Disclaimer: I don't own the characters of BTVS or Sanctuary. They are the property of Joss and Syfy.
Thanks to my beta Alkeni.
The next day Willow and Xander went to meet Mr. Jackson. They left their hotel at 11.30 a.m. and arrived a little before 12 p.m. They waited until it was 12 p.m. and then Xander called him.
He answered after the first ring “…”
“Hello, this is Xander Harris. Ms. Spencer called you yesterday about me.”
“Yes, we’re here.”
“Yes, we’ll wait. Bye.” Xander hung up and looked at Willow. “He’ll be here in few minutes.”
She nodded. Soon they saw a short guy exiting the building and looking around. Assuming he was Alex Jackson they went to him.
“Hello. Are you Xander Harris?” he asked.
“Yes and this is Willow Rosenberg,” he said and they shook hands.
“I am on a lunch break so I was thinking we would get something to eat and talk there,” suggested Mr. Jackson.
“Okay. We haven’t eaten yet so lead the way,” said Xander. He hadn’t been hungry for the last few days, but he knew that Willow probably was. He still hadn’t told her about his eating problem, but he knew he would have to tell her soon.
“The restaurant is just around the corner so we’ll go on foot,” said Mr. Jackson. They started walking and he asked Xander “What did you want to talk about Mr. Harris?”
“I’m trying to find my birth parents and I heard you were the one who found me. And please, call me Xander. When you call me Mr. Harris I start looking around for my adopted father.”
“Okay and yes, I did find you. It was quite a shock actually, finding a baby on my way to work,” said Mr. Jackson and slowed his walk. “We’re here.”
They entered the restaurant and sat on the nearby table. I was a small restaurant, but nice and comfortable looking. As it was early for lunch, there weren’t many costumers yet and they got the table without a problem.
“Let’s order and we’ll talk while they make our food,” suggested Mr. Jackson.
For a few minutes, while they looked at the menu, nobody spoke. Soon the waiter came to collect their order and they ordered. Xander ordered something knowing it would be strange if he didn’t order anything. When the waiter left their conversation started again.
Mr. Jackson said “I figured you have a few questions for me.”
“Yes. I want to know if you know anything about my parents,” asked Xander hoping to finally get some leads about them.
“I probably don’t know anything you don’t already know. I found you abandoned in the Old City Square. I called the police and told them about you,” he started explaining, but was interrupted by Willow.
“Ms. Spencer told us you said you saw a strange man nearby,” said Willow.
“Oh, yes... I did see someone, but I don’t know if he had anything to do with you. It was a little strange, because it was early in the morning and there was almost nobody else around. But strange is normal here.”
“What do you mean?” asked Willow hoping to find out something useful.
“There is a lot of night activity around here,” he said.
Xander and Willow shared a look both thinking about demons and their nightly activities in Sunnydale.
“Could you elaborate please? Do you mean it’s not safe at night around here?” asked Willow concerned that maybe this was another Hellmouth for which Giles didn’t know about, because if he knew he would have mentioned it.
“No, nothing like that. Just sometimes strange things happen here, but usually nobody is seriously hurt,” he stopped, but after a few seconds he continued. “But when they happen, these guys usually show up and take care of everything or so I have heard. Nobody knows what their job is, but there are some rumors about them.”
“What sort of rumors?” asked Xander.
“There are a lot of them. That they deal with all kind of strange things; some even say that they deal with demons and aliens and that they work at some kind of research facility in the city. I once heard that it was called a sanctuary, but I don’t know for what.” Mr. Jackson started telling them.
Xander and Willow saw that he liked to talk, but his speech was interrupted by arrival of the waiter who brought their food. For the next couple of minutes the table was silent while everybody except Xander, who only pretended to eat, ate.
However, while Willow was eating she thought about what Mr. Jackson had just said. She realized that if that facility really dealt with strange things it might be able to help them. But first she needed to know more about it. So when they all stopped eating Willow asked Mr. Jackson “Do you know where this sanctuary is?”
Mr. Jackson looked at her “I don’t know if it really is a sanctuary, but whatever it is I think that it’s that huge old building near the river.”
Willow thought for a moment trying to remember if she had seen any such building by the river. After some thought she remembered the building she asked taxi driver about yesterday. “You mean that giant building that resembles a church? I think we saw it on our way from the airport.”
“Yes, you could have seen it,” said Mr. Jackson. He looked at his watch than and noticed that it was nearly 1 p.m. “Look at the time. I have to go now, my lunch break is almost over,” he said and started taking out his wallet.
“Okay. It was nice meeting you and don’t worry about the payment. We’ll pay since it was us who wanted to meet you.” said Xander and Willow nodded.
Mr. Jackson put away his wallet. “Okay and thank you. I hope I helped you in your search.”
“I hope so too. If you remember anything else please call me,” said Xander.
“Of course,” agreed Mr. Jackson and stood up. Then they all said good bye and he left.
Xander looked at Willow “What do you think? Are we any closer to finding my parents?”
“I don’t know. I’m interested in this sanctuary as he called it. If they really deal with strange things maybe they could help us,” said Willow optimistically.
“Or maybe they could capture me and study me,” said Xander who wasn’t as optimistic as Willow.
“Yes, or they could do that. I think we should call Giles. If they do have anything to do with demons maybe he had heard of them,” said Willow. “But first we should go back to the hotel, because if we make this call here and somebody overhears us they would think we’re mad.”
Xander agreed so he called the waiter and asked for a bill.
While they waited Willow asked “Xander I noticed that you haven’t eaten anything. Is something wrong? Are you sick?” She was worried about him, because he had been dealing with a lot of things lately; finding he was adopted and that he was a demon and now she noticed that he wasn’t eating anything.
Xander knew she would have figured it out sooner or later, but it turned out to be sooner than he expected. He had hoped he would have at least a few days before he had to tell her, but now that she knew something was up, he decided to tell her everything. “Nothing’s wrong, it’s just… For the last few days I haven’t been hungry,” he took a deep breath. “I think I’m still changing Willow. I think that this is the next stage and after that... You know what happened with Giles’s blood. I’ve lost my appetite few days ago and I can’t be sure, but I think I’ll be craving blood soon.” He was a little distressed, because before he didn’t want to admit even to himself what might happen and now that he had said it out loud, he finally confronted himself with the truth; that soon he might need blood to survive.
“You don’t know that for sure, but if it happens we’ll deal with it. You could always do what Angel does; drink animal blood,” Willow comforted him.
“Yes you’re right we’ll find a way,” said Xander comforted by Willow’s words.
At that moment the waiter came with their bill and they paid it. After that they went to find a taxi and soon they were back in the hotel.
When they came back to their room they called Giles and put him on speaker. He answered after a few rings.
“Hi G-man, Xander and Willow here.”
“Hello you two and please don’t call me that Xander. How are you? How is your search going?”
“We are fine. We went to the adoption agency yesterday and today we talked to the guy that found me.”
“Did you find anything about your parents?”
“Nothing useful really, but today we found out something else and Willow wanted to ask you about it.”
Giles was interested “What did you find?”
This time Willow answered “Giles did you ever heard of sanctuary?”
There was a pause on the other side of the phone and then Giles answered “I’m guessing you aren’t talking about an ordinary sanctuary.”
“No. The guy who found Xander told us that there is a rumor about a research facility in town that deals with strange things and it’s called a Sanctuary.”
There was a pause again and then Giles said “I have heard of an organization with that name.”
Willow was excited “Great. What can you tell us about it?”
“From what I have heard they deal with demons, but they don’t kill them. And they themselves say that they don’t deal with demons, but with abnormal. They say that there is a difference between demons and abnormal, but the Watcher Council doesn’t believe them. As you know they think that everything not human is a demon and should be killed,” Giles explained.
“Anything else?” asked Xander.
“The Council doesn’t have a good relationship with them, because they protect demons. They have some kind of sanctuary for them. That’s why the organization is called Sanctuary,” elaborated Giles.
This was getting better and better. They found an organization that didn’t kill demons and probably know a lot about them. Now all they needed was their willingness to help. Xander asked Giles excitedly “Do you think they would be able to help us with the search?”
“Maybe, from what I have heard they have a lot of contacts in the demon world. They might know if any Akhkharu still exist. You should contact them and find out. But a word of advice; when you talk to them, don’t use the word demon for the creatures they deal with. I heard they don’t like it and as I said before they distinguish between demons and abnormal so call them abnormal instead.”
“Okay, thanks. Anyway how are things in Sunnydale?” asked Willow and for a few minutes they talked about normal things pretending the world wasn’t so complicated. After the call ended they called Buffy so she wouldn’t worry about them. They filled her in on everything and promised to call her as soon as they knew something new.
After that, they relaxed and talked a little. They decided that they would visit Sanctuary the next day.