Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon. Diablo 2 is part of Blizzard and Sierra Entertainment.
"Miss Rosenberg!" Snyder all but screamed, appalled. He marched over to the scantily dressed girl, the ocean of students between them parting like the red sea, and stood, for a moment, speechless in disapproval. "This is your costume? I expected better from you! You're going to be escorting children
, not streetwalking."
"I'm, I'm sorry. I'll go home-" Willow started to say, cheeks burning with embarrassment as she picked at the seams of her leather mini-skirt, but Snyder shook his head. He gave her another appraisal, nearly drawing tears, as her fellow high schoolers turned their attention to the scene like a dogs toward bacon. More than one person wolf-whistled approvingly, but that only caused Willow to wrap her arms around her exposed middle defensively.
"No, there isn't time." Snyder's lips pressed together into a thin, white line. "It was Summers, wasn't it? She convinced you to do this!"
"Buffy didn't mean-"
"Ah-ha! I knew it was Summers, corrupting my student body... I'll deal with that troublemaker later..." He half turned, spearing the girl with a final, warning glare. "Go check with the theater department. I'm sure they have something
you can use to not look so..." He sneered. "That."
The principal walked away, his ire already switching to a pair of zombies tossing a ball between them. Willow sniffled and ran down the hall, almost tripping in her borrowed heels.
Willow bit her lip as she waded through the drama department's costume storage. She should have just bought the ghost sheet like she had originally planned -tried and true!- but Buffy could be so convincing when she wanted to be. Dressing up, and being someone else for one night sounded fun, and admittedly the shy red-head looked good in leather and calf-high heels.
But Snyder had a point. She was supposed to be setting an example for the munchkins.
Sexy and wild was not a good example to be making for impressionable elementary kids. What had she been thinking? Buffy was the epitome of conservative tonight, Xander was patriotic, and she was Mistress Magda, pleasure just a phone call away.
Waving her hand in front of her face to clear away dust, Willow rummaged through a cardboard box full of fake jewelry and similar accessories. A wide belt embossed with flaking silver was at the bottom, and though it wouldn't help much Willow snapped it around her waist, appreciating the small pouch attached that could house a flashlight and maybe some candy. The belt managed to cover her belly button and hung semi-fashionably, so she counted it a win.
"Oh, hey!" Another drawer offered up a plastic dagger covered in hot glue and fake gems. She remembered it from last year's Macbeth, but a belt and dagger do not a complete costume make. She still looked whore-ish. Glancing at her watch, Willow cursed and swept her eyes around the room. What looked like a deer skull was hanging on the wall by various masks, and Willow lunged for it. It didn't fit properly over her face, but if she balanced it right and wrapped the strap just behind her ears... "Okay. Cloak. Need cloak." To cover her quickly cooling skin. She should have brought a jacket- then the whole embarrassing situation could have been avoided.
Willow had never been more appreciative of Robin Hood in her life. By borrowing the sheet-turned cloak and small bow she recognized from the archery contest scene, she could probably pass for one of those adventurers that Jesse and Xander used to role-play as.
A quick re-application of black halloween lipstick, purchased by Buffy when she had bought her princess dress, and Willow was out the door rushing back to the lunchroom and her waiting flock.
Magic rippled through her being. It cut through her connection to Lady Andariel, and just as quickly re-established the link to something else. Something dark and tainted, and less powerful, but far more free. Blood Raven stumbled, her grip on her bow firming as the sounds of confused screaming hit her ears.
"Where-?" Children. She was surrounded by children and imps. Kicking at an offending Fallen, she retreated off the paved road to grass and concealment. She examined her new surroundings, wary. Clearly, she was in some kind of urban environment... without her army.
Panic filled her veins. She had betrayed her sisters... without her army they would come and...
"No." A smile flickered into place, and she drew the ceremonial knife Andariel had gifted her with. The Maiden of Anguish was gone, her hold on Blood Raven severed, and there was a new power lurking beneath this place she found herself summoned to.
No sisters to stop her. No Mistress breathing down her neck demanding obedience. No one.
Ignoring the chaos around her, Blood Raven approached the obvious soldier that fired some kind of percussion spell at a creature. "Hello." She smiled sweetly. Something inside her was drawing her toward this displaced mercenary, and she would need protection. Baby steps.
Brown eyes watched her with faint suspicion, and she softened his stance, pushing her chest out the slightest bit. Men were so
easy. "Listen, Miss. You might want to get inside, there's something going on."
"Don't I know it." She shook her head, concealing the blade in her hand. "One moment I was home... the next..."
The soldier was distracted, something gibbering in the darkness, and Blood Raven took the opportunity to dart forward, slicing into his exposed neck. He stumbled backward, one hand coming up and grasping at the wound as blood gushed out between his fingers. He died quickly, which was fortunate, because fresh bodies lasted longer and could actually function with some level of autonomy.
Blood Raven smiled darkly as she weaved her magic into the body at her feet, using the blood activated dagger for her focus. As her necromancy woke within her like a slumbering beast, her smile turned into a wide grin. The undead infested this town like rats in a wine cellar; an army just waiting for her touch and guidance. She stroked the cheek of her new zombie lord, absently smoothing away the cut in his neck with a kiss. "Join my army of the dead."
He jerked up, eyes blank in death but lit with the fire of her magic, and shifted into guard position beside her, his odd weapon held at the ready. Blood Raven notched an arrow in place, but didn't pull, and continued down the street. Absently, the necromancer tossed her magic at the corpse of a cat-like creature, and listened in satisfaction as a great splurching noise signaled the separation of the animated skeleton from the tainted meat.
Deep inside, buried under layers of chaos and death magic, a young girl screamed in horror.