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Interview About The Bad Man.

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The list got part of this already but I finally finished it.
Interview About The Bad Man.







The reporter sat down across from her two interview subjects. She was the first one to interview one of the two senior slayers. One you almost never saw outside of patrol and you didn't really want to mess with Faith, or talk to her when she was on patrol. You might get used as bait. One paparazzi had tried. Though most people didn't think he was a great loss to the field. Thankfully she had an 'in' with the new Council. Her cousin had been saved and was now dating a younger slayer. They had met during the invasion and she had pounced him to knock him out of the way of harm. To hear her cousin talk, she was the best dry hump of his life so he had asked her out to dinner. Which she had politely paid for since the all you can eat buffet restaurant had given her an award of some sort for eating some sort of contest dish in record time. She smiled at the two young women. "Miss Summers and Miss Rosenburg, thank you for agreeing to talk to me."

"Giles said we need better press after Faith growled one of you into running for the vampires for safety," Willow quipped with a grin.

The reporter smiled back. "We don't mind missing him. He was one of those tabloid sort of photographers." She smiled and looked at her notes then at the two young women. "As you know, I work for _Harper's Bazaar_, which is a woman's magazine. There's been a lot of interest in you young ladies. It's not often that we get strong, successful women at your age who are also fashionable and sweet."

Buffy smiled. "I try but sometimes even I have to resort to jeans and a t-shirt because it's just that nasty some patrols."

"I can understand that." She turned on her tape recorder. "There we go. So I can transcribe from it later. Of course, I'll be sending Mr. Giles a preview copy so he can complain if he wants to." The ladies grinned. "So, let's start with the easy questions. You're both from the same small former town in California?"

"No, I'm from LA," Buffy admitted. "I got assigned to Sunnydale in tenth grade. Willow is native."

Willow nodded. "I am. Me and Xander both."

"So you had to adjust from big city life to smaller town life?"

"When I got sent, I was all but shunned so it was nice to be able to not be stared at," Buffy admitted, grimacing some. "My transfer was because there had been a gym full of vampires that I kinda had to burn down. Which kinda ended a spring fling sort of dance. The school was *not* happy campers."

The reporter stared. "You did?"

Buffy nodded. "I did. I even dressed up for the dance. I had the most kick-ass dress. It was nearly as good as the one that the Master killed me in for the number of compliments I got." The reporter was looking a bit shocked. "I got better."

"Xander did CPR," Willow said cheerfully. "Then she came back to kick his hiney and grind him into tiny pieces of former vampire master."

"Wonderful. Do you worry about how your clothes handle fights?"

Buffy nodded. "Most of the slayers worry about whether or not we'll get caught up in our clothes. I give the younger girls a lot of help with that stuff so they can find their own version of fashionable yet slightly practical. Even if some do like geekier looks. Then we learn how to handle it if we're all dressed up and in heels and a skirt. I did more than a few patrols in a skirt and heels."

"Special outfits for special battles," Willow quipped. Buffy pinched her but was grinning at her.

"Most of the girls have a special outfit for the bigger things that they've decided is their most comfortable, most easily sweated into battle outfit. Though before any huge apocalypse sort of battle we go shopping to find the *perfect* outfit for after the battle and our night off we all take. It kinda gives encouragement to not get as injured."

"So, it's like bikini season and the gym?" the reporter asked.

"Something like that," Willow agreed. "It's more psychological encouragement but you know that you have something great waiting on the other side and it gives you incentive to get there in a way that means you can wear the ultra mini skirt and high heels. The witches we work with all think it's really weird but they're all older and we're not so they just go 'it's your generation' and walk off to have tea."

"I can see that point but I guess whatever gets you through the battles is a great thing?"

Buffy nodded. "Often. Because sometimes you get really tired and you have to have a reason to not lay down and nap, and therefore die."

"I can understand that easier," she decided. "Do you personally favor any designers?"

"Giles won't let me go designer," Buffy sighed, shifting in her seat. "He said our shopping budget is three thousand per slayer per year." The reporter winced. "Yeah, it kinda sucks, and it means we have to become great at getting goo out of laundry sometimes too. That is the real reason we shop so much. Ick and nastiness that happens when the demon dies and explodes on you."

Willow nodded. "I put a shield sort of spell up to make sure I don't have that problem as often but even I get nasty sometimes."

"Any tips on how to get things out of the wash?"

"Mom had a whole list of recipes," Buffy said, twirling some of her hair. "She got *so* disgusted at times but it was necessary. So she worked out how to get things out in defense of her credit card and the mall. I *was* a cheerleader and one of the most popular girls in the school until I got poked by the hairy mole committee. Sorry, that's how my first watcher told me I was a slayer, I had the hairy mole."

The reporter frowned for a second but let it clear up. "So you weren't one of the ones the Council originally trained?"

"Oh, no," Willow said, shaking her head. "She told the Council to bite her when they showed up to try to push their weight around. That was after she was called."

Buffy nodded. "They missed me totally. We have had to do some deprogramming of the ones that they did raise. The first one of those I met had *one* outfit." The reporter shivered. "We made sure she had a change of clothes." Buffy smiled. "Kendra was really great at the whole slaying thing but she didn't know how to enjoy life. She's the one that carved Mr. Pointy and gave him to me."

"I've seen pictures of it during the house tour you let happen once a year." She smiled. "Where was she from?"

"Jamaica I think," Buffy said. "She sounded Jamaican so I guess that's where her watcher raised her."

"Are there many of them that made it through the First Evil's apocalypse?"

"Seventeen," Willow said. "The other eighty slayers were either not gathered yet, because the Council hadn't been gathering some of the potentials for the year before due to internal issues, or they were missed."

"We had a doctor call up the other day about a newborn little girl with the mole problem. He wanted to hand her over to Giles. Thankfully Xander answered the phone since it was his day in the office so he straightened the guy out and reminded him that the new Council didn't take the slayers in that young unless there was a problem. That she had parents who were probably great and that we'd get in touch with them in a few weeks, once they got into the routine things so they had some sleep and time to recover," Buffy said. "Xander went out and talked to them later that night because he tried to do something stupid and tried to take the baby to bring to Giles," she finished dryly. "Xander found him, took the baby back to the parents, explained his malfunction, and set up an appointment for them to come in and get the pre-slayer discussion about things that may happen, how to think about her future training, all that stuff."

"So you do outreach to the potentials?" the reporter asked.

Willow nodded. "We think it's important that the potentials all grow up as normally as possible. We only step in when a parent's not real...good. Unfortunately Xander seems to be the one to find them. It likes they call out to him to help him." She smiled. "We have three tiny minis thanks to him saving them. We nearly had four but the other one had a biological father that was fighting for custody and we liked him so we let him have her." She crossed her legs and leaned back in the chair. "We have whole lots of stuff on things that slayers tend to get into more often than not. Including trees. Knots. Fist fights." She rolled her eyes. "One of the really minis is three. One of the boys at her daycare called her a stupid bitch and she decked him very nicely."

"From the tape, it almost looked like she had full slayer strength when she hit him," Buffy agreed with a grin for her best friend. "Xander stared down at her and then said something quietly. She pouted but apologized and then he talked to the kid's parents and they got all huffy. Apparently their family doesn't like strong girls so they're now separate at the daycare. Xander handled her grounding for it and all that."

"Then he told Giles, who tried to lecture her but she pouted and fidgeted until he gave up," Willow added. "Giles does the bigger dad stuff that Xander doesn't around the house."

"It's good the girls still get some structure."

Buffy nodded. "We try to make it feel like a family thing. If they screw up there's grounding, there's lacking privileges, there's extra chores. If you piss Giles off he assigns you a research paper on an impossible topic." She shook her head. "Speaking of, I think I have one due soon."

"I found you three new books on it," Willow said with a pat to her hand. "Hers is on an obscure marriage myth in a few demon clans about a marriage that created an alliance because she was dating someone Xander took one look at and then pulled out a shotgun loaded with the poisoned holy water shells."

"I don't know how Xander realized he was a dirtbag but he kinda sees through you to how evil you are," Buffy said. "Except in the ones he dates. Apparently then he can only see panties."

"None of his have tried to kill him or us in the last few years, which is really nice," Willow said. She shifted again.

Buffy nodded. "It was, yeah. And some are even kinda helpful now and then. Just... not really *nice* people."

"I thought Heidi was very nice," Willow countered.

"Yeah, she was until we found out she kills dictators and drug lords," Buffy agreed. The reporter's horrified look was nearly comical. "Xander dates like that," she said with a hand wave. "He always has. Starting with the shape-changing substitute teacher that wanted him to fertilize her eggs and then to rip his head off."

"Your school had a substitute teacher that tried to sleep with and kill some of the students?"

"For Sunnydale, that wasn't all that unusual," Buffy sighed. "Unfortunately." She shook her head. "She was pretty and deadly but a preying mantis lady."

"Oooh! I found one of them in Toronto's school system and warned them the other day," Willow said with a happy grin.

"Cool," Buffy said. "Did you tell the slayer up there?"

"Yup. She took the bat sound file that I found her and went to get her last night."

"Wonderful," the reporter said. "How common are they?"

Buffy shrugged, looking at Willow. "You're research girl."

"I think there's about a thousand of them on this plane." She texted someone at the Council. She got one back almost instantly. "They're down to six hundred. Spike made them flee when he found a nest of their young ones." She put her phone up.

"Spike can be uber scary at times," Buffy agreed.

"Isn't he a vampire?" the reporter asked. They both nodded. "Interesting." She smiled and looked at her list of notes. "If you had to rank the people at the Council, who do you consider the scariest?"

"Xander," they said together.

"Xander kinda has this 'pull a plan' thing going on and it almost always works. He also *really* likes weapons. A lot. Some of his skanky bad girl dates have given him some we're not allowed to mention in case the FBI guy who likes to follow him on dates hears."

"He's got *huge* big brother syndrome over the girls," Willow said.

"Yeah, none of the younger slayers are dating any skanks," Buffy agreed. "He's the one that scares all the potential boyfriends. There's been a few where the girl popped up with one and Xander's hand inched toward his weapons while they talked in the living room. The ones with good boyfriends or girlfriends he just nods and gives them the 'use a condom or else I'm going to make you miserable' speech." She smiled. "He even does it to mine."

"My latest one too," Willow agreed. "He's also the one that the girls go to when they're having problems. He's scared some bullies that were bothering some of the younger girls. He scared a teacher who was making a kid uncomfortable by trying to get them alone. That one went to turn himself in because Xander *promised* he'd be back if there was a problem. Two others in the city heard and retired quietly, citing him in their retirement letters. That made the local police guys investigate and then arrest them." She beamed at the reporter. "He's very sweet until something threatens one of us."

"Then he turns into a growling, scowling, mafia don in the movies sort," Buffy agreed. "We had one that pulled up with his mom driving and she *honked* for the girl to come out." Willow whimpered and shook her head. "Xander kindly invited her in and they had a talk about proper date etiquette. The mother realized she would hate it if a girl did it to her son and apologized. The boy got the hairy eyeball treatment but they're still together."

"Xander put up a case in the hallway by the doorway with two maces, a short sword, a whip, and a pistol loaded with lead bullets. He put a sign over it that names it the 'skanky ho be gone' cabinet. All new dates get introduced to it." Willow looked at Buffy. "Did he scare the guy that talked Misty into getting drunk and down with him?"

"Yup. All the way to Church to confess and talk about joining the clergy," Buffy said smugly. "Teenager party," she explained. "Budweiser was the King that night. He got her a bit tipsy, which screwed her up plentifully. Then he talked her into sleeping with him. Xander got a call from the party." The reporter whimpered. "Yeah. Xander showed up without the police, which my mother would've done, and the kids in the house all stared at him. He shot the beer keg. He pointed out drinking underage was illegal and he was a responsible adult for one of the kids there. Then he went to find her. He found her complaining she was sore. Xander kinda...." She looked at Willow.

Willow shrugged one-sidedly. "He kinda picked that up guy by his hair and started to shove him out a window while growling about how he was going to fuck his life up. Misty stopped him. Xander left him hanging half out the window and took her to the ER to make sure he didn't really hurt her. Then the next morning, he and Faith talked to her in a locked room. She changed some classes to get away from him. He didn't really hurt her but she knows it was possible and there was mass stupidity that night. When the PD got there to answer the gunshot call they were highly amused. Arrested everyone so their parents had to pick them up."

Buffy nodded. "I would've hated that as a teenager but I know it's the responsible thing to do as the adult in charge. My mom would've had my old pompoms." She shook her head. "Then the rest of the girls got the 'alcohol is bad for us' lecture the next night. He even told them about the cave slayer beer incident I had back when I attempted college."

"Giles heard and told him he was being a bit harsh. Even his father had let him go to parties and drink. Xander shot back that's probably when he got the bright idea to start toward dark magic," Willow said with a grin. "Giles decided to leave that in the big brother's hands."

"Does he do that to the ones that're over eighteen?"

"They get less lectures but he still big brothers their dates," Buffy admitted. "He really hates the two married ones' husbands for some reason. He won't say why but they know not to screw up around him."

Willow cleared her throat. "I know the reason for one. Xander somehow knew he was doing drugs. She called to talk to him the other night."

Buffy looked at her. "Seriously?" Willow nodded. "Huh. So he's a dirtbag then. Good for Xander growling at him then." She grinned. "The other?"

"No idea except maybe that he's some sort of fundamentalist nut who thinks that all women should be barefoot and pregnant?" Willow guessed. She texted that to Xander, who answered after a minute. "That too." She showed Buffy who growled. "So yeah, he has his reasons. We'll talk to her later."

"Yes we will be."

"His wife's from the same church," Willow said quietly.

"Well, welcome to the wider world. If the other girls hear that he smacked her that once on the back of the head, they'll turn him into alpo for hellhounds."

Willow nodded. "Probably, yeah." She put her phone back up. It rang and she excused herself to answer the research question.

Buffy smiled. "Sorry, we're kinda on call for questions."

"That's a good thing. It shows that you're more than a figurehead who shows the girls how to be fashionable."

"There's days I wish I was still a figurehead but no, I can't be. The girls look up to me and Faith. Faith quit swearing as much and doesn't wear her leather pants as often anymore. I tried to grow up a bit too." She smiled. "Sometimes it's hard."

"It can be." She looked at her list of questions. "What about your education? Are you thinking about going back to college?"

"I don't do classes and slaying very well. That's why I was miserable in high school and college. Some people can, some can't." Willow came back. "Huge issue?"

"Three new prophecies were logged in last night. They look bad but for next spring."

"That's good to know. Means we can plan." They nodded at each other then smiled at the reporter.

"What do you two want to be doing in five years?"

"Living," Buffy said. "Preferably with something decent to drink. I missed my stop at Starbucks this morning." She grimaced then grinned. "But I can get a double sized later because I can be bouncy."

Willow shook her head. "Ditto on the living thing but I'd like to have a house full of books and computer stuff."

"What about in ten years?"

"Hopefully with a boyfriend. It might take that long to find a guy who can handle the slaying and all the minis looking at him funny if I make him squeal."

"I'd like a girlfriend by then," Willow complained. "I'm hoping it doesn't take a decade."

"We all hope it doesn't take a decade but it probably will," Buffy said. "Especially with Xander testing them first. I've never had so many first dates and so few second ones since he started to scare the bad ones off. I don't even get sex!" she complained. "I'd take sex if it's a good night and stress relief. Unfortunately he stops the bad ones who only want the sex because they're not worthy of us."

Willow nodded. "Two of his ex's hit on me. It nearly scared me back to guys."

"Eww," Buffy said, shuddering. "Which ones? The skanky goddess wannabe or one of the others?"

"Bethany." Buffy made gagging noises. "And that redheaded slutty thing that was wearing the leather skirt that even Faith thought was slutty."

"Yuck. Didn't she kidnap him?"

"Yeah. She walked into the house and kidnaped him. She flirted with me while she was handcuffing him."

"Eww."

The reporter looked at Willow. "How did she kidnap him?"

"He didn't fight too hard so she couldn't make a scene around the minis. He got her outside and about twenty minutes later she squealed and he came back inside." She shook her head. "We have no idea what he did to her but she let herself be arrested happily."

"Probably got smutty with her," Buffy complained. "He does that and they never want to kill him anymore but they like him more. I have *no* idea why. Clearly he knows things that none of my boyfriends have. Probably learned it from Anya."

"Would either of you consider dating him?" the reporter asked.

"No," they said in unison, shaking their heads.

"I've known Xander since we started school," Willow said. "He's like a brother. I crushed when we were younger but then I realized he wasn't like I wanted him to be. It broke the crush and I found Oz."

Buffy nodded. "Pretty much the same reason though I've only known him since I moved to Sunnydale." Her phone beeped. "'Scuse me." She looked at it. "Xander pounced Faith, knocked her out, and is chanting latiny things on her," she read. She gave Willow a confused look then called, shaking her head. "Barbie, is Faith possessed? If not, put Xander on?" She did and Buffy crossed her legs. "What are you doing?" He told her why he was checking her for possession, which made Buffy lean over to put her head on Willow's shoulder and thump it on there a few times. "I doubt that means more than she's in a funny mood, Xander. Pink? Really? Faith?" She groaned at the new news. "Sure, you have fun with the exorcism. Or really, take her to the bar, hand her to someone, and get her laid. She'd probably say the same thing if she was in her right mind." She hung up and looked at Willow. "Pink."

"Faith?"

"Yeah. Barbie said she looks almost delicate."

"Is she under a spell?"

"We think so. Or it's a really harsh bet and she just really needs laid." She put her phone back into her pocket. "Sorry. Sometimes the little things happen at the wrong time." Her phone beeped again and she looked. That news got a snicker. "The three minis bought it for her." Willow snickered, shaking her head. "Though yeah, she said she could use a ride to the bar." She put the phone back after sending a text back. "The minis gave her something delicate and cute looking."

"They're great kids," Willow said, smiling at the reporter. "They think Faith's the best big sister ever because she lets them play with the three demon dogs that sometimes show up and lets them sneak ice cream."

"She sounds like she's good with them," the reporter said.

"We all love the minis," Buffy said with a grin. "They're great little hyper future slayers who drive us nuts on holidays. I thought I ate a lot until I sat down with the three of them. Between us we put down nineteen plates of food. I only had three."

"All slayers eat a lot," Willow said. "They need the energy."

The reporter nodded. "I can understand that. You do a lot of training." Buffy nodded. "Are they training that young?"

"Self defense lessons," Buffy said. "Nothing beyond that. It's important that they have their normal time, even if they are living in a slayer house."

"That's good. It's probably good for their emotional development." She checked her list of questions then smiled at them. "I only have two more. Would either of you ever date a non-American?"

"Angel was Irish," Buffy said with a slight shrug. "I don't really care and some foreign hotties have great accents. I'm more concerned that whoever will freak out at the slaying stuff."

"I wouldn't mind either," Willow said with a grin for Buffy. "I just want brains and able to handle the life we live."

"The last question I have is about crushes. Do either of you have any celebrity crushes that you sigh over?"

Buffy grimaced. "They're cute but no. Not really. I gave up that fantasy years ago. Not even an action star would put up with the insanity in my life and most of them like guns, which I don't, instead of stakes and crossbows."

"I think there's a few very hot ones," Willow said. "But I'd never crush without at least a date. They might not be my type and hearing them say something truly dumb would break the fantasy for me. So I might look but not stare."

"I can understand that. Thank you, ladies. I hope you have an easy next few months."

"Your mouth to the Goddess' ear," Willow quipped. They shook her hand and left, getting coffee on the way home.

The reporter turned off her tape recorder and went to talk to her editor. It was not the sort of interview she had wanted but it was a very interesting one. She also wanted permission to ask some more people about Xander Harris. It couldn't go in _Harper's_ but other magazines might buy it from her.

***

That same reporter showed up where Xander was getting a few girls from detention at school about two weeks later. "Mr. Harris?"

He looked at her. "I do not talk to reporters," he said bluntly. "I don't give a shit what they want. Personally, I take you coming near me as a personal threat and by law I have to inform you I'm armed." He looked at the school again. One of the girls was trying to hide. The others were already in the car waiting. "Brit, get your ass out here now or the yelling will start here in front of everyone and keep going for the next few hours," he finally shouted when the reporter didn't move.

"I wanted to ask why you dated people who liked to harm others." Xander glared at her.

One of the girls in the minivan rolled down a window. "They're the ones who like Xander. We don't know why but they are."

Xander stared at her. "Slayers do not talk to reporters. It can get them hunted and killed by things who read the stupid articles."

"Oops. Buffy did!"

"Giles was back in the headache tea again," he shot back. She rolled up the window. He walked toward the school. The girl came running out and dove into the backseat of the minivan, sitting in the very last seat. He walked back shaking his head. "Yours wasn't even the worst offense today," he said dryly. "But you're still getting yelled at. Plus for ducking punishments." He got in to drive, honking and waving at one of the other parents, who smiled and waved back.

The reporter had to huff at that. He wasn't really cooperative. Maybe she'd find someone else to talk to so she could round out her article. She turned and found a staring agent. He had to be an agent, only they dressed in that navy blue suit of rayon and polyester while wearing sunglasses. "I'm just trying to interview Mr. Harris," she said.

He smirked. "Why? He's made his stance known."

"I'm looking at his dating history."

"Are you a gossip columnist?" he asked.

"No, I'm with _Harper's_. I got to interview Buffy and Willow."

"Ah, you're brain dead from them," he said dryly. "Harris doesn't talk to anyone about anything. He's actually pinned a reporter to a headstone in the past and walked off, though it was nicely in the middle of the afternoon. They had wanted to ask him about one of the slayers they wanted to ask out."

"He dates dangerous people on purpose?"

"Harris doesn't date, he gets picked up. He's the bimbo in that equation."

"Are you the agent that follows him around?"

"No but my daughter's in class with one of the younger future slayers and she's heard a lot of complaints about his dating," he said dryly. "I'd suggest you flee. Hard. Harris isn't one that you want to get the notice of. If he sees a threat to the slayers he tends to take....indirect action that we in the FBI don't like to hear about." He walked around her. "Melinda, why did I have to come pick you up?" he demanded quietly, staring at his daughter.

"Sochi and I got into a tiny bit of a fight?" she guessed, looking at her shoes. She glanced up then went back to looking down. "There was a boy and he was picking on Sochi about being partially Japanese so I stepped in to help her. Not that she really needed it but she was so insulted she was nearly crying, Dad." She looked up at him. "You said a real friend sticks up for their friends."

"I did. Fighting is still not acceptable behavior."

"That's why I have detention for the next week and a half," she pouted. "I'm sorry I let you down."

"You didn't." Her head snapped up and she stared at him. "I had a few of those myself and I'm proud you stuck up for your friend. However, this fighting will not be allowed." He pointed. "We'll talk about it at my desk. You're on to help me with my paperwork until you no longer need picked up."

"Yes, Dad." She looked at the staring woman. "Is she a perv?" she hissed.

"Worse, a reporter. She wanted to talk to Harris."

The girl snorted, looking at the reporter lady. "He never talks to anyone. He just growls a lot." She walked off with her father, holding his hand. "Is Mom mad?"

"I haven't talked to her yet," he said dryly. "I wasn't going to interrupt her with a patient."

"Oooooh." She winced.

"I'll talk to her before we go home. I left her a message to call because you got detention." He looked down at her. "Permanent records, daughter."

"I know, Dad. They'll haunt me. I have to have a good record to get into a good college and then whatever field I want to be in, but I think sticking up for her against such an imbecile is a good reason to have a mark."

"It may be, still."

"Yes, Dad. Are you making dinner tonight?"

He turned off the car alarm, letting her into the backseat. "When was the last time you saw me cook?" he snorted, smiling slightly.

"Cool. Pizza?" she asked with a grin. "We can get Mom one of her own."

"Perhaps." He walked around to get in and drive off.

The reporter was still standing there, looking upset. "No one likes us. I'm perfectly nice and polite." The principal came out so she tried to get her to talk about the mini slayers and Harris. All she would say was that the slayers were usually very good students, very polite and did all their homework most of the time. They were a credit to their school and the ones raising them. Then she went back inside.

The reporter walked off pouting. She might have to go to the prison to talk to a few of Harris' exes. They'd probably like to talk to her. It might help their cases.

***

She sat down in the very dirty chair, looking at the prisoner chained in the other seat. "I'm doing a report on the Council's people, specifically Mr. Harris. There was an interest started after I did an interview with Buffy and Willow." The woman looked unimpressed. "Of course, he just growled at me and I can't get anyone who has known him to talk to me. It's said you two dated for about six weeks?"

"I did. You're getting me out of solitary for a few hours so yeah, I'll chat." She crossed her feet and leaned back. "What did you want to know about Pookie?"

"He let you call him Pookie?"

"He huffed a few times but he's not really going to argue with someone."

"Why? Most guys would."

"Those two *charming* cunts you mentioned talking to," she said dryly. "He learned not to argue with them because they got a bit...verbally mean when he did, even when he turned out to be right. So he usually walks away from fights."

"Does that impact his relationships in other ways?"

"Not really. He's a great boyfriend." She smiled. "He's thoughtful. He likes to date. He's great in bed. He made sure we went off-campus so the minis wouldn't see him dating. He said it'd save my life from them attacking me. Two of the littlest minis did try to attack me with swords that were much too big for them." She grinned. "They're sweet little kids and he cooed that they were trying to protect 'their Xander' from me. They threatened me with their demon dog friends they liked to play with and poisoning my food if I ever hurt Xander. When we broke up I didn't eat anything that wasn't pre-packaged for three weeks because I believed they could. Thankfully he got them calmed down." She shifted again. "What did the brats say about him?"

"That he threatened a lot of their boyfriends. He had a special gift at figuring out bad boyfriends. That he's pulled a weapon on a few of them. That he dates people that like to kidnap him or others."

The woman snorted, shaking her head. "Not fully. I think that special sensing is knowing if they show they're attracted to him, they're probably not good enough for the girls. He does draw some of the meanest things," she said with a slight smile. "Like me, and Alana. She's up the hall from me so she might like to get out to talk too."

One of the guards in there with them shook his head. "No way in hell. We have to force her from her cell for weekly showers. We nearly had to call in a SWAT team to get her out last month, Biggers."

She waved her chained hand. "Tell her she wants to talk about Xander. We've talked a few times in the cage yard outside. She misses him a lot. She was his most recent ex," she told the reporter. "I dated him last year. It was a good six weeks. Almost like a vacation. And staking vampires is actually more fun than shooting politicians."

"I bet it is, plus useful so they don't attack others."

"Yeah, but it doesn't pay well. Which we all dislike about Xander's job. We understand why though. We've seen others who got into the assassination field because they needed to find one person and kill them. Xander made sure the bad things wouldn't come back the same way one of us would." She kitty smirked at her. "And he's very nicely built from all that hunting too." She looked at the guard when his radio went off. "Let me go talk to her. If you'll wait?" she asked.

"Of course. No one ever talks about anyone at the Council."

The prisoner smirked. "They don't want to swear about Willow." She got free of the handcuffs by herself and walked off. The guard growled, following her to catch her. She walked up to the door to the solitary section. "I can get her out."

"Whatever," the guard said, looking at the other one.

"She seems to think so," the guard following her said. "She should be in chains for moving. We should put her into gen pop for that violation."

She looked at him. "You keep me separated because I'm the meanest thing they'll ever encounter, baby." She got let through and walked up to the cell, opening the checking window. "Get your ass up, woman! There's a real reporter here who wants to talk about Xander and his dating habits and why we like him."

"Who's she with?" she snorted.

"Harpers. She's the one that talked to the cunts."

"Really?" She smirked and stood up. "I miss Xander."

"Me too, baby." She got out of the way and they let her out, putting them both in transport chains to go back there. The reporter was making notes. They both got chained to the table and smiled at the reporter. "This is Bethany."

"I think one of the girls I interviewed mentioned you," she said with a smile. "Were you the one that took him hostage or the other one?"

She laughed, sounding a bit rusty. "I'm the one before her. She was a bit weird. Only wanted the sex since someone bragged so hard on it. Not that it's not worthy of bragging." She sighed. "That man learned a few really great things somewhere."

The first one nodded, smiling too. "Yes, he did. Maybe Anya taught him?"

"No, he said he used to impress her with oral sex all the time." They shared a look and grinned. "We really do have to toast Anya this year."

"We should, yeah." They smiled at the reporter, who swallowed because she was like a tiny little bird being looked at by hawks, but she got back to her questions about Xander and what he'd done, what he was like, and how he was when he was dating. They were more than happy to share.

***

The reporter had staked out a cemetery she thought the slayers would have to visit sometime soon. Well, staked out is a bit strong. She glanced that way each time she ran out for after-dinner coffee from the local Starbucks. Girls like her didn't really like cemeteries. Tonight she found the slayers and Harris there. She grabbed her tape recorder and hopped out before they switched cemeteries. She heard one of the slayers mutter about her being a reporter and heard Xander snort in response. She smiled at Xander, who only quirked up his good eye's eyebrow at her. "Did you know that some of your ex's have set up a slight cult to your ex Anya?"

He blinked a few times. Then he grinned. "She'd probably really like that. Hold on, you talked to my ex's?" he demanded.

She smiled. "We're interested in the dating that goes on around the Council; how the normal people integrate and things. I do more than fashion reporting, Mr. Harris." She grinned. He scowled at her and she was a bit scared of him. "People are interested. We know the girls get to date. The interview with Buffy and Willow were very well liked."

"No wonder you went to talk to my ex's," he said dryly. "I still hate reporters and I'm about an inch away from wishing all the gossipy ones into the ocean," he said dryly.

"We're a distraction from the bad things that go on. Surely you understand that need?"

"Yeah, but I don't think nagging someone about their weight is a good idea either."

"I don't personally do that and I'm not in supermodel shape," she said with a wave at her body. She wasn't too unfit but definitely not one of the skinny broads in Hollywood. "Mostly I interview stars about things that have been going around about them and what they're doing work-wise. People really want to know more about the ladies at the Council and you." She pointed. "Red-haired slayer, there's one coming up behind you, dear."

"I felt," she sighed, turning to stare at him. "Well, get up already!" The vampire hopped up and she staked it.

Another of the slayers looked at her. "Xander doesn't do anything that people would like to hear about. Why ask about him?"

"Gee, thanks," Xander said dryly.

"I didn't mean it in a bad way, Xander, but you're not a fashionable girl sort and Buffy said the interview was with _Harper's_."

"We do talk to male stars and I'm told he does a lot of your training and he's the best big brother ever," the reporter said with a smile. All the girls glared at Xander but nodded.

He smirked back. "None of you can date the wannabe pimp I met for one of the other girls earlier either."

"I still think he really should look up the dictionary definition of a pimp," the redheaded slayer said dryly. "He clearly had the wrong idea from rap music." She walked off. "Sorry, Miss Reporter, but we need him more. Try to catch him tomorrow to ask him about his trips to gather the missing slayers and his ex-girlfriend posse of dangerous bitches."

"I talked with the two in the local federal jail," she told Xander with a smile. "And with that charming guy Charles."

Xander gave her an odd look. "He let you walk off after talking to him?"

"He was in dopey-eyed lust. He was grinning and praised your skills and lovely nature, and then said I could go away so I'd help you find someone better than him to date. He said he'd kill me after you got married."

Xander walked off shaking his head, sighing some. "I have *got* to talk to some of my ex's about their wacky ideas."

"Was Charles, or those two women, good in bed?"

Xander nodded without turning around. "I'd never date someone bad in bed. I have standards."

"They're just set on deadly," one of the slayers quipped, getting swatted by Xander for it. "They are. You're the only one I know of who's dated six arms dealers, Xander."

"It got you weapons when you needed them. They gave me a great discount while we were dating," he said dryly. "Not that I dated them for that reason but yay." He paused and turned around. "I really didn't date them for that reason, or Charles." He turned back around and walked off shaking his head. Charles would take things totally out of context.

"I can make sure he doesn't think so," she promised with a wave at his back before running back to her car. She locked herself inside, checked the backseat, then drove off to get her coffee and head home to transcribe that into her article. It was going to be super once she was done.

***

Xander looked at the magazine Faith had dropped on his coffee cup before hurrying off.

What do you call a man who trains with girls who have a destiny to protect everyone? A man who has done things that most men would consider only in some big budget action movie, and would probably protest it was all blown out of proportion? A man who had been in almost every single apocalypse battle on this planet for the last ten years? Most of us would call him heroic, or even slightly insane but a good man who was doing what was necessary to help protect us all. One that most everyone wouldn't need to know his name but we'd all nod politely at and smile because he had helped protect us.

What if he was also dated arms dealers? Perhaps a few assassins? A few agents who are a bit on the dark side? A former vengeance demon? Yes, that's right. A demon who punishes people based on the wish of a wronged party. In this case, she was the one that came when women needed retribution and couldn't kill their men themselves. This man, he nearly married one. According to reports the only reason he didn't marry her was because he found out she'd be miserable. He left her at the altar. She got her job back but then realized he had changed her so much, she couldn't torture anymore, even though she had held that job for over eleven hundred years.

Is he still a man most of us would look up to, use as a role model for our children? Would that change if you heard that he had to deal with a hundred member demon army that was coming after a village he was overnighting in on the way to another slayer? What if he had done this more than once? If there were stories of him taking on multiple problems that slayers would want backup for? And he did this for over a year and a half in Africa before moving on to lower Asia? Then South and Central America? What would you call that man?

The slayers call him Xander. They call him their big brother. They call him the date checker. They call him their trainer. They also call him the guy that holds them when they have nightmares, bad dates, bad tests, or just bad days. They call him 'oh shit' when he's found out one of them is on a date with a guy that's getting them into trouble - as two have found out. I'm of the opinion that him busting in on a teenager's party to remove his slayer taught the rest that underage drinking was very wrong. The fact that he tends to meet their possible dates with weapons usually keeps down the dirtbag dating too.

Now, this reporter, as most others, cannot get him to talk to us. He actually subtly threatened me when I tried a few times. The only time he said something to me was when I mentioned that the former dates of his were all slightly worshiping his former fiancee, Anya. Then he smiled and said she'd like that. The demons I talked to thanks to one of the younger slayers pointing me at the demon bar, probably maliciously but it was still an interesting place to learn about, agreed that Anya would have adored being such an object. Apparently she was mostly very happy with Xander's skills in bed and used to note it in public many times.

Xander looked up then around. "Whoever helped the reporter with this shit is a dead bitch," he yelled. "You'd better fucking hide somewhere I can't get to." He sighed, going over it with a sigh of displeasure. "I did not do that!" he complained. "I want to sue this reporter."

Giles walked behind him to look at the article. "Oh, dear. How much damage control do we have to do?"

"She talked to my ex's, who lied about what I've done," he said, glaring at Giles. "One of the girls helped her. At least one of the girls." He pointed at something.

"It was probably charitable, Xander." He patted him on the shoulder before walking to his office, locking himself inside, and giggling until he was nearly sick. It might cause problems later but it was good to see Xander so flustered as the rest of them had been by his dates. The phone rang and Giles straightened up enough to answer it. "Watchers Council, Rupert Giles speaking." He listened. "He said that some of that was exaggerated but I doubt he'd consent to talk about it. He barely filed reports with me about it." He listened to the suggestion. "I'll talk to our legal department and Xander about it but I make no promises. Have a good day." He hung up and looked at the door. "Xander, someone wants to option the rights to what you've done while traveling."

"FUCK!"

"Yes, dearly so," he shouted back. "What do I not have reports on so we can cover it up?"

Xander leaned in and tossed over three journals. "Don't you dare sell it to some crackhead writer." He stomped off. "See what you started by talking to a reporter?" he snorted at Willow when he walked past her.

"It's not my fault," she complained. "You went white guy 'mighty hunter' sort in Africa," she complained. "You didn't have to."

A wish demon appeared, shaking her head. "If you wanted him to survive his first month there? Yes he did." She walked into Giles' office and handed him a small crystal ball. "Here. You might need that, no matter which way you go. Anya would enjoy if he did sell the rights. She thought he needed more attention from the right sorts and money." She disappeared.

Giles started with the crystal ball. Xander would minimize things; the girls had taught him bad habits in that area. Within a few weeks of Xander starting off in Africa Giles had to take a break for tea, some headache medicine, and perhaps a stiff drink. Xander did make him drink more than anyone but Dawn. What he saw next made him look toward the kitchen Xander liked to hide in. "Xander, do run," he ordered calmly. "Because if I catch you, you will pay for that magical rite."

Xander opened the door to stare at him, sipping his milkshake. "You wanted her to die?"

"I saw that part."

"Well, which was more important? Me stopping the bad thing that was going to happen to her or her having to be rescued from bad things?" He took a sip. "Frankly, stopping all those sort seemed like a great idea at the time. Still does." He walked off shaking his head. "You'll want to skip over the next two weeks, Giles. I was a bit ill from that and I found someone who nicely let me stay on their bed."

Giles looked at them, going a bit pale. He fast forwarded. He did not want to know anything about that incident or whatever Xander had done with that boyfriend. He had no idea why those sort liked Xander and he really was not interested in knowing.

***

Xander showed up at the reporter's office, nicely handing her a plant with a wicked smirk on his face. "My other ex's are insulted you never talked to them." She went pale. "Since you told them where I was....." He smirked. "Payback, bitch. You have fun with my other ex's. And the guy who wants to buy my story for Hollywood." He walked off.

She looked at the plant. It looked like a cactus but it had a mouth. "I should probably name you Seymour?" She checked and gave it some water. So it nicely swelled up and fumed smelly smoke all over her. "Eww." She went to change. The editor's purse dog, which was always with her, ran out to hump her leg. It was a girl dog. A fixed girl dog. "Harris gave me a plant," she moaned to her editor. "He told his ex's where I am."

"We'll miss you." She pried her dog off her reporter's leg. "Make sure you have all the pertinent papers done, okay? Save your ex some work." She walked off, closing her office door.

"I wouldn't say that all of us are that evil," an amused sounding Southern voice said. The reporter looked at him. "I know that plant. Go shower before it sticks. Then we'll go talk about Xander some more. You clearly missed a *number* of the most interesting times," he said smugly. She nodded, going to shower. She knew she couldn't escape. All of Xander's ex's could probably track and might kill her. She would regret ever wanting to talk to Xander, and like that one paparazzi, she'd be a good example to the other reporters about going near the Council. She just hoped she lived long enough to write the story up. She came out dressed in jeans and a pretty blouse, plus sensible shoes. It was always best to be prepared to run.

He smiled. "I'd never kill you, my dear. What a waste of talent. The rest of us are gathering to honor Xander's birthday. I'm sure you'll learn a lot there." He led her off. He had *plans* for her. Dirty plans that included handcuffs and her begging him for more stories about his Xander baby. It did thrill him to get a new pet. Especially a willing, talented one who had *ideas*.

The End.
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