Silk and Sandals (The Samurai Remix)

Silk and Sandals (The Samurai Remix)
Kathryn A
In an alternate version of "Halloween," more is going on than even Ethan expects...
Buffy/Samurai Jack
RemixRedux II at <>
Original Story
"Silk and Sandals" by M. Scott Eiland at <>
various things about Samurai Jack

WINNER of Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Best "Bath Tub" Novel (2004) (Award Graphic) in The Crossover Awards

Silk and Sandals (The Samurai Remix)

by Kathryn A

(a RemixRedux rewrite of "Silk and Sandals" by M. Scott Eiland)


Prologue: Early October 1998

It was a refuge, not a cage, that was what he told himself. A refuge long-prepared and delicately ensorcelled. Time was meaningless in this state; what did it matter if he waited one century or many? It was not a cage, it was a trap, a web for his enemy, and he the spider that waited for its springing. Yes. It would be so good to kill him, once and for all, and rule as he was always destined to. His enemy was a fool, a worm compared to his own magnificence. He didn't have a chance. Because he, the spider, was waiting in his refuge, this seeming, this trap. For who would see anything more than a statue? And of those who took a second look, even they could not see that beneath this statue of two-faced Janus, there was so much more.

And then he felt it, the touch of magic. The first fly had tripped the strands of his web, and did not even know he was caught. He reached out... the magic user was strong enough, yes, but completely unaware. A worshipper of Chaos. Yes. He would make a good host, when the time came. When the trap was sprung. Until then he could barely touch, could only whisper -- but that would be enough.

He hovered at the back of the magician's mind, as he selected the tokens to be enchanted by this spell of chaos. Only two remained. The first was the costume of a warrior of this time and place. The second, yes, the second was the token of his enemy, the white robe of silk, worn but still fine, when the centuries should have seen it perish. But that was all part of the plan, of course.

The magician eyed the first costume. The presence nudged his thoughts. It is too modern. The wearer might not be disoriented. That could be dangerous. A warrior with weapons and his wits might... interfere. The magician cast his eyes on the second costume, and felt a surge of unaccustomed anticipation. The presence in his head whispered Yes, you know this is the right one. A primitive warrior. It tickled his prejudices: Yes, yes, he will have contempt for his lessers, and react with violence to an affront. The magician smiled to himself, not knowing the thoughts were not his own, but revelling in the images of chaos they conjured. And if he gets out of hand, the magician reassured himself, a bullet between the eyes will easily take care of him.

The magician selected the second costume, and put it in the pile with the others. He gathered the tethers of magic, and spoke the words of the spell. "Janus, two-faced, cast your power on these your instruments. Let outer become inner, let seeming become substance, when the time has struck!"

The clothes glowed. The trap was set, ready to spring.

The magician slumped with exhaustion, for more had been taken out of him than was needed for just that spell -- because that spell was only the surface to deeper magic -- the magic of the trap. The magic the presence needed to be free. The magician closed his eyes and slept.

The eyes of the statue glowed. Soon. Soon the world would be his. Soon his destined future would come to pass. Soon his evil would be law.

Chilling laughter filled the room.

(October 31 1998)

Night darkened the street where he stood. He could hear screams and the tinkle of breaking glass; the familiar sound of the terrorising of innocents. He whirled, unsheathing his sword in one smooth movement. Yet, where to strike? The forms running in the shadows could be either hunter or prey. And he knew too well that there were many strange things under the sun; a wise man does not judge by appearances. He sheathed his sword.

"Xander!" It was a young woman's voice, raised above the hubbub.

He turned. A comely young woman indeed, with red-brown hair pinned up in an almost traditional style, though some strands of it were untidily loose. The black leather skirt and bare midriff seemed both strange and yet vaguely familiar. Her complexion was pale; worried and pale.


"Are you addressing me, miss?" he said. It was only logical; there was no one else in the street she could have been calling out to.

"Xander? It's me, Willow," the young woman said, frowning.

"I believe you have mistaken me for someone else," he said. "My name is not 'Xander'." But as he reached for his name to correct her mistake, his memories were nothing but mist. "At least... I do not believe it is. This place is strange to me, and my thoughts are disordered."

"Xander, quite messing around. This is no time for jokes."

"Indeed not," he said. "There is evil in the air. I sense the vibrations of some great, dark magic. Monsters are all around us --" He drew his sword as a pair of horned, grotesque dwarves ran towards them, growling.

"Don't hurt them! They're just children!" She put out her hand to stop him, but her hand went through his arm. At the same time, the dwarves turned tail, squealing like pigs at the brightness of his sword, which was like a sliver of the moon in his hand.

He turned to face her. "What are you? A spirit?" She did not feel evil, but... Then he recalled the name she had given, and the murmured legends told over an amphora of wine. "Are you a dryad? The spirit of a willow tree?"

Her eyes widened in surprise. "No, I'm a ghost," she said. "I mean, I was dressed as a ghost, for Halloween, and then everything went crazy and now I am a ghost. And you were dressed as a samurai and now I - I guess you're a r-real samurai."

"I do not think I have ever been a pretend samurai."

"But that's just it! You were a pretend samurai -- I mean, Xander was..." She frowned and tilted her head to one side, her eyes flicking from his sword back to his face. "You really aren't Xander, are you?"

"Why do you insist that I am?"

She looked distressed. "Because..." She looked around, and then walked towards a large horseless carriage parked by the side of the street. "Come here," she said, beckoning.

He came.

"Look in the mirror."

There was, indeed, a mirror poking out of the side of the vehicle; a most ingenious method for seeing what might be approaching from behind. More importantly, it was large enough for him to look at his face. Dark hair, tied in a queue, check. Wide, Caucasian eyes -- he blinked, staring. Part of him insisted that everything was normal, that this was what he looked like, what he should look like. Another part struggled to remember, to know... they were not his eyes. It was not his face. The eyes staring back at him widened in shock. The jaw dropped. The blood drained from the already pale skin. It was not his face, but it was the face he was wearing. Horror shook him; his spirit had taken another's flesh, he was an evil ghost!

He shut his eyes and drew upon the well of peace deep inside him. A warrior did not panic, he faced the consequences, however difficult, with honour and calm. He opened his eyes and said to Willow, "I understand now. You addressed me as Xander because Xander was wearing this robe, and he changed when the evil magic arrived. I am an intruder in your friend's body. I ask forgiveness."

"You haven't done anything wrong, Xan-" Willow broke off and frowned. "Look, whatever magic brought you here, you didn't cause it, and I can use all the help I can get to try to stop whatever did cause this." She hesitated, then added, "Um, look, it's kind of awkward to call you Xander -- is there a name I can call you?"

He again tried to sift his memories, but they eluded him like smoke; he could remember glimpses of things without context: pictures of fights, climbing mountains, giant mechanical insects, smiling faces, angry faces, mocking laughter... but what was his name? He was a samurai, he had trained since he was a small boy, after... after something had happened, something terrible. The terrible... treacherous... a dark hole, rising up into the light... Ah. "For some reason, my own name escapes me," he said to the young woman, "but I remember that in one time and place I was known as 'Two Sandals'. Please do me the honour of addressing me by that name."

The young woman glanced down at his feet with their sturdy wooden sandals on them, and then up at his face, a smile in her eyes. "It would be an honour, Two Sandals. Please call me Willow."

"Willow." He bowed, hands pressed before him in the proper manner.

She glanced around nervously as more growls and screams echoed through the night. "Look, I'd love to stop and chat, but we really need to find --" She broke off, looking at something behind him. "Buffy!"

She ran past him and he turned and followed.

"Buffy, are you okay?" The person Willow was addressing was another young woman, this time with blonde hair and wearing a red gown with deep skirts and white lace. He had barely taken this in when he heard growls approaching. The two dwarf-monsters had returned, with a much bigger monster in tow. He drew his sword and stood ready.

"I fear we may have to fight," he said.

"Buffy, what do we do?"

The woman in red fainted.


"It appears to be safe," Two Sandals said, beckoning the other two into the house. He had managed to fight off the monsters without killing them, but their situation was precarious. It seemed that normally, this Buffy was a warrior, but it became clear that Buffy was under the same spell and did not know who she was, nor recognise her friend or even the commonplace devices such as horseless carriages. After another monster encounter, Willow had brought them to this house for shelter.

"Hello? Mrs. Summers?" Willow called out. There was no answer. "Good, she's gone."

"Where are we?" Buffy asked.

"Your place," Willow answered. "Now, we just need to --"

There was a loud banging on the door. Two Sandals peered through the glass, and jumped back as a clawed hand punched a hole in the small window. He drew his sword.

"No killing!" Willow shouted.

"It will not go away without some wounding, I fear," he said, and slashed the claws off the monster. The arm pulled out with a howl. And then they heard a scream.

"That is no monster!" Two Sandals said, and dashed out into the darkness.

A woman in a clinging garment covered with spotted patterns not unlike a leopard was being chased by a monster.

"Xander!" she called.

"Come inside," Two Sandals said, taking her by the arm and leading her to the shelter of the house. Again he summoned his self-control at this reminder that the body he was inhabiting, the body he had stolen, was a real human being with friends who knew him. This magic must be reversed!

He stood, outwardly calm, as Willow explained the situation to the woman, whose name was Cordelia, but who did not appear to be under the spell that had affected everyone else he had encountered this evening. Unless being rude was not her normal mode of address. Unfortunately, Willow then decided to go and look for help, leaving him with a woman inclined to the vapours, and another woman who reminded him faintly of someone much larger, but with an equally sharp tongue.

Still, this place must be made as safe as could be. He went into another room full of chairs around a long table and brought back a chair to help barricade the front door. They needed something to block up the hole where the window had been. The table itself might be better than a chair.

"Miss Cordelia, I suggest you check upstairs, and ensure that doors and windows are locked, or blocked."

Cordelia frowned, but went up the stairs anyway.

He dragged the long table in front of the door, and pushed the chair to help hold it up.

"Surely there's somewhere we can go. A safe haven," Buffy said.

"I fear this is as safe a haven as there is in this town. And Willow said to stay here."

"You would take orders from a woman?" Buffy protested. "A-are you feeble in some way?"

Two Sandals frowned. "A wise man does not reject wisdom because of the package it comes in. Her advice was sound." He pulled out another chair from the dining room. "I suggest you help me barricade the windows. There will be more monsters coming soon enough."

"Me, push chairs around?" Buffy said snootily. "I was brought up a proper lady, not a servant to do manual labour. I'm just meant to look pretty, and then someone nice will marry me. Possibly a Baron."

Two Sandals' eyes narrowed. "You will not be able to marry anyone if you are dead."

The dispute was interrupted by the entrance of a man from the back of the house. He wore a black leather coat, and his short hair was also black. His face was pale, or perhaps that was just an effect of the light. Recognition and relief filled the man's face as he saw them. "Oh, good! You guys are all right. It's total chaos out there."

Buffy and Two Sandals stared at the stranger. "Who are you?" they said in unison.

Two Sandals put a hand on his sword hilt. There was something about the stranger that made him uneasy, for all his friendly face.

"Okay, somebody wanna fill me in?" the stranger asked.

"Are you friend or foe?" Two Sandals asked.

The stranger creased his brow and frowned. He said sharply, "How many times do I have to prove myself before you give me a break, Xander?"

"You are a friend of Xander's?" Two Sandals asked.

"What's with the third-person gig? Buffy, I'm lost here. You... What's up with your hair?"

Cordelia entered just as he was speaking. "They don't know who they are, everyone's turned into a monster, it's a whole big thing." She flashed a dazzling smile at the stranger. "How are you?"

At that moment, they were plunged into darkness. Buffy squeaked, and from Cordelia's reaction, had grabbed hold of the nearest person. Two Sandals' eyes quickly adjusted to the dimness.

"I suggest, Sir, that you and the lady Buffy secure the kitchen, while Miss Cordelia comes with me." Two Sandals and Cordelia went into the room with all the chairs and started checking the windows.

They could still hear Buffy's voice as she exclaimed "But I don't want to go with you! I like the man with the sword!"


"Are you certain she came this way?" Two Sandals asked. The man, who called himself Angel, had been somewhat reticent about exactly how Buffy had come to take fright and run off, but considering how flighty she appeared to be, that was perhaps moot.


"She'll be okay," Cordelia said with confidence.

"Buffy would be okay. Whoever she is now, she's helpless. C'mon!"

Two Sandals allowed Angel to take the lead in the maze of small streets and looming buildings. The walls were stark, with few windows and no plants save the struggling weeds. It was not a place for people to live in, but a place of metal wheels and forgotten dust. The lady Buffy could not have gone far, not with those long skirts and shoes not made for walking. Would fear have prompted her to take the open ways or to hide in darkness?

His sharp ears caught a cry suddenly cut off, coming from a nearby alley. "This way!" he said, and ran back, even as the others turned around to catch up.

The sight that met his eyes was not pretty. A sea-raider was forcing a kiss on a woman in a long red dress -- yes, it was Buffy. He had her pinned up against the wall, with both her arms up above her head. Two Sandals drew his sword.

"No!" Angel called out behind him.

The pirate turned at the noise and drew his cutlass. Two Sandals brought his blade down, and as the pirate attempted to parry the blow, his cutlass was shattered by Two Sandals' katana.

"Don't kill him!" Angel yelled.

This must be one of the ensorcelled children, though he was large enough for a man. This made things more difficult, but not that difficult; the man had but one eye, and his weapon was broken. Two Sandals sheathed his sword and used his feet and hands to subdue the beastly man. One last kick and he collapsed like a bullock felled by an axe.

Behind him, he could hear Cordelia reassuring Buffy that Angel was a good vampire, but it was clear that she didn't believe that Angel was a vampire at all. Two Sandals' eyes narrowed. Was that what he had sensed about the man? He clearly wasn't affected by transformation spell, as he did not appear to have amnesia. He resolved to keep a closer eye out on Angel.

"Guys!" It was Willow, at the other end of the alley.

They started towards her.

"Guys, you gotta get inside." Willow turned her head to look behind her and that was when they saw what was coming -- a group of monsters, large and small, led by a man with bleached blond hair cut very short. No, not a man -- his face was ridged, his eyes were yellow, and the fangs protruding from his mouth made it clear he was a vampire.

"This way!" Angel said, pointing back down the alley. "Find an open warehouse." And before Two Sandals could stop him, Angel picked up Buffy and carried her away with him, forcing them to follow. Was Angel in league with the other vampire? Was he leading them into a trap?


Though they had found an open warehouse, it was but a temporary respite, as the monsters still managed to break down the door, despite all the barriers Two Sandals had placed in the way. But if Angel had led them into a trap, he was not rewarded for it, since the blond vampire had directed his monsters to hold Angel as well as Two Sandals.

"Look at you," the blond vampire said, gazing at the cringing Lady Buffy as she backed away from him. "Shaking. Terrified. Alone. Lost little lamb."

Buffy was pressed up against a crate, unable to retreat any further.

The blond vampire slapped her across the face with the back of his hand. "I love it!" he exulted.

"Buffy!" Angel yelled, struggling with the monsters that held him.

He really sounds worried about her, Two Sandals thought. Yet, while they are distracted, I may be able to get free.

The blond vampire put his left hand around Buffy's throat and bent her backwards onto the crate. He stroked her forehead with his right hand. Two Sandals twisted and broke free of the monsters holding him. He rolled forward, and pounced on the vampire, tearing him away from Buffy.

The vampire growled and attacked him, but Two Sandals had fought creatures faster and stronger than this denizen of the night. The samurai started to draw his sword, but the monster caught at it to slam it back in its sheath. Yet the moment the vampire touched the hilt, he yelled with pain.

"Bloody hell!" He wrung his hands and stepped back. "Bloody holy relic, is it?"

Two Sandals leaped and kicked the vampire in the face, and slammed him against the crates. But before the samurai could make another move, three thoughts crystallised in his head like diamonds, one after the other: Aku is here. He was Samurai Jack. He must fight Aku. But how could he leave in the middle of a fight? They needed him.

His momentary hesitation enabled the vampire to get a punch in, and Jack flew backwards and landed in a pile of broken crates. He scrambled to his feet, only to hear a ringing voice call out: "Hey, Spike, I thought it was me you wanted!"

Lady Buffy.

Spike turned, and the petite young woman gave him a punch in the face. Lady Buffy no longer, this was the warrior they had spoken of. Jack was free to leave, to follow the compulsion that tugged him like a compass needle to the north. He must fight Aku.

But as he ran through the streets, a worrying thought could not be squelched: if the transformation spell was over, why was he still here in Xander's body? Good question.


As Jack approached the building where he sensed Aku to be, he slowed down. No sense rushing in without a reconnoitre. The front was mostly glass, and a sign above the double door spelt out "Ethan's" in glittering script. Why am I not surprised? That's where I bought the costume. What? He heard voices coming from the back of the building, and quickly and quietly went down the side and slowly opened the back door.

One voice became distinct. "... needed to summon the essence of my great enemy." Though it was not quite the same, Jack recognised the hated voice of his enemy, the shape-shifting wizard-demon Aku. "When the spell was cast, the essence of my enemy was summoned here, into the body of the mortal who wore the samurai costume, and he will seek me out, to fight to the death." Well, that explains that, then. Wait a minute -- fight to the death? Jack ignored the uncharacteristic thought and slipped through the door. He saw a red-and-black dragon, all serpent grace and head-spikes and those oh-so-familiar flaming red eyes. Aku was speaking to a man who was strangely familiar. What happened to Giles? He looks beat.

"The winner will be restored fully to life -- and when I stand over the corpse of my foe, I shall be ready to rule this world at last, as I am destined to do."

"Who are you? And who is your enemy?" Giles said.

Jack drew his sword and stepped forward. "His name is Aku. And they call me Jack."

"Samurai!" Aku hissed, and breathed a gout of crimson flame at where Jack had been a moment before. But Jack had danced out of the way just in time. The back door exploded in flames.

"Get out of here," he said to Giles. "Your friends have need of you."

Another bolt of flame blew the roof off the building, and Jack was dodging debris as well as flame-bolts from Aku. He rolled over, leaped to his feet and lunged straight at his enemy. "Aku!" He hoped the distraction would enable Giles to get away.

"Missed me! Missed me!" Aku gloated. "What of the great samurai warrior? Or is it the great fool? For anyone would be a fool to contend with the great Aku!"

Jack whirled his sword, feinted to the left and slashed a cut at Aku. The dragon pulled away at the last moment, and the enchanted blade only made a shallow cut in the wyrm's side. Aku howled in pain, and rolled over, but still managed to catch sight of the slight smile on Jack's face. "What, do you think a wound is a deathblow? It is but the prick of an insect! If you truly understood what you face, you would grovel before me and beg for the mercy of a quick death! I have powers beyond your comprehension, powers that could snuff you out in an instant!"

Oh boy, talk about pompous! He's even worse than the usual Big Bad. The thought took Jack by surprise, so much so that he barely escaped the sting of the giant scorpion that Aku had suddenly metamorphosed into. He leaped back and dodged behind the rubble of a wall still half-standing.

There could only be one reason for the thought. Xander?

Yes, Jack?

I am so sorry--

Cut the apologies. Not your fault. First thing we gotta do is wipe out this monster. We can worry about other stuff later -- if there is a later.

Very well.

"Scurry like an insect!" Aku called out. "I will squash you!"

Jack laughed as he vaulted to the top of the wall, and made a swipe at Aku, which Aku only just avoided by sprouting black wings and the claws of a vulture.

"What, do you find my awesome powers a matter for mockery?"

"No, just your pompous boasting," Jack said. "Do you realise how tedious it got over the years? 'I am Aku the great and terrible! I am all powerful! I will destroy you! You are doomed to failure!' Children were mocking you in their games before it was over. To be frank, your greatest power is inducing boredom."

It took a few moments for this to sink in, especially past the insult, but then Aku realised -- "The spell -- it did work! It sent you to the future, where I rule!"

"It sent me into a future, Aku. The future is not fixed."

"What was it like? You must tell me!"

"You ruled the entire world with absolute power for centuries before I arrived. You had your eyes on other worlds, spreading your corruption and destruction and enslavement to all kinds of creatures. Few dared oppose you. Your power was incalculably greater than it had been when I had faced you last." Jack paused, watching Aku as he circled above. "And I arrived and took it all away from you. I made it never happen. And best of all, I could never have gained the skill to defeat you if you had not exiled me to that hellhole. Should I not thank you, Aku?"

Aku screeched in rage and hurled another firebolt, which Jack rolled away from, only slightly singed. Then another yell split the air, a yell of anger and pain; yet it came neither from Aku nor Jack, but from the edge of the rubble that had once been Ethan's costume shop.

"It seems we have an audience," Aku said. "The friends of the boy whose body you occupy. A pity they must stand, helplessly, and watch me kill both of you."

Jack glanced quickly in the direction the yell had come from, while still keeping an eye on Aku. It was, indeed, Buffy and the others, but there was a barrier of white flame which had sprung up all along the borders of the former building, preventing anyone getting through to the combatants. "What sorcery is this, Aku?"

Aku laughed, his evil good cheer restored. He circled round Jack in the form of a giant python, though taking care not to come too close to Jack's steel. "The flames mark the boundaries of our battlefield, and only the combatants can enter. They will burn to a crisp anyone else who tries to enter the arena." Aku cried out, "Look but don't touch, little mortals! I'll eat you up later!"

"You're not going to get him, you monster!" Buffy called out, though she was swaying on her feet, with red patches from burns. "Once I get through these flames I'll tear you to pieces with my bare hands if I have to!"

That's my Buffy.

Aku will kill them without a thought.

Not if we can help it.


"Your host has loyal friends, Samurai," Aku remarked. "It is a pity he is so undeserving a specimen -- weak, no combat skills, average intellect, no charisma." Aku laughed. "I've saddled you with an inferior host. My host, by contrast, is a powerful sorcerer, a cunning mind, so generous in granting me his body. You are outmatched, Jack. You should give up now and admit defeat."

Xander's voice was silent, but Jack laughed out loud.

"What do you laugh at, you fool?" Aku said, and tossed more firebolts at Jack. Jack managed to evade the worst of them, but not before his robe caught fire and though he managed to roll the fire out, his robe was nothing but a collection of blackened rags. Jack tossed them aside and stood calmly in nothing but his loincloth, sword in hand. His hair was loose and wild, blowing in the wind.

Aku yelled "What do you have, you fool? DO YOU NOT KNOW WHEN YOU ARE BEATEN?"

"No, Aku, I don't," Jack said. "That is what you could not grasp. That is what defeated you. Not all the skill or all the power, would have been worth anything except for this: I never gave up, not for an instant."

You're lying -- you almost gave up more than once.

The word is 'almost'.


"The amazing thing," Jack continued, "is that of all the young men your tool could have chosen to wear my robes, he picked the single one in this place whose previous battles with darkness ensured a soul just as indomitable as mine."

Thanks, buddy.

You know it is true.

A Scoobie's gotta do what a Scoobie's gotta do.

"You should have chosen your tools more carefully, Aku."

Aku screamed with rage, and the battle was joined in earnest. Move and countermove, swift sword and claw and tentacle and wing and beak, fireballs avoided and magical blade singing through the air. Unlike other battles Jack had had with Aku, Aku could not fly away or vanish to escape, for if he left the battle area he would forfeit the battle. To the samurai, there was nothing but the battle, and the sword, and Aku's ever-shifting form; the skills of strike and evasion, and the unwavering will to defeat the monster, whatever it took. Muscles grew weary, breath grew short, movement grew slower, but the twin will never faltered.

"Never say die, never say die," Jack muttered, but he could no longer tell whether it was his thoughts or Xander's he had voiced.

Aku fluttered away from another stroke. It was not only Jack who had grown weary.

"Y'know, I'm getting sick and tired of that flying stuff," Jack said. Or Xander. He was too tired to care which. He remembered the shaggy wild man and his tribe who had taught him a new meaning for the word "jump". Out of practice he was, yes, and not as fit, but half the problem was to overcome the limits of what was believed to be possible.

Jack took a deep breath. "AKUUUUUUU!" he yelled, and jumped, sword out ready before him.

"You cannot fly!" Aku protested as Jack came level with his black wings.

"No -- jump good," Jack said, as his sword came down on Aku's head and split the demon asunder. Black essence rained down, even as Jack's leap ended and he fell, tumbling into a controlled roll as he hit the ground. Jack sprang to his feet, eyes darting here and there as he looked for any pieces of the demon that were still there. He would not make the same mistake as his father had made, and be content with defeating Aku; the demon must be destroyed utterly, every last piece. Quickly Jack dashed to and fro, piercing with his sword those patches of darkness that lay on the ground like black oil. Each one let out a tiny shriek as the holy blade came in contact with it, and then withered into nothing.

Suddenly, a hand came down on his hand, stopping his blade as it touched the ground. "Enough," a voice said.

"Gotta destroy Aku," he said, doggedly.

"It is done," the voice said gently, an arm lifting around his shoulders. It was Giles. "You've won."

"We won?" He blinked at Giles. "Of course we won, you couldn't get in otherwise." He swayed on his feet.

I must go.

Jack, buddy?

This is not my life. It is yours. To take it, even as a reward, would be a great evil. I must go to my rest, now, while I still can.

We made a good team.

A very good team.

You don't need to go. Couldn't we do a time share deal or something?


I don't want you to die.

I am already dead, my friend. It was my ghost that Aku summoned. I have had my life. Now it is time for you to have yours.

Goodbye, Jack.

May the Ancestors bless you, young Xander.

The young man sagged, and Giles caught him before he fell, and laid him gently on the ground. There was a sudden glow of light, like a white mist, all over Xander's body, which became brighter and brighter and then dissipated. Xander lay on the ground, no longer in the white loin cloth and long hair, but the T-shirt and shorts he had worn under the robe originally. But still, clasped in his hand, was the old katana, inside its lacquered wooden scabbard.

"Xander?" Giles said.

Xander opened his eyes. "Yes, it's me," he said, his voice slurred with weariness. "Jack left. Wouldn't be the honourable thing to do, y'know."

"It looks like he left you a gift," Giles said, indicating the sword.

"Guess he figured the Hellmouth would be a good place for a demon-killing sword to get a workout," Xander said. But he knew that the sword hadn't been the only gift, whether intentional or not. A gift of soul, of memory. Because there would always be a part of Xander that was forever Samurai Jack.

Author's Notes

This was done as part of the RemixRedux challenge <> where one takes a story by someone else, and rewrites it in one's own style (while keeping the plot basically the same).

I was given M. Scott Eiland
<> as my challenge author, and the story "Silk and Sandals" caught my imagination even when I didn't know it was a crossover. The samurai intrigued me, and I thought it would be fun to tell it from his point of view. Many thanks to the author for now turning me into a Samurai Jack addict. When I started this, I hadn't seen any episodes, but thanks to cable and the fortuitous timing of the Cartoon Network, I have now seen them all. I hope that the things that I revealed in this story are enough to intrigue, but not enough to spoil, for those who have not yet seen it.

As in the original story, "Two Sandals" is from "Jack and The Smackback", and was the name given by the arena announcer to Jack. There are also other things which I have kept the same.

Likewise, the dialogue is adapted from the original script of "Halloween," with alterations as appropriate to the plot. Thanks to Alexander Thompson for his transcript of the episode. There are also a few pieces of dialogue which are taken from the original story; some things were just too hard to rephrase, but still needed to be said.

Thanks to AstroGirl2 for making me aware of the RemixRedux, and Mistral Amara for beta-reading. All mistakes are mine.

And thanks to the Author of us all, without whom there would be no subcreations.