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Lineage of the Damned 3: A Break In The Norm.

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Lineage of the Damned 3: A Break In The Norm.

Hansel looked at Xander when he came out the next morning. "Want to go do something fun?"

"What now?" Xander stared at him. "Did you just suggest we take a day off?"


"And who's going to guard the house? Just in case some of those jackasses come back and pick on my plants?" He looked out on the porch and smiled with a wave. "What's wrong? Did the stickers hurt you, dude?"

Hansel looked then sighed. "Which plant was that?"

Xander grinned. "It's like a porcupine, it can throw quills to defend itself." He petted his plant and gave it some water. "There you go. I'm sure his tiny dick is never going to be fed to you again. No, you don't need something that diseased to eat, dear. Don't worry, there'll be some bugs soon I'm sure. Or maybe a pigeon. That's bigger than you usually get but we can share it among a few of you." A few others perked up when he played with them. He heard a pigeon and got his crossbow, shooting it and catching it as it fell. He chopped it up and gave it to his precious little green friends with a grin. "There you go. Good meat, babies." He went back inside. "I got a few movies from the library if you wanted to veg and watch them with me."

Hansel nodded. "I could like that." He looked at the hunter again. "Want us to call you an ambulance?" He nodded, whimpering some. "Don't piss Xander off about his plants," Hansel said quietly as he dialed. "I need an ambulance for the guy who was trying to break into my apartment and ran into a sticker plant. No, he's conscious but he can't move thanks to the stickers. He's whimpering like a little kid. That is our address, yes. Thank you, ma'am." He hung up and looked down at him. "Did Xander send you to the hospital?" The hunter nodded.

Xander leaned out with a smile. "What's wrong? Is the paralytic wearing off?" The hunter glared. "Then don't touch my plants." The hunter mouthed 'kill you'. "Sure, you make that goal," he said dryly then smirked. "And I'll turn you into a poker debt." He smiled. "I know a few beings who'd like you as a poker payment." The hunter shuddered. "Those of us from the hellmouth do it a bit differently, dude. Really." The hunter slumped and nodded at that. "So just go the fuck away. We're going to keep hunting. Even if all of you don't like it." He went to let in the ambulance guys. "The sticker plant has some mild paralytic properties. It's a plant from Brazil's rain forest," he said with a grin when they stared at him. "It's very protective and it likes our bugs and rats. Plus pigeons. I fed them a pigeon earlier."

"You did," Hansel agreed. "Does this one eat meat?" He pointed at the one that wasn't touching it.

Xander looked then nodded. "It eats decomp tissue and blood stuff. That's why I gave it the chest cavity."

The paramedics looked at the plant then at where the stickers were. "Trying to pee on it or wanting it to eat you?" one asked.

Xander snorted, grinning at them. "Does it really matter?" They shook their heads and took him off. "Have a great life," he said with a smile and a grin. "I hope I never have to run into you again." Hansel swatted him and got it back. "I'm not your bitch, you don't get to spank me." One of the paramedics laughed as they shut the door behind themselves. Xander went to make breakfast.

Hansel looked at him. "Do I want to ask what else I haven't heard yet?"

"Probably not."

Hansel nodded, going to snoop in the things from the 'smugglers' Xander had found. Not that he liked smugglers, and they were clearly going against the law, though it was a bit light for Xander's usual scale of bad guys. Then again, he found a cask of red wine. Then a second and a third. So yeah, he understood now. "Just wine and beer?"

"Nope. There was a cheese guy that I had teach me about them. And a meat guy that I had teach me about them." Hansel looked at him. Xander was smiling a tiny bit. "He had more than that. Which is where your new hardware came from." He pointed in the closet they had out there.

Hansel opened it and blinked at the nicely put up weapons, something he had been nagging Xander to do now for weeks. But there were new things there. Shiny new things. Including a new sword and a pretty axe. He tested them, they weren't meant to hang on a wall, they were meant for use. The new shotguns were nice. So was the new crossbow. He shut the door and went to the kitchen. "Anything else I should've heard about?" he asked.

Xander shrugged. "Not really. Why?" He looked over. "Bagels or toast?"

"Bagels if we have them." Xander handed him a plate and finished his own with the toast. "The last two?" Xander nodded, settling down with new coffee to eat. Hansel sat down at the table too. "We really should put most of this stuff somewhere that's not in the way. We're starting to look like we hoard things."

Xander looked around then nodded. "If I could build a tardis....." He ate a bite. "Most of it will be gone within a week."

"Not likely," Hansel said. "I don't drink that much beer."

"It was only half full."

"And you can't drink that much wine." He ate a bite.

"That's going in my closet later. I had to clean it a tiny bit to get my packs out of the way."

"Uh-huh," he said. "Did you shop some more?"

"No. I didn't need more clothes. Well, I bought some new underwear because the flimsy stuff tears like shit when you move, but otherwise no." He shrugged and ate another bite. "I'll move it around later."

"Thanks." He'd watch to see what else got uncovered. Or where Xander was planning on storing it. Especially when Hansel heard Xander politely ask that damnable wand to move it to their secret hiding spot. "What secret hiding spot?"

Xander smiled. "Don't worry about it." He strolled off.

"We're not Batman, Xander."

"I know that. I could never wear the body armor." He waved a hand with a smirk. "Don't worry about it. It's a fallback in case we have to move from here."

"Which is....."

Xander smirked. "Like I said, don't worry about it." He tossed over a staff and used his usual one to bat at a lamp, which broke and a listening device came out. Xander tossed it off the porch then looked at him. "Movies?"

"Movies," he decided. They did need a day off to make sure the other hunters had quit their stupidity for good.


Hansel watched Xander dance around later that night to some band named Queen and a song about 'being free with yourself'. He cleared his throat, getting a slight smile back. "You're not allowed to be that free."

"I realize that." She waved a hand and went back to guy form. "I just have to figure out how to reach that once-a-week thing if you're not in the mood."

Hansel considered that. "Are they sure it's that necessary for you as well?" Xander nodded. "Why?"

"Because it weakens us. Though I am letting any extra energy I end up holding onto, without feeding from it, go to the ones there. That way they don't have to work as much."

"I'm sure they appreciate that and it's always better if there's less sex demon activity in a city." He stared at him. "What happens if they don't?"

"They get weaker and sicker until they're too weak to do anything but kill someone or die."


"And that 'can only get off from another person' thing is from that side."

"Great to know." He frowned some. "That's really weird."

"Well, no, that's more of a 'if you've been feeding in minor ways, you'll have to have one good meal' for them."

Hansel nodded. "That I can see. Do the other parts mind?"

"The titan of lust, mind sex?" Xander quipped, smirking at him. "I don't think that'll happen all that much. Or a maenad wanting sex. Now, the nephililim parts might since angels are supposed to be uptight."

"Maybe," he decided. "I'm not into that level of religious thought." He let the grimace clear up and then he sighed. "So do we need to schedule it?"

"I think it'll just be easier and more efficient if we're tense," Xander said. "I can't imagine putting it on a schedule and enjoying it."

"Point, probably," he admitted. He shrugged. "We can try that." He sipped his coffee. "We should probably rest for the night. There's got to be other hunts tomorrow."

Xander nodded. "There's a few I've seen in the papers. I made notes and put them on your dresser before you got home."

"I saw those. Thanks, Xander." Xander nodded, finishing his cleaning and going to his room to soak. Hansel went to look over those hunts. Xander was pretty good but those were all boring hunts. There were a few that might be good ideas and more than just a shoot a witch, burn a witch events. Sometimes hunting was boring but the really exciting things were usually the sort that led to you being in an ER somewhere making up excuses. So a good mix was always pleasant. "Do we need to go after this one person?" he called.

"Yes. We do. He annoyed the crap out of me," Xander called back. "And when he grabbed my ass I saw a whole lot of sins that needed to be reviewed by a higher power before he moved on."

"Are we punishing him?" Hansel asked, walking to her room. "I didn't know we were punishing people."

Xander looked up from his reading, nodding some. "With what he's done, yes, we are. Before it happens again."

"That bad?" He nodded. "Okay. Will it bring attention?"

Xander grinned. "I've got an idea about that."

"That look scares the shit out of me for some reason, Xander," Hansel said dryly.

"Maybe it should." He went back to his reading. "I got you a new library book the other day."

"Thanks." He went to find it, conveniently next to his pillow, and settled in to read. He had no idea how Xander found guys like that. He really didn't. They'd have to talk about their bottom level for hunting soon.


Xander walked into the bar where the incubus and succuba hung out, shrugging at the elder in there waiting on him. He was in girl form, because he was going to be hunting tonight. "What's wrong?"

"A few things." He looked over his current outfit. It was pretty and reminded you of a nymph. "You're going out in that form?"

"The targets tonight heard about my last hunt through their kind and how one ended up taking over after making everyone his bitch. So I'm changing it around a bit."

The elder incubus nodded. "Can you not change mortal forms?" Xander shook her head. "Huh." He considered it then nodded. "Ladies, make this poor half-breed over," he ordered. "He goes into both forms and has to use it to hunt evil ones." The succuba ran over to grab Xander and take him off to their special closet. It always refilled itself, it was never-ending, and it had a lot of pretty things in it.

"Can you teach me how to do more than brush my hair?" Xander asked as he followed them. "I have no idea how to braid and stuff and Hansel hates to help me get ready to hunt this way. I think I remind him a bit too much of his niece." The girls smiled and nodded. "Cool!" He grinned. "Can you teach me to paint nails too?" They nodded, patting him on the hand.

The elder incubus smiled and shook his head. Xander was unique and quite charming, even if he was a bit warped and mean. Though, very efficient as a hunter.


Hansel met Xander at the bar, he was running a lot late looking up something in particular. Thankfully, he spotted the body shape that *had* to be Xander even though she wasn't wearing the same outfit she had left in. Instead of the summery dress with the slightly messy hair pushed back with a headband, now Xander was wearing a flirty purple strapless dress that was pleated loosely along the top, with a matching ribbon-looking belt that led to a shortish skirt in the same gauzy looking material. Her hair now had been fixed, and she had on great makeup. He'd have to ask her who had done the makeover later. She looked fantastic.

He watched as Xander approached one of the targets and hit him but moved on. Hansel watched as the guy scowled at the woman who had leaned around him to get a drink, but he apparently had to follow her onto the dance floor. Where Hansel saw a few succuba working. They apparently wanted to help tonight, which he guessed was fine. Not like Xander would be feeding off their corrupt souls. They took the target from him and Xander went to find a new dance partner. That first one was dancing and drinking, liking the flirting girls. He didn't realize he was slowly having a heart attack until he slid to the floor gasping for air and holding his chest.

The others in the bar were quickly trying to get to him but Xander's target was sneering at her. Xander smirked and patted him on the face, saying something, which made him laugh as she walked off. Then he groaned and stomped off toward the succuba pack, yelling at them for causing the heart attack. A few cried, legitimately cried, but Xander came to defend them. The target tried to stab her so she broke his hand and then his neck for trying to kick her. She walked over him with a huff and a 'idiots don't deserve great women' and huffed off. Hansel subtly followed. Xander was in the alley shaking a bit so he walked up to her, making her jump. "That was new."

"They heard," she said, looking around then at him.

"Who did the makeover?"

"I was called to the bar. The elder had the succuba do it for me." She grinned. "They taught me how to do my hair."

"I can see that." He looked and nodded. "Very nicely done."

Xander grinned. "There's a nymph-offspring revel tomorrow."

Hansel looked at him. "Will it be safe?"

Xander nodded. "Probably. I'll be there. If those other hunters show up I can handle it."

Hansel considered it then sighed. "I can't stop that." Xander squealed and hugged him then bounced off. "Xander...." He followed. "Where's the other dress?"

"At home with the other two I picked out." She turned to grin at him. "It'll be cool, Hansel."

"Fine." He followed her to the cab stand and got one, heading back to their apartment. He'd talk about the revel tomorrow. That way he made sure it was safe from hunters.


Hansel looked up the next night and nearly choked. "Why are you all dressed up for that?" The dark brown shirt wasn't body conforming, it just clung to his skin. The pants left little to the imagination. The hair was messy curls with ribbons here and there in it, tucked into the curls to let a few pieces trail here and there like leaves and twigs were wrapped in it. He had on a necklace that wasn't the gender changing one and bare feet. He looked....he looked sexy and confident, and like someone going to have sex during the revel. "Weapons?" Hansel managed to ask.

Xander smiled and blew a kiss. "Knife." He disappeared thanks to the wand, walking toward the clearing. The others were women and he shrugged. "I wanted to be myself tonight, not a hunter." They smiled and welcomed him. They had some wine, though Xander summoned one of the casks for them to use. They appreciated that and the revel was fun. They had some music played through tinny speakers hooked up to an mp3 player to dance to.

"What sort of nymph was your ancestor?" one of them asked with a smile.

"A napaea who ended up going maenad." They oohed over that and a few were wary of him for that lineage but he was having fun and the others liked how he played tag and danced between the trees. Of course, it had to get interrupted by assholes. Drunk assholes who weren't even hunters. Xander got into a bit of a fight but shrugged it off and walked over them, letting the blood from his lip drip into his cup so he could revel properly. The girls cooed over him and babied his few cuts but that was sweet of them.

They had a lot of fun until almost sunup, when the county sheriff came out to see what had happened and why those guys were missing. Xander grinned and waved. "They were assholes. They decided the ladies were for rent or free against their wills. Pity." He shrugged and they went back to playing in the weak moonlight. A few sighed as the urges stopped. Xander hugged them and the few who were left went to play in the stream with him. It was a fun night. When they got tired, they sank down into the mossy area on the bank and let themselves fall asleep there.

The county sheriff sighed, looking at the bruised guys. "You know better than to touch the weird ones," he said bluntly. "Nymphs and their offspring are never *docile*, boys. What head were you thinking with?" They groaned. "Which one beat you?"

"Him," one mumbled. "He hummed while he did it."

"Well I guess a male nymph's offspring has to be pretty tough too, otherwise they probably get pounced the same damn way."

Hansel appeared thanks to the staff that had gotten him from making his morning coffee. He glared at the sparkly thing and it changed to its normal witches wand version. He looked at them then at the sheriff. There was probably only one cause of the look on the official's face. "Xander?"

"Only one guy that I saw," he admitted. "He beat 'em for the girls."

"Xander." He looked at the idiots on the ground. "He's a demon and witch hunter too, kids. Go. Home. Before I let him *really* damage you." They got up and trudged back to their cars. The sheriff followed, smiling a tiny bit. Hansel walked off, finding the pile of three girls and Xander. He shook his head and got the wand to bring him back to the apartment. He needed coffee before he dealt with that.

Though maybe Xander would have some fun with the girls. That way Hansel wouldn't feel so dirty about touching him.


Xander walked out for hunting, holding up two dresses. "Which one?"

Hansel looked at them. One was a dark green and had a plunging cowl neckline that had some lace holding it together. It looked short and figure conforming. The other was a blue dress with black sides that silhouetted an hourglass figure against the blue. It had short sleeves and looked just as tight and just as short. He blinked. "How nasty are they?"

Xander sighed. "They're not."


Xander went in to put on the green one. He came out putting in earrings and then fussing with his hair.

Hansel was staring at his student's ass. The dress was very figure conforming and very tight, plus came just past her fingertips. The cowl was split enough to show a generous amount of cleavage and the lace didn't really do more than draw the eye there since it was black against an all-green dress. He blinked a few times. "Change," he ordered quietly.

Xander looked at the mirror then at Hansel. "What's wrong with it?"

"You...." He cleared his throat. "Are you doing that on purpose?"

"Looking sexy? Yes."

"Go. Change." Xander sighed but went to change into the other dress. Hansel was right, it was about the same length as the first one and just as tight. It didn't overtly show anything but whatever that dress was made out of gave a fantastic view of every curve and the silhouette feature from the sides made her look even more shapely. "That's not much better."

Xander rolled her eyes, looking up. Then at him. "It's called baiting for a reason."

"I'm sure it is." He nodded, unable to look away. "Can't you wear something less..... Tight?"

Xander huffed. "I can't really wear the hippy dress to the club tonight. It's a bit too long."

"What does that one look like?" Xander went to briefly put it on. It was a tan camisole top attached to a broomstick skirt that had horizontal lines of lace near the bottom. Hansel blinked. For being nearly ankle length it still showed a lot of Xander's body but it wasn't really baiting worthy. "The blue and black one if you must." Xander smiled and changed back. Hansel watched, grimacing. "Why does the bra look like it's made from stocking material?"

"It's fishnet," she said with a slight shrug. "It's more comfy than some of them and the panties are nicely not binding." She pulled on the dress again.

Hansel sighed. "Where did you find that?"

"The succuba helped me. I found a few other bras, including some that're just campy and fun looking." She smiled and changed earrings then walked off. "Going hunting."

"Weapons," Hansel reminded her. She waved her purse as she walked out. "Damn it," he said, going to take a cool shower for a few minutes before he followed to back her up. He really needed to take out all those succuba for doing that to Xander. Before it got worse.


Xander ran into John Winchester again during that night's hunting, leaning on the bar beside him. "I ran into something interesting," she said in greeting. John stiffened and looked at her. She smiled. "I ran into your name somewhere while doing some research."

"Did you get dressed up just to come see me?" he asked blandly.

"No." She smiled at the bartender walking her way. "White wine please?" She put down a few dollars, getting a glass. "Thank you." She sipped it and looked at John. "I found it on a scroll."

"What sort of scroll and what sort of evil bitch made the scroll?" John asked, taking a drink of his beer.

"I'm not sure if the wand made it," she admitted, then took another sip while John choked. She smiled. "It's at home if you wanted to come to dinner."

"I might do that." He looked at her. "That's really....." Xander snorted and smiled. "No wonder." Xander smiled as she strolled off, going to tempt and tease her target. Which John had been watching as well.

The guy watched her walk. "Mm. The mixed breed one I've been hearing things about," he said.

Xander smirked. "At least I don't have to pretend."

"I doubt your little trick could hurt me."

Xander laughed, smiling at him. "That's not all that's in my bag of tricks. And really, I just felt like being pretty tonight and maybe finding someone to sex up later." She sipped her wine. "Did you want to get into this in here?"

"Here's as good a place as any."

She caught sight of someone from the corner of her eye but it wasn't Hansel. He was too young looking. She pushed that thought away then looked at him again. "Sure. Let's." She smiled and wiggled her fingers at him. "I'll talk to you in a few." He choked. "Oh, dear, did my prettiness choke you up?" she quipped. She looked at his minion, who was staring. She smiled. "What?"

"What are you?" he demanded.

Xander laughed. "A demon hunter, baby. Who do I look like?" He backed up looking a bit scared. "Maybe you should help your boss home." He helped him up and Xander slightly followed, and once they were outside, she touched his neck and killed him. "Huh. I guess you at least could enjoy your last few." She strolled off. She ran into that same guy, and someone trying to shoot him. She shot them and got him into a more protected spot. "Morning."

"I'm a cop," he said.

"Great. That's a demon."

The guy stared at her. "A what now?" At the end of the alley, the being shifted to a larger, uglier, dark brown mass of ugliness. "What the hell?"

Xander nodded. "Welcome to demon hunting. We'll talk in a few. Hold my purse?" She handed it over. Someone shot the demon. "John, it's a beheader," she called, pulling out a large knife. "Yes, I know, magically concealed and not street legal. Sorry. I'll take the ticket, Officer." She got up and attacked. The demon sneered and grumbled something but Xander laughed. "You're so damn pathetic and if you think taking just one of Hansel's line out is going to do anything, you'd be fucking stupid." She fought it and John had his own machete from his truck by then. She and John could fight it and it'd die.

"How are you fighting in heels?" John demanded. "And a dress?"

"Practice. The same way I do in jeans and sneakers. Do you honestly think Hansel didn't drill me in most things?" Another shot. "Dude, beheader." She looked over. "Hansel, you have a relative we haven't met and he was trying to take him out." She pointed behind her and lunged, driving the demon back at John. Then she caught the wand Hansel tossed at her. She pointed it and said something quietly. Nothing. She looked at it. "Fine, I can use you as a blunt object." The spell worked suddenly. "Thanks." She cut the head off and looked at herself, grinning at John. "Not even a speck of blood."

"That kind explodes," Hansel said. "Which would be fine since you look much too nice in that dress," Hansel said dryly. He went to meet this new relative. Xander had been right, he had to be. They looked like twins. "Hi."

"What. The. Hell?" the guy demanded.

Hansel took Xander's purse back. "Xander, did the demon say anything else?"

"Just that they'd take out all your little remaining kin so the Dark Ones could take over. I figure it's the higher, possessing demons, having a plot." She walked over a leg, and kicked it when it tried to move. "I know you're dead."

John got some lighter fluid to make sure. "Get out of the way, Xander. Though I agree, you look like a tart."

"Kinda the point in baiting," she said dryly, going back there. She smiled at the officer. "You okay?"

"Let's start from the top."

Xander smiled and patted him, whammying him a bit. "We can let him go inside," she told Hansel. "He'll come find us. He's an officer so I'm pretty sure he looked at least at my wallet when I pulled out my machete."

"That's a good idea." He got the guy back inside the club and walked off. "Pleasure to see you, John."

"Xander said she found my name on some sort of scroll?"

Xander nodded. "The lineage one." Hansel stared at her. She grinned back. "Last night. I was looking at any other lines because I keep having a dream about triplets of you." She shrugged. "Now I guess I know why." She smiled at John. "I can show you when you want. What did you want for dinner?"

"Chicken's nice," he said. She smiled and strolled off. "You're going to be attacked, Xander."

She snorted, looking at him. "Really?"

"Good point," he muttered. He looked at Hansel. "You let her do that?"

"Only for certain, specific targets. Usually he has to hunt witches my way," he said dryly. "Or vampires his way."

"Huh. Where is he from again?"

"Sunnydale." John shuddered. "He's good. He's a great student, hardly ever slacks. Makes life very interesting at times."

John nodded. "Does that mean you let him date?"

"We're still talking about that since part of the heritage means that you can get sick if you don't." He grimaced. "Not that I enjoy that."

"Probably a good thing." He looked at the body then at Hansel. Who shrugged. "He knew her."

"There's rumors and we'll be moving on soon. Which means the plants will have to be moved to whatever backup spot she has picked out wherever it is." John laughed. "He's good at that."

"Good." They walked off together. "That guy?"

"Apparently a relative. I had no idea I had a doppleganger."

"How often does she have visions?"

"I'm about to find that out. She's only mentioned a few. One a few years down the road with a demon invasion." John shuddered. "I hadn't heard a thing about this. Oh, this spring, the slayers are facing something huge if their mayor's out of jail."

"Good to know. How big?"

"They think it'll be an ascension." They shared a look. "We're not sure if the ATF will have him back in jail by then as he's presently out on bond. Xander called in his weapons stash." John shook his head with a slight moan. Hansel smiled and nodded. "Basically. Come over for dinner tomorrow night, John. Let her calm down."

"I can do that. Thanks."

"Not a problem. The hunters don't have enough people." He went home, going to find out what Xander had seen about those triplets of him. When he got there Xander was in guy form babying a few scrapes. "Someone pounce you?" he asked dryly.

"No. Not exactly. I was walking and ran into a couple screaming at each other. I tried to walk around it and she spotted me and hid behind me when he took a swing at her. So I knocked him flat and sneered for a second then got her help called." She went back to cleaning up the scrapes. "She had nails."

"That's fine." He took the alcohol pad to do it for him. "Triplets?"

"Hmm. Three of you, all a bit younger." He shrugged. "I'm not totally sure why but I think the demon's ideas earlier of ending the lineage were part of it. All I got was a picture of three of you scowling at me for going out."

"Great," he said. "Any idea where they are?"

"No and I don't usually see things that soon so I thought I had time to look. That's when I ran into John's name."

"That's fine. He's more than worthy of the lineage. Same as you are." He put some medicine on the scrape. "There. Where is the backup house and when are we moving on?"

"Next week on the moving. We have to be back in Sunnydale in a month and a half."

"That's a good amount of time to make it back to California. Where's the house?"

Xander smiled. "There." Hansel moaned but Xander just smiled. "It's easy enough to hide out there." He stood up and stretched. "Let me make myself a snack."

"Go ahead. Did you get the officer's name?" She handed over his wallet. Hansel looked it over then nodded and got an envelope to mail it to his stated address. It'd get to him somehow.


Xander opened the door. "Hey, John. Hi," he said to the other guy. "We mailed it." He let them inside. "Hansel, visitors." He closed the door after checking. He got their laptop, nicely *borrowed* from a bad guy, and the scroll. "With that dream I checked all the little dead ends on the scrolls." He pointed at one name. "I went there first and I ran into your great-great grandfather's first wife." He let him see the ancestry site online. "That's a county record of her having been put in jail for having a baby out of wedlock thanks to a local dumbass who forced her to sleep with him then refused to marry her. All that's in the records. You're from her second child, with him."

John settled down on the couch to look that scroll over first. "How did you get that?"

"It came with the wand," Xander said. He grinned at the officer. "Hi again."

"You were a girl last night."

"I was a girl last night. There was a freaky orgy back in the family line back in BC times and it got activated in me thanks to someone else's stupidity."

"So I can't, right?"


"Good!" He looked around then at him. "What was that? That thing?"

Xander looked around and found his other research project. He got that book and brought it over. "This is his species. They're known to be good fighters and often some of the higher demons hire them to take out targets they don't want to personally fuck with."

"Hmm. Why me?" Xander pointed at Hansel's room. He looked and it was like a really tired looking mirror image. "Okay," he decided.

"I'm still tracking down all the tiny leads that were left hanging on the family scroll," Xander said. "I'm guessing it only tracked the ones that the magic was stronger in or something. Not totally sure."

"Maybe," Hansel admitted. "Not really sure why it didn't list everyone." The scroll seemed to sigh and then grew. "That's nice, thank you," he told it. "When did I start talking to the inanimate?"

Xander grinned at him. "It's only polite to thank something for helping you." Hansel scowled but Xander grinned. "Let me put in some extra veggies." He looked at the officer. "If you're staying for dinner?"

"Sure, I can do that. I'd like a few answers."

Xander smiled. "We can do some of that probably." A ghost floated in and he blinked. "Morning, Aunt Gretel."

She snorted. "Shut up, Xander."

He snorted back, crossing his arms over his chest. "What? PMS time again?" She glared. He stared back. "Watch me go revel in those woods again." She shuddered and floated over to talk to her brother about a large problem she had been told about by those nymphs. Xander grinned at the officer. "She's a bit cranky." He went to add more potatoes and then went to look at the scroll. "I didn't know you had kids, John."

"Two boys." He looked at Xander. "Don't flirt with them."

Xander looked at him. "Only if they'd be good boyfriends," he said blandly. "Do I have a reason to take on your kids?"

"I hope not. Though, weird things happen around Sammy."

"Yeah, they did for me too," Xander said with a grin. "You?" he asked. "And what was your name? Jason, right?"

"Yeah. Weird?"

Hansel looked over and nodded. "Often. Things like dating a reanimated mummy."

Xander looked at him. "I thought we weren't going to bring those things up since you didn't want me to talk about the one that sent you a love letter from prison."

"Well, we're not," he agreed. "Just an example, Xander." He smirked evilly.

Xander grinned back and leaned over to kiss him, making him groan and swat him. "You're welcome." Hansel panted and coughed, then glared at him. Xander smirked. "Just for that, I'm going to that revel tomorrow."

"No trying to feed from me."

"Not like I can eat the energy, Hansel. And you looked a bit hyper anyway." He smirked. "Maybe I'll let the succuba help me with my hair again tomorrow."

"Don't you dare," Hansel warned. "Or I'm going to burn every damn last one of them." Xander just gave him a smug look. "Really, I will be."

"I'm sure you will be," John agreed. "You talk to succuba?"

"How else am I supposed to learn how to harness the damn part incubus taint?"

"Good point."

"And hey, they taught me how to finally do my hair and makeup." He grinned.

"It's still mean to take some of his energy to feed them."

"One of them wanted to know if I could for her two thousandth birthday, I told her she was lying about her age and she admitted to fudging thirty years but she always wanted to knock Hansel into bed and hadn't been able to. Then again, she said she just wanted to ride him hard, not feed on him." Hansel groaned.

"Give it back, Xander," Gretel ordered, scowling at him.

He grinned. "When you go possess someone else, you can give me orders, Gretel. Until then I'm not your bitch, I'm his." Gretel burst out laughing. He got up to check on dinner then came back to talk to Jason. He found the other scroll. "This is the family history. It's the freaky orgy at the top of the family line."

"Um," he said, looking at it. "What are they?"

Xander sat next to him to tell him what each one was and where their interesting parts came from. "So we don't all get that?"

"No, we don't," Hansel said. "It has to be at least slightly activated to get most of it. Xander's was fully activated due to someone trying to taint others."

John looked at him. "Mermaid?"

"Yeah. Swim coach at the school wanted to win *really* badly and he captured a mermaid. Chopped parts of her up to put into our sauna and things. When they started to turn black and slimy I went undercover on the team to see why. And got stared at a lot," he admitted.

John nodded. "Did they detox it?"

"That's what activated all this," Xander said dryly.

"Wow," Jason said. "So it wasn't the taint itself?"

"No, apparently I was absorbing it okay enough," Xander said with a slight shrug. "Then again I was born and raised on a mystical energy point that attracts bad things. I've been hunting now for three years. There it was helping a mystical warrior sort called a slayer. They're girls who are called to the hunting by higher powers and given specific gifts."

John shook his head. "I've heard some about yours."

"Faith or Buffy?"

"Buffy." He looked at him. "How?"

"CPR. I don't like mystical prophecy bullshit. Or the way Giles and her supposed boyfriend and first love just gave up when it said she'd die at the hands of the Master. Who in the hell gives up when their friends are going to die? You work to save their asses," he said with a snort at the end. "Though, don't let me get started on Angel. There's not enough time tonight to hear that and dinner will get cold."

"Angel," John said, his head popping up. "Related to Angelus?"

"With a soul," Xander shot back with a grimace. "Thank you, some gypsy clan," he finished, sounding a bit bitter. "And for giving him an out clause."

"Willow put it back," Hansel said. "She's showing signs of dark magic."

"But she's important to help Buffy and we can't be sure if it's because she's pulling hellmouth energy for magic or not," Xander reminded him. "Though, yeah, getting too involved. She actually gave up boyfriend time for magic." Hansel shuddered.

"Then we should burn her," Gretel said.

Xander looked at her. "Then who's going to close the hellmouth when it opens again?" She blinked and groaned, shaking her head. "She's the one doing it. Right now, Buffy needs her help. She's not doing anything *too* evil beyond using it to stake vampires on patrol usually. Therefore we can leave her be until she snaps and breaks. Buffy and Faith need the help."

"They do," Hansel agreed. "I'll leave her be until she either starts taking children or homeless people hostage to eat or she snaps in a major way toward bad magic." Xander grinned at him for that. "Are you sure you want to go back there?"

"Yes," he said. "I can do that. It's not like I wasn't born on top of the damn thing." Hansel stared at him. Xander grinned. "I found a news story in the Sunnydale paper about my birth. She was in the school when she went into labor."

"Crap," Hansel said. "So you're fully attuned to it."

"I'm pretty sure I am."

"Fine. We can perhaps work on getting that out of you."

"It may be what's keeping him so healthy with all the other stuff activating at once," John said.

Xander nodded. "I considered that. Though the maenad heritage came out first. I had to keep fighting the urge to revel."

"You still have to fight the urge to revel," Hansel quipped.

Xander grinned. "Which is why I'm going to that one tomorrow. It's even here in town."

"Offspring?" John guessed. Xander grinned and nodded. "Just nymph heritage?"

"Not really sure. The one I found out in the midwest was."

"Huh. Was it a good one?"

"Yup, even when I had to beat the asses of the guys who decided they were free for the taking." He grinned. "The sheriff didn't get mad at us either."

"That town, they've seen weirder do that," John assured him.

"Maybe I'll move our backup location house there if I have to get it out of Sunnydale."

"I'd still like to see it," Hansel said, cracking John up.

"We can stay there when we go out to stop whatever crackhead plan he has for graduation in a month and a half," Xander quipped back with a grin. The oven timer dinged so he got up to check.

John came in to look when Xander was contemplating the chicken. "At least another twenty more, kid."

"Okay. Thanks. I'm still learning this cooking stuff." He put it back into the oven and went back to sit down again.

Hansel looked at his sister. "Huge problem?"

"The nymphs are being bitches."

Xander looked at her. "Who was it that tried to kill one for giving you a cure for your hangover?" She huffed. Xander got up and got his protection amulet to put on and sit back down. Jason was still confused but they could track where in the family he came from. Turns out Hansel had gotten busy about two generations back in his family.

Hansel shrugged when Jason looked at him. "I'd apologize but I never hit on anyone. They tend to come to me."

He shrugged. "I guess you get lonely doing all that strange stuff." The hunters all nodded.

"Especially at his age," John agreed quietly. "It's bad enough at mine." Xander patted him on the arm. John looked at him. "How else can the heritage be activated?"

"Looking that up when mine started to come out, there's getting an aspect of a demon, there's demon tainting in other ways. There's witches getting pissed off and activating it on you. I can meet your son and see if I can tell what did it. Things like aspects of the demon should be easier to tell."

"Aspect of a demon," Gretel said. "Like when you absorb some of their powers from getting their blood on you when you kill them?" Xander nodded. "That's fairly rare."

"In this family?" he snorted.

"That may be a point."

"Buffy went telepathic because one bled on her when she killed it," Xander said. "We had to mix an antidote before she went nuts."

"Being telepathic would drive me nuts," Hansel agreed.

"But it stopped the lunch lady that was going to poison everyone," Xander said with a grin.

John nodded. "Your town needs to be burned to the ground."

"Probably won't stop the hellmouth," Xander said.

"Which is nicely inside the high school's library," Hansel told John. Who shuddered.

"It's southern California, Hansel. Not like the kids *read*. Giles has only checked out three books in the last three years."

"Tell me more about your town," John said. "Are there any places of particular power gathering?"

"There's a few places that give me the wiggins when I'm near them, always have," Xander said.

"Wiggins?" Jason asked.

"That creepy feeling when you know something's not right but you don't know what?"

"Yeah, I've had that a few times," Jason agreed.

"That feeling. There's a few out by the cliffs and a few others," Xander told John. The library doesn't but we spent most every afternoon there for research and Buffy whenever she wanted to train."

John grimaced. "They don't train?"

"Giles isn't.... He's a librarian, a museum guy," Xander said dryly. "He's a researcher."

"Then why did they send him to the field?" Hansel asked.

"No idea," Xander admitted. "He's her second one. She said she had one named Merrick but he got killed before she had to burn that gym down in LA that was full of vampires." He shrugged a bit.

John shook his head, looking down. "Damn."

"Oh, and he's part of the former London Coven," Hansel said dryly, staring at John. "Reformed." John stared at him. "That's Ripper."

"He was acting out because his father was trying to force him to become a watcher when he didn't want to be," Xander said. "I'm still not sure if I want to hug or hit Ethan for that halloween thing though."

John stared at him. "Halloween?"

"The Troll In Charge made us take kids out so we had to dress up. Ethan was running a costume shop. Anyone who bought stuff there got turned into their costume. I went as a soldier. Buffy, trying to impress Angel, went as a noblewoman who kept passing out at things like her shoes having mud and cars. Mine's left some memories that've come in handy."

John looked up then at him. "Anything else on your town?"

"We have a mall, a mini-golf course, a lot of shops, two colleges, there's a new art place thanks to Buffy's mom, a few fast food places, though strangely enough none of the big ones even with two colleges. Oh!" He grinned at John. "There had been a frat at Adam's college that had been giving sacrifices to an older demon for power and influence. Buffy killed it when she snuck off to go to the kegger with Cordy and was almost sacrificed."

"I wondered which demon had been killed," John said, then smirked. "Sounds idyllic. Who set up the town?"

"Wilkins," Xander said smugly. "Never been any other mayor."

John shivered. "That's a long range plan."

"When that ATF agent I went to talk to about them supposedly having me in custody out there, when I was here in New York, said something snotty to me about our patrol habits, I noted that it would've been interesting for them to have stepped in on the really high death rates and all that, but they didn't. So he had no room to talk since we had to handle it for them. We're going to have the biggest graduating class ever thanks to Buffy lowering the death rate to about twelve percent."

Jason choked. "Twelve?" he demanded. "Detroit's not that high!"

"Vampires," Xander said with a grimace. "A lot of vampires. Some years it's run up closer to thirty percent for the high school and about thirty-five for the town."

John nodded, looking at Hansel. "We can burn the town."

"We can," he agreed. "We probably should but it'd never stop the others from being there."

"Maybe the hunters should calm down the other hellmouths, since they're all in bigger areas," Xander quipped with a grin for them. "Like Cleveland."

"I wondered why Cleveland had so much activity," John said. The oven timer dinged. "Pull it out and let it rest, Xander." He nodded, going to do that. He and Hansel shared a look. "I'll pass that on about Cleveland."

"Thanks. I can't imagine what would happen if it became the most active. Where are the others?"

"Purple book, blue bookmark," Xander said.

Hansel got it to look over, sharing it with John. Who sighed but nodded, making notes in his journal about that. Jason shook his head. "Do we have one here?"

"No, we're just an immigration point here," John said. "The ones from Europe that immigrated started here. You have social enclaves probably, just like any other immigrant group."

Xander nodded. "They live out toward the Bronx from what I've been told. Very few live here in Manhattan and most of them are the feeding sorts like the succuba, who hold a condo here."

"Still not allowed to let them tart you up again, Xander," Hansel quipped. He looked over. "How would you take out the major menace to Sunnydale all at once?"

"Have Willow or someone create an earthquake that destroyed every single building and opened most of the sewers. There's peaceful species that live down there so we'd have to watch their areas and help them defend them. I think I went too adventurous. I have no idea how to carve this chicken."

"I do," Jason said, coming in to help him. "I run a diner sometimes." He grinned. Xander grinned back and they settled in to finish dinner while Xander went over more information for him. He needed to know how to protect himself and his partners from this strange stuff.


John walked Xander and Hansel into a bar and everyone stared. They had packed up their New York operations and were heading out west, hunting as they went. He had to admit, Xander had a good bit of skill that needed some refinement. Which Hansel was doing good with. He waved a hand. "Calm down, guys. Few things we have to talk about." He looked at them. "The hellmouth in Sunnydale is going to probably have an event in about a month."

"If the ATF doesn't arrest him again," Xander quipped.

"Why?" the lady behind the bar asked. "And who are you two?"

Xander grinned. "Hi, I'm Xander, this is my ancestor Hansel."

"Oh," she said, blinking at Hansel, who grinned. "Wow."

"Xander's my newest protege. He's doing very good."

"Even if he is a bit wrong," one of the hunters complained.

Xander looked at him. "Was it *my* fault my ancestors had the freaky orgy? Or that the mermaid taint being detoxed woke it up?"

"No," he complained. "You could've cured it though."

"Sure, and then I wouldn't have been able to save your mangy ass last week." He gave him a pointed look. "By the way, the succuba you were seeing? She didn't know you were a hunter. She just thought you were a douchebag she could easily eliminate that no one would miss." The hunter groaned.

John nodded. "I spotted her and had Xander talk to her, Bob." He looked around. "It looks like the Mayor out in Sunnydale is going to try an ascension rite."

"During their graduation ceremony," Xander quipped with a grin.

"Fuck!" a few said.

"If the ATF doesn't have him in jail again," Xander quipped.

"We can only wish," John said.

"Don't wish. Wish demons do come odd places," Xander said, looking at him. "We found that out when Anyanka showed up for one out there and Buffy accidentally broke her power center." John moaned. Xander grinned. "Apparently Buffy's teaching her how to be a modern girl."

"Anyanka, over Women Scorned?" Hansel asked. Xander nodded. "Wow. Your slayer's a bit weird."

"She needs all the help she can get," Xander pointed out. "Anya probably has a lot of information on different demons."

"True," John said. "I won't smite her when we go out there to handle the graduation if he's going to manage it." He looked around. "For future reference, the hellmouth there is in the high school library."

One hopped up. "It's under the school?" he demanded, staring at Xander.

"I didn't put the school there." He shrugged. "No, it's in the library. Under the school was the bezoar Buffy killed when the eggs kept taking people over." The hunter gaped, making noises. Xander nodded. "Our health class gave us egg babies to raise." The hunter flopped down, moaning and shaking his head. Xander grinned. "Hey, we've had possessed puppets, we've had a lot of vampires, we've had praying mantis teachers....." He shrugged. "All the wacky that's Sunnydale."

"He was born and raised there," Hansel said. Xander grinned and nodded. All the hunters sighed, shaking their heads. "So, we have what might be a huge thing in about three weeks." Xander's phone beeped. "Problems?"

Xander looked at it, smiling. "Jason said Hannah, one of the succuba, was there pouting at him because she doesn't have anyone to hang out with." He answered him back.

"We can go make sure she's less bored," John offered. "Hell's supposedly pretty to draw you down but could use someone to landscape."

Xander looked at him. "She works in a group home and takes care of the assholes who hurt kids. Most of the succuba in New York have real jobs. Some of the incubi do. There's two that are officers in the computer science part." He sent that message too. Hannah apparently said 'thank you' through Jason and went to bug them. Xander put his phone up. He looked at Hansel. "Had that triplet thing again last night so we're probably going to run into one of them soon."

"I'll keep that in mind." He patted him on the shoulder. "Sit." Xander sat. Hansel looked around. "We also wanted to give you some information you might not have. Including where the other hellmouths are located." He put down a slim folder. "Xander researched and found it. Also on a few bigger threats that were listed in some books he found in some nests but weren't noted as being handled."

John shook his head. "I don't remember hearing about any of them." The bartender looked and passed it around.

"That's good to know and why so many of us end up in Cleveland," one of the first ones complained.

Xander nodded. "If Sunnydale shuts down, that could be a problem. It's the biggest city to have one. It doesn't list where it is in the city."

"We're pretty sure which part of the city it's in," another hunter said dryly. "We have a lot of work in one area."

Xander nodded. "Most of the vamps in Sunnydale are out working in the clubs and up by the college."

"Because it's easy to get drunk kids," John said.

Xander nodded. "The Bronze is a pretty usual feeding buffet for them. Buffy likes to go bait there. It's an all ages club but has a lot of the high school kids there. The most active cemeteries are in the outer ring. The others are all full. We're told all the good crypts are in the middle ring and most of the taken over houses and buildings are there, plus the warehouse district and the docks." John stared at him. "We've noticed patterns over the years of us patrolling. We don't have to do much work near the high school unless it's a game night or something like the parent/teacher conference night that got attacked. Buffy minimally patrols by UC Sunnydale when it's in active party mode. Most of the activity is closer to that middle ring right now. Or at least the last I knew."

"That's a good observation," Hansel said. He patted Xander with a grin for him. "We can look that over when we're there."

"Okay." He grinned at John. "Are you coming with us?"

"I am. Dean's off on his own hunt right now with Sammy I think. We can meet up with them and I can let them know just in case something happens." Xander nodded. "Then we'll see what happens." He looked at the hunters. "So, if you're near there, or LA since Xander's heard there's a demon underground that's got tight ties there, watch out in about three weeks." They all nodded. "We're all hoping the ATF does it for us."

"I'm not sure if he has to be in the open during the eclipse," Xander said. "If not, could he change in the prison?"

John nodded. "Yup, but they have weapons."

"You have to remove the demon worm's head," Xander said. "The books we found on Ascension said that they're from fifty to over a hundred meters long." John stared at him. Xander shrugged. "They did."

"They can call in the military," John said.

"Okay." He looked at Hansel.

"We'll be there at the graduation for your friends and if he's not there, we'll be listening to see where they've been locked down."

"If he's in lockdown, he's in one of a few places," Xander said. "Since he got busted for weapons dealing, he's low to medium security unless someone with a clue put a mark in his file. Which means he might be on Terminal Island, might be in Victorville, might be in Lompoc. Those are all post-trial though. If he's still to go or is in his trial, he's probably in the LA detention center. Maybe San Diego's if they've moved it there."

John considered it. "He got arrested earlier this year. According to the online newspaper out there, he's out on bond. If he's picked up, he'll be in the processing center," he groaned.

Xander nodded. "Which is pretty much downtown LA." He looked at the other hunters. Who all grimaced. "I've heard Principal Snyder telling a few kids they'd love it there and the other thousand inmates would love them too." A few slumped. "So.... A few places that could have very bad things in about three weeks."

"Anyone have any contacts out in LA?" John asked. One raised his hand. "Can you...."

"Yeah, yeah I will be. What, exactly, is an ascension rite?"

Xander grinned. "He's spent the last century or so working on becoming an Old One. They think with everything that's went on he's turning into the biggest version. He's immortal for his last hundred days due to eating some poisonous spiders by what I saw of that rite." They all nodded with a grimace. "We know it has to happen during the eclipse."

"We can be on the watchout for it," John said. That one hunter nodded faster, drinking from his beer.

"How can you kill it?" the lady behind the bar asked.

"Gretel and I found evidence of ancient ones but nothing more recent," Hansel said. "By what we've seen, burning it wholly worked."

"By the books, taking off the head," Xander told her. "There was one at Vesuvius and that seemed to work."

"So, a volcano or severing a possibly car-thick neck," one of the other hunters complained. Hansel nodded. "Crap!"

"Hey, it's my graduating class," Xander said. "People I grew up with. So far we've had the largest graduating class with only a twelve percent death rate."

"I say we blow up the entire town," another hunter quipped, gulping the rest of his beer and getting up to get another one.

Xander looked at him. "Why punish people for being born there?"

"They could move."

"No, you don't really have this urge to move," Xander said. "Something in the town gives you this 'bad things don't happen around here' feeling. You can be attacked and it's like you don't remember it the next day. We've seen families that buried their kids and then welcomed them home from running away."

"That could be a spell or it could be the hellmouth itself," John said. "None of us would really contemplate letting over ten thousand innocent souls be sacrificed, Xander. Calm down." He looked at that hunter. "I went out there on a hunt after I met them the first time to see how bad it was. I nearly didn't want to leave after getting there. It's like a honey trap for bugs."

"If we take out the mayor, would that end?" the lady behind the bar asked.

"It might depend on how he set the spell or on what, or if it's the hellmouth," an older hunter in the back said. They all nodded at his idea.

"If he did it with runes and set it around the town, then no, probably not," Hansel said. "We'd have to find and break the protections."

"We know it's not from that one frat," Xander quipped.

John gave the hunters a smug look. "That demon that went down, exposing all those assholes that made deals? It was under a frat at one of the colleges in Xander's town. One of the slayers took it out when she snuck off to a college kegger and it nearly got her as a sacrifice."

"Buffy was having a 'I want to be normal' day."

That old hunter that knew about witches sat up straight. "That blonde, airhead thing is a slayer?" he demanded.

Xander grinned. "Yeah. That's Buffy. She was never found by the Council. Did you see her recently? How's Faith?"

"Few years..... oh, now I know why you looked familiar." Xander grinned and wiggled his fingers. "Fuck."

"Sometimes," Xander agreed. "Then again, it's Sunnydale and the hellmouth so damn also fits at times."

"Sure as shit does," he agreed, looking at John. "I wouldn't let whatever weirdness that's infected your younger son near there, Winchester. You'll probably have to defend him a lot from them."

"We can watch out for Sam," Xander promised. "If they show up, I can introduce Buffy to him so he can flirt. Or she can."

"They might like that," John admitted. "We'll see when we talk to them later, guys." He looked at them. "So, fair warning. All that." They nodded. Xander and Hansel went out to their car. John came out a few minutes later and they headed to their pre-arranged rendevous spot with the Winchester boys.


Xander got out of the car first, looking around. "There's a higher demon power here." John got out. "Which higher demon is after you guys?"

"What higher demon?"

"There's one around here." He followed it, finding the guys in John's wallet. "Oh, that explains a lot. Hi, guys. John wanted me to see what activated the family gift." He looked back at John and Hansel. "It's an infection."

"You sure?" John asked.

Xander nodded. "Light, just enough to slip some of it loose, but yeah." He looked at Sam and Dean again, grinning. "The family gifts opened up in me due to detoxing some mermaid taint."

"What family gifts?" Dean demanded, staring at his father.

John handed over the copied notes. "On both sides." He sat down at the picnic table there. "Can you tell what sort of demon, Xander? We've got one that's a family vendetta."

"I heard a rumor about that but nothing really huge from the incubi at the bar in New York." He concentrated on Sam, slipping into female form to sniff him. He nodded. "It's an aspect sort of infection." He slipped back and looked at John. "He didn't take on the full aspect, just enough to ... It's not quite marking but it's less than changing. It's like a prep shot." He sat down, looking at Sam. "Sorry to freak you out, dude."

Sam shook his head. "Would that explain all the freaky shit that happens around Sammy?" Dean asked his father.

"Yup. Sure does. Sit, Sammy." He sat down next to Dean, which made Dean move closer to Xander. Hansel sat down next to John. "This is Hansel Kuhn, boys." Dean gaped, staring at him. Hansel smirked. "Xander's a direct line descendent of his and apparently so are we."

"I met your dad when he was trying to kill me with the other hunters in New York," Xander quipped with a grin.

"Because of that changing thing?" Sam asked. "How did you do that?" Xander went over the orgy that had caused the family line to start and Sam moaned, shaking his head. "So....."

"It's woken some of it," Xander said. "Mine got fully blown open but usually I tend more toward the maenad and the incubus sides. Which is kinda handy sometimes when you hunt evil shits."

"You can't do that in Sunnydale," Hansel warned.

"Eww! The only evil shit there is the mayor! Eww!"

Hansel patted him on the head. "Calm down."

"Fine." Dean was smiling even though he was trying to hide it. "It's handy at times."

Sam considered things. "What if I tend more toward another side."

"There's supposedly no more nephililim on this plane and most cambion were wiped out too," Xander said. "We went to a succuba and incubus bar in New York to talk to some of the older ones. There's some offspring of nymphs around. They hold a few revels now and then. Which was really fun," he said with a grin.

"Can gifts be unawakened?" Dean asked his father.

"Not that I know of. I called Bobby when I found out we're related to have him look up anything he could on this family and the bloodlines. There's been a lot of hunters. A lot that have weird shit happening to them." Xander nodded. "Even without him being born on the Sunnydale hellmouth." Xander nodded again with a grin.

"Every witch in existence has sworn a vendetta to kill all the bloodline they can," Hansel said.

"There's a few demons who are trying to wipe it out," Xander added. He looked at John. "I'm wondering if that same demon prompted that attack."

"Maybe. We don't know much about him."

"If we can help, let us know," Xander said. "We have some research books that I found in vampire nests. Sunnydale has a pretty good occult library up at the college, and Giles is a research nerd."

"I'll ask him when we get out there, Xander." He looked at his sons. "There's the chance that Sunnydale is going to have a huge problem of the worst kind."

"Or it could be in the federal detention lockup in LA," Xander quipped. "I'm not sure which is the worst idea."

"LA. Because if it gets free, there's millions of people at risk," Hansel said.

"Good point but there's military bases near there," Xander pointed out. "They won't come if it happens in Sunnydale so it'll have to be civilian led since the town cops are all dirty to him. We have a national guard base but they never come out, even on leave."

John grimaced. "That's a problem," he agreed. "How good is their security?"

Xander wiggled a hand in the air. "They have guards. They're nosy guards. Can you get around them? Yup but I don't have current base codes."

Hansel thought for a moment. "If we have to we can handle that." Xander nodded.

"How bad is this problem?" Dean demanded.

"An ascension," John said.

"Human sorcerer turning into a huge demon worm," Xander said.

Dean stared at him then at his father. "Really?" John nodded. "Why might he be in federal lockup?"

"ATF," Xander said with a grin. "He had been stockpiling weapons." Dean moaned, shaking his head. Xander patted him on the back. "We told a bunch of other hunters earlier and your dad wanted to visit before he followed me home."

Dean looked at him. "You're awfully touchy-feely."

"Yeah, I am." He grinned. "I never get enough." Dean groaned. Xander hugged him. "It's all right. I'm weird but we're very distant cousins."

Sam cracked, laughing at them. "Xander's a lot like me, Dean." He looked at Hansel. "Is there any way to get that out of me?"

"I know how to cancel magic rites, not how to do them," he admitted.

"We can ask Giles. He used to practice," Xander said. He called him. "It's me and Grandpa Hansel, Giles. Actually, we do know that and we're on our way to celebrate graduation with you guys. Beyond that, if someone's got a demon infection, like a prep shot to later activate gifts and stuff, how do you detox that? And would the same thing happen with the mermaid taint?" He took John's journal to make notes on what he said, nodding. "That's not that simple but effective? No, it seems like a blood one.

"Like a fairy godmother's blessing on Sleepy Beauty that will awaken her one day," he said dryly. He crossed out one thing and added a few others. "How certain? Great. Any idea which path would do it easier? If we could find someone like Ethan could he do it easier than say, someone like Willow?" He nodded, making that note. "Okay. Oh, I'm bringing someone home and he needs to pick your research brain too. Might be connected," he admitted. "Do you know the name, John?"

"Just that it has yellow eyes and it likes to burn parents on the ceiling," he said grimly.

Xander repeated that and made another note. "Azazel most likely? Okay. Any idea if that would matter..... yeah, that is what it seems like." He scratched out something and circled something else, handing John back the journal. "Okay, see you guys soon. Yup, both of us. Like I'm going to let her handle an apocalypse without me being there," he snorted. "I didn't before and I'm not now, even if she gets cranky. Thanks, Giles." He hung up and tucked his phone back into his pocket. "Willow's going to be cranky."

"I can burn her," Hansel offered with a smile.


"Fine." He looked at John. Then back at Xander. "How likely did he say it was that particular one?"

"Only three higher demons tend to *burn* their victims. One tends to do things like witch burnings after they've desecrated the corpses and sucked it dry. They're in pretty bad shape though so it's a mercy on the ME as he said. The other possible was another demon like the one that was pretending to be you and Gretel. It only picks on bloodlines that have magic but it doesn't do it on the ceiling and kills the kids first and then the parents. No tainting or anything."

"So it's probably him," John said. "Know anything about him?"

Xander called the bar. "It's Xander. I don't mind but if we come back I want the apartment back. Um.... ran into mentions of a demon named Azazel where I'm passing through." He listened, grimacing. "Anything definitive?" He took the journal back to make a note in big, bold letters and held it up. "Anything else we know on him? Anything about kids? I heard he was looking at kids. Which is what got our attention." He grimaced and made a second note and held it up. "Thanks. Tell me if you hear where he is? Yeah, he is the Winchester demon from what I found out from Giles. Thanks, dude." He hung up. "Handle this now," he said with a point at the second note as he put his phone back. "Because that's a hellgate. Which sounds a lot like a hellmouth."

"Hellgates go to single hell dimensions," John said. "Anything else?"

"Yeah, he tries to open it every twenty-five years."

"I'm eighteen," Sam said quietly.

"He has to pick them when they're six months old to mark as future champions." Xander stared at John. "Happy hunting. They asked specifically if I was asking for you."

"Thanks, kid. That'll help a lot. We can break that gateway before the ascension, I hope."

Xander grinned. "If I can help, let me know."

"I will." He looked at his boys. "If we're right and he's in Sunnydale, there'll be a battle."

"At the graduation," Xander quipped. "He's due to speak."

Dean nodded once. "We can go too," he said.

John looked at him. "I don't want you anywhere near there, Dean."

"The hellmouth might mask Sam," Xander said quietly. "Make him safer until you can handle that."

John considered it, looking at Hansel. "The whole area is radiated with bad magic. It could hide him and a lot of peaceful species of demons do live there for that same reason."

"There's a college there," Xander said.

"I've got a full ride to Stanford," Sam said.

Xander grinned. "Congrats! Willow couldn't even manage that and she's like super brainy." He hugged him around Dean, getting a grin back. "I'm not even going to try. I took my GED." He sat up again. "Stanford's about six hours away from Sunnydale."

"So easy running distance," Dean said, staring at his brother. "Why haven't I heard about this?"

"Because I wasn't going to tell you so we didn't have another fight," Sam said bluntly.

John opened his mouth but Xander kicked him. "We should ask Giles if he has any advice for Sam since he's got major degrees from one of the bigger English colleges thanks to the Watchers."

John considered that cryptic advice then nodded. Sammy might turn into Ripper if he pushed too hard. He had no way of knowing if he'd come back to the fold the way Ripper had though. "We can do that then. Sammy and Dean can come stay in the town for a while, to hide them while we handle other things."

"We can head there tonight," Hansel agreed. "Boys?"

"We can drive," Dean promised. "The Impala's finally mine." He grinned. "Sammy?"

"I can do that. I have one final I can take early tomorrow so we can leave tomorrow night." Xander wrote out directions from LA, getting a grin. "We can do that." Xander also wrote down his phone number. "Thanks."

"It's not a problem, Sam." Xander grinned. "We're kinda family." Sam smiled. "It's nice to have some that aren't drunken bastards or Hansel." He winked and got up. "C'mon, Hansel."

"Coming," he complained. "I'm still driving, Xander."

"You made me drive on the way out."

"Yes, but I needed a rest and you were bouncy." He followed him to the car.

John looked at the directions, adding one thing. "That's the closer freeway to that exit." He looked at them. "I'll see you boys there and we'll talk about Stanford then, Sammy. It's a great accomplishment, especially with how much we've traveled, but I don't like it."

Sam shrugged. "I don't really care, Dad."

"Then we'll talk then, when we're not being smothered by bouncy younger hunters. I'm going to Bobby's." They nodded, going to pack up their present apartment and wait for Sam to take his last final. John drove most of the night to get to the other hunter's house. He parked in the recycling yard and headed toward where the noise was. "Bobby." He got glared at. "We have a credible problem."

"I heard you were at the bar. Ellen called."

"Not that one. Azazel has a hellgate up from here that needs to be broken before he can use Sammy as a champion."

Bobby dropped his wrench as he turned to look at him. "What now?"

"Azazel is the demon's name. Xander found it out for me." He swallowed. "That's why and there may be a limited chance of removing the taint he gave him."

"Let me see what you have. We can find more."

"It's tied up in Colt's things." He let him see the notes Xander had made. "Those are on Azazel, that's the detainting. He asked a Watcher."

"Boy knows a Watcher?"

"Xander used to help a slayer hunt."

"Well, fuck. Thought that wasn't allowed."

"It's not. They still have a price on his head."

"Huh." He went over it, taking him inside to get into the books. They knew a lot about Samuel Colt. It was talked about in his stuff. They knew where it was and could break the shit out of it later. Then they'd head to Sunnydale.

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