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 paced restlessly outside the huge brick building of higher
learning. This was one of the few times in his long school career,
he had arrived early. Possibly the only time.
Last night had been weird, to say the least. What had started out
as curiosity, then painful sexual revelation, quickly morphed into
a terrifying claim of vampire ownership. Then when you threw in a
crazy fortune teller, things easily went from odd to fucking bizarre.
Xander had stayed for an hour or so while he and Spike just talked.
This whole pet idea had Xander dumbfounded, yet for some strange
reason, he did not find it totally repulsive. Like a really expensive
shoe, it slipped on comfortably and seemed to be made just for him.
That was the part that scared him most.
By 10pm he had made some weak excuse and said he had to go.
He could tell by the hurt look in Spike's eye that the vampire knew
bull shit when it was shoveled, but made no move to stop him.
When he left, Xander did not go home. Instead, he sat on the stump
of the old maple, watching from the same spot he had when the carnival
first set up. He leaned back and watched the colored lights twinkle
and listened to the music play. Xander felt very alone.
Part of him wanted to run home and hug his mother. He wanted her
to scold him and ask him where he had been then kiss him on the cheek
and fix him a snack. He wanted to be tucked in.
He wanted to be loved.
He wanted to be loved.
Another part of him pulled in the other direction. Toward the dark side
of life. Toward a bloodthirsty, murdering fiend of a vampire and what he
was offering. Xander scratched his scalp and rubbed his eyes.
That was the real question. What exactly was Spike offering?
Love? Xander snorted. No, he was pretty sure vampires did not
write romantic poems, give roses and profess their (literally) undying affection.
And yet there was something almost appealing in the way Spike described,
what would be his total ownership.
He talked about their complete intimacy. How they would share each
other without restraint. Mouths, hands, sex and blood. Xander's blood,
like everything about him, would be Spike's property, but, the thing that
seemed to please Spike the most was that he would share his blood
Xander had asked if the other humans that worked the carnival were also
pets and Spike said no. That they were just transients, nobodies that
worked the demon circuit for a while then either moved on or got
careless and eaten. They were disposables in both the demon and human
worlds. It seemed very important to Spike that Xander understand he
would be above all that. He would be admired and respected.
He would be Spike's, and you just couldn't be more than that.
Xander had taken his first step towards betrayal of his friends when he told
Spike what he knew about Buffy. At the mention of the word 'Slayer',
Spike's eyebrow had gone up but only slightly. He had laughed and said
she was inconsequential. He had dealt with Slayers before. Twice.
Xander had spent all the rest of the night thinking on this and on other things
as he sat in the cool dark of the night and watched while the crowds swelled,
then thinned and finally drifted away when the carnival closed for the night.
He saw several of the carny workers, that he suspected were vampires,
slip away into the darkness and Xander knew someone would die tonight.
Still, he sat where he was.
When the first hint of morning started to creep in, Xander stood, stretching
his damp, sore muscles and he went home. He washed up, changed clothes
and told his mother that yes, he had slept just fine before leaving for school.
He perched on his spot on the brick retaining wall and he watched the various
cliques arrive. The cheerleaders were clumped together like a gaggle of geese.
Unusually somber, he heard Harmony's name mentioned as they passed.
It didn't interest him.
Next were the jocks. Flexing and posturing, they were doing the manly thing
and ignoring Larry's continued disappearance by shoving each other, swearing
and spitting on the ground near Xander's feet.
This, too, was out of the realm of his concern.
When Willow arrived with her usual bubbly, hyperexcited bounce, Xander
allowed himself to be tugged by the arm into homeroom. He could tell that she
was on the verge of exploding with some secret that she wanted to tell him.
No doubt she had found a new way to prepare tofu or a family of cardinals
had moved into her backyard garden.
Xander prayed she would NOT give him all the details.
Finally, just minutes before the first bell rang, Buffy slipped into the back
of the room and dropped her books on her desk. Her hair was pulled back
in an unkempt ponytail and her face was solemn and downturned.
Xander watched as she eased down into her chair, a move that seemed to
cause her more than a little pain.
Xander could sympathize. His own ass, still sensitive from the spanking he
received, was unable to find a comfortable position on the hard wooden seats.
He wondered if Buffy had been spanked.
Disregarding and foregoing his morning routine, Mr.Heebert went to the
front of the room and began calling the role. At the question of each person's
name, a response of 'present' was to be given. When Larry's name was called
it was met with silence.
Without comment, Mr. Heebert moved on.
When Harmony's name was called, the lack of answer was followed by
two quiet sobs in the back of the room. Mr. Heebert continued, offering
no reassurances or sympathies.
Lost in their own thoughts, neither Xander or Willow paid any attention to
the verbal drama until Mr. Heebert called the next name.
Both Willow's and Xander's heads snapped up. Together their eyes turned to
the empty seat in the back of the room, then to each other. Willow's mood
turned cold along with Xander's blood.
With an expression of terror on her face, she whispered.