Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project
Secret Slasha – The Buffy the Vampire Slayer & Angel Slash Fanfiction Secret Santa Project

State Fair
By LindaMarie
For Karen McDonald

Xander had quickly learned that June was only the first hot month in Sacramento, and it got worse day by day. Luckily (or not, depending on your point of view) he'd found a job at Girls' Night Out (Slogan: "The Fabulous Ladies Night Club") where they kept him locked in air conditioned paradise, from 12 P.M. sharp, right on through to the cool night hours. All of this was just 'til his car was fixed, of course. Right. Because he had to hurry back to Sunnydale and do all the nonexistent things he was doing before he left. Because he was so amazingly useful.

Because he was so fucking important, right?

Right. And that's why he's not going home, even though the job's gone and the car's running and his mom's expecting him back. Why he's sitting in the Cal Expo fairgrounds parking lot on a Monday night, watching the lights of the giant Ferris wheel spin round and round.

Goddamn he hates this, this incompetence, this--this--

All he ever does is take orders and maybe he really should join the army, because even when he had a chance to be someone else he ended up being a soldier. Except now that he's not in Bizzaro-world he's not commanding any troops. A foot soldier. Yeah, that's what he is. They tell him where to stand and what to do and the right way to hold a stake and even, "Hey! Go kill your best friend!" and all he does is take it.

Take it.

And now Private Xander's orders are to return to home base and fight the good fight. And he can't even do that right, apparently.

But the state fair beckons to him, like in the same-named musical his mom loves so much. "I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm..." He might never be back here, and it really wouldn't set him back too much to just go on a couple rides...

Can taste the sugar-burn of cotton candy in his mouth. Remembers the county fair Willow's mom took them to when they were in gradeschool, hearing some girl with a glorious, mysterious twang pour out "Crazy" with a voice thick like honey, doing Patsy Cline more justice than she may even have deserved.

And that settles it. Climbs out of the car, fumbling in his deep pockets for money even though he can't even see the entrance gate from here. Shells out eight bucks admission, then gets as far away from the scary sour-breathed woman at the teller as he possibly can.

"All right, Xand-man, where should we go first?" Probably the wrong thing to say out loud with his hands buried deep in his Bermuda shorts. Judging by the looks on a few passersby's faces, anyway.

He walks past Hot Dog on a Stick, tempting as all that lemonade may be. Past the falafel booth, and the pizza--past even the Texas B-B-Q Smorgasbord, where they're roasting what appears to be a side of beef. No, Xander has higher goals than that. Even though he's never been here, he knows exactly where he's going.

The livestock pavilion. With rows and rows of pigs, goats, cows and sheep, with chalk markings on their backs in various colors. The smell of life in the air, hay and oats and manure. Xander loves this, remembers this from that long-ago fair where he and Will held hands and chewed gum. Nervously reaching out their hands to pet the goats' sawed-off horns, gently touch the sheep's muzzle. He didn't know then that they were being sold for meat.

Something perverse and--and intimidating about those 4-H kids, raising fuzzy baby animals with the full knowledge they'll be slaughtered in their youth. Something cruel, something he doesn't want to be thinking about...

Maybe this isn't the best place to be after all. Midway, that's what he needs. A bag of sugary cotton candy goodness and a few rickety spins on the Tilt-A-Whirl. Yes, sir. Don't think about all those dead kids you used to know until they, uh, died. Just think about having fun. Think about meeting someone interesting here, maybe. Having an excuse not to go back to Sunnydale. Think about...


Spike. There, by Indian jewelry stand, eyeing a heavy turquoise bracelet. What the hell? Xander thinks about just slipping by him, hiding his tail between his legs and heading straight for the safety of the Scrambler, but he doesn't. Because, you know, that'd just be too damn smart for Xander "I'm A Dumb-Ass" Harris.

"Yo! Evil dead!"

Spike turns slowly around, on the balls of his feet. Small hip-swivel when he sees him standing there like a doof. Caught between fight and flight, Xander takes two small steps in opposite directions, trips, and falls on his face. Wonderful.

Looks up to see Spike standing over him. Bad, bad, bad. Should have known something as enjoyable as the fair could only ultimately be bad.

"'Allo, you great poof. Care to tell why you're bothering me?"

" See, I was just wandering along, minding my own business," Xander scrambles to his feet, eyes darting right and left, looking for a way out, "...when this big hairy mean witch cast a spell on me that makes me...uh..."

There's Spike, closer now, scary grin on his face. "Is that a stake in your pocket, or are you just bloody overjoyed to see me?"

Vamps out. Which equates run in Xander's apparently tiny, tiny mind. Run.

So he runs. Xander sprints back through the food stands, down the side way where the fake tattoo shops are. Avoids the large central amphitheater altogether and sneaks right into the midst of the children's rides. He's breathing hard, hoping it only seems like the whole park can hear his heartbeat. Afraid in a way he's only been a few blessed times in his whole life. When the nights got long with Jesse, and Willow had gone back to her house, when they just had one beer left between them, and Xander didn't want to have to go home....When Jockboy Larry had cornered him that time and come So. Damn. Close.....When just yesterday all those guys had been looking at him like a piece of meat, down to his boxers with all those lights in his face: "Fill in for 'im, show some skin, and we'll double your pay," the bosses had said. And it sounded so much simpler than it was....

No, no, it's too open here. He can't stay in one place like this, like a sitting duck--like a sitting Xander, warm and juicy, just waiting for any passing over-hormonal male vampire to take a bite. Run to the funhouse. Yes! That's it! Use all the humorously distorted mirrors to thwart Spike's evil plot of seduction! Of course!

Xander shoves the balding ticket-taking man out of his way, and comedically slams into more than a couple walls. He doesn't care, doesn't care if it hurts him as long as he gets further away. Deep into the pit, into the darkness here where he can't see anything important. He can see his reflection, but only if he opens his eyes.

He remembers Jesse disappearing in a cloud of ash, Jesse tackling him to hard in the middle of a game, Jesse in the basement asking him for something he knew he couldn't give. So afraid. Jesse groping him blindly in the dark (dark like this) when he didn't know how to say no, or even why to say it. Didn't know what to say, just felt a cold hand on his dick through his pants and a sure, solid mouth press to his....

...And Xander snaps out of it. Because he's here, in a funhouse, and Jesse's dead, and he's supposed to be hiding from Spike. But the memory's to real to be real, someone's tongue in his mouth and hips shoved firm against his leg. Cooler than he remembers, more demanding. What...what...

Because, of course, it's not Jesse. Hasn't been Jesse for a long time. It's Spike and again he doesn't know how to say no. Never, never entirely knew. Or entirely wanted to.

Holds to it for a minute. Xander pushes closer against the hard body, tasting metal in Spike's mouth and feeling the surprising absence of fangs--before pushing up hard with one knee, ignoring the frustrated yell behind him as he runs like hell.

Back to Sunnydale, back to home, back to being an obedient Scooby. Back to where he belongs. Because everything's probably much simpler that way.