A Fearful Power
I do not own Buffy the vampire slayer, Nurarihyon no Mago or any of the characters related to them.October 30 1998
Xander and Willow looked on, trying not to be seen, as Principal Snyder made Buffy ‘volunteer’ to chaperone during Halloween. It’s not that they weren’t good friends, they were, and they just didn’t want to be forced to babysit a bunch of little terrors for a night. As Snyder spotted another ‘volunteer’, Buffy headed over to them. “The one night of the year that I can kick back and relax, and this happens.”
Xander quirked an eyebrow “I would have thought tomorrow night would have been busy for you?”
“Y-yeah, with it being Halloween and what not.” added a curious Willow as they headed for the exit.
“Nope, Giles said that Halloween is the one night of the year vampires and demons stay indoors. Apparently they find it too commercial.”
“That’s why I love those wacky demons, they always keep you guessing.” Xander said with his usual half smile. Said smile was quickly removed from his face as he reached to push the door open.
“Harris, Rosenberg. You’re going to volunteer,” Snyder said as he thrust clipboards into Xander and Willows hands. “Reprobates like you need something to occupy their time after all.”
While Willow dutifully and regretfully signed the paper, Xander stood there “b-b-but….” Glancing between Snyder and the clipboard in his hands “Y-Y-you can’t…”
“Sign it or I’ll see to it that you have detention until you graduate, however unlikely that is.” With a sigh of resignation Xander signed the paper and handed the clipboard back to Snyder, who gave him a sniff of disdain and left in search of more ‘volunteers’.
“Well guys, at least we’ll all have a horrible night.” Buffy said with cheer in her voice and a smile on her face, slinging an arm around each of her friend’s waists.
As they walked out the door Xander looked over Buffy’s head at Willow, a look of false hurt on his face “Our misfortune amuses her, what did we ever do to deserve such a friend.”
Later that day, Ethan’s Costume shop
Xander paused in his search for cheap costume and watched as Buffy and Willow preened over an overly fluffy dress. ‘She’s probably trying to impress deadboy.’
Caught up as he was in his thoughts Xander never noticed that someone had snuck up on him until it was too late. “May I help you with something young man?”
“AAAHH!” Xander screamed as he hopped a foot in the air, turning around to come face to face with an older man who was going gray at the temples. “Don’t do that! Are you trying to give me a heart attack?”
“Forgive me, allow me to introduce myself. I am Ethan, owner and proprietor of this establishment.” The man, Ethan, said with a smile and a flourish.
“The British are going to be the death of me. No, can’t let that happen, Giles would never let me live it down.” Xander grumbled.
“Did you say Giles? You wouldn’t happen to mean Rupert Giles by any chance, would you?” Surprise and hope evident in Ethan’s voice as he spoke.
“You know the G-man?” ‘I knew it all the English DO know each other!’
“G-man, he must find that name maddening.” At Xanders guilty shrug Ethan’s smile grew “and yes, I did know him, we were old friends. Now how can I help you this fine evening?”
“No I’m fine, I’m just gonna grab a gun and go as a soldier.”
“Something as ordinary as a soldier, no we can’t have that. I would be remised if I let an acquaintance of Rupert leave my establishment without a grand costume.” Ethan said as he slung an arm over Xanders shoulder.
Embarrassed and regretful that he had to do it Xander said “I’m a little strapped for cash at the moment, hence the cheap and ordinary costume.”
“Nonsense, I’ll let you rent a costume, at a discount of course, in exchange for a little word of mouth and not telling Rupert that I’m in town until after tomorrow.” Seeing the pleasantly surprised look on Xanders face Ethan dragged him into the rows of costumes. “Now let’s see about finding you something special.”
Summers house, Halloween evening*Knock-Knock*
“I’m coming.” Joyce Summers said as she stopped in front of the door and straighten her dress. Opening the door she saw a man hair pulled back into a ponytail, wearing a green and black striped kimono over a brown shirt, a white cloth draped over his shoulders and zori on his feet. For a moment she didn’t know who it was until the wide eyed man started imitating a fish. “Xander are you ok?” she said as she pulled him into the house.
“Well I was debating going with a Mrs. Robinson quote or waiting for you to say something in French.” Xanders already wide eyes grew in size as he realized what he had said and his hands slapped over his mouth. Surprised by the flirting from the handsome, underage, friend of her daughter she was silent for a moment as Xander babbled. “T-T-That is….um, I meant to…I didn’t…I’m sorry.”
Her wits finally back Joyce let out a soft chuckle “It’s all right Xander, no harm done. Buffy and Willow are finishing getting dressed, they should be down soon.” Turning around she walked out of the room, a little extra sway in her hips. ‘It’s nice to know I’ve still got it.’
As Xander watched Joyce Summers, mother of one of his best friends and a very nice lady, leave the room dressed in a floor length skin tight black dress sporting a split up the side he knew without a shadow of a doubt that she would be making an appearance in some of his more……colorful dreams. “In the words of the immortal Mr. Jim Carrey, ‘Smoking’!
“What?” Whirling around Xander saw Buffy coming down the stairs in the dress she had been eyeing at the costume shop. Thinking fast he tried to cover the fact that he had just been checking out her mom.
“Buffy Duchess of Buffdonia, I hereby renounce spandex.” The giggle he received let him know that his life and manhood were safe. Still he took a step backwards; it never hurt to careful when dealing with a slayer.
“If you think this is something, wait until you see…..” the joy in her voiced disappearing as Willow came into view wearing her customary ghost costume. “Casper.”
“That’s a mighty fine ‘Boo’ you got there Will’s.” Opening the door he missed the look Buffy shot Willow. “Now for an exciting night of babysitting ankle bitters.” Sarcasm heavy in his words.
“This should be illegal, making poor hard working teens like us spend our free time taking care of rug rats.” As Buffy spoke Xander nodded along sagely until he was pushed aside by Larry.
“Make way loser.” Stopping short Larry turned around, his cronies following suit. “Are you wearing a dress Harris?”
“No, it’s a…” the receding laughter of Larry and his fellow jocks as they walked away cut off his answer. “Would it be wrong if I was just a little slow the next time a vamp tries to eat one of them?” annoyance in his voice and anger in his eyes as he spoke.
They quickly disappeared at Willows outcry “Xander, you can’t do that!!” Xander remained silent as he once again realized he was saying what he was thinking.
“Yeah Xand, if you do you might have to deal with them as vampires.”
A shiver ran up his spine at that thought “Not funny Buff, not funny.” The angelic smile on her face making it hard for him not to laugh. “Let’s just get our munchkins and go.”
“Aw honey can’t we leave the children with the babysitter?” Buffy said jokingly as she laid her head against his arm, and if he didn’t know any better he’d swear Willow was laughing by the way her sheet was moving up and down. Grumbling about the indignities of the female sex he headed over to his group of kids.
His grumbling was cut off by the din of noise as he reached the kids, one of the children’s question “Hey mister are you a samurai?” cut above the noise.
“Yeah, something like that.” Xander said adjusting the short wooden sword on his hip. “Okay, on sleazing extra candy: tears are key. Tears will normally get you the double-bagger. You can also try the old 'you missed me' routine, but it's risky.” As he spoke he made eye contact with each of the children. “Only go there for chocolate. Understood?” Enraptured by the wisdom of how to get candy the kids could only nod. “Okay, let’s move out.”
The back of Ethan’s Costume shop
Kneeling on the floor in front of a bust of the two headed roman god Janus, Ethan begins his ritual. “Janus, evoco vestram animam. Exaudi meam causam. Carpe noctem pro consilio vestro. Veni, appare et nobis monstra quod est infinita potestas.”1
As he speaks Ethan bites his thumbs and uses the blood to mark his eyes and draw a cross on his forehead. “Persona se corpum et sanguium commutandum est. Vestra sancta praesentia oncrescet viscera. Janus! Sume noctem!”2
A wave of power flows from the bust as its eyes alight with an unearthly glow, radiating over Ethan out the store and over the whole of Sunnydale. Ethan’s bowed head raises, a mischievous smile on his face “Showtime!”
The streets of Sunnydale
As the power flows over Willows group a kid with a green mask changes into a monster and grabs the old lady who was handing out candy by the neck and begins to choke her. The other kids scream and run away. Upon seeing this Willow screams “No! Let her go!”
Another child turned into a red monster attacks the green one, and he lets go of the lady. The two monsters are quickly at each other's throats. Seeing her chance the old lady runs into the house and slams the door shut. Willow shouts “Stop! What're you doing?!” as she tries to pry the transformed children apart “Stop! Hey!” Suddenly feeling weak Willow is thrown off by the fighting monsters.
Holding her chest, trying to catch her breath Willow gives a strangled cry of “Ohmigod! Can't breathe...”, before she collapses to the floor.
Farther up the block from Willow Xander drops to his knees in pain as the chaos magic went to work on him. His hair darkened to a glistening black and flowed down to the middle of his back in a ponytail, muscle and bone tore, broke, shifted, strengthened and repaired themselves. Incredible and terrifying power rushed out of him, causing demons and people for blocks around to stand still in fear, before reversing course back into his body. Standing to his imposing height of 5’11’’ the man opened his left eye, revealing an amber eye that took in and categorized everything that was going on around him.
In that moment Nura Rihan, son of Nurarihyon, Second Head and Supreme Commander of the Nura Clan and one of the most feared and powerful Yokai to walk the streets of Japan was reborn. With a casual and almost careless motion Nenekirimaru was passing through the neck of a miniature demon leaping at him. His only reaction as the blade passed harmlessly through the demon was to raise an eyebrow, when the demon fell to the ground and transformed back into a child in a costume the eyebrow returned to its former position and Rihan gave a small nod.
Picking up the sleeping child and leaping to the rooftops, Rihan moved higher and higher to get a better view of the situation. Finally situated on top of a four story house Rihan closed his eye and let his senses tell him what was happening. The first thing he felt was a power permeating the town, that wasn’t too far off from his current location, it felt similar to the gate to Hell that he had felt in Edo. The second power also permeated the town, but this one was chaotic and ever changing. Digging deeper he realized that he could feel the power in many of the monsters and demons below, an echo of it in the boy he was holding and worse he could feel it in him. With that realization memories surged through his mind.
He was dead; he had been stabbed in the back, literally, by his adopted daughter. Questions quickly overrode his mind, was Rikou safe, what happened to the clan, how were Kino’s boobs, did the Nura clan still rule Edo, how was his Hyakki Yoka? Knowing that he couldn’t do anything about those questions anger took hold, anger at being pulled from his rest, anger at being forced to possess someone and anger at the danger to the children and people below. Tightly reining in his anger Rihan gathered up the child and leapt into the night.
That night many demons would learn the meaning of fear, for Nurarihyon haunted the streets Sunnydale.
Later in the evening, Warehouse District
After Willow had found herself standing outside of her body she had gone in search of Xander, unable to find him she went looking for Buffy. Finding Buffy and finding out that she thought she was a noblewoman was disappointing, finding out that she herself was a ghost had been a shock. After a lot of begging, some cajoling and a small threat of haunting or two Willow had gotten Buffy to follow her back to Buffy’s house.
Running into Cordelia along the way had been, and there was no way she would ever admit it, a stroke of good luck. With Cordelia present there was someone who could physically interact with the changed Buffy and they were able to get to Buffy’s house, locking their selves in. Angel’s appearance had allowed her to slip out and let Giles know about what was happening, even if it did earn her his scary voice.
On her way back she had seen Spike and a bunch of demons roaming the streets looking for something, in that moment she thanked her lucky stars that she was incorporeal. The relief had disappeared when she ran into Angel, Buffy and Cordelia walking in the street. Informing them about Spike had led to the current situation, them about to break into a Warehouse. She watched in anticipation as Angel went to force the doors open, only for them to fly open with the force he exerted on them. Rushing in she was in time to watch Angel recover his balance, a gasp from her left drew her attention and she turned to see Cordelia and Buffy looking over into a corner.
Looking over in the direction of the corner Willow saw a large group of children huddled together looking at them fearfully. “Children,” Lady Buffy’s voice yelled out “The demons of hell on our heels and you bring us to children!”
“I didn't know they were here,” said Angel as he locked and barricaded the doors “Now either shut up and help me or go look after the children.” finally fed up with the antics of Lady Buffy.
Angel let out a low growl and a mumbled “She just had to go as an airheaded noblewoman.” All the while never taking his eyes off the shaking doors and hastily erected barricade.
“Did the nice man send you?” The question delivered in a wavering voice by a little boy drew their attention.
“What nice man?” Cordelia asked only to give a piercing whistle when instead of answering her, a whisper went through the group of children as they stared at Willow. “Hey I asked a question what man, and why are you staring at her?”
“S-sh-she looks like the lady.” A little girl spoke up, eliciting nods from some of the other children.
At Cordelia’s inquiry of “What lady?” the girl pointed a shaking finger at a white piece of fabric peeking out from behind some boxes. Deciding to get what few answers she could Cordy went over to the boxes, followed by Willow and Lady Buffy, and pulled the sheet away revealing…..Willow.
“That’s my body why is my body here it should still be outside oh my god oh my god did they do anything to it am I all right?” Willows’ babbling was cut short when the door finally gave way and a group of demons flooded in. The group stopped short and looked at the children and then parted as a voice began to speak.
“Well lookie here boys, someone brought appetizers.” Spike said as he walked through the opening made by the other demons. “Get them, leave the slayer for me.”
The gathered demons quickly rushed forward and were met by Angel. After a brutal but short fight he was restrained by two vampires. “Nice try ya sodding poof, just for that you get to watch me drink your precious little slayer.” Spike laughed in Angels face as he signaled the others to continue the attack. As the demons neared the assembled Scooby’s and children, everyone in the room went still as powerful and oppressive aura went through the room.
When nothing immediately happened the demons shook off their fear and hesitation and started forward again. A shadow blurred down from the ceiling landing in a crouch before standing and revealing the form of Rihan. “How about we settle this over a drink?” Rihan said with his usual half smile on his face. A few of the demons took a casual step back but one bold (or stupid) demon threw a punch at Rihan’s face. When the hit connected Rihan vanished in a swirl of shadow and mist, only to reappear within inches of his previous position, smile still on his face.
The demon who had thrown the punch scurried backwards in fear only to be stopped by spikes voice. “He’s a bleeding ghost, just go through him you bloody gits!”
“There’s no reason to hurt anyone so how about we settle this peacefully.” The demons ignored Rihan and walked forward. This proved to be a fatal mistake as the first demon to get close to Rihan found itself impaled Nenekirimaru, before the blade was removed and it dropped to the ground, already beginning to decompose. Rihan let out a much put upon sigh, “I tried to be nice.”, swinging his sword and removing the blood from it, his smile never wavering.
Rihans body shimmered and vanished once more causing everyone, demon and human to look around trying to find him. A flicker of motion and a vampire split cleanly in two before turning to dust, revealing Rihan for less than a second before he vanished again. Another flicker of motion and a demon fell over dead and eviscerated, had anyone’s eyes been fast enough they would have noticed a small eruption of dust in front of where the demon had stood. Seconds later a demon that had turned to run fell apart, his head falling from his neck, arms flying from the body in mid-pump and the torso sliding down on a diagonal incline.
An enterprising demon shouted “The kids, get the kids we can use them as shields!” as it ran towards the children. The other demons, minus Spike and the two vampires holding Angel quickly followed. Only to come to a skidding halt as Rihan solidified in front of the children and Scooby’s. His ever present smile morphed into a scowl and his right eye slowly slid open “You should have run, you would have stood a better chance of survival.”
“Matoi 3, Izutsu.” Rihan said as he swung Nenekirimaru in an arc in front of him. As the blade passed in the air, it released a viscous black cloud that flowed forward, still connected to the sword, through the air unbound by gravity. As the cloud passed over the demons they slowed, grabbed at their necks and faces as they fell to the ground screaming in pain, coughing and spitting blood. The screams turned into groans, which turned into barely audible moaning, which turned into silence. In mere moments demons that had been touched by the cloud died, vampires turning to ash, some demons to goo or rapidly decomposing.
Seeing what was happening to their comrades and the cloud that was still advancing on them, Spike turned and ran followed by his remaining minions, included the two vampires who had been holding Angel. As they ran the cloud raced behind them engulfing one demon after another, flowing around Angel’s terrified form, and laying them low. As Spike looked back he saw the cloud overtake the last of his minions and gain on him. Mere seconds before the cloud would have reached Spike, a wave of power washed through the warehouse and beyond, dissipating the cloud and returning the transformed people back into themselves, Spike never one to question a spot of good luck high tailed it out of there.
After they had turned back into themselves, the Scooby’s had spent the rest of the evening taking the children in the warehouse back to the school and rounding up others along the way. They had then reported to Giles in the library, who upon seen the haggard state they were in sent them home with the promise to discuss the nights happenings the next day. Xander had declined a visit to the bronze with his friends to celebrate surviving another Hellmouth fiasco, so that he could go rest his tired body.
Upon coming home the first thing Xander did after reaching his room was to check himself and his things. Thankfully everything had returned to normal, his kimono was once again made of cotton and the wooden sword was just a wooden sword not a demon slaying one. In fact the only thing he had noticed that was different was the fact that his hair was now slightly past his neck and thicker. Thankful that there were no ill effects, he took a quick shower.
As Xander turned towards his bed and pulled his shirt down over his head, the mirror on the dresser reflected his bare back for a moment. On each of his shoulder blades was a wing-like black marking, reflected in the mirror for a split second before his shirt flowed down and over it and Xander collapsed into his bed for a good night’s rest.
Nura compound, Japan
“Supreme Commander….Supreme Commander,” Karasu Tengu called “are you alright?”
“I’m fine,” Nurarihyon said as he looked away from the horizon and took a pull of sake “just an old Yokai, thinking about the glory days.”The End
1.Janus, I invoke your spirit. Hear my plea. Seize the night for your own reason. Come, appear and show to us that which is infinite power.
2.The mask transforms itself into flesh and blood. Your holy presence curdles the heart. Janus! Take the night!
3.Demon Clad (Izutsu is a variation of the Demon Clad technique; it lets the user coat his blade in a subordinates ‘fear’ and/or fire it. The other is Kasane lets the user wear/use their subordinates ‘fear’ as their own.)