Me and My Shadow
A/N This is a cross with Criminal Minds. There is an oblique reference to a minor character from Bones in one of the later chapters, but it's only a mention. In the Buffy verse it is set around 2008 and Xander has been back from Africa for about a year. In the Criminal Minds universe, its before Kevin meets Garcia, but just a month or so. As always, I have no claim on either BTVS or Criminal Minds. Criticism is always appreciated because that is how I learn to do this better. One final note, the chapters are going to be short, less than 1500 words per, I'm just no sure how many there will be just yet. Enjoy.
Me and My Shadow
Buffy had no idea what it was that woke her up. She was an unusually sound sleeper so midnight wanderings were really not her thing. She wasn’t hungry and she didn’t need to go to the bathroom so there was no reason for her to be awake, but she was. She tossed and turned for about ten minutes but it was no good, she was awake, at least for now. Buffy decided that maybe a little reading would help; after all she’d never had trouble falling asleep during a research session. Having decided that reading some insanely windy Watcher’s Journal was just what she needed, she got up to go to the Library. Buffy didn’t turn any lights on as she walked through the dark halls of Cleveland house, her slayer enhanced vision made extra light unnecessary. She was just getting ready to go downstairs when she heard it, someone was typing on a keyboard at a furious rate. Her first thoughts were that it was either Willow or Andrew, but Buffy soon remembered that Willow was in Switzerland at the moment and that Andrew’s room was downstairs near the kitchen. Curious now, she followed the sound to one room, but then she hesitated; it was Xander’s room.
In the two months that she’d been living in Cleveland, Buffy had been avoiding the senior Scooby. It was just that after Angel had done his last run and taken everyone with him and then a few years later the Immortal had revealed himself to be a truly sociopathic bastard; Buffy didn’t know if she could listen to Xander’s version of ‘I told you so’. Honestly Buffy was still berating herself over her obvious flaws in choosing male companionship and didn’t think she could stand to hear it from anyone else. In her time in Cleveland, Buffy hadn’t been a hermit, but she’d been quite antisocial, avoiding any kind of conversation that didn’t involve slaying in one form or another. Still, that didn’t excuse the way she’d ignored and avoided one of her two best friends. And to be honest, she’d been judging Xander as though he was still a sophomore in High School, Buffy knew that he had matured but for whatever reason had refused to acknowledge that fact lately. Spine stiffening with resolve, Buffy quickly knocked once then entered Xander’s room. She didn’t expect what she saw.
Xander sat hunched over a desk, the light from the computer monitor was the only illumination; despite that Buffy saw everything clearly. Xander was shirtless and there was a look of total surprise on his face. It was then that Buffy noticed the obvious differences. Xander’s upper body was relatively scar free and covered with several tattoos. Even more noticeable though, was the leather eye patch that was flipped up, revealing a second, obviously functional eye. Before he could say anything, Buffy darted across the room and seized ‘Xander’ in an implacable grip, neutralizing him immediately. “OK,” she husked out, “who the hell are you and where is Xander?”
“My name is Kevin Lynch,” he whispered back. At her look of incredulity he added, “check my wallet if you don’t believe me.” Buffy held his two much larger hands in one of her own and quickly retrieved the person’s wallet from his back pocket. As she was doing this, she noticed more differences from Xander. This Kevin person was muscley, but he didn’t have Xander’s ripped physique. Buffy blushed a little, while she’d been avoiding conversation with Xander, it didn’t mean she hadn’t watched from a distance as he repaired the back fence. Fishing the wallet out, it fell open to reveal a badge and an ID that indeed said Kevin Lynch and further revealed that the man was with the FBI.
“OK then Kevin, one more time; where is Xander? Oh, and after you answer that one, you can tell me what the heck the FBI is doing planting someone into our operation.”
“I don’t know where Xander is . . ,” Kevin started but then shut up when he saw the girl’s eyes go wide in anger.
“So they kidnapped him and stuck you in here to spy on us.”
“No,” Kevin said with an emphatic shake of his head. “The Bureau doesn’t even know I’m here.” He slumped a bit in Buffy’s grip. “Look, I’ll tell you everything, but close the door please; this isn’t stuff everyone needs to know.”
Buffy looked at the guy she was holding and then looked at the door. There was no way in hell that she was letting go of this person for one second. So she stood him up and half dragged, half marched him over to the door; then she shut it, locked it and then marched Kevin over to a corner chair and dropped him into it. “OK, start talking,” Buffy growled out, adding her best glare.
“Well, you know my name is Kevin Lynch and I’m a computer analyst for the FBI. I started working there about three years ago. Anyway, I’ve known Xander for a while and he told me about what really goes on at night. So I started looking through reports looking for cases that seemed to have a supernatural angle to them and if it turned out to be vampires or demons then I’d send the information to Xander and he’d see that it was taken care of. Well a couple of months ago I started seeing some weird cases. They were career burglars; quiet, professional and never used weapons. But they’d end up getting caught due to anonymous tips and they would always end up dead. Now what was really bizarre is that in every case the arresting officers swore that the perp was carrying a weapon but after they were dead, no weapon could ever be found. Now once or twice I could buy as coincidence but this happened six times in three months. I started looking at the reports and in two cases the perp didn’t immediately die and they both reportedly said the word “Danthalazar” and one actually was quoted as saying he was paid to steal the “Word of Danthalazar”. Well, I told Xander about what was going on and my suspicions that it was the kind of thing that you guys deal with and then I sent him some of the crime scene photos. Well, he was silent for a minute or two and then he freaked out. He said he had to deal with something and that I needed to come here and impersonate him for a couple of days; I guess so that he’d have an alibi if things went bad. The reason I don’t know where Xander is is because he doesn’t want me or anyone else to know where he is. He said he’d be back the day after tomorrow at the latest; so until he gets back, here I am,” he concluded.
Buffy was in shock for several reasons. The first was “Danthalazar” as in the seal of Danthalazar or the opening to Hell. She’d hoped that they’d seen the last of that one. But just behind that was that Xander trusted this guy so deeply, that this had been going on under everyone’s noses and no one had suspected a thing. All the thoughts and questions swirling in Buffy’s head were moving too fast for her to focus on any one of them. As soon as she’d try, something else would catch her attention. Finally she asked, “how come Xander trusts you so much?” It wasn’t the most important or most relevant question she could have asked, but to Buffy it seemed to be a good place to start.
“He never told you,” Kevin asked with a hint of Xander’s smirk on his face.
“Told me what,” Buffy replied, impatience tingeing her voice.
“I’m his twin brother,” Kevin answered; as though it were the answer to everything.
Buffy abruptly sat down, mouth agape; the shocks just kept on coming.