Title: The Things We Have to Give Up
Disclaimer: I DO NOT OWN. All recognizable characters and situations belong to their respective owners and I make no profit off of playing with them.
Secret Santa For: MICHELLEWINCHESTER
Fandoms: Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Supernatural
Characters: Xander, John, Dean, Sam, Jessica Harris
Spoilers: BtVS preseries, SPN preseries
Summary: John comes to a difficult decision, ones that tears him apart and changes a lot of lives.
A/N: I was happy when I got my assignment because it offered me the characters I knew the best and the verses I loved, not to mention it’s for an author that I admire and enjoy. MichelleWinchester has a great BtVS/SPN story that puts Xander as a Winchester so I am going to do the same in a tribute to one of my favorite fics. Merry Christmas Michelle and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to everyone at TtH :DSunnydale, CA 1981
“Deano buddy?” John tentatively stuck his head in the hotel room the boys were sharing. He leaned against the doorframe watching his sulking 11 year old as he showed a very sure sign of not being pleased, Dean was doing his homework, and it was a History assignment at that.
“I’m busy.” Dean muttered his eyes downcast stubbornly on the open book before him and John was worried. This kind of behavior was common for Sam who at only 7 was showing signs of being difficult and just was stubborn as his old man.
Dean on the other hand had always been entirely too accommodating. Some would even say it was unnatural the blind devotion he gave to his father.
John on the other hand understood and it burned to know he had betrayed his son’s Superman like trust in him.
John watched Dean intently before he declared softly “I know you’re mad at me kiddo this is the way things have to be, it’s better for everyone around, it’s safer for Xander.” the last words were said softly but held a steel of strength and determination.
“I know,” Dean muttered looking up his eyes red rimmed from tears shed previously in the evening “doesn’t mean I have to like it.” he spat angrily.
John sighed coming to sit beside his oldest boy an arm going around his shoulders “I know son, I know.” And he did. He understood with perfect clarity how Dean was feeling.
“We’re ready Dad.” Sam came into the room through the connecting door that lead to John’s room a three year old dark toddler held in his too small arms. Both boys had wet hair and were dressed neatly Alexander Winchester struggling in his big brothers arms to get to his Daddy and Dean.
Sam set him down and Xander launched himself at the hotel bed he often shared with Dean scrambling up and yelling joyfully “Book!” reaching for the textbook to no doubt rip it up as he was fond of doing.
Dean was quick tossing the item on the floor and grabbing the boy in his arms the anger melting from his face as Xander settled into his lap.
“Dean,” Xander grinned delightfully “Sammy and I all got all wet and played with the boats, I was Capn.” the toddler chattered turning adoring eyes up at his oldest and without a doubt most beloved brother.
John loved his youngest son with the same intensity as his other boys but there was no denying the strength of the relationship between Dean and the baby of the family. It was the same closeness that existed between Dean and Sam, that single minded devotion that Dean gave to his younger siblings clinging to the role of protector.
That’s why this was so hard.
Why it was devastating.
There was a knock at the door and panic filled Dean’s eyes and he held the mini version of John closer.
“It’s time Son.” John declared softly walking over to the door and opening it slowly to revel a slim tall red headed woman her mouth set in a grim line and the gold wedding band glinting on her finger brightly.
A woman he had met in a bar, knocked up, and decided incapable of raising his son when she couldn’t car for herself. Three years after he had left with the newborn she had showed up determined after being sober for over a year.
She wanted her son back and she would stop at nothing to get him. She had been willingly to turn over evidence of the way John moved his older sons from town to town to a judge never letting them finish a year of school in the same place they had started. That and evidence of credit card fraud, breaking an entering, and various other crimes that went with hunting.
John had weighed the risks and it had been obvious to him what his only choice was. Xander had a mother who loved him and was willing to step up and be a mother for him, Dean and Sam had only him and he wouldn’t lose them.
Not when the demon was still out there and Sam was still in danger.
Not when he would be depriving them of both their mother and their father leaving them alone in the world.
So John had made a deal with Jessica. He had been in Sunnydale, CA for over a month getting to know the mother of his youngest child and her not to bright and stable husband. They would be the ones to raise Xander.
John nodded a greeting letting her come in and she wordlessly handed him some papers. He signed over his rights watching as Dean whispered something in Xander’s ear holding him close with Sam right beside him playing with Xander’s hand.
John handed Jessica the papers and a small backpack filled with Xander’s stuff, the little they had.
“It’s time.” his voice was flat and his hands shook as Dean passed Xander over to him. The toddler was strangely silent perhaps sensing the seriousness of the moment as his father hugged him tightly pressing a soft kiss to his cheek “I’ll see you soon kiddo okay, for now you’re going with mommy but we’ll see you soon.”
His chest tightened as he handed the boy over, that was the deal though. Xander would be Jessica and Tony’s now but that didn’t mean he was letting him go, not a chance in hell. He had let Jessica know the only way she wouldn’t have to shovel out serious cash for a fight in court was to let him stay involved in his son’s life.
There was only so much he could give up, so much we could Dean and Sam through.
He watched Jessica settle the backpack on her shoulder holding the little boy just as closely in her arms as they had. He was comforted with the knowledge that she loved him, it was undeniable the way she stroked his cheek and the smile that moved on her lips, she loved her son and John hoped that love would be enough.
He prayed that Xander would know the love of a mother the way Dean and Sam never truly would.
He hoped that that love would be enough for him, would allow him to let ago because the way his eyes were burning and his fingers were itching for the bottle told him that this could be one of the things he ended up regretting.
Looking over at a devastated Sam and Dean who was trying to pull himself together John already regretted it, his heart twisted and he closed his eyes wanting to scream, wanting to take his anger and pain out on something evil and damned.
It had to be for the best, because anything else would destroy the fragile conviction he had created for himself.Sunnydale High 1999
Xander ducked his head hiding a smile as he watched Buffy and Giles argue over some new Slayer training method that his favorite Slay gal wasn’t likely too much. They were at yet another late night research party and Xander preferred Buffy flustering Giles than the lovely dovey eyes she was making with Angel.
They were definitely not just friends.
“So who did you send your invitations to?” Willow’s voice broke through his inner musings and he turned to red head that was on the other side of the table both of them keeping their distance after the fallout from the fluke.
“What?” he shook his head “Oh yeah invitations, you know the usual, parents who can’t be bothered to make it, relatives who I rather won’t make it and am positive won’t, I’ll just borrow your guy’s family.” he gave her a cheeky grin.
Willow rolled her eyes before her eyes widened and her voice lowered as she leaned across the table to whisper to him “Did you invite your Dad and brothers.”
Xander considered avoiding the topic altogether like he preferred to do but Willow was the only person he had ever told his real name too and she had been his confident since they were five. It was impossible to keep things from her.
“Yeah, I did.” he ducked his head to avoid her intense gaze and told her softly “There always busy and Dad and Sam aren’t even on speaking terms anymore but maybe they’ll show.”
Xander looked up at Willow who had reached across the table to grab his hand in hers and her smile and bright and hopeful “I’m sure they’ll make it.” All thoughts of the fluke disaster where forgotten because this was Willow, his best friend, being there for him like she had for so long.
“Yeah,” Xander grinned “here’s hoping no one tries to end the world.”Sequel will be Graduation Day, look out for that.