Title: Finding Family 11/40
Rating: Adult - Overall
Paring: W/X HUA
Disclaimer: I own nothing, including the characters used in
this story and make no money off them.
Summary: This story is a follow up to "Flip The Script."
The boys are living together happily when something unexpected
turns their lives around.
Note: To all you nice people that asked about a link to all
my stories, it is at the end of this chapter.
The caretaker's cottage. Xander looked it over carefully as he
exited the vehicle. When he first spotted it he felt somewhat better.
Thinking it was the main house Xander smugly thought it very
unimpressive. Nice, but no where near as homy as their place
back in the good old U.S. of A.
Now.....well let's just say the insecurity was again rearing
it's ugly head.
Even though this was in no way a competition, Xander could
not help but feel he was going to come up short.
The house was old. Brick and vine covered. It had two chimneys on
one side and large french doors on the other that led to an expansive
garden area surrounded by a high stone wall.
A a brick walkway led from the drive way to the front door.
There were flowers planted in various patches around the house,
all bright colorful and well groomed.
Carpet roses lined the walkway to the entrance.
Their vines twisted and tangled and looked as though they
would wind around your feet and rip your legs to shreds with
their thorns if you dared wander off the path.
It was a contrast of beauty and foreboding that seemed to
engulf this entire trip.
As caretakers the couple who lived here owned none of this yet
obviously treated it as their home. It was well kept and lovingly
Xander watched as Will approached the front door cautiously.
Although he paid these people well each month he had never met them.
They were hired by Mr. Rayne shortly after Will had left the estate and
all funds dispersed to them came through Mr. Rayne's law office.
The cable they had sent him was the first and only direct communication
they had. Will was more than slightly ashamed of the fact he had
made no effort to get to know them. In retrospect it seemed uppity
and rude of him.
Xander and Willow closed their car doors and hustled to catch up.
Standing along side Xander briefly touched Will's hand then rang the
bell. He was determined to keep his promise and put all his petty
feelings aside and support the man he loved.
Just as they were about to ring again the curtain panel on the front
door lifted just enough for two tired dark eyes to peek out.
"Mr. Canters? My name is William Barton and we are here to......."
Immediately the door swung open and a short grey haired man presented
himself. His hand extended so eagerly Will was afraid if he didn't accept the
offered handshake quickly the man might faint.
"Oh, Mr.Barton. We are so sorry we had to send for you, but thank
God you came. Please, please come in. You and your friends.
You are most welcome. We are so glad to meet you. Please, Sir, we
did our best."
Turning the handshake into a tugging pull, the elderly caretaker
led everyone in to a cozy little sitting room to the left off the entry hall.
A comfortably well worn sofa was flanked on each side by mismatched
One obviously his, as told by the end table stacked high with
newspapers turned to the sports pages, a pipe,a tin of tobacco, and
a pair of men's reading glasses.
Her's with a basket of knitting, a shawl for warmth and her own glasses,
smaller and wire framed.
"Please, you young people just sit anywhere."
He hustled about collecting papers and straightening clutter. Generally
just moving it from one spot to another more than cleaning it up but
the effort was respected for it's intent.
"I'll go find the Missus and have her fetch some tea."
Willow and Will sat together on the sofa. Xander paced in front.
As soon as the elderly man was gone from the room Xander turned to
"Fuck the tea. Let's just find out what the problem is and get on with it."
Calmly looking in his direction Will's voice left no room for confusion.
"There is a certain protocol to be observed, Xander and I won't have
you insult these people by refusing them. When the time is right they will
explain the situation to us. I do not want you treating them disrespectfully."
Xander was shocked speechless. Will had never spoken to him like this.
This was not his "Baby", his little stay at home boyfriend, this was......
That's when it hit him.
Struck him with full force.
This was William Barton. This was the Lord of the Manor. A man of
property ownership that demanded respect. It was his position and
money that was the lively hood of these people.
Will was a man of importance in his own right.
All Xander's insecurities crashed in on him and he sat quietly to the side.
They had been together for almost a year and Xander thought he
knew all about Will. Sure he knew he had a past. One that since
the mess with Lindsey they had not really discussed much.
Now Xander realized he didn't know this man at all.
And that scared him more than anything before ever had.
"Oh, Will, this is just so wonderful. He really seems nice. I'm sure
everything is going to be o.k. Don't you think Xander?"
Willow was patting Wills hand and refused to look in Xander's direction.
Her minimal effort to include him in their conversation left no doubt that
she was both pissed and disapointed in her brother. It also said
that any response from him was both unwanted and unexpected.
Within minutes Mr. Canters returned followed closely by a chubby older lady
wearing a bib apron and carrying a tea tray of cups and cookies.
Mr. Canters did his best to provide his wife with introductions.
"Mr. Barton this is Mrs. Canter's, my wife. Ethel, Dear, this is
Her white hair was tied snugly up in a bun and her pink cheeks
centered the face of an angel. Everyone sat patiently as she poured
cups all around offering each lemon, sugar, or milk.
Turning to Willow Mrs. Canter's smiled sweetly.
"And might you be Mrs. Barton?"
Xander sputtered and choked.
"No she wouldn't be. That's just my sister, Willow. We are friends
of Mr. Barton. We only came along to keep him company."
Glaring at Will, his look challenged him to explain their relationship.
Will would not be intimidated.
The polite conversation covered all the required topics of the weather,
their trip across and Willow's admiration of the cottage grounds
Finally as Xander's patience had just about reached it's limits,
Mr. Canter's set his cup down.
"Well I expect you are anxious to discuss the matter at hand. I think
it is time for me to explain."
Looking at the other two, Mr. Canter's attention returned
"Are you comfortable having this discussion in front of your friends?"
"Yes, I prefer they stay."