Chapter 1- Family Reunion
Chapter 1- Family Reunion
Harris House Interior
Friday, March 5, 1999
“Dad, I’m sorry.”
“YOU’RE DAMN RIGHT YOU’RE SORRY! A SORRY, PATHETIC LITTLE PIECE OF SHIT! I CLOTHE YOU, PUT FOOD IN YOUR STOMACH, A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD AND THIS IS THE THANKS I GET?!”
Tony Harris is furious and wants everyone to know it. No one has any doubts about it. During Tony’s ranting, he’s advancing on his son’s position, while Xander slowly backs away making sure not to make any sudden movements and keeping his father in his line of sight.
“Dad...” Whatever Xander is about to say is lost when Tony suddenly lunges for Xander, striking him in the face hard enough to knock Xander down. Xander relaxes his muscles and absorbs the blow, knowing to tense up and resist will only make the pain worse. Xander’s nose is bleeding profusely as he reflexively curls up into a ball, trying to make his body as small a target as possible. This only aggravates Tony further and he begins to rain punches down on Xander’s body indiscriminately.
Harris House Exterior
A car pulls up in front of the Harris house. The two men in the car look out the windshield at the slightly rundown house highlighted by the afternoon sunshine.
“Well, we’re here,” Daniel says.
“Finally. ‘Turn left at the cemetery.’ She neglected to say which cemetery. What’s with all the cemeteries in a small town anyway? I mean that’s just not normal.”
“Jack, stop stalling and get out of the car.”
“I’m not stalling,” Jack replies defensively.
“Alright, alright already. Sheesh.”
They both exit the vehicle and start toward the house. Just then they hear a loud crash and yelling.
“Tony, stop! Please!”
Jack and Daniel glance at each other quickly, and then run toward the front door. It’s locked. They can still hear the commotion inside, so Jack takes a step back, raises his foot and kicks the door open.
As they rush in, they see the living room in shambles, the coffee table is on its side, up against the sofa, there’s a broken lamp on the floor and magazines and assorted cushions are littering the floor. In the midst of this are a tangle of human arms and legs moving wildly and a cacophony of yelling.
“Tony, stop! You’re hurting him! Stop!”
“I’ll teach the little bastard to have some respect!”
“You’re killing him!”
Jack rushes over and pulls his sister, Jessica off of Tony and hands her to Daniel saying “Hold her.” He then proceeds to reach for Tony. He has Tony halfway off of Xander, when Tony slips from his grasp and attacks Xander again. Tony is in a wild berserker rage, his fists and feet making constant repeated contact with Xander. Jack can see the kid is hurt badly and he needs to get Tony away from him as soon as possible. With only a moment’s hesitation, Jack pulls out his handgun and puts it against Tony’s head, chambering the bullet.
In a quiet, deadly voice, Jack says, “Back away from the kid, Tony. I’ve never liked you and have no problem shooting you.”
The entire room stops. Jessica no longer struggles against Daniel and Tony’s fist stops mid-swing. Tony holds his fist in midair for another couple of seconds before slowly lowering his arm to his side.
“Move away from the kid. NOW! Daniel, check him out,” Jack says indicating Xander.
Daniel rushes to the unconscious Xander and gently examines him. There is blood everywhere. Xander’s t-shirt has ridden up on his body and his skin is various shades of purples, greens, and yellows from all the bruising. There are also various scratches and cuts where Tony’s kicks and punches actually broke the skin. Xander’s face is barely visible from all the blood covering it. His face is bruised, his right eye is swollen shut and there is blood coming out of his ear.
“Jack, we need to get him to a hospital immediately.”
“Call an ambulance. Let them know we also need the police.”
“What for?!” asks Tony.
Jack looks at Tony in astonishment. “You just tried killing your son! That’s a crime.”
“He’s my kid; I’m allowed to discipline him.”
“DISCIPLINE HIM?!...Just…shut up before I do shoot you.”
Harris House Exterior
Walking to her best friend, Xander’s place for another math tutoring session Willow Rosenberg is lost in thought as she is bound and determined to get Xander through algebra even if she has to threaten him with the “resolve face.” It’s common knowledge that Xander is powerless to resist Willow’s “resolve face.” She smiles gently to herself at this thought. Looking up, Willow sees an ambulance and police car in front of Xander’s home. ‘Oh, god,’ she thinks and rushes forward.
As she approaches, she sees a stretcher come out of the Harris house carrying Xander on it. He looks awful, bloody and beaten.
“Xander!” Willow tries to rush to Xander’s side but is stopped by a brown-haired stranger. “Let me go! I need to be with Xander.”
“Are you his friend?”
“Yes, I’m Willow, his best friend thank you very much. Who are you?!” Willow knows she’s giving off attitude, which she normally would never do, especially to an adult, but Xander is hurt and needs her and by god, she is not going to let some GUY keep her away!
Before Jack can tell Willow he was Xander’s uncle, Tony Harris is escorted out of the house in handcuffs by two police officers.
“What’s going on? Why is Mr. Harris in handcuffs? Oh god! He did this. He hurt Xander. That BASTARD!!” Willow looks back toward Xander, who’s being loaded into the ambulance.
“Stephanie! Stephanie, I’m going with him!” Willow wrenches her arm out of Jack’s grip and runs to the ambulance. The paramedic, Stephanie just smiles at Willow and helps her into the ambulance, then looks at Jack expectantly.
“I’m coming, too,” Jack says climbing into the ambulance as well. “Daniel, follow us.”
In the ambulance, Willow shoots Jack a look, which he can’t decipher but imagines means ‘Who the hell does this guy think he is?’ Of course, that may just be Jack’s imagination.
“How is he, Steph?” Willow asks.
“Willow you know I’m not a doctor and can’t give you a diagnosis but…his arm is definitely broken, probably some ribs, too. Hopefully, he just has a concussion. We won’t know the extent of his injuries until the doctor sees him. I’m sorry, honey.”
Willow, looking like she’s about to cry, just nods her head and gently takes Xander’s limp hand in hers. “I need to contact the others. Let them know what’s happening.”
“As soon as we got the call, I called Giles. He said he’d tell the others. They’ll meet you at the hospital.”
Jack sits quietly during the conversation between Willow and Stephanie, but silently he's wondering what the hell is going on? How does Willow know the EMT and how did the EMT know to call “Giles,” whoever the hell that was? Does Tony beat Xander so often that there's a routine when Xander is taken to the hospital? If that is the case, why the hell hasn’t social services stepped in? How can Jessica let Tony repeatedly beat her son? God, he doesn’t know his sister at all anymore. Jack sits fuming, thinking to himself ‘I should’ve shot the bastard.’