… Bump in the night.
Summary: A little Halloween treat. Of course, what would Halloween be without its tricks?
Timeline: Season three, between " Homecoming" and " Band Candy"
Disclaimers: Joss Whedon, Mutant enemy and Fox own 'em. Like, we didn't know that already?
" Buffy, I really don't like that costume!"
Joyce Summers stands in the doorway of Buffy's bedroom, watching her daughter prepare for the Halloween party she begged to attend. Joyce was still a little uneasy about letting Buffy out of her sight… after she ran away last summer, Joyce had major trust issues with her daughter. She isn't sure that Buffy won't pull a repeat performance. She's seventeen Joyce, going on eighteen… can't keep too short a leash, or she will just take off again! So she gave in on the party… her friends would be there, could watch out for her, and… just watch her.
This, however, was just too much. Buffy's dressing like a slut! What's she thinking? That I'm just gonna let her go out looking like she charges by the minute? But if I get too strict, she's going to do something crazy again. God, I hate this! I really, really hate this!
" Aw, c'mon mom," Buffy says, whining a little, " I show more than this at the beach."
" That's really not a good comparison, Buffy, " Joyce says, " A bathing suit hardly compares to this. This makes you look like a…."
" Slut, mom?" Buffy asks, eyebrow arched.
"Well… yes!" Joyce admits ," I really don't think it's appropriate. You don't know what kind of people you'll meet out there… they might try to take advantage of you…."
" And if anyone tries, mom, I'll take care of it. Slayer, remember? Super strength? No one's gonna touch me that I don't want to." Buffy says, turning to check herself in the mirror again. Tres hot, Buffy. She turns back to Joyce. " Look, mom, that's the whole idea about Halloween… come as you're not. It gives you a chance to be…well, something you wouldn't normally be, with no consequences."
Joyce doesn't look convinced.
" Why does it always have to be … so revealing? I mean, what's wrong with like dressing like a princess, or … hey, I could re-do your Little red riding hood costume Those are something you're not! Why does it have to be… this?" Joyce makes a gesture at Buffy's costume.
"Hey…great idea… if I were like…10" Buffy says, disparagingly. She sees the worry on Joyce's face, and walks over. " Mom, please. It's just one night, " Buffy says, her tone softer, " I promise, I won't do anything crazy, ok?"
Joyce sighs. She doesn't want to be so hard on Buffy. She knows she's a good girl. Just, after all the craziness of last summer, when she ran away, all the sleepless nights she spent worrying about Buffy, she just couldn't help being a little paranoid. Especially going to a party at the bronze, dressed as Buffy was dressed. But all the books say I've got to show some trust. She's seventeen… she's not my little girl anymore.
" Ok, Buffy. I don't like it, " Joyce says, " but you're not a child. It was easier when you were, " Joyce sighs.
"Thanks, mom!" Buffy say, gleefully. She hugs Joyce.
" Hold on… you can wear that… but you're going to wear a coat over it… at least while you're on the streets!" Joyce says, firmly. Her tone indicates this is as far as she can be pushed.
Buffy's smart enough to know that she's not going to get better, so she accepts the condition. But that doesn't mean she has to like it.
" Fine," Buffy says, showing some irritation, " Whatever. I'll wear a coat." She pouts a little, letting her mom know her displeasure.
" … and I'll drive you to and back from the Bronze…" Joyce adds.
"MOM! NO! God, I'm going with the gang. Geeze…" Buffy says, mortified. " I'm not 8 mom, please!"
"Ok, ok… but you'll be home by 11…." Joyce says.
" Mom, it's a Friday night… no one'll be leaving that early… 1 am." Buffy negotiates.
" No way, young lady… 12 midnight!" The time Joyce really wants.
" Deal!" Buffy says, before her mom can change her mind. Bonus.
Bonus, Joyce thinks. She would've caved on the time, just as long as Buffy came home. She got pretty much what she wanted… the car deal was just to soften Buffy up about the time. Joyce, you're a lot cleverer than you're daughter thinks! Smiling to herself, she leaves Buffy's room.
Buffy goes back to her mirror, putting the final touches on her costume. She's wearing tight leather pants, lace up high healed boots, a leather halter and a black half-mask over her eyes. She's carrying a cat-o-nine-tails, which she has clipped to her pants at the moment. Her nails , press on, are long and red and cat like. She snagged her mom's 'harlot' lipstick, giving the costume the final touch. Her hair is slicked and pulled back in a ponytail, held by a black leather 'scrunchie". All in all, she looks sexy and scary at the same time.
Mmmm , lookin' hot, slayer, Buffy thinks to herself, She takes her finger and touches the tip to her tongue, then to her hip. Ssssss. Better turn down the heat, boys, cuz Buffy's gonna make her own steam tonight! She giggles, then sobers up. Her mouth turns down into a little frown.
She hadn't really wanted to go tonight. Not that Halloween was anything special, hellmouth wise. As a matter of fact, it's supposed to be the quietest night of the year, demon wise, according to Giles, anyway. But it's not patrol that's on Buffy's mind. It's Angel.
Thing's have gotten a whole lot more complicated since Angel returned. She's been hiding him, not letting her friends know he's back. They just wouldn't understand. They'd get all weird…especially Giles… And Xander.. oh, boy, he'd be all over angel like white on rice. He's not evil anymore, but would they see that? No way, they'd be out with stakes and crosses, ready to storm the mansion. Not that he didn't give them reason. But it's my fault, too. If I hadn't slept with him, he never would've gone evil. I just can't tell them.
She was worried about Angel, though. He's recovering from his time in the hell dimension, but he's still weak. He needs me… and I can't help it. I've still got feelings for him. This is really stupid. I should make some excuse, and not go… but that won't fly, either. Cuz mom will be watching me like a hawk… I hate this! This so sucks. And the suckiest thing of all? I wouldn't even be going except for Faith. God, that girl grates me…
A week earlier
The gang is heading to the Bronze to blow off some steam, maybe dance a little. Oz is with Willow, Cordelia and Xander are couple-y, and rounding out the group is Buffy and Faith, both 'stag'. With studying, and slaying, and all the rest, they are due a little R&R. They were just about to make for the entrance when Faith stops them.
"Whoa. Check it out, " Faith says, pointing at the poster by the door.Scare-a-Palooza '98
Humongo Halloween happening
At the Bronze.
Door Prizes, Best Costume Contest.
Live Bands, No cover.
Every Guy grab you're ghoul and head
For the Bronze Oct. 31st.
It'd be a Grave mistake to miss out!
"Yeah, so?" Buffy says, shrugging. She starts to head for the door.
" So? It's a party, B! Time to let loose, shake it down, have some fun, " Faith says.
" I dunno, " Buffy says, doubtfully, " thinking I'd just stay in. Halloween not being a big deal, slayer wise. Maybe watch some horror videos or somethin' "
"Aw, c'mon, B… uffy" Willow says," You gotta go". Willow has been worried about Buffy ever since she came back from her 'vacation'. She's been moody, and secretive, and pretty much hanging out by herself. Not good. She's still grieving over angel, I know that. But she's gotta get out some. All work and no play make Buffy … crazy! Anyway, she needs to be with people… not hiding out from them." We'll have a blast. You can meet some cute guys…" Willow puts out the bait.
" Not really looking to date or anything, Will, " Buffy says, patiently. Will's been playing matchmaker for her. Scott was one of her ' Buffy projects'… and he dumped Buffy at homecoming. I know Will's thinking I need to get couple-y again, but … there's Angel. Ok, not going to do the couple thing there again, just friends. But she doesn't know about Angel…and less she does, better.
" C'mon, Buffy, please… Oz and I are going…." Willow says.
" Actually…" Oz interjects.
" We're not going?" Willow looks a little hurt.
" Not that I don't want to, Will. Just, well, I'd blend as Wolf , but it's not my best face for parties."
" Oh, it's a full moon… I forgot, " Willow says, sounding disappointed.
" Hey, but you should go!" Oz insists.
"Really" Oz states in his understated manner.
" See, Buff? Now you gotta go… I need someone to go with!" Willow says, smiling in triumph.
" Aw, forget it, Red, " Faith says, " We'll go. Obviously, Buffy doesn't even know what 'fun' is."
" I do so know what fun is!" Buffy protests." I have lots of fun. Tons. Tons of fun!"
"Really? Doing what?" Faith asks, sarcasm dancing around the edges of her words.
Buffy is silent, feeling more than a little uncomfortable, considering her secret.
" Oh, leave Buffy alone, " Cordelia interjects, " if she wants to be all weird and moody, that's her right. After all, the only guy she ever really liked her went all psycho and tried to kill us all. That's gotta be a buzzkill."
" Cordelia? Don't help!" Buffy says.
" Hey, just defending you, Buffy!" Cordelia shoots back. " Anyway, Xander and I are going."
" We are?" Xander says, surprised. This is the first he's heard of it.
" Well of course, " Cordelia says. She points at the part of the poster that says "costume contest". " I want to win that. I deserve to win that, after that loser Homecoming Dance". Cordy is still stinging from her defeat as Homecoming queen. " I'm a shoo-in."
" Really? Gee, Cordelia, somebody else might win. It does happen, " Willow says, not able to resist a dig at Cordelia.
" Oh, please, " Cordelia waves the thought off, " Like who?"
" Well…" Willow is really trying just to think of someone, but Cordelia gets the wrong idea.
" You? You think YOU could beat me in a costume contest?" Cordelia laughs, " You're joking, right? Maybe you didn't read the poster. It said " Scare-a-palooza…. Not Loser-palooza".
Willow mumbles something under her breath.
"What? Didn't hear you, Willow"
" I said, you're face is scary enough … that's for sure!"
" Hey…Will… Cordy…" Xander says, trying to head off the fight.
"Hey, yourself, Xander. You're supposed to be my boyfriend. Tell geeker-girl to back off!" Cordelia demands
"Oh? Well, tell The Bitch Who Would Not Die that I'm not backing off!" Willow yells at Xander.
Xander is in hell. After that little 'clothing fluke' that happened before the prom, he's all mixed up about his feelings. And he's got loads of guilt about the kiss, and Cordelia. He takes the manly position.
" Hey… isn't that… coming!" He says, running off into the club. Willow and Cordy watch him go.
" Listen, loserville" Cordy gets in Willow's face, " bring it on. If you're my competition, I know I'm a shoo-in."
" Oh, yeah…oh YEAH? Well, I'm gonna beat the pants off you, mister! " Willow sputters, " I'm gonna beat you so bad that they'll be finding pieces of you for years to come!"
" Yeah? Try it!" Cordelia sneers, " Nerd!"
" BITCH!" Cordelia and Willow say at the same time. Cordelia flushes, and storms off after Xander.
"Whoa, Red! I'm impressed. That was wicked, " Faith smirks, looking after the departing Cordelia, " Didn't think you had it in you!"
Willow stands there, shaking in anger and a little fear. Oh, poop! What've I done? Cripes! Bad enough I'm getting all cozy with Xander…god, why'd he have to look so yummy in that tux? WILLOW!… but now I go and challenge Cordelia to a contest of wills? I'm so dead! I'm deader than dead! She turns to Buffy.
" Buffy, please, you gotta come now. I need help here!" Willow says, starting to panic. " Oh dear, oh dear what've I done?"
" Hey, don't worry, Red. I'll help ya. We'll get ya all spiffed up, "Faith says, " I mean, seeing Buffy's too busy to hang with us. I mean, she's got stakes to carve, and her goody two-shoes to polish, oh and she's gotta practice sticking corks up her butt!"
"FAITH!!" Buffy and Willow say together.
" What? I'm not the one letting my best friend twist in the wind while I'm too busy mooning over some dead vamp …"
"That's enough, Faith, " Buffy says, testily. She turns to Willow, " Count on it. I'm there, Will. We'll show Cordelia not to mess with us!"
"Really, Buffy?" Willow smiles hopefully.
" You betcha, Will, " Buffy says. She turns to Faith and smiles.
" Sure you're not gonna be too busy counting your prayer beads, B?" Faith asks.
" I'll make time. I do that for my friends, " Buffy says, pointedly. " So, you still want to help? Give Cordelia some of her own back?"
Faith looks at Buffy, suspiciously. Like, she ever lets me in on her little group. She shrugs non-committaly.
"Yeah, sure. Why not? Wouldn't mind seein' Queen C come down a few notches"
"Hey, thanks guys!" Willow says.
" No problem, Red. Her majesty's got it comin' " Faith says, "teach her to be such a bitch."
" Don't worry, Will. When we're done with her, she'll just be a grease spot on the highway of life," Buffy says, smiling.
The three of them start walking into the bronze.
" So, B, whatcha gonna come as? Red Riding Hood?"
" Oh, please!" Buffy says, giving her a disgusted look.
" I know, Little Mary Sunshine, right?" Faith taunts her.
" I just might surprise you, Faith, " Buffy smiles enigmatically.
" Doubt it."
Oh no ,no, no ,no ,no, no, no. No, this'll never do…never.
Why'd I let them talk me into this? This is bad. Bad, bad, bad. Bad Willow.
Willow is pacing nervously in front of full length mirror in Buffy's room. She came over to put on her costume at Buffy's, as they agreed they would go from her house directly to the Bronze party. Now that she was dressed in it, she was having second and third and fourth thoughts about this costume.
During the week before the party, they'd gone shopping at all the costume shops in town. They'd come across this one at the last shop. Buffy and Faith took one look at it, looked at each other, and said " That's it!" Willow, still fuming from Cordelia's put-downs, had gone along. But now, wearing it, made up, with all the accessories, she was feeling extremely nervous about it… about the whole thing.
The costume had a green floor length satin skirt that opened in the front, revealing her legs… all the way up to her hips. The matching bodice was a lace-up-the- front plunging bodice that started just below her belly button, which strategically curved to just cover her breasts. The cups had a little extra 'something' to give the illusion of …well, you get the idea. The whole thing swept up in back into a high, exaggerated collar that actually came to point above and behind her head. It had a front clasp, somewhat like a cape. Buffy had helped her style her hair up, so it would fill the space above her head and inside the collar. She'd added a gold web net, with sparkles resembling stars. Buffy had used pale makeup to cover Willow's freckles, and had used gold and green eyeliner to accent and exaggerate her eyes. She used a black lipstick to cap off the effect, with matching black press on nails. Finally, with the dark mesh nylons and 3" emerald green pumps, and the green lace face mask(with handle), the effect was stunning… and mystically sexy.
That's what's freaking Willow out. Ever since the 'clothing fluke' they had just before homecoming, she'd had Xander on the brain, constantly. She couldn't get his lips off her mind, or the way his arms felt around her. It was bad, really bad. And she knows Xander has also been…distracted by her. Distracted enough to find themselves kissing behind the stacks in the library!!! And that was just plain old ordinary Willow. What's going to happen when he sees this outfit? Bad, oh this is really bad! The worst part of it is that Oz can't be here with her. She'd love Oz to see her in this dress.. but he's locked up, being Wolfy-Oz. It just increases her feelings of guilt.
But despite that, she checks herself out in the mirror, striking a few poses . She can't help but love the fact that this dress emphasizes a part of her she normally hides…the sexy, dangerous part of herself. She's having all these strong guilt feelings, but a part of her is loving the effect. Loving the idea that when she enters the Bronze, heads are going to turn. This costume makes her feel like a different person, one that's not shy and retiring… but bold and sexy and loving the spotlight. Despite all the butterflies batting around in her stomach, a small smile pulls playfully at her lips. Watch out Cordelia, I'm so gonna steal your thunder tonight!
It's then that she notices someone looking at her in the mirror. Buffy!
" Oh … my… god… Will !" Buffy says, in awe, with a little gasp. " You… are … a… goddess!"
Willow blushes prettily, unused to compliments. Never mind she's got this tiny little crush on the blonde girl, who in her mind is the prettiest girl she's ever known. But for Buffy to say that just sends a little thrill through her. She turns around, to give Buffy the full effect, and then notices Buffy's costume.
Her eyes go wide. This is so totally different from anything she's seen Buffy wear before. Buffy wears cute and flirty and sorta sexy… but this costume just says " dangerous". For some reason, Willow is finding it very , very dangerous… and somewhat appealing.
" Buffy.. .my god… you look… is that a whip on your hip?" Willow stutters.
Buffy laughs at Willow's confusion, and puts on a sultry, dominating voice.
"All the better to discipline you with, my dear" Buffy says, then she breaks and giggles." So what do you think?"
" I think I better not get you mad at me, " Willow giggles, as Buffy takes out the whip and gives it a lash." I'm also thinking that Faith is going to have to eat her words."
"Speaking of Faith, where is she? She was supposed to be here…." At that moment, the front doorbell rings." Well, speak of the devil… or deviless" Buffy grins. "Wait here… don't come down til I call you. I want Faith to get the full effect of you." Buffy gives Will the once over, very slowly. She smiles, and then leaves to answer the door.
Willow feels a little shiver go through her, and is more than a little puzzled by it.
" I got it, mom!" Buffy calls out, running for the door. An evil little smile comes over her face, and before answering the door, she gets a coat out of the closet…and puts it on, effectively covering her costume. She answers the door.
" Hey, B, " Faith says, entering the Summer's house.
" Hey, Faith. Gotta admit, you're looking hot, " Buffy says, eyeing Faith's costume.
Faith has gone the Elvira, Mistress of the dark route. She's wearing a floor length, form fitting dress with slits up both sides for her legs, which are encased in fishnet stockings and 4" spike heels. The bodice of the dress plunges to her belly button in front, and in back is nearly backless, stopping just at where the swell of her butt starts. Her makeup is extremely pale, with red lips and black eye shadow. She's wearing long black fingernails to finish the effect.
Faith take a look at the long coat Buffy's wearing , and grins. " So, what're you supposed to be? Evil soccer mom?"
" How'd you guess?" Buffy says, innocently.
Faith, turning towards the stairs, calls over her shoulder. " Figures," She says, dismissing Buffy and looking up the stairs, " So, where's Red? Wanna see how she turned out."
"Oh, Faith, " Buffy calls out. She shrugs off the coat, letting it fall to the floor. She puts on her mask, and grabs the whip off her hip, holding it at the ready.
Faith turns around, and gasps. She sees Dominatrix Buffy grinning at her, playfully swinging the whip. All she can think is Wow!
Buffy, smiling evilly, lets the whip go, just enough so the lash strikes well to the side of Faith.
" So, have you been a bad little girl, Faith?" Buffy asks, licking her lips.
" 'K , Buffy, you win. You fooled me. Never woulda thought…" Faith says, doing a turn around Buffy. Nice… she should wear leather more often. Without realizing it she licks her own lips. "… very…nice, B"
" So, Faithy, am I still a goody two-shoes with a cork stuck up my butt?" Buffy asks.
"Hmmm… that remains to be seen." Faith runs a nail over Buffy's bare shoulder, causing the blonde slayer to shiver." Yeah… that remains to be seen." She completes the 'tour', a little smirk on her lips.
At that moment, the doorbell rings again, breaking the 'spell'. Buffy quickly retrieves her coat, throwing it on to cover herself before opening the door. This isn't lost on Faith. You talk the talk, B. Wonderin' if you walk the walk?
"Trick or Treat!"
Two little kids, no more than 8 years old, stand at the door. The little girl is dressed as a fairy princess, including the wings. The little boy is dressed in a white gi , head band and carrying a toy light saber. Buffy smiles at them, and reaching into the bowl by the door, pulls out two cellophane bags of candy corn. She puts one in each of the little ones bags.
" Thank you" they say, running off to the next house.
" Candy corn, B? God, why not just poison the kids, " Faith says, making a face." I figured you guys at least for chocolate bars."
Buffy shrugs. " Mom's in a money saving mode, and she got a ton of this stuff in bulk. I spent hours last night bagging and tying this stuff. God, I think if I see one more piece of it, I'm going to hurl." She looks up the stairs, "Whatever you do, don't mention it to Willow. She gets sick even at the thought of candy corn."
" So where is the…" Faith starts to ask again, but is interrupted.
" Hey, Buffy, can I come down now?" A voice floats down from above.
" Yeah, c'mon down, Will," Buffy says. " Sorry, got distracted".
Willow makes her entrance, appearing at the top of the stairs. She starts down, kicking out her legs for maximum effect. For a second Faith is just in awe… but quickly recovers, letting out a long and appreciative wolf whistle. Willow blushes, not exactly sure what to think of that.
" Holy crap, you two are just full of surprises tonight, aren't you?" Faith says, giving Willow the once over…several times. She looks like she could just eat her right her…save the wrapper. Willow, really not used to all this attention and admiration, is blushing furiously. She tries to take the spotlight off herself for the moment.
" Ummm… nice costume, Faith, " Willow says, solicitously. " Very…" checking it back and front, " reveally."
" You mean this old thing?" Faith says, mockingly coquettish. " I just threw it on."
" Painted it on, you mean," Buffy says, chuckling.
" Bite me, B" Faith says, faking irritation.
" You're the vamp, Faith, " Buffy says, " you bite me !"
" In your dreams, Buffy, " Faith says , smirking.
" More like my nightmares, " Buffy retorts.
" Hey…HEY…don't we have like… a party to get to?" Willow says, trying to stop it before the natural competition between the two kicks in. Just what I'd need… trying to hold two feuding slayers apart.
"Well, well…look who's all in a hurry to get going. Must be wanting to turn a few heads at the party, " Faith says, turning the heat.
" I so don't, " Willow says, but secretly relishing the thought. " I just wanna get there and beat Cordelia into the ground."
"Whoo hoo. Look who's all take charge tonight," Buffy says, smiling, " you sure you shouldn't be wearing my costume tonight?"
If that means I can see you not wearing your costume tonight…. WILLOW! WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU THINKING? Geeze. I swear… this dress is evil…and it's possessing me!
" Look , guys, I just wanna go before I lose my nerve…" Willow says, suddenly feeling ten times more nervous… especially with two slayers paying all too much attention to her.
" Ok, Will. You ready to go Faith?" Buffy asks
" You betcha, B. Lets motor," Faith says, "Lets go blow Cordy outta the water." She and Willow walk out the door.
" Sounds like a plan to me, " Buffy says, locking the door behind her.
continued in Chapter 2