AN/ I have no proprietary claim on either BTVS or Criminal Minds. As always, constructive criticism is appreciated while rants and flames will be dried out and used to fertilize my lawn. Enjoy.
It took about ten seconds for Buffy’s brain to deal with what she’d just heard. It couldn’t be possible. Xander had a twin and no one had known about it, how was that even possible. Warring with that was the fact that Buffy was sure that this Kevin guy had been telling her the truth. Over the years Buffy had refined her slayer abilities to the point that she was a very effective lie detector and Kevin had just passed with flying colors. Finally her brain re-booted and her thoughts re-organized. Giving Kevin a hard look she asked, “twin, I never knew that Xander had a twin, does Willow know?”
“No,” Kevin said with a grin. “Alexander and I were separated long before he met Willow or Jesse. Honestly we were separated so early that there is no way he should have remembered me, but he did.”
“Separated,” Buffy gasped in surprise. “Why would you two be separated?”
“Did Alexander ever joke about his father trying to sell him to some Albanians?” When Buffy nodded, Kevin continued. “Well as much as it pains me to say this, that’s a pretty accurate account of what happened if you change the names a bit.”
“What the hell happened,” Buffy asked fiercely, upset by what was implied in Kevin’s answer.
“Well mom, the person you know as Jessica Harris, had a sister who was just as vain and shallow named Breanna. Now Breanna had a bit better luck with picking a guy and ended up with a guy who was a total prick but happened to be on his way to being a billionaire named Warren Lynch. You ever heard of Lynchpin International?”
Buffy just nodded, she wasn’t someone that followed the news but you’d have to have lived under a rock not to have heard of Lynchpin.
“Anyway, they had apparently been trying to have a kid and couldn’t manage it for whatever reason. So when everyone finds out that mom is having twins, they all come to an agreement. For two million dollars, Tony and Jessica Harris sold me to Breanna and Warren Lynch. That way Warren gets an heir, Breanna gets a child without all the fuss and bother of pregnancy and Tony and Jessica never have to work again. So with a little misdirection and the institutional stupidity of the Sunnydale police and Kevin Harris dies of SIDS while the presence of Kevin Lynch is announced to the world. Now it should have ended there since the Lynch’s and the Harris’s never interacted at all so Alex and I never saw each other. But like I said, somehow he managed to remember me. So he went searching through his attic and finally found the original agreement, so he knew my name. This was sometime during his senior year in High School. Once you all had blown the Mayor sky high, he came looking for me.”
“His road trip that supposedly never got further than Oxnard.”
“The road trip, we had a ball cooking the whole ‘Lost in Oxnard’ story up. Alexander has quite the imagination, although I’ve gotta confess that the stripping bit was my idea. Anyway, I was in a boarding school on the east coast so Breanna and Warren never knew that he’d found me. That summer was great as we got to know each other but he also let me know what the world was really like and that just blew me away. So we kept in touch and we’d call on each other if either of us needed any help.”
“So he never worked as a stripper,” Buffy asked; her tone both outraged and disappointed.
“I never said that,” Kevin replied with a grin. “He just didn’t do it on that trip.”
Buffy really saw it then; saw Xander in Kevin. For just a second there were no differences between the two and then it was gone and she was talking to Kevin again. “I’m really sorry; finding all that out about your parents must have hurt.”
“Yeah, it did. But I’ve been able to connect to Alexander and work on doing what he’s done, finding my real family.”
“I don’t understand,” Buffy said; not sure what Kevin meant.
“Do you know how much he envied you because of your mom,” Kevin asked.
Surprised at the seeming change of topic, Buffy just shook her head.
“Alexander realized early on that his own parents would never give him what he needed so he went looking for a real family; a group of people that would care for and nurture each other. He found that in Willow and Jesse and you but especially in Giles and your mother. They were the parents that he’d never had and he envied you a lot because you had what amounted to two good parents, something he never had but had always wanted.”
As Buffy heard this, un-shed tears briefly blurred her vision. She had known that her mom had cared for her friends, but she’d never thought much about how her friends felt about her mom. Along with that came the old regret and guilt about her college years and how much she had taken her mom for granted. It wasn’t the first time that Buffy had entertained those thoughts and she knew that it wouldn’t be the last but it occurred to her that she might talk about her mother sometime with Willow and Xander. She’d never really thought about what kind of an impact her mother’s death might have had on them and maybe sharing the loss would help them all. Buffy put those thoughts aside for now though; there were things that still needed to be dug into. “Good luck with that,” Buffy said sincerely. “But for now, how about you tell me what’s got you up at this time of night.”
“Well,” Kevin said, not surprised at the change of topics; Alexander had described Buffy as ‘mercurial’ and he was finding that to be a perfect definition. “I couldn’t sleep and started wondering what had set Alexander off.” He leaned forward, “what exactly is the ‘Word of Danthalazar’ and why does it have you spooked?”
Buffy sighed, “in magic and demonic stuff, they’ll call some mystical object the ‘word’ of whoever created it. In this case, the ‘Word of Danthalazar’ is an ancient iron dagger.”
“And what is it used for.”
“Properly used, it can create and activate a portal to hell; this portal is called the ‘Seal of Danthalazar’. Once it’s created, you can open the seal with blood.”
Kevin sat back, stunned at her answer. “Who would want something like that? Who would want to make a gateway to Hell?”
“Either some demon clan, probably a rich one if they’re hiring human thieves, or someone who’s so completely bonkers that they think they’ll be able to control things once it opens.”
Kevin sat back stunned at what he’d heard. While he was processing, Buffy thought about something he’d said earlier. “Hey Kevin,” she asked.
“Yeah,” he replied distractedly.
“You said that Xander didn’t go mental until after you sent some photos, right?” Kevin just nodded. “Do you think you could pull those up for me?”
“Yeah, not a problem,” he replied and turned back to Xander’s computer. He gasped a bit when he felt Buffy rest her head on his shoulder as she watched what he was doing. Soon he had the pictures up and cycling. “Do you see anything or anyone that might set him off,” Kevin asked.
At first there was nothing, Buffy couldn’t understand what had disturbed Xander so much, but then in one picture she caught a glimpse of something. “Freeze it,” she barked out and leaned forward towards the screen. She was hoping that she was wrong, but the more she stared at the picture, the more sure she became. Finally she sat back and sighed yet again, silently wishing that some problems remained dealt with instead of cropping up time and again, like the proverbial bad penny.
Kevin could feel the atmosphere in the room change. Suddenly Buffy seemed to be radiating rage to the point where he could almost taste it. He looked at the picture that seemed to have roused her ire and try as he might; Kevin couldn’t see anything in it that would have caused such a drastic change. “What is it,” he asked finally. “What do you see?”
“Amy,” she growled out.