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No Longer the Zeppo 3

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This story is No. 5 in the series "No Longer the Zeppo". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: This is the 3rd installment to my NLTZ series. It is set about 3+ years after NLTZ 2. Alex/Xander is still living in San Francisco and unfortunately for him, his Hellmouth-y past rears its ugly head, disturbing his life.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Kindred: the EmbracedShannonKFR152054,124213939,55717 Jun 0726 Sep 07Yes

Epilogue

Epilogue

Disclaimer: I do not own, much to my displeasure, any BTVS or KTE characters you may recognize. I am just borrowing them for a bit and plan on returning eventually, though they might be a bit scuffed. The characters that you do not recognize are mine to use and abuse.

Warning: Potty language

Quick note: I totally thought I had posted the epilogue, but hey! I didn't. My bad - sorry!!! No wonder I hadn't gotten any comments about this last part.

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The figure hurried down the bricked in street, careful to stick to the shadows and to not trip over the uneven surface beneath his feet. He was followed by another figure, just as careful and silent as he.

He carefully checked the poorly lit building numbers, looking for Via Gozzadini 69, a one bedroom-apartment that his prey kept, separate and away from headquarters, apparently to maintain a sense of balance and preserve what little privacy the man had these days.

Lucky for the predators that were now standing outside the door of the building, the privacy so desired would work in their favor.

The lead figure stood in the shadows cast by a lone lamp that light the entry-way into the building. He checked his watch, impatient with something not defined. Anxiety and worry hung about him like an oversized coat. The weight of the coming confrontation weighed him down more than what the burden of the world did to Atlas.

“Where is he?” the dark figure hissed, impatient for the arrival of his mysterious associate. They had agreed to meet the third member of their party outside of the apartment at two in the morning, and now he was late.

“Here,” came a quiet whisper, a shadowy form appeared out of nowhere. “I checked and he’s alone. His apartment is on the top floor. There’s a fire escape leading from a rear window. All of his neighbors are asleep and he’s in his living room, reading.”

“Security?” the first figure spoke softly, his eyes fixed not on the new arrival, but on a third story window in the weathered limestone structure.

The third person shook his head. “No alarm system is being used. He has just a deadbolt and a chain on the front door. He feels pretty secure I would say.”

“I would say he’s grown soft and complacent since they moved their headquarters to the Eternal City,” Alex observed, his voice kept low, but easily heard by Cavan and Lonnie. Kindred hearing was much more acute than a human’s ability to hear even the quietest sounds.

“You ready for his Alex? You know we’ll take care of it for you,” Lonnie offered, his focus was on his fellow Gangrel, watching him carefully.

“No,” Alex said, his eyes narrowed. “I have to be the one. It’s my fault and I have to be the one to fix it. I won’t be a chicken shit about it.”

“Still, he was the one you considered to be almost like a father to you. You shouldn’t have to do it,” Lonnie said, looking thoughtful. The large Gangrel, who looked like a biker and wouldn’t have the capacity to think of anything beyond how to rebuild an engine or how to kill someone in a creative fashion, was actually one of the deeper individuals within the clan. Of course he could rebuild an engine and knew how to get you to slit your own throat with a toothpick, but he was far from being dumb. He actually preferred it if people did think he was an idiot; they always underestimated him, much to their eventual dismay.

“I want to be the one. I would prefer it,” Alex said heavily.

“Fine, but afterwards if you want to talk,” Lonnie offered.

Alex allowed a ghost of a smile to play upon his lips. “Thanks. I might just have to take you up on your offer,” he shrugged. “Let’s get this over with.”

Cavan nodded and went across the street to serve as the lookout. He melted back into the shadows, determined to keep a vigilant eye out for a possible trap or a late night visitor that would disrupt their plans.

Lonnie also disappeared. Moving a swiftly and silently as a cat, he returned to his perch on top of a neighboring building, watching the street and surrounding area from upon high.

Alex took a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to calm his already fried nerves. Bending down, he examined the lock to the building’s front door. While he figured that he could just kick down the door and get inside just as easy, he didn’t want to leave any outward evidence that he had been there. Also, he didn’t want to risk any excess noise that would draw attention from neighbors or the police.

He forced himself to calm down, ignoring the acidic taste that was traveling up his throat and into his mouth. “Ianua patefacio,” he whispered, lightly touching the door handle. He was rewarded with a tiny click, announcing that the lock had opened. He briefly thought back to the Harry Potter movie Emily had made him sit through, remembering how Harry had learned early on how to open doors with a simple word and a wave of his wand. “I am not Harry fucking Potter,” he muttered under his breath, hating himself for letting that stray thought leap into his conscious mind.

The former Sunnydale resident looked around, finding himself in tiled, but plain lobby. The walls were plastered and painted yellow and white and the overhead light was an iron chandelier that had been chosen more for its durability rather than any aesthetic reason. The only thing of any real importance was the stairs that led up to the second and third floors.

He took the stairs, moving slowly, careful to stick to the shadows that crawled across the walls, and trying to avoid any creaking planks that would give away his presence.

Soon he found himself on the third floor, standing outside door 3C. It was a heavy wooden door, weathered and aged over time. The brass fixtures on the door looked to be in good repair, despite the amount of wear on them.

He steeled himself, and rapped quietly but firmly on the door. Alex stood back from the door and waited for his knock to be answered.

It took a minute or two, but soon the door opened, revealing the head Watcher. He looked a bit thinner, his face a bit more lined, and his hair a bit more sparse. There were crow lines around his eyes that he didn’t remember being there the last time they has seen each other. He was wearing light blue silk pajamas and a red robe. In his hand was a battered paperback copy of An Account of Egypt by Herodotus.

Time really does keep marching on for the humans while we remain untouched, he observed silently, taking in the site of his old friend and somewhat-mentor from his high school days.

“Yes,” he said, a look of confusion on his face, not seeing Alex standing there in the shadow.

Steeling himself, he stepped forward, allowing Giles to see him. “Evening G-man. We need to talk,” he said and pushed the Watcher back into the apartment and closed the door behind him, sealing himself off from the outside world.

The end…for now.

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A/N: Well, what do you think? Crap or not? Hit the shiny review button and let me know what you think.

Well, holy shit! What to say now, but thank you, especially to three every special people out there. Without them (and all of you too, but them especially) this story would never have made it beyond a couple of chapters. I want to thank Lorilei, TAO, and Methos. You guys have been awesome for letting me bounce ideas off you, a bit of proof reading, and me coming to you whining about some odd factoid or two. Thank you for putting up with me and my disturbed mind and ideas. I can’t begin to fully express the appreciation I have for the three of you. You taught me a lot and made me laugh, especially when all I wanted to do was cry – thank you!

I would also like to thank (and forgive me if I misspell your name or if I have forgotten someone): liza123, Mookiefraggle, Matthew Blackheart, Dr. Maski, Aria DeLoncray, tdk9992000, Dracowar, Deus ex Sub Ubi, The War General, Bumpkin (thanks for the prodding), Trimma, da bomb, spacemonkey1129, obsidianpoet, Chaos Ronin, mithrilandtj, Yademost Ebyam, Naïve Ghost, slytherinwinds, Bluesnowman, purrfus, Dragonelf, Mama Lady Wolf, zanfib, LFW, martelcris, Infinix, APS, Bobboky, Mrs. Alfred, Loserpower, RemusCDLupin, Lord Corwin, dharkcharlotte, Wauzi, DofEire, Lanhar, Micah, The Wander, darkbear, Hawklan, Willowfan, wraiths, marcus, MMb, Loisosh, chajalive, michaelangelo, VivianCaidin, Altorian, Kizunakat, and Duken.

I don’t think I am just done with my NLTZ universe because somebody has been feeding the plot bunnies and they are demanding attention. I will not say when I will return to Alex, Emily, and Alexia, but I will return. I need to work on expanding my ideas of another story, plus I want to refocus on my sequel to my SG1 story (yes, Lorilei – nekked Spacemonkeys galore). Anyways, the more reviews you drop me, the more motivated I will be to quickly return to my NLTZ universe. Go ahead, do it. You know you want to hit the review button…

As for Giles…what do you think? I know, but I’m not telling just yet.

Cheers!

The End

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