'There are worse things in the world
,' Xander thought contentedly as he ate his Hostess Apple Pie, 'than sugary goodness that's good for you.'
He was on his way to meet the girls at the library, when the sudden craving for apple food products in a tasty synthetic confection overtook him. Xander sat on the bench outside of the local 7-11 and enjoyed the brilliant sunset while he ate.
The vampires would be out soon. He'd have to hurry.
It was stupid, and the boy knew it, but he had to stop at the store. He wasn't about to let his life be controlled by the setting of the sun like a damned vampire!
Xander checked to make sure his stake and cross were in easy reach. He'd only been aware of the existence of the supernatural for a couple of months. Long enough to lose one of his best friends, and gain another. He'd never even staked a vampire, (Jessie didn't count, as he was pushed onto the stake.) but was confident he could handle it. After all, how tough could one really be? Okay sure, Buffy has superpowers and she always
seemed to be fighting for her life, but vampires couldn't actually be all that
He stood up from his bench, discarding the wrapper in a conveniently located trash receptacle, and dusted his hands off before making his way towards the library.
Xander froze after only a few feet.
A sound, like a bottle breaking, had come from behind the store.
Before Buffy, Xander would have, if he even heard it, ignored the sound and moved on with his life. Now though, a furious frenzy of 'What ifs' swam through his mind. It could be a robbery, or a demon, or a vampire, or a cat, or a dog, or a dog and a cat, or a witch, or something completely new. He should just go. He was kidding himself before. He couldn't handle something like this.
Xander took two steps towards the library, and safety, then stopped. He shut his eyes.
Someone might be hurt. And besides, Buffy would've checked it out. And if he wanted her to ever notice him in that special teen-girl magazine way, then he had to too. The brave young fool pulled out his stake and his cross and ran to the back of the store.
It was too late.
He stared, dumbly, at the corpse of a girl from his seventh period class. Blood was oozing from her neck, Xander noticed distantly, as he tried to remember her name.
He put his weapons away and knelt by the body. Her eyes were staring at him, and Xander closed them with trembling hands. He remembered what Giles had said, and checked her mouth for blood. If there was any, that would mean the vampire that murdered her also made her into a demon. If there was none, then she was just dinner.
Xander sighed in relief. No blood.
"I knew you'd come back here," an amused voice said from behind him.
Xander whirled around, stumbling a bit. It was a vampire! He was screwed. There was no way he could fight one. Xander looked for an exit, but didn't find any.
"I saw you hanging out with the Slayer one time." The demon grinned. "The Master will be pleased I've brought him one of her friends."
Xander swallowed hard. "I ... I don't know what you're talking about," he lied weakly. The vampire laughed.
"Oh yes you do. I saw you at the Bronze. You and some redhead." Those yellow eyes narrowed menacingly. "And the Slayer." He advanced and Xander whipped out his cross, holding it unsteadily before him. The vampire laughed again. "What's that if you don't know what I'm talking about?"
"I'm very religious?" he offered.
"Then you should start praying."
Somewhere in the back of his mind, hiding behind the terror, Xander conceded that was some cool dialogue. The demon swatted the cross out of Xander's hand and the kid watched it soar away in slow motion. It reminded him of the time Jessie had tried to grind down the railings of the bus station on his skateboard. He only made it about halfway before loosing his footing and wiping out. The cross soared through the air and and hit the wall, just like the skateboard. And Xander, well he hit the ground, just like Jessie. Except Jessie didn't have a hundred and fifty pound vampire on top of him.
Xander wished, just for a second, that Jessie never got staked. Then maybe, if he was turned into a vampire too, the two of them could've been friends again.
The demon pulled him up and brushed him off. "Can't have you looking like that when we meet the Master, right?" he asked happily. Xander tried not to freak as the demon did his best to make Xander presentable.
Fortunately, the vamp never searched him for other weapons. He still had his stake! "You should be honored," the vampire rambled on, "meeting someone as great as him." He grabbed the scared teen by the arm. "Okay, let's roll."
It was incredible, in an awkward and horrifying way. The vampire, whose name was Chuck, had decided to tell Xander his life's story.
"... so it was then that I realized I was one of the Damned." Chuck finished cheerfully. He'd let go of Xander and allowed the boy to walk along side him while they headed down Main St. That way, they wouldn't draw unwanted attention. It was unspoken, but obvious, that Xander couldn't get far even if he tried to run.
Xander stared incredulously at Chuck. "The Damned?"
"Well what else would you call us?"
"Oh I don't know. How about VAMPIRES?" he offered sarcastically.
Chuck rolled his eyes. "That's just so mundane. We who walk at night must have a name that will be recognized by all!" the monster preached with certainty.
"Like 'Vampires'?" Xander repeated. "I knew what those were before I even met the Slayer."
"No," Chuck sighed. "You just don't get it do you human? I'm not just an ordinary vampire, I'm of Aurelius. The Master's order."
Xander frowned and wished he had some holy water. That worked really well when Willow threw it on that vampire chick that was attacking Giles on Harvest night.
"Speechless I see." Chuck nodded self importantly, wildly misinterpreting Xander's silence. "I don't blame you. To be in the presence of one such as I must be awe inspiring."
Xander couldn't believe it. Could this guy have a bigger head? "Right. Awe. You betcha." Leave it to him to be killed by the vampire equivalent of Cordelia. His life sucked!
Chuck had diverted his attentions to a lovely young lady that was walking by.
' Xander thought to himself. 'If I'm gonna die, then I wanna do it fighting.
' He took advantage of the distraction and kicked Chuck in the balls as hard as he could. The vampire's eyes bugged out a little and the lady, to whom Xander may very well owe his life, stared wide-eyed at the altercation.
He pulled out his stake and punched the stunned vampire directly in the face. Chuck fell to the ground and vamped out. The lady took one look at him and ran screaming for the hills.
"You're going to regret that boy." Chuck sneered. "It would have been better for you to come quietly. Now I'll have to hurt you."
Xander held the stake out before him like a knife as he backed away from the demon. He was hoping that Chuck wouldn't risk a serious fight in a public place like this, but he was wrong.
Chuck was young and stupid. He roared his anger at this idiotic bloodbag's dumbass attempt at fighting back and tried launched into a flying tackle. Xander screamed and jumped out of the way. Chuck slammed head first into the wall Xander was standing in front of. The vampire slumped down and didn't get back up.
"Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!" Xander repeated, breathing heavily. He swallowed hard and poked the vampire with his foot. "Chuck?" The demon twitched, causing Xander to jump back. "Yikes!" The nervous teen looked around frantically, then grabbed a baseball sized rock that was near his foot and slammed it into the back of Chuck's head. Twice.
Xander rolled Chuck over and stared at him for a second, muttering a silent prayer. Then he plunged his stake into the heart.
The vampire exploded into dust, and Xander stumbled back in surprise.
"Woah!" He stared at the spot were Chuck once lay. And grinned.
"That wasn't so tough," Xander said, shocked, before standing up and posing heroically. "For I am Xander the Mighty! Protector of Truth and Justice! I laugh in the face of danger, and this time? There will be no hiding on my part!"
Behind him, a cat knocked over a soda can.
Xander ran the entire way back to the library.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all affiliated characters were created and is owned by Joss Whedon.