really want him to shoot Angel, who may be an evil fiend at the moment but would be all too human when the spell was broken.
I’m not the slayer, I have no idea how to stop a rampaging vampire. Just my luck, the one time I’d happily ask Buffy for help and she comes over all damsel in distress.
“So you’ve decided against screaming then?” The vampire sounded almost disappointed. “Good choice – I get cranky when I’m interrupted.”
He leaned over her prone form, bracing his arms on either side of her head, and inhaled deeply. There was the fear he loved and underneath that a hint of excitement.
My kinda girl, he thought, gets off on danger.
Cordelia shrank back, squeezing her eyes shut as though if she could block out the sight of him then he would somehow disappear and she would be safe. She felt him move in closer, his fingers trailed up the column of her throat – cool and threatening. She prepared herself for the sharp sting of fangs but instead she felt the feather-light touch of his lips. her eyes flew open in shock,
What the hell…this is bad…very bad…very, very bad…but God does that feel good.
His hands were now freely roaming her body, igniting feelings in Cordelia that she had never felt before. She slowly began to lose herself in his caress.
Even Soulboy’s gonna thank me for this,thought Angelus. He was enjoying this more than he thought he would. Cordelia Chase was a woman who could distract him for days, weeks even.
Time for a taste…
Unaware of the drama unfolding in the living room Buffy and Xander were busily securing the kitchen, well, Xander was securing and Buffy was perched on a stool watching him.
“Hey, Miss Sit ‘n Look Pretty, pass me the hammer would ya?” He had decided that boarding up the back door would prevent any more unexpected visitors. Buffy looked at him blankly for a moment and then delicately picked up the frying pan and passed it to him.
“I said I wanted the hammer not to cook us breakfast,” he slammed the offending item down and reached for the hammer, “Lotta help you are in a life and death situation.”
“You surely don’t need my help – you’re a man and it is your duty to protect me,” Buffy stated firmly. “So are you an officer in the armed forces?”
My God, what is this lady on?wondered Xander.
“No Ma’am, I’m a private.” He resumed hammering the nails into place with perhaps more violence than was needed.
“So you aren’t a gentleman then?” Buffy was rapidly coming to realise that this soldier was unlikely to be a good marriage prospect. “Do you have an estate?” Perhaps he had made his fortune in trade, not ideal, but she was willing to settle for vast wealth if a title wasn’t forthcoming.
“Never been called a gentleman in my life and the closest I have to an estate is and old Ford that’s seen better days.” Buffy didn’t fully comprehend everything he’d said but had worked out enough to know that he wasn’t the ‘right’ type of man for her.
Perhaps the other dark-haired man who arrived earlier is a gentleman…he was certainly pleasing to look at.
Xander had no sooner finished securing the last nail into place when a flustered Willow materialised though the door. He sprang back and raised his rifle, WIllow instinctively raised her hands above her head.
“Woah there – one of the good guys – remember?”
“Lady right now I don’t care if you’re good or evil – if you’re here to save me from Petticoat Patti then I’m with ya.” With that he lowered his gun and look at Willow, waiting for instructions.
“Great…good,” she surveyed the room, “where are Cordelia and Angel?”
“Securing the living room.”
“What? Alone? Together? This is not good, not good at all…”
Giles approached the darkened costume shop cautiously. With Ethan Rayne you just never knew what surprises to expect. He entered the shop and looked around at the rails of costumes that no one had wanted. A giant, pink bunny outfit caught his eye,
I think we can all be grateful that that particular outfit remains unsold.
“Ethan,” he called, “you may as well come out. I know you’re here, you can’t help yourself, you always have to stay and gloat.”
The curtains at the back of the shop rustled and a tall, slim man appeared.
“Hello Ripper, long time no see. I was wondering when you’d show up.” The man grinned looking rather pleased with himself. “So how do you like my work? Original don’t you think?”
Giles regarded the man who had single-handedly turned Halloween on its head – an impressive feat – but Ethan had not only caused chaos and cost innocents their lives, he had also lost Giles the one evening of the year that he felt he could safely dedicate to the job which the school employed him for – that of librarian.
Quite how I’m going to fit it all in now is a mystery to me.
“The spell, Ethan, tell me how to break it.” There was a hard look in Giles’ eyes and an uncompromising note in his voice. He wasn’t here to exchange pleasantries, lives were at stake and one way or another Ethan was going to tell him what he needed to know.
“Or you’ll what?” Challenged Rayne.
“Oh dear Ethan,” Giles answered silkily, “have you really forgotten how I came by the nickname ‘Ripper’? I’d be happy to remind you..”
“So what you’re saying is that Captain Forehead in there is actually one of the bad guys?” Xander questioned looking more confused by the minute. “Then why didn’t you share this vital piece of information with us before you left us alone with him?” This was why he avoided working with civilians, they were just unreliable when it came to passing on the important stuff.
“Well I thought he was good. He normally is…just like you’re normally just a highschool student and Buffy is a super strong girl who fights the forces of darkness.” They both paused to glance over at Buffy who was carefully examining her skirts for possible stains, oblivious to the heated discussion taking place.
“Look – that’s not the point right now,”said Willow, “we have to figure out a way to save Cordelia and then get out of here – fast!” Willow had no idea how they were going to pull that off and she wasn’t sure that she liked being the one to have to sort it out.
Buffy and Giles make this responsibility thing look a lot easier than it is, she thought irritably, why didn’t I just dress up as Wonder Woman or something? Then this would all just be easy.
Xander had moved to the kitchen door to see if he could her what was going on in the other room – silence greeted him.
Never a good sign.
“You and the princess stay here, I’ll go and get the cat lady. When you hear me yell get out of here and don’t look back.” With that he strode purposefully from the room.
Wow, thought Willow, he’s really into his character.
She hoped it was enough for him to be able to get them all out of this safely.