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The O.P.I.U.M. Award

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Summary: Xander gets what he should have gotten years ago. For challenge 5616.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
NCIS > Xander-CenteredCorruptedSmileFR712,5390166,84520 Aug 1020 Aug 10Yes
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything you recognise, I probably do own everything you don’t recognise and I’m not making any money from this story.

Twentieth Century Fox owns Buffy: the Vampire Slayer while CBS owns NCIS. Seeing as I’m a person, I can state that I’m neither Twentieth Century Fox nor CBS and as I’m a full-time student, I’m absolutely certain that I don’t work for either of these companies. I think I would know if I worked in America.

I’m reasonably sure that there are other people and/or companies who have a claim on these shows, but I can’t think of them now.

Crossover: Buffy: the Vampire Slayer/NCIS

Pairing: No pairing. Xander-centred, though.

Rating: FR7, because it’s quite fluffy.

Spoilers: Yes, because Xander got involved with the NCIS while he was on his great American Road Trip after he graduated.

Summary: Xander gets what he should have gotten years ago.

Warning: I’m going to mess with both timelines, because that’s the only thing that will make this story work.



‘thinking’
“talking”
emphasis
time and/or place
** (End) Flashback **



Story: The O.P.I.U.M. Award



Willow’s House, April 14th

‘It couldn’t have happened to a better person.’

That had been the one thought that had immediately come to mind when she had first been told about it by a not-very-excited-looking Xander. Actually, she had to admit that that particular thought was still running through her mind even though a couple of weeks had already come and gone since she had first heard about it.



** Flashback **



Willow’s House, February 5th

The minute he walked into her kitchen, Willow knew that something had happened to Xander that had shaken him greatly. Being who she was, she immediately led him towards a chair and pushed him into it before turning around to start making Xander’s ultimate comfort food: a Dame Noire à la Xander.

Stressing over which kind of news Xander might have gotten that made him look as pale as he was, Willow started to pull out the chocolate ice cream, the dark chocolate sauce that she was going to warm up and pour over said ice cream and the chocolate sprinkles and chocolate-covered Mikado’s that he had brought back from Belgium and which she was going to use as a final touch. No whipped cream because she knew that Xander didn’t like the texture of it nor the way it melted in his mouth.

Having finished Xander’s Dame Noire, she put the bowl in front of him, placed a napkin next to his right hand and pushed a spoon in his left hand. Sitting down beside him, she was pleased to notice that he started eating straight away. Okay, so he was eating on autopilot, but at this point it was better than him not eating at all. The day Xander turned down chocolate was the day the world would end, Willow had always told their friends and chosen family. And okay, that might have been a slight exaggeration, but she knew that if Xander didn’t eat chocolate, it meant that he was dealing with some major issues.

Patiently waiting until he had finished eating all the ice cream that she had put in the bowl, Willow let her mind wander.

‘I wonder what it is that has made him look this pale and shaken. I’ll bet that it has something to do with that letter he has in his pocket.’

She glanced at the letter in question. It didn’t look like much from the outside, but as always it was what was on the inside that counted. And in this case, she knew nothing about what was on the inside of the envelope. Seeing that Xander was pushing his empty bowl away from him and taking the letter she had been thinking of only seconds before, Willow turned her attention back to him.

---

“This letter came for me with the mail today,” Xander told her quietly, flipping the letter in question over and over in his hands. “It held some surprising news.”

“Oh, goddess,” Willow said, suddenly looking horrified at the long white envelope. “You’re sick, aren’t you? Why didn’t you tell me?! I could have helped you deal with this, Xander. Don’t worry, I’m sure that we’ll be able to find something to help you get better. I’ll call Giles and Buffy and — and everyone. They will help me search for the best solution to your health issue, I’m sure of it.”

Xander cracked a smile and put a hand on her to stop her from leaving the table. “It’s not bad news, Willow. There’s no need to start calling everyone. It was just news that shocked me, that’s all. In fact, I guess most people would think of this as being good news.” Taking a deep breath, Xander held out the letter to her, motioning for her to take it. Looking up at his best friends since kindergarten, he quietly said, “I’m going to be offered an award, Willow, for a job well-done.”

The minute that news had gotten through to her, Willow started babbling and grinning at the same time — not an easy combination. “Oh, goddess, that’s wonderful news, Xander. You totally deserve getting an award for all the work you’ve done.” She stopped short; falling silent for a second while thinking his statement through instead of babbling as if her life depended on it. “Wait, what exactly are you getting an award for, Xander? The only work you’ve done lately has been for the Council and no one besides the Council knows about that. And I know that we don’t give out awards for our work.”

Her question made Xander look exactly like he had looked that day when she had caught him with the last carton of Ben & Jerry’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream in his one hand and a spoon in his other. The same carton of Ben & Jerry’s that every Slayer in residence had been fighting over not even an hour before. Furrowing her brows, Willow could tell he wasn’t comfortable with her question. Leaning back in her chair, she crossed her arms and patiently waited until he cracked — erm, until he told her of his own free will what that award was all about.

---

Swallowing heavily, Xander stood up and got himself a nice cold coke, because he was in dire need of some kind of liquid courage. Opening the lid of the can, Xander geared himself up to explain his second job as a freelance problem solver to Willow. By the end of his explanation, Willow was glaring at him.

‘She’s probably glaring, because I didn’t tell her about any of this before now,’ he thought to himself, looking at her guiltily.

He winced when she began to let know him loud and clear what she thought of him keeping his second job from her — and from all his other friends and family besides Giles. The entire time that she was doing that, she was pacing around the kitchen and gesturing widely with her hands. Sighing quietly, Xander closed himself off for her rant — lots of practice had made that particular trick perfect — and settled in for a long wait.

“— And don’t you think that I won’t be having a talk with Giles about all this, mister! Goddess, of all the things to keep from us?! That — that — man!”

Breathing heavily, Willow stopped pacing and yelling at the same time and fell down heavily in her chair.

---

Seeing that this was the perfect lull to say something in his defence, Xander interrupted her.

‘Only not really interrupting, because she has stopped talking all together. Hmm, wonder what word people use for this kind of situation.’ Taking one look at her face, he flinched. ‘Maybe stupid is the word that I’m looking for in this case.’

“Look, Willow, I had to practically beg Giles to keep this a secret from you guys; so don’t go around blaming him, okay?”

As an extra motivation, he threw her the puppy dog eyes that he knew she couldn’t resist.

Sighing deeply, Willow looked at her best friend. “Okay, Xander, okay. Put the eyes away, please. I won’t go around blaming Giles for going along with your stupid plan.”

She glared down at her crossed arms and thought, ‘Stupid Kicked Puppy Eyes that always get to me.’

“My Kicked Puppy Eyes are about as effective on you as your Resolve Face is on me, Willow.” He saw her shocked look. “And no, I didn’t read your mind. I knew what you were thinking, because I know you, my Willow.”

To add effect, he gave her a cheeky grin and a quick wink — both of which made her burst out into laughter.

---

After she had finished laughing — and after she had wiped away her tears of laughter — Willow looked at Xander again. “So, what kind of award are you getting? And for what are you getting the award?”

Xander smiled in remembrance. “I’m getting the O.P.I.U.M. award which is the highest, well only award Gibbs — okay, Abby gives out, because I solved a problem that Tony had been having.”

Shocked silence met his statement. Looking up from his hands, he noticed that Willow was doing her best fish impression.

“Good fish impression you’ve got there, Wills. Can you do any other animals?”

Shutting her mouth, Willow glared at her best friend since kindergarten. “Oh, shush you, mister. I’m allowed to look shocked when I hear that one of my friends has been going on adventures without me knowing that he was going on those adventures. When exactly did you help Tony anyway? I haven’t heard of NCIS needing help lately.”

Biting his lip, Xander looked away. “In this particular case . . . Erm, during my Great American Road Trip after graduation.”

“When you were eighteen?! You helped them when you had just graduated?! What kind of idiot would let a high school kid help, for goddess’ sake?!”

“Erm, it wasn’t so much that Gibbs let me help, Willow. It was more a case of I-accidentally-stumbled-into-a-bad-situation-and-I-managed-to-help-thanks-to-my-trusty-homemade-bomb.”

Bomb?!”

Xander winced at the high tone that Willow managed to reach when she screeched.

‘I probably shouldn’t have mentioned to her that I had made a bomb.’ He smiled in remembrance of that good time in his life. ‘It really was a great bomb.’

“Yeah, about your reaction to the bomb . . . Gibbs didn’t like me having a bomb either; so I may have kind of made myself scarce. I didn’t leave a forwarding address or anything, but now they have finally found it and apparently Abby wants to give me the O.P.I.U.M. Award.”

Willow cocked her head. “What does O.P.I.U.M. stand for anyway? Because I can almost hear the pause between each letter of the word. I’m going to guess that it doesn’t have anything to do with the drug of the same name? No, let me rephrase that: it had better not have anything to do with the drug that wears the same name.”

Xander grinned and shook his head at that question. That really made her give huge relieved sigh.

“Abby was the one who came up with the award name. She did really good, I think. O.P.I.U.M. stands for Outstanding Performance In Utter Mayhem.”

He looked put out when Willow started giggling loudly when she heard him say that.

“Abby certainly had you pegged, Xander, even if she couldn’t have known you for long. Utter mayhem . . . How on earth did she come up with that? That’s such a good one. When’s the award ceremony anyway? Because you know that everyone will want to come.”

Xander flinched at that question, but didn’t dare tell her that he’d rather they didn’t attend.

“The award ceremony will be in the Opera House on the 13th of April at nine pm. Which just so happens to be a Friday.”

Horror filled Willow’s eyes.

“Friday, the 13th? You have to get your award on the unluckiest day ever to exist?” Xander nodded. “Oh, my.” Her Resolve Face took place. “Don’t worry, Xander, we’ll find something to help you get through that day unharmed. Something magical should do just fine in this case.”

---

The Opera House, April 13th

After extensively checking to see if the mike was working, Abby couched three times to get everyone’s attention.

“Friends and family of Xander Harris, welcome to the Opera House. We have gathered here tonight to give a special award to someone who we all like — and perhaps even love. This award has been waiting for him in the back of my dresser for many years, because mister Harris himself accidentally forgot to write down a forwarding address when he helped us out those many years ago. Being good at hacking didn’t do me any good, because he was well-protected by someone who was apparently even better at hacking than me.”

Willow turned slightly red when Abby briefly glanced in her direction. Her family and friends quickly covered their smiles at her reaction with their hands.

“Anyway, my suffering has come to an end, because I finally managed to find Xander. He can thank Faith Lehane for that, because she was kind enough to give me his address when I asked her last week. All I can say is this: thank god for our demon-related trouble!”

Faith smirked at Xander when he turned around to glare at her.

“Traitor,” he mouthed.

“Got it in one, boy toy,” she answered; loud enough for everyone to hear, of course.

---

“Well, give him the actual award already!” Spike yelled. “Some of us have kiddies to scare, Slayers to torture and kitten poker to play.”

Abby glared at the impatient vampire, but he didn’t let that get to him. He had seen worse from other people and demons after all. A slip of a girl wearing too much make-up wouldn’t be able to get even close to scaring the Big Bad. Red's glaring, though . . . Spike gulped and wisely decided to shut up.

“Okay, Xander Harris, are you ready for your award?!” Abby suddenly yelled in the mike.

She smirked when she saw everyone clapping their hands over their ears at the noise she made when she did that.

‘It’s like being at a concert,’ she thought happily.

Amidst loud clapping and hooting, a meek Xander walked up to the stage and walked until he was standing next to Abby.

“Tonight’s first but hopefully not last Outstanding Performance In Utter Mayhem award goes to Xander Harris! Give him a warm round of applause, everyone”

A thunderous applause was the result. The Scoobies, SG1, the entire Gibbs team, the Winchester brothers and many others — including friendly demons — were all clapping, yelling, stamping their feet and whistling sharply for Xander Harris.

The applause was so loud that it made everything quake: tables and chairs were moving inches at a time while glasses while utensils and plates were literally bouncing up and down from the vibrations. In fact, they made so much noise that the people in the adjoining buildings at first thought that an impromptu rock concert had broken out in the Opera House.

Stupid them, right?



** End Flashback **



End of The O.P.I.U.M. award.



A/N: You may assume that I don’t own SG1 and Supernatural either; even though I didn’t mention them as a crossover.

In answer to challenge 5616 by Genuka. And this is what she should have gotten quite some time ago: her birthday fic.

Reviews are always welcome; flames are never welcome. Got it?

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