A/N: I'm posting my I Luv Halloween fics now, because I seem to be most known for them on my Deviantart. So, tada!
This was written right after I got the first volume, and began as a couple "what if's": What if Devil Lad was a girl? What if Finch found out Devil Lad was a girl? Here's my answer to these questions. Enjoy. :)
They were sitting on that old log again, watching the moon. Mr. Kitty and Pig Pig were who knows where by now. Those two were a recipe for trouble. You couldn't trust them to even cross the street together, almost.
Finch sighed, slumping further down. It must have been almost midnight, but he wasn't tired- not on Halloween. He was restless. Devil Lad turned, the stoic mask revealing no emotion.
"What's up, Finch?"
"Dunno. Just restless, is all… Where the hell are Pig Pig and Mr. Kitty, anyway?" Devil Lad turned to stare at the moon again.
Finch sighed again, shoulders drooping lower. "Here we are, on Halloween, when we should be running around like lunatics from door to door, and what are we doing? Sitting on a log, watchin' the moon!"
"There's nothing wrong with the moon," Devil Lad objected.
"Yeah, but we can watch the moon any other night! There's only one Halloween night! Or is it always Halloween in the bowels of hell?" The devil mask turned to face him again.
Finch avoided eye contact (as much eye contact as their masks would have allowed, anyway). "Nothin'…"
"What?" Devil Lad pressed. "The 'bowels of hell'?"
"You heard me. 'Bowels of hell'. You're Devil Lad, right? So you must be from hell."
Devil Lad laughed, long and hard. "That's where you think I'm from??"
Finch flushed under the mask. "Well… kinda… not really…" He gave a nervous laugh. "Pretty stupid, huh?"
"Oh, not at all. I am you worst nightmare!" Devil Lad teased, voice ominous and arms raised.
"That means Kitty was right, and you are a Halloween Poacher." Devil Lad's arms dropped.
"Nah. I love this holiday as much as you. I'd never go around stealing other kids' goods. Especially not yours!" They laughed, memories of Halloween tricks flashing through their minds.
"You're a smart one, then."
"If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Devil Lad received a playful punch on the arm.
"Poacher," Finch laughed.
Finch turned to face his companion. "Oh yeah? Then take off the mask, show us who you really are."
Devil Lad froze. "W-Why?"
"So I can see whether you're a poacher or not. If you're really from around here, why are you so scared? You said you weren't a poacher."
"I'm not!" Devil Lad's voice was high from nerve.
"Then take it off."
"Whatever happened to sacred Halloween traditions? Sacred, unbroken Halloween traditions?"
"Traditions can be waived in order to protect the peace of the party. Besides, if you are from around here, I'd know you already. And you'd know me. Here, I'll take mine off, too, just for you. Happy now?"
Devil Lad was silent for a minute. "Fine." The reply was dejected.
"'Kay, then, on three. One… two… three!"
They pulled their masks off, Finch's eyes and pale skin shining in the moonlight. Devil Lad's features were hidden by the hoodie's shadow.
"Hey, no fair!" He reached for the hood's rim. Devil Lad caught his wrist, and struggled to keep him from pulling the hood down. Finch pushed Devil Lad to the ground, grabbing fists and straddling legs to prevent movement. The hood fell away and the moonshine fell on the soft, white face of a black haired girl. Finch was dumbfounded.
"M-M-Melanie??" he flubbered. But she was that girl who no one liked, who always sat in the corner of the classroom, who sat alone at lunch. Her dark eyes were cold and hard. She pushed him off onto the ground with surprising force. When he looked up, the hood was up, her back was to him. He watched as she replaced the ever-grinning mask. She looked like she was about to leave. She hesitated, whipped around.
"You can't tell," she said. Her voice was different; it no longer sounded like that of a prepubescent boy. The new, more feminine voice was forced, and laced with tears. The devil face grinned regardless. "You can't tell them…"
Finch couldn't find his voice. He wasn't mad, please let her know he wasn't mad.
She turned to leave again. "You'll have to excuse me, I must return to the bowels of hell."
"You're not a poacher." She stopped in her tracks.
"How can I be? My Halloweens are over." Finch's heart leapt to his throat. He rolled onto his stomach, pushing himself up.
"Over?! W-What about the sacred Halloween traditions? What about our sacred Halloween troupe??"
Her voice was dry. "You won't miss me. It's only one night."
"It's always Halloween in the bowels of hell." He got up. She still didn't turn around. "Don't go, Devil Lad."
Her head turned. "I'm not Devil Lad."
"Yes you are! You always will be! Sacred is sacred!" He put a hand on her shoulder and forced her to face him. "…You understood that better than I do…
"I'm sorry I made you take off your mask. You were right, sacred traditions should be respected, no matter what." He bent down to pick up is own mask. "Maybe there's a reason for it that's beyond our control and knowledge."
They stood in eerie silence for a while. The full, Halloween moon bleached the ground a deathly pallor.
Devil Lad crossed her arms. "You sure get into that whole Halloween Muse thing, huh?" The familiar voice was back. Finch slipped his mask on.
"Trick or treat?"
Finch could almost see her smirk under the monotone mask. "Trick." He put his arm around his buddy's shoulder as they walked off in search of Pig Pig and Mr. Kitty.
"That's my Devil Lad."