Title: Ripples in a Pond
Timeframe: Sometime in the first few seasons of Buffy. No real spoilers.
Author's Notes: In response to TtH Challenge 7348, "Dave". I don't think I exactly follow the prompt, but this is what popped in my head when I read it...
Though I've read a lot of fic, the only season I've seen is S1, so please forgive me if everyone is way off. And please let me know so I can improve in the future!
Vague Disclaimer that's No One's Friend: I own nothing. I'm just playing in someone (well, several someone) else's sandbox. Please don't sue me!
"Do you want anything while I'm up?"
"Mug of blood would be great. What've we got?"
"O-neg, A-pos and just a little AB-pos left."
"I'll take the AB with a hint of cinnamon."
"Coming right up!"
Xander shook his head as he waited in front of the microwave. If someone had told him six months ago that he'd be willingly spending time with Angel, he'd have asked them how many blows to the head they'd taken recently. Now, though, he would say that Deadboy was his best male friend. He'd even say it if he wasn't being tortured!
As he looked back, it was easy to see when it all changed...
"Xander! Did you hear?" Willow shouted as she made her way into the library and saw her best friend sitting there waiting for the rest of the group to assemble.
"Hear what, Wils?" he questioned.
"President Mitchell is coming to Sunnydale next week!" she enthused. "He's going to be giving a speech at a fundraiser on Thursday night, and we can get extra credit for Government if we go!"
"Why in the world would you need extra credit, Willow?" Buffy asked as she approached the table. "Aren't you already getting, like, 105%?"
"Well, yeah. But that's not the point! We get to meet the President!" she exclaimed.
"You two will. I'm sure Giles will have me out patrolling," Buffy pouted.
"Yes, quite," the librarian said as he exited his office. "And I don't mean to dampen your enthusiasm, but I'm afraid you probably won't get a chance to actually meet the President. He is, after all, a very busy man."
Willow frowned as she thought about that. Seeing her disappointment, Xander reached out and gave his oldest friend a hug. "Don't worry, Wils. I'll do everything I can to make sure you get your chance."
Standing at the back of the full dining hall, Xander and Willow watched and listened as the President spoke about his recent promise of employment for everyone. Willow was completely riveted, hanging on every word. Xander, though, wasn't staying focused, no matter how hard he tried.
Out of the corner of his eye, Xander caught sight of someone, or rather, something, that looked like it belonged even less than he did. When he turned to look, though, he couldn't find it. "That's weird," he muttered.
"What is?" Willow questioned without taking her focus off the stage.
"I thought I saw something or someone over there, but when I look, I don't see it," he answered. "There! Wait, no."
"Hmm. Probably an SEP," Willow remarked offhandedly.
"An SEP. A Somebody Else's Problem field," she distractedly explained.
Xander relaxed. "Oh, good." Once he stopped focusing and looked to the stage again, of course, he finally saw it. Whatever it was, it was about 7 feet tall, green, and looked like it weighed about 500 pounds. What really surprised him, though, was the green size 8XL t-shirt the being was wearing that said "My Man Mitchell" in large, block letters. "Well, that's something you don't see every day."
"Shhh!" Willow hissed at him.
With a shrug, Xander went back to people-watching. Just as the speech was drawing to a close, he saw 3 people enter across the room. While not having the same instincts as Buffy, Xander had them pegged as vampires within moments. "Uh oh. Vamps at 3 o'clock."
Willow stole a quick glance at her watch. "No, it's almost 9."
"Not what I meant, Wils," Xander said with a sigh. He grabbed his friend's shoulders and pointed her to the right side of the room. "There."
"Oh!" Willow squeaked, then blushed. "3 o'clock. Gotcha. I'm going to go find a payphone and call Giles."
"Good idea," Xander agreed. "I'll stay and watch them."
"Be careful," she instructed as she hurried away.
Not wanting to take any chances, Xander pulled a stake out of his back pocket. Just then, the crowd stood and started to applaud. He lost sight of the Undead Americans, and by the time he moved to where he could see them again, they were gone. "This isn't good."
The President left the stage as Xander hurried across the room and slipped out the most likely door the vamps would have used. He caught a glimpse of them up ahead of him in the hallway just before they turned a corner. Without a second thought, he hurried after them.
Just before he reached the corner, he heard a commotion ahead of him.
"Stop right there!"
"This area is off limits."
"Don't come any closer."
"What the hell are those!"
Weapons discharged as he poured on more speed and charged around the corner. While the Secret Service agents were excellent marksmen, their shots to center mass did nothing more than cause the vampires to pause. That pause, though, was enough for Xander to dust the closest one. The agents had either stopped to reload or switched to disabling shots, aiming for major joints to try to slow the threat.
While one of the vamps continued forward, the other noticed the loss of his companion and turned to face the new threat. He threw a punch, intending to knock the arrogant, puny human into the wall and unconscious so he could drain him at his leisure later. Having anticipated that, though, Xander ducked and dodged. As he did, he caught a glimpse of someone with a long black leather jacket and a shiny head of hair vault over the hunched-down President, jump the line of agents and attack the other threat. He couldn't afford to be distracted, though, so he focused back on his own fight.
After an indeterminate amount of time spent avoiding attacks in the hopes of finding an opening, Xander finally got his chance. Without a second thought, he took a glancing blow and slammed his stake home. He turned to face the final threat, only to see it dust. As his subconscious mind had already concluded, Angel had just finished off the other vamp.
Angel stood up and nodded at him. "Xander. Nice work."
Xander stood shocked for a moment before he smiled. "Thanks, Angel. Appreciate the help, too."
"That was amazing!" said a voice from behind the Secret Service men. Both Angel and Xander turned in shock as they watched the President shoulder his way through the line. He stuck out his hand. Slightly quicker to recover, Xander accepted the handshake. "Thank you for protecting me from... what were those, anyway?"
"Those, Mr. President, were vampires," Angel replied as he also shook hands.
"Really?" he queried. As Angel and Xander nodded, he frowned. "Hmmm. Well, thank you for protecting me, young men. You've provided a great service to your country."
Xander snicked, realising that Angel was neither young nor American.
"What are your names?"
Behind the President, he heard a large black agent mutter, "Californians."
Before Xander could make a response, the President reached out and wrapped his arms around their shoulders. "Why don't you come with me and tell me a little more."
"Yes, sir," Angel agreed. "And I think I know the perfect place for this conversation..."
A few moments later, after a page was sent out, Willow joined them. Xander nearly cracked a rib laughing when she hyperventilated and nearly passed out after he introduced her to his new friend.
He and Angel started to explain to the President about the things that go bump in the night as the Secret Service whisked them out of the building. Giles met them at the rear entrance and was quickly included in the entourage to help enlighten the leader of the free world.
A few minutes later, they reached the destination to which Angel had directed the driver of the presidential limo.
"Willy's Alibi Room?" Giles asked in shock as he got a good look at the building. "This is your good idea for introducing the President to the night life?"
"Well, yeah," Angel said as he got out of the vehicle. "There's not going to be anything in there that we can't handle. Plus tonight is poker night."
"Really? Great!" the President stated. "I haven't gotten to play poker in forever!"
"Sorry, sir," the President's bodyguard, Duane, interjected. "There are very strict rules about gambling. I'm afraid you're not allowed any monetary winnings."
"Oh, that's not a problem," Angel remarked. "We'll be playing for kittens."
"Kittens?" 5 voices cried out in unison.
"It's a tradition that goes all the way back to George Washington.," he added. At the dumbfounded looks, he continued on. "Didn't you know? The first president of your lovely country was 1/4 demon."
"Well, they never told us that in history class!" Willow complained.
"Yeah, they do tend leave out most of the good stuff," Angel commiserated. He pulled open the door to the bar and stepped inside.
"That explains a lot, actually," Giles opined.
"Oh, what do you want tonight... Mr President!" Willy croaked out.
"We're here for the poker, Willy," Angel told the barman as he breezed past and into the back room.
"I only have 3 seats left," Willy said apologetically. "I can seat you, President Mitchell and the boy."
The Scoobies looked at each other and shrugged. "Works for me," Xander replied.
"Buy in is 4 tabbies, 2 calicos, a Maltese and a black cat," Willy informed them.
At a look from the President, one of the Secret Service agents gave a sigh and started talking into his radio. After a few moments, he informed them their ante was on the way.
"You're cheating!" an obviously intoxicated Dentrassis shouted as Xander won another hand. "There's no other way someone so young can win so often!"
Before anyone could stop him, the being muttered an incantation. A rush of magic filled the room.
Because the Dentrassis was drunk, though, he mispronounced a word. Instead of a spell to prevent cheating, he removed all animosity of the players towards each other.
As the game wore on, Xander began to realize that when Angel wasn't obsessing over Buffy, he was actually a pretty cool dude. He had a wicked sense of humor. He decided that they should hang out some time.
When Xander kept winning, the Dentrassis cast another spell, this time a truth spell. Again he miscast it, though. Instead of Xander, he cast it on the President.
Much to everyone's surprise, he blurted out that he wasn't actually the President. Instead, he was an impersonator from Georgetown named Dave.
Soon afterward, the game broke up with Xander in possession of most of the kittens. He gave one to Willow and the rest to the Secret Service agents to get to a local animal shelter.
"So, you ready for the game tonight?" Angel called out from the other room.
"Yep. How cool is it that we get to play poker with a former President of the United States!" Xander said as he returned with his glass of water and Angel's mug of reheated blood. "Even if he wasn't really the President, it's still awesome. I still think it's weird that we're playing for kittens, though."
Angel just shrugged.
"So, who's playing this week?" Xander asked.
"Well, last I heard, we had one of the members of Du Jour, Aaron Echolls' son Logan, and the writer Richard Castle. There were some rumors that Hannah Montana was thinking about dropping in, but we'll see," Angel listed off.
"If nothing else, this should be interesting..."