Have staff, will travel
True Story: I own none of the copyrighted stuff in this story. I sometimes wish that I did, but I don’t
Summary: Response to White Knight of the Cross Challenge in which Xander becomes the newest Knight of the Cross.
Setting/Spoilers: Set in Cleveland post Chosen, may contain general spoilers for most of Buffy. Set post Small Favor for Dresden and may contain spoilers for Death Masks and Small Favor.
Rating: 15+, just for the violence, always for the violence.
Christ, I hate these travel jobs. First of all the Beetle can’t make it cross country so I’m stuck in a Greyhound, hey no flying for Harry “I destroy all electronics” Dresden. Second, I almost always get stuck next to a fat person who wants to be new best friends. Oh, and then there’s the fact that I’m invariably ambushed by one of the one thousand four hundred and thirty seven members of the Kill Harry Dresden Club. This time it had been a wyldfae troll in service to the Erlking, but as my foster father always said: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but kinetic force and fire will kill me. Then of course there’s the inevitably dingy hotel that I’m forced to stay at wherever I am because of my budget. Did I mention that I hate these travel gigs? Problem is, I can’t ignore this one. Most of the time when an offer of a travel job comes up I do my best to ignore it, unless times have been lean or the money’s real good, but when the Archangel Uriel stops by for a cup of tea and tells you that you’re needed in Cleveland, you have to face facts and accept that you’re going to Cleveland. At least he told me to bring the swords with me, which means I may stand a better than even chance of getting one of them off my hands. Anyway, the bus pulled into Cleveland around 8:30 at night and after I grabbed luggage, I grabbed a cab and headed to the wonderful little cesspool hotel that I was going to be calling home for a while. After I settled in I pulled out my backpack and got Bob out on the table.
“Okay Bob, what’s the deal with Cleveland?” I asked my assistant.
“Really Harry, you should read a book every once in a while. Cleveland is home to a mystical energy vortex called a Hellmouth. It’s a magnet for demons, vampires, and other wizardish type things,” the intellect spirit inside the skull answered.
“Any idea why Uriel would want me here, and with the Swords of the Cross no less?” I asked.
“Presumably to give at least one of them to the new wielder. Seriously Harry, why do you have to bring me on these little road trips of yours? I thought I was going blind, being stuffed into that back pack for as long as I was,” Bob complained.
“Sadly Bob, that’s the life for us professional investigators. I’m going to take a turn about town with the swords and see if I can’t find one of them a good home. With any luck we’ll be out of here by tomorrow morning,” I informed the skull, as I grabbed the sword case I had brought with me.
“If that doesn’t work Harry, maybe you could make flyers. ‘Wanted: Person of high morals to wield the power of God in the fight against Evil.’ I think they would look wonderful on street lights,” Bob joked.
“Nobody likes a wiseass skull Bob,” I told him, as I grabbed my staff and headed out into the warm Cleveland night. I strolled around town for several hours, but nothing interesting happened until
I was headed back to my hotel. Me being me and my luck being my luck, this is when I was jumped by a couple of Black Court vamps. The vamps had me down on the ground before I had even realized that they were there. That’s another problem with traveling Greyhound. No pets means no Mouse, and no Mouse means no early threat detection system. I managed to throw one of the vamps off me with a blast from my one of my kinetic rings, just in time to see a third vamp get brutally decapitated by a young man in combat gear and an eye patch .
“You know buddy, if you’re going to carry around spiffy weapons like this, you might want to use them,” Eyepatch said, as he kicked the other vamp off of me and turned to face the one I had blasted. It was then that I realized that he was holding Fidelachius, and the sword was glowing a bright white.
“Yeah, thanks for the warning,” I said, as I turned to the vamp he had kicked and readied my blasting rod. I ran as much power as I could into my rod and let loose a staggering column of flame at the walking corpse in front of me, reducing it to something so harmless that it could have been defeated by a maid with a dust buster. As I spun to help my new friend, I saw that he had already sliced the thing to ribbons.
“So, flame. That means wizard right?” Eyepatch asked me, not at all perturbed by the fact that he and I had just killed three vampires.
“Yeah, name’s Harry Dresden,” I told him. “How’d you know how to take care of these vampires?” I asked.
“Been doing it since high school. Name’s Xander, Xander Harris. You want to come back and meet a few of my people, maybe we can compare notes on evil fighting?” Xander asked me.
“Sure why not, but first let me tell you a little something about that sword,” I started.
“Oh yeah, I forgot about the sword. You need it back or can I keep it?” he asked, a joking look on his face.
“Actually, it’s yours to keep. What I really need to do is tell you about is the Knights of the Cross,” I told him, handing over Fidelachius’ scabbard.
“What exactly are the Knights of the Cross?” he asked.
“If you don’t mind Dresden, I’ll answer that question,” a voice said behind me.