Not the Author's Notes:
I did not write this. My brother did. For some strange reason, while he craves the feedback you devoted readers provide, he won't get his own frigging account. It's very tiresome. Yet, his writing makes up for it. Those of you who haven't watched Arrested Development
really need to give it a try. It's hysterically funny. The italicized text is the voice-over narration. Try to imagine it in Ron Howard's voice.Disclaimer:
Xander Harris and Buffy the Vampire Slayer
are property of Joss Whedon and Mutant Enemy. Arrested Development
is the sole property of its owners. No infringement is intended. No profit will be made. Love you guys, really!Slayer DevelopmentXander Harris was actually in a good mood as he waited in the baggage claim at LAX. This was despite the past two weeks, that saw his vacation in Las Vegas cut short after he was arrested for attacking two vampires in a public place. At the same time, he contacted his estranged mother, only to have her run off after he loaned her $40,000. And days later, he made an unfortunate stop in Perfection, Nevada, that led to him being stranded in the desert overnight to avoid being eaten by a giant carnivorous worm.
Xander was in a good mood for a number of reasons.
1. He had no estranged relatives in Los Angeles to take his money.
2. Los Angeles had many fine hotels to spend the night in, and a decided lack of giant carnivorous worms inside the city limits.
3. His new assignment was to contact a possible Slayer, something he excelled at, and very rarely resulted in people trying to kill him.
4. He would work with a trainee Watcher, who would be expected to learn from him. He believed this would result in the trainee idolizing him.
Unfortunately for Xander, while all of the above was true for this assignment, he would not enjoy the coming days at all.
This is Slayer Development
Xander pulled out his cell phone and dialed a familiar number.
“Hey, Giles. Just checking in with you, like you request. I'm waiting for the trainee to show up right now. What did you need to tell me?” Xander asked.
“Ah, Xander. Good of you to call.” Giles's voice came from the other end of the phone. “I just want to make sure that you're there for the trainee.”
“I said I'd pick them up from the airport, Giles. What's this Watcher look like?”
“Well, Xander. This actually ties back to last week,” Giles responded. “Did you tell Andrew that I wanted to watch all six Star Wars movie with him providing commentary?”
Xander smiled. “Well, Giles. You had it coming. I had some valid arguments, and you pushed me off onto Andrew. So I just had to teach you that you can't just ignore my concerns. There will be consequences.”
“Indeed there will. Has the trainee's plane landed yet?” Giles asked.
“Yeah. The passengers are coming in now. What's this trainee look like?”
Giles let out a small chuckle. “Oh, don't worry. You'll recognize him.”
“Hail, fellow warrior of the light!”
Xander felt a chill run down him. He turned in horror and gazed on the speaker.
“Indeed, old chum. Look at us. Two grizzled veterans united once again. We few. We lucky few. We band of-”
“Giles sent you? As the trainee?” Xander asked, praying that there was some mix up.
“Oh, yeah. It was just a couple of days ago. He told me he was hoarding my talents in London. And that to be a fully rounded Watcher, I had to be part of a first contact situation. Since you had been assigned to one in LA, I was sent directly here to assist you.”
Xander sighed. “And Giles made this decision after your Star Wars marathon, right?”
“Yep. I'm sorry you couldn't be there. I cleared the whole day on Mr. Giles's schedule. I could tell he appreciated it. He's very busy and doesn't let himself have much free time. He kept on asking if there were any matters he had to attend to. But I took care of them all. You know, I think it was my attention to detail as I filled in all the backstory and details, that impressed Giles. It's what made him decide to send me on this mission.” Andrew explained.
“I've made a huge mistake.” Xander muttered.
Xander drove from the airport with Andrew in the passenger seat.
“So you have the file on the possible Slayer in there?” Xander asked, nodding to the brief case Andrew had handcuffed to his left wrist.
“Actually, I've taken every precaution with this sensitive material. The papers in the briefcase are actually a decoy. In case someone tries to abscond with it, they'll get some old newspaper. While I'll be safely away with the real file secreted on my person .”
Xander slowly shook his head. “So the idea is that they grab the briefcase, take off, and leave you with the real file.”
“So why do you have it handcuffed to you?” Xander asked.
Andrew glanced down at his wrist. “For security purposes.”
“But if they want the briefcase, they'll either have to take you with it, or chop off your hand and let you bleed to death.” Xander pointed out.
“But in the event of my capture, I've taken steps. I translated the actual file into an arcane language, that only a few scholars can identify and decode.”
“So you didn't just translate it into Klingon, then.”
“..... no. I wouldn't.... In any case, the in the event that I'm kidnapped, they won't be able to access the information.”
“But if they just leave your dead body, I won't be able to decode it either.” Xander pointed out.
“In that case, I've left a series of elaborate clues that will -”Andrew explained the backup contingencies he prepared, which included a security box in a nearby bank, several forged documents, a time delayed e-mail, and a schedule of the tides at San Juan Capitstrano Beach. After several minutes of this, Xander had heard enough.
“Okay, Andrew. I've heard enough.”See.
“Just tell me what information you have on the possible Slayer.” Xander said.
Andrew pulled out a file from under his shirt.
“Okay. A police report came up that had several keywords in it. As a result, it got tagged by one of Willow's programs. It's amazing what she can do on a computer. You should talk to her. She's got so many stories from her travels. And she mentioned that she'd love to hear from you.”
Xander grunted. “Yeah, I'll get right on that. What did the police report say?”
“Well a group of high school students were just leaving from the premiere of Aquaman
, when they were attacked by 'a group of muggers with facial deformities.'” Andrew said.
“Wonder how it went.”
“Well, from what I've read, Cameron stuck pretty close to the comic book source material, aside from casting Vincent Chase as the lead.”
Xander sighed, and once again regretted the prank he played on Giles.
“The mugging attempt. How did the mugging attempt go, not the movie.” Xander explained.
“Oh. Um, there were eight attackers. But they were beaten back, and fled the scene. Witnesses saw a young girl fight of the attackers, using an impressive display of martial arts skills.”
Xander nodded. “If those were vampires, then fighting off eight of them is a definite sign of a Slayer. Do we have a name?”
Andrew flipped to another page. “Let's see. Police took statements from a George Michael Bluth and Mae Funke. Maeby is our Slayer. We have an address for them.”
“Did we get information on the girl?”
“Yeah. She goes by Maeby. Is a junior executive at Fox Studios, and may or may not have a twin sister named Shirley.”
Xander looked at Andrew. “We don't know if she has a twin?”
“Well, the high school George-Michael and Maeby go to a school that had a fundraiser for Shirley last year. Apparently she was dying from BS.” Andrew said.
“So to sum up, Maeby goes to high school while she has a job at a movie studio, she may have a twin who died of something called BS, which I've never heard of, she hangs out with a boy named George-Michael who is probably a boyfriend, and she's a possible Slayer.”
“Yes. Except for the George-Michael part. He's her cousin. They're not dating, since that would be weird. Oh, and their grandfather is under house arrest for treason.”
“House arrest? For treason?” Xander asked.
“Well, light treason.”
“Do we have an address for them?”
Andrew nodded. “Yes. Their family has an apartment in Balboa Towers. In the heart of Orange County. The OC.
“Don't call it that.” Xander pulled the truck into the hotel parking lot. “Okay, it's getting late. Tomorrow's Saturday. We'll check in tonight and go over and meet the family tomorrow morning. I'll make sure we get separate rooms.”
“We don't need to do that. I'm sure Giles would rather save money on this trip.”
Xander shook his head. “Not after what happened in the motel room on the way to Cleveland. I am not sharing a room with you.”
“I had a nightmare! I though you wouldn't mind. I would have done the same for you if the positions were reversed.” Andrew explained.
“I woke up to you spooning with me!” Xander yelled.
“You're just upset about that, since I sleep in the nude.”
“No you don't. You wear those cutoff jeans to bed.”
“Um... I have no idea what you're talking about.”Andrew did know what Xander was talking about. For Andrew is a Never Nude. Which means pretty much what it sounds like. But Andrew is not alone. There are literally dozens of people in North America who suffer from this condition.
Xander looked at Andrew, pondering what to say. Finally, Xander simply got out of the car.
“I sure I don't want to know.” He muttered.Xander was correct. He wouldn't want to know.
You probably didn't want to know either.
Sorry about that.
The next morning at the Bluth apartment in Balboa Towers was a hectic one. George Bluth, currently under house arrest, was attempting to escape the apartment by prying up the floor boards with a knife and hacking through the floor to the apartment below. He was finding this difficult due to the fact that someone had removed all the knives from the kitchen.
His wife Lucille was constantly leaving the apartment at all hours, leading George to believe she was having an affair with his twin brother Oscar. The desire to follow her and confront the two of them was why George was attempting his escape.
His oldest son, GOB (George Oscar Bluth), attempting to revive his failing career as a magician/ventriloquist by adding a knife throwing act. Unfortunately, the only knives he could find were the ones in the kitchen.
George Bluth's youngest son, Buster, was... well he was just Buster.
The doorbell rang right at 9 AM. Buster quickly answered the door.“May I help you?” he asked.
“Hello. My name is Xander Harris. This is my associate Andrew Wells. We're looking for Maeby Fumke. Is she here?” Xander said.
“Maeby doesn't live here.” Buster answered nervously.Buster's nervousness was due to the fact that he had been taught as a young child not to talk to strangers. Unfortunately, his father's idea of teaching his children lessons consisted of elaborate scenarios with a man named J. Walter Weatherman. J. Walter Weatherman had lost an arm in an accident years ago and the lessons would always involve Mr. Weatherman's prosthetic arm being torn off with fake blood spouting out in front of the children. A side effect of this was that Buster was also fearful of people who were missing body parts.
In George Bluth's defense, his children never forgot a single lesson. No matter how hard they tried.
“I'm sorry, could you give us her current address?” Xander asked.
Buster fearfully focused on Xander's eyepatch.
“Why do you want to know?”
“BUSTER! WHO'S AT THE DOOR?”
“It's a couple of people dressed as pirates looking for Maeby, Mother!” Buster yelled back.
“HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU? THEY'RE NOT PIRATES! THEY'RE FLAMBOYANTLY DRESSED HOMOSEXUALS!”
Xander sighed. “We're not...” Xander glanced at Andrew. “I'm not a homosexual. We're with the London School for Gifted Women. And.... Is there someone else I could talk to?”Luckily there was. And George Bluth was soon talking to Xander.
“... and so we feel that Maeby is a very strong candidate for a scholarship attendance. We would need to conduct a personal interview with her before any decision is made. Supervised, of course. Now I'm sure that you have many questions. Is there anything I could clear up?”
George was also focused on Xander's eyepatch, but for a far different reason.
“So, how did you lose your eye?” George asked.
Xander sighed again. //Why do they always ask about the eye?//
“I tore the tag off my mattress. There's a reason you're not supposed to do that. Now about Maeby. When do you think we could speak with your daughter?”
George looked up. “Hmm? Oh. Maeby's not my daughter. She doesn't even live here.”
Xander resisted the urge to slam his head on the table.
“Then why did you just let me go on about...? Okay. Could you help us contact her parents then?”
George nodded, deep in thought.
“I can arrange a meeting with them, but...”
“But what?” Xander prompted.
“But I will need something in return.”
Xander looked at George resigned to the fact that something unpleasant would be required. “What do you need?”
Hours later, the assembled Bluth family panicked at the sight before them. Buster was huddled in a corner hyperventilating, as GOB shrieked in a high pitched scream. Michael Bluth had finally found the phone and begun dialing 911 when Xander got up off the floor and turned to the family.
“And that's why WE ALWAYS PUT KNIVES BACK IN THE KITCHEN WHERE THEY BELONG!” Xander wiped the fake blood off his face and put his eyepatch back on. “Now, I was hoping to speak to Maeby and her parents. Are they here?” Xander asked hopefully.
Michael Bluth hung up the phone and turned to Xander. “Her mother ran out of the room when you began your show. Her father is being reassured by your blond associate in the corner. So Dad, what happened to J. Walter Weatherman?”
“He retired. Moved down to Florida.”
Xander glanced behind him and saw Andrew talking to a bald man, holding his hand.
“So you're an analyst and a therapist? How fascinating.” Andrew said.
“Yes, or as I like to call it, an analrapist. I even had cards made up, but for some reason people never keep them, or talk to me after I hand them out. Or make eye contact. But what's a strapping young lad like yourself doing here?”
“Well, I wouldn't describe myself as strapping. Although I have been working out. Feel my abs, I've been concentrating on them.”
Xander turned away as he saw Tobias Fumke began to lovingly caress Andrew's midriff.
“Maybe I should talk to her mother first.” Xander said.
“That's probably the smart call.” Michael said.
“So we feel that Maeby could be a fine addition to our school.” Xander finished.
“So you're from England? I can tell. I just love the sound of an accent. It's so sexy.” Lindsay Bluth Fumke, Maeby's mother, said.
“Actually I was born and raised in Southern California.” Xander explained.
“A local boy turned world traveler. I'm sure you're full of fascinating stories. Like where did you get the eyepatch? It makes you look rugged. I've always had a weakness for rugged men.”
“Yet somehow you married Tobias.” Michael said.
Lindsay ignored her brother. “Perhaps you could fill me in over dinner? I know a great out of the way place.”
Michael pulled Lindsay into the hall.
“Lindsay, this man is here about Maeby. He's talking about a scholarship and admission to a very exclusive university.” Michael said to Lindsay. “You know how tight money is around here. I think we should hear him out.”
“Yes, and what better way to do that than at a romantic restaurant in a secluded booth? I think this is just what my marriage needs.”
“Your marriage needs for you to have a one night stand with a stranger?”
“Frankly, I could use a new fantasy to get me through the nights with Tobias. The Mel Gibson in Braveheart just isn't cutting it anymore.”
“I really wish you wouldn't share your sexual fantasies with me. Look, hard as this may be to understand, this is not about you. This is where you act like a mother.... Not like our mother.” Michael explained. “Look, why don't I talk to him. I can make sure that he doesn't get scared off and Maeby gets a fair chance.”
Michael went back into the room to talk to Xander.
“Sorry to keep you waiting. Now I understand that you wanted to speak with Maeby?”
“Yes.” Xander answered. “We conduct a personal interview with all admission candidates. The fact is that the London School isn't for everyone. It has a very specialized regimen, and we need to determine if Maeby fits the School and if the School fits Maeby.”
“You're honest, and I appreciate that. I personally find that honesty is the best policy. My entire family does.”This was a lie. While Michael Bluth tried to be honest, he was often forced into circumstances where he felt he had to lie. And his family's record of truthtelling was spotty at best.
“Now about that interview.” Michael continued. “Maeby is at the model home right now. One of the many fine homes my family's company has built.”This was also a lie. While Maeby was at the model home, it was the only unit the Bluth company had built. And it was very shoddy construction.
“I only insist for the best for my family.” Another lie. He and his son lived in the house because Michael wanted to set an example of sacrifice for the rest of the family. And Michael allowed the others in his family to live there to keep from bankrolling a more expensive home.
“I bet we can catch her before she heads off to the library. There's nothing Maeby values more than learning. And she will be so excited to see you. College is her most important goal these days.”All of this was a... well you get the idea.
Xander nodded, happy to be talking to someone that actually listened to what he said.
“That's great. The sooner the better. But shouldn't we be discussing this with her parents? They really should be involved in these matters.”
Michael grimaced. “I think it may be best to just bring them in at the final stages. They don't really have much to add at this point. Why don't we head on out to meet Maeby?”
Xander shook his head. “Look, I understand you wanting to avoid them right now, but this is a serious matter. And any staff of the School and the parents should be working closely together to-”
The door began to open. Michael glanced through.
“It's Tobias and Mr. Wells.” Michael said.
“Crap. Quick. Let's get to the car before they realize we've left.”
Michael and Xander soon arrived at the model home. Micheal found Maeby in her bedroom and introduced her to Xander.
“Maeby, this is Mr. Harris. He's with an exclusive school in England and wants to talk to you. He's already talked to your mother.” Michael explained.
“You talked to my mom?” Maeby asked.
“Yes.” Xander answered. “She was very... friendly with me. Is your mom... evil by any chance.”
Maeby thought a moment. “Well, she is the spawn of evil.”
“Hey! Don't talk about your grandfather that way.” Michael chastised her.
“I wasn't. I was talking about Nana.”
“Oh. Fair enough then. Now, Maeby, I think you and Mr. Harris will get along just great. Why don't I leave you two alone so you can get to know each other better.”
Michael left the room shutting the door.
Maeby regarded Xander, nervously. “Great. My uncle meets a stranger and decides to leave me alone with him in a bedroom, telling me to get to know him better. This is actually kind of creepy.”
“Yeah. I was just thinking that.”
Maeby glanced at Xander's eyepatch. “Just so you know, I've taken self defense. You start getting weird on me, I'll kick you in the stomach.”
“Eyes and testicles.” Xander said.
“When in doubt, go for the eyes and testicles. Those will put an attacker down quickest. You could also go for the throat. Joints are another weak spot. A strong hit to the knee or ankle can hobble a person. But eyes and testicles are usually the best target.” Xander explained.
“Good to know. So why are you here?” Maeby asked.
Xander sat down on a chair. “Maeby, there's something I need to tell you. It may sound unbelievable, but please let me tell the whole story before you respond. You see the world is older than you know it...”
Downstairs George-Michael was talking to his father.
“Dad? Why is there a strange man alone with Maeby?”
“That's Mr. Harris. He's with an exclusive school in England. He's talking to Maeby about having her enroll there for college.”
“Wait. England? So she'd be on a different continent?” George-Michael asked.
“Yeah.” His father answered. “Isn't it great? They're talking scholarship.”George-Michael did not think this was great.
“I don't know if this is so great.”He didn't like the idea of Maeby being so far away.
“England's so far away.”He really didn't want to be separated from his cousin.
“She'd be so far from the family. And you always say how important family is.”George-Michael was also nervous about all the boys she would meet in Europe.
“Plus, she'd be on her own in a strange land. She could be taken advantage of.”But mainly, he didn't want her to leave because he had a crush on her.
“But mainly, I'd miss her. She means a lot to me. I...”George-Michael knew he had to admit his true feelings.
“I love her.” George-Michael confessed.
“Of course you do, son. She's family. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm proud of how much you value that.” Michael said.George-Michael was both relieved and annoyed that his father had once again misinterpreted how he felt towards his cousin.
“So, why is this school in England interested in Maeby?”
“Well, it started when you two went to that movie a few weeks ago.”
“So now there's a whole line of girls who are now Slayers.” Xander finished up. “Do you have any questions?”
Maeby paused for a moment as she thought about what she had just been told.
“Well, I'm intrigued. But we'll definitely need some backstory for this. Like, how are the Slayers chosen? And don't you think that finding the mystical Scythe was kind of convenient. Not to mention the whole amulet deal that just happened to show up at the last moment. There are a lot of holes in the story.”Unfortunately, Maeby thought that Xander was pitching her a movie idea.
Maeby looked up from the notes she had taken. “But I like this young Watcher, wounded in the fight, now taking a leadership role. Which actor would best be suited to play him?”Xander realized his mistake.
“Um... I guess maybe a Jake Gyllenhaal type. You know, a kid in over his head, but he fights on and manages to help save the day.”But not right away.
“Interesting. See the story through the eyes of the normal guy. It could work. Of course we'd need a script to show Jake before he'd sign on.” Maeby said.
“Um. I don't think you I've explained myself very well. Look, this has to do with the gang that attacked you a few weeks ago at the movie.”
Just as Xander began to try to explain, George-Michael entered the room with his father just behind him.
“Excuse me, Mr. Harris?” George-Michael asked.
“You're here because of those muggers a few weeks ago?”
“Yes. I was just about to explain to Maeby that by fighting them off, she -”
“She didn't, though. Fight them off. There was a group of us that went to the movie. Me, Maeby, Steve Holt, and another girl. She was the one that fought off the attackers.”
Xander barely resisted the urge to scream in frustration.
“So Maeby didn't show any extreme strength, agility, and speed that night.”
Xander slowly counted to ten, then spoke. “And could you tell me who did fight them off?”
“Ann. Ann Veal.” George-Michael answered.
“Her?” Michael Bluth muttered.
Xander fumed in the car as he drove himself and Andrew to the Veal household.
“It was an honest mistake.” Andrew said.
Xander gripped the steering wheel tightly.
“I mean, Maeby was the only one mentioned in the police report by name.”
Xander drove the car, slowing down to turn onto the residential road.
“Plus look on the bright side. We got to meet the Bluths. Such an interesting bunch. Especially that Tobias. Quite a virile specimen. Shame we couldn't stay longer.”
Xander turned to Andrew, opened his mouth to respond, thought better of it, and turned back to watching the road.
Finally Xander spoke. “The important thing is that we tracked down this Egg and -”
“Right. We tracked her down and will give her the recruitment pitch. Now I want you to just follow my lead in there. When I speak to Bland -”
“Whatever. When I speak to her, I need to make sure that she gets a clear message, no unnecessary narration.”
Andrew whined in protest. “I was only trying to clarify a few pieces of -”
“No unnecessary narration.”Xander felt that anyone trying to further explain what he was saying would distract from -
“It's annoying. So cut it out.”Xander had very strong feelings about this issue. So much that -
“Not one single word. None.”Hmmph. Fine then.
Xander knocked on the door with Andrew a few steps behind him. The door opened revealing a friendly looking man in a priest's collar.
“Great.” Xander muttered. “A priest.”
“May I help you?” The man asked.
“I hope so. My name is Xander Harris and this is my associate Andrew Wells. We're with the London School for Gifted Women. We're here about Ann Veal. Are you a relative of hers?”
“Yes, I'm her father. Pastor Veal. Did you say London School?”
“Yes. It's an exclusive academy for young women. We feel that Ann may be suited for enrollment there.” Xander explained.
“So... how is that connected to the Watcher's Council?” Pastor Veal asked.
Xander and Andrew sat in the living room.
“The dreams started around the same time that she went through her change.” Pastor Veal explained.
“That would be around May 2003?”
“Yes. She became much stronger, faster, had more stamina. We weren't sure what happened. Then the dreams began. They were vague at first, but then a week before the attack at the movies, they became clearer.”
“So, she actually dreamed of the attack before it happened?” Xander asked.
“Yes. It's a good thing too. That way she knew what she was facing. I can only imagine the shock had she been unprepared to face those... vampires.”
“It sounds like she has a very strong precognitive sense.” Xander said. “It varies from Slayer to Slayer. Some don't have any. Others it takes awhile before they emerge. But this is the strongest I've heard of.”
“It was clear that she was given her gift to fight these monsters. But it wasn't until after the attack that she dreamed of the Watcher's Council.”
“What did she dream of?”
“That a man would come to take her to where she was needed. He would train her and guide her. And that this man was destined to be her Watcher.”
Xander straightened at this. “Amazing. There were a couple of Slayers in Africa that immediately bonded with a Watcher. They said they dreamed of them. But it's very uncommon. Can we meet her?”
“Of course. She's in her room.”
Ann entered the room cautiously. She looked around then gasped when she saw the visitors to her home.
“You're here! I knew this was coming, but it's still such a surprise to see the man I dreamed would be such a huge part of my life.”
Xander smiled. “I'm glad to be here. It took awhile to find you but -”
Ann rushed up and hugged Andrew. “You're the one from my dreams. The one who'll guide me. My Watcher.”
“Him?” Xander muttered.
In the next Slayer Development, Pastor Veal and his wife discuss where they want Ann assigned.
“I just want to make sure that Ann goes to a wholesome environment.”
“How about working with this Slayer?”
“She does have a good Christian name.”
“Agreed. I'm sure Ann will learn a lot from this... Faith.”