In Which Xander Ponders a Mode of Transportation
Title: Question to the World
Disclaimer: They all belong to Joss, even if he kinda disowns Pike.
Author's Notes: Set during season 2, so no Angelus yet and Xander isn't with Cordelia. This isn't really a crossover, since it crosses Buffy the movie with Buffy the series.
Written for sublimatedangel, who wanted Xander/Pike
'Motorcycles are cool.'
That was Xander's first thought, even before, 'Thank God, I'm not going to die.' Hard on it's heels came the thought, 'Who the hell was that?'
Xander had been walking home after a Scooby meeting. They had worked their way through a giant stack of books and three pizzas before Giles had released them for the night. Buffy had needed to hurry home to sneak in before her mom checked on her, and Xander hadn't wanted to delay her by asking for an escort after she dropped Willow off. He knew it was dangerous, but he thought he was prepared. He had a stake in one hand and a cross in the other. He figured, even with *his* grace and coordination, he should be able to fend off the creatures of the night. That confidence had carried him through staking one vamp, an overly confident fledge who hadn't expected the weak human to fight back. He'd dropped his cross, but, on the whole, Xander thought he had acquitted himself well. He proudly brushed the dust off his clothes and turned to go.
Unfortunately, Mr. Dusty brought friends. His stake was knocked from his grasp and Xander found himself sandwiched between two vampires, his arms twisted up behind his back by one vampire to immobilize him while the other leaned in for the bite. Xander clenched his eyes shut and fervently prayed that someone other than Willow find his body. He waited tensely for the piercing pain at his neck, but it never came. Instead, with the roar of an engine, a motorcycle swerved sharply at the trio and the rider staked the vamp in front of Xander. Not even pausing to see the effect of his attack, the person on the bike pulled it into a sharp turn and returned to stake the other one.
Xander stood in the middle of the street, staring after the rider and thinking, 'Motorcycles are cool.' The motorcycle wasn't one of the fancy new ones with shiny chrome and fat, comfortable seats. It was old and well used, with a narrow body. Somehow, the fact that it was a little rough around the edges only made the bike more appealing; it was like an old leather jacket, only gaining character and credibility with age. Of course, the guy who had saved him was cool enough to have both the bike *and* the old leather jacket.
He shook himself out of his dazed appreciation and stooped though the cloud of settling dust to retrieve his stake. He still had to make it home, after all, and vampires weren't like lightning: They often struck twice. He had made it as far as the corner when he heard the growl of the motorcycle returning. He scanned the area fearfully, but Xander didn't see anymore vamps or demons for the motorcycle vigilante to be coming for. He assumed the guy would just drive on by, on his way to vanquish other demons, or, possibly, pick up hot biker chicks.
Instead, the bike slowed and rolled to a stop in front of him. "You okay, man?" the man asked. Actually, up close, it was apparent that the rider was more a boy than a man. He seemed to be about Xander's age, maybe a year or so older. His brown hair was windswept from riding without a helmet. Though the planes of his face were sharp and his eyes were cynical, his thin lips offered a sympathetic smile.
"Yeah," Xander managed, fumbling the word out over his confusion. Guys like this didn't talk to him. Guys like this stole his lunch money and laughed mockingly at his attempts to talk to girls. "Um, thanks. I was pretty much toast if you hadn't shown up. You know, the kind of toast that's drained of blood and really dead."
The stranger rubbed a hand across the back of his neck. "No problem." He looked up at Xander thoughtfully. "Does this happen a lot around here?"
"Me playing the damsel in distress? Sadly, yes." Xander kept his voice light, even though he really hated the fact that he needed to be rescued so often.
"No, I meant the vampire attacks," the other boy corrected with a wry grin. "Though I gotta say you don't look much like a damsel to me."
"Thanks, I guess," Xander said. "And yes, the vamp attacks happen all the time. Welcome to the Hellmouth. Oodles of vampires, no waiting. I kind of miss the days when I didn't know about it."
"Sometimes I do, too." The guy rocked forward a bit, rolling his bike with him. "But you can't go back. You just have to learn not to invite your friends in and never to underestimate a cheerleader."
Xander thought of what Buffy and even Cordelia were capable of and nodded his head in emphatic agreement. Then his brain caught up with his ears, and Xander realized that the stranger had just connected vampires and cheerleaders in the same sentence. There were many possible interpretations of this, but Xander leapt straight to the one that affected him most. "You know Buffy." Of course he did. He was a handsome stranger with soulful brown eyes. That was like a free pass to Buffy's attention. It made Xander wonder what was wrong with his own brown eyes. Was he somehow lacking in soul? Would listening to James Brown help?
The young man blinked. "*You* know Buffy? Can you tell me where to find her?"
"Um, no. I don't give out home addresses to random strange men. I mean, how do I know she would want to see you? If we're even talking about the same Buffy." Xander cursed himself for mentioning her name in the first place. Her last blast from the past had been willing to sacrifice her to achieve immortality, and there was no guarantee this guy would be any different.
"Did you just call me a man?" he asked with a delighted smile that showed just how young he really was. "Anyway, I'm not strange. My name is Pike." When Xander opened his mouth, Pike aimed a stern look at him. "Don't ask me if I'm named after a fish," he warned.
"I so wasn't going to say that," Xander protested, even though he had been about to say that. "I'm Xander." Pike let go of one of his handle bars and held out a hand. Xander took it, feeling every bit of the weirdness of the situation. Guys their age didn't usually shake hands; they were more likely to give a half-nod or little wave when being introduced.
"I'm pretty sure we're talking about the same Buffy. There can't be that many parents crazy enough to name their kids something like that, right? The one I knew was blonde, perky, and totally lethal. Sound familiar?"
Xander sighed. "That does sound like Buffy."
"So, will you tell me how to find her?" Pike asked.
Xander was torn. Buffy didn't talk much about her old life, so he had to assume there were a lot of bad memories there. He didn't want to hurt her by sending her a living, breathing reminder. Thinking of Angel, Xander quickly checked that Pike really was living and breathing. Yep. On the other hand, Xander hadn't had many close friends in his life, and those he had were very important to him. He didn't want to deprive Buffy of the chance to reconnect with someone she cared about.
"How 'bout this?" Xander said. "I won't give you her address, but if you come to the high school tomorrow around noon, she'll be there. I'll take you to see her."
Pike looked skeptical. "At school on a Saturday? Maybe it's not the same Buffy after all."
"It's up to you," Xander shrugged.
Pike rolled the motorcycle forward again, and Xander wondered if it was a nervous habit. If so, he wished the guy would just bite his nails. Nail biting was a lot less likely to end up with Xander being run over. "Deal," Pike said, dipping his head in resignation.
"Cool." Xander wasn't quite sure why it was cool, since he still had doubts about whether or not this was a good idea. "Do you know the way to the high school?"
"I'm sure I can find it. I'll just hone in on the source of all evil." Pike smiled as he said it, and Xander had to choke down the slightly hysterical laugh that threatened to escape him.
"I'll see you tomorrow, then." Xander saluted Pike with his stake and started to walk away. He'd only gone a few steps when he noticed that Pike was pacing him, rolling the bike forward with his feet. "Dude, separation anxiety much?"
Pike grinned at his words. "Oh, yeah," he said. "You know Buffy. Are you walking home alone?"
"That was the plan. It's innovative, I know, but I think I can make it work."
"Has anyone ever told you you're annoying?" Pike asked.
"Never. You're the very first," Xander replied. He made his eyes wide and sad, and wondered if that was anything close to soulful.
Pike managed to get his motorcycle a few feet ahead of Xander and turned it so it was blocking his path. "Just get on," he ordered. Xander wanted to insist that he could take care of himself, that he wasn't a baby and he wasn't scared. But he knew the Hellmouth night was too dangerous for any sensible person not to be scared.
Xander sighed. "How do I get on this thing?"
Being coached up onto the back of the motorcycle was only slightly humiliating. Once he was on, Pike showed him where to put his feet and hands. Xander put his hands gingerly around the other boy's waist and held on loosely. His hold stayed loose for about five seconds into the ride. Then he clung tightly, ducking his head behind Pike's shoulder to avoid the wind. This was ... new, riding with Pike, his thighs spread wide around the other boy's body, his chest snug against Pike's back. This was the closest Xander had been to another human since early childhood. He felt smooth leather beneath his cheek and the heavy vibration of the bike beneath his ass and closed his eyes. He knew now why biker guys and their girlfriends liked to ride like this. Xander flushed at the idea of being the girlfriend, but it didn't stop him from snuggling closer.
After some shouted directions and a ride that was far too short, they pulled up in front of Xander's house. He let go of Pike and got off the motorcycle clumsily. Pike put down the kickstand and got off the bike for the first time since Xander had met him. Standing, he was a bit taller than Xander. Xander looked up at him and realized how very closely they were standing. He licked his lips nervously.
"Um, thanks again. For saving my life and bringing me home." Xander shut his mouth firmly and told himself not to babble.
"Don't worry about it," Pike said, reaching out to give Xander's shoulder a friendly squeeze. The only problem was, that with them standing so close together, it didn't feel friendly. It felt intimate. Xander wondered if comparing this situation to the end of a date was totally insane. He wondered if Pike expected a good night kiss.
But then Pike was gone, out of Xander's space. He climbed back on his bike and raised a hand in a casual wave. "I'll see you tomorrow," he said. Then he started the bike and pulled away, and Xander was left once again, staring after him. Xander knew he needed to get inside. He needed to be in the relative safety of his home. He needed to call Buffy to be sure she was okay with seeing Pike tomorrow.
But somehow all he could do was stand there and think, 'Motorcycles are cool.'