Title: The Doctor is In

Author: Shin Willow.

Spoilers: None

Category: General

Rating: G

Summery: a Xander Zone challenge. What if Xander wore a different costume on Halloween? Xander dresses up as a doctor.

The Doctor is In

"Okay, that's pretty gruesome, Xander," Buffy Summers said wrinkling her nose as if she smelled something pretty awful being waved in front of her face.

"I think it's a fabu costume, Ms. Emasculation!" Xander Harris said, holding his arms out while he flaunted the loosened straight jacket he wore, performing several little half turns. First to the left, then to the right and left again, the jacket's over-long sleeves swinging past his hands.

"I said I was sorry," Buffy said sincerely. But Xander wasn't to be persuaded from his righteous indignation. Not by her big green eyes and pouty lips… well, not just yet, anyway.

"And yet somehow my manhood has not been appeased."

"Can we please leave your manhood out of this."

"See, that's your problem, Buff," Xander said, "there's not enough respecting of my manliness."

"Yeah, okay--"

Xander droned on, his eyes turned up while he adjusted the muzzle/mask swept up on top of his head. "I mean a guy's gotta feel like... Hey! Where you goin'?" Buffy was walking away from him, maneuvering through the milling customers inside Ethan's Costume Shoppe. She was aimed in the direction of Willow who was talking to the shopkeeper over an old looking Cinderella dress.

Buffy turned around and smiled sweetly at him, she said with equal sweetness, "I thought you and your manliness needed some alone time together, Doctor."

Xander sensed there may have been further dismissal of his fragile ego somewhere in that and frowned at the retreating girl's back. Despite the comeliness of said girl's tightly pants'd rear, which held some kind of mystical sway over Xander's attention. He hadn't realized he'd been harassing Buffy's behind with his gaze, for minutes possibly, until he heard someone clear their throat behind him.

"I take it you've decided on that costume?"

"Huh?" Xander asked dreamily as he turned to face the speaker before shaking off the hypnotic allure of Buffy's form. "Oh! Yeah! Right! This is perfect," Xander said to the tall, dark haired shopkeeper. Who possessed a strong British accent nearly as cultured as Giles's. It's weird how that works, before he met Giles Xander never heard someone talk British before, aside from TV. Now it seems like Brits are coming out the woodwork. "But it might be a little out of my price range. I mean, it seems pretty authentic."

"Oh, it is. Quite authentic," the man said smiling, Xander thought kinda slyly.

Xander sighed deeply and asked, "So what's the damage?"

"I'm sure we can work something out."


Totally authentic! Xander griped as he endured the slow torture of trying to maintain both a close eye on the group of kids he was in charge of, and ignoring how the leather and steel muzzle over his face bit into his flesh. His nose was all squished down against his face, and his lips were practically forced into a rictus grin.

Jeez Louise! No wonder the guy was pissed off! Xander thought. This thing is killing my face! Thank god he had to keep his arms free while he watched the kids, or he might have been obligated to go around "in character" concerning his Halloween costume.

! Xander thought. ! Thank god he had to keep his arms free while he watched the kids, or he might have been obligated to go around "in character" concerning his Halloween costume.

Being bound in straight jacket probably sucked, too.

The kids were having a good time anyway. The night was even quiet and non-demony; not counting the rugrats dressed up as creatures of the night. Xander could almost believe the real demons stayed home on All Hallows. It explained how a third of Sunnydale's population didn't turn up at the morgue the day after Halloween throughout the years he was growing up in Sunnydale.

"Okay guys," Xander called out to his group as they left one house and trekked to the next, "this is the house I was telling you about. If you play your cards right you can make like bandits."

"That's what you said about The Callahans!" One kid shouted. The kid's name was Markie Gallighar. He was dressed as Hulk Hogan, yellow tights, head stalking, the whole bit. The outfit might have worked if the kid wasn't all of ten years old, and wasn't thin as a rail.

The other kids yelled in agreement and Xander held up his hands to quiet them. "I told you, never ask "trick or treat" to Mrs. H. She'll give ya the trick every time."

Xander smiled, or tried to, beneath his mask when most of the kids either groaned or exclaimed eeewws! and yucks!. "Did she play with her fake teeth when you used to go trick or treating?" One girl--Penny Barker--asked. Penny was donned in a pink tutu'd angel costume... wand included.

It's entirely possible she might have been a fairy…

"And cackle," Gage Ferrer said, the oldest in the group—he was eleven—and he was dressed as a ninja. He'd pulled the cloth mask away from his face and it bunched around his neck. He also had a cheesy looking plastic sword strapped to his back inside a black sheath. Gage shuddered dramatically before continuing, "Did she cackle like that before she closed the door in your face?" Xander was impressed by Gage's use of the word cackle, he doubted he could have done the same when he was eleven.

"She did indeed," Xander replied, and another round of ewws and yucks were uttered. "Okay, so you wanna know the best way to get chocolate bars from Mister Sallerman?"

Xander never heard any of their replies, because a moment later he, along with most of the children, withdrew. Not physically though, their bodies were still present. Their minds left them, banished to the farthest reaches of their consciousness.

Dr. Hannibal Lector calmly removed his straight jacket then the muzzle fitted over his face and dropped them to the ground. He watched the screaming chaos around him, which strangely felt familiar, with no small amount of curiosity. The good doctor had no idea how he came to be set in this charming little hamlet, but it didn't matter.

All that mattered was he was free again…