Disclaimer - I own nothing of this but the perverted idea to abuse the DC world with Joss Whedon's property.
The JLA had been in an uproar since the acquittal of Xander by the legal courts for the death of the Joker, the entire process took less than two weeks and there were still arguments about rewarding him. This just added to the uproar that had started with the email that Batman had sent earlier. Batman had made his feelings clear, while Diana, Arthur, J’onn, and Oliver were firmly on Xander’s side and not sure why everyone was so upset. While Kal-El, Kyle, Barry, and Guy were completely aghast at Xander’s actions. Then there were those who refused to say anything one way or the other, most surprisingly Zatanna, Nightwing and Jason Blood. The debate raged off and on for days until finally, the JL’ers decided they needed to talk to Xander to see how to reconcile an issue that was literally tearing at the fabric of the league, even for those who had not met Xander as of yet, something which would soon change.
Xander meanwhile had been going on about his life. The girls were ecstatic to have him back, and the common reaction to Joker’s death was “good riddance”. Lamont just smiled, the death of one insane criminal affected him not at all, and personally he thought it should have happened sooner, but Gotham wasn’t his city, and he had been out of the game for a while. Besides there was still a dance to plan.
Pat wasn’t quite so clear-cut, Doc had always been against the taking of human life, but her knee jerk reaction was “he hurt one of my girls, death is too good for him.”
“You still upset Pat?” Lamont’s voice was quiet as he brought out a cup of tea to her as she sat in the quiet library. The girls were all upstairs getting ready for school on Monday, the first one back for Lauren since the Joker took her.
A soft sigh and a smile of thanks for the tea as she took the cup, “More upset at myself than anything. Doc never thought death was the answer, but at the same time I am so glad that bastard is dead, and I am not sure I like that about myself.”
Lamont laughed softly as he sat down next to her, “You are a much better person than I; I have been telling myself not to look up old friends to resurrect him so I can kill him again. He took one of our girls.”
Pat laughed in soft agreement. “I still don’t know, but in the end I keep reminding myself of two things.” Lamont looked at her with an inquiring glance, “One, Xander would never kill for pleasure or just because, he only killed because of the threat to Lauren.”
A nod of agreement, “True enough, I can’t see him doing it for any other reason than to save someone.”
“Two, death has zero recidivism. He can’t break out and cause more damage.”
The laugh that shook Lamont was unexpected and startled her, “I knew it my dear, you are a blood thirsty little savage at heart. Might explain why I am slowly falling for you.”
The shocked look on Pat’s face slowly faded to a very feminine smile, “And I just might not be against that idea.” They both smiled and the talk went in a very different direction.
With the girls were back in school and true routine being settled into; Alfred was still coming over occasionally, officially as Cassie’s chauffer, but mostly because he enjoyed the life the school was full of, life the Wayne Manor had been missing since that horrible night all those years ago. The girls loved him, his British manner amusing them, but his sincerity and honesty making even Jo declare him as “one of the good guys, almost as good as Xander.”
Bruce had said nothing to Alfred about the death, which in itself was unusual, but he had been even more withdrawn than usual, and finally Alfred decided to interfere, but he started with Xander first, following him up to the roof top one evening, a cup of coffee in his hand.
“Hey Alfred, here to pump me for details?” The tone was joking but there was the slightest under tone of bitterness there that caused Alfred to change his approach.
“Am I correct in surmising given the knowledge you have of most people here, you are aware of my background?”
Xander stopped the Tai Chi form he was in the middle of turning to look at Alfred, “Yeah a bit, rumors of you being a spy in the Cold War and/or a member of the SAS during WWII.”
A slight smile, “Correct to both, working as a member of the SAS and then doing some time in service to her Majesty prior to retiring and taking up the family business as they say. Given that the knowledge that I have killed should come as no surprise to you.”
A slow heartbeat then Xander shook his head. “No not really. Does that mean you are not on the ‘bad Xander’ wagon?”
Years of practice allowed Alfred to fight down the laughter that threatened to erupt, “Not exactly. More an understanding of why you did what you did, as well as why a certain someone has been so against taking a life all these years.”
A sharp glance as Xander went back to his form, “So enlighten me.”
“I have never been fully approving of the choices Master Bruce has made, even if I have supported him. But I do fully believe that while Kal-El has refrained from taking a human life because it would be so easy to do, someone else has refrained because he knows firsthand how devastating having a loved one die can be. I don’t believe he has ever wanted that responsibility. But weighing that with the sharp slap of reality you have provided has been causing him some issues, which are forcing some re-evaluation.”
A bitter laugh from Xander, “So now it is my fault that I am causing them to have a mental break from reality? Dammit, he had one of my girls. If Artemis herself was going to harm one of my girls I would go through her myself to save them. They are why I am here, and they are damn near what I live for. I know the spandex crowd don’t agree with me, but they are going to have to deal. Because of what my… associates did, their reality is changing, and there are no such things as happy endings.”
Alfred nodded, “I know, and I think mostly it is the shattering of their rose colored glasses that is discomfiting them so much.”
Xander finished, then turned to look at him. “Girls first, everything else second. Most Slayers die before they can legally drink, but I’ll be damned if my girls will die if there is anything, anything at all I can do to prevent it, including dying myself.”
With that he was gone, leaving a very thoughtful Alfred on the roof.
Xander threw himself into working with the girls, and setting up an emergency alert system, so if something like this ever happened again, they might be able to let someone know. He was all too aware that as the demonic world realized that slayers once again walked the earth things would start to change.
The next day Batman was down in the cave when Alfred wandered down, “Master Bruce I wonder if I might have a moment of your time.”
Batman blinked, and then turned pulling off the hood, Alfred rarely approached him like this, and usually when he did something had changed. “Always, you know that.”
Alfred sat neatly down on a nearby chair, “I know that Master Xander has caused you great grief lately,” ignoring the hardening of the features of the man across from him, “I just wonder if anyone ever looked into why he was willing to come here. When by his own words his group caused this, and he must have left Slayers behind, why was a man who would kill and die for those in his charge be willing to leave it all, bring literally nothing but the shirt on his back, to come here, not even realizing where here was.”
Bruce thought back to what Xander had said - The people I was with had become so twisted that I no longer knew them. I don’t know how to not help in the fight, so I stayed, but it was becoming harder and harder - but what could twist people to make them chase that man away, a man he now knew didn’t really know how to bend.
“Thank you Alfred. Question, are you okay with him killing the Joker?”
Alfred smiled, “Master Bruce you asked the wrong question. I am not happy that he killed someone, but I am glad he did what was needed to save one of his girls.”
Batman smiled slightly, “Probably, but I will tell you this; I think he did the right thing, not the easy thing or even what I and the Justice League would have preferred, but I know that Barbara has had a smile on her face for a week, and the mood in the city has been lifted. I was wrong to not realize how much fear he caused just by being loose. I think the chaos that Xander brings with him will in the end be a good thing. But I think it is going to hurt for a while, and not everyone is adjusting well.”
“Change is scary, even for people who don’t fear guns or knives; change is scary.” With that comment Alfred walked away, leaving Bruce sitting there very thoughtful.
Authors Note: Yes I am writing a sequel, apparently begging does work.