A/N: Due to a lot of procrastination and school work, it's taken a while for me to finish this one-shot. Still, I hope you guys enjoy. I love reading Xander Real Family stories, especially when they involve the Winchesters. That and I think the world needs more Xander/Cordelia stories, am I right? No beta, so the mistakes are all time. This story isn't overly mushy as I think Xander and Cordelia's relationship wasn't exactly like that, not to mention it's just not my thing when it comes to writing. Reviews are very much appreciated.
Time Setting/Spoilers: In the BtVS-verse, it's set a few weeks after the events of their High School Graduation, so between S3 and S4; Cordelia still hasn't left for L.A. In the Supernatural-verse, it's set after the events of S1's finale; the only difference is that they all survived and John decided to stay with the boys and continue the hunt with them. As you can see, it isn't extremely spoiler-y but I suppose it's better that you've been warned.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters in either BtVS or Supernatural.
Dancing Pineapples and Unexpected Conversations
The sun had just risen, which made it relatively safe for Xander to walk through Sunnydale without getting drained by bloodthirsty vampires, although a certain amount of caution and awareness of his surroundings was still necessary, as were a stake and a hunting knife. Sunnydale was a small town and as such, the walk back to the Winchesters' motel didn't take very long. Still, it gave Xander enough time to think about the fact that he had a new dad and two older brothers. Blood relatives. It still sounded out-of-place and downright odd, no matter how many times he tossed the phrase around in his head.
Three months ago, it had all started with Tony throwing a drunken fit around the house, which wasn't really that big of a deal – it happened every day. What set it apart from all the other times was not the fact that he had yelled at Xander to get out (as this also happened quite frequently) but that Tony had called him an 'ungrateful leech who sucked the money out of his alcohol budget when they weren't even related at all'.
The revelation hadn't shocked the Scoobie as much as the fact that Tony had actually formed a coherent sentence for the first time since Xander had been born. Usually, the only words present in Tony's vocabulary were 'More!', 'Move!' and Xander's personal favourite, 'You're no son of mine!' Apparently the last one was actually meant literally; it wasn't just some random insult Tony tossed around for kicks whenever Xander did anything to get in between him, the television and his beer. (Figures his 'dad' didn't even have the brains to think of any original jibes.)
When Jessica Harris had confessed to her son that he really wasn't the son of Tony 'Town Drunk' Harris, Xander couldn't believe his ears. He had been torn between dancing through the streets of Sunnydale and worrying over who his real biological father might be. For starters, how was he supposed to explain his situation when it came to things that went bump in the night, if at all? And for all Xander knew he could be a strait-laced accountant with a wife, 2.5 kids and a white picket fence somewhere in the suburbs, although he couldn't really see his mother hanging out with those types, even with the presence of a major amount of alcohol. Maybe he was the leader of some wannabe motorcycle gang going through a midlife crisis, or worse, was it possible that he was a male stripper down at some Vegas joint?
All of these things were, of course, shoved to the corners of Xander's mind as aside from the events of their high school Graduation, another vampire gang with a disturbingly mind-boggling fondness for spandex, go-go boots and Cher attempted to take over Sunnydale's residents. Thanks to the Slayer and the Scoobies, the threat was thwarted and the mere thought of another family didn't cross Xander's mind until a certain John Winchester suddenly showed up in town looking for the mythical Slayer after hearing about the events brought about by said vampires, much to his mother's delight and to his father's utter disgust. Of all the things Xander had imagined his real father to be, a demon hunter was definitely not one of them, although it made the explaining part about the Hellmouth a whole lot simpler.
"Hey, what's up?" A voice interrupted his thoughts. Xander turned around and nearly bumped into his eldest brother, Dean. The man was clad in jeans and a leather jacket that looked like it had seen better days. He was carrying a few boxes haphazardly filled to the brim with Xander's stuff.
"Not much, just thinking."
"Well then be careful, don't wanna tire yourself out."
Xander rolled his eyes and stuck a tongue out at the older man.
"Well then don't tire yourself trying to come up with semi-witty comebacks."
Dean sighed dramatically, heading towards the car. "There was a time when people had respect for those older than them – "
"And shorter than them?" Xander added wickedly, knowing that the fact that even his youngest brother was still taller than him made Dean sore. It was something he and Sam liked to rub into Dean's face whenever the situation called for it. Sam was a welcome respite from all the teasing he had to endure from Dean; after all, he did have some experience with being the youngest in the family. Not to mention he had promised Xander if worse came to worse and a prank war was initiated, Sam was definitely going to be on Xander's side as payback for all the wedgies and stink bombs Dean had thrown at him throughout the years. Something told Xander it must have been mighty interesting growing up in the Winchester household, and not just because of the presence of supernatural beings.
After dodging a swat from Dean (how he did that while still keeping his balance carrying the boxes, Xander didn't know), Xander ran up the stairs to help his other brother and father carry his worldly belongings. There weren't that much to begin with as he had come to the decision that his beloved comic book and action figure collection would be much safer left at home than on the road (not to mention it would be better for his reputation with Dean), so he figured it wouldn't take too long.
While Xander was easily able to bond with Dean and Sam, the same couldn't be said for his father, John Winchester. Sure, they had done the 'I can't believe I have a long lost family member' bit with a very brief and manly hug. John has also attempted to stop Xander from joining their little road trip, that it was far too dangerous for his youngest son. Xander had countered by saying that the Hellmouth wasn't exactly the safest place to be anyway and that the only way he was going to learn how to protect himself was through constant training under the watchful eye of an experienced hunter.
That, and he thought that spending the summer at Sunnydale would be rather boring. He had also played the guilt card slightly, saying that he wanted to get to know his newfound family better. Which wasn't entirely untrue, but he didn't want to have to manipulate the man who obviously had the best of intentions for him in that way.
The man was much like Oz – they were both men of very few words and when they did say something, it meant a lot. The only difference was that most of the time, whenever John did end up opening his mouth and voicing out a thought, it was usually either to tell his sons to do something or it was related to demons. Which wasn't entirely bad in Xander's opinion; he could tell his father cared about his children a great deal, even though he wasn't as affectionate and as good a cook as Joyce. That just meant that Xander would have to find a way for John to loosen up in the upcoming months.
"I wonder if dying his hair pink will do any good..." he thought wickedly. Apparently his older brothers were fond of 'prank wars', and Xander fully intended to bring Papa Winchester into the mix.
"You're still there, man? Geez, get a move on why don't ya? These boxes aren't going to move themselves." Dean joked as he sprinted up the stairs towards his youngest brother who was still stuck in the same position he had left him in.
"Yeah, I'll just head over to the Impala and start loading the stuff. See you guys in a bit." Xander murmured half aloud, not really registering what Dean had just said. He was still mulling important things over in his head, such as whether it was too late for him to grab a few bottles of itching powder from the local joke shop down on Wilson Street, or if Willow could still make him a batch of 'happy cookies', treats spiked with a potion that made whoever ingested it insanely happy for no reason whatsoever for a few hours.
God knew John Winchester had to lighten up somehow.
Dean's forehead wrinkled slightly. "Okaaay. What planet do you think he's from?"
Sam smiled in amusement and glanced at Xander's form going down the stairs but didn't say anything, merely shrugging while getting Xander's other boxes in order.
"I suppose you could say weirdness runs in this family."
"You can say that again. First you and your psychic abilities, now him and his fazing out, me and my undeniable animal magnetism..."
Sam rolled his eyes at his brother's boastfulness but chose not to comment, knowing that this would only lead to a lengthy discussion they didn't really have the time for.
They worked quickly and silently, arranging their own gear.
"So..." Sam said slowly, searching for a way to talk to Dean about the latest addition to the family. Everything had happened so fast and they hadn't been able to digest everything. Not that Dean needed to digest anything emotionally as he was seemingly allergic to anything that had to do with 'feelings'.
Dean raised an eyebrow. "So what?"
Sam's gaze fell on Xander's loud Hawaiian shirts. He picked one up by the hand, a bright yellow one with pineapples and coconut trees dancing all over it.
"Some shirt huh?" Sam grinned, holding it up for Dean's inspection before tossing it to him.
Dean reacted as though he were holding a baby's diaper or something equally nauseating. "We definitely have to get this kid a whole new wardrobe. I don't care what anyone says, it's a priority. It's no good to have him walking around in this; even my badass leather jacket and car can't cover up his obvious lack of style, and being within a ten meter radius of these are most probably going to cramp my style. I'm almost tempted to leave these here." He dropped the shirt back into the duffel bag with a look of distaste marring his features.
Sam laughed as he piled their bags on top of one another. "We've already had this discussion with him, remember? He's not going if his shirts aren't going. Besides, if you remove all the items of clothing that offend you, he's practically not going to have anything left."
Dean shrugged. "Then maybe he shouldn't go."
Sam's eyes flickered back towards his brother who was busy stuffing his clothes into his bag. Even though Dean would never admit it, Xander had begun to grow him. Whether it was his unique sense of humor or the fact that he had practically drooled over the Impala the moment he laid eyes on it, a small part of Dean had begun to care about Xander, whether he realized it or not.
"You boys better get a move on. I want to leave before 8." A voice grunted behind them.
Sam rolled his eyes. "Yes Dad."
Dean paused in what he was doing as John, who had remained quiet throughout their whole conversation, polished his guns inside the dingy motel room.
"What do you think of him coming with us, Dad?" Dean suddenly asked. John hadn't shared much since they had arrived in Sunnydale, although this wasn't much of a surprise as John rarely shared anything in the first place unless it was demon-related. If hearing that they had a younger brother had come as a shock to both Sam and Dean, then it was difficult to imagine exactly how John had felt the moment he had gotten a phone call from one of the women he had had a one night stand with many, many years ago. She apparently thought it was a good idea to get her only son out of her sight and for once be someone else's responsibility, which angered all three of them to the core. They had wanted to teach Xander's so-called parents a lesson or two until Xander had pleaded with them not to, saying that they didn't really know any better and it wasn't worth causing all that trouble.
John stopped polishing his hunting knife for a minute before answering. "I don't like it anymore than you do. I'd rather he stayed safe from all this madness. But then again, even if we leave him here, we'll be leaving him on top of a Hellmouth, which isn't necessarily any safer than what we do or where we go. So I think that given the circumstances, he's better off with us since that way, we can train him to survive."
Besides, John thought silently, it was good to have his entire family together again. Hopefully, it would give him a chance to reconnect with Sam; they were both just too stubborn for their own good and it would be a relief to have a fresh start. In a way, the car crash had helped with that. Their near brush with death had forced them to realize that there wasn't any real point in tearing one another apart when they were the only family they had left, not to mention their concern and worry for Dean's well-being had played a role in uniting them. Still, John's mind was made up on one thing: if he was forced to choose between hunting down the Demon on his own to keep them safe while alienating his family or staying with them but putting them in harm's way, there was no doubt in his mind what he would choose.
It had been a shock to discover that he had another son, although given his womanizing ways a few years after Mary's death, it wasn't completely unexpected. What was even more surprising to him was that even though his youngest had remained relatively unscarred by his hunt for the Demon, he had still become exposed to the demon world. This revelation made him only more determined to make sure his son survived whatever was to come in his future and if it meant an extended road trip across America, then he was sure he could stand a couple pranks he had no doubt were going to manifest themselves somewhere along their journey if Xander was anything like his brothers, which he most definitely was.
Meanwhile, as Xander began to place the boxes into the trunk of the Impala (a gorgeous, gorgeous car he had initially drooled over and could only hope to someday drive), he heard a familiar voice.
"What did you think you were going to do, skip town without saying goodbye?
Xander turned and grinned at the beautiful brunette headed his way. She was dressed casually, just jeans and a shirt. He wasn't used to seeing anything other than the latest designer fashions on her slim frame, but it was certainly refreshing.
"I thought you said it didn't matter where I went, and even if it did you didn't care."
Cordelia removed her shades and flashed him one of her signature megawatt smiles, rolling her eyes at him all the while.
"What kind of ex-girlfriend would I be if I didn't care where my ex-boyfriend went?"
Xander let out a hearty chuckle.
"A pretty good one, I should think."
She smirked at him, then reached into her tote bag and took out a small package, crudely wrapped in newspaper.
"Here. I figured you need it more than I do."
Xander raised his eyebrows, staring at the unexpected present.
"Did you wrap this, all on your own? Wow. I am both honoured and dumbfounded."
"Oh shut up and just say 'thank you'."
"Seriously though, thanks. You didn't have to get me anything. What is it?"
"Oh you know, the usual going away present. Holy water, a few stakes and amulets and a couple boxes of Twinkies."
Xander laughed. "You know me too well."
"Have you said your goodbyes to the rest of the gang?"
"I have. It was alright, I guess. Buffy and Willow hugged me until I could barely breathe and Giles was very British about it; he gave me a firm handshake and told me to keep in touch and to look after myself. Oz had a gig a few towns away from here so he wasn't able to come, but he did call and wish me good luck. They're all worried I'm going to go and disappear into the great beyond or something like that, but I suppose that's just their way of saying they're going to miss me."
"For how long are you going to be gone?"
Xander shrugged. "I'm not that sure. For an indefinite amount of time? College isn't really for me and since Willow and Buffy are starting come September, I'm not going to be doing a lot anyway, other than working odd jobs here and there, not to mention I'll have to pay rent just to live in my parents' basement just because 'You're already of legal age and you should earn your own money.'" He explained, doing air quotes with his fingers and mimicking his mother's high-pitched voice.
A companionable silence fell over them as Cordelia leaned against the trunk of the car, right beside where Xander was casually standing.
Cordelia tentatively cleared her throat.
"I'm not that good at these long drawn out emotional goodbyes so..."
Xander wrinkled his forehead in mock confusion.
"This isn't emotional at all. Or long. Or a goodbye at any rate. It's not like we're never going to see each other again right?"
"Well you never know."
"Oh yeah! I hear you're packing up and leaving for L.A in a couple of days. The city of your dreams, only a limousine ride away."
Cordelia snorted derisively at Xander's statement.
"Yeah sure, a limousine, if that's what the term they use to refer to flea-infested buses nowadays. And not that there's much to pack. The government took most of my stuff. So all I'll be bringing is my one piece of luggage, handbag and ticket."
"Aw, don't forget your million dollar smile. Never sell yourself short Cordy."
Cordelia laughed. Somehow, Xander always knew the right thing to say without being overly dramatic, a trait she had come to sorely miss after they had stopped dating.
Without showing any signs that she was going to, Cordelia suddenly gave Xander a warm hug. After getting over his initial surprise (hugging wasn't exactly what Cordelia Chase was known for, and it also wasn't what he was used to doing when alone with her in janitor's closets), Xander simply shook his head amusedly and gave her a warm hug back.
"You take care of yourself, wherever you're going with that crazy new family of yours." She muttered into his ear.
Xander smiled lightly, slowly pulling away from Cordelia with his hands still resting against her waist.. "Thanks. It's ten times better than Tony, at any rate. And there's no more secrets, so that's a plus."
Cordelia nodded and gave him a once over before slipping her shades back on and detaching herself from him.
"I know I shouldn't be looking a gift horse in the mouth, but what is all this? I know we made our peace before Graduation since we thought we were going to die, but I didn't imagine we'd suddenly become best buddies all of a sudden... Not that I didn't enjoy our little exchange." Xander babbled away before pausing hesitantly, ending with a sheepish grin.
"I figure that if you're going on some crazy trip around America with your demon-hunting family, you're going to need all the luck you can get."
"And being hugged by you is a very lucky charm, I'm sure," he drawled.
Cordelia rolled her eyes at him and gazed him straight in the eye, two pairs of brown orbs staring at one another. Xander's lips widened into a small smile, his laugh fading. Beneath all the taunting and fighting, this was the girl he had seen beneath all the makeup and attitude.
"For all that we once were, I guess." Cordelia said softly.
Xander nodded in understanding, but couldn't resist having the last word.
"And for all we might possibly be?" He said hopefully, a pleading look on his face.
Cordelia shoved him lightly on his chest.
"Don't push your luck too far Harris. That was your get out of jail free card, so to say."
Xander shrugged, putting his hands in his jean pockets.
"One can only hope."
She began to walk away, but not before turning back and giving him a beautiful smile, as though she had just remembered something wonderful.
"I'll be seeing you."
Xander smiled and waved at her with his left hand, his right tucked inside his jean pocket.
"Yeah, I will."
He stared off into the distance, watching her walk away before turning back to the box in the car.
Without warning, he felt someone slap a hand on his back. Turning around, he saw Dean, his eldest brother.
Dean raised his left hand, the right still on Xander's back. "High five man! Who was that chick?"
Xander paused. Oh no. No friggin way did his family just see his conversation with Cordelia.
"Were you guys there the whole time?"
His eyes narrowed suspiciously at them.
"It's called eavesdropping you know. It's usually frowned upon by society."
Dean shrugged, putting his hands in his jean pockets, unconsciously imitating his youngest brother's earlier stance.
"It isn't eavesdropping if it's right in front of you. And if said people don't attempt to hide their conversation from the general public."
Xander turned his gaze to Sam, standing between his brother and father.
Sam replied tentatively. "Well..."
Taking pity on Sam, John finished his middle child's sentence.
"We were bringing down your stuff," he continued, gesticulating to the boxes in their hands, "and we were about to go over to you when she came by. We wanted to give you guys some quiet time and we..." John faltered, unsure of how to continue, a small sheepish grin working its way into his rugged features. It didn't come as naturally before, but with the arrival of Xander, smiles seemed to come a little bit easier to the hunter.
Dean grinned unabashedly. "Let's just say we have extremely good hearing. And excellent eyesight."
Sam finally gave into his curiosity, asking the question that had been lingering in their minds since they had first gazed upon the mystery woman. "So who was she?"
Dean rolled his eyes at his younger brother's ignorance. "Wasn't that obvious? The question is, how on earth did you land a girl like that? With those Hawaiian shirts of yours, I didn't think it was possible but I obviously underestimated your powers," he said, waggling his eyebrows suggestively at the youngest Winchester.
Xander shrugged and gave them a goofy smile.
"It's a long story."
A/N: Thanks for taking the time to read this fic! Once again, reviews and comments are much appreciated, although flames are most certainly not. I don't think I really have the time to continue this fic by writing about whatever adventures they come along but if ever someone wants to, then by all means, go ahead! I'd love to see what you guys come up with.