Disclaimer: don't own or claim rights to BtVS or Supernatural.
A/N: After several weeks of packing and moving (and still going) I'm trying to work myself back into the groove. I have been working on Whispers of Willow, and the next chapter is nearly ready, but this came to me as I was dropping off to sleep, and I'm using it to kickstart my writing.~~~~~
“Here,” the boy shouted as he threw something.
Dean snatched the thing out of the air and looked at it. “You got to be shitting me,” he grunted. Oh well, slam it into the heart: it had to do something, at least. With a grunt, he thrust the wooden stake up into the monster's chest. To his utter amazement, the creature dissolved into dust that coated his clothes and infiltrated his nose. He sneezed violently.
“Ah, yeah. It's best to breathe out if you can when you dust them. Vamp dust tastes bad,” the boy apologised, shrugging.
“Vamp dust,” Dean repeated.
“Yeah. You know, stake to the heart, they go to dust. Or decapitation, or fire, or sunlight. Bu- uh, someone I know gave one a drink of holy water. He dusted, too. Took a while, she said, but, yeah, he's gone. He was bad. You know, even for a vamp. Psycho.”
“Yeah. 'Cause most vamps are just model citizens,” Dean offered.
The boy rolled his eyes. “Whatever. Look, just keep the stake, and, well, just try to keep out of their way, okay? Don't go out at night, don't invite anyone in after dark, and don't – whatever you do – don't try to fight them. They are stronger than you are, and they are faster than you are. Tonight you just got lucky. It was a fledge, stupider than they usually are. Next time you'll be dead.” With that, the boy shrugged again, and walked off.
“Hey, kid. What's your name?”
The boy turned back and tilted his head in thought. Coming to a decision, he replied, “Xander.”~~~~~
Dean rolled his eyes as Sam followed him out to the diner. The argument had started last night, after he'd gotten back to the room, and was still continuing. “I saw what I saw, and that's that.”
“Dude, vampires don't exist.”
Dean automatically scanned the diner and grinned when he saw the boy from last night. Without a word to his brother, he headed over and dropped down onto the seat beside him. “Xander, right?”
The boy looked up at him, startled, and then looked around, noticing Sam approaching, frowning. “Uh, yeah. And?”
“And I want you to tell my brother what you told me last night.”
Xander leaned forward. “And why the hell would I do that? Do I look crazy?”
Dean scowled. “Come on, man. Help me out here. We're hunters, like you, but we were always told that vamps don't exist. My brother doesn't believe me, and I need you to back me up.”
Xander looked at the boy standing beside the table. “Aren't you a little young to be hunters?”
“Yeah, 'cause you're so old yourself,” Dean snorted.
“I have never called myself a hunter. Others hunt. Officially, I'm the Zeppo. Or key guy – it really depends on how they're feeling at the time,” he dismissed. “But never a hunter.”
Dean raised an eyebrow. “Right,” he drawled. “So what're you carrying right now?”
“Just because I'm not suicidal doesn't make me a hunter,” Xander hedged. Eyeing Sam warily, he added, “Look, would you just sit down, already? You're drawing attention to us.”
Sam slid in beside his brother. “You don't look like a hunter,” he suggested.
“That would be because I'm not. Like I said before, I am not a hunter. I'm, at best, back up to the hunters. That's it.”
“So what about the vampires?” Sam asked.
Xander sighed. “Okay. It was a vampire,” he hissed. “Happy now? They exist, and they're stronger, faster, all-round more powerful and deadly than you and I put together. They are killed by wood to the heart, decapitation, fire and sunlight, and, if you're lucky, ingestion of holy water.”
“Yeah,” Dean said, “about that: how'd that happen?”
The other teen shrugged. “I don't really know. I wasn't there. But apparently, the guys that were controlling him had him on some kind of drug. It did something, don't know what. But when he was coming after my friend, he got caught needing his pills, and she made sure that he got holy water in his glass. Burned up from within, she said,” he added, grinning.
“So you're back-up for a woman?”
“Hey! Don't diss the Xan-man. You know nothing of the people I've worked with, nothing about where I lived, what I saw. I was the one who saved your life last night, not the other way around, as I recall.”
“Okay,” Dean surrendered. “Your female hunter friend is an amazing person, fully deserving of your back up.”
Xander ran his hands over his hair. “Yeah, sorry.” He took a deep breath. “It's Summer, everything's supposed to be dead, I'm away from the Hellmouth, I shouldn't have to put up with this shit. Now I'm being whiny. Just ignore me, please.”
“You get the Summers off,” Sam asked.
“Pretty much. We think it gets too hot for most of the vamps and demons, so, I don't know, they migrate, or hibernate, or something. Which is good for us, 'cause, you know, school is out, and people like to go on holidays. And stuff.”
“So you're still in school?”
“No. Just graduated. I'm on my trip around the country. Or I would be.” He sighed. “The engine fell out of my car just before Oxnard, so here I am, working the second-last job available is lovely Oxnard.”
“Which is...” coaxed Dean.
“Washing dishes at the Fabulous Ladies Nightclub,” Xander answered, grinning.
“And the last job?” Sam asked.
“Stripping at the Fabulous Ladies Nightclub,” Xander chuckled. “I can get Dean a job, if he's … up to it.”
Sam snorted, then fell into giggles.
“Yeah... no,” Dean decided, making a face.
“Oh, I don't know,” Sam argued. “All those women gawking at your body. You could get all the girls you wanted.”
Xander cleared his throat, blushing. “Yeah, not so much. Well, yeah, there are lots of women that go to the club, and they are rabid, I tell you. But, um, you'd have to dance for the guys, as well. Who are slightly nicer, but no less, um, eager.”
Sam collapsed against the tabletop, laughing.
“Bitch,” Dean growled.
“Jerk,” was Sam's automatic reply through his laughter.
“Yeah, so, anyway, I'm working there to earn enough to repair my car. Of course, by the time I've got the money, it'll be the end of Summer, and time to go home.”
“So where's home?” Dean asked.
“Just up the coast a bit. Sunnydale, home of demons, and vampires, and the mouth of hell.”
“The mouth of hell?”
“La Boca del Infierno,” Xander confirmed, nodding. “Or, as it's more commonly known, the Hellmouth. A weakening in the dimensional barriers or something. The baddies want to open it and create hell on earth, and we do our damnedest to keep it closed. So far, so good,” he added, knocking on the tabletop.
The two hunters paled. “Hellmouth?” Dean asked weakly.
“Yeah. But don't worry, they usually only try like once or twice a year. Lets see... The Master got it open, but it closed as soon as, um, my friend staked his ass. Um. Oh, yeah, the Sisterhood of Jhe tried, too, but they fixed that. I was kind of busy in the basement with someone who wanted to 'bake a cake.'”
“'Bake a cake?'” Sam asked.
“Bomb,” Xander explained simply. “If O'Toole had managed to set off the bomb while the Hellmouth was open, that would have torn it wide open, and there would be no going back from it. But he disarmed it, so it was all good.” Xander thought for a moment. “The Mayor was ascending, not trying to open the Hellmouth, though he might have done that later, or it might have opened because of the Ascension, we don't know. Angelus was opening another portal with Acathla, and The Judge was a different kind of thing. Um. Yeah. I think those are the biggies,” he added, nodding.
“So you deal with real end-of-the-world stuff, do you?” Dean asked.
“It's the Hellmouth. What can you do?” Xander shrugged.
Dean shook his head, while Sam looked on in awe.
“So what are you going to do now?” Sam asked.
Xander shrugged. “Work until I've got enough to fix the car, get the car fixed, and go home. That's all I'm going to have time for, I think.”
The hunters exchanged glances. “You could come with us,” Dean suggested.
Xander frowned. “What about my car?”
“What about it?” Dean wanted to know. “If it's that much of a piece of crap that the engine fell out, then do you really want it back? Keep your money, and come with us. We'll drop you back at your place at the end of Summer, if that's what you want.”
Xander looked out of the diner into the street. There was nothing holding him here other than his car. The job was very much easy-come-easy-go, and he didn't like his chances of staying out of the stripping if something happened to one of the guys. And they said they'd drop him back in Sunnydale. “So where are you heading?” he asked.