Children of the Stars
Buffy closed the door behind her. 'That went well.' Xander said as he pulled out a chair
As well as the Slayer and Himself Willow, Giles, Kennedy and Andrew, for some reason, were all in one of the top rooms of the Castle's Keep. Dawn, arms folded on the windowsill, poking her nose inside, literally. Scooby meetings usually took place in here, well the two other meetings they'd had in the last few of years had anyway
'Yes, not for them apparently.' Giles lent against the mantle piece.
Andrew was literally bouncing from foot to foot. 'They're really aliens!'
Xander shook his head. 'Sort of. They don't come from Earth but they are still human.'
Kennedy looked at him. 'Don't you mean "we" Xander. You are one of them right?'
'No. My father and his side of the family is. Does that matter? I'm still the same old Xander.'
'Wearing that uniform?' Giles asked archly and Xander felt like he was being interrogated. 'How can we be sure?'
It was Buffy who came to his defence. 'Come on guys! What was he going to do; "Oh by the way I've found my real family. Don't worry they're just from another galaxy?" I'd have been the first to call him nuts.'
'Then why are you defending him Buffy?' The Englishman pressed. 'He's lied to all of us. You should be the first to realise that. He's put you, Dawn, all of us in danger.'
'How?' Xander asked. 'The Cylons haven't come anywhere near Earth as long as I've been alive. Even if they did it's not like they'd come after just me.'
'But who knows what their true motives are. You're one of them, we can't trust your word in this. Sorry Xander but you shouldn't even be here right now.'
Kennedy looked at him, 'Yeah, Xander. Going to have to say earthlings only.' she said with some sarcasm.
Xander almost couldn't believe what he was hearing, all he'd done and now when he asked for help... 'Buff, Wills. You don't believe this do you? All the Commander wants is help. I called him down here to help us fight Twilight and we're arguing about if we can trust me?'
Will shook her head 'Giles's right Xander, If you had told us earlier...'
'Like hell.' Buffy cursed, interrupting her. 'No I'm not having this. Xander couldn't tell us without making us think he'd gone mad and he's right. After all he's done for us, for me, we owe him this.'
'We all owe him thanks Buffy, but this is bigger.' Giles effectively cut Xander off from the others. With a half shock Xander noticed that almost the whole room had turned against him. 'We are talking about re-writing the history of life on this planet and we don't know what they truly want.'
'And I don't care what he's done.' Kennedy said, glaring at him. 'Sure Xander's your friend and I feel bad about him losing his eye and everything but that's what happens when you take this job on.'
'Kennedy, if you don't shut up I'm reaching in there and playing with you like a rag doll.' Dawn growled, genuinely scary. Xander could see the divisions, Buffy was on his side and so was Dawn. Andrew was still being a super-geek about the whole thing. It was Giles, Kennedy and Willow of all people who were suspicious. Though he could see Will was more angry at him than anything else.
'This is getting us nowhere.' Xander said standing up. 'All you're doing is arguing about me. That's not important here. What is important is you need to figure out what we're going to do next. If I'm not wanted fine, I've got other things to do. Like billet the Slayers you brought around the Colonials.' He went for the door but stopped next to Buffy. 'Buff, please. Don't let Giles throw this away. They've spent more than twenty years out there waiting for Earth to be ready. It's not yet, but we are and we need them. The Commander knows who Twilight is, he's stopped him before and we can do it again.' With that Xander left, leaving the door wide open.
'We won't.' Dawn called after him as he rolled his sleeve up and pressed three buttons on the wrist computer. No way he was going to miss this, even if it meant cheating. _________
Buffy turned a death glare on Kennedy. 'If you ever talk to Xander like that again you'll wish Dawn got a hold of you. Got that.'
'New boyfriend?' she asked barely hiding a sneer.
A year ago Buffy wouldn't have said anything. Thing was it was Xander who had held her family together, her pointless arguments with Dawn, all the little things that she couldn't do or do alone he'd been there. Shouldering all the burdens she hadn't been able to. There were so many things that he thought she didn't know about, arguments between the Slayers, bills even helping Dawn with her giant size while all she could do was snap at her sister like a four year old. 'You know, I wish you were worth it Ken, but I can't be bothered wasting my time.'
Buffy sighed; 'Giles, I can usually rely on you to say something intelligent. Don't let me down.'
The old Watcher took of his glasses and polished them. 'Right, ignoring if we believe them or not there are still several facts that we must agree upon. The first we have to acknowledge is Xander's true heritage. Show of hands; who thinks that they are Xander's family.'
Four hands went up, one extra came in through the window almost flattering everyone.
'Yes, well I didn't think that one out. Dawn if you would please just raise a finger. Kennedy, is there a reason you didn't raise your hand?'
'They're not from Earth, how can they be his mom and dad if their not even human.'
'They are human, just not from Earth. Dumbo.' Dawn said from outside.
'Enough, that's the second fact I wanted to address.' Giles mediated. 'Kennedy makes a valid point, but I am afraid we need an answer that we can all agree on.'
'Well it's not that hard,' Willow spoke up. 'I sort of checked up when I saw Xander in that uniform thing. They are related.'
'Thank you Willow, I was going to suggest that you mystically investigated that. Anything else you can tell us that will be of help?'
'Not much Giles, their all human I can tell you that much and Adama's older than he looks. Way older and powerful.'
'Magically powerful?' Buffy asked almost before thinking.
Will shrugged. 'I don't know, he's not a warlock or something like that but more... more Slayer like I guess. A strength of spirit and personality you know.'
'That would make sense if he's the leader of these people.' Giles nodded. 'So we move on to the second fact in question. Are they from space? Hands or fingers up please.'
Two hands and a finger went up. Belonging to Andrew Buffy and Dawn.
'Buffy, they're human. Willows confirmed that much. How can they be human and alien at the same time?' Kennedy asked, she must have changed her mind.
'I don't know, maybe the story they told us.' Buffy snarked. Really she had no idea, she just trusted Xander was telling the truth and she just knew it was the truth.
'That story was full of holes. Even you should be able to see that.' Giles said.
'Who cares, its a great story.' Andrew practically squealed. 'Travelling for years to find a home where they would be welcome. Refugees from a war they lost. Struggling to survive against the odds...'
'And they find us. Paranoid, augmentative kids about to blow ourselves up with nukes. Sounds like fun.' Dawn finished. 'They must have heard about that Orson Wells thing. You know War Of The Worlds.'
'What?' Buffy asked
Dawn sighed. 'Have you ever read a book? This guy Orson Wells made a radio show, you know radio? The show caused this great big panic about an alien invasion from Venus. People even died.'
Giles put his glasses back on; 'It was Mars, not Venus. While I've always preferred the musical version but she's right. People would panic if they knew an alien fleet was up there, but that is not the question. They are technologically advanced but that doesn't mean alien.'
'No, the huge ship they've got up there does though.' Came another voice. Buffy turned to see Faith stroll in through the open door. 'What's up guys?'
'So they do have a ship? That's awesome.' Andrew squealed.
'You could say that. I'd say they've got a great big metal city up there with enough firepower to give Darth Vader nightmares. The thing is massive.'
'How many of those fighter things.' Kennedy asked.
Faith shrugged 'Something like four squadrons. Whatever that means, but I'll tell you this; they'll only need a couple to out do anything I've seen on TV.'
'That's so cool.'
'Perhaps Andrew but this raises two problems. The first is invasion the other is that there is the possibility that these Cylons are still around.' Giles pointed out needlessly.
Buffy disagreed. 'I don't think invasion. I mean they've been here for as long as any of us have been alive. Well not you Giles.' Buffy paused for a moment and winced at what she had just said.
'Yes well thank you Buffy for pointing out I'm old enough to be everyone here's father, but your point is well made. With this sort of technology at their disposal an... I can't believe I'm about to say this... an invasion from space is unlikely. Otherwise they would have done so.'
A silence descended between them as for the first time Buffy really thought about what this all meant. Aliens, space fleets and the whole thing. Then she remembered what the Commander had said. About how they had to flee when twelve worlds were blown away. Billions of people. No that didn't fit.
Sunnydale gone. She'd had enough time to accept that. These people had their Sunnydale's destroyed. That she could except, forget worlds and numbers that didn't have much meaning. Everyone of these people had lost their home, family and most of their friends.
'You know my problem with this...' Kennedy said at last
'We're about to.' Dawn interrupted and rolled her eyes
'Would Xander have told us if it wasn't life or death. I mean how much longer would he have kept us in the dark about all this?'
'Now hang on...' Buffy started.
Giles paced the room. 'I know this is not something you or Dawn want to face Buffy but it is a good point. Xander would never have told any of us unless it was important. That he has in such a way tells us that whatever he has learnt about Twilight is far bigger than we first thought. Even so we have to ask what other secrets he is keeping from us.'
'No we don't, because this isn't about him. It's about them.' Buffy pointed out. 'Xander left less than five minutes ago to keep us on track. I'm not going to say anything behind his back.'
Dawn agreed. 'She's right. So we need to talk about what next and we can't do that without Xander or the others here.'
'Actually we can. We can list what we need now and arrange how we are going to go about getting it.' Giles said in full Watcher mode.
'I'm getting a Viper.' Faith said out of nowhere.
'Oh oh! Me too.' Andrew almost hopped from foot to foot.
'Dream on geek-boy. There's no way you could handle it, it's got enough power to put that Clarkson guy on cloud nine.'
'You watch Top Gear?' Dawn asked
Buffy looked between them. 'What?'
'Forget books. Just watch something other than Soap Operas.' Dawn sighed._________
Faith hid a grin, the brat was constantly one upping Buffy. The older Slayer just ignored her. It had been a long time since she'd seen the two of them act like a family, not snapping spitefully at each other. Faith had never been much for families. No dad, at least a dozen step dads and a mom that couldn't say no to a drink. Still, as if that was a reason to do what she had done. 'So where's Xander?' she asked.
Dawn turned her massive eyes on Giles. 'Some people say we can't trust him, cause he's related to them.'
'Can't think who.' Buffy matched her sisters glare on the Watcher.
Faith got the general idea 'Giles? Come on, X might not be the sharpest carpenter on the block but I can't think of anyone I'd want at my back more. It doesn't matter if he's from Mars or something. He's a good guy, not some bug-eyed alien monster from outer space wanting to eat us.'
Giles looked at her, he wasn't comfortable with being put on the spot like this. 'I wish I could agree, Xander's been a good friend to most of us and done more than anyone asked of him. I said before you came in Faith we need to carefully analyse everything they told us.'
'Hang on, instead of standing around tearing each other down, we should be doing something.' Buffy took charge. 'We don't know enough, We can take them on their word or we can be all suspicious. Faith had the right idea going out there and seeing it with her own eyes. Giles, you find and talk to the old guy. Rewrite those history books.
'Kennedy, Faith.' Buffy turned to them. 'You're with me, lets see what other cool toys they've got.'
'Oh, me too.' Andrew hopped from foot to foot.
'You too then, you and Will are the closest thing to experts. God help us.'
Faith laughed; 'Taking the super-geek's word on it?'
'Yep, because Will's going to be busy mending bridges.'
'What?' The red head asked.
'You and Xander, I want you two talking without the long accusing looks. Dawn's going to keep an eye on the two of you.'
The giantess coughed. 'Sorry, there's something else I've got to do.'
'What?' Buffy snapped. 'What could possibly be more important than this.'
Dawn's black look was worthy of her older sister. 'This is something I have to do. It's important, okay?'
'Ahh, Kenny.' Buffy said, if anything Dawn's look went darker and Faith could guess this Kenny was a sore point. Ex-boyfriends were like that, the good ones were at least. 'What good will it do Dawn? Really?'
'It's not what good it will do. It's that it's the right thing.'
Faith nodded. 'Little big D's got you there B. Take it from me, dragging around a load of issues. You make mistakes.' The room turned on her. 'What? I just call it like I see it.'
'I'm going. That's all there is to it.' Dawn insisted.
Kennedy sighed. 'Then go, honestly all you're going to do is get in the way. All because you couldn't keep your pants on around some boy.' Faith held back a whistle as no one said anything. The brat somehow kept her cool and without a word turned from the window and left.
Faith was the first to talk; 'You know Red, it's cool and all but your girlfriend can be a right pain.'
Said girlfriend jumped up and was almost standing on Faiths toes when she asked; 'What's that mean?'
'It means you've got a problem. I don't know what it is but you need to lay of the land. Try to understand the kid and X, before you say something you'll regret.'
'You want to know what my problem is?' Kennedy asked. 'I'm a Slayer right, Willow's a witch and Giles is like big with the mystics but what are they? Huh? A little girl with troubles and one eyed ex-carpenter that's almost as bad as Andrew here.'
Faith blinked a glance over at B. The oldest Slayer was ready to brain the girl. 'You know that thing I said you were close to saying? That was it. X has been through the sort of crap that you have nightmares about. I'm not talking about his eye here, B and the old gang might have some stories. I've heard most of them and I've seen what X does behind all their backs.' Faith had, when she was working for the Mayor, she'd kept an eye on her old boy-toy. Sure he hadn't been a closet superhero putting on a mask and fighting crime but long after Buffy had called it a night Xander was out there with an ear to the ground.
More than that, like B said, the guy was the glue holding them all together. Kept them grounded. When she had gone over to the Dark Side he'd found her, tried to talk her around. She wasn't ready and threw him out. Then later she'd just wrote him off like Kennedy was doing now.
'Yeah, I've heard all the stories, but sooner or later somethings going to comedown and they'll get in the way.' Kennedy pointed out.
'Kennedy, I've though that too.' B admitted. 'I've tried everything to get him and Dawn to stop. I even sent them away when we were going after The First. Even if it was the hardest thing he had to do he did it.'
'Then he came back, he was there remember.'
'Only because Dawn knocked him out and drove them both back. Look, Kennedy, arguing about this is pointless and you're just going to get on everyone's nerves. So lets just get on with it. I can kick that attitude out of you later.'_________
Xander sneaked out of the room about the same time Dawn left. Deactivating his cloaking field he was glad Buffy made the right choice, although why she was so willing to forgive him about hiding his past he had no idea.
Still that wasn't important. He trusted Dawn but the girl had a habit of getting in trouble. Last time she'd gone out on her own she'd came back a giantess. God only knows what could happen next. Tapping the communication function no his wrist computer he called his sister. 'Ath, I need a bit of help.'
End Chapter 6