❯ Child of the Hellmouth – Prologue ( Chapter 1 )
Child of the Hellmouth
word count: 940
Yuyu Hakusho and Buffy the Vampire Slayer do not belong to me.
Walking toward the park he looked around him at familiar houses and businesses, he all looked so small town and quaint, and not at all evil. It was really ironic now that he thought about it. A nice little town called Sunnydale was home to this big vicious evil thing called a Hellmouth. He snickered to himself, whoever named the town was either an idiot or had a twisted sense of humor…probably the latter.
He paused at the sign to Red Fern Park and gazed at the tree just past the playground. That playground was loaded with memories. For a moment he could see his friends again, small figures, visions of the past swinging on the swings, climbing the jungle gym, jumping off the monkey bars. Well he and Jesse had done that, Willow had lectured them and warned them that they’d break something. Which they did. Jesse had broken his right arm and Xander had broken his left, they got matching casts that time, right down to the smiley faces Willow had drawn on them.
Taking a breath he entered the park and headed toward the tree. It was a maple, and bigger than he remembered. He gazed down at Jesse’s impromptu grave. The grass was growing back nicely, and there was a clump of daisies in the center. He sat in front of the grave and reached to stroke the flowers. The ground around them was damp, Willow had been by within the last day to water them. Willow was the only person this side of the Pacific that knew what this place was. The final resting place of a treasured friend. They’d never told Buffy, because…well Buffy really didn’t know Jesse and it made grieving for him easier without her there.
He smiled, though it was slight and not his usual bold grin. �Hey Jesse. I brought you somethin’.� Xander reached into his pocket and brought out a small wooden charm, similar to the key-chain he’d given to Keiko. He retrieved a pocket knife from his other pocket and opened it before cutting into his finger just enough to draw a drop of blood which he then rubbed into the back of the charm.
�This is all I can do for you now.� He placed the charm in among the daisies. �Can’t have a bunch of kids messing with your bachelor pad can we?� His smile was somber and didn’t reach his eyes as he put the knife away and took off his necklace. �Man I wish you were here.� He ran his thumb over the slightly faded emblem on the pendant, the etching of the tiger was a little worn. It had been a gift from Jesse for his thirteenth birthday. �You know I almost always wear this. It helps sometimes, helps me keep you close.�
�My life has gotten pretty crazy lately. I have a brother, can you believe it? And get this, he’s a Demon. In fact he used to be King of one-third of an entire world. How wild is that? I guess that kind of makes me a Prince.� He snickered. �Hey, do you remember Botan? She said she was working the Dale that night…the night you were turned.� His smiled faded. �You know, blue hair, insanely perky, prettiest Grim Reaper around. She’s one of his friends.�
�I spent my summer hanging out with demons, demi-gods, psychics and a reaper. It doesn’t get any crazier than that. Oh, and there’s this Priestess named Kagome, she is hot!�
It’s weird over there man. Almost everyone I met knows about monsters, is crazy strong, or isn’t entirely human. Makes me really glad the demons that hang with Yusuke’s crowd are all good guys, or at least they don’t wanna destroy the world. If someone that powerful opened the hellmouth…well we’d never be able to stop them.�
�I wish I knew what you thought about all this. All Botan would tell me is that you’re okay where you are.� He lapsed into silence, he’d said everything he wanted to…well almost. �I miss you man. Always will.� Xander smiled again and slipped his necklace back on, tucking it into his shirt.
He looked over his shoulder, he’d heard his approach so he wasn’t surprised to see Willow standing behind him. �Hey Wills.�
She smiled until she noticed a vast difference in her appearance. Xander! Your hair!�
He grinned at her. �I thought it was time for a change.� He stood and hugged her. �How was New York?�
She beamed at him and he could sense a babble coming on. �I got to see all the museums and science exhibits! All the mainstream ones anyway. Oh! And there was this really neat…stuff that would have really bored you to tears…�
He laughed. �But you loved it.�
She nodded. �So how was Japan? ‘Cause you only feel the one post card.�
�It was interesting. One of Yusuke’s friends has a crush on me.�
Her eyes narrowed a bit, growing wary. �Is she pretty?�
He grinned at her, his own mischievous eyes. �I’ll tell you about it over a yoohoo.�
Their eyes were drawn to Jesse’s grave.
�The flowers look good Wills.�
She nodded. �Jesse’s mom always liked Daisies.�
She cleared her throat. �So, yoohoo. You don’t even like yoohoos.�
�No, but Jesse did. Come on. I’ll tell you about Kurama.�
She pouted this time. �She must be really pretty.�
Xander snickered. �Believe me, he is.�
She sighed. �I knew it…wait…what?�