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Every Search Must Finally End

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Summary: Xander Harris has managed to survive on the Hellmouth without any real combat training or any serious injuries for a long time. Now he's finally learning why that's so.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > Xander-CenteredGreywizardFR1534,77425122,70125 Aug 117 Apr 13No

Chapter Three

Previously:

"Will a quarter-million dollars to start be sufficient, Alexander?"

And now:

"Uh, yeah. That would really be a good start on helping us out," a somewhat dumbfounded Xander Harris nodded his agreement with his ostensible father's offer, after several seconds of total silence has passed.

"A lot. It would help us out a *whole* lot," Xander added, as he mentally floundered while trying to come to grips with what he'd just heard.

Glancing around at his companions, Xander was somewhat pleased to see that they, too, had apparently been struck speechless by the virtually unbelievable magnitude of the financial offer made.

"I will be glad to help you and you friends out in any way I can, Alexander," Gil offered, with what looked to Xander like a reassuring smile. "I have had far too much experience with seeing the problem that having insufficient supplies for one's troops can produce, to want to see anyone else experience them, too.

"Since it's clear that you are still uncertain as to the veracity of my claim regarding your paternity, I can well understand your reluctance to accept my offer of assistance," their visitor went on, giving everyone an understanding look of sympathy and compassion.

"I would point out to you all, however, that you do your troops no good if you are unable to feed and house them, properly," Gil informed the gathered Scoobies.

"As a compromise measure, why don't several of you accompany me to a nearby bank, so that I can withdraw enough money for you to take care of your people, at least for the time being?" the Eternal Warrior suggested.

***

It had taken only a few minutes of discussion for the younger people present to agree to their visitor's proposed plan. And so, the quintet, plus Gil, soon found themselves in the lobby of one of the country's larger financial institutions – where a pleasant and very amenable bank manager had virtually run out of his office upon learning of their presence, to greet them and escort them all into his well-appointed office.

An interesting sidebar was how the words 'fawning,' 'obsequious' and 'suck-up' had all immediately popped into Dawn's mind, after she'd witnessed the man's behavior while welcoming Gil to their institution.

Following Gil's rather comprehensive instructions, the bank's manager had initiated a series of transactions involving a variety of accounts he maintained at this institution and, following the completion of the paperwork and in the privacy of a conference room the bank manager had courteously made available to them, each of the Scoobies were soon presented with a pair of small courier bags, which a quick examination showed were each filled with banded packets of bills in a variety of denominations.

"What the hell's going on here, buddy?" Faith had immediately demanded, once she had looked in to her bag and had realized that it held, at a minimum, ten thousand dollars in cash. "Why are you so willing to give us a small fortune like this, so fast? And in cash, no less!"

The expressions on the rest of the Scoobies' faces indicated that they, too, were somewhat concerned about what appeared to be this far-too good-to-be-true situation.

"Lady Faith, the funds I have provide to you all, thus far, are in fact but a pittance when measured against the total resources I have available to me," Gil smiled at the brunette Slayer with what he obviously intended to be a reassuring smile. ""Loose change, as it were. So there is no need, whatsoever, for you or your companions to worry about my financial situation. And as to it being cash, let’s say that sometimes an absence of transaction data can be a blessing."

Given the girl's background and the involvement with the innumerable duplicitous and double-dealing villains that they'd all experienced in their not-really-all-that-long lives, however, the self-identified Immortal was coming across as far closer to the scheming and lying lawyers employed by Angel's apparent nemesis, Wolfram & Hart, than he appreciated.

Realizing this, Xander, who had generally remained quiet and simply watched during most of the preceding events, chose to speak up, apparently in an attempt to reassure the second eldest Slayer.

"I think what Faith actually means, Gil," the sole male Scooby present said, "is that it looks like you're trying a little too hard to help us out.

"See, in the past, whenever someone gave us any sort of help at all, it was almost always because they were trying to use us for their own purposes," Harris went on, "or because they were trying to sucker us into trusting them, so that they could stick a knife in our backs, later.

"And we've all gotten really tired of that sort of thing happening, so you need to understand that while we do appreciate your trying to help us out, just throwing a pile of money at us isn't really gonna make us think you're one of the good guys," he informed his putative father.

"I see. And that's perfectly understandable, Alexander," Masters agreed.

"I don't have any problems with your wanting to take the time to learn more about me and what I believe in and stand for," the Immortal said, with a half-smile. "And truthfully, if you and your friends had simply accepted my offer without any reservations, especially given the battles you've mentioned that you've already fought, then I would have been quite concerned about the long-term viability of your group's efforts and goals.

"As it is, my son, given the makeup of your forces I've seen so far, I can foresee a fair number of problems you and your friends are likely going to be facing in the next few days and weeks," Masters warned the Scoobies.

"If you wish, I'll be glad to outline the problems I've noted, and offer some possible solutions that have occurred to me so far," Gil went on, "but you are the ones who will be making the final decisions regarding the organization you intend to run, so you will need to think long and hard about those same decisions, since you will be the one held ultimately responsible for any consequences that entail from what you decide."

"Wow. Thanks for the really inspiring pep talk, Gil," Xander declared, once it was clear that Masters had finished speaking. Xander's blatantly tongue-in-cheek response brought grins to the girls' faces – which he had clearly intended, to lighten the somber atmosphere which had followed the older man's little speech.

"You're quite welcome, Alexander," Gil replied, a matching grin on his own face.

"And since we've obviously concluded everything we needed to do here, why don’t we go grab some lunch?" Masters suggested.

His subsequent declaration, "I'm buying," produced a resounding chorus of approval, and the small group – which, despite their looks, was composed of some of the most dangerous and deadly people in the world – headed out towards the nearest steakhouse.

~/~/~

Hyperion Hotel
Los Angeles, CA

May 21, 2003

The same afternoon


"Can I help you?" Caridad Munoz asked, as she looked up from the fashion magazine she'd been reading while on desk duty.

"I certainly hope so," the striking blonde who'd entered the hotel's lobby, accompanied by a young boy who looked to be about ten years old, nodded and gave her an uncertain smile.

"My name is Niki Sanders, and this is my son, Micah, and I was told I need to talk to either a Wesley Wyndham-Pryce or a Rupert Giles about a…problem we've been having," the woman, who appeared to be in her mid-thirties, stated as she glanced around the lobby, as though she were looking for either of the two men whose presence she'd requested.

Recognizing Mr. Wyndham-Pryce's name as someone Xander and Dawn had mentioned they'd worked with in the past in Sunnydale, Caridad pasted a reassuring smile on her lips as she tried to evaluate the blonde's mood.

{ She looks nervous. Maybe something supernatural is bothering her or the kid, and she knows about the Council, and that's why she wants to talk to Mr. Giles or this Wyndham-Pryce guy? } the newly Awakened Slayer hypothesized to herself.

"I'm sorry, Ms. Sanders, but Mr. Giles is out of town at the moment, and Mr. Wyndham-Pryce doesn't work here, any longer," Caridad politely informed the woman. "He and the other members of his group have moved to another location. Unfortunately, I don't have his new phone number, and I'm not exactly sure where they moved to in L.A., either."

Seeing the look of disappointment and concern that filled the blonde's face at hearing her response, Caridad quickly added, "But if you'd like to wait, some of our people who are out of the office at the moment should be back soon, and they do know Mr. Wyndham-Pryce's new address and phone number.

"You and your son can have a seat in the lobby, and I'll let you know when Buffy and the other Sc- uh, the rest of the group comes back," the young Latina directed, as she gestured to the lobby area to the side.

"Would either of you like something to drink?" Caridad asked politely, smiling at the youth, who looked to be about the same age as her younger brother.

"I'll have a Coke, if you've got any," Micah smiled back at her, already a charmer at ten years old.

But anything further the boy might have said was destined never to be heard, as something crashed through the skylight which made up part of the roof overhead, and a massive form fell through the ten story drop and crash-landed on the floor right in front of them.

~/~/~

The End?

You have reached the end of "Every Search Must Finally End" – so far. This story is incomplete and the last chapter was posted on 7 Apr 13.

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