Disclaimer: I own none of the characters or products named in this
story and make no profit from it.
Summary: A mysterious carnival appears on the outskirts of Sunnydale.
Despite the sudden disappearance of townspeople and pets, Xander is
intrigued and wants a closer look. What he gets is more than he could
This story is based on a suggested story idea from the lovely Mystic Oblivion.
As always, thanks to the wonderful Petxnd for the banners that put the perfect
visual to my words.
Xander stood off to the side in a darkened patch of the woods and he
watched. His eyes focused on the blur of colored lights that were strung like
long snakes throughout the length and breadth of the clearing. They twinkled
and flashed around the variety of booths, rides, displays and exhibits.
The sounds that drifted his way held him entranced. It was a combination
of music, blended with voices that cheered, laughed, shouted and promised
undefined mysteries and happiness.
Xander moved silently forward then ducked behind another tree. It had been
two days since the carnival had first rolled into town and he had been
Although he had just turned 18, he found he suddenly felt like he was five
and his inner child bubbled with the exuberance of a Christmas morning.
On Wednesday, he had taken the long way home from school. He was
in no hurry to face his less than-Leave It To Beaver-parents when he first
noticed the new flurry of strange activity in the open field. He paused and
watched them as they went about the organized disorganization of setting up
tents and makeshift wooden booths.
He had never seen anything like it and when his brain finally stuck a label
to what he was seeing, he was stunned.
He immediately settled in on the hump of a fallen tree and tried to take it all
in at once. There were dozens of men all moving with practiced efficiency.
They slapped together huge mechanical monsters that took the shape of dangerous,
stomach churning rides, and they built wooden structures that would contain the
horrors of the fun house and conceal the freaks of nature's abnormalities.
Before he realized it, hours had passed and the sun had started to set.
Quickly, he rushed home. He showered, changed, and told his mother that
no, he didn't want any supper. What he did want was to go back out to the
field and watch, but he knew that was silly.
Tomorrow was Friday, followed by the freedom of the weekend and he
wouldn't have school. He knew Willow would stop by tonight and he resolved
to ask her if she wanted to go to the carnival with him. They could all go.
Ride the rides and eat junk food. It would be fun.
But, when Willow came over, he told her he was tired. He needed to get
some sleep. The truth was, he wasn't sleepy at all, he just wanted to be
alone. Something inside him prevented him from asking her. He was
confused. Xander didn't understand himself at all sometimes.
Sometimes he did understand.
Xander was living in a state of dissatisfaction that had no end in sight.
He had friends. Good ones. Willow, Buffy, Jesse, people that he had
grown up with. People that thought they knew him inside and out. People
that he knew loved him, and he loved them too, but sometimes it wasn't
enough. Sometimes that hole inside him expanded to the size of a gapping
cavern so deep he thought he may just fall in and disappear.
It was a longing with no name.
It was Xander's life.
And tonight, Xander wanted to be by himself, to examine the flesh and blood
entity that called itself Alexander Harris. To try one more time to comprehend
why. Why his relationships with girls always crashed and burned. Why he
had slammed the brakes on when Willow had tried to make their lifelong
friendship take a new turn that he just couldn't fathom.
He had told her that he loved her too much to risk what they had, and really,
that had been the truth. He needed his Willow. Just not THAT way.
Reluctantly, she had agreed, or at least appeared to for the time being.
Xander knew he was often attracted more to men than he was to women
but he was hoping that was a simply a side effect of his ever present, often
inconvenient erection and that he would hopefully outgrow it.
In an effort to hurry along the transformation, he had tried dating. Julie, from
home room, Connie, from math class and even the student library worker, Penny.
They were all nice. Not particularly attractive, in fact they generally were what
some would call 'dogs' but Xander felt that was more along his line of availability.
The dates were nice. Pleasant even. Just not 'IT'. It did, however serve to
cement his reputation as a gentlemen since he never even attempted to secure a
good night kiss.
But in the end, he stopped asking. They all got on his nerves anyway.
Always yammering yammering yammering and never saying anything.
No, female companionship was not what he needed to fill the emptiness in
his soul. They could not calm the unease.
And then there was school. It never failed to amaze him that he had actually
made it to his senior year after only failing once, repeating kindergarten had
turned out to be a good thing when, on the second time around, Willow
From then on, he generally suspected that the school system just moved him
along each year to be rid of him and to avoid the drunken rants of his mother
when his report cards reached the critical level.
Then something changed. At the beginning of the year a new girl moved to
town. Buffy Summers. Xander thought that was a very SoCal sounding name
and although the attraction was not sexual, there was a quirky, off kilter quality
about her that drew him in. Almost like she was hiding a secret of her own.
Tonight he was feeling more restless than usual. He pulled on his camo green
sleep pants, although it was only 8pm, and he began to pace. He walked
the entire area of his small, dank basement bedroom and he twitched.
His fingers flexed, and his head bobbed to the rhythm of a tune that played
only in his head. He glanced at his unfinished homework and turned away.
'A carnival.' He thought.
'I wonder where they came from. They must just travel from town to town,
city to city. Setting up and tearing down. Selling junk trinkets, running
unsafe rides, serving up tainted food, and hawking fake freak shows.
What a hell of a way to live.'
It was all he could do to force himself to stay inside. He wanted to run.
To throw his door open and dash as fast as he could out into the night,
to the edge of the clearing, to the smell of the sawdust and the cloud
of magic that hung in the air.
The sound of his own voice stopped him dead in his tracks.
"You are acting like a child that wants to go to the circus. Forget that
fucking nonsense and go to bed."
Adult reasoning had snapped him back to reality and Xander was
shocked to find his fists tightly balled up, his breathing erratic, his
body covered with a sheen of sweat and his cock hard as a rock.
"What the fuck is wrong with me? Shit, I need to get fucking laid!"
Xander flopped out his sofa bed and he threw back the covers, sliding
in. Alone. Always alone.
Automatically he gripped his cock and was somewhat surprised when
after just half a dozen strokes he was jolted with an orgasm that rattled
his teeth and made the fine hairs around his ass hole singe and curl.
Within minutes of cleaning himself off, Xander was sound asleep.