Standard disclaimer: BTVS was created by Joss Whedon. X-men and Spider-man were created by Stan Lee and pals. This is a piece of fanfiction that is not written for any form of monetary gain, only amusement.
Xander paused as they made their way into town. “You know what? I think I know the perfect place to stop first.” He told Kaine. “Considering Buffy's moved out and she does have that spare room... Joyce's art gallery it is.”
“Meaning?” Kaine asked.
“We're going to avoid my parents as much as possible until I can claim my stuff. There is no way I'm going to live with them again.” Xander told him.
“Bad?” Kaine wondered.
“Lazy and they are both kind of mean drunks.” Xander explained.
“'Nuff said.” Kaine nodded. He'd seen it enough in high school. “Lead the way.”
Twenty minutes later......
/Ding-ding/ went the bell that hung over the door of Joyce's art gallery.
“Hello?” Joyce called as she came to the front of her store. “Xander! Welcome back.” She said with a smile as he greeted her daughter's friend. “Who's your friend?”
“His name's Kaine.” Xander said with a grin.
Joyce stared at Xander as he unintentionally bared his fangs. “Is there something you need to tell me?” She asked him.
“Man... I'm still working on that.” Xander muttered. “I've only had the fangs for a little while.”
“What happened?” Joyce asked softly.
“I have a second cousin who's a geneticist.” Xander told her.
Joyce nodded as she filled in the blanks. “Only you.” She smiled.
“Yeah. Kaine's... a cousin of sorts.” Xander explained. “I... we can't go back to my folk's place. Can we crash with you until we get some steady employment?”
“The house has been kind of empty since Buffy moved out.” Joyce mused. “All right. If you two can find jobs within the next few weeks, you can stay for the time being. But you clean the bathrooms.”
“Fair enough.” Kaine nodded. “I'm sure we can find something soon enough.”
“Do you have any ideas?” Joyce asked him.
“Construction.” Kaine said without hesitation. “We'd have a few advantages on the job.”
Xander nodded. It made sense on more than one level. They certainly wouldn't have many on site accidents.
“Good. Now tell me about your trip and where you met your friend.” Joyce smiled.
Kaine shook his head. The woman was like a really hot version of his Aunt May. He shook himself, that was a weird thought.
And so the point of divergence truly begins....
Meanwhile, in a small apartment in one of the 'not so good' areas of New York...
Mary Jane Watson stared at the brunette Peter on her left, then at the blond Ben on her right. She looked at them again and shouted “I must have them both!”
Peter and Ben shared a look. They mouthed to each other“The Golden Rule”.
Then things got weird....
“So... where are we going?” Kaine asked Xander as they made their way down Sunnydale's main strip.
“The Bronze.” Xander told him. “It's the... well it's the only club that isn't a full on bar. Good place to hang. It's also prime hunting grounds for vamps.”
“Ah, so we're scrounging up some scratch.” Kaine nodded.
“Oh... I guess we could do that.” Xander said. “Sorry. Old habits die hard. This was the place to go when I was in High School. Hell... I killed my best friend here.”
Kaine looked at Xander. “You did what now?”
“Oh... well... It's kind of a long story. He got turned and I dusted him by accident.” Xander told him. He scratched his head. “Well, a not so long story then. Still, it was kind of tragic at the time.”
“My friend's dad killed my girlfriend.” Kaine chipped in.
“So... emotionally damaged teen years too huh?” Xander grinned.
“Don't even get me started on what happened to my Uncle. I'm surprised the original didn't go all... goth or something.” Kaine muttered.
“Wow... we need to get a life.” Xander sighed as they went inside the Bronze.
“It's... kind of a hole.” Kaine muttered as he looked around the club. “I mean... for California. In New York... this would be not bad because of it's size.”
“Well considering the size of the place I worked... I can see that.” Xander admitted. “I'll buy you a soda.”
“Do they serve food here?” Kaine asked.
“You know... I honestly have no idea.” Xander told him. “I mean they had cappuccinos and hot chocolate and stuff, but food? Maybe the new management does, I don't know.”
“Oh. Maybe we can get something to eat later. Spider-Metabolism.” Kaine reminded Xander. “You need to eat more too. You need it for your spinnerets.”
“Yes mom.” Xander muttered, even though Kaine had a point. His metabolism had him eating close to six times a day. More if he was active.
In Sunnydale, being active was pretty much guaranteed.
Both men got their sodas and tried to enjoy the band playing while they examined the crowd. There were at least five vampires here. Three recent ones by the state of their clothing and two that were at least five years in to being undead.
Most of this was discussed through subtle nods and some hand signals the two had worked out after their time with Xavier. They had an opportunity to make some money tonight and they were going to take it.
Well they were, until Buffy showed up.
Moping. With her right arm held gingerly to her side.
Xander pinched the bridge of his nose. “Kaine, could you?”
“Seventy-Thirty.” Kaine told him as he coasted into the crowd, causing Xander to wince. While not overly greedy, the cloned man enjoyed having money.
Considering the Parker Family History... it wasn't much of a surprise.
Xander adjusted his sunglasses and headed over to where Buffy was sitting.
“Now what brings a college girl like you here, where we townies belong?” Xander asked her as he sat down on the sofa opposite his favorite blond.
“Xander! When did you get back?” Buffy asked as she got up and hugged him. “Did you get taller?”
“Not exactly.” Xander carefully grinned. “So... what's up? Why do you look so down?”
“What's with the shades Xander?” Buffy countered. “Also, why haven't you called at all?”
“I made my way across the country, crashing with various members of the Harris family. The last one I crashed with turned out to be a mad scientist.” Xander said with a sigh.
“You're joking.” Buffy said.
Xander smiled, showing off his new fangs.
“So... not joking. Xander, I'm so sorry.” Buffy said. “What happened?”
“He was growing a girl and I found out.” Xander shrugged. “He read my journal decided I'd be a good guinea pig. He tinkered with my genome a bit.”
“So are you part demon now?” Buffy asked him.
“Nah. Just... spider-like.” Xander told her. “So... what brings you... here? Slumming it a little?”
“I wanted a familiar environment. I'm not really fitting in at college.”
“You've been there what, a week?” Xander asked. “It takes a while to get used to a new situation Buffy. Believe me, I know.” He told her as he tapped his claws on the table between them.
“So... how's being... this working for you?” Buffy asked him.
“Not bad. I'm nowhere near as clumsy now.” Xander grinned. “I'm stronger and faster too.”
“Really?” Buffy asked.
Xander nodded as Kaine hopped over the sofa and sat next to him. “I've brought a friend too.”
“He any good?” Buffy asked Xander.
“I manage.” Kaine told her as he looked directly into Buffy's eyes
“We'll see.” Buffy smirked at the newcomer.
Xander was tempted to clean his sunglasses. “Dear god... I'm having a Giles moment.” He muttered.
Later that night.....
Buffy stared in awe as she watched Xander and Kaine dance an intricate web of death and destruction. Both men were wearing costumes while Buffy herself had donned a luchadoras mask that Xander had given her. When pressed, Xander just shuddered and said 'Don't ask.'
She'd agreed, and honestly it was kind of fun. It didn't hinder her eyesight and kept her somewhat anonymous. Maybe there was something to this masked nonsense the boys were doing.
She had to admit though that they looked good in spandex. Or whatever it was they were wearing. Especially Kaine. There was something about him, a dark aura about him that was familiar but different at the same time.
She blinked. They were done. The house was clean and she hadn't slayed a single thing.
Dammit. She really wanted to be the one to dust Sunday.
“So, are we gonna move your stuff back to your dorm?” Kaine asked her.
“Sure. What else is here?” Buffy asked.
“Dibs on the rowing machine.” Xander called.
Buffy and Kaine turned to Xander.
“What? I could probably sell it.” Xander shrugged. “Hell, we could sell a fair bit of this stuff.”
Buffy raised an eyebrow.
“We do need the money.” Kaine nodded. “And clothes.”
“You guys.” Buffy tsked. “Ooh... are those shoes my size?” She asked as Kaine held up a pair of designer pumps.
“Are we getting another roommate?” Kathy asked Buffy as the latter teen came in with another load of stuff.
“Umm... no.” Buffy told her. “You still have some room in your closet right?”
Kathy almost managed to suppress the twitch in her cheek. Almost. Maybe a transfer was in order. She didn't realize her roommate would have so much....baggage.
The next day...
“So Xander's back?” Willow asked Buffy as they walked to one of their shared classes. “He could have said hi.” She huffed.
“I ran into him at the Bronze. He wasn't looking for me.” Buffy told her. “It was a thing. He just got back and wanted to give us college girls some space.”
“Oh.” Willow nodded. “I guess I can see that. This place does seem to have a thing against... townies.”
“Don't say the word.” Buffy whispered as someone scowled at them.
“Sorry.” Willow muttered. “So... did he ask about me?”
“Not really. Both he and his friend just hung out. We did some stuff and then called it a night.” Buffy told Willow. “Oh, I also have some clothes you might like.”
“Oh? Where did you get them?” Willow asked.
“Thrift store.” Buffy lied. “I found some really good bargains.”
“Oh. Wait a minute, what friend? Who was he with last night?” Willow asked Buffy.
“His name's Kaine.” Buffy told Willow. “He's kind of cute.”
Back at the Ranch.....
“Dude, go back upstairs and change.” Kaine muttered as he blinked his eyes.
“Hey, I think one of the guys they killed was either a Magnum or a Weird Al fan. Either way, I'm keeping the shirts.” Xander grinned as he buttoned up his multicolored monstrosity of a shirt.
“How did you even manage to sneak that past me last night?” Kaine wondered.
“Boys.... Oh god my eyes!” Joyce said as he walked into the kitchen.
“What?” Xander asked as he watched Joyce back away like a vampire would from a stray beam of sunlight.
“The light hits it just right and it's like all you can see.” Kaine said. “It's... unpleasant isn't it?
“Very.” Joyce agreed as she kept her eyes shielded. “Go. Please. Jobs.”
“On it Mrs. S.” Xander grinned as he and Kaine started to leave the house.
“Oh god, it's even worse outside.” Kaine said as he closed the door.
Joyce rubbed her eyes and looked around her kitchen. Kaine had cleaned up and... “Ooh! Coffee!” She said as she grabbed the pot. She needed her fix and Xander's eyesore of a shirt certainly didn't help her caffeine headache at all.
“Oh, sweet java.” Joyce whispered as she poured her first mug. “You'll make it all better.”
Her mug didn't say anything. It didn't need to.
“Ok you're hired.” The man said as he looked at Xander and Kaine. “Just... go home and change out of that shirt first.”
“See.” Kaine muttered. “He gets it. If you don't mind me asking, why are you hiring us?”
“We're short handed and you're both young enough to not have chronic back problems. You don't do you?” Murphy asked them.
“Nope.” Xander grinned. “I'll just go home and change then.”
He left and Kaine apologized for his friend.
“Just make sure he doesn't wear something like that again. It's a real eyesore.” Murphy told him.
Kaine nodded. “I will do my best. Where do I start?”
“Lugging cement.” Murphy told him.
Kaine nodded. “Show me.”