Feedback: Please be gentle.
Distribution: Gimme credit and a link.
Rating: I'm gonna go say PG-13.
Spoilers: For Ranma, anything goes, pun intended. For Buffy, starts at Halloween and continues on after.
Disclaimer: The characters depicted herein belong to the almighty Joss. I'm just borrowing them for a while.
Summary: Xander wears an anime-inspired costume on that fateful Halloween.
Author's Note: Let's see if I can continue this one, hmm? Oh, by the way, it may get confusing, as I will use female pronouns when talking about female Xander.
Buffy sipped at the tea Xander had prepared and made an inarticulate noise of appreciation, "This is good, Xand."
He sat down with his own cup and raised an eyebrow, "You like green tea, Buff?"
"I prefer jasmine, actually," she replied absently, leaning back and relaxing. The day's training had been hard on her, but she wasn't about to give up.
"Since when did you become a tea expert?"
Buffy blushed, "I guess you can blame the wimpy noblewoman." She pouted, "It's not fair. You get these super-cool martial arts skills, and I get perfect French and a fine appreciation for a hundred different blends of tea."
"Well," Xander laughed, "you chose the costume, Buffmeister. I wonder if Willow kept anything."
"Like what?" Buffy frowned. "She was herself that night, remember?"
Xander shrugged, "Herself as a ghost. Who knows what that might mean."
"Astral whatever-it's-called, maybe?" Buffy snickered.
There was a long pause.
"You know," Buffy mused, "that could come in handy..."
"Yeah..." Xander nodded thoughtfully.
"Well," Buffy said as she rose, "I'll ask her about it later. I'd better get going. I've got to get ready for... uhh..."
"Meeting Deadboy after sunset?" he asked calmly as he too stood.
"Um, well, uhh..." she flushed, caught.
"Just checking," he said, shaking his head. "I take you want me to take care of that riser tonight?"
"Would you pleeease?" Buffy asked, her voice just short of a whine, while doing the best "kicked puppy" impression he'd seen.
"Sure," he said with a shrug. "I've still got time to work on my other project."
"'Project'?" Buffy asked curiously as she followed him and watched him pull out a collection of video tapes.
"Yeah, I'm trying to recreate a certain style."
"Umm, why? What's wrong with the style you've been teaching us?"
As he pulled out the bokken, he looked at her and explained, "The Musabetsu Kakutou Ryuu is a good style, adaptable to nearly any circumstance... but it wasn't designed to kill. The Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu, on the other hand, was."
"Well, hello, there," Mayor Wilkins greeted the shadowy arrival. He noted the ring, "How can I help you?"
The Mayor blinked at the briefcase the visitor laid on his desk.
"A refund. The target you've specified... apparently cannot be killed. Of the few who have located him, none have been heard from again, and we were forced to refuse another contract in the area."
The assassins were not giving up, and they kept popping up in the oddest of places...
See Ryouga run. Run, Ryouga, run.
"So... uh... how did you spend yesterday?" Angel asked as nonchalantly as he could. He had sorta hoped Buffy would get the hint about the skating rink, but...
"Oh, that," Buffy sighed. "Training. Then being too dead tired after training to move." Her face brightened, "But I finally did it!"
"Oh," Angel nodded.
Just what sort of training was he putting her through? Well, it couldn't be too bad if Xander really was demonstrating the training methods.
He mentally shrugged it off.
"So... what are your plans for tonight?"
"I'm too tired, Angel," Buffy replied. "I spent all day trying to keep up with Xander on this latest training. I..."
Buffy didn't get to finish, as that was when around three dozen vampires attacked.
Giles was flipping through the Pergamum Codex as he emerged from the stacks.
"Gah!" he fumbled as he took a surprised step back. "My God, young lady, are you trying to give me a heart attack?"
"So, it is true," the dark-skinned girl replied, noting the Codex in his hands. "You are a Watcher."
"I-I-I beg your pardon?"
"I am Kendra, da vampire Slayer. Is it true dat dere are now t'ree Slayers?"
"Oh, my word..."
Xander calmly dusted the riser. He was a man of his word, after all, and Buffy deserved a break from training, even if she did intend to spend that time with Angel.
Movement caught his eye, and he frowned when he recognized the aura.
"Buffy?" he called uncertainly.
In a flash, he found himself with an armful of teary-eyed Slayer.
"Whoa, whoa," Xander eased her back, his experience with Willowbabble making it a simple task to unravel the Slayer's babble. "Who's gone? Who took who? Is it Giles?" he asked worriedly.
"What?" Buffy blinked for a moment and shook her head, "No. I-it's Angel."
"Oh," Xander responded without thinking as his tension vanished. "Jeez, Buff, you had me worried there for a minute."
"C'mon! Let's get Giles!"
"Ow. Ow! OW! Not the pigtail!"
"Oh, thank heavens you're here," the Watcher sighed in relief as Buffy and Xander burst in. "Perhaps you two can explain to Miss Kendra here the, ah, situation."
They turned and blinked.
"Why do you allow him to train her?" Kendra frowned. "Is dat not your job, Mistah Giles?"
"Yes, well," Giles coughed. "Xander is... a very skilled martial artist..."
"I'll take this, Giles," Xander interrupted. "Kendra, listen. Some people, with enough skill, can use their ki, their life energy, to boost themselves. Make themselves faster, stronger, tougher. With me so far?"
"Well, I have that skill, and being a Slayer is actually a shortcut to that little ki boosting advantage anyway. I just know how to improve on it."
"What?!" This came from all around.
Xander sighed and looked at Buffy, "I've been watching your aura for a while, Buff. When you really get going, your ki flares up."
"So, you're saying anyone with the right training can get Slayer powers?" she asked.
Xander shook his head, "Not exactly. The physical stuff, yeah, but not, say, the Slayer dreams or anything like that. That's not something I could copy with just ki."
"So you claim to be as good as a Slayer?" Kendra asked curiously.
Xander nodded. "I'm probably the reason they think there's already two Slayers in town."
Kendra shook her head, "How could dey mistake you for a Slayer? You are not a girl."
"Not all the time, no," Xander muttered sourly.
"Here's how," Buffy said cheerfully as she dumped some water on him.
"..." said Kendra.
For those of you who don't recognize the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu, it's the style Himura Kenshin of Rurouni Kenshin (aka Samurai X) uses.