Disclaimer: I own neither Buffy the Vampire Slayer nor Terry Pratchett's Discworld. So take that, you nasty lawyer people!
Xander was shivering as he strode down the unusually quiet streets of post-midnight Sunnydale. Damn it, just why had he thought staying so late at the library looking up Ghortash demons was a good idea? Now, with his luck, he just knew something was going to try and eat him, especially without a Slayer around at the moment.
With a grimace, he forced his thoughts away from the things that went 'grr' in the night. The Hellmouth being what it was, for all he knew thinking about them would bring him down on his head.
Or his throat, as it were...
He grimaced again. This was like that experiment, where you tried as hard as you could not to think about a pink elephant...
And sure enough, from further down the street came the sound of pounding feet. Xander came to an abrupt stop underneath a street lamp, paling as he saw two vampires running towards him in full game face.
"Shit!" He looked around desperately, hoping to see a familiar head of blonde hair to the rescue, but except for him and the rapidly approaching vamps, the street was completely deserted. Knowing he didn't have a chance if he ran, Xander pulled a stake from his pocket and set his feet. Maybe if he got lucky he could take one of them out before he got fanged...
The teenager broke out into a nervous sweat as the vampires pounded closer, their pace not slowing a bit. He was seriously rethinking the whole 'don't run' decision by the time they entered the pool of light cast by the street lamp. But since by then it was really too late, he braced himself and raised the stake even as fear made his knees go weak.
Then the vamps had flashed past, not even sparing the shaking boy a glance. Just a little incredulous, Xander turned and stared after them, the hand holding the stake falling limply to his side.
"What the hell...?" he murmured, shocked. Since when did fangfaces pass on an easy meal?
It was only then that something he'd seen as they went by registered, and he felt himself go even paler. You see, on the vampires' faces had been... utter, abject terror.
The teenager spun again, eyes searching the night's shadows for something that would scare vampires into mindless flight. At first there was nothing, but then his ears picked up on the pattering of many little feet.
Xander's brain began sending orders to his legs to start running, but the messages must have been lost en route, because his feet didn't budge, no matter how his mind railed at them. And so he stood there, as something loomed terrifyingly out of the darkness...
And resolved itself into a large, wooden, metal-bound trunk that scurried along the ground towards him on hundreds of miniature feet.
The teenager's jaw dropped, and he stared bemusedly as the trunk stopped just inside the lamp's arc of light. "You have got to be kidding me..."
They stayed like that for a minute, and slowly Xander's disbelief began to fade. That trunk was... eerie. It didn't have any eyes- hell it didn't even have a face! Yet Xander couldn't get rid of the distinct feeling that it was examining him as though he were a bug under a microscope...
After what seemed like an eternity, the trunk finally moved. The teenager watched, wide-eyed, as it slowly scurried closer, and stopped just beside him. It pressed up against his leg, rubbing itself on his jeans like a very large, very wooden cat.
This day just could not get any weirder...
Xander tried to step away, but the trunk simply followed, this time seemingly content to just lean against him. He stared down at it, wondering the hell he was supposed to do now.
Then he saw the note taped to the lid of the trunk. Ignoring the little voice in the back of his skull warning him about touching strange things on the Hellmouth, he reached out and pulled it off.
Instantly, the trunk shuddered in happiness (though how he knew that, given that it was a trunk, he didn't have a clue). Xander flinched. Damn it, when was he going to learn to think things through?
Well, what was done was done. He sighed fatalistically and unfolded the note. If he had just sold his soul or was going to die in seven days, he wanted to know.
However, the note didn't tell him either of those things. I n fact he wasn't quite sure what to make of it:
Dear Sir, Madam, or It,
Congratulations! We of the Agatean Commerce, Travel, and Public Safety Division are pleased to present you with our latest in travel accessories. This Luggage, made of the finest sapient pearwood, is undyingly loyal to its owner, thine own fine self. It will follow you wherever you mayst happen to roam, so that you need worry over lost luggage no longer. Please, enjoy this prototype Luggage, and may your travels always be exciting and extraordinary!
With the best of wishes,
Chairman of the Board
P.S. It likes people and potato chips!
Xander read through the note again. "…Please tell me this is some kind of a joke…" he pleaded with the heavens. As usual, though, they didn't answer, although he wouldn't have been surprised if they had, given where he was. He was left standing on the dark street, staring down at the Luggage by his feet. "Owner?" he asked it weakly, and its lid rose and fell in what could only be an affirming nod.
After a moment the teenager nodded, taking a deep breath. "Okay. Right. I can deal with this. I'll just turn around and go back to the library, and hope the G-man hasn't closed up yet…" Suiting actions to words, he turned and started back along the way he'd some, doing his best to ignore the large trunk following on his heels.
Unfortunately, he was concentrating so hard on ignoring the damn thing that he was paying no mind to everything else. And in Sunnydale, not paying attention to your surroundings, especially at night, got you eaten or worse.
Which was why it wasn't particularly surprising when a vampire decided to take the opportunity presented by the oblivious snack and attacked from the bushes.
Xander went crashing down to the ground under the sudden weight of the vampire, and felt the wind rush out of him as his rib cage impacted the hard pavement. The demon in human form quickly got up off him, content with the knowledge that its meal wouldn't be moving any time soon.
And he was quite right in that belief. Xander was wheezing like a twenty-year smoker forced to climb a mountain.
The teenager lay curled up on the sidewalk for what seemed like ages, sure for the third time that night that he was about to die a horrible death. He waited for the vamp to finish him off, and was quite bewildered when instead of feeling the sensation of fangs piercing his neck he heard a shocked cry and a loud 'snap!' from just over him.
When nothing more happened for over a minute, Xander cautiously uncurled. There was no sign of the vampire, and the Luggage stood peacefully by his side. Perplexed, he looked around the now-empty street and got to his feet.
"What the hell?" he wondered out loud. The boy glanced down at the Luggage. "What happened to the vamp?"
In response, it opened its lid again, this time revealing a hollow full of white, blocky teeth and a broad, red tongue. The tongue flitted out and swiped along the edges of the opening, and then the lid dropped again, leaving Xander staring askance at what he'd thought to be just a harmless, if rather odd and old-fashioned suitcase.
So much for that thought…
The Luggage sidled over and rubbed against his legs again, and automatically Xander dropped a hand to pat its lid. "'Likes people and potato chips', huh?" he mumbled hazily, rubbing a hand over his eyes. The lid under his hand jiggled another nod, and he sighed.
A/N: /snorts/ Don't ask, it just popped into my mind while reading Sourcery… You can expect the Luggage to start appearing in some of my other stories, though. Except for Death, it's my favorite Discworld character.
And as stated in the summary, this is (for now) a one-shot. It was supposed to be just a short little drabble, then grew… /shakes her head/ But anyway, I may or may not write a sequel someday. It's more likely not, though, so if anyone else would like to, just email me or say so in a review.
And this is my first time ever writing BtVS, so… yeah. I need more practice at Xander…
27 January 2005