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Beginning the Hunts

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Story notes:
I would have put this up yesterday but you guys would've figured it was a joke.

Eventually, we'll get to see more crosses to the hunting and other crossovers like the bunny wanted.
Beginning the Hunts

Xander was at the study table at the Magic Box when Buffy and Willow came in, Buffy complaining she had lost her favorite sword. "It's under your bed," he sighed, turning the page on the book. "Like usual."

The girls stared at him. "How would you know?" Buffy demanded.

He looked at her. "Because you keep losing it under there with your boots."

"I've looked there," she snorted, heading for the back areas of the store.

"You might look at the kitten toy sized things," Xander said dryly, going back to his research topic of the moment. "I saw Miss Kitty batting around a toy sized sword when I came in to move things for you two."

Willow called Tara to look for it, nodding when she found it. "He's right," she called, hanging up. "Tara's undoing the shrinking spell that somehow hit all of our stuff last week." She rolled her eyes, going back to help Buffy by being friendy for her.

Xander nodded, going back to his research.

Giles stared at the young man then went back to his own research topic, which wasn't what the boy was looking up. Giles found a potion that would tell him what he wanted to know and made it himself. He knew not to trust Willow with the potion or his suspicions. She was a bit reactionary and a horrible potion maker. He walked over and dropped some on Xander's hand, making the boy stare at it then at him. "That potion shows gifts, my boy," he said, staring at him. "That shows you have one."

Xander nodded, wiping it off. "I knew that already. Found that out in Oxnard." He shrugged. "It's not all that handy since all I can find is small things like earrings." He grimaced. "Or shrunken swords."

Buffy leaned out. "He's got a what?"

"He's got a talent," Xander said. "For finding small, metal things. Like your sword and earrings."

"Oh. Why? What infected you this time? Do we have to do a potion like we did when I got infested by the aspect of the demon, Giles?"

"No, Buffy. His is innate, he was born that way." He looked at her. "To put it bluntly it's like a light mutation."

"Yay hellmouth radiation," Xander said blandly, looking at them. "It made me able to find earrings."

She rolled her eyes. "Then that's a good thing I guess. It might've made you think you can do more than you can again." She went back to her working out.

Xander looked up at Giles. "One of these days," he said quietly.

"She can still beat you in a fair battle," Giles said.

Xander grinned. "Why would I play fair? I can lift more than she can."

"She lifted beams at your site," Buffy called. "You can't."

"I can, it's not logical to do that. It's against OSHA laws," he called. She came out to scowl at him. "Let's go test it," he said, standing up and putting his book in Giles' hands. "She's in that chapter somewhere."

"You can't lift more than I can, Xander. You're normal."

He laughed. "Sure." He smirked. "I also lift weights for work. You only do it when you have PMS." He waved a hand. "Let's see." He walked that way, setting up her weight bench. "Go ahead."

She settled and huffed but did lift it. He did the same. They added ten pounds. He lifted, she lifted but grimaced at the weight. At twenty-five more pounds she struggled but Xander lifted it more easily. She glared and pushed herself the next time, making her shoulder pop and her wince but drop the weight instead of hurting herself. Xander lifted it easier and put it back into the rack gently then got up off the bench and went back to his research. Buffy glared. "That's not a fair test, Xander," she called.

"Yes it was. Same weight. I can probably lift another twenty-five pounds beyond that if I have to. Our crew chief is about twenty-five pounds heavier and I had to carry him out of the job site the other day because he was drunk. Three hundred feet to his truck's bed and he napped it off." He grinned at Giles then took his book back, pointing at something. "Isn't that her?"

"That is her," he agreed, taking the book back. "Doing construction does tend to up one's muscle mass. You are a bit more buff now, Xander." He walked off reading. "That's interesting. She's half vampire."

Xander nodded. "Which figures since we only see her at night and during the daytime she tends to hide in the mall."

Giles nodded. "That would figure."

Willow stomped out. "You're not more muscled." Xander pulled off his t-shirt, making her make squeaky noises. "What are you doing?"

"Proving the point," Xander said, staring at her. "See, more muscles from lifting heavy stuff every single day." He put his t-shirt back in. "Anya's been complaining I'm not as comfy to sleep on."

"Maybe that comes from that finding thing," she huffed.

"No, that comes from working," Xander shot back. "You know, you could do that. A lot of people manage to work at least part-time while going to college, or even work studying sort of thing. That way you wouldn't be broke and taking back cans every month."

"It's recycling," she sneered.

"Yes it is," he said dryly. "I did the same thing in high school and you complained that it took time from all of that stuff we used to do." She stomped off. "They're advertising for one in the library, Willow. That way you could mostly sit and do homework then instead of doing it after you get home."

Giles nodded. "I did some of that because I wanted to do things my father would not approve of. It was tiring a few times but I did get to go on the trips I wanted to do."

Xander grinned. "Some day I'll get my roadtrip. It'll just be after the town's destroyed."

Giles smiled at him. "Who knows when that could happen," he agreed dryly.

Xander nodded. "Within a few years probably. Thankfully I have an account Anya can't get into in a bank she can't find."

"I doubt that," Willow called.

Xander glared toward the back room. "If she should because you find it for her, you're paying me back, Willow. Because I know she can't get into that account."

"It's an online bank," she said, coming to the doorway with a smile. "It's not that hard, Xander."

"No it's not. There's other sorts of banks out there than the traditional bank and online banks." He grinned. "They require identification and she's on the 'do not allow' list anyway. They won't even let her set up an account." She huffed off again. Xander waved at her back.

"Credit union?" Giles asked.

Xander grinned. "No. Don't worry about it, Giles." He got up to get another source and came back.

"That shouldn't have her."

"It has her brother and I'm hoping it lists a weakness." He looked at him. "Unless you know about one that's not mentioned?"

"Not particularly. I'd hope beheading would work but she's rather tall and annoyingly strong." He got his own wanted source to look through. There had to be something. When Tara came in with the sword she handed it over then came to help research. She was excellent at it.


Willow looked at Xander a few days later. "You know, they have people who do special training for gifts like yours," she said. They were at his work site for lunch. She had shown up.

Xander stared at her. "That's for those who have gifts that lead to fighting, Willow. Do you really think I'm going to need that?"

She grimaced. "Fine. Just trying to make you more comfy and around more people like you."

He smiled. "You're just a bigotted asshole, Willow. Always have been. Hate to say it, but Jesse had one too. It wasn't real useful but he could color change paint." She stomped off sniffling. He looked at the staring guys. "My stunning ability to find lost nails, earrings, and other tiny things. She's a horrible bigot about that and it's because of her mother, She Who Shrieks."

"We've seen her mother," one of the guys said. "Were did they move to?"

Xander shrugged. "No idea. They left during our senior year. Haven't heard about them for years." He dug in again. "Willow thought I was normal until I found a small thing." They all nodded. They had seen Xander finding dropped nails and screws before so they didn't waste them.


Buffy stomped up to Xander that night in the cemetery, glaring at him. "What did you say to Willow?"

He stared down at her. "The truth, she's a bigoted ass sometimes. Especially about mutants." Buffy grimaced but rolled her eyes. "She got it directly from her mother, who screamed and fought one kid who was born with funny looking hair. Not a demon that I can tell when I looked it up recently but just funny colored hair. She decided the kid was a mutant and didn't want them polluting her world. Frankly, if I took up Willow's suggestion to go to that special mutant school, I'd suggest they look at magic users too. They could probably use the same sort of training, especially for those who want to do combat stuff like patrol."

"That's actually not a bad idea," Buffy admitted. "She wrote them about you too. She has a letter on her desk from them."

Xander nodded. "I saw one when I was in Oxnard. That school is for those who fight on those teams. I don't think I can learn anything there that'll help me on patrol here or on the job." He shrugged. "Plus I'm pretty sure they'd hate Anya."

"Probably," Buffy admitted. She sighed. "I don't know what to do about her."

"There's got to be an AA for magic, Buffy. Ask Giles where it is? Or Wes is back in LA with Angel and them. Maybe they'd know?"

"Maybe," she agreed. "So what are you going to do if they show up?" She pointed at the guy who probably wasn't a demon. He was wearing bermuda shorts and glasses. Most demons didn't do that.

Xander smiled and waved. "I know the bigot did it, Hank."

"That's good, Xander." He walked over, smiling at Miss Summers. "We're aware you're not one of us but special in some other way?"

"In many," she agreed with a smile. "But that would probably make your people get into it with the Council." She shrugged. "You can ask Giles. Xander, why don't you take him to the store so the vampy vamps don't try to eat him? Or that one tries to cuddle. That's Dru."

Xander looked and waved with a smile. "He's a world class scientist, Dru. Not a teddy bear."

"Pity," the vampiress said from on top of the headstone. "He looks like he'd make a good friend for Miss Edith."

"Perhaps but he's the guy who'll save humanity sometime when a mad scientist starts stuff." Xander walked him off with a head nod. "You don't want to deal with her, she's got visions from her stars and tea parties with Miss Edith," he said quietly.

"Really? I don't know many who have visions."

"Yeah, Sunnydale and a few other spots aren't like the rest of the US." He looked behind them and gave the guy a slight shove while he pulled his crossbow and shot the vampire.

"Interesting. It went to dust." Hank McCoy adjusted his glasses. "What type of species is that?"

"Vampire." Xander grinned. "We're on nightly patrol."

Hank looked at him. "Seriously?"

"Yeah, that's what Buffy was created to handle." He walked him off telling him about vampires on the way. They walked into the store. "Giles." He looked up and stared, mouth slightly open. "This is Dr. McCoy, world renowned scientist. Willow wrote him so he came to check up on me. We met when he broke down in Oxnard too."

"Pleasure, sir," the big, blue, furry guy said, holding out a hand.

"Yes it is. I've seen some of your work. Totally impractical for what we do around here but it was fascinating." Tara was making squeaky noises at the research table. "Tara, dear, I'm sure he's not dangerous."

"I us..used him for my r..research paper," she stuttered.

The doctor smiled at her. "That's great. I'm glad it could inspire your paper, Miss." He looked at Xander. "What is wrong with your friend? You mentioned a few things."

"Tara, he deals in that other world," Xander said dryly. "He only flinched at me having to dust something and Dru showing up. Oh, yeah. SPIKE!" he bellowed.

"What!" was yelled from the basement in a cranky British accent. The vampire came up sneering. "You again."

"Dru's in town."

Spike winced. "Great," he complained.

"She thought he might make a nice teddy to be with Miss Edith."

Spike groaned, going for the front door. "Where?"

"Heaven's Rest. Buffy and I were going to start patrol there." Spike lit up a smoke on his way out. Xander grinned at Giles. "That way I don't have to find something sharp and pointy. Then have to deal with Angel." He looked at Tara, who was bright red. "Can you just float something?" She shook her head with another squeak and a brighter blush. He hugged her. "You're okay. He ran into me when I was working at the strip club. It was even drag queen night." She giggled and lost her blush, patting him on the arm. She floated the book she was reading up with a bit of concentration.

"Are we sure it's not a talent?" Dr. McCoy asked, coming over to check it.

"Magic is a gift but not that sort," Giles said. "When we first learned of your community the Council went into a tizzy to see if you had demon ancestry or not and if anything could be interfered with."

"The Council hates people who jump in," Xander quipped. "That's why they've got a price on my head. Have since I was seventeen."

"Really?" Giles demanded.

Xander took Tara's laptop and looked up a site, showing it to him. "Oz found it."

Giles looked at it then grimaced. "I see they do. I'll have a discussion with someone about that." He handed her back her laptop. "Go back on patrol, Xander. We can talk like reasonable adults without you."

Xander grinned. "I was going to make sure he got out of here safely."

"Actually, I would like to know more about this magic," Hank said, smiling at the boy. "I can be safe."

"Okay, but remember, most of them have to be beheaded or staked if they're vampires. And don't stake Spike, we'll get nagged by his sire and Dru." He grabbed a few more things from the barrel and headed out.

Tara shook her head. "He worries."

"He seemed like a nice boy when I met him," Dr. McCoy told her.

"Not mine," she said, blushing and ducking her head again. "Anya's but I'm with Willow."

"That's a charming thing, my dear. If she's good to you then no one should say anything, even though humanity has their judgmental people." She smiled and got back to studying. "Is there a way to quantify what she can do scientifically?"

"Yes and no," Giles admitted, taking off his glasses. "There's covens who oversee many of us who can do the job as it were. There's also been some fairly...criminal groups that have tried to study demons and magic. Thankfully they didn't try to restart that army program."

"Was it under a General Ross?"

"No. It was under a Doctor Maggie Walsh."

"I've never heard of her. I'll look her up when I get home. Perhaps she's moved to one of the other programs we all try to end."

Giles shook his head. "Her creation killed her and the Pentagon took over. My children stopped it after that."

"Interesting. May we speak?"

"Please. I have a nice couch in my office. Anya, come watch the front," he called.

Anya came out drinking some tea. She paused at the sight of the blue furry guy. "Huh. Are you here for Willow? Someone like your head mind screwer would probably have a lot of fun undoing what her mother and her magic addiction has done to her mind. He might even get papers out of it." She moved behind the register. "Is Xander back on patrol? I wanted orgasms tonight and he'll be gone too long if he's doing the full patrol with Buffy."

Tara smiled at her. "Only two cemeteries and checking on a poker buddy who hasn't been seen recently," she said quietly.

"Oh, good, then I'll have plenty of time for orgasms." She smiled.

Giles scowled at her. "Not around normal people, Anya." He led the way to his office. "I'm sorry for her. She has no tact."

"I know many people like that," Hank said with a smile. "At least you never worry about what they're thinking."

"True, though hers always seems to be sex and money these days." He closed the door so they could talk about magic versus science. They were interrupted by Buffy coming back without Xander to tell him how it had went.


Hank McCoy got back to the mansion in New York state, holding his bandaged arm and neck but walking and much wiser now. Scott Summers, who was in charge at the time gave him a slightly horrified look. "I'm fine. It wasn't a battle. Mostly." He went to his infirmary to treat his few injuries. Scott followed and called in one of the nurses to help him. "I found out that magic is indeed real."

"Can't be. Has to be a mutation," Scott said firmly.

Hank stared at him. "There's a huge difference and I ran some of the samples myself to make sure the young women I met didn't have a mutation, Summers. By the way, are you related to a young woman named Buffy Summers?"

"No clue but I can look. Should she be here?"

"That's a much longer story. I'll tell everyone what I found later. Let me take care of the vampire bites and scratches. Unfortunately my staking attempt missed on the first time and it clawed me while trying to get the stake out of his lung."

"Vampires?" Scott demanded, hands going to his hips. "Vampires? Really?"

"Yes, quite. Go talk to Gambit." Scott stomped off. He smiled at the nurse. "It's a charming town that has an energy leak in the center. I had a good talk with someone about the differences between our two arts." The lanky, funny haired Cajun leaned in with a grin. "Xander said hello."

"Boy was good," he agreed. "He home now?"

"He is. Very nicely on the hellmouth." Remy flinched and winced, shaking his head. "I learned quite a lot when I went to check on him thanks to Miss Rosenburg's letter. Including that magic is real."

"Oui, Remy knew that." He grinned again.

"I also met the Council's slayer."

"Heard of her. It's not nice of them."

"No, but this one wasn't raised by them. She's a bit of a hyper young woman. A former cheerleader. She and Xander were on patrol when I ran into them. I ran into a few vampires, one named Spike and one named Dru?"

"Know about them. They're highly dangerous," Remy said. "Scourges of Europe."

"She thought I'd make a nice teddy bear," Hank said dryly.

Remy laughed but nodded. "It's said she sees but she's nuts."

"That's what Xander said too. Thankfully he got me away from them. Though I did meet a charming young woman who used to be known as Anyanka?"

"Hmm, the one who punishes men," Remy agreed. "One of Remy's cousins ran into her for being a bad boyfriend. We were all horrified about what happened to him."

"I talked to a former Watcher as well. Xander apparently helps the slayer patrol out there."

Remy smiled. "Remy not surprised. Boy's tough. Grew up tough, turned even stronger, and the patrols just make it stronger." He walked off. "Neosporin will work."

"Thanks." They treated the injuries then he went up to talk to the rest. Scott was talking to Remy about that 'magic crap' as he called it. So he settled in to talk to them about it and the Army project the kids had stopped a few months earlier. Scott still didn't believe but that happened.


Two Years Later


Xander looked at the old guy who was there to help them with one last apocalypse. "It's not going to be easy," he said quietly. "I know enough about you to know that you're tough enough to handle this but it's going to be downright bad. If you get trapped in there, we can't get you out."

"I know," he said dryly, taking a puff of his cigar. "Shut up, Bub."

"Fine. Beware of the mini slayers. They're teenage girls."

Logan nodded. "I work in a school full of teenagers."

"Yeah, not like these. They've went from highly restrictive assholes raising them as warriors to not having a parent suddenly. Plus a battle."

Logan nodded. "I'll watch out for stalking and pinching."

"I had two try to climb in with me and had to kick them around to make them quit." Xander walked him off. "Buffster." She looked over. He pointed. "This is Logan. He's an *excellent* fighter. Dr. McCoy suggested he should come help."

"Can he use a sword?" she asked. He put out his claws. "Those are handy. Will they work against super vampires?"

"Should," he agreed. "They've worked against regular ones in the past, even ones you couldn't stake."

She smiled. "Good. Ladies, don't touch the Logan. He's a fighter and here to help us." A few of them pouted.

"And don't you dare try to climb into bed with me again," Xander said dryly. "Before I have to beat another ass."

Buffy looked at him then at two slayers who had supposedly gotten hurt sparring. "You did what?" she demanded. Xander walked off, taking Logan on patrol. "You can't do that to Xander, ladies. He's still working all day and helping us. Plus he's a normal guy, and he needs that energy to try to keep up with us. Don't pick on the Xander either."

Logan looked at Xander, who just rolled his eyes. That got a small smirk. "Yeah, it's been like that for years," Xander said quietly. "They think I'm normal. Have since high school."

Logan shook his head. "I've seen a few girls like that. Usually not fighters though."

"Yeah but Buffy's unique."

"That can be a good thing." Xander staked a vampire that jumped at him and they moved on.


Logan brought Xander back with him. "The town's down, the demon is locked back in, Xander's got a problem with his visions, and he nearly lost an eye," he reported when he ran into Scott. "Your cousin's insane and a teenage girl even though she's not, and now she's leading a group of warrior girls in Cleveland with a bunch of old white guys who think the girls used to be warriors slaves."

"We won't let that happen," Xander said. "It'll be stopped now, even if I have to go stop it. You know, I could've stayed."

Logan looked at him, shaking his head. "No. We need to look at those visions. Especially since your ex died of hers." He gave the boy a pointed look. "Besides, it was coming here or Willow was going to chain you somewhere to make you her version of you again."

Xander snorted, shaking his head. "She's tried that before. Including memory spells. She didn't make it then for very long. She won't this time. I've got protections against Rosenburg." He looked at Scott. "So, does the douchiness she shows come from her dad's side of the family? Because he's a major dick. His ex-wife died, leaving two kids, and he couldn't be bothered to answer the official letters the state sent him or even have his secretary send his girls a card."

Scott shook his head. "Not totally. There's a few in my family though. We're cousins?"

"Yup," Logan said. "I looked it up. He's in Spain."

"Sexually harassing others," Xander quipped with a grin. "The company had to move him to Spain so someone wouldn't sue him for it again."

"Should've fired him," Logan said.

"Amen to that. Guy's only got room in his life for his dick, nothing else. Clearly not work."

"Unless he's in porn," a young guy said as he walked behind them. "Then his dick is his money."

"No, he likes skanky secretaries," Xander quipped back with a smile for him. "From what I've heard, he'd never make the cut. I really should've asked Anya to visit his former lovers when she had her job back."

Logan patted him on the back. "She probably would've had fun, kid." Xander smirked at him. "She died during the battle." Xander nodded. "Damn was that bad." Xander nodded again. "Are you high?"

"Yeah, Willow gave me stuff before I got on the plane. All herbal but she wanted me to show up fucked up so I couldn't complain as much. It was in the note in my bag." He dug it out to hand over. "She knew what it'd do to me. It kept me from stabbing her a few times."

"I'd try for electrocution. You can set up a trap and lead her into it," Logan said, shaking his head and handing the note back. "Hank, he's got visions."

"Great. We can scan him to see how those work." He led Xander off. "We can detox you from whatever the charming little witch did as well, Xander. Tell us what happened?"

Xander nodded. "We bullshitted the report for the FBI so I can do that too."

"Try for the real story."

Xander looked at him. "The portal inside the hellmouth opened. It took seven slayers bleeding on her altar to lock her back in. The altar was inside the portal."

"Enough said. That had to be nasty. I'm sorry you lost Anya."

"We broke up last year but we were friends at least." He shrugged some. "She would hate that I'm happy."

"Probably." He got him into the machine to scan his brain. Then he settled in to talk to Xander about things while checking his primary gift. He could still find tiny metallic things.


Remy met up with Xander that night on the back porch, handing him a cup of coffee. "You good?"

"No," Xander said, looking at him. "I'm going to Africa after this to train the missing slayers. That way I don't have to deal with them." He sipped the coffee. "Thanks."

"Welcome. You could stay and do other things."

"No one else will help those girls. Things come for slayers so they're in danger, and they're all active no matter how old they are." He looked at Remy again. "If I don't, they'll probably die and I'll be blamed for not being there."

Remy nodded. "Others could probably go gather them."

"They have the right to a normal life at home with their families, if their families are willing to help them. It's something we all agreed on."

Remy nodded. "Sounds nice, but not practical."

"No, not always practical." Xander grinned slightly. "Then we can figure it out. I hope."

"We all hope," Remy said. "You can't do it all. You're only one guy."

"One guy can do a lot. I've already done a lot. I'm about to do something mean though." He pulled out his phone to call someone. "Miss Manners, it's Xander. Again." He smirked at her complaining. "I'm giving you a happy day since she drugged me. Yeah, she knew. She's done it before. Put me on a plane drugged, which could've gotten me taken by agents. Exactly. Supposedly so I couldn't help the slayers and I'd remember I was a normal guy.

"Yup, that problem. Again. No, she gave me something that mimicked narcotics. A doctor up here where I am told me. Oh, and she's back to memory charms. I called Giles earlier about something I had left, because she didn't pack it when she shoved me on the plane, and he didn't remember who I was. Yup." He sipped his coffee. "Because if you don't handle her, I'll treat her like an enemy. Which do you want to see?" He smiled. "Sure, I can do that. You guys can have a great watching time." He hung up and tossed something onto the lawn, shooting it. Willow showed up sneering.

Xander shot her in the knee. "That's for the drugging, bitch. Thankfully I didn't get arrested for being goofy and high in the airport. Because then I would've told Homeland Security about you and yours." He finished the coffee, watching her heal the injury. "Willow, if it's one thing I've learned, it's demonic chemistry. Anya taught me. So I'm doing what she wanted to do about you." He walked down there. "You done fucked up again, woman. At least you lived up to your mother's expectations."

"You..." she started then shrieked and pulled up magic. He hit her and she fell down crying. "How could you!"

"Easy, you pushed me to it. The drugs did it," he said dryly, staring at her. "In case you forgot the last time you drugged me with them and I nearly ended up torturing Spike? I did end up torturing a few other vampires that were being a problem? You went 'eww' for days so I don't think you forgot that part." She shifted back, staring up at him, eyes wide. "Go ahead and summon her, Willow. We already know about the memory spell. You forgot my favorite knife so I called Giles a few hours ago."

"You can't!" she shouted. "You'll get hurt! You'll hurt the slayers!"

"I wouldn't hurt the girls at all, Willow. I nearly gave up my life a few times helping Buffy. Why would I hurt the other girls? I think you're reassigning blame, young lady." She got up, the healing spell having fully worked. He stared down at her. "You're not worthy to be my friend. Or anyone's friend. You're a horrible human."

"You're not even human," she sneered. He punched her again. She threw a spell at him and the protections burned but stayed. She tried again. He knocked her into the pool. She floated out, calling up black magic.

"C'mon if you're coming, cunt. You did it to me. You shouldn't have drugged me, Willow. That's what that drug does to me. Didn't you remember that?" He smiled. She threw a harder spell at him and this time he threw something else at her, making her shriek as it burned her magic off. She fell into the pool and nearly drowned. He sighed, staring at her as she struggled but dove in to pull her back out. Then he walked off. "You won't have magic again, Willow. Not for many years. By the way, the hellmouths both like me more than you." He smirked back at her. "Have a happy life. Oh, and I already called the coven. They know." One of them appeared, staring at him. "She shouldn't have drugged me."

"No, she shouldn't have. Her notes on all of you stated that particular mix made you scary and slightly psychotic."

"Yeah, she does it to me every time," Xander said dryly. "You might want to figure out how long it'll be before she has magic again and how to teach her the right way this time."

The witch looked then bent down to touch Willow's cheek. She shuddered. "That's slightly evil, boy."

Xander grinned. "Thank you. I think it's ample repayment for the memory charms this time."

She nodded. "It is. We'll go remove it. We were on the way to handle her outbreaking of bad ideas," she sighed, looking down at her. "Willow, you do so disappoint us."

Logan walked out, staring at her. "How about you actually teach her better this time considering she tried to harm me too."

The witch looked at him then at Willow. "Even we at the Council knew about him and his group, Willow," she said dryly. "They've kept some pretty bad things from happening to us all. Nearly as important as the slayers. What have you become this time?"

"Her mother," Xander said bluntly. "She's just like her."

"I am not!" Willow shouted.

"You sure are, for all that she was never there to raise you," Xander said dryly. "You became just like her. Hopefully you'll never have kids to turn into you. I'd hate to have to take them from you to raise better. At least I never turned into my parents. Or yours." She burst out crying. "Witch elder, would you please remove her before I give into the urges to kill her dumb witch ass? The drugs will be working for probably another three hours."

"Gladly, Mr. Harris."

He stared at her. "I'm still helping Buffy and the girls who are at home in a few months. This won't stop me. Mostly because I know the others won't be able to or will properly. I'd hate to have them turned into the soldiers you let the other girls become."

"I think that'd be a great idea. Certainly none of the remaining watchers could get into the backwoods places. They'd have to haul trunks of books." Xander grinned. "I'll handle her and she'll apologize before you leave. May we?"

"Please," Logan agreed. "Before we handle this threat to the world too."

The witch nodded. "Not for at least a few years yet. That spell was bad for her."

"Yay," Xander said blandly. "By the way, you should check my protections." He took off his shirt to show off the faint burn scars they caused. He walked over at her wave, checking them by touching one. "Like she did on the cliff?"

"Worse. This time was intentional, not in grief." She looked at her. "We will be having a chat, Willow dear." She took the young witch with her to talk to the others. There'd be no tea and sympathy this time.

Xander put back on his shirt. "Sorry to have to deal with that here but in about three hours I'd be in a rage against her. Any more coffee?"

Logan nodded. "I made a fresh pot, kid. I'll even teach you how to handle the backwoods areas of this world."

"Thanks." He grinned. "I know how to camp and hunt but I know I need to know more."

"We can work on that." Xander nodded, going inside. Logan looked at Remy, who shrugged. "It's good he handled her. I nearly killed her a few times before the battle. She was necessary then." He went back inside to get his own coffee, then walked the boy back to Hank's lab so he could finish detoxing him. "He just had a throw-down with the witch."

"Any new injuries, Xander?"

"My protections held. Hurt a bit but held."

"We can check your natural energy levels. We can probably weed out any extras even though we couldn't weed out the hellmouth taint."

"That'd be cool. Will it hurt?"

"Probably not. I do try not to let things hurt," he said with a smile.

"The drugging made him a bit psychotic, Hank," Logan said, leaving it with him. He could handle Xander.


Xander went to the meeting a few days later in the city, smiling as he sat across from Giles. "Did you find my knife?"

"I did," he admitted, handing it over. "What happened?"

"Remember when she drugged me with that potion that was supposed to help with the dreams after the First Slayer stuff?"

"Unfortunately I do."

"That. Again. On purpose."

Giles winced. "That's bad."

"Then memory spells on you guys to forget me on purpose. By the way, I hid Anya's stuff from her. Especially her spell books and stuff."

"That may be a good idea but it will take a few years before she can use it again." He adjusted his glasses.

Xander looked at him. "It kept me from killing her."

"She said you started it by shooting her?"

"In the knee and she had drugged me hours before then. I was in the psychotic stage after the happy stuff." Giles winced. "You're lucky I got her knee. Because you didn't get half of what happened."

"I've got all the memory spells removed," he said.

Xander handed over his journal, pointing at the page. Giles took it to read the few pages before then that one, going forward. He glared at the boy then kept going. "Oh, Willow," he sighed. "She was grieving then, Xander."

"Before the battle with the First? Two days before the battle with the First?"

Giles looked at the date again then winced. "Oh, dear."

"Oh, keep going." Giles went back to reading and sipping his tea. One thing made him choke but he kept reading. "Oh, damn it."

"Yup. Or damn me if she had gotten it right. Keep going."

Giles went back to reading the last few pages. At one he glared at the boy. Xander pointed. Giles went back to reading, slumping down on the last few pages. "Oh, dear. That removing of her skills was a good idea." He handed back the journal. "How goes things?"

"I'm learning a lot about how to go help the girls in the outer areas of the world."

"Are you...you're still going to train them?"

"I don't think any of you could," Xander said dryly. "I've met all the remaining watchers and they certainly can't hike or camp. If you don't want me to I won't but the girls need to know so they're not in as much danger."

"I was expecting you to retire," he admitted. "Over her things."

"No, but I don't want to be in the same city as she is." He pointed behind him. "I felt magic."

Giles looked. "Not one of the coven. That's a male. In a sparkly cape."

Xander rolled his eyes. "Captain 'that's not your job, boy'. Yeah, met his arrogance. Didn't impress me any more than Spike's did. Personally I wrote Dru to introduce them." He grinned. "She had mentioned a sparkly sorcerer in her last letter to Spike and that he could calm down her stars."

"That's mean, Xander. We do not like that."

Xander grinned. "He told me that it was his job to handle what the slayer does."

"No, I dare say it's not," Giles said blandly. "He's coming in."

"Great." Xander smiled as he turned round to wave. "Problems? Did you go to Cleveland? Oh, this is the head of the Watchers Council, Rupert Giles."

"Pleasure, Sorcerer," he said with a slight smile of his own.

"You have magic."

"Yes. Though I don't practice any more. The London Coven and I had a good run in our wild youths."

The man stepped away from them. "I have heard of that group." He looked at the boy. "I took your suggestion to look at what was actually going on. I'm appalled."

"So were we. That's why we rebuilt it so the girls have a choice."

"That they're called at all, boy."

"Hey, go tell the Powers That Be to quit using young women." Xander shrugged. "We can teach them how to protect themselves and give them the choice of being a slayer on patrol or a slayer in hiding and having a semi-normal life. Can you do better?"

"No. If it cannot be removed, that is the best option." He sat down, staring at Giles. "He is one of you?"

"We're presently remaking the former Council."

"They died thanks to the First Evil," Xander said.

"When will that one appear?" the sorcerer demanded.

"Um, four months ago," Xander said dryly. "It's why my former town sank." The sorcerer stared at him then looked at Giles, who nodded. "We went into the hellmouth to fight her."

Xander woke up with a gasp, holding his head. "That gift needs to be returned. It's the wrong size," he complained. He got up, wandering upstairs. He found Giles and hauled him outside and up the street to talk to him. "That vision shit sucks donkey balls."

"You had a vision?" he demanded, stopping the boy to stare at him. "Oh, I see you did. What did you see?"

Xander blinked at him. "The return of the Dark Sith," he said dryly. "Including memory spells so you'd forget me, me shooting her in the knee after she drugged me.... a few other choice things."

Giles blinked a few times. "All right, we can be on the watch for that. Tell me all that you saw, Xander." He glared at the vampire coming their way. "Not now, Angel."

Xander blinked at him. "I was in upstate New York and you were panicking about an upcoming invasion." He looked at Giles then walked him off again. "I need to call someone to help us if possible. I also have to find a way to stop her drugging me."

"She did? With what?"

"Do you remember when I tortured that group of vampires?" he asked dryly.

"Oh, dear. That?" Xander nodded. "You're sure?"

"I went from cheerful to cheerfully psychotic, which was when I hit her on the knee. The healing spell went well but I still had her magic eaten for at least a little while thanks to the return of the black hair and stuff. After she hit me with spells."

Giles winced. "Tell me everything, Xander." Xander repeated the vision from when Wolverine showed up to the last thing he had seen. "Well, that sorcerer sounds like an upcoming issue but perhaps he could be of help later. We really must do something about her spells and yes, if she lays a memory spell or drugs you, take whatever protective action you need. Also, if that one fighter could help, please call him?"

"Gladly." He found his phone in his pocket, calling that number he had. "Hey, Doc, it's Xander. Is there any way I can borrow claw guy? Because we're about to get into the mother of all fights and if we lose, you're all screwed and we're stuck in hell anyway." He listened to him complain. "No, like we're going into the hellmouth's portal to fight an overwhelming, hard to kill force, with a lot of girls that someday will be like Buffy. And her and Faith, plus me, Anya, Giles, Willow.... Yup.

"Exactly! Which is why my vision had him showing up and he did pretty good helping the girls get to the altar to bleed on and out of there too." He smiled at Giles. "Thanks. No, it's just that sucky right now. Well, I haven't lost an eye. Nearly but didn't. We're waiting to see if I get my sight back on that side. No, I'm going to be in that battle, Doc. We need an all hands and there's one weapon that can kill the super vamps. There's fourteen of us at the moment going into the battle, seven have to bleed on the altar, then we have to make it back out, and if the vision I had was right the town's going to be sucked into the hole.

"That'd be great, but it's a battle, Doc. A fully nasty, worst case scenario battle. No, in the vision only he showed up for some reason. So I'll beg and offer to give him a blowjob if he shows up. Thanks for talking to him for me. No, I'm going to go back to sleep. I have work in the morning and the battle's in four days. Thanks, man." He hung up and looked at Giles then pointed. "Sorcerer guy?"

Giles walked over to talk to him. "Sorcerer Supreme, I'm Rupert Giles, Watcher. Did the evil draw you to help us?"

"What evil? This whole town is washed with evil, young man." He looked at Xander. "I saw you in a vision from my lord."

Xander shrugged. "In my vision I had about an hour ago I told you to grow the fuck up because you thought handling all the bad things was your job and it's not. The slayers have some of it. Hunters have some of us. Witches with magic addictions have some of it. And if you're here because of her, don't even try until after the battle in four days. We need her heft." He walked off. "Let me go find some advil. My eye's throbbing."

"Nothing helps vision pain," Angel said when he saw Xander a few blocks later. "Cordelia's tried everything, Harris."

Xander blinked at him. "I have a higher pain tolerance, Angel. I've walked on a broken foot and didn't take a damn thing because there wasn't anything. Right now, it's not the headache from the vision, it's the eye damage that's throbbing. But thanks for the advice. I'll need it when I'm off finding the other minis." He walked around him. "Giles is talking to the tacky dressed sorcerer supreme guy."

"That's a bad thing," Angel sighed.

Xander looked back at him. "No bad thing was in the vision Willow drugged me with the same stuff that nearly got Spike tortured with the minions he had." He went back to the mansion and to his bed, kicking Spike out of it. "Mine. I still have work tomorrow if I want paid for that last day. I'll probably need it if the vision I had was right because the town's going to fall into the hole."

Spike blinked, heading up to tell the others. They had to move stuff out of the area just in case apparently. Angel had contacts he could help with that goal.


Giles saw Xander come in the next afternoon. "His vision backed up some of yours," he said in greeting. "He agreed that the coven could handle her once this was done with."

"That's great."

"He also suggested the one you called would be a great help. He'll monitor this hellmouth once the battle's done with. His saw the town being sucked in as well," he finished more quietly. Xander nodded, leaning on the bar. "You're early?"

"The site shut down for good when the homeowner left for their own safety. The evacuation orders are being heard. Most of the town's out of the way. We'll have a handful of people left that day."

"Excellent. Are you all right?"

"My eye sucks."

"I suppose it could. You refused to let them remove it."

"I'm hoping for a miraculous cure," he said dryly. "And I'd look bad in the eye patch. It's vain, but oh well."

"Point." He patted him on the arm. "Have you moved all your things?"

"My storage area was filled when I moved in. My bank accounts are all out of the area already, I did that a few months back when Anya tried to get into them. As long as it doesn't suck in a few towns over we're all good. The only things I have here is my go bag and my weapons."

"That's reasonable. I know we've put some stress on you."

Xander snorted, giving him a dirty look. "It's not you. Your fellow watchers.... Some of the minis... But not you." He grinned.

"Understood and quite reasonable. I'll have them leave you be. Can you watch Dawn tonight?"

"Can we send Dawn to Angel's group in LA?"

"There's no one there to help watch over her and he's got a law firm that wants to bring hell on earth."

"Yeah, during the vision he was worried about the invasion of LA in a year's time."

Giles blinked then nodded once. "That will be horrifying."

"Yup, and attention drawing because there's cameras all over LA, including in personal hands." He walked off. "Let me go see who's here so we can run a fighting tutorial."

"The other watchers are, Xander."


"A few have trained with swords," he said. "Help Willow?"

"I can do that." He went to the dining room since it had the library in it. "Need me?"

"No," she said absently. "Get me some tea?" He took her cup to do that and came back, taking the book from her. "Hey!"

Xander stared at her. "Is an herbal cure going to help?" he asked her, looking at the book then at her. "I remember that potion. I became cheerfully homicidal and tortured a few minions." He put the book down, closed. Then he smiled. "What can I research to help you help Buffy with this so we have seven slayers?"

"We have ten here."

"And if Faith falls, will one of them certainly be called?"

"No. I'm hoping that the next few are here."

"Can you tell?"

"I don't know."

"Go ask." She nodded, taking her tea that way. Xander heard a complaining noise and walked out, nodding. "Morning, Logan. Thank you for the help. Watcher dude, this is one of the best fighters I've ever seen. I asked for him specifically thanks to a vision I had. Go talk to Giles." The watcher stomped off. "He already knew anyway," he called after him with a wave. "He's better than multiple slayers at once." He looked at Logan. "Sometimes the old Watchers are worse than the teenage girls for drama."

Logan nodded. "I've seen that happen. Hank said it was that bad?"

"We're going into the portal inside the hellmouth to fight an overwhelming force so seven of the girls inside can bleed on the altar then we have to fight our way out." He grinned maniacally. "Because that's the only way to seal her in."

"You can't throw blood baggies or balloons?"

"Freshly given by the info we have," Buffy said as she walked over with Faith.

Faith paused then nodded. "I know about you. You're way better than I am. Thank you for the help."

"Not a problem. This stuff sucks, and it sucks worse that there's girls who're underage involved."

"The same beings killed over half of the potentials and most of the old Council," Buffy said. "That sucked worse."

"Yeah, it does," Logan agreed. "What're we doing today?"

"Psyching the girls up while Willow tries to figure out how we're getting seven here." Buffy looked confused. "What if the next one called after Faith is hiding, Buffy?"

"Oh, damn. I didn't want to think about that."

"I sicced Willow on it."

"Good! She's brainy, she can figure it out. Welcome to the slayer camp. Let me go nag my sister. I need to do that before I die again." She walked off. "Dawn, what are you doing wrong? I can tell it's something."

"Shut up, Buffy, before I have someone turn you into a toad," Dawn called back.

Xander grinned. "Dawn's not the youngest but she's the non-slayer and will be bus sitting to make sure they're ready to go when we come out."

"Makes a lot of sense. Let's see what you have. If I have to, I can ask One Eye to come help."

"The super vamps are real hard to kill," Faith warned.

"There's one weapon we know of," Xander quipped with a grin. "I'm hoping others will work for beheading."

Logan nodded. "Most things do die without a head. Outside Deadpool." They went inside to look at what information they had. Logan decided almost immediately he would've called in the cavalry too. He called Summers to let him know how bad it was going to be so they had some support staff at least.

This was going to suck worse than even Magneto could create.


Logan walked him and Xander into the mansion, looking around. "Looks like it's been quiet."

"I can hear Remy swearing at the coffee pot," Xander said with a point. "And someone growling. Hank, is that you growling? Do you have knots?" he called, heading for the lab.

"No, it wasn't me growling but I do need to work out some knots," he said with a smile. "What happened to your eye?"

"Thumbnail. I wouldn't let them remove it." He gave him a hug. "Thank you for inviting me to save me from the teenage girls who now believe I'm normal and tragically injured." He grinned. "Before I went on a smiting fit."

"It's all right, Xander. Teenage girls do it to many." He took him back upstairs. "I do hear growling. Remy, is that you?" he called.

"The growling is Rogue," he called back.

Logan went to check on her shaking his head the whole way. He was kind of her father figure. "Why are you growling?" She held up the homework. "I have no idea how to do that. Go ask Xander. He was in high school a few years ago." She trudged that way.

Xander looked it over. "I'm a construction worker, honey. I had a straight D average. I only passed and graduated because Willow puked on my frog. But I can tell you that's got huge grammar issue in the question." She looked then grinned and fixed that. It made it make more sense. "Happy to help."

"Thanks, Xander."

He held a hand to his chest, gasping in pleasure. "Oh my god, teenage girls can say that!" He hugged her. "Thank you! I've saved people who didn't thank me."

She patted him on the head. "You're goofy."

"No, he's right," Logan said. "They think he's normal and tragic now."

She nodded. "I hate girls like that." She went back to her homework in the quieter living room. This new guy was cute and funny. She might like him.

Logan looked at Xander. Then in there. "His last girlfriend just died and she was a former vengeance demon, Roque. Two assassins flirted with him in the airport. You're good but not dangerous."

"Hey," Xander complained. "And the assassins were cute!" He grinned when Remy leaned out. "I think you were related to one. She sounded like you."

"Could be. Remy has a few cousins who do the job," he admitted, going back to the kitchen with a grin.

"Let me look at your eye, Xander," Hank said. "What are you taking for it?"

"I'm high on life, Hank. We don't have drugs out there. Or at least they wouldn't give me any thanks to my misbegotten and non-lamented family." He followed him back to the infirmary.

"Your family died?"

Xander did a happy dance. "They refused to evacuate. Them and all their liquor is in hell with the super vamps." He grinned. "I'm free! Until I have to go find the mini slayers that managed to hide."

Hank nodded, taking him to the infirmary to draw some blood and look at his eye.

Upstairs, Logan looked up and sighed. Then he went to get coffee. "The girls drove him nuts."

Remy nodded. "Girls can do that."

"Seventeen teenage girls by the battle."

Remy smiled. "Was that the battle, the hell, or just the rest?"

"The rest. The battle was so nasty even dying looked good instead of going in there." He took his coffee out back. He had to find One Eye and have a word with him about lacking backup. Logan had even worn a body camera so he could show the teams, just in case they ever needed to know. It was standard procedure when you got into a real fight around the school.

Remy nodded. "I'm hoping Remy never has to do that. That's insanity in the begging." He went to take his snack upstairs. He wanted to hide from the giddy, free one and Rogue.


"Has anyone seen Rogue?" a female called from the front hallway.

"I can't find people, only tiny metal things," Xander called back from the infirmary.

"Can you find my hairpin then? She borrowed it," the female called, heading that way.

"The hairpin looks like...." he said, grinning when she walked in.

"Silver with an opal at the end."

Xander considered it. "Too many of those nearby. Anything to distinguish it?"

She pulled one out of her hair. "It looks like this one only with an opal."

Xander took it to hold and nodded. "It's outside about half a mile that way," he said with a point, handing the pin back.

"The gazebo by the pond," Hank said with a nod. "Ororo, this is Xander Harris."

"We met when his car broke down at a strip club," Xander said with a grin. "I was doing the dishes and they needed food. So did the drag queens."

She blinked. "That's interesting. Do you know many like that?"

"Yes, and I'm not the sort to care who or what does anything unless it's illegal."

She smiled. "Good. Is that finding your talent?"

"Yes. That and apparently drawing the deadly sort." He grinned.

Hank snorted. "I don't want to think about why that arms dealer wrote you an email, Xander."

"Because I needed stuff for the slayers before."

"You're a Watcher?" she demanded.

"Not exactly." He shifted to face her better. "A slayer came to work and live in my town of Sunnydale and I jumped in to help her. Frankly, I nearly held a 'whoo hoo' party when the old Council got blown up but unfortunately the same things also got a lot of the potentials. So now we're rebuilding the Council so it's better for the girls. Who will have a choice."

She nodded. "That is much better than it had been."

"We met a few of those," Xander told her. "I really felt sorry for how they were raised. That's why I'll destroy the new one if they try to restart that. I will become the evil they fear if they turn back to the old ways."

"You'd probably have help. Why are you here?"

"Logan dragged me back after the battle that sank my town. He's giving me survivalist lessons so I'm not lost when I'm in Africa looking up the potentials that survived."

"Ah. That's good of him. Do you have any other gifts?"

He grinned. "None that I'd mention in polite company, ma'am. Only the naughty and slightly evil would want to know."

She laughed. "That is not me, no." She walked off. "Thank you for that finding, Xander." She went to find Logan. "He's interesting."

"Very if you knew the whole story," he said. He looked at her. "Looking for the squirt?"

"He found my hairpins out by the gazebo."

"Figures. She's a girl, they sneak out to go on dates." Storm shook her head but wandered that way to find the girl. Logan shook his head and got back to his report on the battle. Even with the film Summers hadn't believed it. He almost suggested Summers go liaison with the slayers but he wasn't that evil this month. Xander...he had suggested it but Summers ignored him all the time.

Then the bad thing happened and an alarm started.

"Shit," Xander complained. He pulled his special axe out of his pocket, letting it grow in his hand. "What now? Can't a guy relax after an apocalypse battle?"

"The axe might not help anything," Logan called, heading to grab a few things. By the time he got back, the intruders were there, Xander was making out with one of them, who was grabbing him like he was starving, and the others were staring there stupidly.

Xander pulled back to stare at the one he was kissing. "I should kick your ass for not writing."

"I'm not usually gay."

"So? I could use penpals." He turned and threw the axe at someone. "Don't. Even. Try. It. I'm still hot from the apocalypse battle a few days back. I'm going to wear it out somehow. Do you want to be that method?" His axe flew back to him. "Thanks, baby. I'm glad I had that spell put on you." He looked at his past lover then shook his head. "At least you had some taste." He walked off.

"Boy!" someone shouted.

Xander turned and shot them in the stomach. "You're not a boy after your first battle. Props for the accomplishments, please," he sneered. "You can use my name, mother fucker. Praying it gets me happy." A few lunged at him and he beat one, the other one managing to get the axe from him so Xander kindly hurt them for it. Then the axe came back.

"No beheading them," Logan ordered. "They're stupid, not demonic."

"Pity." He looked at the others. "Yes, I'm gorgeous even with the eye. Thank you for staring." His past lover was looking confused. "What? You thought I could only disarm that bomb on your car?" He shrugged. "I've been fighting for years now, dear." He blew a kiss. "I'm not a one trick pony. But you already knew that."

"Yeah, I did. I didn't expect this though."

Xander smirked. "What did you expect?"

"Art stuff?"

"You know, I never really got the point of art. I have no idea why people do art." He shrugged. "It's pretty but not my thing. Construction, destruction....beheading...." He shrugged. "Sunnydale was kinda like that. A lot."

The other bad guys were slowly moving away from him. That let the others capture them for now. "Kid, you need to get that out," Logan ordered. "I can get you drunk."

Xander looked at him. "No you can't because I don't drink. I saw plenty of that and I value what little IQ I managed to keep. I've been dumping it in the gym. I'll find or hire someone pretty to wear the rest out on."

"You actually rent attention?" Storm demanded.

Xander looked at her. "Yeah. Sometimes it's just safer. Considering my last actual date wished her last boyfriend into the worm from Tremors it's just safer. Either that or I have to go bait in the club." He walked off cleaning off his axe. "Good baby. You did so good. We'll make sure you're all clean tonight before we go work out."

Storm looked at Logan. Who shrugged back. "Sometimes renting is easier. No expectations of them staying."

She grimaced. "It's still distasteful."

"Guys like him, their girlfriends are worse. His last one was Anyanka and he nearly married her," Xander called back. A few of the guys shuddered and so did Storm. He grinned back at her. "Her friends convinced me we'd be miserable so I left her at the altar. We were back to friends when she died in the battle but yeah, she was my last full time girlfriend. I have *fantastic* stamina thanks to her."

"You already had too much stamina," his former lover complained.

Xander grinned at him. "Anya wanted *hours* a night more than I gave her."


"Hmm. Yup, so maybe I'll rent two." He grinned. "That way I don't wear one out too much." More people came running their way. "It's already over with. We saved you some but they're all amazed at me." He grinned at Rogue. "We're talking to our fast thing and about renting attention."

She blushed. "I know nothing about that outside of what the girls have said about a few classmates."

"You're all too damn young anyway," he quipped. "I need to find one that's about my own age. Or go bait in the clubs. Know where the feeder clubs are?"

"What's a feeder club?"

"Ah. You don't know."

Remy walked past him shaking his head. "Nearest feeder club is in the city, Xander. They're much more subtle here without the extra energy from your hellmouth."

"You missed it. The next one's in Cleveland and it lit up nicely when we were flying over," Xander said with a grin.

Remy nodded. "That figures. It loves you like a mother. Go play?"

"Yup, I can go play. Let me go change clothes and put up my baby once I clean her." He went up to his room to do that, sneaking out with his bag too. Everyone there was so uptight. He did leave a voicemail for Logan but that was just him being polite.


A long bus ride, a cheap motel for the month, and a few hours later, Xander was wandering around a few down and dirty clubs. He nodded at a couple that passed him by. They were demonic but not bothering anyone. He'd probably never hear it if they ate someone later anyway.

The female turned and stared. "Harris?" she demanded.

He turned, smiling at her. "I'm laying over on my way to find the lost potentials. I'm looking for a good place to unwind."

"This city has a pact, Harris. We don't draw attention."

"I wasn't looking to hunt, ma'am. I was looking to destress. The last battle of Sunnydale was only a week ago. I spent over two months in a house full of teenage girls." She snorted. "Seventeen at the end before the battle."

She shuddered. "That's bad. You need to introduce yourself to the town's overlord."

"Wow, you guys have one instead of a council? Giles and Angel told us about councils."

"We have an overlord." She pulled something out of her purse and wrote the address on it. "Before you become the problem by having to hunt."

"Only one neck biting jackwipe tried to eat me and that was by the school." He grimaced. "He ran when I pulled out a stake."

"Good! Go see him first."

"Yes, ma'am. Thank you for letting me know about that sort of protocol." He smiled. "Have a happy night."

"You too." She watched him walk off to get a cab at a nearby club. She looked at her mate, who shrugged. "That's bad."

"I heard all the slayers were in LA. There's multiple ones now." They walked off again.

"Hmm. That's not good. I hope they don't come here. It'll destabilize things."


Xander found the house and knocked politely. The demon opening the door sneered at him. "I got told it was polite to come announce that I was destressing here in town before I went to another country. Can I do that to you?"

"Who are you, human, that you think he'll care?"

"Xander Harris. I backed up Buffy in Sunnydale." The demon flinched and shook his head. "Relax. I'm not here to hunt. I'm escaping the billions of teenage girls. I had no idea there was an overlord or I would've told him before now."

"I can see if he'll see you. Step in." Xander stepped in. The guard went to hiss in his boss's ear. "He had no idea by what he said," he said quietly.

"That could let us know much of what is going on." He got up. "Excuse me for a minute. Someone new just showed up." He looked around. "Show the hunter in." Xander was led in. "Hunter."

"Xander, please. I'm not formal and I had no idea about anything protocol or I would've told you I was local for some training and hiding from the slayers when I got local."

"That happens. LA has a council."

"Angel told me that and Giles explained that most cities do." He shrugged a tiny bit. "I have no idea how to do anything. Is it like immigration and you have to fill out forms?"

The head demon sat down, smiling at him. "No, not in the least. We wanted to know a few things however. Sit, please. Would you like something to drink?"

"Maybe just some water. I don't drink alcohol all that often."

"That's fine. It's always a wise decision." The butler got him a glass of ice water then left. "How is Sunnydale?"

"Sucked into the hole." He sipped then put the glass down. "After the battle with the First Evil, Spike closed the portal with his blood and it sucked in about half the town."

The overlord blinked. "We heard nothing about any of that. We heard the usual spring battle."

"The same thing that blew up the old Council and took out a lot of potentials was the First Evil's minions. Thankfully we managed the battle with some help."

"How does one fight something that bad?" the overlord asked.

"You have seven slayers. Thanks to Willow they're all active. I'll be going to find the potentials to train at home. They're going to be given choices and real lives again."

"That's always a good idea," one of the others said. "If they're not in Sunnydale, where are the slayers?"

"On the newly biggest hellmouth, Cleveland. Slowly moving there from LA because I had a vision that hinted at Angel having a huge invasion next year."

"That will be bad," the overlord said, looking at the others then at him. "You have visions?"

"I've had two now. Not pleasant but that first one gave me a lot of information about things like Willow having ideas and how to get more help for the girls. Mr. Logan was *very* helpful with everything, including the battle." He sipped his water. "I'm kinda escaping his uptight friends who gave me dirty looks for admitting I rent attention sometimes."

The overlord smiled. "Sometimes it's the best thing when you need that sort of affection."

"Right now I just need to finish wearing out the stress. I'm still trying to calm down from the battle. I was going clubbing and a nice couple of Mya'ts told me about you. She was very nice to let me know about that protocol stuff I have *no* idea about."

"She was. I'll thank her later. We don't want you hunting."

"I'm not looking for a hunt unless they try me or I see them attacking an orphanage or something. I was thinking about baiting if there was a feeder club that needed thinned but I'm really not looking for a fight."

"Good. We tend to keep it very quiet."

Xander looked at him. "If there's that invasion in LA, will that bother the code of silence?"

"Yes, it would," he agreed. "LA has a good security system."

"Most people in LA have a phone with a camera. They use them to catch pictures of stars out doing normal people things or each other. LA is the land of selfies." The overlord winced. "Even if they could shut down the official cameras, they can't shut down the public's cellphones or hand held cameras. Like with Rodney King, they'll pay attention to a battle."

The overlord nodded, looking at the others, who nodded back. "That is a problem we'll have to talk about. Do you know who is doing that stupidity?"

"Angel should. He's running a PI firm with Wesley, who was a watcher, and my ex Cordelia."

"I can find them," one of the guards said. "Not that hard probably. He'd have to be in touch with their community."

"He does a lot of solving problems. Cordy complained about a law firm trying Angel a lot too."

"Any idea which one?" the overlord asked.

"Wolf something or other, two other animals. She went from that to how their attack ruined her new shoes."

The overlord nodded. "That's good to know. Why Cleveland?"

"Sunnydale is mostly sealed shut so it's forcing the other hellmouths to be more active. The most active is Cleveland. It even glowed nicely as we flew over on the way here. I heard something about it being in a park."

"Oh, dear. I pity that city," the overlord said quietly, looking around then at him. "You're going to be out and about?"

"Finding the minis that the minions missed. Giles agreed it was a good idea. That way they knew how to protect themselves."

"That is a good idea," he agreed. "If you're here, can you help with problems?"

"Of course." He grinned. "I even managed to save my axe and have it spelled so it can travel with me."

"Wonderful. If you're flying you'll need to put it into your packed bags."

"I'm shipping it ahead. I don't trust airlines and I'm not checking a bag if I can help it."

"Good plans. Where are you staying?" Xander pulled out his keys to show him. "That's not a nice place but inexpensive and clean."

"Which was my criteria. Giles hasn't figured out how to pay us yet."

"That's bad but usual. I'll let you know if there's a problem we need help with. For now, you should probably go to the Village. They have hipper clubs down there." Xander grinned. It made him look his actual age. "Go in peace, hunter."

"You have a great and peaceful time as well, overlord." He shook his hand and left, taking a cab that a guard had called for him to the club district down near Greenwich Village.

The overlord looked at the others. "This has good and bad points, but we should reach out to our counterparts in LA and Cleveland." The others nodded. His guards were working on that already. He ate while considering that young man. He was a bit insane by his reputation but he seemed solid. That was a point where gossip bended the truth but usually not by that much. He'd have to see which was right.


Xander looked up from dancing with a pretty girl when someone tapped him on the shoulder. "She's mine."

"I'm not poaching, just moving in the same general vicinity. Sorry, I didn't mean to make you jealous." He moved to another dance partner, who smirked at him. "I don't poach. I know not to poach. I learned that lesson."

"Good," she agreed. Then someone shot at the ceiling.

Xander looked up then sighed. He looked over. "Wow. I wanted to destress. Figures."

"If everyone behaves this will all be over with in ten minutes," the leader of the three robbers said.

"If you don't leave I'm going to kill your dumb ass," someone in the crowd yelled. "You'll be begging whichever god you worship to put you back together."

The head robber sneered. "Really? Come say that to my face." A few people stepped closer and one threw a knife that stuck in another guy's forehead. "Hey!"

"Kid, got extra?"

"Two," he said, handing one over. "And a few stakes just in case." He pulled out his mini crossbow, snapping it back together within a few moves and shooting the other two. "That's nicer. Hey, DJ, can we have some music while someone cleans up the messy things?" he called, heading back to the floor once his crossbow was back together. The music restarted and he went back to dancing with the girls. The guys slowly came back and it was easier.

The bouncers came to drag the trash outside to be picked apart by the locals.

The guy who had borrowed the knife tapped the kid on the shoulder to hand it back. "Who're you? I've never seen you before."

Xander grinned. "Xander Harris. I'm only laying over on my way to Africa to handle issues for some girls." He shrugged. "It was this or a house full of teenage girls."

"That'd drive anyone nuts," he agreed. "Thanks for the lending."

"Not a problem." He grinned. "A bit paranoid is useful." He smiled and got back to dancing.

The guy looked at the girl he was dancing with, who shrugged. She texted a few people then shook her head. Only one had heard of the kid and he was amused that Xander was on this coast. They watched as someone came in and tried to drag the guy off. He fought back until he spotted her then huffed and followed. That was interesting.

"I'm allowed to get down and funky," he said dryly. "It's a guy's right to finish destressing, Patty. Why are you here?"

"You're in my city. I didn't know that, Xander."

"I'm only laying over on my way to find the minis in Africa. I'll be here maybe a month."

"I still should've been warned."

"I barely got into town earlier and as far as I knew, you were still in Cleveland. Why would I tell you anything?" She glared. "Beyond that, not like I'm here to hunt. Did you know this city had an overlord instead of a council?"

"We don't..." she started.

He snorted. "Buffy, Faith, and the Sunnydale team *all* work well with the peaceful community, Patty. We all know how to play kitten poker for information and we *all* know how to honor the peaceful community. If you didn't learn that, you should still be in Cleveland." She took a swing at him so he slugged her back and made her cry. "Don't try me. I'm not going to pull my punches because you're a *girl*. Buffy proved she can handle it and I judge others by her standards on that." He pulled out his phone, calling Faith's. He knew Buffy would complain before answering. "Great one Faith, I'm here with Patty, who just sneered about the peaceful community and tried to swing on me so I punched her." He put her on speaker.

"Really?" Faith demanded dryly. "Where are you, boytoy?"

"NYC. I was destressing in a club until she dragged me out of there. Even a normal club. Oh, up here has an overlord instead of a council. I already followed the protocol I was told about."

"That's great. We can make note of that." The sound of writing. "Patty decided she liked the old ways better and wanted to keep being a kill them all girl."

"Pity. I'll make sure he knows that not all the girls managed to graduate with ethics."

"I have plenty. They're demons," she sneered.

"Yeah, that means some have been here longer than we've been cave painting and the rest came here to get away from bastards who were killing everyone. It is not the right thing to do, Patty. We respect any peaceful being. Otherwise you make them attack you back. The same as you swung on me and I popped you one, they will too, and they can probably kill you.'

"Unlike you, I'm a slayer," she sneered, standing up. "You're just unnatural."

"Like you, I was born the guy I am," he said blandly. "Just with different gifts." She shrieked and tried to hit him again so he slugged her into the wall again. She tried to hit him again so he kicked her this time. She hit her head on the wall and went down. "No, that won't work. Slayers are imbued before birth with gifts that were given to the line thanks to the original watchers and most likely they were stolen from demons to give to her. We talked to Sineya. She was not amused with you later girls." She wobbled up. "I'd stay down. I'll send your ass to the ICU, Patty. You will not treat me that way. Or anyone really."

She sneered. "The old Council wants you dead anyway."

"Good, they can come try me," he shot back. "They won't win either. I'll be damned."

"Your kind already are."

He smirked. "Really? Because I have less demon taint from the mermaid incident than you do."

"That's not what I'm talking about but that's good to know. I can sell your parts."

"Boytoy, don't hurt her too much," Faith ordered. "I'm sending Giles up to pick her up."

"That's good," Xander said. Patty pulled a knife and Xander shrugged, taking the mild stab on his arm to block her attack before he nearly snapped her neck. "She'll be in my motel room, Faith. Send him my way tomorrow please. Before I give her as a present of respect."

"Yup, he's already making travel plans. Be damn careful. There's been a few that came out of the woodwork and they seriously hate you more than anyone but Red."

"I know. They have since I was seventeen, Faith. It's just another day," he said dryly. "Be safe. I don't want to visit your headstone." He hung up and carted Patty off to his room. He grinned at the motel clerk. "She's an old friend and mightily drunk. She's sleeping in the tub so I can hand her back to her parent."

"That's fine. Which room are you in, sir?" He showed him the key. "I saw it had been rented on the last shift." Xander nodded, heading up there. Patty got handcuffed to the tub's handrail. Xander went to bed, stretching out to get comfortable. He got woken up by someone knocking in the morning, going to answer the door. He blinked at the hotel guy. "I rented for a month."

"I saw that. The old guy is lost." He pointed at him.

"That's her parent. Thanks." He grinned. "I found his little girl all drunk off her ass. She's handcuffed in the tub."

"That's cool. Friends can be that way." He walked off shaking his head. That guy was weird.

Giles walked in and shut the door, letting himself look around the room. "Are you all right?"

"Yeah. It was just super uptight up there. I'm in to destress before I head overseas."

"That's fine. She's in the tub?"

"That's easily cleaned. Just like we did with Spike, Giles."

"He deserved it."

"She tried awfully hard and thought she'd get the Council's price on my head before selling my parts. I was having fun destressing at the club before she pulled me out of there. I didn't know she had that right."

"She doesn't," Giles agreed, going in to talk to her. She was complaining as soon as he opened the door but oh well. Xander tossed in the keys, letting him properly handcuff her so they could leave together. He came out with her. "Do try to be safe. They upped the price again," he said quietly.

"I heard. They're idiots."

"True." He smiled. "Do try to be safe." He left him there to his pleasures. He could nag Patty all the way back to Cleveland.

Xander went back to bed. It was great to have a day off. It had been a long time since he had a day off.


Xander was fighting with someone when another one jumped in and kicked the other guy's ass into a dumpster then shut the lid on him. "Hi, thanks. Are you here to try to take me out for the supernatural idiots too?"

"No," the guy said, staring at him. "What?"

"Yeah. Long story." He shrugged. "Thanks for the help."

"That guy usually handles ex-wife jobs. So why is he after you?"

"A former group of people that hoarded and trained female supernatural warriors in England put a price on my head because I made sure I backed up one of their warriors. They didn't like that it proved their methods of single slayer/single watcher to be wrong."

The guy blinked. "Slower with more details?"

Xander nodded. "I need an internet source to do it properly. Are you with him since you know him?"

"You're not my paying job, kid."

"It's out in the open. We found it online." He frowned and pulled out his phone, ignoring the text message and getting into the website. "I forgot my phone can do that." Another text message came in so he answered that one then handed over the open webpage to the guy. "That's them and their newly raised price on my head."

The guy read it, frowning some. "That's not right."

"No, it's not." He got onto another page. "That's the introductory lessons for the new slayers I'm on to train at home so they have choices. We're remaking them so the new Council isn't evil. The last one's mostly gone thanks to a bigger evil's explosives."

"Let me take this to people who can figure this out?"

"You can't have my phone, but if they want to know I'll gladly let them look at what I have on the old Council, this contract, and all that. It's on my laptop back in my motel room."

"That's probably being stolen."

"It's in a safe."

"Oh. Good idea."

Xander nodded. "Very." He smiled at the guy stalking toward him. "Hey. I sent back the second one."

"She said that. Why are you here?"

"Way too uptight up there."


"I was destressing. Plus the Council raised the price on my head. Again." The guy looked at the other guy then at him. "He helped me kick the guy trying to take me out's ass then put him into the dumpster for me. He asked about the contract."

"I'd like to see that too," the guy said.

"It's in my room. I've saved it all down just in case."

"We can go look at it," the guy said, looking at the other one. "Are you a merc too?"


"I've met one of you."

"Hey, if it helps so that no one with realistic ideals wants to take the probably shady funding of the old Watcher's price on my head," Xander told him.

"Point. Fine. Let's go, Harris."

"Fine. Do you two know each other and should I make introductions?"

"Nah. It's all good." They went back to the motel and Xander showed them what he had on that price on his head and who had done it.

"That's stupid," Scott Summers said. "They're trying to take you out because you made sure their girl didn't die."

"Yeah. That exposed their old methods as being wrong," Xander said. "Buffy's the longest lasting and still going. Their girls they raised and trained barely lasted a year usually. That plus all the problems they had with reality? It's not surprising. They fired Giles for giving too much of a damn and treating Buffy like his daughter instead of a tragic warrior who was destined to die. That and I did CPR so there was two of them."

"How many are there now?"

"All of them. We needed seven to cure the last battle. We had seventeen girls there and there was no guarantee that the next few would be with that group if one of ours fell. And then we'd have to have killed Faith and another five to get the full seven."

Scott grimaced. "That sort are evil."

"Well, yeah, that's why I nearly celebrated when the evil minions blew them up. We all mourn the potentials they killed but the watchers? Not a chance."

"Good," Scott decided. He looked at the mercenary. "Are your sort going to realize this information and not take it?"

"I can't promise but I can spread it around. That sounds harsh, kid."

Xander nodded. "We deal with supernatural things. You might warn them that sort of problem is going to be growing in LA and Cleveland."

"Yeah, I can do that."

"You might also warn them about next spring in LA? It's going to be bad. Very bad."

"Gladly. That way some of us can avoid it."

Xander nodded. "They'll need the help if you know anyone that good."

"We'll see who might want to help." He looked at Summers then at Xander. "You're one of his?"

"I can find tiny metal things like earrings."

"Ah. That explains a lot."

"Yeah. But I've had weirder than being a mutant with a slight gift. You wouldn't believe me if I told you."

"Good to know. Let me go talk to people." He left, taking his notes to a bar a lot of his friends hung out at. He leaned on the bar. "This guy," he said, handing over the notes. "It's not simple and it's not right."

The bartender took the notes and grimaced, getting one of the guys up there to look too. "Up to you."

"I'm not taking that."

"I kicked Booth into a dumpster when the kid was fighting him. He was good and I didn't realize he was blind on one side until then. Kid had some skills but no training."

The bartender nodded. "Is he joining us here?"

"No. He's helping rebuild the same group that's trying to take him out to protect little girls. He said to warn people that supernatural stuff is going to pick up in Cleveland and LA, and next spring in LA is going to be a mess."

"Wonderful to know." He looked at the merc, who handed back the card. "I'll let them know."

"It's on the internet."

"Great," the bartender muttered. "We'll figure it out."

"Oh, and he's got a tiny mutant gift. He can find earrings."

"Even better." The merc walked off after getting a drink.

The bartender smiled and fixed some things behind the bar then erased that from the board.


Xander was out the next night closing down a club, doing pretty good on the flirting thing, when someone decided to interrupt him again. He looked up. "Can't I just have some fun?" he begged. "Just a tiny bit of fun?" He looked at the guy stomping toward him and sighed. "Yup, did you need me for something?" he asked dryly.

"Yes, Mr. Harris, we do," one said, walking him off. They put him into a sedan and drove off. They stopped in the park and Xander had that bad feeling. They got him out and tried to drag him off.

"No. If you want to have that sort of talk with me, you do it here. I'm not going to play this game and I'm not a cooperative hostage."

"We got sent to tell you to leave Buffy alone."

"The only Buffy I know is a close friend and I doubt she'd send you. If she wanted me to go away, she's more than happy to tell me herself. I can call if you want." The second guy held up a picture. "Who the fuck is that?" He looked clueless. "I have no idea who that is. Did I see her at a club?"

"You molested her last month and now you're stalking her."

"Guys, last month I was out in California. I haven't been out of that state before the eighteenth of this month. I haven't even had sex with anyone in nearly eight months. It wasn't me."

"She said it was you."

Xander looked at him. "Then put me up on charges. I can prove I wasn't here. I still have paycheck stubs from working then."

"She said it was you," the second one sneered.

"She's damn wrong," Xander said. "I wasn't anywhere outside of Sunnydale, except for three months in Oxnard and a few school trips to LA until someone brought me up here to check on mutual contacts."

"We already know you're a mutant," the second sneered, cracking his knuckles.

"Oooh, yay, I can find earrings when they're lost. That's really a huge skill." One of them took a swing at him. Xander let it go and went back to the hunting mindset. He had stupidly left his sword and axe in the safe in his motel room. He had a pocket knife but it wouldn't do too much against these two. So instead he treated them like vampires. They might've laughed when he pulled out a stake but damned if one didn't fall down bleeding heavily before the other one tried to stab him. After a broken arm and the guy's neck being kicked as he fell, Xander was panting but barely hurt. "Like I said, it wasn't me."

"Sir, drop the weapon," a voice ordered.


Xander woke up from the vision inside the vision and looked up. "Stop it," he growled. "Before I kill them all so I don't have to have another one."

Anya leaned into the back room he was napping in, giving him a funny look. "What?"

"Somehow I have visions suddenly." It was nice it was before the falling in of Sunnydale and Anya dying. He had time to fix things.

She blinked a few times. "Why?"

"I don't know. I just had a vision inside a vision encompassing a huger vision."

"Do you think they're right?"

"If two of the three agree on a few things and the other didn't mention that one, probably." He sat up. "Can we check me for spells?"

"Definitely. Come to the work room and I'll get Giles and Tara. I doubt she was involved." She walked off calling Tara. "Xander's been spelled by someone," she said in greeting. "They gave him visions. That makes him more wanted than anything but healers. Please. He asked us to see if we can end the spell. Thanks, Tara. Yes, at the store." Giles came out of the office to stare at her. She pointed at the work area. "I had him go to the work area."

"Thank you." He went that way to see what the boy had seen. Xander was already making notes. "Thank you for doing that. Anything in particular I should hear first?"

Xander looked at him. "Willow's magic addiction got out of hand. Many times." He went back to making notes, handing over the first page. "That was a vision inside a vision. I had another one on top of that one that showed the first was a vision, then the actual vision." He finished making notes by the time Tara got there, letting her see them with Anya.

Anya frowned. "That's going to suck demon tail."

"Yeah, probably," Xander agreed. He looked at Giles then at Anya. "They said in the dream vision that I have the genetic gift for visions. Will that matter?"

"It might have activated a latent talent," Giles admitted. "Let's see what we can find." Xander took off his shirt and shoes, walking over to the work table and the partial capturing circle there. He settled himself in it on his knees, closing his eyes to slow his breathing and dropping into a semi-meditative state. "Thank you. We've trained you well."

"After this, do an ignore me spell for the cops please," he muttered.

"I saw that part."

Xander opened his eyes to look at him. "It was from the Council's price on my head."

"I can easily do one for you having to do necessary things that aren't evil if we word it carefully."

"Anya's the one that gets speeding tickets, not me." He closed his eyes again and let them sprinkle him with stuff and chant. That's about all he knew about magic and how it worked, and that was fine with him. Giles cleared his throat so he opened his eyes, staring at the pretty colors. "How many of those did I have before?"

"Two," Giles said. "I haven't looked since the end of the hyena incident however."

"So one's probably the mermaid taint. Maybe the other possession," Xander said. Tara nodded, staring at a few things. Xander pointed. "That one feels like a bad thing?"

"The black one certainly is," Giles said, taking off his glasses. "It indicates necromatic magic."

"You mean like me doing a tiny corner of Willow's spell?" Xander asked.

"That would do so," Giles agreed. He looked at the gray one. "That's not particularly nice, no. That is the vision spell however." Xander nodded once. "We can cancel it out but it does look like you may have that gift naturally, Xander."

"Great. So I'll have the same gift that's currently killing Cordelia." He grimaced. Giles flinched. "The PTB sends her and they're too strong for a human mind."

"You've talked to her or it was in the vision?" Anya asked.

"Vision and the last two times I've called to catch up with her she's had headaches from the visions Doyle let her inherit."

"That's something we can check on," Giles decided. They removed the spells on him and Xander was suddenly a bit more tense yet his body was looser. "Did she do something to your personality?" he demanded.

"That was her cure to battle stress," Xander said bluntly, staring at him. "Back when she was first floating pencils. Her mother put out a paper on PTSD and she didn't want me to suffer from it." Giles rolled his eyes. "Not like I asked. I got into her face over it but she insisted she was doing it to save me." He stood up. "So now what?"

"Now, we see if any of that comes true."

"I can already tell you that I don't have that good of a contact with Dr. McCoy. I probably can't get us help out here without something huge going on first."

"Then we'll see what happens. Do you know what we fought?" Giles asked.

"The First Evil. In the vision there had to be a wrongly done resurrection." Giles flinched but nodded once. "You need to call the assholes in charge. She'll be blowing them up in about six weeks. I'm not sure if they can move the potentials into hiding or not."

"I dare say they all need to be hiding," Giles said.

"Giles, we won't care if Travers or those like him die," Xander said bluntly. "We might hold a party but she and Faith saw each and every single potential dying brutally. They're kids who had not a choice."

"Good point. Though not all the Council is like Travers."

"Yeah, not all of you would've put a price on my head when I was seventeen," he said dryly. "Or turned the girls into warrior slaves. If the vision holds, then you'll get to rebuild it so the girls have free will again and can decide to patrol or just protect their people."

Giles nodded. "That may well happen and it'd be a welcome change to many," he agreed, frowning some. "I'll warn them. Hopefully they can save some of them." He went to make that call from his office. "Marica, it's Rupert Giles. One of my charges just got his vision gift activated. He's seen the Council being blown up in a few weeks." She transferred him over.

"Well, yes, there was a reason," he said blandly. "Unless you don't want to warned that a vision stated you were being blown up?" He listened to Wesley's father splutter and choke. "No, the First Evil. Her minions blew up the main building and hunted down the potentials to kill. I doubt that'll work. Because I doubt we won't need the girls. It does take seven slayers to lock the First Evil back in. All of them have to bleed on the altar in her portal when it opens.

"No, I'm checking it tonight but I thought I'd call a warning first. Just moving the library will take that long, not to mention the rest of everything in the main building. He saw the main building, a few of our accessory buildings like the ones in the Netherlands and the one in Sweden at that university. No, explosives. The rest was mostly about the slayers being hunted down and brutally killed." Buffy leaned in. "Buffy, we have a vision."

"Like Cordy has?"

"Different source. I need you to find Spike and make sure no one's using him as a source of tortured blood to open the First Evil's portal in the hellmouth."

"She won't get him for a week," Xander called, leaning in over Buffy's head. "We need to warn the others too. If they can't use Spike they can use most any other vampire as long as they've made a kill. I didn't see why they chose Spike."

"You?" Buffy asked.

Xander smirked. "Someone laid a spell on me, again."

"Oh, crap."

"Yup. Had it twice, within the same vision. That little picture in picture thing? It's creepy."

She nodded. "It probably is. Is that why your eyes look like you've been up for a few weeks?"

"Probably." He walked off. "Let me find Spike, you go warn Willow. We'll need a few things found or fought." She nodded, going to do that. Xander looked at Giles again once she was gone. "Can we stock up on party supplies in case the fuckers who put a contract out on a seventeen-year-old die? You can mourn the ones you liked while we celebrate a few of them being dead."

"We'll talk about that later, Xander. Go find Spike. Talk to Willie as well if you can." Xander nodded, heading out. Giles listened. "Yes it was his first. He had a latent gift and she somehow activated it." He tapped his pen on the desk. "That's up to you but I would still note the vision, Pryce. That way plans can be made just in case. It's not like we shouldn't have a plan anyway for moving the library." He hung up and went to check the books with Tara's help. He made her pause in pulling down books, staring at her. "You don't have to stay," he said quietly.

"It'll drive her worse."

"Perhaps but we'd rather have you around, Tara."

"It could be my time."

"We'd have to accept that but we'd miss you."

She smiled. "Thank you, Giles." She got back to pulling down sources. "I'll consider it later. We have at least a week and at least a few months until she fully comes out. Blowing up the Council was one of their first steps, not one of the last." He nodded he had seen that. She settled at the table to look things up, going over her mental options. She could take a vacation for a week or so. She had always wanted to see Disney.


Xander walked into the demon bar and over to a table. "Come chat with us." He hauled one up and over to the bar. "Spike?" he asked the bartender, who was already shaking his head. "I'll find him in a few then. Somehow we have vision about the town falling in thanks to the First Evil taking Spike to torture." Willie swallowed hard. Xander grinned. "Does she already have him?"

"No but I know a few were looking for him. They needed blood from something evil."

"Which is any vampire who's made a kill," Xander said dryly. "We'd like to bypass this problem." He looked at the other demon, who was wincing. "Any clues?"

"The portal's near the hellmouth."

"The vision showed the seal. It's in the hellmouth. Which means the battle will be in the hellmouth and it showed the town being sucked in," Xander said.

"No wonder you interrupted my winning hand," the poker contact said. "How soon?"

"Late spring, and I had a vision of next year's. In LA." He looked at the poker contact. "It was a huge ring and little biting things were coming through for some reason."

"Oh, dear. I hadn't heard a thing about that." He shook his head. "Hold on, you have visions?"

"Spell," he said dryly. "It activated the latent gift. I actually had a vision inside a vision inside a vision." He gave him a pointed look. "Two of them dealt with all this. One of them was how some officers in New York were so bigoted I should get an ignore me spell put on me so they don't come near me."

"I know someone who could do that," the bartender admitted. "For a fee."

Xander smirked at him. "Of course there's a fee." Spike walked in. "Good, you're safe. Because in a week someone's going to sell you into torture to start the next apocalypse battle."

Spike stared at him. "What?" Xander waved him over so he walked over and Xander told him everything. Spike blinked. "You'd fit for that."

"I know that but I've been tortured before." He gave him a look. "You came out wackier than Dru for a bit then got into the whole world ending battle thing."

Spike blinked a few times. "Wonderful."

"Yup," Xander quipped with a grin. "Which is why we're looking for you and warning others. Because the town's going to be no more if that happens." He beamed. "Then we'll have a year to an invasion in LA."

"You need drugs," Spike said. "A lot of drugs."

"Willow tried that in the vision. The same thing that nearly got you and your minions tortured. I shot her in the knee for it when I was down to less cheerful yet still psychotic." He grinned.

Spike nodded. "We can find you something better. Probably even cheap around here."

"Spike, if pot did things for me I'd already have a habit I could appreciate," Xander said dryly. "It doesn't do enough. I mostly just got a bit floaty headed and have the nibbles."

"Pity. The slayer?"

"Out looking at the hellmouth probably. The seal's in it."

"Even better. Yeah, we won't do that."

"They blew up the old Council. But they also got a lot of the potentials since it'll take seven to tie her back in."

Spike nodded again. "Charming."

"I nearly had a party over the old line going."

"Did she already drug you?"

"No, it's the headache from the vision."

"We can make sure you get home, Harris." He nodded at the poker contact. "I'll pay you tomorrow. Let me deliver him." He walked the boy off, hearing the whole vision and what happened. They could handle that, get the boy that ignoring spell, and make sure he didn't lose an eye to all that. He hoped the boy was wrong. Unlike Dru, he hoped the boy was wrong.

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