Deep within the mind of a disarmed Soldier-Boy, the consciousness of Xander Harris realized that they were truly fucked. Spike and his gang of vamps and other demons had trapped them in this Sunnydale alley, with the sadistic Englishman seizing an helpless Buffy Summers who'd lost her memories and powers of the Slayer after changing due to the Chaos spell cast upon her noblewoman's costume tonight. The rest of the good guys - himself, Cordelia, and Angel - had also been subdued by the bleached blond vampire's minions, with a ghostly Willow standing nearby and wringing her hands, since her intangible form couldn't help her companions in any way possible.

Tightly gripped by a pair of clawed demonic hands whose enormous strength made any struggles totally futile, a despairing Xander saw a gleeful Spike transform into game face, grin down at the terrified girl trapped in his arms, and open his fanged mouth in preparation for killing his third Slayer, the young woman who'd come into Xander's life just a year ago, to introduce that teenage boy into the world of darkness that lurked in Sunnydale, and also managed to be for him an actual friend-

At this exact moment, Soldier-Boy now fully manifested himself. That member of the armed forces had been existing solely on automatic pilot during the entire night since he'd somehow appeared in a very strange town, using his military training he'd reluctantly learned during basic, to keep alive the people around him who'd needed his help. However, despite all the weird events happening to him over the last few hours, he'd never really connected to anything occurring within his vicinity. Now, all that changed.

During his entire life, John had joked his way through school, work, and relationships, refusing to take anything seriously at all, until he'd joined the Army, and found out that there was now for him something truly important that he'd do whatever it took to protect them. His buddies, his friends. And that girl out there, she was a good friend of the guy in his head-

A loud shout resounded throughout the alley, freezing everyone there in their tracks. Not just because of the sudden, unexpected yelling, but also due to the fact that a great many people (of whatever species or level of life signs) in the alley instantly recognized the words, the voice, the walk, and the very familiar smirk now present upon the face of the guy who'd just twisted himself out of the clutches of a very startled demon that was now hearing the beginning of a classic speech from that monster's absolutely favorite movie.

Stalking into the middle of the alley and then stopping there to confront everyone staring at him, John Winger continued lecturing, "Cut it out! Cut it out! Cut it out! The hell's the matter with you? Stupid! We're all very different people. We're not Watusi. We're not Spartans. We're Americans, with a capital 'A', huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We're the underdog. We're mutts!"

Pausing in the middle of his discourse, simply because neither John nor Xander could resist the chance of acting upon an immortal straight line, the boy in the soldier costume now stepped right up to an astonished anonymous Sunnydale vampire in the crowd, taking this creature of the night completely by surprise when the human quickly reached out with his index finger, to press this digit against the tip of the demon's nose, all while loudly declaiming to a dumbfounded audience.

"Here's proof: his nose is cold! But there's no animal that's more faithful, that's more loyal, more loveable than the mutt. Who saw 'Old Yeller?' Who cried when Old Yeller got shot in the end?"

Soldier-Boy raised his right hand, looking expectantly around at the flabbergasted crowd, with the teenager's expression quickly changing to sheer exasperation, as nobody else moved. Continuing in a very sarcastic tone while still keeping his arm raised, John tried again.

"Nobody cried when Old Yeller got shot? I'm sure."

After a few more frozen moments, one of the demons in the alley sheepishly lifted up his hand, to then be followed by another vicious monster, and another, and another…. Until finally, a good three-quarters of the alley's unearthly occupants had their arms or mandibles or tentacles raised. Including Willow's own ghostly limb.

Nodding with satisfaction, John confided to everyone there, "I cried my eyes out. So we're all dogfaces, we're all very, very different, but there is one thing that we all have in common: we were all stupid enough to enlist in the Army. We're mutants. There's something wrong with us, something very, very wrong with us. Something seriously wrong with us - we're soldiers. But we're American soldiers! We've been kicking ass for two hundred years! We're ten and one! Now we don't have to worry about whether or not we practiced. We don't have to worry about whether Captain Stillman wants to have us hung. All we have to do is to be the great American fighting soldier that is inside each one of us. Now do what I do, and say what I say. And make me proud."

At the end of the speech, it was Xander who momentarily took over their body, to firmly point right at a gaping Spike, who had absolutely no idea what was going on, or why everybody else's attention was being suddenly directed towards him by that idiotic boy in front of him. However, the English vampire also felt that enough was enough, and this demon now yelled at his followers in his usual contemptuous fashion.

"What the bleedin' hell are you wankers starin' at? Shift your worthless hides, you lot, and round up that daft bugger! Sharply now, or I'll turn you all into dust…" Spike unexpectedly trailed off in the middle of his tirade, as the vampire then felt the mood of the crowd in the passageway abruptly shift without any warning whatsoever.

The entire mob of minions presently in the alley, all of them affected this Halloween night by the actual magic of a hilarious speech that still inspired through amusement and laughter, had been irritably listening to the foreign accent of their so-called leader, and each and every one of these underlings instantly identified in their minds exactly who was standing there with his big mouth and treating them like less than the dirt under his boots.

A goddamn limey.

One of those tea-drinking bastards, who over the centuries had sneered at their colonial cousins, burned the White House, and most sinister of all, still insisted upon keeping a totally unnecessary letter 'u' in such words as 'humor' and 'harbor'.

Fizzing in their supernatural minds, an immense wave of patriotic indignation totally out of the blue now overcame every single demon in the alley who'd had the great good fortune to live in the best damn country in the whole wide world, the United States of America, and that British jerk over there truly needed a good ass-kicking-

As one, the whole crowd of furious monsters then surged forward in a rapid rush right towards Spike and the struggling girl he was still holding prisoner in his firm grip. Totally taken aback by this sudden strange turn of events, the blood-drinking monster with a talent for survival managed to speedily analyze his options, as Spike opened his mouth to threaten to kill his hostage, immediately recognized the soddin' stupidity of that idea, and then unhesitantly shoved hard the noblewoman at the nearest part of the oncoming horde, to then spin around and take to his heels, ignoring the instant shriek of terror from the former Slayer falling under the trampling feet of the mob chasing after a fleeing Spike.

Seconds later, without knowing that a mile away, a certain Janus statue had just been destroyed by Rupert Giles, a young woman aching all over shook off the two people helping her up from the ground, as Buffy ripped off her brown wig, stared down with horror at her ruined costume that had been torn and dirtied beyond repair, and snapped her head back up to snarl at her friends, "What the hell's going on? How'd we get here? And why does my face feel like someone stepped on it?"

Uttering a quiet "Eeep," a now-solid Willow scurried to hide behind Xander, cowardly leaving that boy to confront a furious Slayer without anyone else's help. Cordelia was standing a few steps away in the otherwise-deserted alley, snickering at what had just happened to the other girl, and Angel had taken his leave of them a few moments before after seeing that Buffy was all right, disappearing into the alley gloom while offering the feeble excuse of going to see if Spike had survived. Like hell, Xander reflected. Deadboy had simply gotten out of town while the getting was good, and just for that, Xander was gonna slip a garlic whoopee cushion into Angel's coffin one day.

Glumly eyeing the irate girl before him, Xander devotedly wished that John Winger had stuck around for at least a few more minutes, since that fictional character, as portrayed by Bill Murray in the 1981 movie comedy 'Stripes' was more than capable of talking his way out of anything. Including having to explain to the Slayer exactly what had happened during this Halloween night, and why an unknowing Buffy Summers now possessed on her features, running vertically from her chin to the top of her forehead, the perfect imprint of a big, dirty, taloned, demonic footprint.