778 - Runaway!Xander Challenge:
AU where Xander ran away from home sometime before he met Buffy(the exact age is up to you, but please make him at least in his teens), and leaves Sunnydale. You can decide if he stays on the streets or is put into foster care, and how this different life changes what kind of person he becomes (I'd like him to keep some of the traits that make him Xander). It can be a crossover if you want, but it's not necessary. You can decide if he ever goes back to Sunnydale or not, or if he meets other BtVS/Angel characters outside of SD. Can be het, slash, or gen (I'd prefer slash, but it's your decision).
Title: New Home, Puppy.
Disclaimer: I do not own Buffy, Harry Potter, or Highlander. I just like em a whole lot.
Summery: 13yr old Xander ran away and was found in Dallas by an immortal who ‘talked’ Spike into letting Xander use a room. Harry visits and everything goes haywire from there.
Author’s Note: It’s just a start. I might do more shorts in this AU-verse later on. Ideas are alway welcomed. And no, I will not turn Xander into a pre-immie or a wizard, or anything more than a doggy guy. He always did remind me of this big mutt puppy my parents had. Later on slash might be seen. I cannot write a straight Harry unless it’s just a detail in a gen fic.
“Whadaya mean ‘No white hats.’?! Tha kid needs a place to crash you uptight little windbag!” Roared the Texan teen who really could look rather scary when he wanted to. Xander, just Xander, a dirty thirteen year old runaway, shuffled his feet a bit, nervous as the guy who just beat up two bigger guys yelled at some doofus on his behalf.
He had no money left, his savings and the stuff Wills and Jess gave him evaporated too quickly; food cost a lot, that one day he used the city bus to get from one side of Albuquerque to the other so he could hitch a ride at the truck stops, and then what was left over was stolen in his sleep when he took a nap in some city in Oklahoma. Mostly, he stowed-away on produce or grocery carrying trucks, hitching rides led to uncomfortable silences and questions he didn’t want to answer, besides he didn’t have to pay for the food he took. At first he tried to just take very little, sleep as much as he could while hiding in the back of a semi, and do as little damage as he could. But later he took extra to both tide himself over and to sell. It was a way to make a little cash, better than the stuff he both heard and saw other kids doing.
He had only needed to get away, and he thought he could live just as well on his own as he did with his parents. Not so, he never realized just how much money it took to stay alive, to even just eat once a day. Once, a month ago he was at his wits end, and dearly wanting to go home. He walked into a public library, got on a computer and looked up Sunnydale, California. Then he looked up the news and the police stuff that was online. Not one word about him missing. It was like he didn’t matter to the point that he didn’t exist.
Now he was in Dallas and listening as his hero argued to get him a safe bed for the night and the blond guy with the weird accent said no. Xander flushed with embarrassment.
“Look, I, uh, I really ‘presiate you kickin’ those jerks’ asses, but I’ll just go crash at a bus depot or somethin’.” Xander said and the blond scowled and the weird gaze just seemed to drill through him. Xander just stood there, bearing the looking until finally the blond guy saw what he was looking for and sighed in resignation.
“Aw, bloody ‘ell. Xeres, I’ll take ‘em but only if you get the bleeding surfer boy lessons in how not to piss off us slightly more than evil folk and find the wanker a job. I will not have ‘im waltzin’ about my flat if he don’t pay rent.” The blond looked irritated, but then gave an evil toothy grin. Xander found out later he wasn’t just imagining the very long and pointy eyeteeth, “He’ll need to know just what powers run the real show. For now, I’m Spike, your new landlord and keeper until this idiot demon sets you up with a job.”
“Xander. Yeah, I’m Xander.” Spike snorted.
“I got that bit, whelp. I’m not exactly naturally blond, nor am I as empty headed as the bints and birds you hear jokes about. Get your scrawny little arse inside and take a bleeding shower, you reek to high heaven.” Xander almost ran inside as the blond called out the directions to the bathroom.
It wasn’t much but the warm water felt like heaven as Xander scrubbed himself red and lathered up his head at least twice. He couldn’t recall his last shower, and it wasn’t long before he was singing as he let the soap get washed away. He almost didn’t want to leave, well, not until he heard Spike.
“Oi, you tryin’ to drown yourself, in there? Fresh towels are on the basin and I’m lendin’ you some stuff to wear! Your old clothes are going to burn right soon. Either that or get up and walk away. I’m surprised they haven’t evolved yet.” Xander called out a quick thanks and finished. When he got out he was surprised to see that Spike had left out a really thick and very soft sweater with big dark green sweat pants. Sure, he was used to being cold now, but it was really cool to see that not only did Spike get that he was used to warmer weather, but that he cared enough to go and pull out stuff like that to help. He even put out a pair of boxers, which were a bit too big, but Xander really didn’t care.
When he walked out he saw Spike reading a book. The blond looked up and laughed, “You look like a puppy. A big eyed, trundling, floppy eared puppy!” Xander flushed and smiled a bit.
“Yeah, whelp, you do. Now, you can either sleep or grab a book and read until you fall asleep. I’m a bit o’ a nigh owl meself, so you’ll just need to deal with the lights bein’ on and such.” Xander nodded and plodded over to the couch, where he promptly fell asleep to the quiet turns of the pages and the sounds of the city around them.
Xander woke, not to any sounds but rather a feeling that just made his skin itch. He opened his eyes and looked at the big golden eyes that were no more than two inches from his own. The proximity crossed his eyes and gave him a bit of a headache. She pulled back a bit and he finally saw a woman with long black hair and a thin elfin face with very pale skin.
“Oo, what a cute kitten.” Xander wondered who she was, what she wanted, and where he was, “Miss Edith warned me that I should take good care of this pet. He’ll scratch and claw if I bite.” she grinned and looked over at Spike. Xander remembered where he was and bolted upright.
“Oi, settle down, whelp. This is Drusilla, me girlfriend. Drusilla’s a bit o a seer or a bit batty. Probably, both. Drusilla, love, this is our new roomie until Xeres gets the bloke a job that’ll afford more than pocket change.” Spike said and Drusilla nodded, “Good. I’m going to find me dinner. Love, don’t go turning ‘im or eating the guest. Xeres would have my head if anything ‘appened to the kid.”
“Oo, pooh. Does the big bear scare my Spike?” Dursilla pouted and Xander watched as Spike sputtered denials. Finally Spike just walked away and Xander let out the laughter that he had been holding in. Drusilla looked slightly amused until she shook her head and flounced off to another room. Xander noted that it was only three in the morning and he willed himself back to sleep.
It seemed like he had just closed his eyes when the door slammed open and Xander saw Spike and a kid his age in weird robe things come in singing some song in their way out of tune voices at the top of their lungs. The kid sounded way better than Spike did, but it wasn’t much better as the language they were singing in wasn’t melodic or even normal sounding. The singing stopped and the kid dropped into the chair that Spike sat in before.
“Spike, you didn’t mention the new stray. Xers, right?” Xander was surprised to hear yet another British-y accent. Spike snorted and the kid grinned.
“Yeah, the monster dropped the puppy off after killing some weird demons. Scarhead, whelp. Whelp this is Scarhead.” With that Spike vanished into the same room Drusilla had before.
“Yeah, typical. I’m Harry, I’m visiting from England, it’s our winter hols at school and I flew on over here as soon as I could.” The kid smiled kindly and took off the robe, under it was a sweater with a dragon on it and black dress pants.
“Uh, Xander. I, uh, ran away a while ago.” Harry looked slightly amused and yet understanding.
“Let me take a stab in the dark; your family treated you like dragon dung, few friends but they couldn’t help too much, besides why would you want to burden your friends with personal problems, and finally everything just built up and you had to go. But life on the streets is rough, you have too much pride to go selling yourself, you keep accidentally talking yourself out of serious theft, and were almost killed by jumped up demons until Xeres saved your bum.” Xander couldn’t keep the awe out of his face, Harry got it all right.
“How’d I know?” Xander nodded, “Easy, I just told you my life story, only I ran when I was eleven. Xeres is kind of a seer or something and keeps his eyes pealed for kids who might have a future, so long as they don’t get themselves slaughtered. He also hangs around Spike or Spike hangs around him, I can’t figure it out. Xeres and Spike were in London when I was eleven and so paranoid that I was jumping at shadows and lifting a gun, just in case. Xeres taught me to defend myself without becoming scared of myself, Spike taught me how to function in the world and found me a new legal guardian, a doddering old bird who is sweet as honey, but can’t remember a thing to save her life. Heck, Drusilla even gave me great tips in minor necromancy, chatting up spirits, and seeing. Now I visit during hols, donate blood every month or so, and keep in touch and do little favors for them all.”
“So, uh, what do you mean necromancy? Aw, heck, I’m lost. You just said a whole lot of weird stuff.” Harry laughed.
“Ah, time to take off the preconceived notions, Xander. I’m a wizard, actually, I’m in training, but still of a pretty good sized power and with a prophesy. Spike and Drusilla are two of the weirdest master vampires you will ever have the fortune of meeting. Xeres is some kind of weirdo who can’t die unless his head is loped off, nor can he age or get ill. You, my dear little puppy, are a type of shifter, if I’m feeling your energies right. You have the potential to either change at will to any type of dog, become a controlled werewolf, or just communicate with canine-ish energies and spirits. Don’t you worry, if you want to train these gifts, Xeres or I’ll get you to where you need to be.” Xander was in shock. It couldn’t be true, but then words like demon and vampire were whispered all over, he learned not to say he was from Sunnydale real quick, and the guys earlier weren’t normal, now that Xander thought about it, they both had horns and bumpy skin that wasn’t a normal human variation of brown.
“I’ll let you get used to it all, I need to give a friend a ring.” Harry left in the direction of the bathroom, but instead of the bath, Harry entered a door that lead to a study like room. He left the door open and Xander couldn’t help but listen to the one-sided conversation. Words like magic, magi, witch, spells, potions all cropped up quite a bit and Xander started to let the doubts go.
After all, Harry did say he was able to turn into a dog of any kind, maybe even that weirdo extinct wolf that was as big as a horse. That’d be cool. Maybe someday he’d find Willow and Jessie again and show them, or even introduce them to Harry, Spike, Drusilla, and Xeres.
“Oi, Xander where are you from? My friend wants to do a quick check up on you!” called out Harry.
“Sunnydale, California!” Xander waited and thought he heard muffled cursing. Harry must have hung up a few minutes later because he strolled on out casually.
“You’re a hellmouth survivor? No wonder you have such an unusual gift.” Harry looked thoughtful, “You plan on going back?”
“Uh, not really. Why?” Xander was now very, very confused. Harry smiled.
“The hellmouth is a mecca for demons and other magic users with a hunger for destruction, sadism, or insanity. It can also corrupt powers if you stay there long enough. Kids born there are typically born with minor power that mutate over time. If you had stayed in Sunnydale for five years or maybe even less you’d probably have ended up with a gift for self-healing, have a kind of innate energy that would foul up magic and call out to demons and other creatures, and a large suseptiblitity to possessions. My friend is a major bookworm and just told me all that. Though I did know that to live on a hellmouth takes power and guts.”
“Oh.” Xander was plunged back into shock. Sunnydale was a kind of magical Hiroshima. Okay, he could live with that. Harry listened as Xander thought aloud, asking leading questions or just nodding when it was needed. Was it going to hurt Wills and Jess if they stayed? Maybe not. Could he go back? Not unless he was trained, because he knew himself well enough that he wouldn’t be able to just stick to the corners if he saw something bad happening. Was he going to tell anyone outside of the little group here? Probably not, he’d be seen as insane. Finally, Harry told him to get some sleep and made Xander drink a bottle of funny green stuff. They’d deal with everything once Xeres came back and Spike and Dru woke.
-- End of New Home. --