Length: 2954 words
Spoilers: Through BtVS season 6, ‘All the Way’.
Summary: Halloween’s never quiet on the Hellmouth.
Notes: Takes place during ‘All the Way’. Anya is no longer in Sunnydale; she either left after the battle with Glory or died during it, take your pick. Written for the batpack Halloween Challenge 2005.
Feedback: It’s ALL about the feedback (and naked Spike)! Don’t make me beg, it’s not pretty.
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
Thanks: To msgordo for the info on chocolate in the UK.
Written: October 19, 2005
It Happened On the Way to the Donut Shop
The bright flash of light blinded Xander and he had to close his eyes and duck his head, covering his face with his arms to block it out. When he opened his eyes, dark blobs danced in front of them and they watered. He blinked until he could see, and what he saw made him howl with laughter.
“Holy crap, what happened to you?” He couldn’t hold back the guffaws of laughter at Spike’s predicament. He’d somehow been turned into what looked like a five-year old child. Vampire-child, Xander amended as Spike snarled and morphed into his demon visage. “Y-y-you’re a kid! Oh, god, you’re so tiny!”
Spike growled and took a menacing step towards Xander before clutching his head in pain and swearing. Xander fell down onto the ground, unable to remain on his feet as laughter overtook him at hearing Spike’s tiny little voice say ‘buggerin’ bollocks!’. He hiccuped as the laughter slowed, and something he hadn’t noticed began to make itself known.
“Hey.” He touched his throat. “My voice sounds different.” He looked at his hands. “And...my hands.” He turned them so he could see the front, then the back again. “They’re....”
Xander looked up to see Spike, all two and a half feet of him, smirking down at him.
“Oh, crap.” Xander touched his face, then stood up next to Spike. They were the same height. “Fuck.”
Spike’s smirk widened. “Not so funny now, is it?”
“Shut up, Spike.”
Xander managed to ignore Spike in lieu of the larger problem at hand, which was that he was much, much smaller than he had been just moments before. And his voice sounded funny. “Okay, the thing is not to panic. No panicking. This is obviously, uh, obviously a, um....”
“Yes, exactly! So, what we need to do is to go back to the Magic Box and get Giles to fix this. Without panicking. Come on.”
Xander started down the sidewalk backwards, waving for Spike to follow him. Spike rolled his eyes and reached into his duster pocket for his cigarettes. He shook one out and stuck it between his lips only to have it immediately yanked back out.
“What do you think you’re doing young man?”
“Hey!” Spike looked up, up, up into the worried and horrified eyes of an elderly lady with grey hair and wearing a black sweater with a large orange pumpkin on the front.
She shook the cigarette in his face. “These are not toys, they’re very dangerous and you shouldn’t be playing with them.”
Spike made a grab for the cigarette, but it was easily lifted beyond his reach. His frustration was compounded when she snatched the entire pack out of his other hand with an, “I’ll be taking these, as well. Your parents should be ashamed of themselves, allowing you to play with these, even if it is Halloween.” She leaned down and looked at him with kind eyes. “If you wait right here, I’ll go buy you a pack of the candy cigarettes, if you feel you need them to complete your costume.”
“How about you give those back right now and I won’t drain you dry and dance in your entrails,” Spike said. He morphed and smiled widely, watching with a gleeful expression as the old woman jerked back in fright.
Xander shoved himself between Spike and the old woman, even though he knew Spike couldn’t hurt her. And he certainly wasn’t worried about her hurting Spike, who could do with a little butt-kicking from someone with wrinkles and grey hair. It would serve him right for being such a jerk all the time. He just didn’t want them to be separated in case it affected the spell to turn them back into adults, that was all.
“Sorry!” He turned around and quickly propelled Spike down the sidewalk and towards the Magic Box and Giles.
“Let go of me, you git!”
“Knock it off, Spike, or I’ll tell Uncle Giles you were playing with cigarettes and you know what he said would happen after the last time.”
Xander couldn’t help the huge grin as Spike took in his words, but then Spike’s eyes narrowed and the grin fell off Xander’s face as Spike swore, words he’d never even heard coming out of Spike’s little mouth.
“Well, I never!”
“Did you hear the mouth on that child?”
“Hurry up, Spike, before someone calls the police,” Xander said, grabbing Spike’s hand and running.
By the time they reached the Magic Box Xander was breathless and his short little legs ached. He had to reach up for the door handle, which made him almost want to cry, and then the door was open and they both fell into the shop.
“Oh my god!”
“I know,” Xander said.
“Will you look at them? Oh, look at their costumes!”
“And Billy Idol!”
“What? No, no.... Hey, stop that!”
Before Xander knew what had happened, he and Spike were surrounded by four girls, and each of them were pinching their cheeks and cooing over them.
Spike had finally had enough. “Knock it off, you silly bints!”
“Heh, that’s odd,” Willow said. “He kinda sounded like Spike.”
Spike morphed. “I am Spike, you....”
“Shut up, Spike.”
“Xander?” Dawn said. “Oh my god, Xander!”
Xander sighed. “I know. And before you ask, we don’t know....”
“You’re so cute!”
Xander leaned close to Spike. “It looks like we’re going to have to fight our way through.”
Spike just glared at him.
“Oh, right. Well, I’ll fight, you try not to get a splitting migraine.”
Xander put his head down and pushed his way between the girls’ legs with Spike following close behind him. When they emerged on the other side, Giles was just coming out of the back room.
“Oh. Hello there. I’m afraid we’re not set up for trick-or-treaters....”
“Got any booze in that office of yours, Watcher?”
“Well, yes, I, uh, hmm, what?”
“Brilliant! Booze, and lots of it.” Spike climbed up onto one of the chairs around the research table and sat down. He looked over at Giles, who hadn’t moved, and snapped his fingers. “Hop to it, Rupert, and keep it coming.”
Spike didn’t look like a force to be reckoned with, what with his legs out straight and his boots hanging just past the edge of the seat.
“Spike?” Giles would forever deny that his voice squeaked, but Xander knew what he heard. He might be short, but his ears still worked just fine.
Giles looked down. “And Xander?”
Xander nodded. Giles staggered over to the table and fell into one of the empty chairs. He placed his elbows on the table and lowered his head into his hands.
“Okay, now tell me what happened,” he said.
With the girls gathered around, Xander told them all what had happened. About the bright flash of light and then seeing Spike all tiny. He left out the panic (because there was no panicking), he’d felt when he realized that he’d also been ‘shrunk’, but he did tell them about the old lady stealing Spike’s cigarettes, which made everyone laugh at Spike’s expense.
Spike snarled and growled at them, but Xander saw a flash of hurt that made him sorry he’d done that. He toddled over to Spike’s chair and pushed his legs out of the way, then climbed up to sit beside him.
“So,” he said, “what now?”
For a very long moment no one said anything, they just stared at him and Spike.
“Well?” Spike finally said, and everyone jumped as if they’d been pinched.
“Well, of course we’ll have to do some research. Where were you when this happened?”
“Yes, Buffy, research....”
“Oh my god!”
Spike yelped and covered the ear Xander had shouted into while everyone else stopped what they were doing and stared at him.
“Is something wrong, Xander?” Tara asked in her soft voice.
Xander started bouncing in the chair. “We can go trick-or-treating!”
“Um, Xander, I don’t really think that’s a good idea,” Giles said.
“Are you kidding? It’s a great idea!”
“I’m afraid I can not allow it.”
Why not? We’ll share.”
“We might need you right here when we discover what’s been done to you, or there could be some nefarious purpose behind this spell and you could be in danger if you go off, er, trick-or-treating.”
“Those are really dumb reasons,” Xander said, fighting back tears.
Spike put his arm over Xander’s shoulder. “That’s all right, pet,” he said. “When they start researching we’ll sneak in the back and steal the Watcher’s booze.”
Giles rolled his eyes. “Tara?”
“And put it up high. All right.” Giles turned back to the other girls. “Spells. Specifically spells that turn adults, human and vampire, it seems, into children, while retaining their, erm, species-specific traits.”
“What does that mean?” Dawn asked.
“It means that Xander is still human, and Spike is still a vampire. Willow,” Giles said, pointing to her laptop, “you get to work on that infernal machine and I’ll pull some spell books off the shelf for the rest of us.”
Within moments, all five of them were settled around the table, researching. Xander was bored, so he kicked Spike’s foot. Spike kicked back, and pretty soon they were wrestling on the chair. Buffy grabbed them both by the back of their jackets and separated them.
“Why don’t you boys go play in the back,” Giles said, heaving a big sigh.
Buffy carried them into the back and Xander felt like he was flying.
“We’re flying!” He windmilled his arms and legs. “Flying!”
“Knock it off before I drop you,” Buffy said before setting them both gently onto one of the training mats. “There, wrestle to your hearts content in here.”
She headed back to the front of the shop and Xander heard her say, “You know, Giles, I thought you said that Halloween was supposed to be demon-lite.”
“It is,” Giles said, sounding put out. “I don’t understand it. It must be the influence of the Hellmouth that causes all our Halloweens to be less than quiet.”
Xander tuned them out. “Wanna wrestle?” he asked Spike.
“No. I wanna ride the horse.” He pointed and Xander followed his finger.
They raced over to the training horse and climbed on. It took a couple minutes before they figured out they needed to help each other if they were going to manage it. Xander boosted Spike up and then Spike helped pull Xander up. Five minutes later their squalling brought everyone running.
“He hit me!” they both said, pointing at the other.
Spike had accidentally elbowed Xander in the face and they’d both cried out in pain, and the next thing they knew they both fell off the horse, landing in a heap that brought forth even louder cries.
Giles’ sigh could be heard over Xander’s and Spike’s sniffling.
“Buffy, you want out of research?”
“Yes.” She sounded wary.
“Good. Take them trick-or-treating.”
“What? Me? Why?”
Her complaint was lost in Xander’s shout. He grabbed Spike’s hand and twirled him around. “We’re going trick-or-treating, we’re going trick-or-treating,” he sang.
“I’ll take ‘em,” Dawn said.
“No!” everyone shouted.
Ten minutes later, bags in hand and Xander’s eyepatch straightened, they were ringing their first doorbell. “Trick or treat!” they caroled when the door was opened, Spike joining in as he’d been instructed.
“Oh my, look at you two. A pirate, and.... Look at that lovely leather jacket. What are you supposed to be, dear?”
“He’s a vampire,” Xander said, holding his bag out for some candy.
“Well, you don’t very much look like a vampire,” she said. “Do you have sharp teeth?”
Spike morphed and snarled at her, showing her his very sharp teeth and yellow eyes.
She jumped back. “Oh my. How...realistic. Here.” She quickly dumped a handful of candy in both their bags and slammed the door on them.
Xander snickered. Spike glared at him and then shook his head until the demon visage was gone. He peered into his bag at the loot they’d scored and then smirked at Xander.
“That worked good. Let’s do that again!”
“Okay,” Spike agreed.
“You guys, I really don’t think that’s a good idea,” Buffy said as she ran to catch up to them before they reached the next house.
Two hours later they were back at the Magic Box, dumping their bags out on the floor in the training room. Xander made happy noises as he sorted through his candy, but Spike just looked at his in disgust.
“What is this?” He held up a handful of bubble gum and tootsie rolls.
“What’s wrong?” Xander asked. He was distracted by his own take and paying little attention to Spike’s reaction.
“This. Is not chocolate,” Spike said, and a big fat tear rolled down his face.
Xander crawled over to Spike. “Well, not all of it, but some,” he said. “Here.” He picked up a Hershey’s miniature and handed it to Spike. “Hershey’s,” he said happily.
Spike clenched his lips shut and his face turned red.
“Are you holding your breath?” Xander asked. “‘Cause you don’t have to breathe.”
Spike let the breath he’d been holding out and sniffled. “I want real chocolate.”
“This is real chocolate,” Xander said. “And look, Nestles.”
“I want Cadbury,” Spike said, kicking the floor. “Or Ripples. Or Milky Bars,” he wailed.
“What on earth is going on in here?”
“Spike doesn’t like his candy,” Xander said, looking up at Giles.
“What’s wrong with it?”
“There’s no Cadbury,” Xander said.
“So the only problem is that it’s American candy?” Giles asked. Xander shrugged. Spike looked up at him with watery blue eyes.
Giles looked over the pile of candy in front of Spike. “Dear lord. That is awful. Not a single fruit gum in the bunch!” He turned his face towards the front room and bellowed for Buffy, who came running, stake at the ready.
“What? What is it? Demon?”
“No. Something much worse, I’m afraid.”
“What? Xander, are you all right?”
Giles dug some money out of his pocket. “Here.” He handed it to Buffy who stared at it as if she’d never seen paper money before. “Run down to the drug store and get some Cadbury’s.”
“It’s chocolate,” Xander said helpfully.
“You need me to go buy chocolate? They’ve got a pile of candy in front of them!”
Spike sniffled sadly. Xander put his arm over Spike’s shaking shoulders and looked pitifully up at Buffy.
“Oh, for.... Need I remind you all that I’m the slayer?” She turned and stomped out of the training room.
When she was gone, Xander smiled at Spike, who managed to smile back.
One hour later they were no closer to finding the spell. Xander had finished a large portion of his chocolate before Willow scooped the remainder back up into the bags and hid them. They both squawked, but Willow stood firm.
They spent the next hour running around the training room and using up the brief spurt of energy the chocolate they’d consumed gave them. When the quiet lasted for just a minute too long, everyone rushed to the back to make sure they were all right. They found both boys wrapped around each other and sleeping in the middle of the floor.
Buffy and Giles each picked one boy up and carried them over to the couch, where they immediately curled up around each other once more.
“They look so cute!” Dawn looked like she wanted to burst.
“They’re gonna kill us when they remember waking up like this,” Buffy said.
“Serve the little buggers right,” Giles said as he carefully slipped Xander’s eyepatch off.
Willow draped a blanket over them and everyone tiptoed out of the room.
At sunrise, Xander and Spike both woke up and looked straight into each other’s eyes.
Xander felt different and so he looked down his body. And kept looking down.
“Hey, we’re big again!”
He was relieved to see that he was the correct size once more. The fact that he was lying on the couch snuggled up next to Spike did not escape his notice. Nor did the fact that Spike had been uncharacteristically silent since they’d woken up. He brought his eyes back up to Spike’s face to see that Spike was still staring at him with an expression quite dissimilar to the usual ‘you are such a moron’ expression.
Spike’s eyes darted down to Xander’s lips as he licked his own and Xander felt as if he had butterflies in his belly. He wondered if Spike still tasted like the chocolate he’d eaten the previous night. Before he could chicken out, Xander leaned forward and licked Spike’s lips and then kissed him. Spike kissed him back.
Xander was breathless when they parted. “You taste like chocolate,” he said.
“Mmm, you, too.”
“Wow, I’m still really tired.” He yawned and Spike followed suit, then glared at Xander as if it was his fault that yawns were contagious.
“Me, too. Probably a side-effect of that stupid spell,” Spike muttered, closing his eyes.
“Yeah.” Xander closed his eyes as well. “Though, you know, as spells go, it wasn’t so bad,” he said. “I mean, we got to go trick-or-treating.”
“And we made Rupert cry,” Spike said, sounding happy.
Xander opened his eyes so he could look at Spike’s face. “And other good stuff happened.”
Spike opened one eye. “Go to sleep. Xander.”
Xander closed his eyes and hid his smile against Spike’s shoulder.
When Giles came in to check on them, they were fast asleep, still curled up around each other.
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