The eyeballs of the foul creature of the night presently standing there in the alley now shook, wobbled, vibrated, spun, wavered, and bounced in whatever direction needed to mirror exactly what this enthralled demon was fixedly watching. Specifically, the exquisitely taut pair of female buttocks flexing in their skin-tight white bikini bottom. As this supremely sexy part of a very fit young woman continued gyrating while she vigorously demonstrated the Watusi, the Frug, the Twist, and the Mashed Potatoes, it was absently reflected by Spike the vampire that he was having a hell of a lot more fun on this Halloween than he'd expected earlier tonight.

Just a few hours ago in the crypt they shared, his insane consort known as Drusilla had seemed then even more incoherent than usual, when that female vampire forlornly beseeched Spike to stay with her, babbling such nonsense as, "The black-clad woman of grim mien! The deadly bag! Oh, darling William, avoid the doom that is Gladys!"

Frankly, the undead Englishman could recall just once in his entire lifetime - make that his existence - when he'd encountered a lady bearing that given name. Moreover, this had been back in Victorian times, when he'd been a wee nipper and his father had still been alive. This former resident of London who'd once been called William by his parents had long ago forgotten her surname (if he'd ever bothered to learn it), but his family actually on one occasion had a tweeny working for them bearing this same absurd first name. It was true that particular woman had dressed in black, but really, every maidservant had done this a century before in the past. Black clothing effectively hid the dirt, soot, and grime from their unceasing labors.

Plus, while the female employed in their upper-middle-class home had the presupposed cognomen of misfortune for the blond vampire, this same demon a hundred years later recalled she'd been built like a barrel, smelled of sweat and harsh soap, and possessed a walleye that truly fascinated an eight-year-old lad. Spike found it rather unbelievable that on this All-Hallows-Eve in Sunnydale that he would be in the slightest danger from somebody, anybody, named Gladys.

So, he'd taken his annoyed leave of the other vampire, going off to find some vicious amusement in the California city during tonight's holiday, while Drusilla had fallen to the floor and beaten her head against the flagstones, loudly lamenting during all this, "Sweet, sweet Billy shall ne'er return! Lackaday! The fair maiden in her island raiment hath a guardian to make a dragon cower!"

She'd kept up with this and other codswallop until Spike had finally escaped out of hearing distance. Really, if she hadn't eaten the last psychiatrist the British demon had kidnapped and presented to her a few months ago in a desperate attempt for some peace and quiet, maybe he would've actually bothered to listen to her warnings. They both could've stayed inside the crypt tonight for the vampires to pleasantly pass the time together by playing a few Halloween games such as bobbing for spleens, using his favorite whip to hold a tic-tac-toe contest on her naked back, and finishing off with a few rounds of Trivial Pursuit (Demon Version).

A few hours later, after having a nice snack of someone who seemed to think that on this night it was perfectly safe to open their doors to the first soddin' stranger coming along, Spike had felt an incredibly odd sensation tingling throughout his entire body. He'd then watched in sheer shock, as around him children and other people had changed into their Halloween costumes. The vampire had next spent some of the happiest moments of his demonic existence delightedly watching the anarchy around himself, and how the silly human twits tried to deal with it. The resulting pain, tumult, destruction, and all the other good things in unlife had been glorious, causing him to eventually wander off in search of even more madness to observe, heading in the general direction of Sunnydale's downtown business district.

In that location, while strolling by some store buildings which had between these structures a narrow passageway, from the mouth of this alley a very strange sound, especially during the chaos of this Halloween night, had drifted through the air to be heard by Spike. It had been a feminine giggle. A very jolly snickering sound of absolute happiness that also somehow contained in this laugh a woman's gleeful sexiness.

What had been the weirdest bit was that Spike had the nagging feeling this low chuckle was in some way familiar to him, which was bloody ridiculous. The most vicious vampire in Sunnydale didn't ever deal with giggles in the course of his vile pursuits. Screams of terror, wails of despair, death rattles - those were the typical noises Spike ordinarily heard during his rampages, and giggling damn well wasn't part of this.


To be honest, there was Richard Widmark's magnificent chortle while performing his role as Tommy Udo in the movie 'Kiss of Death', when that brutal villain had joyfully shoved his victim in her wheelchair down a steep flight of steps, leading to this helpless woman's death. After first seeing this film decades ago, Spike had secretly sneaked off to the nearest private location, and the vampire had then done his very best to imitate that absolutely corking evil laugh. Finally, after numerous failures, Spike had glumly acknowledged to himself that it was impossible to mimic true genius. The demon had then vowed to himself that if he ever ran across the actor in the future, this utterly talented human would be totally safe from the vampire, as long as Spike got an autograph and also his very own, personal, performance of that superbly sadistic giggle.

Mulling this over, and with his curiosity awoken, Spike had walked into the alley, traveling down it until he reached the point where this lane widened into a small courtyard behind the shop buildings, then standing there transfixed, as the vampire stared at a most surprising tableau.

From where Spike was standing in the mouth of the narrow alley to about twenty feet away on the other side of the courtyard, a young blonde woman with a superlative figure was enthusiastically dancing upon the loading dock of the building that she was facing, all while remaining unaware of her observer. This female's body with its sexy contours was plainly evident, both due to her being directly under a wall light above the loading dock, plus the fact that she was wearing nothing but a pure white bikini.

For the next few minutes, Spike happily watched that clearly insane bint over there dancing away in pure delight without showing the slightest care in the world. A slight clue to how totally nutters the young woman must be (besides acting like she was perfectly safe at doing that in this bleedin' town) was the fact that after she'd dressed in her skimpy bathing suit, colored markers had then been used to paint and daub various designs upon her exposed back and also along the bronzed skin on the rear of her limbs. These drawings included such things as flower petals, a rainbow, sketches of the moon, sun, and stars, plus a few succinct comments such as "SNYDER SUCKS!"

At this point, when Spike was vaguely attempting to remember if there was indeed another vampire in town with that exact name, his concentration was abruptly diverted by the dancing girl under the overhead wall light now performing a quick half-spin, so that she then looked across the courtyard, directly locking gazes with the bloodthirsty monster there regarding his newest prey.

Her face lighting up in total joy at finally becoming aware of her audience, a merry grin showed every one of the young girl's blindingly white teeth, as she again produced that damnably familiar giggle. Not that Spike was in actuality trying to remember just where and when he'd heard that odd, half-sheepish, half-joyous chortle, because the bathing beauty now really started to dance.

A properly appreciative vampire decided to hold off on the rapine and slaughter for now. At least, until he grew tired of her enthusiastic go-go moves, which were making that topping bird's knockers bounce around like a pair of rubber balls caught in an avalanche. Firmly keeping his gaze upon those large breasts that would surely escape from the captivity of their scrap of white cloth any second now, Spike eventually noticed something else concerning this young woman's body.

Starting just below her throat (which would be absolutely smooth under his piercing fangs), there was a red dot of paint or ink that continued in a vertical line of the same color, descending along the center of the girl's body boogieing away like there was no tomorrow. Idly curious about this, Spike observed the line as it traveled down the sternum, under the middle strap of the bikini, reaching the flat stomach, and then making a charming half-loop around the navel, to finally stop in a drawn arrowhead design that was pointing directly at the underneath horizontal statement also drawn in letters of black ink right above the top edge of the bikini bottom: LOOK LEFT.

Unthinkingly obeying, Spike turned his head in that direction, just in time to see the dark object coming straight at his face at an immense velocity. There was no chance for the vampire's reflexes to react fast enough to avoid being punched there with such incredible force that most of the bones in the front of his skull shattered, and his entire body now performed a back flip from the impetus of the unexpected blow. This action ended with Spike's head hitting the hard alley asphalt first in his half-somersault, adding several skull fractures to the tally of his recent injuries.

Still, that demon's unholy body had shrugged off more grievous injuries in the past. Just give him a moment or two, and he'd speedily recover in time to show that perisher who'd surprised him just what William the Bloody did to blokes who thought that a single bleedin' clout would do the job. Lying limply on the alley floor and unable to move, the vampire felt his vision clear as he glared upwards at the person hobbling forward in his line of sight-


Glowering at the still figure before herself as she cautiously shuffled neared on her arthritic knees, Gladys Ormphby then fumbled inside her black purse fiercely held in her tight grip. Keeping a wary eye on her downed enemy, who would have surely acted in a most offensive manner toward a poor old woman if she hadn't acted first, the fingers of the aged lady in her drab attire now searched among the contents of the deadly handbag for the proper tool to finish the job.

Even if he could have actually thrown off his momentary paralysis caused by being walloped by a woman's bag for carrying her everyday belongings, that under the influence of the Chaos magic set upon it tonight by a certain sorcerer could presently hit with all the speed and power of a ten-ton wrecking ball, Spike was simply too astonished to move at all. Instead, he just stared upwards at the individual in the dowdy dress and having a bun hairdo covered by a visible hairnet knotted in the middle of this person's forehead, as this aggrieved human halted next to his prone body. Only when the vampire also listened to the next grumbling words under this woman's breath did he desperately test his immobile limbs, as Spike now watched in total horror while Gladys absently checked the contents of her purse.

"Brass knuckles, blackjack, cleaver, garrote - where is that dratted thing? Ah-HAH!"

With a satisfied grunt, Gladys ("that's Miss Ormphby to you, buster!") then pulled out a wooden stake from her small purse that shouldn't have possibly contained a foot-long sharpened stick fitting very comfortably in her hand. Of course, on this Halloween night in Sunnydale, Ethan Rayne had enchanted a great many costumes to do things that didn't even bother to follow, much less obey, the laws of nature. It was magic, after all.

Spike didn't know or care anything about this. What was most important was just a few more seconds, and he'd be able to move-

Stiffly kneeling down besides the form of the wicked cur who'd been leering in such a vile fashion at the young flibbertigibbet still behaving in such a scandalous manner over there in her totally indecent garb, Gladys Ormphby lifted the stake high, and then she plunged that weapon into the vampire's chest, hitting the unbeating heart.

Just before he puffed into dust, the very last thought that went through Spike's mind was the resentful observation that Xander Harris had to be the ugliest little old lady in the whole soddin' universe.

The next morning, a high-school librarian sat behind his desk, and while slowly polishing his glasses, a very glum Rupert Giles wondered exactly how many people were going to kill them all, every last member of the Scooby Gang. This Englishman had never been that good at maths during his own student days, but he suspected there would certainly be an infinity symbol somwhere in that homicidal equation, representing the number of evil beings worldwide that would do anything to get their hands, claws, and tentacles upon an Boundless Bag of Granting.

A brief, wary glance was now sent towards the black bag presently lying limply atop the main library table, next to its current owner and master, who was at that moment cramming into his mouth yet another Twinkie. Giles shut his eyes in true exasperation, as he contemplated again just what had resulted from a thorough pillock's messing around with Chaos magic.

*Bloody hell, Ethan, even when it went all pear-shaped for you, the habits of a lifetime meant you still managed to totally cock up things for everyone else. It wasn't bad enough you managed to escape after I smashed that Janus statue. Oh, no, when I got back here, Xander was right in the middle of investigating what happened to his purse that had changed into a bag during that last burst of magical energy.*

The older man opened his eyes again, and he glowered at the youth there wrapped in his majestic red cloak pinned at the front with an ornate oval gold brooch, and floating a few inches above his library chair. Munching away at his mouthful of golden sponge cake, the teenage boy was presently using the green ring worn on his right ring finger, which had a thin tendril of energy in this identical color leading from that piece of jewelry to a comic book having the rather crude cover art of a costumed man holding a car over his head. Engrossed in reading his mint copy of Action Comics 1 while using his Green Lantern ring to flip the pages over, Xander Harris was also absentmindedly patting with his left hand the top of an immense, six-barreled gun taking up the rest the library table.

Giles sent an exceptionally evil look towards that massive weapon, which had been explained to him by a thrilled Xander to be always referred as a 'mini-gun'. If that was indeed the case, the librarian decidedly did not want to see what was considered a large firearm in whatever locale that had previously contained this purloined gun. Particularly since Xander had nearly ruptured himself hauling out that incredibly destructive device from his bag.

During the next couple of minutes while Xander had discreetly checked his lower regions for anything that might have come loose, Giles managed to inquire if that young man had any idea whatsoever just why his former purse was now seemingly capable of producing virtually anything requested by its new owner from inside the cloth bag. So far, the only specific limits found during the Scooby Gang's examination of Xander's prize were 'nothing alive' and 'no objects wider than the bag's neck'.

The high school student himself, in between mourning his failure to produce something called the 'Good Arnold Terminator', had to confess his own total mystification. "I mean, G-man, the purse used on the Laugh-In show by Ruth Buzzi as her Gladys Ormphby character was just something funny to wallop guys that were hitting on her. When I got changed into her last night for real by that asshole friend of yours, I was pretty much a back-seat driver. She was the one totally sure that her purse would provide whatever she needed, and I have to admit, what with the stake that took care of Spike, Gladys was absolutely right. I dunno. Could that have carried over in some way when the Halloween magic ended? Being so certain about the purse that it somehow also applied to my bag?"

Several minutes later, Giles was still pondering those surprisingly insightful suggestions from his younger associate, unable to come to any firm conclusions thus far. Well, except for an utter determination to keep this whole bloody situation as secret as possible from everyone. And, yes, that definitely included the Council itself.

Unnoticed by anyone else, Giles did a quick shudder at the very thought of his superiors in that organization controlling the Slayer ever finding out about that innocent-looking yet immensely magical object over there. The librarian had for a while now his own dark thoughts about a bunch of wankers five thousand miles away who couldn't ever be bothered to damn well turn up here and actually pitch in. Frankly, those berks' concept of tangible support for a tiny band of humans desperately trying to protect the Hellmouth on their own never went any further than making condescending remarks such as, "Oh, you've saved the world again? Good show, keep it up. By the way, is that Summers gel as disrespectful as ever? You must be more than ready to return home when she dies and a proper Slayer serves the Council. Here's hoping that happens soon, young Giles."

Remembering a recent conversation with London which had gone very much like that, Rupert Giles found himself angrily sitting up straight and stiff in his chair, teeth grinding in fury and fists clenched hard enough for his fingernails to dig into his palms. At this point, he was infuriated enough to start wondering if that so-called mini-gun over there might possibly have an accidental weapons discharge of several hundred bullets in the general direction of any Council representative, if they ever deigned to come around-

"Okay, guys! We're ready!"

A startled Giles felt his mental fantasy abruptly vanish, leaving him feeling a bit ashamed, as the Englishman now glanced over at the main table, where Xander was grinning at the librarian, evidently not noticing anything amiss. Ah, that lad had indeed also heard those cheerful words coming from further back in the library shelves. There, three young women had spent an extremely long time in doing whatever needed to be done among themselves, all to the accompaniment of incessant giggling. Well, that seemed to have ended, and now the two men in the library would finally see what Buffy Summers, Willow Rosenberg, and Harmony Kendall had been up to together.

His Slayer, still out of sight behind the bookshelves, now jubilantly called, "Here I come!"

After that final word, Buffy now walked out from her location, stepping into view at the far end of the room and then taking a few more strides forward, where she halted and posed for her Watcher and her Xander-shaped friend.

As she observed two male jaws drop nearly to their belt buckles, Buffy's face maintained her calm expression only because of incredible Slayer self-control. Which was in itself a superpower the young woman had discovered only two seconds ago, when she'd managed not to smirk at those dumbfounded guys there, who were now seeing little ol' Buffy wearing what she'd earlier demanded from Xander, in a no-nonsense tone: "Postwar Dior in our sizes!"

A doubtful teenage boy had then reached into the magic bag, not sure this would actually work, until when his hand was grouping away in there, his fingers touched soft cloth, and an astonished Xander had pulled out the magnificent dress that Buffy was currently wearing. Honestly, the Sunnydale native knew as much about dresses as he did about Tibetan puberty rituals, so all he could describe about that young woman's spectacular garment was that it clung closely enough to announce to people in other solar systems that here was a superbly fit female, all dressed up in beautiful, light-pink fabric that seemed to actually shimmer in splendor, and cut in lines that were the culmination of the dressmaker's art.

Standing like a gorgeous statue in the library, Buffy gleefully basked in the guys' total and complete attention for several minutes, with this girl's only movement being the soft rising and falling of her chest, causing the gigantic pink diamond dangling there from its necklace to glitter and sparkle under the room lights.

Only when a throat from somewhere behind the rear library shelves was loudly and crossly cleared several times did Buffy finally make her exit. Performing a grand, sweeping turn, the Slayer strutted back to rejoin her concealed friends. There, judging from the scowl Willow promptly aimed at the arriving blonde, that redhead was plainly irked about Buffy overstaying her welcome out in the room. An unrepentant grin was flashed at the other girl, as Buffy gaily whooped to the expectant pair of males, "Now, put your hands together for Willow Rosenberg, the one and only!"

A panicky expression now blossomed upon the features of that named girl, as she hesitated while clearly beginning to dither about her decision to join in with Buffy and Harmony during today's latest Scooby pastime. Eventually, it took an actual shove by Buffy to force Willow to stumble out from behind the library shelves. A few steps later, the smartest girl in Sunnydale High came to an unnerved stop in the rear part of the area, fearfully staring like a deer caught in the headlights, right at the two people gazing back at herself.

The faces of both Xander and Giles then actually showed pure awe.

Instantly picking up on this, Willow inwardly felt an sudden surge of unreserved delight, which overwhelmed any previous feelings of nervousness, as she was obviously making one hell of an impression upon the guys over there. It was a much nicer sensation than when she'd worn the first costume suggested by Buffy earlier on Halloween night, when she'd felt totally self-conscious about wearing her friend's raciest clothing.

Straightening up, Willow proudly stood before her audience, the jade green of her classic Dior dress strikingly bringing out the girl's auburn hair. Resting comfortably upon Willow's alabaster skin of her upper chest, attached to a fine gold chain around the young woman's neck, was an enormous emerald, glowing with its own inner green fire.

Happily counting down in her head until Willow was sure she'd beaten Buffy's modeling time by at least a good thirty seconds, the Jewish girl then gave a still-staring Xander and Giles a dignified nod of farewell, as she stately swept off towards the rear of the room. Once she was back behind the library shelves, Willow stuck out a defiant tongue at Buffy waiting there, a look of thunder upon the Slayer's face.

Irritably grimacing at a now-snickering Willow, Buffy then forcefully announced, "Gentlemen, we've saved the best for last! Here she is, Harmony Kendall!"

As the last of the female trio went past, Buffy and Willow promptly forgot any potential hostilities between themselves, instead joining together in poking their heads past the end of the bookshelves. These two girls now watched how Harmony gracefully glided further down the room and then stopped, standing motionless there in anticipation of her audience's reaction.

Rupert Giles felt his heart skip a beat at the sight of this lovely young woman in her sky-blue Dior dress. Xander, on the other hand, had an entirely different and much more evident response. Losing his control over Dr. Strange's cloak, the boy plummeted from his position floating several inches above his chair, his descending rear meeting the seat of that furniture with a meaty 'thud!' sound that suggested serious bruising in the very near future. Though, once his eyeballs stopped bouncing, Xander seemed to totally ignore what had just happened to himself, to instead continue a glazed stare of worshipful adoration at his beautiful girlfriend wearing her superb deep blue diamond necklace.

That last piece of jewelry had been something of a surprise to them all. The Pink Panther diamond was easy enough, and the El Corazon emerald from 'Romancing the Stone' had eventually been suggested by Buffy. However, nobody in the Scooby Gang could come up with a fictional azure diamond necklace, until Giles had simply proposed that Xander reach into his bag and hope for the best. Several months later, a quartet seeing a first-run movie about a ship on its sole voyage had each and every one of them been truly staggered at seeing on the screen an exact duplicate of the keepsake lovingly hidden away by Harmony after Halloween, who had yet to know she possessed the Heart of the Ocean.

Inside the library, unmindful of the origin of her necklace, Harmony smiled at the young man across the main table obviously her total slave. Impulsively giving in to the last lingering trace of Chaos magic that remained inside herself, the blonde girl lifted her right hand to her mouth, and for a moment, she nibbled on the tip of her index finger, while a sheepish grin flickered upon her lips.

Then, Harmony Kendall delivered an absolutely perfect Goldie Hawn giggle.