Journey to Neverland
(Rated PG so far)
Xander was six the first time Spike flew into his life.
Literally flew, but Xander suspected it would have seemed just as magical if Spike had come walking up the road. But still, the flying was a nice touch. Very dramatic like.
Of course none of this were things that Xander thought at the time; his thoughts had been more along the lines of "Wow!" and "Cool!" and "Do that again!"
And as always that final question: "Can I come with you?"
But that's getting ahead of the story, something that Xander always seemed to do. He never had been good at telling stories; he always got his middles mixed up with his beginnings and his endings mixed up with his middles.
The beginning of this particular story was when Xander was six. His parents were indulging in their regular nightly screaming match and Xander had decided he just couldn't listen to it any more. So he gathered up some blankets and a pillow and snuck out the window to camp out in the backyard under the stars.
Curled up in the makeshift bed he'd made, unhappy tears drying on his face, Xander had listened to the silence and stared wide-eyed up at the night sky and the stars strewn across it.
One of the stars, he noticed, seemed to be moving. Fascinated, Xander watched at the moving star dipped and rose and loop de looped and just generally acted in no way like a normal, well behaved star would.
Xander discovered the reason for that when its final move was to dive bomb directly toward him, stopping and hovering barely a foot above Xander's nose and allowing Xander to get a good look at it for the first time.
"You're a fairy!" he cried out delightedly and indeed she was. A tiny woman no taller than the length of his father's hand with gossamer wings beating so fast he could barely see them.
She was dressed in a long white old fashioned dress and had long dark hair and sharp sharp eyes and laughed at Xander's exclamation, the sound bell-like and bubbly. She darted forward and Xander yelped as she bit him hard on the nose, then darted away, her bell-like laughter trailing behind her.
Feeling very put upon, Xander sat up and gingerly touched his nose checking to see if she drew blood.
"You're not going to cry, are you?"
The British-accented voice came from above Xander; he looked up to see a boy kneeling on a high tree branch. He was dressed in a mishmash of clothes with a long black leather coat and heavy boots over top of everything. He was older than Xander, perhaps 12 or 13, with curly light brown hair pulled back into a pony tail and blue eyes that glinted with reflected light as he watched Xander curiously.
"I'm not going to cry," Xander told him, hearing the cranky in his own voice. He was still prodding carefully at his abused nose when he noticed the fairy flitting about the other boy's head. "She bit me," he said, pointing accusingly at her.
"Yeah, saw. Sorry about that mate." The boy held out a hand and the fairy landed delicately in his palm. "Dru's got a bit of sweet tooth." He grinned at Xander. "Guess she thought you looked sweet."
"I'm not sweet," Xander protested, glaring up at them. "I'm sour, I'm bitter. I'm... I'm..." He grasped for the worst tasting thing he could think of, "I'm brussel sprouts! So you can just keep your fairy teeth off of me."
The fairy -- Dru -- trilled something, her voice a higher set of bells than her laugh. The boy listened intently to her, nodding his head occasionally. When she finished, the boy looked back to Xander. "Dru says that bitter won't stick to you no matter how much of it is thrown at you. Your sweet heart will always shine through." He shrugged, looking a little embarrassed. "Sorry -- Dru talks like that. A lot of the time what she says doesn't make sense to anyone not Dru, but you get used to it."
Dru took to the air again, flew around the boy's head a couple of times, then started to fly back to where Xander was standing.
"Brussel sprouts!" Xander yelled again, scrambling backwards from her, clapping his hands over his nose to shield it.
"Oh relax," the boy told him all but rolling his eyes. "She's not going to bite you."
"She did," Xander pointed out, his voice all nasally because he wasn't willing to take his hands off his nose just yet. Not when Dru was hovering just in front of him; he watched her with wary eyes. "And she thinks I'm sweet. Why wouldn't she do it again?"
"Because she told me she wasn't going to."
It was Xander's turn to roll his eyes. "I don't speak fairy. And besides, how do I know she's not lying. She could just be trying to get me to let my...."
But Xander trailed off as the other boy jumped off the branch, diving at the ground... and then swooping upwards in a graceful arc. Xander's mouth fell open as the boy did a loop de loop before finally landing lightly on the ground in front of him.
"You can fly!" Xander squeaked.
"Yeah." The boy grinned. "Cool, innit?"
Xander nodded, eyes wide as saucers.
"It's not that hard really, if you know the secret." The boy paused. "Do you want to know the secret?"
Once again Xander nodded wordlessly.
The boy leaned in conspiratorially and motioned for Xander to do the same. "Fairy dust," he whispered when Xander did.
Xander blinked. "Fairy dust?"
"Yeah." The boy gestured at Dru who landed on the edge of Xander's blankets and seemed to be swaying to something that Xander couldn't hear. "Fairies are magic-"
"And dusty?" Xander broke in.
The boy grinned at him. "Yeah. Sprinkle the magic dust over you and it makes you magic too. A little thinking, a little practice and..." He rose off the ground and hovered there, "you're flying."
The boy held a hand out to Xander. "You wanna give it a go?"
to be continued