Title: Potential Weapon
Rating: Nothing worse than the TV show.
Disclaimer: They're not mine. The Buffy charaacters belong to Joss and Mutant Enemy, even if he doesn't have a clue as to how to deal with them properly. Deal with it. I have. Martin, Roger, Lorna and the other characters mentioned belong to Richard Donner, Warner Brothers and probably other people I don't know.
Category: A plot bunny that kept coming around and nipping at my ankles.
Summery: Xander's uncle comes looking for help finding someone who's been lost in Sunnydale.
Time Frame: Season Seven, right after the episode "Showtime."
Character Bashing: None.
Feedback: Of course!
Archiving: Just let me know where, please.
Title: Potential Weapon
“Hey, Uncle Martin! How’re you doing? What’s up with you and Lorna?” Xander smiled as he exited his apartment building’s main entrance and spied his favorite, and all-too-rarely-seen, uncle leaning against the side of the navy Plymouth parked along the curb. ‘Uncle Martin’ was a study in casual from his flannel shirt unbuttoned over a Henley T-shirt to his well-worn jeans and an almost decrepit pair of cowboy boots. The sight of the car brought back fond memories of hours spent working side by side with his mother’s baby brother on the powerful engine, tuning it and persuading every last fraction of horsepower available out of it.
“Hey, Xander,” the brown-haired (with faint streaks of grey coloring the sides of the now much shortened haircut) rough-featured older man smiled at the carpenter/foreman and grasped the outstretched hand the younger man had offered. Instead of shaking it, however, ‘Uncle Martin’ pulled the carpenter into a hug as the two slapped each other’s backs in an obviously long-established ritual.
“You know, for a young guy, you don’t look nearly as bad as I expected you to,” the newcomer smirked, once their greetings were completed. “What’s the matter? Not enough loose women, cold beer and evil nightlife around to properly develop into a dirty old man like me?”
“Nope, Uncle Martin,” Xander shook his head with a somewhat sardonic smile. “Not nearly enough loose women around, and my dad’s got the beer aspect covered, but there’s more than enough evil nightlife to go around, though.
“But, I’m sure that’s not what’s brought you here, though. Lorna’d kick your butt for sure, if she thought you were running around on her,” he observed astutely, subtly probing for the reason for the man’s unexpected appearance.
“No, she wouldn’t,” Martin replied, grinning and shaking his head disagreement. “She’d shoot my butt off. Comes from marrying a cop, kid. That lady doesn’t believe in wasting energy, and she’s as good a shot as me or Rog.”
“So, why are you here, then?” Xander repeated his earlier question.
He was pretty sure he was picking up some majorly negative vibes from the other man, and when you combined that with the fact that the area’s only major claim to fame was being home to the Hellmouth, he was thinking that he wasn’t going to hear good news coming out of his uncle’s mouth.
The other man gave him a long, very searching look before releasing an equally long sigh as he looked down at the ground and rubbing the back of his neck.
“What I’m about to tell you can’t go any further, okay, Xander?” he asked his nephew in a low voice. “Not to anyone else, not even to your friend, Willow. Understand?”
Only partially taken by surprise by his uncle’s words, Xander hesitated a moment before answering.
“As long as it doesn’t put any of my friends or the people I care about in danger, I won’t say anything to anyone, Uncle Martin,” he replied. “That’s the best I can promise.”
The older man looked at him for another long moment before nodding in grudging acceptance, and more than a bit of approval, of the answer he’d received.
“Okay, then, Xander,” he said. “Here’s the situation. My partner Roger’s daughter disappeared three days ago, right after a group of what we believe were probably home invaders attacked one of the apartment buildings at her school. Her roommate and an older woman, one of the school advisors, was killed and Carrie turned up missing, and from some papers the guys investigating the case came across, we think that they might have brought her here.
“I’m here in town in a completely unofficial capacity, kid, both because neither me or Rog are allowed to be involved in any official way, since she’s basically a blood relative to me as far as the department’s concerned, and because there’ve been indications that the local cops around here might not be totally on the straight and narrow, as far as the job goes,” Martin confided quietly.
“Rog couldn’t get away to come with me,” he explained, “because Trish is about this close to a breakdown and the brass is watching him like a hawk. Lorna and I were already scheduled for a week’s vacation, so our Capitan ‘officially’ thinks that we’re visiting some of her relatives right now. Lorna’s back in L.A. running down a couple things that seem a little hinky about the advisor, and I headed down here to look around. And if the brass should notice I’m around, I can point to you and say I’m visiting my favorite nephew.”
“So, why, exactly, are you actually coming to see me?,” Xander asked, a hollow feeling growing in the pit of his stomach. If the ‘home invaders’ Martin was talking about actually were part of the Sunnydale nightlife, then the chances that this girl (Carrie, he said her name was?) was still alive were slim and growing slimmer with every passing hour.
“It’s not like I have any contacts in the Sunnydale P.D.,” he pointed out.
“I remembered you mentioned the last time we talked that you said you had a friend who was a guidance counselor at the local high school,” came the response. “I was hoping that you could arrange for me to talk to her. One of those notes at the scene mentioned something about ‘gangs on PCP in Sunnydale,’ and I wanted to talk to her, see if she might be able to point me in the right direction, so I could maybe talk to someone involved in the local drug scene.
“I don’t need any names, just some places to look around, that’s all.”
Xander listened with ever-increasing anxiety and trepidation to his uncle’s explanation of his appearance and his seemingly reasonable request to meet with Buffy, all the while trying not to let his expression shift to the one of complete and total panic he could feel growing larger with every passing moment.
< Shit! Shit, shit, shit, shit, SHIT!!! There’s absolutely no way in the world he’s gonna go away without at least a quick look around town, > Xander reminded himself as he looked at the haunted and worried expression in his uncle’s eyes. His uncle really did not need to get involved with the supernatural, not with a wife and newborn to take care of. His life was dangerous enough without that, even if the thought of Uncle Martin making Deadboy’s unlife hell in LA did have its appeal. < If I tell him ‘no,’ he’ll just start poking around himself and there’s no telling what kind of mess he’d stumble into. Maybe Buffy and I can take him on a real short tour, let him grill Willy and then send him back home. >
“Sure, Uncle Martin,” he heard himself saying as he threw what he hoped looked like a helpful expression on his face. “I was just about to head on over to Buffy’s house, myself. Why don’t you follow me over, and we’ll see if she can tell you anything that can help you locate this – Carrie, you said her name was?”
“Yeah, that’s right, kid,” Martin smiled with mixed relief and gratitude. “God, you don’t know how much we all appreciate this! Carrie means almost as much to me as you do, Xander.”
“I promise, we’ll do everything we can to help, Uncle Martin,” he smiled back. “I know what it’s like to have someone you care about go missing.”
“Uh, just so you know, Uncle Martin,” Xander started alibi-ing as the two men headed towards the front porch of 1630 Revello Drive, “Buffy and Dawn are letting some members of a visiting high school girls’ martial arts team stay with them for a couple days, so not all of the girls you’ll be seeing actually stay here all the time.”
“Nine girls in one house with two and a half bathrooms?” Martin asked in a disbelieving voice. “According to Lorna, that’s grounds for justifiable homicide. Probably, eight times.”
“Remind me not to invite her for any overnight stays,” Xander joked as they started up the porch steps.
“Hey, Xander’s here!” a brunette beauty with a British accent flashed a dazzling smile at the newcomers as they entered the house.
“Hey, Molly. How’re things going?” Xander replied, returning her smile.
“Xander, the sink’s blocked up! Do you think you can you fix it, please?” Dawn asked with an adorable pout as she poked her head around the kitchen door.
“Hey, Dawn,” Xander greeted the gorgeous brunette. “I’ll get to it in a couple minutes. Is Buffy around? I need to talk to her.”
“She’s around here, somewhere,” the Key informed him.
“Hey, Xander, the back bedroom door won’t lock!” Martin marveled as yet another gorgeous brunette called out to his nephew.
“I’ll look at it in a little while, Ken,” he called back.
“Looks like you’re the man of the hour, kid,” Martin grinned at his nephew as a crowd of teenage beauties surrounded the newly arrived carpenter like a swarm of bees around a honeycomb.
< The kid’s got the Riggs sex appeal, > Martin thought to himself as he watched the girls, with the notable exception of that Ken girl, eye his nephew like a side of beef. He had to suppress a snort of laughter at Dawn; he’d seen that look from two women himself, and he’d married both of them.
“Xander, there’s something wrong with the upstairs toilet!” a dark-skinned beauty informed him as she descended the stairs at a gallop and swung around the lower banister, narrowly avoiding crashing into the carpenter and his guest.
“Whoa, watch it there, Rona,” Xander cautioned as he managed to dodge the caroming teen. “I really wouldn’t mind getting flattened by Hurricane Rona, but you almost took out my uncle, too, and I can tell you, you definitely don’t want to get his wife mad at you!” he laughed.
“Oh, I’m sorry about that, I-“ Rona began as she turned to apologize, only to have her suddenly blanch as she met Martin’s gaze.
“Uncle Marty?” she gasped.
“Carrie?” Martin asked, a disbelieving expression on his face.
As I said above, this was a plot bunny that wouldn't go away. I kind of doubt that I'm going to follow it up, but I'm also not ruling it out.
If anyone wants to use this as the starting point for their story, feel free to go ahead and have a blast. ;-)