Title: Alexander Harris, Department of… (1/?)
Author: Ed Scott
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners... none of
who are me.
Summary: Xander met some interesting people on his road trip. He now works for them keeping tabs on the Hellmouth.
Rating: PG 13
Feedback, It's the coin of the realm
Xander had been home for a week. His road trip was memorable. He has a job, not a high paying one, but a job nonetheless. He was walking down Main Street with Buffy, when he noticed at the Espresso Pump, a short balding man who thought he was blending in, but failing in ways that make Xander jealous.
‘What is he doing here? I sent in my report yesterday. Oh well, time to ditch Buffy and see what Bobby wants. I wonder where Darien is?’ Forcing a smile on his face, Xander turned to Buffy. Or he would have, but his cell phone went off.
“Talk Radio. You’re on the air.”
“I need to talk to you now. Ditch your girlfriend. I’m sure she’s nice and all, but this is important.”
“The answer to your second question is no. I will see you in ten minutes.” Xander hung up his phone, and turned to Buffy. “I’m sorry Buff, but my folks need me to go to the liquor store. So, I’ll see you later.” Xander hugged Buffy then walked off in the opposite direction towards his house. He turned the corner and stopped. While he was watching Buffy walk away, he thought back to how his summer went.
Xander’s car barely made it to LA, before the engine fell out. “Great. Just great. Well, I guess I’ll have to take the bus back to Sunnydale. I’ve only been gone less than a day, and now I’m headed back. My life can’t get any worse.” He silently berated himself for jinxing his situation.
Just then, a man in his forties, who was shorter than Xander by a couple of inches, walked up to him, holding open a badge. “Excuse me, are you Xander Harris?” ‘My life just got worse.’
“Yes I am. Who are you?”
“My name is Bobby Hobbes. I work for the CIA. We know who you are and what you’ve done for the last three years at night. I have been told to give you this bus ticket and go to Washington DC. Once you’re there, my boss will fill you in on everything.”
“A bus ticket? Why not a plane ticket?”
“It’s not in the budget.”
“What a way to run a railroad. Fine. I’ll be there as soon as the bus gets me there.” Xander was not too thrilled about spending a week on the bus. He had enough of buses during school. That was the longest week in Xander’s life. He was utterly bored. He was so bored, he longed to help Giles putting the books on the shelves. It was four in the afternoon when he made it to his destination, Bobby Hobbes was there to meet him.
“Glad you could make it.” Bobby looked refreshed.
“How did you get here?”
“I flew. With my own money, I bought an plane ticket. I’m surprised you didn’t think of the same thing.” Xander smacked himself on the side of his head. He silently cursed at himself for not thinking of that. At least, when he returned to LA, he would buy a plane ticket. Bobby laughed at Xander. He hoped the Official knew what he was doing. Most of the time, he does know what he is doing.
“Are you ready to meet the boss?”
“I need a shower and a shave first.”
“That can be arranged. Follow me.” Xander followed Bobby to a blue van. Xander’s curiosity got the better of him.
“Why me?” Bobby looked at Xander. He didn’t know what he meant. “Why are you talking to me? Why not Buffy or Willow?”
“You’re here because you are the most qualified. Basically, everything the Old Knight said in the Last Crusade, is why we chose you. Also, we know that Buffy can’t or won’t follow orders. And your friend Willow, well let’s just say that she will defer all decisions to Buffy. The Boss will tell her what to do, then she will tell Buffy, and do what Buffy thinks she should do.”
Xander thought about what he said. He thought about it more in the shower. His back and neck were stiff and sore from sitting on the bus. If Buffy rarely listened to Giles, what makes him think she will listen to a guy in a suit that works for the Government. Bobby was wrong about Willow, though. Willow had a chance to go to Oxford University, but she chose to stay in Sunnydale. Xander started feeling tired.
He wrapped a towel around his waist as he went to get some clothes. After he got dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, he saw Bobby’s bed, and laid on it and fell asleep. Bobby saw Xander, walked over to him and covered him over with a blanket. He shut off his light and closed the curtain. As he was closing the door, he started dialing his office.
“Hey, Eberts. The kid’s here, but he’s out like a light. I’ll bring him by in the morning. I would bring him in now, but he sleeps harder than Fawkes. The only way you’re waking him up, is if the Keeper whispers in his ear to get up. But I seriously doubt she’ll do that. So just tell the Official that we’ll be there in the morning.” Bobby hung up the phone and tried to find something to watch on TV. Xander was very tired, as he did not get up until 5am.
“Good morning, lazy bones. Feeling any better?” Bobby handed Xander a cup of coffee, which he gratefully took. Xander felt better after the coffee hit his stomach.
“Yes, I’m feeling much better. Do you have anything to eat? I’m starving.”
“Get dressed and I’ll take you out to eat.” At the mention of food, Xander hurried to get dressed and wash his face. When he exited the bathroom, he was wearing a pair of black dress pants, and a white polo shirt. It was one of the outfits Cordelia bought him.
“Looking good. Now let’s go, I’m hungry too.”
Two hours later, Xander was staring at a nondescript building. Bobby just walked in and Xander shrugged his shoulders and followed him in. Five minutes later, Xander was in an office where he could see two men, but could feel a third. Whoever this third person is, is an amateur at stealth. Angel was better at it than he was. Xander just didn’t know what was going on. Just then, the over weight man sitting behind the desk coughed to get Xander’s attention.
“Good morning, Mr. Harris.”
“Please call me Xander.”
“Will do. You can call me the Official. The man to my right is Eberts. As I’m sure Bobby told you, we know what really happens in Sunnydale, and what you have done for the past three years. We would like you to keep us informed on what goes on there, and if you ever need our help, just let me know and I’ll help you out to the best of my ability.”
“How much am I paid?”
“Five hundred dollars a week.”
“Where do I live? Some big apartment?”
“A one bedroom studio apartment that you have to furnish and pay rent on.”
“Where do I train?”
“You’re on your own. We can’t afford to train you. I’m sure your friend Giles will help you out.”
“Fine. What about guns?”
The Official handed Xander an envelope. Inside it were a federal gun permit and a US Marshall’s badge with his face on the ID. “That’s the best we can do. You’ll have to get your own guns and ammo. You might want to consider a second job. So, what do you say? The US Government needs a presence on the Hellmouth. If we could afford to pay you more, we would. So, do you agree to help us out?”
Xander thought about this for ten seconds. “Sure. I’ll help you out.”
The Official was happy. He stood up to shake Xander’s hand. Eberts handed Xander a lap top computer. On the top of the computer was a large handprint. Xander never saw that logo before. He had a confused look on his face and the Official answered the question that was on his mind.
“Put your hand on that handprint.” Xander did. The gray around the handprint turned red. After five seconds, it turned green. “Every time you close the computer it shuts off. The only person that can open it is you. Just put your hand on it and wait. Should it get forced open, all the data on it will be instantly erased. There is nothing real special about this computer except that you can access our computer network. Other than that, nothing. Good luck.”
As Xander was leaving, he walked over to where he felt the third person was and leaned on him like you would against the wall. “You mind telling me who I’m leaning on?”
The Official laughed at the look on Bobby and Darien’s faces when Xander just stayed there as Darien made himself visible. Xander looked at Darien and said, “You have a lot to learn about this invisibility gig. If you want, I can get you in touch with someone who has done this for over a hundred years.” Darien didn’t know what Xander was talking about.