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Those Damn Bristows

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Summary: Daddy’s little boy can take care of himself.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Television > AliasrestiveFR1315,936141,74613 Aug 1213 Aug 12Yes
Title: Those Damn Bristows!
Author: Restive Nature (aka Bavite)
Rating: PG-13
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to Buffy The Vampire Slayer or Alias. They belong respectively to Whedon and Abrams. This fiction is intended for private enjoyment only and no monies are being made from it.
Genre: Crossover of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Alias.
Type: Stand Alone
Time line/ Spoilers: Post series for Buffy and Season three of Alias.
Summary: Daddy’s little boy can take care of himself.
A/N: This was supposed to be for the TtH Fic-for All. Pairing # 1211 Xander/ Jack Bristow, but it was taken and it ended up more Sydney, Xander, so...
A/N2: This is also a response to the My Mother's A What? Challenge at TtH. Challenge is as follows:

I've only watched up until mid-season 2 of Alias but as I was watching this idea came to me. What if Xander was Sydney's younger brother?

So here's the challenge.

Sydney's mom was pregnant with Xander when she supposedly died. In order to protect Xander, she hid his birth and gave him up for adoption. Sydney somehow finds out about Xander wants to meet him.

Those Damn Bristows!

Jack Bristow could feel the migraine coming on as the chopper blades whirred over his head. He glanced to his right to once again assess the mood of his little girl, Sydney. Of course she wasn’t little nor a girl any more. She was a sophisticated womannow, engaged in a horribly complicated business where events changed moment to moment, leaving one without a chance to even catch a breath. Such as now.
Until two days ago, they had been secure in their relationship. A first for such a very long time. And then word filtered through higher channels that the Covenant, the number one enemy terrorist group of the CIA had captured a hostage. It seemed business as usual until the name of the hostage was discovered. Alexander Lavelle Harris.
It was the second and last names, Lavelle more so, that captured Jack’s attention. It wasn't that common a surname, even more strange as a middle name. But it was one that he had used before. More than several decades since the last occasion. And he had used it for very precise reasons. It was common with government positions in the intelligence field for backgrounds and lineage to be researched. After all, you would never know when past allegiances with other nationalities might rear their ugly head. So Jack knew very well that he had ancestors named Lavelle. It had been a distress sign, when he had used it as his cover. But Harris... now that merrited some research.

Because there in the briefs that had survived around his wife's disappearance, there had surfaced brief contact with a couple, surnamed Harris. And from what the CIA and FBI had discovered, the contact was minimal and instigated through a third party, identity still unknown. The fact that Alexander Lavelle Harris was the son, the adopted son of Jessica and Anthony Harris was not surprising. His date of birth was. It gave Jack pause, remembering back all those years ago, when Sydney had still been a little girl and all was right in her world. Jack had to prepare for a quick overseas mission to handle things personally, even though he had been trying to slow down, be home more.

He had come home to pack, only to find Laura, ill in their bathroom, hunched over the toilet. He had been concerned, until she had smiled that crooked smile at him and told him not to worry. She had a doctors appointment a few days away. They had shared that secret hope, Laura holding his hand as she used the other to rinse her mouth out. He had pressed a loving kiss to her forehead, admonishing her to get plenty of rest, take care of herself, told Sydney to help her mommy and that he would be back soon.

The entire trip, though he was focused on the mission of hand, but in odd moments, visions of a bundle of blanket and tiny arms and legs would make it almost impossible not to smile. He had returned home more eagerly than ever, determined that this was it, the reason he needed to resign his position and take up the post of history professor at the college. But the misery in Laura's eyes when he walked in the door, her refusal to greet him intimately because of the flu bug she was just getting over, that she didn't want him contracting, dashed all those hopes. He had, later in privacy, assured her that it would be fine. A sibling for Sydney would happen when it happened. It was the last they talked of it.

Because it wasn't that much longer when Laura Bristow disappeared, leaving disaster and heartache in her wake. Loving wife and mother devoured in the manipulative re-emergence of Irina Derevko.

Desperate suspicion reared it's ugly head in the moments that Jack looked at the date of Alexander's birth. And it seemed that this suspicion had been confirmed when the demands of the Covenant had been delivered to the CIA.

Jack had a choice to make.
During Sydney’s time as a captive of the Covenant, she’d learned sensitive information. Of course it was couched in terms that she couldn’t’ quite decipher, even if she had known precisely what random conversation she’d overheard it in. The Covenant wanted that information back so they could continue with their world domination plans. If she didn’t deliver herself, then her brother would die.
It was a nice touch, Jack had wryly admitted to himself. His ex-wife Irina Derevko, aka Laura Bristow, a former Russian KGB spy had taught her protégé, Sark, well. They knew that Sydney’s weakness was her family and friends. And even if the biological connection were proved to be untrue, they knew she had a complete aversion to letting innocent people suffer. That had proved equally true just months ago when their own government tried to retrieve knowledge from her against her will.
Looking at his daughter now, he tried to make one more attempt to keep her from getting her hopes up. “It’s highly doubtful that this boy is my son,” he stated emphatically, louder than normal to be heard above the drone of the chopper engine.
“Xander,” she answered back stonily, not even deigning to look at him. “His file stated that he likes to be called Xander.”
Jack nodded once. He’d read the same file that she had, over and over. Chronicling as much information as they could gather. When and where he was born, how he grew up, the interests he had, the friends he had made. There were telling points in that file for both father and daughter. For Jack it was the mental abuse the boy suffered at the hands of his adoptive parents. That both Sydney and Xander turned out as well as they did, despite the unavoidable neglect they both received, was a testament to wills of steel. Jack honestly believed that in Sydney’s case it was a miracle. Perhaps in Xander’s as well.
For Sydney, the apparent loneliness within Xander’s familial life resonated. But there was also the slightly outcast tendency that the younger man exhibited. A close circle of friends, but a whole lot of events that Xander was present at that did not add up. They had discovered that Xander had been present at the destruction of his high school in Sunnydale and that was only the tip of the iceberg. He’d lost an eye as his home was destroyed, she’d had her ova removed by terrorists trying to resurrect an evil madman prophesy. Not exactly the same thing, but it was no hardship to imagine the bond that shared devastation could bring.

Sydney had longed for a brother or sister when she was younger. Someone to share her loneliness when her mother had died. And that was precisely what it was. Laura Bristow had died in that car accident that Irina Derevko and her handler had devised for her extraction. The devastation that all that information, not just the loss of his wife, but learning that the woman was a KGB spy sent to infiltrate Jack's life and learn CIA secrets had devastated him to the point of near destruction immediately afterwards.

But as she grew older, Sydney, though she still envied the siblings that she encountered for the bond of family and ties of love, no longer wished for her own. She started to understand that while a sibling would give her someone to love and be loved by in return, that child would have to suffer the same neglect from Jack as she did. That decision had been reinforced in recent years. Her life was anything but perfect and she would never wish it upon another. But neither could she just walk away from this Xander without doing everything possible in her power to make sure he came out of this encounter with the Covenant intact.

The silence between father and daughter continued as the helicopter touched down in the deserted area outside of Mexico City. The meeting locale. The locally arranged support team was already in place. Sydney pursed her lips thoughtfully as she recalled the last time she had engaged in something like this. It had been when they were arranging to trade Sark back to the Covenant. That had turned out so well too. She sighed at the thought, the memory of it.

She lifted her eyes, shielding them despite the sunglasses she wore to watch as the helicopter took off. That team would await their call back once the trade had been made. Sydney had already warned her father to make sure he took care of the civilian first. But she knew that it was Jack's wont to protect her first. That couldn't happen this time.

The protocol that had been agreed upon was that Sark or his operative would meet Sydney with their captive between the two teams. The trade would be made, the captive they were delivering would be bound and the CIA team would have to wait until Sydney was taken from the area before they could retrieve him. But as time wore on, Sydney frequently checking her synchronized watch, tension began to mount.

“They're late,” she nearly growled at her father. Jack seemed to most of the team, to be standing idly by the car in which they had arrived. But Sydney knew that her father was calculating odds. “He's late,” she half repeated, this time implicating Sark.

“Which indicates unforeseen problems, or this is a double cross,” Jack replied. With one single nod from Sydney, Jack reached up to touch his ear piece, connecting him instantly by satellite to their base of operation in Los Angeles. “Base ops, we have no visual. Target is not in the area. Any information?”

“Hang on Mr. Bristow sir,” came Marshall Flinkman's excited voice. Even through all the time that she had been held captive by the Covenant and then found her way back, so many things had changed, time seemed not to touch Marshall. But when they received their answer, it was not Marshall's voice, but the director of their division and a close friend of Sydney's, Marcus Dixon.

“Jack? Syd?” he named them both to make sure he had their attention. “We've got nothing inbound to your area at all. We are getting filters from local authorities about some trouble down at a warehouse district.”

“Could that be Covenant?” Sydney immediately wondered aloud.

“Possibly,” was all Marcus allowed. “We don't have a positive ident on any of the participants. Hang on!” The tension in his voice rose and father and daughter exchanged puzzled, worried glances. Deviation from protocol was standard in their line of work, to keep their information, their assets and most of all, themselves alive. But when it came from the enemy, it was always more highly suspect.

“We've got an ID on Sark!” Dixon's voice came back. “Jack, Syd, reconnoiter your group and head that way. Marshall's uploading the directions to the GPS system.” Even as Marcus confirmed that someone had spotted Sark, they were already scrambling their group. Two cars with Jack driving one and Sydney beside him. They were to the location within twenty minutes, Marcus and Marshall chattering in their ear the entire time, letting them know what was happening, what they were walking into and that local law enforcement was alerted that their presence was top priority. The possible civilian was family to a federal official. That always got attention. Because what if, one day, it was your family that was in that position and needed rescue?

“We're here,” Jack announced, for both Sydney and their mutual audiences benefit, though Marshall would have been tracking their approach as well.

“Watch yourselves,” Dixon warned. “We've no idea who it is engaging Sark at this time. You need to speak with an Officer Rodriguez, who is currently lead officer on the ground.”

“Got you,” Sydney gave her confirmation of information received. But when they exited the cars, it was like all hell was breaking loose. Sydney, followed closely by Jack, strode up to the small cluster of officers who were laughing and joking, leaning on their cars with riot guns resting loosely in their grips. They received glances of acknowledgment, but that was about all.

“Necesito hablar con oficial de Rodriguez,” Sydney announced to the group at large and one of the men stepped forward.

“I am Rodriguez,” he nodded politely, but his eyes were straining towards the strange sight around the cluster of warehouses. There were several groups milling about. He waited and Sydney extracted her CIA identification.

“I'm Officer Bristow, CIA,” she announced unnecessarily. “We were supposed to be receiving a hostage from these criminals. What the hell is going on?”

“That's a good question senorita Bristow,” Rodriguez chuckled. “But I am not the man to ask. You need to talk to them.” He pointed to a pair of men, standing much closer to the buildings, watching the goings on. If she hadn't just been told, Sydney would have assumed them to be gawking by-standers, rather than agents in charge. With a murmured expression of thanks that bordered on sarcastic, Sydney and Jack moved towards them.

However, the closer they got, they could see just how much their first assumption was apropos. The two were clad similarly, in jeans and light sweaters. One was dark haired, the other fair and their height was noticeably different. But before they could announce themselves, the dark haired one darted forward to grab, of all things, a squirt gun, from a young woman's hands.

“No, no, no Justine,” he chided in a humorous voice. “Sapravo, drowning, sapalvo, decapitation. Remember?”

“Oh, right! Sorry Xander,” the girl nodded enthusiastically. “Guess I was just too excited to be included.”

Sydney barely managed to contain her gasp. Here was the man who might be her brother, completely unharmed it seemed and vastly amused over something.

“Well, you need to think before you act going into a situation like this,” Xander chided. “You had plenty of time to prep. Now, go find Vi and get the right tools.”

“Yes sir,” the girl nodded and darted off once more, sans water gun that Xander carried, as one would a real gun, back to the other man.

“Sheesh!” he grumbled with a chuckle. “Who'da thunk they'd get so excited over rescuing little old me. As I recall, the girls always used to complain about ol' Zeppo.” The other man nudged Xander with his elbow.

“You know the girls all adore you,” the blond grinned up at the taller man. “Dawn nearly had a stroke right after you disappeared. Buffy had to scrape her off the ceiling. And Willow? I know we're all viva la white goddess, but let me tell you, nobody was complaining about her roots for once.”

“Well, I will,” Xander sighed. “Wills should've known better what with the telephonic mojo thingy she's got going with us.”

“Which Giles reminded her about,” the other man nodded. “Of course, it took someone with a refined sense of calm to rein them in before they damaged the house any more.”

Xander groaned and shook his head as the father and daughter couple watched, trying to make sense of this incomprehensible scene before them.

“How bad is it?” he muttered and then laughed. “You didn't by any chance mummy hand loop me, but with the windows, did you Andrew? Because I've always had my suspicions and if I find out-!”

The other man that they now knew to be named Andrew yelped and jumped away like he'd been shocked. “No! Of course not. I'm good now. And besides, the loop thing is passe.” He sniffed like he had been offended. “I like to think that I'm creative enough to find new ways to annoy a person rather than repeating loops.”

“Just keep breathing Andrew,” Xander sighed. “That usually does the trick.”

“Hey!” Andrew protested. About that time, Jack had decided that enough was enough.

“Excuse me!” he announced loudly as he strode forward to the pair. They turned, not at all concerned it seemed, by strangers sort of sneaking up on them. Sydney hurried after her father, her eyes drinking in the young man that might be her sibling. He'd gotten a glass eye, she saw immediately, the dark patch that had been depicted in one of his later photographs, now gone. “Jack Bristow,” her father announced, holding up his identification. Xander barely glanced at it before giving them both a lopsided grin. He simply scratched a little at the nape of his neck.

“Yeah, I was wondering when you guys were gonna get here,” he sighed and then shoved both hands in his jean pockets.

“You knew the CIA was coming?” Andrew asked with a little awe.

“No-oot precisely,” Xander hedged. “Bristow, or zzz, since plural, hence both of them, since I'm assuming you're Sydney?” he asked of the lone female of the group. She nodded quickly, seemingly unable to find words in that moment. “Yeah, that Sark guy kept on and on about them, mostly her. So I figured they'd show up eventually. Unfortunately for him, you guys got here first.”

“And who precisely are you?” Jack demanded. Sydney had to bite back a smile at her father's slightly flustered tone. Especially when both young men made the same movement to withdraw flat wallets, very similar to their own and flip open their own id's, marking them as something called IWC.

“IWC?” Sydney finally found their voice. “What's that?” she asked of the young men, but their wide eyed glance was upon her father and she turned her head. “Dad? Are you all right?” Jack had gone quite pale in the seconds between. His lips were almost white as he stared at the man who could be his son.

“The International Watcher's Council,” he explained for them, but Sydney was still shaking her head in bewilderment. “Classified as allegiance unknown,” he went on. “They've got so much political pull that even having their secretary on the line is cause enough for any politician in the country to wet their pants.”

Sydney's eyes went wide, for two reasons. One, her father's description touched her funny bone. And two, because her father wasn't given to expressing much humor on the job, let alone anywhere else, that it was a hell of a lot of sway these people had.

“Yeah, we're trying to change that,” Xander grinned as he replaced his wallet. “It's hell on the dry cleaning bills.” Sydney couldn't help it, she started to giggle. Xander joined her even as Andrew snickered. It gave Jack at least, a few moments to calm down. But then Xander turned it all around again and gestured to Sydney. “So is it true what Sark was saying? You might be my sister?”

Sydney threw a tiny glance at her father. But then she nodded. “We'd have to do a DNA test to be sure, but yes, there is a possibility.”

“Huh,” Xander didn't seem overly enthused, or disappointed. It was like he was reserving judgment until they had more facts. She didn't have the chance to find out because there were some more screams and excited shouts coming from inside the warehouse. “Oh, looks like Wills found him.”

“Found who?” Jack demanded, but his question was answered when Sark appeared in the doorway, bound, gagged and being frog-marched between two women, a blond and a brunette, while a redhead stomped out behind him. Sydney started to laugh again as she saw the redhead smacking Sark about the head with a small pouch every few steps. But with an acerbic look from her father, she reined herself in. It wasn't becoming of a CIA officer to be giggling over the predicament of one of their fugitives. That would come later, when she described this whole experience to her friends and co-workers.

“Sark comma Julian. Right?” Xander grinned and gestured to the blond male desperately trying to regain his balance as he was dragged towards their group. “That is the guy you're looking for, isn't it? Because if it isn't, I can't imagine the real Sark would take to kindly to his name being borrowed and the bragging and...” He trailed off, looking slightly distant. “It's the real Sark there. Wills knew just what buttons to push.”

“Yes, that's Sark,” Sydney confirmed quickly. “And no, he wouldn't like having a double or anyone out there assuming or usurping his position,” she agreed, crossing her arms over her chest as she watched that writhing little snake in the grass getting closer. But then she turned to her possible brother with a wince. “He didn't... mistreat you, did he?”

“Smacked me around a few times,” Xander shrugged, seemingly unconcerned with his treatment. And then with a lowered tone, confided, “doesn't even pack as much punch as Larry.” When he noted the confusion in everyone's eyes that were in his immediate vicinity, he explained further, “high school bully. Turned out he was covering up his sexual orientation and when he came out of the closet, he was a helluva lot nicer... to me.” He grimaced distastefully. “And others. He was just... nicer. But still, I learned a long time ago how to take a punch. And a fall. I fall real well.”

Sydney hid her smile at that little speech, even though it didn't sit well with her that her brother, if he was, or anyone else for that matter was the subject of bullying. “What exactly did he threaten you with?” she wondered, though she knew she should, by her father's warning glare, be waiting until Xander could be debriefed properly. But given that he was a member of another organization, of unknown allegiance no less, perhaps they could call it professional courtesy.

“Oh, at first, he just wanted to use me as leverage,” Xander supplied readily. “And then when I figured a few things out, he wanted me to just shut up.” He ribbed Andrew gently with his elbow. “I took a few pages out of Andy's book here and annoyed the living hell out of him. And me and my big mouth, keeps working no matter how many times you punch me in the stomach.”

“So why didn't he just punch you in the mouth then?” Andrew wondered and Xander chuckled.

“He had orders from his bosses not to mess up my face, so that the Bristows would recognize me for the trade,” he answered as the two girls finished dragging the reluctant Sark to the group. “And now you understand what I meant when I told you that there were geo-political ramifications of being mean to me!” he finished with a huff. “Don't you Julian?”

Sydney saw that her and Jack's presence were noted and just as equally dismissed, his eyes rolling in his head. Sydney sucked in a slightly shocked breath. Whatever had happened before they had arrived, it had been enough to scare the living bejeebers out of Sark. He started to nod, quickly, his eyes darting to the two women that held him, who were grinning smugly.

“Little pervert tried to make a deal with Wills,” the brunette chuckled and patted Sark roughly on the head. “Too bad he didn't know she don't swing the pole no more.”

“Faith!” the blond protested. “It's bad enough when you talk like that around the... the younger girls. Do you have to do it around strangers?”

“Yo B, not like I'm gonna see 'em again,” the girl now known as Faith declared with a wink at Jack. The blond, which Sydney suspected was a close friend of Xander's, Buffy Summers, just rolled her eyes. The other girl, would be Willow, and knowing that her information was very nearly one hundred percent correct, she stepped up as well.

“I'm Sydney Bristow, this is my father, Jack,” she introduced and then gestured to Sark. “We're with the CIA,” she explained, reaching for her ID, once more. “We were to take Xander into protective custody from Sark,” she explained awkwardly, but Faith interrupted.

“Yeah, we got the skinny on that,” she smirked, gesturing with her free hand. “And also why Sarkiekins here wanted you. And even if I don't give a rat's ass about who you are or where you're from, you don't treat women that way!” she announced angrily, smacking Sark on the top of the head sharply, as the gagged blond man tried to shrink away from her.

“Wow, women's lib faith,” Willow grinned cheekily. “You have grown.”

“What can I tell ya,” Faith shrugged one shoulder. “Slinging it with a few odd hundred women, in prison and out will make ya think.”

Sydney noted her father's eyebrow raise slightly as he digested the information that was coming at them rapidly.

“Well, I found something else Xander,” the redhead muttered, stepping around the trio in front of her friend, a bundle of papers in her hand, that she was looking over. “He wasn't lying.”

“Seriously?” Xander grunted and reached for the papers. “Huh. Math gives me a headache. Science too. Boil it down.”

“His claim that Jack Bristow is you father and this woman Irina Derevko your mother?” Willow prompted quietly, eying the unknown, to her, people, and Sydney as well as her father straightened, straining with interest. “Accurate to a ninety-four point percentage of certainty.” She held up her hand when Jack would have protested. “Backed up by a ninety-eight percent certainty that Sydney shares a familial bond with you. High enough to be a full sibling status. So that makes sense.” Then the redhead frowned. “I just wonder how he got all your blood samples.”

“I know how,” Xander grunted and then turned to the Bristows. “Did either of you experience a strange bite mark on either of your hands or on your arms within the last month?”

“No,” Sydney murmured, shaking her head, trembling slightly all over as it was. “But I... was being held by the group Sark works for, for some time and it is extremely likely and very probably that they took... physical samples from me.” She pressed her arm against her abdomen, where her scar lay. A new one that she had woken up with no memory of having obtained it. The gasps that she heard weren't for her story though when she realized that everyone was looking to his father. He was staring down at his left arm, where his shirt sleeve had pulled back slightly. There was a bandage across wrist.

“A few weeks ago,” Jack murmured, peeling back the bandage to show the mostly healed scab over a tiny bite mark. “Just a little bug,” he mused. “Looked like a worm almost. I flicked it off and never really gave it another thought aside from the fact that the scab came off constantly, before it fully healed, making it seep often.”

“The sapalvo,” Xander nodded. “Starts out very little, in it's vegetarian form, it's harmless. But feed it blood and it develops an appetite for it. Which is why Julian has no bodyguards left, a demon bug on the loose and is about ready to crap his pants? Am I right?” Julian's eyes were still rolling in his head. Sydney was suddenly very interested in finding out what exactly had happened in Sark's hideout after he had taken Xander.

“Also near extinction because of the blood hunger,” Willow added. “People in the know went out to eradicate them in the larval stage. They are just not something normal people, even super secret agent people are familiar with. So that tells me that Mr. Sark,” she punctuated his name by grabbing a handful of hair and yanking his head back, “had a partner. And I'd very much like to know who it was.”

“As much as I know we'd all enjoy this,” Sydney felt compelled to break in, “Sark has a history of caving to whomever holds his leash. Physical threats are rarely necessary, even as fun as it is,” she added under her breath.

“Sydney,” Jack broke in, eying the others, “technically speaking, Sark isn't under the pervue of the CIA. The IWC has the collar on this one and unless they hand him over, I think it best that we keep our nose out of their business.”

“Oh, we're more than happy to share”; Faith purred.

“We are?” Buffy grunted, eying the other girl with a puzzled look on her face. “And that's why?”

“'Cause Sarky here is a very bad boy,” Faith grinned, shifting her stance slightly to twist Sark's arm just a little more, causing him to emit a piercing yelp, clearly heard even through the gag. “And we have our ways of gettin' the info we need. What we don't need?” she glanced at Jack, slowly licked her lower lip before winking at him, and then continued, “is to have to continually babysit this low life creep. In fact, I think, CIA wants him, then they can have him. After Red here is finished her little mojo.”

“Actually Faith,” Buffy nodded. “I think that'd be just fine. What about you guys? Does that work for you?”

“Perfectly,” Jack announced without a glance at his daughter. “With a few proviso's, perhaps.”

“And what might those be?” Xander wondered and Sydney drew a startled breath at how identical Xander's suspicious look reminded her of her father, when she was a little girl and had eaten all of the cookies that their housekeeper had made and then hid the cookie jar to conceal the fact. There was really no doubt in her mind now, though she thought that her father might take more convincing, Sark provided paperwork aside.

“Sark has his fingers in a lot of pies, apparently,” Jack explained with that superior tone of his that told them he was several steps ahead of them all. “There might be cross contamination of his information. What he reveals to you might be information that is necessary to the CIA.”

The others, Sydney noted, were looking skeptical, but Willow Rosenberg was nodding slowly. “Dad,” Sydney began, trying to catch his attention. She had a pretty good idea what he was after, but she wasn't sure, knowing that even the potential that Xander was blood kin, rules stated they should be recusing themselves at this point. Not that it would happen, but it needed to be said out loud. Just to sort of cover their own asses.

“No,” Willow spoke softly, before Jack could deny what he was up to. “I think Mr. Bristow has a good idea there. Faith, could you take Sark to the house please. Andrew, go with her.”

Syd was surprised that there were no arguments as the girl Buffy, relinquished her spot to the young man, showing him the twist she had on Sark's thumb. A little more pressure and they'd have him on his knees. Andrew took over and the new duo of guards moved away with him to a car nearby. Sydney spun back to her father after watching them for a moment. “Dad, you're not-!”

“Hush Sydney,” Jack spoke sharply, his eyes intent on the redheaded woman across from him, the pair of them separated by just a few feet. “So, do we have a deal?”

“We do,” she nodded abruptly. “Better you than me, I think. Shall we?” she asked, gesturing after where the others had gone. She took a few slow steps, but paused when Jack turned to his daughter.

“Stay here,” he instructed her. “I'll be back soon. Call Dixon and inform him of the situation. Get the helicopter here and have it ready for transport.” Sydney nodded automatically, though she was full of questions. Her father's hand came up to cup her cheek. “We have a little while sweetheart. And after the... ordeal he's been through, why don't you take Xander to get some food.”

“Okay,” she hedged, her eyes darting back and forth between her father and her brother. With a nod to Xander, Jack began to follow after Willow. He had almost reached the car when he turned to look over his shoulder at them.

Well?” he demanded with a chuckle. “What are you waiting for. Take care of your brother.” And then, he climbed into the front seat, pulling the door shut behind himself and moments later, it was started up and the group pulled away, leaving the dumbfounded youngsters behind.

It was Buffy who recovered first. “Okay, well, that was weird,” she grimaced. There was a whoop and some hollering from inside and with a sigh she glanced over her shoulder. “I better go supervise the youngin's.” She stepped forward to hug her friend. “No more kidnapping Xander. Okay?”

“Totally fine by me Buff,” he grinned. “I'll leave that territory to Dawn.” The smaller girl pulled back instantly.

“Bite your tongue,” she growled and Xander hammed it up a little, sticking his tongue out with his teeth gently clamped around the appendage. With a gentle, fond swat, the blond turned and hurried away. Xander sighed, watching her and then turned to Sydney.

“So? Food? Anything in particular you want?” he wondered, clapping his hands together.

“I think I'm supposed to be asking you that,” Sydney admitted with a shocked laugh.

“Oh right,” Xander smirked and then snapped his fingers. “That's right. I'm supposed to be asking you if you've got any hot friends that wouldn't mind pity dating your dorky little brother.” He paused for just a moment and then held out his hands. “Well? Do ya?”

Sydney couldn't help the giggles that erupted from the bottom of her stomach. The whole night had been just too strange. “Oh my...” she was finally able to murmur as she wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. “Okay, food, call my bosses, swap stories, dates and alcohol later. Does that sound good?”

“Fine by me, sis,” Xander grinned and waggled his eyebrows at her. “I think I'm gonna like the sound of that.” He shoved his hands into his pockets and shifted slightly, obviously waiting for her. Sydney stepped up to the male, younger than herself, but slightly taller, carefully reaching her hand to his shoulder.

“I think I am too,” she admitted. And with a grin that was more similar than either realized, they moved away fro the scene of the crime. Each with more important things on their mind than the poor beleaguered blond male that had brought them together. The one that was soundly, if mentally, cursing each and every Bristow he had ever come across.

The End

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