Title: Play Date
Author: Kath vze25s65@verizon.net
Disclaimer: Believe it or not, these characters do belong to Joss Whedon, David Greenwalt, Mutant Enemy et.al. They're just not usually this short.
Rating: as G as you can possibly get.
Summary: You have to read it to believe it. This goes beyond AU, into bizarro land, where anything is possible.
Spoilers: Nuh uh
Distribution: List archives and anyone else crazy enough to want this.
Feedback: It would make me more than happy.
Notes: One little comment from Indalia, and this is the result. Please, IGNORE all the obvious impossibilities, and accept this for what it is: an unbeta-ed blather that hopefully will make you smile.


Six year old Wesley Wyndham-Pryce sat himself down on the thick wooden plank surrounding the sandbox, being careful to wipe off any dirt first, of course. Pulling out his metal Peter Cottontail bucket, with its matching green spade-shaped shovel, he set to work filling the bucket with sand, packing it down, then turning it over quickly in front of him. Having just received a large picture book about King Arthur for his birthday, the boy was anxious to recreate the magnificent castle he's seen in its colorfully drawn illustrations.

It was hard work, getting the turrets even and building up the walls without accidentally knocking them over with his elbow. Wesley's glasses kept slipping down his nose every time he bent over and he was getting tired of having to push them back up. He had just gotten the third wall the way he wanted it when a shadow loomed over the sandbox, followed by a loud shout.


Wesley fell back onto the grass behind him and barely had time to cover his face as sand flew high into the air. The small, black boy who had swan-dived face first into the sandbox sat up, surveyed the damage he'd caused and grinned broadly. Wesley stood up quickly, as livid as a six year old was capable of being, and shot a glare at his new enemy.

"How dare you?" Wesley stomped his foot for emphasis. The other boy merely leaned back on his hands and looked innocent.


"That was my castle you just smashed. Don't you have any respect for other people's property?"

The other boy stood up and blinked at him. "You for real? You *look* like a kid but you sure don't sound like one."

"I'm English," Wesley proclaimed proudly, as if that explained everything.

"Oh. I'm Charles." He flashed him another grin, then flopped down onto the sand again.

Wesley stared at Charles' torn jeans, grimy shirt and bare feet. "You're filthy!"

The boy shrugged. "Yeah, so." He dug his feet into the sand and watched as it sifted through his toes.

"Doesn't your mother get angry with you for ruining your clothes?" Wesley asked curiously, looking down at his own well-pressed shorts, white socks and sneakers.

"Nah, she just washes 'em." He cocked his head to one side, looking Wesley up and down. "Don't *you* ever get dirty?"

"I'm not supposed to -- Hey!" Wesley found himself abruptly being pulled down into the sand.

"That just ain't *right*, man," Charles laughed. "How can you play without getting dirty?" The two wrestled for a few minutes, with the larger boy eventually pinning Wesley onto his back. Both were breathing hard and giggling.

Wesley was finding it impossible not to like this strange, wild boy. "Let me up," he gasped.

"Say uncle."

"No!" He felt fingers digging into his ribs and let out a high-pitched squeal. "Stop it!"

"Excuse me." Startled, both boys turned their heads towards the new voice. Standing at the edge of the sandbox was a group of girls about their age. The tallest was wearing a red top, red shorts and matching red sneakers. Her long, brown hair was pulled back into two ponytails, tied with red bows, and she was tapping her foot impatiently. "Excuse me, but you're in our way."

Charles was on his feet immediately. "This is a *public* park. We got just as much right here as *you*, Cordelia."

"Uh huh, yeah, right." She tossed her hair. "My daddy's rich. Maybe I'll just tell him to buy this park then no one would be able to use it but me and my friends." Cordelia noticed Wesley struggling to get up and brush the worst of the sand from his hair and clothes. "Who's he?"

"This here's *my* friend...uh, English, and we was just leavin' anyway."

"English? That's a funny name."

"I-it's Wesley, actually." The way they were all staring at him was making him nervous.

Cordelia brushed past Charles and ran a critical eye over Wesley. Underneath the smudges his clothes were expensive, and he definitely didn't seem like the type to hang around with someone like Charles. She then went back to whisper and giggle with her friends. Finally, she announced, "Well, we decided you're kinda cute, so I guess *you* can stay."

"I, uh, thanks..." he trailed off, not sure of what else to say.

"Didn't you just hear what I said? He's with me. He don't wanna hang with no girls." Charles wished he could wipe that smug look right off Cordelia's face. He hated rich kids who always got everything they wanted.

"We've got candy." Cordelia flashed her most charming smile.

Wesley looked at her and her friends, then at Charles, who took a step back and shrugged. "Hey, man. Do what you want. No skin off my nose." He acted very much as if he couldn't care less.

Turning back to Cordelia, Wesley made his decision. "Thank you for the kind offer, but I've already got plans." Without another word, he picked up his bucket and shovel, walked over and slid his hand into Charles'. The other boy was too stunned to speak at first, then returned Wesley's lopsided, affectionate grin.

"C'mon, English, we can go play with my legos."

Cordelia watched as they walked away hand-in-hand, and snorted in disgust. "Boys. Yuck. Who needs 'em?"


~~~The End~~~


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