Chapter One: Introductions
I own nothing. Any characters you recognize are copyrighted to someone else. Specifically, Joss Whedon, Aaron Spelling, J.K. Rowling, Brad Wright, Stephen Sommers, and David Panzer.Author's Notes:
There ended up being several more crossings than I originally intended and it took some wiggling to get everyone where I wanted them so some warnings about things that will be changed and where in the different time lines these occurred.Buffy
: Not comic book compliant. Canon through the seventh season. Begins around six months after Sunnydale becomes a crater.Angel:
Should be considered AU. You need to know that Cordy's in a coma, Connor's with his fake family, the crew's running Wolfram and Hart, and Spike's corporeal.Charmed:
AU as of the end of Season 3. Paige is found when Phoebe bumps her at P3, has a premonition of her being killed by Shax, then sees her orb. The revelation of Paige's family connection is similar but gentler.Harry Potter:
Tonks is hit by the Empowerment spell on the night of the attack at the Ministry of Magic. She's able to beat back Bellatrix Black, save Sirius from the Veil, and help get everyone to safety. Then she calls Dumbledore on his bullshit, asks the Council for help in locating Voldemort's Horcruxes, and stands beside Harry when the final battle occurs. With a dozen Slayers to help round out the ranks, the death toll was much smaller. SG-1:
Fairly Canon, until Season Seven. The Cloning of Jack O'Neill happens mere weeks after the collapse of Sunnydale. Otherwise, SG-1 is not important.The Mummy:
Obviously has nothing to do with the third movie and is set at least 70 years after. Mostly Canon compliant, though.Highlander:
AU sometime in Season 5. Surprise.Warnings:
I admit to bashing Cole just a little bit. I pick at Angel even though I like him. And I over look Spike's bathroom incident because it's my story and I want to. (And, in Draco's case, I think that being a snot does not equal evilness.) And I curse. A lot.Pairings:
Faith/Xander/Oz, Piper/Leo, mentions of past canon relationshipsChapter one: Introductions
Phoebe had the squealing man pinned to the floor when familiar orbs twinkled into being not two feet in front of her. She looked up to see Leo standing, gaping, next to a bemused looking one-eyed guy and a couple of bags.
“Freddy, what did you do this time?” One-Eye asked, sighing down at the now quiet man pinned to the floor.
“Mr. Harris, I have asked you repeatedly to either call me Frederick or Mr. Wyndham. Not Fred or Freddy or, or Wyndy
,” the pompous man twitted, craning his head to see the now-identified Mr. Harris.
Mr Harris’ face twisted into a comical mask of displeasure. “And I’ve told you
to call me Xander. Now, what did you do, Mr. Wyndham
Phoebe noted how Xander made the name sound offensive and how Frederick stiffened, at the question or the implied insult, she didn’t know.
“I didn’t do anything, Mr. Harris
. I was merely trying to inform the Misses Halliwell once again that they must not let their personal lives interfere with their Destiny,” Frederick hissed.
Xander sighed, looking heavenward as a calm, mildly amused voice said, “Actually, he was lecturing this Ms. Halliwell in particular on the fact that marriage is a distraction. Of course, that’s not the way he said it. Then he started in on Phoebe, Prue, and Paige and found himself in the position he’s in now. Who are you, by the way?”
Xander looked around expecting to see something only to be met with thin air. He nodded and said, “Spell? Or a demon? Or a spell and
“Potion, actually,” a husky, irritated voice came from the other side of him.
He nodded again. “Experimental or run amok?”
“Run amok,” the first voice said, sounding less wary and a little more fascinated. “Why aren’t you running away or lecturing?”
Xander snorted. “Because I’m the king of weird shit and this is barely a blip on my meter.” He paused for a moment. “You do know how to fix it, right?”
“The counter potion is almost ready,” a third voice traveled to him from a little farther away than the first. “It just likes a few minutes to steep.”
“This potion has never been tested! I cannot, as your Watcher, allow you to ingest it,” Frederick protested, struggling just a little.
Five different snorts rang through the air and Leo’s eyebrows rose.
Xander replied wryly, “Good thing you aren’t their Watcher, any more, Freddy. You can tell you’ve never dealt with women before. Especially women with superpowers.”
“What do you mean, I’m not their Watcher anymore?! You can’t do that! You don’t have that power!” Freddy yelled, struggling anew.
Xander motioned for Phoebe to let the irate man up and when he was finally standing, thwacked a fat envelope into his chest, saying, “By the power of the Board of Directors of the Council, by the directive of the Powers That Be, at the request of the Elders, you, Frederick Rhys Wyndham, are hereby relieved of your duty as the Watcher of the Charmed Ones. You are to report to the Council for your next assignment, which, by the way, will likely not be a field assignment, or you can write your letter of resignation. If you fail to comply with either of these options, the favor of the Powers That Be will be behind those that hunt you.”
Frederick paled even as he began to sputter, “You can’t- They wouldn’t- I am- Do you know
who I am? My family bloody well helped found the Council! You’re nothing to them! Just bloody filth that’s managed to infiltrate one of the most prestigious professions known to man!”
Xander shrugged calmly even as his face turned menacing. “Your family got themselves blown up because of their self-righteous, egotistical belief that nothing could ever harm the Council. And I may be filth but I have friends in high places. They run your beloved Council now so you may want to watch what you say. You are nothing but a cowardly, idiotic, out-dated little man. You want to pack your shit and leave now before I do you everlasting harm.”
Frederick scrambled around Xander and up the stairs, clutching the envelope Xander had forced on him.
The one-eyed man sighed, pushing his over-long, slightly curling hair out of his face. “Not exactly the first impression I wanted to make,” he said ruefully.
“I don’t know,” the husky second voice said, amused, “I kind of liked it.”
A kitchen timer went off in the distance and the three invisible ladies murmured that they would be right back. They returned, fully visible, as a red-faced Frederick came down the stairs carrying two over-filled duffles. The man said nothing as he marched out the door, away from the women that were meant to be his charges.
Xander looked the four women over and shook his head. One with dyed blonde-brown hair and dark brown eyes just radiated ‘strong willed and impassioned.’ Another with a fall of dark brown hair to her waist and dark eyes to top off an hourglass figure who was Xander’s idea of an earth goddess, motherly and kind as well as powerful and protective. The next one had green eyes that held a stormy temperament. She was the leader though the others willingly followed. The last, dark hair and eyes, was also obviously the youngest. Oh, she didn’t necessarily look
younger. Not until someone focused on the eyes. Then she was worlds younger than the other three. Sticking Wyndham with these four had been a fairly huge mistake. They were all too headstrong to do well with an old school watcher.
“Now,” the woman with waist length hair said, hands on hips, “I believe I asked who you are? Besides someone from the Council. You might wanna explain how you seem kinda familiar, too.”
The man straightened and said grinning, “I’m Xander Harris. I’ve been assigned to you as your new Watcher.”
“And what makes you think you can handle us when the last four couldn’t?” Green-Eyes demanded.
Xander smirked. “The other four were old Council. We’re sorry about them but everybody thought it would be best to put them with more established demon fighters than the younger, more impressionable girls. We’d hoped that at least one of them would be able to overcome all their training and be able to act like human beings. Unfortunately, none of them quite
managed. Marisol has become a top notch researcher, though.
As for why I’ll probably succeed where they failed? I’m new Council. I’ve got eight years of field experience. I wasn’t trained by the old Council. And since I was sixteen, I’ve drowned in estrogen. Cordelia was my first girlfriend and prided herself on being the biggest bitch around. Willow’s been my best friend since kindergarten and she’s considered by those that should know to be one of the single most powerful witches in the world. Buffy’s my other best friend. She’s the longest lived slayer in history. Faith is a friend of mine; she’s been a slayer for the last six years. The point is, I’m not afraid of strong women. Not even superpowered women.”
“And the familiarity?” The youngest asked.
Xander winced, rubbing his neck. “My friends and I cast a spell four or so years ago to combine our essences to save the world. Buffy was the Hand, Willow the Soul, Giles the Mind, and I was the Heart. When the spell to call all the potentials was cast, all came into their powers with some level of knowledge of who the four of us are. That’s why I seem familiar to you.”
“He’s the White Knight, the One Who Sees,” a voice echoed from the doorway.
Xander’s head snapped around and he glared at the tall dark man standing on the threshold studying him.
“Cole,” Blondie breathed, seeming both happy and wary to see him.
“How do you know who he is?” Blue-Eyes demanded.
“He’s a legend. They’re all legends in the Underworld, him and his friends. They’re just as famous as the Charmed Ones. Maybe more, after the thing with the First,” he said, staring intensely at Xander.
Xander finally just sighed. “You’re gonna be trouble, aren’t you?”
Cole’s faced melted into a frown then into an all too familiar expression: that of brooding.
Xander clapped his hand over his face, peaking through his fingers out of his one good eye at Cole. “Oh, no,” he whispered plaintively, loud enough for everyone to hear him, “It’s another Broodmeister.”
The other man seemed to actually pout
as Leo turned away to hide his amusement. As the only two men involved with the Halliwell sisters, they’d formed something of an alliance. But between Cole’s penchant for brooding and Leo’s innate goodness, the two had never managed to bond that alliance into true friendship. Newly human, Cole’s penchant for brooding had exploded into unimaginable proportions and was wearing on everybody’s nerves, including Phoebe’s.
Xander sighed and dropped his hand. “Lighten up, man,” he groused, totally not prepared to put up with another Angel, “If you did bad shit in the past, you can work for redemption in the future. If you’ve got any other problems, we’ll work on fixing them. Later. After I’ve had a nap.” Xander turned to the ladies and rubbed his hands together, saying, “So, Leo says you’ve got a bathroom with hot water and an honest to goddess bed I can use.” His glee at what everybody else took for granted took everyone aback. “What? I’ve been moving around in Africa
for most of the past six months looking for Slayers. Camping and dirt all around here, people.”
Leo looked at his wife, grabbed Xander’s bags and headed for the stairs, tossing over his shoulder, “The shower’s communal for the moment. We’ve been looking into building a couple so we don’t all have to share the one but it’s slow going. You’ll be sleeping in the attic for now. Mr. Wyndham was offered the basement but refused.”
Xander nodded at the Sisters and followed the chattering man up the stairs. He recognized desperation when he saw it. It had a familiar feeling to it: the look of a man so pleased that there was another man around. Hanging with girls was fine and even informative but sometimes a man just needed a beer and a conversation consisting entirely of grunting to feel whole.
Xander had been serious when he said that that wasn’t exactly the first impression he’d wanted to make. But he’d found that he had a low tolerance for bitching, whining, conceited Englishmen. He’d been all prepared to do the dismissing in private and tell the sisters after Freddy had left but his temper had gotten to him.
Xander came back into the conversation as Leo asked, “So, is four a record?”
Xander snorted. “No. Eleven is the record. Faith chews up Watchers like nobody’s business. Her first died when she was first called, she got passed to Giles who handed her to an Evil Watcher who got slayed. Then she got handed off to Wesley. That makes… four before
the Potential Activation Spell. She’s gone through seven in the past six months including Robin, her now very ex-boyfriend and leader of the Cleveland House. And since there were four Sisters and four Watchers, they only ran off one a piece.”
Leo had stopped and turned to gape as Xander rattled off Faith’s stats. All of it was true, though. Faith was hard on the nerves. Add in that after Robin, Faith had taken on six Old Council Watchers and it had been a recipe for disaster. Xander just shrugged as he came even with the other man. The only reason Buffy hadn’t gone through as many was because she was ‘retired’ and had Andrew living just down the hall from her.
“Will she be visiting any time soon?” Leo asked faintly, dreading the answer.
Xander shrugged again. “Probably. She came all the way out to Africa to harass me; I don’t see why she wouldn’t come to San Francisco. But don’t worry. I told Giles I want at least two weeks to settle in, find a place where I could have guests and stuff.”
Leo frowned. “You won’t be staying here?”
Xander gave him a funny look. “Nah, man. I’ll get my own place. I just need to crash here for a couple of days. And I can promise me living here would be a bad idea. My friends like to drop by all unexpected like. Your ladies would have fits.”
“The others demanded to stay,” Leo explained.
Xander shook his head. “They were taught that the Slayer had to be managed
. I was taught that the Slayer was a girl who wanted her own life and some of the privacy that goes with having that life. I won’t intrude on these women’s lives any more than I have to. I’m here to train them for combat, to pass along information, and be a helping hand when they need it. Speaking of, you guys need some construction work done, right?”
Startled by the abrupt change in conversation, Leo nodded, saying, “With Paige living here, we need at least one extra bathroom. And I’m trying to talk Piper into having children so I need to prove that we’ll all fit.”
Xander gave him another funny look. “Why don’t you just buy the house across the street and the one to the left of this one? I’m looking at the one on the right so don’t get any funny ideas.”
Leo frowned. “We can’t afford to buy one house let alone two others. And this is their family home. They’ve lived here for generations. Phoebe was born here.”
Xander looked at Leo, astonished. “I’m gonna kill’em. Even if Marisol is a woman and mostly a sweetheart. No, wait. She worked with them during our ‘money difficulties.’ Leo, man, the Council could buy half of the United States and still have enough spare change to purchase a couple third world countries. We couldn’t go broke if we tried. We’ll buy them houses, hell, we’ll furnish them. If they wanna start a business besides the one they’ve got, we’ll front them the cash, interest free. You guys, as both agents of good and members of the Council, are entitled to payroll checks. Hell, think of it as four years back pay for the four of you and, what, six months back pay for the youngest, if you have to. And you have got to give me names to go along with faces here. I can’t keep calling them what I’m calling them in my head or I’m gonna get myself into trouble.”
Leo smiled, not thinking too hard about the money. He’d talk to the rest of the family after Xander was squared away. “Well, Piper’s the one with the hair to her waist. She’s my wife and the second sister. Pru’s the oldest. She has green eyes. Phoebe’s the one that’s been experimenting with her hair. And Paige is the youngest.”
Xander looked panicked. “P’s? They’re all P’s?”
“Family tradition,” Leo said sheepishly.
Xander probably would have said something else but he yawned hard enough that his jaw popped.
“Let me show you where you’ll be staying and where the bathroom is,” Leo said, ushering him up the stairs to the attic. He knew, when Xander let him guide him with a hand on his elbow, that the other man must be exhausted. He just wasn’t the type to be led around if he could help it.
Leo left Xander at the bathroom where he was carefully acquainting himself with the bathroom fixtures. The sisters needed to know that the Council was willing to foot the bill for some pretty serious changes. His wife needed to know that the restaurant she still secretly longed for was closer than it had ever been. They needed to know that Xander Harris was the real deal, not someone that was tricking his way into their life for some nefarious deed.