Going Dutch (6/?)
Going Dutch (6/?)
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 – SHS Library
The three Taskers quietly embraced, murmuring things at such a low level that not even angel or Buffy could quite make it out. It was obviously a reunion; Xander nodded with a smile and sat on the corner of the table, facing the group.
“I know her folks; they were in LA so I told ‘em to get up here fast. Any other details are either classified or up to them to tell you. But they did not abandon her, and she thought they were dead.”
Lady Croft stared at the trio, then back at the young man full of surprises, looks of happiness and concern warring in her eyes.
“Mr. Lavelle, just how did you come to know her parents?”
“That for now is also classified, though once things sort themselves out, I’ll tell you what I feel safe telling. Just as the Council won’t want to interfere with Dana’s extended family. So we won’t say anything about her. Giles?”
“For now, as long as it doesn’t threaten us here at the Hellmouth, I don’t remember encountering a second slayer.”
“Thanks Giles…that makes things a lot easier for everyone.” Xander turned to the group, reached into a wallet, and pulled out six gift cards, passing one each to Jenny, Giles, Willow, and Oz, then two to Buffy. “Gals, you’ll note the gift cards…there’s three hundred on each…might I suggest comfortable footwear that looks good. Patrolling for vamps isn’t good on the shoe leather. Oz, that’s to that music chain you like, and Giles, yours is to that bulk sporting good store over in Oxnard—figured the way Buffy goes through training equipment your gift should be the one that hurts your wallet the least.”
“Thank you, Xander,” the man beamed, having watched Buffy eliminate yet another training dummy the night before.
“And Buff, that other one’s to the MegaGrocery they just set up outside of town; I figure that with a Slayer to feed, your mom could use some help with the food bill—remember to tell her I’m available for dinners.”
Lara watched the young man give out easy presents with sufficient flare as to personalize them, and was surprised when Xander turned to her as she now stood next to Mr. Giles.
“If Lady Croft doesn’t object, Giles could you offer her a place to stay; I have enough room at my place for the family reunion, and its really close to where you are.”
“O-of course…Lady Croft, Jenny and I,” the Watcher said with a nod from the fiancée, “offer you our spare room. Xander? Are you sure you have enough room at your, um, lodgings?”
“I do, I’m told by the former owner that it’s a mirror image of yours.”
“Really? How would that come up in conversation?”
“I’m across the courtyard from you…neighbor.”
“Just when things were looking up…the Hellmouth turns on me…” the Watcher deadpanned and then broke a smile, “Good enough, lad. And it’s good to have you back.”
The Scoobies headed home, while Giles, Jenny, Lara, Xander and the three Taskers headed to the duplex. Faith/Dana had made very clear to her parents that Lara was the reason she was still alive or at least not huddling in some alley—so at least one transition was cleared before Slayer revelations later took place. The Taskers and Xander headed into one place, the young man planning to play host while the family talked things over.
He’d already had a good idea of what they place looked like, but was happy to find everything set up already, and the place stocked according to plan. It even had the full bar Xander had bribed Gibb into taking care of. He poured Helen a wine, Harry a stout, and Dana a cranberry juice while coffee began to brew. As the small family talked, Alexander proceeded to whip up some omelets and some fried potatoes, glad he’d had the sense to order the place pre-stocked instead of doing it himself.
After about twenty minutes, as some tense words were beginning to be exchanges, Xander called out to have them all come to the breakfast counter to eat.
“Come on, guys. Eat and relax. Even if something isn’t what you want to hear… at least remember that the three of you are together to disagree about it. Dana, I don’t know if these are still favorites…but breakfast is served.”
The girl smiled broadly as she saw the plate of food set in front of her and that more was in the kitchen.
“Damn, s—Xander, this is like a six-egg omelet!”
“And a pound of potatoes on your plate. You forget, I know how much Slayers need to eat. The rest of us are not so blessed and must actually exercise to burn it off.” Harry’s concerned frowned of a minute ago turned into a smile as he watched his little girl smile around a heaping fork of food. Helen sipped at her coffee, then dug in as well. Dana wanted to know a few things, however.
“So, tell me, the dance and the food…what’s the story… Dad? Xander?” Xander indicated with a small wave that Harry should tell.
“Well, you remember how I told you about us coming to Sunnydale, then Alex coming to train with us? Well, it turns out that if we’re together for longer than a day or so, our minds seem to share knowledge, memories of knowledge. Our skills seem to update, and we can sometimes…communicate…”
“So if you and mom get friendly, then Xan—”
“No!” the two men choked out, then with something of a blush Harry continued.
“Thankfully, only our abilities and such are affected…not the… sensory stuff.”
Xander broke in, “I might know how to shoot guns or dance a tango, but I won’t have the memories of touch or sight or smell or doing them. At least not since Halloween.”
“So how does that work? I’m thinkin’ that the senses are important.”
“They are, but…we have to practice the new stuff for it to really stick. And once we’ve done it, that experience seems to fill in the ones that didn’t have it.”
“So Dad doesn’t know about your vamp-dusting tonight?”
“Well, we’re still trying out different ways, but usually if we want to update those kinds of things, we have to debrief, discuss it, and he’ll get the visuals but not the thoughts. I still have to explain them.”
“That’s weird, why’s that?”
“Chaos magic…so it isn’t prefect.”
“So when you check out a girl, Dad doesn’t get an eyeful?”
“Dana…” her mom and dad sighed; their little girl had a few edges on her now. Xander snickered.
“I suppose if I’m talking about it and doing more than glancing, he might get the memory.”
“But guns and spy stuff no prob?”
“Well, basically…those things require focus…or thought…so like the bosses brain guys think that since some things use different ways of storing stuff as memory, the ones that get transferred are the ones that are more than me walking down the street not really caring what’s around me. Harry’s not gonna remember my walk, though he *might* be able to tell if I’m lying about taking a walk.”
Xander pushed more potatoes onto the Slayer’s plate as the group settled in to finish food.
The next morning, Harry was up just after Xander; he’d thought-linked the younger man that they needed to talk when they had the chance. Over decently strong coffee, Xander sighed and began things.
“What are your intentions with my daughter?”
“I asked, what are your intentions with my daughter?”
“Um, I don’t have any?”
“Normally the best answer. But what do you think of her?”
“Can you be more specific Harry? Are you purposely trying to get me to think about a relationship with your daughter?”
“Actually Alex, after talking to her, or rather, listening to the gaps in her story… she hasn’t had a good time of it. I don’t want her to hate boys. But I want her safe.”
“What are you sayin’ Dutch?”
“Since you of all men know I’ll kill you if you hurt her…”
“Wrong approach…try again.”
“You’re the only one young I trust.”
“I have forty years of your memories, Harry.”
“But you’re still you. Maybe a little more grown up than before,” Harry corrected, then continued, “And with your parents…you might be able to relate better with whatever she’s gone through.”
“Harry…” Xander sighed. “I think with all of your memories, but having spotted her before realizing who she was…hell, Harry I’m half in serious like with her already. So I’m not going to pursue her. I’m going to be her friend, and if someday she wants more… she can let me know and we’ll start dating. But not a word of this to her or Helen…and no pressuring her towards me. It might just be best if she get to know you guys again while learning the whole slay-business.”
“I guess, Alex, but a father is supposed to do the best for his little girl…and this Slayer thing…”
“And if she were in the family business she’d be safer how?”
“Point, but there she’d have back up…be part of a team.”
“Well…why don’t you and Helen transfer out here and become part of her team?”
“You’re getting on in years, Harry. You admitted it to me the other day. You’re still sharp, so why not become her trainer; Helen still has time to be the mother of a teenaged girl, and the both of you can set up some kind of front business or something. Have Mr. Trilby make you the official Omega presence on the Hellmouth.”
“Those are good ideas, Alex…and a good attempt at sidetracking me from our topic.”
“Dana is the topic and priority; she needs her folks, and with the Slay-Team here, she stands the best chance of fulfilling her destiny and leading a life as normal as any Tasker can lead…”
Harry smiled, and poured a couple more cups of coffees.
“I suppose Alex,” he agreed, neither man knowing that Dana was sitting on the staircase next to her mom listening to the two men. Both women smiled, and side-hugged each other, the girl letting herself revel in the warm embrace of her mamma.