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Viva Los Xanders: A Father Goose Digression

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This story is No. 4 in the series "Father Goose Tales". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: Six months ago one Xander L. Harris stiffed the Montecito for half a mil and vanished. So Sam Marquez can't believe her luck when she sees who's checking in to the hotel. Xander Faith

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Las VegaslitmouseFR1814,214103412,29012 Nov 0612 Nov 06Yes
White Knight Award logo














Viva Los Xanders

Or

You Gotta Have Fate:

A Father Goose Digression

A BTVS – Las Vegas Crossover

By Litmouse


Disclaimer: BTVS characters and canon belong to Joss Whedon et al.
Las Vegas characters belong to NBC? And or ??
Not to me. So it goes.



This fic was inspired, if that’s the right word, by a comment made by vogonguard reviewing my in-progress fic Loyalties. Couldn’t get the idea out my head so, here it is.

Timelines:
BTVS:
Definitely not necessary that you read Father Goose and the Black Knight to follow the story, but set in the same verse and after the events described there, but in, shall we say, a temporal anomaly: This is something that might happen four or five years later, ergo eight years after Chosen. Xander and Faith are a couple, Giles heads the new Council, etc…

Las Vegas: Think of this as a continuation of the episode “The Story of Owe.

Warning: Some cussin’ and some violence



Samantha “Sam” Marquez strode quickly through the glittery halls of the Montecito Hotel and Casino. She was still jazzed from beating up that loser broad in the back of her limo. That had been almost as good as actually getting the money. Almost.

Now she’d got word that Ed wanted to see her in his office and while that might be a good thing or it might be a bad thing, it wasn’t a thing one wanted to leave hanging. Surely it wasn’t a bad thing. After all it was Ed who’d hooked her up with Pemberton in the first place, he had to know how he worked. She’d got the money. How could that be a bad thing?

“Ah Sam, good,” Ed said as she came into his vast office and crossed to the desk. He had a slight twinkle in his eye.

Oooh, Sam thought, this was going to be a good thing. More money for me.

“Do you remember, from about six months ago, we had a guest by the name of Xander L. Harris…”

“Eyepatch, limp, walking stick, Hawaiian shirts, managed to get himself flagged as a whale, stiffed us for half a mil and vanished. Yeah. Rings a bell.”

“He’s coming back.”

“What? Here? Is he insane? May I?”

“You may. There is a catch though,” Ed said said, sliding a piece of paper across the desk to her. She picked it up, read, said,

“What the hell?”

Well, she supposed it was too much to ask for him to simply show up and hand her the cash, but this… Well, she could already taste her cut of the half mil. She’d figure it out. Forgetting Ed entirely she turned, and walked out, already dialing Pemberton’s number on her cell.



Faith brought the beemer to stop in front to the slightly dilapidated residential motel and held it steady while Xander climbed stiffly off the pillion, pulled his walking stick out of its scabbard and began moving around, shaking the stiffness out. A door on the second floor burst open and a girl came running out, vaulted over the railing to land lightly on the hot asphalt and launched herself into Xander’s arms, Faith smiled hearing the “woof” of air being forced out of Xander’s lungs.

“Hey, Rachel,” Xander gasped out, “Oxygen becoming an issue here, hon,” and sighed with relief as the young slayer released him. She turned, held her hand out to Faith, said,

“Faith,” and they shook as Faith replied,

“Rachel,” in her most formal voice, but with a wink for Xander over the smaller girl’s shoulder.

“So Rachel,” Xander said, “I hear you have this thing in Vegas called ‘air conditioning?’”

The small apartment was a bit faded, but clean, Rachel handed out cold sodas, sat down in a patched La-z-boy and asked, “

“So is there a big bad or did you just come to nag?”

“We were just passing through, Rach,” Xander said, “thought we’d just stop by and say hi. And maybe nag just a little.”

“Yeah, just remember, you and your brother are always welcome over at the slayer house…” Faith added.

“Or to stay awhile in Cleveland, get a little training in….” Xander said.

“And we’re paying your monthly check into an account with your name on it, it’s yours when you want.”

“And above all, remember, you’ve got back up, all you have to do is call. Remember rule one.”

“Don’t die. And we’re done.”

“All done.”

“Look, guys,” Rachel said, I appreciate this, I really do, but taking care of me… that’s what keeps my brother sober, if he knew….”

“Funny, I could have sworn we were done nagging,” Xander said.

“Yes, I believe we were. So, how is Robert these days, still driving the limo…?”

They were still lounging around, enjoying the cold air when the door burst open and slightly overweight young man stomped into the room and slammed a chauffeur’s cap against the wall, cursing his boss and the world in general, slurring his words a little due to swollen lip. He caught sight of Xander and Faith then and stopped, stared a moment, a slight pink flush of embarrassment outlined the big purple bruise that was the left side of his face.

“Ohmigod, Robert,” Rachel said, leaping up, trying to inspect his face, but he pushed her away, gently but firmly.

“Oh,” he said, “sorry, you must be Rachel’s friends. I’m… it’s nothing, Rach, I just need to clean up…”

“Hey,” Xander waving his hand vaguely at his own scarred face, “taken a smack or two myself, man. Take your time, let Rach clean you up right. We’re good.”

Half an hour later, wearing a gauze bandage and a wry smile Robert told the tale. He’d taken a call to pick up some high roller at the Montecito and take her ASAP to the airport. So he’d picked her up, a little resigned, she had the look of someone who lost big which meant he probably wouldn’t be getting a tip, funny how people could drop thousands at the tables and start making it back by stiffing the limo driver his twenty-dollar tip. Okay, maybe not that funny. Then outta nowhere this car went zipping by them, cut right in front and hit the brakes, he had barely been able to stop in time. Had to do it over again he’d just run over the bastards, serve them right.

But he’d stopped, started to get out of the limo and this legbreaker, guy named Pemberton, had a bit of rep around town for being efficient…. Anyway, this legbreaker efficiently popped him one in the face, put him on the pavement. And when the little birdies had stopped chirping and Robert had managed to get to his feet the legbreaker was in the driver seat of the limo and his girlfriend, a hot brunette Robert had seen coming out of the Montecito a few times, even in this town she was a head turner… Or in this case a head-banger, since she was in the back seat pounding his fare’s face into the floor.

Then they’d taken his fare in their car and driven to a bank and he’d followed, waited for the woman to come out, and driven her to the airport. And not only did he not get a tip, the woman had spent the whole trip on her cell phone complaining to his boss that he hadn’t done enough to protect her so, not only no tip, he was fired.

“So,” Robert said, “how was your day?”



Suddenly there was a hot brunette at Xander’s side. Well, another one, besides Faith. She certainly met Robert’s description, right down to the predatory eyes, but surely it wasn’t going to be that easy.

It was just a little before nine the next morning and he and Faith were checking into the Montecito when the clerk’s eyes had widened just a little seeing his name and she’d whispered into her mike and almost instantly the brunette had appeared, introduced herself as,

“I’m Sam, you probably don’t remember me, but I’m so pleased to see you again, Mr. Harris. If you’ll come with me, I believe we just have time to get you in the door before they lock up for the morning session.”

Then she’d taken his arm and turned to Faith, added, “And Ms. Faith, your meeting is just two doors down the same corridor, so if you’ll both just come with me we should just make it. Don’t worry I’ll see that your bags are taken up to your room.”

So Xander gave Faith the ‘Whatthehell?’ look and got the “Beats me, let’s see where it leads” back and off they went.

And so Xander found himself in an intimate amphitheater with elevated rows of plush velvet chairs with folding desktops, the seats occupied by some forty to fifty men wearing….. eye patches and Hawaiian shirts. With a variety of canes and walking sticks in evidence. On the whole the men were brunette, caucasian, but there was a scattering of blondes, Xander counted four men with varieties of Asian features and coloring, at least a half dozen latinos, and five men in shades of black. All manner of body shapes were represented, tall and short, fat and skinny, a couple guys looked like they were taking a day off from their usual pro wrestling gigs, and as many from their chartered accountancy firms.

Xander eased himself into a seat in the back row, leaned his silver wolfhead topped walking stick against the seat in front of him, and tried to reduce the gawking factor, as all the others seemed to be taking situation in stride.

And then one man, with jet black hair and a fairly athletic physique power-limped to the center of the low stage, banged his silver-headed walking stick on the podium and announced,

“Nine o’clock. Lock it down, please, gentleman,” and the uniformed hotel security guards standing at the doors stepped out of the room, slamming the doors shut behind them, in the resulting silence Xander could hear the clicking of locks. The man at the podium nodded at someone in the first row who cut the seal on a thick manila envelope and withdrew a stack of paper which was distributed in the take-one-and-pass-it-along method. While that was happening the speaker crossed to the edge of the stage and pulled a rope causing a banner to drop which read:

Welcome to the

Sixth Annual Meeting of the

Xander L. Harris Doppelganger Society


We are the Ones Who See



Oh god, Xander thought. Oh god oh god oh god. This was terrible. This was horrible. This was the end. If Faith sees this she’ll hurt herself laughing. She’ll rupture something and die. And if she survives, she’ll be giggling for years…
She won’t ever be able to look at me with a straight face again.

He began plotting furiously, trying to think of a way of getting Faith out of the hotel with no knowledge of the horror perpetrated within.

It got worse.

The paper being passed out reached the back row and Xander took the last copy.



Sixth Annual Meeting of the

Xander L. Harris Doppelganger Society


PROGRAM


Welcome: XLH Joseph B.

OLD BUSINESS

Decision of the Disciplinary Committee re: XLH Ryan S.

Moment of Silence for XLH Jeremy K.

PRESENTATIONS


Scamming Demons with an Eye-patch and Smile :XLH Harvey P.

Eye-removal --- is it worth it? : XLH Leonard. L.

Sex with Demons — Vital ….. or Fatal? : XLH Giorgio M.

Working with a “Faith” Too cool or too risky? : XLH Mark. O.

He Had an Easy Charm:
The Time I Met the Man Himself :XLH Ed G.

PANEL DISCUSSION

The Importance of Being Xander: It’s a living… Or a way of life?

XLH Joseph B. XLH Leonard L . XLH Kevin G. XLH Nick B.

The Doppelganger’s Doppelganger: The Look-alike Contest

Judges: XLH Joseph B. XLH Harvey P. XLH Ed G.

LUNCH --- We will join the Ladies in the Oak Room


AFTERNOON WORKSHOPS
(The Ladies are Welcome)

Free Drinks to Bags of Gold: It’s all About Confidence

Led by XLH Joseph B. and F. Maria P.


Eye to Eye: Free Discussion Period:
Members to Share Success Stories and Cautionary Tales

Farewell: XLH Harvey P.

Remember to attend the Banquet in the Pine Room at 8:00 PM
Hosted by XLH Joseph B. and F. Sarah B.
Twinkie Eating Contest at 9:15
Entertainment provided by the
Musical Comedy of the Fightin’ Scoobies Jug Band.



Xander sat back and let it wash over him.

He watched as the hapless XLH Ryan S. was marched onto the stage, his eye patch ripped off and thrown on the floor and stamped on, his Hawaiian shirt torn off his body, his cane broken.

“Remember people,” Joseph B. declaimed. “There is a reason we assign territories. Two Xanders in a demon bar is one too many.”

Xander bowed his head with others as they mourned the late XLH Jeremy K.

“It’s Willow Rosenberg, people,” XLH Joseph B. exclaimed, “NOT Willow Roddenberry. It may seem a small mistake to you, it wasn’t for Jeremy K.”



Sam Marquez sat with Pemberton and Mike Cannon in the main Security Office, playing back a security tape.

“Okay,” Mike said, “this is where we lost him. He’d gone over the half mil mark so we were going down to have a chat and I guess he saw us coming. He went through the slots and started down this hall here and you can see clearly on the tape, he goes into the men’s room. Now, I’m telling you, there is absolutely no other way out of that men’s room that doesn’t involve fitting in a three inch pipe.”

“So,” Sam said, “who is that coming out?”

“Yeah,” Mike said, “we had the same thought. But he’s a legitimate businessman, comes in for a weekend once a month or so, usually breaks even, more or less. Has a chain of costume and gag gift shops and a mail order warehouse in Henderson. Name’s Ethan Rayne. Besides, there’s only about a three-second gap between the time Harris goes in and Rayne comes out, maybe a real quick-change artist could do the clothes, but his hair, his age…. No way, short of actual magic.”

“Yeah, right,” Pemberton said.

“So where did he go?” Sam asked.

“No idea. Never saw him again.”

“Until today,” Sam said, “I assume you got a good still of him?”

“Of course,” Mike said, hitting a few keys, and the printer started working.



Xander breathed a sigh of relief as he entered the Oak Room and looked over the motley group of black clad Ladies. To be sure there was a number of women with the bods to fill their black leather out nicely, but there also was a sufficiency of belly rolls in black vinyl to provide adequate ammunition if and when Faith decided to mock the collected Xanders. Balance would be maintained. Life as he knew it could continue.

Or maybe not.

After a brief search he found The Lady Herself seated against the wall, arms crossed, thunder clouds on her forehead, lightning in her eyes.

“Since when,” she snapped, “am I the sidekick?

Xander thought fast. “Take it easy, babe, we just stumbled into this, but you know, if there’s a Xander group there’s gotta be another, like, I don’t know, The All-Faith Society or something.”

“Yeah. I guess.” The stormy weather receded a little.

“Plus, it’s easy to fake being me, all a Xander has to do is pretend he’d gonna call Faith, right? If someone’s pretending to be you, well, that’s a tall order…”

Faith grinned, “Okay, okay, sweet talker. Jeez, if I couldn’t smell them I’d swear some of these broads are vamps, cause no way anyone who can see themselves in a mirror would go out dressed like that. I mean, if you like your food, that’s cool, but don’t wear tight leather jeans if it takes the whole cow to cover your ass…”

They sat for awhile as the line for the buffet began to get organized.

“So,” Xander said, “how’d you do in the look-alike contest?”

“Fourth,” Faith answered, “and you?”

“Fifth. Ed said my outfit was good but I had the walk all wrong.”




With Pemberton trailing, Sam put on her widest smile and moved through the crowd in the Oak Room, murmuring, “Is everything okay here?” like a concerned hotel employee should, all the while checking faces against the image she carried in the palm of her hand. She paid no intention to the women in black, she’d been in Vegas way too long to even notice the weirdness of the average conventioneer anymore, as it was this group was pretty much in the middle of the pack.

She was looking for a certain face, a certain ratio of jaw to nose to brow, a certain height, a certain shape to the ear, and sure enough she found it. Smartass bastard, she thought, he thought he could sneak back in here and she wouldn’t notice, just cause he brought a little camouflage along. She was getting that low down tingle, she could hardly wait to see the look on his face the first time Pemberton punched him in the belly. She marked him in her mind, noted the particular sunset scene on his shirt and eased away to confer with Pemberton in the corner.



Xander watched the hot brunette move along the lunch line, checking faces, trailed by a tall man with buzz cut gray hair, just as Robert had described.

“Hey,” he said to Faith, “you don’t suppose,” and then she hushed him, touched her ear, and he nodded. Waited.

The woman turned away, went to talk to the gray-haired man in the corner then left the room.

“Yeah, that’s them,” Faith said. “For some reason they seem to think you owe them money. They’re gonna come to us, all we gotta do is wait.”

They took their plates of roast beef and mashed potatoes and peas and picked an empty table.

“So, we gonna do anything about this?” Faith asked.

“I dunno,” Xander said, “I figure most of these guys are pretty much full of it, maybe this is the only time they dress this way. Or maybe there’s some local demon bar that tolerates them. But I think some of these guys are really making a living by intimidating demons with pure bullshit. You gotta admit, that takes big brass ones. I think maybe we just leave them be. They seem to know the risks.”

“Maybe so,” Faith said, “but we oughta get royalties or something, ya think?”

Xander waved his hand around, “You really wanna take money off these people?”

“Yeah, point. But thing is, if too many of these assholes are throwing your name around, what happens when it’s really you and the demon has already been burned. They could get testy.”

“Yeah, well, when that happens I’ll just have my sidekick cut their heads off.”

“Now who’s got more sack then sense, smartass,” Faith said.

And then XLH Guillermo R. and F. Maria R. joined them at the table and the conversation turned to leather care and speculation as to the odds that XLH Ed G. had ever really met the man himself.



“No, no, no,” XLH Joesph B. said, as Xander took his turn in the workshop roleplay, “you’ve got to be more….sinister. You’re going with too big a grin, you have to have just the slightest hint of smile. You have to be Xander Harris, the demon has to know that you know that Buffy herself is at your beck and call….. The demon can pay up or die, you don’t care, right? Now try it again.”

“So, how was that?” Xander said a little later.

“Better. Better. Keep practicing, you’ll get the hang of it. But maybe you should stick to scamming free drinks for awhile.”



Sam could hardly wait, she’d just got the word from Danny, Harris and his girlfriend were on their way down to the garage now. The parking garage where she and Pemberton were waiting in his car, parked a couple slots down from the beemer.

It had changed her life, when Ed had given her Pemberton’s number, and she gone with him to make sure he didn’t skim the collections…. That moment when the gray-haired man had punched the first mark in the gut --- the rush. The sense of power, of freedom to do anything. She’d always thought of collecting as a tedious, unpleasant business but it wasn’t …. When she was pounding that woman’s face into the limo’s carpet…. She’d never felt so alive in her life.

The elevator door opened, here they came, all unsuspecting.

And now she was going to get to do it again. Harris’ girlfriend, she didn’t look the type to stand idly by when Pemberton punched out Harris. Sam would just naturally have to take her on herself since Pemberton didn't hit women. She adjusted the brass knuckles she’d bought for the occasion, and opened the car door and got out.



Ed Deline looked up in surprise as Danny McCoy, the Montecito head of security flew across his office and slammed into the bank of monitors on the back wall and lay still in a fetal position. He was followed by Mike Cannon in similar prodigious flight, then several uniformed officers, all landing in heap then those remaining conscious scuttled away to cower in the corner.

The door flew open again and stayed open and a girl dressed in black motorcycle leathers came in carrying the limp form of Pemberton over one shoulder and a weakly struggling Sam Marquez over the other. Behind her came a one-eyed man Ed recognized from the security photos. Harris.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” he blustered, but the man just grinned at him and shook his head, said,

“Go ahead, make my day……. Wait, let me try that again,” he closed his eye, took a breath, smiled thinly and said, “Go ahead, make my day… Waddya think, you getting ‘sinister’? Too much? Too little?”

“What the hell?”

The woman dropped Pemberton on the floor, and flopped Sam down on Ed’s desk. Sam did not look well at all, one of her arms flopped unnaturally, her face was pale and drawn and distorted, her cheeks distended, Ed thought he could see a hint of brass glinting in her slightly open mouth. She moaned softly.

Ed reached for the drawer where he kept his pistol but he woman moved like a snake and beat him to it, popped the clip and shucked the rounds out into her hand, turned and began throwing them unbelievably hard, with each throw came to the sound of shattered glass.

“So,” Harris said, “you know why this is happening to you, Ed? Sheer bad luck. Your boy here,” he gave Pemberton a kick, “punched the wrong limo driver in the face. That’s it…. I figure, someone comes in here, throws away the kind of money it takes most of the world a lifetime to gather they deserve whatever happens to them. So this ain’t about that. And no, I don’t owe you money, Ed, never been here before in my life. You got scammed. Tough titty. But Robert, he’s just a working stiff, trying to put his sister through school, and your boy just fucked up his day like he didn’t matter. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, he gets away with it. But not today. Nine hundred ninety nine times out of a thousand you get to sit up here in your office and let the shit roll down hill. But today, you win the jackpot . Today there’s a little blowback. Left or right?”

“What?”

“I’m gonna break your face,” the woman said, joining the conversation, “you want it from the left or right?”

You are going to break my face?” Ed said.

“Yeah. Normally, I don’t hit humans, but you sitting up here like a spider, feeding off people's weakness and stupidity, you got a little touch of the vampire about you, so I’m cool. Left or right? …. Fine, I’ll decide.“



“So,” Faith said, “shall we take gray-hair with for Rachel to play with or…”

“Nah. Don’t want to start any bad habits. We’ll just say we took care of it and look sinister. Joe B. said I need to practice my sinister. All about the attitude.”

They turned to leave the trashed office.

“What we gotta do now,” Xander said, “is find out if there’s Doppelganger Societies for Will and Buffy and, oh, please let it be so, Giles, and we have to find the meetings. We have to go. And get pictures.”

-30-



A/N: In point of fact, “The Story of Owe” is the only episode of “Las Vegas” I’ve seen, and I don’t plan to see another, not with the sound on, anyway.

It may be that Sam Marquez usually spends her time rescuing puppies and helping Ed Deline pass out hot meals to the hungry. But in light of the ep I saw, if they got bashed, I say they had it coming.

The End

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