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 stepped back and stared in horror at the vision in front of him.
The sight of the boy who now crawled over in obvious fear, to
clutch and hang on the carny's leg, begging and whining for something
promised. Something needed. Something Xander couldn't even imagine.
Xander could barely recognize his old nemesis. Larry's face was
filthy, scratched and bruised. His hair was matted, covered with mud and
caked with blood. Blood that still oozed from an angry red wound on
the side of his neck.
His clothing was torn and the knees of his jeans were worn through,
proving that this was not the first time he had crawled across the
ground since he had gone missing.
But all of these observation were secondary to Xander who was
stunned by obvious deeper change in the boy. Always the ultimate
athlete, Larry was tan, bronze and warmed from long days in the sun
practicing what ever sport he was presently engaged in. Xander had
often wondered if he didn't do it, in part, to prove something to himself
or to others.
But not now. Now, after only two days, he was pale, sickly looking and
seemed on the very verge of physical collapse at any moment.
Xander just stared as his mind sought comprehension. How could the
outer layer of skin fade so drastically in just 48 hours?
The sick realization struck Xander that this was the same pale, translucent
look that he had thought looked so good on Spike. The cool, nightlife
illusion now seemed evil and diseased.
"What the fuck did you do to him?"
The question that was intended to sound accusatory and angry, slipped
from Xander in a quiet, mousy tone.
Spike rolled his eyes and acted for all the world as if he was totally unaware
of the boy who continued to claw at this legs, trying to climb him, win his
attention, or at least secure some sort of promise of fulfillment.
"Must we go through this again? You really are becoming redundant, Xander.
You know what I did. I fu......"
"Stop it! Shut up! Don't you dare say it again! It's more than that. He's
sick. Just look at him. He's... Oh God! Drugs! You got him hooked on
drugs, didn't you? Well you won't get away with it. Everyone is looking for
him. They have search parties out. His family. The cops. They will find him
and lock you up."
Spike yawned. He was bored and had had enough of this tatter.
"Will they now? And what will they find? A needle in a haystack?
A pile of dust on a dirt floor?"
Xander ground his fists into his eyeballs. He was confused and could
detect a major headache starting in his brain. Nothing Spike said made sense.
A needle? A pile of dirt? What did that mean? Xander felt as though he
had tumbled into a nightmare and couldn't wake himself up.
Finally, taking a deep breath, Xander found a small morsel of courage
and with shaking hands, he reached for the boy on the ground.
"Come on, Larry, let's go."
Immediately Spike screeched in anger and his face shifted and changed.
Xander gasp as he found himself just inches from the terrifying form he
had convinced himself he had imagined.
The yellow, slitted cat's eyes burned into Xander's huge brown ones
and the moonlight glistened off impossibly sharp fangs.
Slightly hunched over, Spike reached a clawed hand down and clamped
his fingers painfully around the back of Larry's neck. It was a possessive move
that reminded Xander of the time he had tried to take a dead squirrel
away from his neighbor's poodle, Buddy. Seemed Buddy had a primeval
side and had lunged at him, teeth bared and eyes black.
Xander gasp. He was torn between the terror that flooded his body and
the white knight need to save that filled his heart.
Reading Xander's mind, Spike hissed. He snapped and growled.
"Go home. Xander. It isn't your time yet. You don't want it enough."
He then turned his distorted, malformed features toward the whining creature
that clung to his legs and he snarled.
"What about you? This what you want?"
Larry responded immediately.
"Yes, please, yes, Master. Thank you . Yes, I'll be good. Please."
Xander slapped his hands over his ears to block out the gut wrenching sound
of the former bully begging for.....what, Xander still wasn't sure.
Silently, he watched as Spike peeled Larry off him and tossed him to the side.
He wanted to speak up when Spike kicked the boys ass and watched as
Larry gratefully crawled back inside. Spike followed but, at the last second
turned back around and hissed.
Xander watched as the flap dropped down and he was alone. Reason
told him to run. It said that he had just lucked out and escaped with his life.
Curiosity bid him stay.
When he heard Larry cry out, he took a small step forward. When he
heard Spike's animalistic, unearthly growl, he reached for the tent flap.
The sounds he heard next turned his blood to ice water.
The sound of fabric being torn and shredded. The sharp crack of a hand
against bare skin. The painful response. But finally, it was what he heard
next that was the worst. The screams and cries of agony tinged with
pure orgasmic pleasure curdled in Xander's stomach, making him want to vomit.
Snatching his hand back, Xander suddenly knew with absolute certainty that
he did NOT want to see what was happening inside that striped, colorful tent.
Turning on his heels, he ran. He dashed past the other carnies that stood
laughing and watching him knowingly.
With his heart pounding and his lungs burning, he raced for the edge of the
field. The wooded tree line that meant normalcy and safety.
When he was just feet from the 10th street entrance, he saw the one
thing that could actually scare him more than the sight he just left behind
and he skidded to a stop.
"Willow? what the fuck are you doing here?'
Xander struggled to get the words out between gasps of air to fill his pained,
constricted lungs, strained by the combined exertion of running and fear.
Quickly, Willow closed her hand and tucked it behind her back. She
considered trying for innocent, maybe claiming she wanted to see what the
carnival was like after midnight, but she realized Xander knew her far too
well for that.
There was no way he would buy such a ludicrous explanation. Besides
that, she was sick of not being respected. Of having her beliefs and practices
dismissed as childish and foolish. No, she decided, if Xander really loved her,
he would accept her as she was.
Suddenly, her sweet innocent expression hardened and her eyes flashed.
"I'm here because Larry is here."
Xander gasp as a violent shudder ran through him.
"What!? How the hell could you know that? The cops have already been here
and they didn't find him. NO, he's not here, and we shouldn't be either.
Now, come on. I don't think it is safe here. Let's go. I'll take you home."
Willow stood firm.