Title: For A Good Cause
Chapter Title: Sidelined
Author: Restive Nature
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to BtVS. They belong to Whedon & Mutant Enemy. Nor do I own any rights to other shows represented through the rest of this fictions. All shows belong to their respective owners. No infringement is intended and this fiction is for private enjoyment only.
Rating: Various, up to R
Chapter Rating: PG
Type: BtVS/ Various
Summary: When threatened by an old foe not their own, how else can the combined forces of the Scoobies and the Fang Gang respond? By having an auction!
Spoilers/ Time line: This is post series for both Buffy and Angel. Other shows and will be discussed within each chapter that it pertains to.
Feedback: Always welcome!
Distribution: Ask first please.
A/N: This is a response to an old Twisting the Hellmouth that I believe had been issued by Jinni. “The Bachelor/ Bachelorette Challenge. The challenge was as follows:
I was reading fics last night and saw this type of challenge done in another fandom, and the idea grew from there --
1) There's a bachelor and/or bachelorette auction going on wherever the Scoobies or AtS crew currently is.
2) The Scoobies/AtS Crew can be either the ones bidding or the ones being bid ON.
3) The reason for the auction is up to you - but these are usually done for some sort of charity. What's the charity? Can be something off the wall for humor value.
4) Because we specialize in crossovers we need to see some crossover action. Maybe it's Harry bidding on Dawn? Or Daniel bidding on Willow? Or maybe something really off the wall. The possibilities are pretty endless. But if the location of the auction isn't our crossover character's natural location, please explain why they're there.
5) And now that the auction is over - what does the 'winner' do with their 'purchase'?
Okay - have at it.
For A Good Cause
The incessant ringing of his cellular phone, the one that his best friend had rigged to get global coverage, alerted Xander's attention like no other thing possibly could right now. After a sixteen hour trip, on various forms of animals, he was coming back from his recruiting trip to the wilds of the Australian outback.
Alexander Harris, or as he was better known, Xander, was a survivor of what had been called the Sunnydale disaster. Not a catchy title, he knew, but no one in the mainstream media really knew what to call it. So when people referred to it as such, they ran with it. But Xander, having lived in Sunnydale all of his life and prior to the destruction of the town, finding out all about the dirty dealings that had more super than natural origins, knew that the mainstream world, media, populace and otherwise, were not ready to discover the truth of the world around them.
But despite that, the manner in which his friends and to a very tiny degree he, had helped to change that portion of the world, had far reaching effects and it was to such that Xander had been pressed into effort. After a time of mourning his ex-fiancée Anya's death, Xander had rejoined the fight against supernatural evil with a vengeance. Their first order of business after the destruction of Sunnydale, or more precisely the Hellmouth on which the town had resided (the town being the collateral damage), was to reach out and find all of the new slayers that Willow had activated through unleashing her magic in conjunction of the Slayer weapon, the Scythe.
Willow had been able to feel all the girls that she had awoken through the spell and knowing that with the old Watcher's council, along with their records of all the Slayers, Potential Slayers and potential potentials, they had set out to recruit them. During that time, the group had been spread thing over the world, while Buffy, Dawn and Giles had set up headquarters eventually in Rome. The rest had been dispatched, the core Scooby gang and the potentials that had come to Sunnydale for the final showdown with the First Evil, (those that survived at any rate), working to put out brush fires and contacting the girls and their families about this new phenomenon in their lives.
Willow had been the first to go to Australia. She had been accompanied by her girlfriend Kennedy. There they'd manage to retrieve nearly all the girls that she had felt. Some had not wanted this and Willow respected that decision, as they all did. But when she had approached a local Aboriginal tribe, she had been told that they had their own legends and manner of dealing with the Slayers that had woken that carried their ancestral aboriginal blood. Willow, in conference with the others discussed the happenings with the leaders of the tribes and it was decided that those that wished it, would slowly be integrated into the modern art of slaying, after receiving the traditional training from their elders.
It had been slow going, as the Elder's did not want all of their girls, their new protector's, up and going all at once. As the girls started to come of age and passed the tests that were designed to test many things, they slowly began filtering them to the new council in Rome. There were many promises that they would return to their native homeland when their training was complete. And it was now that the last of the girls were on their way to Rome. Xander had accompanied Sheila, the first Aboriginal slayer that the Elder's had deemed ready, back to her home, to act as watcher until the appropriate ceremony to turn her guardianship back over to her elders was complete.
And during that time, Xander had taken the chance to do what he hadn't been able to do, ever since he first conceived the notion when he was a senior in high school. He traveled. He had been delighted that Sheila had wanted to show him the delights of her home and he was made welcome by her tribe and others. And now, he had a tan like he'd never known before, a little more knowledge, some new friends, and a very mysterious artifact to bring home to Rome.
Glancing up at the clock in the Sydney airport, Xander realized that he still had plenty of time before he needed to board. He stepped out of line and flipped open the cell phone. He had just briefly glanced at the call screen, noting that it was Dawn calling him.
“Hey Dawnster, what's up?” he asked jovially, though his heart was sinking slightly. He had just talked to her the day before and she had all the details of his flight home.
“Xander?” Dawn's voice was a little higher than normal and Xander realized that his suspicions were probably spot on. Something was happening and they needed to batten down the hatches and-! He cut himself short before any more nautical references passed his lips. “Where are you?”
“I'm just about to board the flight home.” Xander replied genially, though inside his guts were twisting. “What's going on?”
“You're not going to make it in time then,” Dawn announced and then swore softly.
“In time for what Dawn?” Xander's weird-o-meter shot up and his panic started to swell up his throat, tasting an awful lot like bile. “What's happening? Is everyone okay?”
“So far they are,” Dawn informed him immediately. “We just got word. The big one in LA is happening, like, now!”
Xander groaned. This was a debate he'd heard about a few times. The Fang gang in Los Angeles had apparently broken faith with the Scoobies over the last year. Angel, Dead-boy had taken over running the evil of evilest of law firms and everyone from Buffy on down were mistrustful of his true intentions. That Angel refused to explain what he was doing just made things worse. And then there was the fact that somehow, Spike, the Vampire Champion that they'd all thought had burned up in the bowels of the Hellmouth, had been resurrected and instead of letting them know that he was alive, had aligned himself with his Sire's sire.
It had not been a good day in Xanderland when Buffy had found that out.
“What's the plan?” he demanded. They'd been ready for something like this. There were various ideas about how to handle it all. Several slayers had been all for keeping their noses out of it all, since Angel and his crew were not their concern. But Xander had pointed out the potential of damage done to innocent people if things, or cetain people were to get out of line. That made it their business.
“Willow's teleporting in as many groups as she can, but they have to be close. So basically North American, maybe some south,” Dawn explained quickly. “From initial reports, it looks like Angel may have been playing these lawyers the whole time. But it's hard to say. The seers are having a hard time because things are moving so fast. As soon as they're certain about one thing, something else happens that makes us question what just happened.”
“Gotcha,” Xander nodded. He wasn't all that surprised. He'd never been big on Dead boy's, well, his anything. His unlife, his agenda, and most importantly his big old yen for Buffy, who was supposed to be his mortal enemy, not a star crossed lover that he eventually tried to kill and when he couldn't do that, would come back into her life and mess with her head.
“So what are we doing then?” he asked of Dawn, knowing that there had to be more to the plan.
“We're back-up staff on this one,” Dawn sighed. Ever since Buffy had started training her in the art of staying alive in the face of insurmountable odds, otherwise known as about the time Dawn started high school, she'd been itching to take a more active role in things. Even with Buffy accepting her training, it was still slow going, though not because of her sister this time. No, now Dawn had to contend with her own limitations in learning the various things she wanted to study and her determination to enjoy being a moderately independent young woman.
“And that was important for me to hear why?” Xander asked with a forced joviality and he heard Dawn's long suffering sigh on the other end of the phone.
“Just thought you'd want to know what you were walking into, before you know, actually walking into it,” Dawn pointed out.
“An empty house?” Xander quipped as he kept his good eye on the boards so that he'd know the earliest possible moment they could begin boarding.
“Hey!” Dawn protested. “I'm here!” And then she mumbled something else that made Xander cringe, hoping that he hadn't interpreted that correctly.
“What was that?” he demanded, his fingers tightening convulsively around the artifact he was carrying on board with him in lieu of one of his alloted bags of luggage. He had to remind himself that there was to be no breakage of the important urn-y thingy. Breakage of urns always led to bad things chasing him.
“I said 'and Andrew',” Dawn sighed, knowing that he would find out sooner or later. Xander sighed. It was what he thought.
“And what has the little monkey been up to?” Xander wondered, musing. Andrew, after the fall of the Hellmouth wasn't actually all that bad. Yeah, he still was a goofball and a moron most of the time about normal everyday living, but he was getting better at dealing with the supernatural and being on the right side this time.
“He's cooking,” Dawn replied. “He figures that everybody will be too tired to cook when they get back. So he's making stuff that can be stored and heated. Depending on... how long it takes,” she manage to get out.
“Wow,” Xander mocked gently, “so the boy blunder actually made a plan that was executable and smart. Wait! Has he blown up any of the appliances yet?”
That got the giggle he'd been looking for. He knew, just as Dawn did, how difficult it was to be sidelined by the super powered. They'd already had this discussion. But a little reminder and a little friendly boost never hurt.
“Not yet,” Dawn rejoined, “but he's been eying the microwave quite a bit.”
“Ah, Andrew's latest arch nemesis,” Xander chuckled, having learned from the others over time how quickly Andrew wore them out, with his... 'experiments'.
“We're hoping it will last more than a month this time,” Dawn chuckled. “Buffy said that if he broke this one, he could clean toilets down at the local prison to earn the money to buy a replacement.”
Xander opened his mouth to make a query, but then thought better of it. “I'm not gonna touch that one with a fifty foot pole,” he announced and then the changing, flickering numbers on the board caught his attention. “Okay, my flight's up Dawnie,” he informed her. “I'll call as soon as I land.”
“Okay Xander,” Dawn sounded reserved. “We're still picking you up right?”
“As long as it's you in the front seat,” Xander grinned. “'Cause at least I know I can count on you not to crash when a driver has been, I don't know, tazered out of action?”
Dawn chuckled again, still enjoying teasing one another about that incident. “Well at least I don't use color forms,” she deliberately used her mispronunciation of the drug when she'd been under said influences.
“And hopefully never will again,” Xander agreed. They said their last current goodbyes and Xander stowed his phone in his pocket and gathering up his other alloted bag, headed off to join the line that led to home. Or at least, the thing closest to that approximation.