Note: Big thanks to Inachis for betaing this again for me and also a big thank you to Razial for helping out with part of that chapter.
The walk to the Summers home was not very eventful. The two vampires who tried to attack them on the way were dusted by a stake from Buffy and a quick stroke with a short sword from Kitiara before the vamps could even utter one word of their usually boring come-ons. Buffy eyed Kitiara's blade with envy as she quickly cleaned it.
"How could that blade kill a vampire by simply being stuck in it?" Xander asked his mother curiously. Kitiara looked at her son and with a fond smile she replied, "This sword was forged by dwarves and most of their smiths are so good at what they do, that they work their own kind of magic into their blades. It looks like your vampires are kind of allergic to magical weapons." She looked at the blade for a moment, deep in her thoughts and then held it out to Xander. "Take it my son. Flint would be proud if you were to wield and use it."
"Flint?" Xander asked while accepting the blade and scabbard for it. "The dwarf who forged this blade for me and an old friend of your father," Kitiara answered.
Xander looked in astonishment at her. "Tony has a dwarven friend?" and then a few moments later he slapped himself and continued, "Oh you meant my biological father. Is he still alive? How is he? Is he a warrior like you?"
Kitiara nodded to that and replied, "Yes, he is still alive. At least I hope so and I will tell you more about him later. First we have to reach that house you talked about and then you have to tell me something first."
"Uhmm Miss, Xander can't use a sword and will only hurt himself with it. Why don't you give it to me instead?" Buffy said, unable to help herself.
"Because I want my son to have it and if he can't use it, he will learn," Kitiara answered with a bit of frost in her tone.
As the slayer in Buffy warned her to be careful, she gulped down her reply and said instead, "Ok, let's hurry. It's not to far to my house anymore." And so they quickly nodded and hurried on. Ten minutes later they finally reached the house.
Buffy quickly unlocked the door and went inside. "Mum…? Are you home? We have guests."
Joyce sighed, another nice episode of Passions had just ended and just as she turned off the TV and put away the control she heard the door opening and the voice of her daughter yelling. She sighed again, this time in relief. It seemed like another evening of slaying has gone by without her daughter dying. Sometimes she wished she hadn't confronted Rupert a few weeks ago about what his intentions with her daughter were. First he came with excuses like helping her and a few other children studying, but after a while he caved under her 'Mother protecting her Daughterness', as he called it, and explained Buffy's 'Calling'. A hard slap and a heated discussion, in which Buffy joined after she entered the library and saw her mum and watcher arguing, later she had relented as Buffy didn't like it, but was doing the job, but damn she still was grinning if she thought about the phone call with Mr. Travers. He had the gall to let it shine trough that if she didn't keep quiet, she and her daughter would be taken care of. She shot that avenue down quite quickly after telling him that all information she had about the Council would go to her brother, who was high in the US Military, if something would happen to her or her daughter.
Ah louder "MUM!" pulled her out of her musings and she quickly answered, "Yes Buffy, I'm in the living room." A few moments later her daughter entered the room together with her friends Willow and Xander, as well as a heavily armed woman she never had seen before.
Joyce looked at them for a moment and then directed a questioning look at her daughter. In response Buffy said, "Mum, this is Kitiara Uth Matar… Xander's mother." At this bit of news Joyce looked in shock at the woman and asked the only question you could ask at a moment like this. "What?"
Kitiara looked at the blond warrior's mother and then quickly explained to Joyce what she had told the three younglings before in that strange tavern. After she had finished Buffy added, "And now Xander wants to explain the fact why he is happy about the Harris's not being his real parents and we wanted to do that in a more private location than the Bronze."
Still a bit shocked, Joyce looked at Xander and his mother and then at her daughter and Willow. Then she said, "OK Buffy you and Willow will go upstairs, I will…" before she could finish Buffy interrupted her with. "But Mom we want to hear it as well." Joyce looked at her daughter and then the pleading eyes of Xander and put her feet down. "Elisabeth Anne Summers, you will take Willow and go up to your room. This is a private matter between Xander and his mother. They should talk first and after that, if he wants, he can tell you as well or not. I don't want to hear another word about it except 'Yes, Mum'."
Buffy gulped as it was seldom that her mother called her by her full name, and so she took Willows arm and with a 'Yes, Mum' pulled her upstairs. A bit amused Joyce yelled after them. "And no listening in on the conversation or you'll be grounded for the next 2 months!"
After the two girls were upstairs Joyce turned back to Xander, who nodded at her thankfully. "Thank you Ms. Summers. It'll be hard enough to explain my home life to my mother, but it would be nice if you would keep us company."
Joyce nodded and answered, "I will. Please come into the kitchen. You and your mother can sit down while I make us a coffee and then you can tell us what you want."
Xander nodded again and so the three went into the kitchen.
Quite a while later Xander had finished his 'tale' and both Ms. Summers and his mother could barely contain their anger about what they had just heard. Joyce quickly pulled an unmarked bottle out of a cabinet and filled three glasses and gave one to Xander and one to Kitiara. All three quickly drank the liquid and then shuddered. "So what now?" Xander asked the two women after he got his voice back from the sharp drink. "That depends on you my son," Kitiara said. "Do you want to stay here or return to our home world? Either way I will train you, so that you can use the sword I gave you."
Xander was quiet for a while and was deep in thought. "I'm not sure mom. I choose to fight in the same 'war' here as Buffy and with your training I can help even more, but on the other hand I would like to see your, sorry our world."
Joyce looked at the two for a while and then said, "You don't have to decide now Xander. Your mother can start your training now and for the time being you both can stay here. I've a spare room for your mother and for you, we can put at a couch into the training room we built in the cellar for Buffy. You can also use it for training."
Xander looked at Joyce in surprise and after a nod from his mother he said in a grateful tone, "Thank you Miss Summers, we really appreciate your offer."
They quickly went upstairs where Joyce showed Kitiara the spare guestroom and after Joyce and Xander explained to Kitiara how the modern equipment worked, Joyce knocked on Buffy's door. Only after a second they could hear Buffy's "Yeah?"
"Buffy, we could use your help," Joyce said through the still closed door. They heard some noise out of the room and then the door was opened and Buffy and Willow looked into the floor. "Need my help? So I'm good enough for slave labor, but not to be told anything?" Buffy whined.
"Stop sulking Buffy. Xander and Kitiara will stay with us for awhile and you could help by bringing the couch from the spare room down into the cellar," Joyce told her daughter.
"Into my training room?" Buffy asked astonished. "Yes, you and Xander do that while Kitiara and I go out to buy some things they'll need at the 24hour store," Joyce explained.
Buffy looked in horror at her mother and then said in a quiet tone, "Mom you can't, it's still dark outside. It's too dangerous."
Joyce nodded and replied, "Yes it is, but the sun will come up soon and we will drive and if we meet some trouble, Kitiara is well armed and I have all that stuff you gave me in my purse."
"But mom….," Buffy whined again, but before she could say any more Joyce interrupted her firmly: "End of discussion, Elisabeth."
Buffy grumbled a bit and before Xander could react he was suddenly pulled by his ears into the direction of the guest room with Willow following them.
The last thing Joyce and Kitiara could hear before they went downstairs was Buffy saying, "Spill Xander". Both grinned at each other before they left the house to find what they were looking for, which wasn't the 24hour store.
Of course going to the 24 hour store was just an excuse to go deal with Tony and Jessica Harris. The anger Kitiara felt at what these people had done to her son was beyond anything she had felt before and they needed to be punished. Joyce was thinking the exact same thing. She had always liked Xander and felt the boy was a good friend for her daughter. In fact she hoped one day Buffy might see sense and begin dating him. Having Xander as a son in law wouldn't be bad at all. Soon enough they arrived at their destination. Getting out of the car and heading for the door Joyce wondered what her new friend had planned.
Kitiara glared at the door that blocked her entrance to the people she sought before she decided force was needed here. She had been told by Joyce, who stood beside her, that the law givers would not respond to any calls during night time which was fine by her. Moving closer she kicked the door as hard as she could. This forced it open as if it was made of the thinnest wood. Stalking into the house she was confronted by a large man charging at her. However, he was vastly overweight and clearly drunk and so she was confident she could deal with him.
Side stepping his attack, she brought the handle of her sword down onto the man's head with just enough force to knock him out. He collapsed to the floor like a sack of potatoes. She glared at the body for a few minutes before going in search of the woman, while Joyce closed and locked the door and followed, pausing only to give Tony Harris a swift kick in the side. How a man like this had ever raised someone as sacrificing and caring as Xander was beyond her. She wondered if maybe it was due to the fact he had the blood of Kitiara flowing through him that had kept him from being corrupted by the Harris's.
Jessica finally appeared, having come from upstairs. Seeing the strangers she went to scream before she paused as she noted the familiarity between Xander and the woman before her. This confused her and as she stood staring, she failed to react as Kitiara made a run at her until she was right in front of her, making her trip over as she tried to back away. Reaching down Kitiara flung Jessica onto the couch and glared at her as did Joyce from a position behind her. "Stay there and don't move," Kitiara growled before going to retrieve Tony.
It took a bit of effort to drag the overweight man to the couch, but with Joyce's help, she dumped him onto the couch. Entering the kitchen Joyce filled a bucket of water before returning and dumping it over Tony, intending to wake him up. Tony awoke instantly as the cold water hit him, spluttering and shouting as he cursed, before he noted the people before him. His eyes especially locked on the woman with the sword, the one who had knocked him out cold. "Who the hell do you think you are, you bitch?" Tony growled as he pushed himself to his feet unsteadily. "Coming into my house and knocking me out cold and then taking me and Jessica hostage?" he added.
"Who am I?" Kitiara shot back. "That is an easy question to answer, you useless waste of space," she continued. "I am Alexander's birth mother and I have come to claim my son," she stated with cold eyes as Tony and Jessica began to look confused again.
"You are the bitch who birthed that waste of space?" Tony spat, only to end up back handed into falling onto the couch as Kitiara struck him hard. "Be very careful about how you talk about Alexander in front of me," Kitiara growled. "Your treatment of my son is why we are here. You have abused, beaten and tried to destroy my son's spirit and for that you will now pay the price," she told them. "Nothing you can say can defend your actions against that child," she spat.
"We never should have adopted the fucker, all he has been is a drain to us," Tony growled, doing his best not to feel fear. "You want him back? You can have him and good riddance," he added with false bravado.
Jessica winced at her husband's reply, knowing it was just going to enrage the woman even more and so it did. The woman lashed out and struck Tony again with more force than she should have been able to use. The blow sent Tony to the floor with a split lip and a broken tooth. This was clearly not going to end well if Tony kept up like he was doing.
"You are a despicable example of a human being," Joyce finally snapped. "How could you beat a child?" she demanded to know. "Quite easily actually," Tony shot back, only to end up kicked in the stomach, which left him winded and coughing.
"Be very careful with how far you think you can push me. I've killed people for far less," Kitiara warned him. "Alexander would not mourn your passing and neither would I. You think this is a game, but it is not," she went on as she placed her sword near his throat. "Push me too far and you may depart this world tonight and I will not shed a tear for you," she told him. Her cold eyes drilled into Tony's and against his will he found himself shivering and wishing to be somewhere else.
"What do you want?" Jessica finally asked, breaking her silence in the hope of stopping her husband from saying the wrong thing again.
Kitiara finally locked eyes with Jessica who did her best to meet the cold look sent her way. She had no real compulsion about how this had to end. By attacking them like this, they had to ensure it would not get back to the law givers. "Your husband's life is forfeit for ever daring to lay a hand on Alexander," Kitiara said. "You at least showed some kindness, but not much. You heaped abuse on him during your drunken rants and that will need to be addressed," she growled.
Before she could say anything Tony attacked her, having heard enough. Pushing Kitiara away he lunged to his feet and tried to hit her, but he was not fast enough and Kitiara easily ducked under the supposed heavy blow. Without even thinking about it she dropped into a combat stance and allowed her training come to the fore. She lashed out with her sword, cutting Tony all the way up his back. Tony stiffened as the pain exploded up his back, but he had enough strength to swing one more attack at Kitiara, who blocked it with her sword which easily cut half of his arm of, before plunging her sword into the man's chest. Tony coughed up a load of blood as he glared at Kitiara who kicked him off the sword before spitting on him as he began to die. Joyce was shocked, but felt if anyone deserved to die, it was this man. Plus he had been a fool to attack somehow who was clearly dangerous, armed and had a beef with him. Finally Tony's eyes glazed over and he died.
Jessica shook her head and did her best to ignore the death of her husband, knowing it had been his own stupid fault for even thinking of attacking the two women. Now she was left alone with the two and she didn't know if she would survive this. "Are you going to kill me too?" she inquired.
"No, I did not come here to kill either of you actually, but as with most things of this nature, it got out of hand," Kitiara responded. "You husband attacked me and I fell back onto my training and instinct. When something attacks me, I kill it, just as I killed him," she explained. "I have learned long ago to never leave an enemy at my back. Still, he deserves such a fate for beating Alexander and the other abuse he heaped on him," she finished.
"And what about me?" Jessica asked. "Leave Sunnydale and never come back," Joyce spoke up. "Sign over Alexander's adoption papers to me and leave. Forget about him and what has happened tonight and pray you never give us reason to come find you," she added.
Jessica stared at the blond haired woman for a few minutes before meekly nodding her head and decided to do as she was told and said as much as well. Tomorrow she would go to city hall and transfer the care of Alexander over to Joyce Summers and then leave this hell hole behind. Maybe she could find a new lover who would treat her better than Tony had.
Kitiara heaved the body of Tony on to a big plastic plane they had found in the kitchen and they brought him out of the house and flung him into the back of Joyce's car. They traveled to one of the many graveyards and soon found an open grave. Kitiara dumped the body into the hole and using the shovel she had found, filled the hole again. According to Joyce the police would chalk up the disappearance of Tony Harris on vampires or as they said, gang members on PCP. With that finished they got back into the car and headed to the 24h shop to buy a few things to validate their excuse for leaving the house.