The Bloody Blade

Author: Eckles71 <eckles71[at]>

In the tradition of the entire short 'What if' Xander Costume Selection of the HELL-o-ween Episode. Here is mine. Hope you enjoy.

I don't own BtVS Characters

Set during Season II of BtVS.

Xander Harris removed one of the plastic guns from the 'Bargain Barrel' and took a deep sigh. Embarrassed that he was going to have make such a purchase as measly as this one in the presence of two of his dearest friends. "Me and my sweet-tooth, thou art shall plague my Bank Balance to the bitter end." Like always when he thought of them his eyes shifted protectedly towards 'his girls'.

They both stood in the corner of the crowded Halloween festive Costume Shop conspiring together over what outfit to select for the big night ahead. Willow was an easy call for him to make - A ghost. Just like she has been for the last 4-Halloween's, faithful unswayable 'Vanilla' Willow.

Buffy, however was going to go the whole Hog by the look of things; she was hungrily admiring the mannequin with an aristocratic gown on. At spying her intended costume rental he then looked down at the plastic item in his hands. His grip becoming so tight that it cracked the butt of the phoney weapon. He now had no choice but to purchase the damaged goods. He then wondered quickly where anyone had seen the minor vandalism, judging whether or not he could make a quick exchange without anyone noticing. His gaze quickly fell in the direction of the humble Shop Owner, who unfortunately was gazing suspiciously in his direction.

Xander gave in and accepted that he probably would have not 'gotten away with it'. Besides, it just would have meant that someone else may have had to get the now cracked gun and his conscience wouldn't allow that. With this decision made he again looked towards Buffy and a giggling red-faced Willow as they had moved on to the more 'risqué' costumes available.

All this was Angel's influence, he just knew it. If she hired the expensive costume, or a sultry Elvira-getup, it would be because she wanted to impress old 'Fang face'.

To the running brooke of Buffy's laughter made obviously at a cute comment made by his Will, the 'Protector' noticed a couple of Jocks to his right leering at Buffy and sneering at Willow. He couldn't hear what the two were whispering to one another but he knew he didn't like it. He could only imagine the nasty thoughts they were having towards his longest living friend.

Maybe they were supporting and voicing a grudge over the fact that Willow Rosenberg screwed the Grading Curve for whatever class she attended and they just happened to be some of the residents of such classes.

He didn't know. But then again, he didn't have to know. He just knew he didn't like it one bit. In years past he always was Willow's protection from such people, like the athletes and the Cordelia's of the School. But she now had Buff to stick up for her. He was obsolete.

One of the Jock's laughed out loud at the nudging of the other, and his presence of mind was returned to him as he noticed the two were now ogling his favourite Blonde rummaging through some of the sluttier garments available.

If he was half-the man he always wanted to be he would walk up to them and challenge them on their behaviour. That's what 'Deadboy' would have done. But he wasn't Angel. He wasn't dashing, mysterious, or threatening. He was the Class Clown.

Any warning he would have given the 'Letterman' Pair would only have been laughed at. And then Buffy would have to do her usual 'Is there a problem, Guys?' routine and come and rescue him from the big bad Bully-type people.

It was embarrassing. He appreciated her, he always would. But couldn't she see it was humiliating to be rescued by a girl. Especially a girl of Buffy's size. Sure, *he* might know that she was the 'Slayer', but to the 'Sunnydale-Varsity-Elite' all they would see is Buffy Summer's come and pull little Xandy Harris fat from the fire - again.

Man it sucked to be him at times.

Didn't she realize that when she did stuff like that infront of other's at their school she might as well just take a rusted pair of scissors and cut his genitals off in full view of everybody. Cause after she 'saved his hash' there was no way he would ever have to be using them again!

Before Buffy arrived at the Hellmouth he had a reputation. He wasn't feared or anything, but he did have alittle respect amongst his peers. He had the odd run in with various Bullies at school that used to give Willow and Jesse a hard time because of their Jewish upbringing and smarts. And sure he may have lost more fights then he won, but at least he was known as a guy who didn't back down. Or had to have other's come to fight their battles for them.

His credibility was now pretty much in the toilet.

It was bizarre, against the odd Vamp or Demon Buffy was more then happy to give him his head and risk his life. But against a couple of no-necks, *that* she has to stand in and take away from him every ounce of manhood and pride she could. At their worst all they would do is give him is a black-eye and a couple of bruises. Vampires and Demon's would be out to kill him.

Go figure the workings of the female mind.

At the back of his mind he then wondered if that was why she never, ever, considered him as a potential Boyfriend, only as a Xander-Shaper-Friend. Girl's like to think that their Boyfriend's can, and would, protect them, right?

Was that why Angel had such a secure place with her? Because he could protect her better then him?

He didn't have an answer, but he wished he did. If only to get some closure on this whole Buffy-Him vibe got from her from time-to-time. If he had a definite answer, if he knew for certain where her affections lay. Then maybe he could move his lustful attentions elsewhere. Maybe even to Cordelia?

Cordy had been acting nicer to him then of late as opposed to the usual Bitch Queen she always seemed to play, maybe---? Naah, Buffy had him. And what was worst she knew it too. It wasn't malicious, but sometimes he got the impression that she liked stringing him along. It made her feel desired and wanted.

As he approached the cash counter the origin of this thought rose further in his machinations as he began to dissect the Slayer in his head. Maybe, she was always like that? Maybe--- maybe it was just her parent's divorce. From the odd bit of the tale he had heard from either Ms Summer's, Buffy or from stuff Buff had confided to Willow and from her to him. Buffy's old-man didn't make any effort to fight for her during custody proceedings.

This discovered truth made him then consider the fallout of such an action. When the only male role-model in a female teenagers life basically say's they don't give a damn enough to fight for you it can only warp their perspective of the gender. Xander shook his head sadly, if this was true then Buffy would forever be scarred and distrustful, always pushing guy's away who reminded her of the slightest element of her father.

Ms. Summers once told him that his energy and vitality reminded her of her 'Ex', it was at the time thought as a complement, but maybe Buffy's subconscious dealt with it differently. Maybe at keeping him interested and yet still at bay, she was also in some way also punishing her Father, even if she was unintentionally taking her passive aggressions out on him. Maybe because of that errant comment by her mother, he will never have a chance to knowing what it was like to have Buffy's heart.

If he had thought that his insight would be appreciated then he would reveal it to her. But the truth is it probably would have only made an argument erupt in denials. She was like that at times. Fickle in her opinions. Whenever she had one of those rare impending 'Dad-Days' with Hank Summer's she would practically soar towards the week-ends. Excited that he had bothered to find a single day a month to squeeze in a six-hour visit.

For the rest of the month however, 'Daddy' was a topic she avoided in a major way.

"Let me guess, Soldier?" The 17-year old was blinked twice as his muse escaped him at the tired and unimpressed English accent that posed the question. "What's the matter Pirate and Cowboy to creative for you?"

Xander looked upon the almond haired middle aged proprietor and held his tongue as he removed his wallet from his rear pocket. Carefully opening it to remove a single and lone $5.00.

The Costume Shop Owner accepted the rough and worldly used treasurarly printed piece of paper for a few pregnant seconds and returned to the owner. Then with what sounded like genuine regret in his voice the London laced voice spoke once more. "I won't accept your offering young man."

Xander took back the money slightly insulted at the remark. "What, not good enough for you?"

Shaking his head mournfully the Englishman continued. "No, no. I won't accept it because I don't believe you are happy with your purchase. I've been watching you ever since you entered my store, my boy. This is a reluctant decision. Yes?"

Nodding and placing the $5.00 back into his wallet the 17-yearold counted. "Yeah, but it's all I can afford."

Again the Englishman shook his head. "Tomorrow night is Halloween. It is an evening of Magic, a time when goblins walk and ghouls scarper. Anything can happen on a night like that."

"Not from what I've heard."

"If you are referring to the various 'Tricks' you American's play on one another then disregard what you have been told and take my word. Tomorrow's All-Hollow's-Eve will be memorable. For many reason's. And I will not allow someone, *anyone* to celebrate such a night in a Costume they are not happy with. Even if I have to lose money on the arrangement."

"But I can't afford any*"

"*Prove me wrong!"


"Prove. Me. Wrong. Prove to me you American's can be creative in Terror instead of falling back on the standard Cowboy's, Princesses, Ghost's, Pirates, and Witches that litter the evening.

"If you can present me with a Character truly original. And we are not talking your 'Jasons' or Texas-Chainsaw-Leatherfaces. If you can present me with one costume idea that will make my blood freeze at the very thought of you roaming the night unguarded and unchecked. Then I will offer it to you free of charge. All that I ask is that if anyone enquires that you mention you got it at my store."

"Soooooo, you're making a Bet?"

"In the simplest of definitions, yes, it's a Bet. Do you accept?"

An enthusiastic extension of Xander's right hand was made towards Mr Ethan Raines as his answer. The 17-year old then began to move about the shop with fresh purpose, trying to find something that would earn him a free costume hire.


After forty minutes he had in his arms a combination of clothing and props. The store had officially closed ten minutes earlier and Buffy and Willow stood out on the street waiting for Xander to finish with the Bet he had made. Both girls felt it was unfair that Xander received special treatment from the kind English proprietor. But Buffy just reminded herself that she had received a significant discount for the Gown she hired, and once she remembered of Xander's strapped financial situation she was more then happy to wait behind with Willow until he was done.

Through the window of the Costume store he watched Buffy pace and Willow sit on the sidewalk. A smile of accomplishment spreading across his face as he laid his assorted items in front of Mr. Raines. "There."

"What's this?" Ethan turned over an old style dark coat that looked as if it was fashionable in the late parts of the 19th Century. A dark stout 'Gentleman's' hat. A refined and dated suit much in the tradition of cut of the coat. Leather shoes that seemed compatible with the time period. And a leather Doctor's satchel. And a trick-walking stick with a hollowed centre, with a blunted handled blade affixed within

"This is me winning the Bet."

Ethan began to sort through the clothing and items trying to find a common thread that would like it to a Horror-Identity. But he couldn't find one. "I'm sorry young man, but this does not inspire me with any terror."

"And you say us American's have no imagination. Have you tried putting it all together?"

The middle aged man's brow farrowed as he again went though the clothing once more. "I'm sorry but I don't see anything particularly horrifying in any of this ensemble."

"Yeah, well there was a time when this guy terrified the World. His name is still the stuff of nightmares. He was the first ever Freddy Kruger."

"Freddy who?"

It was obvious from the puzzled expression looking at him that shop owner had no idea who he was referring to. "Ahhh, forget it. Sorry, I wasted your time." Xander then turned to leave when his steps were halted two-meters from the front door with a question.

"If you tell me who this is meant to be, and if I concur that this was indeed an original and horrifying costume then you may have it for the night free of charge."

A broad smile crossed Xander's face, he had piqued the curiosity, and now he had a costume that would get Buffy to take notice of him. Even if it was for only one night to admire his terrifying originality. Slowly he turned, and approached Mr Raines. "It's *"



Xander walked out of the store with the same satisfied smile that he had used on the Englishman three minutes earlier. Under his arm was a large Brown Paper Bag with several articles of clothing items he had just won from the man inside. As the door was locked behind him Buffy and Willow eagerly approached the male Scooby.

The look on his face was enough evidence to both young women that Xander had indeed won the wager. Both were burning with curiosity. Buffy was the first to ask the question. "Okay, Xand. What was it?"

"Not telling, it'll take away the surprise."

The Slayer fake-pouted at the tease. "Not fair. I showed you mine, you show me yours."

Xander raised his eyebrows at the comment and returned it with a laugh. "I said I'm not telling, but when you find out who I am your gonna just die."

Willow raised her voice to question the male. "It's that good, huh?"

"Mr Raines seems to think so. He thought it was just what tomorrow night will need. An honest to god good touch of terror to bring to the old streets of Sunnydale."

Buffy laughed at the comment. "Are you forgetting that this is the Hellmouth, Xand? Terror walks these streets every night."

A smirk arose on the corner of males Scooby's face. "Not like this Buff. This terror is Legendary. This Terror had people latching their doors and organizing Vigilante Mob's. This Terror nearly bought down a Government and a Monarchy. Annnndddd, I'm still not going to tell you."


Ethan rubbed his hands with glee.

Today was a very good day.

Today was a very profitable day.

And tomorrow night an old debt would be paid to an Ancient God of Chaos.

He was satisfied with all his efforts this day, but they all dwarfed in comparison to his last one of the evening.



And truly Terrifying.

Tomorrow night the customer's of his Costume Shop would become that which identity adores them. And tomorrow night Xander Harris would become an evil legend breathing back into existence. Spreading a fresh fear into a new Century.

Tomorrow night the hapless women of Sunnydale should beware.

Fore tomorrow night 'Jack the Ripper' would walk the alleyways of Sunnydale.