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Hunting Bears.

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For Mytryk, for her birthday.
Hunting Bears.







Xander reappeared back in New York, looking up at things then around. He concentrated and found a local mage's area, heading there. The bouncer gave him a horrified look so he smiled. "I'm delivering news. Just call me the irritated messenger." He walked inside and toward where he could feel a familiar signature. He stared at the two mages having tea until they noticed him, then they both choked. "It's weird when you wake up to the sounds of 'well, we need to do something so your world doesn't end'," he said dryly. "Especially since they take you to another realm and introduce things that you thought lived in books."

"You have magic," Ethan Rayne said. "Why?"

Xander grinned. "All their people are trained in schools of witchcraft. Even if they end up more powerful because they're the biggest book nerd archeologists ever in magical or muggle fields." Merideth, his ex-girlfriend, choked again, shaking her head. He pulled his wand with a grin. "At least I got all his memories of how to do it properly so I'm not going to turn into Willow." He looked at Ethan.

"Janus must be high," he said dryly.

"Loki is over the cursebreakers on his realm," Xander quipped with a smirk.

"Oh, dear God," Ethan moaned. Xander nodded with a grin. "Did you do anything else while snatched? And you *will* tell Rupert so I don't have to get punched."

"Of course I'll tell Ripper." He summoned him, making the man gape in horror as he put up his wand. "I woke up to 'well, we need to do something so your world doesn't end'," he said dryly. "And given memories, Giles."

"Who?" he asked, wincing when his voice cracked in the center of that little word.

Xander smirked. "The biggest book nerd archeologist ever. But it's nice I know more languages now." Giles shuddered. "And get this, he's really powerful. Like more than Ethan powerful."

Giles held out a hand. "Your hand, Xander." Xander held it out for him and Ethan to sense. Then Merideth sensed and whined. Ethan was muttering and shaking his head. "Oh, dear," Giles sighed, sitting at the table. He nicely got himself some tea. "What are we going to do about this, Xander?"

"It works real well with my gift of finding metal things. Hey, sorcerer dude, it's in your dresser, the top drawer cuddled in your panties," he called. "Please quit thinking about missing metal things around me. I didn't need to see what your panties look like," he said with a look back at him.

"Can you find anything metal?" one of that guy's tablemates demanded.

"Probably. Why?"

"We're missing two ritual chalices, boy."

"I'm Xander, ma'am, and the pictures I got were of kitchy statues."

"Shit," she muttered, walking off. "We thought they might have melted them down."

"Probably, sorry." He looked at Giles again. Then glared at the sorcerer again. "That would require being *pure* and a quest. Of which you don't qualify for." The man slumped but nodded. He looked at Ethan again. "Now I can find mystical artifacts too," he said dryly. "He had a real gift for cursebreaking so I learned a lot off him." Giles moaned, slumping further. "But I did learn a few new tricks, Giles."

"I'm sure you did," he said dryly, staring at his problem child. "What else did you learn?"

"Well, the other of me that did it was a bit...odd. He was one of a set of twins of me who designed weapons. So I learned more about how to wire things." Giles stared at him oddly. He grinned back. "Toth."

"Shite," he muttered.

"Yup. They couldn't put me back together there." He gave him a pointed look. "Everyone thought they were warlords in Africa until they had to call someone to help them get home to protect more people." He crossed his arms over his chest. "So we need ta talk about a few things. Like the dangerous materials vault? It sucks and it's mostly empty."

"No it's not."

"Think about the vault, Giles." Giles frowned. "Seriously, you know how my power works. Think about the vault." Giles grimaced but did. "I feel six things in it, maybe a seventh since there's a shadowy thing. The cursed Greek pendant I found and put in there is in Greece again. The two charmed statues, one's in a garden that feels like China for some reason but looks like a temple garden I saw at a Japanese temple with the cherry blossoms. The other's somewhere really snowy. All three of them feel like the guy who was worried about where his future wedding ring was." He glared at him, making the man try to run. Xander pounced and brought him back to hand over. "Have someone check the vault? I don't need to have to kill the huge army that the cursed statues called to themselves."

"I..." Giles nodded and called someone. "Gerbralt, go check the dark materials vault. We have indications that it was stolen from." He listened. "Because I trust that person's gift for finding mystical artifacts and he said there's only six in there. Yes, and Xander put a great many of them in there. Now, go check."

Xander held up a hand. "He's worried about a chalice too. He sold it. I saw him with an auction ticket." The guy on the phone was complaining he was bidding to get it back. Giles growled and the man went to look for him. And reported that there were six things and a full shadow. Giles said something quietly in Latin and hung up.

"I didn't know Latin had words for 'fuck it'," Xander quipped. "I'll have to remember that for when I want to swear at the girls."

Giles stared at him. Then at the sorcerer. "We need to bring him to the Council."

Xander shrugged. "I don't know how to banish him there without him hitting the building."

"I can bring him home with you, Xander. Then perhaps we can find some of them."

Xander shrugged. "That's fine but make sure the girls aren't freaking out and no one tried to claim I was dead. I'm pretty sure Willow will try to get some of Anya's stuff." Considering he had gotten a letter from someone in Cleveland asking why Willow was publically mourning him, he knew she had.

"I...yes, she will. Can you get us three back there?"

Xander pulled his wand and shrugged. "I can sure try. It might be easier if he's not human though." He changed him into a book then took him and Ethan with them. Xander grinned at Ethan. "I think he'll need help."

"Quite probably. I'm missing one myself."

"One of the watchers there stole it and it's still buried in the old building," Xander said, rubbing his forehead. He sighed when he heard Willow, looking at Giles. He heard his name mentioned. "I'm not dead, Willow. I just had to travel to talk to another me that found a lot of the artifacts are missing." Watchers all over the main building came rushing out. "One of the mes I talked to was a cursebreaker me. He glanced at our vault. There's only six things in there. I put in twelve myself," he told the group. "This one set off my gift of finding things thinking about what he sold from our vaults." He glared at one watcher. The guy backed up shaking his head. "Really?"

"I did not sell them. I spotted one and I bid but they wouldn't let me have it."

"I did the same," Watcher Gerbralt said quietly. "How does your gift work, Harris?"

"I get a picture of it. Usually with something identifying where it is. This guy," he said, changing the guy back. "Was worrying about a few things he sold. One of which I know because I'm the one that killed it to put in there." Willow came jogging down the stairs. "I had to go talk to another version of myself earlier. He insisted because our vault is nearly bare."

"You died," she said. "You're not Xander."

He slapped her on the forehead. "I am Xander. I sucked up some of his magic but I'm still your Xander, Willow."

"Ours doesn't have...."

"You wouldn't know," he said firmly. "You haven't done anything near or around me since before the battle and you found out I had the gift to find metal things." He stared at her. "You can ask Giles or one of the coven to determine if I'm me." She threw magic at him and he sucked it in. "Really? You're going to try that now? Beyond that, you'll never get what Anya left me. I have it locked up and have a will."

"I'm your next of kin," she sneered.

"Dawn's my next of kin. She's also got my medical power of attorney. She has been since Joyce died since she had it before then." She shrieked and threw more magic at him. He used it to change her into a kitten. "Had. Enough. Of. Your. Shit," he told the kitten, staring down at it. "For good, Willow. For ever and ever. Amen." He picked her up and handed her to Giles. "I'm not putting up with the magical abuse again."

"No, I dare say I wanted to smite her myself." He glared at the cat. "We'll deal with her, Xander."

Buffy came down carefully. "I heard Willow screaming?" Xander waved a hand. "She said you died."

"No, she wanted me to die because it'd mean that she could try to get Anya's stuff. Which she can't. I've got a will." He grinned and pointed at the kitten. "Pity."

Buffy winced. "Ow. Poor Willow."

"Poor people who she attacked," Ethan said dryly. "Slayer Buffy, we'll need people to help us do a finding on the various artifacts."

"I have the scythe," she said.

"Um, no," Xander said. "Because it's in Berlin." She blinked, running up the stairs. She let out a scream of rage. Xander looked at Giles. "Permission to go get it?"

"We can ask diplomatically."

"Germany hates slayers," Xander reminded him. "Less than France does but still hates us."

"I forgot," Giles sighed. "We'll see what we can do, Xander. Let us go look to see what we have." Gerbralt handed over his notes. "Oh, dear. That shadow?"

Xander looked in there then came back. "The stupid light reactive god infused statue that I sent back from Kenya. Someone took it out of the box. I had notes on the box that it was light reactive and to not open it."

"We didn't think it was harmful," one of the watchers defended.

"Well, it wasn't totally," Xander agreed. "It just took over an ancient temple to another Goddess and killed her, and she had been peacefully protecting kids." That one slumped, shaking his head. "It's also possessing the new high priests. As far as I could tell, all the new ones took up staff fighting so if one of you did...."

Giles tossed the cat to Ethan and hurried up the stairs to find one of the slayers. Ethan sighed. "That's interesting."

Xander nodded, using his phone to pull up his files on what he had sent to Giles. "I kept a list in case I ran into a few things' twins." He let Ethan see them.

"Bloody fucking hell," Ethan complained quietly. The others took the phone to look over.

"We never got a few of these," one of the older watchers said. "I used to be over the vault, Harris."

Xander grinned. "We heard some of them got out at the airport. Or from UPS."

"Oh, dear. I remember them nearly banning us from using them to ship things." He handed the phone back. "That wasn't all of them."

"Barry in Asia found a few too," Xander reminded him. Giles came down forcing one of the girls to walk in front of him. Xander nodded. "Yeah, she's possessed. It's trying to get friendly with mine because I can hear the hyena getting chatty."

Giles walked her off quickly to a sealed room. He came back. "We'll do an exorcism later." Xander handed over his list. "I remember most of these."

"UPS," the other watcher said.

"Oh, that incident. Yes, I remember that." He made notes and they went to the office. He could pull up all the records and Willow could sit in a corner until he felt like dealing with her issues.

***

Xander got back that night. "Ladies?" he called. They came down the stairs to glare at him. "Yeah, I heard Willow announced I had died. Another of me from another realm pulled me to talk to me. She just wanted Anya's stuff." They all groaned. A few shook their heads. "She thinks Anya left me tons of money and her old magical supplies. Which there was some money and magical supplies, and a few artifacts. They're all safely put away from her and Dawn is my next-of-kin and will's executor. She's pretty much my only heir." A few grinned. "Willow is why she is actually. Willow's also a tiny, angry little kitten." Kennedy burst out laughing. "I just couldn't put up with it since she tried to attack me for being alive." Kennedy stopped laughing to stare at him. She was back from London having done a good job but she hated it over there. He pulled out his wand. "That me was a cursebreaker."

"Oh, hell," she said.

"Yeah, but I'm not going to go to magic addiction like she did. But speaking of cursebreaking, someone broke into the dark materials vault in Cleveland to sell things."

"Fuck," Kennedy said then covered her mouth.

"We all said the same thing. Including Ethan Rayne," Xander said dryly. "Because someone stole some of his before the old building blew up. They're still there. Giles didn't know that a lot of the building survived." They all groaned. "Yeah. Exactly."

"I heard about people who buy precious artworks," Kennedy said.

"Same thing only mystical and supposedly mystical artifacts," Xander agreed. "Most of the ones I turned in went to Asia. Barry heard and burst out swearing *so* hard." They grimaced. "But, we have good news. We, as a house, are going to England for two months." He smiled. "We're going to fix the old building's storage problems. Because there's at least thirty demons that were stored in artifacts or cases over there. They had a djinn trapped in a glass cage."

"Oh, God!" Penny complained.

Xander smirked. "Exactly!" He grinned at her. "You guys need to get homework and stuff. Unless you're graduating or going to prom this year, we're going in April. If you're going to prom, we'll bring you back for it a few days early." They all whined. "Hey, we're going to England. Not a lot of hunting in that area but Giles thinks there'll be a lot of problems. Faith's coming with us." They all sighed but nodded. "At least it's not Buffy. She'd confuse them with the skirt thing." They laughed.

"You ladies are some of the best trained so...." He shrugged. "We almost stripped the house in Montana but they're all injured. Sucks, but I'm hoping we can get it done in under a month. We even get extra weapons. Giles talked to MI-5 and they're going to be showing up with weapons so we can use them if we have to. Then we get to burn anything we can't save. They have someone who'll gather any bodies we find." They groaned but nodded, going to pack. "We leave in a week."

"Thanks," the girls complained. Most of them called their friends to warn them they'd be out of the country for two months. Piotr volunteered to come with Kara. She came down to talk to him about it. Xander said he didn't mind but the big guy would have to figure out his own lodging and stuff since they were living in a guest house of an old line watcher and they hated the girls dating. Or having friends.

***

Xander looked at the pouting mutant boy a few days after they got to England. Everyone knew what had happened. Kara was really loud. The poor guy was giving him a pitiful wincing look. "What?"

"I bruised her."

He hopped up to slap him upside the head, because the guy was at least a foot taller than him. "Sometimes bruises happen in those sort of situations. We all know she enjoyed it. The scary smile she had later on told us so. If she had minded your fingerprints on her, she would've dented you back. No one's ever said slayers were delicate girls. Pouty girls because *someone's* avoiding her, but not delicate. You probably can't do more than bruise her in the fun way she wants even if you tried."

"I'm very strong."

"So's she. That's why she was able to hip throw you last night during practice, that and she was tired of the pouting. Go talk to Kara and if you must apologize for the perfectly natural bruises. Hell, I bruised Anya more than once and she demanded more from me because it wasn't enough for her." The boy blushed, shaking his head with a groan. "Go talk to her so I don't get pouted to death. Then have more fun. She's got tonight off unless we uncover something horrific." Piotr walked off blushing harder. Xander looked up then sighed. "Someone needs to call Anya's spirit back so she can remind the girls they're girls," he muttered, heading back to the site. He paused when he heard Kara burst out laughing and then squealing a minute later. "Great, she fixed it."

Kennedy came jogging over to join him. "Can't you tell Kara how to use a gag?" she demanded. "I'm sure Anya had one."

"No, Anya liked being loud." He grinned. "It's good that she's loud. That means he knows she's enjoying it."

"It's embarrassing."

Xander looked at her. "Not everyone has delicate, girlish sex, Kennedy. Hell, even Tara liked it harder on occasion and blushed about actually making noise now and then." He grinned. "It means she's happy. I'll only kick his ass if he hurts her."

"She did have bruises."

"Yeah, that's called he grabbed her and helped her into position probably. If he's good to her, she had more than a few fingerprints on her." He gave her a pointed look. "Think about what you did when you had a guy."

"Yeah, but I wouldn't have let him bruise me."

"He's just as strong as she is."

"Point. We're used to being gentle with men because they're fragile." She grimaced, looking toward the guest house then at him. "Why are we starting here?"

"Because here is the mystical storage area," he said dryly. "It's best to get them out of the way before something in the building decides to call up their friends to help them."

"Point I guess." She moved in to help him. There were a lot of demons that weren't stored right so were getting loose. She'd be skinned alive by Buffy if she let Xander get hurt. "Are you going to turn Willow back?"

"Not for a while. Maybe it'll make her more secure to be petted by all the stressed out girls. That was her justification for turning a few of the minis into kittens during sad movies."

She shook her head with a sigh. "What did I see in her?"

"You were finally free of your parents." He looked at her. "Willow looked exciting and free."

"Maybe. At least I didn't hit on Buffy."

"I'm not sure if she'd date a woman or not," Xander admitted. "Though, probably not all that vanilla if you wanted to flirt with her."

"No. Thanks." She shook her head. "Would you?"

"No. I know what she's like. She's not nearly dangerous enough for me." He grinned. They moved another box full of demon holding artifacts and he had to stomp on an imp. "Great. Imps." She shuddered but they hurried up. Stomping imps was fun but if they missed one they'd follow them home to cause hell.

***

Xander walked up to the guy who was nagging the poor guy. They had been back in the US for a whole day and already the shit was restarting. Great. "Kara's more than strong enough to knock him out if she didn't want the fingerprints on her." He stared at Scott Summers, younger head judgmental ass of the mutants. "Kara's old enough to determine who she wants to have fun with and how strong they can get with each other." He stared him down.

"She's not a mutant."

"No, she's a slayer. That means she's stronger, faster, and has a healing gift that's almost as fast as Logan's. She and Penny both beat the big guy here in arm wrestling while we were cleaning up the horrible mess. I'm pretty sure if she had asked him to be more gentle he would've. So quit nagging him. He's a big boy. She's a big girl. Big kids do things like have sex against walls and in the bathroom and even in the garden." Summers was spluttering at that. "It's not my fault if you didn't have the fun sex at his age. I had plenty and it was loud, messy, and we both usually walked away with some bruises or bite marks." Summers stomped off. Xander looked up. "If you need it, we have a couch that you can camp on. Apparently everyone named Summers is a prude. Buffy's idea of adventurous sex is having the lights on," he said dryly. "I'm sure your Summers is the same way."

"I try to be polite."

"Great!" Xander grinned. "Polite is great! It's a thing most guys don't get until they're in their thirties and they realize being a guy means they can't get a girlfriend unless they hire them." Piotr laughed, shaking his head. "You're already ahead on that and we all like you and Kara being friends, or friends with benefits, or even dating. Whatever you're doing is okay with us. If that includes giggling and squealing, great!" He smiled and patted him on the arm again. "Just don't do it too late at night at the house. The girls need sleep and they get cranky, which I have to beat out of them in sparring." He walked off. "If you ask Logan or even Gambit, they'd probably say the same thing."

"Thank you, Xander." He went to talk to Logan. Scott was ranting at him but huffed off when he saw the younger guy waiting. "Xander is not mad, Kara's not mad, but I'm still confused a bit."

"It's something all women do to men," Logan said dryly. "Fingerprints?"

"Fingertip bruises." He sat down to sulk.

"Did she tell you to ease off?"

"Only the once so she could move. I immediately did and she nagged me about not doing anything."

Logan smiled. "Dames can be that way. Did Xander threaten you?"

"He told me not to make her squeal too late at night because it would make the girls cranky." He looked up. "We had a talk about how he could dismember me when we were in England."

"Probably," Logan agreed. "If she didn't like it, she would've told you to stop it. Right?"

"Kara has no problems telling me what's on her mind." He looked at the older man. "I want to ask her to date me."

"Go for it."

"I'm not sure if she would accept more than friendly, fun things."

"She's probably worried about her job pulling you into the dark stuff slayers sometimes have to deal with. The same as you're worried about something we handle showing up in her life." The boy nodded. "You two gotta talk about that. I think it'll be okay and if someone like Magneto comes after the slayers, Harris is going to make him *real* sorry."

Piotr smiled but nodded. "Probably. Someone in England came to complain to the slayers about wearing jeans and Xander got into their face. Apparently the old ways wouldn't have allowed the girls cute clothes. Xander nearly ripped his head off with his words."

"Good. That means he's the right sort of protective over the girls." He patted him on the wrist. "You two are perpetually cute together. Rogue was making gagging noises at all the cuteness then sighed because she didn't get one of those." The boy blushed but grinned. "If she doesn't mind wearing your fingerprints, then no one should mind. And if Summers starts on you, remind him he's a vanilla prude that hates anything."

"I will. Thank you. Xander said if I needed it I could have their couch."

"I doubt anyone's going to say anything to make you leave. If they do, come see me first. Summers is a bit uptight." A young woman walked in, her earbuds in, her buzzcut haircut freshly done because she still had some stray hairs on her neck. "Hey, NTW," Logan said loudly. She took out her earbuds, smiling at her buddy and teammate. "You mind if he dates Kara?"

"One of us should have a happy life," she said, looking at him. "Go date the girl! She can keep up with all of us. She's smart, she's kind, and she can kinda cook stuff. That's girlfriend material, Piotr. Have fun with that."

"Thank you."

"Welcome." She smiled at him. "Tell us if you need a girl talk to figure out strange girl things. We know they're not the same as guy things."

"Summers tried to pull his prude act on him," Logan said.

She nodded. "He needs to have the rod replaced with something more fun." She got an apple and walked off putting her earbuds back in. "Dr. Hank, do you have anything more fun that Summers can stick up his butt so he's not as uptight?" she called as she walked. "He clearly needs it." A few of the other teens in the house laughed. Summers was spluttering again. So were a few of the adults.

Logan grinned at him. "See, no problem." The boy nodded and went up to his room to write Kara an email. Logan sipped his coffee, smirking at the cuteness of puppy love. The Professor rolled in. "Summers got on Colossus about fingerprints."

"He bruised her?" he demanded.

"They had sex, Chuck. There were holding up and things going on I'm pretty sure since Kara's only Rogue's height."

"Oh, that. That's fine. I'm sure Kara's a nice young woman."

"She's one of the slayers. She's more than strong enough and if she's not, Kennedy or someone would bitch at him about it or to Xander so they could have a talk."

"Hmm. I'd worry about their battles calling to ours."

"I'm not," Logan said. "He spent the last month and a half helping them with the old building's remains. From the few reports he filed, they had plenty of things to deal with so he probably learned a lot. Harris won't let him help with things unless he could handle himself."

"Good point." He looked back as Rogue walked in. "Good afternoon, Rogue."

"Hiya, Professor." She smiled at Logan. "Are there any guys at the Council?"

"Not really. Xander is the only young one. A few of the slayers might have a brother. Ask Kara the next time you see her."

"I can do that. It'd be nice to have a guy who could handle things and who I wouldn't hurt if I touched."

"You might still suck some of their energy," the Professor warned her.

She nodded. "I think it'll be okay. I don't draw from those who have magic, or the slayers when I asked to test it with Kara. She's really nice." She bounced off to write Kara an email.

Logan nodded. "That's great to know."

"It is," the Professor agreed. "Did you really have to prompt the one girl to talk about dildos, Logan?"

"That was all her idea. She's right, Summers is a prude."

"Fine." He rolled off to talk to Scott about his own teenage years. He was sure Scott had gotten up to naughtiness as a teen. Maybe even touching teenage girls as a teen.

Logan finished his coffee and went to hide from the teenagers again. They were fun to watch but hell on the nerves.

***

Tara appeared at the New York slayer house with a bag of cookies she handed to the closest slayer. Xander pouted at her because that meant he wouldn't get any. "What did you do to Willow?"

"She attacked me for not dying like she wanted." Tara shook her head with an eye roll. "She tried to magic me a few times. The second time I turned her into a kitten. She was trying to get the stuff Anya left me."

Tara sat down with a sigh, handing him a smaller bag of cookies.

"Thanks, Tara."

She looked at him. "You have magic."

"Yeah, for some reason I woke up to another me talking about how we had to talk so the world wouldn't end." He looked at her. "He's a cursebreaker."

"I read those books." She sighed. "So you have a wand?" He pulled it to let her see it. "It's pretty." She touched the end and shivered. "Powerful power sink too."

"Yeah. They use it as a channeling device. It seems to channel and dump some of my hellmouth taint."

"Interesting." She leaned on his arm. "You have other magic," she said, looking up at him. He grinned and nodded. "Did that one?" He nodded again. "Oh, dear."

"He was the sort of guy who went to tombs to find the magical stuff before the archeologists got there. He learned from most of the stuff he found. He had a *huge* set of libraries."

"Wow. Anything we could use?"

"Yeah." He grinned. "A lot but not a lot that the Council could use."

"Hmm. Interesting. What are you doing with it?"

"Protections."

"Good." She smirked up at him. "The coven's worried."

"They still hate me anyway."

"Could be," she agreed. "They think you attacked Willow."

"Other way around."

"You could change her back."

"If I did, I'd bind her magic." He looked down at her. "Because I don't care what she thinks."

"I guess. That's mean though."

"No, that's practical. It's life saving. Somehow someone snuck into the house to steal artifacts without her protections going off." She sat up to stare at him. He nodded. "Including the slayer scythe. Which is still in Berlin."

She winced. "Damn it."

"Yup." He grinned. "Beyond that, I'm not going to let her try to attack me, Tara. Ever again."

"No, she shouldn't. They can't change her back," she sighed.

"Of course not. It's a different form of magic."

"Point." She grimaced. "I'll go talk to them."

He pulled her back against his side. "They're scrying anyway."

She snorted but looked pleased. "What else did you learn?"

"Some things about electronics."

"That's good."

"A few new languages."

"That's handy," she agreed, looking up at him.

He grinned. "I nearly got to bring home a house elf to help the girls. Because they can't keep their rooms clean."

"A lot of girls can't." She snuggled in again. "You do have less taint." He put the wand back into the pocket. "That's good then."

"Probably. I made Ethan Rayne horrified when I showed back up."

"I'm guessing Janus wasn't wanting that outcome," she quipped back. "Giles?"

"Had tea but probably wanted a good drink. Then I told him about the vaults being breached. Which was why they pulled me over to talk to me." She moaned. He nodded. "There were only seven things in it."

"Shoot. That's going to be bad."

"Yeah, it is. Can you check how the protections got warped?"

"I can do that later. I know Willow's magic more than most people." He gave her a hug. "How are you doing otherwise?"

"I'm pretty good. Kara has a semi-boyfriend. They're working out if they're actually dating or not." Kara looked back at him. "You aren't?" he asked with a grin.

"Did you offer him my bed?"

"No, I offered him the couch. If you offer him a spot beside you instead of the couch that's up to you. We like you two together."

"Oh, okay. That's good. Did someone else say something about the finger bruises?"

"Yeah. But their Summers is like our Summers, an uptight, vanilla prude." Tara burst out laughing. "I pointed out that it happened. I did it plenty to Anya."

"Okay. So if he needs a comfy couch?"

"If he does more than have a comfy couch spot is up to you," Xander told her. "But I did point out that making you squeal happy too late at night would make the others cranky. I didn't need to give the shovel talk. I did that back before we left with him and Penny's guy Brad."

She nodded. "That'll work." She looked at the other girls, who all shrugged but grinned. "Thanks, ladies, we'll keep any squealing down."

"Just not after midnight on school nights please," Kennedy said. "Most of us are awake until then." Kara smiled but nodded she could agree with that.

Tara looked up at Xander. "I like how you run this house. The one in London is upright and annoying."

"Yeah, I talked to him when I was over there. The girls came up to help with a few bigger problems. He came up to complain. I had to point out I was fixing his fuck ups and I really hated to do that. Maybe he should fix his own mistakes. He spluttered and stomped off but the girls almost refused to go home that night. He had to make some concessions or else they were going to throw him out of the house."

"Welcome," Kennedy quipped with a wave back at them.

Tara smiled. "Hopefully it'll help." She looked up at Xander. "Let me go check those protections." He let her go so she could go to Cleveland. She walked toward the vault and tested things, frowning. "What protections? There's none here." She went to look at the rest of the house. "Andrew, didn't she put protections on the house?"

"Yeah," he called from the kitchen. He came out. "She put one on the doorway, one on the vault, and one on the stairs up to the girls' rooms so no guys could get up there."

Tara shook her head. "There's an intent ward on the door. No protections near the vault that I could feel from the outside. The only protection on the stairs is an anti-sex one." She frowned, feeling around. "That intent ward won't keep out anyone." She looked at him. "Get me stuff. That's too dangerous to risk." He nodded, going to get the herb and magic kits from the closet they were kept in. Tara settled in to do the protections.

Rupert came out to help her. "One of them caught one of the watchers so she had to create an exemption," he said quietly.

She looked at him. "Then that's probably why there was only an intent ward." He winced. "The one on the stairs is an anti-sex one. It's narrowly worded so if someone wanted to go up to ...hurt the girls they could because that's not part of her definition of sex. There's nothing near the vault." He groaned. They got back to work on the protections. That one guy got caught, and so did someone else. She looked at them. "Unlike Willow, I know how to lay a protection ward, boys. So why do you have harmful intentions toward the slayers?" They started to complain but she just stared back. "Well, I'm waiting. I have patience but not that way." They clammed up. She looked at Giles, who sighed and went to talk to them. Tara went to put on the other protections after taking Willow's off.

"Hey, Tara," Buffy said. "Are you taking off Willow's no boyfriends spell?"

Tara looked up at her. "It's a no-sex spell, and it wouldn't cover it if someone meant harm to the girls, Buffy. Her definition of sex doesn't include anything harmful like rape." Buffy winced. "We also noticed that she didn't have protections on the doors either. I'm doing all that now so it's right."

"Sure. That'll be great. We've all be edgy recently since she's still a kitten."

"I talked to Xander. She attacked him?"

"Yup," one of the other slayers said from her spot at the top of the stairs. "Twice. Then he took out that wand thingy and hit her with it."

Tara nodded. "Good. She shouldn't attack people."

"She filed to get Xander's stuff," Buffy said with a wince. "Her mail came today."

Tara looked at her. "Tell Xander so he can defend himself."

"I can do that. I didn't want to make him upset."

"Too late," Tara said dryly. "Or Willow wouldn't still be a cat."

"Point." She went up to get that letter and send it to Xander. Tara sent it magically, just banishing it at Xander.

***

Xander caught the letter that appeared beside his seat in the bar. He looked it over, sneering. "I need to skin that cat," he decided. He folded it back up and put it into his pocket. "So, you called?" he asked with a smile.

"Huge problems?"

"Rosenburg problems. She decided I had died the day before I got taken to another realm to talk to the me there. Proves who did the spell." He winced. "Beyond that, what's up?"

"Penny's boyfriend is mad at you."

"Penny's boyfriend is a big boy and he can't get in the way of her calling unless she wants him to. He could've come to England with us. We could've used some help. Especially after I beat the watcher in London nearly to death for demanding I make the girls do all the work while he read." The bartender winced but nodded. "You can tell him to grow up and he can travel with her when she goes to college in a year too," he said dryly.

"I can do that. You sure you're good?"

Xander grinned. "I hate dealing with Rosenburgian issues." He sighed as the image hit his mind. "Wade's here. He's annoying me." He pulled his wand to light the guy's pants on fire, making him rip them off to put the fire out. Xander changed his boxers to Fozzy bear ones with a fuzzy head on the front. He put his wand back with a grin for the bartender. "The things you learn from yourself in other realms." He stood up. "Any other problems?"

"Nah, not yet. Thanks, Harris."

"Welcome." He blew a kiss at Wade. "You don't taunt me and I don't bother you back." He grinned. "Because I still didn't need pictures of your dick. It's not half as large as Kindball's and he was a goddess with his." He strolled off.

"You dated that idiot?" Wade called after him.

"He had things I needed to get for the girls. It was great stress relief before a battle."

"Eww. He's slimy."

Xander grinned back at him. "That's why you give him a bath, Wade." He smirked. "It helped and he even made dinner." He blew a kiss. "Have fun, Fuzzy." He snickered as he got back onto the street, heading back to the house.

Wade shook his head but sat down with a huff. "He slept with Kindball."

"I heard. He was in Africa then."

"Point. Arms dealers are better than having a whole tribe after you for debauching a daughter. Give me a blowjob."

"Not with those boxers on, man," the bartender said, but fixed the drink for him. "Does Vanessa like those?"

"I don't think she'd mind," he said, staring down at them. "They had been pink before. I put them in with the suit by accident. At least he cleaned them at the same time."

The bartender walked off laughing.

***

Xander walked into a museum, going on a hint that he had gotten last night in a dream. He headed for a back area, holding up his Watchers Council ID. "You've got something open back there," he told the guard. "But you can go with me until you run away screaming." He knocked on the first door back there. "Good, I saw you in the vision. Let's go talk to the spirit you guys broke open earlier." He walked him off by his arm, going to the right room. He pointed. "That's. A. Demon," he said slowly and clearly. "All the markings on the vase say it's a demon. It eats souls," he said, looking at the stupid person.

"We don't believe in such things," he complained, getting free. "How dare you manhandle me. Throw him out!" he ordered to the guard.

Xander pointed. "If it didn't eat souls, wouldn't your wife be alive?" he asked dryly. The guard ran over but Xander pulled him back. "Pull her out of the cloud before it gets you too. There's no banishment for this type." The guard pulled the bodies out of the cloud to check them. Xander looked at the scientist again. "Let me guess, the divorce was too expensive?" The man was sobbing on his wife. "Sorry, but I've seen teenage girls fake crying better." The guy got up to hit him so Xander punched him. He looked at the guard. "Call someone. We have to trap it back in there. It'll take virgin blood. About a pint of virgin blood." The guard winced. "I don't fit, I doubt you fit...."

"We have a few who work here who might," the guard said, calling that in. His boss came running in with their on-site guard who was certified as a paramedic. A lot of people passed out in museums so it saved on their insurance.

Xander pointed. "Marked everywhere that it was demonic," he told the head guard. "Don't touch the cloud unless you want to be eaten," he told the paramedic guy. He looked at the head guard again. "I had a vision. I'm pretty sure fake crying guy is not that stupid since that was his wife."

"And his mistress," the first guard admitted.

"Hmm, charming," Xander said. He looked at the head guard again. "We need a pint of virgin blood to trap it again and I'll need somewhere I can put it down on the ground and draw in chalk around it."

"We can do that. Who're you?" Xander held up his ID. "Oh. Slayers?"

"Probably not going to fit the virgin stereotype."

"Oh. Okay."

"Call Dr. Smartass, the one that was in the paper yesterday. He can help me draw. He's seen ritual circles and his uncle was Council at one point in time."

"I can do that, sir. Can we safely move the vase?"

"Yeah." Xander looked and picked up the vase, sliding it into the cloud to pick some up. It screamed but didn't manage to attack Xander. "Lead on?" They led him to a warehouse area where he could do the capturing again. One of the interns came in to bleed into the vase. The guards pulled her out when the foamy cloud tried to follow the blood back to her. Xander did the markings while she dripped the blood. The other guy came in and winced but walked over to help.

"The ones with the dots," Xander said quietly. "It's mirror image." He nodded and followed the pattern Xander had set. Xander had to scuff one and redo it. "Sorry, meeting spot." The guy smiled. "Okay, let's do this." He grabbed the other guy's hand and chanted the correct banishment ritual to lock it back in there. It worked very well until someone in the warehouse threw something to break the vase. "I hope it eats you," Xander called. "Quickly." He looked at the guy. "Something sealing?"

"Yeah, we can do that."

"Put the pieces of the vase inside. That way it'll still draw to it." They got it set up with someone's tupperware container. The demon got sucked back in and it was all good once they sealed it. Xander held it up, looking at the demon then at the others. "Our vault got breached recently somehow. You guys got somewhere you want to store it instead? We're working on fixing our vulnerability."

"We can put it in a safe," one of the head scientists said, coming forward. "Will it stay in there?"

"It shouldn't be able to melt the plastic on the lid. The rest is glass. It should be okay but if you want to seal it into something larger it probably won't bother anything."

"We can do that." He put on gloves and carefully took the container. "Thank you, Mr. Harris."

"You're welcome. Oh, if you guys hear of anything mystical like this, let us know? We not only had our vault breeched but we know there's a huge underground in some types of mystical artifacts. Mostly of the dangerous kind. I'll gladly show up and help by looking on our books if you want."

"We can do that," the head scientist said with a smile. "You have a great day."

"You too. Have fun and I hope fake crying guy gets figured out." He left through the warehouse door.

The head scientist looked at the head guard. "Fake crying guy?"

"The husband of the researcher that died, sir. Also, rumors state that the other one who died was his mistress."

"Harris asked him if the divorce was too expensive," the first guard said.

"That figures under those circumstances. Get an officer in so we can clean up that mess as quietly as possible please." He took the demon to their sealed vault, putting it onto a shelf. He'd figure out how to seal it in better later. They didn't want that to get free. He looked in one box that held an arm then went back to his office to call the main Council house. Harris had been a bit rough but thorough. They could gladly set up a research cooperative with the Council.

***

Xander walked into the house, watching as all the girls hopped up to glare at him. "I know, I had to trap the demon back into the vase," he complained. "I'll go wash the residue off in a second." He went up to do that. He came back down to just Kennedy. "What's up?"

She sniffed. "You don't smell like a demon again."

"Thanks." He stared at her. "What happened?"

"Willow."

"Is she no longer meowing?"

"No. The coven undid it finally. She accused you of being a not-you."

Xander stared at her. "I offered to let the coven test me. She attacked instead."

"We know. We got the film from the security system thanks to Watcher Gerbralt."

"Cool. So why did the girls flee?"

"They think the coven's going to show up to beat your ass." She smiled. "Have fun." She left the house, locking the door after herself.

"Remember your curfews," he called after her. He looked up. "So? Come on if you're coming." The seniors of the coven showed up, already glowing. "I offered to let you guys test me. She attacked instead. I'm sick and tired of her attacking me and she's not getting Anya's anything."

"She already inherited it," one sneered.

"No, she didn't. She stole one that I've taken back." They attacked him and he shrugged. They tried again, doing something different. They tried another spell and Xander pulled his wand, immobilizing them. "Let's do something, ladies," he said dryly. He pulled down a book, holding it up so they could see it. "I know you know this book." He opened it, showing them the spell he intended to use, reading it out of the book. They all three shrieked and held their heads. He looked at them. "Now, who was at fault?" He slapped the book closed and onto a table. "Because I'm not her toy. I'm not her slave. I'm not her anything any longer. She started it and if I have to finish it, I sure as shit will since you guys avoided your duty to not only your craft but to your chosen purpose." He stared at them. "Any other questions?"

"She said you died years ago," one said, looking at him.

"Yeah, she tried then. Boo-fucking-hoo. It didn't work. I told the lawyer she hired it didn't work and proved I was still me. I still have to go in front of a judge but she's not getting anything Anya left me. I have a will. It doesn't mention Willow beyond stating she is not to get a single thing of mine. Not even a picture. Because I'm a bit worried about what she'll do with it." He stared at the witches. "Now, are we still doing this?" They shook their heads. "Then you have a great damn day, witches." They disappeared and ran into the rest of the coven screaming at Tara and Tara screaming back about their blinders to Willow's problems. The police would break it up in about an hour. Tara would need a few stitches but once they attacked her it went back on them.

***

Giles called the meeting to order. "We've had a few disagreements recently. Let us fix this. Willow, your magic is a problem. A humongous problem. You attacked Xander and while I didn't like he changed you into a cat it was better than you being a corpse. As you would have been if it had been anyone else." He looked at the coven and Tara. "You ladies have seriously abridged your vows. Both by blinding yourself to a witch in danger and doing harm, and by attacking Tara for pointing this out."

Xander raised his hand. "I will let someone who actually *knows* me tell you if I'm me."

"I've had Ethan test you, Xander. He said you're still the same boy you were when he had you possessed." Xander nodded. The witches flinched away from him. "Also, I've heard various problems going on. Xander, do you have no tact?"

"No. She didn't teach me that skill." He grimaced. "I had to be an asshole, Giles. The guy used the demon to kill his wife and his mistress."

"Oh, I see."

"I told them we'd gladly look up mystical artifacts if they got sent any. Considering they're holding part of the Judge? I thought it'd be a good idea."

"Yes it would be," he said, taking off his glasses to rub at his eyes. "That's actually a very good idea. We could do that with other museums as well if they'd allow us. It'd cause less problems."

"We still need the slayer scythe from Berlin," Buffy said.

"They're blocking us," Giles said.

Xander waved a hand. "I blew a poker debt." She smiled at him. "Can we talk about how *someone* decided I had died last year and filed to have my things given to her, even though my will states she is not to be included in it?"

Giles looked at him. "It does?"

"It has since the end of high school. I redid it right before graduation. Then it was set to go to Joyce. I gave it to Dawn when she died." Buffy gave him an odd look. Xander stared back. "I didn't want you or Willow in anything of mine. You wouldn't have appreciated it." He looked at Andrew. "You're listed as getting my comic collection. It's small, not pristine, but good enough."

"Thanks," he said with a grin. "Did you talk to that lawyer?"

"Yeah. So did my lawyer. We both sent letters to the judge too. Who hates the Council. So we're looking at a few bigger fights. Thankfully the lawyer really likes me. I saved his ass from a few demons."

Giles nodded once. "We'll help if we can, Xander."

"Thanks, Giles." He grinned. Then looked at Willow and the witches. "Even if you got Anya's stuff, it's got protections so Willow can't get near them or use them. She was more scared of Willow than she was creeped out by bunny rabbits." Willow glared. "Not my fault. You did it, you do the punishment for it." Willow got up and stomped off. Xander waved at her back. He looked at the rest of the coven. "Are you feeling better now as well? I know that true seeing spell would give you a headache." They grimaced at him. "You started it. You made me finish it. I learned early on that hitting ladies was just fine because usually they can fight me back. Especially if they start it."

"Enough," Giles ordered. "They were wrong to attack you, Xander."

Xander looked at him. "I'd like to know what they thought they'd get from it. They're not supposed to be killing with their magic so they knew I'd get back up and get them back."

"Well," Giles agreed, looking at the ladies. "That's a good question. What were you thinking?"

"He's the one that warped the slayer line," one sneered.

"Yes, thankfully he did," Buffy agreed. "So we all survived. If you hate surviving that much, go fix it." She gasped, staring at Buffy. "We're not moving back to the old ways. Beyond that, *I* changed the line, not him."

"He broke the prophecy!" another shouted, pointing at Xander.

"I broke many of them," Xander said dryly. "Including one that the old Mayor had that said any child born on the hellmouth would be a challenge to his power. Gee, I helped do that a lot." Giles gaped in horror. Xander got up and came back from the library with the book, handing it over. "It was in his warehouse." He sat down. He frowned, looking up. "Why are there mystical artifacts in the attic?" Buffy hopped up to go look. "On the east side, by the window," he called after her.

Giles carefully put down the book. "That does say that. Interesting to note." He looked at the boy then at Andrew. "How many children were born in town?"

"The maternity ward was outside the town's boundaries. They made sure all women delivered out there. If you were nearly there, officers often came to your house and dragged you there so you had to stay there for a few days. If you gave birth in town they often supposedly miscarried."

"Whereas mine was drunk and didn't realize she was pregnant," Xander said dryly. "It should be a lesson to the slayers about why drinking is bad."

"Yes it should be," Giles agreed. "I remember meeting your parents that once." He looked at the others. One of the researchers grabbed the book to read that prophecy. He groaned. Xander grinned at him. "That does explain quite a lot," Giles told him. It got passed on but they bypassed the witches. Willow stomped back in with her hair sticking up and magic flowing around her. "Willow. Sit down please," he ordered.

"I will not. That's not our Xander," she growled.

Xander got up and waved her on. "C'mon." She threw magic at him. He dodged and hit her twice. It knocked her out. Xander looked down at her. "You still wanna try that?"

"How could you!" one of the witches sobbed. "You're an evil man!"

Xander looked at her. "No one is going to stand there and let someone kill them. Including me. Beyond that, if she's strong enough to step up into my face she'll get it back."

"You're abusive," one said, standing up.

"No, I'd never hit my girlfriend. I'd never hit my wife."

"That vision showed one," she sneered.

"Yeah, it also showed us having kids and I've been infertile since she who has problems," he said with a point at Willow. "Made sure of it for Anya. Before prom actually. She's *always* had problems, ladies. Ever since I didn't date her it's been an obsession that I'm not worthy of anything. Apparently her mental disorder means that I'd have to come begging to her and I'm not the begging sort." He stared at her.

"Beyond all that, she started it. I'm not going to let her kill me. If you want to try you'd get the same thing back. I don't hurt anyone except someone who's trying to harm me." He pointed at Willow again. "So fuck you. Quit being so huffy about stuff you made her do. Because she wasn't nearly as bad before she went to you over her addiction problem. She was an opinionated bigot like her mother but not *this* bad."

"Do they hate you because of your finding gift?" one of the watchers asked.

"I have no idea," Xander told him. "For all I know it's because they've somehow deluded themselves that Willow's actually my true mate and I'm spurning the Goddess. Which I'm not and she's definitely not. I'd rather go fully gay than to ever touch that thing. She lost any love I had for her back in high school." One of the witches burst out crying. Xander sat down, kicking Willow's foot out of his way. "Don't want to step on you." He looked at Giles. "Is there someone above them who has ethics? That way they can clean up their unethical issues and hers?"

"No, I'm afraid there's not," he said, looking at the coven. "Power seems to have corrupted things however."

"Not all of us," Tara said firmly. "I'd never do that to anyone. That's why humans have free will, even if they think the Goddess willed it due to someone's crackhead prophecy."

"You know, there's a mirror somewhere that shows true mates," Xander said. "And if it's on the wrong side it shows a wanted one instead."

Tara nodded. "It's in the old building."

"We sent it back two weeks before we came back," he said.

"Giles, can we?" Tara asked. "Just to prove the point?"

"I'll see if we can find it to test Xander."

"Xander doesn't have a true mate," he said dryly. "D'Hoffryn made sure of it before he sent that wish demon to talk to me before our wedding."

"Because a true mate to Anya would activate something?" Giles guessed. Xander grinned and nodded. "Figures." He looked at one of the watchers. "Where would that mirror be?"

"Dangerous artifacts vault," he said. He went to get it. It came back to be hung on the wall with two slayers carrying it.

"Ladies, stay. We need an independent viewing," Xander said, coming over to look. "That's the wrong side." He pointed. "Unless I'm mistranslating."

He looked. "No, you're not." They flipped it around and he got out of the way. Though he saw a figure that made him go clammy and shaking. Buffy helped him into his seat. "I married the wrong one."

"If you're happy it's not the wrong one," Tara said. "Like any higher power, they don't know all. They make plans and then don't pay attention to it."

"Point," he agreed with a sigh.

"Usually fated loves die quickly," Xander said. "So you might've still married your present wife, she'd just be your second wife if you had survived." He stepped in front of the mirror. A foggy shape faded into view next to him but it had no firm form. He looked at Giles. "Am I doing this wrong?"

He looked then shook his head when he saw Ethan next to him. "No you're not. That ghostly shape means either they died or never were born." He looked at the boy. "Your friend you lost?"

Xander shook his head. "Jesse never would've went gay." He grinned. "He would've been a third to whoever I dated but he's not into boy lovin'." He looked around. They all glared at the witches. Xander sat down. "Buffy, can you put Willow in front of it?"

She nodded, getting up to put the groaning young woman in front of it. She gasped, staring at the guy standing there. "Oh, no," Buffy sighed, looking at Tara.

Tara smiled. "I knew that already. It was in her aura. It was good enough, Buffy. On both sides."

"That's good," she said, laying Willow on the floor there. She sat back down. "I didn't even look."

"Most slayers are precluded from that sort of destiny," Giles told her. "Maybe two or three of all of you girls would have one, Buffy." He looked around. "Are there other problems that this will stop?" No one said anything but the witches looked like they were eating lemons. "Then I hope that all this stupidity is stopped. We don't need to handle this sort of stress on top of the rest." He looked at the witches, who all huffed and disappeared. Tara smiled, going to the kitchen with Andrew. "Let me know if you need my help, Xander."

"I will." He got up and left.

Giles looked at his watchers then Buffy. "What did you find?"

"Three boxes. I had Faith sit on them."

"Excellent, let's see which ones they are. Meeting adjourned."

***

"I've heard that Mr. Harris should be in the courtroom. Is he not here?" the judge said, sounding irritated.

"I said I was right here," Xander said more loudly. "I didn't think I needed to scream." The judge glared at him. He stared back. "I've been sitting here, Your Honor. I noted my presence when you called for it the other two times." He looked at the bailiff. "Am I invisible?"

"No, sir." He coughed before looking at the judge. "It was noted, Your Honor."

"Prove you're who you say you are, young man."

Xander handed the bailiff his passport. "Is the government's ID of choice good enough? If not, I have my last three driver's licences, in two states, and my international one as well, Your Honor."

"No birth certificate?"

"Sunnydale fell in, sir," Xander's lawyer said. "Their records fell in as well."

"Then again, my mother didn't file for my birth certificate. I was a home birth and she was really drunk." The judge grimaced. "I had to use alternate identity paperwork to get my social security number in high school." The lawyer handed that to the bailiff.

"I see." He looked. "In two of these you have two eyes." Xander lifted his eyepatch, making the judge shudder. "I see you still have two eyes."

"Just one doesn't work," Xander agreed. "There was an incident in the lead up to the battles that ended Sunnydale. He had a thumbnail." The judge grimaced. "I have my hospital records as well if you need those, sir. I carried them out of the city before the battle in case it became necessary."

"Fine." They got handed over. "What is this notation?"

"Which, Your Honor?" Xander's lawyer asked. "There's three."

"Blood something or other."

"He had a full blood transfusion when he was a junior due to exposure to a demon's blood," the lawyer said.

The judge blinked. "Why?"

"The swim coach had chopped up a mermaid to make his swimmers faster. It didn't get caught the same way steroids would." The judge slumped, staring at him with his mouth slightly open. "I joined the team to see why people were turning into creatures."

The judge groaned, shaking his head. "Were there any judges left out there?"

"Not that I'm aware of."

"Your relatives?"

"I'm told my uncle managed to survive but I don't have any contact with him. If you tried to ask him about me he'd only want blackmail material, Your Honor. He had twenty-nine DUI's in Sunnydale. They never did anything to him but he's not exactly upstanding."

The judge's eye twitched. "He didn't do any jail time?"

"They suspended his license. He had perpetual probation. It didn't give the former mayor any power over him so it was something they didn't care about."

"What happened to that mayor? I'll also note that others have asked me to ask that question."

"He attacked our graduation, Your Honor." The judge stared at him. Xander shrugged but shrugged. "He did. I have film of it on my phone if I can turn it on."

"Please," he ordered coolly. Xander dug his phone out of his pocket and turned it on, hitting ignore on his text messages. He got into that file and let the bailiff have it. "He's about a minute from starting the rite." The bailiff let the judge see the phone. The lawyers went up to view it with him.

"Oh, Jesus save us!" the judge yelled, getting away from the phone. "What is that!"

Xander took his phone to turn off. "That's called an ascension, Your Honor. He worked for ninety years through various rites and sacrifices to do that."

"Was he changing from that?"

"No. That was the end result. That turned him into a pure demon."

The judge crossed himself, settling himself back into his seat. Xander glanced at his text messages. "Must you?"

"Making sure one wasn't one of the slayers begging for help, sir." He put it back into his pocket once it was off again.

"How is that sort of thing stopped?" the judge demanded.

"The head has to come off. Though one was supposedly stopped by Vesuvius when it blew back in ancient history. The Council only has two sources on that incident."

The judge licked his lips and nodded. "I see." He looked at the information in front of him. "Why would someone lie about you being dead, Mr. Harris?"

"The same person that filed that the day before I supposedly disappeared for a few hours was so insistent she attacked me." The judge grimaced. "My former fiancee left me some artifacts and magic books, plus a tiny bit of money. I can only think it was because of that."

"I see. The one who said you were dead?"

"A former friend. Who is not in my will at all. She hasn't been in my will since before that battle you saw, Your Honor." He handed the bailiff his will. "That's my will."

The judge looked it over, nodding. "I can see why you discluded her." He looked up. "This young woman mentioned? A current girlfriend?"

"She's like my little sister but is in fact a sister of one of the senior slayers."

"All right." He put it aside. "What would you be doing if you hadn't been able to counter this?"

"I would've called in poker debts to punish Willow and get my things back."

"She's got a serious addiction problem to black magic and has in fact blinded other witches into helping her with her deluded plans, Your Honor," Xander's lawyer said. "She's back in treatment for it somewhere."

"She's locked in a meditation cell at the slayer house," Xander said quietly. The judge glared at him. So he cleared his throat and repeated that. "She tried to attack me again during a recent meeting."

"I see. This young woman?"

"She's at college," Xander's lawyer said, handing over that letter of acceptance. Dawn had given it to him.

The judge grimaced. "Interesting. What would she do with the mystical artifacts?"

"Dust them, Your Honor," Xander said. "She's not going to make magic her life. She keeps up protections. She knows some day something might come for her because of her sister, but she doesn't really do magic beyond scratching runes in to protect her place."

"Hmm." He looked at things then the young man. "The medical records do mention your eye, though there's another note?"

"I refused to let them cut it out," Xander said. He shifted to cross his feet again. "I also refused to let them kill me for parts. That hospital was bad about that." His lawyer handed over a report to the bailiff.

The judge looked then snorted. "A thirty-two percent patient death rate?" he demanded, staring at Xander.

"They sold them, Your Honor. Sunnydale had a lot of peaceful demons in hiding. Some did eat flesh, some blood. Some went to kitten poker to get it, some paid for it out of the hospital. The mayor made sure that the town was an adequate feeding ground for those he allowed in. I survived two visits. I had one when I was seven due to a burst appendix."

"How bad was that one?" the other lawyer demanded. Xander stood up to untuck his shirt so he could show off the scar. The lawyer stared, mouth open. "Oh, my."

"Willow ended up restitching that wound for me when it broke open," Xander said, letting the judge see. "She had to remove a clamp as well if I saw right." He tucked in his shirt as he sat back down.

The judge stared at him. "Why didn't anyone else hear about that?"

"You've have to ask that demon worm what he did to make sure of it, Your Honor," Xander said with a slight shrug. "We couldn't be sure if it was some sort of spell, something from the hellmouth, bribery and coercion of various officials. We were teenagers then. All we knew was that a lot of our classmates were dying around us."

"I can see how that would've happened." He looked at the paperwork. "I should grant it just to keep down some hell."

"She won't get anything anyway," Xander said with a grin. "I'll burn it first and she can't get into my bank accounts."

The judge smirked. "With a judicial order she can, young man."

"My main bank account is in Africa, sir. A US judicial order won't." The judge winced. "They'd probably put her to death for trying since they hate witches there. They nearly got me once for that. They'd know she was one thanks to the publicity issue they've had recently."

"I see." He stared at him. "Are you trying to move around any order I might put out?"

"Your Honor, my client was the watcher in Africa for five years," the lawyer said.

"Oh." He slumped, looking at everything. "Fine. I'll rule that you are not dead. Is there any chance you two will make up?"

"No," Xander said. "Not after all that's happened. Not after this."

The judge nodded once. "What if you need her help?"

"I work next to a lot of people I don't like," Xander said dryly. "She's just one of them."

"Point. Thank you, Mr. Harris. Case dismissed." He walked off.

Xander looked at his lawyer, who shrugged. "Sorry if I was mouthy," Xander said quietly.

"I think it was appropriately mouthy." He shook Xander's hand and they left the courthouse together. The lawyer went to have a drink.

Xander went to a bar he knew to get his own drink. "They decided I'm actually alive," he quipped. "I need to celebrate and the girls have tonight off."

"As opposed to being a zombie?" the bartender asked with a grin.

"Willow tried to file that I had disappeared and died the day before I got pulled across realms."

"Oh, that sort of dead."

"Yeah." He put down his debit card, letting him run it. "I think she wanted the mystical artifacts." He drank a sip and sighed. "Better."

"Hey, Harris, we think you're not so tough," one of the guys called.

Xander flicked his wand back at him without looking, making him yelp as he turned into a turtle. "Really? Watch me make you soup, dude." He finished his drink with a grin.

"Change him back please. That way he can still participate in our dead pool." He pointed at the board.

Xander looked at it then grinned. "At least I'm not on there." He changed the guy back, looking at him. "If you're flirting, you might be fun but you'd be on the bottom because I don't think you have enough to make me happy. And you'd need a shower because you're grungy, dude. If you're threatening, just take a swing. I'm tired of the yappy bad guy sort. Monologing is a sign of a weak plan. Warlords do it a whole lot and I used to yawn at them before they finally did something."

"Did you know that you had a price on your head from one of them?" one of the mercenaries said happily.

"Yup, because I made them save their own asses," Xander quipped with a grin. "I made them show up to help with a huge battle they wanted to sit and whine about. If you're an army you should be able to protect your own selves." That mercenary winced. Xander pulled out his phone to find that video, getting past the text messages after sending out a short one that he was fine and won the court case. He let the guys see that battle. "See, that warlord is an idiot and he put out a price on my head for making him less than manly by making him fight for his own life."

"No, not them. The one in Sudan," the guy said.

"Oh, *him*," Xander said with a nod. "I broke into their camp, stole their weapons for a battle the next day, and got the slayer they had hostage out of there too. She's in Minnesota, still healing but she's doing a lot better." He grinned. "Then I led that battle to their camp because it was them or a school and a refugee camp. They were bad guys anyway so they bought it." He shrugged and grinned.

Penny's boyfriend stared at him. "You make guys like us feel less than manly," he complained.

Xander laughed. "I heard you're a nice guy, Brad. Penny was bragging and sharing stories with Kara about boyfriend things." The merc blushed but smiled back.

"How many of those were there?" Wade asked casually as he sat down.

Xander got into his video files. "I have film from sixteen battles. That means I don't have video of seven really large ones and a few minor but hard things." He looked at the text message. "Brad, call Penny please? She's frustrated or panicking." He walked off calling his girlfriend. Xander put his phone back, looking at Wade. "You do what you gotta," he said.

"Yeah, sometimes you do. You're not like us."

"No, I usually fight for a better reason than money. Though I used to go fight in a demon fight ring now and then for stress relief and money to give Anya things she demanded."

Vanessa, Wade's girlfriend, leaned on his arm. "Anya *demanded* presents?" she asked. Xander pulled out a video of Anya for her. She giggled. "She's real blunt."

"She was. She demanded I get her a platinum vibrator for her eleven-hundred-twenty-third birthday. I had to settle for silver because she went shopping again. I told her why too. She pouted but said it was fine since I had prepaid for her shoe habit. Buffy told her that Cosmo was real women." He grinned at her. "She was all about the money and the moans. Loudly. In public and loudly. Boy did I step up my game when she complained about only getting five a night." He pulled up one of those videos for her. She moaned and shook her head. "I nearly married her but some of her former coworkers showed up to convince me she'd be miserable. I left her at the altar. But I had given her a conscience so she lost her powers after getting them back. She didn't want to torture anymore."

Vanessa kissed him on the cheek. "You need to go gay, Xander."

"I've done that a few times. They were fun but not wanting something permanent. Good battle stress relief usually, and some gave me discounts on weapons." She patted him on the cheek. "But I do take fix-ups."

"Mine," Wade complained.

"I learned not to poach, Wade. I was dating the head cheerleader and somehow ended up kissing Willow a few times." Wade grimaced, shaking his head. "It got Cordelia hurt. Though, we were all about hurting each other. She'd snipe, I'd snipe, we'd make out. She broke up with me for her image so I did a love spell that went *really* wrong and backwards, got everyone but her. I nearly got chased down for not sleeping with people so they could kill me. Willow's boyfriend punched me for not sleeping with her." Wade winced and shook his head quickly. "Cordy and I had another fight and fixed things, then I cheated for some unknown reason a few months later."

"Wow," Wade said. "Just...wow."

"For some reason she ended up seeing Angel before her visions killed her. In some ways I felt inadequate next to the brooding vampire. I finally got over that."

Vanessa kissed him then Wade. "No," he said. "We don't need a house pet."

Xander grinned. "I'm not nice enough to be a house pet, guys. I have to nag the slayers. You'd have to move into the slayer house." His phone rang. "Speaking of." He looked. "Kennedy." He answered it. "I'm having a drink in celebration and talking about Anya. Is it an emergency?" He listened. "No, I won. No, she's still locked in the meditation room, Kennedy. Why? Who said I lost? Oh, no, I won. Yeah, he was the lawyer there, not the other guy.

"I didn't see him there so I don't know why he's chatting. No, he can't take over the house." He stood up. "I'm five minutes away." He hung up, tossed some money on the bar. "Let me go save the girls." He pulled his wand and disappeared after grabbing Penny's boyfriend. "Why, hi," he said, shooting the guy with the knife. Brad moved to stop the other three guys. Xander broke the rite and called Giles, summoning him after that quick warning. Giles looked and lost his temper. Xander got himself and the girls out of the way. Xander looked at Penny and Brad. "Can you guard her tonight?"

"Definitely. I've got a guest room if any of you want to squeeze in, ladies. I need to clean my laundry out of it but you're welcome to camp. There's no bed." A few nodded.

"Kara, call your guy," Xander said quietly. She was shaking. He hugged her. "Kennedy, take the girls to a nice motel for the night. Ask Brad which one's safer." He nodded, leading them that way. Xander looked at Giles. "I'm going to evacuate her to someone who likes to cuddle."

"We don't need the girls to witness this, Xander. Or you."

"Thanks. Let me know when I can come back with cleaners." He pulled his wand and took Kara with him. They landed in a lab. "Hey, is her guy here? An old liner just tried to sacrifice her." Hank called for him to come down and he came jogging in. Xander handed her over. "One of the old line got the idea to sacrifice extra slayers. She was going to be killed in about five minutes. Can I trust you to cuddle her and protect her for a few days?"

"Of course. I will be totally proper."

Xander shrugged. "If that's what she needs to heal and calm down, so be it. You know I don't care about her sex life as long as you're a good guy to her." Colossus nodded, picking her up to carry her off. "Let me check on the girls and then go help clean up Giles' mess. I have no idea what they were doing and I'm not sure if it's a possessing thing that can eat him too." He pulled his wand and disappeared. He landed behind Kennedy. "Problems?"

"They won't let us."

"Ma'am, someone broke into the slayer house to kill a few of the girls," he said. "This is their safety fall back." She nodded and checked them in. "Let me go check." He left, heading back to the house at a light jog. He walked in and found Giles looking around the restored circle. "I was hoping it wasn't something that would possess you as well." He sighed. "Do I have to do an exorcism?"

"No, I rebuilt it to send their souls on, Xander." He looked at him. "The girls?"

"Safe."

"Good. Excellent in fact."

Xander stared at him then summoned Ethan, and his cup of brandy. Xander pointed. "He just stopped a bunch of people who were going to sacrifice slayers."

Ethan looked at his former best friend. "That's just Ripper on a tear," he said. The amused look said it all. He looked at Xander. "You're paranoid."

"It could've been something possessing."

"Point. Are they safe? Did they manage it?"

"Not that I've heard," Xander admitted. He called the main house. "Faith? Oh, Tyna. It's Xander. Giles and I just stopped some old liners....yeah, doing that. Who and where? Do we still need to go save someone?" He listened, turning to kick a wall. "Tell me someone got them? Okay," he said. "I can do that. Yeah. No, my girls are all out of the house. Thanks." He hung up. "Minnesota got attacked but the girls all escaped. They tried the healing house and got one of the girls but the rest overpowered them and got the police there quickly."

He sighed. "London's house got attacked and the head watcher there did it. Two of the girls were coming back from class and found it. One managed to get help while the other held him off. Mostly." Giles winced but looked furious. "The girl in Germany was injured, but not totally. Just basically a bad mugging that she thought was an old liner's son. And the girl in Cairo is being evacuated permanently thanks to their cultural problems." He cleared his throat. "What the fuck was that? Was it something possessing?"

Giles shook his head. "They were talked into it by the Powers I believe," Giles said calmly.

"Well fuck them! Not that I think anything's that desperate."

"They think there's too many," Giles said.

"Which is great but we'll need at least fifty more than we had this morning for the battle in two months!"

Giles winced. "I forgot about that." He looked at Ethan.

"I'm not well versed in battle magics," he defended.

Xander looked at him. "Can you chaos the other side so their ideas don't work?"

"I may be able to do that, yes. I'll see." He disappeared, going home.

Xander looked at Giles. "So now we're missing eight girls." Giles winced but nodded. "I'm going to kill a lot of beings."

"I'm going to do a fealty spell," Giles said, putting back on his glasses.

"Can we curse certain higher ups? Summon Whistler to send him as a virus?"

"It's probably not a good idea," he admitted, smiling slightly. "Though talking to Whistler might be a good idea."

Xander looked up that rite and summoned him by name. The demon appeared with a wince. "Did it not occur to your bosses that we have a battle in two months that we'll need more slayers than we had last night to win it and then one six months later that's supposed to be much worse in multiple cities? Because if this was your boss's plans I'm going to rip them to fucking tiny shreds. I'll make barbeque with their intestines and I'll make *damn* sure that no demon or higher power ever touches a slayer again!"

"We didn't order it," Whistler said. "That I know of. I was not sent to tell them to do that." Giles held up the book he had found. "That's....yeah, that's forbidden and all the copies are off plane," Whistler said quietly. "Oh, god."

"Really? Ya think?" Xander demanded.

"Calm down, Hunter," Whistler ordered.

Xander stared at him. "There's a reason they call me a Knight, Whistler. And if I have to lead an army up there, so be it." Whistler backed off shaking his head quickly. "You sure?"

"As far as I know we had nothing to do with that." Xander summoned Buffy, who went for Whistler with her claws. "We didn't do it!"

"They told them in a vision," Buffy snarled. "The one I had to help make a gooey spot said so. That had to come from you guys."

"It wasn't me, Slayer. It was not. I swear on my remaining life that I did not have a thing to do with that plan. Myself or Cordelia." He summoned her.

She showed up cleaning her nails until no blood showed. "Two of the Powers did have an idea but they realized how much they screwed up and that humanity's going to die." She looked up from cleaning blood from under her nails. She looked at Xander. "You missed one." He wobbled. "No, not the orphans house, Xander. If they had tried that I would've shown up there to take them out." He nodded, swallowing. "One of the girls in Asia. They laid a trap yesterday." She looked at Buffy then at Giles. "The Powers are really mad at themselves."

"Good," Xander growled. "I should summon them to show up to the battle."

Cordelia giggled. "You can't do that."

"The fuck I didn't learn," he said with a grin. "When I had to talk to that other version of myself. He had a demon god summoning spell."

She blinked a few times. "There is?" He called the book to him. She looked at the wand then at him. "Why?"

"Same reason. The day after Willow decided I had died."

"Is she possessed?" Buffy asked her.

"There might be one but not sure," Whistler admitted. He looked at that spell. "Wow, it would."

Xander grinned. "Good. I'm wondering if the few I ran into in Africa could come help."

"That might be bad," Giles told him. "Only do it if you must, Xander."

Buffy looked at him. "Would they hurt the girls?"

"No. Most of the ones I'd call wouldn't. A few might show up outside that and they might."

"Then only do it if you have to." She looked at Cordelia. "Are they all done? Or can Xander go beat some more?"

"There's only one more locally and someone he knows found out and ended it." Xander sighed in relief. "That guy with Kara? He's weird but cute."

Whistler shrugged. "I don't know anything about cute but we have no problem with them dating. One of their problems is going to be running from a demon problem anyway."

"I'll let them know," Buffy said, sending a text message to Kara. She looked at them. "Any idea when?"

"The one in six months," Cordelia said with a grimace. "Damn that'll be bad." Xander nodded once. "I forgot you got visions," she said with a smug look.

"Yeah but I'm only showing a third of the damage you had," he said dryly.

"Oooh, I forgot about that."

"Which would mean he died trying to protect us," Buffy quipped.

"The Powers hate that idea," Whistler said quietly.

"Then they shouldn't have given me visions, huh?" Xander quipped with a grin.

"Fine. We'll talk about that later. How did you get magic?"

"I talked to a few versions of myself. The day after Willow decided I was going to die."

Whistler winced. "Oh, damn," he said weakly. He looked at Cordelia. "Which one?"

"One of the weapons designing twins one and a cursebreaker booknerd me." He smirked. "We had a lot of talks."

"Oh, fuck me," Cordelia said. "So your magic's out?" He nodded with a grin. Giles glared at her. "We all noticed. He has a few things, that's why he's a medium."

"Also known as a shaman," Xander said dryly. "I took training."

"Great," she agreed with a grin. "There's still people who want to eat you down there."

"Let them show up for the battles while I'm distracted," he said dryly, smirking at her. She moaned but nodded. "Is Anya with you guys?"

"Went to a reward to complain about the lack of sex," Cordelia said dryly. She disappeared.

Whistler looked at Giles. "I'll see what I can do about those battles." He disappeared.

Xander looked at Giles and Buffy, who shook their heads. "Hey, if they want to come fight with us, so be it," Buffy decided. "We need to tell others." She walked over to answer the pounding on the door. "Do...that's Merry." She took her to cuddle. Xander took her from her. "Thank for you saving her. We found out a higher being told some of the old liners to sacrifice the extra slayers. We had no idea until we found a few earlier."

"I'm just glad I smelled the blood on him," Logan said, walking in. "The girls?"

"Motel mostly," Xander said. "I dropped Kara off with her buddy. She needed cuddles. Penny's with hers. Kennedy's being dorm mom at the motel." He looked at the baby. "You're okay."

"He hurt Mommy," she said quietly.

"Then if he's alive I'll be kicking his ass." She tucked her face back into his neck. He looked at Logan, who shook his head. "No idea or no it's not a possible thing to find someone?" he asked quietly in Spanish.

"No idea," Logan said. "I saw a few knocked out bodies but I was concerned with him having a knife at her throat." Xander nodded, relaxing some. "They all gone?" he asked Giles.

"I sent the ones here to hell," he said dryly. "I'm hoping the others went there as well."

"If not, they will be later," Xander said. "I don't have a problem with that." He looked at Logan. "They did this knowing that we have two huge problem battles in the next six months. The Powers killed their buddies that sent that vision to those watchers."

"Good," Logan agreed. "Two battles?"

Xander pointed. "Blue book is my journal of visions. It'd be in the last six." He pulled it down to flip through, finding one that made him look confused. "If it's got chickens, I had cold medicine."

"Figures." He read those two visions, wincing. "That's bad."

"He invited the guys who want to kill him in Africa to show up to do it during the battle so they have to help us," Buffy said.

Logan looked at her. "Maybe others can help instead. It'll be safer." He waved the book. Xander nodded. "I'll bring it back later and make sure Kara's not picked on or anything. A few of the older mutants are tactless children." He left, going back to the center. "Summers, come join me in the kitchen," he called. "Colossus, Kara, you two as well." They came in with the Professor. "I just saved one of the tiny ones from an idiot with a knife too." She shuddered. "Ran into Xander, Buffy, and Giles at the house. Apparently a higher power told the watchers to do that. They got killed by the other ones for being idiots."

"I want all of them to die for it," she said. "How dare they do that to us!"

He patted her on the arm. "Giles said he sent the ones at your house to hell. Harris said he'd go kill any that survived. He also noted that you guys have two battles coming up?"

"Yeah, one in two months and one in six months and they're both horrible. That later one's in multiple areas. We didn't have enough girls to cover it before this."

Logan nodded. "I heard some female named Cordelia and some guy they called Whistler say that it'd be our problem running from a demon menace. So we're apparently teaming up then."

"Cool." She nodded. "We're not sure what type of demons yet but a lot of them are beheaders."

"We can handle that," Scott told her. "What happened?"

"Some of the old liners decided to get rid of the extra slayers," Logan said. "I found one trying to take out a baby slayer."

"Oh, Goddess, please not Sarah," Kara said quietly. "Her mom will be destroyed and she's sick."

"Xander called her Merry."

She took a deep breath. "Not good but better than Sarah." She looked at Scott. "You know Sarah."

"I only know one little girl named Sarah.... oh, no."

She nodded. "She's a baby future slayer." She leaned on the counter. "Her mommy needs her a lot."

"Yeah, she does." He cleared his throat. "Are the other girls all right?"

"Penny's with Brad," Kara said. "Kennedy took the others to a motel. I remember hearing that while I was in shock." Her boyfriend stroked her back. She leaned against his side. "Thanks, big guy."

"It's a natural reaction," he told her. He looked at Logan. "Two battles?" He let them read the visions. Kara turned a page to show off the rest of one. "That is bad."

"That is horrible," Kara said, looking up at him. "A few of us wondered if we could sacrifice Willow to stop one of them." She leaned on the counter again. "We know how we'll usually handle them."

"Harris invited the guys in Africa who have a price on his head to show up during one," Logan said.

She laughed. "Xander conned a few militias full of yahoos with guns into fighting a few battles. They really hated him."

Logan nodded. "Yeah, that makes sense."

She took her boyfriend's phone to get onto the bulletin board for slayers. She sent in a message about the local house and what they had heard. It calmed some down. "The girls are panicking and I don't blame them," she said while she typed. She got into a file. "Xander's report site." She let Logan have the phone.

He watched, laughing at what happened. "That's real creative."

She nodded. "But otherwise it would've been him and a weak military."

"Yeah," he said, handing it to Summers so he and the Professor could watch it. "Many of those?"

"Few," she said. "There were only two patrol ready girls who didn't have kids. They were all volunteer only."

"He did good with the girls down there from what I heard," Logan said. He handed the phone back.

Colossus' usual partner took the phone to watch, eyebrow going up. "Wow," she said. "How do you handle those?" She looked up. "Would my powers help? My warhead's not bad but could it help?"

"It might not do much more than push them back but that's a huge help in some battles," Kara told her. "It would've rocked during the LA invasion."

"Sure, I can help with that. If not, what sort of weapons?" Kara pulled off her hidden short sword to hand over. "That's pretty but heavy."

"Heavy is Xander's special battle axe that came down from Asgard to get petted," she said dryly. "Or his other one. We all train with them just in case we have to pick one up but they're *so* heavy. Definitely good for construction guy muscles he has but I feel like limp noodles when I use it." She put it back into her harness. She looked up. "Xander would probably let you borrow one."

"I'll ask so I can train with it," he agreed, patting her on the head with a smile. "We can have dinner outside so you're in the quiet."

"If you want. I'm down to being in the cuddly post-battle problems." He nodded, hugging her to his side. "Let us know if you guys want to help with those. Most of the time we cheer anyone who jumps in, even bad guys." They walked off together.

Logan nodded. "I would too," he agreed.

"I can agree with that," Scott Summers said. "How right is his visions?"

"Very," Kara called back. "Only off time but never wrong."

"Crud." He looked at the Professor. Who nodded back. "Then we'll figure out how we can help. Logan, go talk to SHIELD? They hate us."

"I can do that." He walked off with the journal, calling someone to meet him somewhere before he got on the motorcycle.

***

Xander looked at the older man in the wheelchair. They were having a meeting about the upcoming battles in two months. The old guy had been trying to not say something by the look on his face. Xander staring at him let him finally let out his bit of tactless words. "Do you really think that the girls don't need rules?" the Professor asked.

"They have rules."

"You let them run all over the city," he said.

"They're hunting. Club hunting is most effective in this city, that and talking to the local ME's. They were doing both of those before I got up here and they work. Not like a cemetery patrol would work so well out here."

"You let the girls go do anything they want."

"No I don't."

"One of them is dating a mercenary," he said, lips pressed together.

"Yeah, and he understands her duty. He can back her up, he's not scared of her because she's stronger than normal girls. He can help her learn things that no one is going to teach her in any sort of class. He's upped her weapons proficiencies in all areas, including the sword work she taught him because he asked her to. The one dating your boy, he's a good boy. We like Piotr a lot. He's got sense, compassion, doesn't rag on the girls when they do girlish things like squeal over boy bands but he can help them if something happens.

"He saved Kennedy last week when she nearly got mugged. Also, the girls can understand his calling and can help him calm himself down after battles. The most important thing in this life is to find a support structure so you don't burn out and pull a suicide move. I think they're both great couples and Piotr has an open invitation to at least our couch, but he and Kara both know it's up to Kara if he shares her bed for more than fun times. Beyond that, they're teenage girls. They're doing normal teenage girl things."

"Yes, she is underage, isn't she," the Professor said dryly.

"She's eighteen in three days and he's within the state's limit of four years. There's no problem there even if *someone* got huffy about a mutant finding love with a slayer." He stared at him. "I don't care what you think about Kara. Piotr is more than welcome to come live at the slayer house with us."

"You wanted him for his benefits."

"No, I'd like to have another guy in the house," he shot back. "Because I'm surrounded by girls every single day. I don't care if he couldn't do more than I can and find little metal bits and pieces. Him being a mutant has nothing to do with their relationship, beyond the fact that it means they can understand each other's duty better."

Nick Fury nodded. "It sounds like a good idea. Piotr is a goody good boy. They're together?"

Xander nodded with a grin. "Yeah. A lot. He's a good boy and he treats her well, which is all I or Giles care about. If we could put up with the bad boyfriend epidemic around the Council thanks to the slayers trying to find someone who understands the duty, we can certainly put up with a great one."

"I agree," Logan said. "They're a cute couple and he doesn't mind her duty and she doesn't mind his." He glared at the guy in the wheelchair. Then at Harris. "The other one?"

"Penny's dating a mercenary. He's nice. He agreed I'd kill him if he wasn't good to her. He's helped a lot, he's trained himself to help her. Their only fight so far was his fault and he admitted it. He might be a bit older than I'd like for her but he treats her like she's gold to him so I don't mind that."

"They're cute too," Logan said. "She made them go roller blading."

Xander grinned. "Kara made her buddy, at the time, and most of his friends go with her and a few other slayers. Buffy watched and made them go play in the sun. It's great when they can drop all the pressure and be teenagers."

"It is," Logan agreed. Scott Summers nodded. "All right, do we know anything about who's coming?"

"Three visions plus my original one. One of the visions is from someone who's got about sixty percent right at this moment." They nodded, taking them to look over. "I'd really hate to be DC in that situation but the next one's worse and in multiple cities." Xander's phone beeped so he glanced at it, sending back a message. She sent back a 'I see him and his sign with Penny' and left it there. "Sorry, the slayer that was in Cairo is here. We had to evacuate her."

Fury stared at him. "How did you survive that time in Cairo?"

"Tara." He grinned. "I owe that woman a life debt for that. If she wanted me to I'd bear kids for her."

Fury nodded once. "I heard they were ...mean," he said.

"They tortured us, Fury. Say the words. We're all big people around here so we can hear that there's unpretty bigots in the world."

Fury leaned back. "You went to a demonic healer?"

"They wouldn't have treated me in the normal one because the bloodwork would've seen the mermaid taint I got and that I'm gifted to find tiny metal things. Like most of New York they won't treat mutants."

"I forgot about that," Fury admitted. "You healed well."

"Took me a bit. That's why I was in England when the convergence happened."

Fury nodded once. "That's reasonable. Flashbacks or anything that could come up in a battle?"

"Has there been so far?" Xander asked dryly. "I've been in five or six battles since I got rescued by taunting the demon worm." He stared back. "As you know. What's your point or angle?"

"I don't like relying on someone who's injured and has serious flaws during battles."

"Well, sucks to be you then," Xander quipped, smirking at him. "Because if I'm walking I'm following the slayers into their battles. It's my duty and my right to follow them. Anything else you wanted to air about your paranoid tendencies? Because I've done more research on you than you have on me."

"I asked around," Fury said dryly.

"Yeah and got jack shit or rumors. There's no *correct* dossier on me anywhere. The only one that was nearly right Rosenburg got. You might've talked to some of my ex's but most of them would've praised how I handled things in Africa for five years."

"You were there for four and a half."

"No, my fifth anniversary was right before Cairo. Even with a few weeks here and there back in the US for meetings, I was there. I left two months after Sunnydale fell in." Fury sat up, staring at him. He grinned. "Who do you think handled that problem in Madagascar?"

"That was you?" he demanded.

"That was me. By myself because no slayer near there." He smirked. "I could get you into my file on the demon sites but I don't like you that much. That's why I sent some poker buddies to get my girls back from you when you tried that dumb move." He tipped his head and smiled. "The other was all Willow."

Fury growled. "Good to know."

"You know I'll protect those girls with my life. Your profilers probably said that already."

"They have," Fury agreed. "They also said that you have a personality problem."

"No, I occasionally have an anger issue but usually my personality's pretty okay." He grinned. "Anything else or can we get on with this discussion about the battles coming up?"

"Fine." Fury looked at the map of the probable site. "How sure are we?"

"I didn't see a location. I saw the girls fighting something huge that I didn't see real well. It was fuzzy. Which could mean there's more than one. I didn't see any distinctive buildings. I'm guessing either LA or Cleveland. LA because the wash from Sunnydale hit there and Cleveland because of the hellmouth. The other hellmouths are in foreign countries and I didn't see the foreign slayers who'd be near those ones. I did see the LA team and I did see a lot of the senior girls from Cleveland."

"That's reasonable to assume," Logan said. "Any way we can tell for sure?"

"Yeah, if we can figure out who's doing it," Xander said. "But as far as any of the visions show, it's on that side. Not here on earth." Logan grimaced. "I would've asked the coven but we're presently not speaking to them as the Council or me personally." Fury gave him a dirty look. "Not my fault they decided to try to attack me to help Willow's addiction problem. That was their shit and I just had to step in to protect myself and others. Pity but I don't put up with that shit around me."

"Fine," Fury said. "Can they tell?"

"Any witch can scry," Xander said. "We have to know where we're looking."

"So if someone got a good look at the demon, we could figure out where they're from," Logan said. Xander nodded. "Has anyone?"

"Not that they've said. I had Giles ask that specifically. They all got fuzzy pictures of the actual demon. Though, I'm more worried about the later one. If your bad guys are running like hell from a demonic problem.... How bad is that?"

"Bad," Logan agreed. "I can't see someone like Sabertooth running from anything."

"Can we warn them?" Xander asked. "Will they listen to one? That way they tell us what it is before they get here? Or the multiple cities they'll land in?"

"They won't listen to us," Logan said. "Probably not you either."

"Can we capture one to talk to? Someone minor who can get it back?"

Logan shrugged. "It's not unheard of but it's difficult."

"Okay. Let me think on that one. Maybe I can use some sort of contact to get that to them. The only other vision about that one had someone being eaten by something that wasn't the demon that the girls were fighting."

Logan grimaced. "Could they be working together?"

"The eating one that's been seen is kinda the level of a dog. The others seem to be mindless and annoying. Fury, you left it in your desk. Please quit that. I didn't need to see the password you have stored next to it." He shot him a glare. "Whenever something like a find me thought or request hits me I get a picture." Fury shook his head quickly. He looked at Logan again, calling up the demons on the site the slayers used. He frowned when he saw what was going on. "Someone's trying to update or the CIA is trying to hack in again." He slid the phone over. "That's the main one I saw. The dog one is in the other tab."

Logan looked at them, nodding slowly. "All right." He let Fury see it.

"You have an ancient phone, Harris," Fury complained.

"Yup but it worked and it survived Africa with me." It got slid back to him. He got a pop up message. "Let me go fix them. Then I'm going to go prompt a slayer to see if she can have a vision."

"Let me," Fury ordered. "If that's the CIA they won't listen to you."

"They've been paying one of the old liners," Xander said. "I was going to go beat his ass."

"Let me," Fury said, making a call. "It's Director Fury. You're upsetting the Council right after they had people go spastic to try to take out some of the girls and right before a battle. I'd stop that." He listened. "Exactly. No, I'm meeting about the next battle."

"If they want to jump in we allow it," Xander quipped. "We'd like all the help we can get for the next few. Even if they're slime sucking assholes who tried to get me killed so that an invasion would happen in an area." He pulled up that file before sliding the phone back down. "By the way, that's the demon site."

Fury looked it over and then read a section of it to the phone. The person on the other end spluttered and choked. "Harris at the Council is looking amused again. That's probably a bad thing." He hung up and looked at the address of that site. "Need a password?"

"Yeah but you'd have to get it from some of the demon poker hall bartenders." He accepted his phone back. Logan took it to look over. "That's not my file. That's an incident file."

Logan typed in the search box and found Xander's file to browse. "Damn," he said, looking at him. "The first line is 'leave him alone and help him if it's a battle'."

Xander considered it. "Did Bob put that in there?"

"No mention of a name."

Xander looked then shook his head. "That's the secondary file that makes me look heroic." He grinned, taking his phone back. "Sorry. A guy's gotta have some secrets." The Professor suddenly grabbed his head with a moan. "Sorry, did someone forget to mention the hyena never went away?" he asked dryly. "The shaman I trained with were very helpful with training her." He looked at Fury. "I'll try to get a slayer or other prompted vision as soon as I can on both of them."

"That's fine. I'll send Romanoff back to you."

"That's great. I liked her when she showed up. She's an agent that the girls should look up to. A few set up shrines after that little thing Loki did. Though I did bust Grant Ward for being an octopus worshiping asshole before the girls got attached to him."

Fury sat up straighter, staring at him. "Octopus?"

"Yeah. Like the ones in DC." He grimaced. "I told her what I saw and she said she'd deal with it."

"She got blocked by handling Loki," Logan sighed. "Grant Ward?"

"He's on the dead guy's team," Xander said with a nod. Fury groaned. "I saw that part."

Fury nodded. "I'll have that fixed."

"Sure. You have fun with that. It must be stress relieving to deal with the guys who adore octopuses. I have no idea why they'd like octopuses. They don't taste good and they're kinda icky. Less so than a kraken but still icky with the tentacles and suckers."

"Kraken are real?" Logan demanded.

Xander grinned. "There's one on top of the Sunnydale, the Cleveland, and the hellmouth in lower Russia. The others don't that we can tell. There's also a few in the oceans and another non-hellmouth portal that's protecting a temple in Belize. The girls down there wrote back and their whole report was them going 'eww' about tentacles that tried to grope."

Logan winced. "How do you handle those?"

"Sword, salt. You have to find the center mass then salt it. Just watch out because anything you cut off can still be alive."

Logan nodded once. "That's so weird."

"Yeah. Then again we fight demons so weird is relative."

"Point. No wonder you didn't blink at McCoy."

"Why would I? There's a few different fuzzy species. I had to talk a drunk Willow out of petting one that ate people." Logan smirked at him. "Seriously."

Logan nodded. "Go handle the house stuff, Harris. We'll talk in a month."

"I'll try to get more information somehow by then. Fury?"

"Go," he agreed. "I'll talk to the other agencies about leaving your girls alone."

"Please. I hate dealing with dirty agents. Because if they're trying to take out slayers they're probably dirty." He left.

"I agree," Logan said.

"The kid reminds me of a younger you without the claws," Fury told him.

Logan nodded. "Could be. We have the same outlook on many things." He looked at the guy in charge next to him. "You all right?"

"That hyena is most interesting."

"He got possessed and they couldn't banish it so they penned it up," Logan said. "He explained why he smelled like a primal to someone." Charles Xavier shook his head and rolled out. "Let me know if you find anything out, Fury." Nick Fury nodded, letting him go. He went back to have someone hack the demonic site to get the kid's dossiers.

Fury was doing the same with Agent Romanoff. Since the slayers would work with her it was important for her to know what she was getting into.

***

Xander opened the door, staring at the redhead woman standing there. "Agent Romanoff, it's a bad night to try to talk to the girls."

"I came to talk to you."

"It's a bad night for that too. I have a date in an hour with someone who can give me updates on my girls in Africa."

"That is important. May we speak until then?"

"If you want to talk to me while I'm in the shower that's fine." He let her in and led her upstairs. "Ladies, we have a visitor."

Kennedy leaned out. "Hi, Agent Romanoff. Two of us are club hunting tonight and the other three have dates."

"Xander has a date too to get updates on the girls in Africa," he quipped. They all groaned. "Sorry." He grinned at Penny. "Have fun with your club hunt."

"Thanks." She went to fuss over her hair. Xander got into the shower between bouts of hair fixing and then went back to his room. He found the agent waiting in there. "If you're squeamish about scars I wouldn't look for a few minutes." He dropped his towel so he could put on the clothes he had laid out. "Why do I have cat fur on my pants?" he called. "Did we adopt a cat without warning me?"

"That was probably from Tara's special cuddly friend," Kennedy called. "She brought him last time she showed up with cookies. He hid in your closet for a few minutes."

"Thanks." He found some tape to lift off the fur. When he was dressed he looked at the agent. She just blinked back. "What's that important?"

"Were all of those scars from Cairo?"

"No. Unfortunately some were a lot older."

"That is sad. Though it does not mar you."

"I don't think so either but sometimes people are squeamish about them." She nodded that was true. "So why do you need to talk to me for the next twenty minutes?"

"Other agents are getting nosy about the slayers."

"They can bite me."

"They're more the sort to send you back to Egypt to face charges of escaping."

"They hadn't legally arrested me."

"If they had you in a cell they did, Mr. Harris. They don't have to take you to an immediate hearing."

"All but the fact that they said their judicial system wouldn't be allowed to arrest any mutant or demon." She winced. "They still thought I was a demon so I corrected that. They sneered it more than once."

"That is a fact," she admitted. "They will still try."

"And I'll summon something huge and evil to deal with them again. Until then I had no problems protecting even assholes. After that.... no. They can save themselves."

She nodded. "Many of us reach that point years sooner than you have."

"You had to do different things."

"Many of the things your dossier mentioned were worse than a lot of missions."

Xander grinned. "Good to know." He checked the time then put on his watch and picked up his wand. She paused his hand to look at it. "I gained it when I had to talk to myself. Which was the day after Willow filed paperwork saying I was dead." He put it into his pocket. His special axe got put onto his back and it hid itself. He grinned. "It loves me."

"I've seen Thor's hammer."

"It did come down during the convergence. It wanted to cuddle."

She smiled slightly. "That's always a great thing for anything sentient." She stood up. "We think they will be trying to send you back there." Xander opened his bottom drawer and handed her a letter still in the envelope. She read it with a smirk. "That's good to know as well."

"They were a bit embarrassed that we were meeting to stop that asshole." He took the letter back. She took a picture of it and sent it in to someone. He put it back into his fireproof lockbox in his bottom drawer. "For all I care, most of that area can save itself but I'd never let my girls be hurt. I'd sneak back to save most of them if they needed me to."

"I would feel the same." She stared up at him. "Are you sane?"

He grinned. "Mostly. Sometimes being surrounded by women does it to me, ya know."

"I can only assume. I was never that sort of woman."

He smiled. "Maybe but you make up for it now by confusing guys for a living."

"Sometimes," she agreed with a smile. "I'll come back tomorrow around noon to talk about your dossier?"

"I can handle being up by then. Thank you for the warning."

"You're welcome." She left. He followed her out and to a cab he flagged down. She followed him. His date was not someone decent when she looked him up but when an agent tried to break them up to capture Xander he did help him. It got him grazed so Xander fussed over it for him. Then demons showed up to complain to them about their treatment of 'their knight'. It was sweet of them. She went to shadow the girls on a club hunt. They were good at it and the vampires were clearly stupid. Pity for them.

***

Xander walked up to an agent he knew the next morning, holding up a copy of his letter. "Dude, I have a pardon," he said dryly. "You can't send me back there. They can't do anything if you do and that'll just mean I call bad things down on your head and theirs. Frankly, the idea that I was demonic annoyed me and sending me back to that very dark place isn't a great idea." He smiled. "Now, anything else you wanted to plot that'll get you dead instead of me? Because if I'm not there, there's not many people who can lead the slayers in a battle in under two months." He walked off.

"You can still be deported," the agent said, trying to grab him.

"Yeah, all but the fact I have a pardon and an apology letter from them," Xander said, getting his arm free. "And you tried to shoot me last night. Don't think I don't remember." He smirked. "Try it now." The agent pulled his gun. Then the gun got eaten by the thing that came out of the shadows. "Sorry, but I can't let anyone hurt the slayers. Including you. By the way, your director knows. We've already told that to everyone on the news this morning. Including about you and yours trying to shoot me last night."

He petted the demon. "You're so nice. You have that nasty gun for a snack, sweetie." She crunched it up as she walked off. Xander stared at him. "Unless you want me to release information on how some of your fellow agents tried to get a whole lot of people dead, I'd leave me alone anyway. I'll out all that and it'll be tragic when they have to fire most everyone. Which will happen as soon as I disappear." He walked off again. "Have a better day." He waved.

The agent stomped inside to get the film of that so they could charge Harris with threatening an agent. His local bureau chief showed up with the director an hour later to fire him and make sure he went to jail for it. A lot of agents were going to go to jail now. The few people in Homeland who knew Harris sat back and laughed. They knew not to screw with the Sunnydale team. It was always a horrible idea. Then some of the boy's dossier came into the open thanks to a SHIELD agent hacking it. They were horrified but mostly they decided it was Harris and he was just like that.

***

Xander paused before opening the house door, looking at the guy leaning against the wall. "I saw you in the battle."

"Cute," the guy said with a grin. "Your date's escaped the country."

"He only showed up to update me about my girls in Africa. It was sweet of him to do."

"It was," the guy said, standing up so he wasn't leaning anymore. He stared at him. "How can some of us who're good agents help the slayers?"

"Hop into the next few battles. If you have a skill they could use, ask if they want to learn it from you. If you catch another agent trying to kidnap them, let me know so I can go save them?"

"I can help save. By the way I'm Natasha's partner."

"That's cool." He shook his hand. "I saw you with the bow. Some of the minis could use that sort of help but they usually use crossbows."

"I can help with that. Inside?"

Xander opened the door and stared. "Maybe not." He listened. "Penny?" he yelled. No answer. He called her while Clint Barton looked over his shoulder and made a few calls of his own. "Penny's at the bar with the other girls. Someone broke in. Great." He closed the door and relocked it then grinned. "Let me go see what happened."

"The agents who did this got taken into SHIELD custody when the girls ran out. We had someone trying to figure out how to help them be more normal girls. The agents called in and got the three agents who rushed in with bottles of blood to pour all over. They were trying to discredit you for doing magic."

"Most magic doesn't take blood," Xander said.

"They're going on what they've seen in movies, Harris."

"Okay. I'm going to the bar. Then I'll have someone come in to clean that mess up. I really should've brought home a house elf." He walked off shaking his head. "Come see me tomorrow?"

"I can help tonight. I'm not on assignment and you need more help protecting freaked out girls."

Xander grinned. "Penny's boyfriend is a merc."

"Awwww. That's sweet." He followed anyway, calling in a clean up team. No one deserved to clean up that mess. Xander looked back at him. "Clean up team."

"Cool. Less mopping for me." He walked into the bar, heading into the main area. The girls all pounced him. "Why hi. I just got back from telling someone they were an idiot to find a mess. What happened?"

"We walked down the stairs and found them pouring blood," Penny complained. "Thankfully Brad was over." She patted his arm. "He got them out of there."

"Thanks, man," Xander said, shaking his hand. "Anyone got any injuries or are we just worried?"

"Worried," Kennedy said, trying to act cool and calm. "Also, your girls are showing up soon." Xander stared at her. "Buffy said so. That it's too dangerous down there."

"They had it mostly handled."

"Some idiot group of walking ideology with guns decided slayers were going to corrupt them." He grimaced. "Apparently they're really scared of women down there."

"Yeah, a few are." He hugged his girls again. "It's cool. We can handle it." She nodded. "There's another building next to us and if we have to, we can buy it or whatever to join them. I'm not sure how Giles handled the house. I just make payments to a bank for him." They all snuggled. He petted over their hairs. "It'll be okay. They'll quit soon," he said quietly. He groaned. "Wade, stop it!" he bellowed. "I've got the girls with me!" The girls all laughed, going to nag that guy. He was a bit weird but he had swords. They liked him for that much. Xander looked at Brad. "Which agency?"

"The same one you went to talk to about being idiots."

"Great. They tried to send me back to Cairo."

"You have a pardon and apology letter," Brad said.

"Yeah, I do. Which I pointed out this morning." He grinned. "Then I nicely told a few reporters how to find the demonic site to find out what they had done in Africa to hurt a lot of people." Brad burst out giggling and went to pull Penny off Wade. Xander looked at Clint, who shrugged. Xander shrugged back. "Are they going to get out?"

"Not if Natasha has her way. She's not pleased."

"I'm not pleased," Xander said dryly. "I can make explosives." Clint laughed, clapping him on the back. "Ladies, this is Agent Barton. He works with Agent Romanoff. He was the guy in the battle against Loki with the bow." The girls came over to fawn over him. A few had pictures of him on their walls to drool on. Xander looked at Wade. "Do I need to make sure you don't pick on me?"

"I find it fun," Wade quipped.

Xander changed his spandex bodysuit with mask into a furry costume. Now he looked like a walking, talking, swearing teddy bear with the same face mask features. "Should we call you Deadbear or is that too close to the Grateful Dead? Bearpool?"

"Hey! This is my only suit!" he complained. "I have enough trouble keeping it clean. Blood will not come out of this, even with vinegar."

"Maybe your girlfriend would like to date someone fuzzy," Xander quipped with a grin. "Quit shooting me dick pictures before I have to have my ex's tell you how great I am."

The girls all giggled, petting Wade's new suit. Wade pouted. "Blood will never come out of this. Or gunpowder."

"Pity," Xander quipped. "Furry things are always more fun than skinny ones in spandex. Especially when they make me see pictures of their dicks. I've seen plenty and yours is cute but not that noteworthy." He walked over to Kennedy's seat. "The girls get anything on them?"

"No. The emergency exit you set up worked well," she said. Xander grinned. "Are they going to keep doing this?"

"Damn I hope not." He stared at her. "I'd suggest we just move the house but I have no idea where we'd go with that sort of room. Outside of some sort of old hotel." She nodded that was reasonable. He patted her on the arm. "It'll be okay."

"I was thinking. What if Willow's problem was her parents?"

Xander looked at her. "Why would it be?"

"Because Amyla showed up last night during my date to tell me to tell you that her mother made a wish to make her daughter more normal, like her."

"It wouldn't explain everything."

"She said she did it after graduation."

Xander grimaced but nodded. "I can see maybe it being that. Can it be undone?"

"No clue," Kennedy admitted. "She didn't tell me that."

"I can call Giles to tell him that. Maybe they can fix it somehow." He sent a text message to Andrew, who went running to find Giles to tell him. "Willow's mother is the original owner of the 'cunt' name. She hates anyone not her way of thinking." He looked at Kennedy. "She hated that Willow dated a girl, because that's not normal. She hated that Willow was a redhead. Her baby doc made her mom quit dying her hair." Kennedy winced. "That woman is a horrible human being and I hope you girls never run into those. The ones that picket the house are bad enough. Willow's mother would chastize them for daring to protest young women while advocating that they all be locked in a mental hole and drugged to death." Kennedy winced. "Yeah, she's that sort. I've said that she was turning into her mother."

"I didn't get to meet them. Thankfully."

"Her father just sighs and tells himself that he vowed to her for better or worse." He walked back to the other girls, who were cooing over Wade's swords. Vanessa had come in and the girls were talking to her about girl things. They needed fashion help and she dressed nicely. "I don't care if you guys drag a *willing* female shopping but the first time you walk out of the house in lingerie and no clothes over it, I'm putting you in clothes I pick out. You'll look like those girls on the kiddy pageants by the time I'm done with you." They groaned and Vanessa shuddered. "They have to have taste and some sense plus be able to fight in it. Including any heels they buy. That's been a problem."

"Buffy can do it," Kennedy complained, rubbing her sore knee. She had turned it last night in her heels.

"Yeah but you're not Buffy," Xander said, looking at her. "You're not the undead yo-yo. Or the dyed blonde cheerleader. Nor can you go on date patrols with someone like Angel or Spike."

"Eww," she complained. "We do need shoe advice."

"I'd offer but I don't want to be seen like this," Wade complained.

"I told you to quit making me see your cute little penis," Xander quipped with a grin. "I might've been nicer but I had to deal with agents earlier beyond this problem." Wade shuddered. Xander looked at Vanessa. "It's up to you to give in to the begging or not. That's all on the girls. They have a short budget most of the time until school shopping. They should probably start by cleaning out closets." They all groaned but nodded. "Because I saw that purple dress, Penny."

She blushed then shrugged. "I only wear it for Brad, Xander."

"Yeah, that was a boyfriend baiting dress," he agreed with a smirk at her. "Though I saw you wearing it out?"

"Club hunting," she squeaked. He smirked and nodded. "Yes, sir."

"Thanks. We don't want some reporter to start calling all you girls hos like they do to Buffy." They giggled and pulled Clint over to talk to him with Vanessa and Wade. Xander called the house, getting someone. "We're out at a safe place. How long before I can get the girls out of the bar to spare the guys who usually go here? Otherwise some might be tamed soon." He smiled. "We can do that. There's an hour an a half, ladies," he said as he hung up. They squealed and dragged Vanessa and Clint with them. Kennedy helped by pulling Wade with them. Xander grinned at the mercenaries. "Remember, you can date a slayer if you're a good boy. They should only have good dates." He walked off, following the slayers. He had their shopping cards on him so the girls couldn't steal them.

The bartender looked around, nodding. "Thanks, guys. It was nice of you to be so good to the girls."

"They're really strong girls," one of them said. "Kennedy looks like a princess but she beat Bob at arm wrestling." The others nodded.

"I can see why Brad really likes Penny. She's a sweet little hellion that can probably break him," another said. "How long do you think it'll be before he changes Wade back?"

"No clue. It's a bit scary between those two."

The others got drinks and put on music so they could relax. They were good, but bouncy, girls. Maybe they could make Wade more normal instead of Bearpool.

The End.
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