For disclaimer see end of story
* * *
They’d started off following the mystically-tainted drugs south into Mexico, then further south until they bumped into some truly Evil drug traffickers, which finally led el gringo con parche
and la Cazavampiros
to a monstrous little drug cartel way down in Guerrero. The morning after the last confrontation Xander lay in bed and smiled at the ceiling while Vi traced lazy circles on his chest, carefully avoiding fresh injuries and old scar tissue.
“What’s that?” Xander asked, after he realized his girlfriend had asked a question.
Vi laughed pleasantly. “I said, you have any family stories?”
“You mean other than the one where Uncle Rory went to Vegas in the seventies, won a million at the Sands, ended up in the penthouse suite with the hottest hooker ever, and wished he had a smoke—holy shit!”
“Xander?” Vi’s tone was concerned.
“Uncle Rory said he wished he just had a cigarette, and next thing he knew he was outside a fleatrap off the Vegas strip, with nothing but his underwear and a cigarette.” Xander shook his head in disbelief.
“You don’t think...” Vi trailed off.
“No, it wasn’t Anya, but it had to be someone she knew. Damn.” They lay quietly for some time. “Anyhow, did you have a story in mind?”
“Well, I know some families have their old legends about being related to Jesse James or Jim Bowie, or grandpa’s old treasure map he got from a miner up in the hills.”
“Your family have that?”
“No, nothing like that, but...we were always told to look up an old uncle if we came down here. It was like a mantra, anytime someone would go on a trip, one of the aunts or uncles or distant cousins would say, ‘And if you end up in Zihuatanejo, look up Uncle Andrew.’ And then they’d smile.”
“Well, we’re not too far from there. You know where in town?”
Vi searched her memory. “Hotel Villa del Sol.”
“He works there?”
“He used to own it, before he sold out to Tides and made a gajillion pesos,” the slayer said.
“What’s he do now?”
* * *
They sat on the porch of the old manager’s house and drank mojitos while the sun set. Xander glanced over at Vi, and watched her smile at some small talk her great-uncle made. He felt a grin steal across his face and tuned back in to the conversation.
“So why did you end up down here, Uncle Andy?” Vi had been instructed to drop the ‘great-uncle’ bit just after the welcoming hug and before the first round of drinks.
The old man sipped his drink thoughtfully for long seconds. “Well, I decided I’d seen all the worst the states had to offer. Had some good times and bad times, and it was time to move on.”
Xander nodded in understanding. “And you just bought a hotel down here?”
Uncle Andy chuckled. “Actually, it was a fixer upper and I used the settlement money from when I left the states. A friend came down a while later and helped out.”
Something twigged in the back of Xander’s mind. He focused his good eye on the old man. “The ‘settlement’ was for wrongful imprisonment?"
“Aren’t you the observant one—sorry, sorry,” Andy broke off. “No offense meant.”
Vi frowned in confusion. “What now? I’m out of the loop, and haven’t had that many mojitos.”
Xander raised an eyebrow at the old man who nodded in assent, so he said “They made a movie about your Uncle Andy, his imprisonment, and all that he went through to escape.”
“What,” Vi demanded.
Andy nodded. “It’s how my friend Red put his boy all the way through university and law school. Wouldn’t accept any of ‘that money’ as a gift, only as payment for working around the hotel and on the boat. But some movie person came nosing around. Red asked if he could sell the rights to his part of the story, but I signed over mine to him. Seemed only right.”
Vi’s jaw dropped in understanding. “Oh!”
Xander leaned forward. “Could we meet him?”
“Naw, he passed on ten, twelve years ago, and his wife only a year or so later. I still see their son from time to time, though.”
“Oh,” Xander said softly. The three sat in silence as the sun slipped below the horizon, leaving an orange and pink glow over the ocean.
Finally Xander stood and stretched. “Well, I’ve got to go make the evening check in with Giles. I’m sure he has tons of questions even after yesterday’s report.”
After Xander disappeared inside, Andy asked “Your boyfriend is your Watcher?”
“Yeah—hey! How did you know?”
“Oh, I’m a harmless old man, and people say all kinds of things when they think your hearing’s bad and your mind isn’t too sharp.” Andy grinned and his wrinkles grew deeper. “Plus I’ve lived here for over forty years...I’m a local. And this isn’t Kansas, Dorothy. People come in from the hills to find work, and you hear the oddest tales about what happens out there.”
“Wow. Not bad for an old guy who isn’t too sharp,” Vi said.
“Plus when you hugged me on the porch it almost cracked a rib. I’ve known some very strong and dangerous men, and you’d probably take any of them.”
“Well, just don’t mention it to people. Xander and I try to keep a low profile.”
“Except when you’re killing monsters,” Andy joked.
“Exactly,” Vi agreed.
“I’m very good with secrets, dear,” Andy said, then after a pause asked, “So I hear you’ve been doing a little acting?”
Vi tilted her head and started at her great uncle, surprised for the second time in as many minutes. “You’re not exactly out of the loop down here, are you?”
“Your father sends me a card on my birthday with little bits on how you all are doing. I know he’s very proud of you. First the hero thing, although he implied it was Peace Corps work, and now the acting.”
Vi shrugged. “No huge roles so far.”
“But you enjoy it?”
Andy shook his head. “And you still go out and fight monsters.”
“Of course,” Vi answered.
“Xander’s not pressuring you to do it?”
“What? No, he’d support whatever I did. We just...have similar viewpoints. That it’s important.”
“You doing it for the money?”
Vi laughed. “Oh, please. The pay isn’t great, so you actually need a ‘real’ job unless you’re Lead Slayer for a branch. Besides, the more we support ourselves, the more money is there for slayers that really need it.”
“And yet you do the slayer thing, why?”
“It’s the right thing to do. We can fight—I can fight. I make a difference. I know that there is less evil in the world because of the things I do. People who are alive, in part because of me. It’s the most worthwhile job I could ever hope for.”
“Hmm.” The sat in silence for a while, then Andy stood slowly with the help of his cane. “Well, time for this old body to get some sleep. There’re towels in the guest bath, and I’ll make you breakfast in morning.”
“Thanks. Good night, Uncle Andy.” Vi sat out on the veranda and listened to the surf as the last bit of color faded from the sky.
* * *
In the bright Mexican morning light they said their goodbyes.
“It was nice to finally meet you, Uncle Andrew,” the slayer said as she leaned forward to carefully hug the old man.
“The pleasure was mine, Violet. I’m very proud of you.”
Xander reached out and shook Andy’s hand. “Mr. Dufresne, it was an honor.”
“No, no, Xander. You’re the one I’m honored to meet. You take care of my grand-niece, and fight the good fight as long as you’re able.”
As Xander and Vi drove away from the cottage Andy called, “You kids be careful now, hear?”
Somehow Xander wasn’t too surprised a couple of years later when Vi got a letter in the mail from her great-uncle’s lawyer, Brooks Redding. Vi teared up and passed the letter to Xander. He skimmed until he read, ‘as the primary beneficiary of your great-uncle’s estate, valued in excess of five million dollars US, it is requested that you appear in person at our offices on March 22...'
Crossover: BtVS x Shawshank Redemption
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all associated characters are property of Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy Productions, United Paramount Network, and Fox Television. Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption is property of Stephen King, Frank Darabont, Niki Marvin, and Castle Rock Entertainment. This work is not for profit, and no ownership of aforementioned copyrighted material implied, nor any infringement intended.
Translations: el gringo con parche
: white guy with an eyepatch la Cazavampiros
or la Matadora
: the Slayer