Disclaimer: I own none; all belong to Joss Whedon
Comments: Always welcomed!
Summary: Young Xander gets bullied and a savior.
Beta'd by: Whichclothes
Plot bunny by: Lady Q Spike rescues a young Xander from a school bully
At eight years old Xander was still a bed wetter. It wasn't his fault. The nightmares that plagued him in his sleep terrified him beyond belief. He stopped drinking water before bed but it didn't seem to do him any good. His mom would change his bedding while Xander changed his pajamas. Jessica then would hold him and tell Xander there were no monsters. She'd tuck him back into bed kiss him on the forehead and head back to her own room.
Xander's bed wetting was a secret not even his best friends knew. It wasn't until show and tell at school on Thursday that not only his friends found out but his entire class. Larry the class bully brought in his pet garter snake. He had named it Betsy. Xander hated snakes; they absolutely terrified him. Mrs. Anderson had been horrified but was afraid to hurt Larry's feelings. She allowed him to keep Betsy at school as long as she stayed in her glass cage. Larry pulled his most innocent face and promised. Until recess.
As soon as the bell rang Mrs. Anderson was out the door needing another cup of coffee. The other kids had already left to play outside; the only ones left were Xander who was getting his snack and Larry who was over by Betsy's cage. He picked her up and petted her smooth skin as he made his way over to Xander.
While Xander was hunched over his backpack looking for the Twinkie he knew his mom had packed for him, Larry placed Betsy on Xander's back and watched as she slithered up to his shoulder. Her face was inches from Xander's face. Xander's body had tensed. He felt a tiny weight on his shoulder. It couldn't have been what he thought it was though. Larry wasn't that cruel was he? Slowly Xander turned his head and was met by Betsy's eyes. His body began to shake. When she stuck a thin, two-pronged tongue out and hissed Xander screamed and peed his pants.
When Mrs. Anderson rushed back into the room, her coffee forgotten by the screams that had echoed down the hall, she found Larry rolling on the floor laughing, Betsy slithering under her desk and Xander. Poor Xander was standing in the same spot, the front of his jeans damp. Mrs. Anderson sent Larry to the corner before taking Xander to the office to call his mother. Fifteen minutes later Jessica was there ushering Xander into her car. She told Mrs. Anderson she wanted some sort of action taken. Mrs. Anderson completely agreed.
The rest of the day Jessica played Candy Land with Xander until Tony came him. They ordered pizza for dinner even though it was a week-day and allowed Xander to eat in the living room so he could watch television.
By the next day the entire class knew of Xander's accident. There were snickers and a few of the kids told Mrs. Anderson they didn't want to sit by Xander. Annoyed with the children's behavior, she confined all of them to the classroom during recess.
Xander was glad it was Friday; he couldn't wait to be away from his classmates who all blamed him. But Jesse, Xander's best friend, passed him a note telling him Xander was coming over to his house for burgers and a Freddy Kruger movie. Jesse's mom wasn't going to be there and his dad said they could watch it. Xander didn't like scary movies but Jesse was so excited he couldn't say no.
It was after eight o'clock when Xander left Jesse's house. He had phoned his mom and when she said she would be there in a couple minutes to pick him up Xander told her he wanted to walk. He only lived a couple blocks away and he was a big boy now. Hesitantly Jessica agreed. Xander needed to do this, she knew that.
Xander was cutting through the park that was right next time Jesse's house when he bumped into Larry. He tried to just walk past him but Larry pushed him down. There were rocks with jagged edges and Xander's knees were scraped from them.
"You suck, Xander!" Larry said. "You got me in trouble with Mrs. Anderson. I have detention for two weeks and she won't let me bring Betsy back to school!"
Xander winced as he stood up. "You shouldn't have put her on me. Mrs. Anderson told you to keep her in the cage! It's not my fault you're a liar!"
Larry shoved Xander again this time his landed on his butt. "Are you going to cry now you big baby?" Larry asked. "Are you going to pee again?"
"No," Xander said. He sniffled and wiped his nose.
Larry grinned. "You know there are monsters out here and they love eating cry-babies."
"That's where you're wrong, bit." A man with a British accent said, startling both boys. He had bleached blond hair and a cigarette dangling from his fingers. "Monsters prefer mouthy little buggers such as yourself. The blood is spicier," he said and dropped his cigarette. His face shifted and he grabbed Larry by his arms and lifted him up to eye level. Yellow eyes glared at Larry. "You think it's nice picking on other kids, do you?"
Xander was right, monsters were real and this one was going to eat him and Larry! Xander was frozen in place. He wanted to run home and tell him mom that he had been right all along but all he could do was watch.
Larry kicked his legs trying to get free. "Let go of me! My dad is a lawyer, he'll sue you!"
"Name's Spike and if you know what's good for you, you'll keep your bloody gob bloody well shut," Spike growled and let Larry see his fangs. He pulled Larry closer. "I see you picking on the boy again and your parents will be finding your body in pieces for weeks."
Larry's face paled and he peed his pants. He started to cry and when Spike set him down he ran all the way home still crying.
Spike turned his attention to Xander who was still frozen in place. Spike's face turned back into his human façade. He knelt down. "Come over here, pet."
Slowly Xander moved closer to Spike. "M-my mom is waiting for me. I don't want her to worry."
"No need to fret, pet. You'll be on your way soon. Just want to have a chat," Spike assured Xander. "You can't let other kids bully you."
"But they're bigger than me," Xander whispered. He swiped at his nose again with the back of his hand.
Spike nodded his head in understanding. Xander was a bit smaller than Larry. "You just have to remember that one day you are going to be bigger. By the time you are in high school no one is gonna want to mess with you."
"Really?" Xander asked with awe.
"Really. And if that little bugger tries picking on you again threaten to tell the other tykes about his little accident."
Xander wanted to say that would be mean but a look of understanding clicked and a small smile appeared. "Thanks, mister. So…you're not going to eat me?"
Spike smiled and ruffled Xander's hair. "No. Now get home before your mum worries. No more wandering around at night either. It's not safe."
"Okies," Xander said and started to head home. He turned to thank Spike again but he was gone. Xander wondered if he would ever see Spike again. With a shrug he started home again. He couldn't wait to tell his mom that monsters weren't bad.