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Xander Harris and the Nightmare King

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Summary: Xander was four when he met Pitch Black. A look into the life of a child growing up friends with the Nightmare King.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Movies > Rise of the GuardianssouldrivenFR71011,59079423,7875 Feb 132 Jan 14No

Age Four: Pitch's Dilemma

author's note: Thank you for the reviews, recs, and tracks everyone. You're all awesome. And what do you know, inspiration struck. Well that and I realized I needed to explain why Pitch would keep visiting Xander if the child vexes him so.

Age Four: Pitch's Dilemma

Alexander not only saw Pitch when he returned the next night but smiled and greeted him. While Pitch was still reeling from surprise Xander babbled on eagerly about how he was worried it was all a dream and was so happy it wasn't and could Pitch's nightmare sand make a crocodile this time?

"Was my parting gift last night not enough to teach you I'm am to feared?" Pitch snappishly demanded as he pulled his hand free from Xander's grip.

Owlishly the child stared up at him in confusion. "Gift?"

"The bad dream I gave you," Pitch explained with a weary sigh as he massaged his forehead. This child was proving to be headache-inducing.

"That was from you? Cool! It was awesome! I got chased by a dragon so I ran into an ocean and then I started getting chased by a shark! And then somehow I was in the jungle with this guy who kept offering me cheese as a T. Rex tried to gobble us up," Xander regaled excitedly, slowing down in puzzlement near the end. "I don't even like cheese," the boy mutinously grumbled and Pitch could not contain a snort.

"Dreams, even bad ones, are hardly ever straight-forward and make sense," Pitch explained when Xander's gaze once more turned to him. "But were you not scared, in your dream?"

"Yeah but it was like an adventure!" Xander said as if that explained anything to Pitch.

It didn't.

"You are a strange child," Pitch said heavily once more. "Go to sleep."

"Will you give me another dream if I do?" Xander asked as he returned to his bed and looked up eagerly at Pitch.

"You want another dream from me? It won't be a good one," Pitch warned, amused despite himself.

Xander frowned thoughtfully for a moment before nodding. "But it'll be from you. And I liked the last one."

"A very strange child," Pitch murmured to himself before calling forth a Nightmare and setting it upon the boy. Well, the child had asked for it, so it was Alexander's fault if he did not like this bad dream as well as the last.


As it turned out, Xander enjoyed the second nightmare Pitch gave him. And the third. And all the subsequent bad dreams Pitch gave the boy as the days bled from weeks to months since their first encounter. Pitch was starting to take it as a challenge and matter of personal pride as the Nightmare King to make Alexander fear him. His continuous failure burned him.

"He believes in me but does not fear me," Pitch ranted as he paced in the woods near the entrance to his domain. "He enjoys my dreams as if they were given to him by Sanderson! He's always happy to see me. I manipulate shadows and my sands to frighten him and he just demands more, the little hellion. It makes no sense! Am I not Pitch Black? The Nightmare King? The one humanity has dubbed the boogeyman?"

He paused in his tirade to glare suspiciously in the direction of the Hellmouth. No matter how far he traveled he can always sense the yawning pit of fear and despair so quickly grown and swiftly snuffed. Well, most of the time, but he tried not to look into why there were exceptions. He learned from that mistake eons ago. The sensation was nauseating even to him and Pitch thrived off fear. Demons taint everything, apparently.

"Is he fully human?" Pitch wondered then. Sunnydale did have an exceptionally high amount of mixbreeds given its location. It was not beyond the realm of possibilities that Alexander had some demonic blood in him to explain the abnormality. Except, Pitch would be able to sense if the boy was not wholly human. Magic then? Influence of the Hellmouth?

Letting out a strangled noise of frustration, Pitch turned his gaze to his ever watchful companion. "I do not know why I even bother trying to converse with you. You have not spoken once to me in the centuries we have known each other. How foolish of me to think you would deign to talk to me about a single child when you will not even explain the Guardians to me," Pitch complained, face twisting in disgust at himself and the Man in the Moon.

If Pitch wanted to figure out the enigma of Alexander Harris, he was going to have to do so alone, like always. And if the Man in the Moon's gaze was focused a little sharper on him now, well, nothing could be done about that.

author's end note: It looks like I'm leaning towards the movie's secondary canon for Pitch because a) it's easier to work with and b) only 3 of a possible 12 books have been written for the series. Though I'm going to bring in the fate of Kozmotis Pitchiner somehow because it fits so nicely in the Buffyverse. SOMEHOW. For people that haven't seen the movie/ read the books, I'll happily answer your questions in reviews.
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