A one shot that might develop into two if I feel in the mood for it. A chance meeting between three unlikely heroes. This is set in the Twice Lucky universe, possible spoilers.

Thank you to Allen Pitt for pointing out that Hiro actually is Japanese and not Chinese, jeez I'm an idiot, and to think I call myself an avid Heroes fan… tuts.

Review damn you the Shadow demands it.

"Serendipity. Look for something, find something else, and realize that what you've found is more suited to your needs than what you thought you were looking for." - Lawrence Block

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A chance encounter

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Xander was walking through the streets of Manhattan to visit Papa Midnite; he was not really in the mood for visiting the old man but did not really have a choice, especially if he wanted to set up shop in the neighbourhood. The Watchers Council had even gone as far as ordering him to go there.

Xander weaved his way through the crowd with a practised ease, remembering tricks and tips that Cranston Lamont had once used. Having the power of the Shadow certainly helped... He had vague memories from Lamont's time: many of the buildings were the same but the people and the dress were drastically different. For a start, only lawyers seemed to wear suits. Xander smirked as he walked past a blonde lawyer ripping into a dark skinned man; she was clearly unforgiving about him 'bumping' into her. He let it slide, as it did not look particularly threatening, well, apart from the man's dignity.

With any luck, while he was there, Xander would be able to pick up an Amityville Screech Beetle, which would be fantastic in the defence of the new Slayer headquarters.

Supposedly, the nasty little critters stunned demons long enough for them to be Slayed.

Xander was musing and it was for this reason that he didn't see it coming, even with the power of the Shadow he still managed to collide with a duo of oriental men.

"Ah," said the smaller man. Looking a little stunned, he dropped and momentarily forgot a package that he had been carrying: a round container that looked like it was holding a picture. "We very sorry," the man continued in broken English.

Xander smiled and reached down; he picked up the small container the man had been carrying and handed it over with a slight bow of the head.

"No problem," Xander said in fluent Japanese.

The little man's eyes widened.

"You speak Japanese?"

"Yes."

"We are most honoured." The little man bowed again; the taller one simply nodded his head. He looked more street-wary than his smaller friend did.

"There's a bar called Caritas," Xander continued in Japanese, "a couple of blocks down that way. I'll be there at around six. If you're interested I'll meet you there for a drink."

"Very well, if we conclude our business today we will meet you there," the smaller man said as he bowed again. "I am Hiro Nakamura and this is my friend Ando Masahashi."

Xander nodded and introduced himself. "My friends call me Xander."

"Thank you Xander…"

Xander smiled; he started to leave but paused as though remembering something. "Hiro?"

The smaller man paused and turned around. "Yes?"

"The bar is very exclusive," Xander explained as he walked back to them, putting his hand in his pocket and producing two rings with emerald stones set in them. He handed them one each. "Wear these at all times and when asked a question by the doorman, you will answer 'but the ice is slippery'."

Hiro looked confused but put the ring on, holding up his hand to examine the jewel as the sun glinted off it. He smiled and looked back down to thank his new American friend; the only problem was his friend 'Xander' was gone. Suddenly he understood with crystal clarity.

"He was a Hero!" he exclaimed.

"Yeah," Ando groaned and rolled his eyes, "Just like Spock…"