Disclaimer: I do not own Highlander or Buffy: the Vampire slayer. I am not making a profit.
Title: A Mortal Life
Pairing: None (at this time)
Summary: Xander's road trip takes him out of the twilight zone.
Xander decided to head north on his road trip. The trip was not what he had expected. He had been traveling for a week by now and it was boring. He had no one to talk to and except for some beautiful scenery every once and a while every thing was the same. He now knew what people meant by every where, USA.
It did give him time to think and that was the main reason for the trip. He thought about the Scooby's and the hell mouth. He noticed that the further he was from his home town the better he felt. It was like a great weight had been taken off his shoulders. His mom had started him writing a journal when he was young and he had kept the habit.
Reading back over it he noticed how negative his thoughts had been. He was the class clown but he hadn't felt happy. He had heard a joke on the radio yesterday and he had laughed. He noticed right away that it was different. He felt joy purer than any thing he had ever felt before.
He had to pull the car on the side of the road. He felt good. This was the first time he had ever left Sunnydale in his life and the thought of returning terrified him.
The Hellmouth was poisoning the very air he had breathed. How could he return to that, especially since he didn't really have a reason to. His parents couldn't care less about him and his friends, his friends didn't need him or want him in the way.
He had time on his hands. It was just the beginning of summer and it wasn't like he had any where he had to be. He would take things as they came. Right now he was heading for the city of Seacouver. He had a cousin there that would put him up for a couple weeks. Maybe he could get a job for a while and then head east.
Xander parked his car in front of an apartment building. He read the address again on the sheet of paper in his hand. This was the right place he thought as he got out of the car. He went up to the main door and buzzed apartment 4D. He got no answer.
He scratched his head thinking maybe he should find a pay phone when the door open and a tall lean man with a long over coat came out and looked at Xander suspiciously.
"Can I help you?" the man asked in an English accent.
Xander smiled it was could to here something Giles' like. Putting his hands in his pocket he answered the man, "My cousin was supposed to meet me at his apartment in 4D. I guess he forgot." he said with a shrug of his shoulders.
Xander watched as the man frowned at hearing the apartment number. "I'm afraid your out of luck. I believe that tenant was arrested for drunk driving. I don't believe he will be out for some time."
Xander was shocked, "Teddy, I can't believe, no, no he was a Harris," he said with a short laugh and a shake of his head, "yea, I should have known."
Xander looked at the sidewalk defeated. Today had started off so good he thought as he turned and walked back to his car.
The man watched the teenager walk away from him with his head bowed. The boy couldn't have been 18 if he was a day. He felt a pang, ow by the gods he had been around that boy scout to long.
Sighing he walked up to the young man, "Do you have any other family in the city." He watched as the boy turned towards him. The child had such an open expression on his face. It was disbelief. He felt another deep pain, had no one every helped this child before.
Xander watched the man beside him. Was that concern he had heard. He shook his head at both the question and the odd behavior, no one helped a Harris. Xander had learned that long ago.
The man put out his hand, "Adam Pierceson, 4A," he said while pointing his head back at the building behind him.
Xander grinned and took the mans hand, "Alexander Laville Harris, but every one calls me Xander."
"Well, Xander," Adam said walking beside the young man to his car, "how long where you planning to stay in the city."
Xander shrugged, "a couple of weeks just enough to make some money to head to the next relative on the list. I just graduated and thought I see some sights."
Adam inwardly cringed at the sight of the car. What type of parents would send a child off in that piece of junk. "So an adventure before college."
The young man seemed to shrink in himself at the mention of school. "I'm not the school type," Adam heard. He watched as Xander rubbed the back of his neck.
Adam could tell the boy was embarrassed. From the state of his car and the look of his clothes, it was more likely the young man didn't have the founds to complete school. His eyes where intelligent and there was steel there. This child had had a rough life, and from the sound of it, it wasn't going to get easier any time soon.
"Are you 18," He found himself asking.
He watched as Xander's body took on a defensive stance. The boy was ready to run. "I have a friend who owns a blues bar and is always looking for waiters but you'd have to be at least 18 to work there."
Xander let the tension out of his body with a sigh. "Yes, I am." he said with a grin.
"Good," Adam said as he took a note book out of his pocket and quickly wrote down an address. "Its called Joe's, after the owner. Ask for Mr. Dawson and tell him Adam sent you."
Xander took the slip of paper and thanked Mr. Pierson. He watched at the tall man walked across the street to a black SUV and drive away.
He decided to head to the bar first. If that didn't work out he thought he'd still have time to look else where.
Adam called Joe from the SUV as he headed to Macleod's dojo. "Joe," he said into his cell, "I gave a kid your address told him your hiring." He listened awhile before continuing, "He's mortal, the kid needs a break." Adam listened as Joe laughed, "I am not going soft, just hire him Joe, his name is Xander and I'll owe you one." He hung up and thru the phone in the seat beside him.
'Kid you better be worth it,' he thought as he pulled into the parking lot for the dojo.
For the second time today, Xander checked an address on the slip of paper from his parked car. He gathered his courage before getting out of his car. He prayed to who ever was listening that his luck would change. He really needed a job.
He walked into the bar. It took a moment for his eyes to adjust. The first thing he noticed was the mirror behind the bar. That was a plus for Xander, the second was the man over by the stage. Xander watched as the man stood on two canes and walked towards the bar saying, "Where closed."
Xander gulped and asked for Mr. Dawson.
"That'll be me kid," Joe said in a gruff voice as he walked behind the bar, "Hoe can I help you.
Xander walked up to the bar saying, "I'm Xander Harris, I heard you were hiring waiters."
Joe looked the kid up and down wondering what the old man saw in the kid, but then he looked in the kids eyes. This was a survivor. "You 18 kid," he asked.
"Yes, sir." answered Xander quickly.
Joe chuckled, "It's Joe, kid. How bout we give you a try for a week, $3.50 an hour plus tips. If you work out we'll renegotiate on pay. When can you start."
Xander grinned, "Is now soon enough."
Joe shook his head, "Come back around at about 4 o'clock, you can help open and I'll show you around."
Joe watched as the kid literally bounced out of the room. At least the kid was energetic he thought. He hoped he was a night owl it would be easier on the kid.