Characters: Xander, Willow, Clown
Summary: Xander is faced with his worst nightmare.
Word Count: 400
Written For: wallwalker’s prompt ‘Any, Any, Clowns (Phobias],’ at fic_promptly
Disclaimer: I don’t own BTVS, or the characters. They belong to Joss Whedon.
Xander lives on a Hellmouth, one of his best friends is the slayer, he helps her fight demons and vampires, and yet even now, he’s still terrified of clowns. The irony doesn’t escape him, not that it helps any in the current situation. The moment he sees that white-painted, smiling face, the colourful clothes and big feet, he’s six years old again at his birthday party, too scared to do anything but scream, and run for his life. But his legs won’t cooperate.
Almost immediately, he stumbles and falls, then has to scrabble away on hands and knees. It’s odd; he doesn’t remember the clown at his party having a knife, but in this nightmare, the wickedly sharp blade it holds just adds another layer of blind terror. He doesn’t know if it’s possible to die in a nightmare, but he’s not eager to find out. Getting away is the only course of action he can afford to consider, so that’s what he does.
Finding Willow should be a comfort. Two of them are better than one, right?
The clown isn’t that fast, but it’s still coming and still armed. Standing around comparing notes isn’t a good idea; running is better, except… Is this how it’s always going to be? Is a phobia developed in childhood going to rule him for the rest of his life, even in his dreams?
‘I fight vampires,’ he tells himself, stopping his headlong flight. ‘This is just a clown. Clowns are just people in suits. They’re supposed to be funny.’ Anyway, Xander isn’t six years old anymore. He’s sixteen, and he’s had enough. The knife doesn’t even look all that sharp. Well, maybe it does, but that’s not the point; this is just a bad dream.
Striding back down the corridor, Xander stops dead (which is probably a poor choice of words, but who cares?) in front of the clown, and as it raises its knife, he punches it full in the face. ‘Didn’t expect that, did ya?’
The clown goes down like a brightly coloured sack of potatoes, and stops moving, probably unconscious.
“You were a lousy clown!” he tells it. “Your balloon animals were pathetic! Everyone can make a giraffe!”
It feels good, oddly liberating. Xander’s not convinced he’s beaten his phobia for good, but he’s taken the first step. Now all he has to worry about is escaping the nightmare!