author's note: Starting to bring some more Buffy elements into this story finally. This chapter had a 'chicken or the egg' situation going on with the next chapter (which is half-finished). Oh and sorry for wait, school/work/holidays, you know?


Age Eight: Demons

Xander was bored. Jesse and Willow were gone; Jesse with his family on vacation and Willow off traveling with her parents. Worse, Bratty was with Pitch until the fear spirit could figure out how the dog could go from the size of a cat to a grizzly bear. Pitch was worried Bratty might hurt him in her bigger size or have other tricks she had yet to show.

Xander didn't care. Bratty was the coolest pet ever and would never hurt him. It's not like Pitch would play fetch with the shadow dog. The one time Xander had tried to get Pitch to throw the ball, because Pitch was a grown-up and could probably throw farther, he had sneered in disgust at the dog-slobbered ball and refused.

Pitch was a prude like that (and Xander didn't really get why that was so insulting to Pitch. Probably something British even if Pitch claimed it was just an accent.) AND he was late. It was almost 1 a.m. and Pitch had yet to show. It wasn't like the fear spirit at all.

With a loud sigh Xander dragged himself out of his bed and stared out his window. He did not want to go to bed yet but he was tired. A dark figure outside caught Xander's attention. Pitch? His sudden movements caught the attention of the person outside and they looked towards him. It was too dark out to make out any distinct features but Xander could tell the person had yellow glowing eyes.

It was probably Pitch though what he was doing outside confused Xander. Rushing downstairs Xander raced for the front door. Excited at finally seeing Pitch for the night Xander hardly noticed the shadows shifting behind him.

"Alex?" Pitch's voice did stop him however.

"Pitch!" He greeted eagerly with a hug. "What were you doing outside?"

"Outside? I've only just arrived. I haven't been outside," Pitch said as he looked down at the boy, brows furrowed in confusion.

"Huh? But someone with a creepy glowy eyes was," Xander explained as he realized his mistake.

Pitch, for some reason Xander didn't grasp, seemed to grow stiff at his admission and glared at the front door. "I see. Stay inside Alex."

"What? Why?"

"Just do as I tell you and stay inside!" Pitch snapped and then immediately regretted his raised voice as Xander flinched away from him. "Please, I will explain tomorrow night Alex. Just stay inside and keep Bratty close."

"Okay Pitch," Xander agreed, finally realizing something really scary had to be going on if the fear spirit was scared.

Pitch wanted to apologize to his believer, make the child understand the danger of his hometown. Such explanations had to wait. There was a demon, possibly demons, to warn away from the child.

-XP-

The demon was still outside when Pitch, in his shadow form, left Xander's house. Pitch was not all that surprised to see it was a vampire; between Nest and the natural allure of the Hellmouth vampires were all too common in Sunnydale. Unfortunately, vampires frequently worked as minions for other, more powerful, demons. It appeared Sunnydale's inhuman population finally noticed his presence and interest in Alexander.

"Good evening," Pitch said as the blade of his scythe rested against the undead's neck.

In an instant the vampire's true face shifted forward. Pitch always thought the transformation was rather strange; it looked as if the skin of the person's face was pulled the the bridge of the nose. The end result was pronounced brow ridges, a heavily wrinkled nose, yellow eyes, and, of course, fangs.

"Who the hell are you?" the vampire demanded, trying to intimidate Pitch rather poorly. It was rather hard for anyone to intimidate Pitch when he could sense their fear.

"Why don't you worry about that when my scythe isn't ready to behead you," Pitch offered with a saccharine but insincere smile. He might not have fangs but his smile could be just as intimidating. "Now, what is your purpose here, vampire?"

"Boss got wind of a spirit loitering in town and wanted to send whoever it was a reminder that this our town, not yours," the vampire growled out with false bravado.

Pitch was too busy being enraged to be amused by the demon's attempts to scare him. Pitch's smile disappeared and his eyes went cold and deadly, "That's where you're wrong vampire. You saw that child you almost lured out here to no doubt kill? He's one of my believers, a true one at that, which puts him under my protection. I don't have many believers like him, so I think I can be excused for the rather drastic measures I'm about to go to ensure his safety."

Pitch only allowed himself a moment to enjoy the vampire's sudden bone-deep terror before he beheaded the creature. He only grimaced and quietly called himself ten kinds of fool after the vampire ashes settled on the ground. He did not know who ordered the vampire to hurt Xander; Nest or the mayor most likely.

At least having a word with both of them would prevent further 'incidences' from occurring.

-XP-

Nest was, unsurprisingly, right where Pitch expected to find the Master Vampire. Not that the fiend could be anywhere else since he trapped himself in the cave almost a century ago by trying to open the Hellmouth. Pitch did not quite understand vampires' interest in bringing hell to Earth. Vampires were already the bottom of the food chain, demonically speaking, why invite more competition to the dimension?

"Well, well, if it isn't Pitch Black. I'm a little old for the bogeyman to be darkening my doorstep. What do you want?" the vampire hissed out though he made no move attack Pitch.

The problem with vampires was that if you gave them an inch they'd take the continent. Pitch could not show weakness but, Xander was a weakness. The damn treaty also restricted Pitch's movements. He still smarted at the reminder of the cost he suffered for breaking it the last time.

"I caught a vampire attempting to harm a child," Pitch said simply. Perhaps acting as if he was upholding the treaty was the best way to play the master vampire.

Nest's face scrunched up in distaste, it made him look like a pig instead of the bat people typically referenced to Nest's demonically transformed features, "If its not dust now it'll be eventually. I fail to see how one vampire's mistake is a problem you need to bring up to me."

"Because he was ordered to," Pitch watched as Nest went perfectly still. It was one thing for a vampire or some other creature to thin themselves above the treaty, quite another for one of them to attempt to break the treaty with intent.

"I see. I'll send out a reminder to my court that children are not to be harmed. Better to lose some followers than deal with the consequences. I'm sure you know all about that, Pitch," Nest said with a finality before trying to get in one last slight.

Pitch did not let it bother him. "Yet, its your kind still paying price." Pitch smirked at the obvious irritation on Nest's face before sinking back into the shadows.

He had a mayor to find.

-XP-

The mayor was not at his office liked Pitch expected but at his home like Pitch should have considered checking first. At least the sorcerer was still awake, probably somehow being made aware of Pitch's imminent arrival.

"Golly, I must say its been quite some time since I've earned a visit from you, Mr. Black," Mayor Richard Wilkins the third, and truthfully the first and second as well, humbly commented as he indicated for Pitch to take a seat.

"I'd apologize for the unexpected visit if you hadn't instigated the need for one. Sending a vampire after my believer? I thought you were wiser than that Richard," Pitch chided as he did his best to remain polite. The once-human, he could hardly be described as a man, was only a few years away from becoming quite the powerful demon.

"Oh I knew he'd fail, vampires aren't worth their pay-grade these days. I just wasn't sure how else to contact you," Wilkins explained as he finished brewing some tea which Pitch silently refused when offered. "It's rather obvious that you have no intention of leaving my town alone. You're walking a dangerous line Pitch, one you of all beings should know to avoid."

"Alexander is a true believer and still a child. I'm perfectly within my rights to protect the boy and interact with him as I see fit. Aside from visiting my believer I've done nothing to get involved in this town until you decided we needed to talk. What's really the problem?" Pitch asked as he studied the mayor.

He looked like a man a few decades past his prime. Blonde hair thin at the edges of the temples, the beginnings of balding, and the start of wrinkles and crows feet just hinted at in the face. The Mayor looked healthy enough though he was on the rounder side, especially in the gut. There was no outward sign that Richard Wilkins was over a hundred years old, it made the mayor quite the dangerous creature.

"Children are only protected until they're thirteen and teenagers have a nasty habit of dying or 'running away'. I understand true believers are a rare treat for you these days but, those in charge of the treaty don't care about such things. I thought we should work out an agreement concerning the young Mr. Harris," the mayor explained, surprisingly altruistic.

"Ah, that's right, your ascension is coming up, isn't it? Wouldn't want to risk that," Pitch mocked carefully as he mulled over the proposition. "As long as Alex does not go seeking out the supernatural of his own choice you'll insure he's left alone? Even after the treaty stops protecting him?"

"Unless the boy discovers the supernatural and decides to get involved I'll make sure he's left alone. In return you do as you've been doing and don't interfere with my town," Wilkins agreed, friendly facade finally fading to reveal the man's darker nature.

Pitch was more than certain the treaty was broken on the Hellmouth with high frequency, the natural tainted energy provided some protection for such crimes. It was within Pitch's rights interfere and punish the culprits as he saw fit. The mayor was asking for a blind eye in return for Xander's protection.

It was a deal with a devil but, it was not as if either of them had souls to sell.

"Deal."


end notes: I have a friend that lived in the UK for a couple years. She said that being called a prude was rather insulting over there or at least more so there than the US. Not sure if that's true but it seemed to amusing not to use.

For the non-buffy fans reading this chapter, Nest is a bat-face master vampire in charge of the undead population of Sunnydale/Hellmouth. While the Mayor is an evil mage in charge of the rest of the supernatural population -and- the human population of the Hellmouth. They're the 'Big Bad's of Buffy season 1 & 3 respectively

Treaty for this xover boils down to nobody harms children 13 and younger and in return spirits, like Pitch and the Guardians, don't mess with the supernatural. People are breaking this treaty all the time but, they don't get away with it. This is more relevant when I get to the actual seasons of Buffy.