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Ghosts, Goblins, and Ghouls ... Oh My!

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Chapter 1

"Has anyone seen my bag of candy corn?" Dawn shouted. She was due at Janice's for movies, and she didn't want to be late because of a stupid bag of candy.

In the living room, the Slayer and the vampire looked down at the empty candy bag sitting on the couch between them. Then, they looked up at each other in sudden guilt. Buffy grabbed the bag, and she shoved it under the couch cushions.

"Sure haven't, Nibblet," Spike called out the lie. "Are you sure you bought one?" He gave Buffy a subtle wink when the teenager entered the room.

"Of course, I am!" Dawn grabbed the plastic sack off the coffee table. "I bought them at the same time I got these." She pulled fake vampire teeth out, and she put them in her mouth.

"Very nice." Spike grinned at the girl. "You almost look like the real thing."

"Don't encourage her!" Buffy smacked the vampire on the arm. She turned to look at her sister's vamp costume. Dawn was dressed up almost exactly like Spike; same black jeans, t-shirt, and boots with a red silk dress shirt. The only thing missing was a black duster, but that just wasn't in the budget. "Well, I suppose I should be glad you didn't bleach your hair, Dawnie."

"Are you guys gonna be staying here tonight?" Dawn asked, ignoring Buffy's bleach statement.

"No, we have to check that out that house up on Skald Hill," Buffy muttered. "You know Giles keeps telling us that nothing happens on Halloween." She shook her head in disgust. "Then, every year he has to eat his words."

Dawn gave Buffy and Spike a suspicious look. "What are you guys gonna do at Skald Hill Manor?" She knew there was only one house on Skald Hill that would interest the Scoobies.

"Halloween!" Buffy smiled with fake brightness. "What an excellent day for an exorcism!"

"You didn't tell me this before," Dawn spluttered. She gave both her sister and the vampire a glare that could only be perfected by teenage girls. "I already have plans with Janice. It's no fair!"

"Of course, it's unfair, Bit. That was the plan." Spike gave Dawn an unrepentant smirk. He suddenly gave a small whistle when Willow and Tara entered the living room. "Lookin' good, Red ... and Glinda."

Tara gave the vampire a shy but cheeky grin. She was quite proud of her costume, as she had never worn anything so daring before. She gave a small twirl, and said, "God is dead. Satan lives."

"No, God is still off in Nepal." Willow chuckled as she gave a reference to her ex-boyfriend Oz and the costume that he had wore their last Halloween together. "Besides, you're just a little demon, not Satan."

"Thanks." Tara ducked her head, and she would have blushed if she could.

"I didn't know the exorcism was supposed to be a costume party." Buffy looked down at her usual slaying outfit with a worried look.

"Oh no, Buffy. It's not." Willow rushed to assure her friend. "We're going to a party afterwards. Couples are to dress in opposites."

Tara nodded as she gave the others a grin. "Normally, I'd dress as the angel and Willow as the devil. She's a bit naughtier than I am." She giggled a little at the statement. "So, we took it a step further, and we dressed opposite of what we'd usually do."

"Well, Spike's right. You both look awesome," Buffy replied before she turned to Spike. "Guess everyone has plans later except us."

"We'll think of something, luv!" The bleached blond vampire wiggled his eyebrows at the Slayer. He wasn't worried about Dawn, Willow, or Tara getting on his case for propositioning the Slayer. He knew of all the Scoobies it was the females, even Anya, that approved of him and Buffy having a relationship.

Spike mentally shook his head. Things had certainly changed over the past few months. He and Buffy had hashed out their differences after the rest of the gang had seen him and Anya getting it on at the Magic Box. However, it had been Buffy's near death experience at the hands of Warren Meers and his gun that had made her change her mind completely about Spike. That... and strangely enough considering all the times she had thrown his soullessness in his face... his giving in to Willow's pleading for him to turn Tara when she too was shot by Warren.

You see, Spike was in Buffy's room sleeping -- after the long hashing session -- when the smell of blood had woken him up. He had refused to do what the redhead had wanted, but then her eyes had turned black. The vampire found himself just a bit scared of Willow in that moment. So, against his better judgment, he turned Tara, making her his first childe. Then, Willow did the spell to return the Wicca's soul. All of the Scoobies were still adjusting to the turn of events.

Spike still didn't know why his turning Tara had helped Buffy accept that he truly loved her, but he wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth. He was just grateful for another chance with his beautiful Slayer. He made an immediate plan, right then and there, to talk to Tara and Anya about how to make the rest of the Scoobs immortal without vamping them. Well, maybe not Harris, unless his immortal being was something disgusting. Spike skipped into a happy place as he thought of the Whelp being a dung beetle, and Anyanka's pet, for all eternity.

"Spike. Spike." Buffy snapped her fingers in front of the vampire's face. "That smile is wigging me out."

"Sorry, pet." Spike grinned at Buffy. "Just thinking about our first Halloween together," he lied.

"Don't jinx us now!" Willow's eyes widened. "We DO NOT need to turn into our costumes!"

Dawn plopped down on the couch next to the phone. She was about to pick up the receiver when she heard a crinkling from under the cushion. When she checked it out she found the empty candy corn bag. Dawn glared at Buffy in younger sister outrage. "Well, I was gonna call Janice and cancel the movies, but now I don't think I will."

"You're not going with us and that's final," Spike replied. He grabbed his duster from the back of the couch.

"And you! I bet you helped her eat my candy." Dawn included the blond vampire in her glare. She leapt to her feet, and she stomped out of the room, leaving four pole axed people behind her. There was nothing quite like teenage theatrics to start off the night. The front door slammed shut, shaking the house slightly, as Dawn left for her friend's house.

"She's just a little mad sometimes." Buffy laughed nervously, not sure if she meant angry or crazy when she said the word 'mad'. "We all go a little mad. Haven't you?" She turned to Spike. "I think we should hit Wal-mart later and get her some more candy corn."

Spike nodded in agreement before he herded Buffy, Willow, and Tara out of the house. His Nibblet's moods were certainly more volatile lately. Give her a few more years, and she'd be almost as scary as her Big Sister. Gotta love those Summers' women.