Summary: X-Over with X-Men. After more than 17 years of drug and alcohol induced vagueness what does Xander Harris' mother realize when she comes out of it?

Disclaimer: I don't anybody. Though I obviously think that *I* could do much better with them then their owners if I did.

A/N: I know this is one of the most popular ideas concerning Xander, but I just couldn't resist writing this. Seems I just can't resist a friggin' cliché, who knew? ***

Daddy Dearest

I was sitting at the kitchen table in my old blue bathrobe, the one that had seen a thousand long nights and even later mornings and was so faded it was bordering on white, cradling a cup of fresh coffee in a mug I figured was older than me. I was gazing down at the ugly yellow-splotched Formica top. I could see the chips gouged from the years of abuse revealing the cheap plywood underneath. The tabletop reminded me of my life: ugly, damaged, and three days from being left on the curb for the trash man. I grimaced and took a sip of my coffee. ^Boy, I've become morose since I cleaned up.^

The house was quiet. Anthony had packed up and left days ago. I snorted bitterly. His last words to me after 17 years of marriage were, "You're no fun anymore." Just because I no longer wanted to spend my life trashed, high, and wasted. I'd hit bottom and decided to clean up and what do I get from my husband? Talks on what the latest designer drug is. That man was a bastard. I tugged on one of the brown locks of my hair that had fallen into my face. I was high when I married him, that's the only thing I can come up with.

Alexander bounced down the stairs as I sat there wallowing. I started and watched him with eagle eyes. My heart lurched when he grabbed a Poptart from a box on the counter not even acknowledging my existence or seeming to notice me sitting there. I guess that in a way I hadn't existed to him for years. He'd been doing things on his own as soon as he could walk because I couldn't be bothered. I saw his automatic glance and realized with a jolt it was a check for his father. I watched silently as he manipulated the toaster hitting it a few times on the side to get it started. The whole thing felt like a practiced ritual. ^I wouldn't know would I?^ I thought harshly. ^Getting up before noon is no fun with a hangover.^

Alexander drummed his fingers on the counter in a pattering rhythm. I found myself looking closely at those fingers trying to find some connection to my son and at a loss for what else to do. He had graceful fingers, lean and mobile looking. So unlike Anthony's stubs.

A whisper of Cajun silk murmured in my ear as a ghost from the past drifted into the room. ^Remy..^ He stood before me like it was yesterday. He was young, a few years younger than me. His auburn hair fell haphazardly in front of his eyes and a rakish smile curled his lips. His ripped jeans and holed tee shirt didn't detract from his charm and the long brown leather duster he habitually wore fell around him like a cloak of mystery. He held out his hand to me looking almost solid. Then Alexander stepped in the way of the memory making Remy dissipate like a cloud of smoke. I blinked and focused on my son. He stood before me in much the same pose as my ghost. His black brown hair fell over his forehead and a small smile graced his lips his hand half extended. I took a deep breath as I noticed the resemblance. They had the same nose, the same cheekbones, the same lips, their hair shared the same tendency to ignore gravity and fall prey to it at the same time. They were the same height, build. I glanced at Alexander's hands. They looked so much like hands I was intimately familiar with.

"You okay?" Alexander asked frowning slightly. I guess my shock colored my face.

"Yeah, I'm fine." I said breathlessly. He shrugged and bent to pick his backpack from where it had been leaning against the table leg. My eyes tracked him as he grabbed his breakfast then rushed out the door only half seeing him. Overshadowing him was the man I had briefly known during a steamy N'Orleans summer.

^My God, how could I have not noticed?^ I snorted at myself. That was a stupid question. I'd spent Alexander's childhood so blasted most of the time I didn't even know my own name. Of course I hadn't noticed that my son showed no resemblance to his supposed father and a hell of a big one to the boyfriend before him. ^It could be a coincidence.^ I sighed this time. The truth was that just about anyone would have been a better father than Anthony Harris. Obviously my son didn't feel safe around him. Even now that he was gone Alexander kept a watchful eye out of habit. I had just seen that for myself. The trouble was Remy Lebeau was the risk it all type. I couldn't see him staying in New Orleans and quietly following in his father's footsteps like everyone seem to expect he would. Finding him would be a bitch and did really have the right to do that to Alexander? As bad as Tony had been as a father I hadn't been a much better mother. I never beat Alexander or yelled at him but I never did anything else either. Yet he *knew* we were his parents. If I pulled that rug out from under him just because of a suspicion what would that do to him?

I rubbed my forehead. ^It's just a suspicion.^ I took another sip of my coffee and grimaced at it's bitterness.