Going Dutch (4/?)
Going Dutch (4/?)
Author: Tohonomike firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer: All characters belong to their rightful owners...it will start off with the Joss/ME characters, and any other characters or real-life folks are clearly not mine. NO money is involved. Buffy? Nope. None are mine.
October 13th, 1997 – Alley next to the Bronze
Lara saw something she’d never really seem on Faith’s face before—fear and surprise. Even with Kakistos on their tail, never had that combination occurred. Lara stepped forward.
“Who are you and why are you calling her Dana?”
“I just spent the last eight months training for a sales position with her parents’ friends… Boris and Doris. So I know they’ve been looking for her for quite a while now.”
“They’re dead…” Faith responded.
“No, but they were captured for a while. I don’t have the details, but after five months, they were freed—though … Boris had managed to get halfway out before nearly shooting his rescuers.”
“Who are you?” Faith asked from behind Lara.
“Not in front of the others, Dana. Since you seem to be a Slayer, I think we should all go to see Rupert Giles, Buffy’s Watcher. That should be neutral ground, and while everyone else talks Watcher-stuff, you and I will step out of Buffy’s hearing and we’ll talk. Fair enough?”
Faith nodded, but Lara pressed, “Your name at least…”
“You first,” he replied with a smile, now within four feet of her but holstering his weapons slowly in front of her.
“I’m Lara Croft,” the woman replied, arching an eyebrow. Xander held out an empty hand to shake.
“Lady Croft, my name is Alexander Lavelle,” he graciously smiled as she tentatively shook his hadn’t, which he turned over and kissed the back of the hand, “.
The woman pulled back her hand, half amused and half threatened by the boy’s knowledge of her.
“How did you know I was a Lady?”
“Other than the upper class accent? You just telling me.”
Faith snickered, “Secret identity, huh Lara?”
“Hey Buff, Deadboy, Oz, Willow. Miss me?”
The girls ran forward, Oz nodded, and Angel with a slight smile said “No.”
Hugs were exchanged, even as Faith pinned down that the ‘Deadboy’ guy seemed to come up on her senses. Lara had mentioned the vampire, so no action would be taken now, though. The fact that the people they wanted to see all pretty much welcomed the impressive young man, who by Faith’s statement had offed six vampires using non-traditional means, gave the peer hope.
As they were heading out of the alley, Xander snickered, and turned to the two new gals.
“So, how’d you come into town. I can’t believe the car you came in is yours.”
“No,” the dark-haired slayer responded with a bit of attitude, “There was a garage next to the bus station, and since Lara wasn’t feeling up to the hike around town, I wired it.”
“No accounting for taste.”
“It was all they had, and who’s going to miss it?”
“The owner,” Xander smirked, “Rupert Giles.”
“Bugger…” Lara sighed as the Scooby Gang laughed.
The two newbies were given directions and would follow Oz’ van. Xander smirked and drove off first, and as soon as he was around the corner he made the call direct to Harry’s personal cell number.
“This is Horus, is the line safe and are you still in LA?”
“This is Boris, and our flight is in fifteen minutes.”
“As amazing as it is, what was once lost, was just found.”
Dead silence, then a woman’s voice came on, “Horus? What is it?”
“How fast can you be where I am? Really fast.”
“I found her.”
After a moment, Harry was back on the phone very quietly.
“How sure are you?”
“When I called her by name, she was going to bolt. Get here fast. I’ll delay. Go to my ‘place of employment’ first then lodgings next. Got it?”
“We’re on our way.”
Xander pulled up to the library just after the others, and having taken care with his gear, made his way in, rubbing his right wrist just a bit.
“Too much hand motion, stud?” Faith smirked as she noticed him nursing the wrist. Buffy suppressed a snort, and after a second Willow’s eyes went wide.
“Language…firecracker,” he mock-glared, causing her to deflate again at the clear implication he knew her original identity, “You try firing that many .50 caliber rounds that fast. Even with the Slayer strength I’ll bet you feel it a little.”
Xander couldn’t believe that the Tasker daughter was right in front of him; he knew it was her, but his mind had to different perceptions of her. One was the fourteen-year-old daughter of his friends, some one he cared for a lot even though he’d never really met her. Even before tonight, he’d probably have thought of her as a cousin or sister. The second thought—whoa! That second thought was that she was a hot Slayer that had acted well in the situation at the Bronze by heading for the alley while he had the vamp gang under control.
It was when she’d turned and he’d recognized her, and she’d confirmed by her reaction his naming of her, that the conflict arose. He had all of these memories of her, um, pre-hotness that he knew weren’t his; he just hoped Harry wouldn’t hit him for being attracted to her. Xander’d never do anything, but he was still a teenage guy so his thoughts weren’t perfectly chaste.
Which brought up another strange and confusing thought in between the others…how to talk to her? Giles fortunately took control of the situation, introductions having just been completed when Xander had walked in.
“Lady Croft, I was unaware you were a Watcher…”
“I’m not, Mr. Giles, but when it was discovered that I was a potential, much of my free-time became devoted to training.”
“Then why take it upon yourself the duties, and why keep it from the Council?”
“While my actual trainers were very good and very competent, my official contacts were Reginald Wyndham-Price and Quentin Travers.”
“So when I’d learned that the previous Slayer had died, and I saw Faith throw a man across an alley who’d been attacking a young girl, I made a decision to help her.”
“While I cannot condone your … preemption of Council prerogatives, if my only contacts were the two men you’ve mentioned, I can at least admit I’d have done the same. But how do you keep her cloaked from scrying?”
“She wears a ring and armband that tone her down to no more than a potential.”
Faith leaned over from where she stood next to Xander, “Wanna see where I have the ring, stud?”
Xander blushed with an amused smile, shaking his head, ‘I’m so dead…and it’s not even my fault this time.’
He turned to the girl, “While they talk shop, can we talk away from the others?”
She held her breath, then walked over and whispered in Lara’s ear as both looked at Xander. Lara spoke up.
“If you could leave the cannon, Mr. Lavelle…”
Xander nodded and began disarming in that one regard, as Giles turned and shook his head.
“I dropped the old last name; didn’t much care for them.” Giles nodded, remembering how after Xander left the two ‘parents’ had been arrested on various charges and taken away.
“Is that Irish or French derivation?” Lara asked.
“Both, I think,” Xander replied, handed Giles the weapon. “Giles, can we borrow your office?”
Faith sat in Giles chair, and Xander in the one nearest the door. They remained quiet for a few minutes.
“I talked to your folks.”
“They really *are* alive?”
“Yeah, they are.”
“How do you know so much about my family?”
“Your ‘Watcher’ explain that magic exists, right?”
“Last Halloween, I dressed up as a soldier, costume from a shop. Turned out that the owner was a Chaos mage turnin’ everybody into their costumes. The fatigues I had used to belong to your father way back when.”
“Yeah…and watch the language, Dana. Anyway, most people quickly forgot everything, but since I spent the next week using your Dad’s soldier skills to try hunting down the bastard I’d thought had killed Willow—she dressed as a ghost, ya see, and your ‘father’ saw her body. When I recovered, I went lookin’ for payback. So I kept the abilities, and the muscles.”
“Wow. That how you know they were alive?”
“No, your dad remembered a few things, and when he got a report of a manhunt in Sunnydale looking for a guy that grabbed a teenager—they didn’t know the exact sitch, your folks came out. When I got into town, they were here, we talked a while. A few months later, I went back east. Spent eight months becoming a young Boris clone. Lived with your folks.”
“So what now?”
“You called ‘em?”
“Yeah, I did. They’ve missed you so much…” he sighed, and she noticed a tone of pain in it.
“So Xander, why, why does it seem to mean so much to you?”
“Having you reunite with your folks?” She nodded. “When I’m around your father for any real length of time, we kinda have a link, and our knowledge, um, updates. Like if I studied Latin and he studied Math, if we started hanging out and using or trying to use the skills, we’d find a lot of it was already there.”
“Sounds wicked weird…”
“Yeah, but your dad now knows what I know about the vamps and stuff, and I could become a … worker in his company … when I graduate school.”
“You a senior?”
“Starting with the formal college stuff soon, but I’m probably a sophomore.”
“College guy…gotta get me a brain link…”
“Don’t tell the others. That’s … family … info.”
“We kissin’ cousins or something now, X?”
“Lets avoid the kissin’ part until your father gives his blessing; he still out-masses and out-means me, Dana.”
They joined the others a couple twenty minutes later, Faith grabbing a boom box and a dusty tape from a small box. In the meantime, Jenny Calendar had joined the group, and raised a curious eyebrow at the young people exiting the office.
They quietly listened as Lara continued to explain the last seven months of slaying to the group, and then briefed them on Trick and Kakistos. They’d be surprised and Willow mentor-crushing as Lara described hacking into the Watcher data files for information. Eventually, Faith looked around at the clear space Buffy often used for training, then set the music player on the edge of the table. She pointed out to the floor.
“Okay, stud, one last test to prove what you said was true. Dancing.”
“You’re kidding, right?”
Buffy smirked, “I don’t think dancing and Xander should be spoken of in the same sentence, Faith.”
Sighing, Xander got to his feet, ‘Harry, couldn’t you have moved faster and saved me from this?’
“Alright, and I’m guessing that there’s one dance in particular?”
He walked into the office, and found a carnation on the Watcher’s desk; no roses. He came back out and said as much as she hit the play button, they took position, and the tango began.
The Sunnydalers and even Lara were rather amazed at the next minutes, as the two teenagers promptly ignored the world and proceeded to dance very well. The two displayed grace that in spite of one being a Slayer, was unbelievable nonetheless.
And only when the dance was over, did they, and the Scooby gang notice the couple from last Halloween staring intently at the young woman beaming at Xander. She turned and saw her folks.
“Mom? Dad?” And the three Taskers raced across the room as Xander smiled and shut off the player.