Disclaimer: I don't own Anita Blake the Vampire Hunter series; she belongs to Laurell K. Hamilton. I don't own Xander Harris and Buffy the Vampire Slayer; they were created by Joss Whedon and belong to him and various companies, like Mutant Enemy. I don't own it. I claim no rights to any copyrighted material. Not for profit.AN
: Surprise! A One-shot to whet your appetites. The One-shot was Beta read by VillageOrchid, thank You. This One-shot takes place few months after Xander was shot.
-----September, 1994; St. Louis
Xander pressed the button and waited as the target sheet came his way.
He stood in his booth at the shooting range and drummed the fingers of his other hand impatiently on the board in front of him. Finally the sheet was within grasp and he pulled it off from the clip.
His lips pressed tightly in displeasure. The groupings of his shots weren't as close as he would have liked.
Normally, when he practiced his marksmanship, the target sheet looked as if someone punched two large holes in it. One in the middle of the head area, and the other where heart should be.
Now there were only small, nine millimeter holes. Ten holes in the chest area and six in head area. The results would be enough for a Law Enforcement Officer. But they wouldn't do for a Vampire Hunter.
He put the sheet back, frustration rising within him. He almost smashed his fist on the board. Barely stopped himself from doing it.
It was only last week that he resumed his firearms training. The last two moths were a trial for his patience. His convalescence coming along nicely. Thanks in no small part to Sara's enhanced bracelets, which sped his recovery. His doctors were astounded. They told him that he had at least six months before he could even think about resuming his training. Then they saw what healing magic could do and were practically begging him to let them study the bracelets.
But despite it all, his skills suffered. Muscle memory was almost shot to hell. Xander smirked at his own pun.
He almost dreaded when he would begin his physical training in earnest.
He clipped a new target sheet. Sent it out and then slipped a new magazine into his CZ75.
He took aim and quickly pulled the trigger, twice. Double-tapping the head area of the target.
Pain shot through his chest and shoulder blade. His left arm became weak and cold sweat broke on his forehead.
He slowly put his handgun down and with his right hand touched his chest. Trying to alleviate pain.I'm getting better, but I'm far from healthy
, he thought bitterly.
He packed his things and left the range soon after that. Saying 'hi' and 'bye' in one breath to his colleague, Eugene, whom he passed by in the parking lot.
He got into the Jeep Cherokee and flipped on the AC as soon as he could. The summer still held its possessive hand over St. Louis.
He checked his watch and saw that he was just in time for his new hobby to begin.
For the last two weeks he amused himself by gathering any and all intelligence he could get on the local lycanthrope scene. It was one of the few things he could do after getting out of the hospital bed. It didn't require much physical work on his part. Which was great, seeing as he tired easily and his left arm often hurt if he did something strenuous.
Trying to find something that would occupy his mind. He came with the idea of creating a database of the local therianothropes*.
His Aura Sight being a boon in this endeavor, as it allowed him to easily identify any and all lycanthropes he laid his eyes upon.
Anita, when she heard of his plans, was positively ecstatic. Stating, that him getting out of the house could only mean that he was getting better. She showed her support by getting him a camera and a set of professional telephoto lenses.
Xander drove through the streets of the city that became his home. Despite getting shot recently, he felt more at peace here than he ever did in California. Though, he conceded to himself that the lack of Hellmouth played a big part in it. There were monsters here, yes. But the complete lack of seasonal Apocalypse was a blessing. It was also a great weight off his shoulders.
He parked his car opposite the middle schools parking place.
He took his camera from its special bag and fitted it with one of the telephoto lenses. The one he would be using was made for medium range shots. The ideal distance he was from his target.
Xander watched as the kids left the school in the afternoon. Aerosmith – Cryin
, poured from the speakers of his car.
He sat straighter when he saw the man leaving the school entrance and moving towards the parking lot.
Thanks to his Aura Sight, he knew that the man was a werewolf and an Alpha at that.
Xander raised his camera and took pictures of the young, brown haired man. He was tall, maybe an inch or two taller than he himself and had the build that suggested the man wasn't a stranger to a gym.
Xander continued taking pictures and then snapped few of the man's car and the license plates.
Few days later Xander met with Ronnie Sims.
The Private Investigator's office was a tidy if a bit subdued affair. An old desk set to one side, two old chairs stood in front of it. The floors were varnished, but it was done at least last decade and it showed. On the wall to left of the door were shelves holding binders in all colors of the rainbow. Next to the shelves were three file cabinets in dark gray color.
On the windowsill stood a potted plant.
On the wall opposite the shelves and cabinets were pictures and framed newspaper pages dedicated to Ronnie's successes. One framed page showed Ronnie with a family of three. The headline proclaiming: Lost girl found by a female P.I.
Another showed Ronnie posing with a bag full of stolen goods. The headline told of P.I. Helping the Police find a thief.
Several other framed pages told anyone who came to the office, that Veronica Sims knew her job and was very good at it.
“I see you got more work for me,” Ronnie said, smiling seeing her best and favorite customer.
Xander shook her hand and sat in one of the chairs facing her.
“Oh, you know I only come here to see you,” he joked. “I've to keep this charade with photos so Anita doesn't shoot me for lusting after her friend.”
The tall, leggy blonde laughed at that.
“Flatterer. Now show me what you've got.”
Xander gasped dramatically and put one hand in front of his mouth.
“But this is so sudden,” he stood up and made as if to unbuckle his belt. “You could have at least invited me to a dinner first.”
Ronnie, now laughing loudly waved him to sit back down.
After calming down, she said, “Okay, now that you have made my day better. Tell me why are really here?”
Xander pulled a manila folder from his leather messenger bag.
He pulled the large photos from it and spread them on the desk between them.
“This guy is a powerful werewolf.” He pointed at a picture showing a handsome, young man. “I need you to find everything you can about him.”
Ronnie slid the pictures towards her. Few of them showing license plates. It would be a piece of cake. She had some friends among the police and they would help her.
She looked closer at the picture of the man. Very handsome. He looked as if he came from a cover of a romance novel. Long hair and strong jaw and a face that was undeniably handsome.
“Just him?” she asked still looking at the picture.
Xander pulled another set of photos.
“This one is a wereleopard.” Xander spread the pictures showing a man decked in leather pants and jacket. He didn't wear any shirt under his ramone jacket. “I don't have number plates for you, but he frequents the entertainment lane.”
Ronnie arched one blond eyebrow. Since when do wereloepards dabble in prostitution?
She thought bewildered.
“He's a pimp or just a regular hooker?” she asked, taking the photo from him.
“He's Alpha, so I would say, he's a pimp. But who knows?”
“I'll get the info you want,” she assured him, still looking at the photos.
“Please be careful,” he cautioned, as he stood up. “I wouldn't forgive myself if something happened to you because of this.”
Ronnie looked at him and smiled. “You know me, Alex. I'm always careful. Besides, this isn't the first time I'm working on a lycanthrope case for you. I know how to go about this without them even knowing someone is poking in their past. Say 'hi' to Anita for me, okay?”
Xander smiled. “I will. I'll also transfer your fee to your account.”
Ronnie put the photos on her desk.
“Have I ever told you, you're my favorite client?”
“Nope,” Xander replied.
“Well, you are.”
Xander grinned and touched his chest. “Be still my heart.”
*Therianthropes – a different name for lycanthropes.AN
: Good news, the first chapter of the second story for this series is done. Read and review, I think I didn't make it too difficult to guess who the two lycanthropes are.