Title: Long Black Leather Duster
Author: Dea Brynhild Ensomhet
Rated: PG-13. Take the necessary precautions: practice responsible reading.
Archival: Just ask and ye shall recieve.
Dedicated to: tabaqui, for the Fractured Fairytale Ficathon.
Disclaimer: Don't own any of the Buffy or Angel cast/crew/characters/plotlines/etc.
Last updated: 1/23/05
Once upon a time, for all fairytales must begin thusly, there lived a young man with a kind heart. He was born of the name William, but no one who knew him called him that. Everyone in the village of Sunnydale called him Long Black Leather Duster, for he was never seen without that essential piece of attire. No one else in the village wore a jacket like it, so the duster became William's trademark and nickname. Because he had such a kind heart, the people of the village often enlisted his help.
"Long Black Leather Duster," the village wise-woman called to him as he passed by her home, "Do you have a moment to spare?"
"Aye, Red." Long Black Leather Duster replied, for even though the wise-woman's name was Willow, everyone in the village had a second name that they were oft called, and the wise-woman had been dubbed 'Red' on account of the vibrant hue of her hair. "How may I be of service?"
"I need you to carry this basket of food and drink to my old sick insane grandmother, who lives deep in the woods. I usually make the trip myself, but I have a leg wax appointment that I cannot miss. Would you please perform this favor for me?"
"Of course I will." Long Black Leather Duster replied, "I understand how important it is to get rid of unsightly leg hair, and would be more than happy to deliver this basket of nourishment to your old sick insane grandmother."
The wise-woman gave him directions to her grandmother's house, so he wouldn't get lost. "Go quickly as it is almost dusk, and do not loiter along the way, for hyenas and other creatures of darkness run rampant in the woods, and if you tarry, they will eat you up."
And so Long Black Leather Duster heeded her advice and set out for the grandmother's house deep in the woods. He kept to the path as she had instructed, not lingering to pick the sweet-smelling flowers that grew amid the trees, but instead keeping his gait swift and steady. The sun had not set yet, but the canopy of branches overhead allowed little light to filter through, casting the woods in gloom despite the early evening hour. His step only faltered when he heard a voice.
"Hello." someone said from the shadows of a tall tree. Long Black Leather Duster peered deep into the shadows and saw a man dressed in a white t-shirt, black leather pants, and a long black leather coat similar to his. He knew instantly that the man was a stranger, for no one in the village of Sunnydale wore such a black leather coat, save for Long Black Leather Duster himself. Long Black Leather Duster was wary of the stranger at first, but relaxed when the man proved to not be a hyena. The wise-woman had warned him that hyenas possessed glowing green eyes, and as the man stepped out of the shadows and into the dim light, he could tell the man's eyes were dark brown.
"You should not be wandering the woods alone, for there are hyenas and other creatures of darkness that run rampant." The man said.
"Thank you for the warning, but I promised Red that I would deliver these provisions to her old sick insane grandmother tonight, and I am a man of my word."
"If you insist on traveling despite the dangers you will most certainly come across, will you at least permit me to accompany you?" The man asked.
"Most indubitably!" Long Black Leather Duster exclaimed, "I would welcome your companionship. What, may I ask, is your name?" he said as they walked along the forest path.
"Xander. What are you called?" The man replied.
"I was born William, but I am called Long Black Leather Duster, on account of this coat I am never seen without."
"It is nice to meet you, Long Black Leather Duster." Xander said. "Aren't you afraid, walking through the forest this close to sundown?"
"Nay, I am not afraid. " Long Black Leather Duster assured him. "I grew up here and I know these forests like the back of my hand, and cannot get lost. And no creature that inhabits these woods would dare attack the two of us." He pulled out a piece of Wheetabix from his pocket and offered it to his counterpart. "Are you hungry?"
Xander refused, "No, but thank you dear friend. I fear I ate not too long ago." He smiled wickedly, and for a moment Long Black Leather Duster shivered from fright.
The wolfish smile dissipated like smoke, and with it went Long Black Leather Duster's dread. "Is this the cottage of your friend's grandmother?" Xander asked. Up ahead was a small quaint house, and the path ended at the cottage's front door.
"Aye, it must be." Long Black Leather Duster answered. He knocked on the door. "Grandmother, it is Red's friend, Long Black Leather Duster. I am here to bring you perishables." There was no answer and the door was unlocked, so Long Black Leather Duster opened it. Inside, the cottage was dark and cold, so Long Black Leather Duster set the basket down next to the door, and made his way over to the fireplace. Within moments there was a cheery blaze within the fireplace, casting warmth and light inside the cottage.
The grandmother had still not stirred in her bed, and so Long Black Leather Duster approached her warily. "Oh dear grandmother, why are you not rousing?" he said.
"She is old, and probably slumbers through your calls." Xander remarked, coming to stand behind Long Black Leather Duster.
Long Black Leather Duster stepped closer to the bed. "Oh dear grandmother!" he ejaculated. "What are those two small wounds upon your neck?"
"It must be from the leeches the doctor uses to assist the sick." Xander reasoned.
Long Black Leather Duster frowned. Something was not right here. "Oh dear grandmother, why is your skin so pale?"
"It must be from the sickness." Xander said. "It fades color from cheeks as it weakens the body."
Long Black Leather Duster took hold of one of her hands that was lying limp atop the comforter. "Oh dear grandmother, why are your hands so cold?"
Xander shrugged, "It must be from the winter air. They will be warmer soon, now that the fire's lit."
Long Black Leather Duster turned the cold hand over and pressed his fingers into the wrist. "Oh dear grandmother! You have no pulse!"
Xander sighed. "She is old, and it is the old people's prerogative to die."
"Come, we must dig a grave outside, and then go straight back to the village to tell Red of her grandmother's demise." Long Black Leather Duster decided. They found two shovels in the closet, and dug a deep grave by the light of the full moon. The digging was strenuous, the earth cold and hard in preparation for its long winter sleep, and they paused as a loud, high-pitched scream came from the direction of the village.
Long Black Leather Duster smiled, and reassured Xander. "Do not thee worry, for it is just Red's waxing appointment."
Xander wasn't sure what exactly made him fall in love with Long Black Leather Duster, whether it was his kind heart or his strong body, or his lovely smile in the moonlight. Long Black Leather Duster said a few words over the grave, and they went back inside to warm themselves by the fire before beginning the long journey back to the village.
"Are you ready to head back to the village now?" Long Black Leather Duster asked.
"I have been thinking." Xander proclaimed. Long Black Leather Duster frowned at the non-sequitur. "I know we have not known each other very long, but I have decided to take you as a mate."
"I am sorry," Long Black Leather Duster replied, "But I am already engaged to a lovely woman by the name of Effulgence back in Sunnydale."
"No, I am sorry," Xander said, his face twisting into a horrific visage and his teeth growing into fangs, "But I fear you have no choice in the matter." And with that he lunged at Long Black Leather Duster and gobbled him up, and fed Long Black Leather Duster his own heart's blood so that he would come back as a vampire, like Xander.
The moral of this story: Do not eat potpourri, no matter how good it smells.