Title: Guccis and Bowies SO Do Not Mix (or: The Half-Elven Guide to Fashion)
Copyright: January 2000
Category: Crossover (sort of)
Rating: PG (humor, light angst [very light])
Spoilers: Buffy: Series as normal in Season 2 up until Phases.
Highlander: Up until Season 5 finale, which does not take place. Richie Ryan is still alive.
Summary: Set in the same universe as the Chronicles of Wanderer by Steve Pantovich. Two days after fulfilling the prophecy in Born To Raise Hellmouth, Shaw Hunter needs help from Cordelia and Amy to face a new challenge: The Sunnydale Mall.
Legalese: All characters except those noted below with their respective rights, properties and copyrights are the property of their respective creators, authors, owners, producers and agencies. These characters are used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended or meant, and no money will be made from this story. The story may be copied in its entirety, and may be distributed as long as all copyright information remains.
The character Shaw Hunter is mine. Anyone wanting to use this character may e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
The characters Randi Jessup, Brian Jessup, and Charlie are property of Steve Pantovich, and are used with permission. Steve may be contacted at email@example.com.
Author's Notes: This story takes place during Born to Raise Hellmouth, the first story introducing Shaw Hunter, shortly after Part 21, but before Part 22. It is recommended that you read that story before this one.
Dedications: To Steve, the Master of the Force (or this particular universe), Rebekah, the beta reader for Steve's universe (aka the Almighty Editor), and my four sisters, Amy, Kelly, Erin and Lisa, who I am finally getting even with for years of driving them to the mall.
Here are the changes from your regular shows that might have a part in this story:
Buffy: 1. Amy is not a rat. Nuff said. She is also a full-fledged member of the Scooby Gang.
"I am, of course, having my dress specially made. Off the rack gives me
"Out of Mind, Out of Sight"
"Dresses are not good for woodland fighting. It is too easy to snag, and
cause one to fall."
"Born to Raise Hellmouth"
11 September 1998
As the female Slayerettes were entering the mall, Cordelia was explaining the concept of shopping to their newest "recruit."
"It's quite simple, Shaw. It's almost like hunting vamps. Lay out a plan of attack, and execute the plan. Preferably, having fun while doing so." she said. "Got it?"
"I believe so. Determine the obstacle, track it, and do whatever it takes to kill it."
Cordy stopped. "Kill it?"
"It was only an expression, Cordelia." Rejoined Shaw, her expression neutral.
Cordelia didn't look convinced. "Whatever. We'll meet Randi, and we'll hit the clothing store first. Get you some better fashions, some shoes."
Shaw looked at her. "I already have these things."
"But you need variety, Shaw."
Amy pitched in, trying to help her fellow Amazon. "More than one outfit a day. Stuff to go to parties in."
Shaw looked extremely dubious. Amy and Cordelia looked at each other, and sighed. "We'll go easy your first time out. Trust us."
Shaw looked at Amy. "Is this part of 'getting even?'"
"No. This'd be way too easy."
The half-elven warrior gave her cousin a dirty look, to which Amy laughed. "And we can have you get your hair done. With that thickness and length, the possibilities are endless."
"That would not be advisable." Shaw stated evenly, her body tense.
"Shaw," Cordelia started, "we're trying to help you, but you gotta work with us here."
"It would not be wise, Cordelia," a note of panic creeping into her tone.
"Shaw," Cordy said, "you always wear braids, ponytails, or have your hair done up with those clips you wear. You know how to do that, but you gotta learn to have true style, girl. Your way of doing things just won't mix with the clothes you get today. Just once, go all out."
"Cordelia, you do not understand," Shaw said, trying to get a point across. "There is a reason for the way I wear my hair."
"I could cast a spell on you to make you go," Amy said teasingly.
"Fine. But it will be on your heads, not mine." Shaw's look was totally serious.
"What will?" Amy asked.
"When the humans run out shouting 'Vulcan' or 'alien' or some such nonsense."
"Huh?" Cordy asked.
Willow giggled. "Shaw's ears." she whispered.
Cordelia and Amy were both stunned. "You're kidding." Amy said.
"Nope. Pointed. I saw them."
Shaw nodded. "I am glad you find this amusing, Willow." she snapped. "Do you think I actually like wearing these clips to hide this? I prefer tails or braids myself." She looked at Cordy. "It is the only thing I have to hide, to pass for human. But, it is.. difficult."
"Okay, Shaw. You've got a point." Cordelia conceded. "But clothes, you will get. And I'll help."
"As long as they are reasonable."
Willow smiled. "Wait 'till you see what Cordy considers reasonable."
Shaw moaned, and the others laughed at her discomfort just as Randi Jessup joined the gang, with her younger brother Brian in tow. "Hey, guys, sorry I'm late." the young Immortal said.
"Hi, Randi. What's the sitch?" Cordelia said, indicating Brian.
"I just wanted to spend some time with Brian. After what happened recently, he deserves some brother/sister time."
"Hi, Brian," Willow called. "How are you?"
"Okay," he muttered without any enthusiasm.
Randi smiled. "He's out with girls intent on shopping."
The Slayerettes, minus one, all laughed softly. Brian glared at them.
"If it is any help, Brian Jessup, you are not alone in your feelings." Shaw's dry comment penetrated his adolescent gloom.
Brian looked warily at Shaw. "Who are you? You talk funny."
Randi looked at her brother in surprise, her face growing red. Shaw grinned. "He is direct, isn't he?"
"I'm sorry, Shaw. Brian, apologize to her."
"You are apologizing to ME about someone being direct?"
"But.." Randi started, but quickly realized she'd lose that argument. "Never mind."
Shaw looked around for a second. "Randi, can I talk to Brian over at the bench for a moment?"
Randi looked at Brian. "Okay with you?"
Brian looked hesitant, but nodded. "Okay."
The two walked over to the nearest bench and sat down. "Brian," she said softly, "My name is Shawukay. I am a warrior, who has joined your sister and the others to fight those who would hurt normal humans. I can understand your caution. I was the one who gave Randi her sword, under orders from someone who serves your God. While you do not know me, you do know Amy, who is my cousin. I hope that I can be a friend to you, as I have become friends with the others."
Brian looked at her. "You said 'normal' humans."
"Yes. You know about your sister, and the others?" A nod to both questions. "You know about vampires and demons. Now you can learn something about someone else who fights them."
"What?" he asked, cautiously.
Shaw gave him a lopsided smile. "Are you ready to believe in elves?"
Brian's eyes went circular. "You?"
"Yes. I am half-elven, my father was human. Here, give me your hand." She took his hand, and moved it into her hair. His mouth opened a bit when he felt her right ear. "This has to be our secret, Brian. Only the others know. I have fought beside your sister, so I will trust you with this." she said in a kind tone. "Do I have your promise?"
"Oh, Yeah! I promise." he said solemnly, his eyes round at the secret they now shared.
Shaw nodded. "Thank you." She stood back up and walked back over to the rest of the group. "He is a good young man, Randi. I can see it in his eyes."
Randi and the others, except Shaw, noticed the smile that brought to Brian's face. "Thanks. You aren't the type to give praise unless it's earned, are you?"
"I always speak the truth, Randi, unless lying will save lives."
"Thank you. It's been hard for us, getting used to this stuff. Vampires killed our parents in L.A."
"I know how you feel, Randi, Brian."
Brian's smile faded. "How could you?"
"Because both my grandparents were taken from me in the same way." she said quietly.
"Oh. Does it still hurt?" he asked, his eyes full of the pain he still felt but kept locked inside.
"Yes, Brian. But it means that your parents were good people, if you mourn them."
Cordelia broke the mood. "Enough angst. It's time to shop!" The mood brightened, although Brian and Shaw shared worried looks.
While Willow and Randi went to look at computer gear, Cordelia and Amy had dragged Shaw to the best clothing store in the mall, and they were looking at jeans and slacks.
"Okay, Shaw, we'll start simple. You wear blue jeans, now it's time for brand names." Shaw's only response was a blank look. "Something a little more... form fitting," Cordelia explained. "If you get my meaning."
"Yes. Unfortunately, I do. Let us begin." she said with a resigned sigh. As they looked, Shaw found a pair in her size. The clerk looked on expectantly.
"These would do well, except..."
"Yes?" the clerk asked, wondering what could possibly be wrong.
"Do you have these, with an extra seam in between the legs?"
The clerk brightened as she realized what Shaw was asking, then her shoulders sagged. "They sell those two doors down."
"Good. I will take this pair. Could you set it aside for me?"
Cordelia looked on in confusion as the clerk smiled again and left.
"Okay, Shaw. You want different jeans, but you are buying those."
"I would not reward her help by not buying something. What store is two doors down?"
"Just the.." she trailed off, a smile coming to her face. "Chi Jeans. Maybe I underestimated you. You've got good taste."
Shaw's face went blank with confusion. "What is 'Chi Jeans?'"
Cordy and Amy looked at each other, than back at Shaw. "What do you mean? Don't you know?"
Shaw just shook her head helplessly.
"Okay," Cordelia said, launching into an explanation. "Chi Jeans specializes in jeans with a gusset in the crotch, and a crystal embedded in a pocket in the small of the back, for enhancing your chi, your aura, or something like that. The stores are frequented by dancers, horseback riders and martial artists."
Shaw smiled in approval. "Good. The seam I was describing prevents the jeans from ripping when you throw kicks in combat or sparring."
Cordy's eyebrows shot up as she realized the true reason that Shaw wanted those particular jeans. She closed her eyes and groaned in frustration. Amy giggled at Cordy's groan.
"Shaw," Cordelia said, "we're trying to buy stuff for you because you like it."
"Well, those jeans are sufficient."
"We're not trying for 'sufficient.' We're trying for something that makes you look nice."
Amy's laugh increased. "I think you've got your work cut out for you, Cordy."
"You're not much help."
Amy shrugged. "I'm not 'Queen C.'" she said. "I'm 'Sabrina,' remember? If she wants to buy magic equipment, that's where I come in."
"Cordelia, is it safe to assume that Amy is having fun at our expense?"
"Assume away." Cordy said.
"Okay, I'm done." Amy said, still grinning.
"Why don't I believe you?" she snarled. "Shaw, let's go over here."
They moved over to skirts. Cordelia took a look at Shaw, and started looking. "You're about Buffy's size, but you've got that athletic style body with almost no hips." She looked through the rack, and pulled out a tan skirt. "Here. Try this."
Shaw just shook her head. "That is much too short."
"What are you talking about? It'll fall to mid-thigh. That's normal."
"For you, perhaps, Cordelia," Shaw stated, a look of distaste on her features.
"This is an elven thing, right?"
"No." she snapped. "I could not expose that much of my body. It would be.. inappropriate."
Cordy moaned again. "Shaw, come on.."
"Do you remember what Rupert Giles said about me?"
Cordy thought back, and nodded. "Okay. But let's discuss this. Are you afraid of showing off your legs, or of, well, showing certain parts when you sit down?"
"Cordelia, that is disgusting," Shaw said, looking sick.
"Shaw, there are ways around that," Cordelia assured her.
Shaw considered it, and finally shook her head. "Cordelia, please do not force me into this. There are things that I do not wish to discuss."
Cordy looked at the half-elf, and was surprised to see a little bit of actual fear in her eyes, along with reluctance. "Okay, Shaw. But how about this; the next time we come here, we try to get into this, alright?"
Shaw looked into her eyes, and nodded. "Yes. Cordelia, I do appreciate your help, but I am simply not ready for something that revealing."
Amy pulled a dress off a rack and called them. "How about this, Shaw?"
Cordelia looked, and said, "Okay, we'll start slow."
Amy brought it over, and Shaw took it and looked it over. The dress was white, with short sleeves, very plain.
"What kind of cloth is this?"
"Cotton," Cordy remarked. "Pretty common."
"I would not mind wearing this, but.."
"Go ahead, girl."
"I could not possibly wear my forearm sheaths."
Cordelia banged her head and stifled a scream.
"Cordelia, are you ill?"
Cordy raised her eyes to the ceiling. "Artemis, give me strength."
"Why are you calling on your Patron?" Shaw asked. "This is not a hunt."
Amy excused herself, and quickly walked away, Shaw watching her leave. "Where is Amy going?"
"To laugh herself silly. She's too polite to do it in front of us." Cordelia said sourly. "Shaw, exactly how long have you been on Earth?"
"Exactly four months, tonight."
"Next question. Have you ever bought clothing without consideration for concealing weaponry?"
Shaw nodded. "Of course I have."
Cordelia smiled. "Now we're making progress."
"I bought sweat suits for ease of movement while training."
Cordelia's smile vanished, and she shook her head. "This is going to be harder than I thought."
Shaw just watched her talk.
"Okay, Shaw. Tell me you've at least bought clothing for no other reason than to look nice."
"I have never met a vampire that was interested in clothing, and not blood." she said. "And the woodlands I have spent most of my life in are nothing like this town."
Cordelia rubbed her head. "Let's try a different approach. You said you wouldn't mind wearing this dress. We're not buying stuff for fighting. For school, would you wear it?"
Shaw looked at the dress. "Yes, I would. The length is sufficient, the color is acceptable, and the cloth is.. pleasant."
"Good!" Cordy said loudly. "There's the dressing room. You can try it on, and I'll see how you look."
After about ten minutes, Shaw walked out, an uncertain look on her face. Cordelia smiled. "Not bad, Shaw. I wouldn't be caught dead in it, but for you, it works. Keeping in mind your modesty."
"Thank you. You are certain it is acceptable."
"Yep. We'll get you a pair of sandles to go with it, then move on." she said, nodding emphatically. "It's a start. Go ahead and change back."
As she was doing so, Amy walked back in, still giggling. "So what'd I miss?"
"Shaw in that dress. She's buying it."
"You actually made progress?!?"
"Amy, if you repeat this I'll deny it to the grave, but it looked nice on her." Cordelia told the witch. "She just needed convincing."
"What's next on the agenda?"
"A couple pairs of shoes. Sandals to go with the dress, a pair of flats or low heels. I wish this mall was open twenty-four hours, we might need it."
"Modesty's a pain, huh?"
"You got that right, girl."
Shaw walked back out, carrying the dress. "I am going to pay for this and the jeans. Can anything else please wait?"
Cordy considered it. "Some shoes, maybe a shirt or two to go with the jeans. Alright?"
"Very well. That is acceptable, at least."
"Good. What color do you like?"
"Forest green, tan, dark blues, black." Shaw replied. "White, if nothing else is available." She walked off towards the register.
Amy smiled. "At least she gave you more than one color."
"Hey, I can work with it."
When Shaw came back, Cordy had four shirts laid out. The first was silk, midnight blue in color. Two sheer shirts, one black and one blue, and a sleeveless green top. She had also laid out several camisoles and tank tops in varying colors.
"Take a look, tell me what you think."
Shaw looked at Cordelia. "I could use advice on this."
"Okay. The silk is nice, as are the shirts. The black matches your hair, and shows off your skin tone. The blues do the same. The green was just the color you mentioned. "
Shaw nodded. "I see. What are these others tops for?"
Cordelia stared for just a second. "Oh, those are to wear under the shirts. Which ones you get would depend on the color of the shirts you pick."
"I see. I will take the.. silk, and the black."
The Slayerettes nodded in approval. "Good picks." Cordelia assured her.
Some time later, the two groups met at the food court. Shaw still looked uncomfortable, but less than when they had first arrived.
"So, how'd it go?" Randi asked.
Shaw looked at Cordelia, who smiled. "It's a start."
Amy grinned. "Wasn't easy, but we got her some nice tops, a pair of tight jeans, some jeans for martial art students, and a dress."
Willow and Randi stared at Shaw. "You bought a dress?" Willow asked.
Shaw blushed. "Yes."
Cordy laughed. "Wil, she looked alright in it. It's modest, but that's her."
"Randi, can I get a soda?" Brian asked, wanting to escape the discussion.
"Sure, Brian. Here." Randi said with a grin, handing him some money. He took off. Shaw watched him, looking like she wanted to join him.
"Randi, what is it like, having a brother?"
"It's great. Plus, since.. L.A., having him to help me deal with this was a big help. Were you an only kid?"
"Yes. I can see that he cares deeply for you. If he has any problems, I would be willing to talk with him." she said, then looked at Randi. "It helped me, having someone with similar experiences to talk to."
"Thanks for the offer."
"Shaw, can I ask you a question?" Amy asked, to which Shaw nodded. "It you could, would you go back to your world?"
Shaw hesitated, and folded her hands on the table. "Amy, I will be honest. If you had asked me this a month ago, I would have said 'yes' without hesitation. But now, I have reasons to stay. Friends, family.." she lowered her eyes, not wanting to see Amy's reaction, "I feel I have nothing to return to there, except religion, which I still have here. Perhaps I am being selfish, I do not know."
"So you're staying for good?" Willow asked.
"For the foreseeable future, yes. But I believe we are not here to discuss these things, if I remember correctly," Shaw gently chided, her eyes twinkling.
Cordelia stared, but smiled. "Maybe there's hope for you yet."
"Perhaps." she said, looking around. Suddenly, her gaze froze. "Randi, where is Brian?" Randi nodded behind Shaw. "Coming back, about fifty feet. What's up."
"Nobody move but Amy. Amy, see that man by that.. machine? He has a familiar look that I do not like?"
Amy looked, and nodded. "Let me cast a spell." A few seconds later, she nodded. "Vamp, Shaw."
Cordelia touched Shaw's arm. "You want backup?"
"No. I will offer him a chance to leave. There are too many people here."
"You have subtlety? You do know that the local vamps say you make Buffy look civilized?"
"I have that.. reputation?" The Slayerettes nodded. "Good. Maybe that will help avoid a fight." Shaw rose and started walking over, and Amy started smiling, trying not to laugh.
"What's so funny, Amy? And you didn't cast any spell."
Willow hissed. "And you let Shaw go after him?!?"
"He saw us, Wil. He'll be fine." Amy said. "I'm getting even, just like I said I would."
Shaw walked over, seeing the vampire noticing her approach, and going on guard. "Can I help you?"
"Yes. I have a proposition for you."
The vamp smiled. "Sorry, but I'm happily married. Nice try."
Shaw stood in front of him, on her guard. "Really. What does your wife like best about you? The fangs, or the facial ridges." she said sarcastically. Now he started to look cautious. "Who are you?"
"I am known as the Hunter."
"You would be Shaw, right?"
"Yes. I will give you one chance to withdraw, blooddrinker."
"The name's Charlie. How come you don't know about me?"
"You are a vampire. What else is there to know?"
Charlie looked back over her shoulder. "Amy and Willow helped restore my soul, and they didn't tell you?" At her look of suspicion, he looked back at their table. "And what does Amy find so funny?"
Suddenly, the pieces clicked in Shaw's head. "That blasted, arrogant, foolish, magic-wielding... HUMAN!!" she hissed.
Charlie started to look nervous. "If you're not human, what are you?"
"That is none of your concern. Will you allow me to cast a spell to confirm your story?"
Charlie nodded. "Go right ahead."
Shaw uttered a quick spell, and stared at him. "You are good, not evil. You were attacked, I presume?"
"Yeah. I'm just patrolling the mall."
"My apologies, Charlie. Now, I must go and kill my kin."
"The kin who finds this very amusing. Amy Madison."
"How'd you like to get even?" Charlie asked, keeping his face straight.
"Here's the plan."
Amy and Cordelia watched Charlie leave towards the storage area. A few seconds later, Shaw started following him.
"Shit, Amy, she's going after him!" Cordelia snapped. "Willow, Randi, stay here."
Cordelia and Amy walked fast towards their companion. Just before she left their field of vision, they saw a flaming scimitar blink into existence in her right hand.
"Oh, shit!" Amy whispered, as she and Cordy quickened their pace. They heard Shaw shout something in Elvish, and then nothing. They rounded a corner. And saw Charlie, in his game face, holding Shaw in an embrace, his mouth against her neck.
"Charlie, NO!" Amy shouted, moving forward.
"Stop right there!" he shouted.
"Charlie, what have you done?" Cordelia asked, holding Amy back.
"I told her I was cursed, would you believe she cast a spell to remove it?" he said evilly.
"Charlie, she's my cousin!" Amy cried.
Charlie released Shaw, who turned around with a glare. "I did not know you cared, Amy Madison."
Amy and Cordelia sat there totally stumped, until it sank in. "Dammit, you two, you had us scared to death!" Cordy shouted.
Charlie was snickering, but Shaw was pissed. "Amy, do you realize what I could have done to him, had we not figured out the joke? His family could have lost him, forever." she said, the anger in her eyes. She closed them. "Do you know how they, and I, would feel about that?"
"I'm sorry, I was just trying to get even for your remark to Artemis. I didn't think you'd go after him. Sheesh."
"Considering that he thought I was offering intercourse to a married.. man, you were even. It was embarrassing enough." she said, then walked by them, heading back for the table. She stopped, and said over her shoulder, "But now, I am ahead once again."
Amy stared daggers at her back. "Ohhh, I'm gonna.."
"Let it go for now Amy," Charlie laughed. "This was my idea."
Cordelia shook her head. "Amy, she may not know jack about shopping, but she got us good here. Do you know how hard it's gonna be to top this? Xander would have trouble."
"Give me time," Amy said, an evil grin forming. "Cordy, has anyone explained Halloween to her yet?"
Cordelia started grinning too. "No. I can hardly wait. We can't go overboard, but maybe we can kill two birds with one stone."
Charlie looked from one Amazon to the other. "What are you two planning, Cordelia?"
"We could find a costume she hates, but convince her to wear it to mess with the boys."
"I'm glad I'm a vampire, now." he mumbled. They stared at him.
"WHY?" Amy asked, aghast.
"I don't have to let you pick my Halloween costumes." he said with a chuckle.
Amy and Cordy ignored his comment, making their plans for the holiday.