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.
Xander stood stock still. He was totally stumped and the only label he could put
on the experience was "What the fuck?" with a side order of "Who the hell?"
It wasn't Willow. Of course it wasn't her. Once he got a closer look, he could
see the differences. The subtle nuances that screamed diversity. Examination
revealed the obvious. This girl's nose was a bit straighter; Willow's had a small
upturn on the tip. This girl had more freckles and the green of her eyes was........
Even as he catalogued the differences, he could not overlook the similarities.
The hair, the expression, the movement and the scent. As Spike often said,
the blood tells all and the scent of Willow's DNA flowing through this girl's blood
Immediately, he tried to think and focus. Willow didn't have any sisters. No,
wait, they had been gone too long for that. Could this be a daughter? Had
enough time passed that Willow had actually married and started a family?
The one girl said her gramma's name was Willow. That wasn't possible, was it?
Xander's face scrunched up and he attempted a mental calculation which was
nearly impossible since he lacked the facts and figures needed for the equation.
He had long ago realized that time worked differently in the world of the carnival.
They slid through time and space as smoothly as butter melts on hot cakes.
Some dimensions see the hours as minutes and some just the opposite. At first,
his efforts to understand and keep track of the days annoyed Spike and he saw
it as Xander's endeavoring to hang onto his past. Which wasn't true. Entirely.
He did sometimes think of his friends and wonder what they were doing. He would
lie on his back in a field in Paraguay or stand on a hillside in Greece and stare up
at the moon and stars and imagine them doing the same. He learned quickly not
to speak of such things to Spike. The vampire's misplaced jealousy and insecurity
would result in a painful spanking and restricted movements.
It even went to the lengths of Spike trying to erase and reconstruct Xander's
beginnings to suit himself. During the second year, in the heat of the summer, Xander
had mentioned that it was his birthday and Spike casually responded that it wasn't.
Confused, Xander countered that yes, he was pretty sure it was. Spike looked him
in the eye with the gleam that Xander understood all too clearly and the vampire
explained in a final tone that, no, Xander's birthday was in the winter. November
10th to be exact and would not be celebrated till then.
And true to his word, every year after in the cold of the winter they celebrated,
starting days before and running for days after. They drank and fucked, and
fucked and drank. Together they enjoyed the days as though it were both their
birthdays, which Xander suspected it was.
No, Spike would have no talk of the past and Xander knew this was a situation
that he dare not mention for fear the girl would not live long enough for Xander
to discover her relationship to his old friend.
When reason finally shook him from his stupor, Xander lurched forward. The
whole time he stood there pondering the whys and wherefores, the one person
with all the answers may be walking away and out of his reach.
Xander dashed off in the direction that he had seen them go and he used all his
senses to locate her. Squeezing between the people standing in the lines and
skirting around the clumps of teenaged boys, Xander's radar waited patiently
for the first sighting that would start the 'beep beep' of zeroing in.
When he reached the corner of the freak show, he was caught unawares when
he found himself grabbed from behind and pulled behind the corner of the tent.
Hi, Xan. Hope I didn't interrupt anything. You got a mo for a quick chat?"
Xander glared at the floppy demon that had manhandled him so disrespectfully.
He liked Clem as a person, er, demon, but he could be a real pain in the ass with
his ever so cheerful, optimistic attitude.
"Well, actually I was just..........."
Xander tried turning his body to see past the demon who clearly had things on his
mind. Clem threw a flappy arm around Xander's shoulder and stepped around
to block his view of the crowd.
"Oh, yeah, sure. Opening night, things to do, people to eat, sure, I get all that. See
the thing is, Xan, as you know, tomorrow is Elvira's and my anniversary. You did
remember didn't you?"
"Huh? Wha? Oh, yeah, sure."
Xander craned his neck when he thought he caught a flash of red hair and he
shifted his body slightly to the left. Undeterred, Clem kept a fleshy grip on the boy
"Good, good. Well, here's my thinking. I did a bit of research and the town we
are set up by has an animal shelter that specializes in stray cats. So, as a special
anniversary dinner, I would just love to surprise my poopsie with a hell of a feline
buffet. You know, really do it up right. Candles, wine, feral cat chops. That
ought to put the old ball and chain in a very receptive mood. Know where I'm
going with this?"
Xander finally looked Clem in the eye and wondered why the demon was snickering
and winking at him.
"Um, you said what?"
Clem nudged Xander with what must have been an elbow and he whispered
conspiratorially. "A trade off. One eaten pussy for another."
He then threw his head back and bellowed out a snorting laugh that shot snot balls
high in the air and caused his neck and ear flaps to wiggle wildly. Xander cringed
and eased himself out of the demon's grip.
"Sure thing, Clem. Sure thing."
Clem took that as a guarantee of a bountiful kitten delivery and he slapped the boy
painfully on his back. He really was crazy about Xander even if Spike had reneged
on his promise to share the human with the rest of the carnival.
"Great! Great!! Damn, you and Spike sure is the tits. Nope, ain't none better.
Now, I'm thinking, if possible, a Persian for dessert would be......."
Xander jumped as a brief glimpse of her flickered amongst the crowd and anything
Clem was yammering about sailed high over his head.
"Uh, huh, right. Look, Clem, I gotta go, but maybe we can talk about this later."
Not waiting for an answer, Xander dove into the milling movement of people as
Clem waved and shouted from behind the tent row.
"No problem. Thanks Xander and tell Spike thanks too."