He should have known better. Hell, he did know better. But that hadn’t stopped him. No, cause he was an idiot sometimes…okay most times. He kept telling himself that as he power walked through the cemetery. Shortcut my ass, he thought angrily as he almost stumbled over another tree root.
A sharp odd sound made him turn around so fast his feet got tangled and he staggered back, landing on his ass in the wet grass.
“Fuck,” he mumbled as he untangled himself and got up again. The sound continued. A sharp whistle that made him shiver. It sounded so lost and frightened. He looked over at the gate leading from the cemetery to the dubious safety of the streets of Sunnydale. He looked back over at the bushes where the sound seemed to come from.
“You know it’s a mistake,” Xander told himself, “You know the second you go over there you’ll get jumped by something big and slimy. Be smart, walk away.”
But he wasn’t smart. People had told him that many times. Teachers had pointed it out, used fine words to hide it but the message had been simple enough. His own father would tell him in no uncertain terms just how stupid he considered his son to be.
Xander walked over to the bushes, closed his eyes and then jumped behind them waiting to be slimed.
He stood there for a second, eyes closed, and still waiting. Nothing. No slime, no claws, no sharp teeth. He opened one eye and scanned the surroundings. The crypts closest to the bushes seemed empty, the tombstones cast long shadows in the ghostly light from the full moon.
“Well…” Xander said, opened both eyes and slowly turned around. If he just walked calmly away, fate might not notice him and he could walk out of the cemetery unharmed.
The screeching started again, this time it sounded heartbroken and strained. It also sounded as if it was coming from somewhere near Xander’s shoes.
He could run. He could just run like hell and not look back.
He was good at running…when he wasn’t falling over his own feet. He ran away from danger all the time. It was his special ability. Buffy had the super strength and the destiny, Willow had the whole witch thing, complete with vamp doppelgangers and Xander?…Xander could run like the wind.
He could dash, he could jog or scamper. Hell, he might even trot.
But no! Cause Xander Harris was an idiot so instead of running like the hounds of hell were hunting him…he look down and saw small blue eyes looking back.
The baby? Demon spawn? The progeny of evil? gurgled at him and drooled. Xander looked around the cemetery again. Maybe the little guy’s mother was out finding some tasty corpse to munch on? And if that was the case then he really needed to get away before she decided she preferred fresh meat.
He knelt down and pulled the dirty blanket closer around the demon baby.
“Sorry, buddy,” Xander whispered, “Gotta go now,” he stood up and started moving away toward the gate. The sad whistling started again. He looked back and sighed. God damn it! He stomped back to the bushes and looked down at the unhappy baby.
“Shhhh,” Xander knelt down and patted the baby’s emerald scaled skin, “Just be quiet, okay?”
The baby stopped crying and grabbed on to Xander’s thumb with its small hand.
“Wow! You’re really strong for a little guy,” Xander tried to pull his hand back but the baby wouldn’t let go.
He was still struggling when he heard some hooting and laughing from somewhere near the back of the cemetery.
“Fledges!” Xander groaned and finally managed to pull his hand back. The baby immediately started its wailing again. Xander took one look at the three fledges, running around chasing each other and coming closer to the gates, before he made up his mind.
“I’m so gonna get myself killed,” he said, grabbed the baby and hurried out of the cemetery.