Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy or Chuck. Buffy and related characters belong to Whedon. Chuck and related characters belong to WB.
Originally for TwistedShorts August Fic-a-Day Challenge (Day 17)
A/N: Okay, so I'm just now catching up with Chuck, so this is set in Season 3, post where Morgan finds out about Chuck. As for Buffy, as always, this is post Season 7, disregarding the comics—save for one or two ideas from it. Hope you enjoy
Chuck vs the Cousin
"What do you mean, you have a relative coming in?" Sarah snapped, crossing her arms.
Chuck blinked, shaking his head. The two of them were alone in Castle, sitting across from one another at the big metal table that took up most of the main room.
"What?" Chuck huffed, a smile on his lips. "You guys are fine with Ellie and Awesome. What's one more relative? Besides, my cousin and I used to have the best time together. I haven't gotten to see him that often since he moved off to Scotland."
"We're all right with Ellie and Awesome because they've been checked out. This—" Sarah paused, staring down at the clipboard in front of her, "Alexander Harris hasn't been."
"We call him Xander, and wait a minute. You guys have done a check on Ellie?"
Sarah rolled her eyes, tugging the blue jacket absentmindedly. "Yes, Chuck. We did it as soon as we knew we weren't going to be able to put you underground. We did the same with Morgan."
"That's not the point! The point is that you should have told us that Alex—"
"No, just Xander."
"Whatever! You should have told us that Xander was coming in to visit."
"I didn't know he was until yesterday."
Sarah paused, a clear look of "something's afoot" all over her face. Chuck shook his head.
"He's fine. I swear. He's not Ring, CIA, NSA, nothing. He had an accident a little while back that cost him his left eye, so he looks a little pirate-y, but he's just a normal guy."
"And you're really sure of this?"
Sarah had a brow arched, her blue eyes locked right on Chuck, who rolled his eyes.
"I swear, Sarah, that Xander is the most normal person I know."
Xander rammed the wooden stake into the vampire's heart, which was immediately followed by an erupting cloud of dust. He pulled the weapon back, coughing off the vampire remains. Shaking his head, he glanced at his watch.
He'd been in Burbank for all of twenty minutes—and was due to meet his cousin, Chuck, at the Buy More in another ten minutes—and he'd already run into trouble of the supernatural variety. Sunnydale might be a giant crater now, but that didn't mean that vampires had just up and relocated out of state entirely.
His cellphone rang, causing him to jump. He hit talk and pressed it to his ear.
"Have a nice flight?" Buffy asked, trying her best to sound totally causal.
Xander laughed. "Buffy, I've only been here a few minutes. I haven't gotten the cursed doohickey yet."
"That's not why I was calling…" she said, utterly unconvincingly.
"Look. I'll get the Evil Cup of Doom or whatever it was that Giles called it, but right now, I'm gonna go meet Chuck."
"Chalice of Malevolence… yeah, I like Evil Cup of Doom better. Have fun, Xander."
The two hung up, and Xander stepped back into the world of well-lit streets to hail a cab.
Sarah had been perfectly nice to Xander, and her questions weren't at all probing. Chuck had actually planned not to have her meet him at all—or at least, not until tomorrow when the poor guy was well rested—but she just so happened to be in the Buy More when Xander showed up. Yeah. But she parted ways with the boys, apparently satisfied that Xander wasn't some evil Ring member. It was off to Ellie and Awesome's after that for dinner.
Ellie and Xander had never been particularly close. They didn't hate each other or anything. Rather, they just didn't have anything in common. Xander was much more suited for Chuck in his geekdom—and Morgan, as the two were bonding fast. In fact, after a few minutes of conversation, Xander had laughed and said, "You know, I have this friend, name's Andrew, and I think you two would really get along just fine."
Dinner went smooth, just fine actually, and the boys left Ellie's apartment for Chuck and Morgan's.
"So, gameage?" Morgan asked, pointing to the old school Nintendo system.
Xander's face lit up with a grin. "Yeah, for a bit. I'm kind of beat… but I can't say no to a game of Duck Hunt."
They played a switch off game, winner taking on the spare each time. They were three hours in, Xander and Morgan always being the two switching guns, when Chuck finally laughed.
"So, what're you in town for? You mentioned something to do with work or something?"
Xander nodded, coughing a bit before saying, "Um, yeah. I'm… looking for a collector item for a friend. She's paying me big bucks for it if I can find it."
"That sounds cool. Maybe I could help?"
Xander arched the brow over his good eye, quickly shaking his head. "Uh, nah, don't worry about it, man. Trust me, I'm used to this."
"But I'm really good at finding stuff that's not so easy to, well, find."
"Oh, well, um… my collector… she's kind of picky over who handles the item and all."
"But Chuck is really good at being discreet, aren't ya, buddy?" Morgan put in.
Chuck grinned, fighting the sigh in his throat. Sure he was. Morgan was still learning.
"Ah, it's fine. Just thought I'd offer. How are you going about finding it anyhow?" Chuck asked.
Xander shrugged. "I've got to meet a guy for it. Steven Loren."
Oh no. Chuck felt his eyelids flutter and was suddenly flooded with information. He'd flashed… and Loren was a known member of The Ring. His eyes went wide.
"Um, let me go with you, please? I've always considered a job in rare-object finding!"
Xander yawned, standing. "Sorry. Gotta stick with 'no' on this one. And I'm really tired, so I'm heading to bed. Um… where's that again?"
Chuck showed Xander to Morgan's room—since he had generously offered to sleep on the couch the couple of days that Xander was in town. As soon as his cousin was out of sight, Chuck was on the phone to Sarah. Thankfully, she picked up after the first ring.
"Sarah, we have a problem."
Xander knew when he was being followed, a skill left over from his moment of being mystically transformed into Army Man. And he was definitely being followed. He knew by whom too. Unless, of course, it was just coincidence that the same Nerd Herder had been following him for the past six blocks.
Chuck had been rather intense with the questions regarding Xander's "business." It worried Xander, but he shrugged it off. The slayers had already worked out a deal with Loren. One pint of dragon's blood for the cup. Xander patted the messenger bag he had slung around his shoulders, feeling the jar tucked safely into a corner of it. He was prepared, as a dagger and a stake were in the other corner, but so long as nothing unforeseen happened, this was just going to be a quick trade in a rather public art gallery.
"Why is he going to an art gallery in the middle of the night? Are you sure that Xander isn't a Ring member?" Sarah asked.
Chuck shook his head. "I'm sure of it. He's just going into a very bad situation. And this Ring member probably has no idea that Xander's even related to me."
Sarah nodded, shoving an extra throwing knife into her boot. "What's the plan here?"
Chuck pulled the Nerd Herder to the curb without warning.
"I'm following Xander in; you wait a bit and then follow behind me."
Chuck was going to get himself killed. Xander might only have one eye, but it was clear that Chuck had now exited the car and fully intended to follow his cousin into the art gallery. Rolling his good eye, Xander just whirled around.
"Chuck, what the hell are you doing here?" he asked.
Chuck jumped, apparently surprised that Xander had noticed him. Shoving his hands apologetically into his pockets, he caught up with his cousin.
"I'm sorry. I'm just really interested in this stuff. Can I please come along?"
"Chuck, I told you… this is a delicate situation."
Chuck's innocently goofy manner dropped away suddenly, and he was deadly serious, placing a hand on each one of his cousin's shoulders.
"Xander… this guy that you're going in here to see… he's bad. Like, really bad. You can't do this."
Xander blinked. "You know?"
Chuck's eyes widened. "You know?"
"Okay," Xander said, holding up his hands. "Let's do this, since you know what I'm dealing with here. You let me take the lead. See, what I'm trading for here is dangerous."
"Some kind of weapon?"
"I guess you can say that. To be honest, I don't know exactly what it does. But I'm trading for it so it can be put away from the world or destroyed—whichever way is easier. Let me do the talking, okay?"
Chuck nodded. "All right."
It went wrong. Trade-offs always went wrong, in Chuck's experience. Loren made Chuck as Agent Carmichael, and suddenly the room was filled with men with guns… and creatures.
Chuck had done a double-take at the creatures. Some where large with horns and purple skin, while others were small with yellow skin.
"What the—?" he muttered as Xander suddenly pulled a dagger out from his bag with one hand, and a pointed wooden stick out with the other.
The Intersect kicked in before any guns could be fired, and Chuck had the men down in moments. Xander was a flurry with his weapons, cutting down the creatures with the dagger until only Loren was left.
"Where did you learn kung-fu, Chuck?" he asked.
"What are those things?" Chuck countered.
Xander blinked, unable to respond as Loren's face suddenly morphed and he launched himself at Xander. But the one-eyed cousin was ready, holding the thick wooden stick out to plunge it right into Loren's heart. He exploded in a cloud of dust, a golden cup clattering to the floor. Xander replaced his weapons, grabbing the cup to shove away as well.
"You mean… you don't know about vampires?" he asked as Chuck's eyes doubled in size.
"What? No! I thought you were a CIA agent! I thought you were trying to capture a Ring member… Wait, Loren was a vampire?"
"What are you talking about, CIA? Yeah, he was a vampire. I had to get this cup before he could use it to destroy the world, or whatever it was he had planned."
"Chuck!" Sarah's voice called from the outside.
"Xander," Chuck said suddenly, "you have to go. If I didn't know about vampires, then she definitely doesn't! I'll cover for you. Get out of here, fast."
Xander nodded. "Thanks, man."
He was nearly out of the back of the museum when Chuck stopped him again.
"Xander… you'll explain this when you get a chance, right?"
"Sure. Not a problem. Generally, vampires are real. I'll tell you more later!"
And he was off, disappearing out the gallery's back exit.
It was good to be back in Scotland. Xander sighed, setting the cup on the table before Buffy.
"Nice job. You have any trouble?" she asked.
He laughed. "You have no idea. Hey, um, on that note… you're okay if my cousin totally knows about us, right?"
End Notes: I hope everyone enjoyed this! I always meant to do a fanart for this, but haven't yet. Oh well. Please review!