Disclaimer: Still don’t own ‘em
AN: Thanks to my wonderful new beta Vanessa! You’re a star!
Xander was leaning against the Eldo when Guerrero walked into in the garage. “Figured since you were probably going to follow me anyway, you might as well give me a ride,” he said, pushing away from the car.
“Where to?” Guerrero didn’t even bother to deny his brother’s accusation.
“Downtown. Place called Nix.”
“That place is bad news, bro. Even I avoid it.”
“Good job I’m not you then,” the brunette smirked.
“Get in the car,” Guerrero said. Xander knew they would be having a serious talk later, but for now, Guerrero’d watch his little brother’s back and follow his lead.
Xander wasn’t surprised his brother had heard of the bar they were heading to. What he probably didn’t know about it though was that it was a demon bar. Luckily, Xander’s rep was well known in those circles. That should be enough to keep his brother safe. Then again, a rep like Guerrero’s was probably well known in both the human and demon undergrounds.
Pulling up to the bar, Xander turned to Guerrero. “Any chance I can convince you to wait for me here?” At the look he received, Xander sighed. “Didn’t think so. Just, follow my lead and try not to kill anyone, okay?”
“No promises, Dude,” Guerrero said, climbing out of the car. Xander joined him and together they headed to the bar.
The bouncer nodded at Xander as he approached. “Go on in, Knight, My’Kel is expecting you.”
“Thanks Jor. How’s the spawn?”
“Good thanks man. Already raising hell. Not literally, of course!” Jor added quickly.
Xander laughter. “Tell ‘em I said hi,” and with that he headed in the door.
Guerrero made to follow, but Jor blocked his path. “You got some ID?” he demanded.
“Hey, it’s cool. He’s with me,” Xander stepped in.
“You vouching for him Knight?”
“Yeah, and I know the rules.”
Jor nodded and let Guerrero pass.
“What the hell Dude?” he demanded, entering the bar.
“Later. This is so not the place to be discussing this. And remember, no killing,” Xander said, looking for the demon he was here to meet.
Luckily most of the patrons in Nix at that time were fairly human-looking. He really didn’t want his brother to freak out. Not that he would ever freak out in any noticeable way, but Xander could always tell and so could most of the bar’s occupants.
If Guerrero noticed anything odd about the people in the bar, he didn’t say anything. But he would remember. And there was no way his brother was getting out of explaining what he was dealing with.
Spotting My’Kel, a fairly normal looking demon, as long as you didn’t see his tails anyway, sitting in a corner boot, Xander stayed in the lead as the two men made their way over.
“My’Kel, I was told you had some info for me,” Xander said, sliding into the booth opposite his contact.
“Who’s your friend?” My’Kel asked.
“Guerrero,” he introduced himself.
“He’s cool,” Xander added when the only reaction to his brother’s introduction was a raised eyebrow. He wasn’t too surprised that they had heard of him, but even with a rep like his brother’s it wasn’t enough to mean anything in this world.
“And the White Knight vouches for him?”
My’Kel nodded. “Good enough.”
“So what’s so important I had to interrupt my vacation?” Xander asked.
“The Emerald Witch is in danger,” My’kel said, straight to the point.
“It’s Tuesday. Of course she is. Why this time?” Xander sighed.
“The Brotherhood of X’len’bah are on the rise. They require a powerful sacrifice for their final ritual. They have chosen her.”
“Why her? Why not one of the others?”
“The rite is very specific. She is the only one in the country who meets its requirements. The ritual must be completed on the new moon, and it must be in a large open area within 5 miles of the nexus,” My’kel explained.
“And you're telling me all this, why?” It was unusual for a demon to give up so much information without a reason.
“If the Brotherhood rises, it will disrupt everything. No more treaties, no more safe havens, just chaos and war. None of us want that. It was agreed to pass on the information to those best able to handle it. Do with it what you wish.” My’Kel leant back in his seat. “But know this Knight. If you fail, more than just her will be lost. Everything will end.”
Xander nodded. “I’ll make sure she is protected. You know how to contact me if you hear anything else?”
“Of course. The Watcher will be called.”
Xander stood to leave, prompting Guerrero to rise as well. “Pass on the news that it’s being handled, would you? And for any friendlies to keep clear of the Slayer. You know what she’s like when it comes to family.”
“Will do, Knight. Don’t die.”
“Rule 1 dude!” Xander smiled, before heading back to the car, his brother following.
Guerrero kept his silence the whole meeting, but as soon as they were on the way back to the office his need for information took over. “What the hell was that Xan?” he demanded, tone making it clear that he wanted answers and he wanted them right the hell now.
The look Guerrero shot him said louder than words what he was thinking.
Xander slumped in his seat. “What do you know about the Underground?” he asked, knowing there was no way he could get out of explaining everything. He’d heard enough of his brother’s reputation to know he never wanted to be on the receiving end of one of his ‘inquiries’.
“Enough,” Guerrero answered. “And if you're mixed up with it, I want to know how. The Underground is not something you mess with Dude.”
“It all started with a girl,” Xander started.
Guerrero snorted. “It always does,” he said, thinking briefly of Chance.
Xander grinned. “I was 15 and she was beautiful. And, apparently, the Slayer. Not long after she came to town, they took Jesse. We tried to save him, but it was too late. They’d already turned him.”
Guerrero didn’t have to ask who ‘they’ were. He knew enough about the Underground to know what Xander meant. He’d run into a few non-humans in his line of work, but most kept their business amongst themselves. “What happened?”
“I staked him,” Xander said, quietly. “My first kill. I couldn’t turn my back on the fight after that.”
They sat in silence for a while, both lost in their own thoughts. Guerrero didn’t know how to react to his brother’s story. He knew there was nothing he could say to make it better. Your first kill always stays with you, Guerrero knew that from personal experience. Instead he asked a question that had been bugging him since they arrived at the bar. “Why did they call you the White Knight?”
Xander groaned. “God damned Angel! I hate that stupid name.”
“Angel? Who’s she?”
The question caused Xander to chuckle. “I’d love to see his face if he heard you call him a girl! Even better, Spike would never let him live it down!”
That was the second time his brother had mentioned Spike, and Guerrero would find out who it was, but one thing at a time. After all, when it came to information gathering, he was used to being patient. And, one way or another, he always found what he wanted.
Xander was still laughing when his brother reminded him of his original question.
Xander immediately stopped laughing. Guerrero realised that for the first time he was sorry for breaking his brother’s good mood. He still remembered the happy carefree child he had been, and this new more jaded Xander was a bit of a surprise.
“Angel was my friend’s boyfriend. I never like him, but not for the reason everybody always thought. She was 15 and he was way older. Creepy if you ask me. Anyway, she slept with him and he turned all psycho stalker on her. Killed another friend’s girlfriend and left her on his bed for him to find level psycho.” Here Xander paused briefly, a small smile on his lips as he remembered Jenny. “Anyway, she got really ill and was in the hospital. I stayed to guard her when Angel turned up. I made him back down.”
Guerrero huffed a laugh.
“I know, must have been your influence coming out. That’s when he dubbed me her White Knight. The name stuck.”
“I’ve heard of you,” Guerrero said after a moment. “Everyone in my circles has. If I’d known it was my baby brother I would have beat some sense into you years ago. If even half of what I’ve heard is true… Dude! You’re crazier than I am!”
Xander smirked. “What can I say? I take after my brother.”
AN2: Thanks again to all my reviewer. I’ll keep writing if you all keep reviewing! And no, I’m not above using blackmail. After all, reviews feed the muse. The more reviews, the happier the muse! :)