Set in the 'Sugar 'Verse' (actually called the Missouri's Hunter 'verse)Timeline/Authors Notes:
BTVS: Set just after Welcome to the Hellmouth. Supernatural - pre-series by about 8 years. I'm keeping to the original timelines. Also, contains mostly secondary characters. Disclaimer:
I own nothing. Buffy and Angel people belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy. Supernatural belongs to whoever owns them.
Xander doesn't turn around when he hears the car door shut not far from where he's sitting, nor does he move when he sees movement out of the corner of his eye. It's probably not the smartest thing to do in Sunnydale, but Xander recognised the sound of the car.
"Missouri said you would be here," Bill says as he sits next to him at the edge of Kingsman's Bluff.
Xander weighs the stone in his hand before he throws it out into the ocean. "How was L.A.?"
"Good. I caught up with some hunters there and did a bit of shopping."
"Did you buy a present for Jo?" he asks. "I don't know much about girls, but I'm pretty sure they like it when their dads bring them presents from places like L.A."
Bill lets out a snort of amusement. "Wives like present as well, I bought presents for both of them."
"Good, she misses you."
"Yeah," Bill agrees with a hint of sadness in his voice.
They fall into semi-companionable silence. This isn't the first time Bill has sat with him here, but he knows that it will be one of the last times. No one has said anything out loud, but Xander has noticed that things seem to be strained at the McNally home. Mrs McNally isn't taking the fact that Jesse hasn't come home yet very well and isn't dealing with with having her ex-husband nearby. Xander's fairly certain she isn't dealing all that well with his presence either, not if the way her eyes pool with tears every time she looks at him is anything to go by.
After hanging out with Missouri so much, and listening to her talk about instincts and intuition, he wonders if maybe Mrs McNally knows, deep down, that her son isn't coming home.
"How's Mrs McNally?"
"She's gone to visit her sister in Florida for a week," he replies, almost hesitantly. "I'll be going home when she returns next week."
And because Bill brought her here, Missouri will go home as well. Xander's not sure how he feels about that, and he wonders what it means that Bill is the one to tell him this and not Missouri herself.
"Xander, do you want to come to my car for a minute?"
It's only at that request that Xander finally turns and looks at Bill. For some reason, he doesn't seem as intimidating as he usually does. The expression on his face is thoughtful, serious.
As Xander gets to his feet, he notices a leather book in Bill's hand. At first he thinks it's his hunting journal, something that a few of the hunters he's met seem to have, but it's too new and not worn enough to be his journal.
Bill sees him staring at the journal and smiles, motioning him towards the car. "Missouri told me that she did a bit of a reading for you."
Xander snorts at the words. "A bit? Missouri reads me every day, she just doesn't tell me what she sees."
"Actually, that reminds me, Missouri asked me to tell you to cut class tomorrow, for the rest of the week if you can. But tomorrow is a must," Bill tells him. "I'll be ringing the school tomorrow, pretending to be your father. That will get you out of classes for the rest of the week."
Normally the thought of getting out of school is cause for celebration, but Xander feels a stab of disappointment at the words. "But it's a field trip tomorrow! We're going to the zoo!"
Bill shrugs. "I've learned long ago to listen to that Missouri when she says something. Didn't she tell you to avoid that new biology teacher? The one that you ended up hunting?"
Xander shudders at the reminder and ignores the pregnant pause that follows Bill's words. He knows that Bill (as well as John Winchester and Bobby Singer) wants to know what happened on the hunt, but Xander's mouth has firmly been closed. The hunt hadn't been solo as they believe, and there's no way he's mentioning Buffy to them. "Okay, so no zoo." He makes a mental note to call Missouri to make sure none of his friends will be in trouble.
"No zoo tomorrow," Bill says. "But we'll be heading out there in a few hours."
Xander pauses mid-step. "We're going to the zoo? You and me?"
"For a hunt?"
Bill nods again.
Xander shakes his head. His words aren't making sense. Xander hasn't been on a single hunt with Bill, or any of his hunter buddies, because Missouri has laid down the law and banned hunting in Sunnydale. Bill and his buddies aren't allowed to hunt, not like they usually do. Oh, they kill vamps when they come across them, but they're not allowed to treat this as a standard hunt. Apparently, hunters are warned to stay away from the Hellmouth.
"Missouri says its our jurisdiction." Bill shakes his head. "Whatever the hell that means."
Bill may not know what that means, but Xander knows exactly what it means. It's something that Xander had come up with himself, one night when he and Missouri had been talking about hunting and slaying. Slaying, according to Xander, is what Buffy does. She fight vamps, zombies, Hellmouthy demons... Pure
monsters, as Missouri calls them. Monsters from hell dimensions, or demons inhabiting corpses which will never come back to life and, of course, the big stuff. Masters, prophecies, apocalypses...
Hunters, well they focus on the human side of the supernatural. Hunters hunt the demons who possess living
humans, witches, warlocks, ghosts, werewolves... and sometimes evil humans who use magic to gain power. Stuff that's outside the slayer's jurisdiction, stuff that might make a slayer hesitate in doing her job because she's created to protect humans - not kill them. It's not a perfect theory, he knows that, but it's the best one he can come up with. All Xander knows is that what these guys do is not the same as what Buffy does.
"And you're taking me with you?" Xander asks once the shock wears off.
"Apparently," he replies as he walks over to the back of the car. "It's a two man job. Missouri said that you have a good knowledge of the zoo and..."
"And?" Xander prompts as Bill opens the trunk.
"And you need training." He hands Xander a shot gun and the journal. "I'm not entirely comfortable teaching my son's best friend how to hunt. However, our favourite psychic says that you'll hunt whether I teach you or not and, according to Missouri, Jo will need you one day. So..."
Xander looks down at the weapons in his hands. "What am I supposed with these?"
"It's the start of your hunting kit," Bill explains, pulling knives out of his trunk. "You write about your hunts in your journal, so you can keep a track of what you know. I'll teach you how to use the shotgun and knives."
"Knives?" he repeats weakly. "Wait, these are mine?"
"It's why I went to L.A.," he admits. "I picked up some rock salt and some holy water for you as well. I also spoke to some semi-retired hunters in California, and a more active one in South Dakota. They're happy to give you advice when you need it. In the case of Bobby, he'll be able to give you cover when needed and help with research. Jim Murphy has also agreed to help, so has John Winchester."
Xander's mind whirls and the information being thrown at him. "I... um, don't know what to say."
"Yeah, well, don't worry about that. Almost every hunter I've spoken to has had something to say about me training you."
Yeah, he can imagine. "So, what are we hunting tonight?"
Bill slams the trunk. "Have you heard of something called Primals?" -End-