TITLE: Knight By Inheritance
AUTHOR: C. J. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DISTRIBUTION: My Group, Website and TtH
DISCLAIMER:All things BtVS belong to Joss Whedon and associates, hellsing belongs to who ever the hell owns that.
SUMMARY: Xander finds a heritage and perhaps something more.
FEEDBACK: Please do send me feedbak, it's the lifes blood of fan fiction.
CATEGORY: Action Adventure, Romance,
WORD COUNT: ?
SPOILERS: Some for Season 2 of BtVS
WARNINGS: Nothing I'm aware of
This is just off the cusp kinda stuff so don't expect any great shakes of plot or fast updates :)
Knight by Inheritance
Chapter 01 – Wham Ba'am, Thank You Ma'am
Xander looked up from the complex genealogically charts in front of him with a totally bemused expression on his face. "You expect me to be able to read this?" he asked in an amused tone.
The tall man in the pinstripe suit didn't share his amusement however, "Milord" he began.
"Will you can that already?" Xander said with a sigh. Things had started out so well. He'd gotten his trunk packed and ready and was just about to leave when two guys in pinstripe suits had turned up. Then they had dragged him off for a private chat. Shown him some serious legal documents that made Xander's head hurt and started calling him Milord, or 'Sir'.
"It is a title that is only befitting your new status" the shorter and plumper of the two told him.
Xander held up a hand, "Look, Just bare with me. I need to call in an interpreter" he said. "Can I use your phone?"
The taller nodded, "Of course Milord" he intoned gravely, like it was the most amazing thing to happen to him.
A moment later and Xander came back from the phone looking smug.
"He'll be here in a minute"
"As you wish Milord"
Xander frowned, "Will you cut that out."
Rupert Giles walked into the well to do Hotel, possibly the only hotel of the type in Sunnydale, curious. He had received the strangest call from one of his young friends Xander. All he really got out of the young man was that he was talking to some guys and that he needed someone who could understand brit speak.
Giles would be more insulted if he wasn't so used to it by now. It was if the American language was a totally different language at times. So conversely, he could understand that Xander may feel the same way, from the other side as it were.
He walked to the room number that Xander had given him and politely knocked. He didn't have to wait long before a short stocky man opened the door and bowed, "You must be Mr. Geman" he said.
Giles glared at the now laughing Xander, "Actually It's Giles." Giles said walking into the room and holding out a hand to be shaken.
"My Associate and I are trying to conclude some of her majesties business. However, Sir Harris is being ... is being"
"Difficult" the other said.
"Hey" Xander said mildly annoyed, "It's not my fault you two are making with the crazy talk... and what did I say about all that Sir and Milord stuff?"
"Sir Harris?" Giles said, feeling suddenly ill.
"Yes Sir Harris is the recipient of a rather substantial estate and a holy calling from her Majesty the queen of England."
"Dear Lord" Giles said taking out his glasses and giving them a damn good polishing. He hadn't been wearing them; he'd in fact been trying to switch to contacts. But you couldn't polish contacts. There was just something very calming about polishing. Something he often found he needed to become around Xander in particular.
"So can you like work out what they're talking about and then tell me?" Xander asked pleadingly. "I get that they keep calling me Milord, not that I know what that is. Could be a brit insult or something for all I know."
"Actually it is quite the opposite. Normally though it is not an inherited title."
"The title is bestowed by the Queen to the head of the family for each of a select group of people."
Giles narrowed his eyes, "Who are these people and what does this have to do with Xander?"
The two men shared a glance.
Xander clicked his fingers, "Hey answer the man’s question. He has my full confidence."
"I am afraid that is not possible."
"Well I'd like to know."
"All will be made clear once we arrive in London and you meet with her majesty"
"Good Lord" Giles intoned once again.
"The queen Xander, the Queen of England wants to meet with you. Apparently, though I hesitate to even wonder why."
Xander smirked, he knew when he'd just been zinged, but he was also somewhat overcome. The Queen wanted to see him? Why? "Why?" he said voicing his thoughts. "I'm just Xander"
Giles smiled fondly but let one of the two Royal servants answer the question.
"All will be made clear in the meeting. I myself am unfortunately unable to tell you anything" the taller mans said.
"Say, do you guys have names or do we go with the classic Ig and Ook?" Xander said, causing Giles to sputter slightly.
"My name," the taller of the two began, ignoring the young American teens teasing, "Is Mr. Spencer and my associate is Mr. Windsor."
"Right, now we all know each other" Xander said, "What do you want from me exactly?"
Mr. Spencer sighed slightly, almost invisibly. Giles smirked. It was nice to know it wasn't just he that Xander got to. Giles though knew that Xander also had of gold and didn't really mean anything by it. If anything it was a coping mechanism and judging by the flying quips... Xander was having trouble dealing with this new and strange situation.
"We would like you to come to England with us, to meet with the queen. Ideally you would then take up the duties befitting your new station. However, that would be for you to decide once the meeting is over" Mr. Windsor told him bluntly. He had finally realized that it was the best way to deal with the strange young American, just say it as clearly as possible.
It worked too.
"Ok, whatcha think G-man?"
Giles rolled his eyes at the hated nickname but considered what he had heard. "You were going on a road trip." he stated with a smirk.
"Yeah but England wasn't on the list" Xander said with a laugh, "Okay what the hell, when and where?"
"We have a private Jet waiting at the local airport" Mr. Spencer told him stiffly. Xander felt that it was likely to be his only way of speaking though.
"Now!?" Xander said more than a little surprised. "That's, wow, that's kinda quick"
"The sooner we leave for England the better" Mr. Windsor told him.
"But if I do decide not to do what it is you want, what happens. Will you just leave me to rot in England or...?”
"We would of course bring you back to America sir, to do otherwise would be... rude in the extreme"
Giles nodded, "It seems to me Xander that your best choice is to go to the meeting. I ask only two things"
"If these gentlemen will permit you a moment longer in America, I insist on buying you some formal wear in which to meet Her Majesty." Giles held up a hand, "I really do insist. This is MY Monarch we are talking about here. Trust me when I say I doubt she'll be charmed by your sunburst Hawaiian shirts. I also ask that you speak to her with all the respect and civility that you can manage" he tone shifted to a more dangerous one, "Should I hear that you actually had the gall to insult the queen I shall be very... put out." he said, a piece of ripper flashing in his eyes.
Xander gulped and nodded. What else could he do?
'Ripper' then turned on the two Royal servants, "Should I hear that Xander is not accorded the same I shall be VERY annoyed, on a very personal level with you two." He said eyeing them sharply.
The two dignitaries nodded, glancing at each other. It was good to see that the young man had a friend such as this man. It gave them hope that their trip would not be in vain. That the young man would have had some sense of honor and duty drummed into him. Some teenagers, most in fact all over the world were feckless in their sense of duty and in their own sense of honor.
"Okay, so we meet back here in what?" Xander said, overawed but trying to think on his feet.
"Two Hours should suffice" Giles said, "The 'Mall' is close by. It will have to do. A good Savile Row suit would be ideal though. He said wistfully."
Mr. Spenser stepped forward, "That could be arranged" he said simply.
"Really?" Giles said rising an eyebrow, "Very well, I'll trust you to clothe my young friend here. But we will still require time for him to say his goodbyes."
"Of course" Mr. Windsor said, stepping in to still his somewhat annoyed companion. "Two hours then?"
"Thank you." Xander said for them both.
Xander sat on the small twin engined Lear with a sense of wonder. He'd been all set to drive off round the country. Though he realized he was unlikely to get much past the state line in the clapped out car he had. Still it had been a dream and Xander had wanted to do it. That said, in a way, this was even better. He didn't know how much time he'd get for sight seeing but he was going to England. To the birthplace of Giles, who he wished could've come with him. To the land of scones and tweed, in another country on a plane, things that he had thought he would never really do. The possibility that he had inherited a large 'estate' was just a plus.
He was also going to meet with the Queen of England.
He couldn't quite get over that fact.
Giles had made it abundantly clear that he'd skin him alive if he did something to annoy her as well, saying that if the queen's guards didn't get him that he, Giles, would.
Which just made it all the more warm and fuzzy for Xander... Not!
Then there were the goodbyes from the girls. He'd already said goodbye for his road trip, but Giles had said quite correctly that as he was going further a field than he'd thought... It would just be better for him to say good bye again. So he had, to pretty much the same results. Buffy was still cut up over Angel leaving, but had hugged him and wished him luck. Willow had wanted to hug him, but hadn't because Oz was hovering nearby.
There was a break up waiting to happen that's for sure.
Talking of breakups, he'd dropped in to see Cordelia but unfortunately she had already left for LA.
So all in all, not the most amazing goodbye he could've hoped for. Giles at least had shook him warmly by the hand and sent him on his way. In fact Giles was the only one that seemed fairly excited by the whole thing. But then, as he'd said, it was His Monarch Xander was going to meet.
"A drink sir?" the attractive stewardess asked, holding out a small tray with wine on it.
Xander shook his head, "No thanks, unless you've got some coke?"
"Of course sir" she said with a smile that Xander returned with interest. She walked down the aisle and Xander found himself entranced. He snapped out of it though and went back to his musings. Then after a few moments and before his coke even arrived he slipped off into a heavy sleep.
"Damn its cold" were Xander's first words as he stepped off of the jet and into the actually quite warm for England summer's day. He looked around at the small private strip and noticed that there was a huge Rolls Royce waiting for him with a complex looking family crest on it.
Mr. Windsor came level with him, "That's your crest" he said in a friendly voice. Xander had quickly figured the shorter of the two men was also the nicer. The tall and thin man had all the warmth of a frozen fish. It was even in the guy’s handshake.
"It's your family whatever you decide. You can't deny your heritage"
"Ain't that the truth" Xander said bitterly, 'No matter how much you wish you could' was left unsaid, but it was there in the air between them.
"Now come along" Mr. Spencer said stepped past them, "We have much to do before your meeting tonight"
"Tonight, damn that was quick I thought it might take a while."
"We called ahead" Mr. Windsor told him, "The Queen is most looking forward to making your acquaintance."
"Why?" Xander asked a valid question to him. It wasn't like she didn't have other, much more important people to meet.
"You have a most interesting file" Was Mr. Windsor amused reply.
"File?" Xander said suddenly worried. "What file."
"Your... nocturnal activities shall we say."
"Do come along" Mr. Spenser said with an annoyed huff.
Xander rolled his eyes, "I liked it better when you were all Milord and Sir and stuff."
Mr. Windsor turned away, a smile on his face and hiding his chuckle with a slight cough.
"Milord" Mr. Spencer said correcting himself and blanching slightly. He had totally forgotten himself. It was just that the young man had a way of getting under ones skin. "If you'll come with me, we have a tight schedule to keep."
"Sure, lead the way Giggles"
Mr. Windsor suddenly found the hand rail very interesting.
Xander had been amazed at the speed in which the tailor had measured him up and then gone about chalking up materials and a flurry of other activity that had boggled Xander's mind. He had found out that normally there was a waiting list of four years to get a suit from this shop. Four Years!
As the suit began to magically appear on him, literally hundreds of tailors and seamstresses working on the 'rush job', Xander watched in awe. Apparently when the queen said jump, no one asked how high they just did it. That crest above the door and their stationery wasn't for nothing apparently.
Even Xander with his total lack of experience in anything but K-Mart clothes knew quality when he saw it, if the word was even enough to define the suit that was appearing in parts on his body.
It went by in a rush, but in fact four hours after walking into the tailor he came out wearing a suit that fitted like he was born to wear it. Some say that a suit wears the man if he's not careful, in this case the opposite was true and they made quite the couple.
Xander had also been subjected to a rather awkward, standing haircut that had tidied him up and somehow they had managed to shave him without getting soap on the arriving suit.
In other words he looked better than he ever had. In point of fact the suit made him look a good four years older than his eighteen and Xander now FELT like a 'Milord' or a 'Sir'.
Mr. Windsor eyed him and then walked around the young man nodding, "An excellent suggestion on the part of your Friend Mr. Giles. You brush up rather well Milord"
"Please, just call me Xander" Xander said.
"I couldn't possibly, that would be a horrendously rude thing to do. In the circumstances especially."
"That time will tell Milord"
"Okay, then what time do I meet with Her Majesty"
"Now, well after you have visited with her secretary so he can tutor you in the ways of address and whatnot. Milord"
"Okay, I think I'd be glad of that."
"After you Milord"
Xander sighed and just allowed himself to be directed back to the car, if you could call the tank of a Rolls Royce a car, rather say an aircraft carrier for people.
Captain Lawrence Price quietly sucked on his cigarette enjoying his moment of peace. He was due to go back on duty soon and would have to make sure he got rid of the smell. But sometimes it was good to live dangerously. It wasn't like her Majesty was likely to come out of her office that day. She had an appointment with some yank and then a long q of people all wanted to see her.
He sighed, a little smile on his face. He liked this duty. It was quite, for the most part, was good for his career and really scored with the chicks. Being a Captain just sounded romantic to most women and they were attracted to him like bees to honey. Why just the night before he'd had this Irish lass with flaming red hair and emerald eyes. He'd been pretty drunk but he seemed to remember a hell of a night.
Even if she was a scratcher, he still had a few marks on his neck to prove it. Covering up THAT hickey hadn't been the easiest thing on the planet. In the end he'd swiped some of his wife’s make up.
He sighed again, "Oh well, no rest for the wicked" he said glancing at the clock. He was due to relieve the current guards soon. He had to meet up with his partner in crime and get over there.
But not before swallowing a few tick-tacs.
Xander, for the first time in his life, truly wanted to kill a human being.
If he had to listen to one more sentence out of the secretary’s mouth he was either going kill the man or hang himself on his own, brand new, tie.
"That's all there is to it really" the very formal, but at the same time exuberant man said.
"Oh thank god" Xander said in a rush and then flushed. "Oh I mean good"
"You'll be sure to bow properly I hope" the man said with narrowed eyes.
"Yep got it, bow from the shoulders, or bob from the neck."
"Now don't forget. Initially one should address her as Your Majesty, and thereafter Ma'am. Then its Your Majesty again as one takes one's leave"
"Everyone but the Queen Mother has to stand up when the Queen enters a room - even her nearest and dearest, should they ever be sitting together watching Eastenders or playing Scrabble."
"Yeah got it." Xander said wondering if he was going to go through the whole thing again. If he did, would he finally crack he wondered?
"Other than that, just be yourself"
"Oh yeah that'll be easy" Xander mumbled sarcastically.
"Nothing, shall we?" Xander said with a dashing smile. Normally it may just have been smiling, but in his new suit it was dashing.
Xander was led through a series of connecting officers to what he had been told was her Majesties private offices. The secretary passed by the two guards who checked him over and then did the same for Xander. Making sure he had no weapons and the sort. Xander supposed they were a much more flowery version of the Secret Service. They looked a little strange in their full uniform but something about them told Xander they were as tough as they came. Both highly ranked as well from the markings on their uniforms.
Then the secretary softly knocked on the door.
A moment later and a soft, "Come" sounded from the other side and Xander took a nice deep breath.
A second after walking into the room the guard changed.
"Lord Harris" The Queen said getting up from her desk and walking around it with a hand outstretched.
Xander was momentarily taken off guard. The secretary had said never to shake hands. Xander went with his gut and took her cool hand in his own and smiled, "You Majesty" he said, bowing his head.
"It's a Pleasure to meet you. One rarely get's the opportunity to meet such interesting people such as yourself"
"I... I'm not sure I'm all that interesting Ma'am" Xander said self consciously.
"You're being modest, one wasn't expecting that" she said. Xander was starting to realize she was talking about herself in the third person. Something he normally thought only crazy people did. It was seriously off putting. "One is not often surprised any longer."
"Ma'am" Xander said, to cover the fact he didn't have anything else to say.
"We've asked you here to talk to you personally because we have some very serious news for you and an Offer."
"What can I do to help Ma'am?"
"That is the question Lord Harris. Firstly we want you to accept your birthright, if you do not it will have to be passed to the next Harris in line."
"My father?" Xander said, appending a "Ma'am?" to the end quickly.
Xander grimaced. The old man would likely piss any fortune up the wall and chase the female staff all over the place. His mother... would likely just sit there and watch. No, if he could avoid that situation at all it would certainly be a plus.
Lawrence Price fidgeted, something that was unheard of for a guard of his standing, but there was something just not right about the way he body felt. It was like he was on fire and freezing all at the same time.
He shifted again, rubbing at the back of his neck as if trying to remove the skin there. The make up he had there rubbing off quickly.
"You alright?" his partner asked.
"No" he answered back, just a shade too loudly.
"Maybe we should call for a replacement?"
Lawrence turned to his partner who took a step backwards from the intensity of the other mans anger. "No that won't be necessary; I’m feeling much better now."
"If you're sure."
"I am" Lawrence snapped, drawing a few looks. At that moment he didn't care, at that moment he was listening to a too faded to be heard voice. If only he could make out the words.
Xander smiled slightly, relaxing as the queen eased her way through his nervousness with a surprising flair. He was still nervous, only not so much that he was ready to jump out of his skin.
"I do hope you will forgive our need for secrecy, but this is a far too important task to trust to any but a select few."
"Of course Ma'am."
"There is an organization into which you have been born. An organization that is in fact very old. Going all the way back to the earliest times in history, this organization is known as the Knights of the Round Table."
"Like Arthur? Ma'am"
"Exactly so in fact, but rather than protecting the country from other countries the knights now protect us from a far worse foe."
Xander grimaced; he had an idea where this was going now. Just his luck, not only to stumble into it, but apparently he was BORN to fight it. Or rather his family was. Xander was just the right age at the right time from what he had been able to piece together so far.
"I can see you realize where this is leading." Her Majesty told him, "This is very simple. You by birth have a place on the table. If you wish to continue your life as before one will not hold it against you. This is after all a dangerous position in which to be."
"Ma'am. I've been fighting vampires for the last 4 years nearly. This will just be a continuation of that. Maybe now, if I'm understanding correctly, I'll be able to do some real good."
The queen rose an elegant brow, "One would have thought that saving the world and helping to do it numerous times was doing good work?"
"I was just in the right place as the right time Ma'am" Xander said after he had gotten over the fact she apparently knew about Jack and his cake. Not even Buffy knew about that. Or at least he hoped not.
"Then you accept your birthright?"
"Yes Ma'am I do, conditionally"
The queen waited for his explanation.
"I am worried about this organizations, what I know of the fighting forces in this country, if you'll excuse me, is not so very complimentary. I would like the chance to get to know all those involved and make a more informed decision first. I would of course be at all times discrete. Ma'am." he said, quite pleased with himself. He thought he'd phrased that in a most English way. Hell he wasn't sure HE understood it.
"That would be quite acceptable; however, we have our own conditions"
"Of course Ma'am"
"To even enter the halls where the table meetings are held one must be a knight, so I must knight you. This is not something I can reverse, so if you do not decide to continue I only ask that you keep your knighthood to yourself. Otherwise questions would be asked, that we are not prepared to answer. Secondly, giving up your position is as good as giving up your birthright. Are you prepared to deal with the repercussions of such an act?"
"Ma'am may I be frank?"
"My birthright so far has sucked, the only thing I care about is what I can do to help fight vampires and their kind and get them the hell off of our planet. That and my friends."
The queen smiled thinly, "Very well, then kneel Lord Harris"
"Of course Ma'am, but aren't I already a knight, with the Milord's and all."
"Your Lordly title comes from an act of great service to the royal family your ancestor performed many years ago, long before my rule. The Sir was in point of fact only a politeness extended in lee of you accepting your mantle" The queen said, holding out her hand. A gleaming blade was passed to her on a cushion and she grasped the handle.
She tapped the sword either side of his head and back again, "Arise Sir Harris"
Xander blinked, he'd been expecting more than that.
The queen seemed to read his puzzlement, "The entire ceremony is terribly taxing and quite boring. The short form worked as well for my forefathers, I see no reason for it not to continue to do so for me."
Xander laughed slightly and smiled. Her Majesty so wasn't what he was expecting. There was an impish smile hiding under the royal pomp that Xander liked.
Just then the door crashed open drawing shocked looks from the Queen, the secretary but not Xander. He was moving before he knew what he was doing. His hand leapt out and snatched the sword from her majesties hand and he carefully placed her behind him.
The soldier smirked at him, "Haven't you heard?" he said with a cocky smile. The blood of his comrade in arms on the red of his jacket, he drew his firearm and cocked it, "Never bring a sword to a g... URK"
The site of a firearm was enough reason for Xander. Knowing that somehow he was going to get in trouble with Giles for all this, Xander reacted. He drew back and threw the sword. It glided end of end and slammed through the soldier’s throat causing him to not only drop his side arm but also be pinned to the wall.
Xander walked calmly over to him and cold cocked him. No point in risking anything, better safe than sorry and all that stuff Giles often said. Then Xander turned to the shocked looks on even the queen’s face.
"What, what I do?"