Warnings: Just fluff (it's obviously realreally R rated, but maybe after Xander grows up)
Disclaimer: standard, I don't own them but I can still dream. (Mmmm chains and silk and Spike oh my!)
Authors Note: I was thinking, what if Spike met Xander as a kid? It's been done before that he wins him, and that he comes to SD early and meets him as a young man (or a slayer) so I was going to just drop the idea as done. Then I noticed the date .May 1. May day. and I came up with this.





My May Day Human


by
Raihne



1 My May Day Human

Spike lounged in his warehouse silent, alone. He'd sent his last minions with Drusilla this last time she'd left him. Again. Left again, Bloody disfunctional even for a vampire family. He'd brought her to the Hellmouth, instead of to Prague like she'd wanted. He just didn't have a good feeling about that place. The Hellmouth was full of magic, it gave even Spike a kind of warm and tingly sensation and he wasn't one for the mojo. He'd thought Dru would love it. And she did, for about a week. Then she'd found a human that reminded her of Angelous and turned him. Poor sod'll be dust within the week. Maybe the little fledge would get lucky though. One of Dru's 'daddies' had lasted five years before she'd chained him up and forgotten to feed him, or cover the windows.

He shook the annoying thoughts from his head and stretched with cat-like grace. A noise stopped him halfway through the very satisfying stretch and he inched along the wall near the door to peer through the small crack in the heavy boards covering up the window. There was something on his doorstep. He looked for the person who left it but couldn't find anyone so he crept forward and cracked the door open, snatching the thing up, luckily it was early enough that the sun hadn't come to that side of the warehouse yet.

When his fingers first touched the colorful something he blinked at the soft feeling, pulling it inside he stared at a boquet of dandelions and daisys, twisted into a crown. He stared at it, unsure of why it was on his doorstep, but the little wreath held no answers, except for the scent of child and a smudge of chocolate on one of the stems. What is this then?

If anyone had wondered into the warehouse that day they would have been dead, there was no way Spike would have wanted news of this to get out. A master in his own right, sitting in the shadows and sniffing a crown of weeds and daisys. As soon as night fell he set off to follow the faint scent of the one who'd left them. He didn't really know why he was doing it. He was bored and this was something new at least.

The scent took him to a small house, nothing special about it, no toys or anything in the yard though, didn't even look like these people had a kid, but there were three of them sitting on the steps. A small boy with whiskey eyes and chocolate brown hair, another boy with limbs too long for his body, and a red headed girl. Spike stood and watched them, trying the figure which of the kids the scent was coming from.

The redhead had tears in her eyes, "I don't want to live with Grandma this summer. I want to stay here with you!"

"But I won't be here either." The gangly one tried to reasure her, "My family is going to Texas for the summer, to my uncle Bill's ranch."

The whiskey eyed kid was very quiet, "I'll miss you."

"Xander!" The girl cried, "I wish you could come with us!"

"S'okay Wills. I'm good."
"But you'll be all alone."

"Yeah, all that free time to read comics! Heaven I tell you! Heaven!"

They all giggled together, then a voice from inside called for Xander. The girl and the gangly kid stood up and waved as they ran down the street. Only when they were gone did the last child let himself tear up.

Spike was impressed, the kid was tough. He watched him wipe the tears away and waited until he'd pulled himself together, then go inside. He moved silently around the house until he could see the kid again. He was brushing his teeth and getting ready for bed. He went up the stairs and Spike climbed soundlessly up a tree and dropped onto the roof of the house, peering in through a window, open to let the summer breeze inside. The room was almost unlived in, but the comic books on the floor and the robot and alien toys dotting the selves proclaimed it a child's room. Sure enough, a moment later, the boy walked in and closed the door behind him.

"Comics." The boy hummed and pulled a few new books from his bag. He lay on his belly on the floor and snatched a pillow from his bed, stuffing it under his chest and arms to prop himself up. For a while he just lay there kicking his feet, until he stilled, as if noticing something wasn't right. He looked right up into Spike's eyes and blinked, "Hello."

The vampire snorted. "'lo."

"Uh. . . why're you on my roof?"

"Why were you at my warehouse?"

"Huh?"

"You came to my house this morning."

The kid nodded. "Why are you still outside?"

"Can't come in unless you invite me. S'not polite."

The boy sucked on his pointer finger a moment then nodded, "You're a vampire."

"What?!"

"Like in my comics." He rummaged around and came up with a floppy thin book with a classic caped and regal vampire on the cover. "Where's your cape?"

"You ask a lot of questions."

"I'm ten. Willow says I'm supposed to and there's nothing wrong with asking if you don't know."

Spike smiled, the kid was cute. "Willows a smart cookie she is."

"Uh huh."

"So you gonna invite me in?"

"Are you a bad vampire?"

"Sometimes."

Xander blinked and deliberated a while before asking, "Do you wanna hurt me? Or eat me? Or make me your butt monkey?"
Spike coughed, choking on air for a moment, "Where'd ya hear that?"

"Jesse said that Larry called him Miss Mintion's butt monkey."

"Maybe you shou'dn' be copyin' someun like this Larry bloke."

The kid smiled, "You're a weird vampire. I like you."

". . . 'k?"

"So do you?"

"D' I what?"

"Wanna hurt me."

"Not p'rticularly."

". . . " The kid nodded, "I'll come outside then." He climbed through the window and Spike caught him as he teetered a bit on the sloping roof. "Mom wouldn't like it if I invited vampires in the house."

Spike smirked. "No problem bit."

"Do you. . .?"

Spike covered the boy's mouth and smirked. "Mind 'f I ask something?"

"Uh uh."

He held out the flowers, "What's this then?"

Xander, looked up at him and blinked owlishly, "May day."

"Wot?"

"May day. It's when you leave flowers on the doorstep for people to find."

"Why my door?"

He opened his mouth to answer, but the voice that had called him inside, called up the stairs, "Xander Harris you'd better be in bed and lights off. No more comic books tonight." He bit his lip and slipped back into the window.

"I gotta go to bed now."

"Wait a sec!"

But the kid had closed the window and slipped between the Transformer sheets and was already snoring, one arm wrapped around a hard plastic godzilla toy. And Spike was left perched on the rook, a crown of dandelions and daisies in his hand.





2 The Monster Under My Bed

Spike hadn't seen the little human since that night on the kid's roof. He'd walked by the house once or twice while hunting, but the light was always off and kids needed stuff like a good night's sleep. He froze at that thought, what do I care if the nibblet gets the right amount o' sleep? The answer should have been that he didn't care, however, the dead May Day crown he had tucked away in his warehouse spoke differently. It might have had a deep symbolic meaning, the dead flowers, if Spike was one to give meaning to anything. Good thing he wasn't. With an annoyed huff, he took care of feeding and then headed to the kid's block again.

As he approached the house, the blond vampire saw an odd shape out on the roof. He sped up just as it began to move down the shigles. Only vampiric speed let him catch the thing before it managed to hit the ground. "Wot do ya think yer d. . . nibblet?"

The wide, dark eyes stared up at him and a huge smile threatened to take over the boy's face. "Hey! You're back!"

"Ya stupid ponce! Wot were you thinkin' climbin' out on a roof alone in th' dark o' night?!"

Xander smiled wider and grabbed Spike's hand, "You paint your nails!" He giggled.

The vampire closed his eyes and counted to ten. Then counted backwards for good measure. "No changin' the subject bit, ya could 'ave 'urt yerself."

The boy looked ready to cry and Spike cursed under his breath.

"Oi, don't do that!"

Xander sniffled, "What?"

"That crying thing. Don't do it."

A hiccuping sob came before the next question. "Why?"

"'ll get snot all ovah m' coat."

"Why?"

"Cause you whelps leak all over the place when yer crying."

"Why?"

"Cause. . ." The vampire stopped and glared at the now giggling child in his arms. "Why ya li'l nonce."

"What's a nonce?"

"Ah ah ah, no more questions till ya answer mine. Was the deal las' time right?"

Xander frowned but nodded.

"Now, what were ya doin' on the roof?"

"Looking for you," he chirped happily.

Spike blinked and stared at the boy. "Why?"

"Cause I missed you!" He giggled and threw chubby, child sized arms around the startled vampire's neck.

Spike stiffened and looked down the street on all sides quickly, if another demon saw this he'd never live it down! "Oi, bettah take this inside, yeah?"

The little boy nodded and whooped happily as Spike swung him into a one handed grip and began to scale the tree under the kid's window. Once they reached the roof, Xander slid inside and waited for Spike. He blinked when the vampire placed his hand flat against the opening like the glass was down and window closed. "Woah."

"Barrier luv, gotta ask me in," he reminded.

Xander studied the hand carefully, looking for a place it dipped in just a bit more to see if it was a trick. Nothing. He poked the hand and his finger touched flesh. "How does it work?"

Spike shrugged and took his hand away, crouching low so his face was even with the opening, "Don' know, jus always been tha' way."

The boy poked his finger through again and Spike nipped at it playfully, earning more giggles.

"ALEXANDER!!! GO TO BED!"

The kid eeped and shot out, "okayspikecomeinnow." Before dashing under the covers like that would convince his parents he was sleeping.

Spike rolled his eyes and slid inside, peeling back the blanket, "Ya know the' won't wash with the parentals right luv?"

"Huh?"

"Won't work."

"Oh." Taking that to mean he didn't have to hide anymore, Xander flung the covers off of him and climbed onto Spike's lap, "Open your mouth."

"Wot?"

"Do you have fangs?"

Spike rolled his eyes again, wondering why he'd purposly walked into this. "Not in this face."

"You have another face?! Like a mask? Can I see it? Is it real?"

"'s like this." If the vampire had thought his game face would scare this kid he'd been sorely mistaken. Xander looked ready to vibrate right onto the floor.

"Wow! Cool! Can I touch it?"

Spike ran all the different ways he could take that and decided that the kid wouldn't know how to respond to most of them, so he shrugged. "Yeah." Even knowing it was coming, the touch of those little hands was a shock. He hadn't really been expecting the kid to have the nerve to do it. Tiny fingers pressed lightly against his ridges, tracing first his forehead, then his cheeks, then his nose. Hell, the little brat even managed to get into his mouth and touch his fangs. The vampire was basking in the warmth that followed the touches. Without knowing it, he bagan to purr.

"Are you like a kitty?"

"Huh?"

"You purr."

"Oh bloody Hell."

The sound of footsteps down the hall made them both tense and Xander pulled the covers up over his head again while Spike dropped to the floor and rolled under the bed.

The door opened and Spike watched bare legs and feet covered in fuzzy slippers walk toward the bed. "Xander honey, do you know what time it is?"

Spike could hear the blanket rustling, he could almost see the kid peeking with only his eyes out. The image was confirmed when the boy's words were still muffled by the blanket. "Bed time?"

"Cute mister, but not going to work." The woman's voice held laughter in it, as if they'd done this many a night.

"Uh. . . night time?"

"It's two in the morning."

"But I don't have school. It's summer!"

"You are not going nocturnal on me."

"Huh?" the sound wasn't muffled anymore, kid'd finally come out from under the blanket.

Xander's mother had a smile in her voice when she spoke to him, "Nocturnal is when someone is awake at night and asleep at daytime."

"Like a vampire?!"

"I was thinking an owl, but vampires too I guess. Where did you hear about vampires?"

"Spiderman!" He bounced and Spike flattened himself to the floor to keep his hair from getting caught in the springs.

"You and your comics." She sighed, "Go to sleep okay? I'm still waking you up by nine."

"But it's summer!" Xander whined.

His mom micked his tone, "but you're ten!"

He giggled and Spike could hear him getting tucked in, and a small sound as his mum gave him a good night kiss, "Mom?"

She sighed and flicked the light off, "Quickly Xander."

"I have a monster under my bed."

Spike almost swore out loud.

"Really." Xander's mum obviously didn't believe him.

"Can I keep him?"

She chuckled, "You aren't scared of him?"

"No, Spike's a good monster."

"Tell you what, you go to sleep right now, and you can keep your monster."

"YES!"

"Shhh." She laughed, "Sleep now."

"G'night." He waited until the door clicked shut then looked over the side of the bed. "I get to keep you," he whispered.

Spike pulled himself out from under it and up into a sitting position next to the bed. "'m I ta be a kept vamp then?"

"Yep." He giggled.

"Need a collar then don't I?" Spike teased.

Xander jumped out of bed and the vampire'd eyes widened. He hadn't been serious!

Those little hands tied something loosly aroud the base of his neck and Spike blinked and felt at it curiously. "Macaroni?"

"It's your collar!" Xander giggled happily and climbed back into bed. "I have to sleep now or I can't keep you."

Spike nodded, "Right then. Night pet." He moved toward the window.

"Spike?"

"Wot?"

"Aren't you gonna kiss me g'night? Mommy kisses me g'night."

The vampire rolled his eyes and placed a light peck on the kid's lips, "Have ta listen to ya don' I, bein' yers an all."

The whiskey eyes widened and he shook his head furiously, "You don't really have to!"

Spike laughed and nodded, "know tha' nibblet, wos ju' teasin'."

"Oh."

"Night luv." He slipped out into the night and headed back toward the warehouse. He reached back to untie the necklace and swore when he realised that the thread was thin as all hell and knotted at least ten times over. He thought about breaking it off but the thought of Xander's face when he saw that his pressie was broke made him pause. Finally he just left it where it was.

After killing twenty something demons in the Sunnydale streets, the others learned not to tease the vamp about his new accessory.

Spike walked back into his warehouse and slipped off his clothing, sliding into his own bed. He fell asleep quickly, covered in at least four different kinds of blood and ichor, and lightly touching the dry macaroni noodles around his neck.





3 The Prince of The Monsters

A loud, almost frantic knock on the door of the warehouse, roused Spike from a very nice dream that he forgot instantly upon waking. That annoyed him. He decided to kill the idiot who would knock on a warehouse door such a godawful hour as noon. Stomping to the door, he'd just barely opened it when a bundle of brown, blue and orange came tumbling inside and slammed the door shut, leaning against it heavily and panting so hard it started to cough.

Spike stared at the little, coughing form until the door started to open again.

"Don't let them in!"

"Xander?" Spike pushed the door easily closed and held it with one hand while he knelt before the breathless child. "Wot's all this then?"

Huge whiskey eyes emplored the blond master to keep him safe.

Spike looked more closely then, The boy's dark blue shorts were torn and covered in mud and his bright orange shirt had drops of blood on it. He touched the split lips that the blood must have come from and growled, ignoring the little ten year old's wincing and pulling the door wide open. He grabbed one of the children outside and pulled him in, leaving the rest to stare, "Wot the Hell did you DO you barmey li'l wankers?!" he roared, lifting the boy up by his shirt and watching him kick.

"You can't do anything to me, my dad'll make them lock you up!" The brat bragged.

Spike went game face and further wrinkled his nose in disgust when the kid soiled himself, "Think you can be a big boy by pickin' on Xander? Ya aren't even housebroken yet," he scoffed and tossed the dirty boy back outside and into his friends, "An if your daddy hears a peep about me, I'll rip you open and play with your internal bits while I drain you dry. Understand!"

They whimpered and ran, and Spike turned his attention back to the shivering boy behind the door. "Xan? Come 'ere, lemme see that lip, yeah?"

"'m sorry," he whispered.

"Wot for? Fer commin' ta me when you needed help?"

"I couldn't go home. Dad says I have to fight my own battles. And if he gets mad at me he makes mom cry."

Spike lifted the child up and carried him back into the warehouse to the room he claimed as his lair. He sat him on the bed and pulled the stained shirt off, checking the little chest for any damage before pulling one of his own black T-shirts over the mussed head. He wiped the dirt off of the shorts as best he could and carefully checked the skinned knees for dirt before walking to the door of the room and hollering, "One of you, take the tunnels and bring me first aid shit, such like a human would need." He slammed the door and sat back on his heels in front of the bed, watching the little boy with care, "Yer da's wrong ya know."

Those large eyes stared at him.

"No need to fight all by yerself. No one should have ta do that. 's wot friends are for."

"Jesse and Willow are gone for the summer."

"An wot am I?"

Xander touched the macaroni necklace and smiled a tiny half smile, "My monster."

"Too bloody right! An as yer monster, I'm tellin' ya, I'm always there ta fight beside ya."

"Really?"

"Said so didn' I." Spike got up at a light knock, opened the door, and grabbed a small first aid kit out of a minion's hands before slamming the door again. "Right, let's patch you up then."

Xander winced a bit when Spike poured alcohol over the skinned knees, but it was the only disinfectant in the kit,and the boy never cried out, not even once.

"Yer gonna have one Hell of a shiner pet."

"'s okay."

"'s bloody well NOT okay! Why'd ya let them do this to you?"

He looked down again and Spike swore. Some days you couldn't make him shut up, others you couldn't force three words from him. He pulled he boy's head up and leaned in, licking the split lip carefully, tasting the strong, powerful hint of blood, and helping it to heal all at once.

"'ll get better now," he promised and sat beside the boy on the bed. "You know, I c'n teach you ta fight."

"Really?!"

Spike grinned, there was the bouncing happy boy, he'd known he was in there somewhere.

"Like karate? 'cause Jesse takes karate and he can kick really high and they break boards with their hands and all sorts of stuff, well Jesse can't do that yet, but he's still really good at it. Or Kendo! Willow showed me a picture book with a kendo person in it and he was so cool he could cut a tree in half without even trying, but I wouldn't want to hurt trees cause Willow would be sad if I did but how about judo! I saw this move on a movie where a guy gos Waaa! and he kicks this other guy right over his head!"

"How about we start with street fighting and when you have th' basics we'll go from there."

Xander whooped and threw his arms around the vampire. Spike had been growing used to the spontaneous hugs over the year he'd known his boy, and he gave him a quick hug back before trying to pry him off. Prying Xander in hug mode off was harder than it sounded.

"'Ey! Nibblet! Le'go."

"'m comfy."

He gave up and just held the boy for a while, unsurprised when he felt wetness on his neck and caught the little body trembling again. "Wot is it pet?"

"Do you hate me?"

That caught him off guard, "Why would I do tha' luv?"

"Because you don't visit me anymore. Not since last year."

"Rather thought ya'd be hangin' out with the other whelps. Red 'n Dopey."

Xander shook his head against Spike's neck, "Not always. I like Wills and Jesse, they're my friends. But you're my monster. I don't want you to go away. Please don't go away."

"'m not goin' anywhere luv. Promise. Wot brought all this on?"

"Grandma died," he whispered, "She promised she would go to my birthday party, but she died and she won't be there now and dad's gonna hire a clown just because he knows I hate them. He hires one every year and he laughs at me."

"Xan, humans die. I'm sure she didn' want ta miss yer party."

"But now no one'll be there. Willow and Jesse are gone for the summer and I tried to invite Cordelia and she laughed at me and I tried to invite Larry and they. . ."

"Butt monkey Larry?"

Xander smiled a little at that. "He's the one you scared."

Spike grinned. "Good."

The little boy giggled and cuddled into Spike's lap further, arms holding tight.

"Xan, vamps don't have ta breathe, but this can't be comfy for you."

"Promise you wont go away like Grandma did." The little one ordered.

"Can't promise that pet. Even vampires c'n die sometimes, don't see it happenin' ta me any time soon, but it could, an' I'm not gonna lie to you." He rubbed the boy's dishevled chocolate colored hair and sighed, "But I promise to never leave on purpose without saying goodby or bringin' you with me. Deal?"

Xander nodded against his neck again and murmured, "Deal."

Spike gave up trying to remove the clinging boy and just sat there holding him. "So when's this horrible clown party?"

"Two weeks. July eighteenth."

"How's about I stop by after the shindig is over and we c'n have a clownless party. I'll even round up some minions to be guests and entertainment. C'n have it in the cemetary where yer Grandmum is, so she won't miss it afterall."

Xander's eyes lit up and he pulled back to stare at Spike in hope, "Really?!"

"What're monsters for pet?"

Xander squealed in glee and showered the laughing vampire's face with butterfly kisses.

Spike lifted the excited boy up and set him on his feet, "Gonna be dark soon luv, you need ta head home before the other monsters come out to play." He walked him to the outside door and knelt again, placing a kiss on one slightly dirty cheek, "Steal away again tomorrow and come over, an' we'll start teaching you to fight."

"I love you Spike." Xander hugged him once more, "You're the best monster ever."

Spike smiled, "Course I am. Big bad an' all that." He pushed the boy a bit, "Now run home, don' be out past dark."

"Okay!" Xander waved and ran off quickly.

Spike shut the door and turned to the minions, "You all saw the boy," he prompted. When they all answered in the affirmative, Spike moved to his place at the center of the room, "That boy is mine. He is under my protection and if any of you ever see him in trouble, you are to defend him with your lives. If the boy is ever hurt and I find out you were anywhere near, let alone had anything to do with it, I won't kill you. I won't be that kind. Do we all understand?"

He listened to the various answers of 'yes' and 'of course' and similar blather and then nodded and flopped down on one of the sofas, "Oh, an' there'll be a birthday party on July Eighteenth. Eat early 'cause yer all comin' and there's no feeding allowed. Pressies are required. Human type pressies." Spike though a moment and then spoke up again, "C'n any of you gits juggle or som'at?"

The minions wisely withheld any comments about the way their master was acting. They all knew that Spike had chosen the little boy as his. Most of them figured he would turn the child when it was fully grown. Until then, he was their prince as sure as Spike was their Lord. Spike hadn't needed to order them to watch out for the little one. Over the year or so he'd known Spike, the boy had endeared himself to almost everyone of the minions in one way or another, whether by bringing them cookies or kissing their boo boos, or even just being around them without fear. He reminded them of what it was like to be human, without making them feel like being a vampire was a worst thing. The boy was one of them, vampire or not, and though no one would tell Spike, most of them already had birthday presents for the child, tucked away and out of sight.

Anything to make the little prince smile for them.





4 Her Monster in Law

Xander sat at the kitchen table thinking of a wish to make even while his mother was still defrosting the cake she'd bought earlier. He almost knew what to wish, he just needed to say it right. His dad's entrance to the room pulled Xander from thoughts of monsters and birthday hugs and partys with granny Harris at the cemetary. He looked up and smiled.

"So birthday boy, what are you going to wish for?"

Xander shrugged. He really couldn't tell his mom that he wanted to wish that his monster would be his forever. If you said your wish out loud it wouldn't come true. Willow said so, and when Jesse had told them he wished for a pony, he never got one, so saying a wish out loud was strictly forbidden. It would be in the rule book, if he had a rule book. maybe he should make a rule book, willow would help. . .

"Look't him spacing out over what to wish for," his dad laughed, "I noticed those kids haven't been roughin' you up lately."

Xander shook his head, "They're scared of me now."

Tony Harris smiled broadly and nodded, "See, I knew you could take care of your own problems. Bet you'll have quite a name for yourself by the time you start high school, no bullying fer my boy!"

"Tony! Don't encourage him to fight!" Jessica scolded.

The boy has to grow up sometime Jess and this town doesn't go easy on kids. No small town does. So Alex, about the party. I hired . . ."

"I cancelled the clown." Jessica said forcefully.

"Damn it Jessica! He needs to face his fears! He's a fuckin' man and he'll grow up to be strong and he's not gonna be strong if he's scared of fat old men in face paint!"

"Tony! He's just turning eleven."

"Exactly! He's a young man now!"

"Well now he's a young man who won't be spending his birthday hiding from a clown in the linen cupboard."

Xander didn't want this to go much further, he loved his dad, he really did, but he knew his dad's temper, and if he thought he was in the right and someone argued with him too much, he would make them hurt. Xander didn't want his mom to get hit, or cry, and so he sat up straight as he could and bravely declared, "I'm not scared of clowns anymore Dad. They're just fat guys in face paint, just like you said."

Tony laughed and clapped his son on the back, grinning, "See Jessica, he's gonna be a real man, just you watch."

Jessica, who knew her son a little too well, smiled at the boy and winked, then went back to the cake, "I'm sorry Xander, but I already cancelled him, I didn't know."

Xander smiled a huge smile, "That's okay mom, I'm too old for clowns now anyway. Dad doesn't have clowns at his birthday anymore, so I don't need them at mine."

If his dad realized what was going on, he didn't say anything, he just nodded and slapped Xander's back again, then made for the door, "Well, I'm gonna be late to work if I don't go now, so, happy birthday little man."

"Thanks dad." Xander beamed.

Once his father was gone, his mother wrapped him in a tight hug and gave his cheek a peck. "Thank you Xander."

"It's okay mom. He not so scarey when he has a job."

"I know honey. Now, presents or cake?"

Xander looked at her like she was speaking in blaspheming tongues. . . or claiming the pink ranger was the coolest power ranger(when everyone knows the green ranger is the best).

She put cake and presents on the table and crossed her arms, "Well you can't do both at once."

"Bloody Fecking Hell."

"Alexander LaVell Harris!"

His eyes were so wide he was afraid his eyeballs might roll out and get in his cake, which would be really gross, and probably hurt, but he hadn't meant to say that! "Sorry mom."

"I don't know who you've been hanging out with, but that kind of language is not allowed in this house."

"I'm really sorry!" His eyes were watery and he was glad his dad wasn't home because real men didn't cry, but he didn't want his mom to be mad at him! Not on his birthday!

"Well. . . I'll let it slide this time. But you only get one warning, next time I'm washing your mouth out with soap."

"Yes ma'am."

"Now open your gifts and then we'll light the candles and have cake."

He nodded and tore into the bright red and blue paper, making a huge deal over the comic books and the special box to keep them in that his dad had fashioned from leftover material from the construction site, while his mom held the video camera and made a fuss so that Tony could see how much Xander had liked it, if he asked when he got in that night. He instantly changed into his new orange shirt and the bright blue over shirt with wings and key shaped designs all along the bottom and the sleeves. He put on his new black jeans and the black boots his mom had gotten him when she noticed all the mud he tracked around and had decided that he must really love the parks hiking trails. He couldn't wait to show Spike his new clothes! They were even better than his favorites that Larry'd destroyed the day Spike scared him. "They're great mom! Thanks!"

"I know they're not name brand or anything but. . ."

"They're better! The name brand ones never last."

Jessica got tears in her eyes and hugged her son so he wouldn't see them. He was such a good boy, never complaining when they couldn't give him what the other kids had, always smiling over the simplest things. She hoped he never had to change. "There's one more sweety."

Xander searched around and found a small square package. He opened it up and stared at the silver box in confusion. "Mom?"

That one's not actually for you. I saw you looking at it in the store last week and thought maybe your monster would like it.

The little boy stared at his mother in awe and clutched the silver zippo tight in his little fist, the railroad spike decoration on the front pressing into his palm.

"I'm your mother. I know everything," she explained with a soft smile. "Now you need to make a wish, eat your cake, and then you can go to the arcade, okay? And I told your dad you have a sleepover tonight. You have fun at your party, and don't track mud into the house when you get home okay?"

"You don't mind?"

His mom knelt down in front of him and shook her head, "He's your monster after all, right? Just don't swear like him anymore."

"Okay!"

Jessica watched her son blow out the candles and devour the cake at light speed, then he was out the door and she sat down and laughed to herself.

Honestly, she hadn't known what to think when she'd caught the bleached blond punk standing outside her son's window. She'd watched the two of them carefully and hadn't noticed anything strange beyond the fact that it was two am and a twenty something man was sitting on her roof laughing with her ten year old. She'd gone to Xander's room to check on him and there was no one there but the 'monster under his bed'. It wouldn't have even come to mind again except she'd seen her son the week before while she was doing some last minute shopping just after dark.


~*~*~*~*~


He was in the park, with the same bleached blond punk, and going over what looked like strange fighting moves in slow motion. She'd watched for hours until the blond had motioned to someone in the shadows and instructed the smaller man who emerged to get the kid home safely.

Once they'd gone, she got out of the car and approached the man. "Excuse me."

He'd spun and pinned her to a tree so quickly she hadn't seen him move, and his face. . . he really was a monster. Instead of struggling though, she yelled out the thought that had been in the forefront of her mind. "What are you doing with my ten year old son?!"

The man had let go of her and taken a step back to study her. "Sorry bout that misses, only saw yeh once an I was under a bed at the time."

"Xander's monster."

He grinned and lit a cigarette offering one to her, shrugging when she declined. After a moment he snorted, "An' this is in no way awkward." He chuckled and sat on a park bench, stretching his legs out before him.

"What are you?!"

"Vampire. William The Bloody, folks call me Spike."

"Spike. . . you seem very close to my son," she started, and eyed the familiar macaroni necklace at the vampire's throat. She didn't know why she wasn't panicking. Part of her was probably in shock, part in denial, and part remembering her son's smile when he'd been talking on the roof, and just minutes before, when he'd hugged his monster goodbye.

"'e's a bit of all right." The punk, Spike, offered. "I like 'im, my whole bloody effin' court likes 'im."

"Court?"

"Vampire thing luv, I killed ol' bat face that used to run this place, like shootin' fish in the proverbial barrel that. . . now I'm the master. The vamps in this place, most of 'em bow to me. . . bow to yer whelp now too don' they."

"Xander?"

"He's the Little Prince."

"You won't hurt him. I don't know what I can do to stop you, but you can't. . ."

"Not gonna hurt the whelp. Didn't even kill you when I found out who ya were. Told ya di'n I? I like the boy. 'm his bloody monster. Even taking time outta my busy night to teach 'im how ta stand up to blokes like that there Larry and 'is ol man."

Jessica didn't know why, but she didn't doubt that Spike wouldn't hurt her child. . . not in a vampiric way. . . but still. . . "What are your intentions?"

"Prob'ly keep 'im till 'es ripe enough to decide if 'e wants to be one o' us. Maybe turn 'im, maybe fuck 'im, maybe both. Not a saint me, 'm a vampire."

"But not now," she pressed.

Spike made a face, "Wha'd ya take me for? 'm no fucking child molestor."

She read the honesty in those words and nodded slowly. "You'll wait until he's eighteen?"

"Fifteen." Spike bartered, "For one part at least."

She couldn't wrap her mind around her baby doing. . . that. . . when he was still so young! "Seventeen."

Spike rolled his eyes, "Sixteen fer anything below the belt, anything above only if he comes to me. No leading him to it. Deal?"

She didn't want to deal with this monster, but he struck her as someone who kept promises when made, and he'd been good for Xander as far as she could tell from the past year. She felt her heart pounding over how not right the situation was, but. . . "Deal," she agreed and then added, "But you and I are going to meet once a week."

"Wot fer?"

"To talk about Xander, and to trade stories, and because if you're going to be a part of his life I'm not letting you fade into the background. Tony isn't ready for anything like this, but I will not have a member of this family watching from the sidelines."

"Bloody buggering fuck woman! I'm not yer kid!"

"No, you're my monster in law apparently, or you will be." She held out her hand and grinned a bit evilly, "Welcome to the family."

"Fuck, now I see where he gets it, all you Harrises are bloody well insane!"


~*~*~*~*~


She cleaned up the wrapping paper and thought of the vampire that her son had brought home. Most kids bring in strays, Xan just takes it to a new level.

She'd actually talked to Spike twice since then, and he didn't act like she would have expected a monster to act. He drank cocoa, and got mini marshmellows stuck on his fangs, he watched a soap opera, listened to really bad music, but could be caught singing disney songs with Xander if she listened to her son's room late at night. and he genuinely cared about her child. That was what had won his way into her heart. The coldblooded monster loved her Xander, even if he didn't know it yet. She finished cleaning the kitchen and looked out at the bright sun. I wonder how long I have to go, before both of my 'sons' only visit after dark.

She remembered a comment she'd made about Xander going nocturnal on her and laughed out loud, if she'd only known. But her son was smiling again, and standing up to his father in subtle but effective ways. Spike was good for him, and to him.

My son is a little demon prince. . . well, it could be worst.

She wiped roughly at the tears that slipped down her face. And she didn't know why she was crying.

Maybe she was still in shock.




tbc?




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