Warnings: Strong sexual language and M/M sexual situations.
Disclaimer: The Bee freely admits she owns none of the characters in this story
and makes no profit. I simply borrow them, then hose them down before returning
them to the shelf for others to use.
Summary: AU. This story is a follow-up to Carnivale Mystique.
At the ending of Carnivale, Willow vowed to spend her life looking for her lost
friend and that is just what she has done. Now, after nearly 40 years, she and
the carnival cross paths again. Can she finally get the answers she needs and
protect her granddaughter from falling victim to the special allure of the carnival?
During the telling of this story will be flashback chapters that tell how Spike
and Xander adjusted to their roles of master and pet.
Note: If you haven't read Carnivale Mystique or have forgotten the story,
there is a prologue that contains a brief summary of the story. Use the tags
at the top of the page to find your way there.
Thanks and credit to silk_labyrinth for betaing the spelling, punctuation and
finding wandering boo boos.
As always, thanks to the wonderful Petxnd for the banners that put the perfect
visual to my words.
Opening night was already a huge success. Although the sun had just
minutes ago dipped below the horizon, the carnival was already buzzing
with crowds of delighted fun seekers. They milled and moved around,
their pockets full of money to spend and their senses overloaded with
the sights and sounds of something they had never seen before.
Xander had watched Spike set up his ball tossing booth, having overseen
the rest of the carnival construction completed earlier. Spike liked to be
last and as he was now the owner of the traveling show, who were the
others to complain?
After 37 years, it would seem that all this would have become mundane,
boring even but, to the contrary. Xander loved opening night. The first
evening in a new town was like the very first time. He could feel the
He could remember his own first night and he had, years ago, all but
blocked out the bad memories that followed. His only recollections of
Sunnydale, Jesse, Buffy and even Willow were of the good times.
Xander stopped at the edge of the midway. He tipped his head back,
closed his eyes and inhaled, drawing in the warm rich smells of his world.
Dressed in a black silk shirt, snug faded jeans and pointy-toed boots,
Xander tossed his shoulder length dark hair back off his shoulders and
he nodded with approval.
He then began his first pass. He strolled to assure that the carnies were
doing their job, minding the law when it came to the underaged girls and
that everything about the Carnivale Mystique was running smoothly.
Xani paused by the side of the waiting car and she waved back at her
Grandmother who stood in the doorway of their small house. She smiled
her most innocent 'trust me' smile then jumped in and looked at Connie
who was driving and then at Melanie who was sitting in the back seat.
"Come on, let's go before she changes her mind and makes me stay in."
Connie tugged the shifter into drive and pulled away from the curb. Melanie,
Mel to her friends, leaned up on the back of the front seat.
"How come? You grounded again?"
Xani fumbled in her purse till she found her sparkling lip gloss and began
liberally applying it.
"No, she just got all freaky when I told her about the carnival. Made me
promise that we wouldn't go so I told her fine, we'll do a movie or bowling
Xani stared into the mirror and smacked her lips loudly as Connie frowned.
"So we aren't going to the carnival?"
Xani rolled her eyes dramatically as Mel fell back in the seat giggling, already
knowing what her best friend was thinking.
"Well we aren't going if you insist on driving like an old lady. Stomp the gas!"
All three girls let out a combined whoop of excitement and the small compact
car raced toward the edge of town.
Willow watched as the girls drove away. It was 8:30 and she knew the movie
started at 9. It was a two hour picture and she allowed Xani to stop for a
burger after. That meant Willow had at least 3 hours before she had to be
back. Quickly she turned and rushed back in the house to dress, grab her
purse and car keys and disappear into the night.
"YOU FUCKIN' MORON! I told you it was a 'Y' not an 'I'!"
Xander heard the shouting and made his way toward the angry voice.
What he found was a drunken lout, swaying unsteadily and shaking a ball
cap in the face of one of the booth workers. Immediately Xander stepped
between them, his tone calm and the smile on his face casual and reassuring.
"What seems to be the problem?"
The irate customer shook the hat in Xander's face as the drunk's girlfriend
looked Xander up and down, licking her lips and winking whenever she was
certain her boyfriend would not see.
"I told this fucking, useless asshole that my name is Brian with an 'I' not
Bryan with a 'Y' and he fucking screwed it up anyway."
Xander took the ball cap and examined the embroidery across the bill.
He briefly considered letting Snooks, the 90-year-old vampire running the
sewing machine, just eat the jerk and forget it, but opening night was
not the time for such a move.
"Sorry. It was an honest mistake. Tell you what. Why not let him do it
again and you can have the hat free of charge. We want you to have
a good time tonight. Would that be acceptable?"
Brian sneered at the carnie and puffed up knowing he had shown who was
the boss. Snooks smiled submissively and inhaled, memorizing Brian's
unique scent. If he wasn't to be tonight's snack, he would definitely be
"Yeah. Fine. But get the fucking thing right this time, you fucking fucknut!"
Snooks blinked innocently at Xander before bowing to the customer. Xander
rolled his eyes and patted the drunk on the shoulder as he walked away. He
hoped the slob sobered up before he was eaten or Snooks would be worthless
for an entire shift.
'Well,' Xander thought, 'One crisis averted and on to the next.'
With a relaxed turn, he decided he could use a drink and a sandwich and
he headed for the long row of food trailers set up on the northern edge.
Strolling along happily, Xander was busy contemplating whether the
possibilities of gas later on and Spike bitching was worth it for a sausage
and peppers sandwich when something else caught his eye.
At first it was just a glimpse. A quick flash that stirred a long-forgotten
memory. Like a ghost, it was something unclear that passed by the corner
of his eye and was gone, blended into a crowd that was ever changing
Xander picked up his pace and scanned the faces and bodies that moved
around him but saw nothing. With a snort, he shook his head and decided
that maybe he was losing his mind. Perhaps Spike's threats to fuck him
senseless had finally come to fruition.
Smacking his hand down on the counter, Xander got Big Bill's attention.
"Hey, Bill. Give me one with the works."
Big Bill hesitated.
"I dunno, Xan. Last time Spike kicked my ass. Said the next time I would
get one boot in the butt for each fart you tortured him with."
Xander smiled as he fondly remembered that morning. The stench inside
their trailer had gotten so bad that he had gone out in the morning sun
to wait for it to pass. Unfortunately, Spike was trapped inside. Half the
carnival could hear him shouting curses and threats at his nasty pet.
"Ah, come on Bill. Tell you what. You give me the sandwich and I promise
not to pass gas within twenty feet of his royal sniffer."
Reluctantly, Bill slapped a huge helping of onions and peppers on the spicy
dick-shaped sausage and he handed it over. With a winning smile and a nod,
Xander accepted the heavenly hotdog and he stepped away from the trailer.
Then, as he lifted the sandwich to his mouth, he looked up and what he
saw caused the meat and toxic veggies to fall to the ground with a 'plop.'