Lunch is not for rounds of 20 questions is it?
Lunches are not for rounds of 20 questions are they?
Chapter four ... wow this took too long to write...I took hiatuses from like all my work but I'm getting back into the swing of things...very slowly...
As Giles, Xander and the Walkers sat down to lunch they made small talk. Xander smiled, it was nice, talking to someone who wasn't Scoobie, slayerette or a concerned parent. He wasn't Xander, fellow research partner, or Xander the Zeppo (not that he felt that way very often anymore), he was Mr. Xander Harris, sort-of-cool -most-likely-not-a-cult-leader-guy.
"So Mr. Harris What do you do at the school?" Nora asked as she cut into her chicken.
Well I teach some basic combat, with the central focus being team work, occasionally I'll fill in for a history class and I do a lot of the carpentry and construction at our schools." Xander said casually, not noticing how accomplished he sounded to people who didn't know him better.
“It sounds like you're a busy man Mr. Harris.” Nora said impressed. She caught Giles beaming for a second. She recognized that smile, it was the proud parent smile. She'd seen it on herself many times.
“Xander, please, and it does keep me busy most days, but if anything it's a labor of love. The group of us that started this school have been friends since high school, and while we have our share of disagreements, we're family, I wouldn't have it any other way.” He said sincerely.
Kevin looked at Xander and smiled, yet another thing that he found charming about Xander he was a family man. He was deep and kind and really cared about the people around him. He almost sighed like a school girl with a crush, but he caught himself. He looked down to his plate and busied himself with cutting up his steak. Unluckily for Kevin, Nora caught his dreamy eyed smile.
Giles was mid sip of when he waved off Xander's modesty. He put his glass down and bragged about his surrogate son. “Xander down plays his accomplishments. He takes real initiative when he see what has to be done, like with this location. Which is lovely by the way.” Giles smiled.
“Well Thank you, Mr. Giles.” Nora obviously flattered. She smiled and then began to ponder...There was something she had been asking... at some point some one had changed the subject...
“Mr. Giles, who funds these schools?” It was slowly coming back to her that she had asked at the office but somewhere along their conversation they had been sidetracked.
“Well the council funds them Mrs. Walker”. Giles pulled his glasses off and began polishing them while figuring out just how to phrase their “definition” of the council. Many people had explained the council many times to all sorts of people but the legal front for the council never sounded totally legitimate.
Xander's eye seem to open very wide for a second and then went back to normal. “Well the council.” He supplied.
“Yes you said that in Kevin's office Xander.” Nora had investigating mom voice it was a bit intimidating. “Mr. Giles do you have an explanation?” Nora softened some what when she questioned Giles, Nora always loved a gentleman with an accent.
“The council is an older corporation of English venture-capitalists, the they are among the men that started the East India Trading company. It was handed down through high born British families for many years. And in the more recent years it has finally come into the hands of a younger, more philanthropic bunch who believe that the money their families made deserves to fund something bigger than themselves. “ Giles looked deeply into Nora's eyes as he told her the history of the council. When he finished he put his glasses back on, and consulted his wine glass again for further strength.
Nora sat quiet for a moment, riveted. True or not she wasn't completely matter, something about him thrilled her.
“So what do you do Nora, if I may be so impertinent to call you Nora.” Giles said curiously.
“Well I've spent the last how ever many years raising my five children. So I've spent a lot of time being a mother and a wife.” She took a deep sigh. “But my children are growing up, or so they keep telling me, so I'm now exploring what a widow does...” Nora said.
“My condolences.” Giles said quickly.
“Thank you.” Nora said, her eyes darkened with saddened for a few quick moments. “It's hard but you go on, you remember you're alive...” She drifted off.
“And you keep them with you.” Giles finished for her.
Nora turned sharply to look at Giles. “You lost your wife?”
“We hadn't made any sort of arrangements, but I was content to think we would have eventually gotten married.” Giles looked off into the distance.
“Oh I'm so sorry. Mr. Giles.” Nora said with deep concern.
“Rupert please.” He offered.
Xander and Kevin looked at each-other nervously. It was just a tad strange to have parents talk about their dead partners over lunch.
It was just then that Xander's distance perception failed him. He grabbed for his fork and got Kevin's hand, and Kevin's knife. “Ow!” He shouted shocked.
Pulling both Nora and Giles out of their shared sorrows, Xander's hand seemed fine but there was still red blood blooming onto the white linen table cloth.
“Oh, oh my god, Xander, I'm, I'm so sorry!” Kevin was shocked and nervously wrapping a cloth napkin around Xander's hand.
Xander winced slightly, and waved him off with his good hand. “It's fine, my fault, my depth perception sometimes goes a little wonky...”
“I don't think the cut was that bad, I'm gunna go see if I can take care of this in the mens room, excuse me.” Xander excused himself and stood up.
“I'll go with you, in case, you need um, an extra hand.” Kevin said practically jumping out of his chair.
They made it in one piece to the mens room, with Kevin mumbling apologies less and less frequently.
“Let's see the damage shall we?” Xander said putting his hand over the sink. He unwrapped his hand. He sucked in a breath. “It looks like it's stopping.” Xander said very comfortable with the small cut that was almost done bleeding.
“That looks like a lot of blood.” Kevin said faintly. Kevin hated the sight of blood, it made him a bit wobbly.
“Oh it's not that bad, I've seen worse, I've bleed much more, there was this one time in Africa...” Xander was about to tell him an edited version of a demon attack when he looked up into Kevin's face and saw him paling. “Ok not the best story right now. That's ok we can talk about something else. Anything else, twinkies are good. Do you like twinkies?” Xander asked in babble mode.
Kevin didn't really say anything he just kept looking at Xander's hand, feeling responsible and wobbly.
“It's ok, just look at me.” Kevin finally looked into Xander's eye and steadied himself. “There we go.” Xander gave him a roguish smile. He ran his had under the water and washed it clean, taking careful steps not to aggravate his cut.
“Kevin, I hate to ask you this but can you go into my back pocket.” Xander paused as Kevin's eyes grew to enormous size. “For a band-aid?” He didn't really intend on coming on to Kevin right now, he was going to wait a few days and then call him for a proper date, but he really didn't want to pull his hand out of the water and try to reach his back pocket.
“Oh, for a, oh, ok.” Kevin babbled and smirked at Xander. He reached into his back pocket trying not to cop a feel as he retrieved a band-aid out of the pocket. He did some what ok on the not coping a feel as pulled his hand out and gave Xander the band-aid.
“Thanks.” Xander smiled feeling his cheeks flush.
“No, no problem.” Kevin said nervously.
“Well that's all taken care of.” Xander said as he threw out the wrapper from the band-aid and smoothed it out one more time.
Kevin smiled and looked at his now clean hand. He grinned. The band-aid had Scooby Doo and the gang all over it.
Lunch ended in a much more relaxed place than it had started.
“You know we have a family dinner once a week and I'd love it if you'd both come.” Nora said as they walked backed to the parking lot where Xander's car was parked.
“Mom!” Kevin said in a stage whisper, embarrassed that her mom would be so forward with two people they barely knew, lunch was one thing, but family dinner? Not to mention Xander who had already been the topic of discussion among the Walker siblings. Xander looked healthy but he wasn't sure if he could survive a Walker family dinner.
“You guys don't want to come to some boring family dinner, I mean it's a bit of an imposition to ask...” Kevin supplied.
“No, no it's no imposition, we'd love to come.” Xander said cheerfully. “If anything we're imposing on you, with my appetite.” Xander smiled warmly.
“Good it's settled then.” Nora said using her mom tone again. “So Kevin has your number Xander so he can give you directions to the house?”
“Yes he has my cellphone number.” Xander was about to begin their goodbyes when he thought of something. “Nora just in case of whatever, some wacky occurrence would you like to have Giles's number, just to be safe of course.” Xander said grinning like the Cheshire Cat, just a dash of sneakiness at hand.
“That, that would be lovely.” Nora said to Giles, not ignoring Xander but giving her best call me pose to Giles.
“Wonderful.” Giles said brightly. He took out a business card and wrote something on the back. “That's the school's office number here, and I put my private line on the back.” Giles said.
“I'll call you if I have any, any.” Nora was searching for a reason to call, oh she hadn't done this in so long!
“Questions or concerns about the Ojai house.” Giles stated simply.
“Exactly.” Nora answered.
They began to say their goodbyes with Kevin and Nora going back into the office, and Xander and Giles getting in the car.
“Well I guess we'll see you Sunday.” Kevin said hopefully.
“Sunday at seven.” Xander confirmed.
Kevin walked back to his office in haze...Xander was going to meet the family.
I've only gone through it twice, If I missed something do tell me?