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Nothing is as it seems

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Nothing is as it Seems". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: Xander's life changes over night

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > Kindred: the EmbracedwolfshifterFR1314,979113,71428 Apr 0928 Apr 09Yes
Disclaimer: I do not own BTVS nor do I own Kindred the Embraced.

Author’s note: This story was written in 2001. Back then I didn’t really know the names of Xander’s parents so I made them up. I’m not for sure what Franks’ wife name was so, of course, I made that name up too. I originally posted this and some other stories on I did my best on correcting some of my mistakes.

Nothing Is As It Seems

For Alexander Harris this was a day of both hell and relief. Today was the day Melanie Harris's will was to be read to family and friends. Xander knew he would not miss his mother greatly. How could one miss another if they hardly knew them? Melanie Harris was not what Xander would call 'mother material'.

No, Xander never really knew the woman called Melanie Harris. She was never around very much after Jeremiah Harris started to get violent. From what Xander could tell, she would seek the refuge of some bar that was out of town. She would then spend a couple of days gone and come back reeking of beer and sex.

Xander didn't know how he should feel about her. He thought that he should be happy that his mother would not be in his way anymore but he couldn't. He guessed it was because of the way that she had died. No, not died but killed.

He could still remember the night so vividly that it still made him sick to his stomach. Xander had just come home from a night out at the bronze with the Scooby gang when he saw the carnage. Blood was everywhere that his eyes laid upon. His mother laid in the middle of the living room floor. Next to her broken and bloody body laid his father. Seeing his father, Xander rapidly figured out what had happened. His father
must have gone into another one of his drunken rampages and had taken it out on his mother. This time, though, his father had gone too far. After killing Melanie, he had decided to kill himself. Xander lifted himself up, realizing that he had fallen to his knees. As if he was on automatic control, Xander reached for the phone and called 911.

It felt like hours before Xander was able to go to sleep. It seemed that the police and reporters would never give up asking him relentless questions of what had happened. Finally, he fell asleep only to be woken up by the phone ringing.

"Hello?" Xander's voice was still laced with sleep.

"OH MY GOD, XANDER. ARE YOU ALL RIGHT? WHENE WERE YOU GOING TO TELL ME?" Screamed the usually shy and quiet Willow.

"Willow, can you please shut up for a minute. For your first question, yes I am all right and as for your second, I was too tired to talk to anyone." Xander's reply was calmer than it should have been.

"Well, you sure wasn't too tired to talk to the reporters. It's all over the newspapers."

"WHAT? Hey, listen Willow, I got to go. Talk to you later." Xander hurriedly hung the phone up and went to get the newspaper. In big print was:


'Around midnight bodies of both Jeremiah and Melanie Harris were discovered by their
seventeen year old son, Alexander Harris. Harris reports that his father was a violent
man and it did not surprise him one bit that things have ended the way they did.'

'Wow! They sure did get things in the newspaper fast. I don't see why vampires are going so unnoticed like they are,' mused Xander.

Over the next few days, Xander barely talked to his friends. The only person that Xander really talked to was his mother's lawyer, Mr. Jenkins. With Mr. Jenkins help, he was able to get through the funeral and now it was just the will reading that had him nervous.

Xander plopped himself down on the hard chair. He looked over to his best friend, Willow and smiled. Though it was a sad smile, it was still a smile. He looked around some more and found the rest of the group. They were all milling around the room before having to sit down. Xander had to smirk at that. They all looked uncomfortable to him.

For some odd reason, unbeknownst to Xander, he glanced around one more
time. Finally, he saw it. Well, not an it but a him. At least Xander was fairly certain that it was a man. The shadows covered him up pretty well. What Xander could tell was that this man was a stranger to Sunnydale and yet he stood there like he knew the place.

Xander's inspection was interrupted by Mr. Jenkins clearing his throat. Xander threw him a not so amused look. Either the lawyer ignored the look or he did not see it
because he went right on with what he was about to say.

"Now Ladies and Gentlemen," Mr. Jenkins started, "I would like to start with the reading of Melanie Harris's will. First off I would like to make . . ." Xander zoned out on the reading as his attention soon went back to the mysterious stranger. It wasn't until he heard his name did he bring his attention back to the reading.

"As for my beloved son, I am sorry for all the trouble that I have put you through. I know that life has been hard on you and what I am about to say will be even harder. You see, Jeremiah was never your father. I guess he knew this and that was the reason he took things out on you. Your real father goes by the name of Frank Kohanek.

Two days before
San Francisco:

Detective Frank Kohanek walked in the police precinct taking no notice of those around him. His posture reeked of sadness with the slump shoulders and down cast eyes. He finally looked up only to catch the concern look from his partner. Frank gave a sign, knowing that he would soon be bombarded with questions that he did not wish to answer.
He watched as Detective Sonny rise up from his desk and head over his way.

"Hey man! You look as if a good friend just died." Sonny joked, trying to ease up the load that seemed to be weighing his friend down. He didn’t know how true his words were.

"A friend did die, Sonny." Frank solemnly replied. He was about to head toward the captain's office when a hand on his arm halted the process.

"Now, wait a minute! Don't go running off before you explained some things."

Frank turned away from his friend before replying. "Listen I got some stuff to take care of with the Captain and then we can talk."

"All right then. How about we meet at the Haven and talk there."

"Yea, yea whatever." With that Frank headed toward the captain's office.

Later that night
The Haven:

The low lighted bar reflected the mood that Frank was in. It seem to set off the gloomy effects of his mood. Then there was the music and the black lights that surrounded those who were already there. To Frank, it was torture. Who in the world can find anybody in this place. Just when Frank was about to give up hope on finding Sonny, he spotted him sitting at a table near the far corner of the building. Finally, getting to his friend and sitting down, Frank started up the conversation by answering the unspoken question he could see in his friend's eyes.

"Her name was Melanie Cobalt. She was a childhood friend and girlfriend. We were so in love back then. We were even planning on getting married but something happened. She decided to break up. She didn't even give me a reason why." Frank paused as the memories of his past started to flash before his eyes. "The next thing I knew she was headed for South California and that was the last I had heard from her. That was until yesterday. I got a phone call from a lawyer named Jenkins. He told me that she had died and that she had requested me to be present during the reading of her will."
As soon as Frank stopped talking, Sonny went to asking questions. "So where is it that you are having to go to?"

"A place called Sunnydale. It’s right here in California."

Frank looked up at the sound of choking. "What? Was it something that I said?"

"No. No, it had nothing to do with what you said. I just started to think of something and remembered that I had something important to talk to Julian about." Sonny rambled on.

Frank stared in amazement at his friend. This was the first time that he had ever seen his friend stumble over his words like he was now. Then, he got a knowing look on his face.

"Kindred business?" Frank asked with a tint of anger in his voice.

"Yea, I'm sorry Frank but I must go." Sonny's voice held no stutter as it did a second ago. No, it held a calmness that only one who knew how would do it in a situation like this.

Both men got up to leave. One headed for the office upstairs and the other heading home to pack for Sunnydale.

Later at Luna Mansion:

Not being able to find the Prince anywhere at the Haven, Sonny had decided to call him. Upon finding out that he was at home, Sonny hurried there as fast as he could. Now he was waiting for the Prince to get out of a meeting. A couple of minutes had past before he heard the sound of a door creeping open.

"What do I owe to the pleasure of your visit?" Julian Luna asked his childe while stepping into the library.

"I had a talk with Frank today."

"Oh really, and how did that go?"

"Not good. Sire, he is heading for Sunnydale for a few days." Sonny's calm voice held a slight tint of nervousness.

"WHAT? That place is one of the most barbaric vampire like kindred infested place that I know of. It is bad enough that he is in danger here because he knows of us but to go there would be suicide." Julian could not believe his bad luck. Sure Frank always annoyed him and he seems to be in the way all the time but he did not want Frank to get killed. He let out a growl of frustration that caused Sonny to back away. Calming himself before he went into a frenzy, he turned to Sonny. "I am sorry for my outburst. You know what lies in Sunnydale or you would have never brought it up."

"Yes, I have heard of the Hellmouth and the evil that resides there. What would you like for me to do?"

Julian smirked, "You know me all too well. I want you to follow Frank to Sunnydale. It is best that he not know about this. I know this will make it harder on you but you must not let him see you or he will start asking questions. If he knew about the those in Sunnydale then he would most likely past more judgment upon us."

"Yes, sir." Saying that, Sonny left to make plans for the trip.

Present time:

Xander just sat in his seat. He couldn't move. Especially not after what he had just heard. The man he knew as his father wasn't really his father. His whole body started to tremble in shock. Oh God! How could his mother do this to him? First she lets him go through hell with his father's abuse and now he finds out that he didn't really have to take any of that crap from the man. His anger started to well up inside him. He leaped out of his seat and went up to the lawyer, demanding to see the will.

"This is not possible. Why would she make me suffer that long? Why didn't she tell me sooner?" Xander muttered to himself, all the while reading the will. His hands started to shake. ‘Oh God! She writes that she requested that Frank Kohanek to be here. She said that she wants me to meet him and that he knew nothing about me.’ He took a deep breathe before looking around the room.

All eyes were upon him. He could see the look of pity in most of their eyes including those of his friends. He looked away from their stares, hating himself. Finally, finding the nerve within himself, Xander yelled over the slowly rising mutters.

"Is Frank Kohanek in here?"

From the back of the room, the stranger that Xander had saw earlier stepped out from the shadows.

"I'm Frank and I guess I'm your father."

Xander looked over at the man who said that he was his father. The dark brown hair had the same waves as Xander's did. They were both around the same height. Xander was just an inch or so shorter. The eyes are what really got to Xander. It was like his own, they held wisdom. Wisdom about the darkness and that things really do go bump in the night. Xander didn't know how but he knew that this man held many secrets.
Xander cleared his throat before talking. "I think that maybe we should find somewhere private so that we can talk."

Frank looked the boy over once before agreeing. "Yeah. That would be good. Do you have a place in mind?"

"Hold on. I'm going to go and ask a favor from my friends." Xander left Frank standing there as he headed over to where Buffy and the others were standing.

"Giles, do you think it would be o.k. if Frank and I used the library so that we can talk?"

"Yes . . . yes, that would be fine. Do you need someone to be there for moral support?" Giles stuttered out in his usual manner.

"Nah. I think I can handle this on my own." Xander stated with false bravery. He turned around and began to leave but was stopped by a strong grip on his arm.

"Are you sure?" Buffy asked. The look in her eyes told Xander that she would be there to protect him if he ever needed it.

Xander signed. He hoped to see love for him every time he looked into her eyes. But no. It wasn't love for him that he saw. At least not the kind of love that he wanted. It was the love a person has for ones brother or sister. Xander let out another sign.

"I'm sure."


Xander left his friends and headed back to where Frank was standing. "O.K. I have a place for us to go. Do you have a car to take? Cause if you do, we can both go in it. Mine is in for repairs."

At the library:

"Are you sure it is ok for us to be in a school library? Especially when the school is closed?"

"Of course, I'm sure. My friends and I are always coming here to hang out when we want to be alone." Xander looked up to see Frank giving him a strange look. "What?"

"Nothing. Its just kinda strange to hear that teenagers go to the library under their own will power."

"Strange things do happen here." Xander said with a tight smile on his face. "So what is it that you want to know?"

"I guess we can start with how your life has been."

"Its been a living hell." Xander almost laughed out loud at that. Oh, how true his words were. "My dad was an abusive bastard. I can’t even remember when it all started. My mom really didn't care. She would be gone for days and when she did decide to come back home, she was always covered with the smell of alcohol. One whiff of it and you would get drunk yourself. Heck you could basically smell her coming from miles
ahead. I even think that at times she would be high but I don't know." Xander started to pace the floor.

Frank waited until Xander cooled down before he asked another question. "How did she die?"

"You mean no one has told you?" Xander saw Frank shake his head no. "Figures. Dad murdered her. Then he had enough galls to go and blow his own head off."

When you feel alone
and the world has turned its back on you
Give me a moment please to tame your wild wild heart
I know you feel like the walls are closing in on you
It's hard to find relief and people can be so cold
When darkness is upon your door and you feel like you can't take anymore

Frank notices Xander's body start to tremble. He gets up from where he was sitting and walks over to Xander. He kneels down and embraces the boy in a hug. For the first time since it all started, Xander began to cry.

Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone.

"Shh. It's ok. I got you." Frank did his best to soothe the teenager in his arms.

Xander whispered in a calm and eerie voice. "I was the one to find them that way. Even after he is dead, the bastard still knows how to hurt me. I mean, he didn't even let me have the chance to avenge my mother's death."

"Come on. Just let it all out." Frank said knowing that Xander was still holding back the tears. A couple of seconds later, Xander was crying his heart out.

When you feel all alone
and a loyal friend is hard to find
You're caught in a one way street
With the monsters in your head
You feel like you can't face the day.
"It's alright. I'm here. Nobody is going to hurt you."
Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone.

"I want you to come back with me to San Francisco."

"What?" Xander looks over at Frank with surprise and doubt written all over his face.

"I know it is hard to believe since we just met but I think that you would be better off there. You would have to adjust, though. I just think it would do you a lot of good. You need to get away from here for a little while." Frank rambled on finally coming to a stop.

Because there has always been heartache and pain
and when it's over you'll breathe again
You'll breathe again.

Xander just looks at Frank's face thinking about what he had just said. He could tell that the man was sincere with what he said.

When you feel all alone
And the world has turned its back on you
Give me a moment please
To tame your wild wild heart.

"I guess but just for a short time. I don't like leaving my friends all alone here." Xander relented.


Let me be the one you call
If you jump I'll break your fall
Lift you up and fly away with you into the night
If you need to fall apart
I can mend a broken heart
If you need to crash then crash and burn
You're not alone.

The sun shines into the small room that Xander is residing in. The teen in question was having the first peaceful sleep in what seems like ages. The bed covers were pushed down to his legs letting his scarred back be shown to the world. His arms reached for the pillow next to his head. They reached their target. The pillow swiftly went over his head covering his eyes from the bright sun.

"Alexander, time to wake up." Frank said coming into the room. Frank closes his mouth as he gets a good look at his new found son. He was still surprised at that word. He never thought of himself as a father and now here he was with a teenage son. His heart grew in both pride and anger. The pride he felt for his son. The boy went through hell and back. It still amazed him with what Xander had told him the other day. His own son fought demons and vampires, along with his father, every night for the past year or two. Frank knew that Xander was beginning to trust him but he just wish the boy would tell him everything. That was where his anger came from. How could anyone beat on another living being? Especially the one they are suppose to call son. He did not know how but he would protect his son from any evil that this world had to conjure up.

"Come on, Alexander, you need to wake up."

"It's too early for anyone to be awake." Xander groggily replied from under the pillow.

"You must've had another nightmare." Frank stated. For the past days, ever since the funeral, Xander had been having nightmares.

"Why do you say that?" Xander asked defensively.

"Hey don't get mad at me. I just said that cause it's not morning but noon. You need to get up."


Frank smirked before he answered. "Well, for one thing I said so and for another thing we are going out to dinner. There is someone who wants to meet you."

"A lady friend?" Xander asked with a sly smile.

"No. His name is Julian Luna. His is just an associate." Frank didn't want to go into anymore details. He hated the fact that when he told Luna that Xander knew about the vampires, Luna had made the demand to see the boy at once. Now he had to make sure that nothing will happen to his son as he went into the lion's den.

"Julian? Do I know him?" Xander asked. The confusion in his voice was evident. 'Why would Frank repeat what I had told him, in confidence, to some guy that I don't even know.'

Frank watched as the look of confusion and anger slowly take over his son's face. He could rightly understand those feelings. He felt the same way when his wife died and then when he lost Alexandra. He hated the Kindred, especially Julian, for taking the one person after Lora's death that had filled his heart with love. Now, here he was turning his own flesh and blood over to a killer. Frank took a deep breathe before trying to make his son understand something that he did not equally understand himself.

"Listen, kid, I know you think I did wrong by telling someone the secret that you had told me in secrecy. It's not something that I had wanted to do. Julian had someone follow me but I have yet to find out who. It seems, though, that this spy overheard us talking. Well, Julian found out about what was said and had me verify it. He, then, suggested on meeting you." Frnak stopped talking and looked over at his son. The
expression on the boy's face was hard to make out.

Xander didn't know what to think or even say. His emotions bombarded him in every which way. He wanted to be angry with his father and lash out at him for betraying what little trust that Xander had given him. He was also scared. He didn't know a thing about Julian, the man that wanted to meet him. What also scared him was the fact that Julian Luna knew a whole lot about him. 'I guess I could see if Giles or Willow could do
some research for me.' Xander looked up at his father and continued on with his thoughts. 'I'm not going to be able to get out of this meeting, though. The way Frank is looking at me, it makes me wonder if he actually tried to find me a way out of going. Oh well, I guess I will have to wait until I get home to call Giles.' Xander let his thoughts drift as he started to get ready.

An hour later:

"Ok. I can see why we are meeting this guy." Frank smirked at Xander's words. Ok! I sort of understand. Hey, give a guy a break! Anyway, what I'm really confused about is why are we here and why are we dressed like this?" Xander said pulling on the black tie that he was wearing. Both men were dressed in nice black suits. Xander felt like he was going to a funeral. 'Yea, my funeral.' Xander thought with a slight grunt.

"You know why, Xander," Frank said letting out a tired sign. Over the past half hour, Xander had been whining about getting dressed up just to go out to eat. Frank was slowly losing his patience. "The O' Tagon's is a black tie and suit restaurant which means that you have to wear a tie and suit."

Xander opened his mouth and then closed it as quick as he had opened it. From the look on Frank's face, Xander knew that he was pushing things a little bit too far. "Ok. I'm sorry. I guess I'm just a little nervous." Xander said while putting a sulking look on his face.

"Ma'am, we’re here to meet with Julian Luna. Can you direct us to his table?" Frank asked the hostess ,while in the process, he ignored the look his son was giving him.

The hostess looked through the guest book until she found the name she was looking for. "Ah. Here it is. Mr. Luna is already here. Follow me and I will show you to your seats." She lead them to a far off corner where the shadow covered the table and the man sitting at it.

"Here you are, sir." With that she turned and left the three men to themselves.

"Ah. Mr. Harris, I presume?" Julian asked breaking the silence. He waited until Xander nodded before continuing. "I have heard from Frank that you are familiar with the supernatural."

Xander knew what Mr. Luna was doing. Julian wanted Xander to say what he knows without him having to tell what he knows. Xander relaxed from the tense state he was in and decided to just play into the man's game. "Well, I know of your variety vampires, demons, werewolves, and witches. I met plenty of demons and killed tons of vampires." Xander knew he was exaggerating there but what the man didn't know couldn't hurt him.

Xander lend back in his chair with his arms folded into a relaxed position. He was feeling proud of himself until he saw the look in Julian Luna's eyes. He couldn't help but flinch at what he saw. "What? What did I say wrong?" He asked with a twinge of nervousness in his voice.

"Mr. Harris, we seem to be in a situation here. You see today I had a meeting with my associates about this problem. After much disagreement, we finally came to a conclusion on what to do. I know of your past time with the slayer and I am afraid that you cannot hunt here. Before things go any further, I must tell you of my kind." Julian spoke with an eerie calmness.

"Your kind?" Xander interrupted.

"I don't like where this is going." Frank muttered to himself when both Julian and Xander had stopped talking. Seeing the look that Julian was giving Xander, he decided to say something. "Xander just let the man finish talking so that we can leave."

Julian gave Frank a silent 'thank you' before he continued talking. "My kind, young man, are called Kindred."

"So you're some kind of demon?" Xander said, once again interrupting Julian's speech.


'Oh boy! Now I'm in for it.' Xander thought as he slumped down into his seat. He was not use to seeing Frank this angry. Seeing him like this only reminded him of his other father. "Sorry." He whispered out wanting to calm Frank down.

Frank took in a deep breath. He hated the look that was on Xander's face. 'Damn the bastard that did this. Too bad the man is already dead or I would have killed him myself.' "No Xander, I'm the one who should be sorry. I should not have yelled but you are going to have to wait until Julian is done before you start with the questions." Xander promised Frank that he would wait.

Since the two were done talking, Julian decided to start speaking once again. "Kindred, in your terms, means vampires." At the panic look on Xander's face, Julian tried to calm him down. "We are very different from the vampires that you know." Julian went on to explain about the Kindred. He let Xander ask some questions before going over what will happen to Xander while he is here. "You will be under Kindred rule. If you go against us, you will be punished."


Xander signed happily as they home. "I think I'm going to head to bed." He yawned and headed to his room. He laid on his bed waiting until Frank went to bed. When he finally heard his father go to bed, he let a few minutes go by before getting up and searching for the phone. Finding it, he dialed on of the numbers that he knew by heart.

"Hullo?" answered a sleepy, British voice.

"Hey G-man!" Xander said with a little bit more enthusiasm than he intended to have.

"Xander, is that you?" Giles asked more awake no than a few minutes ago.

"Yea and do I have something to tell you."

The End
Note: Crash and Burn by Savage Garden. Please Review!

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