Disclaimer: Still not mine
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“So you have a nephew?” Dean winced as Bobby pulled the needle through his torn flesh.
“Alexander Harris. His mother Jessica is my younger sister. Haven’t seen her in years, not since she married that drunk Anthony and followed him into the bottle. Didn’t even know the kid existed till he showed up three years ago. Kept him busy out in the lot for the summer so he wouldn’t get into the books. If I’d known there was an actual Hellmouth in his town I would have shoved them down his throat.” Bobby finished the stitches and covered the wound with new gauze padding.
“You didn’t know though Bobby. And it seems like he’s doing okay.” Sam offered, trying to avoid looking anywhere near his brother’s injury.
“Okay? Sam the kid’s not even fully human!” Dean exclaimed and then yelped in pain as Bobby hit him.
“What? You didn’t see his eyes when he was fighting Meg.” He defended himself angrily.
“He didn’t react to the holy water and if you’d look up you’d see he had to walk through a devil’s trap to get into the kitchen.” Bobby responded, defending his nephew. He liked to think he’d gotten fairly close to the boy that summer and he didn’t like what Dean was saying about him one bit.
“He could have hurt me Dean but he didn’t. All he did was try to restrain me and he even apologised for the pain his breaking the binding link caused.” Sam added his bit to defend the teen. He knew the others eyes had been glowing, he’d been sort of awake at that point, and he had seen the humanity in them despite the otherworldliness.
“Oh come on Sam you can’t tell me that kid isn’t a threat!” Dean couldn’t believe Sam was standing up for the guy.
“If it wasn’t for him I might have killed you both! You really think Meg would have given you a chance to break the link? She wanted you dead Dean, I could feel it. If Xander hadn’t shown up when he did...” Sam trailed off, unable to finish that painful thought. Dean glared at them both and then slammed out of the house. Sam sagged in his seat and then jumped slightly as Bobby lifted his arm.
“Better let me look at that.” He said gruffly as he began to inspect Sam’s arm.
“Not too bad, bit of antiseptic and a band aid and you’ll be fine.” He went to work cleaning up the marks left by the demon and Xander’s nails.
“I’m sorry about Dean Bobby.” Sam said quietly.
“Don’t bother. That brother of yours will come to his senses eventually. He’s had a tough time since you disappeared.” Sam smiled and nodded before letting his head droop forward.
“Come on; let’s get you to a bed.” Sam accepted Bobby’s help upstairs; both of them smiling slightly at the sight of Xander sprawled out on Bobby’s old couch, snoring softly.
The smell of cooking meat brought everyone into the kitchen four hours later to find Xander moving about the kitchen to the beat of whatever song was playing on his iPod. Bobby and Sam smiled at the sight but Dean shot the teen a distrustful look to his back. Bobby went to tap his nephew on the shoulder only to find himself suddenly pinned to the counter before Xander quickly released him and backed off, taking his earphones out.
“Sorry. Really sorry Uncle Bobby.” He babbled, still backing away.
“It’s okay Xander; I shouldn’t have snuck up on you.” Bobby reassured him even though his heart was still racing slightly at the speed of Xander’s reaction. He should have remembered Xander didn’t react well to people coming up behind him unannounced and if he’d been fighting the last few years it made sense for that reaction to be stronger now. Though the nervous babble was a lot more like the nephew he remembered than the warrior from before.
“Smells good kid. You didn’t have to cook for everyone.” Xander shrugged at that.
“Woke up starving and it had finished thawing so I figured I might as well cook it all. There are some vegetables baking in the oven too.”
“Thanks, sounds good.” Sam said, giving the teen a smile. Xander gave him a nervous grin in return. They fell silent as the food was served and they all sat at the table, Bobby between Xander and the Winchester’s.
“So what brings you out here anyway? Don’t you still have school?” Bobby asked eventually.
“Sunnydale High is officially a rather large crater. If you want the official story then there was a gas pipe explosion during our graduation but since you deal with the weird and creepy you can have the truth if you want it?” The three men stared at him in shock.
“Your school blew up? Was anyone hurt? Why wasn’t on the news?” Sam rushed out in shock. Surely something like that would have been all over the news, especially if it happened during a graduation ceremony.
“Good old Sunnydale Syndrome. We have a higher death rate than places like New York and LA and the majority of those are caused by gangs on PCP, wild dogs and barbecue forks.”
“Barbecue forks?” Dean snorted in disbelief.
“How else are the very corrupt cops going to explain away two small holes in a person’s neck? Can’t admit the vampires got them after all. And to answer Sam’s question people were killed. Though hey, I think we all cheered when Principal Snyder got eaten. If anyone deserved it, it was the troll. The Mayor decided he wanted to ascend into this really big snake like demon; he’d been working on it since Sunnydale was built. Last time something like that happened it took a volcano to stop. Since we didn’t have one of those we...” The rest was a muttered jumble.
“You what Xander?” Bobby asked cautiously.
“We blew up the school. There was an eclipse so there were vampires attacking, trying to herd the students and the audience towards the mayor for easy snackage. I led the students in defending the parents and getting them out of there. The Slayer led the mayor into the school and her watcher hit the explosives.”
“You blew up your high school? That’s like every teenagers dream.” Sam elbowed Dean for his comment.
“Maybe without the body count. Six classmates and twelve from the audience.” Xander said quietly and Dean winced.
“Sorry.” He muttered knowing that despite what he might think of the kid he was obviously mourning those deaths. No matter what Bobby said about the teen he didn’t trust him. There was something about him that put him on edge, made his instincts scream threat and so he would keep him away from Sam despite how he had helped earlier. And they would be leaving as soon as they were up for travelling.
Dean froze as he spotted the figure sitting at the edge of the porch. He’d snuck outside for some air and some time alone to think, not to have a confrontation with Bobby’s nephew.
“I don’t bite.” He started slightly at the sound of Xander’s voice but moved slowly closer.
“You don’t like me much do you?” Xander looked over at him and tossed him a wiry grin, amusement sparkling in his eyes.
“I don’t trust you.” Dean retorted.
“Considering you don’t know me that’s fair. Though the hostility isn’t necessary. I’m no threat to you or your brother. I’m simply here to see my uncle while on my post-grad road trip. He’s the only family I’ve got that I actually like and I am here to spend some time with him. Odds are you’ll never see me again after this.”
“What are you?” Dean demanded.
“Human. Born and raised on the Hellmouth but still human, just with a few...quirks. The hyena is dormant unless those I see as pack are threatened or I am in deadly danger. The soldier memories simply gave me a head start on some of the basics when it comes to fighting and tactics, something that really came in handy when planning graduation. I get that you’re protecting your brother but back off. I don’t need you on my back for something I have no say in. I didn’t ask to be possessed or to have the effects last but the fact is it happened and I’ve had to deal with it and what I did when she was in control.” Dean could tell he was starting to get to the kid but he didn’t really care.
“What did you do, kill people?”
“No, that was the rest of the pack. I just tried to rape one of my best friends and there is a reason I no longer eat pork. If it wasn’t for the fact that friend was the Slayer...thinking about what could have happened makes me feel sick. Not everything out there is black and white, especially in Sunnydale. I mean hey we worked with a vampire that has his soul. There isn’t one person on our team that hasn’t been touched by the supernatural in some way but we deal with it and move on because we have no choice. We patrol nightly or else people die. That’s just the way things are back home.” Xander stood up and moved away from him and then tilted his head, obviously listening to something.
“You should go check on Sam. He may not consciously remember all of what happened but that won’t stop the nightmares.” Dean got to his feet and moved back inside as he realised what Xander had been hearing. He dashed up stairs and into the guestroom they used. Sure enough Sam was tossing on the bed, trapped in a nightmare.