DISCLAIMER: All characters used herein are the property of Joss Whedon et al.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is a companion piece to Throwback, as a special Halloween Treat.
SUMMARY: Angel and Faith have been turned into small children (see Throwback for details). Wes and Cordy take them trick or treating in Sunnydale.
SEEK AND DESTROY ON HALLOWEEN
"You guys ready for Halloween?" Cordy asked Liam and little Faith, trying to change the subject from the story Liam was currently telling which, as far as Cordy could tell, was about the time Uncle Spike ate a girl who tasted like avocados.
Liam tilted his head to the side and smiled cheerfully? "What's Halloween?" he asked.
Cordy turned to Faith, waiting to see if the little girl would explain it.
Faith looked down at the ground. Halloween was being wrapped up in a sheet until she almost couldn't breathe. Halloween was dark and scary, and it made Momma angry.
"Come on, guys," Cordy said, trying to cheer Faith up and bring her back from whatever nightmare she was reliving. "Halloween is about candy and costumes and, you know, throwing eggs at cars and painting your nails."
Coming into the room, Wes cleared his throat. Somehow, he got the distinct feeling that telling the children otherwise known as Seek and Destroy that vandalism was an inherent part of Halloween was a bad idea.
"What?" Cordy asked, "and don't even Oh Dear me, Wesley."
Liam turned to Faith and made his voice deeper, putting on a British accent. "Oh dear," he said.
Faith giggled, pushing down the ghosts she didn't want to remember. "Oh dear," Faith said. "Sodding hell."
"Language," Cordy and Wes reminded Faith at the exact same moment.
Liam corrected Faith. "It's 'Sodding' 'hell,' Faith," he said, making liberal use of air quotes.
Wes looked at him sternly. "Bad words inside air quotes are still bad words," Wes said.
"Or is it that they're still inside air quotes?" Cordelia muttered under her breath. She was so not getting caught up in this again. "Costumes," she said brightly, changing the subject. "What do you two want to be for Halloween?"
Liam tilted his head to the side and the beginnings of a brooding expression settled over his face. Cordy could tell that he didn't understand what she was asking.
"On Halloween, children dress up in costumes and go door to door and people give them candy," Wesley explained.
Liam pondered this. It sounded good to him.
"Why would they give me anything?" Faith asked, truly bewildered, her tough girl expression settling over her face.
Wes and Cordy shared a brief look. "Because they do," Cordy replied. "And because you're cute and special and our girl." Little Faith needed to hear those words a lot. They'd only just begun to explore the four year old child's emotional scarring, but Wes and Cordy knew how much Faith the child needed to be told that she was loved.
"So, the costume thing," Cordy said, miraculously keeping her patience. "What do you guys want to dress up as?"
The children sat silently thinking.
"You could be a pirate, or a tiger, or a clown," Wesley suggested.
"No clown," Cordy said. Wes raised an eyebrow at her. "No clown," she said vehemently. "Clowns are evil."
"Cordelia," Wesley said, "you grew up on a hellmouth. Are you telling me that, with everything you've seen, you're scared of clowns?"
Cordy shuddered. "Yes," she said, "and remember, it's heckmouth around the kiddos."
"A pirate?" Liam asked. He thought about it for a moment. "No," he said.
Faith looked very tempted, but Cordy could tell something was bothering her.
"What is it, sweetie?" she asked.
Faith faltered for a minute. "Are pirates pretty?" she asked gruffly. Cordelia grinned down at her, amused. Faith was torn between playing the tough girl tomboy and the allure of pretty dresses.
"Pirates can be very pretty," Wes told her seriously, not thinking about how ridiculous it was that that sentence had just exited his mouth.
Cordy knelt down to Faith's level. "You could be a princess," she offered. "Or a ballerina. We could go find a pretty sparkly costume for you, and you could wear a tiara on your head."
"Tiara?" Faith asked uncertainly. The child was clearly tempted.
"A sparkly crown," Cordelia said, thinking that she was going to have to pick up a tiara for herself while they were out shopping for the kiddos.
Faith fell silent for a moment.
"I know what I want to be!" Liam exclaimed.
"A vampire?" Faith guessed. Cordy and Wes exchanged looks. The children hadn't retained any of their memories of their previous lives, and Liam was a fully human child. Faith, on the other hand, had retained her slaying abilities, and she had a sixth sense about the supernatural.
"Not a vampire," Liam said, even though the idea was tempting because maybe it would have been fun to bite people. Liam shrugged. He could bite people anyway, if he wanted to.
"What?" Faith asked. Liam leaned over and whispered in her ear, and both children started giggling.
"What?" Cordy and Wes asked in unison.
"It's a secret," Liam said.
"You'll need us to help you make the costume," Cordy said, wheedling to get the information out of the little boy.
"No I won't," Liam said, his chest puffed out in little boy bravado. "I can make my costume all by myself." And with that, he sauntered out of the room.
"Should we be frightened?" Cordelia asked, half joking.
"Very," Wes replied, completely serious.
"So, do you want to come shopping with me for a princess outfit?" Cordy asked Faith. Faith bit on her bottom lip as she thought.
"If I'm a princess," Faith said, thinking about the pirate idea, "can I still have a sword?"
Stab this, prod that, Cordy thought silently. "We'll see," she said out loud.
Faith turned her attention to Wesley and batted her eyelashes. She knew his weaknesses. "Please?" she said.
"You get the costume," Wes told Cordelia, "I'll find a play sword."
Faith beamed at him and then corrected him. "Real sword," she said firmly.
Wes tweaked one of her pigtails. "Not on your life, girl child," he said affectionately.
Before Faith could say another word, Cordy picked her up and said her three favorite words. "Let's go shopping."
Wes grinned, glad that he'd garnered the easier job, play sword and all, but then he remembered about Liam, who was off somewhere "making" his own costume.
A giant crash sounded from the next room, and Cordy grinned. "I think Destroy is calling your name, Wes," she said.
"No fair," Faith said. "I thought I was Destroy and Liam was Seek."
"You," Cordy said, skirting the issue, "are a princess."
Faith fell silent. Never in her life had anyone ever told her she was a princess. Her eyes shined. She could get used to this princess thing, as long as she had a sword too.
That night, Cordy helped Faith into the sparkling blue Cinderella style dress they'd found at the costume shop, a non-evil costume shop, Cordelia had assured Wes.
Cordy placed the tiara on Faith's head, and because she knew the little girl would adore it, she put just a tiny bit of lipstick on Faith's small red lips.
Faith picked up the sword Wesley had given her and brandished it for the mirror. It wasn't as good as a real sword, but almost.
"Trick or treat," Faith whispered quietly.
"I'M READY!" Liam bellowed from down the hall. He'd refused to let anyone see his costume. Faith ran out into the hall, sword held out at ready, and Cordelia followed, half expecting to see Liam dressed up as a sheep carrying a glaive. The kid had a thing about sheep with glaives.
Cordelia's heart melted when she saw Liam. He was wearing one of Wesley's tweed jackets, and the jacket dwarfed the tiny boy, coming far down past his feet. Liam was wearing a broken pair of glasses, and he was very proudly carrying a copy of The Cat in the Hat.
"I'm Wesley!" he said. "I have a book and everything."
Cordy giggled fiercely. Wait until Wes saw this.
"I have a sword," Faith bragged.
"I have a knife," Liam said.
Cordy gave him a look.
"Wesley always carries a knife," Liam said, the glasses falling down to the tip of his nose.
"Give me the knife, Liam," Cordy said firmly, trying desperately not to laugh at the little boy's get up.
"Wesley," Liam corrected. "I'm Wesley."
"Give me the knife, Wesley," Cordy said.
"Pardon me?" Wes asked, coming into the room. Then he stopped in his tracks and looked at Liam. His lips started twitching.
"And what are you supposed to be, young man?" he asked, trying to stay serious.
"You," Liam said simply. Wes said nothing for a moment, and then he broke into a grin. He just couldn't help himself.
Then he remembered what he'd heard coming into the room. "What knife?" he asked.
"Trick or treat!" Liam said, trying to change the subject by saying the words they'd taught him.
"Trick or treat!" Faith yelled, holding her sword up in the air.
"TRICK OR TREAT!" both children screamed joyfully.
Cordelia gave Wes a wry look. "Happy Halloween," she told him under her breath.
Wes looked at the children and thought briefly of their adult counterparts. "Happy Halloween, Cordelia," he said.
"Ohhhhhhhhh…" Liam sang. "This is the Halloween song, it's a song about Halloween and sheep and Faith the princess and sheep…"
"You already said sheep," Faith told him.
Liam shrugged. There were lots of sheep on Halloween. Everyone knew that.
AND THAT'S THE END. I hope you guys enjoyed. Please let me know what you think.