Time For A Hand-Over.
Xander looked over the people running for his job and shuddered.
Ezra stared at him. "The people will survive."
"I hope." He let him see them.
Ezra looked them over then at him. "So ask someone to run."
"I'm not sure who should."
Ezra gave him a pointed look. "You've had a hopeful wish in the back fo your head for months."
He sighed. "She's sick."
"I did, she said she's sick."
"Oh. Who else was on your dream list?"
"Vermont's senior House member. Washington's junior senator but he's sure he wants to be a senator for a few more years. I've talked to them."
"Hmm." He looked over the options they had available, grimacing. "How about that nice man from Louisiana?"
"Gay basher who'd react or the other one?"
"The other one," Ezra said patiently, giving him a dirty look.
Xander grinned. "He's not eligible. He's a year too young."
"By the time of election?"
"Damn. I was hoping. He could make a good vice president."
"He might. I was thinking something radical. You know Manuel Del Santos?"
Ezra blinked a few times. "The former judge?"
He tipped his head to the side. "He's in his sixties so eligible. He's a fairly well known judge. Most of Congress knows him. His decisions have been quoted a few times." He nodded. "He might make a good one."
"We'd have to deal with the backlash because he's Hispanic."
"Perhaps. Though he has given a few anti-gay rights decisions."
"He's very strict in his interpretation. If not, Andrew, his eldest son."
"You have to pick a Supreme Court nominee anyway."
Ezra smiled. "He's smarmy."
"He is but he's good. He's a good judge. He's got a well-defined bullshit meter. He reminds me of Judge Judy only he's a higher judge and he likes hos."
"True. He does remind me of her. Including how he dresses."
"Yeah, that he does. Want to help him?"
"No, not really." He smirked at his husband. Xander grinned back. "For that, I will make you go shopping again."
"I could use some new jeans."
"Hmm. We'll see what I put you in this time." He crossed his feet, taking a sip of his coffee. "Anyone else on your dream list?"
"Not that I'm aware of."
"Ask Evan about his?"
"I haven't." He called him. "Who's on your wish list to follow us? Crappy and worse. She said she's sick. I asked." He listened to him, making a few notes. "I hadn't thought about him. He'd get the 'protecting us' votes. No, I was thinking about Manuel Del Santos or his elder son." Evan laughed and said he'd never take it but that he was a good human being as a choice. "Please. Thanks." He hung up. "He had a few ideas." He got the dossiers on them. Not great but decent on some things. They'd never understand the politics either. Xander sat down to list out his known needs for the job. Then he ranked them by that. "We still have no one that's empathic with the people." Evan walked in and looked over his shoulder. "Ezra likes that loud yahoo in Louisiana."
"I like some of his stances but not all of them. He's a bit rabid though. They might have to put him on tranquilizers." He grimaced. "They don't rank high on the international scale either. Odds makers are saying that we're all screwed."
"So ask for someone like Taylor DeCants," Ezra said dryly. They stared at him. "He owns a business, has met with multiple world leaders. Talks the same language as Congress but doesn't do more than listen and then walk off cackling usually."
"His political leanings are conservative and troublesome in some areas," Xander said quietly. "He's one that spoke out about us being burned at the stake. Someone like him I can see but not him."
"There's a few in that category of people," Evan said. "Let me call my grandfather." He went to do that from his desk. Hopefully his grandfather no longer had a headache about his announcement. He was still disappointed but agreed that Evan had a duty and a calling that had to come first. He could always be president when he came home for good. Evan avoided that point. He got a good list of names that would uphold the same sort of politics he and Xander did. Some of them were even decent human beings that weren't fully infected with the politician virus.
Xander met with the last one on their mutual list. "Mr. Del Santos, please, come in. Want some coffee or tea?"
"No thank you." He sat down in front of him. "I know you're looking for a supreme court nominee. Am I meeting you because of that?"
"Then why are we meeting, Mr. President?"
"Because I want to possibly have you in my seat some year." The other man gave him an odd look. "Right now I've narrowed the list of people I want to support down to about seven. You and your oldest son are the last ones I need to meet with to make a decision." He sipped his coffee. "Are you sure you wouldn't like some? Ezra made it so it's the good stuff."
"No, thank you anyway," he said, looking a bit confused. "I've never mentioned any higher aspirations."
"Which is a point in your favor. You know the system but you're not a politician. You can speak the language yet won't get sucked in by the rhetoric or anything like it. You have views I agree and disagree with."
"I would feel comfortable if we were talking about the Supreme Court opening, sir."
"I respect that man's views even though I find him personally slimy."
"Yeah, me too." He smirked. "He's a favored one of Congress. His raising up will go easier."
"Probably true." He shifted and stared at him. "My eldest son is a good man."
"So I've heard."
"He is not totally friendly to gay people."
"Everyone's allowed to have their opinion on that matter."
"As you've said before." He considered it. "I really wouldn't feel comfortable taking such a high office. I feel I would cause dissension."
"Because of your race or your views?"
"Probably my race."
"Possibly but you have served for years as a federal judge. You have strong opinions that you actually thought about before you said them. You even researched some of them."
He smirked. "All true. I pride myself on thinking before I speak." He considered it in that light. "Have you spoken to someone like Mr. Cole of the Federal Treasury Board?"
"I hate some of his viewpoints. He's much too conservative and I'm not sure he can actually work with international leaders that he's pissed off in the past."
"That is a good point." He considered it. "Maine's governor?"
"I asked. She said she's sick. Otherwise this would be an interview for her VP."
"I could get behind that woman."
"I think a lot could. Some would complain she was female but she's proven her worth to the state. It's in the best fiscal shape of any of them."
"It is." He smiled. "I will feel out my son to see if he's interested."
"If not, and the expected retirements happen, do you want considered?"
"I have heard that rumor. Yes. I think I would like it."
Xander smiled and shook his hand. "Thank you for your time, Your Honor."
"Thank you, Mr. President. It is an honor to even be considered." He shook it and left. He called his son once he got to the airport. Then he rescheduled his flight and went to talk to the two that might be retiring. That way he knew his choices.
Xander smiled as he walked into the governor's office in Maine. "I'm a hallucination," he told the assistant. "She busy?"
"No, sir," he said weakly.
Xander smiled and walked in there, kicking the door shut.
"Treat the people's property easier, sir," she said, looking at him. "Oh, it's you. I expected the Colonel."
"He's presently putting down some egos in Congress." He stared at her. "We all agreed that we'd support you."
"I'm still going through treatment."
"Will you be going through treatment in a year?"
"I hope I live that long."
He nodded. "I'm sure you will. You're too tough to die of something like that."
"Possibly," she admitted, smiling at him. "You're very pushy."
"I only want the best to take my seat. I know how much it can drive you nuts. I know how much the other world leaders act like kids."
"Yes, I have seen their public fits."
"I get called at two in the morning by them to throw one."
She snickered. "I'd hang up."
"I have told a few they interrupted my evening with my husband. They huffed and called back during normal business hours."
"That would make me do so as well, sir. You're very pushy for not being a politician."
"As opposed to letting the cocksucker that comes from Montana do it? And that says something coming from me."
"True. He is."
Xander nodded. "He does it more than I do but for worse reasons." She cackled at that. He grinned. "You sure? We would be behind you. You're a good choice."
"If I wasn't sick, I might take you up on it."
"Then give me a good suggestion?"
"No. A *good* suggestion."
She snickered. "Maytrix. He's a former politician. Gave up after a few terms because of the same virus you complain about. He's a bit conservative but he did put out a lot of 'leave him alone, he's earned the right to be happy' articles. He can work the press because he temps as one of their political commentators. He's actually a Doctor of Economics."
"He's in St. Louis."
"For mine or Evan's job?"
She considered it. "Evan's first but I can't think of anyone for the prime one. If he'd leave being independent, I'd say Cultridge. He's out of Oregon."
"I considered him. He has a few annoying things, like not believing Atlantis needs to go home."
"True, but he's a good man. He's definitely not a politician with the way he rants at his state House."
"True." He nodded. "I can talk to them." She smirked. "Are either considering running?"
"Well, maybe we can change that. Is Maytrix a donkey or an elephant?"
"He's technically a republican but one of the milder ones. Even the Log Cabin republicans like him."
"That's a really good thing. They hate me." She grinned. "You're absolutely sure?"
"If I wasn't sick I'd agree."
"Thank you." He shook her hand and left, going to the vacation they were doing locally. Evan had joined them and agreed with her choices after looking them up.
Ezra smiled. "Cultridge will be in DC for the governor's meeting next week. Maytrix can quietly sneak into DC for a meeting."
"We can do that then." He called Chuck to have him set it up. Everyone was guessing about why they were in Maine. No one had fully gotten it right.
Xander smiled at the man who stomped into his office. "Thank you for coming, Governor."
"That was a heavy handed invitation. Is there a problem in my state, sir?"
"No. I wanted to talk to you about my seat, not yours."
The man paused and gaped. "Yours?"
"Me?" he demanded in a squeaky voice.
"With former Representative Maytrix or a few others that are decent human beings? I'll give you all the research I've done over the current meetings."
The governor of Oregon blinked a few times. "You want *me* to be president?"
"You have a good hand with running things. You can deal with politicians, professional and childish. You can deal with other state leaders. You're a bit more conservative than we are but not all the way. A lot of groups that aren't the mainstream like you. You actually listen to concerns of your people. You've had good ideas. You have a lot of good things going on in your state."
"What about Maine's?"
"She suggested you because she's sick."
"Oh," he said weakly. "Maytrix?" He handed over the folders of the ones he had liked. "Huh. That's one loud guy from Louisiana."
"Who is former military and knows about protecting people."
"I'm not doubting that." He read it over and nodded slowly. "I can ask my wife if she wants that sort of stress."
"Please do. Because the current people running? I'd rather shoot than give up my seat to them."
"I can agree with that. I wouldn't hand my state to any of them. You're certain you want me?"
"I had that same hesitation and thought of jumping off somewhere very high to get out of it."
"I'm not doubting it." He smiled. "Thank you, sir. I'll give you my answer by tomorrow night?"
"Would both of you be behind me?"
"Huh." He grinned as he walked out. He got into the car, letting his driver take him back to the meeting while he called his wife. "Dear, you'll never believe why the president called me to the white house. No, he wants me to run. Yes, for that office!" He smiled. "I told him I'd tell him by tomorrow. Of course I wouldn't make that decision without you. You are my wife." He hung up when she got happy, thinking about it. Him as president. It had a nice ring to it. He did act well around world leaders. He didn't put up with stupidity. He could understand most of what the last few presidents had done and why, and agreed with most of it. So...maybe?
"Mr. President," one of the reporters called, spotting him playing with the dogs. "What about a hunter taking office? I know you didn't consider any of them and there's a proclaimed God of Hunting out there right now."
Xander looked up from his stress relieving game of fetch. "Who?"
"A hunter who's very good. Do you think they'd take the nomination?"
"I think they'd run very fast since they try not to get any attention. Why?" he asked carefully. "You don't like the guy we like?"
"We do but we're not sure he's very protective and a lot of us still worry about that. Someone like a hunter might be good for the US, right?"
"Maybe," he admitted. "Which one were you thinking about?"
"Well, there is Dean Winchester."
"Oh, God, I can just imagine the fit he'd throw if you tried to get him nominated," he moaned, squeezing his nose bridge to stop the headache. The dogs barked at him so he petted them. "Dean would shoot people."
"What about his brother?"
"Sam is married to Dawn. She might not like that."
"Well, it's said he went to college."
"Yeah, he almost graduated pre-law at Stanford when his girlfriend got killed by the demon that had been after his family. They'd still fuss and yell."
"Which would you rather see?"
"I think our choice will do just fine protecting people and his VP candidates are going to be someone who can fill in any gaps he might have."
"But can he protect us?"
"Yes. I'll even let him keep Jon O'Neill to help him."
She smiled. "Thank you, sir, and they're growing into very fine dogs." She bounced off.
Xander called Dawn. "Did you know there's people who want Dean to run for president?" He hung up on the swearing Sam was doing with a wince.
Dean looked out of the office when Sam started to swear. "What did you bang on the table this time, Sammy?" he joked.
He glared at him. "Someone wants you for president, Dean."
"Um...." His brain shut down.
"That would be bad for hunting," Clarissa, also formerly known as John Winchester, said. "How would we hunt with him getting that much attention?"
"He's the better choice anyway. I have a GED, he actually went to college," Dean said, sounding weak. "I think I'm going to have a stroke now, Sammy. Who told you that?"
"Oh, damn," he muttered. "Connor, can you kill me now please?" he yelled, walking off to find him.
"You woke me up, of course I can," Connor complained as he came down the stairs. "Why else do I need to kill you?"
"They want him for president," Sam said with an evil smirk.
"If this is a prank it's gone too far already," Gunn warned.
"Xander called, you can call him and check."
Dawn snatched her phone to call him. "Who, exactly, suggested Dean for President?" She listened, going pale. "Excuse me?" she demanded.
"Yeah, I'll kill you," Connor assured him. "Before the election even, Dean."
"Thanks, man. You're a real friend."
"Tell Xander I need self-defense lessons," Clarissa called.
"He said go to Cleveland and take them with the slayers when you're old enough," Dawn shot back. She listened. "Can we avoid it?" she asked hopefully. "Yeah, we can start pointing out how bad hunting is and what happened in St. Louis, all that." She hung up and called the local reporter she knew with the LA Times. "It's Dawn Winchester. No, slight issues.
"People are starting to want Dean, my brother-in-law, to be president. Yeah, the one who hit on you while he was drunk and thought you were a girl. Can we nip this quickly in the butt so it can't happen? I mean, there's all sorts of reasons. Like funding the hunting using credit card fraud and having a demon take his identity and killing people..... Please?" She beamed at Dean. "Thanks!" She hung up. "He'll publish articles about how bad of a choice you'd be, Dean."
"Thank you, Goddess," Dean called.
"Let's hope that bad idea is stopped permanently," Sam agreed. He relaxed. "Clarissa, you're not old enough yet. You got us at fourteen. You can do the same." He pulled Dawn down to cuddle. He needed that horrible thought taken out of his head. The others walked off at the first kiss, groaning for whole new reasons.
The night of the election, Xander was watching. His wanted one was ahead. There had been a battle though and something was probably going to change. He watched as the reporters gleefully went on about the O'Neilling trend that had happened in the last three presidencies. "Oh, please spare Dean, Goddess of Mercy," Xander murmured.
Evan and Ezra walked in with Chris, Vin, and the others. They gathered around to watch the results come in. "Sam?" Evan demanded.
"He's Stanford educated, has a wife and kids, and is morally uptight," Xander complained, getting that sinking feeling. It was *real* close. He called Sam. "Did you eat steak tonight?" he asked. "I'm so sorry, Sam. Yeah, you should be watching tv." He hung up. "He and Dawn both had steaks out at a good place while Dean heathen sits."
"Those poor schmucks," Buck muttered. The east coast was done first of course. It was forty-nine to fifty-one percent. The other contender wasn't even on the map. The midwest states started to report. It switched to the guy from Oregon in the lead. The reporters weren't calling it, it was too close to call.
They got to the Mountain time zone and it switched back, then back again. The guy from Oregon was ahead by two percent. But the big states were still to come. Both people were shown. Some reporter had found Sam and Dawn out eating. They didn't look pleased. The other guy was having a great party and a good time. California polls were still open for a few hours. Xander called his guy. "Did you watch the news yet?" He saw the guy look at the newscast at his party and winced.
"I have no clue, man. It's too close to call. California isn't closed yet. Hawaii and Alaska aren't closed yet." He hung up and watched. He, of course, won his home state. It came down to California was too close to call without a recount. Hawaii and Alaska both went to Sam though. Unless the guy from Oregon won California, he was out. Sam was going to destroy a lot of people for voting him into office with, ironically enough, the guy from Oregon as his VP.
"Aw, shit," Evan muttered. "But hey, maybe next election. VP isn't so bad."
"No, it's not," Xander agreed. "But Sam's going to destroy LA."
"Buffy helped the 'put a hunter in office' push," Vin said quietly.
"I'm not telling Dawn her sister sent her up the river. I'm not that fast; I can't escape her."
The reporters were going nuts over the recount in California. It was literally down to that state's votes. Fortunately it was all electronic so it'd be a faster recount. "Absentee ballots counted?" he asked Ezra.
"Hopefully first with the military ones."
"Sam's going to kill us," Xander sighed a few hours later when it became official. Their guy was now VP. His 'this wasn't either speech I was prepared to give tonight' speech was good for being on the fly. Sam couldn't be found to comment. Dawn had taken them both somewhere secluded so he could scream, rant, and possibly commit suicide. Xander looked at Ezra, giving him a kiss. "Got a mover you like?"
"I have two or three I like. I'll contact my favorite tomorrow and the people to move our horses. We do have to ask John what he wants us to do with Blossom and let him know he can sell the farm."
"He'll be here tomorrow."
"Wonderful." He took another kiss. "Go to bed. I'll come work on your shoulders in a moment." Xander smiled and went up to wait on him. He looked at the others. "I say we all hide from Samuel and Dawn tomorrow."
"Buffy can take her sister shopping," Vin quipped.
"Yes, they can." He stood up. "I shall see you lot tomorrow, late." He smirked as he went up to calm his husband down. It was a favorite game to see which one got to fuss over the other that night.
Chris looked at Vin. "This means we can start packing too." Vin beamed and nodded. They all went back to their homes to start the packing process. They had a few months but it'd be easier to ship it all ahead.
Dawn flashed into the white house the next day, glaring at Chuck. "How dare they!"
"You guys make them feel safe," he admitted quietly. He wasn't going to admit who he voted for. "At least they gave him a Vice President that could handle things."
"Yay! This means I have to shop! I haven't shopped like a Summers woman in *years*!"
"Your sister can take you."
"Eww! No thanks. Much too old lady for me." He grinned. "Is Ezra here?"
"He's in his office, Dawn," Buck said as he walked behind her. "I know it seems bad but give it four years and then disappear."
"I hope so!" She went to find Ezra. He always shopped nicely and since they hadn't stopped the campaign to get them elected, he could suffer for it. He huffed when he saw her but she gave him an evil smirk. "Then you should've stopped them."
"We didn't hear a thing about it, Dawn."
"Samuel will need to get a few suits and a tuxedo. Something fashionable."
"Giles is already groaning."
"I have a few people you can talk to about that. LA does have a lot of very nice couture shops."
"Yes but they'd expect me to be like Buffy. I'm a Winchester now, not a Summers." He smirked and took her to his favorite ones, which had shops in LA as well. Though Dawn did quip that Sam was still swearing in Latin. That way if the kids wanted to know what he said, they could get some translating work in. It amused the shopkeepers a lot.
Xander smiled at the board in front of him. "Atlantis, you have a go," he said calmly. "Remember, I'm coming up there soon to hide from Dawn and Sam's wrath."
"I'm sure you will," John joked, sounding happy. "Atlantis is off. See you later, Earth." He lifted the city out of the ocean and took her off. The people watching from the Bay's rim cheered them and held a party for their special city going back to her habitat and fight. Even the ones who didn't think it was necessary enjoyed the party.
Xander handed over the headphones with a smile. "Thank you, Walter. We'll be hiding in Denver later today." He winked and got beamed back to DC. He put on his suit and tie, letting Ezra walk him out to the viewer stands for Sam's swearing in. As of that morning he had switched to looking up swear words in other languages so he quit repeating himself. Dawn looked graceful and thin, but Xander realized that she was a bit heavy about the middle. He leaned closer to Ezra. "Either she's hit the stress ho-hos or we're going to have a baby born soon," he whispered.
Ezra smiled. "I believe it's the second cause when she was trying to calm him down." They clapped as Sam walked up to take his oath, earning a dirty look from Sam. Dawn sat next to them, taking their hands to hold while he took his oath. Then they walked inside and Xander got to disappear with Ezra. His dogs were waiting with Vin back at their place. The horses were in the barn. John had managed to sell the farm in late December. So it was all good and they were back where they belonged. With peace, quiet, and Xander's hidden weapons collection being debated.
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