And Then There's Family.
Disclaimer: See Chapter One
Beta: Queen Sereya
Pairings: Speed/Wolfe, OW Vin/Ezra, ATF Chris/Ezra
Chapter 5: And Then There's Family.
Xander glanced around nervously at the small room. He had been left in a small white room. The walls were bare, except for the two-way mirror on one wall. The only furniture was a table with two chairs on opposite sides. Xander glanced at the mirror before turning to pace in the confined space. His gaze turned back toward the single door.
He really wished they would come and get this over with. Why did the ATF want to talk to him? Was it because of the drug dealer? Xander thought he had seen a box of guns when he was at his hideout. Or what about that rocket launcher in the mall? No one had ever questioned them on it. But that had happened over a year ago. Would they really be asking questions about that now? What else had happened recently? Xander chewed his bottom lip thoughtfully. Not much had happened since he had gone to visit his uncle. Not since graduation . . . Oh, no. They couldn't want to know about that, could they?
Xander paled. He had gotten an email from Willow a few days ago saying that the ATF had been investigating the school's destruction. The door swung open and Agents Sanchez and Wilmington walked in.
"Look," Xander said babbling, "I can explain everything. Well, sort of. You might not believe me, but I've got an explanation. Have you talked to Willow? She's better at explaining things like this."
Wilmington and Sanchez looked at each other. Wilmington stepped forward to quiet the teen, but he kept going. "We didn't mean to blow up the school. Okay, we did, but we didn't have a choice."
"Son. . ." Sanchez said, but was ignored.
"We couldn't just let him eat all those people. We did try. Really, we did."
Behind the mirror, Special Agent Vin Tanner watched in amusement as his friend and leader became more and more frustrated by the babbling boy. Vin couldn't help but chuckle as Supervisory Special Agent Chris Larabee finally growled out, "Sit down and shut up, kid."
Vin grinned, only to frown when the teen abruptly sat down, murmuring, "Yes, Chris."
Vin sat up straighter, giving the youth a more careful look and his eyes widened at what he saw.
Chris' eyes narrowed. There was no way the kid could have heard him. Who was he responding to?
Agent Wilmington glanced at the mirror wondering if the kid knew that Chris was back there. Nah, there's no way he could. He shook his head and turned back to the questioning.
"Your explanation, Son?" Agent Sanchez asked gently.
Xander gulped. "Would you believe me if I said the mayor had turned into a hungry eighty-foot long snake who wanted to eat my graduation class and have the well wishers as appetizers?"
Sanchez raised an eyebrow while Wilmington merely glanced at the mirror in worry. Sanchez asked, "And how did the Mayor manage this transformation? Magic?"
"Yes," Xander squeaked.
Nathan, who was in the viewing booth with the others, scoffed, "He expects us to believe that?!? Magic?! Hmph."
Chris, who hadn't stopped staring at the kid, replied softly, "I do."
Nathan turned to Chris in shock. "Chris?"
Calmly, Chris explained, "When I lost Sarah and Adam, I dabbled in the darker aspects of magic. I was going to bring them back, no matter what." Chris bowed his head and closed his eyes somberly. "I would have torn their souls from heaven if Buck hadn't stopped me."
In the interrogation room, Xander continued his babbling explanation. "See, I'm from Sunnydale. . ."
Vin swore softly causing the other two to turn and look at him in surprise.
"And there's this thing there called. . ."
"Boca del Inferno," Vin said quietly. His two friends stared at him, only to turn back to the viewing window when Harris echoed his words.
"Boca del Inferno."
Wilmington held up a hand. "While all that is interesting, that's not why we brought you in, kid."
Xander blinked. "Oh. Is this about that drug dealer? I honestly didn't mean to make him cry."
Wilmington blinked in bewilderment. "Drug dealer? Cry?" He shook his head. "No. No drug dealer."
"It's about your recent activity online," Sanchez said. At Xander's confused look, he continued to explain, "It's come to our attention that you've been looking up certain individuals online. . ."
"Certain individuals . . . ?" Xander started to say, then paused and looked at Wilmington. "Oh. That. It's Tanner's fault."
Vin sat up straight as his friends looked at him. How was it his fault? He'd never seen the kid before, which he promptly told the others. "I don't know `im."
"See," Xander explained, "I was looking up my family history and one of my ancestors, that was Vin Tanner, was a peace keeper in the old west."
Everyone stared at Xander in shock as he continued, "He rode with six other men and when I found out about them, I decided to see what had happened to their descendants."
Vin frowned. "That's not quite true."
Chris glanced at his best friend, "What do you mean, Cowboy?"
"His reasons," Vin said, "There's something off about `em. But I think his guests might be able to shed some light on that."
Nathan looked at Vin bewildered. "What are you talking about? . . . Chris, what are you doing?"
Chris had moved forward and was now pressing the intercom button. "Buck. Let the kid go."
Buck nodded, even as Nathan started to protest. Chris meanwhile was ignoring Nathan's protest and finished saying, "Bring him up ta the office."
Xander looked at the group of six men, as computer expert JD Dunne had joined them as the reached their 11th floor office. Each man was the spitting image of his ancestor. He didn't need any introductions; Xander could already name each of them. His gaze returned to Vin Tanner.
"So," Xander said nervously. Vin gave him a gentle smile. Xander took a deep breath and then looked into Vin's eyes. "I guess this means we're like cousins or something."
Vin nodded. "Sure looks that way."
Xander chewed his lip thoughtfully. "Did you know that you look like our ancestor? The one I'm guessing you were named for."
Vin tilted his head. "Is that what yer guests told ya?"
Xander blinked and the gang in his head quieted down. "Guests?"
Vin nodded. "Yup. I noticed yer carrying around a few spirits there. Don't seem ta be hurting ya; I figured they was nice spirits."
Vin's friends looked at him in surprise while Xander's eyes widened and his jaw dropped. Closing his mouth, he took a quick swallow before asking, "You can see them?"
"Nope, I jest can tell they're there," Vin said. He paused remembering his time with that Native American family fondly. "One of my foster families when I was growing up taught me about spirits and how ta sense them."
"I didn't know you were into that stuff," JD said. "Why didn't you ever tell us?"
Vin shrugged. "Never came up, I guess."
Xander's gaze settled on Vin, with a determined gleam in his eyes, he asked, "Was sensing spirits all you were taught?"
Vin blinked. "Nooo. I also learned about the rituals to invite the good spirits in ta visit."
Xander frowned. "Would you know of a way to deposes someone without harming the ghost? From what I've found, the only people that didn't deal harshly with spirits were certain Native American tribes."
Vin stared at Xander for a long moment before nodding. "I know there are ways, but I can't tell you what they are. Let me contact my old friend, Chanu. I'm sure he would know."
Xander smiled. "Thanks."
Vin grinned. "So ya got all seven of these peace keepers in ya?"
Xander blushed, but nodded his head.
"Wow. That is so cool," JD said. "Buck, isn't that cool? What do they look like? Was mine really the sheriff? Mama said he was. Mmph. . ."
JD's voice became muffled as Buck slapped his hand over his partner's mouth. "Would you slow down, JD. Yer not giving him much chance to answer."
JD crossed his eyes trying to look down at the hand covering his mouth. Finally, giving up on seeing the appendage, he settled for glaring at his roommate.
Xander chuckled. "Yes, he was the sheriff. Their ghost town has a picture of him. You do look like him. You all look like your ancestors."
"Cool," JD said. He took one step away from Buck, giving him a wary look as he moved his hand.
"I'm sure our last member would find all this fascinating," Josiah said. "He's interested in American History and the Old West in particular."
Nathan glanced at the clock, noticing it was almost nine, he sighed. "And it looks like he'll be in shortly."
"Why Mr. Jackson," a southern voice drawled from the doorway, "It sounds as though you were waiting in anticipation for my arrival this morning."
Xander turned around at the familiar voice. In his head, the same voice uttered, "Tha's nah possible."
Nathan snorted. "I was just noting your late mornings, Ez."
"Ah, but the morning has not truly begun until ten," Ezra said.
Nathan opened his mouth, only to close it as Chris shook his head. "Nathan, leave off."
Ezra glanced at Xander in curiosity. "And this gentleman is?"
His teammates quickly updated him on what was going on. Finally, he turned to look at Xander with a thoughtful look. "I have seen many abnormal occurrences, but have yet to meet an actual medium."
Xander shrugged and at the urgings of the Old West version of the man, stepped forward. "Uhm, if you don't mind my asking, do you know anything about your family history? Your ancestor, who looks like you, is insisting that he had no kids."
"Ah, but my illustrious ancestor would not have known. My grandfather never met the man for which I was named. He was a mere two years old when the man died and lived in Georgia," Ezra said.
"That the man you mentioned got you interested in police work?" Chris asked as he stepped closer to Ezra, handing the man a steaming cup of coffee.
Ezra nodded his thanks and took a quick sip before explaining while smiling, "When my grandfather was eighteen, he searched for his father and found out about his life and death protecting a small western town. He used to tell me stories about the man and his valiant efforts to protect the town he had settled in. His stories had a great influence on my choice of career."
"Wow," Xander said. "Oh, by the way, I'm Xander."
Xander held out his hand, which Ezra shook. "I'm Ezra P. Standish, at your service, good sir."
Xander's eyes widened, "Wha . . . What? What did you say your last name was?"
The ATF group looked at him in confusion. They didn't see what was so shocking about Ezra's name. Even the Old West group was clamoring to know what was wrong with the teen. Ezra raised his brow, "Ezra P. Standish."
Xander gulped. "Uh . . . any relation to Maude Standish?"
Ezra's eyes widened. "That is mah mother. Why?"
Xander eyes darted to the ground. He licked his lips and then glanced up at Ezra. "Uhm . . . she's my aunt."
Ezra gasped. "What?"
Xander bit his bottom lip. "Well really she's my mom's biological aunt, but she told me not to call her a Great Aunt. . ."
Ezra blinked. "You know mah mother?"
Xander nodded. "Yeah, when I was five she took me on a trip. She said I was gonna stay with her. But after we visited this old man, she dumped me back with my parents. Said something about me being like my mom and not realizing my full potential."
Ezra frowned and he tried to think of where he would have been at that time.
"I don't get it," JD said. "Why would she take you back to your parents if she was going to have you live with her?"
Xander shrugged. "I think I made her mad when I wouldn't lie to Mr. Collins." At the curious looks, he explained. "I couldn't lie to him. He gave me cookies."
The group laughed.
"He's yer cousin all right," Buck said to Vin while slapping the man on the back.
Chris looked at Ezra, "Why didn't you know about any of this?"
Ezra sighed. "I am not privy to much of the matters concerning my mother, Chris. At the time, we were not talking as she disapproved of my ambition to work in the field of law enforcement. I believe I was just starting my training at Quantico. Though, her actions do not surprise me. Throughout my childhood, she was constantly involved in one scheme or another. I rarely saw her unless her future spouse was interested in being a father which most were not."
Chris rested his hand on Ezra's shoulder and squeezed. Ezra glanced back at the man and gave a soft smile. He turned his gaze back toward Xander. "It seems you are related to myself as well as Mr. Tanner."
Xander smiled. "That's great. I started this search to see if I could find any family members I could be proud of besides Uncle Speed."
"Ain't that amazing, Ez?" JD asked. "You and Vin have the same relative."
"So it appears," Ezra said.
Vin chuckled. "Just goes to show how small the world really is, don't it?"
Next time: Putting the Pieces Together