Stand Ins and Stunt Doubles
Disclaimer: I own no property created by Joss Whedon nor claimed by Mutant Enemy. Stan Lee and Marvel are likewise in the clear. Hancock is also not my original creation and I hold no rights to it, though I wish I did.
Xander felt numb, things just hadn't been going his way lately. His breakup with Anya and then being tied up and tossed in the basement for disposal by a hallucinating Buffy had been bad enough, but then seeing Anya and Spike screwing on video…
Xander got out of his truck and unlocked the front gate of the CRC facility, making sure to lock it behind him before driving his truck around to the back where it couldn't be seen. He let himself in and headed straight up to the executive offices. After the Moloch incident, Willow had done a little creative programming and had transferred ownership of the property to Xander so he could insure Moloch's destruction, by destroying the robot body he had built, without interference.
Over the years, Xander had kept the property as a place to store things because disposing of evidence was a man's job, according to the girls, so he'd been tasked with all the post battle cleanup. He had Ampata's trunk, all of Marcie's stuff from the school attic, all of the unsold costumes from Ethan's shop, the personal effects of a couple of Terakan assassins, Amy's mom's and Janna's personal magical libraries, along with some duplicate books from Giles, an invisible scythe, a demon made of stone (crushed and cemented into the floor), boxes of cursed chocolate, a dozen electrical blasters, a closet full of dress clothes (Dracula did not approve of his fashion sense), a couple of magical items, and three androids in various states of repair that he kept in the office. He'd also had to clean out the houses of Ted, Mrs. French, and Coach Marin to help cover for their disappearance, fortunately there was a lot of storage room in the closed down plant.
The CEO's office was Xander's safe haven, a place he could to retreat from the world and relax. Naturally, that mean he installed a Play Station to go with the wide screen TV that was already there. Opening the fridge he got out a beer and popped it open before starting a game of Final Fantasy some Roman numeral edition.
Several hours and six packs later…
"You are a wonderful boyfriend," April said, handing Xander another beer. "Warren never let me play games with him."
"Warren is a certified cocksucker," Xander replied with drunken cheer.
"He did pride himself on his knowledge base," April agreed. An orange extension cord ran from under her shirt to the wall.
"You should replace your damaged battery with Botty's" Xander said, wondering why he'd used a cord.
"I couldn't do that, "April said, "It'd be like stealing her stomach."
"Just use it until you can replace your own, than. I'm sure she wouldn't mind, and you could always make some repairs to her to make it up to her later."
"I'll need to use your tools." April noted several files forbidding her from touching her boyfriend's tools without permission.
"Use whatever you need," Xander said before sliding off the couch to pass out on the floor.
Xander woke up four hours later still quite drunk. "Beer run."
Ted and April stopped working on the Buffybot. "You are over the legal limit. I'll drive," Ted announced, while April helped Xander to his feet.
Xander handed Ted the keys, wondering why alarm bells were ringing in the back of his head. "Do you still have a license?"
"Printed a new one not more than half an hour ago," Ted assured him.
"Good," Xander said. "'Cause I'm going to lie in the back."
"Try and stop me!" Warren smirked, the power of the orbs making him feel invincible as he tossed the door he'd ripped off the armored car to the side, where it landed with a loud clang, cracking the pavement.
Buffy exchanged half a dozen blows with the magically enhanced murderer to no avail, as he was a lot stronger and tougher than she was. If he hadn't been completely untrained in hand to hand she would have been in trouble.
Ted brought the truck to a stop as the two brawled in the street, blocking traffic. Xander sat up in the back of the truck and frowned before turning to April and drunkenly saying, "It's your ex. It's his fault I had to watch Anya and Spike... Rip off his sack and bring me his balls!"
"Sure," April agreed, hopping out of the truck and approaching the two.
Buffy was knocked backwards by a blow to the stomach and Warren paused to gloat, but before he could say anything he felt a tap on the shoulder. Turning around he found himself face to face with someone he never thought he'd see again. "April?" he asked in shock.
April's hand darted out to grab the leather sack he had on his belt which she easily pulled off. "Bye Warren," she said cheerfully before turning and walking away.
Buffy had taken advantage of Warren's distraction to recover and quickly attacked, her blows having a devastating effect without the orbs to shield him, which she didn't notice until he fell, broken, to the pavement.
April got back in the truck and they continued on their way.
Xander woke up as Ted shook him and handed him a pair of aspirin. "Ted?" he asked blurrily, as he accepted a cup of orange juice and took the aspirin.
"What did I do?" he asked, wondering what he'd done while drunk and why he didn't feel hung over.
"You reactivated April and had her repair me and Buffy," Ted replied cheerfully. "You also had me drive you to the store to purchase more alcohol, stopping along the way to help Miss Summers. Returning here you watched a season of Married with Children, had us modify Buffy and drank till you lost consciousness, where upon I followed your last command to-"
Xander blinked a couple of times. "Modify Buffy?" he interrupted.
"Taller, bigger breasts, red hair," Ted listed off. "We've also worked on upgrading her programming, but that's an ongoing process."
"Oh, Botty! Why are you following my orders and not running off to marry and kill women?" Xander asked, eyes scanning the room for a weapon or a way to escape, depending on Ted's answer.
"You are responsible for my activation; I have a hardwired command to obey for that. I've never killed any women, though I have married several."
"Then why were they in your basement?" Xander asked, beginning to relax a little.
"Bodies buried in Sunnydale either crawl out of their graves as cursed mockeries of themselves or are violated in some other way. My marriage vows required me to protect their corpses from such degradations."
"Oh," Xander said in understanding. "And the drugs?"
"I'm trying to counteract the attention deficit disorder that seems so prevalent these days. Just because Valium is no longer popular, doesn't mean it's no longer needed," Ted replied.
Xander snickered. "Let people decide their own dosage. From now on, no drugging people without their permission."
"Rule imputed," Ted agreed.
"Great, I'm going to shower and clean up."
Half an hour later, feeling much more human after a shower in the lab and making a mental note to get a checkup, he dried off and went searching for something clean to wear.
"You should try the red silk shirt."
"Ahh!" Xander ducked behind a rack of clothes. "Who are you?" he demanded, feeling naked, because he was.
"Buffy Summers," she replied cheerfully.
"Oh yeah," he said, putting on a pair of black silk boxers behind the rack before coming out. "With all the changes I didn't recognize you."
Botty spun in place. "What do you think?"
"The boobs, height, and hair all look good on you," he assured her. "But why did you change the face?"
"Changing my height made it necessary to alter the rest of me to fit," she explained. "So my face was widened a little, I had my nose enlarged a touch, and I changed my eyes to what I felt was more aesthetically appealing."
"You look good," he agreed. "We should give you a new first name though, to avoid confusion. How about, Jamie?"
"Jamie Summers the bionic woman?" she asked amused. "Try this on," she ordered, not giving him a chance to respond as she handed him a burgundy silk shirt and a black suit.
"I don't recall you being this pushy," he said, getting dressed.
"Upgraded programming," she replied. "You said you wanted me more like a real person and less like a sex toy. Ted's programming is far superior to Warren's, though Warren's design specs are physically superior."
Xander nodded. "No building Skynet, eradicating humanity, or general enslavement," he ordered, just in case.
"Rule imputed," she agreed.
"Good. Let's get breakfast and then find something productive to do. I feel like being productive today."
"Is there anything you'd like Ted or April to do?" Jamie asked.
"Modify their looks so they can't be connected to any past crimes," he said after a moment's thought.
"Message sent," Jamie announced.
"Remind me to get you three cell phones," Xander said guessing she had an internal communication device.
"Noted for later."
"Any suggestion on what I should be doing?" he asked.
"You could upgrade your own programming," she suggested. "While drunk you complained about other people fucking with your head, so antivirus and firewalls would be a good choice for installation."
"I… I think I know of someone I could talk to about that," Xander said as an idea hit him
"I'll drive," Jamie volunteered.
After a quick stop at McDonalds they went to the Summers' residence.
"Xander," Dawn said, happy to see him, especially looking so hot!
"Hey, Dawnie. I've come to pick Tara's brain. Do you know where she went?"
"She and Willow should be down any time now."
"And Willow?" Xander asked. "They made up?"
"Yep!" Dawn said, bouncing in place with a huge grin.
"Excellent," Xander said, following Dawn in with Jamie just behind him.
"Who's this?" Dawn asked, finally taking her eyes off Xander enough to notice someone else was there.
"I'm Jamie, his personal assistant," she introduced herself and offered her hand.
"Dawn, very close 'personal' friend," Dawn said shaking her hand.
"How about I start breakfast and let the aroma of sizzling bacon wake them?" Xander suggested.
"Breakfast?" Dawn asked hopefully.
"More than enough for you as well," he agreed, knowing that without Joyce the number of home cooked meals Dawn got was in the negatives.
Dawn agreed and hugged him, her hand 'accidentally' brushing his rear as she let go.
A quick survey of the kitchen showed a distinct lack of ingredients.
"Get started on the eggs and coffee," Jamie said. "I'll be back with the rest shortly."
"Okay," Xander agreed as Jamie left.
"A personal assistant?" Dawn asked curiously.
"It used to be personal secretary, but the requirements changed," he replied starting the coffee and heating water for tea.
"And what 'services' does a personal assistant provide?" Dawn asked suspiciously.
"Work related ones," he assured her, as he figured out how to expand Jamie's cover, because while he could just tell the truth, he didn't feel like dealing with the inevitable explosion from Buffy and Willow. They just never seemed to trust his judgment these days and both had, had bad experiences with robots before.
"No hanky panky?" Dawn asked, trying to keep her interest out of her voice and failing.
"Not a bit," Xander said while flipping eggs. "It's a business relationship."
"And dressing so nicely?" she asked doubtfully.
"As my personal assistant she also has some suggestions about how I dress, plus… all my work clothes are dirty, so all she had to work with was the wardrobe the Mast… Dracula bought for me."
"Ok," Dawn said, relieved he was still unclaimed and wasn't dressed up for some tramp.
They talked about various odds and ends, dealing with going to school on the Hellmouth, until Jamie returned with groceries.
"Bacon!" Dawn squealed as Xander started frying it while Jamie set the table and put everything away.
"And blueberry waffles," Xander agreed, knowing what Dawn liked.
"Bacon?" a blurry eyed slayer asked, the smell having drug her out of bed and downstairs roughly a minute later.
"Yes," Xander agreed. "But I would suggest pants first."
Realizing she was only wearing a pair of blue panties and a t-shirt in front of Xander, Buffy quickly scurried back upstairs. Either the noise of Buffy getting ready or the smell of coffee awoke Willow and Tara, who came down wearing flannel pajamas.
"Coffee!" Willow moaned, in much the same way a zombie would moan the word brains.
Seeing Jamie caused Tara to retreat upstairs to change, while Willow just accepted a cup of coffee and inhaled the fumes.
Buffy came downstairs fully dressed and looking much more awake. "Xander, what's the special occasion?"
"I need an excuse to come over and make breakfast?"
"Dressed like that?" Buffy countered.
"My doing," Jamie said helpfully. "I'm trying to upgrade his wardrobe."
"And you are?"
"Jamie Summers, Xander's personal assistant," she introduced herself, offering a hand.
"Summers?" Buffy asked.
"Just a coincidence, I don't have any relatives named Hank in California. Xander already asked."
"Okay," Buffy said. "So, no hidden agenda?"
"Agendas yes, hidden no," Xander said, giving Buffy a plate of her favorites. "I need to pick Tara's brain."
"What's wrong with mine?" Willow asked as Tara came back downstairs dressed in a white blouse and brown skirt.
"Well, I'm pretty sure if you had the information I wanted, you would have already told me before I could even ask the question."
"What did you want to know?" Tara asked.
Xander quickly introduced Jamie and then explained, "My brain has had so many guests they reserve rooms in advance. Possession, mind control, altered memories… you name it, it's been done to me. I need help, not only building defenses, but also in removing anything the guests have kept in their rooms."
"Umm." Tara glanced at Jamie.
"Independent demon hunter," Jamie offered. "It's why he chose me over the other people applying for the position; with me he doesn't have to hide anything."
"Oh," Tara said, while the rest of the girls gave Jamie a more thorough once over.
"Basically I'm looking for a mental antivirus and firewall," he explained.
"That sort of thing requires a lot of mental capacity," Willow said apologetically. "Otherwise I would have brought it up before."
"Xander has over a hundred people working under him and handles projects worth millions," Jamie said, giving Willow a look that said she doubted Willow's sanity. "Why would you doubt his mental capacity?"
"Actually, trust and willpower are the most important qualities for what I know on the subject," Tara said, trying to avoid an argument.
"Is that satisfactory?" Jamie asked Xander.
"I trust Tara and I don't think that I'm weak willed," Xander agreed.
"Excellent," Jamie said. "Tara, if you'd agree to help Xander, we have two hundred a week in the budget for self-improvement."
"Two hundred a week?" Tara asked in shock.
"His current independent studies and licensing requirements only take up a fifth of what's budgeted for it," Jamie explained.
"I don't need a bunch of fancy equipment and overpriced toys," Xander said with a shrug. "You hand me a book on practical construction techniques and employee motivation methods and I'm good." Xander was surprised at how much Jamie knew about him and his job, but tried to play along.
"And you want to pay me two hundred a week to help?" Tara asked.
"The higher-ups have actually sent memos reminding Xander to spend the money, so they can give him a raise for completing all his projected goals," Jamie explained.
"They've even suggested hiring a personal masseuse to dispose of it, a masseuse that probably only knows how to work with a very limited clientele," he said, trying to edge around the subject since Dawn was in the room.
"So, it's either a hand job from a stranger or head from Tara?" Dawn asked.
"Dawn!" Buffy exclaimed wide eyed, nearly choking on her eggs.
Dawn laughed and noticed Tara trying not to smile, while Willow froze with a faraway look in her eyes.
"It's more like fumigating the bat cave," Xander promised her. "I have lots of bats in this belfry," he joked. "So will you help me, 'because I could use both the help, and the raise."
"I-I'd be honored," Tara said softly, as she accepted a cup of tea from Xander.
"Excellent," Jaime said, taking out a pen and notebook. "Let me know what you need and how you'd like to be paid. For discretions sake I'd suggest cash under the table so we can just write 'Candi' on the ledger like the men in Admin do."
Dawn fell over laughing.
The moment the door closed behind Xander and Jamie, as they left to retrieve the list of supplies Tara requested, Buffy turned to Willow and asked, "Succubus?"
"Probably," Willow agreed.
"What?" Dawn asked confused.
"Oh, come on," Buffy said. "You saw her, she's like a combo of all our best features with Cordy's breasts."
"My hair and Tara's eyes," Willow pointed out.
"Her face is a combination of ours," Buffy told Dawn.
"So you sensed she was a demon?" Dawn asked.
"Well, no." Buffy shook her head. "Despite all the jokes, I can't actually sense demons or my job would be a lot easier. I'm basing things on Xander's luck with women and the fact that she looks like what has to be his wet dream, the perv!"
"Welcome to the Magic Box," Ana said before seeing it was Xander. "Oh, it's you." She turned and walked off.
"Sorry about that," Giles apologized, knowing that it would do no good to talk to Anya about it. "Morning Xander, what can I help you with?"
"Morning Giles, I've got a list of ingredients for Tara," Xander replied, passing the list that Jamie handed him and pushing away the pain he felt at seeing Anya.
Giles peered at the list over the top of his glasses. "I see a theme here; most of these are used in cleansing and mind altering spells. Anya can retrieve the ingredients, but might I ask what they are for?"
Jamie accepted the list back and went to give it to Anya, while the guys continued their conversation.
"My mind's been fluffed and folded, bent and mutilated way too many times," Xander explained. "I've been possessed twice, had my greatest fears come to life… also twice, Jonathan altered my memories to make himself my idol, and the first slayer played Freddy Krueger in my frontal lobes. The Mast… Dracula, Anya's ex, mind fucked me so I'd be his butt monkey. I've had my mind split in two and reassembled. Dawn… memories altered again, Willow wiped my mind and last but not least, one of Anya's victims made me live out an alternate future where I was treated to the lovely experience of becoming my father and beating her to death with a frying pan. I think it's a minor miracle I'm not already a gibbering lunatic!"
"I… I see," Giles said. "I would suggest taking some Lethe's bramble as well than, it can help dull memories."
"Sure," Xander agreed, calming down. "I just need to find what's me first and Tara is going to help me with that."
Anya listened with half an ear as she collected all the ingredients on the list, followed by Jamie. "And what are you to him?" she demanded.
"A personal assistant," Jaime said cheerfully.
"He is dressed better," Anya admitted.
"I picked it out of the wardrobe, Dracula bought for him when he was his butt monkey," she replied. "By the time I'm done, you won't even recognize him."
"Yeah," Anya said softly, before handing everything to Jamie. "Take these to the counter and Giles will help you."
"Okay," Jamie said brightly before rejoining Xander and placing everything on the counter.
Giles quickly rang it all up for him. "I wish you the best of luck."
"Thanks Giles," Xander replied.
Anya waited until the bell over the door stopped ringing their departure before she came out of the back. "Twenty says she's a succubus."
"Fifty says it's either a rare offshoot or something we haven't seen before," Giles replied before he could stop himself.
"It's a bet!"
As soon as Jamie stepped in the door, Buffy spritzed her in the face with a spray bottle, drawing everyone's attention.
"Fine, I'll stay off the furniture," Jamie said sarcastically, wiping off her face with her hand.
"Uh, sorry," Buffy apologized, putting the sword she was holding in her other hand into the umbrella stand. "Just making sure you weren't a demon."
"Aww," Dawn said disappointed. "Does this mean you don't fantasize about me?" she asked Xander.
"Huh? Color me confused," Xander said. "Can I buy a vowel?"
"Jamie looks like a mix of all the girls you're close to," Willow explained. "So we figured a quick check to make sure she wasn't a demon or wearing a glamour was in order."
"I… guess that's understandable," Xander admitted. "And how does this connect to you and fantasies?" he asked Dawn.
"Butt, legs, nose," Dawn explained. "If she was a succubus, having my features would mean you find me attractive."
"You are attractive," Xander promised her. "And I'll bet you get even more attractive when you aren't jail bait," he said, giving her a hug.
"Xander!" Buffy groaned, while the wiccans giggled and Dawn beamed.
"Of course men are primarily visually stimulated and at his age Xander should think about sex every nineteen seconds, so logically if he's spent more than five minutes talking to you, he's fantasized about sex with you at least fifteen times," Jamie assured her.
"That is a gross…" Xander trailed off frowning. "How the hell would anyone ever get anything done if we thought about sex every nineteen seconds?"
"I believe that most of it takes place below conscious thought," Jamie offered.
"It'd have to," Xander said shaking his head.
"Can you please stop holding my sister while talking about this?" Buffy asked sarcastically.
Xander let go of Dawn. "Sorry."
"Don't mention it," Dawn replied, her arms still around him.
"Dawn!" Buffy complained.
"Fine," Dawn said, rolling her eyes as she released Xander. "Hold up," she said thoughtfully. "Bend your head down so I can check something."
Xander obediently bent down a little and looked straight down, trying not to stare at Dawn's cleavage as she moved forward and examined his scalp with her fingers, almost making him purr as she ran them through his hair.
After a minute, Buffy asked, "Well?"
"Well what?" Dawn replied, giving up all pretenses as she pulled his head to her chest and stroked his hair.
Tara giggled and tried to hide it behind her hand, causing Willow to burst out laughing.
Buffy yanked Xander away, causing him to blink and straighten up, looking half awake. "Did you find anything?"
"How long was it?" Dawn asked Jamie.
"One minute, eighteen seconds," she replied.
"Score!" Dawn yelled, throwing her arms up.
Xander blinked and shook his head. "What?"
"Dawn tricked you into having pervy thoughts about her," Buffy replied.
"And put you into a somnambulant state by stroking your hair," Jamie added.
"No pervy thoughts," Xander said shaking his head. "Though I have to admit that hair stroking thing was relaxing in the extreme. I may have to hire Dawn after Tara is finished playing with my head."
"I'm free to give you a good stroking whenever you like," Dawn promised. "Heck, I won't even charge!"
"So… head once a week?" Xander suggested.
"More if needed," Dawn promised.
Buffy was about to start yelling when she realized what was going on. "You guys are playing with my head."
"Yup!" Dawn and Xander chorused.
"I've had a crush on him for how many years now?" Dawn asked. "We talked things out a while back. I can flirt all I want, but the most I'm allowed to do physically is cuddling and a peck here or there. If still single when I reach 18 I am allowed to date per our contract."
"Contract?" Willow asked.
"Mom drew one up for us," Dawn explained. "Knowing that Xander has a hard time saying no to those he cares for, she wrote up a contract with everything written out in black and white. For instance, a kiss with tongue means I'm not allowed to call or see him for two weeks."
"What's the penalty for sticking his nose in your cleavage and stroking his hair?" Buffy asked.
"Hold on," Dawn said and ran upstairs, coming down with a large black binder that she quickly paged through. The rest of the girls crowded around her curiously, while she found the index. "Nose in breasts and hair stroking have separate entries. Hair stroking is acceptable, but suggests the use of a brush as it's more relaxing. Nose in cleavage is… subsection fully dressed… in public… I have to vacuum the hallway, and Xander has to clean the windows in the living room."
The pair sighed and went off to clean, while Buffy set the binder on the table and looked through the index with everyone leaning over her shoulder.
"Xander does all the yard work," Willow pointed out. "Does it say what that pays for?"
"There," Jamie said pointing to a section of the index.
Buffy found the page number and flipped it to the right page. "The right to sleep in the master bedroom if he has nightmares."
"Check again," Willow suggested, "because he hasn't climbed into bed with us."
We would have noticed," Tara agreed.
Turning back, Buffy found another page number and flipped to it. "Rubbing against each other while fully clothed. That perv!"
"What perv?" Dawn asked, having finished vacuuming upstairs.
"Xander!" Buffy snapped. Dawn looked over her shoulder and grinned. "All I have to do is laundry for that? Great! Well, I'm off to do laundry."
"I don't think Xander was doing it as part of the contract," Tara said as Dawn rushed off.
"You aren't allowed to do laundry until you're thirty!" Buffy yelled chasing after Dawn.
Willow got a thoughtful look on her face. "I wonder if Dawn is serious or just trying to get out of doing any chores… ever."
AN: Typing by: last_primarch