Title: The Hardest Thing 3/5
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Alex Krycek belongs to Chris Carter, etc. Dawn and the other Buffy charcters belong to Joss Whedon.
Spoilers: Season 5 end Buffy, AU Season 9 end X-Files.
Summary: "I missed it. Like I miss everything else in their lives."
Authors Note: Huge thanks to SiN for looking these over for me.
I'm home, but right now it's a little hostile. They haven't given me a chance to explain myself yet and they're all a bit pissed that they can't get Dawn, who they won't listen to, to leave this stranger alone.
"Dawn! This guy could be dangerous, we don't even know him!"
"You don't know him Xander, you."
"Dawnie, why don't you come and sit here on the sofa, you're crowding the poor man."
This Tara girl's a little more subtle than Xander. It still doens't work, she's still sprawled across my lap. I'm resisting the urge to smirk, it wouldn't help my case.
Why are we waiting? Anya and Giles need to close the Magic Box and they 'suppose' they should wait for Spike. The cheek! This guy is helping to keep them safe, he's helping Dawn and they 'suppose' they should wait!
We're in the main room and the front door opens, it's Anya and Giles. Anya's floored by my presence, they were just told it was an emergency.
"Dawn, why are you sitting on the strange, but hot man's lap?"
"Anya, hon, why don't you come sit down?"
Xander, skirting the subject again. Anya sits down and has a whispered conversation with Xander. Probably asking if they can tell everyone of the engagement yet.
How do I know? They're making me wait, you can wait too.
Giles has a puzzled look on his face, but he sees Dawn looking more at home than she has done since Buffy died, so he makes an effort.
"Rupert Giles." He introduces himself, holding out his hand. "You may call me Giles as the children do, if you wish."
"Yes, Xander?" He turns to Xander knowing already how each person in the room has handled the situation so far.
"Alex Krycek." I say as I shake his hand.
"I would guess you have not had much of a chance to explain your presence. If you don't mind waiting a short while longer, we have one more of our number."
I almost laugh at the outraged looks on the faces of Xander and Willow and the half smile from Tara.
"That's ok Giles." I say.
"Would you like a drink? I find that it is often required in tense situations such as this one."
"Yes, thank you, Anya. Do you have any Diet Coke?"
Anya smiles at me and leaves for the kitchen, ignoring Xander's glare, as Spike barges in the front door, he doesn't notice me.
"What's the emergency then? I had a poker game tonight." He says as he slouches into a chair. Then he notices me.
"Right, what's he doing here then?"
"That's what we want to know!" Xander says rather indignantly.
I do laugh this time, he hasn't let me get a word in edgewise yet. Dawn turns to me, a brilliant smile on her face.
"Alex." She admonishes, trying not to laugh herself.
Anya re-enters and hands me my drink, I murmur my thanks.
"Now, if we could let Mr Krycek explain his presence." This from Giles, who seems to genuinely want to know.
"Alex please." I say, then I ask a question I know will at least raise a few eyebrows. "Where's the
The shock is clear on their faces, Dawn answers, she knew how I knew, as did Buffy.
"It's upstairs recharging it's batteries."
"Dawn!" This from an arranged Willow, who then adds, "She, Dawn, She."
Dawn ignores that comment. "He knew anyway, I bet he knew before he got here, and you said they met?"
"He'd know from that anyway."
"Why don't we let Alex explain himself?" This from Giles, clearly getting irritated with all the interruptions.
"As you know my name is Alex Krycek, as you may not know, Sarah, my mother was Joyce Summers' older sister."
"Buffy never mentioned you." Willow countered not quite believing me.
"My job requires that I have a little to no contact with family and friends, and that my existence should be kept secret."
"What are you, a spook?" Xander's catching on.
"I'm an undercover agent for the government. At the moment anyway, my employers are in the process of pulling me out of my current assignment which is why I was able to dissappear for a while."
"How long a while?" Dawn asks, suddenly downcast.
"A month or two, then I have to go back in for the final push."
"Are Mulder and Scully involved?"
"No, but we're hoping to involve them in our attack on the Consortium once I'm out, if we can find them."
"Find them? Oh, yeah, they're on the run, won't the Gunmen be able to contact them?"
"Most likely. And we'll also bring in Skinner, Doggett and Reyes."
"Hold on a minute." Willow this time, "You say you're a secret agent?"
I grimace at the term, then nod.
"How come you can tell Dawn all the details then, and let us hear this conversation?" She folds her arms, ha!
"I know all your secrets, why shouldn't you know mine? Buffy and Dawn found out my job the night Dawn and I discovered Buffy's calling."
Before anyone could butt in again I plowed on.
"Dawn and I found out while they were still in LA, two nights before the gym burned down. I told them then."
I then went on to give a basic explanation of the Consortium, my position as an infiltrator in the
Consortium, the aliens and the X-Files.
The Scoobies seemed unable to believe my until Dawn added, "What, you can believe in Slayers and vampires, but not aliens and giant conspiracies? Are you forgetting our own alien problem?"
That swung them a little. Willow spoke next, her and Giles appear interchangable as group leader, with no Buffy to take that place.
"Suppose we believe you, I'm not saying I do yet," She hastened to add, "How do you know our secrets, and how did you know that she was the robot and not Buffy?"
She seems determined to find a hole somewhere.
"This starts with the Initiative." They gasp, "Buffy and Dawn already knew of this."
I squeeze Dawn's hand as they turn to glare at her.
"The Initiative was a branch of the Consortium, I didn't find this out until you knew of them, or I would have sent news earlier. By the time I discovered the Consortium's connection to Sunnydale, Walsh had already started her own side project, which when found out was fully endorsed by the Consortium, the perfect super soldier."
A shudder does the rounds of the room, I appear to have broken them of their incessant interruptions.
"The Initiative had cameras across Sunnydale which have since been under the control of the main branch of the Consortium. This house doesn't have any, neither does Xander's apartment. Giles' home, the Magic Box, the student dorms and many other parts of Sunnydale do, including several near Glory's tower and several in each cemetary."
The shock is once again clear on their faces.
"I had the one in Giles' house destroyed accidentaly several months ago, as soon as I became aware of it. Before the cameras all I learned came from the letters and emails from my girls, Dawn and Buffy. I knew of the robot once it was made. Buffy's final hour was on camera, I caused a technological malfunction so that the tape was destroyed. No one in the Consortium knows that the robot is not Buffy. Even without those tapes I would have known it was the robot when I arrived. My biggest clue, not being recognized by my own cousin. Now if we're done, I believe Dawn is falling asleep. I'll get her to bed and leave you to deliberate my words to form your own truths and opinions."
I get Dawn to bed and enter Buffy's room, the robot is 'asleep'. I sit down in front of the bed so that I am unable to see it and all its paraphenalia. I let myself absorb the room, it tells me of my cousin, who has done more to save the world than anyone I know, including myself and Mulder.
I finally allow myself to cry, silent tears roll down my face as I remember and console.
Death was her gift, she gave it freely, she's happy now. We can learn to go on, to live as she would have wanted us to.