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 her friendship and her banners that
put the perfect visual to my words.
He was dumbfounded.
"Xander? What are you talking about?"
Willow noticed that he didn't deny knowing who Xander was and that, at least
temporarily, she appeared to have the upper hand. It emboldened her and she
crossed her arms over her chest, nodding knowingly.
"You're one of them. One of the vampires. We fought you that night 37 years
ago and would have burned you all to the ground and left you in a heap of ashes
if you hadn't escaped at the last minute. You killed my friends. Larry, Harmony,
Her voice cracked on the last one as the pain, fresh and sharp as ever, stabbed
her with its cruel memory before she continued.
"You look the same. You haven't aged but I guess a fiend like you wouldn't.
Human decency must be the disease that ages the body and since you have none
you remain unchanged."
Spike snorted his disgust. He remembered her now. She was one of the band of
renegades that caused all the trouble that night in California. She was insignificant.
She was a bug to be squished, but Spike realized she was more. She had the
potential to be a shitload of trouble.
That was the night Xander had come to him and agreed to stay and be his
companion. In that respect it had been the most wonderful night of his unlife,
as were the years since, but Spike wasn't stupid. He knew his boy often thought
of his past and his friends and what he left behind. Yes, this old woman could
be a real fly in his ointment.
Xander was his, body and soul. His pet. His property. His love and his life. He
remembered this woman and he now reconciled the picture in his brain of a teenaged
girl with the person who stood here before him. She had been with his Xander.
Her and the annoying bunch of would-be heroes had tried to spirit Xander away
from him. That transgression alone should have earned them all an agonizing death.
Spike's face screwed up in disgust and anger as he spat out his words of disdain.
"Go home, old mother. There is nothing at the carnival for you. The time for your
youth and life has passed. Go home and sit out your days till you die in your
rocking chair with your cats at your feet."
Throwing her age and wasted life in her face was like a slap that temporarily shook
her confidence, but she quickly recovered. Willow remained steadfast, although
now fear of dismissal eclipsed the terror of death.
"Not until you tell me what I want to know. Where is Xander? What did you do
to him that night when the carnival left town? Please, is there not a shred of
goodness in you anywhere? I have searched for him for 37 years. Please just
"Go away, old mother. The one you seek is not here. Lots of unhappy humans
want to run away with the carnival but the glamour soon fades and they move on.
They are nameless, faceless, temporary beings. I can't possibly be expected to
remember them all but if your friend was one of them then, like you, he is no longer
a boy. What use would I have for an old, bent human?"
Spike turned his back on her as if she were already slipping from his mind and too
much time had been spent on this meaningless chitchat. He waved his hand back
over his shoulder and he started towards his spot on the ledge of his game booth.
Willow knew she had nearly spent his patience and her question had not yet been
answered. She needed to throw everything she had and pray for a response.
"Wait, please, try to remember. I just need to know if he was left somewhere else
in the country or the world or.......I don't know, but I do know that he is still alive.
My spirit crystals tell me that he is alive. Please, think. He was tall, lanky, dark
brown hair and dark eyes. He was sweet and funny but mentally, he was sort of
slow. Maybe that got on your nerves and......."
Spike froze on the spot. Fury exploded inside him like gasoline on a bonfire.
How dare this stupid bitch insult his wonderful, brilliant boy? Was that what they
thought? That he was stupid? The casually commented insult pierced his heart
and he had had enough!
Spike spun around and lunged at her. His face had morphed into the demon's
and his fangs snapped just inches from her face and the flesh he longed to rip
from her still breathing body. But he knew the danger in that. Spilling her blood
would send her scent soaking into the ground and would permeate the air. His
boy would detect it immediately, causing Spike no end of questions and problems.
He needed rid of her. Send her away, frightened and scampering like a spider in
the shadow of a newspaper. It was just his bad luck and a rotten coincidence
that they would cross paths with someone from his Xander's past, although he
had always known it was a possibility. He had always had a plan in mind if that
occurred and now he would execute the same.
It was simple really. Like any other situation that presented itself as a problem,
he would keep Xander close by at all times, then under the pretense that the heat
was coming down on them, they would cut their run short and move on. To
another country. Or even another dimension. Avoiding North America for a
decade or two would go a long way toward easing his mind.
Faced with the visage of the Beast himself, Willow stumbled back, falling on her
butt and she screamed. Immediately, Spike squatted in front of her. His yellow
eyes flashed and the saliva dripped from the tips of his fangs.
"GET OUT! Go while I still let you live and if you ever dare to return here I will
personally rip the flesh from your living body and drink the blood that pours out."
One frantic, small sound escaped her lips as she scrambled back to her feet and
she dashed away from the pits of hell. She never heard the laughter and taunts
of the other carneys as she ran past and her feet never slowed till she reached the
entranceway where she leapt through the mouth of the clown, landing back on
the side of reality.
Her legs ached and her lungs burned but she kept on moving and hurrying toward
her car. Fumbling in her pocket for her car keys, Willow placed a hand on her side
and pressed where the strain of running caused her ribs to burn. Once she got it
unlocked she jumped inside, slammed the doors and pushed down the locks.
She sat there, again gripping the steering wheel and panting to catch her breath.
Her body shuddered repeatedly, her legs felt like rubber and her teeth chattered
as the adrenalin surged and rushed through her veins and brain.
After a few minutes of constantly repeating "Ohmygodohmygodohmygod," the
fear and terror that had sent her dashing began to subside. When it did, something
else was starting to seep in. A strange emotion that took a few moments to identify
and when she did, the label shocked her. It was triumph! She wasn't sure why,
but Willow had the distinct impression that she had just won.
When she thought back over the last few minutes and examined it with a clearer
brain and an analytical eye, Willow was certain the blond vampire was lying. If he
had been telling the truth, why was he so angry? Why had her question pushed
such an obvious button? She was absolutely positive that he remembered Xander
and knew where he was.
He had the answers!
All she needed to do was construct and execute a plan to extract the information
from him without getting, as he so eloquently described, eaten and defleshed.
Suddenly, Willow felt as though she were a Scooby again! A huge grin deepened
the crow's feet at the corners of her eyes and, with a squeal of excitement, she
turned the key and headed home. Her first step was to make a phone call.