I don't own Buffy and Co, that's Joss's playground. I also don't own the Dead Zone. That belongs to Stephen King and Michael & Shawn Piller (book and TV show, respectively)
Author's Note: It's a little shorter than the last one, I know. It was just something I had floating through my brain. Read and Review everyone!
~~~~~~~ If You Only Knew
The rented Lincoln came to a rest smoothly next to the curb. The rear passenger door opened and two feet stepped out onto the sidewalk, followed by a black cane. The man with the cane surveyed the neighborhood before closing the door and limping toward a Mercedes Benz parked nearby. The door to the Benz opened and a tall, blonde man exited, his smiling face showing flawless teeth.
“Thanks for meeting me on such short notice, Mr. Harris…” the tall, blonde man said, holding out his hand to the other man.
“Please, call me Xander. You’ll get an answer and I won’t look for my grandfather.” Xander replied, shaking the man’s hand.
“Fair enough, Xander. The name’s Richard Jennings. Rick to my friends and Dick to my ex.” Rick said, laughing as if he’d just told the world’s funniest joke while pumping Xander’s hand.
Xander gave him a polite smile and tried to extricate his hand. Realizing quickly that it was not going to happen, Xander settled in for the long haul.
Finally, as the laughter subsided, Xander saw his chance. “And this is my attorney, Evan Curtis.” he said, pulling his hand away and walking toward the home that Rick had parked in front of.
Evan shook Rick’s hand while shooting a dirty look at Xander’s back. Once he got far enough away, Rick leaned close to Evan and asked the question that had been shooting through his brain ever since Xander had stepped out of the limo.
“I gotta ask, what’s with the leather gloves? It has to be almost eighty degrees out here.” Rick asked, staring at Xander’s back.
“Mr. Harris has a… phobia about touching other people. That’s all.” Evan answered.
“And, is it true, what the papers say about him? That…” Rick started.
“What, Mr. Jennings? That I have visions?” Xander said, catching Rick unaware. Xander turned and looked at the real estate agent. “That is what you were going to ask about, right?”
“Um, well, you see…” Rick started, unable to get his mental footing.
Xander used his teeth to pull off one of his gloves and held out his hand. “Why don’t you find out for yourself?” he asked.
Rick shook his head, muttering excuses too low for either man to make out. Xander gave a wry smile and shoved the glove into his pocket.
“Yeah. If you don’t mind, I’m going to go through the house. I’d appreciate it if you two would stay out here.” Xander stated, easing his way up the stairs. Neither man put up an argument as Xander unlocked and opened the door to his childhood home.
The first thing that hit Xander was the musty smell of old booze and cigarettes. Grimacing, Xander crossed the threshold and laid his uncovered hand on the newel post.
-“Damn it, boy! I have told you and told you about this crap. How many times do we have to go through this for it to get through your thick skull?” Xander heard his father shout, while watching him advance on his cowering younger self. The heavy belt in Anthony Harris’s hands creaked and the buckle at the end glittered malevolently as Tony drew back and brought the belt and buckle down toward Xander’s crossed arms
Xander pulled his hand away, remembering the beating quite well without having to witness it again. He had been unable to attend school for a week because of the bruises. That fact gained him another beating. Walking further, he entered the living room. Trailing his hand against the wall, Xander circled the room before laying his hand against the wall near the doorway.
-“Why don’t you ever listen to what I tell you? This is your fault, you know?” Xander said, slapping the young woman hard enough to split her lip. The young woman looked at him fearfully. “I guess you still haven’t learned your lesson. Looks like we’re going to have to start all over at Rule number one.” he said, bringing his hand back, closing it into a fist. The woman’s eyes widened as the lumbering fist shot toward her face
The young psychic staggered back, his eyes wide. He wasn’t sure who the woman was, but it wasn’t his mother. Walking out of the living room, he continued down the hallway into the kitchen. Stepping over to the stove, he ran his hand over the top. Moving over to the counter, he closed his eyes and kept moving his hand around. His hand stopped over an old pot that his mother had found in the basement. His hand closed on the handle…
-“Shut up! Shut up!” he could hear the woman shouting at her husband. She picked up the pot of boiling water and threw it at her husband, who had been carrying their fussing infant
Shaking his head, Xander stormed out of the kitchen and up the stairs. Bypassing his parent’s old room, he found himself in the doorway of his old room. Breathing heavily, he gripped the doorframe to regain his composure.
-“Oh, Cassie.” Those two words struck fear in the little girl. She could tell her daddy had been drinking. He hadn’t drank before they had moved to Sunnydale. Pulling the covers up, she prayed that he though she was asleep. She heard the door open, and her daddy staggered in.
“I know you’re still awake, Cassie.” her daddy said, his words slurring. “You’re such a sweet little girl, you know that?” he asked, almost to himself. Cassie started sobbing quietly as her daddy closed the door
Wrenching his hand away from the door, Xander made a dash for the front door. He ripped it open and stepped out into the clean air. Breathing deeply, he tried to settle his nerves before making the slow trek down the front steps to Evan and Rick.
“So, what do you say, Xander? I have a buyer set up already. He and his family loved it. Especially his daughter…”
“Cassie.” Xander said, looking up at the blonde man.
Rick looked around, confused. “Yeah. How did you know that?”
Xander waved him off. “Never mind. I’m not selling. Tell them that I’m sorry, and to let them know that if they get in touch with Mr. Curtis, I’ll pay for their closing costs, no matter what they may be. But, no one is moving into this house.”
After saying his piece, Xander nodded and walked towards the Lincoln. The two men began talking behind him and Xander only looked up when he heard the Mercedes start up and pull away.
Evan walked over and leaned against the limo. “So, what do you want to do with the place?” he asked, crossing his arms.
Xander dropped his head again. “Burn it down.” he said, his eyes closed.
This gave Evan a start. “What?” he asked, unsure if he heard right.
Xander finally straightened up and looked back at the house. “Burn it down and salt the earth. I don’t want anything going up there.”
He looked back and Evan nodded before walking away. Xander dropped his head and breathed heavily before reaching into his pocket and pulling out his cell phone. Flipping it open, he dialed a number and held it up to his ear.
“Hey,” he said, a smile finally brightening his face. “Yeah, I needed to talk to someone, and Evan’s a great guy, but he’s not you.”
Xander paused as he listened and he laughed. “You know it. This one was pretty bad, though. I just needed to hear you. I’ll tell you more when I get home.”
He listened again and he smiled even wider. “You too. I’ll call you when I land.”
He folded the phone closed, opened the car and sat down, closing the door behind him.