Chapter 11: Even beginnings have endings.
AN:Here is the last chapter of this story. There may be more down the road. Sorry it took so long. I wrote the majority of it on my laptop because my desktop caught a virus that ended up killing it. While waiting for my Desktop PC to be fixed I wrote this and ended up literally dusting off my PS2. I started playing final fantasy 12 for the first time and well.... still not done with it.
Disclaimer: I do not own Anita Blake. I do not own Xander Harris. This was an idea that I ran with. This is a piece of fan fiction and is not intended to be published in any form for profit.
“You know, this isn't exactly how I envisioned my morning routine.” Anita told her brother as they ran one of the jogging routes the two had mapped out in and around their neighborhood.
“What's wrong with it exactly?” Xander asked her.
“We're awake for starters.” Anita told him. “You never used to be a morning person.”
“I know. We don't need to work nights as much as the others so we should try to keep a daytime schedule. I appreciate you running with me, it's a hell of a lot better than fiddling with my walkman. Man of all the things I miss from my old life aside from the main things is my I-Pod.” Xander told her as they rounded a corner.
“Your what pod?” Anita asked him.
Xander's laughter postponed the rest of their jog.
Another hard day at the office....
“Let me get this straight...” Xander said to their manager Bert. “You put us on retainer with the local police department? You want us to work with the police?”
“They called me.” Bert said with a shrug. “Apparently you've done something that impressed them.”
“Super.” Xander sighed.
“What's wrong with the police?” Anita asked her brother.
“Long hours, little pay and you get to see the worst of what humanity has to offer ninety percent of the time. That and we'd be consultants.” Xander said with a shudder. “Trust me, it'll be bad.”
“It'll be good publicity.” Bert countered. “I say you do it and that means you're going to. This isn't raising related so you can't refuse it. It's in your contract.”
“Dammit.” Xander swore. “I knew I missed something.”
Bert's grin made Anita shudder a little.
Two months in.....
“You know, it's taken a little elbow grease but this place is looking great.” Xander said as he climbed down the ladder.
“You were replacing roof tile at seven in the morning on a weekend.” Anita glared at her brother.
“I know. But I made coffee as an appeasement.” Xander said as undid his tool belt. “This was the last real improvement the house needed besides the copper repipe and the new hot water heater we got. I still have to insulate the pipes but that's about it.”
Anita sighed. She had to hand it to her brother. He'd gotten a lot done in little time with not a whole lot of money. If they weren't in the zombie business he could probably be a contractor. Still considering how much he'd gotten knocked off the original price of the house, what he'd spent fixing it was a drop in the bucket.
“Have you read the morning paper?” Anita asked him.
“No I haven't.” Xander said after he drank from the hose. “I was kind of busy. What's up?”
“Addison v. Clark.” Anita told him. “It made the Supreme Court.”
“Crap.” Xander said as he shut off the hose. “Seems Raphael was right.”
“Yeah. There's more. We've got a meeting at the Lunatic Cafe later today. There was a call about ten minutes ago. There's a new Master of the City.” Anita told him.
“Double crap.” Xander muttered. Things had been quiet on the vampire front in the city. Even the night sky was clear on the full moons. Whoever had taken over was a lot more careful and secretive than the last.
“That's not all.” Anita told him. “He's got an animal to call. It's the wolves.”
“So the wolves are allied with the new master?” Xander asked her.
“It's unclear. The wolves aren't talking. That's part of what the meeting is about. We need to know what the new Master is like. If he's trouble, we'll have to take care of him.”
“With the case at the supreme court, sanctioned vampire hunts are going to be under more scrutiny aren't they?” Xander said as he examined the paper.
“They're not going to be on hold, but yes. We won't have as much free reign as we used to.” Anita told him.
“It's a shame.” Xander said. “Things were good when we didn't have anyone watching us work. We've got trade secrets.”
“You mean like our post kill trip to a greasy spoon?” Anita grinned.
“Steak and eggs go down good after a kill.” Xander shrugged. “Always have.”
“I know. So what should we do?” Anita asked.
“We go to the meeting. If we don't like what we hear... There's a lot more of the other shifters all together than the wolves alone.” He shrugged. “Some of the wolves are nice people. Their Lupa's a crazy bitch though.”
“Hmm.” She said. “She's intense, I'll give you that. Crazy?” She wondered aloud.
“Trust me. She's crazy.” Xander told her. “It's one of those things I can tell about a person.”
“Super.” Anita sighed. “Any more projects you have planned for the house?” She asked him, changing the subject.
“Well, I was thinking about building some bat houses and planting some apple trees. That can wait though. Let me go shower and I'll get ready to head into town.”
“Don't use up all the hot water!” She shouted after him as he headed into the house. “I'm next!”
The Lunatic Cafe.... later that day...
“I seriously don't care if you get along with this vampire.. If you want to be the new Master of the city's lapdogs, that's fine. If you help him get food other than yourselves, we're going to have a problem.” Anita told Marcus. “Only let willing people be food. If you help him get normal humans, we'll find out. It's a real bitch taking out human servants or whatever the hell you want to call them.”
“What she said.” Xander agreed. “You think this vampire is okay so I'm already calling your judgment into question. Just because he's a 'better' vampire than the last Master of the City doesn't mean much. He's still a leech.”
“That isn't up to you.” Marcus countered. “Just because you two have garnered such a dangerous reputation in a small amount of time doesn't mean you can threaten us.”
“Here's the thing you're not getting.” Anita told him. “It isn't a threat. It's very much a promise. If someone dies due to exsanguination, we'll know. We've worked with the police on a few different cases so far. Three witches are dead and we've broken up a shapeshifter poaching group. They know and trust our opinions. If this new master causes any trouble, we'll find him and hunt him down just like the last one.”
“He's been the new master since you killed the old one.” Raina countered. “You haven't even looked for him.”
“That's because there hasn't been any real evidence of him.” Anita told her. “The number of deaths in the city went down considerably once we killed all of the vampires in the Master's lair. We've been paying attentions since then.”
“Yet you missed more than a few.” Marcus countered.
“No one is perfect.” Xander shrugged. “What benefit are you getting from this.... 'partnership' besides being top dog in the shifter pile of the city?”
“That is my business.” Marcus said quickly.
“Money then.” Xander surmised. “The tithes you collect from your own pack not enough?”
Marcus shrugged. His habits were his own business.
“If we find him to be bad for the city. He dies.” Anita said bluntly. “Does anyone besides the wolves have a problem with that?”
No one answered.
“Good. Since we're all in agreement on that, there are other things on the table as well.” Xander said as he nodded to Raphael.
“We've considered setting up a hot-line.” Raphael began. “For any of the recent initiates and infected that are having control problems.....
“You know for a couple of 'weekend warriors', you two are pretty scary individuals.” Raphael said as he sat down on the cushioned molded plastic. “Hard to find as well.”
“Our Nova is pretty distinct.” Xander told him as he stood.
“I know. Which is how we found you. Bowling?” Raphael asked as Xander let his ball fly.
“It's a hobby.” Xander shrugged. “Besides, no one usually looks for us here. Not even Bert.”
“You go bowling to ditch work?” Raphael asked, skeptically.
“Not exactly ditching, more in between appointments. We both took bowling as part of our physical education requirements in college.” Anita said as she chewed on her burger. “Plus the food is okay here. So what's the what?”
“Marcus is worried you're going to kill him.” Raphael said bluntly.
Anita rolled her eyes as Xander snorted into his Pepsi.
“He's a pretentious ass who let's his Lupa have too much free reign.”
“I know. Which is why I'm here to talk to you.” Raphael said. “There has been some rumor of pornographic videos surfacing. Ones with shapshifters in them. There are rumors of uncut versions. Snuff versions.”
“If there are and she's responsible.” Xander said as his sister got up for her turn. “We'll take care of her.”
“How exactly?” Raphael asked.
“Well, we'll just have to be creative like you were with Dominga Salvador.” Xander grinned. “Something she wouldn't expect. If you get us definite proof...” He trailed off.
“I'll be in touch.” Raphael told him. “Until then, keep a low profile. Well low as you can manage. That court case has a lot of people on edge.”
“We'll try.” Anita said as she came back and wrote down her score. “If it comes down to it, we'll kill as many as possible before the final ruling.”
“That would be.... appreciated.” Raphael said before leaving.
“Nice guy.” Xander grinned. “Knows how to make an exit too.”
“You just think his collection of Hawaiian shirts are cool.” Anita told him.
“Well they are.” Xander defended. “Shame it's getting cooler out. Still, grunge music is hitting nationwide soon. Maybe I can get a deal on some flannel and not look like a tool.... nah.”
“Do I want to know?” Anita asked him.
“Not really, though Weird Al's going to do a spot on parody soon after though.” Xander grinned.
“What are you talking about?” Anita asked him.
Xander grinned. “You'll see.”