Author’s Note: Yay! It’s my posting day!
This story is different—albeit not by a huge stretch—from other stories I’ve written. If you have a problem with vamp!Buffy, please do not proceed. Even if you’ve trusted me in the past with vamp!Buffy, if this it not your thing, you’ll want to avoid this. She’s not a true monster (i.e, not Porphyria from Sang et Ivoire—a story that is seven years old this year!), but she is soulless and she does kill.
Also? This story is FANON. If you have a problem with FANON stories, skip this. And if you have a problem with my liberally borrowing lines from episodes and including them in a totally FANON story, well… yeah, skip this. This ain’t the story for you.
My EXTREME thanks to my betas for all the help you provided on this story: dusty273, spikeslovebite, dampersnspoons, enigmaticblues, therealmccoy1, just_sue, effulgent_girl, angelic_amy, ghostgirl13, and coquinespike.
This round has been great so far. Thanks to the wonderful enigmaticblues for all her hard work, and all the contributors of the excellent work and art we’ve enjoyed. I can’t wait to see what comes next.
Timeline: Set in an alternate S.2 during Halloween, wherein Drusilla is not in the picture.
Summary: Buffy’s choice of Halloween costume might have been whimsical, but she wasn’t quite prepared for it to be life-changing.
WARNINGS: vamp!Buffy, soulless!Buffy, biting, graphic sexual content, strong language
Also: Some may perceive this as a dark fic. I personally do not, but I’ve been instructed by several betas to put that out there.
Disclaimer: The characters herein are the property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. They are being used out of respect and admiration, and not for the sake of profit. No copyright infringement is intended.
A part of her had liked it.
A large, frightening part. It wasn’t about the power, no… although she hadn’t hated the rush of pure energy crackling between her fingers. It wasn’t about youth or vitality, or anything she typically clumped together with the vamp wannabes she occasionally encountered in various nooks around Sunnydale. No, being a vampire, however briefly, hadn’t been about anything other than freedom.
One couldn’t plausibly fear death when one was death incarnate. For a while, for an hour or so, she’d been damn near invincible. The Powers had already made her a warrior, infused with strength none save a lonely line of girls ever touched. Combined with the ferocity of the underworld, she had felt something large and dangerous, something that frightened and enticed all in one pull. She’d been relieved when the nightmare ended, of course… very glad to return to her not-so-normal life where she could walk again in the daylight.
Becoming a vampire had ceased being a fear that night. Oh, Buffy didn’t wish for it or anything so dramatic and stupid, but the nightmares hadn’t come after that, and of everything Lucky Nineteen unlocked with his magical mystery coma, that particular fear was the only one to be put to rest. There were still nights when she’d wake bathed in sweat and clawing furiously at the air, convinced the Master was shoveling dirt over her head to silence her forever. Those nightmares knew no rest. She supposed they never would.
Perhaps that dormant fear was the reason she kept eying the rows of plastic fangs dangling off the display case, accompanied by little tubes of fake blood and white face paint. It was cheap and well beyond lame, but on her limited budget probably one of the wiser choices she could make. And it’d be good for laughs. Was there really a better way of celebrating her one day off a year than emulating the very thing she was supposed to hunt?
Plus it’d probably annoy the crap out of Angel, and after seeing him fawning over Cordelia the other night, it seemed certainly justified.
“Any ideas, Buff?”
Buffy turned. She’d almost forgotten the after school trip to Ethan’s had been a shared venture among friends.
“Still thinking,” she replied, offering a half-shrug. Then her eyes dropped to the package tucked against Willow’s side. “What’d you get?”
The redhead beamed. “A time-honored classic!” she proclaimed, holding up her selection. It was fairly predictable, all things considered. A very Willow choice.
“Okay… a little friendly advice?”
Her friend’s smile faded. “Not spooky enough?”
“It’s just… you’re never going to get noticed if you keep hiding. You’re missing the whole point of Halloween.”
“Free candy?” Willow suggested hopefully.
“It’s come as you aren’t night. The perfect chance for a girl to get sexy and wild with no repercussions.” She added a little hip-sway to illustrate the point, and if the sound of Xander tripping over himself in the back didn’t seal the deal, nothing else would. “You can’t tell me there’s nothing else here that you looked at and wished you had the guts to try on?”
Willow’s lower lip wibbled. It actually wibbled. “Well,” she said uncertainly, eyes dropping to her Casper-package before braving Buffy’s gaze again. “That’s really, umm, easier said than done. I’m not—”
“Whatever you’re about to say is exactly the kinda thing you should get,” Buffy observed. “Like I said, the point of the holiday is to have fun being something you aren’t. I, for one, am going to totally slut it up.”
Whatever Willow thought in response, she had the foresight not to put it into words.
“I’m also going as a vampire,” Buffy added, shrugging a shoulder.
The redhead’s frown deepened. “A vampire?” she replied, her nose wrinkling. “Really?”
“Kinda morbid, right?”
“I thought it’d be funny,” Buffy replied. It was definitely a good thing she’d never let it slip that being a vampire, however temporarily, had been one of the most empowering events of her life. “And, well, fun. I certainly know more about vamps than anyone else donning a pair of fangs.”
“Unless they’re actually vamps.”
“Well, yeah, but that’s not the point.” Buffy nodded to the display shelf she’d been admiring. “It’s cheap and effective, and I can get the slut-stuff from my own closet.”
Again, Willow expressed no surprise. It was likely a good idea that she kept her opinion to herself. Not that Buffy thought her friend was actually judging her—quite the opposite. They had discussed at length the wisdom behind Buffy’s notoriously short skirts and provocative tops, especially since she was something of a social pariah, but Buffy maintained she liked her wardrobe and she wanted to do her job while wearing what she liked. In the end, she suspected Willow just had a case of the envies.
More than once she’d offered to take her friend shopping. More than once, she’d been rejected.
“You think you can slut it up that much?” Willow asked instead. “Vamps are…well, not with the discreet.”
“I went through a leather phase when I was fourteen. I think I can still squeeze into the pants.”
“I think I kinda hate you right now.”
Buffy shrugged again. “I was as tall then as I am now. Sometimes there are perks to being short. And, well, patrols keep me pretty toned.”
“Guess the PTB had to repay you somehow.”
“Guess so.” She glanced again at the Casper package. “So…are you going for sexy and wild? Or should I prepare for the friendly ghost?”
Willow nibbled on her lip. “Wild on me equals spaz,” she said. “I don’t think…”
“I know you’ve got it in you.”
“Well, thanks for the optimism. You’re really going to be a vampire?”
Buffy waved a dismissive hand. “Just for one night. It’ll give Angel the wiggins.”
“I thought you’d want something Victorian.”
The blonde offered an unladylike snort. “Eh. If Angel can’t appreciate tight leather, there’s something wrong with him. Let’s welcome him to the twentieth century. The girls from his time might’ve had pretty dresses, but I have curves…and I know how to use ‘em.”
There was more she could say about Angel—a lot more—but she decided to let it slide. After the other night, after seeing him so chummy with Cordelia, something had changed. She didn’t know what. It wasn’t like Angel had gone a long way in declaring what exactly he wanted from her. One second he was her secret confidant, the next he was kissing her, and then he faded into the mist. He only came around when she was in trouble, and that cup of coffee had never been his idea, anyway.
Creepy stalker guy.
Buffy was ready for Halloween in a big ole way. No more worrying about vampire men she shouldn’t date or the lengths they went to turn her head around. No more worrying about anything at all.
Halloween was supposed to be completely about The Fun.
And The Fun was something she fully intended to have.
It had started innocently enough—or as innocently as it could—and after Prague there had really been no option. Either he stuck around and made an arse out of himself, moping and trailing after Dru, or he got out and fixed his attention on something else for a little while. She’d left him with little option given the way she carried on; although why he snapped when he did—and not during one of the thousand other infidelities—was anyone’s guess. In the end, he suspected he was just tired—tired of chasing her, tired of trying to please her, tired of being upstaged by a string of lovers, equally favored and played. He was just one in a line, he supposed, and through the past century he’d never realized it.
Bloody depressing thought, that. Heart shattering thought. It was thoughts like those which inspired more drunken nights than sober ones, and likely the reason he hadn’t torn apart the bloody town in the manner he’d intended when he’d first breached the city limits.
Not that Spike hadn’t had his share of fun. Oh, he’d had it…it just wasn’t the same. Nothing was without Dru.
It won’t always be this way.
Spike snorted. That very same voice, the one he’d eventually decided sounded like his mum, was the one that directed him away from his disastrous relationship and to the sodding Hellmouth in the first place. No, it wouldn’t always be like this. This was just a temporary gig. An adjustment stage. He’d move on, feel better, the sun would come out tomorrow and all that twaddle. Until then he was fucking miserable and nothing in this equally miserable hellhole was looking to rectify the problem.
Still… still… it was better than the alternative. Christ, if he hadn’t walked out when he had, chances were he never would have. He would have followed Dru until the end of the world, pretending her coos and pet names and demure smiles were his and his alone. Forget the fact that she loved anyone who paid her any mind. He was so fucking sick of being jerked around, and he’d let her get away with it far too long. If it wasn’t Angelus or the Immortal or some other clown getting her knickers wet, it was the false hope of what their future entailed. The belief that her whispers and rhymes were promises rather than what they truly were.
No more. No bloody more.
Except this was the first time in all his years he’d ever found himself alone, and he didn’t like the feeling.
The Hellmouth was supposed to be the antidote, complete with clueless townspeople, loads of nasties going bump in the night, and a spicy little slayer all ripe for the tasting. Never mind she—like every other dimwitted chit—spent all her spare time drooling after Granddaddy Forehead. And wasn’t that a pity. She was so fiery and bold… just the sort of girl whose cunt could make him forget entirely about Drusilla…before he snapped her neck, at the very least. And Spike would want the girl willing—warm, wet, and moaning for him. He didn’t want a grudge fuck now. He wanted to be needed.
Or wanted to be wanted, at the very least.
It was the sort of plan he’d have to throw down the pisser. From the mooneyes the Slayer aimed at Angel every time the sod was in sight, Spike’s more pleasant alternative looked to remain a pipedream.
He supposed he could still snap her neck—and he would eventually—but it wouldn’t be as much fun without the dance between the sheets.
Yes, there were definitely times the pay-off for coming to Sunnyhell wasn’t as rich as the brochure had promised. However, Spike reflected again, enjoying the symphony of chaos erupting through the night sky, this wasn’t any such time. Things had changed, and for the better.
This was different. Very different.
And well worth looking in to.
It was a mantra upon which Willow had relied faithfully for the past year and a half. Something wiggy happened, she went to Buffy. She always went to Buffy. Even if Buffy hadn’t the first clue what was going on—which was often—she was, at least, the sort of person one would want to be around when the world started going crazy.
And given that Willow had lost her body and all her trick-or-treaters had turned into hobgoblins, the world was definitely sprinting toward crazy.
It landed on crazy the second she saw Xander.
With a big honking gun.
“Oh my God, this is not happening,” Willow murmured. “Xander!”
He whirled around, all business; out of everything that had happened over the past year, having her best friend aim the unfriendly end of an M-16 in her face ranked Number One in Willow’s Book of Weird. It was probably in everyone’s best interest she hadn’t yet eaten dinner.
“It’s me, Willow!” she said uselessly.
“I don’t know any Willow.”
Something told her he wasn’t joking—at least she hoped he wasn’t joking. Xander joking around with M-16s was definitely of the bad. Still, something compelled her to say, “Xander, quit messing around. This is no time for jokes.”
“What the hell’s going on here?” he demanded in a very un-Xander voice.
Okay. So joking was out.
“You don’t know me?”
His stance relaxed as the gun relinquished its target and settled on his shoulder. At the very least, Bizarro Xander had enough sense about him to realize she wasn’t a threat. “Lady,” he all but snarled—and Willow unwittingly found herself pressing her thighs together. He took a step forward, very clearly intending to brush past her. “I suggest you find cover.”
He didn’t get very far—well, further than either one of them expected. Apparently Bizarro Xander was wigged when he walked through people… which was fine. Willow was wigged being walked-through.
Though not as wigged as finding herself on the business end of an M-16 once more…even if she was now convinced the bullets would just sail through her.
“What are you?” Xander demanded.
Oh, this was just a blast.
“Xander,” Willow began slowly, “listen to me. I’m on your side, I swear. Something crazy is happening. I was dressed as a ghost for Halloween, a-and now I am a ghost. And you were supposed to be a soldier, and now I…I guess you’re a real soldier.”
He arched a brow. “You expect me to believe that?”
A roar from behind stole her retort off her lips. In a blink, super soldier had whirled around and aimed his weapon at a midget-sized beastie.
Warning bells immediately sounded. “No!” Willow shrieked. “No guns! That’s still a little kid in there!”
He ignored her. “Step out of the way!”
“We just need to find…”
And then Willow’s surveying eyes landed on something beyond her understanding.
It was Buffy. She’d yelled at Buffy enough in the hallways to identify the back of her head—to recognize the shape of her body. So even before she screamed out her friend’s name in horror, even before Buffy tore herself away from the throat she was currently ravaging, even before a frightening thought became reality, she knew.
“Oh my God, I’m gonna be sick.”
Buffy licked her ruby red lips as the nameless man collapsed to the ground at her feet. Her black eyes positively sparkled.
“Hey, guys,” she drawled. “Ready to get this party started?”
Originally posted at http://seasonal-spuffy.livejournal.com/344526.html