Author: AlanP <alan.p[at]>

Summary: The Mayor, having caught wind of Ethan Rayne's shop beforehand, decides to take advantage of the situation.

Crossover: Berserk, Flame of Recca, and Neon Genesis Evangelion.

Disclaimer: I don't own what other people do.

Feedback: (I don't write *this* part -- you do! Think of it as the audience participation aspect.)

Pre-fic Comments:

I really need to get the rest of the manga for Berserk... still don't know what happens.

I heard this really dirty joke about Americans once... and, right after that, someone said, "So thats why they call them 'Yankees'..." If I knew anything about American manga, there would be some of the American manga-ka characters in here.

And no, no one will be turning into red goo. No one will be making huge-ass dragons made of flame. There may well be people cut right in half, though.

Chapter 1

Ethan smiled, taking in a deep breath of plastic scented air as he approached the doors to his new shop to open for the first time.

Then paused.

The script was supposed to go 'open doors', then 'sell stuff'. Not 'open doors', 'negotiate with local bureaucracy', then 'sell stuff'.

"Hello, Mister Mayor," Ethan said cautiously. "What can I do for you?"

"Hi, Ethan," Mayor Wilkins the Third said. "Mind if I come in for a brief chat?"

"Not at all," Ethan said. "Cuppa tea?"

"No thanks, I won't be that long," Wilkins said. "These are some nice costumes you have here."

"Thanks," Ethan smiled. "I've got a wide variety here -- not just rubber masks and witch hats."

"And they all have magic spells on them, don't they?," Wilkins beamed.

"Ma-magic?," Ethan asked nervously. "That's a good one. Magic."

"I heard that you were coming to my little town," Wilkins said. "You're still quite famous. Ethan Rayne and Ripper Giles."

"It's nice to know I still have a reputation," Ethan said. "What can I do for you?"

"Well," Wilkins began, "I don't want any deaths of anyone under, say, sixteen from this."

"Done," Ethan said immediately. He'd had countermeasures in the costumes for that anyway.

"And the local highschool has some volunteers that have to escort the children from Sunnydale Primary School, too," Wilkins said. "There are a couple of them that I'd like to have specific costumes."

"How will they be paying?," Ethan asked, pointing out that spells or no spells he was selling to make a profit.

"Oh, Sunnydale High will foot the bill," Wilkins said. "All part of ensuring our students have a wide variety of life experiences."

"Who are the lucky few, then?"

"List, list, list, where'd I put the list?," Wilkins said rhetorically, patting down the pockets on his suit. He produced an A4 sheet of paper triumphantly, neatly typed up. "I've got the list here, complete with descriptions for you."

"Wonderful," Ethan said, eyes wandering down the names marked out in Courier New. "I'll send the bill to Sunnydale High, then."


Xander groaned. "Why'd he have to snap me for Halloween escort?"

"Because he loves you," Willow said promptly.

Xander then made puking noises. "And thank you, Willow, for that lovely mental image. I'll be sure to send you my therapy bills later in life. Where am I gonna get the money for a decent costume?"

"Harris, Rosenberg, Summers," Snyder said, catching up to the trio. "Your costumes have already been decided -- go to Ethan's Costume Shoppe, and the man there will supply you with the materials."

"Right," Xander said. "There's just this leeetle matter of... say, the moolah."

"The school is paying, Harris, "Snyder snapped. "Get to class before I decide to give you all detention."

"Is that Snyder, our beloved Fuhrer?," Xander hissed to Willow as they made their way to English.

"Detentions, general hissy fit at the world, sure seemed like him," Willow confirmed. "Why?"

"It was just... the school is paying for my costume?," Xander said incredulously. "I mean, I'm not knocking the free stuff, but... free stuff from Snyder?!"

"I say we go with the flow and take advantage of his Momentary Lapse Of Reason," Buffy said, putting an end to the discussion. "Willow, can I borrow your homework for the book study assignment?"

"The one that's due in five minutes?! I think you're... um, a little too late for that."

"Unless Slayer powers include speed reading and writing," Xander chimed in unhelpfully.


"So... I'm this Guts guy?," Xander asked the weedy looking Englishman, wanting to be sure.

"Indeed," Ethan said, rapidly becoming annoyed with this slow yank.

"And I get to wield this kick ass sword?," Xander continued, wanting to be sure.


"For free?"

"To you, yes!"

"SWEET! It's a wrap!"

Willow laughed, looking at the leather and steel armour, the huge sword, and the long, black, tattered cloak. "It's you."

"And your name is?," Ethan asked Buffy.

"Oh, Buffy Summers," Buffy said. "What do I get?"

"A kunoichi, or female ninja, called Anko Mitarashi," Rayne said. "A change of hairstyle will be required."

"What kinda hairstyle?," Buffy asked.

"Neck length at front and side, with top and back pulled into a wild ponytail at the rear of the head."

"Well, a change could be good, I guess," Buffy dithered.

"Better than detention 'till we're fifty, you mean?," Xander asked, pointing out what their Principal had threatened them with.

"It's doable, then."

"Um, and me?," Willow asked. "I could wait if Buffy wants her costume first."

"No, it's not a problem," Ethan said, looking at his list. "Hmmm... Rui the Formless."

"Formless?," Willow asked.

"The woman in question is very, very skilled at altering her appearance, and thus received her moniker. She is trained in ninjutsu as a kunoichi."

"What is it with you and ninja?," Willow asked rhetorically. "No witches?"

"I pride myself on my creativity," Rayne said. "Thus, all Highschool students are assigned unique costumes."

"What about Cordelia Chase?," Buffy asked, priorities straight as always. "Who's she going as?"

"Hmmm... Chase, Chase... ah, here we go. Misato Katsuragi, a military tactician."

The three friends looked at each other, imagining the high society butterfly in fatigues.

Xander caved in first, laughing out loud.

"What, may I ask, is so funny?," Ethan asked, eyebrow raised.

"You... kinda have to know Cordelia to get it," Willow said apologetically.

"Well, shall I package your costumes, then?," Ethan asked. "I do, after all, have other customers to attend."

"Oh! We're sorry," Willow said immediately.


"What's with the lonely glove?," Buffy asked Xander as she met him at the door.

"Apparently Mister Guts doesn't have a left hand and makes do with a fake one," Xander said. As he spoke, the tattered black cloak settled down around him to hide all but his head, the huge sword (which was a sneeze away from scraping the ground), and steel boots on his feet.

"Cool," Buffy said.

"I havta say, I really like your costume," Xander said, looking up and down Buffy's body.

The Slayer was in a short fishnet dress, with a solid miniskirt concealing her groin, and an open yellow coat somehow contriving to conceal the most interesting (to fifty percent of the population) features of her upper torso. Her hair was dyed black and pulled into a ponytail, fanning out behind the scrunchy, with a head protector and shin guards finishing the ensemble off.

"You've got the whole 'manly' look going with your armour there," Buffy said.

"I know," Xander agreed. "Say, where's Willow?"

"I'm coming," Willow said grumpily, emerging from the stairs in a white dress with a black sash.

The dress seemed like a very finely made bathrobe more than a traditional dress, made of fine cotton and floor length. Long black hair hung down to the curve of her butt, and a stylized black rose was drawn on the top of her left breast, barely visible under the dress.

"Willow," Buffy said, exasperated. She yanked the front open so that nearly all of Willow's cleavage was exposed to the world and the rose was fully shown. "The dress is supposed to hang loosely open! You read the instructions!"

"Don't worry, Wills," Xander added eagerly. "We can't see all of them."

"I don't like that people can see any of them!," Willow snapped.

"All ready to go?," Xander asked.

"Uh, sure. Say, how are you carrying that huge lump of iron you laughingly call a sword?"

"Easy. It's made of cardboard."

Chapter 2

On the one hand, Xander really, really wished the sword on his back was real. These kids were really, really annoying. On an annoyance scale of one to ten, he rated them a twenty.

On the other hand, he was pretty sure he'd cave in under the sheer weight of the sword if it was real, and was also sure that claiming to be really annoyed probably wouldn't sway a jury. Even in Sunnydale.

On the third hand, he was scoring an unusual amount of lollies from old ladies who called him a sweetie for helping these little darlings around at night and then gave him a double handful of lollies 'for his troubles'.

Deciding that the surprisingly large haul outweighed the unusual mental torture, Xander resolved to volunteer for escort duty next year, as well.

"Okay, guys," Xander said. "This is the last house, then we're heading back."

A chorus of "Ohhhhhhhh...." greeted this, signalling their displeasure with this course of action.

"Hey!," Xander said, holding both hands up defensively. The metalwork on the left hand's glove scratched his skin lightly. "Don't blame me -- the only place we haven't cleaned out is the street I live on, and you're more likely to get Mars bars from the Principal than anyone living there."


Buffy's night was so-so. She'd gotten two 'You whore!'s, three 'Ladies really shouldn't dress like that!', and five 'In front of children, no less! reprimands.

For some reason, though, she couldn't care less. Maybe it was the hair dye -- with the new style, she felt almost like a new person.

Hands in her coat, she looked down at the kids she'd been assigned.

"What did Mrs. Davis give you?," she asked.

The pretend monsters pulled out toothbrushes.

"She must be stopped. Let's hit one more house," Buffy decided. No use in the last house being a downer. "We still have a few more minutes before I need to get you back."


Willow followed her group to the last house, hands hidden in the long sleeves of her dress.

She'd gotten some comments from the houses they'd visited on her costume. Most had said the dress was nice, but she should do it up more around her upper half.

"C'mon, guys," Willow said.

One of them nodded eagerly, knocking on the door loudly. As the old lady answered, he hurriedly pulled down his green mask.

"Trick-or-treat!," the short group chorused.

"Oh, my goodness, aren't you adorable!," the old lady cooed. She picked up her plastic pumpkin basket, looking inside it. "Oh, dear! Am I all out?"


Ethan Rayne smiled. He had put extra effort into the costumes for the highschool escort students, since Wilkins had asked him to assign those specific costumes. Hopefully, the older man would see it as owing Ethan a favour.

It meant that he felt weaker than he otherwise would after the spellcasting, but it was worth it.

"Showtime!," he said theatrically, feeling a rush of power leave him.

All over the town, changes occured to varying degrees.

With most of the children, their skin and the first five millimeters of flesh or so were altered to conform to the appearances of their masks, with the God Janus sponsoring various spirits to possess the still human brain to move the outwardly different body. Ethan didn't consider it worth the trouble to completely alter the kids, since they'd change back anyway.

With the students, though... they were changed, from the very molecules of the valves of their hearts to the shallowest layer of dead skin and the hair. He didn't want a reputation for bad work, and it was entirely possible that Wilkins would check on the spell's targets. Even the cardboard and plastic costumes were transmuted to the real things.


Guts winced minutely as the world spun around him.

Where was he? At a guess, he'd say some rural village... but the buildings and grounds were far too well executed to be that. A city quarter of minor nobility, maybe, rich enough for fine buildings and gardens but not manors?

He began walking, looking for someone who could tell him where he was. He had a particular God Hand to hunt, after all. The brand on his neck from being a sacrifice for the 'Ceremony of the Coming Lord' started to bleed.

A vicious smile could be seen on his face, both his open left eye and his empty right socket creasing with joy. The blood meant that an apostle of the God Hands, and thus an answer, was nearby. Distant shouts were in English, which he had encountered before when fighting as a mercenary alongside men from those lands.

Time to get some answers. Hopefully the would-be demon around here would have more answers than that snake warlord.


Rui the Formless clutched her head for a moment. Where was she? She had been at the village of the Hokage Ninja, preparing for a mission. Time for an inventory check.

Clothes... check.

Limiter armband... check.

She was fully equipped. She was a Hokage Flame Master, after all. And even clothes weren't necessary -- all she needed was her limiter to stop her inner flame from consuming her alive, and her innate skill with flame illusions. Rui had a lot of experience with using her flame, and nothing else, on infiltration missions where weapons would be suspicious.

"*Where am I?,*" she asked.


Anko looked around, as well.

She had been on the way to the Forest of Death as the examiner for the Second Exam for the Chuunin exam, to see which of the apprentice ninja could become journeymen, but the world had swirled around her and she found herself... here. Wherever here was.

Partly out of paranoia, partly out of habit, the kunoichi sauntered through patches of darkness to find some answers. She pulled a couple of kunai, or throwing daggers, from her pouch.


A slight sensation came from Guts' brand as a deformed man tried to run past. He 'felt', for lack of a better term, like a demon. Less than an Apostle, most definitely less than a God Hand, but still supernatural. It would know where a better informed person would be.

Guts grabbed the man by the collar with his right hand. "Where am I?"

"Go fuck yourself," the demon growled.

He slapped the demon hard with his iron left hand. "Where am I?"

"Sunnydale, moron," the demon said, rolling it's eyes. It then tried to bite Guts. "Still, this beats going out for tea!"

As the demon started to try and suck Guts' blood, he punched it, and it landed several feet away, sliding across the rough ground.

"You wanna play?," the demon said. "You're gonna die, in the end... hell, I might even turn you!"

A stupid demon, then.

Guts took his sword off his back, and held it in front of himself. With only his right hand.

"Okay," the demon said. "Maybe I made a slight miscalculation here... you wouldn't hold it against me, would you?"

The Black Swordsman swung the blade through the midsection of the demon, and it fell onto the ground in two halves. Still alive, of course -- demons didn't die that easily. He then cut off the demon's arms, and picked the torso and head up by it's short brown hair.

"Where is your master?," Guts asked.


Anko wasn't sure she believed what she was seeing.

Weird creatures flooded the town she was in, no one spoke a decent language, and she still had no idea what was going on.

Spotting a man with the same racial appearance as herself and the rest of Konoha, she jumped down to land before him.

"*Where am I?,*" she asked.

"Ni-Ni-Ninja," the man stuttered. "O-Omae wa ninja?!?!"

"Hai, hai," Anko said, impatient. "*Where the HELL am I?!"


She rolled her eyes. It was obvious that she'd get no answers out of this stupid civilian.

As the shinobi disappeared, the man clapped his hands twice then prayed before hurrying home.

True, before he'd discounted the stories his grandpa had raised him on, but after that... he wasn't taking any chances.

A week later, having encountered a Polgaran demon and a vampire (in a somewhat passive, voyeuristic capacity), the man would be packing his bags for Japan, where they had priests who could use ofuda against demons.

Chapter 3

Misato groaned.

"*Why did I have to be in America?,*" she whined.

"What?," the old lady asked.

"I said, why did I have to be in America," Misato repeated -- in English, this time. "Man, the beer here sucks, and you can't get cheap ramen..."

Misato was unceremoniously kicked off the porch she'd woken up on at that announcement, with an admonition to act like a proper lady and not a hooligan.


Dru looked up at Spike mournfully.

"Look, if it's all that bad I'll take some of the cannonfo--uh, minions with me," he retorted, sounding tired of arguing.

"We're cannonfodder?!," a lesser vampire demanded to know.

A pair of glares (one more than slightly unhinged) shut the fledgeling up.

"The big bad wolf is out tonight," Dru whined. "He's out for blood, and not even the stars or the Heart of Evil can stop him!"

"Big bloody deal," Spike growled. "He's just another nutter with a stake, he'll go down easier than a fifty cent whore."


Finch shifted his feet from side to side. "Sir, was it really wise?"

"What?," Wilkins the Third asked. "The costumes, you mean?"

Finch nodded. "They're rather powerful, and what if--"

Wilkins waved a finger at him playfully. "Now, now, I have to do something to help the kids -- they are our future!"

"But the Black Swordsman?!," Finch yelled, fear of death overcoming his fear and respect of the Mayor.

"We just have to survive this night, and then we'll be down one white hat," the Mayor said, appearing highly satisfied. "I doubt anyone could survive Mister Guts' memories and remain non-catatonic."


Spike lit a cigarette as he wandered down the street, three foot tall demons running past him.

"Well... this is neat," he commented. "Kinda reminds me of that little town in Surrey."

He then appreciatively eyed up a bird in a fishnet dress, with a jacket on top.

"'Ello, luv," he smirked. "'Ow much you charge, eh?"

He started to worry when the woman pulled out four knives at once.

"What you say?," Anko Mitarashi demanded.

"'ell with it, I could use a feed about now," Spike grinned, his face gaining ridges, yellow eyes and fangs.


Giles sipped at his cup of Earl Grey delicately.

He'd just received the box of Dilmah tea this morning, and it promised to be one of the best cuppa's he'd ever had. If all Dilmah tea was this good, he'd have to change from his normal Twinings rubbish.

Closing his eyes, he drew the steam rising in through his nose, smelling the tea and the Oil of Bergamot mixed finely.

No, it was the simple pleasures that made life worthwhile. Good food, excellent beverages, and loyal companionship.


He spat his mouthful of tea over his weekly report to the Council, as the double doors slammed open, then fell off their hinges.

"I can feel it," a tough looking, muscular man said out loud as he entered the library. An immensely huge slab of iron hung from his back, for surely it was too big to be a sword.

"You what?!," Giles demanded.

"Demons are close by," the man said. "A large concentration of them."

A mental lightbulb went off in Giles' head. "Ah! You must be a demon hunter. Yes, there is a Hellmouth about thirty feet below us."

The man turned to Giles, right hand rising to the hilt of the blade rising past his head. "You're one of them."

"One of...?," Giles asked. His expression turned to horror as the man began to lift the blade! "Nononono, I fight against them now! It was a mistake in my past that I'm still atoning for!"

The man let the blade rest on his back again. "I don't know why, but I think I trust you. Normally it takes longer than this."

"I'm not complaining, believe me," Giles said. "Oh, excuse my manners. Rupert Giles, at your service."

"My name is Guts," the man said.

"No last name?," Giles enquired.

"... no," Guts said. "I never knew my blood family."

"Oh, I'm terribly sorry," Giles said. "Look, if you tell me what it is you're after I can research it for you."


"Look up information on the topic."

Guts considered this, his remaining eye half-lidded.


Spike ran, as gunshots rang over his head. Normally, he wouldn't be worried at all, but a lot of people were out tonight and gunfire would draw attention he'd really rather not have.

What was wrong with this town tonight?!?!

The first bird he'd come across had been some kind of snake witch, and he had his ration of craziness living with Dru.

This bird was a complete nutter, though. Maybe the purple hairdye had seeped into her brain and poisoned it or something.

Honestly! Him, an Angel?! Did he look like his Grandpoof?!

Maybe he'd have better luck with the broad ahead. Long dress, top pulled almost wide open... maybe he'd get lucky as well as a feed. Hmmm. A rose tattoo. Maybe she was kinky, too.


Spike cursed as he ran.

That was it.

That was IT!

He did not appreciate someone trying to roast him unalive. All he was was trying to get a feed, and the silly bitch tryed to fry him alive!

Well, the first order of business would be to round up a posse, to dogpile that stupid flame bitch. Then he'd get around to those others.


Rui had met another kunoichi.

One barely worthy of the title. A fool fond of theatrics, acting like a samurai with a grudge rather than one meant to work unseen, unheard. Anko was still better than working alone, especially in a strange land where no one spoke the language. Her... techniques were still noisier than an elephant in a china shop though, in Rui's opinion.

Things seemed... unsettled in the small town they were in. It was obviously not her homeland, but she doubted that demons running around terrorising people was... normal. The local daimyo wouldn't allow it, for one. In her experience, they tended to be possessive. In a daimyo's opinion, the only one allowed to maim and kill the local populace was the Daimyo.

"*What's that sound?,*" Rui said, angling her head as she heard something.

"*Fighting,*" Anko said. "*Destructive... I wanna go see!*"

Rui nodded in accord. It wasn't as if they had anything better to do.