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.
Author's Note: This is my first story. Constructive criticism is welcome and encouraged.
It was a beautiful day in Sunnydale, California. The birds were singing, and children laughing, all the things that made small city life worth it.
Janey Lavelle hummed tunelessly to herself as she walked to her sister’s house to pick up her four year old nephew Xander. Her mind was racing with ways to keep the energetic little boy occupied.
// First a trip to the park, he’ll tire himself out on the swings. A quick stop at the deli for lunch, then the afternoon at the library.//
A smile graced her face at the thought of Xander pretending he could read that books she volunteered to reshelve. Her nephew would wear a look of fierce concentration that was unusual on such a young face. It usually took all of her willpower not to laugh at him.
While he could read a little, the encyclopedias and reference books he looked through were often too complicated. Instead, Xander would flip through the books until he got to any pictures, read the captions, and ask Janey any number of questions about the image.
//Questions,// Janey thought with a sigh //that boy questions everything until he believes he understands something.//
Finally arriving at the Harris home, Janey forced her mind to the present so she could keep an eye on her nephew.
Before she could even ring the bell, the door flew open to reveal Xander’s carefree grin. “Auntie Janey! You’re here! Is it time to go? Are we going to the lie berry? Can I have ice cream for lunch? Mommy said I couldn’t, but I’ve been really really good! I ated all my cereal and dranked all my milk so I can grow up to be healthy and strong,” Xander paused to take a breath, Janey interrupted before he could continue.
“Yes, honey, we’re going to the library, but first I thought we’d go to the park and get some sandwiches at the deli.”
Xander’s eyes widened at the mention of the deli, “Really?” he asked “We’ll get sammiches and pickies? Will we get chipses too? Why are we still here? Let’s go!”
The older woman laughed affectionately, “We can’t go yet, silly.”
Xander turned big brown puppy eyes at her and asked piteously, “Why not?”
“Well, you aren’t wearing any shoes and don’t you want to say goodbye to your parents?”
The boy blinked slowly, then smiled sheepishly, “Oh, yeah.” He grabbed Janey’s hand and pulled her into the house. “You can help me look for my shoes and we can say bye to Mommy and Daddy and then we can go!”
Xander tugged his aunt all the way to the kitchen then yelled, “Mommy! Auntie Janey’s here! Where are my shoes? Where’s Daddy? Do I hafta wear a jacket? I’m not cold…”
Before he could say anything else, he was lifted off his feet, and turned until he hung upside down in his father’s hands.
“Daddy!” Xander shrieked.
“Jess,” Tony started, looking confused, “Where is this kid’s off switch?”
Xander stretched hid fingers trying to reach the floor as he giggled, “No off switch Daddy! I keep going and going and…”
“Going,” Jessica finished. “Until he collapses after dinner. Could you please take him to find his shoes? I think they’re under his bed, and no, you don’t have to wear a jacket today.”
“Right-o my love,” Tony answered as he shifted the giggling toddler onto his shoulder.
Jessica and Janey shared a smile as they watched father and son leave the room.
Janey turned to her older sister, “Are you two all set for your child free day?”
Jess’ smile turned to a grin, “Definitely. We plan to spend the day at the beach, and then we have reservations at Del Fresco.” She sighed, “It will be nice to be Jess and Tony for a little while, not Mommy and Daddy.”
“No worries, Xander likes spending time with his Aunt Janey,” said aunt paused, “ and I like spending time with the reason I decided not to procreate.”
“He is not that bad!” defended the protective mother.
Janey held her hands up in surrender, “You’re right, you’re right.” A sly grin crossed the younger woman’s face. “He’s way worse.”
“Jane Lucille!” Jessica shrieked in mock outrage. “You take that back this instant!”
Xander’s aunt opened her mouth to reply, but before she could say anything, they heard a stampeding elephant thunder down the stairs.
“Well,” Janey said “I guess they found his shoes.”
His mother giggled, “Sounds like it. Are you ready for your Xander filled day?”
“As ready as I’ll ever be,” her sister said with a resigned sigh.
Xander bounded into the kitchen with his father right behind him.
“We found them!” the boy exclaimed “They was hiding under my bed and Daddy helped me tie them, look!” he lifted his right foot so the two women could see the bow. “We did a pretty job.” He said proudly.
“That you did, baby.” His mother praised.
Xander beamed at his mother and turned to his aunt. “Is it time to go yet? I wanna go on the swings and the see saw and the slide and, and," he paused to think of something else “everything!” he exclaimed with a wave of his arms.
“Yes, kiddo,” Janey answered “It’s time to go, say goodbye to your parents.”
“Ok.” Xander turned around and hugged his father’s leg. “Bye Daddy.”
Tony smiled, picked his son up, hugged him, and blew a raspberry on his left cheek making Xander giggle. “Bye rugrat, you be good for Janey.”
“I will.” Xander answered solemnly before giving his father a raspberry and wiggling out of his grasp. He landed with a thud, turned, and ran to his mother, who swept him up in her arms.
“Bye Mommy!” Xander exclaimed.
“Goodbye sweetheart, you be good.” She said and blew a raspberry on his right cheek. Her son giggled and returned the raspberry. Jessica put him back on the floor and he turned to Janey.
“Let’s go! Let’s go! Let’s go!”
His aunt laughed, “Alright! Let’s go. Bye Jess, bye Tony. You two kids stay out of trouble.”
Tony and Jess grinned at each other and waved as Janey was dragged out of the house by their rambunctious son.