Xander and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Costume
Disclaimer: This story has a ridiculous number of minor crossovers. If you see anything which you recognize, it's not mine. Also, I've borrowed some dialogue from the sixth episode of the second season of BTVS. None of this dialogue is mine either.
AN: I really like Xander and I really like many of the Halloween stories written on this site. Even so, when a trope gets this overused, I eventually cannot resist poking fun at it. Don't take this story too seriously. Also, I should state that no Xanders, Buffys or Willows were horribly traumatized in the writing of this story. Before
“Alright,” Xander declared, looking around Sunnydale's newest Halloween costume shop. “Your mission, Xander, if you choose to accept it, is to find the cheapest Halloween costume in this shop which won't too greatly impinge upon your own personal manliness.”
“Not that I have all that much personal manliness left after Buffy totally interrupted my man to man fight with Larry at school.”
Peering around at the store's costumes, Xander took in the various outfits on display, as he cycled through the room, periodically taking a closer look at a price tag whenever a promising option caught his eye.
“Power ranger? Nope. Too spandexy. Spider-man,” he glanced at the price-tag. “Nope. Way too pricey. Various stereotypical demons? Nope. Waaaaay too reminiscent of the night job.”
After he had loitered around Ethan's Costume Shop for a few moments, finding nothing which immediately suited both his need not to be utterly humiliated and his thriftiness, a rather, diminutive, brown-haired man approached him, costume in hand.
“I believe that I may have exactly what you're looking for here,” the store's proprietor spoke up with an engaging British accent. “While, perhaps not too manly at first glance, I believe that it may still peak your interest. Indeed, I suspect that it might be my finest work.”
Xander dubiously looked at the costume Ethan Rayne was offering him with raised eyebrows. It was a patchwork, striped dress, or maybe a coat, which featured virtually every colour of the rainbow. He chuckled.
“Nope. Sorry. I suspect that's not for me. I mean, it's a very nice... whatever it is, but I don't think it's quite what the Xan-man's looking for.”
“Are you sure?” the proprietor queried, holding the coat up so that it could be seen in all of its technicolor glory. “This coat is a replica of the coat of many colors worn by Joseph in the Bible. The man who wore it saved those who would one day be known as the people of Israel from extinction practically single-handedly with the power of his prophetic dreams. By the end of his life, he was also a tremendously wealthy and influential man in antiquity.”
“Right, okay, but even if you say that-”
Xander was interrupted by Willow, who had finally spotted her closest friend.
“Oh, Xander! Hi,” his best friend exclaimed before seeing the costume Ethan was holding out.
“Wow, Xander! You're planning to go as Joseph from 'Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat?' I really loved that musical when I was a kid. It was the best.”
“Um, well actually-”
“Hey Xander,” Buffy cut in, walking up from behind him. “I just wanted to say that I'm really sorry about what I did to you earlier today.”
“Do you mind, Buffy? I'm trying to repress, here.”
“Alright,” Buffy replied in her most obliging tone, grinning at Xander teasingly. “Fine. Next time I see Larry threatening you, I promise that I'll just let him pummel you, okay?”
Never having been able to resist Buffy's doe-like, hazel gaze for long, after a moment, Xander gave in, shrugging and grinning unselfconsciously.
“Thanks. But, you know, I bet that, if it had really come to a real fight, then I could have totally taken him.”
“Sure, you could have, Xander,” Buffy replied, aiming to placate her friend. “And you know, your costume, I'm really impressed with it.”
“Yep,” Buffy replied, not actually that impressed with the costume, but aiming to earn some bonus points in her quest to earn Xander's forgiveness. “I mean, it takes a real man to be able to pull something like that off with style.”
“You think so? I mean, you think that I could pull it off?”
“Sure, Xander. I'm sure that you'll pull it off great.”
“Uhuh... um, okay then.”
Xander turned back towards Ethan.
“How much did you say this costume cost again?”
“For you, son, it'll just be one dollar. I happen to agree with your lady friend, after all.”
“L-Lady friend? Um, we're not, I mean, hey wait. One dollar? Seriously? I'll take it!”
As Buffy, Xander and Willow left his shop, new costumes in hand, Ethan Rayne smiled, darkly amused. He had not lied when he said that the technicolor dreamcoat was his finest work. He had personally woven that coat by taking strands from nearly every costume in his shop – thousands of costumes. Once Janus' will was worked upon this world, there was no telling what Xander Harris would become. The chaos should be exquisite.
That night, the legendary, biblical prophet Joseph walked the Earth once more in the form of Xander Harris. He had no trouble believing Willow, when she explained his situation, since, he had almost immediately noticed that, in addition to the prophetic dreams which he had experienced in his own life, he was now also possessed of the ability to fly, shoot lasers out of his eyes, summon a giant hammer, build sky-scraper sized robotic warriors, effortlessly juggle school buses, and run swiftly enough that even light could not catch him.
Needless to say, Ethan Rayne's reign of terror was decidedly short-lived, while Spike learned what it felt like to personally get down and dusty. Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the effects of his spell would be felt long after the chaos mage departed from Sunnydale. Now
“God,” Buffy declared to Willow, as the pair walked through the hallways of Sunnydale High. “I am just so glad that last night is now over. I mean, the damsel in distress thing, so not as much fun as I would have thought.”
“Yep,” Willow replied. “Isn't that what I've always told you? Now, maybe you'll have a bit more respect for the trials us distressed damsel types go through.”
“Maybe. How was the ghostly thing, by the way?”
“Oh well, you know, pretty spectral, and kind of cool in some ways, but, although I'd never really thought about it before, considering that ghosts can't turn pages in a book or type on a computer, I suspect it's not something I'd like to get into for the long term. I mean, walking through walls was super fun, but even that would probably get boring eventually, and then what would I have to do?”
“It would give you a good excuse not to hand in your homework,” Buffy offered.
Willow rolled her eyes.
“Buffy, that's why you and Xander might want to be ghosts. Unlike the two of you, I've never had problems getting my school work done on time. By the way, have you seen Xander today? I haven't run into him yet.”
“Nope. Xander of the amazing, technicolor, super-duper powers has not yet shown up on the Buffy radar.”
“Hmmm... do you think he's okay? I mean, normally we would have run into him by now.”
Buffy rolled her eyes.
“Seriously, Wills, it's past time you admitted how you felt about the guy. I mean, worry-wart much?”
“Oh no, Buffy. You know that feeling admitting is really not my kind of thing. I prefer to do the waiting for him to admit to me sort of deal.”
“Alright, if that's the way you want to play it, but don't blame me if he goes and runs off with some skank while you're waiting for him to admit his feelings.”
“You think he'd do that?” Willow asked, eyes wide.
“No. I'm just saying,” Buffy took her friend by the shoulders, “he's never going to notice you unless you try to get noticed, okay. Last night was a chance you missed, but there will be others, and, one day, you're just going to have to take one.”
“O-Okay. I mean, as long as that one day's still some days off.”
Buffy sighed again, releasing Willow's shoulders.
“As for where Xander is, who knows? He could be anywhere. He might be in the gym, or at class early, or running late, or outside. I mean, just about the only place in the school where we can guarantee he won't be is in the libr...”
Buffy trailed off, as Xander walked out of Sunnydale High's library right before their eyes.
“W-What?” Buffy asked. “Is that Xander?”
“Well, maybe he's really decided to hit the books after turning into a genius last night,” Willow offered hesitantly. “I mean, it's at least possible, right?”
Buffy offered Willow her patented 'are you crazy' look, before turning to peer at Xander again. He was still wearing that technicolor monstrosity he had put on last night. What was he thinking? Then their friend caught sight of them as well, immediately turning to walk towards Buffy and Willow.
“Hey, Buff, Wills, how's it going? I've got some great news,” Xander declared, his colorful coat billowing behind him.
“Um, that's great,” Buffy replied, an uncomfortable smile fixed on her face. He hadn't taken what she said about the coat making him look manly seriously, had he?
“Yep,” Xander replied, grinning. “You remember last night, right, and how everyone lost their powers when the spell ended?”
“How could we forget?” Buffy responded.
“Right, well, as it turns out, apparently it's more like everyone but one. Apparently, since the guy who cast that chaos spell last night really mixed and matched things up when he was putting together this baby,” Xander indicated towards his new coat, “the Xan-man's powers stayed right where they were. I've just been in to talk to Giles, and he seems to agree: super slayer of evil Xander is looking like he's going to be permanent fixture in Sunnydale from here on out.”
“Um, what?” Willow asked. “You mean, you're keeping all the million and one super powers you picked up last night forever?”
“That's how it's looking. I've got the super strength, invulnerability, super speed, flight, the second sight, I can stick to walls, I can make wolverine style claws come out of my hands, suck other people's powers away with a touch, travel freely through time and space...”
As Xander continued listing the various abilities he had already discovered, Buffy quickly tuned him out, focusing upon what Xander's new powers might mean for her, provided they were permanent. She remembered what Joseph had been like in Xander's body last night. He had mown through vampires the way a lawn mower cut through grass, while having the time to build something called a megazord in a few spare minutes, and figuring out winning lottery ticket numbers using his psychic powers. She smiled, genuinely happy both for herself and Xander.
“But that's great,” Buffy enthused.
“You think so?” Xander replied, having worried that Buffy might resent his new powers. “I mean, really?”
“Oh, definitely,” the slayer responded the affirmative. “I mean mom's always on my back about how my homework's never getting done and my grades are so bad. My relationship with Angel is really taking off too. I think that I'll definitely be able to get used to retirement.”
“Wait, what?” Xander asked, his head shooting around towards Buffy. “What do you mean retirement?”
“Well,” Buffy replied, guileless green eyes staring up at Xander, “from what I remember about last night, you're pretty much immortal, invincible and capable of saving everyone in the world at the same time now, right?”
“Um, yeah, I guess, but-”
“Well then, I guess there's no need for slayers anymore, so this one girl in all the world is definitely thinking of hitting the beach, maybe catching some rays. Ooh,” Buffy groaned happily, rolling her shoulders, stretching out as if a huge burden had just been lifted off of her. “I really do appreciate it Xander: you taking over world-saving duties for all eternity.”
“What, but, just a second here,” Xander declared, holding a finger up in order to focus his friends' attention. “I mean, that's not how it works around here, right? I mean, doesn't Giles always talk about some sort of balance? You know, when good gets a leg up, evil gets an equal opportunity to shine.”
“Oh, right,” Willow agreed with her crush. “So, you're saying that since you just became more powerful than every evil creature in the world combined, some kind of stupendously, massively terrible and evil being will soon arise, so that things will remain in balance.”
Xander had, in fact, not thought through that particular implication. He had instead been focusing on his desire not to get saddled with saving the world alone.
“Um, I, actually-”
Then Giles charged out of the library, a large, musty, ancient tome in hand.
“Oh no! This is horrible! Xander, come here!”
“Yes, yes, of course you. Hurry up,” the librarian demanded, gesturing insistently for Xander to look towards the text in his hands.
The page Giles was indicating featured a giant, many-tentacled monster, which looked like it belonged in one of H.P. Lovecraft's works, towering over what a caption beneath the picture helpfully indicated was Mount Everest.
“Whoa, G-man, what the heck is that?”
Giles polished his glasses fretfully before replying.
“It is just as I had feared. In fact, the reports are already coming in from downtown Sunnydale. You see, Xander, when you gained the remarkable variety of incredible powers which you now possess, this unbalanced the careful equilibrium which has been maintained for millennia between good and evil.”
“And that's bad?”
“Well, yes. Actually, it's extremely bad. You see, exploiting this imbalance, the Hell-God Pornificus has managed to cross over into our dimension just this morning.”
“Whoa. A Hell-God? That sounds pretty serious. I guess the Buffster and I should suit up and-”
“No, no, I'm afraid that won't be possible,” Giles replied. “You see, against the powers of a full-fledged Hell-God, at the height of his strength, the abilities of a slayer would be useless. Buffy would be squashed like a bug. Even worse, Pornificus is a Hell-God of tremendous capacity. It is said that he alone has ruled over a vast demon dimension for countless aeons.”
“Wait, wait,” Xander objected. “Are you saying that you want just me to go and take on Mr. Hell-God for countless aeons on my own?”
“Yes, Xander. With your new powers, you are the only one who can oppose Pornificus. The Watcher's Council does not have much information on this particular Hell-God, but I can tell you that he is known as the Demon God of Tentacle Porn, and also the Master of Infernal Bondage.”
“Um, wait just a second, G-man. It sounds like this guy gets just a little bit too personal with his enemies for my taste. I mean-”
“God speed, Xander,” Giles declared, placing a hand upon his young protege's shoulder, and staring into his eyes soberly. “Against this threat, I believe that you alone may be able to save us. I've taught you all I can, my boy. So, all I can say now is good luck.”
Unable to resist Giles' serious expression and the powerful resolution in the Watcher's eyes, Xander simply nodded in reply.
“All right, G-man. Then I'll take care of it. Where is this Hell-God, anyway?”
“From what I've seen of the television reports, he's currently hovering above Sunnydale's shopping center. Air traffic control has already informed all nearby airplanes to avoid him, but, even so, I pity the nubile, young women from that mall who are now in his grasp.”
“Right G-man,” Xander affirmed, nodding. “I'm on it.”
Then, faster than even Buffy's eyes could perceive, with a speed which even light could not match, Xander vanished, racing towards Sunnydale's shopping center.
“Now, Willow, Buffy, come inside the library with me,” Giles requested. “I've set up a television with which we should be able to watch Xander's confrontation with Pornificus. We can do little for Xander now, but, at the very least, we can still cheer him on.”
Moments later, only Giles was still sitting at the table upon which he had set up the television in Sunnydale High's library. Buffy and Willow had already seen enough to give them nightmares for the rest of their lives.
“Giles,” Buffy asked, trying to scrub out the images which had been indelibly etched into her mind, “how can you even watch that? I mean, I'm the slayer, but even I recognize that some television should definitely be rated not for human consumption.”
Willow was fighting the urge to throw up.
“I think I'm feeling a bit queasy, Giles. Would you mind if I went home?”
“Willow, Buffy, really,” Giles chided the pair, wincing as Xander was once again horribly violated by Pornificus' tentacles. “As Xander's friends, and, in my case, a responsible member of the Watcher's Council, it is our duty to at least observe his trials.”
“I just don't think I can stomach anymore, Giles,” Willow complained, taking deep breaths.
“Oh my,” Giles declared suddenly. “Look what he's done now! No, no really, it's entirely safe to look.”
Buffy dared to sneak a quick peak at the television screen, worried that Giles might be trying to trick her. However, except for the rubble and destroyed buildings remaining from the titanic battle Xander had waged against Pornificus, the screen was entirely empty. Both Xander and the Hell-God he had been facing had disappeared.
“Huh? Um, Giles, what happened?”
“Oh, well, Buffy, I'm afraid that you missed it. There was a bright flash of light, and then both Xander and Pornificus simply disappeared into thin air. I'm not sure, but I think I've heard about this sort of thing before. Just give me a moment.”
Giles walked into the backroom of the library, where he kept all his tomes on demonology, before returning after a few moments carrying yet another large, weathered manuscript.
“Yes, yes, here it is. From what I observed, I suspect that, realizing that he and Pornificus were equally matched, and, I would guess, growing quite sick of being molested by Pornificus' tentacles, Xander forced both himself and Pornificus to ascend to a higher plane of existence, where the two will now be locked in eternal combat for all time.”
Finally having partially recovered from watching a short snippet of the battle between Xander and Pornificus, Willow spoke up, sounding extremely worried.
“Eternal? You mean that Xander's gone forever?”
“Well, um, yes, I suppose so, although some of my texts do indicate that, once a being has ascended to a higher plane of existence, that being is always with you.”
“Giles, that sounds like some sort of cheesy, bereavement card,” Buffy replied.
“Well, yes, yes, I suppose it does,” Giles conceded. “However, Willow, you can at least take consolation in the fact that Xander is not dead – he is merely locked in endless close combat with the Master of Infernal Bondage.”
“That's not much of a comfort, Giles.”
Giles polished his glasses again, a tad wearily.
“Yes. I suppose it's not.”
The Watcher sighed.
“Losing Xander this way is hard: very hard. He has truly become an integral part of our team. However, I suppose one must admit that, given his choice of ends, this is likely how Xander would have wanted to leave us.”
“You mean locked in eternal close contact with the God of bondage and tentacle porn?” Buffy asked her watcher, not sounding particularly convinced.
“I actually intended to say 'saving the world,' Buffy,” her watcher replied, sending the blonde a mild, reproving glare. “After having seen with my own eyes what he would sacrifice for the sake of the world, I can only say that Xander Harris was one of the was the noblest and strongest of all. He will be missed. Also, Buffy, you do realize what else this means?”
“Well, now that Xander has gone on to a better place, the Hellmouth is once again without a protector, so it appears that you may have to come out of your retirement rather more swiftly than you had hoped.”
“Buffy,” Giles interrupted his slayer, placing a hand upon her shoulder, while he gazed into her eyes solemnly, “you must understand that it is you duty to protect humanity from the forces of darkness once again. If the balance ever swings towards darkness, then we will all-”
“Get to meet the God of Cuddles and Hugs,” Buffy interjected.
“And, and, not the bad kind of cuddles and hugs, right?” Willow added.
“No, Buffy,” Giles replied. “You know very well the consequences if you should fail at your duty. If the Hellmouth should open, the entire world will fall into darkness. Now, come along. As he vanished on national television, fighting a giant monster, I suspect that Xander will be declared missing and then dead rather swiftly. We will, of course, attend the funeral, but in the meantime, unfortunately, the work of a slayer never ends.”
“Until I'm dead, you mean.”
“Yes, yes, of course. But try not to think too much about that.”