Fear the blond ones, they can be dangerous
The information that Chloe gave was to the point and just more than a bit disturbing in its accuracy. Some of the information she presented should have been buried with Sunnydale.
“You stole a rocket launcher?!” shouted Clark.
“They never proved that, she even said so,” said Xander as he pointed at Chloe. He was trying to put on his best innocent act. It wasn’t working.
“No I said that for some reason they never charged you, they had more than enough proof,” said Chloe as she pulled out a fuzzy picture of someone Xanders height and weight carrying a crate off of the Sunnydale Military Base.
“That could be anyone,” stated Xander.
“And this one?” asked Chloe as she produced a very clear photo of him in the mall setting up the rocket launcher to use on the Judge.
“Man I thought I had taken out all of the cameras before this. It really isn’t as easy as they make it look on TV,” said Xander as he gave up all pretences to being innocent.
“You stole a rocket launcher!” shouted Clark.
“More like barrowed with the intent to save people,” said Xander in a calm voice. “If I had used it any other way I would be sitting in a military prison for the rest of my life, wouldn’t I?’
“So you didn’t use it to blow up your school a year later?” asked Chloe.
“That was a gas leak,” Xander firmly stated.
“Gas leaks don’t leave ‘unidentifiable organic matter’ all over the place,” said Chloe as she read from a sheet of paper.
“Well neither do rocket launchers, therefore I didn’t use the one I stole from the army base to blow up the school.”
“Did you blow up the high school Xander?” asked Clark in what was a classic disapproving big brother voice, despite the fact that the alien was several years younger than the one eyed man.
“Unless she has some photos in there that show me blowing up the school then I’m going to have to say that I didn’t.”
“But you’d change your story when she finds those photos, wouldn’t you,” stated Clark in the same disapproving tone.
“Yeah I would. Listen you know, and she’s figured, out that there are just some things that I can’t or won’t talk about, mostly because one of you would call people that would put me in a nice rubber room.”
“I don’t know, I have a very open mind,” said Chloe.
“Okay I didn’t want to put it this way but, it isn’t your mind I’m worried about as much as your open mouth. You’re a reporter, and if I tell you everything it could hurt a lot of innocent people if you told the wrong person.”
“If there is a reason for teenagers to steal rocket launchers then the world deserves to know,” said the small blond teen, her voice lacking the strength of conviction that it usually held. What if this one eyed stranger was telling the truth and innocent people would get hurt if she kept digging?
Xander could tell that his comment about innocent people had gotten to her, and if he pushed it hard enough he may be able to get her to drop this. On the other had though, she was one scary girl when it came to finding facts that no one should be able to find.
“Okay Clark I’m going to ask you a question and I need you to be completely honest with me,” said Xander in the most serious tone that either teen had heard him use.
“Sure, I can do that,” said Clark, even though he felt his gut twisting around in fear of just what question Xander would ask.
“Is Chloe here a good person? And by good person I mean someone that would help someone else if they were in trouble, someone who tries to do what she thinks is right even if it ends up blowing up in her face later.”
“Yeah, she is,” said Clark, feeling more than a bit guilty for not telling her his own secret now that he had just confirmed to someone else that his friend was a good person.
“Okay then,” said Xander as he turned back to Chloe and held her in a deep penetrating stare. “I trust Clark so his word will buy you one chance. After I get some sleep I’m going to call some people and ask them if I should tell you what I know. If they think it’s safe to tell you I will, and we can decide where to go from there.”
“That works for me,” said Chloe.
“In that case I’m going to go back to my hotel and sleep for the next week, or until the caffeine level in my blood drops to life threatening levels,” said Xander as he stifled a yawn.
Clark simply nodded and wished the older man a good night as Xander walked out the door and became a blur of motion as soon as he was out of Chloe’s sight. The night had been revealing to say the least, and frightening wouldn’t be too far off in describing some parts of it. Someone with abilities to match his had all but admitted to blowing up his high school.
The truly frightening part though was that Clark still trusted the altered twenty something man. Maybe it was because they now shared similar powers, or perhaps it was because the one eyed man had attempted to help the alien when he thought Clark was in trouble, but he felt that Xander had been telling the truth when he said that he had a good reason for stealing that rocket launcher.
Hoping that he wasn’t setting himself up for a fall Clark told Chloe that she should probably go home as well, it was getting late and they had school the next day.
“You’re late,” said a voice from the darkness inside of Xanders hotel room.
“Wasn’t expecting visitors,” said Xander as he turned on the light and saw a man that looked about the same age as Jonathan Kent in what even he could tell was an expensive suit, a goon on either side. “Okay you were waiting for me in the dark and you have two goons with you to manhandle me for some reason, just how many clichés are you going for here tonight?”
“While I’m glad to see that you’ve retained a sense of humor after your obvious encounter with the more exotic geological wonders Smallville has to offer, I’m sure that you can recognize the value of remaining unobserved until the appropriate time,” said the man.
“And that tells me nothing other than that you like to use fancy words. If you’re going to be like this all night I’m going to ask you to leave until I get some sleep or a really good cup of coffee.”
“To the point then. The school you and your friends are establishing in Cleveland has a rather large number of girls enrolled who were reported missing or presumed dead just a few months ago. Yet in a remarkably short amount of time they have all been returned to their families, and those who were presumed killed along with their loved ones have had the school named as their legal guardians,” said the man.
“So we’re generous, last time I checked that was a good thing,” said Xander who really didn’t like the direction this conversation was going.
“It is, but the speed in witch you accomplished this makes the situation suspicious at best,” said the well groomed man.
“You wouldn’t happen to know a local blond girl would you? She’s about yea tall and gives off the same vibe as an overly caffeinated pixy,” said Xander as he put his right hand just under his chin.
“So you’ve met the intrepid Ms. Sullivan. Let me guess she has dug up more information on you and your friends than you thought possible and confronted you with it, perhaps with a threat to take it to the papers?”
“Yeah that’s her,” said Xander.
“A truly remarkable young woman, but in this particular instance she is not the source of my information. You see about a year ago I became aware of a rather singular organization operating out of England. A few months ago all the men I had identified as the leaders of this organization were killed in a tragic accident, a few weeks after that you and your friends began to handle the funds of these now deceased individuals using it to build your school in Cleveland.”
“Okay let’s completely cut the crap here, just who are you and what do you want?” asked Xander his patience completely running out.
“My name is Lionel Luthor, and what I want is a mutually beneficial arrangement. You see I can be a rather influential friend, or a devastating enemy, the choice is yours.”
“I’m not going to agree to anything until I hear the details of this mutually beneficial arrangement,” said Xander in the most moderate term he could manage. In all honesty though he was considering using his new powers to give the mans genitals a bad case of frost bite.
“Very well,” said the elder Luthor. “You are an errand boy, despite what your associates have told you. They send you around the globe while they consolidate their power back in England, and when you return your position will be little better than a neutered lap dog, kept only as long as you please your masters.”
“Let me guess, you’d change all of that if I helped you into the top seat,” said Xander in the most sarcastic voice he could manage.
“In a word, yes,” said Luthor. “You wouldn’t hold the top position true enough, but your overall situation would be much improved.”
“Well my reply is, in a word, no,” said Xander. “If you want to hear my full multi-word response, please stick around. I wouldn’t recommend it though. Most of those words I’d use imply or outright say that you enjoy having inappropriate sexual relations with your mother.”
“I’d reconsider your response, and do so rather quickly,” said the multibillionaire as his two goons began to advance toward Xander in a threatening manner.
“Oh please, if you knew anything about what I’ve done with the last seven years of my life you’d know that wouldn’t work. Now that I picked up some nifty and very lethal souvenirs to go with my new skin tone this little intimidation tactic has zero chance of scaring me,” said Xander as he attempted to restrain the urge to turn all three of these jerks into ice statues.
Well maybe they wouldn’t become ice statues. Xander remembered hearing somewhere that humans were mostly water, and water was supposed to expand when it froze. Following that line of thought maybe they’d blow up or something if he used his new power on them. It’s an interesting question; he’d have to test it out on some vamps to see what would happen.
The two goons had wisely stopped advancing, and Lionel was looking just the slightest bit nervous. Good, the man had been way too confidant from the moment Xander had walked into the room.
“Tell you what; I’m going to give you one get out of painful death free card in just a minute,” said Xander in what he hoped was an intimidating voice. “Walk out the door and never mention what you know or think you know to anyone and I’ll forget everything you’ve said and done tonight. Otherwise you make your calls and I’ll make my calls and we’ll see who regrets not backing down.”
“Very well, if that’s your position our business for tonight is concluded,” said the well dressed man as he got up to leave the hotel room.
The moment that the three men had left Xander picked up the hotel phone and once again dialed one of the few numbers he had memorized.
“Hey Giles, when you get this message do me a favor and find out what connections a Lionel Luthor could have had to the old Council. He was waiting in my hotel room trying to strong arm me into helping him take over so I’m thinking that this may be something that needs to be dealt with sooner rather than later.”
With that he hung up the phone, and then wrote a quick note to himself to call Giles again later. The man was very big with the knowledge of demonic evil, but things like checking the answering machine when the red light was blinking still confused the man at times.
Well it had been a long day, definitely time to get some sleep before crankiness began to settle in. Yeah crankiness and superpowers definitely don’t mix, that was a reason he had avoided Buffy three days a month back in high school. He had no problem fighting vampires, but there were some things that even he thought were suicidal, and that definitely qualified as one of them.
With a slight smirk on his face Xander removed his eyepatch and closed his good eye, and let himself drift off to sleep.