this is for fun and not profit, I own nothing but the plot of the story and even then it beatable.
this is a re-write of my I want to be a cowboy story, name changed as not to confuse people. plus I never really liked the first name.
Thanks to John (grey wizard) for the beta read.
Xander sat in his new old car, frowning. His uncle Rory had given it to him so he could get out of Sunnydale for the summer. He had turned the ignition off, but the car had just kept on running.
"Some car," Xander muttered. In typical Harris luck, the car was a lemon – Hell, the car was the king of all lemons. But it was his ticket away from the Hellmouth for the summer. Finally, the motor stopped. He looked around street to see if anyone had seen him. Buffy and Willow were supposed to meet him, but there was no sign of his female friends.
Xander had noticed over the last few years that Willow had been drawing away from him. And while he understood it, he didn’t really like it. She was his friend first. But in every conversation, in every fight, she always took Buffy’s side. And while he knew he was not always right (in fact, he knew that a lot of his decisions were based on what he wanted things to be, instead of what he knew was right), he really couldn’t blame her.
But it still hurt.
Slamming the car door closed caused a rain of rust from under the door. Looking close at the bottom of the door, he could see that while the paint job his uncle had put on the car looked good, the metal underneath was noting but rust and maybe some bonding putty.
Standing back up and looking around again, he put a smile on his face. It was a good day. No matter what happened, it was a good – no, make that a great - day.
The sun was shining, people were laughing and the Mayor was dead. The Mayor had made the change from evil human to evil demon to dead demon in a matter of hours. And Xander felt proud of the fact that he had been a part of it. HE had saved the world again. HE had lead the class in a fight for the world and won.
"Fun Day." His last bit of free time with his friends. Next year, the girls would be in college, while he would be a part of the working world. As long as he could find a job, that is. So he was going to enjoy this, the last stand of friendship. The next time they saw each other they would be adults. A part of the adult world.
A sad smile was on his face as he walk up the walk to Buffy's home.
He stopped his hand was just inches from the door as he was going to knock, when he felt it.
Something wasn't right.
"FREEZE! FBI!" a voice called out from behind him, just as the Summers' front door flew open and men poured out of the home.
Xander glanced down, his chest was almost glowing red as all the targeting lasers pinpointed his chest. The next thing he knew, he was laying flat on the ground, with at least a half-dozen men leaning on him as they handcuffed him.
Looking around, he could see people now peeking out of windows. As his eyes contacted each one, they would draw back into their home.
But the ones that hurt the most were from the Summers home.
Standing in the front window stood Buffy, holding on to Willow, and standing behind them was Joyce. They didn’t draw back, and he knew that they couldn't help him. At least, not without letting secrets out that shouldn’t be revealed. Secrets that no one wanted to know.
"Alexander Harris," one of the agents yelled down at him, "you are under arrest. You have the right to remain silent... "
But the rest was lost to him. He could still see Willow crying now, Buffy mouthing something, but he couldn’t make it out. His world had lost all meaning.
Then a sliver of light lit his world - his girls were in trouble.
He knew then what he needed to do: protect his girls.
He let a smile slide across his face as he looked at them. Something to make it seem that everything would be ok.
Even though he knew it wouldn’t.
Later, Sunnydale P.D. Headquarters
Xander sat in a cell, alone.
No one had come to see him. His mom and dad both refused to come down to the jail. His only visitors so far had been FBI agents, each pulling their version of good cop, bad cop, worse cop. One had almost seem ready to hit him one time. But after looking into the eyes of Angelus, no mere mortal would scare him.
They wanted to know who else was with him? Who had helped him?
Helped him? No one. He would not tell them anything.
Buffy was the Slayer, and needed to be out in the world saving it.
And his Willow? She wouldn’t make it in jail, much less prison. For all Willow's big talk, she was too nice to be placed into that world.
But him? Who would miss him? The girls and Giles were the heroes.
Him? He was nothing but a sidekick. A nobody.
So he would take the blame for them.
That would be his little part to save the world.
"Mr. Harris, please tell us why you did it," Agent Mulder asked in a low voice.
"I didn’t do anything."
While Xander knew he would take the blame, he didn’t want to seem like he taking the fall for someone. If they thought that, the Agents would start looking for others.
So for now, he would do what he could to keep his sisters safe.
"We have you on tape," Mulder pointed a remote at a TV in the counter, and the screen clicked on and a tape started. "This is a Security tape from a security camera across the street from the school."
The tape clearly shown Xander getting out of a van and rolling drums into the school. Also, he appeared to be talking to someone who wasn’t there.
"Still not saying anything?" the Agent asked. "Who were you talking to?"
Xander just sat there looking at the table top.
"Alexander, please, I want to help you. But you have to talk. The bomb killed a lot of people. You could get the death penalty."
"I can’t say anything."
"Can’t or won’t? Who else are you protecting?"
"I was alone."
"No, you were not. The bomb was put together by someone with Military training. We found a rocket launcher hidden in your room. How did you get that?"
"Alex," Mulder said trying a different track, "we found your fingerprints on the launcher, along with others. Who are they?"
Xander just sat there.
"Ok," the Agent drawing himself up again, "what about the fingerprints we got from the school. Fresh ones. But they were of people that have been dead for up to six months or longer.
Outside the interrogation room.
Agent Mulder’s partner watched the interrogation with some of the local police. She noticed the officers look at each other when the fingerprints came up. They knew something.
"That Harris boy was always going to be trouble," one of the older officers said.
"What do you mean?" the female agent asked.
"Well, we’d get three or four calls a week to his house. His parents would be drunk and fighting usually."
"The boy’s medical record shows he had been beaten, just about everyday. He had new bruises every time he was seen, sometimes even broken bones. And yet you still did nothing?"
"He’s a punk," One of the older officers replied. "Hell, his whole family was a waste of space - drunks, deadbeats, and worse. The boy was just one step away from street scum."
Sculley was appalled; these officers were just one step above the scum that she had arrested. She looked around the room. This had to be the worse police force that she had ever seen. She couldn’t say they were on the take but it seemed like that they did get their orders from something besides the Law.
"Calm down, Agent Sculley. We had orders not to interfere with that house that came from the Mayor’s office."
"What? Why would the Mayor care about him?"
"Don’t know." But the man's voice clearly said he knew just what was going on and wasn’t about to tell her.
"Just that that boy could just about do anything and we were told to look the other way. He was always in a fight, somewhere. Him and those girls he hung out with could be found wandering the streets at all hours. I even found him sleeping in the middle of Main street, one time."
"Just what was going on in that house?" Sculley almost whispered to herself.
Willow and Buffy were sitting around, still in shock. The TV was broadcasting a news report of Xander’s arrest.
"The troubled teen is reported to have killed at least 23 people in the Graduation bombing. His parents have not made a statement at this time, and the police have only said that they have a subject under arrest. But we did get an interview with a student at the school who told us that Alexander was a slacker who skipped class and was always in fights. There were even rumors that he was a homosexual and threaten the star of the football but “outing him”. And it was for that reason he committed this terrible crime."
"What is happening?" Willow said softly. She had been crying non-stop since she had witnessed Xander's arrest.
"I don’t know, but we have to do something," Buffy insisted. "Xander didn’t do anything wrong."
Giles walked in, having been at the Police station all day.
"Giles, what’s going on?" Buffy asked, as her mom also walked in to see what Giles had to say.
"I talked to an Officer there. It seems that Xander is not talking to anyone. He is apparently taking the blame for everything."
"Well, I’m going to go down there and get him out," Buffy announced as she got up and started to the door. " He didn’t do anything wrong!"
"Buffy, STOP!" Giles called to his Slayer. "I have been in contact with The Council and they are doing everything they can to cover for US. But not him. They will throw us to the wolves, and then quietly have you silenced and wait for the next Slayer to be Called if we interfere with this.
"According to them, this is a Mortal concern. Xander knew what he was doing. At least, that is what they are saying."
"What?!?" Willow yelled at him. "Xander is our friend! We can't leave him in there. We have to get him out!"
"Of course, Willow. He is very dear to us all. But the Council doesn’t see it that way. As far as they are concerned, he is a normal boy, one that shouldn’t have gotten involved with us in the first place."
"What? All of these children are normal," Joyce said, tears in her eyes. These children had grown dear to her over the few short years that she had moved to Sunnydale, becoming the large family that she had always wanted, but which Hank hadn’t.
"No, Joyce. They are not normal. Willow is a novice Witch, Buffy is a Slayer, Oz is a Werewolf and I am a Watcher. The Council considers that they are a bonus, a benefit to the Slayer. But Xander has no useful skills in their estimation, are at least nothing at couldn’t easily be replaced.
"So, he is on his own as far as the Council is concerned."
"But we have to do something," Buffy insisted.
"And we shall. I am using some of my personal money to get him a good Lawyer. We'll see how it proceeds from there."
Sunnydale Police Station.
"Mulder, something is not adding up here."
"What do you mean, Sculley?" he asked from across the desk as he finished up his report.
"Well, where's the Mayor’s body?"
"What of it?" Mulder asked looking up from his laptop.
"Where is it?"
"It could have been vaporized in the blast," Mulder suggested.
"There would have been something left. The blast wasn’t that large," the redhead explained, looking over the blast report. "There is something going on here. This boy was raised in an abusive home, he was in and out of the hospital most of his life. We have reports of him roaming the streets, and in gang fights. After we took his fingerprints, we got numerous hits on unsolved cases. Everything from breaking and entering to grave robbing. You remember the rocket launcher from his room? It was from the local National Guard base. It was stolen by someone who looks just like Harris. Then when we talk to his peers, other than a few of the wealthy class mates, they all they can say he’s a nice guy. Always there for you. Stands up for the little guy. It just doesn’t add up."
"Sculley, we’ve heard that before many times before. No one wants to believe that their next door neighbor could kill anyone. But it’s always the guy next door to someone that DOES kill someone."
"I know, but this kid is not a murderer."
"I don’t think he is either.", Mulder replied nodding his head.
"Then why –"
"He knows who did this. And the big question is ‘Why?’ The Mayor was very interested in him and some of his friends. Did you know that the Mayor has no record of his birth, and he has apparently never been out of office in 100 years?"
"Come on -"
"Here, look at this," he said as he pushed a book of old newspaper photographs over to her.
Looking at the photos, she saw a progression of photos of Mayor Wilkins, from around the early 1890's ‘til 1998.
"This is incredible."
"It is, isn’t it?"
"And that boy is in the middle of it."
In the integration room
Xander sat looking from his lawyer to his parents. They had finely shown up a few hours ago. His dad was still a little red around the eyes from too much booze and not enough sleep.
"Just tell me who else was in on it. I can use that to get a better sentence. Maybe even get you off completely, if you point out someone who is a trouble maker that can take all the blame."
"No one helped me. I was on my own."
"No, you weren’t. That gang of sluts helped you," Mrs. Harris said.
"Gang? We can work with that."
"It's ME!" Xander snapped, almost growling at both his parents and lawyer. "No one else was there! I did it alone!"
"No, son, you did it with a gang. Just get in front of the Judge and tell all about your friends that helped you, and you should get off."
"Ms. Morgan, I did it all alone. Just me."
"If you don’t tell the Judge about your gang, you WILL go to prison," Lila Morgan promised him. "We at Wolfram & Hart can only do so much."
"I did it. No one else was there; no one else was part of this."
Later that day
Willow and Buffy had just left. They had fought and fought with Xander, insisting that they were going to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they might. They were not letting Xander do this. He had finally talked them into letting it happen the way he wanted. Besides, considering what the Council would do to help, which was nothing, it would put people in danger.
Buffy was the Slayer and needed to be free. And Willow wouldn’t be able to help if she was in prison with him, leaving Buffy alone to fight the good fight.
He was alone in this. The expendable one.
It was a bitter truth for them, but it was still a truth.
As soon as they had gone, he was taken in front of a Judge, where the Judge asked him for his plea. He didn’t say anything, merely looked blankly at him. His lawyer tried to get him to say something, but Xander just looked out the window.
He had known that one day he would lose the good fight, but he always thought it would be a monster that got him, not this.
But he would take this, just as he would take anything to help Buffy.
Whether it was a claw, sword or jail time, he would take it.
So long as she was free.
As long as the world turned.
As long as he wasn’t forgotten.