Xander woke crying on their third day of freedom… he couldn’t seem to control it… the black hole of life, death, whatever, was consuming him. So he cried. Last time the hormones had been withdrawn it was controlled, gradual, monitored. This time they had simply stopped. So he cried and Spike held. He knew some of the changes in him would not reverse, but the mood swings and depression had to go eventually…. He hoped, Spike hugged.
He was thankful that the small boys forgot to come the following day. The four friends had food and now Xander knew where to go, water as well. The other three managed a trip to the water tank around midnight on their second day in the barn, washing carefully and taking time to admire the myriad of stars, and smell the fresh air. It was Eddie’s turn to cry.
The boys arrived with food and a bottle of root beer in the afternoon of the third day in the barn. Xander had been quietly crying again, he couldn’t say why this time, but wiped his face and eased down the ladder to spend some time chatting to the curious boys. Still red eyed, he was asked to spit on his palm and shake hands (the spit, a sign of solidarity apparently) then promise not to ‘dob them in to Pa’.
The younger lad was now sitting on an old saddle slung over a low horizontal bar swinging his legs in a parody of riding a horse. He turned with a thoughtful look, “You ever played baseball mister?”
“Sure” Xander snorted a little at the notion, “but it’s been quite some time.”
The older one was leaning chewing a piece of hay for effect, accidentally chewed off the end and spat dramatically before asking, “You any good?”
A quiet reply came, “Not at pitching, OK batter.”
The younger one added, “In summer we’re allowed out after supper and the Hyland boys c’n play then too. That’s only a month off.”
The older one, Chad, narrowed his eyes and looked hard at Xander “Can you throw far… ‘cause you don’t look very strong.”
“Don’t be mean.”
“Well he don’t and anyways… d’ya need that arm what’s broken?”
Xander knew they could not stay hidden here for a month so throwing arms didn’t matter. He replied simply, “s’ OK throw with the other…”
“Great! We need an outfielder ‘cause Bobby here never catches anythin’!”
The door of the house banged shut and a female voice yelled, “Boys? Dinner!” There was a pause, “Now don’t y’all go makin’ me yell again! Come in right now or I’m sending your Pa to git ya!”
Xander had been remembering his own ‘house rules’ baseball with Jesse at that age, but snapped to as the insistent call came…
“Ya better go hide, mister… If Pa has ta come, we’ll git a hidin’.”
The two lads scrambled to the door, taking Jake with them and ran across the yard. Xander took their evening meal up the ladder and settled back into the igloo. They all heard the woman…
“Watcha all doin’ in the barn now? You better not be messin’ with your Pa’s tools or there’ll be hell ta pay…. Now git inside ‘n eat.”
Xander smiled sadly. He remembered similar comments, not about a barn particularly but about being late for dinner. But he was no longer a child, no longer even judged a ‘human’, no longer… anyone…really. None of them were and that alone was a death sentence if they were found.
It was day five of their time free, and Xander’s broken arm still throbbed but that was the least of his physical symptoms now. He had the mother of all headaches; his tiny breasts ached and the nipples were overly sensitive to every touch; the muscles around his balls pulsed with a strange nervous twitch; and he itched all over. In a bizarre twist of fate, he felt as horny as a teenager. He told Spike, who tried to help, but they had both shed a tear as the deft hand was unable to stimulate anything resembling an erection and the previously irritated scrotum apparently shriveled in sympathy with the lax phallus.
The torment continued the next day and the one after that. A week of nipples as hard as rocks, and a penis that neither recognized its owner, nor the inner (very urgent) ‘need’ of the rest of the body it was attached to. Spike felt helpless, so just held on as his friend quietly.
On the seventh day, as Xander suffered, Eddie offered that there might be some merit in ‘sexual congress’ between Xander and his ‘friend’. Xander snorted, yet closed his eyes and seriously considered. Jonothan made no comment, he rarely ever spoke more than a word, the toothless mouth causing him to lisp embarrassingly and spray spittle every time. Instead he stunned his three friends (and thrilled one of them) by baring his own behind to the blue speaker. The vampire had struggled a little with his still splinted leg in their small abode, then stared suggestively at his, hopefully interested friend, now lover. Eddie grinned, blinked slowly with his still intact eye, slicked himself with a handful butter from the stick that Xander’s little friends had provided with ‘dinner’ (somehow they had mistaken it for cheese), and with no further adieu, proceeded to bury himself balls deep into the vampire.
Spike and Xander gave them some space… moving ‘out’ for the ensuing hour or so of the evening. It was by Spike’s estimation, after midnight as they lay on the straw of the open hay loft, having politely abandoned their igloo hideaway to the amorous new couple. It seemed that the talents and sustainability of the blue demon suited the vampire.
Sadly, Xander was weeping again. Spike reached for the hand and held it…then pulled him in close and cuddled, just for comfort, in friendship. Xander had listened to Eddie, wished he felt normal, wished he was gay. But it was more than that… it had been so long… He just desperately wanted to feel... He figured it was still the hormone changes, but he knew he loved Spike… as more than a friend. He wondered if he would still feel like this after his body hair thickened again, wondered if it ever would. For the first time he wondered if he and Spike could ever be lovers, they had been through so much together…. But somehow he figured he was too freakish now for anyone to truly love him. He was desperately trying to stay quiet but a huge sob escaped…. Spike tightened his hold.
Minutes passed. Xander finally relaxed and turned to face his friend. They both felt it. Spike leaned down, Xander closed the distance and they kissed truly, in freedom, and for the first time. Noiseless was a given, tentative was the beginning, passionate followed the second minute, and after that came desperately and amorously and for…. They lost track of time, but were eventually invited back into their hiding space by a ‘psssst’ from a very satisfied looking Eddie and the gummy grin of Jonothon.
They had been utterly awake and painfully, tensely silent for nearly four hours as ‘Pa’ tinkered with the tractor and continued to come in and out of his barn. It was a Sunday apparently and he was not in a good mood, grumbling to himself constantly.
“Preacher man needs a pitchfork up his arse! Since when has anyone prayed for a bunch of demon lovin’ idiots. Worse’n all them black lovers in the sixties.” Sounds of boots stomping out, then metal against metal as the engine rocker is removed.
“If’n I ever found one of them freaks on this property… pigs ‘d have a good meal that’s for sure.” Boots stomping inside again.
“The nerve! Lecturin’ us honest folk.” The footsteps went outside again.
A loud clanging followed, “Sweet Jesus! May!! May!! Send one of the boys out. Quick smart like!” The back door banged against the house, they all knew that sound too well.
“Whatcha hollerin’ about now?”
“Dropped the wrench… and ahh Hell woman!… Just send out one of the kids!”
“Don’t you go cussin’ at me mister… I saw ya sleepin through the sermon! It’s a wonder our lord don’t just strike you down right here!”
A more pleading voice replied… “Please May!!… You can beat my white behind ‘til the cows come home …. later! Please!! Just git Chad or Bobby??!! I got three fingers holdin’ half a tractor engine here and I’ve dropped the darned wrench.”
They stayed silent, they stayed hidden, but they could not risk staying for much longer.
The following day Xander chatted to the boys after school. The genial tone of an ‘older uncle’ was easy. He asked them about school; about baseball; thanked them again for the food; let them poke at his still very sore and broken arm; let Jake lick him and petted him in return.
Then finally struck up the courage….
“You guys have saved my life….. you do know that right?”
Bobby was instantly wide eyed with amazement. “So we’re like heroes or somethin’?”
“You are to me.”
Chad smelt a rat, “You’re not stayin’ are ya!”
“I can’t keep askin you two to help… but I tell you what, as soon as I can I’ll come back and I promise, I’ll be a little better than I am now… I promise…” Xander trailed off, wondering if this would be the moment the children gave him up.
“It’s OK mister. We figured you would have to leave sometime. But Jake still thinks you’re cool, so we do too.” Xander was sitting on the floor of the barn and as if to illustrate the point the large dog licked Xander’s face, then plonked himself down on the human’s skeletally thin feet.
Bobby looked more thoughtful than usual then offered, “Whenever I leave home I take a sack and some extra stuff. Do you need extra stuff? I’ll git it for ya, but ya can’t have Nilbert.”
Chad rolled his eyes, “You dumbass….” He looked knowingly at Xander. “Don’t worry about it Nilbert is a dumb stuffed bear.”
Xander saw the argument getting louder, it was their last day here, he did not want to attract attention, “Hey, hey…. No Dilbert …got it.”
“Sorry, of course… Nilbert…”
Chad spoke again after a pointed look to his little brother and a ‘put upon’ sigh, “Anyways… I reckon you’ll want some clothes and bit of food… and hey there’s an old guy…. Um lives off of Battle Lands Creek a county over. They reckon he’s mad but I figure you’re gonna need ta git a job sometime… and Pa reckons he’s only mad ‘cause he keeps takin’ in strays.”
Xander simply nodded and mumbled “Thanks.”
The two returned with a frozen loaf of bread and a few apples, plus a handful of old clothes.
Chad spoke first, “We couldn’t getcha more mister. Mom’s kinda mad with us right now cause we had to tell her we gave the butter to Jake, ‘n now she won’t let us in the kitchen.”
“Or the pantry!”
“That is the kitchen you idiot!”
“Gahhh you are just so dumb”
The two forgot about Xander as he examined the booty. Two full sets of clothes. Added to the admittedly oily flannel shirt and set of soiled women’s riding breaches, they would all be in somewhat ‘normal’ clothes… Still no shoes but beggars can’s be … and all that.
“I hate you!”
“I hate you more!”
“Care factor minus five!”
“You don’t know what that means!”
He could hear them still fighting as they entered the house. He sent a blessing for their innocent generosity to whichever deity looked after little boys, then climbed the ladder for the last time to distribute their newly acquired ‘wealth’.
Somewhere around one AM four silent figures climbed down from their hiding place, exited the building and made their way toward the trees again. Xander stopped to pat Jake and gave him the rest of the butter. The dog licked him with gusto then turned to consume the unexpected treat.
After The Fall: 6