A sort of challenge from Perfect Lionheart. The basic outline- Buffy is not a factor in the Halloween episode, the original suggestion was that she was sick. Willow manages to dredge up enough courage to suggest coordinated costumes for herself and Xander

I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer

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"One minute I'm free and the next I've signed away my soul to Snyder," Xander lamented as he searched through the half priced bin at the new costume shop in Sunnydale. There was a depressing lack of toy guns and the young resident of the Hellmouth was beginning to think that his two dollar costume plan was never going to be a reality.

"You didn't sign away your soul," Willow protested gently, "Snyder just has a different meaning for the word volunteering. And it could be a good thing! The kids need someone to protect them tonight and we got picked!"

She was trying not to sigh as she noted the family that was still browsing through Ethan's shelves. The oldest girl of the group had taken the very last ghost costume and Xander's expression was still very dubious.

"Besides, free candy!" Willow tried, hoping to brighten up her dearest friend's countenance. The ploy worked as Xander smiled slightly.

"And we can share it with Buffy when she comes back," Willow went on and then winced as the smile disappeared as quickly as it had appeared at the mention of their blonde friend. Apparently a vampire had gotten a lucky shot the night before and had managed to break Buffy's arm while fighting. Giles had been understandably upset, an injured Slayer was a huge target after all, and had persuaded Mrs. Summers to take Buffy out of town for the rest of the week, the time that it would take to heal. Willow and Xander were unsure as to what sort of excuse Giles had used to convince Mrs. Summers that it would be alright for Buffy to miss so much of school but the important thing was that Buffy would be safe. Thankfully with Slayer healing it wouldn't take very long before Buffy was back in Slaying action and, according to Giles, Halloween was a quiet night.

"Sound good," Xander agreed, "And hey! What do you think Wills?"

Willow looked to see her friend with a very feathery pirate hat. That morning an incident involving a soda machine had resulted in her Xander shaped friend sporting a black eye but that particular bruise was now covered by an eye patch.

"It's nice," Willow agreed with some enthusiasm but her gaze was drawn to a certain bully who was buying a pre packaged pirate costume. Xander followed his friend's gaze and winced before quickly replacing the eye patch and hat.

"Okay, so pirate is a no go," Xander declared quietly so as not to draw the bully's notice. He looked through the bin again and brought out a small, strange shield, a confused frown on his face. He turned it around and Willow caught sight of her reflection in the shield. A bright smile appeared on her face.

"I know who we can be!" she proclaimed and before a bemused Xander could protest, his arms were filled with a variety of things.

"Ah Wills," Xander tried to protest but Willow was firm.

"It'll be fun," she said, "just follow my plan."

Hours later, a rather embarrassed Xander stood in front of his almost minions, wearing what Willow informed him was a Hollywood rendition of a Greek toga. The red cloth was pinned at one shoulder and left one of his sides more open than he cared to think about. White shorts saved his modesty. He wore leather sandals with little wings attached to the sides. He approved of two parts, the faux Grecian warrior helmet which covered most of his face, and a sword he had borrowed without permission from Giles. He was still unsure about the strange little shield that Willow insisted that he carry. What good was a mirror shield when vampires didn't have reflections? A bag with a mannequin's head and a few stakes inside had been tied to his waist.

He dared a glance over at his best friend. She too wore a Greek toga, though hers was deep purple and considerably longer than his and actually covered everything, except for her arms. Whereas his reached at about his knees, her toga could easily brush the ground. Rubber snakes had been interwoven into her hair which had been curled and piled up on her head and tiny bronze colored wings decorated her back. The only odd thing was the pair of sunglasses that she had donned.

"Alright troops," Xander said, bringing himself back to the current situation, "Keep in mind that the 'but you missed me' routine is very risky and should only be attempted for chocolate. Tears are key! Now, let's move out!"

The children, dressed in a variety of bright costumes, eagerly followed their strangely dressed leader. To them, he may have had a lame costume but he obviously knew what he was doing when it came to trick or treating!

Xander smiled as he led the children through the streets of Sunnydale. He had a good feeling about this.

Through the eyes of his degenerate son, Janus saw all that was about to commence and he smiled.

The next morning of course that good feeling had entirely disappeared. He and Willow had holed themselves up in her house, her parents being gone for the month. He'd pretended to be her father and she'd pretended to be Mrs. Harris and they called each other in sick. It had not been the first time they'd done so and they both knew it probably wouldn't be the last.

"At least you'll be able to help a lot more in research," Willow offered as the two of them sat awkwardly at the kitchen table, "Being able to read ancient Greek is bound to come in handy with all of those prophecies."

She refused to allow her gaze to leave the table. Only bad things could come of looking at anything. And especially bad things would come if they looked at the bag that now lay on the kitchen counter. The bag was stained a horribly familiar rusty red and both were uncomfortably aware of the occasional way the bag would squirm.

"Wills," Xander said with a sigh and she felt his hand under her chin and whimpered as he lifted her head to meet his gaze. She still wore her sunglasses, somehow the tinted glass did not affect her vision. She felt her eyes widen and she tried not to burst into tears in relief.

"It'll be alright Willow," Xander assured her, "You only got the real monsters last night and you won't get anything else."

"But, but, Buffy's going to have to slay me!" the red headed computer hacker whimpered, "I turned Angel into stone! I'm evil! Every gorgon in recorded history has gone on only to do evil! They're considered a plague and almost right up there with the apocalypse and-"

"It was his own fault," Xander interrupted, waving her concerns aside, "He should have known better than to approach a lady with snakes in her hair. And you're not evil, you're not a plague and you're definitely not an apocalypse. You're Willow."

There was a hissing sound and Xander was suddenly very aware of the cold gaze of several red reptiles.

"The snakes sort of are my hair Xander," Willow said quietly, shivering slightly, "At least part of it. I don't think I'll be getting haircuts anytime soon."

"Then now you have the ultimate defense against frogs," Xander said cheerfully, "We can tell Giles that a vampire hunter got Angel last night and he can break the news to Buffy. You play sympathetic best female friend and eventually she'll get over him."

"But I can't lie to Buffy!" Willow protested, pulling away from Xander, "She'll know it was me! And she loves Angel!"

The young hacker seemed to catch herself.

"Loved Angel," she whispered, "Oh gosh! I killed Angel!"

"How many vampires have you staked Willow?" Xander asked, seemingly out of the blue.

"Maybe a dozen?" Willow replied, "I'm not sure."

"You have sought out and successfully gotten rid of vampires. You are therefore a vampire hunter," the Scooby proclaimed, "So it's not a lie that a vampire hunter took dead boy out."

Willow whimpered again and her tiny bronze wings fluttered in agitation.

"Willow, it's better this way," Xander insisted, "Look, ignore the star crossed issue, what is a vampire?"

"A corpse that houses a minor blood demon from the second circle of the eighth hell sideways purple and five shades clockwise from the two hundred and twenty third star widdershins from Pluto," Willow answered automatically.

Xander gave his friend a look that expressed exactly how he felt concerning her knowledge of the location of the hell where vampire blood demons came from. A though struck him.

"Purple?" he asked.

"Purple," Willow said with a nod, "I'm not sure what that part means exactly. Giles only spluttered and started to clean his glasses."

"Purple, probably bad, okay," Xander said with a nod, "Makes sense."

"But I like purple!" Willow protested.

"If purple leads to the hell that Angel came from, then purple is evil," Xander said stubbornly.

"But Angel has a soul!" Willow protested.

"But souls do not come from this purple place, at least not as far as I'm aware. And Angel had a soul that was stuck in close quarters with a demon that did come from the purple place," Xander said firmly, "they were driving each other insane! The soul felt guilty and suicidal and the demon probably felt pissed off and suicidal. After all, sort of creature falls in love with another that is specifically designed to kill his species?"

Willow's eyes widened behind the shaded glass.

"How would you feel if you had a demon inside you?" the self proclaimed Zeppo went on, "How would you feel if, for more than one hundred years, that demon used your body, your face, to rape and murder and torture, and then you had to live with the idea that you did all that, how would you be?"

Willow took her friend's speech into consideration.

"You don't like Angel just because of more than just jealousy, huh?" Willow said quietly. Xander smiled depreciatively.

"I do like Buffy," Xander admitted, "I don't think I ever made that a secret. And I was jealous, still am, a little at least. But, when it all boils down Wills, I'm a teenage boy almost on the bottom of the totem pole. Angel was older, cooler, stronger and he just swoops in and even you pay more attention to him than you do me. But last night made me think a bit more. Last night, I was willing to give up everything for my mother. I knew what it was like to have a mother that wasn't drunk all the time that didn't…"

Willow stood to draw her friend into a hug. Even her hair seemed solemn. She was aware of what Xander's parents did to him and it killed her that no matter what she tried, somehow, her best friend was apparently stuck with those creatures that claimed to be human.

They remained like that for a little while until Xander drew back.

"I remember Andromeda," Xander went on with a wistful smile that made Willow's heart ache.

Another one I can't compete against came the treacherous, involuntary thought and her snakes began to hiss. She quickly pushed it back and reached up to pet and soothe her hair.

"and I remember more than just the way I cared for my mother and how she was actually worthy of being called a mother. I remember how Perseus felt when he first saw Andromeda," Xander said, "I know what Perseus would do for Andromeda and if Angel's soul felt for Buffy even half of the way that Perseus felt for Andromeda then he would have stayed away. He had a demon inside of him, one that's held back by a curse."

"Isn't that a good thing?" Willow asked, her voice small.

"Wills, how easy it is to break a curse?" Xander asked.

"Well, it depends on the strength of the caster and what exactly the curse is doing," Willow began but stopped at Xander's look.

"Pretty easy," Willow admitted, "In order for a curse to even be cast, there has to be some way of undoing it. From what I can tell, all magic is like that. The curse that made us into our costumes should have been broken last night but,"

The snake haired hacker felt the blood drain from her face.

"Angel's soul…" she whispered and Xander nodded.

"It's better this way," Xander said firmly, "Angel's soul is free, his demon is gone to wherever demons go after the vampire is destroyed. We'll help Buffy get over him and she'll be safer because of this."

Willow smiled slightly.

"Buffy will be safe," she repeated.

They spent the rest of the day trying to figure out how to hide Willow's new hair without disturbing anything. They also tried to figure out what to do with bag and its contents. The bag was easy enough to deal with. Willow put it into a cooler and stuck it in her attic and then they both tried not to think about it. Her hair was more of a problem and the wings were tricky as well.

The only break from these tasks was when Xander left for a few hours and when he returned he was covered in dust, dust that Willow tried very hard not to compare to the color of the stone that she had turned Angel into.

The next day, Willow managed to persuade her hair to remain still, all it took was a few mice from the pet shop, and she'd figured out a way to hide her new wings, which were thankfully quite small. Thankfully no one commented on her sunglasses though just to be sure, Willow made a mental note to forge a doctor's note for the teachers informing them that she had some sort of critical eye condition that required her to wear the glasses at all times for the time being.

Xander agreed to inform Giles about Angel and the two men shared a moment of pretending that they weren't completely ecstatic at this development.

"So, yeah, you get to tell Buffy about what happened on Halloween," Xander said when they'd finished their moment.

"Of course I, what?" Giles demanded and he gave Xander a hard look.

"Well, you are her Watcher," Xander said innocently, "And therefore you're the one that gives Buffy all the demony information. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Angel was a demon so you get to inform her."

"Nevertheless, I hardly think it appropriate for me to, to inform her when Angel happen to be, erm," Giles searched for the right sort of word that would describe the blood sucking pedophile without calling him such.

"Demon," Xander said bluntly, "Oh and the spell left Willow with cat eyes. She's wearing sunglasses to hide them so Cordy won't rag on her too much about them."

"Oh?" Giles asked, "Perhaps I can take a look? What sort of creature did she dress up as last night? I'm afraid I never saw her costume."

"No, no, you've got enough on your plate," Xander deflected effortlessly, "And Willow doesn't mind the change in her eyes. She's got way better night vision. She just doesn't want to be mistaken for a demon."

"Perhaps a glamour, I'll teach her later," Giles offered and Xander smiled.

"I'll tell her, after you tell Buffy about Angel," the goofy boy said, "Now, I've got to see a lady about an English project."

With that the boy left the library and Giles. He had good news to tell Willow.

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And there you have it, Willow's now a gorgon while Xander still has bits from a son of Zeus, not sure how I want to continue this, or if I do, hope you like it though!