Title: Potential Weapon 2 : Lock and Load
Rating: Nothing worse than the TV show.
Disclaimer: None of them are mine. Deal with it. I have.
Category: A plot bunny that kept coming around and nipping at my ankles.
Summery: Xander's uncle found who's he's looking for. Now he's looking for an explanation.
Time Frame: Season Seven, right after the episode "Showtime," and immediately after my earlier story, "Potential Weapon."
Character Bashing: None. Well, maybe a little bit on Spike, but I can live with that.
Feedback: Of course!
Archiving: Just let me know where, please.
The previous story can be found at: http://www.tthfanfic.org/story.php?no=7151
Title: Potential Weapon 2 : Lock and Load
“Uh, so I guess you guys know each other already, huh?” Xander commented weakly, as he watched his Uncle Martin sweep the dusky beauty he’d known as Rona into a fierce hug, the two of them clearly oblivious to the other onlookers in the room staring at them.
“Why’d you run away, Carrie? Why didn’t you call us and let us know you were okay, baby?” the older man was asking while the quietly weeping girl in his arms sobbed out semi-incoherent apologies as she desperately clung to him and stained his shirt with her tears.
“Okay, everybody out! Clear the room!” Xander turned and began ordering the gaping Slayers-in-Training away. “Show’s over. Next one’s at three o’clock. Everyone out!”
Seeing the look Dawn was giving him as he opened his mouth to include her in his instructions, he took a moment to consider who he was speaking to, while a stray thought from his Soldier-Guy memories floated to the surface of his mind, < Never give an order you know won’t be obeyed. >
Instead, he said, “Can you stay here and make sure we’re not disturbed, please, Dawn?” as he herded the quietly speaking couple into the den and pulled the door shut behind him and tried to ignore the cheeky salute and satisfied smirk on the Key’s face as she took up a position in front of the door.
It took a few minutes, but Rona – < no, Uncle Martin said her name was Carrie, > he reminded himself – soon calmed down sufficiently to begin explaining the reasons for her sudden departure from L.A. and her presence in Sunnydale.
“Rona Nichols is – I mean, was – actually my roommate’s name,” Carrie informed the two men patiently waiting on her words. “We were sitting around our dorm room, talking about what we’d done over the holidays when we heard when we heard someone scream out in the hallway and Mrs. Porter-Smyth – she was one of the teachers at school – came running into our room and told us that the dorm was under attack by some gang and we had to get out as quick as we could.
“We were gathering up our stuff when three Bri–“ she broke off and glanced over at Xander, who merely stared impassively at her, before resuming her account “ –when these three guys in brown robes with these big knives came storming in through the door and started attacking us. I have no idea who they were or why they were attacking us – all I know is that I started fighting back as soon as one of them came at me. I managed to get the knife away from the one who was attacking me, and then Mrs. Porter-Smyth shot him and the other two guys with a gun she must have had with her, but not before they’d managed to kill Rona and stab Mrs. Porter-Smyth, too. I guess I kinda panicked, then, and I grabbed my jacket and my and Rona’s bags and I got out of there as fast as I could.”
Carrie’s eyes were glistening with unshed tears as she relived the traumatic events again, but she wiped her eyes with a tissue Xander gave her and then looked at ‘Uncle Marty,’ obviously trying to gauge his reaction to her story.
“Why didn’t you call home and tell anyone what had happened once you got out somewhere safe?” the older man quietly asked. “Rog and Trish have been going crazy, not knowing where you were or what had happened to you, honey,” he told her, producing more glistening eyes and an anguished expression from the young girl.
“I’m sorry, Uncle Marty,” she immediately apologized, muffling a sob. “I guess I was just so freaked out I didn’t think about it. I just started running and I guess I must have gotten on the first bus I came to and I didn’t stop running until I got here.”
Martin remained silent, staring at his semi-niece and obviously giving serious thought to what he’d just heard. Xander remained quiet also, waiting to see what reaction the older man would have to her story.
After several moments’ contemplation, Martin shook his head, as though in denial of everything he’d just heard and looked intently at the adolescent sitting and watching him.
“Your story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in a lot of places, Carrie,” he stated quietly, “and it’s smelling like a pile of bull. I think you’re holding out on a lot more that happened than you’ve told me. I just can’t figure why you’re doing it.
“And I’m pretty sure you know a lot more than you’ve told me, too, kid,” he said as he turned to stare just as intently at Xander, making the younger man shiver almost imperceptibly under that riveting gaze.
“So, let me tell you both what I do know,” he went on, turning slightly so he could watch both of their reactions as he spoke.
“I know that we’ve got two dead kids and two dead faculty members at a private school back in L.A., along with three bodies who are quite clearly the perps, since their prints are all over the knives used to kill the aforesaid kids and teachers, and yet they can’t possibly be the perps since their eyes and mouths were all sewn shut.
“I know that both of the dead teachers arrived here from England within the past six months on work permits, and that they both worked for the same organization, whose main headquarters just happened to get blown up last week by some unidentified terrorist organization. I also know that the LAPD is getting stonewalled by the State Department on any questions having to do with that organization, which immediately makes me, Rog and Lorna as cops start thinking cover-up, which is something Lorna’s checking out back home right now,” he added parenthetically. From the tone of his voice, it was clear that whoever tried to stonewall Lorna was in for a *very* bad time.
“Something else I know is that you’re one of the most level-headed kids I’ve ever met, Care-Bear,” he smiled at the teen, eliciting a wan but genuine smile from her at his use of her childhood nickname, “and I know that you wouldn’t freak out for three days and not call your parents unless you think that it’d cause some bigger kind of problem, if you did.”
Turning to look directly at Xander, Martin then began speaking to him.
“There are also a lot of things that don’t add up about you, Xand,” he informed him calmly, “but considering how screwed up my life was when I was your age, I wasn’t gonna say anything to you about any of ‘em. Not unless it looked like things were gonna go down the tubes, and it looks like they might be doing just that, now.
“First off, I’ve seen you with your shirt off and you’ve got too many scars on your body for someone your age to have unless you were, or are, involved hip deep in some kind of gang war or something like that. Actually, they sorta remind me of some of my time back in Nam, when we had to go hand-to-hand with Charlie in some of the tunnels. I said something about them to your mom once a couple years back, during one of the few times she was relatively sober, but she blew me off with some harebrained story about dangerous wild animals living in the area.
“Second, the local PD has folders on you and several of your friends over an inch thick, all of which are filled with incident reports about encounters with what the local blues call ‘gang members on PCP,’ but there have never been any arrests of any kind made in connection with any of the incidents.
“Then, there’s the problem with your friend Buffy allegedly torching her old high school, back when her family was still living in L.A. The files go on in detail about lack of corroborating evidence, but I’ve seen enough bullshit written to cover up problems with cases that that one sticks out like an elephant in a dog pound.
“And that’s not even considering how your old high school blew up during your Graduation because of a ‘gas leak’,” he added, the quote marks around gas leak clearly evident by his words.
“I’ve also got a friend on the force who’s been involved with some really strange stuff,” he calmly informed his audience, “and she mentioned to me one time that one of her sources used to live here in Sunnydale, but then he moved to L.A. a couple years back. I met the guy once, he’s kind of a drama queen with the this whole dark and brooding shtick, and there’s definitely something hinky about him; he’s also got some kind of skin allergy and can’t go out in the sun or he gets a really bad burn.”
Catching the expression on Xander’s face at his description, Martin asked, “You know this clown I’m talking about , Xander?”
Shaking his head in resignation, Xander asked, “Let me guess…pale complexion, big forehead, big martyr complex, right?”
“Right on,” Martin nodded.
“Unfortunately, the answer is ‘yes,’ I do know Captain Forehead, Uncle Martin,” he sighed, realizing that if he didn’t explain the situation to his uncle, he’d probably end up talking to Angel sooner, rather than later, trying to figure out what was going on.
“Better sit back and make yourself comfortable, then,” he said resignedly. “I’ve got a pretty long story to tell you that you’re not going to believe, and that you’re definitely not gonna like, once you do.
“And, Dawn,” Xander called out, looking over at the door, “if you’re gonna eavesdrop, you could at least get us some sodas and then come in and make yourself comfortable. You can even substitute for Giles, doing the whole ‘Chosen One’ spiel, okay?”
“You got it, Xand,” came the triumphant squeal. “I’ll be right back.”
“Who’s he, and what’s he doing here, Whelp?” an arrogant, clearly British voice demanded as the basement door swung open and a yawning, bare-chested vampire strutted into the kitchen, interrupting Xander and Martin’s discussion at the kitchen table, where they’d moved after Xander and Dawn had finally managed to convince Martin of the existence of everything they’d told him of.
“Spike, this is my Uncle Martin. He’s in town looking for someone,” Xander said with a look of annoyance at the disruption.
"Uncle Martin, this is Spike, a real, honest-to-god, bloodsucking vampire like I told you about, although he's actually working with us to defeat the latest bad guy trying to bring about an apocalypse and the end of the world," he introduced the bleached-blond demon to his uncle with a noticeable lack of enthusiasm. “He’s allegedly got his soul back and is trying to redeem himself for his past sins.”
"Another one, huh? Hi there," Martin nodded his head in greeting.
“Of course, he’s also tried to kill me, Buffy, Willow and Giles numerous times in the past, has killed thousands of people in the course of his undead existence and is only working with us now because a government-implanted chip in his head won't let him hurt humans anymore and we happen to be the best opportunity around for him to find demons to kill, instead,” Xander added offhandedly.
BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!
"Bloody hell!" Spike screamed as he lay on the floor, unable to move, blood pouring from the bullet wounds in his knees, elbows, hips and shoulders.
“What the fuck did you do that for, you bleedin' wanker?!” he finally managed to gasp after a moment or so, as he stared up at Martin in disbelief.
"Listen up, asshole,” Martin calmly informed the animated corpse lying on the floor bleeding as he replaced the clip in his Beretta, while all of the Slayers-in-Training came running in and stared in wide-eyed disbelief at him. All of them except Rona/Carrie, of course. “Xander is my favorite nephew. If you even look like you're thinking about biting him or anyone else around here, I'm gonna shove a stake up your ass and through your shriveled-up little heart, understand me?"
“What’s going on in here?” Buffy demanded as she burst into the room, clearly in response to the sound of the gunshots.
“Uncle Martin, this is my friend, Buffy Summers. She’s the school guidance counselor you wanted to meet,” Xander nonchalantly introduced the diminutive blonde as she gave a gasp of surprised dismay upon seeing Spike lying bleeding on the kitchen floor.
“Spike! Who shot you?” she immediately demanded as she dropped to her knees next to him, an expression of outrage on her delicate features.
“That bloody son of a bitch there,” he groaned, nodding his head towards Riggs. “The Whelp’s so-called uncle.”
The Slayer was off the floor and across the room in an instant, slamming the newcomer against the wall, his shirt collar knotted in her fist.
“Why’d you shoot Spike?” she demanded, her eyes flashing angrily at the larger man.
“Cool down, Supergirl,” Martin advised calmly as he looked down into the wide, shocked eyes of the petite beauty who’d manhandled him far more easily than many much larger scumbags he’d run into in the course of his career. The shocked expression on her face was most likely the result of the feel of his Beretta’s muzzle poking into the soft flesh on the underside of her jaw, he figured.
“If I were you, I wouldn’t move, ‘cause I’d hate for this thing to go off if my thumb slipped off the hammer,” he explained in an unruffled tone of voice. “I come home with blood on this shirt and Lorna – that’s my wife – will rip me a new one. She’s already fed up with trying to get rid of baby puke on all of her tops, so I’m not looking to make any more work for her. Okay?” he asked reasonably.
The goggle-eyed blonde started to nod hesitantly, realized that the pistol limited the motion of her head, and said, “Okay,” in a very subdued voice.
“Uh, if both of you guys are finished with the testosterone contest, I think we can probably declare a tentative truce here,” Xander announced in the ensuing silence.
“Buffy, let go of my Uncle Martin, okay?” he instructed her in a firm, decisive voice. “You REALLY don’t want my Aunt Lorna coming after you.”
“Uncle Martin, move your pistol away from Buffy’s head, please,” he requested, realizing that, unlike the blonde Slayer who would pretty much reflexively follow almost any reasonable order from any authoritative male voice, his uncle would be reacting as though he were still in an extremely dangerous situation. Which was entirely true as long as he remained in Sunnydale, he also realized.
Seeing a very pale-looking Buffy carefully stepping away from his uncle, her eyes riveted on what must look like the muzzle of a *very* large-looking pistol, Xander moved between the two of them, facing Buffy and breaking her focus on the Berretta as he realized she must be flashing back to the previous Spring, when Warren had shot her and killed Tara with a similar weapon.
“Dawn,” he called the younger brunette over, “why don’t you take Buffy into the living room and get her to sit down on the couch? Uncle Martin and I’ll be joining you shortly.”
Turning to the Potentials standing goggle-eyed in the doorway, he glared at them and quickly snapped out orders.
“Molly! You and Kennedy grab the Bleached Wonder and drag him downstairs to the basement and give him a couple bags of blood from the ‘fridge. Vi! Get a mop and clean up this mess.”
Looking at his Uncle Martin, who had been watching his actions with what could best be described as professional interest, he sighed again (something he seemed to be doing a lot lately, he noticed) and gave him a glare.
“Uncle Martin, you are not allowed to shoot any of my friends, or even threaten to shoot them, understand? You do that again, and I’ll tell Aunt Lorna what really happened to her car, and how it got that big scratch on the side.”
“What?! Xander, you can’t do that!” Martin exclaimed, a look of near-panic on his face upon hearing the threat. “Lorna’d skin me alive if she found out what happened to her car!”
“Exactly,” Xander smirked. “So you’d better keep that in mind, for the future. Now, let’s go see how we can get things straight between you and Buffy.”
As he started towards the living room, he could Martin muttering various low-voiced comments about the manners of today’s youth, their lack of respect for their elders and something about ungrateful nephews.
“Oh, and Uncle Martin,” he added placatingly over his shoulder, “I just want you to know that Spike’s *definitely* not one of my friends.”