A Streak of Black Lighting

Author: Charles Parker <charles_parkerh[at]hotmail.com>

Author: Adrian_Tepes

Feedback: Coin of the realm

Rating: PG-13

Summary: Sequel to 'Off the Beaten Path'. Xander's wild cross-country summer adventure.

Disclaimer: Xander and other BtVS characters belong to ME. Snowman and company belong to whoever owns their rights. I own nothing but the deeds to Tara Reid's immortal soul.

Chapter 1
Forking around.

"Bandit, you got your ears on, come back."

"Um yeah I've got my ears on Snowman. Umm come back."

"That's a ten four, good buddy. Now we've got to stop and pickup our party gift."

Xander followed the big rig through the suburbs and quiet streets of this sleepy little town. On one hand he was grateful that the night would obscure what they were doing. On the other, even HE couldn't believe what they were doing. Staking vampires with Buffy, watching Oz with HIS Willow, having Cordelia Chase as HIS girl. Heck, even blowing up the high school to kill the newly ascended Demonic Mayor. Those were all things that he could rationalize.

But running blocker for a shipment of illegal booze in a scheme that would net him $250,000... That was unbelievable.

Still, he had to admit he was enjoying himself. The two vehicles found their way to a warehouse near the outskirts of the town and pulled to a stop. Cletus was waiting for Xander near the loading bay.

"Beer's in there kid."

"Cool, so why aren't we loading it already?"

"Well I don't have a key."


Xander frowned and then he went up to the door and pounded on it for a bit. Frustrated he stepped back as Cletus moved past him and started trying to force the door as well. The man once referred to as 'The Zeppo' studied the situation and then smiled as he saw the open window above the door.

"Hey Cletus, Give me a boost up."

The other man followed his gaze and nodded. After a short fuss during which time Xander stepped on his neck, ear and forehead, the Sunnydale native was through the window. Cletus tried to fix his clothing as he waited for Xander to open the door Abruptly the main loading bay door opened and revealed a grinning Xander standing by the switch.

"Hey, want a beer?"

"Naw, now how we gonna load it."

Xander looked around and then his face brightened. "We'll load it with this," he said as he made his way towards something in the corner of the warehouse with Cletus right on his heels.

"Wait do you know how to drive a forklift?"

"Of course," Xander lied through his teeth, "My Uncle showed me how to."

Cletus stood on the rear of the forklift watching over Xander's shoulder as he started up the machine. The teen turned and peered up at him, "See easy, I told you so".

And with that Xander put the forklift in gear, hit the gas and promptly sent his partner flying backwards into a loosely stacked group of boxes. He frowned as he watched the other man struggle to stand up and fall down again.

"Come on Cletus. Now is no time to be forking around."

Eventually they managed to load the beer into the rig. After the last case was aboard and the door shut, they paused briefly to revel in their accomplishment.

"Well, that beer won't deliver itself. So I guess we had better get our wheels turning."

Cletus nodded but then opened his mouth, "Yeah but about the beer. What should we do about it?"


"I mean how are we gonna pay for it?"

Xander paused to think for a few minutes. "Well you said that this beer was for your friends right?"

The older man nodded.

"Then why not have them pay for it."

Cletus brightened immediately, "That's a damn good idea. We'll leave them a note."

Xander clasped the other man on the back and gave him an ear to ear smile.

"That's a great idea. And since it's yours you should write the note."

The older man nodded and pulled out a notebook and a pen. He started writing out a note, saying it as he did so. "Bill Big Ennis Burr-, ah hell, I got to go." He dropped the notepad and pen, climbed into the rig and fired up the engine.

"Snowman, this is Bandit, come back"

Cletus grabbed the CB hanging from his dash, "You got the Snowman, what's shaking your brain, Bandit?"

"I've been meaning to ask you. Where exactly are we taking this stuff, anyway?"

"Well good buddy, we're loaded up and off to Atlanta, Georgia."


"Yep we only got 26 hours to do it in. So you better keep the hammer down, son."

"Right keeping the hammer down. Uh Ten-four, good buddy."

"Snowman, ten-four for sure, good buddy. Out."

Cletus hung the CB back up on the dash and let out a wistful.

"Kid's got a good head on his shoulder, smart mouth, hope he can handle that matchbox like he talks because he's gonna need it. We gonna smokies all over us like fleas on a dog."

He then felt a pair of eyes staring at him and he glanced over at his passenger.

"Oh Fred, you don't mean it like that. You ain't got no fleas or ticks since your bath last week."

The beagle looked at him with it's trademarked mournful stare as it rested it's head between it's front paws. Cletus kept one hand on the wheel while he reached over and scratched his dog's head, ruffling up the loose skin folds and floppy ears as he did so.

"Oh look at you Fred, you as ugly as all get out."

Half a mile away, a young deputy sheriff was busy trying to mop up the mess he made seconds ago. Despite being one of the premiere officers in the county and coming from (in his opinion) a family renown for producing generation after generation of fearless, tough lawmen. And here he was suspended with pay for what he viewed as a small problem.

Still if he had been working he wouldn't have at home monitoring his CB scanner. And if he hadn't been monitoring the scanner, he would have missed out on hearing a once in a lifetime CB conversation between an outlaw legend and his buddy.

Hearing a conversation like that well there was only person he needed to know this info before anyone else. And besides he owed to the rest of his family. Smiling he picked up his phone and dialed a number from memory.

"Hey cousin Junior, it's me Cousin Billy. Can I speak to Uncle Buford? It's REALLY important."

Chapter 2
There goes the ...bride?

Xander sighed as he watched the police cruiser leave the area. He slowly counted to sixty before starting the car up again and drove out from the barn he had been hiding in. The new 'Bandit' quickly started making his way back to highway he had been on. These little 'adventures' as he called them with the police were still taking some getting used to. Already he had managed to put at least one police cruiser in a lake through some fancy and by the seat of your pants driving. Now that he was in Texas, he didn't know what else was going to go wrong.

Just then he looked up and immediately hit the brakes, bringing the car to screeching halt. He watched through the windshield as a thing young girl with brunette hair came up to the window and leaned in.


"Hi, Are you going somewhere?"

"Um... Yes."

"Cool." Her brown eyes sparkled at that, "Mind if I hitch a ride?"

"Well actually..."

Before he could finish the sentence, she had the door open and was getting in. She slipped her bag into the back seat, sat down and shut the door. Xander found himself automatically putting the car in gear and picking up where he had been going. He drove in silence as he tried to figure out exactly what had just happened.



"Miami, I want to go to Miami."


"I told my mom and dad that I wanted to go out and see the world. And the first place I want to see is Miami. Then New York, Los Angles, Boston, etc..."

"All right."

"My name's Fred by the way."


"It's short for Winfred, Winfred Burke."


"Sander? Like a belt Sander?"

"No, my name is Alexander, people just call me Xander."

"Oh. So where are we going?"


"Oh cool, I bet they have the most amazing book stores there. But I can't go to a book store looking likes."

Xander spared a glance over towards her noticing that for the first time she was wearing an expensive white dress.

"Why are you dressed like that?"

"Oh. I was working as a waitress part time at this diner. And this guy comes in and says he'll take me to Rome and Paris if I marry him. And I thought 'why not? I mean I've always wanted to go to Paris and see Europe and I can always get the marriage annulled. And oh my god, I have to get changed."

Xander watched wordlessly as the girl reached back in the backseat while continuing her babbling. Shaking his head, he tried to focus again on the road ahead.

"Hey, Xander?"

"Yes," He jerked his gaze back to her.

"Do you mind if I change?"

"What!" The car swerved briefly, "Here? NOW?"

"Well of course here. I don't see any restrooms around do you?"

"No but,"

"Good... " A more serious look came on her face, "You won't peek will you?"

"Peek?" He stammered, "No of course not. I'm strictly a non-peeker, No peeking on my account."

Fred brightened, "Good."

She resumed her rummaging in her bag, "Aha, there it is."

The mousy brunette pulled out a set of clothes and then frowned. She scrounged around in her bag again before emerging with a bundle of white cloth in hand. Smiling she sat back in her seat and threw the cloth over herself. Xander watched this out of the corner of his eye, he opened his mouth to say something when Fred peeked out from underneath the cloth.

"Remember NO Peeking."

"Got ya, No peeking."

Fred didn't hear him as she resumed her babbling under the cloth. Xander tried hard to focus on the road and ignore the surreal feel to the moment. That's when the CB crackled to life.

"Bandit, this Snowman, Who's you got riding shotgun? Come back."

As he reached for the CB, his eyes flicked to the rearview mirror briefly and he saw Cletus was behind him a little. He still wasn't quite sure of his response when he answered, "Snowman this is Bandit. Just some girl. Come back."

"Just some girl huh, What's she got on? Her mind?"

Xander had to smile at that, "I honestly don't know Cletus. She could Lawrence of Arabia for all I know. She said she wants to go to Miami for some reason."

"Mia huh? That place is hot and sticky as a swamp in summer. We ain't got no time to be fooling around with that. Hey what's she saying?"

Wordlessly Xander held the receiver in front of Fred as he continued driving with one hand. Cletus listened in on the other end to Fred's random chattering which abruptly ceased as she threw back the cloth as was confronted wit the receiver in her face.

"Are we on the radio?"

"Huh? Oh."

Xander brought the receiver back to his face, "Ten Four Snowman" and hung it up.

"Were you talking to that guy?"

"What guy?"

Fred frowned then cast a suspicious look at the back window. "That guy, that trucker. You were talking to him. Weren't you?"

"Kinda, sorta... maybe... Yeah I was."

"You're not doing anything illegal are you?"

"Well not really..."

"I knew it you're a drug runner, aren't you?"

"What? No. I'm not running drugs."

"Then you're hauling illegal firearms?"

"No, I'm not hauling illegal firearms."

"Stolen puppies?"

Xander just turned at stared at her for a second, "No I'm not hauling stolen puppies either."

Fred seemed to take that news hard, then brightened, "Good."

She held out both hands, in each dangled a small plastic baggie. The one in her left held what looked like hand rolled cigarettes. The one in her right contained a fairly good size amount of some green substance.

"Because I would hate to get busted with my personal stash out in the open."

He blinked slowly and resumed staring at the road ahead, 'Could this day get any weirder.'

Not too far from where Xander and Cletus were at that moment, the day was about to get weirder for a couple of young would be sign thieves. They had been in the process of adding another sign to their growing collection when the state trooper's car showed up. Their criminal inexperience showed as they froze in place while the officer behind the wheel the exited the car. He was an older man and walked with a deliberate step slowed only by time.

He approached the closet youth that was still holding the stolen sign. The Sheriff removed with his sunglasses with a practiced air and placed them in his shirt pocket. And then he smiled warmly at the teenager, "Why don't you put that down boy?"

The frightened teen let the sign drop harmlessly to the ground.

"Why don't you come here son?"

The teen stepped closer moving until he was right next to the sheriff. The elderly Law enforcement officer smiled again as he lay his hands on both of the boy's shoulders and then promptly kneed him right in the groin. The teen let out a muffled groan as he almost sank to the ground.

"You look tired boy. Rest yourself." He gestured to the trunk of the car with his right hand. Fearfully the teen quickly turned and slapped both of his hands onto the trunk of the car, while gritting his teeth against the pain. The sheriff turned his attention to the other two teens.

"You punks look tired too."

Reflexively each young mimicked the first and placed their hands on the car. The sheriff gave them a thin smile before speaking. "I'm looking for a girl, about yay tall," he held his hands up, "Thin as a rail and dressed in white. You boys seen her?"

"Yes-s Sir. She was hitchhiking."

"Oh she was? What happened to her?"

"A car came by and picked her up. A black Trans-am. Umm Georgia plates, 'Band1', sir."

Something flickered across the sheriff's face at that news and he was silent. The teens grew more and more nervous as they awaited some sort of reaction. Finally the older man smiled a little, "Okay. I don't want you boys to move until one of my deputies comes along to pick you. So don't move, don't take your hands off the car. And don't play with yourselves, it wouldn't look good on my highway."

The sheriff turned around, placed his sunglasses back on and got back in his car. After they watched him drive off, one of the two boys on the far side of the car turned to the other two and spoke. "Hey man, he's gone, let's get on out of here."

"Shit, you do what you want to do, I'm not moving my hands from this car no way, no how."

"Daddy, Daddy. Did you hear that?"

The deputy sitting in the passenger seat had medium length, curly hair and seemed very excited about what had just happened.

"Of course I heard it you pile of monkey nuts."

"It's the Bandit Daddy. He's come back. This time you can catch him and not-."

"Don't you even think of finishing that sentence or I'll slap you around like I do them damn tree loving wackos. Of course I know it's the Bandit. I'm gonna catch that sumbitch and roast him like fine barbecue. NOBODY makes a fool of Sheriff Buford T. Justice and gets away with it."