King Xander I
Author: Tohonomike email@example.com
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners.. Joss/ME characters. I do not and cannot make money off of this, but for feedback, I might come up with something more/better.
While ‘inspired’ by the idea of King Ralph, this will not however be a farce, but a ‘normal’ fanfic.
Niagara Falls, 1859
“I don’t care, Bertie,” the dark-haired second son of Victoria and Albert told his older twin of ten minutes, “I’m not going home. I’m going to try my way out in those California gold fields I’ve read so much about.”
“Come now, Harry,” the heir to the British throne implored, “You’re the reason we have that new bill before Parliament to ensure male-line primogeniture if a male grandson as heir isn’t guaranteed before the passing of the Monarch. That debating of yours sure created a lot of Old Guard inheritance review amongst the Lords, and now you’re running.”
“Just tell them if they need me or mine to look us up on the frontier; maybe a little rejuvenation of the blood will bring the fire back in our line. And besides, just to tweak them all, you can tell them I’m marrying Antonia Jessica Lavelle, Jerome Bonaparte’s American granddaughter to patriotically thumb my nose at the midget on the French throne now.”
“Your humor will either serve us or save us Harry, only History will tell. I only hope it doesn’t turn out to be hereditary.”
After the Band Candy ‘festivities’
Xander’s uncle, over again for the night of usual drunkenness, seemed to have left his keys in the step van once more. Xander had turned down a make-out session with Cordelia and returned home feeing almost broody, and was about to take the keys inside and sneak up to bed when he heard an extremely unusual sound coming from the living room: vacuuming, especially on a Friday night. Stunned, he stood watching as his parents and uncle were finishing up cleaning the front areas of the house.
“Alex!” his father called out to him in a non-threatening manner, eating a candy bar, “Come in!” Uncle Rory and Xander’s mom smiled and turned to face the young man, the three adults looking almost like they were dressing for another of Rory’s DUI hearings, except sober and cleaner.
“Um, okay,” he said, setting the last of his own chocolate bars on the side table and cautiously entered the room. His father noticed the more-than-wary look in the boy’s eyes, and seemed to remember something.
“Son,” the man nearly whispered, and gestured with the candy bar, “The three of us feel like we’ve been living in a fog since the seventies, and we don’t know how we got where we are, really. Just want to let you know that for whatever its worth, we’ll try not to slip back.” Xander looked at the three of them, noticed the candy wrappers in the wastebasket that usually contained liquor bottles, and that none of them smelled like booze.
“Okay, Dad,” Xander nodded, realizing right then that they *used* to be responsible when younger, and that the candy might keep them that way. “But I’m gonna need to borrow the step van for a couple of hours to move a bunch of candy from the factory to the basement; the manager said I could have any I could haul away since the special on it is over.”
“Hey, I’ll lend you a hand,” his father offered, and Xander was almost afraid to either accept or turn him down, settling for a nod.
They’d made eight trips that night, simply pulling up to the dock and packing the boxes in; when the security guard had asked them the first time, Xander had mentioned Ethan Rayne giving the okay, and no further problems came up until the last trip.
“Well, well,” Mister Trick said, “What do we have here?”
“Ethan said I could have all the chocolate I want, so we are,” Xander replied, stepping between his father (still loading the truck but turning around) and the probable vampire.
“Well, Mister Rayne should have checked first, so I guess *I* will just have (he vamps out) a snack of my own,” the old vampire smirked as he moved forward. Xander took out a squirt gun full of holy water and managed to surprise the vamp, right in the eyes and open mouth.
“Dad get in the truck and drive!” Xander yelled at the stunned man, “Now or we’re dead!” His father scurried and made it to the cab as Trick was recovering. Xander pulled out a revolver and as with the left hand he used the last of his holy water, with his right he fired Rory’s old piece six times into the monster’s face and chest. The vampire screamed some more, then dropped to the ground, allowing the two Harrises to escape, both thanking out loud that they’d left the vehicle running.
“Alex! What’s going on?!” his father demanded in shock as they just managed to get away from Trick, “What…”
“Vampire, Dad,” Xander sighed, “They’re real, and with the Harris luck we live in a town where they love to hang out.”
“How do you know about them?”
“Remember my friend Jesse?”
“Smart-alecky kid more annoying than you could ever be?”
“Yeah…he was turned into one about two years ago, and I had to be the one to stake him. I’m with a group of others that go out and try to keep the vampires to a minimum.”
They continued in silence until they were almost at home. His father parked two houses away and turned to his son.
“Alex? What’s the real reason we have all this chocolate? That…vampire knew the ‘manager’ when you used his name, and seemed to recognize you as well.”
Xander was quiet for a minute, then since his Dad still seemed to be reasonable, went for honesty, it was easier.
“Magic is real…and the chocolate seems to have reverted everybody who eats it back to their younger years, tonight everybody was acting like teenagers…I seemed to be more…introspective…and you guys…”
“Are acting like volunteers at the mission soup kitchen and domestic assistance center we used to be at your age? Helping the world, enjoying life, doing our part?” Xander nodded at him, and after a moment Tony Harris sighed, “So how much of this chocolate do we need to not be the people we’ve become?”
“I don’t know Dad, but the last couple hours have doubled the happy family moments we’ve had since the Clown Incident.”
“Never liked clowns, that was your mother’s idea,” Tony with watery eyes mused, a smaller version of the Harris grin emerging for a moment, “But we’ll have to tell your mom and Rory about the bars and the, uh, nightlife, good thing your mom became a decent baker and pastry chef before… things went the way they did, so…”
“…our chocolate consumption’s about to increase, but it won’t just be bars of it?” Xander finished.
“Yeah, and she’ll get back into the swing of things, maybe get a job doing it, ya know,” the thirty-eight-year-old man considered as his mind started catching up with reality, “And you’ll need to spend a lot more time at home until we can be sure we don’t become *that way* again.”
“Sure, Dad, if it means having a family again.”
It had been almost two weeks since the band candy had come into Xander’s life, and he he’d wondered how he and Willow had ended up kissing in a big way up in the stacks that day. He’d known she’d had feelings for him atone point, but why had it happened? Did she also still have a stash of chocolate she was eating?
‘Oh well,’ he thought, ‘that’s not really important now…with Angelus back, we can wait to research it later.’
Almost as though he’d summoned her, Buffy entered the room, having just met up with Faith. Giles and Xander had just briefed the group that ‘Angel’ was back, causing Cordelia, Oz, and Willow to stare at the blonde slayer glumly.
“Lagos is out of luck,” Buffy stated uncertainly, “I got the magic mitten thingy. What's with all the tragedy masks?”
“Better take a seat, Buffy,” the librarian told her, “And you also, Faith.”
Xander got up out of his chair and nudged it over a bit so it's at the
head of the table, then stepped away to stand next to Cordelia. Buffy
slowly sat in the chair.
“What's going on?” Buffy asked. Giles sighs.
“We know Angel is alive,” Giles told her directly, eliciting shock from her and Faith for different reasons, “Xander saw you with him. It would appear that you've been hiding him and that you lied to us.” Faith looked at Giles in wide-eyed surprise.
“The vampire,” Faith stated flatly, then looked at Buffy, “Please tell me you have the glove with you.” Buffy remained quiet, causing Faith and Xander to both shake their heads in disbelief, “Guy like that, with that kind of glove, could kill a whole mess of people. I can't believe this…”
Buffy looked away, trying to absorb this new turn of events, giving Willow an opening for peace-making.
“Nobody's here to blame you, Buffy. But this is serious. You need help.”
“It's not what you think,” she began telling Willow.
“Hope not,” Xander remarked, “Because I think you're harboring a vicious killer.” Buffy couldn't believe Xander's aggressiveness and inflexibility.
“This isn't about attacking Buffy,” Willow insisted, “Remember, 'I' statements only, 'I feel angry.' 'I feel worried.'”
“Fine,” Cordelia put forth, “Here's one: I feel worried... about me! Last time around, Angel barely laid a hand on Buffy. He was *way* more interested in killing her friends.”
“But he's better now,” Buffy insisted.
“Even if we believe you, better for how long, Buffy?” Xander told her, “I mean, did you even think about that?”
“What is this, Demons Anonymous?” she snapped, starting to leave, “I don't need an intervention, here.”
“Oh, don't you?” Giles pressed, forcing Buffy to stop and face him, “You must've known it was wrong seeing Angel or you wouldn't have hidden it from all of us.”
“I was going to tell you, I was,” she insisted, “I-it was just that I... I didn't know why he came back. I just wanted to wait.”
“For what? For Angel to go psycho again the next time you give him a happy? My family is finally not one drunken beat-the-hell-out-of-Xander-fest and you’re the biggest threat to it right now.”
“I'm not going to...” she starts responding, defensively, then raises her
hand to him, “We're not together like that.”
“But you were kissing him,” Oz stated. Willow gives Oz a quick look, then looks at Buffy, worried. Buffy considered about the implication of Oz's accusation, and looks at Xander.
“You were spying on me?” Buffy demanded of Xander, nearing him, “What gives you the right?” Xander surprises everyone by casually opening his jacket and flashes his uncle’s revolver at Buffy, causing the slayer to freeze in place.
“What gives you the right to suck face with your demon lover again?” Cordelia demands and gave Xander a ‘we’ll talk about the gun later’ look.
“It was an accident,” Buffy declares, defensive again, “And *we* don’t use guns.”
“You just tripped and fell on his lips, Buff?” Xander sighed tiredly, “And I’ve carried a gun because shooting Trick in the face slows him down long enough to get away.”
“YOU shot Trick in the face?!” Faith responded almost in awe, “Whoa, X-man…” Xander blushed as Cordelia snuggled up to him a little possessively.
“Yeah, but we’re discussing keeping our friends and family alive…” he emphasized, the positive reinforcement of having a family again pushing him not to back down to Buffy, who now defended herself again.”
“It was wrong, okay? I know that, and I know that it can't happen again. But you guys have to believe me. I would never put you in any danger. If I thought for a second that Angel was going to hurt anyone...”
“...you would stop him,” Xander dead-panned, “Like you did last time with Ms. Calendar. Buff, I used to think you were the light in the sky, but the people here, and the ones at my house, and your mom…are family. Angel never will be.” Faith and the gang are confused and amazed at Xander’s assertiveness.
“Yeah, well, I say we can't afford to find out,” Faith voiced aloud, gaining Cordelia’s and Xander’s full attention, though no one else’s. “I say I deal with this problem right now. I say I slay.” Willow tries to calm things down.
“Buffy, I feel that when it comes to Angel, you can't see straight. And that's why we're, we're all gonna help you face this.”
“But he's better now. I swear. Look, you guys, he's the one that found the Glove of Myhnegon. H-he's keeping it safe for us in the mansion.
“Right! Great plan. Leave tons of firepower with the Scary Guy, and leave us to clean up the mess again,” Xander replied, giving Cordelia a peck on the cheek before heading to the weapon’s cage. Buffy takes him by the arm and spins him around to face her, as Faith passes them both to find a suitable weapon.
“You would just love an excuse to hurt him, wouldn't you?” Buffy gasped.
“I don't need an excuse. I think lots of dead people actually constitutes a reason,” he replies, then called out, “Dibs on the crossbow, Faith”
“Sure thing, X.”
“Right, Xander,” Buffy almost sneers, “This is all nobility. This has nothing to do with jealousy.”
Xander gives her a haughty grin, but is interrupted before he can continue.
“Hello? Miss Not-Over-Yourself-Yet?” Cordelia snipped, shaking her head.
“Don't you start with me,” Buffy dismissed Cordelia, who looked to Giles for support.
“That's enough!” Giles shouted, reaching his point of exhaustion, “Everybody. Now, Buffy knows our concerns, and her actions, however ill-advised, can be understood.”
“Sorry, Giles,” Xander interrupted the older mentor figure as Faith hands him the readied crossbow, “But if she’d been *concerned* this would have been settled at the mall when it first got started.” Giles sighed, and continued.
“Our... priority right now is to retrieve the Glove of Myhnegon and try to destroy it. Now, all of you, back to classes.”
“Sorry, Giles,” Xander told him, “But we *know* where the glove is, and by going now, we can make sure we can destroy it.”
“Xander, if you go before we can rationally come up with a reasonable course of action, I’ll have to take this to Principal Snyder…” Giles sighed, clearly not liking the position he’s been placed.
“I won’t let you hurt Angel!” Buffy interrupted, feeling reinforced by her Watcher’s stance, moving forcefully to block him, and, incidentally, Faith, “And that’s that!”
They looked across the intervening six feet between them, especially as Faith moved to stand in such a way that Buffy would have to go around or through her.
“I’m dating Cordelia Chase, the most beautiful of the daughters of the most important people in this town, Buffy, and that gives me a little bit more credibility than you,” Xander said, getting the look in his eyes he’d given her when he’d threatened her over Willow at the beginning of the previous school year. Xander then drew his revolver and cocked it, but kept it pointed low and in her direction, making sure she understood she wasn’t going to use physical force.
“I’m the Slayer,” Buffy resorted to her weak fall-back position, “It’s my decision.”
“Faith is the Slayer, Buffy. And so was Kendra, the Slayer your boyfriend’s family murdered.
“I’ll stop you if I have to, Xander. Giles, help me out here.”
Xander shook his head in disgust.
“If either you or Giles tries to stop us from going after the glove and bringing it back for destruction, I’ll remind the Sunnydale Police that Giles and your mother broke into a store, assaulted an officer, stole his gun and handcuffs and have knowledge about the goings-on last Friday. Then while that’s all being sorted out, Faith and I will *then* go after the glove so it can be destroyed.”
“And I’ll then tell Snyder and the School Board that your boyfriend was responsible for the deaths of Teresa, Ms. Calendar, and Kendra, to name a few victims, that you’ve knowingly harbored the bastard, and somehow *you* were in the sewers with Giles and your mother with babies you say were kidnapped, but given the nature of their crimes and the involvement of no-doubt-controlled substances that night, even if you wiggle free, the chances of you graduating this year are slim.”
Giles looked at the serious young man, “Xander, how can you threaten us like that?”
“Giles, I’m right, she’s wrong. It’s that simple. Right now, we’re going for the glove. If Dancing-With-Corpses gets in the way, he’s evil dust. If he moves aside and acts like a coward, we know Angel is back. So right now, I’m willing to avenge Miss Calendar is given the chance. Also, you threatened first, and Sleeps-With-The-Enemy wants to pummel human me to protect Angelus. If you want, after all of this over, you can talk to me.”
The group continues to regard Xander with disbelief, Buffy fluctuating between rage at the indirect threats, and feelings of confusion on how things had so quickly spiraled out of control and Xander of all people had a gun on her if she tried to use force.
They watched as Buffy remained stock-still in frustration, and as Xander, Faith and Cordelia left through the doors, then one after the other Scoobies all get up, gather their things and go to class.
Buffy remains in shock for a moment, Xander having threatened to send her mom and Watcher to jail, forcing her to decide between her mother and her…soul mate. Giles goes into the weapons cage, shaking his head and rummages around. Buffy follows him and stops by the office door.
“Thanks for the attempted bail in there,” Buffy said, watching him pull out a tranquilizer rifle, “What’s that for?”
Giles doesn't face her, and instead unbuttons his vest to place a revolver underneath it. Buffy continues to seek…something reassuring.
“I know this is a lot to absorb, but Angel did find the glove, and that was a good...”
“Be quiet, Buffy,” he says, slowly turning to face her, “I won't remind you that the fate of the world often lies with the Slayer. What would be the point? Nor shall I remind you that you've jeopardized the lives of all that you hold dear by harboring a known murderer. But sadly, I must remind you that Angel tortured me... for hours... for pleasure. You should have told me he was alive. You didn't. You have no respect for me, or the job I perform.”
“What are you going to do?” Buffy asks averting her eyes in shame.
Giles heads out toward the door, “*We* are going to get the glove and bring it back here, hopefully before they do, and deal with…the other matter when we’re all calmer.”
Half an Hour Later
Cordelia had bid the two ‘good luck,’ but was unwilling to go along until after school. They noticed the broken down Citroen outside the mansion. Xander nodded to Faith.
“Looks like Giles beat us here, and the other car might be that new Watcher gal you said’s been around,” he noted, “If Angelus *is* back, we need to be extra-careful, he’s stupid but cunning.”
“And if B told the truth and the Watchers aren’t dusting him?”
“We deal with the glove first, then maybe come back later, I just don’t know.”
“What? You wussin’ out?”
“Nah, I’m mad as hell, but I don’t just wanna burn all my bridges with the Scoobs.”
"She’s done good, but…”
“She can’t see past the vampire lovin’ huh X?”
“Yeah,” he nodded, then said, “You rush in fast and thump the vamp, and I’ll run in and cover you in case he’s been making minions.”
“My kinda plan…”
Inside the main room, they found a vamped-out Angel charging Gwendolyn Post, who seemed to have the glove in her hand, while Buffy and Giles seemed surprised and hesitating.
Faith charged in but adjusted her arc toward the two in conflict, Xander moving up to support her but not enough to accidentally fire the crossbow. Ms. Post saw them.
“It’s Angelus!” she called out, “Help me!”
Faith barreled into the vampire feet-first, knees-bent, turning it into a big push that forced him to the ground as she spun in the air and back-flipped onto her feet.
“No!” Buffy and Giles exclaimed at the same time, Xander coming up as Angel stood up and Post put the glove on and began chanting.
Buffy raced to stop Xander as Faith right-crescent kicked the vampire toward Xander, throwing off the young man’s aim.
Thuck! Sploot! The bolt went as it passed non-mortally through Angel’s right side, enough to make sure he fell again to the ground in great pain. Buffy crashed into Xander and managed a glancing blow to his ribs as she tried to knock the crossbow out of his hands.
“Faith!” Giles yelled, “Ms. Post has the glove! Subdue her!”
Faith glanced back long enough to see the woman commanding the glove, and realized her error. The Watcher woman seemed to hurl lightning, barely missing Faith and the others in her inexperience, but powered up for another attempt.
Xander, picking himself up off the ground and away from Buffy, let go of the archaic weapon, and drew his uncle’s revolver, the soldier memories clear and really at-hand for the first time since Halloween as he took aim.
Faith and Buffy had both flipped onto their feet and paused to size up the human attacker, but Xander rapidly fired a group of three into Gwendolyn Post, the Slayers dodging aside and away from the trajectories between them as the first shot traveled by. Suddenly lightning exploded and began to engulf the female Watcher the heart and two head shots ending her ability to control the glove. The others ducked for cover, only to hear three more shots, causing Buffy to scream in rage and horror as she realized Angel had been fired into. As she approached Xander, who reloaded only a single round into the revolver and ready it, she suddenly dropped to the ground, Faith having tripped her. The two slayers faced off over the stricken body of the vampire.
Xander nodded as he finished loading.
“That’s enough, Buffy, I didn’t go for dusting, just making sure his soul-losing equipment won’t be used anytime soon.” Xander could almost hear Faith’s grin.
“So it was jealousy…”
“Come on, Buff, I’m just giving you a little time to prove your…old man is on the level, and making sure you can’t comfort his soul out of him.”
“What’s this really about Xander?” Giles asked, tired of all the bickering and not really caring at the moment.
“She needs to just do her job, which is vampire dusting, or at least drop the melodrama that keeps us from doing her job for her again?”
“What do you think she did the last time she finally did her job? She deserted us, betrayed our faith in her by running away. Now she’s keeping secrets that need to be told to us so we can protect ourselves.”
“Oh, like the big secret of you and Willow starting with the cheating behind Cordelia and Oz’s backs?!” Buffy threw back loudly, not realizing that the rest of the gang had ditched school and had walked up behind her, “I was going to stop by the library a week or so ago when I saw the two of you kissing.”
“Willow?” Oz asked slowly, watching his girlfriend freeze up and blush crimson. Cordelia looked in horror at Xander, who had his eyebrows raised in shock, then frowning as Oz slowly approached. He pulled out a candy bar and held it up for all to see.
“Band Candy,” Xander offered as an explanation, but a single fast punch by Oz knocked him out cold. Cordelia kept staring at Willow, then Oz, then left crying openly. Oz stared at Willow, then the floored Xander, then also left.
“What do we do with X?”
“Take him to my car, I’ll drop him off at his home when he comes to, then do the ritual at my apartment later.”
“Giles?” Buffy called from Angel’s side, “Tell him he’s out of the slaying, I don’t like his attitude.”
Giles sighed and walked out, helping the unconscious young man toward the car.
“That’s fine, B, I’ll go my own way, too,” Faith responded, “G-Man, get me a cell phone. We’ll stay in touch that way, and you can swing by a diner just before dinner time and after you meal me up, give me the assignment of the night. And ya better make sure blondie and her vamp creep don’t cross paths, or Fang’ll be dust. And B, dibs on the Bronze. I have no problem dusting the bloodsucker in front of the whole town.”