MR. CHASE (Sunday morning)
Early Sunday morning Xander screeched to a halt in front of Cordelia’s very confused father. “Get in,” Xander shouted. Just up the street a man leaned out of a black Hummer and pointed a sinister-looking apparatus.
Xander’s jaw dropped. “Warren?”
Mr. Chase hesitated until a beam of energy narrowly missed him, and encased a nearby tree in ice. “What the hell was that,” he gasped as he jumped into the waiting car.
Xander floored the gas pedal and the car surged ahead, allowing the second beam of energy to strike a fire hydrant instead of the vehicle. Xander glanced back at the two icy objects. “Freeze ray, at a guess.” He turned down a side street, keeping an eye on the rearview mirror.
“What’s going on, Alexander?”
“You’ve been a very naughty boy, Mr. Chase. I should know; I was hired to kill you.”
“But the company is over that! They froze my assets ten years ago, framed me with the IRS. But that was all cleared up years ago.”
Xander shook his head. “And yet, here’s a brand-new contract on your life.” He tossed the dossier into the other man’s lap. Xander continued, “The Order of Taraka is pissed at me for an old job, so they’ve decided to fulfill the contract I was hired for.”
“Taraka? Who’re they?”
“They’re an organization of supernatural assassins. They say I’ve been horning in on some of their turf. The Order typically doesn’t hit ‘normals’ but this is the Hellmouth so all bets are off.”
Xander briefly glanced from the road to his passenger. “You do know about the supernatural freakiness that is Sunnydale?”
“Yes, I tried to convince Annette to move so many times, but she wouldn’t hear of it. She didn’t want to move after Cordelia was born.” He shook himself out of his reverie. “What are we going to do?”
Xander smiled grimly. “I had some friends of mine call in a couple of anonymous tips. At this point the Initiative should be on there way to your house, and the Tarakans are right behind us.”
“It’s a branch of Homeland Security that fights things that go bump in the night. Unfortunately, I popped up on their radar due to a previous job.”
Mr. Chase made an attempt at humor. “Make a lot of enemies?”
Xander looked over as he pulled into the Chase driveway. “You’ve no idea. Of course, they’re almost all dead now.”
The two men sprinted for the house as the black Hummer screeched to a halt behind them. Xander made sure he was the last one in the door, then turned the deadbolt. He’d barely let go of the lock when frost started to form on the door.
There was a muted explosion from outside, and the frost stopped growing on the door. Xander could faintly hear profanity from one of the two assassins. At the sound of footsteps on the staircase behind him Xander drew his gun, then pointed it away from the woman now visible descending the stairs.
“Daddy, what’s he doing here,” Cordelia asked shrilly.
“Alexander saved my life. There’re assassins after me!”
Cordelia’s face went flat and she looked at Xander. “Order of Taraka?”
“God, why can’t we every get any fluffy-bunny demons?”
Xander flushed. “Cordy, don’t say that shit in Sunnydale!”
“Sorry. Got any weapons I can use?”
“Know how to use this?” Xander held out a small revolver, his backup gun. “It’s got silver bullets but it also works on normal things.”
Cordelia nodded, then took the revolver. She ducked into the kitchen, and reappeared with the biggest cleaver Xander had ever seen.
“Mr. Chase, do you need a weapon?”
“I’m not...I haven’t...”
Xander tried to keep the disgust out of his voice. “Fine, let your daughter protect you.” He turned to Cordelia. “Go upstairs, lock yourself in your room and sit in a side corner with a clear shot of the door. Don’t come out until I call for you.”
“Xander...” Cordelia whispered.
“Cordy, just go with your father.” The older man was already climbing the stairs as fast as he could. Xander checked his pistol and spare magazine, then looked at Cordelia. “You know I never stopped loving you, right?”
Cordelia nodded, eyes bright. “We’re gonna talk when this is over, mister.”
Xander smiled. “Go. And be careful.”
Just as Cordelia disappeared upstairs the back door in the kitchen burst inwards. A pretty brunette sporting a huge shotgun stepped inside. When she raised the shotgun in Xander’s direction he put two rounds from his pistol into her chest. The assassin staggered back, but continued to raise her shotgun.
Xander aimed carefully and shot the woman between the eyes. She fell to the floor and began to twitch oddly. Xander grabbed a frying pan and leaned over to make sure the Tarakan was dead.
“That wasn’t very nice,” she said in a perky voice as her eyes opened. “Now I’m gonna have to terminate your ass.”
“Holy shit!” Xander slammed the cast-iron frying pan down on the Tarakan’s head. It took half a dozen frantic strikes before the assassin fell silent, with bits of metal and plastic skull showing through its synthetic skin. Xander finally straightened and gasped for breath.
“You bastard, you killed April!”
Xander ducked at the shout, which was followed by a burst from a submachinegun. “Dude, it was a machine,” he called from behind the cover of the kitchen counter. “Get a real girlfriend.”
“Ahhhh!” The last assassin’s scream of rage was accompanied by another burst of automatic fire.
Xander waited for the burst to end, then popped out and fired off two quick shots. Moulding splintered but the other hitman remained unharmed.
“You missed, Harris. You’re a piece of shit. You’re nothing! I’m gonna enjoy wasting your ass.” As Warren finished ranting the door behind him crashed open and two armed people entered, guns drawn.
“Federal Agents, drop the-”
Both Agents opened fire with their pistols as Warren turned around with his submachinegun.
Xander ducked. It seemed like the gunfire went on for a long time, but he knew it could only have been seconds. When he finally peeked around the corner, both Agent Finns and the Tarakan were sprawled on the ground, obviously and messily dead. “Huh,” Xander said. “That hardly ever happens.”
Xander quickly checked the rest of the downstairs, then called out, “Cordy, come on down, we’ve got to leave.”
Cordelia flew down the stairs, with her father following at a much more sedate pace. The two stopped in shock at the sight in the kitchen.
Xander picked up the fired casings from his pistol then looked at the Chases and stood up. “Your dad can spin a story about how the two Tarakans came to kill him and Agents Finn and Finn died in the line of duty.” Xander fixed Mr. Chase with a steely gaze. “Right?”
“Yes, yes. Of course,” he said. “Anything you want, Alexander.”
Xander didn’t hear the last bit. His eyes were locked with Cordelia’s. The actress tossed the cleaver on the counter, then stepped forward and carefully put the revolver she was holding into his pocket. Finally, Cordelia wrapped her arms around Xander and kissed him passionately.
“Hello, you have reached Harris Import-Export. We are temporarily closed, but leave a message after the beep and it will be forwarded to the appropriate party. BEEP.”
“Joan, this is Xander. I hope you’ve taken down the office. There’s going to be a reorganization of the business...I’ll call you when we get up and running again. By the way, there’s a severance package for you at our normal bank. The account number is your birthday and your social. The PIN is my birthday. Have some fun; you’ve earned it.”
Xander took one hand from the steering wheel to turn on the radio. On a whim, he tuned it to KSUN and smiled as the DJ came on the air. In the passenger seat, Cordelia shook her head in mock despair as the perky ex-demon’s voice played through the speakers.
“Hope you all survived the Class of ’99 Reunion. I know it was touch-and-go for some of you, but we’re glad you made it. Hope to see all you Razorbacks again soon!”