Hidden Altars and New Friends
Title: Xander's Imaginary Friends
Pairing: none yet, eventual canon pairings
Summary: A young Xander makes some very special friends.
Spoilers: Complete series for all 3 shows.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena the Warrior Princess, Hercules the Legendary Journeys, or their characters. I also do not own Legos, well the company. Or Candyland... anymore.
Author's Note: This is my first story. Constructive criticism is welcome and encouraged.
The next morning, Jessica watched happily as her family ate breakfast. Janey, who had stayed the night, completed the Norman Rockwell-esque of the moment.
“Does anyone have any special plans for today?”
Her sister shook her head, “Just work and an evening of catching up on my soaps.”
Jess grinned at her, “Still addicted to those things? They’ll rot your brain.”
“They will not! They’re very educational. I’m learning how to react in case I become my own evil twin and what to do in case a long dead lover comes back to life!”
Tony snorted and muttered, “Around here it could happen.”
Both women glared at him.
“Sorry, just saying.” He finished up his coffee and got up to put his plate in the sink. “That was great Jess.”
“Thank you dear. Is there anything going on at work for you today?”
“Not really,” he replied. “We’re getting in some new commemorative stamps, so there might be a rush of collectors. Oh, Jess, don’t forget, I have my meeting tonight.” He reminded with a look.
“That’s right. Be home before dark.”
“I will dear.” He turned to his son, “How about you rugrat? What do you have planned for today?”
Xander played with his bottom lip as he thought. His eyes lit up and he turned to his mother.
“Can we play in the garden?”
“Sure we can sweetie. I just need to do some chores first.”
A few hours later found mother and son in the backyard garden. Jess was busy pulling weeds while Xander played in the dirt.
“Mommy?” Xander asked.
“If someone’s sad, what do you do?”
Jess tilted her head as she looked at her son, “Who is sad Xander?”
“No one, just wondering.”
“Well,” Jess said, sitting back and pulling off her gloves. “If someone is sad, I suppose you should try to cheer them up.”
His mother thought for a moment. “At the hospital people would bring in flowers and cards, some snuck in food. That use to cheer people up.”
“When are you going back to work?”
“Just about the same time you start school.”
“School?” Xander repeated with wide eyes.
“Yep, a few more weeks.”
“I don’t wanna go!” Xander wailed.
“Cause they’ll think I’m dumb and I won’t have any friends and I don’t wanna.”
“Now listen here young man,” Jess said sternly. “You are not dumb. You know your letters and numbers, can read a little, and can write your name. No dummy can do all that. As for not having any friends, Leslie and I have arranged for you and Jess to be in the same class.”
Xander blinked tear filled eyes at her. “Really?”
“Yes, really. But, since you don’t want to go, I guess it really doesn’t matter anymore.”
“No way! Jesse will be there! It’ll be great!” Xander cheered.
After a satisfying lunch of PB & J, some veggies, and a quick wash to clean up Xander, he headed up to play in his room.
Standing in the middle, he slowly looked around. His face lit up as his eyes fell on a box of Legos. Dumping the box out on the floor, he quickly got to work. Twenty minutes later, he smiled at the result.
In his hands was a six inch high squarish box. On the front he had carefully placed black blocks to form an E. He set the box aside and began work on another, this one with an A.
Once finished, Xander placed both boxes on a Lego platform.
//Where to hide it?// he wondered //Under the bed? No, that’s where the shoes hide,// He eyed the closet. //That’ll do!//
He moved to the closet and began clearing a space on the floor by shoving the toys and things under his bed.
Xander carefully placed the two boxes on the floor and sat down in front of them.
//Now what? Janey said to pray, what do people pray about?// His brow furrowed in thought, and then he shrugged.
“Hi Eris and Ares! I’m Xander! Did you know your names sound the same? That’s weird. My mommy’s name is kinda like my friend Jesse’s. But I don’t call her that, I call her Mommy.” He paused. “Oh! I’ll be right back, you stay here.”
He hurried back into his room, pulled out some construction paper and crayons. It didn’t take him long to make two cards. One read ‘Eris,’ the other ‘Ares.’ Both had pictures of trees, flowers, planes, and stick people. Both were signed RXANDER, because Xander had run out of room.*
Returning to the closet, he placed the cards in the appropriate box.
“There,” he said. “Mommy said cards make people feel better.” He sat back down. “I don’t really get why you’re sad. Aunt Janey ‘splained a little. About how some stupid heads made your friends not like you anymore. That was mean. So I’ll be your friend!”
Before he could continue, his mother called for him.
“Xander! Snack time!”
“Ooo! Snack time!” Xander hopped up. “I’ll be back!” he said as he left the room.
Up on Mount Olympus, two newly awakened gods sat up blinking in confusion.
Down in the Harris kitchen, Xander sat at the table with a glass of milk and four chocolate chip cookies. He shoved one whole cookie in his mouth while his mother got him a napkin and smiled around the crumbs when she turned back around to him.
“Xander! Be careful, you don’t want to choke, do you?”
With wide eyes, Xander carefully chewed and swallowed. After a sip of milk he took a small bite from his next cookie.
Jess nodded. “That’s better.” She turned back to the soup simmering on the stove. “Your father has a meeting after work tonight, so it’s just us for dinner.”
“Okay.” Xander replied while looking at his last two cookies. He glanced back at his mom, and then shoved them into his pocket. He quickly finished his milk, put the glass back on the table and shouted.
His mother turned back to him, wearing a frown. “Alexander! Did you even chew?”
“Nope!” was the mischievous reply.
Jess rolled her eyes. “Next time, chew, don’t inhale. Go on back upstairs, I’ll call you for dinner.”
“Yes, mommy.” Xander said as he slid out of the chair and ran upstairs.
“And don’t run!” Jess yelled after him.
The only reply she heard was giggling.
In Xander’s room, he entered the closet and put a cookie in each box.
“There you go. Not as good as Mrs. Jesse’s Mom’s, but they’re still good.”
//What to do now?// the boy thought as he gazed around the room. //Oh! I know!// He pulled out a battered box.
“We’ll play Candyland!” He quickly set up the board and shoved the cards into a stack.
“I’ll be blue, Arie, you be red, and Risy, you’re green. Don’t worry, I’ll draw the cards and move the pieces for you.”
Xander happily chatted away as he played with his two new friends up until his mother called him for dinner. When he went down to eat, he never noticed that the cookies were gone.
Later that night, Xander hid under his blankets as he listened to his parents argue about a wagon and his father’s meetings. Xander didn’t like it when they argued. It was scary.
He started when he felt the bed shift like someone had sat down. Carefully peeking out, he saw the two people from the library book.
He met the eyes of one, then the other and asked, “Arie? Risy?”
The both nodded and Xander scrambled out from under the covers and onto Ares’ lap.
“They’re scaring me.”
Ares shot a bewildered look at his sister and awkwardly hugged the little boy. “It’ll be ok,” he said gruffly. “Everything will be fine in the morning.”
Xander sniffed and the two gods stayed with him until he fell asleep.
*I did this a couple times when I was little.