I don't own BTVS or El Mariachi franchises. They belong to their owners. This story is solely for entertainment purposes, so please don't sue me.
Xander was already late. He knew that running into the costume shop to meet his friends. More importantly, he had to get a costume tonight otherwise Snyder would have him in detention until Christmas. He just needed a few pieces to complete his soldier costume, or he'd look like a bum instead of Rambo.
"Can I help you sir? I'm about to close up shop here." Xander jumped in surprise, he didn't see Willow or Buffy around and this old man was giving him the creeps.
"Uhm I was supposed to meet my friends here but I was running late. Did you see them? A blonde and redhead?"
The shopkeeper nodded "Yes they were here. They picked out their costumes and waited around for you I suppose. You missed them by about ten minutes."
They didn't even wait. Well their costumes might take a while to get ready. Xander looked around the store, "I'm looking for a toy machine gun to complete my soldier costume"
Xander's shoulders dropped at the shopkeeper's reply, "I'm sorry young man, but I don't have much left. In fact, in your size I have only one costume left. I'll give it to you cheap if you want it. Let's say, five dollars?"
"What is it? It's not something stupid like a vampire is it? I'd rather go as Adam with a fig leaf."
The shopkeeper laughed, "Not at all, but I'm not sure you'll like it. Let me get it from the back. Be back in a moment."
Xander gaped at the black pants with silver epaulets at the thighs and knees. He wouldn't have room for a wallet as tight as those pants looked. The jacket caught his interest. The pure black jacket had a very cool scorpion on the back. He quickly tried it on and was amazed at the fit. It was cut just below his waist. The thick black leather belt completed the ensemble. Xander looked at the costume, "The jacket fits, but what is it?"
The shopkeep pulled a guitar case from behind the counter, "A mariachi? Five dollars and it's yours friend."
Xander quickly pulled the wadded bill from his pocket and slapped it on the counter, "Deal!"
With that, Xander grabbed his costume and left. On his way out he saw his familiar nemesis Cordelia entering Ethan's complaining about Party City losing her costume.
It was about an hour later when Xander arrived at the Summer's home. He nervously combed his slicked back hair with his fingers and knocked on the door. Mrs. Summers opened the door, "Oh my Xander, you look fantastic! Come in please. The girls should be almost ready."
Xander hefted his guitar case into the house, "Thanks Mrs. Summers. It was the only costume my size."
Xander of course, didn't' notice it, but Joyce Summers checked out his profile and found that she liked what she saw, "I had no idea you've been working out Xander."
It was obvious to Joyce that her compliment confused the young man, "Xander you need to stop wearing such baggy clothes. The girls at your school probably have no idea what you're hiding under there."
Xander blushed at the praise, "I'm just a mariachi Mrs. Summers, not anything heroic."
Joyce laughs a little, "Xander, trust me. You look great. Your costume reminds me of my weakness for Latin men."
The smile on Xander's face was near infectious. He spoke in a Spanish accent, "Well Mrs. Summers, perhaps tonight we should leave the tricks to the children while we treat ourselves to a night in?"
Before Joyce could answer, a voice cried out from upstairs, "Stop flirting with my mother and stop encouraging him!"
They both laughed at Buffy's reaction. Joyce quickly gives Xander a peck on the cheek, "I'm flattered Xander, but there are laws and such and call me Joyce."
A goofy laugh escaped his lips before turning a deeper red, "Thanks Mrs., uh Joyce. It means the world to me but please, don't tease the teenage male or should I call you Mrs. Robinson."
Joyce was about to fire away with another line when Buffy came down the stairs, "So what do you think Xander? Do you like my costume? It's 18th century English."
Xander looked over every detail while she twirled around. He was about to gush a bit until she mentioned it was from the 18th century. She picked it for Angel. It was that moment he knew he would be nothing more than one of the girls. It hurt, she picked a vampire over him.
Buffy was standing on the last step, giving her a little height. She was smiling and waiting for Xander's reaction. It wasn't exactly what she was expecting, "Oh hey Buffy. Yeah you look great."
His smile didn't reach his eyes, it was obvious to Buffy. It hurt a bit, Xander was usually so enthused when it came to her looks. Maybe he was still mad about the run in with Larry earlier that morning, "Xander, if this is about earlier..."
This was the second to last thing he wanted to discuss with anyone, especially Buffy, "Hey where's Willow? Casper has yet to enter the building?"
Buffy let out a sigh, "Casper? No Xander, I think you're going to be surprised tonight."
On cue, Willow came down wearing a white sheet with holes for eyes and a sign that said, "Boo!"
Xander laughed and wondered outside waiting for the girls, "Wills' been a ghost three years running Buffster."
From under her sheet, Willow was checking out Xander and his costume, "Wow Xander you look great! What made you dress as a mariachi?"
"Well Willow, to be honest, it was the only thing left in my size. After trying it on though, I have to admit that I could totally pull off the black ensemble look.!"
All three laughed at his joke, but privately both girls had a better appreciation for Xander's physical attributes. It looked like a year of hunting Vampires on the Hellmouth with Buffy had burned away any remaining baby fat and bulked him up a little. That awkward lankiness was almost gone. Buffy shook her herself away from that line of thoughts
Buffy glanced at Willow and and gave her that 'what happened?' look. Willow shook her head and muttered, "Sorry Buffy."
Buffy just rolled her eyes, "Come on Wills. We've got rugrats to watch."
That's when she noticed he was carrying a guitar case, "Something in the case Xander?"
"Yeah. A guitar," Xander led the way towards the school with his two friends following behind.
A confused mariachi picked himself up off the ground. He found himself standing in the middle of suburban America. He looked around, on guard, thinking someone may have kidnapped and dumped him out in the middle of no where. The mariachi was even more surprised he found his guitar case and it was still heavy. Obviously full of his gear.
"Xander! Xander are you alright," the mariachi turned around and saw a pale red haired young woman. He replied in English, "Are you talking to me? My name isn't Xander."
Willow's words were filled with worry, "Come on Xander, stop playing around! There's something seriously wrong here. All my kids changed to monsters and scattered everywhere. I mean, look at me I'm a ghost!"
A ghost of what entered El's mind, "You're too young to be working out here. Go home and stay safe." El reached out to guide Willow away from him when his hand went right through her, "Dios mios! What are you? What the Hell is going on here?"
"I told you I'm Willow! Oh gosh! You're really not Xander are you? Listen, you are my best friend Alexander Harris. He dressed up as a mariachi for Halloween. Our friend Buffy tried to dress... Oh my God, Buffy! We have to save her! If you're you, then she's a lady from the 18th century! Please! Help me!"
El looked down at the redhead and her tears. Something inside him told him that he had to do what was right, to help her, "All right then Willow. Let's go find this Buffy person."
El followed Willow through the streets of Sunnydale. He was definitely uncomfortable with what he'd seen so far. Small monsters, according to this Willow girl, were once children, are now running around terrorizing the townsfolk. He had chased a few of them away with a quick hit from the heavy guitar case.
"Look I think that's her! Buffy!" Willow ran towards a girl kneeling on the ground, huddled behind a parked car.
"This is the vampire slayer you're talking about?" El saw this tiny brunette sobbing while begging God to help her. Buffy startled when she heard Willow yelling from across the street, "Who are you? Where are we? Everything is so strange here!"
She then noticed the manner of dress the woman was in, "Scandalous! Are you his? Sir I'm not some harlot you can just pick up!"
Willow looked angry at the manner Buffy spoke with her, but kept it out of her voice, "Buffy it's me your friend Willow. Don't you recognize me?"
Buffy looked shocked, "I certainly do not associate with harlots or wenches! I am Lady Elizabeth! I demand to know where I am!"
El stepped in between the two women, "Please stop. We have to find shelter! At least someplace to hide until we can find more help! My Lady, please we have to find safety for you and her. At least until more men arrive."
Lady Elizabeth smiled at the well mannered man, "A Spaniard? Please good sir, can you protect us until the danger has passed? My father will be more than generous for the safe return of his only child."
El smiled, "Of course my Lady. This woman is Willow. She is from this area and knows a place where we can find shelter. Stay close to me and we'll make it through the danger."
Lady Elizabeth smiled at the Spaniard, then sneered a bit at the harlot, "I hope it's not a house of ill repute. I cannot be seen in such a place."
Willow muttered something about stuck up princesses and started walking towards Buffy's house. El offered his arm and Lady Elizabeth gladly took it. It was a short five minute walk without complications.
Willow stuck her head inside the door and looked around, "Mrs. Summers? Are you here?"
"Good she's gone. Hurry, get in." El and Lady Elizabeth entered the house. El was impressed, what ever Mrs. Summers did for a living, it provided more than enough for her and her daughter.
"Spaniard, do you have any idea what is going on? My father must be worried sick about me." Lady Elizabeth looked at El with worry, "Can you really protect us from what is out there?"
A scream from outside kept El from answering Lady Elizabeth, "My Lady, stay here. Someone needs my help right outside."
"I'll return My Lady. Be assured of that." El opened the front door to help another victim of tonight's craziness. What happened was nothing like he had expected.
A large... werewolf was chasing a woman in a red dress down the street. El watched the woman running in high heeled shoes. It reminded him of his Carolina while running from Bucho's men. That is, until the woman in the red dress suddenly turned towards the beast chasing her and pulled a single throwing knife from somewhere.
El stood there frozen. All he could feel is his heart beating harder and faster than ever before. He swallowed the lump forming in his quickly drying throat. The woman in the red dress moved like a viper and the beast fell to the ground clutching its leg in pain.
The woman in red smiled and let her hand drop to her side. Her hand slowly made its way up the slit of her skirt, revealing a lone garter holding a lot of throwing knives in place. She waited for the beast to climb to its feet and was surprised when it turned away. Running for easier prey she supposed.
"Carolina..." A small whisper she barely caught in the night's air. She turned around and saw someone she thought she would never see for a long, long time, "Amor!"
He tasted her lips and couldn't think of anything else he ever wanted. She was alive, Carolina was here with him. If he was in Heaven, he never wanted to leave. He held her tight in his arms, inhaling the scent of her hair and tasting the salt of her tears with the kiss.
"Amor, I don't understand what's happening here but I don't care. You are here with me and I will never leave you again." Carolina closed her eyes when he kissed her tears away, "Carolina, I... I found Marquez. I made him pay for what he did to us."
"I know amor. I, we saw everything you did. You avenged us. You killed Marquez and saved the president. You saved our homeland and gave everything to the village. We saw everything. Our daughter is happy in Heaven. For some reason, I know we'll see her again someday."
His tears fell in thick drops at what Carolina told him. They knew. All this time they knew and were happy. He swore then and there that no matter what, he would never let his daughter or his love see him in that dark place his soul dwelled. Never again.
"What the Hell is going on here! Why are you kissing Xander?"
Carolina slowly pulled her lips from El and looked at the young woman, "Who is this amor?"
El smiled at the hint of jealousy in Carolina's voice, "A local girl. She knows what's happening and had me help one of her friends to safety. I don't know if you'll believe what's going on, but I swear what I'm about to tell you is the truth. I don't know if you have noticed, but you are taller than before."
Willow still upset at what she had seen, was taking calming breaths reminding herself that they are all possessed, "I'm sorry. Listen we have to go back into the house. Who knows what else is going to happen here!"
"What do you mean Xander isn't here? He's supposed to meet us here this afternoon so we can go over what happened last night with you!" Willow was in no mood for any shenanigans from Xander after last night's adventures.
Buffy just sighed and Giles sat at his spot at the table, "Well I don't know what to tell you Willow. I saw Xander earlier today and he didn't mention anything out of the ordinary. Perhaps you should fill us in on what happened Willow. After all, you were there for most of the last night's events."
"I don't know who he dressed as. He never said his name, but he was pretty protective of Buffy and I. Everything seemed fine until Cordelia made her way to us. After that, they couldn't keep their hands off each other!" Buffy could see Willow getting ready to erupt, if the blood rushing to her face was any indication. She decided to jump in.
"I think they were married. I could have sworn I heard Xander call Cordelia, Carolina I think. She mentioned something about their daughter and revenge. They came back to my house and stayed close to each other until Angel came in. I don't know where he kept those guns, but they were big and mean looking. Cordelia looked awesome with her blades too. I don't think Angel knew what was going on before Xander was on top of him. It was scary, that warning he gave Angel. I saw the whole thing from behind the couch. It was like the shadows from the moonlight kept Xander's face hidden. Angel told me later on that he felt real power coming from Xander and it scared him and the demon inside."
"What exactly did Angel mean by power? I thought Xander was dressed as a mariachi?" Giles had a look of confusion on his face.
Willow continued on as she had calmed down, "It was weird. It was like Xander was wearing a huge cross or something the way Angel reacted. Like it warded him away from Xander. Even I could feel it. Which is really strange. Anyway, after Xander went all scary at Angel I left to find you Giles."
"What was Cordelia doing at this time?"
"She was standing guard I think. Now that I think about it, she was holding some really big gun! It had two big barrels on it. She was watching Buffy and kept glancing out the window. Oh my god, Buffy what did your Mom say about the bullet holes in your door?"
Buffy just shook her head, "She was mad, but for some reason blamed them on hooligans. It was really strange the way she just made up this whole scenario about kids running wild during Halloween. I don't know what to make of it. I just chalked it up to Sunnydale weirdness."
Buffy then looked at Giles, "After Willow left, a vampire made its way into the house. He fought Angel for a little bit. Of course, being lady useless I just screamed my head off. Angel told me that Cordelia used that big gun of hers and dusted the vampire."
Giles' mouth dropped agape, "Firearms are not an effective means for dispatching vampires."
"That's what Angel said in a non-Giles way and he was probably more shocked that it happened. Probably grateful she didn't shoot him too. I don't think Cordelia liked Angel too much last night. She kept calling him El Chupacabra. Angel told me it meant goat sucker. Anyway, being lady useless I ran off into the night away from that vampire and right to Larry the pirate."
Buffy took a deep breath to calm down. She knew it wasn't Larry, but at that time it didn't matter. She was still pissed about it, "Larry had me against the wall and was well... getting a handful when Xander showed up with Angel and Cordelia. Xander laid out Larry in a few seconds. I thought he was going to kill Larry, but Cordelia seemed to laugh at Larry's pirate costume and that made Xander smile as he knocked him out with one punch."
Willow interrupted then. "That when I came back and Spike was right behind me with a lot of other demons! We ran and ran until we were trapped in the warehouse district. I thought we were dead until Xander opened up his guitar case, it was filled with guns! He grabbed two guns and ran out to meet all of them! Cordelia took that big gun and just hid in the shadows watching Xander's back the entire time. Xander was like some deadly dancer! I swear I could hear the flamenco music he was dancing to. He spun around shooting his guns, vampires were exploding in dust clouds everywhere! He fought one hand to hand and snapped its neck! Just when Spike was about to make his move, Cordelia whistled to get his attention. She had Drusilla on her knees with that huge gun pointed at her head. Drusilla was scared and kept begging for Xander to stop the guitarrista."
"That's when the spell ended and I clobbered Spike before he ran off with Drusilla. I was about to ask Xander to walk the kids home with Willow, but he and Cordelia were already gone. The guitar case was gone too."
Giles just shook his head while polishing his glasses, "That's just amazing. Instead of a mariachi, Xander was some kind of gun fighter who could kill vampires. Simply amazing. Perhaps we should look for him and Cordelia to make sure there aren't any lasting consequences."
Buffy blushed at the last statement, "Well uh. To tell you the truth, French is going to be easy this semester and I think I could host a party, including the royal family if I had too."
"And you Willow? Any lasting effects from your *ahem* evening wear?"
Willow too blushed, "Giles! I didn't know that was going to be seen! Buffy made me do it!"
"Hey!" Buffy defended.
"Anyway, no Giles I can't walk through walls and my midriff is staying covered. We should go find Xander now."
The trio walked out onto campus. It was somewhere near the quad when they heard Xander singing... in Spanish. Giles and the girls stopped and stared at Xander in shock, "I didn't know he could sing, in Spanish no less."
Sitting on a bench in the grassy quad, Xander strummed his acoustic guitar and sang a beautiful song about loss, love and finding hope. The Spanish was a little quick for Giles, but that's what he was able to understand from Xander's singing. The crowd around Xander were almost all girls, with the occasional couple sitting together listening quietly. They were all latin and loving Xander's music. The girls that weren't with boyfriends all had eyes for Xander.
Giles was surprised when he heard Buffy's comment, "That's not right."
Giles followed Buffy's gaze to the subject of her catty comment, Xander and Cordelia. Cordelia sat next to Xander completely entranced by the music. Giles recognized the look as one he had seen many times as a fellow guitar player, "I believe we should leave those two alone for now and just enjoy the show. Ladies?"
Giles sighed at the looks Buffy and Willow were giving the audience, "Maybe you're right Giles. I don't think we should leave Xander and Cordelia alone for too long. What if they still think they're married?"
Willow paled at that thought. Those two were so close last night, it made her blush every time she thought of it. Hearing Buffy voice those same fears didn't help as much as she thought it would.
In the end, Willow's worst fears had come true. While Xander and Cordelia knew they were not the Mariachi and Carolina, the possession had brought out a fiery passion in both. By day they became the hot couple of the school and by night they helped the Slayer and their friends in the battle against the night.
At the end of high school, Cordelia had a standing invitation to several TV studios to star in telenovelas to which she finally accepted. It was there Xander was discovered for his musical talents. Together they became the power couple in the latin TV and musical scene. Life had taken an unexpected but happy turn for Xander and Cordelia.