October 1998, a month that will live on in INFAMY!
Eleven-year-old Dawn Summers walked into Ethan's Costume shop knowing exactly what costume she wanted.
"Now, your sister and her friends have their costumes, what would you like, young lady," asked the nice British man. He leaned down so he could look at her face to face. Dawn Summers put her fists on her hips and looked him squarely in the eyes.
"I want to be a princess," she said firmly.
"Well, I think I have just the costume," Ethan said, pulling a princessly dress off a rack and handed it to the girl.
"I am Dracula," said the handsome vampire in the stylishly out of date costume said.
"Duh, like forty others," Buffy said rolling her eyes.
"What? No, I am truly Dracula," the vampire said.
"Granted you do it better than the others," Willow said with a shrug.
"Aren't you supposed to have a Renfeld here or something?" Xander asked.
Dracula snapped his fingers. A moment a dazed, spider eating Harmony floated out, looking about half stoned. "What is your bidding my master?"
"Oh," Xander said in surprise. "…Do you want to keep her?"
"Xander!" his companions chided. Willow tapped him on the back of the head.
"He needs to pay for her first," she explained as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. "She's worth at least a few grand."
"Dru left me for a slime demon," a drunken Spike said.
"Where is she?" Buffy asked.
"Oh, she's down in LA with the Ponce and the cheerleader," Spike said. "Slime demon works at the karaoke demon bar the Ponce sometimes goes to. The Slayers tend to hang out there too."
"Angel can sing?"
Spike started shaking, seemingly not noticing where he was. A moment later the voice that came from his mouth was weak and traumatized. "No! No! Not 'Mandy' Stop! Make it Bloody stop!" Soon the vampire crawled into a fetal position and cowered on the ground. "Please, please, please, please…"
Buffy turned to the others. "Even if he is a horrible vampire, he doesn't deserve that."
"Two Daddies?" Harmony asked in a tone people usually reserve for when they win the lottery. The other Scourge, er, Scoobies, stepped away as the blonde sorceress started to drool all over her skulls.
The idea of the demon's splitting-Xander ray was not the most pleasant to most others, but they understood the attraction to a certain degree.
"No, not going to happen, never, don't think of it, just go away," both Xanders said in unison.
"Guys, I think Dawn's a glowing ball of energy," Harmony said. Everyone looked at her like she was crazy. She looked right at Xander and glared. "I'm serious!"
"Doesn't change the fact you're bloody wacked," Spike said, stealing something from the Summers fridge. "You got any more of that pig's blood? Mine's ran out."
"Spike, we don't keep any blood in the fridge," Joyce said.
"Then what did I drink last night?" Spike asked, stroking his chin.
"I'm serious! Dawn's a glowing ball of energy!" Harmony said sharply. "She's not even supposed to exist!"
"Buff, pass the potatoes please," asked Willow, ignoring the beskulled sorceress.
"It's not nice to call me names or make fun of me," Dawn said, sticking out her tongue at the scantily clad sorceress.
"Indeed, I thought better of you," Giles said, serving himself a plate of good food. "Perhaps you should consider your words before speaking them. Of course, that would be making the assumption that you actually think, so perhaps I should not have such high hopes for your social skill evolution."
"I'll have a turkey, ADAM," Willow said, sticking her head into the kitchen. The government made cyborg dutifully pulled another turkey from the oven and passed it to the redhead.
"Certainly. I tried a balsamic glaze this time, it should eliminate the previous dryness," ADAM said, slicing a smaller turkey for the less ravenous members of the Scooby gang. He at once noticed the breast was a little too pink for peak health. Concentrating, he transformed his hand into a grill to finish it off. Satisfied with the result, he placed it on the platter and glanced in the refrigerator for the special sauce he had made the previous day. "Spike, I believe the bottle you drank was my dark gravy and sherry."
"I suppose that could explain a few things," the vampire admitted before sinking his teeth into the live turkey ADAM had supplied for the guest. Everyone was eating (save for ADAM, but he didn't need to) and having a grand old time until Harmony stood up and screamed.
"WHY DOESN'T ANYONE BELIEVE ME?"
"Because you're crazy!" was the unanimous response from the others.
There was a long moment of glaring and silence around the table. ADAM sighed.
"…I was saving that sherry."
"So there's this Glory person who keeps bugging me," Buffy said. "I have to admit, she's pretty strong, but Betsey keeps her away."
"Betsey?" Xander asked. Buffy pointed to her mace. "You named your mace?"
"Yup," Buffy said leaning back in her chair. "Glory keeps wanting to know where her key is and I keep telling her to look under the doormat. I dunno what the key's for."
"Love dungeon?" Everyone looked at Harmony. Their collective expression was one part confusion, two parts annoyance and three parts I-don't-want-to-know. Willow looked at Xander with a raised eyebrow. The Warrior of Justice denied everything.
"I know nothing," Giles said. Harmony opened her mouth to explain, but the Watcher cut her off. "Nor do I want to know."
"So I told her I'd look for it and I'd tell her if I found it," Buffy said. "Then I asked her what it looked like."
"Let me guess," Willow said as she munched on a turkey leg, "She didn't know?"
"Got it in one," Buffy said. "I told her I doubted it was hers if she didn't know what it looked like. And then she punched me through a wall."
"Well, I guess that explains all the concrete dust on my sweater," Joyce said dryly.
"It's okay, I only bought that special."
"I'm really, really sorry."
"Look Mom! Buffy caught a snake man!"
"That's nice Dawn," Joyce said, reading a book.
"Can we keep him?"
"Are you going to take care of him?" her mother asked. "Giles tells me that reptile demons can take a lot of care, especially the coldblooded ones."
"I promise I'll feed him every day. I'll even take him for walks."
"Well…"Joyce said, obviously thinking it over. "Talk to Xander about having a pen made."
"Thank you Mom!" Dawn gave her mother a big hug and ran out of the room. "Mom says we can keep him! Do you think he eats live rats?"
"We are the Knights of Byzantium," said the knight.
"Wait right there!" Xander said. "I'll be back in almost no time."
He ran off and sure enough, Xander came back with two bundles under his arms. He handed them to the Knights as he tried to catch his breath.
"There you go. Two shrubberies. And I'll do the Herring thing tomorrow."
"Buffy, Dawn," Joyce said. "There's something we need to talk about."
"I have a brain tumor. The doctors just told me," Joyce said.
"Recovery!" Buffy said, casting a healing spell.
"Thanks, my headache's gone," Joyce said, "But I still have to go in tomorrow for more tests."
The next day
"Hey," one of the doctors said, calling Ben over. He was pointing to a computer screen. "Wasn't there a tumor here yesterday?"
"I thought so," Ben said. "It's not?"
"Are we being pranked?"
"Yeah, because I could really use another malpractice suit."
"I know, really."
"The Council wants to inspect us to determine if it is safe to share information with us," Giles said. He glanced back at the Watchers and noticed one missing. "Nigel, where's Quentin?"
"I don't know, he just took one look at the redhead and took off running," the watcher said.
"Not very professional," chided Lydia. Giles chuckled to himself, causing the other watchers to look at him funny. "What?"
"Nothing, just a private joke," Giles said before laughing again. Then he doubled up and fell to the floor laughing.
"I suppose you had to be there."
"So, Spike, I did my thesis work on you," Lydia said.
"So I suppose you want to know every little quaint detail," the vampire said.
"Oh yes, every intimate detail," she said. Spike gave her a once over with his eyes.
"Fancy a shag?"
"So, Xander, what do you do?"
"I am a Warrior of Justice," Xander said, striking a pose. "And a carpenter."
"Harmony, how do you assist the Slayer?"
"…" Harmony replied. After almost laughing enough to make the watcher's ears bleed, she chose to continue. "Buffy couldn't do a thing without me, neither could Willow."
"I make their lives more worth living by being so bountiful and higher class," the sorceress said in a haughty tone while emphasizing her "bounty." Harmony the White Serpent laughed again. Glancing down at their notes, they added a comment about the painful laugh. They supposed it could be used in a number of situations. At the very least it could drive someone to suicide.
"Amy, I understand that you are an accomplished witch?" a handsome male watcher inquired.
"I've been learning. I haven't mastered everything yet," Amy admitted.
"I understand that your mother once took over your body?"
"Yeah," Amy said sadly. "I didn't really have any choice, but I use her as a paperweight now. She's good for those long scrolls that always roll back up, you know?"
"I completely understand. Those buggers always drive me up the wall," the young watcher agreed.
"And you, Mr. Levenson," Lydia asked. "What is your area of expertise?"
"Oh, I'm Jonathan, Mysterious Priest!"
"So you make the holy water?"
"So you bless their weapons?"
"Do you do anything for them?"
"Now, that, Miss Watcher," the boy said, wagging a finger, "is a secret!"
"Mr. ADAM," a dark haired watcher began. "As a demonic-human-cyborg, how do you feel when surrounded by non-cyborgs?"
"Completely confused," the cyborg admitted. "Humans and demons are completely confusing."
"Could you give an example of what confuses you?"
"Of course," ADAM replied. "I do not understand money. I have no needs. Perhaps in years when my reactor needs replacing, but for the time being, I have no needs. Young Willow's obsession with money perplexes me."
"But you are not upset at being alone?"
"I will always have my cooking."
"Yes, quite recently, I've been working on a Karnath demon blood and currant reduction on chicken breast, but I can't seem to get it quite right," the cyborg admitted. "I think I may need the Karnath blood a bit fresher, but Joyce doesn't allow me to bring them into the house anymore."
"Summers," the cyborg explained. "Dawn's snake-man got a hold of the thing and it was a week before we got the mess out of the rug."
"What's for dinner tonight?"
"Savory lamb patties with a red wine and octopus ink marinade," ADAM answered proudly. "We recently recovered a young ram in a dark ritual and it was something I've been meaning to try. The hard part is managing the balance of flavors."
"Quentin," Lydia said to the Head Watcher. "You need to come out from under the desk."
"No! They're there! I know they're there! You can't fool me!"
"Bloody Hell, Quentin!" Giles said, rolling his eyes. "You've been under that desk for five days! I'd like to actually get some work done!" The former librarian bent down to look at the Head Watcher cowering under the desk. "If you don't come out right now, I'll have to ask Willow-"
A certain Mr. Travers managed to run out of the room fast enough to send the papers flying into air in his wake. Sporting a grin, Giles glanced back to the surprised Watcher looking in the direction Quentin Travers has used for his escape. "Miss Lydia. You simply need to offer him the right suggestions."
"Spiky, I'm back," Drusilla said from the doorway of the Summers house.
"I see that Dru," Spike said, a little hesitant to go back to her so soon.
"I made a mistake Spiky, my Spiky," She said rubbing up against his chest. "Slimy always smiled. No matter how much I hurt it, Slimy always smiled. And then Miss Edith spoke of a dragon quest. You won't smile if I hurt you, will you Spiky?"
"No, I suppose I won't," admitted Spike.
"I've missed you, Spiky," Drusilla. "You never smile when you hurt."
"Are you sure you've still got your soul?"
[ AN: http: / fountaindew . Com / blog / wp-content / uploads / 2009 / 05 / slime . Jpg ]
"You made a robot girlfriend?"
"Yeah, but she wasn't all she was cracked up to be," replied Warren.
"How are you with cyborgs?" Buffy asked.
Olaf the Troll God looked at the wenches before him. They did not look like they were here for merry sport. In fact, their expressions closely resembled Anyanka's face before she cursed him into Trolldom. He looked at the three blondes (Buffy, Harmony and Tara) and the redhead (Willow, obviously), each floating about a foot off the floor and glowing with arcane power.
"I think I'll just go to the pub for a mead," he said pointing towards the door. He started edging towads the exit just to be on the safe side.
"Bad Snake man!" Dawn said, chiding the reptile currently spitting out bones in their back yard. "You know Glory's minions always make you sick to your stomach!"
The pitiful creature whined and Dawn couldn't help but pet it. "I'm sorry, but you really need to be better. Hey, I know! Let's go to Willy's and you can eat anyone you catch?"
The snake-man hugged her close and licked her face with glee. "Oh, you're so silly!"
Recently built by crazy people, the tower was destroyed by arguably crazier people. Namely these were Buffy, Willow, Xander and Harmony, although they had help from one of the newer members of the Scourge of Sunnydale, er…the Scooby Gang.
"Now Glory! You'll feel the wrath of LORD ZOAMELGUSTAR!" Dawn called out a moment before she stabbed a dagger carved with useless but arcane-looking runes into a piece of Glory's favorite dress. "MUWAHAHAHAHAH! MUWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
Glory, about to hit Buffy, suddenly contorted backwards into a very painful-looking clump of limbs and red satin. Surprised, Buffy jumped back a step. Willow glanced at Glory, then at Buffy and then at Dawn.
"You know Buffy?" said Willow while she dragonslaved a demon minion. "Sometimes Dawnie scares me."
Buffy lazily looked over to where Dawn Summers gloated over her incapacitation of the Hell Goddess who was still writhing on the ground. "Yeah, sometimes I guess."
ADAM, ignoring the youngest Summer's antics, simply cut up another demon minion. His mind was on other things, like how he could get on Iron Chef as a contestant.
As the other members of the Scooby Gang dealt with the minions, a certain member walked purposefully up to Glorificus and leaned down to whisper in her ear.
"Glory, Glory, Glory…" Jonathan said in a pitying tone. "You really shouldn't have done this. You see, we Mazoku cannot allow you to destroy the world by accident because we want to destroy it intentionally. But before that, we want to enjoy ourselves for as long as possible. For that you have to die."
Jonathan smiled as Glory had just a spark of fear cross her face. He covered her mouth and nose as she changed back into Ben. The nurse struggled for a while before falling in a pile on the ground. Jonothan stood up with a satisfied smile as he brushed off his hands on his pants.
"Glory's dead guys!" He yelled out, pointing to Ben's corpse. Dawn claimed it as her own source of glory (pun intended) and cackled with righteous glee. The primary threat eliminated, the Scourge of Sunnydale, sorry, I meant the Scooby Gang, used their normal level of excessive violence to eliminate the rest of the minions. Which is to say, they destroyed the minions utterly.
"Lord Zoamelgustar wins again, heh heh heh," cackled the brunette girl as she ran down the stairs. Standing triumphantly over the corpse, she pulls the dagger from the hem and brandishes it in the air. Flipping the "cursed" dagger in the air, she missed it on the catch and it flew right into her foot. Blood coursed with magical power and the portals to other worlds opened up.
"Awe crap," said Buffy. She angrily pointed at her sister. "You're in big trouble as soon as I get back!"
The power running through the portal was too great, and Buffy's corpse fell to the ground.
"RESURRECTION!" called out a sweet southern voice. As the Scourge of Sunnydale looked at the owner of the voice, Tara McClay shrank back. Buffy's body arched back and took a deep, harsh breath as her soul was forced back into her body and her heart started up once more. The blond witch stammered cutely. "S-s-sorry. B-Buffy's been t-teaching me some sp-spells."
Willow grinned and put an arm over the southern witch's shoulder. "You know, ever since Halloween a while back, I've had a thing for blondes with long hair. Why don't we talk about that some?"
"What about me?" asked Harmony, slightly offended.
"Smart blondes with long hair," Willow corrected. "I'm not completely like Lina."
Tara just smiled shyly and sweetly. Everyone nodded warmly as they left in a group. ADAM, learning more about demon physiology from the corpses, suddenly realized he was alone.
"Where's everybody gone?" he asked. "I was gonna make espresso."
"Oz, there's something I need to tell you," Veruca said hesitantly.
"What is it?" he asked as he tuned his guitar.
"You know how we had that bad patch right after I got out of the Initiative and it took a few months before we got back together?"
"Yeah, is this about you getting pregnant?" He was a werewolf; his sense of smell told him that much.
"Um, yes, yes it is," Veruca said. "Well, we weren't together then, so something happened at Willy's bar. I kinda had an affair with a troll."
"And now you're pregnant with half troll, half werewolf babies?"
Oz looked at her intently. He held her shoulders with a firm, but comforting grip. "Whatever you do, never, ever let Willow name them."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: And you all thought Dawn was going to be Amelia! Tut-tut!