On a Stranger's Front Porch
I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Magnificent Seven or the AU universe of the show set in the modern day ATF.
For Buffy the story occurs after "Chosen" and Magnificent Seven there are no spoilers.
A letter for me to read when I turned twenty three, that is how she tells me. Nice stationary and big city lawyer who made a show of turning it over to me, acted like he was handing me the location of the island of gold in that pirate movie the girls love. I'm so freaked out I can’t remember the name of the movie. Pompous git had no idea what he was handing me.
"My Dear Baby,
You came home from school early today. The only details I could get from you is that a bigger kid tried to bully a friend of yours, so you stood up to the bully. He won, and you knew that would happen before you tried to make him back off. You get that from your father. The man you have called dad, my husband, is not your father. During a wonderful summer I dated an amazing guy. We spent all our time together, but life pulled us apart. A couple of years later my mom died and when I went back to sell her house, he was in town also. One evening we got to talking and had a wonderful, unforgettable night. Three days later I came home and never spoke to him again. I don't even know if he is still alive. Two months later I found out I was pregnant. This is the only time I have and will share the truth. You are undoubtedly one of a kind, but still his son. I am often reminded of that summer and that man."
She goes on to write his name and she loves me. Why didn't she tell me?
I found him. In between tracking down slayers and getting our feet below us again, I made use of our only computer. Took some fighting for time on the computer and a while to track him down. He has a nice front step. Got a doormat with a pretty picture, a couple of blooming plants, Mums I think, a funny knocker on the door. I don't know how long I've been standing here. Is Mom's letter true? Is this guy really my father? Would he have been there for my birthday? Would he have remembered my Graduation? Would he have been a Dad? But what if he had been worse? Worse than the jerk I thought was my father? Hard to imagine but very possible.
I have Giles. We all have him. He'll never admit it and neither would we, but Giles is our Dad. I don't need to knock on this stranger's door. I've grown up, I don't need a dad to run to when the bigger kids make fun of me or beat me up. We have our family. Who ever this guy is, he sure doesn't need a Scooby knocking to turn his life upside down. I have my family, Dad of G-man, Siblings of Scooby’s, and all the new slayers to ride herd on.
As I tuck my hands in to my jacket pockets I step down the two steps away from the stranger’s door. Yeah I don't need to meet my very possible real father.
You’ve been standing there a while. You haven't rang the doorbell or knocked. Who are you and what do you want kid? You drove up just fine in your rental car, so you don’t need to call for a tow truck. If you want to stand there staring at the paint on my door go right a head. Okay kid, that's the forth time you've reached into your pocket, stop it or I'm opening the door. The boys were aggravating at work and don't stand there long enough for me to take it out on you. Come on kid, it's gotten old, bang on the door already or leave, just do something.
That smile. I only caught a glimpse of it as you started to walk away back to your car. I'm sure I've seen it before somewhere. Who are you?
Still on their first mostly full drink, sat a quiet stool occupant at the end of the bar intent on their project. An ice cube had melted on the bar surface, after dipping the bottom of a salt shaker into the puddle small circles were pressed into a napkin.
After ordering his drink a no-nonsense looking man allowed his gaze to sweep over the other patrons in "The Saloon." Recognizing someone he moved to stand behind the napkin design maker. "Why did you stand at my door for close to an hour yesterday?"
"You saw me, huh?" Not turning to face the home owner, little circles were now being over lapped.
"I was hoping I wasn't noticed. You're not going to buy I was lost and chickened out on asking for directions, are you?" Not waiting for an answer the young man shifted his weight to reach into a pocket. Pulling out an envelope he blindly thrust it behind him, not wanting to see who might be his father or his reaction. "I have no idea if what she wrote was the truth or if it's one big ol' lie."
The man open the envelope flap and pulled out a folded sheet of paper, after he had a moment to read he studied the back of the young man's head after he heard a quiet request asked, "When you leave, please don't take my letter."
"Why would I leave?"
"Why should you stay?"
"This letter says I'm your father."
A choked off laugh, "Do you believe everything strangers give you?"
"Why would Jess lie?"
The young man spun around so quickly he nearly slid off the stool, "How do you know her name?"
"The summer she mentions, we really were inseparable." The man faintly smiled as he refolded the letter and slid it back into the envelope. "My son Adam would hide my car keys hoping that I would stay home with him. He would tell me ‘I haven't seen your keys, Daddy.’ and be impishly grinning. You had the exact same look on your face last night when you stepped off my porch."
The two men stared at each other, oblivious to the rest of the bar's occupants. "Genetics or not, I'd like to get to know you."
The younger man intensely studied the older man who was waiting for an answer. Thrusting his hand out he announced. "Xander Harris."
Relaxing, the now smiling man answered, accepting the hand. "Chris Larabee."